-UP AND COMING AUTHOR-
The Invisible Prince: Epilogue
"Why do we hide from your mate?" Baal grumbled, pacing back and forth in the small room like a caged animal.
With both hands braced against the data-table that stood in the center of the room, Rakkah did not glance up away from the blue hovering holographic schematics as he addressed the hunter.
"I hide from no one," the edge in Rakkah's tone caused the younger yautja to pause for a fraction of a step before resuming his pacing. "We are here because I will it so, now speak," he said lifting his gaze to Akur who was watching Baal with something akin to annoyed amusement in the hunter's eyes.
This was the third meeting Rakkah took today in this room near the top of the palace. With it's pyramid structure, all the rooms at the very tip of the palace were small, dark, and oblong, and rarely used. Normally meetings would be held in his throne room, a large open space, one fitting his position. Today however certain factors, all involving his mate, prevented that.
Stepping up to the other side of the table, Akur folded his arms and stared down at the holograph in stoic silence before tilting his head and pointing one clawed finger to a tiny section on the map. "In two days Hidoi will be here. I say, send Jarak and Tyrnn to fight their best hunters and be done with them."
Rakkah considered Akur's words, they weren't much different than his second in command's advice. Iko had no patience for the Hidoi clan and thought their antics to be posturing of the weak. Unfortunately, Rakkah did not have the privilege to write off the space-bound clan so easily. With two siege dreadnought class ships filled with over hundred thousand hunters aboard each one, Rakkah had to be very careful when dealing with their brethren clan, even more so when it came to their leader, Konton.
"They will want a formal greeting," Rakkah said aloud thoughtfully, his mind still working out every scenario, every possibility on how to deal with the erratic Hidoi leader.
"They only want to see your humans," Baal sneered at both other hunter as he stepped up to the table.
Across from him, Rakkah could feel Akur's reaction to the accurate statement. Without so much as a flinch of movement, the red marked hunter seemed to radiate malevolent violence at the thought of Konton wanting to view his human mate and child.
"That will not happen," Akur's warning growl held no room for negotiation.
Straightening from the table, Rakkah gave Akur a curt nod acknowledging his hunter's demands. He had no intentions of letting Konton near either of their mates, especially considering the condition Ahzma was in.
Turning his thoughts away from his mate he looked to Baal and Akur. "We will use Nuxa. All challenges and discussions with the Hidoi clan will happen there or nowhere," he bit out savagely. He had devoted more than enough time to the unpredictable nomadic clan.
Allowing the hunters to discuss how they would use Nuxa, a tiny jungle planet in the Narvis galaxy that many of the yautja clans had used for trials and competitions in the past, Rakkah let his thoughts drift to his mate.
It was true, he thought bitterly, he was hiding from the tiny human.
A human who was not so tiny at the moment. Swollen and round, Ahzma carried not one but two children within her. Twins was an extremely rare occurrence amongst yautja and the news had left Rakkah stunned at first. But as his mate's stomach grew so did his eagerness. It would a difficult task he knew. Soft malleable balls of defenseless flesh, Rakkah knew that he could expect innocent little halflings that would stare up at him for protection and a familial love he was all together unfamiliar with. Surreptitiously he had watched Akur for the past few months and all his interactions with his own halfling child. Silently they would stare at each other as if silently communicating. The child stared at the red marked hunter as if Akur was the sun and the moon in her tiny world. Ahzma had told him it was love, pure love a daughter had for their father. The image had made Rakkah tense uncomfortably. What was he supposed to do with that? He could love Ahzma, that he knew how to do, he understood and came to grips with that weakness. But twice more and with tiny beings that were not his mate? It filled his thoughts with worry at night as the date of their impending birth approached. A worry that was now added to his priority of keeping his mate away from him.
She was late in her pregnancy now and had been ordered to stay in bed. An edict that did not sit well with his willful wife. Rakkah would find her out of the bed often, other hunters would send him messages of his mate waddling slowly down the halls looking for things to do or familiar faces to talk to. Their last argument about her recklessness did not end as Rakkah expected. Turning from the conversing hunters Rakkah looked out the heavily tinted one-way window that overlooked the jungle canopy. He had threatened Ahzma with posting guards at their quarter's door. She had surprised him by throwing his own discus at him. Serrated metal had glinted inches away from his shoulder. Rakkah couldn't decide if he was enraged or highly aroused by the attempt, he had settled on carefully wrestling his wife deeper into her massive bed coverings that seemed to swallow her whole each night. He intended to threaten her, to instill a tiny dose of healthy fear into her in hopes of keeping her in line. Like a fool he fell into her trap. Within seconds her arms were laced around his neck drawing him into her and like the pathetic whelp he had become for his mate, Rakkah instinctually opened his mouth to her searching lips. Instantly liquid heat rushed through Rakkah's bloodstream. The curve of her tight stomach pressing against his abs, the feel of her engorged soft breasts teasing and beckoning him, he was losing all control--just as the conniving little human planned. They both knew she was strictly forbidden to rut, but there she was pulling him into her, opening her legs so that he could feel her damp heat. And by the old gods, he wanted her. Rakkah had his hand on his belt when he felt the tiny fluttery kicks of his daughters against her stomach and his.
Swiping a hand over his head in agitation, Rakkah pushed away the memories of his mate's frusttarted growl and teary eyes when he had pulled away. Did she have no concept of how this time of abstinence was killing him too? Evil little human, he thought. Rakkah could hardly believe there was once a time he thought his mate to be meek.
Just a few more months, he told himself. His daughters would be born in a few weeks and with the combined rest and treatment from the medical sarcophagus she would be healed and ready to mate again. Nodding to himself, Rakkah closed his eyes and felt his discipline lock back into place. Just a few more mon-
The sound of the door whooshing open brought about everyone's attention. Standing at the door stood Jarak carrying Ahzma in his arms.
Anger so black and fierce snaked around Rakkah's veins as he watched the giant hunter step through the doorway with his pregnant mate in his arms. Dark sun-bright eyes glowed with delight as he met Rakkah's gaze boldly. With steady careful movements he lowered Ahzma's feet to the floor and allowed her to stand onto her own tow feet before straightening to his full height.
Rakkah realized he was letting out a low threatening growl as Jarak's chest swelled with eager pride and his claws flexed with anticipation. Ahzma ignored the tension on the room and walked past the two silent spectating hunters without a care in the world as she approached Rakkah.
Ripping his gaze from Jarak he glared down at his mate with molten rage.
Ahzma just smiled serenely at him. "I was looking for you. After looking all over for you my back began to hurt and I got tired. Jarak found me and told me he would help me find you and even offered to carry me."
Lifting her scheming little hands to rest flat on his abs before smoothing around his waist until she was hugging him. The warmth of her soft body and taught stomach hit him like a pulse rifle. She knew exactly what she was doing to him.
Throwing another sharp look over her head towards the hulking hunter at the door, Rakkah's body tensed as Jarak finally spoke.
"I will see you in the training room once you are done attending your mate," his deep voice was threaded with triumph before nodding respectfully at him and turning to walk away.
Still silently watching the exchange both Baal and Akur turned and looked back to Rakkah who was still ensnared in his mate's arms gave their leader an amused look before leaving as well.
Rakkah waited with tightly gripped fists for the door to close with a sealing click behind them. He waited a few more seconds for his anger to dissipate as he considered Jarak's triumphant parting expression. For weeks Rakkah had been successfully dodging the younger hunter's demand for a sparring match, until just now. Known across all clans to be one of the biggest and deadliest hunters, Jarak lived and breathed the hunt. Fighting, sparring, and stalking were all the hunter discussed and presumably was all he thought about. Conversations about anything other than the hunt with massive hunter were met with a silent and seemingly blank stares. Hailing from the planet of Ubu, Rakkah had thought the young hunter simple-minded but now as he recalled the glint of satisfaction in the hunter's eyes, Rakkah wasn't so sure that assessment was accurate.
Pulling back from him slightly, Ahzma gave him a familiar coy look.
Frustration and arousal redirected his thoughts from the hunter back to her. "You let another touch you," he could not keep the rage within him out of his tone.
Nodding solemnly, Ahzma stepped back until she leaned against the data table. "I did," she admitted. "But I was very tired and the idea of walking more long hallways in search of my mate who was hiding from me wasn't something I was looking forward to. Besides," the look of solemnity faded and was replaced by a gleam of mischief that made his cock jerk with need. "Jarak was very kind about it, even though I Know he hates humans." Reaching for the clasp of her wrapped around saree hiding her belly and covering her bound breast, she let the material fall to the floor exposing the naked flesh of her overly rounded stomach.
Even the sound of another hunter's name coming from her lips did little to take Rakkah's hungry gaze away from his mate's body. There was something about her pregnant body that affected him on a deeply primal level. He wanted to be inside of her. He wanted her on her hands a knees as one of his hands held her at her belly and the other fisted into her long black hair as he drove himself in and out of her. Sometimes the images of what he wanted to do to her nearly overtook him. Each night he tortured himself bathing with his pregnant mate, running his clawed hands covered in her human soap across her changed body. He told himself he did it to protect her, to make sure she did not slip and fall and hurt herself, but that was a lie. Never would he have thought the sight of a human pregnancy would affect him so, filling his blood with fire and bringing him to the edge of his control but here he was digging his claws into his palms as he resisted with the last threads of willpower.
"I was not hiding," he ground out.
"Weren't you?" she teased in a knowing tone as she gestured to the small room they were in.
Rakkah didn’t deign to answer that.
Seeing an internal decision light up her expressionable eyes he groaned as she reached for the knot holding her skirt in place and watched as it too pooled onto the floor.
Standing only in her bandeau top and small triangle shaped underwear his mate held out both arms to him. "Please Rakkah," she pleaded. "I need you. I want to touch you and hold you as you fuck me."
The last of his control slipped away. She knew how course human language coming from her affected him. His cock was straining against his armor.
With only a whisper of sanity still left, he placed his hands against her soft waist and lifted her until she sat on the data table. "We should not be doing this," his words felt thick on his tongue and contradicted his questing hands smoothing over her distended stomach.
Ahzma moaned and Rakkah relished her excitement permeating the air and brightening her eyes.
"Just be gentle," she said hurrying to remove her top letting her breasts bounce free.
"I cannot be gentle," he groaned thinking of how he wanted to use her mouth even now. He wanted to see the tears leak from her eyes as he forced himself down her throat. By the gods, she was going to bring him down. A once great hunter felled by a tiny human female.
Parting her legs, he snatched the tiny triangle scrap of fabric away from her cunt and inhaled her arousal as she unsnapped his waist armor.
"Yes you can my love," she cooed, opening her legs wider as he stepped forward. "You are always gentle with me, that's why I love you so much and so will the girls."
Rakkah could feel his vision begin to blur at her words. He hated it when she did that! Releasing a growl deep from his chest he probed her entrance with his fingers letting his thumb swipe back and forth over her clit. She was soaking wet. Her words of comfort and confidence in his role as a future father made his bones turn to steel. He felt drunk off ego when she did that. He felt momentarily invincible and he craved and loathed it at the same damn time.
Free from the confines of his armor and covering, Rakkah allowed his mate to grip his shaft and guide him to her cunt. He would rut her hard and put her into a small coma here and now, if it wasn't for his wavering discipline keeping in control.
Her fingers dug into his shoulders as he pushed forward. The breathless gasp pulled him in deeper as he cupped the nape of her neck and gripped her hip. Holding the weight of her body easily, Ahzma leaned back into his grasp and opened herself to his pulsing hips. Pushing deeper with each stroke, madness swamped his thoughts as he kept his movements restrained. Even now, he could feel the twin heartbeats of his girls inside her stomach and their fluttery little movements against him. Ahzma's moans turned ragged and her hand gripped his shoulder while one held onto his forearm. She called his name with a desperation that made him want to bellow out. But he did not, he restrained himself to the quick pulsing thrusts that would bring him to her satisfaction.
Swiping the pad of his thumb across her clit, Rakkah watched with cruel satisfaction as his mate's eyes went wide and her body shattered under the assault of pleasure. Slowing his pace he stroked himself in and out of her shuddering cunt as she came down from her climax. Reading the want in his eyes, Ahzma pushed herself off of the table and sank to the floor with his help until she was on her knees. Taking him into her mouth, she swallowed him whole until her nose hit his stomach.
Rakkah let out a vibrating growl as he let his head hang back. With one hand on the back of her soft head he worked her back and forth on his cock. Feeling himself approaching his own release, Rakkah looked down as he fisted her hair and pushed and pulled her faster. Her eyes were wide and fogged with insane lust as she stared up at him, her mouth wrapped around his shaft. She pumped and sucked him harder, as if everything she was depended on this moment. With one final jerk, Rakkah ripped her mouth from his cock and fisted his hand around his length as he let out a reverberating snarl. Ahzma sat obediently still as he pumped his seed onto her face and naked breasts.
Breathing deeply he looked down at his mate coated in his seed. The sight only made him hard again. It was a human act he never once thought he would do. Yautja did not waist their seed. Its only purpose was to be inseminated into the womb of his mate, not swallowed or covering their face. However, since he would not allow Ahzma to swallow his seed during her pregnancy, an act that seemed wrong somehow during this time, he found himself spilling it onto her body. The first time he did it, they were both taken aback by their reactions. He expected to feel shame for it as well as his mate, neither one of them did. In the privacy of their bedroom they found that they were both aroused by the action. Seeing his mate's face glistening with his thick seed was highly stimulating.
Helping her to stand he carried his wife to the bathroom down the hall and cleaned her off. Tucked away in the even tinier bathroom he placed her naked body on top of the counter and braced each arm on either side of her.
"You are not to allow another hunter to touch you, again."
"You are not to hide from me."
Rakkah straightened to his full height, incensed by the accusation. "I do not hide from you," he said, with a note of finality in his tone. "We were told not to engage in rutting," he reminded her.
"I love you though," she said as if that wall all she needed to say.
Closing his eyes, Rakkah silently sought patience. He could only hope his daughters would be far more obedient than his mate.
***Years into the future***
Rakkah sat on his throne as three clans argued hunting rights within a neighboring galaxy. The small vibration to his data pad thankfully gave him a reason to turn away from the circular argument. Tapping his claw against the surface, he read the alert with amusement. Letting out a shuddering growl that instantly ceased the conversation, he turned on his cloaking. Without question the forty plus hunters in attendance in the large open throne room followed suit, each one blinking out of sight.
The door to the throne room opened silently. One brown haired girl slipped through the crack of the open door. Wearing a blue Upran tunic and matching leggings she looked out of place in the room full of armored yautja. Taking a couple of steps forward two more girls stepped behind the older girl, identical with their long black hair tied up into a ball at the top of their heads and wearing matching red and black tunics and leggings. Without a word the three girls looked around the empty vast throne room, dismay showing on the two younger ones' faces. Gold predatory eyes irises set in black scanned the empty throne and dais before looking back to the older girl with the orange glowing eyes. Talking in hushed tones the eldest girl gave one last glance around the room and slipped back out through the door's opening. Rakkah looked to see Akur's cloaked back as he watched his daughter leave just as quietly as she slipped in. Following in Okaj's footsteps the first twin, Noko, slipped through second.
It was his second daughter, Nyla, who stopped for one more cursory look. Rakkah could feel his pride swell in his chest as her eyes narrowed on his throne before a huge smile broke over her face. She made an almost soundless noise before the other two girls appeared at her side this time their eyes narrowed and suspicious as they looked around. In a symmetric formation the three halfling girls stalked silently forward. Rakkah could feel the amusement of some of his hunters as they watched the tiny hunters step forward while one hunter began to seethe at what was to come. The girls were allowed to do this hunt only once every two weeks, it was often unsuccessful but as with any prey who eludes their hunters often hubris always sets in. Propping his chin up with his fist, Rakkah settled deeper into his chair with unveiled eagerness for the show.
The gleam in Okaj's eyes was the first sign that the hunt was beginning.
With a piercing whistle that only human's seemed to be able to do Okaj called out. Frantic scurrying hounds slipped and clawed at the smooth floor as a precursor to their arrival before three bulky forms burst through the doors.
Koga, who stood next to his brother, watched with even more interest as the three pups he gave all three girls slid to halt next to each one. With a slide of their hands against their heads the girls gave the hounds the same nonverbal command just as Nya sent one foot backward and kicking the heavy door shut.
That was another thing he and Akur were delighted to find in their girls, they were very strong--very strong.
Now nearly all the heads of the hunter turned and watched as the dark hunter backed further into the room. Using their masks they watched as the cloaked hunter shook his head in agitation. The girls knew he was in here and they just shut the only way out. He was trapped.
The tiny hounds raced through the room towards their prey, sensing him, just behind Rakkah's throne near the wall of trophies. Circling back behind the hunted hunter, each hound took up a defensive stance growling as they locked their sights onto the invisible target they knew was there. Wasting no time, both twins ran down the center aisle of the throne room lined by long shallow reflecting pools of dark water. Dropping onto one knee just at they were taught, every hunter including the hunted watched with intrigue as they seemingly scooped their hands into the still water each one pulling up a rifle. Glistening wet the rifles were powered on as girls kneeled and took aim at to where the hounds were focused. Okaj, still at the room's only exit and entrance smiled sweetly as she pulled a bolo from behind her back. With an almost playful expression she began to swing the weapon ominously at her side. With silent movements, hunters that were standing in between the girl's sights and the hunted yautja moved out of the way. The rifles were essentially harmless, seemingly designed with the explicit purpose of hunting this one particular hunter. Ember and Ravki worked effortlessly combining the qualities of a human child's water gun and a few yautja capabilities to the girl's rifles. Pulsing blue the rifles were set in the liquid spraying mode, a special liquid that would temporarily remove a hunter's cloak. Heads moved from left to right as everyone's attention focused back on the hunted yautja whose knees were bent and clawed hands outstretched to his side in anger.
"Do you think he is scared?" Nyla asked innocently to the other two girls.
"No," Noko shook her head. "Momma says he just doesn't like our affection."
"That's why we have to catch him," Okaj explained knowingly. "Momma says if we can catch him then he has to be nice."
Not able to stand the tiny hunter's logic anymore Baal let out a deafening growl as his cloaking disappeared. Adjusting their aim with deadly accuracy, both twins smiled at the dark hunter as they hit a switch on their guns turning the pulse to red.
"Hi Baal," they chimed together happily as if they did not have the yautja in their sights.
"I am going to throw all three of you into the swamp," Baal spoke each word with slow, barely checked anger.
Each girl took a word with practiced ease making the taunt sting that much worse.
The goad hit its mark. With lunging steps Baal ran forward eating up the distance between him and the girls with long strides. Closing in at his heels the hounds took off after him. Leaping into the air, at the last moment, the hunter blinked out of sight. As if expecting the move the twins switched their guns back to blue and turned on their knee following what they assumed was the natural arc of the invisible hunter and sprayed. The stream of the guns did not spray the same way Rakkah last saw them work, instead of a straight line the spray was wide and flat. Combined with both shots from the girls even the hunter who tucked himself into a neat ball was hit with the spray. Like a ripple of static the camouflaged faltered and blinked away. Landing to his feet Baal did not stop and ran towards Okaj.
Seeing that she was too close to the hunter to throw her bolo now, Okaj moved to tumble out of the way but the hunter was too fast. Grabbing her by the back of her tunic, Baal pulled the running girl back to him before wrapping an arm around her middle and holding her back to his chest.
Nyla and Noko took their chance while the hunter had their back to them. Switching their guns back to the red mode they shot off loud kathunking shots. Each missile broke apart into a spinning bolo and wrapped once around the hunter's legs and another around his thighs. Facing the door holding a triumphant looking Okaj, Baal turned his head to looked back over his shoulders at the paused twins.
The silence of the room was broken by Okaj's excitement. "We won!"
"You did not win!" Baal snarled. "I am the one holding you."
Running up to him now both twins stopped at his feet. "But we have you bound and surrounded."
Baal let out a derisive grunt as he reached down and swiped free the bolos and set Okaj down. Standing up straight he looked down at all three girls, and though Rakkah could not see the hunter's face past his mask he knew the young hunter was baffled by them just as he always was. Opening the throne room's door, Baal stomped away trailed after by all three girls as they continued to pester the surly hunter.
Each time Rakkah watched his girl's train the doubt of their future disappeared. They were strong, intelligent young women--they were true yautja. And as that fact gave him comfort there was one another fact that both he and Akur were coming to realize with maddening clarity. The clan had once viewed their girls and any other halfling offspring the future of their clan. With the ability to breed full blooded yautja when they came of age, the once intended purpose of the human and yautja mating was to save their clan's future. It was a purpose he had supported in the beginning, a purpose he tried to convince others of by leading by example. But Rakkah could not envision it. His blood ran cold and his mind fogged over with maddening rage at the thought of his girls being mated for that purpose. If that was the only choice for his clan's future he'd rather see his clan die off he thought with a mental snarl.
Orders had been sent to the scientist who worked on the far side of the planet, sequestered to themselves, that they were to find a cure for this problem, no matter the cost. And though the cure was found he felt that some hunters still may view the girls with that old mentality. It would not stand. He would have the girls trained, he would see them as merciless killers, replacing their sweet smiles with the cold-blooded need of the hunt before he would ever let a yautja or a man look at them with anything less than fear.
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