Sinbad's Triumph - [The Adventures Of Sinbad - Book Four]
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by Toni V. Sweeney
Category: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Description: Breaking his promise to Andi, Sinbad sh'en Singh has once more taken up smuggling, including the entire planet in the venture. Then the Federation has to spoil his fun by declaring his effort a legitimate enterprise and not outside the law. Suddenly, the most wanted smuggler in the Galaxy is turned into a Felidan businessman, more concerned with board meetings and inventories than with piloting his ship and running blockades. When an old rival threatens to steal Sin's newly-acquired territories, the resulting war brings a terrible price, and Andi is forced to face the most difficult challenge to her love when Sinbad crashes his ship and doesn't walk away from the wreckage.
eBook Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing/Double Dragon eBooks, 2011 Double Dragon Publishing
eBookwise Release Date: July 2011
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [245 KB]
Reading time: 150-211 min.
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Frost reached for the framed lasergraph sitting on his dresser. Before placing it in his kit, he glanced at the little image, studying it silently. It was a graphic of Saydee and Kas, and was the only image the boy had of his mother.
It had been taken shortly before she and Kas left Terra. They were sitting in the Asteroid Cantina when an itinerant laser-artist wandered in. Since they generally trailed after the tourists who'd begun to infiltrate Old Town, burning pictures to sell them, this one seemed out of place. On a whim Kas asked him to take their picture. He'd had no idea it would be the only one of him and the woman who was to become his concubine, and an object his son would forever treasure.
Two days after a surprisingly easy delivery, and in spite of everything Kas and the Medic-Priests from the abbey hospital could do, Saydee suddenly weakened and died. And left him to raise me alone. Frost thought about the time Kas found him perched on the window seat looking up at the Pride House, the lasergraph in his hand.
"What's the matter, son? You look unhappy."
"I was thinking about Mother. Is it true she was a whore?"
"Who told you that?" Kas was immediately defensive. "How dare they?"
No one had actually told him. He'd been in the garden of the Pride House and Aunt Andi, not knowing he was nearby, was speaking to Uncle Andrew, the man the Federation knew as Sinbad sh'en Singh.
"The day I walked into the Blue Owl and saw that prostie sitting on abarstool I never thought she'd become a member of my family," Aunt Andi had said.
He knew Andi wasn't being cruel because she'd often commented on how much she liked Saydee. Besides, didn't she take care of me after my mother died?
"Yes, it's true." Frost was startled to hear no shame in his father's voice as he admitted what the boy already knew. There was merely sadness. "I met her when I went to Terra on business for Andrew. I-I bought her for the night, but the next day I asked her to come to Felida with me. I loved her, Frost."
It was supposed to reassure the boy, but it did the opposite. If that's so, why are you marrying N'Sagar? Frost wanted to shout the question. It wasn't fair. His father was an adult. Old. Why didn't he take a mate his own age? Why does he have to take the only other person I love?
He'd always loved N'Sagar. From the moment they became aware of each other as children, when Andi took Frost to the Pride House to tend him while his father was at his clinic. He and N'Sagar played together, napped side by side on Uncle Andrew's big bed, fought over toys, suffered through the same childhood illnesses--and Frost adored her.
N'Sagar was spoiled, of course, but being the only female cub in the clan, it was expected. She was indulged by Uncle Andrew who doted on her and thought she could do no wrong, and pampered by Aunt Andi. What N'Sagar wanted, N'Sagar got, no matter who had to relinquish something in the process. But Frost hadn't minded. He was quite willing to give up anything to his cousin.
He was probably nine when he decided he'd ask Uncle Andrew to let him marry N'Sagar, but before he could make a fool of himself by saying so, he learned she was bonded to his father. When she was old enough, she was going to marry Kas. After that, he watched the way his father was when near her. Kas' very behavior silently admitted what his son feared. He might play a game of mallowick with the other children, they might crawl all over him while he tossed them into the air or roughhoused with them, but he didn't act like that with N'Sagar. When Kas was with N'Sagar, he was quiet, almost shy, as if he wasn't certain what to do. Frost thought that terribly odd since his father was one of the most self-possessed people he knew.
Shortly after that, he learned the feelings he had for N'Sagar were mutual ones. She loved him also. She was marrying his father out of duty only, because her father had arranged it when she was still an infant. That should have made Frost feel better. Instead he was flooded with total despair. Awkwardly, Frost had tried to tell his father how he felt.
"I wish you weren't marrying her!"
How could he say it? Because I love her. Because you're too old. Because she loves me. Each statement would hurt his father, and that was something Frost never wanted to do. Kas'd had enough tragedy in his life when he lost Frost's mother. The boy knew how much his father loved him, since he was all he had left of his beloved concubine, and he also knew he'd never be able to say those words to him. Instead, he looked up at his father and shrugged.
"It's change, Father. You know how I am about change."
"I said that same thing to Andrew once, and shortly afterward, I met your mother."
So, Frost kept quiet, and three days after N'Sagar's fifteenth birthday, she and Kas were wed.