Malathix Soul: Broken|
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Copyright ©2011 Ayla Ruse
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Earth Star Command Station, Year 2142
Yvette Butler considered herself the picture of perfect calm as she strode out of her boss's office, through the busy little cubicles of Earth Star Command Station and stepped into one of the cooler, empty passageways. Only then did she slump her six-foot, slender frame against the tiled wall.
Lifting her fisted hands, she opened them to reveal pinpricks of blood upon her palms. She'd fought back her shift, but it'd been hard. It'd always been hard when she became angry. Thinking again of her supervisor and what he'd only moments ago "asked" her to do...
"Just... be nice to the male, Yvette. That's all I'm asking. We wouldn't want your little secret to come out now, would we? You know my policy on... half breeds --" He'd whispered the word as though it was cursed. "-- and I know you love your job here."
When her lips curled, he'd spoken again, unforgivingly blunt. "It's simple, Yvette. He will be here tomorrow. Meet that alien personally, satisfy him in whatever way he wants -- being half alien yourself that should be easy -- and you keep your job. Displease him and, well, the next pod to Earth is in three days. It'd be hard, wouldn't it, to find employment with a scathing reference?"
Now she stared at the harsh lights of the passageway ceiling and fought against a fresh wave of anger bubbling up. What she wouldn't give to rip that man's head from his shoulders. Him and his special favors. She sneered. Damn her for trusting, for confiding in him that she was a half breed with a human mother and an alien father. On planet, her background had been found loathsome by the few that knew, but she had thought, had hoped, that working on this station as liaison with aliens, her boss would have been more forgiving.
So much for my dream job. Now, she had no choice. She'd kill herself before doing her boss's dirty work anymore. As soon as she could, she'd leave the station and try to find other work. Maybe on the planet Zartech. Somewhere far away where she wouldn't have to live with concern of how others would treat her. Just because she wasn't full human didn't mean she was trash, and most of the ignorant people she'd met feared even a hint that someone might have alien DNA in their body.
Taking deep, calming breaths, Yvette mentally petted the anger into quiet submission. The ache in her jaw lessened as her gums shifted back to normal. The pain in her fingers eased as the claws, which had attempted to erupt from her hands, reformed back into sleek fingers tipped with short, trim nails. She rolled her neck and allowed herself two extra minutes to tamp everything down.
Now to figure out what to do.
"Yvette Butler, please report to the Admittance Room. Yvette Butler, please report at once to the Admittance Room."
She sighed. Her plans to leave would have to wait. She pushed herself off the wall and made sure the tight-fitting pants and shirt of her uniform were smooth and neat. Running her fingers through her thick mass of black and white hair, Yvette inhaled deeply.
She pressed on the communications system panel in the wall. "This is Yvette Butler. I'll be right down. Can you give me a head's up about what's needed?"
"I'm not sure, Ms. Butler, but Aaron is with an alien and he's asking for you. Says he has a meeting with you?"
Making her way to the AR room, Yvette couldn't for the life of her remember a meeting but didn't let it faze her. This was why she'd applied for the job in the first place. The chance to meet all kinds of aliens and to help them solve issues, or even act as a translator between themselves and Earth. Since she'd apparently scheduled it, this meeting could only be good.
Yvette stepped through a set of sliding doors leading to a spacious room. This area was where aliens first stopped to request entry to Earth. She scanned the room until she spotted a co-worker, Aaron, on the far side. He apparently had been looking for her, because when he caught her eye, he gestured wildly to the tall alien that dwarfed him. The being turned, and Yvette's breath caught in the back of her throat.
The male who now faced her could be described as wet-dream perfection. Standing well over six and half feet and dressed in dark brown pants that molded to strong thighs, wearing a shirt of similar color that laced at the throat, his style reminded her of the old pirate garb she'd seen in images of centuries past. Boots of a darker brown fit tightly over muscled calves, and thick gloves covered his hands.
He stood there, hands placed on his hips as if he were irritated and stared her down from across the room.
Time seemed to stand still.
The moment broke when he dropped his arms to his sides, tipped his chin down a fraction, and without shifting his gaze from her, began to stalk her way. Yes, she decided quickly, he stalked. She stifled the urge to step back as he drew near. Damn, he looked pissed. What the hell had she done? Her day seemed to be going from bad to worse. So much for thinking this call would be better than what her boss wanted her to do.
His bald head gleamed under the embedded lights overhead. A fierce looking face -- or at least a fierce expression -- made his sharp features appear to be made of stone. As he drew nearer, she noticed the darkness along either side of his neck was not an upturned collar as she'd first thought, but something that looked like tattoos that seemed to wrap around his throat from the back of his neck.
He stopped not two feet from her, and she was surprised she didn't have to overly crane her neck to look him in his eyes, swirls of green and black. Beautiful. His eyes could easily mesmerize her.
Aaron bounced around them, trying to give her information that didn't seem to make it into her brain. She studied this alien, who was studying her. Intriguing. She felt like she knew this male, or could know him.
"Quiet, human," Thorn growled at Aaron, and Yvette tightened her lips to prevent her smile from emerging when the little man shut up. She had always thought the little runner a bit like a lapdog. This imposing alien just proved her theory right.
"Yvette Butler." The tall male stated her name, wanting confirmation.
She nodded her head in affirmation and in greeting. "I am. And you are?"
"I am Thorn d'Thiem. I believe I notified you some time ago about my arrival..."