Gardening Tips for Dragonia Vines

BY : Lursa_and_BeTor
Category: 1 through F > Andromeda
Dragon prints: 6180
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.


“So, what really happened on Enga’s Redoubt, Tyr?” Dylan stares warily over his force lance at me.

“What do you want to know, exactly?” I sigh. It is difficult to take Dylan and his force lance seriously after all those tedious jokes and innuendoes that he is so fond of. He does seem quite pleased to have me on the business end of his force lance. Compensation or sublimated denial? Perhaps I should present the Captain with some Freud for his bedtime reading. A smirk curves my lips. Or could Dylan be having trouble with the old force lance? He is three hundred years old, after all.

“Don’t play word games with me, Tyr!” Dylan snarls. His eyes are bright with anger and the beginnings of arousal.

I stare coolly back at him. There is a limit to what I am willing to tolerate from him. I am already annoyed at being forced into premature disclosures by Cuchulain’s divide and conquer tactics. “I don’t think I like your tone, Captain.”

“You don’t have to like it. Just answer the damn question.” He jabs the lance in my direction almost gleefully.

I can see that Dylan is suspicious at my calm indifference. If Dylan does opt to turn me over both he and Cuchulain will get a very big surprise since I will be forced to reveal myself. “I merely retrieved that which is my Pride’s by right.”

“What did you steal?”

“As difficult as this is for you to understand, Captain, I didn’t steal anything. One cannot steal what one already owns.” I give him a thoughtful glance. This is hardly the time and place for such a discussion. Not if he wants his medical aid to make it past this place. Drago’s bones belong to the Kodiak. They also belong to me by virtue of what I am. No Nietzschean who knows my real identity would contest my holding the bones or my returning them to the Kodiak.

Dylan’s breathing quickens and his hand trembles on his force lane. “I told you not to play word games with me, Anasazi.”

“What games would you like to play, Captain?” I give the front of his trousers a pointed look. I glance away with a bored air. Nothing of interest there.

He glares at me. “Don’t play games with me.”

“Who says I’m playing? I did not steal anything.” Oh, yes, I could have remained safely behind the scenes and ordered a strike force to retrieve the bones. I could have made myself known to the Drago-Kazov and demanded the bones be returned to me. But where is the challenge, the fun in any of that? Besides, stealing the bones, gave me a chance to introduce myself to the Dragans in a manner guaranteed to pique their interest.

“I don’t like it when you lie to me, Tyr.” Dylan shoots at me.

I twist aside. Terrific, he is wasting the charge in his force lance on foolishness when we are deep in an opponent’s territory. Not to mention the possibility that should any patrols be searching for us nearby, the noise will swiftly attract them. “Dylan, there is no need for this game. We both know you’re not going to shoot me.”

“You don’t know me at all, Tyr.” Dylan’s eyes are wild as he fires at me again.

I stare at him with wide eyes. What could he possibly think to accomplish by this? Is it some misguided attempt to reengage with me? Is it an effort to eliminate the object of his unwilling desire and therefore negate the desire?

I am beginning to entertain grave doubts that Daffa-dilly has escaped unharmed from his three hundred yeartus.tus. His plans for disabling the High Guard fortress at Acheron seem haphazard rather than clearly laid out. We were at a disadvantage from the moment we entered the outpost with such a bang. Explosions are generally counterproductive if your stated goal is to sneak up on someone who outnumbers you. If he had set off an explosion somewhere else as a distraction that would have been sensible but no, Daffa-dilly impulsively blows our way into the fortress, announcing to all what section of the fortress we are in and requiring us to locate a different exit point.

I have not also failed to note that he is the only one of us with a map of the area. Such as it is. A map that is three hundred years out of date. He seems to be assuming that the Drago-Kazov made no changes, alterations or improvements in all that time. It seems a rather unlikely assumption.

Could he be intending to kill me and claim that I died in battle? That would definitely stir up more trouble than he can outface but, unfortunately, I would not be around to enjoy the look on his face at the results. My best tactic will be to make myself known to Cuchulain and demand his submission. I will not have time to be subtle about it. I will have to hit him hard and fast with my biochemistry.

It will be easier to bring Cuchulain here to me since Dylan is so set on giving away our position so I agree easily to his plan to pretend to give me up without pointing out that the plan wastes our time without putting us any closer to achieving our goal. I wait meekly at the business end of Dylan’s prized force lance, watching as Cuchulain and his warriors stalk down the corridor.

Ummmm. Nice. Cuchulain is a lean blond in severe black and gray. His body language is edgy, aggressive and alert. Tempting. Forcing him to yield might not be unrewarding. Too bad that I do not have time to demand more from him.

As Dylan sets off yet another explosion, I allow the Alpha to glimpse me running down one of the tun. H. He will count Dylan as the lesser prey and send most of his men after the human. I lead him on a fine chase down the tunnel, then speed up enough to be out of sight and duck behind a column of stone.

Cuchulain hovers at the mouth of the tunnel, eyeing the brace of tunnels leading off from it. I press back against my column, waiting, inhaling the sharp-edged, aggressive scent of his pheromones. Soon. Soon.

“Let go of me.” Cuchulain snarls as I seize him and shove him into the stone column, pinning him in a position that leaves him awkward and off-balance.

“That would be foolish of me and I’m not foolish.” My hand is hard on his throat as I wrap him in an intense cloud of my pheromones. “Know me.”

He breathes in, deep. His eyes widen. His p rac races under my hand as he struggles instinctively to repel; to match and overwhelm my pheromones. “Who are you really, Anasazi? You are more than a hired gun.”

“Much more.” I lean closer and kiss him, forcing his lips open. He arches against mes bos body tight and furious, ready to fight me if I give him an opening. Suddenly, he changes tactics and kisses me back aggressively, pitting his biochemistry against mine. I welcome him into my mouth, curling my tongue around his, urging him deeper. It is a contest that he cannot win.

At length, I raise my head, watching as he stares at me. He licks his lips, lingering over my taste. His eyes change, anger fading into startled desire and calculation. His lean body eases, becoming languid and yielding. “You…you are the Progenitor.”

“Admirable. The Drago-Kazov are not all cretins.” I allow him to recover his balance but keep him pressed back into the stone. My thigh nudges his hardening cock, teasingly and he shudders against me, his eyes dark with want.

“What do you require, Progenitor?” His hips press provocatively, rubbing his cock against my thigh. His voice is low, throaty and intimate. “How may I serve you?”

“For now we must play this little standoff to its conclusion.” I kiss him again deeply, roughly and he yields to the demanding thrust of my tongue. It has been far too long since I was able to ease myself with my wives or lose myself in Charlemagne’s hard arms. “I want you to take me to the control room. Chase Dylan around a bit but allow him to make his way there. I want him to think that he has won. Bring some of men that you won’t miss and put on a show for him.”

Cuchulain growls and arches against me. “And afterward?”

My hand slides down his chest and stomach to measure the hard length of his cock. Just what I needed. And the added prize of creating another inside contact within the Drago-Kazov. Not bad. I indulge myself to the extent of brutally claiming his mouth a third time. “You will be contacted.”

“Do you want me to kill the kludge?” Cuchulain’s eyes are bright and hopeful.

I chuckle as I push away from the stone column, releasing him. “As tempting as that thought is to me; I still have need of him and his ship.”

“As you wish.” Cuchulain steps back from me with reluctance. He snaps a quick series of orders into his com unit, making the arrangements that I had commanded. He gestures at one of the tunnels. “The control room is this way.”

I run down the endless empty corridors that fill the ship. For now, I will sublimate with exercise but later…as soon as I can arrange it, I will meet with Cuchulain aave ave my pleasure of him. The idea of fucking over a Drago-Kazov Field Marshall appeals greatly in addition to Cuchulain’s personal attractions. As for Dylan, I will discontinue my project with him. I have no desire for him on a personal level that would make him worth the trouble of addicting and maintaining. I suspect that he is becoming unstable. Ordering the orbital defenses to fire upon his own position…that had taken both Cuchulain and myself by surprise. If he had fired one more time, I would have shot Dylan myself and told the ship that he died in combat. I have more important issues to resolve such as the Magog situation that Dylan’s precious Commonwealth bequeathed to us. Someone else can manage Dylan.

&&&&

I turn away from Beka, leaving her to work her wiles on Leydon. That should keep her happy and occupied while I attend to my own needs. Harper is down here as well. He is supposed to be working on a plan with Trance but maybe he’s stolen some time to himself; they won’t be able to get to the museum until Beka has spread her thighs and fucked Leydon for the good of the Commonwealth. Amazing how easy it was for Dylan to convince her to prostitute herself for the hope of a profit. She has her own agenda but her actions reinforce my decision to seek companionship elsewhere. Thankfully Daffa-Dilly is trapped up at the ship with the Doge and Clarion of Loss bending his ears about their respective views on the true ownership of Hegemon’s Heart.

No sign of Harper in the garden. I try the marketplace, drifting here and there among the shops mostly likely to appeal to Harper. I find his scent in several tech shops but not Harper himself. A rumble of angry voices catches my ear as I pass a tavern. I quickly turn back at the sound of Harper’s voice, the sharp-edged tone bodes no good for whomever he is addressing.

“Why are you bothering me?” Harper slouches in a high-back chair. His vivid crimson shirt is a bright splash of color in the dim bar. “Look, I haven’t done anything. I’m just sitting here, drinking beer and minding my own business so go away.”

“Seamus Zelazny Harper. I have a warrant for your arrest for public lewdness.” The black clad security man looks down at Harper and sneers. His loud voice draws the other customer’s attention.

“Hey! No need to tell the entire drift.” Harper scowls over his beer bottle at the security man. He glowers at the curious customers before looking back at Leydon’s minion. “Besides that was a long time ago and it wasn’t even on this drift for the Divine’s sake!”

I stalk down the room, my long, black leather duster foaming about me; my bone blades flaring. Customers quickly clear a path. Public lewdness? I sweep a thoughtful glance over the blond hair, crimson shirt and black cargo pants. That sounds like a story that I want to know. I give Harper an inquiring look. “Public lewdness? I’m shocked, Harper.”

The security minion starts and turns to find me standing close behind him. He pales as he looks up and up to meet my eyes. His brisk, authoritative air wilts. He steps back and begins checking his com unit in an attempt to recover his official dignity. “Who are you? This is no business of yours.”

“You will find me under Anasazi, Tyr.” I stare coldly down at the man and rattle him further by flexing my bone blades. “And Harper is my business since I need to speak with him.”

The man looks up from his com unit. His garopsrops again to my bone blades and then shifts back to the record of mayhem scrolling down the com screen. I can see him deciding that this easy arrest has turned into far too much trouble. He nods stiffly to me, “Very well.”

“And let that be a lesson to ya!” Harper snorts as the man walks away. He leans back in his chair and eyes me thoughtfully. “Nice trick, Anasazi. Knew you Niets had to be good for something.”

“We are good for a great many things.” I lower my voice to a seductive purr for that widens his eyes. The blue deepens in response to a soft waft of alluring pheromones.

His eyebrows lift as he gives me a dubious look. “Such as?”

“Walk in the garden with me and find out.” I invite softly, watching as his eyes narrow with suspicion and curiosity. I walk away, heading toward the gardens. A few minutes later, I hear his quick, light step behind me.

“Okay. Okay. I’m walking.” He catches up with me and takes a sip from his bottle, “Now, name something Nietzscheans are good for that doesn’t include death, dying, or bloodshed. One little thing. Come on, I dare you. Name something.”

I pretend to ponder as I lead him deeper into the garden. “Putting drunken engineers to bed?”

“Okay. That’s one,” he concedes with a quick wave of his hand. Harper glances sidelong at me, mockery sparking in his eyes. “So Nietzscheans are into community service or what? You were just using that little tucking me into bed routine to feel me up.”

“Yes.”

He blinks, at first startled by my easy agreement and then suspicious of it. “I didn’t think that you meant anything by that.”

“No?” I sit on a stone bench under an oak tree and sweep the area with a glance. No one here but us. “How many of the crew have you seen me fondling in the halls?”

Harper develops a sudden fascination with the ground and leaf litter under his feet. “Dylan said…”

I growl at the name. What foolishness had Dylan told him? “What did the good Captain have to say?”

He darts a quick, thoughtful look at me. “Dylan says that Nietzscheans are bisexual.”

“Yes.” I watch him closely. Where is he going with this? Surely my own actions have made this point self-evident. “So?”

“He said that I should be careful around you; that he had turned you down and you might…that if you asked me, it didn’t mean anything.” He takes deep breath and looks at me, his blue-gray eyes narrowing against the simulated sunlight. “Did you, ah, mean anything? You never touched me like that again.”

“The Captain does not know as much about my people or me as he thinks.” I meet his eyes squarely. I breathe in deeply. He carries the scents of arousal and nervousness with only a faint trace of fear. “Yes. I meant something by my actions. There is a reason I did not touch you again.”

“What? Why didn’t you?” He drops down to sit cross-legged on the grassy bank across from my bench and looks up into my face.

“There are limits to my self control, Harper. That doesn’t mean that I did not want to touch you then or that I do not want to touch you now. If a Nietzschean makes overtures to you it means…something.” I look openly at him, allowing my hunger to heat my eyes. Should I go into the variations of “something” that such overtures could mean? Gaheris’ overtures to Dylan, like mine had nothing to do with true desire and everything to do with control. Sex was merely the medium of that expression. “For us, sex can be about desire, power, alliances, mastery, reproduction and revenge or any combination of those factors.”

This is one of the problems with deciding to take a human as my consort, having to explain things that are second nature to one of us. Charlemagne knew when I demanded his presence in my bed that it was as much an opportunity for alliance as a challenge for mastery. I demanded Charlemagne because I wanted him and because I knew his power and that he would never be mine unless I mastered him but once mastered, once he submitted fully to me, he would be mine all the way. I knew as soon as I met him that he was the perfect First Consort – brilliant, bold, ruthless and completely loyal once I made him mine.

Harper raises his beer bottle to his lips. His eyes are bemused as if he isn’t certain whether to take this conversation seriously or not. “So which categories did you have in mind when you were fondling my ass?”

“Desire, alliance and power.” I sweep my long braids over one shoulder and lean back against the oak’s rough bark.

“In that order?”

“Yes.” I offer a sensual smile and brush my haver ver the bench in invitation. “I want you as my consort.”

“Consort?” Harper blinks, almost dropping the bottle. His muscles tense as he realizes my intent is serious. He shifts uneasily. “That sounds pretty official. I thought you guys had wives and lots of them.”

“We do.”

He studies me with wary fascination. “So what’s this thing with the guys like?”

“We also have alliances with male partners as well. Those who are officially recognized as partners are called consorts.” I tilt my face up to the simulated sunlight, falling through the tree leaves. It is pleasantly warm on my skin. My metal vest glints in it. Not so good if I wish to be unnoticed. I shift to a position deeper in the shade. I want no interruptions.

“And you want me to be…” Harper is staring at me with a stunned expression.

“My consort, yes.” One of them. My second one to be exact. This probably would not be a good time to mention the exact number of wives. Definitely not the children. “I have one consort already. If you accept, you will be my second.”

Harper takes a big swallow of beer and asks faintly, “Who’s the other one?”

“You haven’t met him so his name would mean nothing to you.” I glance at the paleness of his face and the coiling tenseness of his small frame. He is beginning to be aware of how alone, how vulnerable he is with me now. I languidly stretch out on the bench, hoping the pose will both ease his sense of vulnerability and draw his attention to the lines of my body. My hair cascades over one shoulder as I prop my head on my hand. “When you accept my offer, I’ll tell you. There are other things that you need to consider. More important things.”

“Like what?” His expression says that he thinks that nothing I can say will shock him more than I already have.

I smile winningly at him and deepen the levels of seductive pheromones. I intend to have Harper. “There is no going back once you accept my offer, Harper, so think long and well on it. I am going to tell you a thing about Nietzscheans in general and the Kodiak in particular that is not known but among ourselves. This information goes no further. Understood?”

Harper’s fingers tap nervously on the glass bottle as he looks at me. Curiosity and fear war in his clear gaze. “Why are you telling me this?”

“I want you to understand certain ramifications of your choice if you accept.” I would not have Harper grow to resent and hate me. My other secrets, he will eventually accept but this…this he would hate me passionately for, if I do not risk confessing it to him beforehand.

“What is it? Do you suck the blood from my neck?” Harper frowns. “What?”
ng ang ago, the Kodiak made certain adaptations to our personal biochemistry. We, all Nietzscheans, have it but some Prides have these modifications in more strength totheothers. The Kodiak, in particular, took an interest and bred for it. As an Alpha, I have it in greater strength than the lower ranks. Different Alphas have these modifications in different levels of strength.”

“And this mystery modification is?” Harper’s tone is careless as he waves a hand to urge me to continue but his face is intent on my words.

How to explain it to him? Enough so that he knows what will happen to him if he yields to me but not more than it is safe for him to know. “If an Alpha had sex with a Beta and then stopped having relations with the Beta, the Beta would feel bad for a time afterward but the Beta would recover. The Beta could also seek out another Alpha who is strong enough and willing to offer…comfort. If an Alpha has sex with another Alpha, the results depend on which Alpha has the stronger biochemistry but an Alpha has more immunity to such influences than a Beta would and a Beta more than the lesser ranks.”

“Okay, you’re toxic, right? That’s what you’re saying. You’re the Nietzschean equivalent of the EPA virus of Stillwell Drift?” Harper snipes acidly.

“Not exactly.” I catch and hold Harper’s uneasy gaze. “Nietzscheans are one thing. The effect is different with humans…if an Alpha had sex with a human…the human would crave and need the Alpha and experience more discomfort than Beta would if the Alpha’s attentions were not provided. Even a kiss from an Alpha can have…side effects. Humans would find even a Beta’s kiss the cause of discomfort later. This is one of the reasons that we are very selective about what humans we become intimate with.”

“You…you’re addictive?” Harper stares at me for a long moment then knocks back the last of his beer and regards his empty bottle with mild regret.

“In a manner of speaking…yes.”

“Addictive Übers.” He shakes his head. “What will they think of next?”

I roll to my feet and slip down to the ground in front to Harper, ignoring the way he shies back at the sudden motion. I cup his face in my hands, looking deep into the blueness of his eyes. “I want you as my consort, Harper. If you accept, I will provide all that is your due – sex, protection and whatever comforts I can give you. In return, I want your complete allegiance to be given to me.”

“Complete allegiance? You don’t ask for much do you?” His gaze darkens with longing as he stares at my lips but his voice is tart. “I guess you want me to bear your mark, too.”

I know he is joking but the truth of it is that like Charlemagne or my wives, he will wear my mark. My shaft tightens and rises at the idea of Harper marked and mine. “Yes.”

His eyes widen. “You’re kidding, right?”

“This is no small thing that I ask of you, Harper. Think about it as long as you need. You know whey quy quarters are when you come to a decision.” I release him and rise to my feet.

“Hey!” Harper grabs my ankle. His tenseness eases into relaxation. “Wait a minute! You…you…that night when you took me back to my quarters, you kissed me. I don’t feel any different.”

“That’s correct.”

“Oh, I get it. This is just a joke, right? Who put you up to this…Beka?” He grins.

“Harper. I’m not joking.” My voice is level and firm.

He blinks up at me, still doubtful. “So why am I not kissing your feet and begging you to…you know…fuck me?”

I sigh. “Harper, I kissed your forehead with my lips closed so you are safe and the choice is yours. Think body fluids, Harper.” I laugh at his appalled expression and ruffle his blond spikes.

“Oh.”

I walk away, feeling his stare on my back. Which path will he choose? Will he continue to follow Beka and Dylan or will he give himself to me?

&&&&


Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Slow. In and out. Slowly my bone blades settle neatly down along the line of my forearm. I walk down the corridors to Command Deck. I know that the ship watches me. My immediate impulse is to scream with rage and hurt Dilly…a lot. Of course, he does not know who he is offending. The pheromones alone that I am radiating would send Nietzscheans scattering before me if I were at home. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

“Captain.” I walk onto the Command Deck. My voice is soft. Only the hoarseness of the tone warns of my rage. Nietzscheans would be slowly backing away from me but Rommie smirks at me. I stare coldly back and think of the virus that could completely wipe her personality. As she walks boldly close as if daring me to try something, I think of the weapon hidden in my belt that could render her completely inoperative at my will. As fun as it would be, now is not the time.

“Yes, Tyr. Is there something you want to say?” Dylan tosses his head. His pale eyes glitter with a mix of smug righteousness and uneasy arousal. He thinks to control me. He believes that by controlling me, that by asserting his dominance by denying me what is mine, he can negate the uncomfortable fact that he desires me. Will always desire me however unwelcome it may be to him.

“Your ship will no longer accept my access codes to the storage locker holding my property.” Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. I fight to control my rage.

“Everything on this ship belongs to me.” Dylan holds his head high. His shoulders are stiff with repressed anger under his High Guard uniform.

“Not everything.” My eyes widen in disbelief at his implication. My bone blades flutter, escaping my conscious control for a moment.

“Oh, yes.” Dylan smirks. Hunger glitters briefly in his pale eyes. “Every single thing on this ship is mine.”

I am not a thing. Nor am I his. If I belong to anyone, it is the Nietzschean Prides. My eyes darken with fury and my bone blades snap erect. I snarl at him. “I don’t belong to you!”

I tremble with rage. I turn and stalk away before I give into it. There are worse things than desiring me and I will see that Dylan knows them. Things like being denied my company, my touch, and my pheromones now that he is semi-dependant on me. Things like seeing what he secretly wants being lavished on others. Things like my deciding to hand him over to one of my subjects to control, along with the information that Hunt has displeased me greatly. And since Dylan wants to play dominance games, I know just the man to school him in them.

&&&&&

Dylan keeps showing up at my door, inviting me to games of basketball and Go. He is pale and tired with shadows under his eyes. His movements are restless. Since he has chosen to lock the bones away from me, I have chosen to give him no more than the minimum amount of pheromones needed to keep him functional. I do not give him more than that or any more of my time than he gets while I am on duty.

I have declined all his leisure time invitations on the grounds of being fatigued or busy or some such excuse. Lately I have developed a sudden fascination with plants and gardening or claimed to. It make a good excuse for spending more time with the purple creature – is she even truly female or is that simply an outward assuming intended to appeal to Dylan? She exhibits oddities. She shows no signs of sexual interest in any of the crew. It is possible that she is a juvenile of her kind and has not yet developed such needs. Her interest in the matter seems academic only. Nor does she smell female to me. I entertain doubts as to her real nature. I want to observe her more closely and cautiously. Trance seems to accept my sudden fascination with botany but she is so interested in plants that it never seems to occur to her that someone else might not share her interests.

I still avoid the Magog as much as possible but he is a crew member so I must tolerate his company at times even though he makes my skin creep. His heavy musky scent is unpleasant and the constant stream of Wayist platitudes and philosophy annoying. The novelty of a talking, philosophizing Magog wore off long ago. Rev Bem is an anomaly of his kind and I will not find the key to their destruction by studying him.

I have taken to coaching Beka on physical fitness and sparring with her. I still spar with Dylan as well. I take pleasure in hurting him a little and in the knowledge that so much contact incites him to unwilling arousal. He seems to be directing it at Beka who is pleased to have it if the noises coming from his quarters prove anything. There is also the added entertainment of Rommie’s jealous scowls.

Harper. I have set myself to wooing Harper. I am determined to have him both for my own pleasure and for the advancement of Kodiak. I have given him a choice but so far he has neither accepted nor declined my offer. All the sidelong looks and thoughtful stares tell me that he is still considering and weighing the merits of my offer.

Telling him was a risk but he is a man who can keep secrets and I wanted him to have the choice. I could have seduced him without a warning but Harper would turn against me as soon as he figured out about my personal biochemistry and what exposure to it has done to him. I would lose all that I sought to gain from him if I walkewn twn that path. Still, I do not think he will refuse me. He has desired me for some time now. He is not likely to get a better offer – sex, protection, safety, comfort and the opportunity to use his engineering skills in a place where he will be valued as well as access to the top scientists and engineers.

Against that, what can Dylan offer? The mirage of a restored Commonwealth? The chance to attempt to do the work of an entire engineering department alone? Hard work and hazard in exchange for room and board? I snort. I do not think that Harper will find it a difficult choice.

TBC


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