They walked down the same road on the edge of No Weere they’d taken the day before, but Volka was no longer animated and chatty. He almost wished she’d point out a reservoir of diphtheria, cholera, or typhus that she’d played in, just to end the silence. She began falling behind, and he looked over his shoulder, expecting to see her exhausted and flagging. Instead her eyes were bright, her ears were forward, and her body was bent low.
He stopped. “You’re stalking me.”
Three point three meters behind him, Volka straightened. “I was not.” The rain had soaked her through, and he could see every outline of her body. The chill, the rush of hormones or both was giving her “hardware malfunctions.” His core programming insisted he help with the issue. His Q-comm screamed it was a bad idea.
Volka’s ears flattened sideways. “I was stalking you,” she admitted. “I’m so sorry, Sixty.”
“Never appologize to a sex ‘bot for stalking them,” 6T9 said. He meant to be flip, but the words came out heavy and serious.
Her amber eyes met his. “But you’re more than a sex ‘bot.”
“Nebulas,” 6T9 whispered. It was a common enough exclamation, but nebulas filled 6T9’s ocular processors, and he didn’t see the steps he took to close the distance between them.