Authors: S. E. Smith
Tags: #fantasy romance, #science fiction romance, #alien romance, #shapeshifter romance, #abduction romance, #dragon romance, #alpha romance
Melina’s gaze dropped as she thought about
the question. Before they were rescued, all she thought about was
trying to stay alive. Now, all she felt was confused. A part of her
wanted to go home, yet there was another part of her that wanted to
explore this new world. In many ways, she was afraid that if she
returned to Earth she wouldn’t fit in there any more than she did
“What will we do when we get home?” She
asked softly. “What are we going to tell everyone?”
“We’ll go back to the farm. If anyone asks
us where we’ve been, well, we’ll just say we’ve been exploring the
universe a little,” he replied with an easy grin. “They don’t have
to know that it is true.”
“People... Won’t people think it strange
that we just disappeared?” She insisted. “I mean, isn’t it unusual
for me to be in school one minute and gone the next?”
Cal set his cup on the small table next to
his chair and rubbed his chin. “It might, but there had been a lot
going on. The farm was paid for and I had set up the bills to be
paid automatically. Your Nana and I had a bit saved up and with the
life insurance policies and settlement from the accident, there was
more than enough to cover all the expenses for the last four years.
We don’t have to explain anything to anyone, Mel. I’ll just tell
them that I thought it best to take you away for a bit. No one
needs to know anything else. The less said the better.”
“Okay,” she said, glancing at the door and
thinking of the two men. “So, they want to muscle me up?”
Cal’s laugh echoed around the small bay.
“Yep, they think you are too delicate and fragile for a boy.”
Melina’s lips curved into a mischievous
smile. “I bet they’d be surprised if they knew the truth.”
“Well?” Cree demanded the moment Calo walked
out of the doors. “What did he say?”
“He said he didn’t think Mel was ready to be
trained to be a warrior,” Calo said glumly, watching as his brother
straightened from where he had been leaning against the wall. “He
also said that they were hoping to return to their world.”
“Dragon’s Balls!” Cree hissed, glaring at
the closed door. “My dragon is getting impatient.”
“Yours? Mine wanted to tear the crates apart
where Mel was hiding,” Calo retorted. “It isn’t helping having our
symbiots in there rubbing up against him. I swear every time he
touches them it is like he is stroking my skin. I think the damn
thing is enjoying torturing me and my dragon.”
“Mine, too,” Cree muttered. “Try talking to
the old man again. If he still doesn’t agree, I’ll talk to
“You mean threaten?” Calo said with a shake
of his head. “All that will do is get you a face full of Pactor
dung from our mate.”
“Then, we’ll just take him,” Cree said. “You
distract the old man, I’ll grab Mel.”
“And have Carmen and Creon both trying to
kick our asses? Ha’ven did offer to have Bahadur send us a
warship,” Calo replied. “We could always take Mel back to our home
in the mountains.”
“There is just one problem with that,” Cree
“What?” Calo asked in exasperation.
Cree leaned back against the wall again and
stared at the door. “We’ve promised to protect Creon’s mate. With
the recent attacks on the Royal House, we cannot leave,” he
Calo opened his mouth to argue when his
comlink chimed. “Speak,” he growled.
“I need you and Cree in the conference
room,” Creon snapped.
, they both thought at the same
time with a grin.
It is good to know we are not the only
ones having issues with our mate,
Calo thought with a grin.
Yes, but at least she has accepted
Cree replied dryly.
“We are on our way,” Calo responded into his
Creon looked up as Cree and Calo walked into
the conference room off the bridge of the
turned and nodded grimly to them both. They bowed their heads in
acknowledgement and moved to each side of the door.
“We will be arriving on Kardosa soon. Carmen
wants to see the Spaceport,” Creon stated, glancing at where Cree
and Calo stood near the door. “I promised her she could. Ha’ven and
I are going to speak with some informants that we have previously
dealt with. I need both of you to make sure that she is protected
at all times.”
“Always, my lord,” Cree said, bowing his
head. “Has there been any word of the other women?”
“Not yet,” Creon replied quietly. “We do
know that they live. My brothers would know if… if their mates had
“We are at your service should you need our
help in tracking them,” Cree stated.
I won’t leave our mate unprotected,
If we are sent, my symbiot stays by his
Cree responded, glancing
briefly at Calo’s stubborn, tight face.
Are you alright?
It is my dragon,
is getting harder to control him and he is being very
Mine as well,
we get back from the Spaceport, we will try to see Mel again. This
time, we go together.
Calo nodded his head. A sense of
determination settled over him and his dragon. It was time to push
the issue. They were running out of time. He had always been the
easier going of the two of them, but now his own dragon was
refusing to wait any longer.
his dragon snarled.
wait no longer.
You are not the only one who is
I’m just not sure how this is
going to work.
his dragon snorted.
not look close enough. It work.
Maybe for you,
Now, be quiet. I need to concentrate on the
You not look close enough,
grunted out once more before settling down to focus on the symbiots
that were with Mel.
Mate is beautiful.
Goddess, help me,
Calo growled before
he tried to shut his dragon off.
Calo grimaced when he felt both his and
Cree’s dragons rumble. He glanced at his brother. Cree’s face was
blank, but he could feel Cree’s frustration mirroring his own.
Maybe they would get a chance to kill something when they got to
the Spaceport. He could do with a bit of violence right now.
“Melina, how would you like to get off the
ship and see a real, live alien Spaceport?” Cal asked the next
Melina paused from where she was cleaning
the bucket from Hobbler’s breakfast to stare in disbelief at her
grandfather. She straightened as he walked over to her. She hadn’t
seen him this excited in years.
“Zuk needs to pick up a few things and has
invited us to accompany him,” Cal said. “I thought it would be a
great opportunity to get out and see a bit before we return
“I… do you mean it? What about…?” She paused
and touched her hair, which had grown out quite a bit. The dark
curls threaded through her fingers. “I won’t have to cut it, will
Cal’s eyes softened at the worried look on
Melina’s face. “No, child. Just put it up. Wear some baggy clothes
and your hat. You might have to, you know.”
Melina blushed when her grandfather waved at
her unbound breasts. She nodded and turned back to her makeshift
bedroom. Squeezing between the crates, she reached the center of
them where a wide, square space opened up. She had pulled blankets
in to make a bed on the floor and had decorated it up with the
items the symbiots had brought her. On her pillow was the Teddy
She reached down to wear some of the clothes
that Calo had given her. She fingered the soft material. The dark
blue top swallowed her thin frame. She quickly removed the shirt
she was wearing and picked up a long piece of fabric.
The material wasn’t as soft and felt rough
and unfamiliar against her breasts as she began winding it around
her chest. She grimaced as she tightened the material until it
pressed her as flat as she could get. Once she was done, she tucked
the end under the overlapping material.
Picking up the blue shirt, she slipped it on
over her head. It hung almost to her knees. She was wearing a pair
of black pants that were rolled up several times at the bottom so
she wouldn’t trip over them. The boots she had on were from the
mines. The Tiliqua had small feet like her. The boots were wide
though, and she had to stuff the sides to make them fit.
She quickly pulled her hair up and knotted
it on top of her head before grabbing her floppy hat. It was the
one thing she had left from before her capture. It had been her
Nana’s gardening hat.
She glanced around to see if there was
anything she might have missed. She didn’t want to admit she was a
little disappointed that Cree and Calo’s symbiots had left earlier
and not returned. She figured the gold circling her right wrist and
was surprised when a wave of warmth swept through her along with a
vision of the two men.
A blush darkened her cheeks as she realized
this was the first time she had seen them as adults in her mind.
Cree was frowning, but Calo said something that brought a small
smile to his face. She stroked the golden symbiot on her wrist and
was startled when Cree’s cheeks flushed and he closed his eyes.
Biting her lip, she closed her eyes and
concentrated on his face. She continued to gently rub the gold. A
piercing pain swept through her strong enough to make her gasp.
Instinctively, she knew it was what Cree was feeling. Her fingers
fell away from the symbiot bracelet, breaking the connection.
“Mel, you ready? Zuk is here,” Cal called
Melina was glad her grandfather had called
out that warning or she would have answered him. Pulling the hat
lower over her face, she turned and scooted out between the crates.
Taking a deep breath, she gave a short nod.
“Let’s go,” Cal said. “I can’t wait to see
my first Spaceport.”
Cree stood in the back of the lift while Calo
stood in the front. The doors could open on either side and they
wanted to be prepared if anything should happen, not that it was
likely with so many warriors inside. He was still reeling from
feeling Mel’s touch earlier.
When he first felt the tentative touch,
shock had ricocheted through him. In all honesty, he expected to be
repulsed, not feel an intense shaft of pain caused by need. He had
never been physically or emotionally drawn to another male before,
but there was something about the human that called to him as much
as it did to his dragon and symbiot. He wanted to protect and care
for him with a driving ache that had turned to a physical pain.
It took a moment for him to realize that
Calo had hissed out to him. He glanced up in confusion. That
confusion disappeared when he heard what Carmen was saying.
“Mel and Cal are meeting up with us. They
both need some supplies, and it will give me a chance to spend some
time with them. Mel still won’t come near me. He seems to be
curious about me, though. Cal wants to see a real spaceport. They
have been locked up for the past four years, then on the
. I think it will be good for the both of them to get
out. It might help Mel, too,” Carmen was saying.
“He better not attack anyone, or I’ll leave
his ass here...” Creon responded.
We should have left my symbiot with
I thought he was going to be safely back
on the Horizon.
Carmen said he was meeting up with her.
Perhaps this will be our chance to get closer to him,
I… I felt him reach out to me this morning.
Silence met his statement for a moment
before Calo responded. He could hear the touch of uncertainty in
his thoughts along with curiosity. He also heard the longing in
What was it like?
Cree thought before he
focused back on what Carmen was telling her mate.
“He won’t. He’s always kept his distance
when I visit with Cal. I know he understands what is going on as he
listens in to our conversations. I think he is just young and
scared.” Carmen was saying. “Don’t worry. I’ll have Harvey and the
Bobbsey Twins with me.”
“One of these days,” Cree muttered under his
breath from behind her.
Low laughter filled the lift as it began to
slow. Cree and Calo scanned the corridor of the Spaceport. It was
busy with traders, scouts and whatever else the star system could
spit out. Shops and traders lined each side of a winding corridor
that encompassed several layers both up and down.
They spent the next hour exploring the
different vendors. Both he and Calo kept scanning for Zuk, Cal and
Mel. They hoped they found them soon. Both were beginning to worry
as they climbed upward to the next level. It wasn’t until they
turned onto another corridor, two floors up, that they felt a wave
of relief. They both sensed they were getting closer to their
Cree glanced at Calo. Both of their symbiots
had transformed into large Werecats earlier and were trotting
beside them. The beasts were extremely dangerous and intimidating
with their long, sharp gold fangs and flowing manes that shifted
and changed with their movements. In the face of the group of
massive warriors known for their ability to shift into dragon,
skills in fighting matched by few in the star systems, and with the
added opponents of the deadly symbiots, a living metal that
harnessed tremendous power, few dared to stand up to them.
Except for a small human with a shovel
full of Pactor dung,
Cree’s lips twitched at his brother’s
observation. He couldn’t deny that. He had run when Mel had lifted
the damn stuff at him, too. He had to give their mate credit for