Book 1: Jebaral
He was one of thirty-one aliens who had landed on this remote world and dispersed among the populace, unidentifiable because of their shape-shifting abilities.
Jebaral had hoped for a life. A chance to be free after escaping years of slavery and cruelty. But when he met Hannah Pitt, there was no way he could turn away from her or from the feelings she evoked in him. But neither could he accept her offer of a future filled with laughter and promised. After all, she was human; he was nothing remotely human.
Worse, the Arra were out looking for their lost cargo and they wouldn’t stop until every body was accounted for. Could he risk loving this woman? Would she even accept him for what he truly was?
Little did he realize that all his choices would soon be taken away.
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Excerpt - (Warning: Adult Content)
The woods were less than twenty feet from the rear of the motel. Sliding between the trees, Jeb waited until he found a tiny clearing. Once he knew there was no one else about, he shed his clothing and dropped it on the ground.
Naked, he lifted his arms until they were away from his body, and he sighed as the false skin slowly sank into his pores.
The air was cool on his freshly-revealed true self. In a minute or two, after the moist residue of the recede evaporated, Jebaral began running. Pushing himself to go faster, pumping his legs until he was almost a blur, he sprinted through the surrounding forest. Leaves and branches slapped against his impervious hide where his natural covering acted as body armor.
There was nothing on this world, outside of their most fearsome weapons, that could hurt him. He had taken some of the worst torture the Arra could devise and he had survived. Now he was free from the horrors he and the others had faced when the Arra had landed on his world and captured them. To force them into a life of servitude with whatever race paid the greatest price.
Servitude. Or perhaps worse. There were many races out there whom the Arra provided flesh for the banquet tables. It was a well-known fact that Ruinos had some of the tenderest meat beneath their tough, protective hides, which was why Barandat Vor had been plundered with gusto for the past ten or so generations.
Jebaral shook his head, hoping to clear away the worst of the memories. His people’s history was vague now. As a race they were nearly extinct. He would not be surprised to learn that the thirty-one escapees to this planet were the last of their species.
The land dipped drastically, opening up to a small valley. He stopped to survey the beauty spread before him. He loved the way the moon bathed its milky glow over the land. The Earth gave up its secrets to him in ways the inhabitants of this world couldn’t begin to understand or appreciate. A big lungful of the night air told him many things. It spoke of creatures large and small scurrying among the foliage and above the trees. There were other humans in the aromatic stream, but they were far away, most of them tucked inside their homes.
He turned to glance over his shoulder. Several miles separated them, but he could still feel her. Hear her breathing slow. Smell her sorrow. Sense her worry and unhappiness. She wanted him with her in that bed that would be his downfall if he gave in to his urges. To this need flooding every cell in his body. Bowing his head, Jebaral groaned at the impact she had on him.
Of the thirty-one Ruinos who had escaped, eleven were female. They were the sum of a civilization that once had numbered up to over twenty million.
Of the eleven females, three had been mated and were past child-bearing. Four were children, not yet old enough to seek, much less take, a life partner.
That left four females. Four, whom the fate of an entire race rested. And their future looked even more bleak. A Ruinos female would not be able to conceive until she had found her true life partner, and their blood had merged.
On the ship he and all the other males had approached the four females, wondering if they would be bonded to one of them. To everyone’s disappointment, nothing had developed. And now with the survivors scattered all over the continent—perhaps all over the world by now—it would be a miracle if any of his race managed to reproduce.
Jebaral sniffed as a large, warm-blooded creature ambled by. It also paused and tested the air to see if the strange creature was worth getting alarmed over. A silent war waged. Tensing, Jebaral prepared himself to run again, when the animal huffed irritably and went on its way.
A smile came over his lips. The lesser intelligent creatures of this world were of no danger to him. Only the natives who walked on two legs would ever prove to be worthy opponents.
Soft rain began to fall. Jebaral lifted his face and reveled in the cold mist. It felt good on his true skin.
His thoughts went back to Hannah and of the moment he realized he was bonding to her. His fork had been dirty, and she had reached over to pluck it from his hand so she could get him a clean one. Their fingers had brushed, and he had nearly fallen onto the floor when the emotion slammed into him with the force of a runaway truck. It had been the first time they had touched. The shock had lasted all day and all night, leaving him stupefied and in denial until he had gone back the next morning to the diner to see if those same feelings came back. They did, and they were stronger.
There was no way he could deny that Hannah was attracted to him. That tangy, lemonade smell surrounded her every time she came over to him. He could hear her heart literally running when she caught sight of him. Or whenever she sat down in the booth across from him to chat for a moment.
She was innocent. Totally trusting. And miserable beyond all description.
Her life essence was pure, which had shocked him. Although she had lived with a man for a couple of years, and they had performed sex numerous times, there was no awakening in her. To Hannah, the act itself was meaningless. Instead, she thrived on the closeness that came afterwards, on the feeling of being cared for and belonging. Of being held and cuddled, and nurtured.
She had never orgasmed, or else her woman scent would be different from what enveloped her. That fact had driven him to her. It had sunk into his blood, tainting him forever, and leaving him hungering for her like a starved man.
Jebaral knew that when he took Hannah–
Shock like a surge of lightning exploded inside him. When he took her.
He dropped his chin to his chest. He would take her. It was unavoidable. The one act would clear up so many things. One night, one joining, and one of two things would happen. Either there would be no blood mating, cleansing his mind and body of his need for her. Or he would never be able to leave her for the rest of his life.
The nerves running up the insides of his thighs began to quiver with anticipation. He felt his manhood rise and stiffen in the wet, chilly air. It was not uncommon for a Ruinos man to take a female when they both believed theirs was a true joining, only to find out that it was a misconception. Simolif believed his brother’s attention toward the woman was one of those false feelings. Yet, for the sake of Jeb’s emotions, and for the sake of their species, they both hoped it wasn’t.
He turned and began to race back toward town and the lodge motel. Hannah was asleep now. Her body had finally succumbed to the medication she’d taken. When he returned he would slip back into the cabin through the window he’d left open and crawl under the covers with her.
They wouldn’t attempt a joining tonight. But it would have to be soon. He didn’t know how much longer he could keep himself secret from her. Or how much longer he could abstain from claiming the sweet promise of her body.
Above the treetops the moon had risen like a bright coin. It would be full in another couple of nights. A harvest moon, nearly blood-red and pulsing like an imitation sun. Jebaral could feel his blood coursing throughout his body. These next few days would be crucial. But by this time next week either he and Hannah would still be sharing the tiny bungalow, adrift within the sensations of their bodies reawakening, or she would staying there alone. Without him. Because if theirs was not meant to be a true bonding, he would not be able to remain with her. Ever.
The thought was enough to make him flinch in pain.
Runner’s Moon: Jebaral
Book 1 of the "Runner’s Moon" Series
An erotic sci-fi romance novel
by Linda Mooney
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press Torrid
Genre: sci-fi erotic romance
Heat rating: sensuous/explicit
Buy Link: http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/torrid/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=205
On Fictionwise: http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/eBook50518.htm?cache