Born to a star, Wiali faced fifteen hundred years of stasis followed by ten years of work in the Citadel. While frozen, the entire Archive of the Alliance ran through her mind, her education was controlled by her whims.
When her father went nova, she was finally and definitely alone until the moment Suek’s last Avatar came to tell her she was transferred from Citadel Aria to Citadel Lowel, the adjunct to Sector Guard Base Udell.
Braenar knew that Suek had chosen him for Wiali, but the mechanism by which they would meet again was a mystery until she walked into his life with a group of students trailing behind her. From that moment on, he kept tabs on her until the day he could tell her that she was stuck working with him in deadly and dangerous situations.
Planets, power and infinite peril…What girl doesn’t want that sort of thing in her life?
She was one thousand five hundred twenty-four years old. It was unlikely that she would find a man her own age.
She shook her head for considering the thought of mating with her father’s choice. “It doesn’t matter now. I will return to Citadel Aria, and Braenar will engage in his own life once you have burned bright.”
“So cold, little one. I wonder what made you so cold?” There was a change in the tone, and she jerked away from the man who was no longer speaking for the star that had spawned her.
“Braenar, I presume?” She moved a few feet away and had a problem looking into his frank and open gaze. His eyes were crystal blue, and they seemed to see far too much.
“Wiali of Suek. I have looked forward to meeting you. Your father has told me much about you.” Braenar stepped forward and kissed her hand.
Warmth unrelated to the fluctuating sun ran through her. When he released her fingers, she folded her hands in front of her. “I was aware that there had been a transition, but not that Suek had called another Avatar.”
“I was assigned to information gathering and was interviewing Sovalli-Suek when Sovalli faded. Suek asked me to take over, and knowing that there would be an end to the position, I gratefully agreed.”
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not everyone can be a star-born power.” The full curve of his lips was hard to look away from.
“I do not consider myself a power.”
“You are working with the Citadel, are you not?”
She frowned. She was an excellent ancient studies instructor considering that she had access to the entire Archive in her memories. “I suppose I am, but it was the method of my storage that created the desirable talent, not my bloodline.”
“May I question you about your family? Get additional details for the archives?” His hopeful expression made her remember where she was.
“Most of my family is dead, and the last member is dying. This is not the day to talk about it.”
She looked around at the garden and remembered it as it was, her parents standing arm in arm while she played with the flowers and stacked rocks in the centre.