Please welcome my guest blogger today, Pelaam with REDEMPTION.
Life on planet Alpha should
be an idyll for Sukh, but his soul is tormented knowing his family's standing
on Xyran has dropped due to his capture. How can he be happy knowing they are
suffering due to him?
Nakai finds his contented home life with
his bondmates disrupted by Tokala, a rich and powerful Alphan with an agenda of
his own, while Einian fears their family is breaking apart from forces he's
powerless to stop.
When Sukh and Nakai fall into the
clutches of an old and deadly enemy, Einian doesn't hesitate to go after them,
and he doesn't care what he may have to do to save them.
Excerpt: "I'm sorry to bring you from your home,
Master Nakai, but there are concerns in the town with regards to the
Xyran." "His name is Sukh, and he's my bondmate.
I would request that you remember this and address him accordingly." Nakai
drew himself to his full height, giving him a couple of inches over Pimne. "But of course, Master Nakai."
Pimne gave a forced smile and acquiesced immediately.
This was hardly what Nakai
expected. However, on seeing how quickly Pimne had backed down, Nakai decided
to go on the offensive. "Giving consideration to the fact that Sukh has
never come into town, except in my company, I truly wonder what concern there
Trying to regain control
of the situation, Pimne tried to mimic Nakai and also drew himself up tall.
“Master Nakai, as town Magistrate I have to ensure all is in order within our
“Of that I have no doubt,
Master Pimne." Nakai inclined his head. "But I'm at a loss to know
why anything should be levied against my mate, who is always at my side."
"Master Tokala has
Now things made sense. At
least a little. Tokala was new to the town and seemingly as determined as Pimne
to consolidate a position of political power. Nakai instantly decided that
Tokala was not going to use Sukh to gain status in the town.
"I see. However, it
seems to me that perhaps the … issue surrounding my mate owes more to Master
Tokala’s view of Xyrans, or even his political aspirations, rather than to of
my fellow townspeople who have said nothing to me, your predecessor who only
retired so recently, or our incumbent Mayor.”
"Master Tokala feels that to see a
Xyran, unleashed, walking our streets, is distressing to our women and
children." At the furious look Nakai aimed at him, Pimne
looked even less assured, and Nakai decided to press his advantage. "Indeed? Then why have I not
heard it from mates and parents? As I understand it, Master Tokala is newly
settled in our town. I doubt that my bondmates and I have been in town more
than twice in that time. Who is complaining to him? And why? He isn't the
Magistrate. You are. Nor is he Mayor. Although I have heard rumor he intends to
stand. I ask again, is this related to his, shall we say, political
aspirations?" The obvious loss of color to Pimne's cheeks
told Nakai all he needed to know. It didn't surprise Nakai that Pimne probably
thought of him as a country bumpkin. Since taking Sukh and Einian as his mates,
there was almost no reason for Nakai to leave the comfort of his home and
estate. Prior to that he either managed his estate or did his military service.
He'd never made a point of being vocal in the town's political arena. Maybe it was time that he was. "I—I assure you, Master Nakai, that I
wouldn't be party to any such—such a situation."
A deep sense of
satisfaction rolled over Nakai as Pimne looked positively green. If Pimne had
done his homework better, he would have realized that Nakai would be not be
impressed by the Magistrate's own social status, nor would he be a pushover.
Tokala may have wealth, but Nakai was quite sure that his own personal
prosperity, even when not combined with that of his brothers, made him
one of the wealthiest residents of the town.
He had affluence, social
standing, and he was still an officer of the Alphan fleet. Nakai's request to
leave the service had been met with one that he remain on active service only
to be called upon in an emergency. He'd block Tokala in every way possible. He
inclined his head at Pimne.
“I would be very
interested to know exactly who feels the need to discuss anything of such an
intimate nature with such a comparative newcomer to the town.” Nakai flicked
imaginary lint from the sleeve of his jacket. “As I’m sure you’ve discovered
for yourself, Master Pimne, the townsfolk take time to adjust to someone from
outside. Nothing personal is meant, but we are a small and intimate town. Which
naturally makes me very concerned no one has approached me. After all, I’m very
well respected within our community.”
Although it wasn’t
normally in Nakai’s nature to make someone feel small, he was so angry over
Sukh that he fully intended to make Pimne deliberately uncomfortable. And his
strategy was working.
“Let me get you some wine.
I believe this is one of your own vintages.” Pimne hurried away to pour a
couple of drinks.
Settling back in his
chair, Nakai allowed himself a slow smile. By the time he was finished here,
the Magistrate would have turned a full one hundred and eighty degrees. He’d
also make certain to find out a lot more about Tokala. Some Alphans retained a
dislike of Xyrans, and always would. Their worlds remained in opposition, and
Xyrans were enemies, after all.
A thought struck him, and
Nakai sat up a little straighter. He wasn't even certain he'd come into town
with Sukh since Tokala's recent arrival in town. In fact, now that the
realization had come to him, he was certain that in the last few months he and
his mates had remained on the estate. The town had little to entice them to visit.
The more Nakai thought
about it, the more Tokala seemed to bear careful investigation.