Not too long a wait, eh? A little three-day-weekend treat, for those of you on holiday :) For those of you not, well - a treat anyway! Thank you guys for all the fabulous feedback! Keep it up! Listen to:

Gambler - Mt. Eden (THIS ONE IS PERFECT!)

Enjoy :)

Chapter Fourteen

Curtsy

"It is not customary for the King to leave the Mothership," my new translator told me, head turned towards me conversationally as we strode down the long hall towards the arena. The prince was on my other side, so close I could feel the heat radiating off of him, his arm poised behind me in a subtle yet definite sign of possessiveness.

I...kind of liked it.

"His Majesty is only visiting the Clan ship for a brief period, to meet you," the translator continued, and I almost tripped in my step, gaping at him.

After a long silence, he seemed to smile again, "You may speak freely, Kant-eret. Our Prince has given his explicit permission."

Speak?

I could speak?

I was liking this guy more and more.

Clearing my throat, I rolled my tongue around in my mouth for a moment or two before deciding what to say. God, I had so many questions. But the first of which was, "Why?"

My translator arched one of his wiry brows.

"I mean...I mean, why for me? Why does he want to meet me?" I spluttered.

He hummed quietly to himself, seeming to consider it, then replied, "In your customs, I suppose it could be compared to...meeting a..." he paused, almost as if he were searching for the word in some mental dictionary. Maybe he was. "Father-in-law," he said at last.

I blanched.

Even on Earth, meeting the parents was supposed to be akin to torture. Some kind of mad, awkward, terrifying scar on the face of a marriage. And now they wanted me to do it alien style?

Holy hell...

But it took me a second to realize I was missing the main point.

Father-in-law.

Was he suggesting I was...the prince's...betrothed? His fiance? Were we engaged? I didn't even know we were lovers! I thought I was his slave!

Somehow, I managed to voice such concerns in a cordial fashion, but my fists were still clenched so tightly they left crescents on my palms.

"We Yautja do not marry," my translator explained calmly as we turned another corner. It seemed we were taking a lot of detours so he'd have the proper time to talk to me about this. "This is perhaps not so similar after all. A moment, if you please."

And the silence enveloped us as he thought about it some more.

I glanced covertly to my side at the prince. His stride was even, head held high, gorgeous dreadlocks swaying behind him as his shoulders beveled with each step. I couldn't help but find his walk sexy. There was something so primal to it. So animal and predatory...

And before I knew it, I'd released something of an appreciative noise. A purr, almost...

He seemed as startled as I was, face mask turning towards me and gazing down, the sleek, metal eyes unreadable and yet somehow still penetrating. I flushed, glancing quickly away and staring at the floor.

What's happening to me?

The prince seemed to be about to react, however, when my translator rescued me by speaking again.

"The Yautja mate, you see, but I do not believe you have been sorted into that category either. I am unsure of where you stand...although, Our Prince has been quite assertive as to his possession of you. You belong to him, and he would have it no other way, there is no doubt of that. But for an answer to your question, you would have to consult Our Prince yourself. It is a private matter in which I am not involved."

Gathering a deep breath, I nodded.

"This meeting is important. The Prince's Sire must be certain his offspring has chosen an appropriate...possession. He wishes to evaluate you. He may ask you some questions. He may not. It is impossible to foresee."

I was so nervous about my next question that I nearly interrupted him. "And what if he doesn't like...what he sees? What happens then?"

Another question he seemed to have to think about.

Unexpectedly, my translator shifted back into the Yautja tongue, addressing the prince. I wasn't sure how I knew, but somehow I was certain he was relaying my question to him.

I waited, my hands trembling and my breath hitching with every exhale. But before my translator had even finished speaking, the prince unleashed a feral growl, making me jump. His hand clenched quite abruptly around my waist and he dragged me against his side, forcing out bodies to connect as we walked.

I gasped.

And just as suddenly, my translator changed the subject, launching off into how I should present myself in front of the King. All the do's and don't's that I could hardly focus on.

The prince had stolen all of my attention, and now all I could think about was the sleek press of the metal against my skin, and the dangerous vibrations of his purrs as they echoed through my body.

We were approaching the doors at long last, and as the two guards stepped aside for us, bowing to their prince, I heard my translator's final instructions.

"You shall speak through me. If the King addresses you, I will tell you what he's said. I caution you to reply with the utmost respect."

Yeah, well...how else was I going to reply? I was an enslaved, naked, clearly inferior, human girl. This King wasn't about to get any lip from me.

The doors opened, my translator dropped back respectfully, and I entered the arena with the prince, his arm still belted around my waist.

The roar of the crowd was deafening, and every Yautja in the room was quick to rise to their feet, bowing low to their respected leader. I couldn't help but compare this moment to the first time I'd entered the arena - alone, humiliated and terrified.

Now, it seemed, with the prince at my side and what appeared to be most of the Yautja population worshipping his every move, I somehow felt safer than I ever had in my entire life.

And that...that was saying something.

But the comfort was quick to leech out when my eyes found the King. He was easy to spot. Dead center in the crowd, seated on a thorny throne similar to that I'd seen the prince occupy. But this one was far more grand and far more threatening, as was the beast sitting in it.

His dreadlocks seemed to reach the floor, lined with spikes, not the intricate rings my prince displayed, and his face was absolutely horrifying.

The best I can describe it is this:

Picture the King as some lethal, hideous, dreadful creature...and picture my prince as Adonis.

That is the comparison my mind instantly made, even as my body began to shake in terror. The prince's grip on me tightened ever so slightly, whether in reassurance or to keep me still, I wasn't sure, and then the King was on his feet, and the prince was bringing me down with him to our knees.

"Pro-ko," a ragged voice rung out, and not a second later I was back on my feet, forced to look upon the beast again. I was going to get whiplash.

My translator approached, stopping on my other side, and then, almost in perfect unison, he and the prince took large steps back, leaving me alone to face the King by some silent command.

I almost gasped - probably would have, if not for the quiet, gentle purr I heard the prince utter from behind. Somehow, it gave me strength.

The King made several terrifying clicking noises, his massive head cocking from side to side, and my stomach dropped when he began to speak again.

It was a long, complicated and threatening sounding speech, no doubt directed at me, and I had to refrain from squeezing my eyes shut.

When it was finished, my translator began to murmur to me.

"His Grace says, So this is the ooman my pup has chosen? It is a runt. Too small. Much too small. How will it bear offspring? Any fetus of ours will surely rip it in two. Pup, how do you lie with it at all? Does it not bleed? Does it not crush beneath your weight? Tell the ooman to speak. I want to hear its meager voice."

My jaw nearly dropped at the filthiness of his words - and I was so shocked, I didn't really think about all the talk of fetuses and sex. All I could think about was how much I instantly hated this beast...

And how much I wanted to reach out for the prince.

But I had to speak. He wanted to hear me speak.

Oh...and fuck not giving him any lip. This asshole had it coming.

"Greetings, your Grace," I growled, plastering a smile on my face nonetheless. "I am a 'she,' not an 'it.' And I am no runt."

My translator seemed to hesitate, and I could hear his feet shifting back and forth behind me.

Then he started to speak, and I knew there was no going back. The crowd of Yautja gasped and growled at my forwardness, but the two key players were silent as the grave. Neither the King, nor the prince made any noise at all.

So I continued.

"As for the matters of sex, I am no novice. If your prince intends to lie with me, I will be willing, waiting and responsive," and I topped it off with a curtsy.

Shit.

It took a second for my sense to catch up with me.

Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.

But my translator was already speaking.

What had I just said? What had I just admitted to?

And, more importantly...was it true?

Would I be willing?

Oh, fuck.

The honest truth?

Yes.

Yes, I would.

There was an unbearably long silence after he finished translating, and I swallowed thickly, refusing to back down, and yet too terrified to say any more.

God, what was the prince thinking?

What was the King thinking?

Looked like I was about to find out...because with a hiss and a growl, the King opened up his mouth.


Yautja (Predator) translations:

"Kant-eret" - A respectful term for a female, such as "miss"

"Pro-ko" - Rise


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