Draekon Destiny:Exiled to the Prison Planet(2)

By: Lili Zander & Lee Savino

Why not stop, you ask? It’s like binging on a full pint of Haagen-Dazs. You know you shouldn’t eat the entire container, and you know it’s a bad idea, but let’s be honest, has that really ever stopped you?

Even now, there’s probably something I could say to Harper that’d make her feel better, but it’s easier to ignore her.

She sits down and eats her food in silence. I lapse back into thought as I continue preparing my fish, cleaning the scales, salting and seasoning the meat, and then smoking them dry.

My mates and I sleep in separate rooms now. It’s been a little over three weeks since we had sex. Back in the old camp, Lud and Xan had tried to heal the rift between us, but they don't anymore.

If we were back on Earth, I'd have moved out into my own apartment, and we’d be officially separated, starting divorce proceedings.

But I'm not on Earth. I'm stuck on the prison planet, and I’m useless here. I don't know how to hunt for myself. I don't know how to grow crops, or mend roofs, or do any of these survivor-type things that the other women seem to be able to do so readily. All I can do is cook.

For three weeks, I’ve been in limbo, letting things drag out, being quietly miserable without doing anything about it. Until this morning, when everything changed.

I track things obsessively. I know exactly how many things I own, how many days I’ve been here, and, perhaps most importantly, how long it’s been since my last period.

I’m three days late. For most people, that wouldn’t be anything to worry about, but I’ve always been as regular as clockwork.

I'm pretty sure I’m pregnant, and I have to make a choice. Stay or go?

“You’re quite good at that.” I’m wrapping the fish in leaves and carefully counting how many packets we have—forty-four today, and three hundred and twenty-three overall—when Harper’s voice startles me.

“I cooked in a seafood restaurant in Maine,” I mutter.

“I didn’t know that,” she replies. She’s trying to be friendly, but I have no idea why. “Do you miss it?”

Let’s see. Do I miss being an indentured servant to my aunt, uncle, and cousin? Do I miss being told daily how worthless I am, and how much I owe them for giving me a home? Do I miss working long hours in front of a hot stove, only to see my meager wages being taken away for room and board?

“Not really.”

She eyes me curiously. “Are you happy here, Felicity?”

No. I’m freaking out. I’m pregnant, my mates are barely talking to me, and I have no idea what I’m going to do.

I’m about to reply with something bland and non-committal when there’s a commotion in the clearing. A large dragon touches down, and he’s carrying something in his claws.

No. Someone.

Everyone comes running out of their homes as Thrax, one of Ryanna’s mates, shimmers back to his human form. Except he’s not human; he’s Draekon. Two-legged form, I guess. Whatever. I’m more interested in the man slumped on the ground, bleeding from multiple wounds.

“After I dropped off food for Beirax, I flew south-east,” he explains. “And I came across a shipwreck.” His expression is grim. “Six people. Only one was still alive.”

Arax folds his arms over his chest. “From the High Empire?”

Thrax nods, and Arax’s expression tightens. “And so it begins.”

Vulrux is kneeling next to the man Thrax rescued. “He’s not going to make it,” he says tensely. “He’s losing too much blood. My herbs and potions aren’t going to work. At best, I can keep him alive for the next day or two.”

Lud steps up. Even now, even after everything, my heartbeat quickens when I look at his curly brown hair, his sapphire blue eyes, his tightly-muscled body. “Dariux’s med-kit,” he says. “I’ll fetch it.”

“Will Dariux cooperate?” Arax asks, turning to Olivia’s mate Zunix. “You know him best.”

“Who can tell?” Zunix shrugs his shoulders. “It’s worth a try. He might be hard to find. Both of you should go.”

Xan nods, his golden-caramel hair glinting in the sun. “It might take us a few days,” he warns. He looks at me, his eyes hooded. “I suppose you’re going to want to stay here, Felicity?”

He might as well have stabbed me through the heart.

I don’t fix things. I never do. That would involve making myself vulnerable. That would involve facing the cold, hard truth. Admitting that the only reason they ever wanted me was because of a mating instinct, because of biology, because they wanted to be dragons. Admitting I’ve always loved them more than they loved me.

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