Snaring the huntress, p.1
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       Snaring the Huntress, p.1
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         Part #3 of Carnal Thirst series by Sylvia Day
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Snaring the Huntress


  SNARING THE HUNTRESS

  “I hope you didn’t dim the lights for me,” she murmured, the hilt of her small dagger gripped firmly, but not tightly.

  “I certainly didn’t do it for me,” came the low, velvety voice she knew from her dreams. It swirled around her, originating from nowhere and yet permeating everywhere. “I would much rather see you. You do hunt naked, like the rest of your species, don’t you?”

  Star paused mid-step, her pulse quickening at the sound of that deep growl of sensual promise. She shook off the tingle that coursed over her skin. “Who are you?” she breathed, every nerve ending flaring to life.

  “Where are you?”

  The room was empty.

  “That depends. I’m either your prey or your lover. You have to decide which.”

  She checked the bathroom. Nothing. “I don’t know you.”

  “Don’t you, Star? I’ve held you in my arms, caressed you, licked every inch of your skin. You have a scar on your left hip. A battle wound. I like to kiss it. Suckle it, like your nipples…”

  “Shut up.” Her spines shot out, a sign of arousal and fear. She was the predator here, but she didn’t feel that way…

  ALSO BY SYLVIA DAY

  Catching Caroline

  SNARING THE

  HUNTRESS

  BY

  SYLVIA DAY

  AMBER QUILL PRESS, LLC

  http://www.amberquill.com

  SNARING THE HUNTRESS

  AN AMBER QUILL PRESS BOOK

  This book is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

  Amber Quill Press, LLC

  http://www.amberquill.com

  All rights reserved.

  No portion of this book may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher, with the exception of brief excerpts used for the purposes of review.

  Copyright © 2005 by Sylvia Day

  ISBN 1-59279-454-8

  Cover Art © 2005 Trace Edward Zaber

  Layout and Formatting provided by: ElementalAlchemy.com PUBLISHED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

  To Renee Luke and Annette McCleave, my friends and cps.

  Your support means everything.

  Thank you.

  SNARING THE HUNTRESS

  CHAPTER 1

  As she had every night for the last week, Star woke up without an orgasm.

  Running her hands through her sweat-dampened hair, she growled in frustration. There was something fundamentally wrong with having a totally hot sex dream that didn’t end with her getting off.

  “Dreaming of him again?”

  The soft feminine voice echoed through the metal confines of Star’s ship.

  Tossing aside her coverlet, she hopped out of bed, too worked-up to go back to sleep. “Yes, damn it. The bastard. If I didn’t want to fuck him so bad, I’d kick his ass.”

  “You do realize you are speaking of a figment of your imagination?”

  “Yeah, I know, Two-Thousand. I’m losing it from lack of sleep.”

  Naked, she padded barefoot down the hallway until she reached the 1

  SNARING THE HUNTRESS

  bridge. “The craziest part is I still have no idea what he looks like. He’s just this yummy deep voice in the darkness. I swear that voice makes me so hot.” And his hands—those warm, tender hands. They knew just where to touch her, stroke her, caress her.

  She shivered.

  “Why do you wake up?”

  “Because he leaves!” Star complained. “Right before we fuck, he leaves.”

  Dropping into the captain’s chair, she checked out the navigational readings. “How are we doing time wise?”

  “Excellent. You will be on top of your fugitive soon.”

  “Good. I could really blow off some steam right about now.”

  “Will you kill him when you capture him?”

  Star sighed at the question, and turned her gaze away from the cockpit window and its view of the galaxy beyond. “Probably.”

  “You answered with very little hesitation.”

  Shrugging, Star kicked her feet upward to rest on the console. She’d purchased the newest model Starwing with the bonus earned from her last capture. “Why feed him rations all the way back to Primus when they’ll just kill him when we get there? I’m a hunter of criminals, not a restaurant. Besides, he’ll be a handful. I don’t want to deal with him.”

  “While I agree that is practical, do you not worry that perhaps the Supreme Court Justices passed sentence too quickly?”

  “You know,” Star grumbled, “for a computer, you do a lot of hypothetical thinking.”

  “All correctional CPUs are programmed to second-guess decisions.

  It helps keep judges on their toes.”

  “Yeah, yeah. You know the rules, Two-Thousand, and so did he.

  Jacians can’t be on the loose when their heat is on them. They can’t control their sexual urges, and if they’re not locked up with their pre-assigneds, they’ll rape or go irreversibly crazy. It’s just that simple.”

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  SNARING THE HUNTRESS

  “For you, maybe.” If her computer could have sighed, it would have. “What if he was not attracted to his pre-assigned partner?”

  Leaning forward, Star snatched up her nail file and began to shorten her claws. The damn things grew like weeds. “When a Jacian is in heat, even a deck plate is attractive.”

  “Regardless, how would you like being locked in a room with someone you would not want to have sexual intercourse with?”

  Star rolled her eyes and shot a quick glance at the console readout.

  They were five clicks away from Rashier 6. Intel had reported that the Jacian had last been seen there. If his med file was correct, he’d be entering his heat now, which effectively trapped him on the planet. His body couldn’t do anything for the next week besides fuck. “You’re missing the point. He’s so desperate for it right now, he’d want to have sex with you.”

  “Funny, Star.”

  “Actually, it’s not. Poor bastard. At this moment, his brain is so sexually focused that piloting a ship is impossible, and using mass transport would get him arrested.”

  I almost know how he feels, she thought grimly, her blood still thrumming from her earlier dream.

  Except she wasn’t breaking Interstellar Council Law, and he was.

  Some of her cases were a little tougher than others, like this one. She really did feel sorry for the guy, but she was a judge and her job was to follow the letter of the law. Black and white. Right or wrong. There wasn’t any place for her to give leeway because she sympathized with him having shitty genetics. And she was the only judge who was of the Hunter species. Her ability to hand down fair verdicts was heavily scrutinized, and left her no room for error. While another judge might have been able to appeal for a reduced sentence, she could not. That was why she was so surprised the Jacian government had asked her to personally handle this capture. It was almost like they wanted their 3

  SNARING THE HUNTRESS

  rogue ambassador dead.

  “Maybe his pre-assigned had qualms.”

  “Whatever, Two-Thousand. Now you’re being ridiculous. You know his pre-assigned was hot for it.” Jacians were a telepathic species renowned for their exotic beauty. Pale green skin mottled with softer and darker shades of green. Thick, silky hair in various colors. Eyes in a rainbow of jeweled tones. And their inexhaustible sexual appetite, which they augmented by reading their partner’s fantasies and then making them come true. All traits that made
them highly sought after as mates.

  “Have you been with one? Sexually?”

  “Nope.” Star stood and stretched, lifting her arms over her head and pushing out the bony spines that coursed the length of her back before retracting them again. “I like sex as much as anyone, maybe more than most, but days on end with the same guy would kill me. Even if you are fucking most of the time, there has to be some time when you’re not.

  You gotta sleep and eat, right? And once men start opening their mouths, it gets tedious fast.”

  “You are kidding.”

  Laughing, Star checked the programmed coordinates, and started the mental preparations for the hunt. She liked to be ready for anything.

  It’s why she was the best. Because of her skill, she was counting on this being an easy capture. The Jacian was holed up somewhere, either with a woman or going mad with need for one. He didn’t stand a chance.

  “Of course I’m kidding, Two-Thousand. I love men. Everything about them. That’s what sucks about this assignment. Jacians don’t usually go rogue. In fact, this is the first case I’ve heard of in my lifetime. A shame to have to waste a prime Jacian male like this, but he had a trial and was duly sentenced. Wanted dead or alive. Those are our orders.”

  “I am curious as to whether you agree with the popular opinion 4

  SNARING THE HUNTRESS

  about their beauty.”

  “I don’t know, I’ve never seen one.” Star opened the weapons bunker and withdrew her favorite blade. She didn’t need it. Physically, she was equipped with the claws and teeth to kill anything. But using a knife or blaster kept her prey alive. “I’ve always been too busy collecting the judicial credits I need to make it to the Supreme Court bench.”

  “I have pictures of him,” Two-Thousand coaxed.

  “No, thanks.” Moving back down the hallway to her quarters, Star caught up the silvery blond tresses that flowed down her back, and tied them in a knot at her nape. It was time to get ready for the hunt.

  “Jacians are pretty distinctive. I just have to find the one with the raging hard-on.”

  “But they have varying hair and eye colors.”

  “I’ll keep my eyes trained below the waist. No problem.”

  “How about a first name?”

  “Ambassador Teron is good enough.” She sighed. Softness was a luxury she couldn’t afford. “You’re a computer, you don’t understand.”

  “What do I not understand?”

  “It makes it harder to terminate prey if they actually become individuals.”

  “Ouch.”

  “Yeah,” Star muttered. “That’s what he’ll be saying when I catch up with him.”

  * * *

  They’d sent the Huntress after him.

  If he weren’t in so much pain, Roark would be flattered. As it was, he was merely relieved his plan had worked so well. Of course, this meant the Supreme Court wanted him terminated. The Interstellar Council never sent a Hunter after anything they didn’t want dead. But if everything worked out as he hoped, it would all be worth it. Death was 5

  SNARING THE HUNTRESS

  a small price to pay for the realization of his true desire. A desire he chose, not one that was forced on him by genetics.

  Roark leaned his head against the wall and closed his eyes, a wracking shudder coursing the length of his long frame. At this point, he rather wished for death. He’d begun the heat cycle yesterday, and his veins burned with the unrelieved hormones in his blood. Every muscle was straining, his breathing was labored, and sweat poured from his skin. If he’d started fucking at the onset, he’d be languorous and playful now. But he wanted what he wanted, and he would get her.

  He was not a man who took well to being denied.

  But damn it! He wished she’d hurry.

  He’d chosen lodging just outside of town, and did the best he could to hide, while not hiding too well. She was a Huntress. If she tracked him too easily it would arouse her suspicions. But now he wished he’d just stayed out in the open, so she would have found him already. He needed relief, a few hours straight of it, so he could think clearly and handle her properly.

  He heard the door latch disengage, and sighed with relief.

  Finally, after years of waiting and lusting, Star had arrived.

  * * *

  Star entered the darkened cottage with a deliberately noisy step, tossing off her cloak with a shrug of her shoulders. If there was a woman inside being kept against her will, Star wanted her to know that help was at hand. But as she sniffed the air, she relaxed. There hadn’t been any sex going on in this rental in awhile. Her prey, however, smelled delicious. A dark, spicy scent filled the room, and she breathed it in, finding it both arousing and familiar.

  Shaking off the distraction, Star forced her attention back to the task at hand. The innkeeper assured her that a Jacian male had checked in yesterday, and according to the security vid, he hadn’t left. So where was he?

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  SNARING THE HUNTRESS

  He’d kept the lights out, but that was more to his disadvantage than hers. She was a Huntress. Her people could see in the dark, smell from great distance, and move with amazing rapidity. In fact, they were known so much for their physical attributes that most other species had forgotten how smart they were. A fatal mistake in most cases.

  Star blinked, putting into place the thin optical membrane that made night vision possible, affording her an unhindered view of the room. A bed, still made, took up the center, with two small tables on either side of it. To the right, a door led to the bathroom. To the left was a desk, beside which stood a cooling and heating unit. From the smell of it, the ambassador hadn’t eaten since he’d arrived.

  Great, he was horny and hungry.

  She snorted derisively. What a shitty case. But then she always ended up with the most undesirable assignments. She was the first of the Hunter species to attain the bench, and because of that she had to work twice as hard, and hand down twice as many verdicts, just to get the same respect and the same number of judicial credits. Two of her classmates had already moved up to the Supreme Court, despite having far less experience than she. They’d both failed and had been retired quickly.

  Sure, Hunters could track and kill anything, but they could also be gentle, fair, and wise—basically, they had brains to back up their brawn. And it was her life’s goal to show that fact to the universe. Her species was depending on her to prove the Council wrong.

  “I hope you didn’t dim the lights for me,” she murmured, the hilt of her small dagger gripped firmly, but not tightly.

  “I certainly didn’t do it for me,” came the low, velvety voice she knew from her dreams. It swirled around her, originating from nowhere and yet permeating everywhere. “I would much rather see you. You do hunt naked, like the rest of your species, don’t you?”

  Star paused mid-step, her pulse quickening at the sound of that deep 7

  SNARING THE HUNTRESS

  growl of sensual promise. She shook off the tingle that coursed over her skin. “Who are you?” she breathed, every nerve ending flaring to life.

  “Where are you?”

  The room was empty.

  “That depends. I’m either your prey or your lover. You have to decide which.”

  She checked the bathroom. Nothing. “I don’t know you.”

  “Don’t you, Star? I’ve held you in my arms, caressed you, licked every inch of your skin. You have a scar on your left hip. A battle wound. I like to kiss it. Suckle it, like your nipples…”

  “Shut up.” Her spines shot out, a sign of arousal and fear. She was the predator here, but she didn’t feel that way. “Get out of my head.”

  “Can I get in somewhere else?” he purred. “I’m rather desperate at the moment. You took longer than I expected.”

  For a moment, she swore she could feel the heat of him behind her.

  She tilted her head back, and looked up at the ceiling a moment too late. The Jacian droppe
d down from a harness, and caught her up. He ran to the wall, and pinned her hard against it. The blade in her hand skittered away, but still she moved to grab him, finding instead that her spines had sunk into the wall and held her securely.

  “Oh shit,” she groaned, as he cupped one breast in a familiar grasp.

  If she stayed aroused, she’d be stuck for awhile. “I’m so screwed.”

  “Not yet,” he breathed, his tongue flicking across her nipple. “But you’re about to be.”

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  SNARING THE HUNTRESS

  CHAPTER 2

  Roark opened his mouth and surrounded the peak of Star’s perfect breast. He was almost dizzy from the smell of her, the feel of her, the taste of her skin. Dreams could not accurately convey all of this. She could only see herself through her own eyes, not through the eyes of a man who lusted for her, so their shared dreams could not give him this pleasure. Nothing in the universe could give him this pleasure.

  His tongue stroked softly, abrading the tight nipple. He shuddered, the burning in his veins nearly excruciating. He knew he had to arouse her swiftly. The first fuck would be quick, he’d waited too long, but he had to make it good for her or she’d arrest him as soon as he was finished.

  “So that’s what you look like,” she said, her voice breathless.

  “You’re gorgeous. But I’m still going to kick your ass when you’re done.”

  He wanted to look his fill of her, but couldn’t risk turning the lights 9

  SNARING THE HUNTRESS

  on now. One glance at her lush beauty, and he’d be fucking himself to orgasm and leaving her behind.

  But later, once the edge was off, he intended to see her in all her glory. All that silver blonde hair and pale skin. And those big blue eyes, lighter in shade than his sapphire ones. She looked like a celestial angel—until those razor-sharp claws came out and she bared those pointy canines.

  “You know who I am.” He flooded her mind with images of them together, echoes of the passion they’d shared in her dreams. His hand drifted between her legs, finding the soft, smooth skin and the slickness of her desire. She gave a soft cry, a sound he loved and had heard so many times. It was enough. Lifting one of her lithe, long legs, he spread her open. Then he stepped between her thighs, and took his cock in hand.

 
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