Celeste and the Alien Bartender (Intergalactic Brides 8)
Jessica Coulter Smith
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2017 Jessica Coulter Smith
Celeste tried to rest, but no matter how tired she was, sleep just wouldn't come. She slipped her shoes on, grabbed her room key, and headed downstairs to see about one of those limos. She wasn't sure where she was going, but now that she finally had the ability to leave her quarters, she was anxious to see more of the world she hadn't been a part of for so long.
There were two limos parked at the curb when she stepped out front of the hotel. Both drivers glanced her way then continued watching the door. If they hadn't been told about her, she wasn't sure she could convince them to give her a ride. Her people skills were a little rusty, but she approached the closest driver.
"Excuse me," she said. "Could I get a ride?"
He frowned down at her. "The limos are for Terran use only. You'll have to call a cab."
Celeste chewed her bottom lip. "Thrace said I would have use of the limos. I was just hoping to take a ride and see the city a little."
He gazed at her in curiosity. "You're the woman who was taken captive by the Vaadens?"
The driver cleared his throat and opened the back door of his car. "My apologies. I'll take you wherever you want to go."
She slid into the backseat and looked around as the door closed. She'd never ridden in a limo before. Before she'd been captured, she'd led a comfortable life, but not one that gave her enough money to ride around in limos. She hadn't even ridden in one for her high school prom.
The lights of the city were mesmerizing, and she drank everything in as they slowly prowled around the city. She didn't have a destination in mind, but when she saw the Stardust bar, she asked the driver to stop.
"This is the Terran owned bar, right?" she asked.
"Yes, miss. It's owned by Zanar."
"I think I'd like to get out, but I don't know how long I'll be."
"Take your time. I'll park at the end of the block."
She thanked him and got out of the car, tugging at her clothes and wondering if they were nice enough to go to a bar. When she stepped inside, the music made her ears ring, but she was thankful to see there wasn't a haze of smoke in the room. Celeste approached the bar and felt a little mesmerized by the alien behind the counter. He was tall, easily as tall as Thrace, and built just as well. His hair fell in waves to his shoulders and the light reflecting off it made it look blue-black.
The male smiled as he approached. "What can I get for you?"
"I'm not sure. I haven't had a mixed drink before, but alcohol would be welcome."
His eyebrows rose. "Well, I'm honored that I get to make the first one. Do you like fruity things?"
"I make something called a Calypso Splasher that I think you might like. It's not that heavy on alcohol and has a lot of fruit juice in it."
"That sounds good."
"Do you want me to run a tab for you?" he asked.
"Um, the council said..." Her cheeks flushed. She hated sounding like a charity case. "The council said my meals and drinks would be covered at any Terran owned facilities."
Understanding lit his eyes. "You're the one who was recently returned to Earth from Vaaden. Why don't you come have a seat at the end of the bar so I can make sure you aren't bothered?"
She looked at the empty stool at the far end and made her way toward it. As she slid onto the seat, she realized that it was a little quieter on this end of the bar. Her ears were going to need a break before long unless they turned down the music. She wasn't used to much noise, and her senses were on overload in the Stardust.
The bartender slid a drink in front of her with a smile. "Can I get you anything else? Are you hungry? The kitchen is still open, and my cook makes a mean cheeseburger."
Her stomach rumbled. "That sounds really good if you're sure it's no trouble."
"No trouble at all." He winked at her and went to the window behind by the bar to place her order.
Even though he hadn't introduced himself, she wondered if he was the owner, Zanar. He seemed friendly, and she hoped she'd get to visit with him some more. If there was one thing she could use right now, it was friends. Celeste finished her drink, and as Zanar put her plate in front of her, he gave her a second Calypso Splasher. The alcohol was making her feel a little lightheaded, and she knew that two was going to be her limit.
The music was starting to make her head pound, or maybe the alcohol was partly to blame. Either way, she knew she couldn't stay much longer. True to his word, Zanar had kept the men away from her, for which she was very grateful. The last thing she wanted to deal with were drunks trying to hit on her. When she finished her meal and her drink she waved to Zanar.
"Heading out already?" he asked.
"The noise is a little much for me. I'm not used to being around people or music. It's been a long time since I've even heard music."
He nodded. "I can turn the music down, but it will still be pretty loud in here. Give me a minute, and I'll walk you out. I'm assuming there's a limo waiting for you?"
"Yes. The driver said he'd park down the street."
"Not that this is a bad part of town, but I'd feel better if you'd let me walk you to the limo."
"Thank you. But can you leave the bar?"
"I'll get my cook to keep an eye on the place."
He stepped over to the window behind the bar and spoke with a man in a white apron. When he returned, he came to the end of the bar and helped her off the stool, curving an arm around her waist as he led her through the crowd and out onto the sidewalk. It felt nice having his arm around her. Tingles shot through her, something she hadn't felt before, not even with Pynder. She'd grown to care for Pynder, maybe even love him on some level, but she'd never felt so aware of him as she was of Zanar...
Redz World Reviews
Celeste has gotten used to being a sex slave. She has her daughter and her owner doesn’t abuse her so she can deal. That is until her owner dies and his parents whisk her back to Ear...
Smith follows a strict formula for all the books in this series. Terran men can only father males, & so there are no females left on their planet. Earth women are compatible with Terrans for mating, so they come looking for brides.
Here, we have Celeste who had to leave her baby behind on another alien planet, & now she’s back on earth, befriended by local bar owner, Zanar. He is taken by her, & wants her for his mate. First, though he wants to prove his love by getting Celeste’s daughter back.
As with all these books, all’s well that ends well, & there is warmth & happiness for all. The black moments are only slightly gray, & there’s no hero’s or heroine’s journey to speak of. They are light & fluffy for a trip to the beach.
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