May 31st, 2006
Roping Savannah

Even braced for the sight of Lyan, Draigon could not suppress the flash of anger he felt when he saw the Vesti emerge from the portal building. What had started out as childhood animosity had intensified, solidified over time and it did not help that Lyan’s feelings mirrored his own, that Lyan bristled and glowered as soon as they were within speaking distance, causing Adan to jump in as he was often required to do, to say, “This is not the way to forge peace between our peoples.”

As it always did, it took several seconds for Adan’s words to penetrate, to break the staring contest that was habit when Draigon and Lyan encountered each other. But when it was done, Draigon turned his attention to Krista and felt his breath catch in his throat at her fragile beauty. She was delicate and exquisite. Soft and golden. Completely desirable.

He glanced at Adan. “I come to greet your new bond-mate and to tell her that soon her friend will join her on Belizair. The scientists have determined that the human female, Savannah, has the Fallon gene marker that matches mine.”

“To harm one of the Vesti is to declare war on all of us, Draigon,” Lyan said, drawing Draigon’s gaze and causing fresh anger to rush through him, Lyan’s words a confirmation that he knew his cousin had already mated with Savannah.

“There will be no war. In true Vesti fashion, your cousin took what did not belong to him, but my mate would be dead if he had not been there to interfere. For that reason and that reason alone, I will accept him as a co-mate.”

Draigon once again forced his attention away from Lyan and back to Krista, this time leaning forward and pressing his lips to Krista’s, a taunt to Lyan and yet a sharing with Adan. As Jeqon had said, Adan’s happiness and possessiveness of his bond-mate was easy to see.

When the kiss ended Draigon turned and strode past them, toward the portal, his steps light and hurried. He had reconciled himself to taking a human mate though he had never been drawn to any female other than those of his race, and the thought of a female with no wings had been a leaden weight in his chest. But the instant he saw Krista he understood why some of the Fallon had been fascinated by the women on Earth, why he had not seen any of the other human females brought back to Winseka. Their mates had yet to let them out of bed!

Draigon’s heart quickened and his cock grew hard in anticipation. Where before he had been resigned, now he was anxious to get to the task of securing his mate and bringing her home, breeding her so that his line would continue.

He entered the transport chamber, glad he had been granted permission to jump from the portal exit to where Kye and Savannah were, otherwise he would have been forced to endure endless Earth-hours using their primitive means of transportation.

Draigon grimaced. By all accounts, Earth was a backwater of a planet and he did not intend to remain there for long. He would secure his mate and return before the third sun rose and set on Belizair.

The stones in the chamber pulsed in a sequence of light and color and Draigon braced himself as the Ylan crystals in his wristbands pulled on the energy around them, preparing for the transmutation that preceded transport. The air becoming charged, and then before he could take a breath, he was on Earth.

He paused long enough to change into the clothing stored in a room adjacent to the transport chamber, then he used the Ylan stones to both hide his wings and to transport him to Kye’s location. And for a moment Draigon could only stare in amazed disbelief at the sight before him.

I would stand and greet you properly but as you can see, I am tied up right now, Kye said, his amused voice jerking Draigon’s attention from the sight of a bound Vesti warrior lying on the ground to the human standing over him.

As if sensing his presence, Savannah turned toward Draigon and lust poured into him even as the breath was forced from his chest. He moved forward with only one thought, to claim his mate.

Holy fuck! Where had he come from! Savannah wondered as she scrambled for the rifle leaning against a tree and jerked the rope at the same time so the knot hogtying Kye’s wrists to his ankles like a calf in a rodeo event would pull free.

Whoever Mr. Red was, he was coming toward them fast. And though he wasn’t armed, he looked deadly enough without a weapon. She grabbed the rifle just as he got to where Kye had rolled over and was now sitting, freeing himself from the rope.

“Stop right there,” Savannah said, chambering a round and pointing the rifle at the center of the stranger’s chest, watching as his gaze dropped to the weapon, his face reflecting surprise, and then amusement. But he did as she commanded, not taking his eyes off her even when Kye rose to his feet.

“This is Draigon d’Amato,” Kye said. “He means you no harm.”

Savannah’s eyes narrowed, not liking the way Kye’s body radiated tension. Not liking the way he’d phrased his comment. She didn’t lower the rifle.

“He might not mean me any harm, but what about you?”

Kye forced himself to relax, but by the stars, it was hard! When he had first seen Draigon he had assumed the Amato was now working for the Council scientists. He had assumed Draigon was to guard Savannah while he returned to San Francisco and spoke with Jeqon. But Draigon’s reaction to the sight of Savannah, his telepathically delivered announcement that he was her mate by Council law had very nearly devastated Kye. Of all the Amato who could have been matched with Savannah…to have it be this one…a man long at odds with his cousin Lyan.

Surely our mate does not intend to discharge that primitive weapon into my chest, Draigon said, sending hope flooding into Kye, disbelief. His thoughts caught on a single word-our mate.

You have accepted me as your co-mate? he asked, saying to Savannah, “He means me no harm, either. I was expecting a third to join us. Though I had not intended to be caught in the position Draigon found me in.”

She lowered the rifle, suspicion still radiating from her, filling Kye with both pride and amusement. Did Jeqon tell you she has been trained to serve as a policewoman among the humans? Be warned, she is intelligent and observant. Very little gets by her. He paused, daring to ask the yet unanswered question again. You have accepted me as your co-mate?

Yes. The answer was a hostile growl but for the moment Kye was filled with relief and gratitude. Even happiness. Until Draigon said, Leave us.

The command was enough to bring the Vesti desire to hoard a mate roaring to life, burning through Kye’s veins with the same heat of the mating fever. He stiffened. Torn between the primitive urge to fight Draigon for possession of Savannah and the knowledge that he must share her with the flame-haired Amato.

Kye took a deep breath and forced a calm he did not truly feel into his body. He concentrated on the lessons he had learned in dealing with the Council members who looked on him with hostility and suspicion. It would serve no purpose to antagonize Draigon, though Kye had no intention of being a lesser mate to Savannah. For the moment diplomacy rather than challenge was necessary. I cannot leave. She must go to town in order to report to her captain. It would be safer for her if both of us were there to see to her protection.

Draigon’s face tightened. Every cell in his body announced his desire to be alone with Savannah. But finally he gave a slight nod and some of the tension drained from both of them.

Savannah watched the play of emotions over Kye’s face and through his body. There was something going on between the two men–not sexually. But something–the air was practically vibrating around them.

The long hair and the bands on Draigon’s wrists said he was from the same place as Kye. And between the conversation she’d had with Kye over breakfast and him saying, “I was expecting a third to join us,” it would be logical to think…

Savannah grinned. Now that she didn’t have to worry about defending herself and Kye, she could salivate over Draigon’s hard-muscled body. Could even undress him mentally and imagine herself in bed with him.

Damn, close the paddock gate before the stud could escape!