One surviving hijacker is charged
Alliance I-Marshal Weber hauls Yadira to her home planet and infiltrates the human-trafficking ring controlling her. But he finds himself unbearably attracted to his witness. A gift for detecting deception reveals she’s the next victim of a criminal industry.
Descending into shadowy worlds of slavery, Yadira endures a dark angel stalking her dreams and watches the quiet I-Marshal become dangerous in her defense. Everything about him moves her…except the memory of seeing him execute the most important man in her life. Shouldn’t she take vengeance? Delusions of a heavenly guardian affect her mind.
Slavers and demons plan to snatch Yadira from Weber’s custody while he is uncovering connections, and he won’t hesitate to execute the guilty surrounding her. Who but a son of fire can save her from fiends harboring hardcore fantasies of harming her?
I hope you enjoy Vigilant.
[This excerpt is rated PG for Sci-Fi action. The story is rated R.]
“What if I kissed you before a room of crooks and criminals?”
Goose bumps raced over Yadira at contemplation of Weber’s passionate kiss anywhere, in front of anyone, at any time.
She just didn’t know why he would want to kiss her behind closed doors, as blackened with grievous offense as she was. She wished Georgia hadn’t told her he could see guilt. She would’ve wept over the state of her soul, if he hadn’t been in the room.
But Weber was in the room, giving her flights of delight with his enticements and innuendo. She was supernaturally aware of his presence, closeness, and possible actions. His hands kneading hers slowed and stroked each finger, stealing a part of her mind.
“I’m available to fill your needs for the case, Marshal.” Her heart pounded in her chest. “If it keeps me from Null.”
He smiled, pleased with her answer, his eyes alight in the sexiest way. Could his eyes carry the power to blank her thoughts and still her actions? Perhaps it was a gift of the unusual gene I-Marshals carried that made them special.
It was a preposterous thought, but she began to think he was something extra-human. Wasn’t a law enforcement officer who saw guilt more than just a cop? Were delusions of an angel prowling her subconscious messing with her mind?
She wondered how long Weber’s testimony of their being lovers would stay a lie. A firestorm of attraction raged through them. They sat together on a bed now, his hands intimately massaging hers and relaunching all the heat he commanded. He’d kissed her moments ago, programming her to respond to him. Her thighs were on fire. He stared at her lips as though they were edible, sending her subliminal hints that he would kiss her again. The thought of his mouth on hers again… With this much warning, she had time to lose her breath, anticipate the softness of his lips, want him more with every passing second.
“Have you sent an angel to watch over me?”
A loud bang rocked the room, startling them and breaking the electricity burning the air between them. Her question forgotten, they spun toward the hotel room door to see it had taken a strike to its metal so hard, it dented. She froze in fear.
“Oh, yeah, the Alliance,” the I-Marshal muttered under a sunken brow, as though having forgotten some vital information to add to the night. He scrambled from the bed.
A second strike slammed into the security door with great force, denting its surface. The lock was not yet compromised.
“Move, Yadira! They’ll be through the door in seven more strikes!”
Snapping herself from a terror-induced stasis, she burst from the bed, ran to and fro, looping the bag of clothes around her neck.
“Weber! Did you kill my guard?”
“No. I only kill the guilty. Your guard probably awakened in the room next door about five minutes ago.”
He grabbed her hand and tugged her into the shower room. There, he unlatched the small, highly placed window. It was the room’s only outlet for fire escape. Hotel guests were not prisoners.
Except for Yadira. She actually was a prisoner.
“Who’s coming through that door, Weber? And why?”
The window did not open all the way, so he ripped it from the metal frame, and he pulled in a knotted rope already hung outside for their escape.
“Probably, an Alliance SWAT team…or two, maybe some fed guys, a few overexcited locals. They’ll blow the door in a few seconds. The I-Marshals have taken me off the investigation, Yadira, and I’ve decided if they won’t release you from the case, I’m going to hide you from the Alliance. They aren’t happy with my plan.”
Yadira’s head snapped back to the sight and sound of new dents driven loudly into the room’s door. The noise of hovercraft blades warping the air blasted through the window.
He propped the room’s chair against the wall to assist her climb to the high window.
“We’re on the fifth floor!”
“All you have to do is get out of this room. Take hold of the rope hanging out the window.”
Displeased with her catatonic speed, he snatched her up and put her atop the windowsill, feet first through the open window. She was about to scream bloody murder when she felt a knotted rope between her legs. She grasped it for dear life and leaned out of the building to assess their position.
The chaos was much louder outside the metal-plated room. Sirens shrieked, flashing lights blinded her. She saw the hovercrafts that belonged to the warp of blades she’d heard pivoting all around the hotel, their spotlights aimed on her and watching. How did they all get there so fast?
She turned to Weber behind her in the shower room, and snapped, “Aren’t I already under arrest?”
“Just climb onto the rope, Yadira, trust me.”
It was difficult to trust him when police on PA systems blasted, “Imperial Marshal Weber and Yadira Maxwell! Hold your position! You are surrounded! Do not attempt to escape!”
Trust him? The alternative was surrender.
Looking up the rope secured to the tube railing of the building, and seeing a variety of police uniforms aiming weapons at her, Yadira grasped the rope, put her feet on a knot, and wiggled off the window ledge, clinging to the rope and shaking. The red-and-blue flashing lights blinded her. The hard breeze set off by the hovercrafts whipped her hair across her face, stinging her. The sights and sounds of every law enforcement machine focused on her exit shocked her. She hadn’t known she was this important to the Alliance.
Or maybe capturing a rogue cop was this important. She guessed it was.
Weber climbed out of the window and onto the rope above her, and then he shimmied down to and around her, protecting her from crazy hails of rubber bullets or stunner rays. Cops with Tasers waited below the rope to take custody of them. Cops with stunners awaited atop the building. Cops in hovercrafts surrounding them, weapons sighting them, awaited any dangerous move. She’d never seen so many uniforms in all her life put together.
They’d never let her out of prison for this!
His big boots planted on a big knot in the rope below hers. “Turn on the rope and wrap your arms around me, Yadira!”
She looked around the hurricane they withstood, terrified. Emergency crews assembled below. Spectators were shooed away from witnessing their deaths or horrible mutilations when they hit the ground. Did the cops plan to plant a laser beam in the rope, melting the braid and causing their fall?
“What’s happening, Marshal? Why is all of Reigna’s force sighting us?”
Her mouth dropped. “Ignore them?”
“I should have punched your guard harder. Put your arms around me!”
Surely, they’d fall!
She wrapped one arm around his neck, and let go of the rope with her other hand, hooking her arm beneath his to reach her other hand and locking them together. He trapped her against him with the rope, one hand gripping the lifeline above her. Sure she’d next tumble to her death or find herself behind bars, she watched Weber retrieve his palm comp with his free hand and type some numbers with his thumb.
Then Weber let go his grip of the rope, and she experienced the terrifying sensation of falling. It felt like they fell for minutes instead of the second it would have required for them to hit the pavement like melons.