The First Her

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Part 20

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“You’re up!” she squealed and swung a leg off.

“Where are going?” Vrox demanded, his voice gravelly.

Taking advantage of the fact that he was tied up and weaker than usual, she pushed at his chest to keep him lying down. “Stay still. Don’t you remember what happened?”

“No,” he answered. “But we will address that as soon as you explain why you were squatting over me. Do you have any idea how dangerous–”

“We are not doing this,” she interjected. “You have been unconscious for over two days. You are not going to give me another one of your silly speeches about kneeling, squatting, or indigestion. We are taking care of you. Do you hear me?”

“You better thank the fates that I am tied up, or I–”

“Do you hear me? Or do I have to repeat myself in English?” she pressed.

Through his blurry vision, Vrox could make out the anger in her expression.

“You are more stubborn than usual,” he noted. “What did you do these past days that sharpened your claws?”

“Worrying about you. Now, stay still. I’m going to get your food.”

“No,” he refused as he fought his restraints. “You will not leave my side again.”

Eager to get food in him, Kira looked at the entrance in search of Ni’ev. Instead of finding him, she found the whole Ezron family pouring into the room.

“It is about time that you wake up,” Rokan reprimanded and slapped Vrox’s shoulder with a loud clap that made Kira cringe. “You have slacked off for enough time.”

“It is good to have you back,” Draekon greeted as he cut Vrox loose.

Ak and Ni’ev just respectfully nodded, equally relieved to see Vrox out of death’s grip.

“Now that we’re done with the greetings, can we get some food in him?”

Ni’ev and Ak left the room in search of food.

With a heavy exhale, Kira rested her forehead on Vrox’s shoulder. “What happened, Vrox?”

Kissing her hair, he replied, “I was hoping you could answer that question for me.”

The men were quick to return with a buffet of raw meat. Not wanting to risk getting sick from the bloody smell, she slid off the bed and waited for Vrox to finish eating.

“Eat slower. You might get indigestion,” she joked.

He chuckled, and the sound nearly made her knees give out from relief. He ignored her request and shoved food down his mouth. With every swallow, he sat straighter, as if his energy was returning. After drinking water from a bowl and using the rest to rinse the blood off his hands and face, he threw the bowl at a wall and expanded his arms.

“Come, Kira. Let me see you.”

Before she could step forward, Ak appeared by her side. “Maybe you should slow down. Rest to make sure that you are in your... right mind.”

Vrox lowered his arms to rest his elbows on his thighs. He looked like a tiger ready to pounce as he said, “if you have something you wish to say, Ak, say it.”

The atmosphere chilled.

“It was bad,” Ak started. “You were violent. You put your pregnant female at risk.”

Wood cracked once Vrox rushed to his feet, all heavy breathing and glaring. Kira jumped in front of him, desperate to stop the aliens from clashing.

“You seem to forget that the one suffering from an identity crisis is you, Ak. I know who I am. I would never put Kira’s life at risk. If you think that you are in the position to be giving me advice about keeping females safe after you attempted to rape one, then–”

"Hey!” Kira boomed, trying to get the vibrating alien to sit on the bed. “This is not the time for this. You’re ill. You need to–”

“Vrox, you–”

Kira turned, her braid whipping the air like a lasso.

“No, Ak. You two are done for the day.”

“I was not–”

She moved her glare to Vrox. “I just spent two days fighting a breakdown. I wanted to explode and cry and stomp, but I held it together. I did it for you, and now you are going to do the same.”

Vrox stared her down, while the other men watched anxiously.

Cracking a smile, Vrox lowered his forehead, so it touched hers. “You wear anger like a goddess, little Terran.”

“Just sit down before I knock you into another coma.”

Vrox did as ordered and took her with him. Kira considered getting up, but she had missed his lap so much that she melted against him.

“The seedling,” he mentioned, hands finding her stomach.

“Is fine,” Kira completed.

“What about Kyros?” “He’s still missing, I’m sorry. Let’s talk, and then I want you to please try to rest a bit, okay?”

“I have already rested more than a dead man.”

“Please,” she insisted. “I just want to make sure that you recover from whatever this is.”

“I feel fully rested.”

“Vrox,” she whined.

“Alright, I will sleep, but you must lay beside me.”

She nodded, raking her fingers through his hair.

Seeing that everything was fine, Ni’ev, Draekon, and Rokan waited outside.

“What do you remember from the last time you were awake?”

Vrox shrugged. “Ni’ev was talking about blacksmithing, and then your scent distracted me. After that, my memories are hazy.”

“You were getting grabby although the others were right next to us,” Kira explained. “Your hand was moving up my thigh, and you licked my neck.”

Vrox frowned, remembering none of these details. “What else?”

“I told you to stop, and that set you off. Your mind wasn’t fully gone, though. You told Ni’ev to take me away because you realized that something was wrong with you.”

Vrox nodded. That sounded like something he would do.

“And then?”

“Well, you called for the others. Your mental state declined quickly after that. You, uh, unclothed yourself to make me see your pelvis. You looked ready to fuck me into the dirt, Vrox.”

He sighed, unable to remember anything.

“I was scared.”

“I promise you,” he whispered, skimming his nose against hers. “Even with my mind gone, I would be incapable of rape. I do not know what I would have done if I caught you, but forcing you, especially when you are carrying a seed, would have been impossible. You do not need to worry about this.”

“I know that. I know all of it. The only reason I walked away is that I didn’t want to risk you accidentally scratching or tripping me. I was scared for you, not for me.”

He exhaled heavily, weighing all of the possibilities.

“Vrox?”

“Yes?”

“When we were traveling to The Ruins, you promised me that you would tell me if a new symptom of your condition appeared. Did you lie to me? Did you omit the truth?"

It took Vrox a minute to deliver, “yes. I am sorry.”

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