Authors: A.M. Griffin
After aliens invade and conquer Earth, Eva is transported to a distant slave-trading planet. Freedom and escape are her only priorities, but none of her martial arts training could have prepared her for enslavement to the warrior King Taio. Eva finds herself drawn to this sexy alien male who ignites her heart and body.
Taio is disgusted with the idea of owning a slave—until now. From the moment he sees her, he knows Eva is his for the taking. Torn between lust and duty, Taio discovers nothing will stop him from protecting his little warrior.
To my biggest supporters, my mother, my husband Ryan and children; Jori B., Myles and Mia Loren, I love you all. Thank you to Maurice and Arthella for supporting the dream.
Thank you to everyone who made this possible: Dirty Diana for your inspiration and support, Cricket, the MudPuddle, Terri and Stephy, and of course, Bree and EC for giving me a chance.
The awful stench coming from her was embarrassing. Eva Smith sniffed under her arms.
Yep, I can raise the dead.
The jeans she had on were faded and torn. She had on a t-shirt with a picture of the cartoon characters Orangey and Purple, taken from a scene of one of their Internet webisodes. Even that was no more than tattered rags now. She could only imagine the cartoon characters saying about her stench,
“Gurrl, you stink!”
The whole reason she volunteered for night watch, again, was to get a break from the stench. The smell from fifteen people who hadn’t had a bath in a week was nauseating to say the least.
Eva crouched on a tree branch twenty feet above the forest floor. Years as a martial artist gave her the strength and agility to scale the tree with ease. But now, after hours in the same position, her muscles ached. With one arm hugging the tree for stability, she used the other to punch on the cramp that had formed in her thigh.
She scanned the horizon of clustered trees, looking for camp. Although she couldn’t see them, she knew they were there, hiding beneath the canopied covering of the lush trees. Her constant companion, Allysan, sat in the tree opposite hers. Ally didn’t dare come closer and even joked that their combined stench would melt the forest surrounding them. Her legs hung underneath her as she hummed
Sun and Moon
by Duk Duk Goose, her favorite Afro-Punk band from New York. The song was appropriate. Because of the enormous spacecraft in the sky, she had not seen either in a while.
Although this wasn’t Ally’s night to keep watch, she was here to kill the boredom. Eva didn’t mind. She welcomed the company of her new friend, especially tonight. The forest seemed weird.
She couldn’t put her finger on it.
Her senses had been on high alert ever since the aliens came. Her neighbors had been delusional about their arrival. But Eva knew better. While they were busy making “Welcome to Earth” signs, she’d cowered in her barricaded apartment.
Why had they come to Earth? She didn’t have a clue, but she had seen enough sci-fi movies to know this would end badly. These extraterrestrials didn’t want to “phone home”.
They arrived in shiny metallic spacecrafts that sat low in the sky in every major city around the world. As big as small cities, their crafts blocked the sun, forcing residents to live in perpetual darkness.
In less than a week, they’d leveled countries, toppled governments, disrupted communication and swatted the world’s most powerful super-nations’ military forces down as though they were nothing but pesky flies. All hell broke loose.
Eva had been right, hostile aliens had invaded Earth. Humans weren’t prepared for the fight and were losing the battle. Unfortunately, “I told you so” didn’t seem appropriate.
That had all happened about three months ago. Or had it been two? No matter, she thought, shaking her head. The small pocket-sized calendar had been lost a long time ago. There was something about running from aliens that made a person decide fast what items were important. The calendar, along with her comb, toothbrush and soap, was long gone.
It was easy enough to pull her jet-black hair back into a bun and scrub her teeth with leaves, but there wasn’t an alternative for soap.
Despite soaking in the stream two miles north of camp just yesterday, Eva still felt the fine film of dirt covering her olive-toned skin
Besides Ally’s soft humming, the night was quiet, no signs of nightlife, no owls hooting, no raccoons scavenging, not even a bat in the sky.
That was her first clue that things were about to turn ugly.
“Something’s off.” Eva scanned the dark horizon. She, along with the others with her, had fled the cities after the initial attack. No one knew why the aliens invaded Earth. Some speculated they were here to enslave humans—or eat them. At this point, it didn’t matter.
Survival was the key.
Ally straightened her back and focused her gaze on the skies. “Yeah, I feel it too.”
“Go check on everyone. I don’t like this feeling.” Eva felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up.
Ally nodded once, scaled down the tree and ran. Eva watched as Ally bounded through the underbrush until her back disappeared in the darkness. Only then did Eva look back to the blackened sky. Something was definitely up.
A familiar low hum filled the still night.
Far on the horizon, a small, metallic craft shot through the sky.
“Shit.” She climbed down a few branches.
. She scurried faster. Five feet from the ground, she jumped. As her feet hit the dirt and grass, she took off running through the trees to camp, ducking under the low-hanging branches.
As she ran, she could hear her heavy breathing, dried leaves and sticks crunching under her fast-paced feet and the increasingly louder hum of a craft whizzing through the air. It was gaining on her.
“They’re coming! They’re coming! Take cover!” she yelled. Eva prayed her voice would carry over the loud roar of the craft that now followed close behind.
At the whistle of the craft cutting through the wind above her head, she dove into a thicket of high weeds. She buried her face in the dirt and covered her head and ears with her hands. The noise moved past her.
Her heart slammed in her chest as she jumped up and sprinted to camp. She couldn’t leave them. If the craft was taking them, she had to try to help anyone she could.
The ground shook underneath her feet.
She skidded to a halt. Dirt and grass flew at her, erupting from the ground.
She shielded her face with her hands. The dirt and rocks pelted her, piercing her skin.
The impact deafened her ears. Her hands left her eyes and covered her ringing ears. She watched the confusion unfolding in front of her. Blood, skin and body parts were scattered everywhere. Eva looked in horror as most of those who had, in those short months, become dear friends hung dead from tree limbs. A panicked frenzy consumed the bloody and confused survivors.
Hands grabbed her arms tightly, biting into her flesh, shaking her. Her eyes moved to Ally. Tears ran down her cheeks as her mouth moved.
What is she saying?
Eva struggled to understand her.
A bright glow of orange light flickered in the corner of her eye. Her head turned in slow motion toward it.
Her eyes finally focused.
That was enough to snap her out of her stunned daze. “Stick together!” Eva screamed. Panic engulfed those around her. Just as the skittish prey that they were, they spoke all at once, darting in different directions.
“That way!” Eva pointed to the small area free of the rapidly encroaching flames. “Come on!”
Eva made a break for the trees before flames blocked their way. No time to waste. If they stayed where they were, they would surely burn to death. Or worse, get captured. She ran through the small opening with Ally on her heels. She hoped everyone else either heard her command or saw the direction they were heading.
Ten feet in front of them, the ground shook. Chunks of dirt flew skyward.
Eva made a hard left. They needed to avoid the flames quickly overtaking the trees and underbrush.
Her ears popped, debris pelting her right cheek. Straight, she needed to keep straight. The sounds of her heavy breathing did nothing to block out the screams.
Don’t turn around. Lead them to safety!
Her wild eyes spotting the opening in a clearing in front of her, she skidded and took a hard left.
Avoid the clearing.
They wouldn’t stand a chance out in the open.
The ground in front of her erupted in a hail of dirt, rocks and grass. The impact knocked her to her back. Without thinking, she scrambled to her feet and ran straight into the clearing.
The larger craft sat fifty feet in front of them, metallic and shiny with the square door open and a ramp extending from it to the ground. Immediately, she turned around to go back.
“Turn around! Not this way, turn around!” Everyone behind her trampled into the clearing as she tried to push back the way she had come.
No one heeded her warning. “This is all wrong, we need to get out of here,” she repeated frantically.
They had been herded.
A monstrous alien with green, scaly skin appeared, towering over her. His yellow eyes with reptilian slits rested on the panicked crowd. He opened his mouth, revealing two-inch-long, razor-sharp teeth, dripping saliva.
“We are the Loconuist.”
Taken: Year Three
Heat caressed her face and shoulders. Warmth permeated her body. She could almost imagine the sun’s warm rays bathing her in perpetual light and heat. Fresh air circulated through her nostrils. The scent of food wafted through. She sniffed, there was more…
The smell of garbage and feces singed her nose hairs and overrode her senses. Warm liquid with a distinctive metallic taste trickled to the back of her dry, irritated throat. She swallowed.
A dull ache in the back of her head began to throb harder and harder. Voices.
Where are they coming from?
The shouting made her head hurt even more. Straining her ears, she tried to hear what all the fuss was about. Panic rose in her chest, she couldn’t understand anything, not a word.
She wasn’t on the Loconuist spacecraft.
Feeling more than a little dazed and confused, Eva strained to open her eyes. She snapped one shut when a sliver of sunlight temporarily blinded her. Her heart beat faster. She needed to find out where she was. Sun and fresh air, both were something she hadn’t felt in over three years while confined on the Loconuist spacecraft.
She tried again. While one eye wouldn’t open at all, the other opened just enough. She winced again. The bright light was too much for her retina. She was right. She was somewhere with sunlight.
She forced her good eye to open again. A sea of different species were out in front of her, none of them human. A gasp caught in her throat. Aliens! Why were these…things…watching her?
Her eye darted around the crowd. There were some aliens who had the appearance of six-foot-tall walking lizards, others resembled little miniature dragons and, of course, the famous little gray aliens. Sprinkled in the crowd were humanoid figures with hair on top of their heads, two eyes, two arms and two legs. Although humanoid in appearance, the skin colors threw her off. Not the colors she was used to on Earth, but gold, pink, blue and green.
For God’s sake, green!
A chill ran down her spine.
Eva tried to pull her arms closer to her body, but they wouldn’t budge. Looking to her right, a man, or what appeared to be a man, was holding tight to her arm. Another one was on her left. Both men stood just over her five-foot, four-inch frame and were shirtless, their thick muscular frames exposed to the heat. Their brown leather pants were a shade darker than their skin tone.
This can’t be good
Finally, her memory returned.
Men, the same as the ones currently holding her, entered the holding bay of the Loconuist spacecraft and dragged everyone out, kicking and screaming. She and Ally were doing what they did best, hiding from the aliens, but that didn’t seem to matter this time. These aliens were intent on taking them all away. As they approached Ally and her, the only thing left to do was fight. Fight as though their lives depended on it.
Guess we lost.
She’d trained with the best martial artists, and not only was she an expert in various weapons, but also hand-to-hand combat. Her punches and kicks on these guys didn’t seem to make a difference. It had been as if she were punching a tree trunk. They were solid as rocks.
“Where’s Allysan?” she whispered, her throat hoarse. After all the years trapped in the belly of an alien spacecraft, Ally had become more than her friend. She was the only family Eva had.
Eva tried to open both of her eyes wider, or rather, the one good eye.
The men tightened their hold, twisting her bone in the socket. Excruciating pain surged through her.
“Holy shit! Let me go, you bastards!” She tried her best to wiggle out of their grasp, letting her legs drop from underneath her. No luck. Pain fired up her arms, around and over her shoulders.
Her outbursts did nothing but rile up the crowd. The noise level rose to an almost deafening roar. Pausing a second to comprehend what was really going on, she looked around and stiffened as the realization struck her.
“Are you trying to
She stood on what she thought was an auction block while the aliens in the crowd appeared to be placing bids on her. Having her arms secured by two thick creatures definitely wasn’t helping her situation. She panicked even more, her heart racing.
There’s no escape
Over the roar, someone shouted her name from her right, the only sound she had understood so far. She spotted familiar faces from the spacecraft behind a large gated area.
“To hell with this,” she muttered. Taking two steps back, she swung her arms to the front of her body. The man to her right lost his balance.
She swung both her legs to the right, wrapping her knees around the man’s thick neck. Her only chance of escape was to take down the weaker of the two first.
She wasn’t sure how much force she needed to snap his neck, but at this moment, she just wanted him down. Her efforts were rewarded as the man slowly slumped to the ground with a thud.
The other tugged on her arm, hard.
. She faltered and yelled out, the pain biting through her.
Definitely dislocated, her left arm would be of no use to her anymore.
Lowering her body, she firmly hit the last man standing, lifting him off his feet. She rammed her useless shoulder just below his belt and sent him flying over her, landing with a hard thud behind her.
Now free, Eva sprinted to the gated area. Her only chance of finding Ally was there. She couldn’t get separated from her. Not now. Shutting out the roar from the crowd, she ran as hard as she could.
“Allysan!” Her friend’s badly bruised face came into view as she pressed against the gate.
Ally’s tears made clean lines down her dirt-stained face. “Don’t let them take you away from me!”
“I’m coming!” Eva sprinted hard to the fence.
Ally’s lanky arm extended through the links. “Eva! Hurry!”
She reached out to grab the links, and a sharp pain hit her spine. Her legs stopped moving and wobbled under her weight before eventually giving way. Eva could only watch Ally stare back as she fell to the ground. The voice in her head yelled at her to get up, fight against whatever those things had done to her, but her body was no longer under her control.
“No, no, no,” Ally cried and begged, dropping to her knees.
“Ally, I’m so sorry.”