Avelyn and the Alien Daddy by Jessica Coulter Smith

Avelyn and the Alien Daddy by Jessica Coulter Smith

Avelyn and the Alien Daddy

Intergalactic Brides, Book 3

by Jessica Coulter Smith

Changeling Press

Ebook ISBN: 07483-02413

[ Alien Romance, MF ]

What’s an alien daddy to do when what he wants most is to have the nanny in his bed?

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Chapter One


Avelyn Murray clutched at her purse strap as she made her way through the Terran station of the Las Vegas strip. She was ready for a new chapter in her life, even if she wasn’t sure what it would be. She was torn between looking for a job at the station and signing up for the bride program. It wasn’t the first time it had crossed her mind, but it was the first time she’d found the courage to actually enter the station to put her plan in motion.

As she approached the reception desk, she argued with herself over which to ask for — the employment station or the bride application counter. She’d only been divorced for six months, so Avelyn wasn’t entirely certain she was ready for another relationship, even though she’d heard the Terrans made wonderful husbands. They were everything her ex was not, but the thought of signing her life over to another male made her a little nervous. Although, if the right male came along…

Avelyn waited in line to speak with the receptionist. She looked around, taking everything in. Aliens of all races rushed around, and reminded her that if she signed up for the bride program, it wouldn’t just be Terrans who would be interested. In the last month, they had opened the program up to other races. Males of all types wandered through the station, some openly admiring her, and others bustling by without even realizing she was there. Maybe the bride program wasn’t for her after all. Besides, she’d heard that having children was a requirement, and she wouldn’t pass that test.

When it was her turn to speak with the receptionist, she smiled and waited for the woman to acknowledge her. It took a few minutes before the phone stopped ringing and the woman looked up.

“May I help you?” the receptionist asked.

“I wondered if the Terran station might be hiring humans? I’m looking for a job.”

“I’m not privy to any openings for human females, but you can certainly ask the employment desk. It’s through that archway,” she said, pointing slightly behind her and to the right. “When you reach the next open area like this one, you’ll see an employment sign on the far right wall. They’ll be able to tell you if there are any openings and what you’ll need to do in order to apply.”

“Thank you.”

Avelyn smiled at her once more and then hurried toward the archway. The hallway was brightly lit and very long. As she entered the next large room, the sound hit her and nearly knocked her off her feet. Somewhere in the midst of loud voices, a baby wailed. When it seemed that no one was going to quiet the poor child, Avelyn went in search of her, or him. What if it was a small child and not a baby? What if they were lost or hurt?

She pushed her way through the crowd and came to a stop in front of a large Terran warrior holding a squalling red baby. She’d never seen a baby quite like this one, with ruby red skin, sharp fangs, and coal black hair. But regardless of how the child looked, she was obviously in distress. The man holding her looked completely inept and her heart went out to him. He fumbled with the child making shushing noises and bouncing her in his arms.

Avelyn bit her lip and wondered if he would welcome her help, or feel insulted that she thought he couldn’t handle the baby. She finally took a step closer and held her hands out.

“Mind if I try?” she asked.

He looked momentarily startled, hesitated a few seconds, and then handed her the baby.

“Her name is Lily,” he said.

Avelyn held the baby closer and cooed at her. “Aren’t you a pretty girl? What has Miss Lily so upset?”

The baby’s cries stuttered and then stopped as she sucked in huge snotty breaths and looked up at Avelyn. She babbled at Avelyn and reached out to place her small, chubby hand against Avelyn’s cheek.

“Well, aren’t you a sweetheart?” Avelyn smiled at the girl with the pink bow in her hair.

“She likes you,” the male said. “I sometimes think she doesn’t like me very much. But then, Lily doesn’t seem to like most people. The daycare where I work refuses to keep her because she screams the entire time she’s there.”

“What about hiring a nanny?” Avelyn asked and winced as the baby tugged on a strand of her hair. “You could hire someone to live with you and take care of Lily in your home.”

“Who would accept such an offer from a Terran male? They would expect to become my bride, would they not? And how can I even think of getting into a relationship with someone when Lily clearly needs more from me than I’m able to give already?”

Avelyn looked at the sweet baby girl in her arms and then up at the Terran male. “I would.”

“You would be willing to move to live with Lily and me?”

“Move?” She smiled. “You mean into your home?”

“No. I live near the station in Kentucky outside of Lexington. I merely came here in search of Lily’s mother.”

“Did you find her?”

The male nodded. “She signed away her rights to Lily. I’ve already adopted her, so I never have to worry about someone trying to take her away from me. Her father abandoned her before she was born and her mother left her at the station where I work with a note clipped to her diaper bag.”

Avelyn brushed her cheek against the baby’s soft curls. “I can’t imagine anyone giving up their baby.”

Tears misted her eyes as she thought about the child she’d lost. If things had gone a little differently, she’d be holding her own baby in her arms at this very moment. Of course, she’d also still be married to her abusive asshole of an ex-husband, and that would be truly horrifying. She couldn’t imagine letting that monster anywhere near a child, but if she’d kept the baby, she had planned to stay with him. Now she realized just how foolish that was. The moment she’d found out she was pregnant, she should have packed a bag and taken off.

“It makes you sad to move elsewhere?” the alien asked, mistaking her tears.

“No. Moving away is actually a really good idea. I wanted a fresh start, and I can’t think of a better way to do it. I don’t have much to pack. When would we leave? Do you need me to fill out an application or complete a background check or something?”

He frowned. “I hadn’t really thought about it. I’ve never hired a nanny before. I’ve only been Lily’s father for a few short months. Let’s go to the employment desk and see what they recommend. I want to make sure I do this the correct way so no one questions why you’re staying with me.”

“I’ll follow you. Do you mind if I carry Lily?”

A smile spread across his face, making Avelyn go weak in the knees. Good lord, but the man was fine! He’d been handsome before, but now he was downright sexy. How he wasn’t already mated to someone, she couldn’t imagine. He seemed to truly care for his wee daughter, and from what she’d seen so far, he was a genuinely nice male. What woman wouldn’t want him?

“You may carry Lily.”

He led the way across the room to the employment station. At the desk, a Terran male looked up to greet them.

“How may I help you, Thrace?” the alien asked.

Thrace. So that was his name. She hadn’t realized until just then that they had never introduced themselves, and here he was about to hire her. How crazy was that?

“I’d like to hire a nanny. I want this woman specifically,” Thrace said. “What do we need to do?”

“Well, she’ll need to complete some forms and sign a waiver for a background check, and then it will take around a week to process everything.”

Thrace narrowed his eyes. “I need it done before morning. I’m due back home tomorrow and the jet leaves at nine o’clock. Do whatever you have to in order for her to be approved for work by that time.”

The Terran frowned at Thrace. “It isn’t that simple. Even after she’s been vetted, there’s still the matter of signing an employment contract. That means agreeing on a salary and negotiating benefits. You can’t just pick up a random woman and decide to hire her.”

“And yet if I wanted a bride, I bet your ass would be moving faster than this.”

Avelyn watched them go back and forth and wondered what she could do to help things along. The longer they argued, the less likely she would be hired. If Thrace pissed off the Terran in charge of this process, no way would she be getting on that jet with him in the morning. And not only did she need this opportunity, she really wanted to help take care of the little girl in her arms. Already she could feel a bond forming between them.

Lily cooed up at her and yanked on her hair again. Avelyn smiled down at the baby and talked to her softly while the two Terran males discussed the issue of her employment. Hell, if it was going to be this much trouble, she’d work for free until they reached his home station and could get things arranged there. Maybe she should tell him that?

“What if I worked for free until we reach your home?” she asked Thrace. “I mean, I’d need my travel covered, and a hotel room once we reach our destination, but I wouldn’t charge you for my time with Lily until you’re able to get things settled with your home station. Would that work?”

Thrace smiled. “That would work nicely. I’ll keep track of how much time you work between now and then so I can pay you accordingly once all of the forms have been completed and the contract signed.”

Avelyn smiled. “Then I guess all that’s left is to hand this precious bundle off to you so I can go home and pack. Where do you want to meet in the morning?”

“If you’ll give me your address, I’ll have a driver pick you up and bring you to the airstrip. We have our own so we don’t have to go through the Las Vegas airport. It’s less hassle when we have to travel between stations. There’s been talk of one of the alien races who recently joined in the bride program letting us use their teleportation technology so a jet would not be necessary. I’m sure that won’t be put into motion for a while though. Things move quickly once they are approved, but getting something like that going would take some time and a lot of alien species working together. I’m not sure we’re to that point yet.”

She nodded.

“Let Lily and me take you home. It’s the least we can do.”

“Thank you. I rode the bus here so I appreciate the offer.”

Thrace guided her back through the station and out onto the walkway, where he hailed a waiting limo. Avelyn had never ridden in one before and handed Lily to Thrace before climbing inside. Once she was settled, Thrace handed the baby back to her. She cuddled Lily close, then buckled her into the car seat and gave the driver her address. She hoped Thrace wouldn’t think badly of her when he saw where she lived. Once up on a time, she’d had nice things, expensive cars, a huge house… now she lived in an older neighborhood, where most of the homes were taken care of, but the one she’d been renting had not been. The driveway was cracked; the mailbox listed to one side, and the stucco was coming off in huge sections. She would imagine the Terran male lived in a nice home back in Kentucky.

When they pulled up to the curb, Thrace frowned. “This is where you live?”

“It’s just been a temporary place the last six months. It’s all I could afford after I divorced my husband. He’d made me sign a pre-nup agreement, so I didn’t get a penny from him.”

“What’s that?” he asked.

“It’s where someone wealthy asks the poorer person to sign away their rights to any money the rich person has or may gain during the time of the marriage. Otherwise, I probably would have gotten half his money, and he was worth millions.”

“Having millions of dollars is important,” Thrace asked, “in caring for a human mate?”

“No. Money is nice, and it’s great to have a fancy car and large home, but those things aren’t necessary. What’s necessary is love and understanding. I didn’t have those two things with my ex. I’d been blinded by his riches and was so swept away by a man like him paying attention to me that I ignored the signs that he was an abusive jerk.”

The Terran’s eyes darkened. “He hit you?”

“Sometimes.” She bit her lip. “I don’t want to be dishonest, so I’m going to tell you now, so you can change your mind if you want to. I was pregnant, about four months along. I got into an argument with my ex and he shoved me down a flight of stairs. I lost the baby, broke my wrist, and bruised my ribs. But it was the wake-up call I needed. Knowing that he’d taken something so precious from me gave me the courage to leave his sorry ass. I called a battered women’s shelter. They picked me up from the hospital and helped me get a divorce attorney.”

“I’m very sorry you went through that, and that you lost your child. Your husband should have been arrested, not allowed to go free and keep his millions. What kind of world is Earth if it allows women to be abused and their abusers to get off without jail time?”

Avelyn smiled. “My ex is cousins with the police chief and he played golf with the judges around here. No way was he going to get any jail time. When they questioned what happened to me, he told them I fell down the stairs. I tried to tell them I was pushed, but no one would listen to me. It was just my word against his, and he has a lot of connections in Las Vegas.”

“Is he the reason you’ve agreed to move across the country without even knowing where you’ll be living or how much you’ll make? I promise I can pay you well. Since my job is security at the Terran station near my home, I’m allowed a housing expense and my transportation is covered. I need very little money to get by each month compared to what the Terran council pays me.”

“I’m not greedy, Thrace. Whatever you can afford to pay me will be more than I’m making right now.” She smiled. “You know, I learned your name inside, but not once have you asked mine.”

“Avelyn.”

Her eyes widened and he smiled.

“I heard you tell Lily your name when I was arguing with the Terran over at the employment department. Lily and I will walk you to your door.”

She held up a hand. “That isn’t necessary, but thank you. I only have one suitcase to pack so it won’t take me long.”

“Why don’t we wait for you then? You could stay the night at the hotel where we’ve been staying and then we can leave tomorrow for the airstrip together. It would save time, unless you prefer to sleep in your own home one last night.”

“I don’t want to impose on you.”

Thrace waved a hand. “It’s no imposition. We’ll wait while you pack and then we’ll get you settled into a hotel room for the night. If you’d like, we could meet for dinner and you could get to know Lily a bit better. Although, it seems she’s quite taken with you. She’s never been this quiet for such a long stretch of time before.”

“She’s a sweet baby,” Avelyn said. “And if you’re sure it’s no trouble, I would be delighted to go back to the hotel with you. Just give me fifteen minutes to pack everything. I’ll need to drop the key off with leasing company though.”

“We’ll take care of it on the way.”

She reached to place her hand over his. “Thank you, Thrace. I mean it. You’re taking a chance on a complete stranger, giving me the opportunity to improve my life and put Las Vegas firmly in my past. Not everyone gets a fresh start in life.”

“Well, they should.”

With another smile, she got out of the limo and went to pack her things.

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