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Blades of Arris: Falkion - Signed Paperback

Blades of Arris: Falkion - Signed Paperback

Signed by the author - me!

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Our relationship is complex.
His ancestors took over my planet.
I’m descended from the few who survived.
To say we have issues is to put it mildly.
He wants me off his warship.
I’m more than happy to oblige.
The ones who stay end up love-sick. Bound to one of them for all time.
I’m immune.
Their sickness will never be mine.
I might be immune, but he’s not.
Now the worst thing has happened.
I’m panicking and out of time.
My enemy is hunting.
Obsessed with one prey.
And somehow this might actually be fine...

Falkion and Zeerah's story completes the award-winning, tumultuous science fiction romance series! The Blades of Arris series contains unique alien shifters, fierce passion, and couples who defy everything to be together. Although it continues plot lines from previous novels, this complete, self-contained, epic happily-ever-after can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Chapter One Look Inside

They attack without warning.
Zeerah sits in the middle of the mess hall, her hood pulled back just enough to allow her spoon to reach her brown, human lips. Her shoulders hunch to disguise the fact that she’s half a head taller than the brutal gray-skinned Arrisan soldiers crunching nutrient cubes all around her. They are the ones she perceives are a danger.
She is wrong.
Without warning, gigantic monsters cut through the wall.
Pandemonium ensues.
Arrisans scream and run for their lives.
She runs too. Out of the mess, down the hallway. Her legs are longer. She’s faster.
But ahead of her, more slavering monsters burst through the walls.
One lunges for her.
She dodges.
The monster impales the Arrisan behind her. He makes a terrible gurgling sound as the monster drags him into its gaping maw.
She rounds the corner and ducks into a supply closet.
The screams cut off horribly.
It grows dangerously quiet.
She breathes raggedly.
Something lumbers outside her door.
A wet sound, like drool, spatters on the floor near her feet.
She holds her breath.
It’s no use.
A knife-arm cuts through the closet door and lodges deep in her chest—
* * *
I gasp awake, cold sweat pouring off my nude gray body, and leap into a fighting stance—
My forehead cracks against the closed lid of my sleeping pod.
The sound reverberates inside my skull as the lid slides open.
I dive out, head still ringing, and land on my feet.
My silver falchion blade-bones eject from my wrists and stretch to the farthest edges of my chamber, slice the air, and seek enemies.
The whistle of atoms separating from my honed edges is reassuring. Familiar.
Zeerah is alive.
Then, it was only a dream…?
I straighten and force myself to retract my blades. They glide into my black tattooed wrist sheaths, the skin of my forearms stretching to contain the biological metal, then shrinking until it’s back to a normal shape.
She is in the mess hall, my implant reports.
The very mess hall of my nightmare.
Fear tangs, metallic, on the back of my tongue.
I can’t catch my breath.
My private cabin has a disused air, and the chronometer says only twenty clicks have passed since I laid down.
Twenty clicks is my new limit, I guess.
I sling the loose fabric of my skinsuit around my neck. The high-tech suit contours itself and suctions to my body as I stride from the room, my door sealing behind me.
These halls are busy. Officers pivot out of my way.
As I pass the bridge, my second-in-command calls out, “Captain? Is everything all right? You just left for your resting shift…”
I switch to a jog.
Repairs are going well. I dodge engineering crews soldering in new panels and jump over the cannon blasts still pitting the floor.
Although my implant shows Zeerah’s exact location, I don’t need it.
When I think about stopping or averting my course, the thread that wraps around my heart and binds me unwillingly to her constricts. My organ feels like it’s turning white, blood squeezed out, and aches like it’s dying. Resist, and all I make is another scar, deepening the well-worn furrows.
I dive into the grav tube, arms at my sides and face pointed down for the fastest descent. The floors of my dreadnought, my pride and everything I once cared about, scream past. The grav tube clogs up around the heavily occupied lower quadrants. I angle between relaxed soldiers, giving them a jolt as they see who’s pushing through their space, and grab the handle to fly out into my chosen narrow hall.
It looks exactly like my dream.
I break into a run.
Soldiers lean out of my way as I leap-stride past them. The muscle-assists in my skinsuit propel me across a section of my dreadnought that I once barely knew, but now is more familiar to me than my own quarters. I reach the doorway to the lower quarters mess hall.
Zeerah’s sitting in a different spot than in my dream. Closer to the door, quicker to make a fast escape. Everything else is the same, including her quick, furtive glances as she eats, shoulders hunched, hood covering her face as much as possible while still allowing her spoon to reach her full lips.
I should turn around and leave.
Instead, the compulsion grips me more strongly now. She’s right in front of me, but I want to chew her up and put her inside me, or crack her open and wear her body as armor. Crazed images fill my addled brain as I stride into the room and stand in front of her.
She freezes midchew.
Her odd human eyes lift to mine.
Hers are a beautiful darkness, intriguing shadow-brown that rims her black irises, so different from the familiar silver of my people that they mesmerize me. Her nostrils flare.
I reach out to the hand that’s holding the spoon. The back of her hand is covered, like all of her, in a darker gray Arrisan skinsuit modified to fit her taller human form. “Can you…?”
My voice is rough. Broken.
She finishes her chewing and swallows, straightens and glances around. “Here? Now?”
I don’t want to answer. It’s obvious.
And she is of so little importance, her race is of such insignificance in our empire that she’s like a microscopic insect to me.
But like a microscopic insect, she’s gotten inside me and given me an incurable sickness.
I am reduced to begging.
Me. Youngest captain of the newest and best dreadnought in the empire-ruling Arrisan fleet.
Her. An insignificant human insect who is shaped like delicious mysteries and colored like the dusk between moons.
She heaves a long sigh and frowns at my outstretched hand. Then she twists her lips to the side—a creamier brown than the rest of her face, those full lips, with a hint of a lush pink interior—and flexes her fingers. Her gray skinsuit retracts up to her wrist.
I touch the back of her hand.
Her dark brown skin is soft and warm and real.
She is alive.
Her existence shoots a message to my brain like a weapon’s shot, piercing and true. Everything is okay. I can finally draw in a full breath. The thread releases, and blood flows back into my heart. The dream was only a dream. This is reality.
And I become aware of my surroundings.
Silence spreads from my entrance like the unexpected crack of a rifle. The eyes of the lower quadrant focus on us.
We are soldiers. We’re trained to fight and protect the empire.
Not to do whatever this is.
They don’t understand what they’re seeing.
To be fair, I don’t either.
But this is the only way I can get relief.
A strange, light-headed pinging sounds in my overstretched brain.
I must rest.
Whenever I close my eyes, the nightmares attack.
Except now.
My feet tingle and my legs disappear from my awareness. Warmth seeps up my body. Her softness is a tiny anchor, a threadline holding back my nightmares, and exhaustion cushions my skull.
I’ve been awake for longer than in any other period in my life, and that’s saying something.
I want to lie down on the ledge and close my eyes for a hundred Standard Years.
But if I move, she’ll run.
That’s a whole other problem for me.
Eh. I can sleep standing up.
She shifts.
Probably she’s lowered her head, positioned herself to draw away and conceal herself again. It’s a guess because my eyelids are firmly, thankfully sealed.
“Good enough?” she asks in a low voice. “For now? Okay?”
“Just wait,” I murmur as my consciousness shuts down in the middle of the lower quadrant mess hall. “A little bit…longer…”
I know why she wants to run.
We two are ensnared in the same trap.
She would do anything to escape me.
In my dream, the monsters were chasing her.
But to her, I’m the monster.

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🚀 Alien Shifter
🚀 Forbidden Love

🚀 Mating Mark/Bite
🚀 Diverse Heroine

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