Aries Revealed (Aries)
Sometimes the best place to hide, is in plain sight...
Johnny makes a living on the strip circuits. His most popular routine is as the Aries 7000. Bronzed and oiled up, he pretends to be the scourge of the universe, one of the deadly and outlawed zodiac cyborgs. But Johnny isn’t a stripper playing a cyborg. He’s a cyborg playing a stripper.
Milly, freighter captain, has had a thing for the sexy stripper for months. But when Johnny, the subject of many of her hottest fantasies, asks her out to dinner, she runs. All is not lost, a chance encounter yields an Aries 7000 sex-bot, hers for a weekend of pleasure.
It seems too good to be true. Sex with the man of her dreams, without risking her heart. Only her bot has some secrets, secrets that could save her life when the past returns to haunt her.
Available now from Ellora's Cave
Copyright © MINA CARTER, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
“Ladies, gentlemen and beings of the appropriate sexual persuasion… He’s big, he’s bad and he’s totally sexy… For your viewing pleasure, let me introduce… Johnny Ram as the Aries 7000!”
The announcer’s voice was drowned out by the heavy beat that filled the air. Johnathon Howe, Johnny Ram to the screaming fans on the other side of the curtain, stood motionless in the close darkness and let the opening bars of the music wash over him. Then the curtains swished back, the lights snapped on and he jerked his head up.
The crowd went wild as he strutted onto the stage. Every inch of his tall, muscled form was oiled down, pigment added to give his skin a metallic, bronzed sheen. Naked to the waist, he wore black combats and heavy boots, the webbing straps of an adapted tactical-rig across his shoulders. It wasn’t there to do anything another other than highlight the width of his shoulders and frame the muscled perfection of his chest, bars glinting in both nipples.
“Johnny. Johnny. Johnny!”
The crowd chanted as he reached the front of the raised stage. Hands linked behind his back in the classic military “at-ease” posture and hips thrust arrogantly forward, he kept his expression impassive as he scanned the room.
With the lights in his face he couldn’t see a damn thing, but he didn’t let that stop him from looking like he could see each and every member of the audience. He’d been told the marks liked that. Liked the personal connection they felt with him. Amusement pulled at his lips. If they knew the truth, they sure as hell wouldn’t want any kind of personal connection.
He reached the end of his turn and jerked his chin to a stop mechanically, playing up the part of a cyborg as he stiffly turned his head again. Painted on his cheek, just under his eye, was the letter and number sequence associated with cyborgs. Outlawed and listed as highly dangerous, the authorities warned members of the public not to approach anyone they suspected of being one, but to report them instead.
So far, he’d been reported fifty-three times. And so far, the authorities had pissed their pants laughing every one of those fifty-three times, informing the complainants that there was a difference between reality and fantasy and that Johnny Ram was a stripper. Just a stripper.
God, he loved the stupidity of the average cop.
In a blur of movement, he pulled the replica pistol from the holster at his hip and aimed it into the audience. The laser pointer stabbed a thin red line into the smoky darkness, drawing a collective coo from the crowd. Eyes adjusted to the dim light conditions, he caught movement in his peripheral vision and hid his grin as a woman slid off her seat and into a little heap on the floor. Instantly the staff were on hand to deal with her. Another fainter. What was it about women and bad boys?
Looking forward again, Johnny froze and waited for the music to change. The beat came in with a thud that reverberated through his body, the bump and grind music cranked up to the max. Surging into movement as the lights rotated over him, he dropped the stiff movements and slickly re-holstered the fake pistol.
Arms up over his head, he rolled and thrust his hips, tensing his abs into a tight washboard that brought gasps of appreciation. Working the crowd, he moved around the stage in the same routine he’d danced every Saturday night for the last year. Whoops and hollers told him at least some of the audience had seen the show before and knew they were just getting warmed up for the main event.
A swift grin split his lips as he turned and looked over his shoulder, a practiced, arrogant look on his face. The sort of look he’d been told got women hot, thinking of how bad he could be to them, for them and with them. Closing everything else out, he concentrated on the music as he displayed his body for the paying customers.
He knew he looked good. The mirrors dotted around the stage threw his reflection back at him. Tall at well over six foot, his broad shoulders extended into well-muscled arms and flowed down into a hard abdomen, narrow waist and into lean hips, then heavily muscled thighs. His skin gleamed with the metallic oil of his costume. Ripped, he thought absently. He looked like one of those image-obsessed lifters who spent all their time in the gym to maintain their physiques.
They’d be pissed if they knew he hadn’t been near a gym for months. He’d say his body was natural, but that would be a lie. Unless it was created in a lab and under the knife, he was so far from natural it was unreal.
He was Johnny Ram, stripper extraordinaire, known across three systems for his sexy cyborg stripper act, but it wasn’t talent or a love of the gym that made him look the way he did. He’d been designed to look this way and to do a hell of a lot more than dance on a stage for the delight of all the lovely ladies around him. And he knew they were lovely, all women were in his eyes.
He danced every weekend, in public view, as the ultimate revenge for the hand life had thrown at him. His lips quirked as he moved. After all, who would expect a real cyborg on stage pretending to be one?
He slid between the mirrors, using them to cast more images of his gyrating body, much to the delight of the crowd as he performed a series of hip thrusts, his fists bunched at the side of his hips. A pair of pink panties flew through the air and brushed his shoulder. With near inhuman speed, he snatched them out of the air, blew a kiss at the woman who’d thrown them and slid them into his pocket with a suggestive look.
Thud. Another one hit the deck.
The music switched again. With a hop, he reverted to the stiff movements and marched down the center of the stage. Without appearing to, he scanned the occupants of the room, looking for one particular face. She had to be here, she was always here. Every three weeks, on the dot, so regular he could set an internal chronometer by her. He knew. He had.
There. By the door. The tension he hadn’t realized he’d been carrying drained out of him on his next breath as he allowed his gaze to wander over her. Petite, with an abundance of curves that made him rejoice that he was male, and long dark hair, she wasn’t dressed like most marks. Not for her the tarty outfits, or heavy makeup. Instead, she wore comfortable cargo pants and a t-shirt that molded itself lovingly to her breasts.
Johnny shuddered as he clumped down the steps at the front of the stage for his crowd walk around. He’d never wanted to be a t-shirt so much in his life.
Hands stroked at him as he stalked through the tables, keeping in his cyborg persona. Cold, calculating, inhuman killer. That was how his kind were portrayed. Which was as weird as fuck, because the act sure seemed to get the ladies hot, if the amount of room keys and comm codes on cards shoved down his pants were any indication. He didn’t mind, unless they shoved them down the crack of his ass. Paper cuts hurt like a bitch.
Keeping her in the corner of his eye, he worked the crowd. He stopped at one table in cyborg mode and let the occupants stroke their hands over him. One grabbed his crotch, squeezing his balls, and got his attention. Still “in character”, the cold look he shot her made her visibly shiver and release him. Jerking his head up, he moved on, the women around him falling away like water as he marched…no, stalked…toward the only woman in here he really wanted to touch him.
Suffering the curse of eternal curiosity Mina never tires of learning new skills which has led to Aromatherapy, Corsetry, Chain-maille making, Welding, Canoeing, Shooting, and pole-dancing to name but a few.
A full time author and cover artist, Mina can usually be found hunched over a keyboard or graphics tablet, frantically trying to get the images and words in her head out and onto the screen before they drive her mad. She's addicted to coffee and Nutella on toast.