He loved to brush her, his Kaja, his beautiful T'chia. At times this didn't seem real, and at others it was horrifyingly so. She was perfect at this moment and what he had to do made his heart ache. "Kaja?"

The young she-Rin looked up and into his eyes, like he encouraged her to do when they were alone, when they were safe. "Yes Bayo?" She almost never called him by his name anymore, and that hurt, stabbed at his heart. He didn't care when HE called him Thirteen. It was safer that way, no one wanted to hear the Emperor Tegatane call them by their name. But for Kaja not to, after so many years. It showed him how she was slowly loosing the fight to stay pure, to stay innocent.

He stopped brushing her soft coat and leaned against her side taking shelter under her wing like he did when he was a young boy. It felt so good to do so, to know that those massive wings would always be there for him to shelter under when he needed comfort. He had to save them for others too.

"Kaja, I want you to return to the Spirius first thing in the morning."

The look of pure panic on the young mare's face almost shook his resolve, she was shaking now, "What have I done wrong Chren, why are you sending me away? Please, I don't want to leave, please, I'll do anything, anything, just don't make me leave you." There were tears forming in her eyes, Kaja who almost never cried, was about to now.

"You have to, for Teacher's sake, for you Father's. You can't stay here it's killing you by inches." He stroked her long mane, caressed her upper back where it met her lower shoulders. "You need to do it for me."

"Master, please, you're the only thing I have EVER wanted completely for myself. I don't want to go, don't want to leave you." How did her eyes, already nearly black, manage to seem even darker as she begged him.

He kept his voice calm and level, "I want you free of HIM. I can never be free; I made that choice, before. He forced me to drag you back in, like he always does. But you must still be free. Em, Your brother needs you. And I...I will not tolerate myself becoming like HIM... Becoming a monster." He puts a finger on her lips to silence her til he's finished, "It would hurt...more people than you can know, if you stay with me, you stay bound to him...and both our souls, mine and yours, will die."

He lifts his finger and the words tumble out of the innocent girl he loves and plans on raping tonight, "You won't, you love me, how can you? HE doesn't love, you do, don't make me go, PLEASE Master, I belong here with you."

The Warlord's heart bleeds for the pain in her eyes, "Emeroth still loves you, he's always loved you, or have you forgotten that, all the lessons, all the paths? Em TAUGHT me to love you, S'Kaja'a Asha'a of the Rin. Without Teacher, I would've been hate alone. Like HIM." It's partially a lie, he would have loved HER, but no one else, he would have crushed her soul if Emeroth hadn't opened his heart to caring about anyone but him and her.

The delicate huntress bows her head but still tries to convince him to let her stay, "I want to be with YOU. You need me, Em doesn't, he never has, he's his father's son. That's more than I can give him."

"No it's not Kaja, and I want to be with you so much my soul burns, but you'll be ruined, staying with me, and I with HIM. I will not stay with him, I cannot leave. There is no other way to protect what needs protecting." No way for him to do what he needed to to keep her safe and to keep his promises to her. Even those he knew she would never hold him to.

"Please Chren, Master, Bayo, I promised you. I promised I'd say with you as long as you lived." How sweet she smells now, his nose one of the few sensitive enough to pick it up, her body finally entering Rava, finally becoming fully fertile, ready to be breed. The smell along was making him want to take her now.

"And what does a Bayo do? Meekly back down to his T'chia's pleadings and fears, back down when her very SAFETY is what's at stake? For that is what is here. The safety of you, and those, through you, that I would care about."

The tears finally fall and his heart bleeds for her pain, he wants to crush everything that hurts her, even Tegatane himself, yet he knows that would only hurt her worse, because he would fall and Tegatane would take his vengeance out on her when she's helpless and grieving.

"I belong here, with you. I have been yours since that moment as a child when you said you trusted me."

Chren, Thirteenth Dragon Warlord of Kovus T'ar Tegatane, the Dragon Emperor of the Arrahn Empire looks deep into the eyes of the woman he would take to wife if only he could, "You belong with future children. Mis-born claims be DAMNED. You are NOT a mistake, you are NOT a wrongness, you are not a wrongful ANYTHING, you are beautiful and you are perfect."

Kaja touches his cheek with one clawed hand, "When I'm with you Chren. When I'm with you all feels right, PLEASE don't make me go, please."

A sigh escapes the young man's lips, "When you're with me, you fall even further under the influence of what I've been poisoned with," He makes his eyes glow green for a moment, reminding her of the taint in his blood, in his bone, in his very soul, the price he paid to save her life, "How long will it be until the Shadow, the darkness in me, dragged you in? How long before you abandoned even your father's wishes?"

"I told you I'd give up my sunrise for you, Chren. Please, it will not happen, as long as we are together we will still love."

Chren wanted to cry then, how innocent, how sweet she still was, believing blindly that love was forever, that it would be allowed to survive in this world, she didn't realize slowly the love in his heart was being crushed and replaced with lust, with hate for anything that would take her away from him, with the desire to rule her every thought and feeling. "Love will pass, someday. Lust alone, left. Lust and hate. How can it be else, in a world ruled by Kovus Tegatane?"

The agony in her voice was almost to much even for him, "Please, don't order me to go, don't abandon me."

He growled then, the dangerous low growl, and saw her drop to her knees, "You think I'm ABANDOING, this way!?!?" he watched her roll over onto her back, pinning her wings so they were useless, her razor sharp hooves up in the air, her head thrown back. He felt his groin tighten even as part of his heart felt sick

"Please, Master, I'll do better; please just don't make me go."

And it crashed over him again, the nearly blinding rage of a warlord and he put his booted foot to her throat, not crushing it, but hammering into her, "DOING BETTER IS LEAVING THIS HORRIBLE PLACE!!!" Leaving his place of nightmares of pain and pleasure so mixed you can't tell where one starts and the other ends. Places where innocence is a crime and compassion a death sentence.

Her voice becomes terrified and it makes him sick, "Forgive Master, Forgive your slave."

He wants to be gentle, to be kind, to let her up and assure her everything is alright, but it's NOT, it can't be until she agrees to go to the Spirius, until she agrees to be safe. Even though it twists his stomach into a knot he commands, "Beg more, slave."

"Forgive me Master, Bayo, Please. I don't want to leave you, please don't' make me, I love you, I need you."

He turns his fury towards her, NOT at, NEVER at, but lets her see the rage that burns, that scalds his soul and threatens to consume even her like sun fire would consume a blade of grass. "I AM NOT ABANDONING YOU. I AM FREEING YOU, Freeing you for a time. You must choose freedom; you must HELP my teacher, against my Master. You must help stay...his MADNESS. Your PURPOSE must be, through much of the coming years...even the next AGE of your LIFE...to push back against the tide that the Monster would have engulf us all, you can do this, you MUST for me."

The helpless female pleads softly, "Then come with me, I can't do it alone."

He shakes his head, how he wishes he could, but he knows better, "I cannot, it is in me, it infects me and would infect you, still more. Either to kill you...or worse, make you like us." That evil in him sings at him to put a little more pressure on her throat to slowly strangle her till she either complies or dies, yet he resists it, only wanting to make plain to her that she is subservient to him, she has to listen.

"Please MASTER, don't make me have to leave you, please don't order me to do this." The agony in her voice is to much, and he feels the fire leave his eyes as he pulls his boot back, letting her rise. Her finally plea rips at his heart, "Kovus will hurt you for this."

"Kaja, it doesn't matter. We cannot abandon HIM...and yet I CANNOT leave, not anymore. You must go help him Kaja. You don't know how much this matters." Kaja is one of the keys, Chren doesn't know if Emeroth or Kovus see it. She's a key, a small minor thing that opens up something so much more important. Both sides want her, need her. If everything falls apart the spirius will need her to flee. The Empire to chase after them. Her ability to walk worlds without a ship, without a world-gate could be the saving of the Spirius or their damning.

Kaja looks into his eyes, "If you order me to, I have no choice, Master."

Chren shakes his head, turning away for a moment then turning back to look at her, "I'm not ORDERING." He can hear the pain in his voice now, "I'm asking you to, Like in the old days." Does she even remember those days, when they would lie together under the stars, when their "Lovemaking" was a thing of tentative touches and kisses, when they dared to dream of a time after war when they would have children? "No threats, Kaja, No terror, no matter how you might like such, so often, from MY hand."

She is trembling, shaking like she will fall apart, "Do you really want me to abandon you?"

"NO!!! I want you to NOT abandon Em. I want you to take care of children. I want you to be free of the Dark one's fist." He can't bring himself to say that he doesn't want to see her crushed in his own. And it's a fight, it would be so easy to overwhelm her to break her resistance like it was the finest of spun glass.

She looks away from him then, "I can't be free, Chren, not as long as he has you, He holds my heart in his hand and he knows it. He KNOWS it."

His soul calms a bit and he makes her meet his eyes, "I am aware of that, T'chai."

She burries her head against his chest and the tears fall in a flood, "Why are you wanting me to do this, you know I can't be free as long as he has you!"

She's never been strong enough to let Kovus hurt him, never. He knows that, it tears at her heart to much, she's to kind, to compassionate, and to Kovus's sick mind it's only right she suffer for it. He will NOT allow it any longer, his mind is made up, his path is clear, there is only a few things to do, comfort her, and then...he'd rape her tonight and leave her pregnant. "He will not hold me for long, T'chia. I can't leave his control, but that doesn't mean I'll stay."

She would swallow hard, "Alright, if you really want me to go. Will you take me there? I'm afraid, what if the Spirius will not let me come back? Can I come back to you then?"

He didn't want to tell her that she couldn't, besides they would take her back, Emeroth would make them if nothing else, he was SURE of that. Kaja was entirely too desirable, too soft a female for a male like Emeroth to NOT desire. Then he forced his mind away from that path and simply said, "They will let you come back, Trust me T'chia."

He gazed then, into those eyes, measuring her, knowing his own eyes looked way to old for his years. She was thousands of years his senior, yet he was now the more mature, the one in control, and that...ideal for her, to be with one who was older, who could guide her.

Her voice was soft a mere whisper, "I will always trust you Chren, You'll come for me when you can?"

"When I can. I swear that, T'chia, no matter what happens. But ONLY when I CAN...not before." He hid his own trembling behind iron discipline.

"Don't forget to come for me when you can, please Chren? Promise?"

"How can I, Kaja?" Then without any warning he brings his hands to her face, to hold it firmly, gently, but at the same time not letting her look away even if she wanted to, and he lets his voice change once more to the Warlord's, yet he senses something new in that voice, a compassion because this is for her to help her hold on, "But REMEMBER, MY FEMALE...You MUST believe that, and NEVER, EVERY let yourself fall away into DOUBT...NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS. EVER! DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT COMMAND??"

Kaja shakes under his hand, "No, but I'll try to do it."

Chren says it firmly, "Not will 'Try", you WILL, I will come for you when I can, SAY IT!"

"You will always come for me when you can."

"NO, I WILL come for you, WHEN I can. REPEAT it back to me, FEMALE"

"You will come for me when you can."

He nods then, smiling at her, how he wants to devour her now, but he must wait a bit longer, "It may be a long time, do you accept this?"

"Yes Master, As long as you're alive, I can wait for you."

THAT will not do, not if he's to carry out his plans to get back to her, she has to hold even when all seems hopeless, when all seems lost, for centuries if needs be. "NO, girl! I would go further. NO MATTER WHAT...I WILL DO IT. DO YOU..." and suddenly he grabs her by the scruff and forces her down to her knees, no warning, "UNDERSTAND THAT!"

"Please Master, forgive, I didn't mean to insult you."

Her words don't matter to him, he HAS to push this into her soul, "NO MATTER WHAT, I WILL COME FOR YOU WHEN I CAN...SOMEDAY! Scream it back to me slave!"

"YOU WILL COME FOR ME WHEN YOU CAN, NO MATTER WHAT!!!" Her voice is so powerful, her body's scent screaming at him that she's almost there, almost at the point where she can be bred. Almost ready to carry the child he means to force the universe and god himself, if need to, to give him. He can feel his eyes narrow, he nods, once. and he holds her to him as she slowly stops crying.

He strokes back her mane and nibbles a bit on his neck, knowing it will calm her and show her he still approves of her. "Master, I will need to change. I don't think Emeroth or the Spirius would enjoy seeing me in my...my uniform." He knows she means her slave's attire, designed to be removed quickly and easily so that she can be taken at a moment's notice. And she's right.

"Not as yet, beloved," He doesn't want to let go of her quite yet, "The darker side of me likes seeing you the way -I- Want"

She smiles then, "I enjoy pleasing you, it makes me happy and feel like I'm..." a moment's hesitation then the words he once hated her to say, "Like I'm a person still."

"You're BETTER than a person." People often stabbed you in the back, they hurt and betrayed you on purpose, and she didn't. "You always have been." He could always trust her, she guarded his back, except this next time, and he would forbid her to do so, give her to the Spirius to make sure she couldn't. if he had to he'd even drug her.

"Yes master," Her smile was radiant for a moment, then her voice got soft, "When do you want me to go?"

"In time. For now...I want to spend a night with you. It isn't often I have a whole night free."

The joy in her face caused what little that was left of his conscious to stab at him again. Yet she WAS willing to let him use her like he would, to vent every anger and frustration into her helpless body. Tonight she would be pregnant, And tomorrow night, a beautiful widow.