Saturday, December 02, 2006
My Favorite Earthling (instalment #4)
The third instalment of Susan Grant's masterly new alien romance was posted on October 28th.
Since then, the blog has been pretty active, so I'm sharing my day this week.
Hunky human hero, Jared Jasper --real estate mogul, brother of a feminine US Senator (who happens to have married an alien)-- is exploring an alien spacecraft that crashed onto his family ranch. As he sits in the pilot's seat, a video communication screen turns on, and he realizes that the enemy aliens may have seen him.
Excerpted from MY FAVORITE EARTHLING
by SUSAN GRANT
copyright Susan Grant 2006
ISBN 0373771924; HQN books
This uncorrected excerpt may contain errors and other text not found in the final printed novel and is not for sale. Please don’t share the text with anyone without first receiving permission from the author to do so.
Whoa, baby. Jared sat up straighter in the pilot seat as the striking alien woman appeared onscreen. Heavy, dark, and long, her hair whipped like Medusa’s snakes around her shoulders and breasts as she turned to face him.
Shouting something, the woman shoved a hand through her wild mane of hair. A thick, intricately jeweled band glittered on her upper arm. This was no shopping mall purchase. The workmanship was exquisite and matched the earring dangling from her left ear. The chick was buff, sculpted muscles flexing. She wore a black jumpsuit that was so formfitting it looked painted on. Jutting nipples pushed up against the fabric by one unforgettable pair of breasts as her chest literally heaved.
So much for any doubts as to the two-way feature of the ship’s TV. She could see him, no doubt about that. Her eyes had opened wide at the sight of him, her mouth forming a luscious circle of surprise.
The moment hung in freeze-frame. He didn’t move. He had the wildest impression of having startled a rare and beautiful mythical being like a mermaid or fairy: a few seconds of unforgettable eye contact before she escaped forever.
“Jared,” Evie whispered. “Put your eyeballs back in your head.”
He lifted a finger to his lips. He didn’t want to scare the woman away.
The alien woman must have taken his gesture as if he were telling her to be quiet. Wielding a knife she stormed the screen. So much for thoughts of a fairy or mermaid; she looked more like an avenging warrior princess off the pages of a Manga comic book.
“Uh oh,” Evie said. “Now she’s pissed.”
“Actually, a little more than pissed. Given half a chance, she’d probably cut out my heart and eat it for dinner.”
This is the face of your enemy.
And this was the face of hers, he thought. Against his better judgment—and Evie’s—he stayed put.
The woman stopped inches from the screen to finish telling him off, but he couldn’t understand a word she said. “What we need is a little closed-captioning.” Lights blinked on the arm rests. “Maybe one of these is a translator.”
“What if it starts the engines? What if it makes it fly?”
“Don’t panic. The tech may be a lot more advanced than what we have, but some things stay the same. Controls on a seat are usually for convenience or comfort items.”
He tapped them one by one, figuring he’d keep trying until he found one that translated. It was worth a shot. Cavin had a translator implanted in his brain for two-way language understanding, so likely there was something similar in the cockpit. Down the bank of lights he went. “Talk to me, baby. Talk to me...”
The alien warrior-chick reared back, startled. A spark of fear in her eyes disappeared almost as quickly as it showed up.
“Earthling,” she spat.
“You got that right.”
Jared coughed out a laugh. “There’s only one barbarian around here, and it’s not me. Look at you. We stopped dressing like that a thousand years ago. Daggers are pretty much passé, too. So, is this a retro fashion trend, or are all of you Coalition types this primitive?”
Evie hissed. “Jared, you're going to start a war.”
“We’re already in a war,” he whispered back. “I'm just adding a little fear and awe.”
“I will see you brought to me in chains, Earthling!” the alien chick yelled to him.
“I haven’t had an offer that exciting in a while. Do I get to see you in chains, too?”
The woman’s mouth dipped in a sneer as she looked him over from head to boots. Stripped naked, he doubted he would have felt more exposed to her scrutiny. “I’d rather cough up blood.’
“Jared,” Evie warned. “Don’t make me come down there and get you.”
“I’ve got to go,” he told the alien woman. “But I’d like to chat more sometime. I have to admit, the chains thing really got my imagination going.”
Her mouth tightened. She had very expressive eyes, Jared noted. In them, it was very easy to see every detail of his excruciating death should she get her hands on him which was something that would never happen because he’d fight to the death to keep her people from taking over his world. Even if every Coalition woman was as hot as she was.
“Jared?” Evie interrupted. “You’re doing it again.”
“Doing what?” he whispered back.
“Staring at each other.” Evie’s face was centered in the open hatch above, framed by blue sky. Her hair swung just above his head.
“I’m not staring at her. I’m contemplating her contemplating my death.”
“Who are you talking to?” Warrior-chick demanded.
“My staff. And some members of my harem.”
Evie made a sound that was strangely close to the one Warrior-chick made.
“Who are you?” the woman asked.
“You don’t know?”
I know what I’m doing, he told Evie with a frown.
He leaned forward. “You can call me The Prince.”
“Oh, jeez,” Evie muttered. “I can’t listen to this anymore.”
“You are a prince?” Warrior-chick’s chin came up as she asked the question, her nostrils pinching.
“I’m the Prince. And my message to you is this: if your people come back for another try at landing on Earth, we’ll be waiting. A billion more guys like me, waiting.” Trash talk. But sometimes the most effective weapons were psychological. “Mess with Earth and your defeat will become your reality. Got that? Now, have a nice day, baby.”
Jared pushed free of the pilot seat’s glove-tight hold. He pulled himself out the hatch and slammed it closed behind him. “What the hell just happened?” He rubbed a tired hand over his face. “I need a shave.”
“What just happened? I don’t know, Jared, you tell me.” Evie dropped down next to him on the fighter-craft’s invisible wing. Side by side, they sat, lags dangling. “Who are you? Because whoever you were in that cockpit, I didn’t recognize him.”
“It’s not someone you’d know unless you flew on my wing in an F-16. It’s how I deal with the stress of combat; it’s how most of the guys do, I think. Maybe it’s why we have the call signs, to differentiate who we are inside the cockpit from who we are outside of it. An alter ego. But when I leave the unit, he stays behind. Ol’ Prince is not exactly family friendly.”
“He’s a jerk.”
“But he’s perfect for dealing with uppity Coalition bitches.” Jared shifted his focus to the closed hatch. He couldn’t believe the argument had actually turned him on. “What a woman, huh? Totally not my type, but...wow.” He thought of her hair whipping around her shoulders, pictured her naked, that long hair stuck to her damp skin, letting tantalizing peeks of her breasts and stomach show through, skin that was damp from having sex with him, not from pumping iron. Or maybe they’d do it after they worked out...and before...and...
Evie’s voice jolted him out of a fantasy of the alien woman bent over a table, her lush breasts in his hands as he thrust into her. By now he had such a hard-on that he hunched over, grateful he was wearing thick sweats. What the hell was wrong with him? He wasn’t in high school anymore. “Say again?” he said with a trace of hoarseness in his voice.
Evie’s dark eyes sparkled. “Chemistry. I said it was amazing that you can feel it across light years of space.”
“Chemistry?” He choked out a laugh. “I have a few ideas on what to call it, but it’s not that.”
“Jared, you’re so unromantic.”
“She’s the enemy.”
“So? Woo her over to the dark side. Use the force.”
He pulled out his cell phone to call Cavin and brief him on what they’d discovered. “Force or no force, Miss Sunshine lives in a galaxy far, far away. After our little conversation today, I’m doubly determined to keep it that way.”
Posted by Rowena Cherry at 12:42 PM