She likes being lost…
He needs to be found…
Arian Teraz would be perfectly happy if she never returned to her cheerless, hopeless world. Her life changes when her ship is damaged. Rescued by a handsome alien from a distant galaxy, Arian longs to find a place with him and his people.
Hotshot USAF pilot, Captain Jackson “Coop” Cooper knew the risks of boldly going somewhere before he signed up for the Project Enterprise expedition. When an anomaly sends his ship into a mysterious, no-exit sanctuary about to be invaded by a deadly adversary, he is forced to trust the unusual woman who might be his only ticket out.
With an invasion threatening the sanctuary and enemies emerging from Arian’s past, Arian and Coop must combine forces to seize an uncertain future together. Can they save each other as they battle the forces trying to rip them apart, or will the secret Arian’s ship carries – along with those seeking to exploit her – separate them forever?
If it hadn’t been for the tingle on the back of his neck, he might have enjoyed the view. This was what he’d thought it would be like standing on Mars, except for the structures. And the lighting. Okay, so maybe not that much like Mars. But might be closest he got to it.
There was the scrabble of claws against metal as Arian and her dragon came down the ramp. He turned and watched them approach, both of them rubber-necking.
“It is very…” her voice trailed off, she cleared her throat. “It’s very high.”
“You didn’t do high on your planet?” She shook her head. “Then when you went down the shaft…”
“It was my first time at that as well,” she confessed.
“If I’d known you were afraid heights—” he rubbed the back of his neck.
“How could you know what I did not?”READ MORE
A reasonable woman. Wow. He glanced back. Had Derwent and Gessner bailed on them? There was no reason for them to do a ten count. Just then Derwent peered out, then came down the ramp in a nervous stumble. After a brief pause, Gessner followed him.
“Point of no return.”
Gessner stared past him, his jaw on the slack side, and finally shook his head. “I…no.”
The whites of his eyes made him look a bit bug-eyed. If they really were meeting some birds, he might want to work on that. Coop cocked a brow at Derwent. He gave an uncertain nod. Then a more determined one.
“Let’s do this then.” Coop turned and led his motley crew toward the opening at the end of the green trail. The surface, whatever it was, muted most of the sound of their footsteps, except the click of the dragon claws. Coop’s heart rate might have kicked up a bit. There was a faint hum coming from somewhere. Could swear he could hear all five of them breathing. Someone clicked their lips together. Could one hear their adrenaline rising? Felt like all of him was on high alert, for all the good that did him. He knew some hand-to-hand, but he was a flyboy, not an ass kicker.
The opening loomed larger the closer they got. It was big. And shadowy, or something more than shadowy. He couldn’t see past the opening. A bit like looking into the fog. Another reminder of the Garradian outpost. The portals were kind of like this. The hairs on his arms rose.
Don’t hesitate, Banshee. Just keep going. Chips were gonna fall where they were gonna fall. Nothing was gonna change that now. His life didn’t exactly flash before his eyes, but he was aware of a few things he wished he’d done. Needed to stop thinking about kissing, sooner rather than later, though what good it did to be on high alert when he didn’t have a weapon…
The opening closed in fast, and then he was in it. For a minute, he felt like he’d shifted sideways. When he shifted the other way, he staggered, then steadied. Realized he was on his feet and in a room. His gaze narrowed. Oh yeah, that was a lot like Garradian portal transport. Was gonna take a wild guess that they weren’t anywhere near that arrival platform anymore. And possibly well out of radio signal range with Tiger.
His wingman wasn’t going to like that.
Coop didn’t like it.
Was it good that this place didn’t look like the outposts? Looked and felt like his dentist’s office. All that was missing were the chairs. And the elevator music. And Doc Payne in his surgical scrubs.
His other companions arrived in varying states of confusion. Arian had an expression he hadn’t seen on her face before.
“I think we were transported to another place,” he said.
She placed a hand on her stomach. “It was a bit unsettling.”
“What do you mean, transported?” Derwent asked, showing the whites of his eyes now, too.
Coop opened his mouth to explain, then closed it. How to explain without saying Garradian? Had these two needed to know about portals? Before he could figure how to explain without explaining, a panel in the wall directly in front of them slid open.COLLAPSE