Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/335

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The Centaurians

I knew. She spoke without reason that was in the keeping of the Vespa Prince. But her love glances made me reckless. The moment absorbed me, I forgot Saxe., everybody, and had but one thought—possession. I crushed her to me, ranting madly in my passion, the sweet eyes drooped and the lovely face flushed beneath my ardor. Suddenly she stood erect, as though listening, then with a startled exclamation sprang from me—in that instant the whole universe seemed to come between us. Then I perceived Mike's ugly head thrust between the hangings at the entrance. Mike, unruffled, seeing all with sightless eyes.

Before he could speak a powerful white hand clutched and pushed him aside and the Vespa Prince strode into the room. He gave me a sharp, scrutinizing glance, then hurried to Alpha. And I, looking at him in the full light of day, marveled at his god-like strength and beauty. He was the substance, I the shadow. Physically, mentally, he was a force beyond me. Though I loved her deeply my ardor was mild compared with his amorous adoration. He loved her; yes, with a mad, crazy desire that destroyed all barriers. And she? Her eyes beamed upon him with wonder and delight. It was joy to her just to have him near her. He clasped her firm, white arm and bent close, whispering eagerly, then led her to the far end of the room. She was completely under his control and he exulted in his power. He was wildly enamoured, but he was master. I had been her slave; she pitied, regretted me; but the Vespa Prince was all the