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Wild, Beautiful and Damned

By Gemini
Page 2 of 7

      Blake flushed at the suggestion, sweat prickling at his skin. Avon was smiling slightly at him, enjoying Blake's embarrassment. That Halil found Blake desirable as well was unexpected. Blake had never thought of himself as particularly attractive and never in terms of what other men might desire. Admittedly, he had begun working out recently, exercising more in the face of a few well-aimed barbs from Avon about his size. But, he reminded himself repeatedly, he did it for himself, not Avon,

      His attention was drawn back to the Akhaiaian leader as Halil spoke. "So, I thank you for the honour you do me in providing such an exquisite gift." Halil paused, gesturing a young man forward. "Josa will show you to quarters where you may freshen up before our midday meal. When you are ready, he will bring you to the banquet hall where we can discuss our mutual interests at leisure."

      "Lord Halil." Blake inclined his head and, after a moment, so did Avon. One step behind the servant, they followed Josa through more ornately tiled halls and impressive entrance ways. Josa paused in front of a large statue of a naked man, feet anchored to the ground by vines, arms extended towards the sky. The servant pressed his hand to a small blue panel on the wall beside the statue, and the tiling separated, revealing a luxurious suite.

      "This is yours for the duration of your visit. If you wish anything, or when you are ready to return to Lord Halil, I will be outside the door." He bowed deeply and exited.

      Blake prepared himself to face a furious torrent of verbal abuse but it never came. Avon stared at him, all expression wiped from the chiselled features, then turned away without a word, moving to look out onto the balcony adjoining the suite's main room.

      Unsure if his words would provoke Avon's anger, Blake was reluctant to speak first. Keeping an eye on the dark, silent figure, he explored the room. The plush carpet covering the floor echoed the statue outside. The rich fabric portrayed a beautiful young man, vines wrapped around his legs, arms stretched above his head as though bound. The muscles of the slim frame were tautly stretched and he was obviously erect. Shaking his head with no small degree of bemusement, Blake walked around, opening the doors to: a luxurious marble bathroom; a large closet full of various bits of clothing; and the bedroom. One eyebrow rose at the sight. The bed was huge, in the old four-poster style, covered with black silken sheets. Light filtered in through sheer curtains at the window. The carpet was thicker here, Blake bent to feel the soft texture; so very different from the starkness of their cabins on the Liberator, different too from his simple home on Earth. More along Avon's lines, he thought. Unbidden, a picture of Avon sprawled across the bed filled his mind. His breath caught at the intensity of his response and his heart began to pound. He was suddenly aware of Avon's presence behind him. Thoughts that had never before entered his mind, entered it now, only to have the image shattered by Avon's uncompromising question. "Well?"

      "Well what?" Blake asked in irritation. That was a mistake, it gave Avon an opening.

      "Just when," he inquired, with icy calm, "are you going to explain to Halil that I am not your slave to give to whomsoever you choose?"

      Damn Avon! Blake turned to face his adversary. "It's not like that, and you know it."

      Avon's words were clipped and deliberate. "Then just what is it like?"

      "I don't want to offend the man," Blake replied. He held up a hand to stall Avon's inevitable protest. "I'm sure he'll understand if I explain that Earth customs are different. I'll find a solution."

      Avon smiled, as if an amusing thought had crossed his mind. "His customs demand a sleeping partner. Perhaps we should offer you up as the sacrificial lamb; Halil did seem to find you quite attractive."

      Blake's ears burned hot in embarassment, and Avon's obvious pleasure at his discomfort did nothing to make him feel any better. "Maybe I will," he said abruptly.

      Avon snorted. "I wasn't serious. The whole idea is obscene."

      "I need this allience, Avon. If it takes sleeping with Halil to achieve it, then maybe, just maybe, I'll do that."

      Avon glared at him angrily for a moment, then whirled away to stare out of the window. "You're a fool, Blake. You're allowing your desire to defeat the Federation to warp your mind. This is wrong, and you know it."

      Perhaps it had been a stupid thought: the idea of having sex with another man had never even entered his mind until today. Blake moved away from the bed, calling to Josa to take them to Halil. "I wouldn't worry too much," Blake said with a faint smile. "I hardly think that Halil will want my company when you so obviously suit his tastes." And mine, an insistent voice whispered inside Blake's head.

      "You hardly think at all," Avon sniped as he followed Blake and Josa down the long corridor, past more erotic tapestries, to a set of ornate wooden doors. Josa opened one and gestured them inside.

      Blake was momentarily stunned by the opulence of the dining chamber. Like the throne room, it was ornately furnished, luxurious materials complementing paintings and sculpture. Blake's gaze travelled along the table to where Halil sat. The marble table was filled, with the exception of two seats, one on either side of the Akhaian leader. He glanced over at Avon who seemed to blend in so well with their opulent surroundings. For all that he was as Alpha as Avon, Blake never felt comfortable in such luxury.

      "Welcome Lord Blake, Avon. Please join us." Halil gestured them forward, Blake to his right, Avon his left. They took their seats as food was placed before them. It smelled wonderful and Avon joined Halil in sampling the delicacies. Blake simply didn't feel very hungry. He could see how intently Halil was watching Avon eat as the whiteness of the technician's teeth tore into a piece of meat. Uneasily aware of his own unruly reactions, Blake tore his gaze away from Avon, returning it to his plate.

      "You do not find it pleasing, Lord Blake?"

      Blake started. Halil was staring at him in concern, Avon in amusement.

      "We can prepare whatever you wish."

      "That is not necessary, Lord Halil. I'm just not hungry." Blake swallowed. "However, I would like to discuss this evening's arrangements."

      Halil smiled. "Impatient? I'm surprised. With one such as Avon, I would think that you would be content."

      Blake flushed bright red, uncomfortably aware of both the unacted upon truth of that statement and Avon's amusement.

      "Lord Halil," Blake paused, trying to think of a delicate way of phrasing his thoughts. "Earth customs are different than yours. Avon and I -"

      As Blake spoke, Halil's smile slowly faded. "I see. Your relationship with Avon is based on his exclusivity. I am sorry, but I do understand."

      Blake watched Halil reach out, the Akhaian brushing his hand against Avon's cheek. Thankfully, Avon permitted it, but his tense disapproval was obvious.

      "Beautiful and wild ones are few and far between. However did you tame him?" Halil mused.

      Avon glared at Blake.

      "I haven't quite," Blake said with a mischievous grin.

      This time Halil's eyes were focused intently upon Blake and the rebel felt distinctly uneasy. He had not truly believed that Halil might find him desirable until Avon mentioned it. And now... Halil was a big man, clearly Blake's physical equal, and while his own reactions to Avon made it more than clear that he could be aroused by a man, he wasn't sure that he could submit to one. He doubted that Halil was the submissive kind, not with his air of authority, his aura of power.

      "We could make alternate arrangements, Lord Blake. Ones that would be mutually satisfying."

      Again Blake felt his face flush. Halil's hand was resting on his upper thigh, gently massaging at too tense muscles.

      "What," he croaked, "did you have in mind?"

      "An exchange between equals, to strengthen the ties between us."

      Too fast, it was happening too fast and Blake didn't know what to say, how to say it. Helplessly, he glanced over Halil's shoulder at Avon.

      The smaller man smiled maliciously, enjoying Blake's discomfort, relieved to be out of it himself.

      Bastard, Blake thought, his insides tightening with anger. The hand on his thigh had stilled, waiting for his response. Blake didn't want to, but he couldn't see any obvious alternative. They needed this base!

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