I stepped off the magtrain and made my way up the concourse, pushing my way through the crowds of people. I looked up at one of the wall displays and noted the time. I was cutting it close, but I still had a few minutes before my shift.
While weaving between a trio of blue-skinned aliens speaking in a foreign tongue, I reached into the pocket of my uniform and pulled my headset out. I looped it over my ear and pressed the silicone nub into my ear canal. I pulled my comPad from the side leg pocket, then slid my finger across the razor-thin flexi-glass screen. The screen came to life with colorful graphics, waiting to scan my thumbprint to log me in. Pressing my thumb against the indicated area flashing on the screen, it dinged with a chime that indicated success, and automatically linked up my headset and signed into the Spaceport network. After the chime, the pleasant female computer voice announced into my ear, Devin McSmith; login successful.
With another swipe of my finger, I flipped through my day’s manifest and headed to the first gate on my list to start work.
It was the start of my last shift of the week at Spaceport Prime. I loved working at the spaceport. In operation for nearly thirty years, Spaceport Prime was the largest spaceport on Earth’s North American continent. The Spaceport serviced regular shuttles to Spacedock Luna in orbit around the moon, various Union Navy cruisers and shuttles, as well as ships from other star systems.
Since Earth joined the Galactic Planetary Union which ended the bloody war with the Mirans, the space trade industry here has grown by leaps and bounds. I feel like I am part of it, right in the middle of everything. Since I was a little boy, I wanted to join the Union Navy. More than anything, I dreamed of flying through space as part of a crew of interstellar explorers.
Unfortunately my scores weren’t high enough to qualify entrance and the Union Navy recruiter denied my application.
So, I dusted my shoulders and I applied for a job at the Spaceport. I was nervous during my interview, but I showed excitement and that was what my supervisor was looking for. I was hired on as a gate tech. Sure, it’s not as glamorous as serving on a space cruiser, but it was the next best thing given my lack of qualifications. Lucky for me the Spaceport wasn’t completely automated like some other facilities I’ve read about. They still needed people to run things here.
I slowed and turned around as Peri slid up next to me. He was out of breath and his cheeks were pink. I slowly shook my head. Some things will never change.
“Hi, Peri. You’re late again,” I said with a smile.
“Hi,” he panted.
I’ve known Perin McSmith — no relation, of course — since we were babies. We were both orphans, left at the McSmith Home for Boys, hence the same last name.
Peri, as he liked to be called, is a year younger than me. I’ve always tried to be protective of him, which was difficult since both of us were small guys. “Runts” the other boys called us. We stuck together and kept out of everyone’s way, but if they wanted to push us around, there wasn’t much we could do about it.
Every time Peri was passed over for adoption, he would cry so hard. I did too the first few times, but I quickly decided that I wouldn’t waste tears on something that I knew would never happen. Too many kids and not enough homes. Peri couldn’t do that and each and every time, it would just devastate him. And I would be there to hold him tight until he calmed down. As we’ve grown older, we’ve grown apart a little, but he is, and always will be, my best friend and my brother.
I glanced down at my screen to check the time. “Roble is going to chew you out when he sees the logs.”
Peri sighed in resignation. “I know. But it wasn’t my fault. Honest.”
“Sure, sure. Are you able to meet for lunch?”
Peri looked at his manifest and nodded, then tossed his hand back to me in a wave as he took off running down the concourse. “Excuse me, excuse me,” he called out as he wormed his way through the crowds.
Standing at the airlock gate, I waited for the incoming shuttle to dock. I looked down and ran my hands down the front of my uniform. The charcoal gray jumpsuit was loose-fitting on my lean body. It was a size too large for me, but being small in stature, it was the only size they had available that came close to fitting me. I sometimes felt like a kid playing dress up. My sleeves were rolled up and I had to cuff the pant legs as well, but the heavy black boots gave me a little extra height so that the pants didn’t drag on the floor. One of these days when I had some extra credits, I would go get my uniforms altered to fit better.
While waiting, I looked up and down the busy concourse, watching the crowds as they flowed through the walkway. I was fascinated with every alien species I saw.
A pair of aliens caught my eye. I had never seen their species before. They were built tall and very thin with long necks. Their skin was lavender-colored, speckled with small white spots and they had large, rounded eyes. The tall antennae on their heads moved about as the walked, as if they were scenting the air around them. Amazing!
A pair of human construction workers walked past, busy talking about the new high-tech concourse expansion they were building. One of them accidentally bumped me with the equipment he was carrying. I jumped out of the way and apologized, but neither one noticed. They continued on as if I wasn’t there.
I stood there wondering what the new technology would mean to my job, when my over-ear headset beeped and the pleasant female computer voice announced into my ear, Shuttle Phastia docking at Gate 12-Alpha.
I walked up to the gate’s airlock doors and tapped the computer screen on the wall next to the door. The screen made a buzzing sound and turned red, showing an outline of a hand, awaiting my authorization. I pressed my right hand against the glass so that the computer could scan it. As the screen turned green, the computer beeped and announced, Devin McSmith; Access granted.
I tapped the screen controls and switched to docking mode. The video feed of the sleek Union Navy shuttlecraft was overlaid with informational graphics and sensor data. I watched the pilot navigate the shuttle’s airlock into the docking clamps. Once the shuttle docking was complete, I pressurized the causeway, disengaged the airlock and opened the gate doors.
Within a few minutes, I heard the approaching sound of the shuttle passengers. I stood by, discreetly out of the way, as the passengers disembarked. “Welcome to Spaceport Prime,” I said with a friendly smile. The humans and aliens walked past without even a glance at me.
They were followed by a unit of Union Marines. The enormous human men had to be genetically enhanced. Humans just didn’t get that big naturally. The Genetically Enhanced Military Units — GEMs — were developed during the war to give our troops an advantage. Once Earth joined the Union, the program had been scrapped, as far as I knew. Union laws didn’t allow for genetic engineering.
As they walked past, I shrunk back and dropped my eyes, feeling totally intimidated by their size and their icy demeanors. They had a reputation for being quick to anger.
Once all passengers had come through, I walked down the spaceway to the shuttle.
The shuttle security officer was standing outside of the shuttle’s airlock door. He wore a standard-issue Union Navy uniform, similar in style to a jumpsuit, dark navy blue in color. The sexy uniform showed off the muscles in his broad back quite nicely, where it tapered to a belted waist, which only accentuated his muscular bubble-butt.
He turned when he heard me approach. My good mood deflated in an instant.
It would have to be Ander Britski. I stumbled over my feet and tried to recover quickly without looking like a complete idiot.
Lieutenant Ander Britski was an ex-boyfriend. Well, my first and only boyfriend to be more precise. I thought the Union Navy security officer was so sophisticated and other-worldly. The man was undeniably sexy in his snug-fitting uniform and his charm was simply irresistible. Unfortunately, he spread said irresistible charm to every space port he visited. When I found out about the others, I immediately broke things off with him. I don’t like to share. And I don’t like liars.
A smirk spread across Britski’s face. “Well, well. Hi, Dev.”
I gave him a false smile. “Lieutenant Britski.”
Britski made a pouting face, trying to be cute. It didn’t work. “Why so formal, Dev?”
I sighed and pulled my comPad from the side leg pocket of my uniform. I slid my finger across the razor-thin screen and it came to life. “Is that everyone?” I asked, all business.
“Any other requirements?”
I tapped on the comPad screen and connected to Spaceport Ops and waited for confirmation. “You’re clear to remain docked until 0800 hours. Fuel tech has been dispatched.”
I turned on my heels and walked back down the spaceway.
“Dev.” Britski jogged up next to me. “Devin, wait. How have you been?” he asked as he walked with me.
“I’m fine,” I said as I sped up my pace.
“Can we grab dinner? I’d like to catch up while I’m in port.”
I looked at him like he had grown a second head. “No, thank you.”
“Aw, come on, Dev.” Britski put his hand on my back and lowered his voice. “We could have a little fun.”
I pushed his hand away. “No, thank you.”
Britski scoffed and leaned in close enough that his warm breath tickled my ear. “You never turned it down before. You used to beg for it.”
“Yeah, well, I thought I was the only one getting it.”
“I liked you better when you were the shy virgin.”
Britski turned around and walked back to the shuttle.
When I got to the port’s airlock doors, I slapped the control panel with my fist and shut the door. I was shaking as I leaned back against the doors behind me. I let out a ragged breath and swiped my hand down my face. I wasn’t nearly as confident as I let Britski see. I was still shy and uncertain and my experience with Britski only made me more self-conscious.
I took another deep breath and looked at the manifest on my comPad. I began the walk down to Gate 12-Delta, trying to forget I ever met Lieutenant Ander Britski.
* * *
Today was busier than normal and my last shuttle of the day came quickly. I was happy for that since my mood had turned foul. At lunch, Per told me that Britski hit on him. He had the nerve to ask if he could stop by Peri’s apartment when his shift ended at midnight.
“For a ‘nightcap’,” Peri said, making quotes with his fingers.
My jaw dropped. “A ‘nightcap’? Seriously? You told him off, I hope.”
Peri blushed and he reached up and slid his blond bangs off his forehead. “Well… I said I’d think about it.”
I stopped my fork just shy of my mouth and looked up at Peri in shock. “You what? You know what he’s like, Per. He’ll hurt you.”
“Yeah, I know what he’s like. But… he’s such a hunk. Guys like that never want me.”
I lowered my voice and leaned in closer. “He only wants you for sex, Per.”
He shrugged and looked down at his plate and picked at his sandwich.
“You’re better than that. You have a lot more to offer than your body.”
Peri sighed and looked up at me. “I’m tired of being alone, Dev. I want a big strong man to come and take me away from this. I want to feel safe… Loved.” The last word came out in a whisper.
I reached over and patted Per’s hand and gave him a sympathetic smile. “I know, Per. Me too. You know I understand better than anyone.”
Peri sniffled and nodded his head. “You’re right. I’ll tell him no, Dev.”
I shrugged off the unpleasant memory and walked down the spaceway to the docked starship, wondering why no passengers had disembarked. I approached the airlock and waited and read through my manifest. It was a non-Union cargo ship, but even cargo ships carried passengers more often than not. Several minutes later the doors hissed open. Several aliens walked through the doors and headed down the spaceway towards the spaceport.
“Welcome to Earth,” I said with a friendly smile. None of them even looked my way. I might as well have been invisible. It didn’t really bother me. I was used to it.
I waited several more minutes, wondering why no one from the crew had come to check in with me. I was about to contact Ops when a large humanoid exited and nearly collided into me.
“Excuse me,” he said with a growling, graveled voice.
He was wearing a full-length hooded robe. The material was a rich brown color and was heavy and thick. The hood covered his head and dipped down over his brow, so I didn’t get a good look at his face. I wondered what species he was. All I knew was that he was a full foot taller than me and was built wide and stocky. He paused for a second as if he was going to turn and speak to me, but then hurried past me and continued down the spaceway.
I watched his retreating back, curiousity getting the better of me. A sound behind me had me turning on my heels. A tall, red-skinned alien exited the ship. I had seen a Regulan before. They reminded me of mythological demons of old Earth stories with their red skin and the long horns coming out of the tops of their heads. They even had a pointed arrow-tipped tail. As a species in general, they weren’t the friendliest of aliens, but I smiled at him nonetheless. “Welcome to Spaceport Prime.”
He nodded his chin to me. “All passengers have disembarked,” he spoke in sibilant, heavily-accented English. “We are ready for cargo extraction. We request a 72-hour dock.”
“Yes, sir.” I tapped his requests into my comPad screen and waited for confirmation. “The cargo handlers and fuel tech have been dispatched. Your 72-hour dock has been granted. Good day.”
He nodded, then turned back to his ship. I watched his long, prehensile tail swing up and lift just before the door closed on it. I smiled to myself as I turned and walked back down the spaceway. Once I stepped into the port, I closed and secured the airlock doors. I used my comPad to go off duty and I tucked it into my leg pocket along with my over-ear commlink.
I stopped in my tracks when I heard the deep, rough, growling voice. I craned my head up at the large passenger in the hooded robe as he moved in front of me. Oh jeez! So, he was well over a foot taller than me, close to seven feet and wide as a tank. He reached up with furred hands and pulled the hood back to uncover his head.
“I am in need of lodging for several days,” he said with an accent that told me that English was not his first language.
As he revealed himself to me, my eyes widened and I stared opened-mouth at him. He was a large, exotic, beast of an alien — a species I had never seen before. Besides for his enormous size, the first thing I noticed about him were the tips of his bottom two canine teeth. They protruded from his mouth and pressed into the thick mustache that covered his upper lip underneath a wide nose. His honey-gold hair and beard reminded me of a lion’s mane, though he was clearly a primate species and not feline. His hair hung down to his shoulders, and I wondered whether it was soft or coarse to the touch.
Unlike the back of his hands, his face wasn’t covered with fur, but he did have a mustache and beard, the same color as his hair. His beard was thick, like the hair on his head, but trimmed short to a half-inch or so, except for his chin. The hairs on his chin hung down about six inches into a point like a billy goat. He had two pointy horns on top of his head, about three inches tall and ivory white in color, just above the rounded ears that peeked out from his mane of hair, and situated higher above his head than a human’s ears would be.
He was a beast and he should have been frightening to my human eyes. But there was an attractive, masculine, and rugged, almost handsome quality to him.
And then there were his eyes… Something about his eyes captivated me. They were the brightest emerald green I had ever seen and around the rim of the iris were flecks of gold. I found myself getting lost as I stared at him.
Realizing what I was doing, I shook my head to break my trance. “I apologize,” I muttered, hoping that I wasn’t blushing like a drooling idiot. “There are several hotels in the area. Take the magtrain to the main terminal and you can catch a shuttle from there.”
He nodded and glanced around, then turned his eyes back on me.
I pointed down towards the opposite end of the concourse. “I’m on my way to the magtrain now, if you’d like to follow me.”
“Yes. Thank you.”
He held out his hand to me. The motion was awkward and stiff as if he never shook hands before. “My name is Bastian.” His lips curved upwards and he opened his mouth slightly to bare his teeth in an imitation of a smile. His upper canines were sharp and pointy, but they didn’t extend out like the lower pair. Something about his attempts at mimicking human behavior amused me and I wanted to giggle.
“I’m Devin. Pleased to meet you,” I said with a grin as I took his hand and gave it a good shake. The back of his hand was covered in a soft downy fur, while his fingers and palm were free of hair, but rough and calloused. His hand felt very warm and I wondered if his species had a higher internal temperature than humans, then I wondered why I felt compelled to not let his hand go.
Hell, I knew darn well why I didn’t let go. I felt an attraction to the beastly man and I wondered if he felt it too.
My eyes glanced downwards towards his waist, which was unfortunately hidden by his robe, and I couldn’t help but wonder if our species were… compatible… in that way.
My face flushed with warmth and I drew in a breath and darted my eyes back up to his, to find him staring intently at me. I continued to hold his hand until he finally pulled it free from me.
I finally looked away from him, scared he might read my thoughts. Did thinking about him like that make me a freak, or some kind of a pervert? I cleared my throat nervously and began walking.
Bastian pulled his hood back over his head and moved close to my side as we walked down the concourse. He glanced around casually as we walked among the other passengers.
I cleared my throat again and gave him a shy sideways glance. This was going to be my only chance to talk with someone like him and I forced myself to take it. “If you don’t mind my asking… what species are you?”
“I am Degan.”
“I’ve never met a Degan before. The best part of my job is seeing all the wondrous new species come through the port.”
He looked down at me and furrowed his thick brows. “Your species is very young. I suppose I would appear… new… to you.”
I winced and ducked my head. “I didn’t mean to offend you.”
I kept my head down, but looked back up at him through my bangs. His facial expression softened and he blinked, then nodded once. “It is… o-kay.” He pronounced the word as two distinct syllables.
His use of Earth lingo made me smile. “How did you learn English?” I wondered aloud.
“I speak several languages. In my business, it is helpful to speak the common Union dialects.”
“Oh. So… How long are you on Earth for?”
He thought for a couple of seconds before answering. “It is undecided. I am here for business purposes.”
We stepped onto the crowded train and I grabbed onto the last empty pole to keep my balance before the train started to move. Bastian moved behind me and grabbed the pole above my hand. As the train started, our bodies bumped into each other. He leaned forward into me, I assume to keep me from losing balance. He was indeed warm and he smelled so freaking good. A shudder ran through my body and I discreetly pressed back against him a little more firmly to see his reaction. His free hand moved to my hip and he held me steady while the train moved along the track.
I closed my eyes and enjoyed the close physical contact with the large alien for the duration of the train. Only when the train finally stopped at the terminal did we move apart.
After we exited the train, I pointed to the hotel accommodation kiosks. “Bastian. You can find a place to stay over there. They will help you.”
“Thank you, Devin.” He paused for moment, then added, “I am in need of food.”
“Oh. Well, you should be able to get something to eat at the hotel. But, if you are willing to venture a little further, the Prime Diner in the residential district has the best food in the area. You should be able to grab a transport from the hotel. It’s not far.”
“Thank you again.”
I didn’t want to go, but I was suddenly feeling really shy and had run out of conversation. “Well, enjoy your stay on Earth, Bastian.”
“Thank you. Be safe, little one.”
“Thank you,” I said with a genuine smile, not caring one bit that he called me ‘little’.
I quickly turned and walked towards the air shuttle that would take me to the residential district where my apartment was located. As I walked, I wondered if his request for a place to eat was a suggestion for a dinner date. No, it couldn’t be. Even though I didn’t really know him, Bastian didn’t strike me as the type that would be coy. Besides, many species frowned upon interspecies dating. Earth-bound Humans especially.
I glanced back at Bastian, but he was already at the front of the line. I watched him for a few seconds longer until he was out of sight.
I couldn’t get the big, furry alien out of my mind. I laid on the couch with my comPad and looked up Degans on the Net. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any in-depth information on the species in a language I could understand and without paying a fee. An outdated encyclopedia entry had some pictures of Degan males and females in military uniforms and the article was heavily concentrated on the topic of their armed forces.
I thought of him all night. He appeared to me in my dreams and when I woke in the morning, my erection throbbed and ached for release.
Ignoring it, I took a deep breath and got out of bed. It took a bit for my dick to soften enough to pee. After taking a quick shower, I got dressed in my casual clothes and decided to treat myself and go out and get breakfast. I took my own advice and went to Prime Diner.
The restaurant was close enough that I could walk. I kept my head down and walked quickly, not wanting to bring any attention to myself by the gangs that roamed the streets.
I pulled open the door and looked around the crowded diner for an empty seat. I froze when I made eye contact with Bastian. The big Degan was sitting in a booth alone, tearing into his breakfast. He was hard to miss, being one of two aliens in the restaurant as well as being a giant.
When he saw me, the corner of his mouth turned up in an attempt at a smile. He pointed to the empty booth seat across from him with his fork.
I nodded and walked over and slid into the booth, ignoring the inquisitive looks from the other patrons.
“Hello,” he said.
His rich and gravelly baritone voice gave me shivers, and I cleared my throat out of a nervous habit and tried to ignore the butterflies that had taken residence in my belly.
“Hello. The French toast is my favorite,” I said the nodding towards his plate.
“Mmm. It is good. I like this meat the best,” he said as he speared a breakfast sausage patty with his fork and bit into half of it. “Spicy.”
“That’s a sausage patty. They’re good. Everything here is good.”
“Yes. I came here for dinner last night as well.”
When the waitress walked up, I turned the empty mug in front of me over and she filled it with coffee. She pulled out a comPad and flashed me a big smile of recognition. “Hey, honey. What can I get ya today?”
“I will have the French toast breakfast with bacon, please.”
Bastian cleared his throat. “Can I have another one of these platters please? And a double-order of these sausage patties?”
“Sure thing,” she said with a wink as she left to take care of the other customers. I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly she was with Bastian. The diner didn’t get many alien visitors, even though it was fairly close to the Spaceport.
“Did you find a room okay?” I asked Bastian.
“Yes. Thank you again.”
“You’re welcome. Thank you for letting me sit with you. It’s very busy this morning.”
“Of course,” he said. Bastian took a sip of his coffee and frowned and put the mug back on the table.
“Coffee is an acquired taste,” I said. “I don’t drink it often, but when I do, I like to sweeten it.” I poured a little bit of sugar into my coffee mug, stirred it with a spoon, and took a sip.
“So you like working at the spaceport?” he asked as he poured some sugar into his mug.
“Oh, yes. Very much. There’s so much to see.”
Bastian took another sip of his coffee and he shuddered, clearly disgusted by the taste. He put the mug on the table and pushed it away from him. I couldn’t help but laugh.
“That is revolting,” he said. “You know, if you are interested in observing other species, a space station or starship would be a better choice than the spaceport here.”
“Well, I tried to enlist in the Union Navy, but my scores weren’t high enough.”
Bastian looked surprised. “No? I do not believe that.”
“Well, my mental score was fine, but my physical score was just under the line. I’m… well, I’m kind of small. I couldn’t do all of the tasks to the recruiter’s satisfaction.” I gave a shrug. “I don’t think he liked me, anyway. And I think he wanted to… Yeah, nevermind. It doesn’t matter.”
“Have you never been off-world then?”
“No. But I’m saving my credits. I hope one day, maybe when I retire, I will be able to take a shuttle to the Luna Station orbiting the moon. From there, who knows.” I smiled wistfully, as I thought about travelling amongst the stars.
“Well, I hope one day you will get to fulfill your dream.”
The waitress brought our food then and I began eating while Bastian started on his second serving.
“You eat a lot, huh?” I said as I looked over his huge frame.
“Yes. I require large amounts of food,” he said matter-of-factly. He speared a sausage patty with his fork and bit into it, a lower canine tooth piercing the patty clean through.
He looked almost cute right then and I couldn’t help but grin.
Bastian regarded me for a moment. “You are a genuinely happy boy, aren’t you?”
I shrugged, unsure of how to take his question. “I suppose so.”
“You smile often. I am not accustomed to seeing many smiles in my travels.”
I was a little embarrassed and I tried not to blush when I said, “Well, then I guess I will have to smile extra for you.”
* * *
“Thank you for buying me breakfast,” I said as we exited the diner.
“It was my pleasure.”
Bastian looked around at the neighborhood. His eyes narrowed and his brow dropped as he spotted a group of young men loitering in front of the convenience store next door. He moved closer to me and said, “I will escort you home.”
“It’s safe, for the most part,” I said. “I walk around here all the time. I don’t think I need to worry. But if you want to walk me home, that would be okay.”
Bastian nodded and pulled his cloak’s hood over his head.
As we walked the two miles to my apartment building, I couldn’t help but notice how Bastian’s eyes moved around. It was as if he was surveying every detail, or perhaps on the lookout for danger.
I never really felt unsafe walking through the residential district, but I knew enough to keep my head down and not engage any of the gangs and they never bothered me for the most part. I recognized some of them from the orphanage and I always thought that might be the reason that they didn’t mess with me. As the kids got older, many of them left the orphanages and joined the street gangs. I stayed until I graduated from high school. At that point, they were no longer legally obligated to provide care for me and I was released with a bit of change in my pocket and a bag of clothes slung over my shoulder. Regardless, walking with Bastian, I felt very safe. No one would even think of messing with me with him at my side.
“So you arrived on a cargo ship, if I remember right. Definitely not a luxury cruiser. How was the trip?”
“It was slower than I am used to and the accommodations were abysmal.”
I laughed. ”I bet it saved you a bundle though.”
“Yes,” he answered simply.
I figured there was more to the story, but Bastian seemed to close the subject. Too bad, because I would have loved to have heard more about the ship.
I glanced up at him to find him staring down at me. His eyes wandered down my body, pausing to stare at my ass. The tip of his tongue darted out to wet his bottom lip, sliding from one extended canine to the other.
That answered my question. He was attracted to me as well. My dick stiffened in my pants, and I craved the feel of that mouth and tongue.
When we got to my building, I held the door open and Bastian followed me inside. My heart raced at the thought of him coming up to my apartment. If he wanted to fool around, I was ready to say yes.
“This is me,” I said quietly as I stopped in front of my apartment door.
I leaned back against the doorway as Bastian moved closer. I could feel the heat radiating off his body. A musky, spicy scent seemed to drift off him. I took a deep breath, inhaling the intoxicating smell. I felt my dick throb in my trousers and it was starting to leak. I swallowed nervously, hoping that a wet spot wasn’t showing.
“You smell so good,” I whispered. Would he think I was a freak if I leaned in and sniffed him?
He blinked and straightened as if surprised. “You smell that?”
“Yeah,” I whispered breathlessly. “It smells really, really good.”
A growl rumbled deep in his chest and he moved closer. I decided to go for it. I leaned in and sniffed his chest. My eyes fluttered closed and I let out a soft moan.
I opened my eyes and looked up at him. “Do you want to come in?” I asked. Please say yes.
“Yes,” he growled.
I turned and pressed my palm against the door scanner. The door dinged and swooshed open and he followed me inside.
As soon as the door shut, he slapped his hand on the LOCK control. He stared at me, his chest heaving. The musky scent was rolling off him now. He pulled off his cloak and tossed it on the back of my chair.
Under his cloak, he wore a tight brown vest that perfectly showed off his chest and his massive arm muscles. He wore a pair of dark brown leather pants that looked like they were comfortably worn-in. Good god, that bulge in his crotch—
I didn’t have time to look further, because he quickly closed the distance between us. Grabbing me, he pulled me close and stared into my eyes. Melting into his embrace, I tilted my head back as he lowered his. He gently pressed his lips against mine and I let out a little whimper. I grabbed his massive, beefy arms and pulled myself even closer to him, molding myself against his body.
My lips brushed against his sharp canine teeth, but he seemed to be careful with how he pressed them against me. I felt his warm slick tongue sliding between my lips, beckoning for them to part. I eagerly opened my mouth and the wet muscle slid into me. It was thick and long and it demanded that my tongue play with it.
His kisses quickly went from gentle to rough.
I clung to him, never turned on more in my life. I took all that he gave, craving more.
Bastian growled as he tightened his arms around me and lifted me up off the ground. I wrapped my arms around his neck as he carried me through the apartment as if I weighed nothing. Being such a small apartment, he had no trouble finding my bedroom.
He tossed me onto the bed and then quickly shed his vest and leather pants, not stopping until he was completely naked.
I gasped aloud at the sight of his magnificent body.
He was muscular and powerful. His entire body was covered in honey-brown fur, though it was thickest on his chest and stomach where it was a slightly darker shade than the rest of his fur. An ungodly cock jutted from between his legs, pointing towards the ceiling at a perfect forty-five degree angle from his rippled ab muscles. His dark pubic hair was thick and dense around the base, but the shaft of his cock was hairless. The foreskin was smooth, covering a rather large and wide helmet-shaped head. All in all, it looked very much like a human penis, only in a much larger size, like everything else about him. His balls hung low and heavy, his sack covered in a dusting of dark hair.
By contrast, my lean body was hairless. I had wisps of blond hair under my arms and curls circling my dick, which at this time was painfully erect and dripping into my underwear.
“I need you undressed,” he commanded, his voice deep and grumbling. He climbed onto the bed and practically tore my clothes off as he quickly stripped me.
His pupils dilated as he looked down at my naked body.
“Why do you have these?” he asked. I followed his gaze to my nipples.
“Um, because… I don’t really know.” I couldn’t really see his skin through the fur on his chest, but I assumed that he didn’t have nipples like human males.
He slid his finger across my left nipple and I let out a soft moan and arched my back up, trying to get more of his touch. He let out a pleased grunt and touched it again lightly, feeling it harden into a stiff peak under the touch of fingers. He stared with fascination as he repeated the action with the other one.
“You like?” I whispered, feeling incredibly turned on, but just a little exposed and unsure.
In response, he growled and pounced on top of me and began rubbing his body all over mine. The musky scent permeated the air. He lifted his arms and grabbed my head. Holding onto a fistful of my hair, he pushed my face into his furry armpit. I moaned wantonly, and inhaled deeply to breathe in his spicy scent. He flipped me onto my belly and rubbed his body all over my back. It was so very erotic. His body hair electrified my skin, turning my entire body into one giant nerve. That musky, spicy smell filled the room, making it smell so much like sex.
Once he seemed to be satisfied that he had rubbed every inch of me, he flipped me over again so that I was on my back. He moved on top of me, pushing my legs apart with his thighs. His chest was heaving and he was breathing hard. He was so much bigger than me. His massive, strong body covered me and pressed me into the mattress. His hips rested on top of mine as if he belonged there, cradled between my wide-spread legs. I ran my hands all over his downy soft fur, feeling the cords of hard muscles underneath.
“You smell like mine,” he said with a snarling smirk.
“I like that,” I replied.
He remained motionless, resting on his hands, allowing me to explore his body with my hands. I rubbed my hands across his wide chest. He had large, solid pec muscles, and like I figured, I didn’t find any sort of nipples underneath all that thick fur. I worked my hands down to his ab muscles. Under the soft hair, it felt like he had a ten-pack of solid ab muscles.
I slid my hands around his waist. His back was covered in the same soft fur as the rest of his body, though not nearly as thick as on his chest and stomach. It was not what I was used to in a lover, but it was surprisingly pleasant. As my hands came down to the base of his spine and the swell of his muscular bubble butt, my fingers bumped into a lump where his butt crack should have started. I lifted my head up and tried to look over his shoulder. Bastian lifted himself up on his arms and looked down at me. I slid my head under his arm and peered over his back.
At the base of his spine was a thick, stubby, fur-covered bump.
“You have a tail!” I said with surprise.
Bastian chuckled at my excitement. “Degans are born with tails. At birth, females are left intact, but males are almost always…” Bastian made a scissoring motion with his fingers.
“Docked? Like a puppy.” At Bastian’s growling frown, I quickly added, “Not that you are like a puppy. You are nothing like a puppy. You’re big and strong,” I said as I stroked my hands over his massive biceps and squeezed. “Like a warrior.”
We both laughed and he bent down and kissed me. He slid his tongue into my mouth and stroked the muscle insistently against my own tongue. I gripped at his back, digging my fingers into him, pulling him closer to me while I sucked on his tongue, showing him what I wanted to do to his cock.
Speaking of, that enormous slab of flesh between his legs pushed underneath my balls and I instinctively spread my legs further apart and arched my back up, letting it rub lower down my taint until the head bumped up against the rim of my hole.
I had previously only had one lover — Britski — and I made him wait through weeks of dating before we made love the first time. And he was certainly not as endowed as Bastian. Not even close. When I heard a moan fall from my lips followed by the words “Take me, Bastian,” I was shocked at my wanton behavior.
Bastian growled deeply and kissed me harder. He pulled back onto his knees and looked down at me. I used the opportunity to explore my prize, and I reached up and grabbed his cock with both of my fists. His foreskin was free of fur and felt velvety soft in my hands, but underneath, he was harder than a titanium rod. I could feel a series of what felt like ribbed rings under the skin, up along the shaft, spaced a couple of inches apart. I bet those ribs would feel really good inside me as each one breached my sphincter, and I shuddered at the thought of him fucking me. With a firm grip, I began to move my hands.
His large hand engulfed my own dick and we began stroking each other.
I stared into his emerald eyes as he stared back into my blue eyes. All conscious thought left my head. I operated on auto-pilot, my hands squeezing him, trying to make him feel as good as he was making me. I remembered in the back of my mind that I wanted to suck him, but I didn’t want to break the spell. I just couldn’t look away from his eyes.
Our breathing quickened and our hands sped up, stroking in sync with each other. It was just too good, too much, too fast.
“Bastian!” I cried out. “I’m coming! Please, Bastian, make me come!”
Bastian bucked up into my hands. “DEVIN!” he roared and a splash of liquid heat slapped my face. I gasped with surprise and my body convulsed. I sprayed my load over and over onto my belly as Bastian erupted like a geyser, covering me from forehead to belly with ropes and pools of his thick, pearly seed.
The scent of his semen was strong and overpowering. It smelled different than my own, but it was definitely not unpleasant.
His cum was all over the place. On the pillow, in my hair, on my face, and all over my body. I looked up at my beastly lover and I let out a startled laugh. “My god, you soaked me.”
“Yes,” he said with a breathless laugh as he began rubbing his juices all over and into my skin.
“You don’t do anything small, do you?”
Bastian showed his teeth in a goofy smile and I couldn’t help but laugh even harder. I wiped my forehead and chin with the sheet, then stretched out my arms and legs and let out a deep breath. “You wore me out. I think need a nap,” I said with a yawn. “But I think we should clean up first. Do you want to take a shower? You know, together?”
“A shower? Together?” He looked at me like I was a loon.
“Yeah,” I frowned. “Don’t they have showers where you’re from?”
“Of course they do. I do not understand why you would use it at the same time.”
“Oh,” I said as the figurative light bulb clicked on. “You have those shower stalls that use sound waves? Like on the space cruisers?”
“Oh, well, this will be totally different. I think you’ll like it.”
I slid myself from under Bastian’s large body and climbed out of the bed. He followed me into the bathroom. I pushed the curtain aside and I turned on the shower, adjusting the knobs to a warm temperature.
“Ah,” he said. “It uses water. I have a small sunken pool at home to bathe with water, but I never use it.”
“Yes. It feels good spraying down on you. I’ve never used a sonic shower, but I imagine the experience is much different.”
He sounded skeptical. “A sonic shower only takes sixty seconds to clean you thoroughly. And you are not wet when you are done.”
“This is good. Trust me, Bastian.”
”O-kay. I trust you.”
My insides warmed at his declaration, even though we were only talking about a shower. It made me feel good, special even.
I pressed my hand into the stream to make sure the temperature was okay, then I climbed in. Bastian stepped in behind me and I shut the curtain behind us. The warm water cascaded over our bodies. His fur matted down against his muscular bulk, making him look like a wet puppy. He kind of looked pitiful and I had to stifle a chuckle.
I noticed that the top of my head only reached to the middle of his chest, and I really liked the contrast in our body size. I also liked the contrast in our hirsuteness. I ran my hands over him, getting another chance to touch him all over and explore. Looking down between his legs, his penis hung flaccid. It was almost as large as it was when it was hard. The ridges of those rings were hidden when he was soft and his foreskin was pulled forward to mostly cover the head.
My hands moved up to his arms, and squeezed his over-sized biceps. “You’re so big and strong,” I said quietly.
He brought his hands up to my chest and tweaked both my nipples, before running his hands up my chest and across my shoulders. “You are so smooth. It is so foreign to me.”
I looked at him shyly. “But you like it, right?”
“Very much.” He looked down at me for a moment. “You are not frightened of me.” He phrased it more as a statement than a question.
I thought that was an odd thing to say, considering what we had just shared. “No. Of course not.”
“Most humans are frightened of the Degan, by our appearance. They try not to show it, but I can scent their fear. You have never shown fear with me.”
“Well, you don’t scare me. You’re just a big teddy bear.”
Bastian frowned, then let loose a growl that was menacing, but still playful. “I trust you will not make that observation outside of this room.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “I promise not to let anyone know your secret.”
I grabbed the liquid soap and I squirted a generous amount of the soap into a washing cloth. I rubbed it all over Bastian’s body and he closed his eyes and let out a sigh. He made a quiet rumbling noise deep in his chest that reminded me of a purr and that let me know that he was enjoying the attention I was giving to him. I pulled at his arm to get him to turn around and I gave his back the same treatment.
I took my shampoo and had him face me and bend down slightly. I then washed his thick hair and beard. While washing his hair, I took the opportunity to run my hands over the horns on the top of his head. His eyes fluttered closed and he let out a moan as he shuddered.
After he rinsed off, I handed him the washcloth. “Okay. Now you do the same for me.”
He took the cloth and gel and proceeded to give me the same treatment. His hands glided over my body gently, but applying enough pressure to feel like a relaxing massage.
“This is nice, yes?” I asked.
“Yes. Very nice. It is quite intimate.”
I reached up and ran my hands over the hair on his head. I circled my fingers around his little horns, which made him shudder. They were apparently sensitive. I filed that away for the future. I cupped his face in my hands, then raked my fingers through his beard. The hairs on his chin hung down lower, reminding me of a billy goat. I smiled to myself as I raked my fingers through them a bit before returning my hands to his face.
“You’re so handsome,” I whispered.
“For a non-human?”
“No. For a man. Human or otherwise.”
“Humans call our kind beasts or beastmen.”
“Well, you’re more beauty than beast to me.”
He bent down and kissed me tenderly. “Thank you. You are very sweet.”
“So how was your first real shower?” I asked. “A good experience I hope.”
“Very much so. I do not think I will look at a sonic shower the same way. I may need to have an aqua shower installed in my home.”
I shut the shower off and Bastian stepped out after me. I grabbed a clean towel and I thoroughly dried Bastian off as best as I could, roughing the towel through his fur.
“See. Better than a sonic shower any day.”
The purring rumble coming from his chest told me that he did indeed enjoy the attention I was giving him. After he dried me off, we went back to the bedroom.
Bastian covered his mouth and yawned loudly, which coaxed a yawn from me.
“Hmm. I guess I should change the sheets if we’re going to take a nap,” I said, looking at a couple of large wet spots. The scent of sex hung heavy in the air.
“No. I like the smell.”
“Oh. Okay,” I said with a blush and a shrug.
I laid the sheet down over the wet spots and we crawled into bed and I pulled the blanket up over us.
“You’re so warm,” I said as I snuggled into my big, furry lover.
“Come, little one. I will keep you warm.”
Even when I was with Britski, I was never fully comfortable sleeping in the same bed with him. But here I was, snuggled up on Bastian’s chest. His meaty hand wound around mine, intertwining our fingers together while the other pressed against my back, holding me in place, nestled against his warm body.
With my head resting on his chest, I closed my eyes and listened to the thump of his heart and within seconds I was fast asleep.
I awoke to a heavy feeling of furred muscles being rubbed on my body, pushing me down into the mattress. I opened my eyes to see Bastian on top of me, rubbing his body all over me.
“Bastian,” I whispered as a shudder ran through me.
He kissed all over my collar bones and down my chest. His slick, raspy tongue swirled around my nipples bringing them to full attention in seconds.
I gripped his head, raking my fingers through his thick hair while he lathed and sucked my nipples. He moved back and forth between them, working them until they were hard, wet and over-sensitized. Then his head dipped lower and lower. I cried out in ecstasy as his hot mouth surrounded my hard flesh. His head slid up and down my dick as he sucked me slowly and gently, effortlessly taking all of my thickness into his mouth. The things he did with that tongue of his made me lose my mind. Each pull of his mouth brought me closer and closer until I could no longer hold back.
My body began to quiver. I wanted to come in his mouth so bad. I tightened my grip on his head, pushing down with a hint of pressure. “Please,” I begged. “Please don’t stop…”
My groin contracted and I came hard. He pulled back and sucked on the head as I unloaded my tender nuts into his greedy mouth.
I was barely recovered from my powerful orgasm, but I was ready for more.
“Bastian,” I whispered as I tugged at his shoulders. “Let me have you now.”
He crawled back on top of me and kissed me, letting me taste the flavor of my own cum on his tongue. His arms snaked around my body and he held tight as he spun us around so that he was on his back and I was on top of him.
He brought his hands to the top of my head and gave a push down. “Pleasure me with your mouth,” he growled.
His hands guided me down to his crotch. I willingly moved onto my knees between his legs. I grabbed his enormous shaft with one hand. With my other, I reached down and fondled his balls, cupping them with my hand. I would never be able to swallow his enormously thick ten inches, but I would do my best. I couldn’t help but notice that it was already slick and slippery with clear fluid that was leaking copiously from the slit at the tip.
I pulled his foreskin back and forth and watch a stream of pre-cum ooze out. “You leak a lot,” I said. I slid my hand down the shaft, then back up, coating it with the slick fluid.
“Yes,” he said between pants. “To ease entry… Degans are built… large.”
I shuddered at the thought of Bastian entering my ass. “Yes, you are a big man… and very well-endowed.”
I ran my tongue through the slippery fluid still oozing from that wide head. Oh, by gods, it was sweet and musky. I took the swollen head in my mouth and flicked my tongue all over.
Bastian used his hand to apply pressure to the back of my head, urging me to take him into my mouth.
I bobbed up and down while stroking him with my hand and juggling his balls. Bastian’s hands stayed on my head and helped guide me to the rhythm and speed he preferred. I worked his large organ steadily and confidently with my mouth, tongue and hands. I felt like I had to unhinge my jaw to get his girth into my mouth, but I’d be damned if I was going to stop before I got my reward. And judging from the groans and grunts spilling from his mouth, I was doing a very good job.
“You are very good at that,” he whispered hoarsely.
I kept sucking him, pulling harder and bobbing faster, knowing that he was getting close.
“Devin,” he cried out. “I am going to shoot it down your throat. Take it. Swallow my cum.”
His fingers tightened and held me so that I didn’t have a chance to pull away, not that I would have dreamed of doing so. He grunted and bucked his hips up off the bed as I felt his shaft pulse against my tongue.
Oh, yes, this was it.
As much as I wanted it, I wasn’t prepared for the force and volume of his orgasm. He filled my mouth to capacity with the first spurt. The copious fluid was thick and hot and had a salty, but sweet and musky taste. I swallowed as quickly as I could, but a good amount escaped my lips and drooled out down his shaft and over my fingers.
While Bastian came down from his climax, I licked and cleaned his spent organ until there was no trace of his delicious semen anywhere on his body.
I moved up next to the big guy and he turned onto his side to face me. His fingers traced along my smooth jaw and across my bottom lip. He swiped his thumb across my wet chin.
“You are beautiful,” he whispered, as he looked down at me as if I was the most amazing thing he had ever seen. A hand glided down my side until it reached my butt. “Skin so soft and smooth… Your eyes, such a pure blue…”
The way he looked at me, his compliments, they practically made me melt. No one ever had told me such sweet things and actually meant them. Looking into his eyes, I believed every word he said. “Thank you, Bastian.”
I leaned in and kissed him gently on the lips. I flicked my tongue along one of his sharp bottom canine teeth, then the other, which sent a shudder through his body. Pleased with his reaction, I gave him one last quick kiss and settled against his warm body with a sigh.
The corner of Bastian’s mouth turned up in a comfortable smile. He was getting good at smiles.
“Can I take you to dinner, little one?”
“Yes. I’m quite hungry despite the fact that you just tried to fill me up,” I said with a snicker.
“After dinner, I have a previously scheduled appointment, so I will have to leave you.”
“Oh. Okay.” I moved away and sat up. I was surprised by the jealous and possessive emotions that bubbled up in me. Before I could stop myself, I asked him, “Are you… are you seeing someone else?”
“No. But… I must attend this meeting.”
“I understand. I’m sorry. I’m being silly. I know I only just met you.”
Bastian sat up and cupped my chin in his hand. “There is no one but you, my little Devin.”
He kissed me sensually, leaving me utterly breathless by the time he pulled away.
“I guess we should take a shower before we go.”
“It is not necessary. You are not dirty.”
“I smell like… Well, like you.”
Bastian licked his lips hungrily as he looked down at me. “Yes. Only other Degan are able to smell my mating scent. And perhaps other species with highly evolved senses of smell.”
I frowned. “But I can smell it.”
“Yes. That is a surprise to me,” he said as he twirled his fingers through the hair hanging over the back of my neck.
“You don’t mind me smelling like you then?”
“No. It will let any who come near know that you are mine.”
“Oh. Okay.” I looked away from him, grinning happily to myself as I bounced out of bed and got dressed to go out.
* * *
I woke the next morning very sleepy, grateful that I had the day off.
Bastian had left the night before after walking me home after dinner, but not before some heavy kissing. I wanted him to spend the night, but he had that meeting.
I stood at the fridge yawning and trying to figure out what to have for breakfast.
The door beeped, indicating a visitor. I wasn’t expecting anyone this early in the morning, but my heart-rate increased at the thought of who I hoped it to be.
Nah, it was probably Peri.
I walked up to the door’s control panel and saw Bastian through the monitor. Grinning like a fool, I pressed the button to open the door. As soon as the door shut behind him, Bastian scooped me up in his brawny arms and pulled me to him.
I breathed in his scent and felt myself relaxing in his arms. He leaned down and took my mouth passionately and I returned his kisses with equal passion.
“I wanted to come to you last night,” he said huskily into my ear. “But it was very late.”
“I would have let you in,” I responded in kind.
“Am I disturbing you?”
“No. I was just about to make myself breakfast.”
“Can I take you to breakfast?”
“Yes. But you don’t have to pay for me, you know.”
“I know I don’t have to, but… It is important to me.”
“Well, who am I to stand in the way of chivalry? I accept.”
I grabbed Bastian’s long chin hairs and gave them tug down while I leaned up on my tip-toes. I planted a firm kiss on his lips.
“Shall we go?” I asked, motioning towards the door with an outstretched hand.
As we ate breakfast, I wanted to know more about Bastian and the Degan.
“So, tell me about the Degan,” I said between mouthfuls. “I want to know everything.”
“Everything, huh?” he said with a laugh. “Well, we are an ancient race. Historically, we were a patriarchal and militaristic society, but that has changed some over the last few centuries. Only in what would be considered recent history have we opened up to off-worlders. There has even been talk of joining the Union lately, but most Degan do not support it. I don’t think it will happen in our lifetime.”
“Really? Would others of your kind have issues with the two of us?”
“It is less an issue in the past century. Though many conservatives do not approve.”
“Do the conservatives frown on, uh, same-sex coupling?”
“Same-sex pairings aren’t that uncommon on my homeworld. It’s generally not an issue.” He paused for a moment, then added carefully, “They would likely object to the fact that you are human rather than your gender. I have seen Degans take humans or other off-worlders as spouses, though it is still rare.”
“Have you ever dated a human before?” I asked. Realizing what I said, I quickly added. “Not that what we’re doing is ‘dating’. Unless it is. I mean, I would… if you wanted a relationship, that is…” I pressed my lips together to stop from babbling and making a further fool of myself.
Bastian barked out a laugh. “No, I have never dated a human before you.”
“What is your homeworld like?” I asked, changing the subject so that I didn’t have to think about what his comment meant in terms of our relationship status.
“It is very beautiful. Where I am from, it is lush and green and very warm. I live outside a small town about two hours from our capital city. It is close enough to visit when I need, but far enough away that I can escape from the hectic city life when I am home. My home is near a small lake. It is very peaceful.”
“A lake? It sounds wonderful. Sometimes it seems like there’s not much green left on Earth. So what brings you here?”
For a split second, he appeared nervous, but quickly neutralized his features. ”It has to do with my work. I… really cannot say further.”
“Okay. I understand. What do you do for a living, if I can ask?”
“I am a security consultant.”
“Wow. That sounds important.”
“I find it satisfying.”
“Tell me about your family.”
“My sire — my father — is governor of the province where I live, where the capital city is seated. My mother is a diplomat, a Degan-Union ambassador. I have a younger brother. He is an officer in the Degan Global Armed Forces. I also have two younger sisters.”
“Your parents sound like they are very important.”
Bastion lifted a shoulder in a shrug. “I suppose. To me, they are just my parents.”
“So how did you end up with a name that sounds so human?”
“My mother. Before she became ambassador, she was a historian. She is quite versed with Union cultures and languages, which makes her quite good at her job. And you? Tell me of your family.”
I wanted to be honest with him, despite my discomfort. “I was left at a hospital when I was born. I don’t know who my parents are.” My gaze slid down to the floor. “I don’t have any family. Well, besides my best friend Peri. I count him as family.”
Bastian cupped my chin and lifted my head up so that I was forced to look into his green eyes. “Hold your head high, little one. You have much to be proud of. You have made a life for yourself on your own. That is very brave and quite commendable.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat and gave him a nod. “Thank you, Bastian.”
“Have you never tried to find your relatives?”
“I wouldn’t know where to begin to look.”
“You could start with your family name and the city where you were found.”
“McSmith isn’t my real family name.”
Bastian frowned, his brows furrowing together. “It’s not?”
“No. It’s the name of the orphanage that I was sent to. They gave all of us ‘John Does’ that last name.”
I shrugged. “It’s a generic name for people whose names are unknown. I suppose I should be grateful that my parents left me at a hospital door instead of in a dumpster.”
Bastian jaw dropped as he looked at me in shock. His hand moved around to the back of my head and he pulled me forward and pressed his lips to my forehead in a tender kiss.
After breakfast, we stepped back out onto the street. Bastian took my hand in his. I looked up at him and grinned as we walked along the busy sidewalk.
“I would like to spend the day with you, Devin.”
“I’d like that very much, Bastian.”
* * *
After spending the day at a couple of the tourist attractions near the Spaceport, we had a nice dinner at a restaurant that I would never be able to afford on my own, and then returned back to my apartment.
We sat down on the sofa, and Bastian pulled me down into his lap. I sat between his legs, resting my back against his warm chest. He held me in his arms, just lounging around, full from our wonderful meal. I laid back against his bare chest and I rubbed the soft honey-colored fur of the muscular arms that held me in place.
“So out of all of the things you did today, what was your favorite?” I asked.
“You,” he said with all seriousness.
I laughed. “Yeah, I liked it when you did me too, but that’s not what I meant.”
“The History of Space Travel museum was interesting. It reminded me how young humans are.”
Bastian kissed the top of my head. I closed my eyes and breathed in his scent.
“Hmm?” He rubbed his nose against the side of my head, inhaling the scent of my shampoo, I suppose. He nipped the top of my ear with one of his sharp teeth and then soothed the sting with his tongue, making me shudder and turning my brain into mush.
“Um… You make me forget…”
Bastian’s body jostled me as he laughed heartily. I snuggled back against him and he rested his chin on the top of my head.
“What was it like to have so many brothers and sisters?” I asked.
“My family is actually small compared to the norm. Most Degan families have many children; six to eight is probably average.”
“Wow. That’s a lot of kids. Why didn’t your family have more?”
“My mother had complications during my youngest sister’s pregnancy. She was unable to conceive afterward.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that.”
“Mother and Sire had four healthy children, and my brother and middle sister kept them on their toes. They had their hands full, believe me.”
“Hm. I’ll bet you were the perfect child, weren’t you?”
“Of course I was.”
“And so modest,” I laughed.
“I had my moments where I gave my parents grief, like any adolescent. In fact, my parents aren’t too happy with my being away from home right now, but it is a necessity.”
“How old are you?”
“I am 36 in Earth years. My brother Martan is 31. Elia is 29 and my youngest sister Nattie is 25.”
“Oh. I figured that you were older than me. I’m 25, the same age as your little sister.”
“Does our age difference bother you?”
“No. Not at all. You’re not that much older.”
“But you grew up with a lot of other children, no?”
“Yeah, but it wasn’t the same. It was every kid for himself, you know?”
“You were a war orphan.”
It was a statement, not a question, but I answered him anyway. “Yes…”
“Your war with the Mirans was devastating. That is what pushed Earth into joining the Union.”
“Yeah. We’ve spent the last decades rebuilding. We still have a long ways to go, but things are getting better. There were so many orphans at the time… They crammed us into these orphanages and group homes. By the time I was ten, I gave up hopes of ever being adopted.”
“I just do not understand. On my homeworld, an orphaned child would be fought over by relatives wanting to take care of him. And if there were no relatives, there are many couples who are unable to have children who would take them in. We have no need for orphanages. Children are to be treasured.”
Bastian tightened his arms around me and kissed the top of my head. I may have had a crappy childhood, but at that moment in time, I knew exactly what it felt like to be treasured.
* * *
I saw Bastian almost every day for the next month, after having extended his stay on Earth. He spent the night with me nearly every night. Once or twice a week, he had his mysterious meetings and often times he would have to steal away to make a private call. I did not press him on the subject. I knew that Bastian wouldn’t be involved in anything illegal.
Bastian was a very tactile man, something he said was true of most Degans. Even when we weren’t in bed, he was always near me, touching me. He liked to touch and in turn, liked to be touched. We would sit on the sofa together and his arm would be around me. He liked to watch the Galactic News Network on my wall screen and I would lean against him and read.
When we went out to the diner, he liked to sit in a booth across from me and trap my feet between his.
I quickly got used to his touch and I craved it when we were apart.
From the very start, I felt a strong physical attraction to him. I quickly grew very emotionally attached to the mysterious Degan and had developed strong feelings for him. I had no idea what I was going to do when his work here was finished and he had to leave. The thought of him leaving hurt right down to my core.
For a while now, I had wanted to take things further with Bastian. As much as I enjoyed the pleasure we gave each other with our mouths and our hands, I wanted more. I wanted to show him how much I cared for him, to take our relationship to the next level. I could tell that he wanted to fuck me, and I had hinted more than once that I was ready. I wasn’t sure why he was holding back.
It really didn’t make a difference. Because tonight, I was going to make it happen.
“Which star is yours?” I asked Bastian as I looked up into the night sky.
Bastian was holding my hand as we walked from the restaurant back to my apartment. He let go of my hand and lifted his arm and pointed with his index finger. I slid in close and rested my head against his arm to look up to where he was pointing.
He leaned his head down and twirled the end of his finger. “The humans call it Dubhe. Alpha Ursae Majoris.”
“Oh. At the front of the Big Dipper.”
“Dipper? I thought you called it a bear.”
“Yeah, that too. The Big Dipper is the back of the bear, Ursa Major.”
“Ah.” Bastian tilted his head and stared at the stars that made up the constellation for a moment. “I don’t really see a bear.”
“Me neither,” I smiled. “What do the Degans call your star?”
“Oh,” I said with a laugh. “Right.”
Bastian took my hand again and we continued our walk.
“Our sun is bigger than yours,” he said. “And it’s more of an orange color instead of yellow.”
“Is your planet warmer?”
“Oh, yeah. It’s very warm all year ‘round where I live, but it’s not humid. We live on the fourth planet of our star system and we have seven major moons, plus several tiny moons. Two of them are quite large, like your own moon.”
As he spoke, I smiled at the wonder in his voice. I also noticed for the first time that Bastian’s speech patterns had started to mimic mine and he seemed more comfortable with casual, spoken language.
“Wow. It sounds beautiful.”
“Of all my travels throughout the galaxy, the Degan sky at night is still the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. I admit I may be biased somewhat,” he added with a smile. “Still, when I’m lying in the hammock in my back yard, looking on the lake and the reflections of the moons… it takes my breath away every time. Maybe some day you can come for a visit and see for yourself.”
Bastian put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me into him and I snuggled in close.
It sounded so wondrous, so romantic, that I couldn’t even begin to imagine it. I would love to see his home someday, but I knew it wouldn’t be possible. I could never afford to travel so far into space on my wages. I suspected that it would be no problem for Bastian, but that was not the same as allowing him to buy me dinner. I wouldn’t feel comfortable letting him do that.
As we approached my apartment building, a trio of teens came around the corner. I knew that they didn’t live in my building, but I recognized them from the neighborhood as members of one of the street gangs. Bastian’s arm tightened around me and I could feel his body tense up. I squeezed his hand to try to calm him. These guys had never really bothered me before.
One of them sneered at me and muttered under his breath, “Gorilla fucker.” Another added, “Fucking beast’s bitch.”
Bastian pushed me behind his back and took an aggressive stance. He bared his teeth and snarled, his eyes going wide and dark. His fists raised up and he was ready to pounce. The three would-be thugs couldn’t turn and run fast enough.
I had never seen him like this. The way he snarled made him look scary as hell. I couldn’t help myself when I stepped back in fear.
Bastian snorted. “Pussies.” Then he chuckled proudly to himself.
My jaw dropped.
He turned and looked at me and his stance loosened. Seeing the fear on my face, he pulled back his fists as his face softened. He gave me a toothy, but genuinely friendly smile.
My teddy bear was back.
I moved towards him and took his hand. “I’m sorry about that. I’m not scared of you. And I’m sorry for what they said.”
“Do not apologize for them,” he said. He thought for moment, then said, “Humans have a history of not being very tolerant of others who are different.”
I shrugged. “I suppose so. I’d like to think it’s getting better. As a species, we’ve done a lot of growing over the years. But we obviously still have some room…” I stopped and turned and put my hand on his chest. “Not all of us are like that.”
He reached to me and caressed my cheek with the back of his furry knuckles. “I know you aren’t.”
* * *
“Bastian,” I whispered as I pulled him into my bed. “I need you.”
“I need you too, little one.”
His spicy scent was driving me crazy. My dick was rock hard and my ass clenched at the thought of having him inside me. I pulled his massive body down on top of my naked body, spreading my legs wide for him. He felt so good on top of me, between my legs, where he belonged.
I pressed my lips against his neck and whispered in his ear, “Take me, Bastian.”
Bastian closed his eyes and dropped his forehead onto mine. His voice quivered as he shook his head. “I cannot.”
“But why? I am ready, Bastian. I ache for you to be inside me,” I whispered as I planted kisses down his neck and across his collar bone. “I know you’re big, but I can take it.”
Bastian groaned. “Devin. I could come from your words alone. As much as I want to be inside you, I can’t. Degan DNA is… aggressive towards non-Degan species. I don’t know how it will affect you.”
“Aggressive? I don’t understand. I love you, Bastian. I love you so much. I want to be with you. Don’t you want to be with me, to make love to me?”
I closed my eyes and buried my face in the warm fur of his neck, not wanting to see his reaction to my spontaneous confession of love.
“Devin, look at me.” Bastian tilted my head up and I slowly opened my eyes. His sparkling green eyes stared back at me. “I love you, too, Devin. That is why I don’t want to risk it without knowing how it might affect you first.”
“What are the risks?”
“The most severe risk is mutation. I would sooner cut off my arm than to hurt you.”
“Mutation? What do you mean ‘mutation’?” I asked, hoping that the horror I felt wasn’t visible on my face.
“It is different from species to species, individual to individual. Most of the time, nothing happens… But I have seen a Crixan grow horns on her head after having sex with a cousin of mine. My uncle’s wife grew a tail…”
I ran my hand over the top of my head. “I think I would look weird with Degan horns on my head.”
Bastian put his hand on my head and stroked my ear. “No. You would still look adorable with my horns.”
He stared down at me, the gaze in his eyes so intense. He pushed his hand under my back and a heated palm slid down to the swell of my ass, sending a shudder throughout my body. A finger slid into my crack and brushed against my hole and I couldn’t help the whimper that escaped my mouth as I pressed back against him.
“I could use my fingers…” he said, then flicked his tongue against my ear. “Or my tongue.”
I let out another soft whimper, and pressed myself up against him as my hole throbbed in anticipation. “Oh, god yes. Please…” I would take anything I could get.
Bastian kissed down the side of my neck. I tilted my head to the side and bared my neck to him, giving him complete access. A growl rumbled in his chest.
“You know not what you do to me when you submit yourself to me so.”
“I submit to you, Bastian,” I whispered breathlessly. “I give myself to you.”
Bastian opened his mouth and snarled. He drooled onto his hand and smeared it into the crevice of my ass. His fingers slid up and down my crack, eased by his slippery saliva. He pushed a finger into my tight opening, pulled out then pushed a pair of fingers into me.
His thick fingers filled me, making me moan and writhe on the bed as I begged for more.
He suddenly pushed his way down my body and crouched between my legs. He spread my legs wide apart and shoved his face into my crack. When his slick tongue slid over my hole, I cried out in ecstasy. He licked and lapped at me, swirling his tongue all around. The strong muscle then pushed into me, breaching my sphincter. Bastian’s hand slid up and down my body as he ravished me with his tongue. I was practically delirious, out of my mind with pleasure. My head thrashed back and forth on the pillow. I grabbed at his arms and his shoulders trying to take a hold of him anywhere I could reach.
“Bastian,” I begged. “Please, I want to feel you inside me. We don’t have to go all the way. We could stop before you finished. I… I need you. If you put it inside me, I’ll come so fast and so hard.”
Bastian’s resolve crumbled under my pleas and he let out a helpless groan. “Devin. You make me lose control. Perhaps I could just put the tip in… just for a moment…”
I shuddered at the thought. The head of his cock was big. I was so eager to experience Bastian, I would have agreed to anything. “Yes, Bastian. Just don’t come inside me.”
I started to turn over onto my stomach, but he stopped me. “No. I want to see your face when I give you my cock and make you come.”
I didn’t have a response for that. My dick responded for me, by jerking and oozing more pre-cum. I nodded frantically and lay back down, relaxing on my back.
Bastian moved on top of me, settling on his knees between my legs. He bent over and kissed me until I thought I might pass out from lack of oxygen.
When he pulled back, he drooled into his hand and spread it between my cheeks.
“Do you need lube?” I asked, reaching for my bedside table.
“No. My body is responding to yours. It knows I’m going to enter you and my cock is leaking lubrication.”
I looked down between his legs. His cock was already slicked up with secreted pre-cum. I watched a large drop ooze from the slit and drip down in a thick string onto the sheet. He held his cock by the base and lined up the head to my opening. He rubbed it up and down. I felt his slippery lube warm and slick me up. He looked at me and I nodded to give him the go ahead and he firmly pushed into me.
The crown slid past my muscular ring and I gasped at the initial burst of pain. I grabbed at his shoulders and pulled him down to me. I pulled my legs up towards my chest and pressed my heels into his muscular ass. Despite his enormous size, I felt only a quick twinge of pain, just a little bit of burn. I wanted this so bad I couldn’t even think straight.
“Bastian,” I moaned. “Oh god, it feels so good. You’re so big!”
Bastian groaned and pulled back until he slipped out of me. I reached down between my legs and took him in my hand and guided him back to my hole. He pushed the head into me again and froze. “Devin…”
He thrust forward and slid deeper into me, each of those rings pushing past my sphincter, then jabbing and sliding across my prostate. “Oh, Bastian!” I cried out as I arched my back up, pressing my body against his. “Yes, that’s it!”
“Devin, I cannot help myself,” he said with a groan. Bastian pulled back and thrust forward and buried himself to the root inside me. I felt each of those ribs slide past my ring and it sent ripples of pleasure throughout my body.
I gasped and clawed at his back, pushing my hips back against him. At that moment, I didn’t give a damn about any mutations. I would gladly grow a set of horns if it meant that Bastian was going to fuck me.
“Yes! Fuck me. Please…”
My words fueled Bastian’s desire. He pinned me down on the mattress and pumped into me, pounding hard and fast. I tightened my legs around his waist, meeting every thrust. I felt each stab of the head of his cock into my prostate and then each one of those rings glided across the sensitive gland, in and out, back and forth, driving me mad with lust. His hard abs and furry belly rubbed against my aching dick, bringing me closer and closer to the edge. I thrashed and writhed underneath him, his name falling from my mouth in a quiet whispering chant.
He let out a loud roar that sounded vaguely like my name and I felt him expand and throb inside me. His mating scent intensified and swamped my senses, making me light-headed.
As I stared up at him, Bastian’s eyes dilated. It was like he was operating on animal instincts now, his eyes unfocused as he snapped his hips in a feral rhythm against me. His heavy balls slapped against my ass with each thrust. Our skin slapped against each other and the bed creaked beneath us, barely drowning out our pants and gasps, moans and groans. He was bringing the both of us closer and closer to a hard climax.
He snarled and bit down hard on my collarbone, just where it met my neck, breaking the skin with his sharp teeth. The burst of pain was quickly replaced by intense pleasure as he sucked and gnawed on my skin. It soared through my body and before I realized it, I was coming. Hard. I cried out and gripped the fur on his back tightly in my fists as I exploded in an earth-shattering orgasm.
“I’m coming!” I screamed.
My pelvic muscles contracted, clamping down my muscled sphincter around his thrusting girth. I blasted jets of hot juices between our bodies. “Yes, Bastian! Yes!”
Bastian pulled off my neck and gasped. His eyes fixed on me and he focused and became lucid. “Oh no, oh gods no!”
He looked down at me wide-eyed and in shock, his mouth agape, his lower canine teeth tipped with my blood. The sight should have been appalling, but I found it strangely erotic as I stared back at him through half-closed eyes, my body still wracked with shudders from those final intense pulses of the best climax of my life.
I felt him try to pull back and a searing, burning pain stabbed through my groin like a punch to the nuts. “Bastian!” I cried out in shock. I gripped his back hair tighter in my fists and pressed my face into his chest.
Bastian thrust hard into me and buried himself to the root.
He collapsed onto me, holding me down firmly on the bed and his body began convulsing on top of me. When he had pushed back into me, the pain had immediately eased, but his cock felt unbelievably thick inside me, even thicker than normal. I could feel every throb of it against my prostate and around my tight hole. I felt the heat of his semen inside me as he pumped me full of one of his huge loads. It seemed to go on for minutes. I just held him until the convulsing finally slowed down to erratic shudders.
After I thought he finished his orgasm, he shuddered hard one last time. I could still feel his shaft pulsing inside me.
“Are you still coming?” I whispered in shock.
“Yes,” he said as he quivered. “I am stuck inside you. The rings have swelled and I cannot pull out.”
“What? What does that mean?” I asked, starting to panic as I tried to squirm away from him.
“Relax. Be calm,” he said soothingly as he kept me down. “It will pass in a moment when I go soft.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that was going to happen?”
“I did not expect it. The thought did not even occur to me. It only happens with our true bondmate,” he said in a calm and soothing voice.
Bastian laid gentle kisses along my neck and my collarbone and I relaxed back into the bed and tried to wrap my mind around what was happening. He licked at the tender bite mark on my neck, soothing the pain. I could tell that he was still quivering from the aftermath of his climax. It was clearly very intense for him as well. I kissed the side of his neck and ran my hands up and down his back, stroking the downy soft fur, hoping to calm him.
He let out a contented sigh and I felt his cock finally softening. Bastian pulled his hips back and he slid out of me. I felt curiously empty. I wanted him back inside me.
He looked down at me, his eyes wide and glassy.
“Well, that changes things,” he said.
* * *
“I should have known,” he said to himself. He then looked away from me. “The signs were there, but never did I expect… It never even occurred to me…”
“What signs?” I asked.
Bastian rolled off me and settled on his side next to me. He slid his arm under my neck and I rested it on his furry bicep. His other hand slipped into mine and he intertwined our fingers together.
“My instant attraction to you once I stepped off the ship. I had to come back to talk to you. Then you could smell my mating pheromones even though you are not Degan.”
“I felt an attraction to you as well… Was it because of your pheromones? What does all this mean?”
“The Degan believe that there is one true bondmate for every Degan… That the gods created this one special person to complete the other half of our soul.”
“A soul mate,” I said with a nod.
“Yes. Of course, our scientists say that it has nothing to do with gods or destiny. It’s a combination of biological and chemical responses coupled with an intense emotional connection and sexual attraction.”
“That doesn’t sound nearly as romantic,” I smiled wryly.
“Perhaps not, but the effect of the bond is still the same. We are compatible in every way, down to a cellular level.”
I looked down at Bastian’s half-erect penis and took it in my hand. It was a little slimy, but soft and spongy. I could feel the hard rings under the skin. “So when you came, your cock swelled and locked you inside me so that you couldn’t pull out?”
“Yes. It happens with our bondmates during the fertile period, to make sure your body took all of my semen. If you were a fertile Degan female, you would become pregnant.”
“You said your DNA was aggressive, but that’s taking it to a whole ‘nother level.”
We both laughed, alleviating some of the tension that had built up. Then Bastian leaned down and gave me a sweet kiss. Remembering what he said earlier, I felt the top of my head. “I don’t have any horns, do I?” I then checked the base of my spine for a stub of a tail and let out a breath of relief. “No tail.”
“No,” he laughed. He then looked at me with a serious expression on his face. “When my business has finished here, you will return to the Degan homeworld with me.”
I looked at him in surprise. “What? Really?”
“Yes. Once we are there, I will present you to my mother and my sire. We will then be officially mated in a bonding ceremony.”
I then sat upright and looked at him, my jaw slack in complete shock. “Bastian? Are you asking me to marry you?”
“Yes. Though, by Degan law we are technically bondmates now… unless you reject my claim because you find me unsuitable.”
“No,” I said quickly. “I don’t reject your claim.” I didn’t need to think about it. My reply was immediate. “Yes. I will marry you.”
“Then I guess you will get to see space sooner than you imagined.”
My eyes filled with tears and I threw my arms around Bastian.
He held me tight, squeezing me to his body. “I love you, my true one.”
“I love you, too.”
Bastian kissed me until I was breathless.
“Stay with me, Bastian. Check out of the hotel and stay with me.”
Bastian looked away for a second, then turned back to me and nodded. ”I will take care of it tomorrow while you are at work.”
He pushed up onto his knees and grabbed my legs and gave me a sharp tug, pulling my butt up onto his trunk-like thighs. I gasped as he lined up the head of his freshly hardened cock with my ass. I felt a warm blob of pre-cum ooze from the head of his cock and drip onto my hole. He rubbed the head back and forth to lubricate me and then eased forward.
“Again?” I asked breathlessly.
He held my waist in an iron grip, pulling me onto his cock.
“All night, my little one,” he growled.
* * *
I awoke in the middle of the night to violent cramping. I pulled away from Bastian’s warm comfort and clutched my stomach. A wave of nausea swept through me. I managed to get myself out of bed and I raced to the bathroom as fast as I could. I dropped to my knees in front of the commode and retched. I laid there for a few minutes until the cramping faded.
When I felt like I could finally stand, I blew my nose with some tissue. I then grabbed onto the toilet and slapped my hand against the flusher. Slowly pushing myself up to my feet, I shuffled over to the sink and washed up and then brushed my teeth. I looked in the mirror and pushed my hair back, searching and feeling for horns. I opened my mouth and looked at my bottom row of teeth. No fangs. I twisted around and looked at my ass. No tail. I let out a deep breath of relief when I saw no mutations.
My eyes drifted down my stomach and I was alarmed when I saw a stream of blood had oozed from my navel. I grabbed a towel and wiped myself down. I dabbed at my belly button’s opening and was relieved to see that the bleeding had slowed to a near stop. I poked my finger inside and the pain was so sharp, so incredibly intense, that my knees buckled and I fell forward onto the counter. A sob wrenched from my throat as I grabbed onto the counter and held on until the pain faded to a dull throb.
After I splashed my face with cool water and patted it dry, the pain and nausea had mostly passed. Even though I was feeling slightly better, I thought maybe I should go to the clinic.
When I returned to bed, I shook Bastian’s shoulder.
“Bastian?” I whispered.
Still half asleep, Bastian grabbed me and pulled me into the bed. He pulled me back to his chest so that my back was spooned against his warm body. He pulled the blankets up around us and then his arms surrounded me. His hairy body pressed tightly against my back, his overly large soft cock pressed into the crack of my ass.
“Mine,” he rumbled in his sleep.
I felt so safe and comfortable against Bastian’s large, warm and furry body. My nerves instantly settled and thoughts of the clinic disappeared as I fell asleep in my lover’s embrace.
* * *
I stepped off the magtrain and made my way up the concourse. As I slowly walked through the crowds, I felt a pang in my ass with every step. It was a good sore though. I definitely had no complaints.
When I woke this morning, I was feeling great. I turned around to face my lover and Bastian pounced on me. He relentlessly took me doggie style, not stopping until he once again swelled inside me and filled me with his hot spunk. The throbbing of his swollen cock against my prostate caused my own cum to spurt in jets onto the bed sheets below me.
He then took me again in the shower, pinned against the wall. When he clamped his teeth onto my neck as he climaxed, I came with a scream that shocked the hell out of me. If he hadn’t held me up, I likely would have slid down the wall into a heap on the shower floor. As it was, he had filled me with so much cum, it had started to dribble down my leg.
Afterward, he mentioned that he was definitely going to get an aqua shower installed in his home. After we dried off, he rubbed himself all over my body. He wanted to make sure that I smelled like him.
Everything about the morning was magnificent, sexy and intense. Every morning should start as good. And I suspected that every morning would from now on. It was a good feeling.
Before we parted at the magtrain station, he pulled back the hood of his robe, leaned down and took my face in his hands and kissed me deeply and passionately, right there in front of everyone on the train platform. I’m sure we looked like an odd pair, the small, smooth human and the big and furry beastly alien. I didn’t care what any of them thought. I was proud to be Bastian’s. After all, he technically was my fiancé now.
“I am going straight to the hotel to check out,” he said as he stroked his hand over my head. “I have some things I need to do and then I will see you tonight at home.”
When he referred to my apartment as ‘home’, I just beamed. I had a grin on my face that could have lit the entire spaceport. “Okay. Tonight at home. I love you.”
“I love you, my true one.”
He kissed the knuckles of my hand, pulled up his hood, and then left to get on his train.
I knew that I still had a goofy grin on my face as I walked to the first gate on my manifest, but I didn’t care. Today was the happiest day of my life.
I saw Peri dash past me and I called out to him. “Per!”
He turned and looked back at me and smiled. I jogged up and caught up with him.
“Hey, Dev. What’s got you so happy?”
“Long story. I’ll tell you all about it at lunch.”
“It’s Bastian, huh? I’m happy for you, Dev. I want to have dinner with you and your man, er, beast— I mean, alien, soon, okay?”
I couldn’t help but laugh at his fumbled words. “Definitely soon, Per. I have so much to tell you.”
Peri smiled at me and then ran off to his gate. I couldn’t help but feel guilty as I watched him run through the crowd. I had Bastian and Peri was still alone. He smiled and said he was happy for me, and I knew that he was, but I could also tell that it made him a little sad.
After work, I raced home as fast as I could.
“Bastian?” I called out.
He wasn’t home, so I went and got changed out of my spaceport uniform. I went to the door control and checked the logs. He hadn’t been back to the apartment at all today.
I brought up the communications panel and connected to Bastian’s commlink. He didn’t answer, so I left him a message to let him know that I was home.
I sat down on the sofa with my comPad and started to read the novel I was in the middle of.
I grabbed at the comPad as it slipped out of my hand. I sat up, realizing that I had been asleep. I wiped the drool from my lower lip and checked the time. It was nearly midnight. Bastian should have been home hours ago. I connected to Bastian’s commlink and I left him another message.
As I crawled into bed, an uneasy feeling washed over me. I laid on my back staring at the ceiling and absentmindedly scratched at the itch in the middle of my chest and my stomach. I turned onto my side, unable to control the fear and doubt that clouded my brain.
* * *
I watched the passengers disembark from the shuttle and walk down the spaceway towards the concourse. Someone bumped into me and I slid back against the wall, trying to stay out of the way as I looked on with disinterest.
I tried to focus on my work and what I was supposed to be doing, but my mind was sick with worry.
Bastian never came home last night. Before coming to work, I had gone to his hotel room. A strange man and woman opened the door. They had just checked in that morning.
When I asked the desk clerk, he said that Bastian had checked out, but wouldn’t give me any other details for security reasons. After Bastian left the hotel, he should have come home, but he never did.
When I still hadn’t heard from him the following day, I went to the police station after work and filled out a missing persons report. The two cops didn’t seem to be at all interested in helping me find my ‘alien lover’ as they referred to him, not even trying to disguise the contempt in their voices.
I asked the waitresses at the diner. The last time they had seen him was when he last came in with me.
After a week of searching on my own, I knew that he had gone.
I would try to go to bed early, hoping that sleep would keep my thoughts from drifting to my ‘alien lover’. But the bed was now cold and lonely. I could no longer smell him in the sheets and blankets I had resisted washing. Every time I closed my eyes, my dreams were filled with images of Bastian.
I did have one reminder of my time with Bastian, however.
I stood in the shower and scratched my belly. I looked down at the side effect of my encounter with the Degan. I had a large patch of honey brown hair growing around my belly button as well as the middle of my chest. It was hot and so damned itchy. I wondered how much it was going to grow. While I had a loving fascination with the fur that covered Bastian’s body, I didn’t want it on mine.
Well, at least it wasn’t a mutation.
It was just a little bit of hair.
I stepped off the magtrain and made my way through the terminal. As I walked down the sidewalk, I gave the middle of my uniform a tug, trying to make the fit more comfortable. It wasn’t as loose fitting these days around the middle.
Over the past month, I had grown a huge appetite and seemingly couldn’t get enough to eat. I had gained a few pounds.
The middle of my breastbone and most of my stomach were covered in honey-colored fur. It was hot and it was itchy. I tried to shave it off once, but it only came back thicker and itched even worse. At least it stopped there and didn’t venture onto my back or my arms. Not that it mattered. Now that I was a total freak show, it wasn’t like I’d be letting anybody see me naked. Bastian had ruined me.
Stupid aggressive Degan DNA, I thought to myself.
My stomach rumbled. Great. I was hungry again. And I was well on my way to cranky.
I tried not to think of Bastian, but it was difficult, if not impossible. My head wanted to tell me that I wasn’t good enough for him, that he never loved me, that he had no intentions of taking me with him, and he had left me once he got what he wanted from me. But I knew in my heart that he loved me and he wouldn’t have left me unless he had a good reason. Unfortunately, whatever the reason, after a month it was pretty clear to me that he was gone and he was probably never coming back.
After a restless night, I got up early and decided to go to the diner to grab a quick breakfast.
“You ever find your friend, hon?” the waitress asked.
Touched by her unexpected concern, I shook my head and resisted the urge to sigh, or burst into tears. “No.”
“I’m sure he’ll turn up.”
I flipped the clean mug on the table over and she filled it with coffee before asking, “You want your usual? With double sausage?”
“Yes, please. Thanks.”
After sweetening it with sugar, I picked up the steaming cup of coffee and brought it to my mouth. The smell hit me and made my stomach roll. I set the cup down and pushed it far away.
While waiting for my food, I scratched the itch on my belly. God, how I wished I could just unzip the front of my uniform and just go to town. The stupid hair was driving me crazy.
After I finished eating, I still had plenty of time before my work shift started, so I decided to make one more attempt with the cops.
While on the train, I fired off another email to the Degan Embassy. The office was located on Luna Station. Going to the moon in person was clearly not an option, so I had to resort to written and video communication. I hadn’t heard a peep from them using either method. I wondered if the comms were even being viewed.
Once I arrived at the police station, I sat down and waited for my turn. After sitting in the waiting area for nearly an hour, one of the officers finally motioned for me to take a seat at his desk.
“Hello. My name is Devin McSmith. I filed a missing person report about four weeks ago. Bastian Drago.”
I pulled out my comPad, ready to give him the case number.
The officer tapped away at his computer, not even glancing up at me once. “Right. Sorry. No change.” He looked over my shoulder and motioned for the next person in line to come up to the counter.
“Wait,” I interrupted. “I—”
“Look, we told you that if we found any information on the alien, we’d call you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m kinda busy here.”
“If you need further assistance, contact their embassy. Move along.”
Totally dejected, I walked back to the train station and boarded the train to the Spaceport.
* * *
As I stood in the middle of the concourse, I suddenly realized that I was at work. I couldn’t even remember how I got here. I remembered getting on the train, but I must have really zoned out.
I was jostled by a man in a hurry and I stepped off to the side, getting out of the way. I tried to focus my eyes and concentrate on where I was and what I was doing, but a wave of nausea swept through me. I tried to take a deep breath, but my stomach lurched.
I hurriedly pushed through the crowds towards the restroom. Racing through the mens’ room to the first unoccupied stall, I made it into the stall just in time to spill my breakfast into the bowl.
I looked up to see Peri standing in the stall door, looking down at me with worry. He pushed into the cramped space, leaned down and pressed his hand against my forehead. “Are you okay? You’re really warm.”
I was shaking as I pushed myself to my feet.
“I think I’m sick,” I moaned, stating the obvious.
“I saw you run into the bathroom. You look really green.”
Peri put his arm around me and walked me to the sinks. I washed my hands and face at the sink while Peri stood by with a handful of paper towels, fear and concern written all over his face.
My stomach suddenly rolled, and I ran back into the stall.
Peri knelt down with me and rubbed my back. “You must have ate a bad egg or something. Or maybe it was a dozen eggs.” He snickered as he poked the side of my stomach.
I laughed, but it only made my stomach retch in a dry heave. “Don’t make me laugh.” I wiped a stray tear streak with my uniform sleeve.
I held onto the bowl and tried to breathe calmly.
Peri continued to rub my back as he spoke quietly. “I know you’re sad, Dev, but you can’t replace Bastian with food. Overeating isn’t going to make you feel better. Besides, he’s not even from Earth. He never said he was going to stay. Maybe it’s better you know that now.”
I slapped his hand away with a force that surprised even me. “Knock it off,” I sniped, my voice raising in pitch and volume. “You don’t know anything about him!”
Peri yanked his hand away and cradled it against his chest, his eyes wide. “I’m sorry, Dev. I didn’t mean it like that.”
I knew that he didn’t mean to be harsh. He was just trying to comfort me. I let out a soft sigh. “I miss him,” I whispered. “I miss him so damn much.”
“I tried to forget him, but I can’t.” Tears welled in my eyes and started to spill down my cheeks. “Shit.” I sniffled and scrubbed at my eyes with my hands.
“Here.” Peri grabbed a wad of tissue and handed it to me and I dabbed at my eyes.
“I don’t know what the hell’s wrong with me.” I sniffed again and blew my nose.
“You’re in love with him.”
I just nodded.
When we didn’t report to our gates, our supervisor finally came looking for us.
Roble took one look at me kneeling in the bathroom stall. “Take the rest of the day off. Go to the clinic.” He turned to Peri. “And you, get to work. While you still have a job.”
Peri nodded. “Yes, sir.” He looked back at me and I nodded that it was okay for him to go.
“I’ll call you later, Per,” I called out to him as he took off.
“Come on,” Roble said as he helped me to my feet.
* * *
I stared up at the ceiling waiting for the doctor to return with the blood test results. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly, feeling much calmer than earlier in the waiting room.
I had seen Dr. Flynn once before, when a malfunction with one of the gates knocked me onto my ass with a goose egg on the forehead. He seemed young for a medical doctor, but he seemed to be really knowledgeable and had a friendly bedside manner. He made me feel comfortable even under uncomfortable circumstances.
The anti-nausea medicine Dr. Flynn gave me really helped. Maybe he could give me a pill to get rid of the hair on my stomach. That would be awesome. I scratched at the itchy spot just below my belly button, making a mental note to ask the doctor about it.
I adjusted the flimsy gown, trying to cover more of my bits and pieces. I looked around the room and was impressed by all of the equipment. High-tech machines and e-glass display panels lined the wall. The oversized main computer panel displayed the cover page of what looked like my medical file while smaller glass panels showed various public health slide shows.
The Spaceport’s medical clinic was top of the line. I couldn’t imagine that I would get better care anywhere else.
I sat up on my elbows as the doctor entered the room.
“Dr. Flynn… So am I dying or what?” I joked, trying to lighten the mood.
The young doctor chuckled, his eyes twinkling behind his round spectacles. He had a happy little smirk on his face, so it couldn’t be bad news.
“No, Devin,” he said as he pushed his reading glasses up the bridge of his nose. “When I asked if you had recently come into contact with any alien species, you said you had been dating a… Degan, was it?” he asked as he flipped through the pages on his comPad with his index finger.
I cleared my throat out of nerves as my anxiety level crept up a notch. “Yes, that’s right. A Degan.”
He tapped at his screen and then looked back at the wall behind him. The large glass panel display flashed to life and an exobiology encyclopedia popped open to an entry on Degan males. Dr. Flynn studied the screen for a moment.
I couldn’t help but blush at the image of a naked Degan male on the screen. The figure turned in a 360-degree circle. Yeah, that’s pretty much what Bastian looked like naked. Though Bastian was definitely more muscular than the specimen. And definitely better looking. And his cock was definitely bigger.
I did not share any of that with Dr. Flynn.
Dr. Flynn scrolled through the page, skimming the contents. “I’m not at all familiar with that species. But I assume you had sexual intercourse with said Degan.”
My face burned bright red and I cleared my throat again. “Yes.”
“He was obviously a male, and, uh, how can I say this? He was the top.”
Well, that did nothing to alleviate my embarrassment. “Yes.”
Dr. Flynn looked up from his screen, pulled his glasses off and grinned.
“Well, congratulations are in order. You’re having a baby.”
I about fell off the damn table.
Surely he was joking. I blinked and stared at the goofy smile on his face. “That’s really not funny.”
“A colleague of mine from med-school specializes in extra-terrestrial biology. I sent him your scans and I have a call in to him. He will hopefully give us some more answers.”
My mouth gaped open. “You’re not kidding, then?”
“No. I assure you, you are quite pregnant.”
He seemed giddy with excitement, which only served to annoy the hell out of me.
“I can’t be pregnant. I’m a man! That’s not possible. This can’t be happening. This can not be happening. What am I supposed to do? I don’t know anything about babies!”
I looked down at my stomach in shock. Surely he must be wrong. So I had gained a few pounds. Okay, so my stomach was a little soft these days. And, yeah, under the fur, there was a little bit of a bump—
I took a deep breath and slumped back onto the exam table as the nausea bubbled up again. What the hell was I going to do with a baby? And not just a baby. A half-alien baby. I didn’t know anything about raising human babies, let alone Degan babies.
There was no way in hell that I could raise a baby.
Then I thought of what its life would be like growing up in an orphanage. And I knew. I knew that I could never, ever give it up.
I was fucked. Literally and figuratively fucked.
“’Aggressive DNA’ my ass,” I grumbled to myself.
Dr. Flynn tapped his hand on the wall’s video screen and my bioscan came online. The extremely detailed scan zoomed in on my torso. Under different circumstances, I might have been impressed with the technology.
The virtual layers of skin and muscle faded away and there it was.
I covered my mouth and gasped behind my hand.
I wasn’t sure what I expected to see, but that wasn’t it.
A perfectly formed little bundle was curled up and asleep inside me. I could see its little toes and little fingers. The scan slowly rotated until its face came into view. Its eyes were closed and it had a little button nose and chubby little cheeks. Above its ears, perched on top of his head, were two little nubs that I knew would grow to be horns.
It was one thing to be told that you were pregnant, but to see the actual evidence was just overwhelming. I rapidly blinked my eyes, trying to hold back the tears that threatened to fall.
“He’s about the size of a softball,” said Flynn. He tilted his head to the side and examined the image and the data that was scrolling down the side of the display. “If he was a human, I’d guess him to be three months. Clearly, Degans grow at an accelerated rate.”
“’He’? He’s a boy?”
“Most definitely,” the doctor said with a chuckle. He swiped his finger across the display to rotate the scan and showed me the evidence of his maleness.
“Oh. He takes after his father,” I said. “I mean his other father. Oh god, that sounds so weird. I think they call their fathers ‘sires’.”
I then noticed a second appendage curled up between his legs. He had a little tail, tucked between his legs. Yeah, he got that from his sire, too.
“So, why don’t we schedule another appointment later this week? Hopefully I will hear back from my colleague and we should have some more information by then.”
I continued to stare at the scan for a moment, then turned to the doctor and nodded. “Whatever you think is best.”
“I can send a video of the scan to your email if you like.”
I turned back to the screen and nodded my agreement. “Okay.”
The doctor tapped a few keys and I heard my comPad beep from my stack of clothes, letting me know the message had been received.
Flynn gave my shoulder a reassuring squeeze. “I’ll excuse you from work for the rest of the week. You need to rest. Drink plenty of fluids and try to eat three balanced meals a day, with healthy snacks in between. We’ll know more in a couple of days. I don’t want you to worry. You’re not alone, Devin.”
Yes, I was. “Thank you, Doctor.”
I left the clinic in a daze.
When I finally got home, I went right for the shower. As I stood under the warm water, I looked down at my belly and touched the soft pooch covered in honey brown fur.
I was going to have a baby.
I was going to be a single dad. Not just a single dad, but a single dad with a half-alien child.
After I dried off, I picked up my comPad and laid down on my bed. After watching the video a dozen or so times, I connected to the Net and tried doing some searches. I couldn’t find any useful information specific to male pregnancies. I watched the video again until I fell asleep.
I stayed hidden inside my apartment for the next few days. I didn’t want to go out and face the world. I wanted to pretend like my life was normal. Like it was before I met Bastian.
I stopped just short of wishing I’d never met Bastian. It would be a lie. Bastian was the best thing that ever happened to me.
* * *
When the door beeped, I nearly tripped over my own feet trying to get to the door. I smacked the control and the door opened with a whoosh.
“Dinner is served,” Peri said with a cheery grin, holding up a big paper bag.
“Oh. It’s you,” I said with a defeated sigh.
“I love you, too,” he said while flipping me off.
“You know I didn’t mean it like that. Come on in.”
Peri looked around my apartment and crinkled his nose. “This place is gross, Dev. Sit down and relax. I’m gonna heat up dinner.” He looked around the room. “And maybe pick up a little.”
I shrugged and slumped onto the sofa.
Peri started dinner in the kitchen, then picked up the stray dishes and clothes that littered the living room. I knew that I should have gotten up to help him, but I couldn’t bring myself to get up off the couch. My eyes drifted shut as Peri busied himself while softly humming a song.
I startled awake when Peri nudged my shoulder. I sat up and stretched and yawned. When I felt a cool breeze against my belly, I quickly tugged my shirt down and prayed that Peri didn’t notice. I wasn’t ready to go there just yet.
Peri handed me a plate of food. “Chicken à la Perin. Hope you like it. And if you don’t, keep it to yourself.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. I took a bite of the chicken in the creamy, cheesy sauce. “Mm, it’s good, Per. Really.”
We ate in silence for a few moments. I didn’t realize how hungry I was. I was too busy stuffing my face to talk.
“So, what did the doctor say?” Peri asked as he took my clean plate. He filled it with a second helping and handed it back.
What was I supposed to say? Bastian knocked me up?
I decided to go with, “I’m not dying or anything. I have another appointment in a couple of days. Hopefully, I’ll know more then.”
Peri seemed to be satisfied with that answer. He seemed lost in thought as he chewed on a piece of broccoli. He then turned and looked at me. “What’s it like?”
I paused the shoveling of food to answer. “What’s what like?”
“You know. With an alien.”
Peri’s cheeks turned a slight shade of pink and I quickly understood. “You mean sex?”
“Yeah. I mean… Are all the parts the same?” He wiggled a finger in the general vicinity of his groin, just in case I didn’t get the reference.
“Well, of course. I mean, he’s humanoid. Yeah, he’s covered in fur, but he has two arms, two legs, ten fingers and ten toes…” And ten inches.
“And… down there?”
I squirmed a bit, but nodded. “Yeah, that’s the same. Same, but different.”
Peri’s cheeks went darker red and he leaned in closer and spoke in hushed tones. “What do you mean?”
I couldn’t help but smile. It reminded me of when we were younger and we’d get together and whisper about those 'naughty' things we had discovered.
“Well, you’ve seen him. He’s really big, you know? And he’s big down there, too. It’s different in that it stays big when it hangs soft. It gets hard and stands up, but not really bigger.” Now it was my turn to blush. “Which is a good thing, since it’s plenty big enough. And, it’s got these ribs down the length that, uh… hit the right spots.”
Peri giggle. “Nice.”
“Why so curious?”
He shrugged. “Just wondered. I’ve never been with someone who’s, you know, not human. But there’s this Regulan. He’s a Union Marine. He’s gotten pretty forward in his flirting…”
“A Regulan? Really?” I couldn’t quite picture Peri and one of the red-skinned aliens together.
“Yeah. Do you think his, uh, thing is red, too?”
“Probably. I’m sure he’s red all over. Do think he could, uh, do things with his tail?”
Peri’s eyes widened as he drew in a sharp breath. “Oh my…”
We both started to laugh as we imagined the possibilities.
I was so grateful for Peri coming to cheer me up. It was just what I needed to get through the week.
* * *
“How are you today, Devin?” Dr. Flynn asked me.
“I’m still in shock, but I’m as good as can be expected,” I answered as I modestly tucked the paper gown between my legs and sat on the exam table. “I don’t seem to be getting sick anymore.”
“Good,” he said as he patted my shoulder. “My colleague should be connecting any minute now.”
Dr. Flynn tapped some buttons on his comPad and brought my scans up on the wall monitor.
The computer chirped and “INCOMING CALL” appeared on the screen with the face of a man.
Flynn tapped the screen and it switched to a picture-in-picture display, with Flynn’s colleague in a window in the bottom corner.
“Aron. It’s good to see you.”
“You too, Flynn. It— My god, you weren’t kidding.”
“No. Aron, this is Devin. Devin, this is Dr. Aron Adler. He’s a medical doctor as well as an exobiologist, an expert on extraterrestrial biology.”
“Nice to meet you, Dr. Adler,” I said.
“Likewise. This is amazing. I have never seen anything like it in all my years. Opposite sex Degans and Humans have mated successfully in the past, but I have never heard of a same-sex Degan/Human mating. But while doing some research, I have found that spontaneous womb generation has occurred on very rare occasion between two Degan males.”
“I’m not a Degan,” I said, trying not to be irritated by his excitement. “Despite the furry belly. And the… spontaneous womb.”
Well, at least I now had a technical name for my mutation: spontaneous womb generation.
“Yes,” Adler continued, completely unaware of my impending meltdown. “I imagine the fur is simply a side effect. An additional layer of protection and to keep the baby warm if I had to guess. Degans have a higher internal body temperature than humans. After the baby is born, it may shed. It may not.”
“Uh, wait a second there. Born? And just where is it supposed to come out?”
“Your umbilicus, er, your navel. You’ll need surgery to help you along. I would love to perform the procedure if that is okay with you and Dr. Flynn.”
“Of course, Aron,” Dr. Flynn quickly replied. “I would love to assist you.”
“Excellent,” Dr. Adler said with a smile. “Have you encountered any other physical changes?”
“No.” I was still trying to process the fact of where the baby was going to come out of me. I looked down at my belly button and shuddered as I imagined it stretching open for a baby.
“When you had intercourse, did the sire’s penis lock inside you?”
My cheeks turn bright red. “Yes,” I said, taken aback by his frank question.
Aron shook his head. “Amazing. So his body recognized that you are his bondmate and not just a sex partner.”
“I guess,” I said with a shrug. “That’s what he said.”
Aron blinked at me, and then frowned. “Is your bondmate with you now? I’d like to talk to him.”
“No. He’s not here.”
“Ah. Well, I’d like to schedule some time with him.”
“Uh… well… I don’t know where he is.”
Aron’s frown deepend and he glanced over at Flynn. “You don’t know?”
“No,” I shook my head. “He disappeared. The morning after we did… this.” I waved my hand over my abdomen.
Aron frowned. “I have never heard of a Degan leaving a bondmate, and certainly not one in your condition. Degans are very possessive as a species. He certainly wouldn’t have left you if he knew you carried his child. If you think Degans are protective of their spouses, that is nothing compared to their children. He would protect you and the child to the death. While it’s not unheard of for Degans who are married but not bondmates to divorce, a true bondmate is for life. The bond can’t be broken once formed.”
“That’s what he called me. He called me his true one,” I said quietly. I turned my head away and blinked back the tears that were stinging my eyes. Doctor Flynn put a hand on my shoulder and gently patted to offer me a bit of comfort. A sudden thought entered my mind, one I hadn’t wanted to even entertain. I slowly turned back to the viewscreen and swallowed the lump in my throat. “Do you think he might be… be dead?”
“I have a contact on the Degan homeworld. I will see if he can put out any feelers, to see if they have any knowledge of his whereabouts.”
“I’d appreciate that, Dr. Adler. No one here has been interested in helping me find him. His name is Bastian. Bastian Drago. His father is a provincial governor, where the planet capital city is located. His mother is an ambassador. Do you think that will help?”
Dr. Flynn squeezed my shoulder one final time, and then moved around to my side. “We’d like to do some more detailed scans, if that’s okay?”
“Sure,” I said with a nod.
I laid back and closed my eyes and tried to ignore the doctor and relax the best I could.
I felt Dr. Flynn moving around the table and he turned my head. “What’s this?” he asked. He touched the scar at the base of my neck with this latex-covered fingers.
“Ooh, the mating bite,” Dr. Adler said excitedly.
“Wait. He bit you?” Flynn asked me, his voice sounding his shock.
I nodded, keeping my eyes shut. Dr. Flynn scanned the bite for Dr. Adler while Adler explained the mechanics of Degan mating.
When Dr. Adler started talking about intestinal walls and the absorption of semen, I tuned them out. I wasn’t interested in hearing the scientific details of sexual intercourse with a Degan male. I had already experienced it first hand and it was much more intense and infinitely more passionate than the clinical descriptions they were using.
I took a deep calming breath when I felt Dr. Flynn lift my gown. He and Dr. Adler chatted about mundane current events as they examined me.
The door suddenly opened with a hiss and I sat up and tried to cover myself as four men burst into the room. I instantly recognized that they were Union Navy security officers from their navy blue jumpsuits with gold piping.
One of the officers tapped the video monitor and disconnected Dr. Adler’s comm link.
“Excuse me!” Flynn said indignantly. “This is a private exam! You are not allowed back here.”
The Navy lieutenant stepped forward and held up a comPad with my ID photo on the screen. “Devin McSmith is to be taken into custody immediately.”
I gasped and tried to sit up as Dr. Flynn tried to move around the table to protect me. “What? Why?”
“That is an internal security matter.”
Dr. Flynn struggled to get to me. “Mr. McSmith is a patient of mine. You just can’t come in here—“
The lieutenant blocked his path, getting in his face with a scowl and a bump of their chests designed to intimidate the doctor. “I suggest you stand down before you are arrested for aiding a fugitive.”
My jaw dropped. “Fugitive? I haven’t done anything wrong.”
One of the officers pushed Dr. Flynn back and held him while the other two pulled me off the table.
Dr. Flynn tried to get to me, but one of the officers pulled out his pistol and shot him in the chest with the particle weapon.
“No!” I screamed as Dr. Flynn crumpled to the ground like a rag doll.
They dragged me kicking and screaming towards the door. Like hell was I going to cooperate.
The lieutenant came at me with something in his hand. I tried to back away, but they had me tight in their grasp.
“Let me go!”
He pressed the hypospray device to my neck. The drug quickly coursed through my bloodstream and my body went limp as everything suddenly went black.
I awoke with a scream inside a small, dimly lit room.
Panting and panicking, I looked around frantically.
The entire room was a sterile white, complete with a bed slab, a toilet and a sink. There were no windows. A single recessed lamp in the ceiling provided the only light.
Was this some kind of prison cell?
My body was stiff and achy and I let out a groan as I struggled to sit up. I rubbed the heel of my palm against my pounding forehead. When I felt a cool breeze slide down my back and ass, I reached back and tried to tug the hospital gown closed. I was still wearing the flimsy paper gown from the clinic, completely nude underneath. I reached under the front and scratched at the perpetual itch on my belly.
“Stupid aggressive DNA,” I muttered to myself.
I drew in a breath and flattened my hand against the soft mound of my stomach. The full extent of my situation hit me full force.
I had to get the hell out of here!
I jumped to my feet and rushed to the door. I tapped at the door controls, but not surprisingly, it was locked.
Starting to panic, I pounded on the door and smashed at the controls with my fists, yelling for help.
When the door suddenly opened, I jumped back with a startled gasp. I didn’t expect anyone to actually come. Before I could escape, the two Union Navy security officers grabbed my arms and escorted me down the hall.
“Let me go,” I grunted as I tried to pull free. They tightened their grip on me, but otherwise didn’t respond.
I appeared to be in a Union Research facility judging by the men in white uniforms and lab coats that wandered through the hallways. The “labbies” ignored me as if I wasn’t even there.
I was taken to a medical exam room and laid down on a table. One of the guards pulled a security strap across my chest and locked it into the other side of the table. He and the other guard stepped out of the room as two labbies proceeded to poke and prod me.
“You can’t keep me here,” I said. “I’ve done nothing wrong. I’m an Earth citizen. I have rights!”
The labbies ignored me, continuing to run their damned scans. They scanned me over and over with several different hand-held instruments. But when one approached my stomach with a large gauge needle, my protective instincts kicked in. I smacked him hard with my leg, knocking the needle from his hand. The other moved to restrain me and I bit his forearm as hard as I could.
I quickly managed to undo the strap and I leapt from the exam table only to be stopped when the door opened and the two security guards rushed in. I screamed bloody murder as they dragged me back to the table.
“Hold him down,” one of the labbies shouted.
The security guards picked me up and slammed me on the table so hard it stole my breath. They held me down while one of the labbies came at me with a hypospray injector. I wasn’t going to let them violate me without a fight. I kicked and thrashed, but they were simply too strong for me.
The cold tip of the hypospray pressed against my neck. I felt the pinch on my skin as the device let out a quick hiss. Within seconds, I went numb and the fight drained out of me. As I slumped back onto the exam table, a single tear slid from the corner of my eye.
I closed my eyes and could only lay there while they violated and probed my body with their instruments.
When they finished, I was returned to my cell. A white fabric gown was tossed at me. This gown was made from a thicker cotton material and was thankfully closed in the back. I slipped the paper gown off and pulled on the new one. I wished I had some undies, and some socks would have been nice as well. The floor was cold.
A yawn overtook me. Completely and utterly exhausted, I slumped down onto the hard bed and fell into a restless sleep.
The examinations went on for days, despite my demands and later, pleas, for them to help me or let me go. I was never told what they wanted from me, nor under what charges was I being held.
The labbies referred to my baby as ‘the hybrid,’ speaking amongst themselves as if I wasn’t there. Being drugged, I could hear them, but couldn’t really move or react. I overheard them once talking about genetic splicing, which I thought was outlawed by Union law. There was something about the DNA resequencing properties that showed promise they said. I didn’t exactly know what they were doing, but I knew that it wasn’t good whatever it was.
I think it was the fourth day when they came for me.
But this time was different.
Instead of taking me to the lab, I was taken to a small conference room and pushed into one of the chairs that circled an oval-shaped table. The two security officers restrained my wrists with straps to the arms of the chair, then each of them stood at attention on each side of the doorway. Two high-ranking Union Navy officers entered the room followed by two Degans.
I let out a sigh of relief, nearly bursting into tears of gratitude. Bastian had sent someone for me!
The two Degans looked very official looking, wearing what appeared to be military uniforms. One was dark skinned with black fur, enormous in build, even larger than Bastian. The other looked older and had light brown fur, liberally sprinkled with gray. He appeared to eat and drink very well judging by the size of his belly. Judging from the extra adornments on his uniform, I assumed that he was the higher ranking officer.
My relief was short lived when I saw the way they looked at me. The elder brown-furred one made no attempt to hide his disdain and utter revulsion at me. He turned to the Navy officers. “We wish to speak with the boy in private.”
The Navy admiral shook his head. “I can’t agree to that.”
“The child he carries is a citizen of the Degan Federation. It is within our rights to take the boy, if we desire. I would hate to see our treaty with the Union tested over such a simple request.”
The Navy officers looked at each other and then reluctantly nodded to the Degans, then left the room. The security guards followed them and the door shut behind, leaving the room deathly quiet.
Before I could speak, the older brown-furred Degan stepped forward. “I am General Dansik of the Degan Global Armed Forces.”
“Do you know why I’m here?” I asked cautiously. “No one will tell me anything. I—”
“Where is Bastian Drago?”
I was taken aback. Why were they asking about Bastian? Wouldn’t they know better than I would? Did he not send them for me?
“I… I don’t know. Can you help me?”
He stepped forward, putting his hands on the table and he leaned into my face. The menace in his eyes told me everything. His visit had nothing to do with me or my situation and he was not interested in Bastian to catch up over tea and cookies.
“What did he tell you?”
I swallowed nervously as the dark-furred Degan moved around behind my back and circled me, eyeing me like I was dinner. “N-n-nothing,” I stammered, trying to look behind me to see what the other man was doing. I pulled at the straps holding my arms down, but they were secured tight.
General Dansik looked up past my shoulder. “Captain,” he said and jerked his head towards me.
The Degan captain pulled a small, round, silver device from his tunic pocket. He moved around behind me and I tried to jerk away from him, but he grabbed me by the throat and squeezed hard enough to hold me still. He pressed the device to the back of my neck at the base of my skull and let go when the device beeped.
An intense pain shot through me, electrifying my spinal cord and settling around my temples and forehead. I cried out and tears streamed down my face as I tugged at the arm restraints. “Please!” I begged, squeezing my hands into tight fists. I squeezed my eyes shut and gritted my teeth. “It hurts.”
“Where is Drago?” the general repeated.
An intense burst of pain pushed through my brain, compelling me to speak. “I don’t know!” I cried. “He left.”
He looked back at the captain. “Increase the level.”
The captain touched the device and the pain ramped up.
“I’ll ask again. Where is Drago?”
Every muscle in my body contracted. Pain I had never felt before drain every ounce of strength from my body.
“I don’t know,” I moaned as my head slumped forward. “Please. The baby,” I whispered hoarsely.
“Why is he here?”
I shook my head and managed to spit out the answer. “He said it was for work.”
“Where did he go?”
“I don’t know!” I choked out through my sobs. “He never came home. He left me! He left me…”
Tears and snot dripped from my face onto the front of my gown.
He continued to drill me with several more questions about Bastian. What he was doing, what we did together, what we talked about. The pain never let up and it only increased the longer the session went on. I felt compelled to answer every one of their questions truthfully, which was always that I didn’t know anything.
Just when I thought I was going to pass out from the pain, the device sent an intense shock through me. I screamed until I was hoarse. My muscles released and contracted and then my bladder emptied as I convulsed.
“He’s telling the truth,” the captain said from behind me. “He doesn’t know anything.”
“Drago is smarter than we give him credit for,” the general mumbled.
The device was yanked from my neck. I gasped and slumped forward in exhaustion as the pain started to subside. I would have fallen to the floor if not for the bindings on my arms that kept me tied to the now urine-soaked chair.
“We could take him with us. For leverage,” the dark one said.
“No. That would be… hmph… uncivilized. Besides, I can’t stand the thought of it running around with that… half-breed… inside it,” he grimaced disgustedly and then waved his hand dismissively. “Let the Humans have it for their experiments.”
“Too bad. I would have liked to have played with him. Maybe find out what made him so special to Drago.” He reached a finger towards my cheek and I managed to snatch my head away with the last of my strength. He laughed at me as he reached down and hefted the distinct bulge between his legs.
“Don’t be foul,” the general said as he turned up his nose at me.
The two Degans left the room and I vaguely registered my limp, battered body being dragged back to my cell, tears and snot streaming down my face all the while.
I was unceremoniously tossed into the cell and I crumpled on the floor and passed out in my own filth.
I lost track of how long I was at the research center. I guessed maybe a month, though it was probably longer. I was given a steady dose of drugs that kept me lucid, but compliant.
The labbies probed and prodded at me every day for hours on end. They drew blood and took tissue samples. They injected needles into my belly button and withdrew a pink fluid several times. I was grateful that the anal probe didn’t make a reappearance after that first time.
The labbies were initially concerned that my encounter with the Degan officers had hurt the baby, but he appeared to be fine. They gave me some type of vitamin booster to be on the safe side.
The health of the baby did seem to be important to them, but those concerns did not transfer to myself. I knew very well that I was being held illegally and I would never ever be free.
By now, I was quite visibly pregnant and my belly itched constantly. The hair seemed to increase the body heat of my swollen belly to the point where it was uncomfortable at times. I would find myself sweating one moment and then freezing the next.
The only bit of comfort I had was at night when they would lock me alone in my cell. I would lay on the thin mattress and wrap myself in the scratchy wool blanket. Of course, then it would get too hot and I'd push the cover off until I got cold again. But at least I was alone with no one scanning me or sticking me with sharp objects.
I closed my eyes and rested my hands on my stomach. As I pressed my fingers into the soft fur, I fantasized that one day Bastian would come for us and he’d take us away to his home on the lake, just like he promised.
As I laid on the bed, tears welled in my eyes. I knew that Bastian would never come for me. If he returned home at some point, he would find me missing. And when it came time for the baby to be born, I knew without a doubt that he would be taken away from me. They would experiment on him and I would never see him. I also knew that once they had the baby, they would have no further use for me. I could “disappear” and they could make up any story they wanted to.
I closed my eyes and tried to think of better times. I thought of Bastian’s big, warm body, and the way he would hold me and touch me. The way he smelled and how he used to rub that smell all over me. And the intensity of our love making. He was so amazing, he could send me into orbit with just a single touch. Just the thought of him was enough to arouse me. Damn, I seemed to be horny all the time lately.
I reached down and pulled my gown up. I grabbed my leaking dick and started to stroke and became lost in my fantasies.
Bastian was on his knees between my legs. He leaned forward and held his weight up on his hands. I wrapped a hand around the back of his neck, pulling him down for a kiss, while my other hand stroked his chest and belly, rubbing all over those delicious fur-covered muscles. His enormous cock pumped in and out of my tight little hole, bringing the both of us to a hard, intense climax.
“Bastian,” I mouthed.
I quickly felt the pressure in my groin building up, begging for release. I stroked faster and faster, repeatedly sliding my foreskin back and forth over the head. Pre-cum steadily leaked and I flicked my thumb over the slippery tip. My breathing hitched and with a stifled moan, I came, spurting my creamy spunk all over my hand and my stomach.
I laid there panting for a while, rubbing my fingers through the thinning liquid caught in the hairs on my stomach. I rubbed the seed into my belly a little bit, then got up and went to the sink to clean up.
The sink only released a trickle of water, so it was a pain in the ass to use. In the dim light, I saw myself in the mirror and cringed. My hair was a mess. It was too long and it stuck up all over the place. The lack of shampoo didn’t help any, either. I had dark circles under my eyes and my face was starting to look a little hollow. I was sure that I stunk. No, I knew that I stunk. They didn’t provide me with a toothbrush or toothpaste or deodorant. It was only once a week that they threw a bucket of water on me as if that took the place of a shower. I cupped my hand under the trickling faucet and let it pool in my palm. I splashed it under my armpit, then repeated the process for the other one. It didn’t help.
I thought pregnant people were supposed to “glow.” I didn’t glow. I looked dull and lifeless.
I lay back down and struggled to get comfortable on the thin cot. Jerking off relieved some of my edginess, but it always left me feeling empty and alone. But it tired me out enough that I knew I could fall asleep fairly quickly.
I was on the edge of falling asleep when I felt it for the first time.
A flutter of movement inside me. Drawing in a breath and holding it, I rested my hands on my belly and gently stroked my fingers through the hairs. I gasped when I felt it again. He kicked. I let out a quiet laugh and he moved again.
I knew then that I would do anything to keep him safe. If they tried to take the baby, they would have to kill me.
Despite the hopelessness of the situation, I fell asleep with a smile on my face.
* * *
The door opening suddenly startled me awake. Usually it was two guards who came for me, but this time there were more. There was a nervous energy in the air and I crawled back into the back corner of the cot and pulled my legs up, protecting my stomach, trying to make myself as small as possible.
Three Union security officers moved into the room and grabbed me. I was yanked out of the bed and a hand pushed into my back, propelling me forward, out into the hallway.
We followed a Union Navy lieutenant who was busy tapping away at his comPad as he briskly walked down the hall. “Hurry. We need him in room 18-Alpha right away.”
In my present “condition,” the quick pace they kept made me waddle and stumble slightly and I didn’t like that one bit. I tugged my arms, trying to jerk free from the guards, but they simply tightened their hold.
The guards dragged me down to that same conference room. I was pushed down into a chair, but not restrained. I couldn’t stand the thought of another round of questioning. I folded my arms across my chest, burying my hands in my armpits and tried to control my nerves, but I was shaking like a leaf in the wind.
The lieutenant looked at me and frowned and crinkled his nose. “Clean him up, for gods sake.”
When the guards made no move to comply with his order, the lieutenant let out a huff and searched around and found a towel. He grabbed the pitcher of water from the table and wet the towel and proceeded to wipe my face. I just sat there while he rubbed the wet towel on my hair and pushed his fingers through the tangles in a useless attempt to make it lay flat. He pushed up the sleeves of my gown and dragged the cloth over my armpits. His efforts were futile. I knew I stunk, but that’s what happens when you’re only allowed one ‘shower’ a week. I just didn’t know why they suddenly cared about my lack of cleanliness.
When the door hissed open, the guards moved in front of the doorway, blocking entrance into the room from the hallway. The lieutenant moved back to the corner and stood at attention with his hands clasped behind his back.
“I demand to see him now,” a deep and unfamiliar voice roared from outside the room. “Out of my way!”
I recognized the voice of one of the Union officers, trying to sound calm. “The man is an Earth citizen, as is the child. All Degan citizenship claims have been settled.”
“I have the authorization to see the man. You have already seen the Union Council orders and verified them. Now out of my way!”
I was surprised when two Degans pushed past the security guards. The younger, stoic-looking Degan wore one of their military uniforms. The elder wore a dark floor-length robe like Bastian liked to wear, only it was decorated with a metal sash draped over his left shoulder and down across to his right waist. There were a few jewel encrusted emblems on the sash that made him look like he might have been important.
I curled into myself, wishing I could just disappear into the chair. I couldn’t take another round of questioning. I just couldn’t do it. I started to shake uncontrollably and my jaw quivered. “Don’t hurt me.” I tried to speak, but the words came out as a voiceless breath. I hadn’t spoken aloud in weeks. “Please.”
“What have you done to him?” the older Degan loudly demanded of the Union officers. “He is but a boy!”
He moved in front of my chair and squatted down. He had emerald green eyes and they bored deep into my soul, making me feel uneasy, but I couldn’t turn away from his gaze. He held his hand out to me. “Do not be afraid, little one,” he said quietly and calmly as if trying to soothe a caged animal. Despite the roughness of his voice, there really was a soothing quality to it. I so wanted to trust him, but…
My eyes darted to the young Degan soldier standing behind him. He gazed at me with a blank expression, and I saw his hand hovering near the pistol strapped to his belt. My eyes went wide with fear and I pushed away from him, pushing back until the chair knocked against the back wall.
“Look at me, little one,” the elder Degan said firmly. I reluctantly returned my gaze to the squatting Degan. “My name is Dashel. Dashel Drago… Bastian’s sire.”
I let out a quiet gasp and my mouth fell open. Looking closely at his face, I could now see the resemblance. Bastian looked so much like his father. They shared the same honey-colored fur, but Dashel had wisps of gray throughout his hair, especially at his temples, and around his horns and over his ears. I looked past his fierce, beastly face and I saw warmth and comfort.
I relaxed and hesitantly reached out and took his offered hand. As he moved closer, he gently pulled me towards him.
When I was close enough, I warily watched a hand raise up towards my head. I took a calming breath as he reached up and pulled the hospital gown away from my neck. He leaned in a bit and sniffed the scar on my neck. Looking back into my eyes, he tenderly cradled my face in his hands.
“You have been claimed by my eldest son.”
His palms were so warm against my cool skin and he was being so nice and gentle, that I couldn’t help but lean into his touch. It had been so long since anyone had shown me any kind of affection.
He brought his hands towards my stomach and his nostrils flared as he breathed in. He looked up at me and I nodded, giving him permission to touch. As soon as he placed his warm hands on me, I felt the baby kick. Dashel’s eyes lit up. He looked up at me in wonder and I could see the moisture pooling along the bottom of his eyelids.
“My grandchild,” he said quietly. “You make me so proud, little one.”
He held my head in his hands and gently kissed my forehead. I wanted to throw myself into his arms and just weep, but I buried my emotions and held it together. I still wasn’t sure how much I could really trust him.
“It is time for us to leave,” he said as he stood up.
Trust or not, my eyes widened in panic. He was leaving? I wanted to beg, to plead for him to take me with him, but I couldn’t get my voice to work. Instead, I grabbed for his hand in desperation.
He calmly patted my hand and then pulled me up to my feet, then turned to the Degan officer. “Martan?”
“Yes, Sire?” he said with a tip of his chin.
I looked back at Martan in surprise. Bastian’s younger brother. Looking closer now, I could see the family resemblance.
Martan nodded his head at me and I tried to give him a smile. Martan moved in front of me and Dashel, his hand resting on the phase pistol strapped to his hip. Dashel moved behind me and put his arms on my shoulders and kept me close to him. I leaned against his big frame and for the first time in a long while, I felt safe.
As we stepped into the hall, a high-ranking officer stopped us. “Now wait just a minute,” he said. “You can’t just take him out of here. He is in state custody.”
“I can. And I will.” The venom in Dashel’s voice made me shudder. I would not want to be on the receiving end of a tongue lashing from the older Degan.
The officer motioned his hand and a squad of Union security men rushed down the hall and surrounded us. I leaned into Dashel, grabbing hold of him for strength and protection.
Dashel’s body went rigid. I could feel his rage simmering underneath the surface. His voice was quiet but sure when he finally spoke to the human officer, “Under Degan law, he has been claimed as the true bondmate of my eldest son. This makes him an immediate family member of the House of Drago. I have full backing of the Degan Federation on this. If you do not wish to cause an interstellar incident, I suggest you stand down. Do not try me, Admiral.”
“We have done nothing illegal. He is being held under Earth law, by order of the Department of oGlobal Security, in full compliance with Union regulation.”
“Under what charge is he held?”
The admiral cleared his throat. His eyes drifted down a moment, before he raised them back to Dashel and quietly answered, “Harboring a dangerous extra-terrestrial biological entity.”
“Harboring a— He is with child!” Dashel snarled.
Dashel was clearly about to lose control of his faculties. He took a calming breath and turned to Martan. “I need to speak with the Degan Prime Minister and a representative from the Union Council…”
Martan handed him a comPad. “Mother is with the Prime Minister now.”
Dashel swiped his finger and tapped at the screen, bringing up the comm controls.
“Now, wait a minute—” the Admiral started.
Another Union Navy officer ran down the hall towards us, pushed through the security unit and whispered into the Admiral’s ear. The Admiral hesitated briefly, then begrudgingly said, “Let them go.”
There was a flurry of activity behind us, but Martan and Dashel were in a hurry. Dashel grabbed my arm and began a brisk pace down the hallway. My heart pounded in my chest as I tried to keep up with him and Martan.
When the red alarm lights lit up the hallway and a klaxon began to sound, I let out a panicked cry. Dashel tightened his grip on my arm and pulled me closer. I was terrified that they wouldn’t let us go without a fight. As activity in the hallway increased, Martan swiftly escorted us through the halls and the lobby out the front door of a nondescript building to a waiting shuttle.
As we stepped outside, the sunlight blinded my eyes. How long had it been since I last saw natural light? I shielded my hand over my brow and let Dashel help me into the shuttle. Once we were seated and secure, Martan took the controls and we were quickly underway.
I cleared my throat. “Where’s Bastian?” I asked. My voice was scratchy, little more than a croak, and I had to clear it several times before I thought I could speak again.
“We do not know,” Dashel said. He opened a storage bin and pulled out a chilled bottle of water and gave it to me. “We have been searching for him. I had hoped that you might have an idea. He did not tell you where he was going?”
I drank down half the water. “No. He was supposed to meet me at home and he just disappeared. I haven’t seen him since. How did you find me?”
“A human doctor was inquiring about Bastian’s whereabouts. You can imagine my surprise when I found out that not only did Bastian claim a bondmate, but that the mate was a human male and he carried a child.”
“Not as surprised as I was,” I muttered as I rubbed my hand over the swell of my stomach.
“It took some investigating, but we managed to find you. We came as soon as we could cut through the red tape.”
“Thank you. I don’t know what would have happened to us if we had stayed there much longer.” I took another swig of the water and looked out the window at the buildings whizzing by. “Are the doctors okay, the ones who asked about me? And where are we going?”
“They are fine. I promised I would let them know your condition once we found you. Right now we are on our way to the spaceport. Our ship is preparing for departure.”
“We’re leaving Earth?”
“Yes. We are to depart posthaste.”
“Oh. Wow. Wait. What about my things? And how will you get me through customs?”
“Your papers are complete and in order. We will send for your things once we have arrived safely home.”
“But the Degan government… They rejected their claim on the baby. That’s what they said.”
“I have taken care of that. As the grandsire of the child, I have override privileges. And I do have a little bit of pull with the government,” he added with an attempt at a toothy smile. His smile disappeared and his voice lowered as he became serious again. “Can you tell me what happened to you? How did you end up in that facility?”
“Union Navy security took me from the doctor’s office. I think maybe they intercepted the scans the doctor sent to his colleague. I’m really not sure. While I was there a Degan General — Dansik? — came and asked me questions about Bastian.” I rubbed the back of my neck and cringed. Tears pricked my eyes as I recalled what they did to me. “They put some device on my neck… it hurt…”
Dashel’s chest heaved and his breathing quickened. He closed his eyes and let out a slow, deep breath. When he opened his eyes and spoke, he did not attempt to disguise his anger. “They dare lay a hand on you. It is unconscionable they would use an outlawed torture device on someone who is carrying a child. We will take care of that when we reach the homeworld.”
“While I was at the research center, they ran a bunch of tests on me and the baby, and took samples. I think they were using it for experiments and genetic splicing.”
“That is being dealt with as we speak.”
“Do you think he’s okay? The baby?”
“‘He’? A boy?” asked Dashel. I nodded. “I am sure he is fine. We will have a medic check you out when we reach the ship. When we arrive home, we will set up an appointment with our family physician.”
“Okay.” I looked back out the window and watched as we turned towards Spaceport Prime.
On arrival, we were greeted outside the Spaceport by a Degan ambassador and a Human diplomat. They both bowed their heads to Dashel and the Degan ambassador spoke. “Governor. You will find everything in order.”
“Thank you. We will be departing immediately.”
“Yes, my lord.”
The human cleared his throat nervously. His eyes kept darting to my belly as he tried not to stare. “I apologize on the behalf of the Union Council, Governor Drago. I assure you that this matter is being looked into.”
“I should hope so. A Degan investigation team is already en route to make sure each and every sample that was collected is properly destroyed.”
“Of course. We will cooperate fully. We have a research team standing by to assist. That research laboratory was not an officially sanctioned lab, I assure you.”
Dashel narrowed his eyes at the human. “We shall see about that. Thank you for your time, Ambassador.”
The human ambassador motioned for a group of Union Navy security officers to come forward. I was surprised when I recognized the lead security officer.
Lieutenant Britski moved in front and nodded towards the Ambassador. He looked at me in shock for a moment. His gaze drifted down to my abdomen. I didn’t miss the disapproving look before his face went back to neutral. I didn’t really care. I would probably never see him again, and that was fine with me.
Without uttering a word to me, Britski and his unit escorted us through the Spaceport’s VIP security gate and down the concourse. We were expedited through security and customs and were at the gate in record time. Apparently Dashel’s connections were no joke.
I just kept my head down the entire time, ignoring the stares. I’m sure they didn’t know what to make of me. I was still wearing the white hospital gown. My hair was a tangled mess. I didn’t even have shoes on. With the Degans and the Union security contingency, I must have looked like a criminally insane mental patient being extradited.
As we walked down the spaceway to the Degan scout cruiser, I saw Peri standing at the gate’s airlock control. “Per!”
Peri turned around and gasped. He ran towards me, only to be intercepted by Martan. I put my hand on Martan’s arm. “It’s okay. He’s my friend.”
“Where have you been?” Peri asked as he pulled me in for a hug. “I was worried sick about you! No one would tell me where you were. Roble said you were arrested by Global Security, but I didn’t believe him. He said you were fired. I couldn’t find you. I tried to find you.”
“It’s okay, Per. I’m okay now. Everything will be okay.”
Peri suddenly pulled back and looked down at my belly. “Dev? What the— Are you— What is that?”
“Um… Well… I’m having a baby.”
Peri’s mouth dropped open. “Bastian’s DNA knocked you up? Oh my freaking god.”
Dashel put his hand on my shoulder. “I’m sorry, but we have to go now.”
Peri’s mouth dropped open. “You’re leaving?” His eyes filled with tears.
“I’m sorry, Per, but I have to go with them. I don’t have time to explain. You can come with us.” I turned to Dashel. “He can come with us right?”
“Yes, but he must decide this instant. We have to leave right now.”
Peri’s eyes widened. “I… I’m sorry, Dev. I don’t think I can… It’s too much, too quick. I can’t—“
“It’s okay, Per. I understand, but I have to go. I’ll call you when we get there, okay? We’ll talk. If you change your mind, call me, okay? Anytime. Bye, Per.”
I gave Peri one last tearful hug before I boarded the ship. I let out a quiet breath and whispered into his ear, “I’m gonna miss you, Peri. You’ll always be my little brother.”
“Bye, Dev. I’m gonna miss you, too.”
Peri was crying when we pulled apart. I so wanted to beg him to come with us, but he had to make his own way. He had his own destiny.
I gave him one last wave as I went through the airlock door. I quickly wiped the tears from my eyes.
Once aboard the ship, we were greeted by two Degan officers, who briefed Dashel on the departure itinerary.
“Prepare for takeoff,” Dashel ordered. “We are to depart immediately.”
“Yes, sir,” one of the officers replied with a quick snap of his chin. He hurriedly turned and left to follow out his orders.
Martan escorted me to my assigned quarters, with Dashel following close behind. The other Degan officer walked with him, briefing him on the ship’s operating status, before giving him a disappointing update on the search for Bastian.
I wished they had stronger leads, but I was also really happy that they had people actually tracking and searching.
“Here you are,” Martan said, stopping in front of a door. “We put you in room G202. It’s the second room on Deck 2. 202. Got it?” When I nodded, he tapped at the door controls until it began to blink with the pictogram of a yellow hand. “Put your hand on the scanner so that it knows who you are.”
I did as he asked and the computer beeped and announced Security access updated and the door slid open.
The room seemed to be large for a ship this size. It was nice and comfortable, but very spartan in its decoration. There was a good sized bed against the far wall, large enough to hold a Degan male with room to spare. A small night table with a lamp sat next to the bed. There was also a desk as well as a seating area with two chairs next to the outer hull wall, where there was a large viewport window.
While I looked around the spacious room, Martan found a spare tunic and a pair of pants for me to wear.
“You may want to take advantage of the shower,” he said quietly, only for my ears.
I nodded, absolutely embarrassed and mortified at the reminder of my filthy state, but grateful that he hadn’t said it for the others to hear.
I followed Martan into the restroom. He showed me how to activate the shower cycle and then excused himself.
I had never experienced a sonic shower before. The sound waves quickly and efficiently broke up the dirt and then sucked it away. To be on the safe side, I ran it a second cycle. It did its job thoroughly, but it wasn’t as relaxing as an aqua shower.
After giving my hair a thorough brushing, I pulled on the clothes that Martan left for me. They were quite large on me and I had to roll up the excess material of the pant legs, but it was nice to be properly covered up again. He didn’t provide shoes or boots, so I went barefoot. At least the floors here were carpeted.
When I stepped out of the bathroom, Martan and Dashel were waiting for me.
“We will be underway shortly,” Martan said to me. “Why don’t you get some rest? You must be exhausted.”
“I am tired, but if it’s all the same, I’d like to see the launch. I’ve never been off-world before.”
Dashel put his hand on my back. “Then you will have best seat in the house. The observation lounge is on Deck 2 at the ship’s bow, not far from here.”
I should have been more excited. The moment I finally dreamed of was here. I wanted to share it with Bastian, but he was gone. And I had abandoned my best friend.
“You think Peri will be okay?” I asked, looking out the window at the Spaceport, knowing that he was at the gate controls this very instant.
“Your friend will be fine,” Dashel said gently. “He has to make his own destiny. But I am sure that your paths will cross once more.”
I gave him a grateful smile in return. “Thank you.”
I stood on the observation deck with Dashel as the ship took off. The entire bow wall of the lounge was one series of windows, spanning from floor to ceiling. I grinned widely as we soared through the atmosphere. It was exhilarating.
When the blue sky faded to black and the stars emerged, I stood silently, open-jawed. Silent tears of joy streamed down my face. It was even more wondrous than I could ever have imagined.
“It’s so beautiful,” I spoke softly. “I wish Bastian was here.”
“We will find him, little one. Don’t you worry,” Dashel said quietly as he moved closer. He put his arm around me and kissed the top of my head.
“What if he doesn’t want me?” I asked, my voice barely a whisper as I spoke my fears aloud for the first time.
“If he didn’t want you, he would not have mated with you.”
“How do you know? He left the next morning. Maybe he’s not missing. Maybe he just didn’t want me.”
“I promise you, if he knew you were carrying his child, he would have done everything in his power to return to you.”
“I don’t want him to come back because he feels obligated. I want him to come back because he loves me.”
I squeezed my eyes shut and drew in a ragged breath. I was on the verge of tears and I didn’t want to cry in front of the powerful man standing next to me.
Dashel moved behind me and put his hands on my shoulders. He pulled me back to his chest. My body shook and I couldn’t help myself. I burst into tears and Dashel turned me and pulled me close. I wrapped my arms around him and sobbed tears of despair over my loss of Bastian mixed with tears of happiness at my rescue.
Once I finally quieted down, Dashel spoke quietly. “Bastian witnessed a murder. He believes the assassin has ties to a very powerful man. Despite my wishes, he went into hiding — foolishly trying to uncover the men behind the deed on his own. I believe he left because he had been discovered, or possibly captured. He would not have wanted harm to come to you. I know my son. He would not have left you willingly.”
I wiped a tear streak from my cheek. “He should have told me what was going on. He should have taken me with him.”
“Yes. He should have taken you and immediately returned home. Once we find him, this madness will end once and for all.”
I let out a nervous snort and a sniffle, then wiped my nose. “I am so ready for the madness to end!”
Once we were underway, I was immediately taken to sickbay. The ship’s medic checked me out and said I was fine, though slightly malnourished. He gave me some vitamin pills and sent me back to my room to rest.
A good night’s rest sounded wonderful to me.
After tapping the light control, I crawled into bed. With what I had been through, the unfamiliar surroundings made me anxious. There was a lamp bolted onto the small table next to the bed. I touched its sensor until it was at its lowest setting.
I pulled the blankets up to my chin and curled up on my side. The bed was soft and the sheets and covers were silky against my skin. It didn’t take much for me to fall into a deep sleep.
When I finally woke from an extra long slumber, I was hungry. My stomach was grumbling and I decided to get some food first thing.
I left my room and padded through the corridor in my bare feet and oversized clothes. I wandered through the ship and found Dashel in the observation lounge. He was sitting at the long conference table going through documents on his comPad. I was hesitant to disturb him because he seemed to be reading so intently, but when I approached, he looked up and a smile spread across his face.
“Ah, little one. I trust you rested well?” he asked as he set the comPad aside, giving me his undivided attention.
He held out his hand to me and I went to him, and clasped it in mine, happy to feel the warmth. “Yes, sir.”
“You must be hungry.”
I nodded. “Yes. I’m starving.”
We went down to the galley and Dashel helped me fix a heaping plate of food. I ate like I hadn’t seen food in months, which was actually quite true. I didn’t really know what everything was, but I ate it all the same.
I dumped one of the vitamin pills into the palm of my hand from the bottle the doctor gave me. The pill was so big that I about choked just looking at it. I managed to get it down with a big glass of water.
Dashel then brought me another glass of water and another plate of food, which I happily dug into.
“It’s been a while since I had real food,” I said happily as I ate my last cube of some sort of delicious orangey cheesy thing.
Dashel laughed loudly. “I would hardly call this real food. We will have a feast in your honor when we reach home.”
“Will there be cheese like this? It’s quite good.”
“Anything you want.”
I was silent for a moment, before I looked up at Dashel. I had a million questions in my mind regarding my future. I was grateful for Dashel for rescuing me, but I was still a little uneasy about what was going to happen to me. I quickly looked back down and picked up the crumbs on my plate with the tip of my finger, then licked them off. “Dashel?”
“If Bastian doesn’t return… or if he doesn’t want me… where will I go?”
“You will stay with me and Nydia, Bastian’s mother. You and your child will always be welcome in our home.”
He reached over and gave my hand a comforting squeeze.
“You’re so kind,” I said quietly, before mumbling, “I wish I grew up with a father like you.”
Dashel reached up and ran his hand over my head and tweaked my earlobe with a little tug. “I meant what I said to the admiral. You are family now, little one, and I hope one day you will come to think of me as a father to you.”
I smiled warmly at him and he spread his mouth in a mimic of an exaggerated human smile, which made me laugh. He laughed with me and tugged at my earlobe again.
“How long will it take us to reach your homeworld?” I asked.
“Normally four days at this rate, but this morning we diverted course. One of our agents fed us a lead on Bastian. Chances are remote, but I felt we should investigate regardless…”
I knew that he was telling me not to get my hopes up, but even a remote chance was something I could hold on to.
“Sire!” Martan called out as he rushed into the room. Leaning on his hand against the door frame, he drew in a breath and let it out. “We are picking up a distress signal on a Degan frequency. I believe it is Bastian. He is under attack!”
* * *
We rushed after Martan to the bridge, the ship’s main operation center, located on the first deck at the fore of the ship.
The bridge was a technological wonder, containing several duty stations with large e-glass panels, arranged in a configuration that surrounded a large central chair reserved for the ship’s captain. The entire front wall was made up of a large view screen, which currently displayed streaks of stars as we travelled through hyperspace.
I didn’t have much time to marvel at the bridge before Dashel put me into a swiveling chair in front of one of the duty stations and fastened the chair’s chest straps onto me. Three other Degan officers were present on the bridge, helping to operate the svelte scout ship.
I tugged at the chair straps, trying to make them more comfortable. Not only were the straps digging into my pregnant belly, but the tips of my toes barely brushed the floor. I looked around sides and bottom of the chair, but couldn’t find any way of adjusting it. Apparently they didn’t make these chairs for normal-sized humans.
“Sir,” one of the officers called out. “We are approaching the source of the signal, a small shuttle. An X-class Degan battle cruiser is in pursuit.”
“Set an intercept course,” Dashel ordered.
“Yes, sir,” Martan replied speedily.
While Martan took his place at the navigation controls, Dashel sat down in the captain’s chair.
My heart raced in anticipation of possibly seeing my missing bondmate.
Everyone was busy working, so I turned my chair and looked at the display on the sensor panel in front of me. While it was different from the Spaceport Prime operating system, I realized that it was actually a more modernized version of what I was used to.
I tapped the on-screen control to activate the external sensor array and the panel came to life with various icons on top of a star map. I immediately figured out which icon represented our ship as it approached two more icons, one chasing the other. The smallest icon blinked in red and flashing red text began scrolling down the screen.
The ship suddenly dropped out of hyperspace and lurched ever so slightly. I gripped the chair’s armrests tightly as my stomach rolled. The sensations of the ship’s inertia combined with the artificial gravity were still so foreign to me.
I turned towards the main viewscreen to watch just as the streaking stars came to a halt. I gasped when the large battle cruiser zoomed into view directly in front of us. The sheer size, powerful armament, and intimidating profile let any who came in contact with it know that this was a ship designed for war.
“Oh wow,” I whispered in awe. “That ship is enormous.”
“Shields up,” Dashel ordered. “Ready weapons.”
While the others verbally acknowledged his orders, I was stunned silent. My first trip into space and I was likely heading into a real-life space battle.
Martan’s hands moved over the navigation controls and he maneuvered our ship closer to the battle cruiser. The battleship was firing on a tiny shuttlepod, which frantically zigged and zagged to avoid the deadly beams of the particle weapons.
The battle cruiser fired again, this time hitting the shuttle’s aft side. Smoke poured from its engines as the shuttle slowed.
I drew in a sharp breath. Bastian!
Looking back at the sensors, I realized that Bastian — if it was indeed him in the shuttle — was in much more trouble than he appeared. Another hit like that and he’d be destroyed.
“Dashel,” I called out over my shoulder. “The shuttle is venting atmosphere. Shields are gone, and life support is failing. The engines can’t take another hit like that.”
I swiveled around in my chair to find the crew staring at me.
Realizing that I probably wasn’t supposed to be using the computer, let alone barking at Dashel out of turn, I swallowed nervously and cleared my throat, then added “sir” out of respect.
The corner of Dashel’s mouth turned up in an amused smirk. He gave me a nod of thanks, then tapped the communications panel on his chair. His voice became deep and commanding, sounding very official. “This is Degan Governor Dashel Drago. Cease fire immediately.”
The screen came to life and I gasped in shock from recognition. It was the dark-furred Degan that had interrogated me with the general.
“This is Captain Brilsch. By order of the Degan Global Armed Forces, stand down. Do not interfere. You will not receive a second warning.”
Brilsch’s image reached forward to hit a control and the screen went blank.
“Dashel,” I warned. “That’s him. The one that questioned me with the General. He put the device on my neck.”
Dashel’s face contorted with anger and his lip curled in a snarl. “I am not surprised that he is involved in this.” He turned to his son. “Martan.”
Martan acknowledged his sire with a nod before turning back to the ship’s controls. His fingers moved deftly across the glass panel.
“Target their forward weapons array,” Dashel ordered the weapons officer. “Fire when ready.”
Our ship zipped around the much larger battleship and began firing strategically. The battle cruiser was slow to respond, but it broke off pursuit of the shuttle and began to fire on our ship.
Explosions rocked the bridge and I grabbed the chair straps to steady myself as the ship shook violently.
I looked back at my console and brought up the ship’s internal sensor scans. “Shields are holding,” I called. “Minimal damage. Sir.”
Brilsch’s battle cruiser had more firepower, but it couldn’t match the speed of Dashel’s ship and Martan’s skilled piloting. Within minutes, Martan and the crew managed to disable the ship’s main weapons array and cripple the engines enough to slow them down.
The comm link beeped and Dashel activated the incoming transmission. Only the audio came through and my heart leapt at the sound of the voice through the static-filled connection. “This is Bastian Drago of planet Dega. I am seeking asylum—”
I closed my eyes and let his voice wash over me.
“Son,” Dashel said. His voice quivered with relief. “You are cleared to board.”
Bastian paused. “Sire? Is it really you?”
“Yes. We need you to dock at once so that we can get the blazes out of here.”
* * *
We waited at the airlock for the shuttlepod to dock in the shuttle bay. My entire body thrummed with nervous energy. The docking process was excruciatingly slow. I needed to see my man, and I needed to see him now. As I waited, I absentmindedly reached down and scratched my itchy stomach.
After the bay was finally pressurized, we rushed through the airlock door to the small ship. As the hatch opened, my heart thumped in my chest and pounded in my ears. After all this time, there he was. He was just as handsome as the day I met him.
He ducked his head below the shuttle’s bulkhead and strutted down the ramp. His hair was too long and he had bruises on his face. His clothes were ripped and dirty. His left eye was bruised and slightly swollen. Clearly he had been in a fight recently, but he carried himself with such confidence that I could only look at him in wonder.
Dashel took him in his arms, holding him arm’s length at the shoulders. “My son.”
“Sire. It is good to see you. I have so much to tell you. But first, we must head back to Earth. I found my true bondmate, Sire. We must go back. He must be sick with worry. The long range comm system in the shuttle I escaped in was down. I had no way to message. I—”
Bastian’s voice trailed off as he met my gaze, finally noticing that I was standing there. “Devin?” He ran to me and scooped me up in his arms. “Devin! It is you, little one! You’re really here! How?”
Without letting me answer, he set me down and cupped my face in his hands and kissed me deeply. His tongue pushed its way into my mouth and stroked against mine, making my bones melt and my toes curl. I gripped his arms and held on tight, letting him have his way with me.
When Bastian finally pulled away to give us both a chance to breathe, he rubbed his nose against each of my cheeks and both sides of my neck, then rested his forehead on mine. His body shuddered and his voice quivered as he whispered to me, “My true one. I am so sorry. You must know that I did not leave you willingly. I swear it.”
He pulled me tight to his body and held me in his big arms and everything became right in the world. I laid my head in the middle of his chest. I had forgotten how big he was and I just loved the way his body seemed to surround me.
We held each other and I breathed in his scent while I luxuriated in the warmth and safety that radiated from his massive body.
I closed my eyes to keep the welling tears from falling and finally whispered, “I missed you so much. I thought I’d never see you again.”
As I spoke, he continued to touch me, planting gentle kisses along my neck and head.
His body suddenly went rigid and his hands stopped moving.
Oh, yeah. He didn’t know about that yet…
Bastian pulled back and looked down at me in shock. His nostrils flared as his hands moved from around my back to my front. He drew in a sharp breath as his mouth gaped open.
“You… How… What…”
He held his hands gently on my swollen stomach and leaned down and sniffed my neck.
“We’re having a baby,” I whispered.
On cue, the baby kicked and Bastian drew in a ragged breath and dropped to his knees. He wrapped his arms around me and threw his head back and let out an anguished howl.
His head slumped forward to rest on my stomach. “Forgive me! I did not know!” He held onto me and his body shook as he wept. “Forgive me, Devin. Forgive me…”
His tears and the pain in his voice nearly undid me. I scrubbed the tears from my face and pulled at Bastian’s shoulders. “Up.”
He slowly moved to his feet. I looked up at him as he looked down at me, shame and agony written all over his face. It broke my heart to see him like this. I reached up and wiped the wetness from his cheeks. “I love you, Bastian.”
“And I love you.”
Bastian pulled me into a tight embrace. He looked over my head at his father. “Sire. This has to end now. I have a family to take care of.”
“Yes, you do.” Dashel pressed a finger on his commlink. “Martan? Set a course for home. Maximum speed.”
Martan’s voice filtered over the comm, “Already done, Sire.”
* * *
“Which room are you in?” Bastian asked as he practically dragged me down the corridor.
“G202. But we need to go to sickbay first.”
“I’m not sick. I just need to be alone with you right now.”
I came to a stand still and tugged my hand with everything I had, forcing Bastian to stop.
“Damn it!” I didn’t mean to raise my voice, but I couldn’t help it. I don’t know where the anger was coming from —maybe from being abused and abandoned. Either way, it burst to the surface and I took it out on Bastian. I yanked my hand free of his and crossed my arms across my chest. “I don’t know where you were, or what you were doing, but you’ve obviously been roughed up. We are going to sickbay now. Or you’re gonna have a fat lip to go with that black eye.”
Bastian stared down at me in wide-eyed disbelief.
Dashel let out a laugh. “I think your bondmate has everything under control. I will be on the bridge. Find me later. We have much to talk about.”
He turned and walked away, snickering all the while.
* * *
Bastian was fine.
He had some bruising on his face, as well as some heavy, tender bruises on his torso. The doctor gave him a bottle of vitamin supplements for nutrition and ordered him to get rest and drink plenty of fluids. Otherwise, he was perfectly fine.
We left sickbay, and Bastian quickly escorted me to my quarters. As soon as we were alone inside, I grabbed his chin hairs and yanked so that his nose was directly in front of mine. “If you ever leave me again, I will hunt you down myself, cut off your balls and toss them out an airlock.”
His eyes widened and he quickly nodded. “I promise.”
He closed the distance and kissed me, gently as if I would break.
“You are beautiful, my true one. I need to hold you, mark you with my scent.” He stopped for a moment. “But I need to take a shower first. It’s been too long since I have been clean.”
I reached up and pulled off his torn tunic, helping Bastian to get naked. As Bastian pulled his leather pants down, my nose was assaulted with a funky, rank smell and I decided he in fact really did need that shower.
He looked over at the bathroom door, then back at the bed. He grabbed my hand. “Come with me. I don’t want you out of my sight.”
“The shower only takes a minute,” I moaned as he dragged me across the room. I sat down on the closed commode while he stepped into the clear glass shower stall and activated it.
It was a pretty nice view from where I sat.
Once the shower cycle finished, Bastian stepped out looking fresh and clean. Like me, he was in dire need of a haircut and he could stand to eat a few healthy meals. But he still looked damn good naked.
I stood up and took his hand and we returned to the bedroom.
I undressed, then moved onto the bed and slipped under the covers and pulled Bastian in with me. As he moved under the blankets, he guided me to the side of the bed against the wall. He laid on his side and pulled me to his chest, surrounding me with his massive body on one side and the security of the wall on the other.
He brought his hand to my stomach and slowly rubbed a gentle circle. No sooner had he put his hand on my belly when the baby jerked his foot in a painful kick.
Bastian drew in a sharp breath and held it. He kept rubbing his hand in a soothing manner and it helped both me and the baby to settle.
“He’s a boy,” I said, looking back at him over my shoulder. “We’re going to have a son.”
He looked so proud and so happy and I was overjoyed that I could be the one to make him feel that way.
“I never imagined it would be possible,” he whispered.
“I was confused myself. At first I thought your ‘aggressive DNA’ just made my stomach hairy and gave me your appetite. I got kind of pudgy, but I thought it was because I was eating so much. After a month or so, I started to feel sick to my stomach all the time and I went to the doctor. He showed me the scans that showed I was pregnant.” I paused for a moment, not sure of how to tell him what happened next. “Then they took me.”
Bastian’s body tightened. “They took you? Who?”
I explained to him what happened to me and where I’d been for the past month and a half. As I spoke, he grew increasingly angry. By the time I finished, his face had gone red and he bared his fangs and snarled as his body shook with rage.
He stood up and grabbed the lamp from the night table, jerking it so hard that the bolts gave way and the internal wiring snapped. With a loud roar he threw it and it hit the opposite wall and smashed into a thousand pieces.
“I will kill them! I will kill them all!”
He threw his head back and screamed again, then spun around, searching frantically around the room. I assumed he wanted something else to throw.
“Bastian, please.” I spoke softly, trying to calm him. “We have other things to worry about first. Come back to bed.”
Looking defeated, he dropped to his knees next to the bed. He grabbed my hand and pulled it to his chest and held it tight. He drew in a deep breath through his nose and let it out his mouth.
“I have failed to protect you. It is within your rights to reject my claim on you, as an unsuitable bondmate. If you do so… I will understand.”
Bastian lifted his chin and set his jaw. He closed his eyes in painful sorrow, waiting for my answer.
I threaded my fingers through Bastian’s thick hair and forced his head closer. “Bastian. I will never reject your claim on me. Please. Can we put this behind us? I don’t want anyone but you. Please. I need you. I can’t do this without you. You’re his daddy.”
Bastian opened his eyes and looked at me, searching for the sincerity in my eyes and in my voice. Satisfied, he leaned down and took my mouth. He crawled back onto the bed as his tongue pushed into me and I accepted it hungrily. While he kissed me, he ground his furry body all over me, marking me with his scent.
“Sire,” Bastian murmured against my neck.
“Huh?” I asked in a daze.
“I’m his sire. You are his daddy.”
At this point, I couldn’t possibly wrap my head around the difference in terms. The intense mating scent was rolling off Bastian and overloading my brain. He broke the kiss and proceeded to rub every square inch of my body with his. Once he was satisfied he had my front and back covered, he flipped me back over onto my back.
Kneeling between my legs, he kissed his way up and down my body until he finally ended with one of my nipples. He sucked and licked and nibbled on the sensitive nub before moving to the other one. Back and forth, he teased each one until they were practically raw.
He then worked his way down, pausing at my belly button where he flicked his tongue in and out. The fur didn’t even phase him one bit.
As much as I wanted him to suck me off, I really wanted him to fuck me. He was driving me insane with lust. I shuddered uncontrollably and I tugged at his shoulders, trying to pull him up and on top of me.
“Take me, Bastian.” I reached for his massive cock, overjoyed to find it hard as steel, already slick and ready for entry. “I need you inside me,” I whispered.
Bastian hesitated for a moment, but then closed his eyes. “I can not resist you.”
“Then don’t resist. Take what’s yours.”
With a deep growl in his chest, Bastian turned me onto my side, facing away from him. He moved up behind me, spooning against my back. He slid a powerful arm under my neck and his hand rested against my chest, holding me steady. He spit into his other hand and smeared the slimy drool between my cheeks. He lined up the slippery head of his massive girth with my tight opening and then gently rubbed it back and forth. Warm pre-cum slicked my hole, getting it ready for penetration.
“Don’t tease,” I begged. “Do it now.”
As the head of his cock breached my body, I moaned loudly from the combination of pain and pleasure.
He laved his tongue all over the bite scar, sending shivers of ecstasy down my spine. Before I realized it, he was buried completely inside me. He continued to suck and lick my mating bite while my body got used to the deep invasion.
Bastian slowly pulled back until the head of his cock was about to slip out of me. A sudden jab to my prostate had me crying out. I reached up and grabbed onto Bastian’s furry arm and braced myself for the pounding I knew I was about to receive.
Bastian didn’t disappoint me. One hand held me tight to his body; the other grabbed onto my hip and held me firmly in place while he thrust furiously in and out of my tight passage. I felt every one of the rings along his shaft as they pushed past my sphincter and then as they rubbed across my prostate.
“Yes, Bastian,” I moaned. “Yes, harder, faster.”
He leaned down and bit down on my mating scar and I screamed as my body went rigid and then exploded. Jets of warm semen fountained from my pulsing dick, spraying against the back wall and onto the bed.
“Devin… Devin… Devin!”
Bastian thrust hard into me one last time. He gripped me so tight, I knew I would have bruises from his fingers. His cock swelled inside me and he buried his face in my neck. His body shuddered violently and I clung to him for dear life while he emptied his nuts deep inside my body.
He continued to hold me, his thick cock still buried to the root inside me as he came down from his intense climax.
I slumped back against his body. My eyes started to drift shut and I let out a soft sigh. “Mmm… You’re so good at that…”
Bastian’s hand moved to the swell of my belly. “Sleep, my little mate.”
“You’ll be here when I wake?” I hated how pitiful I sounded, but I really needed to know the answer.
* * *
I woke with a start and I tried in vain to sit up, but I was restrained. “No!”
“Shh… You’re safe, my little Devin.”
It was Bastian. He had his arms around me. One of his hands was slowly rubbing my belly. The uneasiness left me as I relaxed back into Bastian’s warm embrace. “Bastian…”
“How are you feeling?” he asked me.
“I feel good,” I said with a bit of surprise. “I slept pretty soundly actually. Right up until the end, I suppose.”
“I am glad,” he said. He planted several kisses on my head and I turned around pressed my lips to his.
My stomach started to growl loudly, making Bastian chuckle against my mouth.
“Why don’t we get some food and then we can talk?” he asked. “We have a lot to talk about.”
After we both took turns in the sonic shower, we went down to the galley to get breakfast.
Bastian’s brother Martan was sitting at a table, quickly chowing down his breakfast while apparently deep in thought.
“Hello, Martan,” I said to him. He had a mouthful of food, so he lifted his fork up in reply.
Bastian filled a tray up with various items from the fridge and pantry and we sat down with Martan.
“It’s good to see you, little brother,” Bastian said to Martan. He then reached over and tugged on Martan’s ear.
“Hey!” Martan exclaimed as he batted Bastian’s hand away. “Keep your mitts to yourself. I’m no cub.”
“Your sire did that to me a couple of times yesterday,” I said. “Does that mean something?”
Bastian seemed very happy when I told him that. “It’s how an elder shows affection to younger cubs.”
Martan scowled at his older brother and I laughed.
“Sire is going to want to know what happened to you,” Martan said to Bastian.
“Yes. I was just telling Devin that.”
I picked up a piece of cheese from my plate along with a cube of something that looked like sausage. I popped them into my mouth. “Mmm. Yummy.”
Bastian ran his hand over the back of my head affectionately.
“You need to call Mother as well,” Martan added. “She is worried sick.”
Bastian groaned and his shoulders slumped. “Does she know about Devin?”
Bastian smacked his forehead and shook his head.
I swallowed down my bite of sausage and looked up at Bastian. “Does she… Do you think she will like me?”
“She will adore you, Devin. It is me she will be angry with.”
I looked at him with surprise. “Why?”
“Because I claimed a bondmate without telling her.”
“And then knocked him up,” Martan added with a laugh. “Before the bonding ceremony even. Scandalous!” He laughed harder.
Bastian let out a sigh. “She will be most upset with what happened to you… The kidnapping and the experiments. I did not act responsibly towards you.”
“But it’s not your fault,” I said, defending my man. “You couldn’t help it that you were captured any more than I could. She can’t get mad at you for that.”
My words brought a half-smile to Bastian’s lips. “Perhaps. It will be all right. Don’t worry. She will get over it after she gives me a good talking to.”
“I do not envy you for that, my son.”
We turned as Dashel walked in, lightly chuckling at Bastian’s expense.
Dashel was wearing a soft, pleated, knee-length leather skirt that reminded me of a cross between an ancient gladiator skirt and a Scottish kilt. On top he wore a leather vest with his metal sash. Despite being skimpier than the military uniforms that the rest of the crew wore, his outfit looked very formal. He walked up behind me and rubbed the back of my head, then reached over and tweaked Martan’s ear.
Martan pressed his lips together, but didn’t say anything. Bastian and I both laughed at him.
Bastian looked his father up and down. “I am not going to have to get dressed up, am I?”
“You already know the answer to that,” Dashel answered as he went to get a plate of food.
“I don’t have any dress clothes. Neither does Devin.”
Dashel returned to the table with a heaping plate of food. He looked over at Bastian and reached up and squeezed his shoulder. “Tell us what happened to you.”
Bastian let out a deep sigh. “The morning after I claimed Devin… I guess I was on a high. I was overjoyed. I had found my true bondmate and claimed him. We spent all night and all morning having phenomenal sex. You should have told me about the swelling rings—”
I gasped. “Bastian!” I shot my eyes towards his father and brother, who were both trying not to laugh.
Bastian ignored us and continued his story. “I suppose I was on a hormone-induced, sleep-deprived high or something after mating with Devin… I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings as I should have been. I was jumped outside the hotel by the assassin I was tracking.”
“An assassin? Who did he kill?” I asked.
“A senator. A client of mine.”
Dashel added, “Senator Sandzi had been pushing for Union membership.”
Surprised, I asked, “And he was killed over that?”
Dashel agreed. “The call for Union consideration died with him.” He turned back to Bastian. “The assassin captured you?”
“Yes. He kept me locked up for weeks until he was able to broker transport on a pirate cruiser. I was finally able to overpower him and escape in one of the shuttles. I was headed back to Earth to get Devin when I was intercepted by Brilsch…”
“That was when we caught up to you,” Dashel said.
“Yes. And none too soon, I might add.”
“Did this assassin give you any ideas on who hired him?”
Bastian shook his head. “I did discover that he is Captain Brilsch’s cousin. He was booted out of the military, thrown in prison. I suspect that General Dansik is involved, but what he would gain by Sandzi’s death, I do not know.”
Dashel thought for a moment. “He is vehemently opposed to Union membership, but beyond that, I don’t know either. It is not as if Sandzi would have rallied enough support for even a vote on the matter. Did you kill the assassin?”
“I tossed him into his own brig. He is fine.” A smirk spread across Bastian’s face. “Though his face might be unrecognizable for a few days.”
“I will have him picked up by the authorities.”
“Sire… Devin told me what happened to him—” Bastian paused to snarl his displeasure. “I don’t want DNA samples of our child in the hands of those researchers. What they’re doing is reprehensible. If I get my hands on them…”
“Don’t worry about that, son. The Prime Minister has already dispatched an investigation team to deal with it, with permission from the Union Council. My brother Beshel is leading the team. They are already on site.”
“Good. I know that Uncle Besh won’t let me down.”
I looked up at Bastian and Dashel. “Do you think you could ask him to check on my friend Peri? I worry about him.”
“Of course,” Dashel said.
After we finished eating breakfast, Bastian took my hand and we walked through the ship up to the observation lounge. He sat down in one of the chairs and pulled me onto his lap and circled his arms around me.
“I can sit in my own chair, you know,” I said with a laugh.
“I know… but I need you near,” he said. He buried his nose in my hair and pressed his lips to the crown of my head. “I never stopped thinking about you,” he whispered. “I want you to know— I need you to know that. The whole time, all I could think of was getting back to you. All I could think was that you thought I had abandoned you… that I had used you for sex and then left. It broke my heart into a million pieces, but it gave me strength. I wouldn’t have stopped until we were reunited.”
“I admit sometimes I would wonder why I wasn’t good enough to keep you…but I knew that you loved me. I knew you wouldn’t have left me if something didn’t happen. I just didn’t know how to find you.”
Bastian rubbed his hand over the swell of my abdomen and planted a kiss on the side of my head. “You won’t ever have to worry about that again. You are never leaving my side. Sire is going to make an appointment with our family doctor. He wants to check on you and the baby.”
“We have to come up with a name for him at some point. Besides for ‘the baby’.”
Bastian thought for a moment. “How about Callan? After my paternal grandfather.”
“I like that. Callan Drago. It’s a good name.”
“Devin Drago is a good name, too,” Bastian said quietly.
I turned my head and looked back at him. “You want me to change my name?”
“If you want. You can take my name during our bonding ceremony. I would like it if you did. Very much.”
I turned around in the chair and sat back down on Bastian’s lap, facing him. He finally met my eyes and I couldn’t help but smile. “It means a lot to you, doesn’t it?”
“I thought you should have a choice…”
I looked at him and I knew what a big deal this was for him. “Well, you know my name doesn’t mean anything. I would love to take your name, Bastian. I want to be part of your family. I want us to be a family. Me, you and Callan.”
“I want that. I want lots of babies with you.” Bastian growled as he licked and nipped at my neck.
I drew in a ragged breath and slumped in his arms, helpless to resist. “Oh, I see how you are now. You want me barefoot and pregnant.”
He wasn’t even going to deny it. Of course. Rather than being offended, I just couldn’t help but laugh. I pulled back and grabbed Bastian’s chin hairs. I gave a little tug and tipped my head and kissed him gently on the lips.
“We’ll see,” I said with a teasing grin. “One baby might be too much for us.”
“You’ll want more. I already know this.”
Bastian’s growl signaled his release as his body went rigid.
My mouth filled with a burst of hot cream and I moaned and swallowed it down. Over and over his thick cock pulsed and I swallowed down as much as I could.
We were laying side by side, head to groin. I pulled off Bastian’s swollen organ and lifted my head to look down at him as he rolled onto his back. He had his eyes closed and his mouth still hung open in ecstasy. I saw remnants of my own orgasm dripping down his chin whiskers.
His eyes opened slightly and he looked at me through slits and a big grin slid across his face. “No better way to start the day…”
He squeezed my semi hard-dick and then flicked his tongue across the pearly drop that oozed out. I shuddered and then fell back on the bed. “Yeah. I could get used to that.”
Bastian turned around so that we were facing each other and he leaned down and kissed me.
“I can’t wait to get you home,” he said as he stroked the hair back from my forehead.
“I’m nervous, but excited. I can hardly wait.”
Our kisses were interrupted by a voice over the ship’s intercom. “We are approaching Degan Space Station Gamma. Please prepare for docking.”
I looked up at Bastian and poked my bottom lip out in a pout. “I guess that means we have to get up.”
After each of us took a turn in the sonic shower, we got dressed. I put back on the enormous jumpsuit and Bastian borrowed one of Martan’s uniforms. I couldn’t help but snicker. Being a little bigger than his younger brother, the uniform was snug on him and the sleeves were too short. He tugged on the tight fabric in a futile attempt to give himself a little more breathing room.
“Look at all those muscles,” I said as I ran my hands over his arms. I looked down at his crotch and squeezed the tube hanging down his pant leg. “And what’s this?”
“I’ll show you what it is.” Bastian growled and smacked his palm against my ass. I yelped and ran out of the room with him hot on my heels, laughing the whole way.
He caught up to me and grabbed my hand and brought it to his mouth. He pressed a kiss to my knuckles, and we walked together laughing as he led me to the observation lounge.
Bastian pulled me onto his lap as he sat down. His arms surrounded me, one hand resting on the swell of my belly. The stars streaking past the window put me in a hypnotic state and I just leaned against Bastian and stared. The ship lurched slightly and the stars stopped moving. A barren, crater-ravaged, grey wasteland suddenly came into view in the windows.
I frowned. This couldn’t be Bastian’s beautiful homeworld. It could only be one of the moons.
As the ship swung around the satellite and revealed a large planet, my eyes widened and I gasped out loud.
The water was an amazingly pure blue. The continents were lush and green with trees and plant life. White clouds drifted over the planet. Earth probably looked like this at one time, before every available bit of space was built upon.
“Wow,” I whispered. “It’s beautiful, Bastian.”
Bastian’s arms tightened around me. “It’s our home.”
I rested my head against him as we watched the view. As we approached the planet, I finally noticed a huge orbiting space station. This was apparently our destination. Our ship slowed down as a docking platform extended from the station.
Bastian tapped my hip. “Up, little one. We need to get ready.”
We walked hand in hand to the airlock where Dashel was waiting.
“Good morning,” I said to him with a smile.
“Good morning, little one.” Dashel reached over and gave my ear a tug, then did the same to Bastian.
Once the ship docked and the airlock pressurized, one of the officers unlocked the door and held out his hand, motioning for us to exit. Bastian and I followed Dashel onto the spaceway. A small gathering of people were standing by, flanked by a military unit.
I instinctively curved my arm around the swell of my belly and moved closer to Bastian. He put his arm around my shoulders and gave me a quick squeeze as he looked down and whispered, “Don’t worry. It’s okay.”
A Degan woman stepped forward from the crowd and held out her arms to Dashel. I just knew that the tall, elegant Degan female had to be Bastian’s mother. Her facial features were much more delicate and feminine compared to the male Degans I had seen. Instead of pointy horns, she had rounded, manicured horns on top of her head that were tinted a very subtle shade of pink. She wore a cream-colored linen dress, with a very delicate metal weaved chain across her shoulder. The jeweled brooches hanging from it matched the emblems on Dashel’s metal sash. She had a silky magenta scarf around her neck, giving her a bold splash of color.
“Nydia, my love,” Dashel said as he took her in his arms. He nuzzled his nose on her neck, then rubbed his check along both sides of her neck and onto her face before giving her a passionate kiss. I drew in a surprised breath when her tail swung around and stroked against Dashel’s leg at the knee.
When she let go of Dashel, she took Bastian in her arms. She gave him a tug on his ear and then smacked him hard upside his head.
“Mother!” Bastian whined as he rubbed his head.
“We will have a long talk later, but for now, please introduce me to your intended.”
I had never seen Bastian look sheepish before. He dipped his head and took my hand and pulled me close. He was clearly unhappy about disappointing his mother. As he took my hand, he lifted his head and spoke proudly. “Mother, this is Devin. Devin, this is my mother, Nydia Drago.”
“It’s nice to meet you,” I said, hoping that my voice portrayed the confidence I didn’t quite feel. I awkwardly held out my hand, unsure of what to do.
Ignoring my hand, she smiled and leaned in and sniffed at me. She looked down at my bulging abdomen. “May I?” she asked, hovering her hand over me.
“Yes. Of course.”
She placed her hands on my belly. It wasn’t but a moment before I felt the baby move and kick. A toothy smile spread across Nydia’s face. She leaned in and gave me a warm hug. Then holding me at arm’s length, she looked down at my outfit and frowned. “What in the world are you wearing, my dear?”
“We didn’t have anything in Devin’s size,” Bastian replied for me. “Or my size, for that matter.”
“Well, lucky for you, I have thought of that. The shops here are quite good. I found some particularly nice imports.”
An older Degan moved through the crowd and walked up to Dashel. He wore a floor-length robe, trimmed with gold accents. Like Bastian, he wore a metal sash across his shoulder. His greying hair and beard were coiffed in an over-perfected style.
He reached out and placed his hand on Dashel’s shoulder, squeezing it in greeting. His voice was laced with amusement, though it seemed a touch condescending as well. “Well well, Governor. You surprise me. After hearing of you taking on an X-class battle cruiser, I figured you would be in much worse shape.”
“Senator, it is good to see you as well. And you of all people know that you shouldn’t believe every rumor you hear.”
The senator raised an eyebrow and let out another snort. “Of course.”
“And don’t worry, your ship is still running, and the crew is fine.”
“I should hope so. Not everyone on the Armed Forces Committee wanted to loan it to you. I look forward to hearing of your escapades.”
Dashel nodded in acknowledgement. “You’ll have my report in the morning.”
As the senator turned to head down the corridor heading towards the airlock, his eyes glanced my way. In that split second I saw the joviality in his face disappear to be replaced by… something. Feeling suddenly uneasy, I wrapped my arms around my belly and moved closer to Bastian. He automatically tightened his arm around me.
One of the Degans in the crowd stepped forward and bowed slightly to Dashel and Nydia. “My Lord, my Lady. We have a suite prepared for you while you wait. The shuttle leaves for the planet surface in six hours.”
Nydia smiled and nodded. “Thank you.”
Bastian and I followed his parents and the concierge through the docking platform towards a bank of elevators. A young woman followed behind us with armfuls of shopping bags.
“Bastian?” I whispered. “Are your parents royalty or something?”
“No. It is just a traditional honorary title given to all governors.”
“Oh, okay,” I said with relief. I turned my head and looked back at the Degan woman following us.
“Mother’s personal assistant,” Bastian whispered. “Lista.”
“Who was that senator?” I whispered.
“Senator Bestro. He is harmless old windbag.”
The concierge escorted us to our assigned suite and told us that he’d be back when it was time to board the shuttle. Nydia’s assistant set down the bags and after receiving a few instructions, departed.
Bastian and I sat down on one of the sofas while his parents took the other. After a few tense moments, his mother finally spoke. “So, what are you going to do now?” she asked Bastian, her demeanor suddenly no-nonsense and all-business. “I assume you don’t plan on going into hiding or running around the galaxy with your husband-to-be and my grandchild.”
“No. Of course not, Mother. I didn’t want to put anyone in danger. Running was the best choice at the time.” Dashel opened his mouth to speak, but Bastian interrupted. “At the time. I just didn’t know who I could trust.”
Nydia sighed. “If only you had trusted your sire and me. You know very well that my position lends me the prime minister’s ear. You can trust him.”
“All right then. I will trust you now. Though I can’t say that I am unhappy with how things have turned out so far.” Bastian looked over at me. He stared deeply into my eyes as he stroked his fingers under my chin. I smiled back at him and mouthed “me too.”
Bastian’ response seemed please Nydia. “Good. Then I will have Lista make an appointment as soon as possible.”
Dashel added, “I also suggest we make Devin an appointment with our family physician as well.”
“Of course,” his wife agreed. “Already done.”
Dashel looked at Bastian. “The two of you will stay at our home in the city until we have all of this sorted out.”
“Agreed,” Nydia said. I felt Bastian slump a bit next to me. I knew he didn’t like that idea, but I also knew that there was no way he would be able to change his parents’ minds. “Though, I will be overjoyed when you take your Mishu away,” she added with an exhausted sigh.
“What’s a mishu?” I asked.
Bastian answered, “Mishu is my pet banti… Like a puppy.”
“A filthy little thing,” Nydia said. “I have grown tired of picking up his poo-doo.”
Bastian laughed out loud until he was silenced by his mother’s unpleasant glare. I covered my mouth and tried not to giggle, hiding it with a cough.
With that taken care of, a little smile played across Nydia’s face. “Now. About your bonding ceremony.”
Bastian looked down at me tenderly. He ran his hand down the back of my head and rested it on my back. “I’d like to have it as soon as possible, if that is fine with Devin.”
I nodded. “Yes. I’d like that.”
“Devin will be taking my name,” Bastian said proudly.
“Of course he will,” said Dashel matter-of-factly. “He is family now. It is tradition.”
Bastian’s mother spent the next hour going over every detail of the bonding ceremony. My head was reeling from all of the specifics. I was actually glad that she was going to take care of it. All I had to do was show up with Bastian.
* * *
Bastian and I took our shopping bags into the bathroom off the suite’s bedroom to get ready.
Bastian pulled a box out of the bag and opened it and let out a groan. Inside was a soft leather vest and pleated skirt. A metal sash appeared on top. “I hate getting dressed up,” he moaned as he dropped the sash onto the counter with a loud thunk.
I opened my box and found the same thing, though in a smaller size, naturally. I noticed that my sash had no jeweled pins.
“What do these mean?” I asked Bastian as I touched the second brooch-like object on his sash. It was a brilliant emerald embedded in a ‘plus-sign’ shaped sculpted piece of platinum.
“The first position is our pride’s seal. Like an extended family.” He ran his finger over the first piece, which was a round disc with a ruby-red gem in the middle, surrounded by a burst of tiny jewels. It resembled a sunburst to me. “And this is my family seal in the second position,” Bastian said, touching the emerald cross. “It’s my sire’s emblem, showing that I belong to his house.”
“Okay. I recognize them from his sash.”
“During the ceremony, you will receive each of these to signify that you are now a member of the family. Then we will both receive one more that is unique to us and signifies our bonded status. Because we are true bondmates and not just a married couple, it will be extra special. That will be in addition to the rings that signify we are married.”
We both stripped ourselves of our ill-fitting clothes. I absentmindedly scratched at my stomach, trying not to feel like a fat lump while simultaneously concentrating on what I was supposed to be doing — and not on the fact that Bastian was standing next to me looking sexy in all his naked glory.
“What about underwear?” I asked, digging through the bag and turning up empty-handed.
“Degan males don’t wear underwear. Only females wear undergarments.”
“Oh.” Thinking back, I guess Bastian never wore any kind of underwear under his pants. He was always ready to go when he unbuttoned his pants. I picked up the kilt and looked up at Bastian. “Wait. Even under this?!”
“Yes, even under that.”
“Oh, geez,” I muttered. I pulled on the skirt and struggled to fasten the two buttons on the side. With my protruding belly, it seemed to sit low on my waist. The skirt hung to just above my knees. I pulled on the vest and buttoned it up. I tugged at the bottom hem, trying to get it to cover more of my belly. “I feel weird going commando under this skirt,” I said. “And I feel like my belly is hanging out of the bottom of the vest.”
“It’s a kilt, not a skirt,” Bastian said as he buttoned up his kilt. “And you look perfect.”
“Well, whatever it is, everyone will see my business.”
Bastian moved behind me and pulled me back against his body. “I will tell them to mind their own business,” he said huskily into my ear. The tip of his tongue flicked out and ran along my outer ear, sending a shiver down my spine. Bastian leaned down and slid a hand under my kilt. He cupped my balls and then wrapped his fingers around my rapidly rising cock. “Because this here is my business.”
“Bastian…” It came out more like a moan than an admonishment. I let my head fall back against him as he started to stroke me. I felt the heat rise in my face and my breath grew short. “Your parents… They’re in the… sitting room…”
Bastian’s hand moved with a light touch, quickly stroking my foreskin back and forth over the head.
“Please don’t stop.”
I let out a moan and Bastian slipped two fingers of his other hand into my mouth to quiet me down. I squeezed my eyes shut and sucked on his fingers while he jacked me off, struggling to remain quiet as he pleasured me with that amazing hand of his.
He licked up and down the side of my neck. “I want to make you come. Come for me, my Devin.” His mouth clamped onto my neck and he sucked hard. His fingers moved faster along my shaft, squeezing and stroking in a perfect rhythm. My balls pulled up and my groin muscles tightened. I lifted the front of my kilt and held it against my belly as my knees buckled. I leaned back against Bastian to keep from falling to the floor and I erupted, spurting warm semen all over the bathroom vanity.
I had barely recovered when the urge to return the favor overtook me. “Your turn,” I said as I turned around and dropped to my knees.
Bastian’s kilt was already tented by his prodigious erection. I lifted the front and allowed my head to dip underneath. I grabbed the base of his cock and took him as far into my mouth as I could.
I worked his big cock with my mouth and both of my hands. Bastian lifted the kilt away and I looked up and made eye contact with him as I sucked and stroked his cock.
From Bastian’s breathing and the throbbing of the ribs and veins against my tongue, I knew that he wouldn’t last very long. Bastian broke eye contact when his eyes rolled back into his head. With a stifled grunt, he unloaded, sending jets of hot cream into my mouth.
Bastian doubled over, gripping my head with one hand, while steadying himself on the counter with the other.
I moaned as I gulped down as much of his cum as I could, letting the rest dribble down my chin.
“Gods above, I think you are trying to kill me, little one!”
* * *
Having some time until the shuttle departed for the surface, Bastian and I took a walk down to the station’s thoroughfare. The thoroughfare was located in the center hub of the station. It was a circular ring lined with shops, restaurants, and other services.
People packed the corridor, walking up and down, window shopping and taking advantage of all the station had to offer.
As Bastian and I strolled along, I took the opportunity to people watch. The station’s patrons were mostly Degan, but there were several other species, including a couple I had never seen before.
We first stopped at a salon and we each got a haircut. The barber also shaped up Bastian’s beard. When Bastian was finished, my heart skipped a beat. He was so handsome, so perfect.
Bastian looked at me with lust-filled eyes. The tip of his tongue slid across his bottom lip, from one protruding canine tooth to the other. He grabbed my head in his hands and tilted it slightly so that he could move in. He sealed his mouth over mine with a blistering kiss.
“You look beautiful, my true one,” he spoke quietly.
“Thank you. And you look perfect,” I said as I reached up and stroked his billy-goat chin hairs. “So handsome.”
After that, I was hungry, so we stopped for a snack at a café that specialized in Degan cuisine native to Bastian’s home province. By the time we finished eating what ended up being a full meal for me, it was time to head back to get ready to go down planet-side.
* * *
As we waited at the airlock for the shuttle, I fumbled with the metal sash, adjusting it once more on my shoulder. With a quiet sigh, I tugged down the front of the vest. I swear every time I moved, it rode up and exposed a little strip of my furry baby bump.
It was official. I hated getting dressed up.
“Stop fidgeting,” Bastian whispered. I could hear a hint of amusement in his voice that I did not find at all funny.
“This is worse than a necktie,” I whispered back as I rolled my shoulder, which was suffering under the weight of the metal sash. “It’s heavy. And I feel a breeze under my kilt. And my belly is hanging out.”
Bastian snickered. His mother turned and arched a brow at him. That shut him up really quick.
“Just in time.” I looked up as Martan jogged up next to me. He was wearing his military uniform and had a duffel bag slung over his shoulders.
He dropped the bag on the floor and gave his mother a hug. “Mother. I am off duty for 72 hours.”
“Wonderful, Martan,” she said warmly as she kissed his cheek.
I stared out the window for the entire duration of the shuttle ride to the planet surface. Bastian kept his hand on the back of my neck and he looked out the window with me, pointing out major landmarks.
“There’s so many lakes and trees,” I said with wonder.
I gasped and pointed at an expansive grassy plain and a large herd of big buffalo-like animals. I looked back at Bastian and grinned. He leaned down and gave me a quick kiss. “Those are saki. Their skin is the source of the soft brown leather our kilts are made of and their heavy wool is used to make fabrics, such as my long, hooded coat. Their meat is similar to Earth beef or bison.”
“Wow. That’s amazing that they can provide so much.”
“We embrace technology, but we feel that nature is just as important. Waste nothing. I am going to enjoy showing you our world.”
The Capital Spaceport was very much different than Spaceport Prime. Instead of metal and plastic everywhere, everything was made of glass and natural stone.
We were greeted at the airlock by a thinly built white-furred Degan man. A military unit stood behind him, waiting for our arrival.
The thin man bowed slightly to Dashel. “My Lord. Welcome home,” he said as the security guards took position and flanked our group.
“Thank you, Grendal.”
Grendal nodded and pulled out a comPad. He flipped his finger across the screen. “I have your schedule up to date, my Lord. I also have some things that need your attention…”
The security personnel escorted us through the spaceport to our private transportation.
When we arrived at Bastian’s parents’ home, I was shocked to see how large it was. Like most of the buildings in the city, the mini-mansion was made of bricks and natural stone. The windows were long and tall, allowing for maximum natural light. But the most striking thing was the land the house sat on. Inside the iron fence, the home sat on a huge expanse of green grass. Off to the side was a garden filled with vegetables. There was a flower bed near a small pond with a sitting table and lounge chairs for relaxing.
Bastian and I held hands as we strolled up the walkway into the house. We were inside no more than a second when a small brown animal came bounding through the house at full speed. It looked like a fluffy grizzly bear cub, but he had a snout like a boar, complete with two tusks that protruded from his lower jaw. I gasped and stepped back, smacking right into Dashel.
“Mishu!” Bastian called out. He dropped down into a squat and the animal proceeded to make happy snorting noises as it jumped up and down, trying to lick Bastian all over with its slobbery pink tongue. “No licking. Bad boy.” Mishu let out a noise that sounded like a ‘huff’ and plopped down on his butt. “Come say ‘hello’, Devin,” Bastian said, motioning with his hand for me to move closer. “He won’t hurt you.”
I moved over and squatted down next to Bastian. Bastian ran his hands over Mishu’s head and scratched behind the round ears on top of his head. “Good boy. This is my bondmate. Devin.”
“Hi, Mishu.” I held out my hand in front of his face. He snorted and sniffed all over my hand. Satisfied that I smelled good, he gave my hand a broad lick with his tongue. “Good boy,” I told him as I petted the top of his head. His fur was softer than I thought it would be. He really did look like a plump little bear cub. Well, if a bear mated with a boar. “You’re awfully cute, aren’t you? You got teeth just like your daddy.” Mishu looked up at me and his mouth curled up in a broad smile.
I froze in surprise. “Did he just smile at me?”
“They can mimic facial expressions,” Bastian said.
“They just copy what you do. They don’t know what it means,” Nydia said.
“They’re smart, Mother,” Bastian said. “When Mishu makes happy or sad faces, I think that he really feels it.”
“Oh? If he is so smart, then why does he poo-doo on my rug?” She scowled, nodding her head towards the corner of the room where Mishu had left a stinky surprise for her.
“Because you are mean to him,” Bastian said with a laugh. “Isn’t that right, boy?”
Mishu looked up at Bastian and his mouth turned up in a wide grin and he made a panting noise that I took to be laughter.
“Bah!” She gave a dismissive wave and continued further into the house.
As soon as she left the room, everyone burst into laughter.
As I sipped from my bottle of fruit juice, I looked around the busy city square.
We were in the heart of the bustling Degan Capital City, surrounded by massive buildings. But smack dab in the middle was a large, grassy park and a pond. The weather was a perfect warm, sunny day. The sun was shining and there were hardly any clouds in the sky. I wasn’t quite sure why this was, but the massive orange star at the center of the Degan solar system, Dubhe as we called it on Earth, gave the blue sky a slight purple tint. That would take some getting used to.
Martan and I were enjoying a drink while we waited for Bastian and his parents. They were in a meeting with the Prime Minister. The whole thing made me anxious, but I trusted Dashel and Nydia. They would know what to do to keep us safe. I didn’t want to worry about Bastian and me being on the run, or having to look over our shoulders for assassins and crazy soldiers. I wanted to settle down, and I wanted to do it here. Already, I loved everything about this planet. There was no better place in the entire galaxy to raise our child.
Every once in a while, I could tell that people were staring at me, but I tried not to let it bother me. I knew that I stuck out like a sore thumb, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. Dwelling on it would only sour my mood and right now, I was happy and I wanted to stay that way.
I was wearing my dress kilt, but thankfully Bastian gave me a long white linen tunic to wear. I didn’t have to wear the metal sash; that was only for special occasions. The tunic was much more comfortable and fully covered the swell of my belly. I was even starting to get used to the warm breeze blowing up between my legs.
I looked around and watched the people hurry to and fro, going about their daily tasks. The square had several tables like the one we occupied, all of them full with Degans on their lunch break.
While I had seen other non-Degan species since arriving two days ago, I had actually not seen any other Humans. From what Bastian told me, off-worlders accounted for less than twenty percent of the planet’s population, and that was mostly concentrated in the big cities such as the Capital. In the smaller country towns, the off-worlder population was much, much smaller.
“Are you enjoying yourself?” Martan asked.
“Yes. This is nice. Though it’s strange to look up in the sky and see an orange sun against a bluish-purplish sky. And it’s very warm.”
“Yes, the temperature is slightly warmer than on Earth, but this is pretty mild for summer. You’ll get used to it.”
“Do you think Bastian is almost done?”
“I am sure he won’t be much longer. The Prime Minister is a busy man.”
“He can be trusted?” I asked quietly.
Martan nodded. “Yes.” There was no doubt in his voice.
Martan took a sip of his ale and looked past my shoulder. I casually glanced around to follow his gaze. There were two large Degans standing near our table, watching us, while simultaneously trying to look like they weren’t watching us. Even though they did not wear uniforms, it was obvious from their posture that they were military and that they were there to keep us safe.
“They are not even trying to blend in, are they?” I said with a chuckle.
Martan shrugged. “They are doing their job. Did you have a chance to speak with your little friend on Earth?”
“Yes. I spoke with Per last night. He said he really misses me, but he is glad that I am okay. He said he met your Uncle Beshel… Per wouldn’t really say, but I got the impression that your Uncle wasn’t very nice. Per loves everyone and the mention of your uncle had him really pissy.”
“Uncle Beshel is Sire’s youngest brother. He is ruthless when it comes to his work, but otherwise he’s harmless,” Martan said with a chuckle.
Before I could get more info from him, we were interrupted by a stranger.
“Well, well, well. Martan Drago.”
I turned around to see a brown-furred Degan walk up to our table. He was tall and lithe. His hair and beard were very carefully coiffed. His horns looked like they were buffed and polished from the way they shined. He was dressed formally, in a leather kilt and vest, but the material and stitching looked to be especially fine crafted. He had a snobby air about him, accentuated by what appeared to be a fake smile on his face. When he looked down at me, I didn’t miss the flash of distaste that slid across face.
I wanted roll my eyes. I was getting very tired of that from these snobby Degans. Thankfully the nice ones far outnumbered the nasty ones.
“Rando,” Martan growled, not even pretending to be cordial. I assume Rando was the other man’s name. Martan did not make any attempts to introduce us. He sipped his ale and looked the other way.
“Aren’t you going to introduce me to your little… friend?” Rando asked Martan, without even looking at me.
“I wasn’t planning on it.”
“No need to be rude, Martan.” Rando turned to me and bowed his head slightly. “I am Rando, an acquaintance of Martan’s brother, Bastian.”
I couldn’t help but feel uneasy. The smarmy way he said it implied that they were more than just ‘acquaintances’.
Martan scoffed. “‘Acquaintance’. You should leave now. If Bastian catches you speaking to his bondmate, he will likely kill you. This time I won’t hold him back.”
“Now, now. That was many years ago, Martan. I’m sure that Bastian has all but forgotten— Did you say ‘bondmate’?”
“Yes. Devin is Bastian’s one true mate.”
For the first time, Rando seemed to falter. “He— Wha— But he is human!”
“Is he?” Martan asked with a mocking frown.
“Have they bonded officially?” he asked Martan, continuing to speak as if I wasn’t sitting there.
“The ceremony is this weekend,” Martan said, with a gleeful smirk on his face. “I don’t believe you are on the guest list.”
Rando’s entire face turned red. “Excuse me,” he snapped. He turned on his heel and stormed off.
I looked over at Martan. “Okay, what was all that about?”
“Rando and Bastian… have a history. They, um… Well, they dated briefly. You should ask Bastian about the details.”
“Now you’re starting to worry me.”
“You have nothing to worry about, Devin. Even if you weren’t Bastian’s true mate, there is no comparison between you and that pompous buffoon.”
I didn’t have any reason not to trust Bastian and I really didn’t care about stupid ex-boyfriends. Why should I be jealous? I was having Bastian’s baby and I was marrying him. Too bad, so sad for Rando.
I heard Bastian’s distinct laugh and I looked past Martan to see Bastian and his parents walking across the square towards us. They were followed by a pair of bodyguards not unlike the pair behind me.
“There they are,” I said.
Martan and I got up and dropped our empty drink bottles into a recycle bin, then met my husband-to-be and his parents. I was aware of the bodyguards moving to join us and I did my best to ignore them.
Bastian scooped me up into his arms and planted a passionate kiss on my lips. He rested his forehead on mine as his hands stroked the sides of my swollen abdomen.
“Did you enjoy the park?” he asked.
“Yes, it’s very nice here,” I said. I lowered my voice, not attempting to disguise my concern. “Is everything okay?” I asked.
“Yes, love. Everything is okay. I turned over my findings and evidence. General Dansik and Captain Brilsch are being intercepted and will be arrested as we speak.”
I let out a sigh of relief. “I’m so glad to hear that.”
“Yes. It is finally over.”
I hoped Bastian’s edict wasn’t wishful thinking. Evil men who would resort to torturing the young and helpless—not to mention pregnant—just to get their way didn’t go away that easily. And neither did my memories.
* * *
I guess I should have been used to being examined by now, but lying on an exam table in a hospital gown brought up a lot of bad memories.
Bastian’s family doctor seemed like a very nice man, with a gentle bedside manner. The entire Drago clan went to him for all of their medical needs, so I figured he knew what he was doing.
Still, when he approached me, my instincts where to curl into myself.
I didn’t realize how bad I was trembling until Bastian leaned down and whispered against my hair, “It’s okay, my Devin. No one is going to hurt you.”
Just Bastian’s presence made a huge difference. This time I had Bastian with me, holding my hand and settling my nerves. Though he seemed a little on edge himself, he put on an air of confidence and that really helped.
The Spaceport Prime clinic’s technology was modern and amazing, but it was nothing compared to the 3D holographic imaging the Degan doctor used. The black and white image looked very realistic. It slowly rotated around, showing off every angle of the sleeping baby.
I was mesmerized by the lifelike image, unable to take my eyes off it. When Bastian made a quiet, throaty noise, I finally looked away.
Bastian was staring at the image with glassed over eyes. He drew in a deep breath and it stuttered when he released it. A tear pooled in the corner of his eye and then slipped down his cheek. When he looked down at me, the expression of love on his face took my breath away.
That I could give this to him, to make him feel this emotional, was simply overwhelming.
As my own tears fell, Bastian leaned down and cradled my head in his big hands.
“Thank you, my true one,” he whispered softly. “I love you so, so much.” He pressed a gentle kiss on my forehead. Before I could respond in turn, he pressed his mouth hard to mine. I couldn’t help but let out a moan, and Bastian seized that opportunity and slid his tongue between my lips.
We kissed passionately right there in the doctor’s office for several moments, until the doctor cleared his throat.
“So, everything looks very good,” he said. “Based on the size and development, I estimate you have eight more weeks.”
“I am ready now,” I said with an unhappy moan.
“Well, I can only guess, given all of the… shall we say unusual circumstances of this pregnancy. Why don’t we schedule another visit in four weeks and see how things are?”
Bastian spoke up. “That would be great. Is there anything Devin should or should not be doing in the meantime?”
“Just try to take it easy and get plenty of rest. Now, you wanted me to send some data to a Doctor Adler?”
“Yes. He and Dr. Flynn helped me. Dashel wouldn’t have even known I existed without them.”
“Let’s get you dressed so we can go home,” Bastian said.
After I dressed, I walked with Bastian to his hovercar. He hurried around me and opened the passenger door, but I stopped him with a hand on his arm.
“I want to drive,” I said.
Bastian’s eyes glanced down at my belly before looking back up. “Maybe later.”
I folded my arms across my chest and shot him daggers with a glare. Even though my arms were resting on top of my belly like it was some kind of shelf, I really hoped that I came across as intimidating. “I’m not an invalid, and I’m perfectly capable of operating a vehicle.”
Bastian quickly backtracked. “I didn’t say you were…”
“Okay, so show me what to do.”
I moved past him and went around to the other side and climbed into the driver’s seat. With a defeated sigh, Bastian got into the passenger seat and closed the door.
* * *
After three days with his parents, Bastian and I were finally going home. I didn’t mind spending time with Dashel and Nydia. It was nice to get to know them a little better. They were as nice as they could be, and they never treated me as less than human… er, Degan. I had already grown to love Dashel and I was well on my way to feeling the same for Nydia.
However, Bastian was going out of his mind. He wanted alone time with me and it seemed either his parents or his brother were always around. Martan’s leave was extended so that he could attend our ceremony and he seemed to be a little bored hanging around his parents’ home.
“You call if you need anything,” Dashel reminded us yet one more time. “Our information is programmed into your new comPad.”
“We will see you this weekend, bright and early,” Nydia added.
She reached up and lovingly brushed my hair off my forehead, then gave me a hug.
“Thank you for letting us stay here in your home,” I said.
“You are welcome anytime.”
Dashel gave me a gentle hug, taking care to not press against my stomach, and then kissed the top of my head. I threw my arms around his neck and held him tight. “Thank you,” I whispered to him. “Thank you for rescuing me, Sire.”
I pressed a quick kiss to his cheek, then pulled back, blinking away the tears that were threatening to fall. I was nervous that I had overstepped my bounds, but Dashel grinned at me as if he could not be happier. He reached out and gave my earlobe a tug.
Bastian took my hand and pulled me towards his personal transport, a sleek, black hover car. The aerodynamic curves and the silver accents made it look like it was an expensive piece of machinery.
I wondered if he would let me drive it…
“Come, Mishu!” I called.
The little bear cub, er, banti, trotted up next to me. He looked up at me and grinned. His tongue lolled out of his mouth as he kept pace with me in that bouncy gate of his. The little cub and I had really bonded over the past couple days. He was so cute and fluffy and he liked cuddling up to me when I rested. I adored the little beast.
“Can I drive?”
“No!” Bastian quickly replied. “I am still recovering from my near heart attack from your last lesson.”
Laughing, I climbed into the hovercar passenger seat after Bastian, and Mishu hopped in after me. He bounced into the back seat and put his front paws on the door to look out the window.
Dashel pulled his wife next to him and they waved goodbye to us.
Mishu looked at Nydia and scowled, then stuck his tongue out at her.
“I never!” she exclaimed with a gasp.
Bastian and I both laughed as he shut the car door. He tapped at the nav controls and we sped off towards home.
* * *
The hover transport glided smoothly down the crowded road. I was completely mesmerized by the sights as we drove away from the Capital City. The city was beautiful, but it did not compare to the country. The further away we got from the city, the fewer the cars and the more open the countryside became. I had never seen so much open space. There were lakes and ponds, wide-open grass fields, farms with all sorts of crops. We even passed a saki ranch.
After about an hour and half of driving on the thoroughfare, we came to a quaint little town. It took but a minute to pass through it. Once we passed the town, Bastian veered off onto smaller country road.
Trees surrounded the country road, almost creating an overhead canopy. Twenty minutes in, Bastian slowed the hover car and turned off the road and we stopped in front of an iron gate. He brought up a security panel on the car’s dashboard. A quick button press and the gate began to swing open.
A short drive up the driveway and Bastian parked in front of his home.
After the two hour drive, I was a little stiff getting out of the hover car, but I managed to do it before Bastian came around to help me. When I stepped out of the transport, I did not attempt to stifle my gasp of surprise and awe.
While nowhere near the grandeur of his parents’ mini-mansion, Bastian’s home was beautiful. The house was made of the natural stone bricks that seemed to be common to the architecture of the area.
The house sat on a large, nearly flat plot of grassy land with a small lake beyond the back yard. I could see two other homes on the opposite side of the lake, but other than that, we were fairly isolated. A forest of huge trees surrounded one side of the home and wrapped around the lake out as far as I could see.
“You like it, little one?”
“I love it, Bastian. It’s so beautiful. I’ve never seen so much green. I can see why you love it here. Look at all the trees…”
“I hope our family will love it here as much as I do.”
Mishu bounded past us and ran, with his nose to the ground, around the side of the house and into the back yard.
“Where is he going?” I asked.
“To do his business.”
I didn’t need any more details.
Bastian took me inside and gave me a quick tour of the house. A large family room had comfortable leather seating, soft and over-stuffed, surrounding a huge fireplace. Oversized windows allowed natural sunlight to enter the house, while also giving a wonderful view of the outside.
The kitchen was surprisingly modern despite the rustic quality of the house. Off the kitchen was an office filled with high-tech computer equipment where Bastian did his work. A small utility room led out to the back yard’s paved stone porch. There was a curious trap door at floor level next to the back door.
I was about to ask Bastian what it was for when the door beeped. A small indicator light turned green and Mishu came pushing through the opening. He looked up at me and smiled, showing me his sharp teeth. His pink tongue lolled out of his mouth as he panted and I reached down and scratched at his ears. “Good boy.”
On the second level, there were four bedrooms, the master bedroom being the biggest.
There was an enormous round bed along one wall under a bank of windows. It was covered in fluffy pillows and silky blankets.
“Oh my,” I sighed.
Bastian’s arms slid around me and he pulled me back against his chest. “I’m glad you approve,” he growled into my ear.
I turned around in his arms. “I approve.”
I slipped my hand around his neck and pulled him down, opening for a kiss. As Bastian took my mouth, I reached between our bodies and unbuttoned his vest. A quick tug at the buttons on the waistband of his kilt and he was naked in front of me. Bastian pulled the cotton tunic over my head and yanked at my kilt. He backed me up until the back of my legs hit the bed.
He gently lowered me onto the bed and I pulled him down on top of me. He held himself up on his arms, careful not to press his full weight into me.
“Make love to me,” I moaned as I wrapped a leg around his.
With a grunt, Bastian tightened his grip on me and flipped me over, pulling me up onto all fours.
Bastain was urgent, but still gentle with me. His strokes were slow and deep. I could feel every single ring of his shaft enter me, then brush along my prostate.
He had me dripping onto the bed. My dick throbbing, desperately needed release.
As if he read my mind, Bastian reached around me and grabbed my hard-on. Just a couple of strokes and I cried out and shot my load onto the bed beneath me.
With a roar and a final thrust, Bastian buried himself as deep as he could.
By the time Bastian had cleaned us up and pulled the covers over us, I was fast asleep.
* * *
That night Bastian took me by the hand and led me to the backyard.
He had a large hammock anchored between two trees. We lay down in the hammock, me nestled in the crook of Bastian’s arm, with my head on his chest. Bastian held me tight, one hand protectively covering my belly.
The night sky was beautiful. It was perfectly clear so the stars were out, fully twinkling.
The two largest moons filled the night sky and two of the smaller moons shone brighter than possible for a star. It was wonderful enough to bring tears to my eyes.
Bastian kicked his leg and the hammock began to slowly rock back and forth.
“It’s beautiful, Bastian,” I said softly. “It’s all so perfect. Thank you.”
“I would give you the world, Devin. All you have to do is ask.”
“I don’t need the world. This right here is all I need.”
* * *
That weekend the bonding ceremony was held down by the lake behind our home.
It was what Nydia called “a small affair,” though there were far too many guests to count, including many who were VIPs — senators, governors and business men. They were important clients of Bastian’s or friends of the family.
Surprisingly, I was not nervous or anxious in the least. I was overjoyed to be with Bastian. We were to be formally bonded by law, and no one could ever separate our family.
My only regret was that Peri wasn’t able to be here.
In his capacity as provincial governor, Dashel officiated. After repeating our vows, we received our solid gold wedding bands, which we wore on our left hand ring fingers. Dashel then presented us with our bonding jewels: a platinum ring that contained a trio of emeralds around a diamond. He pinned it into the third position on Bastian’s metal sash. After I received the pride pin and the Drago pin, I then received Bastian’s pin.
Bastian’s hands shook as he took the final pin from his sire. As he added it to my sash, he looked directly into my eyes. “Devin McSmith, you are my true bondmate, by law and by fate. With this symbol, you become part of my house, the House of Drago.”
With a huge grin on his face, Dashel spoke loudly, “Esteemed guests, I present to you true bondmates Bastian and Devin Drago.”
Bastian grabbed me and pulled me tight to his body and kissed me so hard, so passionately, that it made my toes curl. Lost in my bondmate’s kiss, I ignored the cheers and applause.
Once Bastian broke the kiss, he grabbed my left hand in his and turned towards the crowd. He held it up high for everyone to see.
From that time forward, I was a member of the Drago family and my name officially became Devin Drago. I was no longer an orphan. I was now part of a big extended family.
It was the single happiest day of my life.
After the ceremony, we had a reception under a huge tent. I was formally introduced to Bastian’s youngest sister, Nattie and the second to youngest, Elia. Elia’s mate was chasing after three young ones and she was pregnant with a fourth.
Both sisters were tall, lithe and beautiful, just like their mother. Where Elia was very elegant, Nattie seemed to have a little tomboy in her.
Nattie was my age and she was the friendliest of the bunch. As soon as we got to the reception tent, she steered me right to the buffet line.
Oh, yes, I really liked her.
“This is all so good,” I told her with a happy little moan as I filled up my plate.
“I figured you’d want first dibs at the food before everyone else descends like an insect swarm.”
I looked around the tent and the yard. “There really are a lot of people here.”
Nattie laughed. “This is nothing. Wait until Mother’s Harvest Day party.”
“Hungry, little one?” Dashel asked me as he picked up a plate.
“Mm-hmm,” I said as I chewed on a chunk of bread that I had pushed a hunk of cheese into.
He laughed and tugged my ear, then rubbed his hand across my hair. I gave him a happy smile.
I felt something nudge my foot and I looked down to see Mishu sitting next to me, looking up at me with big sad eyes. “You’re supposed to be inside the house.” I dropped a piece of cheese and he snatched it mid-air, gulped it down and then grinned. “Good boy.”
Nattie steered me towards a tray full of little appetizers that looked like a cross between a smashed meatball and a thick burger patty. “Try the saki patties. They are delicious.” I watched her pick one up and dip it into one of the sauces that surrounded the tray. I picked one up and did the same. It melted in my mouth and I couldn’t help the satisfied groan that slipped from my mouth. It did taste like beef, but richer and more tender, with a hint of some unknown spice.
I picked up another and tried the purple sauce. It was good, but not as good as the red sauce. I tried that one again, then again. Everyone laughed at me, but I didn’t care. I was really hungry!
“Don’t mock,” Bastian warned. “He is eating for two.”
“Mm-hmm. And I feel big as a house.”
“You have seven more weeks,” Nydia said. “You’ll get bigger. Trust me.”
“Oh, geez… Don’t tell me that.”
Elia chimed in, “Degan boys are typically 15-20 pounds at birth.”
I grabbed my stomach and went wide-eyed.
Bastian frowned and stepped between me and his sister. “Stop scaring him, Elia.”
“You are no fun. Lighten up.”
I picked up another saki patty and dropped it for Mishu, who bounced up and grabbed it in mid-air.
Martan walked up and put his arm around his brother. Bastian looked over at him and spoke quietly. “Our problem hasn’t reappeared has it?”
“No,” Martan said as he brought his glass of ale to his mouth and slugged back a healthy drink.
“What problem?” I asked.
“Rando tried to sneak in before the ceremony,” Martan said.
Bastian scowled at his brother. “Martan.”
Nydia frowned. “Why would that horrible man want to sneak in to the ceremony?”
“I imagine to stop the bonding,” Martan said with a shrug. “He always thought that Bastian should be his husband.”
“I think you have had too much ale,” Bastian grumbled at Martan. “Your tongue seems to have come loose.”
Nattie rolled her eyes. “Rando is insufferable. I don’t know what you saw in him.”
Bastian grunted. “I would prefer never to discuss Rando ever again, thank you.”
“I agree,” I added with an annoyed huff.
I didn’t like that man before, and I liked him even less now.
Nattie picked up a plate and helped me fill it with more food, then linked her arm around mine. She escorted me to a table and we sat down. She asked me all about Earth and between bites, I told her about my homeworld.
While we talked and ate, I could tell that people were looking at me, trying not to stare. I wasn’t sure whether it was because I was human, male or pregnant. Or maybe it was a combination of all of the above.
At one point, I glanced up to see Bastian surrounded by a group of Degans, friends and peers. But he wasn’t paying attention to what they were saying. He was staring at me. The love and joy in his eyes was unmistakable.
* * *
As I stepped into the office, Bastian looked up from his comPad and frowned. “What are you doing up? You are supposed to be on bed rest. You can’t possibly want sex again. My cock is going to fall off.”
I wanted to laugh at his joke, but my stomach decided to rebel. I grabbed at my belly while I leaned against the door frame. “I don’t feel good.”
Mishu rubbed against my leg and let out a whine. I looked down at him and he cocked his head up at me and frowned, his bottom lip poked out in a sad pout.
Bastian quickly stood and swooped me into his arms and carried me back to bed. He laid me down on the soft sheets and slid in next to me. He held me in his arms and rubbed my belly as he softly hummed in my ear. Mishu jumped on the bed and crawled to my other side and dropped his chin on my chest.
I felt a sharp stab of pain and I cried out. I gripped my stomach, dislodging Mishu. Seeing me in pain, he made a sad face and let out a whimper.
Bastian didn’t like it either. “I think the baby is coming.”
Okay, now I was starting to panic. “I’m not even supposed to go to the doctor for five more days! Bastian, it’s too soon!”
“Well, Callan must be impatient. I am calling the doctor.”
Bastian called our doctor and his parents and told them that we were on our way.
As I slid out of bed, another burst of pain like a knife to the gut followed by an intense burn dropped me to my knees. “Bastian!”
I grabbed at my stomach and gasped when I felt my shirt was soaking wet. I pulled up my tunic to see a pink fluid oozing out of my belly button.
“Okay, little one, we are leaving now,” Bastian said hurriedly.
He reached down and tried to help me to my feet, but I suddenly felt lightheaded. My legs gave out when another wave of agony rippled through my guts.
Bastian gasped. “Devin!”
I looked down and saw that blood was now streaming out of my navel. I felt Bastian scooping me up into his arms as my head fell back and then my world went dark.
The distant sound of beeping and voices grew closer.
I was able to partially open my eyes, and I became aware of people scrambling around me, but my senses were muddled and unfocused. I tried blinking and squinting to see where I was and what was going on. Upon seeing the clean white room and a huge lab technician hovering over me with a hypospray injector, I started to panic.
I pushed away the man in the white coat. “No! Get away!”
“Devin. It’s okay. You’re gonna be okay.”
I knew that voice. I was frantic as I looked around until I found the source of the deep, comforting sound. “Bastian.”
“Yes, I’m here. You’re safe.” He smiled at me, though I could tell that something wasn’t quite right from his expression.
The Degan man in the white coat moved closer. He lifted the hypospray and spoke soothingly. “Just relax, Mr. Drago.”
Something wasn’t right. I wanted to go home.
I squeezed Bastian’s hand as I looked him with pleading eyes. I felt a pinch in my neck and a few seconds later, everything went cloudy again before fading completely to black.
* * *
The next time woke, I felt like I had been put through a wringer. My whole body ached. The intense pain in my gut was gone, having turned into a dull throb. My mouth felt like cotton and I coughed and tried to clear my throat.
I struggled to open my eyes. When I finally did, I turned my head to see Bastian smiling at me. His eyes were puffy and bloodshot. He had been crying.
Something was… off… missing. It took me a moment to realize what it was.
I usually sensed the baby’s movements on an unconscious level. Now I felt nothing. My heart plummeted and shattered into a million pieces.
I reached up to Bastian, grabbing his hand and pulling it close. “What happened?” As much as I didn’t want to, I finally looked down at my stomach. It was definitely flatter than it had been. Tears streamed down my face. “Did… The baby?” I couldn’t even say it…
Please let it not be true.
Bastian grasped my hand tightly and squeezed, bringing it up to his mouth to kiss it. “He is fine. They are checking him out and he will be back soon.”
“He’s fine? You’re sure. Everything is okay?”
When Bastian nodded, I let out a breath of relief. I was about to have a freaking heart attack. I took a couple of deep breaths in an attempt to calm down enough for him to continue.
“You lost a lot of blood. You were so pale. I thought you were dying. They had to do emergency surgery. You scared me.” His voice caught and he had to take a breath before he could continue. He kissed the back of my hand again as his other stroked my sweat-damp hair, pushing it away from my forehead. “Please don’t ever scare me like that again.”
The door opened and I struggled to raise my head. When he entered, I remembered the Degan man in the white coat from earlier. Taking a good look at him now, I realized that he was part of the medical staff, not a labbie.
While he checked the equipment next to the bed, our family doctor entered the room.
I didn’t like the look on the doctor’s face.
“You’re going to be fine, Devin,” Doc said assuringly with a smile as he patted my arm. “Just try to relax. I don’t want you to rip your incision. The suture site will be tender for a couple of days.”
“What about the baby?” I begged. “What about Callan?”
“He’s fine, I promise. But we need to discuss you first. When you went into labor, you ruptured a major blood vessel. We were able to get the baby out in time. I’m sorry to tell you that you probably won’t be able to carry another child. Your body just wasn’t able to—”
I looked over at Bastian and let out a wail and burst into tears. He held me in his arms while I sobbed into his neck. I clung to him for what seemed like hours, letting all my emotions pour out of me. Even once I calmed down, I still maintained a tight grip on him, not wanting to ever let him go.
“I’m sorry,” I cried. “I’m so sorry.”
“You have nothing to be sorry for, Devin,” he said as he slid his fingers across my face, wiping away my tears.
I felt my eyes welling up again and I just couldn’t look at him. I didn’t want to see his pain or his disappointment. “You wanted a big family—”
He held my face firmly in his hands and forced me to look him straight in the eye. “Don’t you even think that. Not ever. We have a son, a healthy boy. You and Callan are all that I need.”
I stared at him for a few moments, then sniffled. He was right. I had to think about now and not what could have been in the future.
“Mishu. Don’t forget him.”
Through his teary eyes, Bastian let out a soft chuckle. “Of course. Mishu, too.”
I sniffled again and let out a small, strained laugh. Bastian once again brushed a lock of sweaty hair away from my forehead. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
The door opened behind Bastian.
“Are you ready to meet your son?”
I looked up as a nurse walked in with a bundle wrapped in a thick green blanket. She gently placed him into my arms and I instantly fell in love. Bastian kept his arms around me as he leaned down to get a closer look at our baby.
Little Callan was the cutest thing I had ever seen. He looked Human, accented with Degan features. He had my facial features and fair skin coloring, but his ears were a little more rounded like Bastian’s. His chubby cheeks were tinged red. He had two nubby horns on top of his head… a head that had a full mop of thick, honey-brown hair. Aside from the hair on his head, he was free of fur, just like me. He stared up at me with the widest and brightest emerald green eyes, just like his sire.
“Look what you made. He’s beautiful,” Bastian whispered as he pressed a kiss onto the top of my head. “Just like you.”
At Bastian's voice, Callan looked up and stared at him.
“We both made him. He looks like both of us.” I nodded and tapped my finger on his little button nose. “His fingers are so little,” I said as I touched one of his hands. He looked back at me and his fingers instantly fisted around my index finger.
Oh, yes, it was love at first sight.
* * *
After a week in the hospital, I was so happy to finally be home. I carefully carried a sleeping Callan into the house as Bastian practically fell over himself trying to get the door for us.
“Easy, Devin. Please,” he pleaded.
I knew he was more worried about my recovery, but I was concentrating too hard on not dropping the baby to think about that. “I’m okay, Bastian. I feel fine.”
Moving slow and steady, I headed upstairs to the bedroom across the hall from ours. We decided that it would be the best room for Callan, since it would be the closest. When I stepped into the room, my mouth dropped open.
“Someone’s been busy,” Bastian said over my shoulder.
The room had been redecorated into a nursery. One wall had a mural painted on it. It showed two different star systems, both Degan and Earth.
“We’ll have to thank your parents.”
“You can tell them in person. They’ll be here first thing in the morning.”
“I’ll be glad to see them,” I said quietly as I gently laid the baby down in the crib. “He is so small and helpless. I don’t want to mess up.”
Bastian came up behind me and wrapped his arms around me. He rested his chin on top of my head and we both watched our son sleep.
“You won’t. I have a feeling this baby will be loved and spoiled like no other.”
Bastian kept watch over our son while I went to our bathroom to clean up. I hadn’t had a real shower since I had been taken to the hospital. The aqua shower that Bastian had installed was fabulous. It had multiple shower heads on the ceiling of the glass enclosure and the warm water rained down on you.
I stepped into the shower and just stood there, letting the water soak me thoroughly. Using a liberal amount of shower gel, I began to wash. When I got to my stomach, I paused. It was still somewhat swollen and tender. There was a red scar that went down the length of my body, starting a few inches above my belly button. Doc had closed it with some kind of laser suture and he said the scar would fade away over time.
I gently swirled the soapy cloth over my belly and I noticed that a few of the hairs came loose and fell and slipped down the drain among the suds.
* * *
The gate sensor tripped first thing that next morning. We knew that it was Bastian’s parents and Bastian got up from the sofa.
“I’ll go put on some tea,” he said with a yawn and a stretch and went to the kitchen.
Callan had woken us up from a dead sleep with a cry. Bastian was out of bed in a flash running across the hall to see what was wrong. We quickly figured out that he was hungry. I had just fed and burped him and at this moment, he was contentedly laying in my arms.
When the front door chimed, Mishu began growling and snapping and raced to the door. He pressed his nose to the threshold and began sniffing and snorting.
I opened the door and let Nydia and Dashel in. When Mishu saw who it was, he snorted and wandered away and jumped into a chair and curled up into a ball.
“We’re not too early are we?” Dashel asked before covering his mouth with a yawn.
“No, we were already up. Come on in.”
Nydia was carrying two armfuls of shopping bags, which she set down in the living room. “I bought a few things.”
“A few?” Bastian walked in with a tray of tea.
“There was a sale. Now let me see my grandson.”
I handed Callan over to Nydia and she began to rock him back and forth as she made quiet baby noises. Bastian and Dashel both took a mug of tea and sat down on the sofa together. They both yawned at the exact same time, then took a sip of tea.
“Oh my,” Nydia frowned as she crinkled her nose. “Someone made a stinky poo-doo.”
I looked down at Mishu before I realized she was talking about Callan. Mishu made a pouty face and got up and left the room.
“Sorry about that,” I said to Nydia as I stood to take Callan from her. “Let me go change him.”
“I will help you.”
Nydia stood, cradling Callan with his head on her shoulder. She followed me upstairs to the nursery.
“Thank you again for the room. It was very sweet of you.”
“It was nothing. This furniture was used by my children. It is of much better use here than in storage.”
“Well, it was very thoughtful. We didn’t have time before… And all of this is so nice. I wanted you to know what we appreciate it.”
I took Callan and laid him down on his changing table. I very much liked knowing that it was the same table that Bastian had when he was a baby. I already felt like part of the family, but this just cemented those roots even deeper and it tied in Callan as well.
As soon as I undid the fasteners on his cloth diaper and pulled it away, he began to pee like a fountain.
I let out a surprised gasp and Nydia quickly and calmly laid the front of the diaper over him until he finished.
The front of my shirt was soaked. “Oh my god.”
She chuckled softly. “I swear, boys tend to just go all over the place as soon as it hits the open air. Martan was the worst. You’ll get used to it.”
“I hope so.”
Nydia moved close and put her arm around me. “You’re doing fine, Devin.”
“I don’t know… There’s so much I don’t know, and I’m so afraid of messing up. I don’t want to break him.”
As she spoke, she removed Callan’s diaper and cleaned him up effortlessly. “You’ll learn as you go. I have no doubt that you and Bastian will make wonderful parents.” She double-checked the nub of his docked tail, making sure his laser suture looked good, then handed me a clean diaper and stepped aside.
“I sure hope so.” I managed to get the diaper on and fastened without any further issues.
“Do you want to know a secret? When I had Bastian, I was a complete disaster. I swear to the gods that I spent that first week covered in all sorts of his body fluids. I didn’t know anything about raising babies, but I learned as I went. And you will too.”
Bastian’s mother was always so polished and well put together, I couldn’t imagine her being a “disaster.” But the fact that she had her own insecurities and parenting problems—not to mention was comfortable enough to share them with me—made me feel a whole lot better.
“Thank you.” I gave her a warm smile.
She leaned down and rubbed her cheek on my head. “You are welcome, little one.” She pressed a kiss to the top of my head, then stood upright and composed herself. “Let’s go see what our men are up to.”
* * *
After a couple of weeks of constant visitors, it was nice to finally get an afternoon to ourselves. Not that I didn’t appreciate the help. Nydia and Dashel showed us everything we needed to know about taking care of a Degan baby. Plus, I knew they were only a comm call away if I had questions.
I packed two baby bottles into the picnic basket and hefted it up with both hands. Mishu was hot on my tail as I went out into the yard, jumping and trying to sniff at the basket’s contents.
“You already ate, boy. There’s nothing in here for you.”
Mishu made a pouty face and I couldn’t help but laugh at him.
Bastian had Callan in his arms and he was swinging his son high into the air while singing softly. That was a pleasant surprise. I never would have expected Bastian to sing like that. Apparently it was something his sire did when Bastian and his siblings were babies. It only confirmed that my big warrior was really a teddy bear in disguise and it made me love Bastian even more.
Mishu ran over and made little snorting barks as he bounced around Bastian’s feet, wanting to play, too.
I strolled down to my favorite spot by the lake. It was close to the treeline where a bunch of flowers had grown wild. I loved the fragrant smells almost as much as the view.
I dropped the basket and opened it up and laid out a blanket. I flopped down onto the blanket and looked up at the sky. Wispy white clouds slowly danced across the sky. The sun was big and bright and the air was sweet and clean. I let out a happy sigh.
“I love it here,” I said to Bastian as he stepped onto the blanket.
“Go to your daddy,” Bastian said as he sat down next to me and laid Callan on my chest. I bent forward and kissed my little boy on top of his hair-covered head.
“He’s getting heavy,” I said to Bastian. “It’s only been a couple weeks and I swear he’s up to 25 pounds.” I kissed Callan’s head again and stroked my hand across his thick head of hair. “You’re going to be a big boy, like your sire, aren’t you?”
My husband laid on his side next to me, sliding an arm under my neck for support. He leaned down and kissed me nice and gentle.
“You feel okay?” he asked.
“Yes. I feel good.”
“Yes, Bastian. I promise.”
And I did feel good. In fact, I felt great. I had quickly recovered from the birthing complications. When you looked at me naked now, you would never even know that I had been pregnant. The only visible sign was what was now a very faint scar I had that ran from my belly button down towards my groin. All of the belly hair had shed, which I was eternally grateful for.
Before I left the hospital, I received a shot of a new experimental drug that was supposed to suppress Bastian’s aggressive DNA. It should keep me from getting pregnant again as well as prevent any other mutations. I would need to get a booster shot every year.
I only wished that Bastian would look at me when I was naked. I swear he went out of his way to avoid me and he never touched me when we went to bed. Sure, we were both tired after caring for the baby all day. I would have chalked it up to sleep deprivation, but I caught Bastian jerking off last night in the bathroom. He had his eyes closed and was so into his fantasy, I don’t think he was even aware that I had stood there and watched him.
Baby Callan let out a quiet little coo and then started to softly snuffle against my chest. I gently laid him down on the blanket and covered him with one of his silky wraps. Mishu bounced over my lap and gave the baby a lick on his cheek, then laid down next to him. Though the chubby little banti looked like he was resting, I could see his eyes were open and alert, darting back and forth. He was guarding our baby.
I scratched behind his ears and whispered, “Good boy.”
I turned around to face Bastian and I snuggled in close to him. I slid my hand up under his linen shirt and caressed the hard muscles of his fur-covered torso.
“After dinner, how about we put the baby to bed and turn in early?” I whispered as I planted kisses along his neck.
“It has been a long day.”
“Long and hard.”
I slid my hand down to his crotch and palmed the bulging lump, making sure he knew what I had in mind.
He cleared his throat and sat up, dislodging my hand from his body. He grabbed the picnic basket and began pulling out the dinner we packed.
I took the offered roasted saki sandwich and began to eat while I plotted my seduction.
* * *
After putting Callan to bed in his crib, I got ready for bed. I took a nice hot shower. I took the opportunity to make sure I was nice and stretched. I was wound so tight, I debated getting myself off right then and there. I reluctantly pulled my hands away, wanting to save it for Bastian. As much as I loved foreplay, I was ready to get down to the main event.
After I dried off, I crawled onto the bed. I laid naked on my belly, legs spread a little in a clear invitation. I closed my eyes and waited for Bastian, who was finishing up something in his office.
I stirred awake and turned as Bastian climbed into bed. “What time is it?”
“It’s late. Move over, little one.”
I rolled onto my side of the bed and pulled Bastian with me. As soon as I felt his body against mine, my sleepiness vanished. My dick rapidly rose to full erection and I pushed it against Bastian’s leg. He was wearing those stupid silk sleep pants again. He started wearing them after I came home from the hospital. I liked it better when he slept naked.
“Bastian.” I tugged at the drawstring of his pants.
The scent of Bastian’s pheromones filtered through the air and I let out a needy whimper and tried to tug and pull at him so that he would get on top of me.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“I’m trying to get you inside me, you big lug. I know you want me. I can smell it. And I can feel it.” I rubbed my thigh against his erection.
Bastian lifted his hips, pulling his cock away from me. “We can’t.”
“Why not? The doctor said it was okay. I asked.”
Bastian sat up and turned away from me, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
I scooted up behind him and rubbed the middle of his back, my hand soothing up and down his honey brown fur. “Have you ever hurt me?”
“You almost died,” he whispered, so quietly I barely heard him.
“That’s why the doctor gave me that DNA control shot.” I moved up behind him onto my knees. I leaned in and kissed along his shoulder up to his neck. “I know you want me,” I whispered. “And I want you so bad. You can’t hide the smell from me.” I arched my body up and rubbed against Bastian’s back, then let my hand slide around his front until I gripped his huge hard-on. “You can’t hide that beast from me, either.” I was so horny now that I actually begged. “Please, Bastian. I need you. Fuck me, Bastian. Please.”
Bastian let out an involuntary groan at my words and gripped the base of his cock and squeezed. “We can’t. I… I need to use the bathroom.”
As Bastian stood, I sighed and flopped down onto the bed onto my back. “I guess I will have to take care of it myself.”
I wrapped my fingers around my hard-on and began a slow stroke. I rubbed the pad of the middle finger of my left hand through the pool of pre-come that had leaked onto my belly. I put my hand between my legs and pressed the finger into my hole. Oh, damn, that felt good. My eyes rolled back into my head and I let out a soft moan.
I heard Bastian draw in a breath, and I opened my eyes to look at him.
I watched Bastian’s mouth drop open as I began to masturbate with purpose. If he wouldn’t take care of me, I’d do it myself.
“What are you doing?” Bastian asked, frozen in place as he stared at me with wide-eyes full of desire. His mating scent intensified as he watched me play with myself. I could see his cock was fully hard inside his sleep pants and it made me crazy with need.
“I need something bigger,” I panted. “Please, Bastian. Fuck me.” I pressed two fingers into me and began to thrust.
With a growl, Bastian yanked his pants off and pounced onto the bed.
He suddenly froze. “You will tell me if I hurt you? Promise me.”
“I promise.” I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him down on top of me. He didn’t move fast enough, so I turned again and pushed him flat on his back.
I straddled him and sat on his hard-on, and began a grinding motion with my hips. “Let me ride you.”
A deep growl started in Bastian’s chest. “Yes.”
Using my knees, I rose up and gripped Bastian’s thick cock. I pulled it up and positioned it at my entrance. I rubbed the leaking head back and forth to slick up my tight hole, then I slowly sunk down.
“Oh god,” I cried as I impaled myself on Bastian’s shaft. Each ring felt so good as it entered me. My dick throbbed and began to dribble. A string of pre-cum dripped down in a string until it landed in the soft fur of Bastian’s abdomen.
Bastian’s warm hands slid up my stomach and chest. His fingers found my nipples and began to toy with them, teasing them until they were hard and tight.
When Bastian was finally buried balls deep inside me, he growled and thrust upward as he pinched my nipples.
Using my hands on his abs and my knees on the bed, I rose up until he was about slip out of me. I then plunged back down. When the head of his cock stabbed my prostate and each of the rings rubbed it, I saw stars. Without warning, I came.
Screaming my bondmate’s name, my back arched and my body went rigid. My groin muscles pulsed, send bursts of cum through my hard-on and onto Bastian’s chest and stomach.
Bastian took the opportunity to buck his hips up. He began to thrust up into me at a frenzied pace. I sat on top of him like a boneless rag doll, letting him take me hard and fast.
“Devin!” He growled. Each time the base of his cock hit the bottom of my ass, he let out a guttural grunt.
Bastian ran his finger along the underside of my dick. My erection had never subsided and it jerked against his finger as it slid from the base to the tip. He captured the cum/pre-cum mix and scooped it up with his finger.
“You are mine,” he said. He sucked his finger clean of my juices. "Mine."
Oh god, that was so sexy.
He rammed the head of his cock hard into my prostate, and I moaned wantonly. My dick jerked and I could feel another orgasm building up.
Needing to come again, I took control of my body. I gripped Bastian’s stomach and held my body in position while Bastian rammed up into me. “Fuck me, Bastian.”
The scent of his mating pheromones increased, making me lightheaded. I was so close that I knew that I would easily come again. “Touch me, Bastian. Make me come again!”
Bastian grabbed my cock in his fist and stroked it hard and fast.
I looked down at Bastian’s face. His mouth was open, his snarl exposing his sharp teeth and his green eyes were open wide with intense lust as he watched me come undone.
“Bastian, I’m coming!” I cried as I was hit with a second orgasm, pumping my cum onto Bastian’s fur.
Bastian gripped my waist and thrust up into me while he pulled me down onto his cock. Buried completely inside me, I felt his shaft expand and throb. With a loud roar, Bastian began to come.
His cock locked inside me and began to pulse jets of semen deep into my body. I closed my eyes and shuddered as I felt every swell of his cock against my prostate.
I fell forward and laid down on Bastian’s trembling chest. His arms moved around me and I laid there in recovery as his chest heaved up and down. He was still buried inside me. This was the first time he had locked inside me after that first time. Though this time I didn’t panic. I actually quite enjoyed the intimacy of having him like this.
With a final shudder, his cock finally softened enough to slip out of me.
“Gods, I hope that shot worked,” he said between breathless pants. “Because… I think you were… in your… fertile period.”
* * *
Bastian was busy in his office catching up on some work, so I decided to make a comm call. I grabbed my comPad and tucked it under my arm as I picked up Callan, who was wearing one of the brand new outfits that his grandmother bought for him.
“Come on, sweetie. Let’s call Peri. I know he’s dying to see you.”
After checking that Callan looked camera ready, I situated him on my lap and propped my comPad against a small easel. I swiped my finger across it and placed a call to Peri.
After a couple of seconds, Peri’s face appeared on the screen. He lit up with a bright smile when he saw me.
Callan stared at the image of Peri and let out a little coo and then a dribble of spit dripped down his chin. “Oops,” I said with a giggle.
“Oh my god, Dev. He’s so precious! Look at his chubby cheeks, and all that hair!”
After I wiped Callan’s chin, I lifted him a bit so that he was closer to the comPad’s camera. “Say ‘hi’ to your Uncle Peri, sweetie.” I lifted Callan’s hand and waved it at Peri.
Peri drew in a quiet breath. “‘Uncle Peri’?”
I smiled warmly at Peri. “You’re my brother, Per. Of course you’re his uncle.”
“Wow, Dev… That’s just…” Peri let out a deep breath. I could tell that he was emotional and it made me feel the same. “I can’t believe you made a baby.”
“Yeah, I know right.”
“Oh, look at his little horn nubs! How cute!”
I laughed and pressed a kiss on top of Callan’s head. “Yeah. He got those from his sire. Peri, I wish you were here. I miss you so much.”
“I miss you too, Dev.”
“You would love it here, Per. Honest. The planet is gorgeous. Everything is so green. There’s trees and flowers and water. The air is so fresh and crisp. It’s paradise.”
“I don’t know, Dev… It’s such a big change…”
“Promise me you’ll think about it?”
Per smiled and nodded. “I promise.”
“So you met Bastian’s Uncle Besh, right?”
“Ugh.” Peri rolled his eyes. “He is so annoying. One minute he is bossy as hell, and the next minute it’s like he doesn’t give a crap. I’m glad he’s gone.”
“You spent some time with him then?”
Peri shrugged. “He came over a couple of times to check on me, and he helped me pack up your stuff. And then we went out to dinner the night before he left. It was no big deal.” Peri shrugged again as he rubbed the back of his neck and sighed. “I gotta go, or I’m gonna be late for work. Roble has been on my ass extra hard since they hired your replacement. The new guy is such a brown-noser.”
I couldn’t help but laugh at Peri. “Okay. We’ll talk again soon, okay? Say ‘bye-bye’, Callan.”
I picked up Callan’s hand and waved ‘bye’ to Peri.
Peri let out a giggle. “Bye, cutie. Bye, Dev.”
* * *
While Bastian cooked some saki steaks on the open firepit, I sat on the grass playing with Callan and Mishu.
Dashel and his brother Beshel were coming over for dinner. Beshel was bringing with him several boxes of personal items from my old Earth apartment. It seemed like it was ages ago that I lived there. I couldn't even think of anything that I really needed or wanted that would have been in the boxes.
It wasn’t just a social visit, however. Beshel was also bringing us news on what he found at the research facility where I was held captive.
I tried not to think about what happened there, and instead concentrated on playing with my son.
Callan currently wore a soft, brown kilt with a cream-colored linen vest, courtesy of his grandmother. She was spoiling him, but I had to admit that he looked really cute.
Mishu tried to crawl up onto my lap, desperate to get to Callan and give his face a lick. Each time Mishu bounced, I swooped Callan out of the way. Callan giggled like it was the funniest thing in the whole world.
Bastian watched us from the grill, a loving smile on his face.
I looked up as Dashel entered with another Degan. Beshel.
Beshel was younger, but he strongly resembled Dashel. He wasn’t as tall as Bastian or Dashel, but he was built stout and top-heavy with massive chest and arm muscles. His fur was slightly darker, closer to a light brown, but he had the same emerald-colored eyes that all of the Drago men had.
While Bastian hugged his sire and his uncle, I stood up with the baby and walked over to them. Dashel gave me a tug on the ear, then did the same to Callan. “How’s my little warrior?” he asked Callan.
“He’s doing wonderful,” I replied for him.
“I can see. Elia went in for her exam this morning. Callan will have a new cousin coming soon. A girl. Nydia is over the moons about our first granddaughter.”
Bastian placed his hand on my back and urged me closer to his uncle. “Uncle Besh, this is my bondmate, Devin. Devin, Uncle Besh. He is a Degan federal investigator.”
As he took my hand, Besh spoke in a soft, but deep and growling voice. “I am sorry that I was not able to make it to your ceremony.”
“Thank you. It’s very nice to finally meet you.”
“You as well. I am truly sorry about what happened to you…”
Bastian cleared his throat, changing the awkward topic. “Why don’t we eat first before we get down to business?”
Dinner was wonderful, though I couldn’t fully enjoy it because I was a little anxious over what Beshel had found. After cleaning up, we headed into Bastian’s office to discuss the reason for the older Degans’ visit.
Bastian stopped me and spoke quietly. “Are you sure you want to be here for this? Maybe you should take Callan upstairs and lay down.”
I shook my head firmly. “No. I want to know.”
Bastian watched me for a moment before nodding his head. “I understand. But if you get upset and need a break, promise me you’ll speak up.”
I drew in a deep breath and sat down on the sofa. I wrapped Callan in a green silk blanket and held him to my chest with his head resting on my shoulder. Bastian sat down next to us. He leaned over and gave Callan a bunch of kisses on his head. Callen let out a few soft noises and quickly fell asleep. It amazed me how fast that boy could fall asleep.
Once Besh got connected to Bastian’s equipment, he switched the large wall-mounted screen to display his comPad.
What looked like a satellite view of a city faded onto the screen and Besh zoomed in on one particular building. “This is the site of the research facility. The Union Council and Earth government both denounce what happened here, both saying that it was not an officially sanctioned lab.”
Sitting in Bastian’s desk chair, Dashel let loose an annoyed grunt. He leaned forward and pointed at the screen. “That ‘unsanctioned’ lab had Union Navy security and was staffed by Union Research personnel.”
Dashel and Besh looked over at me. I held Callan tighter and just nodded my agreement.
Besh continued, “The Navy claims they were following orders from Research. Research says that they had legitimate labs operating in the building. They admit that they provided lab support for the scientists, but the actual scientists were not Research employees.”
When Beshel began to show images from inside the facility, including the labs and holding cells, I shuddered. I needed to know what was going on, but I really didn’t want to remember.
Bastian put his arm around my shoulders and hugged me close to him. “Do you want to stop?” he whispered.
“I also heard from Sethel.”
Bastian turned to me and explained. “Uncle Seth is a general in the Global Armed Forces.”
I had met several of Bastian’s uncles at our ceremony, so I had a hard time picturing exactly which one was Sethel.
“Right,” Besh added. “He falls between me and Dashel. Anyway, he told me that General Dansik has been captured, but is refusing to cooperate. The evidence gathered points to him as a pawn. He’s still guilty as hell, but he’s not the one pulling the strings.”
“Then who?” Bastian asked.
“We don’t know,” Besh said with a sigh. “But Brilsch is definitely involved. It appears that he and another were manipulating Dansik. We are trying to find out who he is connected to.” Besh cleared his throat and scratched the back of his neck. “Brilsch has gone into hiding. They believe he is on Earth. So far they have been unable to flush him out.”
Bastian growled. “If he shows his face here, I will kill him.”
Dashel nodded. “It would be within your right.”
I held Callan tight and leaned against Bastian. Somehow I doubted that we had seen the last of that evil man.
As Bastian cradled Callan in his arms, I looked around the backyard of Bastian’s parents’ house in stunned silence. I couldn’t believe that all of this was for me and my baby boy.
Nydia had pulled out all of the stops. Callan’s party rivaled our bonding ceremony. There were some very close family friends present, but mostly it was family. Uncles, aunts, and cousins of every age. All of Bastian’s siblings were able to come, even Martan.
They had a big tent set up with tables and chairs. A big buffet held all kinds of delicious food. The yard was decorated in colorful pastel decorations made of paper. Inflatable animal shapes that reminded me of balloons hung from the tree branches.
Everyone was so sweet, warmly greeting us as they arrived. Most of them were very tactile, giving both me and Bastian congratulatory hugs. They all wanted to touch or kiss Callan, and I heard many times how cute he was and how well behaved he was.
After everyone had greeted us, Dashel and Nydia finally each gave me a hug and I hugged both of them tightly.
“Thank you so much,” I told Bastian’s mother. “This is all so wonderful and unexpected.”
She rubbed her hand over my hair fondly. “Of course. The family is celebrating my grandson’s birth. You will just have to get used to it. After all, you are family, too.”
She pressed a kiss to Callan’s forehead before leaving to scold one of the teenage cousins for popping one of the balloon animals.
Elia smiled at me, her hand resting on her swollen belly as her tail slowly swung to and fro behind her. “It’s nice that my baby will have a cousin so close to her age. I am very close to my cousin who is the same age as me. We still talk every day.”
I looked at her in surprise. I think that was the first time I realized that Callan had cousins, and would probably have plenty more to come. He wouldn’t have any siblings, but he would have other family his age that he would grow up with.
I didn’t have parents, or even aunts, uncles, cousins or grandparents. But Callan did. He would never grow up alone; he would always have family. I looked around at everyone laughing and talking. Yup, he would always have family. A big, crazy Degan family. And I was eternally grateful that my son would have what I didn’t.
Bastian put his hands on my shoulders and I tilted my head back and looked up at him.
“Are you happy, little one?”
I nodded, blinking back the tears. “Yes. I’ve never been happier.”
* * *
As Callan grew the next few weeks, it became apparent to me that his Degan DNA was more dominant than his Human. He may have looked mostly human in the face, but he was getting bigger and stronger every day. Already he looked like a healthy six-month-old even though he was not quite three months.
Callan was now starting to eat semi-solid foods. His favorite was a mushed up fruit that resembled a banana, though not quite as sweet. It was also Bastian’s favorite snack, so I wasn’t surprised that Callan loved it.
Callan could also sit up by himself and lift his head and was at the beginning stages of scooting around on his belly.
Bastian assured me that he was a perfectly normal Degan child and his growth would slow once he began to walk. The thought of him running around so soon terrified me. I didn’t know if I would be able to keep up. I was still learning how to be a daddy.
With me having Callan mostly under control, Bastian began to work again. Since he worked from his home office, it was great having him home with us. We ate our meals together as a family and he would occasionally take breaks to spend time with me and our son. And if I needed anything, he was right there.
Bastian was meeting a client at the Capital City today, and I was a little bit frazzled at the thought of having to take care of Callan all by myself for the first time. Thankfully, Bastian would be home more often than not. It was only once a month that he might have to meet clients in the Capital City.
Callan lifted his head up and looked up at me and made a series of cute baby noises. He gave a smile that showed off the beginnings of his teeth. Mishu ran circles around Callan, making the boy giggle. Callan managed to grab Mishu’s tail and give it a tug. The banti responded with a tongue attack to the face, making Callan laugh even harder.
“He’ll be crawling soon,” Bastian said as we fondly watched the boy and his best friend play.
“It’s barely been three months,” I said with a sigh. “I’m not ready for that.”
“If you need help…”
I shook my head. “No. I don’t need help. I just… I don’t want him to grow up too fast.”
“He’ll slow down after a year. Trust me.”
“He’s gonna be bigger than me when he grows up, isn’t he?”
“You could at least lie to me to make feel better.”
He bent down and kissed me, slow and sweet. “Better?” He nibbled along my neck and nipped at my ear. “I will see you tonight. Maybe if you tire out the boy today, we can put him to bed early.” He pressed his cock into my stomach in case I didn’t understand what he was really after.
“I love you,” he whispered in my ear before flicking his tongue along the shell, sending ripples of pleasure down my spine.
When Bastian pulled away, I was finally able to put together a coherent sentence. “I love you, too.”
Bastian picked up Callan. “Be a good boy for Daddy. Your sire loves you.” After giving Callan more kisses, he handed our son to me and I hefted his weight onto my hip.
“Say ‘bye bye,’” I told Callan.
Callan and I waved to Bastian as he left for the day.
* * *
When the front door chime buzzed, I frowned. We weren’t expecting any visitors.
“Who could that be?” I asked Callan as I lifted him up and set him onto my hip. “Jeez, you’re getting heavy.” I wiped some dribble off his chin, pinched one of his chubby cheeks and tweaked his earlobe, and then tapped the control to unlock the door.
Rando the snobby ex was the last person I expected to see standing on the front porch. I rolled my eyes and let out an exasperated sigh, not even pretending to be polite. “Yes?”
He stared at Callan, dumbstruck. “Is… Is Bastian here?” he asked, not taking his eyes off my child.
I tightened my grip on Callan and took a small step back. “He’s not available right now. Thanks for coming by.” I started to shut the door, but he stopped it with his hand.
“He has Bastian’s eyes.” Rando finally looked up at me. His eyes filled with pain and anger as he stared at me. “You gave him a child?”
Before I could respond, I felt a rush of fur against my leg. Snarling and snapping, Mishu lunged at Rando’s leg.
Rando backed up quickly and kicked his boot at Mishu. “Get away, you filthy beast!”
Callan giggled happily, pointing his hand at Mishu, clutching and flexing his fist as if he wanted to grab Mishu by the tail. Thankfully, he was totally oblivious to the nasty man at the front door.
“You need to leave,” I said to Rando. “And don’t ever come back. Come, Mishu.”
I shut the door behind me. I looked at Callan. “Remind me to tell your sire that leaving his exes with security access is so not cool. He of all people should know better. Isn’t that right?”
Mishu gave one last growl at the door for good measure, then followed me into the kitchen.
As I prepared lunch, my comPad chimed with an incoming comm signal. I smiled when I saw that it was Dashel calling. I reached over and tapped the screen to answer the call.
“Hello, Sire,” I answered with a smile.
“Hello, little one. How are you, and how is my little warrior?”
“We are doing great.”
“Nydia and I were speaking this morning. It’s been too long between visits.”
It hadn’t been that long, but I loved Bastian’s parents and was more than happy to spend time with them. “Would you like to come for dinner tonight? We would love to have you.”
“Yes, that would be very nice.”
I felt a tug on my pant leg. Callan had managed to shuffle on his belly to my feet. I bent down and picked him up, then picked up my comPad and sat down, holding the display so that we could all see each other.
“Say hello to your grandsire, Callan.”
Callan lifted his hand and scrunched his fingers at the screen, mesmerized by Dashel’s appearance. I maneuvered the screen in time to prevent Callan from smudging it with fingerprints or pressing the controls like he was apt to do.
“Hello, my sweetie.” Dashel mimicked Callan’s “wave” and smiled a toothy grin. I could see that his green eyes were a little bit misty and it warmed my heart to know that he loved both me and my child so much.
“So what are your plans this afternoon?” Dashel asked me.
“Well, Bastian is in the city for business, so we are going to have a picnic lunch by the lake. Then maybe take a nap in the hammock, if I can get this one to cooperate. Hopefully we won’t have anymore unpleasant interruptions.”
“Interruptions? What do you mean?”
“Oh, it’s nothing. Bastian’s snobby ex stopped by.”
Dashel grunted his disapproval. “Bastian should not have left you unguarded. I will send someone for you.”
“It’s okay, Sire. We are safe here.”
* * *
After finishing up our chat, I took Callan and Mishu out into the backyard with our lunch basket. I laid down our blanket and we had a lakeside lunch in the sun. Callan made a mess while he ate, but Mishu always seemed to be in the right place at the right time to catch any stray food.
I had just finished changing Callan’s wet diaper when Mishu let out a low-pitched growl. The banti’s hackles rose and he took a defensive posture while staring into the trees.
“What is it, boy?”
I pulled Callan close to my chest and looked around. As Mishu’s growls turned into loud barks, I started get a really bad feeling about the situation. It was time to get out of there. I needed to get inside and call Bastian or Dashel as soon as possible.
Mishu suddenly became silent and when I looked down, he had rolled onto his side with his tongue hanging from his mouth. He had a red-tipped object sticking out of his neck. I gasped in shock, pulled the dart out and tossed it aside. I didn’t want to leave him, but I became panicked. I pushed up to my feet, but before I could run, I felt a sting in my arm.
I immediately pulled the dart free, but I could feel traces of the sedative taking effect. I tripped over my feet, and Callan rolled next to me as I fell forward onto the ground.
He began to cry.
“It’s okay. Daddy’s here.”
Adrenaline pumped through my veins, overtaking what sedative I managed to absorb. I crawled to my boy, but before I could pick him up, a boot to the chest kicked me backwards.
I screamed in denial, but the boot on my chest kept me from moving. Fugitive Captain Brilsch looked down at me with a sneer. I grabbed at his boot and tried unsuccessfully to dislodge him.
Rando moved from behind him, holding my son.
Oh hell no! “I’ll kill you!” I screamed with rage as I struggled to free myself from Brilsch’s boot.
“We have to go,” Rando said to Brilsch. “Hurry up.”
Brilsch leaned down and grabbed me by the arm and jerked me to my feet. “Let’s go, human.”
As Brilsch dragged me across the yard, I turned back to see Rando following with Callan in his arms. My baby was screaming and crying and it was killing me.
“Let me have him,” I pleaded. “Please. I’ll come with you if you just don’t hurt him.”
Brilsch jerked my arm and painfully shoved the end of his phase pistol into my side. “Shut up.”
A small shuttle pod was waiting in the front driveway. Brilsch pushed me through the hatch and shoved me into a chair. Rando and Callan followed after me and Brilsch took the pilot’s seat.
I gripped the seat’s arm rests as the shuttle lifted off the ground and began to ascend.
Brilsch tapped the comm panel and Senator Bestro’s face appeared on the view screen. I ground my teeth together and bit my tongue. Dashel had said he was a harmless old windbag. Apparently he was not.
“Do you have them?” the Senator asked.
“I’m transmitting the rendezvous coordinates now. Tie up your loose ends.”
The transmission ended suddenly.
Brilsch tapped at the screen controls and the computer announced, Navigation locked in. Autopilot engaged.
“There’s been a change of plans,” Brilsch said. He got up and turned, drawing his weapon and pointing it at Rando.
“What are you doing?” Rando said, cringing and shrinking backwards into his chair.
“I need them to lure out Drago. But I have no further need for you.”
As much as I despised Rando, I didn’t really want to see him killed in cold blood. At least not while holding my child. I directed my attention back to Brilsch. “The senator’s just using you, you know.”
Brilsch threw his head back. An evil laugh erupted from his throat. “Do you think I’m stupid? Of course he’s using me, just as I’m using him. I had him hooked as soon as I slipped him my ten inches.” He groped his cock through his leather pants, before turning his gaze to Rando. “It’s just that good, isn’t it Rando?”
Rando’s face went red and he tried to respond, but it came out a stammering mess.
Poor stupid Rando. I almost felt sorry for him.
Brilsch motioned with his gun. “Give the brat to the human.”
While giving Brilsch a scathing look for calling my son a “brat,” I reached over and pulled Callan away from a shaking and frightened Rando.
Callan calmed somewhat when I picked him up, and I buckled him into the seat as best as I could. I gave him a kiss on the head, saying a little prayer that he would be okay and that we’d both get out of this alive.
Rando was practically in tears as he begged for his life. “Please, don’t do this. I helped you get in. Undetected, just like I promised. You know I’ll do anything. Please.”
The computer sounded an alarm and red lights began blinking like mad. Brilsch turned to look at it.
Now or never. Adrenaline pumped through my veins. I had this one chance.
I took it.
I leapt forward and threw myself at Brilsch as hard as I could. It was enough to knock the gun away, but not enough to knock Brilsch down.
The back of Brilsch’s hand to my face was like being hit by a truck. He knocked me to the floor and I scrambled to get away from him.
I was momentarily shocked when Rando joined in and jumped Brilsch. As the two fought, I quickly recovered, and jumped behind the ship’s controls.
The sensors showed we had three shuttles closing in on our location. It had to be Dashel or Bastian! I needed to get to him, or at least slow us down so that they could catch up. I disengaged the autopilot and the ship lurched as manual control activated. My fingers flew across the controls as I tried to turn the ship around.
A blow to the back of my head stunned me.
Brilsch tried to pull me away from the controls and I banked the ship hard to starboard, enough to get Brilsch to lose his balance and let go of me.
Rando tried to pull Brilsch away from me as I tried to adjust the descent. With Brilsch on top of my back trying to change the course, the ship’s nose dived.
I tried to adjust, but it was too late. We were going down too fast. I grabbed the chair’s arm rests and braced myself as the ship plowed nose first into a field of wheat.
Everyone went flying on impact.
My head slammed into the ship’s control panel and my vision went fuzzy and I faded in and out of consciousness.
I opened my eyes and shook my head to get my bearings. The ship had come to a stop, crashed in the field. The ship was titled at an angle towards starboard and it took a moment to adjust my balance. The cabin lights flickered and the emergency lights had been activated. The acrid smell of burning plastic filled the cabin as smoke began to obscure my vision.
Pushing to my feet, I kicked Brilsch’s prone body away from me. A warm trickle ran down the side of my face and I pressed my hand to my throbbing forehead to stop the flow of blood.
I didn’t care that I was bleeding. I had to get to my screaming son.
Pulling the front of my shirt over my nose to filter the air, I pulled Callan from the seat and hurried to the hatch. I tripped the emergency option and the airlock disengaged and the door fell open and landed on the ground. Since the ship had landed at an angle, with the door gone it was a higher jump than I would have liked. Having no other choice, I held Callan tight to my chest and jumped off onto the ground.
I landed on my feet and let out a breath of relief. “It’ll be okay,” I whispered as I rocked Callan, trying to soothe him. “Your sire’s coming.”
Please let him be coming.
“Stop right there.”
I tried to shield Callan as I slowly turned to see Brilsch jump from the ship. He looked beat to hell with a bloody nose and bruised brow, but he had the gun trained on me. One look in his eyes and I knew that he was going to use it this time.
I started to back away.
“I said stop!” Brilsch shouted.
A phaser blast at my feet had me quickly obeying. I weighed my options, but I came up short. I didn’t see any way that Callan and I were going to get out of this.
But then a warrior’s roar told me it was too late for Brilsch.
Bastian was here.
Brilsch swung his gun towards Bastian, but Bastian threw a knife. It pierced the captain above where his heart should be—if he had one. Bastian threw the weight of his entire body at Brilsch, sending them both tumbling to the ground.
While they fought, I backed away.
I was suddenly surrounded by Dashel and a unit of military officers.
“Sire!” I let out a cry of relief as his arms surrounded me and my baby boy.
“Are the two of you injured?” he asked as he looked us over.
“No, we’re fine.”
“But you’re bleeding.”
“I don’t care. We have to help Bastian.”
I looked over Bastian and Brilsch. The two were crouched in an attack posture, slowly circling each other, each looking for an opening. Brilsch had pulled the knife from his chest and was wielding the bloody blade in his right hand. A bloom of red spread from the hole in his uniform, but he seemed barely affected by it.
Brilsch wiped his mouth with the back of his hand as he stared down Bastian. “I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. I am sick of your ugly face.”
Bastian snarled and flexed his fists. “The last thing you’ll see before you die is my ugly face.”
Brilsch swung the knife at Bastian, who easily dodged it. Bastian grabbed ahold of Brilsch’s wrist, tightening and forcing him to drop the knife. Bastian used his other fist to strategically punch Brilsch directly in the knife wound.
Brilsch yelled in pain and kicked Bastian’s chest with his boot, knocking him backwards.
“Is that the best you can do?” Brilsch prodded between panting breaths.
Bastian sneered, narrowing his eyes as his face contorted with hate. “You will see my best when I kill you for what you did to my bondmate.”
Spotting his gun in the grass, Brilsch dove for the pistol at the same time as Bastian. The two men wrestled on the ground until the gun went off.
“Bastian!” I screamed. I tried to run to him, but Dashel held me back.
When Bastian rolled away with a agonized groan, I let out a cry of relief.
As Brilsch let out a gurgling cough, Bastian grabbed him by a fistful of hair and forced Brilsch to look up at him, to stare him in the face.
Brilsch’s body went limp as he took his last breath.
Bastian pushed to his feet, then kicked at Brilsch’s body. It didn’t move. He kicked it again just for good measure.
The vacant expression on the sadistic man’s face told me that he was truly dead this time.
Two of the military officers pulled a dazed Rando from the crashed transport.
As they led him to their ship, he stopped in front of me. “I… I’m sorry.”
I handed Callan to Dashel. I hauled my fist back. A right hook across the jaw knocked Rando flat on his ass.
“Don’t fuck with my family.”
I was shaking with rage, but Bastian’s arms suddenly surrounded me. I clung tight to him like a lifeline.
I knew that we were all safe, once and for all.
* * *
Callan cried as the military medic checked him out. I wanted to get up and go to him, but Dashel put a hand on my shoulder. “Bastian has him. Let the medic look at you first. Please.”
I reluctantly nodded my agreement. I ignored the medic as he examined the cut on my head. I was focused on my crying son.
Bastian let out an annoyed grunt and pushed the medic away. He picked Callan up and then sat down in the seat. When Bastian began to sing quietly, Callan finally calmed enough for the examination.
After bandaging my cut, the medic cleared me. I got up and went over to Callan and Bastian. The medic was examining a bruise on Callan’s chest.
Bastian growled as his face went red with rage. He muttered through gritted teeth, “I want to bring him back so that I can kill him all over again.”
“Your son is fine,” the medic said as he closed up his bag. “No signs of internal trauma. He’s a strong boy.”
Bastian stood, cradling our son against his chest. “’Fine’, he says. My boy was hurt by that sadistic bastard.”
“It would have been nice if you left him alive,” Besh said as he walked up and placed a hand on Bastian’s shoulder. “For a little while at least.”
Bastian scoffed. “He hurt my boy and tortured my bondmate. I’d kill him again if I could.”
“Yes, but my boss would have liked to have questioned him.”
Dashel interjected. “It was within his right, brother.”
Remembering something that happened on the shuttle, I spoke up. “Wait. He was taking us to the Senator. The one who gave Dashel the ship. Bestro. Brilsch programmed the rendezvous point into the computer.”
Besh snapped his fingers at a pair of men hovering nearby. “Come with me,” he ordered. The three of them hurried to the shuttle wreckage.
“Beshel will find him,” Dashel said with confidence.
The adrenaline was finally wearing off and my eyelids grew heavy. “Can we go home?” I asked Bastian.
Bastian pulled me close and pressed his lips to the side of my head. “Yes, my true one.”
Dashel nodded his approval. “Go. Besh will take care of the rest.”
When we arrived at home, Mishu jumped out from nowhere like a ninja. He yipped and barked, circling us, bouncing up and down in an agitated state. I squatted down with Callan so that Mishu could see him, to see that he was fine.
The banti instantly calmed. He licked each of Callan’s cheeks, making the baby giggle. Mishu smiled a big grin and licked the boy again.
“See, Callan is okay,” I told him as I rubbed the top of his head. “You did good, boy.”
Bastian reached down and pet Mishu and scratched underneath his chin. “Let’s get you a treat. You wanna treat?”
Mishu barked and ran full speed into the kitchen to claim his prize.
Bastian and I took Callan out to the backyard, with Mishu following close behind. Laying in the hammock under the moons and the stars, I felt an overwhelming sense of calm.
While Mishu paced back and forth underneath the hammock, Callan lay between me and Bastian. I held his bottle for him and he drank until it was dry.
Bastian kicked his leg and slowly rocked the hammock to and fro. He quietly hummed Callan’s favorite song, lulling both me and my son into a peaceful sleep.
* * *
Before we went to bed that night, I took a shower. It felt so good to get the day’s grime off me. I just stood there under the warm water with my eyes closed. When the shower door opened, I looked over my shoulder to see Bastian stepping in. He moved behind me and surrounded me with his arms.
He rested his chin on top of my head and spoke softly. “I would do anything to keep you and Callan safe.”
I placed my hands on his forearms. “I know you would. And you did.”
Bastian warm, soft lips pressed against the back of my neck. “I love you,” he murmured against my skin. The scent of his pheromones grew strong and I leaned back against him, wanting more of his kisses and his touches. I lifted my arm and wrapped it around the back of his neck, urging him close.
Bastian squatted down slightly and pressed the head of his cock against my hole. He rubbed the slick head back and forth, getting me nice and wet.
“Yes,” I moaned. My dick was rock hard and dripping. My ass clenched in anticipation. I needed Bastian so damn bad right now.
He kissed a trail down my spine. He spread my cheeks with his hands and I braced myself for what was coming. With both hands on the wall, I arched my back, pushing my ass towards my bondmate.
Bastian’s warm tongue swiped across the rim of my hole and I groaned out loud, throwing my head back. His slick tongue swirled around and around before it breached me.
Once he felt I was ready to take him, Bastian stood. With one hand balancing myself on the wall, I reached back and took his thick shaft in my hand. I guided it to my ass, holding it steady as I rocked back onto it. At the same time, Bastian pushed forward and entered me, inch by inch. I felt the delicious stretch of every single ring as they breached my hole. He then pulled back and then slid back in just as slow.
He held me tight to his body as he made love to me. While one hand pinched and tweaked my nipples, his other hand slipped lower and wrapped around my dick. It blissfully stroked up and down at the same excruciatingly slow pace as the movement of his hips.
Every single time he pushed in, he hit my prostate, sending bursts of pleasure throughout my body. The pressure steadily built until I cried out as my orgasm hit me hard. Hot cum blasted out of me like a fountain, painting the shower wall with creamy white spurts. I clamped my ass around Bastian’s thrusting shaft, milking him with each contraction of my groin muscles.
His rhythm sped up and then he shoved in hard and froze. His cock swelled and began to throb as it locked inside me, pulsing scalding jets of semen deep inside me.
Bastian’s body quivered as he clung tight to me. “Devin. Oh, Devin…”
“You’re locked inside me again,” I whispered.
“Just give me a few moments…” His body shuddered and I felt his cock pulse against my prostate. Warmth spread inside my body as he pumped more of his seed into me.
“Oh,” I groaned as my eyes rolled back in my head. “You know I love it.”
Bastian rubbed his cheek against the side of my head. “Me too.”
* * *
The next morning, I took time out to call Peri. With Callan in my lap, I told him the whole tale of what happened.
“Oh great,” Peri said with a sigh. “I’m about to tell you that I’m coming for a visit and you tell me that people are trying to kill you.”
“What?! You’re coming? When?”
“I get a week off next month. I was hoping that would be okay with you.”
“Are you kidding? Our door is always open to you. You know that. Oh, Per. You’re gonna love it here. I’m not even going to have to try to convince you to stay. You’ll love it. Trust me.”
“We’ll see, Dev. There’s still the whole killing thing.”
“Oh, that? I told you, Bastian took care of it.”
“Did that… Weren’t you scared?”
“Yes. But at the time, and I know this is bad to say, but I wanted Bastian to kill him. I knew that he wouldn’t stop until he killed Bastian. And it was better him than my man.”
“Hmm. I understand. Still, I can’t imagine that someone would love me enough to kill for me.”
“I never imagined it either, but it happened. And it will happen for you. I know it.”
Peri gave a half-hearted smile as he reached back and rubbed his neck. “I hope so.”
I bounced Callan on my knee, and excitedly told him, “Your Uncle Peri is coming.” I lifted Callan in the air and let him “fall” onto my knee. “Wee!”
Peri laughed. “That baby has turned you into a goof ball.”
* * *
A week later, Besh and his colleagues had wrapped up their investigation. Dashel and Besh had arrived at our home and Besh was going to give us his update.
I had just finished giving Callan a bath, and we came downstairs to join Bastian and the others in his office.
I walked into the room in the middle of their conversation. I set Callan down on his blanket and joined Bastian on the sofa.
Dashel grunted. “So Rando is being charged as an accessory to kidnapping?”
“Yes,” Besh replied. “As well as breaking and entering.”
I frowned and looked at Bastian. “Wait a minute. How did Rando get in the gate?”
Bastian scratched the back of his neck. “I guess I owe you explanation.”
“You know, I really don’t care about Rando or your past, but yeah, I want to know.”
“Rando was a former business associate of mine. We had a short, but explosive relationship. I quickly discovered that he was a liar and a cheat and I broke things off, personally and professionally. Unfortunately, he has some knowledge of security systems. And I clearly have some loopholes to address in our system.”
“I’d like to think that we wouldn’t need them out here.” I turned back to Besh. “So what does the Senator have to do with all of this?”
“Bestro conspired with Brilsch to eliminate Senator Sandzi.”
“Over Union membership?” I asked. “It seems so senseless.”
Besh shook his head. “Senator Bestro despised Sandzi for his political views, but Sandzi was going to expose corruption that had ties to Bestro. The membership vote was a convenient smoke screen to hide the true reasons for his death.”
Dashel shook his head. “What a waste.”
Dashel gasped in surprise when Callan tugged on his pant leg. The boy had scooted on his belly all the way to his grandsire. Dashel bent down and picked the baby up. He set him on his lap and gave his earlobe a loving tug.
It was a waste, but there was one positive in the whole sordid mess. Bestro’s actions ultimately led Bastian to me and gave me a family.
* * *
It wasn’t long before the family got together once again.
This time it was to celebrate the birth of Elia’s daughter.
I packed up Callan’s bag and the three of us got in the hover car for the drive to Dashel and Nydia’s home.
The backyard was filled with family. Just like Callan’s birthday party, many of Bastian’s uncles and aunts and cousins came to see the new addition to the family. It was all so surreal that they celebrated like this for each new family member.
Elia’s daughter was named after Nydia, but they called her Nysha. She was a beautiful baby girl, with delicate and feminine Degan features. She wore a pastel yellow dress, clearly expensive and obviously a gift from her namesake. Her tail was so cute as it swung happily from under her dress.
I almost wished that Callan had got to keep his tail.
At four months old, I couldn’t believe how big Callan was. If I didn’t know better, I would have sworn that he was a healthy seven or eight month old human boy. Of course, all you had to do was look closer and you’d see the differences.
Right now, he was laying in the grass on his belly with Bastian and his brother nearby watching him. His cousins, Elia’s three boys, were running in circles around him, laughing and playing.
Callan lifted himself up on his arms, as he usually did when playing with Mishu. He had gotten good at rolling himself over and lifting up.
He let out a giggle and then lifted his butt up. He trembled a bit as he tried to balance on his hands and knees.
Nattie snickered next to me. “Uh-oh. You’re in trouble now.”
“What do you mean?” I asked as I watched my boy. No sooner had the words come out of mouth, when I knew exactly what she meant. Callan pushed his knees forward. He fell over on his side, but quickly rolled over and pushed himself back up onto his hands and knees. Then he began to crawl. His motions were jerky, but he was moving on his own.
Elia’s boys cheered and jumped up and down, which made Callan laugh and prompted him to keep going.
I looked over at Bastian. He lifted his head and met my gaze. He had such a look of pride and love on his face that it nearly melted me into a puddle. I mouthed “love you” to him and he returned the gesture.
I stood watching Callan for a while, simply amazed at how big and strong he was.
Nattie nudged me. “Let’s get something to eat.”
I nodded and reluctantly tore away from my son and followed Nattie over to the buffet table. The table was filled with many of my favorites. I hadn’t realized how hungry I was and I did not hesitate to load up my plate.
“Mmm,” I moaned happily. “Everything smells so good.”
I reached for some of my favorite cheese, but sight and smell of the orange cubes didn’t appeal to me. I passed them over and grabbed a couple of extra saki patties instead.
Nattie and I sat down on a nearby bench where we could keep a close eye on Callan.
As I ate my lunch, I looked around and my heart felt full. I was part of a huge, wonderful family. I had a husband—a bondmate—and a wonderful little boy. When I was a boy growing up in the orphanage, I never dreamed in a million years that I would grow up to have all of this.
I knew that I was the luckiest orphan on Earth. Well, not so much Earth. But lucky nonetheless.
“Wow, you sure were hungry…” Nattie said, her voice trailing off.
“Huh?” I looked over at her, but she wasn’t looking at me. She was looking down.
I followed her gaze past my empty plate to my free hand, which was currently under my shirt, subconsciously scratching at my belly.
My head darted up, seeking out Bastian, who was staring at me wide-eyed.