“I’ll do you a deal, Chance. You bring down this security film and I’ll get us out of here. Get us off the detention base and I’ll pay you.”
“Do you want the assurance that I wouldn’t kill you?” His smile was hard. “You have that too.”
“You’re a colony thief. More than anything, you have to be tech savvy. Rupture the film. If we get another prisoner in here, the odds of our escaping drop.” His gaze narrowed on her. “Do you want to die a horrible death?”
“At whose hands?”
He growled her name, and her flesh clenched. Yes, only she could want sex right then. “Fine.” She closed her eyes. Every citizen of the Jupiter colonies had an implanted chip. On some, like her and—obviously—Ramius, the restrictor didn’t take, and, with a little ingenuity, they were practically free to do whatever they liked. Until they were caught. And they were always caught. She’d turned her talent to controlling her environment. And she was bloody good at it. With a faint hum, the security film powered down.
Ramius tested his confinement, grinning when he found none. “Strip,” he ordered.
Chance blinked and the fire licking under her skin flared. He couldn’t mean…
“Your prison suit. You won’t get five metres before it cripples you.”
“Right,” she muttered, focusing her thoughts on breaking the bond to the tight fabric. She tugged it from her skin, shrugging out of it to expose the overly modest underwear the detention centre insisted upon. She turned her thoughts to his suit, feeling the connection snaking in thin wires over his body. Chance crushed her eyes shut, wishing her tracing thoughts didn’t feel as if fingertips ran over his lithe body. With a snap, she broke the connections and let out a slow breath. She held his gaze. “Your turn to strip.”
He let out a soft laugh as he yanked at the front of his suit. “Best offer I’ve had in a while.”
Chance tried not to wet her lips and failed. The weak light washed over his chest and taut abdomen. Ramius had kept himself in shape during his long incarceration. She also tried not to follow the enticing trail of dark hair down and to stop herself from staring at the tight, white shorts he wore…and what they covered—
“You really don’t seem to have a problem with me being a convicted murderer.”
Chance tore her gaze away from his lickable skin. “I’m shallow. I see a body I want.” She ran a hand through her short hair, wanting to hate that she really was so superficial...but when presented with a very edible man, that emotion became impossible. “Life is too short not to take what you need.”
He pushed out a slow breath, and she felt the sudden rise in tension. “Move to my seat.”
She complied, sliding over to the next bucket chair. She hissed as her bare legs brushed his, a brief flare of sharp awareness shooting under her skin. Ramius frowned and dropped into her vacated seat without a word.
Chance held back a sigh. So sex wasn’t on the agenda, now and, from the tight line of his jaw, probably not in the foreseeable future. She pushed down her disappointment and stamped sensible thoughts over it. He’d said it himself. He was a convicted murderer.
“Too long without a man. Far too long.” The thought burned in her brain. Yes, her choice had been limited. There’d only been her guards or a brief respite from solitary when she mixed with the other prisoners in the exercise chamber. No one had caught her eye…and she’d screw herself before she fucked a guard. She would never be that desperate.
“Get ready.” His firm, quiet voice broke through her preoccupation with sex. “Martine Callis has a record that the chancellor would want to dwell on…but there are a lot of prisoners to get through today.”
Chance stared at him. “How do you know this?”
“Information used to be my job.” His shoulders dropped and his fingers flexed against his thighs. “I’ll take care of the guards. We strip them and head for the docking clamps. You use your skill to get us onto a ship.” His gaze slid over her body, hard, assessing, and Chance suddenly felt exposed and nervous. Men looked at her for sex, nothing more, nothing deeper, and she preferred it that way. She resisted the need to move her arms to cover her near-nakedness. “You’re on the small side for a guard, but that can’t be helped.” He frowned. “Is all that understood?”
She gave him a brief nod.