She stole more than he could afford to lose.
Catam of Mardu has a problem. He’s bored. Life as a bounty hunter has begun to pale, so a favor for his brother is just what he needs. Deputized a peacemaker to capture a murderous thief on the run, Catam is stunned to find a beautiful woman the culprit. Isa confesses to thievery but says she’s no killer.
Aiding the woman to prove her innocence goes against his orders, but Catam can’t help himself. Isa intrigues him on a level bordering on dangerous. And for a Mardu warrior like Catam, a Xema, there’s nothing worse than a loss of control.
At the low growl Feltang fled, disappearing in the hazy mist hanging around the disreputable gaming club. Before she could make her own escape, Isa found herself picked up by her collar and shoved into the shadows.
As her attacker pinned her belly against the wall, his large, hard body pressed against her so firmly that she couldn’t move. Hands as quick as lightning flashed over her, removing the twin Zephyr blades and the illegal Melan pistol strapped to her side.
Disarmed, she struggled to free herself but was soon unable to breathe.
“If you stop moving, I’ll allow you air.” The deep voice smoothed over her, a seductive promise of life.
She immediately stilled and gasped when air rushed into her grateful lungs. He turned her around in his arms, so that her back now touched the wall. He stood so close to her that she could feel the rise and fall of his chest as he breathed. Her hat and his proximity blocked her view, so she could see no more of him than a flash of golden skin at the base of his throat.
She innately knew that this man and the dark haired stranger who had earlier alarmed her were one and the same. Her instincts that he was trouble proved correct, and her heart raced with panic.
“Feeling better?” he asked softly, causing her to start in a new feeling of alarm. Amazingly, her body felt as if not her own, her loins pulsing in what she surprisingly attributed to lust.
She blinked and tried to regain control over her emotions but could do no more than lean into her large captor when he pulled her forward.
“That’s a good girl.” He purred into her ear. “Now let’s see what you look like up close, hmm?” He removed her hat, freeing her long hair from its confines. She refused to look up, not wanting him to see more of her than he already had.
She didn’t know how he could see in the first place, considering the veiled darkness of their position. But apparently he could make out enough.
“Very nice,” he said, sounding pleasantly surprised.
Isa struggled to hold onto her control as this new threat invaded. He blew a warm breath against her ear, wringing a startled moan from her lips. The patrons in the club didn’t give her or her captor a second glance, similar scenes of foreplay occurring all around them.
“What,” she began and gasped as his teeth bit softly at her earlobe. His tongue pressed into the sensitive cavern of her ear, and her knees buckled. “Wh-what do you want?” She had no idea who this man was. System law would have had her in chains by now, not pressed up against the wall being seduced senseless.
“You have to ask?” he murmured with a hint of humour. “I had no idea such beauty hid underneath that terrible hat.” His lips left her ear to find the pulse beating rapidly at her neck. His tongue swirled over the point before he settled his lips over her soft skin.
Sucking lightly, he groaned and ground his pelvis against her.
Isa writhed, caught in the grip of passion beyond her control. With just his mouth, this stranger made her wet and needy.
She gripped the wall for support.
She had come into this less than savoury establishment to keep a low profile. Dealing with Feltang had proved a minor success. This man, however, posed a serious problem. Never before had Isa ever let a small thing like sexuality come between her and a job, let alone her life.
But this unidentified male held her against a grimy wall, stealing her will as he sensuously sucked her neck. She could only assume the Sour Jack had been somehow drugged. She couldn’t account for her reaction to this stranger, nor could she fathom why she didn’t simply break away from his touch.
He no longer held her captive, but caged his hands on either side of her head and leant against her with his hard body.
Isa tried to turn, but he pushed deeper against her as his mouth sampled a tender spot on her neck, an erogenous zone she hadn’t known existed. Stars, she silently cursed as her body responded against her will. She wanted him more than she’d wanted anything in her life, and she had no idea what he looked like. He certainly had height and strength, but she knew little more than that.
She closed her eyes, staving off the ecstasy building within her, and called on every ounce of discipline she possessed to resist his heady embrace. Moisture pooled between her thighs, and her nipples hardened into pebbled nubs. She felt raw, she ached, and all from his touch. Then she inhaled to get a grip on her body and she drew in his scent.
She moaned, disgusted to find the breathlessness of her tone was not an act. He smelled better than Aflera ambrosia. She wanted to devour him.
As if he sensed her desire, he sucked harder at her neck and moved his hands up under her jacket to caress her full breasts. She could feel the steel of his cock through his trousers, thrusting against her belly, and she desperately wanted to touch him flesh to flesh.
“That feels so good,” she rasped and heard his breathing quicken. His hands grew rougher as the want built, and his need fed her own.
Knowing she approached the point of no return, she ignored how much she wanted him to continue his sensual assault. She reached for the one thing determined to cool her ardour, a vision of the dead Statesman Klin. She waited until her captor leant away from her, one hand leaving the wall, she assumed, to unfasten his trousers.
As soon as his hand reached into his pants, she urgently shoved away from the wall and knocked him aside. She caught a glimpse of golden eyes widened in surprise, of dark hair shaping a sensual face. Then she ran as if her life depended upon it.
She sped through the crowd nimbly, and as she ran, she fought against memories of his touch, forcing herself to hurry. Still, it was a battle to convince herself she didn’t want to be caught.