Forbidden love between a slave and her master could lead to deadly consequences.
On the planet of Manitee-a in 2975, sex and love is forbidden between the black-skinned Jaquill ruling class and the white-skinned kattanee slaves. Kierra, a slave, knows she could face the death penalty if she makes love to Jamar, but he is persistent and persuasive, and she’s so tempted.
The one time in her life that Kierra is allowed to choose, she’s forced to make a life-or-death decision…walk away from Jamar and true love or give him the passionate nights they both want.
Content Warning: graphic sex
“Dance with me, like we used to.”
Clenching her hands into tight fists, Kierra Vonne searched the room behind Jamar. She looked around carefully for anything out of place or anyone eavesdropping. The antechamber was empty. Returning her gaze to him, she whispered urgently, “Please. You know we can’t be seen together.”
Jamar ordering her to perform some lowly task would be perfectly acceptable but treating her as an equal was forbidden on Becutan land. He took a decisive, graceful step toward her. With her heart pounding, she backed away. He was the most devastatingly handsome man she’d known with his black skin in sharp contrast to the whiteness of her own. He was tall, and his biceps rippled with every movement. And the kindness in his eyes always got the better of her. She stilled her quivering breath.
“Lord Jamar,” she said, stating his formal name with the hope of distancing him from her. “My station is far below yours. If you would like a cup of caya tea, please don’t hesitate to tell me.”
The soft-spoken, meaningful reminder should deter him until she found a way to flee, but the antechamber’s sliding doors behind him were impossibly out of reach.
Jamar faced her, as rooted to the polished floor as a thirty-foot caya tree with its stately fronds undulating in the still, humid air. Except caya trees didn’t have sizeable hard-ons. “Kierra,” he said, breaking the tense, expectant silence, “the music is empty and meaningless without you.”
“Don’t, Jamar,” she pleaded, her voice breathless and hoarse even to her own ears. She moistened her lips, unwilling to run past the handsome man who’d once been her best childhood friend. Age and the dictates of society had placed a sharp, divisive line between them that neither could cross. If her heart could bleed dry, this would be a good time while Jamar observed her from heavy-lidded, gold eyes. Every time he came within a few feet of her, her heart danced in imitation of an erotic and fast-paced samba.
Almost imperceptibly except for the fact she was watching him with keen eyes, he moved forward several inches. “We can dance again,” he murmured, his hot gaze never leaving hers. “We can drive the butterflies into a frenzy, and the birds to sing in our honor.”
Like we used to. Emphatically, Kierra shook her head. “Those days are over,” she said quietly, her heart shattering into a million pieces. If only he was white like she was, not so devastatingly sexy with black skin and short, onyx hair she’d tenderly run her fingers through countless times.
The small room that served as an antechamber to his bedroom was closing in on her, sending her into a panic that left every muscle in her body quivering. He’d come a step closer and towered above her with his magnetic and charming presence.
“You know you’ll give in and dance with me,” he warned, his eyes flashing with sensuous heat.
“No, I won’t give in. All we’ve done together belongs in the past.” The distant past when they were barely more than children growing up in a world filled with strict rules where the ruling class, the Jaquill, weren’t allowed to associate with the kattanee, their slaves.
“No one needs to know, Kierra,” Jamar muttered, his gaze locked with hers.
She shook her head, and swift words of rebuke poured from her lips. “Let’s face it, Jamar. This is your world.” She waved a hand toward his bedroom and then in a sweeping arc. “If they find you in bed with a white girl, you’ll go unpunished. I’ll face the penalty of death. So what do you have to lose?” Her words sounded harsh and bitter.