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Taken by Her Mates(5)

By:Grace Goodwin

What would have been better was being transported and living out my own real-life dream, just like the processing dream where two powerful men were covering my body, fucking me like I was the most desirable woman they’d ever met, making me feel beautiful. Wanted. Loved.

No. I got the stupid in-brain translator.

I had failed my friends at the news agency, failed my friends in the police force, failed to prove my innocence in court, and now I wasn’t even worthy of an alien male so desperate for a hot, wet pussy that they’d accept a mate who was a thief or murderer, without even seeing her first. Women—criminals—by the hundreds had been sent to the Interstellar Bride Program over the last few years. The women who were arrested and processed came from all walks of life. Drug addicts and traitors. Thieves and murderers.

All those women had travelled to the stars, found new homes and new lives with alien males desperate for brides through the program. Those women had been given a clean slate, a fresh start.

Me? Not me. I turned down a bribe, got framed for a crime I didn’t commit, and now I’d been rejected by not just my matched mate, but the fucking king of his entire planet?

Not my best day.

“What do I do now?”

Warden Egara tilted her head and sighed. “Well, your volunteer service to the bride program was all that was required to satisfy the terms of your criminal sentence. Since no one has ever been rejected before, that is a loophole that you fall through and will most likely be rectified. I would assume in the future, a rejected woman would have to go to prison instead. For now, there are no rules regarding alternate punishment, therefore you’ve met all the requirements of your sentencing.”

“You mean—”

“You’re free to go, Miss Smith.”

She lifted the edge of the blanket and wiped several drops of blue liquid from the corner of my eye where it had begun to pool and slide down my cheek like tears.

I was free. No sentencing. No prison. No off-planet hottie.

“Go home.”

I didn’t want to go home. I had no home. No job, no friends, and no future. Since I was supposed to be in a galaxy far, far away, my bank accounts had been cleared out, my home sold. When a woman went off-planet in the bride program, their belongings were divided as if they were dead. Dead and gone, never to return. I had no one to claim my toaster or my worn-out sofa, so I had to assume it was all donated to charity.

I was the first bride ever to be sent home like a dog, tail between my legs, unworthy of an alien mate.

If I walked out the doors of the processing center and showed my face around town? Well, the creeps who set me up would send their goons to finish what they started. If they knew I was still on Earth, I’d have a price on my head within hours.

But then again, I was no pampered princess. I had a go-bag, a stash of clothing, and cash my friend in the intel business overseas had convinced me was necessary for survival. Thank God, I’d listened. All I had to do was get to my storage locker that no one knew about and I could start over. I was free. Lonely. Miserable. Hurt. But free to do whatever I wanted to do… like expose a group of corrupt officers and politicians.

The underhanded bastards thought I was gone, off-planet. No longer their problem. Perhaps that was the only luck I was going to have today.

I swung my legs off the table and smiled, suddenly filled with unexpected glee. I might not be good enough for an alien fuck, but I was very good with a telephoto lens. I thought of it as my own personal style of sniper rifle. One perfect picture was all it took to take someone down, expose their lies, ruin their life. If my camera was a weapon, then I had a hit list a half-mile long. If I was a ghost while doing it, a person who wasn’t even supposed to be on Earth, then so much the better.

I hopped down off the table, clutching the blanket closed, but had to rethink the sudden movement when the room spun. Warden Egara’s arms shot out to steady me and I nodded my thanks.

Time to go, but there was one thing the masochistic side of me needed to know. If I were to leave my off-planet opportunity here in this room, then I wanted to know. “What was his name?”

Warden Egara frowned. “Who?”

“My match?”

She hesitated, as if she were imparting state secrets, then shrugged. “Prince Nial. The Prime’s eldest son.”

I laughed then, for had I left Earth, I would have been a princess indeed. Matched to an alien prince, wearing ball gowns and ridiculous shoes, my long blond hair tamed not by my normal ponytail, but with gemstone pins and elaborate twists as befit my royal station. God help me, I would have had to wear mascara and lipstick, for my pale complexion was less than beautiful when bare.