The epic conclusion of the Twelve Systems Chronicles!
Release date: September 21, 2021!
As anticipated, my editor made some suggested cuts. Below is a scene I enjoyed writing but doesn’t really forward the overall narrative.
Lilian turns down the corridor toward Lucius’ suite. The guard in the corridor has the door open as she reaches it, evidence that she has instructions to grant Lilian full access. As she passes into the salon, Stefan takes the place on the other side of the door.
The salon is twice the size of Lilian’s with a large sofa where Lucius is sprawled with his slate. Sliding a hand behind her neck, he captures her in a kiss, that has her melting into him. All too soon, the kiss ends. “Have you decided on a personal transport? If you are uncertain, we can review the options together.”
The consort alliance. “My protégé contract already provides a transport.”
“What is acceptable for my protégé is inadequate for my consort.” He waves a hand. “But that was not my question. The replacement for your protégé transport will be waiting when we return to Crevasse City. It is your transport, I ask about. The one for when you choose to pilot.”
This day. “I am not qualified to pilot a transport.”
He starts. “You cannot pilot?”
“There was no need. At home, there was a transport and driver. While I dwelled with Dean Joseph, it was the same. After I took quarters, I did not wish the expense and hired transports when I had need.”
Lucius smiles with delight. “I will enjoy instructing you.”
The notion holds no appeal. “For truth, I am not certain it is a skill I wish to master.”
The smile fades. “It is possible you may one day have need of it.”
It is dismal thought, but not unwarranted. Too often those who guard her have fallen. If Stefan or Jethro were to be disabled, she might be glad for the skill. A memory of her first visit to the Great Crevasse has her brightening. “Fletcher has a wondrous fast transport. The second compartment is small and cramped, but it made the transit from Great Crevasse Refinery to Katleen’s house in under a half period.”
“I know that transport.” He laughs as he shakes his head. “The fabricator gifted it to him for the media attention it would garner piloted by a popular moon racer. I doubt not you have the reflexes, but until you have a thousand periods as a pilot, it will not be safe.” At her crestfallen expression, he reaches for his slate. “Worry not. There are several models that will be fast enough to please you and more comfortable.”
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