Sinderella Baroque is a Retrieval Specialist for the Alliance. She is on a mission to save a seduced woman from an unsuitable marriage when she runs afoul of a race she was completely unaware of. They have an agenda and are taking a woman who meets their laundry list of requirements to their Avatar so that he can introduce her to the last remnant of a world long dead.
When she meets the mind in the stone, it saves her from certain death as it seals her fate. With a living mind inside her own, Sinder is now stuck on the planet Crixox, living in the temple with the Avatar of the planet itself. Geor has wanted a companion for quite some time and Sinder meets all of his needs. Now, he will see if he can meet hers.
The Nalu were on high-security alert for the wedding, but there would be no problem with her slipping in as an honoured guest.
It was a bonus to being one of the more exotic, new species. She was welcome everywhere she went, and it made getting in easier, while escaping became more difficult. That was where her talent kicked in, and she used it to defend herself and her target.
Sinder let the implant in her elbow lead her through the halls, and finally, it warmed, indicating that she was within twenty feet of the Hunter.
It wasn’t a prison cell, merely a guestroom. The door handle opened easily in her grip. She paused and looked into the room where the Hunter in question was settling his formal garb.
“Oh, please excuse me. I seem to have gotten turned around.”
He smiled vaguely. “No problem. Would you like an escort to the ceremony?”
Sinder put a relieved expression on her face. “That would be amazing. Are you a member of the bridal party?”
He approached her and offered her his arm. “I am acting on behalf of the bride’s family. Please, come with me.”
She took his arm and blushed, looking down. Her gown was elegant and appropriate for a Nalu wedding, black and red, lace and pleats. “Thank you.”
“You seem familiar, have we met?”
She smiled and shook her head. “I doubt it. I have been living quietly on Feliaki for the last few years.”
“How did you come to be here?” His tone was light, but he was fishing for information, still a Hunter within his stupor.
Sinder smiled, “I came with the party from Feliaki. Since my species is still classified as exotic, it added some cachet to their party. Unfortunately, I got separated while we were going through the bio scans and from there, I ended up here.”
He chuckled. “I see. How is it that you have an Alliance tracking implant?”
She blinked up at him. “A what?”
“The implant that tells me you are an Alliance member.”
She snorted as they approached the groups of guests. “Oh, that. I used to be the assistant to a Nyal Ambassador. I was tagged to keep me from being held hostage, or at least to help them find my body.”
He smiled down at her, “That must have been trying.”
She snickered. “You have no idea. My kind goes into breeding availability every twenty-eight days. Try working with a Nyal under those conditions.”
“I can only imagine. I am so rude. I am Jeroka Savik.” He paused and lifted her hand to his lips.
She blushed, “Akani Smithie. Pleased to meet you.”
“Do you see your friends?”
She looked around and frowned. “I am afraid not. You have your duties to attend to. I will be fine here.”
“There are reserved seats at the front of the hall. Please, come with me.” He placed her hand back on his arm and escorted her to the front of the wedding hall.
Nalu were seated all around her, and a few tried to seduce her with the power of their voices.