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About the author:
Alana Khan writes under a pen name because she is still a practicing psychotherapist and didn’t want her clients to be be scandalized by the sexy 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.
Many of her characters have been scarred and traumatized. They have to work hard to earn their happily ever after, which is guaranteed in every book.
What inspired you to write your book?
The stories I write are the stories I love to spin in my own head late at night, and I wanted to get them down on paper.
Because I’ve specialized in working with trauma throughout my career as a psychotherapist, I knew I would never write easy breezy contemporary fiction. Nope, my characters have real lives with real backstories, and heavy baggage and authentic pain. I hope my heroes and heroines have struggles that you can relate to. I make them work hard to reach their happily ever afters as people who have transformed and grown. My heroes may not be human, but they struggle just like us and deserve to find their true love. Which I guarantee in every one of my books!
Here is a short sample from the book:
ZAR: Book One in the Galaxy Gladiators Series
Somewhere in Space
Someone is screaming. I must be dreaming because I went to sleep on my comfy mattress, yet I feel like I’m lying on cold, hard metal. What’s going on?
My eyes pop open, but my brain isn’t fully online yet. Was I drugged? My head feels like it’s split wide open. As my eyes focus, I notice other bodies lying on the floor nearby. My heart starts
beating like a jackhammer when I see boots that belong on the feet of some post-apocalyptic Mad Max character.
The pain is too real—I’m not dreaming. I make an end run around my rising panic and order my brain to engage. I glance up past black boots to leather-clad calves and see they are wrapped around the feet and legs of…something definitely not human. I may not have had my morning cuppa joe, but my brain is now making lightning-fast synaptic connections. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that the creature resembling a humanoid boar who is currently pointing a gun at my chest is definitely an alien.
Sweat blooms on my upper lip and my eyes widen in fright as I absorb what’s going on.
I thought aliens from other planets were the stuff of sci-fi movies and National Enquirer abduction stories. This isn’t fiction. This is real! I order my brain to comply with whatever they ask and force my hands to stop trembling. Job number one is to stay alive.
Crap, he sees my eyes are open and signals with his gun for me to get up. I may be disoriented, but I’m not crazy enough to argue with the business end of that weapon. I stumble toward a couple of human women forming a line behind another boar-man. This one grunts at me and I can’t help but notice these guys have four short tusks protruding up from their bottom jaw. Holy shit…tusks!
I get in line behind two women in their twenties like me—one in baby doll pajamas, the other wearing only a pair of black boxers with small red hearts. I’m the one from Colorado in a cute flannel two-piece number with a moose on it. Have we all been kidnapped in our sleep from Earth?
“What’s happening here?” the petite redhead in the front of the line asks, earning her a hard thump on the head by the butt of boar-man number two’s gun.
Rule number one, no talking. Check. Other women are shakily getting up from the floor at the first guy’s command—we are forming an impeccably-ordered line. I’m complying with every direction even as icy terror races along my veins.
A third boar enters, fumbling with a handful of tech gear. I realize these are some kind of glorified collars as he fastens one around each of our necks, and trust me, he’s not gentle about it. Screens on the walls jump to life and a video plays. It does not have high production value, but the message is crystal clear.
We all watch, horror growing, as the video depicts a collar being snapped on a reptilian alien’s neck. The picture shifts to a close-up of some alien version of an Apple watch on an extremely hairy arm. An equally hairy hand pushes a button on the watch and voila, cut to the poor victim being shocked at what appears to be a torturous level. His eyes widen and his alien mouth pulls back into a rictus of agony as he screams a sound so chilling the hair on the back of my neck stands up.
Now there’s a shot of the watch being dialed higher, and then a gruesome close-up of the victim screeching in pain, his eyes rolling backward. His knees hit the floor as he claws at his neck trying to remove the collar. With no additional warning, I hear a loud pop and his head explodes right off his shoulders. My knees sag, but I don’t allow myself to sink to the floor. Some of us sound like we're retching a little in the back of our mouths, but I can guarantee no one is uttering a word of protest.
Don’t fuck with these guys. Point taken.
My terror escalates, my heart hammering in fear as we’re marched into an adjoining room. One by one we’re given a painful shot behind the right ear. No doubt what this is for because now the alien gibberish isn’t gibberish anymore. The translator they implanted allows me to understand the angry orders they are barking.
“You’re on the Warbird One in deep space. You’re now the property of the MarZan cartel. Follow!” the boar at the head of the line commands.
My head reels at this information. It was obvious I’d been kidnapped from my home on Earth, but to hear myself called property spears a sharp arrow of fear through my body.
I’m being as compliant as possible, I’m no fool. I’m too cynical to believe anyone’s coming to save me. I need to figure a way out of this mess. Even as I attempt to control my rising panic, I struggle to get a mental image of every room, hallway, and door—trying to keep track of the layout of this place.
The floors and walls are metal. Everything is utilitarian with no frills. There’s been no attempt to make anything attractive or homey. Stark lights shine brightly from above. I see doors, but I don’t know where they might go. I have no idea the scope of the ship, how many floors, or rooms, or aliens might be lurking down hidden corridors.
I take note of how many of these ugly aliens I see, how heavily armed they are, and who’s in charge. If there is a way off this ship and back home to Earth, I need to find it.
Terrified of being punished for looking behind me, I sneak a quick peek at how many of us there are—maybe ten human women walking briskly in this fast-paced line. There are four guards, all muscled, wide, ugly pig-like males covered in medieval-looking brown leather pants and tunics.
In addition to the four short tusks protruding up from their bottom jaws, they have porcine noses, and two small horns on the top of their heads. They each have a baton fastened to one side of their belt and a gun fastened to the other. With a rifle slung over one shoulder and the Apple watch torture thingy on one wrist, they look ready for battle.
We’re forced into a corridor that looks like it’s straight out of a low-budget fifties jailhouse movie. Cell after cell comprised of three impenetrable-looking metal walls and a fourth wall of bars facing the hallway. Each room is about eight feet square with one small bed, a toilet, and a sink. My mind is only registering this information peripherally because my main focus is the inhabitants of the cells.
I catch a glimpse of the alien in the first cell. He’s pushing seven feet tall with thick, ropey muscles. He looks kind of Neanderthal with a short, slightly-flattened forehead, and shaggy hair and beard. His jaw is set and tight, his weight is on the balls of his feet, and his brown eyes look flat and dead.
Two of the boar guys flank both sides of his door. Standing in battle stances, their raised guns tell me they aren’t going to allow any pushback from us women—or the gargantuan alien in the cell. On high alert, the boar to the right of the door points his gun at the alien in the enclosure. “Face the back wall! On your knees, hands on your head!” The guy instantly pivots, then sinks to his knees.
Boar guy at the head of the line pushes the redhead in the pink PJ’s into the cell as if she weighs little more than a bag of groceries. He slams the door shut behind her and keeps the line moving forward. I’m worried for the redhead, but I don’t dare give her even another passing glance. The guards are antsy and look like they’re itching to use their weapons.
At the door to the second cell, the guards go through the same routine. They throw boxer girl into the cell with a fairly humanoid-looking guy. He’s humongous—so muscled he makes Conan the Barbarian look puny. He has a robotic left arm and a prosthetic eyepiece that shines red. He’s heavily scarred on his face, right arm, and bare torso. He’s the more “human” of the two males I’ve seen. This realization spikes a shiver up my spine. He looks like he could kill with his bare hands. The feral glance he tosses over his shoulder after the bars clang closed shows no compassion for the human female in his cell.
Before we move toward the third cell, the boar at the head of the line asks no one in particular, “How are we going to get her into his cell? He’ll never get on his knees.”
“Fuck him,” another responds. “Shock the shit out of him until he’s out cold, then throw her in.” He doesn’t wait for any argument, just presses his watch and turns up the dial until I hear the alien in the next cell roar in pain so loudly my ears ring. Then I hear a thud, which I assume means his body hit the floor.
“You’re next, human.” One of them orders me. “Let’s see if you’re alive tomorrow.” His tusky laugh chills the marrow in my bones.
Fearful of what my new cellmate looks like, I’m afraid to step around the boar at the front of the line. But I’m too terrified of the guards to dawdle, so I take one step forward. One of the guards impatiently tosses me on the floor of the cell right next to my comatose cellmate.
The seven other human females in line gape in horror at the scene in my cell, then continue forward without missing a step.
The alien I’m imprisoned with is clearly out cold, his cheek pressed to the hard, gray floor. Although I have nothing to fear from him at this moment, my heart is beating in double time.
This guy is enormous, although it’s hard to tell how tall he is because he’s in a crumpled heap. He's facing away from me, but it’s impossible not to notice his massively wide, furred shoulders, slender waist, muscular thighs, and limp tail. Tail! He’s got a tail! He’s wearing only a primitive fabric loincloth covering little more than his sex.
I scoot over between him and the back wall so I can see his face. I involuntarily gasp in shock; although his facial shape is human, the features are feline. His nose is wider and flatter than a human’s, and there is a groove slashing from nose to upper lip. His body fur is golden, his mane and the tuft at the tip of his tail are dark mahogany. He has a tiny white dot where each of his short whiskers emerges from around his flattened nose.
Even though he’s unconscious, his slightly-parted lips reveal canines which are frighteningly long and sharp. His hands and feet are more humanoid than feline, with fingers and toes rather than paws. I see no fingernails under the close-cropped fur, but I wonder if he has some sharp retractable claws hiding under there.
He looks like power and grace, even as he lies on the floor, unmoving. It’s obvious he’s been through a lot. There are raised, discolored remnants of deep cuts all over, but his back is badly scarred in a pattern that could only come from a whip—many whippings. I don’t think this creature's had an easy life.
I’ll probably never get another chance to give him such a close inspection, so I reach out with one finger and gently touch his shoulder, wondering what his fur feels like.
As swift as lightning, he opens his eyes and grabs my arm. He lithely sits up on his haunches, squeezes my forearm so hard it takes my breath away, and growls. His grip is like steel; I yelp and try to pull back. His fingers tighten even more and I immediately decide there is no reason to resist—I’m completely overpowered.
His golden feline eyes bore into mine as he squeezes my arm, and a low growl escapes the back of his throat. I have no idea if he even possesses receptive speech, so I use body language to acquiesce. Gazing at the floor, I slump my shoulders in submission.
“Never. Touch. Me. Again.” His lips are pulled back in a snarl.
“Absolutely.” I’m still looking downward, making myself as small and non-threatening as possible. He probably outweighs me by double and is strong enough to throw me twenty feet. I’ve seen enough jailhouse movies to realize that we’ve just established dominance in this cell and he’s definitely in charge.
He flings my arm away as if I have leprosy, gets to his feet in one agile move, stalks to the bed, and sits. Okay, I get it. One bed—it’s yours. I’ll figure out how to manage on the hard, cold floor. He lays down, taking up the entire width of the bunk which seems narrower than a twin bed.
I wonder if he’s going to sleep, but when I finally work up the courage to glance at him, I see that he’s still piercing me with a predatory stare. In his culture staring must not be rude, because he’s not even pretending to be sly about it. His animalistic “don’t fuck with me” look speaks volumes.
I crabwalk backward until my back is tucked against the corner of the rear wall. It’s as safe as I’m going to get at the moment. No one can sneak up behind me. I’ll be ready for a frontal attack, although I have no idea how I’d protect myself from him. Between his sharp teeth and all those muscles, I might as well kiss my ass goodbye.
He’s lying on the bed and seems content with that position for right now. I pull my knees up under my chin and try to figure out what to do. In the span of about an hour, I’ve been kidnapped by aliens, collared, chipped, and thrown into a tiny cell with a lion-man. An angry, feral, alpha lion-man who’s still staring me down. At this moment I can see no escape, no pathway to safety, no way home.
As I inspect where he grabbed my arm to see if I have a bruise, I notice my hands are trembling. I’m blinking rapidly to keep tears from sliding down my cheeks, and my chin is quivering so hard I tuck my head down behind my knees to hide my fear.
I’ve always been a glass half full kind of girl, so I try really hard to find the silver lining—any silver lining—at this moment. The best I can do is to be thankful that I went to sleep last night wearing more than a pair of boxer shorts.
I prop my torso against the wall behind the length of the bed, put my hands behind my head, elbows out, and stare at this new female. I’ve never seen this species before. She must have adequate intelligence since she was smart enough to back off and has the sense not to challenge me. It’s kind of shocking that a species like hers evolved on any planet. She has very little muscle mass, no visible claws or talons, no barbed tail, not even sharp teeth that I can see. Perhaps her planet has no natural predators? She wouldn’t last a minima in the gladiator ring.
Her face seems bland with no distinguishing features. Perhaps they make good breeders because I can’t see any other attraction.
I’m caught off guard as a pang of concern for her flashes through my mind. I shouldn’t care, really. It’s everyone for themselves in my world. But it must be shocking for an unprotected female to wake up aboard a slave ship on its way to a gladiator breeding planet. I wonder if her species has evolved enough to even know of space travel. She looks completely petrified.
We both seem startled when an announcement interrupts from overhead speakers.
“You have one hoara to breed with your cellmate. If you do not complete the act, both occupants of the cell will be punished.”
I sigh heavily, my jaw tensing. I am sick to death of being forced to breed.
Oh no. Hell no. Just no. Can I please catch a break? They want me to breed? To angry lion-man?
I glance over, expecting him to be sprouting a raging hard-on in his loincloth, ready to pounce. Interesting, he looks even less enthused than I am. His face went slack and his eyes dulled. Maybe lion guys are gay? Or maybe just this one.
The loudspeaker repeats the announcement, this time with more urgency. Clearly, they mean business. My mind is spinning and I’m a jumble of emotions from disbelief to fear to a hell of a lot of anger at this whole situation. I briefly consider refusing the order, but a picture of that unfortunate alien’s head exploding flashes through my mind.
“Take your pants off. Get in bed,” he urges softly, sounding more resigned than horny.
I’m still in a tight ball in the corner of the cell. I pull a shaky hand across my forehead, wiping the beads of cold sweat off my brow. I’m physically afraid of what this huge alien will do to my body. I’m paralyzed.
“They’ll kill you if you don’t follow orders. Get up.” His tone sounds urgent and…concerned? I guess so; his head will explode as well as my own if we don’t comply.
One of the guards stalks to the front of our cell and points to the collar controller on his wrist. When I don’t immediately leap to my feet, his fingers mimic his head exploding, complete with gruesome sound effects. This propels me out of my paralysis and toward the bed.
There’s no reason to balk or argue. We are both invested in making this happen. I’m sure neither one of us wants to be “punished.” I slip under the thin blanket, then shimmy out of pants and panties and toss them to the floor. My heart is hammering now, not in sexual excitement but in all-out abject fear. Do I remember something about cats back on Earth having barbed penises?
Lion guy has untied his loincloth and, although it's flaccid, his cock looks enormous. Even if his equipment doesn’t stab or sting, I’m not sure that’s going to fit. Thankfully it looks pretty human, albeit humongous, and I don’t see any barbs.
“Get yourself ready,” he announces almost robotically, then takes himself in hand. His powerful right hand strokes his length from base to tip and back. He appears as emotionally engaged as when I’m making tuna salad. He seems to be using a practiced stroke from a time-worn formula with the goal of quickly getting down to business.
As I watch him, I catch his disgruntled expression as he notices I’m not getting busy. Before he can scold me, I cover my face with the blanket, slam my lids shut, and slip my fingers toward my happy spot. I have a time-worn formula, too. Even with this awful situation, between my efforts and a little spit, I think I’m ready.
I peek out from the covers to see lion guy is steel hard and ready for action.
“I’m…I’m ready,” my voice is whisper-soft and shy. I slip back under the covers like a prairie dog hurrying to hide in its den.
“Turn over.” This is an order. I do as I’m told and get on all fours. This entire day, this entire process is so surreal; I’ll pretend I’m in a dream. I can’t afford to tune in to my panic right now, I just have to go through the motions and get this over with. The picture of that alien’s head exploding is a strong incentive to do what I have to do in this tiny bed.
He slips the covers up, and then I feel his weight on the bed. He gently lifts my middle a bit higher, fits himself behind me, then dispassionately slips a finger inside me. Satisfied I’m ready, he presses his cock against my entrance and waits, giving me time to adjust. He eases in gently, then pulls back, then presses in slightly more. If I’m not mistaken, he’s trying hard to give my body time to accommodate to his enormous equipment.
There’s nothing sensual here, neither of us is interested in enjoyment, but I have to give him credit; he’s trying his best not to hurt me. The way he’s managing this process, giving my body time to adapt to this invasion, seems far more considerate than I would have ever expected. When he’s finally fully seated inside me, he executes three carefully-disciplined thrusts, grunts no louder than a sigh, and completely retreats.
His mouth comes close to my ear, his chest touching my back for the first time. His warm breath fans my skin as his husky voice whispers, “I’m sorry.”