Dream Worlds Are Born

Story 621: Tarryn & Orthu


#1

Tarryn was out with friends at a restaurant they all loved. They laughed and talked about their lives and eventually, as seemed to often occur, men came up in conversation. Her friend Alice was in a new relationship and it warmed Tarryn to see her so happy and gushing like she was about this guy. Alice was an amazing person and somehow she always ended up with the worst human beings. It seemed things were finally changing for the better with her. Once Alice was done talking Camilla, a friend Tarryn had had since middle school began talking. She was a wolf shifter and incredibly beautiful. Tarryn had expected to hear about another amazing lover she had hooked up with but to her surprise Camilla had apparently found her mate.

“No way!” Alice squealed and Camilla nodded happily “Yeah, I can finally just settle down. I’m so happy”

“I’m so happy for you guys” Tarryn said, tempted to get up and hug them. Camilla grinned “Now you just need to find someone. I mean other than your little pen pal” Camilla looked around the restaurant and spotted a male server she had noticed the last time they were here “He’s cute”

“I’m not really looking”

“because of your pen pal?”

“No, Not because of Orthu”

“You do talk about him a lot” Alice pointed out and Tarryn responded “well, I mean, we talk all the time. I may not actually see him a lot but he’s become a big part of my life.”

“He’s the leader of his planet and makes time to write you frequently. I sense theres something there”

“His planet is pretty peaceful, I sense someone is bored and I fill time” They teased her a little more before the conversation went to other things. The girls only left when the restaurant was near closing and the group already had plans to meet the next day. Tarryns head began to ache as she approached her car and the air around her somehow became thick “Camilla” she had tried to call out to her friend and had no idea if she had heard.

The only thing her senses could pick up now was the sound of plastic moving and soon enveloping her. The next day when Tarryn didn’t show up at the arcade Camilla called her, worried when she didn’t answer. Tarryn had never been a flake “we should go to her house”

“she’ll be here, maybe she was up all night writing Orthu. Give it another hour or two alright Camilla”

“I’ve known her longer than you have. She would have called or texted me last night if she was worried she’d sleep in. Tarryn wouldn’t just be hours late, she doesn’t have a rude bone in her body”

“Look, I’m supposed to meet my boyfriend. Can you just go? I mean, I’m just a human anyway. Only you are going to be helpful”

“fine but I’ll remember this next time I feel we should be worried about you” Camilla said angrily and left for Tarryns home. She still lived with her parents so her father Neek answered the door “Camilla, where’s Tarryn?” That was the last thing she had wanted to hear her father say. He saw the dread on her face and he asked more seriously “where is my daughter? I thought she was with you and Alice last night”

“she was but she went home, we all did” Camilla followed Neek to Tarryns bedroom and then out to Tarryns ship and they both knew, Tarryn had never made it home. Neek walked out and Camilla followed, soon finding herself on his ship “what’re we doing?” Tarryn asked and Neek said “I’m going to track her phone” just as he said it he groaned “damn it”

“what?”

“It’s been destroyed”

“Neek, you have got to tell me theres another way to find her, for all we know she’s been missing since we left the restaurant” Camilla was near tears even as Neek said “we have a large family. I’ll tell everyone to look for her while you and I go back to the restaurant”

“I’ll call my pack”

“Good, thank you Camilla”

“I knew something was wrong the second she didn’t show up on time…I should have checked sooner” Tarryn woke with a gasp, immediately grabbing at the cold, meal thing around her neck. She stood, just to see if she could but nothing bound her. She looked around the room “don’t panic, whatever you do don’t panic” she internally instructed herself. Tarryn decided to try to leave the room she was in and found she could “what the fuck is this?” once again, speaking in her own mind. She looked back into the room to see if she still had her purse but it was gone.

She soon noticed her jewelry was missing as well beyond her favorite hair clip. She wondered what sort of weirdo takes everything from someone but a hair clip and doesn’t even bother to lock her up beyond this ridiculously heavy thing around her neck. She began walking around what she soon realized was a ship “great, I’m in space with whomever did this. How is anybody supposed to find me” her inner voice said worriedly.

She jumped back a little when the alien who had taken her came rushing down the hall “good morning Tarryn” He noticed her looking him over and he chuckled “looking for weakness’s little mixed breed? Now that isn’t any way for a good captive to behave”

“I do not plan to be good”

“Oh?” Something appeared in his hand. She was trying to make out what it was as he said “How miserable this is completely depends on you Tarryn. I have nothing against you but Orthu, that’s another story. He’s being a stubborn asshole. He has something that belongs to me and now I have something of his. I know he’ll trade so you just need to be a patient, obedient little bargaining chip. If you comply, you wont be harmed”

“Do you think I’m dating him?”

“No, I know you’re not but he’s in love with you”

“No he isnt, I dont know why I have to keep telling people that” with his free hand he pulled a picture out of his pocket “Guess where I found this” he started as he handed it to her, it was a picture of her “I dont know, the internet”

“don’t be smart ass Tarryn.”

“well don’t ask me dumb questions you know I don’t know the answer to” he glared at her “a little birdie of mine found it in his home”

“I’m his friend, you’ll find pictures of my friends in my home too”

“I dont care if you believe he loves you, the point is I know he does”

“because of a picture or because you’re a loon who’s talking to birds?” she knew he meant some sort of informant but she was annoyed and wanted to annoy him. “Tarryn, do not make me hurt you.”

“I can get a lot more annoying. You may want to just take me home” He pressed into what he had been holding and she instantly began screaming, unable to stop. The pain coursing through her was more intense than anything she could have ever imagined. He didn’t stop until she hit the floor again. Growling angrily he kicked her in the stomach even though he knew she was out cold. He then grabbed her by her hair and drug her back to the room she started in “I hate you beings form Krawnum” he snarled at her as he left, planning to continue getting as far into deep space as possible. The farther he was away from Krawnum and earth, the harder time they were going to have finding them. He was going to drive her away for at least a week. He wanted Orthu nice and desperate when he finally contacted him with demands.


#2

Orthu almost didn’t hear the notification sound his computer made when he got a message. He had been so focused on the project he was working on that it took it a moment to register. He glanced up and blinked as he looked at the screen. Neek had sent him a message and it was marked urgent. He swallowed, worry filling him. Had he accidentally crossed a line with Tarryn? He reached out and tapped the screen and his heart nearly stopped when he read the message. He had to re-read it just to make sure he wasn’t seeing things. Tarryn was missing? He went and checked his messages again, making sure he hadn’t missed anything from her. She was missing. He went back and sent Neek a message, telling him he hadn’t heard from her, but he was going to get right on it.

He then pressed a button on his desk, an alert that would call the head of Krawnum’s military to him. Even though the planet was peaceful, his father had made sure they had warriors as a precaution. The man was also the one he put in charge when he had to leave. “Sir?” He said when he walked in.

“I’m sorry to call you on such short notice, but I need you to watch over the planet while I’m gone.”

“Is something wrong?”

“Tarryn’s missing.”

“Then I should go, I can take a small crew.”

“I need to do this, I owe it to her. I’ll head for earth and go from there, but please stay here and keep everything in order.”

“At least take some of the men, just in case sir.”


#3

Tarryn woke again even more annoyed than she was the first time she woke. She began looking around the room for anything to try to remove this thing but there wasn’t much in here. She huffed out, ready to give him a piece of her mind. She found him steering the ship “what a dick move”

“I’m not familiar with your human terms Tarryn but I can see you’re angry. I thought you’d wake more complacent”

“Fuck that and fuck you.”

“Tarryn all you have to do is shut your mouth and behave. I’ll even feed you now if you’d like”

“No, I’m not just going to sit here and let you do this. Orthu is an amazing leader who cares about his people. Even if he would I don’t want him to trade anything for me because if he’s keeping something from you there has to be good reason and as I pointed out, he’s a good leader. He’ll put Krawnum first, even if he loves me I don’t think he’d put them in danger”

The alien left the controls and stood in front of her "eat with me Tarryn"he said it so calmly “I’m not hungry”

“so you’re going to have a hunger strike?” she didn’t say anything so he went to grab her by the arm. He was absolutely not about to man handle her anywhere. She roundhouse kicked him as hard as she could in the side “dont touch me!” he started chuckling “You are so amusing Tarryn. I think I’m starting to like you too which is surprising since I detest your lineage. Maybe its the human and other alien race in you that attracts me” Great, that hadn’t hurt him in the slightest. “dont get any weird ideas”

He circled her and grinned ina way that creeped her out. He leaned down to whisper in her ear “you know, part of me doing this was to punish him. What better way than mating with the girl he wants” her fist went straight up his nose and to her delight she could tell that actually hurt him. He cried out and backed away from her. She hoped that was all a bluff, another method of trying to get her to behave. She ran for his controls, taking over the ship was the only way she was going to get home without Orthu having to do anything.


#4

The sudden shock of pain hit her like a lightening bolt and even though she wanted to curl up and pass out, she refused to fall unconscious around him again. She had no idea what he would do to her if she did. Instead, she gripped onto the edge of the control panel and flipped the ship over, spinning it quickly upside down. Since he had the gravity enabled, he went flying towards the ceiling while she dangled from the console. She saw something go flying out of his hand and when he started to struggle up, she flipped the ship back over. “You stupid, little, bitch!” He screamed and pushed himself quickly to his feet and launched himself at her.

He slammed into her back before she could turn the ship over again and grabbed at her, trying to pull her away from the controls. “No!” She kicked at him as her fingers clung to the console.

“You’re going to regret screwing with me.”

“Fuck you!” She did something she knew was probably stupid and incredibly dangerous, she hit the emergency landing button and set it to full speed. The ship’s alarms started going off and the autopilot took over, heading toward the nearest planet. She elbowed him in the face, so he let her go and ducked around him, running and nearly falling as the ship started into a nosedive.


#5

Orthu and his men were making the officers uncomfortable as they questioned everyone on shift that night when the girls went out to eat. Orthu had insisted on listening to the interviews and since he was the leader of another planet they let him. “why are these humans so unhelpful” he asked nobody in particular as yet another person had no useful information. An officer nervously swallowed “we’ll find her” Neek grabbed Orthus arm, he had stayed there with him, not only because he too wanted information as fast as possible but because Orthus aura was so intense and angry. He wanted to help him stay calm before he caused a problem between them and the officers.

“Orthu maybe we should get some air. I dont think the other girl is coming into the station for another twenty minuets”

“Thats not going to help us find her. I just need any clue of what to do” Neek managed to force him outside of the police department “Orthu, I need you to be calm because I’m struggling myself. All of Fregs descendants are in space doing what they can and here on earth we have the police force and all the wolves in Camillas pack looking for some kind of clue as to what happened to her”

“they need to let me look at her car”

“CSI needs to finish with it first Orthu. If theres evidence in there they wont be able to use it to prosecute whomever took her if you go in there before they are done with it”

“why is it taking so long”

“Orthu, humans have not been around anywhere near as long as us. They are much less advanced. We need to let them handle this in their time just incase this is a human or creature from this realm”

“Neek I…I will try to calm down”

“thank you for coming. You have those cops so scared I know they are working as hard as they can” The next interview they listened to was actually helpful. “The only weird thing that night was the air seemed heavy…like…I couldnt even hear myself speak. I was talking on the phone and everything was distorted for a few moments and no I dont do drugs”

“heavy?” the officers asked in shock. Neek glanced over at Orthu to find him gone and the next moment in the interrogation room "did your head hurt?

“sir you need to get out” The officer tried “I think this is an alien issue so sit down and let me talk to her” he said sternly. The cop obeyed, looking like he might wet himself in fear. “ye…yeah it did”

“The air, besides everything being heavy, tell me more about it”

“I dont know, I guess it was pretty thick too”

“what sort of sound was there”

“um, I dont think there was any sound. I was just trying to hear myself and the person I had been talking to”


#6

“Thank you, miss.”

“Ye…yeah, no problem.”

Orthu walked out of the interrogation room and Neek quickly joined him. He could see the rage and worry in Orthu’s eyes. “You know who has her.”

“Yes.” Orthu’s voice was calm, but Neek knew it was just him trying not to explode on the spot.

“Do you know where they are or how to find them?”

“Him…and I will as soon as I contact his planet. That simpering, little bastard, I’m going to kill him.”

Tarryn hauled herself up and through the open door, only briefly glancing back down to see the alien climbing up the side of the wall, using the architecture of it has hand and footholds. The ship had entered the gravity of the nearest planet and she knew they would be crashing soon. She needed to get to a safer part of the ship. She stumbled down the hall, slamming into one of the walls as the ship pitched sideways. She glanced over her shoulder to see him pulling himself up after her and she quickly turned the corner. She couldn’t let him catch up with her.


#7

She wished she could be in her fathers form, the form of all her people on Krawnum but this collar was somehow preventing the shift. It put her at a disadvantage to her pursuer. She’d be just as durable and maybe more so if she wasn’t stuck in this human body. The adrenaline however was helping her ignore the pain because she knew at this point there would be no civility at all between them. If he got her again she didn’t even want to think about what he might do but she didn’t have it in her to simply obey, to sit around and let him use her against Orthu and the beings of Krawnum.

When she ship finally hit the planet something slammed into her so hard it actually cracked the collar, however, it also broke her nose. She could taste her own blood and it almost made her gag, she hated the taste of blood. She pushed what resembled a cabinet off of her and grabbed onto the collar, jerking at it despite how much the effort continued to hurt her. Things would be so much easier if she could just ditch this human body.

It gave a little more and she was just starting to try to shift when her captor lunged at her, tackling Tarryn to the ground. However, thankfully, the collar had been damaged enough she could shift. Now this asshole was going to have to fight someone bigger than he was instead of the other way around.


#8

“What I want you to do, is locate his ship and give me its location.” Orthu said as he spoke to the image of the leader of the other planet.

“And you’re sure it was him?”

Orthu glared at him and Neek actually saw the smaller man flinch even though they weren’t in the same room. “If I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t be talking to you. Now, locate his ship and send me the location now.”

“It might take a moment, Orthu.”

“Then as quickly as possible.”

“I understand, I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.”

“And get some of your men searching his home, I want to know how he knew about her.”

“Yes, of course.”

Orthu ended the call and got his ship started. “I think we should get up there while we wait so I can go to her immediately.”

“We’re going to find her, Orthu.” Neek came to stand next to him. “Tell me about the man who took her.”

“He’s had it out for me ever since I found out he was holding onto an artifact. I asked that it be given to me, for safe keeping. His leader agreed, but he’s been furious about it ever since. His reaction told me it was probably dangerous, so I don’t regret taking it, I just hate Tarryn is the one paying the price instead of me.”

Neek nodded. “You love her, don’t you?”

Orthu’s heart felt like it might jump out of his chest and he couldn’t bring himself to look at Neek. “I…” he sighed, “yes, I do.”


#9

“Have you talked to her about that yet?”

“What if she doesn’t feel the same way…I mean we go months without seeing eachother…if she’d have me we wouldn’t. If she wouldn’t come live with me I’d just come here as frequently as I could but still…there are men closer here on earth, who could just be here all the time”

“Tarryn loves Krawnum too. She just might go live there with you and honestly, she talks about your conversations all the time Orthu. Even if she doesn’t realize it I think she’s in love with you too. I happen to know for a fact, first thing she does every morning is check if she has a message from you”

“I’m scared of making her feel awkward in my presence Neek”

“sometimes we just have to take a leap Orthu. I’d be happy if she ended up with you…how long have you had these feelings?”

“I suppose I’ve always had a crush on her but…I started to actually love her when she was about fifteen…then, during your last long visit I was completely consumed by it. I can’t imagine being with anybody that isn’t her and I can’t imagine loseing talking to her all the time or worse…loseing my relationship with her completely but…I’ll try to tell her…hearing that our talks mean a lot to her too makes me a little less worried this is one sided”


#10

Tarryn caught the smaller alien in the ribs and sent him flying, a surprised look on his face as he sailed through one of the already cracked ship windows. She didn’t think he was dead, but at least she had time to escape. She headed for the opposite side of the ship, shifting back and pinching the bridge of her nose in hopes it would stem the blood still trickling from her nostrils. She was relieved when she found a window that had been shattered and she quickly climbed out and started running away from the ship. As far as she could tell, the air wasn’t toxic, maybe a little heavier, but definitely breathable and even though she was winded and in pain, she forced herself to keep moving. She glanced over her shoulder, relieved when she didn’t see him pursuing her, but knowing that might me he just hadn’t realized she was gone yet.

Orthu jumped when his ship’s computer sounded off, alerting him that he had an incoming call. He quickly answered and found the leader of the other planet looking nervous. “Well?” He asked.

“We found a file hidden in his house with information about your friend. It seems that someone from your home world has been feeding him information.”

Orthu eyes darkened. “What?”

“I swear, that’s what we found, communications between him and another.”

Orthu quickly typed out a message to his commanding officer, letting him know that someone there had betrayed them and he should investigate immediately. “What about his ship?” Orthu asked.

“So far we’ve found a general area. We’ve been having trouble locking onto its beacon, it’s almost like it’s been tampered with.”

“Just give me the location, my men and I will search there and send some of yours, I’m sure you’ll want to deal with him instead of me ripping his head off.”

“No, he has wronged you and yours, the punishment should be left to you.”

The man’s voice shook a little even as he looked Orthu in the eyes and Orthu knew why. “Krawnum will not start a war with you over this incident. I may be furious, but I don’t blame you or your people.”

“Of course, then I will send you what we have.”

“Thank you.”


#11

“it can’t be… someone from our planet…” Neek said in shock once the call had ended. Their planet was so peaceful, things like this didn’t happen. Was whatever Orthu had taken from this alien so amazing. Orthu didn’t say anything but Neek could feel how much more livid he was right now. The information was sent over and Orthu raced off through space. Meanwhile Neek sent out his own messages to let Freg know where they were headed so Johanas family could help if it was needed. He knew regardless they wanted to be doing something.

Tarryn almost tripped coming to a stop when beings came into her view. Thankfully she didn’t have to worry about communicating to them thanks to her Krawnum lineage. “There’s this terrible male chasing me. I don’t know his species but he kidnapped me over some feud he has with my leader.” she quickly explained and to her relief they seemed to want to help her. She was more confident than she had been this entire time she could save herself and not get Orthu involved.

She was shown into what she guessed was their home and sat down at the table “your neck is bruised. Is it alright?” the being asked. Tarryn couldn’t tell what gender this being was. The voice nor body really gave anything away to her knowledge. “It hurts but it’ll be okay. Why did the being with you not come in”

“He’ll wait for the one chasing you and make sure he knows you’ve found asylum with us. We like Krawnum but why do you look like this?”

“Oh, I just like looking human…I’m actually part human.” she could tell they didn’t know what a human was but the being in front of her seemed to accept the answer and believe her. Just incase Tarryn asked “I can shift if you’d like”

“Oh no, we know your people don’t like your true bodies. If you weren’t hurt however I would want to see what you’d look like if you were born here”

“Oh, I dont mind, it wont make me hurt any more or less” Tarryn tapped into her gifts and soon looked like the being in front of her.


#12

“That is amazing.”

“Thank you.” She shifted back. “Do you have something I can use for my nose?”

“Of course, I’m sorry, just relax here. Would you like some water?”

“If you wouldn’t mind.”

Neek moved closer to the ships window as he looked at the system they had been directed to. “I know this place.” He said as he spun around and headed over to the computer. He quickly typed in some information and the entire solar system was brought up. It was small, with only three planets.

“You’ve been here?” Orthu asked.

“A long time ago.” He pointed at the first planet. “That one was uninhabited the last time I came through.” He then pointed at the second and third. “Those two had beings on them.”

“Hostile?”

“No, very accommodating actually.”


#13

That gave Orthu some relief, maybe they would help her. They had time to fill and silence would only make them stress more so Neek asked “are you going to admit you love her? Undoubtedly that being has told her already” he sighed “I suppose I am, I would never outright lie to her. It only takes one lie to shake someones trust in you forever”

“I think it will go well”

“That means a lot coming from you. I’d trust yours and Johanas thoughts on how she might feel more than anybodys”

“I dont think anybody knows her like Camilla though”

“true, I’ve always been glad she has such a good friend. True friends are incredibly hard to find.”

“God…I cant imagine how long she might have been gone, how much further he could have taken her away without Camillas quick action.”

“I’ll have to thank her myself. I wouldn’t have been worried for atleast another day. She gets so busy at times and I try not to be too needy of her”

“Yeah, Johana and I would have gotten worried about when you did. I mean, she’s fallen asleep at a friends house without telling us but she’d never worry us by not at least updating the next day. It would have been hours after Camilla came to our door, at dinner or the next morning that we started to try to figure out what happened”

“Neek…I can’t stay on earth…I can visit but if she’ll come home with me so we can be together all the time…would you be angry at me for taking her away”

“I want her to be happy and she’s a grown woman. She was going to leave home at some point, maybe not such a far planet but she’ll come visit us. Johana and I will be okay, now Arli, she might just come with you. I don’t know how well she’ll take to her twin moving to another planet if that is what Tarryn ends up doing.”

“she’d be welcome, whatever it took to make Tarryn happy there with me”


#14

The front door of the house opening startled Tarryn. It was the alien that had stayed outside. “He is heading this way.”

“How long until he gets here?” The other, who had said her name was Beasag, replied.

“Not long.”

“Alright, thank you, let him know she is under our protection.”

“If you can, don’t kill him.” Tarryn added. “I know it might be hard, but my friend Orthu will want him alive.”

He nodded. “Very well.”

He left again and she took Tarryn’s hand. “Come with me, I’m going to hide you just in case.”

“I don’t want you guys to get hurt because of me.”

“Please don’t worry about it.” The last thing she wanted was for these people to get hurt because of her, but they seemed adamant about watching over her. She allowed Beasag to lead her into one of the back rooms where she pulled back a rug, revealed a hatch. “You must stay quiet, no matter what you hear.”

“But…”

“Just trust us, we will keep you safe.”


#15

“thank you so much”

“Maybe you could thank us by telling us more stories about the galaxy. The last one from your planet who came here told us amazing stories”

“If you want I’ll fly back here and take you on a tour” Beasags face lit up at the thought but Tarryn didn’t get to see it long before the kind alien shut her away. Tarryn leaned against the wall and sat completely still, even being mindful of her breathing. There were a few moments she wanted to lung out and help once she heard them wrestling him inside but she obeyed Beasag. It felt like an eternity had passed when the woman lifted the hatch “come, it’s okay”

To her relief the woman didn’t look hurt in any way but the other being had obviously been through hell with her captor “Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry” Tarryn said, almost crying. He shook his head “I will be fine. I’m relieved you got to us”

“I’ve promised Beasag I’d take you two on a tour of the galaxy sometime. I mean that, I’ll make this up to you”

“That sounds amazing”

"where is he?’ Tarryn couldn’t help but ask and with a devilish grin the male being lifted a jar “right here”

“You’re kidding” both beings cracked up at the same time “yes, I just randomly grabbed this when you asked, thought it would lighten the mood” Tarryn gave a light laugh “You two are amazing” she noted then he showed her where they had her kidnapper bound. “he wont be able to get out of that. You’re safe, otherwise I would have had Beasag keep you down there”


#16

“I can’t believe it’s really over.”

“Why don’t you come and sit in the kitchen. I’ll get you something to eat and then we will send out a call, see if we can’t get a hold of your leader.”

“Knowing Orthu, he’s probably already on his way.”

“Just in case then, we want him to know exactly where you are.”

“Thank you so much, for everything.”

Orthu tapped on the screen on the main console as something big pinged on his radar. “I think I found the ship.” He said as he flew above the second planet. “The object is large enough.”

“Then let’s go down, it’s better to be safe and check it out.”

Orthu nodded as he zeroed in on the location and headed down toward the planet’s surface. His heart was beating hard as they broke through the atmosphere, terrified for Tarryn. He was shocked when they came upon the ship, his heart dropping as he took in the massive amounts of damage. “What happened?” He hadn’t meant to say it out loud.

“They crashed, really bad too. The front of the ship is almost nonexistent.” Neek replied.


#17

“I’m assuming they must have fought while he was driving”

“I dont think my daughter would be anybody’s preferred hostage. I can’t imagine he got her to do anything without a struggle if he even got her to listen at all. The scariest part about this situation for me has been that knowledge” The darkness that had been around Orthu increased again “If he’s alive he’ll regret even the smallest thing he did to her” They searched the ship and found neither were still there. They were just about to start figuring out where they had gone when Orthus phone went off, the being on the other end letting him know Tarryn was safe and that two beings on the very planet they stood on had her.

“is it known yet who put Tarryn in harms way” The being on the other end swallowed “Sir…well, it appears to have been Cephameon”

“That can’t be”

“well…it doesn’t look good…as hard as that is to hear.”

“To know I love her it had to have been someone incredibly close to me…I haven’t gone sharing that…if the evidence is saying it was him I…damn it”

“I’m sorry sir”

“where is he now?”

“we didn’t want to accuse him without you home”

“Good, let him think for now I don’t know” Orthu shoved the phone in his pocket “I suppose our planet couldn’t stay completely harmonious and peaceful forever”

“do you know why he would have done this”

“No and I’d prefer not to get even more pissed off before I see Tarryn. My fathers temper was not lost in my DNA and I’m trying to remain as calm as possible” It was easy to find Tarryn and the now bound and defenseless Kokon" Orthu was glad the bastard was knocked unconscious so he could have a moment to embrace Tarryn and look her over. “I’m sorry” they said at the same time and Orthu couldn’t believe his ears “you’re sorry…about what?”

“I really wanted to get myself home but thanks to these beings, at least you didn’t have to trade for me” The male, Priasidas spoke up “He was already so wounded from the crash and dealing with you. You were every bit as a part of subduing him as my wife and I was.” Orthu nodded “we saw the ship…nothing is broken right?”

“No, I’m just a little bruised”

“did you have any before the crash?”

“No”

“so he didn’t hurt you?” she had never been a good liar “well, I was wearing this collar like thing when I woke up. He used it to shock me…I’m honestly surprised the voltage didn’t do any harm to my skin”

“How badly did he do it”

“I’m okay Orthu”

“Lets just get her home” Neek said and Orthu nodded again. Tarryn looked back at her new friends “I promise I’ll come back”

“take your time” Beasag said then Priasidas added “we can wait” he looked over at Neek “it’s good to see you again”

“Thank you so much for helping my daughter” Neek said gratefully. Orthu grabbed Kokon and they returned to Orthus ship “I’ll be back in a moment” he said before leaving them to store Kokon in the prison cell he had on his ship. “You’re not just putting on a brave front for Orthu right? You really have no wounds I should be tending to”

“Beasag took care of me. They were so wonderful”

“I’m glad I’ve been this way before but I think those two would have helped anyway” after a short pause Neek asked “what happened?”

“I’ll wait for Orthu so I don’t have to tell it twice. There’s nothing I wouldn’t want to say in front of him” she knew thats why her father was asking now. Neek seemed relieved “I’m so glad you’re okay”

“Did Orthu tell you anything about why Kokon did it?”

“apparently he had taken something dangerous away from him and is keeping it on his planet for safe keeping…you know…he came to earth himself right away when I told him you were missing, before we even knew anything about why”

“He’s a good guy”

“good guys can still send their military”

“so I’m guessing you’re now part of the club who thinks he loves me”

“I’m just pointing something out. It meant a lot to me and I figured it might mean a lot to you to know that. Another thing you should know about someone else who wouldn’t brag to you about what a good friend they are is Camilla is who alerted everyone. When you didn’t meet her and Alice like you were supposed to she knew something was wrong. She came to me to make sure and then got her entire pack looking for you. She didn’t stop until we told her you were definitely in space.”


#18

“I don’t know how I’m going to repay them.”

“I doubt you’ll have to baby, they both care about you immensely.”

It took everything Orthu had no to kill Kokon, but he did settle for slapping him awake. He blinked himself awake and had the decency to look scared when he saw Orthu. “That’s right, Kokon, you’re on my ship now, on my turf.”

“You wouldn’t kill me, not you.” He attempted to sound confident, but Orthu could hear the worry in his voice.

“You’re right, but it’s only because you’re not worth my time. I only want to know one thing, what in the hell does Cephameon have to do with all this?”

Kokon actually chuckled. “I’m sure you’ll find out when you get back to that weak little peace loving planet of yours.”

Orthu wanted to beat the answer out of him, but forced himself to leave. He wasn’t worth it and he had given his word he would return Kokon to his home planet. Tarryn smiling at him when he returned had relief flooding through him again and he quickly pulled her into a hug. “I’m okay, Orthu.”

“I’m sorry, Tarryn, it should have been me. That bastard.” He pulled back to look at her. “Tell me what happened? How did his ship crash?”

“I crashed it.”

“What?” Orthu and Neek said as one.

“Well, he threatened me, sort of and I didn’t know if he meant it or not, so I crashed the ship.”

“What did he say?”

“Um…well…he said he was going to punish you…by mating with me.” He tensed, his eyes darkening and she grabbed onto him so he wouldn’t do something he might regret. “He didn’t do anything to me though, other than shock me, I promise. I also broke my nose, but that was my fault, it happened in the crash.”

“He’s lucky, I would have killed him.” He reached up and gently touched her nose. It wasn’t broken any longer, but he knew it must still hurt. He thanked her powerful bloodline for that. They had always been quick healers.

“I’m okay.”


#19

He wanted to bring Tarryn into his arms again but felt it would be too much “I’ll get us set for Kokons home world. I’ll let them punish him. Their leader was scared enough on the phone I know they’ll handle this.” Orthu said then Neek shook his head “I’ll get us going. Why don’t you and Tarryn talk, I’m sure being with her friend will make her feel better” Neek hugged his daughter one more time then walked away from the two of them. “Lets go somewhere more comfortable Tarryn” Orthu suggested. “alright” Tarryn agreed and they went to a lounge area he had on his ship.

They sat on a couch together and Tarryn assured him “None of this is really your fault Orthu”

“he took you because he knew how much it would hurt me…”

“because we’re really good friends?” she asked and Orthu sighed “Tarryn…because I’m in love with you” it would have been agonizing to hold onto those words any longer so he just gave them voice. “well still…it’s cowardly to go the way he did. He knew he couldn’t best you and your army face to face so he went with kidnapping…I…I love you too by the way. You know I hadn’t even really realized it myself until I was talking about you with Beasag, after hearing from Kokon you loved me…he was so sure and it made me start to really think. I mean, my friends have been saying so for awhile but a lot of times with them if a man pays any kind of attention to you he must like you so I didn’t really think much of it”

He cupped her cheek in his hand and turned her head so they were looking into one anothers eyes “I’m a coward too for waiting so long to tell you”

“How long have you loved me?”

“My feelings began to grow when you were fifteen but what truly made me realize I wanted to spend my life with you was your last long visit. I was so depressed when you left Krawnum.” She kissed his cheek and his breath shuddered, his body covering in goosebumps. She smiled, noticing the reaction “well I’d love being your mate Orthu, whatever that means for me. I know as your mate I’d have some responsibilities too…well…when you decided I should live with you and all that”

“Tarryn, if you would I want you to come home with me now. I don’t care if its fast unless living with me now would be too fast for you. I mean, would you ever want to live on my planet? Being with me doesnt mean you have to. I’ll just come to earth as much as I can. I wouldn’t care what anybody else thought of that. I care about what makes you happy”

“I adore Krawnum and you and everybody there. Lets move in together on your planet” His expression was so adorably happy “Oh Tarryn” was all he could manage to say. He kissed her forehead then rested his against hers “I wont let anything happen to you again Tarryn”

“Me neither, I want to get better at defending myself” They both wanted to really kiss one another but were both too shy about this new relationship to ask or initiate it. Instead they ended up cuddling, Orthu surprising Tarryn with how incredible his touch felt. He was going between rubbing her arm and back and it felt like he must be using some sort of magic. Orthu only let her go when they arrived at Kokons planet “If Kokon speaks to you I may just snap his neck so would you please wait here Tarryn?”

“You’ve made me feel so weak anyway” Orthu smiled, his heart feeling as if it must be flipping in his chest. She could tell that if the Krawnum people could blush he would be. Especially when he got caught up staring at her a few moments before walking away. She must have fallen asleep because the next thing she knew she was waking up in Orthus bedroom at Krawnum.

She wasn’t fully awake when her twin sister Arli and her mother Johana wrapped her in a hug “I’m okay guys, jeez, how long was I out?”

“we haven’t been here long…I’ve been wanting to embrace you so badly sweetheart, Arli too”

“where’s dad and Orthu?”

“dealing with Cephameon, he’s the one who told Kokon about you. He even apparently gave Koku a picture”

“why?”

“thats part of what they are finding out. We’ve just been in here waiting”

“where’s my brothers?”

“Baek and Iseul are packing your things at home. Orthu said you wanted to move here. They wanted to come but your father said to let Orthu handle this and that they’d be more helpful to you by packing so you wouldn’t have to”

“I hate everyone had to worry so much”

“we all just love you so much…it’s actually kind of nice to know Orthu loves you. You and Baek both have incredible life mates now” Tarryn rubbed her face “Oh jeez yeah, poor Zatalia. I’ve got her husband packing things for me while she’s eight months pregnant”

“She’s fine, we’ll all have to come here again once she has the baby”

“Oh no, I’ll come there, I’m sure Orthu can pull away. Nobody wants to travel after they’ve given birth”

“well we’ll all discuss it. With Zatalia who knows what she’ll want. She seems to love being in spaceships”

Orthu and Ceph were arguing “she wasn’t supposed to be hurt. He swore to me he wouldn’t hurt her”

'had he ever really given you any reason to trust him Ceph? He could have done unspeakable things to her! Even if he didn’t mean it he told her he might rape her just to hurt me!"

“he…did?”

“Yes and nothing in all of the galaxies could have saved you if he had!”

“Orthu we just wanted the artifact back. You had no right to take it we” Orthu had already grabbed it and had it with him. He threw it with all his strength against a wall, shattering it “there’s you’re fucking artifact!”

“No!”

“Thats what I should have done with it in the first place but my need for knowledge was too great then but make no mistake, Nothing means more to me than her!”

“Orthu I didn’t know he’d hurt her. I thought it would be a quick trade because I knew that!”


#20

“The very fact that you conspired with that bastard kills me, Ceph, you stabbed me in the back.”

“I…I’m sorry.”

“It’s not good enough.”

“What are you going to do to me?”

He wanted to hit him, he really did, but he clenched his fists to keep himself from doing so and took a breath. “Why did you give him Tarryn?”

“Kokon said that the artifact was the key to finding something that would benefit our planet, that it would bring into a new age. He said you demanded it from our leader, that you practically stole it and if I helped get it back, then our home world would prosper.”

“You’ve been living here, on my planet, by our rules, why compromise that?”

“Because I still love my planet, my parents live there, my siblings, everyone I know. I just wanted it to have more of a chance. We’re not explorers like you, not by nature so I thought maybe I could help give our people more of something. I didn’t know he would go so far, I didn’t know he’d hurt her.”

“I took it to keep it safe and do you really think that that thing was something useful? Look at the way he acted.”

“I know, I’m sorry, I didn’t think…”

“That’s the problem, Ceph, you should know better.” He sighed. “You have to be punished.”

“I know.”

“Since Tarryn wasn’t killed or assaulted, I am inclined to take it easier on you than I would if something worse had happened. Your biggest crime is obviously being a gullible idiot. Five years, Ceph, you can have five years in prison and then after that you are going to make up for what happened. I cannot say I forgive you yet.”

“I understand.”