Experience love and adventure beyond the stars in Tales from the SFR Brigade – a FREE digital anthology of of eight scifi romancesÂ thatÂ cover stories from simple enemies to lovers to full scale intergalactic battles. With works from Linnea Sinclair, Marcella Burnard, Erica Hayes, Liana Brooks, Pippa Jay, Berinn Ray, Amy Laurens and Kyndra Hatch, there’s something for everyone – from sweet to smokin’ hot, present day Earth to planets beyond our solar system, from sexy soldiers to alien lawmen, and war-torn dystopias to secret wars as yet unknown.
“State your allegiance,” Nolyra demanded, her mind running through a few worst case scenarios.
“I will state an oath,” the stranger said. “I swear if you pull that trigger, I’m taking you with me.”
Great. A human with a death wish. She shrugged. “Looks like weâ€™ve gotten ourselves in a pickle.”
The stranger started, then lowered his weapon slightly. Strange thing to do. Was it because of his wound or her remark? She studied the armor more closely. This soldier was either a male or the biggest female she’d ever seen. Could be a suit modification, like the one she had, but she doubted it, especially with the shoddy repairs.
“You appear to be wounded,” Nolyra said, risking a step forward. “I have medical training.”
He raised his weapon higher. “State your allegiance.”
His arms were trembling. Did he still have enough strength to kill her?
“My concern is for a wounded soldier. Let’s leave it at that. Or you can lay there and bleed to death.”
The stranger dropped his weapon, then lay back against the cave wall, staring at her with his arms lax at his sides. Nolyra approached and quickly kicked his weapon out of the way, never losing her target lock in the process. She allowed the pent-up energy to drain from her body. Blood had begun to pool under his right thigh. She lowered her weapon, then set it aside, hearing his sigh of relief. It was a small step in the direction of gaining his trust.
She knelt down beside him and pressed a button on the abdominal control center that came with the suit modifications. Several layers morphed back into the forearm armor, revealing her small, rough hands. With that maneuver, he would know she was human. He would also realize that her armor had made her look much larger than she actually was. She smiled in spite of herself. She liked to keep them guessing.
Nolyra shifted towards him, her hands hovering over his chest plating. “I’m going to remove this part of your armor so that I can see how bad your wound is.”
The stranger nodded once and she began helping him out of the chest piece. He grunted in pain, but the armor latches released despite the damage. Ah, so it was a man; no breasts. Whatever protective layering he used to wear under his armor must have been discarded long ago. An old scar puckered across his bare chest, but there were no fresh wounds.
“I need to remove more armor.” She pulled back on the abdominal plate, revealing a puncture wound just below his rib cage. As she tugged to remove the entire plate, it snagged on the man’s right arm, pulling that armor away as well. She snorted. It was a wonder his suit stayed on at all.
Nolyra’s heart skipped several beats as she caught a glimpse of his right forearm. The man quickly covered the intricate bond tattoo before she could get a good look at it. No wonder his suit was in such a state. He was one of a bonded pairâ€”and the Skellyds would hunt him to the death.
Nolyra sighed, remembering her own bond mate; lost in a raid so long ago she had stopped keeping track of the time. She pulled some bandages from her left pocket and pressed a dressing against his wound. The blood was already beginning to clot. If she could convince him to board her ship, she could run a full diagnostic in the medical bay.
Nolyra glanced at the piece of armor covering his bond mark. She didnâ€™t blame him for trying to keep it covered. It was dangerous for anyone to know which humans were bonded, especially with the Skellyd ban on human reproduction and their attempts to eliminate bonded couples. But, she knew several people who were still looking for their mates. She began to bandage his abdomen, deliberately pushing aside the armor that covered his arm.
Nolyra suddenly couldn’t breathe, throat constricting, her muscles frozen in place, the hairs on the back of her neck standing on end. The bond mark on this stranger, a tattoo unique to each couple, was exactly the same as the one on her own arm.
Taken from The Stranger by Kyndra Hatch (with her permission)
â€œI have to take you in, Jiona Sax.â€ Tevik said it a fraction louder than necessary, and she guessed there must be more enforcers in the room. He lowered his voice. â€œEven though itâ€™s been fun.â€
â€œPlease.â€ Fingers trembling, she grasped his wrist. â€œI donâ€™t care about being caught. I donâ€™t care about facing the charges. But pleaseâ€¦â€ She swallowed hard. â€œI donâ€™t want to be carried into my cell on a stretcher. I want to walk in, head held high. Please?â€
He shook his head. â€œDo you know how much trouble Iâ€™d be in?â€
â€œWhat about under your personal custody? You can do that, right?â€
â€œIâ€™d need a damn good reason to. Besides, you need a hospital.â€
â€œAfter that stunt you pulled at the bank?â€ He snorted. â€œIf it wasnâ€™t obvious you canâ€™t even stand, youâ€™d be in cuffs right now.â€
â€œLook, if you take me to hospital, you might as well kill me now. Delâ€™s gang, whateverâ€™s left of it, will come after me. I know too much about them.â€ Jiona shuddered. Del still had people on the loose. Loyalty to the family was something Vaz had prized in his gang members, and betrayal came at a heavy price. â€œDid you get them all? If you didnâ€™t, you canâ€™t guarantee my safety.â€
Tevik frowned. â€œAll right.â€ He didnâ€™t sound convinced, but he shouted to someone beyond her sight. â€œMeka! Get over here.â€
A slim, dark haired man, almost Tevikâ€™s height and dressed for combat, materialized at his side. â€œWhatâ€™s up? Is she giving you trouble?â€
â€œHardly. Tell Reine Iâ€™m taking Jiona Sax into my personal custody and that Iâ€™ll deliver her as soon as sheâ€™s fit for charging.â€
â€œYou ragging me? Reine will go kag-shit crazy!â€
â€œTell her Iâ€™ll take the rap. Sax has info that could put all a stop to all Delâ€™s gang operations. Taking her to a hospital, even under guard, could give them the chance to get at her. Have you rounded them all up yet?â€
â€œNot yet, sir.â€
â€œThen this is the only option. My place is all set up for witness protectionâ€”Reine knows that â€”and Iâ€™ll get the Bureau medic in.â€ He looked back down at her, but his face faded until only the blue gleam of his eyes remained. â€œJiona? Jionaâ€¦â€
Tevikâ€™s voice died to a faint echo as she slipped into the darkness.
Taken from Imprint by Pippa Jay
To find out more and where you can download a free copy in whatever digital format you need, visit the anthology website HERE.
- About the Author
- Posts in the Past
A girl who writes scifi and the supernatural with a romantic soul. Whovian, Scaper, and Sith-in-training. Published by BURST books, an imprint of Champagne Books. Double SFR Galaxy Award Winner. Readers Favorite Contest, HOD RWA Aspen Gold and GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards finalist. 2015 EPIC eBooks Awards finalist in the SF category. Member of the SFR Brigade, Broad Universe, and EPIC.