Hazel and the Alien Biker
Intergalactic Brides, Book 5
Ebook ISBN: 07605-02452
[ Alien Romance, MF ]
Hazel is hesitant to trust anyone again with her heart, but Reyvor is determined to make her his. What’s an alien to do when all he wants is a loving family to call his own?
Reyvor studied the amber liquid in his shot glass and wondered why he bothered swilling the nasty stuff. It didn’t really change anything, except give him a headache the next day. Getting drunk wouldn’t bring his mate back, or his job. He’d been a captain for one of the shuttles to Earth since communications were first started between their worlds, and now he’d been dismissed. No one on his world would hire him, and the Terran stations on Earth barely tolerated his presence.
He’d been left adrift by his people because they didn’t know what to do with him. His mate had been sweet and kind, always had a ready smile, and some nasty, vile disease called cancer had taken her from him all too soon. They’d never even been blessed with children. Reyvor thought if they’d perhaps had a daughter who took after her beautiful mother, perhaps her passing wouldn’t have hurt quite as much. He’d still have had a piece of her to hold onto. Now all he had were memories.
“You’ve been nursing that shot for the last hour,” the bartender said.
“Zanar, do you ever wonder if we’re really supposed to be here? Wouldn’t Earth have been better off without us?”
Zanar lifted a brow. “No, they wouldn’t. I’m sorry about your mate, Reyvor, but at least our doctors were able to ease her passing. Without that care, she would have suffered horribly. Are you saying she would have been better off that way? Better off never having known your love?”
That was probably what ate at him the most. He’d cared for her, there was no question about that, but had he truly loved her? She’d said the words many times, with a soft smile and light in her eyes, but he’d never been able to utter them back. He’d felt like an ass. They were just words, and they would have given her so much comfort, especially in the end. Why hadn’t he been able to say them?
Zanar tipped his head to the side. “That’s it, isn’t it? You never loved her.”
“I treated her with respect and honor.”
“Women need more than that, Reyvor. Is that why you haven’t taken another mate? I mean, before you lost your job?”
“You can’t prowl the streets on that metal beast of yours forever. Hell, you aren’t even licensed to ride it. I’m surprised the local cops haven’t pulled you over and hauled your ass to jail.”
Reyvor snorted. “Would you try taking me to jail?”
“I admit, you’re a big bastard, but they have weapons and aren’t afraid to use them. I bet if you weren’t a Zelthranite you’d have been hauled off long ago. Be thankful for your purple skin. It’s probably all that’s saving your ass.”
Zanar had a point. But if Reyvor’s race was going to keep him free from Earth’s justice system, he would use it to his advantage. His days were spent sleeping, his afternoons drinking, and his nights were saved for riding through the streets. The wind blowing against his face filled him with a peace he’d never known before. It was almost like flying. The thrum of his Harley seemed to soothe his soul better than the whiskey in his glass could ever do.
Good thing being a captain had paid so well. Without his savings, he’d never be able to survive right now. His world had written him off and he wasn’t welcome on the planet’s surface any longer. In all fairness, he had tried to destroy the doctor’s office after his mate died. And perhaps he’d made some comments to the potential brides about their impending doom if they mated with one of his kind. He had no one to blame for his predicament but himself.
“So if you didn’t love her, why are you trying to drink yourself into an early grave? I could understand if you faced unbearable pain because she was gone, but if she was just another woman, what’s the deal?”
“I failed her. It was my job to keep her safe and I didn’t realize she was sick until it was too late. If I’d paid closer attention, made fewer trips to Earth… she was alone so much of the time. She deserved better than me.”
“Look on the bright side. Now you have all the time in the world to focus on a mate. Why not give it another try? With your current status on our world, you don’t have to ask the council’s permission to claim a mate. You’re a free male and can do whatever you want. If I were in your position, I think I’d take advantage of that and start a new life for myself. You already have a Harley. Why not buy a house and lure some unsuspecting female into your bed?”
“You think that’s all it will take? Buy a house and women will suddenly be knocking on my door, begging me to make them mine?” Reyvor smiled a little. “It’s an intriguing idea.”
“Look, you and I both know you’re loaded. What could possibly be hotter to the human female population than a guy on a Harley, dressed all in black leather, who has a big house they can decorate? Besides, you’re paying a ridiculous amount of money to rent a room when you could just put down a chunk of cash on a place and own it. You’re hemorrhaging funds.”
Buy a house? He supposed it wasn’t a bad idea. It wasn’t like he had anywhere else to go. He didn’t have his own shuttle, so leaving Earth was out of the question. If he was going to make his home here, he might as well put down some roots — an Earth saying he thought was rather humorous. A shiny magazine slid across the bar, and he smirked when he saw it was a book full of homes for sale.
“You planned this, didn’t you?” Reyvor asked.
Zanar lifted his hands. “Just give it a look.”
“It’s not like I can buy a home after hours. I’m sure those people go home at night.”
“He’s a realtor,” Zanar said with a tip of his head toward the end of the bar. “And from what I’ve heard he could really use a sale. I bet he’d have you moved in before you even had time to pack.”
“Pack what? I brought three changes of clothes and my boots.”
“That’s another thing. If you’re going to live on Earth, you might as well dress like it. I challenge you to find a store that’s open tonight and purchase clothes a human male would wear. Those blue pants seem to be popular with the males and females, so I’m guessing they’re comfortable. Even the bikers I’ve seen on the streets wear them.”
“Become more human?”
“How about less rigid? You’re sitting on that stool like there’s a stick up your ass. Relax your posture. Hunch your shoulders a little. It’s perfectly acceptable to lean on the bar.”
Reyvor laughed at the image that sprang to his mind. “How much do I owe you tonight for the drinks?” he asked.
Zanar waved him off. “On the house.”
Reyvor shoved his shot glass across the bar and rose to his feet. He sauntered over to the realtor, who was nursing a rather large mug of beer. Sitting beside the man, he started flipping through the little booklet in his hands. When he saw a house that caught his attention, he read the details and nudged the man next to him.
“Is this the kind of house a human female would want?” Reyvor asked, pointing at the small country home.
The man snorted and took the book away. After flipping several pages, he pointed to a large white home with pillars across the front. A winding drive curled in front of the house and there appeared to be quite a bit of land.
“This is what women want. A rich asshole to pay for everything they could possibly want. Women want status, position, power. And they’ll do anything to have it.” His words slurred a bit, telling Reyvor he’d been drinking heavily.
Still. He looked at the house again. The house was advertised as a plantation home with seven bedrooms and four bathrooms. Reyvor couldn’t imagine ever needing that much space, but what if he did take another mate and she wanted a large family? A smile flitted across his face as he thought about getting to make those babies. Zanar was right. He’d honored his mate’s memory by remaining single for the past year, but it was time to move on. His home was on Earth now and it was time he made the most of it.
“What is required to purchase such a home?” Reyvor asked.
“Well,” the man slurred. “You’ll need to get approved by the bank for a loan, then there’s the home inspection, and if the sellers and you agree on a price then we have to set up closing where everyone signs papers and you’re given keys.”
He looked at the book again. The price seemed reasonable, even though he was still learning Earth’s currency. He knew he had more than that in his bank, and there were still funds in his Terran account he hadn’t transferred. His wife had never spent much, so most of his money had gone into the bank.
“A loan won’t be necessary, and there’s no need to haggle over the price. I could have the funds transferred to their account as soon as tomorrow.”
The man’s eyes widened. “You want to buy it? And you want to pay cash?”
“But… you haven’t even seen it!”
Reyvor pointed to the picture. “Looks good enough to me. My name is Reyvor and anyone at the Terran Station will know how to find me. I’d like this taken care of as soon as possible. Just contact me to let me know what I need to do.”
“Of course. I would never joke about something like this.”
The man held out his hand. “I’m John. John Wilson.”
“It’s nice to meet you, John. I’ll leave you to your beer, but I’d appreciate some information in the morning. I’d like to move in as soon as possible.”
The man nodded, staring at Reyvor, awestruck. With a smile, Reyvor pulled his keys from his pocket and made his way outside to his Harley. He swung a leg over the seat and put the key in the ignition. It seemed the matter of a house was taken care of, or would be shortly. What else had Zanar said? Oh yes… clothes.
The bike rumbled to life and he pulled away from the curb. It wasn’t too terribly late, but he knew the upscale stores would be closed. After driving through town, he found one of those large stores that seemed to carry a little bit of everything and decided it would suit his purpose. Human clothes were a mystery to him, but a gaggle of giggling teen girls were only too happy to help him out. They flirted outrageously, even though he was obviously too old for them. He was kind, but he made sure their flirting didn’t go any further.
After he paid for his purchases, he shoved them into his saddlebags and went back to the motel room he was renting by the week. It was really more of a suite, with a separate bedroom and living area, more than enough room for him. Reyvor pulled to a stop in front of his door, turned off the bike, and retrieved his bags of clothes. Inside the room, he put everything away and pulled out the pajama pants the girls had talked him into. They felt soft and he thought they would be ideal for lounging around the room, but he’d always slept naked and didn’t intend to stop now.
He changed, braided his hair, and was about to sit down and turn on the TV when he heard a commotion outside. The panic of a female voice sent him into motion and he opened the door to see what was going on. A very small woman was struggling to break free of the motel manager. He noticed three small, very scared children hovering nearby.
“What’s the problem?” he asked as he stepped outside.
“I caught this piece of trash digging through the dumpsters and peeking in the windows. She’s here to steal stuff and I’m calling the cops.”
Her clothes were worn and torn in places, her hair matted and dirty. The children huddling behind her were just as worn and unclean. It took but a moment for him to surmise that they had nowhere to go and were living on the streets. He’d seen several people begging for money on street corners, but the stubborn tilt of the woman’s chin told him she’d never begged for anything in her life.
“Did you stop to think maybe they were merely hungry and looking for food?” Reyvor asked. “Perhaps if you offered them a hot meal they wouldn’t need to dig through the dumpster.”
“I’m not running a charity here. If they want to eat, they’ll pay for it just like everyone else. It’s bad for business having people like this hanging around.”
Reyvor frowned as he saw the shame flash in the woman’s eyes and the flush of embarrassment on the cheeks of her children. He didn’t know what had happened to her, why she had fallen so far, but in that moment he determined that he would help her in any way that he could. Despite the grime, he could tell she was an attractive woman, and he couldn’t understand why she didn’t have a male watching over her.
“Let her go,” Reyvor said. “I’ll take responsibility for her.”
The manager eyed him and finally released the woman, shoving her toward Reyvor. She fell against him and his arm immediately went around her. She was slight and he worried that it had been too long since she’d last eaten. The manager stormed off in the other direction and Reyvor addressed the tattered creature in his arms.
“My name is Reyvor and I’d like to help you, if you’ll let me.”
She looked like she might refuse for a moment, but one of the children tugged on her ratty shirt and he saw the stubbornness melt away. Her gaze was adoring as she looked at her children. She smoothed the hair of the one nearest and then turned her gaze up at Reyvor. “I’ll accept your help, but only because my children are hungry. We haven’t eaten in two days.”
“Come inside and I’ll pick up some food for you. The children can rest and watch TV while you wait.”
She hesitated a moment, but nodded her consent, then followed him into his suite. The children settled on the sofa and looked around the room with wide eyes. He handed the eldest child the remote. The mother had yet to take her eyes off him and he wondered what she was thinking.
“I need to step into the other room to change,” he said. “It won’t take long to retrieve food for you. Is there anything in particular you’d like? Or any food allergies I need to know about?”
She shook her head. “Anything will be fine. I appreciate your kindness.”
He looked at the children on the sofa once more and realized they were all three girls. Reyvor couldn’t imagine how difficult it must be to live on the streets with three children, but especially three female children. He would think they wouldn’t be as tough as a boy.
He crouched in front of them. “What are your names?”
The eldest looked to her mother before responding. “I’m Nikki, and my sisters are Winnie and Abby.”
“I’m Reyvor. It’s very nice to meet the three of you. And does your pretty mother have a name?”
The mother in question blushed. “I’m Hazel.”
“Make yourselves at home.”
Reyvor ducked into the bedroom and quickly changed into one of his new pairs of jeans and a T-shirt. After he’d put on his boots, he gathered his keys and wallet, and stepped back into the living room. Four heads turned in his direction and for a moment he wasn’t sure if he should say something. With a smile, he let himself out and got on his bike, revving the engine before taking off out of the parking lot.
What the hell did children on Earth eat?