Claimed by Her Mates(5)

By: Grace Goodwin

“The Sector Wars happened when you were infants. After the death of your parents, it was decided to separate you. One child was sent to rule each of the three sectors in order to balance the power of your royal blood and end the war.” Regent Bard looked between us. He was small and frail, but very powerful. We could have killed him easily with our bare hands, but we knew that his death would not change the course of events. I knew it, therefore bloodshed was useless. Since he was still breathing, my brothers must have come to the same conclusion. But none of us had to like it.

Standing next to the regent was his second-in-command, Gyndar. The regent only offered a simple introduction, but from all appearances, the man was to remain quiet and do the regent’s bidding. He wasn’t a young squire, green and eager, but an older man with a serious and calm demeanor. He was easily forgettable, which made him so very good at his job. My spies kept me informed of the regent’s business, and Gyndar played a major role as an intermediary and negotiator, and quietly brokered agreements behind closed doors while Regent Bard kept up his public appearances and persona.

“We don’t need a history lesson, regent. We are all aware that we were the reason the treaty was created, that the war ended,” Tor said.

It was odd to hear my own voice come from someone else. His long hair and the heavier coat he wore were indications of his life in the colder Sector One. I’d never been there, of course, and had no interest in tolerating freezing weather.

“It was fortunate for you that we were triplets, wasn’t it, regent?” Lev added. He moved to a high-backed chair, his short hair and fierce scowl somehow making him appear colder then Tor, but I knew that to be a misconception. Both of my brothers were hardened warriors, rulers of their sectors as I ruled mine. The fact that they’d survived these three decades was evidence of their strength and intelligence.

I could see similarities between myself and Lev. The way I, too, sat in a slouch with my long legs stretched out before me. I saw Lev’s brow arch and, except for the scar, it was like looking in a reflecting glass. He also shared my disgust and disinterest in the maneuvering and scheming ways of politics. Neither brother was enjoying this meeting any more than I. It was an inconvenience, something we all had to tolerate.

The older man nodded. “It was fate, I believe, that your births brought peace to Viken.”

I glanced at one brother, then the other, before I spoke. “And yet we have no peace. We are to mate a woman from another planet. We are to leave behind our homes, our people to live here, to live together and share a bride? You ask this after we have lived our entire lives in different sectors.”

“We may have been born brothers, regent, but we are now enemies,” Tor added. I nodded, as did Lev. I had no desire to leap across the room and murder my brothers, but my loyalty was to the people in my sector, as my brothers’ loyalty was to the people in their own home sectors. We were born brothers in blood, but our loyalty belonged to our homes. To the people who we ruled. To the people who needed us to protect and provide for them.

“Enemies?” Regent Bard questioned. “No. Brothers. Identical brothers, with identical DNA, who will now claim one mate and breed her.”

“So it is not us that you want.” Lev steepled his fingers together. While he looked relaxed, I knew he was anything but. How I knew, I wasn’t sure, but I could sense things in these two other men that I couldn’t in others. Was it because we were triplets or was there some other way we had a bond? “It is the babe that we will make.”

The old man didn’t argue. “Yes. This child will unite the three sectors once again, become the ruler of all three. Equally. United. Together. Viken will once more come together under a single power, a single ruler. The wars will end once and for all.”

“I, for one, do not desire an alien bride. If unity is your goal, we should claim a mate from Viken,” Tor said, leaning against the wall of the room.

We were on Viken United, a small island with a handful of government buildings. This was the place all interstellar visitors arrived, where all formal meetings between sectors occurred. The giant white center building with its steep pinnacles and statues dedicated to all three sectors—the arrow, the sword, and the shield—was the one place considered neutral territory for all three sectors.

Weapons were left at the border. It was a safe area, a peaceful zone where tension could be resolved.

While the war had ended decades ago, animosity ran deep. Cultures varied. I disliked my brothers out of principle alone. I knew nothing about them besides what they looked like. Our bodies were identical, therefore I knew that Tor’s cock angled to the left and Lev had a birthmark on his upper back. The rest, we were creatures of our people, creatures of our sectors.

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