Delroi Prophecy 2

After six months captivity, Parker Reed is thrilled to be free and offered asylum on Delroi, joining her fellow prisoners Kareena and Zola. It’s not long before she realizes that could have been a huge mistake. She’s a woman used to being in control and she devoted her life to one purpose: bringing down the corrupt.

That identity is gone now but she hasn’t changed. She doesn’t play, goof off, or involve herself with men who think they should be the center of her life. Kaje Stian is a constant presence, however. He’s the exact opposite of the kind of men Parker usually dates, and he’s determined to have her. What’s a girl to do? He’s overbearing, demanding, and ultimately, irresistible.

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Kaje Stian, Steward and second in command of the Clan of the Keep, gathered his warriors and hurried to meet his chief. Fatigue pounded a tattoo behind his right eye, but it would be hours yet before he could indulge in sleep. He’d spent the previous night chasing down the identities of the rebels who’d attacked the goddess temple in their embassy compound. Now that he had a complete list he set his intelligence officers the task of digging into their backgrounds.

He was still furious that the sanctity of the temple had been violated. There were only two on Delroi in active use and both fell under the protection of his clan. No male was ever allowed inside. He’d die to protect that right just like the other warriors in his clan. Except the traitors who’d joined the rebels. They’d been killed when Roarr’s and Barak’s men had entered. Kaje ground his teeth. Too bad they were dead. He would like to rip them apart limb by limb.

He took a deep, cleansing breath. He couldn’t enter his chief’s home filled with homicidal rage. There were three women inside, under Roarr’s, and by extension Kaje’s, protection. They’d been held prisoner by a rogue government group on Earth, and apparently were the targets of yesterday’s violation of the temple. There was one in particular he wanted to meet.

He nodded absently to those who greeted him on the street, swung around the corner leading to Roarr’s Saber City home, and jogged up the steps. He was nervous, a ludicrous situation to find himself in, but since he was also desperate–another foreign emotion–he wasn’t all that surprised. He paused outside the door long enough to set his sentries, shielding his face against stinging sand–gods he hated this city–and mentally reviewed his plea before stepping inside.

It took a minute for his eyes to adjust to the dim interior. Jarek Idis, the chief’s brother and clan’s senior healer, not to mention one hell of a warrior, waited with two women in the foyer. Kaje suspected the third woman was with Roarr since she was his der’lan. She wasn’t the one Kaje sought. He was looking for Parker Reed and on her planet she was a mind healer, what they called a mental health counselor. It was not the kind of assistance a Delroi warrior would normally seek out, but Kaje was out of options.

One of his brothers’ platoons had been ambushed and left for dead by rebel forces months ago. Vidar was the only survivor. He’d healed physically, but the brother Kaje knew was gone. He’d become cold and withdrawn and was taking stupid risks that turned Kaje’s hair grey. He’d threatened Vidar into talking to the Earthling healer. Now he just had to convince her.

If what Roarr had hinted at about her ordeal was as bad as Kaje feared that might be easier said than done, however. As he considered how to proceed, Roarr and the third woman joined them. Kaje stepped forward to join the small group. Roarr stood close to his der’lan and gave Kaje a warning look. The three women moved together, forming a united front. The redhead, who was the most fragile looking, met his gaze for only a second before looking away. Which just left one more, but he was totally unprepared when her bright green eyes met his and snared him.

Parker Reed, the mind healer, was too thin and pale. It was obvious she’d been through hell, though her gaze was calm and he sensed a deep resilience in her. She needed time to recover her strength and stamina, but she was far from broken. Would that make her more or less sympathetic to his brother’s situation? Not that he could focus very hard on that question at the moment. She was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, and she was his. The minute he looked into her eyes his world narrowed to include only her. His blood rushed hot and his body hardened in insistent demand.
Her eyes widened with a responding heat for just a moment before she hid it behind a cool dismissive gaze. That casual disregard made him want to roar out his claim and act on the primitive need that held him in its grip. It was a struggle to remember who he was, the kind of man he was. He pulled on years of training and control to do it. He was a warrior of the Keep, his mother had been a priestess of the goddess, and he was not about to claim a woman who wasn’t ready for him. But he damned sure wasn’t above charming her. Seducing her. Once he could speak again without croaking like an untried boy.

She watched him with a wary gaze, and he realized with sharp painful clarity that she found him intimidating. He wasn’t surprised exactly, but he was disappointed. And resolute. He didn’t want to see fear in her eyes when she looked at him, so he didn’t approach her yet. Roarr introduced everyone. Planning his next move, Kaje fell into a guard position as they left the house for the shuttle pad.

But during the hour and half flight to the Keep, he didn’t come up with anything feasible. His one attempt at conversation was shot down, which was probably a good thing. His instinct was to take her somewhere private, convince her to strip, and learn every inch of her body. The urge was strong, hammering in his veins, so he paid little attention as they landed and disembarked. While he’d been distracted, they’d been making plans and before he knew it he was falling into step behind Jarek to show them to their quarters. Jarek was distracting the other woman, Zola, with a description of the fortress leaving Parker all for Kaje. He wasn’t alone with her, but it was damned good start. Hopefully, it wouldn’t take long to get her right where he wanted her. He didn’t bother to hide his anticipation as he turned to her.

“I’m Kaje Stian,” he introduced himself.

“I know. Roarr said,” she reminded him. She gave him a guarded look and bit her bottom lip. He barely a repressed a groan. He wanted to do that. He wanted to taste every inch of her. Kiss and nip his way over her smooth skin, learn every dip and curve and mark. A pretty blush spread up her neck to her face. She sucked in a breath and slowly released it.

“As you know, I’m Parker and I’d appreciate if you didn’t project desires like that quite so forcefully,” she said primly.

“You’re a telepath.”