Wrong planet, right man... but is he a man at all?
When Trixie's star freighter, Noah's Ark, drops out of jump space in an uncharted part of the universe, she believes the M‑class planet on her viewer represents hope and salvation for her motley crew and the ragtag settlers aboard her ship. Kostas, ex Space Marine, the expert survivalist recruited for this expedition, doesn't believe in coincidences, and knows that when a planet looks too good to be true, it usually is.
Everyone on this voyage to seed a new planet with life, is running from something, and harbors dangerous secrets... including Trixie, who vowed to never let a man control her life again. As for Kostas, he would get lynched on the spot if anyone suspected who he really is. But on this seemingly abandoned planet, others are watching... When the truth emerges and secrets unravel, Trixie and Kostas must fight for survival, for freedom, and for the right to love.
Kostas glanced at the man's retreating back and smiled at Trixie. "Captain, may I have a word?"
"Make it brief." She rubbed her gloved hands together.
"I took the liberty of loading two large pallets of weapons." Kostas pointed to the place in the column where he'd positioned them.
"How typical!" Trixie's voice erupted loud and cutting in the cold air, with a hint of exasperated sarcasm. "I specifically requested survival supplies only." She counted on her gloved fingers. "Livestock, food, medicine, tools..."
Her attitude sluiced Kostas like an icy shower. Tempted to clam up, he decided otherwise but struggled to keep his tone neutral and low. "You'll need these weapons if whoever shot us down comes looking for us."
"We were shot down by automated defenses on the small moon." Trixie shook her head in obvious frustration.
"No one manned the guns. We detected no ships in the vicinity."
Trusting his instincts, Kostas refused to capitulate. "Still..."
"Still what?" She took a quick breath. "You military types are all alike. Shoot first, think later. These pallets could have carried more food rations."
Kostas ground his teeth then struggled to keep his voice civil. "I beg to disagree, Captain. Whoever built that moon station did it for a reason. Some advanced civilization staked a claim on this planet, and they may return at any time."
"If they ever return." Trixie's visible efforts to calm herself failed as her voice rose again. "That battery of cannons might have been on the moon for centuries. That race may never come back, or not in this millennium. But without food, many of these people will die of starvation or related disease before the end of the winter."
"Hold it, Captain." Kostas wouldn't let her blame him for doing the right thing. "We still might be able to get the rations tomorrow."
"Orders are orders, soldier." Her voice dropped to a quiet but threatening level. "I expect you of all people to follow them to the letter."
Kostas refused to apologize for his actions. "May I remind you, Captain, that we are not on your ship anymore. You have no authority on land, and I am the survival expert on this expedition."
She just stared at him, open-mouthed. Afraid he'd say something he might regret, Kostas tightened his jaw and held Trixie's glare without flinching. She didn't flinch either. So much fire in those cool blue eyes. Damn! She was beautiful when angry.