Slow & Steady – The Velveteen Tortoise – Chapter Thirteen Available

Chapter Thirteen of The Velveteen Tortoise is now available.

Pyxis The Restrained

“What I meant,” the human medic snarls at me, “is that it would be better if you went outside because you don’t belong here.”

Gary gasps. “Hey now, Doc!”

I just shrug. “Of course I don’t.”

“Then leave.” The medic points her finger. “Just go.”

“Do you mean leave the medical modular—”

“Medical clinic,” she snaps at me.

I keep going. “Or…”


That’s the sound of my helmet scraping across the low ceiling as I visually track where she’s pointing. Which is up and not toward the modular’s main doors.

Does she mean go off-world?

Because if that’s what she’s saying, she’s totally implying it. Which completely contradicts what she said earlier about implications.

I flick my attention from the low ceiling to the huffing medic. Screech.

However, she’s cringing and slapping her hands over her ears, and those human reactions aren’t really giving me any indication about exactly where she wants me to go.

I tilt my head back toward the ceiling. Screech. “You mean off-world?”

Because my answer to that is an abso-fucking-lutely hard no. I’m not leaving Warren’s. Warren’s is where my mate is.

I snap my attention back to the medic. Screee—

The ceiling falls on my head.

Well. Not the whole ceiling. Just a sliced through sheet of it.


And now that sheet has dropped onto the floor.

“Shit!” Gary cries out.

I turn—twisting just my torso—to look at Gary. He’s sitting up, looking all gaping and startled and befuddled. You know what? He kinda looks like regular old, not-sick-at-all, Gary.

Which is a relief.

He runs his stunned gaze over me. “Ya okay, P?”

“I’m okay.”

Whatever ‘okay’ means. It’s a human word. But I’m totally confident that it completely applies to me…

Read Chapter Thirteen…

Slow & Steady – The Velveteen Tortoise – Chapter Twelve Available

Chapter Twelve of The Velveteen Tortoise is now available.

I don’t like this.

Jo’s just ended my honeymoon with Pyx.

“I don’t like it, either.” Pyx shrugs as he releases me and goes to the door. He starts ripping away the crushed metal edges of the door and jab that have served as a decent, low-tech lock for us. “If I could, I’d stay here rather than patrol.” He glances over at me and his eyes brighten with excitement. “Later, we could work on the drill together!”

We could, but I’ve lived with Jo for the past decade. I know her.

She’s up to something.

Grumbling, I shoo Pyx away from the now-irreparable door. “Step back, Pyx. You don’t want Gary to see you like this.”

Check that.

I don’t want Gary, or anyone else, to see my mate like this.

Pyx is dressed in his ‘When Hidden Within The Bale’ flow-y pants that ride so deliciously low on his hips…

Seriously. The waistband clings to that perfect spot. You know, it’s that place where his lower abs meet his hipbones and form one hell of an Akuparian Adonis belt.  His appearance is so casually comfortable yet unintentionally revealing that it’s achingly intimate.

And, apparently, my primal she-alpha-bits have pounced ahead a stage or two of our relationship—er, mateship with Pyx. We’re now at the stage where we’re so comfortable and familiar with one another that he can lounge around, half dressed with his ripped and drool-worthy torso exposed…

…While my feral, foaming-at-the-mouth she-alpha-bits prowl around him, snarling MINE. MINE. MINE.

So yeah. You better look elsewhere, Gary! This magnificent view is for my eyes only—

“Oh,” I yank the door open and there’s Gary. Blindfold on and everything…

Read Chapter Twelve…

Slow & Steady – The Velveteen Tortoise – Happy World Turtle Day & the Beginning of Chapter Twelve

Happy World Turtle Day! Chapter Twelve of The Velveteen Tortoise is now in-progress.

She narrows her eyes at me. “You’ll cram it in.”

“I’ll ease it in. Promise.”

“You said that last time.”

True. However… “Totally learned my lesson.”

“You also said that last time.”

Also true. However… “Each time I get better at it.”

Luna shakes her head at me. “Goal’s to not burn down the modular, Pyx.”


But I still press closer…

Slow & Steady – The Velveteen Tortoise – Chapter Eleven Available

Chapter Eleven of The Velveteen Tortoise is now available.

“Do you?” Pyx’s voice is all sexy rumbly yet kinda cautiously shaky. “Do you wanna do all of that?”

My eyes—the spineless wimps—are still locked on the workbench. Which means that I catch the trembling in Pyx’s hand as he sets down whatever gear-shaft-looking thingy that he’d been holding.

“Because, you know, Luna,” he says, and it just cuts me when Pyx’s voice sounds like this—uncertain and vulnerable, “I’ll do anything or try anything you wanna do.”

Sex. I wanna do sex with you.

“I…” he exhales heavily again, “really wanna do that, too.”

If you think I’m gonna stumble all over the place, trying to shoving my foot in my mouth because, once again, I’m talking out loud…

Well, you’d be wrong.

When I let my lips off the leash, they freaking race straight to the finish line. So excuse me while I give my subconsciously yammering jabber a hearty high-five for stepping up to the starting line and getting my butt into this race…

…a race to, um, get into Pyx’s pants…

So, yeah. I’m gonna do sex with Pyx because all this…

…the distractions…

…the excuses…

…the stalling…

needs to be freaking fixed!

I whip my dress over my head. “We’re doing this!”

Turning, I stride over to the stack of pallets in the corner… of the cave…

Why, yes. My freaking cave does have a freaking corner!

Oh!’ My shebits purr in approval. ‘She’s serious this time. Just look at our butt. She’s shimmying our butt!’

You bet I’m shaking and baking my backside. This is freaking it! I’m having sex with Pyx. I’m gonna get fully and officially mated so that—

“Don’t move, Luna.”

I freeze.

Caught mid-crawl across the pallets, I’m on my hands and knees…

Read Chapter Eleven…

Slow & Steady – The Velveteen Tortoise – Chapter Ten Available

Chapter Ten of The Velveteen Tortoise is now available.

“Luna.” Pyx squeezes his eyes shut and groans, sounding kinda in agony and definitely aroused. “Do all of that.”

“All of…?”

“All of it. Everything you just said.”

Everything I just…

I’m yapping out loud.


And that’s great. Wanna know why? Because I’m totally gonna do everything I just said. This is it. Totally. Freaking. It.

I’m already pulling up my dress, but my legs are getting tangled up in the skirt. I’m kinda kicking wildly at Pyx, which I really don’t mean to be doing…

Still, I’m determined that this time, it’s so gonna happen.

“Move.” I huff as I try to lift my butt off the mattress. “Up. Off.”

Yeah. I suck at giving directions.

But Pyx, god bless him, rears up and scoots back.

As I’m wrangling with my stupid skirt, I rake my eyes over his chest.

His big, broad, sculpted-by-armor chest.

Yeah. That armor’s gotta go…

Read Chapter Ten…

Slow & Steady – The Velveteen Tortoise – Chapter Nine Available

Chapter Nine of The Velveteen Tortoise is now available.

I look at my hands, forcing them to not curl and compress the scutites of my armor again.

When Luna’d kissed me, I’d fought to remain hyperaware—to make the moment last—but everything about her had been too distracting.

Too consuming.

I’d been determined to lap up every scent and taste molecule of her arousal, sucking greedily on her lips and nipping at the warm column of her neck. The more I’d devoured her, the more I wanted her. My appetite’d spun into a frenzy, driving me to seek the tantalizing source of her arousal and feast from her core. Then the sound of ripping cloth had slammed into me harder than a pulse blast.

Read Chapter Nine…

Slow & Steady – The Velveteen Tortoise – Chapter Eight Available

Chapter Eight of The Velveteen Tortoise is now available.


I yelp and spin around. Pyx’s outta the bolthole. He’s staring at me, not as if I’m insane for bolting outta the bolthole, but with more of his resolve-weakening tenderness and concern.

Oh, and he’s dressed in pants. Just pants. Nothing else.

Please. Someone. Help me.

I shake my head, trying to toss out thoughts of climbing him like a candycoated cliffside. “You shouldn’t be up here!”

Yeah, I sound kinda harsh, but I’m looking out for him. I mean, he’s got on the soft, buttery pants that the Akupara wear when inside the Bale. Only, he’s not inside the Bale.

Pyx shrugs. “But you’re up here.”

I gape at him. Blink. Gape some more.

That can’t possibly be his reason—‘because I’m up here’—for being outta his armor, while being outside of the Bale, instead of being safely concealed in my bolthole. If it is, then he needs another dang reason!

I wait, tilting my head and raising my brows expectantly. He’s gotta have more for me than that. He’s just got to. Because I’m not worth risking his people’s secrets.

He shifts his eyes away, then back to me. “So, I’m up here, too.”

Me. He’s up here—taking an unbelievable risk—for me.

Oh crap. I really do wanna climb him like a candycoated cliffside…

Read Chapter Eight…

Slow & Steady – The Velveteen Tortoise – Chapter Seven Available

Chapter Seven of The Velveteen Tortoise is now available.

Pyx runs his intense gaze over me. “You won’t hurt me, Luna.”

Right. Back to the present. There’s an Akupara warrior on his knees before me—stripped of his armor and begging me to touch him—because it’s something that I’d asked him to do.

I’m such a freaking idiot.

He’s right where I want him, but now I don’t know what to do with him…

Read Chapter Seven…

Slow & Steady – The Velveteen Tortoise – Chapter Six Available

Chapter Six of The Velveteen Tortoise is now available.

Once I’ve completed the Briarwood cabin, Luna and I can live here. And I am totally gonna building a place that has plenty of space for two people to live as roommates.

Just roommates.

But, to be totally-totally sure, I start calculating for adding even more square footage.

“Do me one favor, will ya?” Joia asks as she stands and wipes the dirt from her hands.

“Of course.”

“Keep it simple.”

“Totally keeping it simple.”

As Jo continues to wipe dirt from her hands, I can tell that she’s studying me. She’s got that look—the one where her mind’s processing with an intellect that makes me feel like an insect.

But I am keeping it simple.

I’m just building a decoy cabin as I work on a second cabin, when in all honesty, I don’t need either cabin.

She blinks and says softly, “Complicated ain’t your thing, Fanboy. You’re too real…”

Read Chapter Six…

Slow & Steady – The Velveteen Tortoise – Chapter Five Available

Chapter Five of The Velveteen Tortoise is now available.

Jo looks over her shoulder, snips something at Rogers, Jr., then turns back to me. “You can give up the modular all together, Baby Bunny. Stay here with me.”

A shiver moves through me.

There’s no way I’d move into The Tower. I’m not like Jo, who’s thriving in the center of it all. If I’d move here, I’d be bumping into people everywhere. All the time. Touching.

“Or,” Joia says, “you could room with Fanboy in his cabin.”


“No.” I’m shaking my head—like, a lot—to drive home my point.

If I permanently move in with Pyx, then I’d be bumping into him everywhere. All the time. Touching...

Read Chapter Five…