- Author: Alana Khan
Book online «Slag: Book Four in the Galaxy Pirates Alien Abduction Romance Series (Shifter) Alana Khan (love letters to the dead .txt) 📖». Author Alana Khan
Galaxy Pirates Alien Abduction Romance Series
Slag: Book 4 in the Galaxy Pirates Alien Abduction Romance Series
© 2021 Alana Khan
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law.
The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred.
Criminal copyright infringement is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
Cover by Elle Arden
For permissions contact: email@example.com
Special thanks to Dr. Lee, my developmental editor who comes up with great feedback from big ideas to the minutiae that makes the manuscript so much better. Also to Lady Susan C. whose kickass ideas are always good and always up the heat factor. As always thanks to my daughter—now a published author in her own right as Amarra Skye--who helps me plot every single book and tolerates my late night and early morning phone calls (well, tolerates it most of the time). Let me not forget my right-hand person Stephanie A., who helps immeasurably with so many day-to-day details I’d go bonkers without her. Oh, and this is her favorite book—thanks Steph.
My Alpha, Beta, and ARC teams let me know when things work, and when they don’t. Special thanks to: Anne-Marie S., Lori L., Sue P., Vedece B., Mary B., Kaye S., Corda A., Shannon B., Mary S.,
Want to join my early-reading teams? Sign up for my newsletter and let me know.
Table of Contents
The books in this series are meant to be read as standalones. The Galaxy Gladiators and Galaxy Pirates have managed to intertwine in this book. If you’re wondering, this book begins BEFORE Wrage: Book 11 in the Galaxy Gladiators Alien Abduction Romance Series, and ends AFTER it.
Need a refresher on Who’s Who? Click this link to review your favorite heroes and heroines.
Ten years ago . . .
“You look so much like your father,” my mother says, a loving smile on her face, her fingers cupping my cheek. “So handsome, with the same golden skin and long gold braid. I wish he was here to see this, the most important day of your life.” There’s a wistful look on her face, but she banishes it and forces a smile.
She’s right. I’ve waited my whole life for today, it’s not the time for sadness.
I’ll walk into the temple a boy, a person with a single form. When I leave I’ll be a shifter. Worry and excitement stole my sleep last night because I have so many hopes and dreams riding on this day.
Today is my eighteenth birthday. It’s when my people become li’rah. We are able to shift into a new form after the priest performs the ceremony. My people transform into creatures of the land, sea, or air. The most common form is the horse. Some rare individuals shift into dragons. But one in every generation becomes an az’rah—the spirit of the horse and a dragon as well as a special ability to shift into anything he wants.
My father was an az’rah. He was destined to lead my people until reapers stole him five rotations ago. Our planet is peaceful, all the tribes coexist. Other than the black beasts from the north, we have no enemies except the reapers who visit our planet and steal the best of us. Sometimes they come two rotations in a row, other times they leave us alone for generations.
Mother grabs my hand and tugs me through the temple doorway. Almost everyone in the village is here, already seated. Many turn to look at me expectantly. I’ve heard the rumors—that I’ll be an az’rah like my father. We’ll know before sunset.
The high priest motions for me to join him on the dais. He’s in his finest robes; a tall hat of woven reeds from the banks of the Malee River sits on his head.
I shed my loincloth at his direction, then kneel before him as he chants the prayers and casts the spell. He anoints my head with the sacred water from the source of the Malee River and intones more prayers—praises to the Gods and supplications for their generosity and protection.
Something shifts inside me. At first, I convince myself it’s my imagination, but soon it can’t be denied. It’s as if a fist around my heart I didn’t know existed has released its hold. Something deep within me is liberated and expands, filling me to bursting.
I’ve heard stories about this as far back as I can remember, but there’s nothing that can prepare you for the feeling of another moving, breathing, sentient thing inside you.
My throat tightens as something swirls and grows and cracks open within me. Although I’ve looked forward to this my whole life, this is the first moment I truly believe with my heart and soul that the change will happen.
My belly cramps. It’s almost like flames are licking at it, but the pain is beautiful. It signifies my metamorphosis.
“Now, A’Zul,” the priest says as he motions for me to stand. He anoints me again, then leans close and whispers one word in my ear. I’ve been told the word is a unique gift from the Gods that is whispered first to the priest and then to the supplicant. It’s the final step in awakening the animal within me.
“Kai-Lee,” he says, then walks me to the portal. “You walk through this portal a boy. You return an adult, a