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Sunday, August 21, 2011
Six on Sunday - HEARTFAST
From Whiskey Creek Press Torrid
1. Hunter chewed absent-mindedly on the knuckles of one hand as he kept track of the lithe figure dressed in midnight black. StarLight was the only female member of the Guardians who chose to wear a full-length body suit as her uniform. And she filled it out to a perfection that was almost too painful to observe. But the ebony costume, with its ever-changing pattern of stars running over its surface, did its job well in camouflaging the woman against the darkness of space. As well as the thick flow of raven hair she wore loose down her back. He’d seen her just once in regular clothes, with her hair pulled back into a long tail thicker than his wrist. The woman was intimidating no matter what she wore.
2. Staring down at his hands, Hunter clenched his fingers into white-knuckled fists. Tomorrow he would know every velvet inch of her. He would touch her, taste her, learn the exquisite expanse of her iridescent skin, and then he would plant his body into hers and give her his seed. Every night, at least once a night, for the next fourteen days and then a minimum of three nights per week as required by law.
3. Memories of last night lay just below the surface. Hunter tamped them down, although the temptation to relive them was almost too much to control. It had been years since he’d been with a woman. Three, in fact. But every time he had bedded one, he had done so, trusting his heart to let him know if this one was the right one. If, this time, he had finally found the woman he could share his life with. The one who would always be there, beside him, unwavering in her love and dedication. It only took one night for him to determine the truth. In the way she reacted. In the way she responded to him. Until last night, Hunter had not sensed any kind of permanency with another. Until last night.
4. Life was in his lips. He gave her life. Intoxicating, soul-shaking, mind-blanking life. He held her cheek with one hand, and his lips possessed hers until she could do nothing but fall weakly against him and let him have absolute control of her. Hoping he would take her over and over. Feeling his tongue delving as deeply into this part of her body at this moment the same way he’d taken her virginity in her lonely little bed back at Guardian Command. Taking her further and further away from here and now, until the center of her universe was contained in the length and breadth of one man. One friend, one teammate, one incredible lover.
5. There was such a place, a planet another half-parsec away. Weak, yellow rays of sunlight filtered over its desert-like terrain, but it was capable of sustaining life forms, if such existed on its surface. The moment Star’s booted feet touched the ground, Hunter stood before her. Before she could say another word, to either question him or beg him to leave, he swooped over her, crushing her against his chest. She sobbed his name.
6. The soft sound of weeping told them that Morning Fire had succumbed to the horror the man was revealing to them. Turning a hateful look on the man, Disaster growled, “You…and Clearlian…and Sassidy…you plotted with the Ombitra to destroy this planet? You deliberately placed Star and Hunter on the HandFast list so she would get pregnant and sacrifice herself and the baby, because you thought she wouldn’t fight the Ombitra to save this world instead? Because you thought she wouldn’t deliberately kill her own child to save others? Have we got that right? You monster!”
They were the Guardians, sixteen special men and women with incredible powers who had sworn their lives to the protection of their galaxy, while upholding the laws of their world.
It was a world that, eons ago, had suffered a devastating plague that had rendered more than half its population unable to reproduce. As a result, in order to assure the survival of their species, the HandFast law was enacted. Every month, twenty couples were drawn by lottery. Couples whose sole purpose would then be procreation, the continuation of the species. For the length of one year, two complete strangers would follow the edicts of the HandFast, until the woman conceived. Once that was accomplished, the couple was no longer bound to each other, and they could go their separate ways while the child was given to a couple unable to bear children.
It was a cold and impersonal law, but it worked.
However, the Guardians were exempt from having their names drawn in the lottery. The very nature of their jobs, risking their lives day in and day out to protect their galaxy, precluded any thought of bearing children.
Which was why, when StarLight and Master Hunter heard their names called out to be HandFasted, their neat, orderly lives were turned upside-down. Gone was the comfortable companionship they'd known. Gone was the brother-sister working relationship and the friendship.
Now they would be forced into an intimacy neither had wanted, nor expected.
Neither would they be prepared for the overwhelming passion they would find in each other's bodies, as well as in their hearts.
And things would only get more complicated and dangerous. Because their names had been deliberately placed on the lottery, and the drawing had not been a fluke. Instead, it was the first step in destroying their world and every Guardian living.