They were about to start down the mountain when there was a terrible scream and both men turned to the portal, as the most beautiful woman Tarsea had ever laid eyes on fell through. At the sight of her, he felt like he had been punched in the stomach. It was as if he had the wind knocked out of him. Darden was the quicker of the two of them and caught her. Tarsea stood like a fool watching.
The girl continued to scream in Darden’s arms as he tried to calm her. “By the Prime!” Darden exclaimed. “What are you doing here, Alexandra?”
It was obvious his friend knew the girl. Tarsea wanted to help aid in quieting her. He used the name Darden had. “Alexandra, you need to stop screaming! Take a breath and let it out slowly, you are starting to hyperventilate.”
As they were trying to calm the girl, he telepathically asked his friend questions. “Who is she? How do you know her? What is she to you?” For some reason that last question was the most important to him.
Darden talked to the girl, ignoring his questions. Tarsea figured he would have to wait for his answers until after the girl stopped screaming.
Tarsea stared at the creature in Darden’s arms. She had the most beautiful light auburn hair that shimmered in the sun. The girl had bright green eyes that showed terror, although he felt under normal circumstances they would show intelligence. Her skin was like a luminous pearl, she almost glowed a light pink. She was slight. Tarsea had the odd thought he wanted to feed her, so there would be more of her for him to touch. His fingers ached to touch her skin and slide his whole being into her body. He had never reacted to anyone in this manner.
Alex heard a voice break through the screams, which she finally realized was coming from her. She took a breath and looked into the deep blue eyes of the blond man she had been following. Alex concentrated on bringing down her heart rate and controlling her breathing.
“Alexandra, can I touch you to make sure you are unhurt?” the man holding her asked when he noted she had calmed down. She was about to respond when she heard a growl. Alex looked in the direction of the sound.
There stood what Alex could only call was the most striking man she had ever seen. His face was full of angles, as if an artist chiseled it from marble. He was dark, with a deep tan and short black hair. Like the man she had followed, he too wore a tunic and leggings. He was all in black. The expression on his face was that of surprise, then confusion. She took it that he normally did not growl.
Alex wiggled out of the blonde’s arms as he released his hold on her. She slowly got up and patted herself down, checking to see if she was hurt. It appeared she was fine. She looked around to get her bearings and stopped cold. The sky had a violet hue to it, and she was no longer in Boynton Canyon. Alex staggered and the blonde steadied her.
“Alexandra, are you all right?” he asked as he continued to hold her shoulder and helped her balance. Although she appreciated the support, she had no idea where she was or who these men were. She could not understand how they knew her name.
“I don’t know, am I?” a very confused Alex answered him. “How do you know me? Who are you and why is the sky violet?” She knew she sounded shaky, primarily because she was. It surprised her that although the situation terrified her, she was not afraid of these men.
“Alexandra, I promise I will tell you everything,” the blonde said. “But we have to go now! The patrols may be on their way after a second body came through the portal. You must have been caught in the stream before the portal closed.”
The blonde eyed his friend, then turned back to Alex. “My name is Darden, the man with the scowl is Tarsea.”
The mention of patrols made Alex tense, a reaction she noticed she shared with the men. Her eyes kept going back to the man with the scowl. What would have happened if they had not been there and the patrol had found her?
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