A Lovely Failure (Book 3 of "Visions of Jupiter")
Banned to a remote outlying planet thought devoid of anything useful, Charles finds an agreeable paradise run by women. He isn't exactly motivated to carry out his mission to exploit the planet. When the Home World sends a colleague to check on him, that threatens everything--including the planet itself. He needs to warn the Queen. More
Banned to a remote outlying planet thought devoid of anything useful, Charles finds an agreeable paradise run by women. He isn't exactly motivated to carry out his mission to exploit the planet. When the Home World sends a colleague to check on him, that threatens everything--including the planet itself. He needs to warn the Queen.
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
Charles woke to a gorgeous morning. His lovely Rakell lay stretched out beside him, her coppery body naked. Lazily he stroked the pale green line that ran down the center of her back until she woke. She raised her head and smiled at him and he knew she was waiting for his signal before reaching for the button to alert Andy. He stretched languidly and considered whether he would make love to her now or after breakfast.
Decisions, decisions, he thought contentedly.
The delightful choices the day offered competed in his sleepy brain. Andy would have a delicious breakfast ready by the time he got up and showered and Rakell wasn’t going anywhere.
With a sigh, he opted to have his breakfast first this morning.
When he walked into the garden, Andy promptly served a sumptuous breakfast of fruit and juice. As he ate, he lounged in his comfortable chair and took in the lush scenery that surrounded him. His domain. It belonged to the Queen, of course, everything did, but was his to enjoy and use. This entire part of the planet was a garden; calling the space around him a garden was a conceit of his. It was also his delight. Everyone took pains to see that it was always precisely what he wanted.
Although most plant life seemed to flourish on their own, Charles could help but be amazed at the way his gardener, Amos, arranged a variety of colorful plants and stones to create a perfect ambiance for relaxation. Amos put the best gardeners on Charles’s home planet to shame. In subtle ways, he changed the view daily, somehow always managing to create the perfect atmosphere, the one that captured Charles’s mood exactly.
Captures my mood or influences my moods? Charles thought absently.
However it worked, there was a rapport between the two that enhanced his breakfast and set the tone for the day.
He sighed with delight as he watched Rakell put a succulent piece of fruit into her mouth. He noted that when she bit into it, the juice ran down her fingers, and he reached over to take her hand and lick the fingers.
"You have some official business this morning," she said in his language, her voice delighting him with the odd spins it gave to rather ordinary words. "Ah King will be here soon."
"Business? Official business?" This was unusual. "You know I am always happy to see Ah King, but won’t the business matters keep?" he asked, surprised and mildly irritated. The news was confusing and threw his entire schedule off. "Does it have to be this morning? Even if it is something urgent, next week should do fine."
Her fingers slipped a luscious slice of something that reminded him of mango into his mouth. "He said it has to do with the next ship," she said, looking tired. He knew that speaking his crude language was a strain for her; she used it rarely—only when she seemed to be struck by some sudden and strange desire to practice.
He wanted to ask her more, but noted that her lovely orange pupils had begun to glow. It had taken him some time, but ultimately he had learned to read a few of the rather complex Denrien body-language signals. They were an important part of their communications and he had seen this one often enough to know it mean that she knew no more about the subject and wasn’t the least interested in learning more.
Further information would have to come from Ah King.
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