sci-fi romance book
genre: sci-fi romance book
length: 15274 words / short
released: July 2008
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Sons of Lyra: Fight For Love
Lieutenant Lyra IV is as sinfully handsome and irresistible as his elder brothers, but the one woman he wants seems to be immune to his charm. Every man in his squadron is falling over themselves to win her. Literally. When the reward is getting to see her, not even he can stop himself from getting hurt in training every day. Losing feels like winning when he ends up on her inspection table, and the pain means nothing when she touches him.
Nurse Emmanuelle knows exactly what the devilishly tempting and handsome Lieutenant Lyra IV is doing and she’s not going to fall for it or his attempts to make her call him by his first name, Remi. It’s her duty to keep her distance and maintain a professional relationship with him, even if her heart and body is crying out for more.
When the fleet is called back to Varka Two where Remi almost lost his life, he can’t waste any more time. This time, he might not make it back. A kiss that sets both their hearts on fire leads to more than he’d dreamed of, and makes both their feelings clear, but will it be too late?
Facing overwhelming odds, is Remi strong enough to survive the battle and return to Emmanuelle? If he ends up on her table again will Emmanuelle be able to save the man she loves? Will they win their fight for love?
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“Lieutenant Lyra IV, you’re really going to have to start being more careful in combat training. This is the third time you’ve been in this week.” Nurse Emmanuelle, the most beautiful nurse in the entire fleet, leaned over him.
She motioned for him to move his hands out of the way. He did. He reached them out above his head and grabbed the end of the inspection table he was laying on. He flexed the muscles of his bare torso and arms for her. She didn’t seem impressed. Her fingers pressed against the mottled bruising on his right side, her touch so light he barely felt it.
His gaze strayed back to her face. She was beautiful when she concentrated like this, intent on her work, her fine silvery eyebrows knitted together. She turned, flicked her long silver hair from her face, and sighed as she picked up one of the tools from the black tray table beside him. His gaze slid to her body and the tight dark blue dress she wore. They shifted across to the buttoned front of it and then rose to her face again when he reined his desire in.
“I can’t help it,” he said, still studying her face, watching her tongue wet her delicate rose lips as she turned on the device she held. He’d never figured out where she was from. Perhaps she was an angel of Iskara. She looked like an angel. “They’re all stronger and faster than me.”
She shook her head a fraction, a smile curving those delicious lips. “I find that very hard to believe.”
He smiled at her when she looked at him, her grey eyes touching his a moment before she went back to her work.
With a nurse such as her posted to his squadron, was it any surprise all the men kept getting hurt? He could handle any man here in a one on one fight, but when the reward for defeat was getting to see her, he didn’t have the heart to win.
She held the device two inches from his skin and ran the red band of light over it. He held the flinch inside as it hurt, stinging as his body was repaired. It was still worth it, even though it hurt more than getting beaten up in the first place.
“There, all done. You can put your shirt back on now, Lieutenant Lyra IV.” She placed the device back down on the tray and stepped back.
He swung his legs around over the side of the black padded table and pressed his palms into the edge of it as he sat and looked at her.
“Why won’t you call me by my real name?” Her constant use of his title irritated him. She called others by their name. Everyone but him. “Call me Remi.”
She shook her head. “You know I can’t. I don’t make the rules.”
“But you can break them,” he reached out to her with his left hand and winced when his shoulder grated. His other hand went to it, holding it tight. He must have damaged it during the fight.
“Is it bothering you?” she said, her voice low and concerned.
He nodded. “All the time.”
“Not the name thing.” Her tone caught a note of impatience and then softened again. “Your arm.”
He looked at it when she touched it, as light and gentle as usual.
When he was in his uniform, he could easily forget that it wasn’t really a part of him, at least in the sense that he hadn’t been born with it. He’d been given it two years ago after he’d lost his arm in an insurgence on Varka Two. It had been his first mission. It had gone horribly wrong. The Varkan’s had been waiting for them. Half of his squadron had been killed. He’d been lucky to only lose an arm.
The fleet doctors had done their best, replacing his arm with a fully cybernetic one. It had taken them a whole day of surgery to attach all the nerve endings to the sensors in the arm. He flexed his fingers. When he thought hard enough, he could almost feel the metal joints moving beneath the dark silvery rubber skin. The nurses and doctors had told him it was nothing to be concerned about. It was purely a residual memory of his old arm he was feeling, and not the workings of his new one. He wasn’t convinced.
Emmanuelle’s fingers traced over the elastic rubber skin covering the metal bones of his arm. He felt every sweep and press of her touch, as real as it would have been if she’d touched his other arm.
“How does this feel?” she said, raising his arm up and moving it around to different positions.
His shoulder grated again when she pushed his arm out to the side and brought his wrist towards his chest.
She lowered his arm and disappeared behind him. His eyes closed when she touched his back, her hands warm against him. Her fingers pressed into his shoulder blade.
“I don’t think it’s your arm,” she breathed close to his ear.
He sighed and then got the better of himself. “So what is it?”
“Just the Lyran body not being able to withstand a few timely blows.” She placed her hand against his shoulder. It warmed his skin. “You must have landed pretty hard on it.”
He tried to look over his shoulder to see it but all he could see was her hand, small and slender, touching him. Her eyes spoke of concern when his met them.
“Do tell Jericho to go easier on you,” she said with a small frown.
He slid off the table and grabbed his shirt. Everyone was always going easy on him. He was a soldier. He wanted to be treated like one, as though he was just one of the squad. He was tired of being singled out because he was royalty. Had Balt and Acer encountered similar problems during training? He couldn’t imagine them paying attention to any order telling them to make the other soldiers go easier on them.
Putting his dark blue shirt on, he hid the pain it caused his shoulder and looked at Emmanuelle. She was still watching him, as though she expected an answer to what she’d said.
“No,” he said it flatly, without any emotion, and held her gaze. “I have to go.”
Emmanuelle watched him leave, knowing exactly where he was going to go. It was three months ago when she’d first noticed that he liked to think alone. She’d stumbled across him sitting staring out through the glass dome of the hydroponics deck of the ship. Whenever he was angry after coming to her, she always went there to watch him and ensure he was alright. She waited a few minutes and then walked through the ship, went up three levels, and walked out into the lush green of the deck. She loved it up here, with the flowers, grass and trees. They were all for research and to keep the air clean, but they were still beautiful. There wasn’t this much green on all her home world.
He wasn’t hard to find. She figured out which direction the Lyra system was in and found him sitting there, staring out of the window towards his home. She kept her distance so she didn’t disturb him. She just wanted to check that he was alright and then she’d leave him alone. Why did he always stare towards home? Did he miss his planet and his family?
He touched his shoulder a few times, rolling it back occasionally. It was bothering him. If he’d stayed in sickbay a few moments more, she would have given him some medication for it and healed the skin. She hadn’t wanted to push him though. The moment she’d met him, the first time he’d been placed on her inspection table, she’d realised that he was sensitive about his arm. He resented it somehow. She couldn’t figure out why. Surely it was better than having no arm at all? He would have been discharged from the imperial army if that had happened. His family had paid dearly to have him patched up so he could continue with the squad.
A crackling noise came from the metallic grey communicator band around her wrist and she placed her hand over it to stifle the noise so he wouldn’t hear. She frowned out of the window when she saw a ship approaching. It was a Lyran fighter. A glance at Remi revealed that he hadn’t noticed it. He was too lost in his thoughts.
She wished she could do something to make him feel better about his arm and being here. She wasn’t blind. He hated it when she called him by his title, but it really wasn’t her place to call him by his real name, no matter how many times he insisted. It was unfair on him though. She called the others by their names—Jericho, Alessandro, Pietr, Ambra. The difference was, calling them by their names wouldn’t get her discharged. To everyone on the ship, including his superiors, he was Lyra IV.
The doors to her right opened and a tall man entered, his build broad and muscular, and his dark blue flight suit stretched incredibly tight over his body like a second skin. He smiled, winked and nodded at her as he passed.
She blushed at the knowing edge to that smile. He wasn’t flirting. He’d been telling her that he knew what she was up to—watching Remi.
She shrank back behind a tree and continued to watch him, as she always would.
The man approached him and the moment Remi turned to see who it was, he was on his feet. She was surprised when Remi hugged the man. There was an exchange of very manly back patting and then they broke apart. Now that they were standing together, she could see the similarities between them, although the newcomer was taller than Remi. They shared black hair and charming good looks, and bodies to die for.
The newcomer was one of his brothers. She looked at the window, replaying the sight of the fighter ship coming into dock. Was it Captain Lyra II or Captain Lyra III? She’d never met either of them, so she couldn’t tell, and they all looked so similar—handsome, sinful and strong. She looked back at the men. Remi gave a sour gesture to his arm and then laughed when his brother said something. It was nice to see him smiling again.
She ducked behind the tree, breathing hard and desperate for Remi not to see her as they walked in her direction. They went past and Remi walked through the door. His brother said something and then turned back. Remi disappeared as the door closed.
She gasped when she realised the man was coming back to her. He caught her arm as she tried to dive out the other side of the bush and held her tight, pulling her back towards him.
“Are you in the habit of spying on my brother?” he said in a dangerous low tone. All the smiles that had been in his eyes a moment ago had disappeared. “What do you want with him?”
She shook her head when she realised that he thought she wanted to hurt Remi.
“It’s not like that,” she said quickly. “He came into my office hurt again today and I wanted to make sure he was alright.”
“So you followed him?” The man’s grip tightened and anger flashed in his pale blue eyes. Captain Lyra III. Out of the sons of Lyra, only he had eyes that colour.
“No, sir, I didn’t follow him. He always comes here when he needs to think. I only wanted to make sure he was alright... he gets so depressed about his arm.”
The man released her and his look shifted to reveal concern. “What’s wrong with it?”
“Nothing,” she said, feeling she was saying more than she should on the subject. “It’s fine, but he doesn’t like it. He never has done.”
“He’s never said anything to me.” There was an air of disbelief about him, and a hint of jealousy.
“He doesn’t say anything to anyone. I only know because I’m the one who is close enough to see it in his eyes when he comes into my office.”
“Your office?” he said and looked her over. “You’re a nurse?”
“They never had nurses like you when I was going through training,” he muttered darkly and frowned. “Do you take good care of my little brother?”
She nodded again and then added, “I keep an eye on him. He’s doing well in training but insists on getting hurt.”
“Insists?” The man looked confused.
“Your brother can take care of himself, as can all the men here, but they seem to insist on getting hurt so they end up on my inspection table.”
He gaze raked over her again, burning her. “I can’t blame them.”
She glared at him and pressed her hands against her hips.
“Do you pay such close attention to all your patients?” he said, his head cocking to one side as though he was considering getting hurt too.
She hesitated and then nodded. Was it a capital crime to lie to royalty? She wasn’t Lyran, but she did serve in their imperial army. Perhaps that gave her ties enough to Lyra to make it wrong.
“I do what I can to ensure all my patients get the help they need. Your brother is no exception.”
He looked over his shoulder towards the door. “Then I ask you to make him the exception. I ask you to ensure my brother’s happiness.”
He walked away, leaving her confused and alone. Ensure his brother’s happiness? She presumed he was talking about Remi’s hatred of his cybernetic arm and not something else.