Welcome to another free read Wednesday!
We’re back for the most recent addition to my new story, presented through the flash fiction group Wednesday Briefers.
Each week, the contributing members write a chapter/story with a maximum of 1000 words, trying to get the most out of the word limit. For me, it helps keep me writing when my schedule gets tight. Win/win!
Roku’s admission leaves Arad with a few things to think about, doesn’t it?
Missed the first installment and want to start at the beginning? Click here for Chapter 1
Arad had no idea how to process his day with Roku. Most attracted strangers found it easier to get along the more time spent together, didn’t they? For Arad and Roku, each passing day tangled their lives into something far more complicated. Given the growing connection between them, it shouldn’t be so easy to drive them apart. A curious situation for two people so fond of one another.
So fond of one another? What a glaring understatement.
Pulling to free the cover’s tension, Arad turned over to better see Roku in the dark. Watching Roku sleep had become a habit he should consider breaking. It started as a response to an unknown person on board, but now it had become something else. Curled on the floor, Roku snored, the gentle sawing a soothing sound. The proof of normalcy in what was anything but.
At first he’d dismissed his attraction as a byproduct of caring for the DemiShou clan. Then from the awkward circumstances of their first encounter which still aroused him, even without the Syn. After that, he passed it off as admiring the physique of a well-constructed male. Purring voice, god-like muscles, and yes an unfairly ample endowment added up to appreciating Roku’s more primal aspects.
Roku’s torso swelled and shrank with his breathing in a smooth motion. No sign of agitation. No sign of new nightmares. The jagged shards of his fractured memories piercing the surface made Arad ache. They barely knew enough to craft a rumor, and it chilled worse than an unprotected spacewalk. Roku mostly knew peace when he slept. Mostly.
Yeah… it was all about animal attraction. Sure it was.
Arad began to relax, finally feeling like he could drift off, but cursed silently over the need to pee. It was always something, wasn’t it? Getting out of bed required a careful dance around the tiger blocking the floor. Arad suspected that was deliberate on Roku’s part. His position created a wall between Arad and the door. Not that they had to worry about intruders, but the intent was appreciated.
After nearly kicking Roku getting around him, Arad tiptoed to the door. He cringed at the noise of the door opening and looked back over his shoulder to find Roku exactly in the same state. Neither of them liked to sleep with the hatch open. Roku and Arad shared similar issues about shelter and security, but while Arad’s stemmed from living on the streets, Roku couldn’t really explain why.
Barefoot, Arad made his way to the lav as quietly as possible. The automatic lights were turned down to minimum because he hated how Torrins let them blind everyone in the middle of the night. Arad relieved himself and took a quick drink from the sink. He was pretty sure he could crash now.
As he stepped out into the hallway, he nearly screamed at the figure in the shadow.
“Roku! Son of a bitch! You about startled me to death!” Arad stage whispered his frustration, somehow keeping from disturbing the non-existent neighbors.
Not moving or speaking, Roku sat on the floor waiting, face in his bent knees.
The tiger snuffled into his knees. Dead asleep.
Arad shook his head as his pulse settled. “My hero from the terrors in the night.”
He may have been mocking the DemiShou, but Arad’s admiration for Roku grew. Roku was tortures by his animal instincts. Frightened by their intensity, he didn’t trust himself to stop if he gave in to his baser urges. He wanted Arad. The taste he had when waking hadn’t curbed it, and Arad didn’t know how to handle it. He wanted to believe Roku had enough self-control, but he also knew how groggy Roku had been when he woke. If he had been more aware, would he have been less animalistic? Or more?
Neither knew, and Roku refused to risk it. So he made due with being near Arad. He stayed close, protecting Arad from himself and any other that might do him harm. More than casual friendship had spawned in their time sequestered together.
If only Arad knew what to do with that.
Sex had always been a tool. A pleasurable tool, but a tool nonetheless. Perhaps not the most seemly of skills, but it had its advantages. Learning to seduce a man became an easy thing to learn and knowing how to use it to extract a trade came soon after. Arad had never known a man he wanted to bed down without getting a prize in return until Roku. Only problem was, he didn’t know how. It had always been part of a transaction. Trading services in that way made Roku uncomfortable, so Arad would have to teach himself how not to be a whore.
Assuming of course that Roku ever gave him the opportunity.
With a sigh, Arad tapped Roku’s shoulder, trying not to startle him. “Roku. Get up, you overgrown stray. Let’s go to bed.”
It took three tries to get a response and it was limited. With a garbled murmur, Roku nodded as he rose without really opening his eyes. Arad headed back to the bedroom, Roku’s incoherent mumbling trailing behind him. He peeked back more than once to be sure the tiger didn’t fall and break his face open during the short trek.
Leaving the bedroom door open, Arad got into bed and arranged the covers to keep himself cool in the warmer atmospherics while keeping watch to make sure Roku survived the return trip.
Shuffling his feet, Roku crossed the room with all the grace of a brain-dead tweaker, stripped off his kilt, and crawled in bed. He rolled on his side and pressed his gloriously naked self—thick muscles, cock and all—against Arad. A lullaby of snoring immediately resumed.
Arad froze, unwilling to breath out loud.
Rigid with indecision, he stared at the ceiling, praying his heartbeat—which thundered for a completely new reason—wouldn’t wake Roku.
Want to start from the beginning? Click here for Chapter 1
Be sure to check out the other Wednesday Briefers!