Behind the Scenes Bonus Short- J’nel Meets Sunshine
by Leona Windwalker
J’nel ignored the stares as he climbed out of his vehicle. Commander J’nah had asked this personal favor of him, trusting no one else. It was an honor he intended to repay by doing his duty to fulfill the request to the best of his ability. He entered the lobby, noting the way residents checking for messages sent to their paper comm boxes either fled, flattened themselves against the comm boxes, pr ducked their heads down, avoiding his gaze. He knew he was a novelty, and an imposing one at that. At seven foot three, he towered above the humans he’d come across so far. Coupled with his warrior’s physique, he understood why they might feel intimidated. He didn’t smile at them. It was not a social occasion and he wanted them to know that the empty apartment was under Talani Guard protection in case any of them got any ideas about helping themselves to Commander J’nah’s Sachari’s belongings.
He climbed the stairs to the indicated floor, quickly finding the door that fit the metal key he’d been given to fit the locking mechanism. He unlocked the door, feeling eyes watching him. The neighbor across the hall, no doubt, watching through the spy hole placed in the door. The door unlocked easily, and swung open easily once he turned the handle. The lights were off and he tried to remember how humans usually turned on their lights as they didn’t use verbal commands, usually. That sort of technology was availble, but not yet widely used. He found the switch by the door, and flipped it upwards. Light blazed through the apartment’s living room.
He shut the door behind him, no longer needing the light from the hallway to see well. Removing his data pad from his pocket, he pulled up the list of items that J’nah had asked him to pack up. He’d just located the third item on the list when he heard a scratching noise, accompanied b a muffled animal cry. He turned towards where the sound was coming from. A small, fluffy animal peered back forlornly at him through the balcony’s sliding glass door.
Cat. Surely, I am not to leave the cat? It’d be irresponsible. I shall have to ask J’nah what to do with the animal.
The cat redoubled its efforts, knowing that J’nel knew it was there. J’nel recalled seeing a bag of dried cat food in the kitchen. He grabbed the bag. A quick glance in the cupboards found him a bowl he could place the food in.he filled the bowl, then opened the sliding glass door. Before he could step all the way outside, his found himself in danger of tripping, thanks to the small bundle of fur now winding itself between his feet. Tail up in the air, the animal rubbed its body against his loer legs, making a rumbling sound that made J’nel want to bend down and stroke its fur. He bent down, placing the food on the floor. Immediately, the cat turned its attention to the dish and began gobbling the food down, though its loud rumbles did not cease.
J’nel reached his hand out and gently stroked its fur.
The cat paused eating for but a split second, quickly glancing up to assess what the strange man was doing. J’nel crouched down, marveling at the softness of the fur, the way the deep orange and black patches made a pattern against her white fur, and the contrast of the colors against his own emerald hued hand. The cat finished eating and J’nel decided it might be best to pick her up.
It’ll be easy to contain her pending further instruction from J’nah.
He closed his hands under the pliant body, only to be met with a sudden nip to one hand while it violently twisted itself about in an impossible shape, before streaking away with incredible speed. Before he could do more than react to the bite, the cat was gone having jumped from this balcony onto the next. He leaned over the rail, hoping to coax it back. It glanced at him over its shoulder, puffed out its tail, then sashayed tauntingly towards a fire escape on the other end of the building.
It will come back, he told himself. It will want to eat again. He turned, and went back inside the apartment, but not before sending a comm to Commander J’nah, asking him for further instructions regarding the cat. The little ball of fluff was fierce, yet also comforting. He wished it to come to no harm and that had absolutely nothing to do with how the soft fur and the rumble of sound it made brightened his soul.
Matthias Reynolds loves his life. He’s starting to make it as a graphic artist at last and has a job he really likes at a local café that pays the bills. When a night out clubbing leads to an awkward morning after, he’s embarrassed and more than ready to forget all about it. When Talani Enforcers show up at the café, he doesn’t know what to make of it all as he’s led away in restraints.
Standing accused of crimes he struggles to understand, he finds he has an unexpected champion: the Talani warrior and war hero J’nah Quislin. J’nah knows that Matty is his. All J’nah has to do is keep Matty safe from those who engineered Matty’s charges and sentencing. That, and get Matty to accept that universe always intended them to be together as one. All it requires is for Matty to return J’nah’s devotion and offer his willing submission. Can Matty do it, with all that it will mean for his future?
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Leona is a longtime staunch supporter of human rights and environmental causes. Her favourite genre to read is M/M fiction and she particularly enjoys science fiction, fantasy, and action/suspense sub-genres—especially if they have a nice seasoning of romance. She has far too many books on her Kindle, has overloaded her phone with even more and, when not reading, writing, being driven to distraction by her children, or being overlorded by her three cats, can be found trying to locate the portal that the sock monster uses to steal socks from her dryer.
Recent head-reeling news for her included her novel Jared:Urban Wolves #1 being nominated for an Indie Award from Metamorph and placing as a finalist in the 2016 Rainbow Awards, earning an Honorable Mention. She’s still suspicious that it’s all been a dream, but as long as her readers are happy and she can find at least one of the missing socks, she’s happy.
You’ll find her books on Amazon, ), including on Kindle Unlimited. You’ll also find her on Facebook at Leona Windwalker, where you can keep up on news regarding current, new, and upcoming releases.
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