This book is intended for mature audiences due to explicit language and sexual content. Contains steamy scenes, but there are NO M/M scenes. No cheating. Includes warfare and violence. Reference to amnesia. Reference to substance abuse and OD. Reference to domestic violence.
Series: Intergalactic Enosis: The Pyxis System
When danger surrounds you, can you even trust your own feelings?
Lyra's life growing up was a living hell, and it taught her not to trust others. Hunter, though, wormed his way into her heart.
But the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and she's determined to do anything to protect him...even from herself.
So when she's given a mission that will take her to space, she accepts. She only wanted to give Hunter the chance to move on, but she ended up meeting their two alien fated mates.
When her next orders come, will they choose to trust each other, or will betrayal destroy them all?
Broken Warriors, book 4 in the Intergalactic Enosis: The Pyxis System series, is a science fiction alien warrior why choose romance featuring a human female and three males—two aliens, one human—that are determined to claim their fated mate. No M/M. No cheating. Broken Warriors is the first part of a duet and ends in a cliffhanger. Healed Warriors, the second part of the duet, ends in a happily ever after!
The series is best enjoyed when books are read in order.
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No place or person was safe
Lyra—10 years old
“Lyra,” my mom called from downstairs. “We’re going to the PCP. You’ll wait for us here.” She sounded way too excited for someone heading to the doctor, and the click of the door sounded before I had a chance to respond.
My parents didn’t seem to be ill, yet it was the fourth time this month they’d left me alone at home to go to one of their checkup appointments.
“Michael, here…here…pass me the ball!” Jordan’s voice reached my ears even though I was up in my room in the attic.
I put on the first things I grabbed from my closet and lifted the window. The other kids were playing my favorite game—football. Hopefully, Kyle, who was older and for some reason hated me, wouldn’t be with them.
Grabbing the lanyard with my key, I put it around my neck and under my tee so I wouldn’t lose it, and went out.
“Hey! That’s not fair. I scored,” Jordan, the youngest of the bunch, yelled.
Mary, Jack, Erik, and Dwight had formed one team whilst Anne, Michael, and Jordan another. Great, they had room for one more person but as soon as they saw me running toward them, they stopped talking and started whispering.
The gentle but constant buzzing in my head became louder, but I ignored it this time. I wasn’t in danger because there were a lot of people around. While growing up, I’d thought everyone had an internal warning system like mine in their heads, but when I told my friends at school, they started calling me names and making fun of me. I never spoke about it again. “Hi, guys!”
One of the girls whispered something that sounded like ‘slug-slimed freak alert,’ and the boys snickered.
Slowing down, I furrowed my brows. Anne must have been talking about something else. She was my friend. “Can I play, too? That way we’ll form two teams of four.”
Someone knocked into me from behind, and I almost face-planted. “We don’t need another player, sack-of-rat-guts-in-cat-vomit,” Kyle said, and my heart sank. “Are you going to cry, fartknocker?” he asked and threw the ball at me, hitting me on the head.
I lost my balance and landed on my butt, scraping my hands while trying to break the fall. “Ow.”
Momentarily, the buzzing in my head drowned out all other noises, and I lifted my palm to rub the sore spot. Instead of making it better, the sting made my eyes water, but I wouldn’t let them see me cry.
Defeated and hurt, I got up and turned around to leave when a loud thud made me look over my shoulder.
Surprisingly, someone had tackled Kyle to the ground. He wasn’t one of my friends—they stood frozen on the sidewalk as the new boy started hitting my bully. He and his family must have been the neighbors who had just moved in next door.
So many emotions filled me and I didn’t know what to do with them.
“Stop,” I said, and the boy turned my way while managing to keep a now weeping Kyle still.
His stormy eyes widened as they fell on me, and my cheeks burned with embarrassment, but I had to warn him nonetheless. “You’ll get in trouble, and I’m not worth it.”
Without waiting to see what he’d do, I fled to my house, smiling the entire way because Kyle was wailing and calling out for his momma.
The rest of the day, I stayed in my room, looking out the window, hoping to see the boy again. It was three o’clock when he went outside to their backyard, holding a small box in his hands. He reverently put it down, then dug a hole.
“What are you doing?” I whispered while I curiously kept watching.
He grabbed two stick-like things and raised them to his eye level. They wiggled suspended from between his fingers before he lowered them into the box.
He’s feeding a birdie! I clapped inwardly with joy. Birds were my favorite animals, and I wished to be like them; they could take to the air and escape. Someday, once I grew up, I would join them in the sky, and…maybe the boy would come with me.
Our front door opened, and shut, before a woman’s voice—more lucid than I was used to hearing it after their return from the doctors—slipped through the cracks of my bedroom’s door.
“Last week, new people moved in next door, Michael. Maybe we should pay them a visit…to welcome them of course.” My mother’s laughter covered my father’s response if there even was one.
My parents’ social call would not be a good thing for the new neighbors because they liked to collect things…other people’s things.
“I’ll bake them a pie,” my mom said, and my dad added, “We’ll go drop it off this evening.”
I raced down the stairs, and into our kitchen. I needed to stop them. “You can’t go to their house.”
“And why not?” my mother sneered.
Suddenly, my throat felt too tight, but I pushed the words out. “Their son was good to me, not like the other kids who bully me. I don’t want them to go.” My voice got lower and lower with each extra word uttered.
They both laughed at me. “Of course the other children bully you. Look at you, whining about everything.” Her words hurt more than the worst injury I’d gotten that had needed stitches.
I wouldn’t give up, though. “I’ll tell on you, so they know not to open the door!” I yelled, angry at both of them.
The sound reached my ears a second before my cheek felt like it was on fire, and I stumbled backward, afraid my father wouldn’t stop there. Tears wet my fingers as I cradled the side of my face. The pain throbbed along with my heartbeat.
“You will do no such thing, ungrateful little wench. This is how we put food on the table. Maybe it’s time you started paying for the things we give you,” he bellowed, stunning me with the vehemence in his voice.
“Dad—” My mom interrupted me by pinching my arm hard while pushing me out of the kitchen.
“Go to your room! Nobody wants to hear your ugly cries,” she told me, then turned to my father and said, “How on Earth did we end up with a daughter like her? I swear they gave us the wrong child at the hospital.”
“Family are those we choose, Judy, not those who carry our blood.”
I couldn’t take any more of their words. They were even worse than their actions, and they verified that once again I wasn’t good enough. Once in my room, I threw myself on my bed and cried until I had no more tears.
Fear of what would happen if my parents found out kept my feet locked in place, but my conscience gnawed at me. I ought to tell them.
The neighbors had done nothing wrong. They seemed to be good people, and I wanted them to stay. Their son was nothing like the other boys. He was nice, my heart insisted, and I had to warn him. He would know what to do because he protected others…although, after I told him about my parents, he wouldn’t want to be my friend.
Well, that was okay. Miss Kayleen at school said we should always speak up about acts that were wrong even if it was uncomfortable to do so.
By the time the sun went down, and the stars started twinkling in the sky, I’d made up my mind. Arranging the pillows on my bed to appear like I was sleeping—not that my parents would come to check on me, they never did—I climbed out the window.
The attic of our house was my room. When I was little, my daddy had told me I was his princess and that was why I had the best room in our castle. It was one of my favorite memories, but it’d been a while since he’d spoken to me with warmth in his voice.
I carefully walked across the porch’s roof, knowing by now where the creaky parts were and avoiding all of them. The jump off the lowest part of the roof was still a long way down, and I needed to focus on what I was about to do. Taking the leap was the easy part, landing unscathed on the other hand was tricky, but I’d been practicing.
Taking a deep breath, then slowly letting it go, I jumped—eyes open wide. For just a moment I was weightless, flying, and then I landed on my feet, without breaking anything. This time I didn’t even feel the jarring in my bones. I was getting good at this. A giggle escaped my lips, and I slapped a hand on my mouth. Standing still—barely breathing—I listened for sounds from inside the house.
My heart beat fast. Should I climb back up? If my parents find out I’m gone… I couldn’t even finish that thought, but when no one stirred, I ran stealthily across our yard, making sure to remain hidden in the shadows.
A fence divided our yards, and I leaped over it like a cat before stopping in my tracks.
Do I knock on the front door or climb up the wooden strips attached to the sidewall? Our houses were exactly the same on the outside, and his room’s window was the one above their porch’s roof.
I chose the latter. Finding the foot holds was easy, and in no time I was knocking on his window. It was shut but the curtain was drawn to the side, and I could see him, sitting at his desk doing something.
The knock didn’t startle him; instead, he slowly turned around, then approached me and lifted the pane.
He had the most striking eyes I’d ever seen. They reminded me of the lively color of a clear blue sky.
“Hi,” I awkwardly greeted him—the absence of noise in my head, momentarily distracting me from saying anything else. It was never quiet in my world. The buzzing that always warned me when danger was near was quiet. That was how I knew for certain he was a good boy, worthy of my trust.
He smiled, and butterflies took flight right where my heart was, but then furrowed his brows, before wrapping his arms underneath mine, and pulling me inside his room.
Was he afraid I would fall?
“Don’t worry, I’m good at climbing and jumping off the roof.” I wanted to reassure him because he hadn’t let go yet.
Looking around at his room, I noticed his desk was empty. I wanted to ask him what he’d been doing there, but that wasn’t important. My reason for coming over, though, was. “Thank you,” I blurted out.
Clouds obscured his eyes as he looked at me, puzzled.
“For earlier with those boys. They were mean to me, but they are my only friends,” I stuttered. My chest felt tight, and my tummy felt funny, but my mind was quiet, and it was all because of him.
“They aren’t your friends.” Anger made him drawl the words out. “I’ll be your friend and I’ll never be mean to you,” he vowed and hugged me tight.
My arms, which had been hanging awkwardly at my sides, wrapped around him. He felt warm and safe. Hopefully, he wouldn’t hate me after I told him about my parents. “Do you promise?” I whispered because if he did, then he couldn’t take it back.
“Yes.” There was no hesitation, and I breathed a little easier.
We let go at the same time and sat across from each other on his bed.
I had to tell him quickly, like removing a band-aid so one would only feel pain for a little bit. “I came here to warn you—” But suddenly, I couldn’t utter another word.
Even though the boy tensed, he didn’t push me. Instead, he folded his hands on his lap and waited patiently.
My eyes followed the movement, and I was able to build my courage. It was easier to talk when not looking at his face, so that was how I confessed. “My parents are going to visit yours. They are bad. They will take things from them and then drive your family out of this house, but you’re my new friend and I don’t want you to go.”
His breath whooshed out of him, and his body sagged. “My parents are bad too,” he whispered.
My eyes rounded in surprise, then met his. This time the blue sky was stormy, and I understood—his life was like mine. I threw myself at him—knocking him backward on the bed—and hugged him tight. “I’m sorry.”
He pressed his face between my shoulder and neck and shivered.
“My name is Lyra.” My voice trembled, and he disentangled himself so we could look at each other while we talked.
“Mine is Hunter. Not everyone is bad, you’re safe with me.” This was his second promise to me, but I didn’t want to make him sad by telling him I was big enough to know no place or person was safe, the same way I knew Santa wasn’t real.
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