Excerpt from Bro
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.
Just as he begins a new life safe from the anguish of hispast, a young security chief must return to a profession he vowed never to practice again.
To save his brother’s life and appease the all-powerful Empress, Khyff must seduce and then betray an alien ambassador.
The Kin people devastated his family. Hatred for the feline aliens burns within him, but unless Khyff can learn to embrace the past, face the demons he swore he’d forget, and find a way to forgive, his brother will die.
Khyff will lose the honorable and gentle Kin female he has come to love and trust — and the Empress will see to it that no one in his family will ever be safe again…
He didn’t expect a Kin to have such honor. He didn’t expect to trust her. And he didn’t expect to fall in love…