For Melissa “Lucky” Chance, another stretch in Ganymede’s ice prison is nothing new. The flash-freeze that’s supposed to destroy her will only leaves her with an insatiable desire for the first hot body she lays eyes on. Except this time, she faces a death sentence. Her only hope of escape lies with the man known as The Butcher.
John Ramius understands the logic behind his conviction as a criminally insane mass murderer. No man should have been able to slaughter over fifty men in as many minutes, but no one sees the underlying curse that compels him to sense—and fulfill—someone’s deepest need. Chance’s skill will free him to kill the Sun-King; he will find no rest until he does.
As they run from the forces of the Jovian colonies, Ramius finds himself temporarily sidetracked, not only by Chance’s relentless desire, but by her underlying, unspoken need. Ignoring it—or his own compulsion to do every wicked thing imaginable to her—is not an option.
Only after all their defenses are stripped away do they discover that their meeting wasn’t by chance. Someone is manipulating them both, and the only way out is the path to their destruction…
This book contains explicit sex, thieves, murderers, a sentient ship and a hero who will give you exactly what you need. Not responsible for reader’s sudden compulsion to jump significant other’s bones.
It’s also available on Amazon Kindle here
(c)2010 Kim Knox
“I saw you looking.”
Colour flushed under his cheeks—a strange reaction for a psychopath—but then his darkened eyes fixed on her. The intent in them dried her mouth. She had to have imagined the embarrassed burn under his skin. “You want men to look.” A door rolled open in the smooth wall, and he pushed her forward. Soft light chased around the curve of the ceiling and illuminated a basic console room, instrumentation glowing, its hum working under skin. The door slid back, a series of clunks and a long hiss securing it. He released her arm. “You’re offended when I don’t look.”
Chance smirked at him and toyed with the fastening on the long jacket. Her head tilted. They had hours until the ship regenerated, after all. “I’m offended that you only look.”
“Believe me, you don’t want to take it further.” Ramius turned towards another door, the dull metal drawing back as he approached. The lights in the room beyond eased over the ceiling and walls, revealing bunks, a table with chairs and the metal curve of a food processing unit.
Chance couldn’t help herself. Her gaze trailed the length of his lean body. She would regret not stripping Ramius out of his stolen uniform and discovering the promised perfection of his body. “Why wouldn’t I?”
He sank onto one of the lower bunks and placed the Etuis on the smooth blanket beside him. He worked the collar of his shirt loose, sliding fingers under the thick fabric to rub at his collarbone. “What do you get from sex?”
A laugh escaped her. “Have you been chatting with my psychs?” Her palm ran over the metal counter of the food unit and it flared into life, the ordering column and service hatch humming. Her thoughts streamed over it and a mug appeared. She breathed in the sharp tang of fresh tea. “They often asked me that. Jovian morality at work.” She smirked at him over the rim of her cup before taking a sip and almost sighing. “It annoyed them that I enjoyed it.”
His eyes narrowed and Chance had the uncomfortable feeling that he could see the thoughts in her head. She shut her implant, withdrawing all connections from the surrounding equipment. No one could hack a closed chip…though, of course, he wasn’t implanted. Chance relaxed her shoulders. She was safe.
“They caught you more than once because of a man.”
Chance shrugged. “They were there, I was there. I don’t waste opportunities.” She waved her mug at him. “Which brings me very nicely back to you.”
He unstrapped the first of the guards’ guns from his thigh, strong, quick fingers working the buckles free. He didn’t look up. “That would be a bad idea.”
She leaned back against the counter. The overhead bunk blocked the soft light and drew heavy shadows over his face. She couldn’t read him…and that unnerved her. John Ramius was an enigma. Her head tilted. “You’ve been in solitary for a year and you’re turning me down. That makes no sense.”
He glanced up and a ghost of a smile touched his mouth. “I am registered as criminally insane.”
Chance grinned around the rim of her cup. He’d changed the subject. “You’re not interested in women?”
“Oh, I like women,” he murmured, and the undercurrent, the carnal promise in his voice, had her pulling in a short breath and her nipples aching. “But as I said…”
“You have a kink?”
Ramius snorted and his fingers paused as they unfastened the second gun. “Yes, you could say I have a kink.”
“All right, now I’m curious.”
He met her gaze, and the warmth of humour left her. The cold face of a killer held her, all sense—possibly pretence—of banter gone. Her heart thudded in the endless, silent seconds and, damn it, his dark side tugged at her. A light shone in his eyes, and Chance recognised the quick surge of lust, felt it echoed in her own flesh. His change was palpable. Had her curiosity sparked something in him?
Ramius pushed himself up and her heart gave an excited jump. She was crazy, she was, to continue to push him. He was the Butcher and she’d seen the grisly evidence of his work…but… He was closing the distance between them with predatory grace. Blood pounded in her temples and her body ached. Sex made her feel alive, and every part of her burned right then.
Ramius took the mug from her lax fingers and put it behind her. His body blocked her and he gripped the edge of the counter, trapping her. Chance held his shadowed gaze, finding the familiar curl of lust and something else she couldn’t name. He leaned in, his mouth almost, almost, brushing her lips, and she drew in a sharp breath. “I don’t play games, Chance. I can’t.” His mouth moved and his whisper stirred the shell of her ear. She swallowed. “I’ve thought about fucking you, hard, fast, up against the nearest wall.” He paused, and in the short silence there was only the pounding of blood in her ears. “I know that’s the way you want it.” Ramius leaned in closer. “But I won’t ever do that.”
Her fingers curled into her palms, nails digging sharp into her skin, and she held her hands tight to her breastbone. If she pushed her hands against the hardness of his chest, felt the thud of his heart, the warmth of his skin…she would have to nip at his tempting earlobe.
His scent, spiced, seductive, wrapped around her. He was so tempting… Chance teased with the tip of her tongue, tasting his skin. She moaned. John Ramius tasted even better than he looked.
“Chance…” The soft growl forced her fingers to clutch at his shirt. “Stop now, and I won’t take this further.”
His words sounded reasonable, but she didn’t miss the need thickening his voice. A need that also spun though her blood. She nipped at his earlobe and his hiss burned her skin. “I think you will.”
Ramius glared at her, his green eyes darkened. The slight parting of his mouth teased her. She moved before she realised, her lips covering his, tasting his bottom lip before she pressed harder and their tongues touched. The contact surged through her and, with a soft groan, Chance deepened the kiss.
He didn’t resist…but he wasn’t playing either. Frustration pulled her back. She glared at him. “Damn it, Ramius.”
He gave her a wicked grin, and the need to shove him back against the nearest wall rushed her. Her hands fisted the front of his shirt. Ramius glanced down before finding her gaze again. “You need to control how I react to you. But that’s not going to happen.” The shine to his eyes had her wanting to kiss him again. Hard. “No. You’re going to give your control to me.”