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Authors: Bianca D'Arc

Sons of Amber: Michael

BOOK: Sons of Amber: Michael
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Sons of Amber: Michael


Bianca D’Arc


    Chapter One

    Michael Amber couldn’t believe the ineptitude. The woman on the other end of the comm had been promoted through the ranks due more to her prowess at schmoozing politicians than any real ability on her part. But Mike didn’t play that game. He’d lay this idiot out in the clover, general or not, political crony or not.


    “Sir,” the gentle voice at his side calmed him almost instantly, “perhaps you’d care to take the comm from General Smithson in your office.”

    He’d been that close to blowing his stack in front of the entire chain of command in a full-out Dominant rage. Commandant Michael Amber normally controlled his baser passions in front of other people, but every once in a while he’d succumb to one of the near-berserker states that sometimes plagued Dominants like himself. Not often, but every once in a while.

    His Executive Officer—or XO for short—Colonel Leah Blackfoot had seen him in towering rages before, but she’d never backed away. No, this small woman was more fearless than a platoon of jit’suku warriors. She faced him down and tamed his inner beast with just a few well-placed words.

    She was magic.

    Curtly, he nodded at Leah. “Just so.” Drawing himself to his full height—almost a full foot taller than Leah’s willowy form—he headed for his private office, motioning her to follow. He didn’t quite trust himself to talk to the idiot general without Leah there to mitigate his temper.

    It had been like that almost from the beginning. Leah had been assigned to his staff about two years before and after an initial getting-to-know-each-other period, they’d worked together like a well-oiled machine. She was the most organized, skilled and naturally attuned woman he knew. She was also gorgeous, though he tried his best not to think of her in any kind of sexual way, but every once in a while he’d find himself watching her…wondering.

    Michael was a Son of Amber—a genetically engineered human male designed with the express purpose of repopulating the human race. The jit’suku enemy had launched a bio-weapon years ago, systematically killing off almost all human males. Some women became ill as well and were left sterile or worse, but a few dedicated geneticists, led by Dr. Amber Waithe, had stepped up to the challenge. She and her team devised a plan to restore the balance of humanity, engineering a group of males who were immune to the jit virus. Known as Sons of Amber, these men also bred about ninety percent male offspring. They’d been designed so each successive generation would yield more female offspring until normalizing somewhere around fifty-fifty several generations down the road. By that time, it was hoped the human race would be back on its feet as a species.

    But Michael Amber was one of the first. He and his brothers had been designed in several discrete groups. Some were Risk Takers, designed to weigh the odds and take calculated risks that others would not. Some were Pioneers, given the skills and predispositions to conquer new frontiers in every field of human endeavor. Some were Moderates, designed to be the backbone of society, even-tempered and rock steady in character, and some were Dominants like Michael himself.

    Dominant personalities were meant to lead in all aspects of life. It made them great military commanders, law enforcers, and the like, but it also gave them Dominant tastes in everything they did. In Michael’s case, he was probably one of the most dominant of the Doms. He’d worked his way up to Commandant of the military forces in this sector. He led, and everyone followed. Just the way he liked it.

    The way he needed it, actually. It was part of his physiology and his psyche. He needed to dominate the way others needed to breathe. And he needed to dominate sexually as well, though never to the point of violence. Violence was something Mike reserved for his enemies. He’d killed his fair share of jit’suku soldiers in his climb to the top of his chosen profession, but he never gloried in it. He just did what he had to do to protect his own. It was that simple.

    Mike also understood the value of working with people. He had good working relationships with all his command staff and his people respected him. That was important to him. He cultivated friendships with is staff, who were mostly female, though he discouraged any interaction or discussion of a sexual nature.

    While he still made regular deposits to the sperm banks, and made personal visits to as many civilian ladies as his schedule allowed, he never had sex with his subordinates. For one thing, it wouldn’t be fair to take advantage of his position of authority. For another, he had definite sexual tastes and proclivities that required the full consent of his partner. How could he be certain the woman consented out of her own desire or out of some misguided aspiration to reach higher in her job by doing whatever he wanted, regardless of her own needs? Mike couldn’t take the chance, so military women were off-limits.

    If any woman tempted him to break his own rule though, it was Leah. Still, she’d never once given him any indication she desired him sexually. Perhaps that was why he found her so comfortable to be around. She was his friend, his confidant, his stabilizer when his Dominant genetics threatened to push him a bit too far.

    Like right now.

    Michael made sure the hatch was closed tight before switching the comm to his personal viewer. Leah remained just out of range of the viewer, but well within his personal sphere. He could see her, read her expressions, and feel her calming energy. He didn’t quite understand how it all worked, but something about this woman made him a better leader. She made him stop and think through his decisions, made him want to be the best man he could possibly be. In short, she was an invaluable influence and if he had any say in the matter, she’d be part of his personal staff for the duration of his career. She was a keeper.


    Leah watched Michael Amber handle the moronic woman who had somehow been promoted to general. Michael was like no man in her experience. Leah was in her late thirties and had been briefly married before the jit attack that killed her husband and all her male relatives. She knew full well what Michael Amber and his ‘brothers’ were. They’d been designed in a lab and grown under accelerated conditions. They were genetic constructs, but she knew first hand from her dealings with Michael, he had a deep, feeling, sensitive soul.

    He was one of the most complex and courageous men she had ever known. Her own brothers had been military men before the virus, as had her father and many of her ancestors. She came from a line of warriors and she knew and understood the mindset. Michael was as good as the best of them—and then some. He was superior to most other men she’d known in almost every way. Especially in the way that mattered most. He was completely immune to the jit virus.

    And so were his children.

    Leah had wanted a large family, but her husband of just a year was killed early on by the virus. That was years ago now, and few men were left. There were no marriages in the old sense now, only Sons who would flit from woman to woman like bees pollinating flowers, never settling on just one to live with and love. Leah wasn’t entirely certain the Sons knew what love was. They hadn’t been raised in a normal family, after all. They’d been incubated and their growth accelerated so they were ‘born’ in adolescence, just as their reproductive systems came online. A few years of training after that, and they were loosed on society.

    Their sperm was collected and made available to all the human worlds so women who wanted to conceive could go to fertility clinics and be impregnated with the sperm of the Son of their choice. Catalogs containing short bios and images of all the Sons were found in such places so women could have some say in what their children might look like or what traits they might inherit from their fathers.

    It was all too clinical, but there was little choice. Higher ranked women like Leah could also opt to reserve time with one of the Sons as scheduling allowed, to try to get pregnant the old fashioned way, but that seemed even worse to her.

    Nearing forty, Leah was starting to really worry over just how and when she would finally start her family. She wanted a baby. A little boy to raise and nurture. She wanted it desperately, but since coming to work for Michael Amber, all too often when she pictured her son, he had Michael’s dark hair and flashing blue eyes. She could easily imagine the boy she would dote on and love with all her heart, as she couldn’t afford to love his father.

    Michael was a Son of Amber. He was also one of the most influential and successful of the Sons. Not a man who could settle with one woman—ever. Such daydreams were useless and could be dangerous to a woman who worked with the tempting man, day in and day out. She knew Michael depended on her. He might even feel some kind of affection for her, but he would never feel the love she desired with every fiber of her being.

    She’d been married. She knew what young love felt like, and she missed it. Sometimes she ached for the half-forgotten feel of her husband’s arms around her. It was so long ago, she barely remembered him now. Sometimes it all seemed so pointless.

    The time was drawing near when she’d have to make a decision. Either she stayed working with Michael, watching him, wanting him and knowing she could never have him, or she would quit. She’d resign her commission and visit the fertility clinic, choosing Michael’s seed to produce her baby boy.

    The choice was a cold one, but the result would warm her heart for the rest of her life. Michael’s baby couldn’t help but be a reflection of the great man she’d come to know…and love.

    The thought jarred her as he ended the comm. Michael sighed heavily and sat wearily at his desk.

    “Thanks. I definitely owe you one for that, colonel.”

    Leah gathered her wits and sat as he indicated the chair in front of his desk. “Anytime, sir.”

    “Smithson ought to be court-martialed for her actions.”

    Leah chuckled dryly. “She’s too well connected. They’ll never go after her.”

    He sighed. Leah had to stop herself from staring at his massive shoulders as he sat back in his chair. The man was all too appealing for her peace of mind. Lately it had gotten harder and harder to ignore his incredibly masculine attributes. Ever since she’d decided she would have his baby, she found she couldn’t look at him with the same detachment she’d cultivated since first being assigned to his staff.

    “It’s disgusting.”

    “You’ve got that right.” Leah muttered, thinking more of her wayward thoughts and inability to focus on the task at hand than what he was actually talking about. It was time to quit thinking of Michael as a stud and concentrate on the work at hand. They had a lot to get through today and this little run-in with an idiot general had sidetracked them enough. “You’ll be lucky if she doesn’t start trash talking you among the other generals.”

    A cold look entered his icy blue eyes. “Let her try.”

    A shiver coursed down her spine and she understood what the gossips meant when they talked about Michael Amber’s death glare. He’d become famous among the soldiers fighting to protect humanity for his skill and intense methods. Leah had never actually fought beside him, but she caught glimpses of the deadliness of the man every now and again.

    She’d trained in the gym with him just once, early on in her tenure as his Executive Officer. After that one, sweaty, dangerous run-in, she’d avoided being in the gym with him ever again. He was deadly with his hands and he moved like a serpent, sinuous, strong and lethal.

    His physique was impeccable. His musculature made her mouth water in a way it should not for a man who was firmly off limits. His eyes were intent, his concentration total. He’d impressed her and before the virus, she’d been exposed to the best of the best of military men in her own family and tribe. She thought she was used to his kind of man, but Michael Amber was in a class by himself.

    “The jits are getting too cocky though. More and more of them are turning pirate and raiding fringe colonies, stealing supplies and women. It’s got to be stopped.”

    Leah shook herself back to the task at hand. “I agree. Especially when there might still be undiscovered pockets of uninfected humans out there like those Ezekiel found.”

    Mike nodded, turning to his read-outs. “Something’s got to be done. Do you have the assignment roster for our intel scouts?”

BOOK: Sons of Amber: Michael
10.91Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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