Saturday, 18 April 2015

#MySexySaturday Nothing Says I've Got You, Babe, Like Taking Out the Mob for the One You Love!

Welcome to the 88th week of My Sexy Saturday. 
 
This week’s theme is Sexy’s Got You, Babe and is based upon the old Sonny and Cher song, I’ve Got You, Babe. This is all about the lovers who are always there for each other. Rent’s due, no money yet they have each other; life’s throwing them a curve ball, they have each other; job expectations aren’t panning out yet they still have each other. You get the idea. Their external odds maybe be insurmountable, or seem that way, yet they have one another held firmly in their love.

Well it's not rent or money issues, but when the mob is out to get you, you want this guy at your back. A snippet from Law & Order : Crime & Chaos (Always Cambridge Book Four)

 EXCERPT: 

The next thing I knew, the sliding door was thrown open and daylight streamed into the van, blinding me. I braced, waiting for the pain of the bullets to rip through me.

“Holly!”


“Randy! Randy!” I sobbed, scrambling between the bodies of the two men with me to get to him. I didn’t know if it was safe to get up but all I could think of was getting to him. I barely saw him in the doorway holding an automatic weapon in one hand, his other arm open ready to catch me. I leapt at him. He caught me and swung me out of the van. I tightened my arms around his neck as I looked over his shoulder. There were bodies and blood and body parts all over the pavement. I knew in an instant Randy had just killed several of the men who now littered the ground. He killed them before they killed me.


Sirens blared in the distance, coming towards us fast.


With me in his arms, Randy ran to the third van. The sliding door opened and we dove inside. The door shut behind us.


“Jesus Christ! What the fuck are you guys doing?” Randy bellowed at our Bureau liaisons. He continued to hold me tight as I trembled in his arms. But I could feel his own strong body quake too.


“I think you got them all,” Franco breathed.


“No fuckin’ shit!” Randy raged. “Did you fuck-ups even fire a fuckin’ shot?”


BLURB: Always Cambridge 4 Law & Order : Crime & Chaos 

 The wheels of justice might turn slowly, but destiny's punishment can be swift and merciless.

    The Always Cambridge Series chronicles the life of Holly Cambridge through her tumultuous childhood, violent teen years into adulthood, and the consequences that stem from being the daughter of mob boss, Bill Cambridge.
    

In the next highly charged installment of the Always Cambridge Saga, all the men in Holly’s life come together in one common goal—to keep the woman they love alive.


Special Agent Alex Orton of the FBI prepares Holly for the rigorous court proceedings to come, where she will testify not only against her own family, but also against the Mayhue crime family, including Victor’s volatile and sinister older brother, Lorenzo.
    

However, in the midst of all the personal turmoil, Holly’s first love and former bodyguard, Randy Phillips, emerges from the chaos. He vows to not only stand by her through the trials, but accompany her into Witness Protection and her afterlife, if in fact they make it that far, as both the Mayhue and Cambridge crime families swear retribution.
    

But in a twist of law and fate, Lorenzo Mayhue is unexpectedly released from prison and lures Holly to the Mayhue Excavating warehouses under the guise of Victor.
    

Five people enter the storehouse, but only three walk out.

Hope you enjoyed this, dramatic snippet from the fourth book in the Always Cambridge Series, Law & Order : Crime & Chaos. Nothing sexier than a man laying it all on the line for his woman.

 Follow the saga from the beginning... Always Cambridge 
The Cambridge series should be read in sequence.

Check out the linky list below for all the MSS participants.
Have a Sexy Saturday!  

Friday, 17 April 2015

Spring Into Love #CoverReveal 11 Hot Contemporary Romances Boxed Set #99cents


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~~Purchase Links~~
Barnes & Noble: Coming Soon 

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Happy Endings - Chantel Rhondeau
Tasting Los Angeles- Kimmie Easley
Taming Romeo - Rachelle Ayala
Consolation Prize - Abbie St. Claire
Sweet Ride! - Bonnie Edwards
Liveon ~ No Evil - Stacy Eaton
Everybody's After Love - Lyssa Layne
Betrayed - Jade Kerrion
Finding Forever- Michele Shriver
Love Unleashed - Marcia James
Kiss Me, Dancer - Alicia & Roy Street



~~Purchase Links~~
Barnes & Noble: Coming Soon 

Thursday, 16 April 2015

#LastCall You Found Me #ChapterThree The Duke or the Laird, Who will she Choose? #historicalromance

As promised here is chapter three from historical romance You Found Me, to which I've asked for my rights back. (story here along with Chapter One, if you missed it) And here is the link to last week's share of Chapter Two.


Injured, lost and alone, what more could a girl ask for than to be rescued by a roguish Scottish Laird and a proper English Duke?

Marcus Sunderland, reared in England, groomed from birth to be the Duke of Carlton, is everything a proper English gentleman should be. Unwaveringly loyal to his liege and childhood playmate Queen Elnor, devoted to his people and his country.

Laird Niall Lummisden of Clan Logan in Lomond, Scotland, is everything a roguish Scottish Laird should be. Dedicated to his clan. Friendly, easygoing, born with confident swagger, he is the complete antithesis to his English half-brother Marcus.

As the brothers travel to a royal engagement they discover a woman left for dead in the road, beaten beyond recognition. It is decreed by his Queen that Marcus must take the stranger back to his estate to recover from her injuries. The unidentified woman not only survives the vicious attack but, as she begins to heal and communicate, struggling to recall her life before they found her, both men are intrigued and attracted to her.

The Duke and the Laird have survived a lifetime of cultural and political differences, but can the brothers survive her?

While your reading enjoy Kelly Clarkson's You Found Me ...


Chapter Three

The next week went by quickly for all except the battered victim. She became a little stronger, a little less swollen, and a little less blue. Yellow-and-green splotches bloomed over the fair skin, replacing the ugly deep purple as it faded. Her eyes opened to slits and the jaw was healed enough to allow the woman to be able to chew again.
Niall had a routine. He let the women tend to her during the daylight hours while he attended to his own chores and dealings. During the evening, he would help her eat, and later he talked about inconsequential things, sang whatever songs came to mind, and read to her. When she tired, the big Scot crawled into bed with her and cradled the broken body against his own until they slept. She was most calm when he was with her. It was highly improper, but Marcus could not persuade his brother to stay away.
Niall spoke to her incessantly. She was beginning to converse with him.
Every time Marcus attempted to question her, he grew more frustrated. She gave the same responses every day, claiming to remember nothing from before they found her in the road. Not a face, not a person, not a name or her home. She could not even remember her own name. Marcus grew more suspicious by the day. Perhaps her memory loss was just a ruse, all a part of the game she played against his sovereign. Perhaps he would be able to persuade her memory to return while Niall was away. His brother had received a message from Logan in Lomond. The Laird was needed at home and would be leaving the next day.
Marcus was in his room, seated at the desk working on his accounts, when Niall strode through the door. He walked past him and into the Lady’s Chamber.
“G’afternoon, Sweet,” Marcus heard him greet her. “You may go.” Niall dismissed the maid who’d been sitting with her. She scurried out of the room, pausing to bob a “Your Grace,” to Marcus, as she fled.
Marcus made his way to the door between the two rooms to observe the couple, lured by the curious bond they’d so quickly achieved.
“How long ’ave ya been sittin’ up?”
She was seated in a chair by the window. He could see the strain of trying to sit up in the set of her shoulders.
“I know naught,” she said through healing lips. “The warmth from the sun feels so nice.”
Marcus could not even detect from her accent what part of England she might be from, let alone what class. But she was definitely English. It was a start.
“Marcus, help me get her back in bed.” Niall called him from his place in the doorway.
“Why did you not get the maid to help you before you dismissed her?”
“Come on, I just doona want ta hurt her arm.”
The brothers awkwardly manoeuvred her into bed. Niall joined her there, to Marcus’ obvious dismay.
“Doona start.” Niall raised his hand warning Marcus not to lecture him again about how improper this was.
Marcus threw himself into a chair by the door, mumbling something about nursemaids and chaperones. Marcus lounged there trying to look bored and not at all interested in the couple.
Niall stroked her hair while she played with his plaid scarf that displayed his family colours. They looked very comfortable together.
“Sweet, I ’ave ta go away for a wee bit. I am needed at ’ome.”
“At home? Is this not your home?” She sounded confused.
“No, Sweet, this be Marcus’s ’ome. I live no’ far from here, over the border at Lomond in Scotland.”
“Are we in England, then?” she asked, her cracked lips making her speech garbled.
“Aye, lass, we are in England.” Niall looked sideways at his brother.
Marcus listened intently, hoping the woman would reveal something incriminating.
“How long will you be away?”
“I’m no’ sure how long ’twill be.” They lapsed into silence for a bit.
“I’ll miss you,” she whispered.
“I’ll miss ya too, Sweet.” He hugged her to him gently.
Not for the first time Marcus wondered at their strange attachment.
“Jus’ think, lass, next time I see ya, ye’ll be on yer feet, aye?” he encouraged, smiling.
“Yes,” she whispered. “And I will be able to see you clearly.” She struggled to reach his face with her broken arm but was only able to touch his chin with her fingertips. Marcus felt like he should look away.
Niall closed his eyes as if he were enjoying her touch. “Aye, Sweet, and I’ll be able ta see ya too.”
* * * *
Niall left the next morning. Marcus remained busy and out of the keep most of the day. By the time he made it to his bed that night he was exhausted. He supposed he should have at least inquired as to his guest’s condition that day. He would tomorrow, he thought, as he drifted off to sleep.
He awoke sometime later and lay listening into the darkness, trying to decipher what had woken him.
Thrashing. The girl was restless in her slumber without Niall. Was that a sob? Damn it! He should have had one of the maids sleep in there with her.
Pulling a pillow over his head, he attempted to shut out her cries. Even though the pillow stopped the noise, it did not quiet his conscience. Or Niall’s parting request for him to take care of her. Throwing off the covers in anger, he stomped to the door. He snatched a candle from his dresser top and lit it, then opened the door between the chambers.
On first sight, he thought she was awake. Her eyes were open — well, as open as she could make them. She did not look toward the light or him. The covers were askew. Her night rail was rucked up to mid-thigh.
“Are you in pain, lass?” He did not know what to call her. It was awkward.
She gasped, and then her eyes started to blink rapidly. Her good hand raked the long hair away from her face. Marcus moved closer with the candle. Perhaps she had not been awake after all. She made a pitiful attempt to scramble backward away from him. Hindered by her injuries, she ended up in a painful heap. He hurried to put the candle on the bedside table.
“It’s all right. You’re fine, love. It’s Marcus. You are safe here.” He tried to calm her.
She seemed on the edge of hysteria. Marcus racked his brain. What would Niall say to calm her?
She ceased her struggles when she felt his weight sag the mattress and his hands soothing her. Her eyes searched his, her head tilting to the side in confusion.
“Niall?” Her gaze searched the bed.
“It’s Marcus, love,” he tried to keep his voice soft and coaxing. “Niall had to leave. Remember?”
“Niall had to leave,” she repeated, nodding her head as if trying to comprehend. She was making soft hiccupping noises.
He tried to settle her back against the pillows and cover her. She regarded him intently, not taking her eyes off him. Was she afraid of him? Him? She was far safer with him than with Niall.
“Are you in pain?” he asked, perching again on the bed beside her.
“A little,” she whispered.
He poured a spoonful of laudanum from the flask Hester kept on the bedside table. She took it without even a wince at the bitter taste. She must be accustomed to it by now.
“Better?” he asked.
“It will be. Thank you.”
“Shall I call someone? One of the maids? Hester?” He did not feel right about leaving her alone.
“No, thank you. I just…” She swallowed audibly in the silent room. Again her gaze fell to the bed as if she wished Niall might magically appear there. “I’m just…I’m sorry I woke you.”
“No, it’s fine. I was not yet asleep.” Why did I lie to her?
They sat in awkward silence for a moment, their breathing the only sound in the room.
“I will leave you now to sleep.”
She nodded and he rose to leave, picking up the taper as he went. He could feel her eyes on his back all the way to the door. He turned to close the door and stood facing her for a moment.
“Good night…Marcus,” she hesitated, using his name for the first time.
Why would the sound of his name from her lips bring bumps to his flesh? Over-tiredness that’s what it was.
He closed the door and eased back into his own bed and tried to sleep. He could still hear her tossing. Strange how he had never heard a noise when Niall was with her. You would think with two people occupying the room he would have heard something. But tonight he was acutely conscious of her movements.
The laudanum should take effect soon and give her some peace, he thought. But an hour later she was still restless. Getting up he approached the door, not even bothering to knock before entering. It’s the only way I’m going to get any sleep this night.
He went to the bed, jerked back the covers, and lay down, pulling her to him. Marcus guided her head and injured arm over his chest as he had witnessed Niall do time and again.
Lying back, covering them both, he prayed for sleep. She did not object to his actions, but her body remained stiff against him. He did not stroke her or give her pretty words as Niall would have, he just waited.
Eventually her body slackened, little by little. Marcus could feel parts of her soften as she allowed herself to relax; he could name them as they went. Closing his eyes, Marcus allowed himself to unwind, and before he knew it, there was sunlight on their faces.
* * * *
In his groggy state, he did not think but pulled her closer. She was so warm. The weight of her head on his chest felt right. He came fully awake when he noticed her absently stroking his bare chest with the fingers of her broken arm that remained in a sling. He sighed contentedly, and when she stiffened in his arms he knew she was now fully awake as well.
Now, how to extricate himself from this situation without too much embarrassment. He had to leave before the maids or Hester came to check on her. His eyes came to rest on the sealed door across from the bed. He should really think about having the outer door to the Lady’s Chamber reopened. One of his ancestors had had it sealed off to curb his wife’s movements, making it necessary to go through the master’s chamber to get in or out. His parents had shared the Duke’s suite, his mother using the Lady’s Chamber as more of a dressing room than a bedchamber, the door never being an issue for them.
“Good morning,” he managed in a sleep-deepened voice.
She tilted her head so she could peer at him, her ear still flat to his bare chest.
Her eyes had opened quite a bit now that the swelling was receding, he noticed, but the whites of her eyes still looked blood-soaked and watery. He wondered what colour her eyes were. Inexplicably, he wished them to be green.
“Good morrow, Marcus,” she whispered shyly.
He was strangely pleased she remembered his name.
“I need to go before the maids…” He did not finish the thought but nodded toward the open door between their chambers.
He lifted the blanket and left her bed. She started to say something just as Marcus heard voices in the hallway outside his suite.
“Ssshhh, love,” he whispered putting a finger to his lips.
He shut the door quickly and dove into his own bed just as the door opened. He sat up yawning, exaggerating his awakening, as they came in.
“Good morn, Your Grace.” It was Hester, with a maid trailing behind her. She kept her head down, not looking his way. He thought again how strange it was to have people traipsing through his private chamber. But that had been the routine since the beleaguered woman had invaded his home. He should really think seriously about unsealing that door.
“Good morn, mistress. Did you sleep well?” Marcus heard Hester ask.
Marcus detected the smile in her voice when his bedmate replied, “Re-marcus-bly, well.”
She said it very slowly, enunciating every syllable. No one else would notice her quip, save him, with her speech still impeded by the swollen flesh of her tattered lips. Marcus laughed out loud at her unexpected attempt at humour, right before they closed the door on him.
* * * *
That evening started out the same as the last, each of them in their own beds, but as soon as she began to get restless he crawled into bed with her.
The next night, and for the remainder of the week, Marcus waited until the rest of the keep quieted for the night before he went to her, pulled her close, and slept.
It was at the end of the week that a messenger from the queen arrived summoning Marcus to her.
He left the next morning.

As I mentioned, I've asked for the rights back to this story and as of some time next week it will no longer be available for purchase. So if you'd like to own it before it goes away, here are the links.  I hope someday this story will return new and improved and with several other stories to accompany it. Thank you to all the readers who have read and enjoyed this book.
Still available for a limited time

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

#NewRelease Adira's Mate (Space Wars 1) by @AprilZyonAuthor #BDSM #erotic #scifi

Adira's Mate
Space Wars 1
by April Zyon
Published by Evernight Publishing

**Cover created by the amazing Jay Aheer

Purchase Links:


Barnes and Noble
Smashwords
Blurb:

Captured by his mortal enemy General Fintan Daykin is held for many long months in an Imarian Facility. On the day that he’s able to escape he’s faced with one of the biggest surprises of his life. 


Adira Lora is the head of the Medical Ministries offices of Imaria and she learnt that there is something seriously wrong with one of the facilities. Something that she has to  go and figure out for herself since she trusts no one else. 

Taken hostage by the tall, dark Craegin was not what Adira had in mind when she got to the facility, but it seemed as if Fate and the Spirits had something else altogether in mind for her.
  
She should be wary of the man who could tear her apart but she’s not. She’s drawn to him, she aches for him and she’s desperate to heal his injuries but he pushes her away at every turn. 

He can’t let her too close, he’s far too attracted to the small Imarian that he dragged with him onto her crawler. He only wanted to get home, back to his people and away from the slow death that her people were giving him. 
Once the pain of his injuries starts to ease and the reality of who little Adi is to him sets in Fin realizes that he will have to protect her from more than just his people. Fin realizes that he would also have to protect her from  hers as well. 
When Adira finally submits to Fintan however he knows that he will never let her go. He owns her now, she is his in every sense of the word for now and all time and nothing would come between them.

Excerpt:


Adira went stiff as a board when the pistol was lifted to her temple. She took a deep breath and nodded. She understood what he was saying, understood and would comply. She had no idea who it was that had her, so she would play along until she could be free.
She listened to the man’s breathing and frowned. He was in pain; it was clear from how he was gasping for air but there was something more. He wasn’t breathing as an Imarian would, three sharp intakes of breath and one exhale.

Her stomach felt as if it were in knots. She felt ill because she suddenly knew that she wasn’t being held by someone that was on the island and had no idea who she was. She was being held by one of the Craegin that her people had kidnapped and had been torturing.

Stars. She was in deep trouble. “You really don’t want to do this,” she told the man. “I’m more trouble than I am worth. Ask anyone. I’m seriously not a good person to take hostage.”

“I don’t have what one would call a lot of choices here.” His voice was low, but she could hear the underlying growl that gave it a certain rough quality. “One way or another you are my ticket out of this hellish place. So you can either help me willingly, or I start to break bones. Nothing important, but I know the ones that will cause you immeasurable pain while still allowing you to function enough to get me free. The choice is up to you. What will it be?”

There was no choice. Adira was a lot of things, but able to withstand pain was not one of them. She just nodded. “What do you need?” She would get him to where he needed to be in order to get free. Then she would run as far and fast as she could.

He let out a harsh-sounding breath. “I need you to guide me to the ship bay here. Preferably to one of your crawlers. Then you and I are going to leave on that ship, and get me to a place where I can contact one of my own vessels to pick me up. If you behave yourself, don’t try anything to alert anyone, and generally do not make yourself an annoyance to me I might let you go free. Depends on how bad my mood is by that point.” She felt him shift slightly, his arm slowly letting go of her neck. “We’re going to take the path of least resistance. No guards, as few cameras as possible, and you are not going to let anyone know anything is amiss in any way. I have zero problem shooting a woman, but I’d rather not have to drag you around at my heels to break free of here.”

Stars. “Okay,” she said with a wobbly voice. “Then the best way to go will be back the way that I came.” She had already killed a guard. This had to be her punishment. She knew it. She had killed one of her own people so this was the spirits’ way of punishing her. She was going to be this Craegin’s shield to get free of her people. “I have a crawler. I came over from one of our other worlds.”

The weapon lowered until it was pressed into her lower back, right on her spine. At that range he’d never miss, and if she wasn’t dead she’d definitely be paralyzed. “How many guards between here and the bay?” he asked. He’d given her a nudge to get her moving, but a hand on her arm slowed her pace. Adira couldn’t see much of him beyond the one arm down at his side. But she did notice he seemed to be limping, even dragging one of his legs slightly.

“None. There was one but he won’t be a problem.” The physician in her wanted to heal him. She wanted to reach out and find out what was wrong, but the prudent part of her kicked in and she knew that would be just plain dumb. She did, however, slow down. She ensured that she kept a pace that would keep them moving, but wouldn’t push him too far. She didn’t know what to expect of this Craegin, especially since the female captive had so easily sold out her people.

“What about the cameras? How many are we going to have to contend with once we’re past the holding areas?” The pressure of the weapon on her spine eased a little. She knew it was still there, but he wasn’t digging it in any longer. He might be injured, but she didn’t think for one moment he wasn’t aware of everything around him.

“None.” She had disabled them so that she could wheel the body out and dispose of it. Why hadn’t she thought to reenable them? “I had disabled them,” she told him. “I had been so caught up in my own mind that I forgot to reenable them,” she added honestly. “My crawler is the one closest to the exit doors as well, so there shouldn’t be anyone in the bays that will see us as that side is blocked from view by my crawler.”

“Good,” he grunted out. Suddenly his hand came up to her arm, pulling her to a stop. “Shh,” he hissed. The pressure of the weapon was back for a moment as the sound of boots on the tiled hall could be heard. They faded a few minutes later, and he released her arm. “Go.”

She nodded and went. There was something about his touch. It was odd. She didn’t focus on it, though. Instead, she concentrated on getting through this alive.

She made several twists and turns, being stopped a few times by the rather large male that held a weapon at her head, and finally they were before the bay doors. “When we enter we need to be fast. Get on my crawler. I need to make a call to the booth. There is audio as well as visual so you will have to stand far to the left behind a console and have to trust me. I really don’t want to die, so I will get you out of here.” She would have somehow gotten him free anyway because she didn’t believe in the tortures her people were inflicting upon this male.

His hand was on her arm again, holding tight. “Say or do the wrong thing when you talk to them and you won’t live long enough to make another mistake. If need be I can fly this thing out of here, but I’d really rather not have to do it with your blood all over the console.” He gave a light but firm squeeze of her arm, then let go. “Move,” he said under his breath.

She nodded and moved as quickly as his pace would allow to her crawler. The medical insignia on the side denoted it to be the head of their Medical Ministry, her. Her hand to the panel at the side had the doors sliding open and engines starting. She explained, “I’m still a doctor. My crafts need to be able to go the moment I get in, just in case of an emergency.”

No words came from him, just a grunt. A hard hand landed on her shoulder as soon as they stepped into the crawler. She could see the weapon out of her periphery as it was sweeping around the space. He was ensuring they were alone in the small craft. The hand eased and gave her the smallest of pushes toward the cockpit as the doors sealed behind them with a hiss of air.

Adira settled into the pilot’s seat and strapped in. Looking back at the male, she viewed him for the first time. He was large and impressive, handsome even. He was also severely injured. “Stand just to the left there,” she told him as she pointed to a console. “Now, please. They are beeping to get through.” She adjusted herself slightly, and when he was hidden pulled up the view screen. “Sorry that took so long, gentlemen. I had to take another call. I have an emergency on Talaxia five. I need clearance to scuttle quickly.”

The man on the screen was looking around the inside of her cockpit. “Likely a good thing you’re getting out of here now, Doc. Sounds like there’s an escapee in one of the wards. No clue how the freak got loose, but he’s extremely dangerous. He’s killed three of our men already, the spirits only know what he’d do to a woman,” he said. The hangar bay doors began to open. “You are clear for departure. Head straight out, and stay in the lane until you clear the beacons. Safe journeys.”

“Thank you.” She winced. Oh God, had he really killed three men? Or was the man she killed one of those? She closed off the view screen, then looked back. “You might want to hold on to something.” She began to move her crawler into place and took off as quickly as she typically would in any emergency situation.

Ten minutes later they were free of the planet and she looked to him once more. “Where are we headed?” She knew that he had said to a planet where his people could pick him up, but she had no idea where.

Easing around the equipment board he’d hidden behind, the Craegin male came forward. He leaned over the console to input some coordinates. “There,” he said. “Set the autopilot, and then we’re going to check the rest of this crawler over.” There wasn’t a whole lot left to check, except for the kitchenette, a tiny medical bay, the small sleeping quarters, and the bathing room that approximated to less than a closet amount of space. Crawlers were meant for short runs, not for comfort. Beyond that there was a storage area, but it wasn’t accessible from inside, only from the exterior of the craft.

Once she’d set the autopilot, he leaned in once more to type something else in. A quick glance showed he’d just locked down the entire panel. Without the code he’d entered she couldn’t call out, or fly the craft. Which meant she had to keep him alive if she wanted to survive this. “Stay here,” he ordered. Now that she couldn’t alert anyone to the fact she was a hostage, he likely felt secure in leaving her in the space. A hard look from his bright gray eyes under the heavy fall of badly tangled black hair, and he turned to leave the cockpit.

He had to keep his head lowered to move through the spaces, being taller than the average Imarian male. She noticed he was also broader, more heavily muscled than an Imarian. Not that she should be noticing anything about him, but it was hard not to when he seemed to take up so much of the space around her.

“Since you have locked everything down you should let me have a look at your injuries.” She should just let him bleed to death, but with him having locked her out of her own ship that would end very badly for her. “It’s beneficial to me for you to survive. The least I can do is tend to your injuries. I am a medical doctor, allow me to assist you.”

A derisive snort was her only answer as he continued away from her. He disappeared from view a couple of times, checking out the additional spaces afforded on the craft. Finally he reappeared from the sleeping quarters and signaled her toward him.

Adira cautiously moved forward. “Yes?” she asked as she looked up into his gray eyes. They were actually rather beautiful and ringed with a bright green that captured her interest. Adira shook her head. No, not her interest, something else. “I have a full medical bay. It’s very small but it has everything that we could offer. I could close your wounds and do a scan of your leg to find out what’s wrong with it. If you will let me?” She couldn’t push him to do as she asked, but she itched to ensure that he was okay.

“I know what’s wrong with it. I was there when they did it,” he said. No, it was more of a snarl, given the curl of his lip. “Inside. You’re going to sit on the edge of the bunk and not move while I clean up. I need to get the blood off of me so I can evaluate the exact amount of damage your colleagues inflicted.”

She winced and nodded. “I know that this isn’t a good time to tell you this.” She settled on the bunk and watched him as he moved. “And please don’t shoot me for telling you this truth.” She was chewing her lower lip as she watched him and gasped at the injuries that he wore. “By the stars, how can you even be mobile?” Gone was what she was going to tell him about the Craegin female. Instead her medical training kicked in and she wanted to heal.

He turned a cold look on her as he dropped the coat and shirt he’d removed to the floor. “Sheer will to not die in an Imarian testing facility. It’s amazing what the body and mind can do when the goals are so simple. Do not move,” he warned again. He took the pistol, and one other she hadn’t realized he had, and set them inside the shower—up high so they wouldn’t get wet, and where he could easily reach them but she couldn’t. He turned on the water and dropped his pants. No warning, no closing the small sliding door, nothing. Down they went, and a moment later his ass disappeared behind the sliding pane of the enclosement.

Adi simply watched him. Her mouth had gone suddenly dry and her mind went places that an Imarian held captive by a Craegin should never go. He was stunning. His height was massive, over two meters tall, easily, and his build was thick but it was the markings on his body that captured her attention. Well, that and the musculature and his ass. By the mother, his ass was impressive. “I’m sorry that you were taken,” she told him honestly. “There was a Craegin female that was held there as well.” Please don’t let them be related, she prayed.

“So I’d heard.” His words were barely loud enough for her to hear. “She was the one feeding your people information about us. Once I’m back I’ll be ensuring that anything we’d done prior is never done the same again. I will not allow our people to be easy prey for you sick freaks.”

“How did you know?” she asked with a frown and tilt of her head. “Yes, she has been feeding my people information for years, from what I surmised. They are sick.” She mumbled that last part. She didn’t protest on the sick freaks comment, because he had that right. Sadly. Her people weren’t supposed to ever take prisoners of war and abuse them as this man had been abused. “She watched. She took glee in telling me that when they did their first procedure on you she was able to watch. I’m so sorry.” Her people had a lot to answer for, but not every being who was Imarian was a sick freak, as he had stated.

“It’s amazing what we can hear in that place. They figure since we’re all going to die they don’t need to watch their words.” She watched him tip his head back, his face into the spray. He was tall enough that his shoulders, neck, and head were above the partition. The water shut off a moment later, and he shook his head before slicking his hair back from his face. He locked eyes with her as he pushed the partition aside and stepped out to collect a towel.

“Holy mother,” she whispered a moment before she turned her face from him. He was…there weren’t words to describe the perfection of this man. Even with the injuries that he had sustained he was impressive. Her gaze had gone straight to his cock and she had to bite her lip at the memory of that brief glance. He was soft, but his shaft hung low and was thick. He was very large, all over, and he made her heart do things that no Imarian had ever made her do before.

She could hear him toweling off. A soft clunk sounded, and she shot him a look to see he’d collected the laser pistols. The towel was wrapped around his waist, barely covering everything of importance. He was peering into the mirror on the wall, twisting this way and that to get a look at all the damage done. His back was a mass of bruises, as were his legs and arms. His chest had some bruising, but older from the colors she could see. Fresh nicks and cuts were all over his body. The leg he’d been favoring, though, looked the worst. His leg looked as if there was a heavy bruise that was practically fully black from his knee up to somewhere under the towel. She cringed at the sight. The pain that he was in had to be terrible. She hurt for the man. Obviously someone had repeatedly struck that leg.

“Will you please let me scan your leg at least? I know you have no reason at all to trust me, with what they did to you, but I need you to understand that it’s hurting me to see you hurting, especially since I can do something about it.” She wanted to help him. He could think all that he wanted about her people, but seeing him injured was hurting her. She had never hurt before like this. It was as if she could feel his pain.

He turned his head slowly to give her a look. She could practically see him thinking through all the options, considering every angle, and coming to a decision. With a small jerk of his head he gave her permission. “I need something to wear. This towel is not exactly comfortable over the wounds inflicted on a certain part of my anatomy. I need pants at the very least, but a shirt wouldn’t be amiss either.”

“I should have a medical uniform that will fit you.” She pointed to the drawer to his left. “There should be one in there. It might be a bit short on you but the male who wore it was rather overweight, so it should fit across your chest. I hope.” She winced and chewed her lip again. “I’m so sorry.” She seemed to continue to say that to him, but there weren’t enough words to tell him just how horrified she was that her people had done this to him.

“Your words hold no meaning to me, Imarian, so you may as well quit spouting them,” he said coldly with his eyes narrowed. Digging through the drawer, he pulled out pants and slipped them on. They were definitely short, only coming down to the top of his calves. He was a lot taller than the average Imarian, and definitely taller than her coworker. The shirt he pulled on after dropping the towel to the floor. It was definitely tight, but he seemed to have no loss of movement. “Good enough,” he muttered.

She nodded. “We should go into the medical bay. There’s a handheld scanner there and I can check to ensure that they didn’t break the bone. If they have, then I can put you into an air cast to help ease the pain.” Cocking her head to the side, she asked, “Are you going to be okay if I get up and go get medical ready for you?”

His head whipped around to look at her. “We’ll go together,” he said. He picked up one of the laser pistols and quickly took it apart, dropping the parts, except for the power source, into the disposal unit. He picked up the other one, but kept it down at his leg as he waved her out into the corridor.

“Okay.” She moved away from the large Craegin and toward medical bay. Looking over her shoulder she saw him following slowly behind her. Once that was done she pulled down supplies. “If you will have a seat on the bay bed there? I will scan you from head to toe. I would feel much better knowing that you are at least mostly healed before you go to your people.”

He eyed her up and down for a long moment before moving to the bed. Easing up on it slowly, he let out a hissing breath. Not that his face showed any of his discomfort, though. Once he was laying down she moved closer to him and saw he still had one hell of a grip on the weapon.

“I won’t hurt you. I know you have no reason at all to believe me but I will not hurt you,” she assured him. “It’s not who I am. I’m a healer,” she told him quietly. “Oh this is not good.” She paused the scan over his knee and bit her lower lip. “It looks as if they have dislocated your knee. I can set it and that will ease much of your pain.”

The Craegin gave her a grunt, but didn’t move. Adira was going to take that as acceptance of the help she was offering. He also didn’t shoot her, so that was a huge plus. “Apparently not all your healers have the same beliefs as you do.”

“I can’t speak for them, only me. I can’t believe that they did this. We have laws in place for a reason.” She was muttering as she spoke to him. “No one is supposed to ever be subjected to the pain and suffering that you were submitted to. For that I am so sorry. I want to kill my people for doing this.” Especially in her facility. She was not pleased at all.

The look on his face said he didn’t believe her. “If you plan on fixing my leg, sooner would be appreciated. I’ll need all the time possible to heal before we reach our destination. Especially since it won’t be in friendly territory, for you.”

“You aren’t going to put me off at a neutral planet?” she asked with a frown and sat back on her heels on the floor in front of him. “Oh stars.” She was so totally screwed. She was never going to live through this one. “Okay.” At least she could set his knee and help him heal, that was what she could do.

“There are no neutral planets anymore,” he said. “There are only ones slightly less hostile than the others. The one we’re aiming for is the least hostile around. But if your brethren weren’t so determined to exterminate us we wouldn’t have this problem. Would we?” he asked with a hard look at her.

Sadly he had a point there, but she didn’t say anything. Instead Adi worked on his leg, then passed him a medical hypospray. “You should give this to yourself to help you with your healing. It’s only vitamins, it shouldn’t harm you.”

He took the hypospray, looking it over a moment, then tossed it aside. “No drugs, nothing from an Imarian. I’ve been given more shots since my arrival than I have in my entire life. No more. Especially something I didn’t load myself from supplies I trust. Fix my leg, or move so I can get up.”

She nodded and put her hand on his knee. “It’s going to hurt,” she told him only a moment before she popped his knee back into place. “So sorry,” she said once more and moved back. Standing, she looked over him. “No drugs, then. Sorry I offered them to you.” Maybe she should drug herself and be done with it.

He hadn’t even flinched. Either his pain was already so great he hadn’t felt what she’d done, or he was so well trained he’d been able to hide the reaction. She had a feeling it might have been a little of both. Easing to a sitting position, he swung his legs over the side of the bed and slowly put weight onto his leg. “Better,” he muttered. “You really shouldn’t be apologizing to anyone, especially your enemy. It leaves you in a weakened position, more so than you currently are in.”

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