Read His Fire Maiden Online

Authors: Michelle M. Pillow

Tags: #Romance, #Paranormal, #Science Fiction, #Demons & Devils, #Psychics

His Fire Maiden

His Fire Maiden
Space Lords 2
 
Michelle M. Pillow
 

S
pace Lords
: His Fire Maiden

© Copyright 2016, Michelle M. Pillow

First Electronic Printing Jan 2016, The Raven Books LLC

ISBN 978-1-62501-128-2

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

All books copyrighted to the author and may not be resold or given away without written permission from the author, Michelle M. Pillow.

This novel is a work of fiction. Any and all characters, events, and places are of the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or events or places is merely coincidence. Novel intended for adults only. Must be 18 years or older to read.

Published by The Raven Books LLC

www.TheRavenBooks.com

The Raven Books and all affiliate sites and projects are © Copyrighted 2004-2015

 
 
Dedication
 
 

T
o all
the wonderful people who’ve made The Raven Books LLC a success: the editors, artists, authors, distributors, my bestie Mandy M. Roth, and especially the awesome readers who keep coming back for more. Without you, I couldn’t be doing what I love.

And for those like Violette who enjoy stepping just a little too close to the flame.

 
 
Space Lords Series
 
 

His Frost Maiden

His Fire Maiden

His Metal Maiden

His Earth Maiden

His Wood Maiden

 

For release information, visit
www.MichellePillow.com

 
 
 
About the Book
 
 

D
ev has found
a home with a misfit outlaw band of space pirates and he will do anything to protect his makeshift family. He knows he will never be accepted into human society. The demonic race of his birth shuns him and the humans fear him. So when the woman of his dreams comes gunning for his crew, the fiery maiden leaves him no choice but to show just how naughty his demon can be.

Series Note: Part of the Dragon Lords World

 
 
Michelle’s Bestselling Series
 
Shape-shifter Romances
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Captured by a Dragon-Shifter Series

Determined Prince

Rebellious Prince

Stranded with the Cajun

Mischievous Prince

Headstrong Prince

 
 
 

Space Lords Series

His Frost Maiden

His Fire Maiden

His Metal Maiden

His Earth Maiden

His Wood Maiden

 
 
 

More to Come!

 

To learn more about the Dragon Lords World series of books and to stay up to date on the latest book list visit www.MichellePillow.com

 
 
 
Note from the Author
 
 

Author recommends reading book one, His Frost Maiden. Though not necessary to this book, it does give a lot of the characters’ back-stories.

 
 

D
ear Readers
,

I’m pleased to present you with the next installment of my ongoing series,
Space Lords
. These books continue the best-selling
Dragon Lords
,
Lords of the Var
, and
Zhang Dynasty
series. For those of you catching up on the Dragon Lords World, a complete reading order list is available on my website, michellepillow.com. Though they can be read alone, I recommend reading books in order of release for full enjoyment.

There are several themes in
Space Lords 2: Fire’s Maiden
, which are carried over from previous titles. First is Zhang An’s curse on the crewmen from
Lords of the Var 5: The Pirate Prince
. Second is the dynamic between Josselyn Craven (
Space Lords 1: His Frost Maiden
) and Violette Craven Stephans. To fully understand the complete dynamic between Violette and Josselyn, I recommend reading
His Frost Maiden
. Here is a quick summary to get you up to speed:

 

A
bout Violette and Josselyn

In short, Josselyn was horribly wronged by General Jack Stephans, Violette’s father. Over a hundred years ago, Jack’s betrayal caused the destruction of Josselyn’s home world and the death of everyone in her family except for Lady Craven, her mother. As a small act of mercy toward Josselyn, Jack had her imprisoned in a stone-like state, keeping her in stasis until she was released in
His Frost Maiden
.

Lady Craven, being of a very delicate nature, never knew of Jack’s involvement. She married the general, the only thing left from her destroyed past. Together, they had Violette. Lady Craven died in childbirth. Physically, Josselyn and Violette are around the same age, even though Josselyn was born over a hundred years before her half-sister.

Jack, in an act of contrition, has spent his life as an alienitarian and humanitarian to make up for past mistakes. This is the father Violette knows. This is the man whose death she believes she must avenge. Josselyn is her target. Violette does not know of Josselyn’s past or her true connection to Jack.

 

A
bout The Zhang Curse

The Conqueror
pilot, Rick Hayes has always had a big mouth—one that often gets him into trouble. Such is the case when Captain Jarek goes to ask Princess Zhang Mei’s parents for her hand in marriage at the Imperial Palace (Book:
Lords of the Var 5: The Pirate Prince
). Ancestral spirits roam the palace, but none are so involved with the living as Zhang An. An prides herself on her ability to not only see the future, but to manipulate the living with her cryptic visions.

Mei’s parents weren’t thrilled with the way she went about finding a husband, or her desire to leave their home planet. As tensions rose, Rick decided to step in and draw attention from the couple to himself. It was a sweet, if slightly misguided gesture of loyalty on his part. His interference, combined with his natural ability to put his foot in his mouth drew An’s anger. Instead of just bringing the ancestral Zhang spirit’s curse upon himself, Rick caused her wrath to turn to the other members of Captain Jarek’s crew—at least those unfortunate enough to be present at the time. Rick really is a good man. He’d give his life for anyone of his friends, just as they would give their life for him. But caring for the man like a brother doesn’t change the fact that he can be downright infuriating at times.

Cursed crewmen include: Evan, Dev, Jackson, Lochlann, Rick

 

T
hank
you for your continual support of the Dragon Lords World.

Happy Reading!

Michelle

 
 
Chapter 1
 
Prologue
 

R
ifflen Federation Military Base
, Desert Planet of Rifflen, V Quadrant

Violette Craven Stephans stared as the blood trailed down her forearm over her hand, only to watch as it drip steadily from her fingertips onto the hard tile floor by her feet. For a long moment the deliberate cut didn’t even hurt, but then a deep pain radiated over her, and she cried out as she moved to pull the limb close to her body in a protective gesture.

“This is a blood oath, Violette, between us.” Her father grabbed her wrist and shook it hard, forcing her eyes to meet his steely green ones. His fingers slipped in her blood as he held too tight. “I need you to remember this moment. I need you to remember what I tell you. And I need you never to speak of it to anyone.”

Violette was still too stunned by the fact that her father had actually cut her to give him a quick answer. In all of her eight years, she had never seen her father angry with her, let alone violent enough to do her harm. What made it all the more puzzling is that she hadn’t been doing anything wrong—at least, she didn’t think she had been. It wasn’t like the time she had burrowed a tiny hole in the military base’s transparent exterior wall because she wanted some sand from outside. The entire military structure was located beneath the moving white dunes of Rifflen’s sandy surface. That one hole caused a pressure crack that could have caved in and buried the four hundred and sixteen residents of the base. For that she’d been stuck in room seclusion for a mere two days.

“Your blood is mine, and mine is yours,” he continued. “Do you understand? If you do not honor your word, nothing in your life will matter for you will have forsaken your blood. Do you understand me? Blood is everything.”

Her father, General Jack Stephans, was an important man—not just because he was her father, a general in the Federation Military, and the sole authority on the Rifflen base, but because he was a humanitarian and an alienitarian. He dedicated much of his life to promoting equality and fairness between alien races.

“The universes are a big place,”
he would tell people. “
Large enough to hold all species. Humanoids are no better than a Kintok, or a Torg, or a…”

“Do you understand?” he repeated, louder than before, shaking her from her scattered thoughts. The smell of liquor was thick on his breath.

She looked from his eyes to her blood and then back again, trying to reconcile what she knew with what had just happened. Frightened, she nodded. The fear she felt of him at that moment outweighed the physical pain caused by his thin blade. Her fingers tingled with numbness. In truth, she didn’t understand. “I only wanted to watch the new holo-box. It didn’t say it was military access only. It didn’t need a code to view it. I thought it would be one of your species profiles or an award invitation. You always let me see them.”

The holo-box was a standard issue Federation communication device, initially used to send encoded memos and official orders. Now, they were utilized by the military for all sorts of formal letters, when more than a voice was needed. Private messages were always encrypted so that the wrong person couldn’t watch them.

Instead of an award, the holographic recording had shown the small image of her father, standing in his shiny white uniform on the round disc on top of the box. It appeared as if it had been recorded that very morning. He’d been talking about some strange things too, things that didn’t make any sense to her adolescent brain.

“Josselyn, I’m glad you are well,”
the recording had said. “
It’s what I’ve hoped for these last, long years. By this time and because you are still alive after the term of your imprisonment has ended, we have probably spoken. Knowing the temperament of your family, we have not spoken kindly. So much has happened and changed since that day long ago, and I have to force myself to remember that you don’t know the good I’ve tried to do. All you know is my sins. I cannot take back that which was done, but I can give you a new life. With these papers, you will never have to explain your age or your past. As my daughter, a general’s daughter, you will have the freedom to pass by Federation ports unhampered. I cannot leave the life I have chosen. The Federation has granted me the home, which I so longed to be a part of in those years you knew me as a reward for my services. I know it is not the land it once was, but all it is, I give to you.”

Her father looked at his desk and frowned. His grip on her arm loosened, and she pulled her wrist free. She took a slow step back, careful not to make too many sudden movements. Her eyes darted to the thick oak door of her father’s private office. The wood seemed out of place in the metal construct of the military base. Carved patterns bespoke of craftsmanship and time, not portability and ease of assembly. A barren fireplace graced one wall, surrounded by emblems and even a banner with the Craven family crest. Craven had been her mother’s title and name, a title her father had taken when they married, a title that would be passed on to her—the
only
child of the couple. Her mother had died soon after she was born. All Violette had were the memories and descriptions her father had given her. That title was her gift from her mother. The name, a few holographic images, a notion, and a family crest—that was Violette’s mother’s legacy. How could her father think to give any Craven land to this Josselyn woman?

Violette’s legs trembled, as she was unsure what to make of her father’s expression. His shortly cropped black-gray hair and hard green eyes appeared both menacing and familiar. He wore his white, long tunic uniform, material that gleamed as it reflected the soft orange firelight. A thin brown stripe ran down the sides of his legs and arms, signifying his rank. Her clothing mimicked his in style though the loose pants and tunic were blue and cut with shorter sleeves.

“Who is Josselyn? Why did you call her your daughter?” Her eyes filled with tears. Violette didn’t have siblings. “I don’t understand. Why would you give her your land? I’m your daughter. Me! My mother died after giving birth to me. You said—”

“There are things you cannot understand,” he whispered. “Things you cannot comprehend. The land I spoke of does not belong to you. You will never see it.” Then louder, his eyes clearing as he found her inching away from him in fear, he added, “You
must
promise me you will not say a word about what you have seen, and promise that you will not interfere in this matter because—”

“Who is she?” Violette demanded, dying to discover the answer. She had never seen his eyes so cold.

“There are things you don’t understand, Violette!” Then, softening his demeanor, as if the gesture took great effort on his part, he continued, “You are my daughter. My blood daughter. As my heir, you will be well taken care of. The land I speak of is not for you. You would not want it. All that you see here is yours, including what is in my safe. Always remember that this base operates on the old code, and you will not be questioned, or stopped from taking what is yours. You will always be provided for. I have seen to it.”

“I remember the old code,” she said softly. “I won’t forget.”

“Good girl.” He gave her a small nod. “That is why this oath is important because I know you will not be able to break your word to me. Someday, a woman named Josselyn might attempt to find me. She’s my history, my personal ghost, and she’s a furious one. You must not get in her way. Whatever she comes to do, you must promise me you will not try to stop her. What will come is what must be, for events were put into motion long before you were born.”

Her father rolled the sleeve of his shiny, pristine uniform and reached for his knife, holding it gingerly in his palm.

“What else did the holo-box say? You didn’t let it finish,” she interrupted what he was doing. She pulled her bleeding arm closer to her stomach. The blood wet her shirt, but she didn’t care.

His eyes moved briefly to where the holo-box sat on his desk next to a stack of ID chips, intergalactic maps, and official travel papers. When he again looked at her, he’d banished the anger from his grave expression. “Promise me that when Josselyn comes, you will not interfere. Someday you will be a great captain, heir to my fortune and to my position on this base should you choose that path. But, blood is thicker than military ranking. Promise me, when Josselyn comes, you will obey my wishes and not lift a finger to stop what she chooses to do. You will let events play out as they are meant to regardless of the cost.”

“I don’t understand,” Violette protested, puzzled. Her father lifted his knife and sliced through his arm. Without giving her a choice, he lunged forward and grabbed her, placing her cut to his to bind the wounds together. Their blood mingled on her skin, and she felt dizzy. The acrid odor seemed all at once overwhelming and comforting.

“Your blood has made the oath for you. The scar you are left with will remind you of the promise, but I would have you say the words. Say you promise. You will not ask about Josselyn again. You will not speak of my history unless I speak of her first. And, when the time comes, if I ask you to do something, to help her, you will do what I say without question and without hesitance. Do you understand me? Say you promise.”

“I promise.” Violette nodded, and her father released her arm.

“Good girl. Good.” He suddenly seemed despondent. The general stood for a long moment, staring at his wound. “I am sorry you looked at the box, Violette, thus making this necessary. I wished for you never to have known.”

She backed away from him, wanting nothing more than to run to the furthest corner of the military base. There was no escaping the enclosed building beneath the moving white sands, but she knew every secret hiding spot, every tight corner.

Her father turned from her and lifted a decanter to pour himself a drink. “Before you go to your virtual flying lesson see the medic and have your cut attended to, but leave the scar. I will not have you forgetting your promise.”

 

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