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Kara Heroshi leaned back in the lawn chair and let the sun warm her skin. There was nothing, right here and now, to suggest the lives of humankind had changed forever.
London’s Hyde Park hummed with tourists and locals. And them too, no doubt. She winced as two small children bolted past, nearly knocking over her soda. Their mothers followed a few paces behind, not bothering to reprimand them.
Kara adjusted her chair to sit upright so she could eat her lunch. Everything about the park looked so normal. She reached for her hotdog and took a moment to savor the flavor. “God, these are good. Evil, but delicious.” She was a purist, relish and mustard—perfect. Her friend Zoe, who’d taken her under wing when Kara arrived in England, preferred to desecrate hers with chili and onions. Kara wrinkled her nose. There was no accounting for some people’s taste.
They weren’t the only ones who’d decided Hyde Park was the place to be. One did not waste a sunny autumn day in London stuck indoors. Kara pulled a strand of hair out of her mouth and held it up. The once brilliant red had faded. Time for a color change. She eyed the hairs critically. Definitely not mustard yellow. Maybe purple this time. She sucked off the offending condiment and tucked the hair behind her ear.
The vibrant greens of summer were fading as autumn approached. This was the time of year when you soaked up the sun at every opportunity.
“Hard to believe it’s been almost a year,” Kara said.
“Do you see any?” Zoe stopped to let a dab of chili fall to the ground between her feet.
Kara laughed. “Classy, Zo, very classy.”
“I think there were a few by the arch on our way in.” Kara swept her hair up in a high pony tail to get it out of the way. “Hard to be sure.”
“I never thought I’d feel sorry for beautiful people,” Zoe said.
“They can’t all be so good looking.”
“Everyone I’ve seen has been.”
“Still,” Kara said, licking her fingers, “I had a guy the other night at Shepherd’s Market tell me I looked like a Sandarian.”
Zoe snorted. “That’s got to be the worst pickup line I’ve ever heard.”
Kara fixed her friend with a wide-eyed glare. “I told him that’s because I was. You should have seen the look on his face. He so wanted to believe it.”
“You’d think your Steampunk getup would have been enough to clue him in.”
“Please,” Kara said. “First of all, he wasn’t that bright, and second, Steampunk rocks. It’s only a matter of time before they try and join our awesomeness.” A bit of relish dropped from her lips and landed in the middle of her cleavage. “Nice.” She fished it out and flicked it onto the grass. “Can you imagine one of their ship’s captains decked out in Steampunk garb?”
Zoe burst out laughing, sending bits of chili flying.
“Class act, Zo.”
“Your fault,” Zoe said. “But that would be totally awesome.”
“It would be something to see.” It was strange to feel so normal.
People still asked, and would probably ask for the next generation, “Where were you?” It was the conversation starter, the ice breaker, and the common ground all humans claimed.
A little over a year ago, the now famous Cavacent clan had made their presence known. First to governments around the world, and then to all mankind. They came from a planet called Sandaria and told of a fallen empire. As though ripped from a science fiction novel, they spoke of a Galactic Trade Organization, an interstellar military, and other alien worlds. They claimed to have been protecting Earth for hundreds of years with an elite team called Earth Protectors. EPs for short. The entire clan had relocated to Earth some fifteen years ago. They made it clear that without their presence, Earth, or at least the humans living here, would have been wiped out long ago.
And then the refugees came. They’d lived on starships that had hovered outside of major cities around the world. Proof of human’s inferior technology and their own peaceful intentions. After the first year, the ships had retreated to orbits around Earth, and while many Sandarians only visited the surface, more and more had moved down permanently. They were beautiful, rich, and possessed powers humans could only dream of. Something called psi. They could move things, and directly interface with technology using only their minds. Crazy shit like that.
Kara finished her hotdog and leaned back into the public lawn chair. They’d be stored for the winter soon. She unzipped her boots and pulled them off, setting them next to her. They were tame by Steampunk standards, ankle-high black leather with brass wheels and cogs attached. It was a work day after all. She stretched her legs out and flexed her feet. Her red mini-skirt and tailored black button-up shirt gave a strong impression without being too much. As an editor for a London independent paper, she could only go so far, unlike Zoe, who worked two floors up for a marketing company where creativity ruled. Kara cherished the weekends when she and Zoe vied for the coolest outfit.
“What time is it?” Kara asked, eyes closed. The warmth of the sun on her face felt like heaven.
“Twelve thirty-five,” Zoe said.
“Another ten minutes, and I’ll need to head back.”
“Me, too.” Zoe inhaled sharply. “Kara, look.”
Kara opened her eyes a fraction. She recognized the couple. “I saw them on the news a few nights ago. That poor woman. Can you imagine?”
“Poor woman? Are we talking about the same thing here? She’s bonded,” Zoe made quotation marks with her fingers, “with a perfect male specimen, who—”
“Alien.” Kara ground out the word.
“Fine, alien, who happens to be beyond gorgeous.”
“They can’t all be beautiful.”
“I know that.” Zoe elbowed her. “Will you let me finish? She’s bonded to this perfect being, which apparently entails pleasure like nothing we’ve ever experienced. No contact required, although it’s supposedly better if they do touch, and”—Zoe held up a finger to shush her—“it lasts a lifetime.”
Kara sat up and shoved her foot into a boot, then grabbed the other one. “Bonded. Lasts a lifetime. Sounds like slavery to me.”
Zoe followed suit and got her things together. “Hey, I know independence is a big thing for you, given your dragon mother and all, but everything I’ve read says this bond is amazing. Look at them. They scream happy.”
The brunette clutched the alien’s arm and laughed at something he said. They stopped and kissed before continuing.
Kara grabbed her bag and stood. “Yeah, well, let’s check back with them in six months. No way that kind of control is going to be healthy in the long run.”
“Who says it’s control? If it’s mutual, no one is in control,” Zoe said.
Kara gave Zoe a hand up before heading out of the park. “How can anything be mutual with an alien? They’re not even human, remember?”
“That report on their DNA said that—”
“Doesn’t matter. They came from the fricken stars. Landed ships across the globe. That’s not human, regardless of what they look like.”
They were approaching Bayswater Road when Kara’s skin flushed warm from top to bottom. She stopped and glanced down. It felt as though she’d been dipped into a hot tub. It was a warm day, but not this warm. Her body tingled before the feeling settled between her legs. Shallow breaths shuddered in her lungs as her entire body quivered on the verge of an orgasm.
Zoe’s voice echoed in the background, impossibly far away and unintelligible.
Kara blinked as her vision blurred then narrowed to a single point. Images of the news broadcast containing the “happy couple” flashed across her mind.
“It was brilliant,” the brunette had gushed at the anchorwoman. “I was shopping with my mates, and we were looking at this great outfit when suddenly I…well…” The woman had laughed nervously and blushed. The perfect man next to her had taken her hand and finished for her. “The bond started.”
“Yes,” the brunette had continued. “I had tunnel vision. All I could see was him. Literally.” The couple shared a private laugh, and the anchorwoman had flung some more questions at them.
Pleasure pulsated through her. No, please no. She fought for control, body tensing. She turned her head to the left and locked eyes with a man across the street.
He, too, stood still. And he was perfect. And totally wrong. Over six feet and broad shouldered, he wore a suit that had to be custom tailored. He looked like a banker or a billionaire. Not the kind of man to be seen with a woman with fading red dye in her hair and Steampunk boots. Alien.
He had black hair and a five o’clock shadow that accentuated perfectly sensuous lips. His steel blue eyes poured into her soul.
Pleasure mixed with panic held her captive.
The look of shock on his face turned to one of joy. When he smiled, the effect was deeply physical.
Kara’s body hummed, and she balanced on a thin wire.
“Beautiful.” His voice echoed in her head, enticing her to go to him. He took a step toward her, a euphoric look on his face. “Is it you?”
Terror ripped through her and broke the spell.
He knew her fear. She saw the recognition on his face before she reeled around, grabbed her head with both hands, and bolted back the way she’d come. Only she wasn’t bolting. She struggled with every step, like she’d done in her dreams as a child, trying to escape her mother’s iron grip. Trying to run but only moving in slow motion. Panic engulfed her. Taking one step at a time, she focused on the tips of her black boots. Breathe…Her body started coming off the crazy high, and her vision returned. Her movements became easier the farther she went.
“Kara, what the hell’s wrong?” Zoe’s voice. “What are you doing? You’re going the wrong way. Kara!” Zoe grabbed her arm. “Shit, girl. Are you having a stroke?”
“Keep walking, Zo. I have to get out of here.” Her head spun. The park was no longer anywhere near normal, and she tried, without success, to reign in her thoughts. This can’t be happening. Her chest tightened, and her heart pounded. No. I am not yours. Bastard. Like the Brits said, “Keep calm and carry on.” She let out a slightly hysterical laugh, and then forced herself to take a deep breath.
The worry in her friend’s voice allowed her to focus.
“What’s happening? You’re pale as a ghost.”
“Zoe, I…” Kara shot a glance behind her. The man was nowhere to be seen. Her shoulders loosened a fraction. She lowered her voice and leaned in a little closer. “I… Just now…” She couldn’t form the words. If she said it out loud, it would be real. “I think I’m getting sick. I need to go home.”
Three days later Kara sat at her desk, red pen in hand. Every second of every day she watched and waited, wondering if he would show up. She’d made herself crazy trying to stay busy and not think about the alien. She’d dyed her hair a brilliant blue. Twice. The nights were worse. When she did manage to sleep, she dreamt of being in his arms. The euphoria of his touch and the fear of being trapped had combined into a magnificent nightmare.
She’d bolted awake last night. He’d been on top of her, slamming into her, making her come and suffocating her all at once. She shivered at the memory, her body betraying her. Picking up the nearly whole, and now rock-hard, bagel, she threw it into the trash. After a bite or two, food had lost its appeal.
She focused on her anger. It gave her the feeling of control she desperately needed. She played out a rapid fire tap-tap-tap with her pen on a notepad. Anger was better than the fear that threatened to overcome her.
Maybe I imagined it. Her traitorous body said otherwise. She was in a constant state of arousal. Her vibrator was on the second set of batteries in three days, and at the rate she was going, they weren’t going to last long either. The relief gained from her orgasms gave short-lived respite.
“Oy, Heroshi.” Her boss’s coarse British accent snapped her out of her reverie. “Got an edit for you.” He addressed everyone by their last name. Probably didn’t even know the rest. His head tilted as he eyed her up and down. “What’s the matter wif you? You look like hell. Out partying again?”
“Always the thoughtful one, aren’t you, Mac?” She took the folder and dropped it next to a stack of papers.
“You know it, luv. Look, if you’re sick, go home. We don’t need the germs around here. I can give that to O’Conner.” He reached for the folder, but Kara slapped her hand on top of it.
“Don’t worry. I got it. Just haven’t been able to sleep lately. Insomnia. No parties.” She gave him her best this-conversation-is-over glare and waited for him to leave.
He hovered a moment longer, grunted, and returned to his office.
The clock crawled slower with every hour that passed. Her ability to focus diminished as her need for release increased. Kara groaned as she put down her pen and stood.
Mac sat in his office, feet up on his perpetually cluttered desk. He held the morning’s paper, and something had him laughing. She walked down the hall and slipped into the ladies room. Once the door shut, she bent down and scanned the floor of each stall. Empty. Now that she’d decided not to ignore her desire any longer, her body pulsed with need.
She couldn’t believe she was doing this. Entering the last stall, she locked the door. She unbuttoned her jeans and looked around. Hmm… Turning sideways, she separated her legs as much as her jeans allowed and leaned against the metal wall. She caught her breath as the cold surface pressed against her ass. Head back, she closed her eyes and slid her fingers down her abdomen and into her thong. The lacy fabric was damp. She let the forbidden image of the alien play on the big screen in her head. He was gorgeous. Her fingers moved to a rhythm she knew was his. Around and around and a deep plunge. Again and again, letting the tension build. The pleasure rolled in and around between her legs. It toyed with her, bringing her close, then flitting away. She bit her bottom lip and squeezed her eyes tight. His face loomed large in her mind.
So close. Come on, baby. She imagined he was over her, pumping into her.
Circle, circle, plunge. Her fingers worked their magic. His magic. Tendrils of intense pleasure shot outward from the wetness between her legs. The big screen played on in her head. He stood in front of her now, his hand doing this to her body.
He leaned closer to nibble that spot behind her ear, and it sent her over the edge. Her knees quivered, and she muffled a groan as the orgasm rolled over and through her. She reached her other hand out and braced it against the far wall. Muscles spasmed around her fingers and the orgasm played on.
Never had she been able to come this quickly, and never without a vibrator. Her rapid breath slowed, and she withdrew her hand when the outer door to the ladies room opened.
Shit. She reached over and flushed the toilet, then quickly buttoned up her jeans. Her legs trembled from straining at the awkward position and threatened to dump her on the floor. She braced herself against the wall and took a deep breath. Once she heard the stall door close, she made a dash for the sink, washed her hands, and got out of there.
Kara had managed to be productive for another thirty minutes when Mac’s door swung open.
Still in a humorous mood, he marched out with his jacket flung over one arm and the newspaper in the other. He had a way of being noisy even when he wasn’t speaking. “We live in interesting times, Heroshi. Interesting times.” He flung the paper on her desk and left, presumably for lunch. It was his daily ritual. He would read the paper and dump it on her when he had finished. Worked for her. She never had to buy a paper.
At a quarter till one, she felt like she could actually eat for once. She picked up her cell and called Zoe. “Hey, you free for lunch?”
“Yes. I’ve been ringing, you know.” Her tone was equal parts concern and annoyance. “Your little texts saying you’re just fine are starting to freak me out. How are you? Have you been ill?”
Kara paused a beat. “Yeah. Kind of. Zo, I need to talk. Meet me downstairs? I’ll buy.”
“Sure. I’ll be right down.”
Kara stuffed the paper into her purse and headed for the elevators. Downstairs, the lobby bustled with people coming and going for lunch.
Zoe appeared at her side and took her arm in hers, leading her out into a cold but clear day. “Nothing personal, Kara, but you look like crap.”
“So I’ve been told.” Kara laughed. “I love the British accent. You can say anything, and it just sounds so nice.”
Zoe gave her arm a squeeze.
“I haven’t slept much lately. You up for a dog?”
“No one will ever accuse me of passing on a Hyde Park heart-attack in a bun. We really should eat more salads, you know.” They turned toward the park, weaving though the crowds. “So, what is it you need to talk about? Your mum on your case again?”
“No. We don’t talk much since I moved to London. She can’t stand not having me there to boss around.” Kara bit her lip. “It’s not mom. It’s, um, a guy thing.”
“How could you be having a ‘guy thing’ without my knowing about it?”
“Well, technically you were there. It started Monday. In the park. Remember, you thought I was having a stroke?” The two crossed the street, weaving around gridlocked cabs.
“Monday?” Zoe pulled to a stop on the curb. She searched Kara’s face. “Oh, my God.”
“What?” Kara said.
“It’s you, isn’t it? With the alien, Torril.”
Kara’s stomach tightened. “Who’s Torril, and how do you know about the alien?”
“Have you not seen the paper today?”
“Mac just gave it to me.”
Zoe shook her head. “You could buy your own, you know.”
Kara made a face. “And then I’d have two.” With a feeling of dread, she pulled out the rolled up paper and unfolded it. Her breath caught as her perfect, beautiful alien stared back at her. Her head spun while Zoe weaved them around tourists. The alien’s name was Torril Anantha, and he was looking for her. She pulsed with equal parts pleasure and terror. She folded the paper over to hide his face.
Alien asking London to help him find his Psi-mate.
Torril Anantha, one of London’s more private aliens, has come forward looking for his mate. According to Torril, the imprint began last Monday near Hyde Park. He says he and an unknown woman connected, but her fear kept him from approaching. According to Torril, once the process has begun, it cannot be stopped.
Kara halted, heart pounding in her chest. “No.”
“Got to the no stopping it bit, eh?” Zoe said, pulling her forward again. “Go on, finish reading.”
Other alien sources have confirmed that the process is non-reversible and permanent. To further complicate matters, Torril stated that the longer they are apart, the greater their personal agitation would become. Torril and other alien sources declined to elaborate on what exactly ‘personal agitation’ entails. Do you know the mystery woman? If so, get in touch with me at…
The words non-reversible and permanent reverberated through Kara’s head. Her body buzzed with a foreign energy. An energy she now realized was building, had been, since Monday. With each day, the force grew stronger and more oppressive.
Zoe led them to a sunny bench away from the line at the lunch vendor.
“So, are you personally agitated?”
Kara put her head in her hands. “You have no idea.” The wood slats of the bench pressed against her overly sensitive thighs.
“You need to call that reporter.”
“No. I just got away from my mother. I’m not going to belong to some alien.”
“His name is Torril, and I don’t think it’s like that. Remember the couple on BBC1? They were seriously happy, Kara. And let’s not forget the sex. It’s supposed to be out of this world.” Zoe laughed.
“Very funny. Please don’t mention sex.” Kara squirmed and tried to ignore the incessant pulsing between her legs. “And yes, I remember.” She faced her friend. “They said they are bound together by some psi force thing. Bound. Their word, not mine. I’ve spent most of my life bound by a control freak adoptive mother. I’ve only been free for a few years. This Torril can’t just—”
The moment his name left her lips, an orgasm exploded from her core. “Holy fuck.” She closed her eyes, and a strangled squeak passed her lips as the waves crested. She blew out a long breath. Of course. They were at the exact spot she’d seen Torril on Monday.
He’s was here. Watching her. Oh, God. She knew it was true. Eyes still closed, she pivoted on the bench until a beam of warmth poured into her. Her breath caught, and her body vibrated with that foreign energy.
“Please,” he said in her head. “Don’t be afraid. You… You are the most important thing in the universe to me now. I could never hurt you.”
Kara experienced his every emotion. So genuine. So scared she’d leave. His thoughts washed over and around her. She felt his fear. Fear that she wouldn’t experience this the same way he did. Bonding with humans was new to them, too.
She couldn’t stop the laugh that burst from her lips. The whole thing was absurd. Her eyes flew open.
Torril stood perfectly still, not fifteen feet away, hands raised slightly as if trying not to spook her. He wore a finely tailored black suit, and if she wasn’t mistaken, Italian leather shoes. The black shirt sat perfect contrast to a red tie.
Zoe looked from one to the other. Her mouth opened and closed a few times before snapping shut.
Kara rose and approached Torril. The energy coursing through her shifted. Instead of being irritating and draining, it became soothing, energizing. She sighed as her body relaxed for the first time in days. “I don’t know if I feel it the same way as you.”
A look of surprise crossed his face, and a smile tugged at his mouth.
The small gesture sent a thrill through her. “But I’ve been miserable since I last saw you. Please, make it stop.” She stood in front of him now, the warmth and more radiating from his body.
He nodded. The movement sent a physical ripple down her spine.
“I know this is foreign to you.” His voice was deep and rich. “You must understand. We spend our lives looking for ‘the one.’ Many never find them. I would not stop this, even if it were possible. Which, by the way”—he stepped closer and touched her chin—“it is not.”
At his touch, Kara saw herself and Torril standing together from a birds-eye view. She waivered, and Torril took her arm. The air above them shimmered like ripples in an impossibly clear pond. She circled their two bodies until she stopped behind her own physical form. She admired her blue hair and the way it contrasted with her red blazer. She blinked and was back in her body, once again facing Torril. “What was that?”
“I don’t have psi.”
“Oh, but you do. We wouldn’t be standing here right now if you didn’t. I’ll explain later.”
“But…” Her body leaned toward him, pulled like a magnet. She placed her hands on his chest and felt something inside her… shift, like every molecule in her body had suddenly realigned. She was aware of Torril’s presence in such a way she could actually feel the weight of his jacket as though it rested on her shoulders.
He leaned forward and whispered in her ear. “We need to go. Now.” The last word, not spoken aloud, echoed through her.
“Wait.” Her heart pounded. She wanted to run as much as she needed to be with him. “I can’t just…”
“You can.” He searched her face. “Goddess, I don’t even know your name.” He waited for a response.
The heat of his chest radiated into her palms. It felt so good. She had an insane urge to try to occupy the same space as him.
“Kara. Kara Heroshi.” The mention of her last name brought the image of her mother flashing before her, which turned into a cascade of terrifying emotions.
“Okay. Easy, Kara. I don’t know what all that’s about, but we’ll sort it out. I promise.”
Pleasure and comfort enveloped her.
“What are you doing?”
“I can feel some of what you’re feeling. There’s deep anxiety and fear. What you’re feeling now is my psi. I’m trying to help.”
Her head reeled. How could this possibly be happening?
“Kara, you can walk away right now.”
That was just it, wasn’t it? She didn’t think she could. “Are you sure about that?”
“I don’t know how far you’d get.” His look wasn’t comforting. “I pray to the Goddess you don’t, but you could. We’ve both been feeling the same way these past few days. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of hand jobs and cold showers.”
The absurdity of his words snapped the tension in her, and she burst out laughing. “I was considering buying stock in Duracell.”
He tilted his head.
“I’ll explain later.” She liked the feel of his suit, wondered what it was like underneath.
“Deep down, you know you can trust me. Trust us. Right?”
And she did. It was insane but true. She nodded.
Everything changed with his radiant smile.
“Things are about to get interesting. I’d rather be inside my apartment than out here when it does.”
She felt like she was on the down bit of a roller-coaster. “Take me home. Your home.”
She placed her hand in his.
Zoe ran up and grabbed Kara’s arm. “Hold on there, mister.” She spoke to Kara. “Are you good?”
The inevitability of this crashed into her, but it didn’t scare her. Not much. Just being next to him was a fix unlike anything she’d ever experienced. “I’m good.”
“Take this.” Zoe gave her the purse she’d left behind. “Call me.”
Kara’s body burned.
“We really have to go now.”
Torril unlocked the door without touching it. Kara sensed a force emanate from him that manipulated the lock mechanism.
“Can I do that?” She was in awe of the world that was opening up to her.
He gave the knob a push and stepped aside for her to pass. “With your psi, yes.” His voice was low, almost a growl. “I’ll teach you, in time,” he said, following her and closing the door behind him. The lock snicked into the wood. He stood so close his breath warmed the back of her neck. His lips touched the skin just below her ear, and the physical world shifted again. Lips and hands explored her body, but there was something else—something ethereal that was both her and not her. It wasn’t physical, and yet it was so much a part of her she wondered at never noticing it before.
“As I mentioned, it’s called psi, and yours is very powerful.”
She sensed his approval as though it were her own.
His psi pulsated and rubbed against hers. She sucked in a deep breath. Like alternate, otherworldly bodies, they rolled together, and with some sense she couldn’t understand, let alone explain, she experienced their colors. Translucent yellows and blues that were achingly beautiful.
Torril growled and turned her to face him. Her attention returned to the physical as he cupped her face with his hands, and their lips met for the first time. His tongue probed, the warmth melting to her core. The kiss lasted for days, hours, seconds—she had no idea. All she knew was that anything he did to her became all that existed.
Like someone pressing pause, reality snapped back into focus when he slowly pulled away. She opened her eyes and found him gazing at her with electric blue eyes, the physical equivalent of his psi. The most impossible blue, they shown with a light so strong it illuminated his face.
“Your eyes…” she said.
He smiled. Really smiled for the first time, and it stunned her. God, he was beautiful. He took her upper arm and turned her to a mirror on the wall of the entryway. Her eyes radiated yellow, a contrast to his blue. “When we mate,” he said, pulling her with him toward a hallway, “our psi will merge.”
His psi gave her a nudge. “Bedroom,” he said in her mind. “We’ve waited long enough.”
A spark of her determination to avoid this raised its head, but like a single drop in the ocean, it was powerless. Kara stopped in the doorway. On the other side of the biggest four poster bed she’d ever seen, a wall of windows displayed London’s dusky skyline.
“Wait, how long have we been here?” She struggled to remember… The park. That was lunch. Around two, maybe?
He approached from behind and wrapped his arms around her waist. “Does it matter?” His hands reached around and unbuttoned her shirt. Alien music filled the room, and he began swaying slightly from left to right, his erection caressing the small of her back.
“It’s…really big,” she said, looking at the bed.
“Thank you,” he said.
She laughed and turned to remove his shirt.
“To hell with this,” he growled. His psi pressed against her chest. Pleasure rippled through her as the buttons on her shirt came undone one at a time.
“That tickles,” she said.
The soft cotton of her top slid off her shoulders. He undid her bra, and it fell to the floor. The light in his eyes pulsed at the sight of her breasts. She knew no one had ever, or would ever, want her as much as this man did.
“Now you try,” he said, fingering his shirt.
“I don’t know how.”
“Feel your psi?” he asked as he caressed it with his own.
“Don’t let go,” he commanded, pulling his psi away. “Not yet.”
She groaned. Her mother’s voice screeched in her head, telling her what to do. Anger flared deep within. She didn’t want anyone telling her what to do.
“You’re angry.” He held her then, his shirt pressed against her bare torso. He gently stroked her back. The energy shifted, and once more his presence turned to power and pleasure. “I’m sorry. We’re going to have to find our way together.” He stared into her eyes. “You should know, I like the aspect of dominance in the bedroom at times.” A brief kiss on the lips had her melting, moisture forming between her legs. “Of course, it’s even better if we take turns.” He kissed her again, this time harder, more passionately. He teased her lower lip, then trailed kisses down her neck. With every touch the intense hum of his energy grew. He bit now and then, the flirting contrast of pleasure and pain exquisite. Lower, he paused at each nipple to suck and bite before kneeling in front of her and nipping at her belly button. “Tell me what you want.”
It was a command, one she was happy to oblige. She knew there was nothing he wouldn’t do for her, right here and right now.
He nodded. “You’ve spent your life feeling powerless. No more. We’re equals.” That smile spread across his face. “Unless we choose not to be.”
She smiled back. “Take off your clothes.” She backed up to the wall. She felt sexy standing there in nothing but her jeans and boots. She’d feared oppression, but instead she found freedom.
Kara leaned against the wall and pressed her palms against the cool surface. Torril stepped back and peeled his clothes off piece by piece. She wanted slow and sexy, and that’s what he would give her. She grinned as he lifted one foot then the other, using his psi to pull off his boots and socks.
She burst out laughing, and he laughed with her. “Let’s face it,” he said, peeling off his pants, “it’s hard to be sexy taking your shoes and socks off.”
“Keep going.” When he had his clothes off, she twirled her finger. “Turn around.”
She licked her lips. “You have the ass of Adonis.” He was lean and buff. Tight smooth muscles and a six pack of perfection. He turned until he faced her again.
Kara pushed off the wall and sat on the bed, sliding back until only her feet extended off the edge. She wiggled her toes and struggled to focus her psi, this new bizarre part of herself. Attempting to pull off her boots, she felt its form wrap around her feet, but it was like using a game controller she’d never seen before. Upside down. Things happened—just not what she intended.
“Like some help?” Torril asked.
Before she could answer, her body slid forward feet first. “Ahhh!” she screamed as she flew off the bed. His psi cradled her a few feet off the ground, and she laughed hysterically. “A girl could get used to this.”
“That would be the plan.”
The zipper on her boots slid down one after the other. The boots fell off, followed by her socks. Her jeans were next, leaving her hovering in her lace thong. Oh, my, he really liked the thong. Pleasure pulsed through her. She closed her eyes and floated, weightless, riding a wave of near orgasm.
“Please,” she begged. “Now. I need you now.”
“Not just yet.”
She whipped her head up. “Who is in charge here?”
“My apologies.” A single nod, and her thong slid off. Her body drifted over the bed and gently settled in the center. Every inch of her felt the pleasure. He spread her legs apart with his psi, and she nearly came then and there. He knelt between her thighs and started nipping and licking his way up from her toes. Each touch was a world of its own. Again, time fractured, and all that existed was the two of them. Another crystal clear moment erupted when his mouth cupped her mound. Side to side, in and out. She knew that rhythm, his rhythm. His tongue probed her layers and plunged deep inside. Side to side, in and out. The tension in her was almost painful. “Now, yes, now!” His hands reached up and twisted her nipples, sending her over the edge. She cried out as the orgasm burst open, radiating out from between her legs, then slowly pulsing outward. It spread down to her toes and moved up her body to her fingertips. She held perfectly still as the pleasure rolled off her in ever-decreasing waves. She sighed and opened her eyes.
He grinned. “My turn?”
“Why yes,” she said. “I do believe it is.”
He moved over her, spreading her legs apart with his knees. They stared at each other for a few minutes, or hours. She had no idea. The strange, but oh so beautiful light, illuminated their faces.
“Trust me?” He ran a finger along her jaw line.
The question brought her back again. Back to her body. She marveled at how foreign it seemed to stop and think. She reached up and ran her fingers down his chest. His erection, like the rest of him, was spectacularly beautiful. She ached for him to be inside her. Did she trust him? His psi caressed her, not sexually but sensually. His feelings flowed into her. It floored her to find that he was in awe of her. She looked up and felt reality slipping away.
He lowered himself, his shaft probing her wetness, each contact producing a pulse of pleasure. The tension mounted. He teased her, touching her and pulling back.
“You’re being cruel,” she said.
“You’ve got to be cruel to be kind.” He slid inside her then, just barely. Her breath caught, and she adjusted her pelvis, trying to bring him in, but he only withdrew.
“No,” she whimpered.
He reached up and ran a finger from her neck to her thigh, teasing her breasts as he passed. Taking his erection in hand, he rubbed her clit. Side to side, in and out.
She squirmed with need. “Inside, please.”
He slid into her, farther and farther until he was fully sheathed. She groaned as he stretched her to her limit. Body and psi erupted as he thrust in and out. There was nothing gentle or slow about this, and she needed it every bit as much as he did.
He slammed into her, and her body answered, lost in abandon.
He pounded her into sweet oblivion.
She cried out as the orgasm exploded, even more intense with him inside her.
His psi caressed her. The motion started slow then shifted, speeding up the tempo. The rhythm was his, though. Or theirs. Her own psi joined in, matching the beat. Torril kissed her, slow and lingering, but she knew somehow that this last step wasn’t about the flesh. His psi trilled at her realization.
“Oh…” Their psi danced as their kiss became something more. Like sliding down the rabbit hole, her perception changed. The intensity became overwhelming. No bodies, just psi. Kara tried to open her eyes but found she was completely disconnected from her body. A stab of fear shot through her. “I felt that.”
“It’s all right,” Torril said. “Our psi are merging. Our bodies are safe. Trust me.”
She sensed his humor, and at that moment, the cosmos opened up.
Snap. It was as though they had joined some cosmic consciousness. She cringed at how cheesy that sounded but had no other words for it. She was aware of, and connected to, everything all at once. Humans, lives, and memories, all hers. Other creatures, insane physical forms that she couldn’t comprehend, and yet somehow did. Souls, all, and so many of them.
Snap. She focused inward and found atoms flying about with electrons, neutrons, and protons the size of planets. The space between such tiny particles blew her mind.
Snap. She perceived the galaxy as a marble, spinning around and around, and pleasure completely devoid of physicality burst forth as the edge of her psi simply vanished. The sensation was so pure, so intense, it permeated her being. She didn’t feel it—she was it. At last she surrendered and simply let go.
When she woke some time later, she was curled up next to Torril. “I have arms.”
“And legs, too.” Torril kissed the back of her head. “And particularly nice breasts.”
She laughed and registered the air moving in and out of her lungs. She rolled over to face her soul mate. Or psi-mate. Whatever.
Memories flooded back. “There are creatures out there that breathe through their skin. Oh!” She sat up and ran her fingers through her hair. “Oh man, and those things that don’t even have bodies, they’re just ethereal strands. No, not strands, just these connections of… I don’t know. I don’t know how to explain it.”
“Easy, love. My people quite literally don’t have words to describe what we just experienced.” Torril sat up and faced her. “This wasn’t your everyday bonding, Kara. The fact that we talked telepathically before we ever touched…and that cosmic thing. I don’t know what it means.”
Kara’s head swam with images and impressions. She felt a sense of euphoria and a peace she’d never known. Until her stomach grumbled. “I am starving.” Light filtered through now drawn curtains. Harsh light, as though it was the middle of the day.
Torril smiled and traced the life lines on her palm. “It’s easy to get lost when we bond, but we’ve been out of it for a long time. Over twenty-four hours. We need to eat, and I’m sure your friend is worried about you.” He kissed her gently and smiled with eyes, now purple, a color she knew matched her own.
Thank you for coming with me to another world. I hope you enjoyed it! If so, please take a moment and leave a review. Writers live for reviews. Really. A little part of us dies if you don’t share the love. For all we know, it might be my left nipple. I don’t want to live without that…