An Excerpt From: Celestial Passions: Meri

Copyright © JUDY MAYS, 2007

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.


Pushing her way between muscular Aradab bodies—both male and female—she maneuvered her way to the front of the crowd. Her father and mother were sitting on the dais. Besides all the Aradabs, a few of her father’s ministers were in the room, as was her paternal grandmother and a couple of the dowager queen’s cronies. Facing her father with their backs to her were two men, unmistakably Drakians not only because they were wearing the familiar uniforms of the Alalakan space fleet but also because of their tails. No other human race had such flexible tails.

       Meri looked closer and grinned. The one on the left was Alalakan don al’ Chardadon. She’d recognize him anywhere. His family and hers had been close friends for generations and she’d known him since she was a child. She shifted her glance to the other Drakian, sure that she’d never seen him before. He was even taller than Char, at least seven feet, and she certainly never would have forgotten that powerful figure with those broad shoulders and that tight ass.

      “Who is he?” she hissed to her cousin.

      “Who?” he answered in a sour voice. He was glaring at Chardadon.

       Meri shook her head. She was going to find out why Ban divorced himself from his father’s Drakian family if it was the last thing she did.

       “Who’s standing next to Char? And don’t start pouting about him being here.”

       “Lillalistross don al’ Ademisis, the chief engineer of their space fleet,” Ban answered in a low voice. “And I don’t pout—women do.”

       Meri ignored his second comment. “He seems young for that position.”

        Her cousin shrugged. “I could not care less.”

        “You are an idiot,” Meri murmured as she grabbed Ban’s arm and pulled him with her around the right side of the room. She really wanted to get a look at this Ademisis from the front. He was very appealing from behind. “Now be quiet so I can hear what the Matriarch is saying.”

       He snorted lightly. “You were the one asking questions.”

       The door on the other side of the room opened and a dark-skinned, hoary-headed, white-bearded man walked sedately into the room.

Meri was taken aback. The Patriarch of the Nissians? Whatever was going on was very important if he was here too.

“Finally we can get to the bottom of this,” her father grumbled. He nodded to the old man. “Welcome, Patriarch. I’m sorry to disturb you, but the Matriarch demanded your attendance.”

Again, surprise rippled through Meri. The Matriarch demanded?

“I’m curious too, Your Majesty,” Chardadon interrupted. “Ademisis and I should be back on Drakan by now. We’ve got a voyage to Deslossia scheduled.”

Before Meri’s father could answer, the Aradab Matriarch interrupted. “Patience, Son of the Alalakan Dragon. The time for which the races of Mediria have waited generations is almost upon us.” She directed her gaze at Chardadon’s companion. “Remove your tunic.”

Crossing his arms over his chest, Lillalistross don al’ Ademisis looked the Matriarch straight in the face and said, “No.”

Silence echoed off the walls as Meri felt her jaw drop. At her side, Ban stiffened and her grandmother looked like she was going to faint. Her mother’s complexion paled while her father choked and buried his face in his hands.

Nobody ever refused a direct order from the Aradab Matriarch.

Before the Drakian’s “No” finished reverberating around the throne room, two Aradabs stepped to either side of the Matriarch. The one on her left cracked his knuckles while the other flexed his fingers. Both wore eager grins.

Meri snapped her mouth shut. Aradabs rarely even smiled!

       Gulping, Meri stared at the tall Drakian who had just demonstrated more audacity—or stupidity—than any man she’d ever seen.


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