Domineering, dangerous and downright huge, Roarke Talson owns Jamie Kendrik for the next three years. It’s 2139, and the government has found a way to deal with the national debt—indentured service. She might have been duped into debt, but she’s not stupid. Jamie made sure to put a no-sex clause in her contract. There’s just one problem. She can’t stop thinking about her boss.
When Jamie does the wrong thing for the right reason, she assumes Talson will throw her in jail and not think twice. In an effort to escape, she ambushes him and flees. She hadn’t counted on him getting free so quickly, that he might be half alien, or that he’d hunt her down with more than vengeance on his mind.
This title has been previously published
Two days after her assault, Jamie headed into work on time. She’d covered up the few bruises on her neck and used a little gloss to smooth over the bruise on her lips. Other than that, she felt better than fine. Catching up on her sleep—and ignoring her dreams—had given her a renewed energy and sense of purpose.
Just three more years and she’d repay all the family debt. It didn’t seem like so much anymore, not when she rationalized her time spent with Talson as necessary.
“Kendrik, my office.” The star of her naughty fantasies brought her back to reality in a heartbeat.
“Yes, master,” she snapped.
“And don’t you forget it.” His growl seemed especially harsh this morning, but she didn’t let it bother her. She’d learned a long time ago that for all Talson sounded like an ogre, he’d never physically hurt her. Oh, he piled on the work, but she could handle that. For all his faults, and there were many, Talson had a core of honor. He protected what he considered his, and until her debt had been repaid, she belonged to Talson Shipping.
“Today, while I’m young.” He exhaled a long breath and stood before the open door to his office.
She grinned but hurriedly masked her smile when he scowled.
Once past him, she settled into the chair across from his desk. But instead of crossing to the other side and sitting down, Talson crouched next to her and took her chin in his hand. He turned her face from side to side, looking her over. Then he ran his fingers over her neck.
The feel of his hands on her skin froze her to her seat. The energy sparking between them could have lit up the room, for all that it made her body ripe and willing to be fucked. Holy crap, but this man had an effect on her libido like nobody’s business.
Unfortunately, Talson looked no more moved than if he’d been checking out a sick puppy.
“Good. You look okay.”
She opened her mouth to respond but had no clue what to say. He glanced at her lips and away, darting behind his desk and sitting in the blink of an eye. The man could move when he wanted to.
He cleared his throat. “Darren Woreski no longer works for Talson Shipping. He left Port Watch yesterday in a full-body cast and won’t be back. If you ever see him around here, you come tell me right away. We clear?”
Body cast? She liked the way he worked. “Sure thing.”
He raised a brow.
When he just looked at her, she sighed and said, “Yes sir.” She popped a salute he didn’t seem to find amusing. “So, ah, how did I get home the other night?”
“I took you.”
He grunted. “You’re under my protection. What? Should I have left you here to sleep? Trust me, that couch is not as comfortable as it looks.”
She glanced over her shoulder at the couch against the far wall, where Talson spent many a night. She bit her lip, knowing she’d slept in the same place he had. Turning back to him, she pasted a bright grin on her face, determined not to jump him in gratitude. “So, Mr. Talson, what do you need me to do this morning?” Polish your desk, sweep the floor, suck your …?
The thought struck without warning, and she stared at him in wide-eyed horror. Where were these thoughts coming from? She normally managed to control her lust around the boss until she got home at night. But after his rescue the other day, she feared she was now harboring a bad case of hero worship. So not good.
“The list is by the door. Kendrik?” His eyes narrowed. “Did you eat today?”
The man constantly nagged her about nutrition.
“I had an apple.”
He shook his head and pressed a button. In seconds, a tray full of food appeared on the transporter table by his desk. Two plates full of heaping meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables. And a cluster of alien berries she recognized as Otra. Rare, delicious fruit she’d seen once or twice on gourmet cooking shows. She’d never known anyone who could afford them, or anyone Otra. Which one was Talson—rich or alien?
Her mouth watered, but she refused to be a charity case. Talson could afford to eat like a king. She was the king’s peon, and as such, could only afford table scraps. An apple? Please. She’d had her last piece of stale bread that morning. What little currency Talson gave her for a meal allowance she mailed home to her sisters.
“Eat. That’s your first job today.” He smiled at her, and she had to concentrate to breathe evenly.
How ironic that this rude, brash, arrogant man should be so incredibly appealing.
“Fine, but only because you’re ordering me to.” She took the plate he offered and tried not to let his intense scrutiny bother her. Oh man, the eggs are perfection. Deliberately eating with patience, she matched him bite-for-bite. Then the blasted man handed her a cup of coffee, fixed with the right amount of cream and sugar.
He took his black. That he’d taken the time to order hers fixed the right way made her feel funny inside.
“Kendrik, how long have you worked for me?” He took a sip and sighed. “Can’t start the morning without this. Try the fruit after you take a sip. Gives it a punch.”
She eyed the berries with enthusiasm. She’d heard stories about their addicting flavor, but she’d never eaten one before. Talson popped one into his mouth and looked orgasmic.
Realizing she hadn’t answered his question, she took a quick sip of her coffee and said, “A little more than a year now.”
“And in all that time, have I ever violated our agreement?”
She wondered where he was going with this. “No.”
“Ever tried to hurt you or cheat you out of your due?”
“No sir.” He might be an asshole, but he was an honest asshole. One that carried you home and put you to bed. One you want to wrap your body around and kiss until you can’t breathe.
He nudged her plate closer to her. “Try the berries.”
She took another swallow of coffee then ate a berry. The explosion of delight on her tongue shocked and thrilled her. “Oh my God.” Heat spread throughout her body and centered in the tips of her breasts and between her legs. The throbbing sensation stunned her.
“Good, hmm? I love these things.” He ate a few more. “Have another.”
She didn’t think she should. The urge to leap over the desk and kiss her way down Talson’s body grew by the second. “I don’t know…”
“Go on. This is a special treat, a reward for doing such a good job for me. Besides, the fruit actually builds immunity and restores energy. You’ve been working too hard. And after the other day, I worry about you.”
She took another berry and let the juice fill her mouth before she swallowed it down. Jesus, it feels like heaven. She blinked and the cup of coffee met her lips. Talson had rounded his desk and held the cup to her mouth. When had he moved?
“You okay?” He seemed concerned. “Weird. The fruit’s supposed to boost your energy, not suck the life out of you. That’s it. Drink some more. Maybe the caffeine will help.” He sat on the desk in front of her, his groin at eye level.
Bad, bad place for him to sit right now.