Happy Friday, everyone! Time for another episode of Dragon Ascending. Last week week Fury and his crew tried to help Ascent get his memories back only to discover company is coming. This week no one is happy about Len’s solution to a major problem. 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 42: A Temporary Fix
In her ridiculous ruminations, she had managed to find and focus the view screen on the three Jaegers and the Dreadnaught along with the little Kestrel, which kept its distance from the others. She couldn’t properly scan them, not without giving away their location, but she could tell enough about them to know that these weren’t just standard military, but then if Tenad and Jessup Fallon owned them, they would be upgraded and state of the art with weapons to the teeth. She shivered at the thought. She was sipping water from one of the flasks, leaning back in the chair watching the ships on the screen, when she realized she was no longer alone. Her shoulders tensed, half expecting him to tell her to get out of the chair that belonged to his compliment. When Ascent did not speak, she kept the silence watching the ships hanging peacefully above the planet and yet they were there for only destruction and pain. That was all Fallons ever left in their wake. At last she spoke, as much to herself as to him. “We were hounded by Jaegers for days when my mother and I and Van escaped Authority space. Van was my mother’s lover. Every night I went to bed wondering if we’d all be shackled by morning, and every morning when I woke safe aboard the Valentine and free to find we’d outrun them a little while longer, I cried.” She huffed out a harsh breath. I was just a little girl. I didn’t understand why I cried when we woke up free rather than crying because the Jaegers had caught us. Jaegers still fly in my nightmares.”
“I am sorry,” he said softly, and she felt as though he had moved to stand close behind her.
She only shrugged. “It’s over. I survived.” She wrapped her arms around herself and shivered anyway. Then she added quickly, not wanting him to see how vulnerable she felt. “I got bored. I came here and, well the control panel is very user friendly.”
“I am sorry,” he said again, and she stilled as he lay hands on her shoulders. “For what I said, for the way I treated you. I am sorry. It is only that I am afraid Lenore. I am afraid for you, what might happen if you go back there, that you will decide not to come back. Certainly now, with all that has happened, you would be safer there in Sandstorm.”
“I would be in the viper’s den, Ascent. Last I checked there’s still a bounty on the head of anyone ever associated with the SNT program. My uncle’s debt at the loss of an SNT settles on me now, with my mother dead. But even if it wasn’t, my mother was one of the chief scientists, and I’m guilty by birth, even if I knew nothing at all.”
“But you know a lot, don’t you, Lenore.” She felt him nod to the panel. “And you have perhaps as many secrets as I do.”
“I don’t know much, Ascent, or I could help you. This, going back to Sandstorm, finding out what the Fallons are planning, this I can do. I was seven when we fled. I hardly look like that plump little girl who wanted to join with an SNT and see the stars.”
He came to her side and pulled her to her feet. “Lenore, you have helped me more than Fury and his compliment and all the scientists on the Dubrovnik ever could, and I do not like it when I hurt you.” He settled into the chair and pulled her onto his lap. She had made no effort to turn on the bridge lighting. She hadn’t needed it in the glow of the control panel, and she had not wanted her shame exposed to the light.
“I’m sorry that I hurt you too, Ascent. I say things when I’m angry, things I don’t really mean, things that hurt.”
He pulled her closer and she laid her cheek against his shoulder, felt him kiss the top of her head, felt a hand move over her belly. Instinctively she sought his mouth in the darkness, and found him willing, ready, opening to her. “Lenore,” he whispered brushing her tongue with his. “I want to make love to you now.”
She pulled his hand from her belly and slid it up onto her breast. The little sound coming from her mouth into his as the rake of his thumb stiffened her nipple was almost the mew of a small animal.
While he might have been clothed when he came to her, he certainly was not now. Come to think of it, she could not remember him ever being clothed, nor was there any reason, since he took what human form was necessary, tactile, not visible, and had probably never needed clothes with his compliment. She lifted her arms so that he could slide her shirt off over her head, palms pausing long enough to skim over her breast in his efforts. Then he went immediately to work on her trousers, sliding them down just far enough that her bottom was bare, flesh raking flesh, the shifting of his hips maneuvering until his erect penis splayed her open. And for him, muscle memory made accommodation, swollen, trembling and slick.
Another shift and glide, large hands supporting her buttocks and he entered her, her legs bound together by the trouser so that she could not take control and turn to straddle him. Instead he entered her from behind, pulling her down tightly onto his laps holding her hips as the first tight-fitting shock of his fullness passed over her and morphed to quivering anticipating of one thrust and another, of each glide and rake, of the feel of her breasts swollen and heavy from his fondling, at the tightness of his own nipples against her back. She gripped him tight, down there deep, her head falling back on his shoulder as though her neck suddenly had no bones, his mouth, his teeth even, finding the soft spot just below her ear making her squirm even more. The shift and glide tensed to a manic hammer and clench until she had forgotten how to breathe, until she knew she would never breathe again until he gave her what she wanted. A stroke of a finger against her own pebble of an erection, and her whole body convulsed, tensed and clamped down as he came inside her, squeezing her tightly against his body. Then she collapsed back against him, able to do nothing but gasp for oxygen, a thing he mirrored beneath her.
“I am at home in you, my Lenore. Inside you, I know myself.”
She snuggled him closer, wishing with all her heart that it were true, but it wasn’t. It couldn’t be. He didn’t know himself, did he? And he loved someone else. That shouldn’t matter. It had never been her intention to feel anything, nor to illicit any feelings in him, but it was far too late for that now, wasn’t it?
Carefully and lovingly he guided her down to her bed. With him surrounding her there was no need for the headlamp. And when he had helped settle her beneath the coverlet, he slid down next to her and pulled her close against his chest. There, so close to him, deep in his embrace, she did the thing she knew better than to ever do, she pretended that all he had said was true. She pretended that it was her he loved.