Home > Beast Charming

Beast Charming
Author: Grace Goodwin

 

1

 

 

Warlord Tane, Miami Event Center, The Bachelor Ball

 

“Warlord Tane, may I present…” Chet Bosworth, with his sparkling teeth and puffed hair, paused to look at the card he held in his hand. “The lovely Miss Patricia Wentworth from New York.”

He shouted the announcement as if he were calling a horse race and was oh so excited to see who would finish first. I took the young lady’s hand in mine and tried not to look intimidating.

“A pleasure,” I repeated for the forty-seventh time. Leaning over, as I’d been instructed by Bahre’s beautiful mate, Quinn, I dutifully held the female’s small hand in mine and bowed at the waist. I believed meeting all the females currently in line would was a waste of time. I knew, even before Patricia had approached, that she was not mine. My beast knew as well. I had walked the room earlier, passed by each of the females in their fine gowns as they lined up, eager to enter and meet the beasts.

The young woman nodded her head and walked away, her expression carefully composed. I did not wish to disappoint any of the worthy females present but my beast would choose our mate, not I. And he was not interested.

“I do not know how much longer I can endure.” I whispered the confession to Warlord Bahre where he stood next to me at the base of an elaborate staircase. The fucker’s response was to laugh at me.

I discreetly elbowed him in his ribs, then turned to face the forty-eighth female being introduced to me.

By the gods, I had to endure several more hours of Chet Bosworth and his pontificating nonsense.

My beast and I were both losing patience.

As if on cue, Chet’s conspiratorial whisper carried to both me and the young female approaching. “Hold your breath, people, as the alien, Warlord Tane, meets the next gorgeous woman in attendance. Celine Legrand traveled all the way from Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, more than sixteen hundred miles, to win this Atlan beast’s battle-weary heart.”

The young woman blushed at Chet’s words. I greeted her, bowed, and released her with a gentle shake of my head. I did not need to tell these females they were not mine. They all appeared to be familiar with what had happened when the prior beasts on Chet’s ridiculous show had found their mates.

If Celine were mine, she would already be in my arms. More likely over my shoulder so I could carry her somewhere private and pleasure her properly.

Without a live television audience.

Celine Legrand took a step back and then hurried away.

“Another strikeout!” Chet smiled directly into the camera and winked at the lens. “That’s forty-eight in a row, my friends, but there are hundreds more waiting to meet our handsome prince. Is true love in the air tonight? Will one of these women be the answer to a broken-hearted beast’s most fervent wish? Or will this lonely beast, this wounded veteran who has already been rejected by his own people, be doomed to face the executioner?” Chet twirled around in his black pants and long bright blue jacket, which nearly swept the floor behind him like a bird’s split tail. His teeth were too large for his face, and his hair stood up on his head like thousands of small wooden sticks. He smelled like chemicals and false manhood and fear. He glanced from me to the camera and kept talking. “The gowns. The glamour. The suspense. We are still looking for our princess. Don’t move a muscle. We’ll be right back with more from the Cinderella Ball after a brief message from our sponsors.”

Glamour? Gowns? Suspense? This was no game. Not for us, the beasts whose mating fever raged in our blood.

Did this idiot not understand what was at stake?

The blinking red light on top of the camera went dark, and Chet lifted a hand to summon one of his servants over to put more powder on his cheeks and nose. He shooed her away nearly as quickly, grumbling. “This is a dud. The whole damn thing. If one of these big aliens doesn’t sniff his true love soon, we’re going to have to move on to plan B.”

Plan B?

I heard the low growl rumbling through my chest before I realized I had moved to stand immediately behind the human idiot. “What is this Plan B?”

He spun around, his mouth opening and closing like a fish’s. “Um. Oh. Excuse me.” He stepped back and I didn’t press forward, afraid I’d give in to the urge to crush his skull. “That was nothing. I’m sure there is a woman here that can, you know, satisfy your beast.”

“There is not.”

His mouth went from opening and closing to gaping. “What? How do you know? You haven’t even met—”

“I have scented every female in this room. My mate is not here.”

“But—”

I turned to find Quinn and Bahre had followed me. “Oh no, Tane,” Quinn said. “I’m so sorry. We can try again.”

I shook my head. “No. Get one of the others to stand here. I am done.” I took a step toward the exit. Stopped when Chet dared wrap his hand around my arm and pull me to a stop.

“You can’t leave! We’ve been promoting this for weeks. We’ll lose our sponsors. You’re the main event, Tane.”

“Warlord.” I knew the beast had reached my eyes, felt the heat of the transformation pushing to break through. I had not given this fool permission to speak to me as a friend.

“Warlord Tane. Of course. My apologies.” He was whining now. I glared at his hand, and he pulled his arm back as if burned. “Please. These women have flown in from all over the world for a chance to meet you and the others. If you leave, this will all be for nothing.”

I’d break his heart with a fist through his ribs if he didn’t stop talking.

“My mate is not here.”

Chet sidled up to me like we were friends. We were not. “You know that, and I know that.” He held his hand out and moved it in a slow, sweeping arc that encompassed the entire event space. “But they don’t know that.”

As I watched, some of the television crew’s handlers, as Chet called them, stepped in front of the line of ladies waiting to meet me and began sorting them into small groups. The females varied in every possible way. Some were very young, probably virgins who would need delicate handling. Some looked at me like they wanted to ride my cock and knew exactly how to make sure we both enjoyed it. Some short for a human, some tall. All different skin tones, hair colors, sizes, and dress styles.

Quinn had kept her promise to me and the others. There were over three hundred eligible females at this event, dressed to enchant, to seduce. My beast hadn’t shown even a flicker of interest so far.

Quinn stepped between me and Chet with a sigh. “I’m so sorry, Tane, but he’s right. If you leave, the other women will be upset that they didn’t get a chance to meet you. They won’t understand. It would be a public relations disaster for The Colony, and I don’t think we would be able to convince any more women to take a chance and attend something like this. If you leave, it might even discourage women from volunteering to be brides. Please, if not for yourself, stay for the others. Maybe one of them will find their mate tonight.”

With a sigh, I looked up to where Kai and Egon stood several paces in front of me, acting as guardians and guideposts to the line of females eager to be introduced. They, too, inspected the human women gathered, looking for their own mates.

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