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The Dark One by Angela Knight

The Dark One

by Angela Knight

Changeling Press

eBook ISBN: 00060-00015

Matia of Ruza is one of the legendary Battlemaids — a woman warrior who has taken an oath of celibacy in service of the Maid of Light. When Kaska of Artane saves her from an ambush by a gang of brigands, Matia finds her oath tested by her handsome rescuer’s erotic appeal. But Kaska means to do more than test Matia’s faith. He worships the Dark One, and he wants to make Matia the centerpiece in a sizzling erotic ritual in honor of his god.

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Chapter One

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Chain of Kisses
by Angela Knight

Changeling Press

eBook ISBN: 978-1-60521-657-7

Gisel bitterly regrets jilting Arles, and her love for him still burns bright. Even as he tests her with acts of erotic dominance, she sees the opportunity to redeem herself. But with a murderous enemy closing in, can love survive the demands of royalty?

Chapter One

I gave the manacle on my right arm a restless tug, and it responded with a musical rattle. I couldn’t see a damn thing. A blindfold bit into my temples, wrapping me in sensual, intimate darkness.
The lack of vision only made me more aware of him — his scent, that faint tang of spice and masculinity, the heat of his big body standing just to the left of the bunk he’d chained me to, the slight rasp of his breathing. I have always been acutely aware of Prince Arles of Tor, once my intended, now my captor.
The bed dipped under his weight as he sat down beside me. I quivered like an animal, imagining his nudity. The way he’d looked that night ten years before was branded on my memory.
Arles’s broad back had flexed as he’d used the light whip, the perfect, tanned hemispheres of his bare ass working in concert with the leap of thigh muscles and the snap of brawny arms.
The girl had squirmed and sighed every time he hit her. Even as young as I’d been a decade ago, I’d known she loved it. The smell of sex hung in the air like some kind of musky, exotic spice.
“That’s what he’ll do to you,” my sister had whispered as we watched from the secret chamber. “And he’ll make you want it. Mother will be appalled.”
Our mother might have known Arles dominated other women, but it would never occur to her that one of her daughters would feel the need to submit.
We, after all, had been born to rule.
“Never,” I’d snarled, with all the melodrama of the seventeen-year-old I’d been. I couldn’t drag my eyes away from the prince’s feral strength. “I will not shame my blood.” I could feel myself going wet.
“You will. He’ll weave his alien magic, and you’ll bow that proud little head.”
I feared Isa was right. Even if I hadn’t been in love with him, Arles was too much for me. I’d end up sacrificing everything I was to his dominance and raw male power. My mother would turn from me in disgust and revulsion. I couldn’t bear the thought of her disappointment.
But I also knew my mother would force me to abide by the demands of the treaty. Saying no at the altar was not an option.
Two hours later, I slipped from the palace, abandoning my world, my family, and my life. The Capital Spaceport was only a few blocks away, and I meant to seek passage off world. I was too well known to take a flitter taxi — any capital cabbie knew my curfew and would refuse to pick me up, for fear of the Royal Guard’s wrath — so I decided to walk.
A block from my goal, I was attacked by a pack of throat slitters who dragged me into an alley. I survived only because a passing mercenary heard my screams and charged to the rescue. He killed every one of the slitters and flew me to his ship for treatment of some ugly injuries.
Captain Galon Teve had a merc’s hard eyes, but his heart was soft. When I told him my story, the big, gray-haired cyborg took pity on me and hired me on as crew.
My new mentor taught me how to fight, how to kill, and how to pleasure. Yet no matter how I tried, I could never love Galon as he came to love me. My heart was already captive to a boy with a Paladin’s eyes — and a man with a devil’s smile.
Under Galon’s tutelage, I discovered a talent for tactics and strategy. Eventually I became his second-in-command. When Galon fell in battle against the Fafnar, I succeeded him as captain of the Valkyrie Quest.
Through it all, Arles haunted my shamed fantasies. I’d lie in my lonely bunk with one hand stroking between my thighs, remembering the shadows rolling across his big body in time to the snap of his whip.
Now it was no dream.
Arles touched my nipple, brushing calloused fingertips over the hard nubbin. Just once, but I still caught my breath at the liquid heat that rushed through me.
“Sensitive little breasts.” His voice rumbled in the intimate darkness of my blindfold. “I wonder how you’ll taste. Shall I find out?”
Saliva flooded my mouth, and I swallowed. I didn’t answer.
“I asked you a question.” His fingers closed over my flesh in a pinch carefully calibrated to give more pleasure than pain. Yet the potential sting floated just beneath the delight like a dark promise. “I want an answer. Shall I taste you?”
“You’ll do as you please. You always do.”
“True.” He twisted, released, flicked the nipple back and forth, sending warm delight lapping along my nerves. “But a show of submission on your part might appease me.”
“I rather doubt it.”
“But can you afford to take the chance?” Another hot pinch, this one with a hint of sting. Perversely, I felt heat flood my belly. “My reputation is not exaggerated.”
“I never thought it was.”
“Perhaps a silk flogger.” He brushed his hand over the sensitive flesh of my left breast, gave me a caressing squeeze. “Right across these pretty tits. I would enjoy watching you dance.”
“I’ve heard that of you.” I tried for a tone of mild contempt, but my voice sounded too high, too breathless. I silently cursed myself. I could usually act more skillfully for my enemies.
Unfortunately, I’d never seen Arles as a foe. Even now, bound and naked, I remembered the thoughtful boy who’d first taught me strategy over endless games of Conquest.
The prince was even more skilled now, a conqueror of two worlds who’d driven the Fafnar from Torrean space with his ruthless, brilliant tactics. When Arles tracked me down three days ago, I’d known I was in trouble.
I wasn’t really surprised, though. I’d known the prince would demand a reckoning one day; my actions had done too much damage to his reputation. Anybody who watched the news vids knew that.
I’d also known winning a fight with him wasn’t likely. Arles commanded a huge, Starbreaker-class warship that was the pride of the Torrean fleet. Bristling with blaze cannons and thermal torpedoes, the Mjölnir outgunned the Valkyrie three to one. Naming that ship after Thor’s Hammer had been entirely too apt.
But though the Valkyrie was small, she was fast and nimble. She proved it as the Mjölnir chased us for three days through the thickest asteroid field I could find.
Arles caught us just as we prepared to escape into superlight space. A salvo of thermal torpedoes blew Valkyrie’s quantum engines, leaving us dead in space.
The prince demanded my surrender as the price of my crew’s lives. I didn’t want my people to pay for my sins, so I’d agreed. Leaving the Valkyrie in the hands of my executive officer, I flew to meet Arles in my personal launch.
When I stepped off the small craft’s ramp onto the Mjölnir’s squadron deck, I found him holding a collar and a set of magnetic slave bands equipped with chains. The golden restraints were engraved with erotic images and studded with emeralds for maximum barbaric glitter. He’d chained and collared me as his grinning crew watched. I could only grind my teeth in rage, trying to ignore the heat in my cunt.
Now Arles traced one finger down my torso, dipped suggestively into my navel, and paused at the neatly trimmed edge of my bush. I managed not to squirm. “I have a suspicion you’re wet,” he said, his voice dark and low. “Are you? Do I arouse you, Gisel?” He laughed. “Odin knows you’ve made me hard and hot.”
His fingers dipped between my spread thighs. Both of us groaned at the slick, tight flesh he found.
“Ripe,” Arles murmured. “Ripe as a peachango. Ready for my cock. Is that what you want, Gisel?”
“Do you care what I want?”
“Not really.” I could almost feel his purring laughter, soft as fur draped over cold steel. “I care what I want. And what I want is to taste you, beat your sweet little ass, and grind my cock deep in that tight little cunt, which is exactly what I’m going to do.”
His mouth covered my nipple in a breath-stealing rush. Sensation exploded across my nerves — the gorgeous rake of his teeth over the hard tip, the wet heat of his tongue sweeping circles over jutting flesh, his lips tightening in a hard, drawing suction. I gasped. My chains rattled, gold links ringing as I writhed in helpless lust.
Arles growled back, his voice rough and male, as he settled over me like a mantle of hard muscle and warm skin. His scent flooded my head, dark with alien spice and masculine musk. Instinctively, I tried to curl my arms around his strong back, but my chains pulled tight. I was still helplessly spread-eagled beneath him.
“Mine,” he rumbled, lifting his head from my breast. “At last.”
And he kissed me.
It was a burning kiss, a devouring kiss, all tongue and thrust and bite. I moaned, losing myself in his taste as I arched into his tensile brawn. But even as I savored his ferocious sexuality, some part of me squirmed in shame. My mother had taught us that craving a man’s dominance was weak.
But as the prince kissed me like a conqueror, I realized I did not care. The queen’s teachings had cost me my world, my honor, and the man I loved. I was tired of running from Arles of Tor. There was no point. He had me.
He’d always had me.
By the time he broke the kiss, both of us were panting. I could feel his cock against my belly like a length of pipe, velvet over iron. “I believe I owe you a spanking,” he murmured in my ear, his breath tickling my skin.
“Somehow I don’t remember that particular debt.”
Arles gave my earlobe a retaliatory nip, then levered off my spread-eagled nudity. Something clicked, and my chains fell lax with a musical rattle. Despite my blindfold, I tried to bolt from the bed.
The prince snaked an arm around my waist, spun me around, and pushed me back down. My stomach hit hard thighs, and I felt a cool draft across my bare ass. I twisted, driving my elbow blindly at his face with the vicious skill Galon had taught me.
Arles caught my fist in one hand, captured the other wrist, and dragged them both behind my back, despite my bucking struggles. The manacles’ magnetic fields engaged, locking them in place. The chains draped down over my hip, the links cool against my hot skin — leaving me helpless across Prince Arles’s knees, just as I’d been in my most searing fantasies.
I tried to rear onto my feet, but he arrested my surges with a hand on my shoulders, pinning me like an errant toddler.
It was said the royalty of Tor had been gene-sculpted for combat, creating warriors who were faster, stronger and smarter than any commoner. As I struggled against his iron hold, I began to believe the rumors. He could crush me if he chose.
“Now,” Arles said, not even winded. The bastard. “Let’s see what shade of pink this pretty ass turns.” He brought his palm down on my butt with a loud smack. I swallowed my yelp.
Another smack as his hard hand met my soft backside, then another and another. The flesh heated with each swat. “Arles, you son of a bitch!” I snarled, kicking out as I tried to lever off his lap.
“That’s no way to talk about my mother,” he said mildly, controlling my struggles with no effort at all. The smacks came faster, igniting my ass into a bonfire blaze as I kicked and cursed.
Despite my snarls, heat burned deep in my juicy pussy. Odin’s balls, I wanted him. Each stinging swat only increased the craving.
“Do you have any idea of the scandal you brought down on both our Houses, you spoiled little brat?” Arles growled between blows. I realized rage steamed beneath his taunting dominance. “You spat on all the Torrean warriors who fought and died to protect your wretched little world from the Fafnar.” Swat! Swat! “Twelve years my people battled the lizards to drive them from Swanhilde space, and how did you reward us?” Swat, swat swat! “You jilted me at the altar and made a mockery of the treaty between our worlds.” Swat! Swat! Swat! “My brother had to marry that little whore sister of yours to salvage the treaty, and she’s led him a merry dance since. And all this time, I didn’t know if you were alive or dead!”
That last was followed by a smack so hard, it was all I could do not to scream. My eyes stung, and I blinked furiously, determined that the captain of the Valkyrie would not cry.
Worse still, every accusation carried a shameful cargo of truth. I had betrayed him and my own people, and for what? Cowardice. “I am sorry!” I blurted, meaning every syllable. “Odin’s eye, I’m sorry!”
“We’ll see, won’t we?” He freed my wrists and dumped me on his bunk, then stripped the blindfold from my eyes. As he straightened over me, I blinked my vision clear — and gaped up at him in helpless lust. Gods, he’s grown more beautiful.
He looked like one of those ancient Earth statues given life as he stood there with his big, bare feet braced wide. Muscle worked over his body in rolling curves, veins snaking along massive biceps as corded tendons flexed. His shoulders looked as wide as a wall compared to his tight waist and long, strong, warrior’s legs.
But it was his face that riveted my gaze.
Arles’s eyes were the burning green of jungle leaves backlit by the sun, made even more striking by the brilliant gold sunburst around his pupils. He stared at me, his nostrils flared like a hunting beast’s, as though he drank my scent from the air. His cheekbones rose in chiseled juts to either side of that Roman nose, sweeping down to the hard angle of his broad jaw. His mouth was drawn tight with temper, but I remembered the lush sensuality of those lips. I’d stared at them for hours as a girl, dreaming of virgin kisses.
His gleaming blue hair fell around his shoulders, iridescent with flashes of green and purple, its inhuman brilliance the mark of his gene-sculpted royal blood. Its silken length led the eye to the matching cloud of iridescent azure curls that spread across his broad chest, narrowing to a thin trail snaking south over his tight abdomen.
Right to his cock.
The thick staff angled upward with the force of his lust, flushed hot red, balls drawn tight, fat plum head gemmed with a crystalline bead of pre-cum.
“Beautiful,” Arles rumbled, his gaze flicking from my face to my nipples, down to my sex, my legs. “Damn you, you’re even more beautiful.” His eyes narrowed, green as a leopard’s glowing in the dark. “You’re going to pay for it all, Gisel. Everything you’ve done to the House of Tor you’ll come to rue under my hand.”
I stared up at him, feeling suspended in a moment of raw lust as thick and hot and bright as sun-warmed honey. “Yes,” I croaked, my lips dry. “Let me pay.”
His upper lip pulled back, flashing teeth in a soundless growl, and he fell on me. Big hands jerked my legs wide. He paused just long enough to position his cock between my pussy’s slick lips. Then he impaled me in a single, furious thrust, forcing my tight, wet flesh to stretch wide around his ruthless shaft. Stuffed halfway to the throat, I yowled out my pain and delight.
Arles froze. “Did I hurt you?”
“No,” I gasped. “No, I want more!”
His grin twisted like a snarl. “Take more, then.” Bracing one hand on the mattress, Arles wrapped the other around my ass, lifting me into his thrusts. He filled me as Galon never had, a searing invasion that ignited every nerve in my cunt. As he rolled that muscular ass, I tossed back my head and howled. Every entry rode the edge of pain, but it was followed by slick, gliding pleasure.
So I wrapped my legs around his waist and bucked into his thrusts, loving the furious ride, needing it, craving it. Craving him. “Arles! Odin’s eye, I will pay as you please. Just forgive me.”
“Not in this life,” he snarled back, and rammed his cock so deep, I shouted in genuine pain.
The prince growled something that sounded like an aborted apology and moderated his strokes. I convulsed, coming in waves, ecstasy replacing the pain to blaze up my spine like a shooting star.
“Odin’s balls!” Tendons worked in Arles’s powerful throat as he threw back his head and rammed deep. His cock jolted inside me, shooting streams of thick heat into my pussy.
I screamed, drowning in another wave of sumptuous, pulsing orgasm. But even as I writhed, I wondered if Arles meant what he’d said — that he’d never forgive me.

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Changeling Press

Fox and Feral
Protect and Serve (Multi-Author Series)
by Angela Knight

Changeling Press

eBook ISBN: 978-1-6052-609-6

FBI agents Candice Fox and James Feral have served together for five years, using their genetically enhanced abilities to save hostages and fight a war. But as they’ve tempted death, an intense desire has grown between them — which they’ve carefully ignored. They’ve had to. She’s his superior officer, and love between them is strictly against regulation. But when a brush with death triggers a frenzied hour of passion, will their surrender to need destroy their lives?

Chapter One

All hell was breaking loose down in the New York street ten stories below. Gunfire sounded in a continuous pop pop pop, sounding thin and harmless at this distance. The way the NYPD cops huddled behind their cars revealed just how far from harmless it really was. They were outgunned all to hell by eight men with M-30s who strolled up and down the sidewalk in front of the bank, firing as if they were at a shooting range, not bothering to take cover at all. Didn’t need to. The robbers were wearing military grade body armor, designed as protection against weapons a hell of a lot more powerful then the cops’ handguns.
Luckily, our armor was better. And we hit harder.
Thing was, they had a hostage. Bank teller, or maybe a customer. The leader held her with an arm around her neck while he shot around her one handed. The woman screamed once, thin and high, like a rabbit being killed.
I could almost taste her terror. We had to get her out before they blew her brains all over the street.
Saving people is the whole point of the FBI Special Services unit. We get called in when hostages are in imminent danger and the cops are afraid rescue is impossible.
“Well, this is a Charlie Foxtrot,” Feral drawled, using the Marine expression for another Marine expression: cluster fuck. “Saving that hostage is going to be a bitch, Cap.”
“I’ll get her,” I told him. “You distract the asshole brigade.” And try not to lose your frickin’ mind. I didn’t say that, though. Thanks to the Desert Warrior program, it wasn’t something he could really control. Besides, three tours of duty in the ’Stans, two as Black Ops, had left Feral with some serious issues.
I keyed my throat mic to broadcast on the cops’ frequency. “Fox and Feral, coming in. Hold your fire.”
Feral leaped, a perfect, flat dive out into space. I tried not to watch the flex of his ass under the dragon scales, but it’s one hell of a view, and I’m a girl who loves a fine male behind. But then, everything Feral’s got is fine.
As he shot his line at one streetlamp, I aimed my fist at another and sent a mental message through my armor. The thin, high tensile line shot out of my wrist unit, and its weighted end swung around the light support. I gave it a tug. It held, so I ordered the line to retract and leaped off the roof of the ten-story building. Any normal human would have been street pizza, but neither of us had been completely human in years.
The top secret military program we’d volunteered for in 2032 had altered our DNA, increasing our endurance as well as the strength of our muscles and the density of our bones. We were now six times as strong as a human the same size and gender. And considering how damned big Feral was, that’s saying something.
Being a hell of a lot smaller, I’m nowhere near as strong as he is. But I’m fast, and agile, and I know how to use what I’ve got.
The line jerked me down toward the streetlamp. For a moment, it was like flying — a breathtaking swoop through empty air, the ground careening toward my face. If I mistimed the release, they’d have to hose me off the side of the bank.
Christ, I loved this.
My timing was dead on. The line stopped retracting at my command, and I swung upward, slowing my plunge just enough. I released the line at the top of the arc and went free fall, tucking into a ball to hit the ground rolling. The impact jarred my teeth even through ten layers of Titan Laminate helmet and an inch of anti-concussive gel.
I bounced to my feet. There were two thugs between me and the guy with the hostage, so I threw myself into a roundhouse and kicked one robber right behind the ear. His helmet cracked under my Titan-cored boot, and he fell like a bag of wet cement. I glimpsed a figure whirling toward me and drove my elbow into his throat, not quite hard enough to crush his larynx. He choked and collapsed, more interested in breathing than giving me shit.
I raced to the hostage’s captor, snapped one booted foot up and kicked the bastard right in the back of his thigh. Crack! He went down with a howl, dropping his gun to grab for his broken leg. Greenstick fracture, given the way I’d hit him. Served the fucker right.
I hauled the hostage up from where she’d fallen in a heap with her captor, pushed her ahead of me, then bent to scoop up the jackass’s gun. “Go, go, go!”
She looked back, saw my facemask, and screamed like a horror trid blonde.
“I’m a federal agent!” I yelled at her. “Get your ass moving!”
She ran, skittering on her high heels as best she could. I galloped behind her, one hand on her shoulder as I sought to both steady her and shield her with my body.
Hey, I was wearing full body armor. She was wearing JC Penney.
BlamBlamBlam!
Something that felt like a Volvo rammed me in the ribs. The impact spun me around and dropped me. My head hit the pavement with a meaty melon thunk, and stars exploded behind my eyes. When the pretty lights faded, I saw the girl get snatched behind a patrol car by a long, blue-clad arm.
I couldn’t breathe. My chest felt paralyzed.
“Fox!” Feral shouted in my ear on our com frequency, but when I tried to answer, my frozen diaphragm still refused to budge.
He made a weird growling sound, building to a howl that might have been my name. Oh fuck, he’s gone berserker.
The raw panic in that thought punched so much adrenaline through my system that my chest jerked into a huge, desperate gasp, and I started breathing again. I tried to sit up. My ribs howled like a whole pack of werewolves. Some fucker had shot me in the side with multiple rounds from an M-30. My suit’s protection had held, but I’d be black and blue from shoulder to hip.
I looked toward the bad guys, vaguely surprised nobody was using me for target practice.
Oh. Feral had hit them like a cat in an aviary. He wasn’t even using his wrist guns. He snatched one robber’s M-30 and smashed the jerk-off’s jaw with the other fist. The robber flew fifteen feet and hit the side of a building.
They do that when Feral hits them. Especially if he’s pissed.
Another shooter crabbed closer, his gun trained on Feral’s helmeted skull. Asshole must have known our armor can absorb anything but a contact blast with an M-30. Feral spun, bringing the rifle butt down and around in a vicious arc that slammed into the guy’s belly. He bent double, and Feral clubbed him on the base of the skull. He ate parking lot.
The last guy jumped Feral from behind, a knife in his fist. As his arm closed around Feral’s neck, my partner grabbed his elbow and jackknifed, jerking the guy up and over his head to hit the pavement with a crunch. As the creep hit, his knife pinwheeled across the street. Feral leaped astride him and powered a big, armored fist into his face. His arm moved like a piston, punching the bastard ten times in less than two seconds, his fist blurring. Blood flew. I could hear him growling in my earpiece.
Fuck. He was definitely berserk. If I didn’t pull him back in, he’d kill the bastard, and we were screwed. I pushed my aching body to my feet and lumbered into a skull-jarring run down the street toward them. Grabbing his arm in mid-punch, I hauled back on his wrist, only to be jerked completely off my feet as he hit the guy anyway. “Feral!” I shouted as he tossed me around like a rag doll. “I’m okay! Get off him!”
“He shot you!” At least I think that’s what he said. The snarl made it hard to tell.
“Didn’t penetrate my armor. Now let him go, Marine!” I managed a credible battleground bark that time, and his fist froze. Thank God for training. I got my feet on the ground and braced, just in case.
Feral dropped the asshole and got to his feet. I looked around. The eight robbers sprawled on the ground, but they all seemed to be breathing. I blew out a breath of my own, relieved.
Killing people is a pain in the ass. You wouldn’t believe the paperwork.
The cops started cuffing the thieves and tossing them into patrol cars.
“Agent Fox!” a guy in a suit called as he trotted down the street toward us. Probably the incident commander.
Before I could answer, Feral locked one arm around my waist, pointed the other at a streetlamp, and jumped as his line retracted, whipping us both skyward.
“Feral, what the fuck are you doing?” I yelled.
He didn’t answer, swinging his legs up at the top of the arc and releasing the line. We flew through the air to land on the same roof we’d jumped from.
Feral fell to his knees with me in his arms. Rooftop grit rasped under his armor, and I smelled sun-heated tar. A flock of pigeons wheeled overhead in the reddening sky, riding the thermals of sunset. In the distance, I could just hear the crackle of police radios.
He reached for the seal of my chest plate. I tried to knock his hand away, but he grabbed my wrist in one big hand and clicked the release with the other.
“Feral, I told you I wasn’t hurt. Would you cut it out?”
He ignored me. The armor section split in half like a clam shell, revealing my bare torso. I tried to muster my best hard-ass captain snarl and order him to get his hands off! My mouth opened but nothing came out.
Feral froze. I couldn’t see his expression behind his helmet’s polarized faceplate, but somehow I could feel the heat of his gaze on my naked breasts.
Then he pulled off a glove. I caught my breath, but he just rolled me to my side and skimmed my bruised ribs with his fingertips, his touch delicate as a butterfly’s wing beat. I damn near moaned. “Anything broken?”
“No, damn it,” I snapped, finally able to talk. “Would you get off me?”
“I’m not on you.” Then I thought I heard him mutter, “But I’d like to be.”
I decided to ignore that, especially since he sealed my armor back up and helped me into a sitting position.
He pulled off his helmet and raked a hand through his thick hair, leaving it standing up in short sable tufts. Strictly speaking, Feral wasn’t a gorgeous guy. His face was more bad-ass than male model, with deep-set eyes under thick brows, a crooked nose and a lantern jaw. A shrapnel scar bisected the aggressive jut of his chin. But his mouth looked soft and inviting, and I had dreams about kissing him.
Among other things.
Trouble was, I’d been his commanding officer for four years in the Corps, and I was still his control now that we were FBI. You didn’t seduce a guy who took your orders. There were rules against that shit for good reason.
In our case, it’d really be a dumbass thing to do, because everything rode on my ability to snap him out of it. Would he still listen to me if we were warming the sheets? I couldn’t take the chance. Somebody would die, and Feral would spend the rest of his life in jail.
And Christ, my life would suck without Feral in it.
“This isn’t working, Candace,” he said. “I can’t do this anymore.”
My heart stopped. He only called me Candace when things got ugly. The rest of the time I was Fox, or maybe even Cap if he was channeling the Corps. “What’s not working?”
But I knew.
Those bright blue eyes met mine, level and naked in their honesty. He was always honest. I was the one who had to lie. “I want you.”
“Don’t do this to me, Jim.” I unbuckled my helmet, jerked it off, and raked my hands through my sweaty red curls.
“I’ve wanted you since the first time I saw you. Why do you think I gave you so much shit?”
“Everybody gave me shit.” I was a female officer in a Special Ops unit, a good four inches shorter than everybody on my team. Big tits, no testosterone. Of course they tested me, at least until I established I was meaner than every motherfucking one of them.
They’d started calling me Killer Fox inside a month. Behind my back, anyway. Only Feral dared call me that to my face, and I’d made him scrub the latrine with his toothbrush for his gall.
“This thing between us is distracting the hell out of me, Cap,” Feral said. “I’ve jerked off thinking of you until I’ve got calluses on my dick.”
“Christ, Feral!” Heat flooded my face in a humiliating blush. No way would I tell him how many times I’d given my vibrator a workout fantasizing about him. Those hot little daydreams had been getting steadily kinkier, too. Feral in handcuffs, yum. Hell, me in handcuffs.
Nope, not telling him that. I’d known since the Marines that if you gave Feral an inch, he’d take the whole fucking football field — and dance in the end zone.
I could feel his bright blue eyes like a laser sight boring into my skull. Knowing too much. “You want me too, Candace.”
I bounced to my feet and started to pace, unable to sit still any longer. “I’m your control, Feral. Fraternization is a serious infraction of Bureau regs.”
He rose to his feet, crossed his arms, and loomed. Feral has a talent for looming. “Cap, play that tune for somebody who doesn’t know you. You don’t give a shit about the rules. Hell, you love bending them until they scream.” He smiled, and I felt the wet bloom of need low in my belly. “That’s why I’ve always liked you, even when you’re being a flaming bitch.”
“So we fuck,” I snapped, whirling to face him, wanting him so damned bad my teeth hurt. “The next time you lose your shit on some asshole, and I try to haul you off, what happens? You tell me you’re gonna listen to some piece of ass you’re banging?”
His head rocked back as if I’d hit him. “You’re not a piece of ass to me.”
“Because you’ve never done me, Jim.” I turned away and started striding across the roof again, trying to burn off my frustrated anger. “You think I don’t know how it works? I gave orders to grunts for three tours in the ’Stans. The minute they think of you as ass, you lose any authority you ever had. Remember Bryce and Starnes?”
“You’re not Starnes, and I’m sure as shit not Bryce,” he growled.
I ignored him. “They started sleeping together, and the next time she gave him an order, he fucking didn’t listen. He got shot, and she ended up a guest of the Tangos. We damn near didn’t get her back before they cut off her fucking head on YouTube.”
Feral leaned forward, eyes going narrow. “Richard Bryce was a moron. You’re right, the Lt. was nothing to him but ass. He nailed her because he wanted to nail a lieutenant, and she fell for it. He never respected her. That’s not us. That was never us.”
I shot him the look that comment deserved. “You respect me because you’ve never banged me. I’ve seen you with women, Feral.”
“None of those women were you.”
“Yeah, right.” Christ, I wanted to believe him.
“I’m going to ask for a transfer.”

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