Tamed By The Beast(9)

By: Grace Goodwin

“Then you die,” Engel said, his gaze narrowed and filled with a level of hatred I’d never seen from him before. It was not my intention to hurt Tia, but the beast was in control, and the beast was tired of having the same female be thrown at him over and over, despite his rejections.

I breathed hard, tried to calm my pounding heart so I could respond. “I would take her here, fuck her against the wall. I would not be gentle. I would hurt her, Engel; her presence does not calm my rage. You want that for Tia?” I asked him, my hands clenched into fists.

Tia put a hand on her father’s shoulder. “Let me speak with him, Father.”

Engel nodded, gave me a hard look, then left.

Tia remained. She walked to the side of the grav-wall and removed a small black pouch from her pocket, placing it in the slot used to pass items to me without the risk of lowering the grav-walls protective shield. She pressed a button and the small drawer slid through the wall to emerge on my side of the containment cell.

I opened the hatch and looked down to see my great-grandmother’s most beloved possession, a family heirloom that had been passed to Tia’s family line three generations ago. I knew what was inside the engraved pouch, but still, I could not resist opening the top and pouring the wealth of gold links into my hand.

I looked at it, then at her. “Why would you give this to me?”

“You are afraid you are too rough for me, that the beast within you will hurt me. It is a present, for the beast. Perhaps touching something that has touched my skin will ease your fever in some small way.”

I lifted the necklace from my palm. The small elaborate gold and graphite coils were cool to the touch, smooth. If the gift was meant to pacify me, it was not working. Nothing would work from Tia, for she was not my mate. My life would be so much easier if my beast would accept her. But he refused.

I placed the necklace back into its pouch and sent it back to Tia using the small drawer. “Keep it, Tia. When you find the mate you are destined for, neither the necklace nor your eagerness will be denied.”

“Please, Deek. At least try…” She lifted a hand to her shoulder and shrugged her gown off the side, exposing her entire shoulder, her neck and most of her breast.

“No.” My voice rose as I spoke, the beast was eager to tell her off. She was not my mate, and the beast was eager to ensure she would not return. I had no desire to waste the short time I had left giving her false hope. “We were friends as children, Tia. But I’ve been gone a long time. I am not the same man that left. And as much as I wish you were, you are not my mate. The beast can smell your desire, the wet heat of your pussy. He does not desire you. We will not allow me to touch you. I am sorry.”

Anger flared in her eyes as she tilted her chin up and I saw a flash of the childhood hellion I remembered so well. “You are so stubborn, Deek! Tell your beast to shut up and accept what is offered.”

“I can’t. It doesn’t work that way.”

“Why not? You’d rather die?”

“It’s not my choice. The beast is in control now. If my true mate is not found, if she can’t soothe the mating fever, if my beast will not surrender to her, then yes, I die willingly. I cannot live with this fever raging in my blood.”

I was prepared for death, expected it even. Tia’s shocked expression surprised me. Why should my honesty distress her? Was she expecting me to change my mind and take her out of desperation? The beast would not allow that to occur. The beast would rather die, and probably would. Warlord Engel was right about one thing… I was running out of time.

She pursed her lips as if she would say more, but she didn’t. She retrieved the necklace and watched me for a minute that felt like an eternity.

“Goodbye, Deek. I hope you find what you’re looking for. And if you change your mind, I’ve left my information with the guards.”

“Thank you, Tia. But I won’t change my mind.”

She nodded. Turning on her heel, she readjusted her dress to cover herself and walked out of sight. I knew she would not return.

What logic I had left wondered if she was truly my last chance at survival?

The beast within said no. He didn’t want her. Didn’t like anything about her. It never had.

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