What big hands you have...The better to grab me with.
What black fangs you have...The better to bite me with.
What sharp claws you have...The better to scar me with.
My ruthless alien Keeper is dead, and his twin brother has been sent to take his place.
Exiled to an alien planet by my family as punishment, I've suffered unspeakable horrors at the claws of my Keeper and his tribe. When he dies and I'm left to starve, I'm ready to accept my fate and perish on the desert planet.
But when the spitting image of my dead Keeper appears before me, my plan is turned upside down. He looks just like my tormentor come to life, but the robotic arm where another set of savage claws should be forces me to believe that this is a different beast.
I never wanted to be here. And it turns out, neither does he.
The claws on his real arm look just like the ones that left me scarred, but his eyes look at me in ways his brother's never did. His species is cruel and barbaric, so I know it's only a matter of time before he follows in his brother's footsteps to continue my torment. How long do I have and, more importantly... How do I steel my heart and body against the unwelcome cravings stirring within me?
The last thing I wanted was being forced to return to my old tribe. Taking over my dead brother's duties as Keeper was not part of the plan. I had every intention of going back to my quiet life as an augmentation mechanic on the other side of the continent at the first opportunity. Hopefully without a useless human on my heels.
But it is clear that if I leave the female, she will not make it, and my dead brother's tribe refuses to let me take her with me. They may despise her, but she's their property. My options are clear: stay with the tribe that hates me and take responsibility for my new Kept, or go home and let them do what they will with her.
She's small, weak, and seemingly infertile: objectively useless to me. But I sense an iron spirit in her that draws me in, and a vulnerability that awakens unwanted instincts. I will protect her. But for how long can I fight the urge to possess her?