Authors: Viola Grace
Tags: #Sci Fi, Romance, Shapeshifters, Paranormal
Table of Contents
Dreaming of dragons got Vikki into space and only the love of one can bring her back down to solid ground.
Vikki has been dreaming of dragons since she was a teen, but as she became an adult, those dreams got more and more graphic. Who needs to seek a relationship when the steamiest sex of a lifetime lies on the other side of your waking mind?
Mercuros has been waiting for his mate to come to him for centuries upon centuries. Refusing to believe that she is finally on Geviil, he fights his senses until her touch convinces him of her identity. She is here and she is his.
The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.
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 © 2011 Viola Grace
Cover art by Martine Jardin
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.
Published by eXtasy Books
Look for us online at:
A Terran Times Tale
Swimming with the huge creature gave Vikki a feeling of serenity that had yet to be matched in the Alliance.
After days of polite negotiations, Nother had come to a conclusion that added to Vikki's sense of wellbeing.
We wish to offer Balen strains of the neesha fish. They are hardy and are an excellent food source for most bipeds.
Her companion swished his tail and she clung to his wide dorsal fin as he cruised along. She asked,
How many fish?
Fifty thousand. We will also confirm that the food stuffs available are suitable for the fish. It is exciting that Balen has renovated itself. Whatever we can give will be our pleasure.
Thank you, Nother. I am sure that your offering will be well received.
Thank you for the opportunity to communicate, Specialist Markham. I will return you to the platform now. Hold on.
There was no name for the beast she was on. It had been the avatar of the planet Nother for so many years that its species had ceased to exist. Twenty feet wide and ninety feet long, it cruised slowly through the seas of Nother and few, if any, folk bothered to realize that it was carrying the mind of the planet.
The huge tail waved gently and Vikki could feel the acceleration with the current on her body. Her face was covered by her breather and her body by an aqua suit, but the speed at which the creature could move was breathtaking.
She hung on tightly but closed her eyes to enjoy the feeling of being one with the large beast.
You enjoy swimming.
Yes, I just wish I could manage it as well as you can. It must be amazing to be able to move the way you do.
It is nice to occasionally see it through the eyes of others. I forget how it is to be with the young.
Would you ever accept colonists of the aquatic sort?
Perhaps, if they could speak with the same calm that you do. A quiet mind is a blessing to me. Most of you air breathers shriek constantly.
That is why I am a Specialist and they are not.
Excellent point. I have enjoyed our few days together. Thank you for your patience with my method of doing things.
It was my honour. Swimming with you has been a time that I will treasure.
Ah. Would you ever be able to visit?
She was a little surprised, but she answered as honestly as she could.
I go where I am assigned. My requests are not usually taken into account.
His voice was wistful.
I can try. Perhaps when I am paired with my Drai, he will have a water affinity and I can visit.
Ah, the bride of a Drai. That explains your ability to work with huge, old minds.
To her surprise, Nother chuckled.
I have not met him yet. As far as I know, he still sleeps.
Then he is missing out on your amazing mind. I hope he wakes quickly, for your sake. Some other mind might snatch you up if he takes too long.
How flattering. Are you courting me?
I would if I could. Your mind is fascinating and you have patience with my slow methods of thought. You are ideal for an avatar, Specialist.
Nother slowed as they approached the landing platform.
You flatter me.
No, I am honest with you, but I feel your fear. I will leave the subject, but know that the offer is sincere. Though there is much water here, there is land as well and you and I could commune on the islands above.
Tempting, but I will give my dragon a try.
Very well. I will wait for additional communication from the Alliance to confirm environmental suitability. Be well, Specialist Markham.
Nother glided up to the platform and a grateful Vikki swam for the ladder. The moment that she latched on to the metal, Nother lazily moved his tail and swam away.
Clinging to the ladder with all her strength, she waited out the swirl of current caused by the huge creature's movements. When all was still, she climbed up to the surface, flopped on her back and ripped off her mask.
She gasped in the atmosphere, not caring that the metallic taste was in every breath.
The scrape of a boot near her head made her look up, but the shadow was silhouetted by the suns and she could not make out his features. "It looks like it was a rough one."
She grimaced. "Shut up and haul me into the ship, Vinni."
Her partner cackled and grabbed her under her arms. "Gross, you are all wet."
"That is what happens when you swim." She stayed limp, exhausted from her work under the surface of Nother.
"Was it successful?"
"Yup. Nother has offered an edible breed of fish. There has to be some back and forth with seaweed comparisons, but it should be good." Her heels were dragging on the platform, but she didn't care. Vikki yawned.
Vinni was her partner, her pilot and occasionally an interior designer. One of the Dhemon pinks, he was born to never breed and had an active social life on every world and space station they landed on. He also had the sensibilities of her little sister despite his surprising strength.
She let out an
when he dropped her into the chair near the com. Propping her head on her fist, she typed in the code for Station 13.
"Station 13, how may I direct your call?"
"Funny, Lonar. Is Zenina on the station?" She yawned again and the com officer's face showed his surprise.
"She is off on assignment."
"Just a moment."
She stripped off her gloves while she waited. The closure of her suit fought her fingers, but she managed to peel it open to her sternum when Haunt's face came on screen.
"Specialist Markham, how nice. What can I do for you?"
"Hello, Haunt. I have obtained agreement from Nother for some compatible fish. He has offered fifty thousand and they are supposed to be edible for most bipedal species. He requires some samples of seaweed to provide proof that the fish will have food. So, with a few of your folk and some more visits, you will have some fish for Balen's oceans."
"Thank you. We were beginning to wonder what was taking so long?" Haunt's attempt at humour didn't sit well with Vikki's exhausted mind.
"You try getting an agreement out of a planet who has not talked to anyone in eons, under cold water no less. The details of the agreement will be filed and Balen can make the decision later. Specialist Markham out." She disconnected the call with the flip of a finger.
"Get undressed, get dry and get to bed. I will fly us out of here to the next station. We are due on Brekari in three days. Time to get in some relaxation, Vikki."
Vinni lifted her with his hands on her arms and shooed her to the back of the shuttle.
She stripped off her sodden suit and walked into the gel shower. She turned the heat up on the gel and got doused with the liquid, letting the heat warm her as she spread it over her from head to toe an instant before it hardened and shattered, taking surface bacteria with it.
A light vacuuming later and she felt moderately better. She faced the mirror in the small lav and smiled slightly at her pink hair. It was one of Vinni's best colour jobs. Even after the gel, it still had curl and wave in it. It made her blue eyes wide and bright, a startling contrast to how she felt.
The weight of Nother's mind was tremendous. Her relief at being disconnected from him was rippling through her thoughts. Sighing, she left the lav and crawled onto her bunk, strapping herself down for takeoff.
Vinni took off smoothly, the shuttle barely shuddering under his control. The dexterity and strength that it took to control the old shuttle was what made him so popular on the stations. Under the uniform, he was ripped. He never lacked for male companionship, which was something Vikki could not say for herself.
The stations held groomers and restaurants, so she focused on pleasing herself without looking for a companion. The few times she had tried, she had been unsuccessful once they heard she was on the waiting list for a Drai mate.
It was on every document she signed, every cursory check of her credentials.
Sighing, Vikki snuggled down into the sheets and blanket of her bunk and rested while Vinni did the flying. It was going to be a long day and they had a station to get to.
She had to wait out an avatar hangover and sleep was the best medicine for it. It was time to dream of dragons.
In a baggy ship suit, Vikki relieved Vinni ten hours after they left Nother. He fell into his own bunk with a groan she could hear from the cockpit.
She gave a delicate burp and swallowed the last of her breakfast for the second time. Her system was never quite right after a mental connection, but it would acclimate again.
She was three hours into her flight shift when the com chirped. There was no scheduled communication, so she was unsure of what was going on.
"This is the Dead Pigeon, connection acknowledged."
"Specialist Markham? Oh thank the twelve gods." The voice was unfamiliar, but the mention of twelve gods narrowed down the possible races dramatically.
"Yes, this is Specialist Markham. Who am I addressing?"
"Oh, my apologies. I am Communications Liaison Heffer. I am calling from Geviil."
got her attention. Her supposed mate was located on Geviil.
"What can I do for you? This is a priority channel, so I assume that it is a matter of urgency."
Silence crackled in the cockpit and Vikki leaned forward, straining to hear the next message.
"We need you here. Immediately. The Drai is in danger and he won't wake up. He doesn't believe you are near."
"That is impossible. I was told that our mating compatibility is confirmed." Vikki scrubbed her hand through her tousled curls.
"It is, was. From what I have been able to glean, he doesn't think you are real. He thinks we have tricked him. I don't understand why, but we need you here to talk to him."
Vikki groaned. "And because of my talent for speaking to large, sleeping minds, planets and the like…"
"We believe that you can wake him."
She sighed. "Get the Alliance to change my orders and have them send it to me on the priority channel and I will redirect my shuttle to Geviil. At this distance, I should be there within a day."
"Thank you, Specialist Markham. I will. Immediately. Thank you." Heffer's voice was so clear with relief that in Vikki's mind's eye, she could almost see a Geviilan bowing.
Less than an hour later, the redirect came through with the Alliance seals and the approval of the Terran Rep. All was in order, so Vikki reprogrammed the nav computer with the new course.
The Dead Pigeon huffed its way through space to a jump site and in three hours, her orders gained them a space on a warship with jump capability. By the time Vinni woke, had a gel shower, breakfast and brushed his long, lustrous locks, they were eight hours away from Geviil.
"Hey, sleepy head. We got a redirect to Geviil. It looks like your playmates will have to wait a little bit longer, as will my nails." She looked down at her chipped polish and mentally groused about the three days of swimming in salt water she had had to endure for her job.