Lillian had managed to get through half the morning, mostly in silence shared by Alek, when the cyborg got up from his desk and came over to stand in front of hers. “President Kwolek, if I may have a word?”
Startled by the formality, she gaped at him. “Of course, Alek.
“I request permission to uninstall the interpersonal program.”
“But the feedback issue…isn’t that still a concern?”
His lips thinned. “I’m willing to risk it.”
“I’m not.” She scowled, hiding her sinking heart with anger. “You’re too important to the company to endanger yourself.”
“I can grab another cyborg to assume security duties. Removing the bodyguard program might help whatever concerns you’re having.”
“I wish to return to how I was before. The lesser degree of interpersonal programming. The…the lack of emotions.” Alek’s fists clenched. His jaw tightened.
“Are you angry with me?” she asked. Disbelief warred with what she saw before her.
His tension eased and made way for pleading. “Of course not. But surely you can see I don’t function correctly since the upgrade.”
“I thought you were doing fine.”
“I was jealous last night. I intensely disliked that you had sex with the Infiltrator.”
She stared at him. He’d been jealous she’d played with the SIM? Alek? But I didn’t even enjoy it. On the heels of that, chagrin washed over her. She’d probably hurt his feelings to boot. He’d been walloped by emotions while she’d been going out of her way to protect hers.
“I’m sorry,” she said softly. “It wasn’t my intention to upset you. I was…I wanted to…”
“You needed space. Or to let me know I shouldn’t get attached.” He shrugged. “I would have been pleased if it had succeeded.”
Why was she overwhelmed with guilt? It wasn’t her fault his damned program had gone overboard and set off an emotional connection. She’d been as reluctant as he to install the upgrade in the first place.
He was the most hated cyborg on Earth, and love is far from his original design. But when old enemies hunt the woman he’s sworn to protect, he discovers a passion for vengeance…and her.
On Earth, he was known as the Warden, and his punishment of prisoners was legendary. Reprogrammed by the president of CyberServe as an assistant in the office…and as her chief researcher of intimate programs…PSM-426021, better known as Alek, is a flawless example of what buyers want in their repurposed cyborgs.
CyberServe’s president Lillian Kwolek enjoys Alek on her terms: no love, no strings attached. It’s easy to keep him at a distance and guard her heart from hurt until an extremist group determined to right old wrongs targets her. Alek is loaded with a security program to keep Lillian safe, and it opens the cyborg to learning emotions.
Alek doesn’t like these feelings, which include a confusing mix of devotion to and wariness of Lillian. She doesn’t like his developing emotions either. The new Alek, who fulfills desires and her need for safety from increasing threats, is too intoxicating a temptation for a woman who can’t trust men, whether they’re flesh or machine.
They can’t resist each other, but past hurts threaten to destroy what they could have…and open the door to killers bent on annihilating cyborgs and Lillian.
She’s marked for death. He’s her only hope. But can a de-commissioned cyborg once programmed to kill humans be trusted with her life…or her heart?
called him the Wall, part of a cyborg army that terrorized humans
during a long war waged by those intent on wielding power. When Tosha
Cameron, owner of a multi-billion corporation, first sees the
deactivated cyborg, he’s a tattered remnant of a horrific past.
would prefer to see cyborgs destroyed, but those with vision see a
valuable resource. When Tosha’s business rivals target her for
assassination, the Wall—whom she renames Brick—is her best bet for
Brick proves he’s more than a mere machine. Programmed to guard Tosha,
he can supply her every need. He soon develops beyond his learning
matrix and software, becoming capable of humanity…and more.
Dark secrets from a bloody past are waiting deep in his circuitry, however; secrets that could kill the woman he loves and has sworn to protect.