Revealed:Brides of the Kindred(10)

By: Evangeline Anderson

“I’ll be there,” he promised grimly. “And in the mean time, keep your psychic paws off Nadiah. No more pain—got it?”

Y’dex grinned nastily. “As to that, she is still my…what did you call her? Oh yes, my little pet until you attempt to break out bond. And as such, I can do with her what I want.” He made another twisting, yanking motion with his fist and Nadiah cried out as the burning knife stabbed her again.

“You son of a bitch.” Rast’s voice was thick with rage. “I’ll make you pay for that. I swear to God I will.”

“Come and try. I look forward to it.” And with that, the connection was broken and Nadiah’s fiancée and parents mercifully disappeared from the viewscreen. She gasped in relief—and then fainted.

* * * * *

“Well this is a hell of a mess. Do you realize what you’ve done?” Commander Sylvan was clearly upset but Rast didn’t care.

“Yeah, I know what I did. I stepped up and challenged the bastard who was hurting her which is more than you were doing.” Rast cradled Nadiah protectively close to his chest. “What the hell, Sylvan—she’s your baby cousin. Could you do more than just ask nicely?”

“Don’t you think I wanted to help her?” Sylvan’s normally impassive face was nearly anguished. “Of course I did, but I couldn’t. Only an unmated, unrelated male can break the blood bond. A Kindred male—which you are not.”

“You think I give a damn about that?” Rast demanded. “Besides, I don’t have to be Kindred to take on that little bastard. I’ll snap him over my knee like a twig.”

“Just because you have Kindred size and strength doesn’t mean you have Kindred blood.” Sylvan ran a hand through his spiky blond hair impatiently. “There is more than just the challenge of strength to get through, Rast. You’ll also have to endure the challenge of wills and the challenge of blood. Which you will almost certainly lose.”

Rast frowned. “What makes you so sure? You know, you guys talk a good fight and you’re eager enough to get married to Earth women but you clearly have some kind of superiority complex going on.”

“The weakness isn’t in your heart—you clearly have the courage of a vranna.” Sylvan sighed. “But your blood—Kindred blood has special compounds in it that give extra strength of will and mind as well as physical strength. They’re also what enable a Kindred to break the blood bond—one of the strongest symbiotic soul bonds in the known universe.”

“Great—so you have superhuman blood and I don’t.” Rast shrugged. “What harm can there be in me at least trying?”

“The harm is that you could die trying.” Commander Sylvan looked at him soberly. “And even if you did somehow manage to break the bond, there’s a small but real chance that Nadiah could die as well. She’s been bonded to Y’dex since she was six cycles old. If her soul becomes untethered from his and has no other, stronger soul to anchor to, it’s possible she could lose consciousness and literally drift away.”

Rast felt sick. “You mean even if I succeed I could kill her?”

Sylvan nodded. “Unfortunately, yes. It’s not likely but there is that possibility.”

“I don’t care about that.”

The soft voice came from the girl in his arms. Rast looked down in surprise to see that Nadiah’s lovely deep blue eyes were open. She struggled slightly against him and he helped her stand, keeping an arm around her shoulders just in case.

“Now, what did you say?” he asked, frowning.

“I said, I don’t care if I die.” Her face was filled with calm desperation. “I’d rather die than live with that horrible male the rest of my life.” She looked up at Rast earnestly. “Are you serious? Will you really act as my champion and challenge the blood bond on my behalf?”

He nodded slowly. “Yes. Absolutely.”

Nadiah sighed, looking troubled. “I know I should ask you why or try to change your mind but I’m desperate.”

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