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Eliza May Brown

Sample of Spitfire

After two long years of regular visits, I thought regretfully, Shaw still didn’t trust me. He probably suspected I was trying to smuggle something into his port. Well, he was a smart guy. And he was right. Maybe he’d catch me this time.

Maybe I’d let him.

I stretched, looking at the hangar’s ceiling far above us. The rafters made me think of the space stations I’d grown up on. I’d dangled from rafters like these, repairing hulls damaged by battle and stray asteroids. Aside from having a raving lunatic for a father, I couldn’t imagine having a better childhood.

Shaw, now striding toward me, would probably disagree. He’d been raised in the sun and 1.5 standard gravity units. Healthy exercise and the extra gravity had carved his body into the delicious mass bearing down on me. Activarius was known throughout the system for its excellent food and gorgeous men, and I found both mouth-watering.

Shaw stopped in front of me. I was tall, long-boned and willowy like everyone raised in space, but I still had to tilt my face up to look at him. I swept my long, braided hair over my shoulder, acutely aware that I wore my deck uniform with my handweapons still strapped to my thighs. I usually dressed to the nines to meet Shaw, and weapons were banned on this peace-loving planet.

He tried to hold on to his anger but I could see it draining away, pouring out of him like the last rays of the setting sun. But it wasn’t replaced with darkness. No. This man, alone of all the men I knew, didn’t seem to have any darkness in him. Unfortunately, I had enough in me for both of us.

A reluctant smile tugged at his lips, drawing my eyes. I let my gaze drift down over his broad shoulders and his red-brown uniform, the color of rich, fertile earth. The only mark of his rank was a badge over his heart. A belt across his flat waist cinched the straight-legged slacks that fell to his sensible shoes. Sensible. Earthy. Not the kind of man a woman could trifle with, no matter how much she might want to.

"Port Master," I said in greeting.

"Verity." His smile caught and held, then spread to his eyes. My heart squeezed tight, then loosened: he was glad to see me.