Kiera's Home (Chapter Three, page 1 of 17)

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Kiera's three sisters-in-law were waiting as customary when the craft landed on one of the two moons circling Anshan. While the other was uninhabitable, this one had become the home of A'Ran's family and many others, especially after Anshan's air became poisonous. Square dwellings with flat roofs lined what had been open fields just weeks before.

Kiera grinned when the door opened to reveal his sisters. Where A'Ran's heavy, rugged features made him beyond handsome, the same characteristics did a total disservice to his tall sisters, rendering them awkward in appearance. The youngest, Talal, waved, earning herself a stern look from the oldest, who was most like their brother in her sense of duty and decorum. The middle sister, Gage, appeared distracted and pale, her eyes haunted.

Kiera took in the woman's face, pitying her. Pregnant and widowed, Gage had the extra burden of carrying the child of the man who betrayed A'Ran and their entire planet. That family secret was not likely every to get out, though, not if A'Ran had it his way. It didn't seem to help Gage any, even knowing this.

"Hey, guys!" Kiera greeted them as she reached them.

"May the sun shine long on you, nishani," D'Ryn, the eldest, said formally. "I hope your travels went well."

"They did. Mansr said he and A'Ran have some things to do on the craft. We can go ahead inside."

The three hesitated, and Kiera almost rolled her eyes. Talal was the first to break rank, as usual, and Kiera saw the question in her eyes before she spoke. Terrified of offending or disappointing her brother, Talal had relied on Kiera to ask about her fiancé coming to the midday meal.

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