Draekon Destiny:Exiled to the Prison Planet(3)

By: Lili Zander & Lee Savino



But there’s a baby involved now. I grew up without parents. I can’t repeat the cycle. My child, at least, deserves better.

I take a deep breath. “Actually,” I say quietly. “I’d like to come.”





2





Xanthox





PRESENT…


We built Felicity a house in our old camp. A little south of Lake Ang, we’d constructed a three-roomed structure with large windows. A portion of the roof was flat. Felicity had enjoyed lying there, naked, feeling the sun’s rays caress her skin. So many days, we’d climb up the ladder and find her there, her glossy brown hair partially covering her perfectly-formed breasts. She’d smile at us and beckon us forward, and in that small platform, hidden by the tree’s thick foliage, we’d make love.

How far away we are from that place now. Both physically and emotionally.

Most of my belongings are still in that house. Felicity, on the other hand, had packed everything she owned into a bag when she came here.

“Just give me a few minutes to get my stuff,” she says now, her voice vibrating with some hidden emotion.

I follow her to Dennox’s house, where we’re staying. The others are staying back to talk about the ship. Especially Luddux, who undoubtedly wants to know if Thrax found a communicator in the wreckage. He’s desperate to make contact with the outside world. “Do you need help?”

“No thanks,” she says stiffly.

I sigh inwardly. We caused this, Luddux and I. We should have been truthful with her from the start, but we’d held off on telling her what we were doing.

And it seems to have destroyed something between us.

Or maybe it was all only in my imagination. Maybe I’d wanted to be loved so badly, maybe I’d wanted a mate and a family of my own so much that I ignored the truth. Maybe there had never been anything there at all.

She pulls out her suitcase from under the bed. “Is that your luggage from the Fehrat 1?” I ask. I know that Arax and Nyx had retrieved the women’s belongings from the ship, but this is the first time I’ve seen the torn and faded box.

“Yes.” She unzips it. There are two pairs of pants—the human women call them jeans—and a few shirts. It doesn’t seem like a lot for what was originally planned to be a six-month mission.

“Is that all you had?”

Her eyes move away from me. “Yes.”

There’s a stiffness in her body as she moves to the small cupboard in the room and starts pulling clothes out of it. I see a flash of blue.

It’s a shirt, the first thing I gave her. Three months, three weeks and three days ago…





PAST…


Liorax and Zunix have been gone a very long time. The two men are restless by nature, always eager to explore this unknown planet that we’ve been imprisoned on.

I’m not as curious as they are, or maybe I’m still bitter about being torn away from my home and my estate. My family had been wealthy. We’d run the largest diarmod mining operation in Alvi. Two sectors from the homeworld, the testing had been something of a formality. No one in generations had tested positive for the mutation. It was just one of the rituals of the High Empire that every male Zorahn participated in, whether we understood it or not.

Until I’d tested positive.

Liorax and Zunix still have hope. I admire them for it. I don’t think I do. My days are routine. Wake up, hunt and fish, scavenge for leaves and berries. If I need anything that I can’t make, Zunix has a syn, and he’s usually willing to trade favors for access to it. After sixty-five years, there’s not much I need though.

We gather in the clearing. They’ll have news about their travels, and their stories will break the monotony of the prison planet for a day or two.

And then I see her. There are other women, but I have no eyes for them because I can’t tear my gaze away from the small, dark-haired woman who’s standing in the clearing, her face pinched with fear and worry. A need to comfort her fills me, a desire to wipe away the sadness in her eyes and replace it with joy.

The women aren’t Zorahn. Many questions run through me. Where did they come from? Why are they here? What does it mean? And then, it doesn’t matter. A creature stirs inside me, as if awakening from a long slumber.

Mine, it announces.

Threads of connection grow between the woman and me, between the woman and Luddux, between Luddux and I. In my mind’s eye, I see a bond form between us, and then the shackles that restrained my dragon break, and he is free.

This strange woman, whoever she is, belongs to Luddux and me, as much as we belong to her. She’s ours. She’s our mate.

And we will do anything to make her happy.

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