Claims, Allegiances, and Powerplays

BY : Lursa_and_BeTor
Category: 1 through F > Andromeda
Dragon prints: 3232
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.

“Harper.” Beka climbs down a ladder to a lower level of the environmental access tunnel.

“Hey boss, what’s up?” Harper looks up at her in surprise. When he is this deep in the access tunnels, he never sees anyone. Except for Tyr. The Nietzschean has proved ready, willing and able to hunt him through the deepest levels of tunnels. Harper studies Beka curiously. Since Tyr is on duty now, he had been figuring on getting some quality thinking time in down here. Why is Beka looking for him? “What brings you way down here?”

“Oh, I don’t know Harper. What do ya think?” She jumps the last couple of steps and drops to the floor. She pauses to tug her red knit shirt back into place over her black pants.

“Me?” Harper raises his eyebrows.

“Give the man a kewpie doll!” Beka rolls her eyes. “Got it on the first try.”

Harper sighs loudly in mock resignation. “What did I do this time?”

“I’m worried about you, kiddo.” Beka drops down next to him, sitting on the floor. Her bright red top strikes a cheerful note against the gray panels.

“Worried? Why?” Harper leans back against the wall of the access tunnel. He looks with envy at the vivid shirt. He used to have one that was even brighter but Tyr had ri it it right off of him last week. He rather suspected that the destruction had been deliberate but at the time, he had been having far too much fun to object. Besides, he knows where he can buy more shirts in even more vivid shades suitable for annoying Tyr.

Beka taps her fingers on her knees and pretends to consider. “Well, let’s see, what would worry me? I don’t like this cat toy game that Dylan and Tyr are playing with you.”

“I’m no one’s ‘cat toy’, boss.” Harper’s tone is firm.

That whole business is part of what he came down here to think about. It had been fun, at first, to have Dylan and Tyr competing over his attention. He had collected a number of fabulous tech manuals from Dylan. And the Captain did have a positive gift for turning up with science reports that had the most fascinating engineering applications.

Tyr was all smolder and sex. He had never had a lover who mastered him the Tyr Tyr did; who instinctively seemed to know and respond to his needs. Not to mention the Nietzscheans deft hand with pastries. That chocolate pastry with the white and dark chocolate icing on it was pure bliss in the mouth.

Then there was the added entertainment of watching Dylan blandly slide a flexi across the table toward him while Tyr glowered next to him in the most arousing fashion. No doubt he is a sick man but there is something in the dangerous curve of those lush lips, the menace glinting in the beautiful eyes…Harper sighs longingly. At this rate, the only thing he will resolve down here is the need for a cold shower or doing something that will aggravate Tyr.

“I don’t want you getting hurt.” Beka touches his knee, reclaiming his attention.

Harper pats her hand. The concern is nice but he has been taking care of himself for a long time. “Don’t worry about me, Beka. I’m a big boy.”

“Yeah but Dylan and Tyr are…they could hurt you big time. I w abo about you.”

“You don’t have to ‘mother hen’ me, Beka. I don’t want me getting hurt either. At least not that way.” Not on the level that Beka meant. They had been together long enough that she had picked up on his sexual preferences just as he knew about her penchant for dangerous and completely unreliable men. He liked a little physical pain judiciously applied at the right moment but emotional pain was far worse and harder to endure.

Beka leans forward, watching his face. “Do you think Tyr is serious about this…thing the two of you have going?”

“A thing? Tyr and I have a thing?” Harper’s lips quirk in amusement as he tries to imagine Tyr’s reaction to that phrase.

“Don’t play coy, Harper. You know what I’m talking about.”

“Yeah…I know. About me and Tyr…I don’t know.” Harper frowns. That is also part of what he came down here to think about. It had all been a game. Nothing more. But lately, Tyr seems to be taking things to a whole new level. The Nietzschean seems to be getting more…serious and determined.

Harper shifts gingerly on his aching ass. Yesterday, Tyr had pounced on him in his workshop and demanded his boxers. The ones with the little sheep on them. He had just won them back last week. He had, of course, refused which had resulted in the removal of his boxers followed by a delicious punishment session. Tyr had been quite aggressive and forceful. Not that he hadn’t enjoyed it but usually Tyr was a little more careful with him. Yesterday, Tyr seemed genuinely angry. The Nietzschean had left him in no doubt about how much disfavor he was in for accepting and encouraging Dylan’s little tech overtures.

“Do you want him to be serious?” Beka frowns.

“I don’t know that either.” Harper shrugs. “Sometimes I think I do. I mean in the beginning it was new and risky and cool…ya know? Then Dylan popped up in the mix and….I just don’t know.”

“What does Tyr think? Is erioerious?”

“Honestly we haven’t talked about it. I mean…I know he’s satisfied. But I’m not sure what he thinks about all this.” Harper’s fingers dance thoughtfully over his knee. There is someone that he could talk to this about. They are approaching the infamous Morganna’s Drift. He has heard that Troy is there and is one of the top courtesans on the Drift. Troy is the perfect person to discuss his options with…only Troy has absolutely no reason to speak to him and every reason not to.

“Want me to talk to Tyr?” Beka offers.

Harper shudders at the idea. His eyes are wide in alarm. “NO! No and no…thank you for your concern but I can handle this on my own.”

“You sure? You know you’re like family to me, Harper. Nobody fucks with my family.” She studies him. Her mouth is set in determined lines.

“I know. Thanks.”

“Soooo…what are you going to do about Tyr?”

Harper’s eyes narrow thoughtfully. His lips curve in impish delight. Oh, man, Tyr is going to be so beautifully furious when the big guy finds out that he is going to go down to Morgana’s Drift. Tyr will hunt him down on the drift…and, oh, yes…if Tyr finds out that Harper went to see one of the courtesans…wow, the reaction to that will be…oh, man, he is getting hard just thinking about it. “I think I’m going to talk to someone who has the inside track on Nietzscheans.”

“You’re going to talk to Rommie?”

“Nah…I’m going to go see an expert.” Now how can he drop a hint to Tyr that he is up to something that just begs for dire consequences but prevents the big guy from immediately stopping him…Ah. Harper grins widely enough to show his dimples.

“Let me know how it works out.”

“I will and Beka…Thanks for checking on me.” Harper sighs contentedly. Oh, yes. He can hardly wait for tomorrow. First, the pleasure of dropping his little hint on Tyr, next the fun of sneaking an appointment with Troy and then, Harper licks his lips…getting captured by Tyr. Definitely a full schedule but he is up for it.

&&&&

Tyr leans on his own console, watching with narrowed eyes as Harper works at the environmental console. His gaze lingers on the strong, pale hands deftly weaving wires together as Harper laughs and jokes with Trance.

Tyr glowers at the readings on his own display. Harper had not come to his bed last night. Nor had Harper been in his own bed. It isicalical of Harper’s behavior lately. The human had become increasingly elusive. Amazingly con considering that they are on the same ship. Tyr scowls. He had been reduced to hunting the human down in the corridors or the human’s room when his need grew too great to deny. This will not be allowed to continue. It is not acceptable.

Harper must come freely to him again. Perhaps it is time for the rules to be redefined.
Tyr will not allow himself to become dependant on someone who withholds his…affections on a whim. The boy must understand that he is not to be trifled with.

“Harper!” Tyr’s voice makes the small human jump. “Come here, boy. This console appears to be malfunctioning.”

Harper looks at him for a moment. The blue eyes are coolly dismissive. “Be there in a sec, Tyr. Almost finished here.” Harper turns his attention and smiles on Trance.

“Now, boy! I don’t have all day!” Tyr’s angry voice booms over the command deck. Dylan looks up from his task to look quizzically from Tyr to Harper to Trance.

“All right…all right.” Harper ambles over to the weapons console and stands next to Tyr. He taps a few times and eyes the readings. He looks up at Tyr with those wide, deceptively innocent blue eyes. “I don’t see anything. Maybe you could tell me what’s wrong.”

Tyr leans close, planting one of his hands on the console, brushing against Harper. A shiver runs down his spine at Harper’s delicious scent. He wants more. He murmurs softly in the human’s ear. “I was hoping that you would tell me.”

“I…um…I…”

“Cat got your tongue?” Tyr whispers playfully. He shifts his stance so that his long hair brushes over Harper’s shoulder. He can hear the increase in the human’s heartbeat. Harper’s lips part and the human presses back against him for a second. As soon as he is off duty then, Tyr thinks as his hard thighs tense in anticipation.

Harper turns his head, brushing his lips across the long braids. His eyes are dark and dreamy as he looks up at Tyr for a long moment then he smiles wickedly and steps away. He turns to Dylan, “Hey, boss, I was wondering --- how about some leave to go down to the Drift?”

Dylan looks at him. His lips curl in amused interest. “That drift? Don’t tell me you are going to buy engineering parts there?”

“No. It’s personal.” Harper smiles blithely at the Captain. He gives every appearance of being completely oblivious of the big man smoldering behind him.

Dylan’s gaze flickers over Tyr and his smile deepens. “Why not? You’ve worked hard, Harper. Why don’t you take a couple of days? Have some fun.”

“Thanks boss. I owe you.” Harper dashes off the command deck without looking at Tyr.

“Are you sure that was wise, Captain.” Tyr narrowed his eyes at Dylan. “The boy tends to get into trouble when he is not monitored.”

Dylan smiles broadly. “Oh, I think Harper will be fine.”

Tyr turns sharply to stare down at his console. What is the human up to? Who did Harper know on Morgana’s Drift? Perhaps this is merely some ploy to get Tyr to follow him. An invitation to play. Yes, that must be it.

Clever Harper. The human had simultaneously achieved a head start and allowed Tyr to know where to start hunting. There is a lot to do on the drift. Perhaps the ship had become too confining. Tyr knew of several places where he and Harper could explore more of each other…and test the new boundaries of their relationship.

&&&&

Harper pads softly down the middle of the wide hall, his feet sinking into the thick floral patterned carpet. The creamy white walls lining the hall are spotless and match the flowers blooming across the carpet. Porcelain pots in the same creamy shade hold dark green plants.

It is completely and unnervingly silent up here. Troy Yen has done well for himself. The prowling guards might as well be ghosts for all the noise they make. Harper can feel their wful ful eyes on him. He has managed to con his way this far. If he can just keep it up long enough to see Troy and persuade the man to talk to him. There is no way he can afford Troy’s prices. He had only gotten this far by waving the name of Troy’s first Nietzschean lover around like a battle flag to pique Troy’s curiosity.

Harper strides over to door. Three large guards stand in front of it, staring in disbelief at him. He poses there, allowing them to get a good look at the long, black leather coat worn open over his bare chest and tight black leather pants. A silver and black leather collar circles his throat. He stretches to his full 5’6” height and lays his best imperious stare on them. “Well? Announce me.”

Two of the guards spread out behind him. “And you would be?”

“I am Attila Pheidippides out of Elizabeth by Aeneas Antonius. I have an appointment to see Troy.” He hopes the collar hides the pulse beating hard in his throat. He raises an eyebrow at the guard blocking the entrance.

The guard stares down at him. The level brown eyes are unimpressed. “Troy only takes Nietzscheans as clients.”

“So?”

“You’re a bit short for a Nietzschean, aren’t you?” One of the guards behind him comments dryly.

Harper turns his head to look coolly at the guard. He looks the guard slowly up and down and sniffs disdainfully. “Thankfully, your DNA won’t be mixed in with your Pride, if they are not too inferior to realize it. My Pride breeds for brains not excess height.”

The guards exchange dubious looks. “Which pride?”

“The..um…Tango-Chihuahua pride.” Harper glares at the guard.

The guards look at each other. “Is there such a pride? The smaller ones seem to fade so quickly.”

“Small! What do you mean small? Was that a slur? Has the atmosphere up there completely rotted your brain?” Harper produces his best growl. “I’ll see you dead for dishonoring my Pride.”

“Enough of this.” The brown-eyed guard’s voice is bored. “Show us your bone blades.”

“The last person who saw them died. It was a dreadful mess. I had to buy a whole new carpet. So tiresome.” Harper studies the carpet in the hall with a meaningful air.

The brown-eyed guard steps forward. “Oh, I think I’ll risk it. Troy’s time is too valuable to waste.”

The door hisses open. A tall muscular man with golden skin and long, black hair stands there. Jade beads dangle from the black silk cord holding his hair back at his nape. A black silk robe bares the smooth skin of his chest. A gold hoop with a jade bead on it pierces one dark nipple. Black eyes sweep over the group in front of the door and focus on the guard. The baritone voice is cool. “It’s my time to waste if I choose.”

Troy’s full lips crimp in amusement as he slowly studies Harper’s outfit. “Attila Pheidippides, I presume? Was that the best name you could come up with?”

“I needed to see you.” Harper shrugs. “Your profile says that you only see Nietzscheans.”

Troy circles slowly around him and shakes his head. “Nice outfit but I’m not sure it’s you.” He suddenly steps close and closes a strong hand over the front of Harper’s throat. “Why are you here?”

Harper remains still under the hand of his former friend and enemy, making no effort to resist. “I need to talk to you.”

“Do you?” The long fingers slide around to rest over Harper’s pulse. The black eyes are cold and assessing. “Perhaps I don’t feel a need to talk to you.”

“You’ve got to talk to me…”

Troy’s hand tightens. “Tell me one reason why I shouldn’t hand you over to my guards and forget your were ever here.”

“I owe you an apology,” Harper offers somberly.

Troy drops his hand. “Yes, you do. Very well, Seamus. That gets you in the door. Come in.”

Harper walks past the guards into a large room. There is a rock garden under the large window. Dazzlingly white gravel trailed in swirling patterns around large black rocks. A black sofa and trio of chairs are grouped around a white marble fireplace on the nearest end of the room. A hologram of realistic flames crackle over and around cords of wood. Mozart plays softly over the sound system. It is a world away from the warren of tunnels and crumbling buildings that he and Troy had lived in on Earth. “Nice place.”

“It pleases me.” Troy walver ver to the bar and pours himself a glass of white wine. “Wine, Seamus?”

“Nah.” Harper wrinkles his nose. The only way he would ever drink that stuff was if Tyr was holding the glass for him again. “Have you got a beer?”

“Still drinking that rot gut.” Troy tosses him a bottle of Neu Baryn Weissbrau. “You know that shit rots your brain.”

Harper catches it deftly. He leans on the counter, staring at Troy. “You’re thinking Sparky Cola. Compared to that this is practically health food.”

“How could I have forgotten?” Troy grins. He studies Harper with open curiosity. “I admit that I rather hoped that you would turn up on my doorstep one day with apologies. It’s good to see you again, Seamus. You were the only one of them that I missed.”

“I’m glad to see you too.” Harper looks Troy over. “You look good. This life must agree with you.” The man is as amazingly beautiful as Harper remembers. How had Troy ended up here? The last time that Harper had seen him…they had fought. Troy had allowed himself to be captured by the leading Drago-Kasov as part of an assassination plot to get one of the leaders. Troy had succeeded but had been promptly claimed by another Dragan warrior.

Troy looks down into his glass, seeming fascinated by the deep red fluid. “All of you thought I should have sacrificed myself, didn’t you?”

“We thought that you had,” Harper speaks quietly as he watches his old friend. “When I heard that Gaius Richard was dead and you were a prisoner, I was afraid for you. We all thought that you would be killed as a lesson to the rest of us. Then I heard that Marius had taken you capti

Everyone in the Resistance had expected Troy to kill the man and escape but he didn’t. He stayed and stayed. They had plotted to rescue Troy only to discover thatdid did not want rescuing. Harper stares down at his beer, remembering the sense of betrayal when he had risked so much to sneak into the compound and try to kill the man that he thought was abusing his friend and free Troy only to be attacked by Troy. Hard words had been exchanged but Troy had gotten him safely back out of the compound.

He had gone back to the others and told them that Troy was dead. If they had known that Troy was willingly living with a Nietzschean, using his deadly skills to protect his lover, Troy would have been targeted for assassination. Harpad nad not been able to set his former friend up for that despite his own anger and resentment. He had not wanted Troy dead. Shortly after that, Troy and his lover had left earth.

Harper looks up from the bottle and meets Troy’s black eyes. “I’m sorry, Troy…about the things that I said to you that night. I didn’t understand. I was confused. I was hurt and angry.”

“I know,” Troy says softly. “I was angry as well and afraid. There were other things going on that you didn’t know about. Pride politics. Marius had just survived a third assassination attempt by those who opposed him and there you were, wanting to kill him as well.”

“I thought that he was abusing you.”

“I considered trying to get a message to you not to worry but I didn’t want the others to know. If they had known they would have tried to kill Marius and me. He already had enough people trying to do him in.” Troy’s full lips tighten.

“What happened to him? I mean, I assume that he isn’t…” Harper waves a hand in the direction of the other rooms.

“No. Marius is dead.” There is a bleak note in the deep voice. “His opponents finally succeeded despite my best efforts to protect him. Marius was a warrior. He didn’t think like an assassin and he would not always listen to me when I tried to tell him…Well, that’s all in the past and best left there.”

“I’m sorry about that. About your loss. I didn’t understand…then.”

Troy raises his eyebrows. “And you do now?”

“Yes.”

Troy leans over the counter. His elegant hands frame Harper’s face as he stares deep into the blue eyes. “Ah, I see. Who is he?”

“Tyr Anasazi.”

“What!” Troy steps back, dropping his hands. “You don’t do things by half measures do you? The Kodiak mercenary? The assassin?”

“Yeah, that one.” Harper grins. His eyes sparkle with pleased mischief. “He is part of the reason that I came here. I need your advice about handling Nietzscheans.”

“I see. Did you decide to try a new and better way to kill me today, Seamus?” Troy’s voice is acidic as he glances around the room. “Does he know where you are?”

Harper laughs softly. “Well, he knows I’m on the drift visiting someone.”

“Damn. I suppose that I had better request extra guards…and, oh shit,” Troy stares at Harper. “I touched you. You let me touch you. Damn it. Have you gone completely mad, Seamus?”

“So what if you touched me?” Harper asks in a puzzled voice. “It’s not like I plan on telling him about this little visit.”

Troy squeezes his eyes shut for a second. “You really don’t know anything about Nietzscheans do you? You won’t have to tell him, Seamus. He will know.”

“How?” Harper asks. “One of the guards gossiping or something?”

“Seamus.” Troy stares up at the ceiling, searching for patience. “All Nietzscheans are very sensitive to scents. Noses like a damn bloodhound. That’s one reason it’s so hard to put anything over on them. He will smell my scent on you and know that I touched you even if you say nothing.”

“So that’s how he’s able to…okay…this is making sense.” Harper straightens, his eyes widening with a sudden excitement.

“Yes. He can smell if you are scared or aroused or if you just had sex. He can even tell if you have been in a room recently.” Troy picks up his wine glass and sips.

“I’ve got so many questions.” Harper leans forward eagerly, planting his elbows on the counter.

Troy holds up a graceful hand. “I don’t need any…misunderstandings here, Seamus. Make sure your Nietzschean knows that nothing happened in my rooms today. I don’t want to be looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life.”

“I’ll talk to him…explain why I was here and what we did…or didn’t do,” Harper promises.

“Good.” Troy sips his red wine. “Make sure he believes you.”

“Since I’m here already, how about a crash course in Nietzschean management?”

Troy laughs. “Are you insane? You don’t ‘manage’ Nietzscheans. You’d have better luck herding cats.”

“So what do I do?” Harper asks. “How do I get him to see me?”

“Oh, I understand. You want to capture your Nietzschean’s interest…and hold it?” Troy’s black eyes take on a distant and dreamy look.

“Yeah.”

Troy sets his wineglass down on the counterhat hat do you want from this relationship, Seamus?”

“I’ve been trying to figure that out.” Harper picks at the label on the bottle. He isn’t sure how to define what he wants from Tyr. He just knows that he needs more.

“That’s the first thing you need to do.” Troy looked closely at Harper. “You obviously care for him or you wouldn’t have gone to all this trouble to get in to see me just to ask a few questions.”

“Okay…okay…I care about him.” Harper struggles to put what he needs into words. “I want to know that what we do…what we have is real.”

“Ahhh…you want him to claim you!” Troy fingers the jade bead on his nipple ring thoughtfully.

“Yes. That’s it.” Harper raises his beer bottle in a toast. “You said something that night that we fought. You said that you had claimed Marius and he had accepted your claim. How did you…how do I…go about claiming a Nietzschean?”

“Are you sure you want this, Seamus?” Troy asks. His long fingers tap lightly on the counter. “Be very sure before you initiate it. It’s not something to do lightly…especially with a man like your Anasazi.”

“Yeah. I want it. I’m sure.” Harper takes a sip of his warm beer. He eyes Troy hopefully. Maybe this claiming business is exactly what he needs. He likes the sound of it; the idea of having some kind of hold on Tyr. “What I have with Tyr is good but I need more.”

“First, tell me about your relationship with Anasazi. How intimate are the two of you?” Troy eyes him over the rim of his wineglass.

“Well…um…we’ve…ah…you know…” Harper hedges. He can feel a blush rising on his cheeks. It hadn’t occurred to him that he might have to provide details.

“Oral? Anal?” Troy’s tone is detached and clinical but there is an amused curve to his sensual lips.

“Yeah.” Harper stares down at his booted feet.

“To one or both?”

“Both.” Harper answers in a quiet voice. He feels weird talking about this. He wonders what Tyr would say if the big guy ever found out that he had discussed their love life with professional. He glances up at Troy.

“Did he do you?” Troy raises his gaze to the ceiling for a moment. “What am I asking…of course he did!”

Harper takes a long drink from his bottle. He’s gonna need if it he has to talk about this stuff. “Yeah…he’s made love to me.”

“Ahh…he’s ‘made love’ to you.”

Harper looks at Troy with narrowed eyes. “What?”

“An interesting choice of words. So simple, yet so telling.”

“You’re talking in circles, Troy.”

“No. You said he’s ‘made love’ to you. You didn’t say he ‘fucked’ you.” Troy steeples his fingers in front of his face. He taps his fingers thoughtfully against the full curves of his mouth. “You really care for Anasazi, don’t you?”

“Yeah…yeah, I guess I do.” Harper runs a finger over the rim of his bottle. He hunches his shoulders. He had thought that he could ask a few questions about Nietzscheans relationships and scuttle off not have to talk about his personal efforts in that direction.

“Hmmm. So, tell me, Seamus, have you taken him? Oh, I know you’ve gone down on him but have you taken his ass?”

“No. He’s usually the one who pounces on me.” Harper’s head comes up. He studies Troy’s neutral expression, trying to see where this is going. He definitely plans to have Tyr’s fabulous ass one fine day but why was Troy asking about it? “Is that significant or something?”

“So he’s claimed you as his property.” Troy’s black eyes narrow as he considers the information.

Harper thuds his empty beer bottle down on the counter indignantly. “Hey! I’m no one’s property.”

Troy waves his hands in a graceful arc. “You came to me, remember? I’m just trying to explain the situation.”

“Yeah…go on.” Harper sighs. He pushes his empty bottle aside.

“You need to understand something about the way male Nietzscheans interact. Betas are the ones who give it up. An interested Alpha can demand it of a Beta. An interested Beta can offer it up to an Alpha. You see the trend here? Alphas do not give it up.”

Harper stares at Troy with wide eyes. “You mean…when I offered him my ass, I put myself in a Beta position with him.”

Troy pours more wine into his glass. He holds out a cold beer in silent offer to Harper. “It depends. If he demanded and you submitted you would be declaring yourself in a Beta position. If you offered it freely or demanded that he take it, that’s still Beta behavior but either of those options still leaves you with…a certain latitude to work with. Which option did you use, Seamus?”

“I told him that I wanted it.” Harper closes his hand around the chilly glass of the beer bottle. “That’s good, then?”

“That would count as a demand, Seamus. It means that, all unknowing, you have taken the first step down the road to making a claim. By demanding that he take you, you have told him that you are considering making a claim on him. By complying with your demand, Tyr was also saying that he is considering allowing your claim. I assume that he did comply when you indicated that you wanted it?” Troy sips his wine as his eyes gleam with amusement.

Damn. All that, out of just telling Tyr what he wanted? Harper sighs. What else has he told Tyr without knowing what he was saying to the big guy? As embarrassing as it is, he had better ask. “Ummm, Troy, what if…I told Tyr…what if I kinda mentioned…well, he did ask…”

Troy’s dark eyes are shining with laughter. His brows are raised in amused expectation. “What did you tell him, Seamus?”

Harper scowls and mumbles quickly, “If I told him that I hadn’t done that before and I wanted him to do it. Does that have some weird significance as well?”

Troy drops his face in his hands. His black silk covered shoulders shake. After a moment, he looks up. “Seamus. Seamus. You are more entertainment than I’ve had in the last month.”

Harper’s scowl deepens and he snaps the top of his bottle off. “I don’t see what’s so funny.”

“I know.” Troy grins. “Yes, Seamus, it does have some ‘weird significance’. I told you that Alphas don’t give it up. By saying that you have never given it up, you are giving yourself Alpha connotations. Then you go and demand that Tyr take you. I bet he is one confused Nietzschean. Especially if he knows that you used to live on earth and he is assuming that you are familiar with Nietzschean culture.”

Troy leans forward. “Has Tyr been unusually difficult and bad tempered lately?”

“It’s hard to tell…Tyr’s always difficult.” Harper snorts. “But, yeah, he has been extra moody lately and he watches me all the time. I’ll be working on the command deck or something and I can just feel his eyes on me.”

“Well, you did want his attention, Seamus. You have it with a vengeance, I would say. As for his behavior…” Troy pauses to sip from his wineglass.

“What?” Harper demands.

“You have only yourself to blame.” Tory’s lips crimp in amused lines. “He’s been waiting, Seamus and getting impatient.”

“Waiting for what?” Harper’s hand tightens around his bottle as he stares at Troy in exasperation.

“Think about it, Harper. From his viewpoint. You have told him that you want him; that you want to make a claim on him. He has signaled you that he is willing to consider your offer…then nothing happens. For how long, Seamus? How long has it been since you demanded that he take you?”

Harper knocks back a long drink of his beer and then confesses, “It’s, ah, been awhile. Months. I mean we’ve been very active but we haven’t done that again.”

Troy laughs softly. “Poor Tyr. You have initiated a claim and then you make no further moves in that direction. You offer no cluo yoo your intentions or desires. I’d bet that he’s been very difficult and temperamental indeed.” Troy sobers. “Have a caution there, Seamus. Do whatever you are going to do soon. This is a dangerous thing as well. If Tyr begins to start feeling that you are toying with him, he will not react well.”

Harper waves his bottle in the air. “Okay. What if I demand his ass? Is that one way to finish claiming him?”

“Yes, it would be except for one thing.” Troy snorts. “Alphas don’t give it up. Except in certain very special circumstances.”

“Now you’re talking.” Harper grins and leans forward eagerly. “What circumstances and how do I arrange some?”

“If he ever does agree to give it up then you know that he has completely acknowledged and agreed to your claim. It would mean that he has accepted you as an equal as far as domestic matters go.”

“That’s what I want…to be his equal.”

Troy touches Harper’s hand. “But, Seamus, I can not emphasthisthis enough, particularly when you are considering someone like Anasazi…be very, very sure. If you do manage to get him to give it up…his reaction will be extremely violent if you try to withdraw from the relationship or give your sexual attention to anyone else. If you have any doubts at all about wanting to maintain a permanent relationship with him, don’t do this.”

Troy picks up his glass. “The other thing to keep in mind is, if you think that he is possessive now, he will be infinitely worse if he ever yields to you. And Tyr will be even worse than the usual Nietzschean alpha, for he will consider you part of the new Kodiak pride.”

Harper considers for a moment. He kinda likes the idea of belonging with a group; with Tyr. It gets lonely out there by himself sometimes. “I’m okay with that.”

“Think, Seamus. Usually an Alpha has any number of Pride members to absorb his time and attention. On your ship, it will be just you and him so you will be the chief focus of his attention. When his new Pride is fully established you will have the same ranking as his first wife and the same authority and responsibilities. Think hard about it, Seamus. Can you live with that?”

“Yeah, I can.” Harper takes a sip of his beer. He grins. This should be fun. “Now…tell me how I can get Tyr to give it up.”

Troy studies the man in front of him for a moment. “It’s quite simple really. And rather dangerous. Tyr is an Alpha. He can’t offer it to you even if he wants you to have it. You have to prove yourself worthy of attaining your goal. If you want it, you have to take it.”

Harper chokes on his beer. “Take it! Are you crazy? Have you ever seen Tyr? He’s huge!”

“Well, that’s where the danger comes in. If he is not willing to allow your claim…well at best you are going to take a beating. If he feels really insulted by it, death.”

Harper stares at Troy with big eyes. “All this time, you were seriously crazy and I never knew it.”

Troy laughs. “Seamus, if he was not willing to allow your claim, things would never have gotten as far as they have. He has already signaled a willingness to consider by taking your ass on demand. He may, very well, make things more difficult for you now since you have kept him waiting for so long. And he has to wait until you try to take him since he nei neither offer it nor demand it. Once you have succeeded in making your claim, you will have to watch him. When he wants to be taken, he will begin arranging opportunities for you to seize.”

Harper takes a long swallow of beer. “How did you…seize the moment.”

Troy smiles. “I was trained as an assassin and warrior since I could walk. I told you that Marius never did learn to think like an assassin. I was waiting for him one night. He walked into the bedroom and I had him, pinned down and bend over the edge of the bed with his pants around his knees before he knew what hit him. I took some bad cuts from his bone blades before Marius realized what was going on…once he did, his resistance was minimal.” The black eyes glow with remembered pleasures. “After that, whenever I wanted him that way, I would take him. When he wanted it, he would deliberately give me an opportunity to make the attempt. If I failed then he would take me so there were no losers, however the fight went.”

Harper shakes his head. “But you two were similar in size and fighting skills. There is no way that I could take on Tyr in a fight and overcome him. No way.”

“It doesn’t have to be a fight, Seamus. That was simply the arena that Marius and I chose. Chose an arena that plays to your skills, your abilities. What are your strong points, Seamus? I promise that Tyr will step into that arena with you whatever it may be.”

Harper stares at Troy with a deeply thoughtfully expression. “Hmmm. I’ve got a couple of ideas that might work.” The access tunnels are a perfect location to ambush a certain oversized Nietzschean. He could rig wrist restraints to pop from one or two of the panels and have Tyr with his ass at Harper level just right for the claiming. Or he could set up a mini torture device in machine shop 5. Harper smiles.

“I can almost hear the wheels turning Seamus.” Troy sips his wine.

Harper plunks his bottle down and turns to leave. “Thanks for your help. Gotta go. Got a Nietzschean to claim.”

Troy throws his head back and laughs. “It’s been too long Seamus. Let me know how it works out.”

“I will.”

“Live well.” Troy bows to Harper. Harper returns the bow and glowers at the guards as he exits.

&&&&

Tyr stands completely still. His brown leathers blend nicely with the tree trunk that he is pressed against as he watches Harper walking slowly down one of the paths winding through the elaborate pleasure gardens. It seems odd to see Harper out of the wild colors that the human preferred but he likes the look of the black leather coat falling open over Harper’s chest and the tight pants hugging the narrow hips. The deep sable tones bring out the paleness of Harper’s skin and the soft peach of his nipples. His blue eyes are particularly vivid.

He growls softly. Harper is walking from the direction of the most exclusive section of courtesan quarters. He had traced Harper’s path to the leather goods shop and assorted cafes and stores. Then Harper had gone to the courtesan’s quarters but the human had not had an official appointment with any of them. Tyr had continued to hunt and then he had picked up gossip of a human dressed like a Nietzschean calling on a courtesan who specialized in Nietzscheans. His fingers dig into the bark as he watches Harper come closer. The Little Professor has some fast explaining to do.

“Privacy screen engage.” Tyr orders softly. Now no one will be able to see or hear him and Harper while they will be able to see and hear everyone passing by. He smiles with anticipation. It will serarpearper right to think that anyone walking by can see and hear everything. A suitable punishment. It will be made clear to Harper that visiting courtesans is not to be part of his activities from now on.

Tyr grabs Harper and shoves the human into the smooth, grassy area between the grove of trees and flowerbeds. “What have you to say for yourself, Attila Pheidippides?”

Harper catches his balance and straightens. “Well, good morning to you, too.”

Tyr sniffs. He seizes Harper and pulls the human close. There is another’s scent on Harper. Tyr growls. “Who?”

“Who what?” Harper tries to pull back. His tone is full of challenge. His eyes are bright and taunting. “What is your problem?”

“Who has dared touch you?” Tyr growl deepens. He will allow no challenges on this issue. There will be no more of this. He threads his fingers through Harper’s hair and pulls the human’s head back. “Was it this Troy Yen that touched you?”

Harper kicks Tyr in the shin and bruises his foot on the shin guards that line the front of Tyr’s boots. “Ouch! Let go. Troy is a friend. That’s all. Not that I owe you any explanations about what I do in my free time.”

“I won’t allow this from you, Harper.” Tyr presses his face to the smooth pale skin of the human’s chest. He finds only the luscious scent of Harper. No trace of that Troy’s scent here. Calming, Tyr rubs his cheeks against the cool skin. He can hear the soft crunch of gravel underfoot. Someone is heading this way. Good. Harper owes him for this. And for making him wait.

Tyr slides his hands around the human’s waist begins lavishing slow licks across the flat nipples, urging them into tight beads. He can hear the quickening beat of Harper’s heart. The strong, pale hands grip his bare shoulders firmly.

“Tyr.” Harper whispers urgently. His hands push against Tyr’s shoulders. “Stop it. Tyr! Someone’s coming!”

“Let them come.” In his side vision, Tyr can see an elderly man and woman doddering down the path. He does not move but instead begins alternating licks with nibbles and kisses as the couple continues down the path. Harper tries to pull back but Tyr holds him steady, refusing to allow the move.

Harper tries to squirm away, his face flushing with embarrassment as the elderly woman looks in their direction com comments mildly on the flowerbeds. “Let me go, Tyr.”

The couple pauses for a moment to stare at the flowerbeds and then walk on, vanishing around the next loop in the path.

“I like it when you fight me.” Tyr growls against the firm muscles of Harper’s chest as he hangs on to the squirming, protesting human as another couple strolls unhurried by them. Tyr drops to his knees and presses his face to Harper’s stomach. He finds only the scents of Harper and the human’s arousal. Tyr nuzzles, spreading his own scent over the smooth skin, marking the Little Professor as his. He lays a trail of kisses over tense muscles of Harper’s stomach. Harper’s hands settle in his hair trying to push him away but Tyr ignores it.

“Damn it Tyr! Stop it.” Harper grabs a bunch of braids in his fists. “There’s a whole group of people coming down the path. I know you can hear them.”

“Yes.” Tyr looks up and sees a tour guide strolling down the path. The group pauses to look around as the guide begins elaborating on the history of the fountain on the other side of the path.

Harper pulls harder on the braids. “There’s kids in the group, Tyr!”

“Hmmm. So there are.” Tyr grins and swiftly unfastens front flap of Harper’s leather pants and bares the human’s swollen shaft and full sac to the soft breezes and sunlight.

“Tyr!” Harper stares down at him, the blue eyes wide with genuine shock.

Tyr hides a smile as he pulls the protesting human down to the soft grass and pins Harper there. He strokes the thick shaft, watching in delight as a pink flush spreads over Harper’s face. The tour groups turns to face them and the guide begins a monolog over the variety of flowers and trees to be found there.

“They’ll see us in a minute if we don’t move!” Harper is squirming and squeaking in alarm. Harper tries to press himself flat into the grass.

“I’ve never had a public lewdness charge, little man.” Tyr laughs softly, wickedly. He nibbles and kisses his way across Harper flexing stomach muscles. “You have. Relax.” He nuzzles the swollen shaft and licks the full sac below.

Harper’s hands fist in his braids as the human tries to pull him away. Tyr ignores the tugging and takes Harper all the way into his mouth. Harper cries out and arches involuntarily under him. Tyr works ruthlessly, relentlessly over the thick length until Harper is writhing urgently beneath his mouth, begging, pleading, and demanding until finally the human lies, panting and limp against the grass.

Tyr nuzzles Harper’s lax shaft as the tour group strolls further down the path. Tyr stretches contentedly onto his back, lifting his face to the gentle warmth of the imitation sunlight. The grass was cool and soft under the bare skin of his back. He wonders idly how long it will take Harper to recover from his attenti

“You…You.” Harper’s voice is weak and breathless. He promptly rolls over on his front next to Tyr as a group of women walk by chattering about shops and floorshows.

“Ready for me? So soon.” He really needs to have a discussion with Harper about tactics Tyr thinks as he flows over the human pinning him face down. Especially when an aroused Nietzschean is in pouncing range. “I would have thought you needed more time to recover from our first session.”

“Hey!” Harper stiffens.

“Did your friend take you, Harper? Did he fuck you?” Tyr asks as he slides the leather coat down Harper’s bare shoulders and pulls it off. He nuzzles the vulnerable line of Harper’s pale throat. He can still smell Troy there. Tyr growls in displeasure. At least, the man had the sense to not touch Harper elsewhere.

Tyr roughly rubs his beard along Harper’s throat. He not not have Harper smelling of another. Harper is his and he will be Harper’s. Assuming the little man stops tormenting him with all this damnable waiting. At first, he had waited with anticipation. As the month passed and Harper made no attempts, he had become increasingly aggravated and impatient with Harper for arousing this need in him and not satisfying it.

“What if he did? I’m a big boy. I can play with whoever I want.” Harper tries to get up on his elbows and squirm away.

Tyr tosses the coat to one side. He rubs his chest against Harper’s bare back. When he is done with the human, Harper will be thoroughly marked as his. He kisses his way up the line of Harper’s throat to the dataport. His mouth settles hotly over the sensitive skin. Harper moans softly, arching his throat beneath Tyr’s lips.

“I’d have to punish you for giving away what is mine.” Tyr growls, the rumbling sound vibrates in a spine-tingling fashion against Harper’s dataport. Harper gasps at the sensation.

Harper hides his smile against the soft grass. “I don’t belong to you, Anasazi.”

“Yes…yes, you do.” Tyr presses Harper’s legs apart and settles himself determinedly against the half-bared curves. His is Alpha and Harper will acknowledge his claim. Tyr slowly traces patterns over the pale swells. He rubs his face against the tensing muscles of Harper’s back. He knows what Harper is waiting for. He will have to peel the leather pants off to claim the rest of his prize. Harper will know that that moment is the one chance to escape.

“You don’t own me.” Harper glances over his shoulder. His eyes are dark and defiant.

“I claimed you once,” Tyr promptly bites the curve of Harper’s shoulder. He can smell the darker scent of Harper’s desire. He nuzzles the human’s shoulder, almost trembling with the need to reinforce his claim. He has only had Harper this way once. The night when Harper had presd thd the devices to detect those little spy bugs that the human had made for Dylan. That night Harper had demanded this as a reward. “I see I’ll have to make it clear that you are mine. You belong to me and no other.”

The human has not demanded it of him since but now; he is going to take Harper’s ass as compensation. Harper will not visit courtesans again. He will leave his human in no doubt as to who to go to should Harper…need anything. It is time to remind the Little Professor who his Alpha is.

“Hey!” Harper whisper urgently. He wiggles tentatively, testing his freedom of movement. His voice lowers to sweetly seductive tones. He presses his ass provocatively against Tyr in bold temptation. “Why don’t we continue this in private?”

“Because your lesson is already in session.” Tyr smoothly reverses his position, using his legs to pin Harper’s arms. He pulls Harper’s boots and socks off, tossing them aside. Tyr sits up, putting just enough of his weigh on the middle of Harper’s back to hold down the squirming human. He slowly pushes the pants down, allowing Harper to absorb the sensation of sunshine and bareness. His hands spread over the tempting curves.

“Damn it, Tyr!” Harper tries to twist away. He glares over his shoulder. “You don’t have the right to man handle me like this.”

“Actually, I do. You are mine, Harper.” Tyr slaps the muscled curves. “This is mine.”

Harper gasps. His muscles tense in readiness. “Strange, I was always under the impression that it belonged to me.”

Tyr slides off of the human and tugs at the leather pants. Harper kicks his feet free of the pants, scrambles to his knees. Tyr grabs his human and yanks Harper back against him. “Not so fast, little professor.”

Tyr spreads one hand over the firm muscles of Harper’s chest. His other hand glides low to possessively cup the lengthening shaft.

Harper presses back against him, moaning. His hands move over Tyr’s muscular flanks. “We’re going to get arrested for doing this…you do know that.”

“Then let us give them something to charge us with.” Tyr bites Harper’s earlobe. He blows a warm breath over the dataport, making Harper shiver. “On your knees.”

“What? Are you out of your freaking mind? I will not.” The blue eyes are vivid with challenge. There is a silent dare gleaming in the depths.

Tyr presses the smaller man down, covering him. His long braids fall around him and the human as he whispers in Harper’s ear. “That was not a request.”

Tyr straightens his back and unfastens the front of his pants. Harper tries to scuttle away and Tyr yanks him back and slaps his ass hard. “Where do you think you are going? I’m not done with you, boy.”

Tyr smoothes lube over his darkly swollen shaft. His fingers trail the creamy damp over Harper. He presses a finger inside, teasing the sweet spot, making Harper cry out and press back against him. Tyr slides a second finger in, stretching, teasing. He waits until Harper is panting and spreading his knees wider in invitation.

“So good, Tyr.”

“That’s it…open for me.” Tyr tilts his head back. He can hear footsteps. Many footsteps. Heading their way. Closer. Closer. He positions himself and thrusts home just as a procession of Wayist monks wander down the path. Rev Bem is among them. Excellent.

Harper freezes motionless, staring in shock as Rev Bem and the monks file by, chanting. Tyr laughs and grasps Harper flanks firmly. He thrusts slowly in and out, taking care to press firmly over the sweet spot with each stroke. Harper gasps and arches back. Tyr glides his hand around to close over the thick shaft, stroking, squeezing as he thrusts. He can feel the trembling tension in Harper’s thighs and stomach. Harper cries out as the hard tension is suddenly loosed and released. Tyr thruhardhard twice more and finds his own relief.

Tyr tightens his grip on Harper hips, keeping his position. Still pressing tightly, deeply inside the human. He looks down in satisfaction at the sight of himself buried to the hilt in Harper. The Little Professor will acknowledge his claim. His hands smooth possessively over the pale curves.

“Damn it, Tyr. How can I face Rev?” Harper glowers over his shoulder but there is a faintly amused curve to his lips.

Tyr holds the blue gaze as he leans forward, pressing deeper. He is already beginning to harden rapidly. “You have bigger problems than facing Rev Bem, Harper.”

Harper licks his lips. “Such as?”

Tyr slaps the pale flank sharply. “This is mine. You are mine. You will acknowledge my claim to you.”

“Or?” Harper raises a brow. His eyes are cool and clear again.

Tyr withdraws partly and glides slowly back in, watching Harper’s eyes widen as the human realizes that he is fully aroused again already. “We stay like this. As long as it takes, Harper.”

“You can’t possibly…” Harper breathes in shy asy as Tyr thrusts again, pressing deeply.

“Butan, an, Harper.” Tyr arches his head back at the pleasure. His braids slide softly over his back as he continues thrusting slowly into Harper. “Have you never considered that as important as passing on our genes are to us, that we would be designed to maximize everything that would increase that window of opporty?” y?”

Tyr leans forward brushing a soft kiss over Harper’s shoulders. He murmurs in the human’s ear. “I can do this all day if that’s what it takes. Think of it, Harper – me inside you all day.” He nips the earlobe sharply. “When you are ready to admit to my claim, to acknowledge my rights, let me know. Otherwise, I intend to indulge myself until you do.”

The dazed look is rapidly returning to Harper’s eyes. “I’ll get you for this, Tyr.”

“Perhaps. But, at the moment, it is I who have you.” Tyr glides a hand below to stroke tenderly over Harper’s thickening cock, matching the slow, deep rhythm of his thrusts. “Do you admit to my rights to you, Harper?”

Harper moans as his body arches beneath Tyr. “No. I’m no one’s property. No one’s play toy.”

Tyr thrusts harder, rougher in punishment. “Did I say that? You insult me, Harper. You think that I want mindless compliance? A fucktoy? If that was what I wanted I could buy it anywhere.”

“Then what? What am I supposed to think you want?” Harper pants, pressing into Tyr’s caressing hand. “You don’t exactly do much talking.”

“I want you, Harper. I want you to come to me of your free will. I want you to yield yourself to me. I want your allegiance.” Tyr increases his demanding rhythm.

“Oh, is that all?”

“Don’t toy with me, boy!” Tyr slows his movements. “This is no game.”

“Isn’t it? You demand my allegiance but what do I get in return?”

“What do you want?”

“You. I want everything, Tyr. You owe me.”

Tyr smiles. Finally the human is seeing the light. But he must pay for making Tyr wait.

“I owe you nothing, Harper.”

“Now who’s playing games?” Harper thrusts back on Tyr’s thickness. “Enjoy me now, Anas Bu But, I promise you, I will have your ass soon enough and we’ll see who owes allegiance to whom.”

“Do you acknowledge my claim?”

“I’ll acknowledge yours when you acknowledge mine.”

“You intend to lay claim to me, Harper?”

“I already claim you, Tyr. You are already mine and I’ll see that you understand that very soon.”

Harper’s demand is Tyr’s undoing. He throws his head back and grips Harper’s waist as he pours himself deep into his rebellious lover. He can’t wait for whatever payback Harper plans. Harper owes him and he intends to collect. Tyr strokes Harper’s muscular flanks. He knows his human can give as good as he gets.

Tyr collapses onto Harper’s back then rolls off. Harper scrambles to his feet and grabs his clothes. He struggles into them.

“You will pay for this Anasazi.” Harper growls. “You have humiliated me in public and run the risk of both of us being charged with public lewdness.”

“Have I?” Tyr calmly adjusts his garments and stands watching Harper’s face closely. “I’ve put us on public display?”

“Well what do you think you’ve done?” Harper pulls on his leather duster.

Tyr grabs Harper’s hair and bruises his lips with a kiss. “Disengage privacy mode.”

“What?!” Harper yells. “You mean no one could see us? You knew!”

“Of course I knew.” Tyr smiles. “Part of your punishment was that you would not be aware of the shield.”

“All that time. All those people. They couldn’t see us?”

“Or hear us.”

“You let me…Tyr, you’d better watch your back.” Harper leans close. “No. You’d better watch your ass!”

“I was under the impression that you would be watching it for me.” Tyr smirks.

“You’ve got a lot to pay for,.” .” Harper pushes a finger against the center of Tyr’s chest.

Tyr growls low. “Are you man enough to make me pay?”

“I’m more than up to the challenge.” Harper stalks away.

Rev Bem and the Wayist monks are exiting the garden as Harper nears the exit.

“Harper?”

“Oh hey Rev.” Harper tries to move away.

“That’s an interesting outfit you have, Harper. It’s a new look for you, isn’t it?”

“Yeah. Just trying it out. Don’t think it’s going to work for me.”

“Did you enjoy your time in the garden?”

“What do you mean?” Harper’s eyes widen.

“You were in the garden. It is beautiful and serene, isn’t it?”

“Yeah. It’s great. Well, Rev. See ya back on the ship.”


&&&&


A rich aroma of cinnamon, butter and sugar washes over Harper as enters the mess. He pauses, inhaling the delicious scents. Oh, man. Cinnamon rolls. Huge, honking cinnamon roll drizzled with icing. Nothing like having a courting chief.

Harplanclances over at the table. Yep. There is Tyr, seemingly absorbed in a flexi. Beka is sitting beside him, staring grumpily off into space. She never has been a morning person. Dylan is sitting across from Tyr also seemingly absorbed in a flexi. Huh.

Harper slides a roll on his plate. He pulls out an icy Sparky and stalks over to the table, trying to move with his usual stride. Between the vigorous spanking the day before yesterday and the pounding he took in the garden yesterday, his ass is very sore this morning. His glance flickers over Dylan and the flexi. Please don’t let that be a tech manual. If it is, pride demands that he accept and his ass is quite sore enough.

He sits down carefully. On the edge of his vision, he sees Tyr’s full lips curve in smugly satisfied smile. Okay, that does it. He is not going to be sporting the only sore ass on board. Right after breakfast, he is going down to the machine shop and working on his little special project. He’s going to make Tyr wait a bit longer. Despite Troy’s advice the subject, he likes the idea of keeping Tyr waiting and wondering and getting mightily frustrated. Besides getting and keeping Tyr so frustrated that the Nietzschean can’t see straight will not only be fun but will further his plans to get his hands on that fabulous ass that Tyr keeps flaunting.

“Have fun on the Drift, Harper?” Dylan looks up from his flexi. “Rev Bem mentioned that he saw you in the pleasure gardens.”

Harper took a drink of his cola. “Yeah, I took a look at the gardens. They were lovely. Very inspirational.”

Tyr smirks and sweeps his long braids over his shoulder.

Harper smiles widely at Dylan. His hand snakes under the table and settles boldly on Tyr’s hard thigh. He begins stroking and kneading the tensing muscles. In his side vision, Harper can see the suddenly wary look on Tyr’s face. “I would recommend the gardens to anyone. Trance would love them.”

Beka peers at him around Tyr. “I didn’t know that you liked gardens so much.”

“Well, this particular garden is unusually beautiful.” Harper glides his hand higher to encourage the rapidly swelling length pressing against the leather pants. Tyr is staring at him with a look of dark promise in his fine amber eyes. At least the smirk is gone.

Harper flashes a challenging grin at him. He stuffs a bit of cinnamon roll his mouth with his free hand. His other hand teases the solid shape filling his palm.

“Did you do anything else on the Drift?” Beka asks. Her gaze flickers over Harper and across Tyr. Her smile deepens in a way that tells Harper that she knows what’s going on under the table.

“Actually I did. I didn’t plan on inspecting the gardens. They just happened to be right next to the courtesan’s section.” Harper can feel the restless shift of Tyr’s body under his exploring hand.

Dylan studies him with sudden interest. He glances at Tyr and then Harper. There is a pleased gleam in his pale eyes “You went to see a courtesan?”

Harper nods as his hand continues to work busily. “It was a fascinating experience.”

Tyr snaps his book shut and pushes his chair back. He stands up, facing Harper, making no attempt to conceal the thick bulge mounding the front of his pants. “I will expect to see you later.”

Harper grins, flashing his dimples. From what Troy said, that is probably as close as Tyr can get to demanding that he file claim soon. “Sure. Later, big guy.”


&&&&


Harper stretches, arching his back. Payback time is at hand. He has carefully kept Tyr worked up and frustrated for the last week. He almost hates to move to Phase Two of his plan. He has had so much fun, watching Tyr become increasingly moody. Oh, man, the smoldering sullen look in those amber eyes. The way those lush lips were set in an increasingly dangerous line. Harper shivers with delight.

He checks his computer pad one last time. His fingers stroke over it. Everything is ready and waiting. All he needs is to get Tyr down here. The Nietzschean shouldn’t be expecting anything. He’d called Tyr down to the machine shop several times to move things. Harper sighs. It is so much fun to watch the flex and bunch of muscles. The expectant look in Tyr’s amber eyes had gradually faded with each call and altered to a sullen brooding that just…made him so hard. Harper carefully tucks the pad in back in the front of his tool belt. “Andromeda, where is Tyr?”

“Tyr is in the gym.”

Harper grins. Tyr has been spending a lot of time in the gym lately. Probably trying to working off a little of that sexual frustration. Good. A tired, frustrated and distracted Tyr should be easier to capture. “How long has he been in there?”

“One hour, fifty minutes.”

“Excellent.” Harper touches his computer pad and gloats. This will be so much fun.

“Tyr, um, could you meet me in machine shop seven?” Harper requests coolly over the com.

“What is it, boy?” Oh, my. Tyr sounds all growlly and annoyed.

Harper licks his lips. He keeps his voice crisp and indifferent. “I need you to help me move something. It’s a little heavy.”

Tyr snaps, “Get one of the androids to do it!”

“They can’t fit in here.” Harper grins, his eyes dark with anticipation. He can hardly wait for Tyr to get that fabulous booty down here. He’s got one big surprise waiting for the cranky Nietzschean. He shivers as a low growl drifts over the com.

“On my way.”

Tyr swaggers into the machine shop. He was just getting into his workout when Harper interrupted. He sweeps his long hair over one shoulder, exposing the damp bare skin of his back to the cool air. He sets his hands on his hips. His fingers tap impatiently on the thin fabric of his black exercise pants. He glowers at Harper. “What is it this time?”

“It’s over here. In the third access tunnel.” Harper waves at hand at the entrance. His eyes are large and innocent.

Tyr groans. Not the damn tunnels. Why did Harpave ave to pick the damn tunnels? It’s impossible for a man his size to be comfortable in that maze. Ah. Tyr blinks. In the tunnels, it is Harper who has a size advantage. Clever Harper with those falsely innocent eyes. Tyr glides a hand down his damp chest, watching as Harper’s hungry gaze follows the motion. Finally, he is going to be claimed. He can’t wait to see what the Little Professor plans. Tyr allows none of his anticipation to show in his voice. “Show me.”

Harper crawls into the tunnel. He leads Tyr to a junction of the tunnels and points to one. “It’s just in there. Damn thing won’t come loose. Grab that third panel from the end. You may need to use both hands.”

Tyr snorts. He will hardly need both hands for that but in this case, he is certain that following Harper’s instructions will result in rewards. He leans into the tunnel and smiles. Now what? His hands settle on the panel’s edges and two restraints clamp around his wrists. Tyr jerks back involuntarily. He flexes his hands. Hmmm, if he were determined, he could break free. Should he yield or make Harper try again? Clearly, Harper has put a respectable amount of time and effort into creating the clamps and planning this.

Besides, he is most impatient to finally be claimed. To experience the other side of it. He has heard others talk about it in hushed whispers but never has he permitted it. Never before has he found anyone that he wanted to yield to; that was worthy of his yielding. Harper has already made him wait quite long enough for this. He makes a show of fighting the restraints. “Boy? What is this?”

Harper’s taunting laugh comes from behind him. Tyr shifts his stance, allowing the human to kick his ankles apart and position him. Cool metal snaps around his ankles. Anticipation trembles through him. What next?

Harper’s cool hands settle on the damp skin of his waist. One hand slides lower to briefly cup him through the black fabric of his exercise pants. “I’ll tell you what this is…this is where I claim what’s mine.”

Finally. Tyr’s growl rumbles deep in his chest. “Don’t make me kill you boy.”

“I don’t think you’re in a position to make any threats, Big Guy.”

Harper’s hand fists in the waistband of his black pants. What is the human…Tyr’s breathing quickens as the cool, sharp edge of a knife cuts through the waistband and slides down clefcleft, cutting apart the seam of his pants. Cool air hits his skin as the fabric is folded back, exposing him. “What are you doing?”

“You’ll find out soon enough.”

A sharp slap on his ass makes Tyr start. No one had ever dared try that with him. It felt…interesting. He is beginning to see why Harper likes it so much. Will Harper hit him again? Tyr squirms with anticipation. Not being able to see what Harper is doing leaves him floating in a sea of sensation and tantalizing uncertainty.

A creamy dampness is stroked softly down his cleft next. Harper’s fingers slide teasingly over and around, gliding lightly. Tyr closes his eyes to better focus on the pleasantly intrusive sensation of one finger pressing slowly inside him. There is a moment of instinctive resistance and then the finger slides deeper. Tyr bites his lip, trying not to moan. He can’t stop himself from pressing back, wanting more. A second finger eases in. Oh, yes. He has waited so long for this. He gasps as the fingers begin to glide in and out.

“You are mine.” Harper’s fingers slide deep and press teasingly over his sweet spot. “Do you acknowledge my claim on you?”

Tyr moans. His back arches eagerly, pursuing the retreating fingers. “I belong to no one, little man.”

“Wrong answer, Tyr!” Harper lays three sharp slaps across his ass.

Tyr shudders as cool hands stroke possessively over the stinging, tingling curves of his ass. He pants, almost trembling with anticipation as the wide head of Harper’s thick shaft presses against him and then slowly begins sliding inside.

“You belong to me!” Harper’s voice is as demanding as the slow slide of his cock is gentle as it presses deeper and deeper.

He has never felt anything like this. No wonder the others used to whisper about it. Tyr presses back, thrilling to the thick length spreading him wide in a way that dances on the knife edge of pain. Only Harper can give him this. “Harper!”

“Acknowledge my claim.” Harper’s voice is as hard as the thick cock embedded so deeply inside him.

Tyr moans in longing. He is an Alpha. He will not yield so easily. “Never.”

“Fine by me.”


The thick shaft begins to glide in and out with maddening slowness, leisurely sliding over his sweet spot, sending shock waves of pleasure tingling up his spine. He can’t take much more of this. Tyr arches his spine in silent offering.

“We can stay here all night. I have a few tricks of my own, Anasazi.”

“You can’t be serious.” Tyr groans. He tosses his head, feeling his braids scatter over his back.

“Oh, I’m very serious. I like the way you look spread open for me like this. Your ass is wonderful.” Harper smacks first one muscular cheek then the other. “I could fuck you like this forever.”

“Ahhh. Harper!”

“I’ve claimed you. Accept it,” Harper demands.

Tyr pants, pressing urgently back. “What do I get in return?”

“I’ll accept your claim of me.”

“I acknowledge your claim.” Tyr moans, arching the long line of spine as Harper finally begins thrusting harder, the thick cock pressing quickly over and over his sweet spot. “Ride me, Harper.”

“You’re mine.” Harper thrusts harder, deeper, rougher reinforcing his verbal demand with the physical.

“As you are mine?” Tyr’s voice is decidedly breathless.

“Yes.”

“Then I accept your claim.” Tyr shudders as his back flexes a final time. He can feel Harper’s satisfaction spilling deep inside him.


&&&&


Harper struts jauntily into the mess. He can smell the lush scent of chocolate and sugar. He certainly deserves something after his labors of last night. The Harper is good. The Harper deserves love god status.

He pulls out a chilled Sparky and stops abruptly at the small white tray sitting on the counter. It is completely empty except for a flexi lying across it. Huh. What is this? He glances quickly around the table. Beka is in a grumpy huddle over her coffee. Trance is chattering cheerfully to her.

He picks up the flexi. “Harper, if you want your daily sugar ration; come to my quarters.”

Harper snorts. The note isn’t signed but he has no doubts about who left it. Cutting off a guy’s sugar high – now there was just no excuse for that. Holding a hard working engineer’s sugar supply for ransom – well, you just couldn’t sink any lower.

He pops the top of his Sparky and walks out of the mess, striding toward Tyr’s quarters. Maybe he needs to have another little talk with Troy about techniques for driving overly bossy Nietzscheans up the wall. He is certain that Troy would have some excellent suggestions.

Harper stomps into Tyr’s rooms. A shiver of anticipation runs down his spine as he looks at the waiting Nietzschean. Tyr’s black shirt is halfway unzipped, providing only a glimpse of bare skin. There is a gleam in those amber eyes that has his breathing quickening. Harper stares coolly back, hiding his reaction under pretended irritation. “What?”

“You are expecting something, yes?” Tyr asks softly.

Harper swaggers further into the room. He walks right up to Tyr and looks up at his lover with a bold go-ahead-I-dare-you glint in his blue eyes. Clearly Tyr has something planned. Whatever it is, the Harper is up to handling it. “Well, yeah. Holding back on an engineer’s sugar supply, do you know how dangerous that is?”

“I’m beginning to understand the dangers.” Tyr shifts his weight.

“Little sore this morning, Anasazi?” Harper grins tauntingly.

Tyr’s mouth eases into a slow sensual smile. His voice deepens. “Your efforts produced the desired result, Harper.”

Yes! Just call the Harper a Love God! Harper notices a small box on the table and next to it a small plate of his favorite pastries. He reaches for one. “Great! Can’t wait for my morning sugar rush.”

“A moment, Harper.” Tyr pulls the plate back. “There is something tradition demands that we complete first.”

Harper tilts his head, his eyes bright and curious. “What are you talking about?”

Tyr reaches for the small box. He steps close to Harper. His voice is suddenly formal. “I have initiated and you have accepted my claim of you. You are bound to me. Your body is mine to use as I wish for comfort and pleasure. Do you agree?”

Harper frowns. This seems awful serious and official. He isn’t sure that he is comfortable with that but he couldn’t say that Troy hadn’t warned him. Okay. Alright. If Tyr needs this all serious and official, he will do it. Harper takes a deep breath and nods. “I agree.”

“You have initiated and I have accepted your claim of me. I am bound to you. My body is yours to use as you wish for comfort and pleasure. I agreethisthis claim.”

Harper grins. He feels too good to be serious this morning. “What happens now? Do we kiss or jump a broom or what?”

“Come here, Harper.” Tyr opens the box and removes an armlet of engraved gold.

Harper peers at it. “What’s that?”

Tyr pushes back the sleeve of Harper’s white tee shirt and fastens the cool metal around Harper’s arm. “It’s the claim armlet of my pride. Now anyone who meets you will know you are claimed…and by whom.”

“What about you?” Harper strokes the armlet.

Tyr pushes up the long sleeve of his black shirt and turns slightly so that Harper can see a matching armlet gleaming on his bicep. Harper reaches down and snags a pastry. He smiles broadly as he looks at his Nietzschean. Wait til Troy hears about this.

The End


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