Another hook from Constellation XXI., my just-released sci-fi romance. Today, the meet cute.
Sienna Dukelsky is a tugship pilot whose job is to guide incoming spaceships to a safe harbor at the space station orbiting her home world. She has just contacted an incoming ship — piloted by none other than Crispin Hunt, her first-ever lover. Here she discusses him and his ship with Marine Sergeant Vallant.
Crispin Hunt was approaching. That didn’t help her to breathe, either, yet somehow Sienna’s lungs filled and her voice worked.
“The Slowfreight’s ID dawdled,” she said.
Had Crispin turned off his ship’s automatic identification for some nefarious reason? She didn’t bother to voice the speculation. Vallant was paranoid enough to jump to the same conclusion.
“But when they broadcast,” she continued, “the ship checked out. Constellation XXI is registered at Port Twist on one of the border worlds. The cargo is a shipment of exotic animals for sale to the highest bidder. The owner, captain, and sole crew is Crispin Tanzer-Ndeki Hunt.”
Sienna flexed her hand, still sore from slamming the dashboard dangerously close to the weapons button. She wasn’t sure she’d done the right thing by not launching missiles, except for all the paperwork it would entail.
Sienna had rehearsed this answer. “I know him. Knew him, that is. He was a year ahead of me at Keening AstroSpace Academy.”
The marine made a face as she shook her head, reluctantly acknowledging that knowing someone might be a good enough reason not to kill them. “He any good?”
Sienna hadn’t rehearsed this one. Her face heated as traitorous memories lit a fire in her nethers. Oh yes, he was good.
“Uh, you mean as a pilot? I don’t know. He…” A different memory doused the fire and spurred Sienna’s heart to a gallop. “He got kicked out.” She swallowed hard. “For cheating.”
Rediscovering Love at the Worst Possible Time
Although Sienna Dukelsky had been the most promising student pilot at Keening AstroSpace Academy, she inexplicably settles for a routine, unglamorous job guiding incoming spaceships to safe berths at Farflung Space Station. Rumors blamed her startling decision on heartbreak after Crispin Hunt, the love of her life, got expelled.
Approaching Farflung years several later, Crispin’s freighter is met by Sienna’s tugship. Love rekindles, though dampened by old betrayals. And when her ship loses power while aimed straight at the space station, Sienna must confront astonishing secrets about Crispin and his cargo—secrets that make hers the most important job in the galaxy.