Charlie eased Kal into their bed after they’d shared a quick shower to rid of today’s grime and blood. She expected more bruises than she had, but Charlie felt lucky after the battle in Clabonne. In fact, she was uncertain how she came out of it rather unscathed especially after the ion blast fired at her.
Kal gave a soft groan until she was seated on the side of the bed. “Tah.”
Kaden popped up on the foot of the bed and lowered to her belly, watching the pair.
“Motah.” Charlie went in search of Kal’s travel bag. They were both nude but dry other than their damp hair. Even with the ship’s excellent heating system, there was a lingering chill in their bones after falling through the frigid atmosphere this evening. “Do you have the energy to call Gaveston? Maybe if you talk to him over video, that’ll settle everyone down.”
“Ja.” Kal scrubbed her face before accepting the few pieces of clothing Charlie found in the dresser. “I will need to use your techbit. I left my tablet in the rover.”
Charlie nodded and set her clean clothes on the bed near Kal. She first helped her Alpha put on the loose shirt and then the relaxed-fit bottoms. “I’ll cook dinner and bring it back.” While she dressed, she studied Kal’s exhausted features. “Maybe tell Gaveston we’ll be back late morning.”
Kal rumbled and tugged on Charlie’s fresh T-shirt after Charlie finished dressing. Once her Alpha had her in her lap, Kal nuzzled into her golden hair and whispered, “You came for me.” Her voice was strained and unlike her godly self. Their bond hummed with an unmeasurable amount of gratitude and love that stole Charlie’s breath.
Hooking her arms around Kal’s shoulders, Charlie breathed in her Alpha’s familiar, warm scent that comforted her. “No one can separate us, ever.” They were rejoined and safe at the moment. The memories of her mate being taken wanted to haunt her, but she pushed them back. There was too much ahead of them for her to worry about what was now in the past. Charlie withdrew enough to hold Kal’s cheek with one hand. “With this war coming, I know you will protect Kander. But, I will protect you.”
Kal gave a soft whine and then captured Charlie’s lips with a demanding kiss. All of Sumner poured through the kiss, reaching out to Charlie. Their connection was bright and strong again, unblemished by the Sworne’s disc. Even with the Spirit of Kalatas’s restrictions, they were whole and connected and closer than any time in the past. Charlie had risked everything to save her Alpha from an unknown fate. The dangers and threats to rescue Kal were never anything a Kal would ask of their people, because in the end the Spirit of Kalatas would move on to the next finna. Charlie was different from others, and she was rescuing more than a ruler, she was saving her true mate.
“I love you,” Kal whispered between their searching lips. She tightened her arm across Charlie’s back while her hand squeezed Charlie’s thigh. Shifting her head, she kissed along Charlie’s jaw line and said, “More than the size of the universe.” Her canines dragged from Charlie’s jaw to her neck. After a groan, she growled and clawed Charlie. “I am exhausted and hurting, but somehow you can still make me hard.”
Charlie barked with laughter and rocked her hips once against Kal. “Ja, I can feel that.” She cleared her throat and pressed their foreheads together. “When you’re feeling better later, you can thank me with a good fuck.”
Kal shifted her head and started rubbing their cheeks together. Her scent was being transferred to Charlie, who loved having her Alpha mark her this way. For once, they could allow it since only Andren and Raine were with them. “I will make love to you first to thank you, then I will fuck you for tossing me out of a perfectly good flying ship.”
Laughing again, Charlie withdrew and cupped Kal’s face with both hands. She blinked away the burn in her eyes as her smile went a little bitter. “I hope we never have to do it again.” Leaning in, she pressed her lips against Kal’s temple and said, “I need to go to the mess deck.”
Kal sighed and released Charlie. “I will call Gaveston and appease him.”
Charlie snorted and said, “Remember, you’re Kal, not him.” She stood but leaned in and exchanged a quick kiss. “Get some rest. I won’t be long.” She grabbed her techbit from her leather. After handing it over, she rubbed her nose against Kal’s cheek and whispered, “I love you, too, so much.”
With a frown, Kal watched Charlie and Kaden leave the quarters. For almost an hour, Charlie prepped a meal for everyone and urged Raine and Andren to eat when they arrived on the mess deck. Rather than joining them, she put together two plates for her and Kal. Kaden had already eaten a bowl of food and left, most likely following her nose to the garden.
“Do you need help taking the food back?” Andren asked when she came up to the counter with their dirty plates.
“Joh, I’ll be fine but tah.” Charlie considered what to do about beverages. She opted to take a large container filled with cold water; they both needed to rehydrate. “How are you feeling, sis?”
Raine leaned against the counter and was exhausted like the rest of them. “My arm is better.” She traded a tender glance with Andren. “How is Kal feeling?”
Charlie covered the plates of food and shut off the different appliances. “She is exhausted, but I think food and sleep will help a lot.” She turned back to her friends.
“And how are you doing?” Andren asked. Her stare was piercing, as if cutting away at Charlie’s restraint.
“I’m fine.” Charlie smiled at her guard and shrugged once. “It was a bad day that could have been a lot worse.” She tapped her fingers against the counter and said, “There’s a lot going on, but we’ll figure it out.”
Andren folded her arms and continued her stare.
“What?” Charlie pressed her palms flat against the counter and dared Andren to press her. Raine was looking between them both and narrowing her eyes.
“You almost lost your mate,” Andren stated.
“Almost,” Charlie reminded, straightened, and picked up a plate. “And right now, I want to eat and sleep.” The conversation was digging under her skin when it shouldn’t bother her. “You both need to rest too.”
Raine nudged Andren with her elbow. “Charlie is right.” She hooked Andren’s forearm and nodded toward the door. “Come on, Guardian.” With little effort, she dragged Andren off the mess deck.
Charlie hooked a finger through the container’s handle and grabbed the last plate. She departed behind them and went to her quarters, where Kal was asleep. The lights were dimmed to their lowest setting, which was enough for Charlie to set the plates on Kal’s nightstand. Between the bed and the nightstand, the Sword of Kalatas was propped up and ready to be used at a moment’s notice. The Bracelet of Kalatas was resting near one of the corners of the nightstand. Charlie hoped the bracelet finished regenerating so that it could help heal and provide additional power to Kal.
“Sumner.” Charlie urged her Alpha awake with a gentle touch and a few kisses. “I need you to eat.” A few times Kal had cared for her this way. In spite of the circumstances being bad, she was thankful to be able to reciprocate the care that Kal had shown her. “Come on,” she said again when Kal muttered something.
Kal rolled onto her back and rumbled with clear displeasure, but she looked up at Charlie. Her brief annoyance faded from her features. “Charlie,” she greeted in a sleepy tone and scrubbed her face, pulling herself up to lean against the propped-up pillows.
“Here.” Charlie handed her the plate and noticed the smell of the food seemed to energize Kal, “Try to eat everything.” She had given Kal a large portion in hopes it would help her Alpha heal and regenerate faster. They wouldn’t be a hundred percent tomorrow, but they would feel a lot better. In comfortable silence they ate until the plates were empty. After Charlie encouraged Kal to drink plenty of water, she cleaned up and spotted Kaden coming into the room.
Kaden trotted over to her nest near Charlie’s side of the bed. Once in bed, Charlie encouraged Kaden to lie in bed with them. She wanted all of her family close by tonight. She curled up against Kal’s side and wrapped an arm and leg across her mate, who was asleep in a few minutes, while Charlie struggled to shut down her mind. Several times she fought against today’s memories that caused a deep pressure in her chest. She tightened herself against Kal and released a shaky breath. After another steady inhale, she surrendered to the throbbing in her joints, the exhaustion in her muscles, and the weariness in her mind.
* * *
Charlie was the first to stir in the morning and regretted it as her sore muscles rallied against her. For a moment, she wondered which one of Andren’s ridiculous training drills had made her hurt this bad. But yesterday’s events returned to her and accelerated her heartbeat at the memory of almost losing her true mate. She jolted into more alertness and lifted her head with a jerk. Kal was secure next to her and the sight eased her panic.
“Charlie,” Kal muttered and turned onto her side, facing her human. “We are safe.” She pulled Charlie into her body.
Rolling onto her side with a groan, Charlie pressed her back into her Alpha’s front, and strong arms encircled her. Kal’s warm, spicy scent surrounded her and chased off the last of her worry. She clutched Kal’s bicep under the blankets and said, “Mine.”
Kal nuzzled into Charlie’s hair and took a deep breath before saying, “Yours.” She snuck a hand under Charlie’s T-shirt. Within a few minutes, they both dozed off for another hour or so until Kaden jumped off the bed and left the room.
Groaning, Charlie decided they had to face the new day soon. She cleared her throat and called, “Betty May, what’s the local time?”
“Good morning, Captain.” Betty May sounded cheery and already indicated it was before midday. “The local time is currently ten hundred fifty-one.” After she reported it, a lingering silence filled the room until Kal broke it.
“I have never once slept this late.”
Charlie laughed but whimpered after her sore muscles retaliated against her. She released a strained breath and turned onto her back so that she could see her Alpha in the dim light. “I think you have a really good excuse.” She traced Kal’s features with a light touch and recalled how swollen Kal’s eye had been less than twenty-six hours ago. Biting her lip, she contained her whimper but a lump had formed in her throat. “How are you feeling?”
“Better than yesterday,” Kal replied and turned her head to capture one of Charlie’s fingers in her mouth. She teased the tip with her tongue, then sucked on it before letting go. “How are you feeling?”
Charlie worked her jaw but nothing came out of her mouth. All she could focus on was the tingling from her finger and the burn between her legs. After a shaky breath, she managed a squeak of a reply. “S-Sore and, um… a bit turned on.”
Kal chuckled and grinned at her human below her. She tangled her fingers in Charlie’s hair, leaned over, and nuzzled into her temple. “Tell me how you are feeling inside here.” She nudged her nose against Charlie’s head and rumbled with a hint of authority.
Charlie closed her eyes and hooked Kal’s bicep again. “I’m fine, promise.” Why was everyone concerned with her mental state at the moment? The Sworne had attempted to kidnap her true mate, but she rescued Kal and ended it. The situation was over and Charlie wanted to move on.
“You are lying to yourself and me,” Kal murmured in Charlie’s ear. “When you are ready, we will discuss it.” Her scent was inviting and protective, which almost broke Charlie’s self-control.
“Later,” Charlie muttered and tightened her hold on Kal’s arm. “Krafka,” she whispered.
Kal nodded against her human’s temple and released a gentle thrum that eased them both. The affection in their bond continued to strengthen the longer they remained in each other’s arms. It was already late morning and there were people waiting on them. Yet they needed a little more time together without the demands of a planet hanging over them.
Sighing, Charlie nuzzled her Alpha and withheld the trauma from yesterday. They were due in Clabonne to face what mess the fucking Sworne left them with. Again, a twinge of selfishness bubbled to the surface the longer Charlie considered their pending future. There were fragments of her that still wanted to take Kal and flee from Kander. In the past, it had been easy to run away, escape threats, and pretend her life would go on. Now everything was different, for her and for the galaxy. This time she would hold her ground and stay at Kal’s side.
“How far are we from Clabonne?” Kal asked and started running her hands over Charlie’s skin. The soft touches chased off Charlie’s frenzied thoughts about the future.
“About a twenty-minute flight,” Charlie replied and hummed from the affection given to her aching body. Kal slid a hand lower and palmed Charlie’s ass. “There’s no reason to rush.”
“Other than our people last saw me being taken by the enemy,” Kal said into Charlie’s ear. She continued squeezing Charlie’s ass and then she snaked her right hand underneath Charlie’s shirt. Kal cupped Charlie’s breast and massaged it while her hips rubbed against Charlie’s backside. “But I think they can wait a little longer.”
Charlie moaned and rocked her ass against Kal’s hand. A needy haze was settling over her. She twisted her head around toward her lover. “We shouldn’t do this right now. You’re still recovering.”
Kal bowed her head and nuzzled into Charlie’s choppy hair. “I am fine.” She snuck her left hand under Charlie and drew their bodies even closer. “I need to be close to you after yesterday.” Her confession echoed what was in Charlie’s heart. With a simple nod from Charlie, they both came undone for each other. Kal pulled Charlie’s pajama bottoms off, then she removed her own.
Spreading her legs, Charlie reached between and clutched Kal’s already hard length. The tip was weeping with slick, which she smeared over the head before cupping the underside of the shaft. She started rocking her hips, allowing her pussy to glide up and down Kal’s cock. Every little vein and tiny ridge massaged her swelling clit, bringing out a guttural moan from her.
Kal rumbled and rucked Charlie’s shirt until two pert nipples were exposed. She cupped and massaged both breasts. Her hips rolled against Charlie’s ass, but she otherwise allowed Charlie to enjoy herself. “Tell me when you are ready,” she whispered and tweaked a nipple.
Bending her back, Charlie whimpered and jogged her hips a bit faster. “Another minute, krafka.” Kal chuckled in response, but Charlie was loving how good it felt to grind her clit against her lover’s shaft. She continued to clutch the underside with her right hand while her left fingers curled into Kal’s forearm. “It just feels so damn good.”
“Ja.” Kal played with Charlie’s nipples or palmed her breasts. Her body developed a soft tremble from the sheer restraint she held over herself. Waves of desire washed through their bond, signaling Kal’s consuming desire to be inside of her. Charlie knew Kal held the physical power to take full control, but she also felt her Alpha’s single-minded love for her. Her mate was waiting for her willingness and shuddered with anticipation against Charlie’s smaller body.
Charlie worked both of them into a frenzy. She was chasing a release that kept escaping her with each new stroke of her hips. She muffled a groan into Kal’s arm and broadcasted her frustration into their bond.
Kal growled low and dragged a hand up to Charlie’s throat, holding her. “Let me take you,” she said in a deep timber. Her scent had somehow increased and held a spicy aroma to it that made Charlie’s skin burn. Under the scent’s heat was an attractive note that reminded Charlie of cinnamon. If this was indeed Kal’s sexual pheromones, then Charlie could understand why mates rubbed their scents on each other.
With a whimper, Charlie covered the head of Kal’s cock and thumbed the coated tip. “I want it from behind. And I need to feel you all around me.” She ignored the forming lump in her throat and blinked away the pinpricks in her eyes. “Krafka, Sumner.” Her plea spurred Kal into action. Kal rolled them until Charlie was on her belly. Without hesitation, Charlie spread her legs and turned her head to one side when Kal shifted behind her.
Sitting up on her knees, Kal removed her shirt and revealed her bare and bruised upper body. After tossing the shirt, she fisted her cock once, then lowered herself over her lover. Her larger body cocooned Charlie and warded off the insecurities in the back of Charlie’s mind. With a slight tilt of her hips, she held her cock and rubbed the head between the velvety lips of Charlie’s soaked pussy. “Lift your ass for me.”
Charlie did so without hesitation and curled her fingers into the pillows above her head. She shook as Kal’s cock kissed her tight opening. A slight pressure built as Kal nudged forward at an excruciating slow pace. “In,” she pleaded, again and again, but Kal only gave her another small amount. She was prepared to move herself down, but Kal hooked her hip with a firm hand.
“I want to savor this,” Kal said in a growly voice. There was no room for Charlie to argue after she made her own demands earlier. They both had different needs to feel whole again after being torn apart yesterday. “I love watching my cock slide into you, filling you and joining us.”
Groaning, Charlie buried her face into the mattress for a beat and whined from the image painted in her mind from Kal’s words. Her toes dug into the sheet when Kal gave her a little more. She turned her head and gasped for air. The head of Kal’s cock was pressing against her G-spot and teased her. “Gods, you feel so fucking good.”
“So do you,” Kal whispered and pushed deeper into Charlie. “You are tight.” She pushed farther, but it wasn’t enough. “And warm.” She squeezed Charlie’s hip and said, “I’m going to start fucking you slow and deep.”
“Oh gods,” Charlie muttered and twisted her fingers in the pillows. She clenched her teeth and gave a pitiful noise that encouraged a chuckle from Kal. How could she survive a slow fuck? Using their connection, she demanded that Kal give her more because this was pure torture. Again, Kal responded with a throaty, amused sound.
“You can take it,” Kal assured her and emphasized her statement with a final plunge of her cock. She echoed Charlie’s moan and rocked her hips against Charlie’s ass. The head rubbed deep inside of Charlie. Kal then released Charlie’s hip, shifted, and lowered her upper body until she covered Charlie’s back, shoulders, and head. Her palms pressed into the mattress between the pillows and metal wall.
Biting her lip, Charlie tried to control her eagerness, but it was useless. Kal could sense every ounce of Charlie’s neediness. She wasn’t concerned that Kal would deny her, but she was unsure if she could withstand the buildup. Already her wetness was seeping out around Kal’s cock and soaking the sheet under her. Her clit throbbed to a painful degree. “S-Sumner, krafka. I don’t know if—” The sweet, tender movement of Kal’s hips cut off her plea.
When her cock neared Charlie’s G-spot, Kal went still and rumbled low and deep. “Can you feel every khir of my cock moving inside you?”
Charlie fumbled with the Kalmarese word for a small measurement on Kander, but she nodded in haste. She loved every inch, centimeter, or khir of her Alpha’s cock throbbing inside her. Kal was straining as much as Charlie, but at the moment, Kal had better self-control. She bit her lip and withheld her begging, knowing it would do nothing to help her. Kal was going to fuck Charlie her way.
With a grunt, Kal drove back inside of Charlie with a rough slap of their lower bodies. Again, she was motionless and ground her hips against Charlie’s ass. Her Alpha ego was rolling off her. Their bond indicated she was clearly pleased with herself and how much Charlie wanted her cock. At an agonizing pace, she withdrew her cock, paused, and then plunged back into Charlie.
“Vuk!” Charlie gave a throaty cry and snared her Alpha’s wrist, just above the watch. The stretch was perfect and promised her an orgasm later. Even if the wait might kill her. Then Kal was dragging her cock through Charlie’s slippery yet tight pussy. She braced herself for the next sudden thrust when Kal rubbed her cockhead against Charlie’s G-spot. For a third time, Kal sank into her in a single, harsh movement. Charlie lost track of how many times Kal slowly fucked her pussy, but she loved the repetitive wet slap of their bodies. She was approaching a breaking point and grabbed both of Kal’s forearms, snarled, and demanded, “Krafka, fuck me already.”
Hanging her head, Kal smirked at Charlie and whispered, “Then stop biting your lip, and hold on to me.” She pulled her hips back and gave Charlie a chance to ready herself for the ride. With a shift of her knees, she better braced her body against the mattress and released a dangerous growl in warning. There was a snap in their bond, then a surge of raw hunger poured through their connection, stealing Charlie’s breath. But she had asked her Alpha to take her.
Kal’s first thrust was hard, then followed faster ones that set a brutal pace. Charlie buried her knees into the mattress and welcomed her Alpha’s power over her. She raised her ass to meet the next onslaught of pumps and thrusts that made her walls flutter. Kal’s muscular body and scent enveloped her, holding her in place. Her heart pounded against her chest, humming in her ears. Charlie’s bruising grip on Kal’s forearms might leave marks later, but neither of them cared. All that mattered was finding their orgasms.
“You are close,” Kal said between grunts, then her drives went deeper again. She started to split Charlie in half, taking them both to the final bit of pleasure they both craved to share. Charlie responded with a keening noise and rocked back into every slap against her ass. Her core tightened more around Kal’s perfect girth. The spark in her belly broke free, stealing her breath, and a swell of pleasure consumed her. Above her, Kal plunged one last time into her and howled. Several warm splashes of slick coated Charlie’s quivering walls.
Charlie moaned and wriggled against the mattress. Kal’s taut, damp muscles molded against Charlie’s back. She whimpered and curled her nails into her Alpha’s arms, hooking a protruding vein. “S-Sumn…” Choking on her Alpha’s name, she shivered from another delicious quake through her body.
Breathing heavy, Kal pressed her head against the wall. The intensity in their bond was fading to a tender warmth, but an edge of hunger still hummed in the background. Kal took a deep breath, raised herself, and snuck an arm under Charlie’s chest. With little effort, she lifted them both and settled onto her butt with Charlie in her lap. Never once did they separate; Kal was still buried to the tip inside of Charlie.
Peering down, Charlie admired the tiny visible amount of Kal’s cock. She leaned back and gulped the air to steady her racing heart. Every fiber of her was alive from the good fucking, and being close to Kal. “W-We should get moving.” She reached behind and hooked her Alpha’s shoulder.
Kal lowered her head and purred into Charlie’s hair. “In a minute.” She locked an arm across Charlie’s chest while her left hand went between Charlie’s legs. Her fingers dipped between silky lips and brushed Charlie’s swollen clit. “I want you to come on my cock again.”