Monday, July 13, 2020

E.A. REYNOLDS - Part Three



Chapter Five

Three whole weeks had already passed, and he was starting to get the hang of shooting pretty good. Brantly was also learning to keep his mouth closed too. The Lieutenant’s punishments were truly nothing next to what some of the others had endured.
Cleaning the bathrooms with toothbrushes, scrubbing the kitchen and doing kitchen duty, two-hour hikes after long days of training, and no weekends off, had been put some of the others in a more docile frame of mind.
He did notice three of those who’d come in with them were gone. He had no idea where or why. It wasn’t like anyone was telling them much about their reason for being here or the secrecy.
Gorgeous Lieutenant Garnett was still as enigmatic as ever. He’d caught the cutie looking at him more than once and Brantly was still trying to decide if he should say something.
He was attracted to the man but was it wise?
It wasn’t like he was looking for a ring or anything. So, a brief fling wasn’t going to change the price of beans.
“Cadet.”
His head came up from his task. He was working kitchen duty today. He’d learned to make bread and cookies with the cook over the last two days. Two men in his unit had gotten them into trouble, but he’d ended up here while they’d ended up on harder duties.
“Yes, ma’am?” he asked the woman who filled his vision. She was clad in blue fatigues and boots. Her black hair was pulled back in a knot just as he was today.
He’d taken the lieutenant’s advice for fear of getting a haircut.
“The general’s tray?”
“Oh.” He got to his feet and hurried into the kitchen where the staff was already beginning to do the prep work for dinner.
Brantly retrieved the tray from the warmer and silverware rolled in a napkin and wrapped in a biodegradable plastic substance that had been introduced into their town five years ago.
“When you’re done with that, go ahead and go to your training, cadet,” the woman in charge of the kitchen, Gracie, told him. “I’ll see you back here after for clean up duty.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he said. He took the tray out.
“Walk with me, cadet,” she said.
“Ma’am?” He met her gaze then but only momentarily remembering he wasn’t supposed to hold her eye more than a few seconds.
“You heard me,” she said lightly and then started from the empty dining hall.
He’d cleaned up after the lunch diners had filed out and everything was spotless.
“I hear you’re a college grad with a degree in history,” she said. “Why are you here? All teachers like the horticulturalists get a pass on the training.”
He hadn’t known that. By the same token he hadn’t been certain he was going to teach rather than work at the museum. He’d hoped for an offer from them.
“I didn’t know. I was ordered to come here.”
“What was your rank?” she asked.
“Two.”
“Ah,” she said. “You scored second highest yet highest in your area. You have a talent that could be used in security, but your kind never served in battle. Teachers are valued.”
“I don’t understand,” he said. “My kind?”
“You are rare but when you were on N4 or 5 and ended up in security you were trained to be soldiers who could destroy with your mind. Your talents lie in a telekinetic or telepathic ability that was destructive,” she told him.
“Huh?”
“You’ll outlive us all. At least in your natural habitat that used to be true. Your kind were indestructible and a few of the special breeds were immortal. Some of those were your kind, the mental combat specialist that were coveted by many. You were often soldiers for hire.”
“What?” Brantly demanded in a hushed tone.
“Each generation produced at least three immortals. The only down-side was you could only have three children, but as a warrior you could never take a mate.”
“How? I mean, I don’t understand.”
He didn’t know this about his family. His parents were both very open about their history, but no such information had ever come from either of them.
“Here on earth, your people perished. This climate didn’t agree with the majority of them. A few may have survived after mixing with others from the N5 region.”
“What was N5?”
“It was our home, cadet. It was a region of five planets. Your trainer hasn’t explained this to you yet? You’re to become a great asset to our people and—”
“Sergeant Taggis what are you doing with my cadet?” Lieutenant Garnett’s voice was hard as it snaked around them from behind.
She stiffened next to him but turned. “Garnett,” she drawled. “I see you’re doing exactly what the general feared. You know you could be court-martialed.”
“For what?” he demanded as he came to stand toe-to-toe with her. “Doing my job, soldier?”
“For holding him back,” she snapped. “I’ve seen his results and they are sub-par. You’re not even training him in the mental warfare his kind was meant for.”
“Don’t press me,” he told her.
“I’m going to relay my findings to the general today,” she said. “He’ll order tests and when he sees what this boy is capable of, you’ll be sanctioned from keeping that from us.”
The air around them seemed to chill despite it being a hot day in June and Brantly almost shivered even as the lieutenant took a step toward her.
“The girl will also be tested to ensure you aren’t holding her back as well, and both will be removed from you,” she said.
“Don’t make the mistake of thinking I’m a cadet fresh out of the academy Sergeant,” he said acidly. “Interfere in my business and you won’t be pleased with the results.”
She laughed. “I’m not afraid of you, Garnett,” she said in a derisive tone. “I can kick your ass all over this base.”
“You can keep believing that, Sergeant,” he replied. “But if you fuck with me, I will kill you as sure as I would any stepping into my territory thinking to rule.”
Her brown eyes snapped with fire, and she reached out with her free hand. Heat slithered up his side and stole his breath.
“His training would have given him some kind of cue of how to defend against me,” she said. “But he’s weak. He won’t be in a few weeks after training with me.”
The fire ignited in him by her grew eating a path through his side to his stomach. The burn intensified there, and he let out a cry.
“Inhale deeply, pretty boy,” Lieutenant Garnett told him softly.
It was as if his voice was in his head, a soft touch on his body.
“Exhale out, and extend your and hand to me,” he said.
Brantly followed his instruction despite the pain now radiating up to his chest. He let out a cry and fell to his knees.
“Now, cadet.” Garnett’s voice was a whip.
Brantly drew in another breath and exhaled roughly as he stretched his fingers out toward Garnett. Flickers of orange danced on his fingers and Garnett seemed to catch the orange in one hand and moved slightly as if going into a crouch.
He threw out his other arm and flames slammed into the sergeant. The tray flew from her hand and Garnett moved then, grabbing her around the throat and pushing her back into the nearby brick pillar.
“Don’t you ever lay another finger on him or your ambitions to run this camp will end in ashes, shemasha.
Breathing hard she tried to break free and stomped on Garnett’s foot. He released her and backhanded her.
“Don’t forget your place soldier,” he growled at her. “Or I’ll remind you of why I’m your superior.”
Fire shone in her eyes, flickered on the fingertips of a hand but remained contained.
“You’re going to regret this Garnett,” she whispered.
“No, soldier, your dumb-ass brother will when he comes to defend your honor,” he told her. “If you’re smart, you’ll consider this a loss and wait for another chance to best me rather than get him killed.”
She drew in a rough breath. Her stare was a blade edged with fire as she stared him down.
“You better go back to the kitchen and get the general his lunch. You know what a bastard he can be when he misses his meals.”
She glared at him. “Cadet, I’ll see you later. When you’re in my charge, you’ll find out just how hot my wrath can burn.”
“Threaten him again, and we’ll go to the mat soldier.”
“You have no authority—”
“Fuck. Off, solider. Now.”
She snarled but stalked away, rubbing her throat.
Garnett helped him to his feet, his hand calloused and his touch set off a fire of arousal inside him.
“Sons of bitches,” Garnett muttered. “I’m going to have to do this sooner than I planned.”
“Do what?” Brantly asked.
“You’ll find out, but first let’s get to training. We have a few things to do before you’re called to preform for the generals.”
Preform for the generals?
“What do you mean?”
“She will go running to the general. I knew someone was watching your training, checking into your family.”
“Why? She said—”
“Silence, cadet,” he ordered.
Brantly bit the inside of his jaw to keep from speaking and grimaced. He followed the lieutenant back to the training building where he stood and waited ten minutes while he talked to Evergreen and gave her instruction.
“I’ll be back in ten minutes for a pop quiz,” he told her. “Cadet Solaris, let’s go get you started.”
The lieutenant led him to a private room where mats were laid out. Above them on the wall were several glass inserts.
The lieutenant walked over to the wall and touched a panel. “Come here cadet,” he ordered. “Take off your shoes on the side first.”
He did was he was told before walking along the wood floor toward the handsome man waiting for him. For a moment, Brantly imagined he was walking to his lover, the man who’d pull him into an embrace, kiss him softly and hold him close.
He knew those big hands would feel so good on him. His body would melt, he would get so wet and—
“Brantly,” Lieutenant Garnett growled, but his brown eyes were a rich chocolate as they ate him up alive.
Brantly’s pulse kicked and his breaths grew shallow.
“It’s like you’re reading my mind,” Brantly murmured as he came to a stop before Lieutenant Garnett.
“It’s all you, sweet boy, but I can only read certain breeds thoughts.”
“What does that mean?” he asked.
“It means you’re telegraphing loudly and my low-grade telepathy brings your thoughts right to me loud and clear.”
“You’re a telepath?” Brantly asked. Many of the people in his town were low level telepaths so that wasn’t a surprise.
However, Brantly was the only one in his family who’d tested above average in the skill.
He’d always been able to send over longer ranges as well as receive. He owned a phone, but his mother never used it. She always just telepathed to him and so did his sister.
“Those thoughts are dangerous, Brantly,” he said softly. “I can’t—I’m not supposed to get involved with cadets.”
“That’s why all you do is look?” he asked matching the lieutenant’s tone. “When I can tell you want to do more.”
“You can’t read my thoughts,” Lieutenant Garnett replied evenly. “Unless I let you.”
They were all trained in the arts of protecting their thoughts. Maintaining mental shields was of the highest importance and they were tested on it frequently in school. Then, they were given a refresher every year as adults.
“But you, you’re easy to read when you send like that.”
“Maybe I wanted you to know,” Brantly commented. “But I guess knowing isn’t half the battle in this case, eh, GI Joe?”
Lieutenant Garnett chuckled. “In this case, it’s exactly that.” He reached out and ran his fingertips along Brantly’s jaw. “Your eyes are so beautiful.”
He lowered his head blocking out the soft glow of the overhead light and their lips touched. Garnett’s were soft on his and Brantly parted his lips. Grayson’s were soft on his, and Brantly parted his lips. He was eager to feel Grayson’s tongue against his tasting him.
He could feel his heavier body pressing against his and his hands on him, stroking his body to a more heated state.
However, Garnett’s tongue didn’t slip into his mouth. Still, his eyes were a blaze of hunger that knocked the air from him.
However, Garnett’s tongue didn’t slip into his mouth.
His head swam though, his mind went blank.

To be continued...

~~@~~

The Price of Passion
Dade is aware that a gay man can’t be sheriff. So, torn between the life he wants and the life he must lead, Dade claims Rhys, only one of his mates. He accepts that their relationship can only survive if it’s kept in the closet.  

Rhys loves Dade with all his heart and he knows Dade feels the same, but he also accepts that Jori is Dade’s mate, too. So, Rhys urges Dade to claim to complete their triad. However, Jori is resistant to sharing Dade. She fears she’ll hurt, but with both men romancing her she gives in to the passion stalking them. Then disaster strikes and Dade is forced to track down a killer. The killer is after alien relics. Jori has one of the most dangerous pieces and the killer won’t stop until he gets it. The price of passion just might demand more than either man’s heart can take.



~~@~~

E.A. Reynolds


Sunday, July 12, 2020

E.A. REYNOLDS - Part Two



Chapter Three

Brantly was surprised at the hint of green grass and single-story buildings he saw as they rolled past the gates of the facility the on the bus. There were only twenty others on with him and they were all staring out of the window as he was.
He knew each of them was a nervous as he was. The silence had been interspersed with spotty chatter.
“You’ll leave the bus in an orderly manner and report to your duty major, sergeant or lieutenant. From here, each of you will take specialized training before returning home to take your place in Solarrian society.”
“Training?” A female asked.
He thought her name was Tabitha. They’d had a class together in college. She’d moved to Sapphiris when she was in high school. Brantly was surprised their laws had applied to her.
“Yes, cadet.” The man was now standing in front of the bus. He’d ridden in the very first seat quietly staring out the window during the entire trip. “What did you think we did with our citizens when they turned 21?”
“No one ever says,” someone else said.
“Neither will you because what happens here at Camp Solaria stays here,” the man told them.
Brantly noticed for the first time the man wore fatigues and a blue t-shirt with combat boots. His blond hair was cut short around a handsome face sporting a scar on the chin.
“I’ll direct each of you to the barracks, you’ll meet the charge or duty sergeant and then move onto meet your personal training commander. Understood?”
“Yes.” The word was a resounding uncertain chorus.
The bus pulled to a stop and the man got off after telling them to grab their duffle.
“I’m Sergeant Moltahan. Everyone form a line, five to a row.”
Once they’d done that, he handed out envelopes and directed them to the barracks. The building was a brick one and spacious with a common shower area though they had a powder room in the bedroom which slept four.
Brantly found himself in a room with only two others. He took a bunk and was in the process of wondering what now when a man came in.
“Listen up cadets,” he said coolly. “Each of you has a packet. Read it. You’ll find the vital information for the rules of engagement. It’s like a handbook. It also contains the names of the chain of command for you to access should you have problems.”
“Why are we here?” a man to his left asked.
“To learn to serve your people better cadet,” he said. “The trunk at the foot of the bed contains your training gear. You’ll wear it at all times except for Sundays. Sundays are your days. Saturdays you’ll spend part of it in the spiritual center. After that, it’s your day.”
“What are we going to do?”
“You’ll change and head over to your commander for a meet and greet then, you’ll be shown around before coming back here. The rest of the evening will be yours to do with as you please. Each of you will rise at six for fitness training. At eleven you’ll have lunch and go to your specialized training.”
“What does that even mean?” one of the other men demanded. “Why the hell are we being forced to stay here.”
“That is our way, cadet. You’ll comply or be sent down. You’ll spend the next six weeks here and then return home to live and work as everyone else.”
“That’s it?” the first man who’d spoken asked. “We get through six weeks of military like training and then head home to live our lives as normal?”
“That’s it, cadet. Now, get changed.”
“I guess it’s going to be like on TV,” the second man grumbled. “We’ll have to take shit too.”
The commander dressed in his fatigues chuckled. “I’m going to make you my special project,” he said. “Now get changed.”
Brantly didn’t bother arguing. He changed and stored his clothing in the truck. There were instructions on how to locket and he followed them, pressing his thumb prink to the small number pad.
The commander was back in five minutes and they were all marching out single file. At certain points each of them was directed in a direction. He was the last to part from the commander and found himself in a sprawling building that looked almost like a maze from the outside. A female stood ahead of him at the door.
She was dressed in the same green and black fatigues and black combat boots as he was.
“I guess they got our sizes,” she said after turning to face him.
“I guess.”
“I was the third high scoring tester. What about you?”
“Second.”
“Well, I guess—”
“Listen up cadets.”
The voice came from behind them and Brantly jerked around wondering why he hadn’t heard the man. The girl in front of him hadn’t given a sign that she’d seen anyone coming.
The man was hot. H.O.T.
His black hair, cut short, curled and his brown skin was smooth, and his uniform stretched over a firm body. He was all of 6-foot-two Brantly guessed. His eyes were violet, an unusual shade even amongst their kind.
“Let’s go to my office,” he said. “I’m Lieutenant Garnett. You will address me as such or sir, cadets Solaris and Evergreen.”
“Yes, sir,” they both said in unison.
He gave them a nod and led them along the side of the wide wraparound porch to the back and down a set of steps. They marched out to the building behind that and inside.
The murmur of conversation took a background to the faint smell of atropus which was the equivalent to the human lavender. The smell was lighter and evoked a feeling of calm that relaxed the tightness of his muscles immediately.
Garnett led them into a spacious room with three desks.
“This is your training command center. You’ll come here after physical training,” he explained. “You’ll begin learning combat skills to aid the police force. You’ll go to work for the force for two years once you return.”
“We have to?” The girl asked.
“Yes, Miss Evergreen,” he replied. “Everyone here will serve in their area of specialty for two to four years.”
She nodded and glanced at him. Brantly shrugged. He hadn’t thought about serving as part of security, but it would be better than working at the mill.
“Good. You’ll learn to fight hand-to-hand and using your abilities. You’ll also learn about being an officer. Let’s all do our job and there will be no problems.”
“Can we call home?”
“On your own time, you’ll be allowed to make a call home once a week after the third week. Your parents know you arrived in safety. Tomorrow we’ll begin with combat training and move to weapons training before tackling social training.”
“Social?” Tabitha asked.
“How to deal with the public you’ll serve,” Lieutenant Garnett replied. “Now, I’ll give you a tour of the campus.” He walked over to them and moved behind them. “Eyes front.”
He placed his fingers on Brantly’s temples and his heart jumped. His skin heated immediately, and he caught his breath.
Then, the cool fingers were gone.
“Let’s go,” he said a few moments later.
This was already shaping up to be the surprise of his life. Brantly hoped it didn’t go downhill into a nightmare.


Chapter Four
The scream of an alarm had Brantly jerking away with a startled gasp the next morning.
“Out front in twenty cadets. Time to start the day. Anyone who’s late will be scrubbing toilets today.”
Brantly leaped out of bed and opened his trunk. He grabbed his toiletry bag and sprinted for the bathroom. He was in the shower in a matter of seconds for a quick one in a stall with its own change bench.
He dried and dressed and brushing his teeth a short time later. He put his shoulder length hair in a braid and headed outside. He fell in and the five minutes later the hellish day began.
He was sore by the time he cleaned up for lunch and both his bunk mates were already complaining. Brantly didn’t bother. He could get through this.
      After lunch, he took a slow stroll to the training building and ran into the Lieutenant Garnett.
      “Cadet,” he said with a nod, but those brown eyes slid over him making his dick hard. Garnett lifted a brow at him.
      “Shit. Uh, I—”
      “Do you like men, cadet?” he asked patiently.
      Being gay wasn’t a crime or even a problem in Sapphiris.
      “Yes, sir.”
      “You’re allowed to keep your hair long, but you need to tuck it up like the girls or wear it in a tight knot. If not, it’ll be cut.”
      “Yes, sir.” He’d taken it out of the braid and had gotten several disapproving stares, but no one had said anything. It must be Lieutenant Garnett’s job to tell him.
      “Make sure you take care of it as soon as we reach the training building. Always keep it up except on Sundays.”
      “Yes, sir. Thank you.”
      “I’d hate to see you lose such beautiful hair. Some lucky man who likes long hair would miss the pleasure of watching it fall around your face or running his fingers through it.”
      Brantly blinked. Was that a come on?
      “I—right.” Lame, but what the hell else was he supposed to say?
He had no idea if lieutenant was trying to tell him something or was just making a general statement.
“Today, you and Evergreen will be on weapons training a thirty minutes of book learning—rules regulations.”
“Okay.” Brantly looked at him out of the corner of his eye.
“Lieutenant.”
His gaze went to the man who’d joined them on the walk from the side. The walkways here were like a four-way street.
The man’s gaze was straight ahead though not meeting the lieutenant’s.
“Sergeant.”
There was no salute but everything else seemed just like the military. At least according to what he’d seen on TV.
Lieutenant Garnett nodded. “Carry on Sergeant.”
The other man walked on.
“Eyes down cadet. You haven’t earned the right to visually invite yourself into a conversation between commanding officers.”
“This place is strange,” Brantly replied. “It’s like the military but not.”
“That’s because it is,” Lieutenant Garnett replied as he began walking again. “This is a Solarrian military base. A place where we train our young to become fully aware of the danger the outside world can be to us.”
“I know we’re not all human,” he said. “My parents told me.”
“Of course, they have, but they haven’t told you the full story because it’s a risk to entrust the young with a people’s secrets.”
“What secrets?”
“You’ll learn what you need to know,” Lieutenant Gray answered. “In the meantime, just learn to shoot straight because you’re going to be trusted to serve and protect our people.”
“Why is this place kept a secret? Why didn’t my parents or teachers just tell me—tell us all about the fact we could be coming here to train instead of keeping it a secret?”
Lieutenant Garnett lifted a brow at him. “I just told you, eyes down. For your disobedience, you’ll stay an extra thirty for a run.”
“For asking questions?” Brantly demanded angrily. “I’m not in the military.”
“Refuse and your punishment will be worse than sore legs, pretty boy. Now, off to training.”
Brantly shook his head but hurried off to the range. He was given another lesson in how to hold a gun and then they moved on to types of guns before putting them on the shooting range.
After that, he was sent to the track for a run. The track circled an obstacle course and a few men were out there on it along with a woman. Brantly didn’t focus on them though, his thoughts turned on the questions he’d asked and the possible answers which left him even more confused about why he was here and this place was hidden from them.
He’d tell so everyone after him would know what to expect.
****
“Those three kids that came in weren’t human after all,” Elder Cooley told him.
“Then, why were they executed?” Grayson asked curiously.
“They were a danger to us,” he said. “Their families will be executed as well.”
“How?”
“They were plants of the Gorrems.”
“Gorrems? Surely, you don’t think they’ve debased themselves and come here. At least what was left of them,” Grayson exclaimed incredulously. The race was a lost one, their culture and planet destroyed.
Some of them had fled but no one knew where those survivors had ended up. They were a mimic race, who would have had to take over the lives and bodies of a human host. They couldn’t exist in their own form in any place but their own planet.
“We aren’t going to seek out their colony,” Elder Cooley told him. “There would be one nearby.”
They never traveled just one or two in a unit. They traveled in packs of twenty to forty as a nomadic band that could leave destruction in their wake. Their only saving grace was they rarely killed their hosts since they couldn’t survive without their bodies.
“We might change our minds if their homes turn up reason to. They could be planning an invasion, or they could just be part of a small band just trying to fit in,” Elder Cooley said. “The bottom-feeders usually have an ulterior motive for invading another race’s territory though.”
“I should have been called in to question them,” Grayson said.
“The Elders are thinking of saving one of the family unit for that. He or she will be questioned by them. The information will be passed along.”
“I’d like to see their dwelling.”
“Granted,” Elder Cooley said. “You can go back tomorrow.”
“Thank you.”
“The boy’s not a bad shooter,” Elder Cooley commented from next to Grayson who stood inside the range building watching his charge as he ran.
“He’s going to be better, but I think with his educational background he’d be better service as a teacher.”
“His mind is too fine a weapon for such mundane work.”
“We don’t know that yet,” Grayson said. He hadn’t given him a skills assessment yet. “I’ll be assessing tomorrow.”
“Don’t lie to us,” he said. “I know you might want to protect him because he’s a little soft, but if he can be shaped into a good soldier, then we want him on the front lines.”
“I understand.”
He knew from what he’d heard earlier this afternoon, a conversation he wasn’t supposed to be privy to, that the elders were afraid danger was coming in the form of an old enemy that had decimated the Lawthum region outside of N5.
They were similar to the fictional Borg from Star Trek. They were travelers who not only assimilated minds, but cultures, and powers of a people. They drained the most skilled of knowledge leaving them ash.
Grayson prayed they were wrong. He didn’t want to deal with that locust plague on this planet when he’d seen what they could do mere months before the asteroid destroyed their region.
“Build a good rapport with him and the girl because you will be their commander as police chief.”
“Yes, Elder Cooley.”
“Don’t be too soft on him even if he is one of those drama queens.”
He grunted. The Elder had no idea of the divisions between the gay men. Not just here on the base but in the town. There was a sort of caste system just like on Solarria.
You had your omega boys, your sporty boy who didn’t have much sugar in their tanks. They were divided into two groups. Betas and sweet boys. The sweet boys were always looked for strong men. They knew how to dress to attract, and most of them wore their hair long like Brantly.
Betas were tough but not as tough as alpha males. They were further divided by class. No matter what, alphas like him always looked out for the omega and sweet boys no matter what lines of class and superiority divided them.
He would protect Brantly as best he could from whatever was coming no matter the cost to him.

To be continued...

~~@~~

Passion’s Brewing Storm

Cade has been in love for at least a year, but Zan has been too busy with other men and women to notice him until now. Cade knows they’re perfect for each other, but Zan is hung up on the idea that only a woman can complete them. Cade isn’t interested in a triad love, but frustrated and full of fear of losing Zan, Cade gives in. He doesn’t expect to lust after Zaria, let alone fall in love with her, but tragedy strikes Willow Brooke drawing him and Zaria together.

Eyes open, Cade realizes Zan isn’t the only one attracted to Zaria. Willing to give them a chance, he opens his heart to her. Cade comes to see that with Zaria as their third, his relationship with Zan can only be strengthened, and they will all need to be strong to conquer the danger threatening to rip their town apart.





~~@~~

E.A. Reynolds


E.A. REYNOLDS - Part Three

Chapter Five Three whole weeks had already passed, and he was starting to get the hang of shooting pretty good. Brantly was also lea...