Authors: S. E. Smith
Tags: #romance, #science fiction, #aliens
By S. E. Smith
With thanks to:
My husband, Steve, for believing in me and
being proud enough of me to give me the courage to follow my dream.
A special thanks to my sister and best friend, Linda, who not only
encouraged me to write but read it as well.
-S. E. Smith
IMPRINT: Science Fiction Romance
Copyright © 2012 by Susan E. Smith
First E-Book Publication August 2012
Cover Design by S. E. Smith
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: This literary work may
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Hannah Bell, the oldest of
the three Bell sisters, spends most of her time in the remotest
parts of the world photographing endangered animals. She is also
gifted with an extraordinary sixth sense which has saved her life
on more than one occasion. When she senses something has happened
to her littlest sister, Tink, she will do whatever it takes to
protect her. What she doesn’t know is her sister’s best friend
Cosmos' new science experiment has opened a portal to another
world. A world she is about to be taken to whether she wants to go
Borj ‘Tag Krell Manok is the calmest of his
four brothers, or so he always thought. The second oldest, he has
been assigned the task by his father and the counsel to bring the
sister of his brother's bond mate to their world. Borj knows deep
down that Hannah is destined to be his bond mate, something he has
hoped for since his first mating rite ceremony. What he doesn't
expect when he meets her is her resistance or her independence.
When she is kidnapped by a
rival clan, Borj will do anything to get her back. Hannah and
Borj's escape into the vast forest of Prime draw them together in a
fight not only for their lives but for a deeper understanding and
trust between two vastly different worlds. Borj discovers Hannah is
a fierce and cunning mate while Hannah discovers Borj is the
perfect warrior to protect and love her.
By reading any further, you are
stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the
age of 18, please get a refund for this book. It is designed for
the entertainment of mature readers only.
Hannah Bell slowly focused
the lens on her camera. It was the first time she felt like
everything was just right. She had waited patiently for the past
month to get a shot of this particular pride of lions. The male was
a huge son-of-a-bitch and meaner than her sister Tansy when riled
thought Hannah with a small smile,
was pretty damn mean
. The lionesses
were lying under the shade of a lone tree, absently keeping an eye
on the cubs. The huge male was covered in scars from previous
fights and was prowling around the females as if he could sense
Hannah’s presence. She hoped not. She was a good distance from the
safety of her Land Rover and would never be able to reach it in
time if he should decide to attack. She had left her guide back in
the vehicle, reassuring him she would be fine. By now, she would
have thought he would get tired of asking her to come along. She
always told him ‘no’. He would just get in her way.
Hannah zoomed in taking several more photos.
The lighting was perfect and she knew she was getting some award
winning shots. She was about to take another series with a
different lens when a shiver went down her spine. Hannah let the
feeling come; keeping her eyes focused on the lions as she mentally
sought what the shiver could mean. Tink…It was the first image that
popped into her head and she knew something had happened to her
Hannah slid the lens cover over the lens of
her cameras and slowly crawled backwards across the dry, arid
ground. There was still another hour of good lighting to take more
photos but the Bell family had one rule they lived by…family came
first, always. Hannah’s instincts were always right. Those
instincts were what saved her life on more than one occasion during
some of her more dangerous photo shoots. Once she felt she was far
enough away from the lions to move faster, Hannah jumped to her
feet and began jogging back to the Land Rover ignoring the sweat
running down her back or the thump of the camera bag against her
side. One thought kept running through her mind; something happened
You are back early.” Abasi said in
Swahili. “Were the lions not there?”
Hannah pulled her camera bag off her shoulder
and carefully packed the two cameras around her neck in it. “They
were there. I need to get back to camp. We need to get to the
closest village. Something has happened to my baby sister.” Hannah
Abasi didn’t say anything
but quickly moved around to the driver’s seat sliding in just as
Hannah slid into the passenger side. He didn’t question Hannah’s
knowledge that something was wrong. He had worked with Hannah for
the past two years and knew if she said there was a problem, there
was a problem. He believed Hannah was touched by the spirit held
within the Earth itself.
The drive back to camp was long and dusty.
There was a mild drought in the region but Hannah could smell the
rain in the air. Storms in Africa were as unpredictable as the
wildlife. It could be calm one moment and violent the next. Hannah
slid out of the Land Rover and jogged over to her tent.
She quickly packed the few
odds and ends that were out while Abasi started breaking down the
rest of the camp. She had very few possessions, mostly just her
camera equipment which she took extreme caution with as it was her
lifeblood. Her clothing was always packed and ready to move at a
moment's notice. Storms and wildlife was not the only thing
unpredictable in the regions she went to. More than once, Hannah
found herself in the middle of a government change. She had won a
few awards and international recognition for her photographs of the
effects of those changes on the people, land, and wildlife and two
scars from bullets from disgruntled rebel leaders who did not like
what she was showing the world. Hannah pulled the strap of the
canvas bag with her cameras over one shoulder while picking up her
backpack with her clothing in the other. She glanced around to make
sure she had everything before heading out to the Land Rover. She
placed both in the back seat. She turned and headed back to get the
low, folding cot she used as a bed. She quickly folded it and
placed it and the lantern in the very back. By the time she did
that, Abasi was already breaking down her small canvas tent. She
quickly helped him.
In less than half an hour,
they were bumping over the rugged terrain heading for a distant
village in the lower regions of the mountains. Hannah glanced at
her watch. It would be late when she called Tink but her little
sister was just going to have to deal with it. Hannah wanted to
know what was going on. The feeling something dire had happened was
getting stronger causing Hannah's gut to twist in
Hannah waited impatiently, pacing back and
forth in the small village on the border with Tunisia. It was the
closest village to where her last shoot was. Abasi was talking
quietly with a small group of men. He had been against them coming
so close to a country known for its instability and wanted to see
if any of the local tribesmen had noticed anything recently.
Hannah growled in frustration when she heard
RITA’s voice come on the line. “Good afternoon. This is RITA. I’m
sorry but neither Tink nor Cosmos can come to the phone right now.
May I take a message?”
RITA, this is Hannah. I need to speak
with Tink as soon as possible. Tell her to call me as soon as she
gets this message. I don’t care what time it is. I have the
satellite phone on and am in a small village right now.” Hannah
Oh, Hannah…How are you doing, dear?
Are the pictures of the lions turning out nicely?” RITA said in an
exact replica of her mom.
Hannah gritted her teeth and
bit back an expletive.
Why her sister
would create an exact duplicate of their mother Hannah would never
know. It wasn’t like the world needed, or could even handle,
another Tilly Bell in it.
Hannah thought as
she fought to control her frustration. The feeling eating at her
gut was beginning to piss her off.
Everything is fine here, RITA.” Hannah
said drawing in a deep breath to calm herself. “What is going on
with Tink?” Hannah glanced over at Abasi as he followed her with
his eyes. From the look in them, they might need to move to another
village pretty soon. Hannah gave him a brief nod, watching as he
turned and spoke quickly to another man.
Oh, Tink has been on the most
marvelous adventure. I know she will want to tell you all about it
when she gets home. You aren’t going to believe it! I’m so
excited.” RITA began before her voice faded. It was the fading part
that caught Hannah’s attention.
But…” Hannah bit out waiting for RITA
Well, there was one slight problem…but
I think it might be resolved soon.” RITA said with a slight upbeat
note to her voice.
Just tell her to call me ASAP.” Hannah
ground out before disconnecting the call.
Hannah let her head fall back in frustration
and stared up at the slowly darkening sky. Something was wrong. She
knew it. She could feel it all the way through to her bones. RITA
was a combination of her baby sister, Tink, and her mom’s new
software programming. RITA stood for ‘Really Intelligent Technical
Assistant’, a self-adapting voice recognition computer program that
could learn and adapt to the changing environment. It was the
beginning to an artificial intelligence program her mom was working
on the last time Hannah had been home. Hannah frown at that
thought. It was almost two years since she last saw her family.
This was the longest she had ever gone without seeing one or more
of them. Hannah jerked back to the present when she felt a slight
weight on her shoulder. Looking over it, she saw Abasi watching her
“We need to leave here as
soon as possible. Soldiers have been spotted about ten miles out
heading this way. The villagers are sending their younger women and
small children into the mountains to hide. The last time the
soldiers came five men were killed, several of the women were
raped, and almost a half-dozen young boys taken. It is best if you
are not seen.” Abasi said quietly but firmly.
Hannah bit her lip and
nodded. She knew all too well the dangers for women in any part of
the world. A dark memory flashed through her mind before she pushed
it away. She believed in all the teachings of her parents. They
could spout mottos and words of wisdom like no one else she knew
and they proved right every time. Nodding again, she followed Abasi
to the Land Rover. She glanced around at the small group of women
and children being escorted out of the village.
Will they be alright, Abasi?” Hannah
asked sadly. She hated this part of humanity. It was one reason she
preferred to be on her own away from everyone.
Yes.” Abasi said as he turned the Land
Rover around and headed out of the village. “They have learned to
take precautions. I spoke with several of the elders of the village
and the soldiers will find nothing in the village but old men and a
few head of undernourished cattle.”
Abasi took them about twenty miles away,
parking the Land Rover in a small gulch. He and Hannah quickly
covered the outside of it with dried branches. Abasi explained the
gulch was high enough that even with the rains to the north they
should be safe enough for the night. They piled what they could in
the back of the Land Rover and made a bed in the back seat. Hannah
would take the first watch for the night and Abasi the second. They
had done this numerous times over the past two years and had it
down to a science.