Authors: Viola Grace
Tags: #Paranormal, #erotic Romance, #Science Fiction Opera
She smiled, “Easy, all I am concerned with is the proper recording of events. How the information falls is none of my business.”
“It must be taxing.”
“Only physically, and I get a bit of shoulder tension now and then. That is why Wen was so familiar with me. He has seen me every week since I got here.”
“You won’t see him again.” It was an order.
She shrugged, “Fine, but you will have to step in and keep my shoulders relaxed.”
He grinned. “Turn around and I will see what I can do.”
She turned sideways on the couch and he started to work her shoulders. She groaned, moaned and sighed as the tension was worked out of her body. When he worked down to her hands and massaged her fingers, she purred with delight. The noise made him pause. “Where did you learn that?”
“I heard it on the dance floor on Wyencar Prime.” She chuckled and wiggled his fingers for him to continue.
He was very careful with her, but the moment he threaded his fingers through hers and tugged, she hissed and arched against him as heat flared in her body.
Norod grinned and worked her other arm, culminating in the slide of his fingers between hers. “I saw how you reacted to your feet, but I didn’t see the reaction with your hands.”
“His skin isn’t the same texture as yours and my feet are far more sensitive.” She smiled and was going to continue but Nikada walked in with a charming Wyencar dress.
“I have been meaning to ask you two, why don’t you wear Masuo?”
Nikada sighed. “It feels too odd against our skin. It creates a friction we do not appreciate.”
Kori stifled a smirk. It simply and literally rubbed them the wrong way.
They remained in the suite for another twenty minutes before they walked to the restaurant in the centre of the station.
A crowd gathered outside in the hopes of seeing Annabella.
Kori lifted her arm. “Tanyo!”
The security guard parted the crowd and they walked through and into the restaurant. They walked to the private room and the moment the door opened, Kori was struck by a small dark-haired projectile that screamed, “Auntie Kori!”
Kori picked her up and introduced her to the guests. “Annabella, this is Norod and Nikada Ru. They are taking over my contract, so I will be going away.”
Annabella’s face screwed up in a frown. “I want you to stay.”
“I know that, but we can’t always have what we want. Now, let me put you down and I will make proper introductions.”
“Fine.” Kori slung Annabella to her back and smiled at Acuar. “Acuar, Host of Yalki, Honour, Bride of the Host, this is Norod and Nikada Ru. Norod has asked me to be his mate and Nikada will become my sister.”
Acuar and Honour came over and greeted Kori’s guests.
Annabella had her little arms around Kori’s neck and her legs around her waist. Kori turned her around and looked down at her. “Don’t you want me to have a chance at having a little girl like you?”
Annabella scowled. “I don’t want you to leave, but I do want a playmate.”
“Well, no child I had would grow as fast as you, short stuff. But, she could be a friend when you get older.”
“I like friends, but mine stay smaller than me.”
“Well, this would be a friend when you got older.”
Annabella cocked her head. “A girl or a boy?”
Kori sighed. “I don’t know. I hope it would be a little girl.”
Annabella’s eyes flashed green for an instant. “Fine. I will let you have dinner, but you have to come back once a year to visit me.”
“Once every five years.”
“Done. I will come back and visit you every two years as long as your parents approve.”
Honour grinned. “I was hoping for the once a year, but I will take a visit every two years.”
“Good, now I have something to do with the money I have been saving up.” Kori grinned.
She sat next to Norod with Annabella on her lap. They ate dinner and by dessert, Annabella was nodding off, but she was in Norod’s lap and he appeared perfectly comfortable with it.
It was a good omen.
The Hechuar medical station was indeed on their way back to Wyencar Prime. Kori was nervous as hell.
Norod held her hand while the physician outlined the procedure. She would be injected and observed for sixteen hours. If she didn’t have any rejection issues, the second and third rounds would be administered.
Norod said he would be with her the entire time.
The basic issue was that she was too acidic to let a Wyencar baby grow inside her. She needed to be altered for it to be possible. Rewriting her DNA and RNA was something that had been starting on Earth, so it wasn’t as scary as it could be.
The first shot went in and Norod held her hand, telling her about the house he had built six months earlier.
Kori felt a little warm but that was the only side effect she experienced. Sixteen hours after the first shot, she woke up for the second and then curled up with Norod in the bed next to her. The third shot caused an ache in her system that reminded her of having the flu.
Norod held her during the final rush of treatment. He seemed to know what she would be in for and she promised herself to kick the doctor in the ass for not warning her.
Time blurred and her body fought the changes. It was a nightmare of heat and panic, but when her head finally cleared, she felt good.
Norod looked into her eyes and he sighed. “Thank the stars. You are awake. You made it.”
“Was there doubt?”
He hugged her so tight she heard her bones creak. “I am just glad to see you back.”
“Where was I?”
“Based on your vital statistics, you were visiting death.” He blinked and huge tears welled in his eyes.
“Oh, don’t do that. If you cry, then I will cry, and then, it will all go downhill from there.” She stroked his cheek.
They clung together in silence until the doctor came in and he ran scans on her. “Against all odds, it seems to have worked. Of course, time will be the final proof, but it appears that the procedure has worked.” His amazement was obvious.
She tried to get to her feet, but Nikada entered the room. “Stay right there, Kori. If you are being given leave to go, I will carry you back to the ship, and then, I will return to get Norod. You both need a good meal and rest.”
Nikada was as good as her word; she lifted Kori in her arms while Norod struggled to his feet.
Kori didn’t feel secure in Nikada’s arms, but she remained quiet until she was tucked into the ship.
Less than five minutes later, Nikada returned with Norod supported by her and stumbling hard. She dropped him in a chair, sealed the hatch, got some rations for both of them and sat on the chair nearest them. “Well, that took longer than expected.”
Kori shrugged. “Sorry. It wasn’t well planned out on my part. I didn’t factor in a near-death experience.”
Nikada waved that off. “It wasn’t a complaint, we will just arrive later than expected. I will get us underway and then come back to make sure you have enough strength to eat. I will feed you if I have to.”
Kori took the hint and started in on her meal, giving the utensils a pass in an effort to get some of the food in her mouth. She smelled something acrid and realised it was her.
Well, no shower until she got food, so she focussed on eating.
A few times, she glanced at Norod and saw him struggling the same as she was in an effort to eat. It was sweet that he had literally been there with her every step of the way.
“Why didn’t you go and eat?”
“You couldn’t so I wouldn’t.”
His answer was so simple that it made her smile as she finished her ration pack. She used the walls and seats to help her move back to the galley and disposed of her dishes. She continued on until she was in the lav and a fast solar shower made her feel a thousand times better, and she no longer smelled like fear.
She emerged, and Norod got up from his waiting position to follow right behind her. “My turn.”
She eased past him and his own pungent scent reached her. How she had slept through that smell would have to be one of the great mysteries of the universe.
Nikada came back once the engines were engaged and she was surprised to see them both up and clean. “Well, off to your quarters, Norod. If you can find a way of wedging onto a bunk with her, you are welcome to it.”
“Would you prefer to sleep alone, Kori?”
“I have slept alone my entire life. If I am to get used to you, it would be better to do it now while I am adapting to everything.”
He grinned. “Not romantic, but I will take it. Nikada will need me to fly at some point. So let’s go to bed.”
He staggered and she leaned, but they managed to work their way to the sleeping quarters and into his room.
“She calls that a bunk?”
The bed was large enough for three men Norod’s size. Kori simply climbed into it, transforming her Masuo into a long silk nightgown.
He stripped off clumsily and eventually crawled between his sheets, looking for her.
His hand skidded along the silk. “What are you wearing?”
“A silk gown. Just enough to keep us apart for the night. You need to sleep and I am recovering from whatever that was. We need sleep.”
He sighed, wrapped his arms around her and nuzzled his lips against her neck. He breathed in and out, and a strange sound and sensation came to her. He was exhausted, but he was purring.
Kori went to sleep with that sound around her.
The trip back to Wyencar Prime was four days in total. By the time they arrived, Nikada was sick of seeing them together and was very verbal about hardly waiting until the rest of the family took their shots.
Kori stood straight in front of the sixteen members of the Ru family.
Nikada’s aunt Miri came forward. “Why do you want an alliance with the Ru family?”
Kori smiled, “I don’t. I want an alliance with Norod, not his family, however, the family comes with him, so it is not a bonus but rather a price I am willing to pay.”
Miri blinked several times. “You do not wish the riches of the family?”
“Not really. Money is nice and all, but you can’t take it with you. Family is more important than riches, so as long as I have Norod’s love and Nikada’s friendship, I will be fine.”
A few of the cousins came at her, insulting her hair, her skin and her height. They circled and sniped, but Kori ignored them. She answered their insults and kept her head high.
It came down to one thing, “If Norod has no issue with my hair or body, neither should you.”
That was a fact that could not be argued with.
After two hours of the worst family gathering she had ever been to, Nikada called a halt. “Enough. She’s not going to break, he’s not going to break and we are done today. She will become a member of the Ru family tomorrow at dawn. I have already filed the documents with the immigration councils.”
Nikada’s word was final. Everyone subsided and the mood turned from hostile to welcoming.
Norod came up beside her and put an arm around her as he introduced her formally to his family. She relaxed against him and he tightened his arm. She was still recovering from whatever the doctor had done to her, and her body was both weak and hot at the same time.
Miri looked at her. “Are you sick?”
She shook her head. “No. I just went through a genetic rewrite so that Norod and I have a chance at having children. My body was hostile to his seed until now.”
Respect ran across Miri’s features. “You did that for him?”
“I did. Why wouldn’t I? On Wyencar, next to touch, family is everything. I would not deprive him of that by not doing what I could.”
Miri grinned, and Kori could feel her hostility shifting to approval. “You might just be what he has been looking for. The stars know he has been looking long enough.”
Miri hugged her and Kori hugged back.
It was the sign that the rest of the family had been waiting for, and Kori was hugged, touched and several of the cousins remarked on the softness of her skin.
Norod growled at a few of them when their hands strayed onto her torso.
By the end of the meeting, Kori was exhausted and Norod carried her to her room in the family house and tucked her in.
“You did well today, Kori.”
“I know, but I am still wiped out.”
“The doctor said the fatigue was common. What you have to watch out for is when the fatigue wears off. You will find me irresistible.” He grinned and kissed her softly.
“I already do or I would never have let them inject god knows what into my body.” She stroked his cheek, her thumb rubbing his cheekbone.
He sighed. “I cannot spend the night. I don’t have enough self-control and you are not well enough for what I need.”
She shivered at the intensity of his tone and smiled up at him. “Well, hopefully I am feeling better soon.”
“You have no idea how eager I am for that to be true.” He stroked her skin and then his hand curled into a fist and he got to his feet. “I will see you in the morning.”
She nodded and watched him leave. Kori exhaled and kicked away the bedding, getting up and pacing. She paced for two hours, watching the fella-flies glowing and flitting in the jungle behind the Ru home. Her fever broke suddenly, sending her to her knees in a cascade of sweat.
Kori didn’t feel a click, but something in her body settled and relaxed in that moment. She got to her feet and staggered to the lav, showering quickly. Once clean, she changed the Masuo to a flowing nightgown and returned to bed.
There was an ache beginning inside her, and it started from her belly and flared outward in waves. It seemed her transformation was done and the effects were being felt. It was going to be a long night.
Kori steadied her hand as she signed an actual scroll with an ink pen with a wildly floral ink scent. Everything was brighter, wilder and increased in fascination for her this morning. The data pads and immigration forms were filed with DNA samples.
Nikada collected all the information when everything was signed and put her own seal on it. Once done, she smiled, “Welcome to the family, Korianne Ru.”