Intersection Snippet – Evie goes for it
After a doctor’s visit that confirmed I do have a sinus infection (yay colds that lead to bacterial gunk!), I now have antibiotics and a steroid shot to open up everything in my nasal passages, which means I’m feeling way better than I have since Thursday, woo. To celebrate, here’s a snippet from my new SF erotic romance, Intersection (Pacifica Rising 1).
Some background: in 2048, global warming and civil unrest have devastated civilization and rewritten the political map of Earth. Corporate-owned Protectorates now act as nation-states, and the Pacifica Protectorate is one of the largest, wealthiest, and most powerful regions on the planet, stretching from the former location of Seattle down to just north of San Jose. Pacifica is run by a technocracy, and its inhabitants are either Board Members, Shareholders or Employees. Those who lose their jobs are either forced to leave the Protectorate for the Outlands or can volunteer for reclamation work in the Northern Territory, which was badly damaged by the Great Shake of 2023. Just turned 19, Evie Contreras is a brilliant young woman about to head off to technical college. Ben Drake is 31 and the Pacifica Protectorate Defense Forces captain who was the best friend of her older (and now-deceased) brother Christo. A widower, Ben has hired Evie to babysit for his 6-year-old daughter Ally when he has to go on patrol. But Evie’s feelings for Ben are anything but professional…
“I’ll have Ally packed up and ready to go tomorrow.”
Evie nodded. She already had the other bed in her room made up with clean sheets and a blanket. Ally had stayed over often enough that everyone knew the drill. “Do you know how long you’ll be gone?”
Ben gestured vaguely. “It’s supposed to be two weeks, but you know that can change. Will that be all right with your folks?”
She had to grin at that. “Mama’s already cooking up everything Ally likes. She loves having her stay with us. And as far as Papa’s concerned, the more kids in the house, the better.”
Something in his expression flickered at that and she bit her lip, wishing she hadn’t put it that way. Papa would be over the moon if she made him an abuelo, and Mama would be even more thrilled. But they would expect her to get married first like a good girl before she started presenting them with grandchildren. And in her heart of hearts she couldn’t imagine someone like Ben marrying a 19-year-old wannabe tech whose parents worked as personal servants.
“Anyway, we’re all set to have her, don’t worry about that,” she said quickly. “You just take care of yourself.”
“Roger that.” He grinned at her, his smile bright even in the dimness of the car interior. “Thanks for everything you do, Evie. I don’t think I tell you enough how much I appreciate you.”
Her heart glowed at the praise. “You’re welcome,” she said, trying to make it sound casual. “I—I mean, we—appreciate what you’re doing for all of us, being in the Defense Forces.”
“Yeah,” he said quietly, looking away. Neither of them said her brother Christo’s name, but he was there anyway. “Anyway, I better get going.”
“Right.” She reached out for the door handle, then paused. Serving in the Defense Forces was a dangerous job. Christo was proof of that. And while Ben was an experienced soldier, there was never a guarantee that he’d come back from a deployment. She was of legal age and had her contraceptive implant. And the worst, the absolute worst he would do was push her away. It would break her heart, true, but it would break her heart even worse if he never came back and didn’t know how she felt—
She leaned back and kissed him. His lips were warm and firm against her own, and this close she could smell him, the light scent of body wash and something underneath that smelled like fresh-cut wood, salt, and something her mind simply labeled “Ben.”
She pulled back, just enough to see his eyes. The light blue had almost completely disappeared, pushed into a thin ring around a dark center.
And then he was kissing her. His arms slid around her, pulling her in tight as his mouth came down on hers, eager and hungry. It was nothing like kissing guys her own age. It was much, much, much better.