Read Jury Online

Authors: Viola Grace

Tags: #science fiction opera, #erotic Romance

Jury (3 page)

“I am and I have. Sex would be an assault and I would press charges.”

Ymsan backed away quickly. “I will spread the word. Apologies, Trainer Bex.”

She nodded and returned to her work, watching the room while seeming to be immersed in her data. Gossip was the fastest form of travel, and by the surprised looks she was getting, she was being refiled from available temptation to post office box.

There was no chance at seduction, so there was no chance at a victory.

 

She sat on Ajaru’s couch and tried to relax. He was so near that if she slouched over, like she wanted to, she would be resting on him.

Bex had taken a sonic shower at his home and was going over her training course with him while he ordered dinner for them.

“You really want me to win, don’t you?”

“Of course. I always want my fighters to win.” She shrugged and closed down her screen, slipping it back against her spine.

“How did you know to look for that break?” He touched his side gingerly.

“It is a trainer’s duty to know their fighter’s body better than they know their own.”

“Yes, but few take it seriously.”

“I take your health and well-being very seriously. Mine depends on it.”

He nodded and flicked through the vids. “I would like to see a documentary on your world. Is there one?”

Bex nodded and took the controls. “It is a documentary that covers our champions in the Alliance.”

“Your world has their champions?”

“Yes, we got all of them within three years. All women.”

He opened his mouth to ask a question, but she held up her hand.

“Just watch the vid. I will answer what I can when it is over.”

Their food arrived in the dispenser, and as they settled in to eat,
The Champions of Terra
played on the screen.

 

“Your females are…impressive. I noticed that the species they were reported to have linked with were all on the exotic side.”

Bex laughed, “Some of the women were assigned to their partners, others stumbled into them. All are very happy and have children of their blended races now.”

“So, you just give up your species identity that easily?”

She blinked and smiled at him. “You already know I am not normally blue.”

He chuckled. “Fair enough.”

“No, you are right. We are Terrans, loud and proud in all of our skins and hair colours. Our inner thoughts, our souls, are where we keep our identities. The outside always changes, you gain scars, you grow old, your hair changes, and yet you are the same person at your core. We hold onto that no matter what we become as we meet new people and new situations. Despite what I have gone through to get here, I am still the woman that left my home, and I always will be.”

A strange light entered his eyes. “That is an unusual attitude.”

She chuckled and shrugged. “I know myself, and so, I can help others in the course of my days. The key is to have a solid core of self.”

She yawned and winced when she saw the time. “I have to be going. I need to get up early.”

“I have room here if you would care to stay over.”

She laughed. “No, that is not a good idea. It will ruin my reputation as an ice queen. Good evening, Ajaru. I will see you at five in the morning.”

Training had to resume so that his life could move forward and hers along with him.

 

Chapter Four

 

 

After three hours of rest, she was up and ready for jury duty again. She sat through the testimony, and when she was released, she staggered into the shower for a quick cleaning that didn’t really wake her up.

Bex got two cups of caf at the cafeteria and ate her meal quickly. The skeevy trainer from the day before came over just as she was finishing, but she didn’t bother being polite. She was too tired.

The caf gave her a surge of alertness, but she knew she looked like hell.

Ajaru was waiting for her once again, and he looked at her with concern. “Trainer, you don’t look well.”

“I am well, just having trouble sleeping.”

“Are you sure?”

“Positive. In a week or so, I will be fine. Now, today is strength training.”

He obediently went to the machines and locked himself in for his workout.

While he was working, she brought up his last few fights and watched for holes in his technique. It was flawless; he was just unmotivated. Now that he had motivation, he was going to make a change. Well, that was what Bex hoped.

Four more days until his fight. Bex wondered if she was going to get any sleep in the next week.

 

* * * *

 

Ajaru finished his workout and had to wake his trainer. Bex was face down on her data scanner, snoring gently.

Her blue skin was paler than it had been the day before and there were dark circles under her eyes.

He reached out and shook her shoulder. She snapped up and blinked rapidly. “Oh, damn. I fell asleep.”

Ajaru knelt next to her. “Are you ill?”

“No. I am simply having trouble sleeping in my cell.”

He leaned back, “Your cell? You aren’t in the champion trainer quarters?”

She shook her head.

“That is a dishonour to my standing as champion. Come with me.”

He helped Bex to her feet and walked to the fight master’s office.

He knocked briefly and entered without waiting for a reply.

The fight master looked up with narrowed eyes. “What do you want, Champion?”

Ajaru jerked his head toward Bex. “Why hasn’t she been given the trainer quarters that my previous trainer had? Why did you stick her in the novice trainer cells?”

The fight master stood and glowered at him. “Because she is untested in the men’s training area. The other trainers would be upset if she was given those quarters.”

Ajaru crossed his arms. “They belong to the trainer of a champion, and I am a champion.”

“Not if you don’t win your next fight by a greater margin, you are not. There has been pressure to remove your classification. You are no longer entertaining to watch.”

“Give her the quarters that are her right, and I will make the show you are looking for.”

Bex stood next to him, silent. He wasn’t sure, but he thought she was asleep on her feet.

“What is your real problem, Ajaru?”

“She says she has a problem sleeping in her quarters.”

The fight master snorted. “That isn’t her issue. She is also on jury duty.”

“How do you know?”

“The courts had to file behavioural dispensations with the arena before we would agree to take her on. She is embroiled in some court case somewhere and they are linking to her when she should be resting.”

Bex snuffled lightly and blinked. “He’s right. I am just not supposed to make it public and still keep up on my daily duties.”

Ajaru stared at her. “You are on psychic jury duty?”

She smiled weakly and shrugged. “They asked me to help, and it didn’t used to be an issue.”

He looked at her soft and helpless expression, grumbling. “Fine, but she is entitled to the trainer’s quarters due my station as champion.”

The fight master scowled. “Fine. This afternoon the guard will come for her and take her to her new quarters. What are you working on today?”

To his surprise, Bex immediately was all business. “Strength training is done, so this afternoon will be tactics and strategy.”

The master grimaced, “Your duty will not interfere with your job?”

“It might, but since Ajaru’s prime issue was motivation and that has been solved, I am confident that the fight will show his renewed dedication to his position.”

Ajaru grinned. “It has indeed.”

The fight master nodded. “Good. Get out of my office.”

Ajaru chuckled and Bex led the way out of the office. He admired the flex and shift of her ass and the tight set of her shoulders. She had some strength to her; it was a shame that she was his trainer.

 

* * * *

 

Bex looked back at her fighter and then returned her gaze to straight ahead. “You know, if I had been awake for most of that, I would have put my foot down, but there are so many…um…requests for my services, that I haven’t been getting enough rest lately.”

“How long has it been going on?”

“This case has been two days. It will take up to five before I am free to sleep again.” She grimaced but he couldn’t see her. “If you don’t mind, I will go to medical and get some slap patches.”

“No. They will make you sick.”

“It would be less of an issue to use the patches than to fall asleep in the pits while you are working out.”

“I believe I have a solution. You can go to my quarters when you are tired and we will simply state that you are working on strategies.”

She paused, waiting for him to draw even with her. “You wouldn’t mind?”

He shrugged. “Of course not. You can also sleep in in the morning. I will get up on my own and attend to my workout. You can rise when your head is clear.”

“That isn’t being much of a trainer.”

“You are also helping me find a mate, so you are already outside your job description.” He grinned. “Come on, have a meal with me and let me know what you have discovered in my performance. I noted that you were watching it and drooling on the screen.”

She blushed under her blue skin. “Right well. Lunch first.”

He laughed and they headed to the fighters’ cafeteria. The next week was going to be tense for both of them in different ways. Bex was nervous about Ajaru’s performance. If he was too good, she would be removed, if he lost, she would be back to the beginning in the women’s quarters if she was lucky and off to another arena if she wasn’t.

There was nothing like added tension to keep her focused on Ajaru’s performance.

 

Four days later, she was giving Ajaru a rubdown and she noticed that her blue skin was fading more rapidly than she had anticipated.

“Damn.”

“What is it, Bex?”

“My dye is wearing off. It wasn’t supposed to happen this fast.”

He grunted as she dug her knuckles into his spine. “Maybe they got the formulation wrong.”

“It looks like it. I will have to head to medical again.”

She had been there twice in the last few days. One of the fighters had lost his grip on his axe and it had sliced her shoulder as it flew past. Ajaru had caught her up and delivered her to medical almost before the pain had set in.

The other trainer standing next to her had not been so lucky. He had caught the weapon in the chest and had crushed ribs. He was still in medical. Trainers didn’t get the same expensive healing as the fighters, unless their fighter paid for it.

Ajaru put her healing on his account.

“Oh, you have four more invitations to balls and house parties for the evening of your fight. You might be able to do some in-person scouting.”

He grunted as she worked at his lower back, straddling him for even pressure. “No, the women at those things just want one night. I want a forever woman.”

Bex chuckled. “You are a romantic.”

“Indeed. I am willing to give the proceeds of the grand champion fight to her family for her hand, when I find her.”

Bex shook her head and kept working on his backside. “Charming. All right, flip.”

She dismounted and chuckled at his erection as he turned over. It would have been tempting if she had been up and running hormonally. As it was, “Do you need a companion for the night to take care of that?”

He shook his head. “No. Not until after the fight. The frustration makes me more aggressive.”

Bex chuckled and worked on his abdomen and chest. He was right. His stats were always better when he hadn’t had sex within twenty-four hours of his fight.

She paused and put more oil on her hands, working down his shoulders one at a time. It was funny to have to work hard enough to make herself sweat as she rubbed at him.

Ajaru made a soft sound, and she realized he was sniffing.

“What are you doing?”

“There is a scent under your sweat. It is enchanting.”

“I have never heard it called that before.” She glanced over and his cock had started weeping. “Are you reacting to it?”

“Apparently.”

“Great. Another trip to medical.” She grunted and worked her way down his thighs, his muscles so taut that she couldn’t get much purchase.

She patted his feet. “There. Done. Go take a hot shower and I will meet you out here.”

She wiped her hands as he headed off and she stretched. Tomorrow was his first fight with her as trainer, and she was crossing her fingers that he put on a good show. Both of their futures were hanging on his fight.

 

“You have developed a resistance to the chemical alteration. You have too much in your system to allow us to give you another procedure, and with the fight happening tomorrow, you have to be on your feet.” The doctor was fascinated by her results.

“What about the blue? Why is it wearing off so fast?”

“You are sweating it out. We did not anticipate that you would be engaged in activities that would cause you to sweat as much as you have been.”

She snorted. “I have to go into the sauna with him after practice and then rub him down from head to toe afterward. Sweat is a side effect of my job.”

The doc rubbed the back of his neck. “We did not think that you would adhere to the same schedule with a male fighter that you did with a female.”

Bex groaned and pinched the bridge of her nose. “And yet, that is why you dyed me blue and shut off my hormone output. So, why did I go through all of that?”

The remembered pain was not that far in her past. She resented the hell out of it.

“Can you do anything to stop the hormone output that doesn’t involve me being tortured?”

“I have ordered a uniform that will hold in your scent. Try not to sweat through it.”

She sighed and got to her feet. “I will do my best.”

“How is that shoulder wound of yours?”

“It aches a little but is otherwise fine. I am just glad I jumped.”

The doctor nodded and updated his notes. “Before you leave, I will check on that wound. It should have been completely healed before you were released.”

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