When Jestine Darnell is rescued from her sabotaged starship by the crew of the Destiny her only objective is to complete her mission and keep her promise to save a world from slavery. Love is the last thing on her mind. However, she has not counted on losing her heart to Kerry Marchant the ship's second in command, who makes his distrust of her painfully obvious, despite the chemistry between them. The completion of her mission has consequences that neither of them could have foreseen. Enter Dahll Tarron, who becomes involved in a long and dangerous quest to find the Destiny. Fates become intertwined, perils shared, culminating in the realization that sometimes love may be so close that there is a danger it will not be recognized until it is too late...
Kerry knelt beside Jess and groaned in anguish. There was nothing he could do to save her. His eyes misted as he lifted her into his arms. "It should have been me. That laser was meant for me--"
His voice faltered, and he shook his head to clear his vision. A smear of blood glistened on her lips ... a stain on perfection and evidence of his own negligence.
He should have prevented this. Somehow, he should have prevented it! He ran his fingers through the mass of flame-colored hair, golden highlights gleaming in the Phidian sunshine. He buried his face in its softness and held her close to his heart, hoping that somehow his words might filter through to her subconscious mind, as her life slowly ebbed away. "Forgive me, Jess. I love you. I always will ... always. I could never tell you how much." An instinctive sense of danger pierced his grief. He whirled and rolled over his shoulder, just in time to avoid the laser aimed at his back. The blaster he picked up from close to where Jess had fallen made short and bloody work of his would-be assassin, but it seemed even Jess's last moments were to be denied him. He was compelled to leave her and concentrate on destroying the assailants who came at him from all sides. If they could still rout Ayandos's men and free the Phidians, Jess would not have died for nothing.