Series: Stargazers Title: Willful ISBN (13): 978-1-60521-180-0 Genres: Futuristic, Paranormal, Sci-Fi Themes: Menage, Magic and Mayhem Release Date: May 15,Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2009View Source
ISBN (13): 978-1-60521-180-0
Genres: Futuristic, Paranormal, Sci-Fi
Themes: Menage, Magic and Mayhem
Release Date: May 15, 2009
Author: Anne Kane
Born both a Stargazer and Daughter-Heir to the throne of New Zanadles, Jazlyn is used to a life of pampered luxury. But when the planet runs into financial trouble, her father agrees to bind her to a five-year term of service aboard a vessel with two very virile interplanetary merchants.
Her leisurely life is replaced by a whirlwind of Intergalactic Council intrigues and the lusty attentions of her new employers, but when space pirates attack, a routine delivery turns into a deadly struggle for control of the ship.
Closing her eyes, she tilted her head back. She let her consciousness expand out into the cold void of space, seeking the brilliant energy that signified the ley lines. Behind her closed lids, the lines shimmered into view, their seductive energy calling to her. The blues and green were darker in this quadrant, clearer in the absence of man-made clutter, but they still formed that glittering maze that tempted her to immerse herself in its power. She ignored the temptation, searching amongst the strands for the one she needed to follow to reach their destination. She examined each, discarding one after the other. Instinct would tell her when she'd found what she needed. Greens. Golds. Blues. The lines were seductive, tempting her to lose herself in their beauty. Still, she searched.
And then she found it. The line that would lead her to the Globar system. She narrowed her focus, concentrating on that one line, drawing the twinkling energy into herself, and using her hands to direct it to the massive engines of the ship. Dimly, she felt the vibrations as the ship began to move through space, picking up speed as she strengthened the flow of power, acting as a human conductor.
She reveled in the feel of the energy coursing through her body, captured by her, controlled by her. The temptation was there, always at the back of her mind, to draw more and more power until there was no going back. She'd merge completely with the brilliant energy of the lines, become one with that incredible maze. It became harder and harder to resist. Every time she channeled the power, she hesitated just a fraction of a second longer before letting it go. She'd always used her father to anchor her to this life -- to reach out to if the temptation were too great.
But he wasn't here.
Time had no meaning in her trance. The power flowed through her to the engines in a steady stream, and she remained passive, letting it use her. Dimly, she was aware of planets, stars and the other heavenly bodies as they came within range, only to disappear as the ship hurtled toward its destination.
It could have been nanosecs or whole solar days before she sensed her destination approaching. Reluctantly, she let some of the power slip away, loosening her hold on the line. She could feel the engine slow as she came out of the trance. Her body sagged against the harness as fatigue overtook her. When the auxiliary power kicked in, she emerged completely, and exhaustion slammed into her. She opened her eyes to find Bryce striding toward her, concern plowing deep furrows into his handsome brow.
"How long..." Her voice cracked and she couldn't finish. She must have held the power longer than she'd intended. She felt spent, every last ounce of her reserves drained.
"Too long. Why the hell didn't you let go before this?" Bryce's hands were gentle as he unbuckled the restraints. When she would have fallen, he lifted her in his arms and dragged a blanket over her naked body. "You scared the hell out of me. Don't you ever do that again!"
Jazlyn smiled weakly at the rough affection in his voice. Typical male, he seemed to think he had the right to give her orders. "I'm a Stargazer. I don't take orders from merchant captains."
"So this is what you do when I'm not around." Jazlyn started as Tyler's deep voice boomed out cheerfully from the far side of the bridge. She peeked over Bryce's shoulder. Tyler had one arm draped possessively around her cousin.
Mika smiled up at him with adoring eyes, before she turned a concerned look in Jazlyn's direction. "Did you overdo it? You know your tutor warned you. Those lines can devour you whole if you're not careful."
"I'm fine." She felt silly, held in Bryce's arms like a small child while her cousin lectured her. "Just a little tired."
"You can rest for a cycle before the next jump." Tyler looked at the dark red planet visible on the observation screen. "That's Makus 1 off to our left. We stocked up on supplies before we left New Zanadles, so we don't need to dock." He glanced at his partner. "No need to alert any Council spies that we have a Stargazer on board."
Bryce nodded. "I agree. I'll take Jazlyn down to her cabin so she can get some rest. You secure the bridge and make sure we're ready in case we have to power up in a hurry."
"You two are so paranoid." Mika ducked out from under Tyler's arm. "I'll come and take care of Jazlyn."
"Not necessary." Bryce met Jazlyn's gaze, and she felt her cheeks go red. "I can take care of her."
"She needs rest, my friend." Tyler grinned. "Not your amorous attention."
"And she'll get it." Bryce strode toward the doorway. "If you want to take care of someone, Mika, Tyler's in need of some supervision."
Mika laughed, the sound cheerful in the confines of the bridge. "Let him go, Tyler. I told you he's smitten. My darling cousin has him wrapped around her little finger."
Bryce threw the pair a quelling look and strode out the doorway, Jazlyn held firmly against his heart.