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.
Deep in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest
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 just…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.
After finishing a rewarding career in finance and accounting, it was time for Rosalie Redd to put away the spreadsheets and take out the word processor. She writes Fantasy/Science Fiction Romance inspired by classics from the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres layered with a good, hot dose of romance.
She lives in Oregon, where rain is just another excuse to keep writing. When not at her computer, you can find her at Jazzercise, waterfall collecting in the Pacific Northwest, or relaxing with her husband and their pesky cat, Snookums.