Soon my spirit broke from my body, leaving it cold, forgotten, and I was looking down at myself. My eyes were open, and I appeared to be watching the straining, writhing trio. Good. The only thing that gave me away was my blank, unmoving expression, but I doubted Professor Sex and his apprentices would notice.

There was no furniture in the room, nothing to search, so I abandoned it. I didn’t know how long Targon sex lasted, so I quickened my step. Thankfully, there were no closed doorways.

Devyn hadn’t lied when he claimed he’d dismissed his guards. There were no males of any kind—that I could see—inside. There were only women, a handful of humans ranging in size and color, and all of them were naked.

Inside another bedroom, I searched a vanity. Found nothing. I came to a wooden chest. Searched and found nothing but sex toys. Every piece of furniture, every knickknack I stumbled upon, I searched. And found nothing. My frustration grew with every second that passed.

Finally, however, I came to a hallway that appeared different than the rest of the house. It was narrow and closed. At each section of the wall was an armed guard. This was it. I knew it. Felt it. The weapon-heavy men (also in kilts) stood sentry to whatever lay beyond the far door. In my spirit form, doors proved no obstacle. I brushed past the scantily clad man in front of the steel-like entrance. Where our bodies intertwined, I tingled. He must have felt it too, because he jumped.

“What was that?” he demanded, gripping his long, sharp blade. His narrowed gaze darted left and right.

“What?” the man next to him asked, stiffening.

Silence, then, “My mistake.”

“Bracken,” someone muttered. English translation: idiot.

I slipped through the door…and gasped. Inside the new room was what looked to be a doorway straight into the heavens. Black velvet sky, brilliant pinpricks of stars. It swirled. Beckoned. Was it some type of portal? Did the Targons not need to wait for solar flares? I wanted so badly to touch the liquid, but resisted the temptation. For now, at least. I couldn’t risk world travel without my physical body.

Besides, if itwas a portal, I could end up on a worse planet than Targon. I needed that necklace!

I looked around. Towering columns stretched to the domed ceiling, and white stone glistened all around me, leading up, up, up a staircase. At the top rested twelve pedestals. Curious and anxious, but most of all hopeful, I climbed the stairs. When I saw what lay inside each display case, I laughed. The necklace was here! I’d found it. Actually, I’d found eleven others, as well.

Each necklace boasted a different stone, though all were roughly the same size. Did the stone matter? I wondered. What if the stone held the magnetic force? What if the stone decided which planet to carry its wearer?

Which stone would take me to Earth?

I studied each. Blue, red, violet, green, amber. I paused, a memory surfacing. The amber stone had brought me here, which meant amber represented Targon. Nodding, I continued my search. Brown, gray…My attention abruptly returned to the brown, drinking in every detail. It was dull, a bit jagged, flat in color.

Devyn had worn it during the auction. Nearly jumping up and down with my exhilaration, I concentrated a mass of energy between my hands. The air soon swirled and sizzled, growing heavier, denser. My spirit, too, began to burn. Burn, burn. I grimaced, but didn’t stop. When the air held sufficient weight, I used the clustered molecules to lift the necklace from its perch and hover between my hands.

Instantly alarms erupted.

I quickly guided the energy and necklace high above me, and prayed no one looked up. A legion of guards stormed the chamber. They raised spears and blades, and their gazes shot throughout the room. Thankfully, they couldn’t see me.

I cast a longing glance to the dappled pool and raced out the open door, taking the path I’d traveled to get here. All the while, the necklace hovered above me. Along the way I must have navigated a wrong turn, because I didn’t enter the room that held my body. Damn it! I raced onward, rushing into every room I found, rushing past the guards headed toward the necklace room.

Finally—thank God—I found my body. The king and women were gone, but my body was just where I’d left it. I entered quickly and discovered that my muscles were still frozen. The necklace fell from the air and landed on the pillow beside me. If I could move, I could escape amid the confusion. I could hide the necklace.

I just had to move!

I struggled and fought for what seemed an hour, all the while remaining immobile. The king at last remembered my presence and strode back into the room. His amber eyes were narrowed as he knelt in front of me.

“How did you do it?” he asked, the words stilted, halting.

Even my lips refused to move.

“Answer me,” he growled.

I glared up at him and flicked my gaze to my mouth. Realizing I couldn’t speak, he finally released me from the paralysis.

“Do what?” I scooted away from him. The action sent a sharp ache all the way through me.

“How did you steal the torque? My Earth torque is missing, woman, and only you have an interest in it.”

“I’ve been right here.” Hoping I appeared nonchalant, I covered the necklace with my butt. “You saw to that. How could I have stolen anything?”

He reached out, intending to search me. I kicked his chest, and he stumbled backward a few feet. A mere second later, I found my arms and lower body frozen again. Dark fury exploded through my veins. I hated how easily he subdued me.

His hands roved over my every curve and hollow, but he found nothing. His frown deepening, he scooped me up and set me aside. That’s when he saw the gold band. Scowling, he lifted it and shoved it in my face. “How did you get this?” When I remained silent, he added, “I didn’t immobilize your mouth this time. Answer me.”

A wave of helplessness joined my fury, swirling together in an escalating tempest. How could I win against such powerful telekinesis?

The answer hit me with the force of pyre-fire.

I couldn’t fight him like this, but I could fight him another way. Vulnerability be damned. My lips twisted in an evil smile. “Why don’t I show you?”

I centered quickly, and my spirit sprang from my body. In seconds, I was behind him. I focused energy between my hands, then shoved it at him, nailing him in the head. He crashed sideways, but fluidly jumped to his feet. Scowling, he spun away from my body and toward my spirit.

When he failed to see what had hit him, his eyes widened. “What’s going on?”

Next I shot a burst of energy dead center between his legs, hitting his precious penis with enough force to drop him to his knees, groaning in pain. He looked back at my body, then whipped back to search the center of the room.

“How are you doing this?” he demanded.

Now that my emotions had been released, I couldn’t hold back. I gathered clusters of energy and continued to toss them at him. Over and over, with all the fury and helplessness raging inside me. He fell, and I used the thickened air to gather his knife. The sharp blade hovered in the air. As his eyes widened, I inched it closer to his neck.

He stilled, not daring to breathe.

“How does it feel to be helpless against another’s powers?” I taunted. The words were a whisper of wind, but he understood.

He opened his mouth to yell for help.

“Call your guards,” I said, pressing the knife even closer, “and it will be the last sound you ever make.”

His voice gurgled to quiet.

“That’s better.” Keeping the knife steady with one hand, I used my other to gather enough energy and tug off the gold band anchored at his neck.

“The moment you release me, I’ll be able to kill your body. A spirit cannot live without a host.”

“That’s true,” I admitted.

“How long do you think you can hold me like this?”

“As long as it takes. Are you an honorable man, Devyn?”

From the corner of my eyes, I saw him reaching up, intending to grab the knife and throw it away from him.

“Uh, uh, uh,” I said, and pushed more energy toward him, digging the tip a little deeper into his neck. A drop of amber-colored blood formed.

A growl of frustration parted his mouth, but his hands stilled.

“Are you an honorable man?” I asked again.

“Yes, damn you.”

“Then vow to me here and now to send me home at the next solar flare, and I will let you live.”


“No? I can kill you now, reenter my body, and escape this place.”

“You would never make it past my guards. They were chosen for their telekinetic abilities, as well as their sadistic natures. When they spot you, and they will, they will make you regret the decision to leave me.”

“I bet you thought I’d never be able to hold a blade at your throat, either.”


“You’re not going to kill me,” he finally said. Sweat dripped from his temples. “You’re a woman and a Raka. Your people might be rare, but I know you are peaceful. Sensual. Violence is used only by the ruling class.”

“Maybe I’m part of the ruling class, because you see, Devyn, I’m more than a government agent. I’m an assassin. I’ve killed countless people, and killing you will be no hardship. Why do you think I let EenLi capture me? Why do you think my man was trying to ‘buy’ me? So I could kill EenLi and destroy his slave ring.”

The Targon stiffened.

“I’m willing to let you live, however.” The moment I’d met those women in the cell, my goal had ceased to be proving my own worth or being known as the best. My goal had changed to one of savior. The women, Lucius. And I’d make a deal with the devil himself to do so. “What do you say, Targon? Your life for a ticket home.”

“Do I get to bed you for my troubles?”

“No. I will let you kiss my feet, though.”

He snorted. One of his hands tangled roughly in his hair as he considered my offer. Obviously, no one had ever gotten the best of him, and he didn’t know what to make of me—a true threat or a novel amusement. Had I been here on vacation, I might have enjoyed the king’s antics.

“What do you say?” I demanded. “I’m growing impatient.”

“I paid good money for you,” he whined.

“So I’ll pay you back.”

“You cannot pay me back the two warriors I gave up for you.”

“What if I promise not to cut off your penis? Will that help alleviate your sense of loss?”

He gulped. “We have ourselves a deal, Raka.”

Chapter 25

Though I remained on alert, I released my energy-hold on the knife and necklace and they clanged to the floor. I quickly reentered my body and popped to my feet. Devyn stayed true to his word and didn’t call for his men, nor did he try to kill me. He merely pushed to his feet, then dusted off his kilt (or whatever the hell that skirt thing was called). All the while, a dark expression tightened his handsome features.

I gathered the fallen items and faced him directly. “You got something to say?”

“I am very angry about this.”

“You’ll get over it. How long until the next solar flare?”

At first, he didn’t answer. He shoved a hand through his hair and stared up at the ceiling, before finally expelling a long breath. “A solar flare isn’t needed. Come,” he said, the single word whipping out with the force of a bullet. He spun on his heel.

I followed after him, still not dropping my guard. “What do you mean, one is not needed?”

“Solar flares are only needed to travel from Earth, not Targon. Here we use the Skyway.”

The gel-like pool, I realized. I tucked that information away, knowing I’d have to give a full report to Michael.

When Devyn and I strode into the narrow hallway that led into the white stone room where I’d found the necklaces, the guards posted at the walls stood at perfect attention. I was so agitated, so ready to be home, my limbs were shaking.

“Open,” Devyn said.

Two of the men immediately complied, prying the doors apart. Devyn and I slipped inside. As the doors closed behind us, Devyn said, “This human of yours.” His tone displayed a complete lack of interest, but I knew better. He didn’t turn to look at me. “What makes him so special? And do not tell me he is yours. There is a reason, something that sets him apart.”

I leapt up the stairs two at a time, the king right on my heels. This man was taking me to Lucius and the enslaved women, so I was feeling generous toward him. “He stirs something inside me,” I answered. “He fires my blood in a way I don’t understand.”

“I could do the same. I promise you.”

“Perhaps.Perhaps not.”

A pause. Then, “What if I am taking you back to Earth simply to kill your human and get him out of my way? If he’s not already dead,” he added. He took the necklace I still held and wrapped it around his neck.

“He’s not, and you know I’ll kill you if you hurt him.” I had placed a lot of trust in this one self-centered man. But Iwas prepared to kill him at any time—if he didn’t kill me first. I was willing to take the chance, though.

“I want you for my own,” he said. “I haven’t tried to hide that fact.”

“You do have some pride, don’t you?”

“Not really.” A wicked twinkle entered his eyes, and he grabbed my hand, jerking me to a stop. Light from the Skyway caressed his face, illuminating his pale skin. His dark hair wisped over his forehead. “Why don’t we strike another bargain, you and I, hmm? I’ll give you my royal oath to help you save your man if you’ll give me a single night with you.”