Find more from this author on:
About the author:
Alana Khan writes under a pen name because she is still a practicing psychotherapist and didn’t want to scandalize her clients with the steamy stories she writes for fun. Her history as a therapist gives her unique insight into people’s thoughts, feelings, and motivations. It provides her writing the ring of truth and deep emotion.
Alana has specialized in working with trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder since the beginning of her career. Maybe this is why most of her characters have some…issues. Don’t we all? Even though many of her characters have been scarred and traumatized, she makes her characters work hard to earn their happily ever after, which is guaranteed in every book—because they deserve it.
Alana knows that life is hard and the path to true love is littered with potholes and poor choices. That’s why it’s easy to write books with real themes and real difficulties before the characters find their well-deserved bliss. She guarantees no “too stupid to live heroines” and no
What inspired you to write your book?
I write what I love to read–romance. Because I'm a psychotherapist, most of my characters have issues and struggles just like the rest of us. We still all deserve our happily ever after.
Here is a short sample from the book:
I thought for a moment if I just shut my eyes and opened them again this shitshow would disappear. I’ve tried three times now to no avail. It’s official. I’m having a really bad day. Actually, I’ve had several in a row.
I was kidnapped from my bed by aliens who beamed me onto their spacecraft. The ugly, boar-like guys shoved me unceremoniously into a coffin-shaped pod, which filled with rotten-egg-smelling gas and knocked me out.
I have no idea how long I was lying unconscious, but I woke up about an hour ago. The boar people roughly inserted a translator under the skin behind my right ear. Then they marched me off the ship into this enormous, decrepit building, and threw me into the barred cell I’m currently occupying.
It’s disorienting and terrifying to go from Earth to a spaceship capable of interstellar travel, to the dank dungeon I inhabit. It’s like transporting from the future to the dark ages in the span of an hour.
The floor is a jigsaw puzzle of stone; the cells are crudely constructed of metal bars on three sides with a back wall of rock and mortar. The lighting flickers haphazardly; drops of cool water occasionally drip off the dank ceiling onto my hair and face.
Rubbing my clammy, shaking hands on my thighs, I straighten my shoulders. I have no time for self-pity, sadness, or fear. First things first. I need to focus and get my bearings. I have to figure out why I’m here, who’s in charge and how to get the heck back home to my life on Earth.
I don’t see any guards, only the inhabitants of the two adjoining cells. I’m still not over the fact that aliens aren’t just a feature on the SYFY network. There are women of two different alien species on either side of me, which blows my mind. The fact that I’m standing here is proof positive UFO’s are real.
The humanoid woman, or should I say female, to my right looks vaguely reptilian with roughly-textured greenish-brown skin and flat, elongated nostrils. She hasn’t stopped crying since my arrival. At least I think she’s crying; her high-pitched whine is piercing my eardrums. Paying attention to my irritation seems far better than tuning in to the terror coiling in the pit of my stomach.
I figure getting her to talk to me would kill three birds with one stone. I’d hopefully collect some info, keep my mind off the icy horror speeding through my veins, and perhaps she would stop making that horrific noise.
“Hi, I’m Petra.” After waiting a moment for her to respond, I try again. “Hello, can you understand me?”
She looks at me, eyes narrowed in distrust, then finally responds, “I’m Zanek.”
“I just arrived here. Where are we? Who’s in charge? What do they want?” I’m desperate for answers.
“I…I,” she sputters to a stop. She pulls herself together, squares her shoulders and takes a deep breath. “We’re on planet Numa, I believe. It’s where slavers go to buy and sell their wares. They have houses of pleasure, sex exhibitions, and gladiator fights.” She points with a lift of her chin toward an open doorway.
I hadn’t paid attention until now, but I can see through the narrow opening into a massive arena. Across the covered stadium are hundreds of crude benches in a stepped fashion rising toward the roof. Aliens of all types, shapes, and colors are excitedly filing toward their seats. I can hear the low buzz of animated discussion.
“That’s a stadium for fighting right there?”
“Are they going to fight us against each other?” I can’t control the shrill tone of my voice as a spike of fear races up my spine.
“I doubt it. I assumed they were holding us here for a slave auction, perhaps tomorrow.”
Slaves? Hell no! That’s what they dragged me across the universe for? I want to believe this is just a dream, that there aren’t such things as aliens and spaceships. But looking at this dungeon and the reptilian woman less than ten feet away—it’s obviously true.
Cold tentacles of fear grab at the edges of my thoughts, but I push them away. The fact that I’ve been kidnapped and hauled to another part of the galaxy to be sold as a slave has to be relegated to the back attic of my mind—like so many other things I’ve endured in my life. My goal right now is to figure out how to escape.
“Slaves? This can’t be true,” I insist even though the facts support it.
She can’t meet my gaze and resumes her shrill wailing. She manages to spit out, “sex slaves,” then completely loses it. She’s weeping so hard I know she’s incapable of answering any more questions, at least for the moment.
I’ve noticed the female in the cell to my left has been listening to our conversation. She has a noisy bubbler device attached to her nose and mouth; I assume she can’t breathe the air on this planet without it.
“Is this true?” I ask, still in denial.
She nods, then points to the breathing apparatus on her face. She obviously won’t be able to answer any more questions.
I pace for a moment, trying to get a grasp on the situation. Okay, sex slave on a planet so far from home I had to be put in suspended animation to get here. It’s clear; no one is coming to save me.
I’m not going to lose my focus. I will get myself out of this. I’ve coped with bad situations before. I’m twenty-eight years old. I can think rationally, I have resources, albeit not many. At least I’m not five years old and living out of doors in war-torn Serbia anymore. Thoughts of my experiences as a little girl, hungry and alone in a war zone, threaten to intrude. I forcefully push them away. I am not a helpless, fearful little girl; I’m going to figure a way out of this.
It’s hard to see beyond the arched doorway into the stadium. What strikes me more than the dirt floor, risers and seats is the energized air of excited expectancy. How can these people be capable of space travel, yet still so barbaric as to enjoy gladiatorial flights?
“Petra, concentrate!” I scold myself; I need to plot a way out of here. I’ve got to get home to my friends. My eyebrows pull together in worry about my cat, Motley. I hope my roommate keeps him fed until I get home.
My attention darts to three people striding down the corridor outside my cell toward the arena. One guy is enormous, like a seven foot Norse god—snow-white hair, piercing blue eyes and built like a linebacker, only bigger.
The other male is something out of a dystopian nightmare. He’s also big and muscular, but his resemblance to his friend stops there. He’s humanoid with a kind of Borg-like prosthetic left eye that shines red and a mechanical left arm. He’s wearing only a loincloth.
I can’t tear my eyes away, but I’m not sure whether it’s from repulsion or fascination. His body is jaw-droppingly well muscled, but it’s also heavily scarred from face to knees. He has an angsty rage I can smell from one hundred yards away. Even a million miles from Earth I can’t get away from that magnetic attraction to the bad boys? There is definitely something wrong with me.
Almost as an afterthought, I notice there’s a female with them. I glance again to make certain, but I think she’s human.
They are a few doors down from my cell when I call out, “Are you from Earth? Can you help me?”
Her head snaps over in my direction; she looks me up and down as her eyes narrow. She seems skeptical.
“You’re human? Where are you from?” She asks warily.
“Serbia originally, Philly most of my life.”
Still suspicious, she asks, “What’s your football team?” Like knowing this would prove I’m really from Earth.
“The Eagles. I just woke up here. Can you help me?”
She and the Norse god are both wearing blue jumpsuits. She looks up at him. He leans his head down to her and they confer. The discussion appears to be progressing into a whisper-fight. I think she’s pleading my case. He doesn’t seem convinced. The bad boy seems utterly disinterested in them or me and is peering impatiently through the archway into the arena.
“Please!” I try to keep her focused on coming to my aid. “I’ve been kidnapped from Earth and brought here. The female in the next cell told me they’re going to sell me as a sex slave. I’ve done nothing wrong. Can you help me?”
She seems to redouble her efforts to convince the big guy to help. They’ve moved closer to my cell and I catch snippets of their conversation.
“We can’t leave her here, Theos. She’s human, like me. We fought our owners and won our own freedom less than a week ago. I can’t walk away from another of my kind and abandon her to be sold as a slave.”
“Why her? Why not the beings on either side of her? Why not everyone on this entire cell block? We can’t save everyone, Savannah.”
“You’re right. We can’t save everyone. But maybe we can save her. She’s human like me and all the other females on the ship. You wouldn’t leave a fallen comrade, would you? It’s like that—I can’t walk away!”
He’s so much bigger than her, but he doesn’t pull rank or order her around. He seems to be listening to her and considering things from every angle.
“We have no money, Savannah. That’s why we’re here on this shit planet to begin with. That’s why Shadow is getting ready to fight in this arena. We need credits to repair our ship, for food and necessities. We already have over twenty souls to take care of. We’re not even sure we can manage that, much less add one more mouth to feed. We can’t break this female out; this facility is too heavily guarded. The only way to rescue her is to buy her. Where will we find the money for that?”
“I’ll earn it,” I interrupt eagerly.
They quit arguing and their heads swivel to look at me, skepticism written all over their faces.
“Get me out of here and I can earn money.” My mind is racing, but I’ve always been a hard worker. I’ll do anything to get out of this cell.
“I cut hair. I’m sure there’s a need for a good hairdresser…”
A deep scratchy voice intrudes over a loudspeaker in the arena. A roar goes up from the crowd. Sexy loincloth guy cracks his knuckles and his neck, then announces arrogantly, “I have to find the promoter. I told you both from the beginning, I don’t need you here. I certainly don’t need to help with this pathetic little human’s problems. I’ll find you after I win my match.” He turns on his heel, not waiting for a reply.
“We’ll be right here,” Savannah forcefully points to the floor where she’s standing, an obvious statement she's not leaving. Theos merely nods.
“Look,” Savannah resumes our conversation, talking confidentially, her eyes suspiciously scanning the other prisoners. “Myself and nine other Earth women were kidnapped less than a month ago and placed on a slave ship with ten gladiators, also slaves. A week or so ago we overthrew our guards and we’re now in possession of the vessel and our freedom. We came directly to this planet to make necessary repairs, get some forged credentials and make enough credits to pay for it all.
“We’ll be leaving as soon as the repairs are completed—we’ve got some bad guys on our tail. We can’t dawdle around this hell hole so you can cut hair. Money is tight. I don’t know where we’d get enough to buy you.”
“She,” I point my thumb at the reptilian girl, “tells me there are a lot of sex clubs on this planet. Are there strip clubs?”
Savannah’s eyes widen. “Are you offering to sell your body to avoid slavery?”
“I have…skills. I’ll do whatever it takes to get myself out of this cell and leave this planet on your ship as a free woman. You buy me and take me to a strip club. Loan me one of your gladiators to protect me while I work, and I won’t stop until I’ve paid you back.”
Theos has been listening intently and now shakes his handsome head back and forth. “No, this won’t work. We don’t even know how much it will cost to buy her. She has no idea how much she can make doing…whatever it is she will do. It’s a terrible plan. It isn’t even a plan, Savannah, it’s just a wish. I vote no.”
Savannah looks trapped. I’m afraid she agrees with him.
“Look. How about if I promise a money-back guarantee? He’s right. I have no idea how much I’ll cost or how much I can make. But if I haven’t earned enough to pay you back by the time the repairs are complete and you’re ready to fly, you can sell me back to the people you buy me from. No loss to you.” I don’t know what I’ll do if I have to return to this cell, but at least this gives me a fighting chance.
“Theos, look, she’s giving us a guarantee,” Savannah coaxes. “This is a no-lose situation…except for her. She’s willing to fight for her freedom. Which is exactly what we just did on the ship. Please, let her try.”
He inhales deeply and thinks for so long I assume I’ve lost the battle. Then he takes another breath and nods almost imperceptibly. “I’ll comm the ship and run it by the captain. If he agrees, I’ll help.”
A few minutes later he informs us, “Captain Zar agreed, but he insists on holding her to the guarantee. We can’t afford to put everyone’s life at risk for this, as much as we all want to help.”
The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, one of my favorite quotes from Star Trek is being thrown back in my face, darn it.
Theos stalks off in search of someone in a position of authority who can negotiate a price for me. I don’t bother with false modesty as I yank off my knee-high black boots, pull my panties off, stash them in my bra, and drag my leggings back on.
While we wait for Theos, my eyes stray into the arena when I hear the crowd roar with appreciation. I’m just in time to see a monstrous, green reptilian with several rows of teeth in his enormous mouth smash his smaller, humanoid opponent so hard the man drops to the dirt, unable to get up. At first, I think he’s dead, but after a moment I can see his chest weakly rising and falling.
The announcer then calls two names for the next match. “That’s Shadow’s fight,” Savannah informs me with as much concern as if she’s ordering Starbucks.
“Aren't you distressed? Worried he’ll be hurt? The guy who lost the previous fight looks like he might never recover.”
“Shadow’s a dick,” she lifts her shoulders, “I guess it would be a shame if he got severely injured, but…” She shrugs again and tilts her head.
This stuns me. I’m trusting these people to keep me safe, and this woman doesn’t seem to care if her comrade lives or dies. “Must be a really big dick,” I muse out loud.
“We don’t know each other well,” she backtracks. “We were isolated as couples in cells until recently so I haven’t spent much time with him. He just…didn’t make a very good impression on many of us. He’s angry. He’s not sociable. But he did battle for our freedom. And,” she adds almost as an afterthought, “he saved our captain’s life.”
“Okay, so we should both root for him in this fight, right?”
She lifts one shoulder noncommittally.
A commotion from the crowd draws my attention to the arena. I can only see a sliver of the action as I crane my neck to look through the slim, stone doorway. Shadow is matched against a tall Neanderthal-looking alien who must outweigh him by over fifty pounds. I look twice, thinking my eyes are playing tricks on me, but they’re not. These guys are fighting in the nude.
I have to give him credit; Shadow’s body is total eye candy. Did Savannah know how right she was when she called him a “dick”? Because every single female watching this match has to have that word pounding insistently through her mind right now. I have to pull my thoughts out of the gutter to give my attention to the actual fight.
In the hallway, I was struck by what a large man Shadow is, but now that he’s out in the arena with that huge caveman, he’s dwarfed. I don’t know whether the bionic arm will be an asset or not, but he’ll need some help if he’s going to win. And he’d better win because I’m assuming it’s the purse from this fight that’s going to bankroll my get-out-of-jail-not-so-free plan.
Just as the Neanderthal is fiercely pounding Shadow in the chest, Theos and a shaggy blue alien approach my cell.
“I’m telling you,” the blue guy says, his features slack from boredom, “I can’t accept less than 50,000 credits.”
“That’s crazy,” Theos insists, “I doubt our fighter will make much more than that in his fight against that gargantuan monster out there.”
“Exactly. Whoever buys this lovely specimen of femininity will get her for her entire lifespan, as well as any progeny she may produce. Obviously, she should bring a higher price than a moment’s prowess in the arena.”
“I’m not authorized to pay that much. No more than 25,000.”
“45,000 is as low as I can go.”
“27,500,” Theos offers, and I can tell he’s struggling with the enormity of that sum.
“45,000 firm. I won't accept a credit less.”
Shit. Not only do we have to get him down to a ballpark the gladiator can afford, but I have to get the price down to an amount I can pay back!
“Mmmmm,” I say and begin to twitch. “Mmmmmmm.” My right leg starts shaking. “Ack. Ack. Ack.” I act as if I’m about to dislodge a hairball.
“Ack.” Twitch. “Ack.” Twitch.
I begin to pull at my hair and moan.
“42,500,” blue guy offers, looking at me like I'm a turd in the punchbowl.
My moan begins to ramp into a soft scream. I flop onto my knees and begin to move my right leg in imitation of a dog who loves where you’re scratching it.
“Mmmmmm,” I’m amplifying to a louder scream.
“40,000 is as low as I can go.” Blue guy’s staring down his nose at me in disgust.
I stand up and whirl around as I tip my head forward and back, my long hair flipping wildly. I'm making guttural noises in the back of my throat. Abruptly, I stop and stare directly at him and shriek. I could be wrong, but I think there’s a hush in the arena for a moment in response to my prolonged wail.
“35,000 is as low as I can go, and only because I like you,” the slaver’s tone is oily and insincere.
I catch a glance between Theos and Savannah and I believe they’re both wondering if this is an act, or if I’m actually as crazy as I look.
I stand on the bed and begin to jump on it, now squawking like a bird. I’m not stopping until the price comes down some more.
“30,” blue guy offers. It looks to me like he’s getting nervous.
Theos shakes his head no.
“25?” Sounds like he’s almost pleading now.
“No, she’s clearly crazy. I don't think we want her at all.”
I’m jumping and moaning now. Something big is happening in the arena, there’s a lot of cheering. I hope Shadow is winning. I don’t think they’ll buy me if they don’t get the prize money.
“15. You were right, my friend. I was inflating the price a moment ago. Greed is a terrible character flaw. I think you’re right, 50 is far too high. 15 is fair.”
Still jumping, my noises morph into those of a gorilla. I put my hands in my armpits like an ape. I stick my hands in my face as if to catch the smell of my underarms. Sniffing deeply, I release a satisfied moan.
“10. I can let her go for 10,000,” his tone is urgent. I catch a quick glimpse of his expression; his nostrils are flared, head tipped back in pure disgust.
I glimpse Shadow stalking through the arched doorway. He’s been beaten up—his pec is beginning to bruise and blood is dripping from an eye that’s already half-closed. He’s holding something aloft that must be credits, because he looks pretty proud of himself.
“Well…” I hear Theos hedge. I think he’s about to agree to the ten thousand credits, but I’m still not certain I have the ability to pay that much back. I decide to go for the gold and get the price as low as possible.
I jump off the bed and spear the blue guy right in the eye with my gaze. I squat and while staring directly at him I release an orgasmic moan from deep in the back of my throat, and pee right in my pants. It’s comical to see the look on their faces. I watch as blue guy, Theos, Savannah, and Shadow initially aren’t sure what’s happening. I’m wearing black leggings, so it’s hard to see the wet spot. Then they see the puddle of urine pooling on the floor near my bare feet.
“5,000. I’ll let her go for 5,000 if you pay it right this modicum and leave.” He steps backward as if my puddle of pee was going to attack him.
Theos snatches the card from Shadow, hands it to the slaver who swipes it and opens the door to my cell as fast as possible.
I turn my back on all of them, pull off my sopping leggings, pull on my dry panties and my boots, and hurry after them down the corridor and out the building.