Lila has been on the run for sixteen years with her daughter, living and working in some of the most dangerous stations in the Outer Rim. She has protected her daughter from hunters, assassins and those intent on destroying them. She’s fought every ruthless male sent after them, but there is one male she cannot hurt, one male from her past who has the power to ruin sixteen years of sacrifice.
Serran has been looking for his target for sixteen years, and every time he gets close, they elude him. A chance meeting in a filthy corridor of one of the most notorious stations in the universe and his search is finally over. However, it will take more than just his skills as a hunter to keep the girl and the female who protects her safe. Keeping Lila this time will require showing her he isn’t the same male he was sixteen years ago.
Determined to run again, Lila finds herself trapped aboard the Fallen Star with a teenager who refuses to leave and a mate intent on claiming her. However, Serran isn’t the only danger aboard the pirate’s ship, and for the first time in sixteen years Lila will have to rely on others to keep her daughter safe. Will Serran be able to save them both, or will a vicious monster tear them apart again?
The stench of piss, vomit, and liquor was nauseating as Serran walked down the corridor of Doksal station towards Skoll’s bar.
Koff was dead. Wex, Prixy, and the new cyborg, Artel, were recovering in medical, and he was free to do what he needed to do. He was free to seek out the people who would have the information he sought.
Sixteen years he’d been searching, and not once in in all those years had he come close to finding his quarry. He was always too late, usually by months, once by a week, but every time, they slipped through his fingers. Every time, all he found was the scent of them in the air and nothing more.
He’d found no trace of them for the past six months, and most of the reports for a year before that were old. Years old. It was as if they had disappeared.
He didn’t expect to find anything on this station either, but he had to do his job and ask. The station was rough, harsh, filled with people who would slit your throat for the smallest amount of credits. Not the kind of place you’d raise a teenage girl, unless you wanted her raped and beaten or stolen from you and sold into slavery.
Serran stepped over the legs of a male lying in the corridor, the overpowering smell of vomit sour and distasteful. The almost non-existent lighting left the corridor dark, the lights shining out of open doors the only illumination. Raucous male laughter spilled out of an open door accompanied by tinkling female giggles and the heavy beat of sensuous music.
A blue neon light flickered on and off further down the corridor, announcing to the darkened corridor that Skoll’s was right at the end.
The person he was to see worked in that bar. A female. She was an information merchant who made it her business to know of every person who lived on the station and many who didn’t. His source had assured him if anyone on the station knew of the females he sought, she would be it.
A body flew out the door past him to slam into the wall opposite and crumple in a heap to the floor of the corridor. Serran glanced in the doorway as he passed to see a Scarrloy female with her hands on her hips glaring back at him, her red eyes flashing in the lights of her establishment.
Skoll’s was in the roughest, seediest part of Doksal station. Surrounded by warehouses and businesses, all closed at night, it was dark, quiet and an ideal place to be set on by a person intent on taking your credits, your life, or both.
That didn’t stop people from going there, as the steady stream of patrons showed. Males weaved their way along the corridor, others scurried along casting furtive glances at Serran as they passed. Bodies lay in the corridor, some beaten and bloody, others snoring so loud it echoed down the corridor, and among it all was the overpowering stench of piss, vomit, and liquor.
When he was only halfway along the corridor, a body slamming into him from behind almost knocked Serran off his feet. Fuck! He spun around and grabbed what turned out to be a small figure.
A small, beautiful face looked up at him through the dark, framed by white-blonde hair. The light of a doorway shone across the smooth skin of her cheek and forehead. Deep turquoise eyes stared up at him, wide and innocent, framed by dark lashes that made them sultry and beguiling. It was an odd combination, and Serran realised the girl—and that was what she was—could only be about sixteen, maybe younger. Too bloody young to be running around Doksal this late at night.
Heavy footsteps coming down the corridor made them both turn to look. The girl whimpered and tried to pull away.
“Are you in trouble, little one?” Serran asked the girl.
She glanced behind her with wide eyes, then looked up at him.
“Help me. Please,” she pleaded.
The footsteps pounded louder, closer, echoing along the corridor. A huge male rounded the corner and ran towards them.
“Please! Help me,” the girl begged her voice high and panicked.
Fuck! This was just what he needed.
Serran drew her to one side, one hand wrapped around her upper arm the other going to one of the long knives he had strapped to his thigh. He’d left his sword on the ship. He hadn’t thought he’d need it, so it was still hanging on the chair in his quarters.
The male slowed to a stop and stared at them. Long, tense seconds ticked by, the male watching them. Serran didn’t move, and the girl trembled under his hand.
“You have something that belongs to me,” the male finally said.
Serran looked down at the girl. “Do you belong to him, little one?”
He finally took her all in. Bare feet, bare legs, and a tiny pair of thin shorts only just covered her lower half. A thin ribbed tank clung to her upper body, leaving her arms and shoulders bare. She was wearing the kind of clothes one would sleep in. Not the kind of clothes a girl, a budding beauty, should be wearing to this sector of the station, or to any part of Doksal station.
Males would see her and look not at the youth on her face, but at the enticing breasts pressing against the fabric of her top. They’d see her long bare legs and ass just covered in the tiny shorts. They wouldn’t care that she was too young, and they wouldn’t care that she was little more than a child. They would just take. They would destroy something that had only just begun to emerge.
“No!” the girl burst out. “He broke into my home and attacked me. I’ve never seen him before.”