Oct 10, 2019

Hack by Annie Nicholas


On a mission to stop human abductions, Hack tracks the slave traders to a cruise ship. The humans on this boat chose to have their memories wiped because they wanted nothing to do with aliens and his soulmate is one of them. She doesn’t want an alien mate. Could he spend the rest of his life pretending to be human?

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Hack sank into a dark corner of the cruise ship deck and shivered while the storm raged around him. The nanobots no longer regulated his body temperature. They were too damaged from the lightning strike. Time was running out before they shut down to regenerate. Initiating a shift, he closed his eyes and hoped they had enough power to make him appear human. In his present form, he’d been outed as an alien instantly.
Slowly, painfully, his nanobots rearranged his flesh. He bit the inside of his cheek to keep from screaming. The process was usually seamless and without discomfort. Hack suspected his nanos couldn’t control his pain receptors at present. So, he suffered. Sweat mixed in with rain and soaked his body. He wore only the small shorts he’d left Cosmos Resort with.
The slaver’s space shuttle retracted its ramp and closed their bay doors with a clang that echoed over the thunder.
Hack closed his eyes. Those poor humans. He’d been too late to save them. “Trace?” Still no response from his team. It required more nanobots than he had to communicate vis mental link. If his team knew to look for the transponder he had attached to the shuttle, they could find and rescue the humans. But his team didn’t know.
When he opened his eyes, he discovered the deck empty. A small blessing. He used the wall to leverage himself to his feet and guide his halting steps to the closest door. Once inside, he blinked until his vision adjusted to the soft lights. The hall was lined with golden wood paneling and entrances to guest quarters.
He tried the first knob on his left and it was unlocked. Stumbling inside, he caught his balance against the side wall and kicked the door closed. His vision tunneled. Fuck. He was going to pass out. A bed was ahead of him and he crawled onto it. 
The world went black.

Jeannie Havers flailed into consciousness, arms and legs fighting off an invisible enemy. Sleep dug its hooks into her and tried to drag her back under. “No,” she screamed. Her elbow came into contact with something hard, sending a jolt of pain along her arm. “Ouch.” She sat bolt upright in bed, clutching her injury.
She was awake. Oh, thank goodness. It felt like she’d been trying to escape a nightmare of…something. Aliens? No, that was weird and was fading now.
A male groaned.
Slowly, she turned.
A strange man lay next to her, a hand pressed to his eye. “Fuck.” He growled. Actually, growled like a rabid animal.
She shrank away, back pressed the wall. “What are you doing in my bed?” There had been a party last night, well… The last few days, with lots and lots of alcohol. Had she invited him to her room?
The stranger rolled to his side, his bare muscular back to her, then sat on the edge. He wore only a pair of tight-fitting boxers.
Her eyes widened as her gaze traced from his broad shoulders to his narrow hips. Damn, she drawled out the word within her head. She had done good.If only she could remember some of it. She glanced down at herself. What the heck? She was still wearing her pajamas.
“Sorry, I must have crawled into the wrong bed. I wasn’t feeling very well when I lay down.”
“Wasn’t my door locked?” Disappointment flared. He wasn’t her one-night stand.
“No.” He rubbed his face. “I’m Hack.” Twisting at the hips, he offered his hand.
She automatically shook it. “Jeannie.” The contact ignited a heat low in her gut. She jerked her hand out of his grasp. Golden skin of sunlight and eyes the color of amethyst. The left one slightly swollen. She’d woken up next to a young god. “Hi,” she whispered. “Sorry about the elbow-knock.”
“Hi.” His smile turned shy and melted her panties. “I’ve had worse.”
Maybe she should have been more afraid than she was, but he’d been in her bed all night and, from the state of her clothes, hadn’t touched her.
He laughed and his smile turned sheepish. “I guess I should go back to my room.”
She leaned forward and scanned her floor. “Where are your clothes?”
“I don’t have any.” He cleared his throat. “Can I borrow a towel?”

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