This is an adult excerpt from my mmf book Fierce Radiance (Space Confederation 1). Yes, I do plan to write more set in that world as soon as the characters pipe up again. LOL
[Ménage Amour: Erotic Sci-Fi Ménage a Trois Romance, MMF, MM, M/s, HEA]
Being orphaned twice, tragedy defined starship captain Aine Lorcan’s early life. As a result, she buried herself in her work and earned her “Ice Queen” nickname. When she crash lands after a raider attack, it’s hunky Act’huran Commander Sammuel Jorvis who rescues her.
Sammuel and Ker have searched to find the perfect third to complete their triad. Aine first tries to fight the attraction she feels for Sammuel before giving in to his sinfully hot brand of persuasion. Meeting Ker only cements the love she has for the men and her feeling of belonging.
When duty calls and the Confederation wants her back, she wages a war of conscience. Stay with her men, or fulfill the legacy her two fathers died to help her achieve? Now with one of her men in danger, will Aine’s love burn out, or will she live up to her reputation of Fierce Radiance?
A Siren Erotic Romance
When Aine opened her eyes, everything lay still and quiet around her. Taking a breath hurt, between her chest feeling caved in and acrid smoke filling the cabin. From the angle of the landing she lay on her back while still buckled into her seat.
Correction, everything hurt. Moving wasn’t an option, but she tried wiggling her toes.
Those still worked.
She heard a noise outside, something on the hatch.
She jerked her head up, trying to see the harness buckle so she could unfasten herself. A flare of agonizing pain took her consciousness.
* * * *
The man’s severe face floated into her field of vision. For such a harsh-looking man, his touch felt exceptionally gentle as his finger caressed her chin. His lips moved. She knew he spoke to her but a dull roar filled her ears and she passed out again.
* * * *
She woke up screaming. Jagged bolts of agony ripped through her abdomen. She could hear the man’s voice. Deep, yet soothing.
“I know it hurts. I am sorry.”
She tried to lash out, to hit at him. She’d die fighting.
He grabbed her wrist in a firm, unbreakable grip. “Stop. You will hurt yourself worse.”
“Let me go!”
“I am not going to hurt you.”
She tried thrashing more, then felt the sharp sting of a hypo against her neck before her world went black.
* * * *
She wasn’t in the life pod. She still hurt, worse than before. When she opened her eyes she found herself looking up into damp, tall trees towering over her in a hazy, grey mist. She swiveled her eyes, in too much pain to move anything else.
A large man knelt close by, his back turned to her as he hunched over something. A long blond braid hung down his back. When she felt a brush of air against her bare flesh, she realized she was naked.
Then she saw her knapsack lying nearby.
That snapped her control. She tried to reach for it, realized she was restrained, and cried out as pain splintered through her body again.
Whether he was just that fast or the pain twisted her perception, he suddenly knelt next to her before she ever saw him move. He made soothing noises as he checked her over.
“Let me go,” she croaked through the pain. “You don’t know who you’re fucking with.”
“I am not fucking with anyone, Captain Lorcan.”
His clear, dusty green eyes bored right through her. “You are seriously injured. I am sorry I had to move you, but the crash site was too exposed.”
“Afraid one of your buddies will try to steal your prize?”
He arched an eyebrow at her. “Just who do you think I am, Captain?”
“Fuck. You. Asshole.”
He rummaged through his medical kit. “You certainly have a mouth on you.”
Another wave of pain ripped at her guts. When she moaned he pressed his palm over her mouth to muffle the sound, held his body protectively over hers, and looked around as if to verify they were still hidden.
“I wish you would not do that,” he said when she composed herself.
“What? Scream in fucking agony?”
“No. The swearing. It is beneath a captain of your caliber.”
She couldn’t have heard him right. “My swearing offends a raider asshole?”
He held up another hypo. “I am not a raider, and I am not an asshole. And you will rip open those sutures if you do not lie still.”
His English wasn’t accented but she didn’t miss his formal speech pattern. “What’s that for?”
“Painkiller and healing accelerant.” He jabbed the hypo into her upper arm. She remained conscious long enough to watch him move her knapsack closer to her before he covered her with a blanket.
* * * *
The world swam into focus. He sat a few feet away, leaning against a tree. “How are you this morning, Captain?”
She glared at him. She still hurt, but not as badly. Her mind also felt clearer.
“If I free your hands, will you promise not to move?” he asked.
“Because three different times you nearly bled to death last night and I am out of emergency plasma. I cannot move you yet.”
She was still naked, but covered by the blanket.
“Move me where?”
“My lander, so I can get you back to my ship.”
Another stab of pain. She must have winced, because he was over her in a flash, pulling the blanket back and checking something. His face changed, his calm demeanor gone. He said something in a foreign language she assumed was an epithet. He threw the blanket off her, and she felt his hands doing something. Another sharp pain tore through her abdomen.
“Sorry,” he apologized. His eyes drifted to hers for a moment.
“Wouldn’t want your prisoner to die. I’m worth too much money.”
“Right now you are a beautiful pain in the ass, Captain Lorcan, but not my prisoner.” He grabbed something out of his medical bag and reached up to her mouth. “Open.”
“Because you are going to scream. I do not want you giving our position away in case the raiders have sent landing parties. I cannot risk giving you any more sedatives right now. I am sorry.”
She finally opened, and he carefully slipped a roll of gauze into her mouth so she could bite down on it.
“Take a deep breath, let it out, then take another.”
Despite the pain, she kept her eyes on him. She did as he said.
He looked at her. “I am sorry, but this is going to hurt. A lot.” Before she could react, agonizing pain seared her, graying her vision as she screamed into the roll of gauze. After a moment the worst of the pain eased and returned to a more tolerable degree of discomfort.
She never thought she’d be glad about something like that.
When he reached up to remove the gauze roll from her mouth she saw blood on his hand. “I am sorry, Captain,” he said, his voice gentle. “I had to cauterize it. The sutures were not holding. You have an artery in your abdomen that keeps bleeding. I am not a skilled surgeon. I am only trained as a field medic, so I am doing the best I can.”
He noticed his hand and wiped her blood on the blanket.
“Who are you? What are you going to do with me?”
“Captain Lorcan, do you always talk this much when injured so badly?”
“I am Commander Sammuel Jorvis of the Act’huran battle destroyer Ab’yoika Maru.”
Relief flooded her. “You’re not a raider?”
He sat back. “I believe I told you that earlier. Did you not understand me?” He reached into his bag and withdrew a bottle of water. He carefully slipped his hand under the back of her head to lift it and helped her take a sip. “Not too much.”
Once she had a little to drink, he gently lowered her head again. “Will you promise to hold still if I free your hands? I do not wish to keep you restrained. I will not hurt you.” He frowned. “I mean intentionally. I cannot promise I will not have to do more treatment.”
Aine got a better look at his face as he leaned in and removed the energy shackles from her wrists. A man used to being in command, definitely, from the steely set of his strong jaw. Depth and strength in his eyes. For some reason he looked vaguely familiar, although she couldn’t figure out why.
He rubbed her wrists after he removed the energy shackles. “I am afraid to give you too much painkiller or sedative. I have given you more than the maximum dosage of healing accelerant as it is.”
“Where’s your lander?”
“Hidden. Cloaked. Nearly a kilometer away.” He looked amused. “You are a very talented woman, Captain. I am most suitably impressed by your engineering skill.”
“Let me walk. I can make it.” Now that she knew he wasn’t a raider, trying to stay alive seemed like a damn spiffy idea.
“You will die if you try to move. You need at least another six hours to lie still and allow the medicine to heal the worst of your internal injuries. We can treat the rest once we return to my ship. Besides, I cannot risk taking off in daytime.”
“I’m not good at waiting around.”
“A woman after my own heart.”
“I hate planets.”
“You really talk too much.”
He smiled. Despite her pain, something about the expression touched her in a pleasant way.
“It would be my extreme pleasure to oblige you in that,” he said. “Perhaps after you have healed more, Captain. I would not wish to love you to death. For now, sleep.”
His voice had a soothing, deep rumble to it. Funny, she did want to sleep. And that’s what she did.
* * * *
Sammuel watched her sleep. He couldn’t help but reach out and stroke her cheek, touch her short, spiky hair.
Why did he have to meet someone like her under these circumstances?
He’d heard about her, of course. Studied her battle record. Yes, she did impress him. Meeting her in person…
He closed his eyes as he inhaled.
His t’wren. She was perfect.
If she would agree.
Unfortunately, with someone like her—married to her career—he suspected he had little chance of persuading her to change her way of life. She might not even feel a connection to him. Not to mention he had a not-so-minor matter of keeping her alive and getting her to the safety of his ship.
How he’d prayed to every god he’d never believed in while he worked on her throughout the night! Terrified she would die, afraid to take his eyes and hands off her.
Ker would laugh, no doubt about it.
Sammuel always swore he was no soft, silly man, would never simply fall in love as he’d made fun of others for doing.
Ker’s teasing aside that he might one day see the truth for himself, he’d never wanted a t’wren. Never wanted to share Ker with anyone, male or female. Ker always sat back, patient, never urging him to seek out a t’wren, content to wait until Fate struck on its own. But with Captain Aine Lorcan’s scent coating his skin, Sammuel couldn’t imagine her not joining them.
He shook himself from his reverie.
First things first—save her life.
* * * *
The light had changed when she next opened her eyes. Commander Jorvis sat close beside her, his eyes on her. She suspected he hadn’t moved much since she was last awake.
He touched her arm when she tried to move. “Please do not sit up yet, Captain.”
“How long have I been out?”
“A few hours. I risked giving you another dose of healing accelerant while you were out.” He picked up a scanner and she didn’t try to stop him when he pulled back the blanket and held the scanner over her belly. “The cauterization is holding and healing, but I would prefer to wait a little longer. Besides, it is not dark yet.”
“Three hours until dusk, another hour until full dark.”
“How badly was I injured?”
“Very, internally. A few minor external lacerations from debris bouncing around inside the life pod.”
“How did you know where I was?”
“I positioned my ship on the outskirts of the battle, cloaked, prepared to catch any raiders who escaped. I watched your ship. I saw the collision and the last two life pods jettison. I knew I needed to go after you.”
“One of the shadow ships?”
“Are my men really safe?”
“Yes, the Confederation safely retrieved them. I left my ship in a small landing skiff to follow your life pod. I figured the smaller the vessel, the less likely I would be detected. I did not wish to draw attention to you from the raiders and I knew you would not call for help.”
“How did you know which pod I was in?”
“Captain, I have studied your career. You are definitely a strategist after my own heart. There is absolutely no way you would allow any men to remain on board while you yourself left. Your pod had to be the last to depart.” He smiled. “That was a brilliant plan, by the way. We laughed over the show the raiders put on trying to retrieve the life pods. My most sincere admiration.”
She felt herself blush at the compliment. “How long until you return me?”
She didn’t miss the cloud that crossed his expression. “It is too risky. We will rendezvous with my ship and get you safely from the area and make sure you are physically healed. Then we can decide what to do.”
Her eyes fell on her knapsack. He must have followed her gaze because he reached for it and moved it even closer. “What is in there that is so precious to you? I did not look, if that is your concern.”
“My family’s in there. All that’s left of them.” She curled her fingers around the straps and held on to it but didn’t open it.
She didn’t share her past with others, especially not with a strange Act’huran commander.
Which brought her to another point. “You don’t look like a normal Act’huran. I thought you were a human.”
“I am human.”
Human? “What are you doing with them?”
He shrugged. “I am happy. I have been with them longer than I was with the Confederation.”
Bells went off in her memory. Sammuel Jorvis…
“Holy crap, are you related to Captain Sammuel Jorvis of the Confederation?” Jorvis, one of the Confederation’s most decorated captains, was standard study material in the Academy. His battle tactics were hailed by most as genius. She even wrote a paper on him.
He had been listed as missing in action over eighty years earlier, when he disappeared at the age of thirty-two after having to abandon his ship. His crew survived, but the life pod he’d been in was never located.
This Jorvis looked barely older than thirty-five. Forty, max. He looked a lot like pictures she’d seen of him, but Jorvis had brown hair, not blond, and he didn’t have green eyes…
He sat back, looking amused. “Captain Lorcan, I am Sammuel Jorvis.”
* * * *
Stunned, she stared at him. “No. Fucking. Way! How is that possible? What happened?”
He ran the scanner over her abdomen again. “What do you know of the Act’hurans, Captain?”
“Not much. Technologically advanced, brilliant in battle, but not a hostile race.”
“Of their physiology?”
“Nothing other than their physical appearance. Act’hurans are usually larger than the average human, eyes set wider apart.”
“Our lives are very similar, Captain Lorcan, yours and mine. I also crashed upon an uninhabited planet in hostile territory. I was also rescued. Act’hurans have been fighting alongside Confederation forces for a long, long time.”
“You decided to stay?”
“In a manner of speaking. You need to rest. You can ask more questions later.”
She studied his profile as he ran a detailed scan over her entire body. Every time his eyes drifted to hers his expression softened. Since her pain had eased somewhat due to the healing accelerants, she could enjoy the tingly feeling his gaze filled her with. He smelled good, too. His natural light, sweet and slightly spicy scent filled her lungs every time he leaned close.
What the hell is wrong with me?
It had to be the situation, that’s all.
She closed her eyes and tried to relax, but her awareness of how close Jorvis’ large body hovered kept her from sleeping.
By the time dusk fell, Jorvis had her sitting up. It hurt, but he felt it safe enough to try. He gave her another dose of healing accelerant and wrapped the blanket around her.
“Where are my clothes?” she asked.
“Sorry, Captain. I had to cut them off you for the scan and to operate. You were near death, and I had very little time for proprieties.” He shrugged off his long, light uniform coat, which hung almost to his knees. Beneath that he wore snug uniform trousers and a long-tailed shirt that fell past what she assumed was a tight ass, if the rest of his hard physique was any indication.
Heat filled her face.
Totally inappropriate thought.
He helped her stand and made no effort to avert his eyes as he helped her put the coat on and roll up the sleeves. Huge on her, the hem fell almost to her ankles.
Once on her feet, Jorvis appeared even larger compared to her slight frame, well over a foot taller than her.
He gathered his things, including her knapsack. “Will you please allow me to carry this for you? I do not wish you to strain yourself.”
Even she realized the stupidity of refusing. “Okay. Thanks.”
He slung her pack and his medical bag over his right shoulder. He wore an energy pistol on his right hip, she finally noticed. He slipped his left arm around her. “Do you want me to carry you?” he asked.
He could probably do it, as big as he was. “No, that’s okay. I’ll try to walk.”
He’d salvaged her boots and pulled them on her feet. Then they carefully made their way across the terrain. He had much better night vision than she did because he didn’t hesitate or stumble and she could barely see two feet in front of them.
When they finally reached his lander Aine felt shaky, weak, and in a lot of pain. He helped her through the hatch and carefully laid her on a padded bench. “I need to check you again.”
The pain took away any thought she had of protesting. She nodded and closed her eyes. He unbelted the coat and parted it. She didn’t even care that he could probably see how her nipples puckered and tightened as the cool air hit them. She was aware of him passing the scanner over her, then finally opened her eyes again when he pulled the coat closed and tied the belt.
“You did not rip anything loose, thank the gods. I think it is safe to give you more painkillers now.”
She reached out and touched his arm. “Not much. Please.”
“You are in pain.”
“I want to stay awake.”
He hesitated and finally nodded. “As you wish, Captain.” He adjusted the dosage and she felt the sting of the hypo. The pain eased to tolerable levels.
He started to strap her in when she touched his arm again. She liked touching him, another thing that surprised her in addition to her reaction to him. Normally she didn’t want any kind of physical contact with others since she left Hector.
“Thank you, Commander Jorvis.”
“Please, call me Sammuel.”
She surprised herself with her reply. “Aine.”
The bright smile she received in reply warmed her heart and she didn’t know why. “Aine. Captain Aine Padron Lorcan. Thank you. I had wondered how you pronounced your first name.”
“When can I ask you more questions about how you look as young as you do?” Now with her pain at manageable levels and in the safety of his ship, she wanted to know.
She didn’t mind when he curled his fingers around her hand, brought it up to his mouth, and kissed it with sinfully hot lips. “Let me get us off this godforsaken rock. We will have at least six hours before we reach my ship. You can ask me as many questions as you wish during that time.”
* * * *
Once they broke free of the atmosphere, Jorvis turned his command chair around so he could face her and talk. The small lander was less than twenty-five feet long inside, meant to hold up to four crewmen comfortably for missions and transport.
“Tell me, why are you so well-preserved, Sammuel?”
He settled back in his chair and crossed one leg over the other. “It is a rather long answer, so I appreciate your indulgence. After I crashed I was found and rescued by D’arsolan Ker-Pythan, who at that time was an Act’huran captain on a shadow ship working with our Confederation forces.
“Act’hurans are not like humans, one species of many races. Act’hurans have two distinct but related species. The majority species is the t’amen-ra. Greater in number, but they were the second, lesser species to develop. The first, the t’amar-te, are much older and highly revered and are the dominant force in our society. They are similar in physical appearance to the t’amen-ra, although usually larger. Over the millennia, they have evolved in such a way that they are now always male.”
“Okay, I’m no doctor, but how do they reproduce?”
He smiled. “The t’amar-te, unlike their brethren, have particular needs in that they seek out first a t’arn, a mate. Male or female, it does not matter, but it is nearly always a male they claim first. Their physical senses are more highly developed, as are their clairvoyant senses. When they meet someone, they know immediately if he or she is their perfect mate. When they do, if the person is willing, they take them and they mate for life. Eventually, most t’amar-te add a third to their pair, making them a completed triad. Both mates are then collectively known as t’wren. They are joined not just in body and heart, but in mind and soul.
“While a pair can live many, many centuries, triads live much longer. Act’hurans live very long anyway, rarely get sick, and age very slowly. Unless injured, they normally live extremely long lives compared to humans. If the second t’wren is a female, the t’amar-te can reproduce their line. If both t’wren are male, which sometimes happens, then they do not. I willingly chose to stay with the t’amar-te who rescued me.”
“So…he’s your mate?”
“I am his t’arn. We do not yet have another t’wren.”
For some reason, the look in his eyes made her breath catch, her heart race, and she knew it had nothing to do with her injuries. “But you’re human.”
“Humans are close enough to Act’hurans that it does not matter. When they take a mate, because of certain…properties, the t’wren both change in many ways, even if they are not t’amen-ra. I used to have dark brown hair and blue eyes. That is how t’amar-te can mate with t’amen-ra. Both t’wren become, in many ways, t’amar-te. And as long as one of the t’wren is a female, they can reproduce and carry on their line.”
His green gaze burned into her.
“What are you saying, Commander?” She felt it safer to revert to the formality.
“Do not worry, Aine,” he said with a smile. “We do not ever force t’wren. Ever. It is not allowed. No one wants an unwilling mate.” With that he turned to face the front again, leaving her with loudly jangling thoughts and a body that, while still wracked with medicine-numbed pain, reacted to him in a way she’d never reacted to anyone before in her life.
* * * *
Commander Jorvis wouldn’t let anyone else help her after they landed in the hangar bay of the Act’huran battle cruiser Haltoran-dey. He personally carried her knapsack and kept his arm around her for the walk to the ship’s medical bay. He barked orders in Act’huran to his men, who immediately scrambled to comply. The men, most not quite as tall as Jorvis, all dwarfed Aine. While at first glance they looked human enough, a closer look exposed the subtle differences in the face, wider set eyes, longer skulls, and tanner skin.
“I thought you said your ship’s name was the Ab’yoika Maru?”
“It is. This is one of our fleet. We are on our way to rendezvous with the Ab’yoika Maru.” He walked her through the door of the medical bay and immediately started giving orders in Act’huran to the staff. One man, the doctor she guessed, looked a little annoyed until Jorvis growled another command at him.
The doctor paled and scurried to get something, chirruping orders to his staff.
Jorvis had no plans to leave her side. He picked her up as if she weighed nothing and lifted her onto a medical bunk. A male medic brought a hospital gown and blanket and activated a privacy screen for the alcove after leaving them alone.
Jorvis reached for the coat’s belt. Aine clamped her hands over it. “I can undress myself, Commander.”
He smiled but remained undeterred. He simply lifted her hands away and continued to untie the belt. “Then tell me to stop.” His eyes bored into hers as she felt the words wither in her throat.
He helped her sit up and remove the coat, then don the gown. He pulled his coat back on and called something to the medic, who then returned with the doctor.
When the doctor started speaking in Act’huran, Jorvis growled at him. “In English. Have respect.”
The doctor, a man Aine suspected wasn’t used to taking orders, colored in the face. “My apologies, Commander. Captain Lorcan, I need to do a full scan to check the status of your injuries. Commander Jorvis said he performed emergency field surgery.”
Aine thought Jorvis would leave the alcove for the exam, but he didn’t. He stood at the head of the medical bunk with his hands firmly planted on either side of her head. Normally the close intrusion would irritate the snot out of her.
At one point, something the doctor did hurt like hell. She involuntarily gasped as she reached up and grabbed Jorvis’ arm.
“Shh, it is all right, Ki’ato,” Jorvis soothed. “I am here.” He laid his other hand over hers, trapping it against his warm arm.
His low, rumbling voice. What the hell was it about him that made her want to melt into a puddle?
“I’m sorry, Captain,” the doctor apologized. She felt the sting of a hypo. “I’m giving you a local anesthetic. I must check the incision.” The pain ebbed away as the medicine took effect.
Jorvis’ thumb rubbed along her knuckles. She closed her eyes and tried not to process the confusing jumble of thoughts and emotions entwined with her pain. There would be plenty enough time for that later—once she put on some real clothes and had a sealed cabin door between her and the sinfully sexy Commander Sammuel Jorvis.
After what felt like forever, and more doses of antibiotics and painkillers, the doctor grudgingly admitted Jorvis had done an adequate job and nothing needed repairing. “I suggest a very light meal of broth and tea, nothing heavy for a few more days. Let the intestines fully heal and strengthen again without having to struggle to digest a lot of food.”
“Otherwise?” Jorvis asked.
“Otherwise, she is healing. I will not use any more of that accelerant. She’s had more than enough and I do not want to risk ill effects.”
“Then I can take her?”
Her eyes popped open. Take me where?
The doctor shrugged. “I would prefer she remain in bed for a few days—resting,” he added for emphasis, as if he felt a crystal-clear clarification was necessary.
Oh boy. Aine had an idea that maybe her definition of “take” and Jorvis’ were two totally different beasts.
“Excellent.” He shouldered her knapsack again and, wrapping the blanket around her, scooped her into his arms before she could protest. “Tell my yeoman what her diet is and have him bring it to my quarters immediately,” he called over his shoulder.
Aine tried to protest, but he’d already carried her out of the medical bay and down the corridor, heading gods knew where.
Jorvis would have none of it. “You are going to rest. You heard the doctor.”
“In your quarters?”
“They are the best on the ship. Is that a problem?”
“I would prefer quarters of my own, thank you.” She tried for a cold and chilly tone and knew it came out sounding rather temperate despite her best efforts. Dammit, she couldn’t think around this man, which was totally not like her.
“You have quarters of your own—they just happen to be my quarters. If you think I will allow someone of your status out of my sight, you are sadly mistaken.”
He glanced down at her again. She knew for damn certain the heat she felt flare in her belly had nothing to do with her wounds.
They turned a corner. A moment later he entered a huge stateroom cabin. He gently laid her on his bunk and pulled the covers over her. Before she could argue with him again, the yeoman appeared with a tray. Jorvis took it and immediately dismissed the man.
After he removed his sidearm, he sat next to her on the bed and helped her eat.
“I am capable of eating by myself!”
“Did I say you were not?”
“What’s going on, Commander Jorvis?”
She glared at him, but he smiled.
“You look beautiful when you are angry.”
“That is the universe’s oldest and worst pick-up line.” She finished the broth. “And what did you call me earlier?”
“Ki’ato. What does that mean?”
“It means ‘Little One.’” His gaze lingered on her face, pulling more heat from her core. “It is a term of endearment.”
Her mouth dried up. She took a drink of water and tried to control the nervous tremor in her hand. “I get the feeling you have something up your sleeve, Commander.”
He put the tray aside and caught her chin between his palms, cradling her cheeks. “I will call you whatever I want, Ki’ato, because I know you feel what I feel. You and I are cut from the same cloth, lone warriors with steel-plated hearts. Right now, you are afraid of what you are feeling because you’ve never felt it before. The loss of control, the instinctive response to me. I know because I once was where you are.”
She couldn’t speak. Her heart raced. He continued. “You say one word—stop—and I will. Any other word, any other protestation, I will ignore because I know you need to pretend to fight this to preserve your sanity until you can accept it. I speak from experience. Tell me I am wrong.”
He leaned in and kissed her, gently at first, then with more passion, his tongue demanding entrance.
She wanted to fight, wanted to bite and yell and scream and tell him stop.
She couldn’t. Her body wanted him.
He lifted his head and stared into her eyes. “Tell me to stop.”
Her chest heaved, not in pain but from trying to catch her breath from that earth-shattering kiss. She wanted more and hated herself for her body’s betrayal.
He kissed her again, this time his tongue tracing the shape of her lips before one hand cupped the back of her head, his fingers curling in her short hair. “You will grow your hair long, Ki’ato. So it looks proper.”
“What?” Okay, so a crack about her ‘do could pull her out of the mood?
“You must have a braid, as will suit your status.”
She tried to put a hand to his chest to push him away and her body betrayed her again. She grabbed his shirt instead, holding him in place. “You sound rather sure of yourself, Commander,” she breathlessly said. “Taking advantage of a woman unable to fight back.”
“You are an expert in hand-to-hand combat. You would not lie still even on Death’s door. Severely wounded, and yet you tried to fight me when I pulled you from the wreckage.” He used his free hand to unfasten the top two buttons on his shirt and drew the collar aside. Along the base of his throat a deep, ugly gash was healing. “You did this to me. I certainly did not do it to myself. That is why I had to put the energy shackles on you until I could make you understand I would not hurt you. You would not stop fighting unless you were unconscious.”
“What exactly do you think you’re going to do with me?” She already knew. Or strongly suspected, if her body’s reaction was any indication.
“You are my t’wren. While I cannot fully claim you tonight, I plan to do so as soon as the doctor says you may safely engage in physical activity.”
“Whoa.” She started laughing. “Dude, you are sooo crazy. Nice joke, Commander, but time to knock it off.”
“Then say that one word and I will.”
She wanted to force the sound through her lips and couldn’t. One simple syllable.
“Then until you can say it,” he continued, “I will assume you accept.” He kissed her, and this time she didn’t bother trying to hide her response. She closed her eyes and let him explore, tasting his breath, slightly spicy like his scent. When he lifted his head she wanted to follow, to not break their kiss.
He shifted position on the bed, stretching his body along hers and cradling her against him. His other hand burrowed under the blanket, down to the hem of the medical gown, and lifted it above her hips.
This can’t be happening. “I—I—”
“Say the word,” he rumbled as he nuzzled her neck. “And I will stop.”
“That is not the word and you know it.” His fingers brushed along her thighs. They parted before him. “Tell me to stop.”
“No.” She closed her eyes as her thighs opened wider.
“No you will not tell me to stop?”
Her voice sounded barely louder than a whisper even though her pulse pounded in her ear. “Don’t stop.”
It felt like forever that he teased her. She’d only been with Hector, and he’d been pretty decent in the sack. So far, the passion she felt just from what Jorvis did far surpassed anything she’d ever felt before.
His fingers lightly stroked her clit, then teased her slick flesh. She knew her juices flowed for him, her body telling him what her voice could not.
“Do you want me to stop?” he rumbled against her neck.
“Spread your legs wider.”
Her breath came in hitching gasps as she did. Maybe they drugged her. Maybe that was it, and in the morning she’d be able to think straight.
He cupped his hand over her mound, slipping one finger into her wet passage as his palm kept steady pressure against her clit.
He nipped her earlobe. “I will teach you to come on command for me and Master,” he whispered. “Just as he taught me. I promise you we will love you and cherish you and protect you for all of our lives. You will never feel alone again. Your soul will be joined to ours, entwined, a completed triad.”
Heat coalesced under his hand. She couldn’t think straight between the thick, deep sound of his voice, his scent, and the feel of his finger fucking her.
“You are so tight. I cannot wait to slide my cock inside you. The first time, I will fuck you hard and fast and make you mine. It will not be loving or tender, and you most likely will not come. I will mark you as mine and claim you.” He plunged his finger a little deeper. “The second time I fuck you, I will fuck you long and slow until I have felt your body milk my cock many times with your orgasms.”
“The third time,” he continued, “I will fuck you until you scream my name and beg me to let you come, because by then you will be totally mine.”
Her belly clenched, tight with need. His finger plunged deeper, then pressed up, finding that magical spot she’d heard about but never located in her limited time with Hector.
“Come,” he ordered.
She moaned as her body obeyed even while her mind struggled to comprehend the command. He kissed her, crushing her lips with his. His finger continued whatever magic motions he used to conjure the response from her, prolonging her reaction until she lay trembling on the bed beside him.
He withdrew his hand and, his gaze firmly on her, sucked her juices off his fingers. She watched him as she gasped for breath.
What the fuck? I crash land, nearly die, and now I’m letting a guy I barely know make love to me?
A slow, seductive smile curled his lips. “You never said stop.”
Speechless, she continued to stare at him.
He got out of bed. He stripped off his coat and draped it over a chair by the small table, then removed his long-tailed shirt, which he accidentally dropped on the floor. The torso revealed was strong, well-muscled, his broad chest dusted with curly blond hair the shade of his braid. When he leaned over to retrieve the shirt she realized the back seam of his trousers must have split open at some point because the fabric parted, exposing bare, pale flesh.
She laughed despite herself.
He looked over his shoulder. “And what is so funny, Ki’ato?” he asked.
“You need a tailor. You mooned me.”
He realized what she meant. He sat to pull his boots off. “No, they are deliberately made that way.” One boot hit the floor with a heavy thud. “Master prefers instant access to me when he desires it. Even when I am not with him, he wants me dressed as he specifies.”
The laughter dried up in her throat as his meaning slammed into her. Her expression must have amused him. “I look forward to helping him decide how to appropriately attire you.” His other boot hit the floor, then he stood and unbuttoned his fly. He removed his trousers and added them to the pile of clothes accumulating on the other chair.
She’d seen cocks before, Hector’s up close and personal, and others in vids and the occasional accidental glimpse in the course of being the only woman on a ship.
This cock, large and thick with a full, heavy sac hanging beneath it, looked more like a weapon than something belonging on a human male. Fully proportioned, well befitting its rather large and bulky owner and doing him proud justice.
It also looked rigid and anxious to get back to the business at hand.
So why the fuck did her mouth water?
“What are you doing?” she managed to ask.
“I would think that is rather obvious.” He returned to the bed and knelt beside her head. “It is getting rather tiring to remind you that all you have to do is say stop.” He caressed her cheek. She lay eye to…well, one-eye with his member.
“What do you want?” she asked.
“What I know you want. Open.”
She wasn’t going to. She was going to say stop, but her mouth opened and she moaned as she eagerly sucked him between her lips. She’d never found the taste objectionable with Hector, but the sweet, almost fruity flavor of Jorvis’ pre-come took her by surprise. She greedily sucked his cock as deeply as she could, closing her eyes and using one hand to cup and caress the sac dangling below.
He stroked her head. “Very good, Ki’ato. You know it is what you want. You are meant to be with us, that is why you cannot resist.”
Damn it was good. She could easily spend hours doing this. She closed her eyes and burrowed her head deep between his legs, his musky, spicy scent filling her lungs and nearly making her dizzy.
He rested his large hand on the back of her head. “Gods, I understand now,” he whispered.
She wanted to ask what the hell he meant by that, but she couldn’t bring herself to part with the luscious hunk of meat between her lips. Then the sound of the cabin door opening startled her out of her reverie. She tried to sit up and cover herself, but Jorvis didn’t release her head, kept her in place.
He said something in Act’huran, received a male-sounding response, then the cabin door opened and closed again.
The pressure of his hand on her head relaxed but didn’t disappear. “Sorry, love. My yeoman. Do not worry, he has seen much more shocking sights than this between Master and myself on many occasions. I have instructed him to leave us until I call for him.”
She felt she should be horrified, embarrassed. Instead, the taste of him filling her mouth washed all other thoughts away and formed the sum of her existence.
He let out a loud sigh. “Oh, gods, I wish I could hold back and let you do this all day. Master forbade me from self-release when I left him. Only if I found a t’wren was I allowed to climax. It has been almost an Earth year since I last saw him.” She felt his cock tense even more as his other hand also cupped her head. “If you do not tell me to stop, I cannot.”
He briefly let go of her. She knew she should lift her head, say the word, and end this insanity.
Instead, she deep-throated him.
His hands returned, holding her, caressing her, and he let out another sigh. “Then prepare to swallow, love.”
With that warning she tasted him, hot and thick and creamy and every bit as sweet and tangy as his pre-come. It felt like she swallowed mouthful after mouthful, like he wouldn’t stop, until finally he did. Even then, his member didn’t totally soften like she expected, only lost some of its rigor. And still, the taste! Delicious and rich and—
He gripped her hair and attempted to pull her off. “You are finished for now, Ki’ato.”
She tried to keep him from dislodging her. He laughed and pressed his thumbs into the corners of her mouth and gently pushed her away, gathering her into his arms when she tried to nuzzle back into position.
His hand caressed her back as he pressed her face against the crook of his neck. “Sleep, Ki’ato. Rest.”
* * * *
Sammuel watched as her eyes closed. He knew she wasn’t aware of the way her lips pursed and puckered even as she dropped into sleep, as if still latched onto his cock. He smiled when he stroked her cheek and her head turned toward his hand. He let her suck one of his fingers into her mouth. His cock stiffened slightly, only a little appeased by her earlier attentions.
He could easily spend weeks in bed with her. Hopefully would, once reunited with Master.
That thought stiffened his cock even further.
He lay there beside her for hours and watched her sleep. Every so often she sucked on his finger for a little while before her mouth went lax again.
Just wait until she tastes Ker.
He nuzzled her hair. He understood, utterly, why Ker had been so certain all those years ago. He remembered his own doubts at first, his mind insisting he should resist, his body unable to. He also understood why Ker had been willing to sit back all these years and let him find his way when it came to locating their t’wren.
He remembered their last night together, before this mission began.
“Maybe you will not return alone this time, Ki’ran.” My love. Ker had smiled after his comment.
“I do not wish to share you, Master.”
“We do not choose who we love or do not love. Fate strikes us down in the most unlikely of places and at the most inconvenient of times.”
“Are you saying I was inconvenient?”
“There are far better times to find a t’arn than to rescue a feisty, temperamental, half-dead human in hostile territory.”
Sammuel closed his eyes and tried to hold back his laughter so he didn’t wake her. Master would laugh his fucking ass off when he learned the details of finding her.
And still he would look down at him with those beautiful green eyes and smile and nuzzle his lips against his forehead even as he squeezed his shoulder to show him how pleased he truly felt.
Sammuel tried to sleep.
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