Kiera's Moon (Chapter Nine, page 1 of 13)


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"Romas, no!" Her latest protest was lost on the warriors, who dragged her aboard yet another ship. "I want to stay!" "Not with these people," he said, once again the egotistical protector who knew better than her. His quick pace forced her to trot to keep up, and the two warriors behind her let her go to pursue their leader. "I promised Evey I'd rescue you when we went to war." "I don't need rescuing!" she argued. "I want to stay there with A'Ran!" Romas whirled at the name, and she ran into him before taking a quick step back. His gaze was cold, his jaw ticking. "That barbarian has dishonored you and my family! If it were up to me, I'd take you back to Qatwal and mate you to one of my brothers, but Evey forbade it," he snapped. "You should be grateful I rescued you before he could sully you." Her face felt hot as her fear turned to anger. He spun and strode away before she could formulate a response. She continued after him. "Romas, he's my mate. I can't just leave him!" she tried again. "And I have to stay and help the planet." "The decision is made. You're going back to your planet. Evey was right-- it was a mistake to bring you with us." His words stung, and any further argument died on her lips as she realized how serious he was. She stopped in the hall. He motioned for the guards to take her down another corridor, and she went. She awoke from the nightmare she'd had every night since being dragged off Anshan. It was past sunrise, so she rose and flung off her bed covers. Her things and most of the furniture had been returned with her to the row house. She'd refused to unpack everything, instead digging out only what she needed as the days passed.

She didn't expect her sense of loss to be so deep. It'd hit her on the spaceship ride home and had only grown deeper. Romas hadn't even accompanied her to the row house but sent her on a small shuttle to the local park and left her there. No farewell, no apology, nothing. She'd cried for two days before finally realizing on day three that no one was coming for her.

She looked around her room. Her feet were cold on the wooden floor, and she'd caught herself looking down many times to see if she made grass grow here, too. She didn't, and the disappointment brought tears to her eyes once again. Wiping them away, she padded into the hall, down the stairs, and to her studio, which overflowed with paintings she'd done in the eight days since returning. She stood before her favorite, an image of A'Ran the way she remembered him from the day they'd first met.

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