“Bloody hell!” cursed a tall, brooding man at the entrance of the small cargo terminal on Delta Sel. The imposing Captain had just learned of the contents of his latest shipment, and he was not happy. His dark hair, gathered at the nape of his neck in one long, sleek ponytail, trailed behind him like a shadow as he paced.
“I don’t move LIVE cargo! Everyone knows my policies! I don’t understand what’s going on here!” he ranted, making his two crewmembers before him squirm uncomfortably.
Aud, a boy who looked to have just crossed the threshold of his adolescence, held up a piece of sheet film. “Captain Bredhe,” he ventured, “you did sign the contract.”
Bredhe snapped the film from the young man’s hand and quickly scanned it.
The crewmembers shared a knowing glance between them. As dedicated as they were to their captain, they were also well aware of his quirks- his sharp temper among them. But the man’s anger faded as quickly as it had come, and now Bredhe was looking intently at the fine print of the detailed form.
It was a contract he had signed over a year ago, at a time when a conflict had been brewing between several members of the Interstellar Trade Board and work had been scarce. The agreement had been made through a sub-contractor, something the Captain hadn’t done before or since, but the money had been worth it. He had been paid the equivalent of nearly half a year’s salary—most of it in advance. Of course, Bredhe had been skeptical of the offer, which left the cargo unspecified, but as the contract had also been sent through the proper censors and licenses requirements, he had accepted it.
Just how anyone could get the Board’s approval to transfer prisoners off-planet through a private transport was beyond him. It left him with a bad taste in his mouth and an unfamiliar scowl to his otherwise handsome features.
The party behind the contract had to be someone of considerable power and influence. There was only one person Bredhe could think of that had that kind of clout and he prayed to the Divine Sky he was wrong. He was almost afraid to ask his crew the destination of their drop-off, fearing that it would confirm his suspicions.
Cocking an eyebrow at Aud, the youngest member of the crew, but a talented navigator despite his lack of years, he asked him warily, “Where are we to take this cargo anyway?”
“It’s…” Aud hesitated and Bredhe narrowed his gaze until he finally announced, “Amobe.”
Next to him the other crewmember, Daq, a man nearly as tall as Bredhe and far more broad-shouldered, gave the boy a reassuring pat on the back when the Captain heaved a sigh and stalked back up to the ship, turning his back on them. The muscular mechanic had been in Bredhe’s service far longer than Aud and was much more accustomed to dealing with the man.
“He’ll calm down, don’t worry, he just doesn’t like surprises,” Daq explained. “Especially when they deal with Amobe and the Regent General stationed there,” he added.
Aud, his pale lavender eyes looking up entreatingly, asked, “Then why did he sign the contract in the first place?”
The mechanic took a moment before answering him; his thoughts briefly disturbed by the piercing gaze of the slender young man so close to him. The navigator hadn’t been with them long, but it had been long enough for Daq to develop an unyielding and, as he saw it, inappropriate sexual attraction to the youth.
“It was a difficult time then if you remember, the Board had put a temporary restriction on a lot of shipments and the Captain decided the money was worth the risk. Besides, I’ve never heard of transferring prisoners under a cargo license; he couldn’t possibly have foreseen such a circumstance arising. He probably thought the shipment would just end up being some kind of hazardous material, which we would’ve been prepared for.”
Though Aud still looked upset, he was somewhat placated by the older man’s words. He was always amazed at the mechanic’s intelligent, fluid speech, since his bronzed and toned physique usually caused people to assume the man was dim-witted. Even more comforting than his words, however, was Daq’s warm hand still placed lightly on his upper back.
“Come on,” Daq finally said, “Let’s go look into this ‘cargo’ while the Captain cools off.”
Meanwhile, Bredhe was sitting at the bridge of his ship, debating the merits of making a direct call to Amobe’s Regent General right now to try and find out the man’s motives behind this odd ‘shipment’. He wanted answers and he wanted them now, but he was loath to see that face on the telecom. Even now he could picture the rich silver stare and frosty white locks that had enchanted so many. Bredhe would never deny that the Amobian was beautiful, but his own experiences with the man had tainted his view of his personality. Sorrell was selfish, egotistical, and manipulative to a dangerous degree. For years Bredhe had been able to avoid any contact with the powerful political mover and he had thought the man had all but forgotten him. Now he knew that the Regent General had been watching him all along, waiting for the right opportunity to pull him back into his web.
Bredhe wondered who these prisoners were. Normally, the Captain would have had all the details of his shipments upfront, but the subcontract he signed had been extremely vague. Bloody hell, he thought to himself. He’d known it was a mistake to agree to that contract the moment he’d signed it, but at the time it had seemed like a blessing. It had appeared precisely at the moment when Bredhe had been at his most desperate. His mind pondered how calculated the offer must have been, now that he knew Sorrel was behind it. Would he ever be free of the Regent General constantly looking over his shoulder?
As if by a sick twist of fate, the telecom chose that moment to buzz, and Bredhe saw the screen flash the identity of the caller- none other than the Regent General himself. Steeling himself for an encounter he had hoped to put off until the Seven Hells had crumbled to dust, he straightened his back and flipped open the telecom switch.
Immediately the enormous screen was filled with the image of a regal man with silver-white hair cascading about his flawless features as he sat on a high black throne, wispy black cloth draped about his lean figure as he glowed with obvious satisfaction at Bredhe who, rumbled and anxious, shifted in his Captain’s chair.
“Bree,” Sorrel said casually, in his rich vibrato. “It’s been far too long.”
“Don’t address me as Bree! Only my friends call me that and you’re not among them.”
“Now Sorrel,” the Captain continued, deliberately addressing the powerful man in an equally casual manner, “I wonder if you might tell me to what I owe this pleasure?” The sarcasm in his voice was thick.
“Just checking to see that the shipment is going smoothly. I gather that you’ve received my cargo?”
“Yes, indeed,” he replied, seething inside, “ and I’m curious to know just why the hell you felt the need to drag me into this little fiasco. The authorities will have my hide if they find out I’m transporting criminals around without the proper permits.”
“I think not,” Sorrel said off-handedly. Apparently such details gave him little concern.
“Besides,” he added, his rosy lips curling up at the corners to reveal the smug delight he took in Bredhe’s growing agitation, “I have faith in your abilities to handle such a ‘sensitive’ shipment, that’s why I requested your services.”
“Actually, you had a subcontractor make the request, didn’t you? Why didn’t you have the guts to ask me yourself?”
“Does it matter?” Sorrel asked nonchalantly, in a tone that indicated he had always gotten what he wanted, regardless of the means.
“Yes! You knew I would never willingly make a contract with you.”
“Now you just answered your own question, didn’t you?”
“If you weren’t so stubborn, I wouldn’t have had to resort to such deceitful measures.”
“Maybe I wouldn’t be so stubborn if I knew you could be trusted,” the Captain replied with heat. Hells below, this man knew how to get under his skin! “I’m sure you have some hidden agenda with this delivery and I’m letting you know right now that I don’t care what it is- I’ll ship this ‘cargo’ of yours and that will be the end of it. If you try to contact me after this, I swear I’ll find a way to bring charges against you!”
Sorrel continued to grin impassively, amused by the other man’s indignation. “I forgot how cute you are when you’re angry,” he said with a wink.
Bredhe, without further word, closed the channel. It’s just a job, he told himself. Don’t let him get to you.
But this was not as easy as it sounded. Sighing, he rubbed his temples. As much as he loved space travel, it had been a long time since he’d been planetbound for any length of time and he was beginning to feel as if he needed it. But not now- now he had a job to do.
He heard the sounds of his crew and the ‘cargo’ making their way up the bridge and he rose from his seat. Although he had told Sorrel that the man’s secret agenda didn’t matter to him, he had a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach as he stepped down to the bridge.
Abruptly, he stopped, an icy wave shooting painfully down his spine.
It was very rare for Bree to ever experience the premonitions that many of his people did, but when it happened it almost always forewarned him of a life-altering event. The last time it had happened was just before Sorrel solicited his services when Bredhe was a young pilot raising funds for his own ship. It disturbed him to think that the man might be tied to another prominent turn in the fate of his life, but there it was.
For a moment the familiar vertigo hit him, then he felt as if his spirit had been violently ripped from his physical body. He gasped for air, but he no longer had lungs from which to breathe. Looking about him, all he could see far and wide was a rosy-pink sky. It glowed with an ethereal beauty, and yet somehow Bredhe knew that the peace of the skies was not reflected in the situation on the land below it. His heart lurched with an excruciating sorrow that threatened to brand itself permanently onto his soul. Never in his life had he felt a vision as strong as this, nor as urgent. Then, just as suddenly, he was shoved back into his body, only to discover that he was doubled-over on the floor.
“Captain! Captain! Are you alright?”
His eyes stinging, Bredhe looked up at the blurry face of his mechanic.
“Daq, what’s wrong with him?” he heard Aud ask in an anxious voice.
“I- I’m fine,” Bredhe assured them, rather unconvincingly, since his voice was faint and raspy. With effort, and some help from Daq, he stood and suddenly found himself staring into the most unearthly beautiful face he had ever encountered in all his days of interstellar travel.
Intense golden eyes surveyed him slowly and Bredhe felt as if a cord had been struck deep inside him, resonating in the afterglow of his premonition. He struggled to compose himself. The porcelain face of the being before him was graced with fine, platinum hair that fell about his shoulders and back, where it met the base of two pristinely white wings. Beside him, in direct contrast, was another man whose skin was just as pale, but who possessed hair and wings of a sinfully rich black that shown with a green sheen that complimented his startling emerald eyes. Both were bound with chains.
“This is our ‘cargo’ I take it?” the Captain said, still unnerved but determined to maintain an outer appearance of control.
“Yes, sir,” Daq confirmed, “Two political prisoners from Isel.”
“Isel,” Bredhe whispered. It wasn’t a planet he was very familiar with. “Show them to the Hold, I’ll be there in a minute.”
Bredhe walked back and sank into his chair, holding his aching head between his hands. He couldn’t begin to unravel the complicated message of his vision yet, so he concentrated on the present. First, he needed to read the shipping report.
Sitting up slowly, he placed the film Aud had given him onto the panel scan. In seconds the detailed files were presented before him on the telescreen.
“Seraphim from El-Isel… Names Vali and Greycek,” he murmured under his breath as he read. “Political prisoners held by the Cordenian government… trial pending…” The report didn’t give much information, not that Bredhe had expected it to- it was obvious that this whole transaction bordered on the illegal. No one was going to divulge any more details than absolutely necessary.
Sliding the film sheet off the panel, he leaned back in his seat and considered the situation. What would Sorrel want with two condemned Seraph activists? It must have taken him a great deal of time and money to get them off-planet, considering they were being held at the local government’s will and hadn’t even been sentenced yet. The officials were corrupt enough to be bribed, but the arrangements would have been tricky considering the traffic to and from Isel was almost nonexistent.
In fact, the pilot had never heard of any Seraphim traveling to other worlds. His brow knotted. How would these passengers fare on the long flight to Amobe? Did he need to worry about space-sickness? Thankfully he had been supplied with food for his charges by the subcontractor, that was at least one thing less to concern himself with.
Still, the entire situation rubbed him the wrong way, like an itch at the back of his mind he couldn’t reach. He felt restless as he had not since he was a child just turning twenty.
When Daq and Aud returned to the bridge, they found their Captain looking more collected than when they had left him, but still agitated. Daq, being from the same planetary system as Bredhe, was far more knowledgeable about what had happened to the man, but Aud had never seen a vision take hold of the Captain and the boy had found it unnerving.
“Captain Bredhe?” he asked cautiously, “Are you feeling better now?”
The navigator’s childlike concern made the raven-haired man smile.
“Yes, I’m sorry to have worried you, Aud; it was a ‘vision’, some call it ‘La Luce’: ‘The Light’”
“Does it hurt?”
This time Daq smiled at the boy’s open curiosity. Aud was a well for knowledge and brilliant despite his limited experience, but some situations revealed his true age. The two other men often had to remind themselves that he was only just out of his boyhood years, which was especially trying for Daq, who everyday found the navigator’s blossoming maturity more alluring. The boy’s frame had filled out over the past several months and he’d let his cornflower blue hair grow down his slender neck. Not to mention the way he now moved with a sinuous grace that set the man’s blood pounding.
The Captain shook his head good-naturedly. “No, it isn’t painful… not exactly, it just disorientates you for a while.”
“I wish I could feel what it’s like.”
“No, you don’t,” Daq and Bredhe answered in unison.
Aud pouted but said nothing. Sometimes his companions still insisted on treating him like a child. When would they learn he was old enough to be taken as an equal? His amethyst eyes briefly swept over to Daq. What he truly yearned for was to prove to the tall man, with his impressive, bronzed arms, that he was a man in every sense of the word. Unconsciously, he licked at his lips, an action the mechanic was hard pressed to ignore.
“Captain,” Daq said, bringing his attention back to the matters at hand, “The Dark Seraphim, Greycek, was requesting a separate berth for himself, but I couldn’t quite understand why. I think you should speak with him directly.”
“Very well.” Bredhe stood and left them the two of them alone.
For a moment both crewmembers stood awkwardly on the bridge in silence. Such instances were happening more and more frequently of late, as the tensions between them grew stronger.
“I- I think I should probably check the engine logs before we leave,” Daq muttered, walking away and wincing inwardly at the flimsy excuse.
Aud huffed and crossed his arms. Some day, he thought, he won’t be able to ignore me…some day soon.
* * *
“We can’t be left alone together,” the Dark Seraphim said adamantly.
“I’m not unreasonable, Greycek,” Bredhe replied calmly, deliberately addressing the Seraphim by name to show his respect. “I just need to know why.”
Emerald eyes narrowed in annoyance. “I told you! It’s almost our tenshinn, our…” the angelic creature groped for the right terminology, “it’s the peak of our cycle!”
Bredhe didn’t like the sound of that, but wasn’t going to give in easily, he had to maintain the veneer of authority.
“And why should I have to separate you just for that?” The Captain knew he was treading on thin ground, since he actually had no idea what the Dark Seraph was referring to. He made a mental note to look up data on Seraphim biology as soon as possible.
Greycek nodded toward the silent, statuesque Light Seraph next to him. “Maybe you don’t mind us panting in here like dogs, but Vali is a monk, he’s taken a vow of celibacy that I’m sure he’d rather not break.”
The Captain’s eyes wandered over to the other man, sucking in his breath inadvertently at his beauty. The chains binding the man’s neck and wrists added a heady erotic edge to the scene. He felt a potent need to reach out and touch him and he dug his fingers into his palms to quell the overwhelming urge. The dizzy arousal he had felt upon entering the room, however, he now reasoned must be a side effect of this ‘tenshinn’, which he gleaned as being the height of their sexual cycle. Most likely the draw he felt towards the heavenly creature was the result of his pheromones. Bredhe wondered how often the Seraphim were afflicted by this situation and how strong it became. Yes, he would most definitely have to investigate this further.
“What do you have to say, Vali?” Bredhe asked, for no other reason than a desire to hear the Seraph’s voice.
Golden eyes lifted to meet his, calm and serene and piercingly keen, as if they could read every memory engraved on his soul with a glance.
“I would prefer a separate berth, Captain.” Such a simple statement, but the melodious voice that uttered it reshaped the syllables until they sounded more like a sacred prayer than mere words.
Did all Seraphim have such voices? But, no, Greycek’s tone, though it held the same sing-song accent, was not nearly as intoxicating. Perhaps it was because Vali was a Light Seraph, but something told Bredhe that this was not so, that this man was uniquely gifted.
A fog settled briefly over Bredhe’s mind, something akin to a vision, though more visceral, as the voice spoke and it took several moments for the feeling to fade.
“Very well,” the Captain finally conceded. “But you’ll have to give me a moment to make arrangements.”
Bredhe was glad to put the solid door between himself and Vali as he stepped back out into the main passageway. Even if the undeniable desire he had experienced toward the Seraph was a by-product of the man’s ‘peak’, it was nonetheless unsettling to be so instantly struck by a stranger’s presence- and a presence that he would have to deal with on his ship for several more days.
Aud jumped in surprise as the Captain suddenly slid open the door to his compartment and popped his head inside.
“Aud? I need you to bunk with Daq for the rest of the trip.” Bredhe was already inside the room by the time he noticed the boy’s flushed appearance and startled reaction. Though Aud tried to hide it, the dark-haired man could see him trying nonchalantly to shove what must have been a tawdry magazine underneath his mattress. Bredhe felt uncomfortably like a father walking uninvited into his teenage son’s bedroom.
“Ahh, what? What did you need?” the boy asked nervously.
“The Seraphs have to be separated during the flight, so you’ll have to give up your room to one of them- you can stay with Daq until we arrive on Amobe.”
At this news Aud’s already-flushed cheeks deepened to a brilliant scarlet. “W-with Daq?”
“Yes, there’s two bunks in his room, you can be on top.”
“I doubt I’d be the one on ‘top’…” Aud whispered to himself.
Bredhe wasn’t sure he heard the boy right and decided he was better off ignoring the statement. Even though he recognized the attraction that was building between the two crewmembers, he had enough on his mind without having to imagine the two of them engaging in some torrid love affair.
Maybe they all needed some time of this tin shuttle.
Excusing himself, the Captain went to inform Daq of the change in compartments and, to his surprise, found the large mechanic nearly as awkward about the arrangement as Aud. Bredhe couldn’t remember the last time he had seen the man blush, and though it was faint, it tainted his cheeks just the same. Again, Bredhe chose to disregard the implications of this reaction and instead busied himself with settling the prisoners into their quarters and arming the locks on their doors.
When they finally launched the ship back into the scattered stars of space and had set the course, Bredhe allowed himself some time alone in his cabin, leaving his crew to tend to the first phase of the flight. He undressed and let the sonic ‘shower’ soothe over his tired body, but his restlessness only increased. Over the years he’d become accustomed to long journeys, sometimes going for months without a touchdown. So why was it now that he longed so strongly to plant his feet onto solid ground and bathe himself in real water? The emotion somehow felt alien to him and he briefly wondered if he was picking up on his passenger’s anxieties.
Premonitions always left him especially receptive to others’ strong emotions. His mind flashed an image of Vali as Bredhe had walked him to Aud’s empty compartment. The Seraph had settled into the space without a word, allowing Bredhe to fasten his long chains to a hinge in the center of the floor so he would have enough length to move about with relative freedom. It was effective, albeit somewhat primitive, to use the alloy metal chains, but the restrained were required under the contract. Bredhe couldn’t begin to speculate why. A queasy sensation in his gut hinted that it as for Sorrel’s own sadistic enjoyment and he quickly shoved the thought aside with distaste.
But it was the Seraph’s parting request that stayed ringing in the Captain’s ears: “Please leave me completely isolated for the rest of the journey; there will be no need to visit me even with food or water.”
Something in the man’s tone caused the skin to prickle along Bredhe’s neck. “Why?” he asked simply. “Won’t you need sustenance?”
Those startling gold depths held his gaze. “I’ll be fine, I’m accustomed to fasting. Also, you might hear me calling for aid, but leave me be, the fit will pass.”
This cryptic assertion did nothing to clear Bredhe’s confusion, but he nodded and let the matter go, reminding himself once again to check up on Seraphim life cycles. In any case, to stay so close to Vali in the cramped space of the cabin would have seriously tempted the Captain to breach his ethics and seduce his charge right then and there. It had to be a chemical pull he was feeling, the urge was too strong to allow for a natural attraction.
So he locked the door behind him and secured it with an additional electronic code to keep anyone but himself from releasing barrier.
What had the monk meant? Just what did he go through during this tenshinn anyway?
Bredhe shifted uncomfortably in his bunk, rest eluding him as images of Vali’s graceful beauty refused to leave his mind. Whether it was pheromones from this tenshinn or something else, the Seraphim had left an indelible impression on his mind. His fingers twitched, wondering what it would feel like to run a hand along the pure white expanse of his wings. Bredhe had been surprised that they weren’t larger, though he now recalled hearing something about a Seraphim’s wings serving an aesthetic rather than functional purpose and seeing as both the Light and Dark Seraph’s folded wingtips only reached the small of their backs, he assumed it was true.
How sensitive was that webwork of feathers, Bree wondered? If he grazed the juncture of wing and shoulder, would it stir the nerves there, would it make the golden-eyed Vali tremble under his touch? A vivid picture of the Seraph with his head tossed back and mouth agape from pleasure danced before his mind’s eye and he let the fantasy flourish as one stray hand dropped down between his own thighs, stroking the growing hardness there.
What did Seraphim think of same-sex lovers? Would Vali fight him, so that Bredhe would have to play the role of seducer? The dark-haired man moaned, imagining their lips meeting, the Light Seraph hesitant at first but drawn into the heated embrace by an inexplicable passion. And Bredhe would be there to exploit it, his hands roaming that perfect marble-smooth skin as his mouth and teeth left wet, red trails down his sensitive neck, marking him for his own.
Bredhe’s legs were spread wide now, his hands busy bringing his straining erection to its full, prominent length. Already his cock was weeping as he imagined the golden angel naked before him, his body open and willing. He would lie down and let Vali straddle his thighs, hovering torturously over his engorged member until Bree gripped his hips and pressed him down, forcing open his tight virgin grip.
Oh, Gods, yes! The Captain choked back a sob of ecstatic delight as he pumped himself to the brink, the phantom grasp of his would-be lover squeezing him for all he was worth. He would pillage him over and over, until the Seraph was delirious with pleasure and his halo of hair was strung with sweat from the exertions of their lovemaking.
Unable to resist, Bree finally let a heady moan burst from his throat as his seed spilled forth in gratuitous arches across his naked belly.
It was going to be a long flight…
Bredhe woke with a start, never having meant to fall into such a deep sleep. Dressing quickly, he made his way back to the head of the ship, but there was no cause for him to hurry, his crewmembers were manning their stations faithfully.
“Everything’s going smoothly, Captain,” Aud reassured him enthusiastically as he stepped up to the bridge. The boy always seemed especially cheerful whenever Bredhe left the controls for an extended period of time. The navigator probably enjoyed being in charge and ‘playing Captain’ as it were, in his absence. Not that Bredhe begrudged it, he recalled having similar fantasies when he was a young navigator.
“Umm, Sir,” came Daq’s voice from behind him, “I tried to take our passengers their meals, but there was a security code blocking me out one of their rooms, may I ask why? Does he present a danger, is there something we should be concerned about?”
Aud’s ears immediately perked up at this information. Most of the time the two older men were careful not to let him know any more than was necessary, a protective reflex over their young crewmember, but it annoyed the boy all the same- and only made him more inquisitive.
Shaking his head, Bredhe confessed, “I’m sorry about that, Daq, I meant to tell you. Oddly enough, the extra security was at the Seraph’s request.”
Other Captains might have been disapproving of the mechanic’s inquisitiveness, but Bredhe was close with his crew and very egalitarian. “I’m not sure myself. He was extremely vague about his reasoning, said something about a ‘fit’. I’m guessing it’s related to this ‘peak’ or tenshinn, as they call it. Supposedly, they’ll be going through it for the next couple days.”
As he spoke, Bredhe moved to his Captain’s chair, opened up his personal database, and began a search for Seraphim history.
“Captain,” Aud chimed, glancing over at the man from his navigator’s seat across the bridge, “What do you mean by ‘peak’?”
Bredhe caught Daq’s sidelong smile as he came over to lean against the computer console next to him. They both knew this was the first in a long line of questions to follow; once Aud started in on a new subject, he was relentless.
The Captain hesitated, wondering how he could explain the matter tactfully. It would have been easier if the boy had been raised on a less conservative planet, as it was he knew very little about any mating rituals at all and Bree and Daq were forced to explain numerous intimate subjects to the boy.
Bredhe decided to be direct. “I believe it’s the height of their sexual cycle, though I’m not positive. It’s one of the things I’m trying to look up now.”
“I didn’t know males could, well, go into ‘heat’,” Aud said, his cheeks tinted a pale pink as he tried to stare intently at the controls in front of him.
“It’s not that rare, actually,” Daq told him, feeling a heat of his own coursing through him as he observed the boy’s delightful blush.
“What else do you know about the Seraphim?” Aud asked, trying to steer the topic into safer waters. He could feel the mechanics eyes watching him.
Bredhe shrugged, distracted by the files appearing on the screen as he answered, “Only basic history, that they maintained an isolationist policy ever since first contact hundreds of years ago- until the Cordenians forced there way in and started colonizing the planet.”
“I heard that the Seraphim invited them to stay.”
“That’s a matter of debate. Even if they allowed them to stay for a time, the Cordenians have long since worn out their welcome.”
“I can’t imagine anyone inviting those warmongers onto their planet!” Daq interjected. “I don’t care if their old planet burned out, that doesn’t give them the right to just hop onto the most convenient world they can find and start exploiting it.” The mechanic’s voice was laced with indignation.
“I quite agree with you there,” Bredhe replied, “They knew the Seraphim were isolated, without weapons or ties to allies, so they just swept right in, taking over their resources, their trade, and pushing them into tiny corners of land.”
“Why didn’t anyone try to stop it?” came Aud worried voice.
“As I said, they had no allies.”
“But, wouldn’t someone have tried? I thought that was what the Interstellar Board was for.”
Bredhe shrugged again. “That’s what it should be for, but the Board and the governing Council are bureaucracies and most of the time they are more interested in keeping their power than supporting people’s rights. In any case, El-Isel never requested official membership, so it would have been difficult for them to intercede.”
“I see,” Aud replied, although it was clear that the discussion had left him with more questions than it had answers.
“Why do you call it ‘El’ Isel?” he ventured after a moment.
Though Bredhe felt Aud’s endless questions were distracting him from his research, he humored him. “It refers to the original Seraphim government and roughly means ‘Our Planet’, as opposed to what they have termed the Cordenian fraction of the world, Bal-Isel, or ‘My Planet’, eluding to the invader’s self-interested mentality.”
“Oh,” was all the navigator had to say to this. Unlike his comrades, he was only just beginning to understand the wide array of injustices that propagated the galaxies and receiving new information such as this, it sometimes took him time to digest it all. Often he would lie awake during his designated sleeping hours, mulling over the meaning of such cruelties. Tonight, however, he now recalled that he would not be sleeping alone; Daq would be slumbering in the bunk below him. Suddenly all thought of Isel and Seraphim slipped from his mind as he considered the ensuing situation.
Bredhe didn’t know why Aud had finally become so quiet, but he was glad to have a respite from his endless curiosity. The only problem was that he was still having trouble focusing his mind on the task at hand. Try as he might, the information on Seraphim biology and culture was slim, to say the least.
The lack of data stemmed not only from the Cordenians suppressing such knowledge, but also from the fact that the Seraphim had remained isolated for so many long years beforehand. Not that Bredhe could blame them. It had been a group of Terrans that ‘discovered’ the planet and they had immediately equated the winged people to the angels of their ancient scriptures, making all manner of assumptions about their lives and projecting their own expectations onto them.
The pioneer’s vision of Isel as the ‘New Eden’ was quickly shattered when they learned of the people’s open sexual habits and many of the Terrans grew almost violent in their disappointment. The travelers were subsequently ejected from the premises and left the Seraphim with a very negative view of outsiders; they had kept a tight lid on their planet ever since.
Bredhe rubbed his temples as he felt a headache creeping into his skull.
Daq gave him a friendly slap on the back.
“You don’t look so good,” he told him amiably, “I’m sure the research can wait. Why don’t you take some more rest while you can, Aud and I are fine. Those visions can take a lot out of a person.”
Bredhe accepted his offer gratefully and retired to his bunk once more, but his mind slipped in and out of consciousness uneasily. It was as if something was pulling at him from the inside out; the sinew in the back of his knees and hands quivering with an itch he couldn’t name.
He was just about to give up and head back to the bridge when a piercing scream shattered the air. The voice sounded unearthly and a violent tremor ripped through his body as if he were hearing the cry not just with his ears, but viscerally, in every fiber of his being. In a flash he was out of his bunk and in the passageway, searching for the source of the sound. It was evident enough where the cry was coming from- the room next to his, where the Light Seraph, Vali, was locked inside. Bredhe could now hear a wild banging within and he marveled that the slender man could cause such a raucous that it would be heard through the steel-enforced walls of the ship.
Was this what the Seraph had warned him off? But what if it was something else, what if he was really hurt and in pain? The voice cried out again in a keening note of anguish.
Was Bredhe really supposed to just ignore this? Gods Below! That scream tore through him, seemed to call to him…
Without another thought, the Captain punched the code and released the manual lock…
And was met with a pair of golden eyes holding the most naked, raw need he had ever witnessed in his life.
“Daq, are you there?”
The mechanic wiped the sweat from his brow and ducked under the heating vents to see Aud stepping down into the engine room. “What?” he asked curtly.
It was an unwritten rule that no one disturbed the man when he was working. Aud fidgeted and said unhappily, “Umm… we’re ready to go into warp drive and I can’t find the Captain.”
“What do you mean? He hasn’t returned to the bridge yet?”
Aud shook his head and Daq practically growled in frustration. It was well passed the time for the boy’s shift to be over and the Captain had never been this late before. Still, the mechanic was in the middle of cleaning out the fuel pumps, a dirty and tedious job, and he hated to be interrupted.
“ Didn’t you check his cabin? He’s got to be around.”
But Aud didn’t answer, just twisted his fingers together and looked uncomfortable.
“What is it Aud, I don’t have time for this!” Daq snapped, immediately regretting it when he saw a hurt expression cross the boy’s face.
“Forget it, I’ll just find him myself!” the navigator shouted, turning on his heel and heading back up to the bridge.
Of course, once he was there, the navigator was at a loss of what to do. They needed to go into warp in the next few minutes or they would loose their window and be late for the arrival on Amobe, but he didn’t think he could bring himself to search the Light Seraph’s compartment. He suspected Bredhe was inside with him, but from the noises he had heard within, he didn’t think he wanted to disturb them. The situation was completely alien to him and he sat down with his head to his knees trying to firm his will and face the embarrassing predicament.
“So, wanna tell me what’s going on?”
Aud looked up to see Daq leaning against the entrance wall, his arms crossed. Though he still didn’t seem pleased, Daq’s mood mellowed considerably when he saw the look of relief that flood the navigator’s face and he felt slightly guilty for being so curt with him before.
“Umm, well, I think the Captain might be with the Light Seraph.”
Daq looked confused. “Why didn’t you just go and check if he was there?”
A deep crimson blush stained the boy’s cheeks. “Well, because I think he’s…umm with the Seraph…”
Suddenly knowledge dawned on the mechanic and he burst out laughing so hard he had to clutch at his stomach. The idea was so absurd he couldn’t even imagine it: Bree having some secret tryst with the exotic prisoner, it was something straight out of a Terran romance novel.
Aud, however, was indigent. “You didn’t hear the sounds coming from that room!”
Catching his breath, Daq smiled indulgently at the younger man. “Fine, let’s go look for him, but if I find him in the control room or sleeping in his bunk, you’re in for some punishment.”
For some reason, the man’s words filled Aud’s mind with several naughty scenarios involving very erotic spanking sessions by the mechanic’s skilled hands. Pushing these visions from his brain, he tried to focus on the present. He watched as his friend made a quick search of the Captain’s rooms and then stood with him outside Vali’s quarters.
The room was quiet on the other side of the door and the navigator had to endure the other man’s teasing as Daq cocked an eyebrow at him, saying, “Are you sure it wasn’t your imagination, little yomi?”
Aud’s face scrunched with displeasure at the label, which was a term that meant ‘mischievous one’ and was generally used only for small children. When the imposing mechanic had first used it, Aud had been secretly delighted, as if it was a pet name Daq had adopted for him. But the initial thrill had worn off and now it only annoyed him.
“That’s odd,” Daq said, his smile fading, “the security code has been released.” He flipped on the intercom and asked, “Captain, are you there? We need your clearance to go into warp drive.”
“Hmm.” A queasy feeling settled in the pit of Daq’s stomach. “I’m going to open the door,” he announced.
Punching the key pad, the door slid aside and revealed two starkly naked bodies twined together and sleeping soundly. Daq stood there looking down, stupefied and immobilized in shock.
“C-Captain…” he murmured. Bredhe stirred and his blurry eyes opened wide in dismay as he realized what had happened.
A squeak from behind them suddenly reminded Daq that Aud was still present and he slapped a hand over the boy’s eyes just as Bredhe yelled, “Close the bloody door!”
Daq stammered an apology and pressed the door shut at once. He stood with his back to the wall for support and forgot he was still holding Aud until the navigator began to squirm in protest. Once released, he pulled away from the mechanic’s muscular arms, trying to catch his breath.
“Aud, are you alright?” Daq asked, concerned by the boy’s pale face.
But Aud’s shock quickly gave way to anger.
“I told you, didn’t I?” he yelled accusingly.
“Ok, Aud. I’m sorry, calm down.”
The young man wasn’t sure how to handle the awkward situation, however, and only grew more incensed as his embarrassment over what he’d witnessed grew in intensity.
“What do we do now!” he shouted, “We have to go into warp and the Captain he’s… he’s…”
“Don’t worry. I’ll take care it, just go back to the bridge,” Daq offered, pushing the boy back down the hall. But Aud was too worked up and wasn’t so easily dissuaded. His frustrations over his unrequited feelings for Daq and his ever-increasing impatience at always being treated as a juvenile now funneled into his anger.
“No! I’m not a child!” he protested, moving back towards the cabin door. “I’ll handle this!” he insisted, surprising the mechanic with his vehemence.
The incensed boy then pressed at the intercom impatiently. “Sir, if we’re going to arrive on time, we have to go into warp, now!” He paused, before adding, “So you damn well better get your ass up to the bridge!”
Daq watched in silence as Aud stomped back towards the bridge, his face flushed. Under different circumstances, he might have laughed at the boy’s sudden temper, but Daq’s mind was still spinning from the sight that had met him when he opened the door. Leaning back, he waited for his friend to emerge.
On the other side of the door, Bredhe shut his eyes and sighed, glancing down at the sleeping creature draped over his chest. The entire scene seemed to be something out of another’s person’s life, certainly not his own. He was far too disciplined to suddenly give free reign to his roving passions for a stranger, a person who was in his custody and for whom he was responsible no less!
And yet he had.
It was all so dream-like, the details vague and nondescript, but the strength of the emotion still clung to him. Just the memory of what had transpired sent a rushing thrill to his loins, making the Seraphim’s weight across his hips uncomfortable.
His mind drifted back to when he had first opened that door, the look in Vali’s eyes. That haunting need…
The seraph had spoken the word heatedly, his face flushed as he extended an arm towards the man, but the chains on his wrists inhibited his reach. Bredhe remained just outside the door. He knew that if he stepped over that threshold, there would be no turning back and nothing would ever be the same for him. Immediately he recognized that he had made a mistake by ignoring the man’s earlier request not to disturb him.
Vali wasn’t in pain, he was in heat.
A heady, unidentifiable scent soaked the Captain’s senses through the open doorway- the flagrant perfume of desire. Vali’s eyes were glazed with an uncontrollable want that reached into Bredhe and stroked an answering passion that, once awakened, refused to be quelled. His mind screamed against this primal call, telling him this feeling was merely the Seraph’s tenshinn seducing him and that he should turn around, shut the door, and forget this ever happened.
Yet still he could not resist. Dimly in his conscious, Bredhe had the feeling that there was more to this encounter than just the Seraph’s cycle. It was something beyond his conscious will and something separate from simple carnal lust- a secret bond connecting their bodies that made it impossible for him to turn away.
So he lifted his feet and walked toward the angel with the white wings, and it was like being drawn into a force of gravity, pulling him irrevocably into its grasp. The Seraph instantly wrapped his bare arms about him and the touch radiated through his body, like electric lightening burning him down to his bones.
He didn’t even remember shutting the door after that. Nothing remained in Bredhe’s memory but that first searing touch, then golden arms enveloping him and a heat stirring within his belly that quickly turned to molten fire as his lips found Vali’s.
Transformed from the reserved, collected man Bredhe had met before, the Seraph clung to him desperately, as if he were a man starved for something only Bredhe could give him. The chains binding Vali’s limbs rattled as he reached to pull the taller man closer against him. Bredhe, in a dazed state of passion, barely heard the clinking of the metal, his focus limited to the unbelievable feel of Vali’s velvet tongue plunging eagerly into his waiting mouth, and the toned muscles quivering beneath his touch. He’d never been so compelled to consume a lover to the full extent of such rampant desire.
Bredhe smothered the blonde’s mouth, tangling his hands in his hair and tugging on the silky locks with ruthless abandon. The barrier of Vali’s clothing was suddenly far too inhibiting and he tore blindly at the Seraph’s robes, stripping him completely naked. Bree wanted to take his time, map every angle and curve of the man’s gorgeous, firm frame with his eyes and lips, but his arousal was too acute and his hands slid over Vali’s flesh with frantic need, eliciting the most delicious gasps from between those pert, rosy lips. Oh God, he had thought, I’ll go mad soon from this unnatural passion! But it didn’t matter, he couldn’t stop.
All that did matter was consummation. Vali had not spoken a word since he’d stepped inside the cabin, the Seraph’s mouth too busy suckling at Bredhe’s sensitive neck or nipping his shoulder in impatience. There was no need for him to speak, the Captain could read the open desire of his body. More, it begged. Please, please, more!
Bredhe’s hands pressed down the Seraph’s back, avoiding the entanglement of feathers as a small voice in the back of his mind warned he might injure the fragile-looking appendages in the midst of his lust. Seeking a more satisfying touch, his fingers groped and clutched at the Seraph’s firm buttocks. As he held him captive in his hands, he thrust his hips hard against the other man’s in a blatant display of dominance. But Vali complied eagerly, tossing his head back with a moan and giving Bredhe the opportunity to clamp his mouth roughly over the juncture of neck and shoulder, baring his teeth down on the tender flesh and causing the Seraph to nearly scream as the heady mix of pleasure and pain doused his senses and left him weak.
A small part of Bredhe’s coherent mind knew this entire affair was being orchestrated by the potent hormones wafting on the air between them, heightening their sexual arousal to dangerous peaks, but he was too far in it’s grip to tear away. He had to fulfill this need or he would rage against it like a caged animal, just as Vali had done only moments ago when his peak overtook him and he screamed in agony at the keen pain of unconsummated lust flashing through him.
Although Vali had known his tenshinn would be strong, this had been unlike anything he had experienced before. Whether it was from the long months of incarceration or a strange affect from being removed suddenly from his home planet, he couldn’t say. All he knew was that an urge stronger than he’d ever known was threatening to tear him apart from the inside out if he did not satiate it with the handsome stranger before him. Unaware of himself, his hands ripped at Bredhe’s belt until the man finally yanked off his clothing and clasped their naked bodies together in an unyielding embrace. For a brief moment, their frenzied actions stilled and they reveled in the feel of skin on skin as their lips met and moved over one another, tongues sliding in sinuous grace as they explored one another.
Carefully, Bredhe lowered himself to the floor, pausing only briefly to toss a blanket down to shield his bare body from the cold, unforgiving metal. As he pulled Vali down to him, he looked up and his breath caught in his throat at the spectacle of beauty before him. The Seraph’s translucent wings were backlit by the overhead lights, framing his nearly perfect form with an unearthly glow. His blonde hair fell softly about him and Bree’s eyes trailed down his body: the graceful neck, the smooth chest that gave way to a slim, flat stomach and hips that automatically drew one’s gaze to the soft curls surrounding the man’s prominent, straining erection. The combination of ethereal loveliness and shameless sexual display struck something deep within Bree’s heart, a part of him he thought lost or long buried. It was something that spoke to the innocence he once possessed before it had been so wantonly exploited. If possible, this new, unexpected emotion intensified his already overriding want for the man.
If Vali’s head had not been so fogged and befuddled by his untenable yearnings, he might have found his own heart powerfully moved by the subtle look of loneliness and longing in those blue eyes, but his coherent mind was swept away on the opiates of lust that coursed through his system.
As the Seraph leaned over him, Bredhe brought his hands up his tease the man’s soft pink nipples into hard nubs. Vali’s moans of pleasure sent a shiver through him and Bredhe pulled him down roughly to claim his mouth in a bruising kiss. The Captain had never taken anyone this way, he had always been a patient, gentle lover, but his actions were no longer his own. He was possessed by a force greater than his own resolve.
Letting Bredhe lie back, Vali straddled his hips and spread his thighs wide, silently inviting the stranger to violate him at will. Unable to resist, the Captain gripped the Seraph’s narrow hips in his strong hands and lifted him slightly, guiding his large, weeping shaft to the man’s waiting entrance. His pre-cum acted as a makeshift lubricant and Bredhe found his stiff cock was eagerly accepted into Vali’s tight but yielding channel.
Both men sighed in completion as Bredhe sank himself deep within the Seraph’s body. As a force of habit, Bredhe tried to still his movements to give his partner time to adjust to his rather amble girth, but the force of his desire was rampant and his body trembled with the act of restraint until Vali mercifully ended his torment by willingly pressing himself down against the man’s engorged cock until he was impaled to the hilt.
With this small show of submission, all semblance of Bredhe’s control shattered. He wrapped his fingers about the Seraph’s hips with brutal force and, pulling his own knees up to brace himself, plunged into Vali with thrust after unforgiving thrust.
The Seraph soon grew too overwhelmed and confounded by passion to keep up. Undaunted, Bredhe’s strong arms held the slender body in place, leaving Vali hovering helplessly across his hips as he took up the pace and fucked him with rough, deliberate strokes that sent shutters through the Seraph’s lithe frame.
Every fiber of Bredhe’s body was strained with the effort of release as he held Vali captive to each fierce plunge. The image of the Seraph held powerless in his grasp, wrists bound with chains, naked, crying out with each movement, drove him beyond the borders of ecstasy, his orgasm hitting him so violently his eyes saw white and his body convulsed as he shot his seed deep within the man’s most intimate recesses.
When Bredhe came back to himself, he realized his organ was still engorged despite his release and that Vali was whimpering with need, rocking against him with unquenched desire as he stroked his own weeping erection. The Captain was not usually so selfish with his lovers and he shook himself from his post coital stupor to close his skilled fingers about the other man’s twitching erection.
Vali cried out with open abandon at the touch and one elegant hand clamped down like a vice about the Captain’s wrist as he tried to steady himself. Bredhe began pressing into him once more, but slower, taking his time now to angle himself just right so the tip of his cock hit that secret button of pleasure inside his companion. Already thoroughly aroused, Vali was panting within moments, a slave to the demanding rhythm of his body. As he watched the Seraph’s passions build toward climax, Bredhe felt his own need stir within him once more.
Soon he was fucking him in earnest yet again, while still keeping one hand on Vali’s cock, now slick with pre-cum. Then, suddenly, the Seraph’s back arched and his wings snapped taut and stiffened behind him as his climax took him. His mouth opened in a strangled sex cry and he exploded in forceful, prodigious streams of semen that fell unceremoniously across Bredhe’s belly.
It was too much for the other man, a second orgasm ripped through him just before Vali collapsed over him, utterly spent. Bredhe’s own heart was racing from his exertions, but he was still drifting in the afterglow of both his heady orgasms, a sweet feeling of completion and contentment flowing over him as he gently held the Seraph to his body.
The Captain knew he had duties to attend to and that he really should slip out from under Vali’s spent form and clean them both of the remnants of their sexual exploits, but he didn’t want to move just yet. Vali felt too good pressed into him to want to leave. Enjoying the silken feel of the Seraph’s skin, Bredhe let his hands run up the other’s back, only to encounter the complex collection of muscle and bone that underlay the snowy expanse of wings falling across Vali’s shoulders.
Bredhe wondered how protective the creatures were of their wings and, despite the intimate encounter they had just shared, if it would be considered inappropriate to caress the feathery structures. Tentatively, he slipped a finger along the juncture between the edge of Vali’s shoulder blade and the start of his right wing. It was an odd feeling; the soft skin transitioning into velvety down and then into the more substantial feathers. The wings were not as fragile as they appeared, but they most definitely did not have the size or strength to be functional.
Bredhe found he liked touching them. He wondered how sensitive they were and if he could bring the Seraph pleasure by touching them if they made love again.
As if in direct reply to his thoughts, Vali let out a blissful sigh as Bredhe grazed the underside of one wing. Smiling to himself, and feeling an unexpected ripple of warmth wash over him at the other man’s murmur of pleasure, the Captain placed both his hands at the base of each wing and proceeded to draw his fingers slowly all they way from joint to tip, causing a light shiver to run down Vali’s body as a reward for his efforts.
Then the Seraph, half asleep, hugged the man to him and whispered words in a voice full of yearning, “Ai tai…”
Bredhe didn’t know what the words meant, but the tone in which they were uttered was warm and inviting. It made him smile and before he knew what had happened, he had drifted off into sleep, all his responsibilities forgotten.
Staring up into Aud’s horrified face was not the best way to awaken from his contented slumber and now he was forced to wiggle out from beneath Vali’s limp weight and throw on his clothes without time to even clean himself off in the shower.
Aud’s frantic voice filtered through the intercom as he struggled back into his boots.
“-you damn well better get your ass up to the bridge!”
Bredhe heaved a grunt of frustration as he heard the boy trudge off down the passageway.
He slid the door open and glanced curiously at Daq. “When did he start using language like that?”
Daq shrugged, “He gets short tempered when he’s flustered or embarrassed.”
Both men seemed content to ignore the incident that had just transpired.
Still half-dressed, Bredhe made his way to the bridge and helped Aud shift safely into hyperspace. After which the young navigator stood up and walked back towards the cabin area without a word.
“Think I’ve traumatized him for life?” Bredhe asked Daq with a guilty half smile.
The mechanic shook his head, “He’ll be fine.”
The room lapsed into a strained silence. Daq wasn’t sure what to say, he wanted to ask Bredhe what had happened, how it had happened. After all, he had known the Captain for a long time and he couldn’t fathom how the man would end up suddenly sleeping with a prisoner under their protection. Not only was it unethical, even illegal, but it was quite outside of the man’s character.
“You should go too. Get some rest,” Bredhe said finally, trying to sound nonchalant, but in truth he was rather shaken. Even now, he could still feel the resonance of that uncontrollable desire for the blonde Seraph, the lingering scent of the man’s arousal clinging to his body.
“You can’t get rid of me that easily, Bree. Wanna tell me what happened?”
The Captain frowned. He had no idea what had come over him in the past few hours and he wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of sharing his thoughts aloud with anyone, even Daq.
But the imposing man sat in the chair next to him, obstinately waiting. Bredhe leaned back in his seat and shook his head. “I don’t know… I heard him scream, so I decided to open the door…” The Captain spread his hands, unable to give any rational explanation of the ensuing events.
“I guess the Seraphim weren’t kidding about that tenshinn,” Daq teased with a lopsided grin, trying to lighten the mood.
Bredhe gave his friend a weak laugh in return, “Guess not.”
After a moment, Bredhe confessed, “I know it breeched every ethical code in the book, but I can’t say I regret what happened, and that disturbs me all the more.
“I know I could just blame it all on this ‘tenshinn’, but…” he shook his head, “I know there was more to it then that… I’m sorry, Daq, I can’t explain it myself.”
Daq looked at the man closely, he recognized that something had happened, something more than just a simple sexual encounter, and as curious as he was to know more, he respected his friend’s feelings on the matter and let it be. He knew certain things in life could never be explained, that sometimes when fate stepped in there was little one could do to fight it. Those were the hardest moments in life, the times when you had to learn to let go of what you planned and accept what destiny handed to you.
“You really should just get some sleep,” Bredhe told him.
But the other man shifted uneasily; he had his own reasons for avoiding returning to his bunk. “To tell you the truth, I may wait a while. Give Aud some time to cool down.”
Now the dark-haired Captain sent him a look, raising an eyebrow. “He’s not mad at you. Why are you avoiding him?”
The mechanic squirmed in his seat in awkward silence. “I think you know why,” he said finally.
And Bredhe did; he had not been oblivious of the growing attraction between his crewmembers, but he had chosen to let them come to terms with it in their own time. However, it appeared they might need a small nudge; eventually, the subject had to be addressed and Daq seemed determined to ignore it indefinitely.
“I know I should be praising you for your restraint in light of my own recent transgressions, but why are you denying yourself? Aud’s of age now and the attraction between you is only too obvious, what is it that’s holding you back?”
Daq shrugged. “He might be old enough, but that doesn’t mean he knows what he wants. Aud’s attentions wander, he’s infatuated by everything. Now he wants to explore his sexuality and that’s fine, but…” The mechanic ran one of his large hands through his short hair, rumpling it in a very endearing, boyish gesture. “Well, I really care about Aud, I don’t want to start something if he’s not serious. And if things don’t work out,” he eyed Bredhe, “it wouldn’t make for a very uncomfortable environment to have two ex-lovers working on this same small ship, would it?”
“Small?!” Bredhe cried, feigning offense. “Daq, you’re worrying over things that may never happen. Why don’t you just take it slow and see what happens?”
“That’s what I’m trying to do now, but Aud, well” the man blushed and gave his friend a crooked smile, “he may look like an angel, but he’s young and horny! I’m not that strong-willed!”
They both laughed.
Bredhe gave his friend’s hand a pat of encouragement. “There’s a reason I put you two together rather than having Aud bunk with me. You need to work this out, Daq. The tension between you and him isn’t going to get any better by pretending it’s not there.”
“Alright, alright!” Daq said, standing with an air of finality, “I’ll head back.”
But he paused after his first step.
“…right after I finishing flushing out those fuel pumps.”
This job, however, was accomplished quicker than Daq anticipated and in short course he was back up to his cabin. To his relief, Aud was already sleeping.
While he had been working in the engine room, Daq had vowed to himself not to procrastinate any further with the boy, but he also didn’t want to rush things. Now he decided that once they reached Amobe, they would have some time alone and he would face matters between them then.
With his choice made, the mechanic felt a heavy weight lifted from him and discovered he was extremely tired from his extended work shift. He began stripping off his soiled clothes then stopped when he remembered Aud was in the room with him.
In order to conserve space abroad the ship, the sonic shower was nothing more than a small closet-like space that automatically turned on once the door was shut, meaning Daq had to strip totally naked before he stepped in to use it. Glancing back, he saw the boy’s back rising and falling evenly, but he was still slightly reluctant to undress.
For a second he toyed with the idea of waiting, but he detested the feel of the fuel and grease all over his hands and arms. Besides, Aud was asleep anyway, what would be the harm?
Quickly tossing his clothing aside, the mechanic stepped inside and sighed as the familiar waves pulsed over him. Some people disliked the sonic systems, always preferring real water, but Daq adored the fast, efficient showers. When he stepped out he felt refreshed and stretched out his worn muscles before slipping into a soft pair of loose-fitting pants to rest in. He was looking forward to falling asleep and forgetting all the wearing events of the day when a teasing voice behind him said, “Why don’t you leave the pants off? I like the way you look naked.”
Daq spun around to find a very sly-looking Aud smiling down at him from the top bunk. The boy was gazing at him with heavy eyes that held a look that was decidedly adult and extraordinarily seductive. The mechanic knew he was blushing and that the navigator was taking untold delight in the effect he was having on him.
“Go to bed!” Daq grumbled crossly, settling quickly into his own cot.
“I am in bed!” Aud retorted, suppressing a fit of laughter.
“Then go to sleep!”
“Maybe I don’t want to sleep,” the boy replied in a coy tone.
Daq tried to ignore him and pulled his pillow over his head to block out the boy’s voice, but it couldn’t hold back the image of Aud’s lavender eyes darkening with an unveiled desire as he had surveyed his exposed muscles. When we get to Amobe he told himself, then I’ll deal with this, but not now. His mind, however, had other plans, filling his dreams with lurid visions of the little navigator naked and writhing beneath him.
Sitting in his Captain’s chair, Bredhe watched the stars go by in violent streaks across the ship’s main window above him. Now that he was alone, he finally took the time to tap into the galaxy-wide Data Channel and search for more information on Seraphim biology and Isel political history. With irony, he reflected that his search was sorely late in coming, but perhaps it could clarify what had happened between Vali and him.
As he suspected, even on the open Channel there was precious little information on this reclusive people and the Cordenians had blocked all articles relating to political conflict on Isel, but Bredhe did discover two crucial pieces of information. For one, the effects of the tenshinn fell drastically once the desire had been satiated. Also, Seraphim monks were only required to be celibate in the months between tenshinn, and, although most of their sexual relations were restricted to servicing the temple priests and priestesses, it was not forbidden to take lay lovers. Bredhe felt some of the tension in his shoulders relax upon reading this. At the very least, his transgressions with the Seraph did not include inadvertently causing Vali to break any vows he had taken.
Encouraged by this information, Bredhe gathered a small tray of food and returned to Vali’s compartment once. After, that is, his shift had been relieved by a very touchy Aud. Bredhe had felt guilty for leaving the Light Seraph in the condition that he had: asleep, naked and soiled from their encounter. The man had been so comatose when he left him that the Captain half expected to see him sleeping still, but Bredhe opened the door to find the creature sitting on the bed, eyes alert and legs folded beneath him, perhaps meditating. Bredhe had steeled himself for another wave of the Seraph’s pheromones, but the dizzying affect of the tenshinn was no longer there now that Vali had allowed himself release.
The Seraph didn’t stir as Bredhe stepped inside and set a small tray onto the bed beside him.
“I’m sorry that I left you earlier, there was something with the ship I had to take care of…”
The words sounded weak in his ears, a poor excuse and an awkward opening.
“Would you mind leaving me, please?” Vali asked when the Captain’s sentence trailed off.
Bredhe was struck by the cool, detached manner in which the Seraph spoke to him. Although the situation was definitely uncomfortable, Bredhe didn’t see why it was necessary for the man to be so aloof towards him.
“I just wanted to make sure you were all right,” Bredhe offered, trying to remain calm and civil.
Vali turned his eyes toward him and locked his gaze on the tall, dark-haired man. “It’s not your concern. You’ve done quite enough already, Captain.” The last word was spoken with open distain and Bredhe was startled to see that the man’s golden eyes looked at him flatly, their depths shut to him.
Bredhe was both hurt and angered by this response. This Seraph was acting as if he’d been taken against his will and although Bredhe knew what he’d done was unethical, it could hardly be construed as rape. With all the uncertainties surrounding the intimacy they had shared, one thing Bredhe did not doubt was that the attraction had been mutual.
Very aware that his temper was rising sharply, the Captain took his leave before it induced him to say anything inappropriate. “Very well, I’ll leave you be,” was all he could manage before he made for the door.
“Take the food, I won’t need it.”
But Bredhe simply left, locking shut the door behind him.
Whatever the Captain had expected to happen between the two of them, it hadn’t been this. The man had been quite unprepared for the dramatic change in the Seraph’s attitude and wrestled with the nagging pain Vali’s unexpected rejection had caused him.
Grabbing another tray, he proceeded to the Dark Seraph’s quarters. Sliding the cargo door open, he leaned down to push the tray into the room. Glancing up, he saw Greycek sitting calmly on the small cot. Bredhe had expected to find him in the frantic grip of his tenshinn, but he neither saw nor felt anything of the kind. Would it be safe to step inside? Just to ask the Seraph a few questions?
Bredhe decided to risk it. He desperately wanted more information about Vali in order to make sense of what had happened between them. He wondered at the fact that he didn’t appear to be in any danger of falling into the same situation with this Seraph. Why wasn’t he drawn to him in the same way?
Greycek looked surprised to see the Captain stepping into his quarters and noted with amusement that the man was careful to keep as much distance between them as possible. His curiosity was aroused, as well as his libido, as he watched the handsome Captain lean against the wall opposite him with an unconscious grace.
“Why did you tell me Vali would be breaking his vows if I left the two of you together?” Bredhe asked, point blank.
“Because it’s the truth,” the Seraph answered, kneeling before the tray of food and inspecting it, sampling foods here and there.
“It’s not true then, that monks are allowed sexual freedom during their tenshinn?”
Greycek cocked an eyebrow at him. He knew exactly why the Captain was so interested in the Vali’s vows; he had heard their intimate encounter despite the thickness of the walls. “Technically, they are free, yes.” He slipped a small leaf-plum into his mouth and rolled it around, exploring its flavor. “However,” he continued after swallowing, “Monks are considered especially sexually potent, as I’m sure you know well,” he couldn’t help but smile at this point. “Their partners are considered highly auspicious and they don’t just choose anyone. Since Vali and I don’t know each other well, I knew it would go against his wishes to be with me.”
Bredhe mulled this information over in silence, while Greycek continued eating, seemingly unaffected. However, the Seraph’s emerald eyes were quite aware of him. Though his own tenshinn was nothing as intense as Vali’s, he still felt its pull. The Captain was well proportioned, his lean muscles apparent through his fitted clothing and his long, sleek raven hair was pulled back to reveal his enticing, pale neck. He couldn’t blame Vali for being tempted.
“May I be frank with you, Greycek?”
The Dark Seraph nodded, curious as to what the man would say.
Bredhe folded his hands in front of him and leaned back with a heavy sigh. “You probably have guessed that Vali and I were together earlier.”
Again, he nodded without comment.
“I didn’t mean for it to happen, but it did, and now Vali refuses to even speak to me.” He paused. “Can you tell me why?”
With s sidelong glance Greycek asked him, “Did he invite you in or did you just take him?”
Bredhe felt his chest constrict defensively. “He was the one who pulled me inside, but I had opened the door after he warned me to leave him isolated.”
Setting down the fruit in his hand, the Seraph looked troubled. “If I hadn’t heard Vali’s screaming myself, I would probably hold you responsible, but it would have been hard for anyone to ignore it. I don’t really know what to make of it, it seemed rather extreme, even for a celibate monk.”
“Is that why the tenshinn affects the two of you so differently? Because he’s celibate the rest of the year?”
“Yes, as I said, it builds up sexual potency and this makes the tenshinn far stronger than normal- nearly irresistible,” Greycek told him, biting into a small green apple with fervor.
“Yet he’s still angry with me,” the Captain said bitterly.
“Yes, well, you can’t entirely blame him for that either. Vali was imprisoned for quite some time, far longer than I was, and long enough to have gone through at least two cycles while he was confined.”
“And?” Bredhe pressed.
Greycek’s eyes grew dark. “Cordenian guards will sometimes place themselves inside a Seraph’s cell when their tenshinn is coming on them, waiting to rape them until their peak is so intense they can barely bring themselves to fight them off.”
“That’s not what happened with us,” Bredhe said tersely.
The Dark Seraph looked at the man for a long moment. “I believe you,” he finally replied. “But don’t judge Vali too harshly, he’s very different from when I met him before, he’s been through a lot. He was held for over six months. That may not sound like very long, but it’s the longest term any Seraph has had to face in confinement. We don’t do very well in tight spaces, you see.”
“What was it you two were arrested for?”
“Vali simply spoke out publicly against the Bal-Isel government, but he was one of the first to do so and it encouraged many others to come forward, so they just dragged him off one day.
“As for myself,” Greycek smiled proudly, “I was arrested for inciting a rebellion.”
This news came as some surprise to Bredhe, who considered it odd that a Dark Seraph should be fighting against the Cordenian government, but he kept his thoughts to himself.
“Do you know why we are being transported?” Greycek asked after the Captain fell silent.
“I’m afraid I don’t.”
The Seraph paused in his eating and his expression turned grave. “I don’t mind so much what happens to myself, but Vali is a great man, he’s important to his people.” Emerald eyes met Bredhe’s and there was an unspoken plea behind them as he spoke, “I would hate to have anything happen to him- to see his spirit any more broken or embittered than it has already become.”
The Captain wanted to look away; he didn’t need any more complications in his life and he certainly couldn’t vouch for Vali’s safety.
But he couldn’t turn away either and the queasy, displaced feeling associated with his vision stirred briefly inside him, much to his consternation.
“Remember, even if Vali is harsh with you, he has his own demons to fight, you just may have wakened something inside him he’d assume stay hidden. We’re both stepping into worlds completely alien to us after all.”
“Yes, I understand.”
The Captain stood to take his leave. “Thank you for your input, Greycek.”
The Seraph smiled, “Call me Grey.”
The glassy gleam in the man’s eye held a silent invitation, but Bredhe turned his back on it. One lapse in judgment was enough.
While Bredhe was struggling through his talks with the Seraphim, Aud and Daq were wrestling with their own issues. Aud was sitting by himself at the bridge, fuming over his latest encounter with Daq.
He had woken up before the other man and decided to have a little fun. Let the mechanic try to ignore him, he thought, he was going to make sure Daq took notice. Slipping from the top bunk with quiet stealth, he leaned over Daq as he slept. For a while he simply stood there, gazing at the man’s rugged beauty. With his chest bare, Aud was free to study his firm, muscular frame, the large, substantial arms and the tight, rippled abs. Aud never thought that he would be so painfully attracted to such a blatantly masculine physique, but Daq had stirred something inside him in the last few months and he was shocked when he realized that the mechanic might feel the same way in turn. Yet there it was, the subtle glances in his direction that lasted a few moments longer than they should, the way he seemed to find numerous excuses for touching him over his arm or his back. He couldn’t get the man out of his mind.
Resting a hand on either side of Daq’s wide shoulders to steady himself, Aud leaned across him and whispered in his far ear, “Wake up sleepy head.”
Daq mumbled, but didn’t open his eyes. Half-asleep the dark-haired man repositioned himself and in doing so he accidentally bumped into one of Aud’s arms, causing the boy to loose his balance and fall against his chest. Before he knew what was happening, Daq had wrapped his arms about him and dragged him into bed.
Although he was taken off-guard, Aud quickly settled into the embrace, smiling happily to himself as he snuggled into the man’s embrace.
“Aud…” Daq muttered blearily, pulling him closer.
Hearing his name whispered from the man’s lips warmed him and, unable to help himself, he gave the mechanic a gentle kiss on his cheek, which was softer than he would have guessed. Being so close to the man, in his arms, face only inches away, Aud was tempted to try for more than this chaste kiss and, slowly, bent brought his lips down…
“Aud!” Daq yelled, opening his eyes to find the boy lying atop him intimately, his lips on the verge of kissing him. “Get up! What kind of games are you playing, anyway?” he shouted- and immediately knew it was a mistake. He was making a bad habit of snapping at the boy of late, as his desire for him grew and his restraint threatened to fail him.
Aud was infuriated, the hurt in his eyes obvious as he brushed aside a stray blue strand of hair from his face. What was so wrong with Daq waking up and finding him in his arms? The man had even called his name and Aud thought… well, it didn’t matter what he thought. Daq had rejected him, pure and simple.
“You don’t have to yell!” Aud spat.
Daq gritted his teeth, Great Heavens! He was making a mess of things. “I’m sorry, Aud. You startled me.”
“Don’t worry,” he retorted, grabbing a change of clothes and heading for the door, “I won’t bother you anymore!”
“Aud, wait please!” Daq called, reaching for his arm.
The boy shook him off, amethyst eyes blazing. “Don’t touch me! You’ve made it quite clear how intolerable you find me!”
Aud turned and stormed from the room without another word and Daq had been left alone repent for his foolish behavior. However, he would not begin their relationship aboard the ship just because Aud felt like scratching an itch. If they were going to be intimate, it would be at the right time and place, but Daq still hadn’t explained that to him, had he?
No, all he had done so far was push the boy away for fear that he wouldn’t be able to control himself. A hell of a lot of good that had done him.
When he finally made his way to the bridge, the mechanic tried to talk to Aud, to get him alone so he could have the opportunity to apologize again and explain himself properly before Aud worked himself up any further.
But the young navigator refused to budge, stubbornly turning his back on him whenever he approached and feigning deafness during his requests. Eventually, Daq resigned himself to the miserable situation; he would have to wait until later to talk with him, until Aud had calmed himself and was willing to be reasonable.
In the meantime, there was work to be done. Feeling burdened with a heavy weight, the mechanic made his way down to the engine room for the next several hours. One day ended and the next began as he continued to toil in the heated space. When he re-emerged, Aud was already gone and Bree was sitting at the helm.
“I gather you haven’t said anything to Aud yet?” the Captain asked as Daq attempted to discreetly walk passed him.
The mechanic stopped and sighed. “I… was just waiting for the right opportunity.”
“The longer you wait, the worse the situation is going to get, you know,” his friend warned him.
“I know, I know…” Daq grumbled.
“Oh, could you pick up the food trays in the Seraphim’s cabins for me? I forgot to do it before I relieved Aud,” he asked.
The mechanic sent him a questioning look, to which the Captain replied, “ No, you shouldn’t have to worry about the affects of the tenshinn on you. The worst of it has passed.” But he quickly added, “Don’t linger the their rooms, though- just to be safe.”
In truth, Daq was a bit curious about their passengers, though he wasn’t about to engage them in any conversation on the off chance that it might lead to a compromising situation. The Light Seraph appeared to be sleeping, his back to the man when he opened the door. Daq quickly picked up the tray that was left next to the doorway. For a moment he considered leaving it, since the food was generally untouched, but decided to take it all the same.
He considered the Captain’s words as he walked down to the cargo hold where Greycek was being held. He knew he had to talk with the boy, but he just kept making matters worse.
However, he mechanic was about to find out for himself just how bad things could get between him and Aud.
Turning a corner, he was startled to see that the cargo door was already open, and what was more, voices were coming from inside. Daq’s eyes narrowed to dangerous slits as he stepped into the open doorway to find Aud standing before the Seraphim as the man sat on his small cot. Greycek’s hands were drifting over the boy’s hips and his eyes roved the navigator’s body as Aud gazed down at him, face flushed and lips smiling invitingly.
Daq stood there for a moment in silence, observing them in growing anger. The Dark Seraph’s fingers flexed as he squeezed the boy’s sides. Daq could see the hungry look in the man’s eye and he dreaded to think how far this little incident could go without his intervention. But as much as he wanted to break the Seraph’s arms, he was more enraged by Aud’s behavior. Clearly he had not had permission to visit the prisoner and had done so only in retaliation for the way Daq had yelled at him before. It was a stupid, immature move that might have cost the boy more than he was willing to give, if Daq had not come by.
He was disappointed in him. And hurt.
“Daq!” Aud cried, espying the man watching them. He instantly stepped away from the Seraphim. “I..umm…”
“Go back to the cabin, Aud,” the mechanic said in a low voice so filled with wrathful promise it rumbled like a dark storm cloud waiting to burst.
But the navigator crossed his arms and stood resolutely. “Why? What do you care! Besides, if the Captain can do what he pleases, why can’t I?”
Daq strode into the room and, straightening his back, looked down at the slender Aud with a scathing stare of authority. “You did not have permission to access the cargo hold,” he said coolly.
“GO!” The one word was spoken with such force and vehemence it made the boy jump. He’d never encountered Daq in such a mood before and he thought it better not to anger him any further- he left.
“Too bad,” came Greycek’s silky voice, “I had hoped you would join the two us.”
The Dark Seraph had been delighted when the young, fresh, lavender-eyed Aud had opened the door and made his way inside. It was evident to him on sight that the boy had just grown into his adult sexuality and he had not yet explored it. His soft, intoxicating beauty and sensual, yet inexperienced advances had spiked his already aching arousal.
Greycek might not have gotten as worked up as Vali in the last day or two, but he was still lingering in the wake of his tenshinn and yearning for release. Until he had a good romp, his frustration and desire would only continue to grow.
Pity he had been interrupted.
At the Seraph’s casual words, Daq turned his towering form towards the smaller man and his wrath was almost palpable. “I suggest you keep your hands to yourself if you want to keep them attached to your body.”
And with those parting words, he left.
Grey gave a sigh and shook his head. Such a gorgeous man. Even if he couldn’t have the lithe little Aud, he gladly would have taken the large mechanic in his stead. But it seemed he was only there to spoil his fun.
By the time Daq arrived back at his cabin, Aud was curled up in the top bunk, terrified of the man’s anger and mad at himself for being so foolish. But he had been so stung by Daq’s sharp words when they last spoke and he had been determined to provoke his jealousy. So he had stayed at his shift longer than necessary, just until he heard Daq’s heavy footsteps coming up from the engine room, and then he had dashed off to the Dark Seraph’s room. He had remembered to ask Bredhe about the men’s tenshinns beforehand, so he knew he wasn’t in danger of being seduced. Or so he thought.
The young navigator had only intended to talk with the Seraph until Daq happened to walk by the open door, he had not planned to let the man touch him, but somehow it had happened.
Greycek’s eyes were on him the moment he opened the door, following him as he walked over to retrieve the empty tray. Under the man’s intense, lush green eyes, Aud felt suddenly apprehensive and immediately abandoned his plans, until the Seraph spoke to him.
“Who might you be, lovely?” he asked in a voice as sinful and alluring as he had ever heard. And it was addressed towards him.
No one had ever come onto him before or shown him such unconcealed desire. It stroked his wounded ego and sent a delightful shiver down his back to hear the want in the man’s voice.
What harm could it do to flirt with him just for a little while? But Aud didn’t know that his inexperienced body was reacting instinctively to the strong pheromones still wafting in the air around the stranger.
“Come here,” Grey whispered, emerald eyes sparkling with an unnamable something that Aud felt powerless to resist. His feet carried him to stand boldly between the Seraph’s open thighs.
“I shouldn’t be here,” Aud replied, half serious and half teasing. The knowledge that this stunning creature desired him gave the youth a sense of confidence and power. He didn’t yet realize his danger.
Grey smiled up at the pretty little blue-haired boy, his hands growing greedy to touch him.
“Your wings are very beautiful,” Aud said, gazing at the dark multitude of feathers, he longed to pass his fingers over them.
The Seraph spread the wings wider, giving him a knowing grin, reading the unspoken question in the boy’s eyes. “Would you like to touch them?”
Aud was startled that the man seemed to have read his thoughts, as well as slightly embarrassed by it, but he nodded just the same. Slowly, tentatively, he reached one finger out and ran it across the broad, satiny feathers. “Wonderful,” he whispered.
The stifled moan of pleasure from the Seraph’s lips sent Aud’s limbs trembling and he began to question whether this was a good idea.
“Now,” Grey said, gazing at the navigator with heavy-lidded eyes, “It’s my turn to touch you.”
Aud tried to take a step back, suddenly alarmed, but his waist was captured in the man’s strong, elegant fingers.
“Shhh… relax. I just want to hold you.”
But the hungry tone in which these words were spoken left little doubt in the boy’s mind that this creature most certainly wanted more from him. It occurred to him that Daq might walk to his cabin from the opposite hallway, bypassing the cargo hold altogether. What then? What if this Seraph didn’t let him go? Moreover, the internal comlink was beside the door, far out of Aud’s reach.
Grey could read the panic in the young man’s eyes and softened his grip, caressing his sides as if he were calming a frightened kitten. “Aud, you are beautiful.”
The navigator looked down at him with wide eyes. He’d wanted to hear those words for the longest time, but not from these lips. Still, it flattered him and he smiled.
It wasn’t until then that he realized they were being watched.
His heart threatened to leap into his throat at the sight of Daq brooding in the doorway. He could feel the blood rush to his face in embarrassment, but when the man ordered him to leave, Aud’s stubbornness surfaced. Hadn’t Daq been the one to push him away in the first place? So what if he saw them together, served him right… didn’t it?
Now, back in the mechanic’s quarters, Aud saw that his actions were not those of an independent adult, but of an immature adolescent looking for a petty means of revenge. His amethyst eyes swelled with tears of regret. Had he just ruined things with Daq forever? What if the man never forgave him? And all because he had acted rashly when the mechanic woke up crabby one day.
When he heard the door slide open, Aud held his breath. Listening intently to the man’s movements, he hoped to be able to gage the man’s anger.
Although Daq had quieted his rage considerably, the hurt and jealousy still remained and he wasn’t sure how to handle the situation or what he could say to Aud to make the boy understand that he did care about him, but that the situation was more complicated than that.
The stillness of the room was broken by Aud’s muffled, sniffling whine, “I’m sorry!”
Daq turned to see Aud’s large eyes brimming with tears and all his own pain melted away. Unable to stop himself, the mechanic wrapped his powerful arms about the boy’s willowy frame and pulled him down from the bunk, cradling him in his arms until Aud’s stifled tears subsided.
“Do you hate me now?” the boy asked, almost choking on the words.
Daq’s heart nearly broke at he sight of Aud’s reddened eyes staring up at him beseechingly, filled with fear as he spoke.
“No, love, I don’t hate you.”
Aud perked up as he heard the dark-haired man use the term of endearment to address him, his clouded eyes slowly clearing. “You don’t?” he asked hopefully.
“No.” Daq stroked the boy’s soft hair under his hands as he explained, “I was just scared for you… and jealous.”
“But why? I didn’t think you wanted me…”
Daq caressed Aud’s cheeks, wiping away his tears and willing himself not to seduce the impressionable boy right there. “But I do,” he confessed.
“Then why? Why haven’t you done anything?”
Daq looked at him, completely undone by the boy’s youth and passion. “Maybe I just don’t want to start things here, on the ship. Maybe I wanted it to be special.”
Aud glanced at the narrow, uniform bunks and thought he could understand.
“You never told me, though.”
The man sighed heavily, knowing he had brought all this conflict and strain on the both of them by postponing this very discussion for far too long.
“I’m sorry, I should have. I suppose I was worried about frightening you.”
This explanation made no sense to Aud and he said as much.
Daq held him about the waist and traced the boy’s rosebud lips with his free hand. “I know you’re no longer a child, but you are still new to so many things. Sex can be very intense, it can even be painful.” Aud watched as the other man’s eyes grew dark with desire. “And I would not be able to hold myself back with you.”
The navigator felt as if his breath had been stolen away, so heady and consuming was the look in those deep brown eyes.
“I want all of you, Daq, please don’t hold back.”
The words of submission sent a wave of lust crashing over the dark-haired man, but he held on. He knew, despite the boy’s reassurances, that Aud could not fully understand what he was agreeing to, but he would find out soon enough. Amobe was less than a day away.
“Daq,” Aud whispered, gazing up at the man with unveiled longing.
Without thinking, the mechanic answered his plea, bending down to claim his lips. The boy responded eagerly to the slow, intense kiss, opening his mouth willingly to the other man’s demands. Daq possessed a masterful touch with a skilled tongue, probing his mouth until Aud was mewling helplessly with desire. The boy’s honest, hungry reaction to his advances almost broke Daq’s will, but he knew once he let go, he would not be able to reign in his lust. Reluctantly, he pulled away, leaving Aud in a haze of passion, rubbing his hips against Daq’s with unabashed need.
“More,” he whispered through pouting lips.
Daq put a finger to those tempting lips and looked into the boy’s eyes as they fluttered open. “Soon, my little yomi,” he promised him. “Soon.”