INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL
Just because the high handed hero of FORCED MATE decreed that his sharp-tongued, scandalous, fashionista sister (the one who made a film of herself having sex with an unsuitable stranger) should be married did not mean that the Royal shotgun wedding would go off without a hitch.
Indeed, when the bride saw the condition that her groom was in as he was frogmarched up the aisle, she threw a hissy fit and telekinetically hurled him onto his rump without touching him.
So, the unhappy couple are marooned on a sub-tropical island so she can learn to appreciate a male who knows his way around the sharp end of a hunting knife....
The small sun had almost risen high enough to glitter between the topmost branches of the tallest trees on the other side of the island. High on their beach, shadows were long and an indeterminate color between green and purple. Even lower down the beach, the rain-pocked sand was cool under their toes. It was a lovely morning.
“About the truth,” Martia-Djulia began hesitantly.
Djetth stooped without breaking his stride to pick up the first twig of his collection. Whatever she was trying to say, he wasn’t going to give her any help.
“You said, ‘We can’t face the truth until we know what the truth is.’”
“Did I say that?” He hated to sound like Tarrant-Arragon, but he could hardly explain. He shouldn’t have said something so cryptic in the first place.
“What ‘truth’ were you talking about? You meant more than just whether or not we could be sexually compatible, didn’t you?”
Djetth glanced at her in surprise, but was saved the necessity of lying. They’d come to the driftwood. Sea and sun had bleached it bone-white, sea creatures had bored perfectly circular, peppercorn-sized holes in it.
“Stand back. Be ready to run for the water,” Djetth warned, and gave it an experimental kick. Dust erupted out of it, but no tiny, angry An’Koori bees.
“Riddled. It’ll burn too quickly. We’ll need more,” he said. “Let’s walk on. We’ll pick it up on the way back.”
Bees. Honey! Djetth checked out Martia-Djulia’s rear elevation as she forgot what she was wearing and bent from the waist, like a ballerina, to pick up a stick.
He’d have to keep an eye out for bees. He knew of a very good use for honey.