Bouncer’s hide was no comparison to my face when I finished reading. It was exactly what I’d thought it would be. Pair-bonding was sexual. Genetics played a huge role, but from everything I read, it was emotional as well.
Was Garjah emotional? I leaned back against the bed. He didn’t say much, but he took care of me. He brought me food. Made sure I had Bouncer. He’d pinched his slim nostrils shut and glared at Bouncer on the bed when he brought the midday meal, but he hadn’t said anything.
It was close to the evening meal, and Garjah should be off shift soon. He said we’d get my stuff. Then… I leaned my head against the pillow.
“He’s not that different,” I told Bouncer. He perked up, staring at me. “Humanoid, at least. Equipment all on the outside.” Male Four Arms were not fertile, at least, and I’d spent some time checking if the stupid medical bots had decided to infuse the liquid metal anywhere else. Not that I’d had the balls to try whipping my shaft out and stroking myself to a release.
One, Garjah would definitely smell it. Two, my luck Timok would come over and he’d smell it. Or three, one or both of them would come in and actually catch me. No. Just no.
At least, not until I figured out how to lock the damn door.
Case in point, it beeped and then slid open. Garjah stood with Seedrah behind him, and my meager possessions were in their arms. I sat up, holding the covers to my lap when Garjah’s gaze snapped to it and he froze.
“I thought you would be resting.”
“Why? I’ve been resting all day. What are you doing?” I tugged the blankets up a few more inches, and Garjah’s shoulders relaxed. He came into his quarters and allowed Seedrah in behind him. They set my things on the table and in the corner.
“I-I just… thought you would be.” It was one of the first times I’d seen the large security officer flustered.
“Why didn’t you come get me? I thought we were going to get my stuff.” It was hard to keep the whine out of my voice. I wanted out of this bed and to move. I was going stir crazy.
“Seedrah wasn’t on duty yet, and I need you here. Besides, someone has to take your cerops back.”
“He can’t stay here?” I put my hand on Bouncer’s head. He rumbled, nudging my hand with a soft twist of his head so I would scratch the base of one of those big ears. He half-closed his eyes in appreciation.
“No. I do not share my head with deadly creatures.”
I raised my head. Smirking, I shrugged one shoulder. “Guess I’m out. I’ll just head back to my quarters. Seedrah can you help carry things into my room?” I knew that last question would be the final pin. He was even jealous of Timok, though he tried to hide it.
“Seedrah can’t help you. He is on shift now and must go.” Garjah crossed both sets of his arms and stood with that wide-legged stance.
“Yes, I am the boss. Goodbye, Seedrah.” Garjah looked at Bouncer, waiting by the entrance to the main corridor.
I sighed, patting his shoulder. “Better go, buddy. I will see you tomorrow.” I wasn’t asking, and I glanced at Garjah so he caught that. He did. There was a swirling energy between us. When we had guests, it was banked, a simmer. Once we were alone, the air turned heavy.
“Are you all right?” Garjah came to sit on the edge of his bunk.
Oh stars, now he was going to be all nice and ask about my feelings. Well they were a mess. A big, giant, swirling maelstrom of ‘What happens next?’.
“Last meal?” I finally strangled out.
“Oh, yes, I can go get that.” He cleared his throat. “Do you have any requests?”
Could I ask for a do over? So much had changed, it was hard to keep up. “No.”
When he left the room, I stood. It would be better to meet him at the table. Plus all my stuff was on it. I grabbed my bag, digging around for clean clothing. I changed as fast as I could, then tossed my bag in the corner with my bin of supplies Timok had let me use for scientific specimens.
I felt like a specimen in a jar, so how I missed the door opening and shutting behind him. I’d never know. The large hands landing on my shoulders startled me, and I yelled, jerking away. My ran into the table, wincing at the rough edge that dug into my thigh.
The pounding of my heart shook my whole chest. Or maybe that was my hands.
Garjah stood close, his warmth and hot, spicy scent filling my senses. “You don’t have to be afraid, Ellis.”
“I’m not,” I said. My voice shook hard enough it was stupid to even try to lie, but I did anyway. I fisted my hands. “Just a tickle. I need a drink.” On the edge of the table was a tray Garjah had been carrying. The stew looked amazing; I’d kill for a thick, crusty roll to go with it.
Not exactly food for beings who didn’t chew. They just used that long, slender tongue and those strong throat muscles to push their—
If Garjah hadn’t noticed my arousal before, he was going to now. Even I could tell the smell in the room had changed. Maybe it was time to be brave again.
I turned. “I want you,” I said baldly. I looked up into his wide eyes. “And I know you want me too.” The telltale white creeping up his uniform jacket provided all the proof I needed.Want more flash?