For the price of their blood -- and their sex -- the Changelings protect the inhabitants of Chimera from things far worse than the denizens of this backwoods planet could ever imagine.
When Taylon is captured and sent to participate in the Gathering, her first thought is to fight. And she has the means -- unlike the natives of Chimera she's capable of resisting the compulsions used by these giant Vampiric Werecats. But how can she resist the seduction of the most handsome man -- Changeling -- she's ever seen? Can she survive four weeks at his mercy -- and not want to stay forever?
Praise for The Taming of Taylon
"Looking for a smoking hot book with a feisty heroine willing to do anything it takes to defend those weaker than she? Then The Taming of Taylon is the place you should start."
--Poppy, Whipped Cream Reviews
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The Taming of Taylon
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2010 Leila Brown
Taylon stared as a brazen woman pulled her shift down, baring her nipples. Did she have no pride? Apparently not.
These women were just a means to an end, a snack for the savages hosting the Gathering. The Changelings would gorge themselves on the essence of the innocents before indulging their sexual appetites and sending the women home. Until the next gathering.
Taylon stood at the inner circle, surrounded by an outer ring of the most shameless women. She swallowed the lump of disgust lodged in her throat as she watched them flaunt their bodies at the creatures.
A yelp pierced the air in the large round hall, bouncing off the marble floor and walls. Taylon turned her head to watch the woman screeching and giggling as one of the creatures swooped her up and carried her from the room. One slut down. Too bad there were so many left to go. She cared little for them. If they thought to seek their pleasure in an animal's embrace so be it.
But the others were an entirely different matter.
Her hands shook as she smoothed out the wrinkles in the dress. The fine spider silk felt foreign beneath her fingers. Catching herself, she balled her fist. The dress was useless. The semitransparent material showed more than it hid. Looking down, she swore she saw the dark pink of her nipples. The creatures only dressed them this way to see what they were choosing.
Taylon braced her legs apart and assumed a fighting stance. She would protect the girls behind her. The girls were scared. Like her, this was their first Gathering, and just like her they did not want to be here. They were innocents. Unmarried women of breeding age had no choice. All women who attained the age of maturity on this backwoods planet were subject to Gatherings. Until they married. Or unless they hid really well.
Each whimper behind her shored up her courage. The girls were scared. Taking a deep breath, she pushed her own fear away. She would protect them, for as long as she could. Why had she let her sister pick a planet they hadn't researched first?
She watched the circling males close in around the women like jaws closing on a desired meal. One of the smaller creatures broke away from the pack and sauntered her way.
His blond hair hung just below his shoulders. He stood almost a head shorter than the other males, but it was his only physical defect. His muscular legs filled the tight black pants, and his chest showed creamy perfection through the opening of his blue vest. "Hello, little one. Do you think to protect all of these beauties?" He chuckled. "You are such a small thing."
His words rolled off Taylon without generating so much as a ripple of a response. She could hear the compulsion in his voice. Feel his desire for her to submit to him. What she didn't feel was a need to obey him. Especially not with the insult he'd just dealt her. She was only a bit shorter than him. He was about to learn that she didn't take insults lightly. "Fuck off." Her lips curled into a sneer. It would be his only warning.
The creature backed away, his golden eyes never leaving hers. A smile of pure pleasure graced her lips. Whoever chose her was in for a nasty little shock. A human who could stand unaffected by the creatures' call. Such a thing was unheard of, or at least it was to them.
Most of them would probably like to see her dead, but that was impossible. Humans were protected, and killing one was a deadly offense. It had been so for over five hundred years, since the last Great War, when monster fought monster with humans caught in the middle. Humans were now so rare each life was a treasured commodity. Besides, if they killed the humans, where would they get the blood they craved? Most of them would give her a wide berth.
Or at least she hoped so.
If that damn interplanetary gate -- to her it looked more like an archway -- hadn't broken down after she and Kylie arrived, they would have turned around immediately and gone back to the Andromeda Waiting Station. This trip had cost them all of their saved credits, but they could work to earn more.
Taylon shook her head to let go of the what ifs. She needed to deal with the reality in front of her. She stood defiant as she stared out into a sea of glowing eyes. Beasts. Beautiful beasts, each and every one. Faces that rivaled those carved from exquisite porcelain lined the walls of the hall.
She wasn't stupid, though. The handsome faces didn't fool her. Strip away the well muscled human exteriors and she would find the true beast lurking close to the surface.