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Elizabeth Raines

BOOK: Elizabeth Raines
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Wicked Missions 8

Their Princess

Falsely accused of treason by her scheming stepmother in an attempted coup, Trilani Princess Syla enlists the aid of her handsome bodyguards Jake Odin and Luka Arma to save her from execution and clear her name. While vowing to help her reclaim her throne, can they also steal her heart?

Still mourning his lost lover, Luka is overjoyed to see Jake again, but he gives Syla a frosty reception. A passionate interlude between the trio leaves Luka shaken and wondering if he might finally be able to stop living in the past.

Following the death of her father, Syla must choose between remaining on Earth with the men she loves or returning to Trilan to clear her name and reclaim her rightful throne.

Genre:
Futuristic, Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Science Fiction

Length:
26,201 words

THEIR PRINCESS

 

Wicked Missions 8

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth Raines

 

 

 

 

 

 

MENAGE EVERLASTING

 

 

Siren Publishing, Inc.

www.SirenPublishing.com

ABOUT THE E-BOOK YOU HAVE PURCHASED:
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You do not have resell or distribution rights without the prior written permission of both the publisher and the copyright owner of this book.
This book cannot be copied in any format, sold, or otherwise transferred from your computer to another through upload to a file sharing peer to peer program, for free or for a fee, or as a prize in any contest. Such action is illegal and in violation of the U.S. Copyright Law. Distribution of this e-book, in whole or in part, online, offline, in print or in any way or any other method currently known or yet to be invented, is forbidden. If you do not want this book anymore, you must delete it from your computer.

 

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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK

IMPRINT: Ménage Everlasting

 

 

THEIR PRINCESS

Copyright © 2012 by Elizabeth Raines

E-book ISBN:
978-1-62241-394-2

 

First E-book Publication: September 2012

 

Cover design by Les Byerley

All art and logo copyright © 2012 by Siren Publishing, Inc.

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.

 

All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.

 

 

PUBLISHER

Siren Publishing, Inc.

www.SirenPublishing.com

Letter to Readers

 

Dear Readers,

 

If you have purchased this copy of
Their Princess
by Elizabeth Raines from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.

 

 

Regarding E-book Piracy

 

This book is copyrighted intellectual property. No other individual or group has resale rights, auction rights, membership rights, sharing rights, or any kind of rights to sell or to give away a copy of this book.

 

The author and the publisher work very hard to bring our paying readers high-quality reading entertainment.

 

This is Elizabeth Raines’s livelihood. It’s fair and simple. Please respect Ms. Raines’s right to earn a living from her work.

 

Amanda Hilton, Publisher

www.SirenPublishing.com

www.BookStrand.com

DEDICATION

 

 

To Cheryl Brooks and Mellanie Szereto—Thanks for all you do for me! I couldn’t ask for better critique partners!

THEIR PRINCESS

Wicked Missions 8

 

ELIZABETH RAINES

Copyright © 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

Lukasi Arma stabbed the tip of his shovel into the dirt and wiped the back of his forearm over his sweaty brow. He’d put in a hard day’s work and made considerable progress opening up the patch of thick grass for future use. The roots had been deep—deep enough some had put up a mighty struggle to survive. But he’d ultimately defeated them.

A yawn slipped out that he didn’t even try to cover. Amazing how being alone had destroyed the good manners he used to pride himself upon. They’d disappeared—one after the other—in all his time out here. A burp here. A fart there. Sometimes, he didn’t even bother to dress anymore. His skin was bronzed, his hair bleached by the sun. At least it was if he took the time to bother looking in a mirror, which wasn’t every day. He combed through the tangles after showers, but he no longer fussed with slicking back his hair. The only grooming he did was to brush his teeth, shower, and rub a deodorant stone under his pits. He shaved maybe twice a week, not to impress anyone but because he hated the feel of a beard. He also indulged in a nail trimming every now and then. No doubt, he looked like one of Earth’s furry creatures.

As tired as Luka was, he hoped tonight he’d be able to sleep without the familiar nightmares. Most days he worked hard enough to collapse instead of sleep. It was the only way to find relief. If he didn’t court exhaustion, the haunting scene was staged anew each night—a macabre performance he had no wish to keep attending. So he’d chosen a particularly difficult task this day—creating a new herb garden.

It was almost ready for planting. The seeds had arrived in the last airdrop, although his contact hadn’t been able to find
beruna
for him. Didn’t matter.
Beruna
was a temperamental plant anyway, and Luka had plenty of other varieties. While he could have skipped the fuss of growing herbs altogether, he missed the flavors that had been a part of his meals back on Fraiqua. Pungent with aroma and filled with exotic tastes, meals on that planet had been an experience rather than just a chance to eat. Kimini always told him the best herbs were homegrown.

A vision of her filled Luka’s mind. Her long, dark hair. The enchanting blue of her skin. The smile that always stole his breath. She’d been a wonderful cook and had taught him to enjoy the more savory Fraiquan herbs and spices instead of relying on human staples such as salt and pepper. She’d also taught Luka what it meant to truly be Fraiquan—to enjoy the finer parts of her world and to embrace it and the Fraiquan lifestyle wholeheartedly.

And he had. For three years, he’d been one of her two “husbands.” They’d grown as close as any love match and had often talked about what they would do when their undercover assignment concluded, even discussing marrying for real instead of as a ruse. His heart and soul belonged to Fraiqua—and to Kimini and Jake.

Everything blew up in their faces. The enemy had discovered their deception. The Interplanetary Drug Enforcement Agency hadn’t reached them in time. Before Luka could even catch his breath, Kimini was dead and he and Jake were no longer Fraiquan, which ended the staged marriage.

Chattering sounds tickled his ears. The sun was setting, and the birds tended to settle down in their nests when night came. Soon, he’d be doing the same. A hot shower, then he’d have a bite to eat and fall into his bed. He’d choose one of the books he loved, read it until his eyes grew heavy, and then let sleep claim him.

Tomorrow, he’d start all over again.

Another sound caught his attention—the sound of a passing craft that made him shift his eyes to the sky. A small ship was struggling through the clouds, looking like an injured bird caught in a fierce wind.

He furrowed his brow. This couldn’t be the supply ship making its monthly flyby. Not only would it be a week early, but the engines of the silver craft were grinding instead of humming along efficiently. IDEA would never have allowed a ship in that condition to leave base, especially to come all the way out here.

Someone had found him.

“Shit.”

Had an old enemy—one of many—ferretted him out? Or were these simply people moving themselves or supplies over this isolated land?

No. No enemy could find him here. This was the safest place in the universe.

The ship dropped to a precarious altitude with black smoke belching from the engine. At that angle, it would hit the ground hard.

Luka tossed the shovel aside and ran to his cabin, trying not to step on the rabbits that darted from his vegetable garden when he passed by. He grabbed the med kit and his weapon. Wrapping the leather belt around his hips, he holstered his pulse-gun and snatched up his hand-held radar. As he tried to locate the ship, he hurried back outside, wondering how many bodies he’d have to bury when he found the crash site.

 

* * * *

 

The wreckage wasn’t as bad as he’d expected. The fuselage remained intact, although the left wing was missing—probably knocked off as the ship cut its way through the thick pines. He didn’t have the tools necessary to repair it, if it could even be repaired. If anyone survived the crash, they’d be here until the supplies could be dropped in and Luka could fix this mess of twisted metal.

There were no identifying words, numbers, or symbols. The door was open, but no one was near. Anyone aboard had exited the craft under his own power, which boded well. His mouth fixed into a grim line, he wondered again if this crash was more than a mere mechanical failure.

Perhaps one of his former targets…

No. Not possible
.

Not out here where no man ever came. Not in this place of isolation.

Even if someone were targeting him, they’d never recognize him—not now that he was human again.

Crouching next to the ship, Luka read the tracks. Two sets of footprints from bipeds were right outside the shuttle’s door. One was larger than the other. Then, they changed to one pair of walking tracks and one pair of stumbling, scraping tracks. The larger survivor was barely able to walk.

No blood trail, which was a good sign. But whoever survived could still be pretty badly banged up. With a resigned sigh that his solitude was temporarily ended, he set off in pursuit, his thoughts turning to his former partner, Jake Odin.

Tracking had always been Jake’s forte and one of his favorite things to do. The guy had a knack for picking up a trail the same way a bloodhound could find a scent. Luka had to rely on traditional tracking methods, which became more and more difficult as the forest floor thickened with underbrush. While he normally loved hiking for hours in the woods, enjoying the sweet smell of pine and the crunch of dirt beneath his feet, he couldn’t enjoy any of it, as he feared he’d never find the injured people in time to help them. The sun had set, and the darkness thickened. If he didn’t find them soon, this woods could become their final resting place.

He stopped when the tracks ended, lost to the flora and fauna of the forest’s floor. Listening for any sounds of movement, he shook his head in resignation.

Then a twig snapped.

Luka turned to see a shape scurry behind a tree, getting nothing but a glimpse of a dark figure. “Who’s there?”

BOOK: Elizabeth Raines
7.91Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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