The parlor’s dark and smoke-filled, slow music plays in the background as couples dance seductively, holding each other close, bodies teasing. Long fluted pipes make their way around the room, and one comes to a stop in front of Skye. “Try it.” I urge. “What is it?” She asks, sniffing it. Similar to what the humans call hashish.”
“Pot, you want me to smoke pot while I’m pregnant?”
“Contrary to human beliefs, even the earthbound strain has remarkable health benefits. Unsure, she does a smell check again. “Your child’s safe.” I add, taking the pipe from her. Inhaling the smoke from the herbs a few times, I hand the pipe back to her. The stimulant moving quickly through my system relaxes me. Trusting me, she takes two pulls on it, coughing severely. “That was fast and nice.” She says remarking on the potency, her pulse doubling. “That’s enough.” I state, stopping her from taking more. Passing the pipe to another, I relieve a server of a drink, giving it to her. Eyeing it, she really has to get over her trust issues. “It’s for me.” I say, tilting her head back and literally forcing the drink down her throat. It’s been a while since I’ve tasted her, and I’m starved. “What did you give me?” She asks, leaning into me. “Am I drunk?”
“Our spirits don’t harm the body.” I reassure her. Her hands roaming across my chest, she’s doing too much. The blood pumping through her veins, calls to me. Apparently, I’m not the only one. Her scent’s intoxicating, the call of her blood has many eyes upon her. Giving in to my thirst, I have her backed into a darkened corner, drinking quickly, and releasing her just as quickly. It’s a pain to not be able to take as much as I want. I’m caught off guard by her teeth sinking into me. The shock of her fangs connecting with my skin unsettles me momentarily. My first instinct is to throw her off of me, but I’m too caught up in the seduction.
A novice, the blood’s smeared on her lips, and running a finger across them awakens my need. Sampling them, her lips make a connection with mines spirits coursing through me, I throw caution to the wind and take more. Inhaling deeply from my bite, she doesn’t fight me. An arm around my neck, a satisfactory moan escapes her lips. She doesn’t know it, but my venom will trump my brother’s and her mate’s, there’s too much “human” in their DNA. Her nails raking across my back, drawing blood forces me to release her. “What’s happening to me?” She says, watching as her nails retract. The predator in me recognizes my enemy, and I involuntarily react, reaching for her.
A force stops me, I try to reach for her again, and am unable to get to her. “Release me.”
Her fear coming through loud and clear, I reign in my temper. “I’m not going to hurt you.” Considering my words, she honors my request, and I go to her. “Your powers are increasing, and your other side is manifesting.”
“Will I be sent back?”
“Do you want to go back?” “I did...”
“Now, I’m not sure.”
I have no intention of letting her go back to earth. However, I do need to at least get rid of one of her mates. As she said, she can only handle two of us, one of them has to go. “Is that meat?” She says sniffing the air. My hand on her wrist stops her. It is forbidden to consume the flesh, but anything that is outlawed can be found here. “I want some, and it’s been so long since I’ve had meat.” She says, wistfully. “Your womb must remain sanitary for the child.” I’ve tasted blood riddled with flesh consumption, and needless to say, it’s an acquired taste.
“I haven’t had any in months, and a sample won’t hurt.”
“It soils the mind and the body.”
“It smells so good…” She says, heading towards the room, with the sounds and smells of sizzling flesh. “Let’s not do that.” I state. I have no qualms about having to forcibly remove her if need be. Her eyes reflecting her barely controlled emotions, it eats her up inside, when she can’t have her way. Redirecting her away from the room, we look in on a brawl, where one man’s being beaten to death by three others. “That’s not fair.” The onlookers cheer loudly as a spray of blood shoots out of his mouth. “Do you want to place a bet?” I decline the man’s offer, with a wave of my hand.
“He’s one of the unfortunates. His family needs food. If he’s the victory, his family will eat for three years.”
“Just like earth, exploiting the poor.” “Come on,” I say, taking her hand.
“Passing another room, a few women are unclothed, bound, blindfolded, and being whipped. “What in the hell!” Trying not to smile, I quickly lead her away. “He’s not hurting them.”
“No shit, Sherlock.”
“The colorful expressions human’s use never ceases to confound me.”
“When have you met a human? I mean a real human, not these half breeds. I thought you’ve been on Centauria all of your life after your father sprinted you away from your mother.”
“I’m glad that you brought that up, now, on to the darker side.” I say, leading her down into a tunnel, where an agonized wail greets us. “What’s going on?” She says, moving closer to me. Coming to a halt, we stand in the doorway, as the room’s overcrowded. Behind a glass, a man’s being dissected alive. His chest’s been completely cut open, exposing his innards. A few unable to bear the sight of his intestines being slowly pulled out, make a swift exit, and Skye’s able to see what I’m seeing. “What’s this?” She says, alarmed.
The man’s pleas for help can be heard through the glass. Stopping Skye from pushing a woman out of the way, she tries to pull from my grasp. “Is that a human?” Not responding, I take her to another room, which is empty. A small old woman small in size lies on the floor sleeping behind a glass and touching it pulls up her biography. She was brought here fourteen moons ago, two weeks in human time. “She’s seven years old, what the hell happened to her?”
“Human’s cannot withstand our atmosphere.”
“What is this, a human zoo?”
“Skye…” I warn as she backs away from me. “Don’t!” In a flash, she’s gone. “Skye!”
She’s fast, her powers are increasing, but I manage to reach her as she’s entering the room of a wailing infant. He’s behind a glass, newly born. Reaching for her, I’m stopped again by a force. “Pulling up his biography, a small gasp comes from her. “Not worthy of being called our brother, his human genetics are dominant, and so he is to live a short life cycle of twenty-eight moons. “A baby?” Her silent weeping isn’t lost on me.
“Why did you bring me down here?”
“If you are to stay on Centauria, you have to see all of it, and know us for what we are.” “Monsters, murderers…”
“This is just a drop in an ocean of debauchery. My brother would have you blind and ignorant of the sordid affairs that are a part of our world.”
“Take me back.”
“To my goddamn room!”
She wasn’t good at hiding where we’d been, as Balen’s interrupted my meeting with father. I’m faster, but that doesn’t stop him from trying. He has me by the shirt, and all attempts to try to assault me are dodged. “Stop this at once!” I’m amused, which infuriates him further. Father’s papers scatter as our movement causes a whirlwind about the room. Ignoring him, we continue our shenanigans, until father tires of it and rips us apart, sending us flying into opposite walls. “I said, stop it!”
Gathering the papers, we collect ourselves from up off of the floor, as father calmly retakes his seat. “It’s that human again, isn’t it?” Choosing to remain as far from each other as possible, we’re both silent, him seething with rage, and me slightly offended that he attempted to rough me up, as the human’s say. “I have a solution, as was stated before, I will not have my kingdom torn apart by feuding brothers over food, no less.”
“She’s my mate, don’t refer to her…”
“I grow tired of this rift between you two. You’re brother’s… And so, as your father and your king, my word is law…” “Father, don’t…” States Balen.
“To end this quarrel between the both of you, she’ll give birth to your child, and then when she’s healed, she will give you three children in succession, no more, no less.” “I’ll need more than three.” I state.
“You can build your half breed army from them, because that’s all you’re getting, and after she’ll give Prince Gael his heir.”
Should we breed her out to every Prince on Centauria.” I state, angrily. “I thought that you only wanted her for what she could give you.” Father states vehemently.
“No one’s breeding her, I am your son, you should respect my decision and the mate that I’ve chosen.”
“She’s still breathing, that’s all the respect that she’ll get from me. This is my final word on this matter, I have spoken it, and so it shall be.”
“Father’s overstepped his boundaries, and I’m not sharing her with Gael.” I say, to Balen later that day, as he paces my room. “She’s not yours, how dare you even make such a statement.” “Well one thing that I’m sure of is that she’s not going back to earth.” I say, picking up his thoughts. I can’t go what with my Centaurian features, my eyes are telling. “You want Gael to breed her then? You read his thoughts as I did.” His words bring forth my jealous nature, I did read his thoughts. He wants her, and he’s more than just attracted to her blood. “Centauria’s large, we can find somewhere to go.” I say, knowing that the only realistic resolution, would be to get her off of Centauria. But, would I be happy living on earth, stripped of my title? “Would you truly be happy?” Says Balen.
“I’m father’s Heir to the throne, and with me gone, you would take the throne. I don’t want it.” Balen states. His conniving words play on my greed for power, I want her, but I want the throne also. “Leave me…” He silent, trying to read me, before reluctantly leaving. “And don’t even try to escape with her.” I say in parting, the guards have been alerted already.
I’m finishing up my first drink when I feel him. Per his thoughts, he wants to taste me. He knows who I am. My belly full to bursting, I maneuver myself from off of the stool gently. It was dangerous to steal away into the night by myself, and then to go back to the place of nightmares, but I was feeling rebellious. Balen gave me a severe chiding, followed by an intense orgasm for venturing out with Nelan to the other side. He forbid me to go again, and even threatened to lock me in my rooms if I disobeyed. He’s not my father, and I’m not a child, but I can’t help feeling scared with the way this man’s watching me.
Teetering from the drink and my swollen stomach, he’s over to me quickly and has me settled in a booth. My head spinning from the quickness of his assault, I lean back in the chair. He’s seated across from me. Creepy. He’d better say something, or I’m going to scream. “Hello.” The creepy factor has risen, just by his utterance of that one word. “What do you wan…” I’m not able to finish my sentence, as he’s next to me, my head tilted to the side, as he drinks from me. My attempts to fight him off are ineffective, and darkness comes quickly.
Upon waking, I’m being carried through a hall in the palace, the one that Balen brought me through. “You’ll get us through Princess, or I’m going to snap your neck.” His words cause me to put up a small fight and trying to scream no words come forth. “I’ve given you a tonic to suppress your voice.” Stopping at the door, he sets me on my feet, and I’m sure that my DNA won’t allow us access. Smiling inwardly, as he supports me to the archway, no alarm sounds, no guards to rescue me. My feelings are hurt, as he users me through it. “Do it now!” He says, with urgency. “Do what?”
“Use your power of stealth.” His hand around my throat squeezing, I have no choice but to obey. I’m too weak to fight him off, and it takes everything within me to muster up enough stealth to cloak the both of us. “How much did you take?” I manage. “Enough to assure that you’d be too weak, to use your powers against me.” Just for the heck of it, I try anyways. My arm raises just a smidgen before I have to let it drop back to my side. “Bastard…” His small chuckle at my expense irritates me.
We’re invisible to the senses, and the few guards milling about are unable to sense us, as we make our way past them. In a blink we’re outside of the compound, his hold on me tightens, and after a moment I understand why. My mates, Nelan and a small army of their peers are waiting. I want to breathe a sigh of relief, but he still holds my life within his hands. Lifting me into his arms, my eyes close, and I can see them in my mind. Rylan and Balen side by side, and Nelan farthest from them across the field. My kidnapper has an army of his own, the lizard people… my other half. Rylan linking to me, I feel his anxiety – “I love you.” My message reaching him is followed by an ear-splitting bellow, as he leads the fight.
He’s moving with speed, the contents of my stomach threatening to come up. I’m airborne, bracing for the fall, and protecting my stomach, I summon up the strength to temporarily halt my body smashing into the ground. Hovering for just a moment, I hit the ground with enough force to knock the wind out of me. The sound of swords clashing, bodies being ripped apart, I attempt to crawl away from the melee. A pair of boots coming into view, I look up into the face of a dark-skinned, dark-haired man.
Pulling me to my feet by one arm, I try to twist from his grasp. A finger to my forehead, all sounds of the fight are gone, and I’m instantly at peace. It’s only temporary, and coming out of the trance, I’m confused as to what happened, shaking it off. “What did you do to me?” I inquire, my voice restored. A hand on the side of my head, he shows me our future. I’m mated to the “Prince of Dragons”.
She’s been taken, Nelan’s whisked her off to a disreputable part of “Alpha Centauri,” and venturing out on her own, she’s been abducted. He’ll have to be dealt with if she’s not returned to me unharmed. King Zuran has allowed his son’s a small army to bring her back, as the dragons have assembled themselves outside of the shuttle. My patience has run thin, when Nelan enters the compound with Balen, barking orders. The assembled soldiers align themselves in rows of five, and march out to meet the threat. They outnumber us, but we hold our ground, there’s not a coward amongst us.
It’s easy to scent her, my attention drawn to one of our brethren holding her hostage. –“I love you.” Her hopeless endearment sends me into a rage and going for the nearest lizard, I remove his head. My brother’s following my lead, we try to quickly reduce their numbers. They’re not so easily dispatched, as we may have the speed, but they have the strength. Two coming for me, I have one by the throat, as the other tries to rip my arm off. Tossing him across the field, I drive my sword through the other’s stomach, before beheading him.
The other has regained his footing, and attacks again. Balen captures him, and with his arm around his neck, snaps it. His body going limp, he’s discarded. In unison we both turn at her at voiceless yell, she’s being thrown across the field. We know that we are unable to reach her in time, but we try anyway. She’s suspended momentarily, before making a not so soft landing. Still trying to reach her, we’re intercepted by five dragons. Ending two quickly, one catches me off guard, and I’m sent flying backward with a solid hit to the face. A slow trickle of blood from my nose dries quickly and flakes away.
I can sense her fear from across the field and locating her, a man comes to a stop in front of her. “We all know him as the “Dragon Prince.” My heart literally skips a beat, as his hand goes to her stomach, and she doubles over in pain. Her screams of agony piercing my ears over the din of the fight. Attempting to reach her, heads of lizards are removed as I close in on them.
A wave of his hand over her face, and she’s unconscious in his arms, a flicker and they’re gone. Trying to control my rage, Balen’s silent beside me. What they want with her, we do not know, but what we do know is that the dragons consume the flesh of humans. Infants are a delicacy, the younger they are, the better that they taste to them. “I hope that King Zuran had nothing to do with this.” I state, seething with anger. “My father held no ill wishes for her. He’s in league with my brother to breed her. He couldn’t possibly…” My snarl of warning silences him. The bad news is that she’s going to be hard to locate if they take her underground. The good news, if you can call it that, is that we’ll know when to stop looking for her, once my link to her is broken.