Katie Blu


Middle Kingdom


2316 CE

“Hold,” Neela Pharr shouted at King Thrax’s approaching men.

Adrenaline colored her face and sparked the promise of menace in her eyes. Her breasts rose and fell rapidly, and once again King Thrax thought he’d give his entire store of Prillian silks to have that passion crying out in ecstasy beneath him. He’d wanted her since the day he’d met her. The day the Elaran emissary had paraded through his corridors demanding access to Thrax’s mines. And he’d wanted her every quarterly visit since.

Neela held her Romeran staff diagonally in front of her, warning his guards to stay back. King Thrax neared. Her gaze jumped to him, falling over his face and tracing the line of his shoulders. She wanted him. He was nearly certain of it.

One of his men made a move, and Neela countered it with a solid thwack of her metal weapon against his blade. Pushing the end of her pole forward, she caught the guard behind his knee and dropped him to the ground.

Her gaze darted between the men still on their feet. “Who’s next?”

The king chuckled and lifted his hand to still his guard. “Tell your emissary not to return,” he said, calculating his next words to bring the flush of annoyance back to her cheeks. A wicked smile eased across his lips. “Unless he means to give me you as recompense for his dishonesty. Unlimited access to you, alone, for rights to the ore mines on my moon.”

Her nostrils flared. Behind her, the Elaran emissary jogged down the corridor with two others from her unit. A short, quick call signaled to her that the emissary was safe. She walked backward the direction they’d gone.

“I’ll wait for you to decide, shall I?” he tossed at her retreat, laughing.

“You’ll be waiting a long time, then.”

Chapter One

“A long time” turned out to be shorter than she expected.

Neela Pharr lifted the syringe pump. With a steady hand, she held it at her carotid artery and took a deep breath. She relied on her genetic strengths and weakening one of them made her feel vulnerable, but then that was the point. Elarans could separate emotion from business as easily as deactivating an illumination unit. But it was that trait which would make the seduction of King Thrax nearly impossible.

The king had asked for one thing. Neela. She’d tried to argue that he’d been mocking them, but the Elaran government hadn’t agreed. The king had never asked for anything, until that day two weeks ago. That made her a commodity.

She could’ve declined, but the prospect of seeing the unflappable king submit to his desire for her was motivation enough. She’d win this round too.

Yet the king, like his kind, could sense emotion. If she didn’t inhibit her natural restraint, he’d know she was only acting as a loyalist to the Elaran government. Now, not only would her emotions be uninhibited, but she’d be incapable of lying. Her body for the greater good. She’d given a lot of herself in service to the republic. This was no different.

Or it wouldn’t be if she could maintain her emotional distance. Neela depressed the pump release. Her blood stream tingled following the soft hiss of anti-inhibitor disbursement. It was done.

The door to her apartment pinged. “Enter.”

The entrance shushed open, sliding easily into the walls on either side.

“We’re fueled and ready,” her pilot and friend, Tarrel Dolan said. His deep baritone rumbled pleasantly in the silent room.

He had the easy presence of a man who knew his body. The military had trained him well, and his human tendency to think on his feet had made him the best pilot she’d ever flown with. He took risks, but she liked that about him. His instincts were solid, his humor relaxed, and his intelligence showed through his clear blue eyes.

Always assessing, always on the edge of caution, he knew exactly how much space he took up in a room. He moved with a man’s grace, full of cockiness and completely confident in his ability to do whatever he set his mind to. As a pilot, he was the same. The skiff became an extension of him, and he’d squeezed in and out of flight situations other pilots would balk at.

It’s why she’d asked for him. He calmed her, and they’d grown up together. His human zest for adventure was exactly opposite of her Elaran reserve. Maybe if she paid better attention to him, being without her inner silence wouldn’t be so unnerving. After all, Tarrel managed to be on the precipice of emotion every day of his life. It couldn’t be so hard, could it?

If things with the king got bad, he’d find a way to get her safely away. She’d trusted him at eight years old when he’d stood between her and some racist humans as a child, and she trusted him now.

“Lieutenant Dolan,” she nodded by way of greeting.

His light eyes danced with just as many unspoken memories as she had. “Lieutenant Pharr.” He turned and led her through the connecting corridors directly to the flight dock.

The skiff sealed behind her, and she took the co-pilot’s seat, securing herself with shoulder restraints. Tarrel ran through his usual preflight drill.

“Skiff log,” he began, waiting for the onboard computer to chime a response. When it did, he continued. “Departure to Prill via beta route with arrival at Royal Gate Three at oh-nine-hundred hours on Tuesday. All systems ready.”

Two and a half days to think about all the ways she’d be weaker and all the ways he’d touch her. Her pussy fluttered. She hated that her body seemed to like the idea almost as much as her mind wanted to see the king kneel at her feet for her favors.

The computer chimed again, acknowledging the termination of Tarrel’s verbal log. She’d seen the pilot go through the flight motions so many times that she sometimes heard the commands in her sleep. Although at those moments, he was almost always sliding between her thighs and announcing his estimated time of arrival.

“Damn it,” she swore, slapping the armrest.


Her cheeks flushed. Another sign that her emotional control wasn’t quite her own. She didn’t like this distractibility. Never once had she served with Tarrel and drifted into fantasy. Nor had her nipples puckered at the thought of the king’s hands on her body. In the privacy of her home, after her work was done and her guard was down, she could tolerate the escapism. But on the job? It was almost feral. How did humans exist like this?

“No problem,” but her voice shook, and Tarrel didn’t look convinced.

Neela turned her attention to the front viewing window. She closed her eyes, looking for the inner quiet. The one the inhibitor had stripped from her.

The engine accelerated, causing a slight vibration in the cabin. The moment of liftoff made her smile. She loved flying. The skiff pulled away from the dock at an angle. Tarrel expertly guided it higher and higher through the air

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