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Forbidden Collection by Marteeka Karland

Forbidden (Collection)
by Marteeka Karland

Changeling Press

eBook ISBN: 9781595967671
Print ISBN: 978-1595965530

The Gothe’maran are a harsh warrior people. When they collide with the men and women of Earth and are met with resistance, a war begins that will change the face of both civilizations. Passions collide with tradition and a new way of life must be forged or both peoples will lose the best parts of themselves. Both sides must learn that love is a force stronger than even the staunchest warrior, and sometimes the heart takes you places you never thought you’d be.

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Chapter One
Sleeping With the Enemy [Book 3]

Closing her eyes, Akahana tried to block out images she never thought she’d ever see. Her mate, a huge Gothe’maran male in full body armor, stalked and captured a human child of not more than three. When she peeked carefully, she found the child looking directly at her, screaming in terror as Gamin’s meaty hand closed around the girl’s throat.
She couldn’t have stopped the shrill “NO!” that escaped her throat even if she’d wanted. In that instant, she knew she’d sealed her fate. Gamin tossed the child aside and stalked toward her.
She’d always heard that when one faced impending death, the souls of the Gothe’maran people who had gone before embraced the soul about to enter their ranks. Instead, Akahana saw only the souls of Earth killed by her people—the Gothe’maran. The souls of Earth had been good people. Caring people. People who only wanted to exist in freedom, in their own cultures.
The last image to float in her mind was the face of the little girl.
Then Gamin was on her.
He backhanded her across the cheek with his closed fist and immediately followed it with a smashing blow to her jaw in one smooth motion. Blood poured from her mouth, but she didn’t have time to spit it out before he hit her again. Ribs crunched, both her forearms snapped when she tried to block his crippling blows. He kicked her in the stomach, causing her to retch and gasp for breath that was becoming harder and harder to drag into her lungs.
When she fell onto her back, her eyes beginning to swell shut, Gamin grasped the neck of her tunic and ripped it with one sharp jerk. With a series of like movements, it wasn’t long before he had her completely stripped of clothing.
She was unable to resist when he forced her legs apart and wedged his body between them. He was always aroused by violence and had taken her many times in this same manner. It was one of the privileges of being high in Military Command. He made enough money to purchase his own unregulated healing tube. No one monitored how often it was used or the type of injuries it was used to heal, and with no evidence, no one would believe that the mate of any Gothe’maran male was abused so, especially that of a decorated soldier.
Gamin freed his cock from the armor and his clothing in a series of quick, sure gestures. Scooping blood and spittle from Akahana’s mouth and chin, he moistened his erect member and forced his way inside her. Akahana knew better than to protest or cry out, so she merely turned her head to the side.
Catching the image of her lifeless body in Gamin’s mind, lying as she was now, Akahana knew he meant to kill her this time. She didn’t mind, really. Although she loved Gothe’mar, Earth was a beautiful place filled with beautiful people, and the thought of spending her soul’s eternity here wasn’t unappealing. Besides, her life was a living death. She’d gladly leave this life and hope her soul’s mate never found her again.
* * *
Sergeant Taber Mahoney of the United World Army of Earth surveyed the bodies on the field of what he hoped would be the last battle of the World Gothe’maran War. Despite all efforts, the blood had flowed for nearly ten years. Bodies, both human and Gothe’maran, lay scattered like fall leaves over the landscape. Most everyone was dead, but those who weren’t were transported to the Earthside Medical Command. He had personally checked each body carefully for any signs of life and used a handheld scanner to record each individual and to locate unrecorded body masses.
Only three left. Two adults and one child.
An image flashed through his mind—a determined, fair-haired woman standing in his office haunted by the memory of a dead husband and child. He hoped Ms. Garrett had found peace.
With cautious steps, Taber made his way to the only other people alive in this wasteland, careful to keep to the shadows. In the fading twilight, it wasn’t hard. The human child was huddled under a small bush, crying but not making a sound. The adult woman was Gothe’maran and very near death. At first Taber thought the Gothe’maran man over her was grieving or perhaps trying to help her, but he soon discovered the truth.
Aiming his scanner at the pair, he was horrified by what he saw. It was rape. Rape to the point of death for the woman, she was beaten so badly. Her whole body was covered with bruises and she had many broken bones. The scanner detected massive internal bleeding, including a slow but deadly bleed inside her head that guaranteed she would not live long if left untreated. The Gothe’maran was an officer by his uniform—an officer for the rogue faction unless Taber missed his guess. The man’s hips moved in rapid thrusts as he fucked the helpless woman. She didn’t move, didn’t make a sound. From her brain patterns, she was fully conscious and knew exactly what was happening.
Fury shot through him, red and out of control. His prided control and ability to use stealth as a most effective weapon vanished, and he ran, screaming a battle cry, straight at the other man. His gun hung holstered at his side. He had no intention of using it. This kill, he wanted with his bare hands.
The Gothe’maran officer’s head snapped up and he pulled himself upright, away from the woman beneath him. He wasn’t able to un-holster his own gun before Taber was on him.
Taber dove into the air and caught the large man in the midsection, propelling him backwards and onto his back, effectively knocking the wind out of him. Before the woman’s assailant could get to his feet—or even to a sitting position—Taber straddled him and hit him repeatedly across his face. Blood flew in all directions, splattering across Taber’s face and covering his fist and arm and uniform.
Over and over Taber hit the other man. He kept hitting him until his hand would no longer close into a fist. Then he used the other hand. The man’s face was a mass of bloody meat and smashed bone. Still it wasn’t enough. When both Taber’s hands were basically useless as fists, he took the man by the neck and banged his head against the ground.
He couldn’t stop! It was as if he were looking at himself through a mirror. The rational part of his mind was horrified. What he was doing went against everything he’d ever believed in.
And he didn’t give a fuck.
Then he felt a light touch on his shoulder.
“You can stop now.” The voice was soft, feminine, and a bit muffled. “I think he’s dead.”
It was all it took to bring him back to himself. He dropped the man he’d just beaten to death in a pool of dark, congealing blood and sat back to one side of the body. He took a deep breath before looking over his shoulder. It was the woman the Gothie had been raping and beating.
Her face was swelling, and she looked worse than when he’d first seen her. Hair so fair it was almost white was caked in blood. Her eyes were so swollen, he wasn’t sure if she could still see. How she was conscious at all was a mystery.
They stared at each other for a few moments before her strength left her and she slumped to the ground. Taber lunged for her and caught her head and shoulders as she fell over. He was afraid to touch her. Afraid he’d add to her pain, but it didn’t matter. She’d finally passed out, his shirt firmly twisted in her hands.

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