Read Fade Online

Authors: Viola Grace

Tags: #Science Fiction., #erotic romance

Fade (3 page)

BOOK: Fade
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“Amethyst Decker of the Alliance Protectorate of Terra, Mechanic First Class.” She didn’t mention her talent, as it had never had a rank attached to it.

“Amethyst, I am delighted to meet you.” He held her hand and assisted her in balancing as she made her way up the steps to his home.

She was embarrassed at the wobbling when he moved with such ease. At the door, Porali helped her out of the wooden shoes, and with a sigh of relief, Amethyst walked inside. The odd thing was that Lord Akutan didn’t let her hand go as he took her into the morning room where tea had been prepared. Thuds from the back of the house made her raise her eyebrows, but she didn’t comment as he waited for her to seat herself.

Her aching thighs remembered the drills, and she sat down with the outer robe flaring behind her in a wide fan.

Akutan smiled, “I see that you are a quick study. Teriki must have been relieved. My niece was a bit recalcitrant as a student in the ladylike arts.”

He sat across from her, so she reached out and tested the pot to see if there was tea in it. The small motion with the back of her finger was subtle, but the jerk that went through her body at the effect of the heat was not.

She poured tea for Lord Akutan and then herself. The contact with the teapot was causing a slight blister, and she cursed herself for being an idiot.

“Did you injure yourself?”

She nodded and watched the curls of vapour come off her cup. “I keep forgetting that the boiling point is a little higher here than back at home. Unfortunately, the burn point of my skin is right where it was seven years ago.”

He reached out and took her hand. “Give me a moment. I am out of practice.”

He pressed his thumb against the burn, and she hissed, trying to pull her hand back. His eyes darkened and locked with hers as a trickle of energy moved from his hand into hers.

She shivered and mentally thanked the five layers of clothing for keeping the hardening of her nipples from being obvious.

When he lifted his thumb, the red skin quickly faded to her normal colouring. No burn, no blister, no marks.

She noticed, as she stared at him, that his hair was caught off his face with a clip of sorts holding it at the back of his head. Tendrils had worked loose and one hung in front of his left eye. It gave him a wild look as if the state of his hair proved his personal lack of emotional containment.

“So, did you do anything else in town today?” He smiled but didn’t release her hand. His thumb kept rubbing back and forth along her knuckles.

She blinked rapidly and thought. “Oh, we got some hairpins.”

He cocked his head. “You are going to pin it up?”

She chuckled. “That or chop it off if there are only two options. I am not used to having it loose.”

He smiled, and there was a heated look to his eyes. “It looks lovely, like the night sky between the stars.”

She blushed and tugged at her hand. “Thank you. I have been feeling a little like an ink spot since I came here.”

He frowned but kept his long fingers wrapped around hers. “Has someone made you unwelcome?”

“Oh, no. Teriki and the maids have been very kind. I simply feel a little out of place here.” She shrugged. “I suppose I have been feeling out of sorts for a while.”

He kept stroking her hand but turned it so that his thumb was rubbing across her palm and occasionally her wrist. Shivers ran through her at the light touches.

Teriki came in and bowed, giving their hands a pointed look before she glanced at Amy. Whatever she read in Amy’s face seemed to sooth her, and she said, “Lord Akutan, your meal is ready.”

He grinned and whispered, “You are not escaping me that easily, Amethyst.” He rose to his feet and held her hand to steady her as she rose with him.

Teriki was watching his lordship’s behaviour, and while she looked surprised, she had a smile on her lips.

Amy sighed silently and let Lord Akutan lead her into the dining room where he helped her settle before taking his own seat. “You are a tiny thing, aren’t you?” he chuckled.

She scowled. “Only when facing absurdly tall races.”

He laughed. “I see I have struck a nerve.”

The servants brought in the tea they had abandoned in the other room and fresh cups. Teriki poured tea for both of them before sitting back and waiting for the meal to begin.

The dishes were brought in, and it was far more than Amy had seen in her previous meals at the palace.

Teriki made sure that all was proper, and she left the room, sliding the door shut for pseudo privacy.

“So, Amethyst, how did you come to be introduced to my niece?”

She assumed that he meant Blade, so she said, “She retrieved me from Janial Prison.”

He blinked. “Why were you there?”

“I refused to obey the wishes of a Nyal nobleman.” She grimaced and ate some of the fish she had selected as her first dish.

“He tried to force himself on you?” Dark, simmering anger was shining in Akutan’s eyes, and she felt a crackling of energy in the air.

She held up her hands to calm him. “Not in the way you are thinking. I have a talent, and he wanted to use it for illegal activities. I refused, and he had me sent to Janial to think it over.”

“What is your talent?”

“Do you mind if I demonstrate?”


She reached under the table and pressed her hand up through it to grip her teacup. She slid the teacup down, and when she removed her hand from under the table, she paused to sip her tea.

Akutan was suitably impressed. “So, thieving.”

She nodded. “Yes. I didn’t want to use my talent for that sort of thing, so I opted to go into mechanical studies. I was pretty good too until the earl noticed me.”

Akutan cocked his head as he ate as if he was mulling something over in his mind. “How did Blade find you?”

“Apparently, one of my people is married to a Guardian, and she is keeping an eye out for Terrans in this area. She set Blade on my trail.” Taking tiny bites of the meal managed to keep her eating, but she had lost all appetite.

Akutan was consuming everything in front of him. She didn’t comment on his consumption, but it seemed that he was a man of large appetites, though he didn’t show it.

“Why did Blade bring me here when there are so many other places on Rai to stash me?” She bit her lip as soon as the words were out of her mouth.

He smiled, and she blinked as his beauty blinded her. “I am her uncle, and I was also a Guardian before they were as organized as they are now.”

She nodded as if she understood. “Ah. Well, thank you again for the hospitality. The prison was…”

He gave her a commiserating look. “I have seen Janial. I do not envy you the experience.”

She laughed. “It is a memory of fear and anxiety. I was not injured, but I was never safe.”

“You are safe with me.” His eyes took on a heavy-lidded look.

Amy swallowed. “Why do I think that that isn’t quite true?”

He laughed. “You are an excellent judge of character.”






Chapter Five



After dinner, he had matters to attend to, so a relieved Amy left him and returned to her room.

She was reading a handbook on handwriting in Nyal common when one of the maids came in. “Lord Akutan requests that you join him for a bath.”

Amy’s cheeks flushed bright red. “Right. Teriki mentioned communal bathing.”

The maid’s face was stoic. “Come with me, lady.”

There was no option. The master of the house had asked her, and there wasn’t an out for her unless it was her time of the month. Since she was on a three-year shot that did not allow her to bleed, she didn’t have an excuse.

She got to her feet and followed the maid into the part of the house that had been marked off limits.

The young woman brought her through the doorway and into a garden that was well organized and yet full of colour at the same time. The scents of the flowers were heady and relaxing. The low murmur of voices was their destination, and she ended up standing only a few feet from Lord Akutan while his clothing was removed layer by layer.

“Please stand here, lady.” The maid began to strip her as calmly as her companion was disrobing his lordship.

Each layer was carefully folded and set on a nearby rack. Amy was thankful that she was wearing less layers than Akutan was. The maid was finished with her, and she wore only the white silk shift that made up her first layer.

With skilled movements, the maid removed the shift and scrubbed her from head to toe, pinning her hair into a loose topknot. Amethyst kept her gaze straight ahead, and the moment she was sluiced and clean, she took the maid’s hand to step forward and into the large, steaming tub of water.

She could feel Akutan’s gaze on her, but she ignored him and found a bench under the water on which she settled herself, her breasts mostly covered but easily visible for anyone who cared to look.

She turned and looked at Akutan as the dirt of his journey was scrubbed from him, and he was even lovelier without the silk wrapping him, though his body wore enough scars to attest to a rather exciting life.

Lean muscle moved, and she jerked her gaze from his erect cock to his bronze eyes, they were crinkled with amusement.

He stepped into the tub, and the water rose until her collarbone was covered. Akutan sat and stretched his arms on the edge of the tub, leaning his head back with a groan. “I need to cut down on my travelling.”

She huddled in the water and ventured, “Why?”

He lifted his head and looked at her. “There are things I need to attend to at home.”

She swallowed as she realised that she was one of the
he was referring to. Amy looked around and took the cup of wine that the maid handed her. “This garden is lovely.”

“Thank you. It took years of designing, but I am happy with the result.”

Silence fell a moment later, and she tried to let the hot water work its magic on her muscles, but she was too nervous.

“Lean back and relax, Amethyst. You are far too tense.” He lifted his head and looked at her through narrowed eyes.

She leaned back and relaxed, sipping at the wine. It managed to loosen some of her tension, and she began to enjoy the bath.

His voice came to her, low and closer than she thought he was, but she kept her eyes closed and her head back. “Do you have any questions about Rai?”

She opened her eyes and confirmed that he was definitely within touching distance, and if she could reach him, he could certainly reach her. “What season is it now?”

“Early autumn. The harvests are underway, and the wealth of Rai is being stored.” He smiled and tried to look innocent as he moved closer.

“What kind of animals do you ride?” Amy set her wine cup on the edge of the tub.

“Four legged, as tall as I am at the shoulder, they are called effu and are exceptionally intelligent as well as loyal.”

“How intelligent?”

“If they were not so good natured, they could be dangerous. Would you care to take up riding?” He sounded hopeful.

She bit her lip. “I have already put a burden on your household in the matter of clothing and feeding me. Special clothing for the sake of a hobby is not something I require.”

He smiled. “As you are my guest, let that be my worry. It is my obligation to keep you entertained.”

She turned and saw he had inched closer without seeming to move. “How do you define entertainment?”

He chuckled and reached out, pulling her onto his lap. The erection she had seen briefly was now pressing against the curve of her thigh.

His kiss was a surprise. Instead of her mouth, he kissed the curve of her neck, drawing a wet line with his tongue and setting her heart into a stuttering rhythm. She froze as his licks turned to nibbles that made her toes curl. He kept one arm around her as the other caressed her breasts before moving between her thighs.

Clenching her knees together was ineffective against the strength of his hand. The gold strands of his hair floated around them, concealing the view of his fingers as he delved between her folds and slid to find the wet welcome her body was preparing. She felt his smile against her neck and his nibbles turned into a bite that sucked the air from her lungs.

Her body was trembling against his as his teeth and fingers brought her to the edge of release. With the exploratory stroke of his thumb on her clit, she shuddered and gasped with the sudden relief of tension and the wave of pleasure that swamped her.

Her breath came in shuddering gasps, and she leaned heavily against him. It was her first orgasm in four years, and the previous one had been self-inflicted.

His whisper in her ear forced her to concentrate. “Do you always go over so quickly?”

She blushed. “No, it is…it has been a while. Privacy was scarce on the station, and I wasn’t going to draw a crowd on Janial. I apologize for my haste.”

He chuckled and traced the edge of her ear with his tongue. “I was not complaining. It merely surprised me.”

His fingers were still inside her, the long digits moved slowly and his thumb rotated on her clit causing spasms around the invaders. “You are very tight.”

She thought her cheeks would remain in a permanent state of inflammation. “It has been a while.”

Amy sat still while he continued to investigate her neck while he moved his fingers inside her until they brushed against a particularly sensitive spot. She jumped and let out a yelp.


She grabbed his wrist under the water and tried to pull his hand free, but he merely pulled her arms behind her and held both wrists in one hand while he continued his exploration with the other.

Her g-spot was not a reliable route to orgasm, but it seemed that Akutan was curious enough to make the journey. Once he set a rhythm that she reacted to, he kept it up until she rocked her hips toward his hand and her moans had to be stifled by his mouth on hers.

While she gasped and trembled in his arms, he leisurely licked at her lips and took her lower lip between his teeth with a gentle tug. The slow exploration of her mouth fought her body for priority. She was so focussed on his hand that she had forgotten about the rest of him.

BOOK: Fade
13.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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