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A Mate for the Senator (Brion Brides 9)

By:Vi Voxley

1

Eleya


As her small cruiser approached the gigantic warship, High Senator Eleya was fully aware of the bitter welcome that awaited her aboard the Titanium.

For a warrior species capable of conquering any world in the galaxy and winning every war they declared – a fact they'd proved countless times – the Brions were more trouble than they were worth.

And that was coming from a Brion.

"Are you sure this is a good idea, High Senator?" her aide Towaren asked, standing respectfully a few steps to her right.

Eleya gave the young warrior a cold look. Her eyes drifted to the battle spear on the man's back, a signature weapon of the Brions. The familiar ache shot through her, right on cue. It seemed the curse of longing for the comfortable weight of her own spear would never leave her be.

"General Eleya," she said sharply. "To you, I'm always the general. No matter what those fool Elders made of me."

Towaren looked horrified at the informal and admittedly disrespectful way she addressed the rulers of their people, but Eleya didn't care.

She'd fought her battles with the Elders. She'd lost. They had taken her flagship from her, given her army to another warrior and made her the de facto ruler of Briolina, the home world of the mightiest race in the Galactic union     and all the known universe.

When she said it like that, it didn't sound so bad. The only problem was that the Elders were Brions too. Even in their cryosleep, sharing their consciousness and waiting for a time when their people needed them, the Elders knew the truth better than anyone.

Eleya wouldn't have traded her spear for the rule of the entire galaxy.

That was all theoretical, of course. The Elders were the wisest of Brions, their revered leaders and obedience to them ran in Eleya's blood along with the fierce, stubborn, undefeated spirit of her people.

She might have been stripped of her former title, but Eleya had sworn she wouldn't let her former second-in-command address her as anything other than his general.

"My questions remains," Towaren said, ripping her back to the real world and away from her regrets.

"Yes, of course I'm sure," Eleya said, adjusting her long green gown marked with the symbols of her office. "Have you ever known me to do anything without consideration?"

"No," her aide admitted. "You think everything through to the last detail and then attack the task like you used to do with your enemies."

Eleya frowned at the young warrior, but the soft smirk on Towaren's face told her that her aide was trying to put her at ease with an ill-advised attempt at humor.

"Don't try to be funny," she told the warrior. "You know I don't like that."

"I wonder if that was part of the consideration for making you the High Senator," Towaren continued, knowing that he was allowed to push her buttons from time to time. "Only a completely humorless person could deal with fifteen Brion generals and the rest."

Eleya sighed, a small smirk playing at the corner of her lips. Towaren amused her. And the fact that he'd given up a captain's position to follow her out of loyalty, abandoning the glory of warfare, said a lot about the warrior. It earned him some freedoms Eleya wouldn't have permitted in the case of anyone else.

"Let me tell you a secret," she said, as a soft lurch told her the cruiser had landed in the flagship. "It's only managing the generals. Compared to them, the other forty billion uncontrollable warriors are a ball."

Towaren laughed as the door began to open in front of them. Eleya cast a quick look at the reflective wall next to her, judging her appearance.

It was her first time returning to the ship that had been taken from her. She'd successfully managed to avoid it for years – or better to say it had managed to avoid her.

Her image greeted her. Eleya was tall, born to a warrior race and having the skills to fight herself to the very top. She had long dark hair tied behind her head, falling almost to her hips. The tight green dress hugged her body – the most ridiculous piece of clothing she'd ever worn, or so she always thought until another dress was thrust into her life – and her sharp blue eyes observed herself critically.

The valor squares beamed on her neck. They were the only thing that remained with her after her demotion. She'd been assured it was the opposite, but Eleya had never seen it as such. She was glad to be able to keep her honor. The squares were small crystals implanted into the neck of a Brion warrior. At once, they spoke of victories in battle and helped the warriors communicate better among themselves through a language of their own.#p#分页标题#e#

The ramp descended and Eleya was shoved from reminiscence into the job she frankly hated almost as much as the bastards who'd forced it on her.

All of that was gone when Eleya stepped aboard the Titanium, holding her head high as she met General Castalen. Towaren followed at a distance.

"High Senator," the general greeted her with a quick nod. "It's a rare honor to have you visit one of the flagships."

The look on his face said something entirely different and Eleya was the reason why. Luckily she was very good at hearing between the lines and if her ears weren't deceiving her, the general had just told her to turn around and go home.

She observed the man seriously.

The fifteen Brion generals ruled the fifteen gigantic flagships and with them, being nigh indestructible and larger than some moons, everything they saw. With iron fists and razor-sharp blades, Brions had taken part in every war the Galactic union     had fought since they joined. They were always on the front lines and they were always victorious.

Eleya missed it more than she could possibly put into words.

Castalen fit that image to the teeth with his massive build and harsh features. She could have counted the wars he'd fought by the scars on his face.

"I'm sure you're delighted," she said, raising her voice just a little to be heard by everyone present in the landing bay. "Can we talk in private?"

Castalen glared at her. She was just as unwelcome as she'd assumed, but that had never stopped Eleya before.

That was the problem, right there. The Elders hadn't demoted her as a punishment and Eleya knew that. She was right where she needed to be.

"I was under the impression this was going to be a quick visit," Castalen said.

"It is," Eleya replied. "But not so short that the engines of my ship haven't had time to shut down yet. Private, General, or I will speak my mind here."

Castalen turned on his heel and marched away, Eleya following.

"Have the captain summoned," she told him quietly, continuing before the general could argue. "Now, before I tell everyone of the last time a general couldn't control his own damn ship. I'll spoil the answer for you. It was never."

The look in the man's eyes told her that she was quickly climbing the list of people the general considered his enemies. An occupational hazard as it was, trying to manage a bunch of intergalactic warlords.

Castalen led Eleya into a small room, an observation parlor with a view of the stars around them. They waited in silence and it gave her a chance to observe the general. It was odd that such a strong man hadn't solved the problem himself. Eleya hadn't been sure how that was possible, but now she had her answer.

"This captain," she said. "Xaven. He refuses to obey, he disregards your orders, he causes enough trouble to make it echo to me... Why have you not dealt with him?"

"He hasn't challenged me," Castalen replied tersely.

Eleya stared. In the Brion armies, no one was truly promoted. Warriors took the position they wanted. As a general, Eleya had fended off several, leaving the hopeful fools dead in her wake.

"Then why haven't you challenged him?" she demanded. "You can't have a man like that on your ship."

Castalen didn't answer, finally confirming Eleya's suspicions.

The general didn't want to die.

That was a terrible quality in a Brion general, but Eleya wasn't concerned. From time to time, one such managed to con their way into the position by killing an older general before the others had a clue. The type was big, strong and stupid. Those generals never stayed long, because it took more than the ability to win one duel to rule Brions.

After her visit, the rumors were bound to be circling the ship already. She had no doubt there would be a challenger for Castalen soon and then he had the chance to prove himself, or pay for his weakness.

Brions lived a very straightforward life.

The door opened and Eleya prepared to see the cause of her latest headache. She'd come to kill the man herself and let Castalen be dealt with by his own captains, or find a way to solve the problem without bloodshed. The latter had seemed unlikely to her.

Everything changed the second the man at the door looked into her eyes.

Eleya saw the flash of recognition there, just like she had seen it many years ago in the eyes of her last fated mate, her first gerion.

Captain Xaven stared at her, the emotion behind his deep blue eyes indescribable. He was the most gorgeous man Eleya had ever seen in her life, strong and lean and powerful, and she was personally acquainted with every general the Brion armies had to offer. One look was enough to tell her why that man managed to scare his general into shame. She was looking at a born champion. Everything about Xaven spoke of confidence and skill. His short black hair framed his noble features, a bright, mischievous flame burning in the captain's eyes.#p#分页标题#e#

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