Numbers Page 88

She smiled. ’’Can you imagine having a baby?’’

’’It kind of frightens me.’’

’’Why?’’

’’We know nothing about how to care for one, and what kind of parents will we be when we didn\ have any?’’

’’I had a mother for a while. I remember her kissing my injuries and singing to me. She read me stories before bed. You will make a wonderful dad, because you will love our baby and keep it safe. I know how good you are to me. We\ll learn and be the best parents because we are motivated.’’

He smiled. ’’We\ll try, if we\ e able, one day.’’

’’Good.’’ She lowered her chin, closing her eyes. ’’I\ll try to dream about that.’’

’’It will be a male and look just like me. Our altered genetics are strong and carry on into our children. All the babies born are almost mini-replicas of their fathers.’’

Warmth spread through her. ’’You were such a cute little pup.’’

He chuckled. ’’You were such a funny-faced little human with your tiny, squishy nose. I wish we could have a mini-replica of you.’’

’’Genetically enhanced is better. Our baby will be strong and big like you. You\ e so handsome.’’

He kissed the top of her head again. ’’We\ll both try to dream of one then.’’

Chapter Eleven

She\d feared she would hate being left at the women\s dorm when Hero had to work. He\d kissed her goodbye and made her swear to call him if she wanted to leave. He\d said he could have someone cover his shift, but she didn\ want to interfere with his duties.

Candi put her hand over her mouth, trying to smother her laughter. The females around her tried to hide their amusement as well. Some outright chuckled, a few were doubled over with laughter, and two of the Gifts had just turned around to spare Bluebird from seeing their reactions.

’’Darn it!’’ Bluebird shut off the loud machine and dropped to her knees, yanking on the vacuum and the rug corner that had been sucked into the machine. ’’It hates me! I told someone else to show her the fast way to clean the wood floors.’’

Sunshine shook her head, still grinning. ’’I said it was a bad idea to be lazy by not sweeping. You\ e the one who insisted, so you got to demonstrate.’’

Halfpint turned back around, her features masked. ’’Let me help you.’’ She went down on her knees next to the larger Species and pushed her hands away. ’’I have small fingers.’’ She freed the rug. ’’See? You have to make the wheel thing turn that way.’’

’’These machines are dangerous.’’ Bluebird sat back and glanced at her toes. She sighed. ’’At least I didn\ lose any. That\s my fear.’’

’’Come on,’’ Rusty teased. ’’There are no blades on that thing. I\d be more worried about the garbage disposal. That\s a dangerous appliance. You could lose a hand.’’

’’That\s why we stand way back and don\ put our hands near it when we turn it on.’’ Halfpint rose. ’’Humans invent crazy things.’’

Kat, the human mate of Darkness, sighed. ’’I told you what garbage disposals are for. You dump uneaten food off plates into it and it keeps the drains from plugging up. It\s a smart invention.’’

’’As if we don\ eat all our food.’’ Midnight snorted. ’’No Species allows it to go to waste.’’ She looked over at Candi. ’’You\ e Species. Eat all your food and you won\ have to use the blades of death in your sink.’’

’’Come on!’’ Kat laughed. ’’Blades of death?’’

’’Metal teeth of finger destruction then. Is that better?’’ Midnight laughed. ’’We watch those human horror movies. We just saw one where a man shoved another\s fist into the hole and turned it on to force him to talk. He removed a bloody stump. I\d tell someone anything to avoid that.’’

’’I\m with Midnight,’’ Rusty muttered. ’’Metal teeth of finger death. We should all start calling it that.’’

’’Those movies don\ help.’’ Bluebird stood. ’’Show of hands on who fears shower curtains now after last week\s horror movie we saw.’’ Fourteen of the sixteen females present raised their hands. ’’The glass shower doors would stop some crazy male from stabbing at us. I\d push it outward, knock him on his ass, and use his weapon on him.’’

Kat shook her head but smiled. ’’It\s a classic movie. The point of watching them is for entertainment.’’ She looked at Candi. ’’You and I are the only ones who like shower curtains.’’

’’I don\ know what it is or why to fear one,’’ Candi admitted. ’’That\s why I didn\ raise my hand.’’

’’They are not solid like the doors on the showers in our apartments. They have safety glass so they would be hard to break, even with a knife. What about where you were held?’’ Halfpint asked as she got up from the floor.

’’They had an open stall where I showered, and before that I was at Mercile. I don\ remember much from when I lived with my mother.’’ Candi glanced around. ’’What is a shower curtain?’’

’’It\s a plastic covering that acts like a wall to keep the water from reaching the floor, and it provides privacy.’’ Kat walked toward the kitchen. ’’I think we\ve had enough learning today. I say we take a break. You guys are not teaching Candi good things.’’

’’Yes, we are.’’ Bluebird unplugged the vacuum and then kicked it. ’’These things are dangerous. Remember that. Have your mate use it.’’

’’Just offer him se* and he\ll do whatever you want.’’ Sunshine grinned. ’’It works for me. I had a male rearrange all the furniture inside my home last week. I told him it turned me on to watch him lift things.’’

Kat groaned from the other room. ’’I heard that. I\m failing as a role model.’’

’’We don\ let our males handcuff us,’’ Rusty called out. ’’Should we start? Maybe you and your mate can show us how it\s done. We could hold a class.’’

Kat returned from the kitchen holding a plate of cookies. ’’Very funny. I\m sorry I shared that with you guys. I\m never going to live it down.’’

Sunshine winked at Candi and lowered her voice. ’’We like to tease her. Her male is very controlling in the bedroom and she allows it. If you want to change things inside your home just tell Hero it makes you wet seeing his muscles tighten up, and you won\ be stuck moving the heavy things. Most of these homes are set up so the bed is against two walls. It means there\s only one side to climb off or you have to crawl to the end of it. It\s much better to move it to the center so you can have three sides to get off.’’


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