Authors: Ria Candro
Book 3 in the Mating Ritual series
Two years after her home planet was decimated by the evil Malucons, Cindra believes she’s finally found happiness again. A surrogate family has taken her in, and she’s now engaged to their son. Life is good…if a bit boring. But then four breathtaking Spygians appear in her new world. When they claim her as their mate, a lifetime with her staid fiancée—who’s disinterested in sex—no longer seems quite so appealing.
Bannor, Devan, Stefon and Tempos are utterly shocked to learn their destined mate is already betrothed to someone else. They are determined to win her heart—by seducing her body in every way and position, individually and together. After all, she feels the lusty call of their bond as strongly as they do.
For Cindra, choosing the Spygians means a lifetime of danger and uncertainty, for they are practically at war with the Malucons. But the delicious temptation of four hot-blooded Spygians could prove too much to resist.
futuristic ménage erotic romance
from Ellora’s Cave
Bannor guided his pod mates, Devan, Stefon and Tempos, down the winding dirt road leading into the center of the hot, arid town. Passing by a stable of camays, squat four-legged beasts used for riding, they paused at the edge of the main square.
Everything was covered in dust and sand, from the wooden, two- and three-story structures surrounding the square, to the stone tables and benches right in the center. Particularly notable was the distinct lack of electricity…as if they’d somehow traveled through not only space, but also time.
is it?” whispered Devan, his second-in-command.
“Yes,” Bannor responded, his tone low. “My homing senses tell me our mate resides here.”
It seemed inconceivable. The town was small, holding probably no more than fifty people, and the inhabitants of this world had no technological advancement, mostly by choice, since they believed simplicity was equal to godliness. Who would think a Spygian mate would be found here? But a Spygian pod leader’s mating instincts never led him wrong. The woman meant to be theirs was here…somewhere. And they were going to find her.
“I suppose it’s a good thing you required us to change before transporting down from our ship,” Stefon said after a short silence. “I fear we would otherwise stand out greatly amongst the Keulots.”
“Yes.” Bannor glanced down at the outfit he’d donned, the traditional dress of the inhabitants of the planet Keulot. The tan breeches and white, button-down shirt with long sleeves covered far more than the traditional white loincloths he and his brethren normally wore, but he knew from research that the Keulots were a conservative people. The men wore outfits like this, while the women donned long dresses. The last thing he wanted to do was offend their mate before she had the opportunity to get to know them.
“Who would have thought?” Standing beside Devan, Tempos let out a grin. “Our mate is a Keulot.”
Bannor fought the urge to smile as well. He had to admit, in the many months since he’d been chosen as the leader of this pod in the ritual contests of his people and bonded with his pod mates, he’d oft wondered what their mate would be like. Would she be soft? Kind? Beautiful?
No doubt she would be all these things. Keulots were known for their slim figures and elfin features—long ears and slanted eyes. Such a woman would no doubt make them a good mate.
“So…which one is she?” Devan asked.
Frowning, Bannor searched the small crowd in the square, waiting for the telltale thump in his chest and soar of his blood that would signify he’d found their mate. His gaze passed one, then two young Keulot women.
Where was she?
Finally his eyes traveled to the far end of the square. To
. He froze, shock permeating his every pore.
“By severn, I don’t believe it!”
“What?” Devan exclaimed.
“What is it?” Stefon echoed.
His gaze locked on the woman striding through the square, her steps long and assured. Bannor allowed himself time to study her. She wore a long-sleeved, light-blue dress with buttons from the neck down to the center of her stomach. The skirt of the dress flowed to mid-ankle, revealing her serviceable brown boots. But it wasn’t the conservative outfit that caught his eye. Rather, it was her features. She was tall and lithe, with honey-blonde hair and tawny skin that let off a subtle but unmistakable glow. Her breasts were far more substantial than a Keulot woman’s, as well.
“I can’t believe it,” Bannor muttered.
“What? Put us out of our misery,” Tempos exclaimed.
Without taking his gaze from his prize, Bannor murmured, “It appears we were mistaken. Our mate isn’t Keulot at all.”
“What?” Devan uttered. His gaze followed Bannor’s until he caught sight of her and he froze with a choked sound.
One by one, Bannor felt the moment the other men saw her, too. Their surprise was palpable, filling the air between them.
“Yes, brethren,” he said, giving in to the urge to grin like a madman. “Our mate appears to be Chivean.”
A race they’d thought extinct.
“How…how could this be?” Devan whispered.
“I know not,” Bannor replied. But he wasn’t about to question their good luck. Their mate was beautiful, far more beautiful than any other woman he’d ever seen. And she was
, no mistaking it.
But before he could further rejoice in their find, the woman strode over to a young, fresh-faced Keulot man dressed similarly to them. Smiling, she threw her arms around the man and rose to her toes, pressing a soft kiss to his lips.
Bannor’s heart stuttered in his chest and his breath sucked from his lungs as if he’d been punched in the stomach. Their woman was embracing another man.
Stefon let out a low growl, his body tensing. “Who is that with our mate?”
When he started forward, clearly intent on doing harm, Bannor stopped him with a clipped, “Wait.”
Stefon froze, his teeth clenching.
“We know nothing about our mate or her situation. We must approach this intelligently. We will introduce ourselves, learn more about her.”
“But the man must die,” Stefon growled.
“No,” Bannor ordered, even though he too felt the instinctive urge to tear the man apart. “Not until we know who he is.”
And what he means to her.
* * * * *
Cindra broke away from Adamon, gracing him with a bright smile. “How was your morning?”
“Good,” he replied with a grin. “We harvested a fair amount of crops. And yours?”
“Uneventful.” There had been very few customers that morning, so it had passed by slowly.
“That can be a good thing,” he quipped.
As always, she felt warm and safe looking at Adamon. In some ways, being here with him, it was hard to believe that she’d lived through what she had.
When she’d first fled her home world, Chivea, after the evil Malucon race had invaded it, she’d feared she would never be safe again. She’d been barely nineteen years old, but in the span of a moment she’d gone from a sheltered young princess to a refugee running for her life. Shortly thereafter, she’d become separated from her bodyguard and her cousin, the only other Chiveans who’d managed to escape with her, and been forced to flee the persistent Malucons on a single-flyer spacejet. When she’d crash-landed here on Keulot several weeks later, she’d been ready to give up. Ready to die. Her food supply had been depleted and she’d only had one canteen of water left, a veritable death sentence in a desert world like this one. It was pure luck that had caused her to stumble upon this tiny town laid out by the bank of a precious stream. Upon Adamon and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Nashor.
If they hadn’t taken her in, she would be dead.
Adamon’s brow cocked. “You’re being unusually pensive again, Cindra.”
“Sorry,” she said, forcing a casual laugh. “You know me, forever living in my head.”
He sobered, gazing down on her. She knew he often wondered about her past, but he never asked, bless his soul. He and his parents had no clue she was Chivean royalty. They didn’t even know that the remainder of her race had been decimated by the Malucons. Very few visitors ever came to this part of Keulot, since the planet itself was technologically backward and the people in this part of the world had little to no mechanical skills. In fact, none of the townspeople had ever even
Which is why I’m safe here.
Adamon’s gaze wandered past her to the far side of the square, and he frowned.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“Visitors,” he mumbled. “From off planet.”
Her heart scrambling in her chest, Cindra whirled toward the visitors. Her alarm died away when she noted that the visitors weren’t the dreaded Malucons. She was still safe. But then she took a really good look at the four men and her heart started racing again, this time for an altogether different reason.
They were gorgeous, by far the most beautiful men she’d ever laid eyes on, and even though they’d dressed in Keulot fashion, there was no mistaking their alien origin.
The four of them looked very similar, as if they could be brothers. They were tall, larger than Keulot men by a head or more, and all four had long, black hair that hung straight from their shoulders. Their skin was a dark, honeyed tone that not even Adamon, who spent his days toiling in the sun, could ever hope to emulate. And their eyes were startling hues of color: silver, crystalline blue, jewel-like green and gilded bronze.
,” she said, without even thinking about it. That was when she noticed that all four of the men had their gazes trained on her. She gulped as her body immediately reacted, her limbs growing weak and her thighs soft and moist.
Adamon gave her a suspicious look. “Do you know these men?”
“I… Of course not.”
Then why are they staring at you
, his eyes seemed to accuse.
She swallowed, saying nothing, because she didn’t know why.
As one, the men started across the square, their steps sure and steady while they made their way toward her and Adamon. Their shirts and breeches, which seemed perfectly unordinary on Keulot men, strained and stretched across their broad, muscular bodies, making her mouth go dry with want.
Holy heavens, where did such delicious specimens of manhood come from?
Almost immediately guilt intruded. How could she be thinking about strangers like that, especially in front of Adamon?
Cindra blindly reached toward Adamon, grasping his hand. “Come, let’s go back to the farm.”
But before they could move, one of the men broke away from the pack, reaching them with long strides. His silver eyes speared her before moving toward Adamon. “Pardon, but we are new to this town. Do you know where we could find some lodging?”
Adamon’s grip tightened on hers. “We don’t usually get visitors in this part of town. Are you planning on staying for some time?”
The other men caught up to the one addressing them and Cindra did her best to ignore their heavy gazes.
“Just a few days,” the man responded. “We are but passing by.” He held out his hand, giving Adamon a friendly smile. “My name is Bannor.”
Cindra sensed Adamon’s reluctance as he released her hand and shook the stranger’s. “Adamon. This is Cindra, my fiancée.”
There was no mistaking the emphasis on that last word, and the stranger flinched almost imperceptibly before turning his gaze to her. Nodding politely, he said, “Pleasure, Cindra.”
“Likewise,” she murmured, her inbred politeness getting the best of her, even though what she really wanted to do was hide from the strange feelings the presence of these men aroused.