More bloodshed during the Gothe’maran-Earth War is the last thing Sergeant Taber Mahoney wanted to see. Hopefully, this one last battle will end it. Searching the dead to find the wounded, what he witnesses is enough to push him over the edge into madness.
Attacked by her mate — an event all too familiar to her — Akahana accepts her fate and sends a silent prayer that he will not find her in a future life. Prepared to die, she doesn’t expect the dark warrior who brings death to give her life.
Even though she is freed from a mate who would smother her soul in fear and pain, can Akahana truly escape him? Will he haunt her mind and heart from the grave and never give her the peace she so desperately craves?
It takes more than technology to heal a fractured life, and even the love of one extraordinary man may not be enough.
Besides, Akahana’s mate may yet reach out from his grave, giving his final protest at this forbidden union.
Akahana was wrapped in warmth. Light and warmth. She floated somewhere between life and death, both beckoning to her equally. She was about to make her choice when another presence filled her mind.
The masculine presence was filled with anger and worry. His thoughts kept returning to the scene on Earth, Gamin in his grasp. Dying. His only thought had been to kill the man torturing the woman. His woman. Something deep inside him had claimed her as his own.
At first, Akahana shrank deep within herself, refusing to go to the huge man who had been her savior. She wanted no man ever again. But his anguished thoughts were filled with nothing but how his actions would affect her. Would she recover from her injuries? Was she comfortable in the tube? Was she as aware of him as he was of her?
Would she hate him?
Every time his thoughts drifted in that direction, pain sliced through his heart, and a fresh wave of confusion swamped him. He didn’t know what was happening.
This man, Taber, was her soul’s mate.
She didn’t want to think about it. But despite her mind screaming for her to run from him, her heart recognized the goodness in him and reached out. Shewanted a mate — she just wanted one who wouldn’t cause her pain.
With a tentative brush to Taber’s mind, Akahana made contact as a mate. Her mind gently probed his, hoping he would realize what she was doing. He was startled at first, confused. He didn’t know what to do. So Akahana introduced herself.
“I am Akahana Di’Var. You saved my life.”
“How can you talk to me?”
Had she been awake and in her own body, she would have sighed. “It is complicated. I only wanted you to be at peace with what you did.”
“You can forgive me for killing a man with my bare hands?”
“He would have killed me. I saw it in his mind.”
“So you can read minds, then.” It wasn’t a question.
“No. Not as you perceive it, anyway. Every Gothe’maran can touch the mind of his or her soul’s mate. It seems we have found each other against all odds.”
“You were right.” His voice sounded weary. “I guess it is complicated.”
Akahana would have laughed if she’d felt like it, but she just couldn’t summon the energy. “I’m tired.”
“Rest then. I’ll be here, watching over you.”
“You don’t have to.”
“I know.” There was a mental caress to her cheek as he tentatively reached for the unfamiliar and touched her mind. “Rest well, Dearheart. I’ll be here when you wake.”
The light surrounding her faded, replaced by a night sky filled with a myriad of stars, but no moon. She had a few moments to appreciate the beauty of it before her mind slowly sank back into unconsciousness. Back into a healing sleep.
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