“I woke up in the middle of the night when soldiers bypassed my door lock, then they bound and gagged me. I was so sure my trial would expose the very secret I’d planned to reveal. I know,” he said. “I was naïve.”
“I would never have said that,” Fieo objected.
“You didn’t have to. More than five years of being tortured for wanting to do the right thing was enough to show me how misguided I’d been. Common decency and compassion are foreign concepts to those governing the human species.”
“Well you’re Caeorleian now. We’ll stop them.”
Nick nodded. “No matter what it takes, which is why I am here.”
Before Nick told him what led to his imprisonment, Fieo really hadn’t understood why he’d insisted on being part of the mission to find the Collectors. But now… the suffering he’d grown up among and the atrocity he’d uncovered were more important to stop than worry about any trauma Nick might suffer on the shuttle.
As long as Fieo didn’t make it worse. He promised himself, again, that he’d be on his guard to never let Nick be hurt again, especially by something he did. “I understand,” Fieo said. He used their clasped hands to draw Nick forward until his tziu was on his knees on the bed between Fieo’s legs. “I said before you amaze me, and everything I learn about you only makes that more true.”
Nick flushed, his face getting that soft pink color he turned when he was embarrassed. “I’m really not.”
Though Nick and Fieo are drawn to each other, their relationship has never been easy. Their differences go beyond their races, but they’ve managed to work together to prevent the spread of corruption, growing closer along the way. Nick still battles the effects of years of loneliness, fear, and pain but surprises everyone when he refuses to stay behind when Fieo is sent on a vital mission to find the Collectors. Fieo objects, but there’s no stopping Nick when he sets his mind to something. Over the course of their mission, it becomes clear Nick is more than anyone ever imagined, but the mystery of his past threatens to derail his future.
The search for the truth will take Fieo and Nick far from Caeorleia, to worlds both familiar and completely alien, and put stress on their already tenuous relationship. It’s a journey that will either tear them apart or finally bring them together.
Where to Find More from Alicia Nordwell
Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find something interesting to read one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started … Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out.
Fortunately for readers, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing. Now you can find her stories both free and e-published! She can be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on GayAuthors.org under her online nickname, Cia.
Oh yeah, she’s a wife, mom of two, and lives in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course!
Blog Tour Stops:
7-28: Cia’s Stories: Winners Revealed!