Tamed By The Beast(5)

By: Grace Goodwin

“Don’t worry, Tiffani. That’s just going to install your NPU.”

“What the hell is that?” I eyed the needle with a very large sense of trepidation.

“Neural Processing Unit. It will help you learn and understand the Atlan language.”

Okay. I held still and clenched my hands so tightly my knuckles turned white. So, a Star Trek-style universal translator thing? Whatever.

The needle punctured my skin, just behind my temple and I bit down, trying to ignore the pain as the device swiftly withdrew, rotated to my left, and repeated the process on the other side.

When it moved back to its place, nestled in the wall, my chair lurched and I began to sink into a warm pool of clear, blue water.

“’Your processing will begin in three, two…”

I closed my eyes. Adrenaline made my heart pound as I waited for her to say, “one.” Waited, and waited.

She sighed. “Not again.”

My chair stopped moving and I opened my eyes to see her frowning. She hurried to a panel on the wall in the exam room as I watched.

My eyes widened in fear and confusion. “What’s wrong?”

She glanced at me quickly, then away, not making eye contact. “There’s a problem at the Atlan transport center. I’m sorry. This has only happened once before.”

Great. They didn’t want me. I knew it, could feel it deep down. My heart imploded in my chest, all the hope I’d just given free rein, hope that I’d finally find a man who actually wanted me, who thought me beautiful and sexy and desirable? Gone, and the remnants were sharp blades in my gut, made worse because I’d dared to hope for something different. “Fine. Get me out of this chair so I can go home.”

She shook her head, ignoring me as she spoke to someone on the screen, someone I couldn’t see. I could hear the voice coming through. It was a woman’s voice, but I couldn’t make out her words, only the warden’s.

“What’s going on, Sarah?” She paused, listened. “What? But that’s impossible.” Another pause. “I see. So, what does Warlord Dax want me to do about it?” I heard the growing agitation in her voice. “No, he has a mate, and she’s human. She’s strapped to the chair right now, ready for processing.” A long delay. “I can’t. The transport permissions have been automatically deactivated by the system. I’ll need new ones.” She sighed. “Okay. Give me five minutes.”

The warden said goodbye and walked toward me with her brows drawn together, her lips in a thin line. Her shoulders were tight and her steps were short and clipped, as if her muscles were so tense she could barely move.

“What’s wrong? Tell me what’s happening.” I strained against the cuffs as the warden raised her hand in a motion meant to pacify me.

“Your mate, Commander Deek, has been lost to mating fever.”

That was not what I’d expected. I assumed she’d say that my mate had changed his mind. But mating fever? “What does that mean?”

She sighed and dropped her hand to her side. “Atlan warriors are very big; they’re the largest, strongest warriors in the entire Coalition Fleet.”

My pussy clenched at her words. Oh, hell yeah, I knew exactly how big they were. “So?”

“So, as I explained, they also possess the ability to go into what they refer to as beast mode, becoming larger and stronger in the heat of battle, or when they are…”

“Fucking?” The deep rumbling growl in my ear from the processing dream, the monosyllabic conversation, made more and more sense now. Beast mode. Damn, that was hot. “So? They’re like the Hulk when he’s angry. Got it. You already told me that. What’s the problem?”

“If they wait too long to claim a mate, they lose control of their beast side. They transform and can’t restrain themselves. They’ve been known to kill their own friends and allies, men they’ve fought beside for years. At that point no one else can save them. They only recognize and respond to one person in the entire universe.”

I waited, barely able to breathe as she finished.

“Their mate.”

I relaxed, the tension draining from my shoulders. “Okay. Great. Send me to him now. That’s what the protocol says, right? If he only recognizes his mate, he’ll know me and get his beast under control.”

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