When bounty hunter Gar is given a simple locate-and-retrieve mission, he's convinced it's a waste of his skills. His success rate is legendary, and this assignment is almost too easy.
There isn't a more prolific space pirate in the galaxy than Captain Faolan. When he walks into a bar with a proposition heavy in mind, he's not expecting anything to go wrong.
Forced from his solitary existence to work with Faolan, Gar can't deny his need and desire for a man who he should put in prison. When the hunter becomes the hunted, Gar must learn to put his faith in a man he doesn't know, or run the risk of ending up dead.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from No Quarter by Christine d'Abo
Gar Stitt walked silently into The Space Jock--the seediest bar on Tybal Station--with a clear head and clear purpose. The stench of vomit, sex and stale rymak beer was enough to turn the stomach of even the most seasoned bounty hunter, but did little to distract Gar from his task. Fingers laced together behind his back, he sidestepped a drunk who was on his way to the floor, blood dripping from his nose where he'd been punched moments before.
Careful to avoid getting any of the filth from the bar or its patrons on him, Gar quickly scanned the darkened room for his mark. Humans and aliens alike clung haphazardly to the stools and were draped across tables--the mix of colors was muted by the haze of the space. A Helexian female nearly walked into him, her white hair and tendrils flushing blue with embarrassment before she scurried away. None were the man he was looking for.
In and out, he'd been promised--a quick job and then out to the middle of nowhere for a much needed break. Gar had already lingered on the station longer than he'd intended, tracking his target. If anyone but Jason had asked him to take care of the matter, he would have walked away. Six months on various hunts was enough to suck the life out of anyone--Gar was no exception.
He'd been in The Guild long enough that he didn't get stuck with clean-up duties often, so he knew there was something special about this case. Not that Gar could say no to the man who'd given him a renewed sense of purpose after the murder of his family, even if it meant coming to The Space Jock. Jason asked and Gar jumped. The positive point to the whole thing was a chance to see the infamous captain again.
Suppressing a sigh, he focused his attention back to the crowd. For the briefest of seconds he considered that his reconnaissance report might have misled him. This didn't seem like the captain's normal type of entertainment haven if his file was to be believed. It was too crowded, too exposed, too deep in enemy territory. It went against the pattern and nothing good happened when normal routines changed.
Loud, throbbing beats pounded though Gar's body until the fine hairs on the back of his neck stood on end and his brain rattled in his head. He was sure this qualified as music somewhere in the universe, but nowhere he'd ever want to visit. What would bring the captain to a hellhole like this? Not that his mark had a particularly discerning reputation, but from the picture in his data file Gar thought he would have had better taste. Mind you, this was the same man who'd had the balls to waltz into Jason's backyard and try to pull a scam.
Gar would have to cut those balls off.
In the quick lull between songs, a peal of rich, booming laughter from the back room grabbed Gar's attention. Ah there he was--Captain Wolf, present and accounted for.
Perhaps this would go smoother than Gar had first thought. Shifting his weight to loosen his vest and shrug open his long, heavy overcoat, Gar slid his hand inside to brush the top of the holster carrying his blasters. His long black blades were secured in a special sheath that would send both knives into his waiting hands with a hard flick of his wrists. They and the leather wrist straps he wore for protection were perfectly hidden from sight within the bulk of his coat.
With any luck he would dispose of the infamous captain and be back on the Geilt in time for his meal.
A wall of silence fell over the bar as Gar walked past. While he rarely frequented Tybal Station like he had in his youth, his reputation remained firmly in place. Gar ignored hooded stares, taking silent pleasure in how at least half the people averted their gazes in an attempt to escape his notice. Those who didn't were probably looking for some excitement. They might get their wish if things didn't go the way he intended tonight.
It was Gar's appearance that helped him blend into a crowd--until he unleashed his special brand of judgment. Then, of course, those who survived had his image burned into their memory. Dressed almost too formally--jacket, black vest, crisp white shirt--he looked to be on his way to a function on one of the Earth colonies, not frequenting the bowels of this hellhole.
Gar had long become accustomed to hell. It suited him.
The crowd parted, making it easier for him to avoid the layer of scum that clung to everything and everyone in the place. When he reached the back room, the captain's voice slipped from the half shut door. Two rather bulky men flanked the entrance, large, meaty arms crossed over their chests. Gar laced his hands behind his back and let his gaze slide from the man on the left to the one on the right. Their clubbed fists would easily crack his jaw, but he doubted it would come to a single blow. Cocking a lean eyebrow, he waited.
It didn't take long for the man on the left to squirm.
"Private party." The behemoth slurred the words.
Gar let out a snort.
"The captain doesn't want to be disturbed," the one on the right bit out, a little clearer than his mate.
Cocking his head toward the man, Gar took a half step closer. He didn't raise his voice, despite the resurgence of the blaring music. No, he kept it even, his words clipped and clear.
"Open the door."
"Why the fuck should we listen to you?" The guard on the right spat, pushing his face into Gar's as he did.
Before the man could react, Gar jabbed his thumb into the side of his throat, sending him collapsing to the floor, gasping and coughing. The movement was so fast the other bouncer barely had time to blink before Gar returned his hands to their original position behind his back. Cocking his eyebrow again, he waited for the remaining man to push the door all the way open.
"He'll need medical attention," Gar said softly as he stepped over the still body. "You might want to see to it immediately."
A red haze hung high in the air of the back room, the sweet scent telling him that it was most likely an erotigen. Great, now he was going to have a hard-on for a week. He stepped fully into the room and waited for someone to notice his presence.
It took longer than expected.
Captain Wolf lay on a large, thick pallet which covered most of the floor in the room. The man was barefoot, wearing only a pair of black leather pants and a rich green military jacket that gaped open. His bare chest and stomach were partially covered by the long hair of a woman currently fighting with a young, attractive man for the privilege of sucking the captain's cock. His wide grin exposed a mouth full of perfect white teeth, amusement making his eyes sparkle.
"Now Jona, you must learn to share. There's more than enough of me to go around and Ziva has been more than patient."
The cooing and moaning of the pair would have been amusing under different circumstances. For that matter, the impressive size of the captain's cock would have been a matter of interest. Gar knew the only thing it rivaled was the size of the man's ego.
His slow gaze moved up the captain's body and over his chest, taking in the man's long brown hair that reached the top of his shoulders, and finally coming to rest on the captain's startling blue gaze. It took all Gar's years of training to keep his surprise from showing. He'd only laid eyes on the captain once before during a time when he'd been in no position to draw attention to himself or his actions. Now subjected to Wolf's piercing inspection, long-buried feelings of uncertainty and inexperience rose. The captain's amusement never wavered, even as he pulled the young man's mouth from his straining cock and leaned forward to whisper in his ear.
"It seems we have company."
"Captain Wolf." It wasn't a question.
"Ooh, now that is an accent I haven't heard in a very long time. Damasmus? No, too refined for there. Zeten?" He shifted his weight to one hip, attempting to look around Gar. "Can't see the stick up your ass, but it must be there."
"I'd much rather you lie down. Take that jacket off. Maybe your pants. I'll look for the stick."
The pair on either side of Wolf snickered, the woman turning her head to lick his nipple. The captain gazed down at her and placed a kiss on her forehead. Gar didn't look away, but knew he was being tested--the captain was trying to catch him off guard.
"Look, I don't mind sharing. She's quite good."
Gar let out a soft sigh, but the captain's hearing was too good.
"Not interested. Sorry Ziva, I don't think you're his type. Jona's exceptional, but you might be a bit rough for him. Don't know if I can allow that."
"You've been playing in the wrong backyard, pirate. Jason doesn't take kindly to con men in his territory."
Wolf grinned and let his gaze travel lazily down Gar's body, lingering on his groin before meeting his eyes again with a wink. "Definitely from Zeten. Damn, I forgot how sexy that accent was."
Impatience poked at Gar, but he refused to react. Narrowing his gaze, he took a half step forward and dropped his hands to his sides. The motion caused his overcoat to pull, revealing none too subtly the butts of his blasters. The captain had a reputation for liking things rough--Gar was more than happy to accommodate.
He knew the second Ziva and Jona spied his weapons. They rolled away from Wolf, snatching their clothing as they went. Without another word, they ran naked from the room out into the bar. The captain actually pouted at the loss of his companions, watching after them as they scurried away.
"That wasn't nice."