Out of this World by L.M. Brown
A Male/Male Romance
“I’ll be trapped on your world, or another, or dead,” Rick concluded miserably.
Xenon expression clouded over and he couldn’t look him in the eyes. “I’ll make sure you’re put on a ship that’ll take you home as soon as we dock at the space station.”
Rick nodded his agreement. then wondered why he wasn’t feeling overjoyed at the prospect of returning home. He couldn’t help these people. They’d be better off continuing their search for the real prophet.
“Docking in one minute,” Nikias announced. His attention was back on the monitors and he was rapidly pushing buttons and pulling levers.
Xenon and Affie took their seats and a few seconds later there was a loud bang and a rather ominous scraping noise.
Affie stood up first and walked towards the wall. It was then Rick noticed another door which was sliding open.
The unwanted guests appeared in the control room. They appeared to have come straight from a meal and were loaded down with various Earth foods. The leader stepped into Xenon’s path. “You won’t consider selling us your whore?”
Xenon moved a step closer to Rick. “Absolutely not.”
The reply didn’t go down too well, but at least they didn’t seem inclined to press the issue. The trio of purple-furred creatures pushed their way towards the doorway and stepped off the ship.
Rick let out a breath he hadn’t even realised he’d been holding. “They won’t try to abduct me from the ship back to Earth?”
“Corrin, our cook, was only hired for this trip. I’m sure he’ll be happy to guard you on the way back to Earth,” Xenon suggested.
“You trust him?”
“He’ll be paid after the job, so yes,” Xenon assured him.
The cook appeared a moment later and he and Xenon spoke in their native tongue for a few minutes. Finally the cook nodded and they all moved towards the exit.
The space station was as busy as Times Square on New Year. Rick stuck close to Xenon as they pushed their way through the crowds. They hadn’t moved more than a few dozen yards when Affie groaned beside him.
“What is it?” Xenon asked.
“The Oracle has come to meet the prophet.”
“Oh shit. Where is she?”
“On the balcony. She’s already spotted us.”
Rick looked up and knew immediately who they were referring to. With the same green hair and beautiful features, it was clear the Oracle and Affie were related. Although he couldn’t tell for sure from this distance, Rick suspected they might be mother and daughter, which would make the Oracle a queen.
Xenon pulled them all into a huddle. “Okay, Affie go say hello, tell her we made a mistake and I’ll get Rick to his ship as quick as I can.”
Affie nodded and ducked into the crowd. Xenon pulled Rick along in the opposite direction, but just when the crowd started to thin the Oracle appeared directly in their path.
“Xenon, welcome back,” the Oracle greeted him, pulling him into a warm embrace. “I see you’ve found the prophet. I would speak to him alone if you don’t mind.”
Rick didn’t have time to protest before he was swept away by the forceful woman. “I think there’s been a mistake,” he spluttered. “I keep telling them I’m not a prophet.”
“I know,” the Oracle said. “There is no prophet.”
“The prophet gives our people hope, but the war will come no matter what. It was inevitable from the moment we started our experiments with time travel. We only succeeded in sending back a single inanimate object, but it was enough to alter the course of our world forever. You might call it the butterfly-effect.”
“Does Xenon know there isn’t a prophet?”
“No, only the Oracles are aware of the futileness of our situation.”
At least he hadn’t been lied to all along. “But why am I here, and how could I see Xenon when he was invisible to everyone else?”
“You are here because it’s where you’re needed. As for seeing Xenon, that’s something he’ll need to figure out for himself. Now, let us walk. There’s someone I’d like you to meet.”
“My oldest son, Argon.”
“Is this a trick?” Rick asked. “Everyone seems to think I’ll jump right into bed with him and never want to go home.”
“Argon has a unique talent,” the Oracle explained. “You’ll understand when you see him.”
Rick let himself be led through the space station until they arrived on a balcony, this one overlooking a beautiful garden. Rick looked down and saw Affie and Xenon below.
“I see Aphrodite has beaten us here,” the Oracle said.
“Xenon, too.” Rick took a second look. No, it wasn’t Xenon. His clothing was different and he wore a small crown on his head. “Xenon and Argon are brothers?”
The Oracle nodded. “Yes. How did you know? Xenon has always rebelled against his heritage; I know he won’t have told you.”
“But they’re identical!” Rick waved a hand over the balcony.
“No, they’re not.” The Oracle smiled. “Argon’s talent is to appear to everyone who sees him in the form of who they desire the most. You see him as Xenon because you want him. Which is good because you are destined to bond with him.”
Rick shook his head. “Affie said I was to bond with Argon.”
“Because that is part of the story of the prophet. Argon has husbands enough, though none truly love him. No, it is Xenon you will bond with.”
“Xenon said I wouldn’t be held prisoner against my will.”
“Do you want to leave him? Really?”
When Rick looked down again Xenon had joined the others. He couldn’t seem to take his eyes off him.
“Xenon is as much a prince as Argon,” the Oracle said. “And he is yours.”
It was one bombshell too many. Rick stumbled away from the railings his mind in turmoil. Marry a prince? Him?
Also flashing this week
Julie Hayes (m/m)
Victoria Blisse (m/f)
West Thornhill (m/m)
Freddy MacKay (m/m)
Lindsay Klug (m/f)
Lily Sawyer (m/m)
Sui Lynn (m/m)
Pender Mackie (m/m)
Elyzabeth M. VaLey (m/f)
Ryssa Edwards (m/m)