Bad Alien Boss (Royal Aliens 6)

Page 33

I feel as though the carpet has been pulled out from under me, and as though the ground beneath it has opened up and I’m just falling through it. Terrible has become my constant companion, my sexual partner, my super grumpy boss, and I have that horrible feeling you get when there is nothing you can do while the last few seconds of your time with someone you care about is slipping away.
Terrible farewells his king, and then he turns to me. I look up at him through a glaze of tears, wondering what he will say. Will he finally tell me that he cares about me? Will he finally acknowledge what is between us?
“Be good,” he says.
That’s it. Be good. Two words to break up with me and fly off to his death. I have no recourse. Begging him not to do this would only make him look at me with disgust, I’m sure he would consider it to be cowardice.
“Yep,” I say, trying not to cry. “See ya.”
Terrible is sacrificing himself for the king. What he doesn’t realize is that I’m right behind him, hiding in the shuttle. Getting in here was super easy, barely an inconvenience. I just walked past all the Essence people who hardly seem to notice me at the best of times, and I crawled into a small sort of box thing in the back. The only people who might miss me are Tyrant and Tania, but they’re self-involved in the best way. A heavily pregnant royal takes significant precedence over an annoying abductee.
I told them I was going to bed. It will probably be days before they realize the only thing in the bed is a pile of pillows and a pumpkin. Sometimes, the old ways are the best. And sometimes, being disposable is an advantage. Being the person nobody notices lets you be anywhere you want to be. I used to use that to my advantage down on Earth all the time.
I thought I might be challenged when I got to the actual shuttle, but I just walked onto it while the other aliens were preparing it. They ignored me completely even as I folded myself into the locker at the back, like ambulatory cargo.
So anyway, I’m sitting in the locker, wondering when’s the best time to come out. Terrible is going to be piloting this ship alone. He’s going to take the lead, like the heroic asshole he is. He’s going to try to draw the EnD away from the king’s ship, and save as many of them as possible.
Maybe I won’t come out. Maybe I’ll just curl up here and close my eyes and hope the end comes quickly. But I can’t do that yet. For now, I stare out of the holes in the locker and I wait for the time to be right.
He tucks something into the console.
It’s a picture. Of me. And he’s stuck it right where he can see it. I watch, stunned, feeling my eyes well with tears of sudden emotion. He does care about me. He does have feelings for me. He didn’t express any of them, because he’s an idiot, but who isn’t these days. It’s 2021, more or less, we’re all very stupid now.
I could burst out and just hug him, but I stay hidden. If he discovers me now, there’s still enough time to put me off the shuttle. I want to stay with him. If he’s going to die, I guess I’ll go with him. Self preservation doesn’t mean much if you never get to do anything meaningful with the man you love.
He takes off with a push of a button. In an instant we are sling-shot into space. It’s a sensation which makes me feel sick to my stomach, like being pushed too hard on a swing, but a thousand times worse.
* * *
We fly for some time, to the point that I almost fall asleep. My hidey hole is warm, and surprisingly comfortable, and I feel so safe in Terrible’s possession that I almost forget about the whole scary war thing.
The sound of what I guess is ship-fire brings me to my senses. I open my eyes and, from my limited viewpoint, I can see the cockpit being lit up by the strikes of whatever energy weapons have been deployed.
The ship is silent other than the sounds of it being fired upon. Whatever Terrible is doing, he’s not freaking out about it. He’s calm as hell. It’s like he’s reading a book in a library, he’s that damn silent. But the ship is doing a whole hell of a lot at his command. We’re moving around a lot, whipping left and right and up and down.
I can see another ship in the distance through the cockpit. I am guessing that’s one of the ships he’s trying to run off. I have woken up to a full-fledged space battle.