TITLE: Undercover Alliance
Sarina is scarred. Her L’inar, the curving nerve lines that enable Inarrii to experience their full sexuality, were severed in battle and she can no longer reach completion. Until she accepts a job as bodyguard to the human ambassador John Bennings, and is astonished to discover that they share a mental bond—a mirrored pathway of thoughts that will allow Sarina to climax.
When John’s the target of an attack and they are forced into hiding, he’s not sorry to be in close quarters with the compelling Sarina. They explore their erotic connection, and John is happy to demonstrate that humans have more sexual skills than Sarina thought.
To prove that she is whole and rejoin her Inarrii clan, Sarina needs John to bring her to climax in public in accordance with tradition. With a roomful of Inarrii and humans watching, will John be willing to perform as Sarina needs—and will their public display make John vulnerable to another attack?
I hope you enjoy this excerpt from the book!
“You’ve got company,” Davis’s tense voice called through the comm unit.
“No shit.” Starforce Special Agent John Norton glanced down at the hull of the ship. The metal still glowed red where it had been struck by laser fire only a few feet away from his position.
John tracked the small fighter skimming close to the long hull of the Starship Osprey. Its dark metal body nearly matched the blackness of space. It was coming back for another shot. Twisting, John fired his hand laser. It sheared through the vacuum of space and pierced the edge of the attacker’s hull. Dodging return fire, he leaped for the communication array pod at the far end of the ship and hoped like hell his aim was good and his magnetic boots would clamp, or he’d be hurtling into space like garbage. Since no one was going to admit he was even on board, there was no chance of rescue. His heart pounded, his breath rasping loudly inside the confines of his polarized helmet. He turned and fired again. This time the laser hit a crucial spot, and the small craft peeled off from its attack course.
John released the laser, allowing it to dangle from his wrist strap, and gripped the ship as his boots hit and clamped tight to the edge of the array. Leaning into the small amount of shelter provided by the communication pod, he scanned above him. Only one sleek, little fighter had gone for him, its design confirming what he’d already been told. There was more to the terrorist group Terran Purity than a ragtag group of human racists. The fighter was too sophisticated to be of Earth origin. The Osprey hadn’t picked it up, or Davis would have caught that on the online chatter. That meant the attacker had some serious shielding. The terrorist shouldn’t have detected John either—a single moving figure on the exterior of the massive human Starship Osprey, his suit designed to deflect not only the coldness of space but any heat or ultrasonic detection. At least, that was the plan.
Quickly he flipped open the closest access panel and toggled the manual relay on the communications pod. Two more minutes and he would have the fourth and final bug in place. Not that he could rely on the listening devices any longer. No one in Starforce should have known he was here, let alone the Purity assholes. Someone could be aware of the surveillance equipment he was planting as well. Any information he got from them would be suspect at best. He pulled the bug from his forearm pocket and pressed it against the console. He felt it dissolve into the circuitry through the pressure-sensitive fingerpads on his suit and suppressed a shudder. It never failed to revolt him the way the damn bugs could work their way through anything electronic, and he vowed again to refuse the microcircuit brain implants the brass had been pushing on all upper-level agents.
Motion flickered in the corner of his eye. Instantly he snapped off the magnetic clamps in his boots and shoved away from the array. Laser fire bit into the hull inches away from where he’d been locked on. He fired the narrow jets on his back, the silent explosion of compressed gas propelling him away from the array and back toward his only exit without a hint of heat to give away his location. The fucking fighter was back, its maneuverability amazing as it followed him across the underbelly of the ship.
John grabbed at his dangling laser and flicked a shot across what he guessed was the view panel of the pilot. He snapped the magnets back on his boots, slamming into the hull. The fighter’s momentum pulled the ship past his location, and he shot the laser at full capacity, directly at what had to be a rear power nodule.
In a flash of light, the back of the fighter ship ripped forward through its front.
John gasped. An explosion was not what he’d expected. The resulting shockwave flashed toward him, driving him back against the hull in a way that made him twist and shout out in sudden pain. Then the blackness of space claimed the final charred remains of the attacker.
Panting for breath, John weighed his options. His knee radiated agony. There wouldn’t be much time before someone came to investigate the explosion. The Osprey captain would already be aware of the attack, although hopefully not what had caused the terrorist ship to detonate. They’d be looking for answers. John straightened and forced himself to bring up his helmet comp unit and signal for a map. It flared to life across his visor, the light color of the map illuminating his screen with a sudden flare of pain behind his eyes. The explosion had left his head throbbing and his knee feeling as though he’d been kicked, hard.
“I heard that, Norton. Good to know you’re alive. Now get your ass in here.”
“I’m working on it, Davis. Keep your pants on.” John’s map pointed the way and a quick pulse from his jet pushed him toward the closest service hatch.
“Trust me, I wouldn’t go anywhere near you without my pants.” The deep voice of his mission tech radiated good humor. The man had a sick sense of what was funny in the middle of the most dangerous of missions. If it wasn’t for John’s strict rule—no partners—he might have taken the man out for a few drinks and laughs. But keeping things professional and separate had saved his ass more than once. Connections only made things more complicated.
“I keep telling you, Davis—you’re not my type.”
“Far as I can see, you haven’t got a type. And you have three minutes before the security team reaches that hatch. Move your ass.”
John didn’t reply. His knee throbbed now with every heartbeat. In space he didn’t have to put his weight on it. Inside the ship it was going to be a bitch to put any speed on and avoid arrest by the very people he was actually protecting. He had to get back to his cover assignment. He reached the hatch and yanked it open. Daviswould have already triggered the lock release from wherever the hell he was, via remote link. Now would come the hard part.
* * *
Soryen Sarina Tariim slammed a fist into the oral port of her charging attacker. The lean alien went down in a graceless collapse, only to be replaced by another, and another. They swarmed her, their stinking, slimy skin repulsive as they tried to push her to the soggy ground and rip her limb from limb. She grabbed one creature’s arm and slammed him into the next, kicking a third in its midsection. Still more of them darted toward her. All they had to do was pull her breather from her face and she’d be dead in minutes. Around her other Inarrii fought hand to hand against the Archat swarm. Lasers were useless and actually dangerous to fire in the methane-rich atmosphere of this world.
She’d lost her first set of dash’tet knives and now reached for her second, grabbing for the hilts strapped to her calves. The movement cost her; two more Archat were on her in seconds but she rolled with their attack, using their momentum to skewer them through on her long dash’tet.
A long hooting howl sounded as she pulled her knives from their bodies. The unprovoked attack on the Inarrii scout party was now a retreat. Inarrii all around her raised their voices in a ragged cheer, and she laughed aloud.
Too soon, the feeling of exhilaration melted away. Her grin faded. This was useless. There was no real victory. She didn’t know the Inarrii warrior who had battled only a few feet away. He wasn’t her teammate and this wasn’t real. With a decisive slash of her dash’tet, still dripping with alien gore, she shut down the battle simulator and stepped out of the holo unit. Her battle gear faded as she exited, but the bruising she’d received inside the simulation remained painfully real.
Fighting these images, these pale reflections of old battles, provided only a few moments of relief from the truth. She’d been there, on the very mission this simulation had been based on. She’d fought on dozens of worlds, performed hundreds of dangerous missions. But it would never be the same. She rubbed the upper muscle of her left arm, felt the damage no Inarrii medtech would ever be able to remove.
Beneath the fading scar tissue was the real injury. Her L’inar were severed, the damage far deeper than surface lacerations. Despite a dozen reconstructive surgeries, her synapses no longer meshed. She would never again have complete release, experience the utter sexual abandon the sensitive L’inar nerve lines could inspire. And without that completion, her mind was at risk. At least, according to Inarrii belief.
Her therapist said she would recover. Her commander agreed. Her clan was sympathetic, but already garnering the political credit and honor points from a permanent disability of one of their own in the line of duty. Her current assignment indicated her clan was more in touch with reality than either of her advisors.
Sarina exited the simulation lounge of the Inarrii flagship Horneu. This would be her last evening on board before she headed to her new assignment and complete boredom. There would be no more laser fights in her future, no space battles. With a groan, she walked to the next section of the training level. The familiar and usually comforting scent of sweat in the strength focus room did nothing to cool the anger that burned inside her over her predicament. She could fly a ship, strategize and fight with the best, excel at everything a warrior could hope for, but she would never get the chance to prove it again. Just because her damn L’inar and her lack of a sex life were a supposed threat to her sanity.
“Fuck.” She tested the human curse and found it vaguely satisfying, and in her situation the curse was ironically apt. She moved over to the resistance boards and attached the wrist and ankle straps. Throwing her weight and her anger into the workout, she pushed herself to the limit.
The boards hummed with power as she strained to touch them, to press them past her usual level. Sweat beaded on her back, slowly slipping down the length of her spine. Her L’inar reacted to the slight touch of the drops of liquid. Sensation fizzled along the nerves, flared around the curve of her ribs, bounced erratically around her abdomen to flicker over the lower curve of her breasts, only to dissipate. She jerked in her restraints, the sensation an erotic tease, a reminder of the fact that she hadn’t had sex in a month and wasn’t likely to experience it any time soon.
She ripped the bands from her wrists and glanced around the room, thankful the area remained nearly empty. Perhaps they were right. Even if she managed to reach orgasm again, these unpredictably odd flashes of L’inar activity just might drive her insane. At least no one had witnessed her strange reaction. One set of warriors trained in hand-to-hand combat in the far corner of the training level. Their strikes and parries nearly blurred in rapid progression. They were in sync with each other, even their breaths matching rhythms. Sarina pulled off her ankle straps, never taking her eyes off the sparring couple. They had to be a couple. If they weren’t, they soon would be. The flashing blows were slowing, becoming more of a dance than an attack. Before the night was out, they would be wrapped in a dance of a different kind. Skin on sweaty skin.
Sarina sagged against the resistance boards. Their power had disengaged the moment she pulled off the tethers. Inert now, they bowed slightly with her weight. Perhaps leaving the Horneu wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Despite the incredible boredom of guarding a human nobody, at least on the human ships there was no open sex. No erotic displays, no direct offers that held the intimacy of m’ittar mind contact and a promise that couldn’t be fulfilled—complete L’inar arousal and release.
She turned away from the couple and walked quietly from the room to the sonic cleansers. The hum of the cleansing units passed their vibration up through the soles of her feet and into her body. An ache low in her belly reminded her again, as if she needed any more reminders, that it had been weeks since she’d shared the tension-relieving experience of sex. Without sex, Inarrii could not de-stress.
That was the reason she was being assigned to bodyguard such a low-status human. What would they have done with her if she hadn’t already learned standard English? No de-stressing meant an eventual breakdown, but how much stress could she experience guarding John Bennings, a lawyer who spent his days deep in the tangled webs of information completing the final layer of the human/Confederation Treaty?
It was a horrifyingly dull thought.
Still, a job was a job. And as long as she could, she’d retain the rank of warrior, a Soryen, giving every assignment everything she had. Anyone who said she couldn’t could…fuck themselves. She snickered at her own sick sense of humor and then leaned into the sonic cleanser.
Take a look at my review!