Story Excerpt
Beauty and His Forever

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Bay wrapped his arm around Jynx, flattening his hand against the base of his back, and started walking down the corridor. If they couldn't have a few minutes alone, they could still be together. He'd been missing time with Jynx just as much as he had, although he hadn't voiced it. And Jynx was right, they were mates before anything else. He needed to remember that.

"You know I want time with you just as much as you do, right?" he asked silently through their bond. "You need to know that. You are the single most important thing in my life."

Jynx smiled up at him as he bumped their shoulders together. "I know that."


"I don't mean to be whiney or anything, but—"

"You are not being whiney. You are missing your mate, just as I am." Bay slid his hand around to Jynx's hip and then pulled him close enough to plant a kiss on the top of his head. "We'll fix this, love. I promise."

Maybe it was time for him to appoint a second in command and begin to delegate some of his duties. Despite what his pride told him, he didn't need to do everything himself. There were others just as qualified who could handle some of the work for him, freeing him to spend more time with Jynx.

He simply needed to choose someone.

Torak was waiting for them when they walked into the war room. Naris, who never seemed to be far from Torak's side, sat in the corner once again, reading on a tablet.


"The king and his consort demanded an immediate video conference with you and Prince Jynx," Torak responded. "They did not say why, only that it was urgent."

"Very well." Bay released Jynx and walked over to the video console. "Jynx, can you close the doors and activate the communication dampeners?"

Jynx closed the doors and then tapped in a code to the panel next to it before turning and walking over to stand next to Bay.

"Naris and I can step out, Commander."

"No," Bay said as he typed in the code to connect him to the king. "I'm naming you as my second in command." He hadn't expected to make that decision when he walked into the room, but it felt right. "Unless the king needs to speak to us alone, you need to be here."

Torak swallowed so tightly, Bay heard it and glanced up. "Problem?"

"Me, sire? You want me to be your second in command?"



"You might not have that much experience—yet—but you are smart, methodical, and you think before you act. You are also not afraid to wade in if there is a battle. That's the type of man I want working under me."

A rosy hue flushed Torak's cheeks. "Yes, Commander. I will not let you down."

"I know you won't." He had every faith in the man.

Bay glanced at the screen on the wall when it flickered to live and Cooper appeared on the screen. He crossed his arm over his chest and bowed his head in respect. "Consort Cooper, how may I be of service?"

"Took you long enough," Cooper snapped.

Bay's eyebrows drew together at the aggressive tone in Cooper's voice. "Sire?"

"We just received a ransom note for Councilman Turlock. We have forty-eight hours to deliver Jynx to Uranus to serve a prison sentence for killing Grothe Qaut'hsta or they will execute him live on Galatic Weblink for the entire universe to see."

Jynx gasped and started to slide down as his legs gave out. Bay grabbed him and pulled him tight against his body. His nostrils flared with outrage as he glanced at the screen. "Not going to happen." There was no way in hell he was going to send his mate to the prison planet.

Cooper sighed as he thrust his hand through his black hair. "Look, I just need you to play along with this until we can figure out who has the councilman."

Bay frowned. "You want me to send Jynx to a prison planet for a killing that you and the king both said was justified?"

Had the royal consort lost his mind?

"I know it sounds ridiculous, but I need you to do this, Bay. Just until we find Councilman Turlock and whoever is holding him hostage."

Bay growled as rage infused every cell in his body. "Sire—"

"This is an order from your king!" Cooper shouted. "Do not make me remove you from your position for disobeying a direct order."

It went against everything in him to defy the king, but how could he turn his mate over to be tortured in that cesspool? Jynx wouldn't survive a day.

Jynx squeezed his hand. "Something is wrong with all of this."

Bay didn't dare look at Jynx. "Everything is wrong with this."

"I don't think that's the king's consort."

That got his attention.