Wolf woke up and stretched its arms high above, the muscles straining to greet the morning and its back cracking. Movement was good.
Reya-mate still slept, her beautifully curved back quickened its breath. The gentle rise and fall of her chest accentuated her delightful curves. Wolf had often admired her shape and the smooth, powerful grace with which she walked.
Its mouth opened in a smile. For once, it was up first. The human Alpha had worked late into the night.
Wolf put its arms around her, surrounding her with its affection, its body reacting in natural desire to its mate. Her hair was silky smooth as it rolled the strands between its fingers. Human fingers were as sensitive as its nose.
It pressed her closer, feeling her soft, warm curves against its hard body. And the scratching of the clothes she wore. Human coverings were such a nuisance. There was no need for them when it slept with its mate. It would have to speak sternly to the Alpha human.
Her scent tickled its senses, a rich living odour that made up all of who she was. It could smell the wellness of her lithe body; she was a healthy mate and would bear their young without difficulties. There was the musky odour of her desire mixed with its own smell on her body; their scent markers on each other.
It could smell the ship and the things she had touched in her work. She was an industrious mate. Wolf didn't understand all she did but it knew it was important to her human role. A smart mate and clever with her paws. A deadly creature that could destroy their enemies and protect the pack. Wolf looked forward to the day when they could hunt and race the wind together.
Wolf ignored the coverings and reached around to squeeze the enticing mounds that were like clay in its hands. It wanted to turn her around and taste the sweetness of her flesh and lick the inviting tips, sending her into convulsions of pleasure, but it didn't want to wake her yet. She had worked late as well.
There was a gentle vibration in her chest, a soft moan as it caressed her body, exploring the mysterious curves down to her hip. It brushed light fingers along the inside of her thighs and felt her tremble in desire, her increasingly musky scent, perfume to its nostrils.
"Argus." Her voice was an aroused whisper as she arched back against him.
It greeted her with a low rumble of desire that rippled through both their bodies. Wolf wanted to tear these irritating coverings from her body but Reya-mate may not like it. Instead, it slid the bottom coverings down to reveal, another covering. It sneezed in annoyance. Was Reya-mate cold that she needed two?
"Do you need some help?" Reya-mate's voice was rough with desire.
It gave a growl of assent as she slid the rest off. Reya-mate was being very helpful. It must reward her. Wolf had been observing the human Alpha when he was pleasuring his mate. It knew places she liked to be touched.
The Wolf reached around to caress the silky fur between her legs. She was wet and its fingers slid in easily, exploring the entrance that it would enter. Her hip bucked beneath its hand and she moaned with desire. She was ready.
It rolled her until she was faced down, wrapping a strong arm around her waist and lifting her up until she was on her knees."Argus…" Reya bit back a moan as it spread her legs wide and angled her upwards for easier penetration, all the while stroking the heat between her legs.
She cried out in pleasure and arched back against him as it entered her in a single powerful thrust.
Argus woke to a rush of desire and Reya's body moving in rhythm to his as they built to a climax. His hard body crushed her in his desire to posses her, to plunder her depths. He could barely think, there was only need and bodies, slick with sweat, sliding in unison, pushing each other to greater peaks of pleasure.
There was a low aroused growl in his throat and he was vaguely aware that he was entering her from behind, his hands reaching around to caress and knead her breasts and rubbing the sensitive area between her legs. She was moaning in gasping breaths, her body a wild animal caught and mastered until they came together in explosions of intense pleasure, wave after wave, until they were both spent and collapsed forward, his hot, slippery body blanketing hers.
As their hearts slowed and the heat abated to a comfortable sensual warmth, Wolf nuzzled her neck in affection, wrapped its arms around her and closed its eyes to rest.
There was a warm relaxing glow in Reya's body and she allowed herself to feel safe in his arms. It was a strange idea for her, but at times it was good to rely on someone else's strength.
Argus realized with shock what had happened.
Should he tell Reya? Would she be horrified? Repulsed? Or worse yet be excited and think that it was better with the Wolf? He shook his head. No, she wouldn't do that. But what should he do? Would it do any good to talk to the Wolf? Would it understand? He knew the creature considered Reya its mate as well. It might not accept that it should not be doing this.
"Argus, what's wrong?"
Damn. How did she do that?
Sester sauntered past when Argus came out of his cabin, a stunned look on his face and a pillow and blanket hugged to his chest. "But, Reya…" The door slid closed in his face. He looked at it with a forlorn expression, sighed heavily at the metal barrier, and his shoulders slumped. "It's all your fault," he muttered.
Sester turned back. "What's my fault?"
The other man glared up at him and said fiercely, "Everything! I'm sure it's all your fault."
This was met with a chuckle. "That didn't take long, did it?"
"What are you talking about?" Argus growled.
"I was wondering how long it would take."
"How long what would take?" His voice rose in frustrated anger.
"The misunderstanding between you, Reya and the Wolf."
Argus's eyes opened wide. "You knew?" he shouted, then he looked as if he'd swallowed something large and uncomfortable that was making its way down his oesophagus. "What do you know?" This turned into a shaking of his head. "No! I don’t want to know what you know. You'd better not know anything!"
"Well, that would be difficult. I know so many things." There was a distinctly amused smirk on Sester's face.
A low menacing growl formed at the base of Argus's throat.
"Are you tired of living?" For a blind man, Avon certainly managed to get around, although it was probably best if Jenna didn't know this. There was a glint of red as the fiery eyes of the dragon-staff caught the light.
Argus's lips curled in a snarl. "He's tired of something."
"Now, gentlemen, it's too early in the morning to murder me. What would you do with the rest of the day?"
"We'll think of something," said Argus.
Vila came out of his cabin, spotted them and decided this might be interesting. "Is this a meeting? Did I miss a memo again?"
"We're thinking of ways to murder Sester," said Argus.
"Is this one of those murder mystery games? Can anyone play?" Vila rubbed his hands in anticipation.
Sester rolled his eyes, "And I thought we were here because Reya threw Argus out of his cabin again."
"Oooh." Vila eyed the blanket and pillow still hugged to Argus's chest. "I was wondering why you were carrying those. She threw you out again, did she? What'd you do this time?"
Avon's head cocked in concentration. "You're carrying a blanket."
"He's got a pillow this time too," added Vila helpfully.
"We are not going to talk about this!" said Argus.
Vila said, "We don't know what this is."
Argus looked pained.
"The Commander is not angry with you." Avon was trying to reason out this mystery with the little information he had. It irked him that he had fewer facts because he couldn't see. He was determined that this would not make a difference.
Sester said, "The pillow would have told you that."
"This is not a mystery!" shouted Argus, wondering how the murder mystery had become a guessing game about his relationship with Reya.
"It is to us," said Avon, who did not like mysteries unless he could solve them.
"This is personal." Argus was hoping they would get the hint and would stop pursuing this.
"We gathered that," said Avon, who did not get those kinds of hints. "This must be something particularly embarrassing."
"Wow, this must be bad," said Vila.
"I do have a few ideas," said Sester. "If anyone's interested."
"Shut up!" Argus had the sinking feeling Sester knew what happened.
"Just one actually." Sester said with a smirk.
Argus looked up at the ceiling. "Can all of you please leave me and Reya…"
"And the…" Sester stopped when Argus glared at him but there was something else in his eyes that made him say, "Maybe he's right, it is none of our business."
Vila put a hand to Sester’s forehead. "Are you feeling alright?"
"I'm sure everyone here would have a different opinion."
Avon was 'staring' hard in Argus's direction. The facts were adding up in his head and the little slip by Sester had been very informative. He was certain what the issue was within an acceptable degree of accuracy. Just as he was sure nothing could be achieved by making a game of it in the corridor. While it may be amusing, he had better things to do with his time. Orienting himself by touching the wall with the padded tip of his cane, Avon moved down the corridor.
"Are you going already?" asked Vila.
"I'm busy," Avon said behind him, without breaking stride, then he stopped. "Don’t you have somewhere to be?"
"Oh, yeah. It's my shift." He raced off.
Argus and Sester stared at each other in the otherwise empty corridor.
"Thanks," said Argus, his voice abrupt, reluctantly thanking his rival.
"I didn't say anything."
Sester smiled. "You realize the problem isn’t going away?"
"Can…it be removed?"
"Do you want it to be?"
"I…" His eyes were troubled. "Don't know."
Sester nodded, his psychostrategist mind working. "You'll feel like you're murdering it?"
He blew out a frustrated breath. "I know it's crazy. I know it's only a construct in my head but…"
"It's not crazy. Not for you." There was no casual, amused tone. He almost sounded like a psych specialist. It was one of his many identities. "You're a man with a strong sense of conscience. It's rare these days and very inconvenient. I imagine it was what they were trying to readjust when they gave you the Wolf personality."
"The Wolf isn't evil."
"No, but neither is it particularly moral. It acts on instinct and necessity. If it needs to kill, it will. There is no right or wrong for it other than the safety of the pack and the protection of its mate."
"You're right. It was the Wolf. It woke up first…"
"And it did what a wolf does when it sees its mate. Purely instinctual."
"It wasn't hard to guess." Sester had been expecting something like this to happen but he wasn't about to tell him.
"What am I going to do?"
"You’re asking me?"
"I…never mind." He gripped the pillow and blanket tighter. “I’d better stow these.”
“She’s not angry with you.”
“You didn’t hear her.” He could clearly remember Reya’s face turning red when he told her what happened, and her angry demand that he leave the cabin until it was sorted out.
“She’s angry at herself.”
“Why? It didn’t have anything to do with her. It was me and the Wolf.”
“Are you deliberately being dense? Don’t answer that.” Despite his effort to be serious, Sester was finding this increasingly amusing. “She’s upset at herself for not knowing that it wasn’t you.”
“But how could she? It was the same body, mine.”
“It was an intimate act. She thinks she should have known. She’s ashamed, embarrassed, mortified and angry with herself. She doesn’t want to make the same mistake again.”
“That’s why she threw me out?”
“She didn’t throw you out. It was the only way she knew how to solve the problem in the short term.”
“You know an awful lot about this.” Suspicion reared its ugly head.
“Isn’t that why you have me here? Because I know things other people can only guess at?”
“Not about me or Reya.”
“That isn’t an option. It’s everything or nothing, and before you say nothing,” He grinned, “Let Reya talk to the Wolf. Come to a consensus together on the role the Wolf will have in your lives. All three of you.”
“I don’t like this.”
“I imagine the Wolf doesn’t either. It’s trapped inside you. It can never break free and be a real wolf. But the Wolf is pragmatic. It accepts what it cannot change.”
“Are you saying I should accept it too because I can’t change the situation?”
“That’s up to you.”
“Why are you helping me?”
Argus's eyes narrowed. “You're doing this for Reya, aren't you?”
“Do I have to answer that?” There was an innocent look on Sester's face.
The Wolf growled.