Eliana smiled as she strode down a long corridor on the Kandovar. She had been aboard Prince Taelon’s spaceship for four months now and still found it hard to believe some days. Five months ago, she had been doing the same old same old back on Earth, spending her nights hunting and slaying psychotic vampires with no thoughts of aliens beyond the occasional sci-fi flick. Then Seth, the immensely powerful leader of the Immortal Guardians, called a meeting and put her in a room with four other female Immortal Guardians and ten female gifted ones. After his adopted daughter Ami joined the meeting, he proceeded to shock the hell out of them.
Eliana didn’t know Ami well. She’d heard the rumors—that Seth and his second-in-command and closest friend, David, had rescued the shy, petite redhead from a secret, government-funded research installation in which Ami had been tortured three or four years ago. Those rumors had mushroomed when Seth made it clear he loved Ami like a daughter and would rain fire and brimstone on anyone who tried to harm her. Then Ami herself had become legendary when she began to serve as Marcus Grayden’s Second, or guard, and helped him defeat thirty-four vampires in a battle those in the Immortal Guardians world still whispered about.
Two against thirty-four? No mortal had ever faced those numbers with the immortal he or she served.
Naturally, Eliana had been curious, so she’d had her sometimes hunting partner Rafe teleport her to North Carolina to meet Ami. Yet not once in any of her interactions with the soft-spoken woman had Eliana guessed the truth of who and what Ami was.
Ami was from another planet. She was an honest-to-goodness extraterrestrial!
A Lasaran princess who also served as ambassador, Amiriska had come to Earth, seeking an alliance and to warn Earth’s leaders that Gathendiens—the alien beings who had tried to exterminate her people—were on their way to Earth to exterminate theirs. Instead of doing what Eliana thought would be the logical response—saying Hell yes, we’d love to form an alliance with Lasara and will gladly accept any aid you care to offer—the idiots in charge had instead captured Ami, incarcerated her, and tortured her for six months until Seth and David found her.
“Dumbasses,” she muttered.
Ganix, the male Lasaran striding along beside her, cast her a curious glance. “Who?”
“Ah. I concur.”
She grinned. It had worked out well though. Not for Earth. The Gathendien threat still loomed, thanks to the dumbasses. But Ami had fallen in love with Marcus and married the eight-hundred-year-old Immortal Guardian. Her brother Taelon had come looking for her and—after a rough and harrowing introduction to Earthlings—had fallen in love with a gifted one named Lisa. Then, at Ami’s urging, Seth had taken the first steps toward forming an alliance with the Lasaran people. An alliance that had landed Eliana, four of her immortal brethren, and ten gifted ones on the Lasaran battleship Kandovar four months ago.
Now they hurtled across the galaxy to find new homes on Ami’s homeworld.
Life could surprise the hell out of you sometimes.
“Hey,” Eliana said suddenly, “do you think one of the pilots on board would give me flying lessons?”
Ganix looked at her as if she’d lost her mind. “No.”
“Why not? Women are as capable of piloting aircraft as men. And I want to learn how to fly one of those sleek black fighter craft.” Back on Earth she’d learned how to fly both a helicopter and small airplanes just to stave off boredom. Doing the same damned thing every night for hundreds of years tended to get old.
He shook his head. “You aren’t a member of the Lasaran military.”
“Is there such a thing as an honorary member?”
“Do you think they’d make an exception?”
Lasarans were very big on rules. The foot of space Ganix kept between them at all times was proof of that. On Lasara, men and women of childbearing age were not allowed to touch unless they were married, or bonded as the Lasarans called it. Eliana had thought it more of a general guideline rather than a hard-and-fast rule until she’d boarded the ship.
She supposed it shouldn’t bother her. She’d been raised in one of the earliest American colonies by a mother who had vehemently adhered to the stricter social canons of England. A mother who would’ve fit in quite well on Lasara, she thought with some amusement. But Eliana had grown accustomed to the lax rules of modern times. Before she’d left Earth, she had often hunted with fellow Immortal Guardian Nick Belanger. And since Nick had freely admitted that he only had eyes for his next-door neighbor, Eliana had felt free to hug him and express friendly affection without him misinterpreting it as a come-on.
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