When her family is evicted from their home, Summer knows things can't get much worse. She blames herself. She should have done something sooner, but now it's time for drastic measures. There's only one thing left to do, even if it means tying her life to that of an alien. She drives straight to the Terran Station.
From the moment he first sees the young Human step out of her car, Vordro is mesmerized. He's never seen anyone so vibrant, so beautiful... or so troubled. He wants to be the answer to her prayers, even if he knows he's too old for her. The thought of her mating with anyone other than him leaves a sour taste in his mouth. But moving Summer into his home proves to be far more temptation than he's able to withstand.
When things get off the charts hot between them and Summer ends up pregnant, Vordro knows he'll do anything to protect her and their unborn child -- even if it means defending her from her own family.
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Praise for Summer and the Alien Guard (Intergalactic Brides 11)
"Summer and the Alien Guard was cute. It’s an easy read, had just the right amount of sexiness to get those juices flowing, and the pace was steady and solid. I just liked it. I hope other readers will give it a try too because there’s a lot to enjoy within its pages."
-- Xeranthemum, Long and Short Reviews
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Summer and the Alien Guard (Intergalactic Brides 11)
Jessica Coulter Smith
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2017 Jessica Coulter Smith
As she approached the station, a tall Terran opened the door for her. She smiled her thanks and stopped at the reception desk. The woman there was on the phone, so Summer waited patiently. There was warmth at her back, and she looked over her shoulder, and up. The same Terran who had opened the door for her was now standing extremely close. She wondered if maybe she looked like someone who was about to go postal on the place.
"I promise I'm not here to cause trouble," she said.
"I'd be happy to escort you to your destination. Are you here to meet with someone?" he asked.
"I need to sign up for the bride program."
He studied her. "Interesting choice of words."
"Excuse me?" She didn't think she'd said anything wrong. Maybe he hadn't understood her?
"You said need. Not want."
She licked her lips. "I meant want."
"We only take serious inquiries for the bride program. If you aren't entering it for the right reasons, you might as well turn around and go home."
Tears misted her eyes. "I can't."
His gaze softened, and he placed a hand on her waist, guiding her away from the desk. He motioned for her to take a seat and he hunkered down in front of her, the leather of his pants creaking from the movement.
"Why don't you start by telling me what's wrong," he said. "And then we'll go from there."
"I said I need to sign up for the bride program because it's my only hope. My family was evicted from our home today, and all our possessions were taken as well to pay off creditors. All we have are some clothes and a few pairs of shoes. My father works hard, but it's not enough. I don't know how else to help them." A tear slipped down her cheek as she looked down at her lap. "Please don't send me away."
He reached out and gently took her hand. "I'm not going to make you leave, but I don't think the bride program is the right choice for you."
"I don't know what else to do. I can't keep a job no matter how hard I try. No one will hire me. I even saw one manager tear up my application as I exited the store."
"Are you hungry? Or maybe you'd like some coffee?" he asked.
"I don't think I could eat if I tried. I'm not a big coffee drinker, but I like hot chocolate."
The Terran rose to his full height and pulled her up. "Come on. We'll see if the cafe has hot chocolate."
She let him lead her through the station to a food court area. He settled her at a table before walking off. Summer looked around and noticed several of the Terrans were watching her with interest. Would it be like that on their world, if she were to sign up for the program?
When the Terran returned, he had two cups in his hands. He gave her one with a smile and then claimed the chair next to her. She was amazed he could fit his long legs under the table, but he managed somehow.
"I'm Summer," she said as she took a sip of her drink.
"It's nice to meet you, Summer. My name is Vordro. Now, why don't we talk a little about your problem and see if we can come up with a solution other than the bride program."
"Since I'm assuming the only reason you were signing up for the program is to help your family, I get the feeling marriage isn't something you're really ready for right now. You seem young."
"I'm twenty." Her chin shot up. "I'm not a child."
His lips twitched as if he fought a smile. "I'm thirty-five, which almost makes me old enough to be your father. On my world, males can start a family as early as sixteen years old. I believe the legal age here is eighteen."
"So, you're an adult by Earth's standards, which is good if you decide to proceed with your plan. What are you going to do when you're on another world and never see your family again?"
She felt herself pale a little. She'd known she'd have to leave Earth, but she hadn't really thought about never seeing her parents again. They'd always been close, or so she'd thought. With her parents hiding their financial difficulties from her, she had to wonder if maybe they still saw her as a burden and not someone who could help. She'd have taken a job to help with the expenses, even if she couldn't seem to hold onto one more than a week or two. Being punctual was not her strong suit.
"Never?" she asked.
"It's possible your mate would bring you here for a visit, but it wouldn't be often. You'd have to assimilate to our ways. There's only one restaurant on my world that serves Earth cuisine. You'd have to learn to like Terran food. Do you think you could do that?"
"I don't know," she answered truthfully. "I guess I didn't think of anything other than helping my family."
"Your parents both work?" he asked.
"No, just my dad."
"So, knowing you were having problems, your mother didn't offer to get a job in order to help, and yet you feel the need to bail them out?"
She shrugged. "Mom hasn't worked since I was born. It's always been her job to take care of us and the house. As long as she's been without a job, I'm not sure she'd have gotten hired anywhere."
"If you're determined to go through with this, to apply to the bride program, I won't stop you. But there is an application process, and you would have to be selected in order to go to my world. And even then, the financial reward wouldn't be enough to bail your family out for long."
"I don't know what to do." Summer sighed and looked around. "Why is there a bride program? Do you not like your own women?"
The Terran tilted his head to study her. "You know nothing of my world or why my people are here?"
"No. I'm sure it was on the news or something, but I was still in high school when you came to our world. I'm afraid I didn't pay much attention at the time."
"There are very few women on my world. And the last generation who mated with Terran females produced only male offspring. We had to look outside our world for mates, and Earth women seem to appeal to us the most. There are other alien species out there who are compatible, but very few of my kind have selected them as brides." He took a sip of his drink. "Could you see yourself mated to one of us?"
"I guess I don't understand the question. If you say we're compatible, you must be like human men except your coloring." Her cheeks flushed.
"Have you ever seen a naked male?" he asked, his lips twitching in amusement.