He was dreaming of fire and explosions; the entire right side of his body reverberating with a dull ache of concussions, except for his right elbow where the pain was burning with shattering intensity. He was walking through the fire like it was his own domain, seemingly unaffected by the intense heat.
His name is Tyr. A voice spoke, so he turned in a circle, but he couldn’t see anyone.
Disconnected images floated into his mind of a tall, buff, blond-haired man, beckoning from beyond the fire with the handless stump of his right forearm. Who the hell is this Tyr?
What does he look like? A different voice. Again he turned, trying to locate its source. Describe him to me. Describe who? Tyr? Blond, well-built, tall, his right forearm ends in a withered nub; no hand. But why …
He’s strong, tall, … That’s what I said.
No I mean his features, describe his face. Which face? Why? This is so confusing.
He’s got black hair. No, Tyr’s got blond hair. It’s long, but the whole right side of his head is shaved. He’s got scars on his head. His skin is weird. Dark, like mine, but more red than brown. His eyes are closed so I don’t know what color they are. Why are you describing me? Tyr’s skin is pale and his eyes aren’t closed. His eyes are blue…
What are you doing, Baldr? Don’t touch him. What if he wakes up?
The doctor said he’s going to be out for a few more hours. I want to see him for myself.
Gentle hands feathered over the skin of his forehead, followed the contours of his brows, eyes, nose, jaw, lips and chin and then dipped down following the outline of his neck, traps, over his shoulders and down his arms.
Oh, most of his right arm is missing. Flavia is collecting more rejects. No, my right arm is fine, just hurts like hell at the moment. Who is Flavia and who is a reject?
Yeah, rejects—defectives like you, me and this other guy you were supposed to fetch. What was his name again? Garron or Gorran or so. Garran? Wasn’t he paralyzed? Garran is paralyzed? I know he is important, but damn, who is he?
Come on, Rag. Let’s go work out. We’ll check back on him later.
Garran had told Aurra pretty much everything that had gone through his mind. From the possibility of one or more traitors in his own ranks, to his life in the military and his lack of relatives and friends, though he had been purposefully vague on his relationships. Aurra had been back to her previous self-assuredness and when he had mentioned his concerns about his money, she had even pointed out Jason’s creative computing skills as a possible solution. All in all he felt he had taken a big step towards being friends with Aurora MacCowan—pun intended.
Garran was back in his cabin, sitting on his bed, half reclined against the bulkhead at the top of his bed after a decent number of hours of sleep followed by a workout in the ship’s gym and a shower. Doc and Brent had made some modifications to his bathroom, so that it had been relatively convenient to use.
Still, six more months of this? After his next shift in the cockpit, Doc would have him under the knife again to close the gaps in his nerves. How long until he would notice the first change? A week? Two? A month? He sat forward and rolled his shoulders, twisted his torso left and right. His back was sore; probably due to the constant sitting and his general lack of movement. He would have to ask Doc for some specific exercises to counteract any problems he might otherwise develop. A knock sounded on his cabin door.
“Who is it?”
That was somewhat unexpected. “Come in.” He reached forward for the T-shirt he had left toward the bottom of the bed while dressing earlier, but found it was just out of reach. Damn. Would he forever embarrass himself in front of her?
Aurra walked to the foot end of the bed and picked up the T-Shirt, letting it dangle from her index finger. “Want this?” She asked with an amused smile on her face while she looked with what Garran thought was appreciation at his bare and well-developed upper body.
Garran slowly leaned back against the wall, his hands behind his head which made his pecs and washboard stomach even more defined. If she could tease, so could he. “And what would I have to do to get it?”
“Oh, I don’t know. What kind of feat of chivalry do you offer, Sir Galahad?”
“Hmm, let’s see—“ Garran tried to think of anything that might be considered chivalrous that didn’t involve standing, walking, running or maybe, Horlus help, even dancing. “Jousting?” He ventured somewhat hesitantly after a moment.
Aurra laughed. A nice, relaxed musical lough, he noted. “With your valiant steed?” She nodded at his wheelchair parked next to the bed, the amusement still clearly present.
Damn, and he would swear that he sensed something else. Aurra was flirting with him. Could it be that she was interested in him? No, surely she was just being nice; using her knight in shining armor allusions to gloss over his physical limitations.
“How about something less dramatic for the moment?”
“How about a kiss?” She asked playfully.
Wow. His heart missed a beat. Really? Holy Horlus, did she really just ask for a kiss? Aurra extended the back of her hand toward him. Oh, that kind of a kiss. But damn if his blood didn’t rush straight for his groin, asserting that a recently neglected part of his anatomy was in perfect working order.
While he casually placed his left arm in his lap to cover his growing erection that the sweatpants he wore were clearly not capable of hiding, he took Aurra’s hand in his right and gently lifted her fingers to his lips. He looked up at her and saw her eyes widen reflexively the moment his lips touched her hand. He couldn’t help himself. Instinct took over and he lowered his eyes, turned her hand over, gently kissing her palm, then feathered light kisses—one—two—three up to her wrist, tugging her closer.
He could feel her begin to tremble, pull her hand from his. He closed his eyes. Oh, fuck.
He had gone too far. Damn his rebounding libido, he had just screwed up big time. Certain that her trembling was a symptom of barely controlled rage, a chill swept over him. Trying to suppress a shiver he lowered his head, desperately trying to think of something to say to salvage the situation. Now she would go back on her word and tell him that he couldn’t stay. None of the thoughts racing through his mind seemed to coalesce into the appropriate words. Dammit Raulsten, you stupid idiot, at least say you are sorry, his conscience piped up, but his throat seemed too tight all of a sudden to form any sounds. So he just waited silently, his eyes still closed, for the ax to drop.
For what was probably not more than a few seconds, but seemed like an eternity to Garran, nothing happened. Finally he plucked up the courage to look up at her. What he saw made him swallow. Indecision was written in bold letters across her face. It lit a tiny spark of hope.
“I…” It came out as a croak. Garran tried again. “I am …”
“Shhhhhh.” Aurra put a finger against her lips and cut him off. The spark died.
She took a half step closer and Garran wondered if she was going to strike him. He deserved it. She had wanted some lighthearted flirting and he had turned it into an overtly sexual assault. And there was nothing he could do to take it back. He had crossed the line and now he was certain that the tentative friendship they had begun to develop would be crushed to bits.
Aurra took another small, tentative step and then she did something that blew his mind. She straddled him! She kneeled with one leg on each side of his thighs then scooted forward against his crotch so that he was forced to move his hands, still covering his now flagging erection, to his sides. Except her actions reversed the blood flow instantaneously and he felt himself growing even harder than before.
She took her hands and placed them on either side of his head, angled hers and invaded his mouth with a searing kiss. For a moment he was too stunned to respond, but then tentatively at first, he kissed her back. His mind reeled at her sweet taste, her urgency, her tongue exploring every facet, dueling with his, the heat he felt even through layers of clothes where the juncture of her thighs met his now straining erection. He brought his hands up, one behind her head, the other around her hips, pulling her closer. Her kiss grew even more demanding as she tilted her pelvis and ground her center against him, low growling sounds escaping her throat. Sensual, undulating movements that brought Garran ever closer to the edge. He had never before relinquished control to a woman, but at this moment, with this woman, he wanted to surrender, to give himself to her body and soul. Let her plunder his body; fill his senses with sheer indescribable pleasure.
He moved his hand up her back, under the edge of her shirt, encountering hot, soft skin. She rounded her back into his hand, further increasing the pressure against the bottom of his shaft. Garran groaned.
A sharp knock rapped against his door and the door opened. Aurra shot upright, and bolted off the far side of his bed, leaving Garran stunned and bereft. His gazed travelled from Aurra who looked just as stunned, her eyes still wide, both with passion and surprise, to the door where Doc now stood, holding on to the doorframe as if for dear life. His face was gray like all color had been leached from his features. Without preamble or apology he spoke. “Garran, I need to talk to you urgently—alone.”
Aurora - Part 15
Aurora - Part 15