From the author of In the Glowing.
Earth has visitors, and weirdly, they’re not scary at all. Far from looking like aliens, they look like perfect men—gods even! And they’re seeking female mates to help rebuild their race. All the Earth women are going crazy over them. Alundra is determined not to give in to her desires and become just another drooling female, but when she accidentally comes face-to-face with the visitors’ commander, Rogan, all bets are off.
Age Rating: 18+
Note: This story is the author’s original version and does not have sound.
The Ties that Bind by Sherry Graham is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.
Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!
From the author of In the Glowing.
Earth has visitors, and weirdly, they’re not scary at all. Far from looking like aliens, they look like perfect men—gods even! And they’re seeking female mates to help rebuild their race. All the Earth women are going crazy over them. Alundra is determined not to give in to her desires and become just another drooling female, but when she accidentally comes face-to-face with the visitors’ commander, Rogan, all bets are off.
Age Rating: 18+
Original Author: Sherry Graham
Alundra took another long sip of her beer as she stared up at the small portable television sitting in the corner up above the bar.
The faces and voices were familiar, endlessly rehashing the same story over and over for the last few weeks.
Every face in the place endlessly glued to the same news channel, eyes unblinking, listening for any new tidbit that they hadn’t heard before.
She was the only woman present as all the others were no doubt at the nearest landing site, hoping for all their dreams to come true.
She felt sorry for the men sitting here alone, probably wondering if their wives or girlfriends would ever come back.
A chair scraped and she turned as her colleague from the advertising firm took a seat and nodded for a beer from the bartender.
“How are the visitors? They going home yet?” Carl, the offices’ most eligible bachelor asked with a quick look at the television screen.
Alundra shrugged her shoulders, “Not yet, I don’t think so. They don’t seem to be saying a whole lot. At least not as much as these damn reporters.”
Carl shrugged out of his black leather jacket as his beer arrived and took a long drink while surveying the men sitting quietly around.
His gaze returned to the beautiful woman sitting across from him and asked, “What do you think they want?”
Alundra’s eyes glanced up at the screen again as the cameraman caught a close shot of one of the visitors conversing with a high ranking military official.
She had to admit they were definitely NOT what one would expect of extraterrestrials. The man, too nice looking to be considered alien, was smiling at the official and shaking his head.
His hair was an amber gold that fell past his shoulders and waved silkily in the wind…she would love to know what he used on his hair to get it that shiny…
A clearing of the throat interrupted her thoughts, “Ummm…Earth to Allie…come in Allie…”
Alundra turned to face her co-worker and smiled, “Now how would I know what they want?”
“Didn’t ask you if you knew, what do you think?”
“From a woman’s point of view..”, he added.
Alundra turned and took another long look at the screen that was still focused on the man conversing with the official.
From a woman’s point of view…he was tall, they were all tall, according to the news. He was handsome, very handsome, as they all were.
His clothing seemed to barely cover the muscles bulging from his skin. His stance exuded raw power and confidence. Her nostrils flared with desire and she quickly turned away.
She would not become like all the other drooling women who had been flocking to these news sites to catch a glimpse of perfection.
She looked guiltily at Carl, “I don’t have the foggiest but I’m sure we’ll find out soon. Maybe they just need some gas…” she ended with a weak laugh.
“Yeah, well, they don’t look like they need much of anything,” he drawled, “but it looks like they might take all of our women by the looks of it.”
The camera cut to a large crowd of screaming women who were waving and yelling for attention from any of the numerous alien males that were standing about guarding the small ship hovering close by.
Again Alundra was struck by the beauty of each and every one, yet each was unique in his looks and body. They were different heights but none she was sure under six feet, and some almost seven.
Their hair was all worn long, no sign of balding, she mused quietly. And every one had the body of a Greek god.
No wonder those women were practically throwing themselves through barricades to get to them.
The woman reporter suddenly thrust her microphone into the waiting crowd and threw out a question to the crowd in the front. Alundra couldn’t help but listen closer.
“What do you think of our alien visitors?”
One young girl, she looked about nineteen, squealed, “They are soooo hot! I want one!”
Another girl, looking like she was a friend of the first grabbed the mic, “Two! I want two! They make all these dirt wads around here look sick!”
The reporter hauled back the microphone and quickly cut back to the studio that was covering this historic event. Alundra turned back to Carl and smiled, “Stupid kids..”
Carl smiled hesitantly, “Allie, you aren’t going to turn into one of those, are you?”
Allie glanced down and returned her gaze to the man sitting across from her, “One of what?”
“Do they turn you on too?” he blurted.
Allie hesitated, “Carl, I’d be lying if I said they were ugly and didn’t do a thing for me. I mean, look at them, they are literally the perfect male.
“What woman wouldn’t be attracted to them, I mean, they could charm the panties off a nun, for God’s sake!”
At his closed expression, she covered his hand with hers, “Carl, don’t get me wrong. Yes, they are very nice, but I’m not some stupid young girl that’s never been kissed.
“I’ve been around the block a few times, I don’t lose my head over every nice piece of male flesh that I see. If I did, I would have been locked up a long time ago.”
Carl squeezed her hand and gave her a small grin, “Good, because I thought that maybe you and I could, you know, start seeing each other. Maybe dinner…” he trailed off.
Alundra looked down at his hand enveloping hers and felt a repulsion at the seemingly innocent gesture.
She did find Carl attractive but just didn’t think of him as anything more than a friend at the office. If she had any idea that he felt more, she wouldn’t have made intimate contact with his hand.
She just didn’t think Carl had any inclination toward starting any sort of relationship with her.
He had always been the office Romeo, and she had been sure that he was very interested in Susie from the accounting department.
“I’m sorry,” he apologized, sensing her withdrawal, and pulled his hand from hers.
Alundra quickly recovered, “That’s okay, Carl, you just surprised me, that’s all. It’s okay, really.”
“Really?” he didn’t look convinced.
She smiled genuinely and relaxed a little, “Yeah, really.”
“So, you’ll go out with me?” he pushed.
She smiled again, “No.”
He stopped for just a second and then jumped back into himself, “Ok, Allie, if that’s the way you want it. But you know that I’ll be forever heartbroken.”
Allie almost sighed visibly to see he was taking her rejection easily, maybe they still could be friends, “I know Carl, I have that effect on every man I meet, but believe me, I think Susan Petersen would be glad to put it back together.”
His eyes perked up, “Susan? From accounting?”
Allie nodded her head with a big smile, “Uh-huh. She said you were soooo hot!” mimicking the girl from t.v.
Carl smiled and puffed out his chest, “Really….well maybe I’ll have to have a talk with her on Monday.”
“You do that, Carl, if the swelling of your head goes down,” she laughed at his sudden frown.
“This just in, we are taking you live to a conversation with the assistant commander of our new friends,” the t.v. interrupted their conversation and all eyes and ears turned to hear the latest.
The camera cut to a room lushly decorated and filled to capacity with every top journalist she had ever remembered seeing on television in the last few years.
In front was a podium filled with microphones indicating every major and minor network that was available.
Conversation buzzed at an alarming rate until a large figure entered the room along with several smaller men. It was obvious who was the alien.
Alundra was intrigued by the figure slowly striding across the platform. She listened intently as one of the men accompanying the alien stepped up to the microphone.
“Ladies and gentlemen. Could I have your attention,” which was a moot sentence as all attention had been riveted to the stranger since he entered the room.
“As you know by now, Earth has been visited by beings very much like us,” Scoffing could be heard in the bar and Alundra echoed the response.
“Their assistant commander wishes to make a brief statement to the world,” he finished.
The man whom the world was anxiously waiting to hear from stepped up to the array of microphones protruding from the podium and started to bend down low to speak to them.
Upon encountering this uncomfortable position, changed his mind and decided to stand tall and deliver his speech.
“Welcome,” this first sound of the alien’s voice to Alundra’s ears was powerful, yet not overwhelming, even pleasant. She liked it.
“I am here to inform you that I have been instructed by our leader to discuss the reason we are here and to assure the inhabitants of your planet that we mean no harm,” a small buzz ran through the crowd.
Alundra studied the man on stage. So, this was one of their big shots. He looked pretty much like all the others except for the air of authority that emanated from his body.
His hair, a deep auburn, curved attractively around his face. A dimple threatened to expose itself on his left cheek.
His chin was strong, teeth white and even, and his lips were full and just begging to be kissed. Alundra shook her head to remove the lustful thoughts that were running loose inside.
It suddenly occurred to her that maybe these beings were using mind control to invade the women. She almost laughed out loud at the thought. No, it was just a case of lust, pure and simple.
And who could blame any healthy female for such thoughts?
“My name is Meridann. I am what you would refer to as assistant commander. We are on a mission of deep importance to the survival of our race.
“We have searched many planets to find what we need and believe your Earth can provide it.” The man, Meridann, stopped to give everyone watching ample time to let this information sink in before continuing.
“A time ago, our home planet was invaded by another species,”
Alundra couldn’t imagine any species stupid enough to attack these warriors who, it was obvious, could defend themselves very easily. Of course, they could be all brawn but no brain.
But somehow Alundra didn’t think so and silently continued to watch.
“We successfully repelled the invasion, but unfortunately many of our own were fatally poisoned.”
Alundra’s heart unexpectedly flipped, waiting for the other shoe to fall.
“Our own women.” It fell. “Only our women.”
Immediately, words flew rampantly around the press room, speculating on the stranger’s next words and the impact they would have on the future of the planet.
“Though some have survived…..we need more to see the continuation of our race.” He stopped.
The press room erupted into questions, some quiet, some loud, being directed at the man at the front of the room and each other.
The bar around Alundra came to life, probably the first time since the visitors had landed.
“Shit! I knew it! They come to take our women!” flew forcefully from a half-drunk man sitting at the bar.
Immediate hushing sounds were directed to the perpetrator and Alundra was relieved.
She didn’t want to have to forcefully shut this man up in order to hear more of the startling news from the television. As if on cue, after the noise was hushed, the alien started to talk again.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I have been instructed not to say any more until the commander speaks to you tonight at a special gathering in a more comfortable situation.
“You will be given the place and time as you leave…” he hesitated and then finished, “thank you.”
The crowd of reporters again exploded in questions and angry exclamations at being left on the hook.
They pushed and shoved each other trying to get closer to the front, hoping that maybe one of their questions will be answered.
The speaker, seeing the rush, stepped up and said loudly, “Please, no more questions, everything will be answered tonight.
“For everyone at home, please join us this evening at 7:00 pm for an interview with the leader of our new friends.”
The camera suddenly cut over to the original reporter still talking to wide-eyed women and asking their opinions of the latest developments, with every one of them ready to pack their bags.
Alundra turned to her companion, “Well, I guess we know.”
Carl sat in silence, mulling over the news. He looked again at Allie, “Are you sure you don’t want to go?”
Allie made a loud guffaw, not absolutely convincing Carl or herself. She looked away in silence and then turned to her companion with a wry smile, “I’m probably not quite what they’re looking for.”
“You’re beautiful,” he offered.
“And stubborn,” she retorted.
“And opinionated,” she added.
“And young and healthy,”
“And so not impressed with muscles..” she laughed.
Carl raised his eyebrow and Alundra admitted, “OK! Just a little bit impressed. But I told you I’m not interested. I’m not a galaxy kind of girl.
“I don’t even like to fly to my aunt’s place in California! There’s no way I would want to get on one of their spaceships.”
Carl looked hard at her, “You mean to tell me that fearless Alundra Kage is scared to fly?”
Allie blushed slightly at the mention of her weakness, she was not a weak woman.
She stuck up her chin defiantly and explained, “I am not afraid to fly, I am just not a big fan of putting my body 30,000 feet into the air.”
Carl looked down and laughed huskily, “You’re scared..”
Alundra growled under her breath, “No, I’m not. I’m not scared of anything. There’s a big difference between scared and dislike. Flying I dislike. I am scared of nothing.”
Carl sensed Allie shifting into defensive mode and realized it wasn’t good to corner a revved-up she-cat and quickly backed down with hands up, “Okay, you’re right…you’re fearless..”
Sensing victory, Alundra quickly forgave Carl and his misconceptions and then glanced at her watch, “Oh crap, I’ve got to go. I’ve got to meet someone in 20 minutes.”
Alundra stood up and quickly put her coat on while digging in her purse for money for her drinks. Carl shooed her hand away and pulled out a few bills and threw them on the table.
Normally, Alundra would discourage this and insist on paying for her own drinks, but said what the heck, if it made him feel better.
Carl followed her out of the bar and whistled for a cab to take her where she wanted to go.
When the cab pulled up, Carl quickly opened the door for her and at her questioning glance, he replied, “You know Allie, you sure make it hard for a man to be chivalrous,” and smiled.
Allie paused and smiled in return, “I know, Carl. Maybe it’s because so few men are nowadays.” and got in the back seat.
Carl pressed his face to the window as the cab pulled away from the curb, “Not all of us, Allie…”
She waved through the glass as the car moved into traffic and quickly turned to give the driver the address to her apartment.
She then settled into the seat and stared at the buildings going by, wondering about the people inside and what they were doing. Her thoughts then settled on the recent interview on t.v.
Meridann…nice name…nice everything.
She let her mind wander, to imagine what it would be like to take that man’s hand and go with him onto one of those spaceships and fly far away and never see Earth again.
She sighed, she wouldn’t miss much, except Aunt Rosie in California. But she really wasn’t an aunt by blood.
She was just a kind woman who had taken her in off the streets when she had nowhere to go after her parents died.
Rosie had been so kind and caring. What would she be today if it weren’t for that woman?
If she told Rosie she wanted to go to space with these men..aliens..whatever.., she would probably tell her to pack warmly, it’s cold in space.
At this thought, Allie giggled and got a curious look from the driver. She ignored him and settled back into her thoughts. Space, another planet…that could be exciting…that would be…impossible.
She sighed. Fantasies were for other women. She kept her feet on the ground. It was much safer that way.
The cab stopped outside of her building and she quickly paid the driver and got out. She had lied to Carl about meeting someone so she could get home and relax for the evening by herself.
She really enjoyed quiet Friday nights at home. Her building consisted mostly of elderly people who also liked things quiet. It was perfect. Though not exactly living the high life.
Inside her apartment, she kicked off her shoes and turned on the television to the channel that had been displayed at the bar.
Maybe she would catch the interview with the leader, whom no one had yet seen. It could prove interesting.
She went into the kitchen to fix a ham and tomato sandwich with a glass of beer and returned to sit on the couch.
Refreshingly, a few commercials started playing, there were so few nowadays with no one wanting to leave the scene of any of the aliens and their activities.
All too soon, the scene cut back with a replay of the earlier interview and Alundra glanced at the clock to see how much longer before the big moment. 6:45 pm.
Just enough time to get a quick shower and get into some pajamas before the show.
Quickly she got undressed and jumped into the hot water, lathering the daily sweat from her body. She hummed a little tune and delighted in the hot spray caressing her body.
What would Meridann be like in bed….? She snapped fully awake, now where did that thought come from? She had been way too long without a partner…Again, she promised herself not to be taken in by them.
Someone was going to get hurt out of this yet.
She remembered the time and turned off the water, grabbed a towel and dried herself off. She quickly donned the pajamas hanging on the towel rack and ran for the television.
A small quiet room was on with two seats in which the man that was at the first interview was already seated. No reporters apparently were allowed into that room and the man’s first words explained.
“Good evening,” he announced, “My name is Robert Messinger and I bring you the live interview with the commander of our new friends.”
“Stop calling them our friends, idiot,” Alundra spoke to the man on screen, “you don’t know what their agenda is. You people are so stupid.
“Just because they have pretty faces do not mean they’re harmless.”
“As you can see, there are no reporters in here. They are in a room not far from here watching on a large screen and will have access to asking questions at the end of the interview.
“I have some questions that have already been passed along to me and will try to ask them all.” The man looked off stage and nodded.
“So without further delay, I would like to welcome the commander,” the man stood with a hand outstretched to the side in welcome, “of our friends…..Rogan S’aborne.”
Alundra’s heart stopped in anticipation. As a new figure filled the screen, she was not prepared for the beauty that assaulted her eyes.
She trembled as the commander smiled at the interviewer and took a seat beside him. The words Greek god, Adonis and several other unmentionables flew through her brain.
His blond hair fell like a lion’s mane around his head. His body, like the others, was well muscled, but not overly so, and she could judge that he was close to seven feet.
Even her 5’8” felt dwarfed in comparison. His clothes, if you could call them that, were like the others, tight-fitting pants ending below the knee and crisscrossed cloth bands over the chest.
Simple and very sexy.
Alundra closed her mouth and almost felt the urge to wipe her chin. This man was incredible. Was he also looking for a wife? She shook her head and tried to be calm and objective.
She must not think that way. She will not be swayed into being one of those lap dogs she had seen on the t.v. earlier.
The man, Robert, started to talk, “Well, I’m sure my viewers are very excited to finally see you and hear more of you and your planet, along with your reasons for being here.
“Where would you like to start?”
The stranger smiled, “I regret to say that we will not be here long enough to answer all of your planet’s questions as I feel we will conclude our business in approximately a month more in your time.”
The interviewer hesitated, “So you are going to be gone in a month or so, is that what you are saying?”
“Yes, that is all the time that is needed to conclude our business,” Rogan repeated slowly as if to a child.
The interviewer blurted out, “Are you coming back?”
Rogan, realizing this man was having a hard time digesting information, tried to keep his voice calming, “No.”
“So you’re just taking what you want and leaving forever?” Robert repeated.
Rogan saw this being a long interview and tried to move on, “Mr. Messinger, I have much to do so I will be to the point. No, I do not see us returning to your planet.
“We have come a long way and are eager to return. We came here for one reason, which I will now talk about in length and when it is fulfilled, we will leave. Can we now continue?”
The interviewer shifted back into a professional tone and nodded, “My apologies, Commander. I know your time is valuable.
“So I guess we should talk about your planet’s needs and how we, Earth, can be of service.”
Rogan smiled, “Yes, Earth can be of great service,” he turned to the camera and seemed to look right at Alundra. She drew in her breath. What color are his eyes? She squinted closer. Dark, sort of.
Rogan started his speech, “As stated by my assistant, we are in need of females. Most of our women, approximately 90-95% died from a poison introduced into our planet.
“So, upon finding Earth females very similar to our own, it makes them perfect candidates.
“We will be choosing suitable mates in the next few weeks based on criteria we have agreed to be acceptable to all in question. Firstly, no women will be taken against their will.”
Alundra scoffed out loud, “Hah! As if a woman would have to be forced to take on one of them.”
“Criteria will consist of women who are healthy in body and mind.
“They will be aged from 21-30 and have had no previous children,” he continued, “Every woman will be judged on an individual basis for suitability.”
The interviewer cut in, “And how did you arrive at your list of criteria?”
Rogan considered for a moment, “Mr. Messinger, our planet is not one of pure convenience. Everyone has a place and works for the good of the people and planet.
“Women who are chosen must be able to adapt as there will be no chance to return here.”
“And what if someone does want to come home, Commander?” Robert seemed almost as if he wanted this seemingly perfect race to make a mistake.
Rogan smiled, “That will not happen. We will choose well.”
The interviewer would not admit defeat, “And what about you, Commander? Are you in need of a wife?”
Alundra waited with bated breath for the answer. Not that she would ever think of becoming one of their wives.
Rogan knew the interviewer was perturbed and was deliberately vague, “My needs, Robert, are to provide for my people to ensure continuation.”
Robert, being thwarted in his line of questioning, continued, “How many women are we talking about and from what countries are they coming from?”
“We will be needing approximately 150,000-200,000 women and they will be chosen from many different countries. It does not matter the race, as long as the criteria are met,” Rogan answered.
Robert glanced down at his list of questions and back up to his guest, “And what will Earth receive in return?”
Rogan considered the question and replied, “We have already been in contact with your leaders and have agreed to share knowledge that will aid your planet in disease control and space travel.
“We will naturally share any knowledge we have that will promote the growth of your planet’s natural being.”
“Could you give us an example?” Robert prodded.
“I think that would be best left up to your leaders,” Rogan carefully steered away from any explanations that might need several hours to explain.
Robert glanced down again and looked back up, “Where do you come from?”
“Robert, I had hoped this would not take up too much time as we are now on a schedule that will not permit lengthy discussions on your television.
“But I will give a little more explanation,” again Rogan turned to the screen and seemed to lock on to Alundra’s eyes as he was talking.
“As you know, our planet’s name is Rygon d’Toran. This name, along with our names, has been roughly translated into your language so you would understand easier.
“We have studied your language through transmissions and our computer, as you would call it, has helped to interpret meanings of your words.
“Since your language is complicated, being you say one thing but mean another, we still have some difficulty. Our race is very old, older even than your own.
“We have technology that aids us in necessary functions, medical, space exploration, and teaching.
“But we do not create machines that will make us,” Rogan hesitated as if searching for the appropriate word, “lazy.”
The interviewer cut in, “Are you saying we’re lazy, Commander?”
Rogan sensed the animosity being displayed towards him and reacted.
Immediately the interviewer calmed down, “I mean, we have conveniences that make our lives easier and we all seem to be so busy lately.”
Alundra stared at the screen. All she had seen was a pause as Rogan, the commander, stared calmly at the interviewer.
She had thought that some violence was about to break out, a scene that so far had never happened in regards to these new visitors.
But, after a slow pause, the interviewer seemed to breathe deeply and calmly continued as if he had said nothing wrong. And the alien went on as if nothing untoward happened either! What was going on?
Did anyone else see something strange? Maybe the man doing the interviewing decided it wasn’t such a good idea to slam their ‘new friends’ and changed his mind. Either way, it seemed strange to her.
The interview continued with Rogan agreeing with Robert, “Yes, that is what we mean. Your planet has many conveniences that won’t be available to the women who will come with us.
“But we are not without what we need.”
“Yes, I agree,” Robert continued, “Now when will the process of finding suitable mates start?”
Rogan looked into the camera, “It has already begun.”
Alundra shuddered at the intense look that seemed meant only for her and quickly turned off the t.v. She pulled up her legs and wrapped her arms around them. She felt naked after watching him.
She felt vulnerable. And she wondered what effect this was going to have on the world around her.
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Four weeks later Alundra found herself wandering into the neighborhood bar one block over from her apartment. After work, she was feeling far too restless to remain at home for another quiet Friday.
Her body felt jumpy, on fire with expectation. She chalked it up to too much caffeine for the day as she over drank her limit of coffee by about four cups that day.
Deciding a change of scenery was definitely necessary, she decided to make a quick stop at the local bar, ‘On the Corner’.
Entering, she found the place warm and welcoming. A few locals were playing pool and having a few drinks. Everything seemed almost normal.
Normal considering the aliens had pretty well left all public places, with departure for their planet imminent. Alundra took a seat at the bar and nodded for the usual.
The bartender smiled and brought over a beer and set it down in front of her.
“How’s it going, Mel?” Alundra asked.
The large man in front of her replied, “It’s going well now that the aliens are leaving. People are talking a little more about the real world now.”
Alundra chuckled, “Yeah, it’s been pretty crazy.”
“Yeah. I hadn’t seen you in here in a while and I thought you went spacey too.”
Alundra laughed out loud, “Now Mel, you should know me by now. I’m too level-headed to go for anything like that.”
“Yeah, I should know, but there has just been so much craziness! Women throwing themselves at creatures that we don’t even know!
“Jumping all over each other trying to get to space or whatever.” He ran his hand through the little patch of hair still left on his head.
Mel had been a part of On the Corner since she first started going there, sometimes after work or an occasional weekend.
He didn’t try overloading her with advice or make any kind of advances she didn’t feel comfortable with. He was almost like a father.
He made his bar feel like a place you could hang your hat and rest awhile, giving you time to regroup and ready to face the world again.
Alundra nodded her head, “Yeah, but it’s almost over, thank God. I don’t see many around anymore and the t.v.
“is actually showing normal shows again.” She paused, “It almost seems like a bad dream, so surreal. In a way, it will be strange when they aren’t around anymore at all.”
Mel nodded his agreement and she continued, “But that will be a good thing. A much better thing.”
She fell silent and let her fingers turn her beer slowly, deep in thought. She missed Mel’s eyes as they were drawn to the door as two strangers walked in looking very much out of place.
She also missed the silence that seemed to envelop the bar as everyone stopped to stare.
She was engrossed in the way the bubbles were slowing fizzing to the top of her drink until an almost familiar voice sounded close to her.
She jumped as the melodious voice inquired to Mel, “Excuse me, we are looking for this address. Could you help, please?” and a piece of paper was pushed forward from very strong hands.
Alundra looked at those strong hands and realized that they were too strong to be human. She slowly glanced sideways at the owner and came face to face with Assistant Commander Meridann.
He looked down at her and smiled and gave a small nod of acknowledgment. She barely raised the corner of her mouth as she was still in shock.
Mel had taken the paper and was doing some serious thinking. Alundra was stunned into silence, not an easy accomplishment.
The man, sensing discomfort on her part, set to put her at ease, “How do you do? I am Meridann.”
Alundra opened her mouth but nothing seemed to come out. She swallowed hard and cleared her throat and attempted to reply, intending to give her name but instead, “I know who you are.”
She was horrified that she sounded so rude. After all, they were leaving any day, no sense in giving them a reason to view Earth as inhospitable. She corrected herself, “I mean, I’ve seen you on t.v.
“That’s how I know you or rather know OF you. I’m sorry, I know you’re busy..” she turned back around to stare blindly at her drink.
Mel cut in, “I’m not sure…Alundra,” he handed the paper to her, “do you know this place?”
Allie took the paper, grateful for the distraction. She looked at the name and address and knew it seemed familiar in some way.
She breathed in deeply while searching her memory for that lost thought that would tell her what she needed to know. As her mind grasped the memory, she smiled and turned to Meridann.
“Yes, I know where this is,” she smiled up into his eyes and a lump formed in her throat and she stammered on, “It’s a little way from here and a little complicated.
“Here,” she grabbed a pen sitting on top of the bar and flipped the piece of paper over, “This is where we are.
“You go to the end of this block, turn right and walk until you see a little store with Chinese writing on the window. Take the small alley right beside it.
“Go down until you reach the second gate on your left. Go through and that will take you to another alley.
“It’s blocked on one end so that’s why you have to take this alley,” she stopped to see if he was keeping up.
“Go on,” he motioned for her to continue.
She breathed deeply, “Okay, then go down this alley and at the end turn left. Walk two blocks and you will come to a large red building.
“Go down the alley beside this building and you should be able to find the door that this is marked on,” she finished.
Meridann stared at the drawing and looked back at her, “Thank you, but please wait.”
Alundra watched as he returned to his companion who had not looked their way once but was watching the pool game in progress.
She saw Meridann show the directions to his companion, and make several gestures with his hand.
Words were spoken but she assumed it was in their own language as she couldn’t seem to make out any of the conversations through watching their lips.
Meridann’s companion was taller than he, although that seemed impossible, and vaguely familiar also. As if sensing her perusal, his companion turned and she felt a shiver roll down her spine.
The commander himself stood staring thoughtfully at her as if debating something. Alundra’s nostrils flared, with indignation or desire, she couldn’t quite tell.
But a warm silky feeling was threading its way through her body and resting between her legs.
She gave herself a mental shake and turned back to the bar. The liquor, it’s got to be the liquor, although she hadn’t touched the drink since she ordered it.
Rogan stood and stared at the female with the deep chestnut hair and full pink lips. Immediately, he felt a response deep inside and quickly tried to quell it.
Not once since he arrived on this planet had he felt this immediate reaction to any of these females. Of course, he wasn’t here to find a mate, that was not his objective.
He wanted to conclude their business and go back home as soon as possible. Every day they remained here, there were a thousand more questions. A thousand more than he wanted to answer.
He didn’t mind sharing knowledge in exchange for the great favour that Earth was doing for them, but weapons were an entirely different question.
And every day, the leaders seem to be pressing for more information on their weapons technology. And he felt that that information would be very detrimental to this planet.
They were far too reckless and aggressive for any new weapons to destroy their planet.
Rogan noticed the flaring of the girl’s nose and immediately touched her mind. Just as quickly he pulled back, not liking to take advantage of her.
He had instructed all of his men not to use their ability unless absolutely necessary and he certainly did not want to go against his own rule.
He watched the girl seem to make a small movement with her head when he retreated, almost as if she felt he was there.
Involuntarily, he touched her again, quickly before withdrawing and he saw her head snap up. Slowly she turned to him and a look of confusion covered her features.
Meridann watched quietly at the exchange before pronouncing, “You like her.”
Rogan turned back to his companion and smiled, “Yes, she attracts me.”
“Ask for her then,” Meridann reasoned, amazed that in all the time they were there, his leader had never once expressed interest in any of the available humans.
Rogan looked back at the girl, but she had turned back around. Meridann’s suggestion had some merit. It would be good for him to find a suitable mate to guarantee his succession.
It couldn’t hurt to find out if she was a suitable candidate, to begin with, and then continue from there. He smiled and turned back to his assistant, “Ask her if she will lead us.”
Meridann smiled in return. He knew they could find their way on their own. His leader was finally deciding that the time had come to find a mate and he had made his first initial choice.
As he returned to the bar, he hoped everything would work in his favor. It was very important that the succession to power be guaranteed as soon as possible.
Meridann looked at the female through different eyes as he approached her.
As he slid up beside her and she acknowledged his return, he decided if his commander didn’t want her, he might offer for her himself. Providing she was suitable of course.
Alundra turned as the assistant Meridann returned to her side, facing her and leaving no doubt that he wanted something. She faced him directly and wasted no time, “Yes?”
Meridann looked intently at her as if searching for something and then answered, “My commander would like to know if you will show us this place.”
She hesitated and he quickly put in, “You will be compensated.”
Alundra shook her head, “No, no, that’s not necessary.” She bowed her head and took a deep breath, somehow sensing that this was going to be a big decision in her life.
“Please,” Meridann added, seeing her indecision.
Allie looked up at Meridann and then looked over to Rogan standing patiently where he was left. This man was so gorgeous..and dangerous..at least to her piece of mind. Should she or shouldn’t she….
“You would be of great help. We would be deeply in your debt.” Meridann threw in for good measure.
How confusing that this one woman would be so difficult to persuade when thousands of others threw themselves at their feet, begging to be taken.
Allie debated, what could it hurt to show them one small address? It wouldn’t take too long, and then they would be out of her life forever.
Somehow this thought wasn’t as comforting as it should have been. The decision made, she nodded her compliance, “Well, I guess I could spare the time to show you.”
She got up and tossed a couple of bills on the bar and shouted to the bartender at the other side of the room, “Mel, here’s your money!
“I’m going to show our ‘new friends’,” got to love that term, “the way to that address.”
Mel waved and acknowledged he had heard. Then Allie stood up and Meridann gestured for her to precede him to his awaiting commander.
Allie found her breathing a little more difficult as she slowly approached the mountain of a man staring at her in such a disturbing fashion.
When they came face to face, Meridann made introductions, “Commander Rogan S’aborne, this is..” he stopped and turned to Alundra.
Allie started and quickly held out her hand, “Alundra Kage, pleased to meet you.” And as Rogan took her hand, she prayed that it wasn’t slippery.
When his hand enveloped hers, she felt a distinct shock travel up her arm and throughout her entire body. Her heart jumped in her chest and she lost a moment’s thought.
She stared up into his eyes and thought she saw a look of surprise on his face as well, but it was gone before she was sure. And as she continued to stare she realized his eyes were violet.
A very beautiful violet. She wondered if it was natural.
“You have violet eyes..” she whispered in amazement.
Rogan smiled and released her hand, “Yes Miss Kage, I do.
“We all do.” He gestured at his companion and Alundra turned to Meridann and realized he also had violet eyes, though not quite the same shade as Rogan’s, but close.
She felt stupid for missing that point and to her horror, blushed.
“It is Miss, is it not?” she heard Rogan talking to her.
She quickly looked up, “Yes, it is. And you can call me Alundra or Allie, as my friends call me.”
Rogan smiled that infuriatingly sexy smile, “Alundra….and you may call me Rogan.”
They both stood staring quietly until Meridann cleared his throat, “We should be going, Commander.”
Rogan looked up and then looked back at Alundra, “Yes, let’s go.”
Alundra tore her eyes away and decided not to look anymore at Rogan or she would probably turn into one of the galaxy girls that had been chasing them for weeks.
The quicker this was over, the better off she would be. The safer her world would be. She turned her back to them and headed for the door, tossing over her shoulder, “This way, please.”
Both men followed her and when they arrived outside on the sidewalk, Rogan quickly stepped up beside her while Meridann hung back a couple of steps to allow his leader time to get to know this girl.
Rogan knew that he wouldn’t have a long time to find out the necessary information to make his choice, so he was determined to use his time wisely.
“So, Alundra, what do you do?” he started.
Alundra hesitated and then decided it wouldn’t hurt to tell him, “I work at an advertising agency.”
“And your mate?” he added.
“Oh, I have no…mate,” she finished quietly and started to walk faster.
Rogan and Meridann also quickened their pace and Rogan sensed uneasiness coming from this girl that he was trying to evaluate, silently cursing the short time in which he must work.
If only they had more time…
As if knowing his mind’s thoughts, Meridann spoke out, “Please, Commander, can we stop for a minute while I go into this store and purchase something for the person we are to meet?”
Allie and Rogan both stopped and turned to see a bakery beckoning to their walking partner. Rogan looked for permission from Allie and she quickly nodded her head, although very uncertainly.
Extra time with this man was not something she wanted right now. Meridann nodded thanks to both and headed inside while Rogan and Allie waited outside.
Allie looked down at her feet, not daring to look up into those mesmerizing purple eyes. She felt the stares of passers-by as she waited patiently with the alien giant beside her.
“Would you like to go inside, Alundra? Is there something you would like from here? I could get you something,” Rogan tried to take advantage of his extra time.
She made the mistake of looking up and wished she hadn’t. Those eyes could drown a person’s soul. She sighed and forced her gaze downward while stammering out, “No, I’m fine, thank you.
“But thanks for offering.”
He would not let her retreat into herself, “Have you children?”
This time she lifted her head and felt anger at his question, though she wasn’t sure if it was anger at herself for feeling something towards him or anger at him for being so nosy, “What?! No!
“Not that it’s any of your business! Are you people always this nosy? !”
Seeing her anger rising, he reached out to calm her mind.
Immediately she stepped back and put up her hand, “No!”
He felt his mind pushed back and was somewhat surprised. He reached out to try to calm her again and found a strange block that refused to move to let his mind in.
He also stepped back and stared intently at her. How strange! She had found a way to block his touch! How intriguing!
Usually, only another of his kind had the ability to refuse him entry and then only if they had developed their ability to a higher degree.
Alundra felt her blood racing through her body, carrying endorphins to every part. She felt like this alien was much closer to her than he looked.
Something strange was enveloping her body, she felt it included her very soul. This man was staring at her as if she had suddenly lost her mind.
Alundra took a deep breath and tried to control the irrational panic claiming her mind. After several deep breaths, her mind and body relaxed as if sensing the threat moving away.
Alundra closed her eyes briefly and felt much more in control when she opened them again.
“I..I’m sorry Rogan,” she stammered, “I don’t know what happened. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be so harsh. And no, I don’t have any children.”
He nodded understandingly, “It is okay. We are just as curious about your planet and the people that live here as you are about us. That is all, Alundra. I meant no harm.”
Alundra immediately felt ashamed that she panicked over an alien’s innocent curiosity and immediately tried to fix her error.
“No, Rogan, it’s my fault. I’m sorry. I overreacted and I don’t even know why. Sometimes things just seem so crazy and I take things too personally,” she apologized.
Rogan reached out to place his hand on her shoulder to reassure her or just to touch her physically, he wasn’t sure which.
He felt a great need to hold this woman and discover everything there was to know about her, but again, the time was short and he must first determine if she would suit his needs, and his planet’s needs.
“It is okay. Everyone feels that way at some time in their lives. Even I feel like things are getting beyond my control and I feel…frustrated…that I cannot control them.
“Or the outcome,” he sought to establish a common bond between them.
She looked up and crooked her eyebrow, “Somehow I find it hard to believe that you would lose control over a situation, but I thank you for trying to make me feel better.”
He smiled, “I speak the truth. Did I make you feel better?”
She grinned wider, “A little..”
The two were interrupted when Meridann abruptly threw open the bakery door with a smile and large bag of goods. He strolled over and looked at Rogan for a brief moment.
Alundra watched as a strange look passed between them and then was gone again. Could it be her imagination running wild again?
“Did I miss something?” she asked curiously of both of them.
Rogan turned, “Nothing is missing.”
Alundra paused and then shook her head, “Ok boys, let’s go so we can get you where you have to go so I can get home.”
Another look passed between the men and Rogan joined Alundra while Meridann followed silently behind.
Before Rogan could ask any more questions, Alundra lead them down the first alley, pausing at the second gate and reached out to open it. Nothing. Alundra pulled hard but the gate didn’t move.
She turned to her companions, “Uh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize anyone could lock it.”
Rogan stepped forward, “Let me try.”
Alundra moved out of the way and watched with surprise as Rogan grasped the handle and proceeded to pull the entire gate off its hinges as if it were no more than a paper bag.
He turned to her with a surprised look on his face, “The carpenters do not build these very well, do they?”
At this comment, Alundra burst out laughing with the first real humor she had felt in weeks.
The look of shock on Rogan’s face as he stood there holding the broken gate was priceless and Alundra continued to laugh until tears ran from her eyes.
Both men looked at her silently until she finally had herself under control.
Rogan was the first to speak, “I am sorry for breaking this door.”
Alundra waved her hand nonchalantly, “Don’t worry about it, just put it off to the side.”
Rogan did as he was told and turned to smile at her, “You should laugh more often. You are very beautiful.”
Alundra was stunned at his words and stammered, “Uh..thank you, Rogan.
“Uh..maybe we should get out of here before someone notices the door,” and she quickly passed through the opening left vacant of its door.
Alundra didn’t look back to see if the men were following. Her mind was again in turmoil, wishing that man wouldn’t say those things.
A voice sounded close beside her, “I have offended you in some way.”
She stopped and turned to the gorgeous blond god beside her. She looked up to meet his beautiful inquisitive eyes and then quickly turned down the alley while talking, “No, you haven’t offended me.
“You just surprised me, that’s all,” not glancing up.
She felt a halting hand on her arm and she was forced to stop and face her companion. He spoke, “I am sorry. On our world, we tell women they are beautiful and they are happy.
“They feel…proud…and pleased. I only thought to please you.”
Alundra suddenly looked up, “But why? What does it matter if you please me? I have already said that I will show you where you have to go.
“In a few minutes, we will never see each other again,” she felt almost sad at her words, “You don’t have to please me at all. No one has to please me. I please myself.”
Again she turned away and quickly came out of the alley onto the street and turned towards their destination, panic again quickening her gait. She sensed the two men, one beside and one behind her.
She dreaded any more words from the commander’s mouth. He seemed to have the ability to know exactly what to say to throw her world off center and she wasn’t sure how much more she could handle.
Her fast pace made conversation nearly impossible, and she was glad.
When the large red building came into sight, she was visibly relieved and quickly turned down the alley beside it to locate the door that would signal her freedom.
It found her all too soon. She stopped outside and turned to find both men close behind her. Putting on a fake smile of joviality, she held out her hand, “Well, here it is.
“It was nice to meet you, glad to be of help.”
Rogan looked down at her hand strangely as if uncertain he should touch it. She dropped it and clipped out as she turned, “Well, have a good trip back.
“Bye.” And she was almost running back the way she came, grasping at reality, glad her ordeal was over.
Too soon, a hand grasped her arm again and she found herself spinning around too fast and found herself clasped up against a muscular hard body to keep her from falling.
The scent of him was pure maleness, and purely arousing. Her nostrils flared trying to inhale as much as it could, almost like a drug, and she was powerless.
She looked up into that unbelievably handsome face and her lips parted in silence. Rogan stared intensely down at this woman who would become his mate if she would only agree.
And he would never get another chance to convince her.
“I wish to thank you for your help,” he replied softly.
Alundra stood mesmerized, “Ah..you’re welcome…”
Rogan stood silently, refusing to let her go and Alundra could feel something very important about to happen. And she wasn’t sure she wanted to hear it.
She twisted slightly to disengage herself from his embrace, but his arms were like iron bands, clasping her form to his.
“Rogan, I’ve got to go..” she pleaded, needing to get away before he said anything else that she might not refuse.
“Come with me,” his voice was very persuasive as if it were the easiest request in the world.
Alundra’s knees gave out and she would have fallen if not for the soft steel supporting her frame. No! Not this! She fought the urge to throw caution to the wind and grab this unbelievable dream.
It would be so easy to say the hell with the world and have this man carry her away from all she knew, all her memories and hurt. It would be so easy to believe that paradise was within her reach.
Reason prevailed, “I can’t..”
A scowl formed on his face as if he did not understand her answer and he tried again, “Please, come with me.”
Suddenly Alundra felt suffocated and tried desperately to free herself. Feeling that if he didn’t leave her go, he might accidentally hurt her, he gave her her freedom.
Alundra almost fell after being let loose so abruptly but quickly righted herself for fear that he might touch her again.
She stepped back while shaking her head, “I can’t Rogan…I just can’t.”
“Why not?” he asked in confusion
Alundra could think of a thousand reasons why she couldn’t but none seemed really valid, so she hooked onto the only thing she did remember, “You said you wouldn’t force anyone.
“Do you break your word?”
Rogan hardened, “We force no one. I merely asked and if you tell me now that you do not wish to be with me and return to my home, I will let you go in peace.”
Still, Alundra hesitated. This was it. This was her only chance.
“I’m sorry, I can’t,” she replied, although tears betrayed the depth of feeling washing over her.
He stepped toward her and was about to say something, but remembering his words, fell silent.
He nodded once and turned back to return to his assistant patiently waiting outside the door they had been seeking.
Alundra felt a great loss and almost called out, but pride for her independence refused to give her voice. She turned slowly and walked home. Her eyes were red and swollen before she opened her door.
When Rogan returned to Meridann he was in deep silence. Meridann wasn’t sure what exactly had happened but it didn’t look good.
“Is she coming, Commander?” he asked hopefully.
Rogan looked back to where Alundra had been standing, but she was already gone. He hung his head and stated evenly, “No, she would not come.”
Meridann sighed deeply, feeling sorrow for his leader, knowing how much his commander wanted this particular female. He wished he could somehow change this girl’s mind and give his commander his wish.
An idea occurred, “If she is what you want, surely more time spent with you will make her change her mind and realize that you and she are perfectly matched.”
Rogan looked at Meridann and sighed, “You know, Meridann, that time is a luxury that I do not have.
“If I had met her a month ago, she would probably be with me now,” he paused and damned time itself, “But we are leaving in two days and I have much to do.
“I don’t have time to find her and convince her to come.”
“Commander, if I may speak.”
Rogan looked his friend in the eyes.
“What if we asked that fellow at the bar where she lives and maybe you could convince,” he emphasized the last word, “her how much she would enjoy being with you and return with us in two days.”
Rogan seemed to consider this idea and then scowled, “I do not think she would appreciate being ‘convinced’ and I have stated that I do not want anyone to influence the beings here unless absolutely necessary.
“And my happiness is not absolutely necessary.”
Meridann smiled, “I beg to differ, Commander. You can be very…intense…when you are not happy.”
Rogan smiled in return, “Intense…you are kind Meridann,” he paused, “But as she can erect a barrier that will not let me in, this conversation is moot.”
Meridann sighed, “Then I am truly sorry, Commander.”
Rogan clasped his comrade’s shoulder and squeezed, “This is all right, Meridann, I will live. Now let us go in and find that young lady that HAS decided to join us.”
As they both entered the door, Meridann’s mind was still determined to find a way to give his best friend his life’s wish.
Alundra lay quietly in bed, unable to sleep. Her tears had long since dried but the ache was still there.
Her mind was filled with images of the tall blond stranger, and that’s what he was, a stranger. She didn’t know what he, or any of them, were like.
Everyone just trusted whatever they said, but if truth be told, who’s to say that these women who were being taken weren’t going to go to some galaxy slave house?
Hell, they could even be food for some outlandish space creature! What did anyone really know?
Alundra lay grasping at every outlandish and indecent excuse she could think of to justify her refusal to the commander…Rogan…even his name made her sigh.
Her body ached and seemed to torment her for refusing it the chance to merge with the alien specimen that had ignited a fire deep within.
Alundra moaned and tried to bury her thoughts under her pillow, determined to drive the images of desire from her mind and body.
After another restless hour, Alundra got up and went into the bathroom to get a pill to help her sleep.
She knew this was going to be one of those night’s that she would never get to sleep unless she did.
She didn’t like to depend on medication, even over the counter ones, unless it was absolutely necessary. And tonight it was absolutely necessary.
She strolled back to bed, confident that within a few short minutes, she would be deep into sleep and hopefully there would be no dreams of a certain handsome blond alien to plague her.
A half-hour later, Alundra was in a deep sleep but unfortunately, she was dreaming. But strangely, her dreams were not of Rogan but of his friend, Meridann.
Meridann was smiling and talking softly to her, telling her beautiful things about his home planet. He was telling her funny stories of his childhood and his long friendship with Rogan.
Alundra laughed out loud, at ease with this man. Her body felt calm and almost ethereal as if she were there, but not there.
Meridann, sensing her relaxed state then asked her why she would not come with Rogan. Immediately Alundra felt a tension course through her at the mention of her refusal.
Meridann instantly held up his hand and she felt what she could only describe as a light, almost sweet, breeze waft over her and she calmed again.
Meridann apologized and since this was only a dream, she smiled and told him that she was frightened. Meridann seemed confused and reassured her that Rogan would never hurt her.
Alundra reached over and touched his hand and said, “Meridann, I am not frightened of Rogan….I am frightened by the feelings he arouses in me. When he is near, my whole world turns upside down.
“I don’t feel in control anymore. I don’t think I could live like that.”
Meridann considered her words, “Maybe with time and trust, you wouldn’t feel like that anymore.”
Alundra laughed, “I think, when it comes to him, my world would always be upside down.”
Meridann looked hopeful, “But perhaps, with time, you could learn to live with him?”
Alundra paused and looked thoughtful, “I wish I could…because the thought of living without him is starting to hurt too much.”
Meridann pressed on, “If you had another chance, would you go with him?”
Allie looked up. How nice it was in dreams that you could roll back time and re-live any mistake and change the outcome, even if it only lasted for one night.
How nice it would be to say yes, and be able to live with this alien even if only for one night. To laugh with him and forget her fears and just enjoy whatever life had to offer.
How nice it would be….and Alundra realized since this was in fact only a dream, why not grab that chance?
Maybe she could even have a few nights of alien plagued dreams until her memories faded and others took their place.
Alundra’s face lit up and she boldly replied, “Yes, Meridann, I would. I would follow him to the stars.”
Meridann’s grin could not be described. The delight written on his face was indescribable and for a moment Alundra wasn’t sure what happened to bring on such a transformation. She felt confusion.
This was her dream, so why did she suddenly feel that she lost control over her own thoughts? Then to her surprise, she yawned. How could someone be sleepy in their dream?
How could someone fall asleep when they were already asleep? But she did feel sleepy, exhausted even and she felt a need to close her eyes and lie down.
Meridann didn’t seem to notice but just kept smiling at her.
As she slowly slid down to the floor in her dream, she could hear Meridann’s voice, soothing her, “Go to sleep, little one, go to sleep.”
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