I look around the empty airplane hangar. No sign of him yet.
Just an old concrete floor and the huge rusting tin roof overhead. This place hasn’t been used in over fifty years.
The Draci arranged for some tin roof paneling to be discreetly repaired so no satellite imagery would be able to see what occasionally lands here.
Speaking of landings… I pull out my phone to check the time. It’s only two o’clock. Ezo’s not actually late. I’m just really early.
I startle when the phone in my hand starts to ring.
It’s Juliet. Shit.
My thumb hovers over the ignore button. But what if she or her husband Shak has some information about the landing?
I huff out a frustrated breath, then plaster a smile on my face and click answer.
“Juliet, what’s up?” I ask in my cheeriest voice.
“Hey Ana, I just wanted to check in. You know Shak and I would be there if we could, but I’m going to pop any day now, and Shak refuses to leave my side.”
Juliet met her hot alien hybrid, Shak, and got knocked up by him a little over three and a half months ago. Apparently alien pregnancies go way faster than human ones, and Juliet is so preggers the last time I saw her, I’d have sworn she was in her last trimester carrying triplets. And that was two weeks ago.
But since this is the first human/Draci pregnancy, no one really has any idea how it’s all going to go down. But according to the best medical minds, both human and Draci, baby Thrax is thriving and healthy and, according to Juliet, very rambunctious and ready to come out.
“It’s not a problem,” I reassure Juliet for the hundredth time.
“You sure you’re okay introducing him to the women? And you’ve vetted them, right? I mean, I saw the private investigator reports and I know they look okay on paper. But you’ve spent time with them to make sure they aren’t…you know…nuts?”
“They are all fine,” I say in my most comforting voice. “Only three made the final cut and Ezo will have his pick.”
It was decided that it wouldn’t be fair for Ezo, a Draci alien like Juliet’s husband, to just go out and try to knock up any random woman, not considering what the consequences are. The aliens didn’t know when they first came to this planet to breed with human women so they might save their race—which had become infertile due to centuries of genetic manipulation—that pregnancies would alter the human mothers.
Like, seriously alter.
As in, now my BFF Juliet has effing wings popping out of her back and protective golden scales covering portions of her body.
So yeah. We all decided that the Draci should only get with women who were down with that kind of thing.
“Where did you find these women again?” Juliet asks even though I’ve answered this question many times before, too.
“They’re chicks I’ve known forever. We meet up sometimes to play geeky video games and talk about conspiracy theories. Look, can you just trust me on this? I know I don’t have Gisele’s shining social skills or whatever but I promise you, I got this.”
Gisele is our other best friend who’s always beautiful and put together. She’s the society girl who went to an Ivy League college and volunteers for charity and all that kind of shit. Just like my sister, except I actually like Giselle.
“I’m sorry,” Juliet rushes to say. “I didn’t mean for you to feel like I don’t trust you with this. Because I do. Okay, I’ll stop bugging you. Just text when he gets in and I’ll see you later when you guys come by. Happy matchmaking!”
With that she hangs up and shit. Now I feel guilty.
Because I’m lying to my best friend.
There are no other women here.
There’s just me.
A ripple in the air right outside the hangar catches my attention. Dust and gravel kick up and I hear the slightest purr of an engine. The shuttle is landing, it’s clear from everything around it even if I can’t see the shuttle itself. Apparently cloaking technology is a real thing, not just the stuff of sci-fi dreams anymore.
Shit. This is really happening.
I turn my back on the shuttle and bite my lip.
Am I doing this? Then I nod hard. Yes, I’m fucking doing this. I’ve spent my entire life fading into the background. Being the third wheel. The less pretty and less accomplished sister.
Still with my back turned to the shuttle, I lift the hem of my dress and dip my fingers inside my sex. I’ve been doing this on and off all morning.
Juliet said Shak scented her the very first time they met and God knows I need all the help I can get.
Once my fingers are nice and moist, I pull my hand away, drop my dress, turn around, and stride as confidently as I can manage towards where I think the shuttle is.