tagRomanceThe Prince of Valentinium

The Prince of Valentinium

byTheScarletSiren©

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This is my entry to 2013 Valentine's Day Contest. Please read and vote! I debated whether or not to categorize this in Sci-Fi, but I think the romantic element is stronger than the Sci-F/Fantasy. This is a stand-alone story, but in writing it, I think some other characters may pop up later with stories of their own.

Comments are appreciated

And please vote! Vote! VOTE!

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The Prince of Valentinium

Exodus.

In an effort to save what remained of their drastically reduced population, the people of Valentinium decided, in the year 5571 B.C.E., to undertake the perilous task of evacuation. Though their home planet remained lush and nutrient-rich, the once immortal race had begun dying off in numbers never before seen. At first petty conflicts led to full-blown wars that ravaged entire countries and continents, turning their utopian planet some 25 light-years from Earth into a place notorious for its bloodshed.

Weakened by the near-constant fighting, the longevity that had for eons been a gift enjoyed by all the denizens of Valentinium was suddenly relegated only its rulers and those wealthy enough to stay off of the battlefields. Their women were the first to die, and of the small number who managed to survive even fewer could bear children and any born to them were entirely male. The Valentinian race was in dire straits indeed.

The planet's namesake, Valentinus, a son of Venus, had instilled in his people the same reverence for love that his mother had passed into him. Love Above All Things. That had been his creed and through the generations it had stuck. But in these times of war, the Valentinians forgot their veneration of the amorous. Instead, they gave more regard to the tangible things in life -- money, land, and the like -- and thus fell prey to their own greed.

Only a few among them believed that the old ways didn't have to be lost to the oblivion of ignorance and war. They understood that Love alone could save them. And so they fled their war-torn planet, seeking other hospitable planets and moons that might suit them.

Among the refugees were 4 children whose parents had been killed in the last attack on the high city of Amarael. At 12 years of age, Rhys Erastus was the oldest and took it upon himself to look after his younger siblings. The 5 year-old twins, Philon and Pothos, he knew would grow to be strong and capable males. It was his infant sister, Kahlia, for whom he worried most.

As the last female of their kind she might be the only hope for the survival of their race. With her eyes of amethyst and gold-kissed skin he knew she would grow to be a beautiful woman...Rhys just had to make sure she did get to grow up. He also knew that a fight for her hand could either result in another war or place her in the possession of a male who was not destined to be her mate. Rhys could never allow such a fate befall her. Her very existence had to be kept secret. He swore that he would protect her life with his own...until she found a mate to take over that precious role.

{Earth -- 2169 A.D.}

"I could show you things you've never seen. Take you places you've never been. Just give me one chance, baby. I promise you won't regret it."

Kahlia rolled her eyes. Was this guy serious? She'd scented him as soon as he walked into The Stratosphere, a swanky restaurant that occupied the top floor and roof of the tallest building in Atlanta. Had he bathed in his cheap cologne? His hair was styled into what should have been an attractive coif, but he'd gelled it to helmet hardness. She couldn't even begin to process the sheer wrongness of his dye-job.

At length, she shook her head. "Unfortunately," she said in the saddest tone she could muster, "I'm meeting someone."

It wasn't a lie. She was meeting someone. Well, three someones.

The man, undaunted, slanted what she guessed was a sexy smirk her way, "Ditch him."

"Can't," she smiled, standing from her seat at the bar and waving to the tall, dark-haired male who'd just walked in. "He's here now." She knew her wave might have been a little frantic, because the newcomer raised his eyebrows and chuckled.

She didn't waste a second in distancing herself from the man who seemed to be marinating in the sickeningly sweet scent of heavy cologne.

"Took you long enough," she snapped when she reached the front of the restaurant to stand next to her eldest brother.

Rhys laughed and held up his hands in mock surrender. "I'm 5 minutes early!" He knew full well that she'd been eager to ditch the creep at the bar.

As they followed the hostess to a rounded a booth near the windowed wall on the far side of the expansive place and took their seats, his storm grey eyes twinkled with laughter. He pulled her into a one-armed hug as soon as her butt hit the rich leather. After a kiss to her cheek, he said, "Phil and Pothos are running late, but they should be here soon."

"Those two? Running late?" She feigned shock. "Excuse me while I find my 'surprised' face."

Rhys grinned. "I know, I know. Punctuality was never one of their strong suits."

"We'd be late for our own funerals and some such other nonsense, right?" an amused voice called from a few feet away. It was Philon.

Pothos gave a sheepish shrug from directly behind him. "I couldn't get away from...work. Yeah, that's it! I was working!"

Rhys frowned. "You're making women pay you to fuck them these days? That's beneath even you, brother."

Pothos and Philon shared the same dark hair as their siblings, but where Rhys' eyes were grey and Kahlia's an exotic shade of violet, Pothos' eyes were green and Philon's were a pale blue. While Pothos was currently rocking a shorter cut, Philon had always worn his hair in a careless mid-length. It seemed to drive women crazy for him so Kahlia assumed that he'd simply adopted an 'if it ain't broke' mentality about his hair.

"Hardy-har-har," Pothos sneered at his older brother. "I actually was working. Eason Davenport, of Nightwood Acquisitions, has come across some particularly interesting pieces he thought we may want for the new collection. Some fantastic ancient Phoenician and Minoan scrollwork and a few miniature frescos."

Kahlia and her brothers dabbled in many different businesses and stock ventures but their passion was art and artifact collection. Mainly, they collected anything that might lead them to others of their kind who'd made it to Earth all those many ages ago with them. Anything to solve the problem they'd come together to discuss that evening.

It had been a long time since they'd seen each other all at once and they all wished that the circumstances of this meeting could have been happier.

The fact was that Kahlia was in trouble. She had begun a process known as The Silvering. Her hair, once a waist-length fall of loose curls an uninterrupted shade of ebony, was changing. One lock near the nape of her neck was turning silver at the root. In the last 2 months that silver had grown to encompass nearly full the length of her hair. If it continued to the end before she found her mate...she would die. The Silvering, a mechanism of nature designed to control a population of immortal beings, was an indicator that her mate was nigh -- either recently born or newly arrived to the planet.

It had become clear early on that human males lacked the romantic capacity to suit her Valentinian needs, which meant she needed to find a Valentinian male. The trouble was that all of the males of her kind who'd made it to Earth were, to her knowledge, sitting around that very table with her. Her brothers. Either another male had kept himself hidden from them or a new one had just arrived.

Philon cast her look of concern. "How are you feeling?"

Kahlia shrugged and answered in a calm tone, "I feel fine." In truth, she was worried sick. Sure, she'd been gifted with a long and relatively happy life but the prospect of getting so close to being mated and dying before she ever got to experience that kind of love was devastating to her.

None of her brothers bought her unruffled act, but they didn't press her on her emotional state either. Rhys was the one to cut to the chase.

"We need to find him."

Pothos rested his forearms on the table and leaned forward so they alone would hear his low-spoken words. "What if he's too young now? How much time do we have? I mean," Pothos fumbled for the words, "don't they have to...to...you know...culminate...each other...the mating? Er...Sex?"

Kahlia blushed but couldn't help ribbing him. "For someone so fond of the stuff, it sure does make you nervous."

Philon was in no mood to laugh, this talk of his sister's potential demise having put more than a damper on the evening. "It's different when it's you we're talking about!" he snapped.

Rhys shook his head. "I don't think The Silvering was triggered by a birth." He pulled an envelope from the inside pocket of his sleek leather jacket. "I think it's a new arrival."

He opened the envelope and unfolded a single piece of paper. Most of the page's real estate was covered in black ink interspersed by a few white dots. Stars.

"I got this from my contact with NORAD. It's a capture from roughly two months ago. There," he said, pointing to a faint streak near the top left corner of the page. "Can you see that?"

Philon, Pothos, and Kahlia leaned closer, each of them squinting over the page. It looked like a milky smudge with a dot of slightly more substantial white on the leading edge.

"It's looks too small to be the same kind of vessel that brought us here," Philon pointed out.

Rhys nodded. "You're right, but I do think it's a Valentinian craft. I think," he said, casting a look at Kahlia, "it's a Chariot."

"A single passenger?" Pothos asked in a shocked tone. The journey from Valentinium to Earth was a long one to make with a full crew. On one's own? It would have taken a person of exceptionally strong will to accomplish such a feat.

"At any rate, this photo was snapped over the mid-Atlantic. He must have landed within a thousand miles of here," Rhys whispered.

Kahlia worried her bottom lip between her teeth and wondered, 'Could he have come for me? Might he be searching for me even now?'

{~|~|~|~|~}

Daeryn Amator inhaled a big gulp of crisp city air. As he'd done each morning for the last 3 weeks, he weeded out the smells of pollution, grit, and desperation that assailed him. Relegating those to the background of his consciousness, he sifted through each individual scent, scanning for new ones. Searching for the one scent that would be the key to finding her. His mate.

He'd just been a boy when the Age of War reached its zenith. The son of the king, he hadn't had the option to flee. He'd survived the destruction and lived long enough to see Valentinium's rebuild. He'd stood by his father, pouring all of himself into restoring their civilization to its former glory. But neither all the bricks and mortar, nor all the marble and glass in the world could replace the most important things that had been lost.

Valentinium had no unmated women.

At first, the men could pretend that it didn't matter, that they could rebuild and nature would right itself and follow suit. When that didn't happen a kind of panic set in. No women meant no offspring. No offspring meant the eventual extinction of their race. Worse? They'd begun to remember the foundation of their identity as Valentinians. These men were lovers...they needed mates to romance and shower with affection. So far, fate had denied every last unmated male that pleasure.

Surely they hadn't come back from the brink of annihilation to nevertheless slowly succumb to the same fate?

And so Daeryn and the others had set out in search of suitable alternatives. They visited nearby planets and experimented with mating with the women of those other worlds.

To no avail.

Not only were these other women unsuitable biologically, but the Valentinians couldn't love them as they should. Daeryn turned to the scrolls, searched the archives for even the mention of a successful mating between a Valentinian and someone of 'other' origin. Along the way he found rumors, just blurbs of gossip here and there about a single surviving Valentinian female -- an infant who escaped one of the worst battles of the war. He put it down to the desperate hopes of the poor wretches who'd realized early on what sort of crisis they were all in for.

Finally, after nearly a decade of off-and-on researching, Daeryn found a scroll written by Valentinus himself. The man had travelled to many planets before settling on the one he called home and in his travels he'd happened upon a planet called Earth. Their women, these humans, could be mated successfully in almost all aspects. He decided he would visit this Earth and see for himself.

Though the journey was long and arduous, Daeryn urged himself onward, driven by the need that hammered at him without cease. He'd grown weary of his solitary existence and the romantic soul of him hungered for his woman. Andif a person went hungry long enough they began to starve.

When he'd crash landed in what he later determined to be southern Virginia he'd been quite disoriented at first. Valentinium was roughly the same size as this planet but the difference in population, both in total amount and density of inhabited areas, was vast to a laughable degree.

But then he'd felt it. The pull. He was stunned to discover that not only could he mate with a human woman but that the instincts associated with the mating bond would guide him to her.

And so using his advanced ability for acquiring knowledge and not a little telekinesis - stealing cars by starting their engines with his mind - he followed that pull. He'd arrived in Atlanta shortly thereafter and he'd been searching her out like a fiend ever since.

He closed his eyes as he concentrated. This morning he'd come to the uptown district of Buckhead. He stood atop a relatively tall building so that he could survey the area.

Coffee. Mint. Gasoline. He'd smelled it all before. Scrambled eggs. Pancakes. Orange Juice. All the scents of the morning. He couldn't help it. His heart dropped. Another day without her...she was near, but he couldn't find her. He was convinced that there was no greater torture.

Orchids. Makai Orchids to be exact. Fragrant and fresh, but not a scent...an impression...and identity.

Her.

He was cupping an erection before it even registered that he was hard. He'd scented her and his body's reaction had been instantaneous. An almost cruel smile curved his lips. The hunter in his blood was intent, focused. It wouldn't be long now. 'Gotcha,' he thought with an inward growl of male anticipation.

{~|~|~|~|~}

Kahlia let out a frustrated burst of air that sent a few loose strands of hair flying out of her face. She set her empty coffee mug on the table before her and stretched, reaching upwards to relieve some of the tension in her back. So far, they had one lead. It was a great one, but it was the only one.

The night before, local police in Emporia, VA had been flooded with reports of a suspected UFO crash. By the time the authorities arrived on the scene there was no sign of the crash and it was brushed off by most as nothing more than a hoax. For Kahlia and her brothers, the disappearance of the evidence of the crash was all the proof they needed that it had been a Valentinian vessel. Most spacecraft from Valentinium was equipped with cloaking and glamour capabilities -- both to conceal the vehicles when they were in flight or on the ground, whether they were intact or not. They were confident that someone from their home planet was on Earth.

Unfortunately, after the reports from the people of Emporia the only other thing they had to go on was a few of those reports mentioned the sighting of a tall, golden-haired man walking south on a narrow dark road near the site of the crash that had seemingly never taken place.

South. After that, the trail went cold. She'd spent the morning combing the internet for other reports of strange sightings, either of the crash or of the man and had come up empty. She decided to grab another k-cup for her individual-serving coffee maker but found that her last cup had been the final one in the house. Knowing she'd never be able to think without another cup, she heaved a sigh, slammed her already-socked feet into a pair of neon pink sneakers and tossed on a fleece. It was almost mid-February and the fickle Georgia weather had decided to make this day a cold one. She hoped the spandex lounge capris she had on would keep her warm enough for the short drive to Starbucks.

She punched the button for the elevator, shot down to the garage beneath the high-rise that housed her penthouse, and was in her car, a sleek Mercedes sedan, in less than 2 minutes. It was the Saturday before Valentine's Day so there were a few people out, but traffic was light and she was pulling out of the drive-thru with a Grande White Mocha in no time. She'd just turned onto the one-lane, one-way street that circled her building when a man stepped off of the curb directly in front of her car. She'd only been doing 30 but she still had to slam on the breaks to avoid running him over.

Heart in her throat she looked up to get a good look at him and her heart stopped beating all together for a second or two.

Tall? Check. This man was at least 6'4".

Golden-haired. Check. From the curling burnished locks on his head to the faint shadow on his jaw and the light dusting she could see on his bare chest...Golden with a capital FUCK!

'They didn't mention eyes the color of emerald...'

The man had stopped, the hem of the long black coat he wore skimming the surface of a murky puddle left by the rain that had passed through earlier that morning. He didn't seem to care. He was staring at her; gaze honed only on her, an expression of...hunger on his handsome face.

Yes, it was hunger. She recognized it because, just then, she felt it, too. That and she saw the bulging evidence of his arousal pressed against the dark wash of his jeans.

An answering heat low in the clenching feminine heart of her body. A moan she was barely conscious of issuing as he stepped closer to her car, his body moving with a rolling masculinity that spoke of a cool strength.

He licked his lips and she stiffened. She'd felt that! Kahlia reached up and touched her tingling bottom lip. He smirked, his eyes drifting down to her breasts, and did it again more deliberately. She cried out at the sensation of a warm, wet tongue laving over her right nipple.

"Impossible!" they cried out unison.

Her because she'd never experienced anything like what he'd just done to her.

Him because human women weren't susceptible to Telepathic Touch and it only worked for sexual purposes between Valentinian mated pairs.

"Fuck me," he gasped on a mutter of shock.

She was about to take him very literally.

The electronic locks on the car clicked and when he didn't move she reached over, eyes gone smoky and locked with his, to pop open the passenger door.

She didn't have to ask him twice. He was in the car in less time than it took for her to question what she'd just done.

{~|~|~|~|~}

It was a wonder she didn't crashed the car on the short drive into the parking garage. She hadn't taken her eyes off of him since he'd gracefully folded his big frame into the passenger seat. She assumed that since she hadn't felt any jumps or bumps in the ride that she hadn't killed anyone in her distraction.

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byTheScarletSiren© 4 comments/ 8480 views/ 6 favorites

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