Kiera's Home (Chapter One, page 2 of 7)

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"How are you so sure I can fix everything?" she whispered, doubting herself.

"Because that's what nishanis do."

It was so simple to a man accustomed to duty. Kiera snorted, not at all certain how an entire race of people could believe she'd heal their world overnight. Maybe they'd temper their expectations once this trip was over.

"The planet chose you. You are part of its life force," he added.

"We are connected. I know." Yet the foreign concepts of a planet being truly alive and part of her life force were ones she struggled with. No one could explain what exactly that meant or why.

He nudged her, breaking the plane between them. It was his way of showing encouragement without softening his fierce expression or authoritative stance in front of his men. One touch, which was more than he would've done a month before.

"All right," she said. Turning to the man holding the goo-gun, she held out her hand the way the others had. "Goo me."

The warrior frowned, not understanding her slang. The translator pinned to her earlobe wasn't able to translate most of the more creative English words and phrases she sometimes used. Curses and idioms came out gibberish, confusing those around her. The warrior looked towards her lifemate, who nodded.

The gel started at her fingertips and spread up her arm. It tickled. It wasn't sticky or heavy or wet, as she expected, but cool and malleable, like the skin of a balloon. Kiera watched it spread, uncomfortable with the strange technology of her new home. The spaceships that resembled huge whales were grey inside and out, made from the special metal that only Anshan produced. The spacecraft around her was drab, dark, lit by unnatural yellow light she still didn't know the source of. Their medical labs were able to heal anything, and yet they fought with swords rather than some sort of advanced technology.

After a month with the Anshan people, she still found herself trying to figure their world out.

The strange shield was soon in place, and she tested her body. There was no discomfort or difficulty in moving. She felt normal, though the world around her appeared out-of-focus. Kiera experimented with the goo-shield to ensure she was able to breathe and move normally without her feet sticking to the floor like she thought they might.

A'Ran was next. When her lifemate was finished, he motioned her over to the small group gathered by the door.

"You will stay with me," he ordered.

"I know," she replied. She felt his tension and displeasure, even if his eyes were too blurry to read behind the shield.

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