CAT SHIFTERS OF AAIDAR: ESCAPE (Book 1)
By Laney Kaye
~ Four cat shifter warriors find their destined mates on a dangerous alien planet ~
Herc: A cat shifter mercenary—gun, fangs, and claws for hire—can’t fall for a pretty little human. It’s cost the Regime big-time to have me and my guys hunt down the Resistance fighters skulking in caves spread across this gods-forsaken planet. My sole focus here is this deployment. Until Maya touches me, igniting the first phase of a bondmate.
But it doesn’t matter how freakin’ sweet she is. How sexy. No way in all seven hells will I complete the three bonds. As long as I don’t kiss her, we won’t hit second base. And I’ll be damn sure to keep my hands off her incredible body, because having sex with her would bring on bond three, linking our souls for eternity.
Problem is, now it’s not just my damn life that’s in danger.
My heart is in all kinds of trouble.
Maya: Herc has to believe I’m nothing more than a nurse working for the Regime. If he finds out I’ve infiltrated the military compound to rescue my imprisoned sister, my life’s in danger. He may be the hottest guy I’ve ever seen—shifter or man—but I refuse to bond with someone who’s hunting my people into extinction.
Now that my mission’s accomplished, I can flee into the desert, hide in the Resistance stronghold deep in the arid mountains. Problem is, Herc’s hot on my heels. If he catches me, will he return me to the Regime? Or does he have his own—very personal—plan for me instead?
Hooking up with me will ruin Herc’s career and make him an enemy of his own people. But if he hands me over to the firing squad, the bullets won’t need to hit my heart to shatter me into a billion pieces.
A Tantalizing Taste of Escape
I stroked my hand along my Teyraus assault rifle, tapped the magazine. Fitted with a scope and night-sight, neither of which I’d ever need, I’d far rather take out this last cell with our bullets than haul them in for questioning. I didn’t condone taunting prey.
Hostiles, that is.
Only the damn Glians stooped to torture. Well, them and housecats.
As Smithton didn’t reply, I flipped to my back, facing the C.O. and struggling to control the disgusted curl of my upper lip. It’d turn to a fully-fledged snarl in an instant if I allowed it.
Smithton sat well back from where we lay in the dirt, obscured by boulders and the odd, scrubby, thorn-covered bush. He’d wedged his skinny carcass into a rocky crevice, obviously where he deemed it safer. He flapped a hand toward the desert expanse, his other hand fastidiously dusting at his camos. “It’s what you’re hired for. I haven’t got all damn day.”
The other Glians in our squad were okay, as far as Glians went. This one, though. He should’ve been cast out of the litter at birth. I kept my eyes on him, getting a buzz from how uncomfortable he always looked when I spoke. I guess, if I wanted, I could’ve lightened the deep rumble of my voice, made it sound a little more Glian-friendly. A bit less powerful. But why the hell should I? To appease this piece of crap, who thought the volume of his yelled commands equated to authority? Hell, I could control my men with the lowest growl. And, if I wanted, I could make myself heard five clicks away. This excuse-for-a-man knew nothing about authority.
The Cheetahkin’s gaze still on me, I lifted my chin at him. “Khal, you up for hitting that outcrop?”
Smithton snapped upright, almost thrusting from the safety of his nook. “I ordered you to go.”
“Ordered?” I allowed the snarl into my tone, now. Sure, he was technically my C.O., according to the paperwork, but damn it, he was Glian. No way in all seven hells would a Glian ever rule me. “Sounded more like a polite request. Khal has the necessary abilities.”
“Thought you were all supposed to have abilities?” Smithton tried his own version of a snarl, so close to a whine I could feel Leo’s massive body shaking with suppressed laughter on the other side of me.
I scratched at my chest, deliberately lazy. “My understanding is that we’re employed because all of our abilities are superior to yours—to Glians.” So, I was being an ass, but the C.O. had yanked my tail one too many times. Sure, we were being well paid for the op, the mission statement making it clear that the primary intent was for the Glian government to assess our fighting techniques, yet Smithton rarely unleashed us.
Not that he didn’t use us. Hell, over the last six weeks we’d barely had a day off, we were regularly thrust into dirty, dangerous ops, used to sniff out and clean up every last renegade who’d fallen foul of their spurious laws. But killing? Well, that had to be done the politically-acceptable way, which is to say, using dirty bombs, chemical warfare and, when it really came down to it, my beloved Teyraus. But as for getting our fangs dirty? Rarely. Instead, orders were to bring in the insurgents for questioning. Yeah, that’s what they called whatever the hell was going on over the other side of the compound. Questioning.
Khal shucked his uniform, leaving the camos in an untidy pile on the sand, and then tossed his head, the change coming over him swiftly.
Smithton cringed back into the upright slit of the rock like he was trying to crawl back up inside his mama. He squinted, mouth twisted as though Khal disgusted him. Six-and-a-half foot of well-muscled cheetah will do that to a scrawny little runt. I’d noted him do the same thing every time one of us changed. Like he didn’t want to look, but couldn’t bear to look away, both fascinated and repulsed by our ability. Had to wonder why the hells the government had even put him on this mission. Sure, on paper, he must have the necessaries, but the plain fact was, only an alpha can lead. And this dude didn’t have the balls.
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Meet Laney Kaye
A professional counselor, Laney messes with heads by day and imaginations by night, writing steamy contemporary and slightly-supernatural romance under this pen name.
I have a large social media presence, but divide it between my ‘real’ name and this pseudonym. I’m always happy to chat (no, it’s not procrastination, I swear!) so look me up and say hi!