Hannah is a Breeding Slave. Created solely for the purpose of producing healthy offspring for an ailing human race, Hannah Roberts longs for freedom and fantasizes about the dangerous man she can never have. With her breeding status about to commence, her hunger for freedom explodes. Escaping into the night, she knows capture will bring her certain death.
Jacob is her Hitman. Trained to be a cold-blooded killing machine, the only light in Jacob Romero's life is Hannah, a beautiful Slave whose sweet innocence brands his heart and awakens dark desires he never knew he had. Assigned to hunt her down and kill her, he's seriously injured when he saves her life.
Forbidden love always finds a way. Now fugitives, they hide in a deserted mansion where Hannah nurses the wounded Hitman she's always wanted. Soon their passions ignite, throwing them into a sexual ecstasy neither can run from. Their forbidden love will face one final challenge. Escaping to a harsh new life in the Free States.
Publisher Note: Previously released by another publisher under the title of A Hitman for Hannah, this book has been extensively revised and reedited for Ellora's Cave.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Claiming Hannah by Jan Springer
"I'm supposed to kill you, Hannah. I can't do that. But I can't let you go either or run away with you."
He wouldn't let her go?
Confusion and fear ripped through her, bringing a sting of tears to her eyes.
"Please, you have to let me go. Please, I'll do anything you want, Jacob. But I need my freedom."
His eyes snapped bright at her words.
"Anything?" he breathed.
"Whatever you want."
Her voice didn't give away the fact her insides quivered. She'd always wanted Jacob, but not like this.
"Let's go to my car," he instructed.
She hesitated. Whoever had called her on the communicator would be coming for her. She couldn't let them see Jacob or they would leave.
She held her breath as he gazed down between her spread legs. Strangely enough, she didn't feel the least bit ashamed.
Why should she?
Deep in her heart she knew Jacob Romero was a good man. At least that's what the other Slaves had always said. That's what she'd felt in her heart. She could only hope he still had some compassion left inside after years of killing people like her. Maybe she could change his mind? All she needed was a bit of time with him.
"I want a bed and twenty-four hours," he whispered.
Oh my goodness! He was taking her up on her offer!
If she thought her limbs were shaking before, they were spastic now.
Twenty-four hours? But what about her rescue boat to the Free States? Anxiety raged inside her. If she didn't go with him, her would-be rescuer would see him. Would know this place was compromised and never come back here for her. Another thought frightened her even more. If Jacob found out this was a contact spot for the Underground Railway he'd capture her would-be rescuers. It would ruin the chances for others coming after her.
Her blood froze as another thought formed. Unless he already knew this was a rendezvous point.
"How'd you find me?"
She had to know the answer. Had to know if this place was compromised.
"Lara told me."
Hannah felt as if a sledgehammer slammed into her stomach. If she hadn't been lying down she would surely have fallen from the betrayal shifting through her like raw fire.
"Why would she tell you I was here? How did she know?"
"She didn't know for sure. She said a Slave mentioned this place while she lay dying. That maybe you thought it was a contact point for the Underground Railroad. It isn't a contact point, Hannah. If it was, you wouldn't still be here."
But they had called her! Oh God, Lara, how could you betray me like this?
"Don't be mad at her. I promised her I wouldn't hurt you," he said softly as if reading her mind. "I was desperate to find you. There are other Hitmen out there looking for you too. I'm not the only one. Simon has put a big bounty on your head. You're the only one of his..."
He hesitated a moment as if what word he should call her.
"You're the only one who has been on the run for this long." Hannah tried hard not to turn her head toward the ocean. Toward freedom.
Instead, she locked her gaze onto Jacob, who now studied her face.
Sympathy raged in his eyes, and it truly seemed as if he believed this place had nothing to do with the Underground Railway.
She needed to get him away from here so he wouldn't know the truth.
Sleeping with him was the only way out. She had to do it. She had to trust he would let her go afterward. She would come back here and wait again. He might follow her, but the next time she would make sure he didn't see her.
"What's your answer, Hannah?"
She wanted to ask him what he would do if she said no. She didn't ask. She would use this opportunity to draw him away from here. To save the place for others. And for herself.
She could see if he might change his mind and come with her to the Free States, but she would have to be very sure he was the kind man all the slaves said he was. She would have to make sure her heart knew the truth about him too and that he wasn't just a fantasy man.
Reluctantly Hannah nodded.
Jacob hoisted his powerful body off her and kneeled between her legs. To her surprise, he reached down and his long fingers intertwined with her own.
"Your twenty-four hours start when we get to a motel."
Inwardly, she shivered. His words and his warm touch screamed pleasure as he helped her to her feet. She found herself realizing her dream of sleeping with Jacob was about to come true. She just hadn't figured it to be this way.