Authors: Mina Carter
Tags: #Sci-fi Erotic Romance
“And you’re sure she’s okay? They’ve not…”
The deep, male voice answered all her questions and brought the little scene in the empty barracks slamming back into her memory.
“I beg your pardon, Admiral?”
Wynter’s eyes snapped open and focused on the small group at the bottom of her bed. Along with the tall, white-haired form of her father, in full uniform of course, with all the braids and ceremonial bullshit it came with, was a small group of nervous-looking doctors.
“What he means is, did the dogs who fucked his daughter manage to get her pregnant?”
Several of the doctors jumped at her caustic comment, turning to her as she sat up. Fuck, her head hurt like a bitch. She lifted a hand but couldn’t find a knot at the back of her skull. Her fingers came away clear of blood. Memory fed her more detail, and she grimaced. Bastards had stunned her.
She looked up to meet her father’s eyes, green, like hers. The lines around them had deepened in the years since she’d seen him. He actually looked concerned, not that she believed that for a second. Her father played with emotions like others played chess. Ruthlessly.
She didn’t bother with his rank even though technically he was her superior officer. He might hold a higher position than she did, but any and all respect for him had disappeared when she’d found out that he’d maneuvered her into marrying Ferris, promising her ex-husband promotion and privilege if he could control her.
Wankers. Both of them.
“No…not at all. Wynter, there’s no need to be crude.”
Her father blustered, a tide of red washing up his neck as it always did when she swore. It was anger, though, not mortification. He’d always been a controlling bastard, which was why her mother had been planning to leave him. Only the fact that she’d been killed in a flitter crash on the way back from a shopping trip had stopped her.
“There’s every reason.” She pushed off from the bed and dropped to her bare feet. The cold floor made her toes want to curl up, but she ignored the feeling. At least she’d been dressed when the goon squad arrived to subdue them, even if the standard-issue tank top and shorts did nothing for her in the style stakes.
She shot the senior doctor a hard look, voice just shy of a demand. “Am I good to go?”
The guy managed a slow nod, his gaze trying to slide sideways to her father for approval. Wynter sighed.
“Eyes on me, Doctor Calahan. I’m the patient here. Admiral Daniels is not listed as my next of kin, and I think you’ll find, if you bother to read my records, that he is not authorized to access my medical information. So if you’ve divulged anything to him, you’re in contempt of a court order.”
That little nugget of information dropped into the room like a lead balloon. At least three of the doctors looked like their eyes were going to bug out of their heads, and her father sighed.
,” Calahan argued. “
Commander in Chief. He has access to everything!”
“Ordinarily, yes, unless prohibited by a restraining order.” Wynter grinned, but the expression wasn’t a nice one. “In this case, court order number nine-one-seven-three-four-nine expressly prohibits Admiral Daniels from gaining any information on me, my whereabouts, or my medical status over and above what is required for me to carry out my duties as a Coalition soldier. As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, it prohibits you from telling him whether or not I am pregnant.”
She ignored her father completely as she approached the end of the bed. “Now, am I fit to be released for duty? Or is there any
reason I am being kept here?”
Calahan shook his head. “No, Sergeant. You are one hundred percent fit and healthy. Just be a little careful over the next few hours, and if you develop a headache, then come right back to see me in case of concussion.”
“Got it. Thank you. Excuse me please, gentlemen.” Again, she paid no attention to her father as she skirted around the small group of doctors and headed for the door. As expected, her father was hot on her heels.
“Wynter, wait. Please.”
The last word made her pause in the corridor. She couldn’t once recall her father using the word. Not with her, or any member of their family. Ever.
“Listen, I know I’ve made mistakes. But please, I want to put this right—”
Her eyebrow shot up as she rounded on him, ignoring a scuffle farther up the corridor for a moment.
“Right? So having my partners and I stunned and taken into custody was an attempt to put things
He had the grace to look discomforted and back up a step.
“I know, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that they’d go in so aggressively. I certainly didn’t realize that they’d use stun guns.” He sighed, his shoulders slumping tiredly.
Wynter frowned. He looked…old. Worn. Tired. More shouts down the hall tugged at her, but she kept her gaze firmly on the man in front of her. For the first time she saw him as a man, rather than the father who’d tried to control her life with an iron rod until she’d had enough and walked away.
“I’ve disciplined the officers concerned. When they carried you in…” He looked up, and she was startled to see tears in the corners of his eyes. “I’m sorry, Wyn. I screwed up. I tried to control everything. You, your mother… And look where it got me. Maggie was going to leave, and I have to rely on military intelligence to track down my own damn daughter. Things shouldn’t be this way… Please, let me make it right.”
Her anger eased a little as tears ran down his face, right there in the middle of the medical bay. In public. Her father, Admiral Daniels, Commander in Chief of the Coalition forces, was crying.
Familiar voices rang out, barking orders. “Okay, move it along here people. Nothing to see.”
“You heard the man, haven’t you people got jobs to go to?”
Camden and Rennick appeared out of nowhere, surrounding them and moving people on to spare her father’s pride. She paused, a war raging within her. She’d been angry at him for so long but… God, hadn’t she made mistakes herself? Wasn’t she responsible, at least in part, for the situation they found themselves in? The bottom of her stomach disappeared in a sickening lurch. For heaven’s sake, she’d gotten a court order against her own father when all he’d tried to do the last couple of times they’d spoken was reconnect with her. The little part of her that had always wanted—needed—that came rushing to the fore, and her pride wavered a little. Taking two steps forward, she put a reassuring hand on his arm, rubbing it as his shoulders shook.
“Shh, it’s okay. We…we can give it a try,” she murmured, looking over his shoulder and seeing the tall figures of her two dogs. She smiled, and a warm feeling spread out from the center of her chest when they smiled back, warmth and support in their eyes.
It wasn’t a fairy-tale ending, but she’d seen too much to believe in fairy tales anymore. What it was, was a start—a happily for now—and that was all any soldier could ask for.
And it was all she needed.
Mina was born and raised in the East Farthing of Middle Earth (otherwise known as the Midlands, England) and spend her childhood learning all the sorts of things generally required of a professional adventurer. Able to ride, box, shoot, make and read maps, make chainmail and use a broadsword (with varying degrees of efficiency) she was disgusted to find that adventuring is not considered a suitable occupation these days.
So, instead of slaying dragons and hunting vampires and the like, Mina spends her days writing about hot shifters, government conspiracies and vampire lords with more than their fair share of RAWR. Turns out wanna-be adventurers have quite the turn of imagination after all...
(But she keeps that sword sharp, just in case the writing career is just a dream and she really *is* an adventurer.)
The boring part
: A full time author and cover artist, Mina can usually be found hunched over a keyboard or graphics tablet, frantically trying to get the images and words in her head out and onto the screen before they drive her mad. She's addicted to coffee and would like to be addicted to chocolate, but unfortunately chocolate dislikes her.
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