Promo: Blood and Passion: The Cure
Blood and Passion: The Cure
by Nix Winter
I meant for this to be a nice commercial bit of fiction, but it got to be important to me instead - So I want to share it with you. I'll write other things that will be more professional type stories.
This is their whole story so far! If you find that you enjoy this story please let me know, encourage me to write more for them, and support me by buying the kindle version, or the pdf at either lulu or 1romanceebooks.com
"I cannot comply with your request," Jessander said, voice peaceful, face and body relaxed. A slender man he was tall enough to betray spacer origins in his ancestry. Dark blue eyes, raven dark hair, he stood before the council in his finest clothes, pale blue silk toga draped over a graceful body. "It was not my intention to flout the laws of this colony, which has always been my home. I understand that I need to emigrate, under normal circumstances, but I believe that there are mitigating circumstances. The cure...."
"The cure does not negate the law," Minor-Consul Gavin said sternly, cutting off any excuses.
Five wise persons sat on the council. Consul-Major Marin who had held the central post for longer than the others, wore the laurel wreath of the most esteemed. "Jessander, it is not the will of this council to see your death. You well know the purpose of this colony and our laws. You are a fine doctor and it will be our loss if you were to pass from our city. Which is why we have asked you here before us. We must understand why you do not comply with the law."
"We would also," Minor-Consul Phillipus interjected, "like to offer you a possible alternative, Doctor Jessander. If you will simply consent to allowing usage of your genetics for reproductive purposes, while committing to provide ten hours per week of medical services to the lower socio-economic classes we will pass a law allowing you to continue as you see fit."
"You would," Minor-Consul Elvia cautioned, "find greater benefit if you were to allow an intimate relationship or two to develop. Our ways are not invasive, Doctor Jessander. We simply need to increase our population within moral means and wish for the highest well-being for our citizens. Tomorrow is your twenty-fifth birthday."
Pointing out the obvious had always been the worst kind of hedging in Jessander's opinion. "Your kindness to me is appreciated. I cannot explain why this is so important, but it is. I cannot give permission to use my genetics in reproductive goals, without caring for the offspring. I must find a person or persons I feel love for before I can breed. It is unjust to require commitment to reproduction by the age of twenty-five."
"The commitment to reproduction, to the well-being of a dependent person, is an integral part of our culture. You have been aware of this legal requirement all of your life. If you did not intend to comply with our culture, you should have left with the last of the summer travelers."
Jessander held out both hands in rhetorical supplication. "This is my home. I do not wish to leave. Love can strike the heart at any moment. A heart is a beautiful flower, but until it is ready to bloom - love does not reach its petals."
"We are not, in any way, attempting to deprive you of love," Consul-Major Marin said firmly. "You, however, have chosen a path which defies this council's authority, which insults our culture. You will comply with our very generous requests, or we, at your own expense, will send you from our world."
"I could not leave with the last ships. I could not abandon my patients. I thought the welfare of our city, our colony was more important than the reproductive law. He ran a hand through silky dark hair. Jessander's eyes narrowed. "Another ship is not due for five months. The obligation to reproduce has never been enforced before."
Marin rubbed her forehead. "There has never been anyone who did not comply. You do understand that to be a viable colony we need to increase our genetic diversity? You do understand that we need a larger population?"
"I am a doctor. I do understand these things," Jessander said. Worry grew in him. "I do want to love. I do want to have children. I just don't want to do these things until I have found love."
Consul-Major Marin sat up a little straighter. "You have done many honorable and heroic...."
"Does it count that I saved lives? I have done more for this population's size than any child I might have sired with no family to raise them in."
"As I was saying, you have done many heroic acts and we celebrate you, but if we do not maintain the authority of our council everything we have worked for will become nothing."
His mouth opened, blue eyes clouding with worry. "I can't consummate something to which I feel aversion. That would be rape."
"You are a man of the highest moral caliber, though your refusal to start a family shows you to be degenerate in ways that we cannot allow in our city. You will leave this place of council, proceed to the rail gun, which has been suited with a one person craft."
"You're going to shoot me into space because I won't fuck on command?" Jessander grabbed the railing in front of him, leaning into them. "You can't do that! That's a death sentence!"
The entire counsel moved as one, reaching up and pulled down dark veils over their faces. A matched pair of centurions stepped forward, their pikes shimmering with energy sharpened edges. They each grabbed him by an arm and dragged him to the balcony. People filled the courtyard. He screamed, panic setting in. This was his home! These were his people! He was of noble birth! He was a doctor. The oracle spoke from the floor above them.
"Doctor Jessander, son of Orson has been found guilty of disrespect to our city. He is banished henceforth."
The trip to the rail gun became surreal to Jessander. Through empty halls, across the now empty courtyard they dragged him. His home! His friends! His patients!
The centurions picked him up and he moved steadily towards his sentence.
A colleague of his waited there for them, the veil already drawn over his face.
"No! Don't do this!" Jessander screamed as they lifted him into the capsule. "You're going to kill me!"
"No," his colleague said, "You won't die, but maybe you'll find what it is you're really looking for."
The centurions strapped his ankles down, wrists down. The doctor drew the mask over his face, gave his shoulder a gentle squeeze. "You will rise like Osiris, Jessander, out there among the stars."
"Summer, we have a blip on the horizon," Andy said. "Mike thinks it's probably something man-made. Should we burn enough to pick it up?"
Summer looked up from the very detailed map for the world they were headed to. Her ship, the Delta T, had been her father's mining ship. It had then been her brother's, but now it was hers. She hadn't even known she had family before the ship became her inheritance. Andy and Mike had come with it. They were the best family she'd ever had.
She smiled. Her hair was short, vibrantly red and naturally curly. Pert and full breasts under the thin shipside shirt gave her soft curves and a promise of a very feminine form.
They'd been in space transit for six months, which seemed like a very long time to her. Most people people were either born to space or they took to space in ships that simulated ancient luxury liners. She'd been a customer service representative the day she inherited the ship. Space, mining, even laying out surveying satellites for the government had seemed very good.
Andy smiled back at her, his strong arms across his chest, comfortable, confident, very gentle and caring. His family had been spacers going back farther than he could count. That heritage gave him violet hair and pale eyes. She knew his arms were strong. She'd always heard that spacers were weak, but Andy was stronger than any man she'd ever been touched by. "Is the dark bothering you again," he asked, voice deep and commanding.
She bit her lip slightly. "It never really goes away, except when you and Mike are holding me."
"It'll get better, I promise," he said as he crossed from the open doorway to wrap his arms around her. He kissed her neck, smiled, nibbled her ear. "How bad can a disorder be if orgasms make it all better?"
She blushed brilliantly, pressing back against him. "It doesn't bother you at all? That we're so far away from solid ground and there's nothing except empty space around us?"
"Maybe it did, a long time ago, but even if it did, you came aboard and nothing has bothered me since." He promised.
She turned in his arms, shivering as her nipples brushed against his chest, with only thin cloth between them. "You had Mike."
"I still have Mike," Andy vowed, "but now we both have you. His little blip can wait for a few minutes. We can't have the darkness bothering you!"
"It does diminish my reasoning," she said, letting him lift her up. "You smell so good!"
He pressed his face to her chest, his forehead to her bare skin, as his fingers slipped under her shirt. "Not as good as you," he growled softly as his thumbs moved over her nipples. "Touching you makes me so hard for you."
"Then you get a disorder trying to take care of mine," she said, her fingers sliding into his silky hair. "I want you! I want both of you!" The first time she'd taken them both she'd been a little afraid, but by then she'd loved them both so much that she hadn't wanted to leave either of them out. Together they'd been so thick, so tight inside of her, moving on slightly different rhythms and the sensation had been amazing!
"Hey you two," Mike's voice came across the sound system. "I need you up here, or at least need you to know I'm picking up the blip. It's got a life signal."
Andy and Summer looked at each other. He pressed his hip against her pussy, smiled when she gasped. "We better go. He's going to pick up whatever this thing is and God only knows what it might be."
"Maybe it's an escape pod," she said, mewling softly, wanting just a little more pressure from any part of his beautiful hard body.
"Maybe it's an escape pod from a plague ship," he teased as he took hold of her hand.
She pulled her shirt back down. Hurrying after him she asked, "Could it really be? Could it be dangerous?"
"We won't put you at risk," Andy promised.
The Delta T wasn't a very large ship, only meant to house five crew members for longer missions, so it didn't take Andy and Summer very long to get to the hanger and.
Mike's ancestry was harder to judge as his parents had had enough resources to buy him a desirable phenotype, which was to say he looked very much like a twenty-first century vid star with long brown hair, dark eyes, and a cocky smirk. "Nice of you two lovelies to join me."
"What have you got," Andy asked letting go of Summer's hand so he could check the readouts. "You've got a good hold on it. We need to run the decon as soon as it's close enough."
"It's beautiful," Summer said touching the screen. A marble look to the surface, two doric columns reaching along the lengths of both sides of the pod, making it look much more like a sarcophagus. The writing on the top was sharp letters, antique, carved into the seemingly stone surface. "What does it say? Where did it come from?"
Mike, the linguist in the group, was busy triggering the decon, while drawing the sarcophagus into the ship. "It's from New Rome. It means, 'I have been condemned because I chose love over the well being of my city.'"
"New Rome?" Summer asked.
Mike moved close enough to touch his hips to hers, hands and eyes still on the controls. "It was one of the first out lying colonies. It was a long time ago, before decon was as good as it is now."
Andy squeezed her shoulder. "The colony died, shortly after they condemned a doctor named Jesserud. He was supposed to be some great pathologist."
She laid her hand on Andy's. "Do you think that could be him?"
"That would be pretty crazy," Mike said. "If so, we struck it rich. His name is Jessander Orson and there's a huge reward for finding him, especially if he's still alive. That planet is prime, but he's the only one that's ever been able to cure the disease on it. Even if it was modded after he was condemned, people think he might be immune too, might be able to open that planet back up."
"He's not going to be alive," Andy said grimly. "If this is really him, was him, he's been in deep space for five hundred years. Nothing left, but bio soup."
"That's so gross," Summer complained.
Andy shrugged. "Even if he was alive, after five hundred years in deep sleep, who knows if he'd even be sane. The dreams he'd have had...."
Peg, the ship's main fixer bot, stretched out it's long legs, climbed up on the sarcophagus, applied a seal, then drilled into the structure to apply decon.
"I'm telling you," Mike said, "There's a life sign. He's not soup."
Peg's camera caught an image of the occupant of the sarcophagus. Summer gasped. "He reminds me of... of sculptures I've seen, of Antinous!"
"That he does," Andy agreed, a slight hint of jealousy in his voice.
Mike reached behind them and ran his hand over Andy's ass, gave him a wink, squeezed Summer between them. "He's not as pretty as you, baby."
Andy laughed. "I wasn't jealous, not really."
"He looks really thin," Summer pointed out.
"Deep sleep weighs on you. We need to warm him up."
"Should I get a med kit," Summer asked. They only had three of them on board. There was no clinic, no doctor. Theirs was a very cheap do-it-as-well-as-you-can-trip and they'd all understood if they ran into more trauma than the ship's systems could deal with, they were going to be so much space dust.
"No, Peg's opening the pod has activated its own systems, but we're still going to have to get him warm. Go turn back our bed, get some extra blankets out!"
"In our bed," she asked, knowing her boys were very practical and open. Even she knew the best way to bring someone out of deep sleep was sex, unless you had a real doctor, real medical equipment.
Mike nodded, frowning at the health readouts. "Turn up the temp in our room. We'll get him and bring him, Summer," he said,turning to look reassuringly into her eyes. He ran his fingers into her hair, then leaned close to kiss her as if nothing would ever come between them.
"Okay," she whispered, her hand fisted in his shirt. "It's not dangerous, right?"
"We'll be okay," Andy promised, an arm around her and a hand touching Mike's shoulder. "Besides, we have to try to save him now. We can't just open his pod and let him die."
"That's true," Summer agreed, her stomach in knots.
They both hurried out of the control room, down the stairs into the bay. The door closed behind them. She knew she should hurry to their room to do as they'd asked her, but she stayed, watching as the pod opened up.
Inside lay a slender man, smooth skin, long dark hair, beautiful full lips, lush eye lashes. As Andy and Mike worked to free him, she very much hoped he'd be okay. After they'd freed his wrists and ankles, Andy slipped strong arms under him, lifting him from the pod that had both condemned him and saved him. He moaned softly, rosy lips parting slightly. Summer knew she should have been more responsible, more considerate, but the image of those soft lips tugging at her clit flashed in her mind and didn't fade any faster than the blush.
She turned away from the sight of her lovers carrying this fragile and beautiful man to the bed they all shared. As quickly as she could, she pulled out the extra blankets, turned up the heat and waited for their new guest.
The boys didn't take long to arrive. Working together, they pulled the thin silk toga from their guest, checking him over for wounds or other issues that would need attention.
"Where am I," he moaned.
All three of them were around him then and his eyes moved from face to face, lingering only a moment, before he reached out to touch Summer's face. "I have risen to Olympus! I find myself with Apollo, Hermes, and Aphrodite!"
"I'm sure as hell not Hermes," Mike complained. "I could be Shiva. Shiva was hot."
Summer slipped under the covers, pulling them close as she touched those beautiful lips. "I'm not Aphrodite. I'm Summer. This is my ship, the Delta T. These are my lovers, Mike and Andy. Who are you?"
He groaned his hips pressing up to her, his virgin cock hardening finally. "I am Jessander. If my lady has commitments, perhaps pressing your body so close to mine is unwise."
By this time Mike and Andy had stripped out of their clothes. Andy's erection from earlier hadn't had the time nor will to go away.
"So, Jessander," Andy said gently. "We need to get you warm, help get your body back out of deep sleep. You were in deep sleep for five hundred years."
"Five hundred years," he gasped. His body started to tremble between them and he drew his arms across his chest. "That's so long!"
"Don't worry about anything right now," Summer comforted. "You're here with us and we're going to take good care of you. The boys seem to like you a lot and I like you too, but you don't have to do anything sexual with us. We just want to take good care of you and help you be healthy."
"You all desire me," he asked in a hushed voice. Very slowly his hand reached out to touch her lips, then he looked to the side and reached to touch Mike's hair. "None of you have plague."
"Nope," Andy agreed. "No plague here. The only danger is your body not getting enough excitement and you getting pod blight."
Jessander looked in the other direction, now reaching to touch Andy's flaming red hair. "You are all so beautiful. I feel as though I've been waiting so very long to find you! That you were all the ones I needed to find!"
"That might be a little bit of pod sickness talking," Mike said, but he ran his hand gently down Jessander's thigh, "but it's good enough for now. Orgasm is the best medicine for just about everything."
"I've never," Jessander whispered. "I'm a virgin."
Summer shimmied out of her pants. "I felt like I was a virgin after they had me for the first time, felt like I hadn't ever had sex until I was with them."
"You are okay with me," Jessander asked, pausing nervously. "How can I not have love when I was banished, and I wake up into the hearts and arms of three beautiful people?"
"Love is the last great mystery," Summer said as she ran a couple fingers through her very wet pussy, then traced the honey up Jessander's hard cock. "And I'm very okay with you. We have to save you. You could still be at risk."
Mike arched an eyebrow, but smiled indulgently. He snuggled up to their new guest, his hard cock brushing against Jessander and Summer. "So you think you love us? That would work out best. A quad is a very stable tribal size."
"We do need a doctor," Andy agreed, his hands moving over Summer, over Jessander, brushing against Mike's cock. "Right now though, I just want you to get warm, to excite your body and bring it out of deep sleep."
"Sexual excitement is indicated in long deep sleep situations," Jessander said. "Love is very important to me! Is it possible that you will love me in return?"
Summer straddled him, the blankets over them all, retaining heat, as she peeled her shirt over the top of her head, freeing beautiful full breasts. All three of them pressed close to him, as Summer leaned down to cover him, her soft warm breasts tingling against his slightly chilled chest. "Love is a flower, but every petal has to be won on its own."
"The plague," he said trembling hands running over Summer's bare back, "I have to tell you."
"The ship's system gave you a clean bill of health. No virus, no bacteria, no parasites," Mike promised. "No plague."
"It's the cure," Jessander said, trying to weakly struggle back a little. "It's the cure that I devised! It makes changes to the DNA. It had unexpected side effects!"
"Like what," Summer asked, sliding down his hard cock, slick and heated desire coating him. "You seem healthy to me."
"I am healthy!" Jessander cried out, hips jerking up towards his new lovers, "I am... I am.. Oh meus Deus!" He curled up, his arms wrapping around her, one hand sliding up into her soft silky hair. His breath against her throat felt warm.
She moaned, knees tightening on him. His breath was sweet, exotic flowers, pheromones, and shivers rippled across her shoulders. "Ohhhh."
Both her boys were kissing her as well. Andy ran his tongue around a nipple, his touch warm and tender. Mike kissed across her cheek, his lips tugging at hers, licking, urging her surrender to him.
The sharpness of Jessander's kiss pulled a cry from her, sharp wicked surrender. Vibrant light poured through her, braiding his soul to hers and hers to his. Her pussy pulsed. She meweled, wanting solid thickness, touch penetrating her! "Fuck me!"
Flesh no longer chilled, Jessander shifted behind, still licking and suckling at her throat, deft fingers dancing over one of her nipples. This gave her a good look at her boys, who were both hard, eyes glazed with passion as they moved closer, kissing her, caressing. "Fuck me," she begged again. "Please! Andy! Mike!"
"You go," Mike said kissing the small of Andy's back. "I'll take you."
"Oh fuck yeah," Andy groaned.
Mike moved back around, kissed Summer again, possessing her with a deep and enduring intensity.
She moaned, driving Andy's hard fingers, calloused with the work of running their ship, driving them deep into her heated feminine secrets. His thumb caressed the pearl of her clit and she cried out, thrusting forward against his touch. The darkness that terrified her sometimes felt so far away. This was home, pleasure, heaven. "Yes!"
Heated, super sensitive, she writhed on their bed, held by the very strong and gentle arms of their new lover. His very deep kiss felt like an infusion of life, intensifying passion.
"Lay on your side," Mike growled, "I want... all of us together. Summer, Andy can take your pussy, let me have your sweet tight little ass?"
"Yes," Summer screamed! "Fuck me! God, I need you so badly! Please!"
She wrapped a leg around Andy, pulling him close.
Both Mike and Andy reached out to touch Jessander, caressing, connecting. The need to keep him warm, excite him, all but forgotten as the euphoric haze of Jessander's bite connected them. The circuit of them completed with Mike gently penetrating Summer, slowly sliding his slicked cock through the tight ring of her muscle, pushing deep into her tight heat.
Summer cried out, passion a rising in her like a spiral of new born stars. Her fingers intertwined with Mike's. Her other hand petted Andy, clutching at him as her first orgasm blossomed.
They'd kicked the blankets off. The heat of their passion burned impossibly hot, like nothing they'd ever felt before. Jessander's fingers caressed Mike's hair, his temples, tracing golden spirals of pleasure. The touch brought orgasm to him and he clutched Summer tightly as he cried out, sending his passion deeply into her.
Andy grabbed Mike's arm as he also came. Eyes clenched tightly, he muttered holy words, a prayer for the safety of his loved ones, their success on their mission, gratitude for their new lover, and his promise of love for all three of his lovers.
Summer's third orgasm clamped down tightly around Andy's thick cock, teasing the last bit of pleasure from him. "I love you! All of you! Love as vast as the home of the stars!"
Mike kissed her shoulder, reached down to touch her soft pussy fur, then her clit, stroking very very lightly, to bring her off to one more orgasm, as all of them watched pleasure glow over her. Pleasure settled slowly back, leaving her in a delicious glow. Her hand reached up to touch her throat where Jessander's sharp kiss had pushed her into such intense passion, only to find her skin wet.
She sat up, eyes wide. "I'm bleeding!"
"Only just a little," Jessander said softly. "That was... it was. I need to reach my people. They didn't give me the chance to explain the side effect of the cure! It's not really as bad as it seems, but it could be psychologically distressing."
Andy's mouth hung open, one eyebrow arched.
Mike scowled. "You're a vampire. Your cure made you into a vampire, and fuck! The sex! That was intense! But you didn't tell them?"
"I meant to! I need to contact them right away! The vampirism is not dangerous. It's a side effect of the cure and it causes irresistible cravings for human blood, not a lot, but if blood is not consumed insanity sets in."
"Does it always make sex mind blowing," Summer asked, leaning back to look up at him.
"That I didn't know about," he said, "I may be the only person to have the side effect and I... I just didn't wish to engage in sexual activity until I felt... well, what I felt when I saw the three of you."
Mike lazed on the bed, his cock only half soft. "I still think that was pod sickness, but I'm gonna do my best to make sure you stay in love with us."
"I am committed to all three of you for life," Jessander promised. "Can we contact my people now?"
"That might be a problem," Mike said, frowning. He rolled on his side and reached for Jessander's hand. "The city of New Rome lost contact with the rest of humanity five hundred years ago. There are beacons around the system warning of plague."
Jessander covered his mouth, tears welling in his eyes. "But the cure worked!"
Summer, Andy, and Mike all moved to hold him, to comfort him. "Maybe they're alive," Summer said, "Just keeping this secret to themselves."
"Like we're going to keep you to ourselves. You can't tell anyone that you're Jessander.... There's a reward out on you."
"So he'll be Jessie!" Summer said. "Do you like that name?"
Jessie wiped away tears, leaned over and kissed her forehead. "It's a lovely name, Lady Summer."
"We got to get rid of the pod, close it back up, throw it back out," Mike declared.
"Can't we just lay here a little more," Summer said, running her foot over Mike's leg, a hand caressing soothingly over Andy's arm. Instinct promised that as soon as they got up real life would continue where love couldn't be promised, where there was work to be done, and the skin of their ship was fragilely thin to someone who'd spent her life on a nice solid planet.
"I want that pod out before we hit the next sling," Mike said. He sat up and ran his hand through his hair, still a little blown away from the intensity of their love making.
"Excuse me," Jessie said softly, "But may I ask, aside from our feelings for each other, which are quite intense, even more so given the length of time we've known each other, but exactly why are we trusting each other. If there is a reward for my person, though I cannot understand why there would be, as I am a simple doctor and an exile without a bloodline home on top of that, be that as it may, exactly why should I not expect you to attempt to collect said reward?"
Summer got up on her knees, her hands on his thighs. Their eyes locked. Static ruffled her fiery curls. He swayed slightly, lips parted, hands on the bed to keep himself upright. After a moment she smiled, the intense contact broken. "They trust you because I do. I'm a reader. It's a bloodline trait. I can't tell everything, but I can completely read your intentions in the present moment. I've been trained to extrapolate that into a profile of a person. It's not fool proof, but it's pretty much as good as humans get."
"Rush, ain't it," Andy asked giving Jessie a wink. "I didn't think I'd ever meet anyone with a bloodline trait that rocked me more, but I think whatever you did to Summer with that bite, that's pretty fucking hot."
Summer and Mike both nodded in agreement. "That's probably why there is a reward for you, Jessie. Someone knows about the cure you created and what it does."
"That's got to be true," Mike agreed. "There's no way that someone didn't discover it in five hundred years."
Andy smirked, jumping up off the bed. He looked back over his shoulder, grinning. "We won't let no one cut you up though."
"Cut me up," Jessie asked, eyes wide as he reached for a tangled sheet to cover himself with.
"Don't worry," Mike promised. "We're far out. We'll shuck the pod and no one will ever know where you came from."
"They're both very wise about these things," Summer soothed. "Come on, let's get a shower. We'll make some food. Do you want to cut your hair?" She bounced up out of the bed as well then grabbed up her clothes. "You do still eat? More than just eating me?"
Andy had his clothes back on already. "He gets to eat me sometime too. Maybe later, I'll eat him."
Jessie pulled the sheet up to his chest, "You don't mean... consume?"
"Of course not," Mike said. He reached out to run his finger tips gently over Jessie's hand. "He means he'd like to take your penis into his mouth for the purpose of giving you pleasure."
"Really," Jessie whispered. "How can you love me? Do you have pod sickness as well?"
"Maybe," Summer allowed, holding out her hand. "Come on, shower."
The slender doctor didn't show any sign of either getting up or letting go of the sheet. "I think I should like some time alone to think a little bit. There has been a lot to absorb."
"Guess that's true," Mike said, pulling his shirt down over his head. "You're safe with us here. We're safe with you too."
Holding her clothes in both arms to her chest. "I'm not getting dressed until I've had a shower. I suppose I ought to get back to studying the planetary data about where we're going to put the mining drones." That felt more than a little anti-climactic. With everyone going their separate ways, it was like the cold of space leeched into their bedroom, wrapping tendrils of fear around her heart.
"He needs some clothes," Mike pointed out.
"He's too slender to wear mine. Some of Summer's maybe?"
Jessie was crawling towards Summer though, concern in his eyes. He reached out to her wrist, taking her pulse. "You're afraid to be alone."
She shifted, tucking her wrists under her arms, lips tight for a moment. "It's just... it'll pass."
Andy was already to the door and he looked back. "She's afraid of the dark."
"Not the dark," she muttered, "Not just the dark. It's space, the void. I know a ship is just like a planet, only smaller and that thing happen to planets as well, and really mortality rates are much lower in functioning ships than on planets, but it just... it's cold."
Jessie made a toga of the sheet. When he stood, he didn't seem too slender, but tall, elegant, stately like a sculpture of a god. "It's related to your bloodline trait, where you were able to look so deeply into myself. It's not space, it's being alone."
"It's a small ship," she pointed out, though she let him take her hand, rub his thumb across her palm. "It's not like I'm ever really alone."
"When they are doing other things, you are not as connected with them. With a larger population, you'd have fewer quiet moments."
"Yeah," she fidgeted, his touch warming her up again, "I don't mind quiet. It's the cold, like space will reach in here and swallow me up."
He drew her hand to his chest, to the gracefully draped sheet. "You will not be swallowed up by anything other than love."
She smiled, slight blush on her cheeks, but she snorted, distancing herself from what she felt. "Whatever."
The hygiene station was directly across from the room they used as a bedroom. Very basic facilities, but that's all she wanted or needed. The shower used a combination of gentle sonic vibrations and vacuum to clean and exfoliate. It had taken some getting used to, but really it was much more efficient than the water based shower she'd used at home. She stepped between the sensor plates, held out her arms and closed her eyes.
Before she knew it he'd stepped in with her, stretched out his arms next to hers. A tempest of sensation vibrated between them, around them, massaging, cleaning, sealing in some soul based way. So that when she opened her eyes she found him looking down at her with a smile. "I thought you wanted to think."
"I am thinking. I am thinking that love was a matter of being willing, but that only such brave and beautiful hearts as I've found here could make me willing."
"Before they found me," she confessed, pressing her body to his, breasts against hard chest, "my life was safe, all planned out. I didn't have any family, didn't really have any friends. I thought I was a genuit, but you know records are forbidden from confirming that for anyone."
"What's a genuit?"
"It's really important," she said, explaining, apologizing for her people maybe, "To have enough of the right kind of people. Random breeding is all well and fine, but being able to combine DNA into useful phenotypes gives the whole population a greater chance at survival. It's sealed, who is natural born and who is planned. The colony was only a few generations old and well, there were a lot of orphans, even a lot of orphans brought in from other worlds."
"Are they your family then? How did you get separated?"
"No, I mean, yes, they're my family now, but not genetically. This ship was my father's, then my brother's after he died. Andy and Mike were the crew and when my brother died, they sought me out to make sure I got my inheritance."
"That is very kind of them," Jessie said.
"Yeah," she agreed softly, eyes still locked with his.
He leaned forward, brushing his lips over hers lightly, but she pressed the kiss hard into him, her hand taking hold of long dark hair. The harder she kissed him the farther away the dark felt.
Andy finished sanding over the patch where Peg had drilled into the pod. "Damn shame to get rid of it. It's antique art and all."
"Can't sell it without giving away where we got it," Mike reasoned. He ran the scan again, making sure the mix of biological material they'd dumped into it worked as an effective decoy. "He looks like soup now."
"He looks hot as fuck to me," Andy said with a wiggle of his eyebrows. "A virgin... I can't wait to fix that for him."
"You're all dick sometimes," Mike teased. He shoved the scanner back in his pocket, held out a hand to Andy, "But I love you anyway."
"Damn good thing," Andy affirmed. "I'm hungry. After we get rid of this thing, we should see about making food, make sure Summer and Jessie eat. Maybe we can get a card game going. I don't think it's a good idea for him to sit alone and brood. Five hundred years in a box ought to be enough for that."
Mike shrugged. "I say let him process how he wants. That's some pretty big shit and his feelings for us might only be pod sick and part of that bite he's got."
"One hell of a bite!" Andy gave Mike's hand a squeeze.
It only took them another few minutes of work to eject the pod that had kept Jessie imprisoned for so long.
Life settled into a normalcy. They gardened. They looked at stars. They made love. They turned off the gravity and made love. They laughed. They fought over cards. They sparred. Jessie got a black eye. Andy let him top. Jessie taught them how to do sling calculations by hand. Mike swore they'd never do it that way. Jessie learned to bite without bruising. It was life, the sweet spiraling days of life.
Then it was Halloween. They were still two weeks away from the reaching their destination, but they'd navigated the final sling easily enough. Andy and Mike slipped out of bed early, but that wasn't unusual. Excitement for what they'd planned brought Summer awake early too, but she curled up next to Jessie. It had been three months since they'd picked him up.
His breathing changed, lightened, pulse quickened and she knew he was awake. She traced her fingers very likely over his lips, light and teasing. "Good morning Beautiful."
One eye opened slightly. His eyes were so blue they were like twilight, the very edge of the horizon where space seems to touch a world. He rolled up onto his side, fingers brushing her hair back from her face. "Will you let me draw you today?"
"Maybe," she teased. "We thought we'd give you a holiday today though. I guess, it's a holiday for me too. Ever heard of Halloween?"
"That's an ancient festival of candy," he asked doubtfully.
"Kinda," she said, sitting up. "We thought we'd dress up, play hide and seek, collect treats from each other when we get found."
"Umm," he purred in agreement, straddling her as he rolled on top of her. "Any kind of treat we want?"
"Well, healthy treats," she said, arching her hips up against him.
"Of course," he agreed, tongue licking the corner of his mouth. "I think I've caught you now though. Do I get a little treat?"
Her fingers circled around to press his nipples as she smiled playfully up at him. "You are not in costume, so no treats for you!"
He made a long and mock serious face. "I am entirely too old to dress up and play little kid games."
She bit her lip, mewling just slightly, unconsciously. "I want to dress up."
Laying back down beside her, snuggled up next to her, he touched the soft ruffle of her eyelashes then her lips, relishing her soft beauty. "What do you want to dress up as?"
"A cat! I saw a cat once."
"There were many cats on New Rome," he hinted, still hoping he'd convince them to swing by his home world.
Laughing she hooked a leg over his hips. "There are vampires on your home world. I don't think they're all as nice as you."
"Maybe not," he agreed. "I'm probably the only one left."
That thought melted the energy away from him.
She shifted a little, smiling, caressing him. "I'll talk to the boys. After we finish this mining job. Maybe we can sneak back by New Rome. They're just afraid, you know, that someone will try to take you."
"I am not a commodity to be carried off like a cask of wine."
"No, of course not, and in a civilized place, it won't be a worry, but you are a carrier of a unique genetic adaption. People will fear it and long for it and there are crazy bastards out here away from civilization, you know."
"You don't say?"
She laughed, kissed him quickly, then studied his eyes without really digging into him, respectful, but intimate. "What are you going to dress up as? We can be bad little kids today! Just for fun."
"If you're going to be a kitty, I'll be the big bad wolf," he said, finding a small smile. What are Andy and Mike dressing up as? How hard did you have to work to get Mike to go along with this?"
"Oh, not so hard," she lied, "I just stared at him with these big beautiful eyes and he couldn't wait to collect my treats."
Jessie's laugh was deep and genuine. "Fine!" He sat up, then half jumped out of bed. He wiggled his naked ass, looked over his shoulder and stuck his tongue out at her, "You want my treats!"
"I do!" Sitting up, just barely covered by the sheet, their bed still warm, Summer wasn't sure she'd ever been happier in all of her life.
The darkness that she'd almost started getting used to turned from cold to an ugly scratchy irritation. Dark intent smacked her consciousness. Light flashed. Jessie was gone. Just that fast, a fetcher beam broke through their shields, scrambled their lover, and stole him away. Summer screamed.
Her intention carried her voice through the sound system. "Jessie's been stolen! Proximity scan!"
She ran, nearly tripping on her bedding, scrambling through the halls, naked as the day she was born. Whosever intent it was that she'd felt, it tried to pull away from her, withdraw with her lover, but she held onto it, like a dark cancerous tendril in her mind. She slapped her hands against the nearest jack-in point, melded her own intent with the ship, and peeled them away from the vector they'd been on for months. Engines fired. The ship shuddered under the strain.
Mike and Andy joined her, having picked up the information of events from the ship's AI as soon as her scream had alerted them. The Delta T only looked common. The wall dissolved its being, leaving the three of them around a column of pure data. Precious energy resources burned as they gave pursuit. Their only link was Summer's psychic connection to the other ship. The intensity of her pursuit burned away the veneer of humanity. Her eyes stopped blinking, the irises losing color. She was the same as every woman who had ever refused to lose a family member, self sacrifice burned through her and she gave more and more of herself to the system, calculating energy, trajectory, gathering energy from the universe around them. Her bloodline trait used every bit of her blood, her soul, and she gave herself.
The ship they chased was a government interceptor, unmanned, but deadly to them if they caught it or not. As soon as she knew that, she and her boys knew that there were only seconds. The interceptor would complete assessment of its target and render the prisoner completely ineffective, i.e. dead. Deep within herself, she hid what was was left of her personality, her memories, her dreams. She understood now that she was the ship. She had always been the ship. The only thing that made her Summer was her love for her boys.
The two ships spiraled around each other, shooting through space faster than the speed of light, moving at the speed of human ingenuity. Using the Delta T as if it were her own body, Summer pushed the little ship into a deadly synchronous path with the government ship.
Strategy overwhelmed her mind until both Andy and Mike wrapped her in their arms. They were whispering her name, coaxing her back from the laser focused pursuit. "We're there," Andy said. "Just hold us here."
"We'll board and get him back," Mike promised.
Becoming herself again was like waking from a bad dream. "My head hurts!"
"I know Baby," Andy comforted. "You did really good."
"I'm coming with you. I can control the ship still."
Mike had just returned. She hadn't even known he was gone. He tossed her a suit pack, a small necklace that as soon it was triggered would unfold into personal body armor. Andy triggered his and activated the power source on his weapon. Gravity failed on the Delta T. The three of them floated until they activated the mag pads in their hands, feet. Rapid moving, black armored predators, they moved along the ceiling, then into the newly made boarding tunnel.
An interceptor was only a small craft, designed for stealth violence, for the kinds of missions that no elected official would ever admit to knowing about. Each of them moved independently, but concerted through their connection to the Delta T and Summer. The government drone that should have been terrifying melted under their weaponry, surrendered to them.
Warnings in the common languages of humans sounded through the ship. Summer's control of her ship almost failed when she found the pod that Jessie had been placed in. Andy and Mike joined her. Without him being in a suit, they couldn't extract him until they'd gotten back to their ship. It took them precious moments to get the pod free and floating.
Like the whole day, what shouldn't have happened, did. The bolt that hit Summer went all the way through her suit and shoulder before her suit could seal it. Andy and Mike locked eyes with her. She felt so small inside her suit, cut off from them, barely able to keep their ship tethered, time felt frozen. All possible futures that she could see felt unacceptable. Today was her holiday! It was her day to play with her lovers!
Tears filled her eyes. She'd always known they had lied to her. She didn't have a father or a brother. She was a created being, left to live among humans for the skills that had been built into her. Tears floated away from her eyes. Mag pads could hold her suit where it needed to be, but emotions didn't care about gravity. For a few months there had been family and love and she understood her fear of the darkness. She was the darkness. It was her true nature to dissipate and be nothing, to float away from the illusion of love and family.
They shouted, but her sound system was down. She gave the pod a shove, telling them they needed to go.
Then... she wasn't afraid of the darkness. She didn't care if it swallowed her now because she'd known them, so the darkness could never have her completely. There would always have been their light. Consciously she shut down her thought processes, refusing to stay until the last of her biological processes had stopped.
Sweet pleasure, sharp as a virgin penetration on a celebrated wedding night, pushed into her consciousness. She gasped, drew in sweet air that smelled of her boys, her three boys. Arms held her, caressed her. Jessie's bite.
It made sense. She laughed in joy. Andy pressed his face to her chest, his tears hot, his hands desperate. Mike pressed his forehead to hers. She opened her eyes and looked into his. He smiled. "You can't fucking leave us. You're our family, Summer."
"You are," Andy commanded.
Jessie licked the bite, lips trembling and she understood in that moment how hard he'd worked, with his own bloodline trait, to save her. "You are," he agreed.
She clung to them and it was more intense than sex, more intense than suns. The darkness had lost all power.
They were safe and they were loved.
This is their whole story so far! If you find that you enjoy this story please let me know, encourage me to write more for them, and support me by buying the kindle version, or the pdf at either lulu or 1romanceebooks.com