Forget About Tomorrow
© 2007 Liz Kreger
Larissalyia Ashanti, is hiding out on Earth, a barbarian planet unsanctified by the FOW—Federation of Worlds—and on the run from an intergalactic mob boss who plans to use her as leverage to force her magistrate father to clear his criminal record.
Mac, an earthman, witnesses the evidence of aliens when the mob catches up with Lacey. After he helps her fight them off, she does the only thing she can think of—she kidnaps him and takes him with her as she flees Earth. Mac learns the answer to that age old question of whether there’s life out there…in spades. But not only does he have to convince Lacey that his numerous skills are indispensable, he has to find a way into her heart.
The chase is just beginning…and so are the romance, adventure and danger as they cross the universe in search of safety and answers.
Enjoy the following excerpt for Forget About Tomorrow:
“So, now what?”
Her attention snapped back to Mac. He hadn’t turned from his contemplation of the stars outside the ship, yet something in his manner told her he was aware of everything she did.
“Now we go to Cyber Five where we regroup and make plans.”
“You are along for the ride, Victor.”
The use of his name gained her a look of irritation. For a moment she thought he was going to protest her use of his name, but then he shrugged.
“Do you plan to wipe my memory there?” he asked.
Larissalyia hesitated. It would be a good place to do it. She had everything she needed for the procedure. There was really no reason to wait. Other than the fact that she couldn’t return Mac to Earth yet. Not while it was likely that one of the Kyrions might be lying in wait. It didn’t make sense to wipe his memory quite yet.
Finally she shook her head. “No, as I said, I cannot return you to your world until the danger is past,” she replied as she justified her decision in her own mind. “I have no doubt my father will succeed within another one of Earth’s moon’s cycles. I’d only have to wipe it again after that time.”
She pretended not to notice his dry tone. “Cyber Five is just a stop off for supplies and somewhere I can figure out where to go to create a new identity for you.”
“Is that necessary?”
“Very. I am not quite sure what the F.O.W. would do with you if it is discovered you are from an unsanctioned planet, but I do know I would be in big trouble.”
“So it’s in your best interest that I keep my mouth shut.”
She slid him a quick glance. This conversation was entering dangerous space. “It is in both of our best interest.”
“I’d say you’re the one who’s ass deep in alligators, honey. After all, you kidnapped me. It isn’t like I had much of a choice.”
Larissalyia twisted in her seat to focus on the look of satisfaction in his face. He thought he had a hold over her. Her anger threatened to erupt.
“Look, barbarian. It would be just as easy for me to jettison you from this ship.”
“I doubt you’d do that.” There was no mistaking the smugness in his tone. He too swiveled his chair until he faced her. “Seems to me you went through a lot of trouble on Earth to make sure I took no harm from that Sinion blade thing. You could have just as easily let me die from that wound. You’re not the type to commit cold-blooded murder.”
“And how would you know that? I am an alien to you. You have no idea what I may be capable of.”
“Let’s just say I’m a great judge of character.”
Larissalyia could think of nothing to counter his self-assurance. He was right. She could not ruthlessly dispose of him in such a manner. Damn, he did have the upper hand.
She’d be a fool to let him know that. Giving him a cool glance, she said nothing and turned back to the console. Checking their coordinates, she made a few more unnecessary adjustments.
Once again she was aware of his gaze on her. It slid over her like a warm hand gliding down her body. She could almost feel the brush of it and a response sprang to life deep within her. It uncurled deep in the pit of her stomach and spread outward in ever-widening circles. It was not an uncomfortable feeling, just unfamiliar.
Frowning, she glanced over at him once more. He hadn’t moved. He merely continued to watch her with that fathomless expression. A slight smile quirked his lips and drew her gaze to that portion of his face. He had a beautiful mouth. Firm, the lower lip slightly fuller than the upper. It was a mouth made for kissing. Made for pleasure.
“Look, I’ll make you a deal.” He waited until her gaze returned to his. There was a gleam of satisfaction in his eyes. “I promise to cooperate with you in keeping this F.O.W. ignorant of my presence in the hallowed halls of the known universe, and…”
“And in return, you don’t wipe my memory of all of this.”
Larissalyia stared at him, stupefied. “Impossible!”
She blinked. Why, indeed? Standard procedure dictated alien species not sanctioned by the F.O.W. be kept ignorant of the existence of the federation. Harsh penalties ensured this rule was followed. To her knowledge, no one had ever violated the dictum of the Council. Who would know?
But if she agreed with the Earthman, who would know? And was it a gamble she was willing to take?
Although she’d known him a short time, something about Victor MacNaught told her she could believe him. She sensed an honorableness about him that instinctively made her trust him from the moment he held out his hand to her in that bar. In her business she had honed a highly refined instinct when it came to sizing up people. She had never entertained any doubt he was trustworthy.
Still, to take such a chance…?
“This is an adventure of a lifetime, Lacey,” he went on when she didn’t answer. “I want to experience everything I can. Savor it. I don’t want to have all of this wiped from my memory. I don’t want to forget what it looks like to stare out that screen.” He nodded toward the panoramic view, for a moment recapturing the awe of the experience. When he brought his attention back to her, there was something different in his expression. His gaze slowly slid over her face, lingering on her lips with an intensity that made her breath catch and brought a responsive rush of heat. “I don’t want to forget you, Lacey.”
He reached out and took one of her hands, holding it between both of his. He smoothed her fingers open before he slowly raised her hand to his lips to press a tender kiss to the very center of her palm. Larissalyia felt that gentle caress all the way down to her toes. He looked up at her.
“Do we have a partnership?”
“Partnership?” she repeated in a faint voice, completely undone. He was manipulating her. She knew he was, but was powerless to stop him. Didn’t want to stop him.
“I will do whatever you say, behave in any manner you deem appropriate. In return, you don’t remove any of this. I give you my word of honor I will never repeat anything I’ve ever seen or done while I’m with you. Even after I return to Earth.”
“Are you willing to take a blood oath on that?” Larissalyia felt rather than saw Tutsi stir in protest, yet the Mandujano warrior said nothing. Her cheeks heated as she realized she had forgotten all about the presence of the third person on the bridge. Somehow with a few words and a tender gesture, Mac had completely scattered her wits.
For a moment longer she stared into his eyes, searching for some sign of subterfuge. He gazed back at her, his steadiness convincing her of his sincerity.
Well, she was the gambler here. How could she blame him? In his place, she would do anything possible to hold onto this experience.