Tulip followed Lorzarian back to the seating area and sank back down in her seat. She picked up the still warm cup beside her and took a long sip. It had a sweet, fruity taste to it that she liked.
“You need to take me back to Toria. Korom will be going out of his mind with worry, not to mention Rose cursing a blue streak at anyone that looks at her wrong.”
“Rose is your sister, yes?”
“One of them. I have three sisters. Lilly is the oldest. She just mated with Bor. It was their celebration you kidnapped me from. Rose is the second oldest, then me, and Violet is the youngest.”
He chuckled, “I apologize for taking you in the manner that I did. I am not used to dealing with… innocent people.”
“It’s okay. I understand why you took me, but it’s going to take a lot for Korom to forgive you. Will you let me contact him, to tell him I’m okay?”
He stayed quiet for a moment, thinking.
“Please. I hate to think of him going crazy because of this. If I tell him that I’m fine, and that you’re not the big bad monster under the bed, he will be less likely to kill you the moment he finds us.”
“He will not find us. Not unless I want him to.”
“Please, Lorzarian, just a quick call. Let me put his mind at ease. I can feel how stressed he is through the tiny connection I have with Wisp.”
Lorzarian frowned as he considered her. “Why have you not misted away yet?”
“I’m not a Miasm, I can’t mist.”
“But you are my brothers Tymora, are you not? That is why that small part of his mist is so attached to you.”
“Yeah, but my kind doesn’t change forms like you do.”
“I know what you are, Tulip. I see my brother has been keeping things from you.”
His grin slipped away as he said, “No, he isn’t deliberately hiding things from you. He doesn’t know. No one ever taught him these things.”
“What things?” Her voice grew louder as annoyance sparked in her mind.
“Has Wisp ever entered your body?”
“What? Eew, no!”
He smiled, “I meant through your skin. Has it ever seeped into you?”
“I don’t think so. I don’t know. Most of the time it just hangs around at the back of my hair.”
“You would have felt it if it had. Once this is all over, I will teach you how to accept becoming Koroms true Tymora,” He stood, holding out a hand to her, “Come. The sooner you call my brother, the sooner we can begin preparing for the battle ahead.”
She placed her cup on the table and let him pull her to her feet. As soon as she was standing, he released her hand and led her out of the room and back to the bridge.
Sitting down at one of the control screens to the right of the room, he swiped his hand in front of it, bringing it to life. He tapped at the symbols for a moment, before she heard the deep, rumbling voice of Bor fill the empty bridge.
“Who is this?”
She looked over at Lorzarian with a wide smile. He nodded and sat back, watching her.
“Bor? It’s Tulip.”
A short shuffle came over the line before the most beautiful sound filled the space.
“Tulip? Oh, my love, where are you? Are you hurt?” Korom’s shaky voice called.
“I’m okay, I swear. I’m not hurt, and I’m not in any danger. Are you alright?”
“I’m fine. Tell me where you are. Who took you? Was it my brother?”
She glanced back at Lorzarian, before she said, “Yes, but it’s not what you think.”
Before she could say more, a long, angry string of creative curses and threats came from four very pissed off males over the line, before a high pitched hissing could be heard.
“Is that Spot?” She asked, frowning up at the ceiling.
“Yes. It looks like he too wants his piece of flesh.”
She laughed, “Spot is on the bridge with you and Bor? How did the big guy take it?”
She heard as Korom took in a long breath, before he let it out slowly. “Surprisingly well. The creature is not dead yet, so I call that a win.”
She beamed when she heard him using her favorite Earth saying.
“Tulip… Where are you? Tell me, little one. I will come for you and take you home.”
“I would love nothing more, babe. But you need to listen to me. There is something huge I have to tell you.”
“Remember when I told you about Spot? I asked you to trust me. To listen to everything you needed to know first, then you could make a decision on how to react.”
“This is the same thing. I know that me being taken like that must have pissed you off, but your brother had his reasons. He has some important stuff to discuss with you and Bor before you two rip his head off. Will you listen to him? Hear what he has to say. See what he needs you to see?”
Korom sighed and she could just picture the exasperated look on his face.
“If he returns you to me immediately and unharmed, then we will be willing to listen to what he needs to tell us. As long as I know you are safe, I can handle anything. Just like with Spot.”
She smiled. “I’ll talk to him and call you back.
“Please don’t take long, little one. I am at the edge of my control as it is. I am not sure how much longer I can stand the thought of you gone from me.”
She raised a brow in question to Lorzarian. He nodded, and she answered, “Five minutes, babe, I swear.”
She was about to tell him that she loved him. To confess the depth of what she felt for him, but she wanted to look into his eyes when she did.
“Nothing. Five minutes.”
Before Korom could answer, she heard a soft ping and the connection was gone.
“Spot?” Lorzarian asked with a raised brow.
She giggled, “Yeah. It’s a long story, but in short it’s my baby sister’s pet Spinner.”
Lorzarian’s mouth fell open as his eyes went wide. Looks like he doesn’t know everything about us.
“Yeah. You already know what happened to my planet and the attack on Bor’s ship. The day after the leader of the hive was killed, Violet found an unhatched egg and decided to keep the Spinner inside it as her pet. He’s actually really smart and kinda cute in a weird, parallel universe kinda way.”
He shook his head, “That I did not expect. And my brother allowed this monster to live?”
“Spot isn’t a monster. He’s nothing like the other Spinners I’ve seen.”
Lorzarian nodded, deep in thought for a moment, before he said, “It is time for you to return to Korom.”
“How are we going to do this?”
He stood and began shutting down all the screens around the bridge as he spoke. “I will return you to the Torian King’s command vessel. That is where my brother is now,” He paused to turn and look at her, “Do you trust that he will listen before acting?”
“Yes. I can’t promise they’ll lay out the red carpet for you, but Korom will make sure the others don’t kill you. Once you tell them what you told me they might be more forgiving. I’ll do what I can to smooth the way for you, but Korom is going to be pissed, so expect that.”
He grinned, “I can handle my brother. As fierce as he is in battle, there is still so much he doesn’t know about our kind.”
Tulip went to him, placing a hand on his arm to stop him and waited until he met her eyes. He raised a brow in question and she said, “Teach him, Lorzarian. He needs you.”
Lorzarian turned, gripping her arms gently, “I am the last thing he needs in his life.”
“Why would you say that?”
“I am darkness, Tulip. I have more sins to my name then there are words to describe them. I have done… Terrible things in my past. Korom may think he is dark, but he is the purest male I have ever seen. He is honorable to his core. I will only taint his life.”
Before he could turn away, Tulip grabbed his shirt in a tight fist and glared at him. It wasn’t lost on her that he towered above her by over a foot, nor did it go unnoticed that his body was twice as broad as hers. She held him still only because he allowed it.
Not caring that she must look like a growling Chihuahua in front of this huge Rottweiler, she said, “You’re screwed, big guy. You just don’t know it yet. By coming out of the shadows you stepped into one big, crazy, multi species family that isn’t going to let you crawl back into the dark. Korom is pissed now, but he’ll get over it. My sisters might have a few harsh things to say to you when they see you, but they will never let you run away and hide from us again. You… are… family! Good or bad, dark or light, you’re one of us now! So pull up your big boy pants and deal with it!”
With her heart racing she tried to give the huge male her most stern glare. But Lorzarian just smiled at her in a sweet way, making her anger crumble.
“What?” She asked, letting go of his shirt.
“You remind me so much of my mother. She was just as fierce as you, never allowing anything to come between her family.”
“Good. Then don’t even bother arguing with me about this. When this is all over, you’re coming back to Toria with us and that’s that.”
He bowed his head, “As you wish. If there is a home and a family to return to after this battle, then I will do as you ask.”
She paled, “Don’t say that. I’ve already lost one home, I won’t let it happen to Toria. And my family is more resilient than you think. We will find a way to stop what’s coming.”
“Yes. One way or another, it will all end soon.” He turned away then, but not before Tulip saw the resignation in his eyes. He meant what he said about all this ending for him one way or another. He would either kill the threat or die trying.
Well fuck that! No brother-in-law of mine is going to sacrifice himself like that.
She grinned, her eyes narrowing at Lorzarian’s back. No. No one is dying in this fight. He might think he’s the only one that can stop them, but he has no idea just how smart and tenacious the Orsen sisters can be when backed into a corner.