It annoyed Nathan that the first words out of their contact’s mouth sounded like a verbal attack on his daughter. “Nathan,” Ecaterina gently whispered , “now is not the time to become an overprotective daddy. We have an operation to accomplish, and you need to keep your anger in check.”
“You wouldn't have to tell me that right now–” Nathan turned keeping his voice down as well “–if the two of you had stayed up on the Meredith Reynolds.”
“I am not spending the next 20 years of my life waiting for you to come back from operations. Perhaps if you have to keep your family in mind, you won't try too many risky activities.”
While technically true, allowing the family members to come along on the operation wasn't a significant burden.
Christina's aunt had made sure that the little girl had the most incredible armor created just for her. Plus, she had a new type of repulsive harness using gravity around her chest that, according to Jean Dukes, would stop projectiles.
Nathan hoped they never have had to test it, especially here in the middle of nowhere.
“That–” Nathan pointed down to his daughter “–is a small version of a wolf. It is an animal that comes from our home world. Now, if I have assuaged your curiosity,” he nodded to the captain, “perhaps we can continue with our deal?”
For once, this whole deal looked like it was on the up and up.
From a security standpoint, Ster-hel thought this was a great resolution. The longer the human and his Capt. talked, the more time it gave Ster-hel to try and figure out the difference between the animal the Empress had around her all the time, and this one that was near the two humans. As far as he could tell, they didn't look too dissimilar.
He had to have it.
He bided his time while the Captain continued negotiating the deal. Within just ten minutes or so, the two shook hands and Ster-hel looked around as he heard the whine of the anti gravity pallet bring the payment from their own ship. Ster-hel noticed the hover-pad coming from the human ship made no noise whatsoever.
The male continued watching the two of them as the female transferred the spice from her pallet, replacing it with the payment from Yollins.
Soon enough, the Yollin Captain nodded to the human and they each stepped back. The two pallet slabs, each heading back to their respective ships. The Captain nodded to Ster-hel as he passed him and continued walking toward the ship. Ster-hel kept the two humans in his view. As he took two steps backwards, he started to turn around, but then looked back at the humans.
“How much for the wolf?”
The male human shook his head, “She is not for sale.”
Ster-hel chuckled, everything was for sale.
He had been doing black-market forever, and it was only a matter of negotiation. Besides, they had a ship full of weapons and the spice now. He could get the animal one way or another.
He chuckled, flipping on the arming button for his pistol. “Everything is for sale. I said, how much for the wolf? How much is that little animal really worth to you? Is it enough to die over?”
Capt. Maek-ven had made it approximately one-third of the way back to his ship when he heard his security officer ask how much the humans wanted for the wolf. He closed his eyes and hung his head as he walked another few steps.
This had almost gone well. He turned to yell at his security officer to get his bony little ass back in the ship and stop harassing the humans, when he noticed the security officer flick off the security switch on his pistol, activating it.
It was obvious the weapon was armed and he was using it to threaten the humans. If they were able to get out of this without a major altercation, he was gonna rip his security officer to shreds for such a breach of operational standards.
The Captain's eyes opened an alarm when the male changed in front of his eyes.
One moment, he was there, angry, but still human. The next he was towering above both his security officer and the female who was trying to talk to him. The roar shook the walls of the small canyon and as his security officer tried to pull up his weapon two shots hit the ground, throwing up dirt.
But too late.
The snarling creature grabbed his security officers hand and yanked the pistol out of it, crushing it in his hand and reaching for the security agent’s neck. His roar of a challenge reverberated through the canyon and the Captain watched as his security agent screamed in pain. The captain turned back and ran towards the ship.
“Dammit, Ber’knick! Start those engines, rev them to red, I don’t give a shit! Get ready to blast us out of here!”
It took him but a moment for his feet to hit the metal of the landing ramp.
The ship's pilot had been monitoring what was going on, however, it got pretty boring after a little while. Obviously, the human and his captain were getting along just well and the security officer was keeping him up to date.
When they requested the money, the pilot allowed the ship's computers to take the payment out across the ground.
He started his preflight checklist, occasionally looking up at the video monitors to make sure nothing was going wrong. After a few more items on his list, he looked up a second time and noticed that the captain was walking back, so he really focused on his checklist.
He had another four items crossed off when he heard the Captain yelling for him to take off.
He started rushing through the checklist, skipping those items that he felt were unnecessary. He could hear the captain’s running click click, click click through the ship, “What the hell are we still doing on the ground, Ber’knick?” the Captain’s panicked yell reverberated down the hallway.
The pilot tossed his checklist away and slammed his hand down on the emergency lift as he heard an unworldly beast screaming at them. Ber’knick asked him, “What the hell is going on?”
The captain stopped right outside the cockpit, “That idiot decided he wanted the animal too badly. Even though I told him to leave it well enough alone, he disobeyed orders. Now, he's gone and pissed off one of those humans who can change into…something! Hurry up and take off.”
“I've got to give it another fifteen…” A severed arm slammed into the cockpit's glass, screeching from the Yollin arm’s exoskeleton as it fell slowly, leaving a smear of blood down the glass.
The pilot, his mouth wide open, watched as it slid down the glass, and spat out the alien equivalent of “Fuck me!” He turned his head back to the controls, punched two buttons, and pulled on the yoke, the ship rising quickly into the air.
FROM MICHAEL >>> I'm trying! Dictation is seriously a mind-game for me. What I can type easily enough out of my fingers is not so easy to speak out of my mouth.
I've done about 8 chapters (1/3 of the book) and will be spending a lot of time in a car this weekend, so I hope to get some writing done in the car.
Hopefully, car-sickness doesn't become a thing.
Have a WONDERFUL Weekend!
If you hadn't heard, Risk Be Damned is out this week (Natalie Grey) – Pick it up for a weekend read 😉
Risking One's Heart is often harder than Risking One's life.
When you have made a point of not risking love for a thousand years… You wonder if the promise is worth the pain…
Sometimes… Risk Be Damned, your heart doesn't ask permission.
Stephen, Michael's brother, is charged with finding out what is happening to Wechselbalg in Europe and uncovers a sinister plot. Jennifer is working this operation with him.
While the Queen is watching from above.
How will the two of them work together, as Stephen tries to deal with handling a true romance for the first time in centuries? How often will Bethany Anne tease him?
How often will he go too far protecting Jennifer?
Emotions in turmoil, Stephen, and Jennifer deal with someone who knows too much about the UnknownWorld, and has plans to use it.
RISK BE DAMNED is part of The Kurtherian Gambit Universe set between books 13 and 14. Loosely, these three three years are called “The Dark Years” or “The Lost Years.”
The Dark Years – when the Trials and Tribulations of being merciful were shouldered by Bethany Anne and her people.