Touching Topper

 

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Honeymoons are supposed to be magical, not make you lose magical control.

Alaska is not as cold as Glacier, but it’s the closest Topper can get to giving her new alien husband the perfect wedding gift. A sled dog ride through the falling snow was supposed to be both romantic and fun.

And it was until she started exploding snow.

Something very strange is happening to her magic and Topper doesn’t know what. It better not be the Fates again, or they’ll be eating fast food for the rest of their unnaturally long lives because she won’t be cooking for them.

When an enemy from Stark’s past hunts them down, she has no choice except to risk using her magic to save them both. Goddess help her. She can’t lose the only male she’s ever loved.

***This book was previously released as part of SE Smith’s Kindle World. The book is being re-released as part of SE Smith’s new “Worlds of Magic, New Mexico” collection. If previously purchased as a Kindle World title, there is no need to repurchase it.

Read An Excerpt

At Topper’s house in Magic, N.M…

“Put the bags by the door, Stark. Let’s see… I have our plane tickets loaded in my cell phone. I have my travel pack and goodies. Okay. I guess we’re ready to go. Grab your backpack and let’s pop to the airport. I have to be there early so I can discreetly arrange for us to get a pass through security. I really don’t want to take a chance on what the x-ray machine might see in you. They aren’t exactly calibrated to look at aliens from Glacier.”

Stark set the bags by the door. He walked to a small bench and lifted the smaller pack to sling it over his shoulder. His sigh was loud and long. “I guess I’m ready to start our honeymoon.”

Topper chuckled. “Well, don’t sound so happy about it.”

“I am happy to be going anywhere with you,” Stark declared. “I just dread the transporting part.”

Topper rolled her eyes. “I’ll be as quick as I can.”

“Yes, I know. Why do you think I have concerns?”

“I don’t know. Magical transport is far safer than flying in a plane. Here,” she passed him two tablets. “Chew these thoroughly and then swallow.”

“Did Evanna make this medicine?” Stark asked, frowning suspiciously at the white tablets.

“No, they’re not magical tablets,” Topper said, her mouth twitching. Stark hadn’t gotten over Evanna’s exploding cupcakes yet. Her sister was such a joker. “I bought the tablets at the drugstore. They’ll settle your stomach and keep the nausea at bay.”

Sighing in resignation, Stark tossed them into his mouth and chewed while Topper watched him.

“All gone?” she asked sweetly.

When Stark nodded, Topper stepped close, looked up into his worried gaze, and hooked her arm through his. She gave it a quick squeeze. “Just remember that I love you,” she said.

And then they were off on their adventure.

* * *

On the planet of Glacier…

General Arctic stared and let his eyes narrow until they were no more than slits. He greatly enjoyed knowing the male seated across the table from him was getting nervous. Scaring his second in command was his favorite pastime these days.

“Why are you not on Earth, Captain Resig? I ordered you to follow Stark there and keep an eye on him.”

“General Stark sent all of us back through the portal before we could establish sufficient grounds to remain. He possesses a ring that can open a portal between Glacier and that primitive planet whenever and wherever he wants. He told his woman the Goddess Icela gave it to him.”

“Cut the crap, Captain. Stark is no longer a general. Do not address him with such respect.”

“Of course, General Arctic—Sir. My apologies for misspeaking.”

General Arctic huffed. “How could anyone believe that Goddess drivel Stark spouts? As if the patron goddess of Glacier would stoop to helping someone like Stark. He is unworthy. Why do you think Stark fled to the ice fields instead of taking a normal leadership role?”

“He said…”

Arctic held up a hand and glared. “It was a rhetorical question—one not requiring your response. I do expect an answer to my original demand.”

Resig drew in a deep breath. “General Star… I mean, Stark… didn’t give anyone much choice about returning to Glacier. His new mate was helping him make sure we left and she has a power unlike anything we’ve seen.”

Mate? That female is no mate to him, Captain. She’s as expendable to Stark as all the other females who passed through his bed. The man has no honor about females.”

“But the Gen… I mean, Stark was being very specific in his address to her. And she looked at him like… I cannot adequately explain, except to say there was great admiration in her gaze… even while she was rebuking him.”

General Arctic shook his head. Whoever the woman was, she was most assuredly not Stark’s mate. A man like Stark didn’t value any woman highly enough to make her his mate. No one knew that better than he did. His own mate had spared him no detail about availing herself of the animal rustler’s sexual expertise… or his mate had until he’d chosen to end her worthless, cheating life.

Now all he had to do was take out the male who’d caused his female to stray. Then life would return to normal once more. He was Glacier’s highest ranked military officer and a man of considerable power. How hard could getting rid of one old and annoying Glacerian possibly be?

He drummed his fingers on the table. “Have you had any luck triangulating the occurrences of the portals?”

Captain Resig nodded. “Locations are random. We have noted they stay open only long enough for one person to pass through. Four Earth days of time separate one occurrence from the next. They have been opening fairly regularly. We have not seen any repeating patterns.”

“Terlorian testicles. Random is no help to us. What about the dispatched ships? How close are they?”

“Still searching for space warps that might land them in space closer to Earth. It would cut down travel time to a matter of months, instead of several years.”

Arctic banged his large fist on the table. If he hadn’t been so frustrated with the Captain’s report, he would have laughed at making the cowering male jump out of his seat.

“Would you like to spend the evening in solitary, Captain Resig? If not, then tell me something good.”

Arctic snorted when the now nervous male backed up a few more steps.

“We know where Gen… I mean, we know where Stark is on Earth. He’ll be there for the next ten days. According to the stories being told by Star Ranger Frost’s family, Stark is on his Earth honeymoon with his mat… uh, with the woman he’s been living with since he relocated to that primitive planet.”

“After portal travel there was sanctioned, I studied all Earth’s territories. State Stark’s location,” Arctic ordered.

“Alaska, sir. More precisely… a small community called Seward.”

“Hmm… the current seasonal weather in that area imitates the colder weather on Glacier.”

“Yes, General. I believe that is correct.”

Arctic drew himself up and stood to pace. What the hell was Stark up to? The council approved his relocation to that primitive planet but had refused to explain why to their military leader—to him. No. They were forcing him to find out for himself. Typical of those secretive Labradorian Sacks. Bastards… all of them.

Arctic huffed. “Alaska. That’s where Star Ranger Thor crashed and disappeared, isn’t it?”

Resig nodded. “Yes. I believe that is also correct, but his crash there was never confirmed. No trace of Star Ranger Thor or his ship was ever discovered in our discreet searches. No trace of the criminal he was chasing was ever found either. Both vehicles stopped transmitting shortly after they allegedly hit the planet. I believe that was nearly an earth century ago.”

Arctic waved that away. “Laral was a thief, not a true criminal. Thor botched the mission… typical for that rogue. They both probably froze to death somewhere in the wilderness. It would have been like crashing in the ice fields during a raging ice storm. Survival would have been nearly impossible, even if they both stayed in their crafts. No one could have survived all this time without being discovered.”

“Indeed,” Resig said. “Stark is the only male I know who’s managed to thrive in conditions like those in the ice fields. But why he would choose to live out there alone?”

Arctic snorted. “That male was never alone. He always had plenty of female company. In a way, he was living every male’s dream. They lined up for him and he availed himself of all.”

“How fortunate. Having regular female company is a happy circumstance for any male,” Resig declared, immediately wishing the comment unsaid when he received a glare in reply. “What do you want us to do now, General?”

“Find me a portal to that planet—any portal—to this Alaska place on Earth. Stark’s up to something there, Resig. I intend to find out what. And this time I’m not leaving it to the likes of an incompetent like you.”

* * *

Aura shook her head. “Check again, Destiny. Are you sure you read Topper’s life thread correctly? This shouldn’t be happening to her—not now. She’s just about to have her sixty-second birthday. She’s entering her crone prime.”

Destiny narrowed her gaze and glared. “After all these millennia, you have a lot of nerve doubting my reading, Aura. Being sixty in witch years is very different from that age in a non-magical. In fact, even humans don’t have to let a seasoned age mean anything to their lifespan these days. Wasn’t it you who said age is merely a number, not a determiner?”

Aura huffed. “I was waxing poetic, not talking about math, Destiny. I simply detest calculations.”

Fortune raised her voice. “Now, now, sisters… I’m sure there’s a perfectly good explanation for this anomaly we’ve discovered. Gaia would never have done such a thing lightly. We all know the mother of the earth is compassionate above all others.”

“Yes, but… Fortune! The timing is so… well, unfortunate. Can’t you do something?” Aura said.

Fortune snorted. “Don’t blame the witch’s unusual future on me. I didn’t write this outcome into Topper’s fate. She wrote it herself when she chose someone from another planet for a life mate. Everything that’s come after is setting a new precedent. Lacey’s life is different now as well.”

Aura sighed. “Lacey is young and resilient and thinks she’ll live forever. This is all going to be a complete shock to Topper. It’s the last thing a witch like her is ever going to believe could happen. And Gaia or not… how can we let this happen to her? We’re supposed to be Topper’s friends, Fortune. She’ll never forgive us. Worse… she may never cook for us again. What will we do about dinner out then?”

Destiny lifted her chin. “We’re the fates. None of us is a warning kind of friend, Aura. What about Stark Naked? His fate and Topper’s are tied together now. This affects him too, you know. Should we inform Icela of what we’ve seen?”

Fortune nodded sadly. “Yes, we should. Can I just say our work sucks at times?”

Destiny looked at Aura. “For the love of all that is holy, will you please find me a deserving bad guy to kill. I need a positive distraction from this.”

“How about the bad guy coming from Glacier to kill Stark? He’s really bad. Icela told me so,” Aura declared.

Fortune nodded. “That’s right. Great. I’m in,” she said. “So who’s going to tell Icela and coordinate the portals?”

“Let’s use the intergalactic cauldron so we can all talk to her. We might need the power of three before we’re done,” Aura said.

“Agreed,” Fortune replied. “Destiny, are you with us?”

Destiny snorted at her bloodthirsty siblings… and then she smiled. There was one more being’s fate intertwined with Topper’s and Stark’s. Someone they were all overlooking. Maybe they just needed to think more creatively.

“Give me one more moment,” Destiny answered.

Then she bent over the cauldron once more and began tugging at threads.

The Worlds Of Magic, New Mexico?

Imagine The Worlds of Magic, New Mexico… A series that brings together outstanding paranormal and science fiction authors to expand a town where witches, aliens, vampires, werewolves, goblins, sorceresses, pirates, time travelers, and paranormal live in harmony – when they aren’t joining forces to defeat the bad guys. A magical town where being abnormal is the norm!

S.E. Smith, the creator of Magic, New Mexico invites you to curl up with each book and discover all the action, the magic, and the love that makes Magic, New Mexico the ultimate go-to series for Paranormal/Science Fiction Romance readers.

For all the stories, go to MagicNewMexico.com/books/. Grab your copy today!

Who is SE Smith? So glad you want to know!

I met SE Smith through a mutual paranormal author friend. We’ve been fellow geek friends ever since.  I’m a fan of her aliens, her shifters, and pretty much all the characters SE creates. Her premise for the Magic, NM series is very funny–alien cop chases an alien bad guy to Earth where both end up in a town full paranormals. Alien cop + powerful witch = a lot of fun and laughs.

I was excited when SE suggested I write a story about her head witch in Magic, who’s nearly 60. SE asked me for an HEA for Topper….. Wish granted… in MY CRAZY ALIEN ROMANCE series.

Book 1

Book 3

FAST FACTS:

WRITTEN FOR: The Worlds of Magic, New Mexico

SERIES: Book 2 of My Crazy Alien Romance

LENGTH: 28,000 words

RELEASE DATE: July 2018