She looked at the symbol patterns, trying to work out where the skimmers were. Anis panicked—the symbols weren’t making any sense.
She’d gotten herself lost in the Bilges.
Thinking she’d outpaced the soldiers in their cumbersome armor, she paused for a moment to try and regain the symbol pattern, then had to flee when the Separatists fired at her. They moved a lot faster than she’d thought possible. She ducked past a few more corridors, running hard.
She was shocked when a strong arm whipped out and hauled her into a side room. She tried to scream but couldn’t get a sound past the hand clamped over her mouth. The door slid shut behind her and she heard the slight buzz of the lock sealing them within the dark. Anis’s fear of the dark rose like an ancient mythological horror and she began viciously fighting her assailant.
Anis’s fear receded to a distant nervousness and her body betrayed her as it softened against him. She breathed in his familiar scent, angry that she felt relaxed in the security he offered. When he took his hand from her mouth, she’d almost composed herself again. She had a few choice words she’d like to speak to Colonel McLeary.
“It’s okay. I’ll get us out of here,” Simon mumbled into her hair, soothing her. The action was both welcoming and irritating. She needed to stay angry with him to protect her Company. “We have to be careful though—they’ve switched to exploding rounds. It will make it easier for them to kill us and take out the skimmers.”
Skimmers? They couldn’t just go back, she had to save Veccu!
“We’ve got to get to Veccu,” Anis told him, trying to break his grip and head for the door.
“Wait up, Anis.” Simon pulled her back. She leaned back against him.
“Private Maddley is taking her back to base on my skimmer,” Simon held her closer. “They’ll send out reinforcements armed with RPAPs.”
“RPAPs? Maddley?” Good God! Had he been following her?
“Rocket Propelled Armor Piercing rounds,” Simon explained. “They’re the only things we have that will pierce their armor. And it seems Private Maddley’s having a lucky day, his skimmer tossed him just before it exploded. The only thing wounded was his pride.”
“Thank God,” Anis said. Glad for one less piece of guilt to carry. “There’s a small armory around here somewhere,” she continued. “Father set them up just in case this sort of thing happened. If I can get my bearings again, we can see if there’re any RPAPs there.” She shrugged. “I don’t know if there will be any. I usually left Vinnis and Andrew in charge of those things.”
Simon slipped his arms around her tummy, pulling her tighter against him. His arm brushed the bottom of her breasts and sent tiny tingles busting through her. Anis gritted her teeth. He shouldn’t be doing this, she shouldn’t be enjoying it so much.
“The armory stocks them.” Simon’s voice was filled with the warmth of a grin. “And you’re in it.”
Anis fell instantly silent at Simon’s warning. The heavy clomp of armored feet paused outside the door, then the lock buzzed angrily as someone attempted to force it open. Unable to gain entry, the footsteps clomped ponderously onwards.
Even after the footsteps had faded away Simon wouldn’t let her move or speak. He kept her held tightly against him. His body, hard in all the interesting places, and the pitch darkness sent her imagination into overdrive. Oddly she didn’t find the darkness scary at all. Only her confused emotions scared her now.
Turning in his arms and hearing his grunt of pleasure made her feel a little more in control. She wanted to hate him for his betrayal and yet longed to be able to trust him again. Unconsciously she rubbed herself against him as her thoughts warred against each other. He pulled her hard against him, crushing her lips against his. Anis responded, trying to ignore her guilt at having such a ravening hunger for him.
Maybe I should accept this just one more time, she argued to herself. Then he’ll be gone and there’ll be nothing left to want.
Overwhelmed by the events of the last few days, from her brother trying to kill her, to near rape and death, Anis craved for something simple and easily understood. She let her feelings become swamped with a need that delved beyond flesh.
Giving in to the thirsty lure for passion, she ravished his mouth, drank of his strength and gave up control of everything to their fierce kiss as she pressed her groin against his. When he returned her lust, kiss for kiss, stroke for stroke, she clung harder trying to wrest relief from what contact they had.
“Anis,” Simon mumbled between kisses. “We must go, they’ll be back.”
“One more time.” It was all Anis could say, her words reflecting the raw quality of her feelings. “I need…just one more time.”
Steve felt himself crumbling beneath the naked emotions in Anis’s kiss. Her sheer need overpowered his barely contained self-control. Anis melted him to the core—made him search for more than just a physical release. Feeling her rub against his erection sent his blood humming and ringing in his ears. It also sparked an unusual feeling within his chest, an aching emptiness ripping through his soul. An emptiness only Anis could fill.
Not here though. The Separatists would be back soon, checking the rooms, looking for Anis. They had to find somewhere safer.
“Anis,” he mumbled between kisses. “We must go, they’ll be back.”
“One more time,” Anis said, her voice heavy with longing. “I need…just one more time.”
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