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He valued his freedom more than any woman,until now...
The realization hit Dax like a stun blastto the chest. He was staring at her. For the third time. Dax never stared at women. Not even little blond waitresses, no matter how cute they were. A moment before, Dax would have said that his freedom mattered far more to him than any woman. He wasn't so sure about that now.
These thoughts distracted him as he sat across the table from his friend and mentor, Captain Jacinth "Jack" Tshevnoe in a dark, dusty barroom on Luxaria Twelve. Jack had, as usual, been fussing at him for not settling down and starting a family like most of the other Zetithian refugees, and though the repetitiveness of her speech might have caused his attention to wander, it wasn't because he disagreed with her. With his homeworld destroyed and his species facing extinction, he understood the need to reproduce. Growing up aboard a starship filled with refugees, that need had been drummed into him from the age of two, right up until his present age of thirty-three, but while most men would have given their left nut to be retired to stud, Dax had other plans. At least, he had in the past. Right now, however, reproducing was the only thing on his mind. He'd seen women who were far more beautiful—many of whom had thrown themselves willingly at his feet—so what was it that made this one so special? She was blond and perky, which was certainly appealing, but he'd never noticed that preference before. Yet, she was doing something to him, something extraordinary. Jack would have laughed out loud if she'd been able to read his thoughts. Fortunately, as a Terran, she lacked that talent.
His friends would have been laughing as well, for his virgin state was no secret, and though they'd done their best to interest him in various females, none had ever hit the mark. She wasn't near enough for him to catch a whiff of her scent—Zetithian males couldn't get it up without the aroma of feminine desire to stimulate them—but she had been close enough to him earlier when she'd served his Vrelka ale. He thought he'd detected something then, though it hadn't lingered long enough for him to get an erection.
Still, though his cock might have been uncooperative, his brain was working overtime. His mind was being bombarded with erotic images; what she would look like naked was first and foremost—her full breasts and softly rounded hips were easy to imagine, considering the low-cut red shirt and tight black slacks she wore. His breathing quickened at the idea of being close enough to inhale her scent, to feel the soft warmth of her skin pressing against his own, the touch of her hands on his body. No woman had ever touched him sexually, and though he tried hard to imagine her licking his stiff cock, sinking her teeth into his flesh while his own mouth tasted the sweet wetness between her thighs, the unfortunate truth was that he had absolutely no idea what to expect. And to plunge his shaft deep inside her... What would that feel like? He knew she'd be tight, hot, and slick around his dick—he couldn't help knowing that, just from the descriptions he'd heard others give—but he had always suspected that sexual union was one of those things you had to experience for yourself in order to fully appreciate. It was difficult to understand the sheer ecstasy of orgasm when you'd never had one.
Dax shifted uncomfortably in his chair. Normally a fairly laid-back, quiet sort of man, his fidgeting was bound to be noticed by Jack. His balls were tingling with wild anticipation, and he was salivating more than usual; he'd have been drooling if he hadn't kept swallowing, and the frequent sips of ale he was taking in order to mask this reaction did nothing to improve his self-control. He didn't just want to pounce on her and nip her with his fangs; it was fast becoming a necessity.
He raked a hand through his dark locks, wishing they didn't curl quite so tightly and that he hadn't braided them back from his face. A curtain of hair would have been useful to conceal the way his catlike eyes were glowing, which they undoubtedly were. At least he wasn't purring, something that Jack, being the wife of a Zetithian she called Cat, would have noticed.
The waitress's name was Ava, according to her name pin, and she appeared to be Terran, but not quite. Dax couldn't decide what the difference was, but at that point, he flat-out didn't care. Jack wouldn't be a bit happy if he were to choose a mate from an incompatible species, but Dax's choice of a partner was ultimately his own. And right now, he wanted Ava, wanted to taste every last bit of her. Wanted to delve into her succulent body and drown in her scent. Wanted to see the hunger and passion in her eyes as his cock penetrated her. Most of all, he wanted to give her joy.
But a man simply couldn't take a woman in the middle of a crowded barroom, could he? If nothing else, her employer was bound to object, even on Luxaria. Jack, on the other hand, would probably jump for joy. And her next words proved it.
"You really need to find a mate, Dax. It's important!"
"Don't worry, Jack," he said. "It'll happen someday."
"What? Me? Worry?" Jack said, laughing. "Never!"
But he knew she was worried. And Dax knew he was being stubborn, but perhaps that was about to change...
"Okay, lecture is over," Jack said, throwing her hands up in surrender. "Where've you been lately?"
"Timpala," he replied. "Waroun has family there."
"Why do you insist on hanging out with that disgusting Norludian? I mean, really, Dax! They give me the creeps.""I may be a good pilot, but Waroun's one helluva navigator," Dax protested. "And he's a great guy. You just have to get to know him." Why Jack hated Norludians so much was anyone's guess, but Dax suspected she had been propositioned by one in the past, which might explain why the mere sight of them tended to make her gag. Waroun couldn't help being Norludian any more than he could help having the bulbous eyes, fishlike lips, and scrawny body of his kind, but Jack made no secret of her feelings on the subject. While she would allow that his flipperlike feet weren't too horrible, the way Norludians tasted a female's sexual essence by attaching themselves with their sucker-tipped fingers grossed her out completely—added to the fact that Norludians never wore any clothing whatsoever.