Lord Chancellor Aaxis Thrane wants peace, an end to the war raging between his home planet of Sark and the ice world of Glacid, and he's willing to risk something far more difficult than a full-scale attack. He kidnaps Tayra, the Princess of Glacid, not to hold her for ransom, but to impregnate her and force peace through a political marriage. He knows Tayra is entering her annual fertile cycle, the blessed time when she is at her sexual zenith. After months away from home and his harem, Aaxis is ready for a new kind of war. Knowing conception is impossible without orgasm, Aaxis must convince his enemy to accept both his plan and his seed...
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Excerpt for Icy Hot
Tayra, Princess of Glacid, darted through a narrow fissure in the ice wall, then motioned her trusted assistant, Bae, to follow. Within seconds the fissure closed, severing the women from the guards sworn to protect them. Pulling the hood of her silver-mank cloak over her head to ward off the cold wind, Tayra raced along the massive ice walls. Hearing the faint, but distinctive hum of a Sarkian rover, Tayra stopped in her tracks.
"Is it them, my Lady?" Bae managed. Her breath escaped in clouded puffs as it collided with the frigid air. "What if-how can you trust the Sark?"
Beneath the thick fur of her cloak, Tayra shivered in anticipation. The cold she ignored. So much depended upon her actions, her decisions and resolve. So many lives hung in the balance. She could not fail. "I must go. Without the shield our guards will be overwhelmed."
Bae cried out. No doubt her thoughts were for the handsome guard she'd taken to her bed during the long months of imprisonment Tayra and her assistant had been forced to endure.
Protective custody, her uncle said. Tayra knew better.
Since her father's mysterious disappearance, the warlords, led by her uncle, had risen to power once again and her people had been thrust into a conflict ending years of peaceful, but less than congenial, coexistence with the Sark.
Tayra spotted several glowing orbs moving silently toward them. "I cannot elude them. They've released search probes."
Bae pulled a curved ice blade from her boot. "I'd rather die here and now with you, Your Highness, than warm the bed of a Sarkian warrior."
"That's no ordinary rover. Only one man would challenge this storm. Aaxis."
"Your Highness, please reconsider. What if he kills you?"
"If Aaxis intended to harm me the entire palace would have been laid to waste."
"What if you fail? The Sarks hate us. They do not want peace. The Lord Chancellor could hold you hostage for years."
"I will not fail. I cannot."
Bae grabbed Tayra's hand and held fast. "Please, my lady. Let us return to safety."
"The probes would find me. Remain here and you'll be safe."
Tears rolled down Bae's plump cheeks. Tayra managed to free her hand from her loyal assistant's grip. "You must survive, Bae. My people must know the truth. Should my uncle make an attempt to contact me, make sure he knows I have been captured and by whom."
Without hesitation, Tayra lifted her chin and walked into the icy wind toward her sworn enemy.
* * * * *
Aaxis searched the orb's monitors and swore. The Glacidians had returned fire and the laser exchange had destroyed a large portion of the palace, yet his target had eluded him.
"Land this thing," he roared to the pilot as he scanned several screens. Then his gaze caught on one monitor and held as his prey strolled proudly into the open. Aaxis could swear she looked right into the orb, directly at him.
"You're mine, Princess," he whispered.
Aaxis swiveled around and faced his pilot. "Bring our guest aboard." The young man, fresh out of academy, responded without hesitation. Aaxis noticed the trickle of sweat running down the pilot's temple as his fingers moved over the helm control panel. Glacid's ice storms were a challenge to experienced pilots and keeping a vessel under control was next to impossible. Aaxis prayed the wind wouldn't shift. If he lost the Princess now…
Buffeted by the icy wind, the rover shuddered, then dropped slowly to the surface. "Once Princess Tayra is safe and we are free of this planet, return to Phabes," Aaxis ordered. "Light speed."
As the thick door slid open, the shrieking wind drowned out the rover's familiar hum. Aaxis stepped forward and held out his hand. Wrapped from head-to-toe in priceless ice mank, the Ice Princess, as he'd come to think of Tayra, bowed her head, but not in deference to his position or in submission. Her lips moved silently in what he presumed was prayer.
Although the frigid wind sliced through the fabric of his uniform and tiny ice crystals stung his face and hands, Aaxis waited. Without so much as a nod of acknowledgment, the Princess walked past him. Once inside she approached his senior advisor, Drath.
"The Princess demands to be taken to the Imperial Palace," Drath announced after a brief exchange in her native tongue.
Ignoring Tayra's royal snub, Aaxis refused. Although he spoke her language, he let his counselor translate. Drath had his orders and would allow her to make her protests. He closed the short distance to stand beside Drath.
"You dare to imprison a member of the Glacidian royal family?"
Again she'd spoken to Drath instead of him. Aaxis resisted the urge to force her to face him. "Consider yourself my guest," he responded, deliberately refusing to address her by her royal title. "My counselor will escort you to the visitor's quarters." And scan you for weapons. The portal scans were useless against ice weapons. The Glacidians had advanced the science of molecular bonding to an art form. To survive the harsh conditions on Glacid they had modified the basic structure of ice and could mold it into any shape or form. Ice that could withstand heat and most lasers made formidable weapons. An ice blade could cut a man in half. Unsure of Tayra's abilities with weapons, Aaxis could take no chances.
When Tayra removed her fur hood and walked past him to follow Drath, Aaxis sucked in a breath. Although he had seen her in dozens of digital images, in the flesh the Ice Princess was nothing less than striking.
Silver-blonde hair worn in the traditional, short, Glacidian style complimented her delicate features. Her close-cropped, military hairstyle only served to enhance the fine bones of her face. Her eyes shimmered like ice crystals struck by the distant sun. She looked nothing like the dark-haired beauties of Sark, or the golden nymphs of Aktares.
Her beauty was legendary and Aaxis was far from disappointed. A sudden heat surged through him: a perfectly natural reaction after months of abstinence.
War was hell, but that was about to change.
She could snub him now, but once on Phabes, her Highness would have no choice but to deal with him in the flesh...