Authors: Viola Grace
Tags: #sci-fi, paranormal, futuristic, romance
Table of Contents
Trapped in a job working as an assistant for an ambassador, Ceelie is hoping for something better for her life, but she knows that it isn’t likely.
While on an assignment to obtain some atmosphere scrubbing trees Ceelie finds herself courted and seduced before she can blink.
Rimeer is the avatar of the green and life giving world and he is in need of a companion.
Ceelie can’t bring herself to deny any of his needs and when the planet joins them, she finds out that being part of a ménage can include three minds seeking pleasure as one.
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2012 Viola Grace
Cover art by Martine Jardin
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A Terran Times Tale
Filling people with awe was a charming skill for an entertainer, but it really was not very helpful in a personal assistant to an ambassador. Ceelie Orlie was resigned to a life of following the Tival Ambassador around and trying to keep him calm and organized. Her talent would remain unused and unwanted.
Her assignment today was not only to deliver Ambassador Keeln to the wild planet of Hassoi, but also to assist in gaining trust from the locals.
“Ceelie, when will we land?”
Ceelie jumped but kept her hand on the controls. “We will be down within the hour, Ambassador.”
Ambassador Keeln was his normal charming self today. He was well groomed, as always, but his fairly pleasant features were marked by his scowl. “Be a little more precise with the landing this time, Ceelie. I was a little shaken up by the last drop to the surface.”
She nodded. “Yes, Ambassador.”
Ceelie verified the beacon that the Hassoi had set out for them and followed it down. They were a relatively unknown species, but they had some of the best plants and trees for world forming that had ever been discovered. If you had a planet that you wanted to fill with green, oxygen-producing life, you dealt with the Hassoi.
Trees of the Hassoi adapted to every environment they were placed in and did not spread beyond their original placement. They stayed put and simply grew into perfect oxygen farms.
The Tival had located a suitable dead world to remake and they had balanced the initial environment but were now working on populating it with flora and fauna. Ceelie was along for the ride as Keeln wandered from planet to planet, collecting items and agreements for supplies.
Ceelie smiled at the bright life that she saw when she looked at Hassoi. It was green, growing and inviting, reminding her of the lush jungles of her home. Terra had never seemed further away than when she looked at Keeln, but it seemed just around the corner as she eyed the jungles and open fields.
Life with Keeln was depressing on most days. He was either hitting on her or ignoring her, but every now and then, she saw a place like this and it was a gemstone in her mind, a bright place to look at and smile about.
She placed Hassoi in a special place in her thoughts and locked it down. Ceelie was going to keep this green jewel in her thoughts every time Keeln got on her nerves.
“We are on final approach, Ambassador. Please strap in for landing.”
She heard the click but didn’t look at her passenger. She needed her attention for the Tival shuttle landing. They were not as technologically advanced as the true Alliance ships, so they required a lot more effort to keep them steady during touchdown.
Sweat formed on her brow and slicked her palms as she fought the controls for a smooth landing.
The beacon was visible as she set the ship down on the grass. The moment that the ship powered down, the locals came out of the shadows of the vegetation and smiled in greeting. “We are at our destination, Ambassador.”
She unsnapped her harness and got to her feet.
Ambassador Keeln looked at her and she saw the lust in his eyes as she had countless times in the past. There was also anger in his eyes that had been showing up more and more frequently of late.
“Who are we speaking to here?”
She really needed to stretch after that landing, but there was no way she would do it with him watching. “The locals are going to greet you as an honoured visitor and tomorrow, you will meet with the avatar. He will be watching and waiting, so behaviour and manners are of utmost importance.”
Keeln grabbed her by her throat and held her, not tight, but threatening. “You are lecturing me about manners?”
She kept still. “I am not lecturing. I am briefing. By the way, there are two locals looking in through the front screen and unless you do some spin control, they will judge you by this action.”
He released her quickly and she moved to the back of the shuttle with as much dignity as she could muster.
She typed in the codes and swung the shuttle hatch open. Stairs descended and she walked out of the ship, waiting for the Ambassador to emerge.
He looked very proper, his embroidered coat, snow white shirt and embroidered trousers. The Tival were a cold race, made of elegant lines and distressingly beautiful features, but if you were unfortunate enough to be around one, the beauty faded quickly into something dark and jealous.
The locals of Hassoi came forward and smiled at them. They were a variety of sizes but all as green as the leaves of their trees. Their skin had the appearance of a smooth tree bark and their hair came in shades of pale mint to blackish green.
She bowed low to the headman of the village. “Greetings. May I present to you Ambassador Keeln of the Tival, here to negotiate for his people.”
The headman smiled. “I am Warcoth. Welcome. What is your name?”
Ceelie could feel the Ambassador stiffening with outrage behind her. “I am Ceelie Orlie of the Alliance Protectorate of Terra. Please call me Ceelie.”
He grinned, showing white and pointed teeth. “Welcome, Ceelie. The women of the village would like to offer you hospitality if you will take it.”
She bowed. “If the Ambassador will allow it, I would be only too happy to partake of your hospitality.”
Warcoth looked past her to Keeln.
Ceelie turned and quirked a brow at her employer and waited for his response.
“Of course, she must go if your women would have her.” Keeln flipped his hand in dismissal.
The moment that he waved his hand, a giggling group of women surrounded her. Some were shorter than she was, others taller, but all welcomed her with every smile and gesture. Ceelie was separated from Keeln and escorted into the forest, the deep green surrounded her and she was surprised again at the feeling of coming home.
Some of the women had flowers in their hair and they all wore tunics and trousers, but their feet were bare.
Ceelie realized that she was in a bit of a pickle when the women spoke to each other in liquid tones and her mind was unable to pick out the words. “I am sorry, I don’t understand you.”
The eldest of the women that were still pulling her into the woods smiled. “Do not worry. We can speak Alliance Common. It is just easier to speak the language of the trees.”
“The language of trees? Is that the language of Hassoi?”
The women laughed. “Hassoi is our world. The trees are his just as we are his, these words are also his.”
The village of the Hassoi appeared in the woods with surprising suddenness. One moment, there was nothing but shadows and the next there were laughing children, hunters and women walking past with baskets of fruit and vegetables.
Ceelie had to ask, “Madam, where are we going?”
“Call me Gilla. Before we can declare you a guest, you must be washed of your previous worlds. Deep in the heart of our village, we have a spring that brings Hassoi to us. You will bathe in that spring and then you will be given all that our planet can offer.”
“I am only here as the assistant to Ambassador Keeln. I don’t wish to take or trade anything from your world.”
Gilla grinned, “We know. It is why you will be given all we can offer. Only someone who gives without expectation of receiving can be considered a true friend. So many folk have come here to trade, but they want to get more than they offer and so receive less than they asked for.”
Ceelie’s head spun at the logic, but she couldn’t break free of the swarm of women that was growing with every step. The women herded her toward a cavern opening in the base of a huge tree. The rock tunnel led her down below and the liquid laughter of the women around her had her smiling and let her concern fade for the moment.
After all, nothing that brought such joy could possibly harm her, could it?
One moment, she was surrounded and the next, she was alone with Gilla. “Bathe as long as you wish. There is a fresh gown for you waiting next to the towels. Thank you for taking part in our hospitality.”
Before Ceelie could say anything or ask any questions, Gilla shoved her through a doorway and closed it behind her.
Bemused, she looked around her and breathed deeply of the high humidity. The spring was indeed bubbling from the depths of the planet and it produced a gentle mist of warm heat.
The towels were stacked neatly to one side and there was a pitcher with water and two glasses waiting for her.
She trailed her fingers in the warm pool and smiled. Ceelie hadn’t had a bath in months. Even when she and the Ambassador were on a world that would allow her to use water, she was forced to reside on the shuttle. It was one of Keeln’s cruelties, but since he was bound by the employment agreement to not have sex with her he found other ways to punish her for being beyond his reach.
Not wanting to disappoint her hosts, she peeled out of her loose ship suit and boots, shucked her underwear and let her hair down. With only a few steps, she was in the water and with a happy sigh, she dove under the surface.
The water held her in a soft caress and she swam, floated and twirled in it and wrapped herself in a feeling of relaxation and care.
When the tendrils of thought that were not her own came in, she tensed and sank for a moment before spluttering back to the surface.
Greetings and welcome, lady.
Do I have the honour of addressing Hassoi?
I do not know if it is an honour, but you do indeed, lady.
Call me Ceelie.
Ceelie then. You have a lovely mind.
Do not thank me. It is the truth. You have a very rare mind and a lovely talent.
Ceelie blushed and started to swim for the edge of the pool.
Thank you for the compliment, but my talent has not done me any good.
It got you into the Volunteers, did it not? You may be selling it short.
Life shuttling the ambassador around lets me see many things, but I can’t enjoy them. It is far from the life I imagined.
What would you consider to be a good life, Ceelie?
She left the pool in a rush of water and pink skin.
I don’t know. It isn’t up to me. The last decision I made was to leave my home, after that, it was all up to those around me to shove and tug me where they wanted.
Would you make a life if you had the choice?
I would. I have seen a lot and I am tired.
Unsurprisingly, she found that he had not left her mind though she had left the water.
I think that you have a lot to give a nation or a people. You simply need to reach within your soul.
She grimaced and wrapped herself in the towel.
You are currently the only thing in my soul, Hassoi.
She felt the fading of the living soul of the planet as he withdrew from conversational distance. Absently, she poured herself a glass of water and sipped as she debated whether to put on the gown or her baggy suit.
Ceelie lived by her own rules and slipped the gown over her head. Never refuse hospitality if you need a race to decide something in your favour. She was still on assignment, after all.