“C’mon, hurry up.” Dervinias stalked out of the house, grateful for a break from the electronic dance garbage shaking the walls. Three of his supporters followed. One was Kelvin, the large lug he wasn’t sure about. The others were called Tawny and Selena. He went past the steaming hot tub full of screaming girls in bikinis and smelly chlorine and headed toward the far end of the yard.

“Hey baby,” one of the wet girls called, waving. Stephanie was her name, Dervinias remembered. Hot body. She’d make a perfect candidate for his plan—whether she wanted to or not. They had Trig together. He ignored her, for now, and continued toward a large tree.

The bark appeared thick and brittle. Almost all of the leaves had fallen. They crunched under his feet sending a faint tang of nutmeg into the air. At the tree, he stopped and pressed his back against its trunk, propping a foot.

“What is it, Dervinias?” Tawny asked, looking peeved. He knew she wasn’t happy with the group dynamic—Chev being his leading lady.  

He let a smile curve his lips. “I have a job for the three of you.”

His father had failed to mention that the princess’s Formytian had followed her to Earth. That made killing the girl even more difficult. The over-protective guardian had discovered the treachery and followed her. His exuberance would be the death of him.

“Tell us,” Tawny said in whispered excitement. He knew she lusted after the chance to kill. Though she’d never know, that was the reason she hadn’t been chosen to rule by his side.

“Well darling, before we can move forward with our plan, you have to kill a kelarian princess. You think you can handle that?”

“Isn’t she l-like you?” Kelvin asked.

“No, she isn’t.” Dervinias breathed, trying to keep his patience. “You don’t need all of the details, but trust me when I say she’s vulnerable. She can be killed. This planet’s atmosphere will take care of her in seven days, but I want her murdered corpse brought to me tonight.”

“Uh, Dervinias, sir?”

Give me strength. “What is it, Kelvin?”

“If Earth will destroy her in a week, then what’s the big deal? Why do we have to kill—again?” Dervinias noticed he shuffled his feet; his shoulders slouched inside his letterman’s jacket. 

You’d think the way he hacked off body parts, Kelvin would be excited at the prospect of another death. But, apparently not.

“Because, Kelvin. She has a mega-enthusiastic guardian who is like me, and he’s going to do everything in his power to help her get back to Kelari. What happens if he finds a way before she dies? Mmmm?” Dervinias crossed his arms and stomped his foot on the hard ground.

“I guess,” Kelvin said.

The quiet one, Selena, stepped forward. “What’s she to us?”

“Let’s just say if we don’t kill her our plans will be ruined. Good enough?”

Tawny stepped forward. “How do you want us to do this?”

Ferocious, beautiful Tawny. He pulled a slip of paper from a back pocket and handed it to her. “Get the knives I’ve given you. You’ll need them. And then get your butts to that address and kill her. You’ll have the element of surprise. She’ll be tired. Murder her while she’s sleeping.”

Tawny unfolded the paper. Kelvin and Selena leaned in to read the address.

“Isn’t this your house?” Selena asked, giving him a strange look.

“And her name’s Venus?” Tawny confirmed.          “Right. But that doesn’t matter. Follow the map. You’ll find her in the far bedroom.” Dervinias pushed away from the tree, moving closer to the humans. “There.” He pointed at a large X.  

“Is she the girl from the diner tonight? Wow, she’s fine,” Kelvin said.    

In an instant, Dervinias grabbed Kelvin by the throat and hefted his large body in the air. “Yeah? Well I need you to shut up and destroy that fine girl. Got it?”

“Yes,” he gasped.

Dervinias dropped him and spoke to the girls. “Good. Remember to be careful. Her guardian can read her mind as well as yours. I’ll make sure he’s incapacitated. So if you make it quick, he won’t realize anything’s happened until it’s too late. I’d kill her myself, but I’ll need an alibi.” They each looked at him with uncertainty. He was sure they wanted more information. Like little children, he could almost hear their whining.

But there was no way he’d kill her. Not with the curse the Gods had placed upon him. He’d rather live eternally amongst humans than forever in the lowest realm of Helker. A fate worse than death.

Besides it wouldn’t be long now before he’d created a new race. A species that would call him a God.  

“We’ll do it,” Kelvin said.

“Of course you will,” Dervinias agreed.

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