When a sudden twist of fate has Krista on the run with the arrogant and insufferable Galactic Senator Stefan Marcone, she'll need all her willpower to not give in to the seduction of the charming rake. She's had enough of men like him. But sometimes you have to just forget the past and take advantage of what's right in front of you, right now. Stefan hasn't stopped thinking about Krista since the day she dumped a bowl of punch over his head. Okay, maybe the kiss had been a little forward, but he hadn't been able to stop himself. Just like he knew he wouldn't be able to keep his promise to his sister-in-law and not seduce the beautiful blonde. Especially when they are forced to go into hiding together. The two will travel the galaxy, staying one step ahead of the man determined to see Stefan pay for his involvement with the rebel forces that brought down the previous dictator. Until the day Stefan decides he's had enough. He'll use himself as bait to catch the assassin. But it's not Stefan the assassin's after anymore. It's Krista.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Star Crossed by Trista Ann Michaels
Krista jerked her head back, knocking it against the door. His amused gaze locked with hers and he grinned.
"Don't start, Stefan."
"It's already started, Kris. It started at the wedding."
God, the man was unbelievable. "Well, I'm stopping it now. You know damn good and well this is not a good idea."
"We're adults. We can make this work," he reasoned.
She placed her hand against his chest and pushed him away. Taking a deep breath of air, she tried to rid herself of his heady scent. "Maybe you can, but when it comes to sex and relationships I can be very childish. I refuse to let you come between me and Mikayla." When he opened his mouth to argue, she snapped, "End of discussion."
"End of discussion for now."
Grumbling to herself, she kept her eyes on her purse as she put her keys away. "So, how are we getting to the Vultair?" At least on the large ship, she could find somewhere to get away from him.
"We're not going in the Vultair."
Krista snapped her head up in surprise. "We're not?"
"No." He pointed to the small ship in the field across the street from her apartment. It didn't look much bigger than a single-engine prop plane from the mid 1900's.
"We're going in that?"
Stefan chuckled. "It's safe, I promise."
She should have been used to this by now. Since Earth's induction into the Galactic Senate, small ships parked in odd places were the norm. They had the same leeway as helicopters--they could land wherever there was an empty spot big enough. But it wasn't its safety she was worried about. It was her and Stefan's close proximity to each other for the duration of the trip.
Krista warily studied the ship as they made their way to the field. Wings curved forward from the long narrow center section and ended in a point about two feet in front of the cockpit. The solid black color made it appear even more menacing, if that were possible. Three windows surrounded the center section, one big one across the front and one on each side.
Stefan patted the side of the ship and smiled. "You'll be traveling in style to Daego, my dear. Top-of-the-line Litarian Cruiser. It was a gift to Taron when the rebellion ended."
"And he actually let you borrow it?" She knew how possessive Taron was of his toys, as well as how much Mikayla enjoyed teasing him over it.
"Well." Stefan glanced at the ship and grinned. "Forced me to take it is more accurate. A military escort would only draw unwanted attention. Since I refused the hounds, as I call them, Taron thought the cruiser's cloaking capabilities might be useful."
"Sounds like your security advisor is doing his job." She stood back and allowed him to open the side hatch.
"More like my little brother is being an overprotective, overbearing pain in the ass."
Krista laughed until she saw the way he looked at her. His seductive gaze locked with hers and for a moment she swore he could see right into her soul.
Did he do that on purpose? Did he have any idea how her heart raced when he looked at her like that? Resisting a slight shiver, she turned her gaze away and climbed into the ship. With a sigh, she tried her best to make herself comfortable in a seat she considered to be way too close to his.
Oh, lord, this is going to be a long trip.
He climbed in, tossed her overstuffed suitcase behind the seat and settled beside her. The engines roared to life but he kept the ship on the ground while he made a few adjustments to the wings.
Krista noticed him glance in her direction, and she turned her head to stare out the side window.
"You seem a little nervous. You've made this trip before, this time should be a breeze."
Krista faced him. "Both times were in the Vultair. At least in that ship I could stay in the kitchen. No windows."
"You could always just close your eyes. Lay your head on my shoulder, perhaps. Once the auto pilot kicks in you wouldn't believe all the things we could do in here to help you relax."
"Perhaps not," she sneered.
"Come on, beautiful. We should at least try to make this trip a pleasant one. And nothing would be more pleasant than your body molded to mine."
"I don't believe pleasant is a word that can be used to describe this trip. Especially with you making crude comments the whole way."
"You could always just give in to our attraction." She opened her mouth to reply, but he continued, "And don't try to tell me you're not. I may not be a Legana mind reader, but I know desire when I see it."
Krista's mouth almost dropped to the floor. "I can't believe how arrogant you are."
"I'm not arrogant. I'm observant," he said with a grin.
"You're impossible," she growled. "Can you just please get me to Daego, without the seduction."
"But where's the fun in that?" he asked, his gray eyes dancing with mischief.
"How much fun do you think a slap upside the head would be?"
Stefan chuckled as he turned back to the controls. He lifted the ship then punched it out of Earth's atmosphere. The force of the unexpected acceleration threw her back against the seat and she gripped the armrests. She could only anxiously stare as they zipped through the clouds, passing birds and even planes so fast the objects were nothing but a blur. Once in space the pressure eased and she was able to move again.
"Was that necessary?" she growled through clenched teeth.
"I'm sorry. I probably should have warned you about that." He gave her a sheepish grin, and she didn't believe for a minute he was sorry. "In order to get through Earth's atmosphere we need a lot of speed. It's either fly low and slowly build or just gun it."
"You could have warned me you were going to gun it."
"True." He grinned mischievously. "But then you wouldn't be staring at me as though you wanted to kill me. Which makes you look absolutely gorgeous, by the way."
She rolled her eyes and looked out the side window. The man was impossible. He'd done that just to piss her off. So much for trying to make the trip pleasant.