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Paranormal Payload : Project Exorcism, Book 1
Long ago, the Commission thought it had succeeded in ridding Earth of all supernatural beings. They were dead wrong. The supernaturals have not only survived the cold reaches of space, they have thrived. And grown more powerful.
Commission Captain Sevan Vasil has enough problems without the strange, erotic dreams that seem to be his mind's version of a cruel joke. No woman could be that perfect a lover...except perhaps a mate. That's the joke--no woman alive would dare answer a lion-shifter's call. Until sassy, raven-haired Lorelei Janelle appears on his communication screen. The familiar face and angelic voice are straight out of his dreams.
Lorelei's gut tells her not to let Sevan's damaged vessel anywhere near her uncharted planet, but her hormones overrule her head. The all-too-cocky, all-too-sexy captain is all she ever wanted--and everything it's not safe to have. Getting him and his crew safely off the planet before the planet's ruling vampire sorcerer awakes will be nip and tuck.
Getting Sevan out of her heart...impossible.
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July 02, 2009
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Excerpt from Paranormal Payload by Mandy M. Roth
Lorelei Janelle plopped behind the control panel in the central observation deck to see what vessel had sparked the warning probe's alert system. She didn't like the idea of intruders in their vicinity, but it only happened every now and then, so she couldn't complain. As much as she disliked worrying about outsiders, she did enjoy the company. Her nights had been filled with erotic dreams of a man too good to be true and her days were a rude awakening to the harshness of her world. Her nocturnal lover hadn't come to her in two weeks and her fear that her mind had finally given up generating him was great. It would, of course, wait until she'd mated mentally with him to pull the plug.
"Unit One, this is Captain Vasil of the Alpha Brig Three requesting permission to enter atmosphere and dock. Emergency commission code three-two-seven has been initiated," a deep, familiar voice said in her earpiece.
Her inner thighs damped and for one brief moment, her breath caught in her throat. Who was this man who sounded so very much like her secret lover? How had he elicited that shocking response from her body with nothing more than his words? Fearing he was another Dsendiyun, she sighed. Lorelei was beginning to think the sex-starved planet they came from encouraged them to get lost as close to her people as possible. They had a nasty habit of accidently breaking down and requiring assistance. They also had a habit of trying to grab the women of her planet's arses. It wasn't like they got any sort of sexual stimulation while they were here. Not unless they considered being chained together good fun.
Some men did.
Lorelei glanced up at the glass ceiling. Seeing no sign of a vessel nearby, she double-checked her radar to be sure she hadn't imagined the entire thing. There was no way she could have received a hail signal yet have the radar detect nothing. The electromagnetic waves that a vessel put out in an uncloaked state would have shown up before. None did.
Having many unauthorized vessels attempt to dock in her lifetime, Lorelei knew exactly how to handle them. She tweaked the computer's controls and demanded a more precise reading. Varying the frequency of the waves sent off, she hoped to initiate a reflection of some sort, allowing the radar system to accurately pinpoint the vessel's location.
It didn't work.
She tweaked the calibrations even more. She set the control tower's sensors to ultra in hopes of catching a pattern of bounce-backs consisting of the direct opposite waves than they were sending out. If the outsiders thought they were going to get away with active cancellation, they were wrong. Dead wrong.
Much to her surprise, nothing showed up on radar. To date, none had eluded her. Lorelei tried another approach. She shifted to the Commission-based recognition systems they'd installed after a sanctified vessel crashed into their red sea. Instantly, a blip appeared on the screen. Zeroing in on it, she brought it up closer and began to run a remote diagnostic on it. The main fuel tank had a crack so large that she knew the ship had lost the majority of its liquid fuel as soon as it happened. The life support system was dangerously close to giving out and the alternate source of power seemed to be having issues as well.
Who would be stupid enough to enter our atmosphere with that amount of damage?
As soon as the question formed in her head, Lorelei knew the answer. The Dsendiyuns. Once located on radar, they were easy to spot with their flashy crafts and telltale too-strong pick up lines. But they would certainly have announced themselves to her by now. The tiny bit of thrill they got from trying to make her work at pinpointing their point of entry would have long worn off and she'd have gotten it right within seconds. Not to mention their ability to stay cloaked for long intervals within the planet's atmosphere was almost non-existent. No. Who or whatever approached them couldn't be the notorious romancers from Dsendiyun.
Disappointment shot through Lorelei, catching her by surprise. The idea of being touched by one of them should have repulsed her. It was a testament to just how sexually depraved she was. It had been a long time since she'd been touched by a man her mind did not create. The two weeks that she'd gone without dreaming of Sevan felt like an eternity. She missed the feel of his strong arms wrapped around her, the feel of him buried deep within her and the knowledge that even though she'd invented him, he loved her. Her body was reaching the point where the desire to reproduce was almost on her. The problem being, it had transcended her normal boundaries and infected her mind with a make-believe man whom she had mated with in a dream.
It was as absurd as it sounded and although she truly did love the idea of Sevan, she couldn't live her life married to a fantasy. Waking up and crying every morning would get her nowhere and she knew it.
Irritated, Lorelei stared at the radar, watching the blip approach. "No way would a Commission vessel venture into uncharted territory. The ship's probably stolen and I bet it was those damn traders again. Probably want to nab off with more of our artifacts or to attempt to sell us more household cleaning equipment. I will not have my people's legacy sold to the highest bidder, nor do I need the latest and greatest debris remover. Do I look like a domestic goddess? No. I swear I will shoot them on sight if they attempt to take one thing." She wagged her brows and smiled. "If they've come to take me to bed, I'll reconsider. Mmm, bloody hell I'm horny."
Lorelei groaned as her nipples hardened. As much as she wanted to sneak away and handle her current problem, she didn't. Thinking about sex was the worst thing she could do. It only seemed to intensify her craving for it--for Sevan. And there truly were only so many times she could masturbate before her fingers pruned and her wrist hurt. Sadly enough, she'd hit that state long ago.
"Excuse me, miss, but I am no trader, nor am I a thief. Not to sound shallow here but I tend not to agree to sleep with someone until I've had a look at them. As shocking as it sounds, not all men stick their dick in whatever moves. Plus, as overly romantic as this sounds, I'm the last guy you want. I'm holding out for a dream, honey, and to date, no woman can stack up to her." He cleared his throat and the sound wreaked havoc on Lorelei's body.
Lorelei cursed herself for forgetting, yet again, that her voice transmitter was on. She had a bad habit of failing to remember to deactivate it after leaving the main tower. She wanted desperately to come back with a witty comment but the tingling in her pussy fogged her mind enough that she didn't know or care how to respond to his comments. All she knew was that his voice was divine and so familiar that she was positive she knew him somehow.
"My ship's run into a bit of a snag and I need to work on it. If you'd be so kind as to tell your people to open the loading doors I will be out of your hair in no time flat. I'll require some fuel along with the use of some of your tools. I can assure you that each one will be returned in pristine condition. Though I have wanted a new set of torch acceleration adjustors."
It was easy to tell she'd offended him, even though his tone was lighthearted. Why that mattered to her, she didn't know. But it did.
"Need I remind you that I have just initiated a code three-two-seven?" The frustration was evident in the heavy sigh that followed his comment.
Not one to fall for a sexy voice or succumb to guilt, Lorelei readied her inborn defense mechanisms. "Need I remind you that we are not part of the Commission and we do not recognize their laws? If you're seeking Commission-friendly territory, you will not find it here. We are not a repair station nor are we prone to allowing arrogant arses to dock for giggles. And for future reference, you will not take that condescending tone with me again or you will sit there until your ship gives out. I am not one of your disciples, nor will I ever be. And I'll have you know that basing the choice of having intercourse with someone off appearances places you below a lechranki worm in my book."
"Less than a blood-sucking worm that eats its own vomit?"
"Mmmhmm." Lorelei grinned from ear to ear as though she were just a child again. Goading this man had to be the highlight of her month. Why? She wasn't sure, but it felt good all the same.
There was some mumbling and then she heard another male laughing. "Shut up, Jordan," the sexy man said, his voice reminding her again of Sevan's.
"Always good to know that you are an arse with everyone, not just people you are trying to sweet talk into allowing you to dock. And in case you should need repairs this deep into space again, might I suggest you pretend to be mute and allow someone to speak for you. Perhaps sending a holographic image would even work. Just be sure not to model it after yourself or it too will find a rather cold reception."
"Listen, lady, you better check that--Ouch! Hit me again and I will toss your ass out into space, brother or not."
Feigning glee, Lorelei clapped her hands together. "Oh goodie, Mummy, they come in pairs. Do you think I could have a set of slime lechranki worms to go with the arrogant, ill-mannered boys who wish to dock here? Oh, please, Mummy. I've been such a good little girl this year."
Captain Vasil laughed and the seductive sound of it rolled over her, caressing her in places she'd never dreamed a voice could. Places she hoped he really would touch her. Shocked and a bit embarrassed by her sudden state of need, Lorelei lashed out at him. "Oh my, my, he has a sense of humor. Be still, my bored-out-of-its-mind heart."
He was quiet for a moment and Lorelei was almost sad that he had no comeback for her. Suddenly a bit panicked that she may have been too harsh, Lorelei took a deep breath and prepared to apologize to the stranger. That in itself should have tipped her off that something was amuck. Before she could get a word out, Vasil beat her to it.
"My apologies. My crew and I have had a rough go of it. We would like to clean up and get our ship fixed before heading onward." Captain Vasil was sincere. Her powers picked up on that immediately. It was a bit disheartening that he'd decided to end their back and forth, but understandable due to the serious condition his ship was in. Still, giving in to him could cost him his life.
Knowing the risk he and his crew would be in if they docked here this late in the day and were unable to leave before the suns set didn't sit well with her. The man may possess the sexiest voice she'd ever heard, but it would get him nowhere in life if he didn't have his head attached to his body. "Sorry, Alpha Brig Three, permission to dock denied. Seek assistance in the next quadrant over. I'll monitor your ship until it reaches the new destination. Two units will be sent up to refuel and escort you. Control tower out."
Lorelei went to cut transmission when she heard the mysterious man on the other end sigh--again. Her gut twisted and her stomach flipped at the very sound of his breath exhaling in her earpiece. She hated giving in, but disliked the thought of never hearing that voice again.
Am I confident enough that I can keep him safe?
Hating herself for her instant inner yes, she rolled her eyes and tossed her hands in the air. "Can you be in and out by suns set?"
There was a moment of silence followed by a low whistle. "Yes, we only need a couple of hours to get everything operational again."
It was Lorelei's turn to sigh. "If you promise to not cause any trouble, take full responsibility for whatever may come from docking here and be out by suns set then you may dock. No exceptions."
"You've got yourself a deal, little lady."
"Refer to me as little lady again and you will rot in space. Are we clear?" Lorelei bit back a tiny smirk as she envisioned the look on the man's face.