Okay...here's the sneak peek I promised from Thieves in Paradise coming May 11th:
Charity sat in the feeble shelter provided by the port wing of the Antarean’s shuttle. He’d taken the unnecessary precaution of fastening the kevlex tether to one of the shuttle’s landing struts while he climbed on the nose of the craft and removed the huge tree limbs that had landed on the wind screen. Her assurances that she had no intention of trying to escape in this weather had been met with stoic indifference.
Even partially protected from the driving rain, she was shivering and exhausted. The only consolation she found in this otherwise hopeless situation was that the bounty hunter had nearly fallen off the slippery bow of the shuttle twice during his efforts to dislodge the branches, and he seemed suitably vexed by the crack in the glass.
At the moment he lay spread-eagle against the forward hull while he attempted to shove the second limb free of the ship. At least he hadn’t expected her to help. But that left her with little to do except ruminate on how she could possibly escape from him.
After a while she ran out of imaginary scenarios, and now she was left with nothing else to do but study his impressive physique.
Paid bloodhound or not, by the Goddess, he was put together well.
Though most of his body was covered in mud at the moment, his corded muscles rippled with every movement. The fallen tree limbs were each as thick around as her waist, yet he moved them with relative ease. A human would have required help, maybe even machinery, to complete the daunting task.
She wondered what made such a fine male specimen loyal to a runt like Gar Gremin. It had to be money. Since he hadn’t even acknowledged her offer to split her take with him, the Magistrate of Valencia must have offered him something substantially more valuable that a quarter million credits.
That left Charity short at the bargaining table. If he wasn’t interested in money, what could she trade him for her freedom?
That thought lead her curious gaze to his firm backside and his massive thighs and, despite the icy rain, her face went hot.
She couldn’t. She would never—had never—bartered her body, even with men who would have willingly accepted such a proposition.
She wasn’t that kind of woman, and she’d steadfastly refused to let circumstances dictate a compromise in her values. Just because she’d grown up struggling on one of the galaxy’s poorest colonies, didn’t mean she had to rely on her body to make a living when her brain could get her so much further.
Nevertheless, he was certainly a prime candidate for debauchery. His face was handsome enough, despite what seemed to be a perpetual scowl of disapproval, and he moved with sensual, almost predatory grace that hadn’t escaped her attention, especially when her wet body had been plastered against his.
He’d be huge, no doubt, a challenge for her physically...ooh, but what fun it might be to peel off his tight flight suit and see for herself what an Antarean cock looked like.
“Goddess bless me, I’ve lost my mind!” As quickly as the wind-driven rain changed direction, reality intruded on her uncharacteristic sexual fantasy and Charity’s thoughts careened back to the problem at hand.
She’d sooner shoot the bounty hunter than fuck him. Obviously the relentless rain and mind-numbing discomfort had made her delirious.
* * * *
Kol’s boots hit the squelching mud and he sank to his ankles in front of the shuttle. At least he’d managed to remove the branches. Now he had to worry about getting atmo sealant to set in this humidity. He calculated at least six hours before they’d be able to lift off, and by then he’d be half out of his mind trying to interpret the true meaning of his erotic vision.
He swung around to glance at his captive and looked away quickly when their eyes met. She’d been watching him work, no doubt planning her next nefarious scheme. Magistrate Gremin had warned Kol about Charity Foster. She was smart, fast, and could talk her way into or out of just about anything. That’s how she’d ended up in Gremin’s monthly game of High Aces where she’d cheated him out of four million in selenite.
Granted, it seemed it was more Gremin’s pride than his purse that had taken a beating in the game, and cheating at High Aces was not a federal offense, but Kol had taken the job because the price was right and he had a personal dislike of cheaters of any kind.
His job would be much easier if she looked guilty. Right now, she seemed small and defenseless. The mud and rain had left her blond hair stringy and plastered to her skull, all but obscuring the decorative purple streak. Her face was smudged and her slender body trembled with the cold.
He could have secured her inside the shuttle, but short of tying her to a seat, she’d have had access to the controls and his supplies, and he couldn’t trust her not to sabotage his mission.
She raised her graceful brows at his approach and swiped at the chilly drops of rain that hung from the tips of her dark lashes. “Now what?”
“I have to apply the sealant on the inside of the glass.” He unhooked the kevlex tether from the landing strut and then from the cuffs and directed her toward the shuttle’s hatch. “I’ll be watching you closely. Don’t try to escape.”
She rolled her golden eyes at him. “Where in Goddess’s name would I go? Face it, flyboy, you’ve got me. I’m your prisoner.”
He didn’t like the emphasis she put on the word prisoner. There seemed to be a sexual innuendo there that made his thoughts circle round to the vision he’d been trying so hard to forget. Had her hands been tied when he’d fucked her? Kol would never force himself on a female, certainly not a captive and certainly never a non-Antarean, yet the idea of pushing her bound hands above her head and settling her hips against his made his cock stir uncomfortably.
Did he only imagine the flirty tilt of her head and the secretive smile as she passed by on her way into the shuttle? Her rounded ass swayed a little as she lifted one leg and climbed into the ship. He dared not follow right away, but instead stood for a moment in the driving rain, allowing the cold water to soothe the sudden flush that traveled up from his groin.
He would not use her. Even if she begged him to.