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Authors: Tracy St. John

Tags: #dominationsubmission, #erotica aliens, #clans of kalquor, #kalquor, #erotica bdsm, #tracy st john, #futuristic erotica, #science fiction erotica, #erotica, #menage

Alien Refuge (3 page)

BOOK: Alien Refuge
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His tone as noncommittal as his expression, the Kalquorian said, “This is the child with the difficulties?”

Iris nodded. “Autism. It’s why the noise of the snow blower made him run from me and put him in the path of that shuttle. Did I thank you for saving him?”

The alien looked at her. He smiled, and Iris forgot to breathe for a moment. The man’s ferocity didn’t disappear, but it was tremendously lessened. He looked approachable. Warm. Even friendly. And damned handsome.

He dipped a nod. “You did thank me. You are most certainly welcome, Matara Iris.”

Thomas had finally stripped down to his underpants. He ran to one side of the room where his toys were, contained to one area for a change rather than scattered all over the floor. He picked up a small vehicle, a toy train. Trains were long gone, of course, a form of Earth conveyance that had disappeared before Iris had been born. Thomas loved them, however. He had been obsessed with trains since he first saw one in a museum. Unfortunately for the little boy, Earther train museums were gone too, thanks to Armageddon.

Thomas set the toy on a track and began pushing it around. “Train rolls down the hill. Train rolls down the hill. Train rolls down the hill,” he chanted.

The Kalquorian watched the child, seemingly fascinated. Iris rushed to explain, “He’s not slow, intelligence-wise. He’s actually above average intelligence. His speech, social, and sensory issues hold him back. And he has no impulse control.”

Even as she babbled, Iris wondered why she was explaining so much to the daunting Kalquorian. Surely he didn’t care about an Earther child’s problems. And why should she care what he thought about Thomas? Her son was wonderful, and those who didn’t take the time to get to know him and understand him were not important anyway. It was something she reminded herself of every time people edged away from Thomas, when they got those uncomfortable looks on their faces.

The Kalquorian didn’t seem uncomfortable in the least. Instead, he gave Iris that transforming smile again. “What a fascinating child. May I sit down?” He waved his hand at a scarred chair with a sagging seat.

Iris blinked at him, startled by the request. Why would the alien want to stay for a visit? Unless ... oh heavens, he didn’t think she was looking to join a clan, did he?

Not quite sure how to handle the situation, she stammered, “Um, sure. Can I get you anything, uh...?”

“Nobek Jol. I am head of Kalquorian security here on Haven.” He bowed his head to her as he settled carefully on the chair. It creaked alarmingly, but somehow managed not to break under his large frame. “Thank you for the offer, but I require no refreshment, Matara Iris.”

Iris regarded him with wide eyes. Nobek Jol was not just the head of Haven’s Kalquorian security. He was also clanmate to the Kalquorian governor of the colony, Dramok Ospar.

She blinked. “I’ve heard your name before.”

The Earther colony of Haven had been founded on a once uninhabitied planet within the Kalquorian Empire’s space. That meant it had two governors, Dramok Ospar and Earther George Hoover. Most Earther refugees, still hurting from the war with Kalquor and the resulting destruction of Earth, did not opt to live on Haven. Other colonies held the majority of survivors, many going to the older settlements from when Earth was still a viable planet. A large number had also settled on the colonies the Galactic Council of Planets had established after Armageddon.

The destruction of Earth’s major cities and the resulting death of the planet itself had come about through both Earth and Kalquorian actions. The Kalquorians’ part in it had been an accident, even though the two species had been at war. Horrified and remorseful, the Empire had created Haven for the Earthers who wanted a fresh start. They had set up the colony and offered healthcare, land, and homes for any who wished to farm the verdant planet. Haven was different from other colonies in that no one who came to live there was expected to pay back their benefactors in any way. One simply applied to Kalquor for a homestead, agreed to abide by the laws of the Empire, and got to work.

Iris and Thomas had come to the colony only a year before with nothing but a few changes of clothes. It had represented a fresh start. A new life with none of the horrors of the old. Iris had left behind everything without a qualm, even though the work on Haven was difficult. She welcomed it.

Freedom from fear and pain was worth every ounce of hard work that greeted her from the moment she got up in the morning until she collapsed into bed at night. Her life before Armageddon, lived in a fine home with every material comfort she could wish for, had been a nightmare. One she was grateful to have awakened from.

The heater clicked on, rumbling like an angry beast deep within the home’s guts beneath the floor. Jol frowned for a moment before turning his attention to Iris’ son.

“Your child is named Thomas?” He consulted his handheld again.

“Yes,” Iris confirmed.

“The difficulties he has, they cannot be corrected through medical means?” Jol’s question seemed merely interested, not judgmental. Not rife with the usual rabid curiosity masked as sappy concern. It was a nice change.

Iris answered easily. “His brain works differently from most others. He’s not neural-typical. He could take drugs to calm some of his behaviors, but I don’t like for him to. Medications make him feel tired and out of it. His thinking becomes sluggish.” She added defensively, “I think he’s perfect.”

Jol kept his gaze on the playing boy. “He is certainly empathetic. Your tears worried him greatly. It is good for someone so young to feel concern for others.”

Thomas was locked in his own world at the moment, not noticing them. “Train climbs up the hill. Train climbs up the hill,” he singsonged, pushing his toy.

Jol looked at the scattered blocks and building toys. He seemed particularly fascinated by the myriad of trains; some were only rudimentary assemblies, but quite a few were intricate pieces that had been put together from all sorts of materials. One vision of a steam engine had the tines of a fork as its cowcatcher. Everything Thomas came across was fair game to be converted into his passion.

The Kalquorian gave the little boy an appraising stare. “How old is he?”

“Six.”

Jol’s eyebrows shot high. “He built those toy conveyances himself?”

Iris snorted. “Don’t look at me. I can barely put together a jigsaw puzzle. Thomas?”

Thomas kept playing, completely submerged in his own world. Whatever universe had been conjured in his head didn’t include Iris, Jol, or anything else. It consisted of just his train and the hill it endlessly climbed and descended.

Iris spoke a little louder with more firmness, working to yank the boy back into an often unkind reality. “Thomas? Thomas, look at me.”

Her voice broke through. He came out of his happy fantasy to look at her expectantly.

She smiled at him and motioned to the large man sitting across from her. “Thomas, this is Nobek Jol. Say, ‘hello Nobek Jol’.”

Mimicking her tone exactly, Thomas looked down at his train. “Hello, Nobek Jol.”

“Hello, Thomas. What are you playing with?” Jol leaned slightly forward, as if interested.

Thomas held up the locomotive made of castoff bits of wood, screws, and metal pieces. His eyes never left the piece. “Train. Train rolls down the hill.”

Jol cocked his head to one side, peering at the toy. “I saw it roll down the hill. Will you let me hold your train?”

When the boy hesitated, Iris urged, “Thomas, give Nobek Jol your train. Let him see it.”

She half-expected him to tell her no and return to his play. Instead, he stood and walked over to Jol. When the Kalquorian held out his hand, Thomas carefully placed the train in his grip. His gaze never left the toy.

Iris looked at how tiny her son looked next to the mammoth alien. Thomas was tall for his age, his body strong and sturdy. Yet he looked too vulnerable at Jol’s side. A momentary stab of panic went through her heart. It subsided almost immediately, washed away by a sudden, instinctual knowledge that there was nothing to fear from Jol.

Iris frowned. She didn’t know the Kalquorian. There was no reason to trust him. Yet as the boy and alien studied the locomotive, their heads close together, the feeling that Thomas was utterly safe with the Nobek persisted.

Jol turned the locomotive over in his hands, inspecting the homemade toy. It was one of Thomas’ better constructions, his most recent.

The child pointed at the pieces jutting from the metal tube that made up the main body of the engine. “Funnel,” he informed Jol.

“Funnel. What does it do?”

“Smoke.” Thomas pointed to a screw that stuck up. “Whistle.”

“What does the whistle sound like?”

“Woo-woo!”

Jol chuckled. “Did you build this train, Thomas?”

Thomas at last looked into the big man’s face. “Yes. Thomas builds toy trains!” He smiled, pleased with himself.

Jol nodded, returning the smile. “It is a well-built train. You did an excellent job. Thank you for letting me see it.”

He handed the engine back. Thomas took it back to his little track and started pushing it, going back to his ‘train rolls down the hill’ chant.

Jol gazed at the boy with open admiration before turning his cat-pupil eyes to Iris. “A brilliant mind for engineering is in there.”

Iris couldn’t help the pride that swelled in her voice. “He reads, too. I started teaching him letters and sounds when he was three, though he didn’t speak until he was four. When he did speak, he could already read his story vids.” She knew she bragged, but it wasn’t often people looked beneath Thomas’ behavior issues to appreciate the feats he was capable of.

“You have been blessed, Matara.” Jol frowned then. “But his lack of impulse control worries me greatly. My biggest concern is how he ended up in the middle of the travel lane. That would not have ended well for him if I hadn’t happened by, doing a routine check on the area.”

Iris swallowed. Thomas could have so easily died only minutes ago. The miracle of Jol’s rescue brought fresh tears to her eyes, which she resolutely blinked back.

She told the Nobek, “He doesn’t understand danger. He simply has no concept of it. I try to keep him close when we’re outside. This time when he panicked, he got away from me.” She shuddered. “I can usually catch him, but it only takes once to be too late, doesn’t it?”

Jol nodded, watching her carefully. “You need a boundary shield between your land and the lane.”

Iris bowed her head. “I’m only a homesteader, Nobek Jol. Because Thomas requires so much of my time, I farm just enough to keep us fed and clothed. I can’t take him to the community fields and work for extra funds because keeping after him doesn’t allow me to.” Not to mention Thomas had a bad habit of crashing through and wrecking crops. She’d end up owing Haven’s Earther government money rather than earning any.

“I see.” Jol glanced at Thomas and pursed his lips. The line between his eyebrows deepened. He nodded his head and stood.

Iris stood too. Jol eased his stern expression to offer her a small smile. “The safety and security of Haven and its colonists ultimately falls on my shoulders. I will see to getting you a boundary shield.”

Iris stared at him. She couldn’t afford it, but Thomas always came first. She’d find a way. “Do I make payments or is there work I can do to offset the cost?”

Jol shook his head. “That will not be required, Matara Iris. Should you leave this property or not need the shield any longer for whatever reason, simply give it back to us. This way, you will not have to worry about Thomas running into the lane anymore.”

He was giving them the shield? For free? Iris gaped at him and finally managed to blurt, “Thank you, Nobek Jol.”

The Kalquorian bowed to her and looked over at Thomas. “Goodbye, Thomas.”

Thomas didn’t look up, but he responded without any coaching from Iris. “Goodbye. Woo-woo!”

Jol’s smile trembled as if he held back laughter. He bowed to Iris again. “Good day, Matara.”

He left, and Iris stared at the door long after it had closed behind him. It took several minutes for her stunned consciousness to kick in. When it did, she realized two things: that she had not come close to expressing enough appreciation to Jol, and that she had worn her coat and hat the entire time he’d been there.

Shaking her head, still trying to wrap it around the events of the last hour, Iris finally took her outerwear off.

BOOK: Alien Refuge
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