The copyright this woman has claimed is being challenged on several fronts. I'll leave it at that.
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Marisa loitered around the corner from the glittering façade of the Celestial Palace Hotel, avoiding the liveried security guards who patrolled the street for undesirables daring to sully the entrance to Shar Burk's finest hotel. If Soldar didn't appear soon, she'd have to move on. She'd already turned down a prospective client but if she did that too often, even the bone headed security guards would start to wonder.
A punter strolled past, his hands deep in his pockets, his eyes all over her. His steps slowed. She took in the cut of his clothes, the way he approached. A wet-behind-the-ears kid off a freighter somewhere, on his first visit to the fleshpots of Shar Burk. His gaze probed the deep cleavage between her breasts, lingered on her nipples pushing against the light material. She could swear he was sweating already. It would be quick work. If she was interested. "Don't bother, son. You can't afford me."
He straightened, scowling. "How do you know? I might be rolling in dosh."
She waved him away. "Around here, we're expecting captains, not junior officers. Take yourself down to Minka. They'll be falling all over you." She pointed manicured nails. "Down there and turn right."
She hardly registered him walking away. A big, expensive skimmer drifted down onto the apron outside the Celestial Palace. She'd been in that limo more than once. The back door of the vehicle slid up. Marisa's hand crept to the pistol in the bag hung over her right shoulder, her fingers sliding around the butt. A figure alighted from the vehicle. A bodyguard, all muscle and no neck. A second man followed. Her pulse pounded. Soldar. At last. You're going to die, bastard. She'd practiced the shot a hundred times, leaning against a wall, firing without taking the pistol out of her bag. Then she would walk away, just another houri on her way to work in Minka.
A red-coated security guard lumbered between her and Soldar, who was running up the shallow steps beside the bodyguard. Damn it, move your great, hulking carcass. But the woman was walking toward her, coming here.
Marisa backed away, rage boiling in her gut. Damn her. Damn her to all the hells in the black abyss. She'd have to wait, try another day, another way. The towering security guard began to run. Marisa turned, ready to kick off her high heeled shoes. A hand gripped her arm, hard. She twisted her arm, snapped it up sharply to break the hold and lunged with her foot tilted, the high heel a spur.
Her assailant stepped aside and slipped a pistol out of her pocket. Emerald green eyes regarded her steadily.
Marisa swallowed. This woman knew what she was doing. "What do you want?""I want to stop you from making a terrible mistake." The woman put the pistol back in her pocket, but there was no doubt it could reappear in a moment.
If you enjoyed that, and you haven't come across the Misfits before, you might like Kuralon Rescue.
Jirra’s on the run, Siena’s rescuing her lover, Toreni wants Master Chef status and Chet wants her reputation back. Four women, four goals, and one very small ship. Add a fleet request to free a rebel, the promise of little to no help and a caste-defined society simmering with discontent on the edge of explosion.
Now, on their own, they’re staging an escape from a backwater prison planet and navigating the murky terrain of dreams forbidden by the rigid caste system underpinning their culture. Success demands more than team work. They’ll have to jettison their own prejudices and forge relationships free of the rules and caste lines.
There’s more than just lives at stake. There’s dreams and a possible tomorrow more fragile than gossamer.
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