Life Lost? Or love, lust, adventure found?
Soleil is from a world of darkness and thunder, where the cruel, clawed Krexyslatch rules, slaughtering Soleil's people, and driving them to near-extinction. Today is Soleil's birthday, and he desperately wants a female companion. There are few women remaining on his planet, so he ventures to Earth to see whether he can lure one away. It is only when he is delayed that he realizes the woman he has captured may well have gone to her death.
Soleil's regrets can do nothing to help Terra survive when she is suddenly, shockingly transported to a world filled with predators. Going from an unchallenging job on Earth to the greatest challenges she has ever faced changes her, and she discovers she has a few rare talents that may just make all the difference to Soleil and his people. Will she embrace this new destiny? Yes—but only if it includes embracing Soleil as well.
Soleil was close. He could feel it, sense her sweat on the air. That was one thing his world had in plenty—humidity. The girl was just lucky she'd arrived between thunderstorms. She would never have heard the Krexyslatch coming if it hadn't been for the cessation of thunder. It would have been upon her in sleazy, greasy silence, to gnaw and—
He shuddered, unwilling to consider her fate. Too many of his own had succumbed with the arrival of the Krexyslatch and its bleak legions. It had brought darkness into a world which had once been cast in pink and gold. His had been a thriving culture, their future determined, or so they'd thought. Destiny rode on decision, only they'd never planned for those decisions to include glooms or darklings, or for the need to counter devastation. Theirs had been a sure thing, their civilization strong, resilient.
And it had been their downfall. They had been in control of their world. None of them had thought that control could be relinquished to something so simple, so natural, as the force of thunder and lightning. Those were the Krexyslatch tools for conquering, subduing. Very few people had the skills to stumble knowledgably through the dark. Inspire fear with loss of light, with terrifying rumbles and clatters, slice the darkness with knives of electrical surge, while hunting the blind and deafened prey.
And she would be as little prepared as his own kind had been. Soleil picked up her scent riding on the low-hanging cloud layer, dense now with her sweat. He wouldn't be the only one in pursuit. He could hear her just ahead, but from behind him came a wisp of black smoke, then coils of the stuff. Uh-oh. The female wasn't the only tasty morsel out here, nor was the Krexyslatch their only predator. Since his world's population had been decimated, even their native predators were no longer in check. Their numbers had multiplied, feeding on the blind and weakened. Now, they were fighting to sustain their population amidst diminishing prey.
Soleil was slammed from the side, rammed with a heavy head. The force of the blow lifted him off his feet, but when his toes touched the soil once more, he dodged, ducked, then raced ahead. Shcatx help me! It was an impatient, rather than a fearful reaction. This kind of testing, are-you-edible ramming was a common occurrence on his world.
I don't have time for this!
It was making time for him, however. Something in his make-up, that contact with his form, must have expressed just the right degree of solidity to suggest a yummy repast. When it came at him again, this time, Soleil was prepared. He went with the blow, rolling over, and kicking out. The heel of his foot contacted a thick mass of hair, that bled light around the edges. The thud of his kick was loud and hollow, and his would-be consumer squealed. Satisfied that he'd at least slowed it down, Soleil jumped up, and took off running.
He could see her form, struggling up ahead. He was within reach now, as were the caves. It was obvious where she was heading, but if she were to enter, she'd soon lose herself in the twists and turns—and lose him shortly after. For the first time his frustration showed, and his eyes glinted sharp angles of light. He'd expected a challenge, yes, but who would have thought securing a female would prove so difficult?!
She was nearly at the mouth of the cave. Soleil dove in her direction, and the two of them rolled, in a clatter of pebbly rock, before he settled, facedown, atop her writhing form.
He froze, listening, hearing the scuff and slither of pursuit, intent on marking the distance. The female had no such plan, though. She wanted a fight, and was fighting mad. Before Soleil could so much as cover his face, she was pounding, bashing, whamming him with her fists, bumping him with her forehead, writhing and biting everything in sight. Her feet took up where her teeth and fists couldn't reach, kicking out viciously, in frenzied slams, thuds, crunches.
She's insane. Soleil recognized the enormity of his folly in his lack of selection. He'd been so eager he'd trapped himself a madwoman.
For merely an inkling, a wisp of time, Soleil was tempted to leave her to the Krexyslatch. They deserve each other…
Wouldn't be fair… Grumbling, his eyes narrowed to avoid her claws, Soleil resigned himself to the rescue. He couldn't wait any longer. He grasped the back of her jacket, and dragged her, screaming shrilly, into the cavern mouth.