He lumbered away, dragging a ridged tail out the back end of his silver jumpsuit, and joined three other dudes in similar costumes at a far table. This was the reverse. In my black knit dress and sandals, I stood out as the oddball. So, I went with simple date attire.

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He lumbered away, dragging a ridged tail out the back end of his silver jumpsuit, and joined three other dudes in similar costumes at a far table. This was the reverse. In my black knit dress and sandals, I stood out as the oddball.

So, I went with simple date attire. I left my shoulder-length hair loose, brushed on a little mascara and lip gloss, and called it good. At least somebody here is normal. I found a table where I could keep an eye on the door and watch the nutjobs.

I had nothing against cosplay, but this crowd had my warning sensors buzzing. But when the line between fantasy and reality blurred—or worse, you tried to smear the line for somebody—you needed to get real. Consistency was vital to any good scam. When I contacted those references, they rated the agency highly and raved about their dates—seemingly believing with absolute certainty the men were aliens.

If the agency had been a legitimate service, the thundering silence would have stirred my insecurities that nobody wanted to date me. However, I figured the IDA had to come up with somebody just to continue the hoax. Then, last Tuesday, an email notified me my alien date had arrived. His name was Krash. I planned to grill him until he was well done. I rubbed my thumb over the back of my pendant, verifying the micro spy cam was turned on.

I spotted green Martian men, women with Tinkerbell wings, and people wearing fur suits. Oversized heads on little bodies. Large bodies, small heads. Porcupine quills, masks with snouts and fangs. Uhuru costume for Halloween.

Compared to these folks, I was a rank amateur. Gawking at the costumes, I almost missed seeing my cocktail waitress arrive. Out of the corner of my eye, I spied a puff of smoke, and then poof! There she was, a regular David Copperfield.

When I went to magic shows, I sat front and center to better figure out the tricks. On the other hand, some people got into extreme body modification.

If they surgically transformed themselves to resemble cats, elves, lizards, and Barbie dolls, why not aliens? Betty pulled a cocktail napkin from her apron pocket and slapped it on my table. Her tongue was forked and blue. So much for normal. You want to order a drink for your Dakonian? She said a few words to the bartender then performed her disappearing act and popped up at another table across the room.

I scooted my chair over and stomped on the hardwood. Solid, not hollow. Neat trick! While the bartender was shaking up a drink—hopefully mine—I logged onto Spacebook, a social media site for IDA clients.

People unwittingly revealed too much of themselves on public sites. Hence, you could discover very useful info—such as your marriage being invalid. Previously, his page had shown only his picture. Handsome guy if his photo was real. The date with me? The others smiled; his sexy, full mouth drooped like somebody had stolen his spaceship.

He had bronzy milk-chocolate skin, shoulder-length near-black hair, and soulful, if morose, eyes. I mean, why bother with leathery nubs? Hell, dude, go for broke!

Status: Matched. I scrolled through his profile, noting his likes and dislikes then widened my eyes as I read who he was paired with—Toni Sutterman. Attorney-at-law Antoinette Gates Sutterman, one of the fiercest lawyers in the city and the younger daughter of Caroline Gates, the doyenne of New Los Angeles society. Old money. Country club. It seemed unlikely someone as savvy as Toni Sutterman could be conned.

A shadow of doubt crept in. What if the organization was legit? I surveyed the bar patrons. And ergo, some of these weirdos might be real. Except for him. I snorted. None of these people passed the believability test.

If the Stellar Dust Bin patrons had arrived from outer space, then government and the military would have been involved. People would have loaded up their SUVs with canned goods and bottled water and fled to their mountain cabins.

Freeways would have been reduced to gridlock. Con artists identified an entry point of vulnerability and exploited it. Not again. I pressed my lips together, shored up my bullshit deflector, and closed out of Spacebook. There was a puff of smoke, and then Betty materialized with two drinks in hand. The one in the hurricane glass with a swizzle stick topped by a tiny flying saucer billowed with vapor. Krash wended his way toward me. I recognized him from his Spacebook photo. Except he was way more attractive in person.

I gulped. Take me, you alien devil. Talk about a photo not doing someone justice. I stood up. I gaped at the chiseled masculine perfection wrapped in buckskins and tied with a leather cord. My gift from the IDA. Definitely worth the wait.

Get a grip, girl. Remember your assignment. Were they pulsating? Getting bigger? I squinted. The nubs seemed to be swelling. I riveted on those horns, unable to look away. My stomach fluttered in an annoying way, and a rush of heat flooded my face.

The waitress brought you a Dakonian ale, but you can order something else. I arrived early. Why had I admitted that? Sure, he was freaking gorgeous, but he was abetting a hoax. I gulped my Star Flight before anything else stupid spilled out of my mouth. Fruity and smooth, the drink went down easy. I eyed him over the rim of my glass. His horns were bigger than they had been a moment ago.

And they were throbbing. Yeah, right. But the contrast between his uber masculinity and his discomfiture was oddly charming. I took another drink of my Star Flight to counteract the tug. I did not want to like this guy, to be attracted to him.


Breeder (Breeder #1) by Cara Bristol

It has a dark side to it that will have triggers for some readers, but it also has a gentler side as well. Parseon males do not value females. They have no rights and must do as bidded by all males. They are seen as inferior and simple minded. The females are basically slaves to the Alpha and Beta males. The females are raped, beaten and this is considered the normal.



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