“I will attempt to resolve our daughter’s place within our line quickly,” he murmured as his hand skimmed down over Terri’s belly to flatten against the swell of his offspring snug within her mother’s womb.

He could feel his mate’s shiver of apprehension and could taste fear rising only to be squashed beneath her control.

“They won’t hurt her… right?” she murmured.

“They will not,” he assured her. “Her presence is inconvenient to them because of her origins alone. My mother’s sister is most unhappy that I have mated outside of our species—something that no one else has dared to go against the council and do. But they will see your strength, and it will be as I said on your home planet: you will win much admiration. Our daughter can only be accepted as one of the line.”

Terri tucked her head against him and sighed. “I wish I could be so confident of that.”

“You will see, anastha,” he purred.

She squinted up at him. “Navesha made it sound like there was a mate already all picked out for you.”

Veral chuffed. “A true mating as we possess is uncontestable and unchangeable. Before you, any female my aunt would have chosen for me, I would have to have been injected with the hormones to trick my body into beginning a bonding process. This is no longer a concern.”

Terri bit her lip with an uncertainty that he hated to see on his mate’s face. “Are you sure? They… they couldn’t attempt to force you to mate with another by doing that, could they?”

He stilled as he felt the symbiont stir against the back of his neck. It was responding to her distress. He began to vibrate his mandibles again in a low purr, seeking to ease his mate and hopefully retract the metal slithering against the back of his neck.

“No,” he rumbled through the purr of his mandibles. “Once a mating is done, it cannot be overridden or reset with another female. Featha will be displeased for a time, but she will come to find peace with it.”

It twisted with a slight scratch of barbs that suddenly covered it for only a few seconds as Terri trembled against him before she finally sagged against him. The moment she relaxed, the barbs disappeared, and the metal slipped back into the symbiont on Terri’s forearm.

“Okay, I can do this,” she murmured against his skin.

He nodded his head from where it was rested against the top of hers. “You will be magnificent, anastha. And after we meet with the head of the line, we will have the medic brought to see you directly. Then, as soon as possible, we will leave.”

A soft sigh slipped free from her. “Okay,” she said. “I hope it will be that easy.”

Veral threaded his fingers through her hair. Lifting his head, he looked down at her as his fingers curling to gently knot the strands within his fist. Terri stilled against him, but at his gentle tug she dropped her head back to meet his eyes.

“Nothing is easy, anastha, least of all on Argurumal. But we will conquer and be triumphant against everything. There is no other way.”

Her lips twisted into a smile a moment before he dropped his mouth down to claim them with his kiss. Terri melted against him, and he slid his hands down beneath her rump to lift her up high against him. He carried her over to the sleeping platform and set her carefully upon it. Desire and love swept over him as he stared down at his mate. It held him in place until she sat up and reached for him to draw him down onto the surface with her.


Terri sighed with pleasure, her back arching as Veral’s rough hands pushed her tunic up. It didn’t take him more than a couple of minutes to divest both of them of their clothes. She felt the rush of cool air brush her skin with the absence of his body’s heat, but she didn’t even have time to object before he was once more stretched out against her.

His palms cupped her breasts eagerly and she mumbled soft encouragement as he gently gripped them, his thumbs flicking over her nipples. They were extra sensitive lately, and the action sent a tongue of lightning shooting straight down to her belly. There was a light, erotic scratch of his claws as he toyed with her breasts. He did not retract them until his hands swept lower to caress her belly lovingly for a moment before diving between her thighs.

Veral parted her legs, and one hand remained gripping one thigh as his other hand cupped her mound. Two fingers slicked down, grazing her clit as they parted her folds and pushed within her. His thumb circled her clit, sending tiny shocks of pleasure through her as he slowly began to thrust his fingers in and out of her, preparing her in a way that only a male who was now very familiar with her body knew how to do.

Her breath came out in tiny gasps as she struggled to remain in control of herself. She had no idea how close anyone else was to them and certainly didn’t want to wake anyone. Considering that she had to face his relatives in the morning, she didn’t want to stand in front of everyone knowing that they had heard her crying out in a passionate moment. She certainly wasn’t quiet during sex. They both knew that.

Hence the reason why currently Veral’s eyes were narrowed on her, a low growl rumbling from him.

“You will not hold back and hide from me,” he hissed.

A shiver ran through her, her belly clenching in reaction.

“I’m not,” she shot back. “I’m trying to hold onto a bit of dignity and not wake anyone.”

Something hot flared in the glow of his eyes and his face set into hard determination.

“There is no shame in this. Let them wake. Let them hear and know I am well bonded.”

He dropped his head, his mandibles opened at an angle so that they rested against her inner thighs as his mouth attacked her sex aggressively. His two long black tongues flicked against her slit as they caressed and dove within her. Her hips bucked against his mouth, a low cry ripping from her throat.

Tags: S.J. Sanders Argurma Salvager Science Fiction
Source: www.StudyNovels.com
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