The Lieutenant’s Luck
Zanthar Book 3
Author: Liza Probz
Release Date: April 11th
It was supposed to be about capturing the enemy. Nothing else.
Kat’Chinna, second in command to Major Ontarii, is known for her legendary control. When the world is falling apart and her people are lost to chaos, she’s calm, cool and collected. No one knows the thoughts racing through her head or the worries laid upon her heart. She’s only interested in one thing… bringing down the heinous Hareema, a shape-shifting gelatinous enemy that’s plagued the Zantharians for far too long.
Lieutenant Jeffrey Brunt is a human known for his positive outlook on life, being labeled as Lt. Cheerful. With his Captain gone and his ship stuck in captivity in the Zantharian world, he’s now in charge, and the best man for the job. They don’t need a fighter or an explorer, but a lover. The only woman capable of helping the human crew gain their freedom back is strong, determined and unyielding, until she meets Jeff.
Somehow no one is immune to Lt. Cheerful… not even Miss Doom and Gloom.
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Lieutenant Jeffrey Brunt watched as the membrane closed behind the guards, leaving them in a small cell the color of coffee liberally doused with cream. He was weak after the shock he’d received, but a glance at his companions told him he couldn’t allow that weakness to show.
Chao had her arms around Dr. Tan and both women were watching him carefully with eyes wide with fear.
“Well, isn’t this a delightful pickle,” he said, forcing a smile. “I’d hoped our first contact with an alien life form would result in some kind of intergalactic welcoming party. I guess I just rub some life forms the wrong way.”
Chao gave him the barest hint of a smile while Tan shook her head. “Come here,” she said, shrugging off Chao’s arm. “Let me have a look at you.”
“Aw, Doc, I’m fine,” Jeffrey replied, widening his smile.
“Don’t give me that nonsense,” the doctor replied, approaching and grabbing his chin to pull his face down to her level. “You just received God knows how many volts of electricity through your system. We don’t know what effect that might have had on you.”
“Well, I guess now I’m a master of the electric slide. If they hit me again, maybe I can learn to electric boogaloo.”
Chao laughed. “Nothing gets Lieutenant Cheerful down. Not even being taken prisoner by aliens.”
Jeffrey winked at her. He’d been given the name “Cheerful” after completing a dangerous mission, and he’d decided to let the name stick. It made more sense to keep things light when exploring space. There were so many untold disasters that could happen at any moment. If his joking manner kept the crew’s mind off what terrible things might happen, then he was proud to bear the silly moniker.
He let Tan have her way, moving to a crouched position so she could look into his pupils and run her hands over him. “This would be so much easier with my equipment,” she muttered. Before long she gave him a slap on the back. “Well, I can’t see any lasting damage. Looks like you’ll survive. For now.”
“Thanks, Doc, but you don’t have to sound so disappointed about it.”
Tan’s face broke into a smile, but it quickly vanished. “What do we do now, Lieutenant?”
What could they do? They were imprisoned here, outnumbered by superior forces. He shrugged. “Anybody for charades?”
Chao laughed. “You’re ridiculous.”
Jeffrey gave her a grin, even though he felt like doing anything but. Their situation was dire. They were held captive here, while on the Earhart Captain Brooklyn and the crew were perhaps at this very moment being overrun by shapeshifting aliens.
Either that or the whole thing was an elaborate pretense by their captors. No matter what, they were screwed.
Jeffrey rolled his head around and then his shoulders, working out the stiffness caused from being hit by electricity. Boy, that lady really packs a punch.
He had noticed her right away after being brought aboard. She stood out from the others, and not just because she was dressed differently.
When he’d caught sight of her, he’d immediately been struck by her appearance. This is the most exotic female I’ve ever laid eyes on. She was tall, his own height, and he was considered tall for a male of his species at 6’5″. The Zantharian males were even taller.
Her eyes were almond shaped, pitch black with the most enchanting golden ring around the pupils. Her hair, or what passed for it, had been pulled back behind her head in a severe bun, serving to highlight the strong bone structure of her face. High cheekbones, perfectly arched brows, and lips that looked plumper than pillows.
And her skin, by God, her skin was a revelation. It was a beautiful light green and looked smoother than goose down. His hands had itched to touch her.
And yet, she’d been the one doing the touching. And striking me down with her damn bioelectricity.
Jeffrey shook his head. He couldn’t let the fact that he was severely attracted to the alien female get in the way. They had to figure out some way to make contact with the Earhart and Captain Brooklyn.
Suddenly the membrane to their cell opened and the Zantharian female entered, flanked by two male guards.
Think of the Devil, and the Devil appears, Jeffrey thought with a wry smile.
She made eye contact with him, and he tried not to feel the tingle that set fire to his skin. Well, he tried, but the tingle still ran through him.
He stood there, expressionless, while the alien female took his measure. Then she turned to her guards. “The male has withstood my energy blast, but the females have yet to be tested. Make sure they’re not Hareema.”
Jeffrey watched energy waves start to ripple over the guards’ skins. “Now, just hold onto your horses, missy.” He positioned himself in front of his fellow crewmembers. “I’m not gonna let you do to them what you did to me on the bridge, so call off your goons.”
She turned back to face him. One of her perfectly-shaped eyebrows arched. “There is no cause for concern. The charge will be weaker than the one I sent through you.”
Oh, so I deserve special treatment?
Jeffrey shook his head. “No.”
The alien female’s lips pursed slightly. It was the only reaction he received.
“I’m the ranking officer here,” he continued. “It is my job to protect my crew. And that means no zaps on my watch.”
“Our scanners detected traces of Hareema DNA on your vessel. Any member of your crew could have been replaced by the enemy. These energy exchanges ensure that you are who you say you are.”
“What happened to being hospitable?” he asked. “You guys just met us. Instead of a friendly handshake, you’ve been badgering us from the moment you locked down our ship. Now we’re supposed to thank you for electrocuting us? I don’t think so.”
“Step aside,” the alien female said, her voice like steel.
“Make me,” he growled, going toe to toe with his captor.
One corner of her lips curled up, and he watched as energy began to ripple up her own beautiful skin. “Once wasn’t enough for you?”
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