Darzik by Fionne Foxxe Farraday

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Mates of the Alliance Book 2

Mikka has been living in limbo for five long years, trying to hide from the festering wounds of her past. Watching her best friend fall in love has made her yearn for more from her own life. She just needs the courage to move forward. The best true justice for a survivor of violent crime is to live a full, happy, rewarding life. She won’t be a victim again.

Darzik is Luperan, and an executive officer on the Guardian. When he sees Mikka at his friend’s Bonding ceremony, he knows she’s the one for him. But he has to be patient, waiting until she overcomes her past trauma.

He does not know it yet, but she is done waiting. He won’t know what hit him.

Read this steamy romance, guaranteed to have a happily ever after!

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Excerpt from Darzik © Copyright 2023 Fionne Foxxe Farraday

The young woman woke slowly, her head aching dully. Her thoughts were fragmented. She didn’t recognize her opulent surroundings. She absently brushed her tangled hair out of her eyes. She squinted in the dim light. She sat up abruptly, the rumpled bedsheet falling to her waist.

No, she didn’t remember what he looked like. She didn’t remember anything from after checking into the hotel. She looked down at her hands and noted with dim surprise that there was some blood crusted under her nails. She told the coldly professional deputies about the note she’d found on her clothes. It was a small picturesque town. Mikka noted distantly that it looked to be a beautiful day.

Mikka reflected over the last few years of her life. She made a promise to herself. I will never be a victim again. I’ll always be Mikka to my family… but the world I live in now knows me only as Emily Garrison, bad ass ICU charge nurse. They don’t need to know about my flash backs and nightmares.

Fury turned his muscles to iron. With determination, he regained hard-won control. Darzik could still see the vivid painful images of his Mate from his dreams. He saw her younger self, abused and frightened. He felt her wrenching pain. I now understand her deep seated distrust of males.

Daria’s eyes were kind. “If he’s your Mate … and I know he is. He won’t be able to be anything but understanding. He won’t ask for anything you don’t want to give. He won’t take anything from you!”

Mikka nodded thoughtfully, a slow smile curving her lips. Daria’s words made perfect sense. Healing is a process. I’m only a victim if I let myself be one. I have to accept that it’s OK to need help sometimes. I’ll take my time and not rush things. I’ll do this right. Small baby steps are still steps in the right direction. The only easy day was yesterday.

Mikka worked it out. “It’s like armor. Since we haven’t spent any time together, I’m trying to hide who I am because I’m afraid he won’t like what he finds.”

Glancing up, she saw understanding… patience… acceptance in his waiting gaze. A smile trembled on her lips. I’ve let fear control me long enough. No more. I won’t be a victim. This is my life and I’m taking it back. Mikka  steeled her spine and made her choice. She took a big leap forward in trust… and took the few last small physical steps toward Darzik and into the rest of her life.

Darzik lifted their fingers with tangible reverence. Bending his shaggy head, he brushed a soft kiss across the back of her hand. He lingered a few heartbeats. “It is my hope that, one day, we will look back on this slow exquisite dance we are doing as our courtship.

Mesmerized, they stared into each other’s eyes. Darzik could almost feel the shy tendrils of Mikka’s fledgling trust stretch toward him and unfurl slowly … nurtured by hope.

Darzik traced his fingers along her arch, applying delicately incrementing degrees of delicious rhythmic pressure. His eyes flared. “Just remember. We have the priceless gift of time… to explore and enjoy each other. This is a marathon, not a sprint. And I find every moment we share a feast for my senses and a new experience of pleasure.”

Darzik continued his light strokes over her spine. His eyes danced with laughter. “Never that. When you are ready, you will not need to ask when… You will know… Gods, Mosindra, we will both know.”

Darzik gently pulled her closer. “Neither of us has shared pleasure with any other. A true courtship is not just the physical, but intimacy of the spirit. I need to win your mind. Everything we do with each other is a wonder and a revelation. Inexperience, in itself, is not off-putting. Mosindra, with you… learning is just another part of the pleasure — because we do this together.”

Mikka stared, her smile growing. Darzik nuzzled her hair. He spoke quietly. “Breis offered, more than once, to design a translator program specifically for Earth slang. Both Kairn and I have adamantly declined. We have too much fun with our Mates learning this dialect. We would both miss it if we were to lose these priceless moments.”

Darzik could feel his hands begin to shake slightly with the avalanche of need slamming through him. The intoxicating scent of Mikka’s desire was rich on the air. The musky sweetness of her flavor lingered on his tongue. Pure temptation… and invitation.

Suddenly, in the clear depths of her eyes, he caught a glimpse of their future. For a moment, he saw her with a female youngling nestled in her arms and her belly gently rounded with another pregnancy. Silvery hair, green eyes, and his recessive prehensile tail. The twin surges of tenderness and lust he always felt for Mikka swirled in his hearts — spiked by a ferocious protectiveness.

She smiled tenderly as his eyes lit with keen delighted interest. “Those dreams… the look in your eyes when you looked at me …The promise I could see in them helped me find the courage to reach out to you.”

Darzik laid his large hand on Michael’s shoulders, claws carefully sheathed. “I do not have to tell you how risky this mission will be. We are good, but we are improvising. My hearts would be at ease if I knew you were here to care for Mosindra… my Mikka… if I were not.”

Family is not always born… Sometimes, if we are very lucky, we can choose new members of our family. We have found this out on this dark day. I think we have chosen wisely.

Mikka looked down, fighting fresh tears and digging her nails into her palms. Best laid plans of mice and men. Don’t let them be seriously injured … or trapped. Please God…. let my Sweetness come back to me. I don’t pray much, but I am now. Let him and Max be alive. I can deal with anything… just bring him … them back alive.

Kairn snapped out orders. “I want the ship ready to leave in 5 minutes. Those are our brothers. They are depending on us. No one gets left behind. Let us bring them home.”

Darzik ran … for his life…and for Max’s. The thunder of his hearts deafened his ears. They were pumping so hard they felt ready to explode. Darzik pushed himself even harder. He chanted to himself. I am my beloved’s. And my beloved is mine. I will return to my Mate. My Mikka.

He stroked her jaw. Darzik touched his lips to hers in a light teasing brush. As her lips moved seekingly against his, he growled … deepening their kiss. His tongue made a teasing foray and entwined briefly with hers before he reluctantly lifted his head. The priest cleared his throat again with an understanding smile. “I can tell you love her dearly but…. That part usually comes after the vows, son.”