Barbarian's Mate(3)

By: Ruby Dixon

I gasp as I realize what I’m looking at. It’s not from the elders’ ship.

It’s my IUD.

Somehow, my body has forced it out. My khui must have been silently working on pushing it out of my system. I clutch it in my hand, my heart hammering with excitement.

This changes everything!

Now, I can get pregnant. Now, I can resonate. I can have a mate!

I can have a family, a happy ever after. I can have everything I always dreamed of. I don’t have to wait for Harlow to fix the surgery machine back at the elders’ ship, because my cootie decided to be awesome after all. Thank you, khui! Thank you! You’re the best! I take back all the awful things I said about you.

I look around eagerly at the people in the main cave. Who’s going to be my mate? There’s several males in the tribe that are attractive and all of them are nice…except Haeden.

I’m not picky. I’ll let my cootie choose someone for me. It knows best, after all. It’s going to pick the perfect male for me so we can make sweet little babies together and I can live a life of joy and happiness. My mood has totally changed and I’m so happy I could shout with pure joy.

Nearby, Vaza catches my eye and gives me a speculative look. To my relief, my khui remains silent. Good. It’s not desperate. Vaza’s older and he’s tried hitting on everything with tits. He’s seated next to Bek, and I’m glad that my khui isn’t making a sound for him, either. Cootie, you are one smart cookie.

Hassen is probably my number one draft pick at the moment, because he’s sexy and all alpha, and I’d be down with that. At the moment, he’s nowhere to be found. Taushen either. Both of them are probably still moping after losing Tiffany. Well, hello, I’m perfectly willing to be a consolation prize. Time to find my guy and make his day.

There’s two elders talking off to one side but I’m pretty sure one had a mate back in the day and the other could be my grandpa. Just to make sure, though, I stroll past them. Nothing happens. Whew. No problem, cootie. We still have lots of man-meat in this cavern before we run out. “Anyone seen Hassen?” I ask.

“He’s in his cave, packing,” Vaza says.

“Super.” I jump to my feet and head in that direction before Vaza can decide if he wants to hit on me or not. Come on, Hassen. Be my mate! Of course, even if I don’t resonate to Hassen, there’s always the guys back in the other cave. I immediately think of Rokan. He’s hot, and he’s nice. I’d be down with that.

I head for the cave that many of the single hunters live in, and the privacy screen isn’t up. “Yoohoo,” I call out, my voice sweet. I’m excited, and I push away thoughts of Rokan. The other cave seems so far away right now. It’s going to happen tonight, I can feel it. Rokan’s going to lose out, because he’s not here. I feel like my mate is here. My chance.

I’m going to get my happy ever after. Tonight, my life starts. Tonight, I get my family. Tonight, I’m no longer a reject.

Hassen pops out of his cave, a confused look on his face. His gaze settles on me. “Yes? What is it?”

I smile at him, but…nothing happens. Rats. Hassen was hottie number one on my list. “Just…thought I’d say hi? Have you seen Taushen?”

He narrows his eyes at me, as if trying to figure me out. “He is here.”

“Can I say hi to him too?” Might as well kill two birds with one stone.

“Is this a human custom?”

I keep smiling, because even his puzzled look is not going to get me down. Not tonight. “Yes, yes it is.”

He grunts and heads back into the cave. I admire his ass for a moment, because, darn, it is a rather nice ass. Not my ass, though. Oh well. I’m sure mine will be awesome. Taushen’s got a tight little bod himself, and—

--And he pops out of the cave a moment later, giving me an eager look. “Ho, Jo-see. What is it you need?”

My chest is just as quiet as before. No resonance, no nothing. Dammit.

I make my excuses to him, citing a sudden need to find a potty, and hurry away. Who’s left? There’s Vadren talking to Harrec, and while both are middle aged, I could learn to love me some May-December relationship action. I sidle up to them, pretending to listen to their conversation. Nothing.

Is…my cootie on vacation? Is it tired because it worked so hard to get rid of the IUD? I put a hand to my heart, worried. I’ve approached every guy in the cave that’s single. Maybe my mate’s back at the other tribal cave? That’s disappointing, but I guess I can wait another day or so. Rokan might be the one for me after all. I picture him and start to imagine what our kids would look like.