There was simply no mistaking the suggestion in Miho’s tone, nor the way her gaze lingered on certain parts of his anatomy before she made purposeful eye contact.
“Just how often do you get an open invitation from a princess?” she sighed out, and Orion could almost see those words: a sinuous line of seduction dropping a noose around his neck.
“Not often,” he admitted, fingers tensing into fists. “But I’m…”
“Not interested in girls like me?” she finished for him cheekily, and gave a shrug before turning toward the other end of the cabin. “That is a terrible shame.”
“You like to put words in the mouths of others, don’t you?” he said, close behind her, and Miho grinned.
“I do,” she agreed, playfully, and when she lolled her head back, she was satisfied to find it nestled quite snuggly against his shoulder at the crook of his neck. “Are you feeling the need to reciprocate?” she purred, speaking against his throat. “Or is there something other than words you’d like to put into my mouth?”
“Among other places,” he hissed, hands falling against her hips and digging in lightly.
The taste of adrenaline was still bitter on his tongue, and though he was not oblivious to the dangers of becoming entangled with a woman like Miho, she was right. There had been many times, close calls – some far too close – he had returned to the Promise wound so tightly he thought he’d shatter. And there was little release but for his own company, which was a far cry from the intoxicating promise of a woman’s delicate flesh beneath his fingers.
“Go on then, Captain,” she whispered, grinding back against him. “Don’t be shy, take what you want – I won’t complain… unless you disappoint me.”
She had barely uttered the last taunting word when Orion pushed her forward, forcing her to brace with her hands against the cold, metal shutter.
“That’s a start,” she sighed, the heat of his fingers sliding from her belt buckle to curl over the top of her leggings and drag downwards to her ankles.
“Shame you didn’t get to wear your new outfit very long,” he said against the top of her shoulder, his hands snaking over her breasts to the zipper of her jacket.
“Damn shame,” she grinned, spinning around the moment her jacket hit the floor and crushing her lips against his.
This brought back the rush of their retreat, and with the pressure of an entire city looking for a killer squeezing them tightly, their bodies released control and inhibition. In a frenzy of clattering peripherals and the rustle and fling of fabric, both ignored the possibility of the shutters suddenly opening, and enjoyed unconstrained exploration of each other’s bodies.
Orion was unsurprised Miho was no shrinking violet, meeting the urgency of his own mounting want with equal fervour. He put aside the idea she had won her way like this in other circumstances, for it honestly didn’t matter. Instead, with chest heaving and eyes smouldering, he watched as she slid down his body and settled on her knees.
“Sit,” she commanded, wicked smile adding to the already prominent sense of danger twisted with desire in Orion’s stomach. “Or you will fall,” she added, smoothing her palms up his thighs, her thumbs grazing sensitive flesh until her hands fell completely away.
She sat before him, but Orion was under no illusion that she had the power. The slightest touch of her tongue against the tip of his shaft was excruciating, a fleeting shock of exquisite sensation that caused him to shudder and inch forward. When he reached out to cup her cheek, then comb his fingers into her hair, she seemed pleased, and rewarded him with the full, moist warmth of her mouth and the delicious force of her lips around his cock.
Dropping his head back, Orion let out a low groan, tightening his grip in Miho’s hair and drawing her back and forth against him with increasing fervour. And even trough watering eyes, Miho’s focus remained fixed on him defiantly, challenging him not to cum embarrassingly soon while doing everything she could to push him right over the edge. Her tongue swirled purposeful circles each time he passed her lips, and though she braced herself against the bench with one hand, the other encouraged his arousal with playful fingers.
“Grrr, enough!” he barked suddenly, and actually caught Miho off guard when he pushed her backwards.
Just as it seemed her head would crack against the floor, she felt it cushioned by the curl of Orion’s arm beneath, followed by his weight on top.
“Reached your limit alr…” she began cheekily, but her triumphant chuckle was muffled unexpectedly by a kiss so fierce, so deep and probing, when he allowed her to surface she was gasping for breath.
“Ha,” she hissed out. “A man who’ll kiss a girl who not moments ago had her lips around his cock?”
“No doubt they’ve been worse places,” he volleyed, burying his face in her neck and his free hand between her legs.
An intense shock burst through her, so sharp and delightful her back arched against the firm massage of his thumb on her clit, while his fingers curled within.
“Ahh, not the first time you’ve done this,” she exhaled heavily, lips quivering as he dragged his teeth over her shoulder before returning ravenously to her mouth.
His erection pressed insistently into her inner thigh, and she wanted it, wanted to feel full, but Orion was now trailing kisses down her body – over her breasts, pinching one nipple between his teeth before settling his face between her legs and lapping over the inflammation of her sensitive bud.
“Ohhh… yes…” she moaned, sifting her fingers through his hair as he worked magic into her flesh.
A strangely familiar, oddly nostalgic sense flickered within her, along with the intricate motion of Orion’s tongue, but it was fleeting – overwhelmed as she lifted to her pelvis to meet each skilled thrust and the determined suckle over her clit.
“Give me more!” she demanded hoarsely, digging her fingernails into his shoulders and trying to pull him back up.
Orion lifted his head, licking his lips, his chin, and his expression told Miho he was both drunk with carnal desire and fighting it at the same time.
“We can’t,” he panted, shaking his head, but there was a persistent glaze in his eyes that Miho knew well – and it begged him to throw caution to the wind.
“Oh, yes we can,” she growled, shoving against his slightly sweat glistening chest with enough force to push him back into a crouch. “And we’re going to.”
“Miho, wait,” he insisted when she crawled forward against him, curling one arm round his neck.
“You think covert operatives don’t take chemical precautions?” she rasped before biting down on his lower lip, drawing it into his mouth and dragging away slowly, all the while grinding her hips against his lap, coiling her legs around him. “Or is it you think I’m the danger here?”
“Oh, you’re a danger,” he grimaced, his hands gripping her waist, but his efforts to keep her from working his shaft to her impatient entrance, were at best half-hearted.
“Your doctor,” she whispered against his soft earlobe, “gave me a clean bill of health.”
Orion hadn’t thought of that, and it was true.
“Are you sure?” he managed, voice strained, brows knitted, and again Miho had cause to look amused… then extremely serious.
“Let me sink down on you, Captain,” she breathed, speaking the words from one corner of his mouth to the other. “Let me swallow you whole, squeeze you – I want you pulsing inside me, pounding until I cum so hard I forget my own name.”
That was waaaay too much for Orion, who instantly pulled her down onto him, full force penetration, a deep sense of satisfaction and the reckless abandon of his animal instincts.
There were no more words to spare, just the frantic ballet of Miho’s body undulating against Orion, the joining of their bodies a passionate, rhythmic dance set to the sound of heavy breathing, the slap of skin on skin, and the mounting inevitability of each other’s climax.
And when they had rocked the boat – and each other – most thoroughly, Orion drew Miho into his arms and held her as they both tried to catch their breaths, lightly stroking her arm, across her collarbone, her throat, with feather-light fingertips.
“Are you all right?” he asked softly, brushing moist hair from her forehead.
“Oh yes,” Miho grinned languidly, bathing in the afterglow. “Is it bad of me to hope this lockdown continues so you can regain some of your stamina?”
Orion exhaled a husky chuckle.
“Yes,” he answered, humming a little before making another addition. “And… no.”
“And for a bounty hunter you came across as such an upstanding individual,” Miho laughed, and stretched out her legs a little, legs that Orion promptly entwined with his own. “Mmm you know, there is only one other man in all the galaxy I know with that tongue technique,” she mused, tracing her fingertip around one of Orion’s nipples, the sharp edge leaving a light scratch mark among many much deeper. “And I guarantee he isn’t enjoying himself nearly as much as you are right now.”
“Tongue technique?” Orion repeated, on the verge of expressing her lack of manners talking about another man while he still held her in his arms, but he shuddered a little as Miho slithered her tongue front he nipple she’d been torturing, to his Adam’s apple.
“Don’t look so offended, Orion,” she breathed, kissing lightly along his tensed jawline. “It’s a compliment of the highest order – believe me…”
A little awkwardly given the compact nature of the cabin, Miho wriggled until she laid on top of Orion, and settled back against his chest.
“Very few can make me see stars like that,” she sighed blissfully. “I almost want to keep you.”
“I’m not a pet,” he frowned, but Miho simple placed her lips over each crease.
“No, but you could be a delectable periodic pitstop in my travels,” she pointed out, the tip of her nose touching his as she peered down into eyes she felt now were also quite familiar.
This time, however, she chose to say nothing on the subject, and kissed him again – this time so very gently, almost tenderly. It made Orion’s head spin a little at how quickly this woman changed gears, but while they continued to be in lockdown, there were worse things in the universe to do… than her.
Returning to the Promise after the end of the lockdown proved to be a non-event. No one had come to search the water taxi in which Miho and Orion had taken refuge, and Miho found this curious though obviously convenient. She and the captain didn’t talk about what they had done, and they sure as hell weren’t holding hands and singing love songs, but there was an oddly comfortable familiarity between them; both had enjoyed the unexpected interaction, and Miho marked Orion down as definite ‘contact’.
If only Jaxon knew how detailed her ‘little black book’ of names was, he’d be floored.
“You look well rested,” Jazz noted, seeming a little tired herself, rubbing her eyes.
“And you don’t,” Orion frowned. “Everything alright?”
“Well, that depends on your definition,” she shrugged, and opened her mouth to continue when Jenna came racing up to them, Atlas trudging behind her more slowly – probably because he was carrying several heavy looking bags.
“You’ll never guess what happened!” she exclaimed giddily, and Miho arched a brow at her enthusiasm. “Atlas and I got locked into the apartment Jaxon’s source sent us to, and there was only one bed!”
By the time Atlas had stomped to Jazz’s side and dropped his cargo, Jazz was looking at him with interest.
“Don’t gimme that look, Love,” Atlas rumbled, leaning closer to her. “Made her sleep on the floor.”
“Only one bed, huh?” Miho chuckled. “Wow, Orion and I didn’t even get that lucky.”
Orion coughed, then cleared his throat.
“So long as everyone is back in one piece,” he said in a bit of a rush, which awarded him inquisitive looks from both Jazz and Atlas.
“Don’t celebrate just yet,” Jazz edged in. “There’s someone waiting for you. Soon as he saw the Promise, he refused to leave.”
Even before Orion’s head snapped to Miho, she knew who he was referring to, and she rolled her eyes.
“Ugh, well I have questions for Commodore Fairchild myself,” she grunted, and began stomping up the ramp.
But before Miho could reach the bridge, Orion caught her wrist.
“Wait a second,” he exhaled, giving her a slight nudge against the wall.
“You want to go again right here?” she queried, but she didn’t seem really in the mood.
“No,” he shook his head. “There’s something you should know.”
“Clone?” she offered with a slightly raised eyebrow.
“What?” Orion responded, confused.
“No, you’re right,” Miho mused, tilting her head a little. “Cunnalingus instructor? Nah, that doesn’t explain your eyes. Cousin? Brother?”
Orion blinked at Miho openly, and she chortled.
“You’re being ridiculously obvious, Captain,” she laughed, giving his cheek a light pat. “All I need now is some confirmation.”
“Brother,” Orion answered, lifting his chin a little. “We’re twins.”
Miho chewed her lower lip, considering him nose to nose.
“Special arrangement indeed,” she smirked, then began again down the corridor to the bridge.
There, she found Nova and Jaxon ‘guarding’ Antares, who got to his feet and glowered at her fiercely; not to be intimidated, Miho threw down the bag carrying her weapon, and simply stood her ground.
“Are you going to bow to your princess, or say hello to your brother first?” she smile smugly, and Antares swept up to her, incredibly unamused.
“What, are you doing here, Miho?” he growled, but Orion forced his way in between them as the others arrived on the bridge.
“Atlas,” he said, though he was still looking at Antares. “I’d like to get clear of this planet.”
“Can we dump him first?” Atlas grated, handing over what he was carrying to Nova, before flopping into his seat.
“Got a little something on your cape there, Commodore,” Miho grinned around Orion’s shoulder. “Not really up to uniform code.”
“I could say the same thing for you, Princess,” he volleyed coldly. “What were you doing on Eryl, and why are you with him?”
“Why do you insist on asking questions you know I’m not going to answer?” Miho sniffed. “Furthermore, I need a shower, and I’m absolutely starving – Captain?”
“You can use my quarters,” he acquiesced. “Jenna, could you show her where…”
“Stay right where you are,” Antares commanded, and Jenna froze, looking helpless.
“This is my ship, Commodore,” Orion said, his tone tight. “And Miho is a guest, and while she is a guest, my word is the only one that matters. Go ahead, Princess, just follow Jenna.”
Without another sideways glance at Antares, Miho followed Jenna off the bridge.
“You have no idea what you’re dealing with here,” Antares dropped crisply.
“I’m starting to get an idea,” Orion answered slowly. “Nova, I think our guest is probably going to need a fresh towel.”
“I got it,” Jaxon ejected, leaping up, but both Orion and Antares barked at him.
“Don’t you dare,” Antares hissed, pointing at Jaxon.
“Yes, Captain,” Nova acknowledged, and departed.
“Let’s go and wait in the lounge,” Orion then suggested, and the pair of brothers moved out with Jaxon, to the sound of Atlas cursing the Empire dead-weight on board.
Miho hummed as the water ran down her body, smiling whimsically as she smeared herself in soapy suds until she was thoroughly clean. She was still enjoying the warmth when there was a solid knock on the bathroom door, followed by the appearance Nova with a towel folded over her arm.
“Princess, the captain asked me to bring you this,” Nova said, loud enough for Miho to hear her.
Without hesitation, Miho shut off the water and stepped out of the spacious glass cubicle, dripping from head to toe.
“Mmm,” she murmured with a slight stretch. “I don’t suppose I can convince you to give me a hand? A couple perhaps?”
“Are you unable to manage on your own, Highness?” Nova enquired, deadpan. “Are princesses not taught to dress themselves?”
“Of course, I can,” Miho admitted. “But team work is always so much more… rewarding.”
“So, you are offering me a reward in exchange for my services?” Nova surmised, with eyebrows raised.
“My goodness, you make it all sound so sordid,” Miho chuckled, then reached for the towel that Nova relinquished.
“When you are ready, I will escort you to the lounge where you are awaited,” Nova declared, then exited to give Miho her privacy.
She didn’t rush, but didn’t dally too long either, and though without her tiara, she entered the lounge most regally with her escort and took stock of the room.
Everyone except Atlas was present, but even under the weight of their combined scrutiny, Miho didn’t seem the smallest bit uncomfortable.
Of course, it was Antares who spoke first, rocking to his feet, tall and straight.
“Imagine my surprise when I met with Admiral Yuul on Eryl – foremostly to determine what he was hauling that could have interested you so much,” he began, taking measured steps in Miho’s direction, “when he pops like a balloon before discussion can even commence.”
“They just don’t make Empire admirals like they used to,” Miho sighed, but there was cheek sparkling wildly in her eyes.
“Or princesses,” Jaxon muttered under his breath.
“Oh I’m the new improved model,” she announced triumphantly, defiance in the tip of her chin, which Antares swiftly snatched, thumb pressing firmly into her skin.
“New model?” he questioned, and he was looking for something, looking at her in a way he never had before.
“Antares,” Orion barked sternly. “Let her go.”
Deliberately, Antares craned his neck to look at his brother, which Miho remained still and remarkably unreactive to Antares’ physical trespass.
“What exactly is going on here?” Antares asked slowly, his gaze loitering on Orion a moment before passing an expectant eye over the rest before finally returning to Miho. “How in this or any other galaxy did you manage to get them on your side?”
“Magic,” Miho offered through a wicked grin.
A moment of silence fell, before Antares worked his jaw – cast Orion a meaningful glance – then resume his assessment of Miho’s expression.
“You didn’t,” he stated, voice low and quiet, perhaps only loud enough for she and him to hear.
“Why don’t you ask the questions you really want answers to, Commodore,” she whispered, leaning a little against his hold to breath upon his lips.
There was something there in Antares’ face, Miho relished. Though it was ever so fleeting, his conclusion Orion’s reaction was because she had slept with him, did not sit well.
“Did you murder Admiral Yuul?” Antares asked flatly, now seeming in an even fouler mood.
“Oh yes,” Miho confirmed, satisfaction in the way she swaggered to Orion’s side and sat down. “Still, let me throw you a breadcrumb for free and say, I didn’t expect him to deflate any more than you did – though, the look on your face was priceless.”
“Deflate?” Tyrian repeated.
“Yep,” Miho nodded. “No bloody nuggets as expected, just a burst of purple light and then a crumpled skin-sack.
“What the hell kind of being is that?” Jenna scowled, glancing up from the tablet she was tapping on.
“Yuul was human,” Miho responded. “Was, is, I don’t know what it was I killed, but it wasn’t the actual Admiral Yuul.”
“What are you thinking, Commodore?” Jazz prompted, noting Antares’ pensive silence.
“You didn’t know?” Antares asked Miho seriously, and she straightened in her seat.
“Yuul needed killing,” she explained clearly. “All his other crimes aside, he’s one of my father’s ass monkeys. If that wasn’t him, and it wasn’t, then where is he?”
“This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this,” Antares stated, and he had everyone’s attention.