Tasmin Robins has worked hard to earn her coveted diplomatic internship on the mysterious imperial world of Aurora. Driven and smart, though occasionally impulsive, Tas has a ten-year plan -- and it doesn't include love.
When Tasmin risks her life to save a stranger, she has no idea her sacrifice will leave her fate entwined with the most powerful man on Aurora -- DeMarcus Le'JeMur, Prince of the Stars and Ruler Of The Seven Kingdoms, ruler of the planets under Aurorian control.
When DeMarcus impulsively declares he owes Tasmin a life debt, she must convince the Imperial Council to grant them both their freedom. But after a night of erotic delights with the sexy alien, will she be able to let him go?~~~Excerpt~~~This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.
"Stay down!" Tasmin Robins pulled the man at her side behind the large refuse bin. He was wearing a baseball cap pulled low on his face and sunglasses, hiding his expression.
Screams from her fellow humans made the usually quiet terminal chaotic. Glistening metallic and marble surfaces usually made the shuttle port's loading dock feel orderly and sterile in an utterly comforting way, reminding her of her home back on Earth. Now the shining surfaces reflected laser fire from a source she couldn't pinpoint.
Ball cap guy tried to stand up again. Her hand was small, but she managed to snag a substantial handful of his oversized blue sweatshirt. She yanked sharply, pulling him back down. His faded blue jeans made a small tearing sound as the rip over his right knee widened.
"Je'L afremtal," he cursed in a language she hadn't expected to hear.
"You aren't from Earth. Why are you here? These ships are for Earth Embassy personnel only." Tasmin did her best to stop glaring at the interloper. He wasn't the first, and certainly wouldn't be the last, to try to score a free ride to Earth.
"You know nothing." With his heavily accented comment, he managed to convey a rude superiority she found instantly irritating.
"I know you're going about visiting my home planet the wrong way. It's gotten a lot easier to get a visa now. Only a criminal would need to sneak onboard an embassy flight," Tasmin hissed.
She paused, her eyes round and her mouth forming a subtle Ohh. "Are they shooting at you, specifically?" she whispered, hearing the horror in her own voice upon realizing she was hiding from an unseen gunman with his probable target.
"Yes, but not because I am criminal." The man's English was good, but not perfect. "Stay down, woman!" He abruptly crouched and began to move to the left, around the corner.
Tasmin saw the red dot on his back. The shooter had his laser fixed on the Aurorian. Without thinking about the consequences of her reckless action, she sprang forward, pushing the man down. Pain radiated through her middle. A gasp escaped her lips as she fell. Lying on the cold marble floor, she saw a red trail creeping across the smooth white marble in front of her face.
Blood. Her blood. Transfixed at the sight, she lay quietly while chaos erupted around her. Tasmin felt cold. Strangely, she could hear screaming and shouting, but no more shots. Blinking, she cleared the moisture from her eyes. They'd watered, but she wasn't crying. Weak tears weren't in her nature. She hurt too much to move. All she could do was listen.
"Je'L huten le grubi Me'L?"
She tried to make sense of another male voice. He, too, spoke in Aurorian. This part of the terminal was human only. Why so many aliens in the restricted area? she wondered through the haze of pain. Her fuzzy mind strained to translate. She'd studied hard when she learned she was coming to Aurora for her internship. She spoke the language better than some of the long-term personnel. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Focus.
"My prince, are you hurt?" She was almost positive she'd translated correctly.
My Prince? It can't be.
Medical staff began to swarm around her.
"Leheck leheim ge ha Je'L Velhum." See to the woman, your prince has commanded it.
The Star Prince. I can't believe it.
The paramedics murmured humbly at their liege. More aliens where they shouldn't be. She could see the boots of both human and Aurorian soldiers swarming around him, protecting the valuable man.
She saw her reflection in the mirrored door across from where she'd fallen. Her long auburn hair lay tangled around her. She could see it absorbing some of her pooling blood. Her normally fair completion was ghastly white. She already looked dead.
Tas could see her charred wound, and her internal organs. She stared into her own big brown eyes, unable to look any lower. Her wound was horrifying, survival unlikely. Her mother and sister would be so sad. I just wish I could tell them I'm sorry.
"Tetung Valumspar. Hejar L' Vomek." I owe her a life debt. She belongs to me.
What he'd said didn't frighten her because she didn't think she'd live long enough to worry about the consequences of his proclamation. She couldn't hold on any longer. Even with the realization that she'd just saved the life of the Star Prince, the most powerful man in all of Aurora, the man who ruled the seven kingdoms, she couldn't keep her eyes open. Her lashes fluttered. Darkness overcame her and her mind shut off.
* * *
The sound of dripping woke Tasmin from her deep, dreamless sleep. She forced her blurry eyes open. Her mouth felt as dry as dust. The window was open and a slight breeze ruffled the gauzy pale peach curtains. The walls were the same shade. Her body hurt. Turning away from the window, she noticed a large bank of medical monitoring equipment, all of it Aurorian design. She could tell she wasn't in a hospital, but there was nothing in the small room to indicate where she actually was.
"Oh... ow... ouch, fuck," she muttered, forcing herself to sit up in the bed. On the wall across from her sat a long table filled with bouquets, rows of them. They also covered the floor under the table. Many looked wilted, and it made her wonder just how long she'd been out of commission.
Looking down, she noticed the huge hole in her body was gone. She wore a sheer light nightie in a color she'd never seen on Earth. The only way to describe it was blue with a dark pink sheen. There was more to the color, but she just didn't have any reference on Earth to describe it. She felt a sensation akin to joy just looking at the way the garment shimmered, reflecting the light. Many colors and scents on Aurora were so multidimensional that they actually caused physical reactions in humans.
The style of her scant clothing reminded her of something a sexy genie might wear. Blushing, she couldn't help but wonder who'd dressed her in the garment. Moreover, how many people had seen her naked, unconscious body?