Carsten Vasilescu is building a new life for himself on Alpha’s Moon when a shipment of love slaves arrives. When Carsten goes aboard to escort them down, the captain tells him of one "special" slave, an uncommonly beautiful one, who’s been kept captive by the crew, caged and abused, and they offer Carsten a special price to take him off their hands.
Carsten is shocked to see that the gorgeous human in the cage is Albany Adams, his former lover and the man who betrayed him. Carsten rescues him, but he can’t decide whether he should kill him or make passionate love to him. Albany is hiding secrets that will change everything Carsten thinks he knows about him, but can they overcome their mistrust and hatred of each other long enough to give the love they feel for each other a fighting chance?
Meanwhile, a galaxy away, Ryker Mondai learns that Lex has been taken captive by his father, hated enemy Luther Colombo, being held in the heart of the Alliance, on Lycanus itself, and forced to marry another man. Furious, Ryker goes after him, aided by his father and disguised as a Lycan officer.
Will Ryker be in time to save Lex or will the lovers be torn apart forever and their chance for happiness destroyed?
Albany was asleep and dreaming. He was standing in a field near his childhood home, and his mother was calling for him. Instead of running toward her, though, he ran away, over to a lake where he used to go fishing. He dived in and sank all the way to the bottom, and the water was cool and clear as it closed over his head. He stayed under as long as he could, but finally he was out of breath and had to come to the surface. Squinting up at the sun that was shining down blindingly in his face, he heard someone calling to him.
“Wake up, boy. Lift that pretty face up here so we can see it.”
Albany groaned, hearing the damn pirate captain calling to him again. Why couldn’t he leave him alone? He shook his head, hoping the captain would go away, but the captain slammed a hand against the bars of Albany’s cage and his voice grew harsh. “I said raise your head, boy! Or I’ll do it for you.”
Albany heard a rough growl and there was something about the sound that sounded achingly familiar. He opened his eyes and peered up through his long, tangled hair—and gasped aloud. Carsten! He had to be hallucinating, but he clearly saw Carsten standing by his cage, looking down at him with his eyes wide and staring. Albany made a choking sound and shrank back against the bars in terror. The last time he’d seen Carsten, the Lycan had vowed to kill him—tear him limb from limb were his exact words. He’d shaken his fist at Albany and told him he’d hunt him down if it took the rest of his very long life.
He saw Carsten lift his head and sniff the air. Then he roughly pushed the big Tygerian standing in front of him aside and yanked open the top of the cage with a hoarse shout. Thrusting his hands down inside, he put them under Albany’s armpits and lifted him in the air like he would a child.
“Albany?” he said, his voice sounding incredulous. “Albany?” His face became livid and he howled—howled—out his rage. Before anything else could happen—like Carsten’s teeth sinking into his throat, for example—Albany’s eyes rolled back in his head as he slid down into the welcoming darkness.
His imminent murder was one thing he didn’t want to stick around for.
Albany pushed down his pants, sat down on the edge of the pool and eased himself into the water, which was blessedly hot, but not uncomfortably so. It wasn’t too deep around the edges of the pool, having a little shelf of rock to stand on that brought the water chest high on him. He was aware of Carsten staring at him and looked up defiantly. Was this pool where he planned to kill him? If so, he wouldn’t die easy. He’d make Carsten work for it. He braced himself for an attack, but instead Carsten tossed a bottle of soap at him. “Use this, and wash your filthy hair.”
Stifling the urge to make a provocative remark and make things even worse, he took off the cap and poured some of the sweet smelling soap in his hands, then slathered some over his body. He dipped his head back and wet his hair, then lathered it up. Carsten was right about this at least—his hair was long and tangled and filthy from being in the cage. He hated being so dirty. Using his fingers, he combed out most of the tangles and then rinsed the soap from his hair a couple of times before he was satisfied. He even used his finger to try to clean his teeth a bit with the bitter tasting soap and longed for a brush and some proper tooth gels. He was beginning to relax and drift in the warm water when he heard a small thud from beside him and looked up to see Carsten throwing down his boots.
He watched in breathless fascination as Carsten undressed in front of him. It had been way too long since Albany had seen his beautiful body, and he couldn’t have looked away if he’d tried. Carsten was tall, almost a half a foot taller than Albany and his body rippled with muscles. Like most Lycans, Carsten had surprisingly little body hair in his humanoid form, only a small amount of dark hair on his groin. Albany’s attention shifted down to his long, thick cock, a dark red color when fully erect as it was now, with a blue vein running along the length. His balls were large and heavy, and Albany wanted badly to touch him. Carsten turned and walked over to ease himself into the other side of the pool, and Albany was reminded what a fine ass the man had, with ass cheeks that were round and white and seemed made to squeeze.
The water only hit the Lycan midway up his thighs, though it reached Albany’s waist. Carsten leaned back against the rocks and stared at him. Naked—Carsten was naked with Albany in this pool after so long. After all that had happened between them, after all the betrayals and the recriminations, all he had to do was reach for him and…
“Albany,” Carsten said. “Come here.”
Trembling, not knowing if Carsten planned to drown him or fuck him into oblivion, Albany slowly approached him, ready for anything. Carsten held out a hand to him with an impatient motion and when he got closer, he pulled him to stand between his legs. His sweet, musky smell curled itself around him, and Albany took in a sharp breath and closed his eyes so Carsten wouldn’t see the leap of hot desire in his eyes. It was an unwelcome emotion, but it was undeniable. His legs were shaking so hard from trying to hold himself in check he could barely stand. Carsten caught his hand and pulled him in even closer.
Albany squirmed uneasily. It wouldn’t take much to drown him. His damn cock, blissfully unaware of any danger, jumped up to meet Carsten’s body, happy to nudge Carsten’s thighs rudely as Carsten pulled him closer. He gripped Albany by his ass and lifted him off his feet to bring their cocks together. Unable to catch his breath, Albany gulped for air like a landed fish and glanced up fearfully into Carsten’s eyes.
“I’ve been trying to decide what to do with you since I first saw you on board the ship.”
Albany simply stared back at him, not trusting his voice.
Holding him in place with one hand, he put the other one on Albany’s throat, not pressing hard, but making little circles with his thumb. “I wanted to kill you at first.”
Albany gulped, clutching at Carsten’s biceps and holding onto the words “at first” like a lifeline.
“I still might.”
Albany managed to snarl at him defiantly. Carsten’s tone was almost seductive, making a mockery of the love they used to share. Or that Albany had believed they’d shared before he found out about the lies and betrayal.
“Maybe I’ll manage to kill you first,” Albany said, lifting his chin as much as he could with Carsten’s hand wrapped around his throat. He stroked a finger down Carsten’s chest, pretending a smug confidence he didn’t feel. He closed his eyes, not wanting to keep looking into that once beloved gaze that now held him with steel-like coldness. He expected anger at his words and prepared himself for it, but Carsten gave a low chuckle that caused him to open his eyes again. He was smiling, but it never touched his eyes.
“You already tried that once. I’ll be on my guard this time, except I seem to have a problem. When I touched you again, it all came back, Albany. All those gods-cursed mating urges that I’ve been trying to deny for so long. I don’t know what kind of cruel trick the gods have played on me, but for whatever reason it seems as if you’re my mate. It’s always been you.”