Bounty Hunter by Deanna Lee - Available Now at Cobblestone Press, LLC

Tyr Kaden escaped a prison planet with one thing on his mind, five years of captivity hadn't dampened the burning need for revenge. When the man he hunts sends the one bounty hunter he can't kill his way, Tyr makes a choice that will alter his life forever. Jacq Wolf wasn't and most certainly could not be collateral damage in his plan for retribution but that doesn't mean he won't use her for bait.

Jacqueline Wolf spent the first years of her life on the streets of Omega home world, cut off from civilization and dying. The company Space Tek-ko saved her life, but now they own it. Twenty years later, she'll do anything to buy out of her contract even accept the bounty on Tyr Kaden's head.

Can she survive Tyr's killing game and the unexpected passion that burns between them?

EXCERPT (Adult Language/Sexual Situations)

* * * * *
Of course, the elevator was broken. With a curse, Jacq gripped the side of the maintenance ladder and swung into the shaft. It ran four levels in either direction, but the control station was on top and that’s where she’d find him. Spending the last hour squeezing and crawling her way through the ruins of the mining operation had left her two seconds short of homicidal. Since the mood fit the circumstances, she let it brew inside of her as she started up the elevator.

Cultivating anger, frustration, and apathy... that’s what would see this assignment complete. It was just like any other assignment, except this pay day would buy out her contract.

At the top of the shaft, a sliver of light spit out like a beacon. She could hear him moving around and wasn’t surprised he hadn’t bothered to check her progress. He either didn’t consider her a threat or thought she wouldn’t really kill him.

Seconds later, she swung one foot out, caught the ledge, and shoved herself through the narrow slit. Her weapon raised, she slid her gaze over Tyr Kaden’s relaxed form. Heavy-soled leather boots, black leather pants stretched tight over muscular thighs, and a gray micro-fiber shirt that emphasized the power of his chest. She frowned at the sleek baldness of his head before meeting his gaze. His bright green eyes were filled with amusement and something that looked dangerously close to curiosity. She glanced briefly at the weapon beside him; he hadn’t even looked at it.

“You’re not making this very difficult.”

He smiled and raised one eyebrow. “You think you can pull the trigger on me like this? Can you deal out this kind of death?”

She swallowed hard, her hand jerking slightly as she tried to force herself to continue. “I’m not weak, damnit!”

Tyr stood and moved forward. “No, not weak. You lived on the streets of Omega Prime for how many years?”

Orphaned at five, she thought, rescued at ten. “Do you want to die?” she demanded through clenched teeth.

“No.” He stopped when she flipped on the laser site of her weapon. It bounced off his face and centered on his chest. “I don’t want to kill you, either.”

Her finger slid over the trigger. “Pick up your fucking weapon, Tyr.”

“The first time I saw you I thought you couldn’t possibly be real. Women weren’t made beautiful like you anymore. I sure as hell had never seen one.”

“Shut up.” Her voice cracked and her fingers started to ache as she tightened her grip on the blaster.

“Soft, female, taken from the streets of the most dangerous planet in the sector and yet you still looked innocent.”

“You son of a bitch.”

* * * * * *

She couldn’t kill him. Taking her freedom at the cost of his life was unacceptable. With a shudder, Jacq lowered the gun and took a deep breath. “If isn’t me, it’ll be someone else. They won’t stop until you are dead.”

“I can handle whatever the Company throws my way.”

Yes, Jacq thought, you certainly can. “What a fucking mess.”

Tyr reached out, grabbed a fist full of her riot vest and yanked her to him. “What shall we do with all this time, little wolf?”

With a curse, she slapped him hard across the face with the barrel of her blaster and sucked in a breath when his head snapped back briefly. His gaze locked with hers as he grabbed her gun hand and held her tight. Those pretty green eyes of his darkened and he ran his tongue over his bottom lip. Her muscles tightened as she strained to pull away. She wasn’t foolish enough to think they were evenly matched. He had nearly a hundred pounds on her and, even with modifications, she wasn’t his equal in strength.

He pulled the gun from her hand, tossed it on a dormant comp-terminal behind her and brought her closer. “You shouldn’t tempt a man like me, Jacq. I’m not the boy I was when we first met.”

“No. That is obvious.” She sucked in a breath as the magnetic straps of the riot vest gave way under his hand. With a gasp, she started to slide out of it to escape him but he immediately whipped her around and held her tight against him.

Her back to his chest; her ass to his groin. The contact was immediately more than she could handle. Jacq sucked in a deep breath as he pulled her closer and pressed one large hand over her stomach.

“Let me go.”

“I’m not going to hurt you.”

His lips grazed her neck, teeth nipped at sensitive flesh, and her entire body heated. It wasn’t what she expected. Of all the ways she’d imagined Tyr Kaden touching her over the years... none of them had ever been this gentle. He pulled the vest free and tossed it aside.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”

“Searching my prisoner for weapons.” He chuckled as she struggled briefly against him. “No knives?”

“No, cutting weapons are for the uncivilized.” She really didn’t like the sight of blood but she would be damned if he’d find that out.

His hands drifted over her hips, down her legs briskly and then back upward. Her thin, sleeveless, skin-tight shirt wasn’t much of a barrier and he proved it when both of his hands drifted over her ribcage to cup her breasts. She sucked in a breath as heat worked over her body and he groaned against her neck. His fingers plucked at her already hardened nipples. She arched in his arms, pressing her ass firmly against the hard edge of his cock as her sex dampened.

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