He needs her to prove his theory. She just needs a safe home. When the threats start coming in, they both need each other to survive.
Most Wanted Alien Brides: Kantenans. Book 1
The last thing she expects is a mate, but when this big beast of an alien comes to take her away, what can she do?
Enjoy being a princess?
Well, why not?
But she's not ready for the kind of attention she brings.
The threats start coming in, and then she must rely on her new alien mate to keep her safe.
But when his secrets are revealed, it throws a wrench in everything.
And all bets are off.
- Alien Need
- Alien Want (coming soon)
- Alien Burn (coming soon)
- Alien Drive (coming soon)
Khalzin adjusted his overcoat sleeves and stepped up to the door. His red-bronze skin clashed with the gray and black of the formal suit he wore. Marked with the signs of his family line and clan, Khalzin was one of the latest generations of his family. His parents could no longer bear children, so Khalzin was their last hope for furthering the family line.
He was their only heir because their people were dying.
Baring children was getting harder and harder for the Kantenans. Their future started looking bleak, and the Coalition was finally opening up to options to push through this obstacle.
Kantenans did not fail.
Khalzin had done a great deal of study of the genomes and the problems and had a firm grasp of what would be necessary to make their people robust again.
When his father mentioned that the Coalition was looking for options and started to elaborate on his plan, Khalzin quietly prepared his own proposal for consideration.
It was a challenging option, but it would be successful. However, Khalzin needed approval to start the process.
Now came the hard part. He had to convince them that he was right. The Coalition, however, was very difficult to persuade if they did not fully support a new idea.
His coat pulled tight against his chest as he touched the fasteners. Each metal clip strained against its connector.
He was growing. He could feel it.
His armor, the bone-like ridges that poked out of his spine, stretched and expanded from his body, pulling the coat he wore tight.
The armor only did that for two reasons.
He was aroused.
Or he was in danger.
And he was not aroused.
He waited for the doors to be opened by the attending guards. He could not see the guards on this side. They stayed in the chambers to make sure that no one entered. Rumor had it they also remained inside if the Coalition had an issue with a subject and needed to be broken apart.
Khalzin had never witnessed that, but he would not be surprised. He'd seen how his parents fought. A room full of the most powerful families on Kantenan was bound to argue. Especially as passionate as some of the families were.
The large and heavy ceremonial doors began to open. The carvings and detailed scrollwork glittered from the minerals the stone doors were carved from. Citricite glistened in accent points that drew the eye since it was the most crucial mining export Kantenan had.
His gaze drifted over the ancient artwork, depicting strong, heavily armored Kantenans, ready for battle and to face a future of danger. Their armor jutted out, large and proud as they defended their homes.
A familiar image in the Kantenan society--the more significant the armor, the more power a Kantenan must have mastered. A sign of status and importance to their people.
The Coalition made all decisions and shaped the laws of their people. In essence, they were the Kantenans depicted on the doors, each in their traditional finery, the carvings were as old as the chamber, but the positions still remained on the Coalition.
The Priestess of Light, his mother.
The Patriarch of Genesis.
The Doctor of Light.
The Baron of Information – the Aukrae Family had this honor in their family.
The Chief of Food, Oleave family carried this position.
The Assistant of Communication was held by another family position that Khalzin didn’t know very well.
The Head of War, Hawn, his friend Fiviel’s family.
Protector of the New Kingdom, the ones who maintained the dark side of Kantenan and the refineries, was fellow Gol-Vett, Dhomhes’s family.
The Ruler of the Green, his close friend Stron’s family line held this position.
And lastly, in the center of the carvings was the Paragon of the Reach, their leader, Speaker Fowles.
Some positions no longer had representatives, and would not, unless their genome was repaired, for no family could hold two positions on the council.
Which was why Khalzin was here. To repair the lines. To bring in new blood to the Kantenans.
But if the leaders changed their minds, he was screwed. Ruined, in the eyes of his people.
He was here to save them. Not to destroy them.
He stood straight and stepped over the threshold of the chamber. Carved from the mountainside years ago, it was one of the most secure places on the planet; the natural stone protected them from nearly any kind of attack. The stone, gray and streaked with black and gold threads, was polished and smoothed to create a geometrically beautiful shape in the middle of the natural formation.
The stone floor, installed hundreds of years ago by their ancestors, was worn down smooth over time. He could feel where he should step, as though the base had been carved to direct his steps toward the Coalition.
At the half-moon-shaped table sat the Coalition. Varying shades of red and brown skin tone, the sitting members represented all the variations of the Kantenan people, with the central-most chair the Speaker of the Coalition. Two seats from the center sat his mother with the same dark red skin coloring that he had.
His father stood to the right of the table, watching him walk in with that passive, emotionless face that he'd mastered over his lifetime. His father was more of a brown-red complexion, different enough that some had questioned if he was Khalzin's father since Khalzin favored his mother so much.
His father was not on the Coalition and had never been offered a position. A spot of contention between his parents, for his father felt he was more than qualified to be a member and should be allowed to make decisions on behalf of the people.
His mother’s family held the position of Priest of Light for longer than any other sitting family. In the role of Priestess of Light, she carried a great deal of weight with Kantenan Doctrine and belief systems.
She would be Khalzin’s biggest obstacle publicly, but she did support him in private. In her way.
Khalzin reached the position of guest and stood tall and straight and waited for them to decide if he was ready.
It took several moments before anyone addressed him.
The longest three minutes in his life.
Finally, the Speaker looked at him and began. "Khalzin, you are here before the Coalition to validate your father's claims?"
Khalzin nodded. "I am, Speaker Fowles. And offer a potential solution.”
Speaker Fowles raised his eyebrow. "You have not been requested to give solutions. Only to validate your father's findings."
He gritted his teeth. He knew better than to add more. There were protocols for speaking to the Coalition. He had been drilled by his mother and father last night to make sure he knew exactly what he was expected to do during this procedure.
His father's expression didn't change, but his hand twitched.
Not much, but enough to know that he'd badly displeased him.
Khalzin didn't move from where he stood, but inside, a youthful part of him wanted to run away from the discipline he would get later.
He would not, but it was what he felt. As a Gol-Vett, a child of a Coalition member, he had specific standards he was held to. Something that had been drilled into him from birth.
Yet sometimes, he couldn’t help himself. Just to not be exactly everything expected of him and be his own person.
"No disrespect intended," Khalzin said, though he should not have. He knew he should have waited to be addressed, but at this point, it didn’t matter. He’d probably already ruined his chances.
Protocols were very much a part of the Coalition.
This time, his father's expression did shift--one to absolute disgust and anger.
A familiar enough expression. Khalzin rarely impressed his father.
Speaker Fowles raised his thick eyebrow. "Since this is your first time speaking to the Coalition in an official capacity, I will allow propriety errors." The head member glanced at his mother. "I would assume you would have better guidance, but I see no one is perfect.”
His mother shifted in her seat but maintained looking ahead like he was not there.
"Most kind," Khalzin said. At this point, since he'd so horribly screwed up procedure already, he wondered if it mattered if he followed the dictations at all. What worse could they do to him?
Lock him up? Send him away?
They'll likely do that anyway. If not the Coalition, his family would. After he fathered an heir, of course. Then? They could do whatever they wanted with him.
Speaker raised his eyebrow at him. "Now. Khalzin, son of Xaul, you have evidence to validate your father's findings of the state of the Kantenan genome?"
Khalzin nodded. "Yes from my own research on the subject."
"You studied the genome state on your own, away from your father's work?"
"I did. I was not aware he was working in that particular area of science when I started my studies."
Khalzin was impressed with himself. That was a very nice way of saying his father was never around to speak of his work.
The speaker nodded. "And what did your independent studies find?"
"That the Kantenan genome is in danger of becoming a single species."
"Explain," one of the other Coalition members said, the Assistant of Communication.
He could feel the armor on his back growing again. If he didn't maintain his calm, he would be bursting out of the back of his coat. That would not look good for this meeting.
"Surely Xaul has explained the state of the information," Khalzin said. He didn't want to give a science lesson, just his goals for fixing the problem.
"He has. In his very clinical way," the member said. "You explain it to me. Because right now, it sounds like a bunch of made-up nonsense that means nothing to our people.”
Khalzin glanced at his father.
The man looked ready to leap over the table and throttle the speaking member.
In that non-committal way, his father had.
"Simply put, our people are going to become one family line soon. In a few generations, the Kantenans will no longer be a species of such strong and varying beauty and gifts. We will all be related, and the rainbow of reds and browns we see among our people will be gone. It also means we will be more susceptible to disease and bio-chemical attack because we all will have the same cells in our bodies."
He glanced at all the sitting members and his gaze fell on Hawn, the Head of War. "Hawn, your family is known for their strength and power. That will fade away." He turned to another member. "The intellect born to the Aukrae genome will also lose its individuality. When we all become intermixed, there will no longer be the strong elements that make our different lines who they are. We will lose what makes us special. And we will be in danger of being wiped out by another, more ambitious species.”
Hawn glanced at the Speaker and nodded.
"You believe you have a solution to this?" his mother asked.
"My data points me in a singular direction."
"Which is?" His mother asked.
"To bring in new genomes to inter-breed with ours."
There was a gasp in the room.
It was such a far-fetched idea. He knew it would be met with rejection.
Especially from his mother. Her position as the Priestess of Light was to preserve the Kantenan way of life, and part of that was that they were a pure species with very little interbreeding. They remained isolated enough that they could maintain that kind of existence.
Unfortunately, it was going to wind up destroying them, as well, if they continued.
All the data said the same thing.
"And how do you plan on doing that?" Speaker asked. "Just bringing in a bunch of other species and see if anything works?"
Khalzin shrugged. "In a matter of speaking, yes.”
"And how is that going to help us? If we really need help in the first place. I am still not convinced," another member quipped, Oleave.
"It matters not what you think, Oleave," his mother said. "We need a majority. Not unified vote."
Oleave rolled his eyes and puffed out his chest.
Speaker interrupted. "Do you have a plan to bring in new genomes to our people?"
Khalzin slowly nodded. "The Galactic Alliance."
"Not their foolish exchange program," Oleave said.
"It seemed the fastest and easiest way to bring in new genomes and to determine which humanoid species will be the most compatible with us. If a Kantenan meets a compatible female, then they should have the typical Kantenan responses, and we will know immediately if we have the potential for mating."
His father took a few steps forward. "Here is where my testing has come into play. There are several humanoid species out there in the galaxy that have the potential to mate with us and have been proven to have growth."
"But can they carry one of our children to term?" Oleave asked. "Finding a mate outside of our people has never been a problem. It was finding one that could carry our child."
"I believe it can work," Khalzin said. "If the connection is there. If our armor grows upon meeting the potential, then we know the humanoid has the ability to carry--"
"And you know this from experience, do you?" Oleave snapped.
"No. This is from my studies," Khalzin said. It was a bit of a leap. His father shot him a dirty look.
Theories were one thing. Proof was something else.
Oleave leaned back and crossed his arms. "Then you should have to test it. Personally."
"What?" Khalzin asked, stunned by the suggestion.
Speaker glanced at Oleave then back at him. "Do you not have faith in your findings, Khalzin?"
"Of course, I do. My science is provable."
"So, prove it," the Speaker said. "You find these potential humanoids, and you mate with one. Then we shall know that your science is correct and accurate."
"I must object," Xaul said. "One Kantenan mating with a humanoid is not enough to call anything true science. It takes many tests to prove the concept before it can be agreed upon to be factual and provable.”
"So, get some friends," Oleave said. "There are many of your generation who have not chosen mates. Get a sampling from them. Then prove your theory.”
Khalzin blinked. "I cannot--"
"If you cannot prove your theory, then what is the point?" Speaker Fowles asked.
"My theory is sound."
He glanced at his father.
And the man's expression told him everything he needed to know.
His father did not believe he was right. While the man agreed that the genome was shifting and would connect all their people soon, he did not agree in opening their people to mating with off-word humanoids. He had other ideas for preserving genomes.
"Until he can prove it will work, it should not be considered by this Coalition," Oleave declared.
"Unlike my son's impetuous theory, my proposal is still open. The idea of preserving our genomes now, and requiring our people to contribute to a massive database to reproduce--"
"It still sounds like cloning," Hawn said.
"It is not cloning. It is a very carefully created process--"
"It would be simpler to attempt to join the Galactic Alliance's mating program," Aukrae said, glancing first at Khalzin, then back to the Speaker. "For testing purposes, at this juncture.”
The Speaker nodded. He rested his elbows on the table and laced his fingers together.
No one spoke as he did so.
Khalzin's mother had told him this was his thinking pose. He did it whenever considering all the angles, and no one spoke when he did.
It could take minutes.
It could take hours.
Sometimes, even days.
The rest of the members of the Coalition keyed in their opinions on the matter on a panel in front of them and sent the data to the Speaker.
Fowles remained in his state of thinking, and whether he looked at the Coalition's opinions or not, Khalzin didn't know.
While he waited, he took the next few moments imagining what he would likely hear when he left the chamber from his father.
His father looked ready to murder him.
And likely would, right there in the chamber if this did not go as he wanted. His father was a strong scientist, but he also had a violent temper that Khalzin had endured most of his life. His mother, still bound to him by their laws, did not reside with him anymore. His temperament was too difficult to bear.
Like his father, Khalzin was a scientist.
And whether he liked it or not, he had a temper of his own. Unlike his father, he worked very hard to keep it under control.
Mostly. He had a passion for creative arts, which he liked to think was why he had the idea of bringing in the Galactic Alliances Alien Mating Program. There would be a considerable test pool of potential candidates, and they all would be willing to participate because they were already in the program.
And from what he'd read from the Galactic Alliance, the program carefully screened all applicants before bringing them to any world and decided upon what each species needed as far as traits and particular cellular needs. In short, they took a lot of the guesswork out of the process of finding potential candidates.
That would make the process easier for everyone. Not that he had any interest in mating immediately with a stranger.
He would insist on invoking Courtship if only to make sure this would work.
He couldn't imagine just--
The Speaker sat up.
"I have concluded. Xaul, you must continue your path of developing your project. We need to have a backup plan. Yours will take years to cultivate."
Xaul opened his mouth to speak, but Fowles waved his hand, then turned and looked at Khalzin.
His father walked out of the chamber, and Khalzin had seen that march before. His father was furious.
But he didn't know why.
His father had gotten what he wanted--permission to create his project.
What would he be mad about?
That it was considered a backup plan?
Likely it wounded his ego.
Which would not be pleasant to deal with later.
The speaker's voice jarred Khalzin out of his thoughts.
"You, on the other hand, can easily develop your theory. So do it. Find three other volunteers to participate in the study and connect with the Galactic Alliance and begin the process to get potential mates here.”
"I can orchestrate this with the Galactic Alliance and start moving the process forward."
"Perhaps you misunderstand me," the speaker said. "You will be leading this because you will be one of the volunteers."
He blinked. "I will--"
"If you cannot be on the front lines of this concept, then how can you expect us to back it on a larger scale?"
He started to open his mouth to say something, but his gaze darted to his mother, if only for a moment.
And her expression was very firm. She shook her head, barely perceptibly, but she did.
He closed his mouth.
"Dismissed," Speaker Fowles said.
Khalzin nodded and turned to leave the chamber. The finality of the decision hit him hard. His footfalls seemed to echo off the walls as he walked toward the exit. The guards inside the room opened the doors for him to pass. The chamber remained silent until the doors shut behind him. No one breathed a word.
Odd, the chamber was. Strangely silent.
As soon as he stepped outside, he glanced around, expecting to see his father, but he didn't.
Not at first.
Then he was hit on the back of his head.
He spun and jumped.
His father had been waiting outside the door in the shadows.
Khalzin caught his father's swing before he could strike him.
"Do not finish that," he said.
Xaul snarled at him. "You think you are so strong."
"I am strong enough," Khalzin said. "You got what you wanted. Why do you attack me?"
"You're an embarrassment. You are lucky Speaker Fowles was in a good mood.”
"If you say so."
"You were not thrown out and beaten for your suggestions."
"Neither were you." Khalzin started walking faster, attempting to distance himself from his father.
"It will never work," Xaul said a little louder. "Our people will be diluted until there's nothing left.”
"Thanks for your confidence."
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