It was just an ordinary day for Jamie until he was attacked by aliens. Then saved by aliens. Then kidnapped by aliens …
The Zill are rapacious and unstoppable, destroying everything in their path with single-minded ferocity. And now they've found Earth, teeming with life just perfect for feeding the insatiable Zill queens as they brood the next generation of Zill.
Jamie wasn't expecting anything more than a boring evening at home until the Zill arrived and all hell broke loose. He is rescued by a beautiful cat-man and wakes up on a strange but oddly familiar world, where he's not only mated to a strange alien man...he's also pregnant?
All Jamie really wants is to go home, but is anybody listening?
From now on, this world would fall under the aegis of PanGal, simply to keep it safe from the Zill. Alekyn wondered which interplanetary power would be granted protectorate privileges. He shrugged. That was politics and not his concern. He just had to get his pard, the corpses and this new intelligence back to Naferi as fast as he could.
He frowned. Thoughts of the small creature lost in the fire were nagging at him, though. Tig was busily tapping his e-tab; Eled and Bram were loading the bodies onto the gurneys. While they were occupied, he’d do a little scouting of his own. He headed around the side of the structure, to the window through which he and Eled had entered the building. Flames were now shooting up the exterior walls. The dwelling was obviously made of highly combustible materials. He felt a momentary sadness at the thought of whatever had died in the room, but there was nothing he could do. He and his pard only narrowly escaped themselves, hampered as they were by the bodies of the Keinyn.
He looked around, wondering vaguely whether the fire would spread to the other buildings and whether it mattered. He sighed. Probably not. He turned back to his companions. They should just get back to the ship and head for home. Luckily the void would ensure a fast trip.
Deep in thought, at first his eyes slid over something moving on the ground well away from the house. He did a double take and looked more closely.
Staggering to its feet some distance from the house was a small figure. It was coughing pitifully and holding its ribs as if they caused it pain.
Their missing victim, injured but alive. Maybe Tig could heal it and erase its memories of the trauma to which it had been subjected.
He followed the creature quietly, not wanting to frighten it, as it moved unsteadily toward one of the primitive vehicles. A gentle breeze mooched up, blowing toward Alekyn. He sucked its cool freshness into his lungs, welcoming it after the acrid rank of smoke.
Then he caught his breath sharply. Something tickled and teased his senses, something that caused him to inhale sharply, an almost undetectable pulse, an awareness of sudden need, rippling through his body, centering on his cock and balls, causing them to jump and twitch in sensual harmony. Soft golden motes speckled his vision, swirling around him, curling towards and wrapping around the little shape before him. He found himself chuffing with unexpected, overwhelming delight. That smell, so sweet, like nefan flowers in high summer …
The creature stopped, then began to turn toward him slowly, its expression horrified. For a heartbeat, Alekyn, his head spinning, simply stared at the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen, then, wanting to reassure it, reached toward it, arms opened wide.
“It’s all right, pretty thing,” he crooned. “Don’t be frightened…I will help you.”
The creature cringed, backing away unsteadily, its eyes huge and frightened. It spat a string of musical notes at him and Alekyn smiled reassuringly. It was obvious the little thing didn’t understand a word he was saying.
JAMIE HAD JUST REACHED the truck when a strange sound caused him to stop, trying to hear something, anything, over the rapid staccato of his heartbeats. What was that noise? It sounded like a cat’s chuffing, an odd soft chirruping. He turned slowly, dreading what he was going to see.
One of the aliens stood about two metres from him, impossibly huge arms wide open and reaching.
Jamie clenched his fists, straightening his hurting body as much he could, as aggressively as possible facing a creature standing at least a head and half taller than him.
“Back off,” he grated. “Back the hell off, whatever you are.”
The catman raised his hands slowly as if trying to reassure a frightened child. He murmured something in a low tone and moved closer.
Jamie shook his head; he had no idea what the creature was saying and frankly he didn’t care. His lungs were on fire; his head was spinning and his ribs hurt like the devil himself was dancing on their broken ends.
“I’m getting in the truck,” he informed the catman in a matter of fact tone, as if the creature could understand him. Lifting a bloodstained hand, he curled it round the truck door handle then screamed in agony as glass remnants drove themselves deeper into his torn flesh.
He was too shocked to register the flurry of movement that brought the creature to his side. Faster than he could comprehend, it grabbed him, pulling his injured hands away from the door, holding him immoveable against a broad, leather-clad chest.
Jamie tilted his head upwards, dazed, feeling his heart fluttering like a bird caught in a trap. The hands holding him were gentle, but unrelenting; gleaming blue eyes stared down into his.
For a moment, he almost stopped trying to drag more air into his tormented lungs, fascinated by the creature holding him, astonished beyond belief at what he was seeing.
Slanted almond-shaped eyes, pupils elongated and vertical; a thin nose, straight and perfect; a chiseled, shapely mouth; a mane of tawny-gold hair falling thick and glorious to its waist. He was a mixture of GQ masculine perfection and other-world oddness.
Not a cat, he realised dazedly, not covered in plush soft fur, but pale golden skin marked with delicate black stripes that lapped around its eyes like a mask to join above its eyes in a beautifully formed “M”.
But its ears…mesmerized, Jamie found himself reaching up with his other hand to stroke the one nearest him. A purring sound was his reward, and then the creature bent its head closer, letting Jamie trace his bloodied fingers along the velvety softness from base to white-tufted tip.
Jamie sighed in amazement. As if encouraged, the creature breathed deeply; its lips making an odd sort of movement as if tasting Jamie’s scent.
The air momentarily seemed to glow around them, a soft golden light flowing softly and weaving an intricate web of warmth and comfort around them both. A warm tongue, raspy and rough-edged, gently licked around Jamie’s chin, tidying away some of the ash and blood bedecking it. It was hypnotically soothing and Jamie felt himself relaxing, leaning weakly into the creature’s embrace. He felt oddly at peace after the trauma of the past while…he jerked himself away, staring at the creature in shock.
What the hell was wrong with him? He was being held by something that wasn’t human while not fifty metres away his home was burning to the ground.
“No,” he said sharply, struggling against the creature’s firm hold. “Let me go, I have to get help.”
The creature frowned, its eyes narrowing as they stared down at Jamie intently. Something flickered in their azure depths and Jamie shivered.
“I have to go.” He tried to twist his way free of the creature’s hold, his struggles intensifying as the grip tightened instead of eased.
The creature shook its head. Was that gesture universal? Was it refusing to let him go? Jamie wondered. It seemed so — the creature ignored his efforts to escape. Its big muscled arms wrapped around Jamie, pulling him tightly into its embrace.
Pain from his ribs ricocheted through Jamie. He whimpered and felt his legs collapsing beneath him. The creature held him upright, but its hold loosened slightly; its frown deepening as it studied Jamie closely. Two fangs, longer than the rest of its canines, slowly descended from its upper jaws.
Jamie watched fascinated as drops of clear liquid gathered on the tip of each hollowed fang. Momentarily distracted, he had no time to react before the creature pounced, driving those sharp tips into his tender throat.
He could feel venom pouring from the puncture sites, spreading toward his heart, his brain. He wanted to scream, but pain and fear alike both receded instantly. His eyelids were too heavy to lift and his mind retreated seamlessly into unconsciousness.
He didn’t feel anything as the strong arms hooked under his knees and hoisted him possessively into a protective embrace.