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Blades of Arris: Sithe

Blades of Arris: Sithe

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I am a lesser from a servant-world. A nobody.
The Blades came from space. They conquered Earth in a day.
But they left something behind...

Winner of the 2022 National Excellence in Storytelling Award paranormal category

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Fascinating. Everything within is so VIVID yet also stark and severe. This book offers so much more than ‘an alien conqueror romance’ trope title might lead you to believe. It tackles true issues wrought by a species that’s spent so long and lost so much that they’ve hit societal quicksand—aka a level of decay before a Fall—and they don’t even realise it. This is *boots on the ground* clash of civilisations. It’s dirty, it’s fraught, it’s sometimes terrifying, and it’s damn honest. I can only hope that you take the chance I did so you can enjoy being challenged by it too. Enjoy!

Main Tropes

  • Alien Shifter
  • Forbidden Love
  • Mating Mark/Bite
  • Biracial Heroine
  • Trigger Warnings
  • Heat Level: 4 out of 5


I am a lesser, a servant-world resident, a nobody.

The Blades came from space. They conquered Earth in a day.

That was long before my time.

But they left something behind.

It was an accident. A forgotten artifact. Something that wasn't supposed to react to lessers.

Something that infected me.

It's made me insatiable. I crave something I can never have – until I meet him.

The grim reaper of the conquerors.

Cloaked in assassin’s gray, metal scythes fused to his wrist-bones, he can’t stop his body from reacting to mine.


Now I – the confused, the broken, the lesser – am intertwined with the deadliest male in the universe. 

And he’s just starting to realize what he's been denied…

From the author of the Lords of Atlantis and Onyx Dragons comes a dazzling new series full of unique alien shifters, fierce passion, and loyal warriors who find their fated mates in the stars. Each full-length book is a complete romance with an epic happily-ever-after. Claim your conqueror today!

TRIGGER WARNING: coercive situations may disturb readers who enjoy my other enthusiastically consensual series.

Intro Into Chapter One

I reach into his suit, below his trim waist, and curve my hand around the curiosities of his nude body.

He stills. 

I suppose that’s normal when you cup a man by the balls, no matter how many blades he can impale you with.

This exploration is fascinating. He’s not inhuman. If we met under a different circumstance, I would probably not think we were that different at all.

And yet there are some differences.

He pushes at my dress. “Do I bare you?”

“If you like." I feel wet enough in my throbbing center that I could put him in me now and ride him hard. "There are no rules.”

He curls his fists in the fabric and tugs. The seams complain. “There are always rules.”

But we have already broken so many to be together.

A warrior like him will never be free.

* * * 

The last thing I hear before I sneak out is my mom agreeing the planet Vanadis is terribly far away.

“But she hasn’t been responding to the new drugs,” my mother murmurs into the portable viewscreen while she sits alone on our single living room couch. “The Vanadisans have more medical knowledge than any other race. I’m sure this is what she wants.”

I can’t hear my dad’s response on the viewscreen.

My mom glances over her shoulder at where I linger in the shadowed hallway. She tilts the screen away. “Don’t cry right now, Mat. Did you ask about the advance?”

That’s how I know she doesn’t see me. They never talk about money in front of me. They don’t want me to worry.

My throat tightens.

I’m sorry, Mom and Dad.

I time the movement of our all-female guards outside the brick building, disable the alarm, and slip out the side door into the tight alleyway.

When I’m seeking my fix, I am strangely clever. My brain clears away the fog just long enough to get what I need.

And I must be clearheaded right now.

I take side streets through New Brussels to the club zone wearing my sheer white bodysuit, fur-lined heels, and neurolink cat ears. The color contrasts nicely against my golden-beige skin and dark brown hair. They know me at all the local places, bars repurposed from chunks of old buildings, so I can’t actually go inside. But it’s enough to be close by.

I make the recording while I walk.

Mom and Dad, you did your best to raise me and love me, and I’m sorry it wasn’t enough.

Sending me away is the best choice right now. I promise it’s going to be great.

So don’t worry about me, okay?

Someday, I’ll stand before you and show you the amazing things I’ve done. I’ll be myself again. I’ll be well.

I’ll be the daughter who makes you proud.


A man calls out in the local French, “Hey, catgirl! You need a fix, babe?”

I end the recording and turn in his direction. Soon enough, I have found myself in the arms of a man I don’t know.

I don’t want to need this.

I don’t want to be like this.

My life, my future, my dreams have disintegrated around me, and all that’s left is the craving. The craving to be whole. There’s a missing piece deep within me, a hunger that no food can sate. I’m a bottomless stomach. And that’s what I’ve been reduced to. A hole that cannot be filled.

My parents’ guards break in as I’m riding the third stranger. Or maybe it’s the fourth. I’ve lost count. The men jump up, apologetic and embarrassed, which means I’ve been caught with these men before and I just don’t remember.

But I grab on to the one that I am with and make him finish. It’s the finishing that does it. Not semen, not dildos, not my climax—believe me, we’ve tested everything. Only after the pause, the heat, the spurt can I get the satisfaction that I need. The clarity.

And then it’s over. That brief moment is gone. I’m already feeling soft edges on everything, as if my feet barely touch the pavement.

The guards wrap me in a blanket and take me home.

My mother stands on the front step with red-rimmed eyes, her white skin paler under the streetlight. She has passed the point of tears with me. All she does is sigh. “One more time?”

My eyes burn, but I try to keep it in like she does. I hold out the recording chip.

She slips it in her pocket and helps me into the shower, runs a full body scan, and calls the emergency medical service. Again. They try to send a male doctor, and of course that’s not possible for me. I might try to seduce him. My mother stays for the health check from the female examiner, then wraps me in a fuzzy blanket and tenderly puts me into my bed.

All around me on the walls are the photos of things I once wanted to do. The friends I used to have. The dreams I carried like flames in my heart.

I used to have dreams.

I was going to be someone important. I was going to heal the sick like my mom. I was going to build bridges like my dad.

I was going to study the vast intergalactic empire we’ve unwillingly joined and become a great communicator. Reach out to the hundreds of other lesser worlds, conquered like us, and make allies. We all serve the same terrifying race. The Arrisans took over our planet in a day, and we’re still scrambling to catch up.

But now my existence slips away from me like sand.

And my mom understands my frustration, but I can’t even talk anymore to my dad.

We were so close. When I was a child, I used to crawl up in his lap and watch as he designed the great bridges that spanned uncrossable divides. There is so much rebuilding left to be done, and he was always busy, but he never minded taking me with him. He was big and protective.

Whatever got into me was something he couldn't protect me from.

And I know it kills him.

This sickness that drives me toward strange men also violently repels me from my male blood relatives. If I see a slide show of relatives, a memoriam of our Dutch and Malay ancestors that happens to include a man, I’ll destroy the viewscreen. Why? I can’t understand. My mind goes blank. I don’t even feel angry when the guards wrestle away my makeshift weapons, pens, and scissors.

My dad lives in another country, another time zone. My mom gave up her career to take care of me, so my dad works twice as hard from afar. He was always the social one, and now he’s all alone.

He’d do anything for me.

They both would.

And this voyage is my chance to do something for them.

My mom knows I’m grateful, but I swear that someday, I will look my dad in the eye and tell him the same thing.

Thank you for loving me as best you could.

Thank you for trying so hard to save me.

Thank you.

In the morning, my mom gets me up. I feel as rested as I ever do. We get dressed.

The cruiser is leaving from the North America space center, which is on a jagged mountaintop in Iowa. We breakfast in a cross-Atlantic chartered shuttle, then my mom signs the hundreds of contracts that promise I’m in my right mind, and my parents will not try to sue in the case of my unfortunate demise. I stare out the window and try not to make her signatures a lie.

I read that Iowa was once a flat farming region, but that’s hard to believe. Fissures from the invasion’s cataclysms break the ground in such a way that it’s impossible to use the land for much of anything. The gangplank of the bulbous, alien-looking intergalactic cruiser rests on glassy rock that still smells like sulfur.

At the bottom of the gangplank, I give my mom a farewell hug. Her body is soft and comforting, just like the fuzzy blanket she wrapped me in last night. “Did you listen to the chip?”

“I will,” she says. “After.”

After I leave.

After it’s too late to change her mind.

She pulls back. Her eyes are red-rimmed again.

It’s okay that her tears are all gone. The tears I spill right now are enough for both of us. “Tell Dad I say goodbye.”

She nods.

I don’t want to hurt them anymore.

When I’m gone, my mother will finally be able to go join my dad again, and they can be together. That will be a good thing. I hope I remembered to say that in my recording.

Please be happy, Mom and Dad.

I wave goodbye at the top of the gangplank and then enter the spaceship.

The cruiser is just as my mom promised. There’s a common area, a cafeteria with a fish tank, and I have my own room.

But the best thing of all? There are other women like me!

Not that I’m happy for them, but I’m so grateful I’m no longer alone.

They also know what it’s like to go into a blind rage near their innocent male relatives. They’ve stalked dark alleys seeking a cure for a sickness that no one else can identify.

What’s wrong with us?

Why did we get singled out?


For the first few weeks of our journey, we puzzle out the mystery.

We’re from different continents, ethnic backgrounds, ages. One woman’s sickness started a few months ago, and another has suffered for over a decade. Of course we’re all humans. Nobody from the other conquered worlds ever visits our backwater planet. That’s why I wanted to go out and make allies.

We give each other nicknames. I don’t know who started it, but it’s easier to be your nickname than who you really are.

I’m the diplomat because my face betrays little emotion, but the neurolink cat ears will constantly perk up or lie flat.

And I’m the only one who gets mental fog. The others all suffer different effects that worsen the longer we’re in space, away from any men.

One woman faints. We call her the ingénue. Every time her heart rate goes up, she goes down. She has to wear a helmet to avoid head trauma. I carry her food trays in the cafeteria and stay with her until she wakes up. A sneeze knocks her out for two hours.

“Thanks for the nice cat nap.” She stretches and tweaks my neurolink ears. “Get it? Because you have nice cat ears?”

I get it, and I want to compliment her, too. “Nice, um…nice…”

She waits patiently as I fumble through the brain fog to finish my thought, as pointless as it is. She says she doesn’t mind my rambling, and that we have to stick together because we have the worst side effects.

“…head…thing,” I finish.

She beams and taps her helmet. “It also doubles as a battering ram. I know my fainting makes me pretty useless, but if you ever had to break a pane of glass and I’m unconscious, just get another woman to grab my arms and heave-ho.”

I want to tell her she’s not useless, but it would take too long to construct the sentence—if I could even get it out—and so I just nod encouragingly. She gives me a bumpy hug.

The other women are just as kind.

For example, the housewife watches over us to make sure we eat our vegetables and brush our teeth. The kingmaker stalks the halls with me, tall and proud and fabulous.

The ace is classically beautiful and loves to pamper herself, which somehow makes her self-loathing all the more tragic.

There are others who suffer, but I feel worst for the ace. The rest of us don’t hate sex. For her? It’s a terrible curse.

Please let the Vanadisans find a cure.

Our small group, from a defenseless, conquered planet, travels alone with no weapons. We are a little raft in the black interstellar ocean.

But for the hope of a cure, we’ve all agreed to face any danger…

Right before dinner one night in the cafeteria, proximity sirens turn on.

Something—or someone—is about to hit us.




The emergency lights flash.

“Hull breach imminent,” the computerized voice warns.

There’s screaming. Chairs are overturned. Empty food trays clatter. A glass shatters.

“Evacuation sequence engaged,” the computerized voice continues. “Enter the escape pods and await further instructions.”

Evacuate? Us?

We’re in the middle of space. The middle of nowhere.

I find myself in my cabin.

The captain drags one of us— the ingénue; she fainted—down the hall past me toward the escape pods. “Go!” she screams.


She comes back for me, grabs my elbow, and drags me down the hall. We pass empty portals where the other pods have all detached. She throws me into one of the last two pods. “Yours is broken. I can’t seal it from inside the ship. Hit the red button to detach.”

The captain closes me into the pod. She taps the glass. Through the tiny vacuum of space separating my pod from the main ship, I hear nothing. Her mouth moves. Red button!

My finger hovers over the red button.

She flinches and jerks her gaze behind her, then disappears.

Shadows darken the hallway.

Not human. Alien.


Do I sense…?

Heat radiates from my center, pouring itchy lava into my veins. My sinews pull as taut as the strings of an instrument. My back arches, fingers flex, and the mental fog liquefies into primal need.


My brain is clever.

It remembers the safety pamphlets and complicated diagrams I read in the beginning. The captain locked me in the pod. But there is an override.

I stumble back into the cruiser.

The hall is empty.

But the burning ozone scent is familiar. I smelled it at the attack sites my father used to take me to as a child. Sites from the day the Arrisans discovered our planet and cracked it open like an egg.

There is also another scent.

Someone’s coming.

A man.

No, men. Men are coming.

I turn and open my arms.

No normal person would do this.

I do not want to be like this.

This is a sickness.

It curls into my brain and drives me forward like a zombie.

I had dreams.

And now they are all gone.

All that’s left is the craving.

Yes, come for me.

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