Titanium (Bionics)

Titanium (Bionics) by Alicia Michaels

Book: Titanium (Bionics) by Alicia Michaels Read Free Book Online
Authors: Alicia Michaels
adrenaline is pumping through my veins and it’s not likely to stop until I know we’ve got some kind of plan to rescue Olivia in place.
    Yet, I know I can’t think about any of that until I’ve gone to check on my partner from the last mission. After loading the passengers into the hovercraft, Jenica flew us home, all while telling us about how things had been going back at Headquarters. She was sure to include that Yasmine had begged to be allowed to come back to Memphis with her and Gage, but the Professor and Jenica wouldn’t hear of it. I am glad they made her stay behind; even a girl with Kevlar for skin needs her rest after being stunned.
    She looks no worse for wear now, sitting up against the metal headboard of one of the many cots in the infirmary, her willowy body encased in a hospital gown. An IV is stuck into a portal built into her inner left arm—a clever device created by the Professor so that those with the Kevlar skin can still receive fluids and medicine in an emergency situation. Her thick, wavy hair is loose around her shoulders and I’m amazed by how much of it there is. I’ve only seen it pulled back and wound into a bun. Now it frames her slender face becomingly, causing her eyes to appear larger and the angles of her face softer. As I sit in a chair beside her bed, I am surprised at how attractive I find her. The strength of my reaction is something I haven’t experienced for any girl since meeting Blythe.
    It frightens me.
    “Hey you,” I say, my voice gruffer than I intend it to be.
    “Hey yourself,” she answers, a smile lighting up her face. “Glad to see you made it back in one piece. Well,” she adds, eyeing the bandage on my shoulder, visible through my undershirt, “Almost.”
    Stripping my t-shirt off and submitting to the Professor’s poking and prodding to dislodge the shrapnel from my back was not fun. The pain was so intense, I nearly blacked out from it, but now that it’s been cleaned and stitched up, I am enjoying the numbing effects of something Jenica injected into my shoulder.
    “Yeah,” I answer, touching my shoulder lightly. “It’s nothing. I’ll be fine.”
    “Sorry I got shot,” she says, her expression one of embarrassment. “Rookie mistake, it won’t happen again.”
    “Are you kidding? You took out three M.P.s by yourself! For your first mission, you did a hell of a lot better than I did.”
    “Really?” she asks, her voice telling me she’s not convinced.
    “Yeah, but you get no details. That’s a terribly embarrassing story for another time. I just wanted to come by to make sure you were okay.”
    “I’m fine,” she answers. “Professor Hinkley says my skin saved me from burns.”
    I nod. “It’s true. Getting stunned from one of those things doesn’t just knock you out; the heat from the lasers is known to leave second degree burns. I guess the neural effects got to you, but not the heat.”
    I gaze down to see her trailing her fingertips over the back of her arm. In a flash of memory, I see myself waking up in a cot that looks a lot like Yasmine’s, my body altered permanently for the rest of my life—my life saved, when I should be dead. I look up from her arm to see her staring at me, her eyes wide and earnest as if she is willing me to see into her. I find her stare disarming.
    “What does it feel like?” I ask, gesturing toward her skin.
    “You can touch it, if you want,” she offers, holding her hand out to me. “I don’t mind.”
    I smile. “Thank you, but that’s not what I meant.”
    She frowns as I reach out to touch the back of her hand. “What did you mean?”
    My brow wrinkles as my fingertips skim over her hand. “Wow,” I whisper. “It feels so …”
    I trail off, not sure how to say it without being insulting.
    “Real? Soft?” Yasmine offers with a laugh. “A lot of people are surprised by how real it feels. It is made of Kevlar, but the Professor created it using real live, donor skin grafts. It has

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