She's determined not to give in. He's determined to make her beg.
Project Exorcism, Book 3
As head of the Sargaidia guards, Nina Janelle is accustomed to getting what she wants out of her men--in battle and in bed. These days, she's in a losing battle with her panther-shifter heat cycle, each round requiring more and more men to quell her burning need. Until she meets Commission Officer Jordan Vasil. Suddenly, only one man can satisfy her--too bad the cocky pilot grates on her very last nerve.
Nina's is the only face floating in his mind when Jordan lies alone at night, suffering from unrequited lust. It seems she'd rather slit his throat than bed him--until he finds her in debilitating pain from her efforts to subdue her urges. Ignoring her attempts to push him away, he gives her what she needs. His touch. His body.
Nina's not quite ready to concede defeat, but she needs Jordan's piloting skills to find her missing brother. Alone with him in close quarters promises to be more than distracting. Losing control could cost more than her kick-ass reputation. It could cost their lives.
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May 17, 2010
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Excerpt from Point of No Return by Mandy M. Roth
Nina Janelle walked the outer perimeter of the compound, triple checking it was secure and free from signs of intrusion. The fence, made of metallic alloys and charged with energy that could be either steady or intermittent, was supposed to keep out anything. Sadly, the enemy had managed to find ways around it. Some had gone as far as to crossbreed supernaturals with levitating powers and the ability to leap clear over the fence in one bound.
Nina tossed a small rock at the fence, testing it, watching as it kicked into action. Energy pulsed, causing the rock to explode into hundreds of fragments. A smile touched her lips as a clear mental picture of the enemy meeting a similar fate filled her mind.
If only she could rid the planet of the others, then, she and her people would be safe and could live in harmony once again. Legends of old told of a time before the coming of the supernatural vessels, cast away from the planet Earth, a time before the wars. The period was said to be a peaceful one.
She'd not known peace in her lifetime. The closest she'd come had been the recent stretch of relative silence on the home warfront. It was odd and she found herself wondering what lay on the horizon. What plot thickened in the enemy camp and why was it taking so long for them to make their next move? Even as a small child her life had been riddled with violence. All caused by the others. Her hate of them ran deep.
It had been too many months since Stegian, the vampire hell-bent on destroying her people, had attacked. Her brother seemed to think it meant they were winning. Nina knew better. Stegian was brilliant and ruthless. He was up to something she just wasn't sure what that something was. Soon, she'd be off-world and unable to help should he launch his plans into action and attack her village--her people.
The idea of leaving Sargaidia even for a few short weeks terrified her. As head of security and defense, it was her job to assure her family and her people were as safe as could be, considering the threat they were up against. Leaving them sickened her. If Stegian knew she was absent, he'd find a way to attack. It's what he did. He looked for weaknesses and exploited them to his full potential. Regardless, she had to make her move. Dreams of her twin brother's demise had plagued her. While she'd not spoken or seen Kyriakos in nearly thirteen years, she still loved him deeply, as she did all her siblings. They shared a strange bond, a connection that occurred between twins. To lose him would destroy her. While she was scheduled to head off-world in an attempt to locate Marisa's father, she fully planned to search for Kyriakos.
"Boss," said a deep voice from behind her that tended to not only make her sex moist but grate on her last nerve. "Christian mentioned you wanted a security status report."
Nina sighed, the will to be difficult with him suddenly gone. "Thanks, Jordan. You can lay it over there with the other handheld."
She turned to face the tall, muscular man with a head of sandy blond hair that hung to his broad shoulders. His skin was bronzed by the sun, his features strong, demanding attention. Her body responded to his presence. It always had but as of late, she'd been going through a fertility cycle and Jordan Vasil was who her hormones begged for.
All right, demanded.
When he'd first landed on her planet he'd worn his hair shorn off and kept the appearance of a well-cut, well-bred man. He was wilder now, free from the confines the Commission had laid upon him. There was a certain feral edge to everything he did. Sadly, it too only served to turn her on. The damn man was walking temptation and she had half a mind to punch him because of it.
"You feeling all right?" he questioned.
"Yes," she replied. "Why do you ask?"
"Because you never call me by my name. You call me everything else in the book, but not Jordan." His green eyes locked on her and for a moment, she thought they held concern. That was wishful thinking on her part. She was sure of it.
"I call you Vasil all the time," she said, doing her best to put reason into a nonsensical argument.
He inclined his head in agreement. "Yes, you call me by my last name often but rarely, if ever, do you say my first name, Nina."
Hearing her name fall from his full lips made her body tingle. Jordan had always been able to make her breath quicken and her heart race. The man had fallen from the sky when the vessel he was on experienced unexplainable malfunctions while in their orbit. His brother, Sevan, was the captain of the vessel and had ended up mated to Nina's sister, Lorelei. Their children, twin boys, were almost six months of age. Sevan had carved out a life for himself on their planet. Jordan, on the other hand, hadn't.
"Nina? You're zoning off on me again. Let's get you inside. Something is wrong." Jordan reached for her but Nina took a step back.
"I'm fine, Vasil. Really." She eyed the outer perimeter fencing. Even with it there, the beauty of nature still managed to prevail. She took a deep breath in, savoring the floral scents of her home planet.
He stepped closer, his body touching hers. "The Dsendiyun group do you in?"
She cringed at the thought of the alien race that seemed to make landing on her planet a monthly affair. They were a race whose female population had dwindled to nearly nonexistent. While relatively harmless, they did tend to be very grabby while planet-side. Their ships were either the worst ships ever made or they tinkered with them prior to approaching Sargaidia's atmosphere in hopes of gaining permission to dock. She suspected that was more the case. A vessel holding nearly thirty of them had required a tow less than four days prior. In those four days, Nina had responded to more complaints from the women of her village--in regards to the Dsendiyuns nasty habit of grabbing a handful of ass whenever the opportunity presented itself--than she had to any other calls.
Jordan had accompanied her on several of the calls, finding the alien race amusing until one of them put his hand on her backside. Nina was then forced to pull Jordan off the Dsendiyun and then had to spend nearly two hours calming Jordan down. She'd spotted the same alien later that night, at a tavern in the heart of the village, and she could have sworn he was more bruised and battered than he'd been when she'd left him.
She raised one eyebrow in question. "By chance did you happen to meet up again with the Dsendiyun you were so fond of?"
He blinked incredulously. "Whatever do you mean?"
"Hey, can I help the guy just happened to be where I was?" he asked, faking shock.
"And he just happened to end up looking as though a pikineius beast had at him?"
"Weird, huh?" he asked, his sexy grin setting the mood.
She snickered and found herself stepping even closer to him. He shocked her by putting an arm around her. Throwing it off should have been her first thought. It wasn't. She leaned against his muscular body and looked out at the natural beauty all around her.
Jordan stiffened a second before rubbing her arm and placing his chin lightly upon her head. "Pretty out here, isn't it?"
Nina's hand went to his chest and the act surprised her. Still, she didn't pull away. "It's one of my favorite spots to come and think. I like it because no one else seems to. Makes it peaceful, quiet."
"Do you want me to go?" he asked, tensing more.
Conflicted, Nina let out a shaky breath and found herself clutching his shirt. She lifted her head, her gaze colliding with his. Awareness prickled over her body, slow at first, then with an intensity that nearly made her moan. She wanted this to be the man who stopped the powerful burning, the nearly crippling pain of her cycle, but her mouth refused to open and ask it of him. She chose instead to simply stare up into his emerald green eyes, wondering when the next smart remark would come from him or if he'd find humor in her vulnerability.
He put his hand over hers, cupping it firmly in place. "Tell me to leave, Nina."
The way he said it sounded as if he was hoping she'd send him away. That he didn't have the willpower to do so on his own. That was ridiculous. Jordan was one of the strongest men she knew, and that wasn't even counting his stubborn streak.
His breathing was quick and shallow and his eyes narrow as he continued to meet her gaze. Was he aware of her cycle? Did the shifter in him realize she was fertile and that her body craved his?
She tried to back away but the attempt was half-hearted. He held firm to her, his breathing calming slightly. He closed his eyes and the muscles in his neck worked before he looked upon her again. He released her hand but she kept it in place on his chest. "Sorry."
Taking a deep breath, she stayed near him, drawing in his scent. Musk with a hint of spice. Under it all she could smell his cats and hated admitting how wet they made her pussy. Why did it have to be Jordan? Why did it have to be the one man on the planet who didn't bend to her whim? Who stood his ground with her. It was her luck to want the man who irritated her the most. She tipped her head as a coy smile overtook her.
Jordan winked and she giggled.
Giggled, of all things.
She wasn't one of those women yet she was fawning over a man. Even with the knowledge, Nina couldn't seem to stop herself. At best, she managed to stop grinning up at him and relax. Her gaze returned to the scenery but she stayed pressed to him. She couldn't recall a time she'd sought a man's embrace for the sheer comfort it provided. "Can I tell you something and you not have a laugh?"
"Yes," he said softly. Jordan was famous for his swift wit and temper. Hearing him agree to her terms so quickly surprised her.
"I have never been off Sargaidia. I'm not sure of what to expect out there."
He was to pilot her off the planet for their retrieval mission. They were taking a shuttle from the Alpha Brig Three and from what she'd been told, Jordan was the best man for the job. With their departure set for morning, she'd find out soon enough what it was like to leave her home planet.
"I know you've traveled extensively so this has to sound foolish to you but I'm nervous about leaving and about staying. It's all so confusing."
"I'd like to lie to you and tell you how other planets in the quadrant aren't any different than here, Nina, but I won't do that." He wrapped his arms around her fully, his hands going to the small of her back. "Sargaidia's sister planet, Margaidia, is similar in the sense of its beauty, but it's covered with a good deal of large cities as well. Buildings as tall as the eye can see, people everywhere, a lot of hustle and bustle. It's a nice mix if you're into that sort of thing. I find myself preferring Sargaidia though. Other planets differ depending on which you're talking about. Some seem to be nothing but machines now. Others seem to be no more than wasteland. Some are little but water for as far as the eye can see."
Nina did her best to soak in all that he was telling her. "You've seen so much, Vasil. How is it you're content to be here? I mean, I understand why your brother is would stay but I can't imagine our planet being able to hold someone like you to it."
There, she'd said it. She'd voiced her biggest fear. She was scared Jordan would leave. He'd been on her planet for a year and a half and she didn't expect him to stay much longer. Not a man like him. One who had seen the universe and had no commitments holding him to her planet.
He skimmed his hands up her back and cupped her neck. Heat flared through her body. "I like it here, boss, and I have no plans on leaving." A wry grin spread over his handsome face. "Unless you want me to go."
"No," she said a little too fast as she clutched his arm. Her mind screamed at her hand, ordering it to release him but she could no more pry her fingers from him than she could stop the uncontrollable urges he brought about in her. Needing to save face, she stammered out a response, "Umm, I mean, Sevan would miss you. As would your nephews."
Something Nina couldn't read moved over Jordan's face. "Yeah," he said, dipping his head, his lips closing in on hers. "He probably would."
His lips were so close--hovering right there. "Yeah, baby?"
She didn't scold him for the demeaning pet name. Rather, she leaned up, putting her mouth closer to his. "I should yell, right?"
He laughed softly. His fingers kneaded the back of her neck. "It does seem to be what we do best."
She focused on his lips. "What's that?"
"Yell at each other," he confessed, his thumbs caressing just below her ears. His lips skimmed hers and fire shot through her entire body. She froze, knowing if she dared to move she'd ravish the man.
He used his thumbs to tug at her jawline, pulling her mouth open slightly. "I'm gonna kiss you, baby. You all right with that?"
A second before she would have responded with a yes, Nina sensed someone nearing and pulled back from his touch, putting a good foot of space between them. Jordan reached for her and she lifted her hand to him, stopping just shy of making contact.
"For now," he whispered. "This will do."