Abducted by Klorthons, rescued by hunters.
When Libby Evan’s is reunited with her best friend on the planet Tarron she thought she’d finally found freedom.
The ruthless nephew of the Rivean Mining Corporation’s powerful owner enacts a clause in the bride contract she thought had terminated with her husband’s death. Willing or not, he’s given her one week before he arrives to make her his wife.
Determined not to spend the rest of her life in a marriage she doesn’t want, Libby has no choice—she must find a Tarron male willing to claim her. Hard to do when the one man she’d gladly submit to is the hunter who wants nothing to do with her.
After being rejected by the woman he believed to be his true mate, Erak Dakros has sworn never to let another female into his life, or near his heart. Protecting Libby until her return to Rivean should have been an easy assignment. He had no idea the beautiful human would tempt his animal nature or unlock the desire hidden deep inside him.
As far as a night of work went, the evening’s events ranked right up there on the top ten of Libby’s never-want-to-repeat scale. Never. Ever. Again.
She was still a little shaky from watching Ricka be accosted by the Klorthon. Now that the hunter and the late night-shift miners had gone, her tables were cleaned, the bar was closed, and all she wanted to do was go home. “You about ready to go?” Libby set her belongings on one of the stools and propped her elbows on the translucent gray counter.
Ricka tucked a strand of dark auburn hair behind her ear, then washed the last of the dirty glasses and set it on the rack under the sink. “Let me get my things.” She opened the cabinet behind the bar and retrieved a travel pouch and jacket.
“Where’s Orum? I didn’t see him cowering in his office,” Libby said.
“He left about five minutes ago, grumbling about needing to be somewhere, and said to lock up.”READ MORE
“Fine by me. The less I have to deal with him, the better.” Libby tugged on her coat and headed for the exit.
“Totally in agreement with you there.”
Once they were outside, Ricka secured the door and keyed in the lock sequence. Even with the coat, the chilly air made Libby shiver. The planet had a dry atmosphere, comparable to the desert areas on Earth, only hotter. While some of the days could be real scorchers, the evenings tended to be cooler, sometimes frigid.
They headed for the narrow alleyway leading to the lot behind the building where Ricka kept her transport parked. “Is it me, or is the walkway darker than normal?” Libby asked.
“Damn, the solars are out again. And not only the ones on our building—they’re out on the supply store next door too.” The solars went out all the time. No matter how much they complained to Orum—and they complained a lot—their cheap boss wouldn’t invest in any decent lighting.
Ricka snagged her sleeve. “I don’t like it. Maybe we should go around.”
By around, she meant two blocks out of the way. Sure there would be more light and possibly a colony patrol vehicle making rounds, but it would take them longer to reach the lot. “It’s freezing, and I’m exhausted,” Libby whined, trying to disguise the real reason she wanted to get to the transport as fast as possible. She was afraid the Klorthon might still be lurking around and she didn’t want to waste any time getting safely locked inside the vehicle.
“I still think we should…” Ricka said.
Libby didn’t give her a chance to change her mind. “Come on, it’s not far.” She quickened her pace and headed for the lot. “There’s still enough light to see where we’re going. It won’t take long if we hurry.”
“Wait for me,” Ricka hollered, taking no more than a couple of seconds to catch up with her.
The passageway filled with the echo of heavy footsteps. Footsteps that didn’t belong to either of them. Libby stopped, her heartbeat hammering in her ears. “Did you hear something?”
“Yeah.” Ricka peered behind them. “Keep moving. We’re almost there.” Libby didn’t resist when she grabbed her hand and pulled her forward, urging her to move faster.
They hadn’t made it far when the Klorthon from the bar appeared in front of them, his massive frame blocking their path. He took a menacing step forward. “Did you miss me, female?”
She gasped and gripped Ricka’s hand tighter. “Oh my God. I’m so sorry. I should have listened to you.”
Ricka took a protective step in front of her, but not enough to block her view of the warrior. “What do you want?”
“You and I have unfinished business,” he said.
“I told you before, I’m not interested.”
“I like your spirit and will take great pleasure in breaking it.”
Ricka lowered her voice, barely above a whisper. “No matter what happens, you run when I tell you.” She spoke louder to the warrior. “Like I said, still not interested.”
Irritation burned in his arrogant gaze. “I will have you. Make no mistake.”
“The only mistake I made was not slicing your throat when I had the chance.”
Libby tugged on her sleeve. “What are you doing? Are you nuts?” There were times she envied Ricka’s courageous attitude. Now was not one of them because if she wasn’t careful she was going to get them both killed.
No, no, no. She’s going to do something stupid. Again.
Ricka straightened her shoulders and didn’t budge when he stalked toward her. As soon as he seized her arm, she jerked her knee upward and nailed him hard in the groin. A roar ripped from his throat. He shot her a murderous look and gripped his crotch before dropping to the ground.
“Run!” Ricka shouted.
Without hesitation, Libby spun around and ran toward the front of the building. Crap. If the warrior managed to catch them now, they were definitely going to die. She’d barely made it ten feet when a transport stopped in front of her, blocking their exit. The door slid open and another Klorthon jumped out. Before she could get away, he seized her around the waist. “Let me go!” she screamed.
“Silence,” He growled and clamped a strong hand roughly over her mouth.
Libby frantically clawed at his wrists and kicked his legs. Neither seemed to phase the warrior as he hoisted her off the ground and carried her to the rear of the vehicle. He tossed her into the cargo area.
Libby groaned when she connected with the hard floor, the pain jolting her knees and radiating along her legs. She scrambled to her feet, but before she could get out he slammed the door shut, leaving her in darkness. “Let me out,” she yelled and pounded on the thick metal door until her hands throbbed.