August glanced around the quarters he had seized for his own. The place was a dump. But none of the other quarters looked any better. He dropped his bag on the floor, pulling the sheets from the bed and tossing them into a corner, watching the dust fly up into the air and then settle quickly on the floor.
He grabbed the sheets he had brought with him from the ship and made the small cot. At least one thing in this room was clean now. Kicking his boots off, he finally settled into bed, ready for a long nap.
It had taken them hours just to get one of the many generators operational. It was enough for them to warm the barracks and give them some light. Once everyone had enough rest, they were going to work on the ship, repairing the damages as best they could.
Until that time came, August was taking his ass to sleep. He tucked his hands behind his head, crossed his ankles, and closed his eyes. He could feel his body slowly relaxing as sleep began to pull him under.
But the quasi-drowsy state was quickly pulled away from him when August heard shuffling noises overhead. Keeping his eyes closed—making whoever or whatever was watching think that he’d had fallen asleep—he listened closely.
There was a slight creaking noise that reminded August of hinges that had been dormant for a long while, protesting being put back to use. Someone was in the air shaft above him. Whoever it was picked the wrong person to fuck with.
Without moving a muscle, August inhaled the scents surrounding him. He smelled a heavy layer of dust, heated coils from the generator that hadn’t been used in a long while, and an Andronian—the fiercest creatures to walk this side of the galaxy.
August mentally assessed the weapons he still had strapped to his body, anticipating a fight to the death. Andronians were large creatures built for mass destruction. Their body height ranged anywhere from five foot eleven, to seven and a half feet.
Using audio only, August tracked the creature’s movements. The Andronian made no noise, which was surprising. The only thing August had to work off of was the displacement of air. Wherever the creature moved, dust particles were disturbed.
His body tensed and August’s fingers itched to grab a weapon. He knew exactly which knife he was going to use. It was seven inches long, made of Kulackian steel—the strongest metal forged—and was serrated on both sides to ensure the maximum amount of damage could be caused.
As soon as August sensed that the enemy was standing right next to his cot, he moved lightning fast, throwing the creature to his bed with a knife pressing at the man’s throat. His fangs were bared threateningly.
He blinked a few times, his mind unable to register what he was seeing. The person beneath him was definitely Andronian. August could tell by the distinctive purple rings circling around the man’s black irises.
But the stranger did not have the musculature August would’ve thought belonged to the fierce race. He wasn’t freakishly large with muscles nor was he tall. From what August could see, the man was merely five and a half inches in height and thin as a rail.
Although the man was an anomaly, August was not letting down his guard. “Who the fuck are you?” August snarled the words, putting the maximum amount of intimidation in his tone.
“S–Sapphire,” the guy answered in a squeakish tone. With his arms crossed over the man’s chest, August could feel Sapphire’s heart racing out of control. He could also smell the fear, the phosphorus scent filling not only his lungs, but the entire room.
The Andronian was scared shirtless.
“Why did you creep into my room?” August eased the knife back but kept the blade close to the man’s throat.
“I was curious,” Sapphire answered as his eyes flickered everywhere, purposefully avoiding August. “I heard noises and wanted to see who was here.”
August leaned back, straddling the man’s slim waist, keeping him pinned to the bed. “This place is deserted and the temperature is below freezing. How did you get here and how have you survived?”
August sheathed his blade, already deeming Sapphire nonthreatening.
“Who are you guys?” Sapphire countered with a question instead of an answer.
“Your worst enemy if you don’t answer me.” August leaned forward, placing his left hand next to the man’s head, baring his long fangs. “Talk.”
Sapphire visibly swallowed as he gave a small nod. “I’m not sure if you know about Andronians, but my race isn’t the nurturing type. I’m what they refer to as a birth defect because I’m not tall and strong like everybody else. My uncle, in his infinite wisdom, dropped me off here on this planet to stop the others in my village from killing me.”
“Are you venomous?” August pulled at Sapphire’s mouth, checking for the poison-filled sacs that lined the inside of an Andronian’s mouth. He released the man’s jaw when he saw that the sacs were absent.
Sapphire really was an anomaly.
When August’s slow stroll brought him closer, Sapphire stepped back only to realize that the glass window was directly behind him. He pressed back into the glass, his eyes darting around the hallway once again as he looked for an escape route.
August suddenly stopped and leaned into Sapphire’s personal bubble space, his hot breath blowing across Sapphire’s ear as he whispered, “I can smell your fear.”
Well, there was a shocker.
“Look, you can have the robots,” Sapphire squeezed his eyes closed as he spoke, wondering if that was the reason August had gone all weird on him. “I don’t want one. I never really wanted one. They’re all yours.”
The high-pitched squeak that fell from his lips as he was suddenly spun around and trapped between the glass and August’s powerful body was so unmanly that he knew he would have to give up his macho club membership.
Sapphire could feel his cheeks heat up with embarrassment.
And it wasn’t all because of the noise he had made or even his fear. If August could smell his fear, then the man could probably smell how much Sapphire liked having the strong man pressing up against him. Sapphire was just glad that he was facing away from August. Irrefutable proof of exactly what he was feeling was smashed against the glass as a pleasant knot of warmth filled his body.
“Let me go,” Sapphire protested halfheartedly. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“That remains to be seen, Sapphire.”
Sapphire sucked in his bottom lip and bit down on it to keep from groaning when he felt August’s callused hands start to move over his body. He didn’t know what the man was searching for but whatever it was, he could have it if he just promised never to stop touching him.
“Do you have any weapons on you?” Once again, August’s hot breath blew out across Sapphire’s ear. Sapphire shivered, partly because of those strong fingers touching him everywhere and partly because of the low timbre in the man’s deep, whiskey voice.
“N–no, but—” Sapphire’s eyes popped open as he realized what he was about to say.
He was a fucking idiot.
“But what, Sapphire?”
“Nothing!” There was no way in hell that Sapphire was going to admit that he had been about to tell August he could continue searching as much as he wanted.
He wasn’t that dumb.
Hard fingers tightened on his thighs. “No, you were going to say something, Sapphire. I want to know what it was.”
No way, no how.
Sapphire pressed his lips together mutinously, even though he knew August couldn’t see his gesture. It still felt good to at least pretend like he was standing up to the overgrown ape.
“I always get what I want, Sapphire,” August said in a voice thick with menace and dipped in acid. “Always.”
Sapphire shook his head. Nope. He wasn’t going to talk. Not gonna happen. August could put bamboo shoots under his fingernails, boil him in oil, stake him out in the desert, but he wasn’t going to talk.
A groan rumbled up his throat when he felt the full weight of August’s body press him against the window. Honed muscles and hard limbs kept him pinned, soaking into him like the heat of seven suns. Sapphire knew there wasn’t even enough room between their bodies to fit a breath of air.
August was the ultimate temptation.
The heat coming off his body was a physical caress, intimate and exquisite. August smelled of danger and wildness and passion, all the things Sapphire had never allow himself to feel. His entire body started to shake, his heartbeat a jackhammer against his ribs. August made him hunger, made him feel raw inside, needy.
“Please.” Sapphire gave a frustrated little cry.
Okay, he’d talk. He’d sing. He’d fucking dance if that’s what August wanted. He’d do whatever it took to get August to back off…or come closer. Both ideas were torturous and both were something Sapphire wanted more than anything he had ever desired in his life.
“Tell me what I want to know, Sapphire, and this will all be over.” August’s voice was a deep purr that rubbed against Sapphires insides in a way that was disturbingly intimate, but there was a thread of steel underlying his teasing words. The fingers that had been holding Sapphire’s shoulder slid along his neck to linger on his jaw before dropping off. “Tell me, Sapphire.”
Sapphire sucked in a breath but didn’t speak. He was teetering on the edge of something and he was terrified that he was going to fall over the edge into an abyss that he would be lost in forever.
“Tell me.” August’s words were a silky whisper against Sapphire’s ear.
“I…I can’t.” He couldn’t remember the question.
August’s hand tightened on Sapphire’s hips, holding him still, holding him in one spot. When August surged against him, Sapphire groaned, the hard thickness of August’s arousal pressing against his ass through his pants. August’s other hand fisted in Sapphire’s unruly hair, tugging his head back until his neck arched, his thumb playing absently over Sapphire’s heated skin.
Sapphire bit back a whimper, his resistance crumbling. He could barely breathe through the sensations rocketing through his body. His face burned with heat that had nothing to do with embarrassment.
A big hand flattened on Sapphire’s abdomen, bare inches from the hard evidence of his own arousal. August leaned down to nuzzle at the crook of Sapphire’s neck. “Tell me what I want to know, beautiful.” August’s heated words were accompanied by a scrape of his sharp teeth over the outer shell of Sapphire’s ear.
A muddled cry spilled from Sapphire’s throat as his body erupted and released his load into his pants. It was the most intense orgasm he’d ever experienced. As his abdominal muscles pulsed with each shot, his ass contracted, wanting to be filled, pleasured.
Sapphire panted heavily as he leaned his head against the cool, hard glass. He had just come from someone biting his freaking ear.
He was such a dork.