Authors: Rebecca Airies
Lisia Fariel only wants to go home. She‟s willing to try anything to get there. She
never expected to meet a large
male or to feel such a connection to anyone, much
less someone so handsome, dominant and possessive.
Jarritt E‟Sain‟s clan has been under attack and in desperate need of help that never
seems to stay long enough to do anything. Finding a female
helping the United
Defense Alliance gain access to the planet is surprising, but even more so is the
connection he feels to her. He‟s not going to let this beauty slip away from him when
the tie between them is so strong.
Lisia‟s determined to resist his attempts to bond them together, but Jarritt isn‟t
making it easy to ignore the attraction. Toss in the threat of space pirates and suddenly
“complicated” takes on a whole new meaning.
An Ellora‟s Cave Romantica Publication
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Lisia‟s Journey Copyright © 2010 Rebecca Airies
Edited by Helen Woodall
Cover art by Dar Albert
Electronic book publication September 2010
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This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales
is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the authors‟ imagination and used fictitiously.
To the fellow dreamer in the family, good luck on your journey. May your dreams
Thank you for the help and the support when I needed it.
To my editor, Helen, thank you for being so fabulous at your job and for suffering
through the “huh” moments so that the readers don‟t have to do it.
The blaring horn sounded, breaking the relative silence and sent birds darting out
of the trees. Lisia jumped. The loud noise startled her and made her ears ache, but she
leapt forward and ran toward the obstacles that filled the clearing in the lush forest.
Even after hearing it when the first man ran, the jarring sound surprised her. She didn‟t
know how the other
stood it over and over again.
She wasn‟t exactly dressed for the complicated course, but when she‟d decided to
wear the bright blue shirt and silky dark, gray pants, she‟d envisioned something a little
simpler. This definitely wasn‟t simple and she had a feeling that more was going on
than some power game. That didn‟t concern her though and she pushed back the
curiosity. She wasn‟t going to be here long enough to need to know about the politics
and manipulations that went on behind the scenes.
She had to get those damn green and yellow flags and complete the obstacle course
under the time limit to fulfill her part of the deal with Lieutenant Commander Carson.
She sprinted forward grabbing the first flag as she leapt over the low, dark brown brick
It shouldn‟t be that hard, the course was enough like the ones at home that she‟d
spotted all the flags. Even the flags that had been half hidden by the bushes. That had
been her second clue that something was strange on Enoch. The man in charge was
doing everything he could to make sure the time wasn‟t broken. His methods bordered
on outright cheating. Nothing had been said about concealed markers.
She pushed the first flag into the elastic band at her waist even as she headed for the
second. Rolling into the short tunnel covered by a mound of dirt, she grabbed it and
focused on the next barrier, the wall. She felt a tug at her right leg and heard a small rip.
She kept going and tried not to think about the fact that she was probably ruining one
of her favorite pairs of pants.
She climbed the man-made rock wall plucking the flag off as she flipped over it.
The fast pace, exertion and challenge set her pulse racing. She enjoyed the thrill and the
test of her skills. It was something she hadn‟t experienced in a while and it was better
than the fear and worry she‟d felt over the past few weeks.
The fourth flag hung amid the leaves of a squat thorny bush, but she grabbed it
ignoring the scratches on her palm. Annoyance rose, but she focused on getting to the
next flag. She snatched the fifth from the top of a pole and plucked the sixth flag as it
fluttered in the gentle wind midway up a slope.
She dragged in a gasping breath and knew that it had been too long since she‟d run
freely. A simple course like this shouldn‟t make her breathe hard. She reached the top of
the incline and jumped down from the edge to the base of the wall bracing the slope.
She found the flag in the water-filled rut behind it. Slogging out of the brown liquid, she
noticed the mud on her black knee-boots and her pants. If she didn‟t need the
Lieutenant Commander‟s help, she‟d make him pay to replace them.
With a not-so-silent curse, she ran for the eighth and ninth flags, on opposite ends
of a climbing net. She bypassed the simple rope swing to grab the tenth flag off the
corner of the platform. Jumping down, she landed lightly and grabbed the eleventh
before leaping the final short wall.
Satisfaction coursed through her as she saw the brown-haired man‟s dropped jaw.
man had shown he was a fool from the first. He was one of the few shifters
who considered humans weak. She hadn‟t met many
who felt that way. It gave
her a thrill to surprise him. He clearly hadn‟t expected anyone to finish in time.
It wasn‟t her fault he didn‟t know she was also an
. She hadn‟t done anything
to hide it. The open space and the fact that she was with a group of humans would go a
long way to masking her scent, but now that she‟d worked up a sweat, her scent would
be stronger. There were ways she could hide her smell, but she hadn‟t done it. Basically
because she didn‟t expect to be here that long. She wanted to get her job done and go.
She knew he‟d probably put those flags in the bushes and on the back of that wall
just so no one would complete the course. If she hadn‟t expected trickery, she might not
have taken the time to spot them all first. At her first sight of the man claiming to be in
command, she‟d known there was something wrong.
The brown-haired man running this show didn‟t have the muscles or scars that a
, a clan leader usually had. He definitely didn‟t have the attitude, the carriage of a
man accustomed to holding and using power. He was just too damn perfect-looking to
have fought in more than a handful of fights. It was obvious he wasn‟t the leader he
was pretending to be. That and his clear disdain for the Universal Defense Alliance
soldiers were enough to warn her. According to Lieutenant Commander Marsh Carson,
they‟d asked for UDA help. A man like him wouldn‟t ask for help from someone he
considered beneath him.
That wasn‟t the only thing that had raised her suspicions, but it had been enough to
make her very wary. The men who‟d met them at the shuttle had been much too young,
too inexperienced for the guards of a colony out on the edge of known space. She‟d
never heard of a group of
out this far.
She pulled all eleven flags out of the elastic belt at her waist and let them flutter into
the palm of a young guard standing to her left. Smirking, she waited for the man
running this test to find his tongue. She smoothed her hands down her sleeveless blue
shirt, brushing at a bit of dirt on it as she waited. The shirt at least looked salvageable,
but the pants were probably ruined.
“It seems you beat the time and managed to find the flags. Was the course
challenging for you?” The man‟s lips compressed into a thin line and he glared at her,
his body half turned away from her as if he really didn‟t want to look at her.
She held the growing laughter inside when she wanted to let it flow. His fast
clipped words told her even before she caught his scent that he was furious. He wanted
to force them to leave but was held by his word.
“No, the course was a little easy. I didn‟t expect it to be that simple. Are you the
of this group?” She cocked a hand on her hip and smiled. She knew that it would
irritate him. His irritation was probably the only satisfaction she‟d get out of this little
jaunt other than a trip home.
Curiosity spurred the question. Well, that and a wicked desire to see him squirm.
She wanted to see how he‟d react to it. From the sharp glance of the young guard to her
right, she already knew the answer. He definitely wasn‟t the
, not even one of
them if they had shared ruled here. How far would he go with his lies and half-truths?
“What do you think?” The man threw his shoulders back and puffed out his chest
as he did his best to give her a quelling look.
As if he could even come close to the searing glances she‟d sometimes get from her
“I think that any man who won‟t openly claim his position has something to hide.”
Lisia smiled, not at all intimidated by the young fool.