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Authors: Carly Fall,Allison Itterly

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Science Fiction, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Adventure

Tangled Fates

BOOK: Tangled Fates
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Tangled Fates

by

Carly Fall

© 2013 Westward Publishing

All Rights Reserved

The Six Saviors Series - in reading order

The Light Within Me

Finding My Faith

REBORN

Beverly’s Rebirth

Destiny’s Shift

Tangled Fates

For other books by Carly Fall, visit www.CarlyFall.com

Prologue

One hundred twelve years ago—SR44

“I’ll be back soon,” he had told Mia as they stood among the throngs of SR44ians and

the hustle and bustle of the city life, the golden buildings soaring above them. “We won’t be

gone that long, my love.”

“I shall wait for you with anticipation and worry,” Mia said. “You carry my soul with

you. Care for it with integrity, and complete your mission with honor.”

“I will do as you say. This is my oath, my promise, to you.”

Chapter 1

Ten Months Ago

“Are you sure you’re going to be okay? You’re not going to do anything stupid, are

you?”

Cohen stared at his fellow Warrior, Rayner, not really processing what he was saying. He

was in a haze consisting of agony, disbelief, defeat, gut-wrenching guilt, and he had put a big, fat

cherry on all that with some Captain Morgan, the rum of all rums.

He brought the glass to his lips, his hand shaking. He had to take a piss but didn’t know if

his legs would carry his six-foot-four, two hundred fifty pound-frame. Instead, he shifted in his

chair and ran his hand through his dark hair.

Finding out that your mate was dead could incapacitate a male.

Cohen looked over at the clock. It had been three hours, two minutes, and fifteen seconds

since the news had been delivered, and the conversation kept replaying over and over in his

mind.

“SR44 is no more,” Liberty had said. “When we left, it seemed our world exploded from

the inside, leaving nothing. It is gone.”

Gone.

His whole reason for existing had disappeared in one fiery, fuck-all explosion.

“Cohen, I need you to talk to me, man.”

He lifted his violet eyes to Rayner’s red gaze and took another drink. What he really

wanted was to be left the hell alone. There was only one way that was going to happen; he had to

convince Rayner that although he was devastated, he wasn’t going to off himself.

“I’m okay.”

“And you’re not going to do anything stupid?”

“Like what? Drink more rum?”

“No, dumbass, like hurt yourself.”

Cohen threw his head back and laughed. It wasn’t the normal sound that came from his

throat, but something that resembled a bullfrog choking on Skittles.

The so not ha-ha funny thing was that he could remove his heart with a butter knife and

tweezers and it wouldn’t hurt as badly as what was rolling through him now.

“What’s so funny?” Rayner asked.

“Nothing, man, nothing. There’s not a fucking thing funny right now. Obscene, yes.

Disorienting, sure. But funny? Nope.”

Rayner’s eyes narrowed on him. “Where are your guns?”

It was obvious Rayner thought Cohen had lost his jar of dice and would blow out his

brains. The guy couldn’t have been more wrong. Cohen had no intention of killing himself; he

had too much to atone for, and he needed to be very much alive to do that.

But, whatever. “In the closet. In my gun safe.”

Rayner got up and went to the closet.

“You’re supposed to keep this thing locked,” Rayner said from inside.

He was supposed to do a lot of things. He was supposed to be concentrating on going

home to SR44, to see his mate, Mia. He was supposed to honor his mating vows. Keeping his

gun safe locked? Pretty far down on the list of important stuff he was supposed to do.

Rayner came out of the closet with a loaded-down black duffle bag.

“You sure you’re going to be okay, Cohen?”

No. Things would never be okay again. He was an SR44 male without his mate. Things

were going to be one large pile of smelly crap for the rest of his days.

“Yes. Now go see Faith and leave me alone.”

Rayner stared at him a minute longer, his red eyes piercing him, then headed for the door.

Cohen listened as the elevator dinged, announcing its arrival. When he heard the hum of the

elevator taking Rayner away, he felt all his emotions—the guilt, the agony, the sheer disbelief

that Mia was gone—swelling together, fueling the screams and cries of pain that emanated from

his lips.

After a few moments, he was hoarse, and he wiped his eyes with the back of his hand.

He should have honored his mating vows to Mia, but instead he had been whoring around

on Earth for the past seventy-five years of the two hundred twelve years he had been on this

rock. His betrayal to her ran deep, and he needed to atone for his sins.

Oh, and sinned he had. He was a Grade-A sinner.

The first time with a human female had felt so magnificent and put him on such a high;

the guilt was almost non-existent. After that, he was like a junkie looking for his next fix. The

loneliness that had driven him to his first encounter with a human female once again resurfaced,

and he was on the prowl. He’d always tried to counter any guilt with promises to himself that he

would make it up to Mia once he got home, and he would once again be the male of dignity and

honor he had been. If he didn’t love Mia as much as he did, he wouldn’t feel so goddamned

alone, and he wouldn’t need to find another body to rub up against to quell that loneliness.

However, if he were to be honest, he had developed a deep-seated hatred for himself and

his extracurricular activities over the past seventy-five years.

Standing on wobbly legs, he made his way to the bathroom. After using the toilet, he

studied his face in the mirror. His dark hair stood on end, and his violet, red-rimmed eyes burned

brightly. His tanned skin looked pale, and his broad chest heaved with ragged breaths.

He was a cocksucker of epic proportions.

Visions of Mia, her rose-colored SR44 form, swirled before him. Cohen’s SR44 Forest

Dwelling family held on to the old customs of choosing a mate for their children. Mia had been

chosen to mate him when they were young. Thankfully, as they had grown up, they spent time

together in the forest running in the high tree branches, sharing private talks, and attending

Forest Dwelling ceremonies, they had grown to love each other.

On their mating day, as Cohen had said his vows, Mia became his reason for existing.

And then, one hundred fifty years after their mating, he’d been sent on this godforsaken,

never-ending mission of catching and eradicating Colonists, and his vows had meant less and

less to him as the loneliness and need for companionship grew and grew.

And now, Mia was dead. He’d sullied their mating, reneged on his vows, and it was now

time for him to let the guilt take over and eat at him.

Inhaling, he wiped his violet eyes again. How could he make this situation better? What

could he do to atone for his sins?

As he splashed cold water on his face, it came to him. He would make an oath, an ancient

oath practiced by the Forest Dwellers. Yes, he would perform a
Tambaran
to honor Mia, her

memory, and their mating vows.

He went back into the bedroom and pulled out a black marble box from under his bed. A

Forest Dwelling elder had made the box especially for Cohen, and no one would ever be able to

open it but him. It had been a gift from the elder, to be used as a place to hold Cohen’s most

important possessions.

He placed his hand on top of the box, and channeled his energy into the lock, reciting a

chant in his native tongue that spoke of precious belongings. He heard a small click, and the box

was open.

Removing a blue silk-like cloth, he carefully opened it, revealing a three-pronged

pitchfork-like SR44 knife. It was about twelve inches in length, and the prongs were a copper

color. The hilt was violet, the exact shade of his SR44 being. Each prong was engraved with the

English equivalent of
Honor
,
Truth,
and
Respect
. The last time he had held the knife was right before he left SR44 to come to Earth.

“Be well, my love,” Mia had said.

“As you, my Mia.” He had then put the knife in the case along with the other contents

and locked it.

“It is my last eve here, Mia. Come join with me. Let me take beautiful memories of you

with me on my short mission.”

Now, as he knelt on the floor in his room, thinking about Mia and staring at the knife, it

felt like his heart was going pump out the front of his chest. He pulled out a yellow silk-like cloth

and gently unfolded it, revealing a reddish powdery substance called
Natwa
. Being a Healer,

Cohen had the ability to heal others by using their energy and fusing it with his own to repair

wounds. But what happened when the Healer got hurt? The red
Natwa
powder was the answer.

Cohen simply needed to spread it along the wound and it would mend.

It had been ten years since he’d used the contents of the case.

He’d used it a few times with different run-ins with their enemy, the Colonists, but most

of the time he stayed on the back lines waiting for the injured to come to him. Sometimes this

irritated him when he was itching to fight, but usually that itch could be scratched by going a

couple of rounds with Rayner or Hudson down in the gym.

As he studied the powder, a tear slid down his cheek. He quickly wiped it away so it

wouldn’t land in the red granules.

He laid out the powder and knife on the dark brown carpet. He stood, turned off the light,

and lit two candles that smelled like evergreen, reminding him of the forests of home. He placed

the candles by the knife and powder. His hands shook as he unbuttoned his shirt and his belt

buckle, letting his jeans fall to the floor. He walked over to the bar and poured another drink,

making it a double for courage and good measure.

Naked, he approached the gathering of tools he would need for the ceremony, and knelt

before them.

Closing his eyes, he began chanting in his native tongue.

He spoke of honoring promises, righting wrongs, and retribution. He began to rock and

sway, as he would if he were in his natural SR44 form, a mass of violet smoke.

After a few moments he reached for the knife next to him, and his chanting got louder.

He held the three-pronged beast in front of him, and with a primal scream, he plunged it into his

chest and abdomen.

Minutes later, Cohen awoke flat on his back, weak and covered in blood. He looked at

the blood pooling on the floor beside him and had the passing thought that the Rug Doctor was

going to have to make a visit.

The knife protruded from his body, as though the Devil himself had stuck it there. He

didn’t have the energy to pull it out, so he reached for the red powder.

Breathing heavily, he sprinkled it on his wounds. Laying his head back, he tried to relax

as the powder mended his internal injuries. It felt as though there were colonies of little ants

within healing him.

Thirty minutes later, the knife fell to his side. He looked down at his torso and saw angry

red marks. Sitting up, he rubbed more red powder on the wounds and knew that the welts would

be gone by morning, if not sooner.

Standing, he took stock in how he felt. He had made a pledge to Mia that he would honor

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