In last week’s snippet from my sci fi rom, Alien Contact for Kid Sisters, Quinn, a free-spirited scamp and an aboriginal American from an alternate earth, witnessed a bomb destroy a wall of glass at the Royal Ball.
Marianne Harmon is upstairs in a hotel room with a prince when the rebels strike. She’s the queen’s sister, thus a potential target, so the prince leads her to one of the many tunnels that honeycomb Kwadra Island. He tells her to await her bodyguard, Captain Charleyjohn of the valiant Royal Guardians.
Then he hurries back to help at the bomb scene, leaving her alone in the spooky tunnel.
Marianne heard Charleyjohn’s off-key whistling before she saw him. How could the captain whistle merrily while his kingdom was under attack? She hadn’t met him, but already she disliked him.
Still, Reese had insisted Charleyjohn could be trusted, and if nothing else, she’d no longer be alone in this creepy tunnel. She trotted forward, eager to meet her savior.
But when she rounded a bend, she stopped. The tunnel split in two. Which way to go? Charleyjohn’s whistling echoed from everywhere. She couldn’t tell which tunnel he was in. She opened her mouth to call, but the echoes would confuse him as much as they did her.
Another woman might’ve waited patiently — and prudently — to be saved. Not Marianne. He might be headed away from her, and unless she hurried, she might never find him. She went left, her steps resolute, but after a few feet, she paused, straining to hear a clue in the shrill tune. She retraced her steps and headed up to the right, pausing yet again. Where was he?
He chose that moment to stop whistling. She decided she really didn’t like Captain Charleyjohn.
Just then he appeared. Although his square jaw hinted at toughness, his face seemed destined for laughter, not ferocity. He was tall and wiry rather than muscular, which was good and bad. Good, because she liked his physique. Bad, because with rebels on the loose and a target on her back, she wanted someone huge, muscular, and mean on her side. He was none of the above.
“Captain Charleyjohn,” she called in a peremptory voice.
The man froze — then exploded into action. He whirled, crouched, brandished a switchblade, and darted glances all around. “Ghost,” he cried in Shanoog. “Where are you, ghost? What do you want from me?”
“What an idiot,” Marianne muttered in English.
The man jerked his head toward her and stared for a moment. “I am never been an idiot,” he said in English with a dignity at odds with his actions. He spoke with the same accent as Prince Reese, but while Reese’s was a delicate spice, this man’s was a thick, pungent sauce.
“You are Captain Charleyjohn, right?”
Ahem. Charleyjohn was killed by a minor tunnel collapse triggered by the bomb. So who is this guy?
Alien Contact for Kid Sisters
Fleeing murderous rebels, the queen’s sister finds a hero to save her.
Or is he kidnapping her, instead?
Marianne is sick of being just the kid sister of the famous queen of Kwadra Island. Although she daydreams about being a warrior, when rebels bomb the royal ball she’s shunted to one of the many tunnels that honeycomb Kwadra, where she awaits a captain of the valiant Royal Guardians.
Quinn, a scam artist fleeing the police, dons the uniform of a Royal Guardian killed by a tunnel collapse. When Marianne mistakes him for her bodyguard, Quinn can’t decide whether to save the feisty maiden, fall in love with her—or kidnap her. With bloodthirsty rebels pursuing them and a treasure map in his pocket, what will he choose?