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I awaken in a laboratory.
I don’t know who I am.
I’m inexplicably drawn to the doctor who cares for me. She tells me I’ve been altered, that I’m stronger and faster, that I’ll be a key component in a war between corporations. She says I volunteered for this. She says I volunteered to be transformed, but I have no way of knowing if what she says is true.
Something isn’t right. My memories have been taken, wiped clean, but dreams begin to slip into my conscious mind. I can’t let anyone know when that happens, or they’ll remove my memories again. Somewhere inside of me, I know I need to remember something important.
I’m fighting a war I don’t understand, and the one woman I rely on can’t be trusted.
Suddenly, my body goes rigid. I can’t move at all, but I can feel a surge through my entire system. I can see it, taste it, smell it. My heart forces blood through my veins, warming my insides. As the blood flows, the muscles in my legs, arms, and chest flex.
“Sten? Are you all right?”
I try to focus on her face, but my vision is blurred.
“Hold on, Sten. You just need to ride it out.”
“What…” I can’t utter another word. My throat seizes up, and for a second, I am unable to take a breath.
Riley’s palm touches my face as she presses a sensor to my temple. My arm jerks, and I grasp her hand. I press it to my chest.
“Relax. Focus on your breath.”
She takes my free hand in hers and holds it to her body, right over her heart.
“Focus on me, then,” she says. “Feel my heartbeat.”
My fingers twitch. I can feel the steady beat in each fingertip. Closing my eyes, I count the beats. One hundred. Two hundred. Three hundred.
Minutes pass. I keep counting. Eventually, my body begins to adjust and my muscles relax. I become aware of not just her heartbeat, but of how close my hand is to her breast. My dick strains in my shorts.
I reach out with my legs, wrapping them around her waist and bringing her body toward my crotch. Releasing her hand, I reach up and grab the back of her head and use the other hand to push the collar of the lab coat out of the way. The blue of her blouse contrasts with her skin. It’s beautiful, enticing.
With one finger, I trace the edge of her collar, brushing over her skin. I can feel her heart beat under my fingertip, and I want to taste the spot where I’ve touched her. I look back to her eyes. She’s staring at my lips.
I bring us together, pressing my mouth to hers gently at first but then with more vigor. I can taste mint on her breath as my tongue slides over hers. I thread my fingers through her hair and tighten my thighs around her waist, holding her close to me. I trail my finger farther down her collar and spread my hand to cup her breast.
She pulls back, breaking the kiss.
“Sten, you’ll have to stop that now.”
“I don’t want to.”
“I know.” She touches the side of my face, running her hand over my rough cheek.
“I want you. I need you.” I don’t understand why I’m explaining myself. It’s clear to me from her scent that she wants this too, but she keeps pushing me away. She denies me as she denies herself.