Born of Betrayal(2)

By: Sherrilyn Kenyon



This was their graduation.

In more ways than one.

A tiny bit of regret went through her over what she’d just done to him, but she refused to let it take root. He deserved it, and more.

This is about payback.

After this, everyone would laugh at her, just as they were laughing at Fain right now. Once word got out that Fain had chosen a human over her, she would be tainted for the rest of her life. No decent family would ever accept a pledge from hers again.

With his actions, he’d damned them both.

So be it. She didn’t need a husband. She damn sure didn’t need one whose heart belonged to some human female.

And still the agony of losing him was there. An agony that would only worsen once her parents learned of this. They would be so disappointed in her.

Galene pulled her ornate veil from her hair and let it fall free. Forget graduation. There was nothing here for her, except more humiliation, and she’d had enough of that in her life. She would not go out there and be laughed at or pitied.

Fain wanted a human. She wanted dignity.

And by the gods, she would have it. From this day forward, she would never again trust in anyone. She knew better.

Human. Andarion. It didn’t matter. Sentient creatures used and they lied. And she was done with them all.

“You better hope I never lay eyes on you again, Fain Hauk.” Because the next time she did, she would kill him.





Chapter 1





I

t was all-out war.

Prime Commander Galene Batur stared at the report of the League attack on an Andarion outpost where almost two hundred civilians had been mercilessly slaughtered.

And for what?

Human vanity? How she hated their inferior species. Humans had never brought her anything but utter misery. Now they had brought her a whole new bloody war that would cost the lives of countless Andarions. Cost her the lives of her loyal soldiers who would be forced to protect their repugnant species.

How she wished she could bomb the entire human race into oblivion.

“Commander?”

She looked over her shoulder at her lieutenant commander’s call. Dressed in the standard red and black Andarion command uniform, Talyn wasn’t just her second-in-command and adjutant, he was the only male she’d ever trust at her back.

At twenty-nine, he stood head and shoulders above her, and most everyone else. Muscular and unbelievably handsome, he wore his long black hair in typical Andarion warrior fashion – tiny braids that were held away from his face by a red band. Her only complaint with him was the well-trimmed moustache and goatee he’d started wearing lately. It was a current fashion trend she didn’t care for. At all. But he thought it made him look more masculine and sexy.

As if he needed help in either of those departments.

Still, his presence caused her heart to soften. It took everything she had not to reach out and cup his beloved cheek and kiss it tenderly. But he wouldn’t approve of such open affection before the rest of their troops.

Her Talyn was always prim and proper. Always circumspect. Respectful.

“Yes?”

Talyn saluted her. “I have an urgent message for you from the royal house.”

Galene forced herself not to wince. It must be the tadara wanting information she had yet to gather about the attack.

Sighing that she didn’t have more to offer, she headed for the secured line. She placed the link in her ear before she opened the channel.

Instead of Tadara Cairistiona eton Anatole, it was Tahrs Nykyrian who showed on her monitor. Unlike his fraternal twin brother who’d been removed from succession, Nykyrian appeared human with his white-blond hair and green eyes. The only part of him that betrayed his Andarion roots was his set of fangs… along with his height and military prowess. While she might not appreciate his human half, she definitely respected his exemplary war record and battle skills.

She gave him a curt bow. “Your Highness, to what do I owe this honor?”

“I know you’re busy, Commander, and I hate to take your attention away from our troops for even a second, but I have serious business to discuss with you. The Alliance has decided that we need a single military leader we can trust to oversee our joint forces and armies as we fight against The League. Your name was the first one to come to our minds, and we are all in agreement. We’d like to offer the position to you.”

Stunned, she stared at him, amazed by the offer. “I’m honored, Highness.”

“If you need time to think it over…”

Was he serious? Who in their right mind would turn this down? This was a dream appointment anyone would kill to possess. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Galene would command the single largest military movement in the entire history of their United System of Planets.

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