Stein Willard © 2012
The characters in the story are a product of my own imagination and hopefully have no resemblance to any living persons. But if it does it is entirely coincidental. Some of the places mentioned are either fictitious and or adapted to suit the plot of the story.
Sex: This story contains sexual content of a graphic nature between consenting adult women, thus if you are not 18 years old and not allowed to read content of this nature, please move on to other suitable stories.
To BMac, thanks for helping out.
Archiving : This work is copy written and should not be posted anywhere else without the writer’s expressed permission.
Feedback: Constructive criticisms or general remarks are greatly appreciated, so feel free to drop a line or two at firstname.lastname@example.org or sent me a friend request on Facebook.
Hem rubbed her face as she slowly turned to look at Selit. The woman looked shell shocked as she stared at Hem.
“You were saying,” Hem prompted. Her brain was still scrambled from the erotic kiss. She watched as Selit pulled herself together. The assistant looked at the padd in her hand and then back at Hem.
“I believe that was all.”
Hem frowned. “You searched me out to discuss the menu for the Yram?”
“You said to keep you updated on every detail no matter how small,” Selit said quietly, her dark eyes studying Hem’s face intently.
Wracking her brain for having given such a directive, Hem cleared her throat softly when she recalled when exactly. She had actually meant to be briefed on every aspect of the safety issues connected to the ritual. She didn’t cuddle her babies, but she wasn’t going to be lax when it came to their safety. Selit had taken her stern directive to heart and was only following orders.
“Thank you,” she said as she gave Selit a small smile.
The Pharmac nodded and lifted the padd again. “If you like you could tell me what aspects you would like me to brief you on and I will have the other matters taken care of without taking up more of your time, milady.”
“No need for that, Selit. No need taking on more responsibility at such a late date. I will make myself available at all times.”
With a curt nod, the woman turned on her heel to leave.
“There’s one more thing,” Hem said quickly and Selit turned back to face her. “Maybe you should notify the kitchen to serve a slightly less potent wine with the meals.”
Selit nodded quickly and left. Hem sighed in relief. Selit was good at what she does and rarely, if ever, needed details.
Hem’s head jerked in the direction of the voice. She had completely forgotten about Sandra and the girls in her desperation to restore her equilibrium after Palmer’s kiss.
“Yes.” She watched with sharp eyes as Elyst and Nael approached her.
“We were worried about you,” Elyst said carefully, her face was still a little flushed, probably from witnessing the kiss between her mothers. Nael, on the other hand, had an unreadable look in her eyes when she spoke.
“But you seem to be doing well.”
It was only through sheer willpower that Hem suppressed the giddy smile that threatened to pull at her lips. “I’m sorry for worrying you. But I’m doing much better now.” She avoided Nael’s eyes as she spoke. The girl was probably unaware of how clearly Hem could read her emotions. It was bad enough that her teenage daughter had more experience in the carnal arena than her. Sandra pushed past her tall, powerful granddaughters to stand before her. Hem regarded her warily.
“Girls, could you please excuse us for a moment? I’d like to talk to your mother.” Sandra’s eyes were fixed on Hem as she addressed the girls.
Taught to obey without question, the girls threw Hem a quick look before they left the room. Sandra threw a quick glance over her shoulder to assure that they had gone before she spoke.
“What are you doing, Hemheri?”
“I’m afraid I have no idea what you’re talking about.” For a second time in the space of a few hours, Hem had to deal with Palmer’s irate mother.
Sandra’s eye narrowed dangerously. “I would like you to refrain from toying with my daughter’s feelings.”
“Toying with her feelings?” Hem asked coolly. “What gives you the idea that I’m doing that?”
“Because my daughter is the most sensible woman I know and I have never seen her act so completely out of character around you.”
Hem blinked. “You mean the kiss?”
“Yes. Palmer would never do anything so impulsive,” Sandra snapped and Hem revelled in the blue sparks that shot from the woman’s eyes. She loved this shade of blue since all the important women in her life shared the same color eyes. “You strike me as an honourable person but what you’re doing to my daughter is detestable.”
The last statement sparked Hem’s ire. She stood taller as anger infused her body. “I do not care for your accusations. I doubt you even have any knowledge of what has happened here.” Hem cruelly subdued her anger. “Your daughter and I had one impulsive moment together which resulted in the conception of three children. No matter what happened between us before, I have immense respect for Palmer as an equal and as the mother of our children. I have never and would never act disgracefully toward your daughter.”
For a long moment blue eyes and black and gold met and held. Sandra was the first to look away.
“We are leaving Pharm very soon and I don’t want my daughter brainwashed into believing that except for her daughters there was anything else keeping her here. The girls and their mother can keep in contact if they so choose, but you are an enemy of Terran.” Hem felt her heart jerk at hearing the truth said out loud. “It would be unfortunate for her to lose everything she has worked so hard to accomplish simply because she was side-tracked by the obvious appeal and power you radiate.”
Hem pushed her fingers through her hair as she allowed Sandra’s logic to wound its way around her haemorrhaging heart. Steeling herself, she stood straighter and looked down at the blonde.
“You’re right. Our daughters should be our priority,” she said evenly. “Please excuse me. We have a few more arrangements to make before tomorrow.” Hem bowed her head slightly as she stepped around Sandra and left the library. Her footsteps faltered when she noticed her two daughters standing in the hallway, looking at her with twin looks of hurt on their faces. With their enhanced hearing they must’ve heard what had been said. Giving them a weak smile, she continued in the opposite direction from them.
Palmer sighed in relief when after walking down numerous hallways, lost and with a dozing Josh in her arms, she saw Kalt coming towards her. The girl’s face lit up at the sight of her and a warm smile formed on Palmer’s lips.
“I’ve never been so happy to see you, Kalt.”
The girl frowned. “Do you need help?”
Palmer smiled sheepishly. “I was looking for Taffy and got lost.”
“Oh,” Kalt smiled widely. “I can take you to her. Follow me.”
Palmer shifted Josh in her arms, pondering when the little guy had grown so heavy. Kalt came to stand before her, towering over her.
“Could I carry him for you?”
It was on the tip of her tongue to refuse the girl’s offer, but she quickly changed her mind when she saw the eagerness in Kalt’s eyes. She held out the sleeping boy and watched as Kalt tenderly cradled the boy against her chest.
“They are down this way,” Kalt said and started back down the hallway the same way she’d come from. Palmer fell in next to her and in silence they began the trip to Taffy and Mara’s sleeping quarters. Stealing a glance at Kalt, Palmer was shocked to find Kalt looking at her. The girl blushed at having been caught and quickly turned her head away.
Palmer stopped and waited for Kalt to realize that she was no longer walking next to her. After a few steps, the girl came to a stop and hesitantly turned back to look at her.
“Mother?” she asked softly.
Palmer approached her and stood before her shy daughter. “You know you can ask me anything you want.”
Kalt blushed even deeper and ducked her head. Palmer gently touched the girl’s face and waited for her to lift her head. Big, soft blue eyes, so like her own, met Palmer’s. For a moment they stared into each other’s eyes.
“You…you are so beautiful,” the girl stammered after a while, charming Palmer to no end. She stood on tiptoe and pressed a soft kiss to the blushing girl’s cheek.
“You are kind to say that, but you are the beautiful one,” she whispered. Palmer chuckled softly when the girl quickly looked away, her cheeks getting even redder. “You are the best of both me and your mother and that is a flawless combination.”
Kalt’s eyes met hers for a second before she looked away, but not before Palmer saw the delight in the blue orbs.
“Thank you, mother.”
“You’re welcome, honey.”
At the endearment, Kalt smiled shyly before she sobered again. “Shall we continue? Joshua needs to be tucked in.”
“Yes.” They quietly continued down the hallway. “Did your mother always tuck you in?”
Kalt smiled warmly at the mention of her mother. “Yes. Everyone thought it so strange for her to rush home to bathe us and put us to bed, but she was adamant to raise us part human. She said you would’ve done it too had you been there.”
At that moment Palmer regretted not having extended the kiss she’d given Hem earlier. The woman deserved that and so much more.
“She had confections made on our birthdates and she would sing for us,” Kalt continued.
Palmer’s eyes shot full of tears. She placed her hand on Kalt’s arm bringing the girl to a stop. At the girl’s confused look, she smiled warmly.
“Could you return Josh to his parents? I need to go find your mother.” She didn’t wait for the girl to respond and turned on her heel and tried to mentally figure out the way back to the library.
Hem opened her palm and looked at the crushed remains of the rock. Disgusted, she quickly tipped her palm and watched as the powdered remains fluttered to the ground. She dusted her hands together and looked out over the stormy sea. She had lost count of how many times she’d come to this place to find solace. When her mood was like this, she craved the thunderous sound and powerful force of the stormy sea. During the day the beach was always busy. Pharmacs lived long lives and since they don’t need much sleep, even longer days. It was up to them to fill the long hours and the beach was one place where time past quickly and enjoyably. Hem had brought the girls here a few times when they were younger, since then the girls had come here on their own or with friends.
Hem liked coming here alone…after dark, especially. Then it was quiet and the solitude massaged her overworked mind and emphasised her memories. This was the only place she’d ever let her thoughts of Palmer loose. With the moon casting a silvery sheen on the water and the waves fighting to disturb the tranquillity of the image, Hem had found the place speaking to her every time. Since meeting Palmer, that was what her mood had been like, tranquil the one moment and stormy the next.
Sandra’s words drove her here tonight. The words, uttered so truthfully, had made Hem realize she’d been mistaking a nightmare for a dream. Palmer could and would never be hers. They were from two different worlds and Palmer’s world considered Hem their nemesis. Hem rubbed over her face and grimaced when she encountered wetness. Tears? She wondered for whom she was really crying. Herself? Her daughters who are already so enamoured with their mother? Or for Palmer who, after the kiss a scant few minutes ago, was probably living the same nightmare as she was? With no answers forthcoming, the storm within her grew stronger, louder… dangerous.
Alarming herself with the sudden near-loss of control, Hem searched deep inside to find a way to banish the demon within her. A mantra popped into her mind and grasping for it desperately she mumbled it.
“Kalt, Elyst, Nael, Palmer...?
The part of the hallway she was moving down seemed familiar and Palmer quickened her steps. As she rounded the corner, she came to an abrupt stop when she found her mother, Elyst and Nael in deep conversation.
“I didn’t know,” Palmer heard her mother say with so much regret in her voice. Why would her mother say that? What was happening here?
“Mother, what’s wrong?” she asked as she approached them. She saw Elyst and Nael quickly averting their eyes. “What is going on?” Palmer’s voice rose in panic and Sandra held up her hands. Palmer noticed that her mother’s face was pale and her eyes were misty.
“I did something and I ask you to forgive me,” Sandra began and Palmer felt herself growing cold with concern.
“What did you do, mother?” When Sandra didn’t talk immediately, Palmer looked to her daughters. They both looked very uncomfortable. “Tell me,” she demanded. She couldn’t put her finger to it, but she just knew that whatever had happened involved Hem. “Where is Hem?”
Sandra swallowed hard and Palmer was vaguely surprised to witness her mother’s unease. Sandra Middleton was a formidable woman and not easily intimidated.
“I had a talk with Hemheri,” Sandra said softly. “I…I accused her of playing with your feelings and told her to leave you alone.” The last part of the confession came out rushed.
“You did what, Mother?” Sandra’s words had vaguely registered, but the meaning was too shocking to accept.
“I told Hem to stay away from you,” Sandra said softly, this time her voice was heavy with emotions. “I swear I didn’t know and I was just looking out for you.”
Palmer closed her eyes briefly. She conjured up Hem’s face after that kiss. Even if Hem didn’t love her, she had recognized many little signs that pointed to Hem’s interest in her. In the space of a few minutes her mother had managed to take all that away. Taking a shuddering breath, Palmer opened her eyes and found both her mother and girls looking at her uneasily. She shifted her gaze to her mother.
“I can understand that you were only looking out for me, Mother, but you had no right saying that to her.” Palmer held her mother’s gaze. “It might not make sense to you or anybody else, but for the first time in eighteen years I feel alive. Being around her and being able to touch Hem did that.”
“Oh, honey…” Sandra murmured as tears coursed down her cheeks. Palmer pulled her mother into a strong, crushing hug. “I’m so sorry.”
Hem was already so skittish and it was probably to late already to fix it, but Palmer didn’t think her mother needed to know that. Sandra was genuinely regretful and Palmer knew her mother well enough to know that Sandra had only good intentions at heart. If only it didn’t hurt so much. Sandra lifted her hands and framed Palmer’s face with her hands.
“I...was scared for you.”
“I know and I understand,” Palmer said softly as she looked deep into her mother’s eyes. “But I’m scared for myself when I think of losing Hem again.” Her vision blurred as her eyes welled up with tears. “I don’t know how to say this, but Hem…she matters. She matters a lot and I’ve missed her.”
A soft sniff made them both turn to find Elyst wiping her eyes. Nael had a bright smile on her face. Palmer opened her arms and both girls stepped into the embrace huddling to accommodate both their mother and their grandmother.
“Go find her, Palmer, and bring her back,” Sandra’s muffled voice sounded.
Palmer pulled out of the embrace and found her mother being held tight against Nael’s chest thus the muffled speech. Where would she start? The woman could run faster than lightening, fly across the universe in a single day and…the bottom-line is that she had no idea where to start looking for Hem.
“Where do I begin looking for her?
I know where to find her,” Nael spoke. “I can take you to her.”
A mixture of dread and anxiety settled in Palmer’s stomach as she looked at Nael. What if Hem didn’t want to see her?
“Maybe I shouldn’t…” she began but was interrupted by Elyst.
“Please go to her,” Elyst pleaded. “She needs you.”
Palmer was taken aback by what the girl had said and more so by the conviction in the voice. She turned to look at Nael. She had extracted herself from Sandra’s arms and stood calmly looking at her.
Let it never be said, that Palmer Middleton was too scared to take a chance on love. She nodded at Nael and the girl smiled. Palmer swore she could see relief in the girl’s sapphire gaze.
Hem was dripping wet as she dragged her body from the sea. Frustrated, she had dived into the cool water and swam as far as she could into the ocean. She had kept on until she’d felt a slight dip in her immense power. That was when her sense of duty kicked in. She couldn’t afford to become too vulnerable. Too many people depended on her strength and protection. Not to speak of the lives of her girls. Reluctantly she had turned back to shore, this time swimming at a measured pace. Looking over the calmer sea, she grinned slightly. She had literally drowned her anger in the pulsing waters and her rage seemed to have quieted the stormy sea.
She reached for her clothes and stiffened when she picked up the slight turbulence in the air around her. Someone was coming. She quickly threw her clothes on and moved into the shadows the nearby palm trees offered. Three minutes later a blur moved past her and stopped at the spot where she had stood earlier. Her sharp eyesight made out the broad shoulders and a familiar smell reached her nose.
She was just about to call out, when the newcomer turned and Hem could make out the bundle in the tall Pharmac’s arms. Confusion, fear and anger surged through her as she took in the sight of the smaller blond woman swaying wildly as she was placed on her feet. How dare they invade her sanctuary? No, how dare Nael bring Palmer here?
“Here, let me hold you until you’re a little steadier?”
“She’s not here, Nael,” Palmer said as she looked up and down the beach.
Hem watched as Nael looked down at her mother. “She is. I can sense her.” She held Palmer an arms breadth from her. “She will probably not approach while I’m here. I will not be far.”
Nael strode off down the moonlit beach. Hem kept her eye on her daughter until she was only a little speckle in the distance. She turned back to Palmer. The blonde was seated on the shifty sand, her legs folded underneath her. For a moment Hem admired the way the moonlight reflected on the few grey strands amongst Palmer’s golden hair. The human sat so still, looking out on the calm sea. As beautiful as Palmer looked sitting there, Hem knew she didn’t belong there. At once her anger and frustration bubbled to the surface.
“What are you doing here, Palmer?”
The blonde head jerked around. Wide blue eyes sought and found hers. Their gazes held for a moment before Palmer turned away and looked out over the sea again.
“My mother told me what happened.”
Hem’s hand curled into a fist as a fresh wave of pain and anger swept through her. “She was right.”
“She made me realize that we are hoping for something that isn’t there…” Hem’s heart broke when she saw Palmer’s shoulders stiffen. “…and probably never was. We had sex and now are the parents of three teenagers. Let’s not complicate this anymore with lust.”
The blonde head turned slowly and Hem began to tremble when she saw the glint of tears on Palmer’s face.
“Lust, Hem?” Palmer asked quietly.
“Yes, Palmer, lust.”
The blonde looked out over the sea again. For a long moment the only sounds were the droning of the sea. Hem watched as a soft breeze played through Palmer’s hair, tousling the golden strands. Palmer sat straight and still as a statue, ignoring the locks that fluttered around her face.
“Kalt told me earlier how you would tuck them in and read them bedtime stories,” Palmer spoke, her voice soft and contemplative. “She said you told them that I’d have done it too had I been there.” A small shaky hand lifted as Palmer rubbed her cheeks. “You know what I really would’ve done had I been there?” Palmer inhaled deeply. “I would’ve bathed them and read them a bedtime story. Afterwards, I would’ve taken their mother to bed and held her weary head against my breast and…and tell her…” Palmer voice got lost in a soft sob.
Hem stood frozen, her heart splintering into tiny pieces as she listened to Palmer crying. She took a small step towards the blonde.
“No,” came the vehement reply. “Don’t talk. You’ve done enough damage talking for now.” Palmer came to her feet and dusted herself.
Hem warily looked at the small human as she came to stand before her. Feeling awkward towering over Palmer, she stooped lower. Palmer’s eyes were swollen and red-rimmed, but the look in her eyes was hard with determination. The next instant there was a flash of movement and Hem staggered back in shock. She slowly raised her hand to her stinging cheek.
“That was for being a coward and for missing out on a great life,” Palmer said in an eerily calm voice. “I don’t care what you decide about us, but I’m not giving up on my children. I know you love them and that is why I beg you to find a way for us to stay in contact after I leave here.”
Still reeling from the suddenness of the slap, Hem could only stare at Palmer. Since she was born and had blinked gold and black eyes at her parents she had been treated and raised with the utmost respect. She had been born to lead and rule with power. Never before in all of her 977 years had anyone touched her without her acquiescence. Those who did were not alive to tell the tale. Her anger surged again and she could feel its power rush through her body and glinted in her eyes.
Palmer stared into Hem’s eyes and the realization at whom was standing before her cleaved through her heart. After the slap, Hem had straightened to her imposing height and the alien’s whole aura changed. Palmer knew instantly that she was looking at Principal Hemheri, the deadliest being in the universe. Standing so close to Hem, Palmer could feel the power Hem exuded. They stood in silence, glaring at each other. Palmer had to keep herself from cowering in the face of Hem’s rage, praying that she hadn’t overstepped her boundaries where Hem was concerned. She almost collapsed in relief when Hem suddenly turned away and disappeared into the dense foliage of palm trees.
Her relief quickly morphed into a feeling of abandonment and the realization that what they had tried to salvage was over for good. Giving in to the searing pain inside, Palmer fell to her knees and cried. She was startled when warm arms folded around her and she was held closely. The tenderness of the embrace made her cry even harder. She felt herself being lifted and cradled against a broad chest with infinite tenderness. Curling her arms around the strong neck, Palmer cried until her throat hurt. She didn’t know how long she’d been crying, but when she lifted her head, she met stormy blue eyes. She raised her hand and cupped the strong face.
“Thank you,” she murmured and rested her head against Nael’s chest. Her head lifted just as quickly. “Oh my, you need your rest if you’re going to do the ritual today.” She searched Nael’s eyes. The girl looked annoyed. Palmer’s mood dipped further. “I’m sorry that you have to be stuck with me.”
“It is an evening affair. No need to be sorry, Mother.” Nael gave her a weak smile. “I want to be here.”
Palmer sighed softly. “She raised you girls wonderfully,” she said as she stifled a yawn and felt Nael’s arms tightening around her.
“Sleep, mother. I’ll make sure I get you home. You’ve had a very trying first day on Pharm.”
Never before had Palmer considered letting her guard down around people. Not even with her lovers. She would be awake long after they’d fallen asleep and would be awake long before they awakened. But there was something so profoundly comforting in having your child watching over you while you slept that made Palmer’s eyes fluttered closed on their own accord. She truly was exhausted. First there was the trip, then the shock of meeting her daughters, then the intense talk with Hem and now the pain of having lost Hem. Frankly, she just wanted the day to end so she could start anew tomorrow with her daughters. Pressing her ear over Nael’s heart, Palmer allowed the strong, rhythmic sound to lull her into a deep sleep.
Palmer was still fast asleep when an hour later; Nael rose with her cradled in her arms. She turned to the taller shadow standing a few feet away. Her slumbering body exchanged arms and then she was cradled against a broader chest.
Showered and feeling slightly better, Hem entered the dining hall to find it empty safe for the small, petite figure standing on the large balcony, sipping from a large beaker. She slowly approached the woman. It was still very early and all the other humans including her daughters were still asleep. After tucking Palmer in, she had stretched out next to the blonde and watched her sleep. After six hours and with Palmer becoming restless in her sleep, she had excused herself hastily and used one of the guest chambers to freshen up.
The woman must’ve heard her approach, because she turned around. For a moment there was flash of wariness in the green eyes before they became unreadable.
“Good morning, Senator.”
“Principal Hemheri,” the petite woman said with small bow of her head. She held up the beaker. “The coffee, or whatever this delicious drink is, is still hot. The staff brought me a pot just now.”
Hem smiled. “It’s called tacuc. The main ingredient comes from leaves that grow on the other side of the planet.” Hem waved at the large table in the dining hall where the staff was busy placing steaming dishes. The senator followed. “The leaves are soaked in boiling water and leached before a touch of lemon syrup is added to the solution. It’s a favourite of mine too.”
“It tastes fresh…almost minty”
“It’s because it is derived from a plant almost similar to the mint leaves on Terran,” Hem said with a small grin. “I was wondering if you would be able to taste the mint through the heavy lemon flavour.”
“One does not taste it immediately, but the moment you swallow you feel that minty coolness going down your throat,” the senator said as she studied the contents in her beaker. “I must say that I was a bit unsure when I saw the size of the beaker, but after tasting the brew I was afraid that the beaker might in fact be too small.” The stoic woman chuckled at her witty observation and Hem was surprised by how it changed her whole façade.
Senator Rebecca Keane was indeed a beautiful woman. And with that realization came a very queasy feeling. Now she understood the sly looks Nael had been throwing the Senator’s way during dinner. She had simply attributed the interest of her lastborn to the fact that Nael was fascinated by the humans and probably more so by the fact that the petite woman was the most powerful woman on Terran. She knows better now and will have to do something before the Senator ends up number sixty- one on Nael’s list. If her experience with Palmer was anything to go by, sexual contact with a human had serious long-lasting effects and many more complications afterwards. She didn’t want that for Nael.
“Is there a problem?”
Hem realized she was still staring at the woman. Smiling faintly, she shook her head and took a seat. The Senator followed suit, but her sharp gaze didn’t leave Hem’s face.
“No. I’ve only come to the realization now that we have not made time to take you on a familiarization tour around Pharm. Would it interest you if I could get my assistant to draw up a schedule for us? If you could tell me what would be of interest to you, we can arrange consultations with the particular sectors.” Hem could see that her offer was completely unexpected because the senator’s eyes widened slightly. She knew that the senator would not let up a chance to see the planet and maybe take notes of any weaknesses. Unfortunately for her, there were none.
“You were not informed of my company beforehand and thus you can’t be faulted in anyway. But I must say I’m sincerely honoured that you would accommodate me on such short notice.” The senator smiled. “I will have to consult with Captain Middleton so we could also include her areas of interest.”
Hem felt her heart jerk at the mention of Palmer’s name. She had kept tabs on Palmer over the years and knew that the blonde was highly valued by the Terran Council. But it was interesting to know that the Senator would draw the blonde into such a high level position of decision-making.
“I didn’t know that Captain Middleton was held in such high regard by the Terran Council.” She saw the green eyes narrow slightly and Hem sat back in her chair. “I’m genuinely interested, Senator Keane.”
The Senator’s piercing gaze held Hem’s for only a second, but it was long enough for Hem to read something in their verdant depths. What she’d seen made her sit straighter as she now skewered the Senator with a hard stare. The redhead took a sip of her drink before she spoke.
“Captain Middleton is part of a handful of Starfleet personnel who also function as high level consultants to the Council. Besides, she is also the highest ranking officer aside from me to serve as an administrative companion on this trip.”
The Senator’s answer was straightforward and relevant, but Hem couldn’t help the frisson coursing through her at the usage of the term ‘companion.’ Before she could form a comment or comeback, the green eyes shifted behind her, an indecipherable expression in them. Hem turned around in her chair to find Palmer entering the dining hall. Dressed in her black Space fleet captain’s uniform and with her shoulder length blonde hair brushed out, Palmer looked exquisite and every bit the respected Starship captain. Meeting the icy blue gaze, Hem straightaway caught the symbolism behind the way Palmer was dressed. For the duration of the trip and where Hem was concerned, only Captain Middleton will be attending.
Palmer came to a stop at the table. “Principal Hemheri. Senator Keane,” she greeted curtly and took a seat. They both acknowledged her greeting with a nod.
Hem’s eyes slid to the Senator and found the woman looking at Palmer, who was busy serving herself from the different dishes on offer. Filling her beaker, Hem could feel a paralyzing terror seep into her bones. She had seen it earlier in the Senator’s eyes and also when she’d looked at Palmer earlier. Senator Rebecca Keane didn’t escort the human delegation to Pharm on an official visit. Instead, she was here to protect other interests.
How could I have not seen it earlier, Hem berated herself as she fixed a cool gaze on the petite redhead.
The Senator was in love with Palmer.
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