Excerpt: Sarah's Spaceship Adventure

Today I have for you an awesome excerpt from Sarah's Spaceship Adventure.  Seriously read it and then you will be hooked like I was and you will HAVE to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post so you could have a copy and see what happens in the rest of this story! Also check out the Blurb of Sarah's Spaceship Adventure HERE!
Reggardi hesitated a moment, and then he disappeared back down the passageway, but not before giving Sarah a warning glance.  Sarah took only a few seconds before deciding.  She quickly walked over to Pall and grabbed his sleeve.  He glanced away from a display to give her an inquiring look.
“I’ve got to off this ship,” she said urgently to Pall.
He turned from his task with a puzzled look on his face.
“What?” he asked.
“I have to get off this ship,” Sarah repeated.
“Why?” asked Pall.  “You’ll be able to drop in a couple of hours.”
Sarah pulled her hair away from her face and turned her cheek toward him so he could see the mark on her face.
“Please.  I need to get off this ship,” she repeated once again.
Pall’s brown eyes widened as he heard the plea in her voice and saw the damage to her cheek.  He looked at the passageway, and then he looked back at Sarah.
“Did he do that?” he demanded.
“Yes.  I truly need to get off this ship.”
“Great Captain’s Spirit,” exclaimed Pall.  “Yeah, I can see that’s true.  But I can’t take you off this ship without permission from the Captain.  And he is the Captain, right?”
“But there’s only the two of us,” wailed Sarah who was becoming desperate.  This rescue was not going well at all.
“It’s the law,” explained Pall.  “And I can’t break it, Sarah.  He could get my ship banned from trading with Marl.  I have shipmates who have money invested in this ship.  We have to be able to return to Marl.”
“Can’t you do anything?” Sarah begged.  Once again, she was feeling panicky.
The young spacer thought for a few moments.  As they waited, the ship’s comm dinged.  It was Reggardi demanding to know why Pall was taking so long.
“I’m having a little trouble aligning the gy,” Pall lied.  “Hold on for a few minutes.”  He turned to Sarah.
“Have you ever been united?” he asked hesitantly.
“What?  No,” replied Sarah, offended that he would ask such a personal question of a perfect stranger.
“Legally, I can take you off this ship if you’re willing to unite with me,” said Pall.
A deep hurt settled into Sarah.  She gulped.  So that’s how it is, she thought.  He’ll risk a brush with the law if I have sex with him.  She thought about refusing but only for a moment.  Still, she had to know something.
“Have you ever…,” she indicated her cheek, “…done this to a girl?”
“Never,” replied Pall emphatically.  “That’s despicable.  My shipmates would probably space me if I did such a thing.”
Sarah gathered her courage.  “All right,” she said bravely if shakily.  “I’ll… unite with you if you take me aboard your ship.”
But even as she made the promise, Sarah was hoping that, once aboard the young man’s ship, she could get the attention of the Captain or of one the officers or of someone who could help her get away from this person, too.
Pall nodded and then to Sarah’s surprise, he put his hands together and pointed his fingertips toward Sarah.
He spoke.  “I, Pall Swiftcar, vow that I will protect you, Sarah…,” he paused and looked at her expectantly.
For a moment, Sarah’s mind was blank, and then she said, “Talmaiz.  Sarah Talmaiz.”
Pall nodded and said, “Talmaiz.  And I will unite with you.  Now you say the words back to me.”  With a virtual roll of her eyes, Sarah said the words.
“We can say the other words later,” said Pall.  He returned to his task.
A rather formal statement that he’s going to get laid, thought Sarah crossly.   With an internal sneer, she wondered if later he would use her words to claim that she had consented.
* * *
With a start, she became aware of the young, naked man sleeping next to her.  She drew away from him.  Unhappily she remembered that before she could return home, she had to fulfill her part of their bargain.  She had to be intimate with him, although in this situation ‘intimate’ was not how she would describe it.  She was not the most morally upright girl on the planet, she realized, and there were things that she had done in the past that were painfully embarrassing to look back on.  But performing sexual intercourse with a stranger out of necessity would be a low point to which she had never dreamed she would fall.
She wondered if she should wake him and demand that they get it over with.  She could not bring herself to do so.  She would stall as long as possible.  A sudden wave of shame overcame her.  She was so stupid to get herself in this situation, she felt, even if Reggardi was the one at fault.  She felt like crying again, but she choked back her tears.
She felt the spacer stir, and then he sat up, rubbing his eyes.  Afraid, she pulled away as far as possible.  He glanced at her and gave her a look of concern.
“You okay?” he asked.  “That must have been spirit tense, yesterday.  How’s your face?  I should have given you some salve for it.”
“It’s better,” she told him.  At least he’s not acting like a jerk, she thought.  So far.
“Everything is set on my ship,” he said.  “So I’m free.”
Here it is, she thought.  It’s time to pay for my passage.
“You promise that after we do it once, I’ll be free to go?” she asked nervously.  She wondered if she was expected to have sex with him multiple times.
“Do what?” he asked.
“You know.  Bounce.  Have sex,” she said.  Maybe he would turn out to be a jerk.  Could he be worse than Reggardi?
“Uh, about that,” he began.  He felt a blush happening, and he hated the fact that his face was red.  “I can’t have intercourse with you until I’ve passed seventeen standard Marl cycles.”
He saw her light blue eyes widen.  He suspected that she saw him as an unsophisticated Hooper.  That was not unexpected.
“Look,” he said feeling more and more uncomfortable.  “I understand that on Marl you have your own ways and well… your own values.  I’m not saying that they are wrong.  But out in the Hoop we have our own principles.  Mine say that I have to wait until I pass seventeen cycles before having intercourse, unless I get my shipmates permission, in which case I only have to pass sixteen cycles.  I’m only half way through my fifteenth cycle, so I have to wait at least another half cycle before we can bounce.  I mean, I don’t think that Pai and Tai will have any objections.”  I hope, was his private thought.
Sarah’s mind was blank.  Then her natural optimism surged to the surface.  She was about to get a lucky reprieve which she knew that she did not deserve.  She gave a quiet word of thanks to the Spirit.
“Okay.  Okay.  Then just drop me on Marl,” she said as she tried to keep her voice calm.  “When you’re back this way, we can… uh, you know… finish it.”  Fat chance of that, boy, she thought.
Pall stared at her so long that her hope began to waver.  Something was wrong, and he did not want to tell her.
“Sarah,” he said quietly.  “You agreed to unite with me.”
“Sure.  But you said that you can’t right now.  So maybe later…”
“Sarah, we are united now.  By the Spirit.  For the rest of our lives or until the Great Captain returns for us,” explained Pall.
Sarah could see that he was unhappy now.  For several moments she stared back at him until his words sank in to her consciousness.  Then she gasped.
“You mean united as in… married?”  She gaped at him in horror.
“Married.”  He slowly repeated the word and turned it over in his mind.  “Yes.  That’s the Marl word for it, isn’t it?  We’re married.”
For a second she was too stunned to say anything, and then Sarah wailed, “I thought that we were just going to have sex.  I can’t be married.  I’m still in high school.  I graduate in a month.  My parents are awake now, and I need to get ready for school, and I have homework to turn in.  I want to go home.”  She coughed as she controlled a sob.
Pall was feeling miserable now.  How could she not have known what he was saying?  This misunderstanding was bad. Very bad.  He equivocated before telling her the worst.
“Sarah, even if I wanted to, I can’t take you home now.  I started my burn while you were sleeping.  On our course and heading, I don’t have enough energy to take you back to Marl.  No ship in the system has that much plasma.  We’re too far away now.  We’re going to the Hoop.  We can’t return to Marl for another year at the earliest.”

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