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Authors: Shelley Munro

SnaredbySaber

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Snared by Saber

Shelley Munro

 

Middlemarch
Capture, Book One

 

When a feline
virus on Earth wipes out much of his race, Saber Mitchell moves his shifter
family to the jungle planet of Tiraq. To provide an income—and keep the
testosterone-fueled males from killing each other over the lack of mates—Saber
opens Middlemarch Resort, specializing in women’s capture fantasies.
Unbeknownst to the women, some captures will be more permanent than others.

Saber has no plans
to find a mate himself…until a capture goes awry, landing both him and
“kidnapped” guest Eva Henry on the other side of the huge island. Saber must
face birds, beasts, hungry natives and Eva’s own penchant for escape to see her
safely back to the resort.

Keeping his hands
off her proves impossible…even after Saber learns mating Eva comes with bigger,
more dangerous troubles than all their jungle perils combined.

 

A Romantica®
SciFi erotic romance
from Ellora’s Cave

 

Snared by Saber
Shelley Munro

 

Acknowledgements

 

A special thanks to Hollie Glover and Mary
Kirkland for reading the first drafts of Saber’s story. This book is especially
for you.

 

 

Pronunciation Guide

 

Many of the alien characters within these
pages bear Celtic names. Here is a guide to help pronounce their names:

 

Casey Seonaid: (kay + sea) shone + aid

Pryce Dearbhorgaill: (price) der + vor +
gill

Almeda Dearbhorgaill: (elle + me + da) der
+ vor + gill

Loeiz Dearbhorgaill: (loo + eece) der + vor
+ gill

 

Chapter One

Middlemarch Resort, Ione Island, planet Tiraq

 

“I shouldn’t have come to Tiraq.” Eva Henry
plucked her communicator out of her bag and glared at the round screen.

Nothing. Not a single
frying fungus
squawk.

She shoved the red com-circle out of sight
even as she prayed her assistant would call soon. She needed to know her
careful plan was proceeding. “I should be back on Dalcon taking care of
business.”

“Wash your mouth with
crapola
soap!”
Casey Seonaid, Eva’s best friend, grabbed her forearm, her fingertips digging
into Eva’s flesh like scorp-pincers. “Forget work. This is your birthday treat.
If anyone needs stress relief, it’s you. Listen to Doctor Casey. Indulging in a
capture fantasy is just the thing.” Casey glanced around. “Where are we meant
to check in?”

Eva forced herself to focus on the noisy
chaos of dozens of women and their multitude of bags and let Casey drag her to
the end of the line waiting for room allocation.

“Eva, take a gawk at his ass!” Her friend
spoke in a reverent tone. “Wouldn’t you like to take a bite? Or what about
him?” Casey hummed a sexy sound and winked at her as a second bare-chested male
strolled through the resort foyer. “I want a capture fantasy with
him
.”

Her friend wasn’t the only one to notice
sex-on-legs saunter past. Eva observed the shy smiles, the blatant grins, heard
the shrill whistle, the appreciative whispers about forced-sex fantasies at the
men’s hands.
Holy Finnian bats
, even
her
libido did a halfhearted
jig. Something that had her stumbling mid-stride since she hadn’t thought of
men and sex since Pryce—

The cramped pain in her left hand jerked
her from the tortured memories. Bloodless fingers gripped the handle of her bag,
and she fought to regain her equilibrium, fought to get past the haze of red
rage, fought to distance herself from the past until she trembled with the stress.

Luckily Casey didn’t notice her zone-out,
her friend’s saucy commentary a steady rumbly purr of background noise. Casey
continued murmuring and nudged Eva with a pointy elbow.

“Oh yeah. Hell yeah. This is right where we
should be,” Casey said, using her elbow again before Eva could evade. “My
female parts are gonna get a good workout if those cuties are any indication of
the resort merchandise. And about time too. A pox on the military and their
stoopid
fraternization rules. Capture fantasy, here I come!”

“Shush.” Eva rubbed her ribs and sent a
furtive glance at the other women waiting to check into the exclusive
Middlemarch Resort on Ione Island.

Most of the female guests hailed from the
nearby planet of Dalcon—the same as she and Casey—but they came from a cross section
of races. There were several blue-skinned Manx, some Labhras with their flickering
skin colors indicating their fluctuating emotions, a powerful striped Tigrus,
and a couple of compact Setanta with their distinctive straight violet-toned
hair. Some came from races she hadn’t seen before, and Eva didn’t let her gaze
settle into a stare. Unintended rudeness of that nature caused deaths every
year, and she didn’t intend to end up a statistic. Not now when she was so
close.

Things to do. Revenge to implement.

Despite herself, Eva slid another quick
glance in the direction of two women whose heads were covered with swaying
tendrils. Casey might recognize their race since she traveled a lot with the
military.


Scurvy sky pirates
,” Casey said,
suddenly breathless as she stared over Eva’s shoulder. “I’ve changed my mind. I
want one of
them
to capture me. No…no, all of them at once! I’m sure I
could cope.”

Eva caught a glimpse of tall, dark and sexy
seconds before her communicator gave a familiar squawk. She fumbled through the
contents of her bag. Her hand closed around the com-circle and she flicked it
to active vocal. “Henry,” she barked. “Tell me it’s—”

Casey snatched the communicator, dropped it
on the floor and deliberately crushed it under the heel of her military issue
boot.

Eva gaped at the innards of her com-circle,
took long secs to find her voice. “Why did you do that?”

“This is a holiday. For both of us. You
work too hard and need a break, and I require recreation before I head to my
next assignment. Please, Eva. I want us to enjoy ourselves. I won’t see you again
after I leave on assignment. Not for ages.”

The forlorn note in Casey’s voice made Eva
look closer for the first time since they’d met up at the busy Dalcon
spaceport. Were those tears shimmering in Casey’s eyes? And she looked
exhausted, with bags of fatigue beneath her lower lashes, as if she hadn’t
slept in days. Guilt flooded Eva. What kind of friend was she?

“I’m sorry. You’re right.” Her plans had
taken eons to set in place. Several more solar days wouldn’t make much
difference. The final result would be just as satisfying.

Vengeance for Pryce at last
.

Eva hooked her arm through her friend’s and
urged her forward as the line wended its way to the reception desk. “Did you
have a chance to make the new outfits you were talking about? Not that you’ll
spend much time in your clothes if you’re captured.”

“No.” Casey’s expression was closed off,
and Eva sought a way to bring back the fun, smiling girl she’d met in the
market many cycles ago, the young girl with the wild dark curls who’d towed her
aunt from fabric stall to fabric stall and radiated excitement and enthusiasm
as she stroked the shimmering materials of every color imaginable.

Now, not only did Casey appear exhausted,
but she’d lost some of her bulk. Her wild curls were long gone, sheared off to
leave brutally short fuzz. Something was dreadfully wrong with her friend.

Two men entered the foyer, both tall, both
dark-haired, both with intense green eyes that crossed the roomful of gawking women
with silent intent. They exchanged words, one nodding then replying.

Eva stared with everyone else. Sexy lips. Way
too easy to imagine those luscious mouths roaming a feminine body, giving and
taking pleasure.

“What about one of those two?” she
whispered, using her chin to signal the direction. “Can you imagine one of them
whisking you away to the fantasy rooms? Forcing you to have sex with them? Or how
about
them
,” she said as three males joined the first two. Tall, all
muscular with black hair of varying lengths, sparkling green eyes and grins
ranging from friendly to impish. “Do you think they’re from a new range of
bots? They’re very alike.”

To Eva’s relief, Casey lifted her head and
her scowl dropped away. “Good choice.” Her gaze lingered with feminine
appreciation. “Bots or not, I hope we’re chosen for the extras. Rumor says
their fantasy rooms are the latest in new technology, and they cater to any
sexual taste. They say the women have to be carried out because they’re so
drugged with pleasure. Then they’re pampered in the beauty rooms with sensual
massages and given the whole royalty treatment.”

Casey gave a theatrical shiver. “You work
hard. You deserve a little fun. Even if we don’t get picked for the special
captures, we’ll get to partake in the other activities, have a fruity cocktail
or three, some blistering-hot sex. Please, Eva. I want you to enjoy your
birthday.”

Eva flashed her friend a smile, hopefully a
reassuring one. “Don’t worry. We’ll have a blast.”

The line shuffled forward and the
receptionist lifted her gaze, a professional smile pinned to her lips.

“Names please.” She was a pretty girl with
green eyes. Her black hair was pulled back from her face and arranged in a
tight bun on top of her head—a doughnut-shaped roll. She resembled the sexy males.
They had to be bots.

“Eva Henry and Casey Seonaid,” Casey said.

The woman’s hands halted on her flat
glasslike keyboard. “Shone-aid?”

“Yes,” Casey said. “But it’s spelled
S-e-o-n-a-i-d.”

“Ah.” The woman’s hands flew over the
keyboard and she hummed approval. “Perfect, thank you for booking with the
Middlemarch Resort,” she said and slid a genic mini-tab over the counter
between them. “Your chalet number is twenty-five. There is a map plus
information and instructions on the genic. Make sure you read them because
missing crucial events or not following directives will lessen your chances of experiencing
one of our special signature captures. Don’t forget to attend the welcoming
party tonight. Your luggage will be delivered, if it isn’t in your chalet
already. Any questions?”

Eva shook her head.

“I hope you enjoy your vacation at
Middlemarch Resort.”

Summarily dismissed, Eva gave the genic to
Casey. “You’re the expert navigator. You find our chalet, and I’ll follow.”

Eva had seen luxury, certainly while
attending functions with Pryce, but this place was impeccable, with stylish
touches pulling everything together. The atmosphere oozed sensuality and good
taste. Cream walls, arrangements of vivid fresh flowers, innovative lighting to
spotlight erotic statuary. A water feature provided background noise.
Top-of-the-line fixtures. They’d gone for classic styling rather than
succumbing to technology streaming and the advertisements most hotels plastered
over every available wall. Whoever the decorator was, Eva wanted to meet them
so she could discuss refurbishing her restaurants to give her customers a more
rounded dining experience. She followed Casey through a door and onto a gravel
path.

The grounds were stunning too, full of
plants and fragrant blooms. A selection of variegated leafy bushes lined the
path, their vivid blue and white flowers perfuming the air with exotic cookie
spices. Tall trees with bright coral-colored trunks and green and coral foliage
cast shade over the gravel walkways.

When they exited the trees, Eva caught her
breath. “Oh, it’s beautiful. I’ve heard…I mean, you told me planet Tiraq gets
its jade-green color from the immense seas, and you’ve said how beautiful the
water is, but I thought you were exaggerating.”

The jade sea spread before them, the
surface barely rippling. Already women lazed on the beach of pristine white
sand, and some from races that didn’t mind getting wet were frolicking in the water.
Eva couldn’t wait to dip her fingers into the sparkling green liquid.

Casey gave a disdainful sniff and lifted
her nose in the air. “This is our chalet.”

Their chalet was the last in a row of carefully
spaced accommodation. Thatched roofs kept out the weather and gave them a
rustic charm. Beyond their chalet was a sturdy fence covered in fine mesh—the
far boundary of the resort. Eva didn’t mind since it would afford them more
privacy than the chalets in the center of the resort. She might as well catch
up on sleep while she was taking downtime.

“So it is. Looks pretty.” Eva chuckled at
her friend’s put-upon expression. “Sorry. I’ll never doubt you again.”

“Then understand I crunched your com-circle
for the greater good. I know you miss Pryce, but you can’t mourn your husband
forever. You’re still young and you deserve this holiday.”

I don’t deserve anything.
Eva sucked up the swell of grief and put on her game expression. It
slid across her face like an old friend, which told her how adept she’d become
at pretense, at hiding the truth, at keeping secrets.

“Oh look.” Entranced, Eva crouched to pet a
fluffy creature. Its black fur looked soft while its big, round eyes emphasized
the cute factor. “Come here, little fella. Casey, come see.” Eva extended her
hand.

“Don’t touch it,” a sharp male voice
snapped.

Eva jerked her hand back even as the fluffy
creature darted closer.

A huge black cat leaped in front of her,
seized the creature in its maw and bit down until the fluff ball stopped
fighting. The cat flicked its tale and trotted off with its prize.

The man hauled her up by the arm, his green
eyes full of alarm. “Did it bite you?” He grasped her hips and turned her to
face him. Before she could answer, he ran his hands down her arms and legs.
“Good,” he said when he didn’t find signs of any wounds. “The zylon didn’t bite
you.”

“They bite?” Casey asked, looking dazed by
the man and his sudden appearance. Not to mention the huge black cat, which
luckily had displayed more interest in the zylon.

“Yeah, their bite is poisonous, which is
why we’ve fenced the resort to keep them out.”

Poisonous? “There’s a hole in your fence.
I-I saw the-the creature crawl through,” Eva stammered.

“We’ll get it fixed,” the man said. “I’m
glad you weren’t injured. That wouldn’t be a good way to start your holiday.
Let me get reception to send you refreshments to make up for the
inconvenience.” The man tucked Eva’s hand on his arm and escorted her to the
door of their chalet, where Casey waited. He disengaged and shunted them both
through the open door, then closed them inside.

“I don’t think he was a bot,” Eva murmured.

“The men here are sexier than in my wildest
dreams,” Casey said. “Bring on the captures, I say.”

Eva’s legs gave out, and she toppled onto
the edge of a sleep-bed. She couldn’t find the right brain cells to formulate
an argument, let alone voice one. Hard to dispute the truth when it frisked you
in such a delightful manner.

* * * * *

“What do you think?” Saber Mitchell studied
his four brothers, who were currently crowding his office, two sprawled in
chairs and the other two leaning against the walls. He scanned each of his
brothers’ faces before focusing on Felix, the second oldest of the Mitchell
brothers. Leo came next in age, followed by the twins Sly and Joe. They had one
more sibling, their sister Scarlett, who was the youngest of the Mitchell clan.

“I still think this is a crazy idea,” Leo
said. “Why can’t we focus on farming the land? We had a successful farm on
Earth. There’s no reason we can’t replicate that again.”

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