Rachana Salura, a Carrillian Empath has no use for men. Her life is devoted to finding the Lost Temple of the Lady Goddess, and taking a mate–or two–is not in the cards for her. She casts the spell to bring her mates to her, knowing no one is nearby to hear her call… or so she thinks.
Wray Navedis, a Lupin Chieften and Kel Galbar, a Tigerian Warrior are both responding to an SOS when they are transported off their ships. Now, not only do they find themselves with a mate they hadn’t expected, they are drawn into a battle with the cruel Banart Army and Hienial Slavers.
As the war between good and evil grows closer, the threat to nearby worlds increase. If they are to find the way to defeat their enemy, three strangers must form a bond not only with each other but with the other Triads, as well.
Rachana Salura watched from the safety of her cloaked ship as she waited for help to arrive. How long would those animals stay? She hoped they stayed long enough for a rescue party to arrive and wipe them from the face of this planet—from the entire galaxy. A week had passed since she’d made the call, begging for assistance. Sometimes she wondered if help would ever arrive.
She did another surface scan. The men were attacking the defenseless women again. They were disgusting and repugnant. Their very existence caused entire worlds to shudder. Thankfully, she’d never been captured and used by the Hienials, but she’d known too many who had. The Banarts were cruel, worthless enemies. Many times they had infiltrated planets, killing and maiming as they went. Still, they weren’t as bad as this. At least they put their victims out of their misery when they finished with them. These monsters forced their victims to live.
The Hienials were no better than animals. They used the poor, unwilling women of the planets they conquered as human incubators for their bastard children. She shuddered at the thought. They were beasts, plain and simple.
She jumped when her reminder alarm went off. Settling back down in her seat, she made a face at the note on the screen in front of her. Tonight was the night. It was time to fulfill her coven vow to allow harm to none—it was time to at least attempt to draw a mate into her life. How one ambitious archaeologist having a mate could make a difference in the war against tyranny, she would never understand. Besides, it wasn’t acquiring a mate that she wanted to avoid. One mate she could deal with. It was the warning from her coven sisters that she may have a second mate waiting for her that rankled. One man she could control. Two men would control her. It was unacceptable.
First things first though, she must break orbit before someone detected her. She would be an easy target on this research vessel alone. Ana tapped her chin, wondering if she should break orbit and call for help again. She bit her lip. But was anyone even close? She’d called for help several times and no one answered her pleas.
She brought her craft around and hid behind one of the moons. The last thing she wanted was for someone to sneak up on her while she was distracted and performing her ritual.
“This is Rachana Salura, the Captain of the Carrillian research ship Adventurer requesting assistance—I repeat, I require assistance. The Hienials have invaded G’recio. They are attacking the G’recians. It is an unprotected populace, mainly women and the elderly with no weapons or warriors to protect them. Please,” she begged. “We need assistance!”
Ana glanced around the inside of her small shuttle and knew that if no one answered her call, they would all perish. She’d stayed in orbit around this planet too long to travel to another occupied system and her resources were running low. Soon, she would have no food or water. More importantly, in three days she would run out of oxygen.
At that time she would either have to land on the surface, making herself vulnerable to attack or she would perish here in this small craft. She chuckled mirthlessly. The Adventurer was no more a research vessel than her small niece’s walk-around buggy. The craft was nothing more than a small shuttle she’d appropriated during an attempt to escape the academic thievery of her peers. She’d escaped them all right.
“Well, nothing to be done about it now,” she said to herself as she scanned through the pages of the spell book. Having decided not to use any of the spells and making up her mind to try the visualization techniques provided in the large, digital book of shadows, she skipped to the directions and read them one more time before she started her mental ritual.
A small smile curved her lips. She would fulfill her vow to attempt to help the galaxy by performing the rite, but no one ever said she had to mean it. Perhaps if there wasn’t immense power behind it, she would only draw one male to her. One male she could handle—perhaps even dominate. If she couldn’t dominate she would, at least, demand equality.
Equality was a laughable concept among most males she’d ever had the pleasure of meeting. They demanded fidelity while not giving any of their own. They demanded her submission when she needed some semblance of control to reach her pleasure. They demanded her love while remaining aloof. She would never succumb to the advances of a Carrillian male ever again.
Closing her eyes, Ana pictured her ideal male. When the faces of two men filled her mind, she stopped, cursing. She refused to have two males. Determined to choose between them, she closed her eyes fully intending to banish one from her thoughts. Yet she couldn’t. How could she choose between two such gorgeous men?
Instead, she concentrated on thinking of their characters. Her male must be brave, yet kind. He must be handsome, yet not narcissistic. A good sense of humor was also good. He must allow her to stand by his side, instead of shoving her behind him. And, most importantly, he must love her above all others.
Ana pictured her two males and included her stipulations for her mate’s character. No two males would meet her criteria. If—by some small miracle of fate—they did, she must accept them both. She would never have the heart to choose between two such ideal specimens. Several moments passed as she visualized her perfect men. Strong, handsome men—at least one of which who would love her, cherish her, forever.
Suddenly, her proximity alarms began to shriek. “Warning, warning, collision imminent!” the computer generated voice blared over the speakers.
Rachana rushed back to the pilot’s seat, frantically pressing buttons. Bringing up the viewscreen, she cloaked the ship just before two large warships blinked into view. Their sudden arrival could only mean one thing—her much anticipated help had arrived.
She frowned down at her scanner console. Why were they arming their weapons against each other? Her fingers flew over the console as she searched radio frequencies, hoping to hear something, anything, from these people before they blew each other to hell. She needed them. The G’recians need them.
“Stand down, unknown vessel. We demand the return of our leader!”
“We do not deal with kidnappers and terrorists. We demand the return of our captain!” The two disembodied voices demanded the same thing.
“Men!” she spat, disgusted. She dismissed the coincidence though the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. “Why must they always insist on getting their way without giving in return? They each would go to war before admitting that the other has taken another prisoner.” She almost scoffed at the two ships, willing to destroy each other rather than admit their transgressions. “They would rather go to war than release the two men. Utter stupidity.” She shook her head. “But what did I expect? They are males.”
Again, the hairs on the back of her neck prickled and a shiver of unease shimmied down her spine.
“You don’t seem to have much regard for males, woman. Perhaps you haven’t met one to your liking? Yet.”