Daniel Haws is Abbie’s big brother. You met him in RELENTLESS and got the feeling he was in some way connected to the military corps and that he had pretty top level access. In INSATIABLE, we learn Daniel is the leader of Phantom Corps special ops teams. He is a man who does his job, believes that what he does is for the greater good. Puts his life on the line on a regular basis to protect the security of the Federation Universes.
As I wrote, I frequently saw him as Eric Bana, the Eric Bana from Troy with that thick, dark hair any woman would want to run her fingers through. Daniel is wickedly handsome and not entirely unaware of his own appeal, but his focus is his job.
He’s also a man who loves his family. Most especially his sister Abbie, who is also his closest friend. He is a protector. A defender. A soldier. And, he’d be the first to admit, an assassin. He is fearsome and lethal and Carina Fardelle’s best hope at escaping the Imperium with the information she hopes to deliver to the Federation Government who have come for her.
“Looks like you two are a bit heavy with gear.” A mouth filled with few teeth made an ugly gash of delight on the thug’s face.
Daniel knew the look in the man’s eyes, knew they meant to rob him and harm Carina. Neither would be allowed.
He rolled his head on his shoulders, steadying for what was to come. “You should heed my warning and keep moving. You’re not going to be pleased with the outcome if you bring a fight my way.” Daniel didn’t speak very loudly, but the one in charge heard just fine. Whether or not he took the warning was something else entirely.
The snick and gleam of a blade triggered Daniel’s sense of calm. His body relaxed as he focused. White noise rushed through his ears as a blade handle fit into his palm.
“Look here, boys, he thinks he can take us all on.”
Daniel sighed and began to move. Nothing he did when he fought ever took conscious thought; his body, his reflexes simply took over and did the job. A step forward, a lunge with one arm and a step back.
One of the men hit the pavement, blood spilling from a nonlethal but debilitating slice. The scent of copper hit the air, spicing up the stench of open-pit sewers and garbage.
“Well now, looks like I was right to think I could take you all.” He tipped his chin at the groaning, semiconscious man bleeding at his feet. “There’s one less now. The odds keep getting better.”
He is not a man to be tamed or managed. But he is a man who is falling for his cargo –
He pushed the door of her room open quietly and simply leaned against the doorframe to watch. He looked at her sleeping form, the sound of her breath calming in a way chemicals could never achieve.
She was safe, at least for the moment. That counted.
She’d held up through a lot. He’d managed to book passage through his dodgy contact back on the last ‘Verse, but it had been two ‘Verses closer to Caelinus. He’d wanted to get out, but they wouldn’t be looking for them going toward the Center of the Imperium. Or so he hoped. They’d left the more impoverished and chaotic environs of those Edge Imperial ‘Verses with these last slips, so he hoped she got a chance to rest up. Her side was nearly healed, but she’d been set on seduction, and he’d been very hard-pressed to resist, even if he’d wanted to, which he didn’t much. He’d managed to avoid her and to refuse outright when he had to. For the time being, she seemed to back off slightly. But he knew her well enough by that point to understand she’d just be back and far more irresistible.
She was something he couldn’t define, but had become rather essential to his life. They would fall into bed again, he knew it was inevitable, he just needed to hold his cock in check until they’d arrived somewhere safe enough to let his guard down. He hoped that was soon; there was only so much masturbation a man could survive without wrist injuries.
He’d tried, truly had, to resist her, but he found himself opening up to her, sharing bits of his life he’d never intended to. And she had not judged. She had not pitied. She listened to him, saw something in him he didn’t believe he had.
It unraveled him, and he found himself totally enchanted for the first time in his nearly forty years. It unraveled him but also fortified, he thought as he went back out to the main room to get the files and drink some kava while the meal cooked and he could plan.
Daniel is hard, he grew up hard and he has a hard path to walk, but Carina becomes his softness, much like his siblings and his mother, he shows a softer side through his connection to these other people he loves and cherishes.
Daniel had gotten up early, before the light began to wash over the horizon. He filed his trip plan, he took care of some bribes and tributes and he began to dress. He needed to be out of there early. The earlier he went, the quicker he’d return. He needed the space to put that skin back on without her, needed to keep that Daniel away from her presence. There was no room for her, for softness and love, when he had to deal death.
Before Carina came down, he sought Abbie out. She was where he guessed she’d be, sitting in Mercy’s kitchen, looking through a book of designs for a nursery.
“I like that one.” He pointed.
She leaned back into him a moment. “That one is at the top. Roman likes this one better.” She flipped through to another design, and he nodded.
“That one is nice, too. Abigail, you’ll watch over her?”
“Of course. I see how you look at her. Why didn’t you tell me you were in love with her?”
“It wasn’t appropriate conversation via link, Abbie.” He shoved a hand through his hair, frustrated at not having all the words he needed.
“When I fell in love with Roman, it was when I thought I couldn’t have him. It was the most bittersweet feeling ever. I imagine you worry about the Rank bullshit, which you do know will mean nothing to her.” She laughed. “Or me, and I’m—as Deimos said yesterday— the head bitch of House Lyons now.”
He grinned at Roman’s oldest son’s words. “You certainly are. Just, you know, she has to make her own choices, but she’s been forced enough. I don’t want her being pushed into anything, and I’m sure the Families will start sniffing around once they all know she’s here.”
“It’s quite a pity that you don’t know how worth loving you are.” “Don’t analyze me; I don’t have the patience for that now.” She waved him off. “I don’t care what you think you have time
for.” She kissed his cheek. “Come back safe and soon.”
“I’ll do my best. I have plenty to make me want to.”
He’s a good man. A solid man who will stop at nothing to protect those he loves. Country, family, friends – he is fidelity, loyalty and honor and I can’t wait for you all to meet him!