Space Invaders

Space Invaders

by Amber Kell, Jan Irving, Bailey Bradford
     
 

'Soldier Mine' by Amber Kell

When Kreslan is attacked, little does he know the shapeshifting beast who saves him will completely change his life.

When Kreslan Piers is attacked in the cargo hold, he is rescued by a rare shape-shifting beast who transforms into the reincarnated leader of an entire planet. Will Kreslan be

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Overview

'Soldier Mine' by Amber Kell

When Kreslan is attacked, little does he know the shapeshifting beast who saves him will completely change his life.

When Kreslan Piers is attacked in the cargo hold, he is rescued by a rare shape-shifting beast who transforms into the reincarnated leader of an entire planet. Will Kreslan be willing to give up his dream of being an ordinary soldier to partner with an extraordinary creature?

Vohne has been named by his human half, and the longer they're together the more he's remembering the details of their previous lives—lives he shared with Kreslan before watching him die. When they reach the Thresl home planet, Vohne has to break the news to his skittish mate that they not only does he belong to Vohne, but he is fated to be his other half for the rest of eternity.

'The Viking in My Bed' by Jan Irving

Wise-talking college student Bailey Moore saves his romantic side for the historical romances he's secretly addicted to—until he wakes up crushed under six foot plus of sexy, aroused ancient Viking.

Bailey Moore is a cynical, wise-talking college student who saves his mushy, romantic side for the historical romances he's addicted to-until he wakes up crushed under six feet three inches of aroused Viking warrior.

At first he takes Freyr Grimsson as a glorious odd ball obsessed with Medieval role playing-down to his rough hewn sword, but Frey insists Bailey is his guide in this new world and when Bailey is attacked by a mysterious creature, he's convinced that he and Frey have to wage a battle to drive evil forces off campus. But when his Viking conquers him in bed, Bailey is afraid Frey will also lay claim to his secret, vulnerable heart.

'Retribution' by Jambrea Jo Jones

Retribution: Is love worth the cost?

Rave Anders lost everything - his job, his lover, and part of his soul. Accused of a crime he didn't commit, it's taken him years to build up a respectable intergalactic transport business. Pulled into a web of intrigue and espionage, Rave is forced to face ex-lover Kain Sims, the one man he no longer trusts.

On a mission for the Alliance, Kain must convince Rave the fate of a world rests in both their hands. Kain needs Rave to help to destroy a deadly weapon before it can be used to eradicate a planet. But that's the easy part; the hard part is making Rave believe he never wanted to leave him in the first place.

Can they save a world and reclaim the love they once shared, in a galaxy of deception?

'One Breath, One Bullet' by S.A. McAuley

Face to face, and rifle to rifle. The time and location change, but never the circumstance. Merq Grayson and Armise Darcan are enemies. And neither will be considered successful until the other is dead.

It is the year 2558. A mere decade has passed since the signing of the treaty which ended the three hundred year long Borders War. In the midst of an uneasy peace, the world gathers for the first Olympic games since the war began.

The Rifle competition showcases the very soldiers who fought in the war, pitting former enemies against one another again. Continental States Peacemaker Merq Grayson will once again battle the Dark Ops officer from the People's Republic of Singapore, Armise Darcan, this time under the flag of their own uneasy truce. The relationship between Merq and Armise is one of violence, secrecy, and a growing intimacy that could have them both branded as traitors.

But there is more at stake than pride or medals in these games. And neither Merq nor Armise may be able to make it out alive before the fires of revolution are set ablaze again.

'To See the Sky' by L.M. Brown

Can a lab rat whore find love with the servant of his master, or will their different backgrounds and prejudices keep them apart?

In the distant future, where the devastation caused by war has driven the human race below the surface of the Earth, society is split in half. The rich scientists live in towers where they can monitor the surface and determine when the poisonous gasses have cleared and the world is safe for humans once more. Meanwhile the majority of the human race lives in crowded labyrinthine caves, where life is harsh and short. Uneducated and with no real prospects for the future, a 'lab rat' is lucky to live to see thirty years of age. Employment options are minimal and few can escape the fate of choking to death on the dust of the caves.

When AJ, one of the poorest members of society, needs credits for medicine for his sister he is in a desperate situation. With no other options available he risks alienation from his family by selling himself to the highest bidder. Love is the last thing on his mind, but while Blake, his new owner, might not be Mr Right, Ryder, his servant, just might be. Unfortunately, their different backgrounds, prejudices, and AJ's brutal owner seem destined to keep them apart, but true love can be theirs for the taking, if they can only find a way.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781781848555
Publisher:
Totally Bound Publishing
Publication date:
10/07/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
466
Sales rank:
512,729
File size:
807 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

"Just who I wanted to see."

Kreslan Piers didn’t need to turn around to know who had sneaked up behind him in the hall. Barley Tankis’ voice haunted his dreams. The bastard had made it his mission in life to bother Kres since basic training. Unfortunately, Barley’s father was an admiral in the fleet, so complaining about Tankis’ behaviour never produced any results. Kres had learnt that lesson the hard way and had a scar on his arm to show for his efforts.

"Hello, Barley." Kres reluctantly turned to meet his nemesis.

"Hello, faggot," Barley sneered. If his usual expression wasn’t so unpleasant, the tall blond could have been considered handsome with his wide shoulders and icy blue eyes. Unfortunately, it didn’t take much digging to find the vast ugliness that lay beneath the surface.

"What do you want?" Kres had just finished sixteen hours of guard duty after one of his co-workers had come down with a cold. He could barely keep his eyes open. He didn’t need to put up with Barley’s crap on top of everything else. He longed for a few hours of sleep followed by a trip to the bar to grab a willing bedmate for a round of stress-reducing sex. Hell, at this point he was so desperate he might even be willing to consider a woman.

"I talked to Sergeant Wallace, and he agreed with me that you should guard the creatures tonight."

Kres’ stomach churned over Barley’s smug expression.

Shit. So much for stress reduction.

Even though he knew it was pointless, he offered a token protest. "I can’t guard them tonight. I just got off sixteen hours. I’m going to get some food, then go to sleep."

Fuck, he needed sleep.

"So I should go back and tell the sergeant you’re ignoring a direct order?" Barley’s cold eyes glowed with malice.

Anger pulsed through Kres. He knew he was powerless but that didn’t stop him from issuing a threat that would no doubt go unfulfilled. "One of these days you’re going to get what’s coming to you."

He had to believe that. It was the only thing that kept him from punching Barley in the face and getting court-martialled.

With a final glare at Barley, Kres turned and headed towards the cargo bay.

"Enjoy your shift." Barley’s mocking laughter followed him down the hall.

Kres wished he could get away with punching the bastard again, but the last time he’d done that, he had been the one who had ended up in the brig for three days while Barley had roamed free. Kres had learnt his lesson. He only did things to Barley when he knew he could get away with them.

Sergeant Wallace gave him a cool look when he arrived. "Took you long enough to get here."

"I came as soon as I heard you wanted me on guard duty, Sergeant. I just got off a double shift." Kres didn’t bother to hide the annoyance in his voice. His feet hurt, his back ached and he longed for his hard cot of a bed with a fierce need. At this point, a trip to the brig would at least allow him to get some sleep.

"Then you shouldn’t have volunteered for this one," the sergeant barked at him.

"I didn’t, Sergeant," Kres replied through gritted teeth.

"Are you saying Barley is a liar?"

How he longed to say yes.

"I would never say that, Sergeant. But then, as I didn’t volunteer and Barley said you insisted I do this watch, I’ll let you make the judgment call."

The older man gave him a long, considering gaze. "I like Admiral Tankis. Too bad his son is a prick. Unfortunately, because you were volunteered, I let my other guard go. I’m going to need you to take this shift, soldier, and then I’ll make sure Barley takes the next three."

The thought of Barley watching animals for one evening much less three drained away most of Kres’ anger. "I’ll do my duty."

The sergeant slapped Kres on the back, almost knocking the wind out of him. "I knew I could count on you. You’re a good man, Piers."

<strong>Excerpt From: The Viking in my Bed</strong>

Oh. That felt just toooo good.

Warm lips on my sweet spot. A lot of guys had made the mistake of thinking my sweet spot was in the obvious location, but I have a thing for having my right armpit licked and suckled, right over this little mole.

A soft beard scraped my skin with just the right amount of pressure. I shivered, arching my body.

I was aware I was close to waking up, like a boat about to bump onto a beach, but the hand stroking my bare chest felt so good I didn’t want to. What was good about Thursday? Thursday was rain, midterms, coffee with Candy, and maybe I’d be able to squeeze in an hour boarding. Maybe.

Thursday was not vivid blue eyes staring into mine. A wide, delighted smile, like a kid’s smile. Plump ribbons of braided blond hair that framed a tanned face. Miles of muscle that I was...stroking?

I sat up.

"Good. This will be better when you’re awake, yes, seiðmaðr?" a heavily accented voice boomed.

He was so loud I covered my ears. The guy on top of me had a chest like a fog horn.

"What are you doing?" I squeaked.

I was naked. Since I’d moved into college residence, I could sleep naked, which saved a lot of time on laundry. My two other roommates were guys, so it’s not like I was going to offend their tender sensibilities.

"I am making love to you, of course," the gigantic blond bellowed.

"Stop shouting!" I yelled.

He frowned, looking like a puzzled golden retriever. "You shouted."

"I live here!" I said with, I have to admit, very little logic. "Listen, Conan, can you get off me?"

He was built like Arnie and he was squishing my legs into my bed. This had to be a set up. I wondered who wanted to yank my, uh, tail—which was hard enough to wag right now.

But so was Conan’s.

"I am not called Conan," he told me stiffly.

"Uh huh. So how much did my friends pay you?" He pushed back the blankets. His name might not be Conan, but if they made a rubber to fit his dick, it would be Conan-sized. I stared, my mouth watering.

Focus, I scolded myself. Just because he has the kind of cock I’d love to suck, I mean love, going down as far as I could on the monster and holding those big rocks and squeezing them...

Right, focus. I got out of bed and grabbed some briefs off the back of a chair.

Conan got out of bed and stood there, hands on his hips, as naked as Michelangelo’s David.

"Where’d you put your clothes?" I looked around, then sniffed. "Do you smell smoke?"

"You ask a lot of questions," he noted.

"Is that a new kind of weed? What is that smell?" Had I left the boiler plate on again? Geez. It smelled like scorched earth in here. It hadn’t been that long since I’d done the laundry.

"It is the mark of my passage to this world," Conan said.

Mark. I saw the hardwood floor was scuffed up. There was a burn on my fake wood wall and a seared heap of cloth that was a weird red colour. I stared at the wool, trying to figure out why it looked both familiar and strange. Oh, it had been dyed with raw madder. I’d helped Mom mix that natural dye for her weaving projects. I picked up the cloth, seeing fragments of a round neckline and cuffs with metal links featuring a snarling animal face. Wow. Mom would be really into this. I was about to ask Conan where he got the shirt when I noticed something else...

"Oh no, my graphic!" The new knot design I’d finished the night before was scorched, the paper curled. Damn. I stuffed it carefully in my messenger bag. Maybe I could photocopy the design. I wanted to show it to my prof later today.

I looked at the guy I’d woken up with.

He was very tall, towering over me. He wore a neatly trimmed dark blond beard. On either side of his face were golden braids, though the rest of his hair was long and free.

He was gorgeous, but obviously obsessed with some kind of role-playing. Figures there’d be something wrong with him since I’d woken up with him. I’d always picked the lemons in the barrel.

But he had a sweet smile.

And I had class in less than an hour.

I tossed more of my clothing, looking for a clean T-shirt. I found one with palm trees and camels my Mom had snagged for me on a trip to Cairo. It was clean. Now I needed my favourite pair of stonewashed jeans.

Conan was still standing there, glowering at me like I was a servant boy who’d forgotten to dress his royal highness.

"Okay," I said. "I gotta get to class. It was real funny." I swallowed. How he got me so hard, so excited. How he felt covering me. "Ha ha. Now go, your Lordship."

"I am Freyr Grímsson," he continued, in a language I didn’t understand. Maybe it was Middle-earth. I found my jeans.

"There’s coffee and, I think, some left over pizza in the fridge," I told him. "Bye."

I sneaked one last look at him over my shoulder as I snagged my backpack.

He took my breath away. Glowing golden skin, glowering at me out of electric-blue eyes, hands on his corded hips, the kind of hips with dimples created by muscles. He had scars on his body too. Probably some kind of makeup to go with his persona. His cock hung long from a thatch of blond hair almost as bright as the gold on his head. Holy geez. I gave it a wistful glance and then slammed the door behind me.

<strong>Excerpt From: Retribution</strong>

“Commander Rave Anders, a panel of your peers has found you guilty of theft of government property. You are hereby dishonourably discharged and sentenced to thirty days on the penal colony Devil’s Island.”

Rave fell to his seat in disbelief as the panel left the room. Just like that, his military career was gone, like so much smoke. Most would think that was the worst thing, but it wasn’t. The worst was Rave’s lover, Kain, couldn’t be found.

A hand landed on his shoulder. He turned, hoping to see Kain. His stomach sank when he saw his friend, Sela instead.

“It’s no use, Rave. It’s as if he’s disappeared. His parents don’t know where he is, either. I’m sorry.”

He rested his head in his hands. “I can’t believe it, Sela. He’s out there, somewhere, hurt. He’d be here if he was able.”

Rave looked up at Sela and saw the guards approaching behind her.

“I’ll do what I can to find him, Rave.”

He gave a sharp nod and turned to follow the guards to the pod waiting to take him to Devil’s Island, his thoughts in turmoil. How would he survive the next thirty days? Being in the military put a target on his back and Devil’s Island was one of the worst prison colonies in the universe. His heart ached at the thought of Kain, alone and hurt while he could do nothing about it. Nothing really mattered if Kain wasn’t safe. The guard shoved him into the craft and shackled him to the seat.

After the criminals were processed, the ship started the journey to Devil’s Island.

“Hey, you’s that military thief? Yep, you is. You’s the guy whose got fucked up the ass, but then, I hear ya like that, don’t ya?” The passenger beside him snickered. “I’m sure you’ll get plenty of action on DI.”

Rave leaned over and yanked him close enough that Rave could smell the man’s putrid breath. “Shut the fuck up.”

“No need to gets with the rough stuff. I ain’t after that pretty ass,” the man mumbled as Rave shoved him back into his seat.

Rave closed his eyes to block out the upcoming nightmare. He had two hours to devise a plan that would keep him from getting killed while being detained. He had a lover to find.

One step at a time.

His thoughts drifted.What had happened?

That question played over and over in his mind. One minute, Kain had left the ship. The next, the Alliance had boarded the ship and arrested Rave. Two days before the ship docked, the crew had conducted an inventory and those government boxes hadn’t been there. The Alliance had shown up, and suddenly, there the boxes had sat, pretty as you please. Something wasn’t adding up.

Rave didn’t do suspicion. He placed his faith in all his crew and expected their trust in return. Kain had never given him a reason not to trust him. Hell, Rave loved the man. He couldn’t love a traitor, could he? Focus, Damn it! Worry about now.

The force of take off glued him to the seat. He swallowed then bit his lip. He wasn’t prepared, not really. All the training in the world couldn’t prepare a person for a prison colony—an open world full of the worst criminals in the universe. He couldn’t figure out why the Alliance wanted to send him to a high security planet. He should have been shipped off to one of the minimum security colonies.

When the flight smoothed out, Rave forced himself to relax. He had to get some sleep. He wouldn’t get much on DI. Rave prayed he would wake from this nightmare, wrapped in the comfort of Kain arms, ready for their morning romp.

Kain, where are you?

<strong>Excerpt From: One Breath, One Bullet</strong>

Year 2546The Dark Continental Republic

I hated the heat of the desert.

The mask on my face was confining, filling with the condensation of each breath I dragged into my lungs and forced back out in shallow gasps. The goggles over my eyes should have protected me from the yellow and grey cloud of Chemsense the Dark Continental Republic Army had unleashed on our battalion, but I could feel my eyes watering, the liquid gathering in pools that threatened to make my skin too damp to maintain the protective seal.

I was on my knees and I couldn’t remember when I’d stopped walking. I wasn’t far enough away yet. The shouts of the DCR soldiers—and the sonicpops of their weapons as they picked off States soldiers—were muffled but still too close. My body tilted, and I planted my hands into the sand without thought. I collapsed into the dune when my right shoulder ground together, bone against bone, tendons ripping. I thought those DCR goons had only managed to dislocate it, but this pain was worse than that—a grinding impact of racking, vision-blackening pain that didn’t ebb even when I flopped onto my back and let my arm lie unmoving in the scorching sand.

My mantra, pounded into me through years of training, repeated in my head as I consciously stilled my body.

One breath.

Inhale.

Hesitation is my enemy.

Solitude my ally.

Death the only real victory.

Exhale.

A ferocious hot wind whipped around and over me, driving sand into my open wounds, like a million simultaneous pricks of a pin. If the wind kept up like this it was going to drive away the lingering cloud of Chemsense. And I needed the thick, toxic cover if I was going to make it over the dune and out of sight of the DCR forces.

If I was going to survive, I had to keep moving.

My body was drenched in sweat—mine and the ripe remnants of the soldiers I’d fought hand to hand. My ribs on the right side were crushed and with each breath I wondered if this would be the inhalation that sent a spear of bone into the soft, vulnerable flesh of my lung, collapsing it and killing me before backup could arrive.

I ripped the transport chip out of the hidden pocket where it was sewed into my tattered uniform. My thumb hovered over the button as my mind warred with the instinct just to press it. But I couldn’t simply transport out of this clusterfuck. The transition would be too much of a shock to my mangled body.

If I was going to succeed, I had to keep moving.

The thought was all that propelled me. There was no desire to survive left in me. No want of more from life. It was my orders, my mission, that forced me to sit up, shift to my knees and stumble to my feet.

My right arm hung loosely at my side. My firing arm. Without it I could never be a sniper again. And that should have been the least of my concerns, but I couldn’t silence the part of me that contended that death would be preferential over never shooting my rifle again.

I staggered, then caught myself before falling again. The pain of my disconnected shoulder was almost too much to bear—a jolt of red, angry agony that sliced across my vision with each step forward. Silver droplets swam in my peripheral eyesight, a sign that my already throbbing head was on the verge of erupting.

I trudged through the unending sand of the DCR desert because I had no other choice. To stop was to fail. And I didn’t fail. The sand felt thicker than the detritus of an American Federation riverbed. My feet sank deeper than into the suck of a United Union bog. I moved slower than the day I’d taken my first tentative steps off the hospital bed in the States when I was five years old and my legs had nearly been taken by the sonic explosion that had destroyed the only home I would ever know.

And I knew this desert was worse than all of those places because I was dying.

I was closer to death than I’d been in the People’s Republic of Singapore the night Armise took a blade to my throat.

Armise.

The name rushed through me like endorphins, heating my already boiling blood. I barely had enough brain cells left active and firing to stand, let alone move, but my hate for Armise fed me like a vial of surge emptied into my bloodstream.

That I’d fucked him more times in the last year than I wanted to count didn’t matter.

That there had been a part of me anticipating he would be on the ground in the DCR when I arrived was like a psychotic practical joke.

He’d had the infochip I was seeking the entire time.

It had been inches from my fingers when I drove into him last night. But he had waited until my soldiers and me were trapped in a standoff with DCR forces—sonicrifle to sonicrifle—to let me in on that vital piece of intel.

I wouldn’t let him so easily get under my skin again.

I might not have eliminated him, but I’d obtained the infochip I’d been sent to extract. And I’d taken Armise’s finger in the process. I choked on the laughter that bubbled up in my throat. Too bad the missing digit wasn’t on his firing hand.

If nothing else, I would survive to kill him.

Whatever this was between Armise and me ended here. Now.

But even in my haze I was aware of how irresolute that promise sounded.

I kept moving.

Until I wasn’t anymore.

Blackness overtook me in an uncontrollable instant.

<strong>Excerpt From: To See The Sky</strong>

AJ4982—known as AJ—squinted at the ‘employee wanted’ cards pinned on the wall of the agency. He could only read the figures on the cards and had no idea what jobs they offered. He didn’t care, he’d do anything to raise the credits for his sister’s medicine. Finally he spotted one with the figure 500 printed at the bottom in bold black lettering. He grabbed the card from the wall and marched over to the clerk’s desk.

"Hi, I’m Landon. How can I help you today?" the bespectacled clerk said as he took the card from AJ’s outstretched hand. His eyes widened slightly as he scanned the job details before turning back to AJ.

"Put this back where you found it," Landon ordered as he passed the advert back.

"I want to apply for the job," AJ stated.

Landon looked him over, taking in his messy hair, ragged clothes and swiftly assessing him to be one of the uneducated masses. "You can’t do this job."

"I’ll do any job."

Landon looked at the card again and cleared his throat before reading the text. "‘Wanted—Laboratory Technician with at least three years experience in bio-science for temporary assignment in sector R9’. Still think you can do the job?"

AJ ducked his head, embarrassment sweeping over him.

Landon gave him a sympathetic glance. "Can you even read?"

"I can read enough," AJ snapped.

"You can read figures, the same as the rest of the lab rats," Landon corrected. "You can tell the time, see what things cost and make sure you’ve been paid correctly. The scientists need their staff to be properly educated. Now, what was your last job?"

"I was a runner down in the tunnels," AJ replied reluctantly. With the surface of the planet uninhabitable after the Last War, the human race had taken refuge beneath the ground. The underground community was outgrowing the caverns they inhabited at an alarming rate. The original emergency caves had filled as soon as the survivors took refuge. Within just two generations the cave system could no longer hold everyone and the tunnelling downward had begun. More than five hundred years later the digging still continued, with twisting tunnels stretching out in every direction as they struggled to accommodate the ever-increasing population.

"I’ve got nothing for a runner these days," Landon said. "Since the collapse in sector C14 workers in the tunnels are being laid off. No one’s hiring at the moment."

AJ knew all about the collapse in C14. He had lost a friend in the accident and several lab rats from his own sector had been injured badly enough that they would never work again. AJ had been in sector C13 at the time of the collapse and he could still hear the screams from the neighbouring sector as the roof caved in on the diggers and runners who were trapped within it.

"I’ll do anything."

Landon sighed and tapped the screen of his hand-held computer. "Can you wait tables?"

"How much does the job pay?"

"Ten credits a night."

"That’s not enough."

Landon gave him a stern look over the top of his glasses. "Lab rats can’t afford to be picky."

"I need five hundred credits in three days."

The clerk’s jaw dropped. "What sort of trouble have you got yourself into?"

AJ bristled at the implication he had done something wrong. "It’s for medicine for my sister. The physician has given her three days if she doesn’t get the lung decongestant. What have you got that’ll get me the credits?"

Landon shook his head. "I’m sorry. I’ve got nothing. Have you thought of moving her to a less dusty sector?"

"Of course I have. We don’t have the credits to move either. There must be something I can do to get five hundred credits." AJ had no intention of giving up. He had too much at stake.

Landon contemplated him for several minutes before glancing around the office. When he appeared satisfied no one lingered in earshot he leant forward and lowered his voice. AJ inched closer as well.

"I’ll do anything," he repeated.

Landon gave a small nod. "Okay, here’s the deal. Officially, we don’t offer this sort of work…"

AJ breathed a sigh of relief. "And unofficially?"

"If you’re collared you can earn upwards of one hundred credits a night, depending on what you’re prepared to do."

"What do you mean?" AJ had never heard of the expression ‘collared’.

"Some of the waiters wear collars to advertise they’ll accept credits for sexual favours."

AJ jumped backwards as though he’d been bitten. "Prostitutes?"

Landon waved his hand frantically. "Keep your voice down."

AJ cringed. "I can’t have sex for credits."

"You can get your credits in a single night if you find someone who’ll accept your prices. You set your own. Get lucky and you could make your five hundred with a single blow job."

AJ looked at the three collars Landon pulled out from his desk drawer. The first was red, the second blue and the third silver. They were all about an inch wide and each sparkled in the dimly lit cave with blinking coloured lights.

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Meet the Author

Amber is one of those quiet people they always tell you to watch out for. She lives in Seattle with her husband, two sons, two cats and one extremely stupid dog.

Jan Irving has worked in all kinds of creative fields, from painting silk to making porcelain ceramics, to interior design, but writing was always her passion.

She feels you can't fully understand characters until you follow their journey through a story world. Many kinds of worlds interest her, fantasy, historical, science fiction and suspense—but all have one thing in common, people finding a way to live together—in the most emotional and erotic fashion possible, of course!

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