She put the tri-dee-viewer to her eyes again and scanned the area. ‘There’s no sign of life over there. They must all be dead, or badly injured. They’d have shot at us again if they were still capable.’
‘Unless they are waiting for us to show ourselves,’ Kerry said, He made as if to stand, and she waved her blaster at him.
‘Like I said before, no sudden moves. Get up — slowly.’
‘So you are making me your prisoner?’
‘Not exactly, but I’m not stupid enough to take any risks.’
He rose to his feet, his gaze not leaving her gun-hand. Several inches taller than her, broad shouldered and slim, he presented a physical presence which commanded attention. His expression froze as his gaze homed in on the insignia on her breast pocket, his eyes like chips of blue ice. ‘You’re working for the Alliance!’
‘I work for myself.’
‘Then why are you wearing the insignia of the Global Alliance of Earth And Allied Planets?’
‘I have a license to requisition any enemy ship trespassing in the sectors of space over which they hold dominion.’
‘A licensed pirate in the pay of the Alliance,’ Kerry’s eyes showed outright contempt. She almost preferred the icy coldness.
‘I prefer to think of myself as a freelancer — doing a service.’
His expression did not change, although he did change tack. ‘You could have left me to die — or just shot me. Why didn’t you?’
‘Call it a personality flaw. I don’t like abandoning someone to save my own skin. And I don’t kill in cold blood. If I have to shoot someone, I’d rather they were facing me, with their eyes open.’ Even if I did swear to leave their dead body for the Alliance to use in their hideous experiments. Keep it casual. Don’t let him guess what’s really in your mind.
To her amazement, he smiled, the most devastating smile she had ever seen, and made even more remarkable because he didn’t look as if he did it very often.
‘My own philosophy as it happens. It seems almost a pity we are on opposite sides.’
‘I have no love for the Alliance. That puts us on opposite sides, even if you are just a pirate, doing their dirty work for them.’
She gave him her best withering look. ‘Fine. And just because I decided to save your hide, don’t get any ideas. We don’t have to like each other.’