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Agitated beyond belief, Hunter watched as the transporter beam took his friend to the ship where med-techs were on standby, awaiting their prince. He hoped he wasn't too late. The last thing he wanted to do was let him go up to the ship alone. He felt as though he should be there. His friend risked his life for him and his mate. It seemed such a small thing to expect of one's best friend.
He hated to leave him alone with the healers. No one deserved to wake injured and alone but he needed to go back for his mate. As much as he hated to admit that his bond with his oldest friend was changing, his mate needed his help now more than Mikel did. Mikel was their prince and his people would do everything in their power to ensure he lived.
Turning back to the path that would lead him to where he'd last seen his mate, he inhaled deeply and followed her scent. Pride filled him at her inner strength. She would be no submissive to follow his lead. This woman was strong enough to rule by his side and as his father had just decreed, that was as it should be. Even as injured and filled with pain as she was, she'd managed to overcome her own inner turmoil to help when needed.
Hunter longed to bond with her--to truly be one. Yet, he knew he must wait a while longer. He knew she wasn't ready for a mate bond. Hell, she may never be ready for it, but it would come, no matter how hard she resisted. She may not realize it, but the emotional tie between them was strong and soon, like it or not, their bodies would demand the formal binding of the Manruvian mate bonds. It was strange how for months he and his mate had shared a connection, both mental and spiritual and yet, he stilldidn't know her name.
He heard a woman's scream, and though he knew it wasn't that of his mate, he quickly shed his clothes and changed to his other form on the run. He would stop any threat to his mate, no matter the cost. Their tie was already strong enough that he knew he would die for her--heir to his father's rule or not. His life would be worth nothing without her in it.
When he rounded the corner, he saw a man using a laser whip on his mate. Cold rage whipped through him. A fury as icy as the planet they now found themselves on stole through his body when he saw the wide gash in his mate's fur. Blood welled up from the wound, dripped down her side and stained the snow red. An icy storm brewed within him as his anger grew, seethed, as he watched her precious life's blood flow onto the once pristine snow. For that reason alone, the man would die.