Cadan’s Cause by Mary Winter
erotic science fiction romance
Release Date: 03/27/2014
Crashing on a planet in a remote system wasn’t in Freelancer Marassa’s plans. She had a precious cargo of contraband weapons to get to the resistance for their operations in a few days. Her goal–bring down the Concordance and all it stands for.
Cadan chose the planet for its unique inhabitants and its distance from the regular shipping lanes. Disenchanted with the Concordance, yet still loyal to them, he wants to be left alone. But a sexy Freelancer with her dangerous cargo could restore his standing within the Concordance…if he turns her in.
Yet, he can’t turn her away, and getting involved with her cause means jeopardizing his own. Will he convince her to join his side, or will he risk becoming an even bigger traitor to his people?
This book is a re-issue of this same title previously released by another publisher several years ago.
Humming under her breath Marassa stepped back into the ship and headed for main controls. She seated herself in the captain’s chair. Although the ship sat on the ground with no hopes of flying among the stars, she stared through the ancient view portal and smiled. It felt good to sit in this chair again, more so given that she and Walnik could have died in the crash. Her fingers danced over the controls, the screen blazing to life. A myriad of tones sounded in a mini cacophony of technology. A few moments later, the ship hummed steadily.
Initial systems check seems okay, Marassa thought to herself. A cursory scan of the systems showed no major damage. The hull appeared intact with only minor bending in the aft portion of the ship, and life systems checked out okay. Marassa breathed a sigh of relief.
“If I can get the power systems online again,” she muttered under her breath, “perhaps we can get the weapons to Lathviana after all.” Her heart raced at the thought.
She keyed in the five-stroke command to start the engines. Power whirred within the ship; lights flickered on the control panel. “System warming,” Marassa said aloud, talking herself through the start-up process with an apprehension she couldn’t quite keep in check. Her gaze seemed glued to the five lights in front of the throttle that told of engine power. The first red light lit.
Marassa flipped the toggle switch above the second light that initiated engine-cooling procedures. The second light blinked into existence.
“Next,” Marassa whispered as she tripped the third toggle switch. Fuel began moving from the tanks to the igniter unit, and the third yellow light burned.
“C’mon baby,” Marassa crooned to her ship as she flipped open the fourth switch and gauges showed fuel pressure building. The console showed optimal pressure, then needles plunged down to zero and a warning light lit on the panel showing improper pressure to ignite fuel safely.
“Shiztke Vokelr,” Marassa cursed in Lahtvian. She looked self-consciously around to see if Walnik had returned. He still couldn’t fathom the foul words coming from a female. She used Vandebian more often than not to save his sensibilities.
“Eilhan vordon sheu?”
Marassa jumped as she heard the familiar Lahtvian words spoken in a rich baritone. She swiveled the chair to face the intruder and stopped. A man stood in the doorway, filling it with his lean body. His head almost brushed the top of the seven-foot tall doorway, and he looked built like the long distance runners of Albincor. The sun had bronzed his skin a deep tan. He wore the dark tan shorts and shirt of a Concordance uniform but without any insignia. Darker patches showed where it might have been removed.
She scurried out of the chair, reaching behind her for a weapon that wasn’t there.
“Who the fleuck are you?” Marassa asked. She eyed him once more realizing that whoever he was, he’d been put together in one fantastic package. A flicker of attraction darted through her. She banked it quickly and narrowed her gaze at him.
“I’m –” He cut off his words mid sentence and took a step inside her ship. “What does it matter to you who I am?” He arched an eyebrow at her and smiled.
Damn, he had a sexy smile. “I am Freelancer Marassa Kohldain and this is my ship. What are you doing here?” She took a brief second to glance behind her and see where the gun had been thrown when they had crashed. It lay not far away. She glared at it, but didn’t move.
The man held his hands, big hands Marassa realized, off to his sides in a gesture of peace. “I am unarmed, Freelancer Kohldian. I saw your ship crash and thought to render aid. I can leave, if you want.” His speech bore the slight lilt of someone educated in the highest Vandebian houses.
“Then tell me who you are.” Marassa spoke deliberately, working hard to keep her own lilt from emerging. Walnik used to provoke her only to hear her accent, and she wanted none of it showing now. No need to let this man know she was Vandebian either. Her home world held harsh views on those who would help overthrow the Concordance.
The man paused. “Cadan,” he said.