Authors: S. E. Smith
By S. E. Smith
With thanks to:
My husband, Steve, for believing in me and being proud enough of me to give me the courage to follow my dream. A special thanks to my sister and best friend, Linda, who not only encouraged me to write but read it as well.
-S. E. Smith
IMPRINT: Science Fiction Romance
Copyright © 2011 by Susan E. Smith
First E-Book Publication September 2011
Cover Design by
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.
All characters, places, and events in this book are fictitious or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is strictly coincidental.
Abby Tanner is content to live on her mountain creating her beautiful works of art and enjoying the peace and quiet. All of that changes when a strange golden space ship crash lands on it. Now, Abby has to deal with a golden ship, a tortured alien, and an insane local sheriff.
Zoran Reykill knew he had to find a safe place to heal after he escapes from a Curizan military post. When his symbiosis mothership takes him to an unknown planet he finds more than he expects – he finds his true mate. The only problems are Abby doesn’t understand a thing he says and the local sheriff wants her too. There is only one thing the King of Valdier can do, abduct his true mate.
Now Zoran has his hands full trying to keep his true mate safe in his own world while trying to help her accept her new life. He will need all the help he can get to help his stubborn human accept she can make a life in a place other than her mountain back on Earth. He just needs to keep her alive long enough to enjoy it and away from the other males on his planet who wouldn’t mind helping her accept her new sensual body.
One thing he knows he will never regret – abducting Abby.
By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, please get a refund for this book. It is designed for the entertainment of mature readers only.
Abby Tanner stared at the glass seeing more in the hot glowing piece than molten liquid. As she began twirling the rod around and around she began forming different layers bending and shaping to match the image in her head. She loved how the shapeless glass transformed into a beautiful piece of art. She was also thankful she made a very good living from it. It gave her a freedom not many people could enjoy. She worked with the piece for the next three hours blending and blowing until a delicate flower formed. She was almost finished. The piece she was working on had taken her almost six months to finish. She had already sold it for over fifty thousand dollars. For her, though, it was not the money but the enjoyment of seeing something beautiful being created and enjoyed by others.
Abby looked up when she heard a dog bark. Smiling, she finished cleaning up her workshop. It was a fairly good size wooden barn not far from the cabin she lived in deep in the mountainous region of northern California. Her grandparents lived in the cabin before she was born. When her mother took off when she was a baby it became her home. Her mother died of a drug overdose when Abby was two and she never knew her father. She had been raised by her grandmother and grandfather. Her grandmother passed away five years ago and her grandfather six months ago. Abby still fought with the depression that overwhelmed her at times. Her grandparents were perfectly happy living in the remote mountain cabin. Abby grew up running through a wooded playground built just for her. She loved the freedom of the mountains and peace it gave her.
At twenty-two, she had no desire to live in the nearby town of Shelby or the larger cities. It was bad enough when she left to attend a gallery opening of her work. Brushing her dark brown hair that had fallen loose from her ponytail back behind her ears, Abby took another quick look around before closing the double doors to her workshop.
Laughing as the big golden retriever came running up to her, Abby bent down and gave Bo a big hug trying to keep her mouth shut so she didn’t get Bo’s overeager tongue in it.
“He misses you.” Edna Grey said as she walked down the little path following Bo.
“I missed him too. Yes, you are just a big ole softy, aren’t you? Yes, you are.” Abby said as she stood up.
Bo jumped back and forth waiting for Abby to pick up the tennis ball he was carrying in his mouth. His long tail swept back and forth as he pranced around in circles barking. Abby picked up the wet tennis ball and threw it towards the cabin. Like a bullet, Bo raced after the slime green prize.
“So, how are you doing?” Edna asked softly walking back towards the cabin with Abby.
Abby was quiet for a moment before she let out a deep breath, “I’m doing better. It was really hard at first losing granddad; but, each day I seem to be handling it a little better. It helps being busy. That big piece I was working on for the couple from New York is almost done.”
Edna put her arm around Abby’s waist hugging her close. “I can’t wait to see it. You’ve never been as secretive about any of your pieces as you have this one.”
Abby laughed huskily. “It is one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever done. I can’t wait for you to see it. When I was contracted to do the work I was a little hesitant. Normally, I just create based on what I feel is in the glass. This time my client wanted to meet me and asked me to create something based on their home décor. I spent two days as a guest in their house. It was unbelievable. It has helped. I was contracted to do it right after granddad died. Being focused on it has helped me cope with his passing.”
“Is there any chance of you meeting a nice young man while you are going back and forth in all your travels?” Edna teased.
“No, absolutely not!” Abby said horrified. “I like being alone. I’ve seen enough of men and their behaviors on my trips to make me leery of getting involved with anyone.”
“What about Clay? You know he is interested.” Edna asked curiously.
Abby wrinkled up her nose in distaste. Clay was the local sheriff for the town of Shelby and had been trying to get Abby to go out with him since she was eighteen. He was a nice guy but Abby just didn’t feel the same way about him as he seemed to feel about her. Abby made the weekly trip to town to mail off the blown glass she sold to her distributors and pick up any items she needed, like groceries or supplies. And every week without fail, Clay would show up at the post office to ask her to go out with him. She would politely turn him down and he would follow her around town bugging her to have a meal with him.
“Clay’s a nice guy and all but I just don’t feel that way about him.” Abby said petting Bo and throwing the ball again.
“One day you’ll meet the right man. Thank you again for keeping an eye on Gloria and Bo for me.” Edna said as they walked up to the horse trailer attached to the back of her pickup truck.
“No problem. You know I enjoy their company when you take your little trips.” Abby said with a laugh watching as Gloria, the old mule Edna had, tried to nudge her head out of the little window. Gloria loved the apples Abby always gave her.
“Well, you are the only one Gloria doesn’t try to bite and push around.” Edna opened the trailer and backed Gloria out. Bo danced around the old mule’s feet trying to play.
“How long are you going to be gone? I hear there is a storm coming in tomorrow night that is supposed to be pretty bad.” Abby asked pulling an apple out of the smock she wore over her shirt and jeans. She held it out for Gloria who swept it out of her hand crunching on it as Edna led her over to the small corral near the cabin.
“Yeah, I heard about it. We’re supposed to get a couple of inches of rain and possible severe thunderstorms. I plan on heading out as soon as I leave here so I can miss it. I’ll be back by the end of the week. Jack and Shelly are having Crystal’s birthday party on Thursday. I’ll drive back on Friday.” Edna said as she let Gloria go with a swat to her flanks.
“Do you have time for a cup of tea or coffee?” Abby asked watching as Gloria walked into the small barn attached to the corral. Abby had already put down a thick bed of hay for her in one of the stalls and had fresh food and water.
“A cup of coffee would be great.” Edna said as she followed Abby up the steps and into the small cabin.
Abby loved her small home. It had two bedrooms, each with their own bathrooms, a small living room and a combination dining room/kitchen. There was a huge fireplace in the living room and small pellet stoves in each bedroom for the chillier winter months. Luckily, it was getting to be early summer so except for an occasional cool night she wouldn’t need to light either the stoves or the fireplace. The cabin had a large window in the kitchen and living room which let in an abundance of natural light.
Abby’s grandfather owned his own music business in Los Angeles and her grandmother had been a songwriter. Both had been extremely talented. When Abby’s mom fell in with the wrong crowd, they thought moving to the mountains would get her away from it. Unfortunately, her mother ran away instead and at seventeen, she became pregnant with Abby. Abby had only been a month old when her mom dropped her off and disappeared. Two years later, she was found dead from a drug overdose along with her current boyfriend. Abby’s grandparents were devastated by the death of their only daughter and did everything they could to make sure Abby was kept out of that type of life.
Abby had her grandmother’s gentle personality and love for the arts. Her grandmother used the time in the mountains to write songs and taught herself the art of glass blowing. Soon, her grandfather had taken up the hobby and it became another business with the help of the Internet. In the past six years, Abby made a name for herself internationally with her beautiful creations.
Edna and Abby spent the next half hour catching up on Edna’s family who lived in Sacramento and Abby’s new contracts from several different museums asking to display her work. Bo was content to lie on the rug in front of the hearth watching his tennis ball. Before long, Abby was watching the tail lights of Edna’s pickup truck disappear down the steep driveway of her home. Abby called Bo to come back as he tried to follow Edna’s truck laughing as he looked back and forth trying to decide who he wanted to stay with. A promise of a treat soon had him running back up the steps of the cabin and into the warm interior.
Zoran Reykill pushed the body of the dead guard off him. He paused to draw in a sharp breath as pain sliced through his battered body. He had been in captivity for the past month and there wasn’t a place on his body that didn’t hurt from the numerous cuts and bruises from the beatings and torture he had lived through. He forced himself to roll the guard over and pulled the guard’s clothes off his body. His own clothes were taken not long after he was brought down to the hell they called a cell. This was the first opportunity he had to escape. He had been watching, waiting for his captors to make a mistake and they finally had, thinking he was to beaten down to fight. The guard that was dead came in to play, thinking he would relieve the boredom of standing guard over a chained prisoner by beating him some more. Instead, the guard found him hanging lifeless from the wall by his wrists and ankles. When the guard unlocked his wrist, he grabbed him, breaking his neck immediately so he couldn’t fight or call out. Zoran knew he would not have survived long in a fight. He was too weak. It took everything in him to push the guard off and find the release on the locking mechanism to release his ankles.
Struggling into the guard’s clothes, he pulled the laser pistol and blade from the guard, checking to make sure both were fully charged. He reached down and yanked the security badge from the guard’s neck. He knew it was late and there wouldn’t be many guards about at this time of the night. Closing the solid door behind him, he moved down the darkened corridor. The dark did not bother him as he shifted to allow his night vision to take over. His people were renowned for their ability to adapt to the dark. As a dragon shifter, he felt the beast inside him straining to get out. He hadn’t dare shift while in captivity. Without his symbiosis to help shield him, he would have been too vulnerable. He fought to control his inner self as he moved through the maze of his prison. Even though he was only been half conscious when he was brought to this prison, he knew the way out having played it over and over in his mind during the last month. Even if he hadn’t been conscious, he would have smelled the night air as it called to him.