QSFer Leona Windwalker has a new queer space opera romance out (gay, non-binary, omegaverse), Sinister Delights Book 12: “The Rejorling.”
I’ve lived my entire life on Kleptha IV, on my family’s elmgern ranch.
When the raids begin, it becomes obvious that war is on the horizon. My only parent is recalled to active duty, to fly one of the great warships of the Kordolian Empire. I’m twenty-three and like my age-peers, the next year should have been filled with chaperoned parties, short-term internships, and social introductions, called the Year of Seeking. At the end, my twenty-fourth natal day party would have seen two announcements. One, which of the internships piqued my interest enough for me to pursue it as my specialty. The second, a betrothal to a social and, hopefully, romantic match.
With my davatir away serving the Empire, I will have no one to preside over my Year of Seeking.
But Davati is as devoted to my care as always. Davati’s brought me to Jorah, homeworld of our race and seat of the Kordolian Empire. A special school has been set up by a human who traveled halfway across the known galaxy just to open it. Called Miss Pinch’s Finishing School for the Discerning Matis Jorahnian, it even sounds prestigious. There I will not only partake of all the usual Year of Seeking activities, but learn human culture and language. It is a rare opportunity and I am looking forward to it. It will be an adventure, one I can share with Davati once he returns from his battles. We’ll both have tales to tell, my wedding to plan, and a future as a family to look forward to once our dark days are over.
Just how dark they would become, I had no way of knowing.
But light cannot shine without darkness. I find myself benefiting from kindnesses from a mysterious Jorahnian that in better times I would believe to be acts of courtship. Dare I to hope? Is this my knight in shining armor, or another snare I’ve fallen into? I wish Davati were here to guide me through this maze of the heart.
The ship continued to be buffeted and I held onto Toran as if for my life. I didn’t care that it made me look like a scared youngling; I needed the comfort and reassurance being held in ihs embrace brought. If I died now, I would do so knowing love. I closed my eyes, breathing in ihs scent, allowing it to wash over me. I was transported back in time, to when I was a small youngling, and a spooked elmgern rushed towards me. Davati snatched me from its path and held me even once the danger was long past. He’d felt invincible, a haven of safety and love, and I felt this now, with Toran.
I knew this to be an illusion, but it was one I was willing to allow myself to sink into. When the clang of swords and the sound of small arms fire began to filter into our small space, Toran let go of me, ushering me towards the back of the cell. Leon was placed next to me and we watched in awe as the warriors, Toran and ihs squad were revealed to be changed into battle form, after first removing their footwear. Their hackles rose, muscles flexed, and claws unsheathed. I knew if we saw their faces, their eyes would be aglow as their photoreceptors went into overdrive, making certain that anything in even the deepest shadow could be clearly seen, and there were shadows aplenty as the ship did not waste a lot on lighting here in the cells. Their fangs would be elongated, ready to rip and tear.
The sounds grew nearer, then stopped, to be replaced by the sound of the captain’s voice. “I’ll open it, I’ll open it! I’m telling you I was hired to bring these kids to a new work study program and had no idea these people were slavers!” The door opened as the captain’s final words were spoken.
“You have more Jorahnians in here!” I heard a deep voice growl. I trembled, hearing the guttural intonation of a Tooroolian. “You, no need to hiss or spit at me! We aren’t brigands! We don’t knowingly harm civilians.”
This was of little comfort, for Toran and his squad were definitely not civilians.
Leona grew up a military and DoD Brat and is also a veteran. She identifies as pansexual and is a long-time staunch supporter of human rights and environmental causes. Her favourite genre to read is M/M fiction and she particularly enjoys science fiction, fantasy, and action/suspense subgenres–especially if they have a nice seasoning of romance. She has far too many books on her Kindle, has overloaded her phone with even more and, when not reading, writing, being driven to distraction by her children, or being overlorded by her eight catsand two dogs, can be found trying to locate the portal that the sock monster uses to steal socks from her dryer.