A woman caught between two futures…
Awakened in the middle of the night by a future version of herself, Kris Davenport is given a mission: go travel in time to save the world–and his life. Of course, her future self doesn’t tell her who he is just sends her into the darkness and straight into an alien invasion.
…must choose between the man who has her heart…
He turns out to be ConRad Smith, the callous, untrusting military commander of Earth’s army and the world’s last defense. There’s only one way for Smith to know for sure if this strange woman is an alien spy–slice her throat. Except, he didn’t anticipate the desire he would feel as he interrogates the hot-tempered, warm-blooded woman.
…or the fate that saves the world.
As Kris and ConRad struggle to trust each other in a world on the brink of destruction, they each will have to face the ultimate choice of whether to fight or die… survive or forgive.
Praise for KC Klein’s Dark Future
Winner of the 2011 Prism Award
“Dark Future is simply everything you hope a book will be when you open it up to the first page and begin reading.” Awarded the Reviewer’s Choice Award by Two Lips Reviews
“All of the elements of a heart-wrenching romance presented against a dystopian futuristic backdrop.” Kelly DeVos
“Dark, gritty, and utterly entrancing, this book absolutely blew my socks off…” Jess the “Romanceaholic”
“Mmm, you taste human. Like salt or more like … warm sunshine?” He pinned me with his gaze. His eyes spoke a primal language. Desire warred with anger; need against punishment.
I looked away. Embarrassed. Violated. His body crushed mine, suffocating in its nearness. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even breathe without crushing my breasts against him. I always considered myself strong and physically fit, but he subdued me with barely any effort. Heart racing, I panicked.
The feeling of no control would break me—complete powerlessness always did. I used whatever weapon was available; whatever maneuvers would give me a fighting chance. This was no different. I turned my head, opened my mouth against his neck, and … sunk my teeth in.
He cursed. Grabbed hold of my shirt, picked me up, and slammed me back against the wall.
A painful whoosh came from my lungs. My vision rocked—brain swished inside my skull.
“You bit me.” He sounded shocked.
My head hurt so bad I had to blink hard to keep my eyes in their sockets. “You licked me,” I shouted back.
He assessed me, aqua blue eyes hooded with thick, long eyelashes, for what seemed like an eternity. “I will ask you one more time. Who are you?”
“I’ve told you everything.” My voice sounded desperate, tired, even to me. “I went running and fell into the dark … I’m a doctor at a hospital. If you don’t believe me, just call them. I’ve worked there for years.”
He stood still, his body hard against mine, creating an insurmountable barrier. His face so close I could see his pupils enlarge, almost hiding the hard blue of his irises. The rage in him lived and breathed. One hand ran along my scalp in a mock caress, grabbed hold of my hair and pulled.
“Liar,” his voice barely a whisper, the knife was back … shaking at my very exposed, very vulnerable artery. “There hasn’t been a hospital anywhere on Earth since the year 2075.” And in one efficient movement, he drew the knife across my throat.
Oh God, this is it!
A burn sliced across my neck. I wrapped my hands around my throat to stem the flow of blood.
A warm wetness trickled down my skin, my palm, in between my clamped fingers. I was afraid to swallow, afraid to feel my blood slip away as I died. I gasped at him, my breath rapid and shallow. This man had killed me, cut my throat like some animal left to choke on its own fluids.
Tears of self-pity blurred my vision. For some stupid reason I’d never thought he’d hurt me. Terrify me—yes. Manipulate me—yes, but never murder. I blinked to clear my sight, tears squeezed from the corners of my eyes. I was beyond caring that he would see me cry. What was pride when you only had seconds to live?
I clenched down on my hitching sob. I never thought I’d die like this, in some dank, gray room, wearing coarse, military clothing, my only companion a psychotic maniac.
ConRad eased back and released my hair. His hand curled around to the underside of my jaw. The course pad of his thumb dried the wet trail on my cheek. His glanced down at his thumb and forefinger as they rubbed together seemingly puzzled by the moisture. “My job is tough, and I offer no apologies or excuses, but I had to be sure. Aliens don’t bleed like us. I needed to know you were human.”
A murderer with a profound sense of responsibility. Wonderful.
“So you killed me!” I shouted. I placed two fingers against my carotid artery and took my pulse. Was the rhythm racing or … thready? Were those white lights in the distance? Had it become harder to breathe? The end, the final finale.
“What?” He stepped back and wiped the blade on his pant leg before sheathing the knife in its holster. A tsk sound came from between his closed lips. “Barely a scratch. You won’t even see the mark in a few days.”
I pulled my hand away from my throat and glanced down, amazed at the thin smear of blood on my fingers. With hurried movements I palpated my trachea, then the cartilage around my larynx. I swallowed a few times. All seemed to be in normal working order. The cool breeze of relief swept through me, followed by a blister of hot rage that sprang forth and flamed my face.
“You complete jack—” The words I used to describe him wouldn’t have been fit for even a hard-core rapper to use. If my mother had heard me, she would have reached for a bar of soap. And I was just getting started.
The Commander must have thought so too. He raised his hands in mock surrender. “Hey, was that all in English? There were names I don’t even think I know the meaning of.”
A small smile played across his face, crinkling the corners of his brilliant blue eyes. It had a way of making him appear younger, almost charming. But then again, the Devil is said to appear as an angel of light.
“Well, next time you think someone just killed you, let’s see how you react,” I snapped in my defense.
He nodded. He had justified himself once—he wouldn’t do it again.
My heart still thundered as I pulled in my first full breath. I rubbed my hand across my chest. Was I up to these life-or-death situations? Forget monsters or murders—I would die from a common old heart attack.
I needed space. Proximity to this man put me on edge. He seemed to drive me to my boundaries and then test my resistance. My hand raised and pushed on his chest. I needed room. I needed space to breathe without his scent—soap, metal, heat—flooding my nostrils.
ConRad didn’t budge. His chest was as unforgiving as any rock mass. Then he stepped closer. My arm, worthless against such power, bent and became trapped between our bodies. His gaze locked with mine, nostrils flared, eyes focused and heated. His larger frame hovered and crowded.
Something happened; something had changed. He was on the attack. My belly twisted and my throat dried. His face so close, lips within licking distance. His breath fanned my cheeks. His scent made my mouth water. Just a taste … just one taste.
“What if I’m wrong? What if the aliens are more advanced than even I thought? Or maybe …” his voice turned rich and deep, like a red wine, “I’m just looking for a reason.”
He spoke the last under his breath, almost as if he was being pulled along against his will. I could sympathize.
He was so tall I put a creak in my neck to watch his expression. I placed my palm flat against his broad chest, and I could feel his muscles shift as his arms came to either side of my head, pressing his hands against the wall.
“A reason?” I swallowed. I couldn’t seem to follow a simple train of thought. Primal words diffused through my brain … open … more … yes.
His mouth parted, a tongue swept along his full upper lip leaving a shimmer of wet behind. “It’s been a long … long … long time since I’ve had a woman.”
His words rolled through me, seeping into my raw nerves like a rum punch. My mouth eased forward. The promise of his flavor … consuming.
His eyes burned, transfixed on my neck. He bent his knees, lowered, and rubbed his hips against mine. His hands slid to my scalp, massaging. Then he grasped my hair and tilted my head exposing my neck—stretching my wound.
My breath escaped in a pant. My mind warred with my body as my muscles unfurled, preparing for surrender. He looked at me as if I was dinner … no dessert. He was a man kept alive on bread and water for so long, pushed to the edge—on the brink of rushing the line.
He lowered his head.
Time lingered. Heartbeats ceased. Then a tongue, warm … wet … slow, licked my wound. A sting erupted as his tongue drew across leisurely from one end to the other. More suggestive than a caress, more intimate than a kiss. The gesture reeked of possessiveness, of ownership, of a … branding.
He lifted his head and rolled his tongue around his mouth. “You taste like human.” He said, and then ground his hips into mine. “You feel like human.”
My God, he’s crazy. But I couldn’t stop my legs from going weak. My arms clutched around his shoulders, afraid my knees would buckle if I let go.
“Silly little girl, found all alone in the dark.” His mouth was beside my ear.
Addicting chills spread at his seductive tone.
“You cost my men their lives all because you were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Or were you? Maybe it’s all a trick, maybe they’ve found a way to make you look, feel, and taste like a human. But I wonder …” He whispered as he gently kissed the corners of my mouth. His tongue bathed my parted lips.
I licked the moisture; savoring the flavor of salt, metal … blood. My body went from hot to cold to … burning. A smoldering fire began in the pit of my stomach, scorching its way south.
“I wonder,” he began again. “I wonder if they made it possible for you to come like a human.”
An emotion of the purest form swept through me, an uncontrollable urge to weep. A low moan escaped from the back of my throat. Please ConRad, it’s been so long. I thought I lost you. Something cool and smooth dragged underneath my shirt, lightly past my ribs. His knife. The blade skimmed my skin down to my waist. With a small flick of his wrist, he cut the belt holding up my fatigues.
A shock of cold air hit my bare thighs, and my brain snapped awake. I didn’t know this man, and another realization following hard on the first—I wasn’t wearing underwear.
Warning bells triggered. Not just ordinary “hey, wait a minute” alarms, but all out Halt! Stop! Warning bells. “Wait!” I squeaked, but to no avail.
His hand clamped down on my bare behind. His breath came in gasps—body trembled.
“God, you’re so soft … so very … female.” His words … reverent. His mouth … everywhere. My temple, neck, and hair were bathed in prayerful administrations. His hands slid down my bare legs and hiked them around his waist—removing my pants with a decisive snap. One calloused palm rounded my hip and settled deep between my thighs. He groaned, bit my lip, and tugged. “You’re so wet. So ready for me.”
I wanted to deny the accusation, but couldn’t. Not when his fingers slid deep inside me—easy, willing, no resistance. My hips bucked against his hand. How could I be doing this? How could I have let this go this far?
Then his fingers moved … and I ceased thinking at all.
Hips rocked, forcing his hand deeper—drawing him closer.
My mind reared back from the loss of control. A roaring tidal wave of pleasure swept through my body, jolting me to the core. A moan slipped past my lips.
He covered my mouth with his hand and buried his face in my neck. He growled, animal-like, visceral.
And damn me to hell because I responded.
I shook, the spasms of my orgasm rippled through me. Reds and blues shot through the darkness behind my eyelids. My muscles, strained to the breaking point, finally shattered. Sweet relief rushed through my body. Tears threatened again, but this time from the feeling of safekeeping, of being in a place I never wanted to leave.
Only our ragged breathing broke the silence. Neither of us moved. My legs wrapped around his hips, his hand across my mouth—my face flamed, ears burned. He gazed into my eyes and for the first time saw me … really saw me.
There was a sense of déjà vu, of familiarity, then something else that went way beyond. I could see myself through his eyes, but as if looking in the past. Like each life was a reflection, and I stood peering down a hall of mirrors.
He unclasped my mouth and tenderly stroked my cheek. His forehead lowered and rested on mine. “I didn’t mean … I didn’t think it would go this far. Kris?” He hesitated.
I had no strength. No energy—he had consumed it as if he had every right. But did he? Had I at one time given him my heart and my body?
I didn’t think he hesitated often, but it didn’t matter. I couldn’t look at him. I couldn’t pretend everything was okay and have a conversation while his fingers were still deep inside me.
“Please,” I said as I limply pushed on his arm. ConRad’s fingers slipped out of me and rounded my thighs. Wetness trailed along my hips as his hands lingered there. He reluctantly let go and lowered me to the ground. I stole a glance at him. His breath came in hard; an expression of strained control lined his face. I understood completely.
I broke eye contact, slicing my gaze to my feet. I reached for my pants and pulled them around my waist. The cut belt lay useless on the floor.
I left. I picked up my clothes and shredded dignity and walked toward the door. What else could I say? What could I do? I had seriously thought ConRad was going to kill me, and yet he’d just brought me to the best climax of my entire life, pinned against a cave wall.