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Living a lonely and unhappy life on the Planet Venem, Merilee Black, a slender beauty with long blonde hair, decided desperate times called for desperate measures. She needed a new life and the Common Swallow Woods would be her only answer. This leap of faith, however, would change her life dramatically – she hoped, for the best.
Imagine his surprise, while hunting in the Receiver Woods, when Steele Dread stumbled across a gorgeous woman. The tall, broad-shouldered clan leader hadn’t expected the gods to answer his prayers for a woman so quickly. His clan of five would be very pleased with the prize he brought home this night.
Five men – each one tall, muscular, brutish and extremely stern – would claim the violet-eyed woman, teaching her their ways. Would Merilee submit completely to the Diviljak men on this male-dominated planet? Would they survive a traumatic event that could change their love forever?
Publisher’s Note: This dark, steamy, science-fiction reverse harem romance contains elements of power exchange.
Merilee slammed the door angrily, stomping down the steps of her family's mansion, hating everyone and everything in her life.
"Damn him. I'm done with this place and will no longer find myself subjected to the evil control and anger which my father spews upon our family. I'm of legal age and pretty enough to be married or living on my own."
The dust from the hardened clay on the Planet Venem was particularly annoying today, leaving a reddish film upon her skin, filling her lungs with the irritant, causing her to cough more than normal.
"I've been on this planet the whole of my dreary twenty-one years." She pushed a long curly lock of hair behind her ear, coughing once more, before angrily kicking her toe into the hard dirt with her vexation. "I need to leave here."
Looking around, she surveyed the pathetic men and women she called neighbors, wishing she could find someone who wasn't weak and sickly...or too old to marry.
"I'll only find peace and true happiness off this damnable planet," she muttered to herself, walking off her anger, her heart racing, not keeping track of where she'd been heading for the last half hour, and it wasn't until she heard the cawing of a morabor that she realized she'd walked right up to the edge of the Common Swallow Woods, one of the few areas of Venem which was lush and green. Most of their planet was covered in red dirt and dust, looking more like a desert than anyplace that would be inhabited by people
Merilee gasped, stopping abruptly, not realizing her anger had brought her to a place of potential escape. Her hand went to her throat, and she swiveled her head around to see who—or what—may have been watching or following her.
From the time she was a child, she'd heard the legends and folklore, which some swore were the truth, about the Common Swallows.
The Guards of Venem, the biggest men on their planet, kept watch over the woods, protecting children and innocents unaware of the dangers lying beyond the boundary, doing their best to guard their citizens.
Anyone who unknowingly walked too far into the Woods would find themselves swallowed up, disappearing forever—never to be seen again.
Hundreds of years ago, a woman named Rabitha had made her way back to Venem and swore victims were sucked down a narrow passageway—a wormhole—at a mortifying high rate of speed and dropped unceremoniously onto the Planet Diviljak into what they called Receiver Woods.
Rabitha reported the Planet Diviljak was inhabited by men and women who were abnormally large, especially in comparison to the people of Venem who were rumored to be much shorter, smaller, and sicklier than those of other planets in the galaxy.
The Diviljaks were tall, broad-shouldered men who made the ground shake with their lumbering footsteps. Their deep voices along with angry yells and rants were frightening, and these brutish men reveled in making their victims cower in fear.
Rabitha said they were loud and brash but conversely very protective—almost kind and caring. They coddled her, going out of their way to meet her needs, but, she also noted if she didn't obey and do as she was told immediately, their wrath was heard and sometimes...felt.
It was with inflamed red cheeks, unable to hide her embarrassment, Rabitha admitted they would spank her as one would a small child, but she conceded their favorite punishment was binding her to a post or bed, taunting her sexually, causing her hours of humiliation.
She had fallen in love with a man there, but he'd been tragically and suddenly killed in a battle, and not wanting to be given to another Diviljak, Rabitha went back to the spot she'd been rudely deposited to so many years ago, and with chanting she'd learned among the Diviljak, she'd been transported back to her home Planet of Venem.
Parents for centuries warned their children of the Common Swallow Woods, cautioning them only one person had made it back, admonishing their offspring that the dire consequences of rebellion or disobedience were permanent.
Looking down the path leading back to her home, Merilee shook her head.
Never again. I'll take my chances.
She bit her lip, clenching her fists tightly at her sides, drumming up the courage required to take the first few steps toward her future.
Whatever that might end up being.
The grass was higher at the edge of the wooded area since no animals or inhabitants of Venem passed the boundary. She landed one foot into the forbidden area and instantly a winged battle dragonfly buzzed close to her face, successfully pushing her back, and when Merilee resisted, the insect dove at the canal of her ear.
Covering her ears with her eyes closed, she plunged forward with wide, long steps, hoping to venture deeper into the woods despite the interference. With her heart galloping within her chest, her eyes darted around the forest, looking for any signs of danger. She laughed aloud with the absurdity and ridiculousness of it all.
I'm looking for danger but hoping to be swallowed up by the woods.
Shaking her head, she continued to tentatively move forward. Unexpectedly, she tripped, coming close to landing flat on her belly, but waving her arms and doing her best to stay upright instead, she grasped a tree lest she fall. Scraping her face along the bark, she shouted in pain; her hand touched the injured cheek and was covered with her blood. She gingerly swiped at the abrasion with the soft cotton of her sleeve, dabbing at the seeping blood.
Behind her, the ground was level and clear, and she knew instantly she'd been tripped by a guard, searching the horizon; however, none could be seen.
They'll have to work harder than this to deter me.
She pulled her shaky hands from the rough-barked tree, and staring intently at the ground for obstacles, she tiptoed forward, not as hastily this time.
The ripping of fabric startled her, and her arm was grabbed harshly, her shoulder aching with the pain of being wrenched in the wrong direction. With a loud shout, she jerked her arm away from a very pale, white-haired guard.
Merilee swung the fist of her other arm, striking the underside of his jaw. Her arm tingled from the force of the smash, her knuckles dripping with blood from hitting his teeth, she assumed, and she held her fist close to her chest, gritting and growling in anger...and fear.
"Leave me be! Have you not seen what my father Warner Black has done to his family? To me? Don't you understand my plight?"
Her voice broke on the last phrase and she sobbed, her chest heaving with pitiful wails wracking her body. She rested her hands on her knees and cried until her throat became raw.
"Let me go. Please, help me leave and find solace...or my death. Either would be an answer to prayer...my desolate soul requires a new life and a reprieve from my misery. The Planet Diviljak cannot be any harsher or crueler than my kin. Release me to another planet. I beg of you." Her hands were clasped in the air, pleading for mercy.
A soft warm breeze whispered over her body, and a faint whisper soothed her soul. Leave, princess. Be free to find your happiness; we'll no longer hinder your pursuit.
The breeze turned into a fine mist; a sweet, flowery scent permeated it, intermingling with a sphere of fire, swirling, snaking, and weaving around the trees. Tentatively, Merilee tiptoed through the woods, the whispers and mist increasing in sound, her ears ringing, her breath shallow and quick. The ball of light led her down the path further into the woods and landed in front of a massive tree.
Merilee knelt, staring at the cylindrical, spinning flame, a distant chanting drawing her, and the mantra became clearer and clearer.
Mahla mreeka, mahla mreeka, solera sonsora, tuvorcha Diviljak. Mercona Diviljak. Obosowana Diviljak. Diviljak. Diviljak. Diviljak.
She chanted along, staring deep into the ball, her vision doubled. The tree in front of her became two large trunks intertwined; she raked her hands up the rough bark, hoping and praying the process would work.
The deep voices of the guards chanting along with the whispers in the mist—flying and circling her head—calmed her, soothing her anxiousness, the whirring of voices and whispers overwhelming at certain points. The mist swirled around her in such a way, her body as a whole became drenched with the sweet, orchid smelling dew.
For the first time in years, she drew in a deep breath, completely unencumbered, and her body swayed with dizziness, her mind racing.
Will I be transported? Where am I going? Will I die in the process?
Will the Diviljak kill me?
Do I care?
Suddenly, her body felt at peace, almost weightless. She had not a care or concern, all worries fled.
It's all white now.
Merilee held her breath. Her vision was replaced by a blinding light, the chanting loud, excruciating, her ears pounding with the level of decibels, and she gripped the tree tightly, the pads of her fingers digging into the bark so harshly, the burn and pain so deep, she knew the tips were bleeding.
There's no noise. It's so still.
Merilee knew without opening her eyes something had occurred. The silence was deafening.
Peeping one eye open, she could see she was in the same spot. The guards had disappeared and the mist was also absent...and there was no whispering or chanting in her ear. But, alas, everything looked the same.
It didn't work. I'm still here. Forgotten.
"Hello? Is anyone here? Sirs? Guards?"
She searched the landscape for any unfamiliar sights, anything giving her hope she'd been transported to Diviljak. The unknown was a better option than the known for Merilee. Her heart dropped, and she resigned herself to the fact she'd been unsuccessful in leaving.
A crack of wood, a twig snapping behind her. Gasping, she held her breath, her eyes darting, seeking the origin of the sound.
Heavy footfalls on the crisp, dry leaves slowly approached her but the force unseen. With fear, she muffled a scream behind her hand.
Is it the guards? Or Diviljak?
"Hello? Who is there?" Slowly, Merilee rose to her feet, brushing the dirt and leaves from her red sundress. Bending over, she grabbed a stick from the ground, holding it up as a weapon. "Show yourself."
She saw his feet first. Each foot was the length from her knee to her ankle and as wide as her thigh, the toes long and thin, attractive, not ugly—but huge. Her gaze rose up his muscled, hairy calves, the tendons firm and taut.
Her eyes inched upward, and Merilee's heart raced at the prominent bulge between his legs, covered with only a flimsy piece of cloth, leaving nothing to the imagination—the outline of his rigid cock, growing and throbbing behind the material, straining and tenting the garment.
Before she could stop the impulse, she licked her lips, her mouth watering at the prospect of the penis filling her sex with its impossible length and girth.
A low rumbling growl had her gaze rising up his body further at his hairy chest, pecs bulging, and she noted his nipples were erect with his arousal as well.
Merilee stared into the deepest brown eyes she'd ever seen and got lost in the intensity of his stare. His lips were thinned, his jaw flexing, and from the corner of her eye, she noticed his cock rhythmically pulsing with his rapid heart rate.
The giant of an alien pressed a button on his shoulder and spoke in a garbled language before she deciphered the word, Venem. He then spoke gruffly in her language, obviously, the button was a translator of languages.
"Where have you come from, girl? Your purple eyes and blonde curls say you're a woman of wealth, possibly royalty, from the Planet Venem."
His deep voice rumbled over her already trembling body and it shook to her core, her clit throbbing with arousal and need.
Merilee didn't answer right off, her voice paralyzed momentarily with fear and uncertainty, and she wasn't sure she wanted to discuss her family with him...not yet, at least.
"I-I came...I was sent through the Common Swallow Woods from the Planet Venem."
"What is your name, girl?"
"What is yours?" She tilted her chin up, doing her best to show no fear, her comment laced with sarcasm.
She only came to his chest, and his teeth gritted, the muscle flexing in his jaw with the movement. His dark, wavy and unruly hair was tied at the base of his neck with a strip of leather, and with a lunge forward, he grasped the whole of her upper arm with his huge hand, yanking her forward so she stood toe-to-toe with him.
"What. Is. Your. Name?" His deep voice was barely a whisper, the threat behind it obvious.
Swallowing loudly, she whispered, "Merilee Black, sir. Am I on Diviljak?"
"Good girl. Yes, you've been transported to Diviljak. I'm Steele Dread. You're coming with me now."
Merilee pulled away from the hulking man but couldn't disentangle from his tight grip on her. "Wait. No. Go where?"
"Women aren't allowed to roam freely on this planet and must be under the protection of a man at all times. You'll belong to us, now, becoming our submissive. Our property."
"Oh no, you don't. I have a position of power on Venem. I'm an anthropologist, studying other cultures of the different planets in our galaxy. I'm not somebody's plaything or property. I don't even know you!" Slapping at his hand, she tugged and pushed on his arm, struggling to free herself once again.
"Stop, brat. It's not safe for you here. There are many vicious and evil men here on Diviljak. You'll find we're good men and gentle, as long as you obey. Coming with me is your best option." He began walking away, dragging her by the arm, and she jogged to keep up with his long gait.
"Not so fast." She dug her heels into the hard dirt on the forest floor, stopping his trek through the Common Swallow Woods. "You keep saying we; who are you referring to?"
"My clan. There are five of us and you'll answer to all of us. Be our partner—in all things."
She blinked at the huge alien standing before her, unsure of even how to respond to such an absurd concept. Obedience was a concept she was familiar with, of course, but not to Diviljak men she didn't even know. She had read and studied enough of the culture here to know they were a male-dominated planet, but how had she missed that women weren't allowed to be alone?
The idea of replacing her father's cruel authority with the stern dominance of five aliens was much more than she wanted to contemplate. Although she'd left Venem because of one man, her father, the prospect of dealing with five of them seemed daunting at the very least, unacceptable at the worst.
"I'm not sure I can do this."
"Sure you can. Women do it all the time. You'll be fine, once you adjust. Come, it'll be dark soon, and I don't want to fight off any other Diviljak's wishing to claim you. And, you don't want that, either; trust me. We must go." He jerked her forward, her arm aching from the pull.
"Wait. Goddammit, I didn't agree yet." Tripping over a tree root, she would have face-planted on it, if he hadn't yanked her upward like one would a small child.
"Girl, I'm losing patience. It is time you walk, or I'll carry you over my shoulder. But, either way, you're coming with me. Now." He placed both hands on his hips, furrowing his eyebrows.
Without any thought for her safety or where she'd go, she spun on her heel and ran as fast as her short legs would carry her. Not even daring to glance over her shoulder to determine how close he was behind her, she dug her shoes into the ground, darting through the woods. Her lungs screamed for air, and she hadn't gotten very far before something resembling a tree trunk wrapped around her waist, swinging her through the air, and her belly landed hard against bone, which stole her breath away.
"I warned you, lass." A sharp slap landed on her ass, and she shouted with the stinging pain. "We'll do it my way, and you'll hold still, or I'll put you in a cage when we get back to the house."
A cage? By the gods, could he be serious?
"I thought that may get your attention. Behave."
Bouncing along his shoulder, she stared at his gorgeous, barely covered ass. Merilee contemplated all the wondrous things she could do to his ass. The first of which would be to bite it, then lick every inch of it before coaxing him to roll over, sucking his glorious cock.
Now she just had to adjust to five of these Diviljaks.
Would they all be this well-endowed?