The Captive (Revised Edition)
Betania Breed Book 1
A Sci-Fi Alpha Alien Romance Novel (18+)
I’m one of the few people who has yet to give up the fight against the Sethari.
I would rather die than surrender to the aliens who have enslaved us humans for more than one hundred years.
Then the unthinkable happens: a different race of aliens land on Earth and offer a trade to the humans. In exchange for healthy women, they will destroy the tyrants.
The leader of the aliens claims me as his to bear him healthy, viable children.
He’s strong. Powerful. Terrifying.
I saw how he destroyed the Sethari, and I’m prepared for anything.
A life for a life—that’s the agreement.
We fought and won.
Now I’m taking the reward our people deserve: healthy human women who will give us children to save my people from extinction.
The exchange brings Cassie into my possession. She is one of many who will bear my people viable children.
She is mine.
* * *The Captive is Book 1 of the Betania Breed Series. * * *
Can be read as standalone. No cliffhanger. Warning: Intended for mature audiences.
Dark. Powerful. Sexy. This will be a ride you won’t want to miss.
“I love the original story, but I love the re-release more. I found the storyline really intriguing and well developed.” –Amazon Reviewer
“You don’t get much better IMMERSION into a book.” -Amazon Reviewer
“This book was absolutely amazing, it was very interesting. I love this author’s style of writing and can’t wait to read more—It was truly a fun and sexy read.” –Amazon Reviewer
“Hot Alien Romance that is a five star plus story!” -Amazon Reviewer
“The Captive is not the typical sci-fi romance you read where the characters meet and the whole story revolves around them having sex and fighting with each other just to make up at the end and live happily ever after with two kids who’s names you can’t even pronounce. No, this book has men with hope, monsters with reasons and a girl with a heart…. this books has a STORYLINE.” -Amazon Reviewer
“The writing is just phenomenal.” -Amazon Reviewer
“OUTRAGEOUSLY great characters and story!” -Amazon Reviewer
“You won’t be able to stop reading this one.” -Amazon Reviewer
“I fell in love with the characters and went through a multitude of emotions as the story progressed. Jenny Foster has certainly upted the anti on this one and i had to get out the next in the series (The Prey) to continue the journey.” –GoodReads Reviewer
“I did not want to put it down when I had to go back to the “real” world. The storyline is fast paced with great character building and many plot twists!!!” -Amazon Reviewer
“Not my usual genre of books, but this changed my mind.” -Amazon Reviewer
“I love this book, it was great first time, and even better this time.” –GoodReads Reviewer
The battle is over.
The Sethari, who plundered and enslaved us for the past one hundred years and reduced the human race to a fraction of its original number, have been destroyed. I should be happy and celebrating with the others who are now free and living their lives on their own terms. The whole world is vibrating in a happy frenzy, but my fellow female sufferers and I are not taking part in these pompous celebrations. We’re captives, spoils of war, breeding machines for the alien lifeforms who finished off the Sethari. Nobody asked us if we were ready for a journey to a strange world. Nobody even asked us if we desired children, much less if we wanted to mate with aliens. All of this was decided for us by the powers that be.
They told us humanity would survive because of our obedience.
I’m lined up in a row with 167 other healthy, young women, waiting for the president to shake my hand and thank me personally. I would love to ask him why his wife, with her large hairdo and stark face, isn’t taking my place. Where was he, when people like me had to hide behind the scenes so they wouldn’t be executed? In World War II, they called people like him a collaborator, someone who would betray his fellow citizens, just to hang on to his little piece of authority. He’s nothing but a game piece who was put into play by the Sethari in order to drive the last little bit of resistance out of us. This man, who’s supposedly the most powerful person in the world (and the President of the World Federation), has signed countless death warrants just to save his own skin. The minute he saw a way to get rid of the tyrants, he jumped on the chance. I do have to give the president, with his gray hair and those cold, calculating blue eyes, credit: as soon as the Qua’Hathri made contact with him, he was ready to throw the Sethari to the lions.
Not that I have any sympathy for them—they took advantage of the human race for over one hundred years. They’re energy vampires, and I don’t mean that metaphorically. The Sethari imprisoned the humans like livestock and extracted energy from them. They needed this energy in order to survive. And Mr. President, who’s approaching me now, supplied them with a constant stream of replacements.
Now that I’m seeing him in person for the first time, the anger I feel inside brings tears to my eyes. The huge screens on almost every street corner, of which he regularly spoke to us with his effusive words, don’t do him justice. His tailored suit hides a small potbelly beneath. Knowing he had it well enough to gain a belly, while my siblings and I had to dig through the trash to find food, makes my heart race. I ball my fists and try to calm down. But the only thing I see is his self-satisfied expression. Later, he’ll be able to proclaim to the world via Livestream how he saved humanity from complete destruction.
His wife is standing two steps behind him, just like any good and virtuous woman should. The looks she’s giving her husband’s companion aren’t quite so virtuous, though. His name is Khazaar Drasurq, the warlord of the Qua’Hathri. In some ways, I understand why she’s drooling over him. He’s handsome in a strange sort of way, and I’m sure she watched onscreen as he fought the Sethari to destruction. I have to admit that I can’t take my eyes off of him, either. The memory of this tall warrior beheading one Sethari after another with his gleaming sword is still fresh in my mind. He reminds me of a medieval warlord who isn’t afraid to ride out onto the battlefield himself and dive headfirst into the fight.
Despite all the progress technology has made over the last two thousand years, the Sethari were basically invincible. That is, until Khazaar Drasurq and his warriors arrived. Their swords, daggers, and lances (made from Qua’Hathri steel), enabled them to pierce the Sethari’s rubber-like skin. The sight of his tall figure with a waving cloak has probably burned itself into the mind of every woman on this planet. For my part, I’ll never forget how he lunged toward the surging crowd of Sethari, his face an expression of fearlessness and an absolute desire to win. At that moment, I disregarded the rumors of his ancestors, who are said to have been dragons. Even the ridges along his spine—which are said to spike like a razor’s blade when you irritate him—didn’t interest me. However, that changed the moment our president sold me to him and his warriors.
The president and his entourage have almost made it to me. I try to tune him out and look at Khazaar instead. Despite the scales that cover his pale skin and his strange eyes, he appears very masculine. Human traits dominate his appearance. His eyes brush over me and then stop for a moment. His golden-yellow irises are shaped like slits, just like a cats’ eyes—well, like a cats’ eyes were, I should say, since most pets have been exterminated by now. I like his hair best. It falls in dark waves onto his shoulders, shimmering in blue-black and seeming as if it would be silky to the touch. While he’s staring at me, his scent wafts over and wraps around me, and, immediately, I want to close my eyes and bathe in it. To me, he smells like milk and honey, like marzipan and butter croissants—things I haven’t eaten since I was a child. His scent relaxes me, probably because it’s tied to the last beautiful memories I have of my parents. I inhale inconspicuously, and sense something rough under the sweet overtones. A hint of musk brushes my olfactory receptor and increases my heart rate. If they all smell as good as this warlord, then the sex might not be as bad as I feared. I might even be able to forget the fact that the other women and I are nothing but breeding vessels for the children of the Qua’Hathri.
The president exchanges a few pleasantries with the blonde next to me, and then he’s standing in front of me, holding out his hand. I take it, gazing into his eyes and smiling. In the resistance, I learned how to incapacitate enemies by applying targeted pressure to sensitive body parts. Even though I only use a fraction of my strength, the most powerful man in the world falls to his knees before me. That does me good, makes my heart sing with just a fraction of recompense, even if it isn’t particularly smart. His bodyguards, who don’t even deserve that designation, have been standing in the background and smirking, until now. Now they surround me and have their weapons trained on me. Since I’m not a Sethari, I don’t have rubber-like skin that can deflect bullets. A thought flashes through my mind. Maybe dying wouldn’t be so bad after all. If I died, that would nix the plans of the man who’s now sweating under the strain. But if I were dead, then they would just find another woman who would have to go to the Qua’Hathri, so I let him go and take a step back. I’m still smiling, but this time, it’s a smile of pure satisfaction. He will remember me. Of that I’m certain.
Khazaar has watched all of this unfold without intervening. Do I see a smile dart across his otherwise impassable features? Only after the president has regained his feet, supported by his wife and surrounded by his concerned bodyguards, does Khazaar speak up. He steps very close to me, and I have to lean my head back to look him in the eyes. The women on my left and right shrink back in fear of the huge commander, but I force myself to stay right where I am. Even though my heart’s beating much too fast, and my knees are trembling, I’m not afraid of dying. In his strange eyes, I see something like appreciation, and in the way his gaze wanders briefly over the sweating president, I recognize contempt for the man.
“Why did you do that?” His deep voice sounds pleasant and calm, almost as if he already knew the answer. Something scratches very carefully at the barrier I’ve built around my spirit. It feels like a polite knock, like a request for access. But I’m definitely not ready to grant anyone else access to my thoughts. Instead, I send my spirit out, just like I’ve learned and knock on his. For a split second, his eyes widen, and to my great surprise, he grants me access to his thoughts.
His thoughts are as foreign as his appearance. I’m too excited to feel anything more than a small part of his perceptions. Almost all of his thoughts center on conquering foreign worlds. Killing isn’t what excites him. Subjugation is. I understand he spared us humans for only one single reason: we’re genetically compatible. The Qua’Hathri are a race on the brink of extinction, just like the humans. He has set out to find appropriate women. Suddenly, he slams the barrier back into place, and with a jolt, I’m back in my body.
The entire episode couldn’t have lasted more than a few seconds. To observers, it must have seemed like we were staring into each other’s eyes too long. My mouth is dry, and I swallow. Now he knows my secret. My gift. I curse my lack of self-control and my curiosity, but it doesn’t seem like he wants to punish me for it. Quite the opposite. His interest in my gift is obvious.
At that moment, a bodyguard hits me in the back of the knees, and I fall to the ground. “Answer the lord’s question right now!” he roars and makes as if to intervene again. The pain is indescribable, but even worse is the humiliation of lying on the floor in front of Khazaar.
Before I can open my mouth to yell at the coward who attacked me from behind, everything begins to happen at once. Without warning, the bodyguard’s on the floor. Khazaar’s foot rests on his ribcage, and I hear crunching and cracking as ribs break. The man screams, and the warlord takes his foot off of the warrior in one gentle and unbelievably elegant move. In the blink of an eye, a sharp dagger decorated with red gems, gleams at the bodyguard’s throat.
Khazaar’s voice is barely louder than a whisper, but literally everyone in the hall stiffens at the ice-cold tone it carries. “How dare you touch the bride of the warlord of the Qua’Hathri?” The tip of the dagger pushes into the vulnerable spot under the man’s twitching Adam’s apple.
“I… am sorry,” the man croaks, “my Lord, I didn’t know you had chosen her.”
He isn’t the only one.
* * *
I’m the bride of a warlord.
My entire body is in turmoil. I don’t know if I should be happy that he selected me as his bride, or if I should be paralyzed with fear. After all, he used the word “bride,” which indicates he’ll legalize our relationship. The details of the contract between the Qua’Hathri and the humans were enshrined in secrecy. This is what we do know: for every warrior who fell in the fight against the Sethari, Khazaar demanded a woman who could bear children. We didn’t know if we would be sex slaves, lovers, or wives. My hope was that scientists would artificially inseminate us. Having sex with another species was not necessarily on my list of things I absolutely wanted to accomplish before I died.
But now, the situation was different. There was complete silence inside the shuttles on the way to the spaceships. Some threw pitying glances my way. Others were obviously resentful I’d been so bold, and that the commander had paid attention to me. When we arrived at the ships, we were herded through endless hallways until we entered some kind of waiting room. There, we were divided by hair color. Each group disappeared behind a door and was received by doctors. They examined us so thoroughly, it almost felt like an insult. They stripped me of my clothes, drew my blood, examined my reproductive organs, and even checked my teeth. I felt like a cow being prepared for sale at the market. The alien who examined me was of the extremely thorough sort but was cold as a fish. He looked good, just like most of the Qua’Hathri I’d come in contact with, up until now.
Every single one of them are tall, muscular, and don’t have an ounce of fat on them. I know this because they’re running around their spaceship only wearing loose pants. Every man—and they’re definitely men through and through; you can practically touch the testosterone in the air—proudly display their scar-riddled torsos. Since their pants are tight around the hips and loose at the bottom, everything just below the waist is definitely not left up to our imagination. Unless every single one of them wear padded pants, the rest of their bodies would certainly not leave any woman wanting.
I’ve never seen so many shades of blue at the same time. From light blue like Khazaar’s skin to dark purple, every imaginable shade is represented. The color of their hair and eyes vary, too. The only thing they have in common are the scales on their skin and slit-shaped pupils. One would think that men with such colorful, iridescent skin appear like vain birds of paradise, but far from it. They actually seem exotic, but in a masculine way. Anyone who looks at the Qua’Hathri men immediately realizes they’re warriors and can’t be messed with.
I was implanted with a translation chip, given new clothes, and allowed to take a bath. Now I’m in the warlord’s bed, waiting for his arrival and wondering what will happen to me. I think my actions on Earth have used up all of my energy, because I’ve never felt this tired in my entire life. My eyes grow heavy, even though the uncertainty of my future should be robbing me of sleep. It’s impossible for me to stay awake in this luxurious bed. The soft pillows and heavy blanket are too seductive. I close my eyes.
When I wake up, he is standing by the bed, staring at me.
Immediately, I’m wide awake.
His gaze is hard to bear, so I quickly look elsewhere. I shouldn’t have done that because my gaze travels to his pants—and stays there. I can’t turn away.
Khazaar is wearing the same kind of pants, but his are made of dark fabric interwoven with red. The material appears expensive, but that’s not what’s drawing my attention. I feel the heat rise in my face and pull the blanket up to my neck. “I fell asleep.” I state the obvious and wonder how apologetic my tone must sound. Instead of asking the one question that’s weighing heaviest on my mind, I’m making conversation. Next, I think I’ll ask him how the weather is out in space so I won’t have to hold his unnerving gaze any longer.
“Get up,” he says, and I flinch. His harsh tone awakens bad memories—ones I don’t want to remember. I feel my body tensing, and everything inside me switches to resistance. I stare at him defiantly and shake my head.
That one word is enough to make his beautifully arched eyebrows move. They pull together into a perfect “V.” His lips twitch momentarily, and for a second, I wonder what it would be like to feel them on my own. Then I tell myself to snap out of it. Why do my hormones dance every time he’s near me? The color of his eyes changes from gold to a fiery orange-red, and the scales on his body extend slightly. The faint crackling sound of his scales burn right through me. I’d almost forgotten he isn’t human, but that sound forcefully reminds me of his origin. I’m relieved I didn’t irritate him to the point where his spikes rise on his back.
He moves closer to the bed and sits on the edge. The mattress creaks under his weight, which makes me blush even more. I’m glad there’s no mirror in here. I would hate to see myself right now.
“Cassie Burnett.” My name drips from his mouth like honey. His scent surrounds me again, and I notice my pulse has calmed. “There is no reason for you to hide yourself from me. You belong to me now.”
“I don’t belong to anyone,” I hiss, and shake off the numbness his scent has spread through me. “I’m not here of my own free will, as I’m sure you know.”
He stares at me in astonishment. “Your president told us something quite different.” His eyes darken. “He assured me each and every one of you considered it an honor to bear children of the Qua’Hathri, and to serve the human race.” He sighs softly. “Well, your president is a cowardly, pompous scumbag, and I should have known better. But now that you’re here …” The wonderful smell of milk and honey wafts over me. I’m certain he’s purposefully using his scent to lull me into submission.
“That’s not how it works.” I glance around the room, but like magic, my gaze is drawn back to Khazaar. I can’t forget I’m his prisoner, even if he does call me his “bride.” I need him to stop with this manipulation; otherwise it won’t be long before I’ll have no idea which feelings are mine, and which ones he’s creating inside me on purpose. While he’s definitely handsome, he’s still a manipulative alien. I gather all of my courage and look at his beautiful, chiseled face. The keen intelligence in his eyes doesn’t make it any easier to talk to him. Or maybe it does? It’s worth a try. I inhale deeply. “You want a child from me,” I start, but he interrupts immediately.
“Who said want?” he growls with a voice that gives me goosebumps. I need a few seconds to process what I just heard. Then it clicks. He doesn’t want me at all? I’m relieved, but it’s mixed with a familiar feeling of rejection.
I raise my eyebrows in concern, my voice laced with curiosity. “Then what am I doing here?”
He sighs again, this time with a definite tone of impatience. “What do you mean, here? Here in my quarters, up here on the ship, here with the Qua’Hathri? Why do you humans always have to express yourselves so vaguely? Please try to ask questions with more precision.”
Instead of a heart, he must have a machine in his chest. He sounds as dry as a bookkeeper.
I rephrase my question. “I mean, why did you offer your help in exchange for me and the other women if you don’t want me?”
He nods approvingly. “The Qua’Hathri are going extinct.” He’s silent and looks at me expectantly, as if those words were enough to explain everything.
Now it’s my turn to sigh impatiently, and I let him feel my annoyance. “Why don’t you search for women who will voluntarily create offspring with you?”
“No woman would voluntarily go with warriors like the Qua’Hathri.” He furrows his brow. “We tried that a few times, but none of them stayed long enough to fulfill their purpose. When our researchers told us humans were genetically compatible, I decided to try for a trade agreement. A life for a life.”
The number of women on board equals exactly the number of fallen warriors. That’s the deal the president made with the Qua’Hathri.
I stare at him with a quizzical expression. “The thought didn’t occur to you that we might have a problem with that?”
“Your supreme ruler, the one you call President, said nothing of the sort. It doesn’t matter to us what you want. You are contractually obliged to stay with us.”
I snort scornfully. He seems almost human to me, in the way he’s sitting on the edge of the bed, explaining his world in which combativeness and conquering rage are more important than anything else. The men on Earth aren’t much different. For them, it’s mostly about possession and conquest. They just know how to feign love better, that’s all. This cool commander, my bridegroom, has no idea how to do that.
For a second, I wonder if I wouldn’t be better off on Earth after all. Even before the arrival of the Sethari in the year 3916, things weren’t looking good for us. Plagues and pollution had forced humanity to its knees, but after the Sethari arrived, we were in danger of total extinction. What do I have to lose by traveling with this alien to his home? I buried my last relative five years ago, and our supreme ruler—the title almost makes me laugh—would not welcome me back with open arms. I would be lucky if all he did was throw me in jail, instead of giving me a lethal injection for embarrassing and attacking the head of state. So, thanks, but no thanks.
“Why did you choose me out of all the others?” This is a question I just have to ask.
“I didn’t,” he replies. “Our computer chose you as the woman who is most compatible with my genes, and with whom I have a ninety-seven percent chance of being successful.” It goes without saying he’s not talking about a successful marriage, but about the successful production of children. “I had already received your genetic profile, I recognized you, and accepted responsibility for you. When that soldier hurt you, I protected my property.” He’s fixated on a spot right above my head, and his scales rustle softly. This gives me a little confidence.
I sit up and square my shoulders. “You can forget the ownership part,” I explain with a firm voice. At least, I hope it sounds firm. “What do you mean, anyway, that you don’t want to? Nobody is forcing you to have sex with me. Definitely not me.” I can’t help myself. I just want to know if he finds me repulsive, or if he just doesn’t want a wife and child—period.
“As the war lord of the Qua’Hathri, I need to lead by example.” He moves in a little closer.
I raise my index finger in warning, even though I feel slightly ridiculous doing so. “No manipulations.” I look into his golden-yellow eyes. If only he would turn on the charm a little …
“I could force you,” he says with a casual tone I don’t like at all. As if to prove his point, he swings himself up on the bed in one fluid motion and squeezes me between his thighs. His scent robs me of my senses. This time, he doesn’t knock politely. Before I have a chance to raise my barriers, he’s all the way in my head. He shows me images so intense that I can’t tell the difference between reality and imagination anymore. I see myself through his eyes. I’m small and much too thin to really grab his attention.
He’s on top of me, brushing his tongue lightly against my lips, and I feel his heat. His scales are lying flush against his skin, and there aren’t many differences between him and a human man. A small moan escapes my lips, and I notice my body has taken on a life of its own. Sensually, my hips move against him.
Then, with a jolt, he releases me from his mental hold, and I’m back in reality. My chest rises and falls under the thin nightshirt.
“You see, I would make it easy for you,” he says nonchalantly, but I shake my head defiantly. I’m happy he isn’t forcing me to do his will, but if he has that kind of power, why isn’t he using it? When I ask him, he raises his eyebrows. “Why should I?” He sounds genuinely surprised. “I am Khazaar Drasurq. I don’t need to take women against their will. If you don’t want me, I release you from my services. I will find a woman who will gladly welcome me in her bed, and who will give me healthy children.” He stands up, and I notice again how tall he is. “I will tell the researchers that, contrary to their prognosis, we are not compatible. You can live with the other women until you have found the right partner.” Cool and composed, he glances at me, and then he leaves his quarters. Just like that.
I was the bride of an alien warlord.
* * *
All hell is breaking loose in the women’s quarters.
We’re still sorted by hair color, and I’m in a huge sleeping hall with about sixty other blondes. None of them are over forty, and they all appear strong and healthy. My entrance has caused a commotion, and I have to answer many questions. After four hours of cross-examination, things finally calm down. I answered their questions, at least as best I could, because I could see the tension in their faces—fear of the unknown. The more they knew about the Qua’Hathri, the easier it would be for them to come to terms with their fate.
My bed isn’t nearly as comfortable as the one in Khazaar’s quarters, and I restlessly toss and turn all night. Several women cry and moan in their sleep. I stare at the ceiling and wonder if I made a mistake in rejecting Khazaar. Not because my situation is uncomfortable now, but because I missed an opportunity to get answers.
The spark of an unknown emotion wells up inside me, and I feel the sting of tears hit my eyes. The image in which he’d let me see myself through his eyes rises before me. My body feels unusually soft and small to him, my face with the bright eyes that betray any emotion.
I wonder why I didn’t investigate what he was thinking more closely. I answer my question almost immediately. Because the experience was too close, too raw and too in-my-face. I definitely hadn’t had the time to discover his feelings. I’d been too busy dealing with the strange experience. Usually it’s me who’s traveling in someone else’s mind—not the other way around.
Down on Earth, there weren’t many like me, and I’d always tried to keep my gift a secret. In any case, it drains your strength to put yourself in another person’s head, because the feelings and thoughts you encounter there are raw and unfiltered. Being able to read thoughts is a secret I didn’t even use in the resistance against the Sethari.
Do I dare go one step further? Because what I’ve never said and never even admitted to myself is something else entirely. I’m not only able to read minds and recognize the feelings of other beings, I can also travel in their thoughts.
Now would be the perfect time to secretly look around unobserved. Do I dare?
I close my eyes and take a deep breath in and out as I relax my body. It’s not really easy to forget everything that’s stressful in a situation like this, but after a while, I manage. I hear the barely audible buzzing of the solar engine and feel how my thoughts separate from my body.
In this dream-like state, I begin to wander through the spaceship. The longer I’m in my bodyless state, the more I feel free, although it takes a lot of strength. I explore the corridors, listen to conversations in other chambers without anyone seeing me in my disembodied form. The quarters of the red-haired and dark-haired women look the same as ours.
I venture a few steps further into the belly of the ship. Where are Khazaar’s quarters? Should I dare? I imagine his face, hear his voice, and let myself be drawn to him. It can’t be far away—I feel the pull that emanates from him like a touch and overcome the distance much quicker than I could on my own feet.
It must be here. Behind this door, he’s lying in a restless sleep.
I step through the door to his room and look at him resting on his bed.
He’s lying on his stomach. The covers have slid down to his knees, revealing his chiseled body. I can see every defined muscle in his back and feel an overwhelming desire to lie down next to him. When I’m invisible like this, I have the freedom to really be who I am. As if attracted by a magnet, I slip under the covers and enjoy the fact that his scent envelops me once again. He really does smell delicious. Carefully, I breathe the area between his ear and neck, and inhale his scent deep into my lungs. Now I can also touch his hair, and it’s just as silky as it appears. His hair tumbles to his shoulders in messy waves. His nostrils flare and his eyelids twitch. He’s dreaming, and he seems so vulnerable, it almost breaks my heart.
I don’t know a single human who can prevent another from entering his thoughts while dreaming. Should I try it? I would love to know what a Qua’Hathri dreams about.
At that very moment, he opens his eyes.
End of the Reading Sample.