Warning: This book contains male homoerotica.
A massive interstellar war is raging, led by a vicious alien race known as the Maedrom. Humanity has become allied with many other alien races, all of which are trying to survive in the middle of this battle. Gabriel Nagra is a human engineer, assigned to develop a defense for the Maedrom's deadliest weapon. Assisting him is Jhuun, a male Eunnoian to whom Gabriel grows close…perhaps even a little too close.
The war has already led to heartbreak and the tragic loss of a lover for Gabriel. In addition, he worries about embracing physical intimacy with an alien. In the middle of destruction and uncertainty, will Gabriel let go of his doubts and fears for a chance at happiness with Jhuun, or will he risk facing the future alone yet again?
At that, Gabriel reached over tentatively and rested the tips of his fingers gently, very gently, against Jhuun's throat. The alien's lips parted in reaction to the touch and he reached over to do the same. Jhuun's fingers were warm and tender against Gabriel's throat. He wondered if Jhuun could feel his racing pulse.
"I've never cared for a Human before," Jhuun murmured. "I've never considered it in all the years I've lived on this station. But these last few weeks in your presence have been…"
"Pretty good, considering everything else," Gabriel finished. He covered Jhuun's caressing hand with his own, still not quite believing that this was happening.
"Yes," Jhuun said. "I am not sure how you wish to proceed from here…but if you would like to pursue this…"
"I think I would like that," Gabriel said. He went on the tips of his toes, meaning to close the height difference between them to press his lips to Jhuun's throat, but he stopped short. "Does the workshop door have a lock?"
"Yes," Jhuun said, laughing that breathy laugh of his. He disengaged from Gabriel's arms and went to the door that connected them to the engineering main office, turning the locking mechanism. It had grown very late again and Bianca and Xhani would surely have retired for the night by now, but the risk was not worth taking.
Their safety assured, they returned to each other's arms, fitting together a little awkwardly at first, Jhuun attempting another uncertain but increasingly confident kiss. He was a quick learner, Gabriel mused happily, as his own hands glided down Jhuun's chest, between the ridges, until he reached the rim of Jhuun's shorts.
Jhuun broke the kiss then, all nerves as he met Gabriel's eyes. "You may wish to wait before proceeding. I…I do desire you, but there are differences between us…between our races, which--"
"It's okay," Gabriel murmured, his hands poised on Jhuun's hips. "I know everything."
Jhuun's expression turned to one of puzzlement. "You know?"
Gabriel realized a split-second too late what his affirmation implied. "No, no, I haven't been with any other Eunnoians, if that's what you're thinking. Um, I went down to the Specialty shop--just this morning, actually--and…rented a movie."
Jhuun blinked at him a few times. "Ah."
"It was my friend Kurt's suggestion."
"Are you angry?"
"Angry? No. But perhaps…" Jhuun paused, either searching for the emotion or searching for the translation. "Disappointed. Which movie did you select?"
"Er…Kozhi and Nhor in Yaalhi Pond."
"It is an enjoyable movie," Jhuun said. The thought of Jhuun watching such a movie made Gabriel flush with an odd sense of excitement. "But I wish it had not been your first introduction to…sexual matters. I assume you would not approve of an ignorant Eunnoian learning Human sexuality from watching your erotic movies?"
"Yeah, good point," Gabriel said. He lifted his hands from Jhuun's hips, bringing his fingertips back up to stroke at the tender skin of his throat. "So how about this, pretend I haven't seen it. I'm an ignorant, clumsy Human. Show me everything I need to know."
The look that flashed in Jhuun's eyes was something Gabriel had not seen before--dark, passionate and hungry.
"I will do that," Jhuun said huskily.