Genres/Themes: Urban Fantasy, Futuristic, Inter-racial
Author: Anne Kane
Publisher URL Changeling Press – Erotic Fiction
She was a genetic experiment that was never supposed to get out of the lab. If the government finds her they will kill her without hesitation. Her memories of her early life are sketchy but the one clear image she has is of a brother who saved her life, and then disappeared.
Jackson knows what it’s like to lose your entire family in one bloody instant, and he vows to help Saralyn find hers. It doesn’t hurt that he finds her irresistibly sexy or that the attraction is mutual. They enlist the rest of the mercenary team in a search operation that takes them into the heart of the corrupt government.
What was it about this man? One look from those dark eyes and she found herself being honest with him when she hadn’t realized she knew how. This close, his scent teased her nostrils, a musky male scent that sent heat racing through her body. It had been a long time since any man had been able to elicit a response from her. Sex was a commodity, a means to getting what she wanted.
Maybe it was just hormones. Sometimes her body had an annoying tendency to let her down. She inhaled slowly, trying to identify the reason his scent had such a huge effect on her.
A quizzical frown creased the mercenary’s forehead. “Did I forget to shower or something?”
Saralyn could feel the heat stain her cheeks, and she bowed her head in embarrassment. This whole encounter was bizarre. “No. It’s just… something about you.” Why on earth had she said that? Time to get this conversation back on an impersonal footing. “You think Trace would be able to help me find my brother?”
“If anybody can find him, Trace can.” There was absolute certainly in his voice. “You want me to go wake him now, or do you think you can wait until morning?”
He was kidding, right? He’d actually go wake this Trace guy up? “I’ve been searching for years. I think it can probably wait until morning. I should probably go try to get some sleep.”
A hint of a smile curved Jackson’s lips, and he gave her a conspiratorial wink. “Yeah. That grouchy bear thing gets worse if you try to wake him up. I’ll call a team meeting after breakfast and you can tell them whatever you remember. We’re a democratic bunch — we vote on whether or not to take a mission. For what it’s worth, I’ll put in a good word for you. And I won’t mention what I just saw. I like to see families get reunited, and it’s rare in this godforsaken place. You should go try to get some sleep now. You look tired.”
She got the feeling that he didn’t smile often, and even now it didn’t quite carry to his eyes. There was something sad lurking in the depths of those dark eyes, something almost haunted. It hit a chord hidden deep inside her. “I am, but sleep is hard to come by. Truth is, I could probably sleep forty-eight hours straight if I could just get my mind to stop running in circles.”
Jackson nodded sympathetically. “Know the feeling well.” Reaching out, he gently tucked an errant strand of hair behind her ear.
His fingers brushed her cheek, sending an electric spark of awareness sizzling across the surface of her skin. She’d never felt anything like it, had never reacted to a man’s touch in such an intense way. She turned her face into the palm of his hand, sucking a deep breath into her lungs as she wordlessly asked for more.
Time slowed as Jackson lowered his head and brushed an achingly sweet kiss across her lips. Heat ignited deep within her, blazing to life at the instant of contact. Eyes closed, she savoured the sweet, sensual caress of his mouth as it moved across hers. He was incredibly gentle, barely touching her and yet she yearned for more. She wanted to wrap her arms around him and hold him close, meld her body with his, remove the clothing that kept them from joining, skin to skin.
What the hell? She’d never reacted to a man’s touch like this. She was cool. Calm. Always in control. This man was a danger to everything she’d ever learned in the harsh world of the streets. There, letting anyone get too close was dangerous, possibly fatal. And yet…
Jackson straightened up, his body withdrawing, leaving her feeling cold and bereft. She had to restrain herself from reaching out to pull him back to her.
“Sleep well, my little flower.” Soft as a feather duster, his voice soothed her ragged nerves, calming her down as nothing else could. He turned, gliding out of the room in perfect silence, leaving her to stare at his retreating back in bewilderment.
What was it about this man?