Excerpt from Knight’s Fork

15 10 2008

What is a Queen to do when the sperm donor of her dreams says no?

When forced to choose between two evils, pick the one you’ve never tried before….

The virtuous White Knight, ‘Rhett, is caught between a problem father who has all the moral integrity of a Mafia Don, and a married Princess who would stop at nothing to have his seed in her belly. No matter which way he turns, he’s “forked.”

KNIGHT’S FORK

Excerpt from Chapter Five
Pleasure Moon of Eurydyce
‘Rhett’s bedchamber

“Alienating a Mated female’s affections is the wrong thing to do in any civilized world,” he recited. “Where I grew up, a married man may sue his wife’s paramour and receive compensatory and punitive damages for ‘alienation of affections’ and ‘criminal conversation.’

“I do not expect you to alienate my affections!” Her whispered vehemence sounded a touch overdone. After all, she wouldn’t be there, in his bed, begging to have his baby if she didn’t find him attractive.

“Nevertheless, it could happen,” he insisted.

After all, any stud would warn a casual conquest that she would very likely fall in love with him and get her alley-cat heart broken. Did it matter that he was not the experienced, sexually sophisticated lover of her dreams? No, because she wasn’t going to find out.

“You think so?” she sneered.

“I do think so.”

Cocksure was the way to play it. He didn’t want her to like him. Nevertheless, he stopped short of questioning whether there was any genuine love and affection to be destroyed. Electra could not possibly love her bald, hairless, naked Volnoth King with his flashing, pop-up body parts and a surgically deformed warhand that could rip her throat out.

“How presumptuous of you. My affections are not an issue. My Mate needs an heir. He cannot sire one on me, and he cannot and will not admit it.”

“Are you sure of that?” He curled his lip, insulting her. The more she thrashed about for an acceptable reason to fool around, the more she brought out the latent predator in him.

“I need Djinn semen.”

“So I gathered.”

Do you realize the power I would have over you? Over Viz-Igerd? I could prove, any time I wanted to do so, that your baby was my get.

‘Rhett considered the temptation, and his head rejected it. On the other hand, she was gorgeous, hot, a goddess, she wanted to have his baby, she knew the risks, and yet still she was in his bed.

He was master here, in this place with his brothers and his father within earshot. He could do what he pleased, and she wouldn’t dare to cry out. She was his to punish. Who knows, he might learn something.

“Supposing I were to agree, let’s discuss delivery.”

#

“What is there to discuss?”

‘Rhett was being difficult on purpose. Electra understood that, and for once she did not know what to do about it.

Here they lay, together, on his bed, shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip, whispering like lovers. He was naked, she was fully dressed, and yet she was the one who felt vulnerable despite her protection.

His arm was raised, holding hers, and the tantalizing scent of his pheromones made her want to bury her nose in the sensitive softness of his armpit and breathe in. His bare skin smelled of heady arousal, a recent washing, and of male. The dark centers of his cold, green eyes were large and unfathomable.

Either excitement, contempt, or anger flared his nostrils. He smiled a welcome, but showed his teeth in warning. The Moonstone’s light threw sinister shadows across his face.

“The Lovers were in my cards,” he murmured, as if this was the triumphant conclusion to an inner debate.

“I do not require a lover.”

“What if I do?” he murmured. “Tell me exactly what you expect.” As he spoke, his thumb caressed the soft skin on the inside of her forearm.

“I expect you to—” It was unexpectedly hard to say. When she’d decided to come here, she’d mentally rehearsed different versions of the same basic conversation. She’d thought of speaking in impersonal, clinical terms, of demanding his body fluids in the same way that royal gynecological faculty servants explained how Her Majesty should provide a urine sample.

But he was more than a delivery system.

She’d considered treating the entire process as an embarrassing practical joke, but jokes were ultimately shared, and what she wanted was a deadly serious matter. If she made a joke of it, he might share the joke with others or take his participation lightly. Or he might presume upon the connection and develop a delusion that they were intimately entwined.

“I expect you to ejaculate.”

“Mmmm. Here’s the problem. I am not the sexual equivalent of an espresso machine. I don’t ejaculate to order. How will you bring me to the point where I want to ejaculate?”

He is trying to humiliate me! Electra did not understand his comment about what kind of machine he was not. She did understand that he was angry about her choice of words.
“Perhaps you could touch yourself?” she suggested.

“Where?”

“Down there.”

“I could”—his sinfully beautiful lips curved into a wicked slow smile—”if I wanted to. How will you make me want to touch myself? ‘Down there’?”

Electra swallowed. With a shock of surprise, she noticed that her private parts had begun to pulse and snatch nothing, like the pelvic floor exercises one performed.

“I might touch myself,” she offered.

“Where? How?” he demanded.

“I might run my hands down my sides, if you let go of my arm.”

‘Rhett lifted one eyebrow at her.

“Masturbation is not like yawning, my dear.”

Electra blinked at him. “I do not understand you!”

“No? You do know what a yawn is?” He opened his mouth wide, and sighed aloud to demonstrate. “When an ordinary being without special powers sees another person yawn, the yawn is contagious. One yawn sets off a spontaneous and involuntary chain reaction of others’ yawns.”

He stroked a line from her armpit to her hipbone with one finger.

“You seem to think that, if you run your hands down your sides, I will be unable to stop myself from running my own hands down my own sides. Real men…and gods…don’t do that. Try again.”

“I might cup my breasts.” The instant she made the offer, she saw his eyes light up with malicious laughter—or lust—and she knew she’d made another bad choice.

“Now, why would you do that?” he purred.

“Wouldn’t that make you feel like touching yourself?” There was no going back, so she moved forward.

“No. It would make me feel like touching your breasts. If you were to lift your breasts in your hands, I would look on that as an offer. I would dip my head and lick and suck on your breasts. I might lick gently and suck hard. Or lick hard and suck gently. I’d take my time…a very long time. I’d play with your breasts with my mouth and with my hands until my tongue was tired and I’d run out of ways to make your nipples change shape and color and size and texture. That’s what I’d want to do. Soooo. Is that what you’d like me to do?”

“Absolutely not.”

Again, she’d said the wrong thing. He was the most difficult god she’d ever tried to talk to.

“Do you expect me to become sexually excited by watching you make a cynical gesture designed to manipulate my feelings, knowing full well that your breasts are not on offer?”

His voice shook, probably with outrage.

“Yes. No.”

“Then, I find myself unable to deliver.”

“I beg your pardon. I am unaccustomed to males who are not animals.” From a flicker in his eyes, she understood that bringing Viz-Igerd into bed with them was not a good idea. Prince Djarrhett would not be moved to ejaculate out of speciesism.

“I have heard that semen donors on other worlds find the necessary urge to release by looking at pictures and using their imaginations.…”

“I lack imagination.”

“Possibly we could hire one or two of the professionals in this establish—”

His raised eyebrow stopped her. “That would hardly be discreet,” he said dryly.

“Could I pay you to look at pictures until you find yourself…?”

“Paying me would cheapen things, wouldn’t it?” He smiled unpleasantly. “How much—in terms of currency—do you think it would take to send me into transports of sexual ecstasy?”

Electra saw the trap. Any sum, great or small, would be a body insult.

“In chess terms, you are forked with that one, my dear,” he crooned. “Let us go back to the beginning. Suppose you touch me?”

“Where?”

“Why waste time? Go for the operative part, just as you were doing when I woke up and intercepted your hand.” He still held her arm. Now, he shook it gently. “Imagine your fingers are wrapped round my joystick. Imagine your mouth…”

“Excuse me? Your what?”

“My joystick. My root of all evil. My shaft of all pleasures. My volcano of love. My magic mushroom that springs up in the dark. My full-boost vertical. My—”

“Do ridiculous sayings like this excite you, Prince Djarrhett?”

‘Rhett laughed softly and harshly.

“Not in the least. I leave exciting me to you. This is all your idea, so seduce me at your peril, if you can. I see no reason to help you, and every reason not to cooperate. Come now, you went to the Island School For Princesses, didn’t you? Surely you haven’t forgotten what they taught you in Concubinage class.”

She did remember, although it had been a long time ago, and she had left the school before her studies were complete.

“You are mocking me!” She tried to twist free. In all her controlled and public life, she had never felt so close to breaking down. “You are not taking this seriously.”

“It is a very bad idea, Your Majesty.”

#
As she fought, ‘Rhett was strongly tempted to kiss her inexpertly, perhaps roughly, to teach her a lesson she’d never forget. He could. She was in his power. With his free hand he could knead one of her lovely breasts until she gasped.

He could play the tough, heartless superimpregnator. She knew that he was Djinn. She only wanted him because of it, which was bloody insulting.

Rules, now. There must be “rules for a rake” that he should observe, were he—at this fork in his life—to take the broad, low road and to become a young, wicked, dangerous debaucher of lovely, virtuous females. Not that Electra could by any stretch of the imagination be called virtuous, and he would not be debauching her. The boot would be on the other leg. She would be taking his virginity…but he’d be damned if he’d let her know it, no matter how much of a turn-on it would be to be taken in hand by an Island School graduate who knew a lot about sex.

He would definitely formulate a code of conduct, because he enjoyed making rules. Making rules, like doing mental arithmetic, was an effective way of resisting the urge to do with his free hand exactly what she wanted him to do.

Rule One, then. Never sleep with a lady only once, especially in the case of an older lady. There would have to be a second occasion, shortly after the first, to prove that he was not after only one thing; also, to avoid leaving the lady with the impression that he’d found her too slow or too demanding in bed.

Electra was demanding. Delightfully so. She’d taken the lead and said what she wanted. Now what would she do? ‘Rhett smiled down at the furious lady sharing his pillow and thrashing wildly to escape. Or was she trying to get a leg up and over him? That reminded him.

Rider to Rule One. Having sex multiple times the first sleepover does not count as more than one “date.”

Rule Two. There had to be a Rule Two. The lady “comes” first? Ladies first, by whatever means necessary?

He considered that. Did a shameless, Royal adulteress—who was only there for the semen—count as a lady? On the other hand, where would be the power play, where would be the punishment, if she got what she wanted without having to put out?

If it took a lot of fumbling and prodding, and a great deal of experimentation on his part, what choice would she have? She could hardly laugh—or swear—at him, or she’d never have her wicked way.

Rule Three. The rest of the Nevers. Never wear a thong. Never kiss with a closed mouth, it’s ungodly. Never kiss with open eyes…unless she does. Never strike, force, or take advantage of a lady, even if she climbs into your bed of her own volition.

Ah, well. It was fun while it lasted.

‘Rhett opened his fingers and let her wrench free, leaving the next move up to her. She promptly fell off the bed.

“It was a very bad idea,” ‘Rhett repeated, as Electra exploded out of his room, and out of his life. “For both of us.”

He’d done the right thing…but it had been a close call.

Chapter Six

Pleasure Moon of Eurydyce
‘Rhett’s bedchamber

A wild thrill ran up and down his spine. By All That is Wondrous, he hadn’t really done anything wicked, but he felt magnificent. His rules weren’t doing the job at all.
Rule Six. A gentlemale does not allow a lady to leave his bedroom in tears. ‘Rhett threw off his silk sheet and sprang out of bed to go after her. I shouldn’t let her run around blinded by tears, even if she is hot, sexually experienced, and asking to be inseminated.
He was struggling into his tight, white breeches, when a gasp from the corridor, followed by a scuffling sound, made him snatch up his sword belt and rush barefoot to the doorway.
“Of all the Djinn groins…in all the towns…in All the Communicating Worlds…” An insolent drawl cut the silence.
All three of ‘Rhett’s older half-brothers shared Casablanca humor, but Devoron had always been the “gin joint” punster.
Damnation! Of all Djinn, she’s run into Devoron!
“…she throws herself onto ‘Rhett’s.” Devoron stood about twenty-five paces down the corridor, blocking Electra’s path. His sword was drawn. Electra was backing away, like a tiptoeing child playing Grandmother’s Footsteps in reverse motion.
“Onto ‘Rhett’s!” the lone twin repeated with exaggerated incredulity. He’d first spoken in English, but now switched to the Imperial language, High Court. Most puns did not translate, but the accompanying crotch grab-and-shake must have made it clear even to Electra that Devoron meant to belittle and offend.
“Drop it, Devoron!” ‘Rhett strode toward his half brother.
For reasons he couldn’t begin to explain to himself, he preferred that Electra not be told that he’d lost his saturniid glands and would never be sexually fixated on a scent love. He didn’t want her to know that she could ovulate in his company and he would not go into a week-long mating frenzy. He wanted her to believe that he was as dangerous to her as she was to him.
“She’s not rut-rageous, is she?” Devoron lifted his face and sniffed the air like a grizzly bear.
No way! Electra couldn’t have been so reckless as to come down from the relative safety of her Barge to the lawless Pleasure Moon in search of her notorious old Uncle Django-Ra at the time of the month when she could be rut-rageous. “She’s fully dressed, Devoron, for pity’s sake!”
He left it at that. The point was that he and Electra hadn’t done anything, however bad it looked to Devoron.
“You are not. Little brother.”
“Cease and desist. Don’t say another word. Or I’ll have to make you silent.”
“Go on! Make me! Kiss my thigh!” Devoron jeered.
In Earthling terms, thigh-kissing came somewhere between “Kiss my arse!” and “Kiss my feet!” In Imperial parlance, thigh-kissing was a gesture of sexual and political submission.
“Get away from here!” ‘Rhett told Electra as he shouldered past her and thrust her behind him. “Normally, he’s not like this.”
Nor am I!
‘Rhett unsheathed his sword with as much long, drawn-out menace as was possible with a ceremonial—and therefore relatively short—saber. He went into a ready crouch, knees flexed, core and thighs taut, with his left hand fisted on his hip and the twitching blade in his right hand…like a hunting cat’s tail just before the lethal pounce.
Out of respect for Aunt Tarra’s fixtures and fittings in the corridor, and to protect his own bare chest, he confined his sword movements to tiny, economical circles and little Zorro slashes as he advanced to within three sword’s lengths of Devoron.
“Are you sure you want this, Dev?” His pulse had begun to pound like a jackhammer. Mouth dry, belly tight, he was “in the zone,” seeing everything in slowed motion. “I’m serious. It’s not a game. If we fight, you will get hurt.”
‘Rhett and his brothers didn’t mess about. They could be nice guys, but they weren’t ritual Knights. They were warriors. If they fought, it was their job to maim and kill. They knew how. They had the skill and the will.
“Are you going to try to kill me this time?” Devoron taunted.
“This time?” He heard Electra gasp from the rear.
Devoron fixed his arrogant, blue-eyed gaze on a point behind and to the right of ‘Rhett’s shoulder. On Electra.
“Hasn’t ‘Rhett told you, Ma’am? He has a long and illustrious history of being a spoilsport when his elders and betters want sex.”

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