Sturn grabbed at her shirt as he reached her, ripping it open with his left hand, his right swinging into action with the knife even as Aleisha gave a squeal of terror.
So she would die now, and for what, for not cooperating? Words of protest tumbled into her mind, but none of them made it past her tongue. It was all too quick.
She watched him go, sighed and pushed away the papers. But he was back too soon, moving purposefully, drawing her concern. Then she saw the knife held down by his right side, the big ugly blade she never wanted to see. Unsheathed, ready for use. Panic hit.
Sturn is half Terran, but his ways are purely Khekarian – he has a taste for violence and for killing – Where he comes from, such pastimes are not frowned upon.
Born of nobility, before being exiled, he resided at a level in Khekarian hierarchy that allows for the use of war captives. Mainly the captives are exploited for reasons of training and pleasure, but none of them last long in the arenas. It is from here that Sturn developed his blood-lust.
Book One of the series finds Sturn after ten years in exile along the Terran Sector, desperate to return to the Core of the Khekarian Empire and to take up again the reins of power. He needs to bargain his way back in, and he thinks he’s found a way in the mythical alien-native of Zumaridi, the abilities of which could substantially boost the war effort against the Chiddran. He just needs to capture a specimen.
How could he be so at ease about it? Her face was a grimace when she asked, “Do you kill regularly?”
“Yes,” he shot back, abruptly angry. “Weakness annoys me.”
The knife was wet with blood, the handle slippery with it, the huge blade dark and crimson. He was splashed with its color, drenched with its odor. The coppery smell, warm and fresh, filled his nostrils and lungs, exciting him.
Aleisha saw Sevi teleport away and then, with the woman’s influence gone, quickly looked to the threat still in the room.
Sturn turned his leisurely attention to her, this time taking a full account. Aleisha saw what he saw, heard his thoughts and tried to close herself down.
Small, cute, scared. He liked the combination, but wanted more.