Time for another hook from Rescuing Prince Charming, a near-future sci fi romance. Dusty Johnson, a mild-mannered tech writer,* and a Kwadran** guard have discovered a time bomb hidden in the mechanical deck of an unfinished starship prototype. Now they hurry to remove it from the ship before it explodes.
* I spent 20+ years writing software manuals. I promised myself one day I’d write a tech writer hero.
** Kwadrans are technologically advanced humans from an alternate Earth, now marooned here.
After he slapped the switch that opened the trapdoor, light provided her first good look at the guard above the waist. He was scowling, but the furrows on his brow merely accentuated his rugged good looks. His long, dark hair was braided. So, he was one of those aliens who flaunted their Amerind ancestry to set themselves apart from the Americans of this world.
He climbed halfway up the ladder. Moving with supreme caution, she held the bomb toward his extended hand.
“Hurry!” He grabbed the box and climbed the rope ladder like an agile monkey. The lid nearly fell off, making Dusty’s heart pole-vault her ribs.
As she followed, her mind obsessed on two things: the nearness of death and the nearness of life embodied in the expanse of his male flesh. Dusty poked her head out of the trapdoor. “You’re going the wrong way! That leads to crew quarters.”
The open trapdoor blocked his way back, so she leaped to the right side of it and leaned her hands over the hole in the passageway. “Give it to me.”
Miracle of miracles, he didn’t argue, just stretched his arms over the trapdoor to give her the bomb. While he closed the trapdoor, she ran to the starship’s bridge. From there, she hurried to the open airlock and down the ramp to the melt-rock floor of the artificial cavern housing the Owikeeno Research Facility. Wiki, for short.
She ran. Behind her, the Kwadran’s footsteps banged down the metal ramp, barely loud enough to be heard over the klaxon that still screamed its warning.
“Where are you heading?” he called. He wasn’t even breathing hard. She wanted to kiss him — later — for his bravery and his conditioning.
“The terrace.” From there, she could throw the bomb into the ocean. She ran toward the only natural light in the huge cavern, where a pair of sliding glass doors led to a patio overlooking the fjord. “Time?”
Oh, God. It was still a long way to the doors. She tried to be a heroine and what did she get? A ticking time bomb eager to remove her appendix.
Rescuing Prince Charming
She’s no heroine. He’s no Prince Charming.
Not exactly the pair you’d choose to defend Earth’s first starship.
Dusty Johnson, a self-styled ordinary, everyday woman, responds with extraordinary heroism when saboteurs try to bomb the prototype of Earth’s first starship. She wants to return to anonymity, but that burst of courage propels her ever deeper into dangers that tear the scabs off her dark past — and thrust her into the arms of the unattainable man of her dreams.
Reese Eaglesbrood, an alien prince, yearns to restore his tattered reputation by guiding the starship project to completion, but his fascination with the unassuming heroine threatens to undermine his fragile authority. Shunning Dusty is necessary, yet unthinkable — and when the saboteurs strike again, she may be his only ally against Earth’s most elusive enemies.
Rescuing Prince Charming is available free for a limited time on Prolific Works.