The first and third can be quite different from the second. For instance, a person who is shy might think that others see him/her as quiet, but his/her reserved behavior can be perceived as standoffish or aloof by others.
Marchand “March” Fellows, the hero of Claimed by the Cyborg, is a computer-enhanced human. Originally, he was university professor, then he became a field agent Cyber Operations, and currently he works as the computer diagnostics supervisor for Moonbeam Remanufacturing, a spacecraft chop shop.
I asked the other Claimed by the Cyborg characters to share something about March, and this is what they said:
Carter Aymes, director of Cyber Operations: “March was an effective, capable cyber operative. Cy-Ops needs more agents like him. I won’t rest until I can get him to re-up.”
Brock Mann, field agent Cyber Operations, March’s friend: “March seems a little distracted. I don’t want to pry; I’ll let him work it out, but I’ll be here if he needs me.”
Penelope “Pia” Aaron, Brock’s wife: “March is a nice man. A straight arrow kind of guy.”
Dale Homme, March’s boss at Moonbeam: “Surprised the hell out of me when March volunteered to deliver the spacecraft to Xenia. I guess he wanted out of the laboratory for a change. *Shrugs* It’s one less thing I need to worry about.”
Emperor Dusan of Xenia: “Any friend of Brock and Penelope is a friend of mine. I have a big problem. I know Mr. Fellows is an alien, but I’m hoping he’ll agree to help me out. If he won’t, I’ll have to force the issue.”
Jules, the woman from March’s past: “Why did he come here? Why now? He’s making what I need to do so much more difficult!”
The villain: “Perfect. Things couldn’t have worked out better if I’d planned it this way.”
March Fellows assumed he had all the time in the galaxy to pursue a relationship with Jules, an alien exchange student from Xenia, until she vanished without a trace. After years of searching, he finds his lost love on the eve of her arranged marriage.
The daughter of the Xenian emperor, Julietta never meant to fall in love with a Terran man while visiting Earth. Leaving to fulfill her responsibilities on her home planet opened up a hole in her heart that could never be filled. When March, now a cyborg, unexpectedly shows up just before she is to be bonded, she struggles to find the courage to turn him away a second time and follow through with her duty. Before she can act, the lovers are thrust into a political conspiracy that threatens the Xenian empire and their lives.
The scene where March finally finds Jules…
March gaped at the woman who’d entered the hall, her arm linked with a girl’s. Hair, long and curly, tumbled down her back. Her eyes were as he remembered, as black and enigmatic as space, but girlish features had matured into womanliness. Jules. My Jules. Her gaze collided with his, the darkness concealing her thoughts, but her mouth parted as if shocked. If he hadn’t been seated, the sight of her would have knocked him on his ass. His hands shook, and he clenched them into fists to quell the trembling.
He’d searched, questioned everyone who’d known her, revisited all their haunts. So much time, so much effort, and she just walked in. Of all the places, in all the years, she was here. He couldn’t believe it. A guest at the ceremony. The practiced words he’d imagined he’d say if he located her evaporated, and all he could do was drink her in.
She’d never looked more beautiful. Dignified, refined, polished. Not haughty, but self-contained. Intricate whorls adorned her face, enhancing her exotic allure. She wore the tunic and pantaloons common to Xenia, the design and tailoring of hers nonpareil, surpassing elegance, but in the same color as the garments of members of the imperial family. She must be one of the many attendants. A relative maybe? Cousin to the bride? Obviously, she knew the imperial family well, or she wouldn’t be at the banquet.
Which would begin at any moment. Damn it! He couldn’t talk to her now. Jules moved, almost as if to step in his direction, but the younger woman herded her to two open seats at the other end of the long banquet table.
At the next opportunity, he would approach her. His heart hammered. The twins probably knew her. He turned to Naimo to ask him, when Kur spoke.
“There’s your chosen! Princess Julietta is looking at you, Naimo.” He gestured in Jules’s direction. “She’s checking you out!”
March shifted his attention to the girl who’d accompanied Jules. She couldn’t be more than fifteen or sixteen. She was a little young to be bonded, wasn’t she?
Naimo took a deep, satisfied-sounding breath. “She is even lovelier with the bonding stain painted on her face. Her vids don’t do her justice.”
The younger woman’s face was clear, unmarked. His gaze zoomed to Jules, to the spiraling whorls gracing her temples, her cheeks.
No. No. No.
“The woman with the facial paint is your chosen?” His voice came out a whispered croak. “That’s Princess Julietta?” His Jules was Emperor Dusan’s daughter? No.
“The one and only.” Naimo beamed.