The Men on Mars by Shara Lanel

The Men on Mars by Shara Lanel

Author:Shara Lanel
Format: epub

Chapter Six

“We see some things the same,” I said cautiously. Though other than sex, I couldn’t think of what those things were.

Then I remembered.

I remembered all those times when we were working together that we’d laughed at the same jokes or shared our odd sense of humor about bits on the daily News Bulletin. He’d never told a soul about catching me in a ménage with the moon people, and more importantly, he’d never told a soul why I’d been exiled from Earth. In other words, I knew I could trust him ... even more than I trusted myself.

“Time to take a shower,” I said, standing quickly.

Freddy winked at me, whatever the hell that meant. I decided that post-shower, I’d find Tracha and chat her up for a couple hours.

* * * * *

“Ju, I really don’t need your advice on this.” Nate scratched his chest and wandered to the other side of his cabin to look out the porthole. Two weeks had passed since the flight-deck sex. Since then he’d gotten as close to Helena as he could, talking to her, joking with her, trying to break through her shell. Annoyingly enough, Freddy had been doing the same. She’d been loosening up, smiling more, and she’d been spending more and more time in Nate’s bunk with the hatch door securely locked.

“She flirts with Freddy, you know.” The Neptunian stirred her drink and pouted.

“I thought you were going hot and heavy with Daed.”

She smiled. “Such a yummy man.”

“Then why do you insist on egging me about Helena?”

“I’m still your friend, no matter who I sleep with. I’m worried your heart’s up for grabs and she’s going to thrash it to pieces.”

“Great visual.” Scowling, Nate picked up his drink from the magnetic tabletop. “I’m a grown man and fully capable of handling my heart, thank you.”

Ju sighed and changed the subject. “So tell me about Space Station Kwan.” They were stopping there the next day to refuel and give everyone a change of scenery. The station was held in Earth’s outermost orbit, beyond the moon, which meant the trip was about halfway done. Halfway there, and Helena still seemed distant after every lovemaking session. He’d invited her to dinner in his cabin with flowers and soft Earth music. She’d laughed and chatted with him, but the wall was still there. What the hell would he have to do to break it down? And even if he could break it down, would she change her mind about staying on Earth?

“Kwan is a fun place,” he said. “Plenty of vices available. Gambling, drugs that I’ve never even tried, peep shows for every alien. I’d think you’d enjoy the techno clubs. Lots of species to dance with.”

Someone banged on the hatch. “Ju!”

Nate observed his friend’s eyes as they changed to dreamy lavender at the sound of Daed’s voice. He was a good guy. Maybe he’d succeed in taming her. Nate was just glad that job was off his hands. He’d had a private conversation with the mechanic yesterday, telling him to keep an eye on Ju on the space station.


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