by Grace Goodwin
(Starfighter Training Academy, #2)
Publication date: June 15th 2021
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
I’m obsessed with the game.
I spend so many hours playing that I dream about dangerous missions on other worlds…and my gorgeous, in-game training partner, Kassius. That is, until I win. I beat the Starfighter Training Academy.
But is it a game? Or alien software designed to recruit new, unsuspecting soldiers for a war in another star system? Because when my hot as heck alien shows up at my workplace demanding I leave Earth and travel to the Vega system? What? When he informs me it’s my duty to fight Queen Raya and the Dark Fleet? Claims he wants me as much as I’ve craved him? Let’s just say things get crazy.
Facing the truth is never easy, but when I arrive at the Elite Starfighter base I learn that Kassius cheated the system, hacked into the game, and lied to everyone on two worlds to make me his.
Now who’s obsessed?
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I wiped my hands down my black pants, my palms suddenly damp. The elevator ride to the first floor felt like an eternity as I made my way to the public meeting room I’d instructed this Kassius Remeas be escorted to. My high heels clicked rhythmically against the hard floor and I straightened my suit jacket, buttoned up the two large black buttons as if I were putting on armor. I arrived to stare at the closed door, hand shaking as I lifted my knuckles to knock.
Before I could knock again, the door opened, smacking against the wall and bouncing back a few inches. I jumped, startled. Then I stared. And stared. There, standing before me, was a really good likeness of Kass. Someone had gone all out. This guy had the same dark hair. The same crooked smile. The same small scar under his left eye. The same dark brown eyes. The same damn dimples that made him look like a mischief making, super-sexy space pirate.
He was dressed head to toe in black, the cut and tailoring exactly matched the in-game uniforms of a Starfighter MCS, but he had no adornments or anything else that indicated he was in the military. Any military. And fool that I was, my gaze darted to his chest to look for the Starfighter insignia. Which was there. Black on black, but the damn swirl was there. I even recognized the buckles on his boots.
What the hell? This space alien uniform was absurd. Laughable, which meant I was the brunt of the joke now for the half second my heart leapt and my body tightened as if he was real. Two heartbeats later the stupid organ ached ten times more than it had before as the leap of joy crashed back into the pit of despair. Because this man absolutely was Kassius Remeas, in the flesh.
So, was this man a model? Maybe the game developer had placed him in front of a green screen and based the avatar of Kassius Remeas on this man. Maybe I was hallucinating and a pimply-faced teen with a half-grown mustache and gangly legs was staring back at me. Perhaps the stress of the job had finally sent my mental health into a tailspin.
But I couldn’t tear my eyes off him. Fuck that, I couldn’t blink. Or breathe.
“Mia Becker.” He didn’t say more but inspected me with the same intense scrutiny I gave him.
I wasn’t going to call him Kass. It would hurt too much. Uttering that one syllable meant that I was buying into the entire joke. And I felt that it was all on me.
Without tearing his eyes away, he pulled me into the room and pushed the door shut behind me. He even reached around me to turn the lock. The sounds of the reception desk, security checkpoints and scattered voices dropped away, making us very much alone. The room was sealed and searched every morning for surveillance equipment. The walls were thick and there were no windows. We were truly alone.
I still didn’t speak and he narrowed his eyes. Then he closed the distance between us, gently placed his hands on each side of my head and kissed me.
For a second I froze because a paid actor, or model–a complete stranger–was kissing me. With soft lips. With a need I felt seep through his fingers, his mouth. Every inch of him radiated with need. For me.
Grace Goodwin is a USA Today and international bestselling author of Sci-Fi and Paranormal romance with nearly one million books sold. Grace’s titles are available worldwide in multiple languages in ebook, print and audio formats. Two best friends, one left-brained, the other right-brained, make up the award-winning writing duo that is Grace Goodwin. They are both mothers, escape room enthusiasts, avid readers and intrepid defenders of their preferred beverages. (There may or may not be an ongoing tea vs. coffee war occurring during their daily communications.) Grace loves to hear from readers.
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