10:44 AM |
JANUS IS A TWO-FACED MOON
Author: Susanne Marie Knight
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i86CgD6o3eI.
Available electronically at:
BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE. In the year 2458, injured ballerina Blade Sinclair agrees to participate in the Galactic Olympic Games. Unfortunately, she’s on the wrong team; an alien team. If Blade doesn’t win a gold medal, her family will die. If Blade does win, the Sarthox will destroy Earth. What’s a girl to do??
LOVE HURTS. Security chief Christopher Bainbridge has had his share of traitorous females. At the Lunar Olympic Games, he finds himself mixed up with another one. But Blade doesn’t seem like a typical traitor, and against his own inclinations, he falls in love with her. How can he help her escape from the Sarthox and save the solar system at the same time?
Blade has just received *very* alarming news from attractive but disapproving security chief Christopher Bainbridge. Discussing him with her roommate, Heidi, Blade will soon learn about Heidi’s connection to Christopher.
Despite the lower gravity, Blade dragged her feet to the Olympic Village apartment. The time was almost eight at night, and she’d been going strong since six in the morning.
She opened the door, stepped inside, and waited. Absolute silence greeted her; her roommate Heidi must’ve still been out. Good. Blade didn’t need any distractions as she mulled over the events of the day.
Not the least of which was the encounter with Christopher Bainbridge.
Sitting on a heavy duty plastic chair, she removed her tattered ballet slippers and winced at the new blisters and welts appearing on her toes. Air ballet routines were not completely performed up in the air, and dancing on pointe on the ground was always hard on the feet.
She took out her handy survival kit and wrapped every toe, especially the pinkie, with medical tape.
“Whoa! What in the cosmos did you do to your feet, featherweight?”
Blade sighed. Heidi stood in the doorway. By her messy hairdo and droopy eyelids, it was obvious that she had been sleeping in her bedroom.
“An occupational hazard.” Blade finished her feet pampering with a brisk massage using a scented lotion. “It looks worse than it is. You get used to it.”
“I wouldn’t be able to run if my feet looked like yours.” Heidi yawned. “I had a great practice today. How was yours?”
“It was okay.” Blade made an automatic reply.
Unfortunately her coach, Plevake, was absent for practice, and a new partner always took some getting used to. But the son, Jevake... well, he was different in an indefinable way. While his dancing technique contained no flaws, it contained no passion either.
She shivered as she recalled his cold touch. Instinctively, her skin crawled, for if what Christopher Bainbridge said was true, then Jevake and his father were inhuman--alien.
But how could that be? If the Sarthox were aliens, then that meant Blade was competing in the Olympics against Humanity.
She closed her eyes tightly for a second. Please, no. That can’t be so...
While she wasn’t overly patriotic, she was Human, after all. Here was a line she didn’t want to cross.
Heidi left her seat to stare straight into Blade’s face. “What’s wrong? You seem preoccupied.”
“It’s nothing.” Blade removed her leg-warmers, then headed into the bathroom to peel off her leotard. “I just met a really disagreeable person today.”
Heidi pulled a chair over and sat outside the bathroom while Blade showered. “Oooh, dirt! Dish it up. Tell me all. I bet your disagreeable person is a man. Is he hunky? Does he make your hormones roar?”
Blade lathered up, then rinsed off. Water was a precious commodity on the Moon. Only the wealthy had unlimited access.
“Well, I don’t know about that,” she lied over the rush of water. “But, yep, he was one hundred percent man.” She’d give Bainbridge that compliment anyway. “He had the nerve to question me about my... Olympic associates. And he disapproved of me. He even said he hoped I didn’t win.”
“What a scurvy knave!” Heidi stood and flexed her muscles. “I’ll punch the dirtbag out. Who does he think he is? Only security personnel have the authority to ask questions about Olympic stuff.”
Ouch. Blade slipped into a terrycloth robe and towel-dried her long hair. “To tell you the truth, the guy did mention he was security.”
Heidi harrumphed. “That doesn’t give him the right to put you down, or disapprove of you, even if he carries a badge. Maybe it’s counterfeit, anyway. My brother’s GCC security, too. I’ll ask him to check--”
“No, no. It’s okay. I’ll just--” A doorbell sounded. “I’ll get the door.”
Glad to leave that discussion behind, Blade rushed out through the living room into the entryway. The whole situation was disturbing--Jevake, aliens, Sarthox... Christopher Bainbridge.
She opened the door. “Hel... lo.”
Holy cow, it was him, Bainbridge. All six foot two of him. Even in the dim corridor light, the sight of his broad shoulders, muscular chest, and slim hips caused her to unthinkingly lick her lips.
She’d seen plenty of well-physiqued men before; her ballet company had been full of them. But this man, he made her insides quiver.
“Miss Sinclair, may I come in?” He stood with his arms folded against that powerful chest.
“Why?” She hadn’t meant to be rude. Her question just popped out.
But then after all, she’d had a very trying day. The expression “dead tired” must’ve been created just for her.
A vein pulsed on his right temple. “I have a few more questions to ask you.”
She tightly bunched the edges of her robe together at her neck, then stepped aside to let him in. Never normally prudish, she felt an unaccustomed shyness creep over her. Being clad only in a robe with her hair still dripping water did nothing to bolster her confidence.
“Is this about Plevake Va-Thor?”
He turned his high watt gaze on her and didn’t answer her question. “Were you at--”
“Who was at the door?” Heidi barged into the room like a bulldozer. “I hope it wasn’t that dirtbag.”
Blade flushed. Somehow this bad situation got worse.
Heidi stormed over to them, then her mouth nearly dropped to the floor. “Chris!” she squeaked as she threw herself at the man. “It’s so good to see you.”
Bainbridge looked uncomfortable as he gently but firmly detached Heidi from his person. He darted his gaze to Blade, then looked back at Heidi.
“Heidi.” He cleared his throat. “Is this where you’re staying?”
“Sure thing. Y’know I left a message for you that my housing assignment was color-coded red.” She slapped Bainbridge on the back with the blow that would’ve crumpled Blade. He didn’t flinch, however. “This is great! Perfect! Chris can help you with that swine you were telling me about.”
Oh. Blade must’ve blazed redder than a case of tomatoes. The worse situation just got even worse.
“Um, Heidi, I didn’t say that.”
Heidi shook her head, making her short hair dance. “No, no. You don’t have to worry. Chris’ll take care of everything. He’s my brother.”
Her brother? Of all the people in the entire galaxy.... Yep, everything was going to hell in a handbasket now.
Not looking at him, Blade muttered, “Great.” Was there a convenient hole she could crawl in?
“C’mon, let’s sit.” Heidi went over to the VR window and selected an image. The picture of soil and farm buildings immediately appeared--a view from her home planet.
“Chris, this is my roommate, Blade. She told me about this guy--”
“Miss Sinclair and I have already met.” He sat on the couch and folded his arms across his chest again. “And I can imagine what she said.”
Puzzlement furrowed Heidi’s brow so Blade explained. “It was your brother who questioned me.” She hesitated a second, then turned to Bainbridge. “Listen, I didn’t say you were a swine.”
He shrugged. “I’ve been called worse.”
She fingered a wet strand of hair. “I’ll get dressed while you two catch up.”
Hurrying into the bedroom, she flung the door shut, then fell back against it. Her emotional side scolded: Well, you really stepped in it, didn’t you Blade?
Hope you enjoy!
Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist