In the second installment of the Seeder Saga, Rain In The Moonlight, we meet our girl Rain, a rebel from the River Valley who has previously tried to kill the Hunter they brought in from off-planet to capture the rebel leader. Unfortunately, Ajan had a few tricks up his sleeve and managed to capture her before she could get the job done. Now they’re stuck in a boat together, headed downstream to the River Valley, where he plans on finishing his mission….and Rain plans on finishing hers.
He’d been staring at her all morning, and Rain was good and tired of it.
By sunrise, they had reached the foot of the mountain and Ajan was able to procure a small boat and a few provisions from a merchant who lived along the banks of the river.
Once aboard the boat, he’d set her near the front and grabbed the paddle. They’d been moving at a steady pace most of the morning, only having to slow occasionally when the river narrowed or they ran into a section of rapids.
When the sun was at its highest, he dug some bread and dried meat out of his bag, and a flask of water. He leaned forward to hand it to her without a word. He hadn’t said anything all morning, and he hadn’t stopped looking at her, either. She’d felt his eyes on her the entire time.
“Stop staring at me like that,” she said, over her shoulder
He tore off a piece of bread with his long fingers. “Am I making you nervous?”
“No.” She turned her body to face him, just to prove him wrong.
“Yes, I am.” Ajan took a pull from his water flask. “I give you a strange feeling in your stomach.”
She snorted, and continued eating.
“You’re remembering the way I touched you,” he said. “And so am I.”
“That explains the feeling in my stomach. Nausea.” She wiped her fingers on her tunic as best she could. “Am I allowed to relieve myself? It might eliminate that ‘strange feeling’ of yours entirely.”
Ajan was annoyed enough that he toyed with idea of warning her not to take her leggings down anywhere near him, but he thought better of it. He unbound her hands instead, his touch lingering on the pulse points at her wrists. She gave him a disgruntled look, pulling her arms free and shaking them to get some feeling back.
“Are we pulling over, or are do I have to hang myself over the side?” she asked, sourly.
He stared at her as if weighing his options. “I’ll stop the boat.”
He turned to set the remainder of his food down, and he heard her go over the side with a splash.
Ajan let out a long stream of curse words in his native tongue, paddling after her.
Rain knew he wouldn’t catch her. There wasn’t a faster swimmer anywhere among the people of the river valley. She’d learned to swim before she learned to walk. She also knew they were coming up on more rapids that led off into a series of branching tributaries. She could lose him easily here. There was no way the boat could maneuver around the rocks near the bank.
She stayed near the shoreline and surface briefly, risking a glance back. Nothing. Maybe he got caught in the current – it had a strong pull to center. She didn’t dwell on it more than a moment before she dove again.
She could feel the gathering turbulence of the rapids approaching, and fought to keep herself near the shore. If she hit the rocks too far too center, this would be all for nothing. The river began winding through a series of rock clusters. Rain pulled herself to the flat side of one as she surfaced again for air. She saw the boat coming up behind her and smiled. He’d never be able to hold the boat through the rapids if he was trying to fish her out.
Rain dove again, the exhilaration of swimming free lending new strength to her strokes and kicks as she navigated the growing current. The river began to shallow and there was increase in the size and amount of the rocks. She had just found a passage between two large boulders near the shoreline when something jerked her leg hard, and she realized she was stuck. She turned immediately to get free, and found herself face-to-face with Ajan, who held her by the foot.
She struggled, kicking viciously at his face as she tried to twist out of his grip. He simply hauled himself along her body, climbing her leg hand-over-hand until he had an arm around her torso. Her lungs were bursting when he finally dragged her out of the current and up onto the shoreline.
She fought him the entire way, and as soon as he threw her onto the bank, she sprang to her feet and took off at a run. She only made it a few steps before he hit her from behind, slamming her facedown into the spongy ground and remaining on top of her, pinning her there.
“Let me up!” She spat out a mouthful of mud.
“You made me lose my boat,” he said, angrily. “It just hit the rapids.” His eyes narrowed as he watched it break apart against a boulder, its contents tossed into the churning water.
“Good!” She struggled again, managing to reach up behind her and get a handful of his hair. She yanked hard.
“Ow!’ He flipped her over, pinning her arms down next to her shoulders as he sat on her.
“The next time you pull my hair,” he promised through gritted teeth, “You’ll be under me and you’ll be enjoying it.”
“Scum! Get off me!”
“No, I think I like this. You’re much softer than you look, you know.”
Rain froze. Ajan’s nostrils were flaring, but he wasn’t panting. He didn’t even look winded. He looked like he was fully capable of doing exactly what he promised..
He smiled coldly at her as he reached across, pulling both of her hands into one of his. His fingers bit into her wrists, and she couldn’t budge them. Laying his full weight atop her and pinning her down, he skimmed his free hand down her side, following the line of her tunic, and then coming up underneath it.
Rain sucked in a breath, biting her lip hard. She wouldn’t scream. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. He slid his fingers inside the top seam of her leggings, and her eyes blazed certain death as she glared at him. He left his hand there, stroking her skin a moment longer before he gave a strong yank and pulled them down to her knees. She reared up, trying to kick him again, but he turned his torso, loosing her hands. She beat on his back as he pulled off her shoes and pulled the leggings free of her thrashing lower body.
He swiveled again, and grabbed her hand seconds before her nails would have raked his face open. Ajan gave a loud sigh as he pinned her down again, settling himself between her legs and restraining her hands once more. Rain twisted and thrashed beneath him, but he had her too securely. It wasn’t long before she stilled, panting heavily.
“Are you done?” Ajan asked, patiently.
“Are you?” she retorted. “I’m sure this won’t take long.”
His eyes narrowed as he reached up, binding her wrists securely with her leggings, and then rolled off her and pulled her to her feet. “Much as I enjoy the feel of you beneath me, we have a lot of land to cross now that the boat is gone. I’d like to do some of it before nightfall.”
He reached into his boot, pulling his spare knife from its sheath, and with a scowl, Rain started walking.
“Stick to the riverbank,” he ordered. “We’ll follow it down.”
And then you’ll be right where I want you, she smiled at the thought.
Here are a few comments from my reviewers:
“Ajan and Rain have really great chemistry from the start. There’s adventure and romance (not your typical, everyday romance) and the characters are very fleshed out.”
“This is such an awesome series. I love the romance aspect of it. The characters are intriguing and is incredibly well written. Loved it!”
Rain In The Moonlight is now a Kindle Exclusive! If you loved Sky Woman, you’re going to really enjoy this one!