The moment Sonja Grekov bounced into my head while I was writing 3013: RENEGADE, I knew she needed her own story. What I didn’t know at the time was that she was going to budge ahead of everyone else in line and insist I tell her story next. She wanted her freedom, to forge her own way in life and finally be allowed to make her own decisions. When she finally took charge of her own future, Sonja’s choices brought her face to face with her destiny, along a whole lot of trouble.
I knew Sonja was going to need someone who could cope with her talent for finding trouble. Men who could love and protect her without denying her the freedom she craved. And so I created Trevar Storm and Deacon Wilde, two elites who had yet to find their own destiny, and were no strangers to trouble themselves. I really enjoyed writing about three personalities who didn’t fit the life they were leading, each of them wanting something more, and none of them knowing where to find that missing piece.
We all have that ideal we dream of, whether it be the perfect love, or our dream job, or trip to somewhere we’ve always wanted to go. Making dreams come true takes courage, faith, and a little bit of luck. I hope all of you find what you dream of, and find your own version of happily ever after.
Sonja Grekov has spent her life in a gilded cage, trapped by her wealthy family’s expectations and the scroll tattoo on her face that declares her to be one of the coveted fertile women on Earth. No longer willing to be a pawn to further her parents’ ambition, she finally finds the courage to break free before she can be claimed in a loveless match. She is determined to set her own path, but never expected where it would take her...
Trevar Storm and Deacon Wilde are Alliance Elites, but there’s nothing elite about their current assignment. They crew one of the oldest freighters in the fleet, ferrying goods across Alliance controlled space with just each other for company. With a reputation for trouble and no chance at promotion, the two men are planning for the day they can go into business for themselves and leave their military lives behind.
A straightforward supply run turns into a life changing event when the two elites discover a treasure hidden in their cargo bay. Keeping their sexy stowaway may bring the full wrath of the Alliance down on their heads, but Trevar and Deacon won’t let her go without a fight. Will their journey end in heartache, or can three misfit hearts find love in the darkness between the stars?
“Hello? If you can hear me, make some noise.”
Another groan, this one a little louder, reached his ears. Well, whoever it was, they weren’t dead. Though after experiencing blackout levels of g-forces while being imprisoned in a containment field, they were probably suffering from a headache that would make them wish they were dead.
He carefully shifted several crates, tunneling down toward the sound. When he lifted the last box, his heart seized in his chest and he had to take a second look to confirm he wasn’t hallucinating. Nope. That was definitely a woman. Her dress was dirty and torn, and her dark brown hair was lying in a tangle across her face, but there was no way she was a hallucination. Neither was the delicate scroll tattoo he could see peeking out through the strands of her chestnut hair.
He toggled his wrist unit and sent a verbal-only message to Trevar. “Get down to the cargo bay, right fucking now. We have a problem.”
“Shit. I don’t want problems, Deke, I want to get going. Can’t it wait?”
“No.” He heard Trevar sigh heavily, the other man’s frustration a near tangible thing even through the comms.
“What the fuck is it that can’t wait until we’re out of orbit? Did you find our mystery cargo? Please tell me it’s something valuable.”
“More like priceless,” Deke muttered as their stowaway moaned softly and opened her eyes for the first time. Dark lashes framed a pair of blue eyes the color of glacial ice, and for a moment they stared at each other in silence.
“Deke? What the fuck are you talking about?” Trevar’s voice broke the spell.
“You’re going to need to see this for yourself. Move your ugly ass, and bring your med-kit.”
“What the hell? Are you hurt?”
“Not for me, for the kitten in the cargo bay.”
Deke ignored the next outburst from Trevar and focused his attention on the woman staring up at him. “Who the hell are you, and what are you doing hiding in my cargo bay?”
Sonja felt like she’d been run over by a transpo, twice. Her chest ached and her head throbbed like it might explode at any second. She remembered the engines roaring to life, but after that things went fuzzy. When her eyes finally focused, she found herself looking up at a handsome man with a stern expression on his face. He had a short, well-trimmed beard that was a shade darker than the cropped red hair on his head, and even from this odd angle she could see enough of his steel-gray uniform to know he was a member of the Alliance.
“Had to…get away. Hiding. Didn’t want them to find me,” she said, her voice coming out as a gritty whisper. She hated how weak she sounded, and cleared her throat to try again. “I’m Sonja.”
“Who was chasing you? No one said anything to us about trouble back at the base.”
She shook her head, and then groaned as the small movement sent pain stabbing into her skull. “Long story. Where am I?”
“You’re on board our freighter, the Arca, and you are a long way from home, Sonja.”
“Good.” The further away she was from the base, the better. With any luck they’d gone deeper into the badlands.
Someone came running, their footsteps loud enough to make her ears ring. There was something wrong with their stride though. It seems as though there was too much time between footfalls. Sonja stirred, ignoring her aches and pains to focus all her attention on her surroundings. She pressed down on the floor and found herself rising off the ground. The gravity wasn’t right. “We’re not on Earth?”
“We’re in orbit around it,” the officer stated. “I’m Deacon, by the way. Are you hurt? I found blood on the bay floor.”
Sonja ignored his question and asked one of her own, instead. “Are you going to turn me in?”
“That depends on why you’re hiding in our cargo bay,” a new voice spoke, and Sonja realized this must be the source of the footsteps she’d heard.
Deacon turned his head to speak to someone behind him. “I didn’t want to move her until you got here. I think she’s fine, but—”
“I’m okay. I just wasn’t expecting my first trip into space to be so, uh, violent.”
Deacon moved back and another man appeared in her field of vision. He was older than Deacon, with dark hair that was several inches longer than it should have been considering he was clearly another Alliance officer. His steel-gray eyes matched his uniform, and his expression was one of bemusement as he looked down at her. “Hello, kitten. I’m Lieutenant Trevar Storm, and you are not supposed to be back here.”
“Like what you see?” Trevar’s question came out as a roughened growl as he took a step toward her, then another. She felt like rabbit being hunted by a pair of eagles, if the eagles were really, really big.
“If I say yes, what happens next?”
Deke actually chuckled at that. “What would you like to happen, sweetheart?”
“Um….” She lifted her hands, palms up, as she struggled to find the right words.
“Funny, you didn’t have any problem showing us what you wanted last night. Ah, that’s the problem, isn’t it, we’re talking too much.” Trevar walked up to her and set his hand down on the counter to her right, while Deke mirrored his actions on her left.
She was caught.
Trevar was right. Talking wasn’t working for her, action would be easier. She had to stretch her arms to reach them, but she managed to place a hand on each of their shoulders, drawing them in closer. They came willingly, pressing up against her so there was no more space between them.
Trevar moved first, dropping his head to slant his mouth across hers. The moment their lips met, she forgot why she’d been nervous. There was no need to be. He kissed her slowly, sampling her lips and then moving deeper. His teeth nipped at her lower lip, sending a sizzling flash of heat coursing through her. This was what she needed, what she’d always craved and never been allowed to have. Here was someone who wanted her for something besides the mark on her face or her family’s wealth. No, she corrected herself with what was left of her mind. Here were two someones, and they both wanted her.
Trevar knew he was in deep trouble the second his mouth touched hers. Kissing Sonja was like standing inside a plasma bomb’s blast zone at the moment of ignition. She seared his skin with every touch, sending Trevar’s blood boiling and his dick aching with the need to be inside her. She was beautiful, sexy, and breathtakingly naïve. Part of him wanted nothing more than to send her home again, to live out a safe, protected life of luxury. Instead, he was charging her a small fortune to deliver her to an uncertain future, and he was going to do it while showing her everything he knew about pleasure. The thought gave him a moment’s twinge, but he ignored it. He’d deal with the fallout later, after they’d gotten safely to X2.
She rubbed herself against him, enticing him and inflaming him at the same time. There was no artifice to her actions, no games being played. He delved into the sweet heat of her mouth and felt her shudder in response, loving the honesty of her reactions. She was so different from the hardened women he usually spent time with. Sonja was still touched by innocence. He could sense her emotions, need blending with nervousness and hint of uncertainty, and it was almost enough to break him. Almost, but not quite. She was far too good for a bastard like him, but that knowledge wouldn’t stop him. He was going to have her anyway.
He lifted the hand that had been set down on the counter and speared his fingers into her hair, the cool, soft weight of it tumbling through his fingers. She’d selected some fragrance he couldn’t remember the name of for her cleanser, a subtle, fruity scent that freshened the recycled air around her like a sea breeze on a hot summer day.
Fuck, he had it bad if he was waxing poetic about her damned shampoo.
It was the weight of Deke’s hand on his shoulder that reminded Trevar that he wasn’t alone with Sonja. It was an act of pure will to lift his head and release her. Her eyes ice-blue eyes were clouded with desire, and her lips were swollen from their kisses. He liked seeing even those faint marks of possession on her. He reminded himself this was only temporary, a pleasant distraction, nothing more. Once they got to X2, she’d only be a memory. He planned on making it a damned good one.
For the first time since puberty, Deke was having trouble controlling his emotions and no fucking luck at all controlling his body. He’d been impatiently waiting for her to wake up for the past few hours, and none of his usual calming techniques had done more than take the edge off his need to see her again. He hadn’t done more than kiss her yet, and she was already wreaking havoc in his world. This didn’t bode well for the day they parted ways, but right now he didn’t care. All that mattered was getting her back in his arms.
She greeted him with a dazed smile and rose up on her toes to kiss him, her hand moving from his shoulder to the nape of his neck as he wrapped both arms around her and tugged her in hard against his body. Damn, she felt good in his arms, warm, and soft, and eager. She wriggled closer, brushing against the hard ridge of his cock and he groaned into her mouth at the pleasure of that brief contact. He couldn’t wait to feel her hands on him, or her mouth, or how good it would feel to drive deep into her hot pussy.
Deke slid his tongue into her mouth and she moaned, the vibration coursing through him and leaving nothing but raw need in its wake. She opened to him completely, her tongue twining with his as she molded herself to him. He unwound one arm from her waist to run his hand down her side until his hand found bare skin. The silken warmth of her thigh inflamed him.
More. He needed more.