“Easy now. No need to be afraid.”
Stuart couldn’t help shying away from the touch of even gentle hands. This is what his short time with the other alien had done to him. Never a bold person, despite his wishes to the contrary, he had become a cowering, fearful creature that he despised almost as much as he did the Travians.
“Please don’t hurt me.” He cringed inwardly at his pathetic pleading, yet couldn’t help himself. “I won’t fight you. I promise. I’ll be good.” He was unable to control the tremors racking his body.
The alien loomed over him. Instead of the sneering, predatory look Stuart had come to fear, he saw kindness and concern—or maybe he only thought he did. He no longer trusted his own judgment in anything, not since he’d made the fatal decision to join Joel and the others in their harassment campaign. That fateful choice would be the death of him. He had no doubt of that now.
“Of course you’ll be good,” the alien all but crooned. “And I will be good to you in turn.” A large hand, pale as death, loomed in the periphery of Stuart’s vision. He shrank in on himself, trained already to expect a blow. None came. Instead, the alien threaded his fingers through Stuart’s thick, red hair. Once again, where Stuart expected pain, there was only gentleness. No tugging, merely stroking.
“Your hair is so pretty.” The alien moved that same hand down to cup Stuart’s chin then lifted it. Stuart didn’t dare look anywhere other than the floor. “All of you is so lovely, small and delicate.”
What was Stuart supposed to do with that observation? His former master had said much the same with a certain amount of sadistic glee, as if pleased with the ease in which he could brutalize his human pet. Stuart had always hated being short and thin compared to other boys. Travians, towering monsters that they were, hadn’t made him feel much worse about his stature, just more of the same. That is, until he’d been hauled into the quarters of the first officer to claim him. He’d never known such agony, and he assumed that no matter what this one said, things would be the same. God, why couldn’t the creature just get on with it?
His trembling increased and his breath came out in mounting pants. “Please,” he begged again, although not sure what he wanted, other than to go home—back to New World Colony Seven. As inhospitable as that world had been, he’d come to appreciate the opportunity it had afforded him to grow into his own. And it was home, for no other reason than because his parents lived there. Guilt stabbed at him. He’d left them—not by choice, but by dint of his foolish need to fit in with the other boys. His poor parents hadn’t known what he’d intended and they undoubtedly mourned his loss, thinking him dead. Better, maybe, that they thought that than know the truth.
“Hush. All will be well. This can go,” the alien said, lifting the hated collar off Stuart’s neck and tossing it aside. Not once had the Travian choked him with it, and that was something, he supposed. “What are you called, little one?”
Surprised by the question, Stuart blinked up at the creature for a second before lowering his gaze again. The other one hadn’t asked that question, had merely called him ‘pet’ when not calling him something worse. “Stuart McKay,” he managed to say through a throat clogged with fear.
“Stu-art-mac-kay.” The Travian said the two names as if they were one, accenting the wrong syllables, not that Stuart would correct him. “Hmm. It’s too strange on my tongue.” The alien puffed out a breath, a form of alien laughing Stuart had come to learn at his own expense. “I will call you Mac.” Another puff. “Yes, that is the perfect name for my pretty pet.”
The alien placed his hands on Stuart’s shoulders and turned him slowly around to face the bed. Stuart’s breath hitched at the sight. He hated this! As much as he’d longed for a boyfriend back on Seven—or even just some kind of sexual experience—he’d never get used to this casual using of his body. Never mind the searing pain… It was the degradation that got to him the most. In these aliens’ beds he became a thing—an object to be used—nothing more. It was far from the tender lovemaking he’d always envisioned with a tall, strong man who valued him. The ruination of his fantasy, more than anything, made him want to take a one-way trip out of an airlock.
“Up you go,” the alien said with a soft push. “Lie down on your stomach. We must rid you of Garen’s stench.” This last bit was said with a hard edge that made Stuart tremble even more, as he scrambled to comply. Was that his former tormentor’s name? He hadn’t known or even cared. Just like it didn’t matter to him what this one called himself. He only wanted to survive the night with as few injuries as possible. Maybe, just maybe, if he did as he was told, this time he wouldn’t be beaten.
He lay down and closed his eyes, unwilling to watch the Travian shed his uniform. He curled his hands into fists, clutching the bedding to keep himself from vibrating too much. Part of that reaction came from being cold, but that would stop soon. When the larger creature covered him, the heat would be like a furnace. Tears slipped past the corners of his eyes, despite his efforts to be calm. When the bed dipped with the weight of the alien, a small whimper escaped his tight lips.
“Hush,” the Travian admonished again, running his hand down Stuart’s back. He pressed a knee between Stuart’s legs, opening them.
Stuart made himself spread them wide, being the good boy he’d promised to be. He couldn’t stop the jump, though, when the alien clasped his ass cheeks and spread them. More murmurs filled his ears and a soothing massage of his flesh accompanied slick strokes against his hole. This was it, the tearing agony of being breached and filled beyond capacity. He willed his body to relax, knowing being tense would only make the experience worse—except the brutal invasion didn’t happen. Instead, there was teasing and stroking. Something much smaller than a Travian cock entered his ass, breaching it slowly, infusing him with something wet and slippery. The stroking of his channel continued, the speed and stretching increasing so gradually that when a dick finally replaced the fingers being used, it went in with surprising ease.
As he lay there being fucked at an ever greater pace, his body rocking back and forth, the breath wheezing out of his lungs, Stuart knew that his life had changed once again. This time, however, he might be able to survive.
Mac woke up with a start. Foggy with sleep, he had trouble remembering where he was. A transport ship, not Narith’s quarters, although his master sat beside him, engrossed in something he was reading on the built-in tablet for his seat. The remnants of Mac’s dream remained swimming around his head, and the effect was easy to see if one looked. He quickly placed his hands on his lap to hide his semi-hard cock. The soft, clingy clothing he wore certainly wouldn’t do the trick. He smiled a little to himself, thinking of how much his life had changed. He hadn’t gotten hard that first night with Narith, but things were different now. He was different now.
It wasn’t only that he looked different with his longer hair, braided away from his face, and his harder body. He thought of himself by a different name, the one Narith had given him. Gone was Stuart McKay, the shy, quiet boy who’d always hung on the periphery of everyone else’s fun. He’d been replaced by Mac, Narith’s beloved pet and a guy who didn’t simply endure being fucked but participated in it—wildly and enthusiastically. He’d become bolder, too, in his dealings with the other boys. Whereas before he’d deferred to them and had gone along to get along, these days he’d started asserting himself. He spoke up and even argued when the occasion demanded it.
He couldn’t resist pressing his hands onto his still-burgeoning erection. After spending much of his adolescence tamping down his sexuality for lack of an outlet other than his own hand, Narith’s excellent tutelage had turned him into something of a sexual monster. It had been too long, while in this last leg of transit, since he and his master had had an opportunity for any kind of sexual release. His action caused a spike of pleasure to shoot up his groin. Suppressing a moan, he shifted his weight in response.
“Don’t fidget,” Narith ordered under his breath, without looking up from his tablet.
Mac instantly stilled, his body and mind well-trained already to do as this male commanded. He’d taken to his role as a pet easily, naturally. He’d long recognized his submissive nature and despaired of ever finding the kind of alpha male that he longed for. With a colony as small as Seven, he would have been lucky to find another man at all compatible with him, let alone one who embodied the dominating persona he’d envisioned. Once he’d realized he needn’t fear the Travian, he’d been able to accept the creature’s mastery.
He’d also fallen hopelessly in love with Narith.
Those feelings alone made Mac want to obey and not cause trouble. The transport officer had just about shit his pants with outrage when Narith had insisted that Mac sit with him on the flight and not be tied up somewhere in the cargo hold. So Mac was trying his best to blend into the background. The difficulty lay in the length of the journey and the weird way Travians had of remaining preternaturally still—at least by human standards—during the flight. Even if they moved, they did so with an economy of motion that Mac had no hope of emulating. His human ‘fidgeting’ seemed to annoy them as well, for some reason, earning him quick glares from the other passengers.
He didn’t want to cause Narith any more stress. The poor guy was already grieving at the loss of his mate’s first pregnancy. He didn’t say it, of course, or really show it in a way someone who knew him less well would notice. Mac did. He’d come to know the Travian better than he’d ever known anyone, other than his parents. The expressions he wore and the set of his broad shoulders spoke volumes to Mac. And the closer they got to Travia Prime, the tenser the young officer became. Mac desperately wanted to help him. If for no other reason, he didn’t want the guy to regret his decision to bring Mac with him, as opposed to giving him over to another of the ship’s officers. Mac was under no illusion that the alien returned Mac’s level of affection. The only reason for bringing his pet was to find comfort or distraction. If Mac turned into an inconvenience, Narith might send him back to Kell or hand him over to someone else on the planet. Mac didn’t think he could stand either of those possibilities.
So, here he sat, being the good boy that he always promised to be. And he’d proved to be a great distraction in the earlier parts of their journey, if he said so himself. Fucking worked wonders for the both of them, he knew. He’d gladly allowed Narith to use his body as much as he wanted. They’d also fucked nonstop during Narith’s last off-duty shift before leaving the ship. Mac understood, finally, about the scent marking, and he even reveled in the idea that he smelled like his master, even if he couldn’t detect it himself. He loved how all of these Travian soldiers around them knew that he belonged to Narith, even beyond the collar and leash that he wore.
Something changed suddenly in the way the craft moved. Narith put his tablet away. “We are entering the atmosphere of Travia Prime.” He gave a Mac a tight smile. “This will get a bit rough.”
So saying, he reached over and clasped Mac’s hand, just as the ship’s trajectory became steeper and they picked up speed. Everything shimmied and shook alarmingly. Mac tightened his fingers around the larger hand. He’d never landed on a planet awake before. The colonists had all been in suspended animation for their journey until they’d touched down on their New World. To his inexperienced self, it was hard to tell at the moment if they were landing or crashing. He figured the former only because no one was screaming. Or maybe Travians would go calmly to their deaths. What the hell did he really know about the species?
But, no. With a thud and a bump and a grinding of something, they stopped moving. Mac let out a sigh of relief and shyly smiled over at his master. Narith didn’t return the look. He merely let go of Mac’s hand and stood up. They had no luggage, Narith needing to bring nothing and Mac having nothing to bring. The clothes he wore were the first since his capture, and they were intended to avoid offending females, not that he’d seen many. His clothes never seemed to require any cleaning, and Narith had assured him that once they reached their destination, others would be manufactured for him instantly anyway.
Their journey had been a long one, filled with interesting sights. It had taken them through four space stations, the first one housing Joel, giving Mac some time to catch up with the guy. He’d been afraid at first that Joel would sneer and berate him for his obvious obedience and affection for Narith. Mac had sometimes thought that Joel had come out of the womb with a ‘fuck you’ on his lips. He’d been surprised to find a relaxed and happy Joel, seemingly at peace with his life, perhaps for the first time ever. Mac still couldn’t believe that the tough-seeming kid had settled into being the pet of the station’s commander. The stations themselves had been eye-opening, filled with wondrous sights, including Travian females and other creatures. He and Narith had stayed mostly in the military parts of each station, however, giving Mac little opportunity to interact with Travian females.
That was about to change in a major way. Narith guided Mac by his leash, leading him out of the smallish shuttle and into the gigantic spaceport. Mac had thought he’d be inured to their large buildings because of the stations. He’d been wrong. Those spheres spinning in space were nothing compared to what they had dirtside. The place was huge, the ceiling barely visible to Mac’s eyes, and it was teeming with Travians. Here the military mixed with the civilian, giving Mac his first real, prolonged experience with females in large numbers—and even children.
He’d known from what Wid and Joel had said—and from his own limited travels—that Travian females were like peacocks to the males’ peahens, a complete reversal of Earth birds’ plumage. Yet, how else could one think of it, the way the females adorned themselves in a riot of intricate color, while the males who weren’t in uniform wore simple monotone clothing, much like his dark gray tunic and pants. His feet were bare, though, in stark contrast to everyone else. Despite Mac’s rather timid protests to the contrary, Narith had remained firm on the matter. Apparently footwear—or lack thereof, of all things—set Mac apart as a pet and nothing more. His poor feet slapped against the cold floor with each step he took.
“Stay close to me, Mac,” Narith said with an uncharacteristic tug of the leash that caused the collar to tighten uncomfortably.
Mac did as he was told to ease the choking and, frankly, because it made him feel safer to be tight against his master’s side. He didn’t like the stares he got, the downright leers of some males. As far as he could tell, he was the only non-Travian in sight—maybe within the whole spaceport. Narith had informed him that there would be other pets on the home world, just not other humans. Keeping subspecies as domesticated playthings was a common practice of Travians. Mac had tried not to bristle at the idea that he was a subspecies. Instead, he’d listened intently to Narith’s instructions on what to expect when they arrived at Narith’s home—his mate’s home, actually, as Travian males didn’t have homes of their own. They lived with mothers, then mates, or maybe with sisters or other female relatives. Or, barring any of that, they could live in military barracks.
Mac had found the concept strange and a bit fascinating, yet he hadn’t asked more than the necessary questions. He didn’t want to embarrass Narith, and that had to remain his main focus. The poor guy was too preoccupied not only with the loss of the much-anticipated first child of his mate, but also with the chilling fact that the female had already taken a second mate to conceive again. Although his master hadn’t confided in him, Mac knew the young male had been devastated by the news. Still reeling from one blow, he’d had to deal with another. He’d gone so far as to explain to Mac that Narith’s position as a mate of a high-born female was in jeopardy. He had to get back to her quickly to reconnect and strengthen their bond, even though it could damage his career to leave such an important post mid-deployment.
They entered some kind of moving enclosed sidewalk and were crammed into a corner away from the other passengers. Their efforts to be unobtrusive proved pointless. It seemed as if every pair of Travian eyes rested upon them. Mac wanted to cower and cling to Narith’s arm. Then he remembered that while Stuart would have done so, Mac had more balls. He straightened up and held his gaze steady, if unfocused. He didn’t intend to challenge anyone, just convey an air of pride. They were all likely looking at a human for the first time. It was important that they came away with the sense that humans were confident and brave, even if Mac’s insides were quivering.
This next leg of the journey seemed interminable. As long as he’d lived with Travians, Mac still couldn’t quite figure out Travian time. He just knew they had more stamina than he did, standing when he would have killed for a place to sit and staying alert when his eyelids drooped. Finally, the conveyance came to a stop. The females disembarked first, followed by the males. Narith allowed the others to leave before he guided Mac out. They headed toward an area in which Travians in twos and threes climbed into big, clear bubbles with seats and electronics. They turned out to be yet another mode of transportation, this one more private, and it became airborne.
Mac did grab hold of his master’s arm when the thing lifted straight up in the air. Narith laughed—the first time he’d done so in forever, it seemed—and he glanced over at Mac. “You’re perfectly safe, pet. This craft is self-operational and preprogrammed. We’ll be home soon, not to worry.”
But Mac did worry. Not about the flight. Having spent so much time in space, he wasn’t afraid of a little terrestrial flying. Much. No, his angst focused on what would happen when they reached their destination. He wasn’t convinced that Narith’s mate would be as sanguine about having a human pet in her home and in her mate’s bed as Narith seemed to think she would be. He wondered—not for the first time—if she’d make him sleep outside or something. He knew his master would be powerless to stop it. In this society, women ruled. Besides, even without the cultural differences of their species, Mac had lived for a while now in the single-sexed environment of a military ship. He worried he’d do something to offend a female of any type. He’d have to watch his every step, and knowing that was enough to make him very nervous.
He decided to shift his focus for the time being onto his surroundings, trying to adapt to flying through the air with a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree view of the world below them. Once his stomach settled and his brain accepted the fact that they weren’t going to plummet a few hundred meters to their deaths, he actually enjoyed what he could see. This was only the second alien world he’d even been on, and it blew away Seven, that was for sure. Where Seven was a bland planet that grudgingly allowed things to grow, Travia Prime was a lush, colorful haven. It reminded him of make-believe places in his childhood stories, with rolling hills interrupted by thick forests of strange trees.
Or maybe they weren’t trees. How could he know? Having chosen to work in the hydroponic gardens back on Seven, Mac’s early interest in plants had grown, as it were, into a passion. He desperately wanted to ask Narith a million questions about what he saw as they raced along. He dared not. The alien’s face was frozen now in a grim expression, and he held his body so rigid, Mac worried it might crack into a million pieces if he so much as tapped on one shoulder. So he sat quietly and took in everything he could, storing away his questions for a better time.
God, he hoped there would be a better time.
Narith knew he made a poor host, not that he owed his pet any particular courtesy. By the beliefs of his people, he had every right to expect his pet to cater to his whims, not the other way around. Yet, in the time that he’d spent with Mac, Narith had come to appreciate that the human was intelligent and had feelings just as sharp and genuine as any Travian’s, perhaps more so. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the boy craning his neck around as he took in the sights. Narith knew Mac liked botany and had found a useful place in the hydroponic gardens maintained for self-sufficiency on the ship. He bet the boy had a million questions, yet held his tongue for Narith’s sake. So empathetic and considerate, as always, and it made Narith want to be the same way in return.
He was too wrapped up in his own misery and apprehension to find even a modicum of space for Mac, however. As they neared Orianna’s home, Narith’s stress level ratcheted up exponentially. His skin seemed to tighten around his body, squeezing on every taut nerve and muscle, crushing his skull, pressing on his brain until he wanted to scream out his frustration and rage. In his younger days, he would have given in to the feelings. The Mother knew that he’d gotten into a plethora of trouble giving free rein to his impulses, not really considering the consequences. Propriety and decorum had often been ignored in favor of wildness and daring. The military had literally beaten a fair amount of that out of him. His mother and other female relatives had done the rest, molding him into a more useful tool for the family.
Now he sat rigidly under control, a master of his body, if not completely his mind. This hard-won discipline was how he’d climbed his way up to his rank and secured a coveted position as junior navigator on a deep-space ship. It was also how he’d caught the eye of a high-born first daughter. His transformation into an accommodating male, endlessly patient with female doings, had gotten him noticed at social gatherings. His looks, frankly, hadn’t hurt, either. He’d caught the eye of males and females alike. But it was an advantageous mating that his family had hoped for, and he’d succeeded in giving it to them. He couldn’t afford to lose his shit when it mattered most.
He sat unseeing and not appreciating the lovely view of his home world, a place he hadn’t expected to return to so soon. His focus remained on what he’d find when he arrived. He could picture Orianna, her ethereal beauty still something that took his breath away and made him feel less worthy than his relatively low-caste birth already did. Mating with her had been a thrilling and frightening experience. Even his rebellious nature had never led him to fucking a female, and his experiences with other males hadn’t prepared him for the wholly different feeling of coupling with a softer, more delicate bedmate.
But he couldn’t work up excitement over seeing her again, and not merely because the sight of her would bring a fresh stab of grief over the loss of the child he’d proudly given her. It was because another male would be standing by her side—her second mate, his scent overpowering Narith’s on her body by this time. He hated the thought of sharing her. Travian males weren’t supposed to feel jealous, their more primitive sides having been wiped out by eons of evolution. That’s what females believed anyway—or really, demanded. And maybe there were many males who were happy to share a female if that was what she wanted, her happiness being paramount.
But most males knew—and even dared confess to each other—that their baser sides remained. No matter how their species progressed, the scent marking remained as strong as ever. Nothing prodded a male’s primitive instincts more than his own smell on another, whether a female, an offspring or even a pet. With a sideways glance, Narith inhaled deeply and Mac’s smell, concentrated in the confined space, helped calm Narith’s ever-more-frayed nerves just a bit. The human pet remained his and no one else’s. Plus, Mac had proven to be an enticing bedmate, blending the parts of being with a female and a male that Narith enjoyed.
He really needed to pull himself together. The journey was nearly over, Orianna’s grand home being not that far from the regional spaceport they’d arrived at. With another glance at his pet, he made a decision that bothered him on some level. He hated to interrupt his pet’s pleasure, but the creature did exist at this point to serve his master, and Narith would make it up to him eventually in some way. He reached over and, cupping his palm around the back of the boy’s neck, tugged him down to the floor. He felt a little resistance, just for a moment, and the human’s gaze slid over to Narith before complying.
Such grace in the lithe body, the way he slipped to his knees and maneuvered between Narith’s legs with little additional prompting. Clever boy. He understood Narith’s needs so well now. With his quick and nimble fingers, Mac had Narith’s fly open in a heartbeat and freed the cock that had already started to swell with anticipation. Narith leaned back against his chair and closed his eyes. He moved his hand to Mac’s head, enjoying, as always, the feel of the thick, wavy hair so unlike his own. He sighed when his pet wrapped moist lips around the head of his dick. Tension bled out of him in an instant.
Mac brought Narith to full hardness with his clever tongue, laving the sensitive ridge below the glans. Narith took pride in knowing he had been the one to teach his pet how to give a proper blow job. The boy had had no sexual experience with anyone other than the hateful Garen, who had undoubtedly just face-fucked the poor thing until he’d gagged with it. Narith had no such intentions, couldn’t even imagine why one would want to—not when the boy sucked and licked with obvious joy. The effort sent sparks of pleasure straight down to the root of Narith’s cock, making his balls tingle as they tightened against his body.
Narith groaned through stuttering breath. He rolled his hips in an involuntary plea to have his pet take him farther into that delightfully tight, wet heat. He knew he was too big for the boy to swallow completely, but Narith still jerked with the tightness along his shaft. His release—already desperate to come out—pulsed through his dick. Mac stayed with him, taking every drop down with convulsive movements of his mouth and throat. Narith let his arms drop to his sides and he sighed again with the relief.
Moments later, with his pants refastened and his pet once more sitting beside him, the craft signaled that they were nearing their destination. The post-orgasm relaxation vanished in the face of his imminent arrival. Not even the beautiful vista of Orianna’s vast land could distract him from his focus on the large house looming in his vision. He stared in the direction of the main entrance, long before he could actually see it. Having sent his itinerary ahead, he knew the family awaited his arrival, a fact confirmed when he saw the head female of the house, Salan, standing on the top of the staircase.
“We have arrived,” he said quite unnecessarily as the craft hovered and landed with a soft bounce. “Remember what I told you.”
“Yes, master.” Mac waited for Narith to exit first, then followed.
Of course the human would remember all the things Narith had drilled him on about comportment. The boy was smart and eager to please. If anyone would fuck things up, it would be him. Playing by the rules didn’t come naturally to him. He’d had to work hard to alter his demeanor, if not his attitude. He would have to be very clever indeed to hide his disappointment in the change of circumstances and dislike of the existence of his new house brother.
He strode up the steps of the great manse, as pleasant a look on his face as he could manage, yet nothing too cheery, given the solemn nature of his visit. “Salan, it is good of you to wait on me.”
The older female sketched a simple bow. “Senior Sire Narith, welcome home. Our Lady awaits you with the junior sire.” The female turned on her heel and headed back into the house.
Narith grimaced inwardly at being called senior sire instead of just sire. He had to get used to his new reality. With a quick swivel of his head, he confirmed that Mac trailed a few paces behind him, quiet and with his head down. That would have to be the last time he gave in to the urge to check on his pet. From this point forward, his total focus had to be on his mate. He saw her as soon as his eyes adjusted to the change in light. She sat at the back of the great hall, on her usual seat for entertaining visitors, the one that elevated her enough that she could look down on someone, even when they stood. Her exquisite beauty still had the power to stun him momentarily, making him clumsy in his steps. He wouldn’t have cared about the stumble if not for the smirking male standing by her side.
Narith slid to his knees at the proper time and made the expected greeting. “Dearest mate, I have returned to you with a heavy heart at your loss, but with great joy at seeing you once more.” He bowed at the neck.
Once he’d raised his head, Orianna graced him with a smile. “First mate, Narith. Although my heart is also heavy, I am overjoyed at having you home again.” She gestured with one delicate hand at the male to her left. “I present to you your house brother, Rone.”
Narith made himself shift his gaze to the male, keeping his pleasant expression in place. “Younger brother, I am gratified to meet you.” Fucker.
Rone bent his neck a fraction before replying, “Elder brother, I am honored in return.”
Narith read the lie in the male’s expression. He was older than Narith somewhat, but social norms dictated that because Narith was the first mate, he was the elder brother. He took in the male’s uniform, noting by his insignia that he was of a local regiment. Of course, this time Orianna had picked someone who would always be close at hand. Narith took some pleasure in noticing that the male stood a bit shorter than Narith’s own tall frame, although the male filled out his uniform with greater muscle mass. He mentally shook himself. He really needed to fight the urge to compare them, or he might go mad from the effort. He tried to muster a more genuine interest in his new brother, but then the complex scent wafting off Orianna finally reached him full force. His mind took a moment to process the meaning of what he detected. Then a great emotion welled up inside him. Part rage, part despair, it swamped him.
Orianna hadn’t simply mated again. She was already pregnant.