Haven 4 AVOW - Sandra R Neeley

Chapter 1

General Lo’San examined his reflection in the mirror in his bathing chamber. He’d purchased the mirror just recently. It was the one luxury he’d allowed himself — a mirror, like those the human females of Earth had in their quarters. He much preferred it to asking Missy to scan his image and show it to him as a hologram. Not to mention, if he did that, everyone who had access to Missy’s files would know he’d requested to view a hologram of himself, and what kind of respectable General, or warrior for that matter, did such things? Certainly not him, and certainly not until recently.

Lo’San had never cared about such things as the appearance of his hair, his smile, or if he looked appealing. All that mattered to him was that his military dress was on point. Other than being completely perfect for military inspection, he’d never given it a thought. His clothes were kept clean and neat, pressed perfectly by those on board that were responsible for such things. His boots were always polished to a high shine and free from scuffs. Well, except for when he was returning from battle, but then he always made sure to polish, or replace them, whichever was most applicable at the time. His hair was never a consideration because it was kept shorn on the sides and back, with just enough on top to give an indication of its white color.

Sink Lar had called it a ‘flattop’ whatever that meant. And he’d been content to present the exact same military persona each and every day. Until now. When spending time together Sink Lar had remarked once on how beautiful his hair color was, so he’d decided to let it grow out a bit on top so that she could see more of it. But his hair was thick and wavy, and the thick tresses of his snow-white hair required some finessing to keep it from flopping about carelessly. He still kept the sides and back shorn, but, he was waiting for the day Sink Lar would comment again to let him know that she liked it or desired it longer. So he had to take extra care in the way it looked.

He also practiced his smile. He’d heard Sink Lar and Sirena Vivian speaking of the males onboard Command Warship 1, and how their smiles looked more like a grimace than a smile. Lo’San hadn’t noticed. A smile was something he paid no attention to. Until he’d seen Sink Lar’s smile. Sink Lar smiled with her entire face. Her beautiful lips curved up, making the small indentions on either side of her mouth dip in, and her eyes sparkled, letting whoever was the recipient of the gift of her smile know that she was truly happy. His smile wasn’t like that. It was mechanical, and forced, and while it wasn’t quite as much of a grimace as his Sire and most of the Cruestaci, it still wasn’t warm and pleasant like hers, so he’d been practicing smiling at himself in the mirror.

Lo’San looked at himself in the mirror again and smiled. He shrugged. He was in a sour mood again. He’d done all he could to let Sink Lar know that he was interested. He’d made a gift of the sweet cakes they both loved so much. He’d told her that he’d had no interest in females until just recently, stopping just short of saying it was her in particular he was interested in. He’d even been so bold as to tell her that she was never a nuisance and always welcome to visit him. He’d even wiped a bit of frosting from her lip and licked it off his own finger. They’d shared meals together, and he’d spent time giving her tours of the ship. These things would have been scandalous on his home planet. There, the females chose their intended male and with much insistence and proclamation let that male know he was their intended. If the male wasn’t interested, it was his responsibility to remove himself from society for a full revolution in order for the female to find a replacement before he once again showed his face and caused her humiliation at his refusal of her desire to mate him. He’d done all except declare that she was his. He’d stopped just short of that, and was waiting patiently for her to make the final step, but so far, she hadn’t.

It seemed no matter how much he’d hinted