Authors: Viola Grace
Tags: #Science Fiction., #erotic romance
His kiss deepened and his fingers thrust faster as she rode his hand until she screamed into his mouth and her body arched painfully, locked in release. She moaned as her body relaxed and he withdrew his clever fingers.
Amy shivered violently, mortified by what had just occurred.
He kissed her again, licking at her lips before slipping his tongue carefully into her mouth to convince hers to dance with him.
She offered him soft moans as her body slowly stopped pulsing with a frantic heartbeat.
When he paused, his lips half an inch from hers, she looked into his eyes and asked, “What is the protocol response for what just happened?”
“I thank you very much for allowing me to satisfy this portion of my curiosity. My urge to learn is a failing that has always pulled me.”
She squirmed on his lap. “Would you please release my hands?”
Akutan released her, but he kept his arms around her as he sat against the edge of the tub. She tried once to return the favour by gripping his cock under water, but he pulled her hand away from it and placed it against his chest. “This was to relieve your tension. It is my duty as host to maintain your faculties in a calm and relaxed state.”
“Duty? Oh.” She tried to get away from him, but he held her on his lap.
“The duties of a host on Rai are manifold. Keeping you relaxed and calm is high on my list of priorities, next to you being clothed and fed.”
She winced. “Like a pet.”
He lifted her chin with two fingers. “An honoured guest, not a pet.”
She looked up into his eyes and tried not to let her confusion and upset show, but when he pressed a soft kiss to her lips, she knew she had failed. Since when did one make out naked with a guest? Rai was a very strange world.
The next morning, she got up, stood to be dressed and sat to have her hair combed and pinned up by Porali. After the bathing the night before, she had walked back to her room for a restless night’s sleep.
Lord Akutan was waiting breakfast for her. He smiled and put aside the documents he had been reading. “Excellent. I was beginning to worry.”
Amy smiled shyly. “Porali was insistent on getting my hair just right.”
She knelt across the table from him as protocol demanded, but he shook his head and patted the cushion on the floor next to him.
With an internal groan at the ache in her legs, she rose as gracefully as she could and moved to his side. It was not a position given to a supplicant guest. It was the spot reserved for a wife or confidant. Teriki had been sure to drill that much into her.
Akutan patted the back of her hand. “I was thinking about going riding this morning. Would you care to join me?”
Amy twisted her answer in her mind. “I would love to, but I have never been riding in my life. I would not wish to embarrass myself and this clothing is not suited to it.”
He smiled as Teriki supervised the slow entry of the breakfast dishes. “I am sure that my niece’s clothing will fit you. It will just have to be gathered up a little.”
Teriki looked down at her place at the table and then glared at her.
Amy gave a helpless shrug.
“Stop trying to stare a hole through our guest, Teriki. I asked her to sit there to ease conversation.”
With his lordship’s opinion expressed, Teriki nodded and focussed on adjusting the plates of the morning meal.
Amy poured tea for both of them, carefully setting the pot back on the trivet. “I hope your sleep was good.”
He grinned and lifted his cup to his lips. “That is my question. How did you sleep?”
“I don’t know. I was asleep. I believe that it was fine.”
What there was of it.
She raised her own tea to her lips and took a tiny sip.
He arched one brow and took a portion of a minced cooked vegetable. “Interesting. It seems that you are losing your fear of me.”
She blushed and took a portion of the vegetable and some rice into her own bowl. “There is a lot of etiquette on Rai, and until I figure out what to do next, I need a place to hide.”
“So, you think if you don’t address me correctly, I will eject you back to Janial?”
“No, but I don’t want to put any pressure on your hospitality. It is an act of generosity that I am very grateful for.” She studiously kept her gaze focussed on her eating implements.
He extended two fingers and lifted her chin so that she was facing him again. “I will not send you off world. You are safe here for as long as you wish, and I am enjoying being your host.”
She read truth and honour in his expression. He wouldn’t send her away, and he was enjoying her presence. It relaxed a knot of tension inside her that had been brewing since Janial.
She nodded and gave him a small smile. “Thank you.”
“Do not thank me, it is my honour to show you my world. Now, eat your breakfast and we will go for a ride. There is nothing like seeing Rai from the back of an effu.”
She shrugged and gave in, eating her meal and trying to pin down precisely what an effu was.
An effu was a four-legged, slit-pupil, extremely tall riding beast that looked like an angry horse on steroids. Amy fidgeted in her riding clothes, which was just the men’s gear combined with a long, open, outer robe. Where the women’s clothing involved constriction, this costume was all about ease of motion.
Even the shoes were woven leather flats that matched the ones peeping out from under Akutan’s wide-legged trousers. He grinned at her. “If you haven’t ridden before, you will have to ride with me for the first few times. Vedu is a good mount, but he needs a little control at the start of a ride.”
If Amy didn’t know better, she would think he was being suggestive. “Um, that is great and all, but how do I get up there?”
He didn’t answer but slipped his foot into the stirrup and hauled himself gracefully into the saddle. He nudged the beast toward her, and before she could do more than squeak, she was in the air, being turned and landing on top of his thighs.
Akutan laughed and shifted his weight, settling her tightly against him. The moment she leaned back against his chest, he flexed his thighs and the beast under her took off.
Her host’s arm around her waist was all that kept her on the animal as they churned up dust on the way down the mountain. He used the reins lightly but did most of the steering with the muscles of his legs. They turned away from the village and were soon galloping down a track through the forest.
Amy couldn’t stop the smile on her face if she wanted to. She leaned with Akutan around every turn and his arm kept her from bouncing painfully on him.
Vedu eventually slowed and took up a rocking walk down a narrow path until they were next to a waist-high waterfall and a lush green meadow. Vedu immediately put his head down to drink, and when he was done, he started pulling at the grass.
Amy turned and looked up at Akutan, “I am guessing you come here often?”
He didn’t answer, simply pressed his lips to hers, one hand coming up to hold her head while the other caressed her waist.
Amy gave herself up to the kiss, the warmth of the afternoon and the excitement of the ride. For that moment, she forgot she was a hunted woman on an alien world and was simply a woman in a man’s arms.
She felt the warm graze of his fingertips on her belly and jerked in surprise. It seemed that men’s clothing came apart if you knew what you were doing. His fingers slipped down her belly, and the long elegant digits shifted through her slick folds and rubbed against her clit. She gasped, and he deepened the kiss, holding her where he wanted her.
He stroked her, circling her clit until she shuddered in his arms, moaning softly. Her head was leaning limply against his shoulder, and her muscles tensed and released rapidly as he continued the strokes.
When she finally stilled, he pulled his fingers slowly out of the folds of the trousers she was wearing and he resettled her robe with one hand. His other hand stroked her neck softly, rubbing the base of her ear and following the muscle into the collar of her clothing.
Akutan lifted his head, and he pressed a soft kiss to her swollen lips. His smile was soft, and there was affection in his gaze.
She blushed scarlet, and he laughed softly. “Well, I can understand the colouring, though I am glad you do not have second thoughts
I am touching you.”
“I…why did you?”
“I have been thinking about your soft moans and cries since last night. This was the only respectable option to hear them again before dark.” He kissed her chin, both cheeks and her forehead.
She was about to ask something that would no doubt sound stupid when a familiar sound ruptured the air. “That’s a ship.”
Vedu’s head came up, Akutan pulled him around and they pounded up another path that had them back at the palace grounds in five minutes.
He helped her dismount, and while her legs wobbled, he gave her instruction. “Get inside and remain in your riding gear. You may need the mobility. If something happens, go down the hill to the village and have someone take you to Lord Havik and tell him that you are mine. He will offer you the safety of his house until Jinu can find you another haven.”
Amy grimaced. “I am not going anywhere. I am not putting your life on the line for mine.”
He scowled at her, a hint of temper appearing. “You are my guest, and you will do as I say, now get in the house and tell the servants to hide.”
She made a face but stomped up the steps and into the palace.
Teriki was standing in the entryway. “Come, lady. I have sent the others to safety.”
“I am not going to run. You go. I am staying here in case Lord Akutan needs help.” She set her lips and folded her arms.
“What can you do?”
“I will find out when it happens. Please, Teriki, I have to make sure he is all right.”
Teriki didn’t say another word, but before she left, she showed Amy the peephole that allowed a good view of the courtyard.
Amy stood back and let the view of Lord Akutan standing and waiting sink into her mind. He really was willing to defend her and that one factor endeared him to her more than all the caresses his hands could deliver.
The shuttle descended slowly, and Akutan waited as it took up the approach road to his home. Nothing was getting past the bulk of that ship.
A dozen guards spilled out of the ship and approached the Lord of Rai.
Amy stood still and hardly breathed as she watched the earl that haunted her nightmares approach Akutan with his head held high.
She could make out raised voices, but the words escaped her. She did see four of the guards attack Akutan, and what happened next, stunned her.
Blades shot out of his hands, and he raised them like swords. He slashed through the bodies of the guards, and each one fell to the ground, twitching.
The earl backed away and left his guards to do the fighting. Curiously, his gaze was fixed on the house as if waiting.
Amy felt the change in the air near her a moment before the fist came at her. She lunged back, and her attacker hit the wall.
A Nyal dark hunter stood in front of her, shadows flaring around his body. The next time he struck, he hit her full on, or he would have if she had allowed the contact. He struck the wall with a thud, and she used his distraction to fade him and shove him out onto the porch.
She heard Akutan laugh, and when she peeped out, the remaining guards were prone and the noble was talking fast.
A bright column of wind and flame descended from the sky. Akutan bowed and introduced the flame to the noble.
In a moment, the Nyal was wrapped from head to toe in flame, and the dark hunter was hovering in the air, confined by the same power. Whoever the blazing woman with the white hair and black robes was, she knew what she was doing.
“Amethyst, you can come out now.” Akutan was smiling and the blades were gone.
She opened the door, slipped on her shoes and walked into the courtyard. It seemed that her problem had just been solved for her.
“Lady Amethyst, this is my aunt, Lady Ageka, the Sacred Flame. She offered her help in holding the invaders until the Guardians arrive to remove them from Rai.”
Amethyst bowed low. “I am honoured to meet you, lady.”
The woman’s white hair was partially from age, but her face didn’t show it. Her features were as smooth and unwrinkled as Akutan’s. “I am pleased to meet you, Lady Amethyst. My great-niece and my nephew speak highly of you. How did you push the shadow through the wall?”
Amethyst bit her lip. “It is why I am here and why they are here. My talent allows me to pass or push things through solid objects. The man in your vortex would use my talent for his own ends. I refused, and he had me arrested on false charges.”
“And then my great-niece stepped in and dropped you in my nephew’s home. Excellent.” She smiled. Her bronze eyes were filled with amusement. “He needs distracting now and then, and I believe that you fit the bill.”
“Aunt, please. She is easily embarrassed and not simply a distraction.” He moved between them.
“Then, I will continue getting to know her another day. For now, I will deposit these idiots in a holding area. Will you move their shuttle?”
“Of course. I wish I could destroy it, but it would leave a mess.”
Amy cleared her throat. “I could break it down. I am a mechanic, after all. At the very least, after you move it, I can disable it, so they will be unable to use it if the Guardians do not arrive as swiftly as you need them to.”
Akutan blinked. “You can take it apart?”
“I am a mechanic. It is what I love to do. I can pull the power supply initially and work from there.”
A muffled noise came from the noble, but Sacred Flame’s power was still wreathing around him. His eyes glared at her, and she kept her expression bland.
Akutan looked at the man, and his left hand shot out. A blast of power struck the earl, and he collapsed in the grip of the vortex.