As Killian led me further and further out of the city, I started to wonder if I should’ve kept our deal. Houses became fewer and fewer, altogether becoming non-existent. It started raining again by the time we reached the wooded areas. At that point, I was gaining anxiety and had a strong desire to turn back.
“Why are you taking me to a secluded area?” I called out to him.
He was far ahead of me by now and I barely heard him over the wildlife as he said, “I want to show you something.”
My mind roamed through all the possibilities, but there were no realistic scenarios I could come up with. When we were deep enough in the woods, I finally figured out what it was he wanted to show me. I couldn’t believe my eyes. When I managed to catch up with him, I saw the massive thing that had caused the trees behind it to snap in two. Half of it was buried in the ground from what I could only assume was the crash he had survived. Where the ground had been turned up stood Killian with his hands in his pockets, facing me directly without any emotion.
“How did you survive that?” I said, gawking at the machine.
He smirked, turning to jump down in the pit of the monstrosity. I hesitated before following him, slowing tensing up as I approached it. As I stood next to it, the size dwarfing me in comparison, I felt incredibly insignificant. Killian watched me as I touched it gently, half-expecting it to be a delusion. I inhaled sharply, flinching when I touched something solid. It was amazing to see how advanced humanity was. Not even Nou Vil had anything like this. A laugh flew freely from my mouth and I looked at him, catching his blank gaze.
“This is…I don’t even know how to—” I finished with another giddy laugh.
“Would you like to go inside?”
My eyes widened and I grinned broadly, nodding my head furiously.
“Come with me.”
I followed him round the back where he splayed his hand on the glossy finish. A strange sound erupted as it opened, the ramp descending to the ground to display what was inside. There were no words that could describe how I felt. The only thing I could verbalize was:
I didn’t wait for him this time. Without a moment to lose, I stepped onto the ramp, slowly walking into its cavernous insides. There were so many strange things—gadgets I had never seen before. Most of it was lying scattered about the floor, left in chaotic, heaping piles from when Killian had landed.
“What is this?” I asked, looking at every little thing, touching them to see how they worked.
“It’s my ship,” he replied. “Well, a ship.”
I looked at him. “You stole it.”
“Is that why you’re hiding?”
He hinted a small smile. “No.”
I was almost afraid to ask, but I did anyway.
“Admiral Hoss of Exogène has taken my people from me. They are being held prisoner as we speak inside frozen tubes that I myself was once held captive in. I was released by Hoss himself to do his dirty work. When I finally realized what I was doing, I escaped. Since then, I have done many things to save and protect my people, even if I had to kill every single person that stood in my way. As I was attacking the group fighting against me, I ran into a few complications. So, I fled, knowing that if I didn’t I would be captured. I decided to come here, a highly unsuspecting planet. Before I came here, however, I planted a device on the other side of the galaxy, fully aware it was Earth’s primary enemy. The device I planted can easily be tracked by Exogène, thus throwing them off my trail. As I was leaving the planet, however, its native race detected me and fired, leaving my ship in critical condition. Instead of an idealistic, safe landing, I crashed here, and the rest you already know.”
I swallowed hard at all that information. Slowly, I turned away from him to ponder on everything he had just said. Despite his psychopathic tendencies, he was also a strangely compassionate being. To think he was willing to go to such lengths for his people was immensely admirable—a trait I wish I had had three years ago. Had I been strong and persistent, I could’ve brought Hyler’s body back where it belonged. Suddenly I felt sick from the abrupt grief that hit me like a wave. I sat down in one of the chairs, hugging myself tightly. What would Hyler think of me now? Would he be proud? If it wasn’t for him, I would’ve never learned to love, and I would’ve never known grief. Killian came closer to me, and I looked up at him with tears in my eyes. He seemed startled by my appearance and he backed away quickly.
“Why are you crying?” he said
I smiled as warm tears stained my cheeks.
“You’ll save them,” I said quietly. “I know you will.”
He looked at me for a while, his frame slightly rigid. Then, he snapped out of his trance, blinking a few times before turning away.
“Would you help me carry these?”
I smiled and stood to follow him. “Sure. What am I carrying?”
I froze. “Guns?”
“Yes, do you know what—?”
“Yes, I know what guns are,” I interrupted. “Why do we need them?”
He grunted as he forced a chest open, then dug around inside it. The gun he pulled out was smaller than I expected. It was silvery and light, I realized once he took my hand and set it in my palm.
“Exogène will find me sooner or later, so we need to be prepared. These guns are obviously more advanced than what you’re used to, but rest assured, they are easier to operate. For now, carry as much as you can.”
He handed me a large bag, which seemed to weigh a thousand pounds. I pulled the strap over my head to rest on my shoulder, which did little to relieve the strain on my body. How was I supposed to carry this on the way back?
As I shifted around to get the strap right, Killian was packing things on himself as if he were a mule. I gawked at him.
“Alright, it seems as if…what?” he said when he saw the look on my face.
“You can carry all that?”
He smirked, and said, “Of course I can.”
“You won’t get tired?”
“I do not tire easily. In fact, I only sleep once a week.”
My shock turned to anger. “Then why do you sleep in my bed every night?”
“I don’t. Instead, I watch you sleep on the floor. It amuses me.”
“You watch me sleep?” I said sheepishly.
“Some nights, yes.”
I wiped the drying tears from my cheeks to give myself an excuse to hide my face. He slammed the chest shut.
“We’re done here.”
Glaring at the back of his head, I followed him outside.
It rained on the way back, but I was somewhat grateful for it. The droplets mixed with my sweat, masking the utter exhaustion that had been wearing me down on the last mile. I liked to think that I was exceptionally fit, but that was when I wasn’t carrying around a bag that weighed more than I did. If that wasn’t enough, I was climbing hills with it. That said, you could say I was more than a little irritated when we finally made it back home. I dropped the bag on the floor in the secret room.
“Be careful with that,” Killian said as he unloaded his things. “We can’t afford to break anything.”
“I don’t even get a ‘thank you’?” I said, putting my hands on my hips.
“Why should I?”
I sighed frustratedly, stalking out of the room.
“Ungrateful son of a bitch,” I grumbled to myself.
He must’ve heard me, because the next thing I knew, I heard him drop his stuff and stalk after me. He yanked me back by the wrist, twirling me around so that I was looking straight up at him with wide eyes.
“If you think I am ungrateful, you are horribly mistaken,” he said in a low voice. “You have been eternally loyal to me, yes; however, I do not find it necessary to thank you.”
“Oh yeah? Why is that?”
“Owners do not thank their pets.”
My throat tightened and my mouth went dry. Whatever had happened today was suddenly meaningless. All the heart-felt moments I thought we had had...
“I am not…your…pet,” I spat between clenched teeth.
“Hm,” he replied with a bored expression. “You sure do act like it—following me when I tell you to, even if it is in a dark, uncivilized forest. You have gone so far as to give up your entire life for me.”
“You mistake pets for kind, hospitable people.”
He laughed. “I hardly consider you a kind person—at least not to me—, and you must have a very twisted sense of the word ‘hospitable’ when you have been physically and verbally abusing me ever since I arrived.”
“Pets don’t abuse their owners,” I shot back. “Technically, it’s the other way around. That means I own you.”
“You’re wrong. Sometimes they can be disobedient.” His eyes turned dark. “When that happens, their master has no choice but to punish them for their naughty behavior.”
He stared down at me with a devouring gaze. I backed away from him only to have the bed stop me. My thoughts stumbled over each other as he slowly approached me.
“We had a deal,” I said with a trembling voice.
Before I knew what he was doing, he grabbed my hand and placed it on his chest. I could no longer feel my body and my limbs refused to work. With his other hand, he grabbed me behind my neck, rendering me completely powerless. He leaned in so that his lips brushed against mine.
“I can do whatever I want with you now,” he said softly against my mouth.
“Don’t,” I whispered breathlessly. “Please.”
“Now you’re begging me. For that, I should punish you severely.”
I couldn’t breathe, but not only because I was scared. What was that strange heat inside me that stole the air from my lungs?
He bit my bottom lip to keep me from speaking. At this, my body revved into motion. I squirmed against him, turning my head to get away from his mouth, but he found a substitute. He latched on to my neck possessively, flicking his tongue against my skin. A soft whimper pushed through my lips when he pulled back to blow on the wet spot he created.
“It’s just like the forest here,” he said in my ear. “No one would hear you scream.”
I shuddered. Sure, I could run. I could even throw a couple of punches, which I’ve done before. Hell, I could even hide for the rest of my life, but there was no way he’d let me. This was a man who had murdered to save his own people, which made him very determined. It meant that if he wanted something, he would eventually get it. Did that stop me? Not really. However, before my efforts prevailed, he pushed me down onto the bed. Words of persistent pleading spewed from my mouth.
“Why are you doing this all of a sudden?”
“Because you’ve given me no choice. Your lack of respect for me is getting out of hand, even after I have warned you repeatedly that this would happen.”
“Get off me,” I said, bucking my hips to throw him off.
“You really shouldn’t do that while I’m on top of you.”
“I don’t see how it would matter,” I panted. “If you’re going to do it, then do it.”
“Will you let me?”
“Why not do it anyway?”
“Because that wouldn’t prove my point. I own you, and in order for me to teach you a lesson, you will submit.”
Where did this Killian come from? In the beginning, he had never done anything like this. I recalled his warning to me—that it was dangerous to touch him. Something about primal instincts, sexual partners, and my way of comforting him. Maybe I should have seen it coming, but I would have never thought it would be today. Not after we got rid of the deal and technically called it truce. Then again, it was possible this Killian had been here all along, hiding behind a manipulative façade. Naturally, this terrified me. It almost made me regret not killing him when I had the chance.
“I despise how similar you are to humans,” he said. “Neither of you understand how it all works. Instead of following your instincts, you are led by morality—the written laws that stifle what you really want. It’s stifling me.”
“So do it!” I yelled at him.
“I will not force you. You will submit to me naturally and I shall have you no other way. Believe it or not, I find one-sided pleasure to be very unappealing.”
“Fine,” I said blinking away tears of frustration. “If you truly mean what you say, you will be waiting a very long time.”
He grinned as his eyes went from raw, aggressive hunger to cold, hard amusement.
“Oh, I doubt that, though I will humor you.”
It sounded like a challenge I was willing to bet on.