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The Siege of Alliance

Starhawke Rising Book Five

The trap is set. Aurora Hawke is the bait...

Capturing the sociopathic ruler holding her homeworld in an iron grip will bring her one step closer to ending the suffering of her people. But with an entire fleet standing in her way, Aurora will need to enlist the help of old friends and an unlikely new ally, one with the power to turn the tide… if she can convince them to trust her.

“I’d like you to meet Aurora Hawke, captain of the Starhawke.”

She held her hands out as the Admiral had, silently daring Sly’Kull to touch her.

He must have gotten the non-verbal message, because he hesitated, the blue of his eyes darkening.

As his cool, smooth skin touched hers, a crawling revulsion rolled over her like a swarm of cockroaches. She held still, tamping down the instinctive push of her energy shield.

He had no power over her, and if she wanted a shot at taking down the Sovereign, she needed him to believe she was excited about the proposed mission. “It’s a pleasure to meet you Delegate Sly’Kull.”

“Indeed.” His accented Galish made the word come out in a heavy drawl, his grip tightening. “You have been a difficult female to track down.”

His use of female rather than person might have been unintentional, a matter of language differences, but probably not. The research she’d done had revealed a male-dominated society. All the delegates and leaders who had interacted with the Council had been male. The few pictures she’d found of females who’d visited Earth depicted them as beautiful art objects standing beside their mates rather than productive members of society.

She gave Sly’Kull an apologetic smile as she gently but firmly extracted her hands from his grip. “The one disadvantage of being captain of a Kraed ship is the need to return to Drakar for maintenance and repairs.” Especially with the Sovereign continually attacking her ship.

His nostrils flared. “Your ship is fully functional again?”

“Yes. And my crew is eager to move forward with the proposed mission.” She motioned to Kire. “This is Commander Emoto, my first officer.”

Kire stepped forward, hands out.

Aurora focused on his emotional state as Sly’Kull’s hands wrapped around his. Kire was the wildcard in the room when it came to susceptibility to influence.

She sensed an emotional nudge from Sly’Kull — difficult to define, but definitely there. “Your help on this mission will be beneficial.”

The response from Kire almost made her smile. He was clearly amused by whatever push Sly’Kull was trying to give him, although it didn’t show on his face. “Oh, I hope to be a big help on this mission.”