© Cynthia Lore
This story is in progress right now and is the main one I will be focussing on for a while. I will set a temporary publish date for no earlier than February 2014. Keep in mind that date is very optimistic!! That is a total guesstimate, though. Anything could happen at this point!
While I am working on Hive Mind, I will also be writing the next in the series Alien Instincts featuring Jakar.
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Summary of Hive Mind:
Warning: This story will contain sexual content and a multiple partner relationship.
Rachel Dupree hates attention, she hates crowds, and she hates interacting with people. With social anxiety like this, Rachel doesn’t know how she became friends with Jane- the most outgoing woman in the world. Now Jane’s dragging Rachel to the mall, but this is not just any shopping trip. Jane’s shopping for men, and these are not just any men.
The news reports are calling it an “Alien Invasion”, but to Rachel the whole thing seems more like spring break gone intergalactic. Who would want such a thing? Apparently thousands of women, who are all applying at their local malls to become one of the “queens” that the alien men are searching for.
The thought of having an actual harem of men is so foreign to Rachel that she refuses to think about it. She must admit to herself, though, that in the darkest corners of her mind she wonders what it would be like to have that much attention. Until she remembers she hates attention.
Excerpt from Hive Mind:
Rachel rolled her eyes once again at the news program she was watching. Alien invasion, yeah right! Sounded more like spring break gone intergalactic. Women were actually throwing themselves at the “invaders”. They were all so desperate to be the one the alien men were searching for. As if that situation could ever be anything more than horrible. Taken away from everything you once knew to a distant alien planet? Not on Rachel’s to do list. That’s why, even though her friend, Jane, demanded they go take a quick look at what all the fuss was about, Rachel was going to hide in the back and probably cramp an eye muscle from all the rolling the spheres were going to do.
“Come on Rachel! I have to get closer if I want to get in line!” Jane dragged Rachel forward relentlessly. Rachel was at the mall with her friend for moral support, but every step they took towards the crowd was making her uneasy. Not only did Rachel not like crowds, she wasn’t a fan of attention either. The local media was filming the mob of women gathered at the mall in hopes of catching a glimpse of the “queen” the aliens were searching for. Rachel grumbled unhappily as she tried to duck behind other hopeful women so the video cameras wouldn’t record her for the late night show.
Once Jane managed to plow her way through the mob of woman, the two friends could see what was at the center of all the mayhem. A temporary stage had been set up next to a black tent. The women had formed an extremely long line that led upwards to the stage, and eventually disappeared inside the tent.
“This is going to take all day!” Rachel complained to no one in particular.
“Are you going to do this with me or not?” Jane shouted over her shoulder as she moved relentlessly forward.
“Oh, I’m not going to do anything. But a promise is a promise, and I said I would stay by your side throughout your ridiculous quest for alien hunks.” Rachel couldn’t help but try to covertly search for said hunks. They were supposed to come in packs, so she expected to see one or two walking around. She had seen the footage from their searches in other cities, and the aliens were indeed extremely attractive. The only problem in Rachel’s mind was that they weren’t human, and their love came in multiples.
She shivered as she remembered the descriptions of their mating practices. The men from space were open about their needs and what they would offer, in hopes that the women from Earth would help them. Apparently some sort of disaster struck and decimated their already small female population. They had searched the universe hoping to find women to help them repopulate their species, and had all but given up until they found a tiny blue planet at the edge of the Milky Way.
Why she shivered was because they were a “hive” culture. It was one woman for every group of men! The number of men changed drastically depending on their position in their society, but it was always just the one woman. The thought of having an actual harem of men was so foreign to Rachel that she refused to think about it. She had to admit to herself, though, that in the darkest corners of her mind she wondered what it would be like to have that much attention. Until she remembered she hated attention.
Jane came to a sudden stop at the back of the long line of women. Rachel ran into her because she was still looking everywhere for a glimpse of an alien. “Sorry.” She muttered as she righted herself. Jane hardly noticed. She was doing her own visual search of the crowd.
“How are we supposed to know we want to spend the rest of our lives with these guys when we can’t even see if they’re hot or not!” Jane said indignantly.
“The aliens on the television were pretty good looking.” Rachel thought back to the men who were interviewed in the beginning of the ‘invasion’. “Hey, what do you mean by ‘we’. I do not want to be involved in this, remember?”
Jane rolled her eyes at her best friend. “Of course, honey. We all know your fear of male affection.”
“What! I’m not afraid of men.” Rachel said as she pouted. Not exactly afraid of men anyway, just attention in general. She liked her privacy, and she didn’t meet too many people that she felt she could get along with. Years of disappointment had caused her to start to shun human interaction. Perhaps it was because she was so good at reading people, that she found out she usually didn’t like the person deep within. She found that people were generally just selfish creatures.
Rachel shifted self-consciously in the growing line. Because she was standing next to her friend, it looked like she was in the line of women eager to apply to the aliens. She was starting to feel like she needed a break from everything. Rachel tapped Jane on her shoulder to get her attention. “Do you want something to drink? I think I’m going to go over to the food court.”
Jane glanced back at her absently as she kept looking curiously around the mall. “Yeah, grab me some iced tea, would you?” Rachel nodded, even though her friend wasn’t watching her, and left the line to try to wade through the huge crowd.
It felt like it took an eternity to get through the mob, and then finally purchase the drinks. As she turned around with the two huge cups of liquid, she ran into one of the largest men she had ever seen. “Oh! I’m so sorry!” she stammered as she stood there awkwardly watching the spilled liquid seep into his shirt. Both her hands were occupied by the now half empty cups, so Rachel shifted awkwardly as she tried to find somewhere to rest them so she could help the man clean up. But she froze when she heard his deep voice.
“It’s alright. There is not very much.”
Rachel looked up into his face at that and couldn’t prevent her reaction to his physical perfection. He smiled down at her like spilled tea was the happiest thing in the world. She smiled back vacantly as she was struck dumb by his looks. He was easily a foot taller than her, and his shoulders were so wide that she could hardly see around him. Every inch of him was covered in well-defined muscles that made him look incredibly masculine. But it was his face that had struck Rachel dumb.
It was beautiful in a purely male way. Everything about it called out to her. It looked kind, honorable, and strong all at once, and she found she couldn’t see anything she disliked about it. It was framed by shoulder length blond hair that was so luxurious looking it made Rachel want to reach out and touch it. He was quite simply, the most handsome man she had ever seen.
Still awkwardly clutching the two iced teas in her hands Rachel mumbled another apology and then fled into the crowd. The people seethed around her as she pushed her way through, and when she glanced back to where she had left the man he was gone. Silently cursing herself for looking like a fool, she made her way back to the line.
It took Rachel forever to find Jane, because the line had moved surprisingly fast while she was gone. When she got back in line with her friend, everyone gave her dirty looks for cutting, but Rachel ignored them.
“Are you okay? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.” Jane asked while grabbing her drink from Rachel’s hand. Taking a long sip out of the straw, she raised one eyebrow questioningly at her friend.
“Yes. I just spilled some of my drink. You know me… clumsy.” Rachel laughed uncomfortably as she remembered her social disaster with the hot guy. She was definitely clumsy.
The line moved steadily forward, and before they knew it, they were onto the platform. Here there was a man taking information and applications from the women. Jane handed hers over and he turned towards Rachel. “Can I see your identification, miss?”
“Oh, I’m not interviewing! I’m just here for moral support.” The man scaled her body with his eyes before he gave her an enigmatic look. Frowning, Rachel examined him as well. He was of average height for a man, but he did not have average looks. He had rich toffee colored hair that he held back in a short ponytail. Instead of making him look more feminine, the hair only emphasized the ruggedness of his facial features. High cheekbones were framing a masculine jaw that was covered in short stubble. His eyes were hawk-like in the way he took in everything around him.
He interrupted her inspection of him. “You wouldn’t want to reconsider that? You have already waited in line, why not apply?”
Rachel let out awkward laughter at that. “No thanks. Not really my kind of thing.” She looked around her to see that the other women in line were now glaring at her. She shifted uncomfortably when she realized they had been holding everything up with their conversation.
“You should try it. Maybe you will be surprised.” His piercing eyes gleamed as if he was joking, and his mouth lifted in a slight smile.
“Oh no. I couldn’t.” Rachel looked over to Jane and was surprised to see she was gone. She had already entered into the area where the interviews were being held.
“Why don’t you follow your friend?” The man indicated for Rachel to enter. Unsure of exactly where she should go, and now excruciatingly self-conscious of everyone in the line staring at her, she began to move towards where the man had pointed.
Pushing the black curtain to the side, she walked into the dimly lit tent set up for the event. There were a couple women just waiting around, discussing the aliens between themselves, beyond them was another entrance to the back of the tent. Rachel looked around for Jane, but could not find her. Unsure of what else to do, she decided to take a peek behind the second curtain and the back of the structure.
The room beyond was pitch black. Rachel strained her eyes, trying to adjust to the darkness. Leaning in a little farther, she suddenly heard movement in the dim room.
“Rachel?” The voice was unfamiliar to her, and startling to hear coming out of only shadows. It was a male voice, deep and melodic. The kind of sound that made you want to hear it again. “Rachel? Is that you?”
She blinked her eyes, uselessly trying to adjust them to complete darkness. Taking one tentative step forward in order to try to see better, she responded. “Yes?” On the next blink, Rachel was sure the room had gotten slightly brighter, although she couldn’t pinpoint where the light was coming from. The shape of a man formed in the center of the room, although it was still so dark that Rachel couldn’t be sure if she was imagining it or not.
“Could you come closer?”
It seemed like such a reasonable request that Rachel took a few steps into the room before she began to question the situation. The brightness seemed to be becoming more pronounced, or perhaps Rachel’s imagination was really going haywire. “Who are you?” she responded in suspicion.
The form of a man could be seen in the center of the room, sitting at a small table. He gestured her forward. Rachel took a few more steps, more because she wanted to see whom it was than because he had beckoned her. Even though it was still shadowy, Rachel could see the man’s wide shoulders and well-muscled body sitting behind the table. A strong aquiline nose and high cheekbones set off dark straight hair that went down his back. There was a chair across from him that he nudged towards her with his foot. “Sit.”
Rachel looked around the room, realizing it was indeed brighter than it had been before. Not sure of what else to do, she sat in the chair. She could now see the beautiful blue eyes of the man in front of her. Staring in bewilderment at how handsome he was, she saw what she thought was a slight smile come from him, but it was gone before she could check. “Rachel Dupree?” he said in a crisp, formal tone.
“Yes… that’s me. Am I in trouble?” Rachel thought back to when she had gotten back in the line with Jane and everyone around them had given her dirty looks. Could they have all thought she cut in line, and now mall security was going to fine her or something else just as crazy? Rachel watched the man in front of her suspiciously, waiting for his answer.
“No, you are not in trouble. How do you feel in group situations?” He waited patiently for her to respond.
“What… I don’t like groups.” Rachel sat there in confused silence, trying to figure out what was going on.
The man frowned back at her, then looked down at some papers in his hands. “Would you say you get along with most types of people?”
Rachel blinked back at him. “Uhh… no. I’m not around people that much. Not a big fan.”
He looked back up at her at that. “Not a big fan? Of people?” He said in shock.
“Yeah. Not a big fan of people. Look, can I go now? I need to find my friend.” Wanting to get up and leave, Rachel settled for fidgeting in her chair.
“Just a few more questions, please. Do you think you have a calming presence around others?”
Rachel shook her head in confusion. “I’m not even sure what that means.” she said in a dry voice.
The man frowned at her again. “Never mind.” He sighed in exasperation. “Have you ever been with more than one man before?”
Rachel froze. There was only one reason he would need to ask her a question like that. Somehow, she had accidentally stumbled her way into the interviews for potential alien mates. Her face paled, and then she felt the blood surge back, blushing her entire head. The man’s eyes seemed to catch her mental hiccup, and cocked his head to the side as he studied her mortification. “Wha… what?”
“I said, have you been with more than one man before. Perhaps dated two men at once? In a situation that would require a delicate emotional balance?” His eyes never left Rachel, watching every shocked reaction she had with interest.
“I… uh… think I’m in the wrong place. Sorry. I didn’t mean to get in here.” Rachel began to get up to leave.
“Wait! I still have more questions.” The man put out his hand to try to catch her, but Rachel was already up out of her chair.
She turned back to look over her shoulder at him as she rushed out of the room. “Really sorry about this! It was all just a big mix up!” Rachel tripped on her foot on her way out and stumbled awkwardly towards the exit. Once she staggered her way out of the tent, she stopped and took in a deep breath. She had never even wanted to come with Jane on this crazy adventure of hers, and now all of Rachel’s fears had come true. She had accidentally interviewed to be the only female in an alien harem. Thinking about it made her begin to hyperventilate, and she took a few more calming breaths to get herself under control.
“Hey! Rachel! I’ve been looking everywhere for you!” Jane sidled up to her mid breath, but Rachel didn’t want to interrupt her rhythm. Jane put her hand on Rachel’s arm in concern. “Are you okay? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”
After she had decided she had breathed normally for long enough, Rachel let out one final sigh. “No I am not okay. I’m not even sure what happened back there, but I think I accidentally interviewed.”
Jane’s eyes widened in shock at her friend’s statement. “Are you for real? You actually interviewed? I didn’t even have the courage to interview! I chickened out.” Jane looked dejected at the thought. “That’s awesome that you decided to stop being so shy! You go Rachel!”
“No. You don’t understand, Jane. I accidentally interviewed. I didn’t mean to at all! I just stumbled into the room like an idiot and he started asking me questions!” At the end of her rant, Rachel could feel the panic start to set in again.
“Holy shit! Uhhh… I mean…” Jane looked around for somewhere the two could sit. “Let’s get you somewhere where you can rest.” Dragging Rachel along by her arm, Jane led her to a bench at the far corner of mall. “Now just calm down. You just talked to somebody. You didn’t agree to anything yet. Everything will be fine.” Jane rubbed Rachel’s hand, trying to comfort her anxious friend. Ever since she had known Rachel the girl had been terrified of people. Shunning crowds and social situations at all costs, Jane was one of her only friends.
Rachel paused from her heavy breathing to glare at her friend. “Wait a second- what do you mean you didn’t interview? That was the whole reason you dragged me along!”
Jane laughed awkwardly. “Ooops! I got too nervous and didn’t go through with it. But, hey, it was a great experience! We got to see first hand the event of our generation! We might have even seen some aliens!” She tried to put a good spin on everything that happened today. Jane always wanted to be in the middle of everything. “Did you see any when you interviewed?”
“I didn’t actually interview!”
“Okay, okay. I get it! But did you see any aliens?” Jane persisted.
Thinking back over the men Rachel had met, none of them looked definitely alien, but yet again, she knew from news programs that they weren’t supposed to look any different than humans. “I don’t think so.” Rachel responded uncertainly.
Jane looked so disappointed it was almost comical. “Are you sure?”
“No I’m not sure! I was hardly in there for more than a second. Quit acting like I’m best friends with aliens now!”
“Sorry, Rachel. I’m just curious. The whole reason I wanted to come was to see some sexy aliens, and I haven’t seen one!” Jane pouted. She always knew how to turn a situation back to her.
“Lets just go home and forget this ever happened. And if there is ever another ‘alien invasion’ you’ll have to go alone. I’m done.”
End of Excerpt
© Cynthia Lore