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Loved by the elite comma.., p.3

Loved by the Elite Commander, page 3

 part  #1 of  Intergalactic Guardians Series

 

Loved by the Elite Commander
 


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  I moved closer to her, placing my hand over both of hers. “Everything will be fine, my sweet female. K-Vik is here to heal your wounds.”

  “You won’t leave me?” she asked, her gaze lifting to mine.

  “Never.”

  I turned and saw that K-Vik was staring at Marcy intently. It wasn’t the look of a male who was thinking intimate thoughts. More like he was curious. His gaze skimmed over her then settled on her chest before sliding over to stare at mine.

  “Your hearts are beating as one,” he said. “How long has she been in your quarters, Elite Commander?”

  “Does it matter?”

  “From a scientific and medical standpoint? Yes. With an Elorian female, it takes a day or more before her body would sync to her mate. Humans are still a mystery to us and I’d like to know what to expect if more Human females come aboard and mate with the males,” K-Vik said.

  “Other females?” Marcy asked. “You’d be willing to have more Humans on your ship?”

  “Only the females,” I said. “We can hold at least a dozen, maybe more. Are there others in your settlement of childbearing years who might want to leave X-2?”

  She blinked at me, opened her mouth, then shut it again. “Childbearing years? Mates were mentioned, and I know your people are in need of children, but I didn’t realize it was a requirement.”

  “Yes. The males of my world need mates so that we won’t become extinct. There hasn’t been a female birth in a very long time. Our people will die out if those of us still capable of breeding don’t find a compatible mate,” I said.

  Marcy paled and trembled more. I didn’t understand what I’d said that had frightened her. Was childbirth overly painful for Human females? Or did she not want children for some reason? We hadn’t exactly had a chance to discuss much of anything. Our bodies had reacted and it had been difficult to focus on anything other than claiming her.

  “I don’t think I can have children,” she said.

  “Impossible,” K-Vik said. “Your body wouldn’t have responded to the Elite Commander if you were unable to carry his offspring. The mating heat is all about procreation and ensuring the survival of our species. The fact your hearts are beating in time tells me that the process has already begun.”

  “Then it’s wrong,” she said. “I’ve never gotten pregnant.”

  “You have a Human mate?” K-Vik asked, frowning as he stared at her with uncertainty.

  Marcy looked away, but not before I saw the pain in her eyes. I’d done some reconnaissance after arriving on X-2 and knew the Human males didn’t treat their females well at all, but I wondered how bad the abuse had been. The way her body curled in on itself, it was almost as if… she was ashamed? Why would my mate feel shame?

  “Marcy, what did the Human males do to you?” I asked.

  “What they do to all of the women,” she said. “We’re forced to serve them in whatever capacity they demand.”

  She wouldn’t meet my gaze so I reached out and grasped her chin, turning her face toward mine. My sweet mate had suffered much at the hands of the Human males. I remembered the marks on her body. I’d thought them unusual at the time, but now I wondered if they were bruises like the one on her foot. I reached for her hip and lightly caressed her through the shirt, then touched the dark marks encircling her wrists.

  “The Human males did this, didn’t they? I had thought they were unusual markings, but they’re bruises, aren’t they?” I asked. “They’re similar to the mark on your foot, but the coloring is different.”

  “Yes,” she said softly. Tears gathered in her eyes and slowly slid down her cheeks. Gently, I gathered her against my chest and held her. To have survived such horrors only proved how strong Marcy was, even if she didn’t realize it. She was a survivor.

  I would gladly make every Human male on X-2 pay with their lives for having touched my female and for hurting the others. The Human females might be similar to us in some ways, but it was clear their males were monsters that should be exterminated.

  My gaze met K-Vik’s and I saw the same fury I felt. The Humans were abusing their own females, while there were many races that would give anything to have females of their own. They were no better than the slavers who had captured them.

  Forcing a female was brutal and unforgivable. If an Elorian had ever committed such a crime, he would have been tortured and eventually put to death. The leaders of my world would never allow such an atrocity to go unpunished. Females were to be cherished and protected, not harmed.

  “Gather the males,” I told K-Vik. “Send J-Ril to me and have the others wait in the mess hall. It’s the only space large enough to speak to them all at once.”

  “Yes, Elite Commander, but perhaps I should check your mate’s wounds first?”

  I shifted so that he could get to her feet. K-Vik cleaned the cuts on her foot before sealing them, then checked the other one. He assured me the bruise wasn’t as deep as it looked and Marcy would be fine.

  “It might hurt for her to walk for a few days while she heals,” he warned. “It doesn’t mean she can’t walk, only that she might experience some slight pain or discomfort. I’d like to have her lie in one of the medical pods so I can do a thorough scan. If we’re taking her and the others off this planet, they’ll likely need to be vaccinated.”

  “Right now, I think she needs rest,” I said.

  I could tell K-Vik was going to argue. His jaw tightened and I heard him grind his teeth together.

  “All due respect, Elite Commander, but you don’t have medical training. Your female needs a thorough scan, especially before you complete the mating bond.”

  I knew what he was alluding to. If there really was something wrong with Marcy, an illness that would take her life, or if something was causing her inability to have children, then it was best to know that before tying my life to hers.

  I already knew it wouldn’t make a difference. The way I felt when she was near, feeling our hearts beat together, was enough for to know I wanted to make her mine. Children were a blessing and crucial to my people, but I wouldn’t be the first male to take a mate who couldn’t produce offspring.

  “Will it hurt?” Marcy asked.

  “The medical pod?” I asked.

  She nodded, her gaze on mine.

  “No, it won’t hurt. At least, it never hurt when I used it. I have never placed a Human inside of one, so I can’t really say for certain, but if it makes you uncomfortable, you can tap on the lid and we’ll open the pod.”

  “Would you care to see one?” K-Vik asked. “I’d be happy to give you a tour of our med clinic, including the pods. Our technology far surpasses that of your people, even the ones still on Earth.”

  “I can go see the clinic, but you won’t make me get into a pod?” she asked.

  “If the pod scares you, then I won’t ask you to use it,” I said.

  K-Vik started to protest, but I silenced him with a glare. Marcy had been through enough. The last thing I wanted to do was frighten her. Her settlement was primitive. Even more so than the images J-Ril had managed to gather of her home world, Earth. The Human settlement on X-2 didn’t have running water, much less hot water. No lights or a way to regulate temperature. I didn’t know how such fragile creatures had survived, but they’d managed. Somewhat. I still wanted to wipe out all the males.

  Macy hesitated only a moment, then tried to get off the counter. I didn’t want her exposing herself to K-Vik, so I lifted her then set her down. She clutched at me, gripping me tight as she glanced at the med tech. For whatever reason, she trusted me, and had obviously trusted J-Ril if she’d allowed him to bring her here.

  I didn’t know why she was hesitant with K-Vik. The male had always been kind to everyone, and I’d never heard him raise his voice in anger. He would probably make a better mate than most of the males on board, including me.

  K-Vik noticed Marcy’s reaction and slowly backed out of the way. He let me take the lead down to the med clinic
with Marcy clinging to my arm. She stared at everything, eyes wide with curiosity, but didn’t ask questions as we made our way through the ship.

  I wondered if J-Ril had already told her about our vessel when she’d come on board. I still needed to speak to my first in command and find out more about Marcy and how she’d come to be on the ship, and in my quarters. A little warning would have been nice so I didn’t frighten her.

  The med clinic doors opened as we approached, and I led Marcy inside. K-Vik gave her a brief tour, telling her what different items were, but I could tell she didn’t really understand. Not having much in the way of technology, I knew everything would seem miraculous to her. When we neared the pod, she tensed a moment. K-Vik opened the top and let Marcy peer inside as he gave a brief explanation.

  “There are invisible lasers built into the lid, the sides, and the bottom. You won’t feel a thing as they do a full body scan. The information they obtain will appear on a screen on the lid. The readout will tell me about any outer or inner issues with your body, including vitamin deficiencies or major problems, and whether or not they can be repaired. The pod can do surgery, heal minor cuts and bruises like your feet, and administer any needed vaccines through a mist you would inhale. If you become too anxious, there’s also a way to keep you calm, or to even make you go to sleep if a surgical procedure is needed.”

  “Would you like to lie down in the pod and see how it feels?” I asked. “We can leave it open.”

  Marcy nodded and I lifted her into the pod. She tugged at the shirt, and her cheeks flushed when she noticed K-Vik staring at her legs. I punched the med tech in the arm. He offered a quick glare, but averted his eyes from my mate’s legs. I held Marcy’s hand and let her study the pod.

  She trembled a little as she looked around the enclosed space and I noticed her breathing increased. I wanted to ease her fears, but I wasn’t certain how. The pod wouldn’t hurt her, and in fact could save her life.

  “Would you let me close the lid?” K-Vik asked. “The pod will notify me if your heart rate increases and I could administer the mist that will calm you. I really do think a scan would be in your best interest, and the pod would be able to repair your feet instead of waiting days for them to heal.”

  “All right,” Marcy agreed softly.

  I kissed the back of her hand, then released her. I stayed close so that she could see me through the window on the pod lid. As it closed, I saw panic flare in her eyes, but K-Vik was quick to administer the calming mist. It only took a moment before Marcy relaxed, and then the med tech began the scan. We already knew about her poor feet, but was there anything else wrong with my mate? And could it be healed?

  The pod scanned Marcy. It wasn’t a quick scan, but an in-depth one that took a while. When it was finished, the pod let out a trill of notes before the readout lit up. K-Vik studied everything the pod had detected, a frown tugging the corners of his lips and his brow furrowed. When his gaze lifted to mine, I braced myself for whatever bad news I was about to receive. The look in his eyes didn’t bode well.

  “She’s malnourished, which I would expect, and there are a lot of vaccines and vitamins her body requires,” K-Vik said.

  “There’s more,” I said. “You never make that face unless it’s something bad you don’t wish to share. What’s wrong with Marcy?”

  “There’s trauma from her abuse, and something she’s likely not aware is present in her body.”

  I tensed. “What do you mean by ‘something’ in her body?”

  Was my mate wrong? Had she conceived and she was unaware there was a baby? I didn’t know how I felt about my mate being pregnant with another male’s child, especially an abusive male. Logically, I knew it wasn’t the child’s fault, but I also didn’t want my mate to look at a baby every day that might remind her of the men who hurt her.

  “It’s small. Smaller than her small, flat teeth. If the pod is correct, and it usually is, then someone has inserted something into your mate that has altered her hormones to a level that has kept her from reproducing. I have no idea how such a thing could have been done without her knowledge given the lack of technology on X-2.”

  So, not a child then. I felt relief, then I was immediately ashamed of myself. Any child would be a blessing on my world. To wish away an innocent life was inexcusable.

  “Can it be removed? Will she be able to have children if that thing isn’t inside of her?” I asked.

  “It can be removed, and I believe her hormone levels would change and permit her to carry offspring. At the moment, there’s no way to tell how long that would take. The pod can also reverse the damage done by the males who have abused her, and heal her feet. There’s a parasite affecting her body as well. It’s slowly poisoning her, but I can have it removed and she’ll heal.”

  “How long will she need to remain in the pod?”

  K-Vik studied the screen again. “I will have to put her in a sleep stasis for several Elorian cycles, which is approximately one week on X-2, in order to remove the parasite and anomaly, heal the damage done to her body, and ensure that she’s ready to be fully mated. Thankfully, I do not see anything that would require a major surgical procedure.”

  I stared at my mate, and hoped she would forgive me for making this decision for her. I gave K-Vik a nod and he administered the mist that would put Marcy to sleep, then pressed the sequence that would trigger a sleep stasis for however long it would take her body to properly heal.

  I had been without a mate this long. Waiting a few sleep cycles to claim my Marcy was a small thing. I only hoped that she’d forgive me when she woke.

  “I’m going to speak with J-Ril,” I said. “Take care of my mate, K-Vik. I’m entrusting her into your care.”

  “Yes, Elite Commander.”

  I stalked out of the med clinic and went in search of my first in command. I found J-Ril in the command center, feet propped on the edge of the control unit as he lounged in his chair.

  When he saw me, he immediately shot upward, rising and giving me a slight bow. “Elite Commander. I apologize.”

  “Care to explain the Human female in my quarters?” I asked as I claimed my seat.

  J-Ril gave a slight smile. “I take it she was to your liking? As much as I wanted to claim her for myself, I thought it more fitting to see if the two of you were a match.”

  “The mating heat was triggered, but she has some medical issues. K-Vik has put her into a sleep stasis in one of the med pods. When she’s fully healed, he’s to notify me.”

  J-Ril’s mouth turned down at the corners. “Will she be all right? She seemed healthy enough.”

  “I have a feeling any Human females we find on this planet will have trauma that will need healing from the abuse they’ve suffered at the hands of their males. Marcy also had a foreign object in her body that was altering her hormones. Until it’s removed, we won’t know what it is, and it’s possible we may never know how it was placed inside of her. She seemed unaware of its existence, as she was concerned she’d never conceived. She also has a parasite, which might be present in the other females.”

  J-Ril’s eyebrows lifted. “She has never carried young inside of her, but didn’t alter her own hormones? Do you think the males did that to her?”

  “Anything is possible, but I doubt they would care if she became pregnant. If she had a female child, it would just be another for them to use and abuse later. I don’t think it was the males. Perhaps a female who was close to her and wished to protect her?” I suggested. “Then again, as primitive as the Human settlement appears, I have to question where they would have obtained such technology.”

  “Maybe her mother did it,” J-Ril said.

  “Possibly. I’d still like to know where the object originated.”

  “We need to get more of those females away from the Human males. And those who wish to stay should feel safe. The only way to make that happen would be wiping out the Human male population, at least those old enough to do harm. Perhaps t
he younger ones could be retrained.”

  “I’ve already considered it,” I said. “I would gladly torture and kill every one of them for harming my Marcy.”

  “I’ve been watching them since we landed. The males patrol when the sun sets and again when it rises. I’m not sure what they’re looking for, but they go out in groups of three or four. We could easily take some of them out during a patrol, but it would alert the others to an issue and make it harder to reach them,” J-Ril said.

  “Send L-Sar, J-Tav, and your brother, X-Ril to study the Human settlement. Tell them to watch for any patterns inside, as well as any times the females may be more vulnerable and in need of immediate rescue. Perhaps we can pilfer some of the females before launching an attack. As pathetic as the Human males seem to be, I wouldn’t put it past them to use the females as shields.”

  “I’ll see that it’s handled.” J-Ril paused before leaving the command center. “I’m glad that Marcy was your match, and it gives me hope that the other females might be true mates for other males on board. Elora has hope again, K-Tan. No matter what happens, make sure that you and your mate make it safely off X-2 and back to our home world. The Elorian people need the two of you.”

  I gave a nod and folded my arms, staring at the control panel as the weight of J-Ril’s words settled on me. As the only Elorian male with a true mate young enough to have children, I was now my world’s only hope for survival. But that survival would be short-lived if we didn’t obtain other females who were true mates to my people. My children alone couldn’t repopulate our planet.

  I closed my eyes and sent up a prayer to the gods. They’d gotten us this far. Maybe the Elorian people would finally have the miracle we’d needed for so long.

  Chapter Three

  Marcy

  When I next opened my eyes, the pod was open and I felt different. A good kind of different. I stretched languidly before sitting up. The med tech was seated nearby and glanced my way, offering a smile.

  “I’m glad you’re awake,” he said.

 
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