Abbie and the alien offi.., p.1
Abbie and the Alien Official (Intergalactic Brides 14), page 1
Abbie and the Alien Official (Intergalactic Brides 14)
Jessica Coulter Smith
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Copyright ©2017 Jessica Coulter Smith
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Table of Contents
Abbie and the Alien Official (Intergalactic Brides 14)
Note from the Author
Jessica Coulter Smith
Abbie and the Alien Official (Intergalactic Brides 14)
Jessica Coulter Smith
Abbie prides herself on being a strong, independent woman. Having been on her own since she was seventeen, she’s taken care of herself, doing whatever was necessary to keep a roof over her head and food on the table. But when she loses her job, her car, and her apartment, she begins to think maybe it’s time to admit defeat and ask for a little help. Even if it means becoming the bride of an alien and living on another world.
Councilman Larimar has only wanted one thing since he reached adulthood. A mate. But his duties have kept him from seeking a wife, no matter how many tempting humans enter the bride program. They’re all attractive, and certainly any of them would do. Then he meets Abbie. The moment he sees her, touches her soft skin, he knows he wants her more than his next breath.
Despite Larimar’s reservations when it comes to Abbie, he finds he can’t keep his hands to himself, and the only place he wants her is under his roof and in his bed. When she accidentally ends up pregnant, he knows he has to do whatever is necessary to make her his, and not just because she’s carrying his child. Even if it means studying human mating customs, or inviting her crazy mother to live with them.
One way or another, Abbie will be his.
Abbie Carson pushed back her bangs as she surveyed the items on the curb. Or maybe she should say, what was left of the items on the curb. She grabbed one of the boxes, dumping out the crap inside, and began filling it with her treasured possessions and some clothes. Her heart ached for the loss of some of her mementos, but at least her favorite music box hadn’t been snatched yet, nor her stuffed bear she’d had since she was little. She dug a little deeper and found her family photo album, shoving it into the box. When she’d gathered as much as she could, she hefted the box into her arms and began walking.
She’d applied for the bride program at the Terran Station, but that had been weeks ago and she hadn’t heard back. Now that she was homeless, jobless, and carless she didn’t have much of a choice but to go to the station and ask about the status of her application, in hopes she’d maybe slipped through the cracks or they’d been unsuccessful in reaching her. It was a long walk to the station and her feet and back began to ache before she was even halfway there.
Dropping her box to the sidewalk, she collapsed beside it, pressing her forehead to her bent knees. A shiver raked her body, the air only slightly warmer in February than it had been at Christmas. She’d hoped for an early spring, but it seemed she wasn’t going to get her wish. A limo pulled to a stop in front her, her jaw dropping a little when a hunky Terran stepped out.
He crouched in front of her, hands clasped and a look of concern on his face.
“Do you need help?” he asked.
“I was on my way to the Terran Station, but I had to stop and rest.”
A frown marred his face. “You were walking?”
“I don’t have transportation and I didn’t have cash for a taxi or a bus pass.”
He glanced at the box next to her, reaching out to shift a few things aside. His expression turned grim when he saw the clothes bunched up with her keepsakes. Her cheeks burned with embarrassment, even though she knew she’d have to explain things when she got to the station. She’d been standing on her own two feet since she was seventeen, and it hurt to know that she’d failed now.
“Come on,” he said, standing and holding out a hand. “I’ll give you a ride. My name is Bancheck.”
“Thank you,” Abbie said, rising from the sidewalk and dusting off her jeans. Bancheck picked up her box and placed it into the limo before helping her inside.
“Do you live on Earth full-time?” Abbie asked, thinking he was rather sexy.
“Yes. Is there a reason you were going to the Terran Station?”
“I applied to the bride program a few weeks ago and never heard back. I was hoping I might have been accepted.”
“There’s a shuttle leaving this afternoon. I’m going to assume by the contents of your box that you need to be on it,” he said. “Are you in trouble?”
“Not the legal kind. But I find myself without a home or transportation, and I lost my job. The bride program is my only hope of staying out of the homeless shelter. I knew this was coming, but I seemed to be powerless to stop it. I’ve been turned down for every job I applied to, and now I don’t know what else to do.”
“When we reach the Terran Station, I’ll take you to Zlyer. He oversees the Terran Station here. If anyone can figure out why you weren’t contacted, he would be the one. Even if you’d been denied, you should have received something. It’s possible they’re just backlogged if there have been a lot of applicants.”
She bit her lip. “If I was denied or mine hasn’t been processed yet, do you think you could help me get to the homeless shelter? It’s on the other side of town and I don’t think I can walk that far today.”
“I will see to your accommodations if you are unable to take the shuttle this afternoon.”
She nodded, feeling a little relieved. At least she wouldn’t be stuck at the station with no way to get to a bed for the night. Things could be worse. At least she was healthy. The limo pulled to a stop and she peered through the tinted glass at the Terran Station. Bancheck slid out of the car, then held a hand out to her. Abbie let him pull her from the car, and then he reached inside for her box
“Follow me,” he said as he headed for the main entrance.
A perky receptionist smiled as they entered the station.
“Good morning, Doctor Bancheck.”
Doctor? She gave him the side eye as they moved through the station. Toward the back was a corridor that looked like it was filled with offices. He knocked on the door at the end of the hall.
“Enter,” a voice called out.
Bancheck pushed open the door and motioned for Abbie to enter. He followed her into the office and shut the door behind them, setting her box aside. Abbie stood nervously, shifting from foot to foot as she glanced around the space. The Terran behind the desk looked imposing.
“Zlyer, I found this young woman on the side of the road. She was on her way here to check on the status of an application she filed weeks ago for the bride program. I thought you could look into it for her,” Bancheck said.
Zlyer stared at her. “And what is your name?”
“Abbie Carson,” she said softly.
“Miss Carson, we always contact our applicants. Are you certain you didn’t receive anything?”
“As of yesterday’s mail run, I hadn’t received anything, nor do I have any missed calls from here,” she said. “I was hoping maybe I’d just slipped through the cracks.”
Zlyer’s nose flared and his lips thinned, but he turned toward his computer and began tapping on the keys. His expression went from annoyed to perplexed.
“Miss Carson, you were approved for the program a week ago. Are you certain you didn’t receive a letter?” he asked.
“You’ll need to undergo a physical before we can send you off world. Bancheck, how soon could that be taken care of?” Zlyer asked.
“Now,” Bancheck said. “Assuming everything is fine with the physical, could she leave on this afternoon’s shuttle?”
Zlyer nodded. “Absolutely. Miss Carson, will you have time to gather your belongings and return before the flight leaves at noon today?”
Abbie looked at her box.
“She already has belongings with her,” Bancheck said.
Zlyer glanced at the box then at her. “You’ll want something cooler to wear on our world, Miss Carson. The weather is quite a bit warmer there. Do you have access to spring or summer type clothes?”
“Not anymore,” she said.
Zlyer slid a pad and pen across the desk. “Write down your clothing sizes. I’ll see that you have a few outfits to get you started, but you can purchase items on our world when we get there. Anything bought will be debited from your mate’s account once you choose one.”
“It hardly seems fair he has to pay for me before we’re even married,” Abbie said. “And what happens if no one wants me?”
Zlyer gave her a kind smile. “Someone will want you. There are countless males on my world who are looking for mates. You’re going there with a handful of potential brides. The four of you will be in high demand.”
Abbie wasn’t convinced, but he knew his world better than she did.
“Does everyone there speak English?” she asked.
“You’ll be given a translator behind your ear and a chip in your wrist will allow you to pay for things. We can handle that here if the results of the physical show you’re capable of handling the trip and bearing children,” Zlyer said.
“Then I guess I’m ready for the physical.”
Bancheck picked up her box and motioned for her to follow him. She cast a glance over her shoulder at Zlyer, who had already turned back to his computer. They went through several twists and turns before a medical clinic came into view. He used a key to unlock the door and she followed him back to an exam room.
He set her box on a chair and patted the exam table.
“I don’t have to strip down or anything?” Abbie asked.
Bancheck smiled. “Normally I would have you change, but since we’re in a bit of a rush, I think we’ll skip that part. I’m going to do some bio scans and take some blood samples. I’ll listen to your heart and lungs, and if everything checks out, I’ll knock you out long enough for the implants. The surgery is done with a laser so there will be some pain, but not as much as if I were to cut you open with a scalpel and stitch you back together.”
Abbie followed all of Bancheck’s instructions as he moved through each step of the exam. When he was satisfied that she was in perfect health and could easily bear children, he pulled out the implants she would need to survive on his world. Abbie eyed the syringe of blue goo that he held in his hand as he motioned for her arm.
“This will put you to sleep long enough for the procedures. When you wake up, it will be close to time to board the shuttle.”
Abbie nodded and held her arm out to him. The needle slid in and a rush of cool liquid made her shiver. Before she could ask if it was normal, her eyes began to slide closed. The next time she woke, there was a slight pain behind her right ear and in her right wrist. A look at her arm showed a pink line where he’d cut her open to insert the implant.
“You have thirty minutes until the shuttle boards,” Bancheck said. “The clothes Zlyer ordered are here and I placed the bag with your box. We peeked at your shoes while you were asleep to get your shoe size. He wanted to make sure you had more than one pair.”
Their kindness touched her. “Thank you.”
“The council is covering the cost of your new things since it’s our fault you weren’t prepared for this trip. A miscommunication happened somewhere and because of that, you were without your things or a home. We can never apologize enough. You should have known before today that you were approved.”
“It’s fine,” she assured him. “I mean, it’s not fine I was stressed over losing my home and belongings, but it’s all worked out in the end, right?”
He smiled. “Yes. I wish you luck in finding a mate, Abbie Carson. You will make someone a fine bride.”
“Where do I go to wait for the shuttle?”
“There’s a coffee shop near the shuttle waiting area. You can get something to drink and a snack while you wait. There will be an announcement before the shuttle boards. I’ll make sure your things are delivered if you want to leave them here.”
She nodded. “I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me today.”
“Any of the males here would have done the same.”
She paused a moment before leaning up to kiss his cheek. He seemed surprised, but smiled at her warmly. When they reached the front of the clinic, two Terrans stood waiting.
“This is Vordro and Krelor. They’ll show you the way,” Bancheck said.
On impulse, Abbie gave him a hug and then followed the Terrans through the station. They gave her a friendly wave and wandered off once she was safely delivered to the coffee shop. As she stood in line, she wondered if they accepted human money, particularly American currency, since that’s all she had. She’d never purchased anything at the Terran Station before, even though she’d come here twice before. Once to ask about the bride program and the second time to apply.
It was her turn to approach the cute Terran behind the counter.
“Um, do you take American money?” Abbie asked.
He smiled. “Of course. Are you here for the bride program?”
“Then it’s on the house today. Pick anything you’d like, but I’d caution you to keep the meal light. The flight to my world makes some people sick.”
“Maybe a muffin and a small mocha?”
He nodded. “Would you like the muffin warmed?”
He flashed her another smile as his gaze skimmed over her. “I’m Jarok. If you need anything before you board the shuttle, don’t hesitate to come get me. You’re the cutest of the brides I’ve seen today.”
Her cheeks warmed. “Thank you.”
He handed her a mocha and used tongs to pull a muffin from the glassed-in cabinet, sticking it in a
Taking her muffin and drink to a nearby table, she sat and tried not to eat the snack in one bite. It had been dinner the last time she’d eaten and her stomach rumbled its displeasure. She didn’t know how long the flight would be, but hopefully it wouldn’t be long before she had a chance to eat a full meal. The minutes seemed to fly by and before long an announcement was made that the shuttle was now boarding. Abbie saw three other women not too far away approaching what looked like a regular flight gate. Throwing away her trash, she went to get in line.
A human woman manning the gate held out her hand. “Letter.”
“I don’t have one. My letter never arrived, but Zlyer said I could leave on this flight.”
The woman unclipped a radio from her belt and pressed the button. “Can I please get confirmation that a bride by the name of Abbie Carson is supposed to leave on this flight?”
There was static and a moment later, Abbie heard Zlyer respond.
“She’s cleared,” he said.
The woman smiled at her. “I hope you have a nice flight, and good luck selecting a mate.”
Abbie thanked her and walked down the corridor to the waiting shuttle. The front row had one seat open and she claimed it. The other three women were giggling and talking together, but Abbie took the time to inspect her surroundings. She didn’t see anyone else on the flight and wondered if the four of them were it.
Another sexy Terran boarded and smiled at them. “My name is Sentir and I’ll be your captain today. The trip takes around eight of your Earth hours and you’ll be asleep for almost the entire journey. Any questions?”
One of the women giggled. “Are you searching for a bride?”
by Jessica Coulter Smith / Romance / Young Adult / Science Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes