When Kreslan is attacked in the cargo hold he bonds with a shapeshifting beast who turns out to be the reincarnated leader of an entire planet. Will Kreslan be willing to give up an ordinary man to partner with an extraordinary creature who just happens to hold Kres' heart in his possessive claws.
Barley's goons each took one of Kres's arms and slammed him against the Thresl's cage.
Kres wasn't the type to go down without a fight. Using the goons as leverage, he jumped up and kicked Barley in the face. A satisfying crunch echoed in the hold.
"You bastard. I'm gonna kill you now."
Blood poured down Barley's face as he pulled back his arm. He slammed down his fist intent on doing as much damage as possible, but Kres dodged and Barley's hand hit the metal bars of the cage. Barley screamed with pain as his fingers slammed into the iron bars.
"I said hold him!" Barley shouted.
The goons pinned Kres tighter against the Thresl's cage. He knew this time there was no getting out of it.
Bracing his body to take Barley's punch, Kres was unprepared for the door at his back to swing inward. Two clawed hands slashed out, swiping long bloody trails across both of the men holding Kres. Blood splashed out of their wounds as they howled.
Barley's eyes rolled in panic. With a low animalistic roar, the Thresl picked Kres up and lifted him high off the ground. This was it, his last few seconds of life.
Yet, despite Kres's dire predictions, the huge beast set him gently to one side before he leaped at Barley. With vicious precision, the creature lacerated Barley's face with his claws until he was a mass of blood and bones and his flesh flapped loosely along his jaw.
Kres raced past the screaming men to reach the intercom. Pressing the button, he shouted into the receiver. "Emergency on the cargo deck. Emergency."
A high-pitched yell pierced the air as Barley fell beneath the Thresl's wrath.
"Shit. No. Don't kill him," Kres commanded.
To his surprise the creature froze. Leaning over Barley, he bared his fangs. Long and curved, they were five inches long and dripped saliva.
Barley let out a whimper as his men cowered in the corner as far from the Thresl as they could get. The creature blocked their escape route, and neither of them were in any condition to battle a Thresl.
Before Kres could think of what to do, a squad of soldiers rushed onto the cargo deck. Weapons raised, they surrounded the Thresl.
"Don't shoot him," Kres shouted. "He was protecting me."
Instinct had Kres stepping up to the creature. "Come on. See, I'm not hurt. You stopped the bad men in time."
The loud snarling dimmed to a low growl.