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Damon

Damon

I’m working on the final chapter for DAMON, a Kit Colbana short story that will be a reward for patrons on my Patreon page…access to stories start at $1…

Story will go out in May [that’s the plan].

Want to get in on it?
Patron

What’s up with Kit…

Hi Shiloh…just wondering when the new Kit book is coming…

Hi Shiloh…I wanted to ask if you’re going to write any more FBI Psychic books.

Hi Shiloh…I saw that you’re not going to be be able to finish the Veil series…is that true?

This is a rough idea on what hits my email box a lot these days.  ESPECIALLY with Kit.  Yes, she’s in progress.  Like really in progress.  I hope to be done in a couple months, get it off to my editor, then out ASAP.  I’ve got other stories, too…including a contemporary romance trilogy and a new romantic suspense series.

What…what’s that you say??? You’ve got books you’re not writing…

For the past few years, as income at my digital publishers has dropped, I’ve had to find alternate sources to replace that income.

Now…well, Samhain has shuttered its doors.  I’m still trying to get all of my EC books back out and now my Samhain list is backlisted, too.  I’ve been ghostwriting as a source of alternate income, which takes up a lot of time.  But…bills got to be paid, people in the Shiloh-land gotta eat.

Ghostwriting works, yes…I have fun with it, but at the same time, I still want to tell my stories. The problem is having balancing things so that I can do that, have the funds to continue to self-publish…and yanno…eat. Pay bills.

So I’m launching a Patreon page.

Patron

Through the clever use of comics and blogger/twitter friends, as shown above, I’m hoping to interest you guys into checking it out.

Because…yes, I have been holding back.

I’ve got a ton of stories in the folder on my computer, but getting them told, having the time to tell them, and the capitol for edits, covers, promo…

Patreon

Go. Check the link out. Learn more about your brave heroine’s plight and her determination to carry on…and the rewards *YOU* can get if you become a Patron…donations of even just $1 per story will help, and it gets you access to my patron only blog, a free short fiction piece I wrote, and all patrons will be entered for a chance to get TUCKERIZED

Shadowed Blade…out now

Out now…

Shadowed Blade

Hell took the form of Damon shifting to his half form, over seven feet tall, his muscled pelt covered in a golden pelt and spotted. His clothes fell in shreds around him as he launched himself at Scott.

My mind denied what it was seeing.

Scott flung up a hand and Damon flew to the far side of the room while Scott leaped toward me. I whipped up my sword, my mind furiously trying catch up with what was going on. “Stay back,” I warned.

A grin—one that seemed both insanely out of place and strangely familiar—twisted Scott’s lips.

“Now, now, Kit…is that any way to say hello to an old friend?”

The voice—oh, shit.

Those words had no sooner left his lips than a growl ripped out of the shifters who’d burst into the room like their lives depended on it.

And one of them was…Scott.

Damon was off the floor and moving again.

Instinct screamed.

Move now—think later.

I swore as I dove for Damon and the Scott-lookalike. “I’m going to kill you,” I told the man who’d somehow managed to sneak into the Lair. Of all places.

He chuckled, his visage starting to waver. “You won’t be saying that in a minute. I’m here for a reason…you know that.”

He leaped up and in a movement that defied physics—and the human body—as he flipped and sailed through the air, placing his body behind mine.

Damon made a deep, deep noise, one that spoke of fury—and I heard something else, too.

Perhaps Chang would recognize it, but I doubted anybody else would.

It was fear.

He saw only some unknown enemy and the man was now at my back.

I held up a hand. “Stop…Damon…stop. He’s not…” I heaved out a breath before I said the one thing that might keep the man in front of me from trying to kill the man behind me. “He’s a friend. He’s saved my life twice now.”

Damon slowed for a split second, but nothing changed the animalistic set to his features.

Behind me, there was a faint whisper. “You’d think I’d remember how sharp their noses are, wouldn’t you?”

“I hope you enjoyed yourself,” Damon said, his voice a predatory growl. “Every man should have a little fun before he dies.”

“Oh, I don’t do this for fun, son. Trust me, this is a pain in the ass.”

“Don’t be a more of a moron than you already are,” I snapped over my shoulder.

Chang was staring at the man behind me with eyes that promised death. This was going to be ugly. The man had breached their home—their safehold. Unless he had a good reason for doing that…

Damon made another move toward me, green-gold eyes locked on the intruder.

“Damon…I know him.” I reached back, daring to risk one quick glance—my eyes connected with eyes of pure white—all white. No pupil, no discernible iris and whiter than any mortal eye should be.

And Nova, for all intents and purposes, was mortal.

A freakishly powerful mortal with psychic skills that weren’t supposed to exist, but still, he was mortal.

“Hello, Nova.”

He looked at me and grinned. “Kit.”

Damon took a step forward.

Chang placed a hand on his shoulder and they shared a look. The subtle nod Damon gave the other man unsettled me and I pondered ripping my hair out when Chang was the one to move forward to meet Nova.

I wouldn’t call Damon the more reasonable one of the two, but there were times I could get Damon to listen to me. If Chang made up his mind…

Nova slid to the side, shifting so that he faced all of us, although he was clearly keeping his focus on the shifters. “Come on, boys…let’s all take a deep breath and calm down.” He shot them what was considered his…less crazy smile. “I’ve been here three times today and I’ve called five asking, then demanding then begging to speak to Kit. It’s urgent, I said. It’s life or death, I said. And I’m told to leave a message at her office.”

He snorted and shot me a sidelong look. “Kit, how often do you check messages at your office?”

“Get to the point, Nova.”

He hitched up a shoulder. “I’m trying to be polite and explain why I felt the need to take drastic measures, Kit. In a minute, you’ll be just as pissed as I am. The third time I came to the gate and said I absolutely had to see you…” The whites of his eyes started to glow.

Oh, fuck…

“See, I was told, We don’t listen to urgent messages from the likes of you, meat. Get out.” Nova’s smile went cold. “The guards you have at the door really should show more courtesy—I could have turned them into meat. But I showed restraint.”

Chang made no response, just took another slow step toward Nova.

“You really should have left a message at her office,” Damon said.

“Kit sucks at checking her messages. I thought this kind of thing—the lives of some friends and all—was a bit more important.” Nova cocked his head. “But if not…well, we can get downright nasty in here.”

Lives of some friends…?

“Nova?” I whispered.

Scott—the real one—had circled around. I whipped my gun out and leveled it at his knee. “Don’t. I like you, Scott, but if you even think of trying to move me out of the way…I’ll put you on the ground.”

Nova chuckled. “Now it gets fun.”

I fought the urge to turn and punch him in the nose. “One of these days, I’ll find a way to thank Justin properly for introducing us, Nova.”

“You can do that by saving his life, Kit. Now…”

I spun to stare at him, the gun falling limp to my side. I was the one to lunge for Nova. And he didn’t try to stop me. “What?”

“Now…ask me why I’m here,” he said gently.

“Nova.”

“Somebody grabbed Colleen and Justin, Kit.”

Amazon | BN | iBooks | Kobo

Kit news…read Chapter One + sale on earlier books

Kit Colbana books

The Kit Colbana books are on sale…if you want to get caught up, now is a great time!

need to get caught up? Books 1-4 are all on sale…
Book #1
Book #2
Book #3
 Book #4
Something wicked this way comes…
The arrival of a very important person in her office seemed to be the start of a lot of problems for Kit Colbana, investigator extraordinaire.  Claiming that he needed somebody with her special skillset, he sends her on a series of jobs that made little to no sense until one culminated with both her and her partner, Justin barely escaping with their lives.
Back in Orlando, they go their separate ways to recover, Justin heading to the house of a local witch, while Kit returns to the Lair, where she’s recently been living with her lover Damon, the Alpha of the Southern Cat Clans.
There’s barely a chance for to catch her breath before trouble of the highest order comes knocking on her door. This time, it’s the form of a psychic by the name of Nova.  Nova has bad, bad news…Justin has gone missing and so has the witch who was going to put him up while he healed. Colleen, one of Kit’s closest, dearest friends.
With all sorts of non-humans disappearing, fury doesn’t even touch what Kit is feeling as she heads out to hunt down the people responsible.
But Kit isn’t the only one out on a hunt…somebody is hunting for her…somebody Kit would rather never, ever see again.
*****
Kit Colbana series

 

It was just pure dumb luck that I found her at all.

The… Well, I can’t say it was a house, but it had been her home. She’d left it weeks ago, maybe longer. It was dying, too.

Granted, when I’d been sent out to look for her, I’d thought maybe it was another wild goose chase—the first job had been a pain in the ass, too.

But this one…

Hell.

I was staring at a dryad.

A real dryad.

She turned her head and stared at me with eyes the color of good, strong oak. In her hand, she had a branch she used to draw circles in the earth.

After a few seconds of us studying each other, she went back to looking out over the river, her gaze sad.

“What is it you want?” she asked, her voice reedy and thin.

Like she was fading, dying as swiftly as the tree she’d left behind.

As I fumbled for an answer, she lifted the branch and plucked off one of the leaves. They were still green. But the moment she plucked that single leaf away, it withered, shriveled, and then it was dust—even before it hit the ground.

“I…” Uneasy, I licked my lips. “Your tree is dying.”

“No.” Those dark brown eyes came back to mine. “It is already dead. It died when I left it. It just hasn’t figured that out yet. It will. But that isn’t what you want.”

“Why did you leave it?”

“Because the wind whispered it was time.” She lifted a shoulder and the wispy strips of cloth that made up her garments drifted with the movement before settling back into black. She was more naked than clothed—covered at her breasts and hips. Her skin was a mottled mix of brown and tan. She could stand in the trees and scarcely be seen, but standing out here on the side of the road and gazing into the river, she stood out.

That was how I’d found her.

I’d been heading back to East Orlando, carefully thinking through the call I’d have to make, when I saw her. I’d been driving the backroads, mostly because I wanted to think, and all the traffic on the main roads annoyed me.

The last thought I’d had before caught sight of the woman had been…I never should have taken this stupid job.

My current client—I now realized—was a self-important, pompous prick. But I’d accepted the contract, and for another three weeks, I was giving him twenty hours a week for work of a sensitive nature. His term, not mine.

The first job, I’d been asked to find out if there was any truth to the rumors of a Green Man who might be living in Alabama—he had a locale and a few names; he wanted me to look around and see what I thought. I’d also been asked to talk to the families of a couple missing NHs while in the area. Missing non-humans was why I’d taken the damn job to begin with.

Missing people. He had connections.

There weren’t many who had more connections than the President of the United States of America, after all.

When I’d told him I didn’t see the connection between a possible Green Man and the disappearances, he’d pointed out that a Green Man would have ways of seeing things happening in nature that I could never see.

Well…true enough.

But if there was something weirder than a shifter in those decaying woods, then I hadn’t felt it.

My boss hadn’t seemed bothered when I’d been unsuccessful. But I hadn’t wanted to tell him I’d found a dryad’s tree…and no dryad.

Right now, though, I wanted even less to tell him I’d found the dryad.

“The wind told you it was time?” Raking her up and down with a look, I shook my head. “What else is the wind telling you to do?”

“The wind tells me to do nothing.” A serene smile curled her lips as she plucked off another leaf. This time, when it shriveled and faded, she seemed to fade a little more, too.

Oh, shit.

“Is that from your tree?” I asked softly.

“Yes. All that is left, all that is living.” She plucked another leaf. “Once it is gone…”

“So why are you killing it?”

“Because unlike Albus, I am not strong. I cannot stand up to pain and torture. Even cutting down a single tree would break me, and he has much more in mind than cutting down trees.”

Abruptly, she wrenched a handful of leaves, four, five, six… Dust blew around me and I rushed to her as she swayed, then staggered. She felt lighter than air as I eased her down. Her skin felt like the smooth bark on a young tree. “What are you talking about?”

She just shook her head. “It’s been a long time coming. This…this is best. I’ll see Albus soon.”

She tried to fumble a few more leaves off but her hands shook too much.

“Please.” She looked at me.

My phone rang.

She continued to watch me with those calm, patient eyes. Patient, solid. Like an oak.

I took the branch and stripped the remaining leaves off as the phone rang again.

By the third ring, she was withering away, turning to nothing but dust and ash that blew away in the soft, chilly fall breeze.

I answered the fourth ring.

“Ms. Colbana, I was calling for an update.”

“I found her.” Dragging a finger through the dust, I rose to my feet and stared down. Even the branch was gone. “She’s dead, sir.”

 

 

“He’s pissed.”

Shanelle Maguire was a beautiful bitch and she delivered the words in a stark voice as she dropped into the chair across from my desk.

“I gathered that.” I’d just finish talking to him myself. Whitmore was a pain in the ass. “Did he send you here to snarl and snap at me in hopes of making me do better?”

She snorted. “Like that’d do any good.” She skimmed her hands back over her hair in what I’d come to realize was a nervous habit. Beautiful bitch or not, I’d come to sort of like her over the past ten days. She was blunt and didn’t hold back the truth, something I could definitely appreciate. She was also manipulative as hell—something I less appreciated—but she knew how to make things happen. “Look, I was standing out—”

“This is my shocked face.”

“Shut up,” she said, sighing in annoyance. “I heard you explaining what happened. What were you going to do? She wanted to die. Although…wow. Picking leaves off a tree branch—that’s crazy.”

“Dryads have a connection to their chosen trees.” I shrugged and thought of the forest giant I’d gone back to look at before returning home. It hadn’t turned to dust, but it was dead. It had been an oddity, standing there in the middle of the forest where so many trees had already gone brilliantly orange and yellow, but its leaves had been green…mostly. Some, though, had been going brown. Not yellow or orange, the way you’d think.

But brown.

All the leaves had been gone the second time I saw it and the branches hung despondent, as if the tree’s strength had simply drained out of it with the life of the dryad gone. I’d touched the bark and it had crumbled under the light pressure.

A few storms, a few hard rains, and it would come crashing down.

“So she just lay there, plucked the last few leaves and died, huh?” Shanelle wasn’t even looking at me. She was staring off at nothing, looking about as tired as I felt—although I doubted it was for the same reason.

“Faded into dust,” I said, carefully dancing around the fact that I wasn’t telling the complete truth. I’d had to do the same with Whitmore, but for some reason, I was reluctant to explain that I had been the one to strip away those few remaining leaves.

Whitmore had really wanted to talk to that dryad.

My gut was all twisted and hot as I remembered what she had said.

“Because unlike Albus, I am not strong. I cannot stand up to pain and torture. Even cutting down a single tree would break me and he has much more in mind than cutting down trees.”

Who was Albus?

Who was the he she’d been referring to? I had a bad feeling it might be my client—but there was no way I could even try to figure that out without questioning him; everything in me was saying Don’t…

I thought of asking Shanelle, probing gently. I knew how to dance around things and be subtle. It wasn’t my greatest skill, but I could do it.

While I was debating, though, the door swung open.

The sight of the man standing there was enough to distract me, though.

“Justin…”

I hurtled across the room and caught him up in a hug so hard, he was laughing and wheezing at the same time. “Careful there, Kit…I break.”

I didn’t care. “You’re awake.”

“Seems that way. Although if you keep squeezing the life out of me…”

Two weeks ago, Justin had almost died. The first week, he’d been in a coma. He’d started to stir, but another friend of ours, Colleen had used her healing to put him back under.

“The swelling in his brain has gone down, but there’s still a lot of healing to do—the area of the brain that controls magic has been heavily damaged and the longer he rests, the more likely it will be that he’ll regain full control.”

We’d agreed. He needed to stay asleep for a bit longer, but Colleen could only hold him for a few more days before she had to bring him back.

“I didn’t know she was letting you up today.”

He patted my back when I sniffed.

Absently, I’d realized Shanelle had left and I still needed to talk to her. But that could wait.

Shadowed Blade…

There needs to be a blurb, don’t you think?

Okay.

Here.

Shadowed Blade Kit Colbana Book 5Something wicked this way comes…

The arrival of a very important person in her office seemed to be the start of a lot of problems for Kit Colbana, investigator extraordinaire.  Claiming that he needed somebody with her special skillset, he sends her on a series of jobs that made little to no sense until one culminated with both her and her partner, Justin barely escaping with their lives.

Back in Orlando, they go their separate ways to recover, Justin heading to the house of a local witch, while Kit returns to the Lair, where she’s recently been living with her lover Damon, the Alpha of the Southern Cat Clans.

There’s barely a chance for Kit to catch her breath before trouble of the highest order comes knocking on her door. This time, it’s the form of a psychic by the name of Nova.  Nova has bad, bad news…Justin has gone missing and so has the witch who was going to put him up while he healed. Colleen, one of Kit’s closest, dearest friends.

With all sorts of non-humans disappearing, fury doesn’t even touch what Kit is feeling as she heads out to hunt down the people responsible.

But Kit isn’t the only one out on a hunt…somebody is hunting for her…somebody Kit would rather never, ever see again.

**please, excerpt is unedited. No need to point out errors…they’ll be caught.

Kit Colbana Shadowed Blade

It was just pure dumb luck that I found her at all.

The…well, I can’t say it was a house, but it had been her home. But she’d left it weeks ago, maybe longer.  It was dying, too.

Granted, when I’d been sent out to look for her, I’d thought maybe it was another wild goose chase—the first job had been a pain in the ass.

But this one…

Hell.

I was staring at a dryad.

A real dryad.

She turned her head and stared at me with eyes the color of good, strong oak. In her hand, she held a branch that she used to draw circles in the earth.

After a few seconds of us studying each other, she went back to looking out over the river, her gaze sad.

“What is it you want?” she asked, her voice reedy and thin.

Like she was fading, dying as swiftly as the tree she’d left behind.

As I fumbled for an answer, she lifted the branch and plucked off one of the leaves. They were still green.  But the moment she plucked that single leaf away, it withered, shriveled and then it was dust, even before it hit the ground.

“I…” Uneasy, I licked my lips.  “Your tree is dying.”

“No.”  Those dark brown eyes came back to mine.  “It is already dead.  It died when I left it.  It just hasn’t figured that out yet.  It will. But that isn’t what you want.”

“Why did you leave it?”

“Because the wind whispered it was time.” She lifted a shoulder and the wispy strips of cloth that made up her garments drifted with the movement before settling back into black.  She was more naked than clothed, covered at her breasts and hips and her skin was a mottled mix of brown and tan.  She could stand in the trees and scarcely be seen, but standing out her on the side of the road and gazing into the river, she stood out.

That was how I’d found her.

I’d been heading back to East Orlando, carefully think through the call I’d have to make when I saw her.

I’d been hired by somebody I’d recently decided was a self-important pompous prick but I’d accepted the contract and for another three weeks, I was giving him twenty hours a week for work of a sensitive nature.  The first job, I’d been asked to find out if there was any truth to the rumors of a Green Man who might be living in Alabama—he had a locale and a few names and he wanted my thoughts on it.  I’d also been asked to talk to the families of a couple missing NHs.  That was why I’d agreed to work with him anyway. Missing people. He had connections.

There weren’t many people who had more connections than the President of the United States of America, after all.

When I’d told him I didn’t see the connection between a possible Green Man and the disappearances, he’d pointed out that a Green Man would have ways of seeing things happening in nature that I could never see.

Well…true enough.

But if there was something weirder than a shifter in those woods, then I hadn’t felt it.

My boss hadn’t seem bothered when I’d been unsuccessful.  But I hadn’t wanted to tell him I’d found a dryad’s tree…and no dryad.

Right now, though, I wanted even less to tell him I’d found the dryad.

“The wind told you it was time?” Raking her up and down with a look, I shook my head.  “What else is the wind telling you to do?”

“The wind tells me to do nothing.”  A serene smile curled her lips as she plucked off another leave.  This time, when it shriveled and faded, she seemed to fade a little more, too.

Oh, shit.

“Is that from your tree?” I asked softly.

“Yes.  All that is left, all that is living.”  She plucked another leave. “Once it is gone…”

“So why are you killing it?”

“Because unlike Albus, I am not strong. I cannot stand up to pain and torture.  Even cutting down a single tree would break me and he has much more in mind than cutting down trees.”

Abruptly, she wrenched a handful of leaves, four, five, six…dust blew around me and I rushed to her as she swayed, then staggered.  She felt lighter than air as I eased her down.  Her skin felt like the smooth bark on a young tree.  “What are you talking about?”

She just shook her head.  “It’s been a long time coming. This…this is best. I’ll see Albus soon.”

She tried to fumble a few more leaves off but her hands shook too much.

“Please.” She looked at me.

My phone rang.

She continued to watch me with those calm, patient eyes. Patient, solid. Like an oak.

I took the branch and stripped the remaining leaves off as the phone rang again.

By the third ring, she was withering away, turning to nothing but dust and ash that blew away in the soft, chilly fall breeze.

I answered the fourth ring.

“Ms. Colbana, I was calling for an update.”

“I found her.” Dragging a finger through the dust, I rose to my feet and stared down.  Even the branch was gone.  “She’s dead, sir.”

Amazon | BN | iBooks | Kobo

**releasing in April. Release date was changed. Explanation here.

And so it comes to this… News on Shadowed Blade

SB 2016 I’d originally planned to have Shadowed Blade out in March–one a year has been my goal with The Kit Colbana series from the beginning, with the occasional short story when my schedule allowed.

Unfortunately, 2015 was a bad year.

For those who don’t want to hear reasonings…long story short, I have to push back the release date. Hopefully, I can get SB out in late April. That’s the goal. That’s it, I’m sorry and I’m trying.

For those who feel better having explanations…like I said, 2015 was a bad year.  If you need more than that, I had health problems that ended up requiring surgery and tests, starting in June and not being resolved–or at least answered until January of this year.  Said health problems involved several different body systems, required ridiculous amounts of tests and more meds than I really want to talk about. (I won’t say I’m fine, but I’m as good as I can be and no, it’s nothing that’s going to kill me. It just makes me miserable on occasion.)

However, between health issues, stress issues from those health issues, workloads from deadline projects and other deadlines related to a second job I had to pick up due to money issues… (Hey, I’m a writer, most of us are the proverbial broke artist) I haven’t been able to work as much as I need to get the next Kit book done on time as anticipated.

Yes, I’m sorry. I know this explanation will not satisffy some-I’ve already gotten demanding emails. However, I’m only human and like most humans, I can only do so much.

I appreciate your patience and I’ll do the best I can to get it out to you as quickly as I can.

Shadowed Blade

Book is still a work in progress, but I’ve got a cover!

Shadowed Blade 2016

Some might notice yet another model.  Why, yes.  Yes, it is. I loved the model I had on the last two books (three, if you count the boxed set), but over the last year especially, she seemed to be showing up on a lot of books.

And because I aspire to be unique in all ways (in other words, I sulk if I don’t stand out), I decided I wanted another model.  The old books are going to be repackaged in the coming months, too.

This model’s image won’t be appearing on dozens of other sites, either.  I’ve got lock, stock and barrel rights on the images.  I took them, see. That’s Diva. My daughter.

Due out in spring 2016

Edged Blade is only 0.99…today only

Edged blade - Colbana FilesEdged Blade is on sale today at Amazon, only 0.99! Link here.

AND… if you haven’t read any of the Colbana Files, if you can buy the first three books AND the prequel for only $3.62. All the books for less than $5! That’s a deal.

FYI, the sale is an amazon thing… I have no control over it. Sorry to the non-Amazonians. 🙁

Dragons & Blades!

Hey, it sounds cool.

I’ll be at DragonCon  this year.

Can I just dance a jig for a moment?

Okay, now then…

I’ll be on the Urban Fantasy Track at DragonCon this year.

My panels/autograph sessions…

Title: The Plot Thickens: Mystery & Suspense in UF
Description: How mystery & suspense characterize Urban Fantasy.
Time: Fri 02:30 pm Location: Chastain ED – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Laura Anne Gilman, Stuart Jaffe, S. J. Harper, D.B. Jackson, J. C. Daniels, David Mack, Kevin J. Anderson)

——————-
Title: Autograph Session
Time: Sat 11:30 am Location: International Hall South – Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Fran Wilde, J. C. Daniels)

——————-
Title: Supernatural Variety in UF
Description: Authors on supernatural beings in their work, & how their choices affect their stories & worlds.
Time: Sat 01:00 pm Location: Chastain ED – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: J. C. Daniels, Jenna Black, Myke Cole, John G. Hartness, Samantha Sommersby, Tamsin L. Silver)

I’ll also be signing at a booth in the Vendor’s area, although I’m not sure of times or details yet.  So…if you do DragonCon, come see me!

Also… Blade Song is free for a little while!

Check it out!

Amazon | BN | iBookstore |  Kobo | Indie Ebooks

Safety is an illusion… Final Protocol

Like sci-fi romance?  Here ya go!  Final Protcol, science fiction with a erotical, romantical sort of twist.  But be warned, it’s a little dark.  That warning about questionable consent?  It is not tongue in cheek.

FP

Tip #1: Don’t get on her bad side. Tip #2: There’s no good side.

Her name is Silence. If she was ever known by any other name, she doesn’t remember.

She is a killer. If she was ever anything else, she doesn’t remember.

She has an owner. If she was ever free…well, that she does remember. She was free and then somebody gave her to a madman to pay a debt that wasn’t hers. She’s his toy, his pet…and his trained killer. She kills at his whim or she dies.

She has a target. Her so-called owner…the man who makes her life a living hell. If she could kill anybody in the universe, it would be him. But he holds her life in his hands.

And she has a wish—to find a man she barely remembers. A man she knows she once loved. The man who betrayed her and stole away her freedom.

With one final target between her and the tantalizing promise of freedom, she moves in for the kill. There’s one problem. There’s something strangely familiar about her mark. Something that echoes in the void where love used to live.

Warning: One woman with a mission, one evil bastard who lies as often as he breathes, and a man who’ll stop at nothing to find what he lost. Be warned…some questionable consent lies within.

“You failed me, Silence,” he murmured. He reached up and stroked a finger down my cheek.

“I explained the circumstances,” I said, keeping my voice steady.

“Hmmm.” He slid a hand around, his fingers idly probing the spot at the nape of my neck. To some, it might look like a lazy caress. To me, it was a dire threat. The bioseal was buried there, inside my brain matter, locked within me.

His hand fell away and he looked over my shoulder.

And even though he’d done this more than once, even though I’d suspected he’d do it again, there was no time to brace myself.

The biotronic system was too fast to evade, and in a heartbeat, I was trapped in what looked like a gossamer web but felt like bonds of ’stene. As it tightened around me, I sucked in as much air as I could, expanding my rib cage. Once, he’d done this and it had wrapped around me so tightly, I’d thought I’d smother.

But that wasn’t his torture today. It stopped when it had me restrained, and Gold went about stripping my weapons away.

Biotronic arms slid out from behind me, grabbing the weapons from him and whisking them away. He found every last one, including the garrote I’d tucked inside my collar, dart I carried on me and the stunners. There was a small glass vial of poison and he took that, holding it up to the light and studying it before turning it over to the biotronic arms. In moments, he was done and I felt stripped bare.

I’d rather have weapons and be naked when I had to deal with him than have no weapons and face him like this. Bound and trapped.

“One might think you didn’t feel safe coming to see me,” he said, studying me from under the thick fringe of his lashes.

“Safety is an illusion with you.” I clenched my hands into fists. If I could get free, I could kill him with my bare hands. I knew how. He’d seen to that.

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sci fi romance