A Promise Made

Shipped off to war as soon as she'd finished medical school, Dr. Karen Masters is more curious than frightened when her ship is captured by the enemy, and she's sent to collect needed medical supplies from the enemy ship, the Promise.

Her first close encounter with a Gaian, Dr. Jeffery, is nothing like she expected.

Note: This is a re-edited version of the original novella.

Until now, I hadn't seen a Gaian, but I was getting an eyeful now. There were a number of people wearing blue some distance from us, including several carrying weapons that to my eyes looked more streamlined than what Earthforce used.

I noticed that those with guns were examining us carefully as we were quickly patted down for weapons and my medical bag was searched. They also took a quick look inside the shuttle.

Well, this wasn't supposed to be a friendly visit, I decided. We should be happy we were getting anything from these people.

Then a tall, thin man bounded over to us. He had light blond hair that was fairly long around his ears, in the fashion of most of the men in the hangar, and a slightly crooked smile on his face. Something about him appealed to me, in spite of his Gaian uniform.

Appealed to me, that is, in a way I found most unexpected. I wasn't the kind of woman who got hot when she met a good-looking man, but this one had me tingling all over.

When he saw me, his whole face lit up, and his grin grew wider. "A woman?" he said. "I didn't expect them to send a woman." He looked at me so appreciatively that I couldn't help but smile back. His admiration was refreshing after the way most men ignored me.

It was also kind of nice that he was so tall that in order to smile back I actually had to tilt my head up to do it.

"Welcome to the Promise," he said, coming closer. His voice was deeper than I expected, with rich overtones. "I'm Dr. Jeffrey, chief medical officer." He came close enough to reach out one hand.

I stepped forward and took his hand with mine. "Dr. Karen Masters, chief medical supply officer of the Hope."

At least that's what I began to say. I didn't get more than "Dr. Karen" out before Dr. Jeffrey began having trouble breathing. His face turned a rich purple, and he bent forward noticeably. Fear gripped me that the man was having a heart attack or some sort of seizure.

I pushed him to the floor, where he went without protest.

"Call medical, Emergency team, stat!" I cried, kneeling beside him. There was a flurry of activity around me, but I ignored it while working on my patient.

When I felt for his pulse, it was irregular but strong, so I ruled out a heart attack. As his breathing continued to labor, I decided to try mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on him. I leaned over him and barely put my lips to his, when I felt his arms go completely around me.

He pulled my body down on top of him, and I landed hard, sprawling across his chest. Keeping his mouth firmly on mine, Jeffrey rolled, pinning my arms until I was lying beneath him. Then he stretched out, lining our bodies up in a familiar, if not recently familiar, way. 

Romance Junkies - Four Blue Ribbons ...A PROMISE MADE is a positively refreshing tale of finding unexpected love between the opposing parties of a war that none wanted, by author Janet Miller. As the gruesome realities of espionage warfare and sabotage are revealed, the very possibility of the fragile attraction between these two physicians ending up as part of the collateral damage of war kept this reader captivated until the very end. - J.T.