Welcome Guest Author Charisma Knight!

Ensnared (2)

 

Blurb:
 
Naturally feisty Charlie Marine plans for an extended vacation on Mars in spite of all the abductions in her area. When she misses her shuttle, a strange Xuldarian man claiming to be a pilot approaches her. Against her better judgment and eager to start her vacation, she takes him up on his offer and discovers she’s been abducted and to be delivered to a Vaakulsian Commander–Rhyker Aluhira. 

Rhyker knew from the first time he laid eyes on the tall, dark, and beautiful Earth goddess that he was in for the long haul–only, he didn’t know just how much of a fight she’d put up to preserve her identity. Unlike submissive Xuldarian and Vaakulsian women, Charlie is brave and defiant. Rhyker fears her outspoken ways will soon place her in danger. Can Rhyker and Charlie meet each other half way or will they continue to butt heads in a world where women are expected to be subservient?
 
Excerpt:
 
Rhyker’s chest tightened as he carefully walked around the bodies of Vaakulsians littering the streets. Crystalline buildings now lay in shattered ruins and a heavy cloud of smoke lingered in the once-beautiful skies of Vaakulsia. Bombs had been dropped, causing large sinkholes to open in the earth. Soot covered his body from the war Earthlings had initiated when he and his leaders refused to allow them to colonize and mine Vaakulsia’s valuable resources.

Choking back tears threatening to fall, he tightened his mouth and continued his search for his wife and child, despite the skull-splitting pain he’d experienced due to the poisons lingering in the air. Planet Vaakulsia was no more, thanks to the war that had raged for the better half of a year.

When the war erupted six months ago between the Vaakulsians and the Earthlings, Rhyker and his brother Rhogwaar, along with one hundred and fifty of his men, took to the stars. With the assistance of his Xuldarian friend, Jader, they made an effort to fight the invaders from Earth.

They would have won the war if the humans hadn’t taken things a step further. No one knew exactly just how low they would sink to win not just the battles, but the war. The Agency sunk to biological warfare to end it all after successfully managing to shield Earth from any type of invasion.

Only yesterday, the humans decided to bring out their biggest weapon; the virus they created to hopefully infect and rid the great dragons from their coveted home. No one saw it coming, not even his allies, the Xuldarians. His skin still itched from whatever it was they’d dropped on the planet. His eyes watered and his throat burned and he was sure he didn’t have long to live, but he needed closure—needed to find Mira and Kalen.

“Rhyker! Over here!” He heard the strained voice of his brother, Rhogwaar, calling to him from across the hazy neighborhood. Rhyker’s heart dropped to his stomach and on shaky legs, he ran from the outpost to his brother. A sliver of hope ignited within him, but before it began to bloom, the sight he was met with cruelly snatched the fragile emotion from him.

Rhyker gasped and took several steps toward his brother who was kneeling next to his wife, Mira, and their son, Kalen. Her head had been partially shaven and he became enraged when he saw needle marks marring her arms. He dropped to his knees beside his brother and began to shake as he stared at the agonized look on her face. Tears misting his eyes, he wiped a piece of her black, curly hair away from her oval face. Her once smooth, mahogany skin now possessed a sick, dark bluish color to it. He glanced over at Kalen lying next to Mira’s  corpse. Chest tightening, he reached out to smooth the golden-brown curls away from the boy’s light brown face.

“Most of the citizens were tested on while we were gone,” Rhogwaar said breathlessly, struggling to fight back tears. “Every Vaakulsian I’ve encountered dies—from the toxin released in the air—but it doesn’t have any effect on the humans at all.”

“I want them dead,” Rhyker said, no longer in control of himself. “I want the humans responsible for this to die.”

Rhogwaar placed a heavy hand on his brother’s shoulder. “Mira wouldn’t have wanted that, Brother. You must honor her wishes.”

“They’ve always wanted to rest among the stars and we shall grant them that,” Rhyker said as he rose to his feet. “But these humans must pay.”

“Rhyker.”

“It is pointless to argue with me, Rhogwaar.”

“What do we do now?” Rhogwaar asked with a bewildered look crossing his face.

“Our planet is no longer fit for life. We need to take to the stars and destroy it from there after releasing Kalen and Mira.” He exhaled and folded his arms across his chest.

“Destroy Vaakulsia?”

“Our planet is several times smaller than Earth, yet they wanted to take what didn’t belong to them. As you said, the virus doesn’t seem to have an effect on them, so Vaakulsia must be destroyed. I’ll not have them colonize what’s left of our home. I’d rather destroy it myself.”

“Perhaps it will be fit for life years from now,” Rhogwaar suggested.

Rhyker turned to glare at his brother. “It may take thousands of years for Vaakulsia to heal herself…Perhaps then she will be suitable for life.”

“Can we really hope for such, Brother. Perhaps we should just leave it be. You’re not thinking rationally—none of us are.”

Rhyker grit his teeth as Commander Jader strode up to them and placed a strong hand on Rhyker’s shoulder. “Old friend, you fought well. I am sorry for your loss.”

Rhyker stared at the cold yellowish-gold eyes of his commander but couldn’t say anything. “They’ve taken everything from us. I want revenge.”

Jader calmly ran a palm over his sleek, short brown hair and sighed. “And what they’ve taken, we can rebuild elsewhere, but revenge, Rhyker? You know Mira would not want that. I have a plan if you’re interested.”

Rhyker narrowed his eyes and crossed his arms across his chest. “If it’s to my liking.”

“Depends on what that plan is, with all due respect, Jader,” Rhogwaar muttered with a fierce look carved on his face.

“I’m traveling to Earth first chance I get,” Rhyker said.

“Brother, listen to yourself. You’re not thinking clearly, that field will destroy you. The Agency has put a lock down on Earth, and no one, alien, human, or otherwise can make it through!”

“I assure you, it’s an offer you can’t refuse,” Jader said with a gentle smile. “You just need time to pull yourself together.”

Before Rhyker could speak, his second and third in command, Megladon and Vyjaak strode up beside them. Vyjaak held up a human head. “For Vaakulsia.” With a grunt, he tossed the bloodied part into a heap along with the rest of the humans they’d slain.

“We have no home, no families…” Megladon spoke gruffly. “We should destroy Earth along with the insects it harbors.”

There are only a small handful of Vaakulsians left,” Rhogwaar told them.

“The survivors we have on the ship are ill and will possibly die. We’ve managed to quarantine them,” Rhyker added.

“They were here when the germ was released.” Vyjaak sadly shook his head. “There’s no one else. The humans wanted to wipe out our race, and with the exception of those survivors, myself, Megladon, Kronen, you, and Rhogwaar, they’ve succeeded.”

“What’s to become of us?” Megladon insisted. “Where do we go from here?”

“We’ll live on our ship,” Rhyker said through clenched teeth.

“That’s no life for a Vaakulsian Dragon Lord,” Megladon insisted. “For centuries, we’ve battled just about every alien race who threatened to take our home—and won! And now, we’re forced to live on a ship! I don’t like it.” Spittle clung to Megladon’s dirty blond beard, and his gray eyes flared a dangerous blue.

Rhyker turned, observing his second in command. “Stand down, Megladon. Now’s not the time to discuss this. We’ll board the ship, and then we’ll discuss where we take up residence.”

Kronen, Rhyker’s first in command walked out of the ashes, his large hand clutching the forearm of a human soldier, the redheaded man was practically being dragged along the ground. When Kronen reached them, he forced the man to the ground, held his arm up as his hand slowly morphed from human to a large claw.

“Take him to the ship,” Rhyker ordered. “I want to probe his mind.” As the eldest of his group of dragons, he possessed the unique ability to merge and read the minds of others.

“I’d rather slit his throat and watch him bleed,” Kronen snarled.

“You may do it after I’ve probed his mind,” Rhyker said and focused on penetrating the shield the weak human tried putting up. He felt the panic slamming into him from the human who now feared for his life and he immediately heard his thoughts.

“Oh, no. No, no, no, no. I never knew they could be this powerful. He didn’t tell me how powerful they were!”

“Who do you speak of?” Rhyker asked mentally.

“I’m so sorry, but they’ll kill me if I tell you.”

“And I’ll kill you if you don’t tell me.” Rhyker pushed. Then he saw something else. “No, wait, what the hell are you doing?”

Before Rhyker could react, the human collapsed. “What the fuck?” he gasped angrily. “I want a name and I want it now,” he roared. “Are there any survivors who’ve minds I can probe?”

“The bloody lot on that pile wouldn’t have known anything,” Rhogwaar stated. “This man was one of their high ranking officers and I’m sure he knew something.”

“Jader, what is the meaning of this? I need to know something and now,” he huffed. “My patience is wearing thin!”

“You fail to remember to whom you are speaking!” Jader said in a gruff voice. “I’ve been by your side for the longest time, Rhyker, and don’t you forget it!”

Rhyker growled and narrowed his eyes, suddenly realizing something was off about Jader. “I was so close, Jader. He knew something.”
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