Jarek(Dragons of Preor Book 1)(4)By: Celia Kyle & Erin Tate
The race as a whole did not want to become extinct.
Jarek glanced down the corridor once more, not seeing anything amiss despite the combat readiness of his body. He focused on the warrior nearest to him and glanced at the markings on his leather harness. “Third Warrior.”
“War Master,” the male acknowledged his address.
“Contact Defense Master Evuklar immediately. Double the warriors surrounding the Ujal in the conference room.”
The young warrior gasped and broke formation. “They are a threat, War Master?”
To be so young. He couldn’t have more than a hundred years and no discipline to question a War Master in such a way. “No, I believe there may be threats against them. No more questions, Third Warrior,” he snarled, baring a single fang. The male would learn. If Jarek didn’t have others waiting on him, he would show the warrior exactly how to behave. “I expect the warriors to be present when I arrive. Go.”
Jarek continued on his path, striding down the winding corridors while thinking over the meeting to come. Minutes later, he rounded the last corner and was gratified to see his orders had been followed. He would not have to censure the Third Warrior too harshly, then. At least he’d done as demanded even if he questioned Jarek’s authority.
More than one male’s expression showed distaste or disgruntlement, the emotions flashing across their features and vanishing as quickly as they’d appeared. Yet they would do as ordered despite their disgust. He could not guarantee every male was happy with the rulings of the council, but he could guarantee the safety of their visitors. Behind the secured doors was an integral part of Preor’s future and he would do everything within his power to ensure the males surrounding him found mates among the females of Earth if they desired.
First they would convince the people of the sea of their pure intentions and then they would find solace in their futures with the humans of the land.
Jarek stopped in front of the door and waited for the ship to verify his identity before granting him access to the room. Safety of the Ujal rulers was paramount.
Perhaps someday, through their assistance, there would be many Preor ruling the skies of the planet, but not today.
The doors parted, giving him entrance to the large meeting room. He scanned the space, searching out the prince and principessa among the gathered beings. His attention flicked from one person to the next as he recalled everyone’s names and positions. It was necessary for the War Master—as humans say—to know the players in the game.
He recognized all, save one. He kept his eyes trained on her as he turned his head slightly, prepared to question the nearest Preor warrior. “Who is—”
Her laugh sliced through the space, tinkling and light as it rose above the gathered Ujal. She knelt before the prince’s youngling, teasing her small toes and drawing a high-pitched giggle from the child. He noted the delicate line of her neck, the way the strands of her hair glistened in the ship’s lighting and…
The Knowing struck.
Melissa tickled little Theresa’s feet, enjoying the laugh that left the child’s lips. No, she was a youngling. Meli hadn’t gotten in the habit of calling Ujal children younglings just yet. In her mind, a baby was a baby, but in the Ujal world, there was a difference.
Mainly scales and tails. She remembered the first time she’d seen Theresa shift, when she first caught sight of the rainbow of colors replacing skin. It was beautiful. Strange since it wasn’t something humans could do, but it wasn’t any less awe-inspiring.
“Miss Meli,” she kicked her legs, fighting to get away, but not too hard. She knew when Theresa was truly done playing. It was part of her job to know. As the land-based nanny to the Ujal royal family, it was necessary for her to gauge the child’s every mood, almost every thought.
“I’m going to get you.” Meli growled and tickled her stomach. She was proud of the warriors surrounding her. The first time she’d made the sound and gone after Theresa, she’d been quickly pinned with a blade to her throat. The event had two effects: 1) she realized she needed to learn self-defense so Rhal didn’t pin her so easily and 2) she’d truly become part of the royal family. She’d never seen little Theresa so fierce as when her Uncle Rhal knocked Miss Meli over and held a knife to her throat.