Theirs : Found and Claimed
By Ashe Barker
When they board a derelict spacecraft in search of valuable scrap metal, the last thing Luca and Sylvan expect is to stumble upon a beautiful, naked woman in need of medical assistance. Despite her protests, they bring her back to their ship, treat her illness, and take it upon themselves to look after her.
After she contracted the virus that wiped out her people and killed everyone else on her ship, Llianna didn’t expect to survive, and she is shocked when she awakens from a comatose state with two men standing over her. Once she regains her health, however, she is horrified to realize that she is about to enter her fertile period, a uniquely vulnerable time for females of her species.
Knowing that she will end up begging Luca and Sylvan to take her in any way they please if she doesn’t act quickly, she flees in her partially-repaired ship, only to be caught, stripped bare, and spanked soundly. The stern punishment leaves her desire burning even more fiercely, and soon she is writhing in ecstasy as her handsome rescuers claim her hard and thoroughly.
Though Luca and Sylvan make it clear that she is free to go once her ship is finally fully operational again, Llianna finds herself yearning to belong to them completely, and as she learns to submit to their firm, loving dominance, her passion for them grows more intense with each passing day. But when she discovers that she is not the last of her kind after all, will she leave the men she loves to live amongst her own people?
Publisher’s Note: Theirs: Found and Claimed includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
Not quite. Not yet, though as near as really makes no difference.
I gaze at the screen, my thoughts baleful as I take in that final, damning word, that crushing indictment of all that means anything to me.
Fyorli - home world, dematerialised
Fyorlian - population extinct.
They are wrong, those who take it upon themselves to decide on these matters, those who record such rubbish. Of course the Fyorlians are not extinct. I am still here, the living proof of their error, their arrogance. What do they know anyway, these nameless, faceless omniscient beings?
The characters flash before my eyes, the dark grey in sharp contrast to the pale background, the blinking lights innocuous individually yet the huge import of their collective weight crushes me. It’s not the first time I’ve viewed this screen, but I daresay this will be the last. We are not extinct, but I am all that remains of my race, the final, sole surviving Fyorlian in this galaxy, in all known galaxies. And I am dying.
My head aches, my eyes feel ready to explode. Every limb is like lead, my breath coming in short, desperate spurts as I struggle to hang on to the few agonising minutes that remain to me. I have no notion why I bother; what possible difference could it make? Yet I do it, some powerful, primeval instinct drives me toward survival, however slender the hope, however meaningless my continued existence. Even now, after all that has happened, after all that has befallen my species, I find myself unwilling to finally abandon the fight and bow to the inevitable.
Soon, perhaps, but not yet. I still have work to do, a mission to complete. The scientist within me refuses to depart this fragile existence and leave no trace, no clue that we were ever here. Others will come, eventually they will come and we shall be discovered. They will not be Fyorlian, I know that, but they will be some species with the capability to travel the galaxies and reach the furthest extremes for that is where I shall be found. I want them to know me, to understand my work, to appreciate the knowledge I and my people leave behind.
I manage to get to my feet and cling to the metallic walls of my control capsule as I inch toward the anti-gravity lift, which will convey me down to the laboratory on the deck below. My breath comes in short, painful gasps as I emerge from the conveyance and stagger to my workbench where my samples and artefacts are laid out before me. I cannot resist casting an admiring, wondering gaze over them, the items collected and catalogued over the course of a mission lasting over a dozen decades. These fragments of metal have been scorched and frozen countless times over, weathered by eons of atomic storms, meteor showers, and heliotropic decay, yet each artefact still bears the signatures that denote their origins. These are pieces of history, the remnants of past worlds such as mine, lost civilisations, peoples long gone but remembered for all eternity because of the work I do. My efforts and those of others such as I will ensure that those who walked upon alien worlds before us are remembered and understood. They are our roots, the source from which we all sprang. They cannot be lost again.
I record a brief message and encode it in a sub-photonic pulse. Then I embed translations into all known languages. I tell of my mission, of where our data and findings are to be found, the records meticulously kept and stored. I report also on the other members of my team who succumbed before I did to this virulent virus that now paralyses my lungs and cripples my limbs. By now it has become difficult to move, to even think, let alone construct a coherent account of our work and our eventual fate. But I do it because I must, because there is no one else.
I glance across the laboratory to the series of cryo-cubicles ranged at the far end. There are eight in total, seven occupied, one remaining empty. That will be mine, or would have been had I not been the last. I activated all the others, one by one, as my colleagues fell victim to this illness. We could not be certain but we assume the contagion was present in decayed carbon matter we discovered in a mass tomb on the second moon orbiting the world of Acerbus. That was over five helio-cycles ago but the incubation period was extended and by the time we detected the infection it was too late to prevent it spreading through our small colony. For several lunar cycles I believed I had escaped, that somehow I had developed an immunity, but seemingly not. It just took longer with me but the end will be the same.
I finish my message and seal it, then activate the send command. A rapid series of blinking lights indicate success and at last I allow my head to drop onto the workbench. It is done. I am finished.
Had there been someone else remaining who could have sealed me into my cryo-cubicle I would have made my way over there to join my colleagues, but there is no point. Instead, I shall die with dignity, and in comfort, on my bed. I force my protesting limbs back into action and return to the anti-gravity elevator.
This time I travel upwards, through nine decks, to the accommodation sector. There I make for the commander’s quarters, the best on this craft, which I appropriated for myself when the previous incumbent expired. She had no further use for the luxurious circular holo-mattress but I have loved the sensation of floating it creates and it is here I shall remain now, quite possibly for the rest of eternity.
I drag myself across the outer chamber and into the inner sleeping sanctuary. It requires the last of my remaining strength to reach the bed and clamber up onto it but I am determined so I manage it. I sink in, face down, suspended within the cocoon of invisible forces that support my weight as I close my eyes for the final time.
I listen to my own laboured breathing, the slow, thready thump of my heart, and the muted, inexorable hum of the ship’s photonic engines as they drift on, carrying my work onward into a future that will not include me. I have done all I can; it is in the hands of others now.
About Ashe Barker
USA Today Bestselling author Ashe Barker writes erotic romance and spanking romance in a variety of genres including contemporary, BDSM, paranormal, historical. ménage, gay romance and time travel. She is a #1 Amazon Bestseller and all her stories feature hot alpha males and sassy submissives, often with a lot to learn. Kink abounds, and there’s enough dirty talk to satisfy the most demanding smut lover. However dark and dirty the setting, love always emerges triumphant, and her stories never fail to deliver a satisfying happy ever after.
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7. If you had to describe yourself using three words, it would be…
Resilient. Creative. Calm.
8. What would you do if you were the last person on this earth?
Turn out the lights.
9. If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
I think at some level or other they are all a little bit about me. I could never write a book about a heroine I didn’t actually like or identify with in some way. Maybe I’d call my autobiography Made a Difference, because I hope that would be true. Perhaps that should be on my gravestone rather than a book cover, come the day.
10. What's your favorite love story? (movie or book)
I adore Love Actually and I can’t count how many times I’ve seen that movie. It has lots of love stories all rolled up and woven into each other, but I think perhaps my favourite is the one featuring Hugh Grant.
I also remember reading Katherine by Anya Seton many years ago, and I’ve never forgotten the magic that shimmers between Katherine and her hero, John of Gaunt. Their lifetime love affair is set against the dramatic backdrop of medieval England, a period I also like to write about.