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ShardanaWelcome to the world of Jase and Shardana. Jase is a scientist studying a new life form. Shardana is their queen. Vicious, intelligent, cruel, shrewd and clever, she isn’t a very comfortable companion.

Though fishlike in many aspects, Jase had found out that their species were physically compatible. She could never bear his children, but they could mate. Jase had long ago dispensed with the term, making love. A man didn’t make love to a female like Shardana. He took her hard and fast like a beast. Their mating was rough, primordial and oft times dangerous.

Not only did her feet and hands sport bony claws, Shardana’s skin wasn’t soft like a human’s. The closest Jase could come to describing her flesh was like sharkskin. Fortunately, when she was aroused, the surface of her body smoothed. Other times, it could be rough and uncomfortable if he rubbed it the wrong way.

“Join me, my love!” She leaped, spun and dove, luring him with her psy-call. Like a siren, she tugged at his psyche.

“No, my darling,” he replied, fighting the lure. “The inhabitants of the river find me a tasty treat.”

“I’ll protect you. Swim with me.” She bobbed with her head just above the surface.”They’ll be good. I promise.” She layered her voice with a seductive psy-call that was nearly irresistible.

Jase stepped back from the cliff’s edge, putting distance between them so he wouldn’t fall prey to her seductive lure. He wandered down the path that ran along the steep bank, meeting her on the river bank below.

The tiny, vicious peraquin, a carnivorous predator, swam around her. It seemed the only thing the little buggers didn’t eat was Shardana. Jase had seen them rip one of her people apart. A female doing her washing lost her balance and fell in the water. They stripped her down to bones in seconds. Faster than piranhas, they swam in tight formation, lurking at the bottom of the river for the unsuspecting traveler to venture into their realm. As far as Jase was concerned, the only good peraquin was one roasting over an open fire.

“Another time, my love.”

Pouting prettily, she dove into the water once more. When she rose, she had a fresh water oyster clutched in her hands. With very little effort, she pried it open. Long, pointed tongue and sharp teeth made short work of the unlucky inhabitant. She spit a huge pearl into her palm. Swimming to the river bank, she handed it to him. When he reached for it, Shardana playfully grabbed at his leg tugging him toward the water.

Having anticipated something like that, Jase had firmly planted his feet on the bank, balancing so that she couldn’t tip him. Shardana was strong, but she had no idea how to unbalance a large, unwilling human. Before coming here, Jase’s studies had included martial arts and primitive weapons training. She wouldn’t get the upper hand on him easily. He’d grown too wary for her little tricks.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes


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