“This is ridiculous,” Remi spat. “I can’t believe how stupid most of creation is. To think that in this day and age, BDSM is still misunderstood.”
He and Anniel watched images projected within a glowing orb toward the front left corner of Anniel’s living room. Alluna sat at a glossy white table that slid out from one of the walls. Anniel had set out one of her fuchsia and metal chairs so Alluna could sit comfortably and taste the array of food Zak had sent up for her.
A holographic projection of Anniel sat next to her with a big smile. She was supposed to ask the hologram what everything was, but she felt strange talking to something she knew was a projected computer image.
“Is everything to your liking?” holo-Annie asked brightly.
Alluna toyed with a plump fruit called strawberry
“It would be better if Zak were here with me,” Alluna muttered turning her head to stare out the thick glass wall that held back space.
Where did he go? Was he leaving her? Perhaps she shouldn’t have told him of the sleeping dragon in mama’s dungeon. What if he tried to rescue the beast and mama found him? Mama would trap him and the others.
With a sigh, she looked down at her pendant. How strange he couldn’t see it. None of them could from what Alluna could tell. They didn’t even think it was strange.
“Eat more, Alluna.”
The deep voice startled her. She looked up into sapphire eyes. Zak occupied the place holo-Anniel had before.
With a squeal of joy, she jumped into his lap, throwing her arms around his neck. Alluna took a deep breath, sighed, and then stiffened.
Something wasn’t right.
“Hey, no fooling around with the hologram,” Remi laughed.
Alluna leaned back to look into Zak’s smiling face…only it really wasn’t Zak. The body beneath hers felt like a vibrating form. Alluna was sure if she pressed hard enough she could push her fingers right through him.
With a horrified gasp, she scrambled away. Holo-Zak just looked at her, his dimples bracketing his grin.
“Th-that’s creepy,” she whispered with a shiver.
“Alluna, come over here a sec,” Anniel beckoned.
Grateful for the excuse, Alluna backed away from the smiling hologram to where Anniel and Remi were.
“Have you ever seen this person?” Anniel asked.
Alluna peered into the wavering orb. There were five strange beings sitting at a semicircular table speaking amongst themselves. She recognized the blue skin coloring of one of the males and an orange-skinned female sat next to him. Next to her was another creature. Alluna couldn’t tell if it was male or female. Its head was large with big muddy-colored bulbous eyes and wavering tentacles where its mouth should be. Next to that was a reptilian looking creature and next to that one was another being that looked like an overgrown cat.
“The screen behind them, Alluna. That’s the Northern king of Arboria,” Remi pointed. “Have you ever seen him before?”
Without even looking, Alluna knew her answer. She never left the tower room and the only people she ever saw had been from far, and they were the peasants from the nearby village. Still, her curiosity made her study the regal man on the monitor behind the aliens. He sat on an intricately carved chair and had a wreath of golden leaves around his bald head. His skin was very dark and his eyes blazed like hammered gold. Zak was muscular, but this man was so large, he barely had a neck and Alluna doubted he could lower his arms much from the muscles bulging out from his sides. Leather pants and soft looking shoes covered him from the waist down leaving his torso almost bare. Over his chest, he wore a metal shield held up by leather straps.
Alluna shook her head. “I’ve never seen him before.”
“He claims to be your father,” Remi told her.
Alluna frowned. Father—it was one of the new words she’d learned about. She tilted her head to the side staring at the regal man on the monitor. He had contributed genetic material for her conception? Where had he been all her life? She felt confused, and her head began to throb.
“It’s getting late,” Remi sighed.
“Well, we didn’t find anything out, but I guess Dev, Zak and Seth will fill us in on what’s going on down in the hangar.”
“I’m going down there. Rowie’s escort should be here any minute. Need to see my girl.”
Alluna watched as Remi disappeared in his usual flashy fashion.
“You barely touched anything, Alluna,” Anniel smiled turning back to the glowing orb. With one finger, she turned the orb and the images changed.
“Where’s Zak? I want him. Is he going to abandon me?”
“Why would you say that, cutie?” Anniel frowned.
Alluna turned away, wringing her fingers. “He’s so… I’m… I just…”
“Hey,” Anniel’s arms going around her shoulders had Alluna gazing up into her pretty face. “He’s just a guy.” She smirked. “Okay, a big hunky guy, but he’s real. He was helping Remi get Rowie back by supplanting one of the Teus brothers.” Anniel rolled her eyes. “It’s a long story, cutie. He’s an overnight success, but he hasn’t changed from the sweet Zak we all know and love.”
Sweet? Alluna found Zak intense, bossy, passionate…but sweet?
“I guess you need to get to know him a little better,” Anniel sighed as if reading her mind. “Zak is a push-over. He deems himself this big tough Dom, but if you know how to push his buttons the right way, you’ll have him wrapped around your finger like this.” Anniel snapped her own fingers with an evil grin.
“Push his buttons?”
Anniel laughed out and tugged Alluna toward the couch. “Girlfriend, me and you need to have a real heart to heart. Some serious girl talk, if you know what I mean.”
Alluna plopped down on the couch next to Anniel. The girl folded her long legs underneath her and with a wave of her hand had a bowl of brown congealed mush floating over to them.
“Nothing like chocolate ice cream for this occasion. Have some.”
She pushed a spoonful into Alluna’s mouth. It was sweet and very cold, but Alluna found she liked the taste and smooth consistency against her tongue.
“Zak was a big slut before you came along,” she sighed with a frown. “I’m not going to try to cover things up. He’d go out with the guys, and he was the only one who always brought back an array of females with him to the space station. He was never satisfied with just one.”
Alluna gulped, her eyes going round. She knew it. Zak would never be satisfied by her. Alluna bit her lip and lowered her eyes, reluctant to allow Anniel bear witness to her shame.
Anniel’s finger beneath her chin had her looking back up. “Until you came along.” Anniel frowned. “When he came back from the tour, I felt a change in him. He became more aggressive during training sessions, he was quiet during meals, and if it weren’t for Seth’s insistence, I think he wouldn’t have gone out to strip clubs anymore.” She muttered something under her breath about how disappointed she was with Seth, but Alluna thought about what she’d said about the clubs.
“S-strip clubs. They are where humanoids go to see others remove their clothing and dance.”
Anniel tilted her head to the side. “That’s right. Rem said you’ve never been out of your tower room…never so much as saw others.”
“I saw mama,” and the vampire, and the dragon.
Anniel pursed her lips. “You’ve missed out on a lot. Rowie’s coming home today. Seth and Devon want us to keep training, but afterwards, maybe later on in the evening, we’ll all go out to our favorite hang-out to celebrate Rowie’s integration back into the family.”
Alluna looked down at the simple white tunic Anniel had given her to wear. She was so much smaller than Anniel.
“Have you and Zak ever kissed?’ Alluna asked.
Anniel’s smiled waned. She let out a puff of breath. “Alluna, we all love each other. Some people find our love immoral…at least the way we love each other. I’ve shared kisses with Zak, as well as with Remi and Devon. Let me show you something.”
Alluna watched Anniel rise and walk to a built in shelf unit by the console where the orb with the images glowed. She took a small, clear, crystal and walked back to Alluna. Placing the crystal orb in her palm, she tapped it three times and an image unfolded before them.
Anniel and Rowie seemed much younger. They laughed and ran toward the gleaming lake in the enviro-level of the space station, tearing their clothes off as they neared the shimmering waters. Both girls dived in, resurfacing with a gasp.
“Oh, yeah,” Anniel moaned, smoothing her hair back. “After all that training, this is heaven.”
“What happened to Devon today?” Rowie said shaking her dark hair back from her face.
Anniel rolled her eyes. “I think he had a fight with the mega-bitch.”
Rowie frowned. “Between you and me, I really can’t stand Lillique.”
Anniel snorted. “You and everyone else.”
“Poor Dev. He’s sooo…” Rowie sighed and then shivered.
Anniel grinned. “He’s drop-dead gorgeous.”
Rowie giggled with a shake if her head. “You’ve known him for such a long time. How is it that you didn’t snag him for yourself?”
Anniel’s grin faded and she suddenly looked sad.
“Hey, if I’m getting too nosey just tell me to butt out,” Rowie apologized.
“No, honey,” Anniel shook her head and caressed Rowie’s cheek. “It’s okay. I…”
Devon ran out from the foliage, chest heaving, and sobs choking him. He looked like a boy, maybe younger than Seth. Devon took one look at the girls wading in the lake and ran away. They gave him chase, calling out to him.
Alluna’s heart pounded and had she been there, she would have run after him too. There was something horribly wrong with seeing Devon so distraught. Something that beautiful should never be so upset.
They found him around a bend in the lakeshore. Anniel turned him to face her and gasped in shock at his bruised face.
“Dev, what the fuck?” Rowie sputtered cupping his cheek.
He winced when she ran her thumb across the blood trickling from his lip.
Alluna’s heart tightened in her chest looking at the reddened handprint on his swollen cheek and scratch marks across his throat.
“That’s it. I am going to kick that bitch’s…”
“She’s gone,” he blurted. “S-she left me.”
“Well good,” Rowie spat.
“Still wanna kick her ass. Look what she did to you…again,” Anniel snarled.
Devon hung his head. “I deserved it.”
“Bullshit,” Rowie snapped.
“No,” he cried. “Luke took me with him to… Heaven’s Pearly Gates.”
“Oh, Dev,” Anniel shook her head.
“That’s no excuse to beat the shit out of him like this,” Rowie roared.
Devon shook his head. “Luke gave me Liquid X. I couldn’t stop…”
“Oh, like she doesn’t fuck around either,” Rowie insisted.
“Doesn’t matter now. She packed her stuff and left,” he said in a quiet voice.
“Forget that stupid bitch,” Anniel said turning his face to hers, her hand caressing the side of his face.
“That’s right. Come swim with us.” Rowie began undoing the closure to his uniform.
He looked dazed, but he allowed both females to undress him.
Alluna’s eyes grew round as she watched them uncover every inch of a young Devon. His black hair moved with the breeze, his blue eyes glowed as his cheeks flushed. His body was also mottled with bruises and the girls began kissing each one. He gasped and then moaned at their attentions. They pulled him into the water and began taking turns kissing him on his mouth.
Alluna found herself turned on by the sight of each female fisting his blue-black hair to turn his face and ravage his lush mouth. He sat completely submissive to them, allowing them to kiss him passionately.
She shivered, wondering what it would be like to be the recipient of hungry kisses like that…to sit between two male bodies and have them devour her mouth with that much hunger.
Strong fingers wrapped around her palm, making Alluna startle.
She gazed up into Zak’s sapphire eyes and was in his lap a second later pressing kisses all over his face.
“Such enthusiasm,” he sighed, his hand cupping her bottom. “Annie showing you home movies?”
Alluna leaned back and realized he had Anniel gripped by the back of her neck and was pulling her closer.
“Just explaining to her how it is with us,” Anniel smiled.
Zak looked at Anniel briefly and then stared at Alluna. “You’re aroused. Watching Row and Annie kiss Dev turned you on.”
Alluna felt herself blush. His eyes looked deeply into hers before sweeping down her body. Alluna shivered and sucked in a breath when she realized her tunic had disappeared.
Instinctively, she drew her hands up to cover herself, but Zak gripped her wrists. “No,” he said.
Alluna whimpered, her eyes darting to Anniel.
Anniel chewed the corner of her lip. “Zak, you need to go slower with her.”
“Is that what you want, Alluna,” his deep voice rumbled. “Slow.”
Alluna swallowed. She wasn’t really sure what she wanted.
“Annie, take your top off,” Zak said never taking his eyes off Alluna.
One brow lifted with a snort. “What for?”
“Just do it… or have you become bashful too?” Zak drawled rolling his eyes at her.
Anniel hesitated, but then she put her hands on the hem of her black tank top and pulled it over her head.
Her breasts spilled free, making Alluna’s eyes go round. The mounds of flesh were very big and her nipples were dark. Anniel’s arms were molded with muscle as well as her abdomen. She looked powerful and beautiful. Alluna hunched her shoulders and pouted.
“She thinks she isn’t pretty,” Zak growled.
Anniel gave Alluna a shocked look. “No way.”
“Way,” Zak replied.
“But that’s silly. Look at yourself, cutie. You’re like a little doll.” Anniel stroked a finger across her cheek. “So soft and sweet.”
Alluna looked at her breasts and then Anniel’s. The other girl was much bigger, her satiny skin darker. She looked like a goddess with her auburn locks and hazel eyes.
“Mama…mama always said…” Memories of the disgusted looks mama would cast Alluna when her breasts grew flitted through her mind, as well as the sound of her laughter when Alluna told her about the hair that had grown between her legs and under her arms.
Zak wiped his fingers over her cheeks, making Alluna realize she had begun to cry.
“You’re beautiful, and you’re mine. Your mother was sick and disturbed and I don’t want you to ever think of all the bullshit she stuck in your head. Do you understand me, Alluna?”
Alluna nodded. “Y-yes.”
Seth was being a pain in the ass. More than anything, Zak wanted to bend Alluna over the back of Anniel’s fuchsia couch and bury himself balls deep. Her low self esteem pissed him off as well as the painful memories he saw in her head. There was something odd about her mama
. Maybe it was just the way Alluna remembered her, but the woman looked more like a man trying to pass as a woman. Zachariel, you can screw your new girl silly later—
Seth insisted. It’s time to train.
Zak pulled Alluna to him and kissed her. “Don’t cry anymore, baby. Did you eat?”
“Good. Later on you’ll tell me what you liked.”
“I like chocolate ice cream.”
Zak chuckled. “Do you now? I don’t remember having sent that up.” He looked pointedly at Anniel who was grinning guiltily.
“You got me,” she laughed lifting her hands in surrender.
“I want to be the one to spoil her,” Zak growled trying to look stern. Anniel only smirked at him making him want to tweak one of her nipples in retaliation. “Let’s show her what’s good for her health wise first. Chocolate ice cream isn’t exactly a good breakfast choice.”
“Oh, boo, Zak,” she said crossing her arms under her enormous boobs.
Zak grinned and tweaked her nipple anyway.
He teleported to his rooms just as she squeaked in surprise. Zak—
Seth snarled. Give me a few minutes, damn-it—
Zak answered telepathically in exasperation.
He sat Alluna on his bed, and after making sure she wouldn’t fall face first on the floor, he popped out of his bedchamber and into Remi and Rowie’s. He really needed to get Alluna accustomed to teleporting without getting dizzy…as well as her own clothes.
He rifled through Rowie’s belongings and finally grabbed one of her training uniforms. He could feel that she was already aboard Alpha 7.
Zak grinned feeling himself grow hard. Yes, Remi had her sequestered in her Viper getting reacquainted with her body. Devon was feeling the sexual charge too and wondering if Seth would mind him taking a few minutes of alone time with Angel. Seth was snarling.
Zak snorted, but then felt sorry for the poor little fuck. Seth was hung up on the celibate reaper, Amaranth. They’d had a brief thing while he’d been on tour with Draconius Imorteus. Seth had thought Amaranth would renounce her vows and stay with him, but the girl felt she had a true vocation as a demon slayer. Seth had been left heartbroken.
Zapping back into his rooms, Zak found Alluna lying on her tummy. She looked so lost and sad, it made his heart ache. He let his mind touch hers and felt her anxiety at being left alone.
“So fragile,” he sighed.
She jumped and turned to stare at him over her shoulder.
Zak felt himself harden more. If she only knew how damn sexy she looked peeking at him so shyly over her shoulder like that, ass tilted up begging to be fucked. God-damn-it, Zak.
“Seth, I’m going to clock you one if you don’t shut up already.”
He dressed himself and then dressed Alluna. After braiding her hair, he had her feel him out as he teleported into the training room. Her power vibrated around her, but she kept it so tucked in and out of reach it was almost impossible to tap into it.
“About time,” Seth muttered.
Devon stood a few paces away, swinging his divine sword, alternating hands.
“Seth, feel her out. What do you think?”
Alluna blinked startled eyes at Zak before watching Seth pace around her. She tucked her bottom lip between her teeth to nibble. Something she did when she was nervous, Zak realized.
“She’s like a normal person before they discover their potential,” Seth said after a moment.
“Normal?” Zak chuckled at Seth’s word choice.
“What magic can you do?” Seth asked her.
Alluna gripped her fingers, her eyes darting up to Zak.
He nodded at her to go on, also interested in her answer.
“I can make protective circles…and summon the guardians.”
“Guardians?” Zak frowned.
“Arborian deities,” Seth supplied for Zak.
“She believes in angels.”
Seth nodded. “Most beliefs do. The Seraphians guarded hundreds of thousands of civilizations.”
“Can you summon fire?” Devon approached them and Zak cringed when her eyes widened, staring at him from head to toe.
Zak snapped his fingers in front of her face making her jump. She suddenly burrowed against him, hiding her face in his chest. Both, Devon and Seth looked at Zak in surprise.
“Alluna,” he caressed her hair, wrapping his other arm around her protectively. “Tell me what’s wrong.”
She shivered. “I haven’t practised my magic like mama always wanted me to. I’m not very good.”
“We only want to see what you can do, baby. No one is going to punish you for trying.”
She looked up at him, her eyes so full of trust it made him hold her tighter.
He smiled. “Good girl. Now I believe Dev asked you something.”
Alluna glanced over her shoulder at Devon and Seth. Zak released her and stood back to watch.
She closed her eyes, folding her hands beneath her chin as if in prayer.
Zak shivered when he felt tendrils of power stream out form her and frowned. He looked at Seth, confused. She doesn’t use her own power, but draws it from external sources. Don’t let her tap into you—
Seth warned crossing his arms over his chest. What’ll happen if she does?—
Zak questioned even as he layered a protective bubble around himself. She’ll drain you—
Devon answered before Seth could. I’ll give her a little bit of mine, just to see what happens.
Alarm zipped through Zak. Somehow knowing she was tapping into Dev’s power made him uneasy. It’s either that or she’ll tap into Alpha 7’s power source. That makes me uncomfortable.
Alluna shivered, and then took a deep breath.
Zak’s anxiety level shot higher when she opened her eyes and they glowed as bright as Devon’s. The lights around them dimmed and her power churned around them like wind.
Alluna slowly opened her hands revealing a gold ball of flame.
Zak stared at it for a few seconds before it extinguished itself.
He didn’t need Seth to tell him that she didn’t concentrate enough. Her power leaked out of her like a faulty airlock and she drew from external sources instead of concentrating first on what she had within her.
“Not bad,” Seth said with a nod. He looked at Zak. “She’s teachable.” He looked back at Alluna. “I’m not pyro and have a hard time controlling fire, Zak has some ability with it, but no one can control fire like Remien.” Seth rolled his eyes. “Unfortunately he’s engaged at the moment. Devon has forbidden me to disturb him and Rowie, so in the meanwhile, you can take a seat there with Angel and watch us train a bit.”
Alluna nodded, but looked askance at Zak.
He smiled and cupped her face, pressing his nose against hers. “We use holographic swords and spar with each other or images projected by the training programs.”
“Do you always use swords?”
“Almost always. Weapons are sometimes used to intimidate those that haven’t developed their powers, but when in combat with another like us, only swords are useful. So far we’ve never had to unsheathe a sword to battle another humanoid…just devils.”
Her eyes widened. “You’ve battled devils?”
“Zak let’s get moving,” Seth reminded him.
With a sigh, he kissed Alluna’s forehead and nodded to where Angel sat in a big lounger Devon had acquired for her.
Alluna walked toward the blonde called Angel. Enormous blue eyes looked up at her as she approached.
Angel sat sprawled out in a big round chair that looked like a giant stuffed sack. There were circles under her eyes but her cheeks glowed pink. Alluna’s eyes drifted down to her rounded belly. A baby. Angel had a baby inside her…planted there by Devon. The thought of having something alive inside her still made her feel uneasy.
Pressing her hand to her concave stomach, Alluna took a smaller seat next to Angel.
“I miss sparring,” Angel sighed after a moment of silence.
Alluna looked at her in surprise. “You know how to wield a sword?”
“I am a Venushtian warrior.” She glanced down at herself with a sigh. “Although I’m sure you cannot tell in my present state. Men should be the ones to become pregnant.” Angel scowled at Devon. He only blew her a kiss from where he stood.
Angel grinned. “He’s such a sexy son of a mongura
Alluna looked back to the training hall. Both Zak and Devon had taken their uniform shirts off and walked in opposite directions. Zak lifted an arm and a gleaming sword appeared in his hand. Alluna watched enthralled as he rolled his shoulders and made sweeping motions with his sword.
And then Alluna was seeing double. Another Zak and Devon appeared and paired themselves with the real men. Each one reflected perfectly what the other was doing.
Zak turned and stood with his legs apart and sword lifted.
Alluna jumped with a start when both men engaged. It was like watching a sword fight in a mirror.
The swords flashed and sparked, the noise of metal bashing against metal loud. Zak used his brute strength to hack away at Devon. Devon on the other hand looked as if he were dancing. His moves were fluid, graceful…and lethal. Alluna shot up from her seat when he almost beheaded Zak. Zak spun and swiped back—missing him entirely. They circled, engaged in a fury of hacking blows, parried, and then circled again.
Zak lunged, but Devon was quicker. Alluna watched horrified as Devon’s sword stabbed through Zak’s belly.
Her shriek echoed through the training hall, the last thing she saw before she fainted was Zak falling to his knees while blood dripped down his chin.
His legs were wobbly, the electrodes in his training suit zapping him to let him know it was game-over for him. Still, Zak managed to lift to trembling legs and race toward Alluna.
“Is she okay?” Devon asked.
Zak cradled her still form in his arms. He could feel his commander’s unease stabbing through him. “It’s not your fault Dev. She’ll be fine once she sees I’m alright.” He panted from the mixture of exertion from the play fight and having run on numb legs forty paces to Alluna.
“Fuck. She’s going to have nightmares about me,” Devon growled sieving a rough hand through his hair.
“She had to see us spar sometime, Dev,” Seth tried to reason with him.
Zak patted Alluna’s cheek. Angel leaned as far forward as she could with her bulging belly and Anniel hovered close by.
“Baby. Alluna, sweetheart.”
She moaned, stirring in his arms.
Zak pulled her into his arms in an embrace. “It’s okay, baby. Dev didn’t hurt me. It was just…”
He felt the surge of power bloom inside her. It felt like a vortex and sucked his breath from him. Zak couldn’t talk for a second, everything around him turning electric blue. The silence in his ears buzzed, as if caught in some inter-dimensional portal. And then the power burst free.
He felt it burst behind him in rippling waves. For a moment, he thought he’d pass out, reeling on his knees, but he shook off the feeling and gripped Alluna by her shoulders. Her face was a mask of hatred, eyes glowing red, teeth bared. “Alluna,” he snapped giving her a little shake.
Her golden eyes dimmed and blinked up at Zak as her hands cupped his face, “Zak?”
“Oh, god,” Anniel screamed. “Seth?”
Zak turned to see a white-haired tiny boy in Devon’s arms for about two seconds before he snarled and disappeared. Nothing but Seth’s clothes remained behind.
Devon picked up a handful of black clothing, his mouth hanging open. “She turned Seth into a cub.”
Zak turned wide eyes to Alluna. “Alluna, what did you do? Why?”
She stared at Zak, golden eyes luminous with tears. “He tried to hurt you. I didn’t mean to hit Seth. He jumped in the way.”
“Baby, Devon didn’t hurt me. It was a hologram. The swords aren’t real. I told you before we started. What happened to Seth? What did you do to him?”
“I-I’m not sure. I’ve never done anything like that before.”
A flash of red-gold fire announced Remi’s arrival.
“Look who’s home?” he cried out with obvious glee, but upon seeing everyone’s apprehensive faces his grin disappeared. “What’d we miss?”
“Alluna turned Seth into a little boy by mistake,” Angel answered.
After a moment of silence, Remi began snickering.
Rowie elbowed him, making him grunt. “Not funny, bozo.”Chapter Twelve
Zak couldn’t get a feel for Seth. It was as if he were a completely different person. Devon sensed him in the enviro-level, so they had teleported there to search. God, I don’t feel or hear him—
Zak sent out telepathically. Dev, are you sure he’s here? He’s here. His memories have regressed along with his age—
Devon answered. What does that mean?—
Remi’s voice echoed in Zak’s head. It’s like she turned back time for him. I feel his fear, can almost hear his thoughts…he’s scattering his essence so it’s really hard to pin-point where he is exactly. Fucking amazing.
Devon’s voice sounded incredulous.
Zak also thought it surprising Seth would have so much telekinetic ability when he was practically a baby.
“Here-kitty-kitty-kitty,” Remi called in a singsong voice.
Zak rolled his eyes with a shake of his head and then stiffened when he heard a low growl.
The voices in his head went silent.
“Come-on, pussy-cat. Uncle Rem’s got a nice bowl of cream for you.” Remi’s voice was definitely teasing and the growling grew louder.
Zak smirked. The son-of-a-bitch was riling Seth to get him to reveal where he was.
The feel of Alluna’s hand clutching his arm had him turning his head to her. He put his finger over his pursed lips to signal to her not to make any noise. Just ahead, Zak could see Remi’s mop of red hair through the foliage swaying around them.
“Here-kitty-kitty-kitty. Here, little pussy-cat.” Remi began yowling like a love-sick cat.
Branches snapped and a flash of black and white knocked Remi over. Rowie screamed making Zak ran toward the commotion with his heart hammering triple time against his ribs.
Seth was no little kitty-cat. Transformed into his tiger, Seth was as big as any normal fully adult, Siberian, white tiger.
“Oh-shit, Dev,” Zak crouched, unsure what to do as he watched the twelve-foot, nine hundred pound tiger maul Remi. “I thought you said he was a fucking cub.”
“Seth, please,” Rowie shrieked jumping on the big cat’s back. “Don’t kill my baby.”
Zak gripped his hair with two hands, eyes bulging at the spectacle before him when Devon also jumped on the Seth.
Anniel and Angel began shrieking as well, making Zak’s ears hurt. Devon gripped Seth around his big furry neck, begging Seth to let Remi go.
Remi, the bastard, was laughing, even as Seth’s enormous tiger jaws gripped and shook him from the scruff of his neck.
Beside Zak, Alluna began to wail, making him raise his brows. “Do something,” she cried. “Oh—this is all my fault. Poor Remiii.”
Zak had heard enough. His girl wanted Remi’s ass saved, bless her sweet confused heart. He had to make her happy no matter what. Besides, not only did he not want anything to happen to Rem, he also knew Seth would never forgive himself if he killed the annoying weredragon. As much as they fought, they really loved each other, Zak had no doubt of that.
Zak threw himself into the fray of writhing legs, arms, claws, and fangs.
The weretiger bit deeper into Remi’s neck, copious amounts of blood running down the weredragon's chest. Still, Remi laughed as though being tickled.
No, not tickled, Zak corrected himself mentally. He hated that and screamed in agony when it was done to him. Rem, you sick fuck. Stop laughing. You’re only getting him madder.
At one point, they all rolled to the right, and Zak managed to wedge himself between Remi’s chest and the grass-covered ground. Blood poured on him, and Remi’s face was very pale, his eyes already beginning to roll in their sockets. The red-haired weredragon was no longer laughing. As a matter of fact, Remi was gasping for breath. Zak could see Seth’s enraged blue eyes as his jaws pressed down further on Rem’s bloodied neck.
Through the cacophony of shrieks, wails and snarling, Remi’s voice came clear in Zak’s mind—Fuck, Zak, the little shit’s really gonna finish me off.
Zak snarled and gripped the tiger’s fuzzy ears, giving them a jerk.
He didn’t know if it was fear at losing his crazy-assed brother,
or rage at not knowing how to remedy the situation, but his voice came out as a bestial roar. “You let go of Remi this instant or I swear I’ll put you across my knee and beat your scrawny little ass black and blue, Sethaliel.”
The fur in his hands became two little ears hidden beneath a wealth of platinum blond hair.
They collapsed in a heap of bodies when the enormous tiger changed back into a boy no bigger than three feet.
The boys’ lip quivered, his enormous blue eyes filling with tears just before his face crumpled, and soft sobs shook his tiny frame.
Devon scooped him up and held him tight to his chest. Zak got to his feet and helped Remi and Rowie up. Remi was a bit wobbly on his feet, but already Zak saw how his wounds were closing up.
“You alright, man?” he asked, his voice still gruff.
Remi nodded, but his attention was on Rowie who was trembling, her breath choked with sobs. She looked at his blood and wounds holding on to his tattered shirt with white knuckled fingers. Remi did his best to soothe her despite his trembling limbs.
Anniel’s hand on Zak’s arm made him jump. “You okay, Goliath?”
Zak nodded at her and then turned to stare at Seth shivering in Devon’s arms. He looked no older than three.
Zak’s heart squeezed with pity. He wanted to caress him and tell him he was sorry for frightening him, but tightened his mouth instead. It was better if the boy feared him a little. There was no telling how well the tot could control his beast. For now, his fear of Zak would be a good protection for all of them.
“Remi,” Devon looked over Seth’s blond head. “You okay?”
Remi nodded, his eyes falling on Devon’s bundle. “Amaranth helped me get back to normal the time Luna’s mother turned me into a miniature dragon.”
Zak looked at Remi when he used the new nickname for Alluna.
“I’ll send out a message to the high priestess,” Anniel volunteered stroking Seth’s hair with Angel at her side holding his trembling hand.
Seth pulled the hand away and tucked it under his chin, hiding his face against Devon’s chest. Zak frowned more. He really didn’t remember them, the absence of his presence in Zak’s mind making him ache.
“No,” Devon sighed. “We’ll take him to Seraphia ourselves. I’ll go with Zak. The rest of you stay. We’ll stay linked.”
Alluna did her best to quell the jolt of panic that surged through her when Devon and Zak disappeared. Zak had been so preoccupied with Seth, he’d zapped out of sight without so much as half a word to her.
“All this fiasco drained me,” Angel moaned raising a shaky hand to her pale face.
“Are you alright?” Anniel put her arm around Angel.
She smiled up at Anniel and nodded. “Just want to eat something and take a nap.” Her hand smoothed over the prominent bulge of her tummy. “He’s upset. I can feel his anxiety. Amazing how much he loves all of you already.”
Alluna watched as they all surrounded Angel and touched her belly. She grinned and then teleported out, leaving a little cloud of silver glitter in her wake.
Alluna twisted her fingers together, biting her lower lip as she stared down at her feet.
They all probably hated her now. She couldn’t blame them. She hated herself too for being so stupid…just as mama had always called her.
An arm sliding around her shoulders made her look up into Remi’s glittering green eyes. Alluna stared at the drying blood on his neck and tattered shirt with a pout.
“Don’t feel bad, Luna,” he shrugged. “We all make mistakes. We’re human.”
He was always so sweet. To think she’d thought him a devil at first. Alluna wrapped her arms around him tight and squeezed.
He’d almost died because of her. She choked back a sob as her fingers tangled in the mane of blood-red hair that spill down his back.
Rowie stood just off to the side watching Alluna with her dark eyes and a little frown.
Alluna cringed. Was Rowie mad at her? She should be. Alluna’s stupidity had almost left the girl without her lover and mate.
Remi dropped one arm from around Alluna and extended it to Rowie.
The beautiful girl seemed to float to Remi’s arm and press herself against his side.
Her skin was pure white kissed with a rose blush high on her cheekbones. Eyes as black as pitch stared at Alluna, fringed with thick lashes. Her jet hair tumbled in a mass of spirals to her waist and Alluna could see a pair of little fangs between her parted ruby-red lips.
Alluna gulped. She looked like a living doll.
Remi’s possessive hand curled around one pert breast.
“Love of my life and mother of my baby dragons, meet the future mother of Zak’s spawn.”
One of Rowie’s elegantly shaped brows rose as she smirked up at her mate. “Dramatic much, Red.”
Alluna’s gaze dropped to Rowie’s middle. Sure enough, her abdomen was slightly rounded, barely noticeable in her black V-necked jumpsuit.
Remi’s hand drifted from her breast to her tummy, drawing Alluna’s gaze. He caressed her lovingly.
Remi stared into Rowie’s eyes, his love so blatant it made Alluna’s breath catch.
“So beautiful, baby,” he rasped, his head descending to capture Rowie’s lips.
But Rowie turned her head to stare at Alluna again. “So you’re the one who slugged my poor Zak.” It wasn’t a question. Alluna found herself staring at the girl’s frowning face.
Alluna backed up as far as Remi’s arm allowed, which wasn’t as much as she would have liked.
“Aw, come-on, babe. She didn’t mean to hit him. She was trying to punch me.”
Alluna turned baleful eyes up at Remi. Why did he have to talk so much? Too much.
“Oh, hell,” Rowie snorted. “That’s excusable.”
Now, Alluna gaped at Rowie who grinned humorously. “Three minutes after meeting the rude bastard for the first time I slapped him.”
“Rude?” Remi crowed in indignation. “I was honest and upright. I told you you had nice tits.”
“Which is not a nice thing to tell a girl the first time you meet her, and then, as if that weren’t enough, you implied I was crazy,” Rowie shot back.
“Yeah, but I said I’d still fuck you anyway.” His gaze slid down Rowie’s body and he bit his lip with a growl.
Rowie’s eyes narrowed, but a wicked smile curved her lips. “Perv.”
“Just like you love it,” Remi hissed his lips spreading to show his back molars. “Horny and naughty.”
“You’re asking for it, Fyre.” Rowie’s eyes glittered with lust, her tongue darting out to lick her lips.
Remi growled again deep in his chest making Alluna’s brows shoot into her hairline.
Anniel clutched her arm and pulled her away just as Rowie practically climbed Remi’s sinewy body and devoured his mouth.
“And that would be our cue to leave,” Anniel laughed and then grimaced when both lovers teleported their clothes off and fell writhing into the grass.
The lush greenery of the enviro-level rain forest swirled in Alluna’s vision until Anniel’s quarters became a solid reality around her. She swayed a bit, trying to gather her bearings. Would she ever become accustomed to teleportation? Anniel held her a moment against her jutting breasts. Alluna’s face was almost smothered by the tall girl’s chest.
“Easy there, cutie,” she giggled straightening Alluna up. “You okay?”
Alluna nodded. “W-what about Remi and Rowie?”
Anniel rolled her eyes. “Oh, honey, you don’t want to see what those two do when they get all hot and bothered. It gets loud, and nasty real fast.”
“Does…does Remi tie Rowie up for his pleasure too?”
Anniel’s eyes widened and she barked out a laugh. “Uh…no, sweetheart. In that relationship, Rowie’s the one who holds the keys to the manacles.” Anniel sighed then, scratching her chin. “Although, Remi has been known to turn the tables on her every so often. He’s such a brat. Oh, she makes like she’s spitting mad, but between you and me…” Anniel lowered her voice to a whisper, “I think she likes it.”
Alluna looked away with a sigh. Anniel’s hand stroking her hair made her shiver.
“You shouldn’t be so sad. Zak’s really taken with you.”
But Alluna felt so inadequate. She didn’t know how or why a man like Zak would want her. She did everything wrong, and her magic, compared to what she had seen some of the Alpha Angles do, was pathetic. They were all beautiful and she...
“Alluna?” Anniel frowned at her, but not in anger like Zak would, rather in concern. “How about we go back into my room and watch more home vids? That way you can see and maybe grow accustomed to the way we live and interact with each other.”
She led Alluna to her bedchamber and sat her on the edge of her big round bed.
The room was very much like Zak’s, but done in shades of fuchsia, silver, black and white. Next to the bed, jutting out from the side a few inches from the edge of the platform was a glass shelf. It had three glass orbs of varying sizes and Alluna could see movement within them.
Anniel caught what she was staring at and sauntered over to collect the orbs in both hands and take them back to Alluna.
She gave her a smile and sat down next to her.
“This is my son,” Anniel said after taking a deep breath.
Alluna looked at her face, but Anniel’s eyes rested on the orb she handed to Alluna like the most precious of treasures.
Alluna took the largest of the orbs and gazed into it. Within the glass filled with a glowing liquid was the ghostly image of a small boy with skin similar in color to Alluna’s. His hair was a deep dark gold and his eyes a mixture of blue and green. The little boy lay on his tummy singing a song, keeping time with his bobbing head and flapping legs. His cheeks were chubby and his mouth rosy and lush. The second largest orb showed Zak on his knees, plastic sword in his hand as he sparred with the giggling child. The little boy flapped one snowy wing as he jabbed at the larger man. Zak grunted and laughed, making believe he was taking a beating from the pint-sized male.
The third and smallest of the orbs fit in the palm of Alluna’s hand. She gazed into it and saw the little boy fast asleep, tucked away in his bed as Anniel hummed over him, stroking his golden curls from his little face.
“His name was Gareth,” Anniel whispered.
Alluna looked at her. “What happened to him?”
Anniel took a gulping breath. “Well, my mom took care of him whenever I had to patrol. We guarded the Edenian solar system…after the Seraphs left.”
Eden, or Edenia as most humanoids knew this solar system, contained the blue planet called Earth. Alluna recalled this information from the many other solar systems she had learned about.
“She lived on a nearby planetoid where most weres lived, so it was easy for her to drop by and pick him up or me to drop him off. Of course, I never knew what was going to happen the last time I ever saw my child. One minute we were all out in space, in our Vipers, next minute, I’m staring into Devon’s eyes and he’s telling me we’d all been trapped in suspended animation orbs…three hundred years had gone by.” Her voice grew bleak, her gaze distant. “There’d been some big war. I tried to find out what happened to my mom and son. The planetoid they were on was decimated during the initial battle that started in our own solar system. It wouldn’t have been so bad if maybe he’d lived and had a full life, but to know he’d been killed when he’d barely begun to exist.” She shook her head, silent tears rolling down her cheeks. “I wasn’t even there to protect him.”
Alluna set down the orb and put her arms around the other girl. Anniel sniffled. “I’m sorry,” Alluna whispered.
Anniel hugged her back. “It’s okay. I’ll be okay.”
She drew back, wiping the moisture from her cheeks. “How about I give you a make-over?”
Alluna gaped at her. “A what?”
Anniel fluffed Alluna’s hair, looking her over with a nod. “You don’t really need much. Maybe bring out the color of your eyes and give those lips an alluring color.” Anniel sniffed the last of her sadness away and grinned. “Something that will give Zak a real boner.”
“A b-boner?” Alluna repeated wide-eyed.
Seth stared at the red-haired reaper in fascination. Even as a child, Zak could see Seth was drawn to her. Amaranth had her hand over her mouth, her eyes wide in horror at the sight of the toddler standing tall and proud before her.
Devon had put his shirt over the boy’s bare body before they exited the Viper just outside the gates of Angelos.
A few Seraphs gathered to curiously watch the high priest and priestess standing over a tow-headed baby boy.
Devon cleared his throat and addressed Amaranth. “I know you reversed what had been done to Remien—“
“We are not magicians. Why do you bother us with this nonsense,” Ashriel snapped.
Zak saw Devon tense and a few veins show around his temples. Oh fuck. Here we go again—
Zak huffed an annoyed breath.
“He doesn’t remember us,” Devon continued giving Ashriel a brief annoyed glance. “If the spell is reversed—“
“He doesn’t remember?” Amaranth’s eyes snapped up to Devon’s. “What do you mean?”
“It’s as though she turned back time for him. Please. He continues to ask about his parents. Have pity. What am I supposed to tell the him?”
Zak winced. The truth would be that more than three hundred years had gone by and most likely his parents were long dead. Even if they hadn’t been, they’d left him on Alpha 7 like so much trash when he was about nine-years-old. They didn’t want him. He was a freak to them…an embarrassment.
Ashriel’s mouth was a tight line as he gazed down at Seth. “Just let him grow naturally again. You might save him some heartache from what I know of his past.”
“Amaranth,” Devon insisted, staring deep into her eyes. “I know you feel for him. You can’t leave him like this.”
Ashriel gasped when she bent and took Seth’s hand. “Come-on, sweetie. Follow me.”
Ashriel blocked her path. “I will not allow one of those demons to sully our holy sanctuary.”
Zak watched in amazement when Amaranth bared her teeth at her precious Ashriel, her black wings rising like storm clouds about to unleash hell. “If you don’t move out of my way, boy, I shall slap your arrogant face.”
Ashriel paled, pain slashing across his features for the briefest of seconds. Zak did his best to stifle his chuckle. Amaranth had called the enormous seven-foot reaper boy.
He scowled then, his wings spreading out behind him. Zak would never admit it was the most terrifying sight, seeing those gigantic blue-black wings spread out to their full width. With a hard downward stroke, the reaper was airborne, a speck in the bright blue sky.
Zak craned his neck to watch Ashriel fly away over the vast ocean surrounding the massive mountain where the holy city of Angelos was perched.
Zak had never been inside the holy city and immediately felt a sense of awe come over him the second he planted his boot over the stone threshold. The entryway was an arched tunnel in a thick fortress wall.
“The first fence enclosing the area before the front gates,” Zak asked, his voice echoing in the tunnel, “Why is it there when the front metal gates are so solid looking?”
Amaranth looked over her shoulder at him. “That second barrier was placed there when Dava was with us,” came her soft reply. “We’re not allowed to fly within sacred ground and the reapers needed that extra room to take flight on visiting day.”
“Hordes of aliens came to see my father. They had to put up the second fence before the entrance to keep them from stampeding into Angelos.”
Zak nodded. The second fence kept the aliens back so that the departing reapers could take flight outside holy grounds.
“The castle is built around a crater where our holy mother fell from heaven. It’s filled with lush foliage found nowhere else on the planet.” Amaranth continued.
Seth raised his eyes to her. “Your mother fell from heaven?”
The tall reaper smiled down at him. “The mother of our race.”
Seth studied her moment. “Seraphians?”
The sun momentarily blinded Zak when they stepped out from the tunnel. Tall trees swayed before them, their branches spread out with bows of long vine-like leaves trailing from them. They reminded Zak of the weeping willows from Earth, only bigger. As they neared the bright white castle, the sound of gushing water caught Zak’s attention just before they cleared the path around a tall hedge. Pewter fountains sat in a row around the castle, the frothy water inviting.
Zak craned his neck to look up at the castle. The white stones looked like mother of pearl and thousands of balconies jutted out in semicircles around the entire structure. High above the cone-capped turrets wispy clouds floated within a bright blue sky much like Earth’s.
Amaranth sat on the edge of one of the fountains. Her hand sifted through Seth’s pale locks as he dipped one hand into the fountain with a hint of a smile on his rosy lips.
“Changing Remi back wasn’t easy,” she finally sighed. “It took me a few tries.”
“That’s all we’re asking you to do, Amaranth. Try,” Devon replied.
Seth was touching one of her feathers now, his tiny finger tracing down the black vein of the plume.
She reached down and hefted him into her arms as she stood. Amaranth carried him to a clearing a few paces from the fountain.
“You’re beautiful,” Zak heard Seth tell her, his guiles blue eyes on her face.
Amaranth’s lip quivered. “Thank you.”
Seth smiled, making Zak’s heart almost stop. He rarely ever smiled.
“When I grow up I’m going to marry you,” he stated matter-of-factly.
Devon coughed and Zak felt a lump form in his throat. Seth was really in love with the pretty reaper.
Amaranth’s mouth moved, no words coming out as she stared at him in shock.
Seth puckered his tiny mouth and pressed a kiss to the corner of her lips.
Amaranth wrapped her arms tighter around him in a hug. After a long moment, she lowered him to the ground.
“I—I’ll need to remove this just in case he grows bigger than normal,” she said gesturing to the loose shirt Seth wore. It was so big it fell to his pudgy feet.
“Bigger?” Zak arched a brow at her.
Amaranth took a deep breath, her eyes darting from Devon’s to his. “When I tried to change Remi, there was a moment when he grew very big.”
Zak nodded, remembering the hundreds of vids showing Remi in dragon form squeezed inside the atrium of the studio where a live interview was being aired the eve before Angel of Retribution’s tour with Draconius Imorteus and Ashtar.
Devon and Zak stepped back after she gently removed Seth’s only covering. The reaper began to whisper and circle the wide-eyed tiny boy.
Zak was glad Seth hadn’t shifted into his tiger, although his tiger stripes had appeared. He’d hissed and snarled as he stretched into a fully adult male.
What surprised Zak the most was how his hair grew with him. When Amaranth finally stopped her magic, Seth trembled at her feet, the spill of his white hair almost coiling around him. He looked up into Amaranth’s face, the lower half of his face sporting a beard and mustache.
“W-what the fuck…is going on?” he whispered and then looked down at himself. “Why the hell am I naked…” he gripped a handful of his locks, “and why do I look like Rapunzel?”
A young reaper ran from the castle toward them, his golden curls gleaming in the setting sun. He wasn’t a fledgling, because he was wearing black pants and boots instead of the skimpy loincloth fledglings had to wear.
“I realized who all of you were,” he said excitedly, his grin stretching almost ear to ear. He shoved a pair of black pants toward Seth but stayed looking at Devon and Zak. “I’m Abdiel.” He pointed at scars along his arm and ribs. “I got these fighting alongside your father. I was just a boy then, but Dava rode my back into the demon realm to save you and your brother.”
Devon’s face paled. The young reaper smiled at him. “Eriel used to hang with your dad too, but he had his memories wiped of that time. It was too much for him. Losing Dava and Lucy hit him hard.” Abdiel’s smile wavered and then disappeared. “Poor fuck’s never been the same ever since.”
Zak kept himself from snorting. Who the hell didn’t know Eriel? All he did was drink and fuck, and let himself be fucked…by anything. He was a worse slut than Zak had ever been.
“If you fought alongside Davariel, how can you still be…”
“A celibate reaper?” Abdiel finished for him. He looked at Amaranth with a warm smile. “She brought me back. I was barely fifteen sun orbits. I wasn’t ready to make such a rash decision about my calling.” His gaze grew solemn. “But I’m ready now.”
“Abdiel,” Ashriel’s voice snapped. The big dark reaper stalked toward them.
Abdiel took a step back, fear in his eyes. Zak tensed, knowing that if Ashriel dared try to hurt the kid, he wouldn’t just stand idly by.
Ashriel stopped right in front of them, gave Seth, who was buttoning up his borrowed pants, a scathing glare, and then bared his teeth at Devon.
“Are you trying to entice him into abandoning his calling?”
Devon stepped up to Ashriel so that they were practically nose to nose. “You know something reaper, You’re really starting to piss me off.” As if to underline his point, his veins became slightly visible beneath his pale skin. Oh, shit
. Zak wasn’t sure what would happen if Devon’s dark side took over…again. He’d only known it happened once, and, according to Seth, it was a damn scary piss-in-your-pants thing you wouldn’t want to witness.
“Am I now?” Ashriel spat. “I’m watching, Devon. I’m watching all of you.” His silver eyes swept around to glare at Zak and Seth. “Lucifer will not be released in my lifetime. I pray for those that come after me.”
Devon backed away to Zak’s surprise. “Let’s get the hell out of here. Amaranth.” He strode over the female reaper and kissed her cheek. “Thank you.”
Zak also kissed her cheek. Seth remained staring at her and then looked at Zak. “Isn’t anyone going to tell me what the hell happened?”
“It’ll come to you, Sethaliel,” she said.
Zak’s brows rose when she suddenly gripped Set’s face and kissed him full on the mouth.
“Amaranth,” Ashriel snapped.
“Oh stop,” she snarled back. “We’re allowed to kiss, Ash.”
“It weakens the flesh.”
“It keeps us human. You ought to try it sometime.”
Ashriel gaped at her, and Zak chuckled as he threw his arm around a stunned Seth’s shoulders to direct him back to Devon’s Viper just outside the city gates.
Remembering Abdiel, he turned to give a wave to the young reaper who smiled and gave him a nod. Somehow, Zak got the feeling it wouldn’t be the last he saw of the death angel.
Back inside the now cramped Viper, Seth balked about his hair.
Rolling his eyes with an exasperated sigh, Zak removed the tie from his braid and tied off Seth’s hair at his waist. Using a blade he like to keep in his boot, he cut the ponytail just above the tie as Devon did his best to explain to Seth how he’d been turned into a toddler.
“There. When we get back home, you can finish fixing it in your hygiene unit.”
“What did I say to her? To Amaranth?” Seth asked ignoring Zak.
Devon rubbed the back of his neck. “Um…”
“You said that when you grew up you were going to marry her,” Zak said without preamble.
Seth stared at him wide-eyed, before slapping his hand over his face with a groan. “Damn. She must think I’m a pathetic shit.”
“Aw, come-on, Seth,” Dev chuckled. “You were just this cute little thing.”
Zak laughed until he felt Remien’s presence.
Just outside, riding alongside the Viper, was Alpha 7’s star cruiser. What’s going on Rem?—
Devon was the first to ask.
Zak felt Remi’s calm as well as his happiness and relaxed, knowing that all was well back home. Time to celebrate. Rowie’s back home and it’s been a while since we’ve all hung out.
Zak’s sense of ease faded. Dev, you think it’s safe for us? Everything will be fine. We can’t hide as though we’re guilty of something. Besides—
Remi added,--the girls are already getting ready. They’re meeting us at Haddasha. I brought us extra clothes so you can change. Hurry up and board, it’s getting late and I want to get there before they do.
Despite Devon’s assurance, Zak still couldn’t shake the feeling of apprehension that settled over his bones.
This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than Lushstories.com
with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.
<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/supernatural/the-witch-and-the-dragon-part-6-1.aspx">The witch and the Dragon Part 6</a>