This is a little piece from Morgan’s Return. There they are, in a city on a Coalition planet – where Ravindra and the other Manesa are aliens – and Morgan decides to be a hero. Ravindra is NOT pleased. This is the bit where they’re back in the hotel.
Morgan stepped out of the washroom. Ravindra was waiting for her, stern, his arms folded over his chest. Without the contacts, his eyes would have glittered. She turned her back on him, opened a drawer, and took out clean clothes.
“I’ve seen you pull some stupid stunts, but that was… unbelievable. What would have happened if we’d lost Prasad? Been arrested ourselves? Been injured? All because of a fight between a prostitute, and a disgruntled punter.” His deep voice rumbled like a distant thunderstorm. Boy, he sure was angry.
“I said I was sorry,” she said, pulling on underwear.
He crossed the distance between them in a stride. Gripping her chin, he forced her to look at him. “We are aliens, Morgan. Remember how it felt when you were an alien? Remember what I did to you? What I had to do?”
She glared at him. He was right, but she’d already said she was sorry. What more could he want? “You hit me. I had finger marks on my face.”
Tossing his head, Ravindra let go of her. “That was nothing. Just a slap. For a Manesai woman it was little more than a tap. How was I to know you’re fragile?”
Ravindra’s ‘tap’ had knocked her to the floor in the detention cell on his flagship. He’d never offered an apology, she’d never expected one, but it was nice to know he was almost embarrassed. One for her. Morgan tucked her shirt into her pants. “All right, it was stupid. I just don’t like seeing women being beaten around. She’s probably a prostitute because it’s the only work she can get.”
Sighing, he shook his head. “You can’t right the wrongs of every world. We’re here to find out where my people came from. Kindly remember that.”
Morgan stared at him for a long moment, then placed a fist on her breast and bowed her head. “Srimana.” If he wanted to play admirals, she could play subordinates. Only he’d know she was playing.
Ravindra’s eyes narrowed. Suppressing the urge to grin, she put her hands on her hips. “But while we’re at it, I didn’t much like being carted around like a naughty girl. Okay?”
Ravindra snaked an arm around her waist, dragging her against his body while his fingers slid through her hair, sending tingles down her spine. His face was inches from hers, his eyes hot. “Oh, you try my patience.”
- I’m smart and I swear a lot. But I’m nowhere near as smart as Morgan.