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"What are we doing?" Jax groused as he waited to board the small gray shuttle with twenty other people.
Tam tied back his hair with a leather strip to get the strands out of his face. "You know my answer to that." How many times now had he woken up from a dream where they'd returned to Settler's Mine? Or lost himself in a daydream? Too many to count. The urge to go back there had been overwhelming. Two days after the initial dream and many more visions, he'd convinced himself that he needed to go. Or go crazy from the longing.
"I don't understand why your gift can't pick some fun destination. Like the beaches of Pompay. The Garse Gardens of Niobeline. At least there, we'd have some fun. The aphrodisiac qualities of the Garse plant are well documented." Jax surveyed the people they waited alongside with a bored look.
"Like we need an aphrodisiac. I don't tell my dreams what to see. The visions come to me." They always had. Whatever they suggested compelled him to follow through or go mad from the stirred up feelings inside him. He paid the price of being half Ebolian. At times he had cursed that part of his heritage.
Ebolians were a race of seers. He had the sight. Had since he'd been a little boy. He'd learned to deal with his urges by giving in to them. Jax didn't understand how he was unable to resist his premonitions. It was hard on anyone who wasn't Ebolian to comprehend how strong they were. Was the dreaming even worse for those of pure blood? He didn't have anyone in his life to ask that question.
"But why Settler's Mine? Not as if we need to go back there. Either of us." Jax shifted closer to Tam, and his heartstone lit up with ruby fire.
Tam'sheartstone answered, glowing in time with Jax's stone. Heartstones glowed during moments of intense emotions between mates. Heat bolted along his chest where the stone touched. The glowing of their stones together never failed to fill his heart with wonder.
Two males selected to be together without a uniting female. They were one of the rarest pairings in the galaxy. He'd been paired with a Native. One of the most no-nonsense races in the quadrant. Jax had Native qualities in spades. Yep, the Fates had a broad sense of humor.
"I wish I knew. I only know ... I need to go there. Now." Why remained to be seen. The reason must be important. His longings had never been this intense. Urgency continued to boil up in him and would until he reached his destination.
"Be glad you give good head." Jax stepped onto the gangplank without a look back.
Tam couldn't help but smile. His cock tented his pants, despite the early-morning quickie they'd already shared before coming here. There'd been no time for more if they'd wanted to leave on this morning's shuttle. The compulsion had been building to the point that walking had started to sound good if he couldn't get a shuttle transport. It was a long journey through space--with no oxygen--to get to Settler's Mine. That thinking had sealed the decision to leave today and not wait a minute longer. "I know you are."
Jax waggled his brows as they ducked under the low shuttle doorway. Tam had to duck more than Jax. Reaching the seats listed on their tickets, Jax shoved their bag of gear in a stowaway hatch above their seats before taking the position by the shuttle window. Jax had claustrophobia and needed to see open spaces when vehicles enclosed him. He always got the window seat because of his reactions.
Tam sat carefully beside him, peering to see the dock they'd left. His hand crept out to his lover's. They were on their way. He had to give Jax credit. The man hadn't protested much over the use of their funds to take this trip. He hadn't asked a lot of questions, instead accepting Tam's pronouncement they needed to go. Some lovers wouldn't have jumped because of a vision. Jax, for all his bluster, made a good mate for him. One day, he'd make this up to Jax. In pleasurable ways.
Their stones ignited in a pool of fire again.
"You're jumpier than I've ever seen you." Jax traced Tam's hand with his thumb. No one could see their clutched hands, which explained why Jax allowed the contact. He also probably maintained it because he sensed Tam's nervousness and his need to be touching him. Jax would do anything for him, a fact that told Tam much more than the logical man's words could ever say.
Tam couldn't contain the shiver at the movement of Jax's fingers across his skin. He always reacted this way to Jax's touch. He craved his mate's skin to be alongside his at all times. It was the way of mates, especially with him. Super-sized emotions did have their drawbacks, but on the whole, he enjoyed them germinating. Some said Ebolians acted on pure emotion. While he used his intelligence, his internalizations drove him in most situations.
A harsh-faced woman caught their attention by waving a hand in front of Tam's face. "Hey, you two. Those are our seats." A harsher-looking man and a doe-eyed, petite woman, dressed in the primmest item of clothing he'd ever seen, followed the first woman. Severe didn't begin to describe the threesome. "Get out of them."
Jax frowned. "I'm afraid you're mistaken. These are ours." He pulled out the tickets as if to display them for proof.
Natives were big on rules and regulations. Some said they were the most logical race in the galaxy. Jax made most Natives look like criminals when it came to sticking to the rules.
These people in front of them weren't logical.
The man with the frown, standing behind the woman, raised a hand. "How dare you question us!" Then he added a few unintelligible syllables.
The woman grabbed his arm. "I'll take care of this." She turned her attention back to Jax and Tam. "I think this trumps whatever you think you might have." She pulled out an ID card around her neck.
A Union Alliance-given ID. She must be an agent of the commonwealth.
Tam's blood froze. Trouble with Union Alliance never brought good things. This woman had decided their seats were better than any other unoccupied ones. Probably because she wanted to flex her muscles and show she was top bitch.
She continued, "Not to mention, I'm part of a threesome." Her lips curved in a sneer. "A prized threesome. Unlike the two of you."
The man snarled. "Now, beat it."
Jax's hand tightened on Tam's. He was about to make a scene. They couldn't afford that. Not with the odds stacked against them, which was all the time, but especially not right now.
Tam leaned forward as if studying the ID. "That's you, all right." He stood up, looking for anther pair of seats and tugged on Jax to follow.
The pilot watched them intently. Looked ready to jump forward and intervene. No question whose side he'd come in on. Not Tam and Jax's.
"Tam, they have no..."
He squeezed his hand around Jax's. Technically, these people didn't have the right, no matter what the woman's designation. Or mated status. But the truth didn't back up that assertion. A woman in a prized threesome, besides being an agent for Union Alliance, would be able to get away with this. Especially against a pair not prized by the Alliance.
Male mated pairs were rare. They weren't the prized mating that ménages were, especially these people's type. That kind of threesome received all sorts of perks from the Union Alliance. Damn, even one woman-two men ménages received special treatment. Neither was too common, though they were prized. But God forbid you be a male mated pair. They weren't coddled or protected at every turn. Men in mated threesomes faired even worse.
Tam willed Jax to be quiet. He moved his head forward to indicate the pilot, who had his hand on his phaser. Last thing they needed was to get shot. Or worse.
Jax's mouth pursed as he saw what Tam had noticed. "But..."
Damn Jax for his adherence to the letter of the law. "There's another pair of seats." Tam moved up to grab their gear from the compartment. "Come on, Jax." Don't cause a fight. They'd be on the losing end.
"Uh-huh. Go on." The woman looked triumphant, along with a nastiness evident on her face. Her sneer could cover continents, along with her eager joy. Yep, this action had been to display her power.
Tam wanted to wipe her face clean of that look. And he could. But he'd get in trouble for doing anything to her. Best to walk away with his body and his mate intact. He had no desire to be in a Union Alliance holding cell being questioned for hours.
They moved to the new seats, and Tam stowed their gear. He motioned Jax to sit by the window.
After they'd settled themselves, Jax whispered, "Why did we do that? Give up our seats? They had no right to do that." His voice went high in his aggravation.
"You know as well as I do, whether they had the right or not, that's incidental. They will do what they do regardless of the law." Hard for Jax to swallow, but something Tam understood too well. Jax saw things in shades of white and black. He always had. Things never seemed that well-defined to Tam.
"It wasn't right."
Tam reached over to stroke Jax's face, ignoring the dirty look the woman, who'd booted them from their seats, shot him. "I know, perlin. But this was easier." Tempted to do more groping to piss the woman off, he refrained. He wouldn't lower himself to do things for her annoyance. Not with his wonderful mate, who deserved attention for what he was, not for retaliation.
"I could have taken them." Jax leaned into his touch, rubbing his cheek against Tam's hand, like a psi-cat, an Ebolian pet, seeking affection. Then, as if he'd remembered they were in public, Jax moved away. Public displays of affection beyond holding hands were gaudy in his eyes. Tam always warmed when Jax forgot where they were when his touch overcame his usual disapproval on the subject.
His cock rehardened, making him want Jax all the more. Soon as they arrived at Settler's Mine, he'd take advantage of his lover. "I know you could." Tam put his hand down in his lap. "Of that, I have no doubt. But, we need to get where we're going. Not be stopped here because of some jerks that have no couth."
"What will we find at Settler's Mine anyway? What do you hope to locate?" Jax leaned back in his seat. "Do you have any idea?"
The words that came out of Tam's mouth surprised even him. "Our future." Once they left his tongue, they were so right he almost shivered at the import of them. He leaned back, peering around Jax's solid frame.
Their future lay at the mine that had given them each other, due to the finding of their stones. He could be sure of nothing else but that.