Knowing she was dreaming didn’t seem to help at all; the sensation was far too real. Aidenne could feel the collar around her neck, the chain, warmed by her skin, hung heavy down her back. She could sing here, but only the bawdy songs that entertained her master, his guests and, on occasion, her fellow slaves. But they were just faces to her. There was no need to make friends. Girls died here all the time.
The silken sheets clung to her legs as she tried to escape the dream itself, the winding cloth turning into hands that restrained her. She whimpered in her sleep. This wasn’t her life anymore. She’d found a way out; it had only cost her a little.
But still there was a tug on the chain, pulling her forward to sing, dance, or die. She couldn’t break away. All she could do was move forward, falling to her knees then looking up into the face of her master. But the sluglike form faded away leaving a woman standing before her. Black eyes stared out at her from a pale face adorned with markings Aidenne didn’t understand. The woman smiled and reached out to stroke the Diva’s brilliant hair in a move that was somehow both chilling and comforting.
“You’re for him now.” Her hand touched the collar then, in one smooth movement, pushed hard. Aidenne screamed as she fell back into nothingness, screaming in the darkness of her room as she woke only to find herself staring into a new face.
The red eyes of the Chiss glowed in the dim light of her room as Krynn sat quietly in a chair near the foot of her bed. As she spoke his name he leaned forward and steepled his fingers watching her, “I’m here. You’re safe.”
Her hands fumbled for his, nearly pulling him off his chair as she tried to bring him closer. For a minute all she could do was stare at him, still trembling slightly from her dream. “You’re in my room,” she said finally, as the reality began to set in.
He staggered as she pulled his hands trying to get him to come nearer unexpectedly. Why was she so eager to have him nearer? He stared back at her as she trembled in fear. He usually loved watching this. Why did this feel so unpleasantly different. Probably because it wasn’t him she was afraid of, which was a good thing. He reached out and touched her arm softly. He knew that was usually a reassuring gesture. “Yes, I’m here.”
He was in her room. She wanted to yell, to throw him out. “I was dreaming.” Her hand moved to cover his, lifting it off her arm. He’d caught her when she was weak and she’d hate him for it later. But for now she took his arms and wrapped them around her small frame, taking comfort from him whether he wanted to give it or not. He looked at her in confusion but let her wrap his arms around her small body. He had been with women and understood that she must be feeling vulnerable, but what his presence did to help he wasn’t sure.
He decided not to fight her expectation and tightened his grasp on her and rest his chin on her soft orange hair. “Are you alright?”
She took a shuddering breath. “Krynn, you have two choices right now.” Her voice was soft against his chest. “Either tell me what you’re doing in my room while I sleep or get in this bed right now.”
Krynn raised an eyebrow at her comment. “I… I was watching you sleep. Protecting you in case someone tried anything while we were on the planet.” He shifted and sat on the edge of her bed looking down at her in her silky bed linens and for an instant noticing how handsome she looked in them.
“You were protecting me.” Aidenne chuckled softly at the thought, moving away from him to lay back down again. She stretched luxuriously and gave him a wicked little smile. “Well I guess you answered my question.”
Krynn looked at her in the soft light of her room. Was this some kind of test? Was she trying to be seductive? What did she expect of him? Was this a self defense behavior of some kind? “I did not want to seem that eager to take advantage of someone I am tasked to protect.”
“When a woman practically orders you into her bed, I think that taking advantage of someone should be the least of your worries.” She paused and looked up at him, golden eyes finding his. “Tasked to protect? I do believe you took this task on yourself, Krynn.”
“An order? Yes miss.” He said as he reached to his chest unfastening the clasps on his shirt and removing it exposing his blue skin and hard athletically chiseled physique. He crawled across her bed and lay next to her on her bed facing the diva. “You do?” He asked.
Aidenne couldn’t help but laugh at herself for using a word like ‘order’ around the overly literal soldier. However, she also made a mental note of how well it worked. “Yes. Do you really know you’re here to protect me? Maybe it’s something else entirely,” she murmured, propping herself up on one elbow as she ran delicate fingers along his bare arm.
Krynn looked into her eyes watching her closely as she spoke stroking his arm. This was a pleasant order. “I can only think of one other thing it could be, and that course is far less revocable should I be wrong.” He reached up and gently traced the spots tracing her shoulder. “Unless, you have another idea why I came.”
“That’s what we’re trying to figure out, remember?” Her eyes fluttered closed, smiling as she felt the movement of his fingers. “And what other thing would that be?” she asked after a moment.
“To destroy you.” He stated with soft casual tones as if the thought was of no real alarm or surprise. He smoothed his midnight blue hand over the soft skin of her upper chest gently cupping his palm near her sternum fingertips gently teasing her throat.
Unfazed, the Diva’s hands followed his, her fingers trailing along his warm blue skin. “I was in a collar and chain in my dream…” she breathed, moving his hand to circle her throat.
His fingers cinched tight around her delicate throat pressing against her skin firmly as he continued watching her eyes with his crimson orbs. He did not understand what was going on, but he was excited by it. He could feel his heart beating faster with pleasure. “Like this?” He asked. “Tell me more.”
One slender leg snaked out from beneath the silk sheets and draped itself over him. Her golden eyes fixed on his face as she licked her lips, daring him to press harder. “I knew it was a dream but I couldn’t wake up. I was caught, pulled by the whim of my master. But then there was someone else…” She paused and shook her head, flaming curls brushing across his arms.
Krynn nodded listening to her story. His hand gently squeezing tighter with building tension he could feel in his skin like a creeping tightness all around him. His other hand reached down to her leg without thinking, as if just to double check it was there. “How interesting. Who? Your master?”
Her lips parted, her leg tightening around him to bring him in closer. “No. It was a woman. I’ve never seen her before.” Struggling for breath, she arched up against him. “Do you want to know what she said?”
He was teetering on the brink of enthralment as she pulled him closer. He had never felt like this before, and certainly not over a female’s advances. He felt powerful here in ways he usually only felt when he was taking life. Even without the music she held some power over him unlike others. Maybe it was that she was like him in many ways. He licked his dark lips as he caressed her leg saying,”Tell me.”
“She said… ‘You’re for him now’… and then I woke up to see you,” she whispered, feeling lightheaded.
Krynn lightened his grip on her throat as he pondered her words. “For him…?”
She arched up against him again, feeling every place where their skin touched with startling clarity. He was close enough now for her to feel his breath, for her to trace his lips with the tip of her tongue.”For him.”
He stared at her lips lost in a haze. What did it mean? Surely it couldn’t mean she was meant to be his, did it. What would he do with her? His grip tightened in panic for a moment. No, not that. This one was special. Something he’d rather taste more than once. His grip lightened and shifted behind her neck letting his fingers feel her wavy hair. “It couldn’t mean me. Could it?”
Drawing a full breath, Aidenne chuckled softly. “Not so long ago I would have told you that it’s just a dream and doesn’t mean anything.” She shifted beneath him, wrapping her arms around his neck.”But then you showed up. Maybe this is simply another piece to the puzzle. Or maybe…” She drew him down closer. “Maybe I need to stop going to bed with so many things on my mind.”
He leaned into her fearlessly and kissed her. His strong hands cupping to her side and stroking down her body pulling the silken sheets from her and exposing her bare skin to the open air of the dark room. Her soft skin almost making the room brighter as they embraced. Their kissing quickly intensified as the two playfully gnashed teeth.
Her fingernails raked down his back, breaking the skin as she surrendered herself completely to the sensations. She caught his lower lip in her teeth, biting down as she watched him through wicked golden eyes.
Feeling his skin break and the warm drip of blood was like pulling a trigger. Krynn’s eyes almost flashed in the dark as his hands left her, but his weight pressed atop her. She felt her soft silk sheets ruffle a moment before the sound of rending fabric filled the room and a vice like hand grabbed her elbow thrusting it hard against the bed frame. In two quick wraps she felt the ragged fabric bind her slender arm to the frame tightly as he pressed her down keeping her from getting the leverage to pull away. A moment later a hand swept along her body to her shoulder and out to grasp her other arm even as she was trying to flail away from him. The cool metal met her bare skin as the other arm felt the tight coils of silk. Then the ripping came again as she looked up with those furiously deadly eyes. Then she felt it wrap her neck and up through the metal frame yet again; the extra slack quickly pulled taut from behind making her lift her upper body off the bed and making it very awkward to strain to get her arms free. She was shackled in silk against the chilled metal.
“Krynn!” Her voice, the instrument that had made countless audiences weep, actually trembled as she glared up at him. Her eyes flashed with fire, anger and a sudden fierce hunger making her strain against her bonds even though she knew it was useless. “What do you think you’re doing?” It was less a question than it was a challenge.
Krynn unfastened his pants as she watched still cold as the metal that held her as he exposed himself. He now stood before her nude, and as unashamed as any she had ever met. His intensity was imposable to deny. In the dim light she could see the soft reflections of his muscles against his blue skin, perhaps the trace of a darker vein as his blood raced with excitement, and the drizzle of his blood down the side of his waist and hip slowly trailing in drips toward his thigh. He looked down upon her and answered with utter stillness, “Exploring your dream.”
In the sudden stillness, the calm that followed the fierce storm of their coupling, Aidenne shivered uncontrollably, her body exhausted and somehow fearful of the addictive darkness around her. “Untie me. Untie me!” she rasped, gold eyes pleading as she watched his face.
He thought about it a moment, and then reached up to loosen one of her wrists. Pulling her hand free, she clung to him with as much strength as she had left, digging her nails into his perfect blue skin. After a long moment she began to chuckle softly. “Now aren’t you glad you didn’t decide to destroy me?”
He smiled jokingly and looked into her eyes, “Haven’t I?”
Lost in his red eyes, Aidenne shivered again. “And did I destroy you right back?” she murmured, reaching across her body to untie her other hand.
Krynn watched her unfasten her bonds as she lay against him, and he reached up to untie the silk around her throat saying, “No.” He paused and leaned in close. “You showed me something else, and I don’t know how or why.”
Too drained to even pretend to be aloof, she wrapped her arms around him and rested her head against his shoulder. “What did I show you?” Stretching her aching muscles she chuckled again.”You’re far too good at this for me to have taught you something new.”
He pondered her statement while. She might have been surprised. “This time was… different. I’ve never felt… connected to any other females I have pleasured myself with. Not like that.”
“That’ll teach me to ask.” She closed her eyes as she leaned against him, lulled by the sound of his breathing. “You really think it’s true then. We’re connected and I’m…” It was somehow easier to consider with her eyes closed. “… for you?” She didn’t look back up at him, unwilling to admit that she’d felt it too. It was different.
Krynn laid one hand against her soft skin touching her spots with his fingertips as he considered it. For him. If she was his now then he would have to learn how to use her properly, as he would with any weapon. That thought seemed so strange. Could he get the same satisfaction? “It seems that way. Doesn’t it?” he said quietly.
She nodded slowly, unsure of what, if anything, needed to be said. She’d scoffed at the ‘connected’ idea when he’d first appeared in her bedroom, but with the dream and the… this. It was getting harder to shrug off. “But what does that mean?”
He shook his head quietly, “I don’t know, yet.” Krynn laid his head back against her soft pillow and stared up at her ceiling feeling the soft tug of fatigue on his mind as he gently stroked her spots.
Turning her head, she opened her eyes to watch him in the dim light. His touch was soothing and, after a moment’s contemplation, she moved closer to rest her head on his shoulder. Orange hair fanning out across his blue skin, the Diva drew a deep breath then let her eyes gently close again.”Yet.”
Those that have seen fire in zero gravity will never forget it. It’s different than terrestrial flame. It doesn’t lick or waft unless there is some form of artificial air current and it seems to burn colder and from deep within what it consumes pulsing outward with less smoke, and it was all around Krynn on the walls floor and ceiling as globules of blood floated past in progressively more perfect spheres. He stood naked against the metal walls alight with blue flame as Aidenne’s long burning curls floated around them in the weightlessness as she purred and raked her talons down his body teasingly. Her eyes were almost catlike with wickedness and pleasure, and she was almost the only contrast to the azure world of this place. She, the blood, and Krynn’s eyes. His universe. He could perceive that something was off in this place, but only because if there was no gravity… how could they be the only thing not floating away?
The sound of a whooshing blade met with a meaty termination as a cloud of new blood globules sprang into flight. They almost seemed like a cloud of butterflies flying together one merging to another only to wobble free again in different sizes, and occasionally tracing against their skin.
The Diva looked up at him with her predatory eyes and asked, “Once a heart that knows not mercy… finds love, can it grow blacker than it began?”
Krynn’s brow furrowed as he cupped one hand to her cheek and slowly guided her up to embrace her. Her hands felt hot against his body and he could smell her perfume. Looking up into her eyes he saw nothing but the reflection of blue fire washing the walls with concentric waves, and then he kissed her deeply. When he again opened his eyes he saw in them something else. A silhouette in the fire; a woman.
In a throaty and seductive tone the figure spoke as the two slowly turned in unison to face her as she said, “So quickly the ripples crossed the surface. Now, your destiny has begun, and like a fulcrum and lever it may end worlds in its wake.”
Then, they both awoke in her bed. Both breathing heavily, and still clutching each other. Aidenne stared at him in the dim light, eyes slowly adjusting as she reassured herself that they were alone.”You saw her too.”
“Yes.” he replied as he relaxed, finding the tension suddenly gone.
Since her first response was to take a deep breath and relax back into the protective circle of his arm, the Diva rolled onto her side, facing away from those piercing red eyes. “She was the same one from my dream earlier,” she explained, knowing he knew already.
“I think she’s where we start looking for our answers.”
With a soft sigh, she rolled back over to look at him, golden eyes looking unusually hesitant. “Right. And until then…?”
He gently tugged at her orange hair and pressed himself against her naked body. “Until then we follow your friend’s lead, and maybe acquire their assistance in our search.”
It seemed like a reasonable answer. Aidenne hoped she wasn’t simply being easily persuaded by their recent activities. “Ures is wise,” she said finally, savoring the warmth from his skin. “Perhaps if we tell him about these dreams…”
His hands caressed her soft body as he answered, “Very well. If you think his information will be useful to our mission.”
Shaking her head, her curls looking startlingly bright against his blue skin, the Diva chuckled softly.”I don’t know that he’ll have anything useful for us. But I trust him. I’m certainly not going to share my dreams with just anyone.”