Captain Mikayla Jones opened the door and gazed up at the Skymaster II rocketing another group of pilots toward SFTC, the Space Flight Training Center. She’d been the instructor of most of the men and women on that flight and would come face to face with a new class on Monday morning. But she hadn’t rushed to the door to bid the squad farewell. No, she stared at the four men in uniform standing before her. She recognized three of them from the base, knew they hadn’t come with good news—they would never have arrived at her door together other than to inform her of a tragedy—but it was the fourth man dressed in black, his hands drumming a beat on his utility belt, who worried her the most. He wasn’t military.
“May we come in?”
Lieutenant Colonel Madison’s question yanked her back from her thoughts. “What is it? Tell me what happened.”
The chaplain from the base stepped forward with a heavy nod. “Captain, it’s best if we go in and sit down.”
She braced her hands on the door frame, afraid if she let them in, their bad news would be true.
“C’mon, Mikayla.” Lieutenant Colonel Madison draped an arm across her shoulder and guided her into her home. He would be the only one to call her by her given name here, the only one who knew her well enough. “You need to sit down. It’s about Daniel.”
She stopped in her tracks, dread pooling in her stomach, but the chaplain, Detective Krug of the Northwest Police Department, and his military police escort continued into her living room.
“This isn’t funny. It’s our anniversary. We’re supposed to go out for dinner. He promised he’d be home. Whatever this surprise is that you’re all involved in, I’m not impressed.” Her voice hitched. “Go over to the lab and tell Daniel to come home.”
“I’m afraid that’s not possible,” Detective Krug said.
Her knees threatened to give out. “Why? He works just over there.” She pointed in the direction of the military labs where her husband conducted experiments for the government, ones so top secret, Daniel couldn’t even mention them in her presence.
“No, Mikayla,” the colonel said. “He was contracted out to Onatria Labs.”
She gasped. Her chest tightened. Had she misheard him? “The lab rumored to be involved in cloning? But that lab was blown up this morning.”
She waited for one of them to tell her that her assumptions were wrong, that Daniel was okay, but they all stared at her, their eyes solemn. No, it can’t be true.
“An anarchy group has already claimed responsibility for the bombing,” Detective Krug said.
Drawing in a deep breath, she willed her body to stop shaking. Captain Jones could not break down, not when cadets depended on her every day to train them for flight. “Where is my husband? Which hospital is he at?” She couldn’t stand still. She had to get to Daniel, to take care of him. Their anniversary dinner no longer mattered, but she had to be with her husband.
“Mikayla, I’m so sorry.” The colonel rested a hand on her shoulder. “But Daniel didn’t survive.”
She stepped back, grasping for something to hang on to. A tear slid down her cheek, but she wiped it away. Her husband had to come home. Yet her heart had already broken. Grasping the back of a chair, she turned to the detective. “You have to be wrong. He can’t be dead. He can’t. It’s our anniversary. How do you know it was him, huh?”
“We read his military ID chip. I’m sorry, but there’s no mistaking his identity.”
“No!” She was no longer Captain Jones. She melted back to Mikayla Jones, wife to Daniel Jones. And she let go, falling to the floor. Rebels had stolen her husband from her. She was alone. Forever. All of their hopes and dreams, gone. Her chance at having a family, no more. She had nothing to live for.
Madison knelt beside her and rubbed her back. “I’m very sorry.”
But she turned away from him. “Leave me, please.” She wrapped her arms around her knees and wept for her husband.
Made For Her Blurb:
After terrorists murder the love of her life, Colonel Mikayla Jones trains squadron after squadron of the clones he brought to life, to take to the skies. When she discovers a young clone of her husband in her newest class, her world spins out of control. How can she command the look-a-like when she can’t help but yearn for him to fill an ache in her heart? Dare was created to be the best. As the first Daniel clone to leave Onatria labs, he needs to prove he is more than just a DNA copy. To do that, he must rely on the wife of the man who donated his genes. But when she refuses to train him, Dare faces discharge and returning to the labs. Can he convince Colonel Jones to finish his training and find a way into her bed? Or will long kept secrets unhinge the entire clone project?
Jessica Subject started writing to encourage her daughter to read. Now she writes to keep herself grounded. Although she reads many genres, she enjoys writing Science Fiction Romance the most and believes everyone in the universe deserves a happily ever after. She lives Southwestern Ontario, Canada with her husband and two kids and loves to hear from her readers.