Read Grounding Gracus (First Wave Book 6) Online
Authors: Mikayla Lane
Tags: #Paranormal, #Contemporary, #Fiction, #Romance, #Forever Love, #Adult, #Suspense, #Violence, #Supernatural, #Protection, #Bachelor, #Single Woman, #Military, #SciFi, #Fantasy, #First Wave, #Series, #Romantic Suspense, #Danger, #Adaria Ship, #First Commander, #Alliance Forces, #Camping Trip, #National Forest, #Small Town, #Colorado, #River Guide, #Cliffhanger, #Survive, #Team, #Earth, #Planet
By Mikayla Lane
Cover art by: humblenations.com
First Wave Series in Reading Order
True Traitor Coming in August 2015
Second Wave Series in Reading Order
Mikal Coming in October 2015
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468 Word Document Pages
Gracus Adrastor, First Commander of the Valendran ship Adaria, took one look in the docking bay and huffed out a heavy sigh. Another damn Tezarian ship carrying more damn people, he thought as he turned around and headed back to the bridge of the ship.
He barely managed to dodge a group of hybrid children on a field trip to the ship, running down the corridor before walking right into another Tezarian heading into the docking bay.
“Sorry,” he said before he moved around the man and continued down the hallway, growling and muttering to himself.
Gracus passed a dozen more people before he decided to bypass the bridge and go to his quarters instead. Where he could be alone. He’d just reached his door when his best friend, Scaden Torenson appeared.
“Gracus, there you are! We need to talk about the new arrivals. We need to figure out a better way to handle the rotations,” Scaden said as he leaned against the wall and looked at his friend closely.
Gracus leaned his head against his door before he sighed and entered in his personal code. When the door slid open, he motioned Scaden to precede him inside.
“Gracus, what is bothering you?” Scaden asked once the door slid closed behind them.
Gracus moved to his living space and sat down in one of the chairs, hoping to think of something to say, but coming up blank. He’d been trying to figure it out for months and still didn’t understand it himself.
It wasn’t that he was unhappy. But he didn’t feel happy either. Gracus knew that it made no sense, and
how the hell was he supposed to express something that made no sense?
he wondered, wrapped in his own thoughts.
Scaden cleared his throat to get his friend’s attention. “Gracus, maybe you should see Amun,” he said, looking worriedly at his best friend since childhood.
Gracus shook his head. “I am physically fine,” he said as he stood to pace his living area.
Scaden tried again. “Then what do you think is bothering you?”
Gracus growled in frustration. “I don’t know damn it! I’m irritated, frustrated and sick and tired of feeling like I am attached to this ship like a permanent component while we rotate hundreds of people through here, to and from the planet! There’s no peace anymore, no silence, it’s all activity all the time!”
Scaden looked taken aback by Gracus’ outburst for a moment before realization dawned on him. “You need to get off the ship for a while and relax. Damn, when is the last time you’ve been off the ship?” Scaden asked, as he tried to remember when he’d sent him off ship.
“Valendra,” Gracus said simply and Scaden almost choked.
“Over fifty damn years? Are you kidding me? Why the hell didn’t you say something?” Scaden asked, angry at himself for not realizing it sooner.
Gracus shrugged. “Once we got here, that boredom we’d complained about for so long evaporated. We all had so much to do, it didn’t seem prudent to try and leave. Then when we found out about the mates… it didn’t seem fair to go down to the planet and possibly find a mate when there are other men who have waited a lot longer than I have for one. Besides, I don’t have time for a mate,” Gracus said honestly.
Gracus liked his life just fine and had never really thought about having a mate before.
It wasn’t that he didn’t want one, he just didn’t want one right now
, he thought. It didn’t seem like the right time for him and he felt sure he would be the first to know when he was ready for that kind of commitment.
He’d spent the last two years watching Scaden with his mate and daughters and although he was incredibly glad that his friend had found such happiness, Gracus did not feel the need to follow suit anytime soon.
Scaden ran his hand through his hair and stood. “I will contact my father immediately. It’s time you got to see the Earth. I’m sure Grai can set you up in Dillon…,” Scaden began before Gracus interrupted him.
“No! Damn it Scaden, I don’t want to be surrounded by more Tezarian’s, Valendrans and hybrids! I want to have some peace and be alone for a while. Just alone,” Gracus said with a growl, becoming frustrated that even his best friend didn’t get it.
Scaden shook his head, trying to understand what his friend needed. They were a very social society and most usually gravitated toward one another. More so now that they had begun resuming the beast bonding process among their people.
But it didn’t matter to Scaden if he understood it or not, he just needed to help his friend. Sending out a call through the Shengari’ to his father, former High Councilor of the Planet Valendra, Ivint Torenson, he hoped that his father would have an idea that would help.
Scaden also felt guilty as hell. Mostly because he’d been the one to leave Gracus in charge of the ship dozens of times while he and his family spent time on the planet. He’d never thought of the impact it might have on his friend.
“Gracus, I’m sorry that I didn’t realize sooner that you needed a break,” Scaden said, watching his friend pace.
Gracus snorted. “It’s not a big deal. I’ll just log more time in the training room.”
Gracus had already been doing that and it wasn’t helping, but Scaden didn’t know that and Gracus really just wanted him to leave. He loved his friend dearly, but he needed some alone time.
Scaden shook his head. “No, you’ve already been doing that. I checked. Trust me, my friend, if you need to be alone, then we can make that happen. Don’t you want to see the planet close up for once?” Scaden asked, trying to coax his friend into the idea.
Gracus stopped pacing and thought about it. He’d been staring at the large, beautiful blue planet through images for two years now. He’d seen it close up through Grai’s satellites and from a distance, and he had to admit to being more than curious.
He’d seen the trees and wondered what the leaves and the bark felt like to the touch. And the large rivers and oceans and he remembered back to his youth when he had loved to swim with Scaden and Amun in the lakes on Valendra and wondered if the water would feel the same.
He wanted to walk through their mountains and feel the dirt beneath his feet. To stop and touch the indigenous flora at will and satisfy his curiosity. But he wanted to be alone while he did it.
Gracus looked up at his friend, liking the idea the more he thought about it. “Can we drop me in the mountains somewhere and just pick me up a few weeks later?” he asked, deadly serious.
Scaden barked out a laugh, until he realized that Gracus wasn’t kidding him. “You really want to be alone that bad?” he asked.
Gracus stopped pacing and looked into his friend’s blue eyes. “I want to explore, by myself,” he said, liking the idea even more.
Scaden was stunned and wanted to clarify what his friend was saying. “You want to go full native, by yourself? With never having been on the planet? My friend, there are little things that you have to learn before…,” Scaden began before Gracus cut him off.
“No, I don’t want to be near anyone at all. I want to be dropped in the middle of the mountains and left alone for a few weeks to live with the land,” Gracus said, surprising himself with the unusual idea.
Scaden couldn’t hide his surprise. “How the hell do you plan on doing that when you know nothing about the place or what dangers you may face? There are wild animals in their forests that can kill you. Not including the dangers associated with the climate and terrain… Gracus, you need to think about this,” Scaden said worriedly.
Gracus shook his head and continued pacing again. “No, I don’t want to compromise,” Gracus said, thinking that any compromise would include being near people when all he wanted was to be alone with the planet.
Scaden saw his friend’s determination and tried to think of a way to slow him down a bit. “Gracus, I’m not saying no, I’m just saying we need to think about it and plan accordingly. First, we need to figure out the best place for you to go,” Scaden said as he walked over to the comm center in the corner.
He fingers flew across the keys as he pulled up a map of the planet. “First, let’s consider climate. It’s spring in the United States right now, which means it would be pleasant days but chilly, if not cold nights,” Scaden said, hoping that walking through this with Gracus would make him change his mind. Or at least modify it to something more reasonable.
Gracus stood beside Scaden and stared at the map of the planet. “That sounds perfect to me. It has been a long time since I have felt natural heat and cold and I would like to again. So the United States it is,” Gracus said, as he touched the image and zeroed in on the US.
Scaden nodded his head, seriously glad that is what his friend picked, because Grai’s resources were very expansive in that region. “Ok, so let’s narrow it down some more. What kind of terrain are you seeking? Water or land? Mountain or plain?”
Gracus had to stop and think about that. He hadn’t gotten that far in his thoughts yet.
What the hell did he want?
he wondered to himself.
“All of it,” Gracus blurted out, not knowing what made him say that, but knowing it felt right.
Scaden’s face screwed up in thought as he stared at the map. “Wait, let’s look here,” he said as he tapped one of the states on the map and watched it expand on the screen.
“Here,” Scaden said as he pointed to it. “Colorado. It’s got rivers, mountains, plains and massive national forest systems with such huge expanses of preserved land that people really do get lost in there and are never found again. Of course, that couldn’t happen with our technology,” Scaden said with a laugh.
Gracus didn’t laugh as he stared at the different images that Scaden was flipping through of the area. It was beautiful and everything that he was looking for in a place to be alone and explore for a few weeks. There was only one problem.
“I can’t just leave here with rotation issues going on and a new round of Tezarian’s to go through native training,” Gracus said with a heavy sigh at the beautiful forest in the images.
Scaden laughed. “That was just an excuse to get in here, there are no rotational problems and I can handle things for a few weeks just as easily as you did when I was gone. Besides, I’ll drag my father up here if I need help,” Scaden said with a grin, hoping to see that smile in Gracus’ eyes again.
Gracus wasn’t going to believe it until his feet were planted on the ground and just nodded his head at his friend and Commander.
Rebecca Carson stood on her back porch and breathed in the fresh, early morning air. She smiled at the feel of the steam of her coffee cup as she looked out at the Colorado River. It was finally spring and she was so excited that she could barely stand it.
Tomorrow she’d be setting out on her annual adventure trek to ascertain the viability of her traditional guide route. As the owner and only guide of Carson Adventure Tours, specializing in multiday river packages, Rebecca was excited about the upcoming season and couldn’t wait to begin booking tours.
First though, she’d have to make the trek herself and spend the next ten days or so, on the river and camping on its banks. It was like her own personal vacation and after the hard winter they’d had, she was pretty sick of feeling cooped up in the cabin.
Rebecca smiled and headed back into the original house her great-great grandparents had built and homesteaded near Glenwood Springs, CO, way back when it was first known as Defiance, CO. Personally, she thought that the original name fit the place much better considering that it required a certain level of defiance to survive in the sometimes harsh wilderness and face its fierce beauty and strength.
While others shunned it, Rebecca thrived in the solitude and peace of the wild around her. She worked five or six months a year and was able to spend the rest of the year living the dream in the most beautiful place on the planet. Nothing could be better in her mind.
It was one of the reasons why she loved her job so much. It was exhilarating to be able to show the unique beauty of her home to people who had no clue that it existed. Her tours not only included the river tours with whitewater rafting, but also spelunking in the extensive cave systems in the area, camping, hiking and fishing.
With the weather cooperating, Rebecca had every intention of heading out first thing in the morning, unwilling to wait even a day longer if she didn’t have to. She went into the small kitchen and refilled her coffee cup before moving into the living room to check the gear she had already packed for the trip.
Her stomach growled loudly, reminding Rebecca that she needed some breakfast and she detoured back into the kitchen to see if she had anything in the fridge. Looking inside, she noted half a stick of butter, a bottle of ketchup and a slice of cheese.
, she thought knowing that she didn’t want to go shopping when she was leaving the next day.
Still, she was starving and needed something to eat. Making up her mind, Rebecca grabbed the keys to her Jeep and headed into town to the local diner for some breakfast.
She smiled as she walked in the door and the owner and waitress, Blanche called out a greeting. “Oh Lord if my Becca is here then you must be heading out on your spring fling!”
“Tomorrow,” Rebecca said with a smile as Blanche headed right over to her with a coffee cup and steaming pot.