Claimed by Her Mates(7)

By: Grace Goodwin

The Hive was a race of artificial beings that killed indiscriminately in their search for resources and new biological beings to assimilate into their collective. They took all free life forms and implanted them with technology, neuro-processors, and control mechanisms that stole a living creature’s mind and soul. All member planets in the Interstellar Coalition contributed resources, ships, and warriors to the ongoing battle with the Hive and their indiscriminate evil.

The Hive had to be stopped. And the regent was correct. Viken had not sent its full quota of warriors, or brides, for many years. The thought that we might be abandoned had not occurred to me. The threat to the planet was real and unacceptable. Two solar cycles was barely enough time to breed a female and see the child born. Which meant we were truly out of time and out of options. I hated him for this, for telling us the truth. But I knew what must be done, no matter how much I didn’t want to think of it.

“You have remained outside of the realm of interstellar politics and government, until now. Now, you must step up to the mantle and accept the responsibilities you were born to bear. All of Viken must be protected. We must be united. Viken must be strong. That is the truth, and it’s the dream for which your parents sacrificed their lives.”

Lev growled. “They died not because of peace, but because of war. The rebel factions hunted and murdered them in a bid for power. The Viken civil war ended because you split us up, not because you kept us together.”

“You were babies then and could not yet rule,” the regent added. “Now, now you have returned to Viken United, to the central sector of our planet to bring peace, not in a short-term measure, as your placement was, but forever. You three must put aside your differences and become a true united front. Together you will be powerful. Three brothers. One infant. One future.”

“Fuck,” Tor murmured. They were my sentiments as well. There was no escape from the regent’s plan. There was no escape from the need to protect our people from both the Hive and the rebel factions on our own world. The rebels wanted a return to tribal ways, to a hundred different sectors, each with their own ruler, their own agenda. They wanted to return to the way Viken lived hundreds of years ago, before we became a member of the interstellar community, before Viken was one planet among many.

The rebel faction leaders wanted war and strife, they each wanted to rule their own little kingdom with absolute control and iron fists. They wanted to believe they were omnipotent. Gods.

They were antiquated ideas leftover from thousands of years of culture. They had no place in the new world, in a world where the Hive could wipe out our entire planet’s population in a matter of weeks if our foolish ways left them unprotected. We needed our warriors out in space, on the battleships, not bickering over backyard crops and women.

“You could have told us about the coalition’s demands, about the warrior quotas falling,” I said. “You could have told us about your plan, about our bride.”

My brothers crossed their arms over their chests and nodded.

The old man arched one gray brow. “And would you have agreed? Would you have submitted to the matching process?” The regent tilted his head, the expression on his face one of relief. We were done arguing. He’d proven his point. I was not unreasonable, and neither, it would appear, were my brothers. We had not agreed, but we were listening.

Tor rubbed his jaw. “How did you match one of us? And to whom was this bride matched?”

The regent actually looked embarrassed, the pink in his cheeks a color I’d never before seen on his lined face. “The medical checkup you each had last month was a ruse for the testing. We sedated you and completed the testing while you were in a dream state. Some was done while you were completely unconscious.”

At his words, I shuddered. I knew exactly what he spoke of. I’d gone in for a general health screening, as was required, and woken sweating, with my heart racing. The experience had been unusual. I’d never woken in a med unit with a hard cock before. Nothing I thought of had brought it down. I’d had to excuse the doctor and use my hand to alleviate the discomfort. It had been some kind of dream, something so intense that I’d been beyond aroused. The fuck if I remembered what I’d dreamed. “So, which one of us is her match?” I wanted to know. I needed to know. I did not want to fuck a female who wasn’t mine. I’d do it once, if that was required to protect the planet, but I would not bond with her, I would not allow myself to care for her if she wasn’t mine.

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