Hector lay in bed next to Adelita’s sister. He’d fallen in love with her the moment that he saw her. She was a radiant beauty on a vacation in paradise. They’d connected on a scuba diving trip when he was her instructor. She’d made him laugh. She’d made him smile. She’d made him forget that he had been the Commander of an exploratory mission to Earth from a planet far away called Koranth. She’d returned multiple times to see him and then eventually moved to Mexico. They had a good life together. They were happy.

In the dark, he wondered what would happen to Earth. He knew the basics of bringing and powering up a portal, but what would the invasion actually be like? He would know soon enough, and he knew it wouldn’t be pleasant.

He rolled over and stared at his wife as she slept. He wished this day had never come. His crew had found the planet Earth not quite ready. He hoped that he would just live out his days and be in the grave before Earth was invaded. But it was a dream. He was a Commander of a spaceship in the Donovackia military.

He slipped out of the bed and into the closet, retrieving the old revolver that he kept in a shoebox. He watched his beautiful wife as she slept. This would be painless, he told himself. She won’t feel a thing. He pointed the revolver at her head and pulled back the hammer. His finger was on the trigger, but he just couldn’t pull it.

His mind raced, looking for a reason. He knew who he was and what he needed to do. His crew had identified a perfect spot for the portal. He would just make his way to that spot and wait. He would be a hero as he helped his fellow soldiers prepare for the invasion. All he needed to do was pull the trigger and free himself from the one thing on this planet that tied him to it. He could go home a hero. He lowered the hammer carefully. He realized that he had forgotten about Adelita sleeping in the next room. The gunshot would wake her.

The teenage girl looked so peaceful sleeping in the guest bed. She was like a miniature version of her sister. He’d always liked her. She’d taught him the game of soccer, spending hours with him in the park. He let out a deep sigh. He couldn’t do everything that he really needed to. Killing his wife would untie him from this world, but he just couldn’t do it.

The minutes ticked by slowly as he returned to bed, torn as to what to do. “Shhh,” she whispered as she ran her hand up his bare chest. “Adelita and I are going to breakfast in a little bit, but I have something for you first.” He felt her leg move across his legs, as she crawled on top of him. How could he do this? The gun was now in the drawer by the nightstand. She was the one thing that kept him tied to a life on Earth. He had to be free.

His mind was torn to pieces as her hands ran over his body. In his mind, he could see himself, the hero returned to Koranth – the wealth, the glory, and the honor. But his body said otherwise and reacted as a man does to a sensual woman’s touch.

After they were both satisfied, he listened to her shower, wanting to join her. He pretended to sleep when she came back in and gently kissed his lips. As he heard her car pull away, he crawled from his bed, duty-bound to free himself from this life on Earth and return to his home world.

• • •

Chapter 38 Chapter 40

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