The Boundaries, Book 3
Published 2016 by Book Boutiques.
Copyright © 2016, Lexxie Couper.
All rights reserved.
Zeric Arctos stared at the naked woman standing on the other side of his cage, the thick Pellion steel bars separating them as surely as the distance between two galaxies. He watched her hands—graceful and slim-fingered—smooth over the flatness of her belly, watched them dip between her firm, toned thighs. A growl sounded in his throat and he shifted, the chink-chink of the metal chains attached to his wrists and ankles just another distant noise. That he was chained made no never-mind to him. That he was caged meant just as little.
That she was here—Jaienna Ti—mattered most of all. That she stood before him now, teasing him, taunting him, a soft smile on her full lips, a fire in her brilliant green eyes, her nipples puckered, her breasts swollen with desire, awaiting his touch…
“Jaienna.” Her name fell from his dry, parched lips in a raspy whisper. He shifted again, moving closer to the bars. They would send a charge of electricity through his body stronger than Aglaian lightning if he came too close, but he didn’t care. Jaienna was here. Looking at him. Waiting for him. “Jai.”
Wordlessly she arched one dark-red eyebrow, her smile growing wider. She slid her hands from between her legs and raised her fingers to her mouth, tongue flicking out to touch the very tips of her middle fingers.
Zeric sucked in a sharp breath, his cock pumping full with hunger. Another growl rumbled in his throat at the sight of her tongue on her juices-slicked flesh. Deeper, lower. A growl less human and more animalistic. The growl of the beast. He took another step toward the bars, the fine hairs on his flesh standing on end as electricity charged the immediate air around him. Another step and he’d be on the floor in agony, but he didn’t care.
She’d come for him.
Touch yourself, Zeric.
The command slipped from her lips, husky and somehow inaudible. Undeniable.
He did as she asked, dropping his hands to his rigid cock, wrapping his fingers around its base in a punishing hold.
His balls grew tight, rose higher. His ass clenched and he pumped hard on the thick organ jutting from his body. Pleasure flooded through him. The chains attached to his wrists smacked against his bunched thighs, stinging like an icy whip, sending a wave of pain through his legs that joined the pleasure coursing through his groin and he growled again, feeling his blood thicken.
Yes, that’s it. Jaienna’s green eyes flashed and her smile stretched wider. Predatory. Let the creature come forth.
An icy finger pressed at Zeric’s chest and he faltered, staring hard at the woman on the other side of the bars, his grip on his burning erection loosening a little.
Creature? He frowned. Jaienna had called him many things, had called the beast lurking in his blood many things, but never creature.
Green eyes flickered and agitation tightened the features somehow not quite Jaienna’s. “Touch yourself, Arctos!” The words sounded coarse. Irritated. “Fuck your own hand, you Terran piece of filth!”
Icy alarm crashed over Zeric and he blinked, narrowing his gaze on the tall, thin woman standing before him, her brassy blonde hair hanging lank over pallid skin and sunken gray eyes. He straightened, his cock a throbbing rod of denied want, his chest a tight knot of fury and dismay. “Get your Illashionist away from me, Crortek,” he snarled, turning away from the woman who seconds earlier had appeared to be Jaienna to glare at the Ornithion standing on the other side of his cage.
Hrung Crortek’s lipless mouth pulled into a smug smile and the spines on his back flared. “Only a matter of time, Terran,” the reptilian crime lord murmured, pearlescent white gaze boring into him. “I may not be able to beat you in a physical fight, but I know your weakness now.” He stepped forward, spines flaring wider, needle-sharp teeth glinting in the low light of the room. “And as soon as I discover how, I will use it.”
Zeric bared his teeth, feeling the beast in his blood roar for release. “You’ll never be able to extract what you need from me, Crortek.” He flicked a contemptuous look at the hovering Illashionist. “No matter how many cowardly tricks you attempt.”
Crortek tilted his head to the side, gaze contemplative. “Perhaps you are right, Terran. But perhaps you are not. I still have many ‘tricks up my sleeve’ as your race say. Make no mistake, one way or the other, I will discover what makes you what you are. And once I’ve done that, once I’ve extracted that most valuable essence from your system, once I’ve manufactured it into a serum, I will no longer need you alive.”
“You haven’t a hope in Hades of extracting anything from me.”
Crortek’s pale eyes flickered. “As I’ve said, I know your weakness. And if a mage-created Jaienna Ti doesn’t work, I can always use the real one.” His lipless grin returned. “I’m sure you will do anything to keep her un-harmed. Won’t you?”
The “viewing” room of the Archeron Cluster Fuck Barge smelt of stale sex and blood. Raq Tornada curled his nose, his grip on the leash in his hand curling tighter.
“Does my vessel offend you, Trader?”
The oily question made him turn his head and he gazed indolently at the red-scaled Archeron. “Not at all, Master Slaver.”
The woman at the end of his leash tilted her head slightly and he gave the length of studded leather a hard tug. “I did not tell you to move, Raavelian.”
The Archeron’s slitted yellow gaze flicked from Tornada’s face to the stripped woman, taking in the small tattoo almost hidden by the swell of her left breast. A gold tinge of approval shimmered over his shiny scales. “You bring a slave from the Raavelian Alpha slave camps? And you wish to trade her?” The yellow stare left the woman’s naked form, returning to Tornada with a reluctance so obvious, Tornada almost laughed—if he could only control his jealousy, that was.
He affected a disappointed frown. “Not by choice, Master Slaver. I have come into… how shall I put this… some financial difficulties and I must find the chits to keep my head on my shoulder before Hrung Crortek removes it.” He let his gaze fall to the bare, bowed back of the woman kneeling at his feet. “It pains me to part with Jaienna, but losing my head would pain me more.”
The Archeron burst into loud guffaws. “Wise, if not wealthy.” He reached down and dug the talons of his right hand into the woman’s chin, forcing her head up, and a wave of pure rage and protective anger roared through Tornada. He ground his teeth. Now was not the time to let his heart control his actions. Otherwise, both he and Jaienna might end up dead.
“I have heard of the amazing talents of Raavelian Alpha slaves, but have never had the fortune of experiencing them.” He licked his lips, darting a look at Tornada. “Are they as good as they are rumored to be?”
Tornada smiled, wide and satisfied. “Better.”
The Archeron crossed his arms across a plated chest both broad and muscled. “Prove it.”
A bitter wave of triumph washed over Tornada; just the invitation he was wanting. “Slave,” he said, tugging on Jaienna’s leash. “Give the Master Slaver a blowjob.”
The smooth, bowed back shifted as Jaienna made to move forward on her knees, sending a warm ribbon of something dangerous into Tornada’s groin.
“Stop,” the Archeron suddenly said, stepping back, yellow eyes unreadable.
Tornada frowned. “You do not wish to know of her skill? It is a mind-altering experience.”
The Archeron grinned. “Oh, I wish to know of it, Trader.” His muscles flexed and his scales shimmered a faint orange. “But before her lips touch my cock, I wish to see what she can do with her mouth on you.”
Eyes narrowing, Tornada studied the Archeron. The hair at his nape prickled and his palm itched for his pulse pistol. The Master Slaver’s request was not normal. No slave trader in their right mind hesitated to accept a slave of the Raavelian Alpha camps, especially one as unique and sensual as Jaienna Ti. He let a look of confusion fall over his face. “Master Slaver?”
The Archeron’s scales shimmered orange again. “Consider it a gift, Trader. I can see how loath you are to lose possession of the slave—your heart is in your eyes—so let me give you one last moment of rapture before she becomes my property.”
A wild beat hammered in Tornada’s neck. His gaze fell to Jaienna’s back. One moment of rapture…
He’d lost his title because of Jaienna. He’d been publicly humiliated because of Jaienna. Flogged almost to death by the man who once had been his future father-in-law because of Jaienna. Had lost any right to his Jjor privilege and station because of Jaienna.
Had lost his heart to Jaienna. Never to get it back.
What he would give to feel her lips on his flesh once more. To feel her mouth pull on his cock, her teeth nip at its swollen tip, her tongue massage his rigid length until he screamed her name and erupted with his hot seed.
One moment of rapture…
He tightened his grip on her leash. His balls began to grow heavy, dark anticipation flooding them with hungry desire.
He closed his eyes and pulled in a steady breath. He was not wearing a psych-lock. If Jaienna made him come—and she would—he would be incapable of preventing her slipping into his psyche. His mind would be vulnerable to any suggestion she planted in there. He opened his eyes, staring hard at her motionless back, at the perfect formation of her spine curved into the motionless arc of subservient patience. Jaienna hated him. If he let her into his mind…
The sharp aggression in the Archeron’s voice lifted Tornada’s head. The Master Slaver’s scales were now entirely black. Not a good sign. Archerons only turned black when they were about to attack. “Is there a problem, Jjor?” he asked, dagger-like fangs flashing. “Shall I summon my guards?”
There’s to be no blood, Tornada. Jaienna’s orders before boarding the barge filled Tornada’s head, her voice low and calm and not to be argued with. We go in. I retrieve the info, plant the suggestion and we leave. Hrung Crortek is not to hear of this at all.
Tornada lifted his chin and leveled a cold look at the Archeron. “Summon your guards and you insult my trade and the trade of every Jjor in the Boundaries.” He yanked on Jaienna’s leash. “Slave,” he snarled, his blood running hot, his mouth dry. “Show the Archeron how talented you are.”
He jerked on the leash again, the long strip of leather snapping tight. For a moment Jaienna didn’t move and a cold sense of unease twisted in Tornada’s gut. But then the finely toned muscles in her back flexed, her ass cheeks tightened and she lifted slightly from her obeisant bow, turning while still on her knees to face him, her head aligned with his crotch, her hands folded loosely in her lap.
A lump formed in Tornada’s throat. Thick. Solid. He looked down at her, his eyes drinking in the fire-red of her wild hair, the smooth pale perfection of her shoulders. His cock twitched and stiffened, eager for the touch of her lips. His chest however, squeezed tight, knowing the heaven, the sheer rapture of her mouth on his shaft might very well end with his suicide.
And then she lifted her head and wide eyes the color of Keltarian jade stared at him. Unreadable. Indecipherable. Enigmatic. “As you command, Master,” she said on a husky breath, before reaching forward, unsnapping the fasteners of his trousers and releasing his cock of its snug confinement.
Her long, tapered fingers closed around its throbbing length immediately, sending shards of liquid pleasure straight into Tornada’s balls. He sucked in a sharp breath, fighting—no, battling for control. The need to bury his fingers in the thick tumble of her hair was overwhelming. To bury them into the cool, silken strands and direct her mouth to his cock, to feel her slide her full lips over its bulbous head. Almost as overwhelming as the inescapable knowledge she was going to kill him, slipping into his mind the second he orgasmed and suggesting something ominous and irresistible. That the pleasure he felt now, was the last he would ever feel.
He ground his teeth, every fiber of his being taut, every muscle burning. Silently, slowly, she leant forward at the hip and touched the tip of her warm, wet tongue to his turgid erection.
A low, raw gasp filled his lungs and his eyelids fluttered closed. By Aop, he remembered this. So well. Too well.
Her tongue swirled over the stretched skin of his cockhead, tracing tiny lines across its hot surface, flicking at the sensitive glands just below its distended rim. Her fingertips found his thighs and slid up their bunched length, teasing the soft hairs on his balls with a feather-light stroke before slipping around to grasp his ass cheeks.
He opened his eyes and gazed down at her, fisting his hands on his hips, forcing his body to be still. No matter how much he longed for every exquisite, dangerous second of her touch, he needed to convey the impression of a slave master, not a man ruled by a heart that should know better.
Her head dipped forward, her teeth nipping ever so gently at the very tip of his cock. Her fingers caressed his ass, kept his hips motionless as her tongue painted his cock with long, wet strokes—head to base, base to head. His blood sang in his ears and his pulse quickened, more so when she closed her lips over that bulbous, throbbing head and took it into her mouth. She sucked lightly, the pressure sending shooting ribbons of tension down his shaft into his balls. A low groan sounded in his throat and he pulled in a short breath through his teeth.
Her tongue worked the underside of his cock, lathered it, teased it. Her head bobbed, drawing her lips up and down his turgid length, drawing another groan from deep within his chest. A movement in the room caught his pleasure-fogged attention and he flicked his gaze to the Archeron. The Master Slaver stared at them, the snug material of his leather breeches tented at the crotch, his right hand cupping at the bulge beneath. But his eyes, glowing orange with hunger, still revealed his wariness. Either he knew who they were, or he suspected they weren’t who they pretended to—
Jaienna’s fingers slipped from Tornada’s ass and cupped his balls and the disturbing thought vanished from his mind to be replaced by utter sexual fervor so intense his eyes closed and his muscles coiled. Her tongue curled around his cock, her teeth scraped its sides. Pain threaded through pleasure and he let out a raw moan. By Aop, her mouth was better than the Ninth Heaven!
He thrust his hips forward, shoving his cock deeper, feeling its swollen head ram the back of Jaienna’s throat. The tip of her tongue flicked at the swell of his sac, sending a wild wave of wet heat into his groin and up his spine. He ground his teeth, determined to hold off the inevitable. If this was the last time he drew breath, he wanted it to last.
“Very good,” the Archeron murmured, voice oily with appreciation and approval. “Very good.”
Tornada tuned him out; drew to his mind a room scented with fine incense and decorated with even finer silks and satins. He no longer stood in the seedy viewing room of a Cluster-Fuck Barge, but the master suite of his family’s primary castle. He no longer feared for his life from the woman at his feet, but feared for the day she would leave him, claimed by time and old-age, gone to the Nine Heavens after decades of contented, blissful life together.
Jaienna’s fingers slipped from his balls, worked their smooth way past his perineum to the clenching hole of his anus. One firm fingertip pressed at that puckered hole and Tornada bucked, ramming his cock deeper into her mouth. She knew exactly what to do to make him boil with scalding pleasure. She always did. Her finger pressed harder to his ass, penetrating ever so slightly the gripping circle of muscle even as her mouth continued to pull and suck at his cock.
“Aop!” The cry burst from his lips, hoarse and savage. He grabbed at her hair, tangled his fingers in the cool, thick strands, a lifeline he knew she would both enjoy and despise. Unable to control himself, he fucked her mouth, plunging into the hot, wet well in wild thrusts, his aching, heavy balls slapping against her chin, his body burning with the need to erupt.
A moan sounded in the room, a vibration filled his balls. He opened his eyes and, blood like electricity, dropped his gaze to Jaienna.
She sucked at his cock, her lips glistening with moisture, her own eyes closed—the perfect picture of an obedient slave. But it was the expression on her face that made Tornada’s heart pound. Ecstasy. Another moan tickled his ears, another tiny wave of vibrations rippled his balls. Euphoria flooded through Tornada. Jaienna was enjoying what he’d ordered her to do! For three moon-cycles they’d devoured each other’s bodies in lustful hunger. Just as she knew him, so too, he knew her. The expression that softened her face could not be created, no matter how important for deception.
She wanted to give him pleasure. Drew her own from his.
The thought sent a surge of absolute hope to the very center of Tornada’s being. Not for his survival, but for a future he longed for with all his heart. His balls rose up, grew tight and heavy. Jaienna’s mouth slid up and down his shaft in rapid strokes, as if she could feel the wild rhythm of his heart and wanted to match its beat. Her finger pushed at his anus again, harder, harder. He felt her first knuckle stretch the clenching opening, felt her tongue caress his shaft, felt a mounting pressure of scalding tension rip through his body, from his cock to his balls to his chest and then his orgasm smashed over him, consumed him, and he threw back his head and cried her name. “Jaienna!”
Liquid heat charged through his limbs up his spine. He gripped at Jaienna’s hair and held her head still, pounding into her taking mouth in wild, erratic thrusts. His skin felt on fire, his breath like flames. His hips bucked convulsively, his thighs trembled. The finger in his ass wriggled, sending fresh waves of pure pleasure into his groin, pleasure sucked eagerly through his cock by Jaienna’s mouth. His seed burst from him in unending wads of thick fluid and she took it all, swallowed each spurt, her soft moans feeding each ejaculate until his head swam and his heart constricted. By Aop, she was draining him of everything he had.
And then he felt it.
The softest tickle in his mind. Like a feather of sound. A whispering kiss of words…
Tell me your heart.
He hissed in a wild breath and then the words faded. As if they’d never been there.
He bucked his hips, his balls still full of liquid release, his cock still thick and swollen and spurting. Oh, when he finished, when Jaienna’s lips had slipped from his length… The things he would tell her. Things he’d wanted to say since they first met. Things he’d kept locked in his heart…
He dropped his head and gazed at her; found two shining green eyes gazing back. Her lips slid up his shaft, down, up, her rhythm decreasing with the slowing thrusts of his hips. The finger in his ass slowly withdrew, a shard of concentrated pleasure spearing into his being as it popped free of the clenching ring of muscle. He sucked in a ragged breath, staring into Jaienna’s eyes. Waiting.
He needed to tell her something. He must tell her something. Now. It was imperative. Vital.
Her mouth slid one more time up and down his shaft and then she released him, his cock slipping free of her lips.
She settled back onto her heels, the glorious swell of her breasts heaving with each shallow breath she pulled, her eyes studying him with an ambiguous, almost haunted light. “Tell me,” she whispered, the words not quite inaudible.
Heart thumping, blood roaring, Tornada dropped to his knees before her and took her hands in his, staring into her face, his chest aching. “I love you,” he said simply. “Irretrievably. Unconditionally. Without end. I exist to make you happy. To see you smile. To give you pleasure. I have been stripped of everything I ever held important—my title, my heritage, my station—but I do not care because I love you. For every moment of pain I gave you, I wish it ten-fold back. For every moment of joy I gave you, I wish it ten-fold again. You are my past, my present. I curse the day you were no longer my future. The biggest mistake of my life was to lose you. Without you I am less. Without you I am just an empty shell. Without you I am—”
“What the fuck is this?”
The words punched into Tornada’s feverish mind like an eo-blast. He started, fixing Jaienna with a wide stare. Fuck. What did she make me do?
Jerking his gaze away from her stunned and tormented eyes, he turned to the Archeron slave master standing beside him, scales shimmering black.
He leapt to his feet, hot aggression ripping into his limbs. Change of plans, Raq.
“What is this?” the Archeron demanded, enraged. “What type of slave master—”
Jaienna leapt to her feet, her sublime body coiled, nothing like the submissive slave anymore. She lashed out, smashing the Master Slaver in the jaw with a bone-shattering punch. His head flung to the side, giving Tornada enough time to drop into a crouch and smash his fist up into the scale-plated stomach. The slaver doubled over, shock and fury in his eyes, his breath bursting from him in a violent whoosh. Jaienna spun around him, snatched at his arms and snapped them up behind his head, locking her fingers at the base of his skull and jerking him into a brutal upright position, his booted feet scraping and skidding on the floor.
“What the fuck is this?” he screeched, bucking in her hold.
Tornada stepped forward, the intoxicating pull of physical aggression dampening the demanding itch in his mind to tell Jaienna something. He hadn’t finished. Whatever she’d told him to do, he hadn’t—
“What the fuck are you doing?” the Archeron spat, scales blacker than black.
“This,” Tornada snarled, and smashed his fist into the Master Slaver’s stomach.
The Archeron’s breath gushed from him, but Jaienna reefed him into a severe arc, yanking him upright again.
Tornada clenched his jaw, stepping even closer to the slaver, letting all his hate, contempt and disdain for the slave trade and its despicable masters burn in his stare. “Now, my loathsome friend,” he stated, his voice dripping with deadly promise. “You will tell me exactly where Hrung Crortek is, or my very talented ‘slave’ here will demonstrate just how talented she really is and there will be nothing you can do to stop whatever she suggests.” He let a menacing, bleak grin stretch his lips. “One way or the other, you are going to die today. How can depend on you, or her…” He cocked an eyebrow. “And trust me when I say, you don’t want to leave your fate up to her. She knows how to be nasty, and I know how she feels about slavers.”
* * * *
A thick gray fog shrouded the room. Odorless. Tasteless. It pressed upon him, weightless yet suffocating, trying to steal his breath. He shifted slightly, squinting into the gray nothingness and a burning pain, like a vortex of crushing fire, erupted in his head.
He gasped, every muscle in his body tensing, his eyes squeezing shut.
“Shhh,” a soft feminine voice hushed. Warm breath feathered his forehead and he felt gentle fingers brush a strand of hair behind his ear. “I’m here.”
He swallowed, his throat coarse and stripped of moisture. “Who are you?” he croaked, turning to the voice and the warmth. “Where am I?”
“You’re on Ii’olia,” the voice answered, worry and relief in the whispered words.
Tight anger ripped through him and he blindly reached for his blaster, his hand smacking against his thigh. His naked thigh. He tried to sit up, but the agony in his head and a firm, warm hand on his chest kept him prone. “Who are you?” he repeated through clenched teeth. “Tell me.”
The hand on his chest smoothed across to his right pec, long fingers brushing over his nipple, before feathering down over his stomach, across his hip and back to his chest again—an intimate caress that sent his skin afire and his anger on edge. “It’s me,” the voice whispered, the fingers resting lightly over his heart. “It’s Bhelais.” A soft pause followed, and then: “I’m taking care of you… Jak.”
Jak Thorson’s eyes snapped open. Ice ripping through his veins, he stared up at Jaienna Ti’s sister. Sons of Urik, he still couldn’t see! Nothing but gray fog clouded his vision.
“Bhelais,” he growled, squirming on the hard surface beneath him. A bed? The floor?
“Be calm, Jak,” Bhelais’ soft voice ordered, her long fingers stroking across his nipple. Tight heat radiated out from the contact, making Jak’s cock twitch. “You need to relax. Your wound—”
In an abrupt violent crash of color, images and sound, the last moments Jak remembered before the gray fog hit him: Bhel straddling his hips, her gloriously naked body undulating with pleasure as he thrust up into her tight sex; the sudden appearance of Hrung Crortek and two fully-armed Boaronian bodyguards in their quarters aboard the Ry’l space-station; the brutal attack on himself and Bhel; finding Zeric and Jaienna in the service level of the space-station; Jaienna’s terror at seeing her sister in Crortek’s control; Crortek’s command; his de-atomizer in Bhelais’ hand; her deception…
White agony flared in Jak’s head and he flinched away from Bhelais’ soft touch, scrabbling backward into an upright position. He stared sightlessly, muscles tense, gut churning. “You shot me.”
A heavy silence filled the air.
Anger rolled through Jak. “You deceived your sister. You gave her and my partner up to the most sadistic crime lord in the Boundaries, and then you shot me. Point-blank in the head with Crortek’s de-atomizer.”
He heard her shift slightly. “Yes.”
“For a Bliss hit? Or for Crortek?”
Another pause. Then: “Both.”
He closed his sightless eyes, his chest heavy. “Everything I’d done for you. Every moment I spent trying to help you…” He shook his head, ignoring the explosive pain that came with the harsh movement. “And all along you were still Crortek’s faithful slave.”
“Yes,” Bhelais murmured.
Jak heard her get to her feet, the soft sounds telling him they were bare. An image of her beautiful perfection filled his head and he grit his teeth. “I fell in love with you, Bhel.”
“I told you not to.”
The sorrow in her voice made his throat squeeze. “You also told me to fuck you. Repeatedly.”
“Which you did. But why? For me, or for you?”
Opening his unseeing eyes, he glared at her. “I did it to keep you alive! To drain your system of Bliss. You know what would have happened to you if I hadn’t.”
“A Blissful death.”
Jak did not miss the bitter irony in Bhelais’ voice. Bliss was an insidious drug and once it was in your system it demanded more. Death from a Bliss withdrawal was not only painful, but also protracted and hideous. One hit was enough to put the user’s body into a heightened state of sexual urges. A state that left one hungry and aroused. The only way to survive a Bliss withdrawal was constant sex until the user’s body began to replace the Bliss created oxytocin with its own. An act that, depending on how long someone had been addicted to the aphrodisiac, could last for weeks. It sounded like sheer joy in theory, but in actuality… His cock twitched at the disturbing memory of his and Bhel’s wild, feverous couplings. “What about Zeric?” he demanded, forcing the memory aside. “Jaienna? Where are they?”
Silence answered him. Thick and uncomfortable. His gut clenched. Zeric Arctos had been his Boundary Guardian partner for five Unified orbits. They were like brothers. The Terran knew everything about him and he knew everything about Zeric, including the beast lurking in his blood that transformed him into a creature unlike any Jak—or anyone else in the Boundaries—had seen before; a creature Zeric called a werewolf and considered a curse.
Jak had seen the creature in full incarnation and it was a terrifying sight to behold. Only two people were safe from the werewolf. He and Jaienna Ti. And it seemed from Bhelais’ silence, Jaienna was dead.
He frowned, a wave of cold anger rolling over him. “How could you let Crortek kill your own sister, Bhel?”
The sound of feet shuffling tickled Jak’s ear. “He didn’t kill her,” Bhelais answered, and again, that bitter sorrow etched her voice. “She left. She translocated off Ry’l with Intel-Patrol Agent, Raq Tornada.” She paused, and Jak suddenly felt an overpowering sense of foreboding twisting through his veins. “Her ex-lover.”
Jak’s throat and chest clenched. Jaienna deserting Zeric made no sense. None at all. But then, neither did—
“You shot me in the head with a de-atomizer,” he said, leveling a blind stare at Bhelais, the pain in his forehead now an inferno of agony. “Why am I still alive?”
“Enough questions, Jak.” Bhel’s warm breath caressed his neck and her fingertips fluttered over his chest. “You need to rest.”
He reached for her wrists, sightlessly snaring them in a firm grip, swallowing back the grief of Zeric’s death and Jaienna’s desertion. “I need to know why I’m alive, Bhel.”
She didn’t answer. Silence filled the room. The pulse in her wrist leapt into frantic flight under his fingers.
“Why am I still alive, Bhelais?” he asked again. Harder. More forceful.
“Because I changed the setting on Crortek’s gun before I shot you.”
That silence again.
“I couldn’t kill you.”
A heavy beat thumped in Jak’s chest. “Because…”
“Because you were right when you said killing you would hurt me more than you.” Her breath hitched and the pulse in her wrist beat harder. “Because the thought of you dead hurt more than Crortek’s punishment ever could.”
Jak’s throat grew tight. “Because…” he repeated, wanting her to say three simple words.
But she didn’t. Instead, she twisted her wrists free of his hold and traced the intricate scars on his cheekbones marking his Master-Pleasurer status with the tips of her fingers. Soft fingertips followed by even softer lips. Lips that knew his body well. Lips that knew how to make his body respond.
Which it did.
Immediately and powerfully.
Hot blood surged to his cock, inflamed by the memory of Bhelais’ taste. Her lips parted over his, her tongue flicking out to tease the tiny dip at the corners of his mouth—first one side, then the other. Opening his mouth to hers, he tilted his head back… and felt the soft malleable metal Guardian prohibitor collar locked loosely around his neck.
He recoiled, snatching at both her wrists. “Why am I collared, Bhel?” he ground out, his body aching with lust, desire and denial. “Am I a prisoner?”
“No.” The answer came on a quick breath.
“So why the collar?”
He felt the fine bones in Bhel’s wrists move as she squirmed against his hold. “For your protection.”
Jak narrowed his unseeing eyes. “From whom?”
“From yourself,” she finally whispered, and before he could demand an explanation, her firm, long, warm thighs pressed against his hips, her velvet-damp pussy lips nestled against his cock and her mouth took possession of his.
The kiss was fierce. Almost desperate. Her tongue invaded his mouth, flicking at his teeth, exploring the wetness beyond his lips. She rolled her hips backward and forward, working her pussy up and down the length of his shaft, teasing its growing length until hungry blood left it engorged and stiff. He moaned, the sound low and base. He should be throwing her off him, demanding answers she so obviously didn’t want to give, but when her sex caressed his cock… when it slicked his burning flesh with the cream of her desire… he could think of nothing but how tight she was, how wonderfully they fit each other’s bodies, how quickly and deeply he’d fallen in love with her…
He closed his sightless eyes and released her wrists, burying his hands in the thick, cool tumble of her hair. He yanked their bodies closer together, thrusting his tongue deeper past her lips, grinding his cock harder to her sex. She whimpered, her breasts crushing against his chest, her soft flat belly pressing to his.
She nipped at his bottom lip and his cock twitched in dark interest at the sharp ribbon of pain that shot through him. He groaned and raked his hands down her back, the satin-smooth feel of her flesh under his palms almost as arousing as the feel of her pussy on his throbbing length. He grabbed her ass and yanked her wetness closer to his cock, assaulting her tongue with his. Sons of Urik! She was keeping him prisoner on the most distant planet in the outer Boundaries, she’d used him to deliver Zeric and Jaienna into Hrung Crortek’s hands, and she’d deceived everyone he held dear. He should be wringing her neck now!
The damp lips of her sex nudged the swollen head of his cock and he groaned again. He should be wringing her neck, but the gods damn him, his heart—his captured romantic heart—demanded he do something else entirely different. “May Urik damn us both, Bhel,” he ground out between gritted teeth.
“As long as I’m with you, being loved by you,” she murmured, rolling her hips to brush her smooth mons across his rampant cock, “I am never damned.”
The words sent fire into Jak’s balls, into his gut, chest and soul. “If you are deceiving me, Bhel…” The threat felt raw in his throat.
Her palms pressed to his chest, cool and hot all at once, making his nipples pinch into rock-hard nubs. “Feel me, Jak.” Her pussy stroked his cock, painting it in her juices. “Does it feel like I’m deceiving you?”
His unseeing eyes locked on her. “It feels like you’re seducing me.” He swallowed, pleasure throbbing through his body as powerfully as the pain throbbing in his head. “Again.”
The palms on his chest pushed—gently—and he let his back lower slowly to the surface beneath him, straightening into a prone position. Fingertips danced over his flesh, circled his nipples and feathered up to his lips. “Not seducing, Jak,” she whispered, and he felt her hips shift against his groin, her pussy-lips enveloping the head of his cock in an almost hesitant caress. “Apologizing. Begging you for forgiveness.”
Gods, Jak. If she’s still playing you…
He closed his useless eyes and ran his hands up the curves of her rib cage, letting them explore a body he knew so well, wondering what lay in the heart, the soul, inside. His fingertips brushed the underside of her breasts and, before he could stop himself, he cupped each heavy swell.
“Yes, Jak.” Bhel’s husky voice kissed his senses. She arched her back, pressing her pussy harder to his cock and her breasts deeper into his fondling grasp.
He found her nipples and rolled the puckered tips between his knuckles, his mouth dry as the memory of their texture on his tongue filled his head. Cool fingers found his own tiny nipples, emulating the same pressure he caressed hers with in erotic pinches that made his head swim and his muscles tense. He removed one hand from her breast and slid it around her back, pulling her down to him. He needed to relive the memory. He needed it now.
She came to him. The warmth from her lowering body like a mist on his skin. He opened his lips, seeking her nipple, picturing its puckered pink perfection in his mind.
The softness of her breast brushed his cheek, his nose, her nipple seemingly tracing the scars on his cheek from his sexual initiation. He twisted his head, blindly hunting the peak with his mouth.
She pulled away slightly, her nipple stroking the line of his profile from lips to forehead. “Forgive me, Jak,” she whispered.
He bit back a groan, opening his eyes to stare into the gray fog, squeezing the breast he still cupped, dragging his other hand down her spine to grasp at her ass. “Bhel…”
She moved again, her weight repositioning over his hips. He felt her pussy slide up and down his cock, felt its creamy wetness slick his balls. “Forgive me, Jak.”
He swallowed, his throat clicking, his nostrils flaring. He tried to hold her still but she rode the length of his shaft with such liquid strokes, fucking him with without penetration, and he realized he wasn’t trying to keep her still after all, but directed and encouraged the movement of her hips with the hand gripping her ass.
Sons of Urik!
The hands on his chest, the fingers teasing and pinching his nipples slid lower down his torso and were suddenly gone. The loss of contact made him moan. He couldn’t see her! Surely she wouldn’t deprive him of her touch?
Fingers suddenly buried in his hair and her mouth crushed his, her tongue plunging past his lips, assaulting his. The savageness of the kiss sent him reeling. He sank his nails into her hip, her breast, driving his tongue to hers in equal force. Her nipples rubbed his chest, her pussy ground against his cock. He felt a tingle begin at the base of his spine as his orgasm began to build.
And you still have yet to bury your length in her sex!
He needed to amend that.
As if she heard the very thought, Bhelais broke off the kiss, ending it as abruptly as she began it. He blinked, his lips pulsing with hot, bruised blood.
“Tears of Druentia, Jak. Why did I not find you until it was too late?”
The urgency in Bhel’s voice made him smile and his cock twitch. She was just as close to losing control as he was. “It’s never too late, Bhel,” he answered, lifting his hips to press his hungry erection to her sex. “I told you that on Ry’l.”
Her tongue suddenly touched his left nipple and he sucked in a surprised and pleasured hiss.
She flicked the tip of her tongue at the nub of tight flesh. “Tell me again, Jak.”
“It’s not too late, Bhel.”
Her tongue danced over his chest, circling the other nipple. “To save me?”
Jak arched beneath her, a whimper slipping past his lips as her teeth closed down on his nipple. “Yes,” he ground out.
She rolled her hips backward and forward, each stroke bringing his cock closer to glorious impalement. “I saved you to save me, Jak.”
“Then let me save you, Bhel.”
With a silent grunt and a sudden flip, he threw her onto her back and pinned her to the surface, capturing her wrists and ramming them to the hard surface beneath her, driving his knees between hers to shove her legs apart, the musky scent of her sex filling his nostrils immediately. He stared sightless down at her through the thick gray fog, seeing her in divine clarity all the same. “Let me save us.”
“Druentia wept!” Bhel cried. “Yes!”
He dropped his hips and rammed his cock into her tight pussy. Wet, constricting muscles surrounded him, sucked at him greedily. He thrust into her until his balls smashed against her ass. Withdrew and rammed home again. Each penetration scored his flesh with an inferno he couldn’t understand, as if an invisible master was whipping him.
He punched into her, feeling her nails rake over his back, feeling his balls swell and rise.
His life had been about righting wrongs, fighting for those who could not do so themselves, protecting the weak and scouring the Boundaries of Bliss. The woman below him, the woman he fit so perfectly was a Bliss-using sex-slave who’d sold her own sister’s life for the drug, a woman who’d brought about the death of his partner for her own gain, but he loved her. All the rest he would deal with later. At that very moment, nothing but bringing Bhelais to scalding, exquisite release with him matter. Nothing but showing her she’d been right. He could save her.
If she truly wanted him to.
He captured her neck with his lips, plunging his cock in and out of her clenching, sodden pussy as he drank the sweat slicking her skin. He scored a line up to her jaw, her ear, dragging his hands down her arms to curl them under her shoulders and hold her close to him, his heart to hers. “Tell me the real reason you couldn’t kill me, Bhel, and I’ll save you forever.” He nipped at her ear lobe, almost coming there and then as Bhelais’ sex constricted around his shaft in a gripping vice. “Tell me, Bhel, and forgiveness is but a stroke away.”
Her muscles tensed, her hands stilled on his back. And then she turned her head until her lips pressed his cheek and whispered, “Because I love you, Jak.”
Molten pleasure erupted in his sac. Lines of it shot up his spine, into his belly, down his thighs. His balls shrank to swollen rocks of heat and his cock pulsated as wad after wad of cum burst from its engorged tip.
“Gods!” Bhel cried out, bucking underneath him. Her nails dug into his hips, her ankles locked behind his ass. She thrust up into him, meeting each one of his wild, brutal stabs in equal need, her sucking, clenching, gripping sex milking his cock of his seed. “Oh, gods, Jak! Yes!”
He stared at her with sightless desire. Saw nothing but grayness and everything perfectly. They were both damned, but perhaps in each other’s arms, damnation would be forced to wait.
His heart hammered, in unison with the wads of thick cum spurting from his cock, in harmony with the squeezing muscles of Bhel’s climax.
And then, rhythm deserting him, he threw back his head and cried out himself, physical agony blending with physical rapture, emotional pain twisting through emotional ecstasy as the last of his load pumped into Bhelais’ pussy.
Drained, depleted and numb, Jak rolled to the side, his head a white ball of agony, his body weak and trembling. He sucked in a ragged breath, pulling Bhel against his side, needing her heat and smooth, sweat-slicked firmness. “No one will ever hurt you or make you do anything against your wishes again, Bhel.” Eyelids fluttering closed, he felt sleep reach for him with an undeniable embrace. “I will always be your savior, your protector. From Bliss, from Crortek, from every nightmare you ever had.”
Her cheek snuggled against his chest, fine strands of her golden-blonde hair tickling his jaw and chin. “I know, Jak,” she whispered, placing her palm on his heart.
He sank into sleep, its still blackness taking him away.
Just as Bhelais murmured on a soft breath, “If only I could let you.”
* * * *
The bars of his cage hummed around him, radiating their painful energy, making his skin prickle and the beast snarl in fury. He watched the people moving around him, their curious stares like razors, their titters and giggles turning his blood hot. Crortek was trying a new tactic—public display. He’d had Zeric’s cage moved to the center dais of his “entertaining” room, letting his guests watch Zeric’s every move in the hopes of wearing him down, exhausting him to the point where his psychological control crumbled and the Illashionist’s power of deception took over.
Crortek needed Zeric to ejaculate.
Zeric bared his teeth in a silent snarl, a cold sense of satisfaction twisting through him as the gawking couple standing closest to the cage cringed.
Not ejaculate as a human, but as the beast. The werewolf.
The crime lord had tried every test possible to extract the mysterious DNA strand from Zeric’s system that transformed him into a werewolf. None successful. This, by Zeric’s reckoning, was Crortek’s last opportunity.
“I would pay a pretty chit to have you fuck me.”
The proclamation, delivered in a low and thin Aglaian hiss, slid Zeric’s flat gaze down to the bottom right corner of his cage. An Aglaian master-merchant, dressed in clinging diaphanous robes and more bejewelled gold than her thin body seemed capable of supporting, leered up at him, her long fingers lazily tracing small circles around the erect nipple of her left breast. Her lips curled in a smug smile when Zeric’s eyes met hers and she ran her tongue over the pointed tips of her fangs. “A cock like that would more than fill a female’s fantasies, it would create new ones.”
Zeric gave the woman a flat stare. The beast within growling with disgust, he turned away.
And saw Jaienna.
In the far corner of the room, watching him, her copper-fire red hair ablaze in the dim lighting, her exquisite body covered with nothing but a shiny black strip of leather that wrapped around her torso and hips to disappear between her smooth thighs, leading his eye on a wonderful path of memory, a path his lips and tongue had traveled more than once, a path that led to sweet, tight, slick heaven. A delicious path that led—
The room shimmered. Jaienna rippled, as though a wall of water fell between them both and suddenly the Illashionist stood in the far corner, her sunken gray eyes fixed on him.
Zeric reeled backward, the beast in his blood roaring in fury. Enraged. Incensed.
His body changed. Immediately and forcefully.
Flesh became fur, teeth became fangs, and nails became claws. He threw back his head, a deafening howl tearing from his throat as the beast let its rage release.
Screams of terror rent the air. People scattered, glasses and Bliss bombs thrown to the floor, trampled beneath stamping feet. Zeric tasted their fear, revelled in it. Feasted on it. He threw his arms wide, expanding his chest, letting his thick animalistic blood rip through his veins and his humanity shudder and writhe in its wake.
He bared his fangs, glaring at the fleeing horde, claws sinking into his padded palms, muscles thrumming with the desire—no, the need—to kill. He would make them pay. Pay and pay again. In blood and pain and death. He scanned the room, no longer human.
Then his burning stare fell on Crortek.
The Ornithion leant against the far bar, a Xolotlan Sniff held loosely in his taloned grip. The lipless mouth curled into a slow, smug smile, the pale pupil-free eyes shining with triumph. He raised his glass in a mocking toast, that white pearlescent stare fixed on Zeric. “Soon,” he said, the word lost in the cacophony of screams and cries but understandable all the same. His smile stretched wider. “Very soon.”