Castra felt inspired after looking through Nerice’s research on the human custom of Valentine’s Day. Apparently, the origin of the holiday had little to do with how it was celebrated amongst the humans. The human’s idea of what a heart looked like was also wildly inaccurate. It looked more like two teardrops fused together than the lumpy organ that pumped blood through their bodies.
The inaccurate design was cute, according to Nerice. Cuteness was one of the core concepts of Valentine’s Day. Castra loved it. As she flipped through Nerice’s research, the ideas in her head quickly multiplied. She had no idea so many things could be made into the teardrop-heart shape. Cookies. Cakes. Flowers. Paper banners.
“I’ve got to go,” Nerice said, tucking her tablet into her bag. “I have a few kinks to work out for tonight’s showcase.”
“That would’ve been a good thing to tell me earlier,” Lorrik said.
“Don’t worry. It’s nothing you need to concern yourself with.”
Castra tucked her own tablet away, confident no one in the group saw what she just ordered to be delivered to the club.
“Let’s meet here for our Valentine’s celebration,” she said. “An hour before the club opens.”
The others exchanged a look.
“This seems as good a place as any,” Nerice said.
“I agree,” added Lorrik.
Solaria nodded with enthusiasm.
“Great!” Castra beamed.
“You seem really excited about this.” Lorrik looked at Castra with a suspicious smile.
“Is it wrong to be excited about trying something new? Or celebrating my friends?” Castra challenged. It took all of her self-control not to smile too much.
She practically kicked everyone out of the club so they wouldn’t be here when her packages arrived.
The many, many items she ordered for delivery arrived less than an hour after her friends departed. Getting Lorrik out of Novalight was the hardest job of all. She made up some rare liquor that had to be picked up in person and sent him off. She claimed she was waiting for other bar deliveries, which she had to accept in person. It wasn’t a total lie. There were deliveries. Just not for the bar.
Boxes upon boxes arrived. Castra tore them all open, eager to see what piece of her vision was contained inside.
For the next three hours, she was a tornado whirling through Novalight. Ondyns, like Castra, were known for their artistic capabilities.
Paper hearts went up. Confetti was strewn about. Pink, white, and red tablecloths went over the cluster of tall tables around the bar. Valentine’s Day-themed drinks were made in a blur of pure creativity.
By the time she finished, the inside of Novalight was transformed. She had just enough time to lay out the food she’d requested.
The Colossus was dotted with eateries. As a bartender, she had plenty of connections in the nearby kitchens. Eight chefs helped her make the feast she’d designed. All of them were confused by her requests, but a little extra coin went a long way.
To show for it, she had heart-shaped candies and cookies, a small roast carved into a heart, heart-shaped squashes seasoned with spices from her homeworld, and sautéed fish heads. They were a delicacy on Solaria’s homeworld, or so Castra had heard. Unfortunately, they were too difficult to carve into the shape of a heart, but Solaria likely wouldn’t mind.
Everything looked perfect. Castra clapped her hands together in front of her. The plated scales on her shoulders, forearms, and collar flashed white in excitement making her navy skin look even darker by contrast.
The door to Novalight opened. Everyone walked in together.
“Surprise!” Castra cried.
Solaria, Nerice, Lorrik, and Tryden stopped dead in their tracks. Their mouths fell open as they took in the transformation of Novalight.
I specialize in Romantic Fiction including sub-genres such as Sci-Fi Romance, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Romance and YA Romance I keep a close eye on ebook market trends to learn what sells and what doesn’t. Creating strong foundations for projects is something I enjoy doing. I’m a thorough, detail-oriented planner who ensures open, honest and consistent communication with my clients.
Produced by: Eugenio Zorrilla.