Entanglements: Sequel to Gardening Tips

BY : Lursa_and_BeTor
Category: 1 through F > Andromeda
Dragon prints: 3912
Disclaimer: I do not own Andromeda, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Admiral Telemachus Rhade stalks into the enlisted men’s sparring arena. Droplets of rain glitter in his black hair and on the shoulders of his black uniform jacket. He pauses, running a casual glance over the rings and the men in them. Mostly Nietzscheans at this hour but a few humans were in some of the rings and the occasional pair of sterile Nietzschean females.

A small crowd wanders around the different rings, silently evaluating skills but occasionally murmuring approval of a particularly good strike. A balcony circles three walls of the room. Nietzschean women roam it, softly talking to each other and carefully studying the men below, hoping to spot a choice mate before he has moved high enough to have wives already. A scattering of officers stand on the balcony, perch in the bleachers or roam the rings, searching for promising candidates to add to their staffs or crews.

Rhade heads toward the bleachers. He edges around a ring where two young Nietzschean males are circling. They appear fit enough but seem hesitant to actually attack. Perhaps one of them is setting the other one up; he tilts his head, watching closely. No. Both are still flashing showy moves that have little practical use and keeping a careful distance from each other. No heart for the fight. He’d rather have the humans in the next ring over at his back in a fight; at least neither of them is hesitating. A low murmur of disgust is circling the crowd. Rhade shakes his head...Betas!

“Rhade!” A familiar voice calls over the thuds, grunts and yells of sparring pairs.

He glances around and spots the other three Nietzschean Admirals of Terazed sitting together at the top of the bleachers, framed by the large window running across the room. Carson’s gold-blonde head gleams brightly against the black clouds roiling outside. A beige tee shirt clings to Carson’s chest in a way that has two Nietzschean women on the balcony opposite them, eyeing him in speculation. No joy for them there, Carson already has four wives, Rhade thinks with a smile. And when Carson isn’t with his wives, he is keeping company with Ironwood. The two of them had been a pair since their days at the Academy.

Ironwood is sitting next to Carson, as usual, his dark head bent close. His white tee shirt emphasizes the richness of his copper skin and the darkness of his short hair. His large hands move in graceful, expressive gestures as he talks to Carson. His long legs are outlined by black sweatpants as he leans back with his legs crossed at the ankle.

Lee turns and smiles, a flash of white teeth against dark skin. He raises his hand beckoning Telemachus over, “Rhade – what happened? Didn’t they let you go home today?”

Rhade climbs the risers quickly and drops down in the space next to Lee. He runs a thoughtful eye over the snug cling of Lee’s brown exercise clothes. The shade emphasized the gold-bronze tones in Lee’s dark skin. Hmmm. Who is Lee displaying for? Rhade glances curiously at the balcony and sees a small woman with luscious dark chocolate skin covertly watc Lee Lee. “I just got away.”

“Anything interesting happen? There must be something. You stood us up.” Carson raises an eyebrow. His green eyes are curious as he looks at Rhade. The friends met whenever they could to work out in the weight room or spar in the officer’s section. Afterwards they sometimes visited the enlisted sparring arena to keep an eye out for potential officer material.

Parts of his orders are secret but the rest he can speak about. Rhade sighs. “I’m going to be leaving Terazed for awhile. The Conclave has something that they want me to take care of.”

“Oh? What?” Ironwood frowns.

Rhade’s glance skims over the three interested faces turned to him. “Dylan Hunt.”

“I can see why.” Carson nods. “It’s about time the Conclave did something about him.”

“I don’t envy that assignment.” Lee shrugs. He glances quickly at the balcony and then away. The small woman is still watching him. Her dark eyes are bolder on him now.

“He could be an influential person; a Terazed politician’s wet dream but as a subordinate…” Ironwood shakes his head.

“Yes. He’s an odd one. He refused the opportunity to head the New Commonwealth and claims that he wants only to be the Captain of the Andromeda Ascendant.” Lee leans back against the window and stretches his long legs out, displaying his lean, muscular frame to advantage. “He says he wants to serve the Commonwealth but he acts as if he is an independent player.”

“Renegade is more like it.” Carson adjusts the gauntlet on one hard forearm. His fingers tap thoughtfully against the thick leather. “He seems to have a problem following orders.”

“That’s putting it mildly. The man appears to have no respect for authority. In fact he sees himself as the only authority in the Known Worlds.” Ironwood shrugs. His hand lightly, discreetly brushes Carson hard thigh. “That’s what I hear.”

Carson tilts his head inquiringly. His wide shoulder presses lightly against Ironwood. “Is Hunt going to meet an unfortunate accident then?”

“Really, Carson, someone would think that I was a hired assassin instead of a military officer, the way you talk.” Rhade narrows his eyes in warning. Not all of the members of the Conclave were inclined to be so pragmatic about such things. “Hunt has value as a spokesman for the Commonwealth. The Conclave merely wants me to attempt to…dissuade him from any unfortunate actions.”

Lee shakes his head sadly. His leaf brown eyes dance with amusement. “Poor Rhade. I note the use of the word ‘dissuade’ rather than ‘command.’”

“It may come to taking command in the end. For now, the Conclave wants me to evaluate Hunt and try to contain him until they reach a decision regarding him.” Rhade shrugs. The Conclave also felt that his being a genetic reincarnation of Hunt’s favorite first officer would incline Hunt to listen to him. The Progenitor felt that the same characteristic would distract Hunt and keep the Captain off balance. From what he saw of Hunt the last time the man visited Terazed, he would have to agree with both assessments of Hunt’s probable reaction to him. Just as long as Hunt did not want more from him. All of his…personal attentions are reserved by the Progenitor’s order for another.

Ironwood sighs. “I don’t like the sound of it. It seems a very vague and open-ended sort of mission but if the Conclave orders it…”

“It’s not only the Conclave,” Rhade lowers his voice, “the Progenitor also has laid a task on me.”

“When did you meet with him? He was here so briefly.” Ironwood leans forward eager for any news of the Progenitor.

“I’m still annoyed with you about that, Rhade.” Carson runs a hand through his golden hair. His green eyes are openly envious. “I’ve always heard that he prefers blondes then he comes to Terazed and who does he favor with his attentions but you.”

Rhade grins. It had been an honor to pit his biochemistry against Tyr’s. The encounter had left him sore, proud and smugly certain that he had pleased. Now he is even more certain that he pleased. He had expected increased opportunities to arise from the encounter but…being ordered to provide comfort to a kludge, even if the kludge is Second Consort…Rhade purses his lips thoughtfully. Not exactly the advancement he’d expected. He’s never been with a kludge. Were they different?

“Come on. You can’t stop there.” Lee pokes his shoulder. Ironwood and Carson lean closer.

“I’ve been ordered to…comfort one of his consorts.” Rhade replies quietly. Have any of the others been with a kludge? One of the reasons that they met was to pool useful information and advance each other’s careers and relatives…within reason, of course. Still, his having influence with the Second Consort might benefit them in the future so they would have no reason to withhold useful information.

Carson’s green eyes light with glee. He sniggers. “Charlemagne? I’ve heard about him. That’s one assignment you’re welcome to.”

“What do you mean?” Rhade frowns. He had paid close attention to the First Consort’s political moves just as he listened for news of what the First Wife was doing but he had given less attention to gossip about their personal preferences since he doubted that he would ever come into either’s orbit. But now, things were different. He had the honor of a few nights in the Progenitor’s bed and being selected to comfort a Consort…even if the Consort is a kludge…is a possible path to power and advantage. The First Consort and First Wife were likely to take a certain notice of him now.

Carson leans against Ironwood and grins. “All I can say is you are in for a hot time in more ways than one.”

“A hot time?” Lee asks. His head tilts at a curious angle. “Meaning?”

Ironwood laughs. “Charlemagne likes to play.”

“What’s the problem with that?” Lee glances at the balcony and offers a sensual smile to the woman watching him.

Carson lowers his voice and leans over. “Charlemagne enjoys special toys…things like hot candle wax and cock rings.”

“You’re kidding.” Lee blinks.

“No. He is particularly fond of nipple clamps.” Ironwood slips his hand under the hem of Carson’s tee shirt, his fingers glide softly over the small of Carson’s back. “He likes it rough. Very rough.”

Hmmm. The kludge is sounding much better. Unless it also favored…what is he going to do if it wanted…Rhade runs his fingers through his hair. He has no interest in such toys. His skin flinches from the idea of anyone trickling hot wax over sensitive areas. He can only be grateful that he was not selected for the First Consort’s attention then. “It’s not Charlemagne. I’m supposed to aid and comfort the other one.”

“The other one? The kludge consort?” Ironwood laughs loudly.

“Ironwood, that’s not very helpful.” Carson gives a mock stern stare but his lips are twitching. He assumes an air of grave seriousness and turns toward Telemachus, “We’re all here to help, aren’t we? Now, Rhade, have you ever been intimate with a kludge?”

Rhade glowers at him. “No. I suppose you have?”

“Unfortunately, no. I’ve never done a kludge.” Carson’s expression shifts to one of somber regret but his green eyes gleam with mocking amusement. He glances at the others. “While we’re holding an inquiry into the subject, have either of you…?”

Definitely not.” Ironwood snorts disdainfully.

“Ah, Lee?” Carson’s eyes widen. “I can’t help but notice that you are not jumping in with a denial?”

Rhade looks hopefully at the man sitting next to him. He would have thought that of them all, Carson was the one most likely to have experimented with kludges. This was an unexpected piece of good fortune. Lee is less likely to give him advice designed to be mischievous. “Lee?”

“Come on, Lee, tell all. How was it?” Ironwood asks, plainly intrigued and curious despite his professed distaste for kludges.

“It was nothing, really. It was a long time ago, okay? We all experiment when we’re young. I was…curious.” Lee blushes.

“That’s not really telling us much.” Ironwood shifts closer to Carson. “How’s that going to help poor Rhade?”

Lee glances at Rhade, “Look, they aren’t much different from us. Just be careful.”

“Careful?” Rhade raises a dubious eyebrow. “Careful of what? Careful how?”

Lee sighs, clearly reluctant to provide more details. “They’re delicate compared to us. They damage easily…so be careful with it.”

Carson laughs and leans against Ironwood. “Yeah, Rhade. Don’t break the new consort.”

“The Progenitor is a big guy and Charlemagne isn’t exactly small either. The new consort is probably a big, strapping type.” Ironwood grins at Rhade. “You shouldn’t have any trouble with it.”

“I’ve got a flexi with his image on it.” Rhade says smugly. None of the others have seen the Second Consort’s image. He can almost taste their curiosity as he slowly reaches into his jacket and removes the flexi, offering it to the others. “Harper isn’t a big man.”

The others bend eagerly over the flexi, studying the image. Carson looks up with a grin. “Interesting hair on him. He does look very…breakable.”

“You better be careful with that one.” Ironwood hands the flexi back. His grin takes on a malicious edge. “Maybe you better let it be on top.”

Rhade stiffens. Yielding to the Progenitor is one thing but permitting a kludge to top him is something else entirely. The Progenitor is the only male that he has given that privilege to. His gaze narrows on Ironwood and Carson as he briefly wonders which of them tops in their encounters. “I’m an Alpha.”

“This is the Second Consort we’re talking about, Rhade.” Ironwood smirks. “It will have more privileges than most.”

“I will not yield to a…kludge.” Rhade’s lips quirk over the word. The Progenitor would not expect him to yield to his kludge consort, surely. However, it is not something that had been discussed in their encounter. The Progenitor had only instructed Rhade to give his consort everything it required. What if it demanded…no, he will not yield.

Lee pats his shoulder encouragingly. “Look at it this way, the kludge probably won’t be very demanding or take up much of your time.”

Carson nods. He slides a casual arm over Ironwood’s shoulders. “That’s right. You should have plenty of time for your other business. Now if you had to do Charlemagne, you probably wouldn’t have made it out of bed for days. You won’t have that problem with this one.”

Ironwood tilts his head in encouragement as Carson’s fingers stroke his nape. “And it should be easy enough to manage the Second Consort. You shouldn’t have any problems with a kludge. It’ll be easy to please too. Just think of the opportunities open to you with influence over it. Just pat it on the head a few times and give it a little praise. Fuck it every so often. Nothing to managing it, I’m sure. You’ll see. This will be the easiest assignment that you ever had.”

“Yeah. Most kludges are docile.” Lee adds as he peers over Rhade’s shoulder at the small human smiling on the flexi. “This one looks very docile. Simply let it know who’s boss and you should be able to forget it’s there.

Rhade looks at the flexi again. His dark eyes are doubtful. Somehow, he can’t see the Progenitor choosing someone meek and docile as even a casual lover much less as Consort or Wife. After all, just look at Charlemagne. From all accounts, brilliant, resourceful and very, very dangerous. The First Wife has a similar reputation. “Harper is an engineering genius. So he’s intelligent…brilliant. How docile can Harper be if the Progenitor chose him as his second consort?”

“Some kludges can show intelligence, I’m sure. But brilliant? That’s a stretch, isn’t it?” Ironwood steals another glance at the flexi.

Lee frowns thoughtfully as he continues to study the image. “Actually, some of them can be quite clever.”

Ironwood shrugs. “The Progenitor probably wanted a change from Charlemagne. That one is so high maintenance. I heard about the last person sent to provide comfort for him. Poor guy has not been the same.”

“Yes, Rhade. The human will be no problem compared to the Jaguar. Count yourself lucky. You’ll have plenty of time to control Hunt.” Carson stretches and leans back. He glances briefly over his shoulder at the sudden rapid splatter of hard rain against the window.

Rhade stares down at the image. The human looks small and frail – worrisomely so. The Progenitor had mentioned a weakened immune system as well. What had attracted the Progenitor to such a fragile creature? “We’ll see how it works out.”

“When are you scheduled to leave?” Lee asks absently as his gaze goes to the woman leaning on the balcony.

“Two days from now.”

&&&&

“Son of a bitch!” Harper hisses as his screwdriver slips, gouging his hand. He tosses the offending tool back on his workbench and presses the hem of his tee shirt against his hand. Stuff like that rarely happened to him but lately, it seems like every time he turns around, he is scratching, poking, jabbing or zapping himself. He had deliberately buried himself in his work and assorted projects since Tyr left. Then that damned surrogate had arrived. Harper wipes the trickle of blood from his hand. At least the long scratch is shallow enough that he won’t have to take it to Trance.

“Harper?” Rommie pokes her head around the doorway of Machine Shop Seven.

Harper gives her a grumpy look. “What?”

She walks into the room and studies him. “Perhaps you should rest. Take it easy for a while. You aren’t my only engineer any longer.”

Harper sighs. That’s true enough. Since the crew of Terazed High Guard wannabees joined the ship, he had the advantage of a technical staff to order about. It was nice not to have to see to everything personally. He could hole up in his quarters for a week and proclaim himself sick if he wanted to. “I may not be your only engineer, Rom Doll but I’m still your best engineer.”

Rommie smiles at him. “Definitely the best, Harper and I want to keep you that way so go rest.”

“Alright. In a little while.” Harper picks up the screwdriver again.

“Harper,” Rommie’s voice is stern. “Do I need to get Dylan to order you to rest?”

“No. I don’t want any grief from Dylan.” Harper scowls. Dylan had been endlessly conciliatory and concerned since Tyr’s abrupt departure. Especially after he had taken to tossing out anti-Tyr comments. The suggestion to make such distancing comments had been Tyr’s but the bitterness that gave genuine emotion to the comments was real. He still can’t believe that Tyr had gone and left him in a situation where he has to let some strange Nietzschean get up close and personal with him.

Rommie nods. “Good. Then go to your quarters and sleep.”

“What’s up with your ‘shadow’?” Harper asks. He glowers at the black clad Nietzschean easing into the room behind Rommie. The darkly handsome Nietzschean offers a slow, sensual smile and eyes him avidly. A silver, stylized bear paw is pinned to the black shirt.

Rommie runs a glance over the tools and parts spread out on the workbench. “Dylan requested that I give Lieutenant Commander Rhade a tour of the ship. He was interested in the engineering section which is why we’re here.”

“Hello, Harper.” The voice is a rich, throaty growl. Rhade takes a step closer, his dark stare never leaving the small human.

“What do you want?” Harper’s scowl deepens. Great! Just fricking great! Telemachus Rhade better known as ‘Beefcake on the hoof’. And the last person that he wants to see. He doesn’t want Tyr’s pre-packaged, Progenitor approved substitute. He wants Tyr and only Tyr.

“Harper!” Rommie frowns at him. “Be nice to our new crewman.”

“That’s alright, Rommie.” Rhade replies smoothly. He edges closer, his dark gaze sweeping thoughtfully over Harper. “I’m sure Harper is going to have some adjustments to make to get used to another Nietzschean so soon after being betrayed by Anasazi.”

“Just stay away from me, okay?” The Harper accepts no subutesutes. He isn’t feeling that bad or desperate yet but the newest crewmember keeps drifting casually around him like a circling shark – waiting.

“Dylan wants us to make Rhade welcome.” Rommie frowns as Harper fidgets with the screwdriver.

Harper sighs and pitches the screwdriver back. If he stays here and Rommie leaves, that damned Nietzschean will be oozing around in here, trying to make nice. Well, he can fix that and give Rhade no openings to talk privately. Harper turns a flirtatious smile on Rommie. “Alright, Rom Doll. I’ll play nice with the Nietzschean. And if my favorite girl will walk me to my quarters, I’ll even grab some zees.”

“I’ll be happy to do that, Harper.” Rommie nods in approval as Harper gets up and heads for the door. The Nietzschean slants him a disapproving look and Harper gives him a cold, hard stare in return.

&&&


Things had been surprisingly and suspiciously easy so far. Both the Progenitor and the Conclave should be pleased with him. He had succeeded in gaining an officer’s position on the ship and joining the select Command Deck level crew. He had expected more resistance from Dylan, considering the Captain’s complicated relationship with his ancestor, Gaheris, but Dylan seemed pleased to see him. He had expected suspicion agwithwith his ridiculous story of being busted down from Admiral to Lieutenant Commander but Hunt had not appeared to doubt the tale. Indeed, the Captain sought his company and seemed willing to listen to any advice that he offered. Dylan had even defied Tri-Lorn to keep him onboard and n thn the further step of liberating him when Tri-Lorn succeeded in arresting him.

If only the other kludge was so easily pleased. Telemachus Rhade strides briskly down the brightly lit corridors, considering what to try next with the stubborn little human. The Progenitor would be most displeased at his conspicuous lack of success in that area. Considering the time lapse between the Progenitor’s departure and his arrival, he had rather expected the kludge to pounce on him and demand his immediate services but he had hardly seen the Second Consort except when they were both on duty and surrounded by other crew. Then when he had been arrested by Tri-Lorn, he had been certain that on his return to the Andromeda that the Second Consort would demand him and he had not been looking forward to allowing some needy kludge to crawl all over him and having to attempt to calm and comfort the creature but there had been no summons.

Since then he had hardly caught a glimpse of the Second Consort. If anything the human seemed to be actively avoiding him. One morning he had finally managed to corner the Second Consort alone in the mess. And what had the human done but promptly called an invitation out to Beka as she walked by the room. The Second Consort had quickly finished breakfast, watching him with sardonic eyes as he tried to balance between flirting enough with Beka to win her good opinion but not enough that she would expect more than talk from him. She had given him little chance to exchange any comments with the Second Consort before Harper left him alone with her.

Crew gossip had revealed that Harper spent a lot time in the various machine shops but the human had proven decidedly elusive, spreading his time among the different shops in a random pattern. Yesterday he had managed to track the human to Machine Shop Seven only to find Harper talking to Rommie. He knew that the human had noted him but instead of issuing any order inr invitations, the human had ignored him and continued talking to the A.I. until he had left.

Today he is determined to approach the Second Consort and succeed. The first effects of withdrawal must be worsening. Surely the human will welcome the opportunity to find relief from the effects. He is carefully dressed to display in a black shirt that clings to his muscles and tight black pants that make it clear what he has to offer. The silver bear paw hangs from a silver chain and glows softly against the dark fabric of his shirt.

The human is not in Machine Shop Seven. He hastily backtracks to Machine Shops One through Six. No sign of the Second Consort. Hmmm. Rhade stalks on through Shops Eight, Nine and Ten. He pauses near Eleven. Yes. Here. He has made a point of noting the Second Consort’s scent. A most pleasant scent actually. Rhade deepens the seductive notes of his pheromones and walks into the Machine Shop. “Greetings.”

The Second Consort glances up from his worktable and scowls fiercely. There are violet shadows below the blue eyes. His face is thinner and paler. “Who, the fuck, are you supposed to be?”

The human knows who he is. Why is the Second Consort so resistant to exercising the rights and privileges of rank? Why is the human denying himself both pleasure and relief? Rhade increases his pheromones and eases closer, lowering his voice to a seductive purr. “I was told you would be expecting me.”

“Were you?” Harper snaps. The blue eyes glitter with temper as he stares briefly at the bear paw gleaming against the black shirt. “Who told you this?”

Rhade leans against the table, careful to place himself in easy touching distance and lounge in a position that displays the strong lines of his body. He eyes the compactly muscled body, wondering what it will feel like under his. “A mutual…associate.”

The Second Consort stares from the flexis in his shaking hand to the array of tools, circuits, chips and wires spread across the table. Aside from a single, quick, sidelong glance, he carefully does not look at Rhade displayed form. “I don’t know anyone who would know you. Now, get out of my face.”

Rhade increases his pheromones still more and stretches languidly setting off a slow ripple of muscles. Hmmm. That move wins another quick sidelong look from the Consort. Rhade leans closer and breathes in, sorting out the scents. The heat in those blue eyes is not all anger. Good. The Progenitor would not have chosen him for Harper if Tyr had not thought that the human would desire him and be pleased by him but evidence that the Second Consort is attracted is reassuring after such evasiveness.

So much for the grateful, docile kludge that his colleagues had predicted but he is finding the Second Consort much more interesting and intrig thg than the pathetic creature that his colleagues imagined. Harper is proving stubborn and surprisingly difficult. The human should be nearing the edge of his endurance. By now, the Second Consort should be very susceptible and practically beg him to fuck it. To his surprise, he is beginning to harden and rise at the image. “I have been sent to…comfort…”

The last word provokes a particularly ferocious glare from the human. “How am I supposed to get any work done with you lurking around all the time? Don’t you have anything better to do?”

“Second Consort, I really think…” Rhade begins huskily.

“Are you deaf? Get the fuck out of my face!” Harper snarls furiously. The pale, trembling hands clench into fists.

e ine inclines his head and pushes away from the worktable. “As you wish, Second Consort.”

Now what? Rhade strolls back down the corridors. The human clearly needs what he can give so why the refusal? Perhaps he should try again later when the kludge was off duty. Perhaps he should approach the human in its quarters. Yes. That makes sense. The human should feel more comfortable and in control there. And if he times it correctly, he can take the human off guard.

The more he sees of this human, the better he feels about the personal aspects of this assignment. The human is more attractive than the flexi image. Even while suffering from the effects of withdrawal, the Second Consort atesates an intriguing energy and passion. And tumanuman’s scent…most pleasing. What will that spiky blond hair feel like and the smooth, pale skin? He is growing increasingly curious about such matters and the Second Consort’s elusiveness is triggering all sorts of predatory instincts within him.

The Consort’s resistance is needless and futile but he likes the display of loyalty, the refusal to consider him and the Progenitor as interchangeable sources of relief. Perhaps as the Second Consort learns to know him better…the Consort will value him as well. That would be good if the Consort is known to prefer him for those times when it is away from the Progenitor. That could lead to closer contact with the Progenitor and to more opportunities for power and influence.

Several hours later, Rhade stops just outside Harper’s quarters and takes a deep breath. It is in the middle of the Second Consort’s sleep cycle. Perhaps in the confusion of a sudden wakening, he can give the human what is needed before Harper becomes fully awake. He doesn’t even want to consider the Progenitor’s reaction if this situation goes on much longer and the Second Consort is harmed by it.

Rhade presses the panel requesting entry. He can hear stumbling and crashing noises along with muffle curses. The door slides open.

The Second Consort sways in front him, blinking at him with huge, dazed eyes. Shivers run through his muscles, drawing Rhade’s attention to the pleasing curves and angles of the human’s bare chest and wide shoulders. The Second Consort is bare except for dark navy boxers. The human takes a deep breath of pheromones and his pale face suddenly lights up with pleasure. “Tyr? You came back.”

Rhade wraps his arms securely around the small human as Harper sways and presses against him, nuzzling his chest. Rhade easily lifts the human and carries the Second Consort inside. He looks around at all the circuitry and tools scattered on the floor. More signs of disorientation. The human must be worse off than he thought. Rhade heads toward the bedroom, asking softly, “Are you unwell?”

“Don’t feel so good…need you.” Harper gasps as he clutches at Rhade’s shoulders. He scatters ardent kisses over the Nietzschean’s throat. “I missed you so much, Tyr.”

“I’m not the Pro…” Rhade is silenced as Harper’s lips cover his, spreading his mouth open. Oooh…Rhade growls throatily and begins kissing the human back, his tongue glides enticingly over the human’s velvety coolness. Harper tastes delicious and the human’s relative coolness is highly erotic. No wonder the Progenitor wanted this one. This duty will be a pleasure if he can convince the human to accept him.

“Shhh…” Harper squirms artfully down his body to kneel at his feet. “You’re back. I need you. I need you so bad, Tyr.”

Rhade gasps as Harper’s nimble fingers swiftly open his pants and settle over his hardening cock. His hands settle in the silky hair as Harper lavishes kisses and licks on his cock, encouraging it to full hardness. Rhade tries again to make things clear to the confused, disorientated human. “I’m not…”

“Quiet, you’re ready for me…admit it. I can’t wait to taste you.”

Ummmm. Rhade growls as the cool mouth closes over his hot cock. His fingers slide through Harper’s hair he hhe human works greedily and skillfully over him. Rhade thrusts into the delightful damp coolness; his thighs and stomach are hard with rapidly growing tension. He cries out as velvet tongue and sharp teeth are added to the other sensations. The human has a most talented mouth. Perhaps this is why the Progenitor chose Harper. Rhade pants, his breathing harsh and rapid as Harper increases the strength and pace of the exquisite pull on him. Rhade groans loudly as he spills himsento nto Harper’s mouth. There are worse ways to serve the Progenitor.

“So good, Tyr.” Harper allows the lax cock to slip from his lips and leans heavily against Rhade’s legs. A cool hand slides up Rhade’s hard thigh to cup the curve of his ass. “Come to bed.”

Rhade raises his eyebrows. The Second Consort expects him to sleep with it? Well, he could lie there with the human until it fell asleep. He can increase his pheromones while he is there. Make sure the human gets a good dose. It shouldn’t not take long for his biochemistry to take effect. Rhade picks the human up and settles the two of them into the bed. The human should return to normal within a short time or whatever passed for normal for it. And to be honest, he would not object to having that wonderful mouth on him again should the Second Consort feel so inclined to have him that way.

Harper snuggles into the curve of Rhade’s body. Telemachus looks down at it in the dim light. It is an appealing little human. The hair is soft despite the aggressive bristle of spikes; the warm blondeness surprisingly enticing. The silken, coolness of that pale skin; the slide of muscles beneath…that velvet mouth and that scent…the human’s arousal scent is quite…intoxicating. Add that to the eager, ardent attentions. Perhaps the Progenitor enjoyed protecting and petting it. Rhade smiles as he strokes the human’s back. He won’t mind fucking it. He is even beginning to look forward with anticipation to sinking into that ass, wondering what it will be like.

Harper stirs sleepily. His cool hand slides up Rhade’s chest to touch his chin and then his short hair. The human jerks bolt upright and stares down at him. The blue eyes are wide and distressed. “Who the fuck are you and what the hell are you doing in my bed!”

Rhade goes very still, offering nothing that could be taken as threat. He can smell the human’s fear and anger. He pitches his voice to a soothing tone. “I’m Telemachus Rhade, Second Consort. I was sent to comfort you.”

“I know who you are.” Harper snaps. His hand goes to his head. “Whoa…what a headache.”

Should he offer touch in an attempt to sooth the human? His palms itch to feel that cool silken skin again but no…considering the Second Consort’s unfortunate past on Earth, he can only expect the human to be nervous of a strange Nietzschean in such close quarters. He will remain motionless, allowing the human to adjust to him. Rhade offers advice in a carefully neutral tone. “You should not allow yourself to become so weakened, Second Consort. I am here so you won’t become ill.”

Harper holds up a hand and frowns. Even in the dim light, his color looks improved. “I know why you’re here. I want to know how you ended up in my bed with your cock hanging out.”

“You took your pleasure of me and asked me to lie with you.” Rhade smiles, amused at the suspicious question and the shocked look on the human’s face at the answer.

“I did what?!” Harper stares down at him.

“Yes.” Rhade can feel his cock stirring with the image of Harper’s blond head moving enthusiastically over him.

“Oh, shit, I was dreaming about…” Harper drops his head into his hands, hiding his face.

Rhade takes the opportunity to quickly ease his hardening cock back into his pants. He doubts that Harper will demand moremore of him this night. The sudden feeling of disappointment surprises him. “The Progenitor.”

“Yeah…yeah, I was.” Harper’s sadness is almost palpable as he drops his hands and lifts his head. He looks away. “You’re not him.”

“No. I’m not.” Rhade agrees quietly but all the same, he can fill the Second Consort’s needs very well if the human will give him the opportunity. “I think that we should arrange to meet about twi…”

“Get out.” Harper lies down, turning his back and curling up in a tight ball. “Just get out.”

“Second Consort…” Rhade leans on his elbow, eyeing the rigid lines of the human’s back.

“My name’s Harper. Harper.”

“Harper.” Rhade’s hand hovers uncertainly over the stiff shoulder before withdrawing. “We don’t want you getting in this state again. We should meet on a regular basis.”

“When did you see him? Tyr. When did you see him?” Harper demands.

“The Progenitor visited Terazed a few days before I joined your crew.”

“How was he? Was he okay?” Harper looks over his shoulder. His blue eyes are full of worry.

“The Progenitor was fine.” Rhade reaches slowly out, trailing his fingertips over the tense line of the human’s shoulders. He eases a little closer. “Although he was especially concerned about your welfare.”

“And he sent you to ‘comfort’ me. So you drew the short straw, huh.” Harper laughs bitterly and turns his face back to the wall.

“I don’t understand.” Rhade gently strokes the supple skin, enjoying the silky texture under his palm.

“Someone else got the First Wife and First Consort detail. You got saddled with the kludge. I bet that put a kink in your nuts. Just get out will you?”

The human doesn’t understand. True, there will be comments and jokes but those will rise from envy. Being selected to provide comfort to one of the Progenitors higher ranking wives or consorts is both an honor and a path to opportunity and reward. The chance to develop a close relationship with someone so important to the Progenitor is to be gloated over and prized. Rhade drops a kiss on the tip of Harper’s shoulder. “Harper. I have the honor of comforting the Progenitor’s most precious spouse. I am content.”

TBC


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