Aton arrives on Earth through the Intergalactic Dating Agency in search of his Fated mate. He finally locates her…
Mr. Uber pulled his vehicle to the curb. “This is the last one,” he said.
I peered dubiously at the soaring glass building squeezed among other tall structures. “This doesn’t look like the kind of hut in which my female would live.” Honking vehicles sped by. Sirens wailed in the distance. People with heads bent over small devices crowded the walkways, rushing among brown-and-gray reflective towers that blocked out much of the sky.
We’d been to two dwellings in more habitable areas, but neither of the females living in them was mine. They’d gaped at me like I was crazy when I asked if they had expected me, but even before their resounding nos, my heart had whispered they weren’t the right one. I’d never met my mate, didn’t have any idea what she looked like, but I felt certain when I saw her, I would recognize her. The Fates would ensure it.
Mr. Uber squinted at his phone. “This isn’t a house; it’s an office building for Antoinette Sutterman, attorney-at-law. I’d wait for you…but I got another fare…” He tapped on his device.
“No, you go on. There’s nothing more you can do anyway.” If my Antoinette Sutterman didn’t live here, I would need to regroup and figure out where else to search.
“Good luck! I hope you find your woman,” he said.
“Thank you.” I slid out of the vehicle onto the curb.
With a wave, he merged into the stream of moving vehicles and disappeared.
I peered up at the tall building and prayed to the Fates. Please let this be the one.
I’d left Dakon with no information other than the name of my mate and her camp—New Los Angeles. To my dismay, her camp turned out to be much larger and more populated than I had expected. I’d had no idea where to begin my search. I couldn’t go to the Intergalactic Dating Agency for help because I wasn’t supposed to be here.
Fortunately, as I’d wandered the streets, the hand of the Fates had guided me to the Stellar Dust Bin, a tavern frequented by extraterrestrials, one of whom happened to be a Dakonian who’d been on Terra for about a year. Rojak used his phone to locate the huts where all the Antoinette Suttermans lived and called Mr. Uber to take me to them.
On my planet, everyone had a unique name. I never considered there could be more than one female named Antoinette Sutterman. Then again, I never imagined a village as large as New Los Angeles. I guessed when a planet had a lot of people, they ran out of names and had to triple up.
I entered the building, stepping into a large cavern with a black-veined white stone floor so smooth my kel boots wanted to slide over the surface. A dozen people milled around conversing in small groups. Standing before a metal door, studying a moving light, were three females. Could one of those be mine? I scrutinized them, but my horns didn’t even twitch.
“Antoinette Sutterman?” I called out anyway.
A man frowned. “The office listing is right in front of you.” He gestured to a board with white scribblings.
I could understand and speak Terran because I’d been implanted with a translator before they’d dragged me off the ship, but I couldn’t read it.
The metal doors where the women waited dinged and opened. One of the females glanced back at me. “Her office is on the eighth floor.”
“Thank you.” Eight floors? I saw only the shiny one I stood on.
“What are you waiting for? I’m holding the elevator for you.” She motioned.
“Will it take me to Antoinette Sutterman?”
“Yes! Come on.”
I ran to join her. The doors closed without anyone doing anything, and I found myself enclosed in a metal box.
The female pushed a couple of buttons. The metal box rose. I grabbed the railing and braced myself. Unconcerned, the females stared at a moving light. Seconds later, the metal box jolted to a stop, and the doors opened.
“This is your floor,” the helpful female said. “Her office is at the end of the corridor.”
She was a very nice female who would make some male very happy. “Thank you.” I bounded off, relieved to be out of the metal box and eager to find my mate.
As I approached the door at the end of the hall, my horns throbbed. Obah! Excitement and relief washed over me. I had located my female! She lived here. The Fates had guided me, and they were never wrong. Calm confidence filled me.
I opened the door, and the sense of rightness grew stronger. A woman, her dark hair threaded with gray, sat at a large glossy table, peering at one of the ubiquitous lighted screens. Earth people seemed to spend a lot of time watching screens. “Can I help you?” she asked.
I ducked to avoid acquiring another painful knot on my head. Terrans were short, and few of their doorways were tall enough to accommodate my average height. My body signaled my mate was nearby, but I doubted this female was she. I got no sense of recognition. “You’re not Antoinette Sutterman.”
“I’m Megan Nichols, Ms. Sutterman’s assistant. Can I help you?”
Relief she wasn’t the one washed over me. “I’m Aton. I’m here to see Antoinette Sutterman.”
“Do you have an appointment?” She swiveled to her screen.
She peered at me over spectacles perched on her nose. “Is she expecting you?”
“Yes, I’m her mate. The Fates have selected her for me, and I’m here to claim her.”
Megan Nichols sprang up. “I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
“Not until I see her!”
She pressed a button on a device on her table.
“Yes?” came a disembodied male voice.
She kept her gaze on me. “Code fourteen. Suite 804.”
“We’re on the way.”
“Uh, he’s very big and…uh, not human.” She eyed my horns.
Behind her were two doors, both closed. The one on the left didn’t give off any vibration, but as I leaned to the right, my horns tingled. There! She was behind that door. I stepped toward it.
“Where are you going?” Megan Nichols leaped out and barred my path.
If she’d been a male, I would have shoved her out of the way, but she was female, Terran, and small. I could hurt her without intending to.
“I came to retrieve my female. Antoinette Sutterman!” I shouted. Maybe she would hear and come to me.
“You need to leave,” she said. “Security will be here any minute.”
When I tried to step around her, she moved, too, then the outer door burst open, and three males barreled in.
“Thank god you’re here. He’s ranting and raving, talking crazy, and demanding to see Ms. Sutterman,” Megan Nichols said.
“You need to leave the premises right now.” One of the males aimed a handheld device at me. He motioned to Megan Nichols. “You should move out of the way, ma’am.”
She scooted behind her table, and I rushed at the door on the right. “I’m meeting my mate—”
“Taser! Taser! Taser!” Two darts shot out of the man’s weapon. One bounced off my kel tunic, but the other barb lodged in my neck. Lightning splintered through my body, locking up every muscle in agony. I couldn’t move; I couldn’t speak. I fell face forward onto the hard floor.
Click. Click. Click. Click… With every metallic sounding tick, the barb delivered a streak of torment throughout my entire body. I felt like I was on fire.
“Damn good thing the Taser works on an alien,” said one of the men.
“Christ, yeah, he’s huge,” replied the one who continued to shoot me as I lay tortured and drooling on the floor. I could hear everything, but I couldn’t speak.
“Why did he come here? He asked for Ms. Sutterman,” Megan Nichols said.
“Her name is on the door and on the signage downstairs. He could have targeted her because she’s female,” said the shooter. “Are you sure she doesn’t know him?”
“Absolutely. I keep her schedule. She would have told me if she was expecting someone. She specifically told me this morning she would be on a conference call and not to disturb her.”
She is my mate! I have to get to her!
“There’s been a spike in extraterrestrial immigration in New Los Angeles.” He motioned to the other guards. “Get ready to cuff him.”
When the clicking stopped, so did the pain, but before I could react, two men yanked my arms behind my back, snapped metal rings around my wrists, and dragged me to my feet.
“I can’t thank you enough for coming so quickly,” Megan Nichols said. “What are you going to do with him?”
The men hauled me toward the exit. “If he was a vagrant, we’d release him outside, but seeing how he’s an extraterrestrial who targeted a tenant, we’ll hand him over to the New Los Angeles Police Department and let them call immigration. Most likely, they’ll deport him to his home planet.”
“No! The Fates meant for us to be together. I came all the way from Dakon. Antoinette Sutterman! Antoinette Sutterman!” I yelled. “It’s me! Aton!” Why couldn’t she hear me? Couldn’t she sense me?
“That’s enough of that, buddy. Don’t make me Taser you again,” the guard snapped.
The door slammed shut as they dragged me away.
For an alien and a human girl, all’s fair in love and courtship…
Attorney Toni Sutterman is on the fast-track, her success all but an open-and-shut case when she realizes she lacks what’s important: true love. With marriage-minded men in short supply on planet Earth, she joins the Intergalactic Dating Agency hoping to find a good match with an extraterrestrial. When her alien mate finally arrives, he proves beyond all doubt to be the man of her dreams: tall, sexy, romantic, and totally devoted to her. So what if there’s a bit of gray area about how he actually got here?
Aton of planet Dakon doesn’t mean to pull a fast one. He has every intent to play by the rules until false accusations get him escorted from the spaceship just before it blasts off. Neither spurious allegations nor the vastness of space will keep him from his mate, so he makes his own way to Earth to claim the female he was promised. As soon as he sees Toni, he recognizes her as his Fated mate. Confident he’s acted in good faith, he focuses on courting her and beginning their life together.
But when a rival discovers the truth and administers some rough justice, will Toni be willing to break the rules and become Aton’s partner in crime to save their future…or will she play by the book?
Aton is bringing cupcakes! Want to win some? Enter the drawing here.