In Warrior, third book of the Breeder sci-fi romance series, two lovers discover what they’re made of when they team up to fight a common enemy. Anika has been on the run to avoid an arranged “breeding.” Urazi, her secret lover, has found her. In this scene, they’re on the run from the bad guys and have camped for night in the woods. The first line is Urazi’s.
An excerpt from Warrior (Breeder 3)
“I know we all have our duty. In obedience, we achieve honor.”
“Easy for you to say. You are male. Your duty affords you some choices.”
“I am beta. Do you not think I wish for more?” Urazi whipped around, his gray eyes ablaze. “But I owe my allegiance to Parseon and to my Alpha! I accept that.”
“Well, I do not!” If she had a hammer she would not be able to pound understanding into his stony male brain. He would never empathize with her position. No male could. Anika clenched her hands into fists. If she were a male, she would have punched him by now. Old and new resentments ballooned. If she could not calm herself, she would explode. She would punch him. Anika stomped toward the forest.
“Come back here!”
She ignored him. He did not get a choice in the matter. Let him see what it was like to have one’s wishes overruled.
“Anika, I warn you….” Urazi’s voice hardened.
She faltered, responding to the command, habit and lifelong training overruling self-determination. But only if she let it. I am more than what I have been taught. Anika whirled around, folded all her fingers except for the middle one, and showed him her hand. Tara had called it flipping the coro and explained it was a very rude, dismissive gesture on Terra. It would be more satisfying if Urazi knew what it meant, but, for now, it was enough that she did. She spun around and marched toward the wood
* * *
Headstrong. Disrespectful. Disobedient. Impulsive. Maddening. He didn’t know the exact meaning of the Terran gesture Anika had flipped at him, but from her smug expression, he discerned she intended disrespect.
A smoldering fury burst into a full flame. Urazi charged, grabbed her around the waist, and hoisted her off her feet. She kicked and shrieked in outrage, but he hauled her across their camp to a large boulder.
“Do you see how easy it is?” he goaded, as she ineffectually flailed her arms and legs. “Are you so foolish as to believe Qalin is your sole threat? That other males might not avail themselves of the opportunity afforded by a lone female?”
“You said we were safe here!” She continued to thrash.
Urazi planted himself on the boulder and Anika over his knees.
“Let me up! What are you doing?”
“What I should have done sooner,” he growled, and adjusted her to prevent her body from pressing against his thickening manhood. How her temper and stubbornness could infuriate him and arouse him in equal parts, he did not understand.
“I said the males from your Resistance would bed down for the night. I also said many others make their camp as well. Perhaps they gather firewood. Not to mention that night draws nocturnal predators.”
“I did not think about that.”
“No, you did not,” Urazi agreed, and yanked up her shift.
Anika slapped at his hands. “Stop it! What are you doing?”
He grabbed both wrists and secured them against her back. “I am demonstrating who is in charge.” He tugged at her leggings. The double layer proved as stubborn as she was and resisted his effort to lower them.
Anika bucked and twisted on his lap. “You are not my alpha. Or even my beta. You are not in charge.”
Her words pierced his bravado to lodge dead center in his insecurity. He yanked her leggings to her ankles. Her buttocks glowed in the firelight like two moons, only pale, not violet like the one in the sky—not yet anyway.
“Let me show you how wrong you are.” Urazi cracked his palm flat and hard against one cheek.
Between war and duty, they find love…
On a planet where women are chattel, Anika is to be delivered to become the mate of an Alpha Commander. Secretly in love with another, she is unable to accept the arrangement and flees. Bound by his duty, her lover Urazi intends to bring her back to fulfill her function. But war intervenes, and as their planet fights a desperate battle against a villainous despot, Anika and Urazi become united in their determination to save their people. But with their lives on the line, the love they share may become the biggest risk of all.
The third book of the Breeder science fiction romance series, Warrior can be read as a stand-alone.