San Francisco CA www. Warning This e-book contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language and may be considered offensive to some readers. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers. Neither Loose Id LLC nor its authors will be responsible for any loss, harm, injury or death resulting from use of the information contained in any of its titles. Chapter One Damn him. But two more?
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Cherise Sinclair 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Handler nodded. Abel came down the hallway.
And where? Mella felt her skirt being raised, exposing her bottom. Exactly ten, no more, no less. Escort the unshuline to an empty cell and notify the kitchen she be added to the rolls. Not again will it happen. At least his return to work would divert his mind from the little thief.
One corner of his desk had a stack of comunit messages with a framed photo lying on top to prevent them from toppling. His niece knelt beside the little thief in the shade garden while Mella wiggled a long string in front of a felin. Jaw tight, he set the photo on his desk and picked up the stack of messages. With a sigh, he dropped into his chair and started reading them.
After a minute, he turned the photo to face away. Scorch it all, anyway. He put in a call to Blackwell and then forced his mind away from curves and softness and comfort. A LastDay party had grown too raucous. Not unusual for the Trytron Enclave; seamen liked to brawl. His enforcers had handled the infractions well.
He punched Delete. Someone had robbed two great houses, but the detective on the case had a good lead. Wulkor attacks had increased in the backcountry.
He tagged a note to ask Planetary Defense to send a militia squad to help eliminate the predators. He brought it up and glanced at it. Then stopped and read it again. But the report noted only three bodies in the debris. The head of the lab, Old Argulinin, was known as Anal Argulinin because he never missed a detail and never made a mistake. He was deep into reviewing the reports when his secretary signaled.
Colonel Blackwell is here also. And Blackwell… Dain gave an exasperated sigh. Blackwell was leaning over Esosha, one hand on her desk, the other on her chair, fencing the secretary in. Thrilled and intimidated. Best deal with Blackwell first, before Esosha got too flustered to do any work at all. Dain nodded at Nathan and held up a finger. Almost noon. And still was. I wanted to ask you for a favor. Another one. You sure you want her in my hands? And please, call me Nathan.
Smoothing his blue silk suit, Hamilton took a chair. Is the certificate for the Earth officials ready? If a body was missing, then that body must have left sometime before or after the explosion. Perhaps Hanwell and Nilard missed a clue. His gut told him something was off. Very off. He tilted his head at the annoying Earther.
Did the man have heart problems? Dain rose to his feet. I just got something stuck in my throat. Dain had long ago abandoned trying to truth-say constantly. It was a truism that everyone lied, and people constantly used white lies in everyday conversation: You look fantastic.
I feel fine. My husband has asked after you. My health is fine. Then what had disturbed the man? Something on the desk? Before Dain could pursue the matter, Hamilton stood, pulling his cuffs down. Hopefully I can postpone my business a bit longer. If not, I assume you can send a courier with the papers to Earth.
Earthers were strange. After taking the chair where Hamilton had sat, Dain eyed his des k. All the reports lay too far away for Hamilton to have read them. The only thing that the Earther could have reacted to was the picture of Mella and Rebli in the enclave garden. He tapped his fingers on the arm of the chair and frowned at the photo. Mella came from Earth. Did Nathan Hamilton know her? Hamilton was hiding something. But what? He raised his voice. Uncomfortable, but nothing close to the pain of losing Dain.
That reverberated through her body like a heavy bass drum. Blinking back tears, she remembered how his eyes had looked so unhappy, his face so strained.
And then her mind presented her with the happier times. How strong his arms were when he held her and how safe and wanted he made her feel. His lips would tease hers, and his fingers would play her body as surely as she played the harp. Stop thinking of him as a lover. She dropped onto the cot and winced when her tender bottom hit the hard mattress.
Think about seeing him with the murderers and Nathan and how friendly they all appeared. He was evil. He was an abusive bastard who liked to… She sighed. She curled her hands around her knees, trying to think rationally, despite the hope rising in her chest. Because Dain was an honorable man. He was. A man honorable in the little things would be honorable in the big ones. Certainty blasted through her like a cold wind, so overwhelming that she closed her eyes. Oh Prophet, Dain. That meant she could tell Dain her identity.
She laced her hands tightly together. Would he help her get justice? Keep her safe? Her heart began to hammer as other questions whispered in her mind like a song. Would he forgive her and take her back? She ran to the door of the cell, staying clear of the restraint field, and yelled to the attendant down the hall. To report a crime. Can I use a comunit? Nowhere else.
Oh dear. What was his clan name? The guard snorted.
The Starlight Rite
But two more? Grinding her teeth in frustration, Armelina Archer settled lower in the small space between the two solacars and watched the fat man stagger out of reach, taking with him the jewelry that would have bought her next few meals and provided some money toward a ticket off-planet. She huffed a bitter laugh. Why had she ever come here? A monster. The monster had paid to have her murdered, and they had died instead.