Like many Humans, Tegan and her sister Beth lost everything, including their parents, to the technology bust that left Earth dependent on the Xerrians. Alone, the sisters find there is little to look forward to on Earth beyond meager subsistence living.
Still, Tegan is shocked when Beth is told her blood contains the rare antigen that makes her capable of bearing an alien child. Although they had promised to stay together, Beth is quickly accepted for the Alien Brides program and paired with her mate before she's even finished her training.
Now Tegan has a choice: marry an alien or never see her sister again. What she doesn't realize is agreeing to the program means marrying not one, but two aliens. Is Tegan brave enough to follow her sister into life on an unknown world with two alien warriors in a galaxy far, far away...
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Tegan (Married to the Aliens 2)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2017 Ashlynn Monroe
Tegan sneezed. The warmth hit her, and she stopped in her tracks. She lingered under the vent and closed her eyes, glad she'd soon be warm for the first time in months. The air inside drifted over her with a hit of new construction smell, yet sweet and floral. She breathed deeply. It had been too long since she'd been inside someplace nice.
Restaurants and other businesses were fined for giving homeless girls shelter. A local coffee shop had been shut down for giving out free coffee and letting girls come in and warm up for a few hours. The motel man had been right; girls were dying every night on the street. Sadly, most of them had tried to get into the program, but had either not been a genetic match or had failed to secure a husband. Few girls stayed on the street by choice. Tegan finally gave up the day Beth tracked her down to announce she was leaving soon for Xerra.
A middle-aged woman at one of the many reception desks smiled up at Tegan as she approached, holding her orange slip of paper. The woman brightened. "Oh! You're Beth's sister. Welcome." She stood up and came around the desk, holding out her hand. "My name is Janie. I've been expecting you. Let's go on the tour."
Tegan followed Janie down a long hall. Closed office doors were on the right and pictures of beautiful albeit unnaturally colored vistas decorated the walls on the left. Xerra looked like a bad sci-fi movie. Tegan paused and stood in front of an image of a tall mountain that was awash in pink, purple, and green foliage. She could almost smell the exotic spice of Xerraian food. Could I do it? Could I live there?
She didn't know. Deep down she didn't know if she could handle the truth.
"Coming?" Janie's brows drew together. "It's beautiful, isn't it? I wish I could go, but unfortunately, I'm too old for that kind of adventure."
Tegan shrugged. "Adventure is over rated."
Janie's frown deepened. "Most girls I lead this way feel differently. Are you sure you want to use that pass?"
"I do," Tegan replied. Her lips compressed as she resisted the urge to tell Janie to mind her own business.
The left corner of Janie's mouth tilted up. "Well, if you're anything like your sister, you'll do well here and quickly find your mate. I'll show you to your room. You can leave your backpack there and then it's off to the infirmary for your examination and blood work."
Tegan stopped. "Exam? No one told me about that!"
Janie rolled her eyes. "Sweetie, it's no big deal."
But it was a big deal. "What else did they forget to disclaim in this paperwork? I read it over carefully."
"I'm sure you did," Janie said in a humoring tone. "This falls under the healthy clause. The IBP only selects the healthiest young women. They won't hurt you. You'll be asked to take a shower, you get a fresh hospital gown, and then after the exam, you get your uniform. It's fast and painless. They don't even do any bloodwork since you had that when you signed the application."
"I didn't sign the application yet."
Janie's brows rose. "They must believe you're a perfect candidate. It's against policy to skip the blood work. Okay, I lied. This might hurt a little since they'll take a small blood sample. Hundreds of girls come through here every day. I promise you it's safe. Only a select few make it to the end of the program. Many who don't do find good jobs working for the IBP. Very few girls end up back on the street, but it can happen."
Tegan knew some of those girls. Hopeless and scared, many became prostitutes or died from starvation or exposure. She shivered.
"But I'm sure you won't be one of them." Janie turned a corner and stopped at the door marked BLAKE, TEGAN. Inside was a simple twin bed, a chair, and a lamp. Tegan took off her backpack and put it down, but didn't take her hand off the handle as she glanced at the doorway. Everything she owned was inside.
"It's safe here," Jaine assured her. "As are you."
"When can I see Beth?" Tegan glanced at the woman.
"She's very busy. There is a lot she needs to do to prepare for her new life."
Sighing, Tegan fought back her disappointment as she followed the older woman back out into the hallway. They went down a few more corridors before stopping at a bank of elevators.
Janie put her hand on Tegan's shoulder. "Welcome to the first day as you pioneer a new life."
Pioneer. She hadn't thought of the IBP in that respect. She worried her lip between her teeth. Does that make me feel better, or worse? Only time would show her the truth.
* * *
Maxxen tapped the screen to re-play the video. Tegan Blake. The name was so erotic. He re-read her details on the digital paper even though he'd studied the biography so many times he'd memorized the scant detail. His wife, Jakkon's wife, was the piece of his heart he thought he'd never find. Her blood showed her to be their perfect match, but the video confirmed the fact for him. Now to convince her she isn't making a mistake. He replayed the segment that worried him most.
"Treat me with respect and I will mate with you and bear your children, but I'm not some hopeless romantic. All I want is to know my sister is safe and taken care of. Don't pick me if you're looking for some kind of fairytale. I'm not." He watched her fiddle with her hair. She was their match. He was sure she was. But she was jaded. Someone off to the side was speaking to her, and he could see she didn't care for the conversation.
Maxxen shook his head. "How does one so young get so world weary?" Her big eyes flicked back to the camera as if she could see him before her gaze flicked down in a demure, embarrassed way. Her moment of endearing shyness and frankness stirred him more than he'd anticipated.
With a soft swish the door opened. Maxxen paused the video. Jakkon came in. "You've found her?"
Maxxen nodded. "I have. Watch and tell me you don't see what I do."