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The Guardian of Her Heart Excerpt
The Guardian of Her Heart

Blade leaned back in a wooden chair. The pub was

dark and smoky and the music was loud and ear-splitting.

Topless dancers slid down a metal pole in the middle of

the dance floor. He paid them little mind while he waited

for Barrick to show up for this meeting. Barrick was

already an hour late and Blade was beginning to feel

restless. He tilted his head back as he drained the rest of

Earth’s whiskey down his throat, hissing between his teeth

as it left a burning path down and into his stomach. He

slammed the shot glass on the black-glass top and


The bartender glanced over his shoulder at him. Blade

shook his head, pushing the glass away from him with his

fingers. He let out a deep sigh pushing away from the bar

and spun side to side as the topless girls danced around

the pub. Their breasts were painted with various colors

and patterns, hiding their nipples from the men’s view,

leaving them to wonder what they had hidden under the

colorful paint.

Blade glanced away from the women as his green eyes

scanned the patrons, searching for Barrick. The man

hadn’t come in yet, and Blade was beginning to worry

when a lone blonde-haired woman stepped into the pub

with hesitating steps. Her eyes raked over the men who

were too busy watching the dancers. Then her eyes looked

right at him, then past him. She looked as out place as he

did. Blade turned away from her, missing as her eyes flew

back to him and she smiled. She pushed her way through

the crowd of men ogling the strippers toward him.

Sitting down on the empty stool next to him, she made

sure her arm touched his. Tobi kept her eyes straight

ahead of her when Blade looked down at her with

surprised eyes. Her breath caught in her throat at the jolts

of electricity shooting from him, searing her skin. Her

heart began to beat at a fast tempo just as when she saw

his picture in the file. Tobi wiped her sweaty hands along

her denim shorts, inhaling several deep breaths. I’ve been

in dozens of pubs but not with a man like Blade Mathews.

I need to concentrate on this mission, she told herself with

a stern voice.

The bartender stepped up to her. “What’ll be?” He

leered down into her face.

“Just plain water, please.” Tobi replied, hating the way

her voice sounded so deep and husky. She swallowed past

the lump in her throat, not understanding why she was

trembling inside or the way she kept fidgeting as the

bartender turned away from her. Tobi had done this a

thousand of times and she couldn’t understand why she

was hesitating. Looking up at the man sitting next to her,

the smile froze on her face. Quickly she turned away from

the man. He’s better looking in person then in the picture

in the files.

“You don’t look like the type to be visiting a place like

this,” Blade muttered, turning his gaze down toward her

again and smiling. He didn’t know why he’d asked her the

question; it slipped from his mouth before he could stop it.

Turning away from her before his mouth got him into any

trouble, he glanced over his shoulder, searching for

Barrick, again. The man still hadn’t shown up yet. What’s

taking him so long? Blade asked silently with a shake of

his head.

“I usually don’t but I was thirsty and it’s hot as Hades

out there.” She pointed over her shoulder at the door to

make her point. Her body began to relax but her heart was

still beating rapidly. Flutters began to swirl around in her

stomach and it clenched. Tobi pressed her trembling hand

over her stomach, hoping to stop the fluttering. It didn’t

stop. Why is this happening to me? she asked herself—

think of the mission.

Blade nodded his head as his hands wrapped around

the empty shot glass in front of him. She reached up to

throw her hair over her shoulder and sighed. Sweat coated

along her skin, it was hot as Hades outside with three suns

hovering over the afternoon sky. She lifted her thinstrapped

white shirt from her chest and waved it in front

of her, trying to cool her burning face.

Blade’s body began to tremble with desire for the

woman sitting beside him. He turned away from her as the

bartender set down a large glass of ice water in front of

her. He waved his hand, indicating that he wanted a refill

of whiskey. The bartender nodded his head as he turned to

lift a large brown bottle from the shelf behind him. He

refilled the glass then set the bottle down.

“What about you? You don’t look like the type to be in

this kind of bar either!” she asked Blade after she took a

deep gulp of water. She sighed as she set the glass down

and turned to him.

Blade tilted his head back as he downed the shot, then

slammed the small glass down on the table. He breathed

in deeply as his throat burned from the whiskey. He

looked down at the woman sitting next to him and his

heart began to beat wildly. Blade sensed something in this

woman and he couldn’t figure it out what it meant.

Shaking his head he looked over his shoulder, looking for

the man he was to meet. His hand tightened around the

shot glass.

“I’m here to meet someone and he’s late.” Blade

muttered, looking over his shoulder again. “And here he

is.” Blade stood and made his way through the crowd. He

shook hands with the smaller man with graying hair

before he pointed to an empty table in the far corner of the


“Damn. This isn’t going as I planned it,” Tobi muttered

as she spun away from them. This was the first time out

on a mission, when her plans weren’t going right. She

needed to get Blade out of the pub and into the open

where she could get to him. Wracking through her brain,

she tried to think of some way to get him off this planet.

Drumming her fingers on the table, she looked over her

shoulder at Blade with the other man. They were talking,

rapidly. The man slipped an envelope across the table,

toward Blade. Blade picked it up, peering in to it. Pushing

away from the bar, she walked out. “There’s only one way

to get the man,” she sighed when she stepped out of the


Blade watched the woman leave the pub. He palmed

the envelope off the table, peering inside of it and tucked

it in his black leather pants’ pocket as he stood. He

nodded his head at Barrick then stepped around him.

“It’s been a great pleasure doing business with you,”

Barrick stated and grinned at Blade from across the table.

Barrick stood and walked around the bar to where the

ladies were dancing.

Blade scratched his chin, trying to decide if he should

follow the woman or not. She piqued his curiosity. Blade

pushed through the crowd and out the door. The blonde

was walking across the dirt path in determined strides.

He kicked at a small stone before he looked up as she

disappeared around the corner of a single story building

made out of scrap metal. He started after her as he tucked

his hands into his pockets.

Blade paused as he came around the building. His eyes

landed on a ship as he searched for her. “Where did she

disappear to?” he asked himself quietly, then he stiffened

as he felt something cold and metal at his back.

“Don’t turn around,” a soft female voice spoke in his

ear. Her breath at the back of his neck sent shivers

dancing down his spine. He couldn’t sense any real danger

from the woman behind him.

“Don’t move,” she ordered again in a determined

voice. He knew that voice. It belonged to the woman from

the pub. His spine stiffened and he inhaled a sharp breath

while his heart began to pound in a fast tempo. He

couldn’t move; there was a laser pressing into his back.

His eyes closed briefly then he opened them when the

laser pressed deeper into his muscle.

Tobi looked over her shoulder, feeling she was being

watched. She placed her hand on his back as she shoved

the laser deeper into his spine.

“Move,” she said softly, turning her gaze back to him.

“You said not to move,” Blade replied, trying to even

out his breathing. He was wondering why this was

happening in the first place and who this woman was.

“I don’t have time for games. You’re coming with me,”

she spoke harshly, pushing his back, trying to get him to


“Is it the money in my pocket? You can have it.” Blade

started to lower his hand to reach for the envelope

containing the money.

“It’s not the money I want, but your life,” Tobi spoke,

pushing the laser harder into his back. “Let’s go,” Tobi

ordered, pushing her hand into his shoulder, again, to get

him moving. She looked over her shoulder then started

moving him away from the building toward her ship that

was waiting for their arrival. The hatch opened for them.

“What’s going on?” Blade murmured, hesitating at the

bottom of the ramp. His heart beat as he looked up into

the small scout-ship.

“I don’t have time to explain everything right now. If

you want to live, you better get on this ship,” Tobi

muttered and shoved him up the ramp.

Blade stumbled at the bottom of the steps, then righted

himself and started up the ramp. Tobi paused at the

bottom of the ramp when she felt a slight brushing in her

mind. She frowned and a crease formed in the center of

her forehead. She turned around to search the area behind

her when a hand grabbed her neck and her laser was

yanked out of her hands. A hard-male body was pressed

too close behind her. She was backed up the ramp, the

hatch closing in front of her.

Her arms were shoved behind her back as she was led

down the short corridor and into the control room. Blade

held her laser in his hand, aiming it right at her. “Who the

hell are you?” he demanded through his teeth. He was

acting harsh and didn’t like this one damn bit. Gritting his

teeth, he stared down into her face.

“I’m here to save your life. Someone wants you dead.”

Tobi spun around and began the sequence for lift-off.

Blade felt the slight vibrations under his feet. He

couldn’t believe what she’d just told him. The laser

lowered to his side as he reached up to press his hand on

his forehead while he looked away from her. “Who?” he

asked softly, looking back down at her with wide green

eyes. “Who wants me dead?” he gritted through his teeth.

“Damn it, I don’t have time to go into details right

now,” she muttered, as the ship began to lift off the

ground. Turning in her chair, she faced him when she

spoke, “If you must know, I was paid to do the job.”

Blade jerked his gaze away from the keyboard toward

her. “You were paid... to kill me?” He couldn’t believe

what he was hearing. His mouth dropped open as he

stared down at her, clearly stunned by what she’d just told

him. Shaking his head, he tried to clear the troubled

thoughts swirling through his mind.

“You’d better sit down and strapped yourself in. This is

going to get really intense.” She pointed to a chair beside

her, telling Blade to settle himself in.

His head was whipped back when the ship shot through

the clouds and into space in a matter of seconds. He’d

never heard of a ship that could travel this fast. “Who the

hell are you?” Unstrapping the harness he stood, his voice

harsh as he spoke. He pointed the laser at her, eyes hard

and fierce; his body shook with anger.


The Guardian of Her Heart