Held captive against her will…
When Leilani travels to the mountain region of her new planet, Lumineta, she discovers the remote mountain clan has a law stating that any unmated female in their sector can be forced to live there for one moon cycle. At first she’s livid—until she realizes that being held captive means that the warriors bring her gifts and simply try to impress her as part of their courting rituals. But she’s not interested in anyone except the sexy leader—and living under his roof makes her feel nothing like a captive. He has her rethinking everything she thought she knew about Luminet males.
The last thing he needs in his life is a complicated human female…
Con has never thought much about taking a mate. As leader of his clan, he’s too busy and females are too complicated—especially those mysterious humans. But the longer he’s around Leilani, the more he realizes she’s worth fighting for. Despite his planet’s tradition that says two males mate with one female, he has no intention of sharing—or ever letting her go.
Length: 31,000 words
“Why did your mates let you come here unaccompanied? Have things changed down the mountain?” the same redhead asked. She thought his name was Ruari, but it was impossible to remember everyone.
The question rankled her. “Are Luminet females accompanied everywhere they go?”
“They are to the mountain sectors,” Brandt answered quietly.
“Why? Can someone explain it to me?” She looked around, truly curious.
Brandt lifted a broad shoulder. “Because females are to be looked after.”
Oh, this was like one of those barbaric ideas she was still getting used to. Maybe she hadn’t broken any rules. Still, they all seemed to think it odd that she was here alone and it wasn’t the first comment someone had made about her mates. Maybe she should have waited to speak to her supervisor before coming here. She’d just left a message that she was making the last minute trip for Brianna because of her friend’s cramping. “Look, I’m not mated so that’s the only reason I’m not accompanied,” she said quietly to Brandt. “Is this going to cause a problem with your leader?”
His entire body went still as he looked down at her. He started to respond when the door swooshed open and Aeron strode in.
She blinked to see him in full-on warrior mode. What the heck was he doing here? He had a blade in one hand and a pulse gun in another. He looked around the room, his green eyes flashing.
The others jumped up, all of them going for their weapons. Their huge bodies blocked her view.
Oh, goddess, something must have happened for him to show up. “Is Brianna okay? Is it the baby?” Her voice was drowned out by the growing rumble of male voices. She surged forward but Brandt stepped in front of her in a completely protective gesture.
“Identify yourself, warrior,” he demanded of Aeron. She belatedly realized Brandt had two short swords in his hands.
Whoa, he moved fast. Despite the apparently no-touching rule, she grabbed onto his forearm. “He’s mated to my friend.” She squeezed tight, but Brandt didn’t move or look at her.
“My name is Aeron. Leilani, are you okay?” he shouted.
She could hear him, but not see him. “Please tell your warriors to move so I can speak to my friend.”
Brandt uttered a few harsh growls and like magic, the males parted to the side and the voices died down. Aeron glared at all of them before striding forward, his weapons still out. “Are you unharmed?”
She tried to move past Brandt but the male held out an arm. Okay, seriously? She ducked under it. “I’m fine. Why are you here? Is the baby—”
“I’m here for you. You shouldn’t have come here alone. Unmated females cannot travel to the mountain regions without an escort.” At his words every warrior grew silent until she could hear blood rushing in her ears.
That couldn’t be good.
Two males that looked as if they were brothers stepped forward in her direction, but almost immediately two more tried to move past them. Then someone took a swing at someone until it was an all-out brawl.
Brandt and Aeron moved in front of her, backing up until all she could hear were shouts and the thud of flesh against flesh. She winced at the cries of pain she heard, but no way was she going to try to move from her spot.
“Everyone out!” a male voice roared.
Just like that, the fighting noises stopped. She peeked out from behind Aeron to find some males bleeding on the ground, others on top of them, all in fighting positions. It was pure insanity.
To her surprise everyone, including Brandt, filed out like a cohesive unit. Whoever this male was, he clearly commanded respect. Or at least fear. Aeron immediately holstered both his weapons. If he was doing that, he must trust whoever… Her eyes widened as she took in the male.
He wore simple black trousers, dark boots—and no tunic. His chest was broad and muscular. Though that seemed too tame a description. It was as if he’d been carved right out of the mountain itself. His breathing was slightly labored, his chest rising and falling more rapidly than was normal. The movement drew her gaze downward even as she tried to tell herself not to stare at the sexy stranger. He was covered in nicks and scars, too many to count. For some reason, all those scars added to his appeal. His skin wasn’t as bronzed as hers, but his closely shorn hair was a midnight black. Everything about him was rough and raw and as she met his bright blue gaze she felt the connection like a punch to her solar plexus. His cheekbones were just as carved as the rest of him, the sharp angles giving him a deadly edge she doubted he needed.