First Contact Excerpt
Tristan stared at slanted eyes the color of green jade, and the long nose with ridges down the bridge. Alien. Every muscle in his body tensed, but not in the fight or flight response kind way. Heat bloomed from within, spreading throughout his body. For a moment he found it difficult to focus on his task. He had to find a way to get the recorded confession to Shadow Fleet.
Fuck. He threaded a hand through his mop of hair, pulling it as he let out a frustrated groan. The ship stalled—like some kind unknown force shut the engines off—as it passed through the atmosphere and crash landed. The front was crushed but not enough to hinder flight. However, the engine wouldn’t turn over and the radio didn’t work. After inspecting the engine compartment, he noted the electrical was fried. Odd. He needed tools and a way to contact Shadow Fleet to give them the proof they had a rat for a general.
Tristan glanced back at the alien as he licked his lips. An involuntary response for being in the heat, Tristan guessed. The act drew his gaze to the man’s thin, kissable lips. Suddenly his pants became tighter. Fucking hell. He must have hit his head during the landing.
Not in the five years since Austin’s murder had Tristan responded to another man. Yet he did now. In the presence of the alien, he did. Was it some kind of lure? Distract the enemy to take him down?
Tristan stepped back to create some space between them. Instead, the motion granted him a better view of the man. His skin was porcelain smooth. Not a blemish or scar anywhere that Tristan could see. Perfect, male specimen…
His gaze landed on the man’s trembling hands. Cursing low, Tristan noticed the weapon on his belt and how he didn’t once move for it. This alien was no fighter.
“I…umm…crashed my ship upon landing. Is there a place to send for help? A transmitter?” Tristan watched as the man shook his head while holding onto the eye contact. “Do you speak English?” Maybe he’d never met a human before.
“English?” the man asked with genuine curiosity. “Yes.”
So, he does speak… Tristan crossed his arms and asked, “Where am I?”
When the alien didn’t answer, Tristan threw up his hands and turned back toward his ship. He was a fool. His first contact with an alien, and he went hard. For a moment, he even entertained the idea of wooing the man. So not what he needed. Besides, who would want to be involved with a fugitive?
Tristan couldn’t offer anyone anything but heartache.
Tristan stopped but didn’t turn. The soft but clear tone from alien tugged at a place in his soul. It was strange and unexplainable. After a few moments, Tristan glanced over his shoulder. “You do speak.”
He was teasing, but the words came out harsher than he meant. Great, asshole. Taking a breath, he slowly faced the man. “Do you know how to fix a spaceship?”
Tristan muttered another curse. “Is there another way off this planet? Somewhere I could borrow a ship?”
Another headshake was his answer. Tristan briefly closed his eyes and counted backward from twenty. Patience was never one of his virtues. “Look, I need to contact the human Shadow Fleet to report a crime and arrange for transport.”
The faster he got off the planet, the better. After all, if he found it, Gregor would too. Tristan didn’t need to be stuck in an unknown place without an operating ship
“What kind of crime?”
“Oh no, you answer my questions first.” Tristan took a step closer to him. “Where am I, and why isn’t this planet listed on any of the star maps?”
The alien opened his mouth to speak, then closed it before averting his gaze. He drew his brows together as if he were battling some kind of inner conflict. After a moment, Tristan held out his hand to the man. “My name is Tristan. What’s yours?”
His attempt to soothe the man’s nerves seemed to work as he dropped his shoulders in a relaxed way. “I’m Lucan. My friends call me Luc.”
Lucan. Tristan smiled, liking the sound of his name in his mind. “Is there anyone else here? You know, someone who might be able to fix my ship?”
Luc shook his head. “No one else is here. You are not supposed to be here. I am the only one with permission at this time.”
Fugitive Tristan Hawthorne loved his captain and has spent five years searching for proof to convince Shadow Fleet he’s innocent his lover’s murder. Captured and bound for transport to a penal colony, he comes face to face with an old enemy and revelations about the murder. Tristan vows to expose the truth to the Fleet. He escapes, but crash lands on an unidentified and uncharted planet where he encounters an alien who stirs passions he thought long buried.
Lucan receives special permission from the council to fly to Oria to release his mother’s spirit on the sacred world. With no family remaining, he’s broken and unsure. However, he didn’t count on meeting a human while he’s alone and mourning. He’s drawn to Tristan’s swagger and strength. He longs to be near him, even though his mother warned him that humans are a violent race, bent on destroying themselves and anyone around them.
With one working ship and a failing planetary cloaking device, it’s a short time until humans discover Oria and Tristan is recaptured. Under the starry, moonlit sky of the holiday Jainfest, the men learn to overcome their feelings of fear and distrust, and winds up finding out they aren’t so different after all.