“Changeling” is breaking soon and I can’t resist giving you another little peek. Enjoy!
“I’m only pointing out that we’re naturally drawn to each other,” Indar said. “And I could have sworn your culture was more than a little open-minded about sexual congress.”
“We are! What – now I’m a prude? Just because I’m not falling on my back for you?”
“Enough, Lizzie,” he said, raising his hand. “I’m not going to press my attentions on you. I can find that kind of companionship easily enough elsewhere. I just wanted you to realize what you were feeling. What we’re both feeling.”
“Thanks for the education,” she said sarcastically. “And I wouldn’t dream of standing in the way of your interplanetary conquests. While we’re down on the planet, feel free to help yourself.”
“We? I never said you were going.” Indar moved away from the portal, heading down the passageway to his quarters. He started to close the door behind him, but Lizzie was right there, pushing the door back.
“Oh no! You’re not leaving me up here twiddling my thumbs. I deserve some fresh air as much as you do.”
“It’s not fresh air. They’re domed. And you’re not going.”
Lizzie chewed her lip a moment. “This place is a way station for all sorts of humanoid life across the galaxy, right?”
“Yes.” He peeled off his shirt, selecting a new one from the drawer. “I’m about to get naked,” he said coolly. “So you may want to avert your eyes. You wouldn’t want me to think you were interested.”
“I didn’t mean to offend your obviously fragile ego,” she snapped. “Look, you’re going to another planet –”
“Moon,” he corrected.
“Moon. With its own research station. And you’re going to leave me here eating protein bars till you get back. Come on! Let me go with you.”
“It’s dangerous down there, I told you.”
“And I can handle myself. I’ve showed you.”
“You can handle me,” he said, raising one eyebrow. “If you try those tactics on any of the scum that inhabit the minefields on Leptis, you’ll end up with a very different result, I assure you.”
“Indar, please.” She took a deep breath, pushing her hand through her hair. “As one scientist to another…”
He crossed his arms, leaning back against the counter. “You’re going to have to give me some concessions.”
She was instantly on guard. “What do you mean?”
“I mean…I’m taking a significant risk bringing you along,” he pointed out. “Instead of being able to get quickly in and do what I need to do, I’ll have to be watching your back, as well. And since you’re a highly attractive female, that’s no small feat.”
She flushed at his compliment, but soldiered on. “I wouldn’t be any trouble.”
“On a moon where men outnumber women by a hundred to one, that’s just asking for trouble.”
“I’ll do whatever you need me to do,” she promised. “Please. You brought me all the way to outer space. Don’t keep me prisoner on a ship.”
He stared at her for a moment, considering. “Very well. I do have conditions.”
“First, you stay with me at all times. In fact, you need pretend to be my mate. It won’t stop all the men who’ll go after you, but it’ll help. Second, you don’t touch anything in the lab – I’ll explain why when we get there. And third…I want one simple admission from you.”
“Yes,” he said, setting his hands against the counter behind him. “I just want you to admit you feel it, too. You feel the pull.”
She rolled her eyes. “All right. I’ll stick by your side. I’ll play the little missus. At the lab, I’ll observe, but not touch.”
“And….?” There went that eyebrow again. He was serious. He wanted an answer.
She let out a sigh. “Okay. I feel it, too. But it’s simple biology, right? Don’t go reading into it.”
“A little? Or a lot?” he asked.
Lizzie turned and walked for the door. “I’m not answering that.”
“It’s more than a little, isn’t it?” he called out.
Keep watching this page – “Changeling” will be here soon!