John Russell, a UFOlogist, comes home for a much needed break, only to find his ex-lover Adien Kaper has moved in next door. They made a perfect couple except one thing: Adien doesn’t believe in UFOs or extraterrestrials.
After spotting a meteor shower, John goes to investigate, only to find a dark crystal. Later, that same crystal produces an alien who is looking for Adien. It seems Adien is needed back home on Xulpath as soon as possible.
But Adien doesn’t believe he’s an alien and he doesn’t want to go.
After Adien’s memory block wears off and he accepts who he is, trouble starts brewing. The government gets wind that there are aliens around and they want the aliens. John, with the help of his grandmother and Dr. Kolbi, try to help the aliens get back home.
The thing is, John really doesn’t want Adien to leave without him.
By way of welcome-home parties, this one was a galactic pain in the ass.
Not that John begrudged his family making a minor fuss. After all, this was his first time home in a year. His career as an UFOlogist had blossomed in cosmic proportions, and when he wasn’t in the field investigating reports of unidentified flying objects, he was attending conferences or interviewing with well-established radio and television programs dedicated to the UFO phenomenon.
With a carefully veiled frown, John eyed the gaiety of the bash. This was no intimate family gathering. His generational home seemed to bust at the seams as numerous people milled about, nibbling on snacks, their chatter and laughter blending with the soft jazz music.
Mixing my homecoming with a pre-Valentine’s party? Whose half-baked idea was this?
Though he knew a lot of precise and loving detail had gone into executing such a grand event, the swell of people caused him to sweat, while anxiety danced on his nerve endings. He really came home to get away from the crowds, to recover from guest panels and, recently, from filming UFOs and Aliens: Believe, a television show for a popular cable station.
John shifted his weight to one foot, then to the other, inching closer to the dining room and its sliding glass doors. Freedom lay just beyond the tiki-torchlit, snow-covered patio, and he yearned to disappear in the darkness.
“Quite the homecoming, isn’t it, Son?” John’s father, Colonel Frank Russell, blocked the way to a fast exit.
John swallowed his dismay at the setback. “Yeah, you could say that.”
His father grinned with pride. “Your sisters promised to keep it intimate, but your grandmother got involved…and, well, you know how that turned out.”
John waved a hand at all the streamers, balloons, and hanging hearts. “It looks like Cupid threw up.”
“Nothing but the best for her out-of-this-world grandson!” John’s father nodded toward the guests. “Half of Crawford County is here.”
“I see.” John’s lips curved into a strained smile. “The party was…thoughtful.”
“But not what you wanted.” His father’s wise gaze bore down on him.
“Is it that noticeable?”
His father shrugged. “To me.”
“I was kinda hoping to shuffle into town without notice.” John shoved his hands deep into his trouser pockets and rocked back on his heels. “This past year has left me a little burned-out on questions and crowds.”
“So you came home to recharge your batteries?”
“Something like that.”
“Dear, don’t be a wallflower.” John’s grandmother approached him on his right, poking her slim, manicured fingernail in his ribs. “It won’t kill you to mingle.”
John blew a frustrated breath. “I don’t know half these people.”
“That’s fine. They know you.” She leaned in, her whiskey voice low in his ear. “You’re a celebrity. It would behoove you to make some normal social contacts instead of the circle of space cadets you seem to favor. You know, the ones whose mental health is questionable at best.”
Dawn started out hobby writing fan fiction back in the 70’s and has had a few things published in fanzine form and on fan-fic websites. She has written a weekly column for a county newspaper and has had a few magazine articles printed.
Dawn is engaged to Scott Flemington, a retired HS English teacher and sometimes co-author on stories. They are life-long Michiganders and between the two of them, have five children, seven grandchildren, two adopted senior dogs, a fat sassy cat, two stray, but equally sassy kittens and a turtle who is the boss of all of them. They are highly active with their local GLBT and BDSM community.