The Pirate - Book 1 in the Universal Guard series


She needs a rogue pilot...
He needs a get-out-of-jail-free card...

Captain Julianna Forbes needs an outlaw pilot to land her on lawless planet X19, the known lair of a villainous space trader who’s kidnapped her sister. Who better than renegade Lieutenant Reid Walker? Julianna has to rescue her sister before she’s sold off with the latest batch of black market slaves, and she won’t let a little problem like Reid’s incarceration stop her. Stealing him out of a Mendarian prison freighter is the easy part, but Reid makes a bold demand: he wants Julianna, every which way he can have her, for the three day voyage there, or it’s no deal.

Reid Walker can hardly believe he’s been stolen out of prison by the sexy pilot—now a captain on an unsanctioned mission—who made him lose a friendly competition back in basic training. Reid was in the lead for ‘most virgins conquered’ before Julianna became the one that got away. He’s surprised when she agrees to his demand of unlimited sex, but his biggest shock comes when he finds himself falling for her as hard and fast as a shooting star.

 

Excerpt:

Lieutenant Reid Walker floated naked like Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, arms extended to the side, legs straight, eyes closed. The years since she’d last seen him had dulled her memory of him, and the potent masculinity of the rogue pilot suspended in front of her slapped her senses to full attention.

Despite the four years of stasis, muscle sustainment diodes had preserved his physique, and good genes had kept the skin firm over his broad chest and washboard stomach. Though slowed by stasis, his hair had grown into a curly mass, and a thick beard matted his jaw.

“Warning, Captain Forbes. Three guards approaching in Service Way 2, Level 2.”

“Are weapons charged?”

“Negative, though main control has initiated a troubleshoot on the system clock.”

The computer had detected something wrong. So far no alarms, but with time speeding along like it was, once she got Walker out of stasis, she’d be lucky to have a full minute to escape the ship.

“Start the scramble, Maggie.”

“Affirmative, Captain.”

Julianna’s eyes slid to the erection jutting tall and thick at Reid’s groin.

That hadn’t been there a second ago.

So it was true—prisoners in stasis were aware. He could hear. Sense. Smell. Dream. Was it the rare sound of a female voice in this sterile prison that had caused his hard-on? Or did he sense his ten-year sentence was ending early?

She went to the console and shut down Cryo Six’s suspension beam. During OMaGS’ thirty second scramble, the ship’s system would detect a cryobeam failure, but be unable to identify which cell. With any luck, cryobeam failures were a regular occurrence on this floating hunk-o-junk, and it wouldn’t raise alarm.

A red warning light flashed on the console. The milky white prison surrounding Walker faded as it powered down, and he drifted slowly to the cell’s floor. His feet touched and he continued down to one knee, head bent, a hand braced to steady himself as he drew deep, shuddering breaths.

She grabbed the twitching guard by the collar of his uniform and shoved him forward. He stumbled to his knees beside Reid.

“Twenty seconds on the scramble,” OMaGS counted down.

Reid lifted his head and locked eyes with her, and Julianna would swear she heard a click. Most prisoners came out of stasis looking drunk, but Reid’s gaze was sharp. Assessing. Knowing.

Julianna shrugged away the shiver rippling over her spine. “Up.” She punctuated the command with a jerk of her pulsar. “Now.”

He glanced at the stunned guard.

“Fifteen seconds,” Maggie chimed in her ear.

Reid struggled to his feet. He suddenly looked taller than six-two, and his lustful appraisal made Julianna shiver again. “Julianna Forbes.” His eyes flicked over her breasts. “Didn’t know you had it so bad for me.”

“Step out of the cell.”

“What for?” Reid rasped.

“You want to debate it? Stay in cryo with your new cell mate, and I’ll find someone else to fly my mission.”

“Suicide mission, no doubt,” he ground out in a hoarse voice. “You wouldn’t be here unless it meant my demise in some hideous and painful way.”

 

I hope you enjoy the first in this adventurous new series set in space, where the courageous soldiers of the Universal Guard fight interstellar crime with whatever means necessary...

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Copyright Crystal Kauffman
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