The Savage King(3)

By: Michelle M. Pillow

"I'll be fine."

"I know, Agent." Silence came over the intercom, but she knew he was still there. Very

quietly, Frank said, "You take care of yourself, kid."

"Don't worry about me, Frank. I'm just like a cat, always landing on my feet."

"I know, Agent, I know. It's not the landing I'm worried about. It's those nine lives of

yours. Don't use 'em up. You owe me a date when you get back."

"Dream on, sunshine." Ulyssa laughed, eyeing her rustic surroundings in displeasure. She

kept the irritation from her voice. She knew if Franklin could get her off the floating rock

sooner he would. "But I will let you buy me a drink. You owe me at least that."

"Done," Franklin agreed. "Contact only if there is trouble, otherwise call in eleven weeks."

"Know the drill, 596 out."

"Command out."

Ulyssa pressed the button to the communicator and watched it turn off before moving to

latch it onto her belt.

"Three months," Ulyssa began with a dark frown. "Just gre--"

Suddenly, she froze, holding very still. The birds weren't singing and the forest had gone

quiet--too quiet. Slowly, she reached for her leg, feeling blindly for her gun. Her thumb

hooked around the leather strap, flicking in the dried mud caked over it.

A loud roar resounded from the trees, as she drew her weapon. She frantically pulled the

gun, falling on her back as she turned toward the noise. She was too late. Two thick paws

pressed into her shoulders. Fangs snarled at her from a hot mouth.

"Oh," she gasped, nervous. From her place on the ground it looked to be an overgrown

mountain lion. "Nice kitty. Easy, big fella. Take it easy."

The cat snarled at her soft words and lifted a meaty paw to the side of her head striking

her. As the paw made contact, it wasn't claws and fur that smacked her, but a very human

feeling fist. Her visions swam. Pain shot through her face from her cheek. Blood trickled

into her mouth, spilling over her pale skin in little rivers. When she looked back up, she

gasped. It was no longer an animal that pinned her down but a naked man. His bright blue

eyes glared into her with lethal intent.

"Look what I found wandering around in my kingdom," the man said with a dark laugh

that left her cold. "A dirty little gwobr."

Without warning, he jumped to standing, hauling Ulyssa up by her wrist. Her feet flailed in

the air before landing awkwardly on the ground. On reflex, she kicked. Her foot hit the

man's very muscular waist. He dropped her wrist with a grunt, but did not double over.

Ulyssa smiled, but her victory was small and short-lived.

Right as her foot landed back on the ground, a dozen half-dressed warriors poured out

from the treetops as if falling from the sky. She squared off to defend herself, but she was

outmanned by the gathering of blond Vars. They fought back with a liquid grace she'd

rarely seen in a species, sleek and smooth of motion like ancient Earth ninjas. She tried to

fight back, kicking and punching as she found her mark on hard steely flesh. But, within

seconds, she was subdued.

Ulyssa screeched, showing the proper amount of feminine anger a barbaric people would

expect. Her heart raced with adrenaline, but she never lost her cool. Heathenishly strong

hands clasped ahold of her struggling body, lifting her high. She was bound and gagged

with swift precision. She'd been caught unprepared, and in the end she was no match for

their brute force. Panting through the gag, she fell limp.

One of the large warriors lifted her over his broad shoulder. In the Var tongue, the warrior

said, "King Attor, what shall we do with her?"

Ulyssa was suddenly very grateful for her intergalactic translator chip. She'd been wary

when the Agency implanted the little device into her ear. It couldn't translate every foreign

word, but usually it was enough to understand what was going on. And, since it was a

smart chip, it learned as she went and widened its vocabulary.

"Take her and have her cleaned so that I may examine her," the Var King, who'd first

trapped her to the ground, said. She glared as he forcibly grabbed her chin to better study

her dirty face. His strong body was completely naked and he moved as if unconcerned by

it. The others were dressed in loose fitting tunic shirts and tighter pants. Ulyssa assumed

they stripped as they shifted. "If she is anything like her sweet smell, I will enjoy her

immensely at the victory celebration--just as soon as we send those Draig cowards into the

ground where they belong."

The warriors cheered, their heated eyes lit with battle and bloodlust. Ulyssa tore her chin

away from King Attor's grip. The King only laughed at her defiance.

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