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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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You know what they say, once you go shifter...
Dreamy werewolves, bears, and other supernatural creatures like vampires, ghosts, witches, demons, and more will steal your heart in this limited edition anthology crafted by bestselling and award-winning urban fantasy and paranormal romance authors.
If you love fated mates, strong characters, forbidden love, and dangerous alpha men, indulge your cravings, fall in love, and discover your new favorite book boyfriend in these otherworldly tales.
Bet you can’t read just one…
★★★ Authors Featured in Once You Go Shifter ★★★
Silvana G. Sánchez
Margo Bond Collins
Special Sneak Peek at my story Undercover Bear
I moved around Walters and went into the small office. My heart skipped a beat when my eyes met Anna’s. She was stunning with brilliant bright blue eyes and long curly blonde hair. And she smelled amazing. It was enticing. I fought the urge to close the distance between us and haul her into my arms and bury my face in her neck.
I didn’t even know where those thoughts were coming from. I’d never reacted to a woman like this before. Shifters usually only found their true mate in other shifters. It had probably just been too long since I’d been with a woman. I needed to focus on the case.
My hand went to my jeans and I pulled out my badge. “Agent Wheston, I’m Special Agent Connor Briggs. This is my partner, Myles Daughtry. We are here to officially take over this investigation. I’ll need all your notes and files on the case immediately.”
The smile fell from her face. Her jaw worked for a minute as she looked between me, Myles and Walters. Walters backed out of the room and scurried down the hall like a coward. Anna stood up slowly and came around the desk.
Her nostrils flared as she crossed her arms over her chest. “This is my case. You can’t just barge in here and demand to take it over.” She held out a hand. “Do you have any official paperwork.”
I dug into my pocket where I’d shoved the orders from Gavin and handed them to her.
She snatched it out of my hand, unfolded the papers and skimmed over it. “I’ve never heard of the SPS before. Who do you work for?”
“It’s classified.” The SPS, Shifter Protective Services, yeah not the best acronym but it worked was classified.
“I have top level security clearance. I’m not going to just hand my case over to you. You can wait in the hall. I’ll need to check this over with my superiors,” she said with a scoff.
When Myles and I made no effort to move, she pointed and inclined her head toward the door. “Halls that way, boys.”
I looked at Myles who I could tell was trying not to grin. It would only make Anna madder if she thought we were laughing at her. We weren’t. The truth was we both liked a woman who didn’t take shit. It was hot as hell. Though I hoped Myles didn’t find her attractive too, because she was mine.
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Mission: Courage is the fourth book in the Rise Again Warrior Series. A series that focuses on what our veterans go through after the war and their careers are over.
After years in the Army, Gianna Roberts is detached and unsure of herself and her future. When a chain reaction occurs, she finds herself falling into the deep, dark, den of demons called alcohol.
With Gianna physically self-destructing with her abusive addiction, she’s unable to care for herself and her son. The day that Nate Hardy takes a stool beside her at the bar, is the day her life might change.
Nate is not a stranger to addiction and has been battling with it himself for five years. His job is to find servicemen and women and bring them back to Rise Again Warrior for help.
Behind the wire, a fragile relationship will grow. Nate will help Gianna find the courage to face sobriety, but will it be at the cost of his own?
Join us for another emotional, intense, heartbreaking, and realistic story of hope, despair, addiction, and PTSD inside the wire of the Rise Again Warrior Complex.
The Rise Again Warrior Series:
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The orion stole my daughter from me.
I’m going to get her back at any cost, even if that means working with the man who took her to begin with. Kai might be charming and kind, but I’ll never forget what he did. The more we work together, the more I can’t deny there is something between us. How can I let myself care for the man who cost me everything?
There hasn’t been a woman I can’t charm. That is until I meet Echo. She’s feisty but has one of the kindest hearts I’ve ever seen. I’m enthralled by her. The fact she resists me at every turn makes me want her more. The problem other than she hates me, we are in the middle of a war. The stakes are high. If we win, we can bring peace to our galaxy. If we lose, it means certain death.
Read this action packed science fiction romance today!
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Driving in the rain is the worst, especially at night. This stretch of the 70 through Colorado was awful. The bends, twists and steep inclines were enough to make any driver weary. I’d lived here long enough that I knew it well and it still gave me the creeps. I made a note to see about pushing up my Zumba class, so it ended before it got dark. I hoped my clients wouldn’t mind. It was getting to be fall soon and snow was horrible in the mountains. I couldn’t be the only one who hated driving in this weather.
As if to spite me, the torrential down pour picked up. I flicked my wipers on as fast as they’d go. Not that it helped much. I might need to pull over. I’d do it a little after this next bend. The last thing I needed was to get rear ended. Or hit something.
It was like I had a sixth sense tonight. I gasped as I rounded the corner. There was something burning in the middle of the road. I couldn’t tell what it was, but it was ginormous and there was no way for me to go around. I slammed on my brakes. My car skidded, hydroplaning across the ground. I pumped the brakes.
“Please stop,” I whispered repeatedly. It wasn’t going to happen. I clutched the steering wheel and screamed. The front of my car smacked into whatever was in the road with a sickening crunch. I was thrown forward, my seat belt caught me slapping me back into my seat. The air bag deployed and hit me like a punch to the face, and a puff of white blinded my view.
“Ugh,” I said as I caught my breath. For something meant to help you, airbags sure did pack a mean punch. I pushed on the airbag making it deflate as fast as I could. It was a good thing too.
Flames billowed over my car. The smell of burning rubber filtered into the cabin. Oh shit. My car was on fire too. I had to get out of here.
I shoved on my door. It wouldn’t budge. I yanked and tugged on the door handle, but it refused to open. My eyes went to the hood of the car. Flames were crawling up the metal closer to me. My pulse thundered in my ears. Gas and fire were a bad combo. I undid my seat belt and crawled out of my seat to the passenger side. When I pulled on the handle the door thankfully fell open. I climbed out and darted away from my car, not stopping until I’d reached the other side of the street.
I turned back and covered my mouth at the sight. Fire had engulfed my car. I patted my pants in search of my cell. Thank God for pockets in workout pants. I pulled it out and unlocked it ready to call 911 when I saw movement by where my car and whatever the hell that was in the middle of the road.
A man stood up, or he tried to. He made it halfway up and then collapsed.
He needed to get away from there. That fire was raging. I shoved my phone back in my pocket and ran back to the inferno.
“Hey, Mister,” I screamed as I flailed my arms trying to get his attention. “You have to get away from there.” I didn’t know how long it would take for my car to blow but it was covered completely in flames already. The fire was burning so hot it was almost white. The heat took the chill from the air. I was starting to sweat. Me and this guy needed to get out of here.
I hurried around the flames and found him laying on the ground. He had long blonde hair that might very well be longer than mine and he was shirtless and shoeless. Weird but I’d worry about that later.
“Hey, we have to get you out of here.” I came around him and put one arm under his shoulder. Somehow, we managed to get him to his feet. He was massive. Probably at least a foot taller than me and he was all muscle. We stumbled forward. He tripped and almost fell. It was through sheer strength of will that I kept him upright. We had to get away from the vehicles. I had no plans to die today.
We kept moving and made it to the tree line. Not a second too soon. The ground shook and we were thrown forward as my car erupted. We tumbled down a small hill and landed in a deep puddle, sending a splash of water up when we landed. I coughed and spat the sludge from my mouth. Great! My cell was probably ruined now too. I turned so I was leaning on my elbows and watched as what was left of my car turned into an inferno. Flames shot at least twenty feet into the sky. My car was a total goner.
At least my night couldn’t possibly get any worse. This was just what I needed. Not! At least I’d saved the guy. I turned to look at him. Whatever was in the road didn’t resemble a car. So, what was it? I tried to get a good look at the guy, but I only had the light of the fire, and we were a distance from it.
He hadn’t moved since we’d collapsed over here. He was lying face up. At least I didn’t have to worry about him drowning in all this water. What if he was injured or worse? I crawled toward him and looked down at his chest. I still had no idea why he was half naked, but he was ripped. And breathing. Thank goodness. Wait a second.
I squinted and stared down at him, leaning closer to inspect his chest. Were those scales? They were flesh colored, so it was hard to tell but his skin looked off. I reached into my pants and plucked out my phone, praying that it worked so I could turn on the flashlight. It did. That was a small miracle.
I shone it down on him. They were scales. Flesh colored scales. How in the world was that possible? People didn’t have scales. It had to be a tattoo. A really well designed one. I put a finger on it. It felt weird, scaly. Not possible. It had to be some sort of weird body art. People did all sorts of crazy things nowadays
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Aurora took a step back, regarding me with weary eyes. She held a blade in her hand that I hoped she wouldn’t try to use. I knew why she was afraid, but it still hurt. She had nothing to fear from me. I’d keep her safe, always.
“What’s our status?” I asked.
She blinked and then came out of her revere. The knife thankfully got tucked away. “Shields are nearly depleted. I’ve run a work around to keep them up, but we don’t have enough power to jump and…” she trailed off her eyes widening in obvious alarm.
I frowned as weightlessness washed over me. My body lifted off the ground, floating upward toward the ceiling. We’d lost gravity. That couldn’t be good.
Aurora grabbed onto a lever and used it to pull herself toward a console. She held on with one hand and used the other to type as her legs floated upward like she was laying on the air.
“I don’t understand, core systems are still online. We should have gravity,” she said reaching up for the comm button over her head.
As she did the gravity kicked back in throwing us both toward the ground. I reached out for her, but I wasn’t close enough. I hit the floor with a jar. One knee gave out and jammed against the grates.
Aurora fell. Her forehead smashed against the console with a sickening crack and her body fell backward. I jerked toward her catching her lithe frame before it contacted the floor. She didn’t move.
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My parents sold me as a child into slavery, but I escaped and have been on the run for six years. I just made a mistake that might cost me my freedom. I trusted the wrong guy. Gray was charming and kind, and I was starting to fall in love. But he works for the king that enslaved me. When we crash land on a planet, I have no choice but to work with him. He says he’s trying to protect me. My heart wants to believe him, but it’s not just me I have to worry about. I have a secret too, one that we created together. I’ll do anything to protect my child.
Aurora thinks I betrayed her. I would never do that. Fate brought us together for a reason. She is my soul mate, and I’ll do anything to protect her. I need her to trust me, but the secrets I still keep would scare her away. We share a common enemy. If caught, they’ll kill me and return her to the Orion as a courtesan slave. I’ll protect her at any cost. I just hope I don’t lose her forever.
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Aliens move among us—warriors, soldiers, explorers, and more—testing fate and finding love with their true mates. And they'll do whatever it takes to ensure their human mates remain forever caught in their Alien Embrace.This hot new collection brings you all the best in science fiction alien romances from New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling authors. Our heroes and heroines will satisfy your cravings for every kind of alien romance, whether you prefer slow-burn or fast, one hot hero or two…or more.
Get this steamy new collection of alien romances from the best, new, and up-and-coming voices in sci-fi romance.
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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.