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Ral's Woman (Zorn Warriors #1)(10)

By:Laurann Dohner

Dread hit Ariel. Ral didn’t say the man couldn’t unbind them. He’d used the word won’t, which implied it was possible. What if his father wanted Ariel out of Ral’s life?
What would become of her then?
The doors by them slid open and large Zorn men dressed in black uniforms stepped out. Ral smiled. He walked forward, pulling Ariel along behind him as he closed the space between himself and the newcomers.
Laurann Dohner
“Argernon.” Ral chuckled. “You came all this way to see me.” Ral released Ariel to yank the man into a bear hug.
Ariel saw the resemblance between both men then. Argernon kept his smile in place as he released Ral. “You look good, Brother. We feared you were dead.” Ral laughed. “I am too mean to die.” Ral turned, reaching for Ariel. He pulled her forward.
Ariel stared up at the large Zorn. She saw his eyes widen as he stared back at her.
His mouth opened but immediately slammed shut. His eyes flew to Ral.
“She smells strongly of you.”
“This is Ariel. I am bound to her.”
Horror hit Argernon’s features. “You bound to an enemy?” Ral growled. “She is no enemy.”
“She is one of your captors.”
“No. She was taken from her world as well as we were.” Argernon still looked angry. “She is other world. You cannot be bound to one from another world. Father will not allow it.”
Ral growled viciously. “It is done. She is mine. We are bound.” Argernon took a step back. He put up his hands. “I will let you take it up with Father.” His eyes lowered to Ariel. “She is too small and pale.”
“She is mine.” Ral snarled at his brother. “No one will take her from me.” Argernon looked concerned and a bit angry. “Is she breeding compatible? Can she carry your offspring?”
Ral hesitated. “I do not know nor do I care. She is mine.” Argernon sighed deeply. “Let us go. Father is in a strong desire to see you quickly.” His eyes turned to Ariel. “Can she even understand us?”
“Yes.” Ral focused his attention on Ariel. “Speak to my brother to see if Zorn translators work with your language.”
Ral’s Woman
Ariel swallowed. “Hello, Argernon. It’s nice to meet you.” Argernon frowned. His eyes slid to Ral. He shook his head. “I cannot understand her. She speaks softly. She does not speak like us.” Irritation made Ral frown. “We will have to have someone work on this. The translators they fit on us work. We’ll have to modify our Zorn translators for her language.”“This is not acceptable,” Argernon growled. “You brought a woman home who can’t even speak or understand us.”
Ariel glanced at Ral. “I can understand him.”
Ral nodded at her. “Good.”
“What did she say?” Argernon looked grim.
“She can understand you perfectly. Let’s go. Contact someone and have them work on this immediately. I want my bound woman able to speak so all can understand her and not just the Zorn on this ship.”
Argernon looked furious. His glowing blue eyes narrowed on Ariel for a second and he could sense his direct gaze made her feel uneasy. He jerked his eyes to his brother. His head snapped an affirmative response before the man spun around to stomp for the door he’d come through.
The transport was about the size of an Earth bus. Ral pulled Ariel onto his lap as Zorn filled the seats. The doors closed and then they were flying toward the planet. Ral held her tightly and belted them in. When they hit the atmosphere the transporter shook—it was a rough ride. Ral chuckled at her fear and he held her tighter, nuzzling her cheek with his, he whispered into the wrong ear. He softly growled at her.
She didn’t remind him she couldn’t understand him—she knew the gist of what he had said. He was assuring her it was safe. The transport didn’t have windows so she didn’t get to see anything until it sat down with a small bump. Ral unfastened them from the seat and took her hand to lead her out.
Laurann Dohner
She knew who Ral’s father and brothers were immediately. Ral’s father looked so much like Ral that she didn’t need introduced to know his identity. The four younger men who surrounded their father shared a strong family resemblance. Ral kept hold of her hand until he reached out to his father. Ral dropped Ariel’s hand to grip the older man in a bear hug.
Ariel didn’t move an inch as she watched Ral hug each of his family members. The men looked really happy to have him back. One of Ral’s brothers turned his attention to Ariel. He frowned and his eyes flew to Ral.
“What is she?”
Ral pulled back from his brother’s embrace. He turned, smiling, and reached for Ariel. “This is Ariel. I am bound to her.”
The old man roared—Ral’s father looked furious. Ariel gasped as she almost fell on her ass when she stumbled back to distance herself from the man. Ral caught her around her waist and hauled her against his body. He snarled at his father.
“What was that for?”
“You are not bound to that.” Ral’s father snarled back.
Ral’s mouth tightened into a grim line. “She’s from Earth. She’s human. She was taken from her planet by the Anzons who stole our people. I have bound to her. She is mine. Never roar at her again, Father.” 
“She’s small and weak. Look at her skin. It is pale.” Hyvin Berrr glared at Ariel as he spoke. If looks could kill she knew she’d be taking her last breath. This man ruled Zorn according to Ral. If the older man wanted her dead she had a sinking feeling she wouldn’t have much time left to live.
“She is brave and beautiful. I do not care what you think. I have bound her.” Ral snarled the words at his father. His body was tense and his hold on Ariel was almost bruising. “She is mine and I will not let her be taken from me.” 58
Ral’s Woman
His father shot a vicious look at Ariel. “What kind of hold does she have on you?” He turned his head to stare at a Zorn woman. “Take her to medical. I want to know if she is doing something to my son to make him lose his head.” Ral growled. “No.”
Argernon got between father and brother. “Let her be examined. You will be at her side, Ral. It will make Father see she has not bewitched you with her other-world ways.
You can also have her translator evaluated to see if it can be tuned so others besides you can understand her.”
Ral was breathing hard and he was obviously still furious. He jerked a nod at Argernon. His eyes shot to his father. “If you try to take her from me I will take that ship in space and we will go to her world. You will lose me forever.” Ral grabbed Ariel’s hand and stormed away. She had to run to keep up with his longer strides. Ariel got one glimpse of Hyvin Berrr’s furious face before he was out of sight. They followed the Zorn woman toward medical.
Ariel eyed her surroundings. It was beautiful. The buildings were mostly black and the sky had a red tint to it, reminding Ariel of a sunset at home, only all of the sky was a light red. The dirt was a dark red and the grass purple. She walked over a small bridge and paused.
Ral stopped with her. He followed the direction of her eyes. “What is it?”
“Your water is a dark purple.”
“What color is water on your planet?”
“Clear mostly but our oceans are blue.”
He rubbed her hand in his. “It sounds nice.”
“I’m just glad I can breathe. I was worried about that.” He chuckled. “I wasn’t. We breathe the same. Let’s go.” The Zorn woman was waiting. Her eyes were fixed on Ariel. The woman looked at her like she was a bug. Ariel sighed. She spoke softly.
Laurann Dohner
“I don’t think your people like me.”
“You look different but you are beautiful to the eye.” She met his eyes. “You think so.”
“They think so as well. You are just different and they haven’t seen such pale skin before.”
“What is she saying?” the Zorn woman asked softly.
Ral turned his attention on the woman. “She thinks you don’t like her. I was explaining that you are just curious.”
The woman looked at Ariel and nodded. “She can understand us but I cannot understand her. She speaks so softly and strangely but it is pleasant to the ear.”
“We figured that out.” Ral chuckled.
Inside the medical building they were taken to the second floor. The woman smiled at Ariel. It was a forced smile in Ariel’s opinion.
“I am a healer and a scientist. Do you understand me? I am Ahhu.” Ariel nodded.
The woman looked relieved. She eyed Ral. “Will you stay so you can translate?”
“I will not leave my Ariel’s side.”
“Can you have her remove her clothing? I would like to examine her.” Ariel tensed. “Now I feel like a bug.”“What is that?” Ral arched his eyebrow.
She met his curious gaze. “Like a science experiment. Is that a better description?” Ral pulled her into his arms to give her a hug. “I know this is difficult for you, Ariel.
I am sorry.”
She nodded into his chest and let him comfort her for a moment. Ariel pulled back.
“It’s all right.” She removed her clothing. Ahhu stared at her with open curiosity. Ariel flushed and stood as the woman’s gaze raked over every inch of her.