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The Taste of Home: In Love and War, #14

The Taste of Home: In Love and War, #14

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The Taste of Home: In Love and War, #14

58 Seiten
43 Minuten
Oct 9, 2018


Once, Anjali Patel and Mikhail Grikov were soldiers on opposing sides of an intergalactic war. They met, fell in love and decided to go on the run together.


Now Anjali and Mikhail are trying to eke out a living on the independent worlds of the galactic rim, while attempting to stay under the radar of those pursuing them.


Mikhail is on his way home, an anniversary present for Anjali in his pocket, when he suddenly finds himself irresistibly drawn towards an unremarkable storefront and comes face to face with his past.


Meanwhile, Anjali is preparing a special anniversary dinner for Mikhail, only to find that he is late to come home.


This is a novelette of 9300 words or approximately 32 print pages in the In Love and War series, but may be read as a standalone.

Oct 9, 2018

Über den Autor

Cora Buhlert was born and bred in North Germany, where she still lives today – after time spent in London, Singapore, Rotterdam and Mississippi. Cora holds an MA degree in English from the University of Bremen and is currently working towards her PhD. Cora has been writing, since she was a teenager, and has published stories, articles and poetry in various international magazines. When she is not writing, she works as a translator and teacher.

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The Taste of Home - Cora Buhlert

In Love and War

For eighty-eight years, the galaxy has been torn apart by the endless war between the Republic of United Planets and the Empire of Worlds.

Anjali Patel and Mikhail Grikov are soldiers on opposing sides of that war. They meet, fall in love and decide to go on the run together.

Pursued by both the Empire and the Republic, they struggle to stay alive and free and prove that their love is stronger than the war…

I. Tea and Memories

Captain Mikhail Alexeievich Grikov, formerly of the Republican Special Commando Forces, now a wanted traitor and deserter, walked down a quiet street in the city of Vaino on the rim world of Gustainis, headed back to the small apartment by the spaceport docks that he shared with his lover and partner Anjali.

Mikhail walked quickly, eager to be home, for today was the one year anniversary of their partnership, theoretically at any rate. Because anniversaries were difficult for him and Anjali. And so the anniversary of their first meeting, on a terrace high above the oceans of Brahimi Prime, had passed nine days before, unremarked by either of them.

Mikhail had certainly remembered the day, remembered how he’d watched her from across the dancefloor, as she talked and laughed and drank with her comrades, intoxicatingly beautiful. He suspected Anjali remembered the day as well, though she never said anything.

Because Mikhail had been someone else back then, a Republican spy operating under an assumed name, ordered to capture her and bring her in. And he had obeyed that order, albeit reluctantly. He had taken Anjali prisoner and fully intended to hand her over to the Scientific Council, even though he knew they were going to kill her — painlessly, as his commander had assured him, but kill nonetheless. He hadn’t done it, in the end, but that day still was an anniversary of shame, not worth celebrating.

This day, however, was. For today was the anniversary of the day Mikhail had decided to set Anjali free, orders be damned, and place himself at her mercy. And in a miracle that Mikhail still couldn’t quite believe, Anjali had decided to forgive him, in spite of everything he’d done to her, and go away to the rim with him. All that had happened exactly one year ago today. And that was an anniversary well worth celebrating.

And so Mikhail had a spring in his step, for in his pocket, there was a small box, a present for Anjali. Inside the box was a garnet studded golden bangle, manufactured on Anjali’s homeworld of Rajipuri, which was famous for its fine jewellery among other things.

There was a small community of Rajipuri expats here on Gustainis, refugees from some bloody uprising fifty years before. Mikhail had been to the Rajiprui neighbourhood with Anjali to buy some of the rare ingredients that were apparently absolutely essential for the delicious meals she always cooked for him. While there he’d spotted the golden bangle in shop window and had gone back to buy it for Anjali, blowing money they couldn’t really afford on this gift.

Anjali was probably going to protest that the gift was too expensive and that gold and garnets weren’t appropriate for a peasant girl like herself. But Mikhail didn’t care about the idiotic class distinctions of the Empire and their stupid rules regarding who was allowed to wear what when. He liked the shimmer of gold on Anjali’s brown skin and he liked garnets, because they reminded him of the necklace Babushka used to wear for special occasions.

And though Anjali would protest

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