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by Marteeka Karland
Category: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica/Science Fiction
Description: Darian Amos Shiffley is on the hunt. His protégé, Gretta, has gotten herself arrested and detained in Dead Man's Keep, a supermax underground prison of the worst sort. He intends on freeing not only her, but himself as well. For too long, Shiffley has hidden his feelings for Gretta. No more. He's out to show his little Lionsheart how much she truly means to him. Imagine his surprise when he discovers his secret was never really a secret to begin with.
eBook Publisher: Changeling Press LLC, 2009 2009
eBookwise Release Date: March 2010
35 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [43 KB]
Reading time: 24-34 min.
"Marteeka Karland's Frozen Earth is a fascinating series with characters you won't soon forget. There's nothing like a bit of subfreezing weather to create the perfect setting for a steamy erotic encounter." 5 Nymphs! -- Scandalous Minx, Literary Nymphs
Getting inside the compound hadn't been that hard. But Darian Amos Shiffley would have done it no matter what. This pen had something he wanted, and Shiffley wasn't a man who allowed anyone to keep something of his. How Gretta had gotten herself thrown in this hellhole was beyond him. The woman was a thorn in his side, but he'd invested too much time in her training to let her rot in prison.
It had taken little time to find her. Once he had, he'd sat back in his hiding place to watch. He needed as much information as he could about her movements, the others around her, and the routine of the guards before he could get her out.
The beauty of these supermax prisons in Frozen Earth was the way the prisoners were housed. They basically roamed freely within the inner walls. There were thirty klicks of the worst frozen terrain imaginable on the coldest part of the planet surrounding them.
Most creatures couldn't last thirty minutes in that wasteland, Lionsblood included. Other than that, the only rules were to do what you could to stay alive. Food was rationed to make prisoners fight to eat, and the weaker ones had to either "sell" themselves to stronger men and women or starve. It pitted inmates against each other and gave them something to worry about other than breaking out.
Gretta wasn't a weak prisoner. At least not in the sense she couldn't take care of herself. If she had any flaws, it was trying to "mother" the ones who were weak.
Shiffley snarled. Here, it definitely put her at a disadvantage. He'd taught her better than that. Looking at her now, he saw that all the undesirables were flocking around her as she fought for their survival. Gretta looked tired. Worn. Definitely not strong enough to take on the three Lionsblood she faced now with nothing but her bare hands.
They surrounded her, but she was holding her own. One went down when she delivered a kick to his groin so hard it made Shiffley wince. The spike on her heel didn't help matters for her opponent when she spun a back kick to the same area. The large man crumpled to the ground, covering his bloody crotch with his hands.
Unfortunately, the extra move to eliminate one man gave the other two an opening. One snaked his arm around her neck and squeezed. Gretta instinctively gripped his arm before releasing him and doing what he'd taught her.
Her attacker was taller than Gretta. She dropped straight down, intending to throw her attacker off balance and slide to the ground, but she was too small, and he was way too damned big. Gretta's feet were off the ground, but she didn't slide out of the big Lionsblood's grip even an inch.
The third one shook his head -- from a blow she'd delivered earlier -- and advanced, murder in his eyes. No doubt, Gretta was looking at her last moments alive. Of course, neither Lionsblood knew Shiffley was there.
"You're dead, human!" The Lionsblood advanced on her, saliva dripping from his mouth. Blood trickled from his nose, and one eye was nearly swollen shut. The one who held her in the chokehold didn't look much better, and both men were breathing hard from their effort with Gretta.
"Maybe," she answered. Her voice was husky and strangled, but she managed to get the word out with a defiant tone. "But everyone in this Sun forsaken place knows it took three of you to take me down. Somehow, I'm thinking this victory is really more a defeat."
Shiffley knew she was right, but did she have to point it out now? She had to know it would only hasten her demise. He narrowed his eyes as he looked at her. Really looked at her. Shiffley shifted his position and scrambled out of hiding. That was exactly what she was hoping for. If she was going to die, she wanted it to happen fast.
No one was paying him any attention. Every eye was focused on the fight. Which spoke volumes to Gretta's abilities. Instead of just another fight, it was the main event even though there was food to be had. No one saw him as he approached the circle of people.
"Looks to me like she kicked your asses." He tried to sound amused. Inside, he was seething. They dared to try and take what was his! "If she can do it, it should be no problem for me to put you out of your misery."
Shiffley clenched his fists and walked deliberately toward the two Lionsblood who thought to take Gretta from him for good. He didn't concern himself with anyone else. No one would interfere. Those siding with Gretta were too cowardly to help, and everyone else was simply waiting to see what would happen. Basically, there was no sense making trouble when trouble didn't yet exist for them.
"One more step, and I'll break her neck." The growled threat meant little to Shiffley. He knew Gretta had all the distraction she needed.
No sooner had he thought it than Gretta swung a sharp kick to her captor's knee and threw her weight forward, putting her captor off balance and her feet on the ground. Again, she used the concealed spike built into her boot heel to rip through his groin.
Another trick he'd taught her. Always have a weapon. Even a homemade one. If one was clever enough, no one would know until it was too late. Shiffley was all over the second guy, though it wasn't really necessary. The other Lionsblood just stood there as if he knew fighting was futile. His end was swift.
Shiffley turned to see Gretta freeing herself. Apparently, she'd fallen when her captor slumped to the ground. She scrambled to her feet. Two of her three attackers lay holding their privates amid growing pools of blood. The third -- dead.
"Bastard," Gretta muttered. "That'll teach you."
"What are you waiting for? Finish him." Shiffley spoke quietly, but the two Lionsblood knew an order when they heard one. Both held up a hand and shook their heads.
Gretta was breathing hard, but she shook her head once. Her eyes shifted everywhere, looking for would-be attackers. "I have no problem killing, Shiff. You know that. But I won't kill a man like this."
Shiffley didn't really expect her to kill either man in cold blood, but it really would have been the smart thing to do. He was in full protection mode. He would have stopped her had she made a move to actually kill the disabled men, but it didn't stop him from lashing out at her for not doing so.
He had almost lost her, and rational thinking seemed to be beyond him at the moment. "You're a fool!" He had no problem being harsh with her. Life was harsh. He'd taught her how to survive, and it did not involve letting enemies who had tried to kill her live. "They'll only hunt you down later and finish what they started. They're dead, anyway. No one here will think twice about challenging them for food knowing it took three of them to take down one human."
"You think so little of my abilities as to consider me a mere human?" Gretta growled at him. Had she been a Lionsblood in full Lion form, her hackles would be raised and her claws extended and ready.
"You are human. Just because I taught you a few things doesn't make you a Vampire, or even a Lionsblood." At the mention of the word "vampire," the crowd scattered. Shiffley couldn't help the twitch of his lip. It was amusing, sometimes, to let people think the worst of him.