When Abby Harris takes her faithful German shepherd out for a hike in Oregon’s beautiful mountains, getting abducted by aliens isn’t even a blip on her radar. Her trusty can of bear spray and pocket knife aren’t much help against the seven-foot monsters who swoop in out of nowhere to transport her to a ship in space.
Nicolai Nekbet is Crown Prince for the House of Nekbet on the planet Raiden. Unable to bear healthy children with females of their own species, Raiden warriors must hunt for a bride outside their own world. Nicolai has his heart set on a human even though their planet is protected by an ancient species called Laizahlian. When he sees the tall blonde-haired beauty out in the mountains with only a dog by her side, he knows he must have her.
With Abby safely on his ship, Nicolai injects her with his shaprata, his essence. His shaprata will change her on a cellular level, making them compatible for procreation, but he must still work hard to win her heart. If she rejects their union, it could easily mean his death.
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About the Book
Claimed By Nicolai
by Denna Holm
SciFi & Fantasy
Crimson Cloak Publishing
April 22, 2019
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CLAIMED BY NICOLAI
A Raiden Warriors Novel
© 2019 Denna Holm
Nicolai watched his mate’s pale face as the shuttle broke through the planet’s atmosphere. Before the ride grew bumpy, there’d been only excitement shining from her bright blue eyes. She appeared curious about life outside her own world, looking forward to their visit on Runhura. Her fingers relaxed on the armrest once the shuttle smoothed out and she started to look toward the viewing panels, trying to get her first sight of the planet.
“I can’t see anything,” she said, her eyes moving back and forth, struggling to see land through the dense clouds.
Nicolai smiled to himself. Abby still thought the viewing screens were some type of window. Yes, they showed what was right outside, but you couldn’t change the angle from inside the shuttle. It wouldn’t be safe to travel through space with only weak glass between them and whatever debris might be floating around. “Runhura deals with many storms, especially in the spring. We’ll hope this one is not headed for the city itself.”
“I like storms,” she replied. “Well, as long as I get to watch from a safe place.”
Nicolai wanted so badly to pick up her hand and taste her emotions, but his passionate kiss earlier had frightened her—though not in a way it might have a few days earlier. It pleased him that she wasn’t so much afraid of him now as herself. If nothing untold went wrong, it should only be a matter of days before she accepted him as a permanent part of her new life.
And maybe, if he were very lucky, she might love him just a little. From what he’d learned about humans, they didn’t tend to recognize their lifemate at first sight, or first scent, not like a Raiden could. It might take weeks, if not months, before she started to feel for him what he did for her. For now, feelings were being overwhelmed by physical need, the result of his shaprata, but he would take whatever she would give.
“Oh, I can see land,” she said, her voice excited. When Nicolai reached for her hand, she didn’t slap him away. “Oh, wow, that is so awesome. They have a lot of water on this planet, huh?” She craned her neck around. “Oh, I see mountains now. Just wow.”
Nicolai smiled. He couldn’t wait for her to see the actual city—called Runa by the locals. He grew thoughtful, wondering how his Abby would take to seeing one of the locals, a water species. They could move about on land when they wanted though most preferred to live year-round in the water. It provided a natural protection from the many violent storms known to hit Runhura.
On orders from Nicolai, the ship would land with the viewing ports faced away from the city. He wanted to study her expressive face when she stepped outside and got her first good look.
A slight bump told him they had landed, and Nicolai helped Abby and Nadiri with their belts. Besides the two pilots, who would remain with the shuttle the duration of their stay, there were twelve guards plus two officers accompanying them, twice as many as usually accompanied Nicolai on official business. Six would form two lines before them and six behind. Once they exited the shuttle, two guards and the officers would move up beside them. Nicolai would take no chances where Abby’s safety was concerned. Rafa would remain close to Nicolai, a last defense should a threat get through the guards.
The captain of the guard turned to face Nicolai, hitting his chest as he tipped his head in a shallow bow. “We would like to perform a quick perimeter check before you exit the shuttle with your mate, my prince.”
Nicolai nodded, and four guards exited the shuttle with the captain, returning about ten minutes later.
Abby reached for Nicolai’s arm, starting to look worried. “Are you sure we’ll be safe here, Nick?”
“Of course, my love. This is protocol when traveling with the royal family.” Trying to offer reassurance, Nadiri reached out to gently squeeze Abby’s arm. “It won’t take long,” Nicolai added.
Rafa turned to look at Abby, Nicolai’s commander always at his side. “You are safe, princess. No one here will challenge the royal guard. It would be suicide.”
Abby nodded, though she still looked nervous.
All the guards carried not only swords and daggers for close contact fighting, but phasers and blasters. A plasma bolt from a blaster could take out a small building. Natives of Runhura disliked weapons being brought into their city, but they wouldn’t argue where royalty was concerned. Should it become necessary, Nicolai was perfectly capable of defending his bride, as well trained with weapons and hand to hand combat as his guard. He carried everything but a blaster, the weapon too bulky to fit hidden within his uniform.
A few minutes later, the captain returned, nodding toward Rafa.
They stepped outside, the guard closing rank around them. Abby gasped, her eyes bright as she stared toward the impressive buildings seen behind the city gate. About halfway there, Nicolai heard two loud pops, followed by screaming. Abby grunted when one of the guards ripped her away from him, folding his much larger body around her as he took Abby to the ground. A second guard had done the same with Nadiri, the older nanny not fighting against him. Abby, on the other hand, wasn’t happy.
“Get off me, you big ape,” she snapped.
Nicolai crouched down beside Rafa, phaser in hand, his gaze taking in the surrounding land. He heard another loud grunt and assumed his mate had hit or kicked the guard trying to shield her. “Be calm, my love. He’s only doing his job.”
“By crushing me! What the hell’s going on, Nick? I thought you said we’d be safe here.”
Nicolai glanced over at her, fighting jealousy at the sight of his new mate, a mate not yet fully bonded, in another male’s arms. He clenched his jaws, knowing it was the safest place for her, though he didn’t have to like it. “What happened?” he asked Rafa, his tone little more than a harsh growl. Those who knew Nicolai instantly stiffened, recognizing the danger.
“I don’t believe it was a threat toward us,” Rafa replied. He motioned toward the captain of the guard, him and two of the males separating from the group, moving toward the city gate.
“I need to breathe, asshole. Back off a little.” Another grunt as Abby elbowed her guard.
The guard glanced over at Nicolai, his face an empty mask. She could stab him and he still wouldn’t move, not until he knew the threat toward his future queen had passed.
Five long minutes went by before the captain and two scouts returned, motioning for the others to stand. Nicolai tapped Abby’s guard on the shoulder, then helped her up, tugging her against his side.
Her face bright red, Abby turned to Nilos, her assigned guard, and smacked him in the chest. “Don’t you ever do that again. I thought you were gonna suffocate me.” She turned her fury on Nicolai next. “What the hell was that all about? You’re just gonna let your people manhandle me like that?”
Nicolai nodded toward Nilos as the wary guard stepped back a few feet. None of the other guards would look at the male, afraid to bring down a punishment on themselves. In truth, Nicolai was grateful Nilos hadn’t hesitated to offer his life to protect Abby.
The captain of the guard listened to the two officers and then walked back to Nicolai. “It was only a play taking place right inside the city gate. They are no threat to us.” His face remained tense, however. None of them liked having their charges out in the open. A sniper could be easily missed.
“Good, let’s continue then.” Nicolai wouldn’t feel safe until they entered the Raiden consulate building. He tried to draw a frustrated Abby to his side, but she held both hands up and shook her head, casting another angry look toward her guard.
“Would it make you feel better if I punished Nilos, even though he only performed his duty to protect you?” His serious tone appeared to startle her.
Taking a deep breath, she stopped trying to slap his hand away. “No, don’t be stupid. He just scared me.”
A slight rustling behind them told Nicolai the guards were surprised by her response. Perhaps they half expected her to say yes to punishing Nilos, relieved it hadn’t been them assigned her personal protection. They were also not used to anyone speaking to their crown prince with such obvious disrespect. “I’m sure he didn’t mean to frighten you. When it comes to our safety, they are trained to react first and then assess the situation.” Nicolai stopped and turned to face her, forcing Abby to meet his gaze. “I would have killed him if he allowed anything to happen to you.”
Her face paled as she glanced toward her personal guard. “I’m sorry I hit you. I don’t want you to get in trouble for doing your job.”
Nilos offered her one quick nod, his eyes widening briefly as he shifted his attention to Nicolai. Abby had surprised him.
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About the Author
DENNA HOLM | A retired FEI competitor in dressage, she earned her United States Dressage Federation Bronze and Silver Medals. After Denna retired from training and showing horses, she decided to try her hand at writing novels in paranormal and science fiction romance. She used the unique personalities of her many wonderful students to help bring life to her characters.
Denna and her husband Lee make their home in the beautiful State of Oregon with their two loyal German shepherds, one energetic border collie, and two very spoiled cats. Animals are given a special place in her novels, their offer of unconditional love a lifeline in this difficult world. Denna and Lee enjoy spending time camping and fishing with their children and grandchildren.