As Michael climbed on his cot, he handed her a bag. “Here.” He crossed his legs again, a handsome, boyish grin playing on the corners of his mouth. Venus wanted to smack it right off his gorgeous face. There was a bigger part of her that wanted to kiss him. Taste the warmth of his lips again.

“Is everything okay?”

“Yes. Thanks for the food. It smells delicious.”

“I know. Right?” He stuck a fry in his mouth and paused, pulling the other half away. “You-you’re kind can eat human food?”

She opened the bag and popped a fry in her mouth. Then grabbed her throat with her hands, pretending to choke. “Ugh. Ack. Ugh. Oh, I’m melting. I’m melting.”

He yelled. “Help!”

Venus stopped, and finished chewing the fry with a smirk on her face. “All better.”

He looked stunned and unsure whether to yell or laugh. He laughed. “That. Was. So. Not. Cool.”


“Oo-oopsie. What do you mean, ‘oopsie?’ I thought you were choking.”

She giggled.

“You really had me there.”

She put another fry in her mouth. He did the same. She was enjoying the look of amused wonder on his face. That’ll teach you to flirt with another girl while I’m around, ya man-whore. She thought it, but she didn’t really mean it.

His life had been horrible so far and it kept getting worse. If he wanted to flirt with a pretty girl, who was she to judge? Venus sighed. “Sorry.”

“I’m not. You helped me forget for a moment. Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.” She smiled.

“Would you mind finishing your story while we eat?” He took a large bite of his hamburger. Half of it devoured at once. He laughed. “C’mon. Please?”

Sniffing, she removed her burger from its wrapper. It smelled divine—greasy meat, toasted bun, pickles, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard, and onion. Her mouth watered. She had to wipe it with the back of her hand to hide the drool. “Sure,” she agreed and took a bite. Bigger than she’d planned. A pickle didn’t make it all the way into her mouth. The sourness stung her cracked lips. She hurried and shoveled it in. “Where was I?” she asked around her mouthful of food. 

He swallowed. “The Suraey tribe was large and bred to kill.” He stuck a fry in his mouth. One. And chewed it slowly. “Mmmmmm.”

She admired the way his lips moved. Sensuous. “Right. Well, when the war began, everyone thought the four tribes would win. Not so. The leader of the Suraey tribe had the leader of the Firclee killed. The people of that tribe made the Suraey leader their own. They captured hundreds of irrihunters, tortured them and starved them.

When they were beyond hungry, they ate their own flesh. That’s when the Suraey fed them prisoners. The irrihunters gained a taste for their flesh and blood. The Suraey trained them with whips until they were beat into submission, giving their people the advantage from the sky and the ground.”

“So, you meant what you said before. You don’t have cars where you come from.” He leaned forward, still stuffing fries in his mouth. The burger had already disappeared.

“Well, yes and no. The Six didn’t have the technology for any kind of moving vehicle. Now, though, we do have transportation. They aren’t like the vehicles of this planet. Ours are way cooler than Earth’s.”

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