The tech Senth is about to claim will make him invisible. Finally, the young halfbreed thief will be out of sight, shielded from the taunts humans fire at him. But when that tech reveals he has a human half-brother who’s bound by a cruel slaver, Senth must find a way to save his brother from abuse and win his freedom — even though Senth is a slave himself.
There’s just one problem. The new Thieves’ Guild tech might make him invisible, but it can’t shield him from the truth…
The prequel to the Antonello Brothers Science Fiction Romance series, Bro is Sci-Fi from the sweeter side of the galaxy.
When you can make yourself invisible, you reveal invisible truth…
Senth Antonello had attended classes at the Thieves’ Guild Academy every day since he was what? Three? Yet the looming entrance to the exclusive Advanced Level access that he’d more than earned stood empty, while he skulked in the shadows like he hadn’t.
Plunging through that door always felt like he was flying into a beehive while sporting hornet wings.
Enough of this.
He ought to zip up there and let idBot scan him.
He took two decisive steps forward, then pivoted and took five steps back.
“Come on, Senth,” he berated himself. “Go for it. Now.” He turned around and faced the entrance. “This time will be different. You can do this. Just go in there.”
But did he?
And why was that?
Because there were times being the best got you nothing but hated and looking like a kid got you nothing but disrespect. Being the adopted son of a former grand master had distinct perks, true. It got him in ahead of others, but then that was part of the problem, wasn’t it?
Daddy had clout. Daddy belonged. People feared Daddy, for good reason.
Nobody feared a clawless halfbreed who looked twelve when he was eighteen.
“I will do this. The time to act is now.” He stepped up and let the automated idBot system scan him.
“Welcome, Blue Shadow,” idBot’s smooth robotic voice cooed. “Cleared for Advanced Level.” The door unsealed.
Why couldn’t people treat him like that machine? Senth released the tension in his shoulders, and rolled his head to soothe his neck.
Maybe today would be different.
Maybe undergrads would respect him for his level.
Maybe his dad would ask him how he was doing instead of going behind his back to the Grand Master.
Maybe nobody’d meow when he entered the room.
Maybe nobody’d go, “Here, kitty, kitty!”
Oh, and maybe the Empress would eliminate taxes, and while she was at it, free all the slaves. Because, sure. That could happen.
Inside, down the first hallway, monolithic carved wooden doors of the Great Hall stood open. The pickup line for upgraded cloaks wound down the stairs and then back and forth across the cavernous hall like one of those rides at Planet Fun.
Voices. Noise. Din. A hive of thieves anxious to score.
No sound suppression in the empire could mute the hum careening off these stone walls. Not today. Not with the first cloak upgrade in ten years minutes from release.
He took one last, sole-dragging step, entered the hall, and made straight for the grand staircase.
The entire queue of lower-level thieves craned their necks at whoever had entered. Their low buzz faded from front to back, and what do you know? Right on cue, a chorus of meows rose from the anonymous safety of the back row.
Senth halted and snapped his head in that direction, but the sound cut off.
No one in view so much as cracked a smile.
He tossed them a lazy salute and turned back toward the stairs. The conversational drone kicked right back in. After all, no one important had entered. Just the halfbreed.