Also available this week for absolutely no financial outlay whatsoever, my baby sister, Alexandra Christian’s amazing sci-fi romance, Gemini. Here’s an excerpt:
Xander sat straight up, gasping for air and startling Kaia. She reached for him, but he thrashed violently and shoved her aside. He was trying to move, but his limbs seemed to short-circuit. Kaia was reminded of a fish out of water as he desperately tried to get to his knees. “Xander… just… calm down. Let me help you,” she said, trying to grab hold of his arm. Before she could touch him, he coughed and gagged until he was throwing up a bright white fluid. It was the cryogenic chemical that they had pumped into his body ten years previous, holding him in this stasis. She knew it was necessary, but it frightened her, and she turned away, weeping into her hands. Surely it would kill him. There was so much. How could his body possibly repair itself after such trauma?
Finally he stilled, falling forward on the glassy floor and breathing heavily. Kaia approached him carefully, not sure if she should touch him. He still looked so frail. His skin was so pale that it was almost blue, and his black hair hung in his face in wet, knotty tendrils. His limbs were splayed awkwardly, almost as if he were broken. “Xander?” she murmured. He didn’t answer, but he opened his eye, and a tear rolled down his cheek. His pupil shrank in the light making his blue eye look like untouched ice. “Do you know me?” No recognition sparkled there, and Kaia felt her heart sink like a stone. She reached for him, and this time he let her help him sit up. His eyes never left her as she pushed his hair back from his brow and used the hem of her shirt to wipe at his mouth. “It’s all right. You’ll remember me in time.” She hoped. “Do you understand?” He raised a hand to her mouth as she spoke, feeling her lips as they formed the words. Kaia smiled and grabbed his hand, placing it against her chest. “Kaia,” she said. He didn’t speak, but she could see his lips moving as if trying to mimic her speech. “I came here to help you.” She smiled and stroked the back of his hand as if to reassure him. Slowly she stood up, letting him lean heavily against her. Kaia prayed that he would remember how to use his feet. There was no way she’d be able to carry him all the way to the small vessel that was docked on the other side of the prison. After a few steps he seemed to get the hang of it, copying her movements as they made their way slowly down the corridor toward where the transporter waited for them.
“Hold on just a bit longer, love,” she soothed, holding him tight against her as the transporter carried them up to the docking bay. “Once we get on the ship you can rest.” She tried not to think about the bodies of the guards that lay strewn at their feet all along the corridor leading to the ship. It wasn’t that she was particularly disturbed by the carnage carried out by her own hand, but these men were innocents. They had been doing their jobs, and she hadn’t relished having to dispose of them like vermin, but only Xander mattered. Both of them, all of the Gemini in fact, had been trained as assassins, but the men they’d dealt with in the past were not “good men.” They were enemies that brought destruction and death to innocents. But no one is ever the villain of their own story.
The walk from the transporter to the landing dock was an eternity. Xander could barely control his limbs, and they fell down several times. At one point he’d begun to shake so violently that Kaia was afraid he’d pummel them both to death as they practically crawled onto the ship. She took him immediately to the living quarters on board and helped him lie down across the bed. Luckily, the ship she’d grabbed from the spaceport on Sirrine-10 was a small luxury vessel, fully equipped for a vacation in space. Kaia had managed to knick it completely undetected from a poor maladjusted pop star fleeing from rehab. The décor wasn’t much to her taste, but it had the most important things: an interstellar system, food, and a bedroom.
Kaia sat down beside where he lay, breathing heavily after her exertions getting him this far. In a moment she’d have to take off and comb the maps for a friendly planet far out of reach of the IU. She wasn’t sure where they would go or if this craft would even get them there, but she couldn’t think of it that way. She had to take this mission one step at a time, or she’d lose her mind completely.
“You mean you haven’t already?”
Kaia gasped as the cloudy recesses of her brain where Xander’s voice lived began to open up. The wall that had resided there for so long was crumbling to dust as his body, mind and soul awakened. “Xander?”
“Is there anyone else out there with whom you’ve formed a psychic bond?”
Kaia looked, and he was smiling weakly. She began to laugh in spite of herself and threw her body against him. “You do know me! I… I thought perhaps you’d forgotten. It’s been so long.”
“Of course not. Your thoughts are much too loud to be forgotten. But I do have questions.”
“Anything,” she choked, almost sobbing as she lay against his chest, reveling in the comforting rhythm of his breath.
“My body. Why can’t I use my body? And I can’t talk.”
“Shush now,” Kaia soothed, laying down by his side and cradling his head to her chest. “Let your body rest. You’ll be well soon enough.” A blanket of relief settled around her as he nuzzled closer. She took his hand in hers, raising it to a cool cheek. He was getting warmer now, and she could feel a strengthening pulse in his wrist. His mind went quiet, and his eyes closed, relaxing into her cradling arms. They would lie there together until their bodies were once again synced. Their heartbeats, the rhythm of their breath, the speed of the blood rushing through their veins would work in tandem until they were a united circuit through which their one soul could navigate.