“You two all right?” Arl asked as they joined the pair for what could have been breakfast, or maybe lunch. Iain had lost all sense of time on the ship, not to mention he had no idea how long they spent having sex or how long they’d slept afterwards. There didn’t seem to be any clocks on the ship that measured anything in time units smaller than years.

“Just well clothed,” Cygnus offered and swirled around in the form-fitting outfit Iain had literally slapped on her. Their re-clothing had gone faster that time, and almost disappointingly did not lead to another session in bed. His claps did not appear to be nearly as effective as hers. Maybe one square loosened a bit.

“Hold the applause until I’ve finished my act,” she’d replied with a smile.

The effort had whetted their appetites, though. Iain had a hankering for some French fries, but that wasn’t going to happen, he knew. And he shook out the sudden impulse he’d had of biting Cygnus to see how that tasted.

No, not in front of Arl and Arc, anyways.

Thinking about the sex they’d had was at times unsettling enough, some of the sensations anyway. He decided actually biting her would be going a bit too far, at least not without asking first.

“Nah, they just hooked up,” Arc figured out. “I checked. “They’re compatible. You know…”

He made a rude gesture and familiar gesture with his fingers.

“You should try it some time,” Cygnus said while she ate. “You two are missing out.”

Arl offered a disgusted look.

“Oh, no,” he replied. “I tried it. Didn’t like it at all. Rubbing is as far as my pleasure threshold permits. Sticking parts in parts, that’s for the unevolved.”

“Sharing digested food is better anyways,” Arc said. “Have you tried that. It is the most intense experience.”

Cygnus spat out what she was eating.

Iain broke out laughing. He couldn’t help himself.

That, however, earned him a dirty look from her.


He wasn’t really sure yet what kind of sense of humor she had. Women could be touchy, he knew well. Alien women? Who the fuck knew.

“That’s hardly digested at all,” Arc complained looking at what Cygnus had spat out on the table. He ran his hand down from lips to belly. “You have to swallow it, let it sit for a while, dissolve, mingle, marinate, then regurgitate.”

Cygnus looked over at Iain, who was staring, not knowing whether she should laugh or look disgusted in sympathy. Cygnus wiped her lips, letting out a half-breath half-chuckle.

“Something’s disgust even me, and that’s saying something,” she offered.

“Snob,” the pair offered in unison, then began downing a large amount of food in response.

“I think we’re going to have to get out of here before they really start up,” Iain advised. “Or take our food with us.”

Not that he’d actually done that yet.

Cygnus shoveled some random food onto a plate and passed it over to him.

“Better eat up then,” she advised. “The Skipper doesn’t like people taking food out of the dinning area. Says it attracts vermin.”

“How do you know that?” he asked. “And wait, there are vermin on this ship?”

The idea was disconcerting. What kind of vermin would infest an alien starship? Visions of a couple old sci-fi movies flickered through his thoughts.

“I asked,” she replied.

“And it answered?” he asked.

“Yes,” she told him.

“I can’t get it to answer half my questions,” he complained. That was true, Skipper was almost as randomly and disconcertingly uninforming as his ‘Zos.

“You just have to learn to ask nicely,” she replied with a grin.

“I have asked nicely,” he insisted. He’s said please almost every time.

She turned, looked at him, smiled and patted his cheek.

“There’s nice, and then there’s nice,” she said. And then she kissed him.

“Really,” Arl complained in mid chew. “Please, don’t do that in front of us. We’re eating. Have some manners”

“Yeah,” Arc added between open mouth munches. “And some decorum.”

When she was done she pulled back, still smiling.

“That whet your appetite?”

Iain shook himself back into reality. He didn’t really want to.

“Kind of,” he replied.

“Good,” she told him. “Now finish up so we can get out of here before things get ugly.”

Go to Chapter Twenty Three

Go to Chapter Twenty Five

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