Past relationships have made Lyra more than a little wary of men. True, her jaunt into the arms of an alien was her idea, but somehow the reality of the deed is more than she bargained for. As a result, she does everything in her power to drive her newly acquired "sponsor" away. Unfortunately, during a battle with mercenaries bent on taking control of Lunar Colony 1, she is captured and subjected to mental tortures that nearly drive her insane.
Kil may not like the little witch his Chosen presents herself as, but he's drawn to her like no other woman. When she's taken from him, when he realizes exactly what species has her, Kil vows to himself he will get her back. No matter what. But winning her affections is only one obstacle.
Now, Kil has to save his brother and protect LC1 from invasion while saving Lyra's sanity, winning the trust of a woman who trusts no one.
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Copyright ©2013 Marteeka Karland
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Suffering. Unimaginable pleasure. Pain. Lyra had no idea where one left off and the other began. Time meant nothing. Only the torment. They'd left her alone again for a short time, but that was always followed by demands of submission -- which she always refused -- then more of the same. Over and over. An unbreakable cycle. Would she give in to their demands this time in order to end this?
Darkness surrounded her, creating its own fear. But the constant lack of light heightened her other senses. Yet another curse.
They were coming. Heart pounding, Lyra steeled herself for the inevitable. This time, she wasn't certain she'd survive it. Breath came in rapid gasps. Soon... Soon...
"Will you submit? It all ends if you will only submit."
Why didn't they ask immediately after her torture? Why did they give her time to think about the next round? She might even give them what they wanted if she didn't have time to prepare herself.
"Your submission must be complete," the voice said. It seemed neither masculine nor feminine. Unemotional. And it seemed to know exactly what she was thinking. "By giving you time to consider our demands, we allow you to make a conscious decision."
"Do you submit?"
She didn't even know what they wanted her to submit to. All she knew was she'd never put herself completely in the hands of another. That was the only form of submission she knew.
"No." Her voice was weak, but there was no hesitation. In that moment she knew she'd rather die than give them what they wanted. And she very well might.
"So be it." The voice didn't seem to care one way or the other. Perhaps this was all in a day's work for these monsters.
The tingling began in her head then. Lyra almost cried out with what was to come, but she held her scream. She'd held her screams since the beginning, not giving the bastards the pleasure of knowing how badly they tormented her. Then the sensations spread through her, consuming her, overwhelming her. She gasped, unable to contain the sound despite her resolve.
Another tingle, followed by a blinding, gut-wrenching pulse through her entire being. Pleasure and pain intermingled until it was impossible to tell what she felt. Another, stronger jolt sizzled through her with unimaginable force.
Her entire body felt as if it were consumed in a firestorm. Pleasure from which there would be no release. Unending pain.
How long the torment continued, she didn't know. But blackness tunneled her vision, threatening to take her to blessed oblivion. Just before she succumbed, one thought entered her mind. One hope.
* * *
Never in his life had he been more furious. Kil returned from battle to find his hard-headed, stubborn, hateful Chosen gone from their quarters. This was just like her, to disappear when they were all in danger. He was about ready to say to the blyte with it all when he noticed a spatter of something neon yellow in the corner where Lyra had set up her office. His heart began to hammer in dread. Blood? Surely not.
"Worr." Kil keyed his direct comm with his brother. "Lyra's gone."
There was a small silence before Worr ground out. "On my way."
It was only minutes until Worr arrived, Gabrielle in tow, but in that time Kil had thoroughly searched the rooms he shared with his Chosen, Lyra. The woman had been nothing but a thorn in his side since the day Worr had convinced him to give the arrangement a chance. As he reflected on this, Kil wondered why he ever agreed to it in the first place. Unfortunately, the woman intrigued him. That interest in her only made him that much angrier.
"Did she leave, then?" Worr asked.
"Maybe, but something seems... off. Look at this." Kil pointed out the strange yellow splatter. "I'd like to have that gunk on the wall tested. It looks like Xerxes blood."
Worr looked at his brother sharply, and Kil almost winced. No doubt Worr was remembering the shape he'd found Kil in after being at the tender mercies of Xerxes slavers for a mere two solar days.
Kil had a hard knot in his stomach. "I'm going to check to see if any ships departed Lunar Station recently." If she had been taken by Xerxes slavers, he had more to worry about than her rotten attitude. His hands actually shook as he made his way to the command area of Lunar Station. As he stepped into command, he clenched his fists behind his back in an effort to keep from showing the fear that crawled through his body.
It took only minutes to find a record showing the departure of an unknown vessel. Their tracks had been hastily covered, opting for speed rather than stealth. As Kil feared, the ship was Xerxes.
They were heading to Mars. Mars Colony 1, no doubt...