Encounter: At a More Considered Time by Mikala Ash

Encounter: At a More Considered Time

byMikala Ash

Kobo ebook | February 7, 2017

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Encounter: At a More Considered Time (Tales from the Margin)

Mikala Ash


All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2016 Mikala Ash

 

Warning: This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

At a More Considered Time

 

I’d signed on as ship’s whore specifically to reach the planet Naranji.

The small crew had been civil, the sex satisfying, and I’d learned a great deal about the smuggling subculture in this part of the galaxy that would prove handy if I ever needed to change careers.

Of course, the crew was now dead and out the airlock, the ship’s registration was in my name, at least my current name, and I’d at last reached my destination.

The planet was unremarkable. I’d seen dozens like it, with a few small azure seas, vast red and ochre deserts, some snow capped mountain ranges, and a few small swathes of tropical green dappled by cloud filtered sunlight.

The capital city of this margin world was less than a century old, so from the air it didn’t look much. The business district hugged the coast of the small sea just to the north of a wide river delta. The river’s tributaries originated in the mountains, and fed the wide sluggish highway as it meandered its way to the sea.

On a boat, on that waterway, was the purpose of my journey.

Customs check was perfunctory. I had nothing to declare. The purpose of my visit; sightseeing.

That raised an eyebrow, but I waved the scepticism away with an arrogant flick of my hand. Playing a spoiled rich bitch was easy. I could’ve been born to it.

At my hotel I booked a passage on the Royal Janus. The riverboat, like its Captain, had a dual personality. It doubled as a barge towing crates of ingots of rare metals from the processing plants upriver, and as a gambling boat in which miners newly flushed with cash promptly lost it at the gaming tables.

I spent the day researching and purchasing some needed items, which I packed in a small valise. I boarded the boat early the next morning.

Entertainment on the Janus was scant. Scantily clad that was. The small stage hosted a seemingly endless succession of dancers, strippers, and couples performing acrobatic fornication to the beat of drums.

The miners, in their turn, paid scant attention to the shows. Their jaded tastes were more focused on the cards the bare breasted dealers revealed. The grim faced men were eager to win back some of their losses from previous journeys.

I seated myself in the corner, a position that gave me vantage of the whole room, the two exits onto the companionway outside, and the staircase up to the wheelhouse.

I’d been nursing my drink for an hour before he made his entrance. Tall, slim hipped, with a powerful upper body that his frilled silk shirt strained to contain. As he descended, his shoulder length hair, the colour of rich mahogany, caught the light of the chandeliers giving him a golden halo. A God visiting from heaven, and his acolytes looked up adoringly.

It was his most dangerous trait, attracting the admiration of others without exerting the merest effort.

His features were as severe as I remembered -- sharp, befitting high intelligence and quickness of thought. There was a hard beauty to his face, but I detected there was something off about him. He looked tired, weary, spent. That haughtiness which had characterized him in my memories had departed. Compared to when I’d last seen him, this man was a shell.

Not that anyone here noticed. His staff fawned about him, his patrons smiled and nodded hello, expressing genuine friendship, on their part at least. He glided amongst them barely acknowledging their existence.

He appeared to have only one thing on his mind. Me. No doubt I’d popped up on his security screen and he’d come down to investigate. He approached my table directly, looked down at me, and an unexpected expression settled on his face. Relief.

“It is you.”

“It’s me.”

“You found me.”

“Clearly.”

He sat opposite. “Was it hard?” He filled my empty glass from the bottle. He slid it across the table. “I’d gone to some trouble after the last time.”

“I was motivated.”

“Clearly.”

We stared at each other for an ice age.

I flicked my gaze quickly about the room. “You’ve achieved much in such a short time.”

“The boat?” He gave a careless shrug. “I won it on a bluff.”

I’d heard the story. “I bet the previous Captain was not happy about that.”

“He drew his gun, and missed. Can you believe it? From where you are sitting now, he missed.”

“You’ve always been lucky. What happened then?”

Title:Encounter: At a More Considered TimeFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:February 7, 2017Publisher:Changeling Press LLCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN:9990052555737

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