by K.M. Mahoney
Three men, one spaceship, and a whole lot of trouble. The universe is never going to be the same.
Daior Mathews is having a bad decade. When he’s captured and held hostage, he figures things can’t get much worse. After meeting Terran, a fellow prisoner and the most adorable man he’s seen in years, Dai believes his fortune might be changing at long last. He’s looking at Terran, Terran’s looking back, and it looks like he’s finally getting lucky. But that’s before the situation takes a turn for the worse and Daior is forced to call an old lover for help. Now Dai’s on the run with his new boyfriend, and his old friend Tam is eyeing said boyfriend with lustful eyes.
So what’s a space mercenary to do? Take them all to bed, of course. And that’s when the fun really begins.
Daior sat up with a groan, reflexively grabbing his head with both hands. Damn, how many Agrarian Chasers had he downed?
Oh, yeah. None. He growled. No alcohol. No hangover. Just a bunch of walking dead men. When he got his hands on those guards…
Terran. Where the hell was his Terran?
He leapt off the table, staggering sideways when his feet hit the metal floor. Ah, cold. He took two unsteady steps before he realised something was missing.
Clothes. He needed clothes. Couldn’t wander a strange ship buck naked. Might not go over so well.
Daior let out a few curses and started rummaging. He slammed an empty drawer shut and winced when the sound made his head throb. It felt as if somebody had shoved a wad of cotton balls up his nose and stuck a pick into the base of his neck. Bloody sadistic bastard, whoever it was.
Dai went through three drawers before he saw the neatly folded pile on a chair by the door. Shit, he must be worse off than he’d first thought. He was normally a lot more observant than that.
By the time he had pulled on the loose-fitting pants and tied the drawstring around his hips, his head had cleared out a bit. Still hurt like a son of a bitch, but at least he felt a bit more…functioning.
He slapped his hand against the door panel, half-expecting it to be locked. He was pleased when it hissed open easily. So, friends. Whatever vessel he was on, it was owned by friends.
Despite that conclusion, Dai still entered the hall with caution. First order of business—find Terran. Second—find out where the hell they were.
His head hurt too much to count any higher.
The door to the med bay closed behind him and Dai looked around. The hallway only went one way, which made things considerably easier for his poor, pounding brain. He took a couple of steps, pleased to note his legs seemed to be working much better now.
Laughter floated down the hall, ricocheting off the walls and reaching his ears oddly fractured. Daior flattened himself against the cold metal, muscles tensing. Wait, there was something familiar about…both of them.
A fierce scowl immediately replaced his battle tension. Tamesis. Damn the man. If Tam had made a move on Dai’s baby, someone was going to be missing some vital parts by this evening. And it wasn’t going to be Dai.
Daior ignored the little voice taunting him and moved to the centre of the hallway, planting himself with the immovability of a wall and folding his arms over his chest.
Terran and Tamesis came around the corner. Terran hung off the larger man’s arm with the tenacity of a monkey, body shaking with giggles.
“Explanation, anyone?” Daior drawled.
Terran squealed—ear-piercing, that—and flung himself across the space between them. Dai grinned as the smaller man tried to climb up his body.
“You okay, baby?” he asked.
“Oh, Gods, Dai. I thought you weren’t ever going to wake up. It’s been days and days, and we kept having to jump through holes, and—”
“Let the man breathe,” Tam ordered with an indulgent smile.
“Mind your own business,” Dai said.
The smile slid off Tam’s face. Without a word, he turned on his heel and disappeared the way he had come.
Terran pulled back, still hanging onto Dai’s neck. “That wasn’t very nice,” he scolded gently.
“I’m not feeling very nice,” Dai retorted. “My head is pounding, my back feels like someone shoved a pole up my spine, my lover is wrapped all over a man I despise and I haven’t the slightest clue where we are or what’s going on!”
“There’s no need to yell.”
“I’ll yell if I want to.”
“You weren’t nearly this cranky when we were being held prisoner,” Terran accused.
Dai sighed heavily and hugged the lithe body to him. “Sorry. I’m just a little on edge right now.”
“We’re safe,” Terran assured him. “Tam got us both out of there. We’ve been galaxy hopping, trying to stay a few steps ahead of the cruisers the compound sent after us. For a place that wasn’t very well guarded inside, they sure have a lot of artillery in space.”
“Big backing, then.”
“That’s what Tam said.”
Daior ran his fingers through that spiky hair. “I’m glad you’re okay, baby.”
“Same here.” Terran smiled. “I missed you.”
“How long was I out?”
“Nearly a week.”
“Shit,” Dai said with intense feeling.
“We’ve covered a lot of ground—or rather, space—in that time.” Terran grabbed his hand. “Come on. Let’s go find Tam. We have a lot to talk about.”
Dai didn’t move, pulling Terran to a halt when their arms reached their limits between them. He was scowling again. “Just get your stuff together. There’s no need to involve Tamesis in this any further.”
Terran yanked himself free and planted his hands on his hips, lips pressing together in a stubborn pout. “Now you’re being ridiculous. I don’t know what went on between you two, but Tam is already involved. You did that the minute you called him. They’re after him as much as they’re after us now. I’m not abandoning him.”
Hell. Maybe Daior should just go back to sleep.
“No! I like the man. And he’s risked a lot to help us. So go make nice.”
Damn it. He really wasn’t up to this argument. Maybe when his head stopped pounding.
Nah, probably not then, either.
“You’re not going to win this argument. You might as well accept that right now.”
Who knew a face that, well, pretty could look so mulish.
Daior dragged one hand down his own face. “You think you could find me something to eat, baby?”
Obstinacy morphed into concern. “Of course. What do you want?”
“Right.” Terran grabbed his hand and started tugging again. Dai followed his lover down the corridor. When the way split, Terran pushed him to the right.
“Bridge is that way,” he offered cheerfully. “Food is this way. I’ll get you something to eat and meet you up front.”
Terran stopped mid-bounce to press a kiss to Daior’s cheek. That wasn’t good enough for Daior. He turned his head and pulled Terran into a toe-curling, tongue-involved expression of passion and longing.
When they came up for air, Terran smiled at him. His eyes were a bit dreamy around the edges, his smile about the best thing Daior had seen in ages.
“I’m glad you’re awake,” Terran offered, his smile softening.
Daior really wasn’t ready to analyse the emotion he glimpsed there. Maybe when his thinking cleared. Then again, maybe not.
Come Wander With Me
Come Wander With Me