Kira’s hand found his forearm and squeezed it. He paused, his middle finger still inside of her.
An out-of-body experience.
“…too heated. It can’t be like that anymore.”
His finger dipped deeper into her, and her pussy clenched around it with acceptance.
He pulled his finger out. It left her with an embarrassing squelch.
“You should sleep,” he told her. “It has been a long day.”
The timbre of his voice vibrated through his naked chest and into hers. He squeezed her hips, and just as she thought that he was going to hug her tighter, he pulled away. They were now on opposite sides of the bed, facing away from each other.
As she laid there, naked, she found the silence and distance unnatural. Just seconds ago, she was in Vrox’s embrace with one of his hands on her pregnant stomach and the other spreading his semen across her folds.
It was like a switch had flipped.
Passion in retrograde. A dark venus.
She pulled a blanket over her chest and stared at Terra’s crib until she fell asleep.
– • –
When she woke up to feed Terra, Vrox was gone. The only part of him that remained was the essence between her thighs. As she cleaned up, she thought of the good old times when Vrox did it for her.
“I’m coming, baby,” she whispered to a fussing Terra. She pressed the baby against her bump, and smiled when she nuzzled into it.
“Good morning,” she tossed to whichever brother was guarding the entrance.
“Greetings,” Ak replied.
Kira took care of Terra and returned her to the crib. She couldn’t sleep, so she laid on the bed and stared at the roof. There were a million things to think about– her failure to produce morphine, the pepper bombs she had to make, the pregnancy, the pipes she had to replace on the third level. All her mind seemed to be interested in was replaying how delicious Vrox felt inside her.
She couldn’t believe that she lost control like that. She set the rules– limited touching and keeping it quick. Instead of respecting them, she arced her back like it was the last fuck of her life.
In just a few hours, Vrox would ride her again. There was no escaping the delicious torture.
When the sky was bright, she got ready for the day. She propped Terra on the bassinet and joined Nebula in the common room. They spent the day discussing their little progress with the morphine experiments.
“Can someone pass me a clean rag?”
Kira ran to Rokan, who was gripping a bloody bicep.
“I was sparring and got hurt. Do not worry, it is not deep.”
She grabbed one of Terra’s diapers and dabbed at his wound.
“Please be more careful. I don't like seeing you guys hurt,” she told him.
“I am not Terra. I will survive this small cut.”
“What if it gets infected?” she challenged and lifted his bicep for inspection. “Who did this to you, anyway?”
Vrox was standing nearby, his hair lightly dusted and muscles looking thicker than ever.
She gulped, and Vrox’s gaze narrowed. She was gripping Rokan’s arm. A few months ago, jealously would have fueled him. He would have stomped forward, dragged Kira into his arms, and kicked Rokan down. He was more controlled now. He trusted that Kira and his brothers would never betray him.
She still needed a reminder of who her male was, though.
Slowly, he raised a hand and sucked his middle finger into his mouth– the same one that had been shoving semen into her pussy hours ago.
Kira’s eyes widened.
“That hurts, female. Are you trying to heal me or sever my arm?”
She yelped when she realized she was squeezing Rokan’s arm. “I’m sorry!” She continued to wipe his blood. Ironically, she needed some dabbing herself, because she was soaked.
Vrox left the room before he did anything stupid.
“Commander,” someone acknowledged.
He nodded respectfully at the man that was cutting down the nearby shrubs. They were poisonous and hard to identify, so Vrox ordered their removal before someone got hurt. His men were so passionate in their work that he often sent silent prayers to the fates, bidding them health.
He walked to the farmhouse that was under construction. Ni’ev and a few other men were moving equipment around.
“Brother, how are you feeling today?”
“Better. The pain is gone.”
Ni’ev sighed. “Your physical pain, yes, but your mental torment worsens.”
“You have your men, brothers, a beautiful daughter, but you do not have Kira. I have noticed your distance. What is happening?”
Vrox’s tongue felt heavier as he answered, “she wants me to change.”
“Change like what?”
“Letting females be commanders, for instance. I cannot do it. It is a part of Ezronian culture, and I have already disrupted enough.”
“What did you tell Kira when she said she was unsure of adding her machines and inventions to Ezron becuase she did not want to be invasive?"
“I told her we would welcome them. Why?"
“Because this is not different. Let her share her the laws of her world so we may discuss and learn from eachother. You are our leader, but that does not give you the burden of all decisions. It is up to the people to decide if they want change, not you.”
“No. You are letting your insecurities get to you.” Stepping forward, Ni’ev placed a palm on his shoulder. “You are a Commander. Just because you broke the chain of Commanders and started your own line does not make you unworthy. You must stop trying to protect your people from disagreement. That is not progressive. If there’s anything that Ezron needs right now, it is progress. We have been frozen for too long.”
Ni’ev slapped his shoulder and then walked off.
Vrox observed the men that were working in the distance. He stood there for what felt like hours, his ears ringing and Ni’ev’s words replaying.
He had tried to protect his men from discord, to avoid reminding them of their losses. He thought that by rejecting change, he would pay respect to his culture. But Ni’ev was right. It wasn’t his call to make. It was the people’s.
Vrox turned around, his cape swinging behind his ankles, and walked home. It was when he reached the middle of the staircase that his adrenaline came to a halt.
“Yeah, and then you have to dry the peppers–”
She jumped and nearly fell into Draekon. The bag of peppers she had been holding scattered to the ground.
“Fuck, Vrox! Are you trying to kill me?”
He ran up the rest of the steps. “I need your help. You must tell me about a ceremony.”
“Ceremony? I thought Ezronians didn’t have those.”
“We do not, but Kira told me about the union of a male and a female.”
“Uh… you’re going to have to be more specific. When you say union I think of sex, and since she’s on her way to have her second kid, I think it’s safe to say that you two had that ceremony plenty of times.”
“She said something about a man in a robe telling the couple that they are together.”
A ridiculous notion. Why would he need another man’s permission for Kira to be his?
“Oh. You mean a wedding?”
“Yes. Tell me more.”
“Well, you have to propose first.”
“That you’ll give her your loyalty, protection, and love.”
“I must walk to her and tell her these things? That is all?”
“No, there’s more to it. You have to be romantic.”
He scratched his head. “You are speaking in riddles again.”
“You fall to your knee, speak from your heart, and offer a ring. If she says yes, that makes her your fiance.”
“Why a ring?”
“Oh, I don’t know. That’s just custom. It tells other men that she is taken.”
“Her belly is constantly swollen with my children. Does that not say that she is mine already?”
She shrugged. “You wanted to hear how it’s done. I’m just the messenger.”
“Which knee do I fall on?”
“What rock must be on the ring?”
“A diamond is the standard. I got a nice collection in my room if you want some.”
He nodded and began drafting his plan. He would propose to Kira. He would win her back. If she accepted the wedding, there would be no priest. Vrox refused to depend on another man to tell him that Kira is his.
“Thank you for your help.”
He returned to his men and busied himself. He ate dinner in the camp. When the night fell, he took a quick shower and went home. He stopped by the entrance to their bedroom, whispering a thank you to Draekon for guarding. He stayed outside for a minute to listen to Kira speak to Terra in English.
When he walked inside, she quieted.
Vrox tossed his folded cape onto the side table and slid onto the bed.
“My world. How are you?” he asked a yawning Terra. He picked her up and rocked her gently. It didn’t take long for her to fall asleep. With a kiss to her forehead, he lowered her into her crib.
Kira seemed more interested in fussing with a blanket than looking at him.
“How are you?” he asked, stepping closer to the bed.
“I’m okay. And you?”
“Why? Is it your head?”
“No.” He sat down on the bed, his weight making it dip and thrusting her sideways.
“It is my hip. I injured it while sparring with Rokan earlier today.”
A lie. His body was stronger and more agile than ever.
“Oh. I’ll get you some paste, then.”
She stood up, only to halt when his hand cupped her ass and pulled her forward. “Sorry,” he said. “I meant to grab your hip.”
His hand lingered on her ass, and Kira began to gnaw on her bottom lip. She shifted her weight from one leg to another– something Vrox knew that she did when she was aroused.
“I will not be able to thrust because of my pain. I am afraid that you will have to straddle me and do the work.”
There would be no proposal tonight. He was going to remind her that she wanted him. He’d watch her ride him and lose control as she bounced on top of him. He’d let her show herself that she still burned hot for him, and that his prison was forever.