We make it to the hangar quick enough that we beat my hard-on back, but not by much. It’s dark inside and out now, and that suits me fine. Can’t go in the ship, Heloise would birth an escape pod. I pick up the little tease and put her down on some crates and then I’m on top of her.
She jerks my pants hard enough to solve the misaligned button problem the easy way. That callused little palm glides along the underside of my cock as she looks up at me. I can barely see her, just the barest shine along the curve of her cheek and in her eyes from the open bay doors. But I can see the wanton shape of her mouth and I have to taste it.
My tongue in her mouth… she tastes like far too many drinks, any one of which could put me down. One of my hands is trapped under her head, but the other travels down over rumpled cloth to the place where her ass makes it taut. It’s possible I return the damage she did to my pants in taking hers down; none of that matters. All I can feel is the sudden warm shift of her hips against mine, which makes me see stars.
Remi is human enough, or not so far off so’s you’d notice. She was born shipboard, like most people I know, and for the most part she’s happy enough to be perceived as human. When you’re as close to her as I am now, though, you can tell – the ridges along the back of her neck, the texture of her tongue, the odd swoop of her hipbones that gives her that rolling, drunken gait. It’s perfect for fitting her body against mine, that bone structure, which she does now, letting my cock slip across her sex at the wrong angle. Eyes glittering, she grinds against me, and I growl, gripping one of her thighs and pulling it up around me to forcibly realign her posture.
Her head falls back with a loud knock against the crate as I push the first inch into her. She closes her eyes and moans softly, and then I hide my own against her neck. I taste the sweat on her skin. I close my teeth on her clavicle and she jerks her hips, sinking me deep into her. “Aah, Renholder – ” I gasp and finish the job by slamming her down onto the crate. That perfect seal between us is made – the inescapable metaphor of ships interlocking – shut the hell up, Zarkov, the business at hand! Remi’s fingernails along my spine help me get back on task.
I’m making a gleeful mess of her clothing to trap a hard little nipple between my fingers, roll it there, make her whimper. And she does. She’s a beast to bargain with, and fearless, but when I’m balls-deep inside Remi Renholder she might as well be a kitten. I’m not the only one she does this with, I know – she’s an old friend but we’ve never been consistent, nor wanted to be. There is this kind of synchronicity, though. I always seem to find her when I really need her, and find that she needs exactly the same thing. Her wet thighs lock around mine and she starts to rock, riding me from below, and a rippling convulsion passes through her from the base of my cock to the tip. Groaning, I fall into her rhythm. A kind of ravenousness is overtaking me, worse even than usual after a few weeks in space. Maybe it’s the drink; maybe it’s the taste of her skin, the eager clench of her muscles, the wet, velvet stroking of her pussy spasming around me. I can’t think, want to drown in her.
I lift up on one elbow to look at her face, thrusting into her slowly to keep my own tenuous control. There are waves in her eyes, like her head is full of water, sloshing each time I shove into her. She looks as dizzy as I feel. That mouth is open again, admitting her helpless moans. I push two fingers into it and her lips clamp down, her tongue twists around my fingertips. Fucking her mouth as I fuck her pussy… I can feel her hand slip between us to stroke herself, and I bite my lip. “That’s it, Renholder,” I mutter, speeding up the rhythm. “Tease yourself… Come on my cock… Show me how much you’ve fucking missed me, you hungry little whore!” And I’m usually such a polite person. She moans around my fingers and her back arches. Her cunt grips me like a fist. It’s too much.
I damn near leap back, up on one knee on the crate, and as soon as my shadow’s out of the way I can see her body convulsing like mad. Ecstasy crashes through her and bends her like a bow, those thin hips desperately humping the air, riding the phantom cock now throbbing in my hand. The dim light shines off her wet, swollen lips and I can see them twitching with each pulse of her orgasm. Too much! I don’t even need to stroke; my cock jerks in my hand and seems to explode, spattering her thighs and cunt with stream after stream of cum. Hot on her skin, running down over her pussy, it seems to send her into another spiral of pleasure. Her legs wrap around me and pull me back down, and I get to feel the second spasm fluttering against my shaft while she grinds it out on my still-hard cock.
My head still swimming, face resting in the curve of her neck, I only notice that the lights have come on when it dimly registers that the backs of my eyelids are red, rather than that nice, comforting black. But the scandalized voice of my navigator brings everything back into focus.
Now, let’s not overstate this situation. Arrow has seen me in my skin more than once at this point. I’d hesitate to count up the number of times she’s had to drag me out of a pile of tender hands because their owners wanted them back, or help me out a window and scamper behind me back to the ship while my bare backside blinks in the moonlight.
For this reason, it takes me a moment to sort out just why my navigator sounds so horrified. I’ve got maybe twenty years on her, it’s true, but I don’t like to think my rutting buttocks are a sight to strike a young girl blind. Also, there’s a damp, squirming thing in my arms, and any man can tell you how distracting that can be. Somewhere in my head, Reason is kicking aside the empty bottles and muttering to itself. Why does every day end in screaming women, one way or another? One under this mess, one at the door, and can’t anybody sort a damn thing out without the Captain. Come on, then, Captain. Remember that, Captain?
I unearth one of my arms from beneath Remi, surprisingly heavy in a quiescent state. The other arm is a bit tired, but solid. Then I glance down, taking inventory of the bottom half. One thing at a time. Captain-style.
Captain-style is apparently bottomless. I clamber off the crates and hook a foot inside my crumpled trousers, which nearly drops me. While I’m turning a pratfall into a startling, acrobatic new method for donning pants, I manage to dart a look in the direction of the door. There stands Arrow, hair frizzy but not as frizzy as it should be if she’d taken my advice like a good girl. Her face is white. Unusually upset. Hmm.
I’d be the first – but not the last – to tell you that I don’t understand women. Well, I don’t understand people, but fortunately the natural difficulty of intergalactic interaction whitewashes a great deal in terms of social awkwardness. When you’re struggling to remember the proper honorific with which to address something with more eyes than you have teeth, your poor grasp on human mating rituals suddenly seems less crippling than it did last night at the bar. In moments of intellectual stress, I tend to focus deeply on the subject of my confusion. This often helps me eliminate distractions, but – as in this moment – it can make me miss critical data. Like, for example, the thing with more eyes than I have teeth standing behind Arrow, similarly pale but with a better excuse.
My navigator recognizes the level, crosseyed look I’m wearing now. Her mouth hardens from shock into exasperation, and she gives me three seconds to spit out something coherent. And I could! Though bookending an evening with liquor to start and Remi to finish is rather like having your ears boxed with cinderblocks, a tongue that won’t quit is one of the tempting features that come with the Zarkov classic model. But just as I’m stumbling through my memory banks looking for this creature’s species, let alone its name, Arrow saves me the trouble.
“Captain, this is Gren Paquet. He’s come to purchase the –”
“I think not.” I can’t see which part of this creature – this man, evidently – he’s using to speak, but his voice makes me fasten up my pants in a hurry. He steps past Arrow and halves the distance between us, but most of those eyes aren’t looking at me. At first I think they’re looking at Remi, who from the sound of it is fumbling for her own clothing. But her slipshod arrival at my side, and then scrambling departure from the hangar – little coward, I’ll punish her for that next time I’m in town – don’t redirect his gaze at all. He’s staring at the crates. And then I remember what’s in them, and I can see myself turning pale in a hundred tiny blue eyes.
“Your listing clearly indicated untainted slimewine.” An orifice flares on his frontmost surface. “If I want the taste of human lust on the back of my throat, I need only breathe deep in any bar on this stinking planet.”
I turn back to the crates, and then approach them with dragging steps. I know what I’m going to see, but I need to see it anyway. One thumb pops the vacuum seal, and when the lid lifts off, I stare down at thirty-six bottles of wine, each one a deep, fiery red. Nothing wrong with that, not at all, no. Except that slimewine is clear in its natural state. When it’s placed in proximity to an emotional discharge from most sentient races, it begins to molecularly mimic the chemical structure of that discharge. It’ll do this one time. After a few minutes, its structure solidifies, and no power in the verse can turn it to anything else. There are folks who will pay a month’s wage for Palomen despair, or the delicate cruelty of a Trypti love affair. Human lust, never a scarce resource even when we only had one planet, is the kind of wine you’d use in cooking if you ran out of vinegar. But untainted slimewine? The kind I had before I fucked Remi senseless all over it? That could keep us flying for a year.
There’s no point in meeting any two of my buyer’s eyes. He can smell what I can see – an erstwhile fortune that will now cost me more to move than it’ll sell for. I don’t hear him leave, but I do hear Arrow sigh, and the sounds of her pad as she scrolls through the ship’s mail.
“I don’t need to tell you that was the only offer,” she says. She comes to stand beside me and look down at the spoiled wine. “I fueled up, but we can’t afford any cargo that’ll be worth a damn.” She’s looking at me. I can tell by the shape of her cheek in the corner of my eye. She gives me another three seconds, but she’s worked for me long enough to tell when I mean to make her do the work of saying what we both know.
“If you want to make it to Irmo, we’ll have to take on passengers.”
I nod. Another three seconds, and she starts poking at her pad. Finally I groan.
“I’ll do it, I’ll do it.” I turn and stalk toward the hangar door. Getting light out there. Goddamn it. “Get those crates loaded back up. Can’t sell that shit now. I suppose we’ll just have to enjoy it,” I growl.
“You think I would drink lusty slimewine with you, Captain? Do you still have your head in Renholder’s –”
Ah, early morning. The peace, the quiet. The slam of the hangar door. A few deep breaths of the cold return some modicum of clarity. Food first. Then the wretched work of drumming up paying clientele. And then – someday, perhaps someday – sleep.