AN: Ok, I wrote quite a long AN so I put it up on my profile page. Read it there No changes occurred until over half way through the chapter, when the Shel't incident starts, so its fine to just start there and reread that part. I tried to have the place where the editing starts have a capital letter that is bolded and larger than the surrounding text but I don't know if fictionpress will keep that.

Chapter Seven:

Ry'll stared up at the cloudless sky, enjoying the warmth the suns were blanketing him in. Today was a new day and a day closer to family day. A day closer to spending extra time with his mother. He could hardly wait to see her face. He still had three more days to wait though and the anxiousness was making him restless. While he enjoyed sunning himself, at the same time he wanted to run, to work his muscles as he felt his heart speed up. He wanted to do something that would distract his mind from all this waiting.

Nencoye stretched beside him, waking up from his short nap and distracting Ry'll from his thoughts. "Mmmm. That was nice. I haven't taken a nap in the middle of the day since I was a child."

Ry'll didn't respond, but smiled at the younger skika. He couldn't ever remember a time when he had taken a midday nap. His mother and he had always been busy, whether it was training, gathering food, cooking, cleaning, or moving to a new place to live, there had been no time for more than a few hours sleep.

Nencoye propped himself up on his elbows and looked around, his gaze pausing on Shay and his own guard where they were standing against a tree a few feet away from them before it returned to Ry'll. "The shikans are not back yet?"

Ry'll shook his head, surprised that their potential mates were still gone. They were just supposed to be exercising with G'in while the skikas relaxed from yesterday's obstacle course, but according to the position of the sun that had been at least two hours ago. He couldn't believe G'in had managed to keep them away for that long, but he wouldn't complain about the free time. It was easier and more relaxing for Nencoye and him to spend time together without their potential mates vying for their attention and Ry'll needed a break from almost having to physically fend off Nencoye's potentials.

He had tried to convince their guards that they would be fine alone since the shikans were gone and they were in an area with very few trees around, but both guards had flat out refused to give them more than a few feet of space. It was really starting to make Ry'll feel edgy and caged. High One, all he wanted was some time away from prying eyes. He couldn't move an inch without Shay watching him suspiciously and G'in wasn't around at the moment so there was no buffer to protect him from his guard's anger and he still hadn't fully recovered from Shay's last attack, though he felt much better than yesterday. He didn't know if he could take another fight at the moment though he wouldn't admit it to anyone.

Nencoye made a small noise in the back of his throat, regaining Ry'll's attention.

"I wanted to thank you again, for saving me from the river yesterday, and for keeping my potential mates from trying to rush me into mating with them. I try to push them away but," Nencoye paused and pulled on his right bang, a move that was quickly becoming recognized as a show of either nervousness or being uncomfortable. "They just never listen to me. It is like they don't care what I have to say."

Ry'll debated with the idea of being completely blunt and honest with the naïve skika and admitting that Nencoye's potential mates probably cared as much about what he had to say as they did about which direction the rain came from, but shoved the idea away. He wanted Nencoye to be cautious and aware, but he didn't want to crush the young skika's spirit. This place was hard enough to handle without him adding his own harsh comments, no matter how true they were.

"It is no problem, but even without me you need to still be cautious. Claw them if they touch you and you don't like it."

Ry'll wanted to curse as he saw Nencoye flinch at the advice. How was the younger skika supposed to survive among a group of depraved potential mates if he couldn't even stand the thought of having to become violent? Ry'll was sure that he would not always be around to protect his new friend and the thought of what could happen then made him feel sick.

He grabbed Nencoye around the crook of his elbow, making the other sit up and Ry'll stared at him intently, worry causing him to be a little rougher than he had meant to be. "You have to be willing to defend yourself Nencoye. Your guard will always be around you, but he's been ordered to let the shikans do what they want when it comes to the possibility of us having children. I don't want to see you hurt."

Nencoye tugged away from Ry'll, his moss green tail wrapping closer around himself for comfort and his grey eyes met Ry'll's before he looked down. "Lyiu wouldn't let them hurt me. I knew him before I came here. We didn't see each other a lot then but he promised he'd protect me. He's just letting you protect me because it hasn't become too serious yet and he's worried the Breeding Center officials may try to get rid of him as my guard if he does too much. I don't want to fight."

Ry'll turned to Nencoye's guard, now known as Lyiu. The shikan was a little shorter Shay, but he was obviously well muscled in his sleeveless tan shirt and well fit blue jeans.

Lyiu's ears twitched as he noticed Ry'll staring at him and for the first time Ry'll noticed their odd coloring, brown with white and orange patches. The same went for his tail, which couldn't seem to decide whether it wanted to be sleek or fluffy and so had chosen the middle ground. Ry'll finally met pale golden eyes which did not challenge him, but neither did they look away.

Ry'll gave a soft hiss before turning away. He hoped Lyiu would keep his promise. Nencoye was depending on him and it was now apparent that Nencoye wasn't just clinging to his guard for protection, but for comfort, for someone familiar amongst all the uncertainty and that could pose a bigger threat than all Nencoye's potential mates combined. If Lyiu hurt the young skika or let the others rape him then the skika wouldn't only be physically hurt. He'd be emotionally scarred and he may never heal from a soul wound such as that. He was too innocent, too gentle.

Ry'll would have to do his best to see that such a betrayal never happened.

He would just have to be more aggressive about defending Nencoye from his potential mates so that Lyiu never needed to step in and so that Nencoye's potential mates were to afraid to make a move even when Ry'll wasn't around.

He ruffled Nencoye's hair in a brotherly gesture. He couldn't make Nencoye want to fight. "Ok, but you must always stay around Lyiu or me then."

Nencoye nodded in agreement. "I will and I'm sorry. I'm just not a fighter. I'm not strong like you and my mother always said that fighting would only bring me trouble and pain. I don't want to be in pain Ry'll. I've seen what others have done to you and I wouldn't be able to handle it. I don't know how you're still standing."

Ry'll wanted to argue, to tell the younger skika that he could become just as strong as he was but he held his tongue. It would take a lot of practice for Nencoye to be able to protect himself from even the weakest of the shikans and Ry'll didn't want to lose his new found friend so quickly because he didn't respect Nencoye's feelings on fighting. It was nice to have another to speak and spend time with. "I feel much better than yesterday and don't be sorry. Not everyone has embraced fighting like I have."

"Didn't your mother ever teach you that sometimes fighting is bad? Wasn't she afraid you would get hurt?"

Ry'll laid back down on the ground, the thick moss cushioning his back. "No, my mother was the one who taught me to fight. She told me to never stop fighting if I ever ended up in this place or in a place that made me feel threatened or unsafe. She was always worried that I would be taken here, that the Inrans here would hurt me, so she taught me how to run fast, how to fight to a certain extent. She trained me in the hopes that I could defend myself from getting hurt."

"I guess that makes sense," Nencoye murmured, but he didn't look to sure. "How did you train?"

Ry'll shrugged, not wanting to answer the question honestly. His mother had trained him in a way Nencoye wouldn't understand. She had trained him in a way that would get him to learn the quickest, by allowing him to experience the consequences of not doing well.

When learning to climb trees she had taught him to be careful of his hold and footing by allowing him to fall when he slipped rather than catching him. When running she had taught him the value of running fast by withholding dessert if he lost to her in a race and when teaching him to fight she had taught him the value of having a good defense by not withholding any of her strength when hitting him.

She had said his enemies would not hold back when they met him and she had been right. The guards had not held back when capturing him and neither had Shay when he had fought the shikan. She had encouraged him to be the best he could be and he wanted to thank her for that. If not for all that training then he wouldn't even stand a chance amongst all these shikans and guards. But Nencoye wouldn't understand that. He wouldn't care that Ry'll's mother had made sure his occasional broken bone had healed correctly or that when he was a child she had sung him to sleep every night and told him she loved him. The skika would just hear that a mother had been violent with her child. It wouldn't matter to him why. Nencoye's life had been safe, comfortable. There was no fear in that type of life.

"I trained for many years to get this good," Ry'll finally replied, not answering the question.

Nencoye gave him an odd look but let the subject drop, "Ok."

There was a moment of awkward silence and Ry'll didn't know what to do to fix it. Did he change the topic? Did he playfully shove the other skika and laugh it off? The uncertainty was not a welcome feeling and he wanted to walk away so that he could avoid making a mistake, but he couldn't. He didn't know when the shikans would be back and he couldn't risk the other skika getting hurt because he felt uncomfortable around others at times.

So instead he ignored the sudden awkwardness and did the only thing that he could think of to distract them both, what he had seen children do to keep themselves occupied while their parents worked or shopped. He initiated play.

He waited until Nencoye was looking away before getting up on his knees and pouncing on the unsuspecting skika. Nencoye initially struggled and even gave a soft hiss before he saw Ry'll's swaying tail and mischievous eyes. Ry'll was glad that at least the younger skika's survival instincts were intact and laughed as Nencoye smacked him across the chest. Ry'll returned the smack, before rolling off his playmate and taking off. Nencoye made a swipe at his leg but Ry'll leaped over it and soon Nencoye went chasing after him, a wide smile on his face. Ry'll skidded to the right, barely missing the thick black trunk of a tree and almost landing face first before he caught himself. He was getting ready to scamper away when Nencoye barreled into him and they both fell to the ground. They rolled around for a bit, pawing each other and nipping exposed skin with their fangs while they laughed. It was fun and gave Ry'll a giddy feeling. He could spend the whole day playing like this.

Nencoye bit his tail, sharp fangs sinking past the thick fur and into the skin.

He yowled at the sharp, unexpected pain and he ripped his tail away but Nencoye had already released it.

"I will return the favor," he called as the smaller skika made a run for it.

Nencoye flashed him a challenging grin.

"Not if you cannot catch me," Nencoye replied before picking up his pace and Ry'll was glad. This was the most comfortable he had seen the other. He imagined this was the skika Nencoye's family saw at home.

He took off and tackled the other. Nencoye stood no chance against his speed. He gently nipped at the other's tail and was about to release his companion so that they could chase each other when they heard stampeding footsteps and froze.

Ry'll glanced up as Nencoye craned his head back so that he could look in the direction that the noise was coming from.

Both were greeted by the sight of their potential mates running toward them. Some of their tails were wagging furiously. Apparently they weren't the only ones up for some play time. Nencoye didn't seem to like the idea though and he felt the skika stiffen.

Ry'll rolled off him and stood between Nencoye and the group of running shikan. He glanced back to make sure that Nencoye had gotten up and was greeted by the sight of Lyiu gently lifting the small skika up by the armpits and placing him onto his feet.

Nencoye huddled close to his guard, tail tucked, but he was safe as he could be in between Lyiu and Shay. Ry'll turned back, ready to growl and hiss at Nencoye's potential mates when he was tackled for the second time that day.

He landed on the ground hard and hissed at his unseen attacker. He swiped at the other's face while rolling them so that he was on top. When his balance was regained he looked down to see Unek grinning up at him, his short tail wagging ecstatically.

"I heard you laughing and saw you playing Ry'll. Why didn't you tell us that you like to play? I would have played with you," here Unek grinned lecherously and groped Ry'll's butt, his hands squeezing tightly and kneading.

Ry'll hissed and bit the other's arm harder than he would have had Unek kept his hands above the waist and jumped off the shikan.

He wasn't on his feet long as his three remaining potential mates took him down. This time though one of them twisted so that Ry'll landed on top of a muscled body rather than the hard ground and he was oddly appreciative considering that none of them had been invited to play.

He struggled against the two on his back, bucking and reaching back to claw at them, until they finally let him up enough so that he could lift his head off the shikan's chest. He was greeted by Py's smiling face.

"I would like to play to Ry'll," Py laughed before giving him a sloppy lick on the forehead. "My little brothers have gotten me rather fond of it."

Ry'll didn't hear the last sentence. He was still focused on the lick to the forehead. The gesture was one reserved for close family and friends and for a few moments he sat there stunned as the world moved around him. He had expected to be groped, perhaps for one of the shikans to try and lick him on the mouth or neck, but he hadn't expected such an open and strong declaration of friendship.

One that spoke of family, even if they were not tied by blood. Py hadn't even known him that long, yet he had found Ry'll worthy.

The giddy feeling that he had got from playing with Nencoye softened and he brushed his fingers across his forehead. "Thank you."

Py didn't answer, just flung him into the waiting arms of Sinari and Shel't. He accepted it and decided he would let his mates continue to play with him. With that one declaration Ry'll felt his day grow even brighter and he really did enjoy his playtime, so their playing resumed.

Sinari seemed to want to play, but was a little awkward about it at first and Ry'll could tell that he hadn't played with another in a long time. He would bite the wrong spot, miss openings, or nip a little too hard. Shel't on the other hand was stiff and seemed to rather dislike the play. He would growl at the others when they bit him in a more sensitive spot and when Ry'll got close enough to him to try and nip the shikan, Shel't would be to aggressive for their game, trying to grab Ry'll's neck and pin him to the ground.

Sinari wouldn't tolerate the show of dominance and snarled at the other shikan before bodily pushing him away. Ry'll appreciated the help and gave Shel't a parting swat and hiss before pouncing on Unek and biting the shikan's light brown ears.

Unek swatted him playful and grinned before rolling them. When Ry'll was on his back Py joined the fray and started nipping at Ry'll's tail while Unek nipped his ears and hair. Ry'll swatted at Unek's shoulders and tried kicking at Py, but the two didn't budge and soon Sinari joined them. Sinari started by nipping Py's back and then Unek's leg before he licked Ry'll's fingers.

Ry'll's fingers curled at the tingles that the rough tongue shot through him and he squirmed. "Aah, stop that."

Sinari grinned down at him before running his rough pink tongue across Ry'll's fingers again, this time much slower. Ry'll's fingers clenched and he arched his back a little, liking the sensation but glaring at Sinari all the same. He didn't need another potential mate that molested him.

"I said stop it," he growled.

Sinari knocked his forehead gently against Ry'll's. "Ok, I was only teasing you."

Ry'll was getting ready to go back to playing when a pleasurable sensation shot up from the base of his spine. He arched his back and couldn't contain a small mewing noise from breaking free. He had never felt anything like that before and looked down to see what had caused it.

Unek was chuckling, gripping his tail close to the base. "It looks like someone likes their tail being stroked."

Unek ran his hand up to the tip of Ry'll's tail to prove his point and Ry'll threw his head back, moaning this time though he tried to muffle it.

"Don't," he breathed, a little frightened. He liked the feeling, but it was intense.

Too intense and unfamiliar. It made it hard to do anything but arch his back and moan.

He didn't want to be doing this with Unek.

The shikan ignored his demand and continued stroking his tail, even rocking his hips against Ry'll's.

Ry'll felt himself start to harden and tried to squirm away, shoving weakly at Unek's shoulders as pleasure zinged through him. "Knock it off."

He was getting ready to use his claws and fangs when he saw Sinari and Py moving forward. He stilled so that they could get Unek off of him easier.

"He does not want you to continue," Py admonished, a hint of a growl in his voice for the first time as Sinari dragged a cooperative Unek off him.

Unek shrugged and stroked the slight bulge in his pants, making it bigger. "He liked it. I felt him respond."

Ry'll felt heat flood his face and moved to sit up so that he wipe that self-satisfied tone out of Unek's voice. However, he was stopped when Shel't darted through his other potential mates, knocking him down and sinking his fangs into Ry'll's soft throat.

Ry'll keened in surprise, instinctively calling for help before thrashing against the hold on his throat. Shel't only tightened his jaws and Ry'll stilled as it became harder to breath.

Shel't returned to a more gentle, but firm hold and settled onto Ry'll's stomach, reaching back to stroke Ry'll's half-hardened cock.

Ry'll stiffened and Sinari growled, but at the sight of Shel't tightening his grip around Ry'll's throat he backed off. There was nothing Sinari could do without risking harm to Ry'll.

"Shel't, he does not like it," Py announced, trying to reason with the shikan on top of him.

When all Py received was a growl and Shel't's hand moving from Ry'll's crotch to the button of his pants Py also backed off. Neither Sinari or Py took their eyes away from the pair though, watching for an opening to make their move, hoping for one.

Unek's hand had made it inside his pants now, his splayed legs and the up down motion coming from inside his loose pants making it obvious that he was continuing despite the situation. He had a speculative look on his face as he watched them and Ry'll made a noise of disgust. That nasty fucking shikan. He was just sex hungry after all. Ry'll still couldn't trust his observation skills it seemed. He had thought that Unek might be putting on a show to deter the other shikans from treating him like a skika, but this situation proved otherwise. He wanted to claw Unek's eyes out. But that was nothing compared to what he wanted to do to Shel't. He wanted to rip his throat out. Shel't was supposed to be the mature one. Yes, he was a little pushy and overprotective it seemed but the first day they had met, when he had thought Ry'll unconscious, Shel't had told Unek to respect him and acknowledged the fact that Ry'll wasn't going to jump beneath the sheets with anyone right away. But now it appeared that those were just hollow words.

Ry'll's attention was drawn away from his thoughts and back to Shel't when the shikan began to unbutton and then pull down Ry'll's pants. He wasn't wearing anything on underneath. He keened again, a sad and helpless noise, hoping someone would find a way to help him and began to resume his struggles. He didn't want any of them to see his dick. That was supposed to be his choice and Shel't was taking it away from him. He only wanted his chosen mate to see him naked.

He grabbed Shel't 's face and dug his claws in, squeezing tightly while growling as best as he could. It had no effect though and so he removed his claws, pulled his arm back and socked Shel't as hard as he could in the face. Both of them rocked from the force of it, Ry'll's neck being forced to turn as Shel't's hold on his throat tightened.

He was about to try using his feet to kick Shel't when the shikan growled again and pulled his pants down over his hips. His cock sprung out, the smooth skin encasing his length further identifying him as skika if there was any doubt. Shikan had bumps all over theirs which were supposed to lock into the ridges a skika or shikae had inside them when they slowed their thrusts down to climax.

Shel't purred as he palmed Ry'll's cock, his fingers moving firmly up and down. Ry'll felt tears prick his eyes, ashamed of how hard he was getting and angry that Shel't would dare do this to him. He would make that piece of shit pay when his neck was free. He looked toward where he had last seen Shay. He would let Shay beat on him for hours if he would just get Shel't off him.

He was greeted not only by the sight of Shay, but G'in was standing beside him instead of Lyiu. Ry'll felt his tail swish once in hope. G'in may be able to talk Shel't off of him. He was their teacher.

He reached out toward G'in and curled his fingers inward, begging his instructor with emerald eyes. It was the best he could do while Shel't had his throat in his mouth.

G'in seemed to get his message loud and clear though and started heading over before Shay grabbed his arm and shook his head. "It is against the rules to interfere in matters concerning mating. Unless Shel't starts to hurt him we have to stay out of it."

Ry'll wanted to scream at his guard that Shel't was already hurting him but all the came out was a pitiful squeak. It caused G'in to pause though and Ry'll felt betrayed. He thought G'in would look out for him, but then G'in shook Shay's hand off and continued toward him. He felt a few tears trail down his face in relief. G'in could do this. He was in charge of them.

G'in stopped beside Sinari and drew himself up to his full height. "Let go of him Shel't."

Shel't didn't even growl, just kept purring and stroking him. The pleasure was becoming unbearable, mixed with all the emotions he was feeling and he wished Shel't would just let go of him.

"I said let him go!" G'in demanded again, with the same effect.

Ry'll thrashed again, jerking his neck as much as he could with Shel't's mouth still fastened on it.

Shel't suddenly released his cock and then his neck, moving his mouth only the barest amount from Ry'll's neck. "Stop struggling. I'm only-"

Sinari released a deep growl, drawing Ry'll's attention, before he barreled into Shel't's side and the two shikans tumbled away from him, clawing and growling at each other.

Ry'll pulled his pants up and scrambled farther away from the pair. Py cast him a quick, concerned look before joining the fight.

They easily had Shel't outmaneuvered and outmuscled. They took turns clawing and biting him and Ry'll would have felt bad for him if the shikan hadn't just molested him against his will. Shel't appeared to be saying something, trying to explain himself and get them to stop, but they had moved to far away for Ry'll to hear any excuses the shikan was trying to give, nor did he want to hear them.

A hand landed on his shoulder and Ry'll spun around, snarling and baring his fangs.

G'in held his hands up. "I wanted to make sure you were ok."

Ry'll relaxed and managed a small smile. "I'm fine. Sinari and Py are dealing with him now."

G'in nodded. "They are protecting you like they should, but you need to get them to stop Ry'll. Fighting is not allowed. If more guards have to be called in to separate them then they will either be kicked out or severely beaten. You will be stuck with Unek and Shel't."

Ry'll grimaced at the injustice of this place. So it was ok for him to be sexually assaulted, but it wasn't ok for the shikan who attempted it to get what he deserved? This place made no sense, but he shouldn't be suprised. This was the Breeding Center after all. It didn't have to make sense to Ry'll. All the Breeding Center officials wanted were children. They didn't care about honor or fairness.

He was about to step forward to try and call Sinari and Py off when Shay bellowed from behind him.

"Knock it off!" his guard spat, drawing the fighting shikans attention. "While you're fighting you leave your skika unguarded. There are still able bodied shikans around. Want to get your stupid asses kicked out and leave him in their hands?"

Shay's taunt was followed by a smirk and Ry'll glanced behind him. He spotted Nencoye and his potential mates staring at him and he wanted to growl at them. Nencoye looked horrified, his tail tucked tightly between his legs, and he was huddled under his guards arm while his potential mates were all staring at Ry'll with new interest. They hadn't even attempted to help him, just stood by and watched the show.

Nencoye he could understand. The skika was small and young, scared. He wouldn't have been much help, even if he had tried, though deep in Ry'll's heart he still wished the skika would have at least made an attempt. But the shikans didn't have that excuse. They could have at least tried to talk Shel't off of him but they hadn't. These shikans were exactly what he had expected of Breeding Center. Shikans who didn't care if skikas got hurt as long as they were happy and got want they wanted. They were cowards and bad Inrans and Ry'll wanted to tear them apart with his claws so that he didn't feel so helpless.

He hissed and turned back around to see both Sinari and Py stepping away from Shel't and moving toward him.

Relief surged through him as his rescuers approached and Ry'll's bushy tail started to wag. He glanced at Shel't, quickly observing all the damage done. The shikan was quite beat up. He had puncture wounds on his face from where Ry'll had sunk his claws into his face and a bruise was starting to form on his cheek where Ry'll had punched him. On top of that his neck and arms were streaked with claws and bite marks, blue blood dripping down both his arms. He was holding his ribs and Ry'll guessed they were cracked if not broken.

Ry'll turned his attention back to his saviors and Sinari gently touched his arm. "How are you feeling? Does your neck hurt?"

Ry'll touched his neck. "I don't even feel it."

G'in squeezed in between the two protective shikans and peered at his neck. "They're clean entrance wounds, though I don't know how your throat isn't torn open with all the thrashing you did. You just need a little antibiotic ointment and you'll be good as new."

Ry'll nodded and Py leaned down, again licking his forehead to reaffirm their familial bond. "I'm sorry I didn't stop Shel't, usually I'm more observant, but I got caught up in playing. We will make sure to keep our guard up from now on."

He saw Sinari nod in silent agreement and Ry'll bumped his body against Py's, trying to cheer him up. "There's nothing for you to be sorry about. Shel't should not have attacked me in the first place. You and Sinari did your part and I'm very grateful that you helped me."

Py gently bumped him back and smiled, "We will always help you Ry'll."

He nodded and smiled back. The shikans surrounding him made him feel confident in his safety. He could usually hold his own but these shikans would be here for him if he couldn't. It was a nice thought and a warm feeling suffused him as he was crowded by caring shikans. He had never had anyone defend him before. It had always been him against his enemies, but not anymore. They proved to him that not all shikans were bad, that some of them wouldn't mistreat him, but take care of him.

"Ry'll," Shel't called as he walked toward him.

He growled and stepped in front of the shikans, ready to attack the bastard now that his neck was free.

"You're really brave enough to come up to me now?" he snarled.

Shel't frowned. "Listen. I was just trying-"

Sinari's and Py's growling drowned out the end of Shel't's sentence and Shel't reluctantly backed up a step.

"If you would just listen," Shel't tried again.

At that moment Unek stepped into his sight, the bulge still evident in his pants and wrapped an arm around Shel't's waist. Ry'll wanted to punch him. What the hell was he doing? "Why don't you let Ry'll rest. I think you scared him."

The teasing note in Unek's voice was evident, but Shel't shook him off, still staring intently at Ry'll.

Ry'll only growled at him while Sinari and Py took up each of his sides and he could still feel G'in close by.

Unek leaned closer to Shel't, his light brown tail swaying seductively and his hand drifted down to the hardness evident in Shel't's pants. "Why don't we go somewhere else? We can have some fun."

Shel't arched his hips just the slightest bit into Unek's rubbing hands, his dark blue eyes flashing, and gave Unek a speculative look. He glanced back at Ry'll and when he was greeted by bared fangs he nodded and turned away, wrapping an arm around the smaller shikan's waist. They walked toward the forested area of the Breeding Center, Unek's short but extremely fluffy tail swaying all the while.

Ry'll turned away from the retreating pair, not understanding. "What was that?"

G'in rubbed his forehead, his blonde tail drooping tiredly. "Unek stopped another fight from breaking out. Shel't wouldn't have left you alone if he hadn't stepped in. He needs to climax in order to return to his normal self for a while."

Ry'll blinked in confusion. "What?"

" This happens sometimes," G'in began to explain. "though we try to screen out overly aggressive males so that it won't. Shel't is starting to become intent on having a mate, which is making him overly aggressive and lustful among others things. Since you are the skika in his group he is naturally starting to single you out as the best candidate and is becoming more possessive and protective of you as time goes on. However, because of this he is also more sexually aware of you. When you started to become erect Shel't smelt it and was on you immediately. If you hadn't become sexually stimulated then you probably would not have been attacked like that. Luckily he wasn't so intent on you that he wouldn't allow Unek to take your place."

Ry'll gaped. His mother had never mentioned anything like this could happen. "Why is he so intent on a mate now?"

"Well, I'm sure you've noticed, he's quite a bit older than most of the shikans here and he's older than all of your potential mates. His time is running out and his body is rushing him with chemicals in order to try and help him claim a mate quicker than his competition. When he climaxes all of those chemicals will be released and he will be back to normal until they build up again. All of it's a primitive thing really. Being overly aggressive, protective, and possessive are no longer viewed as the best qualities to have in a mate. At least the majority of the population doesn't believe so."

Ry'll stared silently before sputtering. "That does not make sense. Minti is older too and I don't see him attacking Jay'dee and fighting with the other shikans in their group."

"Ah," G'in replied while holding up a finger, "But Jay'dee has clearly accepted Minti as a mate so Minti's body is not releasing those chemicals. It doesn't need to."

Ry'll's mind felt boggled and confused. "How does his body know that Jay'dee has accepted him as a mate?"

"The healers are not exactly sure. It seems that the mental knowledge is enough to stop the body from producing those chemicals, but having sex with ones prospective mate will also stop the body from producing them as well. As long as Unek has sex with Shel't tonight you are in the clear. He will turn all his attention onto wooing Unek and will leave you in peace."

Ry'll nodded, not completely understanding but getting the main gist. He had never hoped for someone to get beneath the sheets as he did now, though he felt a little bad for Unek receiving a fate meant for him, even if Unek was a horny shikan that hadn't helped him when he needed it. He couldn't stay completely angry at the shikan though, knowing that in the end Unek had helped him in his own way. Besides that, Ry'll was a firm believer that no one deserved to be raped, whether they were a skika, shikan, or a shikae and so he prayed that Unek was as willing as he appeared and decided to reserve most of his anger for Shel't and the shikans that had watched him get attacked without lifting a finger. However, if Unek thought that he would be welcomed with open arms he had another thing coming.

"Are you going to check on them and make sure Unek is ok?" he questioned, his tail brushing against Sinari's absently, seeking comfort.

G'in shook his head. "Unek knew what was going on with Shel't. He will be fine."

Sinari's tail brushed against his in return before he entwined his sleek tail with Ry'll's fluffy one. Tingles shot throughout Ry'll's body and he shivered at the sensation.

"Why don't we head back to the dorms?" Sinari murmured.

G'in perked up, his tail swishing happily. "That's right. I almost forgot. Your potential mates have a surprise for you."

Ry'll nodded, but didn't feel much in the mood for a surprise. He was still on high alert and all he wanted to do was bathe and go to sleep in peace. Instead, he would have to go back to the dorms filled with shikans he didn't trust and his watchful mind would probably keep him awake, to make sure that Shel't didn't come anywhere near him. Who knew when those two shikans would be back and he didn't want either of them to try and curl up next to him when they returned. Despite all this when he looked at Sinari and Py he couldn't say he didn't want it. They had just saved him. Py was smiling widely and while Sinari kept his face blank his green eyes twinkled. They were clearly looking forward to him seeing his surprise and he wondered what kind of surprise would make them act like this.

He began to walk toward the dorms and when he passed Nencoye and his group the smaller skika gave Lyiu a quick look before running to him.

"Are you alright?"

Ry'll nodded, though he wasn't in the mood to be around Nencoye right now. He wanted to feel protected and safe at the moment, not be the protector. Still, he could not abandon Nencoye even for a second, no matter what had happened to him. He would never forgive himself if Nencoye got hurt because he was too busy sulking and whimpering about what could have happened to him. He was fine now and that was all that mattered. "Nothing I cannot handle."

Nencoye sighed in relief and wrapped his thin arms around Ry'll. "I was worried that he wouldn't be stopped."

Ry'll returned the hug briefly before pulling away, he didn't want to talk about it.

"So was I," he admitted before turning to Nencoye's potential mates.

"Cowards," he spat before continuing on, not waiting to see their reactions.

Sinari and Py took up their places behind him, protecting Ry'll's most vulnerable place, his back. Nencoye took his place by Ry'll's side and from the corner of his eye he could see G'in and Lyiu keeping Nencoye's potential mates away from them. It was an appreciated gesture and with Shay following a few feet behind them the group made their way to the dorms where a surprise awaited the skikas.