The Human Move
Sita’s heartbeat pounded hard through her body. There they are. My naked feelings laid out on the floor for you to stomp on. She thought she was ready for anything, ready for his cool contempt, for his distant pity, even for his derisive sneer. But she wasn’t ready for the stunning heat that suddenly burst into life between them, arcing between their bodies like an electric charge.
She heard Max’s breath stop in his throat. “Sita,” he said, his voice between a groan and a whisper. His magnificent eyes had gone black with just a ring of blue around the edge, shining in sudden excitement.
A rush of answering excitement flooded her body, pooling hot between her legs. Ciel, Max. It had been so long, and now he was here with her again. The giddy, exuberant joy only he had ever been able to draw from her was surging up from the depths of her body and her spirit, reaching for that lost completion once again.
Yielding to instinct, she eased her feet in between Max’s. Even that slight, brushing contact made her breath stutter in her throat. Slowly, every nerve thrilling at her own daring, she raised her right foot, brushing her toes against the inside of his left ankle, then up along the muscle of his calf to the inside of his knee. She paused, glancing at his face through her lashes. He was completely still except for his heaving breath, watching her out of fiercely blue eyes. His wide, beautiful mouth was set in lines of grim concentration.
Carefully, she let her toes travel down the long, lean sinews of his thigh to the crease where his leg met his body. She slid her foot over his hip to plant it on the floor, and levered herself between his legs in one swift motion.
He sucked in a shocked breath, but by then both her legs were locked around his hips, her sex just centimeters apart from his. Her gaze dipped down. He was hard already, his long, curved rod straining against the confines of his carbonsuit. Ciel, she remembered this part of him so well, how deep he could drive into her, how long he could stay hard and demanding inside her. Her lips parted on a soundless gasp as her body softened and flowed, flowering for him, waiting for him to bridge the short distance between them.
He didn’t move a muscle, except the fast expansions of his chest. He wasn’t encouraging her. But then, he wasn’t stopping her either.
Carefully, she set her hands on his naked shoulders, those broad rangy shoulders she used to sink her nails into as he shoved himself into her again and again. She trembled at the memory as her fingers brushed over his deltoids, so clearly defined under his fine, lightly freckled skin.
Her hands dipped lower, relearning him, reclaiming him from the depths of the years. Like most Martians, he used depilatory treatments that left his body naked of hair. She traced over the smooth, broad slabs of his pectorals, her palms just brushing over the dusky pink nipples there. He shivered strongly, his breath sawing out of his throat. But still, he did not move. After a tiny pause, she continued trailing her fingers down over the rippling muscles of his stomach to the twin ridges that curved over his hips and disappeared under the waistband of his suit.
She let her hands rest there, just touching the skin at his hard waist, his heat burning through her fingertips. She was aching to continue on toward his straining shaft, so hard she could almost see it pulsing with his heartbeat behind the fabric of his suit. She trembled, her muscles soft as hot plaz at the mere thought of stroking that firm length. But she would not move further. Not until he did.
She raised her eyes to his, and gasped again, snared in the blue flame of his ferocious stare. They stayed that way for a long moment, breathing each other’s breath, feeling each other’s blood pulse heat through the air between them. Time seemed to stretch, the past, future, and present swirling together in a volatile mixture primed to explode. The charge of anticipation built and built, moving from possibility toward certainty.
She was close to moaning in frustration. Her lips moved without her conscious will, shaping the words Max…Please…
In a lightning fast movement, Max flipped her against the wall and pinned her there with his hands on either side of her shoulders, his feet trapping her feet between them.
She cried out in shock, the heat of her desire catapulted into fever pitch. Ciel, she was almost ready to come right now.
But Max was glaring down at her. “What is this, Sita? What game are you playing?” His voice was cold, clashing with the heat of his body.
“No game!” she was suddenly furious. She planted her hands against his ridged chest and tried to shove him away, or perhaps draw him closer. Her body quivered with volatile heat. “You’re the one who plays games. Who wants power, who wants money! All I ever wanted was…” she stopped, panting hard.
“What? Tell me!” he said sharply.
There was nothing for it. She reached up and clasped his head between her hands, sinking her fingers into that rich mane of tawny hair, and pulled him in for a kiss.
The hot, sweet taste of him burst on her lips. Max! It’s been so long… Time slowed, reversed, rushing back over the years and years to the moment they had first come together in a scalding kiss just like this one. Deep. Hot. Wet. Insanely good. The rush of desperate longing fulfilled at last.
He opened his mouth over hers with a groan that sounded like it was wrenched from deep inside his chest, thrusting his tongue against hers, sweeping between her lips and into her mouth as if he were starving for the taste of her.
She arched against him, her head back against the wall where he pinned her, her yin finally rubbing against the hardness of his rod as she desperately sought contact.
He broke off their kiss, panting, and looked down at her, his blue gaze ruthless. His lips were slick with their passion, his jaw as hard as steel. “What? What do you want?” he demanded, his voice a deep growl. He shoved his thick rod against her as if he couldn’t help himself, as if he could force her answer with his body. And he could. By Heaven, he could.
“You!” The word burst from her throat, the bone deep truth of it impossible to hide. “All I ever wanted was you.” She clutched at him, drawing him back to her for another searing kiss.
With a sound like agony Max wrapped his arms around her, cradling her against him even as he devoured her mouth. After a long, hot tangle of lips and tongue, he broke away to rain kisses down her neck until he reached the collar of her suit. With a feral growl he tore his gloves off with his teeth, one after the other, making sure he had a firm grip on her at all times, as if he were afraid she would try to escape him. But Sita wasn’t going anywhere, her fingers sinking into the hard muscles of his shoulders to anchor herself to him.
His hands finally free of the gloves, he ripped open her suit from the neck to the crotch in one swift motion. A cry burst from Sita’s lips as his long, square fingers found her skin. He brushed over her throat to her collarbone and then he was cupping her breasts, squeezing and rubbing, pinching her nipples with the perfect amount of pressure. His eyes avid on his task, he muttered broken sentences—“Ciel, Sita—I can’t—Heaven—You’re so beautiful…”
She captured his mouth again with her own, sucking his tongue, nipping his lower lip.
She slid her hands down his body to caress his hard length through his suit, rubbing firmly over his flesh, the way she remembered he liked it. A feverish need to touch that velvety skin seized her. With shaking fingers she opened the fabric. She curved her hand around his rod as another rush of heat pooled low inside her. She pulled her fist up, stroking it, running her thumb over the head already slick with his excitement. She caressed every hard vein under the silky skin of his penis until he was groaning.
She swirled her fist around the broad head, pulling another groan from him.
“Feck, is this really happening?”
As an answer she wrapped her legs around his waist and stroked him again, brushing his weeping rod against her belly. “Yes, Max. Touch me. Feel how real this is,” she breathed.
His eyes flashed at her demand. Dragging one hand down her waist and over her belly, he arrowed two fingers into her sex, rubbing over her tab with a firm, sure touch and forcing a shocked cry of pleasure from her. Then he thrust them inside her.
His lips parted when he found how sopping wet she was. “You do want me.”
She pulled him in for another long, luscious kiss. “Always,” she whispered against his lips.
He drew his trembling fingers from her channel and clutched her hips with both hands. Planting his feet against the diamond surface, he shifted her, so easily in the zero gravity, positioning her opening over his jutting rod so the hot tip of him just kissed her.
She drew her face back from him just enough to look into his endlessly blue eyes as she flexed her legs and took him inside.
A long, hot glide of thick flesh slid within her, caressing her deeply. Every muscle straining, trembling, his face locked in an expression like agony. She took him all the way to the root, milking him hard with all her inner muscles until he made a pained sound deep in his chest “’S too good…Sita!”
His hips bucked involuntarily, and she screamed out, “Again!”
He did it again, and then again, and soon he was drilling into her in a hard, fast rhythm, every surge punctuated by a low, deep groan. “Too hot--not going to last long,” he gritted.
Sita didn’t care. Her lips and hands sought out every centimeter of hot skin she could reach, her legs wound over his pumping hips as she twisted around the long brand he had so deep inside her. She was mindless, cracked wide open, sobs pouring out of her as she moved against him
He gripped her bottom, working her over his rod with hard desperation, each slam and thrust rubbing perfectly against her tab, each one hotter than the last.
It was coming for both of them, an annihilating charge rising between their bodies, just the way they had always been together. Unstoppable. She found his mouth with her own again, moaning against his firm lips, readying for the final moment when he lost himself totally, driving to his completion…and there. There it was.
Hard as a steel spike, he drove into her again. And then again. And then the lightning struck.
She was screaming as she clenched around him, and he was roaring into her mouth as jets of his hot jack lashed deep inside her. Tears spilled down her cheeks as they clutched each other tightly, shock after shock racking them both down to their bones.
An endless time later, it shivered to a stop. He was still half hard inside her, still swaying his hips back and forth as if he couldn’t quite bring himself to give up this feeling yet.
Sita sighed in bliss, drifting against him, held in his arms.
* * *
Max was floating in pure satisfied bliss, without thought or memory. Enveloped in intimacy, the connection to another soul he had yearned for once, long ago.
Then he remembered it was all a lie. Connection never lasted, and intimacy was always an illusion. If life had taught him nothing else, it had taught him that.
For a moment, he tried to ignore the voice of experience whispering at him. Sita was wrapped around him, soft and warm. He held her in his shaking hands, trying to let her heat calm their trembling. But it just got worse. Then he felt the trickle of hot tears against his neck, where her face was buried.
“Why are you crying?” he said, his voice rough like his throat was packed with broken rock. He pulled her back to look down into her face. She was smiling, radiant.
“Because I’m happy,” she said, reaching up to touch his cheek. “Being with you makes me so happy, Max.”
The shaking moved from his hands up his arms into his chest, rattling in his lungs, trembling in every muscle and bone. His rod slid out of her body in a rush of pleasure that loaded yet another feeling onto the mountain of sensation already crushing down on him. It was too much, too fecking much!
“You surely don’t expect be crying for long then,” he said, his jaw tight.
Sita’s smile faded. “What?”
“A few weeks. That’s how long you were with me the last time, right?” The trembling was shaking him apart, cracking open his heart. No! he couldn’t let it happen. Could. Not.
He dragged in air, clenching his hands, and forced the cool, calm mask down over his face again. Forced the cold power of his will to smother the emotions Sita had stirred in him.
“However, as you pointed out earlier, such a short affair as you no doubt contemplate won’t work in the present case, since we’ll be living together on this ship for six months,” he rapped out. He was relieved to hear his voice sounding as cool as ever, betraying none of the tremor still shaking him inside.
He had to deal with this situation the way he dealt with all his other relationships--as a business arrangement. Then it would make sense. He could handle business. “I propose a standard sexual relationship contract lasting the full term of the voyage to Mars. We’ll work out the expectations and limitations clauses in detail so there will be no confusion about your responsibilities. I want our association locked down this time around.”
Sita stared at him, her mouth working soundlessly. Then she screeched, “You utter bastard! I can’t believe it! I can’t believe you’re doing this to me again! I get close to you and you treat me like a connie!” Her hands and feet flailed around as she tried to find a surface to ground herself with.
“You’re being irrational,” Max said impatiently. He grabbed hold of her arm and pulled her down.
“Damn right I am! You’re making me cracked!” Her feet thumped onto the diamond wall, her cling boots holding her there. She yanked her arm out of his grip and glared at him from behind her floating hair.
"If I were treating you like a connie, I would offer you monetary compensation," he continued. "Fifty thousand points per quarter at the least."
Sita's eyes widened. "Max you idiot, shut up before you make it worse," she hissed.
He watched her uneasily. "A hundred thousand?"
An incoherent scream of rage resounded throughout the zeeball court.
Damned if he knew why, but Max had to fight to keep his mouth from cuving into a smile. And the shaking had somehow stopped. "You know, I don't think I've ever been called an idiot before in my life," he said thoughtfully.
"Then you're decades overdue!" Sita took a deep breath to scold him further, which did astounding things for her magnificent bare breasts.
Eyes locked on her despite himself, Max missed the opening of the zeeball court's door until he heard a light snap and hiss. Oh shite.
They both whipped their heads toward the shocked sound to see Devi and Jacques floating at the entrance. Jacques, his face a fiery red, instantly ducked back out the door, leaving Devi staring at them with a bomb blasted look. Whirling around to put her back to them, she gasped, “Oh...Heaven...I’m so, so sorry, but I, uh, have important news.”
Max fumbled for his clothes, flushing and cursing viciously under his breath.
Sita too was putting her clothes to rights, though somehow managing it with a lot more dignity than he. As a duster, she was used to casual nudity, the native Martians having long ago developed a relaxed attitude toward bodily functions of all types. But still, a telltale flush darkened her golden skin. “I thought you and Jacques were busy,” she muttered.
“We got waylaid by the captain before we got to the residence decks,” Devi said, a hint of sulkiness in her voice. “Captain Lopez is demanding to talk to Max. I thought we should come get you ourselves in case you were in the middle of an argument. Or...something.”
“Oh, we were,” Sita said, shooting him an icy glance. “Good thing you interrupted us before I did bodily harm to you father.”
Max ground his teeth, trying to ignore this, along with the fury and mortification. He snapped at Devi's back, “Why didn’t you com me like a regular person?”
“We did. You haven’t been answering your cuff coms.” Max looked down at his bare forearms in confusion. This had to be the longest time he had gone without his cuffs in months. Even when he was playing zeeball, he was never out of communication with his aides, or anyone else who wanted to consult with him on an engineering problem. But today, in his brief fit of insanity, he had stripped them off. His left hand fingers drifted toward his right forearm automatically. He almost felt more naked without his cuffs than he would without his pants.
“What does Captain Lopez want?” Sita had the presence of mind to ask.
“She says that the director of the space station we’re docking with won’t release the merchandise into the holds of the Exalt until he talks to Max. He wants to give him a personal sales pitch on some kind of engineering concept.”
Max opened his mouth to inform everyone exactly where this director could insert his engineering concept, but Devi continued, “Here’s the thing—he claims to be a representative of the Aurora project.”
* * *
After scrubbing down in his habsuite’s cleanser, Max pulled on his carbonsuit and trudged to his door, wondering how much more emotional upheaval he was going to have to take today. For a man who usually existed in a state of intellectual detachment, he had spent a lot of time lately being battered about by feelings of one type or another. He was wrung out, as sore as if he had exercising muscles that had atrophied years ago.
And now, instead of unwinding with a nice treatise on mathematics theory, he had to plunge back into the fray to find out what this Xu bloke knew about the dusted Aurora project. Bracing himself, he touched open his door.
A freshly cleansed and still-irate-looking Sita was waiting for him on the other side. Devi and Jacques were standing a little farther along the corridor, talking to each other in low tones.
Max eyed Sita with some trepidation, and also a renewed sense of lust. Tamade. He cleared his throat. “What are you three doing here?”
“We’re going with you, obviously,” Sita said, tapping her foot. “We all want to find out what this Xu Huxing knows about the Aurora project. Kurtz and Jacques’s family were entangled with them too. We need to know what we’ve been dealing with, as much as you and Bianca do.”
Max grunted. He supposed she had a point. This mysterious group had wormed its way into the lives of all the people he cared about in one way or another, and they needed to find out how, and why.
“All right, you can come. But Sita,” he said, stepping close to her until she had to crane her neck up to see him, “Our earlier conversation is not over. When this business with Xu is done, we go somewhere private and we finish this.”
“Oh, don’t you worry, I’m not through with you yet,” she returned, a martial glitter in her eyes.
Max decided to leave things there for now, before he betrayed any alarm. Or arousal. “Right, let’s find the captain and get this over with,” he said curtly, and started toward the lift to the cargo decks. Sita fell into step beside him, her boots ringing sharply on the plaz floor.
Devi and Jacques straightened up as the approached. Devi tried a wobbly smile, but Jacques stared at the floor, refusing to meet Max’s eyes. Guess the prudish Earther saw more of me on the Zeeball court than he bargained for.
“Told you I had more experience in zero gravity than you ever dreamed of, kit,” Max muttered as he walked past him.
Jacques flushed scarlet. Max tried to stifle a grin, but then he heard a choked noise from Sita. He slid her a glance, and saw her eyes sparkling and lips quivering with laughter. Before he could control himself, his lips were curling up.
Ciel, sharing a juvenile snicker with Sita was yet another pleasure he’d forgotten all about. No, this thing between them was not over, not at all. He and Sita had a lot more to thrash out between them. But suddenly, the prospect of all that thrashing didn’t seem so dire. In fact, he felt lighter somehow, almost…optimistic.
Sita had better brace herself. He was going to get this interview over at light speed. He might have zero experience at subtly probing for information, but he wasn’t a genius for nothing. How hard could it possibly be?
* * *
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