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Yolanda Sfetsos

Alex Wales: Promise

Alex Wales Quartet – 1, 2011

This is dedicated to strong

women everywhere.

Acknowledgments

I want to thank my supportive family for their love, understanding, and for listening to my endless writerly chatter.

Also, a huge “thank you” to Andrea for being so awesome and patient, as well as Dawne for the kickass cover!

Chapter One

“You know you don’t have to leave, right?” The way those dark eyebrows tilted over his dark eyes filled the suggestion with temptation.

Usually, all it took to get Alex back into Ulric’s bed was a suggestive smile, and she would forget where she had to go or what she had to do. This time, she already had a job lined up. If she didn’t hurry, she’d be late, and she couldn’t afford any delays at the moment. Spending a mini-vacation on this space station might have saved her from spending any credits for a few weeks, but her funds were running low, out in the real world. She usually had just enough to scrape by, so forfeiting work was out of the question.

Alex smiled but continued to dress. She ignored the way her skin itched to feel his touch. Ignored all the things they’d just spent hours doing and wanted to do all over again.

If I don’t stop acting like this, I’m never going to leave this room. As tempting as Ulric was, she couldn’t afford to give in to his seduction right now.

“Alex, I reallydon’t want you to go,” he continued, an evocative smirk tempting her further. He lay naked on the bed, and his impressive physique stretched out in all its muscled glory. One hand smoothed down the red, silk sheets barely covering him, showing off what he was insinuating. “Maybe, I should rephrase that to, ‘I want you to stay, so I can make you scream some more.’ I like to make you scream.”

She bit down on her bottom lip. She shouldn’t be staring at his obvious show of arousal, but she couldn’t look away. He’s so darn tempting.

Alex hated to admit it-even to herself-but sometimes, she didn’t want to leave his side. When she spent time with Ulric, she didn’t have to struggle out there in the big, bad galaxy while trying to earn an honest, or dishonest, buck. Everything came easy to this man, and when she was with him, the same happened to her. Lying around naked and having every meal delivered to this room was a way of life any girl could get used to. Still, she’d never really taken the path of least resistance. Her life had been an uphill struggle for as long as she could remember.

As wonderful as it was to spend a couple of days-or even weeks-doing this, she had a life to get back to. There were places to go and jobs to do. Planets and space stations in this part of the galaxy were so far away from each other, she needed every second she could get to maximize her profit.

Today, she had to be strong and resist his gorgeous allure. Even if she couldn’t tear her eyes away from what the silk sheet revealed, now that it sat low enough to expose him completely. Oh, he knew how to tempt her.

“Well, what’s it going to be?”

She swallowed the words she really wanted to say. “Ulric,” Alex said with a sigh. “You know I can’t stay any longer.”

“Says who?”

“Unlike you, I need to work if I want to eat.”

“You eat pretty well here, don’t you?” If he hadn’t followed it up by wiggling his dark eyebrows, she might have thought he was seriously talking about her actual nutrition and not what they did almost every waking moment they spent together. As much as she enjoyed the endless pleasure Ulric never failed to deliver, sometimes she wondered if there was more to his double entendres when he suggested she stay longer. Lately, whenever she stopped by, he insisted she add a couple of days to her stay. A few days usually ended up turning into an extra week or two of being lost in the luxury of his carefree lifestyle.

She rolled her eyes. “Grow up. You know what I mean.”

“Yeah, I know you need to keep that piece of crap you call a ship going.” The tease in his brown eyes only made him more irresistible. “Are you choosing your ship over me?”

Alex buttoned her pants and paused to stare at him as he lounged on the bed, trying to reel her back in.

On this space station, in the middle of nowhere, it wouldn’t be hard to give in to someone else’s plea. In a harsh reality-where most of the time people had to engage in illegal activity to barely survive-most would jump at the chance of a partnership with so many obvious benefits. Yet, how long would he want her around if she gave in and dropped everything for him? How long would it take for himto be the one wishing she’d just leave, already?

Ulric wasn’t the type of guy who devoted his life to just one woman, and that suited her fine. In fact, it was why she kept coming back to him in-between deliveries. Ulric was an uncomplicated relationship to maintain-their quest for mutual pleasure united them.

She leaned forward and pressed her palms against the end of the bed, making sure the tops of her arms pressed her bare breasts together.

Predictably, he lowered his gaze. He was no doubt satisfied to have gotten a reaction out of her. She couldn’t hide her hardened nipples when he made her feel so horny all the time.

Alex lifted a knee onto the bed, crawling toward him very slowly. Almost moving like a lithe cat, ready to lap up some milk. When she reached him, she skimmed her lips over his and made a move to pull back quickly. She didn’t want to prolong or turn it into anything more meaningful than a goodbye kiss, but he covered the back of her hand with his, pinning her to the spot. The long fingers of his other hand entwined around her curls, massaging her scalp.

She couldn’t pull away, so she gave into the kiss. She opened her mouth to him, allowing his tongue to venture inside. She didn’t resist when he pulled her by the hand he’d just been covering and encouraged her to straddle him.

Ulric Cale was all wrong for her. Still, Alex couldn’t help but be drawn to him. One move, suggestion, or simple invitation was all it took to have her practically melt into his arms. She enjoyed the ease of

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