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The Warrior's Pet (Cadi Warriors Book 1)

By:Stephanie West

Preface


Giselle didn't know how long she lay near catatonic willing the terrible headache to go away. She sat up as one of the reptilian aliens entered. Giselle backed up and looked around realizing she was alone in a gilded cage.

"What's going on?" She stammered.

"If you're wise you'll keep quiet, pets don't speak on this planet." The creature admonished.

A pet? Giselle's eyes widened. She hadn't misheard.

Her cage was moved into a large tent. There were hundreds of aliens gathered for the auction, and these creatures were the largest yet. Their flesh was red like some kind of demon might be, with hair a uniform dark black. From what Giselle could see their eyes were a stone cold obsidian hue. Giselle noticed the fearsome creatures had long tails that rose out from what looked like chain mail kilts. Giselle shrunk back when she saw the creatures also had sharp fangs.

How in the hell could she get out of this and if she did how could she possibly survive on an alien planet?



Kagan beheld his pet. Nothing like her kind had ever set foot on Cadi. Kagan wondered where in the universe her unique species hailed from.

Giselle refused to behave and even enjoyed his attempts to rebuke her, reveling in the rough handling a male usually held back with females. Giselle was brave instead of meek, standing up for herself in a sea of foreigners.

Kagan had at first insisted that Giselle understand her place in Cadi society. But something more valuable than precious metal or jewels would be lost if Giselle was forced into the role everyone thought she belonged.



Can Giselle find acceptance and love on an alien planet or will she always be nothing more than a warrior's pet?





1 Assessment




Giselle

Giselle roused. As her lashes fluttered open she was accosted by a harsh bright light that made her quickly squeeze her eyelids tightly closed again. Subtle murmuring reached her ears as she lay in a bed that was clearly not her own.

"Where am I? What is going on?"

Her mind blurted the questions as Giselle flexed first her fingers then her toes. Perhaps some sort of accident had occurred while she slept safe and sound in her apartment. She wouldn't put it past the four wannabe frat boys next door to do something stupid like set the apartment on fire.

The guys were partying hard last night and just as Giselle wandered out the door to tell them to shut the hell up, she'd been greeted by the king of idiots blowing a spray of vodka ignited by a lighter. The moron nearly singed her hair with little more than a slurred apology. At that point she went inside, stuffed cotton into her ears and prayed to get a few hours of sleep before her first midterm as a grad student.

"Midterms!" Giselle's eyes flew open.

She had to get to Ballentine Hall. If she screwed this first semester up, they'd pull her scholarship for sure.

What greeted Giselle was not her bedroom, it wasn't even a hospital room, at least not the kind at the university hospital. She looked over to see the shadow of two figures talking behind a frosted wall.

"Hello?" Giselle said with a scratchy voice in desperate need of a drink.

There was no response.

"Hello! Excuse me." She stated louder.

Still the people conversed, ignorant that she'd awoken. One of them was gesturing emphatically as she spoke. Giselle sat up the rest of the way to hear better. She threw her leg over the sleek stainless steel bed covered in an odd transparent blue rubber sheet, then paused. The simple motion made her tired and somewhat dizzy.

"What the hell? I wasn't drinking last night!" Giselle wondered with a shake of her head. "I bet those idiots did burn the place down and I barely survived carbon monoxide poisoning." That would explain the dizziness and scratchy throat. "Well at least I have a better excuse for my professors than oops I overslept."

Giselle leaned forward and listened to the couple, waiting for a break in what seemed to be a heated discussion.

"Ion I understand how you feel but the female's genetic anomaly makes her unsuitable." A deep almost resonant male voice stated.

"Exo surely we can do something besides euthanize the female. What if we sterilize her and have the next group pick up another subject to replace her?" A melodic higher pitched voice replied.

Giselle wondered if she wound up in a vet clinic instead of a hospital. That would certainly explain the rubber sheets on the overly large metal bed. Wasn't there an exotic animal sanctuary not far from town? There must've been some major catastrophe if they were diverting patients here.

"Ion you know the colony cannot support her at this stage of its development."

"But this was not her doing. We did not do our jobs well and now she must suffer." The woman responded her voice going high tinged with anguish.         

     



 

Giselle agreed with the woman. It seemed a shame to put down some poor creature if spaying it would work. And if the thing needed a home, hell she'd take it in. Giselle opened her mouth to chime in then closed it realizing there was no way she could take in more than a dog or cat, and even that violated her lease. The vets probably had some poor wolf or something that needed rescuing. Still she was a softy like the woman outside the room. If the critter could be saved, they should at least try.

"We are too far to return her and she cannot go to the colony." The man insisted.

"Please Exo." Giselle watched a small hand with narrow wrist reach out and touch the man placatingly.

The man's shoulders seemed to drop, and he sighed. "The Jurou Biljana were sighted not far off."

"Exo they are flesh merchants." The woman exclaimed with a gasp as she quickly drew her hand back.

"But there are worse things. It is your only choice."

Giselle saw the woman nod slowly. She felt so bad. Flesh merchant, was that like sending the poor beast to the sausage factory? That wasn't better than being put down.

"What the hell?" Giselle wondered as she hopped down off the gurney to give the man a piece of her mind.

Giselle's knees gave out as her feet hit the frigid glass-like floor. She caught herself before hitting the ground but got tangled in the white robe she was wearing. A pinging alarm sounded and Giselle turned to see a light on the arm of the bed flashing.

A shocked gasp behind her had Giselle turning back around. What greeted her caused Giselle to lose her grip and immediately slide to the smooth floor.

In the doorway stood two impossibly tall slender individuals. It was hard to discern from the bright lights all around but the pair were not normal looking. As they approached, Giselle could better see their eyes. The dark large orbs were almost almond shaped and had no discerning features like pupils or an iris. Their arms and legs were long enough to give the two a gangly appearance, with skin so pale it almost glowed. The shorter female bent down to help Giselle up and she noticed the woman had a finger missing on each hand.

Suddenly things fell into place in her mind, like tumblers in a lock. The duo looked not quite human because they weren't!

"Aliens!"

Giselle inched away from the hand outstretched to her, horror dawning on her face. They had been talking about her. They had taken her from her home to go to some weird colony. She was the one they were going to put to sleep or hand over to flesh merchants.

"I don't think so." Giselle shouted.

She summoned all her energy and hopped up, much to the surprise of the two alien creatures in front of her. Giselle fled to the opposite side of the bed and stood crouched waiting to see what they would do.

"How in the hell am I getting out of this one?" She wondered with mounting fear.

The woman looked at her sadly. As the man pulled her from the room Giselle thought she saw the woman mouth the words, "I'm sorry."

No sooner had they gone when a sweet almost metallic odor filled the room. Giselle's head nodded then lolled to the side as her legs gave out, tunnel vision obscuring her view.

"Nooooooooo! They're putting me to sleep." Was Giselle's final desperate thought as darkness closed in.



Giselle was shocked when she came to, her arms flailing, her fist knocking painfully into a hard metal wall. She cracked her eyes, but the room was dim. Her muscles were stiff from lying on the cold steel floor.

"Where are the aliens?" Giselle wondered.

There was shuffling, and she rubbed at her eyes hoping they would adjust faster to the dim light.

Suddenly a hairy arm snaked out and grabbed her round the middle tugging her off the floor. Giselle cried out in panic but the furry hand clamped over her mouth as it hauled her into the middle of the room.

The hairy arms were like bands of iron as the thing held her to its chest. From how big the hands were and how high she dangled off the floor the creature must be huge. More shuffling and the sounds of a dozen panting breaths and grunts approached her. Giselle caught sight of a large furry shoulder then a face loomed in front of hers.

If Giselle's mouth hadn't been covered the blood-curdling scream would've deafened the creature staring into her eyes.

The face that looked back at her reminded Giselle of something straight out of Planet of the Apes. The beast had short fur all over except its face and the palms of its hands. Its eyes were chocolate brown with harsh brows. The alien face had a nose that was large even for the beast's size, wide and turned up at the end. Its nostrils flared as it huffed. When the thing bared its mouth full of sharp teeth Giselle nearly fainted, her heart beating a mile a minute.

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