Rory and the alien groom, p.1
Rory and the Alien Groom, page 1part #9 of Intergalactic Brides Series
Rory and the Alien Groom (Intergalactic Brides 9)
Jessica Coulter Smith
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2017 Jessica Coulter Smith
Adobe PDF, Epub,
HTML, Mobi, PRC
Changeling Press LLC
315 N. Centre St.
Martinsburg, WV 25404
Editor: Crystal Esau
Cover Artist: Karen Fox
Adult Sexual Content
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.
Legal File Usage -- Your Rights
Payment of the download fee for this book grants the purchaser the right to download and read this file, and to maintain private backup copies of the file for the purchaser’s personal use only.
The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this or any copyrighted work is illegal. Authors are paid on a per-purchase basis. Any use of this file beyond the rights stated above constitutes theft of the author’s earnings. File sharing is an international crime, prosecuted by the United States Department of Justice, Division of Cyber Crimes, in partnership with Interpol. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is punishable by seizure of computers, up to five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 per reported instance.
Table of Contents
Rory and the Alien Groom (Intergalactic Brides 9)
Jessica Coulter Smith
Rory and the Alien Groom (Intergalactic Brides 9)
Jessica Coulter Smith
Humiliation burns through Zwyk as he comes to the realization his bride has left him standing alone at the altar. When something seems too good to be true, it usually is. He should have known someone as vivacious as his bride-to-be would never settle for a paper pushing, XBox playing geek like him. While his heart isn’t exactly broken, his pride is wounded, and his confidence has taken a hit.
Rory hates that she had to tell Zwyk her sister has run away instead of marrying him. Well, she hates the pain her sister caused. She can’t exactly say she’s sorry the wedding is off. Maybe now she can make Zwyk see what’s been right under his nose this entire time -- her.
Zwyk stood at the front of the chapel with the lights beating down on him. Sweat trickled down his spine beneath his tux and pressed shirt, seeping into the waistband of his black slacks. He did his best to look calm and happy, but the truth was that he was getting more nervous as the minutes ticked by. The ceremony was supposed to start a half hour ago, and so far, his bride had yet to make an appearance. The tick of the clock on the wall was deafening, each click pounding into his head like a death knoll, as were the murmurs of the gathered guests. He wasn’t the only one wondering what was keeping Brittany.
A flurry of movement at the end of the aisle caught his attention and he turned that way, his heart leaping with anticipation of seeing his long-awaited bride. His heart nearly pounded out of his chest as Rory, the bride’s younger sister, practically ran up the aisle, her bridesmaid dress flapping around her ankles. Nothing ever fazed Rory and flustered didn’t begin to describe the look on her face or the wildness in her eyes. Before she even reached him, he knew the news was bad.
Rory panted as she stopped in front him, a light sheen of perspiration on her face. She chewed her bottom lip and danced from foot to foot. Placing her small hand on his chest, she leaned up on tiptoe and whispered in his ear.
Gone? What exactly did that mean? Had she stepped out for a moment? Was she missing? One scenario after another went through his mind as he grappled with the truth that was staring him in the face.
“I don’t understand.”
Something that looked like pity crossed her delicate features, and then he knew. “She’s not coming, Zwyk. She said that she could never marry you and she took off like hellhounds were chasing after her.”
His heart dropped like a lead balloon to the bottom of his stomach. He took a deep breath, steadying himself. Of course she’d run on him. He’d known for the last week that something was wrong, but he’d ignored all the signs, going into this farce of a marriage like a blind fool. But she’d been beautiful and so full of life that he’d told himself things would work out, that they’d have a happy ending. He’d wanted that romantic fairy tale that humans were so enthralled with, and he’d been willing to sacrifice anything to have it -- including his sense of self.
Zwyk looked around the chapel at the gathered family and friends. Embarrassment burned his face, his cheeks flushed a deep purple, as he realized he’d have to tell everyone that his bride had run away, that he wasn’t good enough. He knew that was what they would think. No one would blame Brittany, with her perfect china doll features, bright smile, and beguiling personality. When she walked into a room everyone gravitated to her, hanging on her every word. He should have known better than to even suggest a marriage between them. She was everything he was not. Outgoing. Vivacious. Flirty. He was a glorified paper pusher who sat at a desk all day.
Rory squeezed his biceps. “Are you going to be okay, Zwyk? If you want to duck out the back, I’ll let everyone know there won’t be a wedding.”
It was sweet of her to offer, and her gentle nature soothed the ache in his chest a little. He mustered a smile for her and shook his head.
“I appreciate the offer, Rory, but it isn’t your mess to clean up.”
“I’m here if you need me. I mean that, Zwyk. Whatever you need, don’t hesitate to call. I can’t believe my sister was so selfish as to run out on her own wedding. She should have at least explained things to you in person.”
“It’s fine, Rory. I’ll be okay.”
She hurried back down the aisle as the murmurs grew to a steady stream of chatter. Zwyk took a deep breath before he faced the guests who deserved an explanation. They’d patiently waited for a wedding that would never take place, would need to return their gifts, and had probably looked forward to getting wasted at the reception. Brittany had fucked him over good.
He cleared his throat and raised his hands, trying to get everyone’s attention.
“I have some news. I appreciate you taking the time to come out today. I know if Brittany were here, she’d say the same thing. Your support means so much to both of us. Unfortunately, it seems my bride has had a change of heart and will not be joining me up here today. The wedding is off. Please take your gifts with you when you leave, and I apologize for any inconvenience.”
The murmurs rose to a dull roar as everyone began talking at once. A headache started forming behind Zwyk’s right eye and he bolted out of the nave, the door clanging loudly as it slammed shut behind him. Let the guests think what they wanted, his part was done. As he stormed out of the outer chapel doors, he jerked his bowtie free and tossed it on the ground. By the time he’d reached his SUV, he’d loosened the top three buttons on his shirt and had taken off his jacket. He tossed the offending ga
Brittany had made a fool of him, but he felt it was deserved. She’d been distant, colder than usual. He’d blown it off as wedding jitters, but deep down, he’d known something was wrong. When she’d shown him some attention the day he’d met her, it was like the sun was shining on him for the first time. Her smile lit up the room and her eyes were so full of mischief. He’d been enchanted by her beauty, but he was quickly realizing it only went so far. Maybe it had been too much to ask that someone like her fall for a guy like him.
Zwyk didn’t think he was a bad looking male, and he had a dependable job even if it wasn’t as highly coveted as the rank of warrior. What he did was important and he took pride in his work. When she’d started hinting that maybe he could get a more prestigious position, he should have known that things weren’t going to work out. She’d changed the way he dressed, wanted him to cut his hair -- which he’d refused to do. He’d been a blind fool, not seeing her for who she really was. Brittany had never wanted him, not really. He’d thought she had fallen in love with him, but maybe she’d been more in love with the idea of him. Or perhaps someone had put her up to the arrangement all together and she’d never wanted him at all.
By the time he reached his modest home, he was ready to strip out of the confining clothes that he hoped to never wear again and get back to normal. Assuming he could remember what that was. He parked in the carport and set the alarm on his SUV before heading inside. The house was still, almost too quiet, and he wished he’d gotten the puppy he’d wanted a few months before. Brittany had talked him out of it, saying that dogs were messy and would ruin the furniture. Who didn’t like dogs? Another neon sign that he’d ignored, all because of a pretty face.
Zwyk stripped out of his clothes, balled them up, and threw them into the corner of his bedroom where they could rot for all he cared. He opened his closet, but every pressed shirt, every pair of khaki slacks, every polished shoe just made him want to rip everything to shreds and burn it. Brittany had tried to mold him into someone he wasn’t, and now he was left with the aftermath. He grabbed everything by the handful, throwing the clothes onto the bed. When he was finished, a box in the back corner of the closet drew his attention.
Pulling it out, he opened the flaps and smiled when he peered inside. His favorite well-worn T-shirts and butter soft jeans were stacked inside, along with his beat-up Converse. They were the first clothes he’d purchased when he’d come to Earth and had remained his favorites until that she-devil had come into his life, tossing him on his head and stirring things up. He changed into the familiar clothes and already felt a hundred times better.
In the bathroom, he pulled the ponytail holder out of his hair and brushed the long strands, thankful he hadn’t let Brittany cut it short like she’d demanded, claiming he had an image to uphold. That was a laugh. People barely noticed him, despite his tall stature. No one cared what he wore or how his hair was styled. He’d been an idiot to listen to her about anything. As much as it smarted that she’d rather run away than share her life with him, part of him felt relieved. He didn’t have to be “on” all the time anymore. He could just relax and be Zwyk again.
He emerged from the bathroom and took a good look around his house. He’d let Brittany have free rein and do whatever she wanted with his home, reasoning that it would be hers soon enough. He’d never cared for the black and gray tones in the bedroom, or the Feng shui -- whatever the hell that was -- that she’d insisted on incorporating in his living room. Redecorating right this moment wasn’t logical, but he threw the offending clothes across the room and ripped the comforter from the bed just the same.
When he got to the living room, he tossed all the decorative pieces, pillows, and pictures into a box and tossed them out the front door. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a start. Thanks to the wedding that almost was, he had a week off from work, so there was plenty of time to put his stamp back on his living quarters and maybe find out if his friends were still speaking to him. They’d come to the wedding to show their support, but he knew they resented the time he’d spent with Brittany. She’d refused to hang out with his friends, no matter how much he’d begged.
Well, maybe not begged because he never begged. Unless the latest Call of Duty was involved. He’d get on his knees and promise anything to get his hands on an early release. He might not be a warrior on his world, but in the gaming community he was a badass to be feared and revered. A god among men. He might have a slight gaming addiction. He’d discovered the game systems on a trip to the local mall with his friends and their wives, and he’d been hooked ever since. Considering how far advanced his culture was compared to the humans, they certainly had better entertainment.
His poor game system was hidden away in the hall closet, banished there by Brittany along with two boxes of his games. He hauled everything out and started hooking it back up, petting the console and whispering words of contrition to it for his poor treatment the past few months. When it booted right up, he took that to mean he was forgiven for his transgression. Looking in the boxes of games was akin to opening presents on Christmas -- a human tradition he’d embraced wholeheartedly -- and he had trouble deciding what to play first.
There wasn’t a better way to dive back into things than to play Gears of War 4. His Xbox Live membership had lapsed and his account had been deleted, so he’d have to enjoy one-player mode for now. Hell, he didn’t even know if his gaming buddies were still around, assuming he could find them online after he made a new account. He’d just up and vanished on them three months ago. It was an asshole move, but Brittany had grabbed him by the balls. Well, figuratively, because she’d never gotten close enough to actually touch his balls. They’d kissed, but she’d always shied away when he tried to take things further, saying she wanted to wait for their wedding night. Now he had to wonder how much of that was bullshit. Had she detested him so much that she couldn’t stand to be touched by him?
The game had just finished loading when there was a knock at his front door. Zwyk set his controller aside and went to answer, almost dreading who might be on the other side. If word had already spread about his failed wedding, any number of his friends could be on the other side with an “I told you so” ready on their lips, or worse, a pitying look in their eyes. He almost didn’t answer, but something made him pull open the door.
His eyebrows rose when he saw who stood on the other side.
She grinned and held up two pizza boxes while she pushed her glasses further up her nose. “I thought you might need sustenance after your trying day. It’s your favorite. Sausage and onion.”
His stomach rumbled and he stepped back to let her in. It wasn’t the first time she’d been to his house, but it was the first time they’d been alone. Was she feeling sorry for him? He’d have thought she’d be with her parents, trying to figure out where Brittany went. But then Rory had always seemed to follow her own rhythm. What was that Earth saying? Marching to the beat of her own drum?
He shut the door and followed her into the living room, where she set the boxes on the coffee table. He grinned a little, thinking about Brittany’s head exploding if she saw such a travesty. It gave him the sudden urge to leave rings and scuff marks on the pristine surface. Juvenile perhaps, but refreshing. It was like he’d been freed from a prison sentence, and if that wasn’t a sobering thought, he didn’t know what was.
“Whatever you just thought, stop thinking it,” Rory said as she opened the first box. “I figure we can just eat out of the box, but we probably should grab some drinks before I kick your ass on the Xbox.”
He blinked at her. Did she just say…
“Drinks?” she prompted then shook her head. “Never mind, I’ll get them.”
“Please tell me this is another Brittany travesty and you don’t actually drink diet.”
He coughed to cover his laugh, but he couldn’t deny that she amused him. “I’ll go to the store later and pick up some regular soda.”
“You should get grape too. It’s my favorite.”
He scratched his neck and wondered if that meant she planned to hang out for a while. Zwyk wasn’t quite sure what to make of Rory, but he was just going to go with it for the time being. He couldn’t really think of anything else to do. Retaking his seat on the couch, he grabbed a slice of pizza and took a huge bite before downing half the can she’d placed in front of him. The intro to the game blared from the TV speakers and Rory wiggled her fingers at him, snatching the controller from his hand.
“You eat. I’m going to play.” She grinned at him before turning her focus to the game on the screen.
Zwyk devoured almost an entire pizza by himself as he alternated between watching the comical expressions on Rory’s face and her annihilation of everything in her path on the screen. Her skill was rather impressive and her maniacal laugh as she took out the opposing force was amusing. Who knew such a pint-sized female could be so bloodthirsty?
“All right, killer. It’s my turn,” he said holding out his hand for the controller. “You’re pretty good, but it’s time to show you how the pros do it.”
She snorted and tossed him the controller before digging into the second pizza box. As he played, the skills he’d honed since coming to Earth slowly came back to him. He had a rocky start, but after twenty minutes he was kicking some serious ass. Rory sat next to him, hooting and cheering him on. Zwyk couldn’t help but smile as he worked on breaching the Swarm hive. His morning might have been shit, but he could honestly say this was the most fun he’d had in a long while.
by Jessica Coulter Smith / Romance / Young Adult / Science Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes