Authors: Tianna Xander
Tags: #Science Fiction, #Paranormal, #Erotic Romance
Punches and sparks fly when the defenders team up to save an oppressed world.
When Marti ran from her captors, she never thought someone would kidnap her again mid-escape. When faced with a lunatic who insists she’s been living on the wrong world all her life, she refuses to believe him. It’s crazy!
Yet, when Garrick the Gatekeeper uses the device that he calls a thread locator to drop her on another world, she finds her brother married and showing some long-lost emotion. She can’t deny something is definitely up. Have The Fates truly found the one man for her and should she believe that they’ve gotten things right this time or is the drop-dead gorgeous defender, Kylar, just another one of their mistakes?
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 Tianna Xander
Cover art by Carmen Waters
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Gate To Fate 2
Marti strolled casually through the square, keeping her head down. Remaining calm was important. The last thing she wanted to do was draw attention to herself. Getting recaptured wasn’t a part of her plan.
The people mostly ignored her as they bustled around, minding their own business. None of them wanted to draw the attention of the guards. As much as the prince wanted the people of other cultures to believe this was a free state, the people who lived here knew better.
The slightest infraction, the smallest deed, could get one noticed and taken to the palace for punishment, or worse. She knew
, all too well.
Had it really been five years since they had snatched her from her idea of a vacation and brought her here? It seemed like that long, but it was hard to count the days when one was alternately overwhelmed with mind-numbing drugs or exhaustion.
To this day, she didn’t know what it was they gave her to make her powers useless here. To this day, she had none of her superpowers on this planet. If only she had known her abilities were null here when she disembarked for her holiday all those years ago. If she had, perhaps she would have thought twice about staying and perhaps they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to capture her and make her their slave.
A loud bang made her heart race. Was it a weapon, or the sound of a huge palace door slamming? Her gaze darted around the small compound as she peeked out from under the large hood that hid her long hair and the fact that she was a female.
Could she really make it to one of the small shuttles here before someone noticed that the prince’s newly prized, future sex slave went missing?
She thought back to the day before when the Lorbetian National took notice of her and asked the prince for her hand in marriage.
would have refused. When she married she wanted to be the man’s only wife, not his tenth. However, tenth wife to the Lorbetian prince would have been better than seventy-first wife to the Prince of Katkari. Still, the prince had taken notice of her then. Intrigued by her allure, he denied the Lorbetian and decided to make her wife number seventy-one. She shuddered at the idea.
The scent of exhaust and unwashed bodies made her gag. Thankfully, the approaching sand storm gave her the excuse she needed to pull her hood tighter around her head and cover her face with the long scarf she’d stolen from the palace kitchen on her way out.
The price she had paid for the guard to look the other way had been high—almost too high. Though, what price could one put on their freedom? At least the nature of her payment insured the man couldn’t raise the alarm. His life was on the line as surely as her freedom was. Not only was Marti certain the prince wouldn’t take kindly to her escape, he definitely wouldn’t take kindly to one of his guard cuckolding him the night before his wedding.
Marti knew she had to run the moment she heard the prince planned to make her another one of his consorts. She would rather die than be just another slave in his extensive harem.
What she didn’t understand was why the men of this world allowed their rich to participate in such an archaic practice. It made so sense when the men outnumbered the female population by more than twenty to one. Their lack of females was the reason they had resorted to publicizing their world as a paradise for travelers, and kidnapping the lone women who traveled here.
Women just like her.
Marti blinked back the tears that threatened at the thought of her brother. He was alone now. He couldn’t know what had happened to her. If he did, she had no doubt that he would have already led a rescue. He might not care for her the way a brother should, but his sense of honor would have demanded he find her and bring her home. Unfortunately, all he knew was that she departed their home on her own to travel. For all he knew, she had decided never to go home.
A boisterous laugh drew her attention and Marti noticed two of the palace guards walking her way. Her step faltered. She would have to walk right past them and do it as though she had every right to do so. She also had to look and act like a man while doing it.
Gripping the voice enhancer tight, she held it to her throat under the guise of holding the scarf to her face to keep the blowing sand out of her lungs. Taking a deep breath, she plowed between the two men with a loud, “Move it, peasants!” to pave the way.
The enhancer worked just as promised, giving her voice the deep resonant timbre of a male. She breathed a sigh of relief when they kept walking. The guards most likely wouldn’t have even given her a second glance if it weren’t for the high-pitched squeal the thing emitted.
Damn! I should have known my luck wouldn’t hold.
Marti picked up her pace and hoped they hadn’t heard the horrible noise, but her wish was short lived.
Kylar stared out over the mountaintops looking for something to do. This quiet time was rare. Very rare. His people usually didn’t give him time for reflection such as this.
He watched as the sun set behind the great mountain and wished he had someone to share this beauty with. Yet he had no one.
Some strange, mated defender from a faraway world would be here in approximately fourteen hours, along with several defenders from still other worlds. It seemed their people would have to do without them long enough to set up an alliance.
There were people disappearing. One of those missing was the sister of the mated defender who, somehow, had transformed his woman into another defender.
Apparently, there were female versions of his kind. Who knew? Even the man who planned this alliance hadn’t known there were female defenders until he’d met his mate, but what did that make the other man’s sister? Did his sister have such power and he not know his own sibling had the power of a defender? If not, why?
The sun set below the peak of the mountain, the swirls of purple and orange telling him the weather would be warm and clear on the morrow. Presumably, they had chosen a good day to form an alliance.
Closing his eyes, he turned his face up to the sky, needing the feel of the cleansing rain on his face. With a wave of his arm and a few short words, he brought on the gentle rain.
Kylar didn’t know what he would do if he couldn’t bring on the sunshine or the rain. Being a defender was a thankless job that took much out of a man. He didn’t know how others bore the endless work, the never-ending rescues of countless men, women and children when they had no power over nature to help them.
Leaning back, he spread his arms, his face still to the sky, letting the rain wash his many sins away. The water flowed over him, washing the strain and heartache into the dirt below his feet, grounding him. This was what kept him going. This was what cleansed his soul day in and day out. Without it, he would go mad with the loneliness. He was sure of it.
Fourteen hours later, the large room felt crowded with the four large men standing about. The one female defender stood out in the crowd. She was lovely. Her red hair brushed her shoulders as she stood next to the man who must be her mate while she looked up at him with strange-colored eyes filled with an emotion that he could only guess was love.
The tall blond man moved to the center of the room, his mate staying by his side. “Kylar Gareth,” he said taking Kyl’s outstretched hand. “Allow me to introduce myself. I am Artu Traon.” He turned to the woman who accompanied him. “And this is my mate, Lena. We come to beg your assistance and the assistance of everyone in this room.”
He moved to seat himself, drawing his mate into his lap. “My sister, along with several other women from my world, has gone missing.” He indicated another man who stood, piercing him with eyes as black as his hair. “Tristan’s world is missing fifty women.” He indicated the others one by one, telling of the plight of their world and the missing females.
Even Kyl’s world had missing females. Unfortunately, the women all went missing while on holiday away from the planet. While Kyl had the ability to defend their world from evil, it was difficult, at best, to keep track of his people when they went off-world. Especially when one had no idea where they had gone.
Short of vacationing with them, he had no idea how to protect them from the evils of the other star systems. The situation pointed to a kidnapping ring of some kind. Only women had come up missing so far and only while off-world.
“We have had similar issues.” He dipped his head at the other defenders. The woman smiled at him and he looked away. He had no idea why a female defender should make him nervous, but she did nonetheless.
Perhaps it had something to do with knowing she could have been
mate had Kyl found her first. True mates were rare among their kind. Usually, the best one could hope for was a woman who would stay around long enough to bear offspring.
However, hoping for even that little bit was asking too much. His father always told him that defenders weren’t meant to be happy. The best that they could hope for was being content. His father, rest his soul, had been content to have a son who could take over his duties so he could finally rest. Kyl had been looking forward to that same thing for a very, very long time.
Looking at Lena Traon gave him hope for his future. Perhaps, if he found a way to bribe the Fates he would find a woman capable of giving him a son and he, too, could finally rest.
Bribe the Fates? You may well do better just to ask for our help. Though, perhaps we shall let you suffer now, defender. What think you of that?
Kyl blinked at the female voice he heard in his head as he stared at the woman whose lips didn’t move as she rested her head on her husband’s shoulder.
What I think is that I have finally gone mad.
“You there! Stop,” one of the palace guards commanded.
Marti didn’t wait for another order. She also didn’t even glance behind her to see if the guard was talking to her or someone else. Instead, she took off running at top speed. It was her only chance. If she could lose them in the crowd, she might have a chance at escape.
Through the square she ran, jumping boxes and dodging carts as she went. The few women she saw urged her on, pushing their carts and baby buggies in the guards’ way in an attempt to buy her a few precious moments to put distance between them.
Marti had just ducked into a narrow alleyway when the world went dark around her. Though her legs still moved, she seemed suspended in mid-air for a moment before the ground broke apart in tiny squares and she fell into the darkness with a scream of frustration. So close. She had been so close to freedom.
Five years she had remained captive. Five years she had worked her fingers to the bone as a house slave and for five years, she had waited for an opportunity to escape.
She sighed with disgust. Now who would she have to fuck to get back home? She didn’t want to reduce herself to that ever again, but she knew she would if it meant another chance at freedom. Marti knew that she would do whatever it took to gain her independence. The way she had spent the last five years was no life at all.