Close Encounters Of The Carnal Kind
ELLORA’S CAVEMEN: LEGENDARY TAILS III
Anthology by Melani Blazer, Sahara Kelly, Nikki Soarde, Kate Douglas, Arianna Hart, Delilah Devlin
Format: Trade Paperback
On Sale: September 1, 2005
Etienne Lambert, a Cajun ex-soldier fresh from the horrors of the war in Iraq, discovers that he’s an alien when an alien woman arrives at his door to take him home. When he resists, she kidnaps him. He soon learns he is the last potent male of the ruling line of their planets and it’s his duty to return to assume the mantle of rule and sire the next generation of the ruling caste.
Mariska is a fightership commander who has succeeded where all the mages, seers, and trackers have failed. She has found her race’s last hope for salvation! When the future king demands that he start work immediately on the primary mandate of his rule — to sire children — she can’t refuse His Majesty’s command.
Note for Readers: You must be of legal age in your country of origin to read this excerpt.
Through the swaying branches of the cypress trees that nearly choked the night sky, Etienne saw a light — a yellow-orange ball of fire — so bright he wondered how the air he breathed wasn’t singed.
He stiffened against the instinctive need to dive for cover.
” Ooo-eee , we know where Uncle Jacques be tonight,” Arnaud said, popping the top of his beer can and taking a long draw, his gaze following the light as it slowly passed from north to south.
Etienne looked down on his brother, who sat in a wicker chair, his feet propped on the porch rail, and he smothered a curse. “So long as he doesn’t go blabbing to the National Enquirer again about seeing aliens, I don’t care what he does.”
“Does seem to be all dat man can talk about. Bad enough he tol’ them ’bout the aliens takin’ him away, but to tell da world what dey did after?” Arnaud’s expression turned glum. “Family still hasn’t lived dat one down.”
Etienne winced at the reminder. “No doubt he’ll be in his pirogue all night on the bayou, looking for them. You’d think he’d be hiding.”
“C’est vrai!” Arnaud shook his head. “Any man gets his ass probed and talks about it to everyone after–dat man has no shame at all. No wonder Leticia left him.”
Etienne nudged Arnaud’s chair with his good foot, nearly unseating him. “You make it sound like you believe his story. Uncle Jacques is crazy as a loon. Always has been.”
Arnaud shrugged, looking sheepish. “Yeah, but you weren’t here. You didn’t see him–all sunburned on his face and lookin’ rumpled and tired–like he’d laid a dozen whores. He couldn’t stop talkin’ ’bout it. Don’ think he slept for days afterwards.”
“But what exactly did he say? I found an Enquirer in the PX after I spoke to you. He didn’t say what the aliens looked like or anything about the ship.”
“Yeah,” Arnaud snorted. “Only dat dey wanted babies–wanted to mate wit’ him.” Arnaud gave him a look full of wicked mischief. “But your name did come up, big brother. Dem aliens be lookin’ for you, now!”
Etienne gave him a searing glare. “Fuck! That’s why I haven’t been to town. It’s a good thing he didn’t share that part of his story with the reporter. I might shoot anyone who showed up on my porch uninvited.”
“You see? Dat’s your problem. You lost your sense of humor. Did the Army knock it out of you?”
Etienne slumped onto the chair beside Arnaud and set his cane against the porch rail. “Something like that,” he muttered, wishing his brother were anywhere but here, but the man hung around him like a hungry mosquito.
“You know, you come back from dat desert and you don’ say nothing ’bout what you seen–what happened. Maman is worried for you.”
Etienne glanced out over the still, stagnant water. The words were there, right at the tip of his tongue, but he couldn’t push them out. Instead, he shoved away the bleak memories. “It’s over. I’m back. Leave it at that.”
“Are you?” His brother’s dark eyes glittered with concern in the dim light cast by the single bulb hanging from the rafter above. “You ain’t the same man you was before. Hell, you don’ even talk like one of us no more.”
“I’ve been out in the world, Arnie. Took advantage of the Montgomery GI Bill. Maybe you should try it sometime.”
“No thanks. Not if it means I come back grumpy as an alligator. Speakin’ of which.”
The wicked gleam returned to Arnaud’s eyes, and Etienne stiffened. He knew his brother well enough to know he planned mischief.
“Tell you what. How ’bout we go down to da Possum Palace and wrestle us a gator? The tourists love it when we strip down and get dirty.” He waggled his eyebrows. “Maybe get us some Yankee tail tonight.”
Etienne stared down at his leg, stretched straight in front of him.
“You could sit at poolside — just take off your shirt and show da girls those muscles you got. Dey take one look at you and your bum leg — you get all da pussy you need to make you happy again.”
“Pussy isn’t what I need. I need rest,” Etienne said, gritting his teeth.
Arnaud sighed. “You rest — and mope. You just got back and now you hide in da swamp in your cabin. I’m not goin’ to let you do dis to yourself for long.”
“Give me a few days, Arnie,” Etienne said, keeping his tone even and quiet, when all he wanted to do was rail-at Arnie, at his shattered leg, at the bastards who’d taken his friends out with a pipe bomb.
His brother stood and stretched his arms above his head, still staring at the light, when suddenly it blinked out. “What you think it is?”
“Fuckin’ swamp gas, if anyone asks!” Etienne shrugged. “I know what it isn’t. It’s no alien spaceship.”