At just over 60,000 words, the "The Healer's Kiss" is accelerating to the point where every scene is bringing a surprise. Some of them are even about other members of the crew.
The new lieutenant, Seta Trax, is an energy empath and a tracker. She has gotten quite suspicious about Malachi. In the snippet scene that follows, she has sought him out to ask some questions that have been on her mind. Malachi finds her confusion amusing, but he tries to be polite and not laugh at everything she says.
His kindness is partly because he knows Lieutenant Seta Trax's future is linked to the destiny of the rest of the Liberator's crew. But he also needs to stay in her good graces for other reasons as well. Hope you enjoy the snippet.
Excerpt from Chapter 14
Malachi made a face trying hard not to grin as the thought of their discussions. How he wished he had hidden in their room as mist and listened.
“So you and Rena talk about me?” he asked.
Seta snickered. “Do not sound so hopeful. It was only in passing. Rena mostly refuses. You disturb her equilibrium.”
Malachi laughed at Seta’s word choice. How disturbed could he possibly make Rena feel? She had the power to bind him to Conor's form and make him feel physical pain. He was the one that should be disturbed. Yet ironically, the control he feared most was the one where Rena's presence fueled his lustful thoughts and made him willing to risk his host body for a taste of her.
“That seems only fair, Lieutenant. Rena disturbs my equilibrium as well,” Malachi remarked, uncaring if it sounded as sarcastic as he felt.
“I find your interest in Rena most fascinating. Most males turn away from her intense spirit which can spread itself over a whole ship. If you or the other intuitives on the Liberator have noticed an energy shift, it may very well be Rena causing it,” Seta said with a shrug. “Captain Warro didn’t like her being on the Paladin. He said she carried a vengeful spirit, despite her spiritual work.”
Malachi laughed again. He couldn’t help it. “Well, the Liberator is full of spiritually awakened people. Some are just as intense as Rena. In fact, being in a state of energy flux is a fairly normal occurrence around here.”
“Do you consider yourself a spiritual being, Medic? Do you—for example—adhere to the myth of the ‘creators of all’? Rena is adamant that they are real beings, or once were. She describes them as universal forces. I continue to believe they are largely myth,” Seta said.
Malachi laughed harder, even though he knew his constant smiling and laughing might be misconstrued as getting a little too friendly. It was difficult to restrain himself when the female in her innocence was so amusing. He found himself actually regretting what Liam and Ania planned to do that would erase that blissfully ignorant, but very appealing child-like state from her.
“I’m afraid I have to admit to sharing Rena’s beliefs in the creators. You may tell her I said so if you wish. Perhaps it might change her attitude towards me a little,” Malachi said, unable to hold back his smile.
“So politely put, Medic. I can tell you are interested,” Seta stated firmly. “Rena may choose not to notice, but I prefer to deal with the truth.”
“Yes—I can see that about you, Lieutenant,” Malachi said, smiling genuinely at the younger woman.
Watching her spirit stretch out to test trusting those around it was in itself a kind of marvelous process. Test a person by asking for a truth, and then pull away before an unpleasant answer was shared. It was what all creatures did and promptly reminded him of his own efforts in trusting Ania. Caught in his own philosophical web, Malachi could only laugh at himself.
“Forgive my laughter, Lieutenant. Your youthful view of us all is very refreshing. You remind me of Commander Jet at times like this,” Malachi said easily.
“Your words hide things. You speak as calmly as Rena, but I sense great anger resides within you. I commend you for your control in maintaining a serene countenance though. When I have such anger within, I tend to erupt and destroy things around me. Rena says I was cursed with a bad temper after our father sold us,” Seta said, wondering again why her father’s actions had ceased to appall her. Instead, talking of her father’s actions always felt like she was repeating a story about a stranger.
“Yes. I can understand why being sold by your parent might prompt you to be upset,” Malachi said dryly, watching the female struggle with her confusion.
Strolling by the larger male’s side, Seta noted the medic’s energy did not feel like other males felt to her. There was something different, some missing aspect of normal masculinity, but also some additional constraint on what he exuded. He was, oddly enough, similar to Rena in that regard.
“My instincts cannot come to a consensus about your nature, but I do not need my intuition to know you are much more than what you seem,” Seta stated firmly.