Tia’s life has been defined by avoiding the priesthood, so when she finds herself on a foreign world with seductively familiar males, she is conflicted. General Jenner Mathwin is striking and his voice sends her body into a full-on riot. Can she trust him when it comes to offering her for sacrifice or will the Lassing priesthood tear her to pieces? She really hopes that her trust is earned because when she offers herself to the star’s avatar, she will be tied hand and foot in a public forum. It may be a little late to change her mind once they bind her…
She was halfway back to the Orb when another shadow came toward her.
“Get down, Tia.”
Following the instructions of the black-magic voice, she tumbled to the alley floor. The shriek of a stunner echoed over her head and a scream and a thud followed immediately.
Her hands were bloody and her robes were torn. Tia’s knee throbbed and she got slowly to her feet, her practiced grace long gone.
“Are you all right?”
“I am fine, General Mathwin. I will get one of the bouncers to escort me home.”
He looked down at her and sighed. “I will take you.”
Those words echoed in her ears. On her home world, that sentence would have been enough to start a courtship.
Pain dulled her hormonal reactions, but his nostrils still flared.
“Where are you living?”
“A small apartment on Bore Street. It isn’t far. I won’t detain you long.”
With no warning, he lifted her into his arms. “You hurt your knee, your hands are bleeding.”
She shuddered at the contact of the broad plane of his chest against hers and he took it as a different sort of shudder.
“Are you injured elsewhere? Should I take you to medical?”
“No, just thwarted adrenaline from the near miss.”
He walked with her in his arms, drawing stares and some concerned remarks. Tia was amazed that they were asking about her well-being. The cynical part of her wondered if they would react the same if they knew she had been using her psychic talents to serve them at the Orb.
With her body cradled against him, her scent had to be hitting him strongly. She tried to stay perfectly still and think thoughts about drinking capacity while he carried her to Bore Street.
She pointed out her apartment, moving as little as possible. His grip tightened every time the wind blew and even she could smell her own heat. The drugs weren’t working anymore.
The only saving grace was that he didn’t know she was not a Misrael.
“Third floor, first on the right.” She fumbled her key out from under her gown and when he paused outside the door, she opened it.
General Mathwin carried her in and gently deposited her on the bed. She perched on the edge of the bed while he examined her hands. “You hurt them quite badly. You will not be able to return to work tomorrow.”
“I will wear gloves.”
“You will not be able to lift anything. Wait here.” He stood and walked into the bathroom.
She heard running water and when he returned, he had her small aid kit and a series of wet towels. He wrapped her hands in warm towels and she hissed as he held her still.
“There is dirt in the wounds and we need to soak it out.”
“Fine. Thank you.”
“I have washed your Scorian and Morclin down the drain, by the way.” He didn’t look into her hood when he said it, but she hissed and tried to pull her hands loose.