Mid Week Tease: Degree of Resistance #MidWeekTease #MWTease
Hello, folks! I’m gearing up for the release of my new cyborg romance Degree of Resistance (Pacifica Rising 1), and it’s time to start posting some hot little teasers so that you know what you have to look forward to on February 21. The book is also available for pre-order on Amazon at a sale price of 99¢, so snag your copy now before it goes up to the regular price of $3.99.
Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
A perfect society hiding a terrible secret. A betrayed man forced into mindless slavery. A woman willing to break all the rules to set him free.
Freelance tech Evie Contreras is part of the Employee class of the Pacifica Protectorate, the “perfect society” that rose on the West Coast after the breakup of the United States. But Evie knows all about Pacifica’s festering core and the secrets that keep it in power. And when she discovers that her fiancé has been turned into a cyborg slave by a sadistic protectorate officer, she will risk everything to rescue him.
“No problemo, El Capitan,” Evie brushed a spiky lock of hair behind one ear, flicking the purple tip with a finger.
Ben sighed. “You know I feel old every time you call me that, right?”
“Yup. That’s why I do it.” She tried not to stare too openly at the man behind the wheel of the GoCar. Not only was Ben Drake her late uncle’s best friend and a good friend of her family, he was also her employer, at least until she started college in the fall. And she understood it wasn’t too terribly slick to crush on your boss, especially when you were nineteen and he was thirty.
Even if he was tall, handsome as hell, and confident in an “alpha male without being an asshole” way. That last part was so damn sexy it carbonated her hormones every time she saw him. She decided to cut him some slack. “Seriously, though, it’s all good. I’ve got everything ready for her in my room.” Ben’s six-year-old daughter Ally had stayed over at the Contreras’s often enough that everyone knew the drill. The little girl was sound asleep at her dad’s base quarters now, one of the other officers keeping an eye on her while Ben ran Evie home. “Do you know how long you’ll be gone?”
He hesitated, then gestured vaguely, his PPDF grey uniform jacket dark against the GoCar’s upholstery. “It’s supposed to be two weeks, but you know that can change. Will that be all right with your folks?”
She had to grin at that. “You’re kidding, right? Mama’s already cooking up everything Ally likes, and as far as Papa’s concerned the more kids in the house, the better.”
Something in his expression flickered and she bit her lip, wishing she hadn’t put it that way. It sounded too much like flirting. Or worse, a suggestion. Yeah, Papa would be over the moon if she made him an abuelo, and Mama would be even more thrilled. But first she’d have to get married, then apply for a child permit. Then and only then would the contraceptive implant the local clinic had installed after her first period be turned off. No chance of unexpected kids in today’s Pacifica Protectorate, that was for damn sure.
She wasn’t even sure she wanted one, anyway. Babies were a huge time sink, and she had a lot of schooling ahead of her. But having a six-year-old stepdaughter might be okay, a little voice spoke up.
She quashed that voice. It was stupid even to hope. Ben was smart, hot, and a Defense Forces captain. There had to be tons of women after him. “Anyway, we’re all set to have her, don’t worry about that. You just take care of yourself.”
“Roger that.” He grinned at her, his smile dazzling even in the dimness of the car interior. “And thank you, Evie. I don’t think I tell you enough how much I appreciate everything you do for Ally and me.”
“Oh. Um, you’re welcome.” She could feel her cheeks heat at the praise, which just made them blaze even more. Ben’s wife Marilynn had died in her sleep from an unsuspected aneurysm when Ally was two. Christo was still alive then, and the entire Contreras family had unofficially adopted Ben and Ally. When Mama suggested that Evie become Ally’s regular babysitter, she’d grumbled a little for show, but soon came to appreciate the extra money Ben gave her for her school fund.
Over the last four years, however, her feelings towards both Ally and Ben had changed. Ally was a sunny little girl who lived for hugs, reading, and playing with Evie’s collection of BuildIts, cybered building blocks that could be made up into simple robots. Evie liked to tease Ben that one of these days he’d come home to find out that Ally had turned their household electronics into a kludged-together death ray. Ben would just smile and say that the Defense Forces would be happy to recruit her for their research department.
As for Ben, at some point he’d crossed an invisible border from being Tio Christo’s best friend to a handsome man who took up more and more space in Evie’s thoughts. When she turned eighteen last year, Ben had surprised her by asking if he could file the necessary permits to make her Ally’s official guardian. “Just in case. You know DF grunts—we like to have everything covered,” he’d said. She didn’t want to assume anything from the gesture; she was of legal age, and it made perfect sense for the family that already loved Ally to take care of her in case anything ever happened to him.
But in her heart of hearts, Evie wondered if it meant something else. He could have asked Mama or Papa to become Ally’s guardian—they would have said yes in a heartbeat. But he’d asked her instead. Once the permit had been approved, she’d caught Ben looking at her more and more, something wistful in his eyes. He’d never said anything, never made an overture. Was he waiting for her to make the first move?
Did she have the gónadas to do it?
Before she could open her mouth, he cleared his throat. “Anyway, I better get going. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She slumped against the seat. So much for that. “Yeah, okay.”
She reached for the door handle, then paused. Serving in the Defense Forces was a dangerous job. Christo was proof of that. And while Ben was an experienced soldier, there was never a guarantee that he’d come back from a deployment. She was of legal age and had her contraceptive implant. And the worst, the absolute worst he would do was tell her no. It would break her heart, true, but it would break her heart even worse if he never came back and didn’t know how she felt.
She took a deep breath, then leaned back into him and pressed her lips to his, heart pounding. This close she could smell the light scent of his usual body wash, and underneath it the scent of cotton, salt, and something she could only describe as healthy male. His lips felt warm and firm against her own, but he didn’t react to the kiss. Please, Ben. Do something.
Still no reaction. Deflated, she pulled back just enough to see his eyes. The light blue had almost completely disappeared, pushed into a thin ring around a dark center.
“Oh, thank God,” he muttered.
And then his arms slid around her, pulling her in tight as his mouth came back down on hers, forcing out a soft whimper. Dimly she hoped that he didn’t take that as a no. Because it was most definitely not a no.
It was nothing like kissing guys her own age. It was much, much, much better.
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Posted on February 15, 2017, in Degree of Resistance, Mid Week Tease and tagged cyborg, Degree of Resistance, Mid Week Tease, nicola cameron, post-apocalyptic, romance, science fiction. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.