Monday, November 9, 2015
Nighttime Promises by M.A. Church
Make a Wish
Genre: M/M, Sci-Fi
Publisher: ARe Books
Date of Publication: November 1, 2015
Word Count: 54,000
Cover Artist: Erin Dameron-Hill
When you wish upon a star… it comes true in ways you never expected.
Things have gone downhill since Sheriff Bryan Coltrane got involved in the FBI’s investigation of a recent UFO crash. Not only is a homophobic agent pushing his buttons, but he’s made contact with one of the aliens…who wants him for a mate!
Daroshi, a warrior with tentacles from the planet Maz’Rar, monitored the rescue of his captain, Ziang. Impressed by the courageous and brawny human male, he wants Bryan for his own despite knowing little about the race. Neither man is prepared for the problems arising from Daroshi’s desires, or the passion exploding between them.
What’s an alien to do when his mate harps on his civil rights and makes demands? He makes the wishes come true.
Bryan came awake with a snap. One second there was nothing, then the next he was awake, his body jacked up with adrenaline. His heart went from zero to sixty in two seconds flat, and his muscles tightened.
His brain yelled at him through the sludge in his mind. Danger! Confused, he lay quietly, not moving. Something teased the edge of his brain, a warning that something was wrong—dreadfully, Earth-shatteringly wrong. He fought to control his breathing as he tried to figure out the hazy feeling of impending danger that haunted him. Earth-shattering wrong… Earth…
“Fuck!” Bryan yelled as memories exploded over him.
He reared up on the table, his head bobbing back and forth, eyes wide. The room he was in reminded him of a creepy alien movie set with its dim lighting, odd symbols, strange equipment, and funky-colored walls that looked… alive.
Fear snaked through his chest as he recalled those two tall-ass fuckers chasing him through his house. The knowledge that he was screwed—totally and completely screwed—scared him witless. He was more than likely going to die here.
“Fuck!” he yelled again, his hands frantically pawing at his naked chest as another memory hit him.
He’d been shot. One of them raised its arm, fired a beam of light at him, and shot him—then darkness. He took the hit in the chest. So where was the pain, the mess of being shot, the blood? There was nothing: no hole, no burn from whatever they shot him with, no blood. Just nothing.
A boot scraped across the floor, and he looked up. Both aliens he’d fought with were moving toward him. Neither had their faceguards on this time. Bryan sat stunned. They looked amazingly human in the face.
On each side of their necks was a thick cord of muscle that thinned as it reached their ears. The shape of their noses was human, but flared. There was a ridge running down the middle too. They had high foreheads and scales around the eyes. Their eyes were human-shaped, but the sclera was red instead of white with vertically split pupils.
In place of eyebrows, there was a line of scales, and under the eyes were marks that looked like small symbols. The shape of their lips was also human. Instinct kicked in. He pulled his leg up and grabbed the knife out of his ankle sheath. If he was going to die then, by God, he was going to go down fighting. He gripped the knife as the smaller of the two aliens approached.
“Bryan, don’t!” Daroshi held one hand out while he waved frantically at Ziang to stay back. “Put that down. We’re not going to hurt you.”
Startled, the knife wavered in Bryan’s grasp. He could understand them perfectly. “How the hell can I understand you?”
“I implanted a device that helps translate language. We all have one. I did it while you were unconscious. No one’s going to harm you, so put the knife down.”
Horrified, Bryan stared at the smaller alien. They messed around in his head? What else had they done to him? Did they not understand consent and boundaries? “Yeah, right, that’s not happening.”
“Bryan, you’re on my spaceship orbiting Earth. There’s no way off this ship,” Ziang said. “I know you’re frightened, but I give my word you’re safe. Put the weapon down.”
“Your word—that’s supposed to mean something to me?” Bryan clutched the weapon tighter. “If you plan to kill me, I will—”
“Kill you?” Daroshi gasped at the direction Bryan’s thoughts had run. “Gods, no! Why would you think that? The last thing I want is you dead. We’re not going to harm you.”
“Not going to harm me? Are you kidding me? Last I checked knocking me out, hauling my ass here, and messing with my brain—shit, you put something in my damn head—falls in the category of harming me.” Bryan shot a glance at Ziang, who stood frozen. “Why the fuck am I here? What do you want with me? I didn’t tell anyone about you. I went out of my way to cover for you. So what the hell?”
Daroshi took a deep breath and moved closer. “I’ll explain everything to you, but I need you to put the weapon down.”
“I don’t fucking think so.”
Daroshi took a step closer. “Bryan—”
“Stop! Don’t get any closer. I will use this.”
“Would you believe Shawn?” Ziang suddenly asked. Something had to be done before the situation escalated more out of control. “Would seeing my mate help you understand we aren’t going to hurt you? Do you understand I’m willing to put him in harm’s way to prove we won’t hurt you?”
“But, Sir—” Daroshi jerked his head to look at Ziang, shocked. Would he really do that to help Bryan and him?
Daroshi’s head snapped back around to Bryan. At this rate, he was going to have whiplash.
“Just stay calm, and I’ll have Shawn here momentarily.” Ziang tapped on his wrist device.
Ziang opened the com so Bryan could hear the conversation. “Blayno, I have an emergency in Medical. I need you to contact Shawn and transport here. Now. Tell him Bryan is here and awake.”
“Yes, Sir.” Blayno responded, then the com when silent.
“Shawn will be here shortly. But I will warn you, Bryan, you attempt to harm my mate, and I will stun you.”
Daroshi growled, the very thought of Ziang stunning Bryan triggered his protection instinct. “Ziang, if you do—”
Bryan kept his eyes on both aliens. What was going on? Both aliens looked ready to square off. “Hey, I have no intention of harming Shawn—”
“Oh, only us?” Daroshi snapped as he turned to look at Bryan.
Zing sliced his hand through the air, trying to stop what was fast building into another useless conversation. “Regardless—”
Bryan gripped the knife. “He didn’t fucking ambush my ass after I went to all the trouble of covering for you guys—”
“We couldn’t very well have walked in the front door.” Daroshi hissed. “In case you didn’t notice, we don’t look human.”
“—nor did he stun me.”
“Dear gods, come on, Shawn,” Ziang muttered.
Daroshi glared. “You stunned my commander first—”
“I had two big-ass aliens after me, of course I tased him. What did you expect after the way you busted through the window? You think I was going to offer you a beer? And fuck, my house is probably gonna burn down since I left the damn stove on!” Bryan yelled. “Son of a bitch, I left the damn stove on.”
The door to Medical opened and Shawn walked inside, with Blayno guarding him. He’d heard most of the conversation from outside.
“Huh, I did tell you he wouldn’t come without a fight.” Smirking, Shawn took in the flushed faces of Daroshi and Bryan. “Think I also warned you to disarm him.”
Daroshi threw his hands up in the air. “Are all humans like this?”
“Only the ones half scared out of their minds.” Shawn turned to Bryan. “How’s it hanging, dude?”
“Shawn?” Bryan whispered, relieved to see another actual human. “Is that really you? They didn’t, like, turn you into a pod person or something, did they? It’s really you?”
Shawn choked back a laugh. “It’s me.”
He walked closer to Bryan, and Ziang growled loudly, the sound bouncing off the walls. “Shawn, do not move any closer to him, he has a—”
“Chill out, E.T. I’m not the one he’s threatening.” Shaking his head, he jumped on the medibed and sat down next to Bryan. “Bryan, they aren’t going to hurt you, I promise. But the knife has to go, dude.”
Shawn held out his hand.
A nasty brew of emotions flooded Bryan’s throat. Fear, confusion, shock, embarrassment—and relief—spiked, and the overwhelming need to cry flooded him. No longer quite so afraid, he handed the knife to Shawn, who quickly threw it on the floor at Daroshi’s feet. Shawn held out his arms, and the bigger man fell into them.
“What do they want with me, Shawn?” Bryan’s voice was quiet.
“That would be better left to Daroshi to explain.” Shawn’s voice was just as low. “By the way, the shorter one is Daroshi. Just listen to him and keep an open mind—a very open mind—and I promise you won’t regret it. A whole new world is opening up.”
About the Author:
M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!
When not writing, she’s exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching her beloved Steelers, or sitting glued to HGTV. That’s if she’s not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two children. She was a finalist in the Rainbow awards for 2013.
For more information on other books by M.A., visit her official website: www.machurch00.blogspot.com