The votes are in over at LR Cafe and I’m thrilled to announce Intergalactic Brides Vol. 3 won Best Science Fiction/Futuristic Book of 2019!
Three sexy aliens and the women who can’t resist them — an unexpected romance that’s out of this world.
Caitlyn and the Alien Protector: From hot, sexy, and available to single dad, this firefighter’s life’s going up in smoke. What could go wrong with a convenient arrangement with a hunky alien and his adorable daughter? Caitlyn was only looking for a place to crash, in exchange for watching the cute little half-alien girl. She’s been burned by love before, but soon it’s not just the little girl who’s taken her heart — it’s Cosmir as well.
Celeste and the Alien Bartender: A desperate mother. A determined alien. And a romance neither expected. Aliens ruined Celeste’s life, stole her child, and then dumped her back on her world. But she refuses to give up on getting her daughter back, at any cost — even if it means pairing up with sexy alien, Zanar. She just never counted on falling for him.
Rory and the Alien Groom: Rory’s been watching from the sidelines. Now it’s time to go after what she wants – and she wants Zwyk! Rory never wanted to be the one to tell the alien, Zwyk, his bride had run out on him. Rory’s been head over heels for him from the beginning. Maybe now he’ll see what’s been under his nose the entire time — her!
What are reviewers saying?
“I loved this collection of reads — this just did it for me. I just couldn’t put it down. I loved every character in each read of this volume; it was everything I have loved in a read.”
— 5 Stars from Jeanne M., Amazon Review
“Three fun reads about aliens and their human girlfriends where the aliens are… the perfect species a human female would want.”
At the fire station, Cosmir stripped out of his bunker gear and hung it up, leaving his steel-toed boots under the coat and pants. In his bare feet, he went to the bathroom, stopping long enough to get his shampoo and shower gel, and lucked into getting one of the shower stalls. After being surrounded by flames, the cool water felt good on his heated skin. He braced a lavender hand on the tiled wall and let the water sluice over his head and down his back. It didn’t take long to scrub his hair and body, and he had to admit he felt a million times better when he was finished. With a towel wrapped around his waist, he went to his locker and pulled on a fresh uniform.
“So,” Jake said. “This was your first major fire since joining the department. I’d say you’ve been a lucky bastard that all the major fires have happened on the other shift, but you seemed to enjoy running into that building. Still think this is the life you want?”
Cosmir grinned. “Definitely. Even if I did only rescue kittens this time, it still felt nice to make a difference. I’m used to defending my world, protecting those weaker than me when needed. When I realized I was going to make Earth my semi-permanent home, I knew I wanted a job where I could make a difference.”
“You were a warrior though, right? Why not become a cop?”
“I actually know someone who did exactly that, but it didn’t feel like a good fit for me. I don’t want to see the worst of humanity every day. Yes, some of the fires we go to were set on purpose, but mostly they’re accidents.”
“Can I ask you something?”
“I guess it depends. Are you going to ask if aliens are anatomically the same as humans? Because I’ve heard that one a lot.”
Jake snickered. “No, but I’m hoping you are. Your kind has a mating instead of a marriage right?”
“And you mate for life?”
“Yes, but you’re not my type.”
Jake’s smile broadened. “No worries. You aren’t my type either. But… I think you just may be perfect for –“
Cosmir turned toward the very feminine voice and nearly swallowed his tongue when he saw the ebony haired beauty heading their way. The sway of her hips drew his gaze as she sauntered toward them on metallic colored sandals. Her shorts rode low on her hips and left little to the imagination. Where had this goddess been in his entire life?
“Caitlyn. What are you doing at the station?” Jake asked.
“I can’t just surprise my big brother when I’m in the area?” Her gaze scanned Cosmir before a naughty smile flitted across her lips. Before he had time to react, she threw her arms around his neck and planted a kiss on his mouth.
Her tongue flicked his lower lip and he opened to let her in. The taste of her exploded on his tongue and he couldn’t help but wrap his arms around her waist, pulling her tighter against him. Warning bells were going off in his head that he was in danger of imminent meltdown, but damn, the woman could kiss!
She pulled away, a satisfied grin on her face as she turned to face Jake again.
Jake shook his head. “Well, since you’re here, I’d like to introduce you to Cosmir. He’s the Terran I’ve mentioned before.” His lips tipped up on one corner. “Besides, you might as well know the name of the man you just swapped spit with. Don’t you usually at least get their names first?”
Caitlyn held out a dainty hand. “It’s nice to meet you.”
As Cosmir’s hand folded around hers, he felt a jolt that started in his chest and rapidly moved below the belt. Her blue eyes gazed up at him while a gentle smile curved her lips. She was breathtaking, and suddenly he didn’t have a clue what to say. Odd. It wasn’t like he’d never been around women, even if it had been nearly a year since he’d been intimate with one. “The pleasure is all mine,” he rumbled, finally finding his tongue, and quite reluctant to let go of her hand.
“I haven’t seen you at any of Jake’s parties,” Caitlyn said. “Not much of a party animal?”
Cosmir smiled. “Not really.” But if she was going to be at those parties, he’d have to make an effort to be there. Watching her smile was worth a little suffering.
Three aliens intent on finding their mates. Three human women willing to risk everything for a chance at happiness…
Charlotte and the Alien Ambassador: When her father demands she take her sister’s place in a bride exchange on another world, Charlotte decides to embrace her future. She knows it’s her last chance to find happiness, and she’ll do anything to grab it with both hands. The ethereal woman who steps off the shuttle holds Borgoz spellbound. She’s everything he’s ever wanted, and the one thing he can never have.
Hazel and the Alien Biker: Kicked off his home world after losing his mate, Reyvor has made a place for himself on Earth, spending his nights cruising the streets on his Harley. But a commotion outside his motel room just may turn out to be his saving grace. Hazel is hesitant to trust anyone again, but Reyvor is determined to make her his. What’s an alien to do when all he wants is a loving family to call his own? He’ll break down her defenses one by one, until she melts against him and begs for his kiss. Can he claim the feisty Hazel and her three little girls without completely losing his heart?
Jacie and the Alien Bodyguard: Stupid. Careless. Jacie has called herself ten times a fool. Now she’s pregnant and alone. When a tall, sexy hunk of alien male meets her at the shuttle station on his world, Jacie feels the stirrings of desire — even though that’s what got her into this mess in the first place. But there’s something about Barimere that’s different, and she doesn’t mean the scars on his face.
An alien warrior intent on fighting his attraction. A human female determined to bring him to his knees. What could possibly go wrong?
She nodded. “Why can I understand you and not anyone else?”
“I, along with quite a few other males on this planet, have learned your Earth English. However, to make sure you can understand everyone around you, I’m going to implant you with a translator. I’ll also implant you with a sensor that will allow you to make purchases on our world. When you select a mate, he will pay for whatever you buy between now and then. Once your mating is approved, you’ll be added to his accounts everywhere in Terran Prime.”
“Thank you for explaining how everything works. I’ve been a little lost.”
He frowned. “May I ask a personal question?”
“Your voice is different from anyone else I’ve encountered from Earth. Are you from a special region?”
“I’m deaf.” She pointed to her hearing aids. “These allow me to hear a little, but it’s like listening to someone talk under water. I don’t always catch everything. And, while it allows me to hear a little, I can’t always tell how loud I’m speaking.”
“Understood. Perhaps, after you’ve found a mate, they will permit me to run some tests and see if we can restore your hearing.”
“I was born deaf. My mother had preeclampsia when she was pregnant with me, and I was born early. Some of the bones inside my ear didn’t form correctly. A doctor tried to explain it to me once, but I didn’t understand the terms he used.”
The doctor nodded. “Well, we’ll take care of those implants today and if you decide you wish me to run tests later, then that’s what we’ll do.”
She meekly followed the doctor into a back room and stretched out on the table at his direction. He explained the procedure to her before giving her some gas to put her to sleep. When next she woke, her wrist and the back of her ear hurt a little, but otherwise she couldn’t tell she’d had anything done.
Charlotte found the other male pacing in the lobby.
“Can you understand me now?” he asked.
“I have a translator, so I understood everything you told the doctor. You’re not Charity Mayweather, are you?”
“Charity is my younger sister.”
The Terran’s face flushed with anger. “Your father lied to me. He said he was sending Charity here to find a husband, not her deaf older sister.”
She felt shame burn through her as she realized she was about to be cast aside again. Charlotte knew she should be accustomed to it by now but it still hurt, knowing she wasn’t good enough for yet one more man.
“If you send me back to Earth, I’ll be homeless,” she said. “My father said if I didn’t come here and find a husband, I would be thrown out of the house and all my accounts would be closed.”
The Terran muttered something, raked a hand through his waist-length hair, and then faced her with his hands on his hips. “I’m Chief Councilor Borgoz and you’ll be staying in my home. You may not be the sister I was expecting, but I’m not about to leave you stranded here. Especially with your condition.”
“I’m deaf, not stupid.”
The harshness of his face relaxed into an apologetic look. “I didn’t mean to imply that you were stupid, but there are many dangers on a new world for anyone, much less someone who can’t hear. I didn’t mean to make you feel unwanted or as if you were a burden.”
“It wouldn’t be the first time in my life I’ve felt that way.”
His gaze narrowed. “Your father made you feel unwanted?”
“And my sister. Be thankful she didn’t come in my place. She’s a spoiled, selfish brat who always has to get her way or she screams and throws things.” It felt good to be honest about her sister without fear of being punished. Everyone always treated Charity as if she was a princess, and Charlotte was tired of it.
“Right. Well, let’s get you settled. I’m sure you’ll want more things than what you brought with you. Once you’ve had a chance to put your belongings away, I’ll take you shopping for anything you had to leave behind.”
“I don’t need much. As long as you have something to wash with, I’ll be fine. I have enough clothes to last a week before I’ll have to do laundry.”
“An Earth week is seven days, correct?”
“A Terran week is eleven days. You’ll need more clothes. Things are different here on Terran. We don’t have machines in our homes to launder our clothes, and the shop in town that handles it is usually busy. You’ll want as many outfits as possible.”
He crooked his elbow and she curled her hand around it, watching as he hefted her bag as easily if it contained no more than feathers.
Charlotte tried to take in the scenery as they walked through Terran Prime. Borgoz explained that, while he had a vehicle to maneuver through the city, he thought she might like the walk to stretch her legs after such a long shuttle ride.
When they reached his home, her jaw dropped as she stared at the massive structure. She’d lived in a mansion all her life, but Borgoz’s home surpassed that of her father’s by a fourth floor and probably another twenty feet in width. She tried not to stumble over her feet as he led her up the stairs and into his home. Charlotte looked everywhere, not wanting to miss a thing.
Borgoz handed her bag to another male, and they followed him up the stairs to her room. It was twice the size of her bedroom at home with doors that opened onto a balcony overlooking a garden. It was gorgeous, and for the first time in her life she felt lucky. She was glad her father had sent her here, and had hope that her future would be bright and wonderful.
She turned from the fantastic view to find Borgoz studying her. Charlotte couldn’t guess his age. There were no wrinkles on his face, but the silver in his hair told her he was probably forty at the least. But then, she didn’t know how Terrans aged. For all she knew, he was pushing seventy like the vile old man her father had tried to force her to marry.
Borgoz was a handsome man. His purple eyes were dark like a pansy and quite beautiful. Those eyes were taking her in, and she wondered if he found her lacking like everyone else in her life. If she’d known she was coming to a palace, she may have dressed a little nicer for her trip. She tugged on the hem of her tank and wondered if she should change clothes before going shopping with him. He was being kind enough to give her a place to stay, the least she could do was not embarrass him in front of his people.
“I’ll come back in thirty of your Earth minutes to see if you’ve finished unpacking. If you’re hungry, we can stop for a bite to eat while we’re out and then go shopping. Don’t hesitate to ask for anything you need. If you can’t find me, Helio will help you,” he said, indicating the other male.
Borgoz gave her a regal nod and then he exited with his servant.
Left alone, she quickly unpacked and changed into a pretty sundress so she would be appropriately attired for an outing with someone so important, then she spent the rest of her time admiring the view. Charlotte hoped she’d get a chance to walk through that garden and admire the petals of the vibrant flowers close up. This world was amazing and full of new and wonderful things. She couldn’t wait to explore as much of it as she was allowed.
A perky blonde behind the reception counter smiled brightly at her. “May I help you with something?”
Penny, her tag read. “Penny, I need to speak to someone about someone who recently entered the bride program.”
The receptionist’s eyes went wide. “Oh, we can’t discuss our candidates. Not unless they left permission during the application process. You could check with records and see if your name is on the approved list.”
Jennifer ground her teeth. “And where is Records?”
Penny pulled out a map and highlighted the way, then handed it over. Following the neon line, Jennifer made her way through the station, trying not to scowl at every alien she passed. It wasn’t their fault her daughter had run off to get married to some stranger on another world. When she reached Records, the alien behind the counter smiled at her.
“My name is Zwyk,” he said. “Is there something I can help you with?”
“I think my daughter joined your bride program and I’m trying to find out if she’s already been sent to your world.”
His eyebrows rose. “I see. And your daughter’s name?”
He tapped away at his computer, a frown marring his face before he looked up at her again. “Mrs. Montgomery, I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you where your daughter is right now.”
“It’s Miss,” she bit out. “So, either you really don’t know, or she did join your program and said you couldn’t tell me where she was.”
He looked pained, which was all the answer she needed. It felt like steam was going to billow out of her ears at any moment. They’d allowed her baby to sign up, and now they wouldn’t even tell her if she’d made it to their planet safely. Assholes. No, that wasn’t completely fair. It wasn’t entirely their fault. Lila was just as much to blame for this mess, if not more so.
“Who is in charge?” Jennifer asked.
“Tyril. He’s…” Zwyk looked over her shoulder and pointed. “Over there.”
She turned and looked, seeing two aliens having a discussion in the middle of the station. One was taller and broader than the other, his hair was long and thick; a rather sexy eye patch covered one eye. The smaller one was dressed nicer and looked more… tame. She glanced from one to the other again, and hoped it was the tamer looking one that was Tyril. The taller one looked like he could break her in half without breaking a sweat.
Jennifer approached them and the taller one stopped mid-sentence to look her way. Though he only had one eye, his gaze was appreciative as he took her in from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. A sexy smirk graced his lips when he met her gaze. Oh lordy. Now that was a man who was sexy as fuck and knew it. She forced herself to look away and focus on the smaller of the two.
“Are you Tyril?” she asked.
He nodded and gave her a pleasant smile. “If you want to apply for the bride program, the application center is at the front of the station.”
“I’m actually here about someone who already signed up.”
“I’m afraid we can’t divulge information about our potential brides without their permission. You’ll have to speak with Zwyk and see if you’re on the approved list.”
Jennifer folded her arms under her breasts, pushing them up, and stared at Tyril. His gaze momentarily dropped to her chest before he looked up again. Good. She had his attention, or at least part of her did.
“My daughter received something in the mail from this station, and she’s been missing for over a week. Your precious Records person won’t tell me a damn thing and I demand to know if my daughter is safe. Do I need to go to the police to file a missing persons report, or is she not on Earth anymore?”
Tyril’s eyes widened a little. “Your daughter? We would never allow someone underage to…”
She held up a hand. “Lila is eighteen and grown enough I suppose, but sometimes she still acts like a child. Much like now. She disappeared only saying she was going to a friend’s house, packed enough clothes for a week, then made sure her friends wouldn’t tell me where she was, and she wouldn’t answer her phone. I found the opened envelope under her mattress and the letter inside was missing. I guess if she’s off-world that would explain why she’s not answering her phone.”
Tyril looked sympathetic. “I want to help you, but I can’t. We have rules in place for a reason. If she did sign up for the program and didn’t put you on the approved list of contacts, then there’s nothing I can do.”
Tears of frustration welled in her eyes and her hands clenched into fists. “So I’m just supposed to wonder for the rest of my life what happened to my only child?”
The taller of the two moved closer. “You have a daughter old enough for the bride program?”
“Yes.” Jennifer bit her lip. “I know she’s technically an adult, but she’s my baby. She’s all I have. Isn’t there something you can do?”
“The only way any human is going to our world is as a potential bride, or part of an already mated pair,” Tyril said, his gaze sliding over her. “And as you’re old enough to already have an adult child, I doubt either is a possibility for you.”
Jennifer’s cheeks flushed with anger, and without thought, she hauled back her hand, made a fist, and punched him right across his jaw. Tyril stumbled back a step, his eyes wide and incredulous, as his hand cupped the injured area.
“You hit me!” he said in outrage.
“And I’m going to kick you in the balls next if you don’t help me,” Jennifer said. “And I’m not old, dammit. I’m only thirty-eight.”
Tyril cupped said balls and took another step back.
The one-eyed alien smiled broadly. “I like her.”
“Call security,” Tyril said. “Someone needs to escort her from the premises.”
“I’m not leaving until you tell me where my daughter is,” she shouted at him.
“You’re a menace,” Tyril said.
Jennifer growled and advanced on him, whacking his biceps with her open palm before cracking her other hand against his cheek. They were not going to keep her child from her.
The sexy alien behind her gave a full-belly laugh and wrapped an arm around her waist, hauling her back against his rather impressive chest. His body shook with merriment as Tyril glared at them, looking more than a little irate at her attack. She supposed she should be thankful he hadn’t tried to hit her back. While he might not be as built as the alien holding her, he wasn’t exactly weak looking either. One punch probably would have knocked her out.
“I believe you’ve met your match, Tyril. Why not tell her what she wants to know? She’s fierce and doesn’t seem to be taking no for an answer,” the sexy alien said.
“Stay out of this, Siril. We have rules. Policies. I can’t go breaking them just because she wants to know where her daughter is. If she’s not on the approved list, I can’t even confirm whether her daughter was here or not.”
Some of her anger deflated and she felt utterly helpless. “You can’t even tell me if she was accepted into the program? I just want to know that she’s safe. Do you have children? Wouldn’t you want to know if they were okay?”
“I do not,” Tyril said, but some of the anger seemed to drain from him. “I’m truly sorry, but I can’t help you.”
She’s the only hope for my people, our salvation.
I never thought I’d fall in love with her.
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Karen Fox
Genres/Themes: Action Adventure, Futuristic, Sci-fi,
Alien Encounters, Alternate Universe, Single Parent/Pregnancy Romance
My people are dying out, and if my generation doesn’t find compatible mates soon then my people will become extinct. When I hear of a race called Humans who are capable of breeding with Elorian males, I know we must find some and convince them to mate with single males on Elora.
Their home planet is too far from my own, but a ship of slaves crash-landed on X-2 five hundred years ago and many were of the Human race. It’s there I know I’ll find the females who will save my kind.
It never occurred to me that I would be the first to claim a mate, or that she would have been so horribly abused. Despite her horrific past, my sweet Marcy gives me a chance, and now that she’s mine I will do anything in my power to protect her.
The sun on the unforgiving planet beat down, making it hard to breathe. My parents were long gone, and there was no one left to protect me.
The colony I called home was a lawless place where men dominated and females were no better than slaves. I knew our history, had heard of my ancestors and how they’d been captured on another world, taken into slavery. Then the ship had crash-landed here, and the survivors had created a new home.
The alien slavers had died, but the slaves had all lived. Mostly Human, though there were a few other races that seemed peaceful most of the time. The others kept to themselves and didn’t interfere.
My mother had told me stories about Earth, the world our people had come from, and how wonderful it had been. The stories had been passed from her mother, and so on all the way back to the original Humans who had landed on X-2. There had been something called television and movies, music, and tall glass buildings that reached up into the sky.
She’d said that women had the same rights as men on our home planet, and were given a voice even when selecting leaders. It seemed a bit strange to me, not having known any of those things, but it was nice to think there was a place like that out there somewhere.
Our current home was a nightmare. The red dirt coated everything, and the sun stayed bright and hot for all but a few hours out of each day. Unlike the Earth my mother had spoken of, women here had no rights of any kind. Whatever a man told us to do, we had to comply immediately or face the consequences. Some of my friends had learned the hard way exactly what that meant, and bile rose in my throat as I thought about it. Each punishment was made public to make an example of the woman who had dared to disobey. It didn’t matter if a man asked you to fetch him food, or strip off your clothes. We weren’t allowed to say no to anything.
I’d heard of females running and hiding. I didn’t know how true that was, or if they were even still alive if they had managed such a feat. The only shelters I knew of were the crude homes and buildings of our small village. Sometimes I wished there was a place I could hide as well. Men didn’t take wives, like my mother had said happened on Earth, and those who did choose a female to bear their children didn’t remain faithful to them. Women were cattle to be used as the men saw fit. Breeders, or a thing to play with.
I felt Bruce’s hand slide up my arm as he crowded me. Revulsion filled me, but I knew better than to pull away. I’d been his favorite for a while. Not his ‘only’, by any means, but his favorite. I’d have gladly given that honor up to someone else. The brute never cared if he hurt me, and I sometimes felt like he got off on making me scream. My body still wore the bruises he’d left the last time he’d forced my submission.
Better me than some of the others, though. In this lawless society men didn’t temper their needs for any reason, which meant even the teen girls were fair game. My mother had assured me on our home world something like that would have been cause for punishment, that men could be imprisoned for the things they did here. I often wondered if what she said was true, or merely a story to give me hope that life could be better.
There were times I wished both the aliens and slaves on the crashed ship had died that day rather than live like this another moment. Bruce’s hand tightened on me and he turned me to face him.
“You’re going to serve drinks to me and my friends tonight, Marcy. And you’re going to be a good girl, aren’t you?” he asked.
Like I had much of a choice. I nodded and refused to meet his gaze.
“Good.” His hand petted me some more. “After our card game, we’ll all have some fun.”
Oh, God! Anything but that! I knew exactly what he meant. It wasn’t uncommon for Bruce to have game nights, and after they were well and truly drunk, they’d take turns with whatever woman had been serving them that night.
I tried not to tremble or give away my fear and disgust. By some miracle, I’d never gotten pregnant, but sooner or later that luck would run out. I’d either give birth to a daughter who would face the same fate as me, or a son who would become a monster. I couldn’t stand the thought of either scenario.
“Go brush out your hair and come to my place. Don’t be late,” he said.
Just as quickly as he’d arrived, he was gone. My body sagged and I couldn’t stop the tears that tracked my cheeks. I couldn’t do it! Not again. There was so much I’d endured since I’d turned sixteen and caught a man’s eye, but I knew I was slowly losing my mind. I should be grateful.
I’d been late in becoming a woman, my body not changing until much later than the others. Had I developed curves and begun my monthly bleeding at an earlier age, I doubted the men would have waited until I was sixteen. A few women in our small colony had already broken and taken their lives. I knew if I had to endure much more, I would follow in their steps. I refused to believe that my life was supposed to be like this.
I crept into the hall of the cracked and crumbling building we called home. As silently as I could, I managed to flee into the hot air outside. A breeze caressed me and gave me the courage to move forward.
Freedom! That’s what I tasted, what I smelled… No matter what happened, I wasn’t going back! I silently made my way through the winding path of crumbling buildings until I reached the outer wall. The guard at the gate had his head slumped, probably having had too much to drink.
I ran, my bare feet digging into the soil and broken bits of rock that served as a road to the other alien settlements. The original survivors had broken off into groups, and set up colonies on this small, dry planet. The trees beckoned, their brown and orange leaves crackling in the air, and I pushed myself, not daring to look back and only moving forward. I ran until my lungs burned and my legs ached. Pain pierced my side and I didn’t think I could go much further.
A few land vehicles had been salvaged from the crashed ship and still ran even all these years later. The Human colony had one, as did two other settlements. I heard one approaching and crouched, hoping to blend in with the scratchy branches and dead leaves lining the roadway. My heart pounded so loud I worried they could hear it.
A hand covered my mouth and I was jerked against a large, hard body.
“Quiet,” a male voice said in my ear. The accent was different from anything I remembered hearing before, and my body tensed, but I knew better than to fight. If anything, my life had taught me that to deny a male would only end in more pain and suffering.
The hovercraft drove past and the male holding me moved further back into the dead foliage. Once the sound of the patrol was gone, I was released. I stumbled, nearly falling to the ground, but the guy caught me, holding me against his broad chest. I stared at it a moment, then blinked and blinked again.
His broad gold chest. My panic rose again as I realized that none of the survivors on this world were gold.
I whimpered, but my upbringing in this hostile place had taught me not to fight. I hung limply in the stranger’s embrace and hoped that if he wanted to kill me, that it would be quick and painless. The fact I’d never seen anyone like him before made me tremble, and I worried about what would happen to me. When had a new race of aliens landed on X-2?
The sheer size of him was intimidating, as he towered over me and was rather broad. Not from fat, because his arms and chest appeared to be thickly muscled. His eyes seemed like liquid gold as I looked up at him. Long black hair cascaded over his shoulders and down his back, with a braid on either side of his face. His jaw was covered in a short beard and there was a scar along one cheek. Something flicked against my ankles and I looked down, gasping when I saw a long, slender tail. I’d never seen anything on two legs with one of those before. It was golden like him, with a puff of black at the tip. As I studied his face again, I realized there were three ridges across his brow that looked like some sort of hard plating.
“You’re safe now, female,” he said. “My name is J-Ril, and I mean you no harm.”
My people are dying out and if my generation of Elorians don’t find compatible mates soon, then my people will become extinct. When I hear of a race called humans who are capable of breeding with Elorian males, I know I must find some and convince them to mate with single males on Elora. Their home planet is too far from my own, but a ship of slaves crash-landed on X-2 five hundred years ago, and many were of the human race. It’s there I know I’ll find the females who will save my kind. It never occurred to me that I would be the first to claim a mate, or that she would have been so horribly abused. Despite her horrific past, my sweet Marcy gives me a chance, and now that she’s mine I will do anything in my power to protect her.
Blossom has struggled all her life, never able to claw her way out of the worst neighborhood in Los Angeles. Her loser ex-boyfriend isn’t who she thought he was, and now she’s in deep trouble — but Christmas is the time for miracles, and Blossom needs one now more than ever. She just doesn’t expect her miracle to arrive in such a sexy, purple package. When the notorious alien actor Brexton knocks on her door, she does what any rational woman would do — she slams it in his face. Wishing for a miracle is one thing, but having the heartthrob of Hollywood on her doorstep isn’t what she had in mind.
Brexton has always wanted a mate and family, though he’s never been blessed with either. When he hears about a single mom who’s in trouble, he knows he can’t leave her to face her fate. Having a door slammed in his face hadn’t factored into his plans, but that one glimpse is enough for Brexton. He’d do anything to get another look at the sexy female with blue hair, and a body that would feature in all his future dreams.
Despite danger lurking around every corner, Brexton is determined to give Blossom and her children a Christmas they’ll always remember. Now that he has the family he’s always wanted, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep them safe, and hopefully share the first of many holidays with his new mate and kids.
Brexton left the studio and climbed into the SUV he’d bought after his first movie contract. He’d been assured it was a good quality vehicle, but truthfully, humans had too many brands and names for things. Other than price, he didn’t understand the difference in a BMW and a Ford. They all had four wheels and could take you where you needed to be. Yes, some seemed nicer inside than others, and he’d learned that some had more buttons and options inside, but it seemed the name on the car often made them cost more, which made little sense to him. His manager had helped him select this vehicle with the blue and white emblem on the front. It was roomy enough for his large frame and the seats were comfortable. Nothing else mattered to Brexton.
He drove straight to the Terran station, hoping to find someone to help them. He might have been a warrior, once, but those days were behind him. Others would be better qualified to protect a woman and her children. There would be guards at the station with current warrior status, those who still practiced hand-to-hand combat, and had learned about the weapons on this world. Brexton had decided to focus his attention elsewhere, but he hadn’t taken into account the way humans were always hurting one another. He might need to schedule some training time, re-hone the kills he’d probably lost over the last ten years, in case he ever needed to defend a female or children.
He’d never been one of the elite, and he’d often wonder if it had to do with his DNA. While both his parents were Zelthranites, there was a faint trace of something else in his blood. It wouldn’t have been noticeable except Zelthranite males didn’t grow facial hair other than eyebrows, and Brexton had a full beard. He’d asked the doctors on his world about it, and they’d assured him that he had Zelthranite blood, but it seemed he was a throwback to hundreds of years ago. It had made him different, and on his world, different wasn’t always a good thing. Here he was accepted, which was why he’d left his home world at the age of nineteen. By that time, he’d been a warrior for three years and known he wasn’t right for that life.
As he entered the station, the human female at the front desk got a dreamy expression on her face. He’d seen that look before and braced himself for whatever she might say or do. He knew without the human fans, he wouldn’t have a lucrative career as an actor, but this was the part of his job he hated. Since his people were already celebrities of a sort on Earth, he hadn’t seen the harm in following this particular path. He hadn’t counted on being ten times more famous than he’d already been, and there were times it was a right pain.
“Brexton!” the human said, smiling and giving him a wave, like they were old friends. “How can I help you today? Is the new movie going well?”
He forced himself to smile. “It’s going well. Everything is on schedule.”
“I can’t wait to see it,” she said, her eyes lighting up. “Maybe you could give me a tour of the studio sometime?”
“The studio does offer tours. I would be happy to put your name on the list.”
Her enthusiasm died a little when she realized he wasn’t going to personally take her around. Money and fame mattered entirely too much to the human species. It seemed to be how they determined who was worth their time and who wasn’t. He had yet to meet a genuine person, but he’d been told it had a lot to do with being part of the Hollywood elite. Apparently, he attracted the wrong type of person.
“I need to speak to the guards,” he said. “Who is on duty right now?”
She tapped at her computer a moment, then gave him a list of names and where to find them. Out of the names mentioned, he knew that Ranvik had the highest warrior ranking, and would be his best bet for saving that little family. He made his way through the station until he found the warrior surveying the departure area for the latest shuttle sending potential brides to his home world.
“Ranvik,” he said as he approached.
“If it isn’t Mr. Famous,” Ranvik said. His expression didn’t change. “To what do we owe the honor? It’s not often you grace us with your presence.”
“I see you’ve picked up human sarcasm rather well.”
Ranvik shrugged. “Have to do something to pass the time. Policing human females gets boring.”
“I need your help, or rather a human family does.”
Now he had the warrior’s attention. “What type of help?”
“I was informed there is a human female and her children who are in danger.” Brexton told the warrior what little he knew of the situation and showed him the address the human had put into his phone.
Ranvik rubbed a hand against his jaw. “I don’t have anyone to spare right now. Things are always dull at the station, but we still have to make sure all points are covered in case there’s ever trouble.”
“But this woman…”
“You were a warrior once, Brexton. I know you were young when you were training, and it’s been a long time, but those skills will still be there when you need them. You have to trust in yourself, in your abilities. You may be an actor here on Earth, but never forget who you truly are.”
He snorted. He knew who he was, and it wasn’t a proud warrior. That had never been a title he could claim. Even when he’d trained daily, he’d been average at best. Not like the warrior standing in front of him. Ranvik had a reputation back home, and the nearly forty-year-old warrior would be much better suited to rescuing the woman and her kids. What if Brexton fucked it all up? Being in the spotlight meant his every move was criticized. If the female’s boyfriend attacked and Brexton had to defend himself, someone was bound to make it sound like Brexton was at fault. He’d learned that humans tended to blame those in a position of power, whether they were responsible or not.
“I’m sorry, truly. I just can’t spare anyone right now,” Ranvik said. “And it doesn’t sound like this female and her children can afford to wait until I have time to look into it.”
Brexton ran a hand through his hair. “If I get shot, I’m going to come back and kick your ass.”
Ranvik smirked. “You could try.”
“Fine. I’ll go check on the female. But what the hell am I supposed to do with her? I figured the station would have the resources necessary to get her somewhere safely, or give her a temporary place to stay.”
“Don’t you have some massive house with like fifteen bedrooms?” Ranvik asked.
“It’s eight, not fifteen, asshole.”
Ranvik raised a brow. “Right. One male and eight bedrooms. I can’t imagine where you could possibly put one small human and her kids.”
“Take them home with me?” It was true that he had a lot of security at his home, and it would be difficult for the male to attack the small family, or kidnap them. He just hadn’t considered keeping them after he removed them from the situation.
“You’ll figure it out, superstar,” Ranvik said. “Now get the hell out of here. All the potential brides are eyeing you like a piece of candy and seem hesitant to get onto the shuttle.”
He glanced at the women and realized Ranvik spoke the truth. They were all giving him that look he’d come to think of as the be my sugar daddy simper. It never worked on him, and irritated the hell out of him, but it didn’t stop them from trying. He really did need a mate, if for no other reason than to keep the vultures away, but Zelthranites mated for life and he had yet to find a sweet, kind, genuine female he could spend his days with, and not worry that she was after his money.
Brexton left the Terran station and went back out to his car. He sighed when he saw two women lurking next to the vehicle. With some luck, they’d just want an autograph, but he was seldom that fortunate. At least, not with single females. He’d even had a few married ones hit on him, right in front of their spouses. It was shocking, and disgusting. Where he came from, mates were faithful to one another and completely devoted to each other. The lack of integrity he’d witnessed in the humans he dealt with didn’t inspire great confidence that he would ever find a mate. Not here anyway. There were other worlds that had compatible females for his kind, but the small humans had always been appealing to Brexton.
Compared to a human male, he was rather large. He’d met a few human males who were his size, but most were quite a bit shorter and not as broad. More than one human female had told him that he was intimidating, especially with his beard and longer hair. Brexton wasn’t going to try to change his appearance though. He hadn’t conformed when he’d been on his world, and he wasn’t about to start now. Besides, his size and overall looks were a sort of trademark at this point in his career.
As he neared the address on his phone, he realized the neighborhood was worse than he’d thought. Most buildings and homes had their windows boarded, and graffiti covered their walls. The fences he saw had barbed wire topping them, and every single male seemed to be armed. What he didn’t see were any law enforcement vehicles. No wonder this part of town was so out of control. No one seemed to care what happened to the people who lived here.
Brexton pulled to a stop outside of an apartment building that looked like it might fall down in a stiff breeze. He got out of his SUV and set the alarm before approaching the five-story brick structure. Movement caught his attention out of the corner of his eye, but it was just a pack of rats scurrying into the drain. The vermin didn’t bother him like they did some people, but he knew he had to get the little family out of this place.
The door swung open easily enough, which made him frown. There was absolutely no security for a female and her children. He doubted that she would live here if she had other options, although not many humans he’d met acted in a way that made sense to him. He didn’t know what to expect when he met her. He’d seen some females on corners as he’d gotten near the address, and they’d looked hard and far too thin. The makeup caked on their faces had made them seem harsh, and he hated they’d fallen so far. Assuming they’d ever known anything other than this poverty.
Brexton found the apartment number the female at the studio had entered into his phone and he knocked, the door shaking under the force of his fist. One hard blow, and he could probably break the damn thing. He heard whispers on the other side of the door, then it opened a crack. A chain ran across the inside not quite six feet up, but even that looked incredibly weak. The small female who peered through the opening didn’t stand a chance if someone was determined to break into her home.
“I was told you need assistance,” he said, and watched as her eyes went wide.
The door slammed shut and he wondered if maybe he should have gone about this a different way. After a moment, it slowly opened, this time without the chain in place, and the dainty female looking up at him nearly took his breath away. The way his heart was racing, he started to think maybe he was the one who needed help. His body had an instant reaction to the petite blue-haired pixie, and he hoped she didn’t notice. In all his years on Earth, he’d never once had a female affect him so strongly. Something inside of him was screaming mine.
Things had definitely taken an unexpected turn.
Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child writing her first stories in crayon. Today she’s a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and she firmly believes that love will find you at the right time, even if Mr. Right is literally out of this world.
Genres/Themes: Science Fiction Romance, Alien Invasion, Single Mom, Matchmaking Agency
Length: 106 pages (Novella)
Publisher: Coastal Escape Publishing
Single-mom and unemployed, not the best combination. Violet has done everything she can to provide for her son, but sometimes you just have to admit you can’t do it all. Dating humans hasn’t worked out so well for her, so why not look for some out of this world kind of love?
There’s just one problem. The official at the Interstellar Love Dating Agency takes one look at her son Simon and nearly has an epileptic fit. Who knew such a sweet and charming little boy could cause such a reaction?
When Tiraz, an alien of the Liptu race, overhears Violet’s pitiful tale, he can’t help but lend a hand. Tiraz might not want a female of his own – just yet – but he knows plenty of males who do. What harm could come of playing matchmaker for this down on their luck family?
Famous last words. The more time Tiraz spends with Violet, the more he starts to feel something. He has no idea what the strange sensation is, but every time Violet is near, he has the urge to hold her, to press his lips to her smooth rosy cheek, and whisper words of comfort in her ear.
What’s a confirmed bachelor alien to do when he realizes what he wants most is the little family living under his roof?
Violet eyed the glass building in front of her. It was the headquarters for Interstellar Love, a unique dating agency that catered to the aliens who had made themselves known two years ago. Violet still wasn’t entirely certain she trusted the aliens, but her options were dwindling fast. She’d used the last of her money to pay the rent and utilities, and to buy a week’s worth of groceries. If she had any other options, she’d have used them by now, but no one in the sleepy town of Birchwood, Georgia was hiring. At least, they weren’t hiring her.
A small hand tugged on her shirt. “I’m hungry.”
Of course he was. At five, her son had just hit another growth spurt and was trying to eat her out of house and home. If this plan didn’t work, she was scared to think of what would happen to their small family of two.
“Simon, I’ll take you home and make you a peanut butter sandwich when we’re finished here, but remember what Mommy said?”
He sighed. “Be still and be quiet.”
“Right.” She squeezed his hand. “Let’s go.”
Her heart thumped wildly against her breast as her clammy hand pushed open the glass door. The lobby was swanky with leather furniture, a flat screen TV, and a reception desk that looked like it was made from marble. The woman behind the desk was dressed in a no nonsense suit, her hair back in a severe twist, and her expression pinched at best.
“Do you have an appointment?” the woman asked in a clipped tone.
Where had they found the Ice Queen?
“I spoke with Mr. Anderson this morning and he told me to stop by any time.” Violet licked her lips. “If now isn’t a good time, I can always come back later.”
Simon’s stomach chose that moment to rumble loudly and Violet’s cheeks flushed. Great. Now they’ll think I starve my son.
The woman’s eyebrows arched as she stared down her nose at them, but she picked up a phone and pressed a button.
“Mr. Anderson, there’s a woman here to see you.”
“My name is Violet Wilcox,” she said.
“A Violet Wilcox. She said she spoke with you this morning.” The woman paused. “Of course, sir. I’ll send her right up.”
She hung up the phone and fastened her frosty gaze on them again. “Take the elevators across the lobby and go up to the fifth floor. When the doors open, you’ll turn right and it’s the last office on your left.”
Violet tugged Simon toward the elevators and they made their way to Mr. Anderson’s office. It was easy to find, but once they stood outside the closed door, Violet felt her stomach tighten and her hand tremble. She raised her hand and knocked briefly before pushing the door open. The balding man behind the desk pushed his glasses up his nose and motioned for her to come in.
“Please take a seat Miss Wilcox.” His eyes widened when he saw Simon. “And who might this be?”
“This is my son, Simon.”
“Oh my, oh my. You didn’t mention anything about children when we spoke before. This is…oh dear.”
His face flushed and he looked flustered. Violet wasn’t sure what the problem was. So she had a child. What was the big deal? Were the aliens such assholes that they didn’t like children?
“Mr. Anderson, I don’t understand what’s wrong.”
“Well, we pride ourselves on presenting young women who are seeking a husband, no matter his race, and those women have always been single and never married before. I’m not sure how they’ll handle someone who’s divorced. Most of them believe that a mating is forever. If they discover you’ve been married, and left your spouse, they may not want to risk a relationship with you.”
Nice of him to assume she did the leaving. He must be one of those assholes that always blamed the woman for everything that went wrong.
“Oh. I’m not divorced.”
“Not…Not…I don’t… how can you not be divorced when you have a child? The boy obviously has a father.”
Her cheeks burned with embarrassment. After five years, you’d think she wouldn’t be shamed by her lapse in judgment. Not that she was ashamed of her son! Far from it. What embarrassed her were the events that led up to the birth of her son.
“I was never married, Mr. Anderson. Simon is five and I’m twenty-two. I got pregnant the beginning of my senior year of high school and my boyfriend at the time turned out to be a real jerk and dropped us as fast as he could.”
“A teen mother?” He looked nearly epileptic.
Perhaps coming here hadn’t been such a grand idea, but the aliens were so desperate to find a match that they were offering to pay all expenses for the woman to travel to their world and stay for as long as it took. She should have known it was too good to be true. Not that she needed a man to take care of her! She’d been doing just fine on her own. Mostly fine. Well, partially fine.
“Mr. Anderson, I’m here because I’m single and I’m open to a match with an alien. But I wasn’t driven here by a desire to find true love. The truth is I lost my job four months ago, and even with unemployment, we’re barely hanging on. I’ve looked everywhere in town for a job, but no one will hire me. My son is the most important person in my life and if our situation doesn’t change, I…” Tears clogged her throat at the idea of losing her son. She’d have to drop him off at the Winterhaven Home for Boys in hopes some kind soul would take care of him until she was back on her feet. And it tore her apart just thinking about it.
“Miss Wilcox, I’m not sure what you want me to do. Are you seriously suggesting that a potential mate will fly you out to his world, with your son?”
Violet stood, pulling Simon up from his chair. “I can see this was a mistake.”
Tears burned her eyes and throat and she sniffled to keep her nose from running. This was her last shot at keeping Simon with her, and she’d blown it. As she approached the doorway, she noticed a blue male standing in the doorway. And she didn’t mean his clothes were blue. His skin was a pale, powdery blue and his hair was stark white. He reminded her of a winter wonderland prince, with his billowing white shirt and black leather pants.
“Mr. Anderson, did I just hear you turn this young woman away?” the blue alien asked.
“Well, I…” Mr. Anderson cleared his throat. “Tiraz, I don’t see how this is your business. You’ve already told me you don’t wish to have a mate. I can’t fathom why you’re still here.”
“Just because I don’t want a wife today doesn’t mean I won’t use the service at some point. Besides, my brothers seem keen enough to find a match with a human female.”
“We should be going,” Violet said softly. “Obviously, I’ve wasted Mr. Anderson’s time.”
The silver gaze swept over her before landing on Simon. Tiraz held out his hand to the small boy.
“You must be the male of the house.”
Simon shook hands with the blue alien and stared up at him wide-eyed. “I’m Simon.”
“And who is your beautiful mother, Simon?” Tiraz asked.
“Violet,” the boy answered. “Are you going to be my new daddy?”
Rena was sold into slavery at the age of fifteen, ripped away from her home and a loving father, and cast into a life of pain and horror. Despite the abuse she’s suffered through years of slavery, she counts herself lucky that no one has ever touched her intimately. When she angers her current owner, and he gives her to a purple alien as a gift, she isn’t sure if this next stage of her life will be a blessing or a curse. After five years as a captive, she’s too beaten to believe she’ll have a happily-ever-after. Who could ever fall in love with a woman as badly damaged as her? Even the purple alien called Ryx doesn’t seem all that interested.
Beren has avoided females at all costs. His scarred body and damaged ear don’t make for a very handsome male. When his commander, Ryx, brings a human female on board their ship, Beren is curious yet cautious. Like him, Rena has wounds on both the outside and inside. For the first time, Beren wonders if maybe there’s a female after all who will look past his exterior to see his warrior heart, and not someone broken and pitiful. Her courage and strength appeal to him, and yet she’s so soft and small that his protective urges rise to the surface. Whether Beren gets to claim her or not, he vows that he will lay down his life for Rena and protect her at all costs. He just never realized that in doing so he would end up with what he wanted most – her.
“I’ve procured a female slave from Frih,” his commander said. “A human.”
Beren smacked his bad ear, certain he’d misheard. The heat from the weapon that had removed the top half seemed to have damaged his hearing as well. But poor hearing or not, he couldn’t have just heard his commander say he’d purchased a slave. If the council found out, the punishment would be severe. Zelthranites did not keep slaves, especially females. And most definitely not humans! If Earth’s government thought for one moment a Zelthranite had taken a human slave, not only would their agreement be forfeit, but likely a war would start.
Ryx snorted. “You didn’t mishear me. Her name is Rena, and she was given to me by Frih as a gift. It was supposed to be for one night, but I arranged to keep her permanently.”
“So, you bedded her, and now you’re going to claim her?” Beren asked, feeling slightly better about the situation. It was one thing to take a mate, and another to keep a slave. But if the commander were to claim the female…
“I didn’t sleep with her,” Ryx said.
Beren blinked and stared. “You didn’t bed her. But you’re keeping her. As what?”
“I thought she might find a mate on our world, or possibly on this ship. None of us are mated, and she seems pretty enough, despite the damage done to her by her various owners.” The commander grimaced, and his gaze dropped.
Damage? What was that supposed to mean? From the commander’s reaction, Beren wondered how badly the female had been harmed. He thought of his many injuries, the physical and emotional pain he’d been through, and wondered what had happened to the female during her captivity. He knew that some slave owners could be cruel, and he wondered if the male Ryx was here to see was one of them. If the male was dealing in human females, could they honestly do business with him in the future? Even if Frih did manage to get weapons they didn’t have the connections to purchase anywhere else, was it really worth it? They were just providing him with the means to buy more females, and Beren felt sick at the thought. Living beings, of any type, should never be kept like property. If Ryx had known all this time that Frih was purchasing slaves, how could he live with himself?
“I’m bringing her on board as soon as she wakes,” Ryx said. “I just have to decide where I’m placing her. With a full crew, I don’t exactly have extra space on board right now.”
“You have the largest quarters on board,” Beren said. “And the largest bed.”
Ryx growled. “I told you that I’m not claiming her.”
Beren frowned. He wanted to ask if the commander wasn’t claiming the female because of her slave status, because of the damage done to her, or was he just not attracted to her? Females were so precious to their people that receiving one as a gift wasn’t something to take lightly, and yet the commander was giving the female up to another male? She would no longer be a slave, but a mate, respected and cherished. Beren wasn’t certain how he felt about it. As someone who wasn’t wanted, it made him angry on her behalf. Females should be cherished and cared for, not cast aside.
“Fine. Then we can put a cot in your room. She can sleep there until we reach Zelthrane-3. After that, perhaps the council will put her up in the apartments where the potential brides stay. Then she would be around others like her.”
“Not quite what? Not like the others? You said she’s human. And female. What makes her different from the females living in the apartments?”
Ryx nodded. “Yes, she’s a human female, but she doesn’t remember Earth. I think she was taken when she was a small child. For whatever reason, a male on Vaaden raised her as his daughter, until a female from that world sold Rena into slavery.”
Beren ran a hand down his face. “You get yourself into the most complicated issues. So you have a human female, who doesn’t remember Earth, and was likely a slave on Vaaden without her even realizing it? I’ve never heard of those males capturing children to raise as their offspring. When they take human females, it’s for their harems or personal property. You don’t think he was keeping her until she was old enough to…”
Ryx paled and looked like he might be sick. Beren felt much the same way. It was horrific to think such a thing could happen, but with societies who thrived on slavery, anything was possible. He’d heard that human males often claimed they’d get sick if they didn’t have sex, as way to coerce their partners, but in the case of Vaaden males it was true. The need for females was understandable, but Beren hated that they used sex slaves to maintain their health.
“I promised once we were on our way home that I would reach out to Kryon and let him know that Rena is safe,” Ryx said. “But if your speculation is correct, he could cause a problem.”
Beren snorted. “Even if he truly was raising her as his daughter, you don’t think he’ll have an issue with her being taken to our world as a potential mate? What if he already has a male lined up to claim her? You know the Vaadens have a tendency to arrange their mating for business or social standing. With her being human, she could handle a male’s physical needs, unlike the Vaaden females. If she was honestly like a daughter to him, then there is most likely a male who thought she would be his one day.”
“This is…” Ryx sighed.
“To borrow an Earth saying. It’s fucked up, that’s what it is.”
Ryx barked out a laugh. “You’re not wrong.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child writing her first stories in crayon. Today she’s a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and she firmly believes that love will find you at the right time, even if Mr. Right is literally out of this world.
Maybe love was all they’d been missing in order to heal.
Rena was captured at the age of fifteen and sold as a slave to the highest bidder. Despite the abuse she’s suffered, she counts herself lucky that no one has ever touched her intimately. When she angers her current owner, and he gives her to a purple alien as a gift, she isn’t sure if this next stage of her life will be a blessing or a curse. After five years as a captive, she’s too beaten to believe she’ll have a happily-ever-after. Who could ever fall in love with a woman as badly damaged as her?
Beren has avoided females at all costs. His scarred body and damaged ear don’t make for a very handsome male. When his commander, Ryx, brings a human female on board their ship, Beren is curious yet cautious. Like him, Rena has wounds on both the outside and inside. For the first time, Beren wonders if maybe there’s a female after all who will look past his exterior to see his warrior heart, and not someone broken and pitiful.
Series: Cy-Con #2
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Karen Fox
Genres: Science Fiction Romance, Alien Encounters, Cyber Punk
One look in her eyes and he wanted her. One taste and he knew he was never letting her go.
When the Zelranian cyborg’s ship The Sphinx is attacked by a reptilian race called the Meori, Wrylack is the only cyborg left standing. Forced onto the Meori vessel, his skills as a medic are demanded in exchange for his life. But any plans Wrylack may have had to escape died the moment he laid eyes on Shaylee, the human female slave in the Meori med bay. Even injured, she’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. And when the Meori realize they can use her to control Wrylack, they are only too pleased to give her to him.
Shaylee has only known pain and suffering all her life. First on Earth, passed around the foster care system, and later as a slave to one alien after another. No one has ever touched her with kindness, has ever cared what happened to her. When the sexy purple cyborg with the strange eyes and gentle touch says she’s his, Shaylee is almost scared to hope that her life is changing. But the big male isn’t interested in owning her as a slave. He wants a mate!
The ship grew quiet and Wrylack tried to communicate with his fellow cyborgs, but no one was responding. He feared they’d all been killed, which meant the Meori would come for him next, once they realized he was on board. He could hear the clang of boots coming down the corridor and braced himself. When the doors to the med bay slid open, he stared at the green and gold aliens, with their serpent-like eyes and tongues.
They looked him over, laughing when they saw the scalpel clutched in his hand. Two held ion blasters pointed at him, and he knew there was no way he was taking them out. Not on his own and only armed with the scalpel.
The three Meori in front hardly had a scratch on them, but the ones in back were pooling blood on the floor. Wrylack tried not to smile at the sight. It seemed his brothers had fought hard, even if they hadn’t been victorious. Would they kill him now too?
“The healer thinks to fight us,” the larger one up front said.
Little did they know he could kick their asses, if it weren’t for the unfair advantage of the blasters in their hands. He might be enhanced, but he wasn’t indestructible. Going into a blaster fight with nothing more than a scalpel would get him killed.
“Where’s my crew?” Wrylack asked.
The alien shrugged. “Alive, but incapacitated.”
Why hadn’t they killed everyone? What was it they wanted?
“And your plan for us?” Wrylack asked.
The alien smiled, his pointed teeth showing. “The others will be dropped at Alpha9, for a fee of course, and we’re commandeering this ship. You, however…” The alien looked him over again. “We need a medic. Ours died and since your cyborg brothers did some damage, my crew will need to be tended. Serve us well and you will be rewarded.”
Wrylack could read between the lines. Service would be required regardless, if he wanted to live. He would imagine the reward would be his freedom. What they didn’t know was that the moment he’d laid eyes on them, he’d hacked into the telecommunications system and had the computer send a message to the commanders on Xpashta, with their present location and who had taken command of the ship. It wouldn’t be long before the cyborgs’ other ships were on their way to lend aid. He only hoped it wouldn’t be too late.
One of the Meori gripped his arm tight, making the nerves in his arm go numb and the scalpel fell from his hand, clattering to the floor. Wrylack allowed himself to be dragged through the ship and taken aboard the Meori vessel. He wasn’t stupid enough to think he could take on two ships himself, which meant he had to follow orders and stay alive until backup arrived. The ship was much larger than The Sphinx and had probably once been a luxury liner, judging by the artwork on the walls and the dense carpet under his feet. Slave females of all races shuffled down the hallways and gathered in open rooms. Some were dressed in transparent tunics and he knew they were breeding stock. The thought made him ill.
When they reached medical, Wrylack was shoved inside and he froze at the sight before him. Two human females lay dead, the sheets covering them stained with blood, with a third huddled in the corner, her eyes wide in fright. Blood dripped down her arm and her clothes were torn. Anger welled inside of him and he turned to snarl at the Meori who had dragged him on board.
“You attacked innocent females?”
The Meori shrugged. “When we purchased them, we didn’t realize they wouldn’t be sexually compatible. Their master was raving about how good it felt to fuck them. We stopped a male from mounting the third when the first two died.”
Wrylack was horrified and sickened. Moving slowly, he approached the female in the corner. He knelt in front of her and used his cybernetic eyes to scan her. Aside from some bruising and the bite mark on her shoulder, she seemed to be healthy. All of her organs were in good working order, and he was thankful to note she wasn’t pregnant. Judging by the scarring in her womb, even if the Meori hadn’t been able to breed with her, someone had been successful at some point. The haunted look in her eyes spoke of someone who had lived this life for a while. His heart ached for her, imagining the horrors she’d probably faced as a slave.
Wrylack pulled aside her slave tunic and studied the bite. It was deep and the tissue around it was badly bruised. The Meori who had tried to mount her had likely bitten her to hold her in place. Wrylack hoped she’d fought like hell. No one deserved the fate of being a breeder, especially to the Meori. He stood quickly and rummaged through the cabinets until he found what he needed. With a tube of livron gel in his hand, he sank to his haunches in front of her again. Wrylack squeezed the gel onto his fingers and spread it over her wound. She flinched at his touch, but didn’t lash out at him. He knew the gel would cool the angry wound first, then numb it within minutes. If applied regularly, the wound would seal in a few days.
“My name’s Wrylack and I’m a medic,” he told her. “I’m going to help you.”
“She’s useless,” the Meori said. “No sense in treating her. We’re just going to toss her out an airlock. I can’t take the chance that she would sell right away when we reach Alpha9 and I don’t intend to stay there long. She’s a waste of space.”
Wrylack growled and glared at the Meori. “You’re not tossing her out an airlock.”
The Meori rocked back on his heels. “You seem rather fond of her.”
“She’s a helpless female.” Wrylack wasn’t about to admit that he thought she was the most beautiful female he’d ever seen. Looking into her eyes, he wanted to be her hero. But he was just as much a captive right as she was. But then, if they’d met under other circumstances, how likely was it that she’d have let a cyborg get anywhere near her? Especially him with his strange-looking eyes.
“And females are precious to your people, aren’t they?” the Meori asked slyly. Wrylack wasn’t certain he liked the look on the Meori’s face. “Do what we say, and you can keep her. Consider her your reward for good behavior.”
Keep her? Wrylack hesitated and glanced down at the female. Her hair was black as pitch and hung in long curls down to her ass. The elfin face that peered up at him had eyes a beautiful lavender, a color he’d never seen on a human before. The female’s skin was pale as ivory and had felt soft when he’d administered the gel to her wound. He lowered himself in front of her again, bracing his fist on the floor, and leaning in close. She didn’t shrink away or seem scared of him.
Her gaze met his, steady. When he reached for her, smoothing her hair back from her face, she didn’t so much as flinch.
“Do you know what I am?” he asked.
“No,” she said softly.
“I’m a Zelranian cyborg.”
“Is that why your eyes are so different?” she asked. “They’re beautiful when they glow. Why do they only glow sometimes?”
Her voice was soft and mesmerizing, much like her.
“My eyes are cybernetic, along with my lungs and heart. My eyes glow when I’m doing a scan to check for injuries. I’m different, even from my people. Does that frighten you?” he asked.
Her gaze strayed to the Meori in the doorway before returning to him. There was a question in her eyes that she didn’t seem to want to voice. The Meori had mentioned her previous owner had used for her sex, and the Meori had intended the same. It stood to reason she would wonder if he would hurt her if they were intimate.
“I won’t harm you,” Wrylack assured her. “Unlike the Meori, Zelranians are compatible with humans.”
Her cheeks flushed but she held his gaze.
“If they throw you out of the airlock, you’ll die,” Wrylack said. “Space is cold and your organs will begin to freeze, assuming you don’t die from asphyxiation first. I won’t force you to be mine, but it’s the only way I can save you.”
It hadn’t occurred to him until that moment that maybe she would prefer death. It saddened him to think she might feel that way, but there was something in her eyes that said she was a fighter.
“I’m Shaylee.” She smiled softly, seeming to accept that she was his now.
“Shaylee.” Wrylack reached for her again, smoothing his fingers down her cheek. “I will treat you well, this I promise.”
If you missed book one, Rescued by the Cyborg, you can get it here!
About the Author
Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child writing her first stories in crayon. Today she’s a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and spills over from her professional life into her personal one. When she went on that first date with her husband, she never expected to hear the words /Marry me!’ pop out of his mouth – and judging by the shocked look on his face, he hadn’t meant to say them either. But, being the hopeless romantic that she is, Jessica said yes and they’ve been married since 2000.
Jessica firmly believes that love will find you at the right time, even if Mr. Right is literally out of this world. She’s often gazed at the stars and wondered what, or who, else might be out there. Who’s to say that hunky model on the hottest romance bestseller isn’t really from some far off galaxy? Maybe that blue Martian you saw at Halloween wasn’t really in costume. After all, there’s an awful lot of space out there for us to be the only ones living in it.