House of Sensual Romance ™
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Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Run. Hide. If you can.
DAY IN THE SUN- part of the Last Summer Anthology
by LaVerne Thompson
Available 09/10/09 from Red Rose Publishing
What would you do if you couldn't make your own choices in life? Not even something as basic in most cultures as choosing the man or woman whom you'd spend the rest of your life with. Well sometimes even beings not of this world have that problem too. This is the story of such a conflict.
If you run from love can you hide?
As a member of the ruling class on her planet, Callie had no say in who she would marry. Her mother made the decision for her. She’d never even met the man she’d be bound to for the rest of her life. Her parents left her no choice. She fled her planet and would-be husband for a chance to live her life as she chose.
Landing on the back water planet earth, Jaran had one plan: to find Callie his reluctant bride and decide if he wanted to be married to her. No woman should be worth this kind of trouble. But it didn’t take him long to realize he wanted her by his side. But she ran from him once already.
How can he convince her to stop running long enough to love him?
The shrill cry of a sea bird flying overhead woke Callie from a sleep filled with memories. When she opened her eyes, the sun hung much lower on the water than it had when she’d closed them, turning the horizon golden. Her first conscious thought picked up on the threads of her dream that was no dream. Her father had helped her. He got her off their world and sent her to an unknown universe. Unknown that is to all, but a select few, like her father. More man of science than business, he studied the stars. Years ago he’d discovered a planet in another universe that had a sun and inhabited humanoids similar to themselves.
At the time, her mother thought his interest in less advanced cultures an interesting little hobby, but since no profit was involved promptly forgot about and dismissed the discovery, as did everyone else. But her father had continued to study the planet with the blue atmosphere and its inhabitance, and knew she would be able to fit in there. And she did.
Sighing she took her thermos out of the small bag at her side, gulping down all of the water, still cold in spite of her hour in the sun. Standing up, she put the thermos back in her bag and draped it across her shoulder. She shook the sand off her towel and wrapped it around her waist, before reaching for the coin on the chain around her neck. More than a piece of jewelry or her good luck charm. It also carried the last of the technology from the ship’s database before she destroyed it. Her father warned the ship had to be destroyed; it could be used to track her. If she ever wanted to return to her home world the necklace held the means for her to contact him. But deep in her heart she knew she’d never use the knowledge, for better or worse, so far better, earth was home. She kept the technology as a link to her father.
Callie bent down to pick up her sandals, when she straightened the movements of a swimmer some ten miles out in the water caught her attention. She hadn’t noticed him before. Even from that distance she could tell the body in the water appeared to be male. She wondered if he’d swum out from the beach or from the boat anchored even farther behind him, either way it was an unusually long swim. Although she didn’t need to do it, she raised her hand above her glasses as though to shade her eyes, but really lowered her sunglasses to better see him. The glasses and lens weakened her vision range. It was still vastly better than humans but without the glasses it would be sharper.
Without the covering over her eyes, the figure out in the water became clearer. She blinked, my gods! The man must have swum ten miles already, and still had more to go. Mesmerized, she watched his arms glide out of the ocean. Long lean fingers sliced effortlessly through the water. Shoulders and biceps bulged with the necessary muscle and strength allowing everything to work together for him to swim at the speed he did. If she didn’t know better she’d swear he was one of the mermen from Farris Pei. But since she could see no fins, she was fairly certain it was a human male out there, just one in exceptional shape.
Callie didn’t realize she moved until she stood at the edge of the tide. Stationing herself at a place on the beach where he would be able to see her, she waited for him to come to her. As the distance closed between them the more of him she could see. The sun glistened off hair so blonde it was almost white, but she couldn’t quite make out his facial features. The way he moved struck her as odd, he almost never seemed to raise his head to breathe as he swam.
Finally, he reached a point where he could stand in the water. At least six feet four inches of perfect man rose out of the ocean, water reluctantly dripped from a body fashioned by a loving god’s hand. Broad shoulders appeared first narrowing into a slender waist. With each step, the ridges of his abs rippled as he moved, the remaining droplets glistened off skin bare to the waistband of his swim trunks. He raised his hands to push wet shoulder length hair back and away from his face, revealing a face sculptured by a master craftsman, one without flaw.
“Oh, Mercy!” When his head snapped up, she knew she’d said the words out loud, and he’d heard. Eyes the color of sapphire stones found on this planet, zeroed in on her. Callie could do nothing but take a step forward as he continued moving in her direction. The warm tide slapping at her ankles helped to bring her back to her senses. She stopped, refusing to let the current drag her out to him, or his eyes pull her closer to him. Planting her feet into the hot sand, she didn’t flee. Not this time.
She knew what he must be, men on this planet did not look as he did. Off worlder, someone hired by the Narinds to find and bring her back. Well she wasn’t going. No one, no one could make her. There were a few people on the beach; he couldn’t take her in front of witnesses. Because he’d have to use force to get her to leave earth.
His presence could only mean one thing. Her father’s plan hadn’t worked.