The second chance of a lifetime…
Sarah fell in love with Roland the moment she sat beside him. Handsome, overly smart and full of controversial ideas on cloning humans, he challenged her to go beyond her comfort zone in more ways than one. Parted by his unconventional choices, they try to make a long distance relationship work, but little do either of them know just what Roland is getting himself into and how badly it will tear them apart. Given the chance, Roland will do anything to get her back after he loses her, but will she want him a second time?
“It can’t be true.” For the third time, Sarah Cloudheart read over the list of passenger names for Flight 239, due to leave Macree for the colonization projects in Zenith. She clicked the name that had initially caught her attention and highlighted it with her cursor. Pinching the bridge of her nose between her thumb and forefinger, she whispered, “Impossible. This is frickin’ impossible. It can’t be!” With a flick of her wrist, she chucked the notepad she’d been holding. It flew through the air and smacked against the shatterproof glass in her office, then fell to the tile floor, unscathed. “Roland Kaldek is dead.” She had believed that for the last three years. Seeing his name on that list awakened a tidal wave of emotions: anger, love, lust, despair, and worst of all, betrayal.
She stood and stomped out of the room, down the hall, and straight to her boss’ office. I have to know why, she thought. I deserve an explanation. Face to face. No bullshit. No coms. No typed letter explaining why he never tried to contact me.
She pushed open the door. Ellen’s head snapped up, strands of hair falling onto her forehead. “What the matter? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!”
“Not yet, but I plan to. I want to be assigned to the next colonization project, Flight 239.”
Ellen’s jaw dropped. “B-b-but that leaves tomorrow!”
“I don’t care. Put me on that ship.”
Plauchard University, New Phoenix, Earth
Four Years Prior
“I’ve been accepted at Cordilew Synth in Macree.” Sarah bit her bottom lip. Watching Roland’s face, she couldn’t tell if he was disappointed or excited for her. Although they’d sat by each other in Genetic Engineering class for seven months, they’d only started talking about something other than cloning a week ago. He was shy, an overly smart man with mesmerizing gray eyes and thick, dark hair she had imagined running her fingers through since the first day she sat beside him. “Well?” she pressed. “What about you? Did you get accepted at one of the big Corps?”
They stood three steps from the door of her dorm apartment, and she hoped this time he’d come in and stay a little while, maybe all night. His politeness made her want to push past his walls and discover the man hiding inside. His ideas were the most creative and controversial in the entire class, but he wasn’t cocky or sure of himself. He worked and he succeeded, refusing to fail.
“I, um…” He looked down the long hall at two other students, and then back to her. “No, I didn’t get Cordilew.” Roland’s eyes flashed to the low-cut blouse Sarah wore. His pale skin flushed pink and he took a slow, deep breath. “Truth is, I didn’t apply there.”
“Why not?” Disappointed, she touched the keypad, activating the sliding door.
“I had higher expectations, not that there’s anything wrong with Cordilew. It’s a great place for work in foods and new crops…you know, like the field you’ve always wanted to be in.” He searched her room briefly before returning his attention to her.
“You thirsty? Want to come in for a little while?” She stood aside, inviting him to take a chance.
He looked down the hallway as if he were afraid someone was watching him. “I shouldn’t really—”
Sarah took his hand and pulled. “After graduation, we might never see each other again. In case you don’t get it, I like you. I want you to come into my apartment, and I want you all to myself for a little while. Is that okay?”
His mouth hung open, but he followed her lead. The door slid shut. Auto lights illuminated the living area, a small space with a couch, a vid screen, and a few plain, mismatched chairs.
“Thanks, Sarah. I’m sorry I’m so…awkward. I mean, I like you, too. I just…I’m not sure how to act or what I’m supposed to say.”
“You like me?” She lowered her free hand until their palms met. Sarah curled her fingers, and they linked with his. His warm hands held fast.
He leaned forward, closed his eyes, and pressed his lips to hers. Her stomach fluttered. He let go of her hands and grasped her waist, pulling her closer. She moaned. His lips parted. Their tongues touched. Sarah circled her hips, teasing his crotch, completely shocked at how easy it was after all this time of wanting him. Their first kiss went on, deepening into a desperate release of pent-up anxiety and passion. She reached up and ran her fingers into his hair to find that it was exactly as she’d dreamed it would be.
His fingers delved into the waistband of her skirt, past her panties, down to cup her ass. Still they kissed until they ended up on the couch, still locked together, all the pent-up tension between them that had gathered the past months finally coming to a head.
“Sarah,” he said in a low moan. “I’m going to miss you so much.” He drew back, hesitating. “You make me feel like there’s something good and beautiful left in the universe.”
She tried to catch her breath. He didn’t look unsure of himself now. He was her fantasy, handsome, intelligent, and he’d been hiding his passion until that moment. She reached down, took the hem of his shirt and pulled the garment over his head. His chest was sculpted, with dark hairs scattered across it. She knew he worked out every morning at five. She’d passed by the gym and spied on him on the machines, his headset in place while he closed his eyes and listened to audio books. He was a man who never wasted a spare moment—an obsessed, irresistible genius. At that moment she wanted him to lose control of himself.