Clalls stood on the bridge of the transporter, looking at the derelict spaceport. A wide globe with a transparent shell on top was displayed on the navigation screen. The bottom half of the sphere was metal. So far, it didn’t look too beyond repair.
Six protruding landing zones funneled into the sphere.
It was a clunker, but it had massive potential. He grinned.
Clalls’ Minky pad pinged in his pocket. He pulled out the tablet, expecting it to be the new communications officer on Garna, calling for help. But when he saw that the caller ID was a series of numbers and letters with no name… Clalls narrowed his eyes.
Accepting the call, he said, “Who is this?”
“You broke our contract, you bastard.”
Clalls let his head drop back. He knew that voice, and he really didn’t have time to argue with her. He had a spaceport to claim, and an empire to build.
Nova had the worst timing.
Blandly, he responded, “The last contract we had was when I hired you to deliver a Minky pad to my captain’s mother. Which you did, and were paid for—in full and upfront.” It had cost him much, but the promotion from officer to commander had earned him better retirement pay.
“Not that contract, you double-crossing Demon. The one where you were supposed to rescue Nue from Debsa’s transport and keep her safe on your ship. I did not agree that she would end up married to your captain. She is my sister, and you will return her to me.” Nova’s voice rose as she yelled.
Clalls set the pad on the console as he programmed the autopilot to dock with the open landing pad. When he finished, he told Nova, “They’re mated. Even you should know what that means. There is no separating them.” Plus, Clalls didn’t want the fury of the Federation brought down on him. And that is precisely what would happen if Admiral Rannn lost his new mate-slash-wife.
“She’s a Sennite. We don’t mate,” Nova said sternly.
The transporter he was in had docked, but the outside temperatures were low. Meaning, the port didn’t have power or heat in this area. If he wanted to keep from freezing in the sub-temperatures of space, he would have to layer up.
Picking up the Minky pad, he headed to his cabin to change. As he walked, he replied, “She’s half-Sennite, and half-Terran. Since she’s your sister, I assumed you knew that, but maybe your mummy didn’t tell you. Anyway, Terrans can mate and marry with the same unbreakable bond as other races. But again, you should know that.”
“Don’t you dare talk down to me, Demon. I’m already contemplating killing you for what you did to my family. Don’t tempt me to do worse.”
Clalls stopped and looked down at the black screen and smirked. If she planned to kill him, she wouldn’t have bothered to call him. So, her threat was pointless. She wanted something—something he would naturally say no to. Hence all the theatrics.
“You’re not going to kill me. You want something. What is it?”
Clalls almost laughed at the lack of response as he stepped into his cabin. But then he heard Nova’s voice in front of him, and on the Minky pad. “I want you to suffer.”
He cursed as the female’s evo-suit transitioned to solid black. She held a dart gun in her hand. He didn’t get a chance to run before he was struck in the chest. Clalls pulled out the metal projectile as his legs gave out, and he slumped to the floor. Hitting the back of a cabinet, he was left half-sitting and half-slouched—and utterly out of it.
His body was numb.
Nova removed her helmet and shook out her mane of wine-red hair. He remembered tugging on it so he could introduce himself. He loved the idea of having a Rana—a female assassin—as a contact. However, that relationship had twisted into this. And now he was being punished.
Clalls’ heart thudded heavily in his chest. This was going to be bad.
Nova set down the black hood and grabbed one of the collectible crossword puzzles he had been working on. It was not the most expensive thing he owned, but it was one of his valuable items, considering how old it was.
A true paper crossword puzzle book was priceless. Especially if it hadn’t been used. He’d found it over a hundred years ago.
Nova turned the book over in her hand before she dropped it, then pulled out a Spark and turned to burn it. She eviscerated it in seconds. Black ash wafted into the air, and Clalls took care to breathe slowly.
A year ago, he would have made a black deal with Seth to allow him to get his revenge. To strip Nova of all her prized possessions. But that was before he’d almost died surrounded by his things and had noted their uselessness.
All his worldly goods couldn’t keep him alive. Same as now.
Nova grinned maliciously. “Don’t worry, Demon, I’m just getting started.”
He tried to remain unfazed, but it was impossible given her unpredictable nature.
Nova dug into her pocket and pulled out a mini-grinder. Grabbing his ankle, she yanked him forward until he slammed down on the floor, face-up. Crawling above him, she smiled, “Now, be a good Demon and listen closely. You think that just because you don’t love anyone, that you were being clever. Never making yourself weak to me. But you’re wrong. I notice everything.”
Cold, icy fear coated his skin. She was going too far.
Nova grinned. “And now, I’m going to take away everything you care about.”
She flipped on the grinder, and a high-pitched whine rattled in his ears. Nova’s raspy voice carried over the noise when she said, “Now, open wide.”
His teeth were his Night Demon marks. His identity.
Read full book here.