11 September 2010

Shameless Plug for The Willing Courier

Throughout the centuries everyone from world leaders to romantic hearts have always valued the loyal services of a willing courier. And now The Willing Courier is back and better than ever! Filled with yummy news, views and Willing insights I'll be issuing the first of my new style newsletters sometime in October--depending on when we can ransom Big Ears from the Duke.

In the meantime here's the start of the free read that comes in instalments with the newsletter. Remember, if you want to read more, come join up. It's free, whole and hearty. Just like me!

Come play with me here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thewillingcourier/

S.J.

Terras IV

Christy’s breath caught as she glanced out of the laboratory window, looking across the small compound to the landing bay and the tall figure standing there. Inkle, her Nchibu, the tiny hamster-like creature that normally traveled curled up—comatose—on her shoulder gave a small bleary “meep.” Then poked its head out from under her regulation, “itch right down to the bones,“ Federation Exploration Corps. skintop—an incredibly thin and stretchy metallo-plastic tank top which gave a lot more protection than looks said it legally should.

Embarrassed that her thoughts could rouse her mildly telepathic pet from its slumber, Christy forced herself to focus on the test samples in front of her.

Even then she couldn’t prevent her gaze straying out to the landing pad—accompanied by the curious wriggles of Inkle as he clambered to the top of Christy’s head, presumably for a better view.

“Meep?”

“Oh, shush!” Christy whispered, trying to settle Inkle down. Truly she’d excited the tiny impster unnecessarily. No man was worth getting excited about, Christy reminded herself. Especially a man whose hair shone in the sun with rich oaken tones, and whose rugged face and muscled body was reminiscent of the old Celtic Gods folktales. All men betrayed you and hurt you—just like Maik—the reason she’d volunteered for this post in the first place. It was a long way from here to the nearest available, wantable, man.

Well, that had been what she’d hoped—until now.

Precisely the point, of course, Christy wanted to find someone special but with a past of failed lovers and one broken engagement, she no longer believed in those fantasies. There were, though, Christy smiled to herself and ignored Inkle’s excited “meep,” other types of fantasy she could indulge in. She decided to indulge in them as much as she could with her new object of desire.

She stopped to watch, admiring the way he moved as he helped the shuttle crew unload the supplies and equipment, some of which were essential for her own research. It impressed her too, for an officer to so easily fall into working with the regular mil was rare—but on Terras IV combined effort was essential—snobbishness over rank quickly became the major source of conflict in the small encampment. Not to mention the way the man’s muscles rippled beneath the thin fabric of his uniform skintop did wonderful things for her imagination.

She wondered where he’d be posted within the camp, wishing for once she’d taken the time to listen to the many rumors and speculations which so often fueled the conversation in the mess hall and recreation rooms.

Christy studied the new officer again and allowed herself a wicked thought. Wherever he was posted she could tell he’d be smooth enough to fit perfectly.

“Meerp!”

Inkle gave a stuttered chirp and tumbled unceremoniously down Christy’s chest to land with a flumph in the now ruined test sample of Periphetins—one of the floppy purple flowers folded over the poor creature’s head. Christy almost laughed at its “What happened?” stare.

“I don’t know what you’re thinking about girl,” Marsha, Christy’s co-worker and sometimes boss laughed loudly. “But it’s sure sending Inky into fits.”

"Uhm, did those cabonized sample tubes for the Riecard analysis arrive yet," Christy asked, changing the subject and looking at the small pile of botany supplies set out on the landing pad. Inky frantically clambered up her sleeve and sat on her shoulder, locking its tiny claws into the fabric.

"Probably on the landing pad now," Marsha answered, catching Christy's glance and smiling. "Why don't you go and check?"

"Okay," Christy tried not to sound too enthusiastic. "I hope they're not too heavy."

Marsha grinned, finally spotting the new arrival and guessing Christy's current bout of distraction. "Maybe you'll find a nice hunky man there who will help you bring it back?"

"I'll use a grav cart," Christy blushed, determined not to let on that she'd been tumbled.

“Sure thing,” Marsha laughed back. “Take your time, it’s your turn for a break anyway.”

Too embarrassed to say anything else Christy grabbed hold of a small grav cart and stepped out of the biolab into the hot, humid jungle air—then walked into a brick wall.

“Can I help you?”

Christy looked up, speechless. Okay, it had felt like a brick wall. So what if it was one hundred and ninety pounds of rugged male which now looked at her with a smile akin to pure orgasm.

“I’m...was just going to collect our supplies,” Christy managed finally. “I’m one of the botanists here…”

“Oh, good.” The captain replied. “Maybe I can make a deal with you?”

“Huh?” Christy wondered why she was cursed with a less than witty vocabulary.

“As you can see I’m new here, posted to escort the field excursions.” Christy nodded numbly—she definitely needed to schedule in a few more of those excursions for her experiments. “If I help you shift your supplies, could you show me the town, who does what, and where?”

“Sure,” Christy nodded. Hardly believing she’d agreed to the plan. The encampment was barely a mile across and she was certain he’d be able to work out everything on his own. There were very few formal boundaries in the camp, except those usually reserved between civilian and military.

“I’m Christy,” Christy announced, starting towards the pile of supplies by the landing pad. “I hope you’ll enjoy your tour of duty with us.”

“Richard.” The captain answered. She felt his gaze wash over her. “And I didn’t think I would, until now.”

Christy refused to blush, failed miserably and felt glad he couldn’t see her face. So the good captain had a nice smile. Truth be told he had a smile so inviting she found herself blushing more, having realized just in time, she’d been about to turn around; slip her arms around his neck and demand his kiss.

They reached the pile of biolab supplies, Christy breathless in spite of the very short walk. What the hell was wrong with her, he was just a man for Sadie’s sake! She forced herself to concentrate on her work and mentally began organizing the supplies in the best order for putting them on the grav cart. Maybe that would take her mind off the wonderfully orgasmic fantasies she was suddenly having.

“Meep, meep, meep. Meeeep!”

“No, Inkle! Behave!” Christy scolded as Inkle struggled across her head—the creature’s tiny claws catching and tangling in her hair.

Inkle’s madcap bleating ended with one of his customary suicide glides as he leapt from Christy’s forehead and somehow managed to land in the middle of Richard’s chest. To give him his due, Richard didn’t flinch as Inkle’s claws dug into his skin. The fact that the captain chuckled over the whole affair gave Christy both a sense of relief and envy. Nchibu, once they chose someone, rarely changed their affections. And even though her own thoughts about the captain weren’t exactly of the sharing nature, there was no way she’d let him woo Inkle away from her.

Richard laughed at Inkle’s frantic scrambling, as the frenetic fur ball scrabbled the last few inches to his shoulder. The warm glance he sent her way eased her flash of jealousy, allowing her to risk a small giggle at Inkle’s high adventure.

“This must be one of the famed Nchibu.” Richard reached up and scratched between Inkle’s ears with two fingers. A ploy which Christy knew from experience would send the creature into beeps of ecstasy.

“Wow.” Christy nodded, surprised Inkle’s vocal hysteria wasn’t alerting the rest of the camp. “I think you’re the first mil sent here that’s actually knows what they’re called.”

“You’ll have to blame that on my parents,” Richard grinned, picking the Nchibu up and cupping it in his hands. “Partially sentient, quadralmarsupial with indications of psyche ability. Rare animals and very difficult to find, I gather.”

“You should be working with Marsha,” Christy laughed. “Your parents must have been very much into animal care. One of Marsha’s jobs is to study them and see if we can live and work together. And yes, it’s more like they find us, if they want to. You’ll virtually never see them otherwise. Especially not out in the wild.”

“Ouch!” Richard slapped his neck as a tiny tie-dye took a chunk out of him and moved on. The miniature wasp disappearing into the jungle before Richard even knew what had happened.

“Tie-dye wasp.” Christy moved his hand away and peeked at the tiny inflamed spot on his neck.

“Tie-dye?”

“From their colorations,” Christy explained. “They look like they’ve been tie-dyed. Everyone here has been stung by at least one. It’s almost a welcoming tradition by the local anthropods. You’re not a Terras IV colonist if you don’t sport the sting.”

Christy pulled down the top of her tank-top to reveal her left shoulder and a small white pimple that remained of her sting.

“Mine got me in the shower. I’d taken tons of precautions too, since I’m allergic to normal wasp venom. Fortunately I didn’t react to this one.”

Christy hurriedly pulled her top back in place when she noticed Richard taking a little too much interest in all the skin she was showing.

“Impressive.” Richard murmured, as if he was in a dream.

Inkle had started to do a little circular dance in Richard’s hand which both amused and, oddly, worried Christy.

“My father was the animal lover, Dr. Eldmund Joung. You’ve probably heard of my mother, since you work in botanics. Professor Hilary Joung.” Richard’s voice almost sounded as if he’d spoken through treacle. Christy began to get extremely worried that the wasp had some weird effect on him. It was unnerving. Then his words broke through her worry.

“Oh, my God!” She nearly clung to Richard’s arm in excitement. Hilary Joung had been Christy’s tutor over sixty years ago when she’d been an overeager intern newly inducted into the Exploration Corps. What Hilary didn’t know about exotic plants, wasn’t worth knowing.

Then she caught a glimpse of an odd look on Richard’s face, and the growing intricacy of Inkle’s dance and another, more shocking revelation came to her. “Oh, my God!”

“MwwweerrPP!”

Ignoring Inkle’s protracted protest she snatched the tiny animal from Richard’s hands, the brief contact of her fingers with Richard’s leaving behind a sharp, hot sensation. Stunned she cupped Inkle against her chest, waiting for the glazed look in the captain’s eyes to vanish and her own thoughts to re-gather.

“What...?”

Christy opened her hands flat, wondering if she should chastise Inkle but didn’t get a chance. Immediately it stood on its two hind feet—something she’d never seen before—and, waving it’s two front legs like a manic conductor began a long tirade of beep, peeps, meeps, whistles and even a few low grunts. Then it hopped along her arm and quickly buried itself under her shirt. She’d been well and truly scolded.

In spite of that the sensation in her fingers where she’d touched Richard hummed pleasantly for a while longer before spreading through her body and fading.

Now what in Sadie’s Hell was all that about?

"And that was…?" Richard asked, looking at her with a puzzled expression.

"I, I call it the bonding dance," Christy found herself blushing. "When a Nchibu 'adopts' you it will do a dance like that somewhere on your body. I think it sort of adapts its thought patterns to incorporate its adoptee's thoughts. Like a permanent sub-psychic link."

"And you were worried that I'd be stealing Inkle from you?"

The captain looked and sounded saddened by that thought. Christy blushed again. "Yes, no, I mean. It's just, well, Inky is the only close friend I really… How did you know its name?" Yet Christy knew his answer before Richard spoke, it had been the same for her.

“I…it told me,” he answered, his expression a priceless image of confused amazement.

Christy felt a wave of terror, she couldn’t bear to lose Inky, not yet. The warm movement of the tiny creature just above her breast calmed her some. She didn’t get the sensation that it intended to leave her. Maybe it was only her own fears, after all, no one here had ever had, and lost, an Nchibu before. None of them knew what the effect would be.

There was a warm look of understanding in Richard’s face. To Christy’s surprise he reached out and stroked the bangs out of her eyes, his touch on her forehead leaving a burning trail on her skin that spread slowly outwards. She held her breath, feeling the warm glow spread inside her.

"I wouldn't take Inkle away from you," Richard told her, his voice husky with emotion as his fingers combed backward though her hair, his hand coming to rest at the back of her head and tilting her face towards his.

The kiss surprised her. Partly because it had been the last thing she'd expected, and then also because of its intensity. Richard's kiss was electrifying, sparking to life every pleasure zone in her body. She leaned into him, slipping her arms around him and pulled him closer, feeding off his kiss and demanding more as her breasts, her clit, her whole body tingled and ached.

"So, who's your new friend?"


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