Featuring Sylvia’s novelette, Treasure Hunters
Mercenary/treasure hunter Rick Bronson is ready to hunt down his next treasure—erotic e-books hidden away when erotic romance was banned by the Conservative Censorship Committee. His first order of business is securing the help of literary antiquities expert Samantha Tremain. She’s considered one of the foremost authorities on erotic literature in the galaxy, a veritable bounty of carnal knowledge that Rick intends to enjoy to the fullest. Now two people who couldn’t be more different race across the galaxy on a daring quest for untold riches. Together, success is within their grasp…if they can just get past the hands-on research.
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If the guy in her office weren’t so damn gorgeous she might be able to think properly. But he was yummy. In fact, he was so unbelievably handsome Samantha was staring, something that was brought to her attention by the long, masculine fingers snapping in front of her face.
“Miss Tremain.” His deep voice, though soft, was filled with exasperation. “Are you listening to me?”
“Beg your pardon?” She blinked rapidly.
He exhaled and took the seat in front of her desk. Crossing one ankle over the opposite knee, he bared to her view an impressive bulge behind the tightened lacings of his pants.
“Animal,” she breathed. The bulge jerked in response.
Sam coughed into her hand as her face heated. “A-animal skin.”
“Yeah. It is.” Bright blue eyes flashed briefly before narrowing. “I was told that you’re the foremost expert on literary antiquities in this part of the galaxy, Miss Tremain. Is that right or should I be looking for help elsewhere?”
“Oh…” The way he said his own name, like it was a sensual threat, made her shiver. And the way he was dressed, in animal skin and some billowing material for a shirt, made her mouth dry. “Why aren’t you wearing a bio suit?”
A dark brow rose. “You want to talk about my clothes?” He shook his head. “You brainy types are always a little weird.”
“Look who’s talking,” she retorted, stung by his comment, one which she’d heard a thousand times. “You are a twenty-third century mercenary who dresses in nineteenth century clothing while tracking down a legendary twenty-first century treasure. Shouldn’t you be doing something else? Killing for hire or something of that nature?”
Blowing a loose tendril of hair from her face, Sam stood and began to pace. As long as she didn’t look at that breathtaking face, she could keep her wits about her. His dark hair, tan skin and eyes like the Laruvian Ocean were bad enough. When you added in the broad shoulders, tapered hips and animal skin covered bulge, she had a living wet dream sitting right in her office.
Rick Bronson chuckled and the warm sound of amusement made her womb clench. “Whatever a mercenary does, he does for credits. Hunting treasure is a hunt for credits. Pretty easy to figure out.”
“But why this particular treasure?”
“It’s worth a fortune.”
“It’s rumored to be worth a fortune. Just as it’s rumored to exist. You’re most likely wasting your time.” She hazarded a side-glance and her heart skipped a beat at his soft smile. “It seems an odd treasure for a man to hunt for. Why not the Draken Cup? Or the Sarian Stone? Why the erotic e-books?”
“That’s a silly question.” The curve of his lips deepened. “You know how much those Romantica stories are worth. Ever since the Conservative Censorship Committee succeeded in banning erotica and erotic romance back in 2015 it’s almost impossible to find. All the print books have long since turned into dust, but the remaining e-books that manage to make it to the black market bring in a small fortune. Can you imagine how much a database full of those stories would be worth?”
Sam sighed with longing. “Now that the ban has been revoked, finding those stories would not only return literary treasures to the people, but it would help lift this sexual repression that has stifled us all for so long.”
“You sound like a woman who appreciates the erotic,” Rick purred. He stood and came toward her, his gait slow and filled with seductive promise. The blaster strapped to one thigh and the laser sword strapped to the other only emphasized how dangerous he was. Against the backdrop of her small office, he was even more intimidating.