Close Enough to Human (Xxan War, #1 part 2) - Brenna Lyons Short story. 82 pages. 3.5 stars

Daahn, half Xxan-half human, is at a negotiations with the Xxan when Miri is brought in as the Xxan's negotiator with the humans. She's part human, part Xxan too. Just when things get started, the Xxan start shooting and Miri starts shooting them back instead of the humans having no idea why this started. Daahn takes her back to ship and finds out she's been tortured most of her life and seems to have barely survived. He also finds out she's in her first "quickening" which is like heat, and is happy to oblige when she needs someone to help her out.

Daahn's really attracted to her but it felt like any half Xxan would have sufficed and since she's the only one he met, he was going to grab her. Miri is super screwed up from the life she's lived/survived but is trying to find some kind of happiness and acceptance with Daahn. I wish this story were a little longer just so I could have seen this relationship develop naturally.