What a girl wants and what a girl needs are sometimes two different things...
For Melissa "Lucky" Chance, another stretch in Ganymede's ice prison is nothing new. The flash-freeze that's supposed to destroy her will only leaves her with an insatiable desire for the first hot body she lays eyes on. Except this time, she faces a death sentence. Her only hope of escape lies with the man known as The Butcher.
John Ramius understands the logic behind his conviction as a criminally insane mass murderer. No man should have been able to slaughter over fifty men in as many minutes, but no one sees the underlying curse that compels him to sense--and fulfill--someone's deepest need. Chance's skill will free him to kill the Sun-King; he will find no rest until he does.
As they run from the forces of the Jovian colonies, Ramius finds himself temporarily sidetracked, not only by Chance's relentless desire, but by her underlying, unspoken need. Ignoring it--or his own compulsion to do every wicked thing imaginable to her--is not an option.
Only after all their defenses are stripped away do they discover that their meeting wasn't by chance. Someone is manipulating them both, and the only way out is the path to their destruction...
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March 09, 2010
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Excerpt from Breaking Chance by Kim Knox
The metal clunked shut behind her. Hard hands closed around her arms, and she found herself almost lifted onto a transport. Security film flashed over her, pinning her head to toe in her bucket seat. The door dropped over the frame of the transport and sank her into sudden gloom. The interior stank of cheap fabric, sweat and fear...but undercutting those scents was another. Chance pulled it into her lungs. A rich scent, laced with spice. Her gaze slid to her right in the dark cabin and found John Ramius staring back at her. Shallow, overhead light cut across his smooth features.
She gave him a sharp smile, hiding her nerves. "Chancellor Joash Connor. No one escapes a spacing." With a quick twist, Chance freed her hands from the cuffs. What was the point of her sitting with her hands trussed behind her back? She wasn't going anywhere now. She eased them over her hips and settled her hands between her thighs. There was enough room under the film for her to rub at the soreness of her wrists.
Ramius fixed his gaze on her fingers. "Get handcuffed a lot?"
"Occupational hazard." She couldn't stop the curve of another smile, her sense of humour easing the tight knot of terror cramping her gut. "And of course, I do it for fun too."
Ramius snorted. His breathing deepened before he spoke, his voice quiet but bitter. "He'll space everyone."
She shrugged and winced as the film stung the edge of her shoulders. "He's out to make an example today. Even of a lowly thief like me."
"The feeds must be immense, all wanting to see me go down. The new outer governor needs to show everyone who's in charge."
"Ishaan West has a captive audience. You're infamous."
"And you don't seem to be concerned by that."
Something in his voice edged under her skin, almost as sharp as the spikes in her prison suit. She sat next to a man who had butchered fifty-three men in almost as many minutes. Soon hard vacuum would tear her apart, and she would die in agony. Her fear of him was pointless. "We're both going to die horrible deaths very soon."
"I may want a final kill to satisfy my blood lust."
Chance held his darkened gaze while her heart thudded. The edge to his voice dried her mouth, and she swallowed. "You're trapped under security film."
A smile curved his mouth, and the predatory gleam in his eyes had her terrified and so wet she had to squeeze her thighs together. Hard. That didn't help. The pulse of sudden, unexpected arousal lay thick and hot in her belly. She was insane, she really was.
"I'll do you a deal, Chance. You bring down this security film and I'll get us out of here. Get us off the detention base and I'll pay you."
"Do you want the assurance that I wouldn't kill you?" His smile was hard. "You have that too."
"You're a colony thief. More than anything, you have to be tech savvy. Rupture the film. If we get another prisoner in here, the odds of our escaping drop." His gaze narrowed on her. "Do you want to die a horrible death?"
"At whose hands?"
He growled her name, and her flesh clenched. Yes, only she could want sex right then. "Fine." She closed her eyes. Every citizen of the Jupiter colonies had an implanted chip. On some, like her and--obviously--Ramius, the restrictor didn't take, and, with a little ingenuity, they were practically free to do whatever they liked. Until they were caught. And they were always caught. She'd turned her talent to controlling her environment. And she was bloody good at it. With a faint hum, the security film powered down.
Ramius tested his confinement, grinning when he found none. "Strip," he ordered.
Chance blinked and the fire licking under her skin flared. He couldn't mean...
"Your prison suit. You won't get five metres before it cripples you."
"Right," she muttered, focusing her thoughts on breaking the bond to the tight fabric. She tugged it from her skin, shrugging out of it to expose the overly modest underwear the detention centre insisted upon. She turned her thoughts to his suit, feeling the connection snaking in thin wires over his body. Chance crushed her eyes shut, wishing her tracing thoughts didn't feel as if fingertips ran over his lithe body. With a snap, she broke the connections and let out a slow breath. She held his gaze. "Your turn to strip."
He let out a soft laugh as he yanked at the front of his suit. "Best offer I've had in a while."
Chance tried not to wet her lips and failed. The weak light washed over his chest and taut abdomen. Ramius had kept himself in shape during his long incarceration. She also tried not to follow the enticing trail of dark hair down and to stop herself from staring at the tight, white shorts he wore...and what they covered--
"You really don't seem to have a problem with me being a convicted murderer."
Chance tore her gaze away from his lickable skin. "I'm shallow. I see a body I want." She ran a hand through her short hair, wanting to hate that she really was so superficial...but when presented with a very edible man, that emotion became impossible. "Life is too short not to take what you need."
He pushed out a slow breath, and she felt the sudden rise in tension. "Move to my seat."
She complied, sliding over to the next bucket chair. She hissed as her bare legs brushed his, a brief flare of sharp awareness shooting under her skin. Ramius frowned and dropped into her vacated seat without a word.
Chance held back a sigh. So sex wasn't on the agenda, now and, from the tight line of his jaw, probably not in the foreseeable future. She pushed down her disappointment and stamped sensible thoughts over it. He'd said it himself. He was a convicted murderer.
"Too long without a man. Far too long." The thought burned in her brain. Yes, her choice had been limited. There'd only been her guards or a brief respite from solitary when she mixed with the other prisoners in the exercise chamber. No one had caught her eye...and she'd screw herself before she fucked a guard. She would never be that desperate.
"Get ready." His firm, quiet voice broke through her preoccupation with sex. "Martine Callis has a record that the chancellor would want to dwell on...but there are a lot of prisoners to get through today."
Chance stared at him. "How do you know this?"
"Information used to be my job." His shoulders dropped and his fingers flexed against his thighs. "I'll take care of the guards. We strip them and head for the docking clamps. You use your skill to get us onto a ship." His gaze slid over her body, hard, assessing, and Chance suddenly felt exposed and nervous. Men looked at her for sex, nothing more, nothing deeper, and she preferred it that way. She resisted the need to move her arms to cover her near-nakedness. "You're on the small side for a guard, but that can't be helped." He frowned. "Is all that understood?"
She gave him a brief nod.