Cyborg Ranger Falcon Rader paused to receive a message from his internal computer as he left the house to make his rounds. “Yeah!” he shouted as the words hit his emotional center. His genetic mate finally replied to his request to meet him.
He had only been waiting a hundred years. What was another week? Before, getting a genetic mate had been a hypothetical event after the war against the Mesaarkans. He had been made to fight that war. That was his first duty. Only a week ago, she became real.
Before then, she had been an avatar of the female he would love planted into his mind before he was born. Or, in a cyborg’s case, before he emerged from his nurturing tank where he’d grown from an embryo.
In the year since his return to Earth, Falcon had spent most of it in old Nebraska and Kansas. Taking back towns and villages from mob bosses, he stopped them from confiscating the best crops and crafted goods for themselves. They were mere annoyances compared to the overlords in California and the dishonest town officials in Texas. By his assessment, they only needed peacekeeping protectors from the awakened Chicago cyborgs.
His plains states had fared better than those with heavily populated megalopolises. The Mesaarkan dropped their bombs on the most heavily populated cities of the world. The plains states were left mostly intact. Yet, the residents were not left unscathed by the infrastructure damage throughout the country.
Even before protectors arrived, a team of cyborgs traveled around collecting DNA profiles to help cyborgs find their genetic mates. They had found Falcon’s mate in southeastern Kansas.
The Genetic Mate Project notified him and sent her his request to meet her right away. Raya Monroe had volunteered to be included in the database. The Project confirmed she received his request. Why did she take so long to answer?
Every second of the past week seemed to tick by excessively slowly. Had Raya changed her mind? Would she now deny him?
Falcon already decided; he wasn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer without meeting her face to face. What made her hesitate? Was it his greeting vid?
Other females found him attractive, but they weren’t for him. It would be so much easier if he could just pick a mate. But it was programmed into their genes and into their minds. They could only feel attraction and procreate with their genetic mate.
His was thirty-six-year-old Raya Monroe. The sound of her voice awakened emotions he’d never felt before. He looped her response vid every few minutes after examining it frame by frame, noting every nuance in her facial expression as she spoke.
Some might say he was obsessed. He could thank his programmers for that. Uniting with his genetic mate had been figuratively held in front of him as the ultimate payment for fighting the enemy battle after battle, year after year. Sometimes, he’d been so tired and broken he could barely face another day.
Then his internal computer would open her avatar to lift his spirits. At the same time, his nanites forced the production of feel-good hormones. Briefly, he could imagine what his life could be when the fighting was over.
The promise of her carried him through battle and months of recovery from injuries that would have killed normal men.
Falcon’s memories flashed through his mind in a couple strides on his way to his personal flyer. It’d cost him two years’ pay plus shipping from Phantom. It got him back and forth across his territory twice as fast as the sky cycles they’d been issued for the job.
No flyers had been manufactured on Earth since before the war. The cyborg rangers and protectors knew they were lucky to have the sky cycles. If it ever happened, it would take at least a decade or more to get a facility up and running to build such vehicles on Earth again. Only cyborgs and some overlords could afford them.
In one respect, that was good. Restoring law and order was easier without all the petty tyrants having a speedy means of escape. The bigger tyrants were limited in the territory they could control because advanced modes of transportation were in short supply.
Flying at high speed toward southern Kansas, Falcon was happy he got his flyer in time for the trip to meet his genetic mate.
It was midmorning when Raya finally decided to meet the cyborg—Falcon, who she’d learned was her genetic mate a week ago. The cyborg Dagger and his mate Chloe who collected her DNA profile seemed so happy together. Chloe assured Raya; she would love having a cyborg mate. Dagger clearly worshiped the ground she walked on, so to speak.
Raya had an occasional lover since her parents died far too soon. Modern medicine might have saved them if they’d had access to any. Those supply chains dried up shortly after the Mesaarkan attack. It got lonesome living and working the farm all alone.
At the end of the day, it would be nice to have a man to share a meal with and to hold her in his arms until she fell asleep. Sometimes, she just wanted to get laid. That’s what made her join the gene pool for a cyborg mate.
But did she really want a male around all the time to get in her way while she was trying to get things done? Cyborgs were military-groomed and trained. When she first got Falcon’s introduction vid, her first impulse was to respond immediately.
He was so handsome, and his voice was outright sexy. But he looked like he was barely twenty-five. Raya knew she was still attractive but thought she looked her age. Would he want a woman that much older?
She was working in the vegetable garden when she heard a soft whine in the sky. It was similar to the sound Dagger’s flyer made. Then she saw it. A minute later, it was hovering over the dirt road in front of the house and landing.
Raya watched, clutching her hoe handle, as the door slid open and a tall, lean, yet muscular male stepped out. He was dressed in black cargo pants and a tight-fitting black t-shirt, wearing a white hat with a circled star on the front.
Her mouth fell open, and she forgot to breathe as he strolled toward her. Everything about him exuded alpha male, and he was gorgeous. His gaze found hers, and his lips curved into a self-assured smile. However, she had thought this would go down; Raya never expected to feel such a profound attraction to him.
He looked every bit as young as she thought from his greeting vid. Suddenly, she couldn’t think why it was a problem. The cyborg was looking at her like she already belonged to him. If she could reason at that moment, Raya might conclude she had been his since she had opened his vid and looked into his midnight blue eyes.
It was hot standing in the sun, but that wasn’t the cause of the heat that suffused her body or the clamoring of her lady bits for his attention.
The man stopped and stood before her, holding his hands out to her.
Raya dropped her hoe handle and hastily shed her leather work gloves, dropping them on the ground to put her hands in his. He was so tall she had to look up at him to see his eyes.
“Hello, Raya. I’m Falcon Rader, your cyborg.”
“I-I didn’t expect you to be so young….”
“How old do you think I am?”
“Ninety-seven,” he deadpanned. “More than old enough to appreciate the beauty of an ‘older’ woman.” Then he smirked and winked.
“You can say that now, but what about when I am older, grey and wrinkled, and you still look twenty-five?”
“That won’t happen. The nanites I share with you in my body fluids will prevent that. You will even look younger in time.”
Raya smiled at him.
“May I kiss you?” he asked, politely waiting for her to answer.
Her eyes went to his beautiful mouth, and she could only nod. Raya could no longer think of a single reason why this could never work.
Still holding her hands, he bent and lightly pressed his mouth to her parted lips. As a frisson of attraction raced through her body, Falcon pulled her against him and deepened the kiss.
Raya gave in and simply held on to him. She made a mewling sound as his tongue took over her mouth. His body was all taut, hard muscle, and his chest felt delightful plastered against her breasts.
Raw desire surged through her body, and she vaguely realized she’d known this would happen as soon as she’d seen the vid. It had been a long dry spell between lovers. The last one tried to steal her horse.
That was not how things worked when a woman took a cyborg mate. He stayed and became a permanent part of her life. He valued her above all else, and that intrigued her.
“Well, what do you think?” Falcon asked when he’d parted his lips from hers.
“We should probably go inside out of this hot sun,” she muttered.
Falcon nodded and released her, offering his hand. As she took it, he waited for her to lead him into her dome-style ranch house. It was a sleek, minimalist dwelling of aerated concrete, built before the war, powered by solar arrays and a windmill. He visually assessed the three main rooms in a split second before returning his attention to Raya.
He took her face between his hands and stared into her eyes. “Raya, you are my genetic mate, the only female I will ever desire. My only chance to love and be loved and maybe have children someday. You are the woman I have been groomed all my life to love. No one else…. Only you.”
He paused to kiss her softly. “I’m not some newly awakened newbie. I fought ninety-seven years for the promise of you. I am an old man in a young body. In my eyes, you are the most beautiful woman in the world because you are meant for me. Can you turn me away because you think I look too young to be your mate?”
Unable to speak, she shook her head against his hands. She covered them with her smaller ones and turned her face to kiss his palm. Not knowing what to say, she pressed her body against his and hugged him. It wasn’t that he looked younger. Despite everything she learned about cyborgs, she feared he would reject her.
Raya knew she wanted him the moment he stepped out of his plane. “I’m sorry,” she said against his chest. “I didn’t mean to make you think that. That was my own shortcoming talking.” She leaned back and looked up at him. “I’ve had men nowhere near as handsome as you who didn’t think I was good enough or pretty enough….”
“Raya,” he said, her name with a reverence that stunned her. “They weren’t made for you. I am. I am your cyborg, and I want you more than my next breath.”
End of Preview
Falcon Cyborg Ranger will be released for sale and into Kindle Unlimited on April 12th