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Darwin's Theory
Elayne S. Venton

Darwin's Theory Excerpt

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Dr. Darwin Glase made his way through plant stems as thick as his thigh, shoving aside foliage impeding his progress. “Son of a Slimetrop!”

His boot plummeted into another moss-covered hole, jarring every bone from heel to hip. One leg would be shorter than the other before he got through the blasted rainforest. Darwin looked up at the sky, blocked by a thick canopy of trees, and spoke into his com. “I’d better find those bizarre aliens, captain, or I’ll be charging you with mental and physical anguish.”

He had run out of patience today.

He’d been following rumors of a new species for months, breaking protocols and raiding cloning labs in the name of science with no results. If his father got wind of Darwin’s obsession, he’d be yanked back home in a millisecond.

Of course, the bastard would have to find him first, and it was a very big galaxy.

By the time Darwin reached the edge of the forest, his heart beat so fast a yellow warning light glowed on his environment suit. He took a deep breath while scanning the area.

Wow. Across the small valley, a rainbow shimmered in the waterfall thundering into a small lake. A short distance to his left, partially hidden beneath vines of colorful flowers, a multi-tiered building curved along the sandy shoreline, exactly as the ship captain promised.

So far, so good. Time to introduce myself.

Before he took a step, a white creature bolted from the back of the building and scurried up the thickly forested hillside. “What was that?” Excited, heart pounding in his chest, Darwin ran after it, encumbered by his heavy pack, losing its trail twice as it twisted deeper into the dense forest. Caution slowed down his steps. When he spotted the creature again, it clung to a tree, glancing up at the orange-red fruit dangling from a high branch.

Well, hello. Darwin hunkered down in the brush.

Although her big brown eyes and pouty lips snagged his attention, disappointment stabbed at his gut. This wasn’t a new species. The bright white skin, round head, tiny ears, and button nose were familiar to him. Instead of the conventional blue toga, this Seeltic wore a strapless dress of woven leaves and a thick floral ring around her bald head.

Another false lead. Damn it.

The young woman shimmied up the tree, exhibiting a vibrant agility, and -- as the hem slid up her thighs -- more posterior than he expected.

Whoa, nice ass. Darwin shook his head. Very professional, doctor. You’re an Xeno-Anthropologist. Act like one.

He forced his mind from her alluring butt to statistics, calculated her age, wondering if the environment had any bearing on the physical traits -- the unusual length of her neck, the firm slope of her shoulders, the rounded breasts, and the dip in her waist setting off ample hips, combined with the long, long legs and the fine bones in her feet -- all so un-Seeltic, and very sexy.

For a Seeltic, who were generally heavy-boned and well-padded, she looked anorexic. If she were Humin, she’d sell to the highest bidder. And he’d be the first in line to buy her.

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