Logan stows away on a ship when the station on Argan 5 is attacked, desperate to get away. He tries to stay hidden, but lusting after the ship’s owner makes him careless. Tyros suggests lots of naughty ways for Logan to pay him back, but the handsome man never acts on these suggestions, insisting he was only trying to teach Logan how dangerous life can be. Logan decides he’ll have to take matters into his own hands. He can’t go back to what he left behind, so he’ll need to persuade Tyros to keep him.
Logan groaned, his orgasm so close. His leg had slipped, and he’d sent two cartons tumbling to the floor. He tucked his cock back into his pants as fast as he could and scurried away to hide behind the crates where he usually slept.
Tyros’s footsteps echoed in the corridor, and the door to the storage area opened. Logan held his breath and closed his eyes, hoping Tyros would simply right the cartons and then leave. The footsteps stopped.
“If you keep abusing that thing the way you do, it’s going to fall off.”
Logan’s eyes popped open, and he stared up at Tyros, the man’s dark eyes flashing at him. Tyros actually smiled before averting his gaze.
Tyros said, “Why don’t you put that away, all right? It’s distracting.”
Logan blinked, no idea what the man meant. “Excuse me?”
Tyros looked back and briefly grabbed his own crotch. “Your cock is poking out. You didn’t fasten your pants.” He looked away again. “I’m guessing you knocked that stuff over masturbating. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened before when you consider how often you engage in that activity.”
Logan felt about two inches tall as he tucked himself away. His face flamed, and his heart pounded. “I’m sorry,” he mumbled.
Tyros looked back at him and crossed his arms. “You want to come up to the cockpit and explain yourself? We’ll be landing in less than an hour, so that’s how long you have to convince me not to have you arrested.”
Logan stood up and dusted his pants off. “I never meant any harm to you or your ship.”
“We’ll see about that.” Tyros relaxed his stance a bit and gestured for Logan to walk ahead of him. “What’s your name?”
“And how old are you?”
“Twenty-two.” Logan cried out when Tyros grabbed him and whirled him around before pinning him to the wall just outside the storage room.
“So you’re legal on every human world. I like that.” Tyros leered at him. He cupped his chin and ran his thumb over Logan’s lips. “Maybe we can negotiate payment for all the food you’ve eaten in the last two weeks.”
Logan trembled. He’d wanted to be with Tyros—had fantasized about it repeatedly—but this hadn’t been part of that fantasy. “You’re bigger. Stronger. Could turn me over to the authorities. I guess I have little choice.”
Tyros’s entire countenance changed as he let go of Logan. He went from predatory to serious in a matter of seconds. “Let that be a lesson to you about stowing away. I could rape and murder you, the jettison your body, and no one would even know.”
Logan blinked, confused. “I … don’t get it.”
Tyros sighed. “Come on. I’ll explain.”
Tyros led the way to the cockpit. He sat down and checked a couple of readings before turning and waving his hand at the other chair. “Sit.”
“All right.” Logan obeyed, no idea what to expect next.
“According to most galactic law, stowaways have very few rights. I could lock you up indefinitely. I could rape you. I could beat you even. Nearly kill you. And if I got caught? You’d be more likely to be punished than I would. Being underage is the only thing that could work in your favor, but you’re far too old for that defense.”
“Huh?” Logan’s heart still pounded.
“I’m an advocate. And you’re very lucky.”
“Yes, exactly. And you’ve been on my ship since Argan 5, which was attacked by terrorists. I need to know who you are and why you wanted to get away from that planet.” He checked a reading. “And you have about forty minutes.”
Logan had made up a story that was close enough to the truth to work. “I’m from a wealthy family, and they were pushing for a marriage. One that would further our financial interests. I refused, and my father planned to force me.”
“So you ran.”
“Where are you trying to go?”
“Just far from home.”
Tyros sighed. “Did you really think I didn’t know you were here? The stations at Argan 5 scan for life forms to prevent slavers from kidnapping people. You’re lucky I landed with a passenger. Otherwise, they would’ve detained me right away and found you.”
“Yes, another advocate. I gave him a lift to the station on Argan 5. His private ship was being repaired after an accident, but he had to be there for a very important meeting. I neglected to take him off my transmissions before I left Argan 5. But just after I left orbit, I happened to look at my clearance message. It had scanned us and found two humanoids, confirming that matched my identification transmissions.”
Logan swallowed, frightened to realize how close he’d been to being caught from the very start. If they’d detained Tyros, he would’ve been returned to his family. And his punishment would’ve been even worse. “Why didn’t you confront me right then?”
“I wanted to find out what you wanted.”
Logan clasped his hands together to stop fidgeting. “What will you do with me?”
“I’m not sure. You do owe me for all the food you’ve eaten.”
Logan nodded slowly. “I’ll work to pay you back. I brought a little money, but not much. I saw my chance in the chaos after the explosions. My family was distracted.”
Tyros studied him for a while. “Maybe after two weeks of watching you jerk off, I’m interested in something else. You could put those hands to other uses. Or your mouth.”
Logan licked his lips. “All right.”
“All right?” Tyros shook his head. “You don’t just give in. You fight back. You never let anyone treat you that way.”
Finally sitting so close to Tyros, Logan didn’t think he’d mind being treated that way, but he hung his head in embarrassment. The man confused him in so many ways. “You said yourself that I’m at your mercy. I’m not used to fighting back.”
“You run every time things get hard?”
“You’re cute and timid, and you need to watch yourself from now on. You fall into the wrong hands, and your life will turn into a living nightmare.”
He thinks I’m cute? Logan looked up and tried not to get too excited, since Tyros had called him timid in the same breath. “I know, sir. And I will work to pay you back.” He licked his lips again, thinking. “Is there anything I can do to help you work?”
“You don’t seem to know much about the law, but you could assist me. We’re going to get supplies first, so you can carry stuff for me. Help me put it away.” He eyed Logan again. “If you’re going to assist me, you need nicer clothes. Something very generic. I visit lots of different worlds, and sometimes you have to watch what colors you wear. You never know what the political climate might be.”
“All right. I think I can cover some new clothes.”
Tyros waved his hand. “I’ll pay.”
“But then I’ll only owe you more.”
“You said yourself you have no place to be. Just far away from home, right?”
“Then let’s move you into a room with a real bed and worry about the length of your employment later.” Tyros stood up. “But if I find out you’re lying, you won’t have to worry about what I might or might not do to you. I’ll turn you over to the strictest court I can find.”
Logan swallowed. “Yes, sir.”
Tyros stared down at him but then turned away abruptly. “Come in here. I want to see if there are any warrants out for you.”
“What?” Logan jumped to his feet and followed the man to the next room.
Tyros punched a few commands in and gestured for Logan to place his hand on the glowing scanner. “If you’re innocent of any crimes, place your hand here.”
“All right.” Logan moved forward and put his hand down. The computer scanned him, the surface warming beneath his palm, and he stepped back.
Tyros watched something come up on a small screen. “Logan Baranas. Twenty-two. Human. Born in the Argan system.” His eyebrows went up. “Seventeenth in line for the throne of said system.” Tyros turned a pointed gaze to Logan and tapped his foot as if waiting for an explanation for Logan’s crucial omission.