Life speaks louder than beads #Excerpt from A Stolen Heart #SpaceOpera #MFRWauthor

From A Stolen Heart

In this scene, Luc has contacted idBot via his mobile. When his new liaison introduces herself, Luc senses trouble right away.

Readers of the series will recognize Shohn Lexius, the powerhouse who answers only to Luc and provides him with incredible intel and access.

This is their first meeting.

Beads: an excerpt from A Stolen Heart

"This is Shohn, sir. As of a few days ago, your permanent liaison."

"Permanent." Luc scoffed. "That remains to be seen."

"Oh, you won't fire me."

His attention jerked from the changing scenery outside. "What did you say?"

"That you won't fire me."

What audacity. "Indeed? Put yourself on holophone. I want to see the person cocky enough to say that."

When she appeared, the substantial holopresence smiled. She had dark hair, golden-hued skin. Athletic, she dressed in the green and black uniform of an idBot Guard. Catlike ears perched atop her head and she had the slit pupils of a cat in a very human face.

A Kin. He should have known, judging by the level of sass.

"How are you, Mr. Saint-Cyr?" She wore a blue bead of a Lexius clan warrior in her hair. It hung in a single braid on her left, designating the highest privilege among her people. The long string of ornate beads beneath it meant she'd earned the right to wear it many times over.

What was that Kin insult? You don't have the beads to fight me. Apparently, this one thought she did.

"So, you're a Kin."

"I'm a Kin?" She reached up, felt one pointed ear. "I think you're right." She gave the ear a swipe, looking for all the worlds like a cat grooming itself. "And you're human."

"According to my DNA." He steepled his fingers. "Whoever assigned you to me either wants to get rid of you, or they think the fact I speak Felis will make a difference."

"Dok cho," she said, in the slow, breathy tone of the language. "Sten til du?"

Any schoolchild knew Hello, how are you?

"Seeyoo, skah," he responded. "Yl tu?" Fine, thanks, and you?

"Not much accent. Well done." With one claw extended, she toyed with that single braid. "I've been told you're a warrior among your people and hold great honor despite a lamentable lack of beads to prove it." She angled one ear out at the side. "Although your curls are long enough to hold two or three, if you had beading skill."

"Skah." He inclined his head. "Nahtay shah cohahkka nokk."

"You're welcome. And you're right. Life speaks louder than beads." She tossed back her braid. "My people say that to face an enemy, you must sharpen three things; your wits, your blade, and your fangs. I hear you fired the last ten people who worked for you. You'll keep me."

"Are you threatening me?"

"Threaten the man half the empire calls the Harbinger and the other half is owned by? I have no death wish."

"I own no slaves." Luc sat straighter.

"Forgive my poor choice of words. I'll restate. You are the power half the empire bows to."

He would not argue that. It had taken multiple lifetimes to set it up.

"Sir, you'll keep me because the others didn't get results. They were trofee. Beadless. Useless. Results are my specialty."

"That remains to be seen. Say your first name again, Ms. Lexius."

"Shohn. Like the stars at night. And may I say, I'm impressed you know my clan. By my beads, I assume." She tugged on the long dangle of braid. "Good eyesight, even wearing those solid black contacts."

"You might be worth keeping purely for your sense of humor." And sass, though he'd never admit that to her.

The Antonello Brothers Series

You'll find Pietas and Luc mentioned in nearly every book in my story universe.
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