Koop's Spark – Excerpt

"At this moment, Koop's body is producing more energy than before," the head medic explained to Maggie. "This is to provide himself and his spark the life force they both need. But if he doesn't release it with you, then yes, I'm afraid it will build up to a point where he will start flaring. Eventually, he…" Hover didn't finish so Koop did.

"Hover can help you get through the mating heat, Maggie. You don't have to mate with me if you don't wish to. I will gladly give up my life knowing I gained what little time we had together."

"But you have a family too, Koop. I will be dooming them to losing you. I know what it's like to lose family early. I wouldn't wish that on anyone."

Koop raised a hand and cupped Maggie's cheek, happy when she didn't pull away from him.

"Don't make your decision based on that, me unum. We as a species have loved and lost many, many loved ones over the yarns. We know loss deeply. Twirl would understand if my time came. It was expected at some point in the future because the chances of me meeting my spark were so low. Twirl isn't privy to the information about your kind yet, but if she was I'm sure she would understand just as much as I do. Maggie, I would not ask you to appease this mating heat with me if you do not wish for us to be together for the rest of our lives."

Maggie stared into his eyes deeply. Koop watched a whole array of emotion scatter through her beautiful orbs. She closed her eyes for a moment and exhaled before opening them.

"I want to believe you. My heart screams it does, my mind, however, cannot get over what Todd did."

She raised a hand and placed a finger over his lips when he opened his mouth to deny he was anything like the male she'd lived with.

"Hear me out?" she asked. She lowered her hand when he nodded. "I understand you're not like him and wouldn't touch another woman, but when I saw you with Twirl, jealousy reared its ugly head. Now that I know she wasn't a lover—ex or recent—I'm filled with guilt for thinking that way. What if it happens again? How long and what will it take for me to believe it before I end up hurting you with bad words, accusing you of adultery? I'm scared, Koop."

A single tear dropped from Maggie's right eye. Koop watched it coast down her cheek. He could see and hear the pain she felt, and it broke his heart.

"Give me a chance, my spark? That's all I can ask. If by any chance I hurt you, then I promise I will walk into an airlock and you can press the button yourself." His lips raised in a small smirk.