Marin sits straight in the chair across from her at the cafe, his back to the wall, and inclines his head. He seems unusually preoccupied with his coffee, swirling the straw precisely ten times in the hot liquid. Without looking up, he says, "Hello Audra, Elizabeth asked me to speak with you."
Audra raises an eyebrow. Chivalry is dead. She pulls out her own chair and sits across from him taking his measure. Rude but yummy with those light brown eyes he doesn't seem to want to show her. "Yes, Beta, she was born on Earth like me."
He raise his cup and takes a cautious sip. "Yes."
This is going to be fun. Audra straightens. "The reason I wanted to talk to you is about Valentine's Day."
"What is Valentine's day?"
"It is a day to celebrate, well, love. Show appreciation for your woman."
Marin's eyes gleam when he looks at her finally. "I like the idea of this Valentine's Day."
With a start, she notices the slit eyes first and the sharp, angular face, humanoid but not. Thank heavens Beta warned her he was Fost and not human, those eyes pack quite the punch. Where was she? "Um, girls do too! What do you think you will get Beta, err, I mean Elizabeth?"
He blows on the coffee, his lips spreading into a small smile. "I think we will spend the day in bed and I will show her how much I appreciate her. Then maybe we will eat and swim. A lazy day is perfect. Too many times we do not have time to relax."
Typical man. Audra smiles. "That sounds great. You could also work on some of the things she doesn't like about you."
He stiffens and puts his mug down carefully. "What do you mean, does not like?"
Hrm, maybe she chose the wrong tactic and just when he'd began to relax too. "Well you know, things that anger her."
"Elizabeth loves me, she knows everything I do is for her."
Right. "That sounds like you are dedicated to her, but what annoys her about you?"
Marin taps his fingers on the table once then curls his fingers into a fist. "Sometimes she does say that I push her too hard to get my own way."
No doubt. Sheesh. "But everything you do is to protect her, right?"
Marin nods. His glance changes from his coffee to stare at her straight on, eyes never wavering. "Yes, now and always."
Audra shifts in her seat. "So-"
Marin raises his head and stares into the rafters at who knows what. "Elizabeth needs me now. We will talk another time."
With a speed Audra hadn't imagined possible, Marin bows and darts to the front of the room, soon lost from sight.
Well that was odd.
Anyway, here's more about Must Remember:
Nineteen-year-old Elizabeth ‘Beta’ Camden is a survivor.
When the E’mani—those pale alien freaks—destroy Earth with a plague of madness and scoop up the remains, Beta is one of the ‘lucky’ ones. For years, she endures their tortures, experiments and games. Then one day, she manages to escape their ship with her life, and no memory of her time with them.
Stranded on their world, Beta wanders the mountains, looking for a way home. She stumbles onto the Fost—the E’mani’s ancient enemy. Their war with the Imani is old and rooted in magic that the Fost once had and the Imani crave. Magic Beta soon discovers she’s developing along with strange tattoos and disturbing glimpses of her past. The Fost take her in and train her in their ways. As she spends more time with them, she falls in love with their culture and with Marin—he of the hot hands and slit eyes.
But the E’mani took her for a reason and they want her back—dead or alive. If Beta doesn’t remember that reason soon, they’re all going to die.
To buy Must Remember:
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