The Bond That
By Christine d’Abo
Sara has been so busy saving the
lives of others, her own life has passed her by. But when a
mysterious alien captain crash lands his ship on the Eurus colony,
Sara feels an unexplained attraction to him and decides to throw
herself into an unexpected love affair.
The last thing Davin wants is to
walk into a relationship with anyone, let alone a feisty human
doctor. But when he is forced to stay on the colony, Davin can't help
but be drawn to Sara's strength and spirit. As long as he can hide
the true nature of his healing abilities from her, everything will be
They tumble headlong into a fiery
sexual relationship, drawing closer until events threaten to push
them apart permanently. When a group of miners on the planet begins
to exhibit unusual behavior, Davin must put his fears aside and work
with Sara to save their lives. If he can't open up to her, all may be
The Bond That Heals Us
Copyright 2017 Christine
Discover more books by
Christine d’Abo at her website
All Rights Are Reserved.
part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever
without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations
embodied in critical articles and reviews.
is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and
events portrayed in this story are either products of the author’s
imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual
events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
edition: May 2008
edition: March 2017
more information, please contact Christine d’Abo at
Table of Contents
by Christine d’Abo
The Bond That
Eternal Bonds 2
By Christine d’Abo
Sara Fergus raced through the
door to the meeting room and practically threw herself into the only
empty seat at the conference table. The chair shifted, making a
scraping noise as it absorbed her moving body.
“Sorry I’m late. One of the
engineers had a severe laceration on his leg after a conduit exploded
and sent metal flying. I had to rush him into surgery. Bloody mess
everywhere.” She muttered the last under her breath.
She blew a strand of hair away
from her face before she finally looked up at the people who were now
all staring at her. Her best friend and chief of security, Haylie,
was sitting at the end of the table next to her husband Kamran,
grinning like a fool. He stared at her, trying to maintain an air of
diplomatic professionalism, but Sara couldn’t miss the twinkle in
his eyes or the slight smirk on his face. Sara didn’t need to look
around at the rest of the participants to know what their expressions
Dumb, stupid space cadet!
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to
cause a disturbance,” she said and felt a blush heat her face.
“Not at all. We all appreciate
how busy you are,” Kamran said, unable to contain his smile
anymore. “You are just in time to hear about our supply situation.”
Thank god her two friends were
here to smooth things over. Sara had been an unorganized mess most of
her life. Haylie had been around for most of it and knew how to keep
her in line. Now that her friend had formed a mental bond with her
husband, Sara suddenly found herself with another powerful friend—and
someone who could help keep her out of trouble. Not that she intended
to get into trouble, but it always seemed to follow her.
Kamran looked down at Haylie and
Sara watched as his smile changed. She knew they were probably
sharing some silent thought, a comment or private joke communicated
through their bond. Despite the close friendship that the three of
them shared, she couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable around them
sometimes. She didn’t like that she’d lost some of the intimacy
she’d shared with her best friend for years. Hated that she
couldn’t claim to know Haylie’s mind as well as her husband.
Petty jealously, she supposed.
Sara gave her head a shake and
tried to focus her attention on the portly man in the brown suit who
was now talking. A data pad was pushed in front of her and
automatically began to flick from report to report, detailing the
state of the colony as the man talked. She had to fight back a sudden
wave of exhaustion and stifle a yawn when he began droning on about
regulations. She really didn’t have time for this crap.
“Administrator Kamran, after
taking a closer look at our supply reserves and comparing that
against how much profit we can earn from sales of silicate ore from
our mines, we will be running dangerously close to the wire for the
next six months.” The man leaned his fleshy arms across the table
and pressed his belly firmly against the edge. “We will need to
increase production if we are to maintain the colony.”
“Why is this just coming to
light now?” Kamran asked, his hands folded together in front of
him. “We should have had warning long before now.”
“Sir, we don’t have the
luxury of trying to figure out how this happened. We need to get
matters resolved quickly before this colony is at risk. We need
Was this guy for real?
“I don’t recommend that at
all,” Sara cut in. She made sure all eyes were on her before
continuing. “I’ve already had five miners report to the med bay
in the past week from exhaustion-related injuries. They barely seem
to know where they are or what they are doing. I’ve had to take
three of them off active duty and send them on mandatory rest leave.
They’re being pushed to their limits already.”
The man in brown snorted.
“They’re simply taking advantage of your bleeding heart, Doctor.
I very much doubt things are as dire as you are leading us to
believe. And the triple shifts will let us—”
Somewhere in her head she
registered the sudden sharp intake of breath as Haylie’s, but she
was far too pissed off to acknowledge it. Sara was on her feet,
leaning across the Briel who sat beside her, so she could glare at
the odious man.
“What is your name?” she
“I don’t see what that—”
“Grant,” he squeaked.
“Well Grant, you may take issue
with many things about me, but don’t you ever, ever call into
question the validity of any of my diagnosis. The health and
well-being of my patients is the most important thing to me and under
no circumstance will I have my ethics as a doctor disputed by a
small-minded bureaucrat. Do I make myself clear, little man?”
By the end of her speech, Sara’s
voice was dangerously close to a yell and her body was shaking. For
his part, sitting wide mouthed and sputtering, Grant could only nod.
Sara flopped back into her chair, folded her hands across her lap and
shot her gaze to a blank spot on the wall. Her heart was pounding and
it took all her concentration to relax.
“Thank you for your
recommendations, both your recommendations, on the situation at the
mines,” Kamran’s calm, steady voice filled the uncomfortable
silence in the room. “If the situation is as dire as we are lead to
believe, I’ll appoint a representative from the colony to start a
recruiting campaign to entice some additional personnel to relocate
to Eurus. That should help both the production and the physical
conditions of the miners.”
“Thank you,” she said,
casting a glance at Grant.
“We need to look into getting a
better forecasting system in place to prevent this sort of thing from
happening again,” Haylie said, sitting back in her chair, her arms
across her stomach.
“Of course,” Grant nodded,
looking pleased he was getting his own way.
Kamran nodded. “Good. I’d
also like to arrange a tour of the mines. I’ve put off checking the
“I don’t recommend that
currently, Administrator,” Grant cut in. “Conditions aren’t
ideal at the moment. We had one of the secondary caves collapse and
need to get it cleaned up.”
“Can’t have a mess in the
mines,” Sara muttered, a bit louder than she’d intended.
Sara felt her face heat for the
second time since her arrival at the meeting. She quickly flicked her
gaze to Kamran, who only winked at her. Haylie rolled her eyes, but
winced suddenly afterward. Her husband’s hand immediately went to
hers and gave it a squeeze.
“Were there any other items on
the agenda?” Kamran’s voice, while still even, had taken on a
The murmur in the room faded out
when Kamran gave his head a sharp nod. “Excellent. We’ll meet
again next week. Thank you for coming.”
Grant practically bowled Sara
over trying to escape the room, but she really didn’t give a shit
about his little snit right now. Haylie was sick. Sara strode across
the room as fast as her short legs would carry her until she was at
her friend’s side.
“What the hell’s the matter
with you and why haven’t you called me sooner?”
“Sara, there’s nothing—”
“She’s been sick for over a
week now,” Kamran said, his hand wrapped around her shoulder.
“She’s barely eating and what she does eat, she can’t keep
down. And she’s moody, worse than normal.”
Haylie hit her husband hard
across the chest. He completely ignored her.
“Any weight loss or weight
gain?” she asked Kamran, blocking out Haylie’s annoyed protests.
“Yes, some weight loss. And
she’s been sleeping more than normal.”
Haylie sighed. “I miss one
“She missed a meeting?” Sara
couldn’t hide her surprise. That was something she would have done,
but never Haylie.
“That was yesterday. I had a
hard time getting her out of bed again today.”
Kamran ran his hand through
Haylie’s long brown hair and frowned. Sara knew they were
communicating through their mental bond when Haylie sighed and
“Go ahead. But I swear
nothing’s wrong with me. It’s probably just the flu.”
Sara immediately set to work
checking her over. The last time Haylie had exhibited strange
symptoms, Sara had ignored them. It turned out to be the effects of
an alien pheromone manipulation, something that had created a
temporary mating bond between her friend and her husband. Sara had
been thrilled when the Briel council had found a way to make their
bond permanent a little over a year ago. She’d never seen her
friend this happy.
This time she wasn’t about to
ignore any strange goings on when it came to Haylie. The quick check
of her vitals revealed lower than normal blood pressure and heart
rate. It wasn’t until she pulled out her portable bio scanner that
Sara clued in to the problem. The excitement that zipped through her
brought an instant grin to her face.
“What?” Haylie and Kamran
asked at the same time.
“You, my dearest and oldest
friend, are going to be perfectly fine.”
“See,” Haylie said and
whacked Kamran across the chest again. “It’s just the flu.”
“Then what’s wrong with her,
Sara? She’s not acting herself. And please don’t tell me it’s
Not wanting to worry either of
them, Sara stood up, taking Haylie’s hand with her. She reached for
Kamran’s and laced the two of them together. “I have to say that
this is my favorite part of being a doctor. I have the utmost
pleasure to be able to tell you that you should expect an addition to
your family in about twelve months.”
Kamran was on his feet, eyes
wide. “A baby?”
“Twelve months!” Haylie was
on her feet just as fast. “What happened to nine?”
Sara couldn’t help but laugh.
“Well, the normal gestation for a Briel baby is fifteen months. I
figure it’s somewhere in the middle and took a guess. I’ll be
able to give you a more accurate reading once I can get you back to
the med bay.”
“A baby,” Kamran repeated
with a grin fixed firmly on his face. He suddenly picked Haylie up in
his arms and gave her a hug. Haylie giggled and, after a brief
protest, relaxed against him.
“I’ll leave you two alone.
But I want you to check in later on today so we can start some blood
work to make sure everything’s in order. And until I do so,
consider yourself off duty, Chief.”
She couldn’t be sure either of
them heard her at that moment. They were so lost in each other that
Sara took the opportunity to slip away.
Light from the planet’s surface
streamed in through the windows that lined the outside wall of the
colony’s main building. Since the Ecada attack last year, they’d
expanded the growth of the colony to include a second building. Sara
slowed as she approached one of the windows so she could stare at the
half-finished structure. Men and women in EV suits were outside
welding metal frames that would soon be fitted with reinforced
plastic panels. Another six months, maybe a year and they’d be
finished. The Eurus colony would see another explosion of colonists
arrive to seek out adventure on the frontier. That, combined with the
gradual influx of explorers from neighboring star systems, pirates
and wanderers, and the colony would be at its capacity sooner than
Sara ran her fingers along her
neck, trying to rub out the stiff muscles. With any luck, there would
be a few more doctors with the new group and she’d get a rest.
Shaking off her exhaustion, Sara
made her way back toward her office, knowing there was a pile of work
waiting for her. As she walked, she smiled at the people she passed,
trying to mentally review each of their names and, for the most part,
actually remembering them. She had no problem recalling the symptoms
of most human diseases and more than a few alien ones as well, but
give her someone’s name and she was lost. Not for the first time,
she envied Haylie’s photographic memory.
The doors hissed closed behind
her as she walked into the unusually quiet med bay. Several of the
Briel doctors had taken the day off to prepare for some sort of
ceremony, which for the life of her, Sara couldn’t remember. It was
important, that much she knew. What it meant was she needed to pull a
double shift until Jaylin returned.
She’d been more than a little
suspicious of the new Briel doctor when he’d arrived shortly after
Ray’s death. The elder council vouched for him and his abilities
until she was satisfied he wouldn’t launch an attack against them.
But it didn’t stop her from having Haylie and Taber run a
background check anyway. She wasn’t taking any more chances when it
came to who she worked with.
“Hey, Doc. I thought you had a
meeting?” Rachael asked, throwing a nutrition bar at her.
Sara smiled at her head nurse as
she ripped into the packaging and pulled a piece of the moist bar
“I did. Showed up late, got out
early. Anything exciting going on here?”
“Nope. Quiet enough that you
can steal a nap in the isolation room,” Rachael said and winked.
The temptation was certainly
there. Instead, Sara sighed and made her way toward her office. “No,
I have a pile of reports I need to get through. Earth Medical sent me
another nasty communication yesterday, and if I don’t get these
done, they’ve vowed to replace me.”
“Well, we don’t want them
tossing our favorite Earth doctor out an airlock.”
Sara grinned at Rachael. “I
better get at it then. Yell if anything exciting happens.”
Her office was blessedly cool and
quiet. Before sliding behind her desk to tackle the data pads stacked
there, she made her way over to the food dispenser as she chewed on
the mostly bland bar.
“Large glass of water.”
Instantly, her request appeared
in the small slot in front of her. She would never get tired of that
particular piece of Briel technology. Instead of drinking, Sara
poured the water over the large Briel plant Kamran had given her as a
birthday present a few months ago. He swore she couldn’t kill it,
and so far she hadn’t let him down.
But anything could happen.
With nothing left to help her
procrastinate, Sara began to work away at the reports. As she read,
her eyelids became heavy and she had to adjust her body in her seat
several times to keep from nodding off. When she realized she’d
read the same paragraph on the data pad three times, she pushed it
“Just a quick nap.”
Leaning back as far as her chair
would allow, Sara tucked her feet under her butt, crossed her arms
across her chest and let her mind wander. She couldn’t help but
think of Haylie and Kamran and how happy they were. Someday, she
wanted that for herself. All she needed was to find a man who could
look past her particular idiosyncrasies and love her.
Not normally much of a dreamer,
Sara felt oddly aware of her surroundings as she slipped into sleep.
She was on a beach back on Earth,
one she hadn’t been to since she was a kid. The tide was up as the
waves crashed on the sandy beach, pulling and pushing seashells with
it as it moved. Sara wandered close and enjoyed the feeling of the
water on her feet. It had always relaxed both her body and mind.
She heard a person, a man, come
up behind her and wrap his arms around her body. Leaning back, she
soaked in his warmth and his scent as it mixed with the salt air. She
kept her eyes closed, scared to wake up and lose the comfort of her
dream lover. She’d been so lonely over the past year, it felt
wonderful to have someone just for her. To have that same type of
closeness Haylie shared with Kamran.
“I’m so tired,” she
Her dream lover placed a slow,
sensuous kiss on her neck. Sara tilted her head to the side to give
him better access. As he nipped and licked the sensitive skin, he
moved his hands to reach up and cup her breasts.
“I’ll look after you,” he
spoke the words against her damp neck.
“But you’re not real.”
“I’m here with you now.
That’s all that matters.”
She sighed as his fingers brushed
over her nipples lightly before he gently rolled the swollen tips,
stoking her desire. His breath came out in hot pants and she could
feel his hard cock pressing against the small of her back.
“I could so fuck you right
now,” he whispered.
Sara’s body instantly reacted
to his words as she arched her back hard against him. Her pussy was
soaked, ready for him to push inside her, take her as his own.
“Please, I need you,” the
words rushed out of her.
“Only if you look at me. I want
to see your face.”
Her heart began to pound. She
knew if she did what he asked, the spell would be broken, everything
would fade away.
“Sara, look at me.”
His voice was demanding, needy
and very tempting.
Slowly, she spun in her dream
lover’s arms, but she kept her eyes closed. His chest felt hard
against her sensitive breasts. Her heartbeat was loud in her ears as
she felt him lean forward and place a kiss on the tip of her nose.
“Hey, it’s my dream.”
“Open your eyes. I want you to
She opened her mouth to argue,
but nothing came out. Why didn’t she just open her eyes? It was
only a dream.
As she was about to give him what
he wanted, a loud siren blared, instinctively forcing her to open her
eyes. Instead of her dream lover, the only thing Sara saw was her
office. It took her a few seconds to realize the siren was real. Sara
was on her feet and in front of the computer console before she’d
even given it thought.
“Eurus control, this is Dr.
Fergus in med bay. What’s the emergency?”
The face of a young Briel soldier
immediately filled the screen. She’d sized him up instantly as one
of Taber’s new recruits. A nervous one from the look of him.
“Doctor, we have a shuttle of
unknown origin on an emergency descent to the colony. They contacted
us long enough to say they have casualties before their com gave
“Which bay will they be near?”
When he didn’t answer her right away, Sara couldn’t hold back her
annoyance. “Damnit, which bay!”
“East bay. A security detail
will meet you there.”
Not waiting to sign-off, Sara
bolted from her office into the main med bay. Rachael already had two
emergency med kits ready to go and held one out to Sara.
“What’s the scoop?”
“Shuttle about to crash land
near the east bay. We’ll have to hurry.”
The two women set out at a jog
towards the transport tube that would take them to the lower level.
They didn’t speak and the crowds parted to let them pass through
unimpeded. They were slowed briefly as they made their way through
the bazaar until Rachael yelled for people to clear the way. That
gave them enough of an opening to hop into the tube.
“Shuttle level,” Sara barked
at the computer.
Her body hummed from the
adrenaline and unfulfilled desire, sending her into hyper-mode. Her
heart pounded harder than it should have and her palms were sweating
as she gripped the coated cord of the med kit’s strap. She knew she
would crash hard after the emergency was done and probably have a
killer headache to show for it. For now, she needed to focus and get
When they came out of the tube,
Taber and a small group of security personnel were waiting for them.
Sara and Rachael fell into step with the group and they made their
way to the east bay.
“Do we know what we’re
dealing with?” Sara asked Taber as they reached the outer blast
Taber’s normally composed face
currently had a deep frown fixed on it. That told her more than his
words would ever say.
“I don’t want either of you
to come in until we have cleared the area,” he said, shooting a
sideways glance at her. “Haylie won’t forgive me if you get
“Yes, she must be chomping at
the bit wanting to come down here.” She couldn’t help but smile.
“I bet Kamran has his hands full right now.”
“I haven’t heard her use
such…interesting human expressions before.”
They looked at each other and she
saw Taber’s lips threaten to twitch into a smile.
“So, I’m assuming they told
Taber nodded. “I’d wondered
about her behavior changes. I’m very pleased for them.”
communicator cut in. “The ship is on final approach. It looks like
the captain has enough control left to land in the bay. But they are
coming in hard.”
“Damn good pilot,” Taber
muttered. “Stand back everyone,” Taber said and physically took
Sara by the arm and moved her several paces away from the door firmly
“Your friend’s wrath is far
greater than yours,” he said over his shoulder.
“Yes, but I can make your next
physical a living hell.”
For a second, Sara actually
thought she heard Taber chuckle.
All her rebuttals and smart
remarks were pushed aside when she heard the rumble and creaking
metal of the outer blast doors being raised. Unable to see, she
relied on her ears to give her an idea as to what was going on. The
wind began to howl as it whipped into the open shuttle bay. Very
faint in the distance, like a high-pitched buzz coming in above the
wind, Sara could make out the howl of a damaged stardrive.
“Rachael, get ready for plasma
burns and radiation poisoning.”
The group grew silent, waiting
for the inevitable crash that was due to come any second. The
screeching of the stardrive grew louder and louder until it was
punctuated with a deafening bang and screeching of metal on metal.
She couldn’t help but jump at the noise and she felt Taber reach
out to give her arm a quick squeeze.
“Wait here until I give you the
all clear,” he said again.
“Not moving.” So not moving.
Taber motioned for the security
personnel to follow and cautiously approached the inner blast door.
“Computer, status of the east
shuttle bay?” his calm voice filled the corridor.
The system paused before the too
pleasant sounding voice finally answered. “External doors secured.
Atmosphere purged of contaminates.”
“Computer, release security
lock on inner east bay door. Authorize Taber zero-delta-five.”
The stench of burning wire mixed
with the heavy sulfur from the planet’s surface turned Sara’s
stomach. Rachael began to cough and had to cover her face with a bio
mask. Sara inched her way closer to the open door, trying to see what
they were in for. She gasped at the sight in front of her. The
damaged ship, larger than a short-range shuttle, but not as large as
a passenger ship, was resting half on its side with the nose jammed
hard against a bulkhead. The metal had peeled back, exposing conduits
and cables as gases vented into the bay. How it hadn’t exploded she
Taber and the security force were
quickly putting out the few flames that had erupted with a
suppression gas. It took a few seconds, but everything was eventually
“Looks like a cruiser,” Sara
said over her shoulder. “Maybe five to ten for a crew. We should
call for two more medics.”
Rachael was looking a little
pale. Sara knew she was timid of unknown alien visitors since the
Ecada attack. But she thought Rachael had gotten over it through a
few months of talking with a psychologist from Earth. Rachael
swallowed hard, her eyes glued to the ship. When she finally looked
at Sara, she clearly saw her panic.
“I’ll get them,” Rachael
offered a bit too quickly and took off down the corridor without a
“Nice,” Sara muttered,
turning back to wait for Taber’s signal. She’d have to see about
getting Rachael a bit more help.
In the shuttle bay, she watched
Taber and the security guards edge cautiously toward the shuttle
door, their weapons drawn and pointed at the cockpit, which was
showing no sign of life.
“Occupants of the shuttle.
You’ve crash landed on Eurus colony,” Taber’s commanding voice
echoed loud and clear. “Open your door so we may offer assistance.”
Sara rolled her eyes. “You’re
supposed to say please, Taber. And don’t point your weapons at
them,” she muttered to herself.
When a loud hiss of atmosphere
vented from the shuttle door, every security guard in the bay raised
their weapons a fraction higher, fixing them on the spot. Sara gasped
when the most unusually handsome man she’d ever laid eyes gripped
the now open entrance and leaned out of the ship to stare directly at
Taber. His shoulder length brown hair fell forward, partially
covering his face.
“I have wounded in here. I need
a doctor,” he snapped.
Before she had time to blink, he
retreated inside the shuttle. Kicking her body into overdrive, Sara
was through the door and halfway across the shuttle bay before Taber
could turn around.
“Come with me if you want, but
I’m not stopping. You heard him, they need help.”
Somehow, she managed to skirt
past Taber and threw her med kit up into the open door. The entrance,
which would normally be only a foot from the ground, was a full five
feet in the air. For not the first time in her life, Sara cursed her
five feet five inches and tried to pull herself in.
“Let me help,” a voice said
Sara looked up and into the most
amazing golden eyes she’d ever seen. His irises were reptilian
shaped and Sara found herself unable to look away.
“You’re the doctor, I
assume?” His voice was deep with an unusual accent. His English was
surprisingly good for a race she’d never seen before. And he
sounded more than a little amused, despite the circumstances he was
She had the distinct impression
he was laughing at her. She hated it when people laughed at her.
“Are you going to help me up or
“Sara, let me,” Taber said
She found herself being pushed
and pulled up—directly into the waiting arms of her unusual alien.
The air in her lungs whooshed out, leaving her shaking and very much
aware of the large, firm, male chest she was currently pressed
against. He wasn’t as tall as Taber or any of the other Briel on
the planet, but he was more than big enough for Sara. A full head
taller than her, she was forced to tilt her head back to look into
his golden eyes.
“If you’re the doctor, I
might have to get ill.” He practically purred as he spoke and then
“Dr. Fergus, step back please.”
The edge in Taber’s voice was
enough to shake her out of her momentary haze. Thankfully, the alien
let her move to the side and turned his attention to Taber.
“Name’s Davin. I’m the
captain of this bucket. Some of my crew were wounded in the crash. I
just managed to get the cabin door unjammed to get out. My copilot
was knocked unconscious when we took damage entering the atmosphere.”
“Your ship isn’t registered
for this sector.” Taber took a step closer. “My crew will have to
inspect it for contraband.”
“After your doctor looks at my
men. When she’s done, go ahead. You won’t find anything.” Davin
crossed his arms and leveled a stare at Taber.
Taber stiffened slightly.
“Because there is nothing to find or because it’s well hidden?”
Sara had to clear her throat
twice before either of them would look at her. “Hi. I’m going to
help the dying people. Once you are done with your pissing match, I
could use a hand.”
Shaking her head, she moved
toward the front of the ship to where she hoped the wounded crew
member was. Her exit wouldn’t be half as dramatic if she had to
turn around and come back. She’d just shoved the cabin door release
when she felt Davin come up behind her.
“My copilot, Rafe, took a nasty
crack to the head when we entered the planet’s atmosphere. I tried
to stop the bleeding, but had my hands full trying to keep the ship
together as she came down.”
When the door opened, Sara could
smell the blood in the air. Ignoring Davin behind her, she crossed
the small space to where a man sat slumped forward in his seat across
a control console. Sara pulled him back to reveal half the man’s
face covered in burns and blood.
“Med kit,” she said to Davin
over her shoulder.
“Lady, I’m not your servant—”
In the next second, she felt the
weight of the strap in her hand. She pulled it around and tore into
it until she found her scanner. Grimacing at what it told her, she
looked up at Davin.
“I need to get him to med bay
now or he’s dead. He has massive cerebral hemorrhaging and I need
to get him into surgery right away to relieve the pressure. Are there
any others? Anyone else hurt?”
Davin frowned and clenched his
fists. “Three with the engines. They were keeping us going, but I’m
not sure if they’re hurt or not.”
“Rachael should be back by now.
I’ll send her and the other medics to the engine room.”
She draped the wounded man’s
arm around hers and tried to pull him to his feet. Davin stepped
beside her and helped get his copilot up. He started muttering
something under his breath, like he was arguing with himself. When
she tried to pull the injured man away, Davin resisted with a sigh.
She didn’t have time to fight with him and was about to call for
her med team.
Before she could yell for help
and a stretcher, Davin said something that sounded like a curse and
placed his hand in the middle of the injured man’s chest. Closing
his eyes, Sara watched as he seemed to focus his attention on the
other man. For a moment, she wanted to hit him, wake him up from his
trance. But then she felt a tingle of energy coming from the wounded
man, as if Davin was sending a jolt through his body. She was about
to ask what was going on when the injured man sucked in a deep breath
and began to moan. Davin opened his eyes and looked at her quickly,
as if he’d been caught doing something wrong.
“What did you do?” she asked,
“Nothing. Bought us a little
time. Let’s get him to your med bay, Doctor.”
“Sara!” Rachael popped her
head in from the shuttle bay floor. “I have a stretcher here if you
“Call med bay. Have them prep
the operating room.”
“You got it.”
Davin helped hand his co-pilot
down to the security guards and medics waiting below. “Take care of
Rafe. I need him back in one piece.”
Sara turned to look at him,
trying to size up the captain. “Are you hurt?”
“No, I’m lucky that way.”
And he winked at her.
“You fucking bastard!”
Both Sara and Davin spun around
to face an extremely pissed off, burly man barreling down on them.
Before she had time to react, Sara was shoved aside as the second man
took a swing at Davin.
“You’re trying to fucking
kill us!” The man was blindly swinging at Davin, connecting several
times with his jaw.
“Calm down, Silas.” Davin
managed to say, spitting out a mouthful of blood. He took a swing of
his own and landed a punch on the side of Silas’ head. “We made
it in one piece.”
When Silas swung this time, Davin
blocked him and managed to land a kick that knocked the large man
back into Sara. The last thing she remembered was being thrown back
against the bulkhead and hearing a loud crack as darkness overtook
When Sara finally regained
consciousness, she felt as if her brain was on fire. She tried to
push her body into a sitting position, but her head pounded harder at
the change of elevation. She fell back against the pillow and tried
to brace herself against the pain.
“Shit,” she muttered.
“Nice to see you up and running
again.” Haylie’s concerned voice floated over to her.
Sara turned her head so she could
see her friend sitting in the visitor’s chair. The look on Haylie’s
face told her she’d given everyone a scare.
“How long?” She rubbed her
temples, looking for relief.
“Long enough for Taber to throw
your assaulter in the brig and tear his ship apart looking for
anything illegal so he could keep him there. Just over four hours.”
“Shit!” Sara sat up again,
ignoring the wave of nausea that slammed into her. “What about the
copilot? He needed surgery.”
“I know this might come as a
shock to you, but there are other doctors on this colony.” Haylie
was on her feet and moving to Sara’s side. “He was in and out in
under an hour. He’ll be fine.”
Sara’s mind began to whiz
through the events leading up to her crack on the head. “Wait a
minute, Taber threw Davin in the brig?”
“Well, he went a bit ape-shit
crazy when you got knocked out. Apparently, he just about took his
engineer’s head off.”
“Davin or Taber?”
A shiver of desire rolled down
Sara’s back. Davin had tried to protect her. She didn’t know why,
but the idea was very appealing.
“Now I know that look, Doctor
Fergus,” Haylie said and chuckled. “Your mysterious captain must
“Oh please. He gave me a
concussion. And he was a bit of a pompous ass.”
“Definitely cute. I’d go down
and check him out myself, but I’m not currently on active duty.”
Haylie paused, bit her lip and looked over her shoulder briefly.
“Look, think you’re up to giving me the go ahead to return to
work? I’m going a bit crazy.”
“It’s only been a day. Not
It was Sara’s turn to chuckle.
“You’re asking your doctor, who has a concussion and is unfit to
dispense a bandage at the moment, to give you medical clearance. I
haven’t even run a full exam on you yet to satisfy myself that you
are fit for duty.”
“I’m sure the baby is fine.”
Haylie rolled her eyes and sighed. “You’re going to be as bad as
Kamran, aren’t you?”
“Probably worse. It’s not
like we have any previous cases of human-Briel mating to draw on. For
now, I want you as far away from the action as I can get you.”
“That’s what I told her.”
Both women turned to look at
Kamran as he entered the room. Taber was trailing close behind him,
wearing a scowl. Sara knew he was annoyed with her.
“How are you feeling?” Kamran
asked as he gave Sara’s hand a squeeze.
Sara shrugged, the motion sending
a dull ache down her neck and along her left arm. “Nothing a little
shot of pain meds won’t cure.” She looked up at Taber and offered
him a small smile. “Sorry to have caused trouble.”
“For once, you were not the
cause, simply caught in the crossfire,” Taber said in his normally
She really wanted to be offended
at his comment, but she caught the slight smirk on his face in time.
When had Taber developed a sense of humor?
“How is Davin? I hope you
didn’t rough him up too much.”
Kamran straightened. “We were
on our way to talk to him. I wanted to stop by and make sure you were
okay first. He’s been asking about you.”
Sara’s heart began to pound.
Before anyone could protest, she slid off the gurney and walked over
to the med dispenser.
“Should you be up?” Haylie
was beside her instantly. “I doubt even you would let your patients
up this fast.”
“No, I’d probably tie them
down. But I’m a lousy patient. All I need is a little shot of
this.” She pressed an injection into her arm. The drug instantly
took the edge off her pounding head, making it easier to breathe.
“Now I’m going to check my patient in the brig and make sure that
my charming, but overly protective, security escort didn’t cause
him any harm.”
Not waiting for anyone to answer,
Sara turned and marched out of the room. She’d made it half way
down the hall before Taber fell into step beside her.
“You…are a stubborn woman,”
he said simply.
“You’ve known me for over a
year and you’re just coming to that conclusion now?”
She swore she heard Taber sigh.
“Kamran will be joining us
shortly. It seems his mate is under the impression that she can save
the planet in her current condition.”
“The only way we’re going to
keep Haylie off a case is to give her something else to do. She needs
a mystery to unravel. Preferably one that will keep her in front of
“I’ll mention that to
They walked the rest of the way
to the brig in silence. Since the Ecada attack last year, the colony
had rarely needed use of the lower level cells. Haylie and Taber had
converted one of the side storage rooms close to her office as an
intermediary brig. Sara couldn’t remember the last time it had been
The doors to the brig whooshed
open and she immediately saw Davin standing, arms crossed over his
chest, in the middle of the cell. She swore when his reptilian gaze
landed on her, relief washing across his face. She felt a blush heat
her cheeks when he licked his lips and offered her a lop-sided smirk.
“There’s the little blaster.
Nice to see you back in the land of the conscious, Doctor.”
Sara straightened her back and
walked purposefully over to stand in front of his cell. Neither one
of them said anything at first. Sara really looked at him this time.
Davin’s brown hair was long, kissing the top of his shoulders and
falling over his golden eyes. His broad shoulders were tucked into a
black leather vest that held an assortment of survival gear. He wore
no shirt underneath and she saw an intricate pattern of tattoos
covering both his biceps and forearms. Interestingly, he wore a pair
of black leather gloves that covered his hands and wrists.
When Davin chuckled, Sara’s
gaze snapped back to his. He cocked an eyebrow, issuing either a
silent challenge or seeking her approval.
“I see you survived your
brawl,” Sara asked, clearing her throat. “Where is your friend?”
“Silas? You’ll have to ask
your Briel attack ravak. I haven’t seen him since they
hauled my ass in here.”
The door behind her whooshed open
and Sara looked over her shoulder to see Kamran walk in. Taber was by
his side, whispering to him, most likely filling Kamran in on the
pertinent details of their unexpected guest. When she looked back at
Davin, she quickly noted the change in his demeanor. His arms were
now clasped behind his back and his face had lost some of its humor.
“It’s okay,” she whispered.
“Kamran is one of the fairest people I know.”
Davin didn’t respond, his jaw
tensing instead. Sara stepped to the side, allowing Kamran room to
stand in front of the cell.
“Hello, Captain…I’m sorry,
I didn’t catch your last name,” Kamran said with a smile.
“Davin Jagt.” The two words
came out clipped.
If Kamran noticed the hostility,
he completely ignored it. “If you could be so kind as to tell us
what had damaged your ship. Both the head of human and Briel security
are wondering if they should be planning a defense against an alien
invasion force bound on getting you back. Or getting back at you.”
The two men locked gazes and Sara
fought the urge to squirm with the sudden intensity in the room.
Kamran had a way of getting information from others that didn’t
require he do any more than raise an eyebrow. Davin wasn’t immune
to Kamran’s gaze, which gave her a strange sense of comfort.
“Your colony is fine. We’d
dropped off a shipment of supplies to Radon Three and got caught in
the gravitational eddies of the asteroid belt.”
Taber made some sort of noise
Sara could only assume was a sigh as he left the room.
Davin chuckled, softening the
harsh lines of his face. “I take it that because your ravak
left, you believe me?”
“Of course. We simply needed to
confirm what our own engineers suspected. You do realize Radon Three
is under martial law and is off limits to outsiders?” Kamran asked,
his eyebrow raised.
“It’s the reason we were
smuggling supplies to the rebels. Even the bad guys need to eat.”
Kamran smiled. “If one would
consider them bad instead of merely fighting for what they believe.”
That seemed to catch Davin off
guard. “You know of the conflict then?”
“Computer, release the security
locks for cell two.”
The door popped open and Kamran
took a step back. Davin hesitated for only a moment before stepping
out, right beside Sara. Again, she couldn’t help but let her gaze
travel over his body, drinking in every luscious inch. A distinctly
male scent washed over her and she enjoyed the spicy musk.
“Please forgive our rude
treatment when you first arrived.” Kamran held out his hand.
“Welcome to Eurus colony.”
Davin eyed Kamran’s
outstretched arm. “Your reputation precedes you, Ambassador. They
say you always get what you want and do it with a smile.”
Kamran didn’t move, though the
very smile Davin mentioned played on his lips. Finally, Davin reached
out and gripped his hand. From her position, Sara was better able to
see the tattoos on his arm. Blues and blacks twined together like a
snake crawling down his arm. Kamran noticed too.
“You’re a Raqulian.”
Sara gave her head a shake. “I
can’t keep up with all of the planets in this sector. Where is that
“Furthest away from Briel, if
I’m not mistaken. You certainly have a tremendous understanding of
your distant neighbors.” Davin dropped Kamran’s hand.
“It’s my job to know. While
you and your crew are here, please enjoy the recreation facilities of
the colony. I’m sure Sara won’t mind showing you around.”
“I should really get back to
med bay. I’m sure there are—”
“I believe you told my wife you
weren’t fit to issue her a medical clearance. I assume that means
you need your rest.” Kamran winked at her. “I’m sure the colony
will survive without you for a day. Besides, you should enjoy the
Sara couldn’t believe it. She
opened her mouth to protest, but nothing came out. Not that Davin had
any such problem.
“Festivities?” Davin grinned.
“It seems we choose an opportune day to crash.”
“We would be happy to have you
attend. And Sara wouldn’t mind giving you a tour. That is, if she
is feeling up to it?”
“Of course, I’m fine.” Like
she would admit to feeling like shit in front of them.
“I would love a guided tour.
Thank you for your hospitality, Ambassador.”
“It’s administrator now. In
any case, you are most welcome. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my wife
is about to do something foolish.”
With a small bow, Kamran turned
and walked out of the room.
Davin looked at Sara and frowned.
“I pity his wife,” Davin
“Don’t. She gives as good as
she gets.” Sara snorted. “Haylie would kick his ass if he gave
her a reason.”
Davin turned and faced her.
Relief seemed to settle over him. Whether it was relief from being
free of his cell or from being released from Kamran’s presence, she
Sara felt the air rush from her
lungs when he took half a step closer to her, closing the already
small distance between them.
“So, Doctor. I see you are
feeling better.” His voice was smooth and seductive, with a hint of
mischief in it.
“I’m conscious, if that’s
what you mean,” she said and began to walk away.
Unfortunately, she turned too
quickly and a way of dizziness washed over her. Before she knew what
was happening, Davin had his arm around her waist, holding her up.
Sara suddenly found it difficult to breathe and it had nothing to do
with her injury. Being this close to him, having his body pressed
against hers, made her insides quiver. When she looked up into his
golden, reptilian eyes, she couldn’t help but suck in a deep
breath. They seemed to see straight through her, see what she was
“Easy now, Doc. I much prefer
to have you awake. I don’t think your security boyfriend would much
appreciate you ending up unconscious.”
Sara couldn’t help but chuckle.
“Me and Taber? He just hates it when someone steps on his toes.
There’s nothing between us.”
The way Davin said the word made
Sara shiver. He ran his thumb over the arm he held in his hand,
letting his gaze travel over her face to stop on her breasts. She
felt the blush return with a vengeance and withdrew her arm from his
“Not that it’s any concern of
yours,” she muttered. Straightening, she tucked a loose strand of
hair behind her ear. “I suppose you’d like to see the station?”
Davin licked his lips and smiled
his slow, half smile. “I wouldn’t miss it. Lead on, Doc.”
Not wanted to be caught under his
devouring look for too long, Sara crossed her arms across her chest
and walked out of the room, Davin half a step behind her. As Sara led
him through the corridors, she could feel her skin tingle from his
nearness. Her body would lead her down a dangerous path with him if
she wasn’t careful.
When he leaned his head down so
it was near her ear, she shivered.
“So, is this a silent tour? I
should try to guess what it is I’m seeing?”
Sara cringed. “Sorry. I guess
that crack on my head didn’t knock any manners into me.”
Davin reached up and brushed a
strand of her hair that’d escaped her ponytail. “Consider
He draped his arm around shoulder
and Sara felt his body heat penetrate into her. It should be a
criminal offense to have that much sex appeal and use it on a woman
in public. She tried to ignore the strange looks people gave her as
they passed by. Not wanting to give him the satisfaction of letting
him know he’d gotten to her, Sara acted like she didn’t have a
care in the world.
“We’re coming up to the
bazaar. It looks better now than it did a year ago. The Ecada tore
this place apart when they attacked us.” Her thoughts threatened to
drift back to the day of the attack, so she gave her head a soft
shake and quickly regretted the motion when it made her head throb.
The pain brought her back to the present. “Tore it apart.”
She looked up to see him frown
“I heard about the attack from
some of the traders out on the rim. I’m surprised you’re here to
tell the tale.”
“If it wasn’t for Haylie and
Kamran, we wouldn’t be. And Sean too, though he wouldn’t admit to
his part in helping.”
She felt her heart ache at the
thought of Sean and the shell of a man he’d turned into since the
Ecada were defeated. She’d tried to work with him over the past few
months, but nothing seemed to help. He hated himself for the part,
however outside of his control, he’d played.
“And where were you during the
attack? On the front lines, saving lives, I imagine.”
For a moment, she thought he was
being flippant. It wasn’t until she looked into his eyes that she
realized he was serious. Sara stopped walking and turned to face him.
The crowd and noise around her seemed to fade away until there was
“It was horrible,” she
whispered. The pain and fear she’d felt came rushing back in a
heartbeat. “They kept bringing the bodies to us to patch up, but we
couldn’t keep up. I couldn’t even look at their faces, knowing I
would heal them just so they’d be thrown back into the fight. One
broke through the front lines and almost wiped out me and my team.”
Sara swayed, her head suddenly
feeling dizzy. Davin’s arms were around her as she leaned hard
against him. The strength and warmth from his body seemed to seep
into her, giving her a slight boost, but not enough to help her
overcome the overwhelming pull of her emotions.
“I think you hit your head a
bit harder than you realized. I need to get you back to med bay,”
he said with more concern than a stranger really should.
“My quarters are closer. I have
a med kit there.”
She tried to walk away, but Davin
scooped her up in his arms. Sara would have fought him under normal
conditions, but it was easier to give in. If anyone thought it odd
that their chief of medical was being carried away by an alien they’d
never seen before, no one said anything.
Davin managed to get her close to
her quarters with little direction on her part. When she was only a
short distance away, she tried to get him to put her down so she
could walk under her own power.
“And lose my chance to touch
your sweet ass, I don’t think so,” he said in a voice loud enough
to turn the head of a passing engineer.
“Do you try to embarrass
people?” she said, her face flaming.
“People? No. Apparently just
you. This yours?”
“Thank god. I’d hate to have
to share this honor.”
Still, he didn’t set her down.
Instead, Sara was forced to lean over and press her hand against the
ID scanner to unlock her door.
The air inside was cool as the
door whooshed shut behind them. Davin walked across her small living
room and set her gently on her couch. Instead of moving away, she was
surprised when he sat down beside her and began to remove his gloves.
“Nice place. Roomy.”
Suddenly feeling nervous being
this close to him, all alone, Sara began to chatter away. “You
should have seen the room we had when we first arrived. They had us
sharing quarters in a place half this size. Thank god I was sharing
with Haylie or I would have gone—what the hell are you doing?”
Davin had tossed his gloves aside
on the coffee table and reached up to place his hand in the middle of
“I’m making your head better.
Now sit still.”
“I don’t think so, buddy.
I’ve just met you, you’re the reason I have a bump on my head in
the first place and now you want to feel me up!”
“Feel you up?”
The confused look on his face was
almost cute. Sara sighed and rolled her eyes.
“Touching my breasts. You know,
She motioned her hands in front
of her breasts as if to cup them. Davin’s gaze followed her action
and she watched as he licked his lips.
“Perhaps we’ll save that for
another time. Right now, I simply want to heal your wound.”
Dropping her hands in her lap,
Sara shook her head. “And how to do you propose to do that?”
“What do you know about my
people?” He said the words quietly, his normal teasing tone
“Nothing,” she shrugged,
sneaking a glance at his arms. “Who did Kamran say your people
Unable to stop herself anymore,
Sara reached up and traced her finger down along his arm. She could
almost feel the lines of the tattoo and the intricate patterns woven
on his skin.
“Do all your people have
these?” she spoke quietly, enjoying the feeling of touching him.
Davin didn’t move. His eyes
were fixed on her face, while she stared at where her finger
connected with his skin.
“We do, but they are different
depending on which cast you are born into. And which cast you pledge
She continued to trace the tattoo
all the way down his forearm to the top of his hands. When she
started to retrace her path, he caught her wrist, lifting it an inch.
“Touch is a very powerful thing
for my people. It has the power to heal, the power to kill. Or the
power to arouse.”
Sara’s gaze shot to his and she
could see it. See the desire dancing in his golden eyes, the
tightness of his jaw as he swallowed hard. Her heart began to pound
and she found herself being drawn into his arousal. Her nipples
hardened and she couldn’t get enough air into her lungs.
“I’ve only just met you,”
she said, her voice shaking.
“I brought you here to heal
your head. Not claim you as my mate.”
She shivered at the thought of
being in his bed, under him as he slammed his cock hard into her.
That is, if he had a cock. Sara looked down between his legs and
could see the outline of a large bulge straining in his pants. Davin
took her hand that he was holding and pressed it to his cock.
“I trust we are compatible,”
he drawled, a sexy half smile on his face.
Whether it was from the
concussion or her own ignored desires, Sara wrapped her hand around
his shaft and squeezed. She sucked in a breath, amazed at his girth.
“I thought you weren’t going to…do this?”
“Can you blame me? A beautiful
temptress is sitting practically on top of me, devouring me with her
eyes.” He chuckled. “But you are correct.”
Gently, he lifted her wrist
again, this time placing it back in her lap. Sara flexed her fingers
and bit down on her bottom lip. “So, how do you want to heal me?”
“Do you trust me?” He asked
the words with all seriousness, even though his eyes were twinkling.
“No,” she snorted. “I just
“Fair enough. I’m going to
place my hand on your chest, like I did with my co-pilot. You’ll
feel a tingle, but that should be all.”
Sara couldn’t help but frown.
“And that will fix a concussion?”