Children of Andromeda: Lords of the Sea
Were they destined to be enemies? Or to bridge the gap between their two races and bring peace to a world gone mad?
Sentinel Raen knew the intruder needed air, but his body was of a different mind when Cassie clung to him like a limpet and demanded his mouth each time he pulled away. And he discovered he was in no particular hurry to get his captive to the holding cell they'd set up for the human intruders.
Word Count: 108,906
Genre: Science Fiction/Futuristic Romance/Paranormal
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Jenny Dixon, July 2013
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
It was Mark who first noticed the blue glow coming from below. Cassia Pendell was lounging on the deck, more than half asleep and struggling with the exhaustion that seemed it would defy her will to stay awake. They'd headed out before daylight, though, and she was not only not used to being up and stirring about by five AM, she also wasn't used to diving.
As a first date, however, it was definitely unique. It had sounded like something that might be fun. As loathe as she was to admit it, though, she'd been impressed because it seemed like the sort of thing only the rich and famous might indulge in and it was that that had finally swayed her more than the belief that she'd actually enjoy it.
She'd met Mark on an internet dating/mating site. They'd been chatting for weeks before he'd suggested an actual meeting. She'd liked what she'd learned about him in the time they'd been internet dating, but she'd been leery. He was still a stranger. After all the horror stories she'd heard about women meeting psychopaths over the net, she'd been nervous as hell at the prospect of driving to a strange city to meet a man she really didn't know. When he'd suggested that they could go scuba diving with the diving club he belonged to she hadn't been a lot more enthusiastic, even though it removed the danger of being completely alone with him, mostly because she'd never done it before and she didn't like deep water. She hadn't wanted to tell him she was phobic about deep, natural bodies of water, though.
He was an amateur diving enthusiast. Exploring the ocean was his favorite pastime, something he did whenever he got the chance. If she couldn't dredge up some interest in it herself, she figured their relationship was doomed before it had really gotten started.
Truthfully, she'd almost called it off right then. She had absolutely no sense of adventure. She didn't like risks, and she especially didn't like taking them. She wasn't 'addicted' to the adrenaline rush of doing something wild and dangerous. She was allergic to it. She didn't like having the hell scared out of her, not when it entailed her taking part in it-watching from a safe distance was alright, but not participating. She preferred being comfortable and safe.
Deep down, she'd accepted right then that they were completely incompatible. She'd refused to acknowledge it, though. She'd convinced herself that it was time she put in the effort to lighten up and live a little-past time, actually. She was nearly thirty two, close enough to feel the chill, anyway. Even if it turned out to be something she hated, she needed to at least give it a try.
She hadn't exactly hated it. She had hated getting up so damned early, but then she wasn't the only one in the group that didn't seem to be at their best that early in the day, or the only one who'd spent the time while the boat was en route to the chosen diving site sleeping. Mark hadn't seemed to take that in bad part, which was a plus in his column.
The boat was big enough and the gulf waters calm enough she hadn't gotten motion sickness or overly frightened. She still didn't like it, but she hadn't disliked it.
Carl Smith, the man who'd founded the scuba diving club, had been patient in instructing her and had stressed safety, which she'd found soothed her uneasiness a great deal.
Despite the fact that she could tell Mark was anxious to strike out on his own, he'd also been patient and solicitous, which had earned him another mark in the good column. He'd 'forgotten' he was supposed to be baby-sitting her a couple of times and darted away, leaving her behind, and he'd also taken off into some dark, creepy places where she'd refused to follow a couple of times, but overall he'd been considerate.
She was still more inclined to think she was just getting used to the idea of deep water diving than actually beginning to like it, but she'd gotten over the first tremors of terror and was able to play off a token enthusiasm when everyone had settled in the boat to eat their lunch and discuss their experiences.
She thought that was mostly because she'd been certain it was over and they would be heading back after they'd eaten.
Mark had proposed they move on to another spot to dive, though-a minus in his column-and although everyone wasn't in total agreement, she was the only one who actually hadn't wanted to. Good manners had compelled her to join the group for a little while in the second dive, but she hadn't stayed down long and had returned to the boat long before the last of the divers had returned.
Mark had been the last.