“Squads B and C are engaging now, Commander,” said Adrei as he manned the navigation and radar.
’Thank you,” said Areson.
“Jada, did you get through to unlock their teleporter yet?” asked Spartak as he stood next to Areson’s Chair.
“Just got through their firewall. They made some front-end changes, but I managed to blow it away,” she said as she typed furiously. Silas stood over her shoulders, watching her every move.
“So, that’s how you did it,” Silas marveled.
“Sort of,” she mumbled, not breaking her concentration. She typed for several more minutes before she triumphantly shouted, “Got the teleporter unlocked!”
“Shut down their engines next,” ordered Spartak. “Get me over there.”
“You are not going by yourself,” said Evgen, handing him his sword to go along with his sidearm. Aengus, Jareth, Tagd, and Bogd stood behind him, nodding.
“Fine,” said Spartak. “But let me one thing clear. That bastard is mine.”
“Which bastard?” asked Aengus.
“Both of them,” he growled.
“At least let me pound on Grennady while you kill Chatura,” groused Aengus. “I promise not to kill him.”
Spartak just growled.
“You are not leaving any fun for the rest of us, you know,” observed Evgen.
* * *
Danielle used Chatura’s band to get to the transport tube and then to the Command deck. For some reason, the Flight Deck had been locked. She knew they had released it the previous night. She stepped through the doors on the bridge into chaos. The large monitor showed multiple fighter jets engaging each other while others exploded. No one paid her any attention. She quickly walked up behind Thosad who was sitting in the Commander’s chair, grabbed his hair to control him and slid the dagger she had stolen from Chatura against his neck as she jerked his head backwards.
“Contact the Gliesea,” she demanded. “I want their control deck, now!”
“Take it easy with that thing,” Thosad breathed, holding his hands up in a placating motion.
“If you do not want to die like Chatura just did, do what I tell you,” she snarled.
“You killed him?” asked Thosad, shocked.
“Yes. The bastard thought he could force himself on me,” said Danielle.
“I told him it was a bad idea,” said Thosad.
“I don’t care what you told him. Contact the Gliesea now!” she shouted. She saw a man trying to sneak around behind her. “You better stop in your tracks and sit on the floor. You move, I will slit his throat.” She drew a few drops of blood to make a point.
“Ogrin, stop. Do as she says,” ordered Thosad. “Idam, hail the Gliesea.”
“No need,” said a very deep, very angry voice. “We are already here.”
* * *
“Spartak, first let me say that I told Chutura not,” started Thosad.
“Shut up,” snarled Spartak. He looked at his mate and said, “Danielle, come here.”
She released Thosad’s hair as she pulled the knife from his neck as she stepped away from him so he couldn’t grab her. Watching the shipman on each side of the deck, she rushed to Spartak’s side.
He enveloped her in his arms while Evgen and the rest of the Gliesea team held everyone else in place with weapons drawn. He inhaled her scent deeply before kissing down the side of her face and finally, to her lips. He looked at her for a few seconds before he took possession of them.
A few minutes later, the world rushed back to their awareness when Spartak heard a voice clear his throat. “Sorry to interrupt the moment, but our fighters have obliterated theirs. What do you want done first?”
“Thosad, If you want me to even consider that you were not part of this madness, get Grennady to the control deck, now,” snarled Spartak, glaring at him. “Pull one ounce of crap, and we will teleport off and blow this entire ship apart. Your women are still on the other ships, and they are really the only ones the Fleet needs. I am still not convinced that you even need to live.”
Thosad swallowed hard before tapping his band. “Grennady, Command Deck STAT.”
He then looked at Spartak. “He should be here in a moment.”
Spartak nodded his head towards the door.
Evgen and Tagd moved to either side of the door to wait.
A few minutes later, Grennady entered through the transport tube door. “You needed me?” he asked.
“No,” said Thosad.
“I did,” growled Spartak.
Grennady’s head spun towards the voice. His eyes widened when he realized who had answered. He spun and tried to exit back into the transport tube before Evgen and Tagd grabbed his arms. He struggled, but could not dislodge either man. They dragged him over in front of Spartak and pushed him to his knees. He looked up and glared at Spartak.
“Over here, asshole,” snarled Danielle. “Got an air injector to get yourself out of this?”
“Shut up, you,” he started before his words were cut off by Danielle’s fist slamming into his nose.
“If you finish that thought, I will break your neck,” growled Spartak as he pulled his sword out of the scabbard. He then looked at Thosad. “Fleet-wide broadcast.”
Thosad typed a few keys on the console and nodded at Spartak, who also appeared on the large screen.
“This is Spartak. Earlier today, Chatura, Commander of the Kleponia, and Grennady, one of our Medical Officers conspired to steal my mate from the Registra where Grennady had summoned her for a medical emergency. They drugged her and assaulted her bodyguard. They then brought her aboard the Kleponia before they locked out their teleporter and fled the Fleet. The only reason that Chatura is not on his knees in front of me right now is my mate killed him when he tried to rape her,” he said, breathing hard.
He let that sink in for a few seconds.
“The mate bond is sacrosanct,” said Spartak. He then turned to the man whimpering at his feet and said, “Grennady, you violated the Prime Directive by taking my mate. I sentence you to death,” said Spartak. Aengus pulled Danielle back a few feet as Spartak swung his sword at decapitated Grennady.
Spartak wiped his sword on Grennady’s dead body and put it back in the scabbard. “Now, a few things. First, if anyone else ever touches my mate, I will not be so lenient. I will make it hurt first. Second, our biologists have proven conclusively that a Kleponian’s kiss does not bind any female to them and does not cause a subsequent kiss with another to be poisonous. Any Kleponian mate who wishes to dissolve the union may file a petition with my office. We are aware of the kidnapping of several females who had forced matings. You now have an out. Third, and finally, since the Kleponians felt that they were more than capable of going it alone by separating from the Fleet, that is what they are going to do.”
“What?” screeched Thosad. “You can’t do that! You killed all of our warriors.”
“You should have thought of that before you took my mate and then sent out your fighters trying to help Chatura keep her,” growled Spartak.
“That was Chatura’s orders!” yelled Thosad.
“Did he set the course away from the Fleet? Did he lock the teleporter? Did he fly the fighter jets?” asked Spartak, glaring.
Thosad remained silent.
“That’s what I thought. You all are complicit. For your crimes against my mate, I banish you from the Fleet,” ordered Spartak. “Any Kleponian mate who wishes to return to their mate, go directly to the teleporter on the vessel you are on, and we will return you here. You have thirty minutes. Spartak out.” He then tapped his band and said, “Bring us back.”
The Gliesea group dissolved.
* * *
“You killed Chatura, huh?” grinned Aengus when they arrived on the flight deck. “Did you at least make it hurt?”
Before Danielle could answer, Spartak interrupted. “Aengus, I am barely holding onto my patience, Please don’t make me kill you.” He pulled Danielle even closer to his side.
“Uh, yes, sir. Shutting up now,” stammered Aengus, looking anywhere but at the High Commander.
When they entered the transport tube, Spartak barked, “4b.” The tube started moving. He locked eyes with Danielle and they just stood there looking at each other until the tube stopped. “I am unavailable until tomorrow morning unless we are attacked,” he growled.
“Do this means Ramos gets the night off?” asked Evgen.
“Yes, it does,” said Spartak, his eyes never leaving Danielle’s.
“Can you have Maria take call tonight?” asked Danielle, her eyes never leaving Spartak’s.
“Done,” said Evgen. He then turned to Aengus and said, “I guess this means you get to do some actual work for a while.”
“Uh, I think I hit my head when I got knocked unconscious,” said Aengus, rubbing his forehead.
“Nice try,” chuckled Evgen.
The two of them got off the transport tube and walked arm-in-arm down the hallway to their suite, ignoring both Evgen and Aengus. He stopped her at the door and crashed his lips down on hers in a kiss of utter possession. He wrapped his arms around her tightly and he pressed her against the door. A few seconds later, the door slid open, dumping them into the suite. They both started laughing as they righted themselves.
“Mom!” screeched Bethany as she ran and wrapped her arms around her mother. “I was so scared.”
“I am fine and he is dead. You are safe now,” Danielle said, patting her back to soothe her.
“I am safe? Don’t you mean you?” Bethany asked.
“Not entirely. He had planned to take both of us as his sex slaves,” growled Danielle.
“You killed him, right?” asked Bethany, anger flashing over her face at the thought of that slime touching her.
“Yes, I did,” she said. then she told her what had happened.
“Wow,” breathed Bethany.
“He was never going to touch you,” said Danielle firmly.
“Did he,” started Bethany.
“No. And I made sure he knew I was Spartak’s mate before he died,” smirked Danielle.
“Yes, you are,” said Spartak, pulling her into his arms.
Their eyes locked.
“Um, I am going to stay in my suite tonight,” said Bethany with a smile as she headed for the door.
“Are you sure, honey? You don’t have to leave,” she said.
“I know I don’t have to, but you two need privacy. Besides, I have a date,” Bethany said smiling.
“You do? Who?” asked Danielle.
“Bogd,” Bethany said,grinning.
“Tell him to behave or I have a sword, a teleporter, and parsecs of space. No one will ever find him,” growled Spartak.
“Yes, Dad,” said Bethany, giggling as she walked out of the suite, leaving them alone.
Danielle smirked at his protectiveness.
“I really need to get Kleponian fingerprints off of me. I am going to take a shower,” she said, winking. She then pulled her tunic off over her head and threw it over her shoulder as she walked towards their bedroom. It landed on Spartak’s head.
He pulled it off and smiled. “I think I need to supervise that you wash every part of you,” he purred as he pulled his shirt over his head and tossed it on top of hers. He then chased after her, making her giggle.
* * *
“You sure you don’t mind if I hang that there?” asked Spartak. “It’s the focal point of the room. If you have something you would rather go there, we can hang that.”
“I don’t. I want you to feel like this is your place, too. I haven’t had time to find anything and Bethany has had so many orders that she hasn’t been able to paint the items I wanted,” said Danielle. “What is this of?”
“This is my home world. The lake was on my grandparent’s property. Some of my fondest memories were fishing in that lake with my grandfather,” said Spartak.
“Who painted it?” asked Danielle.
“My younger sister,” he said sadly as he continued to stare at the painting.
“You lose her, too?” she asked.
“Yes, but not to the virus. She died in a fire during University,” he said. “I hauled this with me to almost every duty assignment.”
“I am sorry,” she said.
“It was a long time ago,” he said. He seemed to shake himself and then asked, “What about these other two?”
“I really am not fussy. Where ever you think they will look good. If I had any complaints, it would be that everything is some shade of gray. I am not fond of it,” she said.
“What colors did you use?” he asked.
“I used a lot of sea blues and sage green. The kitchen was yellow,” she said. She then looked at the time on her band. “Oh, I need to go. I have a meeting in a few minutes. Please put your stuff where ever you want. I have literally nothing. Coming here simplified my life instantly.” She smiled at him and then lifted on her toes to kiss him. She grabbed her tablet and headed out the door.
Spartak tapped his band. “I need you to get some things for me.”