Authors: Tracy Cooper-Posey
Tally felt her cheeks heat. Her whole face and neck bloomed with sudden warmth. “I screamed?” she repeated.
Rob shifted his weight to one elbow and stroked her cheek, smiling. “Ye blush like a maiden now. Is it that ye’ve never done that before, Tally? Not even with your Christian?”
She closed her eyes, her humiliation complete.
Rob tapped her cheek gently. “Look at me, Tally,” he commanded, his voice low. There was no doubt in his voice that she would obey.
Tally forced herself to open her eyes and look at him.
His finger touched her lips. “Ye told me ye true name because ye would not let yerself be taken by me under a false one, did ye not, Natália?”
Tally swallowed. Decisions, decisions. What damage would this truth do? Then she looked properly into Rob’s eyes and knew she couldn’t lie. “Yes,” she replied, without further thought.
“That’s also why ye told me about Christian, yes?”
She took a deep breath and nodded.
“Why did ye tell me to call you Tally, hmm?”
Tally thought of and rapidly discarded a dozen different explanations and outright lies. Then she simply settled for the truth again. “I like you,” she told him. “I want you to use my real name. The one everyone else uses when I’m at home.”
“The one Christian uses when he is not angry with ye.”
Rob smiled and lifted her as he rose to sit on his heels, keeping himself inside her the whole time. Talley ended up straddling his lap once more, but this time the position was much more erotic and intimate. She gasped, gripping Rob’s shoulders as his cock pushed so deeply inside her it pressed up against her cervix. Tally rested her head against Rob’s shoulder, her pussy clamping around his shaft as her body roused once more.
“There is truth between us of a sort, then,” Rob said, lifting her chin and looking her in the eye. “Good.” He kissed her. “The rest can come when it will.” He gripped her waist and lifted her, so he could thrust himself back inside her.
Fright tore through Tally as she processed his calm, utterly assured statement. There could be no further truth from her. The danger to Rob, to this world, was too awful to even consider telling him even a small portion of the real truth about herself.
But the sensuality of the moment caught up with her and swept away her fright, overwhelming her with need and the intoxicating pleasure of being taken by this odd anomaly of a man from so far in the past her peers called it ancient history.
Charbonneau settled himself on the cramped seat and followed Justin’s motions as the agent buckled himself into the complicated x-style belting.
“It always seems like overkill here on Earth,” Justin said. “But you’ll be glad you have them when we leave the atmosphere.”
“The shuttle doesn’t have artificial gravity?” Charbonneau asked, surprised. Artificial gravity, one of the nicer side benefits of FTL flight, had long ago become economical, even planet-side.
“It’s too difficult to maintain gravity against the surges…you’ll see. I’m surprised this is your first beanstalk trip.”
“I just never got around to it.” Charbonneau shrugged, an abbreviated movement under the harness. He looked around the shuttle. He was familiar with the mechanics and theory of the beanstalk from media coverage when it had first been built and installed, about twenty years ago. Justin had been more informative on their journey across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the station where the beanstalk was rooted.
The cabin was vaguely crescent-shaped, matching the rest of the vehicle. The inner curve of the crescent was where the magnetic and physical pincers grabbed the polymer and steel-fibre banister of the bean stalk. The stalk was four metres in diameter and carried another shuttle on the other side.
That shuttle was at Halfway Station, outside Earth’s atmosphere, at the other end of the stalk. At mid-point along the stalk the two shuttles would pass each other. That would take place sometime after they left the atmosphere, because there was more of the stalk floating weightless in space than there was trailing down to the Earth’s surface.
“I understand the physics that holds this thing up,” Charbonneau said quietly, for other passengers were settling in on either side of them, lining the inner curve of the cabin, facing the windows. “But I confess that the idea of nothing but thin air holding up a very heavy, very large cable seems to smack of heresy and witchcraft.”
“There is no air in space,” Justin pointed out. “So, technically, nothing but dust particles and atomic matter is doing the work. And not much of that, either.”
“You’re very reassuring,” Charbonneau chided him.
Justin grinned. “We can change the subject, if you like.”
The cabin gave a barely-felt shiver and they began to move. Charbonneau found himself gazing out of the windows. “We’re rising so fast!”
Justin stared at him. “This is your first time in space, too,” he said slowly, suspiciously. “You’ve never left Earth before.”
Charbonneau considered lying, then shrugged. “I thought it was finally time,” he said. He glanced at the woman sitting next to Justin, who was staring at them, patently eavesdropping. She smiled at him. An offering.
He smiled briefly back and pulled out his pocket watch to check the time, which allowed him to look away from her without insult.
“We’ll reach Halfway just after midnight, Sydney time,” Justin told him.
“Thank you.” He put the watch away. “It occurs to me that it is perhaps not normal for you, a travel agent, to escort clients up the stalk to company headquarters.”
“It’s not normal for clients to travel to HQ at all,” Justin assured him, dropping his voice so only Charbonneau could hear. “All our clients are human. Nearly everyone at the Agency is vampire. Humans tend to be unsettled by such a concentration of vampirekind and that would be bad for business. So…” Justin shrugged. “Most tours begin and end at the branch where the contract was finalized.” He smiled. “But you’re not here for a tour.”
“Do all new recruits get such red carpet treatment, then?”
“We’ve never had someone come to us before. Sometimes we must seek them out, using the most careful and discreet approaches. Most often, a name is recommended to us via someone already with the Agency and the approach is easier. But each new traveller is such a precious resource, we always shape our welcome to suit them.”
“Can I ask a personal question?”
“How do you….” He dropped his voice, aware of everyone around them and chose his words carefully. “How did you acquire such a tan? It has puzzled me since we met.”
Justin’s smile broadened. “Sunshine serum,” he murmured.
“You don’t mind the weakness? The headaches? Poor sight? Or does it not affect you that much?”
“All that and more,” Justin confessed. “But for now, passing as human is still sweet. Sweeter than the pleasures of travelling. I believe you know that enticement, yourself. I haven’t researched, but just counting up on my fingers, I figure you’ve been successfully passing for about six hundred years.”
Charbonneau kept his expression neutral. “Something like that,” he said carefully.
Justin’s brow wrinkled. Then it cleared. “So I work to look like a rugged Australian, mate.” He looked out the window. “Ah and there’s the view that makes the slide up the beanstalk worth it,” he said, more loudly. “From here you can see the Bridge and the whole harbour, right out to the Pacific.”
The change of subject was as delicate as every dealing Charbonneau had with Chronologic Touring Inc. A tiny blossom of hope bloomed upon the concealed, despairing landscape of his thoughts.
* * * * *
Tally woke to feel the warmth of sunshine on her face. The tent flap had been lifted enough to allow a small shaft of early morning sun to filter into the tent and it fell directly onto her face, waking her.
She roused slowly, feeling the aches and strains in her body that came from a night of greedy and uninhibited sex.
Rob had been a fast learner. Once he understood that she had few maidenly reservations and possibly knew more about sex and eroticism than he, Rob had suppressed his male, medieval ego and embraced the idea of mutual pleasure with enthusiasm.
Tally sniffed, inhaling Rob’s scent. She was in no hurry to move, yet. The camp was still quiet outside, so it had to be just past dawn. In a moment, she would slide out the tent and go looking for Leuwis, before Rob awoke and realized the rope was no longer attached to her wrist.
She opened her eyes slowly, letting them get used to the sun. She realized then why Rob’s scent was so strong. His plaid was covering her. A makeshift blanket.
“Ye are awake, then.” Rob’s arm tucked in over her waist and cupped her breast. She felt his body heat behind her as he drew closer to her back. The movement of his hand dragged her own hand upwards and she realized with a jolt of surprise that her wrist was already tied to Rob’s. He must have refastened the rope during the night. She tugged on the rope disbelievingly. Even after last night, he had tied her up?
“Ah, Tally, I’m not such a fool that I would leave the rope off,” he murmured, his lips against the back of her shoulder. His fingers stroked her breast, teasing the nipple erect, making her gasp. “Ye said ye would stop at nothing to get ye servant back. I dinna forget that. ‘till I know everything about ye, the rope stays between us.”
Tally sighed. “I suppose I was the foolish one, then,” she whispered.
Rob pushed her knees forward, bending them. Warmth filled her as she guessed his intentions. The head of his cock pushed against the entrance to her pussy then slid inside, feeling larger than usual because of the position she was in.
“Mmm, nice,” she said.
“Yes,” he growled. He separated her thighs, giving him access to her genitals and slipped his hand between her legs.
Tally sighed as his fingers stroked her cleft gently, spreading her moisture and working their way deeper inside her folds, until they were rubbing and teasing her throbbing, swollen clit.
Tally arched, her body quivering, as a climax quickly started to build. “Ah, Rob,” she said breathlessly. “You already…know me…too well. Don’t leave yourself…behind.”
“I’ve discovered pleasure in having ye climax around me,” he returned. “I wonder if I can make ye come hard enough if it will make me come, too. I have a ken to try.”
Tally caught at his hand, halting his fingers. “Try something else, then, if that’s your wish.” She rolled her head to look over her shoulder and look him in the eye. His gaze was sleepy, his blue eyes half-hooded, but she had learned that merely was Rob’s look when he was deeply aroused. She quivered in reaction to the sight of him in that state now.
“Try what?” he returned.
“Your shaft. Put it in my other opening and use your fingers for my woman’s opening and my nub.” And she held her breath.
A fine line appeared between his brows. “You have another word for that…opening?”
“Anus,” she supplied. “Ass.”
“Aye, we call it that, too. It’s also the place used by men when they’re together.”
“Yes,” Tally agreed and waited.
Rob licked his lips.
“Do you find the idea appealing?” Tally asked softly.
“I…” He cleared his throat.
Tally clenched around his cock and found it rock hard inside her. Yes, he found the idea appealing. He just needed more coaxing to admit it.
“When you’re inside me that way,” she murmured, “I will be like a tight fist around you. When I come because of what your hands are doing to me, I will close around you even harder. It’s possible you’ll come, just like you wish, Rob. Just from my coming and clenching around you.”
“Sweet Lord…” he breathed. “Tally, your wanton ways will lead me into Hell.”
“Heaven,” she corrected, as he pulled his cock from her. “You’ll think you’ve gone to Heaven.” She kissed him and felt the fine trembling in him that signalled subterranean excitement. “The oil you used last night for your saddle ring—the little pot. You’ll need it,” she told him.
Rob shot her a look that was a mix of surprise and puzzlement, but he silently rose and reached for the little pot of oil as she requested. He was quite naked and unconcerned about the half-opened tent flat, but it was still very early. His well-trained body in the early light seemed to glow with good health. His cock jutted from between his thighs, still glistening with her moisture.
He knelt back beside her, unstoppered the pot and held it out to her.
“You may do the honours, Robert.” She pulled the plaid aside, baring her ass.
Rob gave out an unsteady sigh. “Ye are ever a challenge, Tally.”
“Oh, you will enjoy this,” she assured him. “You need to spread it around the outside of my anus. And inside, too.”
“Inside,” he repeated, sounding almost awed.
His first touch was tentative. Delicate. His well oiled fingers slipped around the taut opening and she drew in a gasping breath. “Deeper,” she urged him. “You will not hurt me.”
A single digit probed gently inside. “Christ,” Rob whispered, his voice hoarse.