So, to tantalize those Prime Chronicles fans out there, while I wait to see how much revision I will have to do, I’ll share a bit of the beginning of the book.
At the end of Prime Selection, the crew of the Galanti is taking a well-deserved rest after their mission to find the Lost Ones and helping the scientists being attacked on IP568. Iolyn and Tor arrive poolside and bring the news that Dr. Brianna Martin has contacted the Alliance and told them she was being stalked. She also provides the information she is a Lost One — and it turns out she is Iolyn’s mate.
Prime Imperative begins a little bit before the last scene in Prime Selection. We see Bria in her lab and she is confronted by her stalker, which eventually leads (several scenes later) to the call to the Alliance asking for help and to find her gemat.
This is unedited and may not be the final revision of this scene.
Galactic Alliance Astrobiological Research Lab
Planet Oz, Tau Ceti system
Dr. Brianna Martin eyed her target and took careful aim. She let loose of her weapon and nailed the male figure right between the eyes.
“Yay! See if you can beat that, my friend.” Bria happy-danced her way toward the life-sized male anatomy chart and pulled her scalpel from the kill zone in the frontal lobe. “Did I forget to mention I was med school scalpel-throwing champion three years in a row? Looks like you get to buy dinner.”
There was no response from her research assistant Cheri Stafford. Instead she heard a gasp and the sound of Cheri moving quickly away from their impromptu contest venue.
Primordial instincts Bria rarely had to rely upon in the medical world went on alert, sharpening her empathic abilities. Something dangerous headed their way. It smelled like a hot, fierce wind off a desert. She tasted the dustiness of it on her tongue and felt it flaying her skin.
Bria turned and walked toward her friend who stood in the entrance to the lab. “Cheri? What’s wrong?”
“Slime alert!” Her friend growled the words as she made a move to cut off whoever approached.
Bria peered around her friend and saw the bane of her existence, Jotak M’tali. Jotak, the chief of security for the research facility, strode down the long corridor in his ruler-of-the-planet, owner-of-all-he-surveyed mode.
“Really? Now? Doesn’t that … that…” freaking, scary, creep-a-zoid “…man understand the meaning of the word no?” As in never, no way, no how, ever in the infinite future of possibilities.
Cheri paused outside the doorway and threw a commiserating grimace over her shoulder. “I’ll venture a guess and say no. He hasn’t seen you yet. So hide. I’ll get rid of the slime-sucking bottom-feeder. He won’t get a chance to touch you again.”
“No!” Bria grabbed the arm of her loyal and well-meaning friend, the sister Bria had never had because she’d been adopted into a family with six boys. She pulled Cheri back and whispered, “He can smell me. He knows I’m here. Go … get help. Preferably someone who isn’t susceptible to his Dornian hypnotic abilities.”
“But … but … he hurt you last time.” Cheri’s eyes filled with angry tears. “And no one did anything about it.”
The incident Cheri referred to had occurred about a standard week ago. Jotak had gotten tired of her holding him at arm’s length and had become more aggressive in his pursuit. He’d cornered her in the research facility’s storeroom, forced a kiss on her … then attempted to rape her.
Bria shuddered and swallowed hard against the sickness threatening to erupt. She still bore bruises and claw marks from his rough handling. If a janitor hadn’t happened by, Jotak would’ve succeeded in assaulting her. Her rudimentary self-defense skills hadn’t even made a dent against Jotak’s superior strength and skills.
The janitor had backed her story when she’d filed the complaint with local authorities, but then the poor man had gone missing. Using his mesmeric abilities, Jotak had persuaded the local law officers that the alleged attack had been a mere lover’s tiff. Her bruises were ignored.
So … until she had security footage of an attack or eye witnesses who couldn’t be persuaded to say otherwise … or she was severely injured enough for medical treatment, no one would believe the Chief of Security was stalking and threatening her.
“If he smells you, he smells both of us,” Cheri hissed as she reversed Bria’s grip and held onto Bria’s arm. “Come with me. We both can get away.”
“No, he’ll hunt us down.” And he’d hurt Cheri, because he had no use for her. “Dornians love nothing more than to chase prey.” And to kill them. Killing and hiding a body were as easy for a Dornian as putting on clothing in the morning. “It’s me he wants.”
And he wouldn’t kill Bria. He wanted to breed with her.
Not. Gonna. Happen.
Bria gave her friend an urgent shove. “Go out the back. Now.” Her friend hesitated. “Cheri, please go … and hurry!”
Cheri cast one last angry and fear-filled glance at the six-and-a-half-foot pseudo-reptilian stalking toward the lab and then ran.
Bria turned and blocked the lab’s main entrance, giving Cheri extra time to make her escape. Realizing she still held a scalpel, she placed the hand holding the lethally sharp instrument alongside her leg. If he got too close, she knew just where to cut him, to force him to take the time and energy to heal himself as his kind did. She might’ve been raised by pacifists on a communal farming planet and was, by choice, a healer, but she believed in self-defense.
“Brianna! What is-s-s this-s-s-s I hear?” His low voice carried down the hallway as he decreased the space between them. His voice had an eerie, sibilant hiss due to his genetics and made the hairs on her body stand on end. She shivered and tried to ignore the primitive response of prey. “You will not leave Oz. This-s-s-s I will not permit.”
Jotak had no rights over her, no matter what he thought in his screwed up, alpha-dominant, narcissistic brain. She’d made the point clear many times … and would again and again until he processed the truth—she’d never be with him.
“Good afternoon to you, too, Jotak.” Despite her vow to remain calm and in control, her voice trembled from fear and all the adrenaline speeding through her system.
Of course, her subtly sarcastic reprimand on his lack of manners swept over his head like a solar wind.
“Explain, woman.” Jotak loomed over her in full alpha-male-intimidation mode with his fists on his hips and a frown on his practically lipless mouth. Some women might find his six-foot six-inch muscular body, pale green skin, dark green almost black hair, and golden eyes attractive in an exotic way.
Bria found him irritating and very, very menacing. But then no one had ever claimed she was stupid.
Copyright, Monette Michaels, 2014
And that’s how Book 3 in the Prime Chronicles trilogy begins. Now, cross your fingers that my crit partners and beta-readers find few issues so the book can get to my publisher sooner, rather than later. 🙂
By the way, I’ll be at Lori Foster’s Reader-Author Get-Together beginning this evening. I’ll be signing tomorrow night at the Cincinnati Marriott North (in West Chester), from 5-7 pm. This signing is open to the public. So, if you live near Cincy — come see me and lots of other wonderful authors.