A Mercenary To Love
There’s only one thing she wants to steal—his heart.
When computer genius Sampson Morales’ latest security measures fail to prevent the kidnapping of an Allied Planetary Union Ambassador’s child, he has no choice but to track and save the kid himself…especially if he wants to be paid.
Zasha Gustaf believed fighting with the Humans First movement could redeem her mercenary past, but when they use her intel to kidnap an innocent, she starts to have her doubts. Running into the only man she’s ever loved and who’s on the same trail is a sign. She commits to helping Sampson stop this group from sacrificing another blameless person, but she has another motive.
Sampson and Zasha have been down this road before, except last time it led to betrayal and heartache. He can’t trust her, and her attempts at redemption are met with constant rebuke, but when everyone, even the universe, is in danger, relying on each other is the only way forward.
Is a second chance possible for either of them…or will the past repeat itself?
Book Link: https://books2read.com/u/31lL7l
“It’s not about wanting to break the crew up. I’m looking for a chance to break out on my own. To make decisions for me, like a grown-up.”
Lee lifted one eyebrow and pulled one of her knives out from her vest. “Grown-up? Seems to me taking a job while Toni and Emilio are finishing up a separate one is pretty grown-up. Besides, you don’t need Gina to act on your own.”
Yes, I do.
Gina might have been a ship, but the AI within had evolved beyond a simple computer processor in space. She’d become his best friend. He told her everything and vice versa. They’d spent the last eight years together. During those endless hours spent in space, he’d become closer to her than almost anyone else. Besides, who would help her grow if he left? She had feelings too and she needed him.
“Lee, we’re a pair. We go together.”
“Pfft. Yeah,” Lee’s drink showed up, and the lady who dropped it off winked at her. The simple flirtation was enough to get Lee’s attention. “You say that because you don’t bother to get close to anyone flesh and blood. You can’t let—”
“Don’t say her name, please.” Sampson downed the imitation vodka with the poor weak burn, which only made him crave the real stuff.
She was there today.
“You can’t run from the past.” Lee’s words were half-hearted, her focus drawn to the roaming waitress.
“Says the woman who never talks about hers.” His accusation got the assassin’s gaze on him.
“There’s a difference between running and talking. I’ve faced all my demons and won. I don’t need to re-hash something with no hold or sway over me. You, on the other hand, get all clammed up at the mere mention of someone who hurt you. You confront those things, or they eat you up inside. This I can speak of with authority.”
Lee pushed her seat back and stood. Sampson sat in awe of this woman’s confident nature, in full possession of every part of herself. He wanted to be the same. To know himself as well as Lee did. To be settled in his skin.
“Now, if you’ll excuse me. The woman who brought our drinks is fatching me with her eyes, and I intend to do something about it. Don’t wait around for me. Head back to Al’s whenever.”
Every port we stop in. Sampson grinned. “Have a good time.”
“Oh, I will.”
Lee winked. With her half-empty vest of knives and swaying ponytail, she moved away without a sound.
Sampson glanced at his glass. It sat empty, like the deepest parts of him. Not an unfamiliar experience as Sampson found himself included by the other members of the crew, but still treated as a kid. Sure, they cared about him, but eager for him to tag along or spend time outside of missions with him not so much. He found himself lonely more often than not, and wishing he had a closer friend, someone more his age.
“Hello, Sampson. Long time.”
His gaze traveled from his glass to the woman who’d propped one knee on the chair Lee had abandoned. Red-brown-blonde hair was down and flowing freely instead of wrapped up in the woman’s usual twin buns, and an odd-colored tunic of the Saturn style hung past her waist but accented her creamy tan skin and gold eyes. This new look, paired with her stance, made her seem more innocent.
But I know better.
Between his blood pounding, the remembrance of her cries of pleasure and the explosive concussion and her betrayal, sounds flooded his ears. She’d stolen from him, his crew. He’d fallen so hard, young, dumb…thinking with his swinging pipe.
Zasha. She was there today.
She’d betrayed them when they’d helped her. Lied to him, his family…for flash.
Sampson fisted the empty glass so tightly it cracked. “Not long enough.”
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Landra Graf consumes at least one book a day and has always been a sucker for stories where true love conquers all. She believes in the power of the written word, and the joy such words can bring. In between spending time with her family and having book adventures, she writes romance with the goal of giving everyone, fictional or not, their own happily ever after.
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