OUTER CONFLICTS - RHYS & TIAGO
The APLA and its soldiers are Rhys & Tiago's enemies, but our heroes are beginning to wonder whether these rebels might be fighting for freedom rather than simply trying to overthrow the stable imperial government. Members of the Armada fear the wrath of the empress and generally will not so much as whisper their doubts if anyone can overhear. The Conqueror's symbol is a clenched fist, while the APLA's symbol is an open hand. Rhys & Tiago have not spoken about their doubts to one another.
SAME-SEX POLICY IN THE ARMADA
There's no policy against two blue-eyed people being together, or two brown-haired people, so what's gender got to do with it? In other words, who the heck cares? Do your job. Sex involves the partners. End of discussion.
INNER CONFLICTS - RHYS
The human has had many lovers over his 33 years, and for the most part, has tired of younger guys who always look to him for leadership. He would prefer an equal, but not someone who would dominate him. However, working with Tiago in the Munitions (weapons) department, showed him that someone could be his equal, be fun-loving, playful, yet know when to draw the line between work and play.
Weapons are the most dangerous things on board (next to the Marines and the Sergeant) and Rhys has a healthy respect for all of them. That Tiago takes his job just as seriously and is good at detail work brought great respect from Rhys. Once he discovered that Tiago was attracted to him, they had what Rhys assumed would be a one-night stand. This hot younger Kin (by two years) turned out to be great in bed, in fact -- with his claws and fangs -- a little rough, which Rhys found himself liking. They've been together one year, and in the past two-three months, their relationship has moved from equals to Rhys taking on a more dominant role. Especially since that seems to make Tiago purr. Still, a guy's got his pride, and though he'd like to be on the receiving end, Tiago needs him to be in control.
INNER CONFLICTS - TIAGO
His homeworld stoned males who prefered other males, and gaining the freedom to leave Felidae and join the Armada gave him new life and great joy. Discovering no prejudice against his sexual preference felt great; prejudice against his race felt like a punch in the gut. Some humans called him an animal, others a freak. Instead of being accepted as he anticipated, he faced humans who resented him being in the next bunk, as if they'd been forced to sleep in a barnyard. Rather than fight for equality and dominance as had been expected between males on his homeworld, Tiago learned to turn the other cheek. For a natual alpha, that came hard, but he gritted his teeth, withdrew his claws and learned to tease humans and make them laugh.
When he met Rhys, who treated him as he would anyone else, the respect was instantaneous. What started as affection on Tiago's side and friendship on Rhys's, after several months became respect. From there, Tiago seduced Rhys by sensing his emotions. When Tiago purred, Rhys's body emitted a scent that meant arousal. Once Tiago invited Rhys to his quarters for dinner and a holographic shooter's game, they laughed, drank, and eventually ended up in bed.
Rhys moved in the next week and neither has looked back. A year has passed. Now, Tiago's ready to take a further step in their relationship and become the leader on occasion. Rhys, however, is a natural alpha and making him want to switch roles will take trust and maybe a little trickery. For a sly Kin, well-versed in seduction and languid sexual pleasure, surely gaining the "upper" hand won't be impossible...