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Warrior's Pain (Cadi Warriors Book 4)

By:Stephanie West

Preface


Riley was sick of constantly getting the short end of the stick. If it wasn’t enough that she’d been sent to prison for her brother’s crimes, then got abducted by aliens; being hauled onto the auction block certainly took the cake.

“You know what, fine, bring it on!”

Unwittingly, Riley goaded Fate into throwing everything it could at her, and it did. The sadistic bitch, Destiny, put not only the lives of thousands into her trembling hands, but then it twisted the knife, making Riley fall for a man who was untouchable.

“Life isn’t fair,” Riley gave a slight bitter laugh, her chin quivering. “It culls the sick and the weak from the herd with cruel efficiency. It doesn’t care if you can’t handle the avalanche that it rains down on you. It doesn’t know the meaning of mercy. It takes and takes, till you have nothing left to give, then casts you aside.”

But Riley refused to break under the weight of it all. She couldn’t. The human colony, and Earth itself, depended on her. Riley just wished she could trust her instincts about the massive red-skinned alien who showed up at the auction to buy her. Unfortunately, she’d been hurt one too many times to take the risk, and the secrets she kept were more important than the suffering of a lone individual.



Cyprian turned his back on his family’s less than honorable legacy, choosing instead to dedicate his life to serving the people of Cadi. It was that dogged focus on his duty, that led Cyprian to the off-world auction, playing the part of a traitor. His mission was to find who was behind a series of abductions, and bring everyone safely back home.

Except rescuing the tattooed, dark haired human didn’t happen the way it should have. With her unbreakable spirit and hot body, Riley stripped Cyprian of the control he fought so hard to maintain. Yet the warrior found he couldn’t live without the pain in the ass.

“You are mine. I never lied about that,” Cyprian growled at Riley. “You know it’s true. Stop lying to yourself. Don’t force me to tie you up, because you know I will. I may not be able to get you to spill all your secrets, but there’s one thing I’ll force from your lips.” It wasn’t an idle threat. Cyprian would seduce Riley till she admitted he was her male.

Discover how Riley and Cyprian drive each other mad and fall madly in love, while putting it all on the line to save their people, in Warrior’s Pain.


Prologue


Riley

“You shouldn’t be taking the fall for your idiot brother,” Pépère grumbled, while snuffing out his cigarette in the overflowing ashtray, only to immediately light another.

Riley stood numb in the middle of her grandfather’s brownstone parlor, as he lectured her for the last time. She fixated on Pépère’s gnarled wrinkled face, his cigarette lighting up with each drag. Her grandfather wasn’t the poster boy for grandparent of the year, but he was good man, even if he was a bit gruff. He’d kept her ass out of juvy during high school, and did the best he could with her brother, Jay.

“Where is that boy?” Pépère demanded. “The least he could do, is show up on your court day.”

Chicago, the last Riley had heard. Jay fled Boston, when he learned the people he was mixed up with, weren’t happy their meth was confiscated by the cops.

“It’s for the best he’s not here,” Riley replied.

Her junkie brother wouldn’t make a good impression on the judge. Riley didn’t know how great an impression she was going to make herself. She looked down at her outfit and sighed. Her black, sleeveless, A-line dress, and knee-high boots, were better suited for the club than court. At least the suit jacket covered the tattoos on her arms.

I should’ve dyed my hair back to its natural color. Riley fingered a purple tendril before tucking it in amongst her black locks.

Riley grabbed a cigarette out of her grandfather’s pack and lit up. It was an awful habit, but at the moment, she didn’t care. Riley closed her eyes as she pulled in a lungful of nicotine.

“Maybe if you tell the judge what your brother did.”

“No, Pépère. It doesn’t matter. They found his junk in my car, that makes me responsible. That’s the law.”

“You are stubborn, and too damn kind for your own good. Jay has a record. They’d easily see they were his drugs.”

“I have a record too,” Riley retorted.

“Getting busted with pot when you were sixteen doesn’t count.”

“It doesn’t matter.” Riley shook her head in frustration.

This was her first offence as an adult, but the teenage indiscretion, her outward appearance, and being poor as shit, weren’t in her favor. Still she was going to get off better than Jay. This would be his third strike. That meant life in jail.

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