Casey's Warriors             

Bondmates, #1

Novel Length

Heat Level: Erotic M/F, M/M, M/F/M, M/M/F, M/F+M+M+M

Sci-fi Erotic Romance



Audio Book





Lorn Adar has searched more than a lifetime to find his bondmate—the only woman he was born to love and the only woman who can save him from the approaching madness that threatens all unbounded males of his race. When he and his people find a way to Earth and the women who could hold their future, Lorn will do all in his power to not only find his mate, but show her a Universe she never knew existed.

Casey Westfall’s normal life will change forever once she finds the sexy leather clad man on her doorstep.  One innocent kiss leads to an adventure that will span worlds and Casey will have to choose between the man who is the other half of her soul and never seeing her family or her world again. To complicate matters Kadothians live in polyamerous family units and Lorn will have to convince his Earth bride to accept not only his love, but the love of his best friend and brothers in arms or risk the chance of losing them to either the madness or the Hive—the race of sociopathic women bent on destroying and enslaving everything in their path, but Casey can't see loving more than one man as being anything other than a sin. Lorn will have to teach his bride that she was created for both of them just as they were created only for her.

In a Universe where all is possible, the battle to protect not only his people, but his heart rests on the soul of a human woman who must face the unknown and take a leap of faith that could save or destroy them all.



Chapter One



Deep in the clutches of the mid-nineteenth century poem she had to memorize for an English class, Casey absently scratched the back of her leg with her foot and tried to focus on the words before her. Unfortunately, the large quantities of spiced rum she’d consumed with her roommates last night had turned her brain into mush. It was finals week and tomorrow she’d take the last test she needed to before she went back home for the summer. She was mad at herself for getting drunk, but her roommates had all taken their last finals yesterday and celebrated the end of their sophomore year by getting wasted. In a way, it wasn’t even her fault. They had guys from the frat next door physically pick her up from her porch and carry her across the street to the party.

If anything, she was a victim….ish.

Sort of.

The guys from the football team and swim team had been doing a wet sausage contest for charity. How in the world could she not want to watch a wet underwear contest? She’d been so good all semester, studying diligently instead of trying to date. She deserved a little sexy time, even if it was spent staring at drunk guys in their underwear doing the bump and grind. At the very least she’d gotten a good laugh out of it. Most of the guys were average, but there was one tall, skinny kid on the swim team who packed some serious dick. When the girls at the party saw him they went wild. Poor guy was blushing hard enough that she worried about him having a stroke.

Not wanting to think about last night anymore, she sipped the triple espresso her awesome roommate, Kimber, grabbed for her during her morning run. Unlike Kimber, Casey couldn’t imagine doing anything more than stumbling around for a couple hours, in her pajamas, feeling like crap. The bitter taste of the rich coffee filled her mouth and reminded her she hadn’t even bothered to brush her teeth. When she realized she’d slept until nine o’clock that morning immediate panic set in, and she stumbled to the bathroom before diving into all the crap she had to try to memorize. Her eyes were still gummy with sleep, but she forced her wandering attention on the book.

She could do this. Life was going well, but she was really focused on her goal of someday managing a five-star resort in some exotic location. She sighed with longing at the thought of living somewhere other than Michigan, somewhere it didn’t snow. Someplace exotic, where she could do new things, taste new foods, and give other people the kind of vacation experience they deserved. If she did well on her tests, she’d have a better chance of earning a recommendation from one of her professors that would get her into a kick-ass internship in Bali. The image of her lying on the beach was so clear for a moment she swore she felt the sun on her back.

No more shoveling snow nearly every day from December until April. No more freezing her ass off while digging her car out of the snow.

No more fish-belly pale skin nine months of the year.

Ahhhh, bliss.

But all the wishing in the world wouldn’t help her pass this class, so she lightly smacked her cheeks in an effort to wake up. She was still in her pink jammies and an old sports bra, her long black hair up in a messy bun, downing the espresso as fast as she could while praying to the gods of caffeine to wake up her hung over brain. Finally, her gaze focused and stayed on the poem, her lips moving as she read it to herself.

She closed her eyes and whispered the last stanzas of the poem while chewing on her pen, striving to give the words depth and meaning; according to her professor, ‘depth and meaning’ were forty percent of the grade.

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

A chill raced down her spine; she wrinkled her nose at the odd sensation then groaned as a headache began to throb behind her eyes.

Being hung over sucked and drinking coffee certainly wasn’t helping her dehydration.

She barely heard the shrill ringing of the old-fashioned, rotary dial house phone and almost got up to answer it before Kimber’s voice came faintly from downstairs. Ignoring her friend, Casey tried to figure out how to put more feeling in the words and kept saying the last part over and over, unable to strike the right depth of tone she wanted. It was a rather eerie poem, and she sighed in desperation at ever getting the right tone; she thumped her head against her pillow and swore profusely.

This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a fucking whimper.

“Casey, phone,” yelled Kimber. “It’s your sister.”

Normally, she would have ignored the phone call—she had her cell phone turned off for a reason—but at the mention of her sister, Casey reluctantly stood with a sigh. She left her small room in the massive old home she shared with her three other roommates, deep in the student-dominated section of Ann Arbor. There were frat houses and sororities all around them, but Casey and her friends were just a group of girls who’d known each other since elementary school sharing a house. With a sigh she stretched, tugging at her top when it tried to dip down too low. While she knew she’d been blessed by the titty fairy, it still sucked that, even with a bra on, she had to cross her arms over her chest to run down the steps. The battered, sturdy stairs creaked beneath her weight as she raced through the small foyer, decorated with paintings by some of her roommate Dawn’s artistic friends, to the expansive kitchen area. Kimber stood holding the phone and chatting with Roxy, Casey’s sister who was home on a rare leave from the Army for the next two weeks.

Casey would start packing up the last of her stuff tomorrow, and she couldn’t wait to go spend time with Roxy. Her older sister was her hero in many ways, a woman who’d managed to fight her way up in the military ranks and not let anyone stop her. Where Casey was short and pudgy, Roxy was long and lean, taking after their father more than their petite mother. Unfortunately, her sister was going through a rough patch after her divorce. The cheating fuck her sister had married in a moment of weakness got another girl pregnant while Roxy was deployed overseas. Casey had always hated his douchebag ass anyway and was glad to see him go, but his betrayal really hurt Roxy.

A sharp, almost terrified gasp pulled Casey from her dark thoughts and she looked up, surprised to see Kimber nervously pacing, holding the phone to her ear so hard her knuckles were turning white. The tall, slender half-Dominican half-Polish woman, who was on a track scholarship at the University of Michigan, always moved with a grace that reminded Casey of a cheetah. Bubbles from washing plates in the sink stood out on her honey brown skin, and one popped in the bright morning light coming in through the kitchen windows.

Without relinquishing the phone Kimber turned to Casey. Her friend’s hazel eyes were wide in her pale face. “Okay, I’ll pack as quickly as possible. Here’s Casey.”

Casey held the phone to her ear as she watched Kimber dashing for the stairs, her ponytailed corkscrew black curls bouncing with her movements, before she screamed for Paige and Dawn as she raced up the steps, her long legs taking them two, sometimes three at a time.

Shaken up by Kimber’s weird behavior, Casey said, “Hey, Roxy, it’s me. What’s going on? Are Mom and Dad okay?”

“Listen up, kiddo,” her sister said in a tense voice. “You need to get home as soon as possible.”

“Why? What…”

“We don’t have time!” Roxy roared loud enough that Casey had to take the phone away from her ear. “Mom and Dad will explain, but you need to get yourself and your friends’ asses into your car ASAP. Don’t bother packing; just get in the fucking car and go! Once you’re back in Chelsea, stop and get some gasoline at the gas station closest to the house. Buy and fill up as many of those emergency gas cans as you can fit in your trunk. Dad has enough bottled water in the garage to last a month, he’s out at the gun shop right now getting bullets, and hopefully everything will be back to normal in a couple weeks. World’s about to go to hell, little sister.”

Fear made sweat break out in a harsh sting over Casey’s skin as she fiddled with the long, curled cord of the old phone. “Roxy, what is going on?”

Her parents’ voices rose in the background, but Roxy’s clear, controlled words blotted them out. “Shit’s hit the fan. I don’t know who, what, or why, but I’ve been called up. Something about martial law being instituted.”

“Should you be telling us this?” Casey whispered. “I don’t want you to get in trouble.”

Roxy’s laugh made the hair stand up on Casey’s arms. “Fuck that, you’re my family and I have a feeling warning my family won’t even make anyone bat an eye in twenty-four hours. Look, I have more calls to make. Just get your ass home before martial law goes public and you’re stuck in Ann Arbor with a bunch of fucking hippies who suddenly can’t get their non-fat, half-caf, mocha java chino, made from beans dried in the sun on the thighs of beautiful young island women. They’re gonna be scared, and they’re gonna get stupid. Think Lord of the Flies with Deadheads and geeks. I don’t want you there when it happens. I want you home with Mom and Dad, now. I love you.”

A loud click came from the line as Roxy hung up on her, and Casey stared at the wall, not really seeing the large dry-erase board filled with messages from her housemates, or the battered old fridge covered in cheesy magnets holding up pictures of friends and family. Her mind was going so fast that her body had stalled, only her autonomic nervous system keeping her breathing.

Roxy was scared—and that terrified Casey.

Her older sister was fearless, never showing any signs of stress even when under enemy gunfire, and she had a drawer full of medals to prove it. Ten years ago, when Casey was just turning nine, she had wiped out on her bike and scraped a layer of skin from her right side. It was a bloody, disgusting mess, really nasty, so Casey didn’t blame her mother for fainting when she opened the door and saw her daughter crying and looking like she’d had the skin on the side of her right arm and leg erased. Her sixteen-year-old sister had been the one who not only got Casey into the car after giving her basic first aid, but also revived their mother with smelling salts. Even when faced with an unconscious mother and a screaming, bloody little sister Roxy hadn’t appeared the least bit ruffled, more annoyed with their mom fainting than anything else.
If Roxy was scared that meant shit was really, really bad.

“Casey!” Kimber yelled from right next to her, startling Casey into dropping the phone, now buzzing with a busy signal.
She turned and found Kimber, still in her silky pink running shorts and black tank top, standing with Dawn and Paige. Dawn, a slender, pretty redhead with a mass of freckles, stood there with her backpack and bag stuffed to overflowing with clothes and books, while Paige, a plump, cute, blue-eyed brunette, nervously chewed on her thumbnail, her bags stuffed full, but not overflowing.

Paige and Dawn were still in their pajamas, and Kimber grabbed Casey’s purse off the counter then shoved it at her. “We gotta go, now.”

“Yes,” she whispered. “We have to go.”

Dawn strode over to her and lightly smacked the side of her face. “Wake up, Casey. We need you to drive us home. You’re the only one with a car.”


Her roommates dragged her out the front door, and as they got to the big porch with its old couch and tables still littered with the red cups from last night’s drinking, she tried to turn back. “Wait! My homework.”

“Fuck your homework,” Kimber snarled in a low voice as she looked up and down the quiet street with its big old homes now used mostly by students. Lots of porches still bore the remains of a night spent drinking, showing that Casey wasn’t the only one stressed out about finals. How many of their friends were going to be trapped here? She should run up and down the street and try to warn them, but she couldn’t. She promised Roxy she would get herself and her friends out.
Kimber said in a low voice, “Roxy said school was probably going to be canceled.”


By this point, they’d reached Casey’s reliable old car, and her friends piled in while she went through the motions of getting in and starting the car more out of habit than rational thought. Trying to clear her head, Casey took a shuddering breath. “What did my sister tell you?”

Kimber snapped on her seat belt and ran a shaky hand over her hair. “Just that shit had hit the fan and we needed to get home.”

“Do you think it’s terrorists?” Paige asked in a low voice from the backseat.

They all remembered 9/11, even if they were young when it happened. Terrorists had become the ultimate boogeyman of US culture, malevolent creatures seemingly bent on destroying the American way of life. Her heart sank as she tried to imagine what would happen if they went to war again. Shit, if that happened it might be a long time before she saw Roxy.
Dawn leaned forward and growled out, “Drive.”

Giving herself a mental shake, Casey returned her focus to the present. Okay, she needed to get her head on straight. She’d had her time to freak out, now she needed to get her shit in gear. She wasn’t just responsible for herself, but also for the friends she loved like family.

“Right, drive. Do me a favor and call a couple of our friends. Don’t waste time trying to win them over, just tell them to get the fuck out as quickly as they can and hope that someone listens. Same with your families though I’m sure my mom and dad have already contacted your parents. Maybe if they get a phone call from both of you they’ll take…whatever it is seriously.”

It didn’t take them long to get out of Ann Arbor and head west, and they were soon on the freeway speeding past corn and soybean fields to the nearby small town of Chelsea where they’d all grown up. Thank goodness no cops were around, because Casey was doing ninety-five down the clear stretch of road in her junky old car. They all looked around as she drove, trying to find something unusual, something to tip them off to some imminent, terrible disaster. Casey had gotten over her shock, and she listened to her friends talking to their loved ones on the phone, each passing along the warning that something bad, really bad, either had happened or was about to happen. As soon as they mentioned Roxy’s name whoever they were talking to would stop arguing and they would move onto the next person on their list. Evidently Casey wasn’t the only one who thought Roxy was a badass.

Paige didn’t have very many people to call; her only living family was her abusive, drunk father, but she’d called him anyway, for all the good it would do, then called their friends and the people she babysat for.

Casey glanced into her rearview mirror then looked over at Kimber. “Turn on the radio, see if they know anything.”

While Kimber flipped through the stations with a shaking hand, finding only music, morning talk shows, or commercials, Casey took the turn into her small town and a little bit of her tension drained away. Surrounded by miles of farmland and fields, Chelsea was a very pretty place, the kind of small town that hadn’t changed much in the last hundred years. Outside of town the homes were spread out, and there was a good-sized state park with a lake where she swam when she was growing up. The main street was filled with quaint shops and well-maintained buildings that the Chelsea Historical Society kept watch over, making sure the current owners didn’t do anything to take away from the ‘character’ of the town.
As she drove down the street, she once again searched for signs of trouble among the cute shops and bright pots of blooming crocuses, but everything looked normal. If anything, Casey and her friends driving down the street in their pajamas staring at everyone was the most abnormal part of this idyllic scene. Casey’s back itched, like someone was watching her, and she had to resist the urge to keep checking her rearview mirror, as though one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse was trotting behind her rear bumper. That long-buried fight-or-flight instinct was kicking in, and she swore her vision had somehow sharpened.

She quickly pulled into the gas station and ran inside with her friends hot on her heels.

“Hey, Casey,” Merl, the old man behind the counter she’d known since birth, said with a smile. “What’s the rush?”

For a moment, she debated telling him anything, but as she paid for the gas cans she leaned forward and said in a low voice, “Merl, something bad has happened. I don’t know what but Roxy told me that she’s been called off of leave because the government is about to declare martial law.”

He gaped at her for a moment, then began to laugh, his wrinkles bunching together as he smiled. “Good one, you almost had me going for a minute there.”

Grabbing the cans she gave him one last look as she ran out the door. “Merl, I’m serious. Get your son here with your gun. If shit really has hit the fan, you’re going to be mobbed with people soon.”

With his admonishments about a young lady not using that kind of language ringing in her ears, Casey hurried to her car and began to fill up the gas cans, leaving the other girls behind in the store while they bought up all the bottled water and non-perishable foods that the small store had. Casey was a little over halfway done when a high-pitched, deafening squall of static came from the station’s overhead speakers. The sound startled Casey so badly she almost sprayed herself with gasoline before she released the trigger on the nozzle. The fumes from the spilled fuel burned her eyes as she put the nozzle into the gas can with a shaking hand and nausea gripped her in a stomach-clenching cramp.

Dogs in the surrounding neighborhood began to bark and howl, and Casey watched in stunned horror as birds began to fall from the sky. A sparrow landed nearby, fluttering its wings weakly, tiny black eyes still focused on the sky that had just rejected it.

Three loud bursts, like gigantic flamethrowers going off all around the world at once, rent the air, and Casey screamed.
A moment later, an extremely deep, terrible noise vibrated through her forcing the breath from her body and almost knocking her to the ground. She had no idea that sound could have weight, but this did, and she would later swear the atoms in her body shook around like dry beans in a can. The sound was brief, no more than half a heartbeat, but it felt like a century. Her body rang with an echo of the tone and she dragged in first one harsh breath, then another.

The digital readout on the gas pump went wonky, the numbers racing before it blanked out completely.

Off in the distance tires screeched and the unmistakable crunch of metal hitting metal echoed in the air followed by blaring horns. She took the now useless nozzle out of the can and hung it up, then fastened the cap onto the can while trying to keep her fear from turning into blind panic. She was overcome with the need to see her parents and feel the safety of their embrace. Her heart sank as she realized she’d only managed to get twenty gallons of gas, but the urge to get home immediately filled her. As she was putting the cans into her trunk her friends ran out, their arms loaded down with plastic bags.

“What happened?” Dawn asked as she shoved the bags into the car. She was crying; her freckles stood out from her pale skin like blood on a snow bank.

“I don’t know,” Casey said in a thick voice, fighting the urge to just break down into hysterics. “If that was a terrorist attack I have no idea what the fuck just happened.”

Paige went to jump in the car, then paused and looked around. “Looks like the power is out everywhere.”

“Holy fuck,” Kimber whispered and they all looked over to her, only to find her staring slack-jawed at the sky.

Following Kimber’s line of sight, Casey looked out into the clear, sunny sky and gasped. Instead of the usual faultless blue, the sky was now filled with undulating waves of color. Ribbons of apple green, lemon yellow, crimson, and various shades of purple danced in the sky. It was the most eerily beautiful thing she’d ever seen.

“It’s like the northern lights, during the daytime,” Paige whispered. “But that’s impossible.”

Merl came out the front door of his store, the jingling bells drawing Casey’s attention away from the sky. It wasn’t like the northern lights she’d seen on TV. Those were wispy, almost ethereal-looking. These streaks of light were more like bright, sustained fireworks.

“Solar flare,” Merl said in a choked voice while wiping his face with a faded blue handkerchief. “Must be a huge solar flare that knocked the power out.”

From nearby came the sound of car alarms going off and she shook her head, trying to block out the background noises.
“Get in the car,” Casey said in a low, choked voice. When none of her friends moved she screamed, “Get in the car!”

The four-block drive back to her house, normally less than five minutes, took ten as she drove around people who had abandoned their cars in the middle of the street to stare at the sky, forcing her to drive up on lawns and sidewalks in places. Police sirens sounded from all around town and the noise was driving her crazy. An image of what must be happening in Ann Arbor filled her mind and she wondered how bad the streets were leading in and out of the city as desperate students and commuters tried to leave. Then her imagination took a dark turn, and her stomach clenched as she wondered what was happening in the major cities. She’d learned in her sociology class that humans were, at the best of times, one step away from reverting to their primitive self, that in times of crisis a herd mentality tended to kick in; if the herd freaked out, the world would go down the shitter real quick in a stampede of fear and stupidity.

When they pulled onto her street she let Kimber off first, then Dawn, not stopping to talk to the frantic parents who cried tears of relief at the sight of their daughters.

Paige climbed into the front seat next to Casey and gripped her hand while still staring at the sky. “Do you think it’s a solar flare like Merl said?”

“I don’t know, honey.” Some of her anxiety eased as she pulled into her driveway, the familiar flower beds and white painted porch with its terra-cotta pots filled with tulips soothing her heart. “Thank fuck we’re home.”

As soon as Casey got out of her car her mother burst out of the front door of their two story Craftsman home, her dark brown eyes wide as she ran down the steps. Dressed in a pair of tan capris and a cute pale yellow sweater, she looked like she was on her way to a garden club meeting rather than experiencing some kind of crazy terrorist attack.

The relief on her mother’s face made Casey’s nose burn. “Thank God you made it!”

Letting her mother sweep her up into her arms, Casey hugged her back. “Mom, what’s happening?”

Her father came out of the house a moment later carrying his rifle, wearing his grey business suit and no-nonsense brown tie. While her mother was short and round with dark hair and eyes, her father was tall and blond, kind of like a Viking, if Vikings had been rather nerdy accountants. “Satellites are down,” he said in a gruff voice. “Cable hasn’t been affected but all the news stations are chasing the holes in their asses. No one knows what’s going on.”

“I thought the power was out?” Casey glanced up and down the still empty street.

“It’s going in and out,” her mother replied. “But we’ve got the generator. The phone lines are down, or overwhelmed, and we can’t get a signal on our cell phones.”

“I’ve got gas in my trunk,” she said quickly, and Paige added, “I have food and medicine.”

Casey’s dad gave Paige a pleased smile that made the other girl light up. He looked at Casey. “Smart to stop for gas.”

“Roxy told me to,” she said in a low voice, wincing when her mother made a pained sound while her father audibly swallowed.

Gathering himself, he stood taller and lifted his chin in a defiant gesture that Casey could remember Roxy doing. “Well, we’re not doing any good standing out here, and I don’t know about you, but I’d feel better if we got off the street.”

Neighbors were coming out of their homes here and there, yelling information to each other. More than one person yelled thanks to Casey’s parents for their warning, and her father gave them a quick pep talk about keeping their family safe and coming over if they needed a place to stay.

He gave Paige a hug. “You are staying with us, understood? You will always have a room at our home, whenever you need it.”

Paige nodded, and for once, didn’t give any protests about not wanting to be a burden. “Okay.”



Copywright Ann Mayburn. All rights reserved. No part of these publications may be reproduce, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the author.