The Bond That Saves Us–Book 4 in the Eternal Bond series
For years, Sean Donaldson blamed himself for the Ecada attack on the Eurus colony, pushing everyone away. When he’s injured after a security breach, he realizes that he has nothing and no one important left in his life.
Captain Amy Bryson is trying to draw as little attention to herself and her ship as possible. All she wants is to participate in the Catallian race and bring home the prize money. In order to protect her ship and crew from attacks, Amy enlists the help of Sean as both bodyguard and co-pilot.
With a drug lord intent on fixing the race for his own purposes, Amy and Sean fight against outside forces as they try to resist the pull of Amy’s sexual pheromones. They must learn to keep their passion in check, or run the risk of ending up dead.
“... I was pulled in from the start of The Bond That Saves Us and while it is the fourth in a series it could easily be a standalone story, though you would miss three other wonderful tales. I Joyfully Recommend The Bond That Saves Us as it is a fast paced and interesting read.” Joyfully Reviewed – Recommended Read
“Have you ever come across a book that is so REAL that you find yourself on a rollercoaster between almost crying for your characters and feeling an odd sense of pride in them? Like the romance is made even more honest because you can actually FEEL how hard it is for one or both characters to find and accept it, fully? That is exactly what I felt within the first few chapters of “The Bond That Saves Us”, and I was not released from this spell until a while AFTER the story actual ended. Five stars are not enough… and I never give all five….” Night Owl Reviews – Reviewer Top Pick
“Sadly, The Bond That Saves Us is the final book in this exceptionally good series. I’ve read all four books, and I can truthfully say that they are not to be missed. Christine D’Abo not only writes with a knowledgeable flare for futuristic sci-fi, her characters are powerfully human – even if they aren’t. The pages of her books read fluidly, with absolutely no drag anywhere. Her world building and plot lines are extraordinarily well drawn and captivating. Beyond that, no other author I’ve read reaches quite the depth of sensuality and emotion in their sex scenes as does Ms. D’Abo. In fact, her sex scenes can be more aptly described as love scenes, as they grab hold of the reader’s heartstrings and hang on tight. You can’t read a D’Abo novel without sinking heart and soul into the lives of her characters, who seem so real it’s hard to believe they do not truly exist.” Two Lips Reviews
“The Bond series was exciting and unique with each story giving us something different ... Typical of the Bond series, The Bond That Saves Us has realistic characters, an excellent plot and some heat to warm us up.” Sensual Reads.com
“What happened?” Davin’s voice had taken on an edge of concern.
“Blow to the head. Looking like he received a major concussion,” came Taber’s brusque reply. “Duster had lost control and Sean managed to stop him.”
The two men helped him inside med bay, taking him to one of the empty beds designed for emergency patients. Reggie was nowhere to been seen, presumably taken to the surgery for Sara to patch up and remove the knife. Sean would have been content to lay there and wait for her to finish, but Davin would have none of it.
“I can have you fixed up and out the door before you blink,” he drawled.
“I thought you weren’t playing doctor anymore,” Sean said, groaning when Davin shifted him to lie down.
“Only for our more troublesome patients. Taber, want to lift up this lazy bastard’s feet?”
Taber let out a soft snort and complied. As Sean shifted around, eyes fixed on a spot on the ceiling, he couldn’t help but think about how much the other two men had changed over the past few years. Davin wasn’t as reckless had he’d first been when he first crashed on the planet. And Taber, well Sean hadn’t seen him this content since the Briel first arrived at the station all those years ago.
Everyone seemed to have found a place on the colony where they belonged. Everyone but him.
Sean was about to shift again when Davin slipped a hand along the back of his neck, fingers curling slightly against his skin. He would have protested, but the only sound that came out of his mouth when he opened it was a soft gasp. Only once before had Davin used his healing abilities on him. He’d been half dead, an alien parasite swarming his bloodstream. It had taken both Davin and Sara to rid his system of the bug to save his life. Then, he’d been unconscious and unaware of what was happening. Now, he couldn’t help but react to the slow heat that spread through his neck, traveling up into his head. There was a tingle along with a pressure surrounding his brain. Within minutes, it felt like a valve was released and the pressure began to dissipate.
“There it is,” Davin whispered, his eyes closed “Fracture to your skull. Fixing you up now.”
The change in his head was amazing and far faster than he would have anticipated. Sean had to fight his body’s natural instinct to move, not wanting to distract Davin or the healing process. He could almost sense the bone being stitched back together, the blood returning to its normal flow. Then something changed.
He felt Davin shift, his fingers curled a bit tighter around Sean’s neck. Tensing, Sean tried to block Davin from reading his emotions, seeing the torrent of fear and insecurity he felt. Darkness swirled in his mind, the echo of screams and low howls of the Ecada biting into his memory. The stab of betrayal, his betrayal, how it still cut him to know that he was used as a tool to bring about the death of so many others, ran deep.
“Not your fault,” Davin whispered.
Anger surged through him and his body tensed immediately. “Get out of my head.”
Instantly, the Raqulian stepped back, holding his hands up in surrender. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to pry.”
“Then why the fuck did you?” Sean hissed, swinging his legs around and running a hand along the back of his neck. “Am I healed?”
Davin looked from Sean to Taber and back before nodding once. “Please stay until Sara checks you over and clears you to return to active duty.”
Sean opened his mouth to protest, but Davin didn’t give him a chance. He turned and strode out of the med bay, all of his normal easy nature now missing. Sean closed his eyes and inwardly cursed. The damn Raqulian should feel bad. He hadn’t asked to be helped and sure as hell didn’t want someone poking around and trying to analyze his physiological condition. He knew he was fucked up and had no intention of inflicting that on anyone else. Especially someone he considered a friend.
“He meant well.”
Jumping slightly at the words, Sean looked up at Taber. The Briel was one of his oldest friends on the station next to Kamran. Swallowing hard, Sean shrugged.
“Still don’t want him poking around in there.”
“Might do you some good.”
Locking his gaze on Taber, Sean crossed his arms over his chest. “What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”
Anyone else might have been intimidated by the former colony administrator. Anyone but Taber. Moving closer, the Briel locked his hands behind his back and narrowed his gaze on Sean.
“You’ve been more withdrawn than normal in the past few months. You’re spending increased time back in the mines, despite the fact Sara has told you on multiple occasions you need to get out of there. And you’re shutting your closest friends out of your life. Again. So yes, I think it would do you some good to talk to someone.”
Sean couldn’t help but snort. “Taking lessons from Fallon I see. Practicing your people skills and trying to get me to share.”
“Leave her out of it.”
“Right, it’s probably Davin anyway. He never did know when to leave well enough alone.”
“Despite my differences with him in the past, he knows what he is doing. Talk to him. Or talk to Kamran.”
Fuck that. “Kamran and Haylie have more than enough to deal with right now without me adding my petty problems to their pile.”
“Your emotional well-being is far from a petty problem. You are their friend. It’s my understanding that helping is what friends do for each other.”
Shaking his head, Sean sighed. “Please, can we stop? My head hurts enough as it is.”
If the Briel knew how to roll his eyes, Sean was convinced he would have. “I must return to security. Please have Sara report in to me as soon as our friend is out of surgery. We will need to press charges and get him long term medical care.”
Without another word, Taber left.
All Sean’s anger and frustration slowly melted away into self loathing. Why the hell couldn’t he let this drop? He knew deep down that talking things out with Davin was probably the best thing he could do. The surest way of dealing with the nightmares and demons he’d been grappling with for the past four and a half years. But he couldn’t do it. It wasn’t that he thought himself unworthy of their forgiveness, but he couldn’t ask others to do for him what he couldn’t bear to do for himself.
The med bay was surprisingly quiet, with most of the medical personnel looking after Reggie. That was why when the door whooshed open, Sean immediately noticed the young woman who came in, her arm clutched to her chest. Dark brown eyes were wild, frantic, as she scanned the room looking for someone. Her light brown skin was in stark contrast to the white shirt she wore and the skin tight black pants. If she didn’t look like she was about to pass out from pain, Sean would have been likely to take time to admire her fit body and full breasts. Instead, instincts he couldn’t repress even if he tried kicked in. Sean slipped off the table, landing on shaky legs, and made his way toward her.
“You okay?” he asked softly, catching the panicked look in her eyes. “Do you need me to get you a doctor?”
Her gaze darted around the room, landing on Sean for a moment before continuing her examination. “Ah hell, don’t bother a doctor for this. It’s nothing more than a little break, hardly even excruciating at all. Is there a medic here instead? Bet they can run me under a stitcher and get me out the door in five minutes flat.” Her voice was colored with a thick accent, one he didn’t immediately recognize. Kamran would know.
Sean nodded, motioning toward the back room with his hand. “Well, if that’s broken you won’t get out of here without the doctor taking a look at it first. She’s nosy that way. Doctor Fergus is dealing with a critical case at the moment. One of the nurses will be out shortly and they’ll get you setup at least.” Without thinking, he reached out and touched her uninjured arm with his fingers. “I hope it doesn’t hurt too much.”
At this proximity, he detected a faint scent from her. Soft and feminine, and for some reason it made his head spin enough to make him wobble on his feet. The woman reached out for him, gritting her teeth as their bodies connected. Sean tightened his grip on her good arm, forcing his gaze to lock on her face. From nowhere, a wave of lust smashed into him like a rolling heat wave. What the hell? Ignoring his now half hard cock he shot her a half hearted grin and shrugged off his clumsiness.
“I guess that concussion I had isn’t as healed up as I thought it was. Care to join me while we wait?” He bobbed his head in the direction of the bed where he’d been sitting.
Another quick glance around the room and the woman finally nodded her acquiescence, short black curls falling forward to frame her face. Clinging to each other for strength and support, Sean managed to guide them to the bed. It took what little energy he had left to pull his tired body back onto the low mattress to sit there, feet dangling off the edge. He waited for the woman to join him. When she didn’t move, he patted the mattress beside him and smiled softly.
“I promise I won’t bite. You need to sit before you pass out. If that happens I’m afraid I won’t be much use to you given my current state.”
Wide eyed, she seemed to inspect him, gauging how much of a threat he posed. He recognized that particular brand of paranoia, having gotten used to seeing it in the mirror over the years. There was only one way to gain her trust and that was to do nothing. He couldn’t force her, nor would he even try. Nothing worse than being subjected to the pity of strangers—another feeling he was more familiar with that he’d like to admit.
Whatever she saw on his face, she must have come to the conclusion that he wasn’t a threat to her. She shifted, sliding down on the bed beside him, careful to keep a discreet distance from his body. That tantalizing scent was back and Sean had to concentrate on his breathing, making sure to keep it slow and even. Really classy, Donaldson, you want to fuck an injured stranger.
“I’m sure Sara, Doctor Fergus I mean, will be back in a few minutes. If not, Rachel, her nurse, will be for certain. They’ll be able to use the regenerator to fix your arm. You’ll be back out there before you know it. I’m Sean by the way.”
He didn’t hold out his hand and only cast her sidelong glances. Either Davin had done a less than stellar job fixing up his head or he’d made a change he shouldn’t have because for the life of him Sean couldn’t help his body’s reaction to this mysterious woman. Couldn’t stop the dark part of his subconscious from needling him—wanting nothing more than push her down, suck her nipples, lick her clit. Fuck, what is wrong with you?
For her part, she took a deep breath and finally returned his smile. “Captain Amy Bryson.”
Amy. Why he was expecting a more exotic name from the beauty sitting inches from him, Sean wasn’t sure. It suited her.
Sean dug his fingers hard into his thighs as a sensory distraction. He nodded in the direction of her arm. “Nice to meet you, Captain Amy. How’d you do it?”
This time, she shifted so she was better able to see him. Without thinking, he mirrored her posture, straightening up as best he could without making his head spin. She cocked her head to the side, exposing the side of her long neck. The impulse to lean in and latch his mouth to her pulse point and suck, mark, possess was so strong Sean actually felt his body sway forward and his lips part. Amy shrugged, the fingers toying with the sheet on the bed.
“Was really stupid, actually. I was working on my ship, trying to jack up the oxygen to teron conversion rate, when the stupid drive capacitor came loose. I couldn’t move fast enough out of the way.”
The words swirled in his head and Sean found himself nodding. “I should have guessed that someone as beautiful as you had brains to go along with it. I think I followed half of that.”
This time she grinned at him. “Then you should get your ass back to engineering basics. If you don’t know that, then you’ll be shit behind the stick.”
“Ah pilots. Is the cocky edge mandatory to fly a ship in this sector?”
“It helps.” She chuckled briefly, before wincing in pain. “Gods, don’t make me laugh.”
He would never have guess from the look of her that she sat in a cockpit and pushed a shuttle or hauler to its limits. Then again, he knew most people weren’t what they appeared to be. “I assume you’re here for the race then.”
For the first time in ten years, the Catallian race was being held. It had been one of Kamran’s pet projects over the past year, a chance for the colony to host the event and bring some much needed life back to this sector of the galaxy. With the threat of war between the Briel and Ecada finally gone, pilots from nearby planets and colonies jumped at the chance to take part. The influx of people to Eurus didn’t hurt the economy either.
A sly smile spread across Amy’s face, a sparkle flashing in her eyes despite her obvious pain. “Oh yeah. My ship may not look like much, but she’s a monster under the engine panel. I plan on kicking serious ass in this race.”
Sean couldn’t believe the dramatic change in her demeanor. It was like someone hit a sensor, turning every light in the room on. Her eyes grew impossibly wider, her lips moist as she unconsciously licked the bottom one, her back straightening with pride. The sight of her pink tongue across her skin sent a shiver of arousal through to his cock and he could almost feel the moist heat against his shaft. Her lush lips were perfect for giving a blowjob—plump and moist. Shifting his body so she wouldn’t see his now painfully obvious erection, Sean cast a glace toward the surgery door.
“Well, if they don’t get out here soon, I’ll go looking for them. Don’t want you to miss out on any time. You’ll need it to get back to tweaking your engine.”
“It would be nice to try to pick up a few additional people for my crew. My boys are good, but I like to have a few extra, just in case.”
There was something in her voice that told him there was more to the story than she let on. It wasn’t like he had the right to push, so instead of doing what he knew most other people would, Sean ran his hands across the tops of his thighs and ignored the urge to pry.
“You’ll find someone. There are enough wannabe space jockeys out there for you to have your pick of.”
“No way. I need experience and someone with a backbone. Anyone less will have a heart attack the way I fly.”
He chuckled and was about to respond when Sara poked her head out from the surgery. “Sean?”
“Yeah, still here.”
The doctor frowned and came the rest of the way through the door. “I thought Davin fixed you up?”
The smile lingering on his lips fell away dead. “He wanted me to get the all clear from you. But Amy here has a more pressing need. A broken arm and a pilot’s impatience to get back to her ship.”
Sara smiled, rocking on the balls of her feet as she looked at Sean then Amy. “I’ll get Rachel to come take a look at you. She’s just cleaning up inside.”
Sean’s throat tightened as his mouth dried. “How is he?”
“He’ll live. Stupid duster almost bled out on me though. Between the drugs and the wound, he’ll be in recovery for a few weeks at the very least. How are you feeling?” Grabbing a scanner, she made her way to his side and took a quick reading of his head. “Looks like Davin repaired the crack to your thick skull.”
“Still dizzy, but I’ll live.”
“Good, go home and rest. Check in if that head doesn’t get any better by tonight. I’m not clearing you for active duty for at least two days, though. Don’t want you passing out in the mines on me. I hate trying to patch people up wearing an EV suit.”
He felt Amy stiffen beside him. “You work in the mines?”
“This stupid fool runs the place. Been down there longer than recommended too,” Sara cut in before Sean had a chance to respond. “You, my very stubborn friend, need a change in profession. And soon.”
“I’ll take it under advisement, Doctor.”
Sara chuckled. “Oh, we’re back to doctor, are we?” She leaned closer to Amy. “He only says that when he’s annoyed with me. I have no intention on sucking up to him though.”
Ignoring Sara’s good natured ribbing and his throbbing cock, Sean slid to his feet. Sara’s presence served as enough of a cold shower so he wouldn’t completely embarrass himself. “I’ll leave you to look after your patient, Doctor Fergus.” He waited for only a second before marching toward the exit.
He’d almost reached it when he heard Amy call out. “It was nice to meet you, Sean. Maybe I’ll see you around.”
A chill of awareness raced through him, making his balls tighten. Keeping his back to her, he turned his head, catching sight of the woman from his periphery.
“Maybe you will.”
Not wanting to dwell on the possibility any longer than he should, Sean bolted from med bay.