Bad Alien Boss (Royal Aliens 6)

Page 43

“If you do not immediately retreat, you will be fired upon!”
Oh, the king doesn’t know we are inside this ship. This is very cool. Like a surprise party where you don’t know most of the guests and they show up in a tank or something and you think you’re going to die so you point your sharpest weapons at them and almost kill them. Haha. What fun.
I scream the words back into the talky box.
There’s a confused pause.
“Lucky? Is that where you got to?”
Terrible slaps his hand over my mouth to stop me from speaking. I try to answer, giggling as he wrangles me away from the microphone even as he answers his king. I’m being a drunk brat, and I don’t care. Terrible can handle it. Terrible can handle anything I throw at him.
“Greetings, sire,” he says. “We are returning with an almost full compliment of crew, and a new vessel for the fleet.”
There is a pause of what I feel like is probably emotion. Then the king speaks again.
“Good work. See you soon.”
“Wow, not big on the praise, is he?” I say when the call is terminated. “No, oh my god, I’m so glad you’re alive, you’re the best war guy I ever had, thanks so much for getting me a whole other ship and risking your life.”
“I do not need copious praise,” Terrible says. “I am not a pet dog learning to sit. I am the commander of Tyrant’s armies.”
“Just saying. He could have been a bit more…”
He could have been a bit more… but it turns out he had a good reason not to be.
As we approach Tyrant’s ship, Essence soldiers start to appear aboard our captured vessel. They take control of various systems and ensure that our conquest is complete.
“You need to sober up,” Terrible tells me, using the replicator to create some coffee and a grilled cheese sandwich. “I find your sloppy antics adorable, but the king will not.”
He’s letting me get away with some stuff now, I notice. When we first met, I got away with precisely nothing. Now he is tolerating me wandering about a little drunk, making a bit of an idiot of myself. No real harm done on either side. He's starting to feel like a real partner, not just a domineering master who expects perfection.
“Thanks,” I say. “For being cool.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever been described as cool before,” he says, sounding amused.
“Well, you are,” I say, face deep in sandwich. “Super cool.”
“Mhm,” he runs his hand over my head, his fingers clawing lightly through my hair. I feel a tingle at the simple gesture of affection, a smile rising to my face. He brings me food, he strokes my hair. I think he really loves me.
* * *
Once my liver has metabolized enough alcohol for me to behave properly, Terrible and I are materialized back onto the original vessel, and funnily enough, it feels like home. Being back on the Essence ship is like putting on a pair of super comfortable space age sweatpants. I breathe a deep sigh of relief and stretch my arms high above my head.
“We’re safe,” I declare. “It’s over.”
“It’s never over. But you are safe,” Terrible tells me. “And you will stay safe. If you ever do anything as reckless as getting on that ship…”
“I know. It will be awesome…”
He snarls and grips me by the hair, pulling my head back. I feel my body instantly charge with fear and excitement, energy zipping back and forth from my head to my toes. He looks down at me with that imperious face of his. He doesn’t need to say a word.
“Sorry,” I squeak.
He releases me with a soft growl, and I know that things have forever changed. I’m his. Really his. I don’t have to keep testing him. Though, testing him does turn me the hell on.
“We are going to see the king,” he says. “Behave yourself.”
I do behave myself as we make our way to the royal chambers, where we are met by Tyrant.
“Apologies for the rush. We have been engaged in our own dramatics,” Tyrant says.
I believe him. He looks awful for an alien king who has been spared the worst of battle and capture. He should be rested and chill, but he looks like he’s been run over by something, or maybe dragged through something, or perhaps… I don’t know. The light in his eyes is bright, and yet dim. The smile on his face is weary, but genuine.
“Were you attacked?” Terrible asks the question. The king obviously looks like death warmed up to him too. Something has definitely happened on this ship while we were away. Something which pushed the king to the very limits of his tolerance.
“No. I was not. But… you should come see. The pair of you.”