I smiled. “I figured I should warn you in case you wanted to talk in private.”
“Don’t go anywhere,” Derek said to me. “I’ll go get dressed.”
“Do you want me to come up?” Rick asked, but Derek was already out of sight.
“No. Stay with her and don’t let her leave,” he yelled from somewhere up the stairs.
“Is he always like this?” I asked. Is he always like what?
Rick just shook his head. “What would you like for breakfast?”
“What do you have?”
He listed everything a person could probably want, and by the time Derek returned to the kitchen I was eating fried eggs and toast.
Derek sat next to me. “That smells delicious. I’ll have the same.”
“I figured,” Rick mumbled under his breath as he handed Derek the plate he had ready.
Derek took one bite then set it down and turned towards me. “No beach for a week. What else is there to do on this planet?”
Rick placed a mug of coffee in front of Derek. “Katherine needs to find a job. We can go to the beach.”
“Why do you need a job?”
“To pay for living expenses,” I answered.
“But if you stay here you won’t have any.”
I didn’t want to question his generosity or his motives. (why not?) “I’ll still need money to travel to another planet.”
His brow furrowed. “Where are you going?”
“I don’t know yet.”
“When do you need to leave?”
“I don’t need to leave anytime soon.” And I hoped he didn’t give me any reason to cut short my stay on Millanos before I got to spend enough time at the beach. I hadn't been to a beachside colony in over a year and there were no other ones on the list of planets I hadn’t visited.
“Good! So you don’t need to worry about money until you need to leave. What do you want to do today?”
His grin was contagious and I couldn't help but smile back. “I hadn’t thought about it. I assumed I’d work this week so I could enjoy the beach the next one.”
“Weren’t we going on that tour of the coast today?” Rick asked from the other side of the table.
“Yes! Do you want to go with us, Katherine?”
“Not if it’s one of those automated guides. I can do much better on my own.”
Derek’s eyes gleamed brighter than the sunshine refracting through the glass window. “That’s a great idea. You can be our tour guide and that will be your job this week. Then you won’t need to worry about work anymore. We’ll pay you a gem a day.”
Rick choked on his coffee. “Dear Derek!”
Since this an adult novel I'm not going to complain too much about too little happening. But while the beginning drew me in with its talk of space travel and wormholes, our narrator's stop on Millanos has lessened my curiosity. The story doesn't seem to to be advancing much and I still don't know anything about Katherine except that she's educated and has been traveling for many years. I don't know if she's married, divorced, childless, orphaned or what. I don't know what she likes or hates and the only thing she seems to be interested in is planet hopping. I need more to connect me to her and make me want to turn the page. I want to feel something for Katherine. One thought I had was to maybe hint more at Rick and Derek's story. They're a bit of a mystery with their gems and generosity and hinting at what they're up to could increase the curiosity factor, and make us worry about Katherine. Of course this depends on how big of a part these two play and what in fact they're up to but regardless, I need more to care. Mind you, if this was a book I bought, I'd continue reading, but if you're going to get an agent to request your entire manuscript, the first chapter really needs to draw them in and make them want to know what happens next.