For my final dinner with a hero, I’ll be cooking for Marc Devlin, captain of Shifter’s Station. Marc grew up in a coastal Terran town and often laments that he can’t get good Terran seafood on his remote space station. Tender, melt in your mouth scallops are his favorite so I’ll make those, coconut couscous, and roasted asparagus. We’ll finish the meal with a dense piece of cheesecake with cherry topping.
I love these seared scallops from Alton Brown. http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-shifter039sstationcollection-419034-144.html
Coconut milk gives couscous a delicious creamy flavor. http://lowcaloriecooking.about.com/od/grains/r/coconutcouscous.htm
Roasted Asparagus: Break off tough ends of asparagus stalks. If you hold the stalk in the middle and snap the end with the other hand, it will usually break in the right place. Place the stalks on a foil-line baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Place under the broiler for approximately 10 minutes or until they start to brown and are tender.
This cherry cheesecake is amazing!
Excerpt from Book 1 of the Shifter’s Station Collection
The commander cut off whatever Captain Devlin was going to say. “I have the ability to probe your mind to determine if you’re telling the truth. And if you are lying, I can compel the truth from you.”
Larissa studied him for a moment. He seemed sincere and somewhat dismayed by the captain’s brusque manner. “Do it.”
She felt pressure on her head, as if someone were mashing the heel of their hand against her forehead. Then the pressure turned to pain. It grew sharper until it felt like a needle was boring into her skull.
She felt tension radiating from Adesta. “Stop fighting it.”
”I… can’t. I don’t –“
Then the pain spread as if her skull had cracked. She fell to her knees, panting. The world began to go black. But just before she passed out, the pain disappeared.
“Fires of hell, she’s strong.”
The captain snorted. “Did you get through?”
“Yes, she’s telling the truth.”
Thank the gods. They would have to let her go now. Larissa heard the men speaking, but they sounded very far away. A dull pounding still echoed in her head. Nothing like the tearing pain of the scan, but she still wasn’t sure she could stand.
Then she felt a hand on her arm. It was the commander. She wanted to refuse his assistance, but she didn’t want to be on her knees in front of the captain. He was arrogant enough without her prostrating herself like a slave.
When the commander helped her to her feet, she stepped away and forced herself to focus on Devlin. His dark eyes were narrow and cold. “Who taught you to shield your thoughts?”
Devlin raised his brows. “You need this ability often on cargo runs?”
”When you take these kinds of jobs, you do.”
He laughed. “I suppose you are right. Federated Transport isn’t exactly a legitimate business.”
”And yours is?”
Adesta’s lips curled into a wicked smile. “You seem to be losing your touch, Captain. You usually have them trembling in their boots by now.”
Larissa just managed to keep from rolling her eyes. The captain might be one delightfully put together man, but she had no intention of rolling over for him. “Can I go now?”
Devlin scowled. “No.”
“The commander has established my innocence.”
“He has established that you were unaware that the weapons were faulty. But I still have one dead crewman and several more injured. Someone has to pay.”
“Yes. That someone is my bastard of a boss.”
“But he’s not here, and you are.”
“Captain.” The warning glare in the commander’s eyes gave Larissa hope he might convince his superior to let her go.
Larissa’s heart pounded. “You can’t be serious.”
He gave a cold smile. “I’m always serious.”
Larissa clasped her hands behind her back to hide their shaking. “You can’t just keep me here.”
“I can do anything I damn well please.”
The captain stepped toward her. She stabbed her nails into her palms, hoping the pain would dull her fear and help her hold her ground.
Devlin grasped the single braid that hung down her back and jerked her head to the side. “I am the law here. No one questions what I do. If I wanted to shove you out an airlock, that’s exactly what I’d do. No one would dare protest.”
She held her breath, and commanded her suddenly rubbery legs to keep her upright.
He let her go and stepped back. “Fortunately for you, I have something far more pleasant in mind as repayment for your crimes.”
Larissa’s lungs burned, but she couldn’t seem to fill them with air. She forced herself to look him in the eye. “I have no intention of letting you punish me for a crime I didn’t commit.”
Adesta smirked. “I like her spirit.”
The captain stared at her intently. “So do I. The spirited ones are so much more fun to break.”
Larissa’s heart hammered against her chest. She knew her eyes were wide and her fear shone all too plainly. She felt like a rabbit cornered by a wolf — a big bad wolf with plans to eat her.
Now why the hell did that thought make her body feel hot and tight? She was so damn wet she’d likely soaked through her flight suit. What was wrong with her?
Devlin took a long, deliberate inhale. “Mmm. I think she likes us more than she wants us to know.”
Shit! The last thing she needed was for him to be aware of how she was responding to them. She needed to convince them to let her go. But before she could think of anything to say, Devlin’s lips curled up in a wicked smile.
“Since you seem so interested in the issue of fairness, why don’t we strike a bargain?”
“What bargain would that be?” Larissa mentally cursed the quaver she heard in her voice.
His smile widened. “I will spend the next two hours convincing you that you want to stay. If you can resist, you go free. If you can’t, you agree to remain on the station as my servant for the next month.”
Larissa took a deep breath. Her initial reaction was to tell him to go to hell, but something told her this might be her only way off the station. “How will you convince me to stay?”
“That’s my secret, but you have my word you will come to no harm.”
“Why should I trust you?”
The captain’s face froze, and a sound too like an animal’s growl rose from his chest. Larissa glanced at Adesta. He shook his head. “I wouldn’t go down that road if I were you.”
“Fine. If I were to lose, which I have no intention of doing, how would you expect me to serve you?”
The captain’s smile returned instantly. “With every last inch of your naked body.”