I had fierce insta-love for the space pirates Anders and Clay the second they showed up in Catalyst. I know, they sprang from my imagination, but it’s hard to explain just how hard they sprang. Fully formed and tangled up in all these overwhelming feelings of friendship and more–I wanted to write their story immediately. When Siri came to me, I knew these three were perfect for each other. This book comes out in April and I’m not sure I’ve been more excited about one of my menage romances. Origin is M/M/F in a big, big way. 😉
Here’s a rather revealing glimpse into their world. I can’t wait to share this book with you all.
I couldn’t move. Pain wracked every muscle and joint, my entire left arm nothing but one excruciating throb. No, it had gone beyond throb to constant, white-hot agony. The box, smaller than the last, had two holes for air, so even when I did manage to stay awake, lack of oxygen kept me dizzy. Boots sounded as my owner stomped across the room, her scratchy laughter growing louder as she bent to rap her knuckles on the wooden top.
“Like the coffin, little girl? I plan to bury you in it.”
Still chuckling, she plugged one of the holes. Within seconds, my lungs raged for air. I wanted to claw at my throat, but she’d stuffed me in the small space with one arm squished under me and the other bent wrong. The pain of the elbow snap had knocked me out—I didn’t know for how long. Hot tears spilled from my eyes, the ones from the right eye dripping and burning the left because of the angle of my head. I tried to think of my mother and father, to remember their comfort, but my mind was funny these days. It distorted memories until sometimes, I dreamed of them as creatures reaching out to me with nothing but smooth skin where their faces were supposed to be. Terror slithered through my chest like a serpent before it expanded, growing thick, filling every part of me until I sucked in the last of the stale air and screamed.
“Wake up, sweetheart. Shh. Fuck, please stop whimpering like that.”
Big hands lifted me from the bunk and every muscle in my body went taut as I buried the urge to fight. Fighting made it worse.
“No Siri, you can fight me. Fight all you want.” He let me go.
Realizing I’d spoken aloud, I blinked open eyes, gummy from tears, and stared at Anders. He sat on the side of my bunk, wearing black shorts and another sleeveless shirt like before—this one white. He’d chopped off most of his hair, leaving it shorter in the back, longer and messy around his eyes. He blew long blond bangs off his forehead, his smile kind. “You were having a bad dream.”
There was movement behind him, and I stretched to look over his shoulder to find the captain hovering in the doorway. He wore only soft blue pajama bottoms, and he’d obviously been awakened from sleep because his black hair was flat on one side. He had a crease down one cheek. My gaze involuntarily slid down his naked chest, taking in the rippling, lean muscles, the sprinkling of dark hair between his nipples. He had tattoos—a knife on his side, a symbol I didn’t recognize on his shoulder and colorful tattoos between his elbow and hand on his left arm.
I closed my eyes, shame heating up my neck and cheeks. “Sorry I woke you two.”
“Don’t be. Anyone making that kind of sounds needs a good waking.” Anders smiled and stood up, the loss of his big frame shifting the bed. “Want to talk about it?”
I shook my head, rubbing the spot on my elbow where the break had left a permanent scar because it hadn’t healed correctly. The memories of the “box years,” as I called them, weren’t for anyone other than myself.
Why share the nightmare of exchanging one tiny box for a slightly larger one as my adolescent frame grew? Why share the terror of broken bones and living in your own waste? Shuddering, I tried to shake off the very physical, cloying sensation of fear the dream memory had brought.
The men shared a look, and my belly flip-flopped as I took in their concern. We were strangers, so their regard didn’t make sense, but it also nudged something inside me I thought hadn’t developed. I didn’t feel desire, not like what I’d witnessed in others. As I looked at them standing beside each other—one short, ripped and dark and the other broad-shouldered and big with that sexy spill of silky blond hair—I felt something new. A curling of warmth in my limbs, an empty ache between my legs…and my breasts suddenly felt heavier. I sat up, shocked, and had to stop myself from cupping my own breasts. I bit my lip, entertained by the image that would have given them.
And like that, the fear was gone. My cheeks twitched, so amused was I over the thought of their shock if I’d suddenly grabbed my breasts, that I couldn’t stop the smile I aimed their direction. It felt strange on my face.
Anders sucked in a breath. “Gods woman, you have the smile of an angel.”
Wrinkling my nose, I shook my head. “You have an awfully sweet tongue in your mouth.”
“So I’ve been told.”
Clay rolled his eyes. “Don’t give him any ideas.” His shoulders relaxed as if he accepted that the possible crisis had been averted. He leaned against the open doorway and crossed his arms over his chest. This made his biceps bulge.
I wasn’t the only one looking at them. Anders had turned when the captain moved, and his shuttered stare sent a shiver down my spine. What was their story? My curiosity surprised me as much as the desire had.
“So, you’re okay, Siri?” Clay ignored Anders’s fiery stare, focusing on me.
“I am.” I pulled the soft Drenellian cotton blanket into a bunch I could cuddle to my chest. “It’s all a little overwhelming. I don’t remember…being free before. I can’t quite grasp the concept.” I frowned, looked down at my lap. “It’s hard to describe.”
“I imagine you have a lot of crazy emotions going on.”
“I am sorry I woke you.”
Anders shrugged. “I wasn’t asleep, so don’t worry about it.”
“Don’t even worry about it if he was. There’s a lot for you to take in, get used to. There’s a whole world out there just waiting for you to do something in it. Something of your choice.” Clay winked. “I’d be having some wild dreams myself if I were facing that.”
As both men shuffled out of my room, I hugged that beautiful blanket, wondering if these new feelings the men raised in me would give me a new kind of wild dream.
One with touches that were offered with love.