Interplanetary agents and smugglers -- when they collide, their chemistry will be explosive.
White Russian (Wanted 1): After weeks of lonely space and one breakdown after another, Tiressa just wants a drink to relax while the nebula storm passes. But when she orders a White Russian, he’s not quite what she expects. Undercover so deep only the Supreme Commander of the military knows his mission, Yuri Dubnikov’s situation is bad. Convincing Tiressa he isn’t the villain will definitely take work.
Vodka Shots (Wanted 2): Dmitry is pissed as hell. He was betrayed by a woman he trusted and now she must pay. When finally catches her, her reasons for her betrayal -- and her abrupt departure -- chill his blood. With secrets and conspiracies at every turn, Dmitry must decide who to trust. The lives of everyone he holds dear may depend on his decisions.
Molotov Cocktail (Wanted 3): Hawk has been baffled by Onyx since they first met. The woman defies all reason. A man can only take so much, and when Onyx defies his orders in the heat of battle, Hawk decides to show her what a fiery explosion a Molotov Cocktail can really ignite.
Praise for Wanted
"The Wanted series is three good, fast paced, quick reads. Each of these books takes us on an interesting journey."
-- 4 Stars from GKP2460, Amazon Review
"Each story is equally fiery, intense and highly entertaining. I enjoyed reading each book."
-- 5 Stars from A. Fernandez, Amazon Review
Praise for Vodka Shots
"I would highly recommend this novella for anyone looking for a fast-paced, highly entertaining, and more than spicy read."
-- Violette D, Romancing the Book Reviews
Praise for Molotov Cocktail
"The push-pull between Hawk and Onyx is interesting to watch. I loved the fireworks when Hawk has had enough... I enjoyed this addition to this series."
-- 4 Lips from Tangle, Two Lips Reviews
"...from the opening sentence to the end of the story, I was intrigued. Marteeka Karland made these two characters so likeable, especially Onyx, that I couldn't help but smile every time she made Hawk squirm."
-- 4 Stars from Fuchsia, Long & Short Reviews
"With a sassy woman like Onyx and a man like Hawk, we can see Molotov Cocktail exploding in and outside of the bedroom. I love the characters and enjoyed this short, sassy story."
-- 5 Couples from Tash, Confessions from Romaholics
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Copyright ©2023 Marteeka Karland
Excerpt from White Russian
Tiressa stumbled into the dimly lit holo bar and collapsed into a booth. What a fucking day! Nothing had gone right. Absolutely nothing. Her ship had been grounded at Patmar Station because of a busted beacon lamp. When she finally did get clearance to leave, her power coil blew a ring. Now, the nebula storms had forced her to this back-space junk station with no end in sight. What the fuck else could go wrong? She just wanted to get back to Earth and civilization.
She flagged down the dark-haired waiter, who tried to ignore her. "Look, I'm tired, and all I want to do is get back to Earth. I'm seriously PMSing, and I've had absolutely no chocolate or caffeine for the last twenty solar days. Do not make me ask you twice to get your ass over here and get me a drink."
That changed the little man's mind. In a hurry.
Tiressa wasn't a small woman by any means. She stood five-nine and, though lean, carried a fair amount of muscle. She looked like a space marine and had the temper to match, but in reality, she was a glorified delivery girl. Suited her fine. She was the only cargo tech in the whole damned company who hadn't been jacked at least four or five times. Hell, she hadn't been jacked even once. The only pirate who'd tried got to sample his own balls.
After that, word got around, and everyone pretty much left her alone.
"What'll it be?" The lanky waiter might have finally stopped at her table, but it was far from a willing gesture.
"White Russian. Straight up."
The man stopped in mid-movement as he tapped her order into his tablet. "Did you say, 'White Russian, straight up'?"
Tiressa had to clench her fists to keep from scratching the poor bastard's eyes out. "Did I stutter or something, or are you hard of hearing?"
"No, ma'am." His tone was suddenly respectful, and his body language screamed fear. Finally, something in her tone had made him take her seriously. Maybe this day was getting better. "I just didn't expect a woman to... err... order... such a... err... drink." He stammered all over himself, but Tiressa didn't care. Something in the back of her mind prickled, but she ignored it. If he brought her alcohol, she didn't really give a fuck.
Instead of replying, she just gave him her best icy stare, and he scurried off. Sitting back with a satisfied smirk, Tiressa crossed her legs and looked around her. The place was practically deserted save for a couple of human attendants and several bots to clean tables. The latest news feeds scrolled along the top of the bar, and holo images of fugitives and criminals danced across the banner. Including the announcement of the capture of Yuri Dubnikov.
Tiressa was never one to be intimidated by anyone, but she had to admit, knowing Dubnikov was behind bars was a relief. His reputation made her hair curl. He was wanted for so many crimes, the list ran the length of the ticker several times. Rape and murder were only minor infractions, if the news could be believed. Crimes against humanity, genocide, and the destruction of vital trade routes using deadly means were just a few of the capital crimes he was charged with. How much was actually true was anybody's guess, but Tiressa felt safer knowing she wouldn't run up against him on one of those sabotaged trade routes.
Everything about the man sent shivers down her spine. Looking at his image on the news, she wondered how he'd managed to stay in hiding as long as he had. Nothing about the man was mundane. He stood out in a crowd like a beat dick. Exceedingly tall and muscular, he stood at least head and shoulders above everyone around him, no matter where he went. His skin was pale, but not so much that his dark blond hair gave him a washed out appearance. Angular features made his face seem chiseled out of stone. One couldn't call him handsome by any means, but he definitely wasn't someone who blended in with his surroundings. Nor did he seem like a man who'd want to sneak around wherever he went.
No. Dubnikov would blatantly flaunt himself out in public just to prove he couldn't be caught. Tiressa could tell by the defiant way he boldly looked directly at the camera, not bothering to try and shield himself as so many do when caught. The smirk made Tiressa feel as if he were playing a joke on everyone, that they hadn't so much caught him as he'd let himself be caught.
Not a pleasant line of thinking as far as Tiressa was concerned.
She needed that drink. Yesterday.
She was about to get up and go get the damned thing herself when she spotted five men approaching her, one of them in chains, the others heavily armed with wicked looking blasters pointed directly at the chained man. The prisoner was eerily familiar.
"If you'll be so kind as to tell me where your ship is docked, we'll see to it the prisoner is secured before leaving you with him." The lead man looked around the bar, a little sneer on his face. "You didn't happen to bring help with you, did you? I'm not certain you can handle the big guy by yourself."
"What the fuck are you talking about? And who the hell is..." She trailed off as her attention focused on the prisoner in question.
By the gods! There was no way in hell her luck could be this bad.
"Your white Russian, ma'am." If she hadn't been so stunned, Tiressa would probably have kicked the lead guard in the nuts. As it was, all she could do was stare. Thank the gods she managed to keep her mouth closed and not gape at him.
Yuri Dubnikov. In the rock hard flesh. And his ice-blue gaze was focused squarely on her. His skin wasn't nearly as pale as the news holo made it out to be, but his hair was almost stark white and flowed down to his shoulders. He had it pulled back and tied at his neck. All that muscle and sinew was exactly like she'd seen in the holos. The man was massive.
"No fucking way." She'd started to shake, and sweat beaded her upper lip. "You can just take the big guy back where you got him. All I want is a drink. You know? White Russian? Coffee liqueur? Vodka? Cream? Alcohol! Not a man!"
"Sorry. My orders said there would be someone here to take him off my hands. The code phrase was 'White Russian, straight up.' No one would order such an Earth concoction in this part of space. You knew the code phrase. The bastard's yours, sweetheart."
"You're going to just turn him over to anyone ordering that particular drink? That's absurd! This is the most wanted killer in eight galaxies! You can't hand him over to just anyone!" Tiressa was starting to panic. Unless she missed her guess, the authorities on this particular station would just be happy the huge man was out of their hands. They didn't care who took him as long as he was gone.
"Not my problem." His hand darted out to the security badge hanging from her vest. He scanned the thing and gave her a satisfied grin. "Docking bay ninety-four, men. Take him to her ship, secure him, and we'll all be on our merry way." He looked at her then, and Tiressa wished to hell and back she had kicked the bastard in the nuts when he'd first approached her. He was just a little too smug for her liking. "I don't advise any liquor on your part, miss. You're likely to need all your wits about you if you plan on making it with him to High Command alive. You should leave now anyway. No time for drinking."
"I can't leave now. The nebula storms..."
"Are not my problem," the guard interrupted her with a slash of his hand. "I want this prisoner off my station, and I don't mean in a day or two. Get him away from here now."
Knowing this wasn't a battle she was going to win, Tiressa stood and stalked out of the bar without a word, not even bothering with a tip. She knew they'd follow her. Even if they didn't, they knew where she'd docked and wouldn't release the docking clamps until they had Dubnikov aboard her ship.
On the way there, Tiressa tried to think of a way out of this, but she had very few -- if any -- options. Her cargo hold was full, she had no escape pods, and there was no way in hell she was getting off this station unless the station guard let her.
She couldn't simply space him. No matter what he'd done, she wasn't a killer. She couldn't have them secure him in the cargo hold -- there simply wasn't a nook or cranny to be found. That left either her personal quarters or the cockpit. She definitely wasn't having him tied to her bed, so, when they reached her ship, she had the guards secure him to the back bulkhead. It was the best of a bad situation.
"All secure, sweetheart. Cybernetic enhancements or not, he's not breaking those titanium chains."
Tiressa closed her eyes and exhaled deeply before replying. "I'm not your sweetheart." There was a moment when she was sure the guard started to give her a snide reply, so she turned in her chair to face him. Slowly, she stood to her full five foot, nine inch height. She wasn't much shorter than the guard and stood nose to nose with him, bringing all the intimidation of her size and height to bear. "Now, get the fuck off my ship." She didn't raise her voice. She didn't have to. She might have only been a cargo transport engineer, but she knew how to use her size to intimidate. Even if the one in question was bigger than she was.
"I'd be careful, if I were you," one of the guards muttered as he left the ship.
"Yeah. You think?" She spat her reply as he headed down the landing ramp before it slowly raised and sealed.
Swearing under her breath in seven different languages, Tiressa fired up the ship's engines and began a pre-launch checklist. There was no way in hell the day could get any worse. She just hoped Dubnikov had been lashed down securely. She sure as hell wasn't getting close enough to check. Like it or not, the guard was right. Tiressa had to keep her wits about her and watch her unwanted passenger like a hawk. The only problem was, the reason she'd landed on this gods forsaken station to begin with was because of the nebula storms. Now, she was flying right into them.
This was definitely not her day.