Free Excerpt from “Shipmates”, by Nicole Krizek
“He’s seriously hot! Like, Johnny-Depp-hot!”
“I always thought he reminded me more of a shorter version of Ryan Reynolds.”
“The guy who played that creepy green superhero? Nope. He’s Johnny all the way!”
From her place at their small dining table, Lauren heard the voices of her roommates nearing the front door. They were both laughing as they pushed the door open, and entered their small, shared home.
Adrianna gave Lauren a little wave of greeting before continuing her conversation with Kaitie.
“Okay… maybe Johnny from 3 years ago,” Adrianna conceded in her thick Brazilian accent. “But who knows what he looks like now? Maybe he’s losing his hair, and has a beer-belly?”
Kaitie’s eyes went wide and her mouth dropped open. “Johnny Depp has not gotten fat! You take that back!”
Adrianna slid sideways just in time to dodge the smack Kaitie aimed at her arm. Lauren laughed at their hyjinx.
“Where have you two been so early this morning?” she asked. Both women’s eyes went wide in fake innocence.
“Who? Us?” Kaitie asked.
“We were outside watching the sunrise,” Adrianna added.
She walked over to their small cooking area and wrinkled up her nose at the oatmeal left in the pot. She grabbed a piece of fruit instead, and plopped at the table next to Lauren. Kaitie moved to their small mirror and began brushing out her long blonde hair.
“Who was watching the sunrise with you?” Lauren prodded.
Adrianna smiled broadly. “Why do you assume we weren’t alone?”
Lauren scoffed. “Because you haven’t spent a moment alone since we arrived on this planet.”
Her roommate gave her a crooked smile, and Lauren just shook her head in mirth.
All three of them had been passengers on the same plane that had crashed on Aeonas over three years ago. Although, in Lauren’s opinion, “crashed” didn’t come close to encompassing what had actually happened to them.
One-hundred and eighty-eight people (and one dog) had been on a routine flight from Rio De Janeiro to Miami, when their plane had gotten caught in an unknown wormhole’s gravitational funnel. The wormhole’s force had splintered the 737, and sent it barreling out of Earth’s atmosphere into space.
Everyone onboard would have died in the vacuum at the other end, if an alien race called the Arathians hadn’t saved them.
They couldn’t be returned to Earth—galactic laws prohibited it—so they’d been brought to Aeonas; a planet that was safe, and amazingly, already home to a colony of Earthers.
Everyone who lived on Aeonas before Lauren’d arrived (aside from the few children that had been born on the planet) had been saved from the wormhole by a race called the Grays. They’d been the original inhabitants of the planet until they’d moved their entire population to space stations.
When they’d arrived, Lauren, Kaitie, and Adrianna had been assigned a house together, since they were all single and roughly the same age. That’s where the similarities between them ended.
Adrianna was from rural Brazil, and had been traveling to Miami to visit family. At five-feet three-inches, she was petite in stature, but made up for it in all other ways. The girl was stacked. Combine that with her broad hips, raven hair, and sun-kissed skin, and you got one hell of a beauty.
There was no wonder she’d attracted all kinds of attention since they’d been on the colony.
Kaitie was the opposite. Although also tan, she was nearly six-feet tall, with blue eyes, and blonde hair that had lightened in the sun. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Kaitie’d taught at a rock climbing gym before going on an adventure tour in Brazil. Like the rest of them, her return flight hadn’t made it home.
“Oh, come on, Adi, just fess up,” Kaitie added from her place at the mirror.
As she continued talking, she fashioned her hair into a braid, and piled it up high on her head to get ready for the day’s work.
“Lauren doesn’t care that we were out with Sam and his buddies. It’s not like she doesn’t already know that I’m into him.”
Lauren didn’t bother denying the accusation. It wasn’t her fault that the three of them shared a tiny, two hundred fifty square foot space. Privacy was impossible. They had even hung fabric from the rafters to divide their bunks from the rest of the cabin, but their spaces were still far from “private.”
She scoffed. Cabin? “Shack” was a more appropriate word for where they lived. But each time she or Kaitie complained, Adrianna (their perpetual voice of reason) reminded them that they were all lucky to be alive, and that everyone on the colony lived in similar sized houses, which had all been built by hand.
Lauren definitely tried not to complain about their living conditions around any of the colony’s original inhabitants. They were quick tell her that she had no idea what “rough” was. She didn’t disagree. She’d heard enough about the previous living conditions to make her appreciate the present. The colony now had it easy…
… All because of the Arathians and their technology.
Before Lauren’s plane had crashed, the previous colonists had been left all alone, without any help or outside resources. They’d been forced to salvage infrequent plane and boat wrecks for supplies. Shoes, clothing, food… basic necessities were difficult to come by. They’d barely survived the best number to be in b 67n76b Trent n bvb bb bb bb bb4 e be; bbbe.
All of that changed when the Arabbbb by nbmthians arrived, offered thebb bbbvv bm help, and brought one of their replicators to the planet.
“Was Ian watching the sunrise with you?” Lauren inquired, trying her best to ask the question casually. The other women shared a look. They knew that she had a crush on Ian.
Adrianna answered. “Si, but he was just hanging out with the group. Probably for something to do.”
“You should have been there to keep him company.” Kaitie added a wink into the mirror to punctuate the innuendo.
“And who were you keeping company?” Lauren asked Kaitie, although she already knew the answer.
“Was it Sam?” Lauren prodded to get a rise out of the other woman.
“Perhaps,” Kaitie replied faux-evasively.
Lauren chuckled. “Oh, come on! You literally just said you know we all know you’re into him, and I say go for it. It’s not like we have a lot of options. You’d think that it’d be easy to find a good guy here, but no. All the men are either taken, gay, or want to hit and quit it.”
“What does that mean?” Adrianna asked.
Kaitie answered. “It means they want to spank your ass, then leave.”
“It does not!” Lauren corrected.
“Well, it can,” Kaitie argued.
“Fair enough,” Lauren conceded with a wry grin, before turning back to Adi. “It usually means that the guy has sex with you, and then never talks to you again.”
“I think there are people like that everywhere,” Adrianna grumbled.
“I mean it,” Kaitie added, as she grabbed a work shirt and began to change. “I want to find someone. I don’t want to be alone anymore.”
“You’re not alone,” Lauren told her.
“Yeah, you have us,” Adrianna added.
Kaitie walked back into their line of sight with a smile on her face. “Well, that does help a little. You girls are the best! Now, if only one of you had a dick…”
They both cracked up, and as her laughter sputtered out, Lauren managed to say, “I don’t think either of us thinks of you that way, Kaitie. I mean, I can’t speak for Adi, but I’m not into girls. Sorry!”
Kaitie held up her hands in an innocent gesture. “What? I’m just saying; it would solve a few of my immediate problems.”
“Why don’t you go ask Saric to replicate you a… vibrating boyfriend,” Lauren suggested, before another thought popped into her mind, making her eyes go wide. “Or Adi could do it for you!”
Adrianna had been besotted with Saric for months. He was one of the few Arathians on the planet, was in charge of the replicator, and happened to already be mated to a male. On Earth, she never would have gone for him; but this wasn’t Earth, and Arathian relationships were normally menages.
“I can’t send Adi to replicate me a vibrator!” Kaitie exclaimed. “She’d die from embarrassment.”
“Actually… it’s not a bad idea,” Adrianna contradicted, shocking them both. “It would definitely force him to think of me as something other than a ‘friend’ or ‘little girl.’”
Kaitie’s mouth hung open comically. “You’re actually considering this?”
Adi shrugged her shoulders. “Si, but you’ll have to pay me back the replicator credits.”
“I… I… done.”
Adrianna claps her hands together in glee. She was always looking for a reason to interact with Saric. “Good! I’ll go see him after work.”
“Ok, so that might turn out great for Adi, but what about me?” Kaitie grumbled. “A vibrator won’t do the job for long, and I don’t want to have sex with a random guy just because.”
“I think you’re making a good choice going after Sam,” Lauren told her. “From what I’ve heard, he’s a stand-up guy. And he’s hot.”
There was no reason to lie about such things. Plus, Lauren had heard nothing but nice things about the man.
“I agree; he’s a rare find,” Kaitie told her, as she joined the two ladies at the table and began to pull on her heavy work boots. “He’s sexy, sweet, unattached, and is interested in women… All things that are strangely hard to find in this colony.”
The other two women nodded in agreement. For a colony where the population was only ten percent women before the 737’s passengers arrived, and thirty-five percent after the crash, finding men with the right qualities was a struggle.
The ships, sail boats, and planes that had fallen victim to the wormhole’s intense gravity were mostly piloted and crewed by men. Actually… nearly all of them were men. The only women on the colony were from the pleasure craft that had been saved; mostly from sailboats and small planes.
There were years of turmoil before the colony’s leaders got their heads out of their asses and realized the problem, and began encouraging the men to form relationships with one another. This helped relieve loneliness, created a sense of home, and decreased the risk to any females that found themselves living among two-hundred horny men.
Now, decades later, the result was that the colony was much more accepting of bisexuality and homosexuality. Interestingly, this made the colony’s population more similar to the Arathians’.
The openness of their sexuality (both the colonists’ and the Arathians’) had been a surprise to Lauren and the other newcomers, but they were quickly reminded that this wasn’t Earth. This was Aeonas, and things were done differently.
“I wish we could have stayed on the Arathians’ ship,” Kaitie lamented for the hundredth time. “Now there was a serious concentration of hotness.”
Lauren almost groaned thinking about the large ship that had saved their plane.
The Arathians were a race of aliens that looked almost exactly like Earthers, except that they had caramel colored skin, black hair, and were generally larger. Their culture mated in trios or quartets, since there was only one woman for every three men on their homeworld. While onboard their ship for a few days, Lauren had seen many duos and even some trios, of males that were mated to one another.
“Too bad we were in shock from the crash,” Kaitie continued. “I would have loved to be the meat in an Arathian sandwich.”
“Me too,” both Lauren and Adrianna murmured in unison.
What? A girl would have to be dead to not notice their appeal.
When they’d been left on Aeonas with the other colonists, there were a few Arathians who had decided to stay behind on the planet to help. Rex was the Mayor, and was mated to an Earther named Maggie, the resident doctor.
Saric and Duran were the mated pair that Adrianna had been trying to snag the attention of. Bilal was the fourth and final Arathian resident, and had spent many a night as the object of Lauren’s fantasies. Tall, dark, and broader than any man she’d ever known… too bad he didn’t seem to be looking for a relationship.
He was Rex’s 2nd, and completely focused on his job. Still, there was something about him that made Lauren’s pulse flutter. She’d admired him ever since they’d arrived on Aeonas.
Admired was perhaps not a strong enough word. Lusted after was more appropriate. She’d had countless dreams about him taking her on the beach, in the water, high in the trees… Bilal and Ian had both been her secret crushes for a while now. Only Kaitie and Adrianna knew of her scandalous thoughts.
“Do you think we concentrate too much on men?” Lauren asked suddenly. The twin looks of shock on her roommates were almost comical.
“Are you kidding?” Kaitie asked incredulously.
The planet of Aeonas isn’t what it used to be. Since the Arathians arrived with their replicator technology, the colonists aren’t just surviving: they’re living. Without the constant fear of starvation, they have time for other things, such as hobbies, or perhaps… pursuing the people they love.
Ian doesn’t remember his life on Earth. He was brought to Aeonas as a young child, and has lived there ever since. As a freediver, he has dedicated his life to providing food for the colonists. But it’s amazing what a person can focus on when their every thought isn’t about starvation, and lately, his thoughts are on two people in particular. Two people who bring out his dominant side.
Bilal is an Arathian on assignment to Aeonas. He’s there to do his job and help the Earthers, not to lust after them. But lately, he can’t help that his thoughts have turned more lascivious than platonic.
Lauren’s had a difficult time adjusting to her new life. She misses Miami; she misses her job, her home… her sense of self. Since surviving a plane crash and arriving on Aeonas, she’s been out of her element, awkward, and unsure. There’s little she’s certain of, except that there are two men who frequent her fantasies.
Now that Arath is safe, ships are being sent to transport colonists who wish to move to the more-advanced planet. Just when the trio finds each other, a monumental decision may tear them apart. Go or stay? It’s a choice that will set the course for the rest of their lives.
Warning: this book contains explicit scenes of intimacy between three consensual adults: M/F, M/M, and M/M/F. Purchase your copy >>