The Desire Series #3

Animal Desire

by Barbara Donlon Bradley

Animal Desire by Barbara Donlon Bradley Heather is now six months pregnant and finds her mate a bit overprotective. She can’t help it if she glows when she is frustrated. Things get a little more complicated when she is called home because of Ialog. He released information, making it look like she is being mistreated by the Vespians. How is she going to hide her pregnancy? She left Earth sterile.

Storm isn’t happy about her leaving the safety of Vespia but wants to show that Heather is happy and safe under his care. He knows Ialog and is worried the man is going to try to take his mate from him again. His fears become very real when Ialog kidnaps her. Now he has to find a way to bring her home.

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Release Date: June 13, 2023
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance

~ A Red Satin Romance ~


Chapter One

Heather sat in her rooms, feeling very trapped. There had already been a few little complications with her pregnancy and now she was under house arrest.

She looked around but didn’t see anyone in sight. Storm had been talking to Kuarto via the screens and must have moved into another room so they could discuss her condition without her hearing it. It didn’t matter. She finally had a few moments away from those two overprotective men, who swore they were just looking out for her. How? By restricting just about everything she normally did? Well, she planned on taking advantage of their absence. Bracing her arms against the rests of her chair, she pushed herself to her feet.

“Sit.” Storm’s voice was right at her ear.

“Where did you come from?” She turned to look at him in surprise. Heather was positive he would be gone longer than a few seconds. Did he have radar? Then she realized he probably knew her intentions because of their mindlink. It grew stronger every day.

“Sit.” He crossed his arms over his chest. “Mate’s orders.”

She parked herself back in her chair. Not happy with the turn of events. She couldn’t stop the pout she felt take over her features. “I need to move around a little. Sitting still is driving me crazy.”

“Your doctor said you needed to relax and you haven’t done that.”

“I can’t help it.” She shifted in her seat. “It’s boring, just sitting.”


“Fine.” She mimicked his pose by crossing her arms over her chest too. Being trapped in her rooms wasn’t how she wanted to spend the first weekend she had to herself. So what if her readings were a little off.

Kuarto didn’t like the heightened levels of her heart rate, blood pressure and pulse and had recommended she not do anything strenuous. Storm took that as she wasn’t allowed to do anything and he wasn’t allowing her any leeway.

“If I rest can we go for a walk later?” Heather looked up at him, giving him her best smile.

“It depends on how well you behave.” He watched her with a raised eyebrow. He knew she was up to something.

“I promise.” She stood.

“What part of sit do you not understand?” He gave her an exasperated look.

“I’m going to lie down. Rest as demanded.” She gestured toward their bedroom.

“About time you came to your senses.” He scooped her up in his arms.

“Storm.” She loved the close physical contact, but she could walk a few feet without any trouble.

“How far along are you?” He didn’t show any signs of putting her down as he carried her into the room.

“Six months.” She rested her head against his chest. There was no way Storm was going to let her feet touch the ground, so she might as well enjoy listening to his strong heartbeat. Let it calm her the way it always did.

“And how much further do you have to go?”

“About twelve more.” She sighed. “I get it. I need to take care. Don’t want to make this worse as I get further into the pregnancy because I didn’t behave now.”

“I see you were listening.” He set her down on the bed.

“My heart, I haven’t done anything crazy. You’ve been with me, you know.” Heather looked up at him. “The elevated readings are probably from something I ate.”

“Until we’re sure, you will do exactly what is expected of you. I don’t want you to take any chances.” He placed a soft kiss on her lips.

“Aren’t you going to keep me company?” She patted the bed beside her, giving him her most seductive smile.

“You know, if I join you, you won’t get any rest.” He captured her lips once more with his. This one was deep, heated and left them both a little breathless.

“I was kind of hoping for that.” She knelt on the bed. Placing her hands between her legs, she leaned forward. Heather had learned this little pose. If she leaned the right way, it allowed him to see all the way down the front of her dress. She got her way a lot when she did it right.

She watched as his eyes started to glow. Over the last few months, he had developed the glowing eyes when he was aroused. A smile spread across her face.

“They’re glowing, aren’t they?”

“Oh, yeah.”

He dropped to his knees on the bed and her smile got brighter.

“You know, I’m not sure I like this smug look you get whenever you’re about to get your way.”

“What look?” She tried to appear innocent, but couldn’t pull it off any better than he could.

“You know what I’m talking about.” He placed his hands on her shoulders and eased her backwards. Once he had her prone, he lowered himself and started to nibble on his favorite spot on her throat.

“But we’re both getting our way.” She tilted her head so he could have better access. Arousal flowed through her.

He released the seams of her dress. “You still need to rest.”

“And I will.” She worked on his shirt seams as well. “This will help relax me so I can rest.”

“You are incorrigible.” He opened the gown and allowed his hands to roam her body. He pressed kisses along her collar bone and down the center between her breasts. “I have noticed these have been very sensitive lately.”

“I know. Highly annoying for me.” She closed her eyes as he gently caressed them. “Sometimes the material of my gowns aggravates them and sometimes it is very arousing. That’s not supposed to happen. You would think it would be one way or the other, not both.”

He pressed a chaste kiss on the side of one breast, then the other. “And now?”

“They want to feel your hot mouth on them.”

He gently lathed one, waiting for her to react. A quick intake of breath was her answer. He turned his attention to the other one, making sure he didn’t cross that fine line between pain and pleasure. Storm used the mindlink they shared to know what gave her pleasure and what hurt so he could be as gentle to her breasts as possible. They pebbled quickly and he could feel much more attention would be painful, so he moved to her abdomen.

Every morning, he spoke to his children. A ritual they both enjoyed because it always led to something more. Placing little kisses across her belly, he spoke to them again. Now that she was showing, it made her pregnancy very real. He paid homage to the life growing in her, drawing a few giggles as he did so.

“That tickles.”

“You laugh while I’m trying to arouse you?” He climbed back up her body, placing soft kisses wherever he wanted. He loved the computer system in the underground compound. It only took a thought to remove their clothes.

“Sorry.” She touched his face softly. “But you know I’ve become more ticklish since I’ve started to show. Can’t help it if the slide of your tongue makes me laugh instead of moan. I think it’s the children causing it. They feel a lot of joy when you talk to them and it manifests as laughter.”

“So you are going to blame the innocent lives growing inside you?” He looked into her eyes, laughter and desire glowing in them.

“I’ll try to react better next time.” She touched his face with her fingers again. “If you wish, I’ll moan for you right now.”

“Woman, you are talking too much and there is only one way I know to quiet you.” He slid in deep and watched in satisfaction as her eyes closed and a smile spread across her face. The next stroke had her looking at him, need swirling in her eyes. Her muscles constricted, making her sheath tighten against him. He loved the way her body hugged him, the way they could share each other’s response when he pulled out and drove back in. Heather tilted her hips so he could penetrate deeper. Each time he filled her, he went as deep as he could. Her body accepted every thrust. He picked up the tempo as the friction between them increased.

Her breathing became labored. He could feel little spasms wracking her body. She was close. Very close. Storm shifted his weight a little and filled her once more. He felt her reach for her orgasm.

So close.

He felt the evasive release start with the heat in her belly, then it moved outward, toward her extremities. Her whole being shattered as it overtook her. She whimpered as it overpowered her.

Storm pressed soft kisses against her hairline. His heart.

He continued to move in and out of her. His turn. Everything started to build inside her once again. He could feel both his delicious arousal as well as hers. Her muscles held him in another tight grip, increasing the sensations. He ground his hips against hers and their worlds exploded. They floated in each other’s arms, not wanting to come back to reality.

“Wow, I never get tired of that.” She touched his face.

“You are phenomenal, my heart.” He pressed his lips to one cheek, then the other before he worked his way to her throat.

Someone banged against the door loudly.

“Did I mention your brother was coming to give us the results? Clothes for the two of us.” He mumbled it against her neck. He lifted his head, knowing the moment was gone. “Enter.”

More loud noises came from their main room.

“Don’t think so.” She closed her eyes, hiding the disappointment he felt flow from her mind.

“We’ll have to continue this after he leaves.” He pressed another kiss against her throat.

“Is it safe?” asked Kuarto. He stepped into the room once he was sure they were covered. “I’ve had my share of your sexual exploits.” He tapped the side of his head. Heather knew he still hadn’t quite forgiven either of them for mentally connecting with him just as they hit their orgasms.

Storm sat up and pulled Heather into his embrace. “So what is going on with her, doctor?”

“Well, I have good news and bad news.” He crossed his arms and watched the two of them.

“Is there something wrong?” Heather looked down for a moment as she rested her hand against the slight swell in her stomach.

“Nothing is wrong, but the diet I put you on isn’t working. Keeping you from exercising didn’t help matters either.”

“Really? Does that mean I can resume my normal duties?” She was excited to hear about that.

“Yes.” Kuarto didn’t look happy. She could tell he didn’t like not knowing what was causing the weird readings.

“So what is the problem?” asked Storm.

“I can’t figure out why she’s having these issues. We get rid of one ailment and another one crops up. Nothing life-threatening, but enough to drive us all crazy. Heather, you must be tired of all the restrictions.”

“I’d love for them to stop.” She was glad Kuarto stopped talking about her like she wasn’t there.

“And they are. This time I want you to eat whatever you feel driven to. Whenever you wish to eat. My only request is that you allow me to keep a log of it. Same thing with activities. We’ve kept you from doing things that maybe we shouldn’t have.” He pulled out a small medallion on a chain. “Wear this so it can record everything I need to know about.”

“Yippee, another medical scanner.” She took it from him. “You know I have a tendency to break these things.”

“So I have heard. I made sure this one is a little more durable than the other one and it’s subcutaneous. Once you put it on, it will sink into your skin and stay there until I remove it. Harder to damage if it’s inside you.” He slipped it over her head then turned to Storm. “I have one for you as well.”


“Your body is going through changes we don’t understand. This will help me figure out what is going on.”

“Find another way, doctor.”

“Don’t be stubborn. I will go to the council and make them aware of what is going on with you if you refuse, and they will force you to wear it.” Kuarto held it out to him. “Is that what you want?”

Heather grinned. Kuarto might be taller than Storm, but Storm’s muscular physique overshadowed Kuarto’s slimmer frame. Storm’s build intimidated others, but it didn’t seem to bother her brother. He just proved it.

Storm glared at him, but took the necklace and put it on.

“Thank you.”

“Heather?” the voice of the computer interrupted. “You have a communiqué coming in from Earth. Shall I route it to the main screen?”

“Earth? What could they want?” She looked at Storm. She slid off the bed and stood in front of the main screen. “Yes, computer. Make sure they don’t see any more than my head. I’m still not sure how to explain how I got pregnant, so the less they see the better.”

The face of her old commander filled the screen. “How are you doing, Heather?”

“Sir?” Her brow creased. “I wasn’t expecting to hear from you. Is everything alright?”

“Yes, it is.” He gave her a smile. A fake one the military taught them all to use. He wanted something. “The president wishes to extend the hand of friendship and invite you and your family to come to Earth for a visit.”

“That’s very kind of you, sir, but I’m pretty sure we’re going to have to decline.” She smiled back. Storm would never go along with it, anyway.

“As an officer of Earth, you are commanded to come home for a few days.” The smile had disappeared. He was serious.

“Why?” She realized she said the wrong thing. “Sorry, sir. I meant no disrespect, but I thought it was understood that once the treaty was done I wouldn’t be back.”

“Consider it a strong recommendation. Somehow, information on you has leaked to the press that has most of Earth up in arms. You need to come here and show them everything is alright. I’ll send you the files the media has been broadcasting. I don’t care how you do it, but you need to come home and fix this. Now.”

“Yes, sir.” She cut communications and sank back into the bed. “Crap.”

“My heart?” Storm had moved to her side.

“Nothing.” She slapped a bright smile on her face. No need to worry him over something that was probably minor. He and Kuarto had been talking to each other while she spoke to her old commander, so she wasn’t sure what he had heard. “Computer, can you show me the files sent from Earth?”

Several files loaded at the same time. The print ones were easy. All she had to see were the headlines. They all had the same theme. They knew about her being wounded while doing the exercise several months back. The news now had something they considered concrete to paint the Vespians in a bad light. They made it look like she was being held against her will and being treated badly.

Now she knew why she needed to go home. She looked at Storm. How was she going to get him to go along?

“They feel we are mistreating you?” Anger laced his voice. It wasn’t good to upset her mate.

“Maybe a little?” She touched his heart. “They just don’t know how it is between us.”

“And you want to show them they’re wrong.” He returned the gesture.

“Yes.” She scooted closer to him. “I won’t be gone too long.”


“Storm.” She was given a command and had to go home.

“You are not going anywhere without me.” He shook his head. “Especially back to Earth.”

“You want to go with me?” She knew he wasn’t a big fan of Earth. The last time he was there he was forced to do something he didn’t want to do, so she hadn’t thought to ask him.

“Of course.” He frowned at her. “Why would you ask that?”

“You didn’t seem to like being there the last time.”

“I found you there.” Slipping his arms around her, he pressed another kiss against her mark.

“And I’ll take that as my cue to leave,” Kuarto commented. He headed for the doors.

“Doctor, you will accompany us.” Storm continued to nibble on Heather’s throat as he gave the command.

“No ‘please’?” Kuarto turned to look at them before grabbing his heart in mock pain. “I’m wounded.”

“It’s a good thing he’s your brother,” Storm murmured against her skin. “When do you want to leave?”

“I don’t know. Um, how many people will we bring with us?” Heather always had trouble thinking when her mate distracted her. She hadn’t planned on bringing a huge contingent. She understood why Storm wanted to bring Kuarto. With all the weird little things she had been through since she became pregnant, she agreed, but they didn’t need a lot of people. Then it dawned on her.

“Crap!” her body tensed at the realization.

“What?” Storm sensed her unease and lifted his head to look at her.

“I can’t go to Earth now.” She touched her stomach. “How would I explain this?”

“Your pregnancy? You won’t be there that long and you are barely showing. They probably won’t even notice.” He smiled, trying to reassure her.

Heather knew he didn’t understand why she was so upset about this, but she knew she wouldn’t be able to waltz in, say her piece, and waltz back out again. There would be questions and interviews. Their life would be dissected into tiny little pieces.

“There shouldn’t be an issue with you traveling as you’re not due for a while.” He looked to Kuarto, who hadn’t quite made it out the door yet, for reassurance.

“It’s not that. How do I explain my pregnancy since I have been sterile all of my life?” She hated this. Frustration filled her. “Especially since Vespia has asked Earth to donate DNA to help eliminate the same problem in their population?”

“We’ll hide it.” Storm tilted his head as he studied her.

Although she knew her mate well, and knew he would never treat her like she was some sort of specimen, she felt like she was back on Earth being poked and prodded by the Earth doctors.

“Kuarto, do you see what I see?” Storm touched her cheek.

“I do.” He ran his scanner over her, which Heather tried to slap away. She was really tired of the constant impromptu check-ups.

“Behave.” Storm stopped her by grabbing her hands.

“What?” She wasn’t happy with either of them.

“Look at your hands.”

She looked down and found them glowing. So it wasn’t a food reaction after all. Heather looked up at him, understanding the odd look he gave her a few moments ago. “You saying I glow when I get upset?”

“It looks that way.” Her brother looked at his scanner. “So you need to relax. Not let everything get to you.”

“Fine.” She took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. “So, how do you plan on hiding my pregnancy?”

“The material used for the uniforms hides everything on the body. We’ll utilize it.” Storm placed his hand on her cheek again. “We’ll work it out.”

“There is a cloth used by the ancients that can hide your pregnancy and is more flexible than the material in the Vespian uniform,” commented the computer. “I can create one outfit you can wear under any of your garments, Heather.”

“That will be fine, computer,” said Storm.

“I don’t see how this is going to work.” Heather flopped back against the mattress. “Knowing Earth as I do, I will have to be very diligent.”

“Well, I’m going to inform my mate of our trip.” Kuarto turned and left.

“You really think that was why your brother was anxious to get out of here?” He leaned down to nibble on her throat once again. “You know everything will be fine, right?”

“I know. It’s just not the right time with all the little things happening with me. This stupid glow, for example.” She looked at her hands. “As far as my brother, I think he noticed your glowing eyes hadn’t dimmed through any of what just transpired.”

“You saying I have a one track mind?” He used his fingers to release the seals on her dress he had thought back into place only a few minutes ago.

She laughed as she worked on the seals of his clothes as well. “When it comes to me you do.”

Storm grinned. “You know me so well.”

* * *

Storm watched his mate on the screen from the main deck of their ship. She hadn’t been getting enough sleep, so he ordered her to their room to rest while they were heading to Earth. By the way she was tossing and turning, she wasn’t doing what he demanded.

“You really need to get another hobby.” Kuarto stepped up to his side. “Spying on your mate isn’t a good one.”

“I’m worried about her.” Storm turned to look at him. “She’s not getting enough rest, and it shows. How are these humans going to perceive the darkened circles under her eyes?”

“We can mask that, and you know it. Her readings are good, so are the twins. What she needs is you.” Kuarto placed a hand on his shoulder.

“What do you mean?”

“I have found she sleeps best when you are at her side.” He held up a small pad with the readings from her monitor. “You can send her to your room and demand she rest all you want, but she doesn’t seem to relax as well. I’d recommend you rest when she does.”

“So you’re saying if I were to lie down with her she’d get the rest she needs?” Storm gave him a questioning look. “You do know who you’re talking to, right?”

“Libido aside, it sure wouldn’t hurt. Perhaps the sex is part of the equation. I’m sure it relaxes her.”

“Whatever you think is best, doctor, but I’m not responsible if she doesn’t get any rest since this is your idea.” Storm walked into their small room to find his mate feigning sleep. Her eyes were closed, but he could tell by the way she lay there that she was wide awake. “I know you’re awake.”

“I’m sorry. Just can’t sleep.” She sat up and looked at him. “Did you come to rescue me?”

“Sorry.” He sat on the bed. “Your brother suggested I come and join you. He believes you rest better when I’m with you.”

She scooted over so he could stretch out beside her. “True, but we don’t always rest when you’re this close to me.”

“Well, right now, we have to be good.” He pulled her into his embrace and rested his head against the pillows.

“We’re always good. I think it’s one of the reasons why we can’t seem to keep our hands off each other.” She snuggled against him.

He chuckled as he tightened his hold on her. “We have a few hours before we arrive on Earth, so we have plenty of time. You need to rest first.”

“And are you going to keep your hands to yourself?” Her voice came out soft. He could feel her body relaxing against him. Sleep was already setting in.

“I can’t promise anything.” He pressed a kiss against her forehead as she slipped deeper into slumber.

“I can help you break that promise.” She practically sighed her answer. Even in sleep, she wanted him.

“My heart.”

* * *

The ship landed in the designated area and powered down. Heather stood beside her mate, nervous about the next few minutes. She hoped to have a private landing, but was informed that the media and the military were already there, waiting for them. She had lamented about what she should wear, her uniform or civilian clothes, and decided on the civilian. She was the ambassador’s wife and that was the role she felt she needed to live, but now she wasn’t sure if that was the best choice.

The first group of people off the ship were the Vespian guards brought along as protection. Next went the staff and servants needed to run the embassy while they were there. Then the council, which had come along. Heather wasn’t real sure why. Her brother and his mate were next. Then her and Storm stepped off the ship.

To her dismay she was treated to a military welcome.

“Sir.” She saluted her commander. “I apologize for not dressing appropriately. I thought we would receive a private landing like most dignitaries get.”

“I do apologize, Heather. Your dress is fine, in fact, it is probably the best thing you could wear but the media got wind of you coming home and there was no stopping them.”

She smiled. Heather knew better. “Sure there is, sir. Don’t forget, I used to work in security.”

He didn’t respond to her, just gestured to a podium.

“What?” She looked at it in shock. “Sir, you do not want me talking to them. It won’t be pretty. Why can’t I just release a statement?”

“They won’t believe it. Be yourself, Heather. I think it’s what is needed.”

She looked at Storm for a moment before she shrugged and walked to the mics. People started asking her all kinds of questions. She had to raise her hands in order for them to quiet down. “I’m not here to field any questions you might have. If you have questions, submit them in writing to me and I’ll decide which ones I want to answer.” She looked out at all the people there to pull her life apart and anger filled her. “I have thought about what I would say to you when I finally got my chance to speak and the only thing that keeps popping into my head is how dare you! These people rescued our planet. Gave us a mineral we desperately needed and you pay them back by perpetuating these awful lies? I am happily married to a man who adores me. End of discussion.”

Heather stepped away from the podium and walked to her mate. Slipping her arm around his waist, she leaned into him, as she led her entourage off toward the waiting vehicle.

She had looked at her hands while she was speaking, and her wonderful glow had started again. It wouldn’t be good for one of the cameras to pick it up. Heather didn’t want to end her tirade so abruptly, but she couldn’t take a chance the glow would get worse.

“I don’t think your commander was very happy with your statement.” Storm pulled her close.

“Don’t care.” She rested her head on his chest. “They wanted a spectacle and that was what they got. Minus the glow.” She held out her hands to show it had started again.

* * *

Once they were in the embassy, she found herself relaxing a little. This was where it all started. It was hard for her to believe less than a year had transpired. It seemed like a long time ago.

They were given the same room, but this time Heather was the one in charge of decorating the rooms, so the stark white décor was gone, replaced with nice neutral tones to set a calmer mood. She dropped to the couch once she was sure she’d have a few minutes and rested her head against the back of the cushions.

“My heart, are you okay?” Storm sat beside her and touched her face.

She lifted her head and smiled. “You worry too much.”

“And you push yourself too hard. You didn’t have to make sure everyone’s room was to their liking before resting. I could have assigned that to someone else.”

“And I would have been following them around to make sure they did it right and you know it.” She touched his face with gentle fingers.

The doors to their rooms opened as her brother walked in, hands over his eyes just in case. “Thought I’d remind you about a particular box you wanted to be delivered.”

“Oh, right.” Heather sat up. “Is it here?”

“Yes. The staff wasn’t sure where to put it. I rescued it before it was stuffed in a closet.”

“Have them bring it in,” said Storm. He stood to make sure it was done to his satisfaction.

It took four men to carry the box into the room. At Storm’s direction, they placed it on the floor next to the room’s mainframe and left. Once the room was clear, Storm stepped up and pressed the buttons to release the seals. As it opened, he went to the couch and sat next to Heather.

Once the box opened, small metal wires extended out and attached to the main computer. It didn’t take long for the system to be integrated.

“I see we have arrived.” The computer was quiet for a moment. “So this is Earth. I do have information about it in my database.”

“Sorry to keep you in the box the whole time, but no one knows about you, so we couldn’t see how we would explain the need to bring our own computer.” Storm looked at Kuarto. “As it is, you need to be very careful when you speak to us. The security grid might think you’re an intruder.”

“I can place my information into the system so it will recognize me.” It was quiet for a second or two. “Done.”

“Good. Do diagnostics on this embassy to make sure our security is at one hundred percent. I’ll be waiting for your report.”

“There is a call for Heather from the Earth government. Shall I rout it through?”

“I guess.” She sighed. Sitting up, she plastered a smile on her face. Her old commander appeared on the screen. “Hello, sir.”

“Have you been watching the newsfeeds?”

“Sorry, sir.” Heather shook her head. “We haven’t had time to see what my little bombshell caused.”

“Your speech has the whole planet buzzing about you. The honesty of your feelings seems to be what they’re all talking about. They find it refreshing and heartfelt.”

“Only because I called them on the carpet, sir.” She was happy they were taking her words at face value.

“Yes, well, your itinerary has been altered because of it.”

“Altered? How?” She had just gotten the huge missive on where they wanted her to go and who they wanted her to see. How much of that had changed?

“We’re getting lots of requests for you and your husband to be interviewed. They wish to give you a chance to tell your side of the story.” He looked away from the screen for a moment. “I’m sending you what the government wishes. You’ll see a lot of them are very simple and it won’t take much to make the necessary changes to cover everything. But there are four things that are not negotiable. They wish to have a dignitary function, an awards function, your interview and a military presentation.”

The data streamed across the screen. Storm took her handheld and downloaded the information into it so she could sit comfortably and go through everything.

“I’ll take a look at it, sir.” She took the small device from her mate. “I’ll need to clear this through the Vespian ambassador.”

“I’ll be waiting to hear from you.”

“Yes, sir.” The moment the screen went dark she dropped her head back against the back of the couch again and moaned. “I can’t believe this. They just expect me to make all this happen.”

“My heart, why do you let this bother you?” He pulled her into his embrace. “We have people who can do all of this for you.”

“Would you give this to someone to do if our roles were reversed?” He didn’t answer her. “Didn’t think so.”

“You need to calm down.”

She looked at her hands. They had a feint glow. Sitting the pad down, she looked at Storm. “If this keeps up, it’s going to cause a problem.”

Kuarto knelt in front of her, scanner in hand. “You need to stop getting upset over every little thing.”

“Oh please. You’re the same way.” She watched as he used his scanner. “If you’re going to break out that scanner of yours every time you see me, and you see me all the time now, why am I wearing this stupid monitor?” She tapped the spot where it sat beneath her skin.

“Because they do two different things. This.” He held up the scanner. “It is going to do the quick scans where your monitor is doing the deep scans. If you remember to remain relaxed so your protective protocol won’t take over and skew the readings.”

“I’ll try.”

“You ready?” Kuarto asked Storm.

“Yes.” He looked at Heather. “You going to be okay?”

“Yes. I have plenty to keep me busy.” She held up her pad. “Can I ask what you two are up to?”

“We’ll see you later.” He gave her a wonderfully heated kiss before getting up and leaving with Kuarto.

“Of course not,” she said to herself.

She sent a message to Anseri and asked if she could speak to her. Thankfully, her mate’s mother was available. “How may I help you, Heather?”

She explained what her old government wanted.

“What is the awards ceremony?” asked Anseri.

“Normally, they are pinning officers with their new rank. They also use this time to award new medals and special commendations. I’m assuming they’re going to give me a commendation for the treaty.”

“And the military presentation?”

“They wish to see a demonstration of the Vespian military. They will also do a demonstration of their military. It’s normally the best of the best. I’ve seen so many things done. It’s pretty wide open as to what you can do.” Heather tapped her pad against her leg. “I can see if they will tell me what the Earth military is doing, so we know what will complement their program.”

“Whatever we present will have to go through the head of security.”

“I expected that and will be speaking to him later.” She hoped Storm would agree with what she thought would wow the audience and not give any secrets away. She sure would like to show what she had learned from working with Vespian security but wasn’t sure if he would allow her to participate because of her condition. He could be very overprotective at times.

“Then let’s leave that for last. This schedule will work best for us if your government will go along with it.”

“Thank you. I’ll speak to them. Hopefully, they will agree and make all of our lives easier.” She got up and headed back out into the hall. Now all she had to do was schedule the interview.


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