Authors: Jordan Summers
Thank you Bree for working so tirelessly on getting my Atlantean series together and released. Thanks to
Julie T. who is a terrific critique partner. In addition, thank you Allie for listening.
Cassandra stared out the small viewing hole, watching stars and distant galaxies go by. The blackness
was comforting, like a favorite outfit or a baby’s toy. She’d longed for this moment since the day her
people had left Earth.
Unlike the majority of the Atlantean people, Cassandra had wanted to explore outside of their jungle
borders, experience the rest of what Earth had to offer. After meeting Queen Rachel, she’d become
positively fascinated by humans. If her queen was indicative of a human female, what were the males
like? Cassandra knew they couldn’t all be molded in the form of the professor.
She would have left her people long ago if it hadn’t been for the fact that Atlantean warriors watched
Atlantean women like hungry raptors protecting their kill, not allowing them to wander too far out of their
sight. Cassandra understood the reasons, but knowing this hadn’t curbed her wanderlust.
The stars twinkled like the fireflies that used to swarm in the balmy jungle. She pressed her hand against
the tiny window, remembering the simple joy she’d gotten from chasing the glowing bugs around,
capturing them, only to release them once again.
Cassandra glanced at the amazing looking warrior beside her. Orion was one of the few she hadn’t
dallied with. Out of sheer boredom, she’d chosen to share company with several of the warriors on
Zaron. They’d served their purpose at the time. Perhaps if the trip was long enough and they got
She quickly dismissed the thought.
She’d heard rumors about the striking warrior, some of which had certainly piqued her curiosity, but not
enough to act on it. He was, after all, an Atlantean warrior, first and foremost. Moreover, Orion was not
her true-mate which, from the looks of his body, was a pity. Her gaze caressed his muscled form,
focusing on the impressive bulge filling his pants.
As if sensing her gaze on him, Orion turned. The impact of his dual-colored eyes, one jade and one aqua,
knowingly assessing her told Cassandra without words he’d read her thoughts.
. He smiled.
I’m not interested in you either, and I think I can contain my boredom until we reach Earth.
simmered in his voice.
Cassandra laughed. His candor was refreshing. It was just a thought, not a proposition. I’m looking for
And you think you’ll find it in an Earthling?
Orion flicked switches, transferring fuel into their reserve tanks.
Where is it you wish me to take you
once we reach the planet?
I’ve longed to see the ocean again.
Cassandra sighed, picturing the blue-green water with its white
foamy crests, gently lapping at a sandy shore.
Queen Rachel has told me I might enjoy a place called
Orion frowned and punched another button, bringing up holographic maps of planet Earth.
she say this place is located?
The same piece of land you need to be on to find Brigit.
Cassandra stared at the swirling map, her
eyes widening as she saw how close the water was to this California place. If she reached out she could
almost touch the wetness, feel the refreshing spray on her face. She resisted the urge to touch the spot on
the map that held so many possibilities for her.
What do the glowing lights represent on the map?
He pointed to a spot on the east coast of the North American continent.
The brighter the
light, the more populated the area.
Cassandra stared entranced as the colonies lit up like the stars, each one glowing brighter than the next.
One stood out, far outshining the rest.
I want you to take me there.
Orion glanced, then pressed a button to draw closer to the spot she’d pointed to.
The place you wish to
visit is called Los Angel es .
Cassandra smiled. “Los Angeles,” she murmured aloud, testing the name on her tongue. The words
rolled off, easing past her lips like a gentle kiss. Her skin prickled, leaving gooseflesh behind. This was
the place. The place she’d begin her search. Even the name left a shiver of excitement shimmying up her
Queen Rachel has said you will need something called money. I have researched this item. It is what the
humans use to barter with, in exchange for goods and food.
Do we have any of this…money?
Yes. The replicator has managed to reproduce a travel sack full of the stuff. You should have more than
enough for what you need. I’ve also taken the liberty of placing a deciphering unit in your sack. You’ll be
able to find any meaning or item by just thinking about it. It should help when it comes to talking to the
Orion pressed a panel to his side, which had been all but hidden from view seconds ago. He pulled out a
metal device Cassandra had never seen before.
What is that?
A communication device. He flipped a switch on the side of the thin rectangular object and a tiny screen
appeared. If you need assistance or are ready to come back home, just flip this switch and hold the
device next to your head. It will pick up your thoughts, in the same way we’re having this conversation,
and transport you to the ship. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of space, because the device is
powerful enough to transport the objects around you.
Cassandra nodded and reached for the device. Orion pulled it just out of her reach.
Are you sure, you want to do this? ‘Tis not too late to change your mind. His voice was serious and held
more than a little concern.
Cassandra forced a smile. Inside she was terrified. She’d never been away from her people—ever.
Nevertheless, she was absolutely sure this was what she wanted, so she swallowed her fear and faced
I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life.
He stared for a few moments, his gaze assessing, deciding. Cassandra held her breath waiting, praying
that whatever he could see in her face would be enough to allow her this time of discovery.
Finally, he nodded.
California it is.
* * * * *
They landed without incident two days later. Cassandra had never seen so many lights in all her life. It
was as if the stars had fallen from the sky and lay like a blanket upon the hillsides, shining, twinkling,
beckoning to her. She’d asked Orion to drop her near the water. In her black flight suit, with her blonde
hair braided down her back, Cassandra watched as the first rays of light hit the ocean, illuminating its
She took a deep breath, and inhaled the salty air into her lungs. Tears of joy burned behind her eyelids. It
was as beautiful and awe inspiring as she’d remembered. The waves rolled in, lapping at the beach, their
gentle roar like music to her Atlantean ears. She hugged her sides and just breathed. The peace that had
eluded her so easily on Zaron engulfed her here. The muscles in her tense shoulders relaxed. She slipped
her boots off and dug her toes in the sand, flexing and releasing the grainy substance.
The humans were beginning to awaken. A few had stumbled onto the beach, shattering the tranquility of
the moment with their huffing and puffing. Cassandra had no idea why they were running. From what she
could see, no predator chased them. Obviously one of the strange behaviors they naturally displayed.
Dressed in baggy clothing, a few glanced her way, eyeing her flight suit.
After they’d left, Cassandra reached into the sack and rummaged around until she’d located her
deciphering unit. She needed to find a place to stay, since the beach was not an option. She held the unit
next to her head, much like how the communication device worked, and then pictured the object she
wanted to locate.
The device hummed a second later, flashing the words, hotel and motel across the screen. Ah, shelter
was in a hotel or motel.
. Cassandra had no idea which direction to travel in, so she decided
to follow the next human who ran past.
She gazed at the shoreline, waiting, but it appeared she was alone. Cassandra glanced at the water once
more, the vast openness calling to her, daring her to enter its depths. She stood. There was no sense
resisting what was inevitable. Stripping off her flight suit, she faced the ocean. Her naked flesh puckered
under the cool air, relishing its cold-fingered touch.
Cassandra raced into the surf with a reckless abandon that harkened back to her childhood. The cool
water momentarily took her breath away. The water near Atlantis had been warm year around. It took
Cassandra a couple of minutes to adjust to the change. The frothy brine lapped at her skin as she dove
headfirst into an oncoming wave.
* * * * *
Buzz Rittner jogged harder on the wet sand. Anger surged through him as he recalled his commander’s
You will take your leave, effective immediately.
He figured he was the only Ground Training
Officer at the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar ever forced into a leave.
Well that wasn’t exactly true, he had been commanded, but the leave was permanent. At least that’s
what the early retirement papers he’d received yesterday had said. He’d immediately phoned his sister
Carrie for support. She was the only woman in his life that he trusted. Unfortunately, this time Carrie’s
advice had mirrored the military’s.
He growled in frustration and ran harder, ignoring the pain and slight weakness that now accompanied his
workouts. At forty-three, he considered himself in prime physical shape.
Just not good enough to go
back into space, after exposure to radiation poisoning.
The little voice inside his head whispered. It
had been the fucking kiss of death to his career.
Buzz knew his attitude of late hadn’t been the best. Frustration did that to a man. He knew he was a
tough man to train under, but he hadn’t thought he’d been that bad.
Asking him to leave had probably tickled the commander pink. The bastards had finally gotten rid of their
damaged goods. Damn them all!
He pushed on, eating up miles on the sand. Malibu was gorgeous this time of the morning, no people,
only sand, ocean--and the naked blonde who’d just broken through the surf in front of him.
Where in the hell had she come from?
Buzz came close to tripping when she turned her head to stare at him with those striking blue eyes of
hers. Still quite a few yards away, he knew there’d been no mistake. Her eyes were the brightest blue
he’d ever seen, the color of the ocean when he’d viewed it from space.
He glanced over his shoulder to ensure there wasn’t another runner behind him. Nope. It was just the
two of them, completely alone. Every muscle in his body tightened as he neared what he could now see
was the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on.
His gaze traveled down the length of her, taking in her slim waist and perfect navel, before zeroing in on
her world-class breasts. Her rose-colored nipples alone were enough to give him erotic dreams for a
She didn’t have movie star looks like most of the women in Los Angeles. Hers was an earthy beauty,
one that didn’t need makeup or surgery to create. She had a wide, full mouth that held a hint of color he
knew instinctively had not come from a tube. Her height was impressive, damn near six feet, give or take
an inch, if where the surf hit her was any indication. Buzz was suddenly glad he had reached six foot four.
She was lush, her curves round and firm, made for exploring. The woman was like sex on a stick, just
waiting to be devoured by the right man.
Buzz’s cock leapt to attention. Thank God for baggy sweats. He debated whether to stop as he got
closer, but the truth was, the last thing he needed was an entanglement. He had enough problems without
adding a woman, albeit a beautiful naked woman, into the mix. But damn, he was tempted—oh, so
“Down, boy,” he muttered to himself as he passed the woman, giving her a quick nod and a flash of a
Seemingly unbothered by her state of undress, the woman’s eyes lit up as she warmly returned his smile.
Buzz’s heart did a little flip in his chest. He ignored it and pressed on. She probably recognized him from
his cereal box cover. Buzz frowned. He hated the fact that he missed the attention and that one look from
her had kicked his libido into high gear. The latter made him all the more determined not to wait around
for her to get out of the water.
Buzz prided himself on being a noble guy, but one look at her silky pussy and he knew all bets would be
off. There was only so much temptation a guy could take before caving.
It was a few moments before Buzz realized the woman was following him. Her soft footfalls were
near-silent against the crash of the surf. It had been the sensation of being watched that had tipped him
off. He glanced over his shoulder. Sure enough, the woman trotted behind, now dressed in a black
skin-tight outfit with a sack thrown across her back, easily keeping pace with him. Buzz’s muscles
tightened, his heart rate doubled. Her effect on him was like a kite trying to fly in a tornado. He broke out