Alien Beast’s Fated Mate: Chapter Five


She hunched nearer the fire as I put Grindi’s brush in the side pouch and unbuckled the saddle. Afraid of me—she couldn’t hide it.

Lita, her name was Lita.  The word sang through me.

Did she know I was a little afraid of her? I took in her smooth hair, her dark, tip tilted eyes framed by long lashes. So strange to me, yet more than compelling.

The bagart wandered to the river to drink. I fetched a skin of water. There was pemm wrapped in a morgon leaf in the side pouch. I brought it to the fireside.

She made a face. “What is that?”

“Dried meat and tongue fruit in tallow. Travel food,” I said.

“No thank you.”

She could suit herself. I peeled off a chunk. 

“What do you want so badly back in that place?” A spike of fear drove through me. “Do you already have a mate, a lover?”

She laughed bitterly. “That’s the whole problem. My parents were not happy in their marriage. They didn’t expect me to be either.” Tossing a twig into the flames, her gaze followed the sparks. “I was a bargining chip, nothing more than livestock to be sold. And they found a buyer. Old and poxy, with three wives already bred and buried.”

I ached to hold her, to ease the pain in her eyes. But instead I stayed quiet, watching. Waiting for her to confide in me.

“I… I couldn’t take my father’s command. So that’s when he sold me to the temple.”

“He would marry you to such a man without your consent?” I couldn’t believe it. “Why?”

“Money. Status,” she said. “It’s the way of Terr. Families make alliances, making ties to our betters to lift ourselves to an easier life. For me, marrying a man two tiers above would have made my life leisurely. Our children would grow up wealthy, inherit their positions. At least, the boys would.”

“The girls would be like you—groomed chattel.” 

She shrugged. “Women aren’t worth more than that.”

I bit back my snarl. She was worth everything. And to be treated like that should have been a crime.

Although I had to admit strands of her story wasn’t dissimilar to my own family’s, save that she was a commoner.

Among our royals, there was much matchmaking, the maneuvering of brides or mistresses. Unions to ally against raiders, or stave off invading armies. 

Such was my state. My father was king. 

Even though I was a bastard born of his concubine, I still stood in line for the throne.

Not that I wanted it, nor was it likely I would ascend it.

“It’s late. We’ve ridden a night and day.” I spread out the bedroll.

She stretched and groaned. “I’m sore from it.”

“I have healing balm in my pack, if you would like me to massage you.”

“Massage me?” she said. “That wouldn’t. I mean, my people don’t. No thank you.”

“At least share my bedroll. The warmth will soothe you,” I said.

“I have this cloak. It will keep me warm enough.”

Her nervousness traveled through me. Or perhaps it was my own.
To have her this close, the match to my heart, set all of my nerves on fire.

Closing my eyes I focused on my breathing, willing my body to calm, to resist the urge to wrap her in my arms.

Such soft skin. What would it feel like under my hands, my lips?

What gentle moans would sound through the night as I explored her body, learned every place that made her quiver, tasted her desire?

Sleep was a long time coming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to my Update List!