Living as ambassador and spy took an even more dangerous turn when the king gave Cale a male sex slave to use. The temporary gift isn't because he'd always been open in his sexual preferences. Rumors from a previous mission, branded him a sadistic pervert.
Sickened at being expected to torture the man, he assigned himself a more dangerous mission, steal the slave, restore his mind, and when he could communicate again, take home the man he called Eric. Silh, his non-gay assistant he’d hidden his love from for years, volunteered to help.
The king has sent assassins to kill them and retrieve Eric, and the government Cale worked for demanded he take Eric to them for research. With the odds against them, can three men survive the real reason the king demands Eric back and discover if love is gender blind?
Cale had never been able to understand how he excelled so well at the pomp and circumstance, the pandering, and often plain lying, when he hated it so much. He stopped a respectable distance from the throne, bowed from the waist, eyes lowered and head bowed, until King Lev Tro Lymm acknowledged him.
“You may approach,” Lev Tro said with a languid wave of his hand.
Approaching didn’t mean he had permission to speak. Cale moved forward, head bowed and mincing his steps. To look directly at Lev Tro or walk boldly toward him would have been an insult.
Lev Tro spoke, sounding as false as Cale knew his words to be. “You have graced us with your presence. We are honored to be of notice to your Alliance of Worlds.”
He really meant he had lowered himself to accept a visit from someone so inferior. No one displayed arrogance as well as royalty, and the Zonians excelled at it more than any race Cale had encountered. During his position as ambassador, Cale had more than learned how to play the game, with an advantage precious few were aware of, his added senses. A warning already nagged at his heightened perception.
“The honor is ours, Your Majesty.” As much as he’d like to get down to it, business was not discussed with the king. He had to pay the right degree of homage to the prick before he’d be turned over to a subordinate to actually discuss the future agreement with the Alliance of Federated Nations—under the guise of allowing mining. The Zonian government made it clear they would not be joining the Alliance. Fine—the Alliance did not want them. He was there for an entirely different reason than the one they claimed. Ambassador and spy at times became dangerous.
“You may look upon me.”
Cale raised his head and eyes and damned his exceptional peripheral vision. His eyes jerked to the side, astounded at what he saw, before he got them back under control and his gaze riveted on Lev Tro’s face. “I am honored, yet again, to be granted such a privilege.”
Fuck, he’d screwed up. The king had caught the jerk of his eyes and smiled knowingly. Handsome, naked men had always been a weakness of Cale’s. From the look on the king’s face, he’d done enough research on the coming ambassador to be aware of his history. Cale had never hidden his preference in sex mates. The line of men ranged from slight of build and feminine, to tall and muscular, with various skin tones. None of them wore more than cod pieces held on by strings. No doubt the display of flesh had been deliberate and the sought-after effect was immediate. Cale’s sweeping sight of one in particular had his cock swelling, pushing up his groin, filling his pants with a telltale bulge.
“You find our sample of cyborgs appealing?” the king asked.
Even though shocked, Cale kept his eyes glued to the crude painting of the Zon crest hanging behind the king’s head. Absently studying the ugly warrior partly hidden behind a shield with only his legs, head, and one arm showing, he answered. “I was unaware your technology excelled to such a degree as to produce such a magnificent achievement.” What shocked him was the overt display of what was reported to be a well-guarded secret of the direction of their research.
“Look again. Choose one for your pleasure. To show our generosity, we would not wish for you to be deprived during your stay with us. We understand your assistant does not share your views on pleasure and did not accompany you on your previous assignment to Oathin.”
His assistant, Selh, did not agree with his sharing of a man’s body, something that often made Cale miserable considering his hopeless feelings for Selh. Selh, however, had accompanied him to Oathin in a very clever disguise. Cale, of course, did not correct the king.
As well as bringing up the situation on Oathin, which had generated rumors Cale had hoped had not reached this far, the king, by making the offer of a cyborg as a plaything, had handed Cale a diplomatic ticking bomb. If given a gift, reciprocation was expected, one significantly more valuable when the king was involved. On the other hand, to refuse to accept amounted to saying, anything you want to give me isn’t worth taking, another insult. The dilemma helped ease the throbbing in his prick. Cale did not often experience spontaneous erections and he found his current one disconcerting. Concentrating on other matters helped to control his body’s unwanted reaction to the vision he could still see from the corner of his eye.
Cale bowed his head again. “Your generosity is overwhelming. I fear I would be less than diligent in my duties if I took the time to indulge in personal pleasure.”
“All business and no play dulls the mind. You will accept my gift without qualms.”
His senses screamed more was hidden behind the offer. Going for a bit of truth in the situation, Cale told him, “I have nothing of equal or greater value to show my appreciation, Your Majesty. I am but a servant.”
“I admire the ring you wear upon your finger.”
He would. The damned setting was a three-carat diamond nestled in a band of gold. Ah well, easy come, easy go. A gift from one would well suit another, and jewels had never been important to Cale. “Then pleased be to take it.” He slipped it off his finger and a servant scurried forward to take it. “It is my honor to please you, though no gift of such great importance is expected by my humble self.”
Lev Tro chuckled. “You will choose, Ambassador Cale Peters. They are but wounded repaired with artificial limbs for our service. All are trained to please those who prefer man-love to woman.” He chuckled again. “And to accept without argument any method of satisfaction their owner seeks.”
A bucket-load of control kept Cale from responding to the insinuation behind those words. Cale knew of the rumors and damned the fact they had reached across the galaxy, putting his character and effectiveness in danger. Now he would have a triple role to play, ambassador, spy, and sexual pervert, all while ferreting out information. Lev Tro offered his gift based on those rumors and would expect Cale to behave in a certain manner or, again, he would be insulting the king by not performing as expected, as if the gift had displeased him. This first meeting was not going as planned, and he was learning things about Lev Tro he’d never been warned of. He had yet to discern if the king was amused by a representative of the Alliance being a sadistic homosexual Dom and was throwing what he considered shame into his face, or whether it was something the king also indulged in and felt he had found a kindred spirit. From the looks of the men standing in a row to the side, he suspected others did the latter if not the king.
“Approach them,” Lev Tro ordered. “See which pleases you the most.”
“The third from the right,” Cale answered. Lev Tro might well believe he chose at random, but with his excellent peripheral vision Cale had settled on the man he wanted before he ever accepted. His choice of a man of equal size to himself, and muscular, might have surprised Lev Tro. Then again if he based his offer on the rumors, not the stereotype sadistic homosexual preference of a dominant choosing a smaller, feminine man to torture, he may not have been so surprised. Based on rumors, he may have expected Cale to choose a man his own size or larger to force into submission. The latter Cale could tell by looking, not needing his extra senses, had already been done. Not one of the men stood straight or held their heads up. From his distance, he could also see scars marring their bodies. Still, it was not the man’s size drawing Cale. His senses had centered on him, tingling. Cale had not been drawn to a man in such a way in a very long time, causing his unexpected erection.
“Take him to Ambassador Cale Peters’ rooms. Prepare him,” Lev Tro ordered.
Again Cale’s senses flashed a warning he could not pin down. The men were herded out, some stumbling, all shuffling their feet. As Cale suspected, even though the honed bodies suggested strength, it was a sham. They had been ordered to stand without showing weakness. The combination of well-developed bodies and weakness suggested either drugs or some other artificial enhancement to create the bulk and definition he saw in those of size. He would know which and much more once he stood nearer his new servant and looked into his eyes.
The Zonians were an advanced race, and as with many races progressively ahead of others, they had developed a high level of brutality toward any inferiors. Cale didn’t doubt their cyborgs were former warriors, but they were not necessarily Zonians. From the intelligence they had gathered before approaching the Zonians, they were prisoners taken in raids, forced into slavery or used for experimentation, or both.
What Lev Tor described was a joining of mechanical and biological with artificial limbs replacing flesh and blood. His shock on seeing them stemmed from the very clear and ostentatious display of how far the Zonians had advanced in both their technology and in their obvious brainwashing and mind control techniques. As advanced as they may be, the Alliance would no longer tolerate them raiding, taking prisoners, and if what they feared was true, building an army of cyborgs with the purpose of invading, not simply raiding planets. Yes, ambassador and spy could be a dangerous combination.