Alien Beast’s Fated Mate: Chapter Six


It did not take Drax long to fall asleep. I watched the rhythmic rise of his chest as he lay across the fire from me. Only then did I dare drop off.

Once again, I was in the blackness of the Tomb, held fast. Except the water grew warm enough to feel—and warmer. I felt my face sweat, my muscles go limp. Breathing became a labor.

Then, the sarcophagus lid pulled back. But it was neither the oracle nor the priests who drew me out, but Drax.

“I’m so hot,” I breathed.

“As am I,” he said.

We were back in the forest. His face above me, Drax yanked free the woolen cloak. I gasped at the chill of the air.

“I won’t let you grow cold,” he whispered in my ear.

Then kissed it.


He bit the lobe, making sparks shoot through me. Bit my neck. My hands clawed his back of their own accord.

Roving, his lips explored my naked skin. I felt his passage like burns.


His lips met mine. I responded, perhaps with more animal ferocity than he possessed. Arms locked around his neck, I pressed his soft lips firmly with my own. My tongue sought his. 

Never had I wanted like this.

What was I doing? This primitive—

Rough hands kneaded my breasts, pinching and massaging my nipples until I cried out into our embrace.

He pulled away. In a rough, low voice, he growled, “I will kiss you everywhere, my bonded soul.”

No! I did not want this savage—

“Yes!” I pleaded instead. How I wanted this animal man touching me everywhere, I didn’t know. 

Impulsive desire flooded me. I guided him to my secret places with my hands.

His face rasped against my belly as he kissed lower and lower.

My traitorous hips lunged to meet him, back arching.

His arms locked around my legs as his kisses plunged.

I wanted to struggle. Away from him or against him? My heated flesh yearned for his touch.

But then he vanished. 

I opened my eyes. Branches and leaves, the pale green of dawn.

When I looked across the cold fire, Drax remained bundled in the blanket. I was still wrapped in the woolly cloak. 

Dreams or nightmares?

I remembered deeply wanting Drax’s touch. My face flamed, as I was shamed by the memory. Being alone with a man was improper enough!

But it was only a dream. 

Grindi’s impatient hoof stamp and frustrated snort made me jerk awake. I sat up, leaves and dirt falling from my tangled hair as I blinked in confusion. 

Drax rose slowly beside me, his movements fluid and silent like a predator. Our eyes met, and I saw a flash of something feral in his gaze before his expression smoothed into nonchalance. 

All around us, the forest seemed to hold its breath. The snapping of a twig underfoot shattered the stillness. Then came the dry rasp of leaves brushed aside by careful footsteps. 

Another sound, then the gleam of early morning sunlight on steel. A figure glimpsed from the shadows, crossbow loaded and aimed unwaveringly at Drax’s heart.

More shapes slipped between the trees, hemming us in. We were surrounded.

In a blur of motion, Drax leapt to his feet, muscles coiled tight beneath his tunic. His head turned rapidly as he scanned the woods. 

“Stay down, Lita,” he murmured, eyes flashing yellow for an instant. “Brigands.”

My legs trembled as I tried to stand, the lingering effects of the temple’s poison still making my movements sluggish and weak. I took Drax’s advice and huddled on the ground, making myself small.

Drax’s hand went to his belt, grasping for a sword that was no longer there. Vaguely I remembered it had been destroyed when he rescued me.

He frowned, then threw himself flat as an arrow buried itself in the tree trunk where his head had been. Arrows hissed through the leaves as he crawled rapidly to snatch his saddlebag.

From its depths he drew not another sword, but a large jagged knife. He turned to me, an odd urgency in his gaze. 

“Look away, Lita,” he said, his voice deeper than before.

I turned my face into the dirt, clamping my eyes shut. I wanted to obey, but the sounds of rending fabric snapped my attention back.

What was going on?

When I found the courage to look back, my breath caught in my throat. Drax’s eyes glowed, his canines lengthening into wicked fangs. Claws tipped his fingers, and the faint spots on his face and neck had expanded into the bold rosettes of a stalking cat. 

Though already muscular, his frame grew larger, stretching his simple garments. The transformation transfixed me. No longer was he the Drax I knew, but something wild and primal from legend.

Here before me was the true beast man I’d been warned about as a child.

“Stand down!” A voice called out from the trees. “Surrender! You are surrounded.” 

“We want only your mount and weapons,” came another voice from the opposite side.

The words barely registered through my shock. When an arrow buried itself in the branch above me, I scrambled deeper beneath my cloak, heedless of the leaves and dirt. 

The temple had been trouble enough, but this? My guide was a beast wearing a man’s face. Whether he or the brigands won out, I feared the loser would be me.

Keeping the cloak wrapped tight around me, I crawled for the dubious safety of the trees. 

From behind came a roar that vibrated through my chest. Risking a glance back, I saw Drax leap into the brush, predatory grace belying his size. Arrows peppered the leaves around him, but if any found their mark, he gave no cry of pain.

Another scream tore through the forest – this one filled with agony. I did not want to imagine what horror Drax had visited upon the man. 

“Valti! Valti! Run!” came a panicked shout.

A brigand burst from cover, cloak flying behind him as he raced for escape. But Drax was faster – his claws caught the man’s hood and belt, lifting him effortlessly.

With brutal efficiency, Drax swung the struggling man into the unforgiving trunk of a tree. The awful crunch left no doubt his foe was dead.

Drax’s fanged maw opened in a snarl as he slid the jagged knife from his belt. Then he was off again, pursuing another target. He dodged an arrow with uncanny speed and vanished into the underbrush.

“No!” A different bandit shrieked in despair. “No! Valti!” 

The screams rose in pitch and volume, becoming a wail of unimaginable pain and terror. Beneath it came the horrible tearing sounds of Drax’s fury being unleashed.

In the silence that followed, I huddled beneath my bush, trying in vain to still my panicked breaths. The forest gradually came back to life – birdsong, insect whines, the impatient noises of our tethered horse.

At last Drax returned, crossing the bloody ground on two legs once more. His muscular chest heaved with exertion and dark arterial blood spattered his skin. 

Wiping his blade clean on a dead man’s cloak, he slid it home in its scabbard. As his breathing slowed, he turned his face skyward. The last visages of the beast melted away, leaving only shadows that shifted across his rugged features as he mastered himself.

Soon it was just a man who stood blood-stained in the dappled light. The same man who had whisked me away from the temple.

Drax moved silently to the nearby river. I heard him splash and wash.

“Lita?” he called, his voice now mellow and familiar.

I did not answer, only huddled smaller beneath my cloak.

He returned from washing. I realized the blood that had covered him was not his own.

My heart quivered at the thought.

“Lita, are you hurt?”

Lifting his head, he snuffed the air like the predator he was.

There was no point hiding.

Rising, I pulled back the cloak and returned to the fireside.

My stomach turned at the sight of his relieved face.

Had I really desired this creature? Even in dreams, it seemed my emotions were unthinkable. Taboo. Drax was a monster.

“Valti?” the word came to me. “What is that? What are you?”

His relief vanished and he faced away. “There is a condition. Rare among Shakai. A savageness beneath. There are remedies.”

“You’re an animal,” I breathed, risking his wrath.

“No,” he gave me a fierce look. “Not yet. I am still the master of my beast.”

It sure didn’t seem that way.

“I can use it. To protect you while we travel the wilds.”

I didn’t want to be protected by a monster.

“Even here, on this side of the Canyonlands, there is danger. Desperate brigands. Hungry beasts of great size, that would protect their territory, devour you in hunger. We have not yet crossed into my lands.”

I looked away. “You frighten me.”

He sighed.

“I have time. Time before my Valti side becomes less controllable. I would not hurt you, Lita. We are bound.”

Panic swirled through me. “I don’t know what a Valti is. I don’t know these lands. How can I trust you?”

He folded his arms. “Is it a matter of trust? Or survival? Brigands are defeated, but it is always best to stay on the move in the wilderness.”

Drax had a point. Maybe it didn’t matter if I trusted him, or his inner animal.

“Your heart knows me,” he said. “There is beauty in my homeland. Such as you’ve never seen. And peace. You need surrender to no one ever again, save me.”

Survival or not, how could I give into this creature?

“My heart doesn’t know the animal that ripped these bandits apart,” I argued.

“Your presence will calm my inner savagery. It is why we are drawn together,” he said.

“That’s a lot to put on me,” I said. “Claiming that I can keep you… you.

“More than your people trading you to a foul old man? To a temple of torture?”

At this point, I was calling it about even: fear behind me, fear before me.

“Allow me to show you a better way,” he said. “Should you refuse it, I vow to return you to your former life.”

I didn’t want that. I didn’t know what I wanted. I didn’t know what to do.

“Come. Let’s leave this place of violence,” he said. “Find a place of beauty. If you will.”

Drax was giving me a choice. Although there weren’t really any other options. 

I was deep in the woods, past the end of Terr’s lands. Grindi had brought us much farther than I could easily walk. We had encountered bandits. There were wild animals out here. 

I was a city girl.

And despite everything, something deep in my belly trusted Drax.

“Let’s get out of here,” I said.

Whatever those feelings were, I’d sort them out later.

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