Time might march on but hidden in each human are the embers of evolution that flicker to life when nature insists.
Earth is in trouble, flooded with pollution and uninhabitable for females, who are instead sent into space to live. As the birth rate becomes predominately male, the human race must find a way to stabilize the population. No chances will be taken on relationships doomed to failure because of personality conflicts. Males that desire a female to mate submit to intense testing and wait for a female whose results match. They will also agree to share-one female can provide children for two males and stabilizing the population must take precedence over personal choice.
Jala is an Estroko, a female gladiator who trains and competes in martial arts. Only females can be Estroko and winning freedom from matching is an Estroko's ultimate reward, but a dishonorable knee sweep ends that dream for Jala-sending her to be matched for reproduction.
She comes face to face with a pair of males who consider her their match-and their possession. Jala won't abandon her dreams because science says Cassian and Sion were meant for her. Cassian and Sion can't fathom why Jala ignores the passion igniting between them.
In an era when science controls attraction, what happens to the tender emotions that can bind more than just the body? Love doesn't show up on test pages, it flows through the blood and takes root in the heart.
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April 03, 2006
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Excerpt from Evolution's Embers by Mary Wine
Sion moved across the floor too confidently. Jala shifted back as she came face to face with just how much larger the man was than her. His lighter hair and eyes let him slip under her initial notice but now she tipped her head back to stare at shoulders that were twice the span of her own and packed with thick muscle. Her eyes were even with the man's collarbones and there was an insane little flutter of excitement in her belly which Jala frankly detested. A smaller male would be much easier to keep at arm's length. Sion wasn't going to be intimidated easily.
He considered her face a moment before he reached for her arm. Jala slipped back smoothly across the tile floor as his lips pressed together in a tight line. "Just because I'm a male doesn't mean we can't be friends."
His eyes didn't look friendly. Jala caught his attention moving down her length once again before he came back to her face. Sure, he wanted to get to know her which meant getting exactly what he wanted...her body.
Maybe she shouldn't let it bother her so much. It was just sex. If a child was in her future it was time to think about letting a male close enough to father one. But she couldn't divorce herself from her flesh. As her focus shifted from dealing with the pain of her injury, she suddenly began to notice her body's other needs. Her stomach growled and Sion smiled. He extended his arm towards the door.
"Maybe you'll reconsider over a meal. Cassian will be waiting for us to join him."
That flutter hit her belly once again as Jala turned to hide her annoyance. The darker-haired commander was every inch as large as Sion. There was one stark difference. Sion was willing to let her avoid him and she got the distinct impression Cassian was the type of opponent who charged in at the front of a battle.
Not that it mattered all too much. An opponent who took the time to set you up could be just as deadly. Letting her guard down with Sion could be an even bigger mistake than facing off with Cassian. Looking for a bright side took a lot of digging.
"Will there be clothing involved?" More importantly, clothing for her to wear that didn't leave her tender parts exposed? She didn't point that out because there was no reason to light a fire under Sion if she didn't need to. The man would be cranky enough when he took his erection to bed without her.
She had noticed the bulge in his pants and Jala really wished she hadn't. So what? The man had all the normal male genitalia. Just because he was prone to looking at her breasts didn't mean she needed to develop a mental idea of what he kept in his pants.
That sort of information led a girl right into trouble. Big trouble. There were fellow Estrokos who had enjoyed their military escort completely and loudly. They were the same females who tended to end up losers because they lacked concentration on the mat.
She might be matched for a solid five years but that didn't mean she had to fling every principle she had ever lived by into the forces of nature. Mother Nature was a controlling bitch who would land Jala on her back in one hour straight if she let her. The bulge in Sion's pants told her the male was interested in trying out their "natural" chemistry together.
Sion considered her for a moment before moving towards the doorway. "Yes, everything you need is waiting at our quarters."
Jala didn't snort at his words and Sion smiled at her back as she quickened her pace to get her face out of his sight. Too bad. He was sort of enjoying her stubborn streak. What an interesting turn of fate and one he laid at technology's door step. Jala wasn't boring. Sure, he had expected to want to have sex with his match but enjoying the time spent outside the sheets was a surprise.
No male really thought about their matches when they were separated. Once there were children involved, that tended to change a bit due to the care needed from both parents for growing offspring. Good teamwork skills would be essential to raising successful children. But the interaction would revolve around their children. Males and females just lived different lives. It was a fact which people in the past had deluded themselves into thinking wasn't so. It was. Everyone knew it.
But actually getting to know Jala was certainly a whole hell of a lot more interesting than his required lectures had hinted it would be.