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Authors: Viola Grace

Tags: #romance, science fiction

PowerofLearning (6 page)

BOOK: PowerofLearning
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They discussed details of the schedules and the alterations to her speaking arrangements before Turnari dismissed them with a smile. “I will see you in a week to check in or sooner if you have any trouble adapting.”

Hosh got to his feet. “Thank you for your time, Coordinator.”

Yavil smiled. “I don’t know if I want to thank you, but have a nice evening, Turnari.”

She took the hand that Hosh extended and left the head of the Citadel’s office.

“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me that.”

“It was a surprise, and I wanted to make sure that I had an audience in case you didn’t react well.” He chuckled.

“Funny. You know, I didn’t peg you for having a sneaky sense of humour.”

He wrapped an arm around her waist. “You don’t even know me yet.”

She snorted. “I am aware of that. I can feel you in my mind, but it is like you are standing in a train terminal and my thoughts are moving around you.”

“For me, it is slightly different. Part of you is clamped onto me and power is running riot back and forth in my mind.”

She winced. “It does not sound pleasant.”

“I will get used to it. It does not burn like it first did. For now, I will manage as long as we can keep close contact.”

“How long with that excuse last?” She grinned.

“As long as you keep letting me get away with it, pet.” He squeezed her tight to him as they descended the staircase to the living quarters.

She pressed her hand on the pad outside her door, and when it opened, he accompanied her inside.

“Wow. You really made this a piece of Tebr.” He looked around at her arrangements, the gauzy fabrics on the tables, images of waterfalls and deep jungle everywhere.

She slid the robe off her shoulder and hung it in the wardrobe. “Do you mind if I get comfortable?”

He shook his head. “Please. We have to begin as we mean to go on. I will make myself comfortable as well if you don’t mind.”

She sighed in relief. “I don’t mind. I will be back in a minute.”

Yavil grabbed two lengths of gauzy material from the wardrobe and headed into the bathroom to change. She stripped off her uniform and sighed happily at the reduction in pressure.

She wrapped her breasts in one length of dark blue gauze and put the other around her hips. Decent by Alliance standards, she walked out into the bedroom and stopped short at the startling sight of a completely naked Hosh. “Um…wow.”

He grinned. “I thought it would be nice if I learned how you felt, and I have to say that there is a certain feeling of freedom in it. I feel completely relaxed.”

She looked him over. “I hate to say it, but I have seen completely relaxed and that is not it.”

His laugh was wicked, and he took a seat on her couch, queuing up a documentary on the vid screen. It was a show on the history of champions in the Alliance, and it described the selection process as well as the interviews required. Ten races were currently in audition to join the Alliance and one had earned champions within five years of beginning the process.

As the show went on, Hosh moved closer to her until she leaned her head against his shoulder and nodded off.

She woke up when he picked her up to tuck her into bed. He slid in next to her and pulled her back against his body with a light sheet over them both. It took her fifteen minutes to get used to the feeling of his skin touching hers before he soothed her mind into sleep with a gentle touch.

She smiled as she realized that she was still wearing clothing while he was naked. It was a peculiar turn around, but she could get used to it.

Chapter Ten

An empty classroom was doubling as a workroom for Mala. Fixer sighed happily, “I am just glad to be off base for a few minutes. When Isabi isn’t there, it just doesn’t feel right, even with the little ones.”

Hosh was standing nearby as Mala fitted the weapons into the arms and legs of a suit to be worn off Morganti. It was thicker than her other suit, but Mala had worked her magic, and it was soft and light against her skin.

“You bruise very easily, Yavil.”

“I know. The combat instructor said the same thing.” Yavil grinned.

Baengar had taught her how to fall, how to slither out of the same kind of grip her captor had had her in, but he agreed that a set of blades inside her suit would be of benefit to her.

A final long needle ran down her spine and another down the front of the suit in her cleavage. Mala had created false boning in the torso of the suit to disguise the channels that held the blades. The sheaths were armoured against the blades, and to Yavil’s surprise, she could bend and stretch in the suit without everything spiking out at odd angles.

“I have created a set of robes for you that have similar pockets inside with additional blades. A stun belt might also be a good accessory.”

Yavil wrinkled her nose. “I am already wearing too much clothing. A belt would be far too distracting.”

Mala chuckled. “Well, I am only doing this because the Sector Guard has requisitioned you, and I want you back in one piece.”

Yavil blinked at Hosh. “They did what now?”

Hosh grimaced. “I was going to tell you tonight. You have a lecture assignment on Kladdian. You will be speaking on aqueducts and crop rotation.”

She blinked. “Okay. I have those ones already.”

He was surprised. “You do?”

“Of course. It was before you started attending the lectures. There was a team in from…I think they
were
from Kladdian.”

He frowned. “That is odd that they would want you to repeat the lecture.”

She shrugged, and Mala smacked her into holding still. “Sorry. It is common to have repeats for folk who were unable to attend.”

His scowl deepened. “It still sounds suspicious to me.”

“We will see when we get there.”

Mala looked up at her with a smile. “I am surprised you are not more paranoid.”

“I am from a planet with greenery so thick, you have to burn it out every single day just to walk to work. If the Alliance had not made contact, my people would have lived happily in the jungles for generations. Our distrust of strangers is not ingrained. We allow folk to disappoint us first.”

Hosh sighed, and she could feel his grudging admiration in his mind. “Fine. We will go to Kladdian, but I am on my guard.”

She grinned. “Good. You stay on guard, and I will keep an eye on the data I am feeding them.”

“Deal.”

Mala confirmed. “The Guards will keep an eye on you. If they requested you via the Guard, we will keep you safe.”

Hosh growled, “If they don’t, I will.”

Two days later, Yavil bit her lip with amusement while thirty Kladdian farmers held her and Hosh at gunpoint. If they hadn’t been briefed on the flight in, she would have been much more upset.

The farmers marched them into the lecture hall where another hundred waited for them.

The Kladdians were trying to form an uprising against their near neighbours on Fasku. The Fasku were undercutting prices on grain in an effort to boost their own economy, and the Kladdian farmers wanted to take matters into their own hands. They were having a farmer exchange program, and the Kladdians had more than just crop rotation on the lecture agenda.

The farmer who had booked her smiled, showing his flat green teeth. “Tell us how to make a small bomb that cannot be detected by the scanner standing at the front of the hall.”

Yavil shook her head. “I will not.”

They pointed their guns at Hosh, and he looked blankly at her, his mind touching hers to keep her calm.

Yavil shrugged. “Kill him, kill me.”

Norwiggin, the default leader scowled. “What?”

“We are linked. His mind touches my mind, so if he doesn’t survive this, I won’t either.” She crossed her arms. There was no sense fighting with a crowd this size, but she didn’t have to give in without a struggle.

The room stirred in frustration.

Yavil rubbed her forehead and went through what Order had told her. She was supposed to keep the men busy for three hours until the Alliance could position themselves around the building. She had to keep both Hosh and herself alive for three hours to keep these men from making a mistake that would cost them their freedom.

While Yavil had the necessary information to give the bomb-making lecture, she had no intention of adding fuel to their irritation by telling them how to destroy friends and family.

Norwiggin prodded her to the podium. “I don’t care about your personal life. Now talk.”

One of the farmers got a gleam in his eyes and used the butt of his weapon in Hosh’s gut. Her mate went down to one knee, and she felt pain ripple through her from the impact.

She took a deep breath and began to teach the men what they wanted to learn, how to make a bomb. “Bombs come in many shapes and sizes. The first one under discussion is the bath bomb...”

She turned to the exam board and began to draw out the chemical composition of the bath bomb. Bath bombs, dessert bombes, vid bombs, she had an entire listing of bombs to teach them to make, and while none of them would kill anyone, they might just cause some digestion problems or soften the skin.

Chapter Eleven

Her throat was raw three hours later when the Alliance finally arrived with personnel equipped with sound muffling gear. They removed all the weapons from the farmers and the ambassador from the Fasku was brought to the podium under guard.

Yavil kept talking until Hosh came up behind her and put his hands on her shoulders. Now that they were linked, he was no longer susceptible to her voice, though he usually found the lectures informative.

She felt the relaxing pressure on her mind and sighed as she leaned back against him. Contact with him had changed from stressful to comforting. Sleeping in his arms every night had precisely the bonding effect that Turnari had spoken of.

“Relax, Yavil. You can have some water and get some rest now.” He handed her a water ration container.

She grabbed the water and slugged it back, draining the liquid out and rubbing her neck to sooth it.

The moment that she ceased speaking on the creation of one of her mother’s less-than-spectacular holiday recipes, everyone in the room had started to come out of their trances. The farmers were perplexed and rubbing their foreheads. She had been a little strident, putting all the power at her disposal into the speech so that no one slipped her influence.

Hosh wrapped his arm around her and led her out of the hall while the ambassador of Fasku made his apologies to the farmers of Kladdian.

Outside the hall, she collapsed to the hard pavement.

“Brainstorm?” He lifted her in his arms and carried her to the small group of Sector Guardsmen waiting near a shuttle.

“I am fine, Hosh. Just a little stressed.” She patted his cheek.

The Guardsmen parted to let them pass.

Hosh grunted and kept walking until they were inside the large shuttle. He set her on one of the bunks and took her pulse.

She exhaled and waited for him to complete the manual check of her vitals. He checked her eyes, her hearing and temperature after he released her wrist.

He sighed in relief. “You seem fine.”

“You can tell that from our link.”

He sat next to her on the bunk. “I know, but I will never pass up an opportunity to spend time alone with you.”

Yavil giggled and sobered. “I am so sorry that he struck you.”

Hosh shrugged. “It falls within the scope of the job.”

She touched Hosh’s abdomen where the farmer struck him, trailing her fingers up to cup his jaw and the darker bruising. “Does it hurt?”

His eyes darkened, and he kissed her, his mind sharing the ache that was far lower than his jaw or even his belly.

He gripped her waist and pulled her onto his lap.

They were still embroiled in their kiss when the Guardsmen returned to the shuttle and chuckled as they passed the small medical bay.

Yavil felt the ship rising and continued to keep her lips locked to Hosh’s while her hands stroked his back, chest, the side of his neck, anywhere she could reach.

By the time they returned to Morganti, her lips were throbbing, and it was not the only part of her that was suffering from the results of prolonged contact.

Hosh finally released her from his lap, but he kept her in front of him as they exited the craft.

Relay came out to greet them, but she must have seen something in their eyes. “Come in tomorrow for medicals and a debriefing. Come in late.” Relay was grinning, and she waved them off.

Hosh wrapped one arm around Yavil’s waist and lifted her against him, carrying her to the skimmer that was used to ferry them back and forth between the Base and Citadel.

They may have been physically silent, but within their minds, they kissed, tangled and practiced everything that they wanted to try the moment that they were home in their private quarters.

Robes flew off in separate directions, and her assignment suit was carefully removed to avoid the blades built in.
Safety first.

When she was wearing nothing but her skin and psychic eagerness, she stepped toward an equally nude Hosh, wrapping her arms around his neck and rubbing her skin against his.

The feeling was so wonderful, she did it again and again until he took over and placed her on the bed. Yavil gasped as he entered her, and when he began to undulate inside her, she understood the reference in the Wyoran descriptor. Prehensile sex organs were definitely something to strive to keep the male of any species.

She listened to his silent requests and let him to all the work, learning her responses to his various touches and how the smallest kiss at the base of her throat drove her crazy.

Release swept through her, and he continued, building her passion over and over until he finally joined her on the other side where relaxation ruled and bones had melted.

In the afterglow, she was curled against him, her back to his chest. His arms were around her, and she wove her fingers in with his. Their heartbeats synched, breathing took up the same pace, and their minds were swirling with a warm glow that they both felt.

Hosh pressed a kiss to her shoulder. “And now I understand the taboos against public affection while nude. It could be a little startling.”

BOOK: PowerofLearning
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