Victoria and the Alien Doctor (Intergalactic Brides 2), page 1
Victoria and the Alien Doctor (Intergalactic Brides 2)
Jessica Coulter Smith
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Copyright ©2015 Jessica Coulter Smith
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Table of Contents
Victoria and the Alien Doctor (Intergalactic Brides 2)
Jessica Coulter Smith
Victoria and the Alien Doctor (Intergalactic Brides 2)
Jessica Coulter Smith
Doctor. Hero. Alien.
Time is running out. Victoria Mathers has tried everything. Her daughter has a rare cancer that hasn’t responded to any of the treatments human medicine has to offer. If she can’t convince the sexy alien doctor to help her, she knows she’ll watch her child die. Victoria will do anything to save her daughter, even if it means bonding with an alien for the rest of her life.
Per Earth’s rules, Xonos isn’t allowed to treat humans, unless they’re one of the new human-alien pairs. However, looking at the small human child who is obviously suffering tears at his heart. It’s been his life’s work to save people, and he isn’t sure he can stand by and watch an innocent child die when he might be able to help.
What starts as a simple arrangement quickly turns into something more as Xonos and Victoria grow closer. It isn’t long before she realizes that she yearns for his touch and she wants so much more from him than he may be willing to give. Love was never mentioned when they struck their bargain, but now she’ll settle for nothing less.
Xonos felt his frustration building. The entire situation was a mess, but it was out of his hands. When he’d asked to transfer to Earth, he hadn’t realized his healing abilities would be restricted. Earth’s government had been adamant that he only treat Terran patients. Terran. What a laugh. His planet had chosen the name to make them seem more human and less of a threat. His planet’s true name was Zelthrane-3, but once lifeforms similar to his people had been discovered on Earth, a rather primitive planet, they had studied every aspect of Earth and its inhabitants. It was discovered through extensive research that Earth women would be viable for carrying Zelthranite babies, so his planet’s ruling council had then changed Zelthrane-3 to Terran, in the hope it would put the humans at ease when contact was made.
“Please,” the woman begged. “None of the treatments available on Earth have been able to cure her, or even slow down the progress of the disease. I know you can help her.”
Xonos looked at the small child clutched in her arms. The little girl was deathly pale, as if she’d succumb to her disease at any moment. Her hair was thin and brittle, her body nearly skeletal. Xonos’ heart ached when he looked at her, knowing it was within his power to ease her suffering even if he couldn’t save her, yet being unable to because of diplomatic bullshit. It wasn’t the first time Victoria Mathers had come to plead for his help, and definitely not the first time he’d noticed her, but it was the first time she’d brought her daughter. Eyes that should have been full of life stared at him with a tired acceptance that no child should feel.
“I wish I could help you, truly I do, but your government is adamant that I not treat human patients. If she was half-Terran, or even related to one of the human-Terran pairs, then I could do something.”
“I applied to be a bride in the exchange program, but they turned me down.” Victoria licked her lips and shifted the frail body in her arms. “They claimed none of your warriors would want to be saddled with a sick child.”
“You need to understand that I can’t cure everything. One of our captains recently lost his mate. Her cancer had spread too rapidly. As sick as your daughter is, it’s possible I wouldn’t be able to help her. Ease her suffering, yes. Cure her, I’m not certain. So if you tried to enter the bride program only as a way to help her, it might have been in vain. Then you would have been stuck on Terran with a mate you never wanted. That wouldn’t be fair to you or the warrior who chose you.”
Tears pooled in her eyes, but she blinked them back. He could tell she wanted to argue; it was shown in the stubborn tilt of her chin. Xonos truly wished he could give her good news. It had to break her heart, watching her child suffer, slowly getting worse, inching closer and closer to death’s door. But unless Victoria convinced a Terran male to buck the authority of the council and bond with her, she was out of options. He supposed he could understand Earth’s reasoning behind their decision. If he helped this child, thousands of humans would abandon their doctors to seek his aid. At the same time, however, he couldn’t understand a world that would doom a child to die when help was available.
Victoria’s breasts rose and fell in an enticing way when she huffed out a breath. She really was a rather attractive woman, despite the worry and fear in her eyes. She’d make some warrior a fine mate, if she could get someone to agree to bond with her. Despite the fact Xonos had to control his body every time she was near, he wasn’t in the market for a mate. Not even one as pretty as Victoria.
“I believe you have an Earth expression,” he said. “My hands are tied. Unless you mate with a Terran male, there isn’t anything I can do for you.”
“But no one would want me.” Her lips trembled. “I have precious little time. Even if I were to apply for the program again, the time it would take…” She shook her head.
“Then you need to circumvent the program.” Xonos crossed his arms. “I truly want to help your daughter and you, but we’re at an impasse. You have to mate with a Terran for me to give you any assistance, so I would suggest that you dress in something other than that baggy outfit and try to snag yourself a warrior. We can be a compassionate lot, so your sick daughter may actually be to your advantage.”
Her eyes sparked and her nostrils flared. Through pinched lips she hissed at him. “Do you honestly think I would just whore myself out?”
Like for sex. You could mate with her for sex. He gave himself a mental slap. He was not mating with her, for sex or otherwise. Xonos had seen the horror Reyvor went through when he lost his mate, and he wasn’t in a hurry to put himself in that position. Not even for someone as tempting as Victoria. Not even if he had started dreaming of her and her creamy skin practically every night.
“You’re an insensitive asshole.” She cuddled her daughter closer.
Xonos sighed. “Give me some time. I might be able to find someone for you. There’s a warrior here, Thrace, who has been eagerly seeking a mate. He may not mind that you already have a child and might want a mate bad enough to fight our government to keep you. But as I said, there’s a chance I won’t be able to save her.”
Victoria smoothed her daughter’s hair. “But you could take the pain away?”
He nodded. “That much I’m sure I could do.”
“Then it will be worth it. I would give everything I have, even myself, just to give her a moment of peace.” Tears streaked her cheeks. “She’s the most precious thing in the world to me, and I would gladly die in her place if I could.”
Xonos hoped it wouldn’t come to that, that he could cure her daughter if given the chance and with a bit of help from Syl, but he didn’t want to give her false hope. It would be cruel to promise her something he might not be able to deliver.
It pricked his conscience that she might not be a good mate if her daughter died, and he wouldn’t wish that on any warrior, but he didn’t know how else to help her. He’d thought, at one time, that he wanted a mate. Someone to share his life with, to love. And then he’d watched Reyvor’s mate die. He didn’t want to go through that pain, not now, not ever.
He watched the woman turn and walk away, her shoulders hunched as if she felt the weight of the world pressing down on her, and perhaps she did. He wasn’t certain he could help her, but Thrace was a good place to start. He left the medical station in search of the warrior, finding him in the cafeteria.
“Thrace,” he said, as he claimed the chair across from the warrior.
“Xonos.” He took another bite of food and eyed the doctor as if wondering why he was there.
“I have a question for you. A rather important one. I know you’ve been seeking a mate but haven’t been selected by any of the brides so far. And now that you’re here on Earth, your chances are slim because all brides are being sent to our home world.”
“There’s a woman who needs a Terran mate. She’s been denied by the bride program and is out of options, but her situation is dire.”
Thrace looked intrigued. “Dire how?”
“She has a daughter, a small girl who is deathly ill. I can’t promise that I can cure her, but the Earth government won’t even let me look at her unless her mother is mated to a Terran. Would you consider petitioning the council to become her mate?”
The corner of Thrace’s mouth kicked up and humor lurked in his eyes. He wiped his mouth with a napkin, then steepled his hands in front of him. “So let me get this straight. There’s a human female with a girl child who is ill, and I’m guessing the illness is hereditary, and you want me to mate with her? Why? So my future children could contract the disease as well?”
Xonos scowled at him. “There’s no way to tell if future children would be affected. It’s possible the child inherited the illness from her father’s side of the family. As you know, all future brides are having a medical screening to determine if they have or carry the genetics for illnesses we can’t cure. Victoria would have to go through the same tests.”
“If you’re so determined to help her, you should mate with her.”
Xonos’ mouth tightened. “I’m not taking a mate. Ever.”
“And yet you want to saddle me with a defective one? Thanks, but no thanks.”
Hell, this wasn’t going the way he’d hoped. He’d thought surely Thrace would be agreeable to a match with Victoria. With that option off the table, he wasn’t sure where else to turn. It wasn’t like there were a ton of warriors who would be willing to take on a sick child, or any human child at all. Not that Terrans were speciests, they were willing to mate with humans after all, but there was a difference in asking a male to accept a half-breed child of his own and to accept a fully human child who would be a constant reminder their mate had loved someone before them. Even Xonos could agree that the Terran male ego could be a fragile thing.
He’d just have to come up with a different plan and be ready for the next time Victoria came to visit. He was certain he would be seeing her within a few days, if not sooner. The sicker her daughter became, the more frequently she showed up. And he couldn’t blame her. If he had a daughter, he’d do anything in his power to save her.
* * *
You should mate with her.
The words played over and over in Xonos’ mind. He didn’t want a mate, not in the conventional sense, but what if they made a pact of sorts? He could claim Victoria as his mate. She would bear him future children, and in return, he would offer her a stable life and the opportunity to save her daughter. It didn’t bother Xonos that the child was fully human. She was innocent, in all ways.
Maybe he should seek out Victoria, rather than wait for her to come to him again. Perhaps a trip to the bride agency desk was in order. They would have her information on file and could help him locate her.
And if his body seemed over eager to see her again, well that was a secret he’d just keep to himself.
Victoria watched her daughter sleep. Evie had her hand tucked under her chin, her lips slightly parted. The poor girl had been through so much over the past year, and Victoria knew in her heart that her sweet baby was dying. The doctors had done all they could for her, and now it was just a matter of time before the little angel breathed her last. A tear slipped down her cheek and she hastily swiped it away. She’d cried so many nights, but she tried to never cry in front of Evie.
A knock sounded at the front door, startling Victoria. It was late, far too late for a visitor. Unease crept down her spine, and she rushed into her room to get the baseball bat she kept by her bed. Her neighborhood wasn’t exactly safe, and it wouldn’t surprise her if a thug tried to force his way into her home. Most of them left her alone, knowing about Evie’s illness. But there was always a first.
Her heart hammered in her chest as she approached the door, another knock coming and this one firmer than before. She wanted to look and see who it was, but there wasn’t a peephole. And she wasn’t sure she would use it even if she had it. Victoria had seen too many movies where the person was shot through the peephole when there was a bad person on the other side.
“Get a grip,” she mumbled to herself. She didn’t know for sure there was someone bad on the other side of the door. What if it was the police?
Leaving the chain in place, she cracked the door and peered outside, more than a little surprised to see the alien doctor on her doorstep, sans white coat. He looked different, shirtless, wearing nothing but leather pants and boots. And far too mouthwatering for her own good. Had he been hiding all of those muscles under that drab coat?
“May I come in?” he asked.
She shut the door, removed the chain, then opened it and let him in. Xonos filled the space with his presence, making her small, ratty apartment feel even tinier than usual. She felt a moment of embarrassment as he looked around, taking in her stained sagging couch and threadbare carpet. He probably lived in a nice place, far nicer than anything she’d ever had.
In the dim lighting of her living room, he looked even better than he had in the dark. The muscles in his arms bulged. His shoulders were broad, his chest wide and f
Victoria shut and locked the door, not wanting to invite trouble into her home, though something told her she just had. She couldn’t imagine what the doctor could possibly have to say to her that couldn’t have waited until morning. Her stomach bubbled and flipped as she thought the worst.
“I’m sorry to disturb you so late,” he said, turning to face her. His gaze traced down her body, making Victoria more than a little aware of the tank top and skimpy shorts she had on. She’d intended to head to bed and had already changed for the night.
“Why are you here?” she asked.
“I spoke with Thrace about your situation, and I’m afraid he isn’t interested. I can’t think of another warrior who would be, not with your daughter in the equation. This leaves us with one option.”
Her eyebrows arched. “Us?”
“I can’t get your daughter out of my mind. I was worried about your situation before you brought her with you, but now…” He shook his head.
“This is my problem, not yours.”
“What if it were my problem?”
Her lips turned down at the corners and her brow furrowed. “I don’t understand.”
Xonos sighed and looked around the room once more before settling his gaze on hers. “From the looks of things, you need my help for more than just medical assistance. I can’t, in good conscience, leave a woman in a place like this. You should gather your things and come home with me.”
“To the Terran station? They’d never allow us there.” Not that they would be going with him. What had happened to the doctor since she’d last seen him? He seemed out of sorts, and she didn’t understand his sudden need to take care of Evie and her.
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