Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Blast From Quickshot #spaceopera #excerpt

Happy Valentine's Day! It's Spring half term holiday in the UK (already!) which means I'm taking a week out with my monsters. So just a quick excerpt from my recent SFR Galaxy Award winner Quickshot to entertain you this week: and in contrast to celebrating a day for lovers, this particular blind dinner date is not going well. Enjoy!

Dinner was the best she’d had in forever. She hadn’t eaten seafood since leaving her home planet. True, it wasn’t as good as the fish gumbo her adoptive parents had made, but the shrimp still tasted of the sea, and Cheery’s hot sauce hid the aftertaste typical of space-shipped food. And with her second triple shot already half consumed, it was looking like a good evening.
Then a man slid into her booth, put one arm around her shoulder and ran his other hand up her thigh while whispering desperately in her ear. “Please. Pretend you know me for the next five minutes.”
Rage hotter than Cheery’s sauce exploded inside her, along with the overwhelming relief of finally having an outlet for her fury.
The next instant, the interloper had the separate barrels of one double blaster either side of his throat so that her fist rested hard against his Adams apple.
“Um.” The not quite a word came out like a whimper as he put his hands in the air.
“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t spatter your feeble sack of brains against the wall behind you?” she growled. She felt him gulp, his throat moving against her knuckles.
“Because I’ll...pay you? Lots?” Large, semi-translucent shades curved to fit his face hid the color of his eyes, but she saw him blink rapidly as she pushed the gun a little harder into his flesh. “Or, if you wait a few seconds, the local authorities can save you the bother.”
His eyes flicked to the right, and she warily followed suit, leaning ever so slightly around the edge of her booth. Not Imperium rezzers as she’d feared, but the local patroni were indeed at the door, and she didn’t owe them any favors. Mind you, she owed this feck more than a slap after he’d touched her without permission or even an introduction. But she was cargo-less right now, badly in need of the work, and he’d mentioned payment.
She eased off a fraction. “How much to not kill you?”
“Whatever you want. Anything at all.” He said it with such sincerity, his breathing so ragged, that, for an instant, Sal imagined him under her, tied to her bed, naked. The light tan skin at the unbuttoned collar of his shirt was sheened in sweat.
###
Sal, a legal carrier (just about) of whatever comes her way, puts her trust in just two things: her guns.

Keeping out from under Imperium eyes—especially those belonging to a certain Ehi Wahu—while making a living, and trying to keep a lover who can tolerate her twitchy trigger fingers, are the extent of her ambitions. 

Then a kiss from a passing stranger, and a promise of the biggest score in a long time, tempt her. Devin fulfils more than one need, but he comes with more trouble than one woman can handle. And this time it'll take more than her guns to save her. She'll have to trust a man again.

WARNING: for over 18s only. Adult content including sex, bad language, & implied extreme violence.

A Space Opera Short Story
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