Authors: Isabel Wroth
Copyright © 2016 by Isabel Wroth
This book is a work of fiction. Any similarity to real events, people, or places are entirely coincidental. All rights reserved.
This book may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without the permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations used for review.
All quotations used in this book are part of public domain works and/or translated copies existing in public domain.
This book contains mature content, including graphic sex, vulgar language, and violence. Please do not continue reading if you are under the age of 18 or if this type of content is disturbing to you.
THIS BOOK IS THE FIRST IN AN ANTHOLOGY!!!
I had to say that in shouty letters just in case anyone was confused.
, is the first novella in this anthology.
It is meant to give a more in depth look into some of the character couples introduced in
. (Book One of the Sarazen Saga)
Think of the novellas that follow as a seven course meal.
was the first course.
is a second course. Portion controlled to give the consumer room for more delicious delights. ;)
To all my readers who left one to three star reviews for
I sincerely thank you for your comments. Good, bad and ugly. You have made me a better writer. Should you buy more of my books I hope to meet a higher expectation level.
To my readers who left glowing reviews of love and encouragement-
This one is for you!
It’s always difficult to embark on a new journey. Sometimes it’s scary, sometimes it’s downright awful. Mostly it’s exhilarating and people like you dear readers, make it one heck of a ride. I appreciate you!
Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook for updates on new releases.
And check out my Author Blog too! I post answers to questions, outline “the plan,” address concerns and so forth.
The cramped, narrow hallways of the far too fragile human ship were rancid with dead. With the twitching bodies of the venomous Na’ah and the slaughtered remnants of the humans littered the cramped vessel. The stench was enough to make even a seasoned warrior gag behind the visor of his battle helmet. Their re-breathers were intended to filter out anything from poisonous gasses to bio-hazards, but somehow they never quite filtered out that particular odor.
Ohlen moved with his squad through the last section of this quadrant. Finding more remains, more death. They pushed through the weak, half broken barricade of tables and chairs into the final room. Stomach churning with sickness, he and the other warriors stepped over the humans last attempt to protect what was most precious to them. Their young. They were together in a huddled pile, bodies broken and shredded. Proof of the Na’ah’s savagery. So much blood. So much senseless, heart breaking waste.
The two females’ backs showed evidence of claw and tail rakes. Evidence that to the bitter end, they had bravely tried to protect the young ones’. He knelt with his warriors and carefully moved aside the remains of two females. Looking for any signs of life where he doubted there would be any.
All they found was more of the same red ruin on the deck.
He mourned for the little ones, for the bravery of the females, but there was nothing more to be done.
Ohlen reported to the warship. The squad moved down the hall as one, making one last sweep before they made their way back to the launch ships. Suddenly, the entire party of warriors froze and crouched low in readiness when they heard a sound ahead. Something crashed or was thrown from one of the cargo rooms they had already cleared.
“I don’t hear anything. Come on, we’ve got to get you to medical.”
Ohlen heard the female voice and wondered how in the universe he could have missed her? Missed more than one?
“Cassie, it’s alright. Just go. I’m not going to do anything but slow you down.”
Ohlen’s beast froze, ears perking forward inside him, chuffing in disbelief. That sweet, husky, pain filled voice made every cell in his body feel so alive his skin hurt. It was all he could do to keep from leaping forward into the unknown to find its owner.
“Fuck that! I’m not leaving you to die. Get up. Come on, it’s not that far.”
Ohlen rounded the corner and saw a female, trying to lift a smaller female to her feet. The scent of her blood in the air was ripe, her already pale skin ashen from the loss.
The smaller of the two saw him and her eyes widened in terror. He realized he had been crouched low with his weapon naked in his hands, face concealed by his helmet. The other one turned and screamed, dropping the injured female to the deck. Making her moan in agony.
Ohlen didn’t think of anything except getting to the lovely, dark-haired female bleeding all over the place. He dropped his weapon, tore his helmet off and ignored how the fair-haired one shrieked bravely at him. She launched herself forward in defense of her companion.
He caught her around the waist and handed the aggressive thing off to one of his squad. Ohlen knelt beside the other female, shushing her gently when she whimpered weakly in pain,
“It’s alright. I’m not going to hurt you.”
He kept his tone as soft as he could manage, but still she shrank back from him,
“You’re badly injured,” Ohlen stated the obvious, watching the light begin to fade from her eyes. His beast surged, slamming against the confines of his body, panting with panic.
She shuddered when he gathered her against his armor. Flinched as though he would strike her as he threw his arm out to remove the armored greave from around his wrist. He had precious little time to see this done. Precious little time to ensure she stayed with him. He bit down, cut his skin with his fangs and then pressed his bleeding wrist to her soft lips. She struggled weakly and tried to kick her legs, tried to make him stop.
“Swallow,” he barked. With more force than he had intended. He said a quick prayer, thanking the gods when she obeyed. “Good, that’s good. Take a little more,”
Ohlen could smell her revulsion, see it in her eyes. Felt the fear that made her tremble. He had to cut his skin again to drip his blood into the gashes on her thigh and abdomen. Shushing her gently when she wailed out a desperate,
He cradled her closer, watching with relief as her surface wounds began to heal. Her internal injuries, however, concerned him greatly.
“Stosh, give me a pain injection from your kit.” Without hesitation Stosh knelt at his side, slapping the vial into his waiting hand.
Ohlen gave the female a low dose, as she was less than half his size. Even still, it knocked her out cold. He ignored his squad when they asked if he needed help with her. He had to ignore them or risk snapping and snarling at them in fury for even considering touching her or taking her out of his arms.
The fair-haired female shrieked and cursed the whole way to the shuttle about how her companion needed a doctor. Ohlen assumed that a doctor was something similar to a medic. When her volume raised to an insistent, nearly panicked level, he turned to look at her. Gave her what he hoped was his coldest glare. She squeaked in fright but bravely gathered her courage despite the scent fear wafting off of her.
“If you would be silent long enough to listen, you would have heard now several times that we are returning to our ship. A medic will be waiting to see to your friend.”
That’s how Ohlen had found her. His mate. His one. One of a handful of the humans left alive aboard their small, vulnerable ship.
She had spoken to him only once after he’d brought her aboard the Sarazen warship. When Clary had begged for Tarek to house the females in another section of the ship in order to separate them from the males. Ohlen’s little mate had nearly run through the door, her arms clenched tight around herself. Her shoulders hunched up around her ears defensively. She had stopped in front of him, swallowing loud enough that it must have hurt.
His heart had swelled with pride for her. Even terrified of him, of everything around her it seemed, she had raised her eyes and thanked him softly.
Her first words to him, tainted with fear, were thanks for protecting her.
How badly he had wanted to reach out and pull her long dark hair from the knot she had it in. How badly he had wanted to banish the shadows from her dark eyes. Ohlen thought that by telling her the truth, she might feel less afraid.
“I would do anything to make you feel safe,”
If anything it had just frightened her more. She had hustled through the door to the common room between the barracks, leaving only the scent of her behind to torment him.
When Clary had told Ohlen the name of his mate, the sound had reverberated through his body like thunder.
“Andi,” he murmured.
As though she had heard him, her head lifted across the room. Her gaze sought him out. Pinned him with her soulful brown eyes. So lovely.
Every moment Ohlen spent away from her was becoming more and more painful.
Tarek had explained to his mate, who had explained to the others, just how important the humans were to the Sarazen people. What it meant to be a mate, but still Andi was afraid. Ohlen tried desperately to let her come to him in her own time. He decided to stay near to better allow her to become used to his presence.
Despite this, his beast refused to settle and slammed at his insides again and again. Enraged that he was not allowed out to protect his mate, insisting that she wasn’t safe. Ohlen made it almost five revs until the paranoia got to be too much. Thus far in his life, the instinct of the beast inside him hadn’t been wrong. He did not doubt it now
Ohlen had gone to her. He knelt and took her tiny, fragile little hands in his and told her it was time.
“I need you near, my one. My beast will not settle. It rages inside me, insisting you are in danger even though I know you are soothedby the nearness of your people. I tried to give you time to settle and grow more comfortable in my presence, but I am losing control. The only thing that will satisfy my beast is to bring you to my quarters where I can watch over you. You will come tonight.
He had made it a command, recognizing his mistake when Andi flinched. The scent of her fear rose and fell in waves, ever present. Her hands had just rested in his while that wave of fear rose. Allowing him to hold her, but not holding him back. She had agreed, though her voice was tremulous and her cheeks bright with what smelled like shame. Was it some kind of human custom for mates to not share quarters with one another
It wasn’t until later that he understood.
He had gone to collect her from the female’s quarters, only to be told she was with Clary on the observation deck. The faces of the other females showed distrust and disapproval when he had shown himself in their common room, he had grown worried. He left the barracks and loaped up the corridor to find her.
Ohlen heard the sound of Andi speaking as he’d gotten closer. He slowed to listen because he hadn’t heard enough of her husky voice. He knew it wasn’t right to listen in on their conversation, but he was starved for more information about his mate.
Beast’s Teeth, did he get his fill.
He stopped just shy of being visible in the doorway. Able to see Andi curled in the corner of the lounge. Pale as milk and trembling. The scent of her sorrow and her pain was so overwhelming it felt like claws inside his belly.
“Ohlen is so kind to me. So big, but so careful around me. He thinks I’m something…special.”
He managed a smile, glad to know that she felt this way about him. It wasn’t fear of him that kept her away.
“But I’m not.” She went on with a quaver in her voice. “I’m dirty, soiled because of what Ethan did to me. Five years. He used me for five years and no one did anything to stop him because I’m expendable. Worthless. Weak because I wasn’t strong enough to just kill myself to make it stop. I had this stupid idea that if I killed myself, Ethan won something. That he broke me. But the truth is he broke me a long time ago.”