Authors: Cari Silverwood
Copyright 2014 Cari Silverwood
Published by Cari Silverwood
Thomas Dorman aka Dr. Benway on Deviantart and Facebook
All rights reserved. This copy is intended for the original purchaser of this e-book only. No part of this e-book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without prior written permission from the author. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials.
This e-book is a work of fiction. While reference might be made to actual historical events or existing locations, the names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
To Jennifer Zeffer, my latest cheerleader and reader, for dealing with my addiction to praise while I write.
I also need to thank my wonderful beta readers Bianca Sarble and Khloe Wren (both are fellow Australian erotic authors), and Leia Shaw, writer of erotic, paranormal, and New Adult fiction.
Willow has her hands full scraping out a life in a grungy neighborhood where drugs and crime are the norm. Life is hard, but it’s about to get harder. Being transformed into a sexual pet for an alien warrior may be her only way out.
But Stom, the man she’s been awarded to as a battle honor, has no use for a female, not when his heart is still in a million pieces.
Though the need to be Stom’s mate is overwhelming her, mending his heart isn’t going to be enough. His enemies are searching, looking for the women who are more than they seem, and she’s in their hands before she discovers she’s more-than-human.
Sometimes it sucks to be a chosen one.
Book One, Precious Sacrifice is in the erotic anthology, Kept, but will soon be released as a solo book.
The books of Preyfinders are joined like links on a chain. Here is the last small piece of Precious Sacrifice and the first piece of Intimidator.
Talia Wolfe squatted among the dust and a few bird droppings. The pigeons had made their home here already. After her sob-story and a small bribe, one of the rescue crew had let her in. She used the katana to scratch an arc in the rubble. The huge gap in the wall and the missing balcony made this seem unfamiliar, as if it wasn’t even Brittany’s place.
Slowly she rose, feeling the skintight black jeans grip her tightly. She squirmed a little as pleasant sensations throbbed outward. Ugh. There was an odd vibe in the air here, almost sexual. It clashed horribly with the sadness.
Talia shook her head, tilted her neck back to strive to stop the flow of tears, but they ran down her face anyway. She coughed and swallowed, wiped her eyes with her sleeve.
Crying wasn’t helping.
She might be a lab person and not a field investigator, but she wasn’t giving up on finding out what had really happened here. Her baby sister was missing and no way was she ever presuming her dead.
“I’ll find out what happened to you, Brit, if I have to tear this whole fucking building apart to find clues.”
She stepped up to the hole and looked down at the organized chaos below. Sirens whooped and wailed in the distance. People in orange jackets worked with cranes and trucks to shift rubble and save people. This had been an earthquake?
She stuck the sword into the floor and leaned on it a little, refreshed by the gusts flailing at the building and cooling her face. Absolute sacrilege to use a sword so, but who was going to chastise her?
“I’m finding you, sis. I am.”
A scrabbling made her swivel to the side. A man crouched there, drool dripping from his mouth. He’d somehow scrambled up from below. That whole corner of the apartment was gone.
He coughed and spat blood, swayed. A pistol swung in one lowered hand. That alone made her wary, let alone the drool and spaced-out look. She unwedged the sword from the floor, raised it a tad.
No need to panic. Even if he’s got a pistol, and I’ve got a bloody sword.
Ever since she was a teen she’d had a knack with pointy things, and could make them do stuff no one else could.
With the rioting and unrest below, she figured she had a right to be straightforward, especially when he took a staggery step toward her and his arm began to swing up.
“Don’t do anything, mister. I don’t know you.” The hoarse tone must have impressed him. He paused and looked back with narrowing eyes. If only her students were as well behaved. “Good. You keep yours down and I’ll keep mine. I suggest you leave now –”
He chuckled low and from the twitch of his wrist he was going to raise that gun and aim at her.
Her bluff was called.
Practicing kendo and her innate talent meant she could theoretically kill. If you forgot he was a person. Too far to reach with a swing. She’d have to throw. A knife, yes, but a sword – a full sword? Something, a weird
in the air here, grabbed her, made her think she could do this.
She swept up the sword, leaning and twisting to the side to gain momentum for the throw.
Then someone dropped from the hole in the roof, landing between her and droolman, dark coat swirling like a fucking superhero. She swore. The floor shuddered at the sudden weight. Something cracked even. Was he that heavy? Or the floor that weak?
A flurry of blows and she stepped to the side, watching their little fight, hearing the grunts. The new guy was big and mean, and didn’t hold back his strikes at all. Neither did drooly man. The pistol went flying, so did a small sword… What the fuck? Who else but her used a sword? Then drooly man poised another knife above the guy ready to drive it into the juncture of neck and shoulder. Instant death zone.
She really didn’t want him, her would-be rescuer, to die.
She gulped, and threw. Knew it was a thousand to one. A trillion to one. Impossible. Wasn’t a straight throw. Men were in the way, like the big guy. She had to go and bounce it off things like the wall to the left. It was a fucking hard ricochet, an incredibly stupid throw. The blade whipped round, hit wall, spun, bounced and flew.
The blade sank, all two feet of shiny, pointy metal, into drool man’s side. Heart level. He gasped once and froze at the same time as there was a
, and much of him turned into particle-sized bits of flesh. The cloud of red splattered across what was left of the corner of the room.
Big guy let the remains of his opponent slide to the floor and he turned to her, empty hand emerging from his coat. His mint green eyes glinted.
“What the fuck was that?” She frowned. He’d shot the guy with something, hadn’t he?
Damn. What was
? His face looked like someone had used him for carving practice then painted it blue. As he came toward her, she stepped back, wishing her sword wasn’t currently residing in a mangled corpse. Her heel hit something hard and she stopped. “Who are you?”
“Brask. Who are you?”
She guessed it was okay to answer. “Talia Wolfe, I’m looking for my sister, Brittany. Though seeing you just killed someone that might take priority.”
“She’s not here.”
“Obviously. I’m glad I saved you.”
Ungrateful imbecile. She felt in the pocket of her jacket, hoping to find a weapon, and only came up with some origami paper. Sometimes, in deep dreams, she imagined herself with a sword of paper that cut
. Boy, could she use one of them now.
Brask was wide enough to blot out the sun. And that blue war paint made him seem worse. Not that his semi-spiky blond hairdo wasn’t scary too. Where did he get his make-up and hair styling done?
“Who was that?” She twitched her head at the dead man, and managed to keep down breakfast. Jeez. She could clamp down on her emotions, but he was a mess and enough to upset anyone not tranquilized.
“A Bak-lal clone.” At her frown Brask gave her a mirthless smile. “Recon observed him climb up out of the collapsed building next to us. He was a killer, made by an alien. He should be the last one.”
Was he crazy? “That’s some wild story.” Or was it that wild? Things, here, now, felt so odd. Like anything could happen.
He shrugged and made as if to come closer.
“Stop right there.” She held out her palm.
And he grabbed it, twisted her wrist, stepped in fast, and clasped her neck in his other hand.
He glared. Green eyes. Big green eyes. A flash shocked her to her very bones, tinkling through her like broken glass. As she crumpled, she was distantly aware of him catching her, along with a ringing in her ears that swept her body. Goose bumps rose and her hair stood on end.
“Sleep,” he whispered. “Forget, pretty girl.” His hand brushed her cheek, scraping her skin yet gentle. “I’m sorry I had to do this. I wish…”
She rallied, blinking and frowning at the blurred face. “What?”
“Still with me? Huh.”
The flash came again.
She felt her eyes roll up. Her hand encountered someone’s hard-muscled shoulder and slid. Through the fog in her mind, his delicious male scent registered. She opened her eyes again.
“What are you? I need to do this three times?”
Words drifted by. “I swear, if you were on the death list, and I was allowed on a Hunt –” The voice dulled then faded back in. “– and make you my pet.”
A strange rapture possessed her, where she became him and he melted into her. And then, she
On the other side of the continent of Australia, something long buried stirred, and listened to the signals from its killed sister queen. Now, it decided, would be a good time to fire up the stagnant engines and set out a plan of conquest.
On the planet Grearth.
The wind came from where the sun bleached the horizon, fluttering the ashes higher off the scorched ground, a bitter flock of blackness that clouded the sky for miles. Stom sucked in a breath through his mask. Unlike the trail of ten fighting men who swept out to his left and right, he’d removed his helmet – the goggles and the mask with a breathing filter was it. He needed the touch of the breeze on his face, no matter how acrid.
On his retinal map, there was a tiny green triangle at this spot. This had once been his home.
Nasskia, little Bon, and her older brother Septis would lie here, somewhere, buried underneath the ash at his feet. Unless they’d been unlucky and the Bak-lal had taken them, changed them; if so, they could be anywhere on Grearth. Their nerves hard-wired. Their skin armored, their brains pumped with instructions from the nearest factory queen. Their personalities gone. Even the little ones like Bon. His throat tightened, his eyes stung, and a small muscle beside his eye twitched.
Despite the tight-held ball of emotions inside him, Stom treated his environs to another careful visual sweep. Nothing moved.
Elger’s voice buzzed in his ear comm. “It’s clear, Stom. We haven’t seen a Bak soldier for days.”
With their leader dead three days ago, Stom was filling in. He grunted affirmation to Elger. Other patrols had been ambushed; theirs had been relatively lucky for three days running. “Rest. Keep your eyes up.”
He hunched down onto his heels but kept his mech rifle in his hands. The last Baks on this part of the continent had been a weedy, damaged force. Maybe they could cleanse the whole planet. Never been done before, but gods, they needed to.
There’d never been a starfarer home planet invaded before. How the Bak-lal had achieved this was a mystery. In one night, the Bak-lal had appeared in armies of converted people and insect beast machines.