Just a reminder that these are still a rough first draft of the story and set after PKWars. So far, still rated PG. All feedback is welcome.
Baby, Hit Me snip 5
Her hand moved to silence the red sensor warning as the voice came over the open comms channel.
“Unidentified Prowler, we have…”
“…locked and targeted us. Yes. I can see that, Weapons Officer.”
“Captain Aeryn Sun.”
His hand slapped his thigh, fingertips itching for the sleek, cool comfort normally found there as they waited the long heartbeats for the proper protocols to be run. He allowed himself one last luxury of distraction and thought again about just how much he hated command carriers.
“Welcome back, Captain. Proceed to docking bay three. Your team will be awaiting your arrival.”
“Thank you, Officer.” She slapped the comms channel closed.
He grabbed the back of her seat, leaned forward to whisper hotly in her ear. “I still don’t like this.”
“What’s not to like?” Her fingers danced over controls, adjusted their trajectory and speed as they approached on a vector for the docking bay doors that were opening in welcome.
“I go with my team. You play nice with the techs until I get back. And then we take all of our toys and go home.”
“How long do you think it will take for all this to go south?”
“That’s why you and Winona are here. You are the master of Plan B.”
“Have I told you lately how glad I am that you can still appreciate my sense of humor?” Her fingers flew gracefully, making final, minute adjustments.
“You know that’s not all I appreciate about you.”
The prowler settled perfectly onto the deck.
He reached over to grab their bags as she reached out and popped the hatch.
Her team was waiting for her when she jumped to the deck of the bay, weapons drawn and locked on the male that followed her from her ship.
“Welcome back, Captain.” Her lieutenant stepped forward, keeping a clean line of sight on the newcomer.
“Thank you. Safe your weapons.”
Three weapons snapped into their holsters. Three pairs of eyes never left the newcomer.
Her lieutenant held his ground. “We were worried.”
“I had a slight problem with the Prowler’s nav array.” She tilted her head slightly to include them all in her line of sight. “Ended up in an uncharted system. Found a backward commerce planet and this tech,” she gestured vaguely at John, “who was sufficiently familiar with Prowlers to fix it.”
“He’s not a Peacekeeper?”
“Begging the Captain’s pardon, why is he here, then?”
“He had a desire for…more. And in consideration for his services…”
“You brought him with you.”
“Yes. With the proper training, he may prove…useful. Reports on the mission and recommendations?”
“Already sent to your personal terminal.”
“Then I’ll be in my quarters.”
“We’ll take care of him.”
She grabbed her flight bag from the deck, said as an afterthought, “He did save my life.”
“I’ll see you when I’ve finished.”
His voice floated behind her as she made her way out of the bay.
“Yes, ma’m.” He spun on his heel before the door had whooshed shut behind her, and as one with his team drew down on the man standing square in the middle of their target windows. “Don’t move.”
She stalked the corridors of the carrier, ignoring the few on-duty personnel this late in the sleep cycle, this deep in the bowels of the carrier. The echo of her boot steps synched with the pounding in her head.
Her people would be here soon with John to find him quarters with their techs, and she couldn’t afford to be found roaming the dimly lit corridors. She needed to get to the Tombs and find her quarters before anyone realized she wasn’t exactly sure where they were.
Without thought she forked left at the next junction, headed deeper into the ship. Approaching the next intersection, she picked up her pace. She needed to hurry.
Without warning, a granite hand grabbed her wrist and jerked as its mate came up flat palmed to shove her hard up against the wall, slid down her arm to grab her other wrist as she was pinned shoulder to hips by his greater mass.
Full, warm lips crushed hers as he released his hold on her wrists, slid his hands along her body as knowingly and intimately as…John’s. He cupped her head, lips still wrestling with hers, drove his tongue deep in a wet, open-mouth kiss.
He knew her. She knew him. And she could feel his hard, heavy want between them. He broke their kiss to growl hotly in her ear.
“Had a little trouble,” she murmured, running her hands slowly over his shoulders.
“I was worried.” He nipped at her ear, drew his tongue along her jaw line as his hips pressed deeper into hers. “Now.”
“Why hurry?” She pushed back with her hips as her fingers stoked his chest. “Give me time to wash this frelling mission off…”
“Can’t,” he breathed, nipping her neck. “We’re going out. We leave in an arn.”
“And you want to do it here in the corridor?” She pushed him off in one quick shove, her head tilted, eyes glowing, lips curved in a grin. “Take me back to my quarters. A quick shower…”
“No shower,” he growled, covering her body and lips again, kissing her hungrily.
Strong hands grabbed him from behind, yanked hard, pulling him off her.
He threw back an elbow hard into a solar plexus, felt the hands drop as the body behind him staggered back a step. He spun, free hand wrapping his attacker’s throat, drove him up against the far wall as he drew his weapon in one smooth motion. It came to rest squarely on the unarmed tech’s forehead.
“Laying hands on a superior officer is grounds for summary execution,” he said calmly.
Frell. Frell. Frell.
They all stood in the confines of the corridor, four pulse pistols pointed at John. He’d gone rigid with rage, hands curled into white knuckled fists at his sides, icy eyes burning as they locked on Larraq.
“Get the frell off me.”
“I thought you were taking care of this.” Controlled anger colored her voice as a spike of real fear slid down her spine. She took one step forward, snapped her eyes to her lieutenant. “Why isn’t he in quarters?”
“You know about this?” Larraq asked, his own voice deceptively quiet.
“He’s my tech.”
“Your tech?” His eyebrows arched as a half-smile pulled at the corners of his lips.
“I brought him back with me. He saved my life.”
“So what?” The smile turned unpleasant, eyes cold and unblinking. “He thinks that makes him special? With rank and privilege?” He tilted his head and leaned in to breathe in John’s ear. “Perhaps entitled to a quick thank you frell?”
“He’s not a Peacekeeper. He’s no threat to anyone but himself.”
“Amuse yourself with him then, if you want.” She shrugged slightly.
“And the report.”
Or amuse yourself with me.
“Because now we have less than an arn.”
His eyes slid to her as his grip on John’s throat tightened.
“Safe your weapons.” She looked at her team still standing locked and loaded, gestured dismissively toward John. “And put him away.”
Larraq slid the barrel of his pistol up and off John’s forehead, released his grip. The lieutenant stepped forward as he stepped back, spun on his heel, and nudged Aeryn with his shoulder. She turned and followed a half step behind.
He watched Aeryn disappear down the corridor, frozen in place, the walls closed in on him as his vision narrowed into a black haze on his periphery. Unseeing, unfeeling in the cold rage seeping through his veins, he was also unaware of the lieutenant shoving him back up against the wall.
“Know your place, tech,” he hissed, his arm across the man’s throat, staring into frozen, furious eyes. “Did you really think that because you helped her the Captain was going to be so grateful as to recreate with the likes of you?”
With an angry growl he pushed forward, oblivious to the crushing pressure on his neck. Suddenly the two closest officers were on him, each hooking an arm and driving him back against the wall.
“You don’t listen well, do you tech?” The lieutenant was back in John’s face. “Just because the Captain seems not to want you shot doesn’t mean she’ll object if we just beat the frelling hezmana out of you.”
He pulled back and drove three quick punches to John’s face, twisting his arm to add force to the blows and driving the first two knuckles of his fist into the human’s nose, oblivious to the crush of bone and the flood of blood.
His head exploded in a blinding blaze of incandescent light and pain before everything went black. The officers grunted as his body went slack and dropped, weight dragging against their grip.
“Frell.” The lieutenant shook his broken hand, disgusted, ignored the crimson flecks that flew from it as he looked at his men. “Take that to the med tech.”
He watched as they twisted and slid under the unconscious man’s arms, hoisted him between them, feet dragging, and started back up the corridor. “With the proper training,” he mumbled to himself, “he may prove…useful. Yes, ma’m.”
With a quick look at the mess on the deck, the lieutenant slapped at his comms. “Maintenance? There’s been an accident.”