Galactic Wolf [Wolf Hunt 3]
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by Marie Treanor
Category: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica/Science Fiction
Description: As the Earth wolves are freed and the truth revealed, the Gardenians panic and bring forward their invasion. They send a fleet of star ships, led by the troublesome young Senator Cereza. Cereza, mindful of her career as well as her duty, takes her responsibilities seriously. But she lets herself be distracted for long enough to capture the mysterious space pirate Captain who's been terrorizing Gardenians on the frontier for months. Yuri doesn't even know his own name when he first meets her, but from the beginning, she confuses his instinctive mission to eliminate Gardenians. Taking her hostage to ensure the safety of his crew is necessary. Educating her in what he's learned of Earth's situation seems sensible. Seducing her isn't part of his plan, not when his wolf is liable to tear her apart. But their lust is powerful and has consequences that go far beyond their own emotions. The fate of two peoples is balanced in their hands.
eBook Publisher: Changeling Press LLC, 2009 2009
eBookwise Release Date: March 2010
7 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [115 KB]
Reading time: 68-95 min.
Cereza dragged her gaze from the document on her reader. She stared at her flagship commander in disbelief.
"They've got the entire crew of a Gardenian patrol ship in prison? Why, in the name of all the galactic gods?"
"Apparently because a space pirate told them to," Commander Azale said with heavy sarcasm.
Cereza frowned. "I know things are different out here on the frontier, but haven't the planetary authorities gotten mixed up? Aren't our patrols meant to put the pirates in prison?"
Azale allowed himself a very minor smile. "That's always been the way it worked in the past. But, apparently these pirates captured the patrol ship and spirited it away while dumping the crew on the planet under a charge of 'planetary misappropriation.'"
"What in space does that mean?"
"I haven't the foggiest idea. Neither have the authorities, but it sounded so serious they thought they should hold the crew until Gardenia was informed."
"We're informed," Cereza said grimly. "Get them out of there, Azale. Assign the others to whichever ship has accommodation or need of them, but I want their commander here as soon as you spring him."
Azale's bright orange eyes gleamed. "Yes, Senator."
As he marched off, Cereza reflected that she shouldn't be getting involved in such minor incidents. She had a more important mission a long way off, and she really didn't need any more hold-ups. Still, she couldn't leave a Gardenian crew languishing in a frontier prison. Aside from the cruelty, it wouldn't reflect well on Gardenian authority or morality.
With an irritable sigh, she resolved to contact Gardenia once she'd spoken to the patrol captain. They could sort it out from home while she continued immediately on her way to Earth.
On the thought, she returned to the document in her hands, a description of recent events from Gardenia's Primary Agents on Earth. At least, they still styled themselves in this manner, although they'd been forced to flee along with all the agents they could collect in their small ship. It was their original plea, while still in place, that had jolted Gardenia's military wheels into unexpected motion. The Earth authorities were on to the existence of alien agents and were fighting back with a fearsome secret weapon that was seeking out and killing them. As yet, the reports were so garbled that Cereza was at a loss as to how this weapon worked, but the important thing was, a peaceful, gradual takeover of Earth was no longer possible. It was going to have to be all-out military invasion to combat Earth's new weaponry.
Flung suddenly into the deep end with her new job as Minister for Expansion, Cereza was still trying to bring herself up to speed. She was far from stupid, but knew only too well that as the youngest and most recently elected senator, she was ill suited to such a senior role. They'd thrust it upon her to carry the blame for possible failure, because she'd annoyed them by bringing up issues they didn't want to address. This invasion thing was all going too fast. If it succeeded, the senior senators would applaud her and take at least half the credit. If she failed, she'd be disgraced. Perversely, Cereza determined to succeed in a project she doubted, and so she read everything she could find of the agents' reports in order to assess the best way forward.
Frequent interruptions didn't make her study easy, and when the door to her quarters opened again, she glared at it. Azale stood there with another rumpled-looking soldier.
"Commander Krysant of patrol ship three-one-seven," Azale announced.
Cereza blinked. "That was quick."
"I used your name and rank to good effect," Azale said wryly. "Will that be all?"
"Yes, of course. If we've got them all, let's resume course."
As Azale departed, she indicated the seat on the opposite side of her desk. "Please, sit. Are you hurt at all?"
"Only in my professional pride, letting my ship be seized by trickery," snarled Krysant, easing himself into the chair. His eyes and hair had a soft pinkish tinge that contrasted almost alarmingly with his craggy, angry face.
"What happened? Who did it?"
"How the..." Krysant started to fume before forcing himself with obvious difficulty to calm down. He contented himself with a glare. "You don't know what's been going on out here, do you?"
"Not exactly. It's not my area of responsibility."
Krysant frowned. "Then you haven't come to nail the bastard?"
"Sorry. We have a larger mission than one space pirate. But I will report the incident to all the relevant authorities on Gardenia..."
Krysant snorted. "Hope you've better luck than I did. Does nobody on Gardenia know about this guy?"
"I'm sure the appropriate authorities do," she soothed. "But no, it's not general knowledge. You'd better tell me."
Krysant sighed, drumming his fingers on the desk as he reported in words he'd clearly used before. "He sprang to life here from nowhere just a few months ago. Alien ship, not as fast as ours but nimbler, very precise weapons-targeting. He recruited a few frontier scumbags on the shady side of the law to crew it, and began attacking every vessel he passed. Boards them all, personally. Some he lets go -- which contributes to his hero status -- others are seized, plundered --"
"He has hero status?" Cereza interrupted. "How come?"
"Because he steals so sodding much! He pays his crew, repairs his ship and gives the rest to the scaff and raff of the frontier planets. As a result, they hide him and his crew, deny all knowledge of their whereabouts. Meanwhile the captain goes on seizing Gardenian ships --"
"He only seizes Gardenian ships?" Cereza interrupted again.
"No, but it's largely the Gardenians he sticks in the local prisons. The ones he doesn't kill, that is."
Cereza closed her mouth. "He's killed Gardenians?"
"Several. Some who've survived say he's a wild animal. I can see why. It all contributes to the legend." He snorted.
The commander's anger began to seem very understandable, because it went well beyond his own humiliating experience. "And you've heard nothing from Gardenia? No support in dealing with this?"
"Not a hoot."
"Madness! Your communications can't be getting through!"
"They're through." Krysant stared at her with barely concealed insolence. "Sitting under some senator's silver cup."
Her frown deepened, because she couldn't dispute his belief with any conviction. Inefficiency was rife in Gardenian government -- officials dealt only with the matters which would bring them wealth or glory. Frontier space pirates were less interesting than the possible assimilation of a new planet.
And Earth was certainly more important in the bigger picture for overcrowded Gardenia. But leaving her compatriots to die was not just callous in Cereza's mind, it was impossible.
She stood abruptly. "I want everything you have on this pirate. Presumably he's not stupid enough to attack a military convoy of this size, so we'll have to lay ourselves out as bait. I want you to liaise with Commander Azale."
Krysant stumbled to his feet, staring at her with mingled hope and suspicion in his tired eyes.
"You're going to get him?"
"Yes," said Cereza with conviction. "I'm going to get him."