Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The Carnathian Chronicles Begin!

 
NOW AVAILABLE!


Extinction could be only a breath away.

When life support engineer Lela Masters began her tour of duty on Deneb IV, she expected to help repair the massive, ancient machines that supply atmosphere to the habitat domes of the alien Carnathians. What she didn’t expect was to fall in love…twice.

Lela happily offers her heart to her two Carnathian lovers, but when fear turns their people against the humans who have always been their allies will she chose to help save their race from extinction even if it takes her final breath?




Sunday, April 05, 2015

Molten Desire - Chapter Ten

The final chapter!



 

Chapter Ten


 

By

Bernadette Gardner

 
The Next Day

Marley popped open a beer and dug her free hand into the bowl of Super Salty pretzels that sat on the couch between her and Paige. Her eyes were glued to the TV where footage of the Demolitioner’s demise played on every channel.

“Can you believe Retro Boy took out the Demolitioner with just one silver arrow? One shot, right through his black little heart. That man is my hero.” Marley fluttered her eyelashes and pressed a hand to her chest in admiration.

“I thought Molten Man was your hero this week.” Paige stared into the amber depths of her own beer bottle and wished for the power to disappear. Without her super suit, she felt incomplete and terribly useless. Like this, she could barely prevent a paper cut, far less rescue anyone.

“Well, yeah. The Big M is hot…” Marley laughed at her own pun. “But when you consider Retro Boy’s skill with long, pointy projectiles…”

Paige sighed. For Marley, nothing had changed. The city was safe from the Demolitioner, though he’d caused millions of dollars in damage. Talon and Gargantua hadn’t drowned when the dock collapsed, and the Daring Dozen’s headquarters hadn’t crumbled into the bay, except for the helipad which could be easily rebuilt.

Everything was status quo. Except for Paige.

She tensed when Dorothy Cromwell appeared on the screen in front of her.

“Now for a sad footnote to the triumphs of the day. It’s been reported by Molten Man and Invisa-Man that one brave superheroine lost her life to the Demolitioner’s nefarious plan.”

The picture of Paige standing shoulder to shoulder with Brad and Gargantua flashed on the screen behind Dorothy’s head.

“The Blue Dynamo, a rogue superhero best known for fearlessly racing to the aid of drivers trapped in the collapse of the cross-town overpass earlier today, lost her life fighting Demolitioner. A memorial service will be held at the headquarters of the Daring Dozen who plan to posthumously induct The Blue Dynamo into the Superhero Hall of Champions. May she rest in peace.”

A sad footnote! Paige stifled a sob in mourning for her super suit and her secret identity. Who would she be now? “Paige Weller, market analyst, rescuer of kittens” didn’t seem very interesting to her.

Marley sucked salt off another pretzel. “Tragic, but hey, if you’ve got to go, why not go in a blaze of glory? When my number’s up, you can bet I’d give anything to have all those super hunks weeping over my grave.”

“Marley…” Paige sighed. Why bother explaining now? The Blue Dynamo was gone, too late to come out of the closet, so to speak.

A knock at the door interrupted Paige’s next remark. She dragged herself off the couch to answer it.

“Hi. I’m glad to see you found some clothes, or maybe I’m not.” Brad’s sexy smirk did nothing to cheer her. She shuffled back a step and let him into the apartment.

Marley jumped off the couch. “So this is your prayer partner? Now I see why you say ‘Oh God’ all the time.”

Paige winced,and Brad blushed. “Brad, this is my friend, Marley, who’s leaving now.”

“You look familiar, hot stuff. Have we met?” Marley circled Brad, eyeing him like a side of beef. At least he hadn’t shown up dressed as Molten Man or Paige would never have gotten her out of the apartment.

“I don’t think we have.” Brad’s voice was deceptively neutral. Marley actually sniffed him.

“Love the cologne. Take good care of my girl, here. She’s been down in the dumps all day.”

“I will. It was nice meeting you.”

Paige pushed Marley out the door and locked it behind her. “Sorry about that. Men are like outfits to her. She’ll try on anything, and she doesn’t mind sharing.”

One of Brad’s eyebrows shot up. “Most of the guys I know would find those qualities very attractive.”

“But you’re different.” Paige finished his thought. She stood before him, hands on her hips, wishing she could just whirl away on the wind.

“Yes, I’m different.” He smiled and leaned close to her ear to whisper, “I’m Molten Man.”

Instead of laughing, Paige covered her face with her hands. “I miss my suit!”

“Ah…” Brad gathered her into his arms. “You know, I’ve been asking around, and I got a couple names of mad scientists who deal in isomorphics. You could probably have another one made.”

“Oh, yeah. Trust a mad scientist. Isn’t that how Invisa-Man got to be…Invisa?”

“Well, yeah, but it works for him. I was thinking we could design a heat suit for you, and you could become Molten Maid.”

Paige collapsed on the couch, sobbing. Brad sat next to her. “Okay, Molten Maiden? Hot Mama?”

Paige looked up, sniffled and gathered all her emotional strength. “Brad, you should go.”

“Go? Why?”

“I’m not a superhero anymore. I’m just regular and—”

“Oh, I get it. A regular girl isn’t good enough for me.”

She nodded. “I’ve been a hypocrite long enough. I don’t want to be a Super Groupie.”

Brad cupped her chin and kissed her, gently at first, then with determination that ignited Paige’s soul.

“Paige Weller fell into my arms, not the Blue Dynamo. It doesn’t matter to me if your secret identity is dead.”

Paige wanted to say it mattered to her, but at the moment, it didn’t. All that mattered was finishing what the Demolitioner had interrupted the night before.

She pulled Brad to her and straddled him. “This looks like a job for Molten Man,” she said and began ripping the buttons from his shirt.

“Sorry, ma’am,” Brad grabbed her hands and held them to his chest against the strong, steady beat of his heart. “Molten Man is off duty. Will you settle for a regular guy like Brad Compton?”

Paige locked eyes with Brad. “I don’t need to settle for Brad Compton. He’s exactly what I want.”

She dove in for a kiss and around them, despite the absence of her super suit, the wind began to swirl.

 THE END

  

sign up for news, updates and exclusive content at:

 


 


 

the complete .pdf, .mobi or .epub file of Molten Desire can be found in the Files section of the newsgroup.

 

Published by: Bernadette Gardner

copyright 2015 Bernadette Gardner

Cover art by BGD

Note: This story was previously published under the title:

The Adventures of Molten Man, No. 1. (Amber Quill Press, 2006).

This is a standalone story that has not been significantly altered from its original version.

 

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, brands, media and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.

 

Electric Romance Exclusive Edition

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold in whole or in part.

 

 


 


 

Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

* * * *

All rights reserved.  

 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Molten Desire - Chapter Nine


 

Chapter Nine


 

By

Bernadette Gardner

 

 All over the city, foundation blocks of major structures had begun to disintegrate. As it turned out, the overpass was a test of a weapon designed to crumble the city’s infrastructure brick by brick.

The Daring Dozen and a few other interested rogues had gathered on the waterfront where several buildings had begun to tilt on their dissolving foundations.

Paige had seen chaos before—the meteor shower of 2019 and the Seventh Dimension invasion of 2023 came to mind immediately—but she’d never seen the widespread panic this new weapon caused.

With buildings and bridges and aqueducts tilting and wobbling all over, the city looked like a house of cards caught in a stiff breeze.

Everywhere sirens blared. Evacuations had begun on a grand scale. She berated herself for considering staying home when the city needed all the help it could get.

She looked over at Brad, who stood a few feet away surrounded by his colleagues. With his orange mask in place and his heat-resistant gloves fastened around his wrists, he was all business.

“He calls himself The Demolitioner,” Retro Boy announced to the assembled group. “He’s threatened to topple every structure in the city unless we turn over every Superhero. He demands that we all surrender to him.”

Gargantua snorted, and DemiGog growled. “Surrender is never an option.”

Everyone agreed, but that still left them without a plan.

“What else do we know about Demolitioner?” Brad asked. “How is he dissolving the buildings?”

“He’s a small time thug from the other side of the river who just got his hands on a disintegration ray,” Talon replied. His golden claws glinted in the spotlights that shone down from the helicopters hovering overhead. “Once we find him, I’ll tear him to ribbons.”

“How do we find him?” Gargantua asked. He pounded one massive fist into the other.

Looks were exchanged and finally, Paige stepped up. “He’ll be someplace central and safe.” She pointed to the circling choppers. “Tell the guys up there to locate a building that still looks perfectly stable. That’s where we’ll find Demolitioner.”

Brad beamed at her. The others just gaped.

“Who’s she?” The Reaper asked.

“Do we know you?” DemiGog rumbled.

“I’m the Blue Dynamo. Nice to meet you.” Paige didn’t offer her hand, though. She put her fists on her hips and challenged the Daring Dozen with her sternest look.

“Let’s save the formal introductions for later,” Brad said. “I think she’s right. Retro Boy, can you contact the helicopter pilots?”

Retro Boy’s masked gaze lingered on Paige for a moment, then he adjusted his radio headset and made the call. Within minutes the sky was buzzing with rotary blades. Talon spread his golden wings and took off in a wide spiral search pattern as well.

“Nice work,” Brad whispered, leaning close. “The locker room will be buzzing about you later.”

Paige tossed her hair and adjusted her mask. “Let ’em buzz.”

*     *     *     *     *


Paige’s theory proved accurate, not that Brad had doubted her.

While Talon and Gargantua set up a phony surrender ploy at a spot on the docks, he and Paige and Invisa-Man managed to breach the Demolitioner’s hideout in an abandoned radio tower. Poised at the top of the tower, they found his disintegration ray with its targeting crosshairs trained on the flower shop that held the secret entrance to the Daring Dozen headquarters.

Brad reached for the controls, his hands heating in preparation to melt the disastrous device into a puddle.

“Wait.” Paige stopped him. “What about the buildings he’s already damaged? Is there a way to restore what’s been disintegrated?”

Brad checked the controls, but naturally the buttons and dials weren’t clearly marked. “It doesn’t look like it, but let’s check the manual just to be sure.”

She glared at him, and he instantly regretted his cheeky remark. “Go ahead then, do it your way.”

“Someone’s coming.” Invisa-Man’s voice echoed in the starkly furnished room. Surely if the Demolitioner had managed to escape from Talon and Gargantua, he’d figure out quickly enough that his stronghold had been compromised. The unconscious bodies of his less than competent minions littered the corridors leading up to his lair.

“Get behind me,” Brad said, adopting his Molten Man pose. With his hands outstretched, heat radiating from them, he prepared to take on Demolitioner.

Paige wanted to argue, but since the most she could do at the moment was mess up the villain’s hair, she had no choice but to obey.

The Demolitioner appeared in the doorway, a nondescript little man with a bald pate and middle aged paunch. He wore dirty overalls and carried a flat, black object that looked like an old fashioned television remote control.

He smiled at Molten Man and pointed the remote at the stylized flame on Brad’s chest, then tripped over Invisa-Man’s foot or leg, or some other body part and went sprawling across the floor.

“Not expecting a welcoming committee, were you?” Brad asked. He leapt forward and grabbed the control while Invisa-Man dragged The Demolitioner’s arms behind his back.

The little man laughed. “Oh, yes, Molten Man. You’ve got me right where you want me, don’t you?”

Brad held out the remote control in one hand, and Paige watched it sag at the ends. Finally he squeezed it into a handful of plastic pulp.

The Demolitioner laughed harder.

“Lock him up,” Brad said to Invisa-Man. “I’m going to destroy his machine now.”

“Too late, too late! That remote you crushed was a disintegration bomb. It’s flooding this room with disintegration rays as we speak.”

Brad dropped the dripping handful of sludge as his heat resistant gloves fell apart.

“Is it getting drafty in here?” Invisa-Man asked. Across the room the windows seemed to waiver in their frames, then holes appeared in the glass like Swiss cheese. Above them, the ceiling began to dissolve.

“But you’re in this room, Demolitioner. Why would you destroy it while you’re standing here?” Paige asked. She had to create a slight whirlwind beneath her feet to hold herself up as the linoleum floor began to sag and pit.

Demolitioner only laughed harder. “It won’t dissolve organic matter. I won’t be injured, but the building will collapse, killing you all, just like the dock collapsed with Talon and Gargantua on it.”

“I don’t believe you,” Brad said. “Besides, how can you escape this room before it disintegrates?”

In response, a pair of wings sprouted from the folds of the man’s coverall and even with his hands bound behind his back by Invisa-Man’s invisible rope, the Demolitioner managed to hover above the floor.

“I’ll just fly away, which is more than any of you can do. And just so you know, I planted another one of these in the Daring Dozen headquarters where I work as a janitor. It should be crumbling the building into the bay right about now. I figured you superheroes would try to trick me, but I anticipated your every move.”

Chunks of ceiling began to fall as the building disintegrated from the top down. Brad felt the draft Invisa-Man had mentioned and realized his suit had developed a series of widening holes. In moments, he was naked. At least their bodies wouldn’t disintegrate.

“I’m naked!” Invisa-Man said. “Oh, and so is she!”

Brad turned. Paige stood next to the abandoned disintegration ray, scraps of her isomorphic suit dropping around her bare feet, leaving her powerless.

“Close your eyes,” Brad told Invisa-Man as he scooped Paige up into his arms.

“I can’t not look, my eyelids are invisible, too, you know!”

Brad ignored Invisa-Man’s protest and raced toward the door with Paige.

The Demolitioner fluttered above them, naked also except for his bat-like wings.

“What about him?” Paige asked.

“We’ll catch up to him later. A naked, ugly bat shouldn’t be hard to find.” Brad headed down the crumbling stairs, worried only that he wouldn’t get Paige to safety before the building fell. He looked at the Demolitioner’s minions and realized he couldn’t leave them to die in the rubble either. There had to be a way to save everyone.

He put Paige down and looked around. Using his powers, he began forming a river of molten steel using the buildings girders that were now visible through the crumbling walls. The river formed a metal bridge all the way to the ground.

While Paige—and he assumed Invisa-Man—watched, he melted through a water pipe in the wall and used the spray to cool the molten metal. When the steam cleared, the three of them began rolling the bodies of Demolitioner’s minions down the newly formed slide to safety. Finally, with Paige in his arms again, Brad jumped on the slide himself.

When they reached the bottom, he set Paige on her feet. “Go home. It’s too dangerous for you out here without your suit.” A moment later, he and Invisa-Man sprinted off for Daring Dozen headquarters.


*     *     *     *     *


Paige watched them go, or at least watched Brad and a pair of receding footprints she could only assume belonged to Invisa-Man. Naked, she could do nothing more to help. Without her suit, it would be a long, chilly walk home.
 

Stay tuned for the Final Chapter…


 “When my number’s up, you can bet I’d give anything to have all those super hunks weeping over my grave.”

 Posted here next week!


Can’t wait to read the ending now?

 

sign up for news, updates and exclusive content at:

 


 


 

the complete .pdf, .mobi or .epub file can be found in the Files section of the newsgroup.

 

Published by: Bernadette Gardner

copyright 2015 Bernadette Gardner

Cover art by BGD

Note: This story was previously published under the title:

The Adventures of Molten Man, No. 1. (Amber Quill Press, 2006).

This is a standalone story that has not been significantly altered from its original version.

 

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, brands, media and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.

 

Electric Romance Exclusive Edition

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold in whole or in part.

 

 


 


 

Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

* * * *

All rights reserved.  

 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Molten Desire - Chapter Eight

 

Chapter Eight


 

By

Bernadette Gardner

 


Brad didn’t bother changing out of his costume after the rescue. He refused Retro Boy’s offer of a lift home and took the subway to Paige’s section of town.

He signed a few autographs along the way and posed for a touristy picture on the corner of her street before ducking into the back alley and climbing the fire escape to her bedroom window.

She pulled the shade closed when he knocked on the frame.

“Paige. I can melt the glass,” he said.

“You wouldn’t,” she responded, her voice muffled.

“I would.”

“Why didn’t you tell me you were Molten Man?”

“For the same reason you didn’t tell me you were the Blue Dynamo.” If this was going to be a battle of female logic, Brad had no doubt he’d lose. He recalled Will’s admonishment from earlier. It’s not called a secret identity for nothing. If he hadn’t detected the faint but achingly familiar scent of magnolias, he might not have known Paige was the Blue Dynamo.

“Don’t be smug.” She pulled the curtains aside and glared at him. “Were you undercover yesterday in the alley?”

“I was on my way home from headquarters. What about you? Was that ‘rescue me’ thing all an act? The Blue Dynamo could have floated to safety on a current of air.”

Paige sighed and opened the window a crack. “Yes, she could have, but Paige Weller can’t.” She pulled what looked like a blue tinted ice cube out of the pocket of her bathrobe and showed it to him. Brad reached under the window frame and snatched the object from her palm. It was a lot heavier than it looked.

“What’s this?”

“Super compressed isomorphic fabric. It’s my super suit. The source of my powers. I usually carry it in my purse, but yesterday, I forgot it.”

“Cool. I have to keep mine in my locker at headquarters. Do you think it comes in orange?” He handed the cube back to her. “This doesn’t go very far toward explaining why you don’t date superheroes.”

“It doesn’t? I figured it would be obvious. I’m not really a superhero. I just have a suit.”

“So?” Brad shrugged. “Can I come inside? It’s chilly out here.”

“Molten Man is cold?”

Brad gave her a look. She backed up, and he folded his body through the open window and stepped carefully into her bedroom.

“You redecorated.”

Her smile was brief, but genuine and tinged with a sexy blush. “You noticed.”

He had, especially since there was easier access to the bed, but that wasn’t the point of this conversation. “Pleasantries aside, it’s not the suit that makes you a superhero. It’s how you use it.”

“Are you going to give me the speech about power and responsibility, too?” She folded her arms over her chest and smirked.

“No. But I still want to know what you have against super men, Ms. Dynamo.” He mimicked her pose.

“I guess I’m selfish. I know how hard life as a superhero can be, and I’m just small time. I guess I wanted someone I don’t have to share with the world.”

“But he’d have to share you?”

“Yes.” She glared again. “I know it’s wrong. How can two people who are always flying off to save the world have any time to spend together?”

Brad contemplated that. She had a point, sort of. “We’re together right now.”

Paige’s gaze dropped, and she bit her lower lip. “You know, that dorky suit leaves nothing to the imagination.”

He gave her a dark look. “You could imagine all the things I’d like to do to you.”

“What do you suppose will happen if Molten Man and the Blue Dynamo get it on?”

Brad made a show of inspecting the bedroom walls. “This is an old building. How’s your catastrophe insurance?”

“All paid up.”

“All right then, masks on or off?”

“How about on?” Paige tossed the clear blue cube of her costume into the air. In the blink of an eye she’d shed her robe, and with the merest flash of naked skin, she stood before him in her tight blue outfit, poised for action.

“Do you have panties on under that short little skirt?” he asked.

She threw herself on the bed. “Come find out, hot stuff.”

“Don’t you mean, find out and come?”

“That, too. Get over here and melt my heart, Molten Man.”

Brad landed next to Paige on the mattress and captured her in his arms. She writhed beneath him. The satiny isomorphic fabric of her suit made her lithe body slippery and cool. He burrowed under her skirt, his fingers searching. A narrow thong was all the stood between him and ecstasy. He pulled the scrap of fabric aside and stroked her clit to quivering attention.

There’d be no tearing this costume off. He’d have to peel her like a grape and devour her in sweet little bites.

She arched under him. “Do it, Brad, put your fingers inside me. I want you to feel how tight I am for you.”

He obeyed, easing his way in. The feel of hot flesh closing around his fingers made his cock instantly hard. His erection pushed against the fabric of his own suit, reminding him there wasn’t much room for expansion. He’d need to strip before he ripped an invisible inseam.

“How’d you get so hot so fast?” he asked, angling his thrust to hit her G-spot. She gasped and bucked against his hand, the scent of magnolias mixing with that of her arousal. “Were you thinking about me? Did you come home and strip off your suit and think of me inside you?”

She nodded, breathless from pleasure.

“Even though you were angry, you wanted me, didn’t you?”

“God, yes!” She fisted her hands in the rumpled bed sheets and spread her damp thighs wider for him. “Yes, I wanted you, even though I—”

“Damn!” Brad’s head dropped. He shut his eyes and sighed, wishing he could block the incessant beep of his Daring Dozen pager from his mind.

Paige levered herself up on her elbows. “Why is your ass beeping?”

“It’s an emergency.” Reluctantly, Brad slid his fingers from Paige’s ready heat. He reached around with his other hand to the hidden pocket in his suit and pulled out a paper thin pager card. The LED display showed 911 and a location code. “I have to go.”

Paige sat up, blinking. After a quick adjustment of her disheveled thong, she smiled. “I’ll be here all night. Why don’t you come back after…?” Artificial cheerfulness masked the resignation in her voice.

“Why don’t you come along? We can always use an extra hand.”

“I know the Daring Dozen by-laws frown on tag-alongs, especially rogue supers. Legalities and all.”

Brad rose and performed his own adjustments. Unfortunately his suit really didn’t hide much. “Come on, it’ll be fun working together again. Tonight was great. You can’t deny we make a good team. We move like…”

“Lovers?”

Brad’s cock jumped at the word and his heart clenched a little. Exactly. “Yeah.” The pager beeped again, and he headed for the window where he snaked one leg under the open sash and held his hand out to Paige.

She hesitated only a split second, then took his hand. “Legalities be damned. Let’s go save the world.”
 

Stay tuned for Chapter Nine…


 Across the room the windows seemed to waiver in their frames, then holes appeared in the glass like Swiss cheese. Above them, the ceiling began to dissolve.

 
Posted here next week!

 
Can’t wait to read the whole story?

 

sign up for news, updates and exclusive content at:

 


 


 

the complete .pdf, .mobi or .epub file can be found in the Files section of the newsgroup.

 

Published by: Bernadette Gardner

copyright 2015 Bernadette Gardner

Cover art by BGD

Note: This story was previously published under the title:

The Adventures of Molten Man, No. 1. (Amber Quill Press, 2006).

This is a standalone story that has not been significantly altered from its original version.

 

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, brands, media and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.

 

Electric Romance Exclusive Edition

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold in whole or in part.

 

 


 


 

Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

* * * *

All rights reserved.