Read Unexpected Online

Authors: J.J. Lore

Unexpected (6 page)

BOOK: Unexpected
3.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

Chapter Three

 

Mikel
knew he was talking too much, but he couldn’t bring himself to stop. They were
walking along a path in a forest thick with underbrush, and he couldn’t seem to
keep his eyes off Alisa or shut his mouth. She walked between him and Felix. The
path was too narrow for both he and his bondmate to stand on either side of
her, so they were trading places to be close to her. It was awkward, but the
only fair thing to do when they both desired her so much.

He
was just starting a story about how he’d lost his lash in a quick skirmish on
the frozen moon of
Idnsey
when Felix crowded his
shoulder and interrupted.

“Alisa,
please tell us about
yourself
.”

It
was a mild rebuke. Mikel pressed his lips together and fell back, content to
watch her walk. She had a very pleasing form, round and soft everywhere he’d
managed to touch her. He wanted to find out if she was equally round and soft
under the concealing clothes she was wearing today.

“I’m
not sure what to say. What do you want to know?” Her voice, as clear and light
as birdsong, resonated in his ear. Everything, he wanted to say, I want to know
everything about you. When he and his bondmate had appeared at the compound a
few hours before to retrieve her, she hadn’t been waiting, and his heart had
sunk. Felix had turned to him, worry apparent on his face, but before they
could reassure each other, she’d appeared from behind a pillar, walking quickly
with her chin held high.

Her
green eyes sparkled, and he liked to think she was as excited to see them as
they were her, but he knew better. She was nervous and on edge, clasping her
hands together, biting her lip, starting at sudden noises and movement. Perhaps
she was still upset by the encounter they’d had on the drive to the park? Several
humans had shouted some epithets their way when they’d been stopped at a
crossroads. Not everyone on Earth had much appreciation for
Alphans
or the women who were seen in their company. Mikel had been offended for
Alisa’s sake, and would have happily snapped the long bones in each man’s body
for the insult, but diplomacy forbade such an interaction. Alisa reminded him
of Alpha’s
redont
, a small, gentle creature preyed
upon by nearly every predator in the food chain. He longed to protect her.

Felix
asked what her favorite foods were, what she liked to do in her free time, why
she was creating a garden at the compound, and Mikel soaked up her hesitant
answers. They were approaching the location where they’d parked the vehicle,
and a pang went through his chest. He didn’t want to take her back to the
women’s quarters and leave her there as the gates closed between them. She
should stay with Felix and him, have a meal,
return
to
their quarters for more conversation, perhaps some exchanges of affection. He
was inclined toward very intense exchanges of affection at this point. If she
were inclined, he would happily utilize his mouth, fingers, and staff to bring
her as many climaxes she might desire. The happy haze of his increasingly
explicit fantasy was abruptly torn away when they reached the parking area and
found their borrowed vehicle defaced.

Mikel
immediately scanned the area for trouble as Felix flung a protective arm around
Alisa, who was gaping in shock. Unfamiliar words blazed from the doors and
panels, and all the tires were deflated on the Earth vehicle. A quick circle of
the lot didn’t reveal any vandals or evidence, so Mikel ventured into the
undergrowth surrounding the cleared area, mindful not to make a noise as he
searched. By the time he’d surveyed a perimeter several hundred meters in
circumference, an Alphan hovercraft had arrived with several of their fellow
security officers in tow, along with a smooth-looking diplomatic functionary.
Alisa was nowhere in sight. He trotted up to the group assessing the vehicle
and immediately questioned Felix as to her whereabouts. They’d only managed to
get her to trust them enough for this simple outing, so to have it ruined in
such a vile way filled him with anger.

“She’s
in the lander. Please go—”

His
bondmate didn’t need to finish the sentence. Mikel was already loping toward
the open hatch of the hover. He slowed his pace so as to not startle her and
entered cautiously. She was sitting in the back, staring at him with wide eyes.

He
wanted to ask how she was, but anyone with sense would know this had to be
upsetting. All the words he’d found so difficult to stop earlier were now stuck
in this throat. He didn’t know what to say.

“Where
did you go?” Her voice was breathy, and she leaned forward to look at him as he
carefully took a seat near her. He could hear the other men speaking Alphan
outside, but didn’t make out their words.

“To
look for the perpetrators and secure the area.”

“You
were there and then you were gone.”

“But
I’m back now.”

She
smiled, and some of the anxiety over her mood lifted from his heart. “For a
large person, you move quickly.
And quietly.
You both
do.”

“It’s
an asset in battle.”

“Of course.
I forget about
that.” With a little sigh she leaned back in her seat, and he wanted to follow.
There was a rattle from outside, and she jerked up, her shoulder and thigh
pressing against his. “What’s happening?”

“Do
you want me to go and find out?”

“No,
don’t leave again.” Her plea was accompanied by the press of her small, cool
hand against his, and he had to force himself not to grasp her tighter, not to
pull her onto his lap, not to press his mouth to her neck. Just the thought of
tasting her made his
tesak
throb and his
staff stiffen
.

“The
vandalism, those words, I don’t know what they mean, but I assume they are
derogatory in some way.” Perhaps he shouldn’t have brought it up, but he needed
to know his enemy. Alisa shrugged her shoulders but didn’t pull away.

“Most
of them had to do with me, disparaging my, ah, sexual morals.”

Mikel
considered this. How could
engaging
in the delights of
sex ever be perceived as a negative character flaw? “Did any of them reference
Felix or me?”

She
looked at him then, her bright eyes twinkling. “Yes. Some people call
Alphans
, well, goats.”

“This
is a bad thing?” He knew it had to be since one of the scrawled slurs had been “dirty
goat cocksucker”, but he was curious about what she might say on the matter.

She
nodded once and tightened her hand around his, as if to reassure him.
Delightful
.
“It’s
because of your horns. Some humans are, ah, disgusted by them.”

Mikel
noted she didn’t provide an explanation of cocksucker, which he hoped indicated
she didn’t consider this an unsavory activity. “And what is your opinion of our
horns? Do you find them unattractive?”

She
glanced up at his head, and her cheeks pinked, a lovely contrast to her creamy
skin and bright brown hair. Before she could answer, there was a rustle at the
door and Felix hopped in, his face relaxing as soon as he saw them. Despite Felix’s
untroubled expression, Mikel could still pick up a tremendous amount of tension
emanating from his partner.

“Alisa,
are you well? Did this one offer you something to drink? You must be thirsty
after our walk, and to be kept waiting like this…” Felix nattered as he
rummaged through drawers on the hover, finally locating a bottle of water and
handing it over to her. She pulled her hand from Mikel’s in order to take it,
and he wanted to touch some other part of her body immediately.

“What’s
happening?”

“Some disagreement over how to deal with
our dilemma.
Apparently this isn’t the first such incident here. Our men want to increase
patrols and install more security at the settlement, but the diplomats don’t
want to antagonize the humans by overstepping our bounds.”

“What
do you mean this isn’t the first incident?” Alisa clutched at her bottle of
water and glanced between them.

“Nothing to fear.
We won’t let
any harm come to you.” Felix tried to soothe her. Her eyes narrowed.

“Of
course harm may come to me, at any given moment, anywhere I am.” Even though
her voice was steady, Mikel sensed the fear underlying her declaration, her
resignation that terrible things were inevitable in life. The world of
experience in those few words pained him in a way he’d never felt before.

Mikel
wanted to say she was wrong, but how could he? She’d soon be back at her rooms,
alone, going about her daily tasks on her own. Granted, the women’s refuge was
fairly secure, but certainly not impregnable. Witness his and Felix’s easy
scaling of the outer fence the day before. “We understand your circumstances.
To be captured, threatened with slavery and pain would make anyone afraid for a
long time to come.”

Alisa
nodded rapidly and drew in a shaky breath. “I’m better than I was, believe it
or not. Now I only get upset when I think I might be hit, or by expressions of
anger like those.” She gestured in the direction of the defaced and damaged
vehicle outside.

Felix
knelt in front of her and opened the bottle for her.
“Perfectly
understandable.
If you don’t feel safe at the refuge, we could help you
find better lodging.”

Alisa
shook her head once.
“Where?
The compound has a fence,
and alarms, and locks.
And the
Alphans
who screen our visitors.”

Mak
would be a formidable opponent
to humans bent on mischief, but only if he spotted them. There were several
buildings and extensive grounds at the refuge, but there was only one man on
duty per shift. “You could stay with us.”

From
the way she stiffened and widened her eyes, he knew he’d made an error.

“It
might seem presumptuous, but it would be far more secure than your current
situation.” Felix remained crouched down as he gazed up at her. Mikel was
relieved his bondmate had come up with such a smooth endorsement.

“But
I wouldn’t be entirely safe, would I?” Alisa tightened her mouth and dropped
her gaze to the water bottle she held.

“What
do you mean?”

Mikel
thought a blush rose in her cheeks again, but it was difficult to be certain in
the shaded interior of the hover. “You want to have, ah, an affair with me.
A physical relationship.
Both of you.”

The
temperature of the cabin seemed to spike. Felix glanced at him, a question in
his eyes. Yes, they certainly wanted that, and he was relieved that she
understood at least that much about their intentions. He knew the more usual
arrangements on Earth involved two parties, so at least they wouldn’t shock her
with declaring their desire for three in the bed.

“We
would keep you safe in that as well,” Felix
offered,
his tacit confirmation gentle enough not to startle their sweet Alisa.

She
looked up then, and gave them each an evaluating look. She was hard to read.
Mikel didn’t know if she was repulsed, indifferent, or curious. He desperately
hoped it was the last.

“I
don’t, I mean, I haven’t done that sort of thing.” Her voice was quiet, but she
wasn’t drawing away.

Mikel
reached out for her hand again, using as much courage as he’d ever had when
approaching a battle. Her little fingers quivered in his, and he was heartened
when she didn’t pull away when Felix gently removed the water bottle and
grasped her other hand. Just that little physical connection among the three of
them was like a zap of electricity along his nerves.

“We
haven’t either,” Felix said, then paused when Alisa frowned. “I mean, we have,
but not in the way we’d like to, with you.”

“Would
it hurt?” Her soft question nearly undid his control. What sort of tales and
warnings were these humans spreading about
Alphans
?
Before he could reassure or refute, there was a rattle at the hatch and Ivar
leaned in with a scowl on his features.

“The
local authorities have arrived, and we are dismissed.” The disdain in their
commander’s voice was clear, and his brows pricked up when he took in their
tableau. “It’s regrettable you have been involved in yet another irregular
incident. I thought you understood my wishes for you to behave without
reproach.”

“Commandant
Ivar
Offen
, I’d like to introduce Alisa Sorrel.
She’s—”

“I’m
aware of her identity.” Their commander barely glanced at her. “She will need
to go back to the compound immediately. One of the centurions outside will take
her.”

“Sir,
we can take her—”

“No,
you are both to remain.” Commandant
Offen
glared at
them, irritation at their fumble clear in the way he frowned and furrowed his
brow.

“Why?”

“Because the local sheriff needs a
report from you, and another human arrived with many questions and forms.
An insurance
adjuster, I believe he called himself.”

BOOK: Unexpected
3.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Dead Lies by Cybele Loening
Grishma (Necoh Saga) by Blount, Kelly
I Was a Revolutionary by Andrew Malan Milward
One Time All I Wanted by Elizabeth, Nicolle
Ever, Sarah by Hansen, C.E.
King for a Day by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Flying High by Rachel Kramer Bussel