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Mated To The Vikens (Interstellar Brides Book 8)(7)

By´╝ÜGrace Goodwin



“Obviously, something went wrong during transport.” There was a second man. His voice was calmer, deeper, and came from the direction of my feet.

Something went wrong? Obviously, if I was being dragged about, unconscious. Or, they at least thought me that way.

I assumed I was in the transport center on Viken, but it was not as I expected. No Star Trek space deck. The walls were painted dark gray, the ceiling low. There was a window on the far wall and beyond the glass all I could see was green. All green, as if I were in the middle of a forest. Directly in front of me was a tall platform with strange symbols and buttons, screens with data flowing across them that I could not read. The language was odd and unfamiliar. I had to assume it was the alien control station for transport. Just beyond it was a raised platform, the shiny surface empty. Was that where I’d arrived? Had they dragged me off that platform and dropped me like garbage on the floor?

I could see their legs. Both wore dark pants and black boots. I was afraid to move to see more of them, for their focus was not on me and I had no wish to draw their attention. After dealing with the Corellis, I knew it was sometimes best to be completely invisible. Surely, these two brutes were not my mates. If so, where was the third?

“Where is the Queen, Ensign? Where the fuck is the princess?” the second man asked.

“I don’t know, sir.”

“What do you mean, you don’t know? What the fuck am I supposed to tell Vikter?”

“There was no indication of a malfunction.” The panicked man with the low rank appeared to be the poor guy who worked here, wherever here was. The other, the angry one, I had no idea about.

“Then who the hell is this female?”

There had been some kind of problem with transport. It sounded as if they’d been expecting someone else. Where in the world was I? No. Where in the universe was I? Had I really been transported to Viken?

“I don’t know, sir. Are you sure it’s not the Queen? She’s clearly human. Look at her skin. No Viken female has skin that soft.”

“Is her hair red as flame?”

“No.”

“It’s not the fucking Queen, you fool.”

“I don’t know what went wrong. As you saw, she just…just appeared.”

“Yes, but from where?” I heard the anger. The men moved a few steps toward me and I saw an arm point in my direction. Long sleeve, black shirt, a man’s hand. The rest of him was hidden behind the table. “Find out who she is. She’s not Queen Leah, but perhaps Vikter will have a use for her.”

No, I wasn’t a queen. The men were obviously up to no good. And they’d called me human. Mentioned Viken. Clearly, I was no longer on Earth. Which was bad. But at least I knew where I was, and it wasn’t some crazy planet I’d never heard of.

“Yes, sir.”

It was obvious who was in charge of the duo. “Whoever was expecting her will trace her transport to these coordinates. I can’t be here when they arrive.”

“What? I can’t be here either!” The ensign’s voice went up an octave, his words hurried and clipped, panicked.

“This was your mistake. That female, and whoever comes looking for her, is your problem.”

The guy in charge pointed again, this time the cuff of his shirt rode up and I saw a tattoo on the inside of his wrist. It looked like a three-headed snake.

“Transport me to the Central City transport station as planned. No one will track me among that crowd.”

“But what am I to do with her?” The ensign came around the control station and I closed my eyes, pretended to be asleep.

His footsteps were close and I felt a vibration in the floor. A deep hum filled the air around me, made the hair on my body stand at attention.

“Transport me and find out who she is. If she’s not royalty or worth a ransom, kill her.”

Kill her?

“What if she’s worth something?”

“Keep her alive. You know who to contact.”

My eyes popped open at that and I stared at the ensign’s legs as a bright yellow light filled the room then went out. The vibrations stopped and the noise cut off abruptly.

The ensign was breathing hard and whispering to himself, mumbling about unification, and a baby, and assholes.

Oh shit. Was he going to kill me? Seriously?

Hysterical laughter bubbled up in my gut but I held it back by sheer force of will. I’d left Earth to get away from corrupt assholes just like this one and the one who’d transported away. Instead, it was like I’d never left at all. This was exactly how the mafia operated back home. The Corellis controlled everything that went on in New York, including me.

Stupid to believe I’d be free of unethical men and organized crime. People were people everywhere in the universe, it seemed, and even the exalted Coalition of Planets hadn’t managed to get rid of criminals like these two and whomever they worked for. I’d been transported across the universe and landed right back where I started, mixed up in something. Something bad. And I was going to pay the price. Again.

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