Treaty of Hearts
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by Suzanne Embree
Category: Romance/Science Fiction
Description: Chancellor Vi Burceau is putting not only Commander Eshana Vi Dacro's world at risk but also her mother's homeworld of Crete who is under the protection of the water planet Dakamar. Eshana is suspicious of the Chancellor's motives and enlists the help of Commander Alexander Vi Dakar of Dakamar. Only his idea of an alliance is not quite what she had in mind. Rating: Sweet
eBook Publisher: New Concepts Publishing, 2008
eBookwise Release Date: June 2008
17 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [104 KB]
Reading time: 63-88 min.
Eshana Vi Dacro stood outside the doorway to her father's private chambers listening to the conversation that she nearly walked in on. Her slender fingers tucked a loose strand of cinnamon colored hair back in its place. Her bronze eyes narrowed as Eshana frowned. Her father's voice sounded tired as it usually did after dealing with the overly ambitious advisor.
The Chancellor was one of her father's most influential advisors, although she had her suspicions as to what his hidden agenda was. Eshana's elf like ears twitched in annoyance. The pointed tips positioned themselves forward as the voices lowered. Vi Burceau was known for being power hungry and would stop at nothing to become the Autocrat of Elfinian Society.
Eshana's father was an obstacle that he could not overcome. She and her father's council thought the position of Chancellor would slow his appetite, but then the conversation she was listening to set the suspicions back into her mind.
"Have you spoken to her?" The Chancellor's voice was raspy.
"No, not yet. She will not agree to it. Do you really want to lose one of the best squadron leaders we have and our Intelligence Commander?" Autocrat Vi Dacro shook his head gravely. "Have you not considered the scepter?"
"She is your daughter, and we are looking at peace with a powerful society who could be a great asset in the potential war with the Crete's. Her duty is to you and the Society first not to her squadron, legends aside." The Chancellor insisted. "It is for a good cause."
"The scepter is not a legend." Her father growled. "My daughter is not some bargaining chip on the table Chancellor! If Dakar wants an official treaty then he will contact me personally!" Autocrat Vi Dacro slammed his fist into the arm of his chair.
"There has not yet been an offer made. It is only something to consider if and when the offer arrives." The Chancellor backed off, seeing his liege was angered.
Eshana wondered why he wanted her out of Elfinia. She knew the Crete's at this point in time were not posing a threat unless the Chancellor had more information than she had access to, but then as the Intelligence Detail Advisor, she doubted it. Unless he was up to something, once again the suspicions crept into her mind.
Eshana entered the room at that point of the conversation. The Chancellor rose from her mother's chair, putting on a false smile.
"All is well at the Front?" he asked, and then answered his own question. "Of course it is, or you wouldn't be here."
"Or there could be," she offered. "Unlike you Chancellor, I do pay the Autocrat respect and confer with him on matters of importance instead of taking matters into my own hands." She watched as the smile on his face turned into a snarl.
Her father interrupted before the Chancellor had a chance to retort, "Chancellor Vi Burceau, I would like to speak to Eshana in private."
"Of course, I shall be in my office if you require my assistance." With a curt nod he left the room. Her father hit one of the small square pads on the wall beside him and closed the door.
"I do wish you wouldn't bait him so." He smirked at Eshana. "You heard the conversation, what do you think?"
"I think you left the door open for a reason," she teased. "Maybe your Communications Advisor is correct that the Chancellor is hatching some sort of evil plot? Lord M'Allory is not somebody to jump to conclusions without just cause, even if he only has a hunch." She sat down in her mother's chair. Eshana could still smell her Earth Lavender scent after all these years after her death. "I think your life maybe in danger...."
"And yours." Autocrat Vi Dacro's smile faded. "According to Vi Burceau, Alexander the son of Dakar on Dakamar has requested a meeting with you as soon as you can. He is at Galaxy Starbase Vivo. The Chancellor thinks it may be a marriage offer. I doubt it personally."
Eshana thought about the meeting with the son of Dakar. It wasn't sitting right with her either. Most marriage proposals go through the proper channels of leaders, advisors, spiritual counselors, and finally then to the intended groom or bride. Not the other way around.
"Father, leave it with me. I'm pretty sure Vi Burceau is getting ready to make his move, although he has been keeping things pretty low key and quiet." She stood up. "Watch your back while I am gone." She headed for the door.
"Where are you going?" Her father rose from his seat.
"As far as anybody is concerned, Vivo." She gave him a smile then opened the door and headed for her office.
She walked slowly through the corridors carefully plotting out her next plan of action. Her intelligence training taught Eshana no matter how insignificant the task may seem, always proceed with caution.
She reached the door to her office and waved her hand over the security lock to enter. Eshana looked about her office, stark as it was, to ensure everything was normal. She reached into her holster and took out a scanner, double-checking for any listening devices or other entrapments in the room. Its soft beep indicated everything was fine. Eshana sat down at the glass desk and called up a screen on the wall to her right.
She spoke to the transmitter on her desk, "Commander Eshana requesting data."
"Voice analysis verified. On which topic, Commander?" the computer's soft and silky voice asked.
"Alexander Vi Dakar."
"Information transferring to screen." Eshana took a glimpse of the information coming on her screen and made a face. She already knew he was the heir to the Viceroy title of the water planet since his brother's disappearance under suspicious circumstances.
Eshana's mind flew back to the first time she saw Alexander. She was only a young pix at the tender age of thirteen. It had been a long grueling affair on the very humid world of Syria. She vaguely thought of the coronation when a smile crossed her lips as the memory of Alexander walking in behind his twin brother and parents.
His dark head stood above the rest in the room, and he seemed a little awkward, but, when she looked at him, her heart slammed headlong into her ribcage. It had been love at first sight. He never noticed her then, and he certainly hadn't noticed her now despite all the attention of intergalactic news.
A tug on her heart made her curse.
"Skip the galactic gossip and give me the unofficial official stuff." She got up and leaned on the edge of her desk, perusing the information. The last thing she needed was too see him with the debutantes of their solar system.
"Permission to read Commander?" the voice asked.
The view screen stopped at Alexander's picture. Eshana let out a low and long wolf whistle. He certainly had grown up.
Dark blue eyes pierced back at her from the viewer. His proud expression had a hint of arrogance that gave his dark features a sharp edge. Eshana straightened, looking at him. She realized she hadn't really seen a recent picture of the man.
"You're a playboy aren't you?" She spoke to his image. "Definitely not my type. Best I stay away." She tried to convince herself to do just that as she stared at his very nicely put together frame. His casual black slacks and plain white pullover did nothing but emphasize his muscular physique.
"Yup, definitely dishy." Eshana tore her eyes away from his arrogant looks as she looked at the write up underneath.
By the look of the data, Alexander had been connected to every socialite in the galaxy. She frowned. All socialites except for her. Eshana thought for a moment. Her parents had not made much of a fuss of her coming to age like other regents in the galaxy. She had been too busy with her duties to ever have a so-called love life despite the gossip of the raggers, the journalists who made up stuff to garner the public's attention.
She shoved those thoughts from her mind and continued reading on about his involvement of the unity of their solar system as a united federation.
A slender finger tapped against her chin when she read of his recent achievement of bringing the Sovereign planet of Crete into the federation and under the personal protection of Dakamar.
Eshana wondered if the Chancellor had read this data. Crete was a peaceful society that was the intellectual hub of the sector. Its philosophical theories and influence of such thoughts dated to the dawning of Cretin history.
The planet was rich in natural resources that lay beneath its surface. The Cretin Society did not take from its world that which it could not replace. Cretin's believed in living in harmony with their surroundings.
Eshana could see the attraction of Crete to a man like Burceau. It was a juicy piece of fruit dangling in front of his face. But to claim the serene planet was a threat was ridiculous.
"Unless...?" Eshana began to pace. "He wants a war with Dakamar." She stopped. "But what would he gain?" She knew she was missing a piece of the puzzle.
She reached over to flick off her screen when a paragraph caught her attention.
"Alexander Vi Dakar, named for the great ancient Earthian warrior, is maintaining Charge of the Moon Troops of all eight moons, he has no interest in marriage. His quest to find his brother and his mission to unite the quadrant are his main objectives."
'The Crete's seemed to trust this man,' she thought to herself, sinking into her chair. The Cretin's, for all their philosophy, were a very secular society, cool to outside influences.
Eshana let out a little sigh. She knew if she didn't make contact with Alexander now with at least a warning she would regret it. She just couldn't shake the fact that she would regret contacting him. She leaned forward and pressed a small button on her console.
"Good Morning Commander Vi Dakar." She spoke to the screen. "I am confirming your kind invitation to meet you on Vivo. However, due to time constraints, I would not be able to travel there and back in time for my following appointment." Her ears flickered forward as she forced a smile. "Would Junis be fine with you? I look forward to meeting you Commander." She hit the send button.
Eshana sat for a few moments, unsure of what she would do next. The idea of a hot shower and a snack popped into mind as a scowling face appeared.
"I wasn't aware of the meeting between the two of us," a deep cool voice responded. He was better looking than his pictures. "In the future, please notify my...."
"There won't be a future if you don't listen to me. I was told that I was supposed to meet you on Vivo. Tell me, did you receive a similar message?" she asked abruptly.
"No," he said, "but I was to meet with an E Shan Vi Dacro on Sirius at the Garden Gates."
"That would be me. We need to meet."
"I don't think I have the time," he said coolly.
Eshana spoke more harshly than intended, "Well you had better make the time. I think the Crete's may be in danger. A member of my father's council is trying to wage war on the planet."
"The Crete's are no threat. They haven't got the resources or the means."
"That may be true, but they have natural resources which are worth more than all the fire power in the galaxy," she said, her voice clipped. "Getting our empires fighting over Crete's Territory...."
"How soon can you get to Junis?"
"I can meet you there for a midnight brunch. You know the café by the Blue Fountain."
"I'll be there."
"I'll race ya. Loser buys." Eshana ended the transmission.
She grabbed her sonic laser tooth cleaner and headed for her personal flyer. She loved the vehicle's clean lines and sleek handling. Eshana was proud of her design. She waved her hand in front of the door and watched as the ship scanned itself for any unwanted guests or items. Her ears cocked forward in their alert position.
"All clear Commander," the silky voice of the computer informed her.
Eshana entered and took her place at the helm. She steered the flyer out and jumped into slipstream as soon as she cleared the dock. She never tired of the way the stars turned into rays of light passing in front of her window. She set the ship on auto then went to the galley for a quick shower and a change into more appropriate clothing for her meeting.
By the time she had her hair dry, she was notified by the ship's computer that she was within ten parsecs of Junis. She took the helm and slowed the ship to standard gear as Eshana called up her navigational system and entered in the coordinates for landing. Within seconds she had permission to land.