by Rosalie Redd
Earth Colony Book Two
Worlds of Lemuria
A World at War…
Shape-shifting Lemurian warriors battle against a deceptive, ruthless enemy in the dark of night. The prize—Earth’s most precious resource—water, and the fate of humankind.
A reckless commander…
Panthera leader Demir is stricken by the enemy’s dart and trapped in his fevered, haunted mind with only the memories of his brutal, violent past and his lost mate. When Aramie, his second in command, takes control of the Pride, she breaks one of the revered laws in her quest for the sacred blue sunstone—Demir’s only chance at life. His duty and honor force him to impose punishment despite his unbidden desire to claim her as his mate.
A hardened warrior…
Battle hardened Aramie is strong and determined—she will never bow to the Panthera mating ritual and sacrifice her independence. Instead, her deeply buried feelings for Demir drive her to a dangerous quest and rash decisions. With grief fueling her anger, she takes on a solo mission for revenge, and when Demir’s life is on the line, she must decide—submit to him as his mate, or lose him forever.
Genre: Paranormal SciFi RomancePurchase link(s): Amazon iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Shifters, Aliens, Fantasy
Release Date: May 6, 2016
Giveaway, Excerpt & More
Demir was a hostage in his own body. Immovable, invisible bonds bound him tight. Unable to open his eyes, constant darkness engulfed him, an eerie reminder of how much he relied on his vision. His sense of hearing and smell sharpened, heightened, compensated for his lack of sight and only increased the knot of frustration in his gut. He concentrated on his fingers, willing them to move, but they remained motionless. The smooth, cool satin sheets caused goosebumps to form on his skin, sending a mental shiver along his nerves. His supine body didn’t flinch.
He’d been this way for several weeks, ever since the enemy’s dart had penetrated his hide, poisoning him with some kind of mysterious liquid. How much longer could he stay like this and survive? The muscles in his arms and legs screamed to move, to flex, to exert the strength his body once contained.
The familiar scent of his leather jacket hanging on a hook near his bed stirred his senses. Heated sunstones lined the cave ceiling and walls, yet even the warmth couldn’t bring him any solace.
Tick, tick, tick.
The clock on his bedside table magnified into the tolling of a bell. He wanted to grab the thing and smash it against the rock walls. The vision of the shattered timepiece and its bits scattered across the stone floor made him smile inside.
In his current state, he couldn’t even mark his territory. How wrong was that? As a shape-shifting Lemurian Panthera, that was torture.
The underground Keep was as much a prison to him as his own body. He longed to be free, to search out Ram and his Gossum minions, to rid the earth of the foul beasts. The battle between the Lemurians and the Gossum had gone on for millennia. His Goddess, Alora, had placed the Panthera and the other Lemurians here to win the war to ensure Earth remained a free planet. If they failed, Earth would be enslaved, and the humans would be forced to give up their most precious resource—water.
The echo of footsteps eased through the crack under his door. He had visitors. As the door opened, a cool breeze wafted into the room, caressing the skin on his arms. A squeaking wheel in need of some oil pierced his sensitive eardrums, grating across his nerves. Fresh and clean, the scent of soap could only mean one thing—a bath.
Quick footsteps entered. The door clicked shut.
“Good evening, Demir.” Bet’s cheerful voice reverberated around the chamber. “I brought Til with me. It’s time for your bath.”
Demir mentally stiffened, although his body remained still. The last thing he wanted was another bath. Grrrrrrr. The growl echoed in his mind, but no further.
A thin film of sweat broke over his skin. The Keep’s Jixies were back and despite their best intentions, a bath would be another lesson in humiliation. He didn’t need to go through that again. Helplessness was the worst kind of torture.
“Til, thank you for coming with me today. I can’t move him on my own.” Bet’s melodic voice only increased Demir’s anxiety, and a bead of perspiration raced over his brow, pooling along the edge of his ear.
“No problem.” Til’s words were clipped.
The table rolled closer to Demir. The wheel squeaked and water sloshed as if over the lip of a bucket. Demir strained against the bonds, and he tried to open his eyes.
“Are you sure you’re up for this?” Bet asked.
Silence stretched out for several seconds. “Yeah, I’m fine. I…I don’t know.” Til sighed.
“What is it?” Bet’s soothing, encouraging response rolled over him.
“It’s just—do you think he can hear us? Does he know what’s going on?”
Of course he did, he heard every damn word, felt every touch. His anger boiled beneath his skin, hot and fevered. His need to break free threatened to drive him mad.
Bet shuffled across the floor, away from Demir, the sound of her soft leather shoes imprinted on his brain. “I don’t know. Gaetan told me that he hasn’t responded to any form of treatment. It’s as if he’s—”
“No, don’t say it.”
“Oh, sweetie, if you aren’t up for this, I can get someone else.”
“You’re King Noeh’s chambermaid. Why do you do this?”
“Demir saved Noeh’s life. It’s the least I can do for this honorable male.”
He winced. Honorable was the last thing he was. He’d had a lot of time to think about why he’d taken that dart for Noeh. During a battle in the middle of a small clearing, Ram had aimed the dart straight at the Stiyaha king. Noeh hadn’t appeared to hear the click as their enemy fired the gun. In his Panthera form, Demir had jumped in front of the projectile’s path. His impulsive choice had changed everything. If he could raise a sarcastic eyebrow, he would.
Instead of getting rid of his rival, and taking his place as king of the Stiyaha and the Jixies, he’d saved Noeh’s miserable life and ended up in a coma. That had worked out great, hadn’t it? The only good to come from the deed was some clarity. Whatever was in that dart had paralyzed his body, but purified his mind. I have much to atone for.
“All right, Bet. If you can do this, so can I.”
Blankets lifted off his body, and the cool air swirled over his exposed skin. The only garment he wore was a pair of loose briefs tied at his hips, courtesy of the Jixie tailors.
“Oh, my,” Til purred.
“Your cheeks are red,” Bet said.
“I can’t help it. Look at those muscles. I didn’t realize Panthera were so…firm. I guess I expected a thinner build.”
“Okay, enough ogling, let’s do this before the water gets cold.”
Gentle hands lifted his head and placed a towel on his pillow. Water dripped into the bucket, as if someone wrung out a rag. A warm, wet cloth started at his brow and circled around his face and ears. The sensation should’ve felt good, but instead, a scream built in his throat. He didn’t like others touching him.
Tepid water from another rag dripped over his feet. They tag-teamed him, and he dreaded where they would meet.
“What does Gaetan think will happen to him?”
Bet didn’t respond right away, and a chill ran over Demir’s arms. He ached to know, yet, part of him didn’t want to hear her answer.
“He’s been like this for almost a month. If he doesn’t come out of it soon, Gaetan thinks he’ll get weaker and—” Bet stopped washing Demir’s chest and a stream of water trickled down his side.
“Bet, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked. Please don’t cry.”
Bet’s crying? Over me? He’d been nothing but rude to her. A wave of guilt raced along his spine.
Bet sniffled. “I’m ok, thank you. I can’t imagine what would’ve happened to Noeh if… The Gossum are brutal creatures. I despise their evil, hairless hides.”
“Uh, Bet? What now?” Til’s voice wavered.
A lukewarm washrag lay draped over the top of Demir’s thigh. He pushed against his invisible shackles, desperation making him want to turn into his panther form and lash out. As much as he tried, his body remained still, lifeless.
“Let’s turn him over and untie the string. We’ll wash his backside first.”
The rags disappeared from his thighs and abdomen. Footsteps converged on his right and small, strong hands pushed under his back and legs. Against his will, he rolled onto his left side.
Soft fingers tugged at his shorts. The string holding the two sides together fell away, revealing his buttocks to the two female Jixies. He tensed, waiting for the reaction he knew would come.
A quick intake of breath.
Skin slapping, as if a hand had covered a mouth.
“C’mon. Let’s be quick. Don’t keep this warrior waiting,” Bet said.
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Be on the lookout for Rosalie Redd's future release(s): Catch Me coming June 2016 and Unimaginable Lover coming Fall 2016
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