Paranormal Erotic Romance/68,000 Words
Verdantia (Book 5)
Recovering from years of sexual slavery and attempting to evade the death relentlessly stalking her on Talleo IV, celebrated neuro-psychologist, Dr. Angelica Giverny, crosses vast reaches of space. Committed to a higher purpose and in repayment to those who rescued her, she makes a new home on isolated, remote Verdantia.
A technical wizard and natural leader of men, Magellan DeLan rose rapidly to the position of captain on the converted star yacht, VNV Revertar. His priority passenger, the lovely, intelligent doctor, attracts him immediately and Mage plans a careful pursuit of the petite beauty when they arrive in port.
Landfall brings the unexpected—Tristan DeHelios, a nobleman whom Mage had worshipped as a young man. Tristan’s hungry appreciation for the now-grown star captain is carved on his elegant features. Tristan blatantly declares his dishonorable intentions, and while Mage yearns to say yes, he doesn't trust his heart to withstand the fallout. This man's rejection had devastated him years before.
For Angelica, Tristan DeHelios, her designated bodyguard, is entirely too enticing. When he pursues her as well as Mage, her emotions seethe and tangle. How can she chose between the honorable and gorgeous starship captain and a rogue whose carnal dominance challenges and provokes her at every turn? The suggestion she could haveboth upends her world.
When a dark menace tracks Angelica to Verdantia and pursues extraordinary lengths to terminate her life and those around her, the answer may become moot.
Other Books by Patricia
The planet, Verdantia—spaceport city of Arkodaenia
Tristan DeHelios slouched against a tower of packing crates that vibrated from the ever-present rumble of arriving and departing starships and gazed off at a cluster of dockworkers busily unloading freight. In spite of his bored appearance, Tris listened carefully to the words of Lord Ramsey DeKieran, the gods-be-damned nanny inflicted upon him by his brother. Ramsey denied the accusation, but Tris knew better. Ramsey DeKieran was there to ensure Tris didn’t screw up. Well… fuck Hel, and fuck the horse he rode in on. Bitter frustration seethed inside Tris. At thirty-two, he’d long outgrown the need for supervision, but Hel insisted on casting Tris as his heedless, immature, baby brother. Tris snorted.
“…and provide Dr. Giverny and our returning noblewomen with every possible protection and assistance.” Tristan’s former commanding officer and ostensible nanny stared at Tris with his eerie, indigo-ringed gray eyes. “Did you hear anything I said?”
Tris brought his hand to his forehead in a mock salute. “Yes, sir. Every possible protection and assistance, sir.”
Ram straightened and uncrossed his arms with a sound of disgust. “Stick it up your ass, Tristan. I’m no longer your superior officer. For the last time, I’m in Arkodaenia because Steffania is here with her Blue Daggers, and where my wife goes, I go.”
Tris arched an eyebrow. “You refused Gu-r-r-r-ley? I’m surprised he let you live.” Tris supposed calling his illustrious brother “Gu-r-r-r-ley” instead of “Hel” when he’d crashed Hel’s wedding was immature, but he couldn’t help the delight he experienced when the arrogant ass squirmed with mortification as all the elites of Verdantia looked on—and it was Hel’s given name. What had their mother been thinking? And why hadn’t his brother invited him? Was he that ashamed of Tristan? It had been almost two years and the slight still smarted.
Ram choked down a laugh but quickly sobered. “Yes, I refused your pompous ball sack of a brother. You are technologically competent. You’ve an uncanny knack for getting people to do things for you, and I have no question you’ll keep Dr. Giverny safe. You are the perfect man to smooth her way in setting up the neurological clinic and protect her in the process. I recommended you to High Lord DeTano and Queen Constante.” Ramsey snorted in disgust. “Despite you showing up in Nyth Uchel obscured by so much hair even your mother wouldn’t recognize you. I certainly didn’t. What is it about House DeHelios? Your family averse to good grooming?”
Tris shrugged. “I shaved off my beard and cut my hair.”
“Yes, and you still look like a roustabout.” A humorless smile distorted Ramsey’s mouth. He sniffed the air. “You smell like you spent the night on the floor of some dive.”
“Julia would object to you calling her establishment a…” Tris paused mid-sentence when Ram waved him silent. He followed Ram’s gaze. The man lifted his head and grinned broadly at a hulking giant of a humanoid male descending a nearby starship gangway. The metal plating rattled under each ponderous step. The giant’s body obscured a petite beauty trailing him until the colossus stepped aside and ushered her forward with a delicacy at odds with his size.
“Verdantian,” said the giant, a smile splitting his face.
“Khlossian,” Ram acknowledged.
The behemoth strode up to Ram and slapped him on the shoulder in greeting. Ram staggered backward several feet then straightened. Tristan watched, bemused at the manhandling DeKieran allowed without protest.
His interest sharpened when the delicate beauty accompanying the Khlossian beamed up at Ramsey then dropped to her knees in front of him, placed her hands on her thighs, and bowed her head. “Dominus, I am very glad to see you.”
Ram reached down and drew her to her feet. “Pansy… er… Dr. Giverny. We left that behind on Vxloncia. It’s just Ram, or Lord DeKieran if you insist on formality. I’d like to introduce you to the man I mentioned in my communiqués.”
Well… by Her ruby red tits. That tiny morsel of delicious female flesh was Dr. Giverny? Was that a look of adoration the good doctor lavished on DeKieran? “Dominus” she had called him. What was the story behind that? Furthermore, how did Ramsey’s decidedly lethal wife feel about it? Tris chuckled to himself. This assignment promised to be far more entertaining than he’d thought. When Ramsey motioned him to join them, Tris sauntered over. The tiny beauty watched him approach then wrinkled her brow.
“Lord DeKieran, you are certain? The medical instruments I brought are irreplaceable. The equipment requires the most delicate handling.” She lowered her voice to a murmur and turned away. “This man doesn’t look… well… responsible.” Despite her attempt to conceal her words, Tris heard her.
Tris ignored the wash of anger that accompanied her voicing a sentiment he’d heard far too often. Instead, he slipped into the persona that had become his second skin, and put his head back and laughed. “Spend tonight with me, lovely, and you can decide for yourself how responsibly I handle delicate equipment.”
Ramsey snorted. “Dr. Angelica Giverny, meet Tristan DeHelios—your new bodyguard and med-center liaison officer.”
“Doctor.” Tris tipped his head and acknowledged her blank, owl-eyed expression. “I take it you wish me to oversee the off-loading of your medical supplies?” The woman nodded. Her stunning violet eyes blinked up at him in the most humorous way. So… this was the body he was to guard day and night for an indefinite future. He’d pictured some wizened old biddy. How delicious to be wrong. Damn, but life was good. “I’ll see to it, immediately. Oh, and Doc, about tonight—you can get back to me on that.” He winked at her still immobile features, chucked her under the chin and turned to stroll up the gangway and into the depths of the starship.