"I've found him."
"Him?" Hassan asked, arching an eyebrow curiously. "Who him? Could you be more specific, brother?"
"My mate," Shaikh Bogden Dhal Wuher Al'Abdalha said simply as he looked across the table at his brothers. He folded his hands together to keep from drumming his fingers anxiously on the table as he waited for his brothers' responses.
"Many blessings upon you, brother," Urik said, pounding on Bogden's back so hard he grunted and fell forward. Urik was strong, the strongest of all the brothers. The man could crush someone if he wasn't careful.
Bogden was just grateful that his brother never challenged him for leadership of their pride. Urik might win. Luckily, he said time and time again that he didn't want the mantle of leadership. He much preferred not being in charge of the pride, just himself.
"Thank you, brother," Bogden said after righting himself.
"So, where is he?" Hassan asked as he plopped down in a chair across the table from Bogden. He looked excited, but not as excited as Bogden felt that he could share this news with his brothers. "When do we get to meet him?"
"That part is not so easy." Bogden grimaced. "I do not believe he knows we are mates."
"He doesn't know?" Hassan asked. "How can that be? A mate always knows."
"He's not a Katzman." Bogden grimaced as he watched the surprise and shock on his brothers' faces as he imparted that bit of information. "I found him when I was in service to the High Ruler. Anjali is from Elquone like Commander Chellak Rai's mate."
Bogden couldn't help but smile as he remembered the sexy little man he'd discovered while on a rescue mission with Commander Rai. He knew the moment he spotted Anjali inside the cave that they were meant to be together.
"Ashu!" Urik swore softly. "You really know how to make thing complicated, don't you?"
"What are you going to do?" Hassan asked.
"Offer a contract for him?" Bogden asked. He hated the idea of offering a contract for his mate but he couldn't think of any other way to get the man now that Anjali had returned to his home planet of Elquone. "What else can I do?"
"Meet him?" Hassan asked.
"We've already met, Hassan. We rescued Anjali along with Trajan and Saris after they crashed on that deserted planet." Bogden grinned proudly. "Anjali is the one that knocked Toc Jerell on his ass."
"Then ask him if he's even interested in being with you. Get to know him a little better."
"And if he says no?" Urik snapped. "You know what will happen to Bogden if he's denied his mate, his mayht. Is that what you want for him?"
"No, of course not, but…" Hassan shook his head.
"I will have my mate, Hassan."
"Isn't there just some way you can, I don't know…" Hassan waved his hand absently in the air, "work him into it slowly or something? Do you really have to purchase his contract?"
"Hassan!" Bogden snapped then immediately regretted it when his youngest brother's head dropped forward. "Look, Hassan," he said, calming his voice and his facial features, "I promise to give him whatever time I can but now that I know he is out there, I can wait no longer to claim him."
He really didn't need Hassan's agreement to claim his mate. It was an instinctual imperative to claim a mate once they had been found. Bogden could no more deny that natural part of himself than he could stop breathing. Anjali was his.
It helped that Bogden had recently been appointed the Shaikhof the LeonidPride upon his father's death. Bogden now ruled all of the Province of Leonidia, as his father had done before him. His word was law and final. Still, it made things easier to have his brothers' agreement and support.
"So, will you help me obtain my mate?" Bogden asked hopefully as he looked across the large wooden table at his brothers. They nodded their heads. "Alright, I'll have Yasir get the ball rolling first thing in the morning."
"What if he says no, Bogden?" Hassan asked.
"Why would he? I'm offering him a good life here. As my mate, he'll help me rule our people. He'll be the Hahyda, the heart of our pride."
"I don't know, Bogden." Hassan shrugged. "It all seems so cold and calculating to me. I mean come on, a contract? Weren't those outlawed by the Federation of Planets? Look at all the trouble Chellak Rai went through when he had a contract with his mate? He almost went to prison."
"Hassan," Bogden said, "You know I don't have any other choice. I need my mate. As for the contract, that is what is needed to bring Anjali to our province. I figure if we complete the mating ceremony when he arrives then no one can say anything."
"I know. I just feel bad about--"
"Hassan, things are still precarious on Katzmann. You know that," Bogden said. "Our life here is dangerous even without the interference from the Federation of Planets. I have to bring Anjali here as fast as I can and complete the mating before his contract is sold to someone else. I don't have time to romance him."
"Yeah, but it's like you're buying him. Why can't you just get to know him first? Isn't that what normal people do?"
"Hassan, we are not normal people." Bogden chuckled.
"No, I guess not, but this still feels wrong."
"Once I get Anjali here and complete the mating ceremony, I'll make sure that there is nothing that he wants for. If he's anything like most people I know, he'll be in heaven."
"If you say so," Hassan grumbled. "But I still don't like it."
"Would you rather I didn't send for him?" Bogden asked, his voice hardening with aggravation. Everyone knew what would happen if Bogden didn't have his mate now that he'd found him. The separation would drive Bogden insane.
"Look, let's just do this and we'll deal with the fallout after he's here, okay?" Urik said, looking between the brothers.
"Urik." Hassan laughed. "Ever the voice of reason."
"Bite me!" Urik snarled, making Hassan laugh even harder.
"Okay, I'm going to go talk with Yasir. I'll be back in a little while," Bogden said as he stood to his feet. He could barely stop himself from rolling his eyes at his brothers. They were always arguing with each other.
Maybe it came from growing up together but he knew neither of them would hurt the other, or him. They were brothers, with Bogden being born first, then Urik, and last came Hassan.
They were also closer than he believed most brothers were. Bogden knew that his brothers would do anything for him just as he would for them. Needing his mate wasn't going to change that. Bogden wouldn't let it.
"My mayht, how I've missed you."
A small cry fell from Anjali's lips and he arched into the air when Bogden began planting small kisses over his heated skin. Anjali panted heavily, aching with need. He felt this way every time Bogden touched him, lost, out of control. Only Bogden seemed to be able to keep him together.
He never dreamed Bogden's hands would feel so warm, so gentle. The man was a warrior. He wielded a sword, fought for Commander Chellak Rai. He trained most of his life to fight by the commander's side. His demeanor, his larger than life size, even the life he had lived, belied the gentle touches he bestowed on Anjali's body.
"Bogden!" Anjali cried out when the man's teeth nipped at him. A moment later, Bogden's tongue soothed the small bite before moving on to more skin. Bogden's hands were not idle either, caressing Anjali and slowly driving him out of his mind. Anjali didn't even have the brain power to form a thought. All he could do was lie there and soak up the pleasure shooting through his body.
"Touching you brings me such pleasure, mayht."
Anjali wanted to answer, to tell Bogden he felt the same but his thoughts fragmented as Bogden's hands and lips continued their hungry exploration of his body. Every little touch made his body tingle.
Anjali's breathe hitched in his throat when Bogden's hands gently moved over his distended stomach. He glanced down quickly, worried that Bogden would be repulsed by the changes in his body. The last time they had been together, Anjali had been slim, beautiful. Now, he felt huge, and it would only get worse over the next two months until their child was born.
He was shocked when a serene, prideful smile crossed over Bogden's lips as he looked down at the large bump. He gently ran his hands over Anjali's skin, grinning wider when the baby gave a small kick.
"He's a strong one, mayht. He will make a fine warrior." Golden eyes suddenly glanced up at Anjali, making him inhale softly at the intensity he could see in their depths. "Thank you, Anjali, for giving me this gift."
"Yo-you don't think I'm ugly now?"
"I've never seen you look more beautiful, mayht. This child that we created together is the proof of all we mean to each other. For you to carry him, to give life to that child…" Bogden shook his head. "Entya haby, entya hyety, entya a'lhabby."
Anjali frowned. "What?"
"It means you are my love, you are my life, you are my heart." Bogden grinned then leaned down to place a gentle kiss on Anjali's belly. "You are my mayht."
Anjali opened his mouth to reply, not sure of what he was going to say, but his breath came out in a long, surrendering moan instead. Bogden had moved further down his body, licking and kissing his fevered skin.
A spurt of hungry desire spiraled through Anjali when he felt Bogden's mouth take him in. Bogden's tongue slowly caressed the head of Anjali's cock, licking each inch, the slit in the top, then down under the edge of the head before Bogden swallowed him down to the root.
Anjali and Bogden had spent a lot of time in bed together back on Katzmann before the man disappeared. They had tried a lot of different things, experimenting with what they both liked, what aroused them both, but in all that time, Bogden had never sucked Anjali's cock. The feeling was mind blowing.
Anjali started to arch into the air, wanting to push more of his cock into Bogden's mouth, until he felt two slick fingers sink into his ass. Anjali suddenly didn't know what to do, push up and into Bogden's mouth or push back and impale himself on Bogden's fingers.
Bogden took care of that indecision for Anjali when he started sucking on the cock in his mouth and shoving his fingers in and out of Anjali's ass all at the same time. Anjali went into sensation overload. The soft moans falling from his lips became louder and louder with each motion until he was letting out one loud cry.
"Okay, mayht, roll onto your side."
Anjali was all too eager to comply. He rolled onto his side then felt Bogden move up and settle down behind him. Anjali glanced over his shoulder, curious as to what Bogden's plan was, until Bogden lifted his leg in the air and moved closer.
He couldn't control his outcry of delight. His eyes fell closed and his head dropped back when he felt Bogden's long hard cock start to sink into his ass. There was nothing in the world that felt as good as Bogden fucking him, nothing.
"Open your eyes, mayht," Bogden said, his voice sounding rough and thick. "I want to see you when I take you."
Anjali opened his eyes and turned to look at Bogden again. His breath hitched, his hands clenching in the blankets beneath him as Bogden filled him. Bogden's golden eyes darkened to a deep amber color, their intensity almost too much to look at. Anjali suddenly knew he wasn't just being fucked, he was being consumed, and he was helpless to stop it. He didn't want to stop it.
"My mayht," Bogden whispered. "My beautiful mayht."
Passion inched through Anjali's veins as Bogden began to move, slowly, gently. Each thrust was measured, made to give the most pleasure possible. As gentle as Bogden was being, Anjali could see the cost of the man's control in his eyes, feel it in the clench of Bogden's hand on his hip.
"I won't break, Bogden."
"I will not bring harm to you or our child," Bogden bit out through his clenched teeth. "I will love you in my way."
Anjali wanted to argue but he was too caught up in the sensations produced by the feeling of Bogden's cock filling him over and over again. When Bogden's hand wrapped around his cock and started stroking him, Anjali knew he wouldn't last long. He was too close to the edge.
Passion pounded through Anjali. He couldn't catch his breath. The pleasure, building at an alarming rate, was pure and explosive. Anjali felt like he was going to fragment at any moment.
"Come for me, my own," Bogden whispered in Anjali's ear. "Come for me, mayht."
Anjali gasped in sweet agony as Bogden's words shattered what little control he had left. His body melted as his release swept through him, the world around him careening on its axis until nothing existed except for him and the man crying out behind him.
Waves of ecstasy throbbed through Anjali as Bogden's release filled him, warming him from the inside out. A deep feeling of peace entered Anjali's body as Bogden's heavy breath blew across the curve of his neck.
Anjali smiled as he turned to look at the man he had been falling in love with for weeks. He swallowed the despair that suddenly filled him when all he saw was an empty space where Bogden should have been.
Anjali glanced down to find his own fingers wrapped around his cock instead of Bogden's. His hand and lower belly was covered by his cum but there was no other sign that he had just been loved by the large Katzman. Anajli was all alone.
He pressed his lips together to keep his agony at bay for just a few minutes more and reached for a cloth to clean himself off. He'd been having dreams about Bogden since he left the planet of Katzmann. He'd gotten used to waking up covered in his own cum. That didn't make it any easier to find he had just dreamed their intimate encounter.
Anjali tossed the dirty cloth down on the floor after cleaning himself off then curled into his bed, pulling the blanket back over his body again. Only when the blanket covered his head and he had his face pressed into his pillow did he give free reign to his agony.
Tears slowly slid down his cheeks. The babe inside of him moved, kicking against his stomach as if trying to alleviate some of Anjali's pain. Anjali wrapped his arm around his stomach, holding on to the one connection he had to Bogden even though he knew it would never take the place of its Father. Nothing could.
Bogden had stolen his heart then tossed it away as if it didn't matter to him. That, more than anything made Anjali's heart ache. He had been ready to give Bogden everything and the man simply didn't care.