“Fuck you.” Blackie’s voice was low.

The man laughed. “I intend to…fuck you.”

Kerr gritted his teeth and didn’t take his eyes from them. He watched Blackie spit into the ground and felt his gut tighten as the Serpentis began to move forward.

“Nice come back. Ah, you’re forgetting the most basic principle of battle.”

That’s it, Blackie, keep them occupied. Kerr nodded to his men and they began to move forward, tightening their own leash.

“And what would that be?” the stranger growled.

“You have to catch me first, asswipe.”

Blackie exploded into action and rushed forward, his arm flying high as a deadly blade flew toward the stranger.

All hell broke loose as his men jumped the barrier between them. The Serpentis turned, their weapons at the ready.

There was a moment of surreal silence and then a bloodcurdling scream rent the air as Blackie attacked. It was enough. His men opened fire and within seconds two of the Serpentis were down.

But the bastards were fast and Kerr jumped over the large pile of rubble, his eyes focused on Blackie as he ran forward. Movement to the left drew his attention briefly and Kerr sidestepped an assault as a large Serpentis flew at him. He aimed and fired, but wasn’t able to avoid the swing as its long tail whipped out and knocked him on his ass.

The creature went down hard but rolled over, its weapon already drawn and yet it was too late. Kerr fired off a round that split its head in two. Green matter exploded and he was up and running without pause.

The heat of fire sliced his cheek open and he darted to the right as another shot echoed into the space where he’d just been. He dove behind the body of a downed Serpentis and rained a wall of gunfire toward the enemy.

His men were slowly gaining ground but Blackie was still pretty much surrounded. Macon slid in beside him and nodded toward the large number of Serpentis. The soldier growled, “Go—I’ll cover you.”

Kerr kept his head low as he ran toward Blackie and couldn’t keep the grin off his face as he watched the small soldier drop-kick the much larger man. But his grin faded as the intruder struck out and sent Blackie flying.

He charged forward, ignoring the chaos, trusting Macon to watch his back.

Stars danced in front of Lily’s eyes as she shook her head, ignoring the ringing that slammed between her ears. She jackknifed her body and was up in an instant.

Kerr and the men had arrived on scene and the smell of death hung heavy in the air as they attacked.

Gideon’s son stared at her, hatred coloring his features until each plane of his face was nothing more than a caricature of disgust. That was good. She could use his hatred to fuel the fire. Keep him occupied. Kerr needed to escape this mess alive.

“What’s the matter, asshole? Don’t like the feel of an Opal kicking your New Order ass?”

All around them the battle raged and yet it was just background noise. A film of chaos blanketed everything and dulled the impact, sealing the two of them into a cocoon of their own making.

Lily pointed her weapon toward him, while she held herself loose and ready.

“You have no clue what’s at play here, bitch.” He nodded behind her. “Your boy there will not make it off this planet alive and you’ll be coming back with me.”

A sliver of cold ri

fled through her. It had nothing whatsoever to do with her current situation, and everything to do with the lethal black eyes that stared down at her.

“You will know my name. I am Mallick, son of Gideon, and you belong to me.”

The fire that lit his face made her belly turn and Lily spat onto the ground.

“The seven suns of Turin will explode before I let you touch me.” His meaning had been clear, and though it made no sense to Lily, the threat was very much real.

An explosion several feet away smashed the air around them and she fought to keep her balance.

Movement to the side caught her attention and she turned in time to see Kerr blast a Serpentis apart as he rushed toward her. Mallick snarled and raised a large weapon, his focus shifting from her to Kerr.

Tags: Juliana Stone Black Opals Science Fiction
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