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The MagicPen




Rhonda Cheryl Palmer

Each life is a secret Treasure,

An adventure to be Lived.

Every heart burns with a Desire

To fulfill one's Destiny.

But there are those among Us

With a keen Imagination

Who also possess a Passion

To explore our Universe

And seek the Treasures

That remain hidden There

And I Believe

That for each of Us

There is a special Someone

A sojourner through Eternity

Who Await

Our Heart's Quest . . .

So for those of an adventurous Heart . . . Follow Me . . .

ROBYN SABLE is a name to look for!

She is a new and rising star in the Speculative Romance Genre. . .



SOMA Stellar Port: Lunar Base

2037 Gregorian Calendar Earth Date

The trim, silver bodied craft maneuvered the narrow docking passage with ease. Star Cruiser, Prydwyn II, the latest mode of interplanetary travel, drifted into hoverbay without a hitch and right on schedule.

Peering through the blinds of a plush, executor's office window, Palmer Dane, heir and Chief Exec of Star Grazer Travel Lines, breathed a sigh of bored relief as he idly watched the craft dock. A slight lifting of a dark brow indicated his surprise over an unexpected mood of detachment in response.

He should be ecstatic, Palmer thought, running a hand through tousled black hair.Shouldn't I? But instead, he stood alone in his office unmoved by the momentous occassion. His gaze lingered on the scene below. The ships' occupants disembarked slowly. One of the nine astral bodies of the solar system a future point of destination. In what was a moment of undeniable clarity, Palmer acknowledged the cost of that achievement. And it was enough to dampen any loftier emotion on his part.

Star Grazers success was the culmination of a life long dream. His greatest ambition. Why he felt so utterly dispassionate now, was a direct result of all that he had achieved and lost in the process of acquiring that dream? It was the lost part that gave Palmer all the reasons a man could possibly need to feel like hell.

Intent to ignore the obvious, Palmer tried to focus on the Prydwyn. The success of a maiden voyage and what that meant for the future of his company. But try as he might, he could find little about the accomplishment rewarding. No sense of euphoria to bolster a waning ego. No reason to vindicate his actions. And it was his actions or rather the lack of action that left Palmer questioning all that had once mattered to him.

Solemnly, he shook his head, closing his mind to the inner voice that whispered an unbidden name. With a flick of a forefinger he sealed the blinds in agitation. But it was not as easy to rid himself of the intrusive memories that plagued his every thought, inciting a foul curse from him. Palmer swung about and strode toward his desk, then stopped abruptly. He needed to get away, rid himself of the demons, but how . . .

He stood in the center of his office gazing pensively around the spacious cubicle. His large frame seeming oddly out of place there. He had spent most of his waking hours, including many sleepless nights here in this room. Much of that time had been spent at his desk, diligently working on modifications for Prydwyn's maiden voyage.

Now, walking toward that cluttered monstrosity, he experienced an unfamiliar, nonsensical mood. Abhorring the bittersweet irony of success. Which Palmer now perceived as a hell on earth rather than the ambrosia of paradise, he had once believed it would be.

How had his plans . . . hell! . . . his life gone awry?

If he had thought to ask anyone who knew him, the answer would be a simple one. But Palmer refused to acknowledge the feelings of anger and frustration that he harbored over his wife's sudden desire to end a ten-year marriage. Palmer knew that those around him were very much aware, but none dared to broach the subject. Rather than confront the issue, most seemed to prefer to tolerate his surly moods and tyrannical behavior of late.

Bewildered, he sank slowly into the familiar leather chair at his desk. His thoughts muddled by the provocative memories of a beautiful but stubborn redhead that refused to remain buried. Deep in the abysmal recess of his subconscious mind, where he preferred to submerse them.

Palmer sorely endured the inner voice that constantly warred with all conscious thought, reminding him of emotions that he would rather push aside and not think about. He had never accepted failure easily, pride and an over inflated ego forbade it. But it was more than that. He had been given no other choice. Or had he?!

Damiana's attempt to dissolve their marriage, had had a very numbing effect upon him, in a way that he had failed to understand, until now. The cold, ice like vise that had held his heart in a glacial embrace, began to melt slowly as he realized that nothing else really mattered and nothing had been accomplished, unless Damiana were there to share it with him. And for the first time since her departure, Palmer had a sense of where Damiana's betrayal would lead them.

Reflex drew his gaze to a small wooden frame sitting on his desk. Why he had not discarded it, he could not say. But it sat there amidst an array of discarded clothes and the remnants of several unfinished meals. Relics of many hectic hours of tedious work. The image of Damiana captured in a carefree mood sent a jolt of unexpected desire coursing through him. Awakening something deep within him, something that Palmer had thought subdued.

Lifting the framed photo from the desktop he traced the outline of her soft curves with a finger against the smooth,unresponsive glass. A half-hearted smile revealed in somber features an inner quagmire of desultory thoughts.

"It appears my lady, Palmer muttered in a slightly animated tone. . . that you have gotten what you have desired least of all. My undivided attention!"

With a single-minded determination that Palmer had not experienced in a very long time, he began to formulate a plan. Placing the framed image in front of him, a decisive tilt of his mouth created a boyish dimple in a darkly stubbled jaw. A unique quest kindled a flame in the depths of golden brown eyes . . . it was a look that his lovely wife knew well . . . and would learn to love again!

Sometime later that week. . .

In the outer office, Palmers' receptionist, Jenny Lovel, was in the midst of a heated confrontation with the one person responsible for her boss's misery.

In her early forties, Jenny had been an employee of Star Grazer for nineteen of the twenty years the company had been in business. And she had not lasted that long without developing a degree of self-control when it came to handling disgruntled customers but irate wives required a masters degree in restraint.

From beneath the frame of her wire rimmed glasses, Jenny tried to appear undaunted as she observed the younger woman's agitated state. Privy to some of the more private family details she suspected what had upset the fiery redhead who stood in front of her desk seething with anger. It was the latest tactic Palmer had employed in what the office personnel were now referring to as the "Dane Wars".

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Dane. But Mr. Dane left specific orders that he did not wish to be disturbed. In fact, he was quite adamant. So if you would like to leave a message, I will see that he receives it."

Lifting a finely arched brow Damiana Dane glanced toward the closed door of her husbands office, her narrowed green eyes, stormy clouds of grayish green fire that scorched a path back to the receptionist.

"Just tell him it's me. And unless Palmer want's me hanging around the office until the coward decides to show himself, he'll see me!"

Damiana shouted the threat in a deliciously wicked voice, sure that Palmer would hear her threat. And knowing that she would be as good as her word, and stay until he came out, he would see her. She glanced at the heavily paneled door concealing Palmers' inner office once more before striding over to one of the tacky chairs used by those unfortunate enough to have to wait their turn and sat down. Crossing her arms akimbo, she glared at Jenny defiantly. Greatly pleased by what she thought to be a flicker of annoyance in the older woman's eyes. Damiana knew that Jenny possessed the patience of a saint and she experienced a surge of sheer happiness over the not so simple accomplishment. Deciding to take advantage of the moment she added.

"And might I suggest that you inform your employer that I have all the time I need to wait him out Miss Lovel!" The use of the receptionist full name, a subtle indication that the friendly relationship the two women had once shared, no longer existed. And that had hurt Damiana very deeply. But the lines had been drawn the moment that she had filed termination papers and packed her bags. Reaching for some reading material lying on a nearby stand, Damiana prepared to wait the bastard out."

It seemed that she had wasted much of her life waiting on Palmer to appear, only to be disappointed time and time again. It had always been that way . . . his work always ranked first. And Damiana had grown wary of bringing up the rear on a long list of other, more important priorities.

Jenny pushed her chair away from the computer console where she had been logging newly acquired travel routes. With the company expanding so rapidly her work load had increased to that of two people, and she had decided that today might be a good time to press Palmer for that raise she had been procrastinating about. Removing her glasses she massaged the bridge of her nose feeling the first symptoms of a migraine as she buzzed the inner office. With a sidelong glance toward Damiana she waited for a response.

"What is it Jen?" The transmission sounded faint and distorted, making a mental note to have the equipment serviced, she pressed Send.

"Your ex-spouse is here and she would like to speak with you."

"Have her make an appointment!" Boomed through the tiny speaker into the cramped office, echoing down the corridor beyond. So much for calling in a technician, she thought, pressing the tips of her fingers against her temple, trying to ward off the impending headache, that seemed inevitable now. Glancing at the woman flipping through the pages of a travel magazine, she felt a dawning of sympathy for Palmers' ex-lovely.

"I think she plans on waiting." Jenny relayed the message in a flat tone. Silence emanated from the small box. And time elapsed slowly as those glacial green eyes watched her tap a manicured nail against the receiver, Damiana's expression bland.

A wicked smile broadened, obviously sensing success. Jenny's sympathy was a fleeting experience.

"Send her in!"

Jenny returned her attention to the console and the pile of work littering her desk with a mental sigh of relief." It will be a great moment when those two realize that the only thing standing between them and real happiness, is their own stubborn pride." She mumbled, once the office had been vacated. Glancing at the closed door briefly, a broad smile curled her lip.

Perhaps the trip Palmer had planned was just what the physcologist would have ordered.

"Excuse me Miss. But could you help me? I have an appointment and I am already late. My shuttle craft was detained in customs and I have only just arrived."

Jenny turned, not expecting her heart to slam her in the stomach and take her breath away. Jenny thanked her creator for physics, for at that moment, her chin would have hit the floor. She mumbled something, though she couldn't say what, if asked, and when the gentleman smiled at her in return, all logic fled. A quick survey revealed that he was tall, in good shape for an older man, about ten years her senior, and absolutely gorgeous.

"Could you tell me where Galen Dane's office is?" He smiled again. And Jenny's gaze was drawn to those blue eyes that lingered on her so admiringly.

"Sure. I was just heading in that direction" She replied, a little too quickly, or so Jenny thought. So she furthered what was a little white lie.

"It's on the way to the eatery, where I have lunch. If you want to call it that, the foods not that great. Follow me and I'll show you."

"Then shall we." He said, offering her his arm. His brilliant smile giving her goose-bumps. It had been ages since she had had goose-bumps. And for the first time that day Jenny was happy she had came in to work.

"Thanks for drifting by!"

"Our future awaits, somewhere out there in the Stars!"

"A point of destiny, glimmering in the night sky."

"Did you enjoy this fantasy site?"

"I hope that you did!"

"Do drift by again soon!"

"I'd love to hear from you!"

"Fantasy Fans Welcome Here"

BYRON Book Reference Database

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Kathleen Morgan The Brides of Culdee Creek

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