The air of the Blue Comet blasted hot on her face when Carina Tao stepped through the door. She gave the bouncer one glance, but he didn’t even flinch when she strode passed him. It was a reminder that she exuded her assassin status, the darkness within her somehow evident in her demeanor. Every animal, especially a man, would sense the danger she represented.
Why the hell was she here? The throb of the music vibrated through her body. She remembered why. Rina the assassin, her alter ego, slipped away. She edged the corners of the dance floor, the pulse of energy shooting through her, making it easier to drop her mask and be her true self.
Outside the Blue Comet, Rina played judge, jury, and executioner for the Blueshift Brotherhood. Time and again, she’d proven her loyalty, but the price was a foul taste in her mouth and a desire to forget the last forty-eight hours.
But she couldn’t forget the screams of the two men those bastard priests had shoved through a magical portal to Stars knew where. And there hadn’t been a damn thing she could do but watch. She’d tried to warn them, told them to run. But what good had that done except risked her cover?
Would she be able to wash the blood off her hands? Could she ever go home to Nylar and the life she’d left behind there? Sometimes, when she let the Rina persona drop away, it seemed possible. In places like this, a BDSM club, she longed for her people, her planet.
More and more she sought places like this where she could release her true self, the submissive who longed to be dominated by a Nyral male. But it was dangerous. So she settled for a shadow of that dominance, letting inexperienced and foolish Doms play with her, but they never touched her soul. Yet lately, the risk almost seemed worth the price.
Every job took another piece of her, another chunk of who she really was. Soon there wouldn’t be anything left of the flirtatious girl who had grown up on Nylar. There would only be the assassin.
The lights in the club were dim so every face was in shadow. Her job--to execute the Teran Five Tacote CEO--was finished, but she was no closer to her covert goal than before. Each assassination brought her closer to the inner workings of the Blueshift Brotherhood but no nearer to the man behind the organization. Instead, she was given another task.
What she should do was leave, go to her next assignment. She was the proverbial moth to a flame, drawn to the black leather and studs that populated the dance floor. It was risky, thrilling, and stupid. She couldn’t deny why she did it.
Because she longed to take a man’s cock in her mouth by her own choice, not to bow to a perverted priest. Rina knelt before those men. She killed. She maimed. She humiliated. But Rina wasn’t real. Not tonight. Carina, the shy little girl who had a taste for bad boys, had decided to take over tonight.
The music was a low throb beating against the walls of her resistance. She stepped onto the dance floor and joined the writhing bodies, trying to bury herself within them. The Brotherhood wouldn’t see her. The rest of her cell had dispersed, per their plan, once the murder was done and the appropriate vid sent to the vid streamers.
There was just Carina. The submissive. The woman.
She rubbed against the other sweaty bodies, her senses filled with the musky scent of arousal. Her hands slid over her heated skin, lifting her skirt, exposing her skin to the hot lights that flickered from the ceiling. Her hair, tightly wound in her signature braids, felt constricted, plastered to her scalp.
A shower of cold water splashed down from above them, and she let it cascade over her clothes. She loved the way her silk blouse and loose skirt clung to her skin. A hand slid over the nape of her neck, then squeezed. It was a firm hand, one that sent a clear message.
Without a thought, Carina leaned into that hand, allowing her body to sag against a wall of flesh. Male. Strong. Big hands.
An arm snaked around her waist and pulled her closer. The hand on her neck slid up and yanked away the ties that held her braids. His fingers plucked the braids apart, and her hair sprang loose, flowing over her sensitized skin. Then he gripped her neck again, the heavy curtain of her hair draped over his arm.
The rest of the dancers seemed to disappear, and Carina moved in sync with the man who held her. His cock pressed into her soft skin, making her glad she’d worn a silky skirt that provided little barrier between her flesh and his. Heat emanated from him to her and back again, a never-ending supply of warmth she desperately needed.
His hand crept from her waist to dip lower, running the length of her skirt to the hem and climbing back up beneath the material. She arched closer in time to the music. When his fingers deftly found her damp flesh, she moaned.
The pounding of her heart beat against her rib cage as his fingers flicked over her clit.
The hard, driving music ended, and a new beat, slower, more seductive, filled the air. She swiveled her hips in time to the pulsating sound, gyrating against his hand.
His other hand, wound in the loosened strands of her hair, tightened when moisture leaked from her pussy, and she gasped. God, it felt good. She dropped her head back onto his shoulder but kept her eyes closed, focusing on the feel of his touch, not what he looked like. He bent his head and pressed against her neck. She lifted her arms behind her to pull him closer and encourage a rougher touch.
His fingers on her pussy became insistent, and she met them with the strong thrust of her hips until he dipped inside her slick channel. She groaned, her needy body open to this experience, this anonymous person.
The male curse made her shiver, and she gasped when he tore his fingers away to grip her arm. Without much effort, he dragged her toward one of the corridors off the main floor that led to the private dungeons.
She didn’t resist. Didn’t want to resist. She needed this.
The man’s back was broad and muscular. His hair was longer than a military cut, and his ass was a work of art. She still hadn’t seen his face when he reached one of the rooms. He slid a card into the keylock, and the door opened.
When he turned around, her mouth almost dropped open.
It was as if her teenage fantasies had come to life. At sixteen, Carina had flirted with and adored Xandros, a smooth-talking, risk-taking bad boy.
Now, he was a dangerous dominant she’d just tempted on a public dance floor. Her pulse skittered. He couldn’t recognize her. She’d had short, spiky hair as a young girl and certainly hadn’t been fit and muscular as she was now.
Smart. She had to stay smart.
She cleared her throat. “Wait,” she said as he tried to drag her into the room.
“I got the clear impression you weren’t interested in waiting,” he said roughly.
She ignored that and opened the keypad to the door. Two rewirings and some deft programming knocked out the vid cameras and the audio. There would be no record of this encounter.
When she finally faced the man, he stared at her with a hot blue gaze. “You could have asked.”
She tipped her chin. “I take care of my own security.”
Fast as lightning, he forced her through the door and cuffed her hands behind her back. “I take care of security, machinka
Machinka? Why the hell would he call her that? A little mouselike creature on Nylar didn’t inspire sexual arousal. Yes, she was small, compact, even petite to some people, but the name implied immaturity. “Not for me, you don’t.”
His hand clenched around her nape and pressed her to her knees. “Tonight, I’m everything to you.”
How did he know the pressure of his hand, the gravel in his voice, and the touch of his fingers around her neck would melt her insides like a supernova? Because he was a Nyral dominant and she was a submissive who needed to submit. She bit her lip to control the whimper in her throat.
“Nothing will happen tonight unless I will it.” He drove her to her knees.