Alien Romance: The Barbarian's Owned: Scifi Alien Abduction Romance (Alien Romance, Alien Invasion Romance, BBW) (Celestial Mates Book 1) (8 page)

BOOK: Alien Romance: The Barbarian's Owned: Scifi Alien Abduction Romance (Alien Romance, Alien Invasion Romance, BBW) (Celestial Mates Book 1)
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She frowned. “While we’re on this date, I can still tell you ‘no,’ right?”

He paused from loosening the laces, glancing down at her. “Yes.” He didn’t seem to like the idea of being told not to do something, and Rae toyed with the idea of ordering him to get lost.

But instead, she grinned. For all his flaws, Garr hadn’t yet gone back on his word. She believed him, and what was more, she was so dead tired that having him pry off her shoes seemed fine. Depending on what he went after next, though, she might have to drop the hammer.

He tossed both her shoes onto the floor. But when he went for her socks, her stomach lurched with the horrid mental image of her marred skin—pruned, blistered, and torn from hiking in wet shoes for two days. “Don’t,” she fretted self-consciously. “They’re going to be gross.”

“You’re hurt,” Garr said, standing and going to a bough that grew inside their room, where maybe sixteen different varieties of fruit sprouted from the same short length of a branch—like a Skorvag’s idea of a medicine cabinet, she realized.

Garr plucked a round, blue bulb and returned, kneeling onto the bed. He stripped her socks off and Rae refused to look at the state of her mangled feet.

Garr softly cupped her heel, cracking that bulb open like an egg. Its yolk carried a medicinal aroma and he rubbed it into her frayed heel, the balm soothing the searing pain from her abrasions.

He coaxed the oil over the whole of her foot and pressed this thumbs into her arch, rubbing until the tense muscles and stiff ligaments all went slack.

It was strange how once that happened, her shoulders and spine relaxed at the same time, so that she pooled into the silky otoya sheets.

Rae shut her eyes. His hands worked her pant leg up and his kneading at her taut hamstrings elicited a contented groan. He rotated her ankle to loosen it, and it gave a faint pop—she whimpered at the release of tension.

By the time he started on her other foot, she was only faintly aware of the room, or the way the crystal lights dimmed. Her feet no longer hurt, and all her soreness was comforted by either sheets, cool medicine, or Garr’s relentless hands. Before he’d finished on her other hamstring, she fell into a pleasant black sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Nine

 

 

The hiss of running water woke Rae and, for a moment, she forgot where she was.

It came back to her when she opened her eyes and streams of sunlight brought her to full alertness. Her room was a vista to the yawning green meadow with its golden flowers, the chattering river, and towering waterfall less than a mile away.

Alien world. Big, weirdo kidnapper. Right.
She groaned, rolling onto her stomach and glancing around…

…Garr was in the shower. Fog from the hot water—they had hot water!—obscured the glass stall so that, through misty panes, she made out the rugged outline of his body.

She could see the hard pane of his flat abdomen, the crest made by his ribs when his arms extended over his head to wash his short, dark hair. It revealed both the breadth in his shoulders and, because of the tilt to his back, the gorgeous ranginess of his graceful body.

He shifted, and though she couldn’t make out every detail, she could see the glistening power of his back taper into a faintly obscured, firm backside.

He’s certainly not shy.
Rae sat up and thought to look away, but—well—she’d been dragged to an alien world, and the biologist in her ought to at least observe the native wildlife. And Garr happened to be right there, so why not?

He turned to face her, noticing her observation of him, and made eye contact while soaping his shoulders. He shamelessly rolled his palm down his sculpted chest, across the lean eight-pack, and lower, lower still.

The brazen act forced Rae to snap her gaze down, cheeks firing, because the fog gave her just enough a glimpse to see the size of him, and watching him touch himself was just the right amount of kinky to let her inner, Midwestern “good girl” come out in full.

She glanced instead at the sunshine, hoping to distract herself from the most picturesque, gorgeous male she’d seen outside of magazine covers. Even the sunshine couldn’t distract her entirely from arousal blazing through her veins, or the curl of warmth in her center.

The water turned off and Garr padded out. Rae turned to make a smart remark, but he’d already left the bedroom. Through the glass wall of the chamber, she saw him disappear downstairs with his otoya already affixed.

After a half hour wait, wondering how to begin her day, Rae decided Garr had found another way to busy himself. She was alone for the first time in a while and took the opportunity to avail herself of their bathroom.

The fixtures were, thankfully, similar enough to Earth’s that she could figure them out. Afterwards, she hit up the shower.

It wasn’t entirely like a shower on Earth. The whole chamber was seemingly made from glass, with two sides of the stall wrapped in green foliage and branches from the other side, so that even though it was sterile, she was surrounded in wild nature.

It gave the shower a nearly primal feel, to turn and see through the misty glass those bright leaves and twisty branches. In point of fact, it was a quality present throughout the tree house, which seemed to put her in the heart of nature without sacrificing any comforts.

The water sprayed from three fixtures: one stationed overhead, another in front, and a third from below that jettisoned upward. In the midst of washing herself, she noticed her feet looked nearly healed. The ointment had all but eliminated her blisters.

Rae danced around the placement of the jets at first, but eventually gave in to what the shower seemed to be designed for, and the sensation of jets hitting her body from all those angles put her in a good mood. Better than good: the one below was hitting her a little
too
well between her thighs.

She went slow, shifting happily, and a dirty part of her sort of wanted Garr to walk in on her. She’d freak out if he did, probably, but it was just exciting enough a fantasy to get her going.

Her hand slid down her body, to the crux of her thighs, but when the fine hairs on her neck went on-end, she realized she wasn’t alone. She jerked her fingers away, glancing over her shoulder.

It was Sylla, who had wandered into the bedroom on tiny cat’s paws, laying out clothes on the bed. The girl studiously avoided looking up, but was a presence nonetheless.

Moment ruined, Rae hurriedly cranked off the water. The shower responded by billowing warm air from vents at the top and bottom, drying her in mere moments, except for the dampness in her hair.

The lack of a towel made her brisk walk to the bed more awkward, but Sylla flapped open an otoya garment and held it out like a barrier between them. “For you, ma’am.”

“Thanks.” Rae slipped into it. For a moment, the garment hung like a robe, but it transformed as Garr’s had many times before. It felt wet at first, flowing over her skin.

After a long and sensual shower, the feel of it was actually amazing—silken fluid moving across her body, tightening around her bust in a way that gently cupped her breasts more naturally than any bra ever had.

The support was amazing. Below the waist, it transformed into a sarong, and over the bra it melted into a flowing garment that draped perfectly off her curves.

She felt gorgeous, and when she moved around, the fabric around her chest performed micro adjustments that always kept her supported and comfortable. “Someone needs to invent this on Earth right the hell now,” she muttered.

“Is the color to your liking?” Sylla asked.

It was plain white, which was not Rae’s color at all. She considered it. “How about a subdued blue?”

“Touch it here,” Sylla said, motioning to a spot on the sleeve. “Kaython’s microbes interact with the otoya. Imagine what you want and the fabric will try to comply.”

Rae did so, imagining a robin’s egg blue. Her clothing shifted to that color immediately. “How long until I can make it do swords, like Garr’s?”

“Only men do battle,” Sylla whispered.

Something was missing though. Glancing down, she realized it had never produced panties. “Where’s the underwear?”

“Um.” Sylla blushed faintly. “The fabric reacts naturally to our wants and desires. So if a man is attacked, it reflexively forms armor. If a woman is…” She cleared her throat. “Prepared to mate, it won’t… block her.”

Rae’s eyes widened.
The otoya thinks I’m horny so it won’t make me panties?

The idea should have angered her, but she realized her arousal still lingered like background radiation. Being stuck sans underwear only heightened it. “Could I get my regular panties back?” she asked.

“They’re in the wash. I’ll have them to you later today,” Sylla assured. “In the meantime, you may practice with the otoya. You can instantly disrobe, dress, or alter it. With some practice, you may be able to override the… underwear feature.” Sylla turned sharply to Rae’s blouse and jacket.

“I managed to get hold of these this morning and they’re clean already. But I noticed something was the matter with the jacket.”

“What’s that?” Rae asked.

Sylla pointed to a smudge on the collar. “This is a grave berry stain. Nearly invisible, but I was meticulous with it. A grave berry has a special scent, only detectable by certain Ythirian predators.”

Rae blinked. “What’s the scent do?”

“Drives predators wild. You’re lucky you were only attacked by one beast. With this on your collar, it’s little wonder. Strange, though. Grave berries don’t usually grow in Lyr.”

Weird,
Rae thought, examining the stain.
I don’t remember touching any berries on my way through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Ten

 

 

It turned out Garr had gone hunting. The Skorvag could grow medicine, soap, houses, but apparently not a pork loin. Go figure.

Rae decided it was a good thing, since she needed space to think—to get her bearings, physically and emotionally.

She spent time cataloguing all the amenities the Skorvag could produce from a simple tree, and realized the tree must have housed several nanotech assemblers inside its trunk.

She really wanted to get her hands on a seed from the forest, dissect it, and determine where the plant began and machine ended.

On the second-to-top floor, directly over the kitchen, Rae found a garden packed thick with standing racks of fruits and vegetables sprouting from potting soil. They grew in shelves, drawers, along the floor, dangled from the ceiling overhead, and there was a breathtaking variety of fruits, vegetables, and even grains.

She recognized none of them, but Sylla located her breakfast: two squishy fruits that tasted like well-ripened peaches.

More complex ingredients were available in the kitchen, which Sylla explained had to be harvested and processed, then carried to the tree house for storage.

They included a brown variety of flour, dry herbs, golden honey so similar to Earth’s she just knew they had somehow stolen bees from her planet, and various syrups.

Rae asked about how they were harvested, and it turned out the Skorvag had whole nurseries of specialized plants and microbial organisms that produced several of the ingredients. The Ythirians merely had to gather it from the techno-organic factories.

The economy of Ythir had nothing to do with production, she realized. The Skorvag provided endlessly malleable clothes and limitless food—she suspected it also gave them shelter.

The only thing she’d seen the Ythirians strive for so far was meat and mates, and it bothered her that those two things might be in similar boxes for Garr.

Her breakfast of fruit made Rae miss more processed foods. She wanted pasta, warm bread, sweets, or maybe just yogurt with some granola on top.

Life in the tree house seemed effortless. She could have worried about laundry, but Sylla had it covered—and so Rae spent her afternoon figuring out the strange appliances, wondering if she could get away with taking one apart.

The kitchen’s layout was similar to one from Earth—it even had smooth, marble countertops and a massive kitchen island. Beneath the island were various compartments with racks and squama heating plates.

Ovens,
she realized. There was also something similar to a range top in the corner: it had squama plates for heating pots and a long, ventilated charcoal pit that could have roasted a prize pig.

There were knives, plates, and eating utensils. Cookware was metal, but glazed in something shiny blue instead of Teflon.

Nearly all the pots and pans hung from an overhead rack made by a lattice of branches crisscrossing along the ceiling. The organization was methodical, the work of someone with a mind for efficiency.

The tree house possessed seven levels. There were chambers for lounging, bedrooms, storage, and half a level was dedicated to butchering game on a massive wooden block, or dangling from a hoist, then refrigerating them in an adjacent room that was, at present, empty.

The sterile feel of these chambers made her shiver, but she reminded herself both of Ythirian hunting culture and her own father’s love of deer hunting.

Still, staring at the spears and huge knives along one wall made her shiver, recalling Garr and how he’d hacked that monster to ribbons right in front of her.

The top-most level was an observation deck and by far her favorite room. It wasn’t partitioned like the others—a circular chamber with clear glass walls and roof, filled with flowers and plants seemingly chosen for beauty instead of functionality. As with the kitchen below, she wondered who had organized and decorated it.

Up here, Rae could see the planet’s rings, which through the clouds and atmosphere had taken on an almost purple glow today, more visible on the far horizon away from the sun’s glare.

When the sun went down, she could spend time drawing the constellations and take them home with her, perhaps identifying where in the galaxy Ythir was. Such knowledge might come in handy for the human race someday if they wanted to know which galactic real estate to avoid.

Peering across the meadowland at the waterfall, she examined it. The water broke at the top, transforming it into three streams that rolled off the same precipice, one from the front and two more from either side.

Watching it a while, she became lost in the sublime sound and sight of the misty water. A tingle of frisson charged up her spine, putting all her fine hairs on end—perhaps a little stronger than frisson, too, accompanied by an urge to get closer to the falls.

An odd feeling, but it was an odd world.

***

Garr arrived late in the day and dressed his game downstairs. Rae’s father had once made her help him clean a deer, and she had no desire to repeat the experience. She liked her steaks brought in clear plastic wrapping, not furry on the outside.

Fortunately, her “date” brought a shiny, red rump roast upstairs—one that looked like it came from a medium-large dinosaur.

“So.” Rae hopped onto the stone countertop of the island, in a spot where there were no hanging pots or pans to bump her head. “The alpha hunter brings home food and, what, I cook it? How does this work?”

Garr blinked at her, confused. He removed a roasting pan and thumped the meat into it, carefully cleaning his hands in the sink before approaching.

His advance made Rae want to shrink back, but the scorching look in his eyes locked her body up, a rollercoaster thrill of terror building in the pit of her stomach.

Easing his hands onto either side of her, Rae’s body leaned back a few inches even while he tilted forward, until his mouth was near hers. She licked her lips, uncertain what he was going to do—and that uncertainty made her breath quicken.

***

He liked her like this. Timid, lips parted and panting softly while he examined her face. She had wide-open eyes, and though his presence intimidated her, it wasn’t terror. He’d have smelled that, as he had in the forest clearing. No, he only scented arousal.

Wanting to be closer to that scent, Garr slipped his nose near her throat, shutting his eyes and inhaling deeply.

Yes. She is what I want. She is everything that I want.

***

He dipped his nose to her throat, and the sound of him breathing in so sharply made her gasp, spine going rigid for a split second as her primordial brain thought he’d bite her.

Another part of her wanted him to. Wanted him to clamp his teeth onto her skin, his hands to her hips, and take her savagely atop the counter, in total careless disregard for their planned dinner or who might walk in on them.

Garr had cleaned off at some point after butchering his game, because when he came close, she could smell his clean skin. It hadn’t been a full-on shower, because he also carried notes of the forest, of earthen clay and the faint musk of exertion—that musk smelled different on a Ythirian. Better, somehow—not overpowering, as with a human male, but distinctly masculine.

“I like your scent,” he said. The scrape of his voice made her ticklish.

“You’re not so shabby either.” She remained where she was, absolutely still for fear any movement would entice him. The devilish part of her wanted him enticed.

Somehow, all her terror from before had been quieted—by the way his hands cared for her last night, by his promise to send her home. It had transformed this from a kidnapping to an adventure, and all it had required was knowing she would return in less than a week.

“But you never answered my question, Mr. Garr. What precisely is my role in this?”

“Women do not cook.”

“So what
do
we do?”

He leaned back, his expression confused again. “You dine.”

Dear patriarchy: the Ythirians say you’re doing it wrong.
“Okay, wait a second. I need to hear you say something. If a woman tried to cook for you, what would you say to her?” In spite of his ferocious stance, Rae was smiling.

Brow furrowed, Garr eased back one-step and the little bit of distance seemed to release a pressure that had been squeezing Rae’s heart tighter than a fist. “I’d tell her to get out of my kitchen.” He seemed offended by the idea.

Covering her mouth to stifle a giggle, Rae glanced sweetly up at him. “Pretty please, just say it for me one more time like you mean it. And, oh, refer to me as ‘woman’ when you do.”

She beamed, using that high-wattage smile that worked so well on tough-guy types.

Unsure of her game, but seeming to like that smile, Garr relented. “Woman. Get out of my kitchen. Men’s work is about to be done.”

Rae howled with laughter and collapsed back on the island, stretched across it now. “No. I am a strong human woman, and I refuse to leave the kitchen!” She gripped the end of the island. “I will chain myself to this stove and petition for my right to cook!”

He was as confused as ever, like a dog trying to figure out why a human was talking to it.

Wiping a tear from her eye, she sat up. “I’m done playing now.”

“What was that all about?”

“I’ll tell you when you’re older.”

He drew a knife from a slot on the wall, snagged a handful of starchy vegetables, and diced with effortless strokes of the blade. “It makes no sense for women to cook. Men take care of the women.”

“That’ll get boring, though.” She didn’t like the idea of being taken care of. Okay, on occasion she loved being pampered. But if she didn’t get to do things for herself sometimes, it drove her batty.

“You’ll need to give me a job if you want to do dinner the proper, human way.”

“Your job is to be my mate.”

She guffawed. “So my job is to sexually pleasure you and make babies? Take care of your house while you hunt and cook? No thanks.”

He bristled. “I care for you. Because you’re mine.”

The vehemence in his voice was so powerful that she realized this was a significant aspect of Ythirian culture. From what she could ascertain, Garr had more testosterone pounding through him than any human male.

Witnessing his brutal rage in the forest clearing made that obvious. All that aggression could be occasionally directed at hunting activities, but perhaps their males needed a counterpoint to their destructive proclivities—something to make them feel less monstrous.

Their relationship to females appeared to be protective, but with a much stronger caretaking role than on Earth. “So what do Ythirian females do with their days?”

“They take up arts; some improve the homestead.” He slathered his hands in a cooking oil, rubbing it on the roast, switching over to add herbs and seasoning that gave it a savory aroma even before it had cooked.

“So housework?” She was unimpressed.

“What is ‘housework’?”

“Chores. Cleaning and whatnot.”

He gestured around. “Do your homes not clean themselves? That seems… untidy.”

The tree house must have been self-maintaining. The few chores she’d seen—laundry, cooking—were taken up by either Garr or Sylla. Nice as that may have been, it set off panic in Rae. A life without tasks sounded excruciatingly dull.

“What do you mean ‘improving the homestead’? Because I’m not the most artsy girl.”

He cleaned his hands of the oil at a sink, and then put the roast into the oven—which had heated on its own, without his ever pushing a button or turning a dial.

The tree house must have had an artificial intelligence that allowed it to respond to his needs. “Changing the rooms to suit someone’s desires. One of my beta’s females organized this kitchen. A taliyar also commands the homestead in her prime’s absence—giving orders to the betas and omegas, particularly the other females.”

“So an architect, interior designer, and HR manager all rolled into one,” she murmured.

“Others design new plant-life with help from the Skorvag.”

“Wait, they make new species?” she asked.

“New types of food, aesthetically pleasing flora, and sometimes they create new household items. This stove was invented eight cycles ago and now they’re in every Ythirian home, even beyond Kaython.” He patted the island.

Inventors and—dare she say it—even genetic engineers. That didn’t sound so bad. “Men can’t do any of that?”

He scoffed. “Of course not.” He started unpacking new ingredients, including flour, honey, and other baking goods.

The idea of eating a baked good was more exciting than it should have been for Rae.

“Males do not create. We destroy. That is why the Skorvag will only work with females to invent new species or tools.”

That struck her as unfair. The rigid roles seemed confining for both genders. “You’ve never wanted to create something?”

BOOK: Alien Romance: The Barbarian's Owned: Scifi Alien Abduction Romance (Alien Romance, Alien Invasion Romance, BBW) (Celestial Mates Book 1)
8.46Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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