To free his enslaved brother from a cruel master, Senth, an all-party-fun-and-games thief, must take on the hardest assignment of his life: stealing from the Empress. To make matters worse, he has no choice but to work with the beautiful NarrAy, a by-the-book rebel captain whose addictive pheromones could jeopardize the mission and destroy Senth’s will.
When the unthinkable happens and NarrAy professes her love for him, Senth must decide if what he feels is real.
Can he trust this woman? If he loves her back, can he still save his brother? Or will Senth end up at the mercy of her pleasure forever…
A hovercar and driver met them at the curb, and the smooth trip along Conqueror’s March Boulevard brought them down through Tarth City Park, past the massive Destine Pietan Stadium, and into the Imperial Business District. They drove into the shadow of the Nizamrak Building, which rose above the city like a dark sentinel.
Senth craned his neck looking up as the car passed it, and then sat back, scowling.
Broxus put down his reader. “Problem?”
Brushing off his cloak, Senth shook his head.
NarrAy observed the interchange without comment, recalling that Senth’s daddy dearest owned the building.
Once they reached the Royal District, the car pulled up to the front of the luxurious Royal Arms Hotel. Shaped like a giant arrow being driven into the ground, it displayed Tyran engineering at its finest. Like their suite on the ship, the empire-class suite at the top sported a common living area and four bedrooms with private baths.
NarrAy’s corner room had a breathtaking view of vast Tarth City, showcase of the empire. Impossibly tall spires drove through the clouds. Steady shuttle traffic climbed into the sky to the west, near the starport. The wide swath of Tarth City Park divided the metropolis in half all the way to the horizon, and the Cyr de Typhin River meandered through the center, its bright blue water glinting in the sun.
She directed her bagbot to its place against the wall. While it deployed into closet mode, she went back to the common area and waited in a wingback chair for the others.
A few minutes later, a sock-footed Senth went sliding past her on the dark wood floor. Arms out for balance and holding a shoe in each hand, he slammed up against the wall and laughed.
He tossed the shoes on the floor and shoved his feet into them before launching himself across the back of the burgundy leather sofa. And kept going, sliding right off its slick surface and onto the floor.
Senth jumped to his feet and dusted himself off, noticed her, and turned bright red. “I…um…I was getting…” He gestured toward his room and hit the large glass lamp next to him. Senth made a grab for it, righted the shade, and set the lamp back on the table. He stepped back and stumbled over a potted palm. He danced sideways, tripping over his own feet.
Brox entered, and Senth ran right into him. Brox steadied him.
“Sorry!” Senth jerked back.
NarrAy chewed the inside of her cheek, fighting not to laugh.
Her security lieutenant brushed himself off. “You don’t have much Kin blood, do you?”
“What?” Senth flipped back his long hair. “I’m half Kin.”
Brox rubbed his chin. “Most Kin are more — graceful.”
A flush of color darkened Senth’s cheeks.
NarrAy covered her mouth, all but choking.
Encie popped into the room, a weapon out as she checked it. “Everybody ready?”
“I’ll get my cloak.” Senth fled toward his room.