Authors: Rebecca Anthony Lorino,Rebecca Lorino Pond
The Theron Residency
Rebecca Anthony Lorino
Rebecca Lorino Pond
Copyright © 2015 by Rebecca Lorino
All rights reserved. This book or portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Table of Contents
We miss you every day!
Just when the dust had settled, or so it had seemed, Emma found herself lost while going on a hike through the woods. Her little mischievous pets had taken her on a path she had never been on before. Her fear was mounting. She didn’t want to be here all alone. Off in the distance, she heard the loud boom of a ship entering the atmosphere and turned her head in that direction. In the sky, she saw a bright fiery streak of light, like a comet steadily dropping to the planet’s surface. She had been lost for hours and now she was cold, hurt badly, and afraid. She set her slow pace at a brisk walk as best as she could in her wounded condition. She continued in the direction of the smoke from the fire that was beginning to overtake the trees near the site of the crash. Surely, they would send warriors to investigate the accident and this might be the only way they would find her. Just as she got close enough to see through the smoke, she observed the small spacecraft lying on its side. The lights were flashing on and off as if the power would cut off at any moment.
Emma debated whether she should move in closer to investigate. She had been lost and turned around for so long that the prospect, of warming herself in the fiery wreckage, seemed inviting. Deciding at once, or so it seemed, she made her way over the crack in the belly of the ship. The door was hanging askew probably caused by the force of impact. Despite her weakened condition, she managed to pull the door open wide enough for her to get through. She treaded carefully, avoiding the broken glass and sharp metal fragments that seemed to be scattered all over the ground at odd angles. It was as if the sole function of these shards were to intentionally injure her further.
She made her way to what seemed to be the front of the craft. She looked over to the Warrior seated in the front with his leg trapped in the wreckage. He was young and unconscious, but yet he was oddly familiar. The other warrior she had never seen before. He was much older and his skin was weather-beaten leather and darkly tan. His overall weakness and skin in bone condition seemed to speak volumes. He was worked very hard where he came from. That was for sure. She helped get them both out of the craft. Once she and the older warrior were settled and fed with what little rations they found in the wrecked craft, she listened to the soft comforting words he had to say. The roles had reversed it seemed. It was him who was taking care of her now. He told her things that he had remembered about her mate, Brylon. She watched the flames of the fire lick their orange and red tendrils into the night sky. She was lying with her head on his lap, much like a daughter might do with a father. It wasn’t long before she fell fast asleep and became less aware of where she was.
Laura had been working at the hospital on Theron for about a month now. She was a natural they said. Zane once asked her what her secret was. They just did not understand how she was able to diagnose many of her cases without the use of the equipment that the medical staff relied on. When asked, often she would just say that it was something that she had always been able to do. There was no way to describe it to anyone that did not have the gift of seeing the energy that radiated from around everything like she did.
She looked over to the other side of the room to see that Jeeka was nearby pacing back and forth, waiting for word from the warriors who were out scouting the crash site. She found it a bit unnerving that a foreign spacecraft originating from the planet Drylon entered the atmosphere of Theron. The tension between Theron and Drylon was high but to be invaded frightened her. One evening Ceran had described an intricate web of protective satellites and manned stations containing tools that the Theron people had placed around the planet and further out in the X-Tran galaxy to keep them safe from invasion.
The tension in the room was thick and heavily weighing on her chest. She was in dire need for some air. She could feel the anxiety emanate from her mentor, Jeeka. “I need to go outside for a moment. Can you call me when Zane returns? I’ll meet you when the scouts bring the patients in,” she said. Jeeka nodded wordlessly and Laura pressed her hand on the button near the double doors that led out to the front lawn. She sat down on a thick layer of lavender grass. It had been cut yesterday and she found herself running her hands back and forth. The soft and fragrant blades tickled the palms of her hands taking her mind off of worrying about Emma.
She closed her eyes and thought back to simpler times. No, that wasn’t it. There were really never simpler times. She had few friends and the only people who actually accepted her were her immediate family. Everyone else in her small hometown likened her to a freak. She never felt truly accepted until she left her earthly home and became a medical resident under the supervision of Zane and Jeeka on a different planet in another galaxy that she never before imagined existed. The rays of sunshine that filtered through the gaps within the canopy of leaves were shining on her face as she allowed herself to be taken back into the memories of her past.
Laura was the textbook definition of a child prodigy. She talked in full sentences by one and could read novels at two. She skipped several grades in grade school. At fifteen, she graduated high school and was offered a scholarship to Cornell University choosing to study in their pre-med program. She would graduate Summa Cum Laude three years later at the age of eighteen and accept a scholarship to the University of San Francisco Medical School. Living expenses in San Francisco were steep and she took out loans to cover them knowing that after she started to practice medicine she would be easily able to repay them.
She loved San Francisco, California and was lucky to be offered an emergency medicine residency there after graduating top of her class. The weather in California was a welcome change from the frigid weather in her hometown. It was nearly always sunny here and the weather rarely went below 50
F with the summer months generally never besting 70
F. The day before her final afternoon on a breezy California star filled night, Laura walked into her tiny apartment above a coffee shop in the Mission district of San Francisco, California. It had a small kitchenette with living room combo and a separate bedroom with cramped bath. All that mattered to her was that it was cheap and two blocks from the hospital that she was working in. Besides, she was at the hospital most of the time.
She looked around the apartment and saw all the packed boxes of books and partially unpacked boxes containing odds and ends strewn about and stacked precariously along the walls. She had just finished working two 10-hour shifts with a 4-hour nap in the physician’s lounge in between. She was exhausted and in need of a shower, but she was too tired to make it to the bathroom and turn on the water. After spending a couple of seconds debating in her head, she decided that she could shower when she woke up. She put her backpack on the kitchen counter that divided her tiny kitchenette and living room area, and she noticed that the answering machine was blinking a red number three, three new messages. She hit the play button and listened to them, with the digital voice of the recorder announcing the number of the message that was playing for her:
Laura Mason, this is your mother. You have not called me once this whole week. I know you are busy there working and all, but that’s not an excuse for you to not call your mother and at least let me know you are alive. If you do not call me immediately when you get this, so help me God, I will call the police to come check on you. You know I will, Baby. So, call me now.
“Just what I need mom,” she said to herself.
Laura, honey, this is Daddy. Baby, your mom, is worried sick. Please call her when you get this. She is already hounding me to let her fly to California to check on you. Call as soon as you can. Love you, baby. Good-bye.
Laura, mom’s driving me crazy. You need to call her. You know how she gets. Love you sis. Catch ya later! Bye!
Laura sat on one of the wooden stools that lined the bar. She was tired of the way that her mom always overreacted about everything. She was going to have to call her Mom at some point and at least let her know she was alive. She dug out her cell phone and found several missed calls and texts. She told her father that when she was working at the hospital in the case of an emergency they needed her to page her over the intercom to get her. Her cell phone was only a distraction, and besides the only person who tended to call was her mother. Laura always left her cell in her bag locked securely in her locker. Why on earth did her mother have to worry so much? She picked the cordless phone off of the charger base and brought it to her chest. She closed her eyes as she quickly calculated in her head that it was a little past 2 am in her hometown of Camden, Maine. She dialed the number and after ringing once, her father who had apparently just awoken, cleared his throat and whispered, “Laura?”
“Hi, Daddy. I just got in from my shift. I had to work two back to back 10’s with a four-hour nap in between. I figured that I should call Mom and let her know I am alive. Tired but alive,” she said.
“I wish they didn’t work you that hard. But, that must be typical for a resident,” her dad said groggily.
“Unfortunately, it is,” was all she was able to say before she heard her mother wake in the background and ask her father if it was their daughter. She could hear her dad yawn and say, “Yes, Dear,” as he handed the phone to her mother and probably went right back to sleep.
“Laura, thank God! I imagined you dead or dying in the street somewhere. You had worried me to death. I expect you to check in every once and a while. What am I to think of, you living in the big city with all those murderers and rapists?”
Laura rolled her eyes and gave an exasperated breath. “I'm all right mother. Please don’t work yourself up so much. I am generally in one of the two places every day, those being the hospital and my apartment. The hospital is only two blocks away and to walk or bike there I take a very well-lit street. Please don’t worry so much. I’m just fine. “
Looking off out into the darkness behind the window, she heard her mom on the other end of the line babbling on, blah, blah and blah. She was too tired to comprehend a word of anything her mother said, so she interrupted after only half listening to two minutes of mother’s tirade. “Mom, look, I’m worn out from work. I just worked two back to back shifts. I really don’t understand anything you are talking about right now. Everything you say to me sounds like the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons. If I promise you that I will call you tomorrow before my shift, can I go to bed now and get some sleep?”
She could hear her mom catch her breath as she became quiet, swallow loudly, and say in a severe tone of voice, “Sure, honey. But, I want you to know this Laura Mason. If you do not call me tomorrow, I will buy a plane ticket down there whether your father allows it or not, and check on you myself. This is not a threat Laura, this is a warning. Do you understand me?”
“I understand Mom. I promise. I will call you tomorrow.”
“Good night, my baby.”
“Good night, Momma. I love you,”
“I love you, too, baby.”
Laura hung up the phone and twisted her hair up into a bun securing it with a hair band on the end table by the bed. She slipped under the soft worn cotton sheets and leaned over to set her alarm clock to wake her two hours before her shift, just in case she would oversleep. But just as quickly as she fell asleep, she sat up wide awake just five hours later. She shook her head and tried to remember when the last time she was able to sleep until her alarm actually went off. She couldn’t remember and stretched before getting out of her bed and going into the bathroom to take a shower.
When she was finished dressing, she went into the kitchenette and went to make herself breakfast. Opening the refrigerator, she found a quarter of a loaf of bread, expired milk, a couple of sports drinks, several bottled waters and three eggs. She was due to go shopping soon. She scrambled the eggs and sandwiched them between two slices of toasted bread with water and sat at the bar. The sun was shining through the window above the sink. It was going to be a lovely day as usual. It was unbelievable how refreshed she could feel after only a few hours of sound sleep. She was wide awake and her shift wouldn’t start for several hours from now. She decided to go run in the park. She made a little time to talk with her mom while she got ready to go out.
Her mother was always making things difficult for Laura. She worried incessantly about Laura because she was so young and she never was just an average child. Laura was teased and bullied while growing up. Being smarter than the other kids and even some of the teachers set her up for the ill treatment she had to endure growing up in a small town. It was already hard enough being a teenager and going through puberty and all the other stages of awkwardness to have to deal with the added pressure of, not being able to fit in with her peers. She never understood what she did to deserve anything that they did to her on a daily basis to torture her.
Laura’s mother should have easily understood why her daughter wanted so desperate to leave her hometown, but never came to terms with it. Because Laura did not have any real friends, there was nothing holding her back but her family. Her leaving home was always the best option for her to succeed in life. Her father was always fully supportive of her with regard to her educational endeavors knowing that his little princess was meant to fulfill a much greater purpose than the one that was available for her in Camden, Maine.
She locked the door to her apartment put the leather corded necklace holding her key around her neck and started to stretch on the sidewalk of her street. She put her ear buds in her ears and set her MP3 player on shuffle and jogged her way to Potrero Del Sol Park. She had just arrived when she spotted a tall, good looking man wearing dark wraparound sunglasses and a navy blue running suit that seemed to fit him just right. He was very fit and muscular, and she appreciated the view of his backside as she ran just behind him.
After running ahead for several minutes, he slowed his pace. He was running next to her now, flashing a gorgeous white smile. It was making her a bit nervous. He didn’t say anything to her and after he had maintained her pace for several minutes with no conversation, she slowed down seeing if he would pass her by. It was then that she realized that she might be in trouble. There were no other people on the path around them, and just as he reached out to grab her, she began to scream. When he had her hand tightly in his grasp, she felt a tingling sensation throughout her body. That was when she realized that she was no longer in the park. It was cold and she was in a gray room. There was an examination table placed in the middle of the room with presumably a doctor that she now knew as Zane, ready to examine her.
She shook the thoughts of her former life out of her head and focused on the here and now. She imagined the face of her mate, Ceran and smiled. She found him incredibly handsome with his royal blue eyes and his dirty blond hair and lightly sun-kissed skin from the afternoon runs they enjoyed together. However, she didn’t always think of him this way. When she was brought aboard the Theron mother ship and dumped into a room of very unsettled women, she had hours to come up with several unflattering conclusions about the Theron warrior race as a whole. She held on to these feelings until Ceran did the unexpected and got her a job working with Zane and Jeeka in the ship’s sickbay. Overall, living with a man she didn’t know was not an easy transition for her. She never actually developed the social skills for dating and communicating with men, because of the way that her life was on her home planet and her young age. Now, however, she was essentially mated to one, with no choice or input of her own.
But, she was lucky. Ceran was a good man. He respected her wishes and did not push her too far. He was just like her in a way. Being recently made the youngest captain in the fleet; he was a phenomenon as well. Like her, he also lacked the social skills required to engage a woman and this made this situation as awkward for him as it was for her. They currently slept in separate rooms of his house and on the ship she took the sofa, never sharing a bed with him. He assured her that he would not push her to do anything she didn’t want to do until she was entirely comfortable with the idea of being his mate. She wanted something from him though, something that even she could not identify.