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Broken_The Discordant Earth Series 1


  Broken

  The Discordant Earth Series

  Book One

  Melony Paradise

  Credits & Copyright

  Alpha Reader/Editor: Danielle Romo

  Cover by: Clarissa Yeo

  Edited by: Dave Arden

  Broken

  Discordant Earth 1.0

  Copyright © 2017 Melony Paradise

  www.melonyparadise.com

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

  All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author.

  Check out New Enemies, a prequel in the Discordant Earth series. Available at Amazon.com, or you can receive it FREE by signing up for my newsletter at:

  Newsletter Signup

  www.MelonyParadise.com

  Table of Contents

  Credits & Copyright

  Dedication

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  New Enemies

  Connect with the Author

  Other Books by Melony Paradise

  Dedication

  To my wonderful and supporting husband for standing by me, encouraging me the whole way, and having infinite amounts of patience.

  And to my sister, Danielle, for being my very first reader, my cheerleader, my sounding board, and my middle-of-the-night adviser. I couldn’t have done this without you!

  Chapter 1

  The gunmetal walls of the hallway tilted as they crept closer and closer. Struggling to grasp the news that should’ve made her happy, but in fact, scared the crap out of her, Alyssa Rose glanced back at the door to the prenatal clinic, her face ashen, wondering again if they could’ve been wrong.

  “A baby? Really?” She slapped a hand against the wall to steady herself. “This can’t be happening. How is it even possible? He’s a damn alien.” Pulling in a ragged breath, she let out a little scoffing laugh. “Obviously, it’s possible… the test proved it.”

  Alyssa took two unsteady steps, bouncing off the metal wall of the med pod, a converted shuttle pod. With a hand to her forehead, she squeezed her eyes shut at a sudden realization. “Oh hell... what’s Kayn going to say?”

  Glancing around to see if anyone overheard her, Alyssa leaned against the wall, sighing, her cheeks flushing as she thought how embarrassing it would be to have witnesses to her brief melt-down. With a shake of her head, she scurried down the bright hallway, pulling her knit sweater tight, the material bunched in her fists.

  Do half-alien, half-human babies exist?

  With trembling arms wrapped around her gurgling belly, Alyssa floated through the corridor on auto-pilot, passing the various medical offices of the med pod, the stifling air of the hallway threatening to choke her as she swallowed back bile.

  The thin slash of a pupil stared at her—scrutinized her—as Alyssa held up her wrist to study the cat’s-eye symbol scarred into her flesh. Given only to favored humans, the loyalty brand represented the Szu’Kara’s home planet, Valentis, but for her it symbolized dreams come true, a fulfilling career and a relationship she’d waited years for.

  Her fingers grazed the raised lines of the brand as Alyssa turned to go outside, the early morning sunlight warming her chilled skin. Long, wavy black hair hung down the sides of her face, blinding her to everything but that condemning eye as she stepped down onto the ramp, narrowly avoiding colliding with someone.

  Two pale hands grabbed her shoulders. “Aly, are you okay?”

  “Huh?” Alyssa looked up to find her best friend, Jess, staring at her. “Oh, um—yeah, I’m fine.”

  “You don’t look fine.” Jess peered at her with concerned, hazel eyes. “You’re white as a ghost.”

  Pushing Jess’ hands away, Alyssa forced a smile. “Really, Jess, I’m good.”

  “Okay, then.” Jess shrugged, always so trusting. “I need to get going. My shift starts soon. You want to get together later?”

  “Yes.” Alyssa blew out a breath of relief. “I really could use some girl time. I’ve been working way too many hours with Kayn and General Ass.”

  Jess grinned, snickering at their nickname for General Ras’Mar, second-in-command of the Szu’Kara.

  “You want to help me finish some decorations for the Arrival Day celebration?”

  “Sure,” Jess said, as she brushed her frosty blonde hair away from her face. “You want me to bring some wine?”

  “No! I mean... I can’t drink. Kayn has me on-call until Arrival Day.”

  “Aly, you’re all pale again. Are you sure you’re okay?”

  “Yeah, sorry. Just tired from all the overtime,” Alyssa said, forcing a convincing smile. “I’ll call you later.”

  ***

  Alyssa attempted to collect herself as she entered the reception area outside the commander’s office. She cleared her throat, hoping her voice wouldn’t come out shaky. “Isa, is the commander in?”

  “He is with the general,” Isa said, in her smooth, cultured tone.

  She leaned her hip against Isa’s desk, bracing herself. The beautiful alien regarded her with curiosity, her hairless head almost level with Alyssa’s, despite being seated. As she reached for a pen, Isa’s iridescent, ivory skin glimmered with a barely perceptible lavender highlight.

  Like Alyssa’s loyalty brand, the large eyes of the Szu’Kara race were like a cat’s, but without the iris. They came in a range of stunning metal or gemstone colors, with the darker hues often concealing the thin pupil. Shimmery gold marbled the surface of Isa’s brilliant white eyes, which looked like precious jewels set in her elegant face.

  “Do you need assistance, Alyssa?”

  “Sorry, no.” Alyssa tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. “I need to speak with the commander alone. How long has the general been in there?”

  “Nearly two hours.”

  As personal assistant to the commander of the Szu’Kara race, Alyssa had worked with Isa on many projects. Although the Szu’Kara had been on Earth since she was two, working so closely with the commander required a deeper knowledge of the alien society she just didn’t have. Isa had been an invaluable coach, causing Alyssa to wonder, on more than one occasion, if her own position was more… superficial. Having acted as the official greeter when human delegates visited the Command Compound, she’d felt like set dressing more than once.

  With a deep sigh, Alyssa stood, smoothing her black pencil-skirt. Just as she reached for the palm-scanner, the door swooshed open to reveal General Ras glaring down at her. She put on her most polite smile and stepped back out of his way.

  “Hello, General.”

  “Miss Rose.” His g
rating voice seemed to crawl up his throat with great effort.

  “Anything I can help you with today?” She folded her hands in front of her, knowing full well how he’d react.

  Ras continued to scowl at Alyssa with narrowed, silvery-gray eyes, which as usual, flashed with disapproval, and briefly, she pondered the length of that stick up his ass.

  “No,” he said, jutting his chin out, the light reflecting dully off his grayish-blue skin, emphasizing the gaunt features of his long, triangular face. “I need nothing from you.”

  Alyssa pursed her lips, holding back a grin, and rolled her eyes at an amused Isa as the general stalked away. Stepping into the office, she chuckled at the churlish general.

  “What is so amusing?” Kayn’s baritone voice bounced off the cavernous office walls.

  “Oh, uh, nothing, Commander.” In the office, respect was always required, regardless of any outside relationship.

  The Szu’Kara were sticklers for propriety, although they tended to tolerate more from the humans they favored. Their own word, kara, loosely translated to mean elite, noble, or leader, depending on the context, and every alien born of the commander line received a name that included ’Kara.

  Alyssa glanced across the office to where Kayn stood behind his desk with sunlight filtering in through the tinted picture window behind him, casting a halo around his silhouette. A large lamp shined from the corner of his desk, making his dark face glow, halting Alyssa in place, her heart skipping a beat.

  “Ras amuses you.” The corner of his mouth turned up, a gleam in his eye.

  With a quick shake of her head, Alyssa rushed to her desk in the corner of the dark office, feigning interest in a stack of files. She smoothed down the hem of her lavender silk blouse, tucked a few strands of hair behind her ear, and steadied herself.

  “Kayn, I have something to tell you. Is this a good time for a private conversation?”

  Alyssa sensed Kayn’s presence at her back before his hand touched her shoulder, long fingers sliding up to caress the curve of her neck. Taking a deep breath, she turned to gaze up into his liquid gold eyes, mesmerized by their beauty as she considered how a baby would affect their burgeoning relationship. She couldn’t imagine not being able to touch his silky, steel-blue skin or feel his long, slender fingers sliding through her hair. The thought sent tingles down her spine.

  Pull it together, girl… don’t get distracted. This might change things, but he still cares about you. He knows you’re a dedicated employee, so there’s nothing to worry about.

  Alyssa dragged her almond-shaped eyes away from his all-consuming gaze, her pulse racing as nervous butterflies fluttered in her belly. Stepping back, Kayn seemed to study her like a treasured specimen, his sharp, regal features giving him a commanding presence that demanded respect.

  “There is much work to be done, but I will allow a short break if it is important.”

  “It is.”

  “Shall we sit?”

  “Yes, please.” Alyssa drifted to the sitting area across from her desk, hesitant with nerves. “I’m sorry to interrupt your day, but I have some… news I need to discuss with you.”

  Perched on the leather sofa together, Alyssa turned to face Kayn, placing her trembling hand in his as he cradled it in his large palm, nearly distracting her again. “What do you need to tell me, my dear?”

  Alyssa blew out a shaky breath. “I had a doctor’s appointment this morning.”

  “Yes, it was on the schedule.”

  “It was at the prenatal clinic. I, uh, had a pregnancy test done. It was... uh.” Oh, hell.

  “Yes?” Kayn’s face remained emotionless. Not curious, not concerned—not anything.

  A lump clogged her throat, threatening to choke her, and with a gulp, she blurted it out. “I’m pregnant!”

  Trembling, Alyssa hung her head, trying to smile as she peeked up at Kayn through her dark lashes.

  “Pregnant?” He dropped her hand. That’s not good. “Is that so?”

  “Y-yes.” Alyssa’s pulse pounded in her ears.

  Kayn stared down at her, blinking slowly. “Interesting.”

  Unsure of his reaction, Alyssa waited, smoothing her sweaty palms over her velvety skirt as Kayn rose from the sofa, stepping away with his hands clasped behind his back. The alien leader carried himself in a cool, calm, and always-in-control manner Alyssa admired. After several minutes of silence, she flinched when he finally spoke.

  “Did Shar perform the test?”

  “Y-yes, she did.” Alyssa tugged at the hem of her skirt.

  Shar’Enta was the charge nurse at the prenatal clinic, and managed most of the nursing staff at the med pod. She could do what most human doctors do, usually better, since the Szu’Kara had developed advanced technology and medical knowledge over the centuries.

  “Kayn?”

  “Yes?”

  “How did this happen? I thought our species were not alike enough to… breed.”

  “It is possible, my dear. Rare, but possible.” Kayn swung around to face her, beaming with pride. Alyssa’s heart skipped a beat.

  “This is wonderful news, Alyssa. While it is unexpected, I am not surprised. I am Kayn’Kara, Commander of the Szu’Kara. My bloodline is the strongest of our species.”

  “So, you’re happy?”

  “Yes, I am happy. Although, it would be prudent to keep this between you and I, for now. There are many who would not understand.” Kayn crossed his arms, looking towards the picture window with a scowl. “As the commander, I cannot appear weak. We must be sure the child is developing properly and is genetically sound before it is announced.”

  “Okay…” Irritation flickered through Alyssa’s already frazzled mind.

  “This will be my first child, Alyssa. It must be strong, especially since it is half-human. If the child is born healthy, it will change the course of our plans.”

  “I understand, Kayn.” Not really… “May I tell Jess? She’s my closest friend, and I need someone I can confide in, other than you, of course.”

  “Of course.” He tipped his head to her. “Yes, you may tell her, but she must not tell anyone else. You can trust her to be discreet, correct?”

  “Absolutely.” Alyssa pursed her lips, reining in her irritation.

  “You will need to participate in the prenatal program. I will contact Shar this evening. You may coordinate your schedule with her tomorrow.”

  “I will. May I hug you now?”

  The Szu’Kara did not appreciate spontaneous affection, in fact, most aliens avoided physical contact altogether outside the privacy of their personal quarters. Kayn, however, enjoyed touching Alyssa, but preferred to initiate the contact himself.

  “Yes, you may.”

  Alyssa rushed to wrap her arms around Kayn’s slender waist. With her ear against his broad chest, she heard air moving in and out of his extra-large lungs, as well as the double beat of his two hearts. She looked up at Kayn with a hopeful smile, and he grinned down at her, stooping his long upper body to grace her with a passionate kiss.

  With a wistful sigh, Alyssa slid a finger over a crisp seam of his pristine commander’s uniform, thankful Kayn was happy about the baby. She could even feel herself starting to accept the situation. Maybe this baby will be good for us. Maybe we can become a family.

  “Alyssa.” Kayn stepped away from her, lowering his head, crossing his arms over his chest.

  “Yes, Kayn?” She clasped her hands in front of her as she tried to hide her sudden anxiety.

  “I assumed you were on some sort of birth control. Is that not so?”

  “I-I’m sorry… I haven’t dated since high school and, uh… didn’t need it then. With you, I thought it was unnecessary, you know… since nothing should have happened...”

  “Yes, well, I knew it was your first fully intimate Asen’Sha.” He cocked his head as his eyes nailed her in place. “I was unaware you had never been with a human male before. Humans are encouraged to have relations wit
h other humans before engaging in sexually intimate Asen’Sha.”

  When the Szu’Kara arrived, not only did they bring advanced technology, they literally brought humanity a key to heaven, or as the general population referred to it, Zion. Using a natural chemical in their body, known as Valene, the aliens could guide humans to Zion, for a short time, through a kind of ritual called Asen’Sha. Like an out of body experience, during Asen’Sha humans could feel the euphoric atmosphere of the heavenly realm and experience amazing things that weren’t possible on Earth.

  “Well…” Alyssa blushed beet red. “This is somewhat embarrassing to admit, but my experiences with human males in the past haven’t gone so well. In high school, I tended to date older boys, and when they turned sixteen they spent most of their time with their Szu’Kara guides. Let’s just say, after getting dumped so many times, I lost faith in human males.”

  Experienced in different degrees of immersion, humans were allowed to have their first Asen’Sha at thirteen, absorbing limited amounts of Valene into the skin by holding hands, or clasping arms with an assigned guide during a meditation session, often in a group.

  At sixteen, a human could choose a higher dosage of Valene, delving deeper into Zion, in private sessions with more physical contact, usually sitting with their bare back against an alien guide’s bare back. Depending on the relationship between the alien and the human, private sessions could be quite intimate, within limitations. The Szu’Kara would never take advantage of an underage human.

  Finally, at eighteen years old, humans were granted the most immersive and intimate Asen’Sha experience, which could, and often did, involve sexual contact. Some people never chose to go so deep, if they even chose Asen’Sha at all, but most regarded it as the highest spiritual experience possible.

  Alyssa hugged herself, searching the room for just the right words. “For as long as I can remember, I had a huge crush on you. I thought you were the most beautiful creature on Earth.” She averted her gaze, her cheeks burning. “I just didn’t think you’d ever care for me the same way. Once I started working for you, I focused on being the best assistant I could be... for you.” Now I sound like a damn stalker.

 
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