Authors: Cynthia Sax
When Murad, a powerful and deadly Warlord, arrives to repair
Gale’s beloved ship, she doesn’t like it one bit. She sees the danger lurking
behind his wide, sexy smile and the temptation in his coarse touch. He stands
too close. He smells too good. He muddles her mind with erotic thoughts no
bounty hunter should ever entertain.
Murad is known for being lighthearted…until he meets Gale. He’s
deadly serious about seducing the curvaceous bounty hunter. With one blast of
her stun gun, she captures his attention and starts his lust burning. To claim
Gale for his mate, Murad will brave his cautious female’s itchy trigger finger,
his overbearing older brother and even his own sense of duty.
futuristic erotic romance
from Ellora’s Cave
Gale lay chest down on the cold metal floor, her arms
stretched out before her. “We’re running out of time,” she told her
non-functioning single-manned ship. “If I don’t figure out how to repair you
soon, that annoying Warlord Zeta sent will insist upon helping.”
She worried her bottom lip with her teeth, viewing Murad’s
impending invasion of her beloved sanctuary as a bigger threat than the
possible failure of the ship’s life support systems.
“So come on, hon. Work for me.” Gale jiggled the cable
leading to the ship’s power converter, hoping to reactivate the process.
“Ohhh…” A strangled sound came from her constricted throat.
Behind the captain’s console, a brightly colored drawing
covered a large silver wall panel, the green-haired female in the child
artist’s depiction sporting a toothy grin.
“Continue smiling and I’ll banish you from the bridge for
insubordination,” Gale warned, her words echoing in the empty space, the main
viewscreen closed to preserve energy, and the ship’s guidance system eerily
Only the primitive crank-powered communicator set by her
booted feet crackled. She’d found the ancient device crammed into one of her
overstuffed storage chambers and she wished now she hadn’t used it, hadn’t
called for help.
“You have to work, baby.” Gale ran her fingers over the
power converter, searching for defects and finding none. “Please. I don’t want
him on my ship.”
She clasped a fastening tool and frantically tightened each
joint, aware that Murad’s ship hovered too close to hers, the Warlord growing
increasingly impatient with the delays. He had other things he could be doing, he’d
told her, and had only agreed to assist her with the repairs as a favor to
Zeta, his brother’s mate.
“If Zeta had contacted me as she’d promised, I wouldn’t be
in this mess,” Gale muttered, feeling foolish for having flown across numerous
galaxies to rescue a friend who didn’t need rescuing.
“And I don’t require Murad’s or any other being’s help with
repairs. I’ll fix my ship myself.” She pressed her hand against the reset
The power converter didn’t activate, the silence ominous.
“No. No. No. No.” She slapped the reset panel again and
again, venting her frustration on the device, her palm stinging with the
The ship shuddered and the collection of broken toys
covering the console rattled. The hoarded objects had been obtained over the
many solar cycles from the bounty-hunter-school students she spent all her
“Go away,” Gale snapped, the thought of being trapped on a
small vessel with an unfamiliar male warrior filling her with alarm.
“I’ll go away once your ship is fully functional,” the
Warlord informed Gale via the communicator, his low, deep voice causing her
heart to race, a physical reaction she’d long associated with fear. “Prepare to
“I don’t need to be boarded,” she snapped, irritated at
Murad’s arrogance and disgruntled with Zeta for forcing her to deal with the
strange male, her friend not caring enough to come herself.
Gale pushed away the pain of that rejection and concentrated
on the broken power converter. “This is my ship. I’ll fix it.” The lights
flickered, the ship’s alternative energy source quickly depleting.
“You’ve had three planet rotations to fix your ship,
stubborn female.” Murad punctuated that dry observation with a pussy-moistening
chuckle, his constant mirth and her inappropriate physical reaction to it
irritating Gale even more. “Now it’s my turn. Open your doors.”
“Open them yourself.” Gale pushed her curvy form upright and
scrambled to her feet. Murad would have to open the doors manually, her
single-manned ship barely having enough energy to run the life-support systems.
She dusted off her knees and focused on the new threat.
He’ll come through the bridge’s main doors.
surveyed the array of weapons, restraints and defensive devices she always kept
close at hand.
And when he does, I’ll stop him, preventing him from touching
my ship, my home.
Sucking in her breath, she strapped her formfitting pink
body-armor around her generous chest, preparedness being a bounty hunter’s best
Zeta might trust Murad.
Gale slid guns and daggers
into the holders decorating her pink armor-clad thighs, the weapons
But she also believes she’s in love with his brother.
Clearly she’s not thinking rationally.
She crouched by the door, her form
shielded by a console.
Love at first sight.
She snorted, that fantastical
explanation too implausible even for her reckless friend.
They must have
Metal screeched, the sound muffled by distance, and she
raised her favorite gun, aiming toward the closed doors, her body vibrating
“You won’t drug me, Murad,” Gale vowed. She caressed the
barrel of the gun with her fingers, relishing the weight and feel of the
weapon. The metal was engraved with
flowers and birds, the piece
being both beautiful and functional. “You won’t get near me.”
Boots rang against the corridor’s wire-mesh floor, the heavy
tread announcing the approach of her intruders. Gale’s muscles contracted and
she stilled, becoming hyperaware of her surroundings, every sound and every
scent amplified. She smelled the engine lubricant on her skin, heard the rush
of air through ventilation shafts, the footsteps of the Chamelewarriors
as they neared the doors to the bridge.
“Stop,” Gale ordered. She brushed her fingers over the gun’s
trigger, prepared to defend herself with force if necessary. “Come in slowly,
unarmed, one at a time, with your hands raised and your palms empty.”
“I’m alone,” one of her unwanted visitors growled.
Gale’s nipples tightened, pressing against the restrictive
body armor, her body recognizing Murad’s deep tones. “So you say,” she mumbled,
maintaining her battle stance, having learned as an orphaned child not to
believe in words.
“And I’ll be unarmed in a heartbeat.” The doors opened. A
huge sword slid through the entrance, its blade gleaming and its handle
intricately engraved, the weapon decorative and deadly. A dizzying assortment
of daggers and guns followed the sword, the advanced gear skittering along the
floor, metal clinking against metal. “I didn’t know I’d require an arsenal to
do you a favor.” Murad’s distinctive laughter rolled over Gale, and her stomach
With fear. I fear him.
Gale flipped her gun’s setting
to stun, killing Zeta’s new friend unfortunately not an option. “You’re doing
Zeta a favor, not me.”
“This favor is for my brother.” A breathtakingly handsome
male stepped out of the shadows. “And his gun is bigger than yours.” He grinned
at her, his white teeth flashing in a flawless, tanned face, his black eyes
glinting, his long black hair cascading down his bare shoulders. He wore tight
leather leg coverings with matching boots and had a pack slung over one
shoulder. His muscular chest was bare, defined and perfect.
This is Murad?
Gale’s mouth dried and her heart
raced, a pulse of savage want and uncontrollable need coursing through her
If the two brothers look alike, they wouldn’t have needed
to use drugs to enthrall Zeta. My impetuous friend would have gone with Khan
willingly, foolishly risking her heart, her life, her future for a fast fuck.
I won’t be as easy to enthrall.
not trusting her emotions and certainly not trusting the big Warlord. “If I
shoot you with my smaller gun, you’ll still be dead.” She aimed the gun at him,
proud of how steady her hands were, many solar cycles of chasing fugitives
across the universes having refined her control.
“That’s true.” Murad’s gaze swept her from head to feet,
pausing on her breasts and hips and then returning to her face. “My adorable
little bounty hunter.” He inhaled, his chest rising and his nostrils flaring.
His mouth twisted into an even sillier smile. “My curvaceous
purred, his voice mind-numbingly soft.
He won’t use that sexy voice to capture me.
narrowed her eyes, fighting the desire Murad invoked, her lust being a
weakness, a weapon he could use against her. “I’m not your anything.”
“You’re correct. You’re not my anything. You’re my
everything,” Murad replied, his words infused with passion and sincerity.
He can’t be sincere. He doesn’t know me.
need your help, Warlord.” Gale caressed the trigger of her gun, her nerves on
edge, her body too aware of his. “Please leave my ship.”
A loud click followed her declaration and the lights turned
off, casting them in complete blackness. Gale stiffened, unable to detect her
Please let him not have the ability to see in the dark.
wave of panic surged over her.
Murad chuckled, the sexy rumble made more intimate by the
darkness. “I see you have everything under control.” The floor creaked.
“Don’t move.” Gale brushed her free hand over the cluttered
console, searching for the mobile light source. “Or I’ll shoot.”
Her fingers trembled as Murad’s musky male scent coiled around her, scattering
her thoughts, hampering her hunt for the device.
A beam of light streamed from the multipurpose tool Murad
grasped, illuminating his smiling face. “You’d shoot an unarmed male?” Shadows
danced over his powerful form, accentuating his defined abdominal muscles, his
strength both appealing and alarming. “That’s not very sporting of you, Gale.”
Don’t allow him to distract you.
Gale glared at
Murad’s square chin, focusing on a body part she shouldn’t find appealing. His
tanned skin appeared smooth, with no hint of stubble darkening it.
feel as smooth?
She skimmed her tongue over her lips, yearning to suck on
his chin, to taste him, to touch him.
I have to get him off my ship now.
“The converter is
under there.” She waved her gun at the console, forced to trust him with her
ship, failure of the life support systems looming, collapse of her willpower
even more imminent.
“We’ll complete the repairs first and then we’ll play.” The
Warlord stalked forward, invading her territory with an irritating confidence,
moving as a predator would, his gait loose and flowing.
Gale’s trigger finger twitched, her urge to
block Murad’s advancement, to eliminate the threat he represented, almost
overwhelming her common sense.
If you shoot him, the life support systems
will fail and you’ll die.
She breathed in, breathed out, inhaling his musk,
the scent tormenting her.“There won’t be any play.”
“You’ll enjoy our play,
.” Murad paused in front
of her collection of hoarded items, the objects creating an emotional wall
between her and a hurtful world.
“How can you find anything with all of this stuff around
you?” He toppled that wall with one careless sweep of his arm, pushing the toys
to one side as though they were garbage, meaning nothing to anyone. The Warlord
then plunked his pack on the cleared flat surface, claiming the territory for
“Don’t touch my things.” As Gale snatched a model of a Silan
bounty hunter off the console, her hand brushed against Murad’s bulging biceps.
A lust-laden charge zapped up her arm and across her chest, stealing her breath.
“You’ll break them,” she gasped, backing away from him quickly, taking both the
plaything and her body out of his reach.
“Break them more, you mean.” His dark gaze dropped to the
model. “All of the
I know have two legs.” He angled his portable light
source at the console, casting Gale in shadows.
“Other beings might discard someone because he or she isn’t
perfect. I don’t.” She set her gun down, moved the torn dagger sheath she’d
rescued from Zeta’s refuse container and positioned the little bounty hunter
carefully on the second console, recovering some of the emotional ground he’d
stolen from her.
“It’s a toy,
.” Murad bent over, his ass cheeks
flexing under the snug leather leg coverings. Gale dug her fingernails into her
palms, the pain dousing her need to touch, to follow the ripple of firm flesh,
to feel his strength against her palms.
“It’s not a someone.” The console interior muffled Murad’s
voice. He stood with his handsome head jammed deep in the construction and his
back facing her, foolishly exposing his big body to attack.
Gale retrieved her gun from the console, regaining even more
control and more power over the situation. “You don’t understand.”
“Then make me understand.”
She studied the Warlord’s broad shoulders.
Does he want to
“Each toy, each object on the console, once belonged to someone
I cared for. It’s a connection to that being.”
A safe, permanent connection
no being can ever take away from me.
“A lot of people care for you.” The muscles in Murad’s back
pulled tight as he worked. Perspiration beaded on his tanned skin, the tiny
drops of moisture reflecting the limited light.
Gale licked her bottom lip, her need for him escalating.
“I’ve cared for a lot of people.”
Do any of them think of me? Will he think
“Control yourself for a little while longer,
Your ship’s power is dangerously low.” Murad reached for a tool out of his
pack. “This isn’t the ideal time for rutting.”
Gale’s face heated and her grip on her gun tightened. “Who
said anything about rutting?”
Murad straightened to his full, impressive height and he
turned his head, his eyes as black as open space. “Nothing needs to be said.”
He breathed in, his nostrils flaring.