Aloyce hated this time.
She hated this time with a fiery passion that filled her up to near exploding. She hated that she had to experience slavery in the freaking future!
Why was this allowed?
She hated that she knew Kori was beating himself over her abduction. The look in his eyes when she was snatched from him haunted her when she was able to close her eyes and actually sleep. She hated the future. It sucked royally.
She learned all she needed to know about this world from another prisoner. What the slavers called a Caget, a mutate, or Saa; as was his name he told her. He was tall and svelte and the color of dark chocolate if you ignored the odd triangular patches of soft, white fur that striped his body. Instead of ten digits he had eight clawed ones. A wild, natural mohawk of snow -white hair topped his otherwise bald head. This matched the rather inquisitive white tail from the end of his spine. He had pointed teeth and very feline eyes the color of saffron. He was exotically gorgeous.
Aloyce also learned why they kept calling her an Exotic and Kori a Hik, when they interrogated her about why she was with one. For months or cycles she’s been berated and abused and then abandoned as she refused to be broken. She gave as well as she got. When she got a busted lip they suffered by having those fingers bitten almost in half. Her dad had taught her to stand up for herself and Saa loved her for it. He told her in that strange almost purring accent of his about how he had yet to see anyone stand up for themselves in this hell hole.
She hated Avians.
They were cold and arrogant and thought they were better than everyone and everything. It was an Avian’s fault she was suffering like this.
As sleep gradually faded from her, her body was quick to remind her that the past turn really happened. She was aching all over and either burned or stung in key places. She probably wouldn’t be able to walk right for a couple of turns.
Saa was suffering.
She knew he was.
In the few cycles they got to know each other she knew he would never do anything like that freely.
Tears prickled her swollen eyes, her throat was raw from all the screaming she had done. The Avian had given them tainted food after starving them for a couple of turns. Some drug he was experimenting with turned Saa against her…causing his body to betray him. She saw it in his eyes while he tried to fight it. He lost, but apologized before committing the act.
The grogginess vanished as a deep rumbling started at her back and then vibrated through her. Arms tightened around her before she finally felt his rough tongue licking at some unseen spot on her body.
Saa trapped her scream behind his hand, his reassuring purr faltering for a moment as her fear filled him wholly.
“Ah’m so sorry, mina…”
His voice was soft and piteous. He couldn’t help but hate himself for not being stronger. They had made sure he would go after her by dousing her in the pheromones of a female Caget in heat…how they got that he didn’t want to know. His kind couldn’t ignore instincts…it ended badly when they tried.
Her trembling only made him feel worse. Before this, he would never have hurt her, she was strong and he respected her for being able to stand up for herself. But now, she was afraid of him.
Saa didn’t blame her as he looked her over. Her body was covered with claw marks, bites and bruises. Had it been the way he wanted…he would have been far gentler…
Saa held her tightly, watching as the deeper wounds he had tended to earlier while she slept reopened as she struggled to get away from him. The smell of her blood fanned his ire. Deepening his hatred at the cause of this atrocity.
The Avian would die and by his claws, he had a plan and as arrogant as Avians were he knew it would work. They would leave this place, if not both of them definitely Aloyce. She didn’t need to suffer this hell.
He winced as she did when his rough tongue touched one of many slices in her flesh. “Know it hurt,” he purred watching her eyes flutter in pain. “But it fastest way to heal you.”
His purring was attempting to put her back to sleep and it was working. She just laid there in his arms as he continued to lick her, listening to his apologies in-between. Then he stopped and carefully turned her over. Her body resented this despite his care and she winced. She wasn’t sure how to feel when he cringed with her, how to react to seeing the pain he reflected.
“Ah sorry, Aloyce…”
She simply looked at him.
“A… Ah never leave you,” He mewled. She swallowed while watching his face; his slitted, yellow eyes searched hers.
She sighed, did he think because she was a virgin that he had to stay with her? She was terrified of him still, she hoped that would fade, Saa was a good guy, but he wasn’t the guy for her. What was done wasn’t binding… at least as far as she was concerned.
Her lips pressed together making a tight line. Her hand slowly rose to hover in front of his face. He started to pull back slightly, but made himself still. If she was going to slap him he wouldn’t stop her.
She pressed her hand to his cheek and watched as his large eyes shut tightly.
“I-I’m sorry … for-for being afraid of you.” Her voice was barely a whisper, but he heard her clearly from the reaction he gave.
He whimpered pitifully before turning into her hand and licking it.
“I-I’m tired, Saa.” Her throat burned from the small sentences.
His saffron eyes locked with her brown ones, “Sleep, mina. Rest.”
Saa watched her close her eyes.
The crack of bone woke her.
Aloyce popped up ready to run and she regretted it immediately as her body pained her. Mutely she watched a slaver fall next to her after Saa punched him in the jaw.
“Saa!” she started hoarsely, surprised at the sight. Two slavers were down and a third one was scrambling toward the open cell door. The Avian was less than five feet away from her, his gore covered hands tightly holding what she could only guess were his lower intestines. His tunic was crimson with blood and she unconsciously pulled further away in confused fear, what in this world was going on?
Saa pounced on the escaping slaver turning as his mate finally woke. He gave her a toothy smile, “We leave this place–.”
The slaver he was sitting on screamed bloody murder only to be silenced as Saa extended his claws and pushed them through his throat.
Her eyes widened as blood spurted up onto the tattered shorts Saa was wearing. He cursed in his own tongue, knowing that the scream would bring more. Saa watched her face; there was no going back for her now. Aloyce was now welcomed with bloodied arms to the reality of life here.
Saa turned to face the dying Avian.
He had pretended to be suffering from a seizure after arranging the previously sleeping Aloyce to look as if he had killed her during their… encounter. The Avian assumed that his drug was the cause. An incapacitated mutate couldn’t possibly be dangerous.
“Stay back, mina.”
The Avian gurgled something and then raised his head with whatever strength he could muster.
“’Mina’ is she?” His pinched angular face smirked at the Caget that brought him down. “The mutate truly cares…for… his Exotic mate?”
Saa said nothing as he stood over the Avian observing him with his head cocked to one side. Trying to decide whether or not to finish the geiirt or let him die slowly. But just as he realized that the Avian was no longer bleeding as much, yelling could be heard up the hallway, the only way out.
“Umm.” Aloyce started as the slaver nearest her moaned.
The Caget turned to see this and walked over; he quickly slashed his claws across the poor man’s throat. He turned at Aloyce’s gasp. She couldn’t pull her eyes from the amount of ruby liquid that gushed from the man’s neck.
“Ah won’t let them hurt you… will always protect-.” he whispered before heading over to the other slaver.
“Don’t believe …it girl…he’s savage, like all …all mutates…”
“And Avians?” She added. The dying man glared at her.
There was no time for a retort as three other slavers ran into the room and one was armed.
Saa yowled as a bolt went through his thigh. He hit the floor hard causing Aloyce to scream making herself the next target.
“Kill the girl, I don’t need her,” The Avian snapped from his seat near her, his voice stronger than it had been a moment ago.
Saa’s eyes widened as the slaver took aim at her. She fell back against the far wall her fear hitting a level she didn’t even know there was.
Saa got up quickly ignoring the burning in his leg as he plowed through the new comers. The armed slaver was able to shoot but his aim was thrown off when Saa crashed into him.
Saa froze, his heart stuck in his throat, his own fear making it hard for him to turn and see what new damage was done to his pretty mate.
She hid her face behind her hands, but the scent of her blood sent him into a new rage. He attacked the three slavers without pause.
Trembling, Aloyce looked at her hands as she pulled them away from her. Her blood, thickly, colored one.
She could have died. That bolt would have gone through her head instead of cutting her cheek. If Saa didn’t react like he did, she would be dead.
She would have died.
Her hands dropped from her face. The feeling was intense as it filled her.
Saa was knocked to the floor and just as he was about to jump back up something made him pause. There was a sudden change in the air before it suddenly heated up. He remained on the floor.
Eerie, yet fanciful curls and points traced their way from Aloyce toward the men. They scorched the walls and floor in coal black tattoos as their random patterns stretched out-wards. They burned black paths through the pooled blood before reaching the slavers and the Avian. Their screams filled the air as their flesh and limbs fell away in cauterized chunks. The lines turned to leaping flames as they reached the wooden floor boards beyond their confinement.
Saa looked at her, unconsciously smiling. Those burning lines had made a perfect circle around him as he remained still. Her pretty brown face now sported a strange tattoo of curled lines on her cheeks, right beneath her eyes.
“Let’s get out, mina.”
She nodded mutely.
The night was filled with cries of freedom and revenge.
The place that they had been caged, be it turns to cycles, was gradually going up in flames as former slaves were freed and the slavers were either being attacked or organizing themselves to recapture their prizes.
Saa carried Aloyce as far as he could before his leg gave out. But he didn’t stop; he dragged the both of them into deeper shadows.
“Saa…you’re bleeding…” her raspy voice still needed time to recoup from the abuse she suffered the previous turn. Despite her concern for his welfare it still pained him more to know that he was the cause of that suffering.
He propped her up against a wall. He could feel her exhaustion as if it were his own. He knew then that she had never used her ability before; the drain would fade with use. Saa raised her face to look into her dark brown eyes; she was having a hard time focusing.
“Ah fine, mina. Worry not for me.”
Aloyce couldn’t concentrate, she couldn’t think simple thoughts she was so tired. The night was filled with running and screaming and she knew some of it had to do with her freeing as many slaves she could on their run out. She shuddered, she had killed them. It didn’t bother her as much as she thought it would, but she didn’t want to do it again. The Avian on the other hand…
“Mina…Aloyce.” Saa patted her face causing her to focus on him. “Stay awake, ‘kay?”
Aloyce shook her head. It was freaking awesome to find out that she had a super power, but it sucked that it pretty much sapped all her energy.
The smell of smoke was getting stronger and the sound of fighting was drawing closer as well. She sighed, she couldn’t make it without drawing attention to Saa, she was a liability in the state she was in now.
Saa felt her worry and looked at her concerned. “What, Aloyce?”
“You’ll get caught trying to carry me—.”
He shook his head disregarding her words, “Ah not leave you, Aloyce.”
“I can barely walk, Saa…and you’re injured–!”
“Ah NOT leaving you, mina!” He growled. He stared into her eyes unable to resist touching the raised skin on her cheeks symbolizing her ability. She was going to be surprised by her own natural tattoo next she saw her reflection. “Ah can’t leave you,” He said softly. They stared at each other for a minute the world muted around them.
“Why?” Aloyce whispered her eyes glittering with new tears.
“Cuz you’re my mate—,” He didn’t want to talk to her like this, not about something that needed a well rested mind. She needed to understand what it meant to be mated. At the moment she was exhausted from over use of her ability and this was only going to make her overly emotional.
“That wasn’t mating, it was forced…neither wanted that…,” tears started to fill her eyes as she recalled the bits and pieces of the previous night.
“…Ah did…,” he put his hand over her mouth as her eyes went wide quickly. “Didn’t want it that way, mina. That was wrong.” He waited till the shocked horror faded from her eyes. He swallowed, if she had just been another Caget this would all be so simple, life would be normal. But she wasn’t and that night happened.
“I don’t understand, Saa. You said you were sorry…that the drug made you…”
He sighed, “Yes. The drug triggered my nature to mate. Not normal. Ah still two orbits too young for that, but…,” he looked away from her. “What is done is done,” He caressed her face, feeling the raised lines that adorned her cheeks.
Big fat tears rolled down her face, but she was no longer miserable as waves of anger rolled off her.
“You just give in? Just like that? You won’t fight it?” She bared her teeth at him not knowing what it meant to him. He shook his head at her, “Aloyce, you too tired—.”
She shook her head back at him, “We are NOT mated, Saa! Understand that! I didn’t choose this and neither did you! We can change this! You don’t have to be stuck with me… don’t tell me that —!”
A strange yet sharp growl and bark cut her off abruptly. He reigned in his anger as fear filled her eyes. He patted her face tenderly, “It hard to explain to hiborn.” He took her hand and put it over his chest. “This is yours. Now and forever. We not just have … sex, mina. We mated. Ah bonded to you…though … you not to me.”
She wanted to scream! She just couldn’t understand that he had no choice but to go with what was decided for him.
“And you’re fine with this? Being mated to a lousy ‘Exoan’?” She panted, catching her breath was becoming harder for some reason and she was sitting down!
“You not lousy, mina!” He was going to lose it with her; she was supposed to be resting, “And ah told you ah love you before….”
“Loved my strength! Not me! You don’t love me! I’m not a Caget!”
Saa’s face moved in to hover centimeters from hers, shutting her up in surprise. His saffron eyes stared into hers before he kissed her; long and deep.
“Ah not mind,” He said against her mouth. “Ah always be yours.”
Aloyce just remained silent, the kiss still searing her inside and out. It was one she would remember.
“We need to go, mina,” He purred against her jaw line, smiling as her anger dissipated altogether. She tried to stand up and her legs gave out surprising them both. He picked her up and then swung her onto his back. His thigh burned but he ignored it. Almost half a shift later found them standing in front of a towering wall. A wall that more than likely encompassed the whole compound.
Saa was dizzy, the wound in his leg was worsening and the blood loss was taking its toll. His tongue hung out between his teeth as he forced himself to continue. It was assured that by now the main gates had been closed and this wall would have been no problem for him to climb over by himself, but his mate…
Before it registered that her hand had come up in front of him; delicate lines and curls formed on the wood before him growing quickly into a large circle.
The circle suddenly burst into flames and her arm fell flaccidly over his shoulder.
Voices behind him joined with running filled him with renewed urgency to free himself and his mate. He attacked the circle before him. He kicked at the fire cut exit. Putting all his energy into be free.The wood didn’t budge at first and then as he pushed against it, slowly it slid out. They were free. He couldn’t help but to pause for a moment as the scent of the woods a mile or so away hit him. It’s been two orbits since he was caught and now…
Saa almost fell as Aloyce’s weight seemed to become more. Exhaustion was kicking in now that he was on the other side of the wall. Aloyce was out cold and he wasn’t faring much better. The world spun slowly around him and he took two steps before something grabbed him and lifted him up. He didn’t get the chance to see what it was before blacking out.