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Authors: Jessica E. Subject

Tags: #A GLBT 1 Night Stand Story

Unknown Futures

 

 

 

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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

Unknown Futures

Copyright © 2012 by Jessica E. Subject

ISBN: 978-1-61333-184-2

Cover art by Fantasia Frog Designs

 

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work, in whole or in part, in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

 

Published by Decadent Publishing Company, LLC

Look for us online at:

www.decadentpublishing.com

 

 

~
Also by Jessica E. Subject
~

 

1Night Stand Stories

Celestial Seduction

Beneath the Starry Sky

 

 

Unknown Futures

 

A GLBT 1Night Stand Story

 

By

Jessica E. Subject

 

 

~
DEDICATION
~

 

 

To my mom who taught me from a young age not to judge
.

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

“Miss Jewel Barnaby?”

Her eyes darted toward the tall, austere man in surprise, nervous tension knotting her shoulders. She almost didn’t respond. No one had called her Jewel since she’d left the hospital two years ago. Instead they called her ugly, freak, or monster. The doctors had done all they could, but despite the several surgeries and multiple, painful skin grafts, everyone in Prescott, Ontario would always know her as the girl who was splashed in the face with acid on the biggest night of her teenage life.

They’d been in his garage, grabbing blankets for the after-prom party. When he’d tried to get fresh with her, she’d had to tell him, a jock through and through, she wouldn’t sleep with him, that she’d preferred women. But he didn’t take no for an answer. Pinned against his truck, her heart racing in panic, she kneed him in the groin. Doubled over, he’d grabbed sulfuric acid from a shelf behind him and splashed it in her face. Everything after that moment became a blur until she woke up in a hospital, groggy with painkillers, a tube stuck down her throat. She couldn’t see a thing with the bandages covering her eyes, but felt and heard her mother by her side.

From then on, some of her neighbors looked at her with disgust, sympathy, or fear. Others glanced away when she passed, as if she didn’t exist, including her old friends.

The chauffeur simply smiled at her as he reached for her two oversized suitcases. His professional, impassive demeanor calmed some of the butterflies dancing in her stomach.

Standing on the curb, she stared down the road, sure neighbors spied out their windows, wondering why a limo would be picking
her
up.
I need a break from this place.
As she slid over the leather seat of the Ford Excursion limousine, her stomach tightened. Madame Evangeline’s text had been brief.
Pack for two weeks. The limo will meet you in front of your building in an hour.
She’d had no time to do anything but change and throw clothes in a suitcase.

Until now. Had applying to 1Night Stand really been a good idea? She could end up with her date running away, screaming. And why had Madame Evangeline told her to pack for two weeks when her date was only supposed to last one night?

She had no one to report to, though, no one who would worry she’d be gone for so long. She didn’t have a job. When she handed in applications, she was often told the position had already been filled, and once she’d poked her head back in to ask a question and seen her resume being ripped up before she’d even left the building. All the university courses she took were through distance education. With so much free time, she often kept well ahead of her studies so she had no assignments due for another month.

Her parents wouldn’t miss her either; her mother had died a year before from breast cancer. They’d spent so much time together in the hospital. She’d been Jewel’s closest friend, her ally, the one person who’d accepted her unconditionally. And now she had no one. Her father only cared about his bimbo of a girlfriend, and made sure to keep the airhead away from his lesbian daughter. Jewel rolled her eyes. She preferred a woman with a brain, not an ass wiggle and an annoying laugh.

In the last two years, though, she hadn’t had one date, not even a night out with friends. No one wanted to be seen with her, and after a day of stares at the local college, when she’d gone there to write an exam, she’d returned home and applied to the 1Night Stand dating service. She’d read an account of the wondrous matchmaking abilities of Madame Evangeline on a
Yahoo
group for burn victims. If Josh had found love, why couldn’t she?

Jewel had no idea what her date looked like or where she’d meet her. Looks really didn’t matter, but she wanted an age, a name, something…. And where was she going? Packing for the Sahara Desert was not the same as packing for the Arctic Circle, so she’d included clothing for both and every climate in between.

When the limo merged onto the highway, she reached into her tote bag for her ereader. Taking her mind off the purpose of her trip might ease her rolling stomach. Throwing up in the luxurious car did not seem like a good idea. She loaded up the most recent book from her favorite science fiction romance series—involving an alien species not as uptight about homosexuality as humans—and became lost in a world more hospitable than her own.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

V stared across the concourse, trying to spot her charges. She’d been told to expect three people through the portal from Earth, two Terran females and a Ginnunian male who might be disguised as a Terran.
How would he look?
The blue-skinned species had never needed to hide their identity on the space station. Would he still show a hint of his natural color, or would he resemble his traveling mates?

They’d all be easy to spot. V was only one of five people from Earth who worked at Space Service Headquarters. Every day, she saw thousands of Phanties, a species with large ears and a trunk like an elephant; Pillites, who reminded her of a giant pill bug; Goopers, blue blobs with eight short tentacles as feet, and many other species from around the universe. But Terrans could only make it out to the space station—perched on the far edge of the Milky Way from their home world—using a portal the government deemed classified.

She’d never dreamed of working off-planet back when she waitressed for a quaint Italian restaurant in New York while putting herself through grad school. But one unusually calm night, she’d served a man who’d reminded her of a character from
Men in Black
. He’d appeared surprised when she’d understood his order—spoken in German.

While her other customers languished, he’d engaged her in friendly conversation. Charmed by his witty repartee, she’d revealed she spoke five different languages and was working two jobs to put herself through school. Along with a generous tip, he’d left his card—containing only his name and number—with
If you’re looking for a job that’s out of this world, call me
written on the back. Thinking he was some kind of quack, she’d tossed the card in the trash before greeting a new table of customers.

He returned the next night and every evening for a week until she consented to sit down to listen to his job offer. Six months later, after completing rigorous training, she’d walked through the portal to serve as a concierge for the space station’s interstellar hotel. She hadn’t returned to Earth since then, her position so top secret she’d been unable to so much as tell her boss why she’d quit with no notice. Other than spending a few familiar holidays with her fellow Terrans, she almost never crossed paths with anyone from home.

She continued her education as well, overwhelmed and fascinated by ancient space history consisting of much more information than that of Earth. Still, she missed her own kind. Terrans were seen as inferior to those from other planets, governed by cowards who hid the idea of other life in space, yet took full advantage of the technology. Thankfully, no one held her accountable for Earth’s deficiencies.

She was drawn back to the present as the crowd parted in front of her, like the Red Sea to reveal her charges. They walked along with the other new arrivals, oblivious to the multitude of curious looks they received. The blue, lanky Ginnunian male led his very pregnant terran wife toward her. Peering past the pair, V caught a glimpse of a dark-haired woman tucked closely behind them before the crowd closed in once again, grunting, squeaking, and clicking in communication.

She waved to get their attention, thankful her charges had arrived without incident. “Hi, I’m Flavia, but you can call me V. That’s what everyone here calls me.” Because no member of any other species on the station had been able to pronounce her name without it sounding vulgar in his or her language.

The Ginnunian stepped forward and surprised her by reaching out to shake her hand—not a custom for his people. “Hello, I’m Frey, and this is my wife, Carrie.”

She shook his hand and then his wife’s, trying to hold in her excitement at meeting someone from home.

Frey moved to the side, revealing the petite woman behind him. “And this is Jewel.”

V squealed. Unable to hide her exhilaration any longer, she wrapped her arms around Jewel. Not only was she from Earth, but she looked to be only a couple years younger than her. All the Terrans on-station were her parents’ age. For once, her unwavering loneliness would ebb, at least for a few days.

But her hug wasn’t returned, only met with a gasp. V stepped back. “I’m sorry, did I hurt you?”

Jewel shook her head, but wouldn’t make eye contact.

“I think she’s a little self-conscious about her scars,” Frey said.

V winced.
Why did he have to mention them?
Sure, she’d noticed, but she had friends with fins, feathers, and elephant ears. A few scars wouldn’t stop her from being social. Was that why she’d been asked to entertain Jewel during her stay?

 

 

Chapter Three

 

 

Jewel tagged along behind the rest. V’s hug had taken her completely by surprise. Smiles, now touching? She thought she’d been prepared to go on a one-night stand, to have sex with a strange woman, but maybe she wasn’t. Sure, her traveling companions hadn’t made her feel like a freak, but Carrie had married, and was now pregnant with, a blue alien. Imagine what Jewel’s neighbors would say if they saw Frey on the street.

Leaving the concourse, they traveled down a long hallway. V stopped and placed her hand on a pad beside a metal door, which slid open. “Frey and Carrie, this is your suite. There is a buffet every evening in the dining hall, down the corridor and to your right. If you need anything at all, press the front desk button on the communication panel.” She gestured to the screen inside the door. “Enjoy your stay at the SS Hotel, where everyone in the universe is welcome.”

Wait! Everyone in the universe? This place is filled with aliens
. Jewel’s head spun.
Is that why Madame Evangeline sent me here? Because no one on Earth would want to date me?
She cringed. The elephant and the blue women had been somewhat attractive, but she hadn’t noticed a difference between the male and female bug people or the blue blobs. Her vision blurred with the onset of tears.
I’ve made a horrible mistake
.

Something touched her shoulder and she jumped.

“I’m sorry I scared you.” V startled her again by reaching to wipe moisture from her cheek. “I wanted to make sure you were okay. I know this place can be overwhelming when you first arrive.”

That’s for sure
. She couldn’t imagine living there. “So, will you show me to my room?” She yearned to hole up like she did back on Earth, lose herself in a story until she went on her date with the alien. Except for V and Carrie, she’d seen no other humans on the space station, and she wasn’t supposed to meet her date until tomorrow night. Sure, the idea had excited her in her books, but none of the humanoids and other beings she’d seen were fashionista beauties.

She’d gone through a week of emergency procedure training at a top-secret facility even she wasn’t allowed to know the location of, with the couple who traveled with her. All of that packing and training for one night with a space creature whom she’d never see again? During that week, they’d met with the director of the space station, an odd character as well; why hadn’t she objected then?

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