Because you guys are asking me so, so sweetly. Here’s a glimpse into Origin. A little unedited space pirate time for you. 😉
The old-fashioned door slammed open and a broad-shouldered, tall man with wild blond hair stormed into the room. He turned and fired at someone behind him before slamming the door and leaning against it. His wide chest rose and fell fast as he breathed hard, his sharp green eyes going over the human’s body. “So, you’re fine. Good.” Tension left those shoulders as if he were relieved. “We seem to be cornered. Really think we should have followed your plan.”
“Now you say that.” Light blue eyes rolled. “Gods, Anders. I told you to stay back. I’m much better at sneaking into places than you are.”
“That’s because you’re small.”
“I’m not small, asshole.”
“There you go, getting all sexy with those old terms.” The big blonde’s gaze landed on me. He tensed up again, standing straight away from the door. “Oh.”
Silence filled the room as he stared, while outside the sounds of fighting grew louder. I couldn’t believe they weren’t doing something. Hiding, holding their guns on the door—anything. Fear made my stomach clench and it wasn’t fear for me. I had no idea who they were or why there were here, but something told me they didn’t deserve what my owner would do. Swallowing the heavy lump in my throat, I opened my mouth to beg them to leave, and stiffened when the blonde’s eyes snapped to my mouth, his nostrils flaring, his eyes narrowing. Pure shock zapped my system as once again, my body started to respond. What was it about these two?
The human behind me chuckled. “First time I’ve seen you stunned into silence. Pretty, isn’t she?”
“Pretty don’t come close to the right description for this one.” Green eyes roamed my body with warm appreciation, until he got to the long wounds on my thighs. Big hands closed into fists as he took a step toward me, eyes narrowing. “You with Para Lashin, sweetheart?”
He talked funny, his deep, sexy voice drawing out the vowels like they came out of his mouth on curves. My belly fluttered.
“You ask for those lines on that pretty skin?”
The dark-haired man growled. “Of course she didn’t, Anders.”
Anders quirked one eyebrow. “Really? Did you forget we’re on an entertainment ship? Some people like pain. She could be a customer.” He looked at my legs again. “Though, those don’t look none too pleasurable. Too thick. Too deep. One looks bad.”
I didn’t have to look down to know which one. It burned deeper than the other five, had bled a lot more. Without med glue, bandages or a needle to sew it closed, I’d had to tie scarves tight around my thighs to hold the wound closed.
He clenched his jaw. “Lashin do that to you?”
Something crashed into the door behind the blond man and I gasped, expecting my owner and his guards to barrel through the door and kill these humans. I didn’t want to see anyone else killed, especially not them. Knowing I’d probably be slain for this, I ran to the corner of the room and swiped all electronics off a shoulder-high shelf, revealing a keypad built into the wall. I typed in a series of numbers and letters. A paneled wall slid open and I pointed inside. “There are weapons in here and another way out. Please hurry.”
“Aw, our rescue is becoming hers.” The dark-haired man walked toward me with purpose and intent in every taut step. Face down, eyes cast up toward me, he didn’t stop until he stood close enough for me to feel his breath brush over my lips. “Anders, this woman isn’t with Para Lashin on purpose. She called him her owner.” His eyes dropped to my lips before that dark frown returned to his face. “We came to watch Lashin being carted off to prison.”
“We were just supposed to locate him and turn him over to the enforcers, but the captain here decided we should sneak aboard to make sure the piece of varmin didn’t get early word and escape.”
One black eyebrow lifted. “And you didn’t want to come? What was that about finding files off the grid?”
“Yeah, well,” he said, looking around the opulent room my owner called his lounge. Long, gold couches stretched in every direction, vid screens peppered the walls. “I don’t see anything worth stealing in this room. Other than the obvious, of course.” He locked his gaze on me.
The captain nodded. “We won’t be stealing her.” He looked at me. “Will you come with us? We’ll take you home.”
“You’re asking her?” Anders released a loud, long-suffering sigh. I got the feeling he did this a lot with the other human. “Claybourne, just grab her and go. I’m sure Juniper and the others can hold Lashin and what guards he has left back, but I’ve changed my mind about letting the government take him. Between this woman and what we saw upstairs, he deserves worse.” He turned, knuckles white around his laser gun. “I’m gonna kill him.”
The blond ignored him, striding toward the door. My heart beat so hard in my chest; I was terrified it would push through my ribs.
The man—Claybourne, Anders had called him—hurried to Anders and grabbed his arm. “Listen to me. There are too many out there. Besides, think about Lashin on Bastilleen, the absolute hell he’ll go through. There are probably former victims of his there, and within hours, the worlds will know about what he did to Kithra.”
What had he done to Kithra? I burned with questions but had spent too many years conditioned to keep silent.
Anders stared down at Claybourne, glanced at me, then returned to the shorter man, his expression softening. True affection blazed through the anger. “Grab the pretty girl, Captain.”
“I’m not going to leave her, but grabbing her is probably not the best way to handle her either. Let a little of that manly protective urge go and look at her. Really look at her. She’s still got fight, Sullivan.”
They stood talking when any second the most vicious, bloodthirsty men could spill in here and cut them to pieces. I scowled at them.
“She has a choice,” Claybourne said quietly.