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Hey all! I had planned to get a few chapters up this weekend, but that didn't happen, obviously. I have been madly looking for reviewers for a male-male love story that I wrote for the Ice Era Chronicles, and since the internet is a vast ocean of people, let's just say I'm still hunting. And so, here is the next part of Sloan's story... I hope you enjoy it.
Thanks for reading,
~M from C. M. Moore
The next morning, Murry brought Sloan a backpack with basic items he would need to travel. When he was dressed in jeans and a hoodie, Keltrix and Murry took him to another white pod.
"This goes to Earth?" Sloan asked as he scanned Keltrix. The alien was in a human suit and looked like a tall, young, Asian man with a long black ponytail.
"We are on Earth now," Murry answered as Keltrix snapped a language band around Murry's bicep.
"This ship is parked on the bottom of the ocean," Murry explained as he sat on Keltrix's lap in the little white chair. "The Learning Institute says they are studying ocean and plant life. The ship cloaks and then parks under the water. We come up in the pod, and JP's assistant, Amy, she picks us up in the ocean with The Learning's Institute's yacht."
"And no one says anything about that?" Sloan asked.
Keltrix shrugged. "Amy is paid well enough that she does not ask questions. Your human money forgives much."
"Does she know about...?" Sloan waved to Keltrix's Asian man outfit.
"She has no idea that Kel is anything other than human." Murry grinned.
"Why the language band?" Sloan sat in the other chair as a wave of dizziness hit him. His stomach felt funny. It was probably because they were raising to the surface of the planet. He'd never done that before. "Don't you speak English?"
"I'm not good with human languages. This helps me talk to you now that you are cut off from Octnavin. Before, when you shared his mind, we spoke just fine, but now..." Murry wouldn't meet Sloan's eyes like he'd just mentioned a painful breakup. The thing was, Sloan didn't look at it that way. He left and Octnavin left and it was supposed to be this way.
"Murry speaks Dagerstanteen fluently." Kel filled the awkward silence that followed. "I am proud of you for learning that, my cat."
"Thank you." Murry snuggled into Kel's arms and whispered in Keltrix's ear.
"I am proud of you for that too." Keltrix wrapped his two arms around Murry and kissed him.
When outside one of the small windows showed blue sky, the pod docked itself next to a large floating wooden platform. They climbed out the tiny door as a warm breeze caressed Sloan's face. The sun sparkled on the calm crystal-clear waters. In the far distance, he could see the outline of a tropical island and he would hear the call of birds. Other than the little island silhouette, he felt like they were lost in the middle of the ocean.
"Amy will be here soon." Murry checked his phone and then pulled out a second cell. He handed it to Sloan. "This is yours. It has all your travel info in it. Kel and I are going to Italy to get pizza." He grinned at the alien. "Amy will take you to the personal jet. At the airport, Elijah will pick you up. Are you good with all that?"
"Elijah will pick me up?" Sloan stared at his phone and then back up at Murry. "Did you tell Elijah about...?" He waved again to Keltrix.
"We told him nothing about aliens. He still thinks JP works for the Learning Institute. You have been texting him the whole time you were gone." Murry shrugged. "You should read the messages to see what you said."
"Where does he think I've been?"
"On vacation on a tropical island fooling around with the rich guy you met at the bar."
"A whirlwind romance." Keltrix wrapped his arms around Murry and whispered in his ear.
"You're not as much fun with only two arms," Murry teased.
"Shush cat or I will make you regret that." Keltrix nuzzled Murry's shoulder.
Sloan was fast understanding the reason why Octnavin disliked Murry and Keltrix. Gag. They were way too sweet. He could get a toothache.
Sloan pulled up all his texts to both Lindsay and Elijah. He read a few messages about how terrible the reception was on the tropical island. As he started to scroll, he spotted a picture. Supposedly, Sloan sent the picture to Elijah and then uploaded the image to a few social media sites. The photo was of him and Octnavin in his human suit on the beach. It was a hundred percent fake, but Octnavin's eyes looked real. The green sparkle was exactly like he remembered. Sloan took a screenshot.
The rumble of an engine had him looking up to the vast ocean landscape. A huge yacht was moving full speed toward them. Waves made the platform bounce and again Sloan was sick to his stomach. When the massive boat got close, the yacht slowed and then anchored right off the platform. A rope ladder was dropped.
"See you later, Sloan." Murry grinned. "It was nice to meet you."
Keltrix held the ladder still. "Be well."
"You too." Sloan started to climb. "Bye, Murry. Thanks for the help."
When Sloan reached the top of the ladder, a small brunette stood on the polished wood deck of the ship. He pulled himself next to her trying not to vomit.
"Hi." She chirped as she took his backpack off his shoulders. "I'm Amy. Nice to meet you, Sloan." She began to walk, and Sloan followed taking deep calming breaths. Maybe the dizziness and feeling sick was a side effect to no longer sharing Octnavin's mind. Or... maybe he was seasick. He'd never been on a yacht.
"I can take that." He reached for his bag. He had to get it together.
"I'm here to help." Amy smiled back at him but kept up her clipped pace. She didn't give him his shit back. "Here is the ticket information for your flights." She handed him a large black wallet instead. "That has all your identifications and I have another bag for you in your room." Finally she stopped and then entered a large spacious bedroom. Amy set his backpack down on a king-sized bed. She gestured to a piece of rolling luggage. "I'm so sorry that all your luggage and IDs were stolen. I think I got everything you requested." A leather jacket was spread out on the comforter next to a paper bag. "I know you must be tired. All that living at the bottom of the sea always tires out JP. So, I will let you rest, and I will have someone bring you dinner. You request steak and the chief is preparing you a fine cut. When we get to shore, I'll notify you."
Before Sloan could say yes or no or goodbye, Amy was gone. He stood alone in the room. Being on Earth was like a dream. He didn't know why the alien world with Octnavin by his side now seemed more real than living here. He walked to the bed and opened the paper sack. Inside was a small yellow note. 'I owe you' was the only thing written on the paper.
Sloan dug out a t-shirt. He unfolded the garment.
Forever Tuesday was in bold lettering on the front. He held up the shirt and then cradled the top to his chest. Octnavin owed him nothing. Giving up his shirt was the least of what he would have done to save the ruler's life. Sloan looked down at the fabric and black marks caught his attention. He turned the garment over. All the members of the band signed the shirt with a black sharpie.
Sloan sat on the bed dizzy again. His emotions threatened to take over. He curled on his side hugging the shirt and fell asleep.