Indra stared at the unconscious man on her operating table with no choice but to believe her father’s irrational rantings. The man was not of this world. Everything about him appeared human; however, when she pulled the bullets out of his chest and saw the flesh regenerate almost instantly there was no doubt in her mind. She looked up at her father. “We need to call the police.”

“And say what? A spaceship crash landed in my backyard? They’d laugh me off the phone. I used to work with those guys. I know how they think.”

“They wouldn’t dare. You’ll always be Ira ‘mad dog’ Steel to them. They respect you daddy.”

“Not if I start rambling about UFO’s. They’d say retirement has made me senile. I’d say the same thing if I hadn’t seen with my own eyes.” He took a long drag of his herbal cigarette. “We have to get rid of him.”

She stared at him flabbergasted. “What?”

“He’s dangerous. He changed; one minute he was a blonde guy and the next, he’s a black-haired ruffian.”

“A shapeshifter?” Indra shook her head, she never thought she’d be saying those words.

“I’m going to get my handcuffs.”

“He could be harmless,” Indra pointed out.

“Aliens aren’t harmless! You don’t trust humans, Indra. How can you trust him? I’m going to get the cuffs.” Ira shoved the shotgun against her chest. “Keep this close,” he instructed before backing out of the room.

Indra looked at the blond, muscular man. His facial and body structure were flawless. She’d been a doctor for over ten years; she’d seen hundreds of men, probably thousands, but never any who’d looked like him. He looked almost genetically engineered. She wondered if his skin felt as synthetic as it appeared. Against her better judgment, she reached her hand cautiously toward him. Her fingers grazed his chest and she gasped in shock when she felt warm, satin skin and not a cold, rubbery texture. He could easily be mistaken for a human. Then his eyes snapped open and she pulled back, tightening her grip on the shotgun.

The man turned to her, unsurprised that he was in a strange place. “I’m not harmless. Your father was right.” His body convulsed, his face contorted and his head lurched vigorously from side to side. “Point that gun at me! Don’t let him get it!”


Before he could explain, he morphed into someone else. Her eyes widened. A rough, mercenary man with scars all over his body, and long, unkempt black hair laid in his place. He threw a one-sided grin her way. “I’ve never tasted Earth girl before.” He sat up. “No time like the present.”

She aimed the gun at him. “Don’t move!”

He laughed dismissively. “That’s not going to help you.”

“Who are you?” she demanded. “Both of you!”

“Name’s Aly. That sap’s not worth naming.”

“What happened to him?”

“He’s locked away in his psyche. Just like he had me locked away. For years! Thanks to a bolt of lightning, I get to come out and play anytime I want.” He smirked at her hungrily, licked his lips. “Play time.” He stood. The action vibrated through the floorboards under her feet, and the hairs at the back of her neck stood erect.

“Daddy!” she shouted and cocked the gun. “Don’t come any closer.” She could hear her father’s boots pounding across the floor.

He charged into the room, handcuffs in one hand, and a baseball bat in the next.

“I told you he was dangerous.”

“The other guy isn’t dangerous.” she told him.

“They’re the same person.”

“We’re not the same!” Aly shook his head vigorously, pressing the heel of his palm to his head. “No! You’re not coming back out!” A great roar bellowed out of him and he threw a basin angrily across the room.

Indra dodged and tripped over the telephone cord. Her father shouted her name as she fell. She jerked when she collided with the floor, a gasp escaped her lips at the pain that welled in her stomach. She pressed her palm to her abdomen instinctively.

“Your baby’s going to be okay.”

Indra looked up and saw the blonde man standing over her. “Who are you?”

He brought her to her feet. “I’m dangerous.”

“Daddy no!”

The man swiveled and caught the bat mid-swing. “Take care of your daughter.” He took the bat from her father and dropped it on the floor, then took up his jacket and left.

“He was helping me up.”

He was the reason you fell!” Ira exclaimed.

“That was someone else.”

“They’re the same!”

“No they’re not!” She thrust the gun hastily toward her father. “I’m going after him.”

“No Indra!”

She snatched her coat off the hook. “I’ll be right back.”


Glade jumped into the ditch, climbed into his craft, grabbed his pills from under the pilot seat, and downed two. He closed the hatch and pressed a series of buttons. The ship illuminated and hummed to life. It hovered slightly off the ground then dropped with a thud and everything went dark.

He growled. “Piece of crap.”

Glade shoved open the hatch, then looked up when he heard someone approaching. Indra. He looked up. She stood on the cusp of the ditch staring at him cautiously. She wasn’t flawless. By the standards of the maidens on his planet, she was in no way beautiful. But there was something about her that drew him to her. “You should be resting.”

“How did you know I was pregnant?”

“You have a scent. Although I usually only smell it on matrons of my kind.”

“I must be the exception, because I’m human. Born and bred. What’s your name?”


“Who’s Aly?”

His fingers closed around the tablet bottle in his jacket pocket. “No one. He’s not coming back.”

Indra turned when she heard an engine and saw Elaine driving down the cart road toward the house. She turned to Glade. “Our neighbor’s coming.”

“I’m leaving. Just as soon as I start this thing up.”

“No. She’ll see it when you take off, or whatever. You need to hide it. You need to hide.”

Glade climbed out of the ditch, waved his arm, and the ship was buried by displaced dirt, then grass sprouted over the area. Indra stared in bewilderment at the place that had been a ditch a few seconds ago. It was beginning to dawn on her that he was exactly who her father thought he was: dangerous, powerful, eerie; magnificent, alluring, ravishing! Indra shook her head. Down hormones, down. He was gorgeous now, but underneath that shapeshifting exterior, he was probably a little green man with big eyes and antennas sticking out of his head.

“Where do you want to put me?” he asked smirking.

Indra beamed inwardly. She had a few ideas; the kind that would make her father blush. “Can you read minds by any chance?”


“Good. You can hide in the barn.” The instant she took his hand an electrifying heat shot up her arm and radiate through her body. She snatched her hand from his. “Did you feel that?”

His fingers flexed. “Strange.” He looked at her. “You’re positive you are an Earthling?”

“I’m not an alien.” she assured him. “How come I didn’t feel that shock when you helped me off the floor?”

He smiled. “Because you were thinking about me intimately just now.”

She stared at him, her cheeks flaming. “You said you couldn’t read minds!”

“I didn’t want to embarrass you.”

She scowled at him. “I don’t like being lied to.”

“I’m sorry. If it makes you feel better, I was thinking about you, too.”

“It doesn’t. And you’re not allowed to think about me. You don’t know me.”

“And you don’t know me.”

“It’s the hormones,” she told him. “Come on.” She started briskly toward the barn. “You can stay here until she leaves.”

“Thank you.” He followed her, maintaining a three foot radius.

Indra hesitated at the door. “Why did you change?”

“I have a dissociative personality disorder. When my personality changes, I shapeshift.”

She drew closer. His response piqued her curiosity. She leaned against Carnivore’s stable and he whinnied gaily. “An alien with a psychiatric disorder. How peculiar.”

“My mother’s human.”

“Your mother’s human?” she parroted, astonished. She patted Carnivore’s head when he plopped it heavily on her shoulder. “How did that happen?”

Glade was about to answer when an excruciating pain barreled through his head and shot through his body, propelling him backward into the hay.

“What’s wrong?” Indra rushed to his side.

He stood shakily. But the pain was so intense, it brought him to his knees.

“Glade. What’s happening?”

“My…head. They…found…me.” he choked out.


“They’re…in my…brain.” Glade gripped his head and a silent scream escaped his lips. He beat his fists against his skull. “Get out!” he shrieked.

A shiver of fear enveloped Indra as she watched. She tried to put her arm around him to help him to his feet. “Let’s go to the house. I have pain medication.”

“No!” He pulled away from her. “Don’t…touch…me.”

Carnivore snorted in a frenzy. The hinges of the stall gate jerked violently as the horse pummeled his front hooves against it. “Carnivore calm down. We have to go to the house, Glade. Now.” Indra made a weak attempt to help him up, but he didn’t budge.

Then he started turning silvery and transparent. Her eyes widened, and a shiver of fear shot up her spine. “What’s happening to you?” Indra looked down and saw that the same thing was happening to her.

A scream gurgled from her throat as they started to disintegrate, then there was darkness. She felt like she was floating, like she was made of nothing, like she ceased to exist. Where was everything? Where was her body, her mind? A blinding light penetrated her eyelids. She opened her eyes and surveyed her surroundings; she was in a white room. Indra lifted her arm sluggishly and stared at it in a daze as the pixelated flesh pieced itself back together, then it fell limply at her side. She tried to move, but her head was spinning. She was nauseous and her body felt like jelly.

A hideous creature who resembled a human who’d been turned inside out appeared above her and put a mask to her face. Indra couldn’t scream. She couldn’t fight it or push the mask away. All she could do was close her eyes and surrender to oblivion.

Indra woke with a start when a sharp object pierced her arm. She tried to move her head, but cold, hard slabs on either side of her head kept it stationary. Her eyes moved around wildly; everything was cloudy. Unfamiliar. Where was she? She tried to move her arms, but they were pinned to her sides.

“Is anybody there?” she croaked.

The creature appeared again, and her horrified scream was lost in the mask that was once again pressed to her face. She tried to fight impending darkness to no avail.

When Indra opened her eyes again, she saw Glade above her, suspended from a glass ceiling. He was here, in this place with her. Her mind had been so muddled she’d forgotten him.

“Glade.” she called, her voice cracking. She swallowed. “Glade!”

His eyes snapped open and he stared at her blankly, as if he didn’t know who she was. He closed his eyes, she heard a machine power-up then his body started jerking like a rag doll. They were electrocuting him!

“Stop!” she screamed. “You’re hurting him! Stop!”

The mask was pressed to her face again. She fought, cried, screamed, but darkness won out.


Glade turned on his side and watched Indra while she slept. She looked so peaceful. How could he wake her and explain what had happened and where they were? It was best to let her sleep. She didn’t need any more stress. He reached out to brush a tendril of hair from her face, but pulled back when she stirred. It was better she stay asleep until he found a way to get them to safety. Glade closed his eyes and forced himself to come up with an escape plan that wouldn’t end in death.


His eyes snapped open.

Indra threw herself across him. “I thought you were dead.”

“I’m not.” he assured her, wrapping his arms around her and holding her to him.

She looked up at him. “They were electrocuting you. You looked at me, but you didn’t see me.”

“It’s a defense mechanism. Soldiers use it to stay alive. Our mind shuts down. I didn’t feel anything.”

“I thought you were going to die.” Tears welled in her eyes. “I thought I was going to be here alone.”

“I’m here,” he whispered, pressing his lips to the corner of her eyes. “You’re going to be fine.”

“Where are we? How did we get here?”

“This is Siasia. My planet. They teleported me. You had your hand on me, that’s how you got here.”

“That’s why you told me to let go of you.”

He nodded solemnly. “I’m sorry I got you into this. I’m going to get you back home.”

“Who were those creatures?”

“Those creatures are scientists. Ringus Supreme, the prime scientist, created a serum that would make them more advanced. But it had side effects.”

“They were like you?” she asked, shocked. “Why are they treating you this way?”

“I’m a half-breed,” he said bleakly, his tone laced with an emotion she couldn’t decipher. “They do not consider me one of them.”

Indra watched him contemplatively and decided against questioning his tone or his origin. She looked around the white, square room. The floor looked like the wall, and the wall looked like the ceiling. “What is this place?”

“The dungeon,” he said flatly.

Her heart froze. “What are they going to do to us?”

He shook his head. “Don’t worry about that.”

“Tell me what they’re going to do,” she demanded.

He looked at her. “They’re going to experiment on me. And make you their slave.” he said quietly.

Indra’s body stiffened.

“I’m going to get you out of here.” The way he said it was so confident she almost believed him.


Glade didn’t answer. He brushed his mouth across her forehead. “I’m going to get you out of here.”

She bit her bottom lip to keep the tears at bay because she knew that there was no getting out of this place. And she knew that he knew. Indra gazed at him. This could be the last moment they would be together like this. His would be the last face she would see. Until the creatures saw fit to come get them and separate them forever.

Glade shook his head. “I won’t let that happen.”

“Can you tell the future?”


“Then you don’t know!” she said frantically.

He squeezed her shoulders. “I will protect you Indra. That I know.”

She nodded, her mind racing, heart pounding. She needed a distraction.


Indra slid up against his body and pressed her lips to his. Glade moaned and glided his hands down her waist, he pulled her legs around him, so she straddled him. Indra parted her lips fully intending to deepen the kiss, but then a whimper escaped from deep within her and she burst into tears.

“I’m sorry,” she croaked, then dropped her head on his shoulder.

“Hey. We’re going to get out of here,” Glade assured her, caressing her back.

“It’s not that.” She looked at him. “Part of my memory is missing. I don’t know how I got pregnant, I don’t know who the father is. My father said I was kidnapped and raped. He said I left home and didn’t come back. They found me a week later unconscious near the barn. My father was so scared. He suspected the kidnapper had to be someone I knew because they brought me back to my house. I don’t trust people. Especially men.”

“You can trust me Indra,” he assured her tenderly.

“I feel that I can. I just don’t know how to stop myself from being afraid.”

Glade dropped his arms at his side. “You’re in control Indra. Do whatever you want to do.”

“I don’t know what I want to do.”

“Yes you do. You’re just afraid to do it. You’re afraid to want because you think you’re not worth it.”

She sighed. “I hate that you can read my mind.”

“I wasn’t. It’s how I felt for years. This planet is the only home I’ve known, and I’m an outcast. They experimented on me; they implanted a tracking device in the back of my neck. It took a while, but I finally escaped.” He sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. “I thought if I went to another planet they wouldn’t be able to track me. But I was wrong.”

Indra grazed her fingertips tentatively across his cheek. He’d been through so much, just as she had. She leaned into him, brushed her lips over his, suppressed her trepidation, to a point, and hesitantly parted her lips, giving Glade permission to pursue.

But he didn’t. He didn’t drag her closer or delve into her mouth with his tongue. He held back. It shocked her. She had never known a man to exercise such restraint. She felt relief. Glade opened his mouth; allowing her to make the next move. Indra timidly dipped her tongue into his mouth; like a kid testing the temperature of the water. She moaned and deepened the kiss, then his arms closed around her and she sighed. He’d been the only man she’d allowed to penetrate her armor. Why? Was she falling in love with him? Was that possible? Then Glade broke the kiss and looked at her cautiously.

Indra cringed. “You heard that?”

He nodded. “It’s okay.”

“Really? Can you see the commitment-phobic expression on your face? I don’t love you. I don’t know you. My thoughts get carried away sometimes.”

“Indra, I’m sorry.”

She rolled away from him. Keeping her back to him, and forcing herself not to think. “I’m fine. I’m tired.”


Glade watched her and literally saw the walls around her being reinforced. He blew out a breath. She thought that word and his heart jerked. The warmth that enveloped him scared him. Because he knew what came after that warmth.

His father had rescued his mother from Ringus’ clutches and had kept her hidden. They had lived underground for ages, then his father instructed him to join the sentry; Ringus was less likely to look among his own men for half-breeds. But he’d overheard Ringus talking about a human and a traitor they’d been tracking for years and had finally caught. He’d snuck into the lab and saw his parents strapped to metal slabs. He had tried to rescue them, but he had failed. Ringus had killed them in front of him.

That word, ‘love’, preceded devastating sorrow and helplessness he wasn’t strong enough to bare a second time.


Indra smiled in her sleep. She was at the beach, Glade was there, and a little girl, her little girl. They were building a sandcastle, talking and laughing. They were so happy. She turned her head, opened her eyes and saw Glade lying beside her looking down at her. The concern on his face scared her.

“What’s wrong?”

When his expression deepened, Indra looked around frantically, then her eyes zeroed in on her abdomen. It had grown to the nine-month period within the space of what felt like hours!

“It’s okay, Indra.”

She looked at him sharply. “What happened to me? My baby! How long have we been here?”

“Not long. Time is faster here. Your baby is fine.”

Indra spanned her fingers on her abdomen. She smiled and breathed a sigh of relief when her abdomen fluttered and her baby’s powerful kick vibrated through her hand. “Time goes faster. That better be the real reason.” she said crisply.


Glade nodded. “That’s the real reason,” he assured her, inwardly cringing when he felt the searing pain in his shoulder because of the half-truth he’d just told. The mark every soldier was branded with; it was a painful lie detector. Many a soldier had been executed because of it. He’d been on the receiving end of pain for a long time; he knew it well. Glade gritted his teeth against another surge of pain.

“Glade what’s wrong?” She tried to sit up, but her attempt was futile.

“Nothing.” He put his hand over hers on her abdomen and his other hand on her back and carefully raised her upright. He laced his fingers through hers and laughed when her stomach quivered. “That was a kick?”

Indra smiled and nodded. “That was a kick.”

He smiled at her and brushed his mouth over hers affectionately. “I’m going to get you both out of here. Today.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Whatever it takes.” Glade hiked up his pant leg, revealing a discolored laceration caked with dried blood.


Indra gasped. “What did they do to you?”

“I did this to myself.” He pulled back the skin, and Indra saw the blade. “I swiped this off the table when they were taking me from the lab.” He pulled out the small blade lodged between the flesh and it regenerated the moment the obstruction was removed. “The tracking device needs to be removed.” He looked at her. “I need you to cut it out.”

Her eyes widened. “I can’t. I need sterilized instruments.”

“I have specialized antibodies to neutralize antigens.”

“You need analgesics.”

“I can take the pain.” He put the blade in her hand and backed her. “Run your finger up my neck, the device is implanted in the tissue where you can’t feel my spine anymore.”

“The nuchal ligament.”

He made a humorous sound. “I was going to say that.”

“Stay still,” she instructed, in full throttle doctor mode. The only thing that made her feel normal.

Indra felt along his spine until her fingers landed on the sweet spot; the surgical site. “Cutting now,” she informed him, then she made a deep slit and the flesh unfolded like a flower in bloom. She smiled. She still had it; this place hadn’t taken away her ‘super power’. “Are you alright?”

“I’m fine.” he assured her.

Indra retracted the flesh and heard him inhale sharply. “Sorry.” She saw the hexagon shaped device. “Do you know if this device is attached to your spinal cord?”

“Doesn’t matter. Yank it out.”

“If it’s attached to your spine I can’t yank it out. You could be paralyzed.”

“Pull as hard as you can. I’ll be fine.”

She looked at the device with uncertainty, then took it between her fingers and tugged it with all the strength she could muster and succeeded in detaching the hexagon and the attached claw-like wires. She watched as it shriveled like a flower in winter. “It’s alive?”

Glade took it. “It can’t survive in this atmosphere.”

“Will they know you took it out?”

“That’s what I’m counting on. Then they’ll come to me.”

“They’ll send an army. Can you fight an army?”

He smirked. “Device is out. I can do anything.” He angled his head sharply. “They’re coming.” He rose, and stretched his arm toward her.

“What are you doing?”

“Putting a force field around you.”

“Don’t die,” she commanded.

“I won’t.” Then a transparent bubble materialized and she felt herself floating to the corner of the room. Then the door to the room slid open, and Glade rendered the sphere opaque.


Glade smirked when Ringus and the sentries filed into the room. There was one of him and fifteen of them. He liked those odds.

“You’ll never get out of here alive, half-breed,” Ringus told him.

“I beg to differ.”

“You are not invincible. You have a weakness,” he spat. “She will lead to your demise. Then she and her spawn will be kept alive, solely for my amusement.”

Glade laughed as his armor, an extension of himself, came into being. “Thank you for the motivation,” he growled. He raised his arm swiftly, and lifted Ringus off of his feet. “I’m going to save you for last.” Then he threw him across the room and pinned him to the wall with his own weapon.

“Execute him!” Ringus ordered.

Glade raised his arm and his escutcheon blocked the rays from the laser guns. His sword materialized in his hand and he halved the three sentries who teleported behind him. He turned and saw the look of shock and horror on the remaining sentinel’s faces and he knew the battle was over.

“Run,” he commanded.

“Cowards!” Ringus bellowed as the sentries fell over themselves to obey him.

Glade turned to him and smirked. “Your turn.” The fear Glade saw in his eyes did little to quench his thirst for revenge.

“You had mercy on them. Why not me?”

“You threatened the woman I love,” Glade declared, not knowing if it was true, but the declaration came instinctively, as if he’d said the words before. Did Ringus hurt another woman he’d loved? Was that woman Indra?

Ringus laughed. “Love? You’re weak half-breed!”

“I’m strong enough.” Glade told him.

“Strong enough for what? To defeat me?” His nostrils flared. “You will never win!”

“I have already defeated you.” Then he closed his fist. The sound of Ringus’ neck snapping ricocheted off the walls. Glade exhaled slowly. It was finished.

He covered the dead men under a temporary field, then he walked over to the sphere. It dissolved and his armor withered away.

“You’re alive!” Indra exclaimed, jumping into his arms.

“I am.” He swung her into his arms. “Time to go. Reinforcements are most likely on their way.”

Indra surveyed the room, she saw copious puddles of blood, but no bodies. “Is that your blood?”


“Where are the bodies?”

“Concealed,” he told her. Glade walked briskly through the maze of halls; he’d memorized them from his previous escape attempts. Indra’s arms tightened around his neck, he looked at her. “You’re going to have your baby on Earth. I promise.”

He hurried to the stairs at the end of the corridor and took them two at a time. The soldiers were gaining on them.

The glass flooring rattled as Glade made his way across the top deck to the closest pod. He dragged open the hatch and helped Indra inside then dropped into the pilot seat with a thud. He was starting to feel the effects of having the device removed; his adrenaline had been depleted and could no longer mask the adverse effects.

“Are you alright?”

“I’m fine,” he assured her. He raised his arm to start the pod, but it wouldn’t comply. The only part of him that was still fully functioning was his ears. He could hear the soldiers. He had to get Indra home, and there was only one way he knew how to do that. He closed his eyes, gritted his teeth and gave way to his mentally stronger personality.

“Glade!” Indra watched in horror as he started to morph.

Aly grinned. “I’m back!”

“What did you do with Glade?”

He adopted an innocent expression. “He let me out. Why?”

“He’s sick. People are coming to kill us! I’m having a baby!” she said in a panic. She wasn’t ready. She needed to go home. She squeezed his shoulder when another wave of pain, more intense than the last, engulfed her. “Get us out of here!”

Aly huffed impatiently, got out, raised his arm and the remaining pods exploded. He sat in the pilot seat, slammed the hatch and started the craft. “You owe me Glade.”


Indra stared at the stranger beside her when they were a distance from the planet, not certain if she was really out of danger. “Is Glade coming back?”

Aly looked her way, he snorted. “Your love is wasted on him. He’s a soldier, a killer.”

“I don’t love him.” Love didn’t come that easily, especially not for her. And from the way Glade had responded, it was best that she didn’t fall in love with him.

Aly shrugged. “Lie to me. I don’t care. But I know something you don’t know,” he bragged.

She glared at him. “I don’t care. Just take me home.”

He smirked. “Your baby’s an alien.”


“Yup.” He grinned cheekily, flipped on the autopilot switch and folded his arms behind his head. “It develops faster in its own atmosphere.”

She shook her head vehemently. “No. Glade said time goes faster on your planet.”

“It does. But that’s not the reason you look ready to pop.”

Her chest tightened. “He lied?”

“And there could only be one reason he would. Little lady, your babe is his heir.” He laughed excitedly. “Abducting a human. We’re not so different after all.”

“I wasn’t abducted.”

“Do you remember what happened?”

She paused. Her heart quickening. She shook her head.

“Do you think it’s a coincidence that he landed on your territory? He came to claim his heir.” He pressed a button and a wormhole unfolded in the darkness. Then he laughed. “Glorious chaos. Wish I could be there to see the fireworks!”


Aly landed the pod behind the barn, shoved open the hatch, lifted her out and set her on her feet. “Been fun kid. I feel your boyfriend coming back. Let’s do this again real soon, preferably after you lose the bump.”

“Thank you for getting me home. I hope I never see you again.” she told him, then turned and waddled toward the house.


She stilled for a second at the sound of her name. Part of her wanted to turn and make sure Glade was alright, but the distrustful part told her to keep walking and never look back.

“Indra, wait.”

When Glade caught up to her, she kept her head straight. “Indra. What’s wrong?”

She spun to face him. “You lied to me!”

“What did Aly tell you?”

“The truth! You abducted me! You raped me!” she shouted, pounded her fists against his chest.

“I didn’t!” He grasped her hands. “I promise you.”

She snatched her hands away and backed away from him. “You’re not taking my baby! Alien or human. This baby is mine!”

“I should have told you about your baby. But I didn’t know how to explain to you something I couldn’t comprehend myself. I didn’t want to scare you.”

“You’d rather piss me off?” she asked brusquely. “I don’t like being lied to.”

“I know. I’m sorry.”

“Is this baby yours?” she asked, her heart thumping against her chest as she awaited the truth. She needed to hear it from his lips.

He sighed and ran his hand through his hair. “I don’t know. They erased multiple segments of my memory. But I didn’t abduct you, and I didn’t rape you.”

She regarded him slit-eyed. “Was it a coincidence that you landed here?”

“I don’t know. I put in coordinates I didn’t even know I knew, and I ended up here.”

“Were you here before?” she pressed.

“Not that I can remember,” he told her. Then he closed the space between them. “I’m drawn to you Indra. I could smell the hormones on you, then the electricity between us. I think we know each other.”

She shook her head obstinately. “That’s not possible.”

His eyes lit up suddenly. “There’s a way we can find out.”

Her eyebrows furrowed. “How?”

“I can read the baby’s mind. I need to touch your stomach. Only if you want,” he added to assure her that she was in control.

She nodded her consent and he pressed his palm to her abdomen.

“Hearing comes first. I can hear what she heard from the moment she was conceived.”

Her eyes widened. “I’m having a girl? My dream was right.”

“Stop talking,” he instructed, concentrating on the task at hand. A plethora of voices bombarded his mind. He searched through them to pinpoint the two voices he sought. Then he heard them.

“Don’t cry, Indra. I’ll get you home soon.”


“I don’t know yet.”

“Why did they take me?”

“Ringus likes experimenting on humans. They’re coming.”

“What are they going to do?”

“They’re going to erase a part of your memory, Ringus likes clean slates. But it’ll be okay; you won’t remember what he did or what he’s going to do.”

“But I’ll forget you.”

“It’s better this way. I will find a way to get you out of here today. Just do whatever Ringus tells you to do. You’ll be home soon. I promise.”

“I love you, Glade.”

“I love you, Indra. So much.”

Glade dropped his hand.

“What did you hear?”

“Ringus abducted you. He experimented on you. I promised I’d get you home. And I did,” he said, intentionally leaving out the part about their declaration of love. He was not worthy of her love. “I’ll get you safely home. Then you’ll never see me again.”

“Is that all you heard?”

He nodded.

“You’re lying to me!” she accused. “I heard everything. I don’t know how. But I did. Why do you keep lying to me?”

“I was trying to make this easy for you.”

“Well you’re not!” she exclaimed. Then she wailed when a sharp pain tore through her abdomen.

“You need to get to the house.” He made a move to lift her, but she slapped his hands away.

“I can walk.” Then she took a step, and doubled over.


“I can’t walk.”

Glade scooped her up and rushed to the house. He kicked open the door and stopped short when he saw the shotgun.

“Indra? What did you do to her!” Ira demanded, taking his daughter from him.

“I’m alright daddy. Put me down, you’re going to hurt your back.”

Ira gingerly set her on her feet. “You were gone for hours. What happened to you?”

“We were temporarily abducted. But I’m fine. Glade saved me.”

Her father looked at him. “I don’t understand what’s going on. But thank you for protecting my daughter.”

Indra hunched over and squeezed her father’s shoulders as another contraction ripped through her. “The baby’s coming!”

Ira’s eyes widened. “What! I don’t understand.”

Indra sank into the nearby couch. “I’ll explain later. Just call Elaine! I need her here!” Indra snapped. Her chest cramped. She couldn’t do this alone.

Glade tenderly caressed her abdomen. “Everything’s going to be alright.”

“I’ll call Elaine.” Ira said.

“How are we going to explain this to her?” Glade asked.

Ira regarded him with absolute loathing. “I’ll take care of it. You can leave.”

“No.” Indra gripped Glade’s hand. “I want him here.”

Her father stared at her. The hurt she saw in his eyes consumed her with guilt.

He nodded curtly. “If that’s what you want.” he muttered gruffly. Then he stomped away.

“I should leave.”

Her grip on Glade’s hand tightened. “No.” She arched her back and pressed his hand into her abdomen, and the pain somehow began to subside. “He just needs to get to know you.”

“There’s no coming back from alien.” He kissed her hand. “I’m gonna go.”

“No!” she cried desperately. “You’re not leaving me again!”

“Okay. I won’t leave.” He feathered his lips across her forehead. “I promise.”

Indra nodded. “Good.” An aura of serenity descended upon her and she knew everything would be alright.


Glade looked down at the tiny bundle. “She’s beautiful.” He put his hand in the bassinet and she gravitated toward it.

Indra smiled sleepily. “She knows who you are.”

He smiled. “I’m a father.”

“You are.” Indra gently rocked the bassinet, then fell back on the mountain of pillows. “I’m sorry I yelled at you. I was upset.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you the truth. I thought I was protecting you.”

Indra propped up her head on her hand. “You were, but I don’t want protection from the truth. Even if it’s a truth I won’t like. I don’t know what the women on your planet are like, but most of us Earth girls tend not to like being shielded from the truth.”

He looked at her. “I don’t know what the women on my planet are like. My father warned me never to get too close to anyone, lest they find out who I am.”

“Must have been lonely.”

He shrugged, nonchalantly. “I got over it.”

She hugged one of the pillows to herself and regarded him thoughtfully. “I may not be able to read your mind, but I still know what you’re thinking Glade. You’re not alone anymore.” Indra yawned. “What do you think we should name our daughter?”

“We can figure that out later.” He spread the quilt over her. “You need to rest.”

She fanned out her arms. “I like Rita. That was my mother’s name. What was your mother’s name?”

He smiled reminiscently. “Elizabeth.”

She smiled. “I like them both. How about Elita?” she asked, yawning again.

“I love it.” He brushed his lips across her forehead. “Now go to sleep.”

She chewed her lip. “I’m afraid to close my eyes.”

He knelt beside the bed, clasping her hand in both of his. “I won’t leave your side Indra.” He leaned forward and brushed his lips against hers. “Sleep.”

Indra nodded. “I do love you. I know I said before that I didn’t, but I lied. I’m sorry. I was freaking out, then you looked so shell-shocked. I didn’t know what to say, or think,” she said, releasing another yawn.

“I was an idiot. I love you, Indra. I love you. And I’m never going to leave you.”

“Alright,” she murmured. “Please don’t let my father shoot you while I sleep,” she said, drifting off.

He laughed. “I won’t.”

Glade rested his chin on his arms and watched Indra sleep. She was so beautiful. She was the mother of his child. He smiled. He never thought this could happen to him; he thought he would’ve died in that lab, just as his parents had. But he was alive. And he finally had a family again. He wasn’t going to fail at protecting Indra and his daughter. Not like he had failed his parents. He brushed his fingers across Indra’s cheek, then stood and smiled at his baby girl. He took her up and levitated her on a force field, she gurgled happily. He laughed.


He looked up when Indra’s father walked in, he dropped the force field and Elita fell into his arms.

Ira watched him cautiously. “They’re all I have.”

“They are all I have too. I’m not going to hurt them.”

“My daughter trusts you, she doesn’t trust a lot of people. Don’t disappoint her.” Ira warned him.

“I won’t.”

“I have to drive Elaine home. Her truck won’t start.”

“I can fix it.” he volunteered.

“No. I’ll drive her. Take care of my girls.” Then he backed out and closed the door.

Glade looked down at Elita and smiled. “I think I’m starting to grow on him.” he said sarcastically. He stretched out next to Indra. Elita clung to him and Indra snuggled closer. He smiled. This was where he belonged.

“I think you are.” Indra said drowsily.

Glade looked at her. “You weren’t sleeping?”

“I’m a light sleeper.” She smiled and put her finger in Elita’s palm, her chubby fingers closed tightly around it. “I’m going to protect both of you.”

He smiled. “I thought I was the one who’s supposed to protect you.”

Indra grinned, and patted his chest. “You’re on my planet now.”

Tonya Lovell

Tonya Lovell is a twenty-seven-year-old aspiring author and poet who is pursuing a career as a General Nurse. She not only loves to write books, short stories and poems, she also creates unique art pieces. However, writing will always be her first love. As a writer, she likes to enter short story competitions to give herself a challenge and expand her literary abilities. She aims to entice her readers to laugh, cry, think, feel, change and be inspired! Her imagination is wild and unapologetic. It's like riding on a merry go round; where her imagination stops, nobody knows. Not even her!

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