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Her Viken Mates(54)

By:Grace Goodwin

Chapter Fourteen


The first thing I heard was my own breath echoing around me like I was wearing scuba gear, or had my head in a box.

Curious, I opened my eyes.

Not a box, a tube. I would have panicked, but the top was clear and I wasn’t claustrophobic. Besides, the blue light all around me made everything tingle…in a good way. A warm, I’m-not-in-pain-anymore way.

I faded in and out, dozing like a sleepy kitten, so comfortable. I tried not to think about what waited for me on the outside. Rager. Evon and his family. Liam and his stoic pain.

All I’d wanted was to be loved, to have a family, someone who cared for me. But nothing had worked out and I’d hurt the men I loved more than I’d helped them.

Love. Yes. Dying in that cold, all I’d been able to think about was being with my men, surrounded by them, held by them, pleasured as they held me between them and took everything I had to give.

Faces appeared and disappeared and I blinked at them, confused. I felt like I was sleepy drunk, unable and unwilling to focus. Evon. His father. I heard some harshly whispered words and fought to pay attention, but the light was too warm and I was too tired to resist as it dragged me back under. Liam and Rager were here. All three of my mates’ drifting by in a steady stream of worried, haggard faces.

Soon, I tried to say. Soon, I wouldn’t be so sleepy. But no words came. Maybe I was dead. But they were here. I felt safe, and warm and surrounded by my mates. If this was heaven, it wasn’t so bad…

* * *

Liam, Three Days Later

I paced our suite, the walls closing in on me as we waited for our mate to return from her time with Evon’s father and others.

We’d all been banned from the meeting room, her mates excluded on the grounds of Coalition Fleet security. Which made every cell in my body rage. We weren’t a danger to her; it was our job to protect her. There were no secrets between mates, but Evon’s father seemed to think so.

Several battleship commanders had arrived yesterday, along with two council members from Prillon Prime, a shady bastard who identified himself as a member of the Interstellar Fleet’s Intelligence Core, or I.C. He was a Prillon doctor named Mersan, and everything about him made my skin crawl.

Spies. Commanders. Politicians. And our mate had been stuck in a meeting with them for the last few hours.

“Sit down, Liam. You’re making me want to break things.” Rager sat in one of our chairs, his feet splayed wide in front of him, fingers interwoven over his chest, his head tilted all the way back so that his face pointed up to the ceiling. His eyes were closed, but I wasn’t fooled. None of us were calm right now.

First Bella nearly died, and now this.

“What the fuck are they doing in there?” I demanded. “They’ve been at her for hours.”

Evon leaned against the wall behind him, pretending to study his patrol schedules. “Finding out what we already know.”

“And that is?” I asked.

“That Bella is extraordinary. And brilliant,” Evon said.

“And dangerous.” Rager added the last and I realized he was correct. Just a few hours and Bella had broken into the Interstellar Fleet’s entire command structure, something that not even the Hive had been able to do. And the Interstellar Fleet? That wasn’t just ICQ or even Viken. No, it was the military that included all the Coalition planets like Atlan, Prillon Prime and more. Hundreds more.

When the door opened unexpectedly, I turned to find our mate crossing the threshold. But she didn’t look like our Bella, not anymore.

Rager stood.

Her long black hair was pulled back into a tight braid and she no longer wore civilian clothing, but the uniform of a senior officer in the Coalition Fleet. Not a Viken uniform. No, our mate wore the camouflage marble of black, brown and gray that we’d all worn when we served on the battleship. It hugged every curve, and she had a weapon strapped to her hip.

Even Rager lost his cool as the door slid closed behind her.

“What the fuck, Bella?”

She smiled and twirled like a princess at a party showing off her new dress. “Is this cool or what? I’m a captain in the Coalition Fleet and a member of the Intelligence Core.” Hands on hips, she grinned at all of us. “Now I can officially order all three of you around. On one condition, of course.”

Evon rose, stalking her like prey.

Rager closed his eyes with a sigh and took three long, deep breaths. “Gods help us, why is she wearing an ion blaster?”

Me? I walked to her, took her face in my hands and kissed her because I could do nothing else. I didn’t care if she was a captain or a cook, as long as she was ours.