“I’m sorry about your bike,” Violet said as she watched Keel busy himself with their makeshift camp.
He paused, turning to meet her eyes. “It’s alright. I’m just thankful that you are alive. The bike can be replaced… You cannot.”
He gave her a smile, then turned back to collecting the fuzzy blue moss around them. He was throwing it onto the small fire that was still burning in the bike, making a dense, potent smelling smoke. He’d told her that it would help keep any animals away through the night.
After he’d cleaned her up, he gave her two small green pills to swallow. The gel on her head was working wonders on the cut, and the medication had taken most of her aches and pains away. Even the throbbing in her head was easing.
“I’m sorry for what I said this morning,” She whispered.
“What do you mean?”
“Keel,” She called and waited until he stopped what he was doing to look at her.
“I will always love you. You and no one else. I know I said that I was going to find someone else if you didn’t make up your mind, but… Just the thought of that makes me feel sick all over again. I could never be with anyone else. I hope you know that. No matter what I said, there is no one else for me.”
“I understand that better now. I spoke with my brother this afternoon, and he helped me see the mistake I was making by holding back with you.”
Joy erupted inside Violet. Could it be? Could he really be saying what she thought he was?
“Keel, do you mean…?”
He smiled that sexy, sweet half grin that sent her insides tumbling.
“Why don’t we get home first. We can talk about it in great detail then. For now, we both need to focus on staying alive.”
She smiled, her heart lifting at the idea that he’d finally made up his mind to be with her. It was exactly what she needed to hear.
Deciding to follow his lead and focus on their predicament, she said, “I can’t be sure, but I think Spot is close. Maybe… A day’s hike. Maybe two.”
“Good. The sooner we get out of this jungle the better. Now,” Keel stood and turned to face her, “Take off your clothes.”
Violet’s eyes bulged as she stared at him. Her heart leaped in her chest and she tried to swallow past her suddenly dry throat.
“Say what now?” She breathed, her cheeks growing hot.
Keel came over to her, his eyes locked on hers. “I need to check you for injuries while there is enough light for me to see. If we are going to walk through the Dense for two days, and fight whatever tries to kill us, I need to make sure that you are not more severely hurt than you think. Take off your clothes, Violet.”
They stared at each other for a long moment. Violet wasn’t sure what to think. On the one hand, she really wanted to get naked with this man. But on the other hand, she knew her side was a mess. Despite the pills Keel gave her to ease the pain, her ribs still ached every time she moved.
Seeing in his eyes that he wasn’t going to back down, Violet nodded. She backed up to a moss covered boulder and untied her boots. Pulling them off, she stood and slowly eased out of her warrior pants and long sleeve shirt.
All the while, Keel’s sharp yellow eyes remained fixed on her. He took her in with long, slow glances, his throat working as she stripped down to her black bra and panties.
When she was undressed, she lifted her chin and waited.
Keel licked his lips, a low, deep rumble coming from his chest.
“Well?” She breathed, her body shivering with the cool air and nerves.
“Blessed God of Creation,” He mumbled, slowly coming towards her, “You are incredible, Violet.”
She blushed, lowering her eyes to her slim figure, trying to see herself the way he did.
Keel stepped into her personal space, the heat of his body radiating from him and soothing some of the chill on her skin.
With slow, gentle moves, he raised his hands and carefully placed them on her shoulders. Violet sucked in a breath at the contact, loving the trail of heat his touch left.
Slowly, he ran his hands over her arms, his eyes following the move.
Violet’s breaths began to speed up as he lifted her arms at her side and gently placed his palms on her ribs. She sucked in a sharp breath when he made contact with her bruised side, making Keel frown.
He tilted his head to the side, studying the dark purple mark on her skin with a worried expression on his face.
“Are any of your ribs broken?” He asked, his warm breath fanning over her barely covered breasts.
She swallowed hard, trying to take in a deep enough breath.
“I, um… I don’t think so. It hurts, but, um... But I think I’m okay.”
Nodding, Keel slid his hands down to her hips and moved around her to stand at her back. She felt his hands circle her waist for a moment, before they slipped slowly upwards. At the faintest brush of his fingertips on the sides of her breasts, Violet felt like she might explode right there in the middle of the jungle.
He was driving her crazy. She may still be a virgin, but she most certainly could get turned on. And right now, she was on fire for him.
“Keel?” she asked in a low voice.
“Hmm?” He mumbled, his lips a hair away from the curve of her neck. She tilted her head to the side and closed her eyes, a sigh escaping her lips.
“What… What are you doing?”
He stepped closer to her, pressing his big, warm body against her back. His hands were running slowly over her sides, from her hips, over her ribs, with the tips of his fingers just touching her breasts, before he moved them back down again. He did this over and over, making Violet feel dizzy with lust.
She eased herself back against his chest, letting her head fall against his shoulder. His lips caressed the slope of her neck, sending a wave of goosebumps over her skin.
“Oh, God,” Violet moaned, unable to stop herself from grinding her ass back against the rock hard bulge poking her from behind.
Keel groaned, replacing his lips with the soft, sharp scratch of his fangs.
“Keel, you’re… Oh, God, You’re gonna make me… You’re...”
She could barely speak as the wire inside her belly began to wind so tight, it was seconds away from snapping.
Keel thrust his hips forward, his rock hard cock digging into the soft flesh of her lower back, making them both moan.
Placing soft kisses along her neck, he gently sucked her earlobe into his mouth, making Violet shiver.
Releasing it with a pop, he whispered, “The things I want to do to you...”
“Hmmm… I want you to do them to me, Keel. But…”
Keel stopped his gentle stroking, pulling his mouth away from her neck. He took a small step back, steadying her as she swayed. Placing his hands on her shoulders, he turned her around to face him. His eyes were glowing in the dimming light, a look of pure desire burning in them.
“But not here,” He finished for her.
As much as she hated stopping, she didn’t want their first time to be in a damp jungle surrounded by bugs.
“Not here.” She repeated his words, nodding. “But soon, yes?”
He smiled, that sexy half grin that lit up his eyes. “Very soon, my little mate. Very soon.”
Violet beamed up at him, wishing she could fall into his arms and spend the whole night naked together making sweet, passionate love with each other.
“Can I get dressed now?” She asked instead.
Keel took one last lingering look at her almost naked body, then sighed and nodded.
“Yes. Apart from the bruise on your ribs, you have a few scrapes and smaller bruises on your arms and legs, but nothing to be concerned with. If your side begins to hurt more than it does now, or you find it difficult to breathe, you must tell me, alright?”
She nodded, “You bet.”
Turning away from him, Violet grabbed her pants and shirt, and began getting dressed again. As she did, she kept one eye on Keel. He turned his back to her, but she didn’t miss him adjusting himself, before he went back to sorting out their stuff.
Once she had her shirt and pants back on, Violet sat down on the rock and began putting on her socks and boots.
“So,” She started, hoping to ease some of the sexual tension that had grown between them, “Won’t Bor and the others be pissed that you’re not on the command vessel tomorrow?”
“Perhaps. But it may be to our favor.”
“If I am not there for the first meeting of the human delegation, my brother will know something is wrong. He may start searching for me. The obvious place to start would be to ask you. When he cannot find you either, he will ask Bor and Korom to help. It may be what saves our lives.”
“Is this jungle really that bad? I mean, it’s actually kinda pretty.”
With one boot on, she dropped her leg and began work on the other.
Keel turned from his crouched position to look at her. “Yes, it-”
His eyes went wide and his body tense.
“Violet,” He whispered, “Don’t move.”
She froze, her heart leaping in her chest. “What is it?”
“Stay very still. Close your eyes.”
She frowned, “What? Why?”
“Trust me, little fighter. Close them, and do not move a single muscle.”
Letting out a shaky breath, Violet squeezed her eyes shut and tried not to think about what kind of horror had put such a scared look into Keel’s eyes.