I've crash landed on a sex planet with my worst enemy.
He's a brooding, gold alien-a commander who destroyed my ship and half my crew. I should want to kill him. But everything on this planet is an aphrodisiac. So I just want to have him. Now.
"Revenge--that's all he wants with me. He's hated humans for more than a century, ever since we tried to destroy his kind."
I'm the last person he should want, but the desire the sex planet stokes in both of us is eating us alive. Resisting his hands, his mouth, and his vampiric fangs proves impossible. I can't help begging him to touch me.
I have no idea what endless sex with his kind will do to me, but there are rumors. I have to get off this planet before I find out if it's true-before he makes me his mate. For life.
The Planet of Desire is a series of scifi alien romance standalones that can be read in any order.
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I'm slammed against the wall, and I squeeze my leg up between our bodies before he crushes me. And when I say crush me, I don't mean in a sexy way. I mean he will literally pound my face in or drive a knife between my ribs.
Good thing I'm wearing shellskin armor.
He, however, is not.
I thrust my booted foot into his gut, and with a heavy grunt, he stumbles backward, hitting the opposite metal wall with a bang.
Damn, that had to hurt.
Score one for me.
I dive for the blaster he kicked from my hand — the warning systems of my ship's computer blaring: "Evacuate. Evacuate. This is not a drill. Find the nearest escape pod. This is not a drill." She's going down, fast being pulled into the gravity of the nearest planet and burning from the inside out. And it's all because of him — him and his looting barbarians — sneaking on board, setting fire to the reactor.
My hands close around the blaster, and I level it at him, aiming for the center of his chest. At least six of my crew are dead. I will have no remorse in adding him to the pile.
"Your weapon will not work on me," he drones. His bass voice resonates in the hall over the alarm. How that's possible, I don't know.
"It works on everything. Even you." My voice sounds hollow, toneless from the voice scrambler that disguises my sex. I sound as inhuman as he is. Between that, my shapeless armor and my helmet screen, no one can tell I'm female. Not even my crew — who are hopefully already propelling from this doomed vessel for the nearest habitable ecosystem.
He doesn't freeze like he should with a weapon aimed at him, and he doesn't pull out a blaster of his own. The leather holsters crisscrossing his massive pectorals contain knives of varying lengths, sheathed and available for him to grab.
He stretches his shoulders and flexes his chest. "There is a reason why your entire species is afraid of my kind."
"Fairy stories." I don't care how bright gold and incandescent his skin. It's penetrable. No matter what the tales tell about his kind being unkillable. I've got a laser.
He steps toward me. "Go ahead. Try it." His accent is strange, his tongue rolling over the consonants in a thick burr.
I should shoot. Now. But my trigger finger hesitates.
I don't want him dead yet. I need to find out, how did he do it?
How did he and his band of brutes get onto my ship without my knowing? How did he accomplish what no other army or species in the Ten Systems has managed to do — catch me?
I have to know. "How did you get on board this ship?"
He pauses. "You invaded our sanctum airspace. You must have expected retaliation." His dark eyes narrow into slits so menacing they send shivers down my spine. I don't know what species he is, but he fits the stories I heard in childhood: the Ssedez descended from serpents, glowing like sphinxes, with fangs dripping in venom capable of making someone a slave to their desire in one bite. Well, thank gods, his teeth seem normal enough, so that last part is likely myth.
But he cannot be a Ssedez. I don't care how godlike his proportioned body is — as though every muscle is chiseled and lined out of fine marble. It has to be coincidence how rigid and angular his jaw is. The Ssedez were destroyed a century ago by the Ten Systems.
"Who are you?" I ask, unable to contain my curiosity. "What do you want with us?" My ship, the Origin, groans another warning. I can't believe it's time to abandon her, but we have to — or die.
He snarls, and his voice drops another octave as he hisses and strains to pronounce the words. "We want the same thing for you that you want for us: annihilation."
Something odd happens to me that has never happened and isn't supposed to happen.
Not only am I not afraid of him, but I become aware, physically, that he is male, I am female, and that I haven't had sex since ...
I can't remember.
It shouldn't matter. I'm a general, a ship captain, a career soldier, with ambitions that leave no time for personal anything. Physical desire serves no purpose in my life.
But the ruthlessness in him, the ferocious gleam in his eyes — it excites me.
The symmetry of his bone structure alone is blinding. The ferocious angles of his cheeks and jaw are paired with an otherworldly elegance in the gold sheen of his complexion. I'm glad my helmet hides that my eyes are wide in fascination.
His hair gleams, too, like it's laced with gold flecks. The strands hang to his shoulders, unbound, a contradiction. He's an untamed beast formed with siren-like beauty.
He moves, his lethal muscles stirring inside that gloriously brilliant body.
"Don't come any closer," I warn, grateful for the scrambler that hides the shaking in my voice.
His body is physically distracting. Hard, like metallic hard, and big. He is all brawn and possession — the epitome of conqueror in strength as well as deed. And it's not just his chest and arms. Even his thighs, outlined in black leather, are thickly muscled and bulging. It has me hungering for a glimpse of what is no doubt equally impressive between them. And wondering if what's between his thighs is as godlike as the rest of him.
Apparently, despite decades of denying it, there's enough hetero-female left in me to know if I wasn't supposed to kill him, I would want him to fuck me. Now.
He stalks toward me.
"Stop!" I shout, tightening my grip on the blaster. He will not get closer. The ship jerks, and we're both thrown off balance. I brace myself against a doorway.
"Your ship will not last long, General Nem." He knows my name and rank. Which he could only get from hacking my ship's computer. "Your crew are dead. Like you should be."
I will not react and give him more of an advantage.
My crew aren't all dead. Some already escaped in emergency vessels. But I'm not telling him that.
I realign my blaster for where his heart should be, if he has one. "You'll be dead if you don't tell me how you got aboard my ship!" Unlike him and his alluringly resonant voice, I have to shout to be heard over the rising alarms.
"No leader wants to find out he has a traitor on board."
The blood in my veins runs with ice. A traitor? "No one in my crew would betray me!"
"Take one more step behind you, General, and I'll tell you who did."
I know what door is behind me. "Why would I get in an escape pod with you?" I refuse to let him out of this alive. I have to get to the docking bay and off this ship to join my crew.
I have to grab one thing, though, first.
I rub my finger on the blaster's trigger. Why haven't I killed this bastard?
He straightens from the wall. "I will tell you everything about the Ssedez you humans have wanted to know but have never been able to understand."
He is one of them!
My heart jumps, and I have to reassert my blaster aim. I can't let him know I've been hunting for other species like his. It's the whole point of the Origin's mission. "You'll kill me."
A growl rumbles through his chest, but he nods. "And then I will kill you."
I squeeze the trigger, and the neon green bolt of light hits him in the torso, too fast for him to dodge. He should fall. I expect him to land on the deck.
But to my horror, his skin illuminates with the light. He turns bright gold, every part of him glowing. With a roar, he comes at me, body slams me, throwing us into the escape pod.
I twist before I hit the floor, going for a headlock. But he wrenches away from me, moving with a litheness that shouldn't be possible for a being of his size.
He punches the flashing red button by the door.
And before I have time to scream, it closes with a whoosh, and we're detached, hurtling through space.
We are thrust from Nem's ship in a pod, tumbling free into space. I stretch for handholds to anchor myself, so I do not bang into the walls.
I may not need armor, but my bones can still break.
Nem shouts but gives up hope of killing me. His blaster will not work on me any more than that worthless full-body armor of his. I cannot even see his face. It angers me when I cannot see my enemies' eyes as I kill them.
I expect the pod to fire off to where my ship — my Ssedez warriors — will easily capture us. There, I will be reunited, and we can do to this human what is best. Torture him for everything he knows about the humans — whether others are coming, and if his kind knows we still exist or if he is a lone ship gone astray. Then we will give him as brutal a death as his Ten Systems' army gave Ssedez civilians when they started a war and attacked our cruisers over a century ago.
Except the pod does not float into space.
It speeds, gathering momentum, forcing us against the curved back wall of the vessel, gravity trapping us. Which only means one thing — we are being pulled toward a planet.
And the only planet near enough is Fyrian.
The fire world. To enter its atmosphere is to incinerate. It means death.
I thank the gods I have no spouse or children to leave behind.
I have no regrets. The human, though I would rather kill him with my bare hands, will die with me.
Heat, hot, sweat, burning. The interior of the pod shakes and hums. Not even the defensive armor of my skin — impervious to any weaponry — can shield me from fire.
So this is what it feels like to be burned alive.
The human does not scream or cry out in pain, and, though I must grind my teeth, I do not, either. I focus on my dying prayer — that none of my warriors escaping the ship will suffer the same fate as me.
Death comes with a jolt to my body like thunder ripping through my chest, and the last thing I feel is a hammer pounding of my head.
I awake ...
Gasping, my lungs screaming, sucking on air that is not air at all. It is nothing — nothing that my lungs process anyhow. The pod is pitch dark; no light shines, except for a flashing button that blinks eject. In a firing of instinct, I crawl with my burning body to the control console and hit the button.
The hatch opens. Blinding sunlight and a rush of air explode against my face, but it is so hot, it knocks me unconscious again.
What wakes me is water dripping into my eyes — which turns out to be condensation dripping from the pod.
I wipe it away, then force myself to my feet. Though I am sweltering as in a sauna, I look down at my limbs, and I have not burned. My armor remains untarnished. I retract it, pulling the protective covering back into my skin.
It seethes like a fire in my belly from the nexus of my spine. My lungs ache from the burn, and my vision pulses with a red haze.
I do not understand what I am feeling.
I stumble out of the pod into a jungle. Green and more green as far as I can see. Enormous vegetation with leaves bigger than my head. Trees thick as three of me, trunks overgrown with vines, and moss so richly dark a green, it's almost blue. And humid.
The air is so thick with fog, it could be steam.
My muscles heat like coals, and the holsters confining my chest are unbearable. I unbuckle them, fingers shaking with impatience, and feel as though my skin will burst into blisters.
Something stirs beside me. My reaction is slow, my gaze heavy, and limbs lethargic with the fire racing through my blood.
The creature dressed in black, the general, the human, rouses, and a fury starts in my core, the flames singeing through my veins blazing.
His breathing is harsh and labored, so loud, I can hear it from inside his helm. He reaches for it, fingers fumbling in gloves, frantic. His groan of frustration is a sound so desperate and guttural, it shoots through me like the laser he shot at me on the ship.
The blaze coursing in me intensifies and pulses through every part of me, including my loins, which swell and strain. And I know not why.
But then he removes his helm. Or ...
That is why.
Her hair is cut to her chin, but her bone structure, her face, is an array of delicate cheekbones and full lips. Panting heavily, sweat dripping from her face, she pulls at her armor, yanking it off until she's left wearing a white clinging suit — which is barely a covering at all. It molds over her chest, revealing high and tight breasts with round, rubied nipples outlined against the fabric.
She tears off her gloves and stands to full height, rubbing at her body, scratching over her limbs. She feels it, too, this burn, this heat. It is as though she is trying to wipe it off her. Her movements are frenetic — crossing over her hips and thighs. A grimace strains her features, and she grips her breasts hard and squeezes, as though trying to relieve a pain.
It is the same for me, though mine is a pain to be doing to her exactly as she is doing to herself. To stroke her and feel her against me. To possess her body with my hands.
Why I want to do this to a human is odd, and I do not understand my own desire.
She releases one breast and drags her hand down her belly to press between her legs. The sound she makes is the most sexual thing I have ever heard.
Her gaze lands on me and, there is no surprise or anger at seeing her enemy. There is only hunger.
"You are female," I rumble.
"And your ... your ... mouth." Her words are broken by gasps, and she writhes against her hand and stares at my mouth. With a delicate tongue, she licks her lips.
I mirror the gesture — try to lick mine — but instead feel my fangs descending.
Venom drips from the tips lengthening past my lip. The intoxicant tastes sweet on my tongue, but in a sickly way. The venom isn't meant for me to taste; it's an aphrodisiac meant for her.
She tilts her head, exposing the column of her throat. A carnal need to bite her seizes me. There are reasons why I should not, many reasons why this is wrong. Something is not right. None of this should be.
Something about this planet, the air, the heat, the steam, is fucking with us. I force my gaze away from her and try to focus on what is around me.
"What is this place?" I pant in her language, trying to think of anything but how my body feels.
"I ... don't ... know." Her voice is tight with pain.
I glance back at her, and it is obvious she is trying not to look at me. But it does not matter that she is my worst enemy whom I have trained my whole life to kill.
And when she looks back at me, it does not seem to matter to her either that I just destroyed her ship and killed off a lot of her crew. Her gaze drags over my body with the kind of need that echoes mine.
"What is ... happening?" she gasps, her breathing rapid. "This ... is ... awful."
"I do not know."
The fire scorching through me burns away my ability to care why I should not want her. My mind is useless. The only way I can think to quench the flames within me is to sink my fangs into her.
She sucks air through her teeth. "Bite me."
I am incapable of resisting her command.
I grab her and haul her to me.
She clings to me and leans her head back, exposing her throat once more.
I bite, my fangs cutting into her flesh in one fast strike. She cries out and crushes my head closer to her, sinking my fangs deeper.
The ecstasy is excruciating. The venom streams from my mouth into her vein; the convulsions start — whether in me or in her I do not know.
We are on the ground; I am on top of her, our bodies writhing, animal and greedy. My cock aches and pounds too hard for me to even think of undressing her, of opening her legs, and fucking into her cunt with all the ruthlessness with which she is grinding against me.
A scream of pleasure rings from her throat, and she thrusts against me, her thighs vising my hips. The clothes separating us do not matter. I have to come.
I orgasm so hard I have to detach from her throat to let out my own climatic shouts. It slices through my gut and short-circuits my brain.
Rewired, unmade, I collapse over her and fall into blissful unconsciousness.
He bit me. I asked him to. He gave me an orgasm. I made him come, too.
At least the burning stopped.
The heat lessens, and I am grateful. I don't care what I had to do to get it to stop. I don't care that the man — or male Ssedez — who destroyed my ship and half my crew had to lie on top of me. I don't care that I begged him to bite me and fell victim to ... to ... to whatever the hell his fangs did to me.
And his body — all the rippling gold muscle in my hands, over me, trapping me —
Damn, it was good. Whatever it was. I don't care that I should've killed him already — at the moment, anyway. That will change.
Excerpted from "Toxic Desire"
Copyright © 2018 Robin Lovett.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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