Shifting Priorities: Mating Call
Click on image to enlarge.
by Anne Kane
Category: Erotica/Erotic Science Fiction/Science Fiction
Description: Cali grew up alone in the unforgiving alleys of post-Empire Earth. She learned how to use her big blue eyes, blonde hair and innocent face to con a living from gullible males throughout the galaxy. But when she decides to charm her way onto Darien's shuttle to steal the data codes for his new security system, she gets more than she bargained for. Pirates, an old acquaintance and an irresistibly sexy Imperial were-panther all make it a voyage she won't forget any time soon.
eBook Publisher: Changeling Press LLC, 2009 2009
eBookwise Release Date: April 2009
74 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [75 KB]
Reading time: 42-59 min.
Legend has it, long after the fall of civilization in the twenty-third century, a special breed of mutants was created with the two-fold purpose of defending His Imperial Highness, the ruler of all Earth, and to protect humanity. Known as the Imperial were-panthers, they could shift from human to panther form at will.
In time, the heirs to the Imperial Dynasty became corrupt. They adopted an opulent lifestyle and demanded ever-increasing amounts of tribute from humanity. The Imperial were-panthers saw that humanity suffered greatly from their rulers' greed. The shifters were torn between their duty to the throne and their loyalty to mankind. They tried to reason with His Imperial Highness but he refused their counsel, threatening to banish the shifters from the Earth if they continued to defy him.
And so, the Imperial were-panthers decided to protect humanity with one last, heroic act. In a bloody battle, they wiped out the Imperial Dynasty. From that day forth, their entire race disappeared back into legend and myth and no one has seen an Imperial were-panther since.
If Cali had known the truth, she might not have targeted Darien. * * * *
"That's her over there." The bartender nodded in the direction of a petite blonde on the dance floor. "She asked a lot of questions, and promised to make it worth my while if I pointed you out to her." An easy grin lit up his face. "You're a lucky cat. She's a real looker."
"Thanks for the heads-up, Jack." Darien watched the lithe woman gyrate in time to the heavy beat of the music. "With moves like those, I somehow doubt she's hurting for partners. I wonder what she wants from me."
"You could always go ask her." Jack popped the top off a moon-brewed ale and sat it on the bar in front of his old friend. The lower gravity of the moon gave the beverage an extra smooth flavor.
Darien picked up the bottle and took a long pull. "How about we play it her way? I'll nurse my drink and you can sic her on me." He grinned. "And make sure to talk me up good. I could use a bit of action."
Jack snorted. "Yeah, right. Somehow, I doubt you're hard up. Didn't I see Jillian coming out of your quarters earlier?"
Darien laughed. "She's a friend, more like a sister than a lover. She likes to catch up when I'm planet-side."
"Whatever you say." The bartender ducked under Darien's good-natured swat. "Go grab a table and I'll send her your way. You might want to have Jakeb run a background check on her too, just in case she's after more than a night's company."
Darien grabbed his drink and sauntered over to a booth on the far side of the bar, noting the improvements since his last visit. The place looked almost respectable these days. When the Galactic Corps disbanded after the treaty of Tangelerise, Jack had declared himself officially retired from the military. He'd purchased the run-down watering hole and settled in to life as a civilian.
Darien had been the tech expert in their group, so he'd taken it legit and opened up his own security firm. With a solid background in how to breach systems, it didn't take much effort to build defenses to protect them. In short order, he'd developed Lintek Security into one of the top security firms in this sector of the galaxy.
He settled his large frame into the booth and let his gaze slide back to the blonde. Heat pooled in his loins as he watched her sashay her tight little ass across the dance floor. Her long, honey-gold hair rippled and shone with every move she made, the ever-changing colors of the lights above the dance floor picking out the highlights. He could just imagine it spread gloriously across her naked body while she writhed under him in the throes of passion.
He gave a mental shake. No point in getting ahead of himself. His security systems were first class. She probably wanted him to set up a system for her lover. Or lovers. She looked like a real handful. He watched her wrap her arms around the neck of the Adillon she'd been dancing with, giving him a smoldering kiss before she glided over to the bar and accepted a drink from Jack. The stunned expression on the man's face caused Darien to chuckle softly. She certainly knew how to tease.
He pretended not to watch as Jack bent to talk to her, nodding in the direction of Darien's table. She threw him a speculative glance that made him wonder what, exactly, she wanted. He gave a mental shrug and took another long pull on his beer. He'd find out soon enough.
The girl slipped a cred-chip to Jack and sauntered over to his table. Leaning one hip against the cold marble top, she favored him with a brilliant smile as she set her glass down on the table. "Care to dance?"
Darien grinned up at her as he unfolded himself from the booth. "Certainly." He took the hand she extended and let her lead him to the floor. "I don't believe we know each other."
She flashed him a sparkling white smile that sent a delicious flame curling around his spine. "Not yet."
He lifted a brow. "Is that an invitation?"