Anna’s family has a secret, and she had been left out of the loop until an ancient curse is revealed to be alien DNA. Anna is part Nyal, and her heat is pulling the men around her into rut. If she stays on Earth, it can get very bad very quickly. Running to the stars is her only hope to spare herself the fate of her ancestors.
Quake isn’t eager to take a bride, but when he is presented with a portrait of himself and the Terran woman whose file he was just given, wrapped in a lover’s embrace, he knows fate when it shows up in full colour.
Anna Baxter jerked as her name was called. She got to her feet and followed the handsome man who held open the small gate for her.
A small grey alien was seated at a desk, and it smiled with shark-like teeth when she entered the room. “Ms. Baxter.”
“Hello.” She stepped forward and extended her hand. The creature reached up and took her digits in a surprisingly strong grip.
“I am Recruiter Norz. Please, have a seat.”
The man who had escorted her in closed the door as he left.
Anna took the chair in front of the desk and had a seat. She smiled slightly. “I am guessing that I am meeting with you because I am a candidate to be a Volunteer?”
“You have guessed correctly. If I may ask, are you aware of your familial history?”
She wove her fingers together. “Only back three generations. My family were brought to this continent under duress.”
The Ontex nodded. “I understand. We have found alien traces in your DNA. You have some Nyal blood in you, and to be honest, no one was expecting it. They are not a race that often blends with others.”
Anna fought the urge to look down at her hands and look for signs of alien blood. “How can you tell?”
“We ran your blood markers against our database. It is very extensive.” He smiled again.
Anna smiled. “So, what does that mean?”
“Well, the Nyal have the right to retrieve any and all citizens at will. By the nature of your birth, you are a low-caste citizen.”
Anna scowled. “Low caste? Is it because of my skin?”
Norz shook his head. “No. It is because you are human. While many species consider it an attractive addition, the Nyal try to keep their bloodline clean, without taint of other species.”
“Do they succeed?”
Norz shrugged. “Not usually. The females go into a broadcast heat, and that triggers males of any species. The males predominantly react to Nyal females in heat, but they can and do breed with others.”
She felt her cheeks heat. “That is very frank.”
“You deserve honesty. While your blood makes you low caste, your genetics place you in the noble houses. The Nyal Imperium has requested your presence in their space.”
“I don’t understand.”
Norz steepled his fingers together. “They have ordered you to arrive, like a pizza. They are not the only species to do this, but it is part of the new exchange of humanity for technology.”
Anna shook her head. “I don’t want to go.”
“You will go. Our scans also indicated that you are about to enter your first heat. When you are either in the throes of it or have concluded it and assessed your chances in the human world with your pheromones pulling in all men within scenting radius, you may return to the recruitment facility and we will take you to your people to allow the impulses to reach their natural conclusion.”
“I am going to be sold?”
Norz shrugged. “It is the Nyal way. All breeding females are sold to their mates. It proves their worth. On the plus side, it is a binding process. He must keep you healthy and in a reasonable fashion. With your status as linked to a noble family, you should fetch a high price.”
“I am not going to be a slave. My family is done with that shit.” She got to her feet and stalked out of the recruitment centre.