First Chapter: His Virgin Mate by Grace Goodwin
Today Grace Goodwin has stopped on over to share the first chapter in her latest release.
The Night Owl Reviews Team
His Virgin Mate - Interstellar Brides: The Virgins Book 1
One look, one touch, and there is no denying the heat...
Twenty-one and single, Alexis Lopez hopes her lackluster response to men is a problem she's eager to solve by volunteering for the Interstellar Brides Program. One look at the large, dominant alien who claims she belongs to him sets her body on fire. When he tells her, in explicit detail, how he'll claim her in every way, she is eager to give her mate everything, body and soul.
Von of Everis is a ruthless and high ranking Hunter who's spent years fighting in the Hive wars. But his bed, and his life, are empty until Alexis arrives. One look at his innocent little bride and he knows she belongs to him.
Simple, right? Nope. The match is challenged by one of the most feared warriors on the planet and stolen kisses and mind-numbing pleasure won't save Von from a deadly duel. But Von is a Hunter, a warrior, a protector, and someone is trying to take what belongs to him. Only him. He will do whatever it takes to protect, save and claim his virgin mate.
Alexis Lopez- Interstellar Brides Program Testing Center- Miami
Fingers stroked gently over my cheek. Featherlight and soft. Even so, I felt callouses, and the stark contrast sent a shiver down my spine. I couldn’t see the man, but I knew him. Felt more than just his caress. I felt his desire, his eagerness for me. How? I had no idea. It made no sense, but I didn’t want to think too much. I just wanted to feel.
“Cold?” he asked, his voice a dark rasp.
I shook my head. I was hot. My breasts were heavy and sensitive. Between my legs, my pussy clenched and pulsed with need, with want…with something precious I’d never felt before. Lust.
On my hip, a strange heat spread through me, somehow connecting me to this man, this stranger. I didn’t know who he was, but I knew the mark. It burned, sending lightning through my blood and straight to my clit with a powerful jolt I’d never felt before, never dared imagine.
But no. That was wrong. I had a mark like that, but not on my hip. I licked suddenly dry lips, wondering what it would feel like if he touched my birthmark. Mine was on my…
“Don’t do that, love.” His finger moved to my bottom lip, sliding back and forth. “If you wet your lips like that, I’ll dream of you licking my cock.”
Heat flared in my core and I whimpered. Memories lingered on the edge of reason, but I couldn’t quite reach them. Somehow, I knew this man, knew his scent and his taste. I craved him, and I’d never wanted any man.
Nothing about this made sense, but I didn’t want this dream to end. Ever. All my life I’d wondered what the other girls sighed and giggled about. They’d talked of little else for a while now. Me, the odd man out. Or woman, I suppose. I’d never been interested in a man’s attentions, never felt lust when I looked at a man, especially one I didn’t know. I’d settled on being odd, a cold fish. Broken. But suddenly, with him? My body was alive with lust. With want. I could think of little else but tasting him, feeling him. I knew, somehow, in the way one knows things in a dream, that he was going to take me. He was going to fuck me and make me his forever. And I wanted it, so badly, my entire existence narrowed to him. His scent. His voice. The rough calloused fingertip still stroking my lip.
“Do you want to taste my cock again, mate?”
Mate? What? Confusion hindered me for a moment, but this new me, this dream me, wanted him. Now. I gave myself to the moment, eager to have my curiosity assuaged. I’d never been with a man. I wanted to know what it felt like to have him inside me. This man. He was mine. And the picture he painted with his words was exciting.
I knew about a man’s cock. I was a virgin, not an idiot, but I didn’t know the nuances of what he’d do to me with it. I didn’t know what it would feel like inside me, or what he might taste like on my tongue. Blow jobs were talked about. A lot. In high school, girls even gave them on the school bus. Me? Never. I had no interest in any of the boys I’d gone to school with, let alone their pencil dicks.
But him? My mouth watered to taste his cock, to feel the thick, heavy weight of it on my tongue.
His finger slipped away, replaced by his lips. He was kissing me! This wasn’t like Bobby Jenkins from tenth grade. We weren’t behind the gym. This guy didn’t have braces.
No, this wasn’t a boy. This was a man. With a hand cupping my nape, he angled me as he wanted, his mouth firm and insistent. He put his tongue in my mouth and it was so good. Incredible, licking into me in slow, luscious strokes. This was what it was supposed to feel like? Heat spread through my body like molasses through my veins, thick and slow.
“Has a man ever kissed you before?” he asked, his lips brushing over mine, then along my jaw.
I shook my head in his steady hold.
“What else have you done, mate? Who has touched this soft skin? Kissed you here?” His lips traced my collarbone and I swayed in his arms, longed for his lips to travel lower, to my nipples. Maybe even lower. I’d never had a man’s mouth on me before, not down there.
God, I’d never done anything. What a joke I must be to him. “No one. No one else. Ever.” I forced the admission past my closing throat and waited for his laughter or raised brow. Who would believe it these days? A twenty-one-year-old working-class girl who was still a virgin. If I admitted it back home, I’d be laughed out of the neighborhood.
I swallowed, then whimpered again when he nuzzled my ear, lightly nipped the lobe. His hands wandered from the small of my back to cup my ass, his thumb stroking over the sensitive mark on my hip. My legs nearly collapsed as shockwaves of desire made me tremble. I was naked, completely naked in his arms, and his rough clothing brushed against my sensitive skin like sandpaper. My nipples pebbled and I moaned, leaning my head back to give him better access to my neck. I’d never done that before either, but I would give this man who called me mate anything. Everything.
“I never wanted anyone before.” Sad, but true. I’d never felt like his. Hot and wet and achy.
“Good,” he whispered. “You’re mine, and I don’t share.”
That was just fine with me. Closing my eyes, I reached for him, trying to bury my hands in his hair and pull him closer. But as hard as I tried, I couldn’t seem to find a grip. It was like he faded, my hands closing around empty air.
He pulled back and I felt cold. Alone.
“Come back,” I pleaded.
“You are a virgin?” he asked. While he no longer touched me, I heard the need in his voice. I’d made him sound that way. Me!
“Yes.” I nodded my head and my hair fell over my cheek. I heard tears in my voice, not sad or angry tears, but love and happiness filled this body so full it hurt. Somehow, I knew him, knew he was mine. Somehow, I knew he loved me, really, really loved me. The tears were like my heart leaking onto my face.
“Do you want me to be your first?” I could no longer see him, but his voice whispered over me from right behind my ear.
“Will you accept my claim? And claim me as your mate in return? Forever?”
“Yes,” I repeated. I didn’t know him, but somehow, this body did. I felt like I was someone else, someone magical and powerful, someone not so afraid of being a failure in bed. If he made me feel this good from just a kiss, what would it be like when he touched me in earnest? What would it feel like to have his hard, hot body, his skin, pressed to mine? His cock inside me? His mouth claiming mine as he thrust into me slowly, taking his time, our hands entwined.
Every romantic notion I’d ever had was flooding my mind and I knew he’d give them to me. He was the one. He was going to make me happy. So happy.
“Dream of me.” His voice faded to little more than a whisper and I tried to hold on, but the dream slipped away like water through my fingers.
Dream of me.
My eyes opened then and I took in my surroundings, blinking. It took a few moments for my brain to kick back in gear, to realize none of it hadn’t been real. The man. The kiss. Nothing.
My cheeks were wet, and I realized I’d actually been crying. Now they fell for a different reason. Loss. I was bereft. Empty. Back to my cold, calm center that so far, nothing had breached. Nothing but him.
I was in the Interstellar Brides Processing center. The testing room was small, utilitarian, with a table and chairs, looking more like a drab doctor’s exam room than a space-age matching facility. It was the testing unit I sat in that stirred my memory. My wrists were restrained to the metal arms of a chair not much different than the one I sat in at the dentist.
Still, the restraints bothered me. I knew women convicts could volunteer to be brides. Perhaps the restraints were required since they were prisoners when they arrived. Maybe they tried to break free from here. Maybe, they were just violent or mean and the testing program didn’t want to take any chances.
But I wasn’t a convict. Me? I hadn’t even stolen a pack of gum from the corner store in junior high like my stupid friends. I didn’t cheat on tests or lie to my mother. I was boring and sad and pathetic and so lonely I could barely function. The warden had said the cuffs were for my safety. When she strapped me in, I worried about how dangerous the testing would be. But then she walked away from me with a smile and ran her finger over that tablet and I remembered nothing else.
That dream wasn’t dangerous. Dangerous to my virginity, maybe. My ovaries were certainly awake now.
I shimmied in the curved seat, but I wasn’t going anywhere. It was curved and angled back as if I were going to get a cavity filled, not be matched to an alien mate.
“Are you okay, Alexis?”
Thankfully, the warden had her name on her uniform to help me remember. Egara. She was quite nice, especially considering the Interstellar Brides Program was so streamlined and efficient. Even a tad militaristic. But she’d eased my mind, made me feel good about my decision to be tested. The ads I’d seen on TV promoting the program showed women happily mated to aliens from other planets. The love on their faces—and the obvious well-fucked glow about them—had piqued my interest, but I hadn’t done anything about it. Until now. Until I had absolutely nothing left to lose.
Now, I was ready. My dad was dead, my mom had been gone for two years and my Golden Retriever, Rosie, got freaking bone cancer a week after my dad passed and I lost her, too. My best friend since I was eleven, that dog listened to more crying and horrible pop music than any animal ever. But she’d stayed by my side, slept in my bed when I was home, and kept me company at my dad’s bedside when no one else was around.
I loved that dog. I loved my parents, too. But they were all gone now. Everything was gone but the big rambling house I couldn’t stand to be in. The yard was huge, the house a four-bedroom monster I didn’t want to keep. Being in that house, looking at the pictures on the walls, the furniture, the smells…
Being there felt like being in a shrine to my dead parents, and I just couldn’t do it anymore. So I sold it, put the money in a trust for my cousin’s new baby girl, rented a car and drove to Miami. Three days from Denver. I’d barely slept. Eaten even less.
I felt empty. Totally empty. Until now. Until that dream. And the tears just kept coming, like a silently leaking faucet. That man made me feel. He made me want. Hunger. Lust. That girl in the dream was so unlike me. She was full of hope and love, and had joy bubbling in her veins like fizzy candy under her tongue.
I wanted that. I wanted to feel like that.
“Miss Lopez? Can you hear me?”
I blinked at the warden, clearing the cobwebs from my thoughts. Those thoughts were for the past, the tangled, twisted, painful past that I was leaving behind. Today. Right now.
“Yes, I’m all right. That was fast.” It seemed like just a minute ago I settled into the chair in my drab hospital-style gown with the Interstellar Brides Program logo printed all over it.
“Yes, it was,” she replied. I heard the surprise in her tone and I frowned, felt dread settle in my stomach.
No guy had ever made me feel a tenth of what I’d felt in that dream. I’d never had the hots for a guy on Earth. Ever. I’d gone to the doctor about a year ago to find out if I had a hormonal imbalance or something, but she’d just smiled, looked at my bloodwork and told me everything was perfectly normal. She said there was nothing wrong with my body. I was healthy as could be.
She’d even suggested I visit a counselor of some kind. A therapist. Then she’d started asking me about my papa and uncles and I’d shut her up and gotten the hell out of there.
I didn’t have secrets like that in my past. Even if I had, and I had friends who had suffered abuse and rape, they weren’t like me. They worked through their past, found a way to be in relationships. They, at least, wanted to try.
Me? No. There was definitely something wrong with me. Hank had called me frigid when I pushed away his advances last year. Of course, he was handsy and smelled of garlic. Robert had said I was a prude, not interested in giving him a BJ after our second date, payment, he’d said, for taking me out to dinner. Twice.
I’d left him sitting in his car in front of my apartment with his dick in his lap. After seeing the bulging, veinous head, I had to wonder why any woman would want to put that in her mouth. Even now, I shuddered at the memory.
Every kiss I’d ever had, from the peck on my cheek from Will Travers in fifth grade to the first French kiss behind the bleachers in tenth, had left me feeling nothing but sloppy, cold and wet.
I didn’t fit in. Clearly, men didn’t find me appealing and my clit must be broken. I felt nothing when it came to men. I even wondered if I was gay. I’d spent a month after Robert and the cock incident looking at women, studying them, wondering if I might find myself attracted to their bodies. I’d asked a friend of a friend, Meg, who was a lesbian, how to tell if one was actually gay. She’d said if I didn’t want to dive in the bushes, then I probably wasn’t interested in women.
She kissed me once, because I asked her to. And I felt nothing. Nada.
Since the thought of putting my mouth on another woman, down there, held about as much appeal as putting my mouth on Robert’s cock in the parking lot, I figured I wasn’t a lesbian. Which kind of sucked. I didn’t care who I might fall in love with, I just wanted to fall. I wanted to feel desire. I had loved my parents, but that wasn’t the same. I loved my dog. I had friends I cared deeply about in high school. Cute memes of kittens and puppies and babies online made my heart lurch. So, my heart worked just fine.
Since I wasn’t into women, and no man I’d met made me hot, made me pant like I saw on TV, I finally gave up. I just buckled down and worked. I went to school and studied to be a chef because the only thing I was passionate about was food. The tastes, the textures, the surprises that could roll over my tongue when I combined spices or ingredients in unexpected ways. I’d spent the last three years in school, learning everything I could at the culinary institute downtown.
I excelled in class, but I felt like life was parading in front of me in a twisted and cruel taunt. As the monotony of caring for first one ill parent and then another wore me down, I discovered that going to class made me feel twice as lonely heading home at the end of the day as I did in the morning. The people in my classes were working in real kitchens, earning their place already while I had to squeeze every moment of study I could into my day.
Eventually, I had to stop going to class and take care of my father. We couldn’t afford a nurse, or a nursing home. And I couldn’t’ bear the thought of him wasting away in a place like that while I sautéed mushrooms and made cream sauces for wealthy tourists.
I took care of my father, and every day I thought more and more about the Interstellar Brides Program advertisements. They assured their matches were ninety-nine percent successful. Those were crazy numbers since the divorce rates I’d heard quoted for regular Earth marriages were around fifty percent.
Ninety-nine percent sounded really damn good. And if I didn’t have to go on any more dates with guys like Robert, and I was guaranteed a guy that was perfect for me, then I was all for it. What the hell? I had nothing to lose.
Even if that guy was an alien.
“Hmm.” Warden Egara paced beside me, her dark brown hair up in a bun and her total attention on the tablet in her hand. She didn’t look happy anymore. She looked worried.
Maybe I was really, really broken. Maybe their system didn’t work on girls like me, stupid, scared virgins who had no idea what to do with a man, let alone an alien.
Oddly, that thought dried the tears immediately. Pain and loneliness I could deal with. Hope hurt a hell of a lot more.
“It didn’t work, did it? You couldn’t find me a match.” I sighed, tried not to let the disappointment make my voice quiver. “I knew it.”
“Knew what?” she wondered.
“That I’m broken, that there’s something definitely wrong with me when it comes to men.”
The warden offered me a sad little smile. Yeah, I was that pitiful. “Oh, no Alexis. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were worried. I should have spoken sooner. You have been matched.”
My heart skipped a beat and my eyes widened. “I have? Really?”
There was someone out there for me? Who was waiting for me right now?
“Really,” she repeated, now smiling fully.
“Who?” I knew I sounded breathy and excited, but I couldn’t help it. Today, the dream, was the first time I was hot for a guy. Ever. And I had no idea who he was, or where he was.
With a swipe of her finger over her controls tablet, the restraints retracted. I sat up, rubbed my wrists, although the hold hadn’t been too snug.
“All brides are matched to a planet first, then a mate. For you, and this is quite interesting, your genetic profile matched you to Everis.” Her shrewd gaze raked over me. “It seems you have met the special requirements that are very specific to that planet.”
“Oh? What kind of requirements?”
She tilted her head to study me. “Let me see your palm.”
I didn’t know which one, so I rolled my hands over, palms up so she could see both.
She frowned. “Strange.”
Once upon a time, a young girl was born into an average, working class family. The wee little girl, convinced she was not an average child but was, in fact, a fairy princess, longed to leave the mundane world behind and live her dreams. She grew up, went to school, and when she’d grown too big to wear tutus and tiaras in public without drawing unwanted attention, turned to writing down her fantasies instead.
Now a bit older, her fantasies have grown to include sexually dominant men who know how to ensure a woman’s pleasure. Grace believes all women should be treated like princesses, in the bedroom and out of it, and writes love stories where men know how to make their women feel pampered, protected and very well taken care of.
She currently lives in Oregon where she spends her days writing, and her nights in the arms of her very own Prince.