A routine mission from the Mars Colony to Earth ends in the five-man crew of the Swallowtail having been transported to the other side of the galaxy. Met with hostility, captured, and tortured simply for being Human, the three survivors hold little hope for their futures. Sergeant Ledger Atwater is a simple man: all he wants are food, shelter, and to be able to call his own shots. If that means letting someone implant stolen memories into his brain and infiltrating a palace, he'll do it. Once he has enough money to get to a place that might give a damn about his refugee status, he's gone anyway. But what Ledger finds inside the palace is a fresh start, a chance to be a whole person again. He has a job, friends, and after an unexpected encounter with a king, he might have a lover, too. Is keeping his true identity a secret really so bad? Pharaoh Setka Nebamun kier Bane has lost so many people in his life, he's determined to keep those he has close. Unexpectedly, that list now includes a new scribe whose compassion and gentle caring Setka needs. He finds himself relying on Ledger to help him through some of the most trying times of his life--and Ledger seems willing to be there for him. But secrets never stay hidden for long. When the bill for Ledger's new life comes due, lives are at risk, and it's possible everyone will have to pay.
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