Saturday, August 01, 2009

Paladin's Pride by Angelina Evans

Paladin's Pride (Collection)
by Angelina Evans

cover art by Sahara Kelly
ISBN: 978-1-60521-213-5
Genre(s): Futuristic, Sci-Fi, Collections
Theme(s): Shapeshifters
Length: Collection


VanDai: Legendary warriors. Legendary lovers. They hold their women at all cost... protecting them even if the price is their life.
Kai saves Genae's life and finds her life is the one that means everything to him. He will fight League killers, League generals, even the death-dealing machine of the League to save her, but he can't save her from death. For that he must depend on a healer of extraordinary talent. Llaryn, a Mriln healer, is bound by Mriln law -- use of her life-force to heal non-Mriln and sex outside her species is forbidden. But she can't let an innocent die and she can't say no when the leader of the VanDai chooses her for his own. Paladin will give his life for hers and she won't live without him.
For Kai and Genae, Paladin and Llaryn, love really does conquer all.


This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

Laser fire blasted the tail drive of her small interplanetary transport. Metal shrieked as it tore. Her heart pounding in her throat, Genae's fingers flew over the control panel in front of her.
"Critical damage to hull integrity. Life support systems at 80% and falling."
The metallic voice echoed through the control deck as the lights wavered and died. The tiny vessel shook, fighting her every effort to keep it on course.
"Critical damage to hull integrity. Life support systems at 79% and falling." Genae gritted her teeth and concentrated on the readings in front of her. There was only one planet in the immediate vicinity that supported life. She had to reach it.
"Critical dam --"
"Shut up!" She stabbed the shut-off icon on the internal communications grid and immediately turned her attention back to keeping her vessel from disintegrating around her.
Laser fire flashed past her starboard side making her flinch. The hairs on her arms rose, the blast so close to the ship it created static electricity. Another hit would destroy her vessel. She didn't have the luxury of trying to outmaneuver the destroyer class battle ship behind her. She had to get to ground.
She wasn't going to let them kill her. Not yet. Not that easily. With new resolve she concentrated even harder on the controls. Her fingers blurred as she input coordinates for the habitable planet. She needed a perfect trajectory or she'd burn up as she entered the planet's atmosphere.
A light flashed a millisecond before a laser charred the aft port thruster. The ship started spinning. Genae didn't think, she reacted. She fired the starboard thruster to full power, fueling the spin.
The battle ship behind her veered to starboard. She cut the aft thruster and powered the forward braking thrusters. Her heart pounding the air from her lungs, she reversed the entry sequence and locked in the coordinates. Grabbing the mouth-vent, she pulled the tubing from its housing shaft and clamped her mouth around the end. She took a deep breath testing oxygen flow as she wrenched the cover from the emergency panel on the left armrest of the command seat. Her heart raced, one beat indistinguishable from another as she hit the foam release.
Almost clear, gelatinous material rolled out of the vents to flood the deck. Genae closed her eyes and fought to breathe. She'd done everything she could. If the battle ship blasted her from existence, if she burned up in the atmosphere, if the ship disintegrated on impact, there was nothing she could do. Even if she survived there was probably no way off the planet.
None of it mattered. She could die in peace knowing she'd done her best to make up for the horror she'd helped create.
The foam swallowed her and all rational thought fled. It pinned her to her seat, sealed her mouth around the vent, filled her nose, glued her eyes shut and enveloped her head. It was like being entombed.
Genae tried to scream but no sound emerged.
She fought to claw her way free but couldn't.
A rushing roar filled her ears. Heat slammed into her, wave after singeing wave. Her heart felt like it would explode. Her lungs fought for air. Silent screams filled her mind.
Everything went black.
* * *
A hand closed around her throat.
Genae regained consciousness fighting. She swung one fist as she ripped the vent from her mouth with the other.
The hand released her throat.
Blinking to clear her vision, she fought free of the fast-disintegrating foam. She wouldn't give up without a fight -- would fight with every breath left in her body. She'd survived the crash. She'd find a way to deliver the information.
A hand closed around her left calf. Adrenaline surged through her veins. Almost blind from the gel sticking to eyelids and lashes, she started punching.
Genae almost smiled as she heard a grunt. She didn't know what she'd hit but she hoped it hurt.
"I'm helping you." The low, gruff words didn't register except as a target to strike at. She swung, her fist connecting with flesh and bone, jarring her shoulder. She bit back a curse and swung again.
Genae cried out as her fist hit something that felt like stone. Tears filled her eyes and streamed down her face.
Fingers closed around her hand, the grip unbreakable.
"Release me," she demanded, fighting to free herself.
"No. You hit me once. You won't do it again." There wasn't just anger in the gravelly male voice. There was rage.
Genae couldn't help herself, she flinched. Her fist felt tiny trapped in the big paw holding it. He had to be huge. "If you're going to kill me, get it over with," she goaded. "I'm not going to tell you anything."
"If I'd wanted you dead you'd never have woken up."
She opened her mouth to argue but never got the chance. The giant threw her over his shoulder. Her hands slapped into his broad back, barely keeping her head from cracking against him. He was all muscle and a lot of it... And he was naked.
Blinking hard she reached up and wiped streaming eyes. That couldn't be right. He wouldn't be naked, but dammit that had felt like skin.
Her legs dangled well above the debris-strewn ground. Her flight suit was singed in spots, her left thigh red. The gel saved her life but hadn't been able to completely insulate her from the heat her weakened shields let through on entering the atmosphere.
"Look. If you put me down I can..." Her voice trailed off as what she saw sank in.
"I'll carry you. I'm not chasing you when you try and run." Genae barely heard what he said. All that mattered was what she'd just noticed. Or more to the point what she couldn't see. "My left thigh is burned."
A grunt was his only answer.
"You're carrying me over your shoulder. My head is bouncing against your back and my legs are dangling against your chest, right?"
"So?" His tone was impatient.
Well, tough shit. She wasn't happy about it either. "Either I've lost my wits in the crash or you're invisible." She'd obviously scrambled her brain. The stress of trying to escape with the information and being trapped in the safety-gel had been too much for her.
"I'm invisible."

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