Forced apart by war five years ago, Renjiro and Selina have another chance at love. Can they make it work or does fate have other plans?
Without the citizenship of the Federation, Indy pilot Selina Codecko is treated like a second-class citizen. When she gets caught up in a bar brawl she's arrested and finds herself in the hands of the Justice Officers.
Renjiro Ito has dreamed of Selina for five long years. As the Commander of the Justice Officers, the plight of this one woman will turn his life upside down.
But there's more going on than just the fate of one woman—there's a seething underbelly that wants to destroy their newly expanded Federation. The chances of a future together are slim, but they'll take any chances that come their way. Will it be enough?
"Sit down." Renjiro's terse words filled Selina with pain and sadness.
She acceded to his request in silence, holding her throbbing hand against her breast. He squatted before her, his face close to hers, his dark eyes shadowed. His touch was gentle as his fingers traced the line of her jaw. They shook a little and she felt the glancing caress. It warmed her.
He touched a raw spot on her chin and she hissed involuntarily.
"Where else are you injured?"
Selina shook her head.
"Captain Codecko? Selina?"
His gentle words nearly undid her. Tears burned in her eyes and she blinked, hoping to banish them. It didn't work though. They dripped down her face, scalding her frozen cheeks.
Now his hands dropped to her shoulders. "Where else are you hurt, Selina?" His gaze was hypnotic. It drew her words without thought.
"My hand, ribs, and the top of my head."
He frowned and started tugging at her shirt, pulling it free of the loose-fitting pants.
"What… What are you doing?"
He glanced at her, his face taut and strained. "I'm checking your injuries."
Selina blushed, the heat creeping over her face as she pushed at his hands. "No! You can't do that!"
"Just bloody watch me." His rough words surprised her and her hands dropped away. He continued his almost feverish work at her buttons and very quickly he had the shirt open. Selina thanked whatever had made her fasten a bra over her very tiny breasts. With gentle movements, he brushed the old material of her shirt to one side. He hissed through clenched teeth at what he saw. "You need a medic."
"I'm fine. I've lived through this before. Of greater concern to me is whether I'm going to be charged for causing the riot. I was just—"
"I know. Having a quiet drink. We checked the spy eyes. You will be free to go, so long as we can put together a suitable argument. But I have a proposition. One that would help you, I think."
In her experience, propositions never ended well, but she was desperate enough to listen to what he had to say. So she watched in mute silence as he rose. He backed away as she quickly refastened her shirt. Then he paced to the end of the room and back.
"I've just received a communiqué that there's some Indies about to plan an attack on this moon base. I need people I can trust to get information for me."
She waited. But as he started pacing again, it seemed she would need to ask the question. "What's in it for me?"
Selina held her breath. Waiting.
"I might be able to swing an official citizenship for you."
Just like that, he could brush away all the difficulties she had faced since the end of the war. But trusting people didn't come easily. Not for her. "You can just click your fingers and make that happen?"
He faced her again. His eyes shone almost feverishly bright under the lighting of the room. "No. But I know someone who might be able to make it happen, if you agree."
"Why? Why would you help me?"
He smiled. "Because I owe you."
Imogene is a mother of two, compulsive reader, and bookstore owner. She lives in regional Queensland, Australia with her husband, two daughters, dog, cats, guinea pigs, and chooks. She has a particular fondness for vampires, star ship captains, and things that go bump in the night (especially vampire types).
Imogene has tried many varied roles in her working life including kindergarten assistant, teacher, principal, and kindergarten and child care director, but rates owning a bookstore and writing her own novels as the absolute highlight.
In her mother and wife alter ego, she has travelled widely and lived in some very unique places including Far Western Queensland, Cape York, and even Tasmania. She loves to travel and rates China and Hong Kong among her favorite destinations.
She blames Star Trek Voyager, Firefly, and the works of Alexander Kent for her interest in naval activities and later space fleet interest.
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