In this scene from At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, the story opens with Senth searching for his brother through the darkest side of Miraj City. The area known only as Crooktown…
Somewhere in Miraj City
Deep in the shadows outside a ruined warehouse, Senth Antonello shoved back the hood of his sensor-blocking cloak and fanned himself. The Thieves’ Guild tech let him hide from copbot scans, but it didn’t cool him. Sweat beaded on his skin. Using his fangs, he unfastened first one glove, then the other, and peeled them off. He tucked them into one of dozens of hidden pockets in the cloak, and wiped his face.
The faint sound of gang chant carried in the chilled night air. Gangs in the Crooktown District of Miraj City hunted mixed breeds like him. At first glance, Senth appeared human, but with his catlike eyes and fangs, no one could miss his Kin nature. In moonlight, his eyes would glow.
The chant grew louder, along with the sound of breaking glass. The deeper darkness that followed meant two things: another streetlight had met its end, and that gang was closer than Senth had thought.
“You come down here, I skin you.” Senth flattened himself against the brick wall. “I skin you, the Grand Master skins me. Let’s do each other a favor, huh, boys?”
Worse, the Grand Master would inform Senth’s Sen’dai. His guild master. The crime lord all the other crime lords feared. The Man. The Harbinger. Luc Saint-Cyr.
The Guild didn’t accept non-humans, unless they were enslaved to a human member. No one could rise past level ten, unless related to a human member. Guild-arranged marriages and adoptions happened regularly. To keep the Guild happy, Saint-Cyr was Senth’s lord and master and his adoptive father.
No way Senth wanted the Man angry with him. The last time, he’d almost…
Senth shook off the thought, drew his hood forward again, and edged around the corner into a darker alley. “Ffffftt!” The Kin cuss word hissed past his fangs. Where was Khyff? He had to be close. Senth had looked for hours. His HalfKin sense of smell caught a faint whiff of male, mixed with… He took another sniff. Someone–or something–else.
Pressed against the wall, Senth slipped around a corner, and hunkered down. He melted into the concealing darkness behind a barrel, and narrowed night-sensitive eyes.
His human half-brother leaned against the opposite wall of the trash-strewn alley. Khyffen Antonello’s blond hair shone in the muted light. A female pinned him, arms around his neck. She tore open Khyff’s shirt and ran her hands over his chest.
Senth folded himself into the tight space behind the barrel and settled in to wait. Protection of his brother went before any assignment. Family came first. At least tonight. And Khyff would need it in Crooktown, Miraj City’s worst district.
Senth’s mother had died after birthing him. Khyff, who’d been three, had been told Senth was dead, and Khyff had been sold into slavery. Neither of them knew the other lived until a month ago. Neither had a clue about their biological fathers. Until Khyff found him, Senth’s “family” consisted of the Man.
Pulling out a square of paper, Senth angled it to catch the dim light and read the words he’d copied from Saint-Cyr’s note once more. You and Khyffen meet me at The Ghost. I have a job for you. Do it and I’ll buy and free your brother, but it’s going to cost you.
Of course it would. The Man didn’t do anything for free. But if it got Khyff out of that hellhole, Senth would do it.
He tucked away the note, and slipped on his gloves.
Senth’s master had raised him to believe that no one should have to sell his body to survive. Saint-Cyr owned one slave, Senth, and only so he could rise within the Guild.
Senth and Saint-Cyr might not agree on much, but they both believed Khyff needed his freedom. With Khyff’s record, freeing him wouldn’t be cheap, and it sure wouldn’t be easy.
At the Mercy of Her Pleasure
Antonello Brothers 1: a Scifi Romance
At the Mercy of Her Pleasure is a military science fiction romance set in a dystopian world. The standalone story has a heat level of sweet and has a happy ending.
Hired to steal back a prototype taken by the imperial armada, Senth Antonello retrieves it, but his brother is kidnapped to force Senth to surrender the device.
Now he has to rescue his brother, outsmart the armada, and keep the item out of imperial hands. All doable, except for one small problem. He must do it in the company of NarrAy Jorlan, a genetically altered woman whose pheromones could enhance the mission or crumble it into dust with a single siren kiss.
He’s a thief. She’s a soldier. Do opposites attract? Oh, mercy!
Genre: Sweet Romance, Science Fiction Romance, Scifi
Heat level: PG – sweet romance with a kick
Book length: 59,650 words (full novel)
Publisher: Romance Lives Forever Books
Series: Antonello Brothers (standalone books)
Universal buy link https://books2read.com/u/m2o9P1
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