I just wanted to get out of here, get home and soak in the jacuzzi tub. It was one of the only nice things about my studio.
I pursed my lips and changed course. If someone was really following me, I’d be safer in my car where I could lock the doors and drive away than standing around waiting for my knight in shining armor.
The wind gusted again, blowing my long strands into my face. It picked up harder now, making it impossible to see through my thick strands.
It blew hard enough it made me stumble. My foot shifted to the right as my ankle gave out. The heel snapped, sending me careening to the ground.
The blacktop bit into my hands and right knee as I hit. I cursed under my breath and looked at my hands. They had small scuffs but nothing too horrible. My knee was torn up.
Blood gushed from a cut and was already dribbling down my leg.
“Shit.” I pushed to my feet and narrowly fell over again thanks to my one heel.
I kicked off the broken shoe first and then the other, bending down to pick them up before making a beeline for my car.
I was almost there. The icy sensation was growing by the second. It didn’t help the temperature had dropped by about twenty degrees in a few seconds. Or maybe that was my imagination.
I turned around and walked backward. My heart pounded in my chest and my gaze darted around. Nothing.
Maybe I was losing my mind.
A shimmer in the black sky caught my eye. It was a fluttering clearish rainbow color almost like someone was blowing a giant bubble in the sky.
A giant bubble in the sky. Ana, you’ve officially lost your marbles.
The bubble continued to grow and I faltered, watching transfixed. It transformed into a sleek black oblong object that nearly matched the color of the night sky. If I hadn’t seen it appear, I wouldn’t know it was there.
I licked my lips as my mouth went dry. This thing didn’t look like anything I’d ever seen before. It looked…alien.
No. No way. A spaceship?
Ana, you really have lost your marbles.
My pulse roared in my ears. I back pedaled to my car, unable to tear my gaze from the ship in the sky. It really was a spaceship.
I screamed, dropping my shoes as a bright white light shone down on me like a search light.
I stumbled backward, moving as fast as I could, but the light followed me. Spinning on my heel, I dashed for my car while fumbling in my purse for my keys.
My hands shook. Tears pricked my eyes.
“Help!” I shrieked as an icy chill raced down my spine like I’d been hit by ice. My body froze and my limbs became leaden.
My hair stood on end. Weightlessness filled me and my body was thrust upward.
I screamed at the top of my lungs. My arms and legs wouldn’t move no matter how hard I tried.
The dark night sky vanished and a blinding white light surrounded me. I blinked against it, trying to make out anything. All I saw was white.
My home is under attack from an alien invasion.
The power has been out for almost a day when my neighbor tells me an alien is in my field. Aliens! Yeah right! But he’s not wrong, and he’s murdered before my eyes. I barely escape with my life when I notice an unconscious beauty in the grass. I have to help her. But when she comes to, there is something not quite human about her. She says she is here to help. I want to believe her, but the world is falling apart, and I have my niece to protect. I can’t deny there is something about her that draws me in. Trusting her will either be the best decision I make or the one that costs me my life.
My family expects me to fail. I’m determined to prove them wrong. But my first mission is a disaster. My shuttle crashed, and I’m the only survivor. I’m injured and on a strange planet with no way to contact my people. That’s when James finds me. He’s the one. My soul mate. I just need to convince him I’m here to help so he doesn’t kill me. I don’t have a lot of time. There is a countdown until the Imanji destroy the Earth. If we don’t make it back to my ship, we will all die.
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The invasion is over, but the battle for Earth has begun.
I’m desperate for information about my family. It’s been weeks since the Imanji invaded. The soul-sucking aliens still roam the streets in search of their next meal and everyone is a target. When my new friend Orion, a phoenix shifter, offers to take me on a quick trip to Nebraska to see if my family left behind any clues to where they might be, I jump at the opportunity. What I find is a wasteland. But it gets worse. Orion and I become the Imanjis next target.
I jumped at the opportunity to help Holly with a recon mission to search for her parents. When the Imanji attack, we find ourselves buried under layers of ice and cut off from the world. I have to get our shuttle running before life support fails. Can I save the mesmerizing woman and capture her heart, or will we both succumb to the Imanjis evil plans?
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I wanted to continue to move, but my body seemed to be rooted to the floor. I opened my mouth to cry out. No sound came. Why couldn’t I move? Had I hit the case that hard? Or…oh my god. It’s the aliens. They are making it so I can’t fight back.
Tears pricked my eyes. A sob got stuck in my throat. An unidentifiable sound escaped. Think, Addison!
I looked at the alien in front of me more closely. It was slender and taller than I expected. It stood at least a foot over me. Its blood-red eyes bore into me, and its voice spoke in my mind again.
“Tell me, how many of you are there?” the alien asked.
His voice raced through my mind. My mouth opened, ready to tell him everything. No. I clamped my mouth shut. I’m not telling him anything.
Coercion swept over me, but I maintained my silence. The longer I fought, the greater chance the kids and the others had to get away. Every second counted.
The alien reached out and touched my cheek, trailing his long, scaly finger down my face. I wanted to be sick. I wanted to run away. Move. Vomit. Something. His mind pressed against mine. My head seared like someone took a hammer to my temple. I screamed. I lifted my arm and tried to jab the glass into the alien’s chest. He caught my wrist, wrenching it to the side, causing the glass to fall to the floor. I tried to tug my hand free of his grasp, but he held tight.
“It’s been a long time since I found someone so defiant,” he told me as he grasped my chin. “I shall enjoy breaking you.” He dug his fingers into my skin. My jaw ached as he squeezed tighter. I tried to wiggle free. Blood flooded my mouth. “Tell me, how many of you are there?”
I gathered spittle and spat it at the alien. He flinched as it trickled down his face.
Gazing up at him defiantly, I noticed a lime green goo oozing from his chest. Is that blood? Yes, yes, it is. This is the one I stabbed. Unfortunately, it didn’t appear to be phasing him at all. If a blade to the chest didn’t hurt them, what would?
Faster than I could see, the hand holding my chin whipped up and struck me across the cheek. I toppled to the floor. Pain sliced through my skull. Sticky warmth coated my cheek and my vision darkened. No. No. No. Don’t you dare black out!
“Stop! Please. I’ll tell you what you need to know. Just leave her alone, please!” Marcus pleaded, his voice sounding miles away even though I was sure he was still in the room with me.
“No,” I said, forcing my gaze to focus. I wobbled and tried to sit up. The ground seemed to be vibrating. Everything was spinning. How hard had he hit me? I needed to focus and fast.
The alien turned, trudging away from me.
“Marcus, no,” I said, my voice coming out weaker than I’d intended. My arms trembled as I tried to get to my hands and knees so I could crawl across the floor toward him.
Marcus met my apprehensive gaze and shook his head. “I’m sorry, Addison. I can’t let them hurt you.”
“No…you…don’t understand,” I said, fighting for a breath. The more I moved, the worse my head hurt.
“Tell me. How many of you are there?” the alien asked Marcus.
“Twenty adults and sixty-two children,” his monotone voice echoed throughout the room.
“Very good.” The alien nodded at his men.
All the other aliens darted out the door while the lead creature glanced back at me, a wide smile on his face, and his black teeth gleaming. He turned to Marcus, raised his hand, and placed it on Marcus’ brow. I scrambled across the floor to help. Whatever invisible force holding me back seemed to be gone, at least temporarily. Marcus seemed to be miles away, even though I was sure it was just a few feet.
Marcus howled as a white light encompassed him. The light permeated his body. His skin began to flake away, like leaves blowing in the wind.
“No! Stop!” I cried out. My heart pounded. I pushed to my feet. It was too late. Marcus’ body was nothing more than a pile of white ash on the floor. I covered my mouth. Tears welled in my eyes. He was gone.
The alien turned back to me; the wide smile still plastered on his face. He took a step toward me.
Oh my God. I’m next.
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Bethany Shaw writes paranormal, science fiction and contemporary romance. Vampires, shapeshifters, and good old-fashioned romances are her favorites. Writing has always been a passion of hers and she enjoys creating fun and imaginative characters and worlds.