Friday, September 29, 2017

Flash Fiction: The Wrong Story #ValespianPact

This series of flash fiction/ficlits surrounds the mounting tension between Prince Mestor and Warlord Sohm'lan and this takes place during Striker. If you haven't read the first part, Unwanted Attention, you can find it HERE.

For those who haven't read Alpha Trine and Striker, you could read these but I didn't go into detail about the people or the situation on board The Gorgon. So there is a chance that you'll be lost since it relies heavily that the reader already knows the main stories.

This is unedited and copyright by me. Enjoy!

The Wrong Story

On his way to the Oethra 7, Sohm'lan calmed enough to remember that no Mar'Sani had ever been injured in Atlainticia's seas, especially in the dream. Perhaps the injuries were merely bruises and such. He had convinced himself of exactly that… then the lift doors opened to the corridor outside of Captain Dargon Kal-Turak's cabin. 
The bitter scent of Prince Azaes and Prince Mestor's anger coupled with the fact that Prince Zeus was bleeding caused alarm and fear to grip Sohm'lan's heart. 

Prince Zeus barred the door against the aggravated Elite Honor Guard. The meager hope the situation wasn't as bad as he first thought staggered Sohm'lan with the first whiff of not only Prince Zeus's blood but that of the twins. He rudely pushed Mayra and Athena out of the way to reach Prince Zeus in time to catch him when he fainted. Not that Sohm'lan cared if he offended them. One simply did not allow a person of the royal house to fall. That was a lesson impressed upon him by his father and a tenement that served him well over the years. Becoming a warlord had not been easy. Putting the royal family before himself had been his way of life even before Niobe passed into the fade.

"Monticore!" Sohm'lan's commanding voice caused the honor guard to come to attention. "Two clear the room."

He rose to his feet gently cradling Prince Zeus to him, unconcerned with the prince's nudity. No, what made his blood run cold was the fact that Prince Azaes and Prince Mestor lay in crumpled heaps upon the cabin floor.

"The lavatory's door won't engage," one of the Monticore reported. "When we first arrived, Captain Kal-Turak opened the door for the princes, but now he is not present. He may be stuck in the laboratory." The Monticore glanced at Prince Zeus and then his brothers, their suspicion plain to see.

"Prince Zeus did not say the captain had a hand in their condition." Sohm'lan waited for the guards to agree. "Then until evidence presents otherwise the captain is innocent. Find a way to free him from the laboratory."

Not being able to immediately rush to Prince Mestor's side caused an unsettling disquiet to take up residence in Sohm'lan's gut. He was taken aback by the unbidden emotion and forced himself to focus on the situation at hand. Once the Monticore deemed the room clear, Sohm'lan pointed to Prince Azaes, commanding two to move the prince to one side of the sleeping platform. Still holding Prince Zeus, he placed him in the middle next to Prince Azaes, then finally — finally — he turned to Prince Mestor. He tamped down on the hiss-click of warning when a guard turned to help him lift Prince Mestor. He couldn't allow anything, not even his emotions, to interfere with the care of his Water Sons.

Stepping back, he watched Mayra and Athena as they carefully administered one treatment after another that failed to heal the wounds the three had. He turned his back sharply to the sleeping platform when the medic withdrew a needle and thread. He was sure he would lose his mind if he watched her pierce their — his — skin with the sharp implement. Instead, he busied himself with the Monticore until Prince Zeus exploded awake, swinging across the room to land before the lavatory. The Monticore had finished cutting through the metal and was ready to open up the attached room.

Once Prince Zeus had been placated, Sohm'lan moved back to the platform were Prince Azaes and Prince Mestor lay awake and alert. Prince Azaes held out his hand and Sohm'lan helped him to sit up, following the conversation with one ear as he turned to Prince Mestor.

Prince Mestor's uniform shirt had been cut down the side so Mayra could access the slice along Prince Mestor's abdomen. The wound was worrisome. If it had been much deeper, Prince Mestor would have been gutted. The pant leg had been cut all the way to the groin, revealing a puncture to the muscle of the upper thigh that missed a major artery by a hair's width. Both wounds had been stitched and bandaged.

A hot rage coursed through Sohm'lan at the thought that his Water Sons had come away from what should have been a safe place, wounded. Other than the battle fought on The Gorgon against the would-be pirates, he couldn't remember the last time any of the three had been physically injured in a fight beyond bruising. Prince Mestor, especially. He was more hotheaded than Prince Azaes or Prince Zeus but instead of that being a liability, Prince Mestor channeled his temper and became one of the more ruthless fighters Sohm'lan had ever trained. Whatever attacked them had to be powerful indeed. When he discovered who dared touch Prince Mestor, Sohm'lan would conduct a hunt, and there would be a reckoning unlike anything the being had ever experienced.

"Come," Prince Azaes motioned to Sohm'lan. He had missed the exchange between Prince Zeus and his brothers and Sohm'lan swallowed back his embarrassment, abashed by his inattentiveness.

"I am hungry but we need to shower before first meal," Prince Mestor mumbled as he limped along next to his brother.

Sohm'lan signaled for four of the eight Monticore to lead the way while he remained one step behind the twins. He did not offer them help. Any suggestion they were impaired would be met with demands for a physical challenge in the wrestling ring. But he watched them notheless, ready to come to their aid if one or both of them fell. The scent of their blood clung to Sohm'lan's nostrils and he thought he would have to shower as well to rid himself of the odor.

"It is peculiar that our advanced medical devices cannot heal the wounds." Prince Azaes mused aloud as if he did not expect anyone to answer.

"I've been thinking about that," Sohm'lan said hesitantly. When Prince Azaes merely looked at him questioningly, he went on. "There is a story my father tells about the first Mar'Sani who set foot on land, following Pegasus the Explorer."

"I have never heard of it." Prince Mestor replied limping stiffly down Oethra 7's ramp to the docking bay of The Gorgon.

Sohm'lan didn't really believe the story would help them but it would distract Prince Azaes and Prince Mestor from the pain. They had a long way to go and with how slowly the two walked, the trek would become more painful, unless their minds were on something else.

"It's a very old story originally written in the ancient tongue. Father translated a copy when he was apprenticing with the famous Bard Stahan Tan."

"Ah! I have heard of Bard Stahan. Father has spoken of him. Do you remember?" Prince Azaes swatted Prince Mestor on the arm.

"I do." Prince Mestor glanced at Sohm'lan out of the corner of his eye.

It was then Sohm'lan realized he walked between the twins, instead of his customary place behind them. Without him realizing it, they had dropped back which was wildly inappropriate. They were far above his station but he could not bring himself to chastise them.

"Father also said your father, Bard Echo, had surpassed Bard Stahan long before Bard Stahan signed off on the completion of your father's training."

"I believe Meme had something to do with that." Prince Mestor chuckled, his shoulder casually brushing against Sohm'lan, causing Sohm'lan's scales to tighten.

"She could never stand for those who took advantage of others. I was present when she had Bard Stahan summoned. She was not in a forgiving mood when Bard Stahan last performed for the palace."

"The next day it was announced that Bard Echo had received his master's endorsement." Prince Mestor brushed against Sohm'lan again, this time catching Sohm'lan's gaze. "I have never heard of better Bard as your father."

Heat flared to life in Sohm'lan's stomach at the complement. His family had very humble origins. When Sohm'lan was a youngling, he had vowed he would do everything he could to better his family's circumstances, working diligently to be one of the best warlords on Atlainticia. There were few ways to gain status among the Mar'Sani. Growing up on the streets of Thrace, he'd learned to use his aggression to protect what was his. It was his only worthwhile asset and he put it to use to become Atlainticia's best soldier, and later a royal warlord of unsurpassed skill. For some time, all his extra credits were funneled back to his family. His baby sister married a wealthy merchant, a male of worth that Sohm'lan had thoroughly researched. He then scared the fear of Poseidon into when the male when he requested his sister's hand as his mate.

Sohm'lan's parents changed occupations as people with status did every forty to fifty years. That was when Sohm'lan's father threw himself into his secret passion, apprenticing to become a bard. Now his parents' status had increased through their own endeavors and Sohm'lan could not be more proud.

"What is this story you mentioned?" Prince Azaes asked, drawing him out of his thoughts and Sohm'lan switched his tail to hide his embarrassment.

"My apologies. The story was about the Numina, in the time before the Mar'Sani followed Pegasus to leave the Waters of Poseidon. The Numina would sometimes fight in a section of the ocean above a circle of standing stones. It was believed the stones could sense who was in the right and would sap energy from the one in the wrong. The fighters would be hauled to the shoreline by their family pods and there they would tend the wounds."

"That is an interesting story and I would be interested to find out if it is history or merely a story, but I do not see a correlation between that and our wounds," Prince Mestor said.

The lift doors opened and everyone entered, Prince Azaes and Prince Mestor still kept Sohm'lan between them. Sohm'lan was very aware Prince Mestor hadn't taken his eyes off him. In turn, he directed his attention to Prince Azaes.

"The story mentioned the wounds couldn't be healed by conventional means because the stone's energies interfered with their technology. They resorted to one of their ancient remedies." Sohm'lan opened his mouth to tell them what it was and he faltered, assailed by images of him on the beach and Prince Mestor lying next to him, wounded.

"What did they do?" Prince Mestor prompted.

When Sohm'lan met his gaze, he couldn't look away. Suddenly his throat was parched and the lift was too hot.

"Sohm'lan?" Prince Azaes encouraged.

"Their saliva had special properties. Their pod would take turns licking the wounds until the person was healed," he said in a rush.

Prince Mestor's eyes widened and a sexy smirk twisted his lips. "Huh."

The lift doors opened, breaking the uncomfortable silence. Sohm'lan was relieved this floor only housed the royal family. He'd soon be able to retreat to his quarters where he could… he could… Poseidon help him, his clothes were too tight.

"I think we should try it," Prince Azaes said into the silence.

"What?" Sohm'lan exclaimed.

"Yes!" Prince Mestor hissed before coughing into his fist. Prince Azaes turned to stared his brother, a suspicious glint in his sunrise-yellow eyes. "I mean," Prince Mestor stammered. "We are still children of Poseidon and though we do not live in the Waters we should have the same abilities."

Sohm'lan thought for sure Prince Azaes was going to call Prince Mestor out on the utter skink shit he just spewed, but was disappointed when Prince Azaes only nodded his head. "My thoughts exactly. Our family have lost two people to the Waters. Our bloodline must have a strong connection to the Numina."

Sohm'lan threw up his hands, an uncharacteristic gesture for him, with the Monticore watching nonetheless. "It is a story that only has similarities in regards to the injuries. The Numina were some of the first children of Poseidon. They were fabled to have abilities we are simply not capable of. They could cross any open waters in the galaxy without the aid of a starship. The strongest of them could move whole armies from the Waters of Poseidon to another planet's ocean. They had the ability use the siren's song, heal others with saliva, obviously, and some had the gift of foresight."

Instead of dissuading them, it seemed they became more convinced with his every word. What were they thinking?

"It could not hurt to try. Perhaps the Monticore would volunteer." Prince Mestor's glowing smile caused alarm bells to go off and Sohm'lan scowled at the surrounding Monticore who nodded in agreement. The thought of one of them putting their mouth on Prince Mestor's upper thigh caused his jaw to clinch as he flexed his claws.

"If it works, then we have an emergency medical procedure for our people if they don't have immediate access to medics." Prince Azaes glanced at the guards who were agreeing.

"Sohm'lan you tend to Mestor and I'll take one of the volunteers," Prince Azaes said as his cabin door swished open.

Sohm'lan's heart sped up and he was barely able to hide his alarm. "Wait. You cannot be serious," he argued. "It was just a story."

Prince Mestor continue down the corridor moving faster than he had when they first left Captain Kal-Turak's quarters.

"Was it?" Prince Azaes countered as one of the guards slipped into his room. "It won't hurt to find out. You'd better catch up to him." Prince Azaes pointed to where Prince Mestor entered the security code for his rooms.

Sohm'lan didn't want to catch up. He didn't think this was a good idea at all, but it would look suspicious if he backed out or shamed Prince Mestor by ordering another Monticore to take his place.

Three guards arrange themselves outside of Prince Azaes's door and the other four beat Sohm'lan to Prince Mestor's cabin. Prince Mestor stood in the doorway, watching Sohm'lan. The look of eager anticipation on his face made Sohm'lan's scales pull tight. He could have sworn he heard a death knell sounding when he crossed the threshold.

Concentrating too hard on trying to find an excuse not to attend Prince Mestor, Sohm'lan startled when Prince Mestor suddenly nuzzled the back of his neck on the right side of his small spinal ridge. "First, I need your help to shower."

He spun around to tell Prince Mestor absolutely not… only to be confronted with Prince Mestor holding the bandages over his abdomen, the pinched expression saying Prince Mestor was in pain but he would deny it if asked. Though Sohm'lan was proud when his Water Sons pushed through the pain and agony, something about the prince's condition brought out the protector and him. He vowed again he would make the individual rue the day they touched what belonged to him.

Biting back the angry snarl caused by his last thought, Sohm'lan spun on his heel and headed to the lavatory. "I will ready the shower," he barked back over his shoulder, needing a moment to himself.

Prince Mestor was his Water Son to groom and protect, but he was afraid of the depth of this sudden bevy of emotions. He'd loved Prince Mestor since the day the Empress Ashari had laid the youngling in his arms. But this sudden need… He looked down at his trembling fingers hardly recognizing them because he wanted to lay his hands on Mestor, and not in a Water Father way either.

"Niobi, please forgive me," Sohm'lan whispered as he shrugged off his uniform jacket, determined to do his duty while keeping an emotional distance from Prince Mestor.

Not once since her death had he thought about another with any kind of longing. He'd been content to be alone, but this last year, with Prince Mestor stalking him like a lizard on the hunt, Sohm'lan found himself wanting more and feeling guilty for the unwanted need.

There were widows who found other mates. Mar'Sani lived three hundred years on average and losing a mate when young, well, a couple hundred years alone was too much for most. But there were a few who did not find another mate, choosing to go through life living a solitary existence. He had believed he would be one of those individuals. Then Prince Mestor made him question what he thought he knew about himself, what he believed his future would hold.

Hissing in frustration, Sohm'lan switch the controls of the shower from sonic to water. He didn't know if the cleansing gel would aggravate Prince Mestor's wounds, thinking water would be best. He typed in the temperature and set the device to preheat before he returned to the main cabin to find Prince Mestor accepting a uniform from the guards in the corridor. How long had he been in the lavatory, distracted by his inner turmoil? Wait. Was that one of his?

When Prince Mestor turned, seeing Sohm'lan staring at him, he grinned almost sheepishly.

"There is no reason for you to return to your cabin when you could easily change here."

"Nothing is wrong with the uniform I am wearing now." Sohm'lan snapped, frowning suspiciously at Prince Mestor.

The prince draped the uniform over the armor stand. "It's just a precaution." Why did Sohm'lan think Prince Mestor was blowing hot air at him?

"Come, the water will be warm by now." He did not move towards Prince Mestor, curling his hands into fists as Prince Mestor slowly shrugged off his uniform jacket. When the foot of Prince Mestor's injured leg dragged, causing him to hiss and stumble, Sohm'lan shot forward and caught him before he fell. Prince Mestor released a heavy sigh and leaned into Sohm'lan.

He pressed his nose against Prince Mestor's temple and inhaled. "Let's get you in the water."

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!


  1. What a lovely interlude. Just to note it is "death knell" not death nail, the knell being the sound of the bell rung to herald a death.

    1. Thank you for that tip!! I knew I should've googled it to be sure. Every time I hear that saying I think of a hammer hitting a coffin nail. LOL :)