Authors: Jennifer Leeland
Tags: #BDSM Futuristic Fantasy
He loved her? Sera stared at Leo’s face, white and still, her tears splashing his cheeks. Not now. He couldn’t tell her that now and then fucking die.
She lifted her head and screamed, a loud and horrendous sound that echoed back at her. God, she was going to destroy this place, this hellhole. It took him from her. It—
“Princess,” Leo whispered.
“Leo,” she said and buried her face in his neck. “Master, don’t leave me.”
“No, I won’t.” His hand stroked her hair. “Your mother loved you, loves you still. Hold on to that. You’re free. You always were. I’ll explain later.” He stirred and glanced at Shaun. “We have to get off this planet. Now.”
Shaun nodded. “You have a plan?”
Leo’s grin almost made Sera sob in relief. He’d only been unconscious for a few minutes, but she had been convinced he was going to die like her mother had. Now she didn’t know what to think. What had happened to him?
Leo nodded and rose a little unsteadily to his feet. His eyes closed, and he started to speak. Sera’s jaw dropped. The man was speaking the language of the stars, the one it had taken her years to learn. He just
The planet shifted and moved. It wasn’t the explosive power she had used, but a careful, methodical strength that flowed from Leo. She stared at him. It was his control, his discipline that kept the power streamlined and aimed directly at the remaining invaders.
His eyes snapped open. “We have to go. There’s a fighter still intact. We have to reach it before its pilot comes back.”
Leo tossed one of the laser rifles to Shaun. “Are you ready?”
The gleam in Shaun’s eyes was disturbing. “They killed my sister. I want blood.”
Sympathy mixed with apprehension filled Sera, and she glanced at Leo for reassurance. Her mate nodded; then his thumb stroked her cheek. “Ready, sweetheart?”
“I’m ready.” She wanted to get away from Placido.
“Let’s go. Stay close.” Leo placed his palm into the door lock and opened the door.
Sera stared at him.
How the hell did he do that
? Those doors were palmed only for her lineage, her bloodline. “How did you unlock that?” she demanded as they ran down the corridor.
“I’ll explain later.” They reached a T in the labyrinth, and Shaun and Leo checked around the corners.
Oddly, Leo seemed to know exactly where to go. Sera didn’t even ask. He’d probably just say he’d explain later. She focused on keeping up with the two men ahead of her.
The corridor began a sharp incline toward the surface, and they reached a heavy stone door that led to the outside. Again Leo unlocked and opened the door, and a blast of fresh air flooded the hall. Leo stuck his arm out to stop Sera when she surged forward to get outside. “Wait,” he whispered.
Voices shouted sharp orders to their right. There were more than five men out there. It sounded like an
of men. Sera trembled. She’d have to access that power, that overwhelming whirlwind of electricity. Perhaps her mother had been right, and it was her destiny to be hollowed out by Placido.
Her fingers touched her forearm. She would miss Leo. He loved her. She loved him. Why couldn’t that be enough?
But it wasn’t. There were several men out there who wanted to kill her, whose one purpose in life was to end hers. To win, she would have to give all she had to the planet. God, she couldn’t stop shivering. Goose bumps dotted her arms beneath her flight suit.
Suddenly Leo wrapped an arm around her and yanked her close. “You’re worried,” he said.
She nodded and couldn’t meet his gaze. He ducked down and pressed his lips to hers for a kiss that ended too soon. “Don’t be. You don’t have to be at this planet’s mercy ever again. Trust me, Princess.”
What did he mean? How would they survive? She bit her lip. Could she trust him in this? After all, he’d opened the doors. He’d known the ancient language. If Placido had chosen Leo as a recipient of its secrets, then shouldn’t she have faith in him? To her knowledge, her planet had never allowed an alien access to the twisted corridors, yet Leo had access to locks and passageways only she had known about.
He’d saved her before. Perhaps he could save them all now. She nodded, and he smiled. “Good girl.” She couldn’t believe what a difference a smile made to his face. It was like all the lights came on, and she wanted to bask in his approval.
Instead he closed his eyes and began to murmur low in the ancient language she knew so well. She started to speak, to help, to join him. Without opening his eyes, he placed a finger on her lips. Warm and firm, she enjoyed the feel, the texture of his touch. Anything he wanted, she’d give it to him.
Like an overture to a beautiful musical piece, the power rose. She felt it vibrate through her, around her, but it didn’t touch her. What had he done? She clutched his arm. It would take him, empty him.
But this was different.
Low and wicked, the power hummed around him, then directed toward the men outside. It shot out like an arrow. Unlike her grip on the planet’s power, Leo held it firmly but lightly. Instead of the upheaval, the explosive expense of force, it honed in on the target, hitting right where Leo wanted it to go.
The shouts of aggression turned to screams of fear. Shaun’s body tensed. “Let me out there.”
“In a moment. You’ll have your chance.” Leo drew the power back, releasing it gently.
When his eyes opened, she stared at their odd color. Swirling greens and golds glowed in his eyes and faded slowly. She blinked. “How did you do that?”
He cupped her face and kissed her gently, thoroughly. “It’s like every relationship, my love. It’s a power exchange. I gave and took. The planet gave and took.” He hefted the laser rifle. “Let’s go pay a visit to the Brotherhood.”
Shaun’s growl was inhuman as he sprinted from their hiding place. Leo and Sera followed. Two assassins died instantly. Shaun killed many more on their way to the fighter they planned to steal. Sera risked a glance over her shoulder and caught a glimpse of the wanton destruction the assassins had done to her home, her planet. Her heart clenched. So much damage. So much anger. Why did they want to kill her?
“Don’t look back, Princess,” Leo murmured and gently urged her forward.
They sprinted through the thick forest, shouts of anger following them. A man appeared from behind a tree and fired on them. Leo ducked and yanked her with him, the shot just missing them. Shaun burned the killer to ashes.
“Keep moving,” Leo ordered.
Confusion seemed to fill the forest, and a fire exploded behind them. The trees burned. The smoke choked Sera; tears poured down her cheeks. Her home, the forest, all destroyed. She stumbled ahead of Leo and wiped her wet face.
“I’m sorry, Princess,” Leo whispered in her ear. “I’m so sorry.”
A sob stuck in her throat, but she kept running. Away from the blaze, away from the temple, away from the shreds of what was left of her home. Shaun continued to fire ahead of them, his laser rifle accurate and vicious.
They reached the fighter, and Shaun slammed his hand onto the button that opened the hatch to the cockpit. “It’s going to be a tight squeeze.”
“You fly. The princess can ride on my lap in the back.” Leo hefted his rifle and covered Shaun as he climbed into the cockpit.
Sera gripped the side of the fighter and hauled her ass inside. Leo fired twice at incoming assassins.
Shit. There were so many of them
. Shaun started up the engines of the fighter, and Sera heard the whine of the weapons. He sent laser fire into the trees while Leo hopped into the back. “Go,” Leo yelled.
Shaun maneuvered the fighter into the air, and with g-forces making every movement difficult, Leo yanked her into his lap and snapped them both in. The air whipped around them, and finally, Shaun closed the cockpit door.
The fighter jerked into the air, and Shaun zigzagged through the Placido atmosphere, laser fire burning past them. She and Leo were plastered together, her breath on his neck and his hands wrapped around her. When his hands wandered, she squirmed. “What are you doing? We could get shot down.”
He angled her head so he could kiss her. “All the more reason to enjoy the moments we have left.”
She laughed, and he plundered her mouth. His lips made her forget they were crammed into a small space. His kiss made her forget everything except the warmth of his hands and the heat of his body. She melted, his, wanting him beyond anything else. In his arms, she was a woman, not a princess.
He groaned, his erection pressed into her ass. She shifted to torment him and was rewarded with the bruising clench of his hands around her hips. The kiss went on and on. She drifted, falling, blending with him.
“Where the hell are we going?” Shaun’s voice interrupted them.
Leo slowly broke their kiss and kept his gaze locked with hers as he answered. “Conner and Rhea are rendezvousing with us.” He rattled off coordinates. “They’ll be armed, so make sure you give them the right identification codes.” Leo brushed her mouth with his.
“It would help if you’d do it,” Shaun muttered.
“You’re not giving me shit, are you, Shaun?” Leo asked in a sharp tone. God, he had that dominant pitch down pat. Sera shivered at the sound of his voice.
Shaun was silent, but Sera wondered if he minded Leo’s mark that much. Probably not. She gasped when Leo’s hand slipped inside her flight suit and captured her nipple between his fingers.
For the entire harrowing flight to meet with Rhea and Conner, Leo touched every inch he could reach. His mouth moved over her neck, his fingers stroked her breasts, and she arched helplessly in his lap. She thought she was going to go crazy if he didn’t fuck her. He even teased her clit with his fingers and then licked them once they were wet with her cum. She whimpered and willed Shaun to fly faster.
“A Nyral transport, fifty clicks,” Shaun announced.
Leo’s mouth was fused to hers, and he took his sweet time letting go. His cock dug into her soft skin, and his breath was a little faster. It thrilled her that he was as turned on as she was. He squeezed her ass and answered Shaun, “Identity code. Nyral Two Fifty-five. Send it twice.”
Shaun was silent for a moment and then, “We’ve been cleared to dock.”
“We’ll be safe, Princess. Conner managed to get a Class-Z transport with laser cannons and eight laser guns.” Leo stroked her back.
“Nice. How did he get one of those?” She slid her fingers across his neck.
“He called in some favors.” Leo’s hands wandered, setting fires along her skin even through her pants. “Best thing? He has some large quarters on it with showers.”
“You know. Those things where you get naked and water pours over you.” His voice was rough and low. She shuddered and arched her back, which pressed his dick harder into her skin. God, she wanted him.
“And Conner is a Nyral dom, so he has some other things I’m going to need.” He kissed her neck.
“Like what?” The words came out before she could stop them. She was afraid to know.
“Like handcuffs.” He brushed her lips with his. “And floggers.” He pressed his lips behind her ear. “And other…things.”
She was going to explode. God, she couldn’t handle the burning, raging desire that coursed through her. For the first time in her life, someone else controlled everything, and she didn’t mind at all. Her whole focus narrowed on Leo and his touch. She needed to ask him questions, like how he’d known the language of the stars. And how he’d harnessed the power. But his hands and his mouth kept distracting her.
The fighter docked, but she barely noticed it. Leo kissed her deeply just before Shaun opened the cockpit door. When the stale air inside the docking bay hit her, she was still floating, immersed in Leo, in his touch.
Shaun reached out a hand to help her out, and Leo growled low in his throat. Immediately Shaun withdrew his hand. “I apologize.” He kept his gaze lowered, and Leo cleared his throat.
“No, I apologize, Shaun. I trust you to touch my mate.” But Sera noted Leo’s muscles were bunched. She made sure she barely touched the other man when he helped her out of the fighter.
A door opened, and Sera caught a glimpse of Rhea and Conner. It stunned her how different Rhea appeared.
When Sera had met her, she’d been attacking Blueshift Brotherhood assassins. Her short blonde hair was the same, but she appeared comfortable, at ease. Before, she’d seemed less certain of her mate. Conner’s glance flicked to his mate, and Sera envied the woman. If a man looked at her like that… She turned her gaze to Leo and discovered the same possessive, intense look in his eyes. Sera’s heart pounded in her chest so hard she was sure everyone could hear it.
Maybe she didn’t have to envy Rhea. That expression seemed to say she
to Leo. It created conflicting feelings for Sera. Part of her reveled in it, desired Leo’s possession above everything. Part of her wondered what she would do if he abandoned her, or rejected her. That thought terrified her.
Leo introduced Shaun. “He has been a Brotherhood assassin to save his sister. And he just watched her die.” Rhea made a distressed sound.
Abruptly all the warmth Sera had felt dissipated, and the vision of Shaun’s sister, sliced in two, rose in her memory. She glanced at Shaun and resisted the urge to touch him, comfort him. He stood beside Leo, stiff and expressionless.
Leo continued, “His slate is clean. He is a Nyral dominant.”
“Leo—” Shaun said.
Leo stopped him. “We’re done. You know the rules.”
Shaun nodded and then stuck his hand out. “Thank you.” Sera heard the unspoken “Master” at the end of the sentence. It gave her a feeling of camaraderie with Shaun. She too thought of Leo as “Master.” What surprised her was the lack of jealousy. She glanced at Leo and met his stare. Would that intense desire always be there? And would her breath always stop when she saw it? When he looked at her like that, it was as if he was touching her, stroking her skin.
“You got the items I requested?” Leo asked Conner.
Conner grinned. “They’re all ready. Section five, room four.”