Welcome! Today’s theme, well, if this is working…if it’s not, I apologize. 😉 Yup. Let’s watch some characters apologize. From Claiming Derryn.
How many layers of deception are there in space?
When a trade negotiation goes wrong, Melina Davenport is sure she’ll end up either a casualty of war or a sex slave. Discovering one of her missing partners, Trev, is the new leader of the rebels who have captured her adds insult to injury.
But when her former lover whisks her away to a reunion with their third, Davis—now captain of the notorious outlaw vessel Nottingham—she has to decide if she wants to join her two lovers in their important but less-than-legal activities. Time is running out. The authorities are hunting them, the rebels are bomb crazy and the local fauna is reproducing at an astonishing rate aboard their vessel.
If they don’t find a solution soon, they can kiss the universe goodbye.
“But I’m your jerk, admit it. You still love me, Melina?” He stroked the side of her breast and she slapped his fingers away.
“How should I know? You’re a stranger, I don’t fall in love with strangers.” He leaned closer and nuzzled her neck. As good as his touch felt, the anger and longing inside her waged a war, and this time anger won. She climbed off him and looked around for her robe. Arrogant asshole.
“Where you going?”
She gave him the look. “I assume you have a plan to get me off this rock without having to share me with the other boys. I’d appreciate it if we got a move on. There’s going to be people worried when they don’t find me in the pod with the other two members of the committee.” She prided herself on keeping her emotions under control, but even she heard the fear in her voice. She grabbed her robe from the floor and clutched the fabric in her fist, clinging to one small piece of substance that remained unchanged. She held it up to see the entire front was shredded, the garment completely useless, and tossed it aside in disgust.
Trev swung his legs over the side of the bed and opened a cupboard. “I do have a plan, and yes, the room is secure. Feel free to discuss our secret life out loud.” He held out a shirt and she grabbed it.
“I assumed you would have found a way to alert me by now if it wasn’t safe, even if you had to spell it out. Do you remember any of the passcodes from our training days?”
“Enough to warn you in the hall.”
“Gee, maybe you should have memorized ‘get ready for me to fuck you in public’. We’ll have to mention that to the instructors the next time we visit the Institute.”
“Be reasonable, Melina.”
“You went into the bathroom for a drink of water then vanished for twelve months. Now I find you leading a group of rebels and I’m supposed to be reasonable?” Shit, she hadn’t said that. She stepped away from him but he was too quick, grasping her arm and locking her in position.
“That’s what this is about, isn’t it? You don’t really care if I jerked off in front of a group of cutthroats and painted you with my jism. Hell, you always were a bit of an exhibitionist. This is about not knowing where I’ve been for the past year.”
Her throat closed and she fought for control. She was not going to cry. She was not…
The dam burst. Unbearable pain shot through her as she relived the fear, the uncertainty of the days following Trev’s disappearance. His arms surrounded her as she sobbed like a baby, pounding her fist against his shoulder. He caught her hands in his and soothed her, patting her hair, pulling her close to his chest. Melina cried her eyes out, releasing all the pent-up tears she’d stored away when she didn’t know if he was dead or alive, didn’t understand why he’d left. He’d been all she had left after Davis had shipped out and broken apart their team of three.
By the time she’d spent all her sorrow, hiccups racked her frame. Each breath shuddered out with a gasp, and still he comforted her. Trev swept her into his arms and she buried her face against him, clinging to his neck. The sound of dripping increased, the steam on her skin growing warmer. Splashing ensued, and then the velvet touch of water slightly above body temperature covered her body.
Cradled in his arms, finally back where she’d longed to be, she was tempted to close her eyes and simply forget the world of trouble around them. A soft chirp by her ear enticed her away from hiding, from continuing to ignore the reality saying it was time to move on. Melina lifted her head to stare into swirling blue eyes.
The sharysa sat on the edge of the bathing pool, its head tilting from side to side.
“She’s worried about you.” Trev adjusted them so Melina sat straddling his hips, submersed to their necks. “She wonders why you cry when you’re with your mate.”
Melina drew another shaky breath. A mate? “You can talk with them?”
“This one is more articulate than the others. She seems to like me. Usually all I get is a blurry message, but with her it’s clearer. Piata thinks you should be happy since we’re together.”
The name he gave the petite creature made Melina smile. Only Trev would name a one-foot-tall furry rodent after one of the mammoth beasts of Tarn.
“Are we together again?” Her heart ached, longing for him to acknowledge what they’d shared.
Trev scooped a handful of water and washed her tear-covered face. “We’ve never been apart, Melina, at least not in my heart. I still love you.”
The tightness eased, and she kissed him. Their lips and tongues meshed as their hands clasped beneath the waters. Happy chirps and clicking brought a laugh from them both as they glanced at the little beast who now nodded in approval.
Trev bowed his head graciously. “I agree, Piata, my partner looks very good in my arms. She belongs there.”
He turned his gaze back on Melina, the comforting passion-filled look hardening and becoming more focused. His battle face. “You ready to hit the road? We’ve got a ship to catch.”
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