Authors: Sierra Darcey
At the far end of the galaxy, two men will fight for her love
©2013 by Sierra Darcey. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from the author.
All characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarities to persons living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
“Do I have to do everything myself?” Captain Jillian Ames said when she entered the cockpit and found it empty. “Damn that
stupid fly boy to hell,” she muttered under her breath.
Swiveling into the pilot’s seat, she turned off the autopilot and punched in the new coordinates, then resumed the automatic drive. As Captain, she knew this ship from top to bottom and could conceivably do every job on the ship, still that didn’t mean she should have to. Jillian couldn’t wait until this mission was over and to get far away from Damian McCaffrey, that infuriating pilot, who made it his priority to humiliate her with his sexual innuendos and undermine her authority at every opportunity.
Jillian smiled, musing about writing him up, getting grounded for a while might just cool the pilot’s heels just a little.
“Miss me sweetheart?” Damian whispered in her ear.
Jillian whipped her head around and gave him scathing look. Speak of the devil. He had coffee in one hand and looked tired, a weariness around the eyes like he hadn’t slept. If it were anyone else but Damian, maybe she’s have some sympathy. But here he was in a button down shirt and jeans, an old leather jacket, never in a proper uniform, a few days growth of stubble on his face. She supposed some woman liked that rugged look, and a quick flush of heat crept into Jillian’s face, her immediate embarrassment fueling her resentment even further. “You’re not supposed to leave the cockpit unmanned.”
“You know this thing could fly itself. But funny your choice of words ‘unmanned’ so when you came in here, you were looking for a man? Yeah, well, guess they don’t call it a
Damned egotistical male.
Jillian shook her head and attempted to walk past him but he grabbed her arm and pulled her in close. “Let me by,” she ordered, hoping anger would cover up the unwanted spark of desire that fanned anytime she got close to him. She didn’t want to feel anything for him, but couldn’t control her reactions. Fraternizing among crew members was inevitable on long missions such as this one, but she was the Captain, and her reputation was important to her.
Damian still held her arm tightly. “I just want to know something.”
“What you want to know, McCaffrey - ” Jillian pulled free of him and rubbed her arm as if to remove his touch. “ - the color of my panties?”
“Interesting thought, Captain, but I just wanted to know the new coordinates - where are we headed?”
“The fifth moon of Saturn.”
“Are you crazy?” Damian’s eyes flashed
alarm, he knew, as did everyone who flew in this sector, what dangerous territory they’d be entering.
“We are the closest ship and we have our orders.”
“And you’re going to follow them?”
“I always follow orders.”
“All this for one Antarean?”
“For one sentient being.”
Damian just shook his head. Then he smirked, “You know why I won’t ask what color panties you’re wearing?”
“You’re just not interested, I get it.”
Damien lowered his voice and leaned in dangerously close, “I’m plenty interested sweetheart, it’s just I can tell you ain’t wearin’ any panties.”
Her face heated crimson and she thought,
How the hell did he know that?
Hurling herself from the room she heard his laughter at her back.
Watching Jillian stomp away was a pretty sight, her blond ponytail whipping back and forth and her ass wasn’t bad to look at either. But to Damian’s way of thinking the woman was a nightmare to work with. She was always so damned official and following the rules. It got on his nerves. If he could have said ‘Yes Sir and No ma’am’ more often, he’d no doubt be a Captain himself by now. But it just wasn’t in him. And although his brain told him to stay away from her, another part of his anatomy believed she was a sexy wet dream just waiting to happen - exactly what he needed, even if not want he wanted. He dropped into the pilot’s seat and ran a hand over his face. He didn’t want to spend another night tossing and turning in his bunk kept awake by his desire for her. But Damian knew he wasn’t going to get sleep anytime soon if he didn’t stop thinking about her and wished like heck he could feel nothing for her, just banish her permanently from his thoughts. Then find some other mindless, willing female for his nocturnal pleasures.
But she wouldn’t leave his
mind, the wench haunted him, refusing to be cast out. He spent too much of his time watching her and wondering what she was thinking. She challenged him on all levels and then further. He found himself wanting to change to be a better man for her. But in the end, whenever he got near her, all he ever ended up coming out with was a teasing comment or a snide remark.
Damian shook his head. He needed to exorcise her from his system or-
Exclusively his own, all of her, forever and never anyone else’s. Maybe that, and that alone would quiet the demons raging through his psyche.
Jillian faced the full-length mirror and checked her one piece jumpsuit front and back and came to the conclusion no one really could tell she didn’t have on a bra or panties. Damian had just guessed and her embarrassment had given it away as truth. She looked professional and that’s what counted. It was just plain foolish to let that man get to her. Regaining her composure she headed back to the bridge.
Jillian slid into the Captain’s chair and didn’t miss the smirk on Damian’s lips down below her in the cockpit. As the view of the fifth moon of Saturn filled the windshield, the crew assembled each taking their places at their assigned stations. Except for herself, Damian and the ship’s doctor, the remainder of the crew where fledglings, new to the Corps, extremely young and untried. She was certain they would all be tested before this mission was through. What had started out as a routine supply run had now become a rescue operation.
Guards at the outpost on Saturn Moon Five had found an unconscious Antarean male. How he got there was anyone’s guess, but returning him to his people could be tricky and potentially dangerous. Damien, at the helm, came in with a flawless landing, as usual, smooth without a single bump or bounce. He grinned at her again. The man was beyond infuriating.
If it were anyone else she would have praised him, but she just couldn’t. He would no doubt warp it into some sexual come on or a putdown. Damien always flew the craft effortlessly.
She knew it was an incredibly difficult landing and he did it with precision. The truth was she admired his piloting skills and felt she was lucky to get such an experienced pilot. Most of the new graduates from the academy were mere babies compared to him. But none of this could she tell to him.
Being Captain was a lonely position, there was no one on this ship with whom she felt comfortable in confiding her concerns. The ship’s doctor was the only other officer on board. He was an older, always polite man, but she didn’t feel any kinship with him.
If she was successful with this mission there might be some commendation. Still medals and awards, even promotions
, didn’t keep a girl warm at night.
As the ship entered the docking area, Jillian jumped out of her chair and went straight to the cargo area. Dr. Walter Malloy, the ship’s physician was already there with a stretcher and one of the crew, a young man named Kevin. Kevin wore a perfect crisp uniform and saluted her on arrival. Jillian greeted D
octor Malloy and nodded at Kevin. Then she unhinged the lever that lowered the wide exit ramp slowly to the ground allowing herself, the doctor and his assistant to all exit at the same time. They were met by two junior members of the Corps. Jillian eyed them as they glanced about themselves furtively in apparent desire not to be seen.
“None sir, I mean ma’am.” They held open the doors as Jillian, the doctor and Kevin brought in the stretcher. The guards continued to look about them.
Honestly, Jillian thought, after all these years in space, yet earthlings had so little contact with other alien species that there still remained superstition and fear surrounding them. Especially Antareans. They were led to a small room and Jillian caught her first sight of the Antarean, obviously male, humanoid in appearance but with distinctly different facial features and
massively large hands. The alien wore a one piece suit similar to what she was wearing. He was large and muscular, but apart from being unconscious, did not appear in any distress. Yet who knew with an alien race? After a brief conversation with the medic, Dr. Malloy had a grave look on his face.
The attempt to move the Antarean onto their stretcher proved problematic even with the two guards, the medic, Doctor Malloy and Kevin they were barely able to budge the massive form. After ascertaining that none of the others guards could leave their posts, Captain Ames swore quietly under her breath as she was forced to radio Damian, the only other male on her ship with any muscle strength.
“Damn, he’s a heavy sucker, ain’t he?” Pilot McCaffrey laughed as they finally got the alien onto the stretcher. Jillian herself had to help lift and standing next to Damien, as always being so close to him touched a nerve in her, she both liked and loathed his presence.
One of the arms of the Antarean slipped off the stretcher. Jillian took its hand and gently placed it on his chest. Both guards took in a sharp breath and were looking at her as if she were crazy for touching him.
Jillian refused to let their outmoded fears affect her. “Has he said anything?” She asked.
“No, Captain, nothing and no signs of consciousness.”
Jillian nodded. “We’ll take it from here gentlemen,” she said, noting the obvious relief on their faces. Dr. Malloy and Kevin took the alien to sickbay while Jillian headed for the bridge.
Damian followed her. “You’re really going to Antares?”
Jillian nodded assent.
“It’ll take at least two weeks
. Will our cargo still be in any shape for delivery?”
“Will he still be alive? Is that what you’re so crudely trying to say?” She shrugged, “I don’t
know, but we have to try.” Jillian paused, looking Damian up and down.
“Can’t you ever wear a uniform?”
“If you want me to take my clothes off,
honey, I can oblige.” Damian started unbuttoning his shirt.
“I outrank you, that bothers you doesn’t it? That’s why you’re so hostile.”
“No, I personally enjoy having a woman on top.”
Her hands clenched into fists. Damian caught the punch
inches before it would have made impact with his face. The contact of his hand on her wrist burned into her skin, turning rage into desire. Her eyes locked onto his and Jillian knew she had to get away from him before she did anything she’d regret. She wrenched her hand away and for the second time today walked angrily away from this man.