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"Across the Stars" Excerpt

Updated: Jan 20, 2023

[Ready for a little teaser for my upcoming alien romance?!]


“Everything but the E7 vials and the copser fluid vats have been loaded,” she said. She looked around as males from my team escorted syfer crates onto the ship, replacing what the humans were taking off. “So it looks like all we have left are the last two syfer crates and your science stuff.”

I chuckled internally at Penny’s phrase, “science stuff.” She wasn’t a biologist, a doctor, or anything that even gave her the slightest interest in those kinds of exchanges. She was a pilot, a coordinator, and a hard worker. Most humans were followers. Penny, if given the right opportunity, was a leader. I could tell she was climbing toward something and I was silently wishing her well every time I saw her.

Looking back up, I saw a couple females from the station accompanying Doctor Tollie and carefully loading the “science stuff” onto hover transports. I watched those two long, white pods exit the cargo bay and couldn’t help the little spark of hope from lighting every time we got new material to work with from the humans. Salukh turned his attention to the pods, or more specifically, the little blonde female helping to move them, and offered his aid while my attention went back toward the female with the blue hair. Innifer.

She was helping secure one of the syfer crates near the wall and I couldn’t help but watch the way she made such an effort to perfect her task. It was just a few metal buckles and clasps, but she checked her work more than once before she was satisfied. When she stood from her crouched position, she scanned the room, her eyes finding the blonde female and Salukh first before her gaze wandered to me. She paused, staring right at me. For a moment, I felt like she could see right through my visor, which I knew was impossible. Still, she just watched me and I wondered if she could sense that I was the same one who’d bumped her on the Nexus.

My body tingled remembering the sensation I felt then. There was a little beat in my chest that was practically foreign to me and I lifted a hand to feel the slight pulse reverberate under my right pectoral. It wasn’t possible, I thought. Then Innifer stepped toward me and that flutter in my chest deepened. I watched her, a subtle cock in my head, and couldn’t help noticing the sway of her hips. She was confident. Her body was a slender, feminine shape and her strides were long. She watched me the whole time until she was right in front of me and then her eyes turned to Penny.

“Everything seems secure,” she said.

Penny barely looked up from her digital screen and said, “Good.”

Then she turned her head away, glancing around as if to double-check the quality of everyone’s work. When she handed the digital pad to Innifer, she finally looked at her.

“Check everything on the list,” she said. “Then scan each crate to get it in the system.”

“Oh,” Innifer said hesitantly. “Ok.”

“I’m going to talk to the pilot. He’s new and I need to make sure he knows how sensitive this cargo is. I don’t want any fancy maneuvers.”

“Gotcha,” Innifer said, holding the screen in both hands like she thought she’d drop it.

Penny walked off and she slowly turned back around to face me. I watched her throat bob as she swallowed and could see her heat signatures rising. She was definitely nervous and I doubted I was helping by standing over her like I was. I couldn’t help it, though. A big part of me wanted to remove my helmet and take in her scent, but that was against protocol.

Forcing her eyes back toward the digital pad, she started going over things on the list like Penny instructed, biting her lower lip. I watched her in my peripheral but didn’t want to add to her timidness by staring right at her. As much as I wanted to study her, it was considered rude and she’d notice.

“Ok,” she said to herself, spinning around to start making her way toward the crates.

I watched her scan each one and log them into the system and when she was finished with the task, she looked like she was pretending to do things on the screen just to avoid me. That was amusing. Now I was smiling behind my visor and, as if she knew it, she glared up at me, again chewing on her lip like she was arguing with herself.

Finally, Innifer made her way back toward me, lowered the digital pad to her side, and raised her brows.

“You’re the one, right?” she said. “The one that bumped me on the dock a couple of weeks ago?”

I looked down at her, my chest swelling. I hesitated to answer, but she knew, so it didn’t matter. She lifted her chin, sticking out her hand in a gesture common to humans when they introduced themselves. I simply looked at her outstretched hand and tilted my head again like I didn’t understand. I thought it would be fun to toy with her, but her eyes immediately fell to her palm. As if irritated and embarrassed at the same time, she curled her fingers in and dropped the offer.

“Right,” she said. “So you guys don’t do handshakes, I guess. Judging by the suits, you’re not keen on physical touch, either, huh? I promise I washed my hands,” she joked. “But I get it. Sorry.”

That was an odd statement. I knew that Earth frowned on physical contact and most relationships were virtual, but the Nexus wasn’t so strict so I’d forgotten that detail. Innifer, however, was newly transferred from Earth’s surface and I had to guess that she was still used to the rules. Valerians were not limited when it came to touching, though. We enjoyed it. Craved it. In fact, now I felt bad for not taking her hand in greeting, especially after seeing the way her shoulders drooped when I’d rejected her gesture. I had to make it up to her before we went our separate ways again.

I looked around first, not keen on having an audience. Satisfied that I was one of the only valerians left on the ship, I stepped in and took Innifer’s wrist.

She jolted at the contact, her eyes moving from the transport tunnel to where I was gently gripping her. I was completely taken aback by the force of heat that coursed through me, even through the material of my suit. It was a surge all over again, but that time the exchange was different. I hid a reaction, lifting her hand up between us. I could feel her pulse beneath my fingers and it teased my second heart. It was something I hadn’t felt for many cycles. I longed to feel it beat again but was still in denial over the fact that this human was my biggest chance at that.

Innifer’s eyes fluttered and she swallowed, staring at my hand as I turned her palm facing up. She observed with utter fascination, glancing at my visor a couple of times as if she expected me to remove my helmet next.

I wasn’t going to go quite that far.

“We do not shake hands where I’m from,” I said.

She blinked at that, caught off guard by the sound of my voice. Then, pressing on the underside of my wrist, the material on my hand receded into the sleeve, leaving it bare and hued in white pink. Innifer stopped breathing, watching as I rested the back of my hand in her palm and slowly slid it down the length to the tips of her fingers.

That was the contact I needed because my hearts jumped into a rhythm I had never felt before. It hurt, like a bum leg that hadn’t been used in ages, but it felt good, too. I shivered and I could hear Innifer’s breath tremble from her lips as well. She felt it. I felt it. It should not have been possible, but that was a proper surge. A reaction. My skin heated and I watched as Innifer’s cheeks flushed in response. Under the tight confines of my suit, I could feel my cock hardening with need. It was painful, but another good pain. One I’d craved for a long time, even if I didn’t want to admit it. But this wasn’t the place to feel such things nor was it the time.

I replaced the material over my hand and composed myself, stepping back from Innifer. She was staring down at her palm in a daze like I’d left something there. I knew she had to feel something as well. Maybe not something so obvious, but it was there.

Turning, I saw Salukh at the entrance to the tunnel and could sense that his eyes were narrowed on me. I marched toward him, balling my still-tingling hand into a fist.

“Not now,” I said as I passed him.

Salukh raised his hands in surrender. “I didn’t say anything.” He followed behind me as we made our way onto the station and then back to the Irlos docked on the other side. “Everything is accounted for,” he said. “You know, except for your mate.”

“I said not now,” I barked. “We’re leaving.”

“Yeah, yeah. I’m sure you need privacy to soften that cock of yours,” he chuckled. “Let me know how it goes.” He reached down, adjusting his own cock like it was uncomfortable. “What I wouldn’t give to know what a hard cock feels like again.”

I grumbled. At the moment? Not too great.


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