Team Orion Nebula

She wants him dead. He wants her in bed.

Qui are the enemy. Kill them all. Save the human genome! Sworn to destroy the shapeshifting alien warlords who invaded Earth, Ahnna Sokovik must now partner with her nemesis in a nightmare reality show, the GREAT SPACE RACE. To survive deadly challenges—entertainment for trillions of fans—Ahnna must befriend her adversary and pray he doesn’t murder her in her sleep.

Fanatic, terrorist, xenophobe maniac… Ahnna cannot be reasoned with! Tierc Marcel, a Qui-human half breed, is faced with an impossible task, live alongside Ahnna, the gorgeous femme fatale who nearly slit his throat. Bound by her suppression cuffs, Tierc cannot use his Qui strength to win the race and his freedom. He fights a losing battle against Ahnna’s prejudice, while the alluring assassin tempts him with her every move. Her pheromones scream for mating, and yet she defies their magnetic attraction.

She wants him dead. He wants her in bed.

If Ahnna would only set aside her enmity, she’d see the noble Qui considers Ahnna a finer prize than even freedom.

Can mortal enemies work together to survive the twisted perils of a corrupt space race and fall in love?


Chapter One

Adult material (18+)

Copyright © 2017 by Kayla Stonor

Your cover’s blown, Ahnna. Client reads Qui-positive. He’s a fucking reptile!” Xavier’s warning blasted over Ahnna’s psycom neural implant like a second voice in her head. “EXFIL on roof in five. Get out of there.”

Though Xavier provided support from the foyer ten floors below, his urgency translated as if he stood beside her, snapping in her face. Ahnna’s pulse spiked with an irrational fear that Xavier’s transmission had been overheard.

No. They couldn’t shut her down… not when they were so close, and she’d been careful. There was no reason to believe her cover had been compromised. Alien-human hybrids enjoyed their kinks same as humans. The Qui could be a genuine client.


Hold position. Mission is a go until I call for EXFIL. Her thoughts transmitted a sharp rebuke to Xavier, betraying the intensity of her anxiety. She’d trained for these encounters, but Qui were dangerous.

She raced to the closet, swapped boots for metal-capped stilettos, and then crossed to the nightstand where she stored tools of the trade she could explain away. She shoved a scanner-resistant knife under the bed bolster.

The odds might not favor her chances against a Qui, but in a game of bluff, Ahnna held the advantage. Human Defense-X trained their soldiers to live and breathe their cover identity. Ahnna worked day shifts as a poker dealer, but at night she became Mistress Catherine, Domme for hire, because everyone needed a side job in New Vegas.

Her cover also gave her a legitimate excuse to play with handcuffs. Ahnna took out a pair of titanium ShiftLok restraints, designed to block a Qui from shapeshifting into their natural reptilian form with all their inherent combat advantage. She set the sex toy on the nightstand.

“Ahnna!” Xavier snapped through her psycom.

A quiet knock overlapped the double tap of her heartbeat.

Nanos stabilized her vital signs and quieted the blood pressure pounding in her ears. Ahnna looked to the window facing a view of psychedelic light-shows blurred by falling snow. She could scrap the mission right now, dash out the window to catch the heli-evac, but it was probably too late—the musical raucous outside would give her away.

Ahnna projected a false calmness through her psycom. He’s knocking at the door. It’s not a raid. Holding position, I’m good.

“One moment,” she called out, her tone light and airy, buying time to open a tube of clear Q-Narc gel, a new twist on a street drug used for recreational highs. This potent version hampered a Qui’s metabolic rate. The tranquillizing effect wouldn’t last, but it would slow him down enough to apply the restraints. Or kill… except then she’d lose a high-value hostage.

She carefully dipped her alumicryl nails in the solution, then smeared it onto her stiletto heel blades and wiped her fingers clean. Pulse artificially steady, bio-rhythms normalized, she casually walked to the door, just another night of routine debauchery in the city that never sleeps. At the last moment, she unzipped her black corset to her navel, shook out her long, golden curls, and licked her scarlet-painted lips for extra gloss-effect.

Ready for sex or war… perhaps both.

Opening the door, she posed, hand on hip, one knee seductively bent, curvy ass straining her skin-tight leather pants.

Her client leaned against the wall, his casual stance not fooling Ahnna for a second. Her eyes narrowed and he straightened to a height close on six-foot. Damn. The reptilian wore his human skin like a chameleon, not a scale in sight. If not for her Intel, she’d have mistaken him for a normal man, and a very sexy one with those dark-chocolate eyes. Not even his perfectly circular pupils betrayed the Qui lizard hiding beneath his golden-tanned skin. Most Qui-human hybrids displayed diamond shaped pupils with striking, inhuman coloring.

She looked his heavy-built frame up and down, noting the tenting bulge at his crotch. Seemed the Qui liked what he saw, and her body throbbed in kind, an unwelcome response for a damned lizard.

Her psycom kicked in. “Got his name. Tierc Marcel.”

Booking details listed her client as M. Terson, but then most escort clients preferred anonymity. Marcel? The name seemed familiar…

She’d studied the Dol’ce-Marcel Qui bloodline in Civics—practically Qui royalty. The fact she was still breathing confirmed her suspicion the Qui-human wasn’t here to take her down. With Qui nobles in town, the United Regions would be running background checks on residents and she’d done nothing to attract attention. This visit had to be routine. If she swallowed her distaste for servicing a Qui, she could remain in play—complete her service with one kill-shot, an indisputable message that the Human Resistance fought on.

She’d trained her whole life for this mission.

Remove the enemy in their midst, prove her commitment to the cause, and she’d join HD-X’s echelon.

Damn, this Qui was hot. Her corset chafed her nipples.

Throughout her inspection of Marcel, she’d held back any hint of her anxiety, practiced at delivering an uncomfortable pause. Always leave them guessing. The possibility of the door slamming in their face encouraged cooperation.

Ahnna’s eyes met his. “You’re still dressed.”

“You want me to strip out here?” He glanced along the hallway.

The hybrid wasn’t sure about her. He looked for proof of duplicity, a hint Ahnna posed a threat. Her best defense was to stay in cover, and her client hesitated too long. No Domme worth her salt would tolerate such disrespect.

Ahnna moved to close the door, interested to see Marcel’s response.


She stopped, politely waited, and his jaw tightened. Good. He couldn’t read her. She could be his target, trained and deadly, or the Domme he’d hired for the night. Marcel faced an uncomfortable dilemma. He shrugged off his jacket and laid it on the hallway floor. Ahnna allowed interest to show when he pulled his top over his head revealing a perfect set of undulating abs. He noticed and she caught the minutest flex of his nostrils. So, he scented her arousal. Fuck him. Any girl would be turned on by a demigod of male perfection disrobing at her command.

Was that cinnamon?

His pheromonal assault hit her hard, filled her nostrils, caked the back of her throat and turned her arousal into a slow drip between her thighs. Resentment curled in the pit of her stomach. The Qui deployed pheromones at will, a natural biological weapon that made the winged reptilian species the most dangerous sentient life in the known universe.

Don’t ignore the obvious.

“The Eros Agency didn’t tell me you were Qui.”

His fingers hovered over the buckle to his leather belt. “I’m human first. Does my Qui make a difference?”

Ahnna looked him up and down. “Honey, now that I know, I’d be more offended if I didn’t smell your lust. Anything else you want to confess? There are disclosures required by law.”

“I’m new to this, I apologize for the omission.”

“I won’t go easy on you.”

His brow dented, a slight grimace on his lips.

Ahnna backed away, leaving the door open for Marcel to make his choice. “Put your clothes on the chair.”

* * *

Octiron Entertainment’s portal operations base exploded with activity as technicians scrambled to contain escalating power spikes. In the reinforced operations hub, the Acquisitions Director—Ops-Dir—processed multiple holo displays and audio chatter from numerous departments of the facility. For the first time in his career, he feared the wrath of Central Alliance. Matter transfer through wormholes carried such destructive potential, Central Alliance demanded reliable operators and control systems to access Paragon’s portal technology. Portal failures invited increased oversight, inspections, and revocation of Octiron’s portal license.

Right now, the Ops-Dir did not have control.

In the words of his predecessor, ‘Never get complacent, portals obey a set of laws we’ve barely begun to comprehend,’ and this portal had a mind of its own.

“Destination coordinates unclear, Director,” reported a senior supervisor, his tone disbelieving. “Portal Sync fluctuating out of phase!”

The streaming holo-data supported the supervisor’s theory. “Close it down,” the Ops-Dir ordered.

The responsible technician looked on the verge of panic. “Abort unresponsive.”

For a brief moment, silence fell.

“This isn’t new territory.” The Director placed fingers against his head, thinking out loud. “We’ve hauled contestants out of the Milky Way before. Maybe a hard failure? Run full diagnostics.”

The bald-headed jagoff watching from the sidelines jumped up. “What the larf are you doing in the Milky Way? I asked for a new species! A wild card! A sexy humanoid the viewers have never seen before! Change the search parameters.”

The Ops-Dir ignored him. He hated when Crandal interfered in a portal extraction. Octiron’s prime-time handler was forever imposing screwball requirements. The fool lived up his own ass and fucked his contestants for kicks. Crandal had no authority here. Operations belonged to the Op-Dir. More importantly, the data had just bull-dozed through a mathematical dead-end.

His eyes widened.

To harness space, time, and gravity, draining Primaera’s power grid, for the sole purpose of transporting potential race contestants from across the galaxy… The Ops-Dir shook his head. The notion of employing alien technology and resources simply to acquire new faces to entertain the ignorant masses… it was madness.

A mad physicist’s wet dream.

With this kind of power and equipment, if a single component mis-aligned, dozens of things could go horribly wrong—

“Sir! Portal syncing,” yelped a supervisor.

“To what?” the Director demanded, fingers swiping reports aside to get to the information he needed. “Repeat abort! Cut the damn power!”

The prime-time handler scowled, opened his mouth to speak.

“Look, Crandal,” the Ops-Dir snarled, “the way this portal’s behaving, I can’t guarantee a complete transport. Feel free to correct me, but the Great Space Race requires its contestants alive and intact… at least for the start of the race.”

“Larf!” someone cursed.

The Director swung around, homed in on a thin Syrellen blinking all three of his blue eyes. “What?”

“Power’s cut, sir. Portal remains strong—it’s self-fueling.”


“Diagnostic running.” The Syrellen manipulated the holo-diagnostics system with hands and feet, the appendages indistinguishable. “The sync AI latched onto the wild card search pattern… its stuck in a loop. The portal is drawing power from a solar storm in the Orion nebula. Without power limits, the AI is focused on acquiring the wild card anomaly—”

The Ops-Dir re-examined the data, recognized similarities with the Maths supporting Rosen-bridge theory. “We’re looking at a portal between parallel universes.” A tight pain in his chest made it hard to think. “Mr. Crandal, you wanted a wild card, well you got one—the Sync AI has found a DNA signature I don’t recognize.”

“Sync AI rebooted. Attempting to re-establish control,” another tech reported.

Crandal jumped into the void, eager. “Director, the safest course might be to let the AI grab whatever’s there, initiate jump, and terminate normally. I can sell this wild card. Contestants from another universe! At least the reports will show we followed acquisition protocol to the best of our ability. You don’t want to be on the wrong end of a Central Alliance inquisition.”

“Would you like to be on the wrong end of a black hole event horizon?” The Director clenched his fists, barely containing his fury with bureaucratic morons who manipulated alien wormhole technology they scarcely understood, portals with the power to shred space-time. The Great Space Race and its rabid fans weren’t worth destabilizing the entire space-time continuum.

On the other hand, he didn’t see a second viable option.

He shot a hard glance at the prime-time asshat. “Very well, you start praying we survive your wild card extraction.”

* * *

Tierc Marcel placed his clothes on the chair as Mistress Catherine directed, scanning the room with one sweeping glance. His retinal implant detected no weapons. He ignored the restraints and other BDSM tools of a dominatrix.

What the hell was he doing here?

Standing in her room, buck ass naked like an idiot, all because some fucktard Intel analyst assessed Ahnna Sokovik’s resume as too pristine. What was the standard profile of a BDSM Domme? The woman used a reputable escort agency and worked card tables by day. Tierc couldn’t see much difference between a dominatrix protecting her private life and a terrorist staying low. He’d arrived in New Vegas to oversee security for the UR conference and chatter of a Human Defense-X plot had prompted Tierc to revisit any recent red flags. Sokovik’s application to work an extra shift during the main event was more suspicious than her resume. Preparing to face his punishment like a good little sub, with a woman he would definitely class as a professional Domme, he questioned the wisdom of his suspicions.

He’d intended to be in and out of this mock date, hoping to escape with his dignity intact.

Sokovik blew that plan apart in seconds.

A female voice entered his psycom. “Central Command requesting sit-rep.”

Suspect has a neural implant, Tierc responded. Tools of the trade consistent with occupation. He neglected to mention the handcuffs and other paraphernalia. That kind of detail could fuel an endless spiel of jokes at UR Command.

Stand by for orders.”

Unable to put the evil moment off, Tierc turned and faced Mistress Catherine, cock ready and eager for action—awkward—his arousal wasn’t forced. Damn, he wanted this chick to be legit. Too bad their encounter was being recorded in living color.

Skal, she looked at him like he’d crawled out from under a stone.

“Hands behind your head.”

He complied, nerves ratcheting up when she approached. She wore a slinky corset that protected her modesty although her cleavage offered plenty for the imagination. She moved so close they stood almost cheek to cheek, towering stilettos giving her an extra four inches. Her toe nudged his instep and he shifted his stance to comply, but then she cupped his balls in her hand. Tierc hissed, his Qui surged and he battled an unaccustomed impulse to shift.

The woman shattering his control frowned at him. “Only your balls should be blue.”

Tierc looked down, grimaced at the sight of blue-tinted scales rippling along his stomach and ribs. He cursed and reinforced his human form with a concentrated burst of energy. He hadn’t slipped a spontaneous Qui shift since puberty. Either Ahnna’s DNA was kicking hard on his mating receptors, or this dominatrix shit was messing with his head.

“I apologize.”

She squeezed, a painful massage, and he rocked on his toes. Fuuckk. Better be the woman scrambling his control and not the Domme. He didn’t know which would hurt more by the end of this encounter, his pride or his ballsack.

Command came back online. “Address her as Mistress.”

Somebody at UR Command was fucking with him… he wondered if this security flag was nothing more than a practical joke.

Either get me out of this, Command, or bug out my head and stop recording.

Aloud he gasped out, “Mistress.”

Her punishing grip relaxed, moved to the base of his shaft and then to the head. Her fingertip smoothed wet into the glans. Pre-cum. Embarrassment descended to mortification.

“Background verification re-confirmed.” Tierc caught the equivalent of a mental chuckle. “Command recommends stand down.”

Copy that!

Tierc backed out of Ahnna’s space. She released him before his cock stretched taut.

“You’ve changed your mind?” She sounded amused.

“Yeah, sorry. Nothing personal. You’re very attractive, but this isn’t what I imagined.”

Her shrug made him wince. The fee wasn’t refundable, so of course, Mistress Catherine didn’t care either way, but he’d be sporting a raging hard on for a while yet. Was her attitude part of the act, or was she truly that callous?

Damn, just get the hell out and hope to never face Ahnna Sokovik again.

He turned towards his clothing when his psycom activated. “Belay last order! Cloaked transport on roof. Repeat cloaked transport on roof! Take her down!”

Tierc spun, caught a flash of metal in the corner of his eye. His forearm took the sharp point of a stiletto before it slashed his cheek. Thrown off balance, she tumbled into a roll and back onto her feet. Fierce aggression blazed in her eyes.

A sinking sensation struck him low. He didn’t want to kill this woman. “Ahnna, it’s not too late for you. You still have options.”

“Ahnna? So you’re not here for Mistress Catherine.”

“Surrender now, Ahnna, don’t make me use force!”

She edged to the bed and Tierc moved to block her. His eyes alighted on the cuffs. Shit.

That split second of distraction nearly proved fatal. He dodged a flying kick, plucked Ahnna out of the air and threw her onto the bed, taken aback by her speed and ferocity.

Refocused, he jammed her legs apart, fought to grab her flailing arms. She kept moving—chopped at him with the sides of her hands, punched, fucking cracked her forehead against the bridge of his nose. Tierc cringed for her, the crack sickeningly loud.

“Stop! You’re only hurting yourself.”

The back of Ahnna’s head smacked the bed. She blinked, brow creased, and relaxed under his cock. His ramrod erection pressed between her warm leather-clad thighs, her musky arousal filling his nostrils. The tension in her body collapsed. “I…” Her eyes rolled to the side.

Thank God. Subdued by pheromones.

Tierc released her wrists and moved to get up when her hands shot out and grabbed his ass, forcing the head of his cock against her sex. She writhed beneath him, rocking her pelvic bone against him, her eyes still hopelessly unfocused. The zipper on her leather corset had opened and pebbled nipples peeked through. She moaned and lust surged through him, mixed with the adrenaline coursing through his body. He inhaled her delicious scent scrambling his pheromonal control.


“Whatever you might think about the Qui, I’m not into taking advantage of semi-conscious women. Unfortunately.” Her nails dug into his bare ass, pressed harder, piercing the flesh. He batted her hands away and pushed away from the goddamn hellcat! “What the hell?”

Ahnna rolled over and curled into a ball, her eyes closed. She looked out of it, but Tierc kept a close eye on her anyway. Lesson learned. What was wrong with him? He’d lost his usual edge.

Central Command broke through. “Heads up, Marcel! We’re reading an energy signature at your location.”

Tierc frowned, glanced at Ahnna as the whole corner of the room from floor to ceiling dissolved into light. Tierc recoiled, warm air blasted his face, but he didn’t lose his fix on Sokovik. She’d launched up, miraculously recovered—nothing wrong with her—and equally transfixed by the weird phenomenon. For a moment they both stared. Tierc could see an abstract painting behind the shimmering light. The building’s structure was intact and he dismissed the idea of an explosion. Sokovik’s head turned, mouth open in disbelief, her eyes questioning, accusing, as if he was to blame, but then her expression hardened.

She dived for something under the bolster, pulled out a knife. How had he not detected that?

He reported in to Command as she shoved aside the pillow. Sokovik armed. Unidentified incoming through corridor wall. What is it?

“Gravitons are off the chart! Reads like a wormhole!”

Wormhole? What the fuck? But he had a more immediate threat to deal with.

Tierc grabbed at Ahnna’s hair as she swung for him, missed but deflected a vicious kick to his groin that promised castration by lethal heel blades. Her knife scratched his throat. He extended his claws and slashed at the knife, but caught her hand. Blood sprayed and Sokovik growled with full-throated aggression, and then they were scrapping, her arms and feet a blur as she entered his space. A bone-crunching uppercut smashed his chin.

Tierc staggered back, shook his head. Tracers crossed his vision and a roar filled his ears. He felt shaky, confused, blinked to clear his eyesight. To his left, the light had formed a circle, like a cross-section of a sphere, its center draining off to a distant point. He struggled to pay the phenomenon the attention a wormhole deserved, his responses sluggish, the floor unsteady beneath his feet. He could see the rug, but his body disagreed. He dropped to his knees. A blow to his temple snapped his head around. Blinding light burned his retinas, yellow spots in his blurring vision.

Drugged. Her sharp nails… or those vicious heels. Hellcat owned him from the start.

Command, I’m com… promised… some bio-weapon… request backup!

Knees thudded into his lower back. Tierc fought to move, but he’d lost control over his limbs that felt numb and heavy. She tugged his hair back, pulling his upper torso upright. She twisted leaden arms behind him. Cold metal encased his wrists, bit so deeply he nearly passed out.

“Backup en route,” Command reported. “Wormhole confirmed. City evacuation initia—”

What? Tierc’s dulling mind tried and failed to reactivate his psycom.

“Stay back!” Sokovik roared in his ear. She sounded panicked, yelled at the light extending towards them. “I’ll fucking slit his throat.” She held a knife to his jugular and the palm of her hand against his forehead, forcing the back of his head against his shoulder, exposing his throat to the sharp blade.

Her knife cut, a stinging scratch.

“What’s going on?” she yelled.

Tierc couldn’t explain that he’d no idea.

The light grew stronger, enveloped him, and then a powerful force sucked Tierc forward, pulled him inside out. Everything warped around him. His mind blanked.

* * *

Half dazed, unsure what had happened, Ahnna raised her head off Marcel’s broad shoulders. Her belly rested on his cuffed hands and the pressure added to the nausea washing through her. Hands grabbed her arms and hauled her off him. She couldn’t find her feet. Her knife slipped from her useless fingers, her body limp and washed out.

Someone dressed in all white plucked the blade from her reach. Bending over, Ahnna puked all over a white pristine floor. Her captors supported her, a female voice offering soothing words, and then guided her away.

Ahnna looked back at Marcel, still out for the count, the Q-Narc in full-effect, his hands cuffed behind him. The sight reassured, a bargaining chip for the nightmare ahead. Her life was over; HD-X operatives routinely shipped out to asteroid mine prisons, never to see another Earth sunrise.

Part of her felt relieved. She’d been prepared to fight for the cause, for humanity’s freedom, a chance to work in the upper ranks of HD-X. She’d been trained to kill. Now she wouldn’t have to. No way to salvage her mission, her position compromised by failure. HD-X would never trust her with another assignment. She had no reason to kill, except in self-defense. Self-defense she could live with.

A load lifted from her mind.

She drew a deep breath and straightened, taking her own weight, although the two men holding her didn’t let go—probably as well—she felt light-headed.

“What happened to your hand?” the same woman asked. “You understand Earth-Common Language, yes?”

Ahnna turned over her hand and frowned at three inch-long cuts decorating her palm. The wounds looked cauterized, but as she watched, they began to open and bleed. She recalled her fight with Marcel… him slashing out in defense against her knife. Pain whipped up her hand and she gasped, cupped her injured hand with the other.

She scanned the room, like a surgical holding cell. “Oh my god, what is this? Where am I?”

She recalled horror stories of UR interrogation techniques, rumors she’d dismissed as too unlikely, but then she’d not suspected the United Regions capable of portal transportation either. The light had taken her to these people, a sensation of being pulled apart. A chill swept through her and she fought to control her stomach.

“All in good time,” a male voice answered, a man with a pug-like nose and a smooth scalp. “Let’s make sure you’re okay first. You’ve gone a little grey. Can you confirm you’re from Earth?”

Ahnna nodded, dumbfounded by the question. She glanced at the woman and did a double take, noting her white uniform extended to white glossy skin, but her eyes were pink. Her arms and legs were unusually long, her nose flat. Not entirely human.

Was she Qui?

She tried her psycom. Xavier?

“That’s useful,” the man said. “Normally we fit a universal translator during transit, but we can arrange that later. This jump didn’t meet our usual exacting standards.”

“Jump?” Ahnna’s voice rasped, her throat dry and with a nasty taste of bile.

She turned her head, watched two men transfer Marcel facedown onto a gurney that hovered a couple inches off the ground. It rose into the air to waist height. This set up didn’t feel like United Regions. This couldn’t be a military operation.

Xavier. Come in, please. Something weird’s happened.

“Are you okay?” the woman asked. “You seem distracted. Do you understand us?”

“I want a lawyer.”

The bald-headed man laughed. “Lawyer? I’m afraid you have no rights here, miss. The man you arrived with—it appears you are not on good terms. I assume you restrained him. Do you have the means to remove his cuffs?”

Ahnna stared at him, shook her head, a mistake. The room spun around her. “No,” she confirmed. She’d die before cooperating with Qui lovers. They could saw his fucking hands off and she still wouldn’t remove those cuffs. “Who are you?”

“My name’s Crandal, and my job is to help you get home, but one thing at a time. First, let’s get you fixed up.”

* * *

“Get them off me,” Tierc screeched.

He couldn’t hear his voice, the pain arcing from his wrists to the rest of his body beyond anything he’d experienced—pure torture. Abandoning his shift, the agony receded and Tierc lunged to the edge of the gurney, his hands restrained behind his back by the cuffs shredding his nervous system. He vomited and white shod feet jumped out the way. He squinted at the blur of people surrounding him. Sensing a threat he kicked out, connected with someone and heard a muffled cry.

Instantly, heavyset guards descended upon him and mired in drug-hazed pain, Tierc couldn’t throw them off. They slapped restraints across him, wide straps that pinned his limbs and torso to the bed.

“We want to help you,” one groused, “but you need to calm down.”

Calm down? He needed to shift. Now! They’d pay attention once they witnessed his Qui. He focused his concentration to shift and once again, pain arced through his body, a terrible mind-destroying pain. He burned in the flames of a thousand suns. His shift collapsed before it had begun, and as before, the pain receded back to the throbbing, stabbing grip around his wrists.


Shift suppression cuffs. He’d heard of the nasty device used by HD-X operatives, the punishing effect more intense than he could have imagined.

Someone grabbed his elbow and pressed him to the bed, speaking words he didn’t understand, her voice sharp, direct, female. He couldn’t see her face for the bright light shining down on him. An unrelated sting against the inner crook of his arm made him jerk away. He struggled against the multiple hands holding him in place, got nowhere, his body in shutdown. Gloved hands tilted his head away from a bright light and then fingers pressed against his ear. He heard a click, buzzing. His ear burned, nothing to mention, and he felt drowsier. They’d sedated him, another drug on top of whatever poison Sokovik had used on him.

“Get a titanium-grade bolt-cutter in here.” The authoritative voice belonged to the woman who had put something in his ear, except before she’d spoken a language he didn’t recognize. “We can at least separate the cuffs, make him more comfortable.”

His heavy eyelids closed. His thoughts drifted and the moments of chatter became less important. Pain drifted away and he sighed.

Black folded over him.

Copyright © 2017 by Kayla Stonor
Reviews:M. Lakewood, Author of the Hot Alpha Billionaire Series on wrote:

Beta Reader Testimonial:
"I loved this story. Gripping action, twists, and wonderful romance. The sexual tension was sizzlin' 🙂 This could be one of those binge-able cable series where you can't stop watching!"

Ahnna Sokovik and Tierc Marcel belong in Kayla Stonor’s Qui Treaty universe until they are hauled into The Great Space Race set in the Paragon Galaxy. In the Qui Treaty Collection inspired by Under By Treaty, each alien shapeshifter romance is a standalone story set in the Qui galactic empire, with annihilation of mankind held at bay through the Treaty consummated between the Qui Empress and the human consort abducted under its terms.

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Ceasefire by Kayla Stonor