Recovering from years of sexual slavery and attempting to evade the death relentlessly stalking her on Talleo IV, celebrated neuro-psychologist, Dr. Angelica Giverny, crosses vast reaches of space. Committed to a higher purpose and in repayment to those who rescued her, she makes a new home on isolated, remote Verdantia.
A technical wizard and natural leader of men, Magellan DeLan rose rapidly to the position of captain on the converted star yacht, VNV Revertar. His priority passenger, the lovely, intelligent doctor, attracts him immediately and Mage plans a careful pursuit of the petite beauty when they arrive in port.
Landfall brings the unexpected—Tristan DeHelios, a nobleman whom Mage had worshipped as a young man. Tristan’s hungry appreciation for the now-grown star captain is carved on his elegant features. Tristan blatantly declares his dishonorable intentions, and while Mage yearns to say yes, he doesn't trust his heart to withstand the fallout. This man's rejection had devastated him years before.
For Angelica, Tristan DeHelios, her designated bodyguard, is entirely too enticing. When he pursues her as well as Mage, her emotions seethe and tangle. How can she chose between the honorable and gorgeous starship captain and a rogue whose carnal dominance challenges and provokes her at every turn? The suggestion she could have both upends her world.
When a dark menace tracks Angelica to Verdantia and pursues extraordinary lengths to terminate her life and those around her, the answer may become moot.
“Look at you. You’re even more fucking beautiful.” A surge of heat flooded Tristan. “You aren’t sixteen anymore, Mage. You’re a full-grown man. What’s it been? Eight years?” Tristan’s cock responded immediately to the lithe, muscled body of the ship’s captain as Tris pressed him into the wall with his pelvis. “So… I’m free to do now what I wouldn’t allow myself then.” Tris held Mage in a steady stare and his face descended by fractions of an inch, his intention clear. Swiftly, Mage’s hand wrapped his throat, halting his descent with impressive strength. “Fuck, Captain.” Tris leaned into the man’s steely grip, challenging him. “Do you really want me to stop?”
he pressure against his larynx eased almost imperceptibly. It was enough.
Tris studied him and muttered something under his breath that sounded like a curse. With an implacable hand, he guided Mage behind a large stack of cargo containers and out of sight of the crewman assigned to guard the entry to the ship. Silently, with a broad hand planted in the middle of Mage’s sternum, Tris pushed him back against the hard plasti-crate. “I’m going to kiss you again, Captain.”
Mage’s heart thudded in his chest and warmth flooded his lower body as Tristan’s face came inexorably closer. He stopped a hair’s breadth from Mage’s lips. His teeth gently caught Mage’s lower lip and sucked it into his mouth before Tris completed his gentle attack with a tactile meeting of lips and a tangle of tongues. His lips were the only place Tristan touched him, and it was devastating—as if years of pent up desire spilled out of his mouth into Mage. Mage’s cock strained at his pants, full-blown and painfully hard in a matter of seconds. He lost himself until Tris stepped back and put some space between them. Mage let his head fall back to rest on the crates, his mouth still pulsing from the sensual assault.
Tristan’s voice came out a warm, honeyed growl. “I intend to have you, you know.”
“Yeah. Message received, loud and clear,” Mage said with a soft laugh as he gazed skyward, never looking at Tristan. He couldn’t and remain composed. “Please leave, Tris. I have to stand here a few moments before I’m decent to board. Your presence won’t help.”
The man laughed, turned on his heel and walked into the night.
Mage raised his glass of wine in tribute to Angelica and took a sip. “My pleasure in this delicious dinner is exceeded only by my enchantment with my exquisite hostess.”
The lovely doctor lowered her gaze and a light flush spread over her cheeks. “I could say the same thing. I’m so glad you could dine with me tonight.” She cocked her head and her eyes sought his. She smiled shyly. “Should we finish our wine on the balcony? It is so beautiful, especially at night when the roof panels are open. I feel like I can reach out and touch the stars.”
“I’d enjoy that. After you.” Mage rose, helped her from her chair, then followed her out to the balcony. The subtle scent of her perfume went straight to his head. Of course, that could have been the third bottle of wine they’d shared—but he didn’t think so.
Angelica leaned against the railing and looked up into the velvet black above them. Bright sparkles of distant stars sprinkled the heavens. The major and minor Verdantian moons gleamed pale yellow in the sky. “Aren’t the stars beautiful? I never tire of watching them. You can’t see the heavens on Talleo IV. Our atmosphere is too polluted.”
“Yes, I’ve always thought the stars mesmerizing, but the stars possess a cold beauty.” Mage set his glass carefully on the balcony railing and moved to stand immediately behind her. He slipped his hands around the warm flesh of her waist. He felt her heartbeat thudding through her body and her breathing turn rapid, but she remained pliant under his hands. “You’re equally beautiful and you burn me like the nearest sun. Turn around, Angelica.”
She rotated slowly in his arms and stopped when eye-level with his chest. “Yes?” she whispered.
“I am going to make love to you,” he murmured. “If I have misread the signals tell me.”
Her head shook slowly and she raised her face. “You have misread nothing. I want you.”