He looked at me and shrugged. “No. But I will take you to my father as a gift and let him decide.”
“I really can’t trust you...” I was disappointed.
“You should go, if you want to go,” he said. “Go with the Zokunian.”
“Why would you let me go now, when I’d be such a nice gift for your father?”
“You helped me carry my brother. That, and I’ve seen what he can do.” He threw a quick glance at Thev, then averted his eyes. “I don’t want to end up like the Widians. I got what I wanted, and it will have to be good enough. I won’t step foot again on Sorahan Island.”
Oh God, I was really left with only one option. I had to go with Thev.
I stepped away from the Nakkoni’s ship, figuring out he would want to leave as soon as possible. I turned to Thev, shook my head, and closed the distance between us. He wanted to reach out for me but stopped himself. He didn’t know if he was allowed to touch me.
There was nothing that I craved more than his touch. I was glad he’d come for me. He was here even if I’d rejected him. He hadn’t abandoned me.
“Will you take me to the Hub, like you promised?”
I furrowed my brows, but that was when he fell onto his knees and scurried closer to me.
“Angie, I don’t want to take you to the Hub. I don’t want to buy you a ticked back to Terra. I want to take you with me, to Zorran. I want to take you to my kingdom and make you a princess. My princess. I want to show you my home in the deep, green forest. I want to wake up by your side every morning, and I want to count the stars with you at night. Angie, you are my mate. We are fated to be together, and that’s why we found each other. I’ve been looking for you, waiting for you... I thought I’d never find you. I will not become a priest. I want to become your man.”
I realized that I was shaking. There was a knot in my throat, and my eyes stung with tears. Once again, I kept them at bay. I didn’t want Thev to think he’d just upset me, when in fact, I was happy beyond words.
No one had ever declared his love to me in such a sincere, direct way. No one had ever looked at me like Thev was looking at me right now – like I was the only thing he wanted in this world, the only woman for him. And it felt... amazing. To know that I was desired with such force. To know that this man wanted to take care of me and offer me a life I hadn’t even dared to dream.
I nodded, not trusting my voice to speak.
He beamed at me. “Yes? Is that a yes?”
I nodded again, and a tear slipped down my cheek.
He jumped to his feet and placed his big hands on my face.
“Angie... My Angie, don’t cry...”
“I’m crying because I’m happy,” I choked out. My voice didn’t sound particularly sexy right now, but there was nothing I could do about it.
He frowned. “I thought crying meant...”
“No. You can cry when you’re happy, just as you can cry when you’re sad. I’m happy now. These are tears of happiness.” I smiled up at him. Granted, my smile probably didn’t look sexy, either. I was a mess. And I needed a shower.
But Thev’rar didn’t care. He leaned in and captured my lips in a gentle kiss.
My eyes fluttered close, and I tilted my head and parted my lips to give him access. I wrapped my arms around his neck, and he wrapped his arms around my waist and lifted me. My legs instinctively went to hook around him. He held me like that, ravishing my mouth for a long, blissful minute. When we parted, he looked into my eyes, and I saw so much tenderness there that I knew I was doing the right thing, for once.
“Take me with you. I want to be a princess,” I giggled.
“Okay, yours. A life of ease and luxury... that’s what you’re promising, right?”
He nodded. “You won’t have to lift a finger. I’ll make sure you have everything.”
“That sounds like a better deal than I’d get if I returned to Earth.”
“Zorran will be your new home.”
We kissed again, and he carried me to his ship. I was grateful, because I didn’t think I could walk another step.
He made sure I was comfortable in his cabin, where I could wash and eat, then slip into his bed. As I drifted to sleep, we took off, and I didn’t even care enough to get up and take one last look at Sorahan Island. I was glad to have escaped it, and Reazus Prime, at long last.