There Be Mature Content Here
Please be advised that the following is intended for mature readers only.
Kinixys tore though Briarwood at his true speed, following a zigzagging trail laid by Rez. She left markers that took him back to that goddamn slope, where he’d tumbled head-over-ass to the bottom. Next, she’d gone to the crashed shuttle site. Seeing only charred ground and smashed trees—no actual shuttle debris—hopefully meant that Emys had ordered a crew to scrub the area. After an hour of running, he finally found her.
Honestly, he should’ve known that she would lead him to the Chaparral—the grand misdirection of their time spent together in Briarwood.
Rez was perched on a petrified log, with the setting sun gleaming fiery streaks in her hair. She glanced over her shoulder at him, then returned her gaze to the open expanse of the scrub-steppe.
“I won’t run out there,” she said softly, “but, I still want to.”
She sounded ashamed, as if confessing to a guilty pleasure.
She also sounded like she was awaiting his reply.
Kin was as taciturn as a metal file, blunt as a rock, and as verbose as—well, another rock. But still, he well knew that communication had a variety of channels, such as an unspoken understanding between parties.
Ah. So this was how they would finally confide in one another.
By leading him on a quick and merry chase throughout Briarwood, Rez had revealed her secret to him. She had speed. By Aku, he suspected that she moved faster than any Akupara.
And because Rez had taken that risk and run, hope and dread were now stiffening her shoulders and clipping her speech. How did he know this? Because he felt the exact same way.
By finding Rez at the Chaparral within such a short period of time… Well, that would be Kin sharing a secret about himself as well.
He jutted his chin toward the Chaparral as he approached her. “It’s tempting.”
She kept her eyes forward. “How so?”
“Nothing to dodge. Open up your stride.” He grunted, underscoring the attractive appeal of such a scenario. “Possibly set new speed records.”
Gazing out at the Chaparral rather than at him, she hummed in guarded agreement.
The first test was now behind them. Rez had incredible speed. Kin did, too. Both secrets were out in the open.
But, that was not the entirety of their risk, was it? And Rez, without speaking, made it clear that he needed to demonstrate his full understanding.
And that required words.
Which was unfortunate, because he was a goddamn rock.
His heart slammed into his chest and his pulse pounded in his head as he acknowledged Rez’s risk out loud. “But breaking records isn’t worth the risk.”
She turned and gazed up at him. As the golden rays of sunset warmed her skin, he saw her tense further in anticipation
He knew what she needed to hear.
“People like us, we chose to move slow and steady, though it feels unnatural. Feels like we’re burying a bit of ourselves.” He softened his deep voice as much as he could. “Because if we don’t, we would compromise those we care about.”
Rez’s breath hitched at his words. She swallowed as she nodded, her eyes glistening with moisture. “Jo and Luna can’t flash, but they do have speed. Only,” she cleared her throat, “they can’t maintain it like I can for hours on end.”
Good. He’d anticipated correctly. Or, at least, he thought that he had. There were things she wanted to do—like run at full speed in wide open spaces—but restrained herself, because indulging a moment of joy would selfishly risk exposing her friends.
Kin understood. An Akupara would never risk the security of the Bale by moving at true speed before Outbalers.
“You know,” She gave him a small smile. “Pyx figured out my speed.”
Now that surprised him. After all, he’d likened his brother’s intellectual abilities to that of a turnip.
She flicked her eyes to him, then away. “He revealed that your people have speed as well.”
Unfortunately, it did not surprise him that Pyx, on a boisterous whim, had revealed the Bale’s most protected secret to an Outbaler.
Rez kept talking, her voice so unsure. “And since you’d already figured out my flash hairs…”
Yes. And he’d planned to discuss that with her in greater detail, when she was ready to share more with him. He knew this much: no sentient species that he’d encountered had her unique flashing ability. Which meant someone conducted an ungodly expensive amount of genetic manipulation on her.
This wasn’t the first time he’d speculated about Rez’s abilities. In the sea cave, her rantings, about drugs in her system and being tossed into a cell with no care regarding her injuries, suggested abhorrent connections to recent events. Protective rage tore through him as he recounted the Kletka’s attack on Two-Four-Kay plus the smaller cuffs found on the hunting party…
“… and sorta saved my friends…”
Wait. What was she going on about?
“… I’ve never been with someone where I could, um, just be me.” She was fidgeting with her jacket’s tattered cuff, honing her focus on a loose string as she continued to ramble. “But then I realized, that I’ve never really been me around you. And even though I guess I could start being myself now, that’s not who you want to tie up, obviously.”
“Yeah, obviously.” She gestured toward his hands that were fisted at his sides. “No rope.”
He must have spoken out loud. Yet, instead of being grumpily bemused by the turn of events—he being the one verbalizing his inner musings—her misconstrued notions about his intentions riled him.
Yes, he had rope.
Of course, he had rope.
He’d almost torn Two-Four-Kay down to its sewage system until some skittish human tossed rope into his line of sight.
But that rope had been shit.
Besides, now wasn’t the time for rope. Which he had in his possession. Obviously.
Needing to clarify some things first, he stepped toward her. “You think I don’t want you?”
“Well,” she rolled her eyes and huffed. “I’m not, you know, all tied up.”
Not deterred by her bristling, Kin took another step closer. He saw her posturing for what it was. She was trying to deflect. To guard herself from the final risk.
Shame on him, for not making it abundantly clear, that she need not guard herself from him.
She ran her eyes over him again. “And you seem calm.”
“Calm,” he parroted back in astonishment.
Though, he was who he was. He’d bluntly spoken his one word reply.
“Totally calm.” She flicked her eyes away. “Back at the settlement, you just seemed so…”
“You seemed to feel the way that I do.” She inhaled, then released a shaky breath as her eyes again trailed over him, helmet to boot soles. “Like I wanna scrap your armor and tackle you.”
How fortunate. He wanted her to tackle him as well.
He eagerly whispered the release command inside his helm, disengaging all the seams on his armor. Keeping his eyes on her, he peeled off his gauntlets and tapped the coded fingerprint patch on his neck. As his faceplate slid up, the helm retracted and folded into a circular disk that dropped into his open palm.
The entire time, he’d gauged everything from her breathing to blinking and fiercely willed her to see him.
Not The Last.
Not a male desperate to bolster his Bale.
Just the male whom she’d renamed ‘Kin.’
He notched his helm disk onto the magnetic dock on his arm bracer. “Then scrap the rest of it, Rez.”
Her face flushed as her unfocused gaze—Aku, please let him be correct—heated with desire.
He spread his arms wide in invitation. “Rez, scrap my—”
“I heard you.” She didn’t snap, but she’d spoken firmly as she rose from the petrified log. “I heard you. I…”
She stepped toward him. No. She sidestepped and began to circle him.
“All of you defies physics,” she said, each step barely disturbing the dust under her feet as she prowled around him. “The way you move the way you do.”
He could both hear her desire and see it in her own lusty gaze. With her entire focus on him, she moved unconsciously. Instinctively. Primally. Her hips swayed with each soft-footed step. Her shoulders were square, spine straight, but her arms hung with just enough tension, strung on a hair-trigger to pounce.
She was a hunter assessing her prey.
Did she know? Could she sense how she coiled him tighter and tighter?
She slid close to him, and with a confident touch, she took up one of his hands. His breathing hitched as she began to explore his palm and fingers. The stark differences struck him. Her five digits were slim and scaleless next to his three, which were thick and long.
To his amazement, she guided his hand to her cheek. Pressed his bare flesh to hers.
“Is this all?” She gazed up at him, shifting her body closer. “Or is there more to it?”
He groaned out a husky breath, shocked and bewildered. “More to what?”
“Um.” She slid her gaze away and bit her bottom lip as she concentrated. “To convey consent? No. To convey courtship intension?”
“Courtship?” He shook his head as her earnest question prickled him with unease. “Not mating?”
“I don’t know.” Her brow creased. “What comes first?”
Her question about his lack of rope became clear, because he felt it, too. His gut clenched in doubt. Did she want him?
“Courtship.” The word emerged grated, so he cleared his throat. “However, we are already in courtship.”
“We are?” She huffed in astonishment. “Since when?”
“Since the sea cave.”
“We’ve been in courtship for, like,” she raised her brows, “ten hours?”
She opened her mouth, said nothing, then snapped it closed.
Rez’s hesitation was a direct result of him letting the worst of himself run wild. Brash and brutish. Impatient and demanding. Riled and fixated. Only a fucking idiot plagued by those abominable traits would move from courtship to mating so distastefully fast. Rez, despite her spectacular speed, was human. Like the Akupara, they didn’t mate after ten—very interrupted—hours of courtship.
Perhaps he could reset her expectation. Pull together the tatters of his control and endure courtship for however long she needed. Mating furvor aside, he was The goddamn Last of his people. He could do this.
He totally could.
His body started to tremble.
“Huh, ten hours,” Rez said. “That’s practically forever. Right?”
Then she patted his cheek and shrugged.
In the sea cave, he thought he’d reached his limit. But hours later in Two-Four-Kay, as a dead Kletka clung to her hair, he’d miraculously encountered an undiscovered shred of control.
This was officially The Fucking End of his ability to hold himself back.
“Right,” he growled.
Then tackled her.
Rez cried out as Kin took her to the ground.
Okay. She didn’t ‘cry out.’ She’d squealed. But, come on! Kin’s speed was deliciously fast! So, how about we all agree to ignore the squealing?
“Rez,” Kin said.
Oh boy. He was using his ‘I’m about to give you an order’ sexy voice. She might bristle when he got all command-y, but you don’t understand. Everything, from his strong arms wrapped protectively around her body, to his heaving barely-in-control breaths that brushed his hard chest against her tender nipples, to his utterly phenomenal dick that was fully erect and nudged against her…
Do you see where this was going?
Rational thought was not possible under these conditions!
She cleared her throat. “Kin.”
“Unless you want me to mate you in the dirt—”
He groaned and ground his dick against her wet core as he pressed his crown to hers. “Run.”
Seriously? “I already did that!”
“You have boltholes in Briarwood. Fully stocked, yes?”
That she did. But how did he know?
“Let’s go to one.” His hips kept moving, teasing her, as he groaned into her ear. “Take me your bed.”
Sorta sounded like he was begging, which totally stoked her confidence, and in turn had her squirming and pressing up beneath him.
With a groan he swore in Akupara and kissed her. Capturing her mouth, he swept his tongue inside. She missed the taste of him. His herbal and minty flavor turned her craving into ravenous hunger. She deepened the kiss, seeking to quench her thirst for him.
“Fuck, Rez!” He pushed up and locked his arms. His chest sawed with ragged breaths. “Run to the nearest bolthole. Right now.”
“Kin,” she reached for him.
He jerked, pulling back.
As jagged rejection sliced into her, he slapped something onto her left wrist. She looked down. A black band was wrapped around her.
In her stunned shock, he slapped another band onto her other wrist.
She laid there in the dirt, propped up on her elbows, and gaped at the supple, padded cuffs.
“Kin?” She arched her brow at him and waited.
Hopefully, the sexy alien could tell the difference between a ‘what the hell is this?’ versus ‘where the hell is the rest of this?’ arched brow.
But this was Kin, which meant she probably had to be more explicit.
She dipped her chin, gesturing. “Kudos for cuffs, but you’re losing points for lack of rope.”
He’d resumed his plank position, using both arms to brace himself over her. Too bad he was wearing his armor, because she could imagine the pop and play of his traps, biceps, and triceps. Good god, she would love to run her tongue along every dip and tendon.
Holding himself up—using one arm, y’all!—he pulled two cords from a thigh compartment on his armor. “Rope.”
“Uh, pretty sure that’s cord.”
“Rez,” he growled and he still held himself up by one magnificent arm, “I’ve shredded every last bit of my status, pride, rationale, and restraint. I beg you, spare my capacity for decency as a sentient being, and run to a bolthole so that we don’t mate in the dirt like beasts.”
“You know, my boltholes are more like burrows. So if you’ve got this whole thing against dirt—”
“Rez.” Then his voice gentled as his eyes gazed at her tenderly. “I’ll take care with you.”
Oh, her heart. She’d been that obvious with her stalling, hadn’t she?
“Yes, my mate,” he dropped the cords and cupped her cheek. “You said it out loud. Know this, I am already yours. So I implore you, out loud or aloud, allow me to claim you and make you mine.”
Hers. His. Yeah, she wanted that. But…
She narrowed her eyes at him. “Did you?”
He frowned at her. “Did I what?”
“Just pun me?”
She bolted. Shimmied out from under him at her full speed and sprinted back into Briarwood.
As she ran, a ferocious roar boomed through Briarwood. Well, she needn’t worry about any War-wolves or War-gators. Kin’s bellow had scattered every living thing—predators included—in Briarwood.
It took her a few strides before realizing that her flash hairs hadn’t responded to his territorial roar. No crackle of energy was priming for discharge. Yet, tingles spread all over her as his echoing boom faded. God, she knew that she was grinning like a mad woman, her entire body alive with anticipation and arousal.
She made a strategic call to blow past her nearest bolthole. No need to end their foreplay so soon. True, this wasn’t typical hot and heavy petting. But since Rez had hid her running for ten years, the gratification coursing through her at the moment was the best make-out session of her life.
Approaching the second bolthole, she began stripping her clothing. Her doubt and smartass stalling had just put Kin through hell. He deserved to find a few tantalizing breadcrumbs as she prepped her bolthole. Though, calling it a bolthole solely described its purpose. By definition, it really was a burrow.
For this particular location, this burrow was the first one that she’d created with Joia and Luna; when the three of them had tried to live on their own. A tree hollow in one of Briarwood’s massive monoliths served as the entrance. Working together, the three had dug a short tunnel plus their burrow. Then they’d reinforced the walls with limestone plaster and laid flat stones onto the floor. Finally, they’d dragged inside the best salvage from the scientists barge.
Rez tapped on the battery powered lantern. In the soft blue glow, she dove into the supplies, using the last of the cleansing towel packets to wipe herself down. She shoved the three bed palettes together and flicked a skeptical glance up at the ceiling. This was her biggest bolthole, and it had felt cramped when she, Joia, and Luna were inside. With Kin in here…
Yeah. That wouldn’t be the only tight fit about to happen.
Another delicious shiver wracked her as she pulled a blanket from sealed storage and spread it over the palettes.
And… that was it.
Rez cast her gaze around her burrow. It wasn’t the sleek interior of the Bale, with cushioned beds on pedestals or technomagical thresholds that whisked away sand and dirt. Thank god, it didn’t contain the Ice Shower from Hell, but she did have canteens of fresh water and twenty year old MREs.
With a shaky breath, she settled on her knees, then lowered her cheek to the padded palette. Wearing nothing but Kin’s cuffs with her bare ass facing the tunnel, she waited for him.
Of course, her doubt reached her before Kin did, and when it reared its head, she punched it in the throat.
Enough was fucking enough.
Her heart was Kin’s. Seriously, it was. But she was who she was, and giving a heart and accepting a heart was an As-Is Deal, not a metamorphosis. Kin didn’t ask her to change. And know what? She didn’t want him to change, either.
Besides, one of them had to be an uptight badass or Cosmic Payback was gonna kick the shit outta them both.
As she strained her hearing, listening for his arrival, her heartbeat continued pulsing inside her ears. But then, she picked up scraping sounds as the old ship hull that covered the tunnel’s entrance was moved.
A feral, ravenous growl, laced with sexual appetite and appreciation, rumbled in the dim blue light.
Kin moved so fast, that she felt his palm on her backside, stroking her in reverence, before the clatter of all his discarded armor hit the stone floor.
“By Aku, Rez,” his deep voice took on a gravelly quality as his huge palms stroked over the globes of her bottom and then down the backs of her thighs. “You’re fucking gorgeous.”
She shuddered. “You’re not so—”
Oh, the sneaky alien, he made her squeal.
One second he was poised behind her, hands stroking down to her calves and ankles. The next, his massive handspan was palming her ass as his thumbs spread her labia, giving his amazingly long and dexterous tongue direct access to her. Hell, with the control that he had over his tongue, he was only flicking her throbbing clit while completely avoiding her clenched core that wanted to be filled so badly that it cried.
Seriously, she was weeping from her pussy.
Kin kept lapping at her, stroking her just right, and making her jerk. Only, she’d hardly moved. She yanked on her arms again, and this time felt the restraints.
The synthetic fiber cuffs that were wrapped about her wrists with buttery-leather softness, now had a coordinating set wrapped about her ankles. Those cords that Kin had? Well, they were magnetically attached to the cuffs, binding her right wrist to her right ankle; the same on her left side. With the amount of slack he’d given the cord, Rez found herself on her knees, ass up, shoulders down, with her cheek pressed to the blanket. Her arms lay on the ground with her hands near her ankles.
She sucked in a breath and stilled. The fabulous tongue flicks stopped. Her shallow pants and his steady breaths echoed softly in the dimly lit burrow.
Kin, still positioned behind her, squeezed her hips. “Yes, Rez?”
Yes, Rez? Why was he ask—Oh. Because she’d stilled. Well, that was only because he’d stunned her.
Good god, Kin had finally done it!
He’d tied her up.
She tugged against the restraints. Not too tight. Not uncomfortably contorted. He had her, honestly, right where they both wanted her. Naked. Wet. Ready.
So, yeah, he totally had her permission and full approval to proceed.
Sinking into the thrilling shudder than ran through her, she rasped, “Good god. Yes, Kin.”
Then she deepened the bow of her spine. Likewise, her ass lifted higher, tilting her exposed pussy, taking better advantage of her bindings.
Kin groaned, sounding immensely pleased and relieved. His tongue returned. Each flick against her sweet spot rushed blood to her pelvic floor, waking all her nerves with the coiling sensation of a toe-curling orgasm.
But her core continued to pulsate with an empty ache. Pulling against the restraints, she babbled. Penis. Tongue. Fingers. She honestly could give a fuck which one, but some part of him needed to be inside of her. Immediately.
She both heard and felt his rumbling chuckle at her unabashed begging. His cocky amusement vibrated his tongue, which he pressed and held against her. And…
She hit the peak.
“Oh shit,” she rasped out as she came.
While locked in that orgasmic flash—her mouth unhinged, her eyeballs roiling, and her pussy pulsating—Kin pushed his incredibly thick dick into her.
Good god, the sound he made…
Kin released a carnal groan laced with both strain and relief. His gravelly rumble stretched on, matching his slow penetration that steadily opened her swollen and clenching core.
He hissed her name as he bottomed out, somehow deepening his tone as his breath expired. “Rez.”
Well, then. This was unexpected.
Typically, when she would orgasm—and experience that wonderfully overwhelming split second where pleasure burst from every pore in her body—she would clench, sag, and immediately gear up for the next round. She’d long ago accepted the trade off: brevity compensated by abundance. Her ability to multiple orgasm topped in the low double digits.
This time, though, her body had yet to come down from her peak. Admittedly, it was kinda hard to do that with Kin’s battering ram halting her collapse into post-release contentment. Plus, her lungs were burning and her throat was rubbed raw.
You know what? Why deny it?
When Kin had been sinking into her, she’d been locked in a nonstop, mind-blowing moan. Finally, he’d been filling her achy emptiness while also stretching the flushed muscles of her core. As he’d opened her, his inch-by-inch penetration had deflated her lungs with that ‘inflate the male ego’ throaty exhale, and her body had demanded that she make a choice.
Air or Kin’s fabulous dick? Pick one, because there wasn’t room for both.
As if to prove a totally unfair point, Kin now heaved in a breath that shifted his hips and pumped his dick. Immediately her pussy was all over that short, quick stroke of stimulation and was grappling his dick like a champ. Each of its greedy clenches echoed the needy throbs in her tits and quivers—yes, quivers—of her core.
Her, though? That unintentional twitch-stroke had her whimpering in exposed supplication. Hell, she was outright begging him…
In response, Kin groaned and his dick moved inside her again. Which, in turn, restarted the cycle. Dick twitch. Pussy attack. Wanton whimper. Another groan.
So, here she was. Her stunted orgasm was blocking her dopamine release. Her air-starved lungs and rapid heartbeats were battering her chest. Her drool drenched cheek was sticking to the damn blanket. Only her pussy had any fight left, and it was admirably squeezing him with vise grips that…
Yeah, those grips were probably responsible for the whole cycling thing, huh?
Hell, she was a quivering, whimpering, tied-up mess, and he hadn’t even fucked her yet.
“Mated,” Kin heaved with a ragged breath as he possessively stroked his hands over her backside and hips. “But not fast.”
God no. No. No. No.
Her reality didn’t match her earlier—totally way off the mark—assumptions about having sex with Kin. She wasn’t bored out of her mind as he was pumping unenthusiastically into her. Actually, she was losing her damn mind because he felt so amazingly overwhelming…
New plan. New fucking plan.
She rocked as far forward as the restraints allowed, readying to slide back, thus pumping herself on—Oh shit. Stars. Those were stars exploding behind her closed eyelids.
A roaring hiss exploded from Kin as he grabbed her hips. He pulled her back, slowly spearing her on his thickness until her ass butted against his pelvis once more. Rez was panting as Kin steeled his grip, locking her into place.
He started rambling in the Akupara language. Snippets of InterLingual peppered his heated ranting. Lush. Slick. Viper’s clutch…
Okay, that last one was probably an idiom that defied adequately arousing translation, but on the upside, that was her best new plan ever! Even the unexpected drawbacks—like blowing her own mind—were absolutely amazing!
The other unexpected bonus? Intel. Kin was barely holding it together as well.
Thank god! She wasn’t the only lusty idiot making an ass of herself.
“Love your ass.” He groaned, flexing his grip on her. “Stare at it when you run.”
Best. Compliment. Ever.
Oh, it was on. She was open-throttle whimpering now. Full-on sultry-ing her voice. Writhing all writhe-able body parts.
Hell, she even flipped her hair as she craned her neck to give him ‘I’m so desperate’ pleading eyes over her shoulder. “Kin, ple—”
Well, that backfired. Because she saw him. His intense struggle had heated his gaze and was trembling his arms. His mouth was a firmly pressed line of determination.
She exhaled as her heart filled.
“Slow, Kin,” she said softly, not caring that her voice cracked with her emotions. “Take me slow.”
He huffed out a relieved laugh. Just a gruff scoff that visibly rattled him. But thank both her god and his Aku, because he moved. He slid his magnificent dick out and shuttled it back in. Over and over, he would pull out, pausing as if he knew how long to wait until she was aching for him. Then he would slowly sink into her, stretching and filling her all over again. All the while, he cursed and growled and praised her.
Rez, though? She sobbed. At least, she thought that she was sobbing. But she was definitely babbling again. And whimpering. And writhing against her cuffs.
It was just, she was feeling too damn much.
Her vision whited-out, but she saw stars.
She babbled nonsensical commands at him, yet sagged in complete surrender.
She gasped, holding her breath until it burned inside her chest. Then she would exhale long, strangled groans that depleted all her air.
She lost her mind, yet found her heart’s beloved.
“Yours,” he grated out, and by his strained voice, she knew that this affected him just as deeply. “Always yours.”
Kin continued to love her, sinking into her so sweetly slow and steady, until the coil inside of her twisted that last little bit. When her orgasm clenched hold of her, Kin thrust in deep, and with a guttural groan, held himself there.
Rez gave one last pleasure-wracked sigh and closed her eyes. The bliss of her release—the unexpected tenderness of it—washed over her in soothing pulses.
Well, it did wash blissfully over her until Kin shook her. “Rez!”
“What?” She groaned, her voice hoarse and raw, as she squeezed her eyelids tighter together.
“How do you feel?”
Feel? Sore. Strung out. Satisfied. Sleepy.
He shook her again. “Rez!”
“Fucked,” she mumbled and with her eyes still closed, she batted at him. “Thoroughly fucked.”
“You mean mated.”
She cracked an eye open. Kin was gazing down at her, his eyes roving over her in obsessive concern. Well, at least they were snuggled together on the palettes and she was no longer in the cuffs.
Good times. They’d have to do that again.
Not now, but definitely soon.
She gave him a one-eyed glare. “If I say ‘mated’, will you let me pass out?”
He heaved a sigh and his shoulders dropped a notch as he smiled indulgently at her. “Yes, my mate.”
She yawned and snuggled into him. “I’m thoroughly mated to you, Kin.”
Which she was.
Totally, blissfully mated.
This chapter is complete! I’ve enabled commenting and have added my own thoughts as well.
As always, thank you so much for reading!