Authors: Elle Amour
Jinn of Svendia must bond
with her onetime enemy Captain Drakkar of Vulgaria. This bond that will bring
peace to both their planets. But peace is not for Jinn—not now.
First, she must first
complete her vow to take revenge against her father’s killer. Yet she can’t let
Drakkar know. He would try to stop her. As much as she needs Drakkar’s touch
and the feel of his warm, strong body, she must avenge her father’s death—a
death she witnessed as her father pushed her to safety.
Only if she succeeds can
she go back to Drakkar—that’s if she survives.
find Jinn. She’s in peril and he can’t let her die. He needs her more than she
knows. His body yearns for her and once they have bonded, the peace will be
complete. He will find her. He must. His people—and his body and soul—must have
her to be complete.
from Ellora’s Cave
To my husband Major Tom Fuller.
He ducked into another alley.
Staying hidden in the tar-black shadows, Jinn of Svendia
followed her target. Voices sounded around the bend. She held her breath and
pressed her cheek against the cold brick on the edge of a corner building. Had
others joined the biodroid?
She listened for a clue as mist from the recent rain coated
her cheek. Jinn chilled but it wasn’t the cold that caused her gooseflesh.
It was the danger.
The voices grew louder except from the one she followed.
Cassius spoke. The deep resonance of her uncle’s biodroid seemed to mesmerize
the men, lulling them into an acceptance of his presence.
Others not with
She exhaled, relieved. The cloaked man/machine she tailed would be
hard enough to tackle.
Perhaps too hard.
Her prey talked a few minutes more. One man laughed, a nasty
hoarse sound that echoed of hard men. She would need to move soon.
Jinn sucked in a deep draught of air and steadied herself.
The smell of swill, made worse from the downpour, accosted her nostrils, a
combination of vomit and rotting refuse that lay on the battered stone of the
crisscrossed alleys. Jinn crinkled her elite Svendian nose and forced down the
bile rising in her throat.
Can’t lose him now.
A fear-driven pulse beat a staccato in her neck. Peeking
around the corner, she took a quick scan of the scene. A small fire globe lit
the otherwise pitch-black alley. The fingers of light barely reached the walls.
Four men huddled around its warmth, drinking, snorting and punching each other
with jocularity. Her deadly quarry hastened by them.
Briefly one of the men spoke to the shrouded man again. The
one she stalked opened his cape to reveal something then flipped the street rat
a copper. The filthy man bit the coin to test its metal. Satisfied, the
appointed leader of the ragtag group dismissed the intruder and allowed him to
Jinn inhaled another breath then slowly released it through
her parted lips. She prayed her ease of passage would be as swift. Gangs such
as these were known to be scurrilous.
Her target moved to another darkened lane. A coin ready in
one hand, she fingered her phaser with her other, clicking off the safety just
in case. Telrusia was always a dangerous planet but the bowels of Broukosa were
the worse—especially for a female.
Thank God she’d disguised herself as a Svendian male.
Watching her quarry disappear, she moved to follow, keeping
as much as she could to the shadows.
“Hey, there.” One of the drunkards spied her before she
could pass. “This ’ere’s our territory. You have tuh rally some coin for
She tossed him the ancient form of payment used here and
hastened her pursuit.
“Tain’t ’nough. Stop him,” the man she’d paid shouted.
One of the roughnecks grabbed her arm before she could make
good her escape. “My, you’re a scrawny one, ain’t ye? But purty for a damn
boy.” His ham-sized fist squeezed her arm. His gruff tone made him more
menacing. “We might could use this one if’n we don’t get a female.” He leaned
into her as he spoke. His fetid breath made her want to choke. “It would be
your price for passage.” The vile man studied her as he muttered the last. She
jerked her arm but his hand tightened its grip.
In some dark shadow, the sound of a scuffle reached them
then a muffled cry for help. Another Telrusian male appeared from the dark, the
tallest and broadest of the group. His burly arms imprisoned a scantily clad
female who struggled in his grasp. A young Nyphosian priestess from a sex rites
temple, by the looks of her. Jinn figured she’d come from one of the embassy
outlets the Nyphosians had recently set up on the planet. Still, the Telrusian
government had taken pains to protect the offworlders as part of their free-trade
agreements. How the hell did the woman get in this rotten section of town?
“Hit me, Kirkos! Yuh done it. Get the rings,” the presumed
leader ordered his returning companion as he approached the woman. “Hold her
The muscle-armed thug held her out to the leader who
proceeded to rip off what little bodice the woman had. Tossing the cloth aside,
he fingered her breasts as she struggled to get away.
Jinn sneered. The rulers on this world, no
matter their level of power, were always the first to enjoy the perverted
pleasures they found.
The thought made her sick.
But she had no time for that now. Jinn eyed the Telrusian
who held her. Drool formed at the corners of his mouth. He licked his lips. His
grip loosened, awestruck by the sight of the woman’s naked flesh.
Time to go.
Jinn squashed the sympathy that rose in
her for the female and her impending rape. Time was running out. She had a
killer to find. Still, she had to force herself away from the horrid scene. As
the leader tore off the woman’s pantaloons, Jinn eased her arm from the bastard
that held her and rushed after her prey. She glanced down the lane as she
reached the passage, relieved she could still pinpoint the hooded figure. Her target
neared the far corner.
The woman behind her screamed. Jinn spun on her heel in time
to see the leader snap Telrusian nipple rings on the woman, a nefarious device
made to control the subject, one that promised to bring pleasure.
Or intense pain.
With these men, Jinn figured on the latter. Even for a
Nyphosian, that was too much. Such an extreme could do serious harm and these
men weren’t above that gesture.
The leader had one more ring in his hand and now fingered the
priestess’s clit with his other. “Grab her,” the Telrusian ordered as the woman
kicked her legs. Two of the men pulled her thighs apart. The leader moved to
place the ring on her sex.
Jinn watched. They were going to enslave
her. Once on, the device was almost impossible to get off without killing the
victim. The woman turned. Her eyes reached Jinn’s.
Jinn glanced down the darker alley and watched her quarry
vanish. “God’s teeth,” she whispered through her gritted teeth but she couldn’t
let this happen. A rape was bad enough but it was temporary. Enslavement would
be for the rest of the woman’s life.
Snapping the phaser from the folds of her cloak, Jinn fired
and evaporated the leader’s hand and the ring along with it.
The headman moaned and fell to the ground with the brunt of
the hit. The others dived for the shadows. “Defend yourself,” Jinn yelled at
the woman who’d been dragged down by the one who had brought her, although Jinn
knew most Nyphosians had no idea how to do that.
One of the other Telrusians fired but Jinn had already
ducked for cover behind the corner of another building. She fired again, twice,
hitting one man and missing the other as he jumped.
The burly one backed into a wall across the way, using the
Nyphosian as a shield. Circling behind him was the only way for Jinn to free
the priestess, and although Jinn’s power pack was low and initiating a cloaking
shield would deplete the energy cell, going invisible was the only way to
protect herself and get around the huge piece of dung. She pressed the button
and disappeared as a brisk wind whistled through the scarred street, scattering
trash and letting some of the larger pieces fly into the night.
Using the noise to cover any sound that would alarm the gang
of her approach, Jinn hurried to the woman’s defense. In moments, she stood
behind the fiend. Some of the airborne garbage struck the brick at the
Telrusian’s back. The man swerved in response. By ill-chance his elbow
body-checked Jinn’s side, causing her phaser to fly off into one of the
stagnant pools of rainwater.
She grunted and fell to the ground as her power pack
sputtered then died, exposing her. Sucking in air, Jinn jumped up and prepared
for hand-to-hand battle as her hood fell and revealed the braid of her long
“Weel, what ’ave we ‘ere,” another of the men still standing
Jinn glanced a second at the ground. The onetime leader was
passed out on the cobblestone. She scanned the remaining gang as they circled
her, backing away to keep them in sight.
One of them rubbed his grimy paws together. “Twos women.
We’s gonna have some fun t’night.”
The closest creep to her left lunged. She was ready.
Ducking, she crouched and power-punched him in the scrotum. “Stupid Telrusian,”
she muttered. They were so proud to flaunt their wide-assed dicks that they
never did protect their sex. Too much trouble to uncover them as they tried to
take a woman. That was these bottom-dwellers’ motto.
The arrogant practice proved to be this man’s undoing. He
grasped his balls and retreated behind the others.
The larger man tossed the Nyphosian to his comrade and
yanked Jinn by her braid.
“Ooof.” The giant forced the air from her lungs as he
slammed her against his solid chest. Squeezing her ribs, he tried to deplete
her oxygen even more. She was sure the effort was to make her pass out, not to
kill. They needed her alive, at least for a while, but most Telrusians didn’t
like women who fought them.
She jerked her head back, smashing the bridge of his nose.
He bellowed in pain.
She elbowed him as hard as she could
in the ribs. Kicking her legs upward to get some height and momentum, she then
jerked her feet down, trying to touch ground enough to bend and use the
bastard’s weight to throw him, but he was too big and fast for her to complete
the move. Using the bulk of his body, he pulled against her. His sinewy
steel-banded arms tightened around her. She tried to reach his elbow to use a
nerve pinch but her vision darkened too quickly. She felt weak, as if someone
were near, someone she wanted to elude.
No. Not happening.
She tried to catch the scent once
more but now she could hardly breathe.
The Nyphosian shrieked. Suddenly the massive arms loosened
and Jinn fell to the street.
Sucking in a few quick breaths, Jinn picked herself off the
ground and took in the battle. Three other men had surrounded them and were
fighting the others. The scent of the one she feared had disappeared.
Or my hidden desire.
The new thugs fought in the shadows. She eyed the fighters
more closely. Unkempt beards covered the men’s chins. Long straggly hair hung
past their shoulders and they’d smeared Telrusian war paint on their faces and
bodies. In the dark, it was too hard to make out much more than their war
A competing gang.
Yes. That had to be it.
No help here. Hell.
All Jinn and the priestess needed were to be captured and enslaved by some
“Come on.” She grabbed the Nyphosian’s hand, thankful the
fuckers had left the priestess’s shoes on, then ran with the woman, pushing the
priestess to her limits as Jinn made a dash for the alleyway that her target
She scanned the emptiness as they rushed onto the darker
street. Sounds of the battle raged behind them. Jinn heard one, then two, of
the men scream in pain as the fighting heated.
Yanking the female along, she ducked into the turn where
she’d seen her prey go.
“Damn,” she murmured, knowing she’d
probably lost him. She ran on with the woman.
How could she get
another lead on him? Frustration threatened to overtake her. Over four Svendian
moon cycles had passed since she began the quest to find her scheming uncle. As
the former headmaster of Svendia, her Uncle Craddock had secretly spurred the
war between her people and the Vulgarians, a war that had killed many including
her father, Ulrich the Bold. A time that almost destroyed her as well. Before
they could incarcerate Craddock, his biodroid, Cassius, a part-man, part-nanobyte
technology fusion, had spirited him away.
By following Cassius, it had taken her this long to get this
A snarl rode low in her throat. If it wasn’t
for those who pursued her, she would’ve had Craddock by now, but Drakkar the
Ruthless, one of the Vulgarians’ premier military minds, had claimed her as
mate. He wanted to bond with her to seal the peace between their two peoples,
wanted her based on the shared drive of their race, a drive that told someone
who their mate was based on the pheromones in their scent.
Yet the man no longer wanted her to be a warrior.
Fuck him. Fuck the damned cold, calculating bastard. Still,
her body burned when she thought of the raven-haired leader and the deep forest-green
eyes of his that bore into her inner being. Deep sexual stirrings threatened to
overwhelm her once again, an uncontrolled hunger for carnal release.
Yet she hated the man. Hated him for the reasons he wanted
her. Oh, she knew. At first he had wanted someone more pliable for his scheme.
Someone he could control.
Her untried niece, Mercedes.
Yet when the
primal yearning hit him, he could not stop it. He claimed Jinn.
She pressed her eyes shut to dispel the erotic thoughts of
his hard, naked body next to hers.
. She couldn’t think of that now.
It would drive her to distraction.
She had to
. To him,
she was only a tool, someone to produce needed heirs for his people.
Someone to make fast the peace.
She gnashed her teeth. After her father’s death, she’d
decided to never bond. For one, childbirth bothered her. She’d seen her aunt, a
woman she respected and admired, die on a remote primitive planet because the
child had come too early. More importantly, though, she needed to be a
warrior—a status that her people would not allow for a fertile female. Yet when
Jinn witnessed her sire killed by unjust and tortuous means, she disavowed the
life of a breeder and swore she’d get the killer.