Born of Betrayal(4)

By: Sherrilyn Kenyon



And she would tear apart anyone who threatened her baby.

Sighing, Galene took a moment to look around the Andarion command center that had been her home since Cairistiona had overthrown her own mother and assumed the throne. Talyn had been here, at her side, almost the entire time she’d led their armada. It would be weird to adjust to a new army. A new way of doing things.

But she was nothing if not adaptable.

Okay, not really. She hated change passionately. But she liked to lie to herself about her inflexible flexibility.

Still, a whole new chapter was about to begin for both her and Talyn. She didn’t know what it would hold, but she couldn’t wait to see where it led her.

Good wind blows to all ill things.

A chill went down her spine as she remembered her father’s old saying. She only prayed that this time, he was wrong.





Chapter 2





F

ain felt his stomach shrink with dread as they dropped tether and called for the Andarion contingency they were here to pick up.

I fucking hate you, Jayne. This was why he didn’t have friends. Why he didn’t want them. Because they invariably did shit like this to him.

His brother, Dancer, and Dancer’s friend Jayne thought it was funny to volunteer him to be the adjutant for a female who hated his guts with the fire of a million suns.

It wasn’t.

The last time he’d seen Galene Batur, she’d shoved his ass into a public arena with all his business hanging out, and had locked the door behind him. Something he’d been beaten for, and not just by his parents who’d been horrified by the indecent display.

He couldn’t wait to see what Galene would do to him this time.

Probably shoot me.

If he was lucky.

If he was really lucky, it wouldn’t be in his balls.

Sighing irritably, he stood up to get it over with. There was no need in delaying the inevitable. He might be a lot of things, but a coward had never been one of them.

And it wasn’t like he hadn’t been shot before. At least this time he had on battle armor. As long as she didn’t shoot him in the head or groin, he would survive the encounter.

Physically, anyway.

Dignity… might be a problem. They were oh for seven on that one.

He hesitated by the door and pulled down a helmet so that he could add an extra layer of protection between his groin and whatever might go flying at a part of his anatomy he’d like to preserve. Though, to be honest, he wasn’t sure why at this point. Not like he had many chances to use it anymore.

Don’t go there.

Chayden clapped him on the back. “You all right, Hauk? You look like you’re about to hurl.”

Fain cut a glare toward his friend. Hurl? No…

Kill. Definitely.

“I’m fine.”

Fain’s little brother came out of the holding area to stand next to him. “I’m with Chay. You look a little green, drey.”

Fain dodged Dancer’s hand as his brother reached to touch his forehead, and barely resisted the urge to slap him. “I know you were just a kid when I ran off with Omira. But do you remember the fact that I was pledged to an Andarion female before I married her?”

Dancer’s jaw dropped. “No. I have no memory of that at all. Who were you pledged to?”

Fain faced the ramp that was lowering in front of them. “Prime Commander Galene Batur.”

Dancer’s curses rang in his ears as Fain headed down the ramp toward the one female he was sure would gut him on the spot. As he scanned the gathered Andarion soldiers, he kept the helmet carefully positioned.

Just in case.

His gaze went straight to her, as if it was drawn there by magic. Damn, was the first thought that went through his head. As with all Andarion females, Galene had been a gorgeous teen. But the adult warrior waiting on them had to be one of the sexiest, most beautiful of her kind. Because Andarions aged much slower than their human counterparts, she didn’t appear any older than thirty.

Tall, lithe, and exquisite, she was dressed in a standard red and black Andarion battlesuit. One that hugged a body made to be privately worshiped by hours of leisurely naked activities.

And often.

He sucked his breath in sharply as an involuntary image went through his mind of her wrapping those long legs around him. He hadn’t been this attracted to a female in a long time. Not since the last time he’d seen her.

Every part of him was alert and panting.

And he was twice as glad now for the helmet at his crotch. I should have worn looser pants. God help him if he had to sit down with a hard-on this fierce. That pain alone might kill him.

Focus.

Something much easier said than done.

What the hell had I been thinking or drinking when I walked away from that?

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