The invasion has begun, and he’s the only one who can stop them.
Zephyr Cree has made it his mission to stop the aliens that have been terrorizing the galaxy. He takes his warship to the planet Earth to rescue what he can of the human race. But when he meets a human, Addison Montgomery, he is inspired by her tenacity, and maybe just a little bit smitten with the gorgeous human. The last thing he needs is a distraction, but fate has other things in mind for him.
Stranded in a remote location during an alien invasion was the last thing Addison Montgomery expected when she ventured out on a fieldtrip with a bus full of second graders. Daughter of one of the top generals in the country everyone is turning to her for answers. It’s a role she didn’t ask for and doesn’t want, but she knows she has to protect everyone she can. When the dangerous aliens attack, Addison prepares to fight them, but at the last minute a fiery phoenix swoops in to save the day -- literally. There’s not just one alien species on the planet but two. Now she just has to convince the hot phoenix shifter, Zephyr, to help her save the world, while keeping her libido in check around him, no big deal, right?
Read Excerpt One...
Zephyr stiffened as Addison shifted, moving so her head was on his shoulder. The couch was small and he half expected her to sit up and move away from him to finish watching the movie, but she didn’t. He peered down at her. Her eyes were shut and her breathing steady. It appeared she was sleeping and he’d wager she had no clue about her precarious situation against him.
He didn’t mind her weight or closeness. It was nice. She smelled like honey and the berries they’d shared earlier. It was an intoxicating smell and he couldn’t help but study her features more closely now that she wouldn’t be aware of his staring.
Physically, she looked similar to the women of his planet, but there was something different about her. She was resilient, yet passionate and she knew exactly what she wanted. Unlike many of the people on his planet, he suspected she didn’t follow orders unless she wanted to. He was one of the few people that challenged the government on Delphi, asking them to do more about the Imanji threat. That was probably part of the reason they allowed him to have his ship—to shut him up. Deep down he suspected they knew he was right.
The Imanji were his people’s problem. Just because they couldn’t penetrate Delphi’s shields, didn’t mean they wouldn’t return one day and attempt to destroy the planet. The second time around the Imanji might succeed.
Addison jumped as one of the characters in the movie screamed. She shot up so fast her forehead collided with his. A curse escaped her lips and she smacked a hand over her eyes, rubbing her palm over her skin as she blinked.
“Are you okay?” he asked as he watched her.
“Yeah. I’m so sorry. I didn’t even realize I fell asleep,” she said as she dropped her hand to her lap. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.” The bump hadn’t fazed him at all.
Addison shifted to the opposite end of the couch, pulling her feet up on her cushion and leaning against the armrest. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to invade your space.”
“It’s okay. No apology is needed.” Part of him wondered if it’d be okay to tell her he enjoyed it. He had no idea how she would respond to that.
“So, what did I miss?” Addison said turning her focus to the TV.
“Not much.” He opened his mouth to tell her about the movie, but stopped when she moved again and sat up straighter.
“Jeesh, the movie barely started and I already fell asleep? I must be more tired than I realized,” she said as she combed a hand through her hair. “Maybe I should head off to bed. We have a big day tomorrow.”
He stood and grabbed the remote. His eyes scanned over the symbols, but he had no idea how to work it. He turned to her and offered a smile. “How do you turn it off?”
She waved her hand at him as she got close enough for their shoulders to brush against each other. “You just hit this button and it will turn everything off.” She touched a button that had a circle on it. “But don’t turn it off on my account. I’ve seen Terminator before. You might enjoy it.”
It seemed like an all right movie, but he didn’t feel like watching it without her. “No. I should turn in, too.”
“Oh, okay, then,” she said, leaning in close again to turn off the TV.
Her scent hit him again and he breathed it in. His phoenix rumbled beneath the surface, begging him to reach out and touch her. His bird craved Addison, and it hadn’t needed a woman in a long time. He didn’t fraternize with the women on his ship. It was too complicated and none of them caught his interest, not like Addison had.
“There,” she said as she turned to him. Her breath caught in her throat as she too must have noticed how close their mouths were. Her tongue darted out to lick her lips. “I should probably go to bed,” she swallowed not letting her gaze leave his.
“Addison?” he asked as he reached out to touch her cheek. Her skin was soft beneath his fingers, which he trailed over her jaw, caressing his thumb over her lips.
“Yeah,” she said her voice so quiet he barely heard it.
He moved his thumb and pressed his lips against hers. She gasped into his mouth, but her hands went to his shoulders as her tongue swooped out to trail over his teeth.
Read Excerpt Two...
Addison opened her mouth, but her voice got caught in her throat as footsteps thundered up the wooden steps and across the front porch.
Nausea rolled in her belly and she shivered. Whipping her head toward the door, she held her breath. Her ears strained to hear if the children were fleeing, but the only sound greeting her was the staccato of her roaring pulse.
As the doorknob silently twisted, she lifted her arm up, ready to jab the blade into whomever came in. She glanced at Marcus, wordlessly agreeing to do whatever was necessary to keep the others safe.
The wooden deck outside creaked and Addison’s breath caught in her throat as the door flew open and slammed against the opposite wall. She whirled around, shrieking as her blade sunk into yellowish skin. The alien’s red eyes widened as it squawked. Its arm reached up, grasping at her chest and propelling her backward. She tried to hold onto the knife embedded in the alien for balance, but she couldn’t. Her feet flew out from under her as she catapulted across the room, hitting a glass case. Crashing through it, she sent glass raining down around her as she met the unforgiving floor, grunting as the hardwood bit into her.
Ignoring the pain slicing through her extremities, she grasped a jagged piece of glass and scrambled to her feet. Her vision blurred and she blinked rapidly to get her eyes to focus. I have to fight.
“S-s-s-stop!” A voice hissed.
Addison gasped as the voice echoed in her mind. Her limbs froze, refusing to budge. She whimpered and tried to force her foot to move; it shook from exertion, but lifted off the floor.
“Stop.” The voice insisted again.
Addison gripped her head with her free hand as the voice bounced around in her mind. Don’t listen to them! She squeezed the long shard of glass hard enough for it to cut into her skin. Fight, Addison!
A shiver raced up her spine as she took another step forward. Her leaden body was fighting her every move, almost as if the aliens were controlling her somehow. That is not possible, is it?
Her eyes searched for Marcus, finding her co-worker kneeling before two of the creatures with his fingers laced behind his head.
“I love the defiant ones,” the voice said, as an alien cocked its head at her while approaching.
She wanted to continue to move, but her body seemed to be rooted to the floor. Addison opened her mouth to cry out, but no sound came.
She looked at the alien in front of her more closely. It was slender and taller than she expected and stood at least a foot over her. Its blood-red eyes bore into her as its voice spoke within her mind again.
“Tell me, how many of you are there?” the alien asked.
His voice raced through her mind and her mouth opened, as if ready to tell him everything he asked. Addison tried clamping her mouth shut and gritted her teeth. I’m not telling him anything.
Coercion swept over her, but she maintained her silence. The longer she fought, the greater of a chance the kids and the others had to get away. Every second counted.
The alien reached out and touched her cheek, trailing his long, scaly finger down her face. Addison screamed as she lifted her arm and tried to jab the glass into the alien’s chest. He caught her wrist, wrenching it to the side, causing the glass to fall to the floor. She tried to tug her hand free of his grasp, but he held tight.
“It’s been a long time since I found someone so defiant,” he told her as he grasped her chin. “I shall enjoy breaking you.” He dug his fingers into her chin, causing her to close her eyes. Her jaw ached as he squeezed tighter and she tried to wrench free. “Tell me how many of you are there?”
She gathered spittle in her mouth and spat it at the alien. He flinched as it trickled down his face.
Gazing up at him defiantly, she noticed a lime green goo oozing from his chest. Is that blood? Yes, yes it is. This is the one I stabbed. Unfortunately, it didn’t appear to be fazing him at all. If a blade to the chest didn’t hurt them, what would?
Faster than she could see, his hand holding her chin whipped up and struck her. She toppled to the floor as pain sliced through her skull. Sticky warmth coated her cheek and her vision darkened. No. No. No. Don’t you dare black out!
“Stop! Please. I’ll tell you what you need to know. Just leave her alone, please!” Marcus pleaded, his voice sounding miles away even though she was sure he was still in the room with her.
“No,” she said, forcing her gaze to focus. She wobbled as she tried to sit up. The ground around her seemed to be vibrating. Everything was spinning. How hard had he hit her? She needed to focus and fast.
The alien turned, trudging away from her.
“Marcus, no,” she said her voice coming out weaker than she’d intended. Her arms trembled as she tried to get to her hands and knees to crawl across the floor toward him.
Marcus met her apprehensive eyes with his and shook his head at her. “I’m sorry, Addison. I can’t let them hurt you.”
“No…you…don’t understand,” she said, fighting for a breath and to stay conscious. Yet the more she moved, the worse her head hurt and the more her vision waned.
“Tell me. How many of you are there?” the alien asked Marcus.
“Twelve adults and sixty-two children,” his monotone voice echoed throughout the room.
“Very good.” The alien nodded at his men.
All the other aliens darted out the door while the lead creature glanced back at her, a wide smile on his face, his black teeth projecting his complacency. As he turned back to Marcus, he raised his hand and placed it on Marcus’ brow. Addison scrambled across the floor to help, but he seemed to be miles away even though she was sure it was just a few feet.
Marcus howled as a white light encompassed him. As the light permeated his body, it began to flake away, like leaves blowing in the wind.
“No! Stop!” she cried out. Her heart pounded as she pushed herself to stand. It was too late though; Marcus’ body was nothing more than a pile of white ash on the floor. She covered her mouth as tears welled in her eyes. The alien turned back to her, the wide smile still plastered on his face. He took a step toward her knowing his ensuing move.
Oh my God. I’m next.
Meet The Author...
Bethany Shaw lives in Ohio with her husband and two kids. Writing has always been her passion and she loves sharing her stories with readers.
When she isn't writing, she is spending time with her family enjoying bike rides, bowling, and board games.