Dragon Unearthed by Ishabelle Torry

Chapter 4

Kai

I sniff at the air; her scent gives what she’s feeling away. Fear, confusion, and excitement intermingle around her, and I know she’s about to run. I prepare my still weakened legs for the chase. If she proves too fast, I may have to shift into my creature form—which I want to avoid at all costs. Her reaction to realizing I am not human has already given me enough information to know she will respond with possible hate toward my true nature. I can’t risk her discovering my inner creature until she’s ready to accept me as her mate.

She continues to back away as I move forward. The smell of her fear strengthens the closer I get. I casually guide her steps until she is forced to re-enter the tent behind her. Here, I have a better chance of keeping her from escaping until she at least hears what I have to say. Frustration wells in my chest. I need to hear her speak more of her language before the communique implant can properly download it into my brain link, and I can speak it more fluently. After listening to the men across the way in their encampment for a few minutes, I was able to download enough to at least understand these humans’ speech.

I point to myself, silently cursing my impatience. Had I stayed hidden in the shadows and listened a few more moments, communication wouldn’t be the barrier it is now. Patience has never been one of my virtues. “Kai.” I now point at her, hoping she understands my intention.

No such luck, it seems. She points to the opening of the tent. “Out!” she shouts.

“Out!” I mimic, maintaining what I hope is a friendly smile. I know what the word means, but I’m not leaving. Eventually she’ll realize it.

Her mouth falls open in an O. “No. Not me out. You, out!”

I stare at her, still pretending not to understand. Not only do I need her to keep speaking for the communique, riling her up has proven satisfying. Entertaining. So much fire burns inside of her soul…it calls to me. Daring me to smolder it, claim it, and link it to my own. I can tell our mateship will be nothing short of incredible—once she lets me in. “You, out!” I echo her words, barely refraining from laughing out loud when she releases a low groan and shakes her head.

The scent of fear lessens, and she takes a step toward me. “You’re not hearing me, Lizard Man. Get out of my tent. I don’t want you here.” She makes a shooing motion with her hands, which I in turn copy. She steps closer. “Skedaddle, shoo…go! You don’t belong here.”

“Here?”

“Yeah, here. In my tent—” she holds her arms out in front of herself and forms a circle—“or anywhere else on the planet, is my guess.” Her ample breasts heave with every breath; her large brown eyes are full of shock and awe. “Oh man, you’re an alien, aren’t you?”

My eyes close for a brief moment as an intense wave of lightheadedness rushes me. The communique has finally heard enough of her speech, and is now downloading to my neurolink. I flex the muscles in my jaw by opening and closing my mouth several times before clearing my throat and speaking. “Yes, I am what you would call an alien. I hail from a far-off star system located in what is known as a dwarf galaxy on the edge of this much larger one.”

Her complexion pales drastically, which I find interesting since she’s already rather pale skinned, with little brown specs that cover the bridge of her petite nose and the very tip of her pronounced chin. Come to think of it, she looks nothing like her ancient ancestors, the ones I last saw before seeking out hibernation in the caves. She is much more refined, and petite with a narrow waist. My eyes travel the length of her slender body. These modern humans lack the coarse hair their ancestors boasted, and her legs are long and lean, instead of short and muscular. “Are you the typical prototype for all females of your species?” I blurt without thinking.

“Pardon?” She cocks her head to the side and blinks fast several times. “Oh, wow. You’re already bored with me, I see. What, you wanna see if the grass is greener on the other side? Sorry to disappoint you, Lizard Man. What you see is what you get with me. So if I’m not up to your standards, then…well, I don’t know what to tell you. I suppose you should go bother someone else now.”

Her tone warns me I have offended her somehow, yet I fail to see my mistake. “I merely meant I am curious about your species.” I close the gap between us, and I can see her eyes darting around, searching for a way past me. I reach out and wipe a strand of wayward hair from her face and find myself enamored by the orange-red shade. There’ve only been a handful of species I’ve come across with random shades of red hair. “Beautiful,” I murmur as I bring it to my nose and sniff. “Your kind has evolved rather rapidly, and in a most appealing manner, it appears.”

She crinkles her nose and rolls her beautiful cocoa colored eyes. “Whatever you say. Let me guess, your kind is the reason for little green men tales of abduction and experiment.”

“Little green men?” I snicker. “Sounds like the Arma. Do they have big black eyes and narrow lines for a mouth?”

“Are you for real?” she gasps. “Oh…this shit can’t be happening. Oh God…maybe I fell in the cave and bumped my head or something.”

I can’t resist touching her any longer and pull her body up against mine. The heat of her skin penetrates mine, and the scent of the mating nectar invades my nostrils. She is most definitely my one. She stares up at me with…I don’t quite know. Fear is no longer present, but I do sense hesitation and perhaps curiosity. “You act as though you’ve never encountered another lifeform outside of your world.”

“I haven’t,” she answers, a slight tremble rushing down her body. “No one has. We thought we were alone in the universe.”

Nuzzling my nose against her cheek, I whisper softly, “Sounds like an arrogant assumption to me. Do you not know how large the universe is?”

“Uh huh,” she says on a soft whimper.

Her eyes close, and her head tilts to the side ever so slightly, but enough to expose her neck to my tongue. I can’t resist tasting her flesh, and lick a trail from her chin to collarbone. She’s salty, yet sweet. When she moans and wraps her arms around my neck, I lift her up, and she straddles my waist with those spectacularly long legs. My cock presses against her hot core, and her arousal fills the air.

Her very being is no doubt experiencing the mating call, and her body is reacting of its own accord. Were we back on my home world, it would be enough; a willing body to claim and produce offspring. Very few of my kind mated for love or desire. Instead, we mate for survival. For a continuation of our race amongst a vast network of other species in our very own solar system and the next. But this…I can’t help but think about her will, her desires. She is not Drakkonian. Do humans have a mating ritual, a true mate of their own? Most specifically, did she have another human male who would one day lay claim to her as his? I fear I lack too much knowledge of this world’s civilization. I reluctantly pull my head away from her neck. “Do you have other mates? I will not share what is mine, fated or not.”

Her eyes flutter open, and she breaks the embrace. Her cheeks are flushed, and a sheen of sweat covers her forehead. After smoothing her clothing down several times, she finally replies, “I don’t think I fully understand your meaning. I mean, humans have sex, if that’s what you want to know. A lot of sex. We are a very sexual species.”

“But no mates?”

She shrugs her shoulders and a nervous giggle passes her lips as she twiddles her fingers around one another. “Not exactly. We have marriage, but somehow I don’t think that’s what you’re getting at.”

“Define marriage.”

“Well, it’s when two people fall in love and become a couple for life. Or what’s supposed to be death do us part. Sometimes married people fall out of love and seek another. Sometimes several times.”

“That sounds rather unpleasant, and socially disastrous. What of offspring?”

She coughs, as if choking on her own spit. “Do you mean children? Well, kids are the easy part for humans. We don’t need a permanent, er…mate, just a quickie to conceive. That’s it. No strings.”

“A quickie? Is that what you call copulation?” Her entire pallor turns even brighter red, discoloring not only her face, but her neck as well. Once again, the honeyed scent of her arousal fills the air, daring me to mark my claim. My whole body burns with desire, and the only thing that can quench the fires is standing in front of me. “It appears you are receptive to the notion of offspring.”

“Whoa!” she exclaims as she thrusts her hands out and stops me from retaking her into my arms. “Okay, this is getting too personal, too fast. I need time to think about all of this...about what to do with you.” I continue to push forward against her hands. They slowly weaken, and soon she is leaning into me. She lays her head on my shoulder as I wrap my arms around her and hold her to my chest. “Oh dear God…what the hell is wrong with me? Your nearness is driving me insane in all the right ways.”

“It’s the mating call, and its pull is strong.”

She lifts her chin and looks up at me. “Do you feel it, too? Is it affecting you like it is me?”

“More than even I can understand. Your presence in my den woke me from a long hibernation of thousands of years, and has held me captive since before I even saw you. The sound of your voice, realizing you were my mate has left me befuddled. I never imagined I would find my soulmate on another world so far away from Drakon.”

She sighs heavily and snuggles closer. “Why can’t human males be so romantic? Wait”—all her muscles tense—“did you just say thousands of years?”