Plots and counterplots along with made for television drama played in Red’s head as she got out of the car at the barrier. She looked around expecting to see someone hiding waiting to take a shot at them or to attack them. There was nothing, it was anticlimactic considering the amount of adrenaline shooting through her.

“When we raised this shield Lyrek called it into being. We each assumed incorrectly that only a royal could do this. With his eyes he was the closest thing we had to a royal at the time.”

“Does that mean the cornerstone is in jeopardy?”

“It isn’t sitting right, that’s why the attacks on the barrier are effective.”

Red nodded. The more she looked around she could see that the barrier was failing. It was thinner than it was the last time she was here.

“What do we do?”

“We strengthen the barrier by moving the load to the cornerstone.”

“You know how to do that?”

“Shh, I have no idea what to do. I didn’t know I was the cornerstone until you showed up in my life, love.”

She had no idea that her life was more until she met him. They were in the same boat. Turning she looked at the barrier watching as it shimmered into a solid form she could see and touched.

“So many cracks. Why?”

“Someone is attacking it. The bomb they constructed to go next to the barrier was supposed to bring it down. It didn’t because the barrier feeds off our strength and connection to it. Me because I was here when it was put up, you because you’re a part of me and by extension a part of the barrier.”

“Maybe we have to have sex next to it so that our energies will bleed off and feed the barrier.” The more she thought about that the more she liked it.

Norquay turned to look at her blinking like he was an old man that forget his glasses. “Humans.”

“Sorry, we really do think sex will solve the problem.”

“Let’s save that thought for when we are home with a bed and heat.”

“True love doesn’t need a bed or heat.” She teased him knowing she was not getting naked in the snow to perform some alien ceremony. Still, the thought was hot.

One moment she was standing the next she was flowing into the form of her byema. By the time she hit the ground, she was ready to go. They ran along the side of the barrier that housed the cornerstone. When they got to the next side of the barrier the cracks were more pronounced. The barrier wouldn’t hold up under another attack. They turned silently going back to where the car was.

Once changed into their humanoid forms Norquay clothed them with a thought.

Red slipped her hand into Norquays, they weren’t wearing gloves. The heat of his hand surrounded her making her feel like it was summer in the middle of winter. She placed her hand on the barrier touching the cornerstone.

“When the time is right, remember these words.” She repeated her eyes closed.

He reached out placing his hand on top of hers. “Anay matay,” He repeated twice holding her hand to the barrier as they both began to radiate an intense light.

“Shields come.” The words flowed from his lips.

“Shields go.” Red repeated after him.

“This barrier will stay. It will be powered by our blood and the blood of our offspring. Every new abraza will become part of the line carrying the defense of our people in their blood. The child that we have conceived will carry the barrier in its blood. From this day forth as long as we are this shield will stand.”

A bright light flowed through them into the shield lighting up the whole compound like it was noon. When the flash was gone, they both collapsed against the cornerstone.

“I’m pregnant.” There was awe in her voice until she started hitting him. “You and your super sperm, we’re supposed to talk about things like having babies together. Who told you to knock me up?”

“Knock me up, is probably not the cute phrase you think it is.”

She tried to beat against his chest again but was too busy laughing. “Can we go home now?”

“Yes. If we don’t, I’ll try to strengthen the barrier with pagan alien rituals done in the snow.”

“Oh? Tell me more.” He pulled her up then led her to the car. There was a ritual he wanted to do with her. Since she couldn’t get pregnant, right now, he didn’t have to worry about her saying no.

“Come, love before our household wakes up.”

Red took one last look at the shield they created together. Their family, their people would be safe for another day. She placed her hand over her abdominal and dreamed of children with blue star-filled eyes.


From the desk of



This story started hard and fast. It hit me with the power of a sledgehammer, dragging me down roads I thought I shut the door on. It reminded me that recovery was a lifelong process. Wrongdoing hurts and pain doesn’t disappear just because you wear a smile. It also screamed that recovery happens in different ways for different people.

It took me longer to write this story because it showcased pain from the first word. It also showcased hope. Pain and devastation are not always the end of everything. We have the unique ability to transcend the hurt and cruelty done to us. We can, and some have already evolved. They’ve become more than anyone including themselves thought they could be.

To that, I say to my sisters, and to my brothers hold on. Don’t stop believing, living, and loving. Let that pain make you more not less. To you I say you’re not the only one. It’s not just your voice crying in the wilderness. Although the battle may seem like it’s lost, the war is yet to be won.

I’ll stop here, I’m in the middle of chapter twenty-one and I stopped to watch something on YouTube and ended going into a hole with Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda fascinates me with his talent. How he brought this story to life is amazing. He captured the world with his words. Goals! I love every story I tell, but this romance, this love story will be close to my heart.

Pain is just a breath away, but so is happiness. I pray for us all to find happiness.



Serena Simpson

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