And now for the excerpt...Aston's gone off with a Rulusian officer who serves as the ship's medic. Playing doctor? Uh oh...
We stepped inside, where about half of the stacked bunks were empty. She helped me unzip the white pressure suit, and I stepped out of it before plopping my butt down on an unused cot. Facing Jaclyn, I watched while she stepped over to the corner, rummaging through a wall-mounted medical supply cabinet. I stared at her thin, green figure in its black dress uniform.Be sure to let me know what you think of this excerpt, or of the entire novel, if you've already read it.
She grabbed supplies while she talked. “It looked like they were going to blow your ship to bits out there.”
I hadn’t been so scared of death in quite a while, but played it cool. “I’ve been through worse.”
She shut the small metal cabinet door, walked over and sat beside me. A small medication dispenser was in her right hand and a flexible pad in the other.
“Strip,” Jaclyn commanded.
I chuckled. “We barely know each other.”
She rolled her eyes. “You want me to fix up your shoulder or not?”
I reached for my right side, but pain roared through my left shoulder as I did. Clenching my teeth, I changed hands and awkwardly grabbed for the zipper at my neckline.
“Let me help.” Jaclyn placed her gear down, then reached across my chest. Her face drew near mine, with her silky smooth skin close enough to touch. A floral scent invaded my nostrils. She gave a little smile and winked before pulling the zipper down to my waist. The slick, black body suit slid off my chest, the material falling in a pile around my waist. Beads of sweat formed all over the exposed skin, and begin rolling down toward the bedding. She moved away slightly and stared at the various scars on my chest, the largest in particular running a quarter of the width across my torso.
“This must have a story behind it.” She raised an eyebrow, running a finger just below my ribs along the old wound. It took every bit of willpower I had not to jump at her touch.
I pursed my lips. “Bar fight.”
“The other guy must have been pretty upset at you.”
I didn’t even remember what we’d been fighting about. Strange, since I’d almost died.
“I imagine so.”
She pulled her finger away from the scarred tissue. “Looks like you’re lucky to be alive.”
“Guess so.” The other guy wasn’t so lucky. I omitted that tidbit of information.
She noticed the scarring in my shoulder. “Another fight?”
I grimaced, not willing to talk about that one. “You could say that.”
She lifted an eyebrow, but sensed my reluctance. Others tended to push for more, but Jaclyn simply pointed past me. “Turn.”
I followed Jaclyn’s instructions, then felt the medication dispenser prick my shoulder. A numbing fog spread throughout the area and brought instant relief.
“Don’t thank me just yet.”
I heard the rumpling of plastic and looked back as she scrunched the pad back and forth in her hands. It wasn’t something I’d seen before. I scrunched my eyebrows. “What exactly is that?”
Her light green eyes sparkled. “You’ll find out soon enough. Don’t worry.”
For emphasis, she leaned over and planted a kiss on the back of my damp shoulder. It would have served a little more use if she hadn’t used the numbing agent first.
Finished with her work on the pad, she laid it onto my shoulder and I nearly screamed as the fire-hot surface bypassed the numbing medication completely. I swore it burned the first three or four skin layers off.
“Aren’t medics supposed to do no harm?” I complained.
She chuckled. “You forget this isn’t my main job. Now, stop being a baby. It’ll be over soon enough.”
And as Jaclyn suggested, the heat passed into my shoulder and the pad normalized at a lower temperature just before she ripped it off. It felt better, but I wasn’t sure the excruciating pain had been worth it.
“Thanks.” I started to stand.
She pulled at my suit, sitting me back down. “Still not done.”
Then, she massaged my shoulder with her soft, green hands. The numbing agent was wearing off and it was almost as if my shoulder was good as new. I decided the pad had indeed been worth it, if only for Jaclyn’s touch.
I smirked, still facing the other direction. “So, you often take a hands-on technique in doctoring your crew?”
“No.” She planted another kiss. This time, the sensations raced full steam ahead.
I stumbled over my words. “Well, then...” She gripped my shoulder and massaged a bit deeper. I stopped talking.
Then, another voice interrupted. “What is this?”
Rione stood in the doorway when I turned to look. Her pressure suit was off, but she still wore the black body suit, while her long black hair was matted from the heat and humidity. Her emotion ridges were deep red in anger.
Jaclyn kept her focus on me. “Fixing Aston’s shoulder.”
It didn’t faze Rione. “Captain Dillager wants us to join him in his quarters. All of us.” She stormed out.
“What’s her problem?” Jaclyn pulled her hands away.
I shrugged, before easing my body suit back on and slipping out of the pressure suit completely.
She helped me with the zipper, her face right next to my own when she finished. “We’ll continue this later.”