Moonlight on Water by Kate Hill
(Erotic Science Fiction)
From Ellora's Cave
Moonlight, a translator at an interrogation facility, has a dilemma. Her mother has been imprisoned on Laetez and in order to free her, Moonlight must strike a bargain with the feared military leader, Xenos Nineteen. Posing as an escort, she meets Xenos in his private rooms, prepared to do whatever it takes to rescue her mother. In spite of her hatred for Xenos, Moonlight finds herself singed by need for the alien crossbreed. His looks, savage yet irresistible, terrify her and fill her with lust.
Xenos is hardened against emotions such as love, but something about Moonlight draws him in. He indulges his passion for the lovely human female in every way, but is too jaded to realize his feelings for her run far deeper than sexual.
When Xenos turns outlaw to fight for the rights of crossbreeds, Moonlight becomes a key member of the rebellion and the willing mate of the man considered the worst villain in the galaxy. But can they make it work against all odds?
For a long moment he stared at her, his expression unreadable. She nearly squirmed beneath his gaze.
Finally he said, "Ah. The madam has decided to take over as my personal secretary. I'll have to talk to her about that."
"This wasn't her fault," Moonlight said quickly, not liking the glacial look in his eyes. "I arranged this meeting behind her back and I have every intention of giving you what you paid for. Tonight I am an escort."
He smiled again, mocking this time. "Since you've gone through so much trouble, tell me what's so urgent that you'd trade your pretty human skin for it?"
"My mother was arrested in connection to the protest against reestablishing private ACT labs at the Laetez capital. She wasn't actually there, but is part of the activist group responsible for the riot. She's been sentenced to six months in prison on this planet."
"What do you expect me to do about it?" he asked. "I have no problem with activists, but riots are unacceptable."
"But she wasn't at the riot. I know enough about your career to be certain you're not in favor of reestablishing private labs," Moonlight continued, her stomach already in knots. She began to realize how stupid her plan was. Something told her this man was as impenetrable as a steel wall.
"Without discipline, where would we be, Moonlight Santos Gama?"
"What about justice?"
"If a criminal has been imprisoned, then justice is served."
"How dare a murderer like yourself preach about criminals?" she said, her temper finally snapping.
"I'm talking about the capture of Blackstar Base during the Laetez-Draper war."
"That was unfortunate, but necessary."
"Necessary to kill hundreds of innocent—"
"I'm not here to defend my actions. You must learn the difference between murder and war, young lady."
"I know my closest friend was murdered in a war. She died on Blackstar Base."
"So is that your real reason for coming here?"
Moonlight blinked, her head clearing a bit. Her anger had nearly made her forget her plan. She closed her eyes for a moment, realizing she'd probably lost her mother's only chance for freedom.
"What do you mean?" she asked softly. "I told you, I want to know if you'll free my mother."
"And I told you I can't do that."
"You can, Sir. As a Superior, I know you have the power to help me."
"Why should I?" He leaned back in his chair. His long, slim hand, encased in a dark blue glove, caressed the flat buttons of the spec built into his desktop. "So far you've done nothing but annoy me and ruin an evening of relaxation."
"I said I'd act as your escort tonight."
"You loathe me. I see it in your eyes."
"Don't tell me a man who uses an escort service is looking for true love?" she said, then nearly bit her tongue. She needed to keep her temper in check.
"Of course not." He smiled again, then ran the tip of his tongue over the points of his upper canines. As if compelled, she followed the slow, seductive gesture with her eyes. "Interactions with escorts are meant to be empty of emotion. Not true in this case."
"I'll do whatever you want." She leaned forward in her chair, staring into his eyes and ignoring his horrible Tydisian features. "Whatever your escorts normally do."
"You're willing to sleep with a man you hate to get what you want?"
If he had eyebrows, they'd have been raised. "I'm impressed. Be flattered. I'm rarely impressed."
"Then you'll help me?"