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Secret Project Revealed! Crawley Creek: Beginnings

Lori King-01 (2)

July 29 will be my 3rd anniversary as a published author, and I want to thank all of the readers who’ve supported me thus far! So I’ve written a prequel to the Crawley Creek Series, and you’ll be able to get it for FREE on July 29!

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so that you don’t miss out on this FREE new release!


Crawley Creek: Beginnings

Abraham and Seraphina Crawley have loved each other since they were fifteen years old. Abe has never doubted the strength of their bond, and together they’ve planted roots and built a successful ranch. But when Seraphina receives disturbing news that will impact the rest of their lives, she finds herself unable to tell the man she loves. Their decade-long marriage has been blighted by their lack of children, and now secrets could tear this couple apart. Follow their journey from heartbroken to houseful, and experience how Crawley Creek Ranch became a refuge for those who needed a place to plant roots. Second chances and new beginnings are a way of life at Crawley Creek. Everyone is welcome.

RESISTANCE by KD Jones (Earth Evolution 2) #review #newrelease

EE2 couple title colorboost

I’m a lover of post apocalyptic stories, and I happen to like Sci-fi, so KD Jones newest series, EARTH EVOLUTION, has me enamored. Today she’s releasing Book 2, RESISTANCE, and I was lucky enough to snag myself and early copy to read over the weekend. WHOA. Can I just say how much I love me some Drastan/Human romance? Besides the romance, and HAWT sex, there’s also suspense, mystery, and humor in these books. I laughed out loud at a few of the “miscommunications” between languages. I hope you’ll snap up a copy of RESISTANCE, as well as the first book, DESOLATION!



Earth Evolution 2

Book trailer:

Up until recently, Rachel James’s life has been wonderful and carefree, bordering on the side of spoiled. She is the apple of her parents’ eye. However, she has had to learn to live in her big sister Maggie’s shadow, whom everyone had assumed was dead. But now, her sister is back from the dead. Rachel’s comfortable and easy life is turned upside down. On top of all that, Rachel has to fight off continuous unwanted attentions from one hunky but annoying alien, but while she is off her game, she finds it harder and harder to ignore her attraction to him.

Lieutenant Kyle Estro of the alien nation of Drasta finally gets a lead assignment of his own to command. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a babysitting job for the healers to help with the Earth survivors. How is he to prove to his father, the Great Commander, that he is just as good as his big brother and he can be a true commander? But the one bright side to the assignment is that he gets to spend more time with the beautiful Rachel, the only woman who has resisted his charms so far. Their attraction turns quickly into more than either of them expected.

But trouble arises that threatens the tenuous bond he has formed with Rachel. Not everyone on Earth is happy about aliens coming to their planet. Many fear an all-out invasion. Danger is everywhere. Will Rachel and Kyle finally give in to their growing attraction for one another? Or will it be too late, as others try to tear them apart?

Buy the Earth Evolution Series Here!


Rough Ride Romeo is available for Preorder! #CrawleyCreek

The second book in the Crawley Creek series, Rough Ride Romeo, is now available for preorder on Amazon!

Rough Ride Romeo

Crawley Creek 2

by: Lori King

RoughRideRomeoCowboys don’t cry, but Roman “Romeo” Freemont certainly has enough tragic history to spend his days teary-eyed. Instead he’s turned to women and liquor in an effort to soothe his aches and pains, but when a petite brunette with a feisty temper comes crashing into his world, he realizes what he’s been missing.

Francesca “Franki” Scott has walked through fire herself. Nowadays she just isn’t a people person, and she’s definitely not interested in a wannabe playboy ranch owner either. She has a mission and it could mean life or death for someone close to her if she gets distracted.

Closing the gap between these two wounded souls could mean surviving yet another tragedy. Will their determination to hide their pain from themselves be their downfall, or will they come through this rough ride together?

Warning: Explicit Romance

Preorder it now on Amazon:

Howling Good Hop! Shifter Love for everyone!


Be sure to check out the entire Hop link list so that you can get entered in all of the individual drawings for great prizes!


And there are dozens of chances to win one of the $200 in grand prizes via Rafflecopter!


11178373_822001451214370_7751376652960861499_nTop Five Reasons to love a Werewolf

1. The abs – running around all day on four legs works the core like you wouldn’t believe. You could wash socks on those bad boys!

2. The diet – who doesn’t love a nice juicy steak?

3. The growl – need I explain?

4. Built in protection. Think of it like a guard dog only bigger, meaner, and housebroken.

5. Energy Efficiency – Werewolves blood tends to run much warmer than humans, so you’ll rarely need a heater at night to stay warm. Just snuggle up to your man!

Share your favorite reason to love a werewolf in the comments and I’ll pick my favorite one to win the entire ebook collection of my Gray Pack series!



Embrace the moonlight with The Gray Pack by Lori King

In the middle of main street USA lives a pack of werewolves who struggle to survive and keep their secrets in the changing world around them. Cell phones, and the internet have broadened the horizons, but exposed dangerous weaknesses in their pack’s security. With werewolves falling in love with humans left and right will the Gray Pack wolves be able to thrive and continue their legacy, or will they fall victim to progress???

Buy THE GRAY PACK now on Siren-Booktrand or any of these E-Retailers.


Barnes & Noble


Google Play

Apple iTunes

More than 30 books on sale for .99 or less in honor of Mother’s Day!

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You can’t beat this deal! I’ve put together a great group of authors who have all agreed that the mother’s in the world deserve to be indulged this Mother’s Day! So we’ve reduced the price on some of our hottest books to only .99 and some are even FREE! What’s better than free?

Click on the link and get to downloading books ASAP because these prices only last until May 12th! As a special bonus, if you share the sale link on your social media page and tag me in it or post the permalink to it here, I’ll put your name in a hat to receive the entire Gray Pack series in ebook format! That’s 6 books to one lucky reader who takes the time to share this amazing sale with their friends!



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In print now! FORGET ME KNOT by Lori King


Look! I just got the proof copies in the mail, and they’re absolutely beautiful! The cover that Jess Buffett Graphic Designs created for me looks superb in print! I hope you’ll order a copy for your own bookshelf.

Forget Me Knot

Crawley Creek 1

Lacy Denvers has lost her job, and lost her way. All she wants to do now is get her career back on track and find some stability again, but first, she wants to mark something off her bucket list: She wants to learn to ride a horse. Her dream vacation to the Crawley Creek Cattle Ranch turns into a lesson in patience when the North Dakota winter proves unpredictable as ever. Wrapped in a cocoon of snow, Lacy finds the ranch to be a hidden treasure trove of cowboy eye candy, and her mouth is watering even as her brain is telling her to run.

After a devastating tragedy, a young Drannon Russo ended up fostering with the Crawley family, and found a home. He’s only moved away once and had to lean on family for support when his dreams were shattered. Being a cowboy on a ranch is a pretty lonely existence. When a beautiful redhead shows up looking for a fresh start he’s determined to give them both what they want.

Will this vacation into the heart of cattle country turn out to be a mistake, or will Lacy and Drannon find their future in each other?

Warning: Explicit romance


Buy it in Print:

Or grab the ebook if you haven’t yet:


Amazon UK:

Amazon CA:

Amazon AU:

Barnes & Noble:






Christy Gissendaner says “SHIFT HAPPENS!”


A big thank you to Lori for having me today! I love visiting new sites, and I’m always happy to chat with new people.

Today is doubly happy. Not only do I get to chat with you beautiful people, but it’s also release day. Shift Happens is book one in a brand new series, I Heart Shifters. Each installment will be short, hot, and funny as heck. I’m excited about this project, and I hope everyone gets a kick out of Ellie’s antics.

Ellie, the heroine in Shift Happens, owns a nail salon. It was an interesting occupation for me to give to a character considering I can’t paint my way out of a paper bag. I blame it on being left-handed. I’m awesome like all lefties, of course, but painting nails isn’t my forte. Unless it’s paint by numbers, I’m screwed.

You get the picture.

So here’s Ellie, manicurist extraordinaire, who caters to the shifter housewives of Atlanta’s elite. Unlike me, she’s a whiz with a nail file and a bottle of polish. She creates colorful creations for her clients, all of whom don’t realize Ellie’s a shifter herself. She’s a half dragon shifter, who’s never quite mastered the art of keeping smoky belches hidden.

Since it’s finally spring and sandal season is in full effect, I couldn’t wait to treat myself to a pedicure at the conclusion of writing Ellie’s story. I got pink polish with white polka dots, in case you’re interested. ; )

My first ever pedicure took place last May, right before I attended the RT Conference in New Orleans. I’m a bit ticklish and the “cheese grater” thingamabob freaked me out…and made me giggle! (When I wasn’t busy being disgusted by the entire process.) But boy, were my foot smooth as silk. I went to the Dark Side and became a pedicure regular since then.

For someone who cringes at the sound of a file, you’d think I’d avoid a nail salon like the plague. Not so, fearless readers. I may cringe, of course, but the discomfort is worth it for a fantastic French manicure and cute, colorful little toesie woesies. I still think I have ugly feet – flat and wide – but no one can deny my love of pink when I’m all glammed-up with a fresh set of paint.

I’m currently growing out my fingernails. For a lifelong nail biter, this is a hard road to travel. My nails have finally grown past the pads of my fingers and I’m already envisioning the perfect shade of pink to christen them with. Fingers crossed I don’t lose an eye taking out my contacts. That is a tricky maneuver, let me tell ya.

So we’ve established I love pink, pedicures, and peanut butter cups…okay, so I didn’t tell you that, but it’s true and it does start with P…I want to know what style everyone is rocking these days.

Come on, share the deets. I’ll be right here taking notes.




I Heart Shifters Book 1

By: Christy Gissendaner

Ellie Reynolds runs a nail salon that caters to shifters of all varieties. The proverbial shift hits the fan when billionaire mogul Jackson Lawrence walks in the door and offers Ellie two million dollars to sell her shop. Ellie has no intention of selling out, especially to someone who plans to bulldoze her shop to the ground and replace it with a fast food joint. Their battle of wit and will is brought to a sudden halt when Jackson’s enemies appear, throwing them into a fight for their lives.

Jackson believed he’d left violence behind when he resigned his position with the Blood Wolves, a secret shifter military group, but someone wants his company’s cyber invention and will stop at nothing to get it. He didn’t mean to drag Ellie into his mess, but he’s willing to do anything to protect her and the firewall his friend created…anything except fight his attraction to the outspoken redhead he’s suddenly responsible for. Jackson soon learns Ellie is hotter than he first gave her credit for…like dragon hot…and life is about to get a whole lot more interesting.

Sometimes shift happens when you least expect it.

Buy It Now:

Etopia Press           Amazon US



Rain kept up a staccato rhythm on the tin roof, and her supersensitive hearing picked out every drop. She’d never be able to sleep like this, not while her mind was racked by thoughts of Jackson. The situation was laughable. She should be more worried about her safety and instead all she could think about was the fine-looking man in the room across the hall, like the perfect dimples in his cheeks when he smiled really big, or the perfect symmetry of his gorgeous face. And that ass. She could bounce a quarter off that ass.

She groaned as the familiar heat filled the place between her thighs. She needed something to take her mind off Jackson.

Milk. That’s what she needed. A nice, cool glass of milk.

Well, what she really needed was her vibrator, but it was at home, tucked safely away in her drawer under a bundle of handmade scarves that she’d bought and never worn.

Ellie slid out of bed and tugged the hem of the too-short nightgown. She’d picked out a size eight when she was more like a twelve, so Jackson wouldn’t know her true clothing dimensions. When he’d gone to pay for the items she’d chosen, he’d merely lifted an eyebrow but wisely chosen not to say anything. Could she help it if she’d been born with a fondness for sweets? Blame Nana’s genes, not her own lack of will.

Speaking of sweets, cookies would be nice too. She wondered if Jackson had any in the cabinets. He seemed to keep the Montevallo home stocked with foodstuffs since they hadn’t had to stop for groceries.

A few minutes later, with chocolate chip cookies clutched in both hands and a mug of milk hooked around her thumbs, she crept back down the hall toward her room. She bent her head to take a bite of a cookie and lost her grip on the drink. She cursed when the mug fell out of her hands. The milk spilled across her toes and the ceramic shattered when it hit the wooden planks.

“Ellie!” Jackson jerked his bedroom door open and appeared in the doorway, disheveled and entirely too yummy. He wore nothing but boxers and oh geez, he had a six-pack. A perfectly lickable six-pack that made her mouth and sex water. She hoped she wouldn’t drool, although it was a distinct possibility.

“I’m sorry for waking you.”

Jackson ran a hand over his shorn hair. “Fuck. I thought they’d found us.”

“Nope, just the cookie monster.” She held up the cookies in her hands and grimaced. How embarrassing. “Want one?”

He came forward until their toes touched. Hers, milky and chilled. His, warm and dry. She wanted to feel her feet wrapped around his beneath the covers. She wanted to feel everything of his beneath the covers, actually.

His thumb brushed the corner of her lips. “Chocolate,” he explained right before he licked his finger.

Damn her knees. Useless joints that they were. “Umm.”

And damn her larynx for not working properly.

His gaze dropped and she suddenly realized she was in the too-short, too-tight nightgown. Her boobs stretched the cotton material and she didn’t need to look down to know she was nipping. If she turned around, he could probably tell she wasn’t wearing panties. She’d never been so self-conscious before, but never had she been in the presence of a hot-ass canine shifter who was practically naked.

Jackson’s expression turned predatory. His cheeks seemed to hollow out, becoming more pronounced, and his nostrils flared as if he’d caught a whiff of something. Perhaps it was her. The quick shower she’d taken had been hours before. Then again, no panties. Perhaps he smelled her scent. She clamped her thighs tight together and prayed he didn’t laugh. The situation was embarrassing enough without suffering unrequited lust.

“Ellie.” He spoke her name again, but it was low-pitched and soft.

Oh God. She wanted to eat the cookies in his bed. But later. Much, much later. “Yeah?”

“I owe you something.” He slid a hand around her waist and cupped the upper swell of her butt. His fingers spread out in a proprietary manner, as if he was sure of his welcome. “I wanted to wait until all this shit was over, but you’re killing me. I can’t hold out any longer.”

Neither could she. She went up on tiptoe and puckered her lips. He stared at her as he traced the seam of her lips with his index fingers. “I think you misunderstand the type of kiss I want from you.”


christyChristy Gissendaner is a paranormal and contemporary romance author who believes laughter and love should go hand in hand.

Christy lives in Alabama with her husband and three sons. She’s always hard at work on her next novel, but in her spare time she loves blackjack, karaoke, and anything resembling a vacation!

To find out more, please visit

Ménage in the Highlands? Count me in!


Last week one of my favorite Siren Publishing authors released the first book in a brand new series! Reece Butler’s Bride Train Series has long been one of my favorite historical western series, but now she’s ventured out into the sexy world of highlanders! The debut book in the Highland Menage Series is called Captive Bride and it’s full of sexy Scottish kilts, accents, and threesomes! *happy squeal* Click the buy link and you won’t be disappointed!


me-rb-hm-captivebride[1]Captive Bride

Highland Menage 1

By: Reece Butler

Gillis MacDougal, cursing at being captured and tossed into his enemy’s prison pit, has a newly captured lad dropped on him. Though he can’t escape, he will ensure the boy is freed. He then discovers the lad has wit, determination…and breasts.

Feisty tomboy Fiona, bastard daughter of Laird Menzies, knows what her captors will do when they discover she’s not the heir worth gold. The stranger sharing her dark prison arouses her for the first time in her life. With nothing to lose, she begs him to ensure she does not die a virgin.

Fiona helps Gillis escape and they meet with his brother Angus. As they have nothing, they’d wanted to find a wealthy wife, but fall for the penniless, sensual wildcat full of determination and spirit. Gillis handfasts with Fiona to bind her to them before arriving at Inverlochy Castle. Laird Cameron, however, has other ideas as to who should marry the attractive young woman…



Reece had this to say about how she came to write this smoking hot new series…

I love hot, hunky, men so much that I write erotic ménage romance, each one well-crafted M/F/M with a Happily Ever After.

I’ve been wanting to write about tall, take-charge, powerful Highland warriors for ages. One of the founding families of my Bride Train series, set in 1870s Montana, were the MacDougals who, of course, came from Scotland.

So when the need to write about braw men in plaids hit, I researched to discover what these MacDougals were doing near the end of the sixteenth century. Turns out they had once been lords of a vast area but, as they had not supported Robert the Bruce, the clan was vastly reduced. That would give them an incentive to be rough, touch warriors…

As I prefer to do my research first-hand when possible, I went to Scotland in September of 2014. I drove 1,000 miles from Edinburgh to Oban to Tongue to Wick to Inverness and back to Edinburgh. And then I took a 5-day historical tour to see some things in depth where I didn’t have to worry about driving and had a licensed tour guide to answer questions.

For three weeks I toured castles (Cawdor, Sinclair & Girnigoe, Doune, Dunottar, Fraser, Urquhart, Edinburgh), walked the land and visited ancient cairns and standing stones, stopped by clan museums, and spent a Saturday at a Highland games. Learned about midges first-hand (a wee biting insect that swarms and is too small to swat), learned about nettles first-hand (youch!), and soaked up the culture, land, and the history.

And then I twisted it into a series…

The 16 MacDougal brothers stoutly defend what’s left of their once-mighty empire. Their father the laird did little but create many sons, half of them without marrying their mothers. The clan has a history of pairing up to find wives, a process made easier due to rumors of their unusual ability to bring much pleasure to lucky women…


EXCERPT from Captive Bride

“Dinna touch me, ye dirty swine!”

The high-pitched demand jerked Gillis MacDougal out of the half-sleep that had filled the hours of endless dark. He crawled to his feet, inhaling a hiss at the reminder of bruised ribs.

“Walk or be dragged, laddie. ‘Tis nay matter to me.”

Gillis recognized the brutal voice. He wouldn’t forget those iron fists for some time.

“I am the heir, nay some laddie!”

Gillis grimaced. Heir or not, insulting your captors was not smart. He wasn’t surprised at the thud quickly followed by a gasp of pain. He hadn’t recovered from his own beating and he was a man grown. Cold, damp, dark, and lack of food and water sapped a man’s strength.

He stood beneath the hole, blinking at the unaccustomed torchlight. A head, shown in shadow, leaned over.

“Ye still alive down there?”

“Aye, as ye can see,” he replied, sounding as forceful as possible.

“Yer clan?”

“Not yer business.”

“The laird will be back on the morrow. He’ll make ye talk.”

“Aye,” added another. “He has a fine touch with the cat.”

Gillis winced at the news. Being flayed by a cat o’nine tails would be just the beginning. When they discovered he was a MacDougal they’d toss him back in the pit, shut the stone lid, and forget him. Though once powerful his clan had little coin or land and too many sons with bellies to feed. He needed to escape tonight, either by himself or with the help of his brother, who remained free.

“Get in the hole,” ordered the leader.

“Me father’ll nay pay a groat for me corpse!”

Gillis silently applauded the shrill voice. Instead of the arrogance of a moment ago he heard equal fear and bravado. Was this the lad’s true nature?

“Och, laddie, ye’ll nay die afore the morrow.”

“You in the pit! Dinna hurt the lad or ye’ll die slow. He’s worth gold.”

Gillis reached up to catch the boy so he wouldn’t land on the stone floor. He grunted as a sharp elbow smashed his bruised chest. The toe of a boot barely missed one of his most tender parts, not that he’d have much chance to use it again unless he could escape. The lad scrambled out of his grasp as soon as his feet touched down.

“Sleep well!”

Coarse laughter followed the comment as they trooped out, leaving the trap open, thank God. The silence which had surrounded him, broken only by the rustle of vermin, was no longer absolute. The boy panted shallowly rather than breathing deep. Had they bruised his ribs as well?

“Who are ye that ye are worth gold to the Campbells?” he asked.

“Ye tell me first.”

Scared the boy may be, but he was doing his best not to show it. He had to come from nearby, unless the Campbells had slaughtered his escort.

“I willna ask yer clan, but are ye a Macintosh or Macpherson?”


That was good. Though the two clans were not MacDougal rivals, they were of his foster father, Laird Cameron of Cameron. Gillis and his older brother, Angus, were to attend Darach Cameron’s wedding, representing the MacDougals. If Gillis couldn’t escape this pit, Angus would be attending his funeral instead.

“Is yer clan allied with the Campbells?” asked Gillis. There was no quick answer this time. He waited while feet shuffled.

“If my father had been their ally, capturing the heir might change his thoughts, aye?”

The words and their phrasing showed education and. It did not match the arrogant lad who’d insulted the Campbells and got swatted for it. The lad was a puzzle and Gillis had nothing else to do except doze and wish the morning would not bring torture and death.

“We have a common enemy, young friend. I be Gillis.”

The boy coughed and fidgeted. Gillis had six younger brothers. He could tell when a lad was deciding how to adjust the truth to suit the situation. He’d done it often enough.

“Call me Patrick.”

An interesting choice of words as it said nothing but his choice of name.

“Dinna fear the dark, Patrick. Ye’ll nay be here long.”

The boy gave a very adult snort of amusement. “Sitting in the dark is safer than facing a brute with a temper and a whip.”

“He’ll nay touch ye if ye’ll bring gold. Unlike me,” added Gillis ruefully.


Gillis snorted sarcastically, wincing at the bruised ribs.

“A wee while back Robert the Bruce helped Campbells steal our land,” he said. “I’ll nay ask my laird to take food from my many brothers to save my hide.” He grimaced. “If I am here on the morrow, I die. So, we must escape tonight.”

“We? Ye’ll take me with ye?” The eager voice trembled.

“Ach, laddie, I’d nay leave an adder with these murderous bastards. If ye can keep up with my running we’ll take ye along. My brother is outside, lookin’ fer a way in.”

“I can run like the wind if the Campbell hounds are behind me.”

It was Gillis’ turn to shuffle his feet and fidget. He’d been there two days by his count and his only plan for escape depended on his brother. Unfortunately, there was one brother and a castle full of Glenorchy Campbells.

“There’s one wee problem,” he admitted. “We’re at the bottom of this deep pit.”

Silence descended again. Small feet shuffled in the muck.

“’Tis nay that deep.”


Buy Captive Bride now!me-rb-hm-captivelove[1]

And watch Reece’s Siren Bookstrand page for the rest of the book in the series!

HIGHLAND MENAGE is a 12-book series:
Captive Bride [Highland Menage 1] April 17
Captive Love [Highland Menage 2] May 1
A Lady’s Seduction [Highland Menage 3] May 15
A Lady’s Vengeance [Highland Menage 4] May 29
An Eager Widow [Highland Menage 5] June 12
A Perfect Wife [Highland Menage 6] June 26
Highland Menage 7 to 12: coming soon

Find Reece @

Brand New by April Zyon: Adira’s Mate

If you haven’t read anything by the incredible April Zyon, you don’t know what you’re missing. Now she’s released the first book in a brand new series: Adira’s Mate (Space Wars 1). Take a look!


Captured by his mortal enemy General Fintan Daykin is held for many long months in an Imarian Facility. On the day that he’s able to escape he’s faced with one of the biggest surprises of his life.

Adira Lora is the head of the Medical Ministries offices of Imaria and she learnt that there is something seriously wrong with one of the facilities. Something that she has to  go and figure out for herself since she trusts no one else.

Taken hostage by the tall, dark Craegin was not what Adira had in mind when she got to the facility, but it seemed as if Fate and the Spirits had something else altogether in mind for her.

She should be wary of the man who could tear her apart but she’s not. She’s drawn to him, she aches for him and she’s desperate to heal his injuries but he pushes her away at every turn.

He can’t let her too close, he’s far too attracted to the small Imarian that he dragged with him onto her crawler. He only wanted to get home, back to his people and away from the slow death that her people were giving him.

Once the pain of his injuries starts to ease and the reality of who little Adi is to him sets in Fin realizes that he will have to protect her from more than just his people. Fin realizes that he would also have to protect her from  hers as well.

When Adira finally submits to Fintan however he knows that he will never let her go. He owns her now, she is his in every sense of the word for now and all time and nothing would come between them.


Sounds yummy, right?

Pick it up from these retailers:


 Amazon UK:

Amazon CA:

Amazon AU:

All Romance Ebooks:



Adira went stiff as a board when the pistol was lifted to her temple. She took a deep breath and nodded. She understood what he was saying, understood and would comply. She had no idea who it was that had her, so she would play along until she could be free.

She listened to the man’s breathing and frowned. He was in pain; it was clear from how he was gasping for air but there was something more. He wasn’t breathing as an Imarian would, three sharp intakes of breath and one exhale.

Her stomach felt as if it were in knots. She felt ill because she suddenly knew that she wasn’t being held by someone that was on the island and had no idea who she was. She was being held by one of the Craegin that her people had kidnapped and had been torturing.

Stars. She was in deep trouble. “You really don’t want to do this,” she told the man. “I’m more trouble than I am worth. Ask anyone. I’m seriously not a good person to take hostage.”

“I don’t have what one would call a lot of choices here.” His voice was low, but she could hear the underlying growl that gave it a certain rough quality. “One way or another you are my ticket out of this hellish place. So you can either help me willingly, or I start to break bones. Nothing important, but I know the ones that will cause you immeasurable pain while still allowing you to function enough to get me free. The choice is up to you. What will it be?”

There was no choice. Adira was a lot of things, but able to withstand pain was not one of them. She just nodded. “What do you need?” She would get him to where he needed to be in order to get free. Then she would run as far and fast as she could.

He let out a harsh-sounding breath. “I need you to guide me to the ship bay here. Preferably to one of your crawlers. Then you and I are going to leave on that ship, and get me to a place where I can contact one of my own vessels to pick me up. If you behave yourself, don’t try anything to alert anyone, and generally do not make yourself an annoyance to me I might let you go free. Depends on how bad my mood is by that point.” She felt him shift slightly, his arm slowly letting go of her neck.

“We’re going to take the path of least resistance. No guards, as few cameras as possible, and you are not going to let anyone know anything is amiss in any way. I have zero problem shooting a woman, but I’d rather not have to drag you around at my heels to break free of here.”

Stars. “Okay,” she said with a wobbly voice. “Then the best way to go will be back the way that I came.” She had already killed a guard. This had to be her punishment. She knew it. She had killed one of her own people so this was the spirits’ way of punishing her. She was going to be this Craegin’s shield to get free of her people. “I have a crawler. I came over from one of our other worlds.”

The weapon lowered until it was pressed into her lower back, right on her spine. At that range he’d never miss, and if she wasn’t dead she’d definitely be paralyzed. “How many guards between here and the bay?” he asked. He’d given her a nudge to get her moving, but a hand on her arm slowed her pace. Adira couldn’t see much of him beyond the one arm down at his side. But she did notice he seemed to be limping, even dragging one of his legs slightly.

“None. There was one but he won’t be a problem.” The physician in her wanted to heal him. She wanted to reach out and find out what was wrong, but the prudent part of her kicked in and she knew that would be just plain dumb. She did, however, slow down. She ensured that she kept a pace that would keep them moving, but wouldn’t push him too far. She didn’t know what to expect of this Craegin, especially since the female captive had so easily sold out her people.

“What about the cameras? How many are we going to have to contend with once we’re past the holding areas?” The pressure of the weapon on her spine eased a little. She knew it was still there, but he wasn’t digging it in any longer. He might be injured, but she didn’t think for one moment he wasn’t aware of everything around him.

“None.” She had disabled them so that she could wheel the body out and dispose of it. Why hadn’t she thought to reenable them? “I had disabled them,” she told him. “I had been so caught up in my own mind that I forgot to reenable them,” she added honestly. “My crawler is the one closest to the exit doors as well, so there shouldn’t be anyone in the bays that will see us as that side is blocked from view by my crawler.”

“Good,” he grunted out. Suddenly his hand came up to her arm, pulling her to a stop. “Shh,” he hissed. The pressure of the weapon was back for a moment as the sound of boots on the tiled hall could be heard. They faded a few minutes later, and he released her arm. “Go.”

She nodded and went. There was something about his touch. It was odd. She didn’t focus on it, though. Instead, she concentrated on getting through this alive.

She made several twists and turns, being stopped a few times by the rather large male that held a weapon at her head, and finally they were before the bay doors. “When we enter we need to be fast. Get on my crawler. I need to make a call to the booth. There is audio as well as visual so you will have to stand far to the left behind a console and have to trust me. I really don’t want to die, so I will get you out of here.” She would have somehow gotten him free anyway because she didn’t believe in the tortures her people were inflicting upon this male.

His hand was on her arm again, holding tight. “Say or do the wrong thing when you talk to them and you won’t live long enough to make another mistake. If need be I can fly this thing out of here, but I’d really rather not have to do it with your blood all over the console.” He gave a light but firm squeeze of her arm, then let go. “Move,” he said under his breath.

She nodded and moved as quickly as his pace would allow to her crawler. The medical insignia on the side denoted it to be the head of their Medical Ministry, her. Her hand to the panel at the side had the doors sliding open and engines starting. She explained, “I’m still a doctor. My crafts need to be able to go the moment I get in, just in case of an emergency.”

No words came from him, just a grunt. A hard hand landed on her shoulder as soon as they stepped into the crawler. She could see the weapon out of her periphery as it was sweeping around the space. He was ensuring they were alone in the small craft. The hand eased and gave her the smallest of pushes toward the cockpit as the doors sealed behind them with a hiss of air.

Adira settled into the pilot’s seat and strapped in. Looking back at the male, she viewed him for the first time. He was large and impressive, handsome even. He was also severely injured. “Stand just to the left there,” she told him as she pointed to a console. “Now, please. They are beeping to get through.” She adjusted herself slightly, and when he was hidden pulled up the view screen. “Sorry that took so long, gentlemen. I had to take another call. I have an emergency on Talaxia five. I need clearance to scuttle quickly.”

The man on the screen was looking around the inside of her cockpit. “Likely a good thing you’re getting out of here now, Doc. Sounds like there’s an escapee in one of the wards. No clue how the freak got loose, but he’s extremely dangerous. He’s killed three of our men already, the spirits only know what he’d do to a woman,” he said. The hangar bay doors began to open. “You are clear for departure. Head straight out, and stay in the lane until you clear the beacons. Safe journeys.”

“Thank you.” She winced. Oh God, had he really killed three men? Or was the man she killed one of those? She closed off the view screen, then looked back. “You might want to hold on to something.” She began to move her crawler into place and took off as quickly as she typically would in any emergency situation.

Ten minutes later they were free of the planet and she looked to him once more. “Where are we headed?” She knew that he had said to a planet where his people could pick him up, but she had no idea where.

Easing around the equipment board he’d hidden behind, the Craegin male came forward. He leaned over the console to input some coordinates. “There,” he said. “Set the autopilot, and then we’re going to check the rest of this crawler over.” There wasn’t a whole lot left to check, except for the kitchenette, a tiny medical bay, the small sleeping quarters, and the bathing room that approximated to less than a closet amount of space. Crawlers were meant for short runs, not for comfort. Beyond that there was a storage area, but it wasn’t accessible from inside, only from the exterior of the craft.

Once she’d set the autopilot, he leaned in once more to type something else in. A quick glance showed he’d just locked down the entire panel. Without the code he’d entered she couldn’t call out, or fly the craft. Which meant she had to keep him alive if she wanted to survive this. “Stay here,” he ordered. Now that she couldn’t alert anyone to the fact she was a hostage, he likely felt secure in leaving her in the space. A hard look from his bright gray eyes under the heavy fall of badly tangled black hair, and he turned to leave the cockpit.

He had to keep his head lowered to move through the spaces, being taller than the average Imarian male. She noticed he was also broader, more heavily muscled than an Imarian. Not that she should be noticing anything about him, but it was hard not to when he seemed to take up so much of the space around her.

Since you have locked everything down you should let me have a look at your injuries.” She should just let him bleed to death, but with him having locked her out of her own ship that would end very badly for her. “It’s beneficial to me for you to survive. The least I can do is tend to your injuries. I am a medical doctor, allow me to assist you.”

A derisive snort was her only answer as he continued away from her. He disappeared from view a couple of times, checking out the additional spaces afforded on the craft. Finally he reappeared from the sleeping quarters and signaled her toward him.

Adira cautiously moved forward. “Yes?” she asked as she looked up into his gray eyes. They were actually rather beautiful and ringed with a bright green that captured her interest. Adira shook her head. No, not her interest, something else. “I have a full medical bay. It’s very small but it has everything that we could offer. I could close your wounds and do a scan of your leg to find out what’s wrong with it. If you will let me?” She couldn’t push him to do as she asked, but she itched to ensure that he was okay.

“I know what’s wrong with it. I was there when they did it,” he said. No, it was more of a snarl, given the curl of his lip. “Inside. You’re going to sit on the edge of the bunk and not move while I clean up. I need to get the blood off of me so I can evaluate the exact amount of damage your colleagues inflicted.”

She winced and nodded. “I know that this isn’t a good time to tell you this.” She settled on the bunk and watched him as he moved. “And please don’t shoot me for telling you this truth.” She was chewing her lower lip as she watched him and gasped at the injuries that he wore. “By the stars, how can you even be mobile?” Gone was what she was going to tell him about the Craegin female. Instead her medical training kicked in and she wanted to heal.

He turned a cold look on her as he dropped the coat and shirt he’d removed to the floor. “Sheer will to not die in an Imarian testing facility. It’s amazing what the body and mind can do when the goals are so simple. Do not move,” he warned again. He took the pistol, and one other she hadn’t realized he had, and set them inside the shower—up high so they wouldn’t get wet, and where he could easily reach them but she couldn’t. He turned on the water and dropped his pants. No warning, no closing the small sliding door, nothing. Down they went, and a moment later his ass disappeared behind the sliding pane of the enclosement.

Adi simply watched him. Her mouth had gone suddenly dry and her mind went places that an Imarian held captive by a Craegin should never go. He was stunning. His height was massive, over two meters tall, easily, and his build was thick but it was the markings on his body that captured her attention. Well, that and the musculature and his ass. By the mother, his ass was impressive. “I’m sorry that you were taken,” she told him honestly. “There was a Craegin female that was held there as well.” Please don’t let them be related, she prayed.

“So I’d heard.” His words were barely loud enough for her to hear. “She was the one feeding your people information about us. Once I’m back I’ll be ensuring that anything we’d done prior is never done the same again. I will not allow our people to be easy prey for you sick freaks.”

“How did you know?” she asked with a frown and tilt of her head. “Yes, she has been feeding my people information for years, from what I surmised. They are sick.” She mumbled that last part. She didn’t protest on the sick freaks comment, because he had that right. Sadly. Her people weren’t supposed to ever take prisoners of war and abuse them as this man had been abused. “She watched. She took glee in telling me that when they did their first procedure on you she was able to watch. I’m so sorry.” Her people had a lot to answer for, but not every being who was Imarian was a sick freak, as he had stated.

“It’s amazing what we can hear in that place. They figure since we’re all going to die they don’t need to watch their words.” She watched him tip his head back, his face into the spray. He was tall enough that his shoulders, neck, and head were above the partition. The water shut off a moment later, and he shook his head before slicking his hair back from his face. He locked eyes with her as he pushed the partition aside and stepped out to collect a towel.

“Holy mother,” she whispered a moment before she turned her face from him. He was…there weren’t words to describe the perfection of this man. Even with the injuries that he had sustained he was impressive. Her gaze had gone straight to his cock and she had to bite her lip at the memory of that brief glance. He was soft, but his shaft hung low and was thick. He was very large, all over, and he made her heart do things that no Imarian had ever made her do before.

She could hear him toweling off. A soft clunk sounded, and she shot him a look to see he’d collected the laser pistols. The towel was wrapped around his waist, barely covering everything of importance. He was peering into the mirror on the wall, twisting this way and that to get a look at all the damage done. His back was a mass of bruises, as were his legs and arms. His chest had some bruising, but older from the colors she could see. Fresh nicks and cuts were all over his body. The leg he’d been favoring, though, looked the worst. His leg looked as if there was a heavy bruise that was practically fully black from his knee up to somewhere under the towel. She cringed at the sight. The pain that he was in had to be terrible. She hurt for the man. Obviously someone had repeatedly struck that leg.

“Will you please let me scan your leg at least? I know you have no reason at all to trust me, with what they did to you, but I need you to understand that it’s hurting me to see you hurting, especially since I can do something about it.” She wanted to help him. He could think all that he wanted about her people, but seeing him injured was hurting her. She had never hurt before like this. It was as if she could feel his pain.

He turned his head slowly to give her a look. She could practically see him thinking through all the options, considering every angle, and coming to a decision. With a small jerk of his head he gave her permission. “I need something to wear. This towel is not exactly comfortable over the wounds inflicted on a certain part of my anatomy. I need pants at the very least, but a shirt wouldn’t be amiss either.”

“I should have a medical uniform that will fit you.” She pointed to the drawer to his left. “There should be one in there. It might be a bit short on you but the male who wore it was rather overweight, so it should fit across your chest. I hope.” She winced and chewed her lip again. “I’m so sorry.” She seemed to continue to say that to him, but there weren’t enough words to tell him just how horrified she was that her people had done this to him.

“Your words hold no meaning to me, Imarian, so you may as well quit spouting them,” he said coldly with his eyes narrowed. Digging through the drawer, he pulled out pants and slipped them on. They were definitely short, only coming down to the top of his calves. He was a lot taller than the average Imarian, and definitely taller than her coworker. The shirt he pulled on after dropping the towel to the floor. It was definitely tight, but he seemed to have no loss of movement. “Good enough,” he muttered.

She nodded. “We should go into the medical bay. There’s a handheld scanner there and I can check to ensure that they didn’t break the bone. If they have, then I can put you into an air cast to help ease the pain.” Cocking her head to the side, she asked, “Are you going to be okay if I get up and go get medical ready for you?”

His head whipped around to look at her. “We’ll go together,” he said. He picked up one of the laser pistols and quickly took it apart, dropping the parts, except for the power source, into the disposal unit. He picked up the other one, but kept it down at his leg as he waved her out into the corridor.

“Okay.” She moved away from the large Craegin and toward medical bay. Looking over her shoulder she saw him following slowly behind her. Once that was done she pulled down supplies. “If you will have a seat on the bay bed there? I will scan you from head to toe. I would feel much better knowing that you are at least mostly healed before you go to your people.”

He eyed her up and down for a long moment before moving to the bed. Easing up on it slowly, he let out a hissing breath. Not that his face showed any of his discomfort, though. Once he was laying down she moved closer to him and saw he still had one hell of a grip on the weapon.

“I won’t hurt you. I know you have no reason at all to believe me but I will not hurt you,” she assured him. “It’s not who I am. I’m a healer,” she told him quietly. “Oh this is not good.” She paused the scan over his knee and bit her lower lip. “It looks as if they have dislocated your knee. I can set it and that will ease much of your pain.”

The Craegin gave her a grunt, but didn’t move. Adira was going to take that as acceptance of the help she was offering. He also didn’t shoot her, so that was a huge plus. “Apparently not all your healers have the same beliefs as you do.”

“I can’t speak for them, only me. I can’t believe that they did this. We have laws in place for a reason.” She was muttering as she spoke to him. “No one is supposed to ever be subjected to the pain and suffering that you were submitted to. For that I am so sorry. I want to kill my people for doing this.” Especially in her facility. She was not pleased at all.

The look on his face said he didn’t believe her. “If you plan on fixing my leg, sooner would be appreciated. I’ll need all the time possible to heal before we reach our destination. Especially since it won’t be in friendly territory, for you.”

“You aren’t going to put me off at a neutral planet?” she asked with a frown and sat back on her heels on the floor in front of him. “Oh stars.” She was so totally screwed. She was never going to live through this one. “Okay.” At least she could set his knee and help him heal, that was what she could do.

“There are no neutral planets anymore,” he said. “There are only ones slightly less hostile than the others. The one we’re aiming for is the least hostile around. But if your brethren weren’t so determined to exterminate us we wouldn’t have this problem. Would we?” he asked with a hard look at her.

Sadly he had a point there, but she didn’t say anything. Instead Adi worked on his leg, then passed him a medical hypospray. “You should give this to yourself to help you with your healing. It’s only vitamins, it shouldn’t harm you.”

He took the hypospray, looking it over a moment, then tossed it aside. “No drugs, nothing from an Imarian. I’ve been given more shots since my arrival than I have in my entire life. No more.

Especially something I didn’t load myself from supplies I trust. Fix my leg, or move so I can get up.”

She nodded and put her hand on his knee. “It’s going to hurt,” she told him only a moment before she popped his knee back into place. “So sorry,” she said once more and moved back. Standing, she looked over him. “No drugs, then. Sorry I offered them to you.” Maybe she should drug herself and be done with it.

He hadn’t even flinched. Either his pain was already so great he hadn’t felt what she’d done, or he was so well trained he’d been able to hide the reaction. She had a feeling it might have been a little of both. Easing to a sitting position, he swung his legs over the side of the bed and slowly put weight onto his leg. “Better,” he muttered. “You really shouldn’t be apologizing to anyone, especially your enemy. It leaves you in a weakened position, more so than you currently are in.”

Read Ch 1 of MAXIM (Galactic Cage Fighters 8) by KD Jones

KD Jones

The amazing KD Jones has stopped by to give my readers an exclusive sneak peek at her brand new book, MAXIM. It’s the 8th book in the sci-fi adventure series Galactic Cage Fighters, and it’s burning up ereaders everywhere! Make sure to snap up this new release and if you haven’t read KD Jones yet, take a peek at her library:


Galactic Cage Fighters Book 8

By: KD Jones

Maxim is a droid halfsie, part human and part android, created in a lab. Now free from the madman that converted him, he must find a way to make a new life for himself. In an effort to put his past behind him, he takes a job as a fighter for the Galactic Cage Fighter Association. Unfortunately, he soon learns that the position comes with some unwanted benefits, like constantly being surrounded by adoring fans. It’s a situation that’s definitely all new for him, and he has to work hard to adjust. Just when he thinks he has finally moved on and gotten used to his new life, he discovers that the past cannot simply be ignored forever. These revelations of his past put everyone around him in danger, including the one woman that holds the key to his hidden heart.

Alona is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful halfsie women in the world. But human men only seem to seek her out when they want to display her as their trophy, and most halfsie men see her delicate features as far too human-like. Just as she feels ready to give up on the hope of a real relationship, she meets a droid halfsie that attracts her like no other. The more she tries to fight her attraction, the more she seems to want him.

Will Maxim let down his guard and allow Alona to see him for who he is? Will Alona overcome her disenchanted view of relationships and give Maxim a chance to prove there is more to him than the surface? Can they find their way to one another while surviving the dangers surrounding them?

Buy Links:


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You know you already want to buy it, but just in case you need more convincing, check out the first chapter….


WAIT! Before you read the chapter check this out:

maxim visa gift card copy (2) You could WIN a $200 Visa gift card!!!!

In honor of KD Jones Author’s new book MAXIM to be released 4/14, she is holding a contest to give away a $200 Visa gift card. There are just 2 easy steps to qualify.


1) Buy MAXIM
2) Fill out the reader Quiz at the back of the book.

A great book AND a giveaway?! I’ll wait while you scroll back up to click the buy link, but don’t take long.

Okay, now you can read chapter 1!


Chapter 1

Maxim grunted as he took the brunt of the punch to his ribs. His internal operating (IO) chip reported that he would suffer a break if he took another direct hit. He needed to end this match soon. His internal clock told him the second round wasn’t near the end yet, but he knew it would be more efficient for him to get it over with before his systems started to shut down automatically.

He stood in the center of the GCFA cage. He didn’t try to protect his ribs. His Beastial opponent grew in size right before he ran and jumped at Maxim, attempting a superman punch with one arm extended. Maxim didn’t move until right before the other man’s fist was about to make contact. Then he stepped to the side so quickly, hardly anyone saw him. The Beastial landed on his stomach and face hard, clearly a bit dazed.

As the Beastial attempted to get up, Maxim stepped forward and aimed a punch at his temple. He pulled the punch slightly, hitting with just the amount of force his IO chip calculated was necessary to knock his opponent out. He didn’t want to kill the other man, after all. It was just enough to make the Beastial slump over and black out.

He straightened up and waited for the bell to ring. It took a few seconds for the crowd to realize that the match was over. Half of them applauded and the other half booed. He was not the most popular halfsie fighter, but his fans were slowly growing in number. Mostly they seemed to be women, and they were constantly throwing themselves at him. He found this strange. He had no interest in them. Maxim turned and headed for the healing facility to recuperate.


“Well, that was quite a match Johann,” said the commentator, sounding a little uncertain of what to think about the outcome.

“Yes, quite an interesting and . . . short match, Poland. You would have thought that the Beastial, with his larger size advantage, would easily defeat the smaller Droid halfsie. But that may be the fastest match I’ve ever witnessed.”

“I think I have whiplash from the speed with which the Droid knocked out his opponent. Speed and strength are definite factors on the Droid halfsie’s side. He’ll be a fighter to watch! But I’d say he still needs to work on his personality a bit to be much of a crowd pleaser.”

“I agree, Poland. He won’t keep his fans happy with his non-existent charm. The winner of the match, ladies and gentleman . . . Maxim the Cyborg.”


“They’re right. At this rate he’ll start losing fans and we’ll have to buy him out of his contract. He’s making us look bad for hiring him. You need to do something.”

Nigel sat back in his seat in the VIP box and stared at the assistant director of the Galactic Cage Fighter Association, William Macey. “What do you want me to do about it?”

“Clean up his image, make him more appealing. I don’t care what it is, just do something. He’s not pulling in the numbers that we need,” William ordered, taking a sip of his beer.

“He’s got a good number of female fans already,” Nigel pointed out.

“Great, expand on that.”

“How am I supposed to do that?” Nigel had the beginnings of a headache. He rubbed his temple. His assistant Amelia silently handed him a bottle of pain medication. He looked at her briefly in surprise. How did she always know what he needed?

William certainly didn’t seem to notice that anything might be wrong with his minion. He continued, “I don’t care what you have to do, just change his cold and mechanical image any way you can.”

Nigel sighed. There were times like these where he hated his job. He took the pain meds and handed the bottle back to his assistant. At this rate, he was going to have to invest in a pharmaceutical company to keep his headaches away.


Maxim heard them announce his fighting name as the winner and cringed on the inside. He wasn’t a Cyborg. He was a human droid halfsie. Why the GCFA insisted on calling him that was beyond him.

He walked to the healer’s facility to have his injuries checked, although he honestly considered it a waste of time. The healing program on his IO chip told him that most of the injuries would be healed by the morning. As he entered, he saw there was one other fighter being treated. Hammer was lying on a bed with IV fluids running into him. They grunted at each other but didn’t say anything.

“Lay down on the bed, Mr. Maxim,” one of the healers said, directing him to an empty bed.

He shook his head. “I don’t need to lay down. I need a chair and an outlet so that I can recharge myself.”

“But, sir, we need to evaluate how severe your injuries are.”

“I have already run an internal diagnostic. I have bruises on my chest and upper arms. My ribs are also bruised and require a healing agent. I have some minor scrapes, but no infection has been detected.” He ignored the bed and walked over to the corner, where he pulled a chair over next to a power outlet.

He placed his hand over the outlet and pulled the current of power out and through his fingers. There was tingling sensation, neither painful nor pleasant. He could ignore it for the most part. But it was necessary for his IO chip to have full power in order to heal him from within much faster.

“That was a quick match,” Hammer commented.

Maxim didn’t look at the other fighter as he responded. “My IO chip reported that if I took another direct hit in the ribs, they would be a break. I would rather not have broken ribs, it takes longer to heal from those.”

“Hey man, I understand that. But we’re here to put on a show for these people. They don’t care about your ribs taking longer to heal.” Hammer sat up further on the bed.

Maxim nodded but didn’t say anything else. He understood what his job was; he didn’t need anyone else telling him. He knew that he was not the most well liked of the GCFA fighters, but he had no clue how to fix that. He enjoyed working with the GCFA. If he had friends, they would be those here, his fellow GCFA fighters. He had spent the most time with them since his conversion. He was honestly willing to work on improving his demeanor to appease the fans, but it was all just so foreign to him. There wasn’t a program he could upload that would teach him how to relate to others.

Maybe the problem was in how he was converted to a halfsie. He wasn’t the result of a natural conception or even fertilization splicing, as most halfsies were. He had a whole human life before his droid conversion. He didn’t remember any of it, of course, but he read the report and been told things by the human family he didn’t remember.

His name had been Maxwell Copely. He had been twenty-seven years old. He was training for the Galactic Olympics as a weight lifter. A freak accident had him rushed to the hospital, where they pronounced him brain dead. His human parents had agreed to turn off the life support system when they were told it was the only thing keeping his body alive. As far as they knew, he had died in that hospital room. His brain hadn’t been completely dead yet, but it showed so little activity, and the doctors argued that his body would be useful to others because it was athletic in build and he was otherwise healthy. What his parents didn’t know until much later was that Maxwell had still had brain activity. The reports had been falsified to make it look like he was dead. All in the supposed name of science.

He didn’t recall being this Maxwell, or being in an accident, or any of that. What he did remember was waking to excruciating pain and having wires and tubes running all throughout his body. He had actually thought his body was on fire at first and begged for them to kill him. He had to be restrained. The next time he woke there was less pain and less fire and he found that his brain was processing at an abnormally high rate. He understood things he shouldn’t have, but also seemed to feel fewer and fewer emotions.

It had taken a week for him to be able to sit up, stand, and walk. Maxim was introduced to the scientists that had brought him back to life: Dr. Forbes, Dr. Deans, and a crew of about twelve lab technicians. They all looked at him like he was some kind of experimental equipment instead of a human being. Technically, he was as full of internal operating chips and wiring as he was human organs, so maybe they were right. He hadn’t dwelled on the whys; he only knew he had to learn everything he could so he could escape. So he accepted whatever programming they wanted to upload.

It wasn’t until the IDJ, Intergalactic Department of Justice, raided the lab that had become his only home that he fully understood what had been done to him. The scientists had lied to his human parents, lied to the authorities, and lied to him. They weren’t creating him to help improve medical advancements. They were creating him to be their working model, so they could get funding from the military for a new line of weapons. The military wanted an army of droids just like him.

They had implanted computer chips and wiring all through his body and a central operating chip inside his brain. As far as appearances went, he still looked completely human, but he wasn’t. The IDJ showed him the lower level of the lab, where the scientists kept most of the failed experiments. It sickened him to see all the half-alive, mostly dead species that they had attempted to make into droids.

Human DNA seemed the most compatible for the droid conversion process, but it had taken many failed attempts for them to discover this. Seeing those failed attempts made him realize how close it had been for him. That was the first time since his conversion that he could remember feeling actual fear. He didn’t like it. The IDJ claimed that some of the staff had gotten away and wanted his help to locate them. But Maxim wanted nothing more to do with the lab.

The IDJ took him back to his human family, whom he didn’t remember at all. At first they welcomed him and treated him like a miracle. But it didn’t take long before his stoic and rather blank personality, added to the fact that he couldn’t remember any of them, made it difficult for them to accept him. It was clear that he didn’t belong with them anymore; his human life before was gone. His human mother begged him not to leave, but he knew it was for the best, for their sakes as well as his. They only re-lived the loss of their son over and over, every time they looked at him.

So he left. He changed his name to Maxim, dropping the last name completely. He looked for jobs that didn’t mind his unnatural strength and stoic personality. But it was a chance meeting with one of the trainers for the Galactic Cage Fighter Association that connected him to the fighting circuit. He owed the GCFA a great deal for the opportunity, so he needed to find a way to uphold his contract with them.

“I’ll work on it,” he told Hammer, switching hands over the outlet to focus the charge through the other side of his body. He was determined to make this life work.



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