Page 19 of Alien's Temptation

Chapter Nine

Angie

I woke up later, having no idea how long I’d slept. It hadn’t been a deep sleep, more like I was in and out, listening to what was happening around me, trying to understand what the Nakkoni were saying. But my head hurt, I was feeling dizzy, and I could barely make sense of their words.

“Angie,” Thev whispered in my ear. “We’re here.”

I opened my eyes and saw that it was dark. Three moons were in the sky, and they offered plenty of light. Thev set me on my feet, and I did my best to stay upright. The pain that shot through my calves was indescribable. We were standing before the large mouth of a cave, and more light poured out of it.

“I thought this was supposed to be a secret place.”

“It is, simply because almost no one comes to Sorahan Island.”

That didn’t make much sense to me. Thev left me there and went to talk to the Nakkoni, who’d already stepped inside and were holding torches. So, that was where the light was coming from.

“We’re not the only ones here,” one of the lizard men said.

Thev nodded. “Do you want to back down now?”

It was a challenge, and it worked. Both Nakkoni puffed up their chests and declared they were going in. They drew their weapons, and Thev did the same. He turned to me, and I could see he was about to ask me to stay behind. I was having none of that. Plus, looking around me, the landscape didn’t seem very friendly. There was an eerie, ominous feeling in the air, and I had no intention to wait for them here.

“She’s coming with us,” one of the Nakkoni said.

Thev didn’t protest, and I was grateful we didn’t have to argue about it. He probably thought I wouldn’t be safe here on my own, too.

“I was certain the pirate would be in space, with his ship,” the other Nakkoni said. “You don’t seem surprised, though, Zokunian.”

Thev shrugged. “I don’t know anything. I just hoped he wouldn’t be here. But if he is, and his crew is here, too, it doesn’t bother me. I can take all of them.”

“You sound confident.”

Thev fixed him with a dark, intense gaze, and I found that it even made me shudder. “You know where I come from. But do you know what my people can do?”

The Nakkoni swallowed hard, and I hated to say, but I was with him. It was just a flash, but I hadn’t seen this side of Thev before. Maybe I was imagining things. My head was on the verge of exploding, and I wasn’t thinking straight.

We went in. The Nakkoni led the way with torches, and Thev and I followed them. I couldn’t believe we were all working together. The lizard men had kidnapped me, and they had yet to suffer any consequences. I glanced at Thev’s profile and wondered who he actually was and what his people could do. What had he meant by that? Or had he merely tried to scare the Nakkoni? I was in over my head, and I understood so little of what was happening. At least my bindings were loose and just for show. That was how I knew that Thev was still loyal to me.

We walked down a long, dark corridor, until we reached an opening. We stepped through it, and before us, a large cave opened up. Its ceiling was high, it was well-lit by torches, and intricate rock formations decorated its walls. But neither of those things was truly impressive. Not compared to what lay in the middle of the cavern.

Piles upon piles of riches. Precious metals, jewels, vases, coins of all shapes and sizes, and even statues and paintings propped against the walls. It was as if I’d stepped into a fairy tale world. My mind immediately went to the story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Except it had been really easy to enter the cave. No one had had to utter any magic words.

And among all those precious things... a woman.

The second Thev saw her, he ran to her. The Nakkoni stared, not understanding what was happening, and I gently stepped away from them. I knew who she was. Thev’s sister. She looked like him, too, with green skin, copper-colored tattoos, and tusks poking out of her mouth. She was unconscious, lying on a pile of coins. She didn’t seem to be tied up, but I could see a pool of blood growing around her head.

“What is this?” one of the lizard guys said. “Who is she? Another Zokunian?”

“She’s my sister,” Thev said.

“You deceived us!”

“What does it matter? Load up on whatever you want, and let’s get out of here.”

The Nakkoni sheathed their weapons and did just that. They started stuffing all they could get their hands on in the huge bags they had brought with them.

Thev was trying to wake his sister up. He called her name and gently patted her cheeks and her forehead. I went to kneel by his side and discreetly got rid of the rope around my wrists.

“I have some essential oils in my backpack. If they’re still there...”


Tags: Cara Wylde Science Fiction
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