Agreeing to live on Earth with his sister might have been the biggest mistake of Sentry Xi Moonmist’s very long life. Far away from his home world, he has no duties to perform, no job to do. He has no purpose. Worse, his magic is fading, turning against him, and even the smallest of spells has unpredictable consequences.
Everything changed for Cynda Vargas the day her fathers died. Left alone with a jealous mother and two spoiled sisters, she’s known nothing but loneliness and neglect for years. An infertile human female, rejected from the Academy, an embarrassment to her family, she has no time to dream when she’s simply trying to survive.
The path to happily-ever-after isn’t an easy one, but when fate brings these two lost souls together, all it takes is one kiss and a little magic to leave them both completely spellbound.
“Nonsense. You need something to wear to bed, do you not?” The door slid open, and Jael swept into the boutique with a tinkling laugh, beckoning Cynda and Xi to follow. “Oh, and this dress would look gorgeous on you,” she continued, not three steps inside the building. Plucking the garment off the floating rack, she pushed it into Cynda’s arms. “I’m sure there’s somewhere you can try it on.”
Stars, it was like being run over by the sweetest, bubbliest freighter in the universe. Xi was no help, either. Every time she tried appealing to him, he’d simply smiled and told her not to worry. When that didn’t work, he’d remind her that his sister was pregnant and highly emotional. They wouldn’t want to upset her, would they?
It was a dirty trick, but so far, one that had worked every time. So, she wasn’t surprised when Xi only shook his head and laughed this time as well.
“Probably best not to argue, fayah.”
Okay, fine. If it would make the siblings happy, she’d try it on. There wasn’t any rule saying she actually had to buy it. Besides, it really was beautiful. The lavender material complimented her skin tone, and the fabric flowed between her fingers like water. The tiny white flowers made it appear casual, while the plunging neckline gave it a hint of sensuality.
A few minutes later, as she stared at her reflection in the dressing room mirror, she’d completely changed her mind about the dress. Clearly, Jael had misjudged her size, because the damn thing clung to her in the most unflattering way, accentuating every flaw. The neckline she’d thought sexy actually dipped so low between her breasts it verged on indecent.
And if that wasn’t humiliating enough, the zipper was stuck. No matter how much she twisted and contorted, she couldn’t get it to budge. Pink-cheeked and breathing heavily from the exertion, she finally gave in with a wounded sigh and accepted that she’d have to ask for help.
Sliding the door open, she hid as much of herself behind it as she could, peeking around the fogged glass as she searched for Jael. Instead, she found Xi standing just a few feet away, his stance wide and his arms crossed over his chest. The moment he spotted her, he relaxed his posture and started toward her.
Cynda squeaked and slammed the door closed hard enough to make the glass rattle in its frame.
“Fayah?” Concern bled into his voice as he knocked gently on the door. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing! Everything is fine.” Crap, crap, crap. “Can you get Jael, please?”
“She’s in the other changing room.” The door vibrated on its metal tracks as he tried to force it open. “Cynda, open the door. Tell me what’s wrong.”
She wrung her hands together and paced in the enclosed space. She could wait for Jael, but judging by the urgency in Xi’s voice, he wouldn’t. Sure enough, the pounding started a moment later, his fist hitting the frame so hard she feared the clouded glass would shatter.
“Okay,” she called as she unlocked the door. It wasn’t fair to make him worry, especially because of something so silly. “Just…don’t laugh.”
Still standing behind the door, she opened it just wide enough for Xi to slip into the changing room with her. Stars, he seemed to take up a lot more space than logic argued he should. He might have been taking in more than his share of oxygen as well because she suddenly found it hard to breathe.
“What’s wrong?” he demanded. “Why did you—” His words ended on a choked groan as his eyes went impossibly wide. “You look…”
“Ridiculous,” she moaned, her face burning with her embarrassment. “I know, but the zipper’s stuck.”
“Stunning.” Closing the distance between them, he backed her against the wall, trapping her there with his hard body. “I was going to say that you look stunning.”
Then, his mouth was on hers, his tongue plunging between her lips in a hard, searching kiss that made her head spin and her legs tremble. She’d been kissed before, but never like this. Never so thoroughly and passionately that she felt it in every cell of her being.
Then, just as suddenly as the kiss had started, Xi jerked away to stare down at her.
“We need to go.” The markings on his arms and neck shimmered almost as intensely as the hunger blazing in his eyes.
His growl sent a wave of moisture pooling between her legs, and she nodded up at him dazedly. “Okay.”
“Fuck.” Taking her wrist, he jerked the door open and practically dragged her from the room. “We have to go. Now.”
If you've been following the 3013 Series from the beginning, you know all about the Dragon Warriors. They're ancient, magical, and sexy as sin, but that wasn't always the case.
Okay, okay, they were always gorgeous, but they weren't always magical. Thousands of years before 3013, the Dragon Warriors lost their magic because they couldn't play nice with others. Or each other. Or pretty much anyone in the universe. Then, a feisty human female is carried to Arcadia on a bolt of lightning, and everything changes.
This is the beginning. This is where it all started. These are the Arcadians before they were Dragon Warriors.
INTO THE DREAM
Allison Summers is having the mother of all bad days. As a surgeon, Allie is strong, smart, and confident, but as a woman, she still struggles to overcome a difficult past. She tries to make the best of her situation, though her life takes an unexpected turn when she is struck by lightning and finds herself transported to a strange, alien world.
Arcadian Princes Tynan, Cael, and Ryder Dracor have been searching for the mate who will complete their souls, but they fear that day will never come. Born in a world stripped of magic and out of favor with the gods, their very existence is in peril, though everything changes the moment a fair-haired goddess suddenly appears. They have no clue who she is or where she came from...but they immediately know she belongs to them.
When wills clash and legacies are unveiled, they discover more is at risk than just their hearts. Their love may be fated, but is it enough for Allie to forget everything she's ever known and truly embrace being an Arcadian?
NOTE: This book was previously published but has been revised and extended.
As the series grows, we are always striving to find ways to keep it fresh and offer a well-rounded, diverse cast of characters. Which is why we're so excited to welcome author Arden Steele to the 3013 Series!
Arden writes exclusively M/M, and her first 3013 Novella will be releasing this winter. In the meantime, be sure to check out her website and grab your copy of Fallout (Friction, Book 2), coming early October 2019.
Arden is a firm believer that words have power, the pen is mightier than the sword, and happily-ever-afters aren’t just for princesses in fairytales. A true romantic at heart, she’s drawn to the tragically beautiful and the beautifully broken, those flawed men and the stories that made them heroes.
In love with the written word from an early age, Arden has been writing since she was old enough to hold a crayon and a juice box. She has now moved on to more sophisticated mediums to share her ideas and has traded in her juice boxes for copious amounts of strong coffee.
The feeling she gets when she finishes a story, however, hasn’t changed.
To find out more, visit her Website, follow her on Facebook, or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FLIRT (FRICTION, BOOK 1)
No one who has ever met Cameron Stone would describe him as exciting or adventurous. His routine is simple, safe, and he firmly rejects spontaneity in all its various forms. He has a job he loves, a family who supports him, and friends who never try to push him past his comfort zone.
Life is good. In fact, his life is perfect—until one chance encounter turns his meticulously organized world upside down.
Asher Dare is everything Cameron isn’t. He’s gorgeous, charming, outspoken, and not afraid to take what he wants. He’s also an arrogant, pushy, serial playboy with commitment issues and a revolving door to his bedroom. In other words, exactly the type of temptation Cameron doesn’t need.
Still, nothing says he can’t flirt. It’s just drinks, one dance, a kiss or two. What could possibly go wrong?
Ten years ago, Commander Lucas Brighton left behind everything safe and familiar in hopes of outrunning his family’s legacy. For a while it worked. For a while, he was more than just the son of a killer or the heir to a pharmaceutical empire. Now, instead of his coveted command post on Alpha Station: X4, he spends his days in an underground lab failing to turn a bunch of magical flowers into an effective treatment for infertility.
When the king of the entire planet asks you to aid in the advancement of human medicine, you do it. For Jael Moonmist, that means leaving Xenthian for the first time in her long life and traveling across the galaxies to a strange, unknown world. Arriving at the front door of the hilltop mansion, she holds few expectations. Least of which is meeting her soulmate, then having him pass out before she can even introduce herself.
Their relationship gets off to a rocky start, but when a mishap in the lab leaves Jael suffering from a mysterious illness, Luke will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if that means abandoning everything and embarking on a frantic trek across the universe.
With the clock ticking, can he reach the antidote on Xenthian in time, or will he be forced to watch as his new mate is consumed by the fever?
The female knelt on the floor beside the sofa, watching him cautiously with big, lavender eyes that dominated her delicate features. Markings in swirls and splotches curled up the side of her neck and wrapped around her arms, shimmering with a faint, translucent light. She had her bottom lip caught between her teeth, and when seconds passed without a response from him, she lowered her head and tucked a strand of wavy, midnight hair behind her pointed ear.
“I know you.” He remembered uttering something similar when they’d first met. “You’re Jael.”
Her head snapped up, and she nodded slowly. “Yes, that’s right.” As she spoke, she inched closer but stopped short of actually touching him. “How do you feel? Are you hungry? Would you like some water? What do you remember? Is there anything I can get you?”
She spoke so quickly Luke could barely understand her, and he couldn’t help but chuckle. “Whoa, slow down. One question at a time.”
A sweet blush tinged her cheeks, and she ducked her head again as she mumbled, “Apologies.”
“Hey, no. I didn’t mean it like that.” He reached out, intending to slide a finger under her chin, but he stopped abruptly when he caught sight of his hand. “What the fuck?”
Alarm flared, and panic made him recoil. It wasn’t like his hands had ever been small or elegant, but now, they were the size of goddamn dinner plates. Hell, his palm could cover the entire side of the female’s face.
Holding both arms out in front of him, he turned his hands one way, then the other, staring at the corded muscles that ran from his wrists to his elbows. From there, it only got worse. His biceps appeared roughly twice the size they’d been when he’d fallen asleep. His bare chest was definitely broader, with harder, denser muscles. His thighs bulged beneath the blanket that covered his lap, and it didn’t escape his notice that with his feet on the floor, his knees now rose higher than a ninety-degree angle.
“What the hell happened to me?” Shoving to his feet, he stumbled and swayed, and it took him several seconds and a lot of flailing to find his balance. “What is this?” From where he stood, he should have been eye-level with the fifth shelf on the bookcase—not the seventh. “What the actual fuck?”
“Please,” Jael implored as she scrambled to her feet. “I can explain everything, but I need you to calm down.”
Calm down?When he’d gone to sleep—passed out, whatever—he’d been fine. Then, he’d woken up as a freaking beast, and she wanted him to calm down. It was an impossible task, especially when he made the mistake of glancing down his oversized body to find his dick just hanging out for everyone to see.
“Why the hell am I naked?” he yelled as he snatched the throw blanket off the couch and wrapped it around his waist. It didn’t make him feel better, but at least it allowed him a modicum of dignity. “Where are my clothes? Why do I look like this? What the hell is going on right now?”
“One question at a time,” Jael replied with a sly smirk. “Please, neelum, sit before you hurt yourself.”
“I’m not going to sit. I’m fine.” He sure as hell wasn’t fine, but what else could he say? “What did you do to me?”
“Me?” She jerked back and fisted her hands at her sides. “I didn’t do this.”
“You did,” he snapped, fear making his tone harsher than he’d intended. “Tell me.” No one grew an entire foot and gained thirty pounds of muscle in a couple of hours without some kind of intervention. “Just tell me what you did to me.”
“Luke, stop it.” Cami entered the room at a fast clip but stopped several feet away and narrowed her eyes. “You’re being a complete ass.”
Still clutching the blanket around his waist, Luke faced her with a matching glare. “How the hell is this my fault?” With no explanation forthcoming from either female, he growled with impatience. “Damn it! Someone better start talking.”
“You will take care how you address my sister.” A male with dark hair and a savage expression appeared beside the empty fireplace, seemingly from nowhere, his hand resting on the hilt of his dagger.
Luke vaguely recognized him from earlier on the porch. If he’d been given a name, he couldn’t remember it, and currently, he didn’t care.
“Speak to her harshly again,” the male continued, “and I’ll sever your tongue from your ignorant mouth.”
On one hand, if anyone dared to talk to Cami the way he’d just raised his voice to Jael, Luke would hand them their ass. On the other hand, fuck that guy. “You can try it.”