Binding Moonlight

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 13 (v.1) - Chapter 13

Submitted: January 11, 2019

Reads: 13

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Submitted: January 11, 2019

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Robyn was so close to his goal, he could taste it. Each test degraded more slowly than the last, and he was sure it would only take a few more attempts before he hit his mark. His current strain was so close, eating away at the Deldin DNA he fed it, but it still fell short.

Standing up, he pushed his hair over his shoulder and slid his glasses back down onto his face. Circling his desk, he picked up the picture of his father and grinned.

“It won't be long now,” he told the photo. Putting the frame back, he left his office. On his way down the hall, he bumped into Max. She took a few steps back, staying out of his reach.

“You look cheerful today,” she greeted, her voice shaky.

Robyn chuckled at her and slipped his hands into his pockets. “I've almost reached our goal, Max. It won't be long until we can dispose of those damn aliens. Our next task is finding a containment and delivery system,” he told the girl.

Max smiled at him. The forced expression didn't reach her eyes. “Good to hear.”

Robyn reached out to squeeze her shoulder and she flinched away from him. “I'm glad you're still on my side, Max,” he said to her, a dangerous glint in his lime-colored eyes. He flashed a predatory grin and walked off down the hall.

Max's knees buckled, and she slid to the floor. She sat there, staring at the opposite wall until Gabe crouched down in front of her, eyebrows raised.

“What's up, darlin'?”

Raising her head to meet Gabe's gaze, Max blew out a breath. “Just being terrified to my core of Robyn. No big deal.”

“Don't sound like no big deal. Want me to kick his ass?” he asked her, falling back onto his butt.

“No, it's okay. Nice of you to offer, though. Y'know, when I met him, Robyn was a good guy. He's gotten scary. He's kind of crazy now.”

“Really? A man who wants to commit genocide crazy? Couldn't be!” Gabe exclaimed, eyes wide in mock horror.

Max rolled her eyes. “Ha-ha Gabe. I was with him when this all started, but I think I'm having a change of heart.”

The man's eyes remained round, genuinely surprised this time. “Seriously? You actually agree with him? You believe Deldinites should be exterminated?”

Gaze falling to her lap, Max nodded, shame heating her cheeks. “My parents both died in the war,” she mumbled.

Gabe sighed heavily, leaning back and putting his weight on his arms. “So did a lot of people. What he's doing is sick, Max. I only took this job because I'm desperate for money. As soon as I fulfill my obligations, I'm goin' straight ta the cops. If it weren't fer my family, I'd rather starve before working for this psychopath.”

“Really? Do you have kids or something?” Max asked, turning the attention away from her questionable morals.

“Oh good god, no. I meant my parents and siblings. Dad has been having some legal issues, so I've been sending them whatever money I can. I've got a younger brother and sister, too. They're twins.”

“Wow. There's more to you than I would have thought,” Max said, stunned. “What are their names? The twins.”

Gabe smiled, showing off perfect teeth. This smile wasn't one she was used to seeing. This one was sincere and had emotion behind it which wasn't lust or perversion. Leaning forward, he pulled his wallet from his back pocket. “Natao and Natallia. Wanna see a picture of 'em?”

Max was caught up in his enthusiasm. “Sure!” she answered with her own smile.

Unfolding his wallet, Gabe pulled out a photo and handed it over. In the picture, Gabe was standing with four other people who were quite clearly his parents and siblings. His mother, a breathtaking beauty with long, wavy black hair, blue eyes and a youthful face. His father, handsome with short, navy blue hair, and black-rimmed glasses framing his humor-filled green eyes. The twins appeared to be around twelve years old, wearing grins matching their big brother's. The three children took after their father more so than their mother.

“I'd like to meet them someday,” Max said, handing the picture back.

Gabe stood up and slipped the wallet back into his pocket. “I think they'd really like ya.”

“Really?”

“Yeah,” said Gabe, grabbing Max's hand and hauling her to her feet. “And I know this is gonna sound weird since I hit on ya an' all, but you kind of remind me of my mom. She's one of the sweetest women I know.”

“You're right. That is weird,” she replied, even though her cheeks burned.

Gabe shrugged. “Yeah, but there it is,” he said, smirking. “But I've gotta go fulfill my contractual obligations for the psychopath. Try not ta let him cloud yet thoughts, okay?”

“Thanks, Gabe.” Max was shocked at how kind Gabe could be when he wasn't being a pervert. She never thought she would see the day where she could have a nice conversation with him. Shaking her head, Max continued to the gym in search of Ekie.

“Are you sure you should be lifting with your shoulder still injured?” she asked him a few minutes after she entered the room.

Raising his head at the sound of her voice, he shrugged but didn't stop what he was doing. Max found herself hypnotized by his movements. Every time he brought the weight to his shoulder, his bicep would bulge under his shirt. She held her bottom lip between her teeth as she watched and didn't notice as he stopped to look at her, eyebrows raised, and one corner of his mouth quirked slightly.

“Oh God!” gasped Max, cheeks flushing when she noticed Ekie watching her. “I'm sorry! I didn't mean to stare.”

He grinned at her, shaking his head as he put the weight back on the rack.

“I actually came here for a reason,” she said with a frown, nose wrinkled up in thought. “Oh, right! I came to check on your bruise.”

Now it was Ekie's turn to frown.

Max clicked her tongue. “It wasn't so bad last time, was it? I want to see how it's healing.”

Conceding, Ekie puffed out a sigh and lifted the hem of his shirt. The bruise had faded to a yellowish hue.

“This looks a lot better,” Max said, fingers ghosting over his skin.

Ekie hissed a breath through his teeth and glared down at Max.

“Did I hurt you?” she asked, jerking her hand back in alarm.

“Your fingers are like ice,” he grumbled at her, letting his shirt drop back into place.

“Sorry.”

Falling silent again, he grabbed her hands and held them between his own. He rubbed them, warming them for her. Once he let go, he turned away and promptly stubbed his toe on the dumbbell rack.

“You okay?” Max asked, trying to stifle a giggle.

Ekie nodded, a muscle in his jaw twitching.

“You sure? It's not like you to be clumsy.”

Ekie nodded again, opening the door for Max.

“If you say so.” She shrugged as she left the room ahead of Ekie. Glancing over her shoulder, she flashed him a smile.

“You hungry, Ekie?”

He nodded.

“Great. Me too. Let's go to the kitchen and I'll make my specialty,” Max told Ekie, changing direction to go to the residential wing.

Ekie followed, like always.

 

***

 

Alarms shattered the silence of the night not long after Max fell asleep. Bleary-eyed, she yanked on a pair of sweatpants, grabbed the weapon she kept on her bedside table and met the others in the hall.

“What's the plan?” Gabe asked Robyn, pushing his hair off of his face.

“I would suspect they've gone for the main computer bay,” he said, scowling.

“How do you know?” Max asked.

“I caught a glimpse of them on the monitor in my room. It's the white-haired man from before. So, without teleporting because I don't want to alert them, Gabe and I will go up to the balcony. Max and Ekie, you can head straight into the main lab. We will surround them easily and remove the threat,” Robyn explained as they jogged down the hall. He stopped at the balcony door, nodding to his employees. Splitting up, they entered the lab. Not only was the white-haired man there, but so were the other two from the bar and a fourth person they didn't recognize. It was four against four, and everyone had a weapon pointed at their head.


© Copyright 2019 Kristin Kuffner. All rights reserved.

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