Dutiful soldier Callum Renwick wakes up in the underground laboratory of a mercenary organization. He learns he was the sole survivor of an attack that destroyed his unit, his hometown, and his family. In addition to the loss of his loved ones, he discovers that due to his injuries, half his body has been supplanted by artificial skin and cybernetic parts. Once he has recovered, he is assigned to the care of Ro Bernard, who leads the effort to turn him into a powerful assassin. She is outspoken, yet secretive, and uses unconventional means to mold him into a depraved killer. Mind games and rough sex are in her repertoire of training tactics, and Callum is both infuriated and fascinated by her. As he comes to terms with his grief and his new role, many of his biological body parts fail and must be replaced. Will he adapt to survive in Ro’s world and exact vengeance on the woman who ordered the attack that changed his life?
Her eyebrow flicked up in response to his snide tone. “Don’t sell yourself short. I admit to being curious as to the various ways your…condition makes you different. But I liked what I saw in our initial training sessions. It’s been a while since anyone’s actually impressed me.” The trademark smirk made its appearance again. “And don’t forget, we’ve already been on top of each other.”
Callum didn’t know what to make of her candid statements. Nor could he ignore the memory that flashed through him for a moment of her legs wrapped around his body. “Do you treat everything so casually?” he asked.
“You ask too many questions.” She sighed and shook her head, further mussing the brown spikes of her hair. “It’s just sex, Callum. It doesn’t have to be that complicated. I’ve made it known that I’m attracted to you, and you can do whatever you want with that information. Fucking me doesn’t mean we’re in love, or that I’ll expect anything from you the next day.”
Silence ensued. Ro stood up. “Well, I didn’t mean to take up so much of your time. Enjoy the extra hour or so of sleep. If you need me for anything….” Her sentence went unfinished as she walked towards the door and opened it.
Callum stood up as well, and turned away from her. He remembered her fingers on his skin, and how it had made him feel whole again. The fleeting thrill conflicted with thoughts of how Meyta used to touch him, and sorrow stabbed at him once more. He struggled with the opposing emotions. The desire to cling to what he had left won out. “Ro…wait.”
Her bare feet stopped moving across the floor. Without facing her, he spoke again. “Since waking up here, I haven’t given a lot of thought to…certain things. I don’t even know the extent to which my injuries or the resulting modifications to my body affected….”
The door clicked shut. “Is that all you’re worried about?” she asked.
“It’s high on the list. Don’t you think it’s rather important?” He risked a glance at her.
She was leaning against the closed door, hands tucked behind her back. Her lips curled into a coy smile, and she peered at him through her messy hair. “Only one way to find out,” she said.
I also have a set of three short stories that serve as prequels to the book. The set can be downloaded for free at:
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