There was an urgency in their lovemaking; a need to fit as much pleasure into the short time that they had left. Lily tried not to think about it as their bodies rocked together once more, but she couldn’t help it. And as they came together she knew if it all ended today, she’d found something real and true.

A connection to withstand time and space.

Kerr rolled onto his back as she collapsed on top of him. It took several long moments before their breathing returned to normal and she laid her head against his heaving chest, listening in wonder to the steady beat of his strong heart.

His hand gently caressed her hair back from her face and she looked at him, smiling tremulously as she tried to ignore the sadness that sat like a stone in her chest.

“What did you mean?” he asked softly, his hands caressing her cheek, holding her face like she was the most precious thing in the world. “Last night? You said you’d been sent to protect me?”

Lily didn’t hesitate. Didn’t lie. There was no time for games.

“There is a group that targeted you for death. They’re called The New Order and I was sent to prevent it.”

He frowned and she fought the urge to touch his sensual lips.

“Never heard of them.” His eyebrow arched and he was clearly perplexed. “Are they some weird faction involved with the Serpentis?”

“No, it’s a lot more complicated than that. The New Order isn’t from around here…this planet, this galaxy…this time.”

Lily moved, shrugging the cold away that now slithered over her bare skin. They both sat up and she grabbed his large hands between her own. She could see the wariness that now circled in his eyes and knew she’d have to tread lightly. Kerr Strome had spent the last chunk of his life not trusting anyone.

“I’m not from this time. Have you heard of time shifters?” she asked carefully.

Kerr stared at her intently and nodded. “I’ve heard stories, fables passed down and told to amuse the children, but didn’t think it was possible.”

Lily swallowed and dived in. “I’m from a planet called Terre, which is not even in this quadrant or star system.” She waited for him to say something but he was quiet. “I was born over two hundred years ago.”

“Two hundred years ago?” he asked in disbelief.

She nodded and plunged forward. “My family has the ability to time shift and we’ve been fighting rogue jumpers for eons.” At Kerr’s look of confusion she continued. “Assholes who would change the course of time for their own ill gains.”

“Like the stranger who attacked you?”

“Yeah,” she said softly her hand slipping from his to lay where her opal should be.

“But you can leave then. Get away from here.” He cupped her face until his lips were inches from hers.

“No,” she answered and shook her head. “Mallick stole my opal and I’m too far from home to try and shift without it. I haven’t been able to contact my family since I’ve been on planet.” She shrugged and smiled tremulously. “Guess you’re stuck with me.”

“That’s not acceptable.” His voice was terse. “Can you at least try?”

“Even if I could I wouldn’t, not if it meant leaving you behind.”

Kerr’s face darkened and he shook his head. “You barely know me, why the fuck would you stay behind?”

Lily smiled sadly. Why indeed? Could she even vocalize what she was feeling? She exhaled and looked straight into his eyes. She’d always been a no-bullshit kinda girl and now was not the time to freeze up. “I’d stay because I’ve never met a man like you. Ever.” She leaned into him and her lips grazed his. “I’ve fought beside you, drank with you, watched as you guided most of your people off of this planet.” A shuddering breath escaped her and she shivered. “You are strong, loyal, caring and—” her hand caressed his chest as her mouth skimmed below his ear lobe, “—last night was the best sex I’ve ever had.” She giggled. “On any planet in any time.”

He growled and pulled her up until his mouth was able to claim hers. His kiss was as fierce and untamed as he was. It was brutally honest and she was breathless when he pulled away.

“I am not a man who takes things lightly. I’m hard, unyielding but you…you could wreck me.” Kerr ran his hands along her cheek and she angled her head to rest in his palm. “When I saw you laying in the dirt as the ship was pulling away I knew I’d do anything to get to you.” His thumb caressed her lips. “You were the one.”

“The one?” Her voice was like a whisper and she closed her eyes as he continued to caress her flesh.

“The one I wanted for myself.”

A blast rocked the bunker and Kerr grabbed her close. It was time. The enemy was at hand.

They stared at each other for several long seconds and then quietly began to dress. Lily’s mind wandered as she slipped into her clothes and grabbed as many weapons as she could. Images of her parents and sisters danced in front of her eyes. The sorrow s


Tags: Juliana Stone Black Opals Science Fiction
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