Working for the Weavers Guild, Dehlia has gained a measure of respect and dignity in her work as an empathic Spinner. Her yarns, and the emotions trapped within them are sold for a high price. So is she. Waking up on a pirate ship is startling enough, but waking with an elf in her lap is beyond what a normal Terran in space could imagine. Taneus has traveled far to find her and free her, but she will be bound to him in more ways than she can imagine when he is done with her.
"If they mentioned exotics, it makes sense. We fetch a higher price than those classified as altered."
"People who no longer meet their species specifications through medical or mechanical alterations."
"Ah. Does this happen to you often?"
She grinned and stroked his hair out of his eyes. "To me? No. To Terrans, far more frequently than it should. The fact that they will be given death sentences if we are found under ownership does not even slow many of the pirates down."
Taneus nodded wisely. "I can understand it. You are very desirable."
"Um. Thank you. I think. Could you get off my lap now?" She squirmed a little and he finally released her hips to push himself upright. She was right about his height, he was about a foot taller than she would be standing.
"Reluctantly, I will bow to your comfort." His red eyes sparkled in amusement and he took a long look at her seated on the cot, then moved in a blur. By the time the room had stopped spinning around her, his hard thighs cushioned hers and she was leaning against his broad chest. "There. This is better."
"If you say so. The edges of the cot must be digging into you."
"But the soft surface above is well worth the discomfort." He wrapped one of his hands around her thigh and pulled her snuggly against him. He was definitely enjoying the contact if the ridge under her hip was any indication. "You are mine, you know."
"So you said. Something about Admar?"
"You are aware of the Admaryn project?"
"In passing. I have read a few articles on it. Your planet was peppered with volunteers. Sleepers, those who were willing to dilute their bloodline by mixing it with Terra's."
The hand that he was absently rubbing her leg with was distracting. "This is true. It took a lot of weeding out to find men who would be appropriate for the cold sleep. And men who would welcome a Terran in their bed when they did come out of it."
A flare of irritation popped into her. "So you just wake up and they shove a woman at you? How convenient."
He chuckled. It was one of the greatest sounds she had ever heard in her life. The soft pulsing of his chest had her whole body trembling in unison. "Not so easy. We wake up when our match is nearby. I woke up six months ago, had Aissa bring me up to speed with the modern Alliance and then I went to find you."
"Just like that? You set out across the stars to find me because you think I am your destiny? Your match? Did your cryo pod freeze your brain?" She looked up at the strong line of his jaw. He was really quite beautiful, hypnotic if she was honest with herself. If the weavers on Bathi could capture his features in a tapestry, she would fade to nothing staring at it.
"I will always come to you, wherever you are. Our psyches match, we resonate on the same wavelength and when we make love, you will fit me perfectly." Those coal red eyes looked down at her with the same rapt attention that she was giving to him. Unbidden, she leaned up for his kiss and he met her halfway.
If she hadn't been wearing boots, her socks would have flown off. As it was, her toes curled as his lips took on a carnal purpose, teasing her mouth into responding and pouring a bolt of heat through her lips, deep into her belly. She felt the first fluttering of lust an instant before dampness followed. She was getting wet and they weren't even using tongue. Oh lord.
"Stop! You are not to be in this hold! How did you get down here?" Two of the pirates were storming toward them. Distracted for the moment, Taneus pulled away from her, then grinned and stood, placing her precisely on the cot before facing the guard. "The males and females are not to mix."
One grabbed him by the arm and started hauling Taneus away. He half-turned to Dehlia and blew her a kiss before letting them drag him out. "Later, Dehlia."
She was left sitting alone on her cot with the audience of the rest of the women's hold staring at her.
Dehlia sat back and touched her lips.