A dragon protects her. But who will protect him? A sexy space pilot on a dangerous mission and a tormented biologist he loves. A dragon shifter caught in the middle as their worlds collide.
Book One in Dark Realms series
Sci-Fi Shapeshifter, Steamy Romance
The dragon is her protector. But who will protect him?
Free for Kindle Unlimited users. Special $.99 introductory price until 9/24/17
She mixes science and magic in her life-saving potions for those who live on the harsh planet of Somerled.
Jaida Chel wants to forget her dark past and make a new home on the harsh planet of Somerled. Her companion and protector is Kai, the last shapeshifting dragon. He’s powerful, willful, and overly possessive of her. So when Jaida’s ex-lover, Fleet pilot, Captain Brayden Stokes, re-enters her life, the trouble—and heated passion—begins.
Brayden loves Jaida, she’s the one woman in the galaxy who could convince him to give up the interstellar trade business and stay planetside. But his mission is about to turn her world upside down. He’ll do anything to rescue endangered colonists on a dying planet, but at what cost?
Dragon Witch is the first book in the Dark Realms series, a collection of standalone sci-fi and paranormal romance books. If you like dragon shapeshifters, interplanetary adventure, and hot romance, then you’ll love Kathy Kulig’s sizzling thrill-ride.
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for Dragon Witch:
Brayden Stokes was seconds away from reaching across the table and grabbing Commander Krentz by the throat. Spotting the security guards across the common room, Brayden dug his fingers into the armrests and remained in his chair, knowing the three or four seconds of pleasure gained from choking his commander would not be worth it. Krentz had about eight years on Brayden and at least fifty pounds more muscle. The bald man who was his boss also stood a few inches taller than Brayden. Besides a court-martial, getting into a fight with Krentz would land Brayden in the infirmary for several weeks.
The commander lifted the new female recruit’s legs over his lap and slid a hand up her skirt, then unfastened a couple buttons on her uniform shirt. Brayden watched the man stare at the exposed swell of her breasts. “You have such soft skin, Rhosyn,” he said, his eyes half closed.
The woman leaned forward and smiled, not making any attempt to move away. Was it a forced or seductive smile? Brayden wasn’t sure. Maybe she was too afraid to stand up to him. “Am I distracting you from your game, commander?” Rhosyn asked. A soft laugh rippled through her as if she teased him.
Brayden’s muscles tensed, his fists clenched, but he knew the two guards drinking coffee and watching a video would be on him before Krentz struggled for a breath. And on the Outer Rim far from the Fleet’s rules and regulations, it wasn’t unusual for a commander to order a crazed crew member to take a one-way trip into the vacuum of space.
The Fleet Exploration Organization had little control over the black market trading that was a way of life this deep in space.
The commander unfastened yet another button on the woman’s uniform shirt, exposing her nipples. She only giggled and wriggled her torso as she picked up her glass and sipped her drink. Realizing his chivalrous instincts were wasted on the woman, Brayden leaned back in his chair and let out a long breath. “We going to play this hand or are you going to play with your new recruit?” He was pushing his luck with his sarcasm, but they’d been together for ten years and Brayden could get away with some attitude especially when he was losing a hell of a lot of credits.
“I can handle both,” Krentz said as he snaked his hand over his companion’s shoulder. The woman twisted toward the groping Krentz, allowing for easier access. He then slipped his hand inside her open shirt and cupped her breast.
Gasping, she arched her back, apparently enjoying the attention.
Brayden averted his gaze. She’d signed on during the last stop at the Outer Rim Space Station and apparently hadn’t wasted any time making her move on the commander. Figured.
“You’re a fool, Brayden,” Krentz said. “You can’t possibly win and you can’t bluff. The desperation is in your eyes. It’s your tell.”
“Maybe.” Brayden held his ground. “You don’t know what’s at stake here.” Taking a sip of his drink, Brayden focused his attention on his lousy hand of cards. Maybe Krentz’s hand was worse, but he doubted it. Was the woman a setup to distract Brayden’s game? Krentz had been known to pull that. Brayden knew what qualifications Krentz required of his recruits—at least from the women. A beautiful, intelligent and compliant crewmember on duty and in his bed. Her long, dark hair hung loose—not Fleet regulation for an officer, then neither was having her shirt unbuttoned down to her waist.
As she leaned over to glance at Krentz’s hand of Robard’s Bluff, every crew member in the room got a clear view of large round breasts and rosy nipples. Brayden’s cock stirred despite his current problem—a hopeless and grave issue by the look of his hand. He was about to lose the final round and possibly his chance at getting his pilot’s license back.
His jaw tightened at the consequences not only to his peace of mind but to innocent colonists desperate for survival. Krentz had already beaten two other crew members who were more interested in watching their commander fondle the new recruit than concentrate on the game.
“I’ll raise you another credit,” Brayden said as he tossed the gold chip into the pot, trying to bluff and maintain the confidence he didn’t feel. He was screwed, he knew it, but he had to play the hand.
Krentz looked at the two crew members then at the pot of gold chips and chuckled. “Another month’s worth of credits, eh, Brayden?”
“You don’t get it, do you?” Brayden couldn’t hide his anger, knowing he crossed a line with his commander with this tone. After all the transport jobs and all the colony settlements, the legal and illegal runs he did at the orders of Krentz, Brayden was still puzzled by him. He could understand working the system for financial gain, or higher rank. The farther out, the more corrupt the Fleet became. But Brayden didn’t understand apathy for human life, and he couldn’t respect the man for that reason.
Krentz raised his eyebrows. “Enlighten me.” He poured himself another glass of Cahoon Jack and emptied the bottle. He held it up and gave the woman a look. “Would you, Rhosyn?”
She smiled. “My pleasure.” Getting up, she rebuttoned her shirt, revealing a healthy amount of cleavage, and walked across the common room to the wall of storage compartments. With a tap of her finger a panel slid open and she selected a bottle.
Glancing over her shoulder, she apparently seemed satisfied that Krentz was still occupied with his cards. She stepped to another wall and switched on a computer monitor. Brayden wished the woman would finish what she was doing and fill Krentz’s glass with the amber liquid. Getting the commander drunk was his only chance of winning. Brayden didn’t dare drink another drop of CJ. He held the glass to his lips but didn’t drink.
“Dammit, I’m responsible for those colonists on Krakatan. If you’d clear it with Fleet, I can get my license back and do a humanitarian run to rescue those people before their planet—”
Krentz slammed his fist on the table and the chips rattled. “I don’t do favors unless there’s something in it for me.”
Taking a breath, Brayden focused his attention on his cards. If he didn’t watch himself he’d never get his license back and he’d be stuck under Krentz’s thumb for years while his ship, the Zepar, rusted in the docking bay.
Rapid keystrokes by the woman brought the computer screen to life. A series of numbers scrolled up but it was too far away for Brayden to see. She glanced over her shoulder and locked eyes with Brayden. Frowning, she shook her head. The monitor clicked off.
“Rhosyn, we’re dry over here,” Krentz groaned.
“Sorry, had a diagnostic to check.”
“Good girl.” Krentz pulled her close and kissed her when she sat back down, then undid the buttons on her shirt again. Brayden noticed the muscles tighten in Rhosyn’s jaw, but other than that, she laughed and play-punched him in the arm. Yeah, Brayden really hated the bastard. “Beautiful, loyal, a good crew member and she knows how to suck cock.”
Rhosyn playfully punched the Commander in the arm again and made a disapproving sound. “Sorry, darling, it’s the CJ talking. Pour me a little more. Would you?” Krentz stroked her cheek gently, almost affectionately.
She filled his glass. Brayden didn’t doubt that Rhosyn could handle the man. After several gulps, Krentz studied Brayden. “In six months or so after the Fleet has forgotten your little indiscretion, I’ll inquire about reinstating your license. By then I’ll have picked up a few more credits from playing Robard’s Bluff with you.” Krentz gave the woman a sloppy kiss and her shoulders tensed as she kissed him back.
Pulling away from Krentz, she glanced at Brayden. “I ordered another reading from Krakatan. I’ve been monitoring them every six hours. It doesn’t look good. The planet won’t last six months.” She dropped her gaze as if knowing Krentz would disapprove of this news but knowing Brayden would need to hear this. “I estimate those colonists have about four weeks.”
“Shit,” Brayden said under his breath.
“What was your bet?” Krentz asked, getting back to the game, apparently unconcerned for the lives of the colonists. Rhosyn glanced at Krentz’s cards then flashed Brayden a look, her green eyes seeming to hold a bit of sympathy. Brayden thought he almost detected the slightest shake of her head as if telling him not to bet.
The commander didn’t have any tells, any habits that would give away what he had in his hand. If the commander’s woman had a tell, Brayden might have a chance to win. It would be a daring and stupid move on her part if the woman was trying to help him cheat. Unless she was trying to help Krentz. She was too new for Brayden to know where her loyalties lay, although Brayden suspected that she didn’t care much for Krentz. Recruits like her used their beauty to get ahead anyway they could on the Outer Rim. Staying in good favor with the commander of a large vessel like the Valafar, could secure her position and rank for a long time. What a way to promote your career. Even if he couldn’t blame her for her career path, Brayden wasn’t attracted to Rhosyn. Her manipulative charms didn’t appeal to him.
Brayden thought about his own career, and he wasn’t in any better shape, prostituting himself up the food chain in the Fleet. It was common among officers and got worse farther out. Transporting colonists, supplies, equipment and livestock sounded important, an honorable job in the Fleet, but he knew of the many dishonorable things he’d had to do to keep that position. Doing side jobs that would make your commander richer would put you on good standing with him, but also risked the wrath of the Fleet administrators if caught. Well, this time Brayden got caught. Who gets blamed for the illegal activity? Certainly not the commander. Damn Krentz.
“Raising a credit, I said.”
“Hold on,” the commander said as he laid his cards face down on the table to use both hands to fondle the woman.
The bastard was so confident he was winning the final hand. “Play your hand, man, I want to review the latest statistics on Krakatan.”
“Forget about them. They’re history. They were warned not to settle there. They didn’t listen. They never do.” Krentz laughed with no compassion.
“We’re still responsible.”
“No, you are.” Krentz pointed at Brayden then picked up his cards frowning. “You follow orders, I make the bonus—”
“And people die,” Brayden interrupted.
“They’re not dead yet,” the woman spoke up. “There are several fissures miles wide opening up, but the most violent volcanic activity hasn’t reached the colony yet.”
So the new hot crew member was an environmental scientist. “One month is accurate?” Brayden asked.
Her face looked grim. “At the most. Eruptions are occurring at various places around the planet. It could be less. I’m sorry.”
Brayden nodded. Thirty colonists would die because of him. Because of his greedy Fleet commander and because naïve colonists were too eager to settle on a planet not yet cleared as safe.
“Brayden, consider your suspension a vacation,” Krentz said in a conciliatory tone. “When the Fleet found out about our ‘deals’, someone had to be responsible. You’ll get your license back in six months or a year. And in two years, your rank and pay will be back to where it was.”
Brayden stared at him, and wiped at the sweat on his brow. “What do you have?” Cocking his head toward Krentz’s cards. Krentz slowly turned the cards with a wicked grin. Brayden tossed his cards swearing under his breath. Of course the bastard beat his hand and won the pot. He lost his last Fleet Credit, and he’d have to borrow to make it through the next pay cycle. Krentz cackled and scooped up the pot of credit chips. He turned to the woman, grabbed her shirt and pulled her to him for another deep, juicy kiss, then slipped his hand under her skirt. The recruit rocked her hips and moaned.
Brayden cursed under his breath, wishing he could punch something like his commander’s face.
“Hey, darling, meet me in my cabin,” the commander said. “Get naked and send me a comm-pic of your pussy when you’re ready for me.” She stood, glancing at Brayden, giving him a wistful look.
“Sure. I’ll be waiting.” She left the common room. As Krentz counted his credits, Brayden stood to leave but his commander raised a hand to halt his retreat. Shoving the chair back under the table, Brayden finished his drink and let the sharp alcohol warm his belly. He hated to think what this woman was going to do only to advance her career. Perhaps it was also her way of survival.
If Brayden didn’t love to fly so much, he would’ve burned his license years ago. But he couldn’t imagine doing anything else, even in this isolated, lonely and dangerous place in the universe.
The Outer Rim was not the best place to find the company of a good woman. The last woman he had crossed paths with was Jaida Chel, a passenger from one of his transport trips. She was member of a colony relocated to an Outer Rim planet. Fortunately, that planet had been cleared and safe for colonization. Jaida was beautiful, hot, insatiable for sex and eager to please. They’d managed to do amazing things in his tiny bunk-sized cabin.
Planetside was not his idea of home. Being the son of a Fleet Commander, Brayden had traveled from planet to planet whenever his father was reassigned, spending more time on ships than land. A cramped bunk-sized cabin felt more like home. Then Brayden joined the Fleet and Jaida had arrived as one of his passengers.
His loins stirred as memories returned of his hot and wild passenger. Dammit, after all this time he could almost feel her going down on his cock, feel her tongue swirling around the head. Oh yes, she always came to his bunk naked and hungry for sex. Those times were a test in control, while he allowed himself to savor the pleasure before she took him over the brink. He’d enjoyed exploring her with his mouth, his fingers, his hands, from her upthrust breasts, down her belly to her slit. Remembering how she would jump when he’d pressed his tongue at the heart of her pleasure, made his cock hard.
Brayden could still taste her, feel her, could almost hear her moan. Damn. He had to stop torturing himself. Although Jaida was not a woman created for space flight, she did have the hard edges necessary to survive on an Outer Rim planet. The one thing he couldn’t forgive her for was that she made him remember what he’d thought he’d forgotten long ago—having a woman in his life. He hadn’t longed for someone for many years as a Fleet pilot. At least until he met Jaida. Now he couldn’t stop thinking about her, couldn’t stop trying to imagine the sights, scents, sounds, and especially the feel of her. A Fleet pilot had a lonely job, and it was the worst job to have for relationships.
Krentz stuffed his stack of credits into his shirt pocket so the bulge showed and leaned back in his chair, sipping his Cahoon Jack. “I have an assignment for you.” He grinned.
Brayden groaned inside. The last assignment sent a dozen colonists to a volcanic planet and their death. “How can I do an assignment without my—”
“This one will get your license back.”
Brayden knew this was a job he wasn’t going to like. More than likely it would be worse than the Krakatan job. “I’m listening.”
“A war between worlds, breathtaking intrigue and flaming dragons sets this paranormal story on fire!” ~Dee Archer, Amazon reviewer, 5 STARS
“I loved the concept of this book, and enjoyed the fast-paced story. The book packs lots of heat and is geared for adult readers who like a gereous sprinkling of explicit sex along the sci-fi fantasy adventure, and other-world settings. Brayden was hard for me to like, even though his reasons were honorable, his actions often made me grit my teeth in frustration. I would not have been nearly as forgiving as Kai and Jaida since he so arrogantly played them both when he should have been more trusting.
The book was easy to read, and entertaining. The imageries were vivid yet succinct, sometimes rather poetic, without becoming overly descriptive or tedious. I particularly loved the action and adventure aspects of this novel tale.” ~Reviewed by Laurie-J, 4 STARS
Coming soon to the Dark Realms series:
Dark Worlds of Supernatural Heroes, Who Haunt Us, Hunt Us and Hunger for Us
EDGE OF PASSION, BOOK2
TATTOO WITCH, BOOK 3
THE SHIFTER’S SPELL, BOOK 4
*All books in the Dark Realms series are individual and stand-alone stories.*
About the Dark Realms series: A collection of sensual romance novellas and short novels with supernatural heroes and fantasy elements. Shifters, space and time travel, witches, and perhaps a vampire or ghost in the future. They can be set on Earth, on another world or with in another dimension. With out of this world heroes who haunt us, hunt us and hunger passionately for us. Each book is a complete and individual story. No cliffhangers!
You may read more about Kathy, her books, contest and upcoming projects by visiting her Website http://www.kathykulig.com and subscribing to her
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