Odin (Alien Adoption Agency #5) - Tasha Black
Liberty Clark stepped out onto the long grasses of the moon that was about to become her new home, and lifted her face to the sky.
The adjustment to the slightly lower than standard gravity left her stomach with a fluttery feeling like she was perpetually at the top of an arc on her childhood swing set. She figured she’d get used to it soon enough.
Lachesis was known for its thick, omnipresent cloud cover, casting dappled lighting over the land that almost made it look like the entire moon was underwater. But despite that knowledge, Liberty fully expected the clouds to part and welcome her with a glimpse of sunshine anyway.
When it didn’t happen, she chose not to cry, though tears blurred her vision for just a moment.
“Next time, Wyn,” she murmured instead, patting the tiny round holo-tab she had carried in her right pocket for the last two years.
“You okay?” her friend Abigail asked, her auburn hair like burnished copper in the murky light.
“Fine, Abigail,” Liberty said calmly. “Go meet your baby.”
Abigail brightened instantly and bounded across the meadow in the direction of a huge blue man carrying a small blue baby.
In the short but intense time Liberty had known her, Abigail seemed to have nothing but positive feelings about adopting an Imberian baby and starting a new life on a far-flung frontier moon. While the other two adoptive mothers in the group held their fears and their joy close to their chests, Abigail’s emotions were always on her sleeve. Liberty liked her immensely.
Their other friend, Sarah, was already holding her large golden baby and speaking to it intensely.
That left Liberty to approach the massive scarlet man who cradled a tiny scarlet baby to his muscled chest.
She tried to get a better look, but the man shifted slightly, hiding the little one’s face behind his enormous forearm.
Liberty had no doubts that the men were Invicta warriors. She knew the adoption agreement involved some sort of reparation treaty between the Invicta and the Imberians for past transgressions, but she hadn’t expected the elite dragon warriors to be working personally with the intergalactic adoption agency.
She headed over, desperate to get a glimpse of the baby. The man looked angry for some reason, and he was doing nothing to mask his emotions.
Liberty was no stranger to feeling angry - she had no shortage of sources in her life. She had been shunned by her family when they decided she’d married beneath her station. Then she had lost her beloved husband so very young to a cosmic lax mutation. Some days it took everything she had just to keep herself calm and positive. But she refused to let the negative emotions get the better of her.
This man on the other hand, didn’t seem to care about fighting his anger at all. His eyes were flashing and even his body seemed coiled with energy like a sky-panther, ready to lash out at any moment.
Though Liberty normally valued good manners, something about the honesty of his fury spoke to her.
“Hello,” she said pleasantly, ignoring it when he narrowed his obsidian eyes at her. “I’m Liberty Clark. Is this my son?”
He handed the child over wordlessly, and the rest of the world faded around them.
The baby was heavier in her arms than she had expected. He snuggled in, his little head warm and fragrant.
Liberty’s heart soared and she fought back tears for the second time in two minutes. How she had longed for this - a child to love and care for.
She and Wyn had been trying for two years when the doctors detected the cosmic lax mutation that took him from her. The irony was that he had only been scanned because they were searching for a key to why she wasn’t getting pregnant.
The doctors seemed to think they would be glad not to have achieved a pregnancy when it became clear that Liberty would soon be a widow. But she would have treasured a reminder of Wyn, and a family of her own to love.
“We did it,” she whispered to Wyn now, gazing down at the small, innocent face.
In his final days, Wyn had recorded her a message that contained a sort of bucket list of a dozen-odd experiences he wanted her to have. And becoming a mother was one of them.
Over the past two years, she’d checked off all of the items on his list, saving motherhood for last, since she knew it was hard to have adventures once there was a child to