Story Excerpt
What Once Was Lost

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Mo sat on the bridge, trying to fit all the pieces together. He didn’t think the general was setting them up. In his line of work back on earth, people sometimes put hidden meanings in their messages.

He had a feeling this was one of those times.

If the general was reluctant to meet with them, then just maybe he was trying to tell them something. Mo wasn’t a big believer in people doing the right thing, most screwed you over in a heartbeat, but sometimes, every once in awhile, a person grew a conscience.

General Merrick could be one of those people.

Mo rolled his eyes when the bridge door opened and Mykel walked onto the bridge. It wasn’t that he thought the little alien man wasn’t hot, because Mykel was drop-dead gorgeous, but mate? Mo didn’t know shit about mates and the idea of having one nearly gave him hives.

Mo shivered at the concept of the word mate. There was no way he was being trapped into a forever relationship. Mykel may be hot, but in Mo’s opinion, the man was a galaxy away.

Mo frowned when Mykel set a small silver container down on the console in front of him. "What's this?" he asked, pointing to the elaborately engraved canister.

Mykel's jaw clenched for a moment as a shadow passed through his eyes, before he spoke. His eyes darted around the room, not meetings Mo’s. "Hyberian Law of Mating, section thirty four states that it is unforgiveable for a mate to disgrace himself in front of his mate, claimed or unclaimed."

Mo sat up straighter, his frown deepening when Mykel hiccupped a bit and his eyes watered. "Wha—"

"As I have brought shame to your house, you have the right to deny me and pursue another mate. I know my actions on Tronos have lessened me in your eyes and I no longer deserve to belong to you. I beg your forgiveness and I won't stand in your way."

Mykel bowed his head and left the bridge before Mo could utter a word, not that he knew what he would have said anyway. He was confused as hell. Had Mykel just let him off the hook? And why did that thought piss him off so much?

Mykel was supposed to be his mate.

Wasn't he?

An overwhelming possessiveness encompassed Mo. He wasn’t sure where the hell it came from, but being dismissed didn’t set well with him. He was the one who was supposed to say no thanks, not Mykel.

“Wow, did you just get your ass handed to you or what?” Tank snickered from the helm. “Sucks to be you.”

Mo stared down at the canister, wondering what the hell could be in it. He was scared shitless to open it. Could it be a bomb? He hadn’t a clue about any of this advanced stuff. He was from what everyone was referring to as Old Earth.

He wasn’t too sure about this advanced technology. Hell, he was having trouble working the food dispenser. Mo pushed the canister around with his finger, trying to see if he could hear any ticking noises.

“Go ahead and open it,” Tank said from across the bridge. “It may be a dandy little container to hold your balls in.” Tank barely got the last part out as he laughed hysterically. Mo glared at him and then cracked the lid open.

Colt walked onto the bridge just then, his steps faltering as he stared at Mo. “Where’d you get that?” he pointed to the container in Mo’s hand.

Mo slammed the lid closed before he had a chance to see what was inside. It was nobody’s business but his own what Mykel had given him. “My mate, why?” he asked with a bit of a bite. Mo’s head snapped back at his response. His mate? What the fuck? Was he claiming Mykel now?

He wasn’t sure why he was feeling so protective of Mykel, but the feeling ate away at his gut. Fuck, he was losing his goddamn mind. Maybe this traveling into the future crap had eroded his brain cells.

He needed to go see the ship’s doctor and have his head examined.

Colt studied Mo for a moment. He looked as though he wanted to say something and then shook his head. “Never mind.”

Mo waited until all eyes were elsewhere before looking into the small silver container. His frown deepened when he saw a small stone nestled inside. It was blue and green, the colors twisting and turning around each other, flowing seamlessly together. Why would Mykel give him a rock?

“Are you curious to know what that is?” Colt asked as he took a seat at his station.

Mo was, but he didn’t want to admit that he had any interest in Mykel. Hell, he hadn’t been here that long and to find out he was already mated and tied down? Mo wasn’t going for that. He’d already lost too much as it was.

He wouldn’t be able to bear another loss. He barely survived the first one.

“It’s his ador.” Colt offered.

Mo sat the container down as he turned to look over at Colt. “His what?” 

"His ador." Colt leaned forward, resting his elbows on his thighs. "Our people have the ability to transfer our passion, our jest for life, into ritual stones. Usually, it is a way of saving the memories of loved ones before they pass but sometimes, mates will exchange them and draw the ador into themselves so that they can be closer to their mates."


Colt smiled and glanced down at his hands. "Again, that is a ritual of my people. Needless to say, Mykel has given you his ador."

"So, what?" Mo glanced at the small ornate silver box in horror. "I'm supposed to draw his ador into me somehow?"


Colt sounded so ominous that Mo couldn't help but look up at him. "Then what am I supposed to do with it then?"

"I suppose you can do whatever you want with it. Leave it on the next planet we land on or shoot it out an airlock. It doesn't matter now." Colt shrugged. "It's yours now to do what you want with it."

"Can I give it back?"

"No, it's too late for that." Colt grimaced and turned away. "Once the ador stone has been given, it cannot be given back. It belongs to you now."

"But I don't want it."