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The Golden Line

The Golden Line

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“Brutally delicious!” – Anna Zaires, New York Times bestselling author

I am possessive of my female, unrepentant in my need to take her from those who would dare keep her from my side.


Main Tropes

  • Omegaverse
  • Abduction/Rescue
  • Knotting
  • All The Filth
  • Sweet, Yet Full of Angst
  • Virgin Heroine
  • Possessive Hero
  • Love Conquers All
  • A Fulfilling HEA


“Brutally delicious!” – Anna Zaires, New York Times bestselling author

I am possessive of my female, unrepentant in my need to take her from those who would dare keep her from my side.

No warrior can match my brutality. But for her, I will be as gentle as a lamb.

I will be patient, shower her with gifts, draw her to me.

She’s afraid, so I will comfort her.

My mate will know nothing of the monster I really am.

Intro into Chapter 1

They were coming.

Gaping like a fish, Morgaine fell from sleep into agony. Wide eyes locked on the rugged ceiling beams above her cot. She couldn’t breathe. A great invisible force pressed down against her ribs, the unseen weight of a full-grown man crouching on her chest as if to tell her, stay.

Tongue tracing dry lips, she closed her eyes, counted to ten, and scrounged up the will to force her lungs to expand, contract, and expand again. Next, she worked to uncurl her cramping fingers—knowing it wouldn’t be long before they grew gnarled, muscles winding tight until each digit locked into place.

Waking in such misery could only signify one thing.

She didn’t have much time.

Morgaine had to hide. She had to get out of her bed, ignore the spreading fire shooting through each nerve, and find a place to suffer alone before they found her.

The horrors that haunted her dreams every eve of their arrival were nothing. The pain clawing through sinew and bones the closer they came was nothing. The feeling of being hunted, of hairs rising on the back of her neck, didn’t matter.

The deep-seated shame for what would happen should the hated ones find her… mattered greatly.

Morgaine would rather die. She could never abide their eyes on her, their hands.


Alphas approached. Close enough now that she couldn’t waste a precious second.

Season after season they infected her settlement—to look over their chattel, to drag away friends and loved ones who were never seen again. All colonists understood survival required a show of respect to the ruling invaders.

Never look them in the eye.

Should a foreign soldier approach, settlers were expected to go to their knees and prostrate themselves for inspection.

Never speak unless spoken to.

Those who argued, who fought... they were made examples of.

Morgaine had seen unspeakable things: whippings, brandings, executions.

They took whomever they wished. Older children, younger men and women—those the settlement needed most. They tore families apart. Pleading screams were a common song on the days the Alphas came to take.

Some even grew numb to it. Some looked away.

Others, like her, spent their years plagued by nightmares and regret. You could hear it in the settlement after dark, the hum of sad moans, the creak of neighbors tossing and turning as sweat soaked through their threadbare sheets.

Everyone carried the stain.

Her personal hell was the undying memory of her older cousin—how hard he had fought when massive soldiers seized him. She had been a frightened child of eight. The boy, her hero, had been only thirteen.

The last time she saw him he was calling for his mother, blood dribbling from a split lip. It took two of the soldiers to cart him away.

Morgaine’s aunt had been held down by her own people when she’d tried to intervene. The settlers had not done it to be cruel. They had done it to save her life.

Endless, awful months followed where her aunt wept for her stolen son. No amount of reimbursement had eased the woman’s despair. What was money when one’s only child was gone? When she knew she would never see him again?

If the Alphas marked you, there was no return. Ever.

No one knew what became of those they took, and any who dared to ask were silenced. Her aunt had been unable to hold her tongue the next season the Alpha invaders returned. Begging for news, the woman had run to the first soldier she’d found. He threw her off. She scrambled to another. As the story goes, it was the fifth, less patient brute who’d hacked out her tongue.

No son, no way to communicate… it was less than a year before she took her own life.

Morgaine would never let such suffering befall her mother. And there was one sure way to prevent it—she’d not let the beasts set eyes upon her since that morning they’d found her mother’s sister hanging from the rafters of her own humble cottage. Not when a coil in her gut warned that she would be taken next.

Terrible dreams and pain strong enough to freeze her muscles always came as warning that Alpha arrival was imminent. A blessing and a curse she dared not share. A secret of such magnitude… an unexplainable alarm that cautioned of their arrival? Should the Alphas learn of it, and find the settlement empty? Everyone would be hunted and punished… and she would be executed for insubordination.

No matter what she had to endure, she would never leave her mother desolate and alone.

No matter the agony or sickness or fear that descended with their ships.

Season after season, Morgaine had bested it. She had carried her secret into the woods and would do so again.

Yet that morning, her body was a twisting ball of agony, and she was almost unable to move.

Groaning, Morgaine threw her legs over the side of the bed. Braced against the cot, it took four tries before she was able to lift her torso. The movement of pitching forward sent each limb into a spasm, leaving the girl falling into a haphazard pile on the ground.

Fresh rushes muffled the thump of her collapse, but Morgaine tossed a frightened glance to where her mother softly snored nearby. Her graceless landing hadn’t disturbed the woman’s sleep, but the rising pained scream trying to rip its way out of Morgaine’s chest would.

Biting her tongue as the fresh wave of hellish fire churned her guts into knotted agony, Morgaine forced herself to be still and silent. Her mother slept on, rolling over to snore all the louder.

Blood-laced spittle dribbled from the corner of Morgaine’s mouth when she parted her teeth and dared suck in a breath.

It was imperative not to wake her mother, but by the spirits, she had to get out of their cottage before she gave herself away.

That way, the woman would not have to lie if questioned. That way, the responsibility would be squarely on Morgaine’s shoulders if her noncompliance was ever uncovered.

As if she too understood that some things were better left unsaid, after all these years, her mother had never questioned why Morgaine was conveniently gone when Alphas stole through the settlement—had no inkling that pain warned her child of the invasion.

It was Morgaine’s great shame to bear—for every time she fled, others were taken who might have found refuge if they’d only known to hide. But if she were to warn her neighbors, she would be exposed. Others would know there was something wrong with her, that she was a lawbreaker, and she knew in her heart that should an Alpha lay eyes on her...

…they would ruin her.

With her only aunt dead, her mother would be alone with no other family to comfort her.

If Morgaine were taken, who would know how to find toxic hicklim berries to make the lovely green-dyed fabric her mother was famed for sewing? Who would collect eggs and pluck the chickens? How would her mother survive alone?

Morgaine would chew her own arm off if it meant keeping the woman safe.

Boiling fever and excruciating pain? Morgaine deserved them for keeping her secrets. The good woman snoring in the corner did not.

A wave of nausea curled Morgaine’s tongue into a bowl. Gagging, she convulsed, watched the room grow darker, and was moments away from losing consciousness right there on the floor.  

The males had come closer. There was no time to waste.

Arms weightier than stone pushed a traitorous body to stand on shaky legs. Biting back another scream, she grabbed the first garment she could reach. Fingers twisted by cramps fumbled the laces of the gown, leaving it hanging indecently off her shoulders. There would be no boots. She could hardly lift a foot to move forward, stumbling one perilous step at a time until she reached the humble cottage’s only door.

The latch was maneuvered, her quiet retreat unnoticed in the gloomy morning hours.

Clawing for the nearest handhold, she braced against a neighbor’s dwelling to steady a body wracked with tremors and felt a trickle run down her thigh. She had wet herself.

And she couldn't care less.

Cold sweat and misty morning air did nothing to cool the fire crackling through flesh and bones.

Every cell in her body demanded that she just lay still and submit to her fate.

How many more seasons could she crawl without screaming before a neighbor found her sobbing in a ditch?

Already she’d chewed her tongue bloody, dug her fingernails into her palms until they bled. Anything it took to stay quiet.

The Alphas were close, the shooting stars in the sky a sign they descended through the atmosphere and would touch down in mere minutes. They’d be storming through the village before the sun rose, and should she be unable to move, they would find her while ransacking the settlement, convulsing beside a mud-splattered animal pen.

Pulling desperation around her like a comforting blanket, Morgaine forced her body forward another step.

It took her over an hour to stagger the short distance to the settlement’s boundary, another hour to lurch down the road to the nearest tree line.

No matter the wildlife, the forests were safe enough if one knew where to tread—safer by far than the massive warriors, with their vermilion armor, their weapons, and their cruelty. While the Alphas went shelter to shelter taking what they desired, Morgaine would collapse beyond their notice.

While they pillaged, she’d suffer alone.

She’d suffer a thousand days of agony for her mother. She’d suffer the guilt of watching other families grieve their stolen children upon her return.

And once the sun set, their ships bursting with stolen people and goods, the Alphas would have no reason to linger. They would leave. They always did. And her pain would end as it always did.

Morgaine only had to stay unseen for one day.

But freedom wouldn’t count if she were found writhing on the road.

A sharp turn to the right, and the grass’ morning damp began to weigh down her dragging skirts. Fabric caught on her ankles and sent Morgaine sprawling against a dogwood tree.

Ten paces from the stone path, she lay unable to move a single step further.

Under her body, the ground was mud, soggy with fresh water from the stream just out of reach. One sip, a mouthful of sweetness, she craved it more than life. But Morgaine could not move no matter how she strained.

Curled upon herself, the crackling agony traveled through bone and organs. Sobbing against the dirt, time lost all meaning—an eternity of fire in the center of the ugliest hell.

For hours she lay, fevered and ill, gnarled roots digging into her spine. Hours lost in pain.

And then the Alpha ships began to rise into the setting sun. One by one, dozens of vessels filled the sky and began to disappear beyond the atmosphere.

With them went the source of her torment.

Expanding her ribs in her first full breath since before the sun had risen, Morgaine twitched her fingers, then her toes—arms, legs, all movement slowly beginning to return. Damp with sour sweat, caked in drying mud, she crawled wild, unkempt, and exhausted toward the nearest source of comfort.

Trickling water was gulped by the mouthful. Hands and face rinsed clean of muck and crusted tears. There was nothing that could be done for her dress. Grass has stained it, sodden mud having smeared her mother’s fine embroidery.

Throat burning as if grated raw by sand, she told herself to get up.

Stomach sloshing, nauseated, Morgaine found her feet and let the tree at her back bear her weight until she might find the strength to walk home.

With a weak smile, she chanted a prayer for forgiveness.

The spirits did not listen.

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