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Veiled Vixen (Harem Station #6)
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All his other Harem brothers have found their one true love and they are spectacular princesses.
Veila is the definition of evil.
Not the kind of girl a guy falls for. Especially a stand-up guy like Valor. He’s not interested in her sexy glow, her pretty hair, or her glowing eyes.
No. Valor only wants one thing for his fated princess.
But it’s kind of hard to kill someone you’ve been genetically engineered to love. And Veila not only has total control over him, but also Harem Station. The only way Valor can get Harem Station back is to use the soulmate bond against her.
Valor has to make Veila believe that their bond is true, that his feelings are real, and that he is willing to sell out his brothers, hand over all of Harem Station’s secrets, and leave his old life behind to help her get what she wants. But it’s never going to happen. Valor will never love Veila.
He’d rather die trying to kill her than spend one moment as her puppet king. There’s just one problem.
The soulmate bond goes both ways.
Veiled Vixen is book six in the Harem Station series and features an army of pissed-off princesses, five brothers facing their past, a station filled with ruthless, rebelling outlaws, and a lesson in what matters. It’s a love story about revenge, and hate, and regrets – but also forgiveness, loyalty, family, and having the courage to see the truth behind the veil.
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CHAPTER ONE – VALOR
Alone in darkness.
That’s the only way to describe what the exit from cryosleep feels like. You are nothing and no one and then… boom, you’re something else.
It’s different than coming out of regular sleep in two ways:
One, waking up from regular sleep, for me, always starts in a dreamlike state. You kinda know where you’re at—the place where you fell asleep—and you kinda know you were just dreaming—damn, that was a weird one, right? Why was I doing that? And then you open your eyes and you’re like… Yeah, new day. OK. Let’s do this.
Waking up from cryosleep isn’t like that at all. It’s like being born. There is nothingness, blackness, and a sense of nonexistence and then boom! You are in the dark. Not awake, not asleep, not dreaming, but not lucid either. A sense of otherworldness.
And you stay there for a long time. It’s like being utterly lost. It’s creepy, and scary, and there is this building panic inside you that you will never find your way out.
Two, when you do finally come out of it there is an utter and complete sense of dislocation. You are almost never in the last place you remember. Obviously. Unless you’re on some inter-galaxy cruise ship and you went to sleep on purpose because you’re one of those people who likes to travel to distant places that are lifetimes away, you don’t wake up where you went down.
I’ve only been in and out seven times total, including this one, so maybe this isn’t typical. I’m not into galaxy-wide traveling. When I go into a cryopod it’s because Luck and I had some bad luck, no pun intended, and I got hurt severely enough to warrant a cryopod to save my life until we could get to a proper medical facility.
That sense of lostness is done on purpose, I think. I’m no expert on this shit but it happens to everyone and I’m pretty sure someone told me at one time or another that this is part of the wake-up protocol. It’s a chance to come to terms with your sense of self because let’s face it, cryosleep isn’t normal. It fucks with your head. And I’ve heard that if you do it enough you lose parts of yourself each time you wake.
Which I can totally see happening.
Seven is going to be my limit. There are no long trips in my future that require cryosleep, that’s for sure. I’m done. I don’t like it because each of the times I’ve been woken up, I’ve come out screaming.
Including this one.
“You’re OK,” Crux says, his hands on my shoulders, gripping and shaking me slightly. “You’re OK, Valor. Just calm down and look at me. OK? Look at me, brother. You’re home. You’re fine. You’re… you’re gonna be fine.”
But here’s another thing I hate about waking up from cryosleep. You can hear them talking to you. You can hear yourself screaming, you can think clearly, and you can rationalize and understand these words.
But you cannot stop the screaming. You have no control over your body, or your innate instincts, or your reactions. So you just keep screaming.
It scares me. I’m not too manly to admit that. And I do know that how I come out isn’t the same as how anyone else comes out. The screaming, that is. Because Luck doesn’t come out screaming, he comes out swinging.
This makes me smile. Internally, of course. Because I’m still screaming like an out-of-control freak and have no control over my body yet. But I smile inside because that last time Luck came out of cryo he hit me in the eye. Fucking fist of his is like a sundamned piece of steel and my eye swelled up and needed anti-inflammatory injections so I could see that day.
But there is also something else unusual about how I wake up. I have this sense of having been somewhere.
It’s not a dream. It’s really not like that at all. It’s more like… a possibility. Like I might’ve been there. Or like I could’ve been there.
Which is different in a very subtle way. Might’ve been there, as in maybe I was in a place and maybe I wasn’t. But could’ve been there is more like I was somewhere and it could be this place, or that place, or no place at all.
It’s very confusing.
I’ve asked Luck about this before and he had no idea what I was talking about. He says waking up from cryo is like being thrust through a spin node. Which I never understood before now because as far as I knew, he’d never been through a spin node. And neither had I, at that point anyway—that was a long time before this little adventure with Tray—so I didn’t really get it.
Well, I get it now.