Yup, that time of the week again.
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***Warning. The following story contains erotic elements, explicit language and violence. Read at your own risk.***
Ursus ran the boat onto the beach. He glanced at the darkening sky and pushed it farther in. Scanning the beach, he searched for a sign of her passing. Footprints across the sand moved inland, into thick vegetation. What was she doing? Was this where she lived?
He checked his weapon. Fully charged. The star would fall soon and the island would be wrapped in darkness. Ursus had lived on the world long enough to know that was when the predators came out. He’d need to get to high ground, shelter and be behind the protection of a fire.
The cliffs looked promising. Caves could provide cover, but what about Tesza? The urge to protect her was too strong. He needed to set up camp then find her. She wasn’t safe alone.
Ursus shoved vegetation out of his face. The cliffs stood in front of him. Climbing hand over hand up their surface was Tesza. He squinted and eyed her as she stopped and plucked a fruit from a vine growing on the rocky surface. She tucked it in the fold of her shirt she’d created by clamping the bottom of the garment in her teeth. She scooted sideways along the rocks and grabbed another.
Perhaps this was the cure? She’d gone to a lot of trouble for the fruit.
She reached a ledge pulled herself up and walked into the mouth of a cave. He dropped back into the foliage when she peeked out, looking down. She scanned back and forth for a couple of seconds then ducked back in.
Ursus approached the cliffs and began to climb. When he reached the ledge he spotted her with her back to him, cracking the fruit against a rock. He crept up behind her.
Tesza froze, dropping the rock in her hand. She jumped to her feet and spun around. First fear, then her face relaxed.
He didn’t say anything. He took two steps, grabbed her by the shoulders and pressed his forehead against hers.
“You shouldn’t have followed me. The rains are coming. If they get heavy, you won’t make it back to the city.”
He lifted his head and slid his hand up to her cheek. He had no intention of going back without her. “Wherever you go, I will follow. You’re my soul.”
“Why? You can’t have me.”
“I can’t live without you.” Even now an ached built in his chest, threatening to burst open and bleed out.
Tesza shrugged his hands off and stepped back. “You can’t leave in the dark, but come daylight, perhaps the rains will hold off.”
“I’m not leaving you,” he said.
“You can’t come with me.”
“Then neither of us will go anywhere.”
Tesza began to gather brush, putting it into a pile. She glanced over her shoulder. “Do you have a lazr’?”
Ursus pulled his weapon and fired at the pile, engulfing it in flames. He holstered it and reached up, slipping his thumbs under the straps of his pack, dropping it to the floor.
Tesza whipped around, firelight danced across the surface of her skin. She stepped back. “What are you doing?”
“We’re camping for the night? Yes?”
Her gaze rested on the pack. She swallowed. “Yes.”
He stooped down and dug a couple of blankets from the pack and spread one out. “Come here.”
Tesza shook her head and backed deeper into the cave.
“Don’t make me come after you.”
“This is a bad idea.”
“The storms will chill the air. If you want to stay warm, we need to sleep together near the fire.”
Tesza slid down the wall and sat on her heels, staring at him like a wary animal. “Give me a blanket. I’ll be fine.”
Ursus growled and strode forward. He snatched her wrist and tossed her over his shoulder, carting her over to the cave opening. “Stop delaying the inevitable.”
“No. Put me down.”
He carried her outside where the rain had already started. “It’s too late. The rain’s here.”
Ursus could feel Tesza lift her head from his back as she studied the sky.
“Put me down, now.”
He complied, taking his time, letting her slide down his chest, keeping as much body to body contact as he could. Her shirt caught on his equipment harness and rolled up as her feet made the trip to the ledge.
Ursus explored the skin left exposed, sliding his hand along it, leaving his fingers splayed on her lower back. She tilted her head up. Little drops of rain raced down her forehead and cheeks, continuing lower, forming a trail that soaked her shirt, ran between her breasts and disappeared beneath the drenched fabric.
He followed their path, lowering his head and kissing the raindrops from her breasts.
Tesza clutched him tight and gasped.
“There’s nowhere to go now,” Ursus whispered against her bare skin. “The monsoons have come.”
“They’ll be light at first. We can make it to mainland if we leave in the morning. We can’t be together. It’s over.” Tesza broke free and tipped her head up, letting the rain pelt her face, trying to hide tears Ursus had already seen. “I don’t want you.”
“Liar,” Ursus whispered. He held his hand up and let the torrent fill his palm. “It falls like ice, but I can taste the heated rain on your skin.” His fingers stroked her cheek, brushing down her shoulder. “And you tremble under my touch.”
His nostrils flared. “Am I?” He grabbed her hand and put it over his heart. “Do you believe in destiny?”
“The only destiny is the one we make.” Her eyes widened and drifted up until she gazed into his.
“No. I never planned to love my enemy.” He held her gaze, letting her feel the beat of his heart. “For you. It beats for you. It always has. I can’t deny my destiny, nor can you.” He lowered his mouth and nibbled her bottom lip. “You were made for me. Your body melds to mine. We fit. We belong. Our energies reach for each other.” The steam from his breath floated between them. He pressed his forehead to hers and energy radiated from every place of contact, proving his point.
“You’d die to love me,” she whispered.
“I’ll die if I don’t.” Ursus captured her lips, drawing the air from her lungs and the spirit from her fight. He wouldn’t give her another chance to resist. He could no longer hold back.
How could she deny she hungered for him, starved for him? Ached? It had been all he’d felt since he’d first seen her in the sector of the old city. Her hands slid up his chest and she let him take possession her. Was there life without her?
He scooped her into his arms and took her back to the cave, where he intended to strip her bare and prove to her that he couldn’t live without her.
Ursus lifted his head and stared into her eyes. “What haunts you?”
Tesza shivered. “You.”