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Short Circuit Time

Short Circuit Time, January 2015
by Diane Saxon

Hartwood Publishing
Featuring: Aiden; Zaphira
71 pages
ISBN: 1629160865
EAN: 9781629160863
Kindle: B00R0SM7F6
e-Book
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"After the chaos, an android brings hope to a lonely girl"

Fresh Fiction Review

Short Circuit Time
Diane Saxon

Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted March 27, 2015

Romance Time Travel | Novella / Short Story

This is an inventive short story, full of science fiction, time travel, androids and, er, romance with an android. Oh well, when you run out of people, lab equipment will do, was my first thought. Then I found that prior to being an android, the being in question had been an attractive bright lab assistant. This is complicated!

SHORT CIRCUIT TIME presents Zaphira, a cheeky, happy girl who has a kid's crush on her dad's gangly lab helper. Aiden has an Irish accent, which obviously helps, and he knows the kid's too young for him but he likes her.

Forward to after the War, when a virus has wiped out all but a handful of the population. Zaphira has survived, and lives on what she can pick and preserve. She hasn't seen another human in two years. Luckily her dog is unharmed and guards her from wolves. Then Aiden, or a robot calling itself by his name, appears from nowhere. He is burned and battered, a hunk of metal that has an expressionless face and won't let her go. She'd thought Aiden was dead, but he says her father changed him and sent him through time to her. Can she believe him? Even if it's true, what use is a metal man to a lonely young woman?

With stem cells and short circuits, molecular science and wormholes, there's plenty to keep the SF fans happy while the star-crossed lovers wonder if they can get it on, and if so how. This is a surprisingly romantic and ultimately sexy story, so Diane Saxon seems to have hit the right note. SHORT CIRCUIT TIME is an entertaining and determinedly cheerful dystopian, and if that's not a contradiction in terms I don't know what is. More please!

Learn more about Short Circuit Time

SUMMARY

In the year 2086, Zaphira is alone, the last survivor of biological warfare on Earth. Before he died, her scientist father promised other survivors would come. Nobody has. So when a horribly mangled android shows up claiming to be her father’s assistant, Aiden, who has been sent through time to rescue her, she’s both frightened and astounded.

The last time she’d seen Aiden, she’d been sixteen, head-over-heels in love with him, and had literally thrown herself at him, leaving her devastated by his rejection and him running for the hills. The following day, she’d been told of his death.

Eight years later he’s miraculously back, this time asking for her help. Without it, he won’t survive. But can she really put a dead man back together with tweezers?

For Aiden, everything has changed. There are no other humans, no government, and time travel has left his new android body unexpectedly weak and suffering from inexplicable genetic changes in eye and hair color, brought about by his molecular shake-up. Unbelievably, the scientist who sent him is dead, and he must rely on the scientist’s daughter to help him. A woman who he’s not so sure has his best interests at heart.

The last time he’d seen her, Zaphira had been a sixteen year old with a dangerous crush on him and he’d been rocked by the turmoil of his own feelings. Now she’s twenty-four and literally holds his survival in her hands. Too bad everything he does and says seems to annoy her. Trusting her might be his undoing. But he is left with no choice.

For Zaphira, getting used to the transformation of old Aiden to android Aiden requires a large mental leap. But when android Aiden starts to rebuild his human form to a new and improved standard, things start to get tricky.

The Aiden she loved as a little girl was her father’s nerdy assistant. The new Aiden is hot. But are her feelings as strong eight years later or are they simply a cherished memory?

Excerpt

His temperature lowered and he took a moment to thank God he didn’t have a physical penis, or she may just have noticed how hard and erect it was. Womanhood certainly sat comfortably on her now. Unfortunately, that particular piece of his anatomy had been sacrificed on the altar of time travel and the sexless piece of robotic shielding he’d been obliged to employ. Surprised, he noticed it didn’t seem to affect his sudden surge of hormones as Zaphira’s soft breast brushed his metallic cheek. Heated particles dashed to his groin region and he couldn’t tear his gaze from her lush cleavage.

Breathless, he sucked in, choked on an excess of air and tried to cough unobtrusively.

“Are you all right?”

Her beautiful face filled his vision, her soft doe eyes melted his heart for a brief moment, before it gave a hasty knock as the knowledge hit him like a sledgehammer— he had felt the stroke of her breast rather than imagined it. His breath stuttered and trapped in his throat, if he had skin it would be florid.

“Aiden?”

Zaphira leaned toward him, cradled his head in her arms, pressed his cold lifeless cheek into her breast and he sensed the zap of it, the zing. How the hell could it happen? How could he feel?

Her gentle inquisitive fingers stroked his face, his temple, his cheek. She lifted her hand from his metal case and started the skim of her fingertips at his forehead again. And again. With an almost imperceptible turn of his head, he allowed his face to nuzzle into her soft welcoming bosom, and rejoiced in the simple pleasure of his communication impulses as they reconnected and allowed the sensation of her silken skin pressed against his face to radiate until he purred with unexpected desire and reveled in the sheer humanity of her touch.

“Aiden?”

“Yes.” A breathless rush emerged from his lips.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes.” He relaxed and luxuriated in the lap of water on his body, experienced the brush of it as though it was his skin it rippled over.

“Aiden?”

His tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth, he struggled to swallow as he turned his face further into her, smelled the earthy womanliness of her cleavage and nuzzled in.

“Your breasts…”

The last discernible sound was her horrified gasp before he plunged to the depths of the frigid bath water. His heavy metal head clunked on the bottom and the sound of turbulent bubbles assaulted his ears as he gulped, desperate for air. Lust had been washed away with a tidal wave of water rushing through his armored plating and filling his brain with slush. With no control over his own limbs, even a wild thrash to indicate he was drowning wasn’t an option.

Bitter cold fluid filled his lungs as his mechanical mouth failed to respond to the command to close, and allowed the water to gush in and swamp him. His brain refused to engage. Deprived of oxygen it had no ability to give his sunken android body the instruction it required to not drown the human within. A black cloud of desperation engulfed him.

He stared, eyelids wedged wide open as Zaphira gazed back at him through the blurred depths of the water. Her deep brown eyes, hard and angry. She leaned forward and wrenched his head and shoulders free of his watery grave.

“You bloody pervert.”


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