Ronin Hughson shoved his way through the crowd of hostile Krystali warriors and their enchantresses. With his pack hooked over his shoulder, and freedom just a meter away, he hesitated then moved another step closer to the exit. The battle beginning behind him was one he had every intention of missing. A rarity for a Zarronian warrior who spent his life fighting and searching for his mate.Behind him, Bellya of the House of Arlyn, stood alone in the center of the room. Angry Krystalis surrounded her, determined to deliver the punishment she’d worked so long and hard to earn.
He told himself to keep going. Don’t look back. Don’t look at her. Don’t—damn, too late. His head swiveled as if he had no control over it.
She stood alone, surrounded but in no way defenseless. Still Zarronian warriors were taught to protect females and she was quite a sight. Tall and curvaceous with long dark wavy hair and soft brown eyes. Plump lips made for kissing and hips a warrior could hold onto during the most intense moments of passion.
Her chin was up and the expression on her face dared the crowd to do their worst. Although he abhorred her arrogance he couldn’t help but admire her bravado. He took another step toward freedom then with a curse he turned back. Honor forced him to stay because whether he liked it or not the blasted female was his mate!
The moment he’d seen her he’d known she was the one female in the universe who could save him. The joy, relief and excitement he’d felt had been overwhelming until he’d actually met her. She’d been rude and obnoxious and had treated him like saber cat scat.
He’d made allowances for her. Telling himself she was young and inexperienced. That they’d just gotten off to a bad start, and he needed to go slowly with her. Now, after spending more time with her, he knew she was the last female he wanted as a mate
He had six moon phases before the Zarronian mating fever blazed out of control and killed him. Bonding with Bellya would save him but he’d rather choose a warriors’ death in battle. Ironically, either choice would have him fighting for his life.
Disappointed that he’d finally met his mate and she was so wrong for him, he’d spoken to one of the starship’s doctors. Borg Veeson had advised him to wait a while in case another Krystali female drew him to her. He’d traveled from one encampment to another, meeting hundreds of Krystali females. None had caught his attention, or raised his fever a single degree. Discouraged, he’d returned to Bellya’s village.
Now, looking around he wondered if one of the other Zarronian warriors would step forward to protect her. Most of them weren’t even paying attention to the proceedings. The few who were appeared to do so only out of curiosity.
Cursing them, he watched as the crowd closed in around her. She, of course, appeared bored and put out with the entire proceedings. An attitude that increased the tension in the room. It also increased the rage of the people around her who were ready for a bit of well-earned revenge.
Sighing, he moved to within a few meters of her and prepared himself to save her.
His movement drew her attention and for a moment their eyes met. Her eyes hardened as she gave him a disdainful get lostlook then turned her back on him. He growled with anger and clenched his hands to keep from reaching out and pulling her over his knee so he could swat her delectable bottom.