Authors: S. E. Smith
A Touch of Frost
Magic, New Mexico
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. Also to my other friends who believe in me: Julie, Jackie, Lisa, Sally, Elizabeth (Beth) and Narelle. The girls that keep me going!
—S. E. Smith
IMPRINT: Erotic Romance
Science Fiction Romance
A TOUCH OF FROST: MAGIC, NEW MEXICO BOOK 1
Copyright © 2014 by S. E. Smith
First E-Book Published Ju
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, locales, or organizations are strictly coincidental.
Lacey Adams lives in the small town of Magic, New Mexico, where she devotes herself to the animals at her Touch of Magic Animal Shelter. The strange assortment of animals helps heal the pain and loneliness inside her since the death of her husband three years before.
Frost is a Star Ranger. He travels the star systems, bringing intergalactic fugitives to justice. When a maximum-security fugitive escapes from the mining prison, he is sent after him. Only this time, the fugitive has violated a major law… he has traveled to a distant forbidden planet inhabited by a race that has not mastered space travel yet.
Now, he is in a race to find the fugitive before those on the planet known as Earth discover there are not one, but two aliens on their world. Things become complicated when Frost discovers his heart is not as frozen as he thought when a young human female is taken hostage by the fugitive. What he doesn’t anticipate is her unexpected resistance – both to the fugitive and to him.
Frost is forced to make a decision that is guaranteed to put him on the most wanted list when he follows his heart and kidnaps Lacey. He knows that some things are worth the risk. What he doesn’t know is that Lacey has a few secrets of her own.
Touch of Frost
Magic, New Mexico, Book One
Frost dropped down from the upper level of the Spaceport walkway, landing on silent feet. His eyes followed the small, but deadly figure of the fugitive, he had been seeking for the last week. The slight lift at the corner of his mouth was the only indication of his satisfaction. His target was very predictable, returning to his old hunting grounds at the first opportunity.
He straightened up from his half kneeling position, flickering a glance at the two men standing in the shadows of the seedy Port bar doorway. He ignored the men’s nervous glances as they moved deeper into the dark recesses of the bar. He did not have a warrant for anyone else on this Spaceport, so he didn’t bother wasting his time and energy on checking their status.
He had barely taken a step forward to follow when the communicator at his waist vibrated. He cast an annoyed glance at it before pressing the button to silence it. Almost immediately, it vibrated again. With a silent curse, he shut it off. Whatever headquarters wanted, it would have to wait. He was too close to his mark to stop now. Besides, it was easier to take care of the needed documentation after he had captured his target, since he could take care of both things at the same time.
He continued down the dark, narrow alleyway turning right at the corner. Three doors to the end, the fugitive he was after paused to look over his shoulder. Frost stepped back into the entrance of a small shop dealing in herbs for medicinal purposes. The door behind him was sealed for the night, but there was enough space for him to remain hidden. The cold metal bars the shop owner used for security pressed against his back as he waited.
He lowered his eyelids to hide the glow of his light blue eyes. As a member of the Glacian species, his body was adapted to the cold, dark environments often found in space. He could regulate his body temperature to deal with extreme temperatures that would freeze most other species and could see very well in the dim light. These features were just two of the assets that made his race excel as Star Rangers, especially since most of those wanted by the law tended to gravitate to the less than desirable sections of the Spaceports.
Frost listened from his position as the fugitive named Gasper pounded on the door to the dark shop. From the low curses Gasper uttered, it didn’t appear whoever owned the shop was in a hurry to answer him. Frost tilted his head as the door creaked opened and the sound of metal on metal echoed as the security gate was unlocked.
“What do you want, Gasper?” The low growl of a woman’s voice whispered. “I thought you were serving time on Jallus III.”
“I was,” Gasper stated bluntly. “Let me in, Newmar. I have business with your husband.”
“Not any longer. Hassur is dead,” Newmar replied.
“Then I have business with you,” Gasper snapped, glancing over his shoulder again. “I need weapons.”
“I don’t sell weapons,” Newmar snapped. “That is what killed Hassur. I told him it would end badly if he didn’t stop, but he wouldn’t listen. I only deal in fabrics now.”
“Surely you have something? I need a new identity as well. You know how to do that. At least, you can give me that,” Gasper rasped in disbelief.
“Go away, Gasper,” Newmar said. “I don’t do that anymore either. I have a child to think of, especially now that Hassur is gone.”
“I need a weapon and a new identity and you are going to get them for me,” Gasper snarled.
Frost’s mouth tightened when he heard the female cry out and the sound of screeching metal as the security door was yanked open. The sound of flesh meeting flesh and a young child’s cry pulled Frost from his hiding spot.
He moved swiftly down the alleyway. Gasper had already disappeared inside the small storefront. Frost could see the female lying on the floor, one hand against her mouth and the other gripping the hand of a small girl.
“Please, don’t hurt us,” Newmar whimpered. “Please, she is all I have left.”
“If you want to keep her, then find me the weapons I need and get me a new security pass,” Gasper threatened in a low, dangerous voice. “I know Hassur must have had some stashed away.”
“Don’t bother,” Frost commented calmly as he stepped into the room. “He won’t need it.”
Frost ignored the harsh curse that escaped Gasper. He was prepared for the other male’s reaction. He had studied the lizard species well. He raised his arm to deflect the long, forked tongue that shot out at him. The rough skin wrapped around his wrist instead of taking out his eyes.
Before Gasper could swing his long, jagged tail at him, Frost dropped his fingers to the tongue and focused. Shards of frost shot out from where he touched running up the long, rough tongue. He deepened the cold until the reddish skin turned to a faint whitish-pink color. Gasper’s eyes widened in horror and pain before his knees buckled under him as Frost wrapped his hand around the long tongue and twisted it. The sickening sound of ice breaking pulled a terrified, muffled scream from Gasper.
“From my research, that is one part of your body that will not grow back,” Frost commented as he snapped the remains of Gasper’s tongue from around his wrist. “You are hereby remanded to the custody of the Coalition under violation of the Star Act four-fifty-two, Region…”
Frost never finished his sentence. Gasper, choking on the remains of his tongue, reached for the knife he had in the waistband of his pants. Gasper threw the knife he had grabbed underhanded in the hopes of catching Frost off-guard. Those hopes died at the same time as he did.
Frost, seeing the movement of the other man’s hand, shot out his right hand, sending sharp blades of ice that pierced Gasper’s neck and chest while swinging up with the sword of ice he held in his left hand to slice through the blade coming toward him.
“… the penalty is death,” Frost finished, ignoring the screams from the woman and child. “If you should resist.”
Frost sighed as he stared disgruntledly down at the dead male. He hated it when they resisted, which was pretty much all the time. It always involved more documentation on his part.
Pulling the communicator off of his belt, he turned it on with a swipe of his thumb. He ignored the bored face that brightened up when the communications officer saw it was him. Instead, he quickly punched in the code for a Reaction Team.
“Hi Frost, Passion was trying to reach you. She isn’t very happy with you right now,” Scarlet told him as the request processed.
“What else is new? I need a cleanup team,” he bit out.
“Like you said, what else is new?” Scarlet joked. “I’ll send one once you’ve sent your position. I’m patching you over to Passion. She said the moment you made contact to let her know.”
“Don’t….” Frost started to say before sucking in a frustrated breath as Passion, the commanding officer of the Star Rangers, came on.
“I could say the same thing for you,” Passion snapped out. “You know you aren’t supposed to shut off your comlink.”
“I was busy,” Frost retorted. “The damn thing went off just as I was about to apprehend Gasper.”
“Apprehend my ass. You mean kill the bastard,” Passion retorted. “I have an urgent assignment for you.”
Frost glanced at the door Newmar had disappeared through with her daughter before looking down at the mangled body of Gasper. This was supposed to be his last assignment before returning to his world. He had more than enough credits saved up so that he wouldn’t have to work another day in his life if he didn’t want to. He did want to work, only this time, it would be at something he enjoyed. He missed his home world and wanted to join his older brother back on Glacier. It was past time for him to join Rime at the huge casino and hotel business they had been building over the past fifteen years.
“This was my last assignment,” Frost growled.
“No, the one I’m about to give you is your last,” Passion stated. “There has been an escape from Maxprime.”
“Max…” Frost clenched the communicator in his hand. “Who?”
“Taar,” Passion replied quietly. “This is top secret, Frost. You brought him in. I lost five good Star Rangers before that. You know how he thinks.”
“No one knows how that bastard thinks,” Frost growled. “How did he escape?”
“He killed eight guards as he was being transported for execution,” Passion stated coldly, looking to the side at the screen holding the details. “I’ll send you what we have. Frost, there is one more thing.”
“Isn’t there always,” he muttered under his breath before glaring at the dark red-skinned face of Passion. “Well, are you going to make me guess or are you going to tell me?”
Passion glanced away from the screen before returning her focus to it. Leaning forward, she stared intently into his eyes. The skin on the nape of his neck crawled. The only time that Passion acted like this was when something went wrong… very, very wrong.
“The tracker on the ship he stole shows he is heading for an undeveloped star system. There is only one planet in the region that he is heading to that has life on it. Reports from the database state that the species living there is very primitive.”
Frost grimaced with distaste. He hated primitive planets. They either tried to make him into a God of some sort or kill him. Either case didn’t sit well with him.
“How primitive? Have they mastered space travel?” He asked bluntly.
Passion shook her head. “No, not that we have any information on and there are no recorded instances of the species interacting with traders. The last reports we have indicate they had the rudimentary concepts of building with primitive tools and they believe they are the only life forms that exist.”
“Great! Can’t you just initiate the self-destruct on the transport he stole?” Frost asked.
Passion’s face twisted in distaste. “Taar stole the Warden’s private transport. The Warden had the self-destruct on the vessel deactivated. He didn’t want to take the chance of a disgruntled employee or one of the inmates gaining access to the coding and blowing him up.”
“Instead, he violates a direct procedure and has now endangered a primitive planet with limited defenses against someone like Taar,” Frost snapped back.
“I know that and you know that, Frost. This is why you must go after him. Taar killed hundreds before you captured him, including five of my best Star Rangers,” Passion said quietly. “One of the newest transports is on route to you. I’ll take care of the documentation for Gasper.”
“When will it arrive?” Frost asked in aggravation.
“Within the hour,” Passion responded. “And Frost, this time kill the bastard. That is a direct order from the Coalition. They do not want to take the chance on him escaping again.”
“They should have thought about that the first time I was ordered to go after him,” Frost replied, heatedly. “I’ll go, but this is it, Passion. My time as a Star Ranger is finished.”
“I understand,” Passion agreed with a tired sigh. “Just be careful and try to keep all knowledge of extraterrestrial life hidden. The Directors have given you permission to wipe the memories of any primitive species that you encounter.”
“And if I can’t?” Frost asked cynically. “What do they want me to do then?”
“Just use your best judgment, Frost,” Passion ordered. “If it becomes necessary to eliminate them as well, then do so. Out.”
Frost growled low under his breath. He had sworn he would protect and bring justice to the Coalition. It would appear that protection and justice did not lean toward lesser species. This was another reason why it was time to get out. He was tired of doing the Coalition's, namely the elected Director’s, dirty work.
He turned as a soft knock sounded on the outer door of the small shop. Several members of the RT, the Reaction Team, nodded to him as they entered. He quickly explained that the two females in the back were not to be disturbed. After making sure that his orders would be followed, he stepped back out into the dark alley. This time, he turned left, heading to the upper levels where the transport would arrive.