Reaver’s Kiss: Chapter Six


Allison looked as if I had struck her.

“I will find a way,” I told her, turning away, unable to stomach her disappointment.

Along the walk back from camp to where the Horn had been snapped away from the mainland, I’d fought with myself.

I tried to think of a way to convince her not to listen to the words of the Vak’ki that’d come from her metal cuff, not to risk the mountains of the Sen’ki.

But every thought was swept away by the anguish in her face.

“Give me time,” I promised. If she wanted to go, I would make it happen.

But she wouldn’t go alone. Safe passage or not, I’d be by her side.

I studied the chasm, dreaming up plans and discarding them just as quickly, until I realized she had moved away.

“Whatisthat?” she asked, head tilted to the side as if she was listening to something.

I looked around, uncertain as to what she referred to.

Slowly she walked away, her steps hesitant, unlike the wild dash she’d made when first confronted with the chasm.

Now she walked parallel to it, then broke into a run.

I watched for a moment, confused.

The work of the earthquake had been thorough, completely separating us from the mainland. She couldn’t walk around it. The only thing she’d find that way was the sea.

And with that thought, I ran after her.

I’d let her get too far ahead, she was already scrambling over the rocky beach, eyes fixed on the dark waves ahead instead of the storm gray stones.

“Allison, stop!” I shouted, but she kept on.

I reached behind me for my bow, swearing as I remembered my failure to find an appropriate replacement last night.

“Wecanjustswim!” she shouted. “Imagoodswimmer!”

All I caught was a single word.

“No, it is not good!” I shouted back, almost at her side.

But it was too late.

From underneath the rocks sprang a gakul, pebbles flying everywhere by the force of its eruption, long soot-colored snout snapping at her, razor-sharp teeth slashing through the air.

Allison shrieked, falling backwards, scrambling away from it on her hands and feet as the scent of her terror filled the air.

With a bellow of fury, I launched myself at it, knocking it away from her.

Greedily it wrapped its short legs around me as we rolled over the stones.

It was no arsek, deadly but small, flitting through the undergrowth.

The gakuls were monsters, dragging any prey foolish enough to venture too near to their lairs under the waves, ripping and savaging whatever flesh came close to their gaping maws.

Its talons raked at my side as I struggled to lose my arm, but it held fast.

“Get away from him!” Allison screamed, and something thudded against the gakul’s thick hide.

It swung its massive head around, snapping at her in rage.

I craned my head to see her lob another rock at the beast.

“Get back!” I shouted at her, but she kept pelting it with stones, ignoring the danger.

Spurred anew, I wrenched my arm upwards, driving my knife deep into the creature’s belly.

It howled, and I stabbed it again and again until its grip weakened and I could roll away.

But not far enough.

The click and clatter of stones behind me was all the warning I had.

I lunged to the side as it darted forward, undeterred in its hunt.

Allison threw another rock and it changed course, charging at her again.

Hot resolve flooded my veins and I leapt atop its back, driving my dagger down through its neck, leaning with all my might until the spine cracked, severed.

With the final blow, it went limp under me, the tip of its snout a hand’s breadth away from Allison.

But it hadn’t touched her.

I staggered away to my feet and with a soft cry, Allison flung herself into my arms, her sobs paining me more than my wounds.

“Imsorryimsorryimsorry,” she repeated frantically, then stepping back, she tilted her head up.

Her eyes searched over my face, looking for a meaning I didn’t understand, but something in me responded as I bent over her, drawn in by her gaze.

She slid her arms around my neck. “Ihopeyoudonthatethis,” she whispered.

I had no time to wonder what the words meant before she pressed her lips against mine.

It was as if another earthquake had struck me, shaking my very core, the sweet taste of her lips spurring an insatiable hunger for more.

 Allison was a food I’d never dreamt of, but now I cared for nothing but to consume her endlessly.

Her mouth opened against mine and I didn’t hesitate, my tongue sweeping against hers, eager for more, my arms and tail twining about her, holding her close.

Finally, my senses returned.

“It is not safe here,” I told her as I swept her up into my arms, carrying her away from the bloody remains of the gakul.

“I will bring you to your clan. And I will keep you safe. I have a plan.”

As I made my way back to last night’s camp, her body slowly softened as she fell asleep against my chest.

My mind filled with questions while I searched for a new, better place for us to set up as a base.

Where had she come from? 

How had she become separated from her people?

Like all of my clan, like every other Reaver, the history of Thaxos had been imprinted on me as a cub.

The warring cities of the Makers with their towering spires.

 Us, their created soldiers, designed and bred solely for war.

The Makers had disappeared long ago, leaving only the remnants of their armies, the ghosts of old battles weighing heavily on us all.

Never in that history had there been any creature as sweet as my Allison, nothing with her soft curves and silken skin.

Her reckless courage and quick emotions.

There was no pattern, no tradition to fall back on here.

We would have to make our own path together.

When I reached the remnants of last night’s fire, I paused.

The wise thing to do would be to wake her and build the fire up again, to leave Allison here while I scouted for a sturdy tree, tall and broad enough to serve our purposes.

I gazed at her for long moments, her dark lashes fluttering against her pale cheeks, plump lips even now enticing me.

She should sleep more, I decided. 

It was the wisest choice.

It had nothing to do with my reluctance to release her, my need to keep her close as long as possible.

Slowly, I searched through the jungle, wishing I’d spent more time here on the Horn earlier.

But the lands closer to my clan’s village were rich in game and between the training of cubs and ever vigilant watches against the encroachment of our enemies, there’d been little time to explore so far away.

Picking my way through the brush, I curved my shoulders to shield her sleeping form.

Her limbs lay limp with exhaustion, the toll of whatever had brought her here marked in her still, pale face.

Before long, I’d found what I was searching for.

A grove of jobra trees, their graceful silver trunks clustered in a circle. Shoving my shoulder against each one, they stayed solidly rooted, secure.

I walked around each tree, considering, then sat, my back against familiar bark as I waited for Allison to wake.

Finally she stirred, her eyes still closed, wriggling slightly in my lap.

My cock sprang to attention, but thankfully she didn’t seem to notice, only shifting her shoulders as if an orkin kit stretching.

Then with yawn, her eyelids twitched, and her eyes flew open as she struggled to sit up.


With a soft sigh, she sank back down in my arms, lips curved into a smile.


“I’ll have to teach you more of our words,” I answered. “But yes, things are good. Look, let me show you.”

Rising up, I placed her on her feet.

She looked around the circle of jobra trees in wonder, the smile spreading to light her whole face.

“My clan builds their homes in these trees, high above the threats from below.”

She nodded slowly, then her brows knit together. “Whataboutthesnakes?”

At my confusion, she wiggled her hands back and forth in the air.

“I don’t understand,” I said blankly.

She crouched closer to the ground, repeated the motion, bringing her clenched fist down in the same area over and over.

“Ah. The arsek.”

She nodded forcefully.

“They won’t find us here,”

I took her hand, running it against the smooth bark.

“The arseks hate these trees, every part of them. Leaves, bark and bloom.”

She didn’t look convinced.

“Do you trust me?”

Allison stepped closer, placing her hand in mine.


“I’m afraid we’re in for a long boring day.”


“And perhaps you can teach me more of your words.” I ran my finger over her lips. “Yes and good won’t get us very far.”

Her cheeks colored, and I wondered what she was thinking.

Every warrior of my clan had spent time repairing and maintaining the village.

The task before us wasn’t impossible, but it would take many hours.

“Stay here, and I’ll be back shortly.”

She shook her head, squeezing my fingers as she stepped closer.


That seemed clear enough. 

“Don’tleaveme.” Her chin trembled, just a bit.

“There is nothing for you to fear,” I promised her, but she refused to release my hand.

And while we might move more slowly, my chest swelled, pleased with having her wish to stay near me.

The early afternoon was spent gathering the long thin vines that crept across the jungle floor.

Once my arms were filled with them, we returned to the safety of the jobra trees.

Crouching down, I pulled three from the pile, fashioning them into a long rope.

“Icandothat,” Allison said quickly, teasing out her own sections, her tiny fingers flying over the work.

In no time, she had finished, reaching for another set.

“I will bring you more,” I said, slightly stunned. “Good?”

“Good,” she answered.

Before long, the vines we would need for the first stage of our platform had been gathered and it was time to move to the next task.

While she continued making long coils of rope, I went in search of the branches that would form our foundation.

Luckily the earthquake had given me plenty of options to choose from.

There was no time for hunting, but while bringing the second load of long, thick branches back to our new home, I had discovered a cluster of broula, dark red ovals hanging heavily from the bush.

Peeling one to reveal the creamy flesh within, I handed it to her.


She lay the rope down, stretching her fingers before taking the small fruit. After a quick sniff, she popped it into her mouth.

“Delicious,” she said, licking her lips, small pink tongue darting out to catch the juice from her lips.

My mind blanked even as I half-wondered about the new word.

How could the simple act of her eating affect me so?

As if in a dream, I sat next to her, peeling a second fruit.

But instead of handing it to her, I held it before her mouth.

Her eyes locked onto mine for a long moment, then slowly she leaned forward until her lips wrapped around my fingers, her tongue flicking at the fruit sending fire through my blood.

Had I thought to protect her from the dangers of the jungle?

Right now Allison, with her soft, lush body, was the most dangerous thing I had ever seen.

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