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The Earthmans Bride
By Icy Snow Blackstone

For thirty years, Rebeka’s people have fought the Earthmen who invaded their planet.

Now, Rebeka’s father has devised a plan to bring about peace: offer the Earthmen a cease-fire, and cement it by giving his daughter as their leader’s bride. At first skeptical, Governor Philip Hamilcar is swept away by lust but he soon finds he has a rival for his wife’s affections in Darius Marx. An android possessing the ability to experience human emotion, Darius has also fallen in love with the Earthman’s bride.

Rebeka doesn’t want an alien husband and she certainly doesn’t want to kill anyone, but she’s given no choice. Once married to Philip, she discovers her husband more than empathetic to her people’s plight. Soon the two are in love, and Rebeka has to make a choice…

Will she make herself a widow or give up her own happiness for her people’s freedom?

Futuristic Romance

Sensuality rating: 2

Cover Art by Blaise Kilgallen

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Chapter 1

“See?” Taryn pointed to a small hill of rocks a few feet away from the rise of Mount Scar’s base. “Up there, by that outcropping of granite?”

They hobbled Rebeka’s little bay and his own big roan, leaving them in the shade of the pine grove’s branches. Walking up the gentle rise to the synthetic man’s grave, Taryn adjusted his long-legged stride to match his sister’s shorter one. Several times, he offered his hand, shifting his spear to the other as he helped her over the grassy hillocks and half-buried rocks protruding from the fertile, red clay.

As he indicated the spot, Rebeka looked past his pointing finger, putting up a hand to shade her eyes. There it was, a little cairn of broken granite and flint, long and narrow in a vague body shape. Growing out of the crevices between the rocks were several thick-leaved plants not native to this section of the valley, already partially hidden by tall, tough grass. They were blossoming with bright yellow daisies.

“You planted flowers on its grave.” She looked back at him. “That was kind.”

“There was nothing kind about it,” he snorted, shaking his head. “If I put them there for any reason, it was to prevent the creature from rising. Perhaps the flowers’ roots will tie his limbs the way they once used oak wythes to bind other unnatural beings to the soil.”

“Oh, it couldn’t,” Rebeka’s smile faded. With a gasp, she looked up the hill again. Suddenly, she could envision it, a rust-encased metal hand forcing itself through the soil, clumps of grass and clots of dirt in violent upheaval as the mechanical man burst from the rocks, daisies dangling from its ribcage. Without warning, her chin began to quiver, and she burst into tears, covering her eyes to blot out the imagined scene.

“Here, now!” Taryn reached out, drawing her towards him. “Don’t cry.” Briefly, his voice wavered between concern and annoyance, a typical warrior’s response to a woman’s tears. He hadn’t meant to frighten her. Putting his arms around her, he patted her shoulder awkwardly, his other hand creeping up to stroke her dark, lustrous hair. “Don’t worry, Beka. That thing won’t come back. Ever.”

“H-he won’t?”

“No. And if somehow, he did--why, I’d just kill him again.” He made a fierce face at the grave, shaking one fist until she laughed. He hugged her tightly. “You needn’t ever be afraid of that thing. He’s probably nothing more than a pile of rust by now.”

“He didn’t really look like us, Taryn?” Her voice was like that of a child waking from a nightmare, wanting to be reassured. “He didn’t really look human, did he?”

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