Zander and Felix return today in the second book in the Chaos Station series, Lonely Shore, by Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen.
All they can do is live day to day…
Felix Ingesson has returned to his duties as the Chaos’s engineer with Zander Anatolius, his ex-boyfriend-turned-broken-super-soldier, at his side. Hope means something again. But there’s nothing Felix can do to battle the alien poison flowing through Zander’s veins, or his imminent mental decline. With each passing day, the side effects of Zander’s experimental training are becoming more difficult to ignore.
When the ruthless Agrius Cartel seeks their revenge—including an ambush and an attempt to kidnap the Chaos’s crew—Zander is pushed over the edge. He can no longer hide his symptoms, nor does he want to. But hurting Felix when he’s not in control of himself is Zander’s worst nightmare—when it nearly happens, he agrees to seek help. Even if that means trusting the unknown.
As Zander places his life in alien hands, Felix appoints himself his lover’s keeper. And though he tries to be strong, he can’t ignore the fact that he might lose Zander…forever this time.
Don’t miss the start of the series—Chaos Station is available now!
“Is it normal for humans to share sexual partners?” Qek asked, tilting her head.
“Uh…” Zed paused. “What?”
Qek waved a blue-skinned hand at the crowd spinning about the open-air square dedicated to dancing. Garlands of vines had been draped here and there. Instead of looking festive, it just looked kind of sad. Zed wondered if the decorations for the festival would’ve been more impressive before the war.
“Each time I believe I have identified a paired couple, they have chosen others.”
“It could just be the dance.” Zed hadn’t been watching it closely. All the spinning bodies made the ache in his head that much worse and he didn’t even have a beer to dull the pain. Risus was a dry colony, which was just a bloody crime, as far as he was concerned. He directed his gaze upward, wishing he had a blanket to lie on and a lack of noise and light pollution. How long had it been since he’d taken the time planetside to stargaze?
“Possibly, but I have observed at least two of the women giving different men ‘bedroom eyes,’ as you say.”
“Hell, I don’t say that.”
“It is a saying, is it not?”
“I guess. You think that means they’re sharing? They could be single and looking for someone.”
“This is true. But it is a question I have often pondered.”
Ness and Elias returned to their table as the music ended, smiling and out of breath. Flick sauntered up a moment later and slid onto the bench beside Zed, nudging a cup of clear liquid in front of him.
“Just water,” he said. “Good dance, you two?”
Nessa’s grin expanded. “He only stepped on my feet twice.”
Zed sipped his water, giving Flick a smile of thanks as Qek continued. “Nessa’s favored fictional books mostly portray monogamous couples. Does that not impact the genetic diversity of the next generation?”
Elias frowned. “Wait, what are we talking about?”
“Humans sharing sex partners,” Zed said.
“Oh. Of course.”
“Humans tend to form pair bonds, Qek. And it’s not necessarily based on procreation.” Ness nodded at Flick and Zed. “See Exhibit A.”
“It is a psychological attachment, then.”
“Yes, but also a physical one. Attraction can be breathtaking. Literally. We feel it on an instinctual level that we don’t really understand.”
“How do you know that it is a valid and worthwhile pairing? It does not sound very logical.”
“Honey, logic has nothing to do with it.”
Qek blinked and stayed silent for a moment, considering. “Humans are so strange,” she said, sounding a little defeated. “Every time I believe I have a solid comprehension of your species, I discover something new that challenges my perceptions.”
“If it’s any consolation,” Flick said, “I’m human and I don’t understand humans.”
“Same.” Zed shrugged.
“That does not offer adequate reassurance.”
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Jenn and Kelly met in 2009 through a mutual infatuation with a man who wasn’t real. After all but crashing the video game’s forums with daily dissection of their obsession, they started writing together, discovered they really liked writing together and began plotting stories in worlds of their own creation.
The CHAOS STATION series aren’t the first books they’ve written together, and they’re pretty sure they won’t be the last. As long as their so-called smartphones keep making autocorrects that trigger brainstorming sessions, they’ll have enough character ideas and plots to keep them writing for years to come.
Series Website: http://www.chaosstation.com
Jenn on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeralibu
Jenn on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeralibu?fref=ts
Jenn’s Website: http://jennburke.com
Kelly on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kmkjensen
Kelly on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kellyjensenwrites?_rdr
Kelly’s Website: http://kellyjensenwrites.com