Tamed By The Beast(8)

By: Grace Goodwin

But even as I thought of the possibility, my beast growled a warning. He was not interested. He would not acknowledge this woman as his mate, would not be tamed by her presence.

“That could be you,” Engel said, tilting his head toward the other cell, then looking down at Tia with an obvious question in his raised brows. A question I could not answer. The beast chose the mate, not I, and it did not want Tia. Fucking her would not change that. For years I’d laughed at the absurd claim of other warriors I knew who’d tried to explain this fact to me. I’d ignored them, at my peril. The beast was in charge now. All I could do was sit back and thank the gods he’d allowed me control long enough to get rid of our visitors.

Tia took a step closer to the grav-wall and the scent of her bathing oil, spices and nerdera flower, enveloped me as the air filtration system pumped their combined scents into the cell.

Revulsion made my beast growl. No. I had known her my entire life, and we both knew I held no desire for her. I admired and respected her, but my feelings were similar to those I held for my sister. My beast refused to become aroused by her. In fact, he became angrier each time they appeared with the same words, the same enticements. Engel wanted me to mate his daughter. My beast would not accept her. I’d told the man many, many times.

“We’ve come to offer you a second chance,” he continued. “You will be executed in three days, Commander. Surely, we would all prefer to avoid that.”

“Second chance?” I said, my voice rough and deep, so unfamiliar to me. It was more like twentieth, but I held my tongue.

“You don’t remember?” Tia asked, her gaze fixated on my bare chest. I could not miss her interest or her arousal at the sight of my body. In fact, I could smell the wet welcome of her pussy, but my beast skulked, refusing to be tempted.

She was a tall woman, statuesque. The perfect example of an Atlan bride. Her dark hair flowed long and free down her back and her floor-length yellow gown, the crisscross of gold outlining her perfect breasts showed off both her status as a wealthy Atlan elite, and her dark coloring to perfection. She was extremely beautiful, but my beast didn’t want anything to do with her. It would be so much fucking easier if he did.

Afraid to speak, worried my beast would snap or snarl, I shook my head.

“Your beast gains more control each day, Commander. We came yesterday. Tia offers herself to you as a mate. Let her save you.”

“She should speak for herself then.” I couldn’t hold the words back, for Engel wouldn’t have escorted her if he did not have his own machinations. I just didn’t know what they were. As a member of the ruling class, he had been in charge of interplanetary shipments and supplies for more than a decade. He was a very powerful man, wealthy and well connected, a ten-year veteran of the Hive wars. Engel wouldn’t come here to pawn off his daughter, to stand by as a beast fucked her, just to get her mated. She had her choice of mates.

“Why me?”

Tia’s cheeks blushed red and she bit her plump lower lip in a move practiced and well perfected. I knew. I’d watched her tempt warriors with that look many times before I’d joined the Coalition Fleet. “I’m willing, Deek. You know I’ve cared for you since I was a girl. We have known each other for years, and I wish for this union  . I find you… attractive. We could be good together.”

Tia’s admittance surprised me, and my beast. While she may have been interested, my beast had never once found significance in her. I knew the beast’s desire would flare to life when I found the right mate, yet I never had. I’d fucked females, plenty of them, but Tia didn’t want just a hard fuck with a condemned warrior. She wanted to mate me. She wanted forever. She wanted me to give her control of my beast.

“Why me, Tia?”

“You were my best friend. It’s always been you, ever since we were young ones in the nursery. You know I followed you around like a shadow. Always. I don’t want to see you die, Deek. Please. I want to spend the rest of my life by your side, as your mate.”

My beast roared to life. “No,” it shouted, pushing to the fore. My skin tightened and the heat of the beast roared through my veins. The muscles bulged on my neck and arms and my back elongated, stretching to accommodate the monster straining to break free. I pushed him back, barely holding on to control as Tia gasped, backing away from the grav-wall.

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