Olivia had been seated only moments in Dottie’s Dinner when she heard her name shouted from across the room. A frightened, determined look on his face, David strode across the room.
He lurched to a stop at her side. “We’ve got to go.”
Concerned about his agitated state, Liv craned her neck to see around his broad shoulders. “Where’s Mazie?”
“They’ve got her. I thought we had time, but they’ve escalated the timetable.” He grabbed her arm and tugged her to her feet. “Please, you have to help me.”
She jerked her arm from his grasp. “David, you aren’t making sense. Who’s got her? Your parents?”
“Those weren’t my parents. They were my guards on this planet.” Glancing away, he dragged a hand through his hair, leaving the auburn waves looking disheveled, leaning toward outright crazy. His tone was low but sincere. “I thought I’d have time to ease you into this, but they’ve stolen that luxury. I’ll explain on the way to the rendezvous point. Please come with me. I can’t save Mazie without your help. She’s everything to me. To our people.”
Guards? This planet? What the he— He was talking crazy. His parents had always been protective, and maybe a little secretive. And there had been a really ugly scene when they’d caught her and David fooling around on his bed. They’d kicked her out of their house and out of David’s life. The senior Mr. Ray had ordered her to stay away from their son. Then they’d welcomed Margot with open arms. That had stung.
There’d been a time in her life when she’d have done anything for him, no questions asked. A time when she believed she’d be able to fly with his help. He’d never asked more of her than she’d been willing to give. In truth, she’d have given more, if he’d given her the tiniest hint all those years ago. And now he needed help to save his daughter from some unknown danger. Spurred on by the urgency in his voice, Liv made a snap decision she prayed she wouldn’t regret. “Okay. Let’s go.”
His hand was heated around hers as she raced with him to the car. The engine fired to life and loose gravel spun under the tires as David accelerated from Dottie’s lot before she’d even buckled her seat belt. Lips compressed into a grim line, he handled the vehicle like a professional racecar driver.
So many questions stormed through her mind, she wasn’t completely sure which one to ask first. “Talk to me, David. What’s going on? Where are we going?
“Spencer’s Hill. It’s the assigned meeting point in an emergency like this. We’re not from here, Liv. Mazie, me, my parents, Margot.” He lifted a hand from the wheel and pointed to the sky. “We’re from there. A small contingent of us arrived nearly thirty years ago as refugees from a world in another galaxy. Unrest made it necessary to hide from our enemies and Earth was the ideal spot.” He sucked in a huge breath and blew it out in a rush as he navigated the dark narrow road. “My real father is the supreme prelate on our planet. Like an emperor. He sent me away as a child to protect me. I led as normal a life as possible for an alien. But I’m next in the line of succession, and then Mazie.”
He let out a harsh laugh and glanced away from the road to look at her. His normally warm brown eyes had turned to leonine gold. And they glowed with an ethereal light. Liv’s arm stung where she pinched it, hoping to convince herself she was asleep and dreaming of the crazy tale David was telling her.
Nope, not asleep.
All these years, she’d had no idea. Hell, she’d almost lost her virginity to an alien. She gripped the cold metal door handle as they careened around a sharp bend in the road. Her emotions lurched as crazily as the car. She’d always known he was special, she’d just had no idea how much.
He steered around the next bend in the winding road a bit slower. “We received communication from the home world several months ago that additional trouble was brewing. A fleet of rebels headed to Earth to find us. Don’t know if they were going to take us as political prisoners, or kill us. They have no way of knowing exactly where we are, but every one of us was in danger of being found by their trackers. Our people been evacuating to another location for the last month. Unfortunately, they found Mazie and me tonight.”
Fear and confusion gripped her throat, making it hard to speak. She swallowed hard and forced the words out. “I don’t…Why me? You said I was the only one who could help you save Mazie. Surely you need someone like you to rescue her.”
He heaved a great sigh. “Liv, you are like us.”