Slow and Steady – By a Hare – Chapter Fourteen

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Please pardon my typos […more…]

Chapter Fourteen

(Finished)

Naked. Pissed. Roaring. Kin’s about to throw down in the buff!

xo Bex

There Be Mature Content Here

Please be advised that the following is intended for mature readers only.

Rez squinted, shielding her eyes from the morning light, as she stumbled, totally naked, out of the tree hollow. Spotting a nearby tree—perfect for ducking behind as she took care of her necessities—she groaned and cursed as she clenched her meager toiletries and hobbled off.

Why was she completely naked, sporting light bruises on her wrist and ankles, and walking like a bow-legged calf? Blame bondage-obsessed, cursed-with-infinite-stamina Kin. He’s why.

That irresistible, insatiable sexy alien had unfathomably exhausted her nigh-impossible-to-exhaust legs by simply doing his thing. Trussing her up and shattering her with back-bowing, lung-bursting orgasms.

Over and over.

Who knew that a single bondage position—wrists tethered to ankles, aka ‘the crab tie’—was so versatile?

Obviously Kin knew.

Several times last night, he’d unlinked the cords, massaged out her limbs, and—when she’d been ready—tied her up again. Then he’d effortlessly hoisted her up, resettling her exactly as he wanted her…

…on her back with her knees drawn up to her chest and him kneeling between her legs, sinking into her, as his huge hands had held and tilted her hips just so…

…astride his lap, her back to his front, while he sat with his feet planted apart. With her legs draped over his thighs, she was spread wide open as he’d gripped her hips and worked her up and down his hard thickness…

…by adjusting the slack in the cords and flipping her onto her tummy, smoothly converting his crab tie into a hog tie. Then he’d brace himself over her—covering her back completely—as he’d thrust into her from behind…

Every damn time, he wouldn’t stop the mind-blowing strokes, pumps, and thrusts until she had become a sobbing mess who was begging to come.

Seriously, she needed a med-chamber to repair her sore muscles and strained vocal chords.

“Probably chemically addicted to his dick, too,” Rez muttered as she washed up with a scrap of cloth and recycled bottle of cleanser.

Although, despite her griping, being addicted kinda wasn’t really a problem. Happily Ever Addicted (to his) Dick. That was how she wanted her story to end.

Only, it wasn’t entirely her story to tell, was it?

Anything that she wanted to share with Kin—yanking open the doors that had locked her secrets in the dark—well, she would need to clear that with Joia and Luna first. After all, they’d all escaped from the scientists together. Then they hid their abilities while staying in Two-Four-Kay, just in case the genetic alterations forced upon them were as valuable as they suspected.

Which they probably were.

Based on the bodycount Rez racked up while the scientists had been experimenting on her, the math involved was super easy, yet horrifically grim. All those guards and technicians that she’d gotten her hands on, as well as the trashed equipment, had never tipped the scientists’ cost/benefits analysis of her into the red.

Hell, her hands had been covered in blood, and still the scientists had deemed the continuation of their agonizing existence—Joia’s, Luna’s, and hers—as the greater worth.

So, perhaps, she should have been a bit more forthcoming with Kin when he’d found her in the Chaparral. Perhaps, instead of letting her heart finally have what it wanted—someone as bolstering and gruffly affectionate as Kin—she should have considered what would be best for Kin himself. Because mating her meant, sooner or later, there would be a target on his back.

That whole Emys’s Chosen Egg thing? Yeah. Hell no. Never. Because what if these unnatural traits were naturally inherited?

Which also meant that for her and Kin, there would be no…

Rez heaved a sigh that squeezed her chest.

Yeah. She totally should have had the ‘let me vomit up all my past shit’ talk with Kin before they’d tied the knot.

Wait, by tying her up, did they just literally tie—

Rustling in the wood caught Rez’s attention. Her flash hairs—which thankfully hadn’t once discharged and blinded Kin—attempted to prime. Only, Rez was spent. Uncharged flash hairs. Wobbly legs. Kin had wrung her dry.

Shit.

Perhaps it was only a War-gator. Hopefully her tons of experience with those predators—plus a desperate, glinting burst of speed—would get her safely back to her burrow. She could snuggle up to Kin, who was sleeping soundly when she left, until her strength recovered or the animal moved on.

Something slipping between the trees—upright and two-legged—caught her attention. Then another and another.

Shit. Those weren’t War-gators. In fact, they looked a helluva lot like Kletka.

With her heart pounding in her ears, drowning out all other sounds, Rez hissed lowly, “Fuck you, Cosmic Payback.”

Her comeuppance was here at last.

Truly, she should have seen all the signs earlier. A Kletka mercenary unit had captured Two-Four-Kay while she had supposedly been trekking through Briarwood to salvage Kin’s shuttle. Then the Kletka hunting party had stalked her in the woods, armed with scatter-shot tranq barbs—which were used to capture, not kill. Lastly, the Kletka had held the settlement for days, yet had done absolutely nothing. Why was all that?

Unfortunately, it was so damn clear now. The occupation of Two-Four-Kay was a freaking ambush, that was why. The Kletka had probably wanted to lure her back to Two-Four-Kay, thus snagging all three of them—her, Joia, and Luna—at once.

Only, the Kletka hadn’t anticipated the Akupara. Not Pyx springing their trap nor Kin arriving with heavy-hitting reinforcements to save the fucking day.

So why was Cosmic Payback involved? Because by denying and hiding her cravings for so long, she’d selfishly claimed some joy for herself, consequences be damned.

Kin was joy and she wanted him.

God, did she want him.

She wanted him so badly that she’d knowingly kept her mouth shut about her deadly secrets when she’d mated him.

Now another Kletka hunting party was here, and Kin was vulnerable. She’d seen big chunks of his armor littering the ground before the tree hollow.

If she’d talk to Kin earlier, perhaps they would have pieced together the Kletka’s true agenda on Warren’s. Perhaps prudence and common sense would have cooled their desire for one another long enough to come up with a goddamn plan.

A Kletka stepped through the trees and stared right at her.

She softened her joints while tensing her muscles, prepping for a short—so short—burst of speed.

The Kletka, who held a high-powered pulse rifle, gave her a sharp, reprimanding hiss. “No. We kill Akupara.” He jutted his chin toward the tree hollow. “Take shell. Take you.” He hissed again. “No run.”

She got most of the Kletka’s meaning. If she was a good little captive, they would just scoop her up plus Kin’s priceless bits of armor and be on their way. But, if she ran, they would kill Kin.

Well, one thing in life that always played out for her—over and over like a corrupted recording—was that nothing good ever followed the order ‘Don’t run.’ She’d made it her life’s mission to fucking ignore that order each and every time that she heard it.

So, yeah. She was gonna run.

Without her flash hairs to provide a distraction and her legs cramped and stiff, she gave it her all and bolted for the tree hollow.

Two strides, maybe three, was all the speed she could sustain. Visibly, she doubted that she moved like a streaking blur, let alone appearing to have vanished.

She dove for Kin’s massive chest plate. Sliding on her knees over pointed twigs and sharp rocks in the dirt, she snatched the armor and rolled to face the Kletka.

She bellowed Kin’s name in warning.

The Kletka fired.

Her entire body lit up in agony as the pulse blast—set to pummel intergalactically renowned Akupara armor rather than stun a naked, idiotic human—struck her through Kin’s chest plate. Her back slammed into forest floor, and her body exploded with new pain.

Coincidently, the hollow tree behind her exploded as well. Chunks of wood—sized from splinters to jagged stakes—blew outward as Kin burst forth. 

Naked. Pissed. Roaring.

He shot toward the Kletka like a careening, ancient cannonball.

She tried to cry out as a pulse blast slammed into Kin, but her lungs couldn’t draw air. That, and too many strobing lights were blinding her vision. They intensified with each strobe and battered her skull, until a painful burst of white light left her in blessed darkness.


Kin roared as he was drenched in icy water. He jolted back, out of the spray, only to be shoved underneath again.

Bellowing as he pivoted, he swung his arm at his attacker. His wild flail was neatly blocked. Then a strong, meaty hand palmed the back of his head and rammed his face into a solid surface.

Again and again, he was slammed into…

The cleansing stall wall?

“I’ll.” Slam. “Never.” Slam. “Get.” Slam. “Tired.” Slam. “Of.” Slam. “This!”

“It is immensely satisfying,” said a staid voice.

Emys? Yes. That was her expounding—with her typical, unflappable demeanor—on the fulfilling contentment of knocking some sense into him.

Which meant the jackass enthusiastically bashing his head into the stall was Pyxis.

By Aku, he was going to murder his siblings.

“Enough!” He pushed back against Pyxis, a solid shove rather than a blind swing. “Fucking enough, Pyx!”

“You called me Pyx!” His asinine sibling gasped, sounding thrilled rather than appalled. “Can I call you Kin? Because—”

“No.” He stepped out of the cleansing stall as Pyxis rumbled a low, disappointed whine. “Where’s my mate?”

Emys slowly swept a discerning gaze over him. “Are you with us now, Kinixys?”

Was he physically with them in one of the Bale’s medical bays? Yeah. Sure.

Mentally? Hell no.

“Where’s my mate?” He growled.

The last he remembered, he had been kneeling by her side in Briarwood… No. Standing next to a med-chamber…

He squeezed his eyes shut as a visceral memory placed him in Rez’s cozy, tiny burrow. His hands were grasping her hips. His fingers digging into her flesh. His gaze was locked on her phenomenal, tight ass. His cock was sinking…

Frustrated and confused—bombarded by the pulse-pounding feel of Rez—he growled again.

Emys, though, continued to silently bore into him with a steady gaze. If she was expecting him to demonstrate self-control and logical rationale, they would be locked in this charged silence for eternity. The bone-chilling shower might have shocked him out of his stupor, but it did nothing to cool the blazing fury rising inside of him.

“Rez.” He speared Emys with a glare, making sure she saw the feral intensity in his eyes. “I want her. Now.”

Emys remained where she was, standing in the doorway of the lav. She wasn’t bracing herself, using her physical presence as a blockade. Her will alone was holding him at bay.

And he knew Emys was well aware of her power over him.

“Look at your feet,” Emys said.

He blinked, confused by her order. 

She continued softly, “Look at your hands.”

He glanced down. Droplets of water rolled down his naked torso and limbs. A soaked sheet was knotted about his waist. Puddled about his feet and sticking to his legs was blood-stained water and fleshy chunks. Mesmerized, he gazed at the gore splattered all over his throbbing hands.

He swallowed, only now registering the pain.

When he spoke, his hoarse voice serrated his raw throat as fear crushed his chest. “Where is Rez?”

Emys must have given a silent command to Pyxis, because Kin found himself maneuvered back into the medical bay’s private cleansing stall. No more manhandling after that.

He docilely stood there, staring at his hands, as the spray rinsed them. Not clean, though. The water washed away the bits that didn’t require scrubbing. He rubbed his thumb over the nailbeds of his fingers.

Back and forth.

He’d torn the Kletka hunters to shred with his bare hands, hadn’t he?

The echo of Rez crying his name pierced him like a blade to his belly.

By Aku, she’d tried to warn him. And when he’d burst forth from the burrow, he’d gone to her immediately. Knelt by her. But he could tell, the agony from the pulse blast had disrupted the synapses in her brain. She hadn’t registered that he was there by her side, hovering helplessly. Being as utterly useless as his chest plate that she’d still clutched in her hands.

That goddamn, fucking breast plate.

Akupara armor was not the best armor in the galaxy. It was good, but nowhere near the quality of its reputation—a cultivated renown crafted to hide the truth. 

It was the Akupara themselves who were impervious.

The armor simply hid that fact.

As he’d knelt next to Rez, a Kletka had hit him dead center with a pulse blast. A kill shot. In that fraction of a second—with the searing charge of the blast cascading over his naked, unarmored body—Kin had been locked in a moment of clarity.

That fucker had struck Rez with an armor-penetrating blast.

His breast plate had deflected some of the impact, but not all of it. It had shredded him—still shredded him—that she’d tried to shelter behind his people’s facade. That she’d clung to that accursed, piece of shit armor even after the blast had flattened her.

Standing in the cleansing stall, Kin aggressively scrubbed at his hands. His mind battered him with flashes—his bare hands tearing into scaled and feathery flesh as he’d crushed bones—that refueled his rage.

He wanted to kill those bastards all over again.

When the water at his feet ran clear, Kin strode out of the cleanser. Only Emys was waiting for him.

Again, she leveled him with her assessing gaze as she tossed him a bundle of clothing.

Yes. He knew what he needed to say. As he tugged on the pants and shirt, both clinging to his damp body, he continually restrained his instinct’s demand that he hunt down his mate.

Forcing back his growl, he said, “Do the medics have an update on Rez?”

His sibling nodded once, conveying her approval of his composure. “Stable and recovering.”

Not dead and gone forever.

By Aku. Thank you. Thank you. 

Kin staggered, hitting the wall and sagging against it. 

“Where?” he croaked.

“She’s in the adjacent chamber.”

Even though his impulses surged—again urging him to go, go, go—he straightened and pushed himself away from the wall in sedate increments. Settling his gaze on Emys, he silently awaited her dismissal.

For the first time in his life, he resented that his sibling knew him well. Why? Because he truly couldn’t give a shit about her permission. In this moment, he was performing. Pandering to her in order to achieve his own goal—to quickly return to Rez.

Emys’s composure never cracked, yet he sensed that she saw how his impulses and instincts, finally in concert with his intellect, were firmly united.

For Rez, he would be indomitable.

Emys, Aku love her, stepped aside.

He strode from the room—not at true speed, but sure as hell not at an acceptably measured pace.

Within two heartbeats he stood next to Rez’s med-chamber. More of his memories returned to him. He’d been there before, standing naked and dripping bloody gore onto the floor, as the medic’s fingers furiously flew over the med-chamber’s console panel.

He forced himself to halt, delving no further than that memory. Recalling the rest of it—the killing, the race to the Bale—served no purpose.

This moment was what mattered the most.

“Meat Suit.”

He sucked in a breath in response to Joia’s sarcastic tone. With the medic gone, he’d thought he was alone. He hadn’t noticed her there in the corner, bundled in a blanket and sitting on a cushion. Someone must have created her a makeshift bed.

She scoffed as she stood. He noted that someone had provided her with fresh clothing. “I got a blanket nest in each room, Meat Suit.”

Hell, there he was, once again, musing out loud. If only Rez were awake to hear…

But also, again, with the ‘Meat Suit.’

He must have indicated something with either his expression or posture, because Joia gave him another one of her grunt-hums and arched a brow while running her gaze over him.

“You clean up just as well as the floor,” she said drily. “Though, took you ten times longer than the guy with the mop. Didn’t take you for a pretty boy.”

Clean floor? So, that meant he’d stood here in a pool of blood, being just as useless to Rez as he’d been in Briarwood.

Shame—because of his failure to protect his mate, compounded by his inability to remain lucid at her sickbed—carved deeply into him. Joia had deftly stripped away his acclaimed perseverance, competence, and adroitness. Gone.

And those affected traits—cultivated by pride rather than honor—had been sliced off with disappointing ease, hadn’t they? So, what did that say about his worthiness? About gauging his steadfastness to remain by Rez’s side?

In summary, it disqualified him.

But just as he’d assessed Rogers—measuring how the human’s shit detrimentally turned water into sewage—Kin could be quantified by the same scale.

He wasn’t worthlessly null, but a contaminating piece of shit.

Cowed and disheartened, he pivoted to leave. Only, to his even greater shame, he refused to walk away. He simply stood there, his back to the med-chamber.

A selfish, weak-willed coward. He was placing his want before Rez’s need.

“Meat Suit?” Joia’s voice tunneled toward him, as if she were far away. “…just…back.”

Yes. He’d just gotten back, yet immediately had turned around to leave. What kind of mate would—

Then a realization socked him in the gullet.

Fucking hard, too.

Emys and Pyxis, those magnificent pains in his ass.

His siblings had broken through his stupefaction without extinguishing his determination. They’d poked and prodded—with icy water and brutal head bashing—driving him back to Rez before his shame had a chance to overtake him. Because if his despondency had reached him first, he never would have returned to her side.

By Aku, his endlessly aggravating, yet mystifyingly astounding, siblings truly knew him well.

Joia’s snarl roused him from his thoughts. His awareness of her clicked together in confusingly intriguing pieces. 

Her grip on his arm was firm. She was pumping her own arms with vigorous intensity. Truly, she was putting her back into her effort as she continuously snarled in frustrated exertion. However, instead of shaking him, she was unintentionally rocking herself back-and-forth.

Though, what she lacked in upper body strength, she more than compensated for with her hale lung capacity. “Snap the fuck outta it, Kin!”

All in all, her attempt to jostle him was duly admirable.

Mindful of their pound-per-pound discrepancies, he carefully turned, making eye contact with Joia’s scowl.

She snarled again, jabbing her finger at him with each word. “You. Just. Got. Back.”

He detested this new trend—of people suddenly spitting only one word at a time while poking or bashing him.

Admittedly, he could understand the reasoning behind their approach. He’d not been himself for a handful of tense hours. Thus, rather than poking and bashing them in kind, his best recourse was to eliminate their concern.

“I am back.” It wasn’t the declaration he’d intended it to be. His thin, hoarse voice whispered like sifted sand.

Joia narrowed her eyes. “To stay?”

“Yes.” Only Rez could order him away.

“No more. Do you hear me?” She hissed as she resumed jabbing her finger at him. “Lock it down. Clench your damn asshole and don’t shit your panties with your fragile feelings. Got it?”

Ah, this was why Rez adored this female. Joia was endearingly reckless with her tenacious loyalty.

He nodded. “Got it.”

In unspoken unison, he and Joia turned, completing his about-face pivot, to stand before Rez’s med-chamber. 

By Aku, he’d just ran a ruthlessly, yet necessarily, grueling full-circle race. He felt drained, but no longer disheartened.

Joia snuck a look at him. “You don’t sport the looks I was envisioning. You know, that your menacing helmet was concealing a tragedy that only a mother could love?”

Honestly, he had no idea what she was talking about.

Well, other than her astute observation that his mother didn’t love him, but he’d gotten over that fact long ago.

As if spurred by the uncomfortableness between them, Joia awkwardly slapped his shoulder.

“All right, then. You got this, Meat Suit. I gotta go check on Baby Bunny.” She jutted her chin toward the med-chamber. “She’s right next door in another one of these things.”

Then she sighed.

Her shoulders barely shook with her short exhale, but Kin had both seen and heard the stress and exhaustion that were battering her stubborn morale. He couldn’t determine if she had consciously dropped her guard or if her own fatigue had betrayed her.

Either scenario unsettled him, because both exposed the cracks in her seams.

“What I swore to her in Two-Four-Kay? I meant it.” He waited for Joia to look at him before continuing. “I will hollow myself out so that I can shelter her within me, always.”

“Will hollow?” Startled, Joia looked at him.

She furrowed her brow without grumping, jabbing, or scowling. Rather, he sensed a shift in her. Her outer, hard-ass shell slid away as she regarded him with compassion.

Joia. Compassionate?

Unsteadied and alarmed, he scrambled to brace himself.

She tilted her head, pinning him with genuine, almost sympathetic curiosity. “Whaddya waiting for, Meat Suit?”

Stunned, he blinked. Joia was gone.

He prayed to Aku that Joia had used her uncanny speed to bolt away. Better that than to admit he’d stood there, gaping like a tongue-tied fool, for several ‘damning-him-in-their-lengthiness’ seconds.

Will. He’d fucking said will.

This chapter is complete! I’ve enabled commenting and have added my own thoughts as well.

As always, thank you so much for reading!

xo Bex

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From Slow & Steady: By a Hare
Copyright © 2020 by Bex McLynn
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5 thoughts on “Slow and Steady – By a Hare – Chapter Fourteen

  1. Okay. I am so, so, so sorry for the angst! Really! But we’re coming up on the ‘Break Up’ followed by the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ beats in the romance. Basically, we all thought things were going great, until things suddenly turned to crap.

    Why? Because Rez and Kin both have a few ‘issues’ to work through.😁 But don’t worry! I have an HEA (Happily Ever After) all plotted out and locked down for them. They just aren’t quite there yet.

    Again, thank you so much for reading!❤️

    Like

  2. Sooooo deep! I wasn’t ready for it but it’s awesome. Be still my beating heart, Kin saved her. I say the break-ups coming? Noooooooo! I know the wait between break-up and HEA is gonna kill me. I’m so invested in their story that I check for more chapters multiple times a day. As always thank u.

    Liked by 1 person

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