Authors: Viola Grace
Tags: #Dragon, #erotic Romance, #Fantasy, #Paranormal, #Shapeshifter, #Science Fiction Opera
A librarian meets a dragon, and in the light of an alien world, his slow seduction wins over her cautious heart and keen mind.
Being invited into the Alliance was a shock for Kyna. She was wanted for an archivist assignment on a far-off world that needed her…specifically. Kee gets an implant that allows her instant access to generations of information, and she heads off to Jhenno for her new life in one of the most comprehensive archives in history.
When a co-worker tries to take her life, he forces the hand of her would-be suitor, and for the first time ever, Kee faces a dragon.
Jherin has been asleep for a few thousand years. He was thrown back in time to be at the right place at the right time to find his mate; he just missed the mark. When the mind of his mate begins to dim, he can’t spend time waiting for a long courtship.
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2014 Viola Grace
Cover art by Martine Jardin
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.
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Terran Times Second Wave
The library was silent except for the flipping of pages. Kyna read the study book for the Volunteer program and made notes for what she needed to work on.
Soft footsteps sounded on the marble and echoed in the room. She looked up and quickly tucked her tablet to one side as she got to her feet.
Two tall guards were flanking a smaller silvery man. They came straight toward her, and the small man with the huge dark eyes smiled politely. “Kyna Wenderson?”
She swallowed and nodded. The four people at the tables were watching with amazement.
“I would like to speak with you privately. Is there somewhere we can do that?”
Kyna nodded. “Just a moment.”
She picked up the phone and dialled the extension for the office. “Hiya, Lara. I need you at the desk. I have to take a meeting.”
Lara inhaled and Kee knew she was smoking. “I will be there in a minute.”
“As you like, but I am leaving the desk now.”
Lara protested, but Kyna hung up the phone and smiled at her visitors. “This way please.”
She snagged the conference room keys and led the way. She didn’t know why an alien had come to the public library, but she was definitely interested in finding out.
Sitting across from the first alien she had ever seen at close range, she folded her hands and smiled politely. “What can I do for you?”
“First, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Hembri, Recruiter Hembri.”
She bit her lip at the James Bond reference, and she put a polite expression on her face. “Pleased to meet you, Recruiter Hembri. What can I do for you?”
“Well, Kyna Wenderson, you have been recommended to us by one of the first Volunteers. Your analytical and data-management skills are in high demand, and since you have not come to us, we have come to you.”
She blinked. “Who recommended me?”
He looked around, “That is classified, but you will be able to discuss it with your sponsor when you come in for the aptitude assessment.”
Kee blinked, “I thought I had to fill out a form first?”
“Your sponsor had the form filled out for you.” He smiled and handed her a card. “This is the time set aside for your assessment. Does it suit your schedule?”
She looked at the card and blinked, it was for immediately after work. “I won’t be able to get there in time. The busses here suck.”
He smiled, showing shark-like teeth. “A driver will be here and he will bring you to the centre. Your sponsor has been most insistent, and she is not a woman to be gainsaid.”
Kee sat back, “You know I now have to come, just to find out who you are talking about.”
He nodded. “I am well aware of it, but I must ask. If you are a suitable candidate, why didn’t you apply for the first round?”
She smiled. “Easy answer. I wasn’t old enough before the deadline. The age issue was what held me back. I just haven’t gotten the nerve up to apply yet.”
“That has been taken care of.” He got to his feet. “Spend the next few hours trying to guess who it is that wants you in space.”
She rose in response and took the hand that he extended. His dark eyes widened, and he grinned again. “I am beginning to understand. I will see you in five hours.”
Recruiter Hembri left the library with his guards, and Kee sat back in the hard plastic chair. The card in her hand seemed to glow in her vision. It was her key to getting out and away from her boring and humdrum life. More to the point, it was her key to getting away from her family.
Few people knew about her stressed relationship with her family. She had five hours to either worry about who knew her so well or to create a plan for after she was accepted. Decisions, decisions.
She stood on the steps and clutched her backpack. The long, dark vehicle pulled up, and one of the guards she saw earlier got out and opened the rear door for her.
Taking the hint, she forced herself to go forward, one step at a time. She tucked herself into the car and buckled up. The guard and the driver checked on her before the doors were closed, and they were off.
She clutched her backpack and watched the trip through the city bring her closer to the Volunteer Centre. Kee became nervous when they passed it and progressed to a large office building nearby.
The driver pulled into an underground parkade and up to a security desk. The guard stepped out of the vehicle and opened Kyna’s door. “We have arrived.”
She breathed in and out before releasing the seatbelt and scooting to the edge of the seat. She stepped out with her sensible heels clicking on the pavement as the guard escorted her past the security desk and into the elevator.
He smiled in a friendly manner. “Relax. Nothing is going to injure you.”
Kee drew in another shaky breath. “I don’t know whether I am more nervous about being accepted or rejected.”
“You have already been accepted into the program or you would not be here. The rejection is all up to you.”
He was standing close and they were alone, so she asked, “What is your species?”
“Tival. We are Alliance affiliates. The Recruiters are mostly Ontex. They are the race that was instrumental for investigating your kind before the first official ships came in to offer your people the chance to join their ranks.”
“I see. Have your people been in the Alliance for a while?”
“We are not members of the Alliance. Our people cling to traditions that are not acceptable in the eyes of the Alliance.”
“Oh. Sorry.” She grimaced. “I apologise if it is a tender subject.”
“It is not. It is a fact, but it is something you need to be aware of. Not all races and species will be friendly toward you. To some, you are a curiosity, and to others, you are usurping what they believe to be their position.”
Kyna blinked and absorbed that little tidbit as the elevator halted and the doors opened. More security greeted her and her bag was searched while she was patted down.
Once she was cleared, the guard escorted her down a hall to a lush office overlooking the city.
Recruiter Hembri was waiting for her with a stack of files two feet high. “Could you put these in some sort of order?”
Kyna opened and closed her mouth quickly. “Um, sure.”
“Excellent. I will make the call to get you in touch with the one who sponsored you.” Hembri got up and left her alone in the office.
Kyna went to the desk and took the first file off the top. “Oh hell.”
The icons were not English but a collection of lines, pyramids and circles. She flipped through a few of the other folders and caught on to the pattern of the alien language.
She hummed to herself as she organized the folders.
It took her half an hour before she set down the pile and sat in one of the visitor chairs.
The moment she was finished, Hembri came in. He had a small tablet in his hand, and he smiled as he set it up in front of her. A familiar face was smiling up at her. “Hey, Kee.”
“Pandora Smythe. Of course it had to be you.” Kee relaxed when she recognized her friend.
“You have a talent for organization, Kee. There is always a demand for it in the Alliance Archives. I hear you passed your test with flying colours.”
“My test?” she looked at Hembri, but he was flipping through the files and smiling with delight.
“Yes, he said he was going to have you sort something. I am guessing that you did.”
Kee smiled. “I did. Where are you?”
“Oh, out and about. I have been helping with plans for the new moon base. They need an expert on human comfort, and we both know that it has been my job for years.”
She wasn’t wrong. Kee was one of her sources for the luxuries that the Terrans needed smuggled to them. She provided digital books, and she had one of the Alliance crystal generators at home to create the data crystals filled with libraries from home with books and music.
“Why did you put my name in, Pandora?”
“You need to get out and do your own thing, Kee. It is fine to be satisfied with life, but I want you to find joy in it. Life needs joy and you are not finding it, Kee. So, I am shoving you into a place where it finds you.”
“Thanks for that. What do I need to do?”
“Recruiter Hembri will walk you through the process, and then, you will be off and running. Do it, Kee. I will enjoy talking to you more frequently once you get away from home.”
Kee bit her lip. “If they will have me. I will try.”
“As long as you try, you will be endlessly closer than if you gave up. I look forward to hearing of your success.”
The screen went dark and Kee looked over to Hembri. “How did I do?”
“You are already qualified to archive on nineteen worlds off the top of my head, without any additional training or implanted languages. You will just need a quick physical and you can begin basic training.”
She nodded. “When can we arrange that?”
“The medical staff is waiting for you down the hall. You will get a suit fitted for basic training, and in a week, you can be in our training centre.”
He gave her another scary smile. “Do you have something better to do?”
She had to admit that she didn’t. “Fine. Which way to the medics?”
He chortled. “I will take you.”
She rose to her feet and nodded. “Then let’s get this over with.”
“Remember that mantra. You are going to need it.”
Ten days later, Kyna faced the rest of the Wenderson family in her living room. As usual, they had not left space on any of her own furniture for her.
Her sister, Teena, whined, “I thought you were going to have dinner ready for us.”
Kyna shook her head. “I never said that. I said I needed to speak with all of you and that I needed you here.”
“Well, I am hungry.”
Kyna sucked in a deep breath. “Tough.”
She looked at her parents, her two brothers and two sisters. “I have asked you all here so I can tell you something.”
Her mother looked at her hopefully. “You are pregnant?”
Kyna recoiled. “No. I am leaving. As of tonight, I am no longer going to be available to take you to appointments. Teena, you will have to beg money out of someone else. Terry, you have to break up with your own girlfriends. Anthony, the same goes for you and boyfriends. Lea, I am not going to be here for you to crash with when you are too drunk to go home, and, Dad, I am no longer going to cover for your fooling around on Mom. You are all going to have to get along without me.”
Her family was reeling with the effect of her last statement. They blustered, scowled at each other, Teena sobbed and Lara protested. The only one that looked at her and smiled was Terry. He nodded. “Where are you going?”
She reached for the hem of her standard bulky sweater and pulled it off over her head. She shucked out of her jeans and stood there in her lightly armoured bodysuit. She smiled at Terry. “I got a new job.”