“Good morning, Duchess.” Born in the fires of revolution and baptized in the blood of those who fought for a better life, Captain Ava Frost smuggles illegal materials to a war machine that will someday free her people from an oppressive government...until her path crosses with a Regulator commander. Seth Reynold’s mission is to find the dangerous cargo of fissile materials. When he stops Ava at a wormhole, his ethics and beliefs are compromised. Torn between duty and love, Seth is determined to find out what Ava is hiding, but her fiancé is standing in his way. Back from the dead, Brodie Mark—a leader of the revolution, a man that challenges Ava’s loyalties in every way imaginable—wants her back and will do whatever it takes to help her realize her heritage. While falling for the enemy and endangering all that the underground rebels had struggled to achieve, Ava must make a choice between duty and love. But is she ready to sacrifice a freedom in its infancy for a love that comes once in a lifetime? “No man flies three days to the edge of Nexian space without a reason.”
Seth slammed his hand into the gel pad, releasing the lock to the hanger that housed Ava’s ship. The steel blast door slid open and Ava whipped around, her back to an engine compartment where she’d been working. A smudge of something black streaked across one cheek, and her hair hung loose around her shoulders. She wore a red thermal shirt, tan canvas pants, and black boots that stopped just above her knees, looking every bit the smuggler he’d fantasized about for days.
“What are you doing here, Captain Reynolds?”
There wasn’t a good answer for it. Plain and simple, he needed her, wanted her, and he’d be damned if he held back now. He strode up to her, grabbed her wrist, and tugged her into his arms.
Her fingers laced into his hair, and she tipped her face up to look him in the eyes. “You didn’t answer my question.”
“Are you alone?”
“Yes, my crew is on leave.” Her gaze traveled to the hanger doors. “You shouldn’t be here.”
He watched the way her lips formed the words but heard little of what she said. Need pounded through him and only one thing would relieve it. Gods, he wanted her. “No.” No, he shouldn’t be. No, he shouldn’t kiss her. No, he wasn’t thinking about duty tonight. He dipped his head and captured her mouth the way he’d wanted to for the last three weeks, backing her against the forward drive. He tore at her shirt and the buckle on her aviator’s pants, desperate to touch her bare flesh, be inside her. His hands grabbed her bottom, and he lifted her from her feet and pressed her against the side of her ship. She wrapped her legs around his waist. With a gasp, her mouth opened to him. He thrust his tongue in and savored her flavor, needing more, starved for her.
Ava was everything opposite to the law he upheld, all he stood against, but it didn’t have to be that way. It wasn’t too late. He ran his hands up her shirt, cupping the bare breasts underneath. The pads of his thumbs grazed her nipples, and she arched into him, growling low in her throat.
He pulled his mouth away. “I need you now.”
“Take me inside the Avira.” Heat blazed through her eyes. “Or take me here. I don’t care, as long as you take me.”