Everywhere Ryder looked, there was men shuffling about, their expressions ones of pure misery as they dealt with headaches and the other unpleasantness of being hung over. Hardly anyone talked, saved for a few unfriendly grunts here and there. Men shied away from the bright lights of the ship’s corridors, and there was even one hunched over in a corner, dry heaving.
It was a sorry lot, these men hardly resembling the pirates that had raided the pleasure yacht. So pitiable was the sight of them, Ryder held no doubts the pirates would be in trouble should the ships come under attack. It was fortunate for them, that the reserve crews had held back, waiting for their chance to go wild once the hung over bunch properly recovered.
It still made Ryder uneasy. They were still in known enemy territory, still predominantly reliant on a weapon that was nothing more than a prototype that needed more testing. Ryder would have wondered more about just what the captain was doing, if not for the amount of drink currently warming his body.
He walked with a swagger, every step exaggerated though he kept from stumbling. Ryder was not so drunk as to be unsteady on his feet, but a few more glasses full and that would change. As it was, he had drunk enough to smell like the expensive candy flavored brandy Lotor kept in his private stock, and he certainly had had enough of it to have had some very bad ideas. Of course, in the moment Ryder didn’t think of them as bad. If anything, he thought them damn good ones, ideas well worth entertaining. And he was drunk enough to think trying these ideas out would prove a worthy endeavor.
With these ideas fueling him forward, the liquid courage of the drinks pumping through his veins, Ryder all but ran the last few corridors to his own private cabin. The cabin was situated in the heart of the ship, and was one of three. As Lotor’s second in command, it was Ryder’s privileged right to have his own rooms, and he damn well enjoyed it. The rooms gave him something that was often hard to find on a ship filled with several hundred people, privacy almost as valuable as gold when one spent as much time in space as the Drule pirates did.
The cabins gave him something Ryder wouldn’t trade away for anything, and certainly not for the cramped confines of the crew’s barracks. And though he sometimes liked putting on a show with his sexual prowess, Ryder couldn’t imagine having to seduce a woman as fine as the priestess in front of an audience. A whore perhaps, yes, but never the priestess. Because Ryder already knew she was different enough to merit special treatment.
Even drunk he thought that. Even after he had spent several hours with Cossack, the two drinking until the Drule with his dirty white hair, had finally passed out. Some might say it unfortunate that Cossack had last as long as he had, for the Drule had had time to bolster Ryder with bad ideas and far too much encouragement. By the time Cossack was through, and snoring on the floor in front of Lotor’s private reserve of drink, Ryder had almost forgotten that he had been hiding from the priestess.
Now Ryder couldn’t imagine why he had ever thought that was a good idea, annoyed with himself for acting the coward where she was concerned. Now Ryder was determined, eager to explore the attraction he had felt for the woman from the first sight of her, eager to experience all the delights that could be had between them, and almost desperate to prove it was only lust fueling the infatuation that had started on the yacht.
That something he refused to think of as more than infatuation, troubled him. To be so affected by a woman, a woman he hadn’t even held real conversation with? A woman he hadn’t even bothered to exchange names with? It was preposterous to think he could have any real feelings for her beyond his bodily desires. And yet Ryder couldn’t deny he had been hit hard with the wanting of her. A wanting that had made him do stupid things, ignore what she was, what trouble could come from attempting to seduce a holy woman.
Now he wasn’t worrying about what she was, and what he was, how impossible, impractical it was for a sinner and a saint to be together in anyway. Instead he was determined, the lusts he felt and had expressed to Cossack, that much closer to becoming reality. His body thrummed with excitement, Ryder impatient as he finally reached his cabin’s door. He was so eager for her, so ready to disregard everything and actually claim her in the most basic of ways, that Ryder had trouble entering in the pass code that would unlock his cabin’s door.
He swore loudly under his breath, and punched in the numbers a third time. The door opened with a swish, Ryder’s fingers feeling out the room’s light switch from memory. The light came on too bright, Ryder ready to swear again. And then he saw her, the priestess looking as beautiful as he remembered, the woman having jolted upright out of a chair.
They stared at each other, Ryder’s gold gaze staring into the frightened green jade of the priestess. Her eyes lacked the earlier fascination she had worn when looking at him, but after a night of listening to the pirates party and prey on reluctant females who screamed out their displeasure it came as no surprise. Any sane thinking woman would have lost her nerve, and been transformed into a wary creature. Any woman listening to the sounds of others being raped, would surely have come to have expectations about her own eventual fate in that regard. Ryder could understand the woman was probably terrified, and yet all he could focus on was the lush perfection of her mouth, how tempting her lips looked, and how it should be a sin for a holy woman to be that beautiful.
It was absurd that a woman like this was devout and devoted to the worship of the universe’s many Gods. Her very body was a temptation, with long legs, a slender waist, and curves that were sinful in how generous she had been gifted in the chest and ass area. Any sane thinking man would take one look at her and have impure thoughts, and the more bold would seek to do more than just think them. She was a woman created for a man’s desires, and Ryder couldn’t bear the thought of being apart from her a moment longer.
Barely aware of the door sliding closed behind him, he moved. His eyes never strayed from her, his hands catching her around the waist. Ryder pulled her as close as possible without being inside her, her breasts pushing against his chest, and nearly tearing an appreciative moan from him. The jade of her eyes looked even more frightened, her rosy lips parting to say something. He’d never find out what, Ryder already plunging his tongue into her mouth. Kissing her hungrily, greedily, tongue plundering in a mad, rapid attempt to learn the taste, the feel, the texture of her.
Ryder heard her make a sound, but was it more protest or that of surrender? He didn’t care, holding her close, kissing her fast, wet, deep. His mouth was almost bruising on hers, demanding and unyielding, eating up the sounds she made. It didn’t matter that she didn’t know how to kiss him back, that she responded like an untried virgin, or the fact that Ryder normally preferred women with plenty of sexual experience. Right now he wanted the virgin, wanted to taint her purity, corrupt her, make her a fallen woman who was as much a slave to desire as Ryder was.
And he was a slave, to desire if not her, though the woman already held a certain dangerous power over him. Haunting his thoughts, and worse yet enflaming his body, Ryder growing erect just from kissing her. He almost pulled back then, ready to laugh in wild disbelief. She made him feel like a boy, young enough to have never so much as touched a woman. How long had it been since just kissing a woman could cause such a reaction in his loins? Normally it took them both being naked, the woman already under him for Ryder to reach such an advance state of desire.
Instead this sinful priestess, had him reacting like it was his first time, Ryder already rubbing his erection against her in a desperate grind. He wondered if she even knew what it was he was grinding between them, wondered if she had any knowledge at all of a man’s anatomy, and what went on between lovers in the dark. He certainly didn’t expect her to know much of anything about the experience of being bedded by a Drule male, and while normally the thought would have put him off, with her it left him actually looking forward to teaching her.
And then her stillness was gone, the woman beginning to struggle before Ryder could properly seduce her mouth into kissing him back. She made fitful sounds of distress, her trembling hands pushing at his shoulders, the priestess trying to wiggle free of Ryder’s embrace. When he kept on kissing, her struggles became more pronounced, the woman seeming to panic.
Stifling a curse, Ryder broke the kiss, though he didn’t for one second consider letting go of her. She didn’t calm, still trying to get away, and that damnable wriggling was sending pleasant shock waves through his cock. She didn’t try to scream, though her panicked eyes flashed emotion at him, the woman speaking in a firm tone that didn’t fit with her fright.
“Let me go.”
Again he was trying not to curse, Ryder gripping her just a little harder. Her clear fear was almost the splash of water he needed to sober up, the Drule realizing the priestess would have to be handled very carefully, lest she make a refusal he’d be honor bound to behave. But, with the way he was reacting, was there any honor left in him? Would he really do anything to have her, even forget that to rape wasn’t his style? And yet could he think enough to remember how to be the great seducer, how to tempt and tease even a priestess into laying with him?
“Please.” She said, in a breathy appeal that would do nothing to save her. Not when that breathless, husky quality spoke more of seduction, a plea for more, than a demand to be left alone. “Just let me…”
“Woman be silent and let me kiss you.” Was it an order, or a plea of his own? Or was it both? But her eyes widened, some of her fright slipping away in one defiant flash. She lifted her chin, stubborn and ready to argue. She would actually twist to the side to avoid his mouth on hers, though the woman could not succeed in pulling away completely.
“Woman!” This time he growled at her, Ryder less than pleased by her rebuff. She looked at him, though the woman was careful to avoid his lips.
“I have a name.” She told him, in that same breathless tone.
“I bet you just do.” He murmured, though the words were meant for no one. Her chin lifted higher, her frightened eyes still holding a rebellious edge to them. Ryder sighed then, as though he was tired and accepting that he wasn’t going to get another chance to kiss her. “All right sweeting, just what is your name?”
A moment’s hesitation, and then she answered him. “Alexandria.”
It wasn’t unfamiliar to him, Ryder vaguely recalling the captain’s newest woman having screamed out a name at one point. It might have been Alexandria’s, though at the time he had been too awestruck by the priestess, to fully register what the blonde woman had screamed.
“Alexandria.” A rakish smile, Ryder striking fast like a cobra. One hand on her hip, the other clutching at the back of her head, holding her by her raven black hair so that she couldn’t avoid his mouth this time. Tasting her sweetness, and her unease, Ryder managing a drawn out moan that made him sound like a man starving.
She had gone still again, frozen against him. Her mouth betrayed her fright, lips tight and unyielding. It was maddening, Ryder wanting her response, to feel her soften as Alexandria gave in to his lip’s seduction.
“Kiss me back.” He let out a frustrated growl, staring into her eyes. At some point Ryder had begun to breath heavily, his own voice a low rasp. Could his pretty priestess tell how much he wanted her?
“I don’t even know your name.” Was her protest.
“Would it even matter?”
She maintained her shock. “Of course it would!”
“Then the name’s Ryder.” He said, and kissed her again. There was the slightest responding quiver against him, and then she began trying to push him away. He clung to her, mouth pressing insistently on hers. It was clear his intent was to keep on kissing her until she gave him the surrender he was after.
Alexandria seemed to sigh and wilt in his embrace, though Ryder wasn’t fooled into relaxing his hold. And then wonders of wonders, her lips softened, beginning to do more than just quiver as they moved against his. It was hesitant where his was bold, the priestess lacking the confidence that Ryder possessed. But he didn’t care, charmed by the innocent way she gave in to his lip’s demands.
But it wasn’t enough, Ryder issuing another command. “Open your mouth for me.” Another defiant flash of the jade, the priestess shaking her head no. “Woman!”
“I told you I have a name!” She sounded almost cross then, trying to shove him over. Ryder was tempted to fall, to drag her down to the floor with him.
“Alexandria…” He purred, far to tempted at the thought of taking her on the floor of his cabin. His eyes must have betrayed him, the priestess finding some warning in his predatory gaze. She resumed her struggles, pushing, shoving, trying to jerk free even if it meant tearing out that luxurious mane of black hair. Ryder couldn’t bear the thought of a single strand being lost, and thus relaxed his grip just as Alexandria began stamping her feet on his.
Her slippers couldn’t do real damage, not to the strong, sturdy leather of his boots. Ryder actually let out a hearty laugh, that ended on a strangled wheeze when the priestess’ knee connected with his groin.
The sharp saying of her name, didn’t stop the woman from fleeing to the other side of the room. “Stay back!” She ordered, grabbing at the first thing within reach. “I mean it!”
“You’re being ridiculous.” He got his arms up in time, something smashing apart against them.
“I won’t let you do this!” She continued, grabbing at something else. It looked like a mug, liquid sloshing over it’s sides. “I won’t let you…” The mug sailed towards him, but her aim was off, Ryder watching as the mug shattered a few inches short of him.
“I’m not going to do anything you don’t want.” He was counting to ten in his head, Ryder annoyed and fearing she’d push him over the edge into a dangerous anger.
To his astonishment, she turned red, sputtering things that he couldn’t make sense of. It was an interesting reaction, but Ryder couldn’t truly puzzle over it. Not when Alexandria was casting about, ready to lunge for the next handily thrown object.
“Calm yourself.” He moved, lunging towards her. He almost got hit in the face with a platter, Ryder snatching the silver tray from Alexandria’s hands. Her pale skin had gone as white as a sheet, the woman staring at him as he backed her up into a wall.
Frightened but defiant, she hissed at him. “This will be rape…” She flinched, trembling from head to toe as he slammed his hands into the wall, trapping her between them. “I am a woman devoted to the Gods…you will….you will….”
“Do nothing that you don’t ask for.” Ryder interrupted loudly.
“Ask? Like the women from the yacht asked your crew?”
Ryder shrugged. “That’s unfortunate business….”
“But all too common for a pirate?” She asked.
“Common enough.” He agreed. “But some of us, myself included, have little taste for rape.”
Alexandria blinked slowly, trying to process this. “Then why?” She whispered. “Why…” She seemed to change her mind, shaking her head no. ‘I cannot, will not give you what you want. Will you now give me over to one of your crew who would take by force what they desire?”
Everything inside him roared in protest. Share this woman with the others? With even one man? When he wanted to kill, to rip out the eyes of those who had leered at her? When he had wanted to jump on his own captain, just for the crime of touching her with impudent hands?
“Never.” Ryder said out loud. She was not meant for the likes of Lotor’s pirates. Damnation, she wasn’t meant for the likes of Ryder either. And yet he couldn’t stop what he felt, what he wanted from her.
“Never?” She echoed, surprised and it was more than apparent she was relieved. “Then what will you do with me?” She stiffened at his longing look, the priestess shaking her head firmly. “I cannot be tempted.”
Ryder rose to the challenge of her words, leaning into her. But it wasn’t her lips he caressed, his mouth brushing over the pointed tip of her right ear. She shivered in reaction, sensitive there in a way only Drules or those with some bit of Drule in their blood could be.
He was truly damned then, destined to go to one of the universe’s many hells. For he had decided to throw caution to the wind, and set about to do what she claimed could not be done.
“Well Alexandria…” He breathed into her ear, doing warm licks and tiny nibbles over that ridge. “We shall see about that, won’t we?!”
She was still shivering, her face flushed but not red with anger, but the slightest pink. “What do you mean to do?” Alexandria asked, looking interested despite her claims.
“For now nothing but sleep.” He stepped away from her, trying to tell himself her sigh was one of disappointment and not relief. “But we have at least three weeks to go before our journey together is at an end.”
“And then what?” Anxious was her tone, Alexandria staying plastered against the wall.
“Let’s not worry about the journey’s end just yet.” Ryder chuckled. He turned away from her, practically humming under his breath. She called out his name, and he ignored her, making a beeline for his bed. But inside he was scheming, plotting out what was to be his greatest, most time consuming seduction ever. Alexandria would be more than just tempted, she would succumb, learning pleasure and sin at his hands. Ryder couldn’t wait for that moment, grinning to himself as he kicked off his boots, then climbed into bed.