Posts Tagged ‘Sci-Fi’
Series: Hades Helmet Crew
Excerpt Rating (PG-13),
Series: Hades Helmet Crew
Genre: Sci-Fi/Futuristic, Paranormal, Interracial, BDSM
He commands her body…but can he win her heart?
Who knew one little disc could cause so much trouble? Certainly not Rena, until the disc in question—the one in which she lives out every sexual fantasy she’s ever had, including a few inspired by her crush, Captain Drogan Carter—falls into the wrong hands. Drogan’s.
Rena is desperate to get it back—she can’t let him know all her darkest, dirtiest secrets…
When Drogan finds the disc and watches the very private contents, his first feeling is guilt. But that guilt soon turns to a raw, sexual need to have the wanton, carefree Rena in his bed. He knows she’ll never come to him willingly, but once he gets her, he’ll have plenty of time to win her over, and to prove to her that reality can be so much better than fantasy. But first he needs a plan, a way to get her right where he wants her: at his command.
Captain Drogan Carter groaned inwardly. He tried not to stare at the firm backside of his assistant as she bent over to retrieve a paper. He clenched his teeth and tried to focus on what his second in command was saying, but out of the corner of his eye he watched Rena straighten up and place the paper back on the pile in her arms. She brushed a stray dark-brown tendril of hair out of her face and punched her access code into the security panel.
“So, the mission would be a good idea. We get to recharge our solar panels, fuel up, and buy supplies all at the same time. What do you think? Should we stop at Green-23t?”
Drogan blinked and pulled his attention back to his second in command, Lieutenant Jason Mercy.
“Sounds like a good idea. Have Rena put it on the schedule. We’ll do the run after we stop at Earth in the next few weeks.”
Jason nodded and made his way toward the captain’s private office.
Drogan blew out a breath. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could continue ignoring his attraction to Rena Morrigan. His assistant was driving him crazy. From day one, when he first hired her, he had been attracted to her. Now things were out of control. He couldn’t even smell the scent of jasmine without getting hard. If he thought he heard her voice, he would track down the source just to see if it was her. He found himself taking the long way to his quarters just to catch a glimpse of her.
He was obsessed and there were only two options before him: fuck her and get them both fired, or fire her and then fuck her. Neither option appealed to him. He loved his job as captain of the Venetian S89-class spaceship Hades’ Helmet. He wasn’t about to let some crush jeopardize his career. But his attraction to Rena had become a dangerous distraction. He wasn’t just dreaming or fantasizing about her at night. Now his mind would wander during the day, and he would find himself thinking about all the things he’d like to do to her.
He sighed. Damn it. She was one of the best assistants he had ever had. She put up with all his demands, and if he got even a toe out of line she would straighten him out in no time flat. More than that, she was a person he could confide in, have a laugh and a drink with, and just be himself around. The thought of being without Rena actually scared him.
Drogan looked over to his office and watched the doors slide open. Rena stepped across the threshold, smiling at Jason. Her smile warmed Drogan, even as he frowned. Jason Mercy was known to be one of the lady-killers of the crew. Was he flirting with her? Drogan glowered at the thought that Jason was after Rena. He almost stood up to tell his second in command to back off. Instead, he remained seated and gritted his teeth.
Rena looked up at him, her smile faltering on her lush, full lips.
“Captain, sir. Is something wrong?”
Drogan found himself pleased by her worried tone. “No, no, just tired. Been a long journey.”
“Oh, well, you should get some rest, sir, if you don’t mind me saying.”
He watched her look away shyly. Her concern touched him. His heart expanded in his chest and he grinned. The evil voice of a man who had gone six months with only his hand as a form of release slipped into his mind. He wouldn’t mind getting some rest after fucking her.
Drogan’s cock twitched in his pants and he clenched his jaw as an image of her curled up naked beside him entered his mind. He cleared his throat, trying to regain some of his control.
“Thank you for your concern, Rena. I will.” His voice was slightly husky from arousal.
Rena looked up at him and blinked, only to nod her head and leave the bridge. Drogan blew out a sigh and tilted his head back, closing his eyes and willing his body to calm down.
“You okay, Captain?” Jason asked.
“Yes, just tired.”
“Go on, Captain. I’ll take over. There’s nothing happening right now. Don’t worry about a thing.”
Drogan opened his eyes and stood up. Nodding to Jason, he left the bridge and headed for his quarters. The ship was silent and still. He loved this time in the voyage. No crew members rushing around bumping into each other. No murmuring through the halls and in the lifts. Just quiet.
He leaned against the back of the elevator and closed his eyes.
“Rena,” he whispered. He groaned aloud as the ache in his groin increased. He needed relief. Two years she had been on the ship, and not once had she given him a sign that she was interested. It was against regulations for crew to become involved, and Rena cared about regulations almost as much as he did.
Primal, dark and dangerous. What’s not to love?
I was twisted early into favouring the anti-hero, the man with ambiguous morality, the man who isn’t afraid to walk—and possibly cross—the line into darkness.
Kerr Avon, one of the main characters from Blake’s 7 was my first, if improbable crush. A thief, a convict, a murderer…in the end Avon went completely to the darkside. He realised it in the final moments when he killed the only man he’d ever admired. And then the BBC went and killed him. I’ve never quite forgiven them for that.
So…jump forward more than a few years and the imprint of Avon is still with me. I look for it in books, in films in the heroes that often pull me to write their stories. Primal, sometimes bitter, tough, clever, not willing to play by conventional rules but following his own integral sense of honour. He will do what needs to be done. Regardless. And there’s a vicious charm there too, edged with a dangerous sexuality…
In real life, I’d run like hell from men like this. In fiction? I eat them alive.
I think the darkest hero I’ve written is John Ramius in Breaking Chance. He started out as an idea between friends. We wanted to write stories with a very dark hero…and a high body count. So enter Ramius, a criminally insane convicted mass murderer who’d killed fifty three men in as many minutes. Avon would be so proud!
Then I had the fun of making Ramius exactly what the heroine needed…
What a girl wants and what a girl needs are sometimes two different things…
For Melissa “Lucky” Chance, another stretch in Ganymede’s ice prison is nothing new. The flash-freeze that’s supposed to destroy her will only leaves her with an insatiable desire for the first hot body she lays eyes on. Except this time, she faces a death sentence. Her only hope of escape lies with the man known as The Butcher.
John Ramius understands the logic behind his conviction as a criminally insane mass murderer. No man should have been able to slaughter over fifty men in as many minutes, but no one sees the underlying curse that compels him to sense—and fulfill—someone’s deepest need. Chance’s skill will free him to kill the Sun-King; he will find no rest until he does.
As they run from the forces of the Jovian colonies, Ramius finds himself temporarily sidetracked, not only by Chance’s relentless desire, but by her underlying, unspoken need. Ignoring it—or his own compulsion to do every wicked thing imaginable to her—is not an option.
Only after all their defenses are stripped away do they discover that their meeting wasn’t by chance. Someone is manipulating them both, and the only way out is the path to their destruction…
This book contains explicit sex, thieves, murderers, a sentient ship and a hero who will give you exactly what you need.
Breaking Chance Excerpt
©2010 Kim Knox
“You have a kink?”
Ramius snorted and his fingers paused as they unfastened the second gun. “Yes, you could say I have a kink.”
“All right, now I’m curious.”
He met her gaze, and the warmth of humour left her. The cold face of a killer held her, all sense— possibly pretence—of banter gone. Her heart thudded in the endless, silent seconds and, damn it, his dark side tugged at her. A light shone in his eyes, and Chance recognised the quick surge of lust, felt it echoed in her own flesh. His change was palpable. Had her curiosity sparked something in him?
Ramius pushed himself up and her heart gave an excited jump. She was crazy, she was, to continue to push him. He was the Butcher and she’d seen the grisly evidence of his work…but… He was closing the distance between them with predatory grace. Blood pounded in her temples and her body ached. Sex made her feel alive, and every part of her burned right then.
Ramius took the mug from her lax fingers and put it behind her. His body blocked her and he gripped the edge of the counter, trapping her. Chance held his shadowed gaze, finding the familiar curl of lust and something else she couldn’t name. He leaned in, his mouth almost, almost, brushing her lips, and she drew in a sharp breath. “I don’t play games, Chance. I can’t.” His mouth moved and his whisper stirred the shell of her ear. She swallowed. “I’ve thought about fucking you, hard, fast, up against the nearest wall.” He paused, and in the short silence there was only the pounding of blood in her ears. “I know that’s the way you want it.” Ramius leaned in closer. “But I won’t ever do that.”
Her fingers curled into her palms, nails digging sharp into her skin, and she held her hands tight to her breastbone. If she pushed her hands against the hardness of his chest, felt the thud of his heart, the warmth of his skin…she would have to nip at his tempting earlobe.
His scent, spiced, seductive, wrapped around her. He was so tempting… Chance teased with the tip of her tongue, tasting his skin. She moaned. John Ramius tasted even better than he looked.
“Chance…” The soft growl forced her fingers to clutch at his shirt. “Stop now, and I won’t take this further.”
His words sounded reasonable, but she didn’t miss the need thickening his voice. A need that also spun though her blood. She nipped at his earlobe and his hiss burned her skin. “I think you will.”
Kim lives on an ancient boundary line, once marked by a Neolithic burial tomb. The tomb’s now a standing stone circle–thank the Georgians for that one–and stirs her mind with thoughts of history and ancient myths. She mixes the essence of the past into fantasy, along with the essential mix of magic and sex. She also writes science fiction romance, pushing out into the far future with effortlessly sexy men and the women who can’t resist them.
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kim-Knox/100915259965690
Captain Mal, The Ultimate Antihero
I love anti-heroes, men who make you question their motives and their morality but always come through in the end as men of honor even if their methods are a bit tarnished. One of my favorite anti-heroes is Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly. Mal fought for the independents because he believed in a world where people could live free of the Alliance’s control. He did his best to care for the men and women who served under him. And later when he becomes captain of the Firefly class ship, Serenity, Mal truly cared about his crew even if he’s didn’t always show it.
Mal doesn’t behave as a traditional hero should. He prefers to shoot first and ask questions later. He takes jobs that put him on the wrong side of the law, content to steal when necessary to support his crew. He kills when he needs to and doesn’t spend time on remorse.
But “Bad” as he may be, Mal protects his crew even when he doesn’t like them personally, and he never leaves a man or woman behind. Once someone is under his protection, he’ll risk his life for them even if he thinks their predicament is their own fault.
Captain Marc Devlin from my Shifter’s Station Collection is a similar type of anti-hero. He served Terra Gov as a special forces officer until they chose to experiment on him and other members of his battalion, turning them into shape-shifting killing machines. A natural leader, he gathered a group of the genetically-altered shifters and helped them escape and form a mercenary company.
But he’s no do-gooder. He’s harsh and controlling, and he isn’t the least bit concerned with the legality of the jobs he takes on. As long as the money’s good and he can support his crew, he’s content. He’ll shoot any man or woman who threatens him or his crew without a second thought. He’s gruff and tough as hell on the men and women who work for him, but he has their loyalty, because they know he’ll do anything to keep them safe.
Captain Devlin is also not above abusing his power when it suits him like when Larissa delivers a faulty shipment of weapons to his station. He and his lover, Commander Kirlos Adesta, determine that she had no part in the sabotage attempt, but Marc wants her in his bed so he refuses to release her, eventually making her a wager he’s confident he’ll win.
Read an excerpt below of the meeting between Marc, Kirlos and Larissa and see if this anti-hero doesn’t make your pulse flutter…..
Silvia Violet writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including sci fi, paranormal, and historical. She can often be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinful chocolate treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading children’s books to her wickedly smart offspring.
Shifter’s Station Collection by Silvia Violet
Years ago, the Terran Government betrayed special forces officer Marc Devlin, forcing him to flee for his life. He rescued several fellow officers and built a new life as the head of his own mercenary force. When he captures a beautiful Cerian diplomat, he thinks to torture the man to learn Cerian secrets. Instead, he finds a lover. Months later, Marc and his Cerian lover, Kirlos, take a young woman captive, fearful she might be an agent of one of Marc’s oldest enemies. The two men strike a bargain with her that lands her in their bed for a month. As they dole out exquisite torment with their Cerian sex table, passion builds and turns to love. But Marc and Kirlos must fight to keep her and the life they’ve made for themselves.
This e-book collection contains the previously released Shifter’s Station series novellas Pilot’s Bargain, Pilot’s Heart, Loving the Enemy, and Eye of the Tigress.
Buy it at Changeling Press: http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1315
Buy it at All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-shifter039sstationcollection-419034-144.html
Excerpt from Shifter’s Station 1: Pilot’s Bargain
The commander cut off whatever Captain Devlin was going to say. “I have the ability to probe your mind to determine if you’re telling the truth. And if you are lying, I can compel the truth from you.”
Larissa studied him for a moment. He seemed sincere and somewhat dismayed by the captain’s brusque manner. “Do it.”
She felt pressure on her head, as if someone were mashing the heel of their hand against her forehead. Then the pressure turned to pain. It grew sharper until it felt like a needle was boring into her skull.
She felt tension radiating from Adesta. “Stop fighting it.”
“I… can’t. I don’t –”
Then the pain spread as if her skull had cracked. She fell to her knees, panting. The world began to go black. But just before she passed out, the pain disappeared.
“Fires of hell, she’s strong.”
The captain snorted. “Did you get through?”
“Yes, she’s telling the truth.”
Thank the god. They would have to let her go now. Larissa heard the men speaking, but they sounded very far away. A dull pounding still echoed in her head. Nothing like the tearing pain of the scan, but she still wasn’t sure she could stand.
Then she felt a hand on her arm. It was the commander. She wanted to refuse his assistance, but she didn’t want to be on her knees in front of the captain. He was arrogant enough without her prostrating herself like a slave.
When the commander helped her to her feet, she stepped away and forced herself to focus on Devlin. His dark eyes were narrow and cold. “Who taught you to shield your thoughts?”
Devlin raised his brows. “You need this ability often on cargo runs?”
“When you take these kinds of jobs, you do.”
He laughed. “I suppose you are right. Federated Transport isn’t exactly a legitimate business.”
“And yours is?”
Adesta’s lips curled into a wicked smile. “You seem to be losing your touch, Captain. You usually have them trembling in their boots by now.”
Larissa just managed to keep from rolling her eyes. The captain might be one delightfully put together man, but she had no intention of rolling over for him. “Can I go now?”
Devlin scowled. “No.”
“The commander has established my innocence.”
“He has established that you were unaware that the weapons were faulty. But I still have one dead crewman and several more injured. Someone has to pay.”
“Yes. That someone is my bastard of a boss.”
“But he’s not here, and you are.”
“Captain.” The warning glare in the commander’s eyes gave Larissa hope he might convince his superior to let her go.
Larissa’s heart pounded. “You can’t be serious.”
He gave a cold smile. “I’m always serious.”
Larissa clasped her hands behind her back to hide their shaking. “You can’t just keep me here.”
“I can do anything I damn well please.”
The captain stepped toward her. She stabbed her nails into her palms, hoping the pain would dull her fear and help her hold her ground.
Devlin grasped the single braid that hung down her back and jerked her head to the side. “I am the law here. No one questions what I do. If I wanted to shove you out an airlock, that’s exactly what I’d do. No one would dare protest.”
She held her breath, and commanded her suddenly rubbery legs to keep her upright.
He let her go and stepped back. “Fortunately for you, I have something far more pleasant in mind as repayment for your crimes.”
Larissa’s lungs burned, but she couldn’t seem to fill them with air. She forced herself to look him in the eye. “I have no intention of letting you punish me for a crime I didn’t commit.”
Adesta smirked. “I like her spirit.”
The captain stared at her intently. “So do I. The spirited ones are so much more fun to break.”
Larissa’s heart hammered against her chest. She knew her eyes were wide and her fear shone all too plainly. She felt like a rabbit cornered by a wolf — a big bad wolf with plans to eat her.
Now why the hell did that thought make her body feel hot and tight? She was so damn wet she’d likely soaked through her flight suit. What was wrong with her?
Devlin took a long, deliberate inhale. “Mmm. I think she likes us more than she wants us to know.”
Shit! The last thing she needed was for him to be aware of how she was responding to them. She needed to convince them to let her go. But before she could think of anything to say, Devlin’s lips curled up in a wicked smile.
“Since you seem so interested in the issue of fairness, why don’t we strike a bargain?”
“What bargain would that be?” Larissa mentally cursed the quaver she heard in her voice.
His smile widened. “I will spend the next two hours convincing you that you want to stay. If you can resist, you go free. If you can’t, you agree to remain on the station as my servant for the next month.”
Larissa took a deep breath. Her initial reaction was to tell him to go to hell, but something told her this might be her only way off the station. “How will you convince me to stay?”
“That’s my secret, but you have my word you will come to no harm.”
“Why should I trust you?”
The captain’s face froze, and a sound too like an animal’s growl rose from his chest.
Larissa glanced at Adesta. He shook his head. “I wouldn’t go down that road if I were you.”
“Fine. If I were to lose, which I have no intention of doing, how would you expect me to serve you?”
The captain’s smile returned instantly. “With every last inch of your naked body.”
Purchase Link: http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1315
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Silvia’s Website: http://silviaviolet.com
To watch episodes of Firefly online go to Hulu here: http://www.hulu.com/firefly
Those wonderfully flawed heroes…
Heroes and villains—often two sides of the same coin. We can have heroes with rough edges, questionable backgrounds, possibly scarred or crippled—either emotionally or physically—and yet they’re still heroic, they still come through for the heroine, and they always leave us wanting more. The same with villains—a villain can have a few good points and still be thoroughly evil, though a good villain is rarely redeemable—unless, of course, he’s going to appear in a later story as a hero.
Then, of course, it generally takes a good woman to redeem him, right?
But what about those flawed heroes—the ones who make mistakes and screw up, who are somehow damaged or imperfect—what is it that makes us want more of them? I’ve become intimately acquainted with a terribly flawed hero, a man who has greater strengths than most, and yet who continues to make the kinds of mistakes that make you want to strangle him. And yet, in spite of his flaws, I find him one of the most compelling men I’ve ever met within the pages of my own books—he’s Anton Cheval, my über-alpha in the long running Wolf Tales series.
The spirit guide Igmutaka describes Anton perfectly: “His power appears absolute, at times, but what makes all of us love him the way we do is that he is very much, at heart, a simple man. He’s not perfect. He makes mistakes. When he succeeds, he does it with great modesty, when he fails…Ig’s chuffing snort had to be laughter…when he fails, he does it magnificently.
Ig is right. Nothing Anton does is done without passion. He’s never half-hearted, never merely trying. He does. He errs, and yet when he realizes his mistakes, he never hesitates to ask forgiveness, to apologize. And sometimes, when he’s done something wrong for all the right reasons, he will apologize with the caveat that, if faced with the same circumstances, he’ll probably do the same thing again. No, he’s not a perfect hero—he’s complex, he’s flawed, and to me, he’s a more powerful character because of those flaws.
One of his most redeeming traits? Anton loves unconditionally. He loves his packmates, his mate Keisha, his closest friend Stefan. He loves his daughter Lily more than life, and he recognizes Lily as the finest accomplishment he’s ever achieved, and that’s only because half of her DNA comes from Anton’s bonded mate. He’s quick to recognize Keisha as the true head of their pack—even though he’s more powerful, he respects her common sense, her good heart, and her ability to turn him inside out with a single glance. He loves her, and while he occasionally infuriates her, everything Anton does is motivated by love.
And what of the beta hero? The average man thrown into extreme circumstances who is still able to prevail? That would be Dawson Buck, the hero in my upcoming DEMONSLAYERS story, StarFire. Dawson Buck is an average guy, a veterinarian in a small Arizona town, a true geek at heart who loves his work and knows he’s chosen animals to care for because they rarely come with emotional baggage. But when he’s thrown into an unbelievable situation—asked to care for a badly injured woman from another dimension—Dawson not only rises to the challenge, he goes above and beyond what is asked of him. He becomes a true hero in every sense of the word.
In spite of his fears, in spite of the unbelievable situation, Dawson prevails. He’s afraid, he doubts his abilities, and yet he puts fear and his lack of confidence aside and takes unimaginable risks for the greater good. And, he also manages to find the love of his life along the way.
So what makes a hero heroic? I think it’s his willingness to give everything to keep his loved ones safe, his ability to make mistakes and then correct those mistakes, to admit when he’s wrong, to keep quiet when he’s right (no, gloating is NOT allowed!) and to love without reservation.
I write my heroes from the perspective of a woman who’s been married to her very own hero for almost forty years. There’s a lot of my man in every hero I write—his quirky sense of humor, his powerful need to protect, even his ability to admit mistakes. Neither of us is perfect, but I think that’s part of what makes a marriage work, and it’s what makes a fictional hero more heroic—the chance to make mistakes, and the courage to make them right.
Kate Douglas is the lead author of Kensington Publishing’s Aphrodisia imprint and the author of the popular erotic romance series Wolf Tales as well as the Zebra series, The DemonSlayers. She is currently working on her newest Aphrodisia series, Dream Catchers. Kate and her husband of almost forty years have two adult children and five grandchildren. They live in the beautiful mountains of Lake County, California, north of the Napa Valley wine country
1st chapter excerpts:
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M/M; Sci-fi; Adventure
Release Date: May 29, 2010
Price ebook: 5.49
Trade paperback: 8.49
Kenji doesn’t know who he is or where he came from, only that he woke up one day, naked and alone on Terran A, possessing nothing in the world but a golden statue. All he knows is his survival, serving drink to roughnecks in Spike’s bar for a living. The one bright spot in his life is Jake Fallon, a cop with Interstellar Patrol. Though Fallon is only another customer, Kenji senses something different about him, something that inspires Kenji to trust Fallon with his body and his life. When Kenji is attacked and pursued by a vicious bounty hunter one night, Fallon also becomes his only hope.
Fallon’s passion for Kenji mixes with his desire to rescue the beautiful man from danger. He’s already more than half in love with Kenji and falling deeper as the bounty hunter’s pursuit takes them from galaxy to galaxy. For the first time since his first partner was killed, Fallon dares to surrender his heart again. However, as their race for survival uncovers Kenji’s true origins, Fallon may have to let Kenji go in order for Kenji to fulfill the very purpose of his existence…
A gust of cooler air breezed through, pulling Kenji from a fantasy. He looked in the direction of the door, which had just opened, closing in the wake of yet another brawny patron.
Kenji’s heart beat a little harder.
The man—a stranger to him–checked his weapon.
Tall. Broad shoulders. Muscular chest straining against a white T-shirt. Dark, close-cropped hair, nice sideburns.
This one was different. Kenji’s mouth went dry.
This one was hot.
By his clean-cut appearance Kenji guessed he was a cop. That was nothing unusual in this place. But there was something about the way he moved—deliberate—smooth, relaxed yet tightly wound, like he could spring in a second, that kept Kenji’s attention riveted.
At that second, the guy looked up. His eyes made a brief yet slow survey of the crowded room.
And then they landed on Kenji.
Kenji couldn’t tell what color they were from this distance, but he could feel them. They seemed to burn down into his very soul. They seemed to know who he was even when Kenji himself didn’t know.
Everything in the roomful of rowdy tattooed, leather-clad space junkies, space cowboys and bounty hunters receded. He was more captured than he was during one of his visions.
And then he began to walk toward Kenji, his eyes never leaving Kenji’s, his brawny torso flexing with each step.
Was it a few seconds or minutes before the guy stood before him, so close to his barstool that Kenji could see the dark stubble covering the strong line of his chin and jaw? So close that he caught a whiff of something spicy? Cologne that made Kenji’s groin tingle.
The man pointed to the empty stool. “Is this seat taken?” He had a nice smile and incredible eyes, the color of the blue through which Kenji was falling in his recurring vision. Yet in those eyes was a touch of sadness the grin didn’t dispel.
Kenji blinked. The stool next to him had been vacated within the last few seconds by the hustler sitting there. He must have gotten a hit and taken his customer to the back rooms. “I was saving it for you,” he heard himself say. And froze. What had possessed him? He’d never spoken like that to anyone.
A throaty chuckle. “That so “Well, this is my lucky night, isn’t it?” He seated himself and held out a hand. “Jake Fallon, Intergalactic Space Patrol.”
So he was a cop. Kenji accepted the offer of handshake. Warm. Strong. Nice. “Kenji.”
“Pleased to meet you, Kenji,” Jake Fallon said. “What are you drinking?”
Nice accent too. From England. On Earth. A bunch of the guys who came here were from England. Though they had a variety of accents, Kenji had heard this one before with its lightly rolled “r’s.”
“Just fizzy water,” he answered finally. He raised his glass, now wishing he’d gotten something stronger. Fizzy water was so…not cool. “It’s not…loaded.”
Jake Fallon looked at him a moment. A tiny grin flashed across his nicely curved lips. “I see. Well, I’ll have that too then.” He signaled the bartender, causing the muscles in his back to strain against his T-shirt. Dan came and took his order, leaving Fallon free to turn back to him.
Kenji swallowed hard and stared down into the clear, bubbling water in his glass. His heart pounded and he wiped his palms off on his pants. “I’ve…never seen you here before,” he said. And almost slapped his forehead. How lame was that?
Sadness flitted through the other man’s blue eyes. “I haven’t been here in a long time.” He sighed just as Dan placed his order in front of him. Fallon lifted his glass, his sad look replaced with a grin. “As we say back in Manchester, cheers,” he said, and clinked it against Kenji’s glass.
Kenji watched Fallon take a drink, his head tilted back enough that Kenji could watch the muscles in his throat work as he swallowed. Shifting on his barstool, he hoped the other man couldn’t see the tightening in his cock, which started to push against his trousers. “You’re from Manchester?”
“Yeah, originally. But I’ve been flying through space for so long now I feel more alien than anything else.” He chuckled. “What about you?”
Kenji stiffened. Good question. Where was he from? He shrugged. “Around here.”
Fallon paused. Then a look slipped into his face, something that said, I understand, you can’t tell me. Lots of fugitives stalked the Terran outposts, secretive about their origins. They provided much lucrative fodder for the bounty hunters who’d proliferated with humankind’s reach into space. “No worries, Kenji. It doesn’t matter.”
Kenji remained silent and filled the moment with sipping his drink.
“In answer to your comment about not having seen me here before,” Fallon said, “I lost my partner a couple of years ago. A fire at ISP headquarters. This was a place we used to come on our nights off when we were in this sector.” He sighed and took another large sip. “I figured it’s about time to be getting on with things.”
That must be the sadness he’d seen in Fallon’s eyes. Whoever the dead man was, Fallon must have really loved him to have stayed away for so long. His fingers tightened on his own glass.
“I’m sorry,” he said finally.
Fallon nodded. “Thanks, Kenji.” He sipped his drink, eyeing Kenji with a thoughtful expression. “May I ask you a personal question?”
Kenji’s heart thumped, but he shrugged, trying to appear casual. He didn’t know what else to do in his first real conversation with someone he was attracted to. “Sure.”
The other man tilted his head. “You seem…different from the usual patrons here. You’re more, um, refined. Are you…” he gestured toward one of the hustlers on the other side of the bar, a guy named Pieter.
Kenji blinked. “You mean a…hustler?”
Fallon grimaced. “Sorry. That was rude of me. I’m so out of practice.”
He smiled. No insult there. The hustlers were more refined looking for the most part. It was the contrast between them and their roughneck clients that got them paid. “No. I’m a bartender here. For the last few months.” He glanced down into his drink before continuing. “I usually leave after my shift, but I tonight I…was in the mood to hang around.”
Fallon leaned a bit closer, bringing that great scent with him. The energy of his maleness so close sent shivers through Kenji’s body, all the way to his toes. “I’m glad you waited, Kenji. I wouldn’t have met you, had you left.”
Kenji looked up. Again, Fallon was so close, their lips were mere inches away. Kenji caught himself tilting in closer.
“Jake Fallon, hey!”
Kenji jerked away. Bud had returned from the back room and now stood right behind Fallon, thumping him on the back in a rough greeting.
“Hi, Bud. Long time.” Fallon swiveled on his stool and offered the other man his hand.
Bud pumped Fallon’s hand and gripped his shoulder with his other hand. “Good to see you, man! Where ya been?” Before Fallon could answer, Bud turned a bemused look to Kenji then back. “You lucky fuckin’ dog, Fallon! Kenji here doesn’t let anyone within three feet of his fine little body.” He winked in Kenji’s direction. “I should know. I been trying to get him into bed ever since he showed up in this place. He resists me like the plague.”
Kenji frowned at him, his cheeks burning. “Behave, Bud.”
Bud grinned. “No hard feelings, Kenji. I know you been waiting for the right guy to come along.” He winked at Fallon. “He doesn’t come out and say that. It’s just obvious.” With a final shake of his head, he added, “You are in for a treat. Mm…mmm.”
How humiliating. Unbearably so. What would Fallon think of him now? He didn’t want to know. Best to get away. With a quick glance at Fallon, he mumbled, “Well, I gotta go.”
Without giving Fallon a chance to react, Kenji slid off the barstool and started to jostle his way through the press of smelly male bodies. But before he got more than two steps away, a large hand closed gently on his shoulder, ushering him around to press lightly up against Fallon’s broad front.
The corner of Fallon’s lips turned up in a sexy way. “Slow down, laddie.” His blue eyes searched Kenji’s, as if trying to read his thoughts. “What is it? What Bud said?” His large hand squeezed his shoulder. “The guy is a bit of a wanker but he means well.”
Kenji swallowed, finding it hard to speak for a second. He shook his head, trying to convey his agreement.
“Hey, don’t be embarrassed. I can’t think of any bloke who’d want to take him to bed.”
Kenji had to chuckle and Fallon’s answering grin made the remaining tension in Kenji’s body relax.
The next second Fallon’s grin evaporated and his eyes took on a serious look. “But, uh, if there’s any truth in what Bud said, then I’m flattered.” He squeezed Kenji’s shoulder again, the touch like a warm brand passing right through his thin white shirt and onto his skin.
Kenji’s good eyelid fluttered a bit as heat invaded his body.
Fallon’s hand moved from Kenji’s shoulder to his chin, chucking it. “So, do you like me enough to get out of here together?”