Chapter 5: First Contact – part 4
Shane gulped. He’d unwittingly attacked a little girl. He couldn’t sense Ashley’s or Harris’ emotions, but he didn’t need to. Their expressions conveyed them plainly.
He forced himself to say something to the girl, who looked much like a miniature version of Harris. “I’m not… I’d never, ever hurt your brother. And I don’t want to hurt you or your mother.” Shane took a deep breath before continuing. He’d always had trouble apologizing. “I’m very sorry that I hurt you. I thought that your mother was keeping me from my— your brother, and I got angry. I shouldn’t have said what I said. I hope you can believe me, Ashley.”
The girl’s face screwed up indignantly. “Ashlynn!” In the background Harris snorted.
Shane closed his eyes and counted backwards from ten to rein in his temper. What sort of fucked up name is Ashlynn? Aloud he said, “Ashlynn.” Then Shane turned to Harris, who looked far too smug. “We need to talk. Please.”
Ashlynn took a step closer to the videophone. “Why did you want to get to my brother?”
Shane gulped again. To his relief, Addison intervened. “That’s enough, Ashlynn. Mummy needs to talk to Dr. Myers.”
The girl’s dark eyes didn’t waver. “Is that your name?”
“Yes, sweetheart, that’s his name.” Shane watched Addison kneel beside her daughter and take her hands. “Why don’t you go and grab one of your dollies and I’ll take you to see your— Daniel for a bit, all right?”
Ashlynn’s face broke into a grin. She hugged Addison, then bounded out of view, squealing “Yay! Daddy!”
It took every ounce of willpower for Shane to keep a straight face. The notion of the ruthless control freak being a father was downright amusing. Shane wondered if Daniel was the girl’s biological father. Doubtful, but he’d find out for sure. It wouldn’t be hard to determine once he’d met Ashlynn in person. Since she and his son had the same mother it was bound to happen eventually.
Movement on the videophone screen caught his attention. Harris straightened her clothes, giving Shane a better view of her breasts and belly. His hormones surged, but Shane refused to show it.
Harris put on a smile that didn’t reach her eyes. “Your place or mine?”
Neither, Shane thought. He racked his brain for a neutral location. “The entertainment lounge.” Since most of the facilities’ employees would be in the cafeteria or their quarters having dinner, the lounge would likely be empty or close to it.
After a moment’s hesitation Harris nodded. “Ten minutes. Off.” The screen went dark.
Shane scowled at the dormant videophone. “Bitch.”
After ordering the interns watching TV out of the lounge, Shane sat at one end of the couch the furthest from either of the room’s entrances. Although he seemed to be waiting patiently, his prism hummed in his closed fist. With its help he quickly located the two directional microphones hiding in the light fixtures. A little telekinesis pointed them away from his location. With luck his and Harris’ conversation would remain private.
Seconds after Shane returned the silver crystal to his pocket Harris strode into the room. It took effort to not ogle her pregnancy exaggerated body, but he managed. How ironic that I can’t screw the mother of my son, he mused as she settled on the other end of the couch.
“What did you want to talk about?” Nothing about Harris’ polite tone suggested that she’d psychically pummeled him not long ago.
“Our son.” Saying “our” was still difficult, but came out more smoothly this time. Harris scowled, then glanced at the ceiling. “I took care of it,” Shane assured her.
She nodded curtly. “What about him?” Shane wondered if Harris realized she’d put one hand on her belly.
“I intend to be part of his life.” Harris’ eyebrows arched in amusement, which irritated Shane. His alien calm kept his voice even. “I already am. You know that I’ve bonded with him. He knows I exist and will be able to sense me. Just like I can sense him.” Harris frowned, but said nothing. “So we can work against each other, or try to cooperate. For him.”