Books, Writing

Fear in the Stars

Cutie Pi

Trini Martinez never thought of herself as flaky. No matter the radius of the problem, she could be counted on to solve and understand it. But when tentacles burst out of the newest Post-Doc to join the lab, and she finds herself pulled into an intergalactic game of tug she begins to question her sanity.

Racing through the stars, this computer scientist finds herself at the mercy of murderous bounty hunters, alien drones, and civilizations that’ll pay planets for her research. Her only hope to survive is a man that knows far too much about this intergalactic society. Can she trust Nolan or has she been a pawn for him the whole time?

In this excerpt, Nolan and Trini are trying to escape the bounty hunter and earth, when a dangerous probe find them. They only have one chance to fool it or all will be lost.


Would it hurt?

How deep could it penetrate?

Would my spleen pop like a hotdog in the microwave?

The bright light of the passing scan lit up even through my cinched eyelids. I felt as if I could see my own retinas, the entire world exploding into a cascade of pink. My knees locked in and I started to tumble to the floor.

But the hands pressed to my back clung tighter. His arms pushed closer, the increasing biceps first brushing against the side of my chest then flat out cuddling my breasts. It was the warmest, safest hug I’d ever had…on a spaceship somewhere between Earth and Mars while an alien scanner decided if I’d live or die.

“Please,” words whispered beside my ear. I moved to raise my head, but Nolan buried his cheek even deep into my shoulder. His speech didn’t stop, however. “When all is revealed and the shadows no longer provide succor, shield me as only you can.” 

I didn’t recognize it, but I knew a prayer when I heard one breathlessly whispered out of warm lips pressed to my neck. Rising on my toes, I pleaded to a higher being with him. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

“My rod and staff?” Nolan said, causing my eyes to snap open and fill with his. Those lips that whispered prayers lingered not even a centimeter from mine. And they raised in a small smile. “I might require a break to refuel my electrolytes.”

“That isn’t… I didn’t mean…” I stumbled, the innuendo smacking me repeatedly on the cheeks. It was a famous Psalm. Everyone knew it. Or was he messing with me?

The pink light continued past us, scanning the last quarter of the ship. I moved to stand up, but Nolan kept a tight grip to my body. “Don’t move. Not yet.”

Dumbly, I nodded and enveloped my hands around his straining shoulders. I should be panicking, and partly was with death in the air. But as I pressed my cheek above his sternum, losing myself in the assuring single heartbeat, I felt safe.

“Scan complete,” the evil, murder bot announced from outside the ship. This was it. Did our trick work? Would we have to fight off a battalion of alien commandos? 
“Only one earth creature detected.”

Thank you, Lord!

“Yes!” Nolan cried. Those hands that’d held me close and pinned me to him to fool the scanner didn’t fall off. His palms locked tight to my back and Nolan effortlessly lifted me into the air.

“Ah,” I gasped, fearing a fall even while knowing I was in good hands. Still, I wrapped my arms around his neck and clung to him while he twirled me in a circle. My feet flew outward, my skirt fluttering in the man-made wind. After walking that dividing line between death and life, I wanted to sing.

“You are so…” Nolan said, letting me come to a stop even as he kept me suspended in the air. His giddy smile faded to a small, heartfelt one while those endless stars burned in mine.
Lips soft and sweet as whipped cream found mine. In an instant, heat pulsed through me, Nolan’s gentle kiss zapping down my spine. I felt myself floating to the floor when a palm cupped my jaw. The thumb swept along my cheek, seeming to try to raise my lips into a smile even as I lost myself in his kiss.

As my toes bounded on the safety floor, Nolan pulled back. “I can’t…” he said, touching his lips glistening from my kiss. His brow furrowed and, with his thumb, he swept across my lips and slightly parted my mouth. “I can’t pretend any longer,” Nolan declared.

Like a spec of matter at the event horizon of a black hole, I was drawn forward at the same moment Nolan reached for me. He tousled through my hair, shaking away the knots from running through the forest. Rolling my long curls in his fist, he tugged until my head tipped back.

Plunging to me, our tongues met in his mouth as Nolan swept me into his arms. Palms kneaded across my ass, lifting my skirt and guiding my legs around his waist. A surprising sweetness rumbled under the masculine musk nibbling on my lips. I ached for more, to have him bite and lick his way down my body. 

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