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Mack ‘n’ Me: Blaedergil’s Host

Mack ‘n’ Me ‘n’ Odyssey #2

C.M. SIMPSON

I stayed off Mack's radar for a good three months, or so I'd thought. Maybe he was just letting me run. He found me, kicked my ass and hauled me right back on board. He'd been doing that on and off for the past twelve months. Problem was, Odyssey was also on my tail, and, when this job was done, Mack was supposed to hand me back. Not gonna happen. And, now I was back to Square One: Kick free of Odyssey & kick free of Mack... just as soon as the mission was done, because how could I turn my back on *that*?

NOTE: The main character swears like a sailor, and the support cast aren’t much better. If swears bother you, this this story may not be to your taste.

2nd Edition

Copyright © January 20, 2021 C.M. Simpson

Cover Design © August 27, 2020, Moonchild Lilja at Fantasy Book Design

All rights reserved.

License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy, and thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

DEDICATION

This is for all those who believed in me enough that, eventually, I had the courage to believe in myself.

Thank you.

CONTENTS

Acknowledgements

1—Retrieved

2—Back-Coursed

3—Back with Mack

4—The Mission

5—Blaedergil

6—Blaedergil’s Bride

7—Three Rounds

8—The Hiccup

9—Hard Negotiations

10—Hangover

11—Round Two Briefing

12—Tooling Up

13—Recovery

14—Mission Prep

15—Incursion

16—One Blown Mission

17—A Clean Bill

18—Skymander Calls

19—Winning Friends

20—Contractual Negotiations

21—The Drunk Tank

22—After-Shock

23—Delight on Deck

24—Werewolf Diplomacy

25—Infection

26—Counter-Measures

27—Holding the Fort

28—Recovery

29—Things that Bite

30—Crewmen Lost

31—Crewmen Found

32—Home Again, Home Again

33—Know Thine Enemy

34—The Skymander Debrief

35—Delivery

36—Mercy Mission

37—Pest Control

38—Contracts & Opportunity

Author’s Notes

Other Work by C.M. Simpson

About C.M. Simpson

Acknowledgements

Blaedergil’s Host is the second book in the Mack ‘n’ Me ‘n’ Odyssey series, and the second novel set in Odyssey’s universe—and I’m not sure it would have seen the light of day for years, if it weren’t for Michael Anderle, Craig Martelle and the 20booksto50k group they started. Without these guys, and without the members of this group, I would have continued paddling on the edges of becoming a full-time writer, I would have found another full-time job, and I would have given up writing full-time as nothing more than a dream. They showed me what was possible—and they showed me the multitude of ways to go about working towards that dream. They gave me the courage to start climbing, instead of just playing in the foothills—and, for that, they have my heartfelt gratitude and thanks. By being there, you guys have done more than you know.

Thanks must also go to my husband, Ian, and my children, who gave me the space to write. Without that space, this book would have taken a lot longer.

1—Retrieved

Odyssey caught up with me on Hancock. I’d taken a vacation from Mack, for what had to be the third time. Man was definitely not going to be impressed with me, when he finally caught up. Too bad. I’d needed a break, still hadn’t had the time I wanted so I could work out what I wanted to be, without his influence or Odyssey’s interference.

I’d told him about that, once, and he’d just given me this sad-eyed look. “You know that ship has flown, don’t you?”

I’d blushed, felt my cheeks heat as they grew red. Sure I knew that ship had flown. I just hadn’t wanted to admit it, not even to myself.

“And you signed a contract with me.”

Man sure knew how to push.

I’d shrugged.

“Girl’s got to be allowed to change her mind.”

“Not when she’s signed a contract.” Mack was nothing if not persistent.

“That depends on the circumstances,” I’d snapped back, and I saw his eyes widen.

“You’re saying you feel coerced?” he’d asked, volume giving his words the edge of a roar.

“Given the choices.”

This was true. My choices had been rather thin: Odyssey had wanted me dead; Mack had offered me a job. Not much of a choice.

“We had a deal.”

“We still do, but I need a break.”

“I could just break your neck.”

I’d stared at him, and he’d sighed.

“Fine. We’re between jobs, but you come when I call, okay?”

I continued to stare, and he scowled at me.

“I’m not kidding, Cutter. Your contract’s not up yet. You come when I call, okay?”

I raised an eyebrow, and pushed off the wall. I can’t help being sulky. Run of luck I’d had? You’d be sulky, too. I figured if I made my twenty-fifth birthday, I might reconsider the whole sulky thing. That shit gets old in a fairly rapid fashion. Either way, I’d nodded.

“Fine.”

It wasn’t really an agreement, and I figured Mack knew that. I figured he was already trying to work out ways of tracking me down, and wondered where they’d hidden the tracer this time... and how long it would take me to find a doctor willing to take it out.

Okay, so I also wondered whether or not Mack would release the funds I had in my account, but I didn’t let an ounce of that worry show. It’s not like he was my nanny. I’d picked up the day pack I’d had sitting by the side of my bed, and headed for the door.

“You’re going, now?”

The look on his face had been priceless.

“You might change your mind.”

Tens snorted inside my head. Comms guy, huh?

“You know I can find you any time, right?”

I’d felt my lips twist into a smirk.

“Yeah?” I said, out loud where Mack could hear. “Let’s see how long that lasts.”

And I’d left.

I’d also bounced myself right off-world, again. Took a fast warp out. Was pretty sure I could hear Tens swearing in my head, as the trace-link shattered.

I snickered as warp closed around me, cushioned by a properly appointed pod, and let myself drift into sleep. Mack was well behind me, and he’d be back there for a good long while, since I knew he had business he had to

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