When Dr. Claire Collins was hired by the state of Florida to aid in investigating the epidemic of sinkholes, she didn't expect to find herself the victim of one. And she certainly didn't expect to see what was in the cavern the sinkhole revealed.
Dante was a watcher, exiled from his home world, and commanded to protect the human race. He was forbidden to take a human woman as a lover or mate, but Claire was hard to resist.
Dominic 'Nick' DeCarlo was a Navy SEAL and a happy-go-lucky flirt, but Claire was the one woman he wanted to keep.
Unfortunately, the damned alien birdman already had her in his sights.
Their civilization was as old as time. No one knew where they came from or how long their kind had existed, but once they gained the knowledge to leave their home world they spread throughout the universe like a plague. They were the most cunning of predators. Their intelligence was only exceeded by their avarice, their narcissism, and their deadly charm.
They were a plague, a blight upon the many civilizations of the universe. Sweeping across the cosmos, they laid waste to all who opposed them, conquered any who dared to fight them, took what they pleased and discarded it once they’d enjoyed their fill of it.
In time the tide turned against them, however. The people of the conquered civilizations banded together and fought back, defeated them, and then banished them to a small corner of the universe where they could do no harm to anyone beyond themselves. The Watchers were sent to guard them, to make certain they were never again a threat to other intelligent life forms. And for a time they were contained ….
Word Count: 52,038
Genre: Science Fiction/Futuristic Romance
Rating: Erotic/Spicy--multiple sexual partners
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Jenny Dixon, September 2014
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
Claire couldn’t have said exactly what kind of a response she had expected from Father Moreno when she’d challenged his right to question her presence, but it certainly wasn’t the response she got.
In the blink of an eye—literally—he transformed himself from a ‘man of the cloth’ to something that wasn’t human at all. One instant he was safely across the cavern from her, separated by maybe twenty feet, the next he had pinned her against the wall behind her with a bare chest and arms literally bulging with ropey muscles. In the place of the black priest’s attire, there was bare skin—a face, torso, and arms very human-like—and wings that weren’t at all human-like, curled and cupped around the two of them in a way that seemed infinitely threatening.
“There are things, child of man, that you are not allowed to know!” he ground out from between gritted, very white teeth. “Do not come to this place again … unless you seek death, because that is what you will find—not answers.”
Claire couldn’t do anything but gape at him, trying to assimilate something her mind found absolutely impossible to accept or interpret.
And in another blink, he was across the cavern from her again, dressed as a priest.
As if nothing had happened.
For a handful of seconds she questioned her sanity.
But it had happened!
She knew it had! He had either … transformed himself from one form to another and back again, or he was somehow manipulating her mind to make her see what he wanted her to see. She didn’t know which, but she didn’t believe for more than those few seconds that it was her mind playing tricks on her. Her mind that had failed her.
And it was still nearly impossible to accept that he had done what she believed he had.
She stared at him in shock, her entire system in so much chaos there was no determining what emotion dominated. “What the fuck just happened?” she muttered hoarsely, scarcely aware that she’d spoken at all. The voice seemed detached from her, distant. “My god! What are you?”
He didn’t respond and she whirled abruptly and fled, racing toward the only avenue of escape at breakneck speed. She’d barely begun the climb toward the surface when she heard the sound that had plagued her nights since the accident—the crackle of giant wings as they beat against the air. A split second later she was snatched from the rubble hard enough and abruptly enough to deprive her of breath for a handful of seconds. She felt her belly drop as he shot upward with her. She screamed then …. Into his mouth, because it was as if he had anticipated the very second she managed to gather enough air into her lungs to scream and he covered her mouth with his own to stifle that attempt.
She struggled against him, briefly, trying to tear her mouth free to scream—until she realized freeing herself from him could mean falling to her death.
And yet the moment she ceased to struggle, the second she relaxed against him and accepted his touch she felt herself falling into a drug induced haze of confused awareness. Her mind interpreted her confused perceptions as a dream, but she knew it was no dream.
She wasn’t asleep. She hadn’t been asleep. The muscles of her body still ached and throbbed from the effort it had taken to climb down the mountain of debris into the cavern.
It truly was dark—because it was night time—but her sight had narrowed—either because of shock or drugs of some kind or possibly both.
She felt drugged—dizzy, a sense of floating.
No! She was floating! Or flying, actually. She could feel the rush of the wind in her hair and on her skin. Her internal gyroscope reacted with dizziness with each movement that tilted her and threw off her center of gravity. Her belly reacted to the climb and descent.
She wasn’t aware that they had landed and entered her apartment until she felt herself lowered to the mattress of her bed and engulfed in familiar scents. It flickered through her mind to wonder if he meant to kill her now, in her bed, maybe to make it look like she’d been murdered by a burglar or rapist.
No! I would not harm you. Or allow you to be harmed.
Claire touched her head, put pressure against the sudden sharp pain that blossomed there. “Don’t do that! It makes my head hurt,” she murmured a little drunkenly. “What did you do to me? What are you going to do to me?”
“I kissed you.”
Claire made a scoffing sound of disbelief. “That wasn’t a kiss. You did it to shut me up!”
“No? It felt like a kiss to me,” he responded, his voice low, husky with seduction, and yet laced with amusement, as well.