Monday, January 25, 2010

Men of ODIN 1: Death Sequence by Ann Vremont

Men of O.D.I.N. 1: Death Sequence
by Ann Vremont
cover art by Ann Vremont
ISBN: 978-1-60521-391-0
Genre(s): Futuristic, Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, Cyber-Punk
Theme(s): Men and Women in Uniform, Shunga
Series: Men of O.D.I.N.
Length: Novel

Six years ago, Wendel Spears murdered his best friend's abusive father. Too bad he was being watched by government agents. Forced to become one of the agency's Berserkers, he thought he'd lost Jericho Bastillo forever, only to find that she followed him into the agency and is one of the Director's Valks.

Since then, he's kept her at arm's length, wearing his disdain for all Valks as a shield against his feelings for her. But when a computer code falls into the wrong hands, threatening Wendel's life and that of every other Berserker, he has no choice but to work with the woman he loves but can never trust to love him back.

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Wendel tightened his grip on Jeri's wrist as he fought the urge to drag her across the table and show her right there every pleasure he'd dreamed of inflicting on her the last six plus years. But she was dangerous and a Valk, making her one of all-father's women now. Not his woman -- there was no chance of that anymore. All-father could have sent any other Valk to him or paired Jeri with any Berserker. A simple command and she would have been offering to spread her legs for some other guy.

"Show me, or let go of my arm." She repeated the dare, her body temperature spiking so high that his enhanced senses felt it like a warm shove.

Wendel slowed his breathing but kept his hold on Jeri tight. That trace of a tear on her cheek was killing him, softening a hard promise he'd made to himself the day he found out all-father was training her to become a Valk.

The bastard was cunning in finding ways to control the Berserker agents, particularly those who hadn't volunteered for the program. There were only two ways all-father could get to him, to make him submit. His brother and his...

Wendel cut the thought short and jerked Jeri halfway across the table.

If she was the only woman he wanted, then she was his woman, damn it.

If only that were enough to make him her man. But it wasn't -- not with all the programming and re-engineering they'd put into her. Not with what she'd had to do to graduate.

"Well?" She growled the question at him, the tight coil of her body warning him that she was ready to launch herself the rest of the way across the table. But for what purpose? To fight him or to fuck him?

She was breathing too fast if she wanted to fight him, and, even in the low light of the corner, he could see her pupils pulsing. Nor could he miss the smell rising off her -- intimate and distinctly Jeri. She'd smelled like that at the games, out on the bleachers, pressed hard against him and shivering. His cock hard, straining against his jeans, he'd known what it meant then as surely as he knew now.

"Yeah, I'll show you." Capitulating, he rose, dragging her sideways out of her chair and onto her feet. The other patrons, quiet until now as they watched the little drama play out, drew their seats back as he pulled her toward the door. No one moved to stop them. But she wasn't protesting and he was sure the look on his face made it clear -- he'd kill any man who tried to stop him.

He slowed as they neared the door, collecting himself enough to crack it open first and check the parking lot in case she'd brought anyone else to the party.

What the hell was he thinking? Of course she had backup. "What kind of team did they send you with?"

"Nine, holding at half a click."

"Because you told them to?" He looked back in time to see her nod. He snorted. "You really think it's your orders their following?"

Anger flashed across her face and her arm tensed beneath his hand. Knowing it would only piss her off more, he wanted to laugh, but couldn't find any humor in the suicide mission all-father had sent her on. "You should have said no, Jeri."

"Fuck you, Wendel."

"All part of the job, right?" He had pulled her around back to one of the twelve-foot trailers the bar owner rented by the month, week, night or hour -- depending on one's needs. Stopping, he held her at arm's length and fished for his key. Once he had the door open, he pushed her up the metal stairs and inside. No longer holding her arm, he clamped his hand to the back of her head, pinning her forehead-first to the opposite wall.

Always ready to run, he had a pack near the door and he pulled a chem light from it. He snapped the tube and a soft blue glow lit the small space.


She pushed back, resisting the hand that trapped her against the wall. He relaxed a fraction of an instant -- enough to give some distance between her and the wood paneling -- then gave her head a hard knock against the wall.

She responded with a sharp elbow that glanced off his ribs.

Amusing, almost.

He'd seen the small bulge of a gun in her boot and the telltale crease of a blade pocket in the cuff of her right sleeve. And for every weapon he could see, she probably had ten more he knew nothing about.

All he had were his bare hands.

He leaned closer, caught a whiff of her skin and hair as he whispered into her ear. "You're outmatched, baby girl. So stop fighting and start peeling."

With a low growl that hit him directly in his crotch, she ripped her jacket open and let it slide down her arms. Beneath it was nothing more than a black lace bra. His first instinct was to reach out and unhook it, freeing the small breasts for his hands and mouth. Instead, he pressed a fingertip against her spine, mesmerized by the way her shoulders instantly flared back while the tight little ass thrust toward him.

"Unhook it." The words came out strangled, the sight of her like a vise around his vocal chords.

Her hands shook as she fumbled with the bra's hooks and he wondered if the shake was real or a ruse to get him to touch the fabric. Every last thing on her was standard agency issue for a Valk -- which meant each item was deadly in its own unique way.

The jacket, boots, pants, knives, gun -- weapons within weapons until she was a walking minefield. He had no way of knowing if those trembling fingers were a set-up. Not that there was much left of his mind to care. All he wanted to do was pull those leather pants down and sink into her, hear her moan his name as his hands explored her hard little body.

"Faster, Jeri. You can't expect your boys to hold the perimeter all night."

"They'll hold." She toed her right boot off, the one with the gun, then reached down and carefully removed the left one. There was just enough phosphorescent glow from the chem light for him to see the spring on the left heel. She could have gassed him already, sending both of them into la-la-land until the tactical team woke them up.

"Right. They'll hold because you're the boss and that's what you want."

She nodded.

God, how he wished it were true. Not that they'd hold -- he had no expectation of that -- but that she wanted them to, that she really was stripping away every layer of deceit all-father had dressed her in.

1 comment:

  1. Extended excerpt at