The Human Planets Collective sent young Ambassador Kaj Deder to the former colony planet Ostakis to establish relations. But in the twenty-five hundred years since Earth lost contact with Ostakis, the people of that colony have dramatically changed. Kaj must find the reason for these changes while he forges trade links between the HPC and Ostakis. Without trade with the HPC, the dwindling resources of Ostakis will ultimately end human life on the planet. But his mission faces a huge obstacle in the form of Most Reverend Thyenn Sharr, the head of the Faith Progressive Church, who sees Kaj's arrival as the beginning of the end of the Church. Kaj’s powerful attraction to Trademaster Klath’s son, Arlan does not smooth relations.
Arlan Klath, the son of the Trademaster of Ostakis, bears the secret that the pious people of his planet want to hide from the homeworld and the HPC. The Curse of the Unspoken, wrought through the unspeakable acts of the First Colonists, afflicts all Ostakians, but some more strongly than others. Arlan is totally Cursed, considered born sinful, and he lives without legal rights or property. Thyenn Sharr focuses his attention on Arlan enraged Arlan’s father defiantly refuses to submit Arlan to a cruel act to “redeem” Arlan’s soul. The stakes ratchet when Arlan and Kaj form a relationship Thyenn Sharr considers ample justification to usurp the Trademaster position through the legal power of his Church.
Can Kaj navigate the treacherous currents of Ostakian politics and religion to save these human descendants of Earth? And must he chose between Arlan or his mission to do so?
- 2 To Be Read lists
Publisher: Ninestar Press
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Intersex
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Biological Urge to Mate, Cultural Differences, Mpreg
Word Count: 53000
Setting: The planet Ostakis
Languages Available: English
House Klath was a large dwelling filled with winding wood-paneled hallways and many rooms. In a way, it was distinctly not human. Humans loved order, straight lines, and large, empty spaces so we could see our enemies coming. This was not a place of enemies, but family, tumbling upon each other in familial closeness. If left to my own devices, I would lose my way.
We arrived in a section of the house where the lines straightened.
“These are the main offices of my business,” said Klath. “Of course, I do have offices in each of the major cities of Ostakis. But this is the heart of my business. Arlan,” he boomed, loud enough to rattle pictures on the wall nearest us.READ MORE
“My son,” he continued with evident pride, “is my head accountant. I could not keep my business in order without his assistance. Last year, he found a huge discrepancy in the sums transferred in a business deal with a trader from Kiji Amst. Very disagreeable people. The trader claimed we misunderstood the currency exchange rate, but Arlan proved him wrong. And in court too.” He spoke the last words with immeasurable pride.
“Arlan,” he called again, and this time a young man stumbled from a doorway and pitched forward into his father’s arms, murmuring apologies. Despite his nut-brown skin, a blush spread across his cheeks and throat, causing my breath to hitch. Even for an Ostakian, he was small and slim, though not skinny. The muscles of his arms bunched under his tight tunic. His fey Ostakian eyes caught the faint light in the hallway, reflecting shards of glittering gold as his face turned up to meet my gaze.
Aulkus righted the young man easily. Arlan’s gleaming dark hair was twisted into a tight bun. My mind strayed most inappropriately to pulling it apart and watching his hair tumble to his shoulders.
I have a weakness for men with long hair. Women too. But on men, it is so much more unexpected.COLLAPSE