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Authors: Mardi Maxwell

Tags: #General Fiction

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BOOK: Soren's Bondmate
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The ice cracked again just as the sound of the approaching tribesmen reached her. "Sorry about this," she said, then biting her lower lip, she grabbed his arms and dragged him toward the largest of the boulders.

"Why are you so fargen big?" she mumbled as she dropped his arms. Behind her she heard a loud cracking sound and turned just in time to see the pod break through the ice and sink into the depths of the lake. "Well, that solves the problem of what to do with that."

With only nano-units to spare, she thanked the gods that their lives had been spared then called on the elements. The air shimmered and the bloody tracks she'd made disappeared as a shelter formed around her and the warrior. Skye knew that from the outside it blended in with the other boulders even though from the inside it was clear. She breathed a short sigh of relief and plopped down next to the warrior just as the Groaners burst into the clearing.

Most of them stayed back from the broken ice but a foolish one went closer and almost fell through. The others pulled him to safety as their leader appeared and began shouting and gesturing. After a few moments they turned and began leaving the area but the leader stopped and sniffed the air and Skye knew he'd caught her scent and the scent of the warrior's blood. He roared with anger at the loss of an easy meal then followed his men.

She dismissed them and looked at the male she'd rescued while she wondered if this meant he belonged to her. Wasn't there something about saving a person's life that meant they owed you a life debt? She leaned toward him and whispered, "If you owe me a life debt I wouldn't mind if you woke up and was the kind of warrior who could save my life."

Her only answer was the rising and falling of his chest as he fought to live. His clothes were soaked with blood so she conjured a krystal knife and used it to cut them away. Once he was naked, she ran her hands over him, carefully cataloguing each injury. His right wrist and both legs were broken. A massive bruise was forming over his chest and belly where he'd broken several ribs and had internal injuries.

Krystal enchantresses needed the love and companionship of their family or mate to remain strong but she'd been alone for the last two moon phases. The last time Berit had visited her it had been hard to tell him that her death was drawing near. Saddened by the memory and his reaction she moved her palms over the warrior's body and began trying to heal him. Where his internal organs were damaged and bleeding she lingered and felt them begin to function again. Little by little she healed the most critical injuries then even though she was exhausted she went back and tried to heal more of his wounds, determined that he would live.

While she worked some of his memories flooded into her mind. She learned his name but more importantly she discovered that he needed a mate as much as she did. As the connection between them grew stronger she saw the many battles he'd fought and that he was a warrior whose honor was his life.

Knowing she'd found a worthy mate too late she continued to work until she collapsed against him. Lying there, hearing his heartbeat slow she knew he would die this cycle but he would not die alone. She used the last of her strength to clean his body of all traces of blood then she decorated the inside of their shelter, now their tomb, with swirls of precious gems. On the outside she wrote their names and what had happened so her brother would know that she'd found her mate before she died. She removed her clothes, laid down next to him with her head on his shoulder and allowed her tears to fall as she grew colder and he grew hotter. He struggled for another breath and his eyes opened revealing the most beautiful aqua eyes she'd ever seen even though they were filled with pain. Skye brushed her fingers over his cheek. "Hello, Soren."

"Little heart." He stared at her then grimaced with pain when he drew in another breath.

She not only saw his struggle to live but felt it and something inside her leapt to life. She couldn't let him die. She sat up and held his face between her palms while she looked into his eyes. "Soren, say you want me."

He groaned with pain and his eyes began to close. She tapped his cheek. "No, stay awake." He struggled to open his eyes and succeeded. "Your mating fever is killing you. My need for a worthy mate is killing me. I can save us but you have to say you want me." By coercing him into accepting her claim she was breaking the first law. The penalty if she was caught was death.

"Want you," he said, his voice weak as he struggled to pull in another breath.

She held his head and forced him to meet her eyes. "I claim you, Soren. My heart is yours to cherish. My life is yours to protect. I willingly give my powers to you for all time." She opened his mouth then breathed her life force into his body before she moved back and waited to see if she was in time to save them. Slowly his body began to heal itself. The bruises and scars on his body faded until his bronze flesh was unblemished. A blue mist with black swirls flowed from his body toward hers.

He opened his eyes and with a roar came up into a crouch and leapt toward her, taking her down to the soft mat she'd made for him earlier. His huge body caged her as one of his hands curved around her nape and lifted her mouth to his. His lips blazed hot against hers, forcing them open so his tongue could sweep inside. He explored her mouth, learning her taste. The kiss went on and on until she was breathless and burning. She wiggled and pulled him closer, spreading her legs and giving him room to move between them. Joyfully, she stroked his body, touching as much of him as she could reach, encouraging him to complete the bond between them. Wave after wave of her power slid through the mist of his desire and pushed them toward a burning need for each other.

He slid kisses over her cheeks and neck then down her body, over soft breasts with hard nipples and onto her bare mound where he breathed in and tasted her scent before he moved to her feet. Each kiss he left on her skin as he moved back up her body branded her as his. She claimed them just as she'd claimed him.

She wrapped her legs around his back and felt him place the head of his cock against her and thrust. She welcomed him and he kissed her, hard, his tongue stroking hers while he withdrew then pressed in again.

Skye kissed his neck, his cheeks, and his lips. His mouth covered hers and he kissed her deeply pushing their arousal higher and higher. She moved her hands to his shoulders and caressed him, urging him on. "Please, oh, oh, yes." She gasped his name when an unbearable rush of pleasure exploded through her, shaking her.

He groaned, tightened his arms around her then shuddered as he came. A moment later he collapsed and his weight pressed her into the soft mat beneath them. She kissed his cheek and he lifted up far enough that their eyes met. Skye smiled, brushed her hand over his head and heard him moan with pleasure. A sense of joy filled her. They were alive and she'd found her mate. She raised up onto her elbows and kissed him. "Soren," she breathed his name in wonder. "My Soren. My mate."

He kissed her then moved to the side but kept his arms around her before he rested his head on her breast and with a sigh fell asleep. While he rested she thought about their situation. Claiming him without his informed consent was a risky move on her part. She could only hope that when she told him she'd done it to save their lives he'd understand and accept their mating.

It was the way of her people that once a mate was chosen love quickly followed. Even now her love for him blazed inside her. If he objected to her claim he had the right to go to the Krystali Kouncil and lodge a complaint. Something she definitely wanted to avoid although in her experience warriors were unpredictable and difficult to deal with at the best of times.

She'd talk to him in the morning. He would have to accept her once he understood that only he could give her the life force she needed to survive. Satisfied with her decision she curled her body around his and fell asleep.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

He opened his eyes and sat up. His movements woke the female next to him. She stretched, revealing that she was naked beneath the blanket that covered her. Bright teal eyes opened and glanced his way. She smiled and his heart skipped a beat before he controlled his heated reaction to her presence. In a deep gravelly voice he asked, "Where are we? What is this place?"

She reached out and touched his arm. "This is our shelter. How do you feel? Any pain?"

He rubbed his aching temple. "Who are you?"

"You don't remember me?" she asked.

The sound of her surprised voice with an undertone of relief raised the hairs on the back of his neck in warning. He watched her closely when he answered her. "No."

She hesitated then touched his arm again. "I'm Skye, your mate."

"My mate?" He fought to keep the suspicion out of his voice while he focused on her, trying to remember her and drew a blank. Reaching out, he traced the black tattoo that surrounded her left eye then slid his fingers over her soft cheek to her mouth and full lower lip. She surprised him by leaning toward him and accepting his touch. He tested her attachment to him by sliding his hands over her creamy skin and down her neck to her breasts. Her nipples hardened beneath his palms. He caught her shy smile.

Even lying down he could tell she was tall. He pushed the blanket away and ran his hands down her body to her ankles and measured them with his fingers. She was fine-boned with smooth, flawless skin. He trailed his hands up her legs and over her voluptuous hips before measuring her slender waist with his hands. His thumbs pressed into her softly rounded belly. She wiggled and he lowered himself over her, clasped her head with his hands and pressed his fingers into her intricately braided blond hair before he plucked a dead weed from the curls. He held it up, showing it to her.

"I fell down the path." She smiled again. "It must have gotten caught in my hair then."

He stared into her eyes, judging the truthfulness of her statement then lowered his mouth to hers when he decided she wasn't lying. He rubbed his mouth back and forth over her lips then licked them. She tasted and felt familiar but when he searched his memory he realized he couldn't remember anything about her or himself, not even his name. A flair of panic rose up inside him but he stifled it, looked away from her and decided he had no choice but to accept the situation. For now.

After a moment he moved away from her and pressed on the jeweled wall of the shelter. It gave and his fingers sank into it. He pulled his hand back then pressed in again "What is this substance?"

Skye wrapped a blanket around her shoulders and sat up. "It's krystal." She touched his arm. "Do you remember the crash?"

He thought for a moment, drew a blank and rubbed his temple again. "No."

She wrapped the blanket around herself, tucked the corner in between her breasts and sat up. "Your ship crashed and you were injured. I had to get you out of it quickly as the Groaners were coming."

"Groaners?"

"It's what I call the local tribe. They're primitive and very dangerous if they catch you out in the open. Fortunately they make a lot of noise so you can hear them coming. Anyway, I got you out of your ship and hid us before they arrived."

He looked outside. "Where is the ship now?"

"It crashed onto the frozen lake then skidded into those boulders." She pointed to the boulders next to their shelter where the ice had been disturbed. "I barely got you out before it broke through and sank into the lake."

He traced the swirling design on the wall with his fingertip. "You built this?" He looked at her. "How?"

"Some Krystali females can conjure white krystal to make shelters or other natural objects." She picked up a blanket and the knife she'd made and offered them to him. "Like these."

He rubbed the cloth between two fingers before he examined the knife. "Only the females make this?"

"Yes, only females can conjure krystal."

"Where does it come from?"

Skye waved her hands through the air. "From the elements. The air, water and earth."

He wasn't sure he believed her. "Make one of these weapons you speak of."

"Hold out your hand," she said.

He did, slowly, suspiciously, and a nano-unit later a five inch long white krystal shard and a three inch long dark krystal shard appeared on his palm. He turned them from side to side. The white one had small specks of different colors in it and reflected the light. The dark one seemed to absorb it. He held them up and it was then the tip of the dark one glowed with a red light and he heard Skye gasp. He sent her a questioning look.

She reached out and touched the red tip. "Dark krystal is pure black but ours is also red." She touched one of his armbands. "The stones on your bands were red but they've changed as well. Now they have dark krystal in them."

Soren tossed the shards into the air and caught them. The dark one nicked his finger. He licked the wound and felt Skye's eyes follow his actions. "What's the difference between them?"

"The white one can injure or kill an enemy depending on where it strikes them. The dark krystal is deadly. Being struck by the tiniest piece will kill a person within a couple micro-units."

He held up his finger. "Yet I've been cut by it and still live."

"As my mate this krystal is a part of us so it won't kill you."

He looked through the walls of their shelter. "Can our enemies see us?"

"The walls are clear from the inside but from the outside they match the boulders around us. I can change the color if you like but we're safe here. Even dark krystal can't penetrate them."

He struggled to make sense of everything she'd told him. He thought about it while he looked her over. She was beautiful but not a warrior. "How do you use this krystal as a weapon?"

Skye smiled. "I don't. Krystali females only conjure the krystal. We're healers so we can't use it as a weapon, not even to protect ourselves. The ability to cast krystal is a gift a krystal conjurer or krystal enchantress, like me, gives to her mate. When we joined I gave my powers to you. That's why your hand sank into the wall and the dark krystal didn't kill you—it allows you to manipulate it. As a dark krystal warrior you're now one of the most powerful and deadly warriors in the galaxy."

BOOK: Soren's Bondmate
11.98Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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