Gremlin's Last Run (Guardians of the Pattern, Book 2)
Guardians of the Pattern, no. 2
Rhys Tyler, captain of the Gremlin, is no stranger to living on the edge: the edge of solvent; the edge of legal; the edge of sane.
An empath so sensitive that he cannot bear human touch, Rhys makes his living hauling cargo through the deep dark, the interstellar emptiness between populated star systems. And if keeping his aging freighter in working order means resorting to smuggling, well, a man does what he has to in order to survive.
Alek McKinnon is a Federation agent in trouble. Everything that could have gone wrong with his latest mission has. He's been ambushed, kidnapped, imprisoned, and forced to participate in an illegal experiment that has crippled his psi and left him bonded to an ancient artifact that has already proved itself deadly.
When Alek stows away aboard the Gremlin, all he's looking for is a way home so he can report to his superiors. He's not expecting to find a psion in desperate need of training. And he's sure as hell not expecting to fall in love.
(~100,000 words )