Two weary veterans of an intergalactic war find common ground aboard an earth-based, interstellar cruise ship.
Captain Rorcan Darr fought in a galactic war lasting many years. Now that Armistice has arrived, he's taking a well-earned break aboard an Earth-based cruise ship. All he wants is to put the past behind him. But going home again isn't the pleasurable task he'd once believed.
Because of his family's royal lineage, he's expected to take a mate of his father's choosing, and breed a family for political empowerment. Outwardly, he's always acted agreeable - the epitome of patriotic discretion. However, the war deeply changed him as much as it altered everyone else. His future behind a bureaucratic desk seems more like a prison than a life choice.
When he meets a beautiful songstress aboard the cruise ship — one who is a veteran like him and who shares so much sad history — Rorcan is torn between his duty and her lovely body. She's everything he's always wanted, all rolled into one desirable package. Now, all they need do is reconcile their differences. She's from Earth…he's from Vega. Though allied in war, neither planet's authorities will tolerate interspecies mingling. He must make the choice between his sworn duty and his family…or a life in deep space with a woman he craves.
“All right…your point is taken, but you are missing mine. And not for the first time.”
Rorcan wearily unbuttoned the front of his uniform jacket before responding. “I’m not missing anything, Dreyar. You have long heard about Earth women and have wanted to bed one, as many of our brethren already have. Why not be honest and just say so, forgoing the tedious philosophising about how we should ‘all just be friends’ now the war is over.”
“Rorcan…the Earthers died right alongside Vegans! Their blood mingled with that of our own warriors.” Dreyar persisted as he put down his beverage and finished his speech. “You may want to spend this Armistice celebration alone…spouting old, inane, bigoted garbage. As for me, I’m attaching myself to that little blonde. She’s lovely. And if I can find a way to woo said lady…well…do not come looking for me.”
“And what makes you think I will have the time?” Rorcan snapped.
“Because no man or woman who is not Vegan is good enough for you, old friend, and there are no other Vegans on this vessel so far. That means in six weeks, as this Earth ship measures time, I fully expect you will be sitting right here at this bar, just where I left you…alone, miserable and using drink to push your troubles into oblivion.”
“I am not…” Rorcan let his voice trail away.
His best friend and second-in-command had already walked off, in pursuit of the blonde girl wearing an infantry uniform jacket. That she was an Earther was indisputable. The markings on her sleeves, if not her very human appearance, indicated that much. But his argument about Dreyar’s pursuit had less to do with his perceived bigotry and more to do with the other Earth males on the vessel who might take exception to a Vegan stealing their thunder. As he’d been told, there were roughly eight men on this ship to every woman. It had been a long war and many males hadn’t had the company of a female of any race in a very long time.
He looked over his shoulder, fully expecting the girl in question to turn up her nose at a Vegan suitor. But his brows rose in surprise when Dreyar’s introduction was not only accepted, but the girl smilingly looped her arm through his as he led her to a table, apparently to buy her dinner or drinks.