Romy let out a long, contented sigh as she woke from a deep and dreamless sleep. Her eyes still closed, she felt something soft covering her and something incredibly comfortable under her. It took her a moment to realise that she wasn't in bed, tucked up under her covers at home though.
Her eyes snapped open immediately as the memories flooded back into her sleep-hazed mind. I'm... I'm in an alien's spaceship... Romy thought blankly as she sat up. Holy fuck. She ignored the lingering aches and pains all over her body as she looked around the room, taking in the details of all that she could see.
She was sat on a number of furs on an oddly raised type of bed, at least she guessed that that was what it was. The floor and walls were metal and grey, and all that Romy could think about was the clinical emptiness of the room. Everything was so... alien-looking. Not in the literal sense that it was alien, because that much was obvious, but more that everything seemed so unfamiliar and unusual.
The warmth of the room in particular was odd. In fact, she could swear that it was actually hotter inside this room than it had been outside- and that would have been hard to imagine if she wasn't living it. She looked down at her clothes and found herself wearing her shirt and shorts again; the only odd thing she found was that she wasn't wearing her underwear. She had no idea where they had gone; then again, she had no idea how she had gotten back into her clothes either.
A sound from her right startled Romy and her head snapped around to the direction of it. The door that she'd barely noticed before slid open, and now, in the open space that replaced it, towered the humanoid creature that had brought her here. Oh, great, she thought. It felt like she had fallen into some weird Sci-fi movie and she was just waiting for the credits to roll. If only she were so lucky.
Sh'osha walked into the room slowly in an attempt to cause the ooman the least amount of alarm as he approached. He could read her fear in even the tiniest of her movements and since there was a reason he had come to the room he'd left her in- he didn't need to make her any more skittish.
She also had to learn to obey him without having to be knocked unconscious. And there was no better time than the present to begin teaching her. He stopped at the side of the pallet he'd left her in and noticed her attempt to freeze, which, whether voluntary or not, was a good thing in Sh'osha's eyes.
"N'got," he said, knowing that the ooman wouldn't understand.
She merely stared at him uncomprehendingly. Whatever he had said, she had no idea what it meant. Romy just tried not to move as the yautja towered over her. Even if he had saved her life, he was still damn intimidating. And she still felt so vulnerable.
"Lie down," he growled after a moment.
Romy scowled up at the giant creature in front of her. There was no way that she was just going to lie down- she had no idea what he would do then. But what will do if I don't? a voice in the back of her mind asked.
"Um, no thanks, I'm fine," she replied uncertainly.
"Lie down," Sh'osha repeated, his voice that same alien growl.
Romy didn't know what to do. In her opinion, this was a little too much. She understood cooperating to an extent; But the heat radiating from him felt a little too... well it was a little too intimidating for her to think that lying down was a good idea. And her hesitation was all that Sh'osha was willing to stand for; he had told her twice, after all.
With one of his large hands pressing on her chest, he pushed her back onto the bed, forcing her to lie down. The gesture was gentle, and one of necessity, he knew. He had done it as much to ensure that she didn't hurt herself as to prove his mastery of her.
Unfortunately, however, Romy panicked under the alien touch. She knew that she had no chance of fighting him off, or pushing him away, but that didn't stop her from trying anyway.
"M-di h'dlak," he said, forgetting the words that she would understand for a moment.
"Stop," he added eventually, unable to find the exact words he wanted.
Romy was too busy freaking out and panicking to listen to his words. Eventually, Sh'osha just gently pushed the ooman female onto her side, keeping her securely in place with his hand. She would just have to see firsthand that he meant no harm to her.
"What the fuck are you doing?" she yelled as she was forcibly rolled towards the wall.
"Stop manhandling me!"
She couldn't see anything other than the metal wall in front of her because he'd positioned her back to him. Fear was overriding her senses even though the way he was restraining her admittedly wasn't hurting her. But she still didn't like it. In truth, she thought that she'd been restrained enough over the last couple of days and she hated it.
That was when Sh'osha's instincts kicked in. Romy was more than a little confused when she heard a low purring coming from behind her. She frowned and paused in her struggles. It sounded like an extremely loud cat, but Romy knew that it must have been the yautja. She was sure that she'd heard him making that sound before.
Romy didn't understand, but a strange feeling slowly came over her, increasing with the sound of the purr. Weird, she thought, as she suddenly started to feel somewhat calmer. And for some reason she didn't even really mind being manhandled as much- well, she did mind, but she wasn't nearly as frightened by the prospect.
She turned her head around to look at Sh'osha and watched as he held her arm. His hands drawing her attention to there, Romy finally noticed that the bullet wound on her arm had been stitched. He touched her as he had done before, in a way that was gentle in his opinion, and his eyes scanned his handiwork.
After a moment studying the wound, Sh'osha was satisfied that it would heal well. With a single nod, he dropped her arm and the purring abruptly stopped. Romy blinked, almost as if she was coming out of some sort of haze. But before she could even think to ask about it- whether it would be understood or not- Sh'osha was striding out of the room.
"Wait!" she shouted, rolling over on the strange bed and pushing herself up.
Despite the head rush she got from standing so quickly, she went for the door. But the door slid shut before Romy could reach it and it wouldn't open again for her. After hitting it a number times with her fists and only stopping when her hands hurt a little too much. With that, she sighed and slid down the door, sitting with her back against it. What even just happened? she wondered, letting her head fall back against the door in exasperation.
It must have been hours, or it could have been less- Romy had lost all concept of time in that windowless room- before Sh'osha returned. Romy was still leaning against the door when it slid open once again, and she fell backward- straight into Sh'osha's legs.
He grunted as she fell against him and watched the ooman female as she scrambled off of him and to her feet. She stepped awkwardly away from him, eyeing him carefully. She had wanted him to come back, simply because she didn't know what else would happen, but now... Romy wasn't entirely sure that she wasn't just better off alone.
But Sh'osha didn't move towards her. He just held up a beckoning hand and indicated for her to follow him. Swallowing the lump rising in her dry throat, Romy knew that she'd have to make the decision as to whether she did as he said or not quickly; and the decision she made had her following after him before the door could close on her again. Or before he turned around and decided to carry her where ever it was that he wanted to take her.
She walked awkwardly behind him through a corridor just as metallic as the room she had just been in, only here, the walls were covered in some strange carvings and images. As her eyes roamed over them, Romy crossed one hand over herself and held her elbow.
Even though he strode ahead slightly, Sh'osha noticed the small movement. Her body language told him that she was uneasy. He was almost pleased that the female was wary of new places, but the feeling was unnecessary while he was beside her. She would learn.
Sh'osha led her to his ship's kitchen, though he could feel her hesitation as she stopped uncertainly just inside of the room. He'd brought her there because he was well aware that she needed to eat and drink. And he had a suspicion that after rejecting his previous offer of food, then she would reject any other offer that he tried to make unless she saw exactly what she was eating. Well, actually, he was certain that as long as she knew that she wasn't eating another ooman then she would be fine.
For her part, Romy waited by the door that swished shut behind her. She just stood there and watched as the yautja moved around the kitchen-type area. She could only assume that it was a kitchen from the look of the surfaces and other things. She could almost make out a type of freezer- or at least that was what she thought it was.
Sh'osha stopped suddenly and turned to look at her, staring at her with those unusual golden eyes of his. He pointed to a bench beside a large table, motioning for her to sit. Romy didn't do anything, she just looked from Sh'osha to the bench and back to Sh'osha again.
"Sit," he commanded.
She frowned a little, but did as he said. She couldn't tell why he was telling her to do it, but she didn't feel like disobeying this giant creature. Not when all that he was telling her to do was sit anyway. So she went and sat down. Sh'osha grunted as she did. That was good. Maybe she would behave reasonably well.
Satisfied, he went over to his freezer and brought out some food. Both meat and fruit. Her palette may not have been as advanced as his, but he was learned in what oomans could and could not eat. Romy stared at the different foods that were placed before her and wondered what it was.
She could tell that the meats were meat immediately, but the other things were so oddly-shaped and coloured that it took her a moment to figure out that they were probably fruit. At least, she hoped. Her eyes fell upon something familiar though; a berry. It was one of the ones that she had picked up when she was searching for food on the planet. She picked it up and smiled a little. At least this one wouldn't have killed me... she thought.
Sh'osha kept bringing out more and more different types of foods. In fact, he brought so much out that she didn't know what to do. She just stared at all of the strange cuisines until she realised that he was looking at her again. Staring.
"Jeez, well you certainly seem to know how to cater for... my species... don't you?" she said.
He didn't say anything and she sighed again. She really didn't need to be told twice; she was absolutely starving. Although Romy was wary of the meat so she avoided it. After this guy had tried to make her eat Rick she felt that she had a right to be dubious. But she tried the fruit and found that most of them were good.
She liked the sweeter ones of them best, and she was too hungry to care about the ones that she didn't like. Sh'osha was pleased that she was eating, she needed to maintain her strength. Soon enough, Romy was full however and he just looked at her as she stopped. In his opinion the ooman female should eat more. She was thin and she should be stronger. So she was going to have to eat more.
"Eat," he said again.
"Thanks, but I'm full," she said, pushing some of the food away in an attempt to show him her meaning in case he didn't understand.
Sh'osha stared. Full. She couldn't be full. She hadn't eaten enough yet, had she? She couldn't have. He pushed the food closer to her again. Romy scowled. She was finished and she knew that she wouldn't be able to eat anymore even if she tried.
She pushed the food away again and stared at him. He growled a little and she froze as he pushed the food back to her. She looked at it for a moment. They were acting like children, but she didn't know how to get her point across more adequately.
"Seriously, I'm finished. If I eat any more then I'll be sick," she tried.
Somehow she was surprisingly calm. That was probably just because he hadn't made a move that had scared her enough to freak her out again though. Yet. But for his part, Sh'osha paused. He understood what she was saying. Perhaps her appetite, like her palette, was not as advanced as his.
He had thought that it might be similar since she had eaten so readily when he first put the food in front of her. Apparently not. But he couldn't have his pet being sick however. So, against his better judgement, he removed the food, quickly packaging it all away again.
"Thank you," Romy said.
Sh'osha didn't even turn around at the noise.
Sh'osha had taken her back to the room he had allocated her and had left her there with an instruction to sleep. She frowned as the door closed behind him. She didn't think that she'd be getting out of the room for a long while so she might as well do as he said.
Romy lay down in the same place that she'd woken up in. It was strange to try and sleep with so much going on; with so much that she didn't know about or understand. What the hell is going on? she wondered. This yautja was treating her wounds, feeding her, giving her a place to stay. Was she like a guest to him? A guest who's family and friends he had hunted down and killed? Romy didn't understand at all.
It took her a long time to fall asleep. She kept hearing strange noises that she supposed were probably normal for this strange ship, but they were totally alien to her and were keeping her from relaxing. The heat was too much for her to comfortably fall asleep too. What I wouldn't give for a fan, she thought as she waved her hand in front of face in an attempt to form some sort of draft.
Eventually though, Romy did fall asleep, but, even then, she didn't have a much better time. Her thoughts were many and her dreams were confusing. The worst in particular was when her dreams recalled Jake getting his head blown off by Sh'osha.
She woke up panting, her ragged breath coming out in sharp bursts. Her immediate thoughts were that she had to escape. She had to get out before she met the same fate as Jake and the others. Romy tried the door again and again but failed to open it.
She crumpled to her knees on the floor, resting her forehead against the warm metal for a moment. She couldn't even get through the door; how was she supposed to do anything else. No way out... Romy thought dejectedly. He killed Jake, and the others... Why am I not dead?
It was something she just couldn't understand; she couldn't understand it at all. And Romy could only hope that he would answer her when she asked- and she would have to ask. Eventually, all she could do was curl up in the foetal position over those furs again.
Romy had tried to sleep, but she couldn't. She had too many thoughts swirling around in her mind. She sat on the bed and stared at the door blankly. He would come again eventually. She knew it. And then she was determined to find out exactly what was going on.
She'd done as he said- or as the grunted orders he'd given her had instructed. But he hadn't given her any indication as to why she wasn't dead yet. Was he just too full to eat her right now? Was he just keeping her for later, like some chicken in a coop? Was there no room in his fridge to just kill her and save her for later? Had he just been fattening her up with the food he'd given her earlier?
Or was she there for some other reason that she couldn't understand? A reason that she couldn't even form in her mind because she was too horrified at the possibility of being eaten. So Romy waited. And waited. She had no idea for how long though- the lack of windows was still confusing her sense of time. She knew that it felt like a long time, at least.
Eventually, he came, just as Romy had suspected he would. The door slid open and Sh'osha stood there. He cast a huge shadow into the room that was almost menacing as he stopped in the doorway. Romy took a breath. She'd decided that there was no time like the present to ask her questions.
"Why am I here?" she asked.
Sh'osha stared. It was obvious why she was here. She had somehow integrated herself into the company of males when he'd taken them. It was simple. In fact, she knew more about that part of her journey than he did.
So he answered, "You with the males."
"No, I didn't mean 'why am I on this planet?'; I meant, why am I here? In this... place?"
He stared for a long time, tilting his head to the side. It was clear to Romy that she was going to receive no answer though.
"Why am I not dead?" she tried.
At that, Sh'osha was confused. He wasn't entirely certain about what she was asking him.
"You want die?" he asked slowly.
Her eyes widened.
"Not particularly. No."
He looked over at her some more, trying to determine the reasoning behind what she was saying.
"Why haven't you killed me?" Romy said.
Ah, now that made sense.
"You kill male for me. Try protect me."
He left out the fact that he hadn't needed any type of protection- let alone from a small ooman like her. It was the thought and the attempt that made her valuable to him. Romy blinked. She hadn't thought about that.
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend," she murmured.
He dismissed that comment and continued as if she had said nothing.
"You be Pet."
He thought for a moment. That was the ooman word for it, wasn't it?
"Pet," he repeated finally.
"Pet?" Romy repeated, blinking.
He nodded once, noting her tone. She was outraged, if he read her voice correctly. And he was right; Romy was infuriated. Pet? she thought. Pet? Who does he think he is?
"Let's get this straight," Romy started.
"I'm not a house cat or some goldfish that you can just lock up and watch for your own amusement. I'm a person."
He growled a little. She had spoken too fast for him to correctly understand what she was saying. He could tell that she was angry about something though. And that confused him. It wasn't the reaction that he had thought he would receive at the news. She should have been honoured at the prospect of being his pet.
"Say again. Slower," he requested, his voice dangerously low.
Romy opened her mouth. She was too wrapped up in her anger to consider the possible consequences of her outburst. She didn't think about how the colossal alien would react to her words at all.
"I am a person- a human being. I am not a pet," she concluded, virtually spelling out her words.
And he did understand that. Though what he couldn't understand was her reasoning behind this. She should be proud to be his Pet. Honoured. Sh'osha tilted his head and regarded her for a moment.
"Yin'tekai," he said.
Romy just frowned. She had no idea what he had just said.
"Should be... honoured," he said eventually, sounding out the last word slowly.
"Honoured? Honoured that you want me to be a pet? Like your slave, or what? This is so wrong!" she said, speaking more to herself than to him.
But Sh'osha shook his head.
"Then what am I supposed to be? The animal you walk around on a lead? The one that you show off to all of your little friends?" Romy spat.
She was speaking a little too quickly again, but he made out her words well enough. The prospect of a lead had its merits, he would be able to directly control her whereabouts that way. But he planned to have her well-trained enough so that he could do that without need of a lead.
"Yin'tekai," he repeated.
Romy just stared back.
"Mine," was all that he said before leaving Romy alone again.
She looked at the door as he disappeared. What did he just say? she thought, stunned. Mine? Romy couldn't stop the horrible feeling that had washed over her as she heard that one word. A shiver shook her body for a moment and she blinked. What the fuck...? Maybe I would have been better off dead, Romy thought blankly.
Sh'osha left Romy alone for some time. He sensed that she was too riled up to process her thoughts properly at the moment. He knew well that getting lost in the heat of a moment was a common problem that oomans had- he had used it against them many times. And he needed his pet to understand that she was in a good position.
The females of Sh'osha's species were stronger, bigger and oftentimes faster than their male counterparts, while ooman males were often regarded as the more powerful. He hadn't found that with this one. She'd proved herself honourable- far more so than the males she was with. And she'd killed one of her own for his sake; something that was entirely unnecessary, but still proved her to be more worthy.
If she could learn to obey and understand him- his commands, his movements- without question, then her life would be good. That she was picking things up quickly, bathing when he had instructed her to, for instance, was already promising. If she didn't learn though; well, he'd most likely kill her and disregard the idea of keeping a pet. It was only a notion, after all.
And her reaction to the revelation had made him pause too. She should have been proud and honoured at the prospect of being his pet, yet she didn't appear to be. And Sh'osha assumed that it was because she didn't fully understand the situation. She would though. She just needed to calm down a little first.
Romy spent hours going over what she'd been told. And she'd spent hours trying to find a way out of it. She was so confused, and, unfortunately, all that time had done was convince her that she only had two options. Do as the yautja had said, and become a... pet. Or death.
She didn't like the idea of either option, but she knew how long a time that she'd spent trying to stay alive over the past few days. She couldn't let that all count for nothing, could she? No, she decided. Besides, if I agree to be his pet for now, then maybe I'll be able to find a way to escape later.
Romy knew that it was a long shot, but it was hope. And after her dad and Jake had been killed and she'd ended up on an alien planet with seemingly no possibility of getting home, hope was really all that she had right then. So Romy knew what her decision was after all the time she'd spent questioning herself. She would be a pet, whatever that entailed, whether she liked it or not.
Sh'osha came back eventually and paused in the doorway just as he had done before.
"Understand now?" he said, staring at her intently.
He was watching her body language carefully for signs that she might try to lie to him. Her body was stiff and her position guarded. Her knees were pulled up to her chest and her arms were wrapped around them. Sh'osha would be careful to monitor any change in that as she spoke.
"Yes," she said.
He tilted his head. Apparently she wasn't lying.
"But I don't... I don't know what it is that you want from me," Romy admitted with a frown.
That statement surprised Sh'osha. It sounded to him like the ooman female was more willing than he had suspected she would be from her initial reaction. More submissive. Perhaps all it had taken was the time he'd allowed her to consider things, he thought, but he wasn't foolish enough to simply trust her word. He narrowed his eyes and determined to keep a close eye on her for any sign of a possible deception.
"Must learn," Sh'osha said eventually.
She stared and took a deep breath.
She didn't even realise how lucky she was that he hadn't killed her. That he had made her his pet, whether she knew it or not yet, was an incredible stroke of luck for her. Sh'osha had given the subject a logical amount of thought before he made the decision too. That she'd agreed was her mind's last-ditch attempt at keeping her alive.
And, in this case, it was a good decision. Because it gave Sh'osha an opportunity to see that he had been right, and to see that there was hope for his pet yet. It would be interesting to see just how much hope, he thought.
"Come," he said, beckoning for her to get up.
Uncertainly, Romy did as she was told. She followed him out of the room again, not knowing where he was taking her.
He led Romy to the medical room he had treated her in before. She had never seen it before though, since she had been unconscious the last time that she was there. Once they were both inside, Sh'osha told her to undress. At that though, Romy's nervousness overwhelmed her and she shook her head, frowning. Why the hell does he want me to do that? she thought.
He growled and stepped towards her. She took a step backward, feeling her heart pounding in her chest. Sh'osha could hear the sound and chose not to take another step. He didn't need to frighten her to death. She had to learn to put her absolute trust in him after all.
"Why?" Romy asked.
He paused and watched her.
"Why do I have to do that?"
He tilted his head. That was what her problem was?
"Check me?" she frowned.
"Like injuries, you mean?" Romy frowned, pointing at the wound on her arm.
"Didn't you already do this? Check me and... stitch this up?"
Sh'osha inclined his head. He wasn't quite sure if he was able to explain that he wanted to know exactly what marks were already on her body. And he wanted to know how she had received any of those marks. Sh'osha wanted to learn about his pet's past before he thought about her future. And the possibility of her being useful to him.
So Sh'osha just shook his head and repeated, "Check you."
Romy frowned. She didn't relish the thought of being naked in front of the creature again. But it wasn't like he was human. It wasn't like he was going to be looking at her in any perverted way. Not like Rick had. He hadn't done the last time he'd seen her naked anyway.
Reluctantly, Romy started to peel off her clothes. She left them in a pile on the floor and uncomfortably stepped out of her clothes, leaving her naked before him. It was strange to watch him eyeing her that way. But she got the feeling almost that he wasn't look at her.
He was looking at the bruises and apparently the scars on her body rather than any of her features. Sh'osha's eyes roamed over the ooman female- as did his fingers once he discovered a mark that intrigued him. That had made Romy uncomfortable, and had made her body stiffen considerably. Sh'osha had purred when he noticed the change in her, and whether she liked it or not, she felt herself visibly calm down.
"How are you doing that?" she murmured, not sure if she liked how much calmer she was becoming.
Sh'osha didn't answer. He had been distracted once he'd discovered a scar that was particularly interesting. He found it on her arm and was curious at the long mark in her soft, overly-fragile skin. Romy looked down to where he was focussed. It was the long scar from an accident that she'd had a while ago with kitchen knife. She'd slipped when she was cutting a pepper and Jake had startled her.
But Romy was confused by the alien's attention to her scar and tried to ask him about it. Sh'osha struggled to find away to tell her his reasons and settled on pointing at a number of his own scars in an effort to explain. That only confused her more however, and made her feel even more vulnerable at seeing just how many scars the huge alien had. So Romy tried to explain that she had only gotten her scar by accident.
"H'ko," he growled, but she didn't understand what he had said.
So he went on to say, "Should be proud of scar."
Sh'osha didn't understand how oomans had learnt not to be proud of the scars that marked them as better warriors; the words scribbled across their too-fleshy bodies that showed that they were not as weak as they seemed to be. Romy started to say something but stopped when she realised that it was probably better to let him think that she'd got that scar in a different way.
He, of course, already knew that the scar had been made with a knife and had actually wanted the female to explain why someone had tried to stab her. But that would be a question for another time. And he would find out exactly what she had been doing to result in such a wound- just as he would with the other marks that he'd found across her body.
*M-di H'dlak - No Fear
**Yin'tekai - Honour
Author's Note: Um, I'm an awful person. It's been almost eleven months since I've updated this story, even though I've always been meaning to continue it. I've just been extremely busy. :/ No excuse, I know. Anyway, I'm so sorry that it's taken me this long to update, and if you're still reading this then wow, thanks and I owe you big time.
Hope you enjoyed the chapter and will let me know what you think! :)
Also, for future reference, it may take me a while to update, but I will always come back to the story. I won't abandon it.