Friday, October 29, 2010

Codename Courtesan: Winter

Codename Courtesan: Winter

by Aubrey Ross

Cover art: Bryan Keller

ISBN: 978-1-60521-416-0
Genre(s): Paranormal, Action/Adventure, BDSM

Series: Codename Courtesan

Length: Novella

After surviving the horrors of a salt refinery, Winter is convinced she's prepared for anything. Her mission is simple, seduce Ulrick Brant and convince him to reveal the location of the mysterious Chemist. Ulrick is handsome, sexy, and heroic. How hard can this be?

Ulrick doesn't mind helping the Resistance, but he won't tolerate being used. Before Winter realizes she's caught, he has her naked and in restraints. He arouses her slowly, commanding her body with skill and tenderness until they both forget it's a game.

Winter is dazzled by the pleasure they share, but the Resistance won't wait forever. Danger is closing in, and Ulrick must choose his final role, ruthless invader, or freedom fighter.

Codename Courtesan: Winter

Aubrey Ross

All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2010 Aubrey Ross

This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

Clutching Grizzly Winters' burly body to her naked breasts, Cub rocked her protector back and forth as tears streamed down her face. Fear had given way to rage, and finally anguish as the life faded from his pale blue eyes. "Don't you die on me. Don't you dare! Please, Grizzly. Talk to me."

"You knew about this! Didn't you?" The captains circled King, like sharks attracted to blood in the water. "You're king. You had to know."

"I swear, Grizzly told no one," King insisted.

"Was he fucking her?"

The question sent a fresh wave of fury stabbing into Cub. "You disgusting pigs! You're all so worried about fucking; you can't think of anything else! He was like a pa to me! He took care of me and taught me, but he never laid a hand on me." She buried her face in Grizzly's wiry hair as hard sobs robbed her of speech.

"King, tell me exactly what happened. How was it discovered that Cub was female and who killed Grizzly?"

She was used to hearing Tomlinson's voice over the loudspeaker, but she wasn't surprised to find him here. Tomlinson always turned up when things went wrong. Holding Grizzly close, she waited to see if King would tell it true, or if she'd need to step in and set things straight.

"Griz heard Cub screaming and went to see what was wrong." King looked at her, eyes hot and hungry. "Greg and Toad had Cub down on the floor. They was gonna take a poke at him, but when they got his pants off the surprise was on them."

Everyone started laughing, and Cub pressed her fists over her ears, screaming, "It ain't funny! If I'd been a boy, they'd have hurt me bad."

Tomlinson moved toward her, all clean pressed suit and fake smiles. "None of this is funny, Cub. You've been very brave." As quick as his compassion appeared it evaporated. He turned back to King, and she was all but forgotten. "Who killed Grizzly?"

"He went after Greg and Toad. No one blames him for that, but he wouldn't stop. His captain warned him to stop. Even I warned him. He left us no choice."

"He knew it had been for nothing." She paused for a sneer. "Griz promised my pa he'd protect me, or die trying. Looks like he kept his word." She wiped her nose on the back of her hand. "He went down swinging 'cause those two wouldn't jerk off like everyone else!"

A man stepped out of the shadows beyond Tomlinson, and the breath caught in Cub's throat. His hair was light, golden even in the underground, yet his eyes were darker than midnight. Tomlinson moved with authority and purpose evident in each step. This man looked so damn comfortable it was as if he owned the world.

"Who are you?" she whispered.

He stepped up beside the boss and held out his hand. "My name is Ulrick Brant. I'm sorry for your loss."

She glanced down at her filthy hand, then crossed her arms over her breasts. Tears blurred her vision and burned her throat. Why was this stranger the only one who realized she was in pain? No one else seemed to care that the only person in this godforsaken place who ever gave a damn about her lay lifeless -- because of her!

The stranger shrugged out of his fancy coat and knelt beside her. "Is the blood on your chest his, or are you hurt as well?" He placed the coat around her shoulders and eased Grizzly farther down her legs.

"I ain't hurt, thanks to Grizzly." As soon as she let go, he rolled Grizzly's body to the side and helped her to her feet. She quickly slipped her arms into the sleeves and buttoned a few of the buttons, then gathered the long coat around her trembling legs. "Thank you."

"You're welcome."

She dragged her gaze away from his handsome face and looked back at Grizzly. He lay on his side now, all peaceful, like he was sleeping.

"Get her cleaned up so we can see if she's worth fighting for."

She didn't know who said it, but it snapped her head back around. "I belong to Griz! I'm Grizzly Winters' Cub!"

"Griz is dead, Cub," King reminded her. As if she could forget. "You know the rules. Women must be claimed. There are no exceptions."

"How old is she?" Tomlinson asked. "She might not be ready for breeding."

"She's more than ready." That hot, hungry look came back into King's eyes. "Don't let her innocent expression fool you. Naked bodies don't lie."

The stranger wrapped his fingers around her upper arm and drew her toward him. "Chet, she's perfect for my investigation. I'll return her in a day or so."

"Wait a goddamn minute! Who the fuck are you?" King took a menacing step forward.

Tomlinson blocked King's path. "Mr. Brant is the Civilian Head of the Protectorate. He can interview anyone he likes for as long as he likes. Step aside."

To Cub's astonishment King did exactly that. She took two steps forward before her numbed brain reengaged. "Wait! What about Griz?"

"I'll see that he is sent off with all the honor he deserves."

On any other day she wouldn't have believed anything Tomlinson said, but he was obviously afraid of the stranger. And the stranger had taken an interest in her.

In a muddled stupor, she followed the stranger across the common room and down the corridor leading to the elevators. Ulrick. He'd said his name was Ulrick Brant. She looked up at him and shivered. Even in profile he looked amazing, attractive, interesting, and dangerous. What did the Civilian Head of the Protectorate want with someone like her?

"Where are you taking me?" It was foolish to care, but she couldn't silence the question.

"Away from here." His tone was low and amused. "Do you really care where we go?" He echoed her thought as he slid the safety gate open and motioned her inside.

She hesitated. "It depends what you expect from me in return."

"Then stay here and take your chances with them."

Annoyance rolled up her spine. "You don't have to threaten me. I'm just trying to understand what you want."

"I want to talk to you. I want to see who's living under all that dirt. Beyond that, I honestly don't know." He moved into the elevator and grabbed the safety gate. "In or out. It's up to you."

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