***THIS IS EPISODE 3 OF A STEAMY HOT SERIAL SCIFI ADVENTURE***
Angel 6.0 Enslaved, a space opera romance series from NYT and USA Today bestseller Travis Luedke. All Episodes available on Kindle Unlimited.
The product of illegal genome experiments to perfect the human race, my name is Angel, and I live with a slave collar, a tracking system I can’t escape. Torn from my lover’s arms and shipped across the galaxy, I am enslaved to the Gran, a fierce alien Catlike race of warriors. I serve as Captain Cronin’sconcubine, and pray Cesar, my pirate lover, finds a way to beg, steal or barter my freedom.
Trying to survive among the Royal Family of the Gran, I find friendship and new allies in my bid for freedom. As translator, I have a chance to broker trade between Cesar and the Gran. Success might free me of the slave collar wrapped around my neck.
If not, I’ll surely go mad kneeling before the Captain, serving him in ways I dare not admit to Cesar. I pray my pirate lover never learns the truth of the wicked things I do to please Captain Cronin.
Excerpt 1 – Enemies (SFW)
Tears blurred my vision as I stood alone at the airlock awaiting Captain Cronin, commander of the small fleet of Gran warships that had us surrounded and immobilized. My hands shook with adrenaline and my stomach turned queasy. I balanced on the edge of fight or flight and forced myself to stand still. Fighting the Gran would be a fatal mistake. They could pick us off any time they wanted. We were damn lucky Captain Cronin intended to board and meet in person – we were at his mercy.
It was my fault.
I fingered the metallic collar wrapped around my neck, the tracking device ensuring the Gran would always find me – and anyone who harbored me. The lives of the men aboard this Shadow cruiser depended on me to get them out of this mess. Though most of them didn’t even like me, wished I’d never been rescued from the Gran in the first place, they were stuck with me as translator for negotiations. No one else spoke the growl-click-snarl language of the Gran.
I had begged Cesar to order his men not to fight, to stand back and let me speak on their behalf. When he’d insisted on staying at my side, I begged him to leave me to it.
More useless tears streaked my face as I yearned to relive the past three weeks spent in Cesar’s arms, making love endlessly. I could still feel the warmth of his arms around me as I showered with him, ate with him, slept tangled with his hard body and woke in his strong embrace. I’d found all I ever wanted from life on this ship, with Cesar.
It seemed the universe conspired against my wishes.
Even if the Gran listened to me, even if my insane plan worked, there was little chance of ever seeing my lover again. I wished I did have Cesar at my side – now – holding my hand, telling me everything would be alright. But I couldn’t risk his life. The sick twisty feeling in my gut was the knowledge that the Gran would never let me stay aboard the Shadow cruiser with my lover. The thought of never seeing Cesar again terrified me. He’d mended the shattered pieces of my soul and given me new reason to live.
Now I faced losing him.
The Gran shuttle slipped into view and slowly glided in to latch on with its docking clamps. I was so tense and wired. Good thing I didn’t have my gauntlet blade. I’d be tempted to hack through every one of these Cats as they crossed the threshold.
Click, snap, thud, pop – the airlock opened and the strange spiced tang of Gran air wafted past. My senses flooded with intense memories of my time aboard the Gran ship. I tried to focus on the good memories – like Jason, Cesar’s brother. Enslaved for a time on the Gran jumpship, Captain Cronin had poured liquor aphrodisiac down my throat daily, keeping my senses drowned in erotic abandon. If only Jason had survived our escape from the Gran…
The sounds of growl-snap-clicking chatter snapped my attention back to the moment. Captain Cronin stepped through into our small airlock chamber, at the front of his Warriors. He was an impressive male, over two meters tall, slim and muscular, with broad shoulders, and tan-orange, striped fur. Stretching to full height above me, the Captain’s ears brushed the ceiling and lay back as he looked up to avoid hitting his head. To most people, the Gran looked like lanky, angular cats standing upright, with somewhat humanoid features and build. To me, he was the Captain, a male I knew too intimately. Though I wanted to hate him for all he’d done to me, all he may yet do, my emotions towards the Captain were a turmoil of conflict.
We had shared things that made us more than friends – yet still enemies. Aboard his ship, he’d adopted me as his concubine. Though he never actually fucked me, the Captain and I had done everything else possible. I still wore his metallic collar marking me as property of the Gran, the Captain’s concubine. Cesar and his engineer, Azad, had considered removing my collar, but when they analyzed the material, they found an alloy blended with highly reactive metals.
The thing wrapped tightly around my neck would probably blow my head off if they tried to cut through it.
I thought I was free of the Gran and their control over my life. Turned out this ride aboard the Shadow cruiser with Cesar was only a vacation – a delay of the inevitable. The prospect of returning to service as the Captain’s concubine stretched before me, a dark joyless future without Cesar in my life.
Excerpt 2 -– Trust Angel (SFW)
Standing around impatient in the galley, Cesar and his pirate crew watched me suspiciously as I walked in the doorway and tried to still my shaking hands. “Captain Cronin of the Gran Traders Guild is willing to speak with Cesar alone. Captain Cesar.”
Cesar’s right hand Irishman, Chancy, chuckled along with some of the other men. Chancy and I didn’t exactly get along – could have something to do with that time I’d broken his nose. He didn’t trust me, but he wasn’t man enough to toss me out the airlock – even when I begged him to do it.
Chancy settled a hand on Cesar’s shoulder. “Don’t let it go to your head, man. You’re still Cesar to me.” No one held an official title among these pirates, but Cesar was definitely their leader. When push came to shove, Cesar called the shots.
Cesar nodded at his friend and then his piercing, dark eyes caught me with that severe, probing look. “Where do you think we stand?”
“He’s armed, and requested you to come unarmed. He says he has a grievance with you. I told him you have the same, regarding Jason. Hopefully the two debts will balance out, and we can start negotiating.”
Chancy cut into our conversation. “Nobody’s goin ta meet with a bloody Cat when his arm’s strapped with a bloody cutting torch. Don’t fucking listen to this shite, Cesar. She’s manipulating us all!”
Cesar’s sharp eyes speared Chancy. “I trust Angel’s judgment in this. You would be wise to do the same.”
Cesar laid a hand on my shoulder. “And what about you? Has he stated his intentions for you?”
“He hasn’t said yet, but don’t get your hopes up. No matter what happens, I doubt he will leave the ship without me.”
Cesar’s face graduated from severe to ferocious. He took my arm and led me out of the galley and through the hallway towards the airlock. His grip on me tightened and his voice dropped to a whisper. “I don’t know if I can allow that, Angel.”
I realized then he wasn’t willing to talk this way in front of the men, certainly not in front of Chancy. The men aboard the Shadow cruiser had never really trusted me – some of them probably hated me. Chancy hated me.
I wished there was some way Cesar could change my situation, but my gut instinct said that Cronin would get what he wanted out of this deal, and that included me. “Cesar, I need you to understand that whatever happens, my priority is saving you and your crew. You have to trust that Captain Cronin isn’t going to hurt me.” Well, not more than I could handle.
I stroked the prickly stubbles on the side of Cesar’s face, loving the feeling of him against my palm. “We’re not in a position to make demands, but if we’re careful, we can make an arrangement that gets all of you out of here safely … and maybe we can see each other again.”