Authors: Immortal Angel
The Tuorin Legacy, Book 4
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either a product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved.
Published by Fallen Press, Ltd.
Copyright © 2016
This book is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any reproduction or other unauthorized use of the material or artwork herein is prohibited without the express written permission of the author.
Angel Warrior: The Complete Series
Alien Rogue Warrior: Box Set (Serials 1-5)
To Kiss A Warrior
To Touch A Warrior
To Protect A Warrior
To Trust A Warrior
To Love A Warrior
Alien Rogue Warrior: Box Set (Serials 6-10)
To Challenge A Warrior
To Obey A Warrior
To Forgive A Warrior
To Wound A Warrior
To Save A Warrior
Alien Invasion: The Complete Series
I couldn’t do this without you…and I wouldn’t want to.
I wish for you every dream you can dream..and I believe with you all things are possible.
P.S. – You are already beautiful.
We arrive back at the castle, and I follow Juordin’s warrior stride across the docking bay. His long brown-and-gold hair makes me itch to run my fingers through it. And I can tell his saliva is working on me, because my chest and stomach have started to tingle at odd times, even when we’re not kissing.
You’re even developing the mating marks. I trace my fingers lightly over my belly where the golden tattoo has slowly begun to take shape. It’s beautiful, and the strong lines remind me of my warrior.
I’m proud that he’s marked me. It means that no matter what, he will always be a part of me. And it gives me something to focus on, other than the toxin slowly making its way through his body.
Stop it! Focus on today. On this moment!
Juordin’s father meets in the same room we’d gathered in before, along with the three scientists I’d seen last time. A large, rectangular table is set up in the center of the room, surrounded by sturdy but comfortable chairs. But unlike before, no one is seated. They’re gathered in the space by the head of the table. The significance of what we are about to do creates tension and excitement so high it is as if we are spellbound.
It’s strange. Just a short time ago these people had given up all hope. But now, instead of focusing on dying, they’re focused on living long enough to kill their enemies.
It’s a nice change.
Juordin’s father looks down at the blinking glass thing in front of him. “Juordin. Ande’ei,” he greets us. “Your departure is scheduled for two hours from now.”
He gestures to the scientist and the two women on his team. “Redonim and his team are going with you. You may need their expertise to insert the malworm into the Ardak technology.”
Juordin turns to them. “Redonim, Shimi, Helena, I appreciate you coming along. Your knowledge will be invaluable on this mission.”
His words surprise me. Most of the men I’ve met have been different…more reserved. But Juordin isn’t afraid to speak from his heart. It’s a quality I love about him.
Redonim inclines his head but remains silent. He looks nervous, almost reluctant.
The one Juordin had called Helena replies, “Speaking for myself, I’m very much looking forward to the trip. It’s much better than simply waiting around to…” Her words trail off and she swallows.
My throat constricts.
What must it be like for them, knowing that soon they will die?
As dangerous a mission as this is, I can imagine her plight. Anything would be better than sitting around, waiting for the toxin to take me. It’s what I would do.
Even though these people are aliens to me, I realize that we are really very much the same.
Juordin’s father clears his throat, and I realize we’ve all been silent, the meaning behind Helena’s words washing over us like a powerful wave. The door opens and his face lights up. “Ahhh. In addition, I have the leaders of the two teams you asked for.”
Two blond warriors enter the room, coming to stand at the head of the table next to us. The others subtly move out of the way, letting them through.
Juordin turn to face them, and his mouth turns down in a frown. “Casin. Corin. What are you two doing here?”
The two men have matching long blond hair and devilish glints in their glowing green eyes. It’s obvious they’re twins. And if this world is anything like Lla’ei, these handsome men have probably been breaking hearts almost since they were born.
“We can’t let you kill all the cats and take all the glory, can we?” says the man on the left, elbowing his brother.
“Do you really want to send all three of us?” Juordin asks his father.
His father gives a curt nod. “We might as well send the best.”
“We thought about bringing Ferrodin, as well.” Casin laughs. “Why not end the whole line of succession in one fell swoop?”
“But he’s too young for a sword.” The man on the left punches Juordin in the arm. “Plus, cousin, we had to come. No one else would volunteer for this mission.”
I stiffen. Something’s going on here, but I’m not exactly sure what it is. Juordin is related to these men? With his brown-and-gold hair and purple eyes, they look nothing alike, except in stature and bearing.
And even with their beauty, Juordin is far more handsome than these two.
Juordin swallows loudly beside me. “I don’t even know if I can ask this of you. The odds of success on this mission are fairly low, and the current survival rate of our teams against the Ardaks is…abysmal.” He clears his throat. “But we need you, and having you two will greatly increase our chances.”
His words give me pause.
What is it about his two cousins that make them such a powerful team?
The two handsome warriors nod their heads. “It’s an honor to join you, Commander,” says the one on the left with a snappy salute.
“Your Highness,” says the other, winking at Juordin’s father. They about-face together and make their way back to the exit.
And then it hits me.
This is the full line of succession. Casin, Corin, and Juordin. And His
Juordin’s father—is the king.
Which makes Juordin the prince.
My mind reels.
Why haven’t I seen it before? His sense of honor, his duty to his people.
Then the full impact of the king’s orders hits me. No leader would send all the young males of a family line on a mission like this.
Not unless they had no hope for the future.
For a minute, all I can do is look at the two men in front of me, and the two exiting the room. I see my own people in their faces; I can feel their sense of loss.
“Is there anything else you need, sir?” Redonim’s quiet voice breaks into my thoughts. He looks at Shimi and Helena, shifting from foot to foot. “We should probably get ready for the journey.”
“Of course. Good luck. I know you’ll be in good hands.” The king looks at his son with pride.
They exit the room, closing the door behind them, leaving just the three of us alone together. There is tension in the room I don’t completely understand. But for some reason, I feel as if I’m invading a private moment.
Juordin’s father drifts to a window, staring out at a city covered in red dust, bathed in the soft orange glow of an evening sun. Juordin follows him, as well as I, but I stop a short distance away, looking between them and the door.
Should I stay?
The king puts a hand on his son’s shoulder. “You know that what happened in the cave is not your fault. The Ardaks are…formidable. No one could have fought more valiantly, or with better success, than you.”
Juordin nods once and looks at me, “This last time, Ande was our secret weapon. I don’t know if we would have survived without her.”
His father turns back to me. “I can’t say how pleased I am that you are my son’s mate. That you two have met under such terrible circumstances is a tragedy. But still, I can’t help but be glad you did.”
I drift closer to them. They both stare at me, as if waiting for my response.
I’m hesitant to speak, but know I have to. “I have a request, sir.”
Their matching purple eyes take on the same intense glow.
“What is it?” the king asks.
“I believe we should take Solim on our journey. I’d like him to speak to our healers about a possible plant cure.”
Speaking my idea aloud fills me with both uncertainty and excitement. I gathered from their body language at the last meeting that these people feel Solim isn’t entirely right in the head. The older man is a bit eccentric, but I feel deep in my heart that he may hold the answer to all of this. He’s the only scientist that doesn’t think my simple idea about the plant cure isn’t a ridiculous one. And although he’s strange, I fully believe he’s also a genius.
I hold my breath as I stare at the two men. Will they think my request a foolish one?
The king‘s purple gaze flies to Juordin.
My warrior nods slowly, filling my heart with love. “I agree. Let’s ask him.”
His father glances at him as if he’s out of his mind. “Why do you want to take that crazy old man?”
Juordin shrugs. “If she thinks he might help, who are we to say no?”
The king’s eyebrows disappear into the hair on his forehead. “A valid point. I’ll send word to him with your departure time and a request that he join you.”
I try to hide my pleasure. Even though they might not understand why I want the scientist with us, I’m glad they allowed it anyway.
Juordin makes the slightest hiss and hits his shoulder.
We both look at him as one.
He quickly tries to mask the look of pain that crosses his face, but his father and I both stiffen.
The king looks at the toxin indicator on Juordin’s arm. It’s already back in the red.
Like the fuse on an explosive.
My heart lurches. Why didn’t he tell me?
“Juordin…” his father begins.
Juordin sighs. “Don’t say it.”
“There’s time to use a healing bunk before takeoff…”
“I’m fine,” his son says, too quickly.
His father eyes him for a moment, then straightens. “Take care of yourself.” Then, without warning, his father pulls him into a massive hug.
For some reason, my eyes start to fill with tears. These men know that they’ll be dying soon. But with this mission, their time together could be cut even shorter.
Against my will, my thoughts turn back to my own mother. My throat goes dry and my eyes prickle. I understand what it is to say goodbye. My heart aches for them.
When they pull back, both men’s eyes are bright.
“Don’t worry about me, Father. I’ll complete the mission. I’ll make you proud.”
The king clasps his shoulder and stares straight into his eyes. “You already make me proud.” The corners of his mouth twitch downward.
“I know.” Juordin’s lips quirk up at the corners.
His father holds his gaze. “I wished so much more for you than this.”
The king pulls Juordin close one more time and kisses him on the top of his head. He heaves a great sigh and buries his head in Juordin’s hair for a moment, clenching his fists.
Finally, my tears spill over. I try to brush them away. To hide them. They are the ones suffering. The ones walking away from each other, perhaps forever.
I don’t know how it happened, but the next thing I know, Juordin and his father have enfolded me in their embrace. I stiffen for a moment. Too shocked to speak.
“It’s okay,” Juordin whispers. “Cry. Cry for all of us.”
So I do.
And for the first time, I wonder what will happen if we don’t find a cure.