Attraction is easy. Trust is like reaching for the stars.
Celestial Soul-Mates, Book 2
Eva's anticipation of a free Bona Vista Resort getaway is as sweet as the welcome mixer cocktail in her hand. When she steps aboard a VIP elevator, though, she ends up a whole lot farther away than expected. An alien spaceship, loaded with twosomes, threesomes--and more--having lusty sex at the drop of a zipper.
Worse, they're trying to sell her on the idea that the mouthwateringly hot first officer is her soul-mate. While Commander Larson Raa-ling makes her knees weak, she's not buying. In her experience, men want only one thing from women, and it's not everlasting love.
Larson easily senses his soul-mate's desire for him, but it's trapped inside her lovely body like a caged bird. Only patience will win her trust. Every time his touch draws her one step forward, though, she withdraws two steps back.
Eva tries desperately to remember her vow to never again surrender control. But as Larson chips away at her defenses one sensual pebble at a time, her resistance is crumbling by the second...
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August 08, 2011
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Excerpt from The Commander's Woman by Opal Carew
Eva's gaze locked on Jenna's.
"I'm sorry, Eva." Jenna's large, blue eyes pleaded for understanding.
Jenna followed Casey quietly. They went out the door, and it slid closed behind them.
Eva glanced at the one remaining person in the room besides herself. Commander Raa-ling. He stood less than a yard away, a half foot taller than her, oozing strength and masculinity. Her gaze darted to his--then held. His turquoise eyes had darkened to teal, and he stared at her with an intensity she found unnerving.
Larson gazed at this woman he'd never met before, the woman he would spend the rest of his life with, the woman he'd longed for with a demanding ache that would not relent. He needed her with a desperation that overruled everything else.
He loved her.
He took a step forward, and she took a step back. He stepped forward again, and she backed up until the wall thumped against her back. Although she seemed intent on resisting her attraction to him, that attraction was quite evident. Her nipples hardened to tight beads, thrusting against the thin fabric of her black dress. Peaking toward him. He longed to slide the black fabric aside and brush his fingertips over them, then run his tongue around the rigid buds and the pebbling flesh surrounding them.
He curled his fingers tightly into his palms, knowing he had to control himself. He had to fight the desperate need to throw her onto their bed and drive into her. To make her his immediately.
As he stood mere inches from her, chaining in the desperate ache pummeling through him, he knew he had to touch her silky skin. He raised his hand and stroked her cheek lightly. The feel of her soft skin beneath his fingertips sent his nerve endings dancing and heat shuddering through him.
"Do you know how long I've yearned to touch you?"
"You don't even know me." The words trembled from her lips.
He knew she would resist. She had been torn from her world and thrown into an unknown environment. She had lost all control of her destiny, or so she believed. This would not be easy for her. His heart ached at her pain. He would make it as easy on her as he could. If only he could make her understand how much he loved her. If she let go of her fears, she would see how much she loved him too.
He stroked the line of her jaw.
"I know you. More than I've ever known anyone before. Our hearts and our souls are linked."
He wanted to nuzzle her neck and breathe in the delicate scent of her. His fingers forked through her hair and curled around the back of her head. Her lips trembled as he leaned toward her. What he wanted even more was to feel those delicate lips beneath his. He hovered within an inch of her mouth.
Her eyes widened, and she stiffened. Shock prodded him as he realized she was afraid. Of him. His gut clenched.
He eased away, then smiled warmly, hoping to reassure her.
"I am sorry," he murmured. "I could hardly contain myself. I have ached for you for so long."
Eva stared at him, relieved he'd backed off a little. As soon as his fingertips had brushed her cheek, she'd wanted to push his hand away and shoot across the room, far out of reach, but the allure of his touch had mesmerized her. When his lips had hovered so close to hers, she'd felt as if she'd die if he did not kiss her.
And that's when blinding fear had consumed her.
"I won't have sex with you," she blurted.
"I know, my love." A sadness tinged his turquoise eyes.
"Don't call me that, Commander."
"To you I am not Commander. I am simply Larson. I am your tanash'ae."
She folded her arms across her chest.
"I don't believe that."
"It is true nevertheless."
They stood in silence for a moment. Her pulse drummed loudly in her ears. She dearly wanted to put distance between them, but was afraid to push past him. A memory shot through her...of Roger grabbing her wrist, then viciously twisting it until she crumpled beneath him...of being helpless to his will.
"Are you going to take me to my quarters?" she demanded, keeping her voice strong and steady.
"These are your quarters. And mine."
"Don't worry, laiya. You have your own bedroom."
Laiya. The way the word slid off his tongue like silk sent goose bumps tingling across her skin. Clearly, it was an endearment of some kind.
"I don't want to stay here. I want you to send me and my friends home."
"I can't do that, but we don't have to stay here right now. I'd like to take you somewhere we can have a drink and get to know each other."
They have bars on starships?
He took her hand and led her to the door. As they walked along the familiar corridor, she tugged her hand free, so he lightly grasped her elbow.
"It's near shift change. The perfect time," he said.
He drew her into an elevator of sorts, but its movement seemed horizontal rather than vertical. After a five minute ride, they exited, turned a few corners, then entered a large room with round tables and chairs, like some kind of restaurant or club. The light was softer than the office-level lighting of the corridors. A handful of people sat at different tables, most staring at what looked like small, portable DVD players. From the quick glance she got as Larson led her to a table, some had text and some video.
This must be some kind of lounge where the crew came to relax. Commander Raa-ling had mentioned something about a shift change.
"This is the red room," he explained as they sat. "Would you like a drink?"
"Wine." She needed something stronger than water.
He smiled and stood.
"Aren't you afraid I'm going to run away?" she couldn't help asking.
He shrugged. "Where would you go?"
She sighed. She'd been wondering the same thing.
He returned in a moment with a slender, purple bottle and two tall, slim glasses. He poured clear liquid into the glasses and handed one to her. She sipped it. At first, it seemed totally tasteless; then her taste buds blossomed with a delicate, dry, fruity flavor that delighted her senses.
A few moments later, a woman entered the room, followed by a man, both in uniform. Instead of sitting at one of the tables, they moved to a large alcove recessed in the wall near Eva and Larson. They nodded to Larson and smiled at Eva.
The horizontal surface started about two and a half feet above the floor and extended about seven feet wide and several feet into the wall, with a plush surface and filled with cozy-looking cushions. The two newcomers sat, and Eva realized the floor of the alcove was padded. Was this a place for crew members to take a nap between shifts or while on a break?
"Do you want to wait for Kairo?" the man asked his companion.
"I only have twenty minutes. We'll have to start without him."
Commander Raa-ling leaned toward her. "The woman is Adeira, and her partner is Jano."
Adeira stripped off her uniform jacket, then, to Eva's complete horror, began to unfasten her shirt buttons.