Authors: S. E. Smith
By S. E. Smith
I would like to thank my husband Steve for believing in me and being proud enough of me to give me the courage to follow my dream. I would also like to give a special thank you to my sister and best friend Linda who not only encouraged me to write but who also read the manuscript.
—S. E. Smith
Science Fiction Romance
TANSY’S TITAN: COSMOS’ GATEWAY BOOK 3
Copyright © 2012 by Susan E. Smith
First E-Book Published November 2012
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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission from the author.
All characters, places, and events in this book are fictitious or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations are strictly coincidental.
Tansy Bell, is the middle daughter of the three Bell sisters. She has always been a little different, even for a Bell. A chameleon, she can change her appearance and personality to blend in almost anywhere. She uses this talent to bring some of the worst criminals in the world to justice.
Mak ‘Tag Krell Manok is the wild one of his four brothers. He is known for his hot temper, fierce strength, and skills as a warrior. Few men in any galaxy dare to challenge him and live. Frustrated at his failure to find females compatible with a Prime male, he returns to his home world only to discover his oldest brother has found his bond mate – in an unusual species known as a human. What is even more astonishing is his reaction to an image of his brother’s bond mate’s sister.
Mak has set a new course – for Earth and the female that stirs his blood to fire! But first, he has to find her. Next, he has to convince her she belongs to him. If all else fails, he will just take her, after all, she is delicate, fragile, and no match for a Prime warrior.
What he doesn’t expect is to find her in trouble and fighting for her life. Now, he must save her before it is too late. But, even then there is no guarantee that she will come with him. For this small, fragile female has the strength and determination of twenty Prime males and values her independence.
Mak is about to learn that big trouble can come in very small packages and size is often a misconception because there is one female in the universe not afraid to stand up to him – even if she is afraid to love him.
Can he keep her alive long enough to realize she is the perfect mate for an untamed warrior or will the men determined to kill her take not only her life but his as well?
Tansy Bell let her head drop back against the wall she was sitting against and stretched her leg out in front of her. She grimaced as pain and fatigue tried to sink its nasty claws into her. Biting her lip to keep from crying out, she pulled the torn material she was using as a bandage back and looked at the wound on her leg.
Getting shot sucked,
getting shot twice sucked even more.
She ignored the wound on her side. It wasn’t as bad as the one on her leg. Her shirt was stuck to it anyway and she hoped the bleeding had stopped. She was lucky she wasn’t in worse shape than she was considering how many guns had been firing at her.
At least the one on my side is just a flesh wound,
she thought tiredly, unlike the wound in her upper thigh.
She choked on the acid filling her throat as she probed the wound trying to see how far the bullet was embedded. She was pretty sure it wasn't too deep. If it had been, she would never have been able to run at all. A shudder went through her as excruciating pain flared out radiating through her body in wave after nauseating wave.
“This totally sucks,” Tansy whispered as she wiped a stray tear from her cold, clammy face.
She was deep under cover and no one would even acknowledge she existed, much less come to help her. Tansy closed her eyes waiting for the nausea to pass. She had an emergency medical kit she put together but she didn't relish having to operate on herself, especially in her present environment. This was not where she wanted to die but unless she could pull another miracle out of her pocket, it was highly unlikely she would make it out alive. The area was crawling with pissed off bad guys who wanted the information she stole back. They also wanted her as well. Preferably, still alive so they could have fun killing her slowly.
Tansy pulled the backpack she dropped early closer to her. No sense in putting off the invariable. If she didn’t get the bullet out, she wouldn’t heal and it would only hurt worse later.
Not to mention,
she thought ruefully,
it is harder than hell trying to run with one moving around in your leg.
She should know because that was exactly what she had been doing for the past couple of hours.
Rummaging around, she pulled the small kit out. It contained a topical and local anesthetic, sterilized kit with a scalpel, sutures, bandages, and antibiotics. Opening it, Tansy focused her mind on what she was doing and not on how much pain she was in. She used her knife to cut the hole in her black pants wider so she could see what she was doing.
Ripping the packaging for the needle open with her teeth, she quickly filled it from the small vial. She numbed the area around the wound before pulling the packaging containing the scalpel and tweezers toward her. Poking the area to see if it was numb enough, she was satisfied she could work on it. She carefully enlarged the entrance wound letting the soiled material she had wrapped around it before catch the blood pouring from the wound. Using the tweezers, she felt for the slug. Fortunately, it didn’t appear to be that deep or have hit anything major. She carefully pulled it out. Using her forearm, she wiped the sweat from her brow that formed despite the near freezing temperature in the abandon building she was hiding in. Blood flowed thick and rich from the wound and Tansy quickly wiped what she could up before picking up the suturing kit and began sewing up the hole in her thigh. Once she was done, she cleaned the area and wrapped a clean, sterile bandage over it before giving herself an antibiotic shot. When she was done, she peeled her shirt from her side and cleaned and bandaged that wound as well. Next, she pulled a regular sewing kit from her bag and sewed the hole in her pants and shirt so it wasn’t too noticeable. Once she was patched up as best she could, she cleaned the area until she was satisfied there was no evidence she had ever been there. She would need to move again once it was dark. She needed to put as much distance as possible between her and the men looking for her.
Tansy grimaced as she put weight on her leg. It was numb now but would hurt like a son-of-a-bitch later. She would need to ration how much pain medication she used. She didn’t want anything that might slow her thinking process or to run out in case she might need it later.
If there was a later,
she thought watching through a dirty window as several more cars pulled up and half a dozen men poured out of them.
Time to move, dark or not, if I want to remain alive,
Tansy thought grimly.
Tansy slung the black backpack over her shoulder and tucked a long strand of
dark red hair up under the black knit cap covering the rest of her hair. If any of the men saw it, it would be like sending up a flare.
Boris liked my hair,
Tansy thought cynically.
It was the ace up her sleeve that got her through his door. She didn’t think he liked much of anything about her right now, though, including her heavy mane of red hair. She couldn’t really blame him. She did steal from him and try to kill his psychopathic ass.
Tansy quietly moved out of the upper level of the condemned apartment building she was using to hide in.
It was filthy, cold, and depressing,
Tansy thought as she moved toward the dark, narrow stairwell,
just like the world she lived in.
Tansy gave up believing in fairy tales a long time ago. She didn’t believe in any world other than the dark one she was now deeply embedded in. She knew the only way out of it was through death – namely hers. She had made too many enemies over the last five years both in the States and around the world to ever be left alive. She wasn’t like the rest of her family. She didn’t believe in life on other worlds, at least none that she would ever meet, like her dad wrote about or in the wonder of creating new things like her mom. She didn’t have the rosy glasses and love for life that her little sister, Tink did. If anyone understood her at all it was probably Hannah. It was Hannah who unknowingly set the path of Tansy’s life. Tansy was determined to cleanse the world of those who took advantage and preyed on the weak. It was Hannah’s kidnapping when Tansy was only fourteen that made Tansy realize there was very little good in the world around her. She remembered the haunted look in her older sister’s eyes that never seemed to fade after her captivity. Whatever happened to Hannah was enough to drive her to live in the remotest places in the world in order to avoid as much contact as she could with other people.
The men responsible for Hannah’s abduction were the first men Tansy went after when she turned eighteen and left home. She knew all the men who were a part of the actual abduction were killed when the local military swept through but Tansy knew deep down they were just disposable puppets pulled by the strings of someone more powerful. It took her a year to uncover who it was; a year that changed her life forever. She quickly learned there was an even darker side of life than she could have imagined. She also learned she was not necessarily a good person. She had learned what it meant to kill or be killed. Since then, Tansy had killed many times. She sought the strongest and deadliest teacher she could find and she learned. She also fell in love with him only to lose him to the deadly world she fought against. The man who killed Branson was the first man she killed.