Read Gladiator Online

Authors: Kate Lynd

Tags: #Post Apocalyptic Erotic Romance

Gladiator (6 page)

“You were so young. Did Veronica ever try to help you?”

“Veronica had other issues. She’s a good ten years older than I. Katherine, her mother, was cruel—and when she died in childbirth, Veronica simply became her.”

“Childbirth? I didn’t know there was another royal sibling.”

“He was such a beautiful boy… But after what they did to him…” she trailed off.

“What did they do to him?”

“You have to understand I tried so hard to save him, to protect him. But I was just six, and soon after losing my own mother was I was subjected to the same horrors that he was. Sometimes I think maybe it should have been me in the pool that day…”

She stared past him and out the window. A shiver went down his spine.

“Whatever happened, there was nothing you could have done.”

“Really? You saw what I did today at the prison. We all escaped.”

“Yes, and it damn near killed you. If that would have happened it would have killed me, too. Then what?”

“Jason was an Oracle. Whenever he was around water it seemed to act as a conduit. He would just blurt out whatever the images that he was seeing were. The day he died he had prophesized that a Healer would bring about the fall of the evil that had ruined the planet, and that with her blood the soil and waters would heal and replenish themselves. Instead of staying there to protect him, I ran and hid. When I realized he was being drowned by Veronica, and crying out to me for help, I was too scared to do what I was put here on this planet to do. I let him down. And a ten year old boy died because of it.”

She looked at him with agony and remorse. He took her hand and placed it over his heart and covered it with his. “There is no one to blame for your brother’s death but your father and your sister. Understand?”

“Then how come I feel like I ought to have done something?”

“Because despite your supernatural gifts you’re only human.”

She looked at him. “Your eyes…so blue. I love you, Tristan. For however long we have left on this Earth, I will love you.”

Her eyes glistened with tears, her voice trembled with emotion. He touched her face with his free hand and wiped away her tears with his thumb. He was overwhelmed with emotion so intense that the only way he could describe it was the physical sensation of falling in love. His cock strained against his pants and he longed to be buried again deep inside her hot, tight, wet pussy. He wanted to stroke her clit with his tongue and remember again what she tasted like between her legs.

Dropping her sheet, she pulled the blankets back and spread her legs for him. He knew they needed to be moving on, but her intoxicating muskiness and heat, combined with the intense connection he was feeling, were impossible to resist.

He trailed kisses down her stomach. When he got to her pussy, he gently eased her open and buried his face there as if it were the only thing that existed for him. And when his tongue played with her salty, sweet, and tangy taste, he was so hard he wanted her to masturbate him. He plunged his tongue deep inside of her, rubbing her clit in gentle circles between his thumb and index finger. Her gentle pants and deep hitches and moans as she held onto his shoulders made him want to explode. He removed his fingers and started to slide his tongue over her clit. She trembled in sheer ecstasy, and screamed his name over and over. Her hips swiveled as he plunged his tongue into her again and again and again, until she was crying out in pleasure. When he lifted his face away, she pushed his pants off his hips and took his cock in her hand, rubbing the jism with smooth deft strokes, lubricating him and making him crazy with want.

“I want your rock hard cock inside of me. Make me come again, baby. Make me come again.”

He was insane with the need to claim her, to brand her, to make her feel everything he was feeling. He grabbed her by the hair and yanked her head back as he bit down on her neck and slammed inside her.

He rocked into her, biting down on her breast and suckling it. She gasped in a mixture of heightened pain and pleasure when he squeezed her other breast hard, now gentle, and now hard.

He released her hair, kissing and sucking her tongue into his. It was as if the more he tried to sate himself the more he needed her. And the more he took, the more she gave, the more powerful their union became.

She squeezed his ass and said, “I promise you my loyalty. I promise you my heart. I promise you and our children will always be my everything.”

He found the release he was seeking. He whispered her name in repeated whispers as he collapsed near her.

“You’re mine Alexandra. Mine only. Forever mine. And I will never let another soul strike you down. Whatever the cost I will share my future with you.”

She held him quietly and he knew she was his angel, the one who had found him in his darkest moment and saved his tattered soul. And now they were resting on the quiet sea.

“I love you, Tristan Shane. And not only will we have our own children, but if they’re alive we will find yours. This, I promise.”

He gazed down at her and said, “I love you, Alex. As long as I have you, I have everything.”

“We need to get cleaned up and fed. All this lovemaking has left me famished.”

“I have the perfect idea of how to get cleaned up,” he said with a devilish grin. Jumping to his feet, he pulled her hand and ran with her to the bathroom. “I’m going to show you just how fun water can be.”

“Oh, you are, are you?”

He turned on the water and soaped her up. “There is so much you have to learn. Such a short time to learn it in. Let’s have a little fun while we can.”

She giggled and thrilled at his touch. She was his. He was hers. Even though life was totally different from what it used to be, he knew life was good because she had come into it. And he planned on living it to the full before letting go. She was so young. But she loved him and he loved her. And for the moment, it was all that mattered.

 

 

 

 

 

PART TWO

 

Chapter Six

 

Alexandra felt the babies move, and smiled. She placed her hand to her stomach and they moved again. She took Tristan’s hands and placed them to her belly and he smiled as they responded to his touch.

Even though they were living a nomadic existence, always on the move for fear of being captured by her sister, she’d never been happier or felt safer than she had during the last five months. Tristan had seen to her every need, her every want, her every desire. His touch was pure bliss. His breath on her skin was enough to make her want to strip down and mount him.

But these last few weeks had been hard. She could feel that Veronica’s Military Elite was closing in on them though they were constantly on the move. Being midway through a pregnancy did not make maneuvers easy. She feared not just for her fate, but for her unborn children as well. Veronica’s jealousy and rage knew no bounds when it came to pregnant women... And since she was Public Enemy Number One she shuddered to think what her sister might do to her.

The fire burned into the night and Tristan held her close. He smoothed her hair back from her forehead and pressed his lips to her forehead. “I promise you, it won’t be like this forever,” he murmured against her skin as he gazed into the fire.

She wondered if he truly understood the Prophecy….whether he knew that it meant she would have to sacrifice her own life for greater good of the planet. Could he comprehend that the only part of her left would their children?

“You’re too quiet,” he whispered.

The babies moved again. She looked up at him and smiled. “I’m just enjoying you. This is so rare, a quiet moment to be together without having to worry if my sister is right around the corner.”

There was a weariness to him that came not with age, but with worry. When the shadows played on his face they deepened the lines of life and made his eyes glow. She could see how her life and those of their children’s were weighing on him. And deep within she knew he still mourned his wife and children. She could sense her protective spirit all around them. Hell, she’d brought her to Tristan. But his son and daughter were out there, somewhere. She could feel them, too. And if they were alive, she wanted to find out where they were for him. She just needed his help to find them and he was completely closed down to the idea.

“What are you thinking about?” he asked.

“Your children.”

“Don’t you mean our children?”

She gazed up at him and said, “No, I mean your son and daughter who were taken from you.”

His whole body went ramrod straight. “They’re dead.”

“No, they’re not. They’re out there, but I cannot find them without your help.”

“Please stop. When I get angry it hurts you, and I don’t want to do that.”

“You’re not abusing me when that happens. It’s the nature of who I am and what we are. And I can find them if you just allow me to heal that part of your heart.”

“It can’t be healed. Some wounds are just too deep. Just ask these people. Ask Damien and Lucilla. They love one another, but after being treated the way they were, it’s like there’s a wedge between them. Losing my children and being made powerless to save my wife killed a part of me. You’ve given me my soul back, but a piece of my heart has been destroyed.”

His words stung her and she pulled away. She stood up and said, “I was put on this planet to heal it and its people and I will do it. With or without your help.”

She strode away, a deep pain in her heart opening up and threatening to engulf her. She could hear Tristan calling her, but she was too angry to turn around. She needed to be alone and to analyze her feelings. The nomadic life had freed her from her sister and father’s grasp but not from the constant, nagging fear of being caught.

“Alex!”

She needed to cool down and just realized pain as deep as what Tristan and the others had experienced was something that would require the ultimate sacrifice. That was hard to swallow. It would require walking back into that arena and facing her biggest foes, risking it all. It weighed heavy on her, and the very thought of not being able to share it with the one man who had ever risked everything for her, to try and save her, was excruciating on nights like this. When everything was so peaceful and she felt surrounded and buoyed up by his love, to know that she would have to give it up in the end was not something she wanted to torture him with.

“Alex.” He was right behind her, breathless. They were separated from the group now. “Something’s eating at you. And it’s not about my kids. Even if they were alive, which I doubt, how would I know where to find them?”

She turned, slumped against a tree, and looked up into his eyes. It was like he was staring straight into her soul, searching for something.

“What is it?” he asked, touching her face with his fingertips. Would his touch ease her mind in this instance?

“Nothing for you to worry about,” she said, trying to look away.

“You’re afraid of something. And it’s not just your sister and father. You’ve handled that pretty much as well as can be expected. I feel it’s more than your helping me find my children. It goes deeper than that. You’ve been shutting me out. And I don’t like it. You’re keeping me from doing what I’m supposed to do.”

“Your protection of me is fine. There are just some things I have to do on my own.”

“Alexandra,” he said, touching her stomach lightly, protectively, “it’s not just you anymore. It’s all of us now.”

Her resolve crumbled at his words. Her knees threatened to buckle but she managed to straighten her body. “I’m not always going to be around. And I worry what that is going to do to you. If you just let me help you find Michael and Christine…they’re adults now. They will help you through it.”

An intense rage lit up his face. “Don’t you dare give up now. Not after all this. Not now.”

“My brother was an Oracle, even as a kid. It will take my life to restore balance to the world. My blood. You do understand that I will have to die in order to make that happen?”

He stepped away from her, clenching his fists. “No.”

She tried to comfort him and he pushed her away. “Please understand, I’ve lived with this my whole life. It’s a difficult enough burden to know I have to die. I can’t do it peacefully without knowing you can survive it.”

“Prophecy. Healers. Craziness.” He stabbed his finger at her chest, sending her stumbling backward. “You are not meant to die.” He grabbed her by the arms and shook her. “Do you hear me?” When she tried to touch his face he shook her again. “I asked, ‘Do you hear me?’”

“I’m sorry,” she said softly and he pinned her against the tree. “But it has to be this way.”

In agony, he slumped against her. For a few minutes they stood thus, both breathing hard, until he whispered against her ear. “I refuse to accept this.” He pulled back, yearning in his eyes.

She went hot all over and her heart began to pound. “I wish I could live forever. But I was put on this earth to save it. Our children will be our legacy.”

His eyes were filled with hurt and anger. He turned away from her and walked toward the sound of running water. She knew the best thing was to leave him alone, but she couldn’t. But before she got to him she heard the sound of splashing water. She froze.

He grabbed her from behind and threw them to the ground. He lay on top of her and covered her mouth. She looked up and saw the queen’s Military Elite. They were walking upstream. Her heart leapt to her throat. Immediately she thought of the group. They had to get back and warn them.

Alex and Tristan were hidden by a thatch of tall grass in the middle of trees. If Damien and Lucy were recaptured they would be rent apart all over again. And the guards would surely be executed for treason.

And Tristan? Tears ran down her face and slipped over his hand. Their children? She began to pray. She couldn’t chant but she began to pray silently in the tongue she shared only with Tristan. She did not want to have anyone’s blood on her hands, albeit by omission. She had watched Lucy and Damien struggle to reconnect, and failing, she knew only death awaited them all if recaptured. So she prayed for the vision of the elite to be impaired such that they see only forest and wasteland before them. She concentrated all her efforts on creating an illusion, because there was no way they could reach the group to warn them of the impending danger.