Book 1, Chapter 95

In short order the aliens were defeated and things seemed to be going well for the escapees – especially Ean, who was still being held in Sakura’s arms despite the passing of any danger, and who had calmed down enough to enjoy having her bosom pressed up against his back – if he’d let himself.

But instead, he noticed my use of italics and slumped. Sakura immediately noticed his change of posture.

“<What’s wrong?>” she asked. “<You didn’t get hit when I was using you as a human shield, did you?>”

“<Uh…no,>” Ean said. “<It’s just that whenever things seem to be going well for me, in my experience it just means something else, somewhere else, is going horribly, horribly wrong.>”


Meanwhile, back on earth, Rachel gave the phone a glare while she waited for supper to cook. Freckles twined through her ankles. “Mrow?” he asked when she failed to notice the beeping microwave.

Rachel was one of those people who talks to their pets, a habit Freckles had taken advantage of in the past. She sighed. “It’s been days since he offered to take me out to dinner,” she explained, “and still no calls; no messages.” Her eyes narrowed. “I’m starting to wonder if it’s just a coincidence, or if there’s some reason everyone who ever asks me out turns out to be a total asshole.”

“Mrow?” Freckles offered nervously.

“Well,” Rachel finally muttered to herself, her words bitter with hurt. “At least Ean’s had the decency to just not call, instead of stringing me along until after we’d set a date and I’d introduced him to dad.”

Et Alia, Book 1: Aliens, Ninjas, Demons and Pie

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