11:14 AM |
AN ALIEN PARADISE
Author: Susanne Marie Knight
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
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Teacher Petra Richardson receives a mysterious summer job offer. If she tutors a young boy, Traynor, all her expenses will be paid during her stay in the Galápagos Islands. Although she has misgivings, she agrees. Her new employer is the Taurus City Travel Agency, run by Traynor’s hunky Uncle Kelvin, whom she’d met and fantasized about when she was a teen. While romance simmers between Petra and Kelvin, there’s also danger. Who sabotaged their kayak? What happened to Traynor’s poomba? Why do some travel clients seem to flicker?
Just what is going on at this sleepy outpost in the South Pacific?
Kelvin Lacertus has a full plate. CEO of the Taurus City Travel Agency, he oversees alien and extraterrestrial Human tourists to Planet Terra. He’s handling the most important diplomatic conference in the galaxy. And he’s babysitting his nephew, Traynor. Kelvin arranges for a tutor, little Petra, whom he remembers from his Grand Tour of Terra years ago. She’d impressed him then. The grown-up version is even more irresistible. How can he protect his Petra when a terrorist group targets all Lacertus family members including his would-be bride?
Extraterrestrial Kelvin Lacertus meets the tutor he hired for his rambunctious nephew.
Kelvin Lacertus sunk his chin in his hand. Here was a devil of a situation. He was responsible for the whole of the Tau Ceti or rather Taurus City enterprise here on Terra, yet he held no sway whatever over a five-year-old boy.
The doorbell ran throughout the house. No time to wallow in inappropriate thoughts.
He corralled his nephew with a few well-chosen words, and then they both walked through the sliding glass doors into the living room to await Petra Richardson. As soon as sounds were heard at the living room door, however, Tray darted back outside.
That boy is in serious need of discipline.
But that thought completely vanished as Kelvin watched the willowy woman enter the room. He sharply inhaled. The enchanting fifteen-year-old waif he remembered had grown into a beauty that took his breath away. Her dark hair, parted in the middle, hung down in cascading waves just past her shoulders. Still slender, still petite, she wore a camisole top and matching covering tied at her narrow waist, along with a long gauzy skirt. Her sandaled toes peeped out from under the hem.
She walked in as a goddess might, strong and confident in her appearance. As well she should. She was like the Greek goddess Artemis--wild, determined, and pure.
He raked her with his gaze, inhaling her flowery fragrance. There was something special about Terran women. He’d always believed that. But more so with this Terran woman. Something elemental, something primordial. Something that appealed to every sense that a man possessed.
Her eyes, a mixture of butterscotch and honey, widened at seeing him.
She remembered him. Good.
Kelvin stepped forward and extended his hand. “I am charmed to see you, Ms. Richardson. Although we have met before, yes?”
The slightest blush colored her high cheeks. She shook his hand. “Yes, a very long time ago. I’m flattered that you remember me, sir.”
Her shake was firm, her skin warm. Her touch engendered a tickling sensation--one that penetrated down to his innermost regions. He held her gaze. “But of course I do. You were a most engaging child.”
He then turned toward the windows and watched his nephew scurry down the deck making guttural bird cries. This time Tray had found two branches that had fallen off a palm tree. One in each hand, he flapped them, making a jump every so often as if to take off to the skies.
“There is your new charge, Ms. Richardson. As you can see, my nephew is a lively child with a vivid imagination. Unfortunately, he just had a run in with a pair of scissors. His hair lost the battle.”
She walked over to the sliding glass door and looked out, obviously watching for the boy’s next turn around the deck. When Tray came back around, he waved a palm branch at her.
“He’s darling! A typical boy,” she exclaimed.
Kelvin withheld his comment. Tray wasn’t exactly typical.
Tapping her finger against her chin, she tilted her head. “Tell you what. Another pair of scissors can fix the damage. Do you have clippers? Hair-cutting gear? I’d be happy to give Traynor a trim. I often cut my father’s hair.”
“I’ll have the equipment brought in. I admit to being curious as to how you will persuade an active child to sit still for a haircut.” Kelvin gestured toward the white contemporary couch. “Come, let’s sit. I’m being an inattentive host. Would you care for some refreshments? Coffee? Iced tea? Something stronger?”
Petra glided over, sat on the cushions, and then placed her handbag next to her. She smoothed her skirt’s material down at her knees. “Thank you, no. I’m fine.”
He mixed himself a vodka tonic, splashed in a lime slice, and then sat adjacent to her in one of the white contour chairs. Leaning back, he studied her.
She glanced around the large room. “Mr. Lacertus, I can’t, for the life of me, figure this out. Why did you choose me to tutor your nephew?”
He started to speak, but she held up her slim hand. “I need to know the real reason, if you don’t mind.”
“The real reason,” he repeated. Stalling for time, he took a refreshing sip of his drink. “Well, first, please call me Kelvin.”
Her eyes crinkled up and her shoulders hunched forward, ever so slightly. Why was that?
“My name amuses you?”
She flushed. “You do know your name is a measurement of absolute thermodynamic temperature?”
Petra Richardson was of a literal mind; he explicitly remembered that about her. She was also a science teacher, through and through.
“Indeed it is, Petra, if I may. And if I gage the temperature in this room correctly, it is not only sixty eight degrees Fahrenheit, but also can be stated as two hundred and ninety four Kelvin.”
She tapped her sandaled foot on the plush, cream-colored carpet. “I’ll take your word for it. You very neatly avoided my question.”
“So I did. Astute of you to notice.” He took another cool sip, and then set his glass down on a side table. “If you truly want to know--
He couldn’t tell her the real reason. What the devil could he say?
Hope you enjoy!
Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!
Now Available: AN ALIEN PARADISE, science fiction romance
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