Authors: Viola Grace
Tags: #erotic Romance, #Science Fiction opera, #multiple partners, #Paranormal
Assigned as a recruiter, Brigs has to work with her ex-lover to get the new Guardians into line.
Brigeet works finding talents via news articles and medical reports. She normally sends recruiters out to contact those talents, but she gets tapped to set up a new Guardian base and so all the recruiting is up to her.
She has to convince their family matriarchs that it is a good idea to let them join.
Solos had Brigeet in his bed, but he was forced to leave her behind, now they are working together, and she is on his home world. On his turf, he can have her on his terms, if his family will agree.
Other families want Brigeet to take their sons as well, so it will be a competition to see whom she will take on as bond mate first.
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Copyright © 2014
Cover art by Martine Jardin
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A Terran Times Tale
Brigeet Alass rubbed her forehead as she read the reports that had come in from all over the imperium. She was looking for those who could qualify for the Guardian project.
Becoming a recruiter for a team of superheroes was something that she had only fantasized about back on earth. When she had first been offered the position, she had thought it was a joke.
Brigs had made it through the Alliance by selecting candidates for the Sector Guard program and now that the program was self-sustaining and the Citadel was on board, she had been loaned out to the Nyal Imperium.
She looked through the mound of reports of unusual physical behaviour from every news source in the imperium and got to work. She didn’t know what she was looking for, but now that she had managed to learn all the printed languages in the imperium, it made it easier.
She scanned image after image of super beings and ignored most of them. After six years of combing through reports, she could tell which exposures were a one-off and which were permanent. A one-off wanted everyone to notice them because it would never happen again. A permanent super power was one who was confident enough to shun the media and shy enough to avoid the camera. They might reap rewards among their people but that was not going to be in the report.
Brigs had found sixteen candidates this year alone. Ten had agreed to join the Guardian project, and for each one that agreed, she got a finder’s fee.
“Aha. Got one.” She isolated the news reports and saw the image of the man in question. Yes, he was born to be a hero. She opened all her screens and focussed on the stories of this man repelling a Raider incursion by himself.
He was being heralded as the new defender of his people and their sole defense.
Brigs got a list of items she thought he would need before he would agree. Two other Guardians were necessary, as well as a base for a modicum of privacy.
They would need to create a base on Jaluum if they were to bring this warrior into the fold. She broke down the social details of who should be going. They would need a female to do the negotiations. The social structure was all about males pleasing women. It was an interesting phenomenon and something Brigs wouldn’t mind experiencing, but for now, she had a job to do.
She spent the day working on the proposal to bring the warrior to the project and sent it off to project control.
With Jaluum taken care of, she continued her search for the next Guardian candidate.
Bots brought meals to her and no one bothered her. She was working to figure out defenders of defenseless planets. There was no time for chitchat.
At the end of the day, she groaned and looked up from the multiple screens she was looking at. Time for bed.
She cleaned up the reports and stacked the newsagent data packs. There was a com light flashing, but she would get it in her room. Work was done for the day.
The door opened and she exited her office. Her bedroom was right there, and she stretched extensively before turning to her private com unit.
The screen went blank while the live call was reconnected.
“Recruiter Alass, we require your services.”
“General Firengar, I thought I was already providing my services.”
“We have looked over the Jaluum proposal, but we have no recruiters with those qualifications available.”
“Can’t you just delay the recruitment until you do have one available?”
“No. Jaluum is strategic and will be under attack again if they don’t get help. The government has already agreed to provide us with a location for our base, but we need a local on the base for the agreement to be ratified. Deliver this to us and you may have six months off.”
Brigs nearly fell off her chair. “Seriously?”
“Indeed. I will put it in writing. If you can convince the talent of Jaluum to join the Guardians, we will give you the time off.”
Brigs didn’t need to be asked twice. “When do I leave?”
“Transport has been arranged for the morning. You can continue your duties while you travel. It may take a few weeks to find three Guardians on Jaluum.”
The screen went dark before she realised what they had said. “You son of a bitch. I have to convince three talents who haven’t seen my species before to join a group they haven’t even heard of. Sure. No problem.”
Brigeet quickly packed a bag with her necessities, and then, she dropped into bed. She was going to need all the rest she could get.
The escort to the shuttle came in, grabbed the tablets from her room and brought them all along. She had her bag and followed the stack of her office as it was trundled through the imperium outpost on Tehsha.
It was very early. The moons were still up and the sun was nowhere to be seen.
She trailed after her equipment and stumbled to a halt when she saw the ship it was being loaded onto. “Oh, hells.”
Solos was supervising the men as they carried her equipment into the ship. He gave her a sly smile when she was ten metres away. “Good morning, Brigs.”
“Good morning, Solos. You are looking well today.”
He bowed, his tight Guardian uniform was lightly armoured, but she knew from personal experience that the physique she admired was all him. Dealing with her ex had not been part of the deal when she had thought she could do this.
“I hear I am taking you to my home. Ah, the fun we can have there.”
She tried to move past him, but he blocked her approach. “I am not going to Jaluum for fun. I have to do a recruitment.”
He stroked her arm with two fingers. “You always were very convincing.”
Brigs shivered. “Knock it off. This is not playtime. We have to get going so I can get this over with.”
“So brusque, and here, I was offering to share my toys with you.”
He took her bag and escorted her into the shuttle.
“I have seen your toys, and since I can’t keep them, I am not going to borrow them again.” She muttered it over her shoulder and walked into the room that opened at her approach.
Solos was a powerful talent. He could manipulate the matter of anything he touched. It was an effort of will that allowed her to watch him calmly as he opened her pack and settled her clothing in the chest at the base of her bed. He was very familiar with her uniforms and it showed.
When she was unpacked and he had tucked her duffel under her bed, he stood. “Care to join me in the cockpit?”
She wrinkled her nose at the suggestive tone he had adopted. “We are here to work, Solos.”
“Ah, I am here to see if we can start something a second time. I have the two-day flight to Jaluum to convince you.”
She took the hand he extended to her and let him haul her to the front of the ship. Brigs settled into the navigator station and buckled in. She didn’t check the instruments because they wouldn’t activate until Solos woke the metal hulk that was the ship. It was only operational when Solos was powering it, and as the lights sprang to life, that time had come.
Strapped into place, she watched the ground fall away beneath them. He spoke into the headset that connected him to the ground control, and they cut through the atmosphere, heading for the stars.
Brigs stared at his pale blue skin and dark blue hair. His lips were still clear-cut and his jaw was chiselled. He was amazing to watch but a future wasn’t in the cards.
When they achieved clearance from Tehsha airspace, Solos headed for deep space. Jaluum would be the end of a very long trip even though it only took two days. Any time with Solos was an eternity.
He took off his headpiece and swivelled in his chair. “So, do you wish to join me in the captain’s chair? It is the best seat in the house.”
She groaned and put her face in her hands. “We can’t do this, Solos.”
He chuckled and reached over to release her harness. “Sure we can. We have two days after all.”
She batted at his hands as he pulled her into his lap.
“We have two days before I have to find three Jaluum talents and convince them to start up a Guardian base. Playing with you on the way is not in the cards.”
He wrapped arms loosely around her and he held her in place. “I am very glad to have you with me, Brigs.”
With regret, she looked up into his features. “I am sorry that I can’t say the same. This adds a complication to my assignment.”
“I have always been good with complications.”
“You just won’t be deterred.”
He grinned. “I have you here now; I am not going to pass up this opportunity.”
She was afraid that she was going to face his charm at full blast and close range. Brigs knew she was doomed.
Hiding in her room wasn’t the most dignified of actions, but it was her only option. Solos was tireless in his pursuit, and Brigs was beginning to think that tangling in his sheets again was an excellent idea.
She pressed her ear to the door and listened for him. All was quiet, so she headed to the cargo hold and delved into her tablets. She sat on a nearby crate and started to look through all the incidences that she had downloaded before leaving. Jaluum had a few minor power-related incidents but nothing that screamed high-level talent.
Brigeet was looking for something that could be developed into something more. Sometimes, the littlest unusual activity had the possibility to bloom. Brig’s job was to find that activity and locate the source. She was very good at her job.
“Sneaking around in the dark isn’t like you, Brigs. I prefer you charging around in the light.”
Solos was leaning against the doorframe, his arms crossed over his chest.
“I had to sneak, you kept dragging me into your lap, and eventually, I would give in.”
“You make it sound so horrible.”
She sighed and put her tablet down. “It isn’t horrible, but I am here to work. You and I know that we are not going to have a future together. I am not going to run into you frequently, and a one-night stand would not be great for my self-esteem.”
He sighed. “Fine. I will stick to business, but you must let me show you my home.”
“Agreed.” She paused and turned toward him. “Actually, since you have lived there, can you identify a good location for the base? We have been given authorization to build there, but I am not positive that the location they offered is suitable.”
He grinned, “You want my help?”
She nodded. “Yes, Solos, I do.”
“You know you will have to pay me for it if I choose correctly.”
Brigs’s shoulders slumped. “Yes, I know I will pay.”
“Then, I will do what I can to make the proper choice. Do you have the locations?”
She thumbed through her tablets and pulled out the one with the requirements and suggested locales. “Here you go.”
He took the tablet and keyed it up. He sat with her while she studied, and when she groaned, he moved behind her to rub her shoulders.