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Authors: Anya Bast

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Capturing Caroline

BOOK: Capturing Caroline
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Capturing
Caroline

By Anya Bast

 

 

SMASHWORDS EDITION

 

PUBLISHED BY:

Anya Bast on
Smashwords

 

Capturing Caroline ©
2014 Anya Bast

 

Smashwords Edition
License Notes

 

This ebook is licensed
for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or
given away to other people. If you would like to share this book
with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each
recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or
it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to
Smashwords and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the
hard work of this author.

~*~

 

A Note from the
Author

 

Hello, fair readers ~ I
am New York Times bestselling author, Anya Bast. This novella was
once published with Ellora’s Cave and is a reissue. I have updated
and expanded this work.

If you have found this
novella after reading my Elemental Witches or Dark Magick series,
you will find this story to be more erotic.
Be warned!

If you’re not eighteen
yet, please return when you are. This story is for adults only.

 

 

~*~

 

This book is a
work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either
the product of the author's imagination or are used fictionally.
Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or to actual
events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

www.anyabast.com

 

 

 

-----------------------

Chapter One

 

His name was
Torrent.

Under other
conditions, Caroline was pretty sure she would’ve fallen in love
with him within the first five minutes of meeting him. It didn’t
matter that she’d never seen his face. Even if he had three eyes
and a blue tongue, it wouldn’t matter. His protective and caring
manner was enough to make all other such shallow considerations
secondary.

Of course,
conditions being what they were—imprisoned in an alien dungeon—love
wasn’t really on the menu.


Menu,

Caroline groaned, her mouth watering.

“What?”

She opened her
eyes and scooted down from her bunk to the dirty stone floor and
crouched at the iron bars that separated her cell from Torrent’s.
Tucking the skirt of the prison gown she wore around her legs, she
peered into the darkness toward the direction of his voice. “A
menu. Where I come from there are places called restaurants. They
give you a menu listing all the meals they prepare. That’s what you
order from.” Oh, crap, she was drooling just thinking about it.
“After so many days of stale bread and warm water just the thought
of a menu brings me to my knees.”

His voice came
out in a low, reassuring rumble from the corner of his cell. “I
read about restaurants once. Where I come from such places do not
exist. We prepare meals with family and friends. The closest we
have to something like a restaurant is an open kitchen at an inn
for weary travelers far from home.”

Where he
came from
was mysterious. It certainly wasn’t the sharp,
shining city she’d stumbled into when she’d come through the
veil—that’s what Torrent called it,
the veil
—and into this
strange place. She came from Earth, but she’d accepted that she was
no longer there. She was in another reality, the flip side of a
coin. Somehow, impossibly, she’d been taken from Earth and plopped
down in this place. Torrent called it
Selaryica
.

After she’d
come through the veil, she’d found herself in the middle of a
clearing. On the horizon had been a great city, all shining towers
and glittering edges. She’d walked straight for it, but, in
hindsight, she should have turned and ran into the woods. She
should
have run as far as she could’ve away from it because
at the city’s edge the first person she saw arrested her.

And she’d ended
up here, in a dungeon cell next to Torrent.

She’d lost
track of how long she’d been here since it was completely dark or
mostly dark all of the time. For a while, she’d been lost in a
twisted haze of denial and shock. Torrent had laid it all out for
her, but her mind had refused to comprehend. Alternate realities
had been something for science fiction writers. They couldn’t be
real. And, if they were real, how could she have been pulled into
one? She worried about how she’d get home, and couldn’t understand
why they hated her so much here.

It was
necessity that had finally made her accept the unbelievable as
truth. It was either acknowledge the bizarreness of her situation
or go insane. The constant darkness of the prison cell was almost
enough to send her over the edge. She had to fight for every bit of
sanity she could retain.

She had so many
questions and Torrent seemed to know more than he was telling her.
As much as she appreciated his protectiveness, she didn’t like that
he seemed to be keeping certain things secret.

The small slot
at the base of the heavy metal door scraped open and a wooden tray
slid inside, first to Torrent’s cell and then into hers. She tried
not to lunge across the floor and stuff the entire crust of bread
into her mouth. She was starving, but she still had her pride.
Reaching into the thick darkness, she sought the tray and drew it
to her.

They got two
pieces of bread a day, along with a small tin cup filled with tepid
water. She’d wanted to take off a few pounds…but this wasn’t the
way she’d wanted to do it.

Just as she was
lifting the bit of bread to her mouth, Torrent pushed his share
through the bars. “Eat mine, too.”

“What? No, I
can’t. You need it.”

“I’ll be
fine.”

“No,
really—”

“Please.”

“Torrent, we
get the same amount of food every day and you’re a guy, you’re
bigger than me. You need more calories—”

“Ridiculous.
Take the bread. It’s all I can do for you right now.” Odd how he
sounded guilty about that.

She took his
bread, offered through the bars, knowing he wouldn’t let up until
she agreed. As she ate, she scooted closer to him. “Why does it
matter what you can do for me? I’m nobody to you.”

Torrent
remained silent.

“I know you’re
keeping something from me. It’s almost like you feel responsible
for me being here, but that’s impossible. It can’t be your fault.
You were already here when they threw me in, and we never knew each
other before this.” She didn’t say it aloud, but one of her worst
fears was that they’d move Torrent from his cell. If she didn’t
have him she surely
would
go insane.

Still, Torrent
said nothing.

She pressed on.
“From day one it’s been like you know who I am. You’ve seemed so
sad that I’m imprisoned here and I’ve wondered why. You
weren’t…
expecting
me, were you, Torrent? That’s
impossible…right?”

“Not expecting
you.” Torrent let out a slow breath of defeat. “You weren’t
supposed to be brought over. I was supposed to die before that
happened." He sounded disgusted at himself. His voice dropped to a
rough murmur. “This is the worst possible scenario that could
be.”

Caroline gulped
down the last of the bread. “What are you talking about?”

He made a
frustrated sound. “I’d hoped not to tell you.”

“Whatever it
is, I deserve to know.” She curled her fingers around the bars and
peered vainly into the blackness of Torrent’s cell, hoping for the
millionth time for a glimpse of his face.

He sounded
tortured.

“You won’t
believe me.”

She snorted.
“Torrent, I was pulled into an alternate reality and arrested by
aliens. I think at this point I’ll believe anything.”

“You’re my soul
mate, Caroline.”

She paused for
a moment, absorbing his words. Then she laughed. For some reason
hearing those words—such strange words, so unexpected—in
this
situation was hilarious to her. “Soul mate?”

“Yes, Caroline,
I’m completely serious right now.”

She bent over
double, holding her aching, still-hungry stomach, and laughed so
hard tears streamed down her face. Maybe it was stress. Maybe this
was a catharsis. Caroline didn’t know. All she knew was that it
felt damn good to laugh.

Finally the
laughter stopped and she wiped her cheeks. “Uhm, okay. That’s
funny. So I’m your soul mate, huh?” Maybe she’d been spending all
this time with a crazy man.

Torrent’s body
thudded against the bars separating them as though he was trying to
squeeze through them. “I’m the reason you’re here, Caroline. My
blood called to yours. You and I, we’re a perfect match and the
universe connected us even through alternate realities, like two
magnets finding each other through time and space.”

“I’m sorry,
Torrent,” she said, scooting away from him. “I didn’t realize all
this time I was talking to a cra—I mean, someone with sanity
issues.”

Torrent made a
low sound of frustration. “You just pointed it out; you’re sitting
in an alien prison, why is it so hard to believe you and I are
connected?”

She sobered. He
was right. So many other impossible things had happened to her this
week, why not one more? Swallowing hard against her dry throat, she
chose her words carefully. “Okay, I will grant you that just about
anything could be possible if such things like alternate realities
are true.”

“I didn’t want
for you to be drawn over. I was supposed to die before that
happened. There’s a prophecy.” He grunted in frustration. “You were
supposed to stay in your world, and I was supposed to die, but it
didn’t work out that way. Everything’s a mess and you’re in
danger.” His voice had gone low and angry. “How am I supposed to
protect you now?”

“Hey, I’m
capable of protecting myself, okay?” The guy was a tad bit
chauvinistic. That was definitely something they’d have to talk
about if they really were soul mates…if they got out of this
alive.

“I know you’re
strong, Caroline. The fact you’re still sane says that much about
you.”

“Let’s pretend
for a moment that what you say is true, that I have been pulled
through my reality and into yours because I’m your soul mate.
Explain to me how all that would work, exactly.”

Torrent moved
closer to the bars. “That is a complicated question. I will try and
answer it as succinctly and understandably as possible.”

She moved to
his side and absorbed as much of his body heat that she could. “I’d
appreciate that.”

“You are in a
country called Selaryica. It is a place with several races, the
primary and most populous of which are the Magica. They have been
at war with my people, the Lycaon, for centuries.”

“So these guys
who have us imprisoned are the Magica.”

“Yes, you are
in the city of
Titan
right now. The Magica are in command of
certain types of magick. My people are the Lycaon and the Magica
genetically engineered them a very,
very
long time ago. That
happened when we all lived in your reality, around nine thousand
B.C.”

“Uhm,
what?”

“Let me try and
clarify. The Magica and the Lycaon are both native to your reality.
The Magica created the Lycaon to be warriors and protectors of
their race. They created us to not be able to procreate, but we
evolved, changed and became able to produce offspring. The Lycaon
became a separate species, a race in our own right, and we fought
for independence from the servitude of the Magica. When that
happened, the Magica felt threatened and tried to kill us all. This
sparked a great war, one that has waged between our peoples ever
since.”

“How did the
Magica and the Lycaon end up over here, if you’re native to my
world?”

“When the war
began between our people, the mystical Powers-That-Be pulled all of
us over here.”

“Mystical
Powers-That-Be?”

“We don’t know
for sure how it happened, but we may know
why
it happened.
It is thought this occurred because humanity was in its infancy and
we would have interrupted that species had we remained.”

“This is too
weird.”

“It gets
weirder. Some of the Magica and Lycaon were left behind on Earth
and their genetic signature exists today in certain individuals,
certain individuals like you.”

She frowned and
gripped the bars tighter. “What are you saying?”

“I’m saying you
have Lycaon blood. The Magica never expected for the Lycaon to be
able to produce offspring. Not only do we do that ability, but we
spawn shifters that take forms other than dire wolf—“

“Wait a minute,
what? Dire wolf?
Shifter?

BOOK: Capturing Caroline
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