Tag Archive | Lone Wolf

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

What better way to celebrate than to publish another book? Look for the newest offering from Dellani Oakes at Amazon today!

Lone Wolf Tales is an exploration of my sci-fi world. I have taken characters from the Lone Wolf Series and delved more deeply into their backgrounds. As I wrote the Lone Wolf books, I realized that there were so many other stories I didn’t have time to tell there, things I wanted to discover and to share with my readers.

Photo by ZD Parish

Photo by ZD Parish

And Itza Danced – Itza is a character who is introduced in The Kahlea – Book 4. She is an ancestor of The Champion, Sta Hyt Mai. And Itza Danced reveals a little about her origins, and sets her on the path of becoming the First Champion of Bankaywan.

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Blackened – This short story, explores an incident in Wil’s life that he has done his best to forget. This chilling short is also included in the anthology, Nightfalls: Notes from the End of the World.

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Brothers at Arms – Wil and Marc weren’t always super human, thought they did manage to survive every hellhole they ended up in. Hand picked for a special Super Soldier program, their lives changed dramatically. Originally included, in a much shorter form, in Lone Wolf, I decided to edit it out of the novel and make a longer, more detailed version for a stand alone story. It’s a bit more grim than most of my other stories, but it was a very dark period of Wil’s life.

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Call Me Penny – introduces a character who, unfortunately, doesn’t make it into the series. I had originally written this to be Lill’s origin story (read Brothers at Arms), but once I reread Lone Wolf, I realized that it couldn’t be her tale. Instead, I used another character from A Little White Lie, also in this volume. I like the character of Penny and I’m glad I was able to find a way to tell more of her story.

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Fractured – examines the origin of a very important character in Wil’s life. He doesn’t remember her, but her life is destined to intertwine with his. More of her story will be told in A Wall in Time – a Lone Wolf Prequel. (No publication date in mind yet.)

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Gone But Not Forgotten – This story isn’t so much from Wil’s past, as from Matilda’s. The reader is drawn into the hot, dusty, miserable life on the planet of Saltulle, where Matilda was born and grew up. What little moments of joy there are, have to be savored and treasured. Unfortunately, life in the Mining Guild is also full of dangers, something Matilda discovers all too young.

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A Little White Lie – brings the characters of Penny and Wil together. The Galactic Marines have finally realized that allowing the earlier groups of Super Soldiers to live, might have been a mistake. As such, they have devised a method of ridding themselves of this nuisance. It’s a real mission, but Wil and his team aren’t apprised of everything their superiors have in store for them.

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Pain Killer – shows a side of Wil we rarely see—one of sorrow and remorse. Dealing with the death of a friend, he’s none too happy when Greyling pulls him into a mission that’s so easy, she calls it a cake walk—or is it?

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There Shall Be Great Rejoicing – We know and love Champion Sta Hyt Mai, the Zarbani warrior who holds such amazing powers. However, she wasn’t always such a formidable opponent as she is now. This story explores her humble beginnings and takes us through her early life, before she becomes the most powerful woman on Bankaywan.

I hope you enjoy these nine tales. I had a lot of fun writing them and I hope one day to write stories about other characters in the series. I found such a strong bond with Wil, Matilda and Mai, that telling their tales was easy. The others are presenting minor difficulties. Such is the way of the creative process.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

Lone Wolf Tales is now available at Amazon. Buy your copy today!

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I Love Dialogue from Wall of Time, a Lone Wolf Prequel

lone wolf first four coversNeeding help with his increasingly bizarre and unique problem (having visions of his daughter, born over 300 years in his past) Wil goes to see his—well, friend is probably too strong a word—someone he doesn’t feel like killing (often). Abudali is a mystic who lives on a frozen world in a very posh cave (for a hermit). He agrees to help Wil, but after some consideration, Wil isn’t sure he’s ready for the type of help Abu has in mind.

Wil’s announcement that he was leaving fell on deaf ears. Abudali ignored what he said and smiled.

“I’m really going,” Wil told him. “I have things to do. I have a schedule to keep.”

“Of course you do. Go then, I won’t keep you.” Instead of arguing, Abu was giving him the brush off.

“Don’t you want me to? I thought for sure you’d try to make me stay.”

“How could an old, feeble man like me make a strong, virile man like you do something he doesn’t want? Go if that will make you happy. Don’t find out the answers to your burning questions. Go!” He shoved Wil toward the door, nearly knocking him back a step.

“All right, Abu. You win.”

“Excuse me? You wanted to go five seconds ago.”

“But maybe you’re right. I should stay and let you find out what they did to me.”

“Now he acts like he’s doing me a favor! You don’t have the dedication! One minute you’re leaving, the next you want to stay. Which is it?”

“May I stay, Abu?” Wil asked him, much subdued.

“Since you ask, then yes. But you have to agree to do what I tell you, even if you think it’s silly.”

“Agreed.”

“Good. We begin in an hour. Now is a time for eating.”

“You’re not going to feed me anything that gives me the shits for over two hours, are you?”

“No.”

“Or makes me puke, or anything like that?”

“Of course not. Whatever gave you that idea? Really, Wil, you’re entirely too paranoid.”

“I wonder,” Wil mumbled as he ate and drank sparingly.

Abu pressed another cup of tea on him. It wasn’t until a few minutes later that Wil realized it had been a bad idea to take the other cup of tea.

“What did you put in that?”

“I might have added a little Dimboloo Root.”

“What? Are you trying to kill me?”

Dimboloo Root was another highly toxic weed that had mind expanding capabilities. In the wrong dosage, it was lethal. Even his body would have trouble metabolizing it.

“You said you wouldn’t argue with me,” Abu told him as his ears wiggled and his nose exploded into purple flowers.

“I know what I said,” Wil struggled to stand. “But that was before my mouth went to sleep and my knees urinated pink frogs. What the hell is in that stuff? My fingers. Look at my fingers, Abu! They won’t work like this. How can I hold a guitar pick and strum the monkey?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Wil.”

Abu’s ears now looked like pontoons and his nose hair had grown at an alarming rate. It hung down to his armpits.

“You can’t strum the monkey, you have to pluck it.”

“Right.” Wil sat heavily, knowing something wasn’t right, but not sure what it was. “Why do my eyes feel like they’re melting into my kneecaps?”

“It’s the Dimboloo. You’ll be fine soon.”

“Make my pants stop burning, will you? I can’t seem to put it out.”

“Certainly, my son.” Abu patted Wil absently, spreading the flames instead of putting them out.

Wil wasn’t worried anymore because a flock of birds hovered over him with buckets. “That’s better. The ducks put it out. What are we doing?”

“Listen to me, Wil. I’m going to go into your mind now. You mustn’t fight me. The Dimboloo will help you relax. I don’t want you to fight me. Don’t attack unless I tell you to. But I’m going to give you a special code word. If I say the word barnacle you will attack whatever target I give you. If you don’t hear barnacle you will not attack. Is that clear?”

“Yes. You’ll say barnacle. Is that before or after I eat the ice cream?”

“Forget the ice cream.”

“Then how about the ducks.”

“Piss on the ducks. It puts the fire out.”

The conversation would have gone on like that awhile longer, but Wil felt as if someone had driven a steel spike in his hand. He knew how that felt, because someone had done that to him once. He didn’t like it much then either.

An old lady sat in a rocking chair wearing a brown dress and a tan shawl. She had really long ears and sharp teeth.

“Abu, if that’s your wife…. Whoa!”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Wil. I have no wife.”

“I do, don’t I?” Wil tried to put on a blue flowered hat, but it melted. “Is that her?” He shuddered. “I’ve got sick taste, man. She could be my grandmother.”

“Wil, focus! You’re letting your mind wander. Enough of that!”

He slapped Wil sharply across the cheek. Wil’s head snapped sharply back and his eyes crossed. When he refocused, he was able to get a grip on what he was seeing. No, the walls weren’t melting into puddles of cotton candy. A camel wasn’t passing through the eye of a needle and his fingernails were not sixty-two inches long. However, he did feel and see Abu walking slowly through his mind, exploring.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

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Meet Cute from Wall of Time, A Lone Wolf Prequel

lone wolf frontMeet Cute is a theatrical term used most often in romantic comedies. It is the first meeting, sometimes contrived, of the two main characters.

The following is from The Wall of Time, which is a prequel to my sci-fi Lone Wolf Series. Although these two have met before, I like this meeting between Wil and Valkyrie. It gives us a feel for Wil’s character prior to meeting Matilda.

Once in the bar, Wil sidled up to the counter, ordered his drink and had a look around at the available women. There weren’t many. It was either too late or too early for a good selection and Wil was picky. Being a man who had always been able to selective, he chose carefully. He was strong and quick, but that was no reason why he should put himself in danger by taking the wrong woman to bed. He’d found out, with nearly fatal consequences, how foolish that was.

He had almost made up his mind to go try his luck with a brunette in the corner, when a tall, leggy blonde entered. She was beautiful in a dangerous, lethal way. She carried herself like a well seasoned warrior, though she didn’t appear to be any older than he himself. Her golden hair was secured by what looked like black and silver chopsticks, but his cyber eye revealed they were really sheathed stilettos.

A feral, lupine grimace twitched his full lips. It was what passed as a smile for a man known as the Lone Wolf. Most people were terrified when he smiled like that. The woman, who had just turned his way, caught his eye and gave an equally chilling smile of her own.

She swaggered over the where he stood. Dressed in bright red leather pants and bustier, she sported a long, black leather duster and high, metal heeled, cowboy boots. A powerful handgun rested on her left hip. A whip graced the other.

Wil’s smile grew broader when she came up to him, standing less than three inches away, her breasts brushing his chest, her hips a whisper from his. Reaching out one leather clad hand, she grabbed his crotch in a very friendly fashion. His right hand held his drink, but his left glided down her arm in a familiar caress, his cyber eye checking her hands and feet for weapons. He found plenty, smiling.

“Hello, Val, how are you?”

“I’m better now, Wil. Good to see you.” Her hand stayed on his crotch, rubbing absently.

“What brings you to these parts, Val? I thought you were working Vandaran space.”

She shrugged one shoulder casually. “Vandarans are so boring. A bunch of overzealous, religious mooses. Meese?” She rolled her eyes, not caring if she got the right word or not.

“I think plural and singular are the same, moose.”

“Oh, who gives a shit, Wil? Only you would even know something like that.” She took a sip of his drink, licking her lips seductively.

“Which is part of my charm, Val.” He nibbled her neck, his hand moving to her hip in a very proprietary way.

“This is your charm, baby.” She grabbed and kneaded at his pants. “Right here.”

“Is that an invitation, Valkyrie?”

“A command performance, Wilhelm. Where can we go?”

“I have a ship. Five blocks to the spaceport.”

“Too far,” she bit his lower lip, pulling it with her teeth. She put her right foot on the rail below the bar, leaning hard against him. “Right here, right now.”

“Val, you may be an exhibitionist, but I don’t do that.”

“Shy, lover?”

He chuckled softly. “Paranoid. I don’t want to be doing something fun and get shot in the back. Tends to spoil the romance.”

“Oh, true.” She pouted slightly.

“I’d hate to rob a nice girl like yourself of her orgasms.”

“Always so considerate. Compromise. A room at the mercenary hostel? That’s where I’m staying. It’s two blocks away.”

“Lead the way, sugar. I’m all yours.” He finished his drink, plunking the glass on the bar.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

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Lone Wolf Returns!

Lone Wolf Returns Saturday, June 11, 2016

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Mining Guild Chairman, Emmelia Spenser, is a smart, well educated, attractive and formidable woman. She knows how to work a room to get what she wants. She’s not above a little subtle manipulation to make that happen.

Ssylvenia was always prompt. Emmelia looked up in relief. If there was one person on the board she could count on, it was Ssylvenia Louttice. They had been friends for many years. As she walked in the office, Ssylvenia was already chittering excitedly. Her translator couldn’t keep up. Emmelia did her best to calm her friend so she could get a cohesive story. What she finally learned didn’t make her happy. Apparently, the police had contacted the Marines despite assurances that it wasn’t necessary. A contingent was waiting in her outer office to address the Board. In a rare moment of self-recrimination, Chairman Spenser nearly pulled out her short, dark hair. Taking a deep breath, she released a loud, piercing, primal scream. Ssylvenia stood impassively, waiting for her friend to catch her breath.

“If you’ve quite finished,” she chittered. “The Marines are right outside. I feel sure that set their teeth on edge. I’m surprised they aren’t rushing in here, guns blazing!”

Emmelia patted her friend’s pinchers. “It’s all right, Sissy. The room is soundproofed. Show them in. I’m able to cope now.”

Holding herself as if she thought this was a terrible idea, Ssylvenia let the Marines in. The five men were resplendent in their blue and red dress uniforms. Chairman Spenser greeted them calmly, a genteel smile on her face. Not betraying her thoughts in her features, she mused, Where the hell to the Marines recruit from? I never saw such handsome, exquisitely put together men in all my life!

Sincere smile pasted on her lips, she held out her hand to the commanding officer as they were introduced. He took it in his, fingers lightly lingering on hers.

“How do you do, Chairman Spenser. I’m Captain Benjamin Drexel of the Hannibal.”

“Captain Drexel, how very nice to meet you, sir. How may I be of assistance?” Ooh, Captain Drexel, I hope you aren’t married!

Drexel was an older version of Wil VanLipsig. He was fortyish, tall, muscular, tanned, with close cropped, dark brown hair peppered with gray at the temples. His upper lip sported a full, and very luxuriant mustache. His eyes were nearly as black and piercing as VanLipsig’s. His nose looked as if it had been broken at least once, but it lent rather a nice touch to a face which would otherwise have been too handsome for his own good, or hers, for that matter.

“Please, won’t you all be seated?”

She gestured to the chairs in front of them. They waited for her to sit gracefully behind her massive oak desk. Drexel and the other officer sat. The rest stood in a semicircle behind them. Sissy hovered behind Emmelia, not sure what to do.

“Ssylvenia, please have a seat, dear. I’m sure Captain Drexel and his men won’t mind. Ssylvenia is a member of the board. Anything you wish to say may be said in front of her in strictest confidence.”

Emmelia sat languidly in her chair, for once glad of her prominent chest and deep cleavage. It seemed to be of interest to Captain Drexel and several of his men. She’d always dressed a bit daringly, if professionally. Today she wore a navy, pinstripe suit with a dangerously short, flared skirt. Instead of a blouse, she wore only a matching vest. It showed her ample bosom to great advantage. She leaned forward, enjoying the feeling of power she had over them.

“How may I be of assistance?” she repeated, drawing their attention back to her face. She fought the impulse to bat her eye lashes. It was too early for that ploy yet. Let them sweat a bit.

Drexel focused on her face with difficulty. He cleared his throat a few times, so Emmelia poured him a glass of water, carrying it around to him. Instead of sitting back down at her desk, she sat on the edge directly in front of him, crossing her legs, toes mere inches from his knee.

“I do hope this helps. Sometimes the air in this place gets a little dry.” Leaning forward just enough to give him a better peek, she handed him the glass.

His ears reddened slightly as he accepted it. Sipping politely, Drexel nearly choked on his water as the open toes of her backless pumps carelessly brushed his right knee. She smiled her sincere smile at Drexel again. To do the man credit, he didn’t drop his glass, but straightened his shoulders, sitting upright in his seat.

“Madame Chairman, there have been complaints to us from the Navigation Guild, as well as the planetary government. Frankly, they want to know just what the hell is going on here!”

Spenser giggled, something she hadn’t done in at least twenty years. “Captain Drexel, I assure you as I have the Nav Guild and the planetary government, we’re about to embark on a very dangerous mission in a few days. The area we intend to mine may have hostiles about. We don’t want our mining ship to be blown out of the sky with all those miners aboard! The warships are here to insure their safety.”

Drexel mulled that over a minute, his dark brows blending into one as he frowned. Pursing his lips, he reflected a moment longer before he spoke. “That explains the Guild ships, Madame Chairman. It doesn’t explain the presence of the mercenaries.”

“That was a decision made by Commandant John Riley. I’m afraid he got somewhat over zealous in his desire for tight security and safety for our mining teams. I’ve already rescinded his all-call and I’ve begun to send the mercenaries home. However, many of them don’t want to leave. May I prevail upon your troops to aid us in ridding this peaceful planet of their unruly presence? They’ve been somewhat disruptive, as I’m sure you’re aware.” She leaned toward Drexel in a conspiratorial manner, her mouth near his left ear, her breasts struggling against the silk of her vest. “I was about to call you myself, this situation is becoming quite hazardous. I do so hope you can help me?”

Raising pale blue eyes to his dark ones, she gave him a plaintive, helpless look. Emmelia settled back on the desk, legs crossed, leaning on her hands, chest well forward. Drexel’s ears were quite red and he stammered as he spoke. The open toes of her pumps were mere centimeters from his knee. Her skirt was more than halfway up her thigh, challenging him with its milky, smooth closeness.

“Yes, yes, Ma’am. I assure you that you can count on our assistance in this matter. I’ll order some of my troops down to see to it.” He rose somewhat awkwardly, hat in front of his muscular thighs, signaling to his men.

Chairman Spenser stood, leaning toward him again, nearly chest to chest. “Thank you ever so much, Captain Drexel. I just knew I could count on the Marines.” She pouted prettily, raising an eyebrow. “Why don’t you come back when you get off duty. We can continue this discussion privately.” Lifting her pale, blue eyes to his face imploringly, she allowed her eyelids to flutter briefly.

He nodded curtly, gulping, his throat suddenly constricted. His ears burned red and the flush rose above his collar. “I’d like that, Ma’am,” he choked.

She ran her finger along his shoulder, tapping a button on his shirt front. “Excellent. I look forward to our little chat. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a Board meeting in a few minutes. Thank you all so very much for your time.”

She held her hand out to Captain Drexel. He didn’t know whether to shake it or kiss it, so did neither. He held it for a moment, bowed briefly over her fingers, hesitantly letting go. As he strutted out the door, he spun around, snapped a sharp salute, clicking his heels together before his corporal shut the door with a snap. She waited for a count of ten before turning to Sissy.

“Well, what do you think?” She spun around with her arms flung out happily.

Sissy eyed her critically. The computer voice couldn’t effectively mimic her derisive tone. “That was the most disgusting display I’ve seen you make in years. I can’t imagine what you thought you were doing. I think Captain Drexel had better be very careful!”

Emmelia threw back her head, laughing unashamedly. “Oh, Sissy, you’re always letting me know how bad I am.” She exhaled slowly, gazing at the door as if she could see Drexel walk down the hall. “I hope to be very bad indeed.”

Turning toward the board room, she thrust back her shoulders, putting on her professional manner once more. “Time to work, Sissy. Let’s hope the Board charms as easily as Captain Drexel.”

Sissy clicked and chittered behind her. “I rather doubt the Board could handle that little performance. All of them would fall over dead from the excitement.”

Laughing happily, Emmelia walked into the board room. Sissy followed, her chittering indecipherable by the translator, but Emmelia knew her friend was laughing.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

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Lone Wolf Is Coming Soon!

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Lone Wolf Returns June 11, 2016

After parting from the others, Wil and Matilda decided to walk around for awhile. She wanted to see the older, non-tourist area of town. They strolled casually down streets that grew progressively narrow and shabby. Wil put his arm protectively around her shoulders. As they wandered the seedier parts of town, they walked past a sign advertising: Lady Lena, Psychic Readings.

It had an arrow pointing down the street. In the next block, another sign. Learn your future! See Lady Lena to find out what the stars hold for you! There was another arrow. A third sign in the next block said: Does he love you? Ask Lady Lena!

Matilda eyed this last sign for a few moments. “Hm, that’s a very good question to ask Lady Lena. Maybe I should find her.”

Wil turned her toward him, her fingers entwined with his. “If you really have to ask someone, why not ask me?” He kissed her gently.

“Do you love me, Wil?”

“More than life, Romance.”

Walking a little further, a large sign stood in a front yard. In screaming orange, chartreuse and gold, it said: What does your future hold? Ask Lady Lena! No appointment necessary! Walk in and have a seat!

She tugged his hands. “Let’s go in and see her.” She pointed to a small Open sign in the window.

Wil held back cautiously, not from fear but courtesy. He knew how telepaths reacted to him and he didn’t want to hurt anyone. “Baby, if she is a real telepath—they don’t like me much.”

“Oh, how could she be? It’ll be fun. I’ve always wanted to have a psychic reading done. Come on!” She tugged his hand doggedly.

He reluctantly followed her to the porch of an old house on a back street. The door opened quietly inward, the hinges smooth and soundless. A dry, raspy voice emanated from a back room behind the faded curtain of cheap green beads. “You are expected, children. Come in and be quick!”

The room was Spartan with a single round table top sitting on crates. Three chairs surrounded it. The small room smelled of decay and mold. A timeworn ceiling fan moved the thick, moist air with very little effect. The beads jangled aside, moved by a gnarled, age spotted hand, more like a crustaceous claw than a human appendage. An old woman stepped through. The ancient, wrinkled face gazed up at them. Her clear, bright green eyes bored into theirs; steady, calm, unwavering. Wisps of thin, white hair were pushed back with another frail and trembling clawlike hand. She wore a faded black woolen dress; long sleeved, even in the oppressive heat. Around her tiny shoulders was a white knit shawl.

She smiled up at Wil, then turned to Matilda. “Welcome, my dears. Please sit.”

Wil remained standing. Matilda sat across from the old lady who hobbled to her seat. She was the tiniest woman Matilda had ever seen. Just over four feet tall, her body was frail and thin. Her gaze compelled Wil to sit reluctantly at Matilda’s side.

“Let me see your hands, child,” she said to Matilda.

Slowly, she raised her hands, holding them across the table. The old woman reached over gracefully, taking Matilda’s hands in hers. Like moths in the dark, her touch was light, fluttering. Lady Lena studied them, muttering to herself.

“These are good, strong hands. You’ve worked hard in your life, my dear.”

Lady Lena turned the palms up, tracing the lines with one delicate finger. A hiss escaped her lips. She took the other hand, tracing those lines too. She studied the palms a few moments longer, going over and over the lifeline with her nail. With a decisive nod, Lady Lena drew a dome shaped object from her lap. It could have been wood or metal, it was impossible to tell, for it was more ancient than she. The lid was dark and sleek, polished to a dull sheen, as if hundreds of hands had held it, caressing it tenderly for centuries. It was devoid of all ornamentation, with no visible seams.

Chanting, she closed her eyes, moving her hands over the box once, twice, three times. She pressed both hands on the sides of the domed container. Leaning across the table, she slid the box toward them.

“Place your right hands on the dome. If it opens, take what is offered.”

“And if it doesn’t open?” Wil asked.

The old woman’s eyes flashed brilliant green, a suppressed fire dwindled to almost nothing, throbbing in the iris. “If it doesn’t open, then I have wasted our time.” Lifting her chin, she gestured sharply to the box. “Touch it.”

They did as she told them. The dome felt warm, pulsating and sleek. Suddenly, the box flew open without a sound, startling Matilda, making her jump. Wil stiffened in his chair.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

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Lone Wolf Series – Meet Emmelia

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Cover by Suzette Vaughn

Lone Wolf by Dellani Oakes, Will Be Reissued June 11!

Mining Guild Chairman, Emmelia Spenser, is a smart, well educated, attractive and formidable woman. She knows how to work a room to get what she wants. She’s not above a little subtle manipulation to make that happen.

Ssylvenia was always prompt. Emmelia looked up in relief. If there was one person on the board she could count on, it was Ssylvenia Louttice. They had been friends for many years. As she walked in the office, Ssylvenia was already chittering excitedly. Her translator couldn’t keep up. Emmelia did her best to calm her friend so she could get a cohesive story. What she finally learned didn’t make her happy. Apparently, the police had contacted the Marines despite assurances that it wasn’t necessary. A contingent was waiting in her outer office to address the Board. In a rare moment of self-recrimination, Chairman Spenser nearly pulled out her short, dark hair. Taking a deep breath, she released a loud, piercing, primal scream. Ssylvenia stood impassively, waiting for her friend to catch her breath.

“If you’ve quite finished,” she chittered. “The Marines are right outside. I feel sure that set their teeth on edge. I’m surprised they aren’t rushing in here, guns blazing!”

Emmelia patted her friend’s pinchers. “It’s all right, Sissy. The room is soundproofed. Show them in. I’m able to cope now.”

Holding herself as if she thought this was a terrible idea, Ssylvenia let the Marines in. The five men were resplendent in their blue and red dress uniforms. Chairman Spenser greeted them calmly, a genteel smile on her face. Not betraying her thoughts in her features, she mused, Where the hell to the Marines recruit from? I never saw such handsome, exquisitely put together men in all my life!

Sincere smile pasted on her lips, she held out her hand to the commanding officer as they were introduced. He took it in his, fingers lightly lingering on hers.

“How do you do, Chairman Spenser. I’m Captain Benjamin Drexel of the Hannibal.”

“Captain Drexel, how very nice to meet you, sir. How may I be of assistance?” Ooh, Captain Drexel, I hope you aren’t married!

Drexel was an older version of Wil VanLipsig. He was fortyish, tall, muscular, tanned, with close cropped, dark brown hair peppered with gray at the temples. His upper lip sported a full, and very luxuriant mustache. His eyes were nearly as black and piercing as VanLipsig’s. His nose looked as if it had been broken at least once, but it lent rather a nice touch to a face which would otherwise have been too handsome for his own good, or hers, for that matter.

“Please, won’t you all be seated?”

She gestured to the chairs in front of them. They waited for her to sit gracefully behind her massive oak desk. Drexel and the other officer sat. The rest stood in a semicircle behind them. Sissy hovered behind Emmelia, not sure what to do.

“Ssylvenia, please have a seat, dear. I’m sure Captain Drexel and his men won’t mind. Ssylvenia is a member of the board. Anything you wish to say may be said in front of her in strictest confidence.”

Emmelia sat languidly in her chair, for once glad of her prominent chest and deep cleavage. It seemed to be of interest to Captain Drexel and several of his men. She’d always dressed a bit daringly, if professionally. Today she wore a navy, pinstripe suit with a dangerously short, flared skirt. Instead of a blouse, she wore only a matching vest. It showed her ample bosom to great advantage. She leaned forward, enjoying the feeling of power she had over them.

“How may I be of assistance?” she repeated, drawing their attention back to her face. She fought the impulse to bat her eye lashes. It was too early for that ploy yet. Let them sweat a bit.

Drexel focused on her face with difficulty. He cleared his throat a few times, so Emmelia poured him a glass of water, carrying it around to him. Instead of sitting back down at her desk, she sat on the edge directly in front of him, crossing her legs, toes mere inches from his knee.

“I do hope this helps. Sometimes the air in this place gets a little dry.” Leaning forward just enough to give him a better peek, she handed him the glass.

His ears reddened slightly as he accepted it. Sipping politely, Drexel nearly choked on his water as the open toes of her backless pumps carelessly brushed his right knee. She smiled her sincere smile at Drexel again. To do the man credit, he didn’t drop his glass, but straightened his shoulders, sitting upright in his seat.

“Madame Chairman, there have been complaints to us from the Navigation Guild, as well as the planetary government. Frankly, they want to know just what the hell is going on here!”

Spenser giggled, something she hadn’t done in at least twenty years. “Captain Drexel, I assure you as I have the Nav Guild and the planetary government, we’re about to embark on a very dangerous mission in a few days. The area we intend to mine may have hostiles about. We don’t want our mining ship to be blown out of the sky with all those miners aboard! The warships are here to insure their safety.”

Drexel mulled that over a minute, his dark brows blending into one as he frowned. Pursing his lips, he reflected a moment longer before he spoke. “That explains the Guild ships, Madame Chairman. It doesn’t explain the presence of the mercenaries.”

“That was a decision made by Commandant John Riley. I’m afraid he got somewhat over zealous in his desire for tight security and safety for our mining teams. I’ve already rescinded his all-call and I’ve begun to send the mercenaries home. However, many of them don’t want to leave. May I prevail upon your troops to aid us in ridding this peaceful planet of their unruly presence? They’ve been somewhat disruptive, as I’m sure you’re aware.” She leaned toward Drexel in a conspiratorial manner, her mouth near his left ear, her breasts struggling against the silk of her vest. “I was about to call you myself, this situation is becoming quite hazardous. I do so hope you can help me?”

Raising pale blue eyes to his dark ones, she gave him a plaintive, helpless look. Emmelia settled back on the desk, legs crossed, leaning on her hands, chest well forward. Drexel’s ears were quite red and he stammered as he spoke. The open toes of her pumps were mere centimeters from his knee. Her skirt was more than halfway up her thigh, challenging him with its milky, smooth closeness.

“Yes, yes, Ma’am. I assure you that you can count on our assistance in this matter. I’ll order some of my troops down to see to it.” He rose somewhat awkwardly, hat in front of his muscular thighs, signaling to his men.

Chairman Spenser stood, leaning toward him again, nearly chest to chest. “Thank you ever so much, Captain Drexel. I just knew I could count on the Marines.” She pouted prettily, raising an eyebrow. “Why don’t you come back when you get off duty. We can continue this discussion privately.” Lifting her pale, blue eyes to his face imploringly, she allowed her eyelids to flutter briefly.

He nodded curtly, gulping, his throat suddenly constricted. His ears burned red and the flush rose above his collar. “I’d like that, Ma’am,” he choked.

She ran her finger along his shoulder, tapping a button on his shirt front. “Excellent. I look forward to our little chat. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a Board meeting in a few minutes. Thank you all so very much for your time.”

She held her hand out to Captain Drexel. He didn’t know whether to shake it or kiss it, so did neither. He held it for a moment, bowed briefly over her fingers, hesitantly letting go. As he strutted out the door, he spun around, snapped a sharp salute, clicking his heels together before his corporal shut the door with a snap. She waited for a count of ten before turning to Sissy.

“Well, what do you think?” She spun around with her arms flung out happily.

Sissy eyed her critically. The computer voice couldn’t effectively mimic her derisive tone. “That was the most disgusting display I’ve seen you make in years. I can’t imagine what you thought you were doing. I think Captain Drexel had better be very careful!”

Emmelia threw back her head, laughing unashamedly. “Oh, Sissy, you’re always letting me know how bad I am.” She exhaled slowly, gazing at the door as if she could see Drexel walk down the hall. “I hope to be very bad indeed.”

Turning toward the board room, she thrust back her shoulders, putting on her professional manner once more. “Time to work, Sissy. Let’s hope the Board charms as easily as Captain Drexel.”

Sissy clicked and chittered behind her. “I rather doubt the Board could handle that little performance. All of them would fall over dead from the excitement.”

Laughing happily, Emmelia walked into the board room. Sissy followed, her chittering indecipherable by the translator, but Emmelia knew her friend was laughing.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

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A Merry Lone Wolf Christmas

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I decided to share a short scene from my newest sci-fi, The Maker book 3 in the Lone Wolf series. The crew of the Flotilla and Hannibal have been gone from known space for nearly five years. In that time, Chairman Emmelia Spenser has missed Captain Ben Drexel, who protected her from Riley and his power hungry moves. It’s Christmas Eve and she misses him more than ever.

Gazing at the clock on the wall of her lavish living room, Emmelia Spenser, Chairman of the Mining Guild, watched the hands creep toward midnight. Drinking a silent toast to absent friends, she tried not to cry.

“Oh, Ben,” she whispered to the air, “Where are you tonight and what are you doing? Are you thinking of me as I think of you?”

She rose, walking to the window of her penthouse apartment, high on top of the Mining Guild Tower. The tropical setting seemed incongruous to the occasion. Instead of snowy slopes, she gazed into the crystal clear ocean. Lost in its depths, she sighed.

Tonight she’d been obligated by her position, to host an expensive party for all the somebodies in the Mining Guild. Emmelia had been the perfect hostess, paying extravagant and insincere compliments to the hideous wife of the head of the Miner’s Consortium. All the while harboring unkind thoughts that the woman looked more like a troll than a lady of wealth and substance.

All the board members were present, their trophy wives in tow. She couldn’t keep track of them any more. They all looked alike: blonde from a bottle, boobs by design, pouty lips, long legs and tiny little brains. They dripped furs, jewels, gold, platinum and other choice tidbits given them by their filthy rich husbands. Usually, there was a new one every other year and they all had names like Buffy or Tippy or Missy.Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00022]

Emmelia hadn’t been alone at her party, of course. There were any number of eligible men willing to escort the most powerful woman in the Mining Guild to a posh soirée. The one tonight, Brett, had was smarter, handsomer, better put together than most—but he wasn’t Ben. But few men could measure up to Benjamin Drexel, the former Marine Captain. He’d stolen her heart nearly four years ago when Wil sent him on assignment to protect her from Riley.

Brett had made the expected advances. Emmelia had repulsed them until she had too much champagne to drown her sorrows, then she gave in. He was several cuts above the average hanger-on, but he had to compete with the memory of Ben.

She had hoped that Ben would be back from his mission by now, or at the very least she would hear from him. But there were no messages and she was still alone.

“Tomorrow,” she whispered hopefully, “I’ll hear from Ben.”

A final sip of champagne and she made her way to bed, where Brett slept, looking for all the world like a child. She wondered how old he really was, twenty-five, twenty-six? Did it matter? He kept the bed warm, didn’t drool and didn’t snore. Slipping quietly back into bed, she curled up next to him, facing the door, crying gently.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00020]Brett must have sensed her presence, perhaps even heard her crying. He rolled over, putting his arm protectively around her, cuddling up behind her, breath warm on her neck. Tears fell anew, as she remembered how Ben did the same thing.

“Tomorrow,” she thought as she fell asleep, “Tomorrow—”

© 2014 Dellani Oakes

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