Read Command Online

Authors: Viola Grace

Tags: #Fantasy, #Sci Fi, #erotic romance, #Dark Elves

Command (5 page)

BOOK: Command
4.88Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Orvar raised his brows. “You are a child of Earth?”


Orvar nodded. “That explains it. I will brook no argument, Orriko. She is coming with me.”

Instead of touching her, Orvar raised his hand and light wrapped around her.

One moment she was in Orriko’s arms, the next she was in a cave on the edge of a cliff with a man who creeped her out on several levels. Her skirt fluttered, and she cursed herself for not putting on her thick suit.

Her toes wriggled against slick black volcanic rock, and she wished she had put shoes on.

“My nephew has good taste.” Orvar cupped her chin and lifted it to force her gaze to meet his.

Fury and frustration were the emotions she put into her gaze, but he merely smiled. “Spirit again. Very good. They will choose a suitable flame for you.”

“I don’t want someone else running around in my body.”

He stroked her neck and the slope of her breast. “It seems that my nephew did not meet with that objection.”

Her blush was part shock, part anger and a tiny bit of embarrassment. “None of your business, and he was invited.”

“A few minutes alone and I am sure I could coax an invitation out of you as well.” His voice became a low purr, and he didn’t seem upset by her rejection at all.

She backed away as the threat of seduction became rather real. For some reason, she was attracted to the dark elves beyond her normal, ingrained logic.

He scowled and gripped her arm. “Throwing yourself off the cliff will not save you. The Heshi will merely heal you and bring you back.”

She looked down and found that her left heel was over a drop so deep, she couldn’t see the bottom. Lilli tried to push past Orvar, but he gathered her against him.

“Don’t run, little bird. The Heshi are coming and one of them will take you as host. They merely want to live your life with you. Perhaps they will give you a priestess. I have been rather lonely with having no woman of my own.”

He stroked her hair again, and she listened to his words but saw an endless line of female faces.

She looked up at him and tried pushing back. “You take the wives of others to your bed.”

“It is considered a blessing.” He quirked his lips in amusement.

A light was coming up from the depths of the pit beneath the cliffs.

“Some blessing. So, do you seduce them or does your Heshi give you the power to delude them into your bed.”

“Bed, wall, hallway, kitchen. The Heshi I received is very strong. Almost as strong as Bael Alvar’s but not quite. However, now that he is untethered from his body, I am the strongest Ikanni on this continent.” He bent her back and took her mouth in a savage kiss that filled her belly with an icy dread.

He released her when a ball of flame rose to the edge of the cliff. “I have brought her to you, Ancients.”

An echoey voice spoke. “Have her stand at the edge, and we will assess her.”

Orvar took her by her arms and placed her at the edge of the cliff once again.

The ball spoke again, “Step back, priest.”

He had a confused expression, but he did as the ball asked.

Alone with no one near her, Lillibeth looked into the writhing flames. Understanding came to her in a low whisper. There had been a race that evolved without bodies and travelled the stars only to find that they began to miss living.

They returned home to Ikanni to find the dark elves of Admar moving in. They offered power in exchange for the chance to live again through the experiences of another, and in that moment, a deal was struck.

Lilli nodded as she felt the deep loneliness of the ball of fire. She asked them,
Do not make me less than I was, do not make me vulnerable to Orvar and those like him. I wish to be what I was born to be once again.

“What is that, daughter?”

She inhaled and told them what was in her heart. “I want to be in command.”

Fire rushed at her, and a dozen flames flickered before one centred over her chest and slowly merged with her sternum.

She fell back, and Orvar caught her with a pleased light in his eye. She whispered. “Take me back to Orriko. Now.”

His face went blank, and he transported her back to the office.

Fire was moving from her chest to her fingers and toes. She had no means of standing, but Orvar dropped her and disappeared in an instant.

Orriko lifted her in his arms and pressed a kiss to her lips. “What happened?”

“A Heshi took up residence, and I think Orvar will be scarce around here for a while.”

Orriko looked at her suspiciously. “Why?”

“Because I outrank him.” She smiled and let darkness take her as the Heshi within her settled and got comfortable.





Chapter Eight



“Do you know what Heshi it is?” Orriko was helping her to sit up in her bed. It seems that he had watched her all night.

“No, but they gave me what I wished for.”

“What was that?”

“Someone who would keep me from being in Orvar’s power. He wanted to bed me, and he uses the power of his Heshi to seduce and bewitch women with mates. Convinces them it’s an honour.”

Orriko frowned. “What did he do to you?”

“Just kissed me. It was all he had time for before the Heshi showed up.”

“You were gone for two hours.”

“That must have been my conversation with the ball of flame. That reminds me. Why didn’t you come and get me?”

“I have never seen the Heshi pit. Only the priests have. They bring the infants there, and when they emerge, the child is bonded. No adult who is not a priest enters the pit.” He looked wracked by guilt.

She took his hand. “It all came out all right. I came out able to give him orders, and he ran for it. So that’s a good thing.”

Orriko paused. “You gave him an order and he obeyed?”


“What was the order?”

“To bring me back to you, now. And we transported.”

Orriko smiled, but it was a tense smile. “I need to check something with the historian. Remain here, please.”

She nodded. “As long as I can watch my monitors. I am learning the ways of your people.”

His grin told her that he knew what she was learning. “Fine, but don’t go blind. Staring into that much black on black skin can be hard on the retinas.”

Lilli had no chance for rebuttal. He was gone.

She frowned. “I really want to learn how to do that.”

She no sooner said the words than she was standing in the bathroom, precisely where she wanted to be. She attended to her needs and transported into the bedroom. She chuckled happily and slipped into her uniform. She was not going to be teleporting in a sarong. It just didn’t feel right.

On the monitors, she took in where Orriko was located and decided that she needed some air. She grabbed her sketchbook and charcoal and teleported to the high tower where she was completely alone and could draw the images of Orriko that she saw in her mind.

She worked on trying to capture the heat in his gaze, but it was eluding her. Someone down below was shouting.

Lilli looked toward the hubbub, and her gaze collided with Orriko’s as well as several of his warriors. She twisted her lips with regret and returned to her room.

Bael Lerock was in her room a second after she was. “Who showed you how to do that?”

She cocked her head as she put her sketchbook away. “You mean the transport?”

“Yes. It takes months to master it, even with a powerful Heshi within.”

“I suppose I was just paying attention. I can’t explain it any other way.” She shrugged.

He came up to her and lifted her chin on his knuckles. “Well, I suppose there is no reason to keep you confined then.”

She chuckled. “It would really be best if you didn’t. I am eager to learn all I can about the Heshi and your branch of the Admaryn. It seems that you left before the planet was subject to the Alliance’s dictate.”

He placed a gentle kiss on her lips. “What do you want to learn about first?”

Lilli leaned into his greeting, acknowledging it for what it was. “The Heshi have their own hierarchy. How does that translate to the Admaryn?”

He looped his arms around her waist. “As Ikanni, we can distinguish ourselves aside from our riders. My Heshi was a warrior of dexterity but no rank. He helped me to gain the skills that I needed, but there was no talent aside from his drive to serve his people. It was enough to make me the heir apparent and now Bael of our people.”

She frowned. “What does my Heshi make me?”

“What is she?”

“What?” She was confused.

“She is inside you, what does she feel like?” He stroked her spine slowly.

Breathing slowly, Lillibeth leaned her forehead against his chest and looked inside herself. The slowly twisting flame within her was amused by her curiosity, but it gave her what she asked for. “She was a leader. A guardian of the Heshi. She always brought up the rear when the Heshi moved from star to star.”

He nodded. “It explains why Orvar ran from you then. His Heshi was linked as a priest but all raw power and no impulse control. If a disembodied being can be a predator, Orvar is housing one.”

“Why did the Heshi give him something like that?” She frowned, her senses reeling with the scent of his skin at this close range. She inhaled deeply and smiled.

“The accumulated Heshi match their offering to the Admaryn before them. The two souls have to match or the conflict will drive one or both insane.” His hands were still stroking her spine slowly.

She sighed. “That doesn’t sound like fun.”

“I have seen it. It is a horror beyond what you can imagine to have every movement, every decision questioned.”

She started to laugh. “It sounds like marriage.”

He gave her a squeeze. “Amusing. It is truly horrifying to see someone who is in conflict with their Heshi.”

Lilli sighed and traced her fingers over Orriko’s chest. “I am sorry to make light of it. It sounds like a conflict I would never wish on anyone.”

“Conflict is a good word for it. How are you feeling?” He resumed his semi-massage.

“Fine, but I do feel rather confined. Is there anything I can get the base to do for your people?”

He rubbed his chin on her hair. “No. Tonight is my father’s ceremony. We release his Heshi into the beyond.”

“Wait, the Heshi die? I thought they were eternal.” She leaned back in his embrace and looked up into his face.

“No, they chose to bond with us so that they have a means to live and die in a normal span. They may have evolved into energy, but they want desperately to simply reach whatever after world they have waiting.”

She nodded, and the core of energy inside her agreed with Orriko. “Are there any records left by the Heshi?”

He shook his head. “Not that we have been able to find and we have looked.”

Lilli sighed and wrapped her arms around him to hug him. “Is there anything I can to for the ceremony?”

He kissed her ear. “Yes.”

She looked up and suspicion began to overtake her. The next moment, they were out in the gate yard, and he was walking with her to one of the many small houses that now made the base a village.

A woman with a child on her hip greeted Orriko warmly. “Bael Lerock, what a nice surprise.”

He inclined his head. “Healer Thora, this is the carrier of Alvar Lerock. Her name is Lillibeth Hislar.”

The healer smiled. “I am delighted to meet you. Bael, am I correct in asking that you want to know if his soul is on board?”

Orriko inclined his head. “Please.”

The healer handed the child over to Orriko and nodded to Lilli. “May I touch you?”

Lilli scowled. “If you must. I don’t see how it would be possible, I have been chemically restricted by the Alliance.”

Thora touched her cheek and took her hand.

Lilli felt a cool energy touching her skin, like the aftereffect of rubbing alcohol but under her skin, not on top of it.

She shivered and blinked into the red eyes of the healer, which now swirled with icy blue.

A moment later, the woman ceased her contact. “Alvar will continue in one form or another. She is not Ikanni, so there will be alterations to any child she bears.”

Orriko absently juggled the child on his hip. The small one had huge red eyes and a fluff of snow-white hair on its head. “Are you sure?”

“As sure as I can be with my calling being what it is. There is more inside her than the Heshi she has taken on. Is that enough?”

Orriko gave her a peck on the cheek. “Thank you, Thora.”

“Any time, Bael Lerock. It was a pleasure to meet you, Bael Hislar.” Thora bowed and took Lilli’s hand, pressing it to her forehead.

“It was nice to meet you as well, Healer Thora.” Lilli shrugged at Orriko.

Thora stood. “You will grow into her as she grows through you. You are meant to be a leader. It is in your blood.”

BOOK: Command
4.88Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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