Read The Diamond Heartstone Online

Authors: Leila Brown

The Diamond Heartstone (9 page)

throat. If she decided to draw her claws, Alycia was dead.

"Let her go."

"No. You let him go first."

"Fine," Barrick said, pulling his hand away from the prince's neck.

The animal fell to the floor and coughed. He craned his neck almost

as if he were about to spit up a hairball. The woman didn't immediately let

go of Alycia.

"Let her go."

"I don't think so. You have nothing else to bargain with. I suggest

you surrender." The woman lifted her head slightly as if she were superior.

"You'd think that, wouldn't you?"

"I know that. Look around you." She swept her arm out to indicate

the thirty or so guards who'd marched into the room.

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"See that's the problem with royals. They always think so small.

Timbal?" Barrick shouted.

"Laser's targeting." The curt reply sounded from the communicator

on Alycia's wrists.

"I suggest you let her go. Otherwise my brother will fire a targeted

beam—‚

"You won't kill her," the woman spat at him, tightening her grip on

Alycia.

"You’re right. I won't kill her."

The woman smiled cockily.

"But I will target the kingdom's entire Belusian Cream deposits.

How long will you be royal when you have nothing to bargain with?"

"Release her, Fi'on." The king's command was a knife slicing

through the quiet of the room.

The tigress pulled her hands away from Alycia. Barrick walked over

to the pair and stood toe to toe with the small tigress. He grabbed one of

Alycia’s arms. She turned towards him before looking back at Fi’on. Alycia

pulled back her free hand, balled her fingers into a fist and knocked the

tigress to the floor.

Barrick shouted at the shocked crowd around them. "No one

touches her. No one!"

The king waved a hand and the crowd of guards parted, making a

walkway for them to leave.

"Before you leave, we must know why even a half-breed would

accept such a mate.‛ He cast a quick glance at Alycia then grudgingly

added, ‚Not that she is not beautiful.‛

"Simple. I refuse to let my line die out because of old tradition."

Barrick stared hard at the king. ‚In a few generations, my descendants will

be thriving. They will take over what is left of your kingdom when your

line dies out.‛

"How do we even know they are mated? Honestly, she might be just

a common sex slave. That he had sex with such a creature means nothing,"

the prince said haughtily.

"Shall I prove it to you? Shall I show you what you will never have?"

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He looked to the prince when he asked the question. Another challenge.

Alycia jerked with the realization of what he was proposing. He

couldn't. He wouldn't.

"By all means entertain us. Show us what we are missing." The

prince’s bored voice rang false.

"Timbal. If I call your name, start vaporizing. And, if I don't report

back in thirty minutes, target all fields and fire."

"Got it," the voice radioed back.

"If any of you comes close to us, I call his name. Got it? A quickie.

Then we’re leaving." He directed the last at the king specifically.

The king rolled his eyes. Barrick had waited a long time for an

excuse to knock this particular royal family on their ass.

He bent down over a wide-eyed Alycia. "This is your punishment

for running away."

She jerked back as if he'd struck her. He reached down and tore her

skirt from her. He tore off two small strips and bound the wounds on her

arms.

His hands snaked out and pulled her up against him. He brushed

his lips over hers. She tasted so good. So sweet. So right. He plunged his

tongue into her mouth and savored the feel of her tongue dueling with his.

He moved his hands up and made short work of pulling the top of

her hanin down and exposing her breasts. Her nipples hardened into

peaks with only a small brush of his fingers.

He cupped her breasts, squeezing them as he continued to kiss and

stroke her with his tongue. She looked over his shoulder. The men were all

breathing hard. She watched their chests move up and down in a labored

manner. Their hair stood on end. It reminded her of the men on Barrick’s

ship right before they shifted. She grabbed Barrick’s shoulders and dug her

nails through his fur and into his skin.

He picked her up and walked her over to the nearest table. With one

arm, he swiped the cups, plates, and food off of the table. He bent her over

the table. She was directly facing the head table.

He bent down and ran his hands up and down the back of her legs,

slightly scratching her without breaking the skin. Her moan drifted across

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the silent hall.

‚Are you going to cream for me, baby?‛ He squeezed the globes of

her ass. He pushed them together and pulled them apart.

He traced one finger down the center of her sex. Her creamy liquid

coated him. The scent of her permeated the room. Several of the males fell

down onto all fours. A few were even starting to change.

Barrick nodded his head towards the group of males that had

almost finished changing into their animal forms. ‚Get those men.‛

The king didn’t seem to hear him at first. But when he saw how out

of control that little group had become, he signaled for the guards to get

them. The guards didn’t obey the king. They too were fighting the change.

‚Have the tigresses get them out of here,‛ Barrick barked at the

king. This was pushing the limits of his self-control. ‚Or we’re done.‛

‚Fi’on. You and the tigresses get them out of here.‛

Fi’on didn’t look happy to be sent from the room. She eyed Alycia

with a promise of retribution. A small group of tiger women led the

animals from the room.

‚If you need to send anyone else from the room, do it now.‛ Barrick

brought his hand up to his mouth and licked her juices from his finger. She

was all his. Every single drop.

He slipped his finger down her center and moved it up and down

several times. Each time he stopped at her opening and pressed inside. She

moaned again and pressed her sex back onto his hand.

"Purr for me," he commanded as he added another finger to the one

moving in and out of her. Her muscles tightened around him.

She moaned deep in her throat. Her hands reached to the far edge of

the table. "Please," she begged. ‚Please.‛

Barrick pulled his hand from her. He bent her legs at her knees. His

erection rubbed against her wet core. He pushed forward and the head of

his member slipped inside of her. He pulled out and slid it in again, then

rammed into her while pulling her legs up and back. It was like lighting a

short fuse on fireworks. Nothing and suddenly an explosion.

Her body bowed up, almost coming completely off the table. He

reared back and pounded into her again. She screamed her ecstasy.

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The sound of her surrender broke the last hold on his control. He

slammed into her again and again. The squishing sound of her sex pulling

at him echoed through the quiet room.

He looked up at the head table and searched out the prince. He

smiled at the look of jealousy covering the man's face. That's all Barrick

needed.

Barrick let go of Alycia's legs and grabbed her shoulders. He pulled

her entire body down on his every up stroke. Her muscles quivered

around him. She was close. A few more strokes would push her over the

edge.

He slowed down his strokes, making each stroke in and out rock her

entire body. It wasn't long before she screamed out her release. Wetness

ran out of her and onto him. The warm liquid sent him into his own

release. He pushed into her, letting the juices run freely down him. He

could feel the knot at the base of his sex push up inside of her. He threw

back his head and roared as his body shook with his own fulfillment. It

took more than a few minutes for him to become aware of their barely

restrained hostile surroundings.

He bent down and picked up the limp body of his spent mate.

Turning her around, he wrapped her legs around him.

"Hope you enjoyed the show," he said as he hit the button on the

communicator. The head table wavered in front of them and was suddenly

replaced with the controls of the small ship.

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Chapter Eleven

Barrick leaned back into the familiar cold of the pilot’s chair. Quiet

surrounded them as the autopilot steered them clear of the Imperial

Kingdom.

Alycia looked up at Barrick. He could have left her in that damned

cage. Hell, after leaving him like she did, she deserved it. With complete

certainty she knew her worst day with Barrick would be a hundred times

better than her best day with the prince. She'd sworn the day she found out

she would never see her parents again that she wouldn't leave anyone the

way they’d left her. But that's exactly what she did.

"I'm sorry," she whispered into the fur of his neck.

He pulled her away from him and stared at her. "For what?"

"Sorry for running away. Sorry for being such a burden. Sorry for

you having to come and get me." Tears clogged her throat. There were not

enough words for her to express the pain eating at her.

He pulled her into a tight embrace. Would it be so bad to stay here

with him? Honestly if she could find her way back to earth, what would

she be going back to? There was no one there who would have risked what

Barrick did to save her.

"I think I'm about to cry." The sound of Timbal's voice blared across

the communicator. "You might want to shut the speaker off. Lucky for you,

half the crew had to be excused because of your little display."

Alycia struggled out of Barrick's arms. Her hands flew up to her

mouth. That little display had been fine when she knew she would never

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see those people again but Barrick's crew? That was entirely different.

Barrick hit a button on the communicator on her wrist that cut off

Timbal's laughter.

"Your skin is turning red," he said, clearly fascinated.

"That's because I'm embarrassed."

"Of what?"

"Your entire crew heard us fucking."

"Not fucking, mating," he said. "Fucking is only for pleasure. Mating

means more. Besides, every one of them would give anything to be in my

position." He moved slightly, sending a back-arching shiver down her

spine.

"It meant something to you?"she asked, lowering her hands but not

meeting his eyes.

"It always has. We mate for life. From the moment I found you,

everything has meant something."

"I thought you did it so that you could make money?" she asked, too

scared to even hope. What if she raised her eyes to his and saw a lie there?

"What is money?" he said, looking at her a little too innocently.

She rolled her eyes up to the ceiling. "Whatever you get in return for

your pheromones?" she said, hitting him on the chest.

"Oh. That's just an added benefit."

"That's not what you said—‚

"Forget what I said. I am telling you that you are more important

than any amount of credits." He cupped her face in his hands and brought

her lips down on his.

She'd never felt so wanted. So... so... loved. That's what he did. He

made her feel loved, a feeling she knew deep within her heart she

returned.

Gasping for a steadying breath she said the words. Words she

couldn't remember speaking in her entire life. "I love you." They came out

almost too quiet for her own ears.

"Of course you do," he said. "That's what it means to be mated."

She smiled down at him. He hadn't specifically said the words back

to her but she wasn't about to push it. She would save that until later. She

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would enjoy torturing him until he yelled the words over and over again.

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Epilogue

The vid screen beeped for the fourth time in the last hour.

‚Are you going to answer that?‛ Timbal asked swinging around his

chair from the control room’s computer console. ‚It’s becoming annoying.‛

‚No.‛ Barrick answered.

‚It’s coming from the Imperial Palace,‛ Timbal said.

‚I know who it is. They’ve been calling for the past two weeks

non-stop.‛ Barrick pressed a button to mute the damned noise.

‚What do they want?‛ Timbal asked, curiosity clearly showing as

he narrowed his eyes.

‚To find out how I found Alycia.‛ Barrick stared down at the latest

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