It’s time for another First Chapter Friday where I share the first chapter or up to 1,500 words from a different story each week. Sometimes, the selection will have a sale attached to it, and other times a new release, or just because it’s a story I love. Happy reading!
The eighth book featured in First Chapter Friday is THE STAR PRINCESS. This story is a New Adult Sci-Fi Romance that is set on another planet and a futuristic Earth. Enjoy!
THE STAR PRINCESS
by Jessica E. Subject
“What do you mean trade places?” Cyrus, his personal aide and friend, grabbed the nylon across his chest. “We’re strapped in because we’re landing soon. I can’t exactly get out of my seat right now.”
“No.” Deion released a heavy breath, wiping his forehead. “That’s not what I mean. I want you to take my place during the ceremony this evening. I don’t think I’m in any condition to meet the princess.”
“You’re kidding. What, are you afraid she’s beastly looking?”
“No!” He cringed. The women he’d met from Minjet had all been stunning diamonds sparkling is a solar system of rust and decay. “I have the stomach flu. Or the worst case of nerves ever. I just need you to sit in my place at dinner tonight.”
“And what do you want me to tell the royal family? That you think you’re sick?”
“Make something up.” Deion swallowed the bile burning his throat. “I feel like shit.”
“It’s fucked up that you’re so sick the day you’re to meet your future wife.”
“Yeah, fucked up is exactly how I’m feeling right now.” If his kingdom wasn’t depending on him to unite their planets and garner help, he would turn around and head home, but the last war on Earth had destroyed almost everything. Those who’d survived had turned to the stars for help, sure other life existed, and they’d found it. A whole lot more than anyone had ever expected. One hundred years later, the year of his birth, Earth was invited to join the Galactic Confederacy. To show Earth’s commitment, Deion’s parents had agreed to a prearranged marriage for him, to a female they’d never met from another star system. Deion and Princess Ro’sa had now reached their twenty-first year, and he’d been sent to meet her and her parents before bringing her home to marry. A lifetime commitment. His dedication to the unknown girl had begun long ago when his father told him of his betrothal, but that didn’t mean he would instantly love the princess. Maybe he never would. What a horrible life that would be.
“Okay then, but I want to wear the crown and robe today. It may be my only chance,” Cyrus said.
“Whatever.” Closing his eyes, Deion concentrated on breathing. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Whatever it took to keep the contents of his stomach from greeting the royal family.
At the whoosh of the space shuttle flying overhead, the feline on Ro’sa’s knee hissed before jumping to the floor. Ro’sa hurried to the front of the house, pressing her palms and nose against the window. Somewhere in that ship was her betrothed, the prince from Earth she would marry.
Ka’lyn, her best friend, squeezed in beside her, claiming the rest of the available window space. “What do you think he looks like? I’ve never seen anyone from Earth before. Maybe he has two heads, or one eye….” She nudged Ro’sa’s side. “Two cocks?”
“Ka, really?” Flaring heat rushed to Ro’sa’s cheeks and temporarily paused the fluttering of firetubes in her stomach. In seven rotations, she would say good-bye to her home, her family, and all of her friends to be with a complete stranger. She’d grown up knowing this time would come, but it had always seemed so far away. Until he’d arrived. Ro’sa swallowed her nerves. “His people just recently joined the Confederacy. I think the only reason they were invited was to prevent an intergalactic war when they learned of the existence of life beyond their own solar system.” They’d already destroyed most of their planet. Who knows what they would have done had the Confederacy not intervened?
Ka’lyn grabbed her shoulders and turned Ro’sa to face her. “I know all this, but what do they look like?”
“Humanoid, like us.” She searched her memory for the few Terran dignitaries she’d met. “But their skin is different shades of brown, from nearly white to almost black.” Though she had no idea where her betrothed fit into the spectrum, never having been allowed to travel to Earth. How she wished she had. If her parents had allowed them to meet earlier, she’d have far fewer worries and much more experience with how to interact with those from Earth, and with her betrothed. She’d retained her virginity for him, the only female her age on the planet who hadn’t experienced sex, though she hoped to know what it was like before she left for Earth.
“Weird. So, when do you get to meet him?”
“Tonight.” Ro’sa returned her gaze out the window, watching the shuttle descend onto the runway. Had the prince saved himself for her? “There’s an official introduction ceremony where we will shake hands and eat our first meal together.”
“That’s crap.” Her friend tugged on her fingers. “Let’s go meet him as he’s coming off the ship.”
Ro’sa shook her head, yanking her hand away. “I can’t. I have to follow protocol.”
“Then we’ll hide in the shrubs. Don’t you want to check him out before you’re introduced to him in front of everyone?”
Biting her bottom lip, Ro’sa watched the spacecraft disappear below the treetops. “I guess.” Then she wouldn’t look like a fool in her first reaction to him. She could hold her emotions in check, having already caught sight of the prince.
“Let’s go then.” Ka’lyn stood at the door before she had the chance to move.
They left her friend’s home behind. Darting through the woods on the packed dirt path, Ro’sa hoped they’d make it to the runway in time. If the castle guards hastened him away, they’d never make it in time. Why hadn’t her parents let her meet him years ago? Was he that horrendous looking? At least they could have shown her a picture.
Out of nowhere, something grabbed her foot. As she plummeted to the ground, Ro’sa stuck out her arms. The impact jostled her wrists and her elbows gave out, her chin smacking the hard dirt. She bit her tongue, immediately tasting blood. With a groan, she rolled on her side. “Starsnatchers!”
“Ro’sa, what happened?” Ka’lyn stood several steps ahead, hands on her hips.
“Something grabbed me.” She sat up, examining the surrounding woods. As she spotted the culprit, her cheeks warmed. “Or…I tripped over a root.”
“Well, let’s go! If you don’t get your butt moving, we’re going to miss him.”
Not even an are you okay? Geez!Why did her friend want to see him so bad? The prince was her future husband, the one who would take her away from Ka’lyn.
Ro’sa got up and brushed off her skin suit made from a thick and pliable material, not likely to have torn during her fall.
“I’m coming.” She ran to catch up, watching where she stepped at the same time. No need to delay seeing her betrothed again.
They neared the runway and ducked behind the orange shrubs at the edge of the woods. They found gaps in the branches covered in sharp spikes to peek through.
Ka’lyn released an excited squeal. “We made it. They’re opening the hatch.”
“Shh, one of the guards will hear you, and I don’t need any of them to tell my father I hid in the bushes to see the prince.” Though it was easier to think about her father’s possible scorn than the waves rolling through her stomach at seeing the prince for the first time.
Scooting forward, she focused on the cavity in the shuttle. Any moment her betrothed would step through and she’d catch a glimpse, maybe more, of him, before the guards ushered him away to the private guest quarters in the castle. She lived on level two, but he would stay on four, located several stories underground.
As a figure stepped from the shuttle, Ro’sa gasped at the same time as her friend. The prince. He had to be her betrothed, with the crown of gold on his head reflecting the sunlight. His hair cascaded to his shoulders in dark-brown waves, skin the same rich color of chocolate, her favorite treat from Earth. He wore a finely pressed black suit with a white shirt underneath. His plush cape reached the floor behind him. Pausing on the platform, he smiled, dimples forming in his cheeks.
Thank you, Earth! Excitement bubbled from deep inside her, and something more. She squeezed her thighs together and swallowed her own squeal to keep from giving away their location.
“He’s gorgeous,” Ka’lyn whispered. “Even the color of his skin is sexy. I wonder what he tastes like.”
Ro’sa shoved her friend. “None of your business. He’s mine.”
“And I’m so jealous.” Ka’lyn returned the punch. “I want to lick him from head to toe.”
So did she. “Don’t even think about it. You already have your own man.”
“Yes, but I can dream, can’t I? I mean, I love my sweaty woodsman, but, some days, I wish he was a prince.”
Before Ro’sa had a chance to respond, another man stepped out of the shuttle and slapped the prince’s on the back.
Ka’lyn shifted beside her. “Who’s that?”
“His personal servant?” She’d been told the prince would arrive with his own entourage. “Maybe a friend?” Would a servant be allowed to touch royalty? On Minjet, yes, but she’d been told the line between royalty and commoners was much more defined on Earth. At least before the last war.
“He’s cute, too. A stronger jaw, and look at those full lips. Imagine what they’d be like to kiss, how they’d feel on your breasts and between your legs.”
“Would you stop!” Ro’sa covered her mouth. Her words had come out much louder than she’d intended as she focused on the images her friend had planted in her head.
Ka’lyn poked her arm. “He’s looking this way.” Ro’sa glanced at the shuttle platform and found the man’s gaze fixed on her. He leaned over the railing before racing down the stairs.
Busted. “He saw us. Run!” Ro’sa bolted in a zigzag around the trees, staying off the path. If the prince’s friend had seen her, had her betrothed? Would he still want to marry her if he’d caught her spying? She didn’t want to disappoint her parents, after all they’d done to arrange the union, or delay her meeting with the prince.
But, star clusters, it had been so worth it. At their introduction ceremony, she would stand more confident in front of him, and, at night, when she retired, she’d imagine him in bed with her, taking her virginity. Or maybe he’d be there with her instead, and she wouldn’t have to fantasize about anything.
She slowed as she neared Ka’lyn’s hut. Though the same as every home built into the hill, Ka’lyn’s stood out with the bright pink flowers in the garden, the ones her husband hated but put up with because he loved her.
Ka’lyn caught up to her, huffing and puffing. “So…what did you think…of the prince?”
“Very nice. My parents chose well.” Yet, his friend’s stare came to the front of her thoughts. Hauntingly blue eyes, the color of the oceans comprising most of Minjet. And his lips…. Oh, stars, she melted imagining what they’d be like pressed to hers, his hands touching every part of her body. Ro’sa shook her head, clearing away the image. She had no reason to think of anyone but her betrothed.
“They did, indeed. Want to trade places tonight? Just for the ceremony. After I meet him, you can have him back.”
With a chuckle, Ro’sa rolled her eyes. “You know that could never happen. My parents wouldn’t allow it.”
“Yeah, and you’d never lie to anyone. I know how you are.” Her friend sighed, stretching her calf muscles. “I hope you’ll introduce me to him, though. I don’t want my best friend living across the universe with a guy I’ve never met.”
“Of course I will.” She hugged Ka’lyn, a shower of sadness washing over her. They had only a few days left together. After she departed, she had no idea how long until she would return for a visit. If ever. No one had told her the full extent of her marriage contract.
“Perfect.” Ka’lyn squeezed her in a hug before stepping back. “Now, get your butt back to the castle and get ready for the ceremony. Show him the sexy woman he came for. I suggest you show off a lot of leg and cleavage.”
No, that would not make a good first impression. Though it might work to get him into her bed quicker, her parents would send her back to her room to change into something less revealing. With reluctance, Ro’sa waved good-bye and headed back home. She had a full day ahead of her and a handsome prince waiting to seduce her, whether in her dreams or after the ceremony.Trading places. Read the 1st chapter of THE STAR PRINCESS #1stChFriday #romance #scifirom Click To Tweet
About THE STAR PRINCESS:
In one week, Princess Ro’sa will board a spaceship, leaving her home on Minjet to be with her betrothed on Earth. The only problem is, she detests the prince’s selfish and arrogant ways, preferring to spend time with his personal aide, a man who stirs her desires in ways she never imagined possible with his radiant blue eyes and smouldering lips. And oh, the way he touches her.
Earth’s post-apocalyptic landscape offers little but the alliance offers much and a princess must do her duty, no matter the danger to her person and to her heart.
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