Authors: Tracy St. John
Tags: #erotic science fiction
“You keep saying that,” Diltan said. They moved out of the chamber into the corridor beyond, heading towards the in-house transport that would take them to their fourth floor offices. “When will I move beyond hope into realization?”
“I’d say you’re damned close. First the honor of an Imperial review and a lovely Matara to woo. You are a most fortunate man, my friend.”
“Indeed I am.” Only one thing bothered Diltan in the wake of his unexpected triumph. “I would like to know who was involved in pushing me to be the reviewer?”
“Somebody with excellent sense would be my guess,” was Oiteil’s breezy reply.
Diltan grinned so hard his face ached.
Even with their special issue passes, it took fifteen minutes for Clan Diltan to gain admittance to the Matara Complex to collect Tasha for their acquainting date. There were three checkpoints. At each one the three men had to present credentials and submit to security scans. They put up with the inconvenience with good humor. After all, several women had been targeted by a serial killer in the past and the Basma’s rebellion had abducted a few others. Diltan, Rolat, and Wal understood the need for the extreme security measures. Even men of their rank were afforded no exceptions.
At last they walked through the complex’s main entry. It opened into the huge courtyard in the middle of the complex, surrounded by the lodgings of the Earther women who had come to Kalquor to be wooed by clans like Diltan’s.
Women, particularly Earther women, were becoming more commonplace in the capital city of Kalquor. Most days Diltan saw at least half a dozen of the small females in the marketplace or visiting their Dramok clanmates at the Government House. He had even begun taking the presence of Empress Jessica for granted.
Yet he’d never seen so many females similar to his race all at once. More astonishing still was the sight of several of the beauties not fully clothed. Wal gasped out loud and then snapped his jaw shut with embarrassment. Rolat, who normally would have laughed at his Imdiko’s faux pas, stared around at the dazzling sight before him. At least three dozen women sat on loungers, lay on massage beds under the talented tentacles of Tratsods, or relaxed in whirlpools. A lot of skin showed. It was a paradise of pale, pink, peach, tan, brown, and nearly black flesh laid out before the clan.
As Diltan took in the vision of beauty before him, a familiar face smiled at him from a whirlpool. She waved. Feeling dazed, Diltan led his astounded clan to that part of the courtyard.
As they neared, the woman stood and mounted the steps, stepping out of the hot tub. “Hi, Dramok Diltan. Is it that time already?”
The men stopped in their tracks a few feet away. Judging from the welcoming smile, it had to be Tasha who stood before them, her body gleaming wet and scantily clad. There was more skin than soaksuit, so much more that she might as well have not bothered putting anything on. Triangles of blue fabric hid her areolas and pubic mound and little else. The straps holding those triangles in place were so thin they looked as if they might snap in an instant, especially given the fullness of her breasts and buttocks.
Diltan’s heart galloped as he stared. Tasha was lush and rounded, her pale body a dream of soft curves and pliant flesh. His cocks twitched and began to fill at the arousing vision before him.
Rolat whispered “By the ancestors and Mother of All. Is that our potential Matara, Diltan?”
Wal made a choked sound in his throat. He seemed incapable of speech at the moment.
Diltan swallowed hard and whispered back, “I guess it is her, though she’s not dressed for our meeting.”
Seemingly oblivious to the sensation she caused, the young woman sauntered over to a nearby table. She picked up a glass of what appeared to be dlas, a rather potent drink. She took a healthy swallow, set the glass back down, and grabbed a folded towel lying by her drink. She rubbed it all over, drying off. Her breasts swayed under her efforts. Diltan’s cocks gave another jerk.
The woman smiled ruefully. “How did it get so late in the day? Holy Hannah, I’ve got to get dressed for my date. Don’t worry, Tasha is much more prompt than I am. If I know her, she’s dressed and ready to go.”
With a strange mixture of relief and disappointment, Diltan realized this was Cissy and not Tasha. He cleared his throat and bowed. “Matara Cecilia, how nice to see you again. These are my clanmates Nobek Rolat and Imdiko Wal. This is our date’s twin sister, Cecilia.”
The two men bowed, though they did not speak. They were still overcome by Cissy’s lack of clothing. Wal’s eyes were almost perfectly round in his amazement.
Cissy grinned and motioned them to follow her. “Come along, gentlemen. I’ll take you to Tasha. Where are you all going tonight?”
Diltan tried to talk, but he was almost as tongue-tied as his clanmates. He cleared his throat. “We plan to take her to the Taste of Home eatery. “
“Oh yeah, Lindsey’s Imdiko’s place. We had dinner there last night. You financed that, didn’t you, Dramok?”
Cissy gave Diltan an appraising look. It made him wonder if Lindsey had broken their agreement that they never speak of his terrible judgment a couple of years before.
In a stilted tone, he answered, “I am honored to have helped Imdiko Vax realize his dream of owning his own establishment. He has shown beyond any doubt how greatly he deserved it. I am sorry I won’t be the one to introduce his great work to Matara Natasha. It is the best place to eat on all of Kalquor.”
Cissy’s laugh was a hearty bellow, uttered without the least bit of self-consciousness. The agreeable sound filled Diltan’s ears. He couldn’t keep from smiling in response.
She told him, “Oh, don’t you worry about Tasha already having eaten there. We didn’t get to sample but a fraction of what that place serves and as you can see—” Cissy smacked her uncovered ass “–Tasha and I aren’t shy about eating!”
Wal moaned low in his throat. His stare was riveted on the handprint appearing on Cissy’s well-rounded rump. Diltan nudged him, worried Cissy would catch the Imdiko staring.
Cissy didn’t appear to have noticed. “What else are you doing besides dinner? Tasha said something about a show.”
Diltan nodded as they walked inside one of the buildings. The room they entered had lovely art vids that he barely noted as they went straight to the in-house transport.
“Sixth floor, north wing,” Cissy commanded the conveyance. The door closed them in and the floor beneath their feet shifted.
Diltan tried to not acknowledge how close all that bare flesh was. He had to clear his throat again before answering her inquiry. “We’re attending a well-received play about the First Clan. It’s a historical drama. “
Cissy yawned. “It sounds stuffy and self-important. I’m sure Tasha will love it.” Before Diltan could react to her disparaging remark, she skewered the three men with a sharp look. “After that, you’ll bring Tasha straight home?”
Rolat finally broke through his silence. Maybe it was the protective way Cissy grilled them about their plans with her sister for the evening. The big Nobek wore an expression that said he was amused as well as enthralled by the Earther.
“We will escort her back here as soon as she wishes it. We’ll let her make the decisions about our evening as we get to know one another.”
Cissy looked him over with a narrowed gaze. Diltan also gazed at Rolat. He tried to see him not from the viewpoint of a clanmate of many years but as a unknown entity, a stranger.
He had to admit his Nobek was a fearsome specimen. Most of Rolat’s scars were covered by his tunic and pants. They were hidden, keeping evidence of past violence from frightening a small Earther woman.
As a longtime prison guard then warden, Rolat had seen his share of vicious life-threatening struggles. Having moved up to Head of Penal Colonies, he was now removed from most of the danger. He still insisted on frequent in-person inspections of prison facilities and had been present for a riot that had nearly cost him his life. Diltan was grateful such occurrences were increasingly rare.
Only one thin whitish streak on Rolat’s cheek marred his strong features, but there was still that aura of contained brutality that was the hallmark of most Nobeks. His wide shoulders and broad chest spoke of his strength. Big and imposing, Rolat’s mere appearance demanded respect.
Cissy might have respected the power that oozed from Diltan’s clanmate, but she showed no sign of being intimidated by it. Her gaze on Rolat was frank and unafraid. Her next statement underscored that assessment.
“Make sure Tasha does make all the decisions, big boy. Otherwise Kalquor will get three more Mataras come sunrise.”
For a moment, Diltan didn’t catch on to what Cissy was threatening. When realization dawned, he was shocked. To suggest she would emasculate them – even in jest, the comment was crude. Rolat and Wal’s mouths hung open as well.
How could Cissy be related to Empress Jessica or her sister Lindsey? With that mouth, she was more suited to running a brothel!
It’s a good thing we are courting the other girl. This one is simply too brazen. If I had to take such an outspoken woman to an official function where diplomacy is needed...
Diltan shook his head at the idea. However, a part of him appreciated how hilarious it would be for a few councilmen and ambassadors he didn’t like to get an earful from Cecilia Salter. That might be worth a little humiliation to hear.
He admired her fire and drive to protect her sister. If only she could manage a little tact as well, he might find it possible to like her. But no, she was far too rebellious.
Ancestors help the clan that ends up with her.
Cissy stopped in front of the next to last door in the corridor and thumbed the visitor announce. Before anyone answered, she called out. “Hey Tasha, your fun bunch is here for your date. Have a good time.” She turned away from the door and gave the three men a daring smile. “As for you, Clan Diltan ... don’t have too good a time with my sister, if you get my drift.”
With that and a final look of warning, Cissy sashayed off to the last door in the hall. Just as she reached her quarters, the door in front of Diltan opened.
Standing there with an expectant smile, Tasha looked more than presentable in a demure blouse and skirt ensemble. Her hair cascaded to her shoulders in perfect curls – not a hair out of place.
Diltan was quick to bow but noticed he was the only one doing so. A glance at his clanmates revealed they stared after Cissy, who was just disappearing into her own quarters.
He spoke in a louder than usual voice to remind Rolat and Wal their attention was supposed to be on the other twin. “Good evening, Matara. You look lovely.”
Their expressions still stunned, his Nobek and Imdiko realized their date stood there. They bowed quickly and somewhat clumsily to Tasha, murmuring greetings.
His most pleasant smile plastered on his face, Diltan made the introductions. As he did so, he did his best to see the pretty and more appropriate Salter sister standing before them. However, it was the image of the other, nearly-naked twin with spirited eyes that remained seared on his retinas.
* * * *
Imdiko Wal sat in a private booth at A Taste of Home, wearing a set smile that he couldn’t feel. He wished it was only a dinner date. That he had to get through a theater show as well made the night stretch endlessly before him.
It made no sense for him to feel this way. Imdiko Vax’s restaurant was perfect, as always. The setting, a semi-private table before the flickering firepit, was pleasant. Romantic even, as it was meant to be. The strains of a violin wove a sweet spell in the air. The young Earther male playing it coaxed melodies out of the alien instrument that made one think good thoughts. The food was as delicious as ever. Wal had ordered his favorite dish: grilled chicken wrapped in ronka strips with a mozzarella-and-gusasp herbed sauce drizzled over it.
The food and atmosphere were a delight. Matara Tasha was beautiful, intelligent, and pleasant, a perfectly lovely woman to talk to. Wal knew he should be in heaven right now. And yet...
And yet it was Tasha’s twin sister Cissy who Wal’s mind kept returning to. The brash and sassy twin filled his mind, drawing him away from conversation again and again. That quick wit. Her cocky smile. The cutting sarcasm that let Wal know Cissy was a woman who would excite mind as well as body.
Damn, did she ever excite his body. Wal had a lively libido, but the effect that merely thinking about Cissy had on him was ridiculous. Every time he envisioned her in that daring soaksuit, her handprint emblazoned on her exposed rump, he got hard. He was hard now. If it wasn’t for the tabletop hiding the erections that insisted on showing up, he’d be humiliated several times over.
At least he knew he wasn’t alone in his amorous state. Wal had caught a whiff of his clanmates’ spicy arousal scents from time to time. It didn’t mitigate his chagrin that he lusted after the wrong woman, however. If Tasha would do or say something that would set off the same sparks that Cissy did, he’d feel a lot better about the night.
Tasha is a good woman. There is not one damned thing wrong with her. Get over this silly infatuation with her sister and count yourself lucky for this opportunity,
he told himself.
But damn it, Wal was bored after the shocking encounter with Cissy. If she was here, he thought they wouldn’t be discussing mundane things like the men’s work. What they would discuss he couldn’t imagine, but he was sure it would be riveting.
Stop it, you idiot. You’re not out with Cissy. You’re courting Tasha and she’s a wonderful lady. She even looks just like her twin with that soft, round body and those big expressive eyes. Pay attention to her and discover that she’s just as wonderful as that wild, nearly naked creature you met earlier.
He’d reminded himself to attend to his date just in time. Tasha chose that moment to turn to Wal and ask, “What has been your most outrageous case, Imdiko Wal? Or your funniest one?”
“My funniest case as a judge?” He considered the question. It was a good one. Most people wanted to know about the high-profile lawsuits or the sensational landmark cases that involved Kalquor’s elite. No one had ever asked Wal about the outrageous ones.