Happy Friday, everyone! Time for another episode of Dragon Ascending. Last week Len had to find Ascents heart in order to awaken him from the nightmare. This week the two realize they need each other. WARNING sexual content. As I mentioned, I am now attempting to post episodes at lengths that will be better suited for the flow of the story and enhance your reading pleasure. Some will be slightly shorter, some will be longer. I hope you find this switch-up helpful. I hope you’re enjoying Dragon Ascending, the sequel to Piloting Fury, as much as I’m enjoying sharing it with you. As always, I love it when you share my work with your reading friends, so feel free. In the meantime, enjoy!
For those of you who would like to read the complete novel, Piloting Fury, book one of the Sentient Ships series, follow the link to the first instalment.
Dragon Ascending: Book 2 of the Sentient Ship Series
On a desolate junkyard of a planetoid, scavenger Lenore Felik, disturbs something slumbering in a remote salvage dump and uncovers secrets of a tragic past and of the surprising role she must play in the terrifying present she now faces.
Robbed of her inheritance after her tyrannical father’s death, Tenad Fallon is out for revenge on her half-brothers, one who happens to be the sentient ship, Fury. Fury, with his human companions, Richard Manning and Diana McAllister, has his own agenda – finding the lost sentient ships and ending the scourge of indentured servitude in Authority space.
Dragon Ascending Part 32: Connections
She didn’t realize immediately that he was awake until he called her name. She froze, goose flesh crawling up her arms.
Suddenly it seemed as though there were no air in her lungs, and her heart raced like she’d been running. Was this it then? Had she tested his patience too far this time and now he would kill her in his anger? Finally after several efforts she caught her breath, relieved to find it was only her fear, and the words came back in a torrent. “Thank fuck, Ascent! You woke up! You were having nightmares, bad nightmares. You had me worried, and I called out to you, but you didn’t wake up, and I was worried, and you were groaning and thrashing. I thought it was an earthquake, but it wasn’t. It was a bad dream, and I tried, but I couldn’t wake you up.” Fuck once she found her words she couldn’t seem to shut up. She caught her breath again and continued, hopefully sounding a little less hysterical. “You were so distressed that I came to wake you here at your heart, but I didn’t know where your heart was. All SNTs are slightly different, and …” Too late she realized she’d let it slip that she knew about him. “Ascent?”
“Then I am an SNT.” He said it calmly, as though he had only discovered that there was a sandstorm outside. “I had thought perhaps. I do not remember most of my dreams. I only know that when they are ordinary, I wish never to wake up. The nightmares, well they are only ever fire and loss and pain. I remember no details beyond that, and I don’t try to. I did not dream at all when I slept more deeply.”
And that was it. That was the whole of his response. If he were upset he certainly hid it well, especially after coming out of the throes of the nightmare that she hadn’t been sure she would survive. Then she was trembling all over, both frightened and relieved, amazed that she had made it to him and that she had survived the descent into his very heart. That should not have happened. How could that possibly be?
“How did you know that I was dreaming?” Before she could answer, he said, “you were dreaming with me. I remember now.”
When she didn’t respond, only shivered. He wrapped arms around her that felt as real as her own, and pulled her into a spoon position.
“I couldn’t get you to wake up,” she said not knowing what else to say.
“Coming here could not have been easy for you, and it was very dangerous. I could have hurt you.” His embrace tightened almost convulsively.
“But you didn’t,” she said snuggling down more securely into his embrace. “Ascent, you didn’t hurt me. You wouldn’t.” And for the first time, she knew it for a fact, a certainty she felt in her own heart. He would never hurt her.
“Lenore, I am sorry. I would have never wished such horrors upon you as my nightmares have inflicted. I would have never imagined it possible, for us to share a dream. It should not be possible.”
“I’m sorry too, Ascent, sorry for all that you’ve suffered.”
He stiffened, and for a moment she thought he would send her away again. She waited for it, waited to feel the pain she always felt when he rejected her, when he pushed her out after opening himself a little to her. Strange that it should hurt so badly when he did. She’d long ago schooled herself not to feel such things, to keep everyone at arm’s length. Everyone she had ever cared about left her in the end. Keeping her distance, it was better that way.
“Lenore,” he spoke her name tightly and the tension did not leave his embrace. “Lenore I need you.” It was then that she noticed the erection pressing against her back.
It was her turn to stiffen, but only for a moment, only long enough to make the decision she most longed to make. “I need you too, Ascent, so much.” It was a mistake, surely it was a mistake to allow him to get close when she couldn’t stay and he could never really want her after what he’d known, but it didn’t matter, they needed each other now, and now was the time they had. “I need you too, Ascent. Please.”
There was a shifting and tumbling that felt almost like free falling, only softer, motion suspended, as though he laid her down on a soft mattress, or maybe like she would imagine a cloud to feel if it had any substance that could support a humanoid. But this was far more a caress than being supported and she reminded herself that all of this, the space that had contained her and surrounded her and nurtured her was Ascent, and even more important, this was Ascent’s core, his very heart. The colors coalesced and became iridescent around her, and from her place inside the double spiral, it’s movements became more of a dance than a convulsion of pain, the movement of hips and groin in suggestive, anticipatory ways that she had seen old romance vids of couples doing, the way they danced, the way they touched, the way they displayed themselves that always led to sex. Lips found lips, tentatively at first. Ascent making sure she was willing, ready. Even with her eyes wide open, his physicality felt as real, as complete as her own, as the rise of her left nipple to the stroking with his thumb, as the insinuation of a knee in between hers to ease her thighs apart. As her legs fell open, feeling boneless, with no will of their own, he playfully raised his knee to rub against the crotch of her trousers, against the heat and humidity that just knowing he wanted her made her feel down there in the place that had been violated, but never loved.
“Ahh,” she caught her breath and shifted her hips against the playful stroke.
“You should have felt pleasure your first time, Lenore, not pain and fear. I cannot take from you the violation, but I can replace the memories with ones I shall endeavor to make more pleasant.”
Still teasing her maddeningly with his knee, he helped her out of her shirt, lingering to caress and fondle with cupped hands and expressive fingers. “Your breasts have grown rounder with proper nutrition and enough calories,” he said. They will be full and taut when you have gained your full weight, and so lovely, they are so lovely.”
She blushed a little at his careful observation of her body and its changes, but any embarrassment disappeared when he introduced his lips to her painfully tight nipples in turn. “And they are so very responsive.” And the blush was back as he suckled and tongued and nipped them nearly painfully between his teeth. “I find them deeply arousing.” To prove his point, he removed the knee she had been all but riding and raked her instead with his heavy erection. Their twinned sighs sounded nearly painful in their pleasure. “Oh how I have been distracted by thoughts of your warmth, your slickness, your tightness sheathing my penis.”
“Fuck, Ascent, you could damn near get me off just talking like you do.”
“And did you think of me, of taking me inside you, of letting me pleasure you?” He emphasized the last two words with a harder rake against her crotch.
“Oh hell yes I did, all the time,” then she blushed again. “I bet you know that, monitoring my bodily functions like SNTs do. Did you know when I was slick and hot and uncomfortable for you?” The blush was back, but she found she liked it.
“That you made yourself orgasm more than once since you’ve been here, this I knew,” he reached down to remove her boots one at a time. “That it was for me you masturbated, I only hoped.” He shimmied off her trousers and underpants, and cupped her down there as though he held a wild bird in his large palm, her pressing and straining to get closer to his touch. Then he teased her open with two fingers while his thumb circled and raked her own erection and she arched up from the bed he had created for her as the first tremor of the orgasm she hadn’t expected so soon broke through her. Above her the double spiral of Ascent’s heart pulsed higher and flashed the whole prism of colors, bathing them in heart light.
“You are swollen and slippery, and ready for me, my Lenore, shall I make love to you in my heart’s glow?”
In reply she reached between her legs for his erection and guided him down to her. “I need you now, Ascent. I need you inside me.” Her voice was a harsh whisper, morphing to a gasp as, with a cupping of her buttocks and a shifting of his hips, he mounted her, penetrating deep, filling her full beyond full as though he filled all the emptiness that had been there inside her so long she had stopped noticing it. She lifted her legs and wrapped them around his hips and met him thrust for thrust, as he reintroduced his mouth to hers in a desperate tongue dance that matched the increasing thrust and glide rhythm of their bodies.
In the deepening, intensifying dance and spiral and leap of Ascent’s heart light, Lenore left her own skin as Ascent convulsed into her repeatedly and she felt the world, all the world, she had known fall away as she danced and leapt and shivered her release with him in the flash and spiral of Ascent’s core. In a release that was almost continual, she saw him, all of him, inside her mind, every synapse, every connection, every bit of nanotech, and all of it coalesced clear and bright and perfectly understandable inside her, and she knew him, she knew him as she knew herself, but then her skin expanded again, and there was a woman and a man and a ship. There was a ship! And they were entwined and naked in heart light that was different, beating through her own.
“You feel that?” She said. “Ascent, can you feel that? They feel what we feel, the SNT in orbit. It’s an SNT! And his compliment. Do you feel it?” There were other hands, two sets humanoid, one set those of sentient ship, they were in the throes of their own passion, open and ecstatic, just as she and Ascent were. “Ascent,” she said, “Ascent!” Just as they shuddered the last of their passion into each other, they were caught up in the ecstatic dance of lovemaking of the other SNT, both crying out in surprise at heightened sensitivity that felt like her skin had blown completely off, making her and Ascent wide open to feel, actually feel the pleasure of the other SNT and his compliment.
She didn’t know how long it went on, and she didn’t care. There was a tongue between her legs sliding up over her pleasure point, her hand caressed a full breast and then a heavy erection and Ascent thrust and writhed inside the other ships female compliment. There was pleasure, so much pleasure, and tenderness and playful teasing until what might have been an eternity later they, all of them collapsed and the connection bled gently away until it was once again only Ascent and Lenore sated and exhausted on the mattress-like softness of Ascent’s heart. “They came for you, Ascent. They came for you.”
“I know, my Lenore. I know, and it frightens me.” He pulled away just enough that she felt his absence as though he had ripped the flesh from her bones.
“Don’t push me away, Ascent.” This time she pulled him back to her, a brazen act for anyone at the heart of an SNT who was not a bonded compliment. “Not after what we’ve been through together. Please, not now. It hurts worse every time you do it.”
He pulled her back to him so quickly, so tightly that she feared there might be another cracked rib. His large hand stroked her hair and he gently rubbed her back. “I would not. I will not. It is only that I am frightened.”
“Well I’m frightened to, in a weak, fragile human sort of way, and that’s fucking terrifying when I’ve just made love to an SNT.” She did her best to return the favor of his tight embrace.
“I have so many questions, as I imagine you do also,” he said, the breath he didn’t need warm and comforting against her neck. “Come, let us return to your quarters. You are hungry after our lovemaking, and we may talk. I did not want to know you, I did not want to know … anything in the beginning, but now I found that I must know, now it matters a great deal, though perhaps I shall regret it.”