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Authors: Laurann Dohner

Coto's Captive

Coto's Captive
Number VI of
Zorn Warriors
Laurann Dohner
Laurann Dohner (2016)

 THIS BOOK WAS PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED AS PART OF AN ANTHOLOGY

Lynn is tracking a dangerous, wounded animal, which turns out to be a big, sexy alien instead. And he’s the hottest guy she’s ever met.

Coto’s trip to Earth takes a dangerous turn. He is attacked and injured. The only high point is the courageous woman who tends his wounds. Coto desires her and he will never let her go.

 

Coto’s Captive

 

Zorn Warriors - Book Five

 

By Laurann Dohner

 

Coto’s Captive by Laurann Dohner

 

Lynn is tracking a dangerous, wounded animal, which turns out to be a big, sexy alien instead. And he’s the hottest guy she’s ever met.

Coto’s trip to Earth takes a dangerous turn. He is attacked and injured. The only high point is the courageous woman who tends his wounds. Coto desires her and he will never let her go.

 

Zorn Warrior Series

 

 

Ral’s Woman

 

Kidnapping Casey

 

Tempting Rever

 

Berrr’s Vow

 

Coto’s Captive

 

Coto’s Captive

Copyright © April 2016

 

Editor:  Kelli Collins

Cover Art:  Dar Albert

eBook ISBN: 978-1-944526-14-6

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal, except for the case of brief quotations in reviews and articles.

 

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.

 

All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is coincidental.

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Epilogue

Chapter One

 

Lynn wanted to just shoot the prick who stood about five feet to her left. Jimmy Morgan was absolute scum in her book. She resisted the urge. She couldn’t afford to lose her job or earn an arrest record when his uncle found out what she’d done.

Lynn had to take a deep breath to calm her boiling temper as she crouched beside the remains of what used to be four dogs. She glared at Jimmy, refusing to look away.

“Let’s just cut the bullshit, asshole. You know your mayor uncle isn’t going to allow anyone to arrest your dumb ass, so you might as well just tell me the truth. What’s out here that did this to your dogs?”

“I’d tell you if I knew,” he ground out.

Lynn straightened to her feet and wanted to kick him square in the nuts. “You made these poor dogs mean and you turned them loose on your property to protect your pot plants that everyone pretends you aren’t growing. What else did you get to help guard your crops? It killed all four of your best guard dogs, Jimmy. It’s out of control, isn’t it? Is that why you called me in to clean up your mess? I’m animal control, but this…” She gestured at the four torn-up dogs’ remains. “This was from a large animal. Is it a bear? A lion? What did you bring here?”

“I didn’t!” he yelled. “I just had the dogs. I don’t have a clue what did this. Do you think I’d call you if it was mine? I don’t want anyone nosing around my place. They might want to steal my pot.”

The man’s stupidity amazes me.
“Growing it is illegal. Of course, you could probably state that you murdered someone and nothing would be done to you. Now you want me to track down whatever did this and take care of that problem for you?” She raised her hand and gave him the middle finger. “Not a chance.” She spun around, storming away.

“Damn it, Lynn. You can’t do this. What if it kills me or one of my friends? How will you feel then?”

She paused by her SUV to face him, meeting his gaze with a cold smile. “Um…let’s see. You’re the guy who takes cute little puppies and turns them into vicious killers just for the sake of protecting your illegal drug operation. I wouldn’t shed a tear, Jimmy. Not a one. Yeah, that’s a way to get to me. Make me ponder the concept of a few less assholes in the world.” She loudly snorted. “I’m out of here.”

“I’ll call my uncle,” the jerk threatened. “I’ll have you fired before you even reach town if you leave. You need to track down what did this and kill it.”

Frustration roiled through her. She knew he’d do it, and that his uncle would pull every string to get her canned. She had a house payment and jobs were near impossible to find within a hundred miles of Green Bend. That’s what she got for growing up in a small town in the middle of a wooded area—dealing with assholes and a bad job market.

“Get out of my sight—and I’d tell your two loser friends to stay out of my way too.”

“Not a problem. We’ll go smoke some doobies and watch porn.”

“Sick pervert,” she muttered.

She opened the back of her vehicle and lifted out her tranquilizer gun and grabbed the tranquilizer dart bag. She wasn’t into killing animals, instead hoping to trap and relocate them where they’d be safe. It was always preferable to give them to the state zoo or just take them deeper into the woods, where they would thrive. Whatever had killed the dogs had probably been cornered and left without a choice but to die or kill.

Her father had raised her alone and had taught her to be an excellent tracker. He’d dragged her out into the woods every weekend to hunt something, depending on the season. At sixteen she’d finally put her foot down. She hated killing animals, instead wanted to protect and save them.

She tugged on her jacket last, studied the sky, and took note that only a few hours remained before sunset.

Lynn returned to the scene of the crime, carefully expanding the search for clues about what had killed the dogs. Their throats had been torn into, leaving deep, vicious wounds—so it came as a shock when she finally located a new set of prints. They weren’t from an animal, but instead she guessed about a size-sixteen boot.

From the size, she assumed it had to be from a man. The grooves were deep in the soft dirt, letting her know the person weighed over two hundred pounds. It put a whole new spin on the situation.

“Damn it!”

She considered returning to the truck but some blood near the print looked fresh. She guessed it had happened less than an hour before. One more sweep of the area with her gaze revealed a large, bloody handprint on a tree trunk about ten feet away.

Whatever had killed the dogs
had
to have been an animal with sharp teeth, but the clues weren’t adding up anymore. She’d gone from tracking something with four legs to something on two.

DEA agents might have wanted to see if the rumors about Jimmy were true. That concept left her feeling cold.
Maybe one of them came on Jimmy’s land to take a look-see.
It made sense. A local resident would know to avoid Jimmy’s property. It would have to be an outsider, someone who was unaware of how insane Jimmy could be, or of the danger of being torn to bits by his vicious guard dogs.

She picked up her pace, wanting to find the person quickly. He’d need medical attention and help escaping the area. Jimmy was stupid enough to kill an agent to evade arrest. His uncle couldn’t control the DEA.

She lost the blood trail when she came to heavy brush but spotted a drop of red in the direction of the river. She could hear the rushing water and figured it would only be logical for an injured person to be drawn there.

Jimmy’s fence blocked her way to the water. She studied it. Blood was smeared on the low tree branch next to the metal barrier, and more on the ones that extended over, indicating how the man had left the property.

She climbed the tree too, and dropped the five feet to the ground below when she cleared the fence. Boot prints were just inches from her own where she landed on the neighbor’s property. Johnson Avery was blind and older than dirt, and he didn’t shoot at trespassers. She didn’t have to worry about notifying him that she’d had to make an unexpected entry onto his land.

The person she tracked had gone into the river. A visual scan of the other side of the bank revealed where he’d gotten out. Some of the bushes had broken branches. It meant she would have to cross to follow.

There was less than an hour of light left. He might need medical attention. She dug out a large plastic evidence bag from her utility belt, and shoved her shoes, socks, and belt inside.

Lynn stripped down to her bra and panties, rolled her clothes into a tight ball, pressed them into the bag, and sealed it. She didn’t want to suffer soaking-wet clothing after dark. A string of curses hissed past her lips when the icy water hit her bare flesh. The person she trailed had better be really hurt
and
be DEA. Otherwise she would be angry for going to all that trouble. She walked deeper into the swift current and held her tranquilizer gun over her head in one hand, her bag with the other.

The current tore at her body, knocking her off her feet. She swam and managed to keep a death grip on the sealed, floating bag. She made it across the river out of breath and forced her tired limbs to crawl up the embankment onto the thick moss between two big bushes. She collapsed on her butt and panted, attempting to catch her breath. She tossed her useless tranquilizer gun a few feet away to drain the barrel on the slant of the embankment.

Lynn shivered hard, hugged her body, and ignored the way her teeth chattered. She finally recovered enough to stand and bend over to retrieve her clothes from inside the evidence bag. They appeared dry, the seal having held.

A low growl sounded from behind as she faced the river.

Fear jolted through her. A vicious dog had just snarled, if her ears weren’t deceiving her. It was really close. She guessed it was a big dog too.

Her utility belt and weapons were buried at the bottom of the bag her hand rested on. No way could she grab her Taser or even the mace in time if it attacked. The clothes were in the way.
It’s just not my day.

Jimmy obviously had more than four dogs, and one had escaped his property to chase whomever it had attacked earlier. Her gaze lifted to the moving water. She could dive into the river and pray the mean mutt wouldn’t come in after her, but she doubted that plan would work. It had already swum across once.

“So fucked,” she mouthed quietly, holding very still.

Another growl came from behind her. It was closer. She just knew it would lunge and bite into her butt at any second. Her only option was to attempt to startle the thing. It might be confused long enough for her to grab a weapon. She scanned the ground to her right and left, spotting the tranquilizer gun. She could use it as a bat.

She spun and straightened to her full height. The shout burst from her throat louder than she imagined it would. It came out more of a shriek. She pitched the bag at the first thing her gaze focused on.

Shock tore through her as the bag struck a big man in the groin area. He grunted loudly as he doubled over and collapsed to the ground on his hands and knees.

Lynn stood there staring, frozen, her gaze locked on the downed man. She noticed a lot of naked, golden skin. He had broad shoulders and really muscular arms bracing his upper body. Long, silvery-blond hair spilled all the way to his hands. Blood smeared one arm and she noticed more injuries when she was able to take a hesitant step forward to get a better view of him.

He’d been attacked by dogs. It was easy to identify the bites by sight and he had more than a few of them. One arm was torn up under his elbow, another bite on his other arm by his wrist. That hand was covered in blood. She saw more injuries on his legs. It was a miracle he’d made it this far without passing out.

“Oh my god,” she gasped, rushing at him without giving it a thought. “You’re seriously hurt.”

He raised his head slowly, his chin lifted, but most of his features were covered by his long hair. One eye peeked at her.

Her knees felt weak when she halted, staring at him. It was the most striking and prettiest eye she’d ever seen. The blue of it was almost neon and swirls of silver ran through the iris like tiny streaks of lightning.

He growled softly. The strange sound startled her but then she realized how much pain he had to be in. The fact that she’d nailed him hard with her bag must have hurt, too, since she’d knocked him to his knees. She inched closer.

“It’s okay.” She softened her tone as if he were a skittish kitten, something in her line of work with which she had a lot of experience. “I’m with animal control and I’m going to help you.” The amount of blood on the ground alarmed her.

She slowly lowered to her knees in front of him. His injures looked bad and they actively bled. “My name is Lynn. I don’t have a first-aid kit but I can tear up my shirt to make bandages. We need to stop the bleeding immediately.”

He watched her with that one beautiful eye. The ends of his hair were wet from his swim in the water but he had thick, beautiful tresses. Her assumption that he was DEA strengthened. She’d heard some of them grew out their hair to fit in better with the criminals they had to deal with. This guy must have been going for the heavy-metal look and it meshed with Jimmy’s taste in friends.

She twisted a little to grab her bag. “I’m going to patch you up and go for help. There’s no cell signal this far out. I’m sure you’re aware of that by now.” It would only make sense that he’d tried to call 9-1-1. “There’s a cabin a few miles from here. Mr. Avery has a land line. I’ll go there and lead the paramedics back to you. You look too hurt to make it on your own steam and no vehicles can drive this close to the river. There’re too many trees and the terrain is rough. We’ll have to carry you out on a stretcher.”

She tore open the seal on her bag and dumped out the contents. Her hands trembled as she opened her utility knife and began the process of slicing her shirt into strips. He wasn’t talking at all and it worried her. She’d dealt with plenty of injured animals but it was different looking at mangled human flesh. The sight made her feel a little queasy. She wrapped his wrist first, tying the ends of the cloth strip together to help apply a little pressure to the bleeding wound. He allowed it, not flinching away or trying to stop her.

“It’s going to be okay,” she assured him. “I need access to all the bites. Can you lean back a little and maybe pull your hair out of the way?”

He hesitated but then shifted from his crouched position to fall onto his ass, turning his face away as he stretched out flat on his back. Lynn bit back the gasp.

He wore very small underwear, unlike anything she’d ever seen before. Leather covered his groin. There wasn’t a fly or buttons down the front. She shifted her gaze away to take in his upper body. He was in such good shape that she could see every impressive muscle displayed over his stomach. He lifted one arm and placed his hand over his face. It was probably to stifle groans of pain.

Okay, so the guy wears leather Speedos
.
No big deal
. She focused on his thighs. He had two more bite marks, one on the outside of his left leg, just above the knee, and the other on the inside of his right thigh, high up. She grimaced, acknowledging it was lucky the guy didn’t wear boxers. That bite was so close to his kinky shorts that the dog might have nailed his nuts if they’d been dangling a little in looser material.

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