Starshine: Aurora Rising Book One

Starshine: Aurora Rising Book One by G. S. Jennsen

Book: Starshine: Aurora Rising Book One by G. S. Jennsen Read Free Book Online
Authors: G. S. Jennsen
truth that the lower deck represented pure personal extravagance. She didn’t feel the slightest bit contrite about it either; it was her money and her ship.
    Still, she occasionally had to giggle in wicked delight at the full waterfall shower, oversized garden tub, cushy lounge chair and queen-sized bed with a view of the stars. Her own personal retreat, tucked into the void of space.
     

     
    She sat at the kitchen-area table and munched on a banana and peanut-butter toast while she checked her overnight communications.
    First up was a cool note from her mother letting her know she would be going to St. Petersburg to attend a conference in a few days, and would tell her grandfather ‘hello’ for her.
    She ignored the tone of the message and smiled to herself. She had always rather liked her grandfather. He was simple and down-to-earth in a way few people were these days. Grumpy as all hell, but in a loveable way. A brief pang of guilt struck when she realized it had been more than four years since she had seen him. She really should try to rectify the lapse once she returned to Earth.
    She was about to delete the message when she noticed it included an attachment. Puzzled, she opened it, only to find a sterile listing of Alliance command postings for the previous month. A frown tugged her mouth downward as she scanned down it while wondering if her mother had attached it in error—except that was an absurd notion, because her mother didn’t make mistakes.
    The name leapt off the list as if it were scripted in meter-high fluorescent neon colors.
EAS Juno: Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Jenner
    She sank back in the chair, chuckling a little at the irony. He had left her because she spent too much time in space, and now he was serving in space. God, he must be miserable. He had never been able to grasp why she loved it so much, no matter how many times she had tried to explain it, had tried to show him what a wonder the stars were.
    Maybe she should send him a brief message wishing him luck…but some wounds were best left untouched, the better to fade away. In truth, he hadn’t left because she spent too much time in space—he had left because he believed she didn’t love him enough to spend less time in space and away from him. That wasn’t the way she had viewed the issue, but in declaring such he had made her realize it didn’t much matter, because the relationship was doomed to failure. He would never understand .
    She didn’t know what her mother imagined she was accomplishing by sending the attachment. Whatever. She munched on her toast for a moment, thoughts adrift in memories, before straightening up and forcing herself to refocus on the task at hand.
    Her brow crinkled up in bewilderment at the next message. It contained a personal note from the Minister for Extra-Solar Development asking her to reconsider the Deep Space Exploration position, increasing the offered salary by twenty percent and offering to meet with her this week to discuss her needs.
    Okay, seriously?
    A somewhat disbelieving laugh escaped her lips. She didn’t deny she felt flattered at the special attention; she had a great deal of confidence in her abilities, and her record spoke for itself, but damn .
    She chewed on her bottom lip and pondered what in the hell might be the reason behind the lavish adulation. She didn’t care for mysteries. Well, it would be more accurate to say she didn’t care for mysteries she couldn’t solve…but perhaps this mystery could be solved merely by the application of the universal law that politicians were svilochnaya peshka . Mollified by the thought, she shrugged and sent back a gracious decline.
    The only other message of value came from Kennedy. It detailed her enchanting dinner with the eco-dev executive and proclaimed she was absolutely positively head-over-heels in love. This guy was the one . No doubt about it.
    “What is this, the third ‘true love’ this year?” The woman went through men

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