“I won’t let you go,” he said and glanced down at her. His thickly accented voice penetrated her fear, and she nodded. She knew he wouldn’t. She knew none of them would, in more than one way.
“These are the Tartanaian Mountains, and that is where the home I share with my brothers is located.” He tipped his chin toward the highest-peaked mountains in the distance.
She stared at those angry, violent-looking rocks and wondered what evil creatures also inhabited that space.
“It is only home to the Hades warriors. All other creatures live in Brokaou, the forest of flames, over there.” He nodded toward the forest with flames that tipped the branches and fire that encased the land. God, how could she survive this place?
He dipped low, and she noticed the way he curled his wings further into his body and turned to the right to clear the narrow opening. He was taking lefts and rights, dipping low and soaring higher to clear the mountains, and when he rose higher and higher and let his wings spread out their full width, she felt free.
Brawn glided across the thick air the rest of the way, and Minka wondered if he was doing this aeronautic show for her. What she did know was that for the first time in her life, she didn’t feel like she was suffocating in her own skin.
Brawn swooped lower as the entrance to their cave home came into view.
All Hades males lived within the safety of the mountains despite being predators themselves.
He lowered even still, and she made a small noise.
There was the scent of fear coming from her, but the more powerful aroma was her pleasure of freedom. Her species couldn’t hide their emotions from his kind, and in fact, she couldn’t hide much of anything from any other alien in the Stoker Galaxy. They were not as evolved as his kind nor able to hide their strengths and weaknesses.
And because they hadn’t changed to become just as strong as their adversaries, they were a dying race. For some reason, they managed to hang on though, to persevere despite the odds against them. They may have hidden in order to make that a possibility, but they were not stupid in that regard. To survive was to be discreet.
His kind was a feared species across all of the Stoker Galaxy. And after centuries of power and victory, that reputation had been earned ten times over. Brawn took one more corner before coming to land on the ledge of the entrance to their home. He set her on her feet, and she took a couple of steps back.
“Careful now, little human. The fall would kill you instantly, but you’d have all that time to know you’re about to die.”
He hadn’t said it to frighten her further but to let her know she was in a very dangerous world right now. This planet was not made for her kind, and without keeping an eye on her, she would die. He would have caught her before she fell, but that was beside the point.
The sound of wings and moving wind broke through his focus, and he saw Thorque and Lukin land right behind her. She jumped and spun around, but Lukin had her in his arms right before she fell backward.
“Easy there,” Lukin said softly, and his face was so close to hers that Brawn wondered if he’d try to kiss her. The breeding urge was running hard inside them, and if they didn’t have her soon, they would become these mindless beasts who had no clear thoughts on what they were doing.
It was a way nature made sure they procreated and extended their bloodline. But then again, fate and nature were cruel bitches, because females were not born to their kind. Hades males had to venture out to find a female to procreate with, and even then, the females had sons.
Brawn waited until Lukin let go of Minka, and then said, “This way.” He waited until she looked at him, made eye contact, and then he willed himself to calm the hell down. His cock had been hard as fucking stone since he held her in his arms on Arambria, and his desire for her was only getting worse.
He turned away from her and felt his fangs throb to mark her. His kind was a primal race, a barbaric and brutal species who were rough when they fucked, and when it was time to claim their mates, they didn’t hold anything back. Brawn focused on the opening in the side of the mountain. Below them, there were three lava rivers that ran parallel to one another.
An acid lake was in the distance past the jagged rock garden that emitted toxic fumes, and behind them was the forest with the flaming trees. This world was a hell all in itself, and only a Hades warrior could live outside the mountains for an extended amount of time. But this was also the only place they could live comfortably, and they would make sure Minka lived here without any problems.