Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sexy Cedric Interview/Giveaway Tian's Hero by Cherie Noel

Today, I welcome Tian from Tian's Hero by Cherie Noel.  He appears to have brought a few friends.  This should be fun.  I'm always up for a group effort, as you know.  

Contest: You can enter to win an e-copy of Tian's Hero and also be entered in this blog's monthly drawing for an e-copy  of my story, My Fearful Symmetry, simply by leaving a comment for our guests at the end of the post. Please leave a contact email.  Winners for both drawings will be chosen by random drawing. Deadline 4/30/12 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Welcome to Sexy Saturday with Cedric! seems we have rather a crowd here today, Tian.  I do hope you’ll share a few spicy tidbits, my darlings.  Settle into my hot seat of love.  Don’t worry--I never bite unless invited. Please introduce yourself and your friends to the readers.

*Tian smiles, cheeks pinking just a little as he waves hello*

Tian: “Hi. My name’s Tian. This is Kay, my consort—oooh, his name is actually Kayron. I just call him Kay, ‘cause it’s shorter and Kayron can really be a mouthful and—”

*Tian breaks off with a squeak, face flaming bright red and both hand covering his eyes*

Kay: “Oh, fer the love of—Tian, love, don’t forget the pastries you brought.”

*The curly haired man seated to Tian’s left pipes up, his smooth tones rich with the brogue common to all Ciarlund natives. Tian peeks out between two fingers of one hand, his soft green eyes bright with the light of embarrassment. He pokes the pudgy, dark and curly haired man in the side.*

Tian:“You get them.”

*A low growl sounds from Tian’s other side.*

Lewell’yn: “I’m Lewell’yn. Take the fucking muffins and bloody well say thanks.”

*a decorative wickerwork basket piled high with assorted muffins and pastries is shoved into Cedric’s hands by a tall, darkly menacing man with the oddest silver eyes*

Cedric: Uh...thanks.  These are lovely. I've received many gifts and tributes, but never in pastry.  

~Lewell’yn leans close and whispers~

Lewell’yn: “If you make him cry I’ll come back later and kill you. No offense, and I’ll do you quick… I just can’t take anymore bloody tears. He’s so fucking hormonal right now. That’s not a joke. Kay says sometimes—”

*Kay jumps out of his seat, grabs Lewell’yn’s massive arm and yanks on it.*

Kay: “Sit down, Lewell’yn. And stop threatening people. You’re going to make Tian look bad. None of the other consorts on Nakntiios run around threatening the nice media people interviewing their Counts and Earls and… well, they just don’t.”

Cedric: Never fear love, I'm an accomplished swordsman.  I can handle myself.

*Lewell’yn grunts, casts one more menacing glare at Cedric and then allows Kay to herd him back to his seat*

*Sitting back down, Kay smiles brightly at Cedric.*

Kay: “Right then, where were we?”

Cedric: Tian, why don’t you share a little about your vital statistics?  What makes you such a mouth-watering object of desire?

Tian: “Ah. Um. Mouth-watering?”

*growling from Lewell’yn*

Kay: “Oh, fer fook’s sake. Cedric.  Cedric. Look over here, ya saucy bastard—no offense intended tae yer mam and pap—and listen up. He’s bloody beautiful. He can make cardboard taste good wi’ just a spice or two… and ye have eyes, don’t you? Have you ever in your life seen such what did ya say? Oh, yeah, ‘mouth-watering’ lusciousness all wrapped up in a wee little package like that?”

*Kay arches a sleek black brow at Cedric*

Kay: “I didn’t think so. And the red hair, oh Blessed Light… it’s like shagging a bloody unicorn, innit? How many sexy redhead have you had?”

*Tian’s face lights up with a monumental blush again.*

Cedric: Well, I am a sexy redhead., and I've had my share of every shape, size and color.  Except for the height, we could almost be twin brothers.  Are you sure you're not Scottish?

Lewell’yn: “The best part is his heart. Man plaguing well doesn’t know how to hate. He’s too fucking good for all of us.”

*Kay and Cedric both jump at the low, gravelly tone coming from Tian’s far side. Kay mouths the words Holy shite of the Light itself to Cedric, and then speaks.*

Kay: “Lewell’yn? Listen big guy, if you stop seeing in colour, I need you to just leave. Go home. We’re not going to hurt the nice interview man, okay?”

*Lewell’yn grunts. Tian scoots closer to Lewell’yn, a small chuckle escaping his mouth. He pats Lewell’yn’s arm, and then reaches out with his other hand to twine his fingers with Kay’s.*

Tian: “Isn’t he sweet? I’m not too good for them. They’re so handsome, and brave. I hope you find someone as wonderful as my guys… or do you have someone already? I—oh, I’m sorry, Da and Abtiss would be so ashamed… Are you in a relationship? What’s his name? Do you have any kids yet? We’re having a couple pretty soon and isn’t Kay adorable? I mean, look at him over there just about to pop with our baby. Lewell’yn and I couldn’t be prouder!”

Cedric: I keep my love life unencumbered by committed relationships, but there are two lovers who are special to me.  One is my darling Mia and the other is Lord Liu.  No offspring in my future I'm afraid--not in the usual sense.  Who is doing this interview, anyway?

*Cedric leans back in chair… pauses and then, with a meaningful look and a charming smile attempts to steer the interview back onto the appropriate track.*

Cedric:Tell me a little about yourself—don’t spare any juicy details.”

*A cool voice interjects from the side of the room.*

The “Boss”:  “I’m afraid that’s classified information. He could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”

*Cedric laughs nervously.*

Lewell’yn: “What the fuck are you doing here?”

Tian: “Caris’yn when did you get here? Come give me a hug!”

Kay: “Plaguing Darkness, that tears it. I hope you’re good at looking small and helpless, Cedric, cause these two are about to gut each other and anyone who gets in the way of their fun times of trying to kill one another may or may not be harmed. Run, man, run. No, on second thought you’d better not run. Just—stay really still and speak in a calm voice, okay. And for the sake of all that’s holy, send someone for a cup of tea will you? My nerves are just shot… best you try to wrap up the interview quickly. No, I’m serious about that bit. Just ask me the questions and I’ll answer as quick as I can.”

Cedric: “Share a little of your fascinating world of the future.  How do you differ from humans?”

Kay: “Shite, you’d have to ask that wouldn’t you… listen I’ll tell you while those two *points at Lewell’yn and Caris’yn* are occupied with proving who has the bigger—I mean who is more Alpha. *rolls eyes* Tian and I are Akanti. The biggest difference would be… you probably think I’m chubby, don’t you? I’m not. I’m pregnant. I know it sounds crazy, but there you have it. Other than that we’re just—”

*breaks off with a moan when Cedric’s assistant enters with a large, steaming mug of Irish Breakfast tea*

Kay: “Oh Blessed Brightness, is that tea? Oh, by all that’s holy, it is. And it smells just like what Mam used to serve. How did you know to get this kind? I’d heard that you were good at this but—I’ll put in a good word for you. Anyone from Nakntiios or Ciarlund you want to interview… if I know them I’ll shove them on the shuttle myself to get them *little bit is constantly getting himself in some sort of trouble, and the big guy thinks the solution to everything comes at the end of a laser-knife. I mean, really.”

*Cedric’s brows lift towards his hairline slightly. Maintaining his professional aplomb, he continues.* "I had nothing to do with the tea selection.  My beverage of choice is deep red in color.  What are some of the unique challenges that face your species?”

Caris’yn: “Classified.”

Kay: “Oh, bollocks.”

Tian: “Don’t swear, Kay. The baby can hear you, you know.”

Lewell’yn: “Plaguing Hell, are we done yet?”

Tian: “Didn’t you just hear what I said to Kay?”

*Cedric hides a smile behind a hand, making it seem like he is being thoughtful.*

Cedric: “Are you monogamous creatures?  If not, how do you juggle the responsibilities, so to speak?”

Tian: “Of course! There’s just us in this trouple, thank you very much!”

Kay: “Of all the bloody cheek… you’d better be careful there, Cedric, or I’ll let Lewell’yn and Caris’yn both loose on you.”

Cedric: Cheeky is my middle name.

Caris’yn: “What the hell kind of question is that? Damned primitive humans… Do you want me to draw you a diagram?”

Cedric: "I'm not human, thank-you.  I'm a vampire, er, Immortyl that is, and we tend to be pansexual, polyamorous beings.  We won't talk about those sparkling ones--they're in denial."

Lewell’yn: “We mate for life, in pairs or trouples. Humans call trouples three-somes I think, or perhaps triads? Calm down, Tian, love, he didn’t smell cruel. He didn’t mean it to upset you. He’s just curious. And yes, before you even ask, I’m very sure. That’s an entirely different smell.”

*glances scornfully at his boss*

Lewell’yn: “That wasn’t classified. And a simple answer was all the man asked for.” 

*turning his full attention back to Cedric*


Cedric:  What you smell is a pheromone. Humans find it irresistible.  It works well on other Immortyls as well.  So, tell me, what do you look for in your ideal partners?”

Tian: “Just like Lewell’yn and Kay I guess. They’re pretty much perfect in my opinion.”

Kay: “Honey, I think he wants you to describe what it is about us you find so appealing. He needs details to make the interview interesting to his readers.”

Tian: “Oh, that makes sense. Ah… Well, they need to be really sweet, like Lewell’yn.”

*Kay and Caris’yn both emit choking noises. Cedric merely appears baffled by Tian’s apparent sincerity in calling his frequently (by all reports) homicidal mate “sweet”*

Cedric: “Ooookay. Moving right along. I’ve had my share of tumultuous relationships, but I must admit, I prefer those that present a challenge.  Do you like someone who lets you take the lead, or do you like strong-minded lovers?”

Tian: “Oh, I like my men like I like my coffee. Hot and strong and sweet with a little bite to it.”

Cedric: “I always say I like mine dark and sweet. You guys have coffee?” 

Lewell’yn: “Tian found a record of it in the archives at the Temple of the Light on Soonan, his home planet, and wouldn’t rest (and by that I mean wouldn’t let me rest) until he could taste test some. He’s making something called CaffaMoo for us tonight for dinner. Steak marinated in coffee. Decaf, though, in deference to Kay’s pregnancy.”

*Kay and Caris’yn glance at each other and then at Lewell’yn. Both have one eyebrow cocked upward in a sarcastic manner.*

 Cedric: “What is your idea of the perfect evening out?”

Tian: “Oh, any clear night in late spring. The mockou trees are in bloom then, and we can have a picnic in the courtyard of the castle, and all I’ll need is a light sweater.

*Lewell’yn and Kay both hide smiles behind their hands. Caris’yn snorts.*

Cedric: Ah, supposing the plan is to stay in.  All great lovers have their trade secrets.  How you create the perfect romantic atmosphere?”

Tian: “Oooh, good question. I create romance in my kitchen. If I want to have a perfect romantic evening with my consorts I just cook their favorite dishes up, and then serve them in the main courses in the formal dining room, but save the dessert to serve in our quarters because I can serve it naked there.”

Cedric: Sounds like my favorite kind of evening. Anything else you’d like to share?”

Tian: “Oh, yes! First of all, thank you so much for having us here. It’s been fun. And don’t mind Lewell’yn. He’s just grouchy because I didn’t bake biscuits for him this morning. He’ll get over it. I have some links to where you earthlings can get copies of our story… how we met, and where we think we’re going in the future and that sort of stuff!”

A spy posing as an assassin finds himself riding the ragged edge of sanity during a frantic search for fabled lost colonists who fled his world steps ahead of a devastating plague. They hold the key to saving his species from extinction.
Living in deep cover onboard a space frigate full of slave-running pirates would be difficult enough with reliable intel and some hope of back-up...even if he weren’t slowly losing his ability to separate truth from fiction and dealing with the added complications of a fiercely passionate healer, and an innocently sexy chef. 
The bombs are in place, detonators set, and chrono ticking. Caught between ruthless pirates and his spiraling madness can Lewell'yn find a way to become Tian's hero?   

A fluke.

An accident of birth.

A freaking genetic anomaly.

A filthy, undersized fucking freak of nature, oh yeah, that description fit Lewell'yn right down to the soles of his feet. His size and unique genetic adaptations added up neatly to comprise the exact reasons the Boss—plaguing silver-eyed bastard—had picked him for this lousy assignment.
Seriously, the Boss's parents must never have gotten betrothed legally. The man couldn't possibly be such a damned wanker without having official status as a bastard somewhere. The odds of such virulent, misbegotten actions—tricking a supposed protégé into taking a complete shite assignment, say, just for example—happening by accident were astronomically low. Conversely, those same actions carried out by a completely unredeemable, bona-fide, carrying-the-papers-to-prove-it bastard, especially one whose alterations make him an extraordinarily manipulative fuck… well, pretty fucking easy to see which odds the house would take.
Lewell'yn bit back a gravelly laugh. He shivered, a tingling sensation running over the surface of his skin. Thinking of the Boss sucked. The man meddled, poked, and had an eerie way of knowing precisely what Lewell'yn meant. All the time, in every situation, the git tuned in to the minutest alteration in Lewell'yn's body language, even when Lewell'yn didn't want him to. Shite, especially when Lewell'yn didn't want him to.
A sound in the hallway ahead echoed faintly along the pitted walls. Lewell'yn's ears drank in the barely perceptible noise. He brought his head up. His nostrils flared as he drew in a deep breath.
Two engineering apprentices headed his way. Shite. If they spotted him here, he'd have to dispose of them as well. Plaguing fucking Darkness, nothing ever ran smoothly or simply.
Another set of boots clanked into the cross-hallway, farther away, and a voice called out.
"Henders, Vittakine, where in Darkest Hell do you think you're going? Your shifts don't end for another hour."
The two men spoke at the same time.
"Varna, we'll miss chow."
"We'll bring our grub back to finish out our shift, Senior-Tech."
A grunt echoed down the hall. Lewell'yn stepped into the intersection of the two hallways, his eyes locking with Varna's. The big guard/engineer-tech grunted again, baring his teeth at the two apprentices.
"Get your asses back in here. Jakobs is bringing chow to you."
His eyes flickered back up, looking over the shoulders of his men. Lewell'yn flashed Varna a tight smile, winking just before the bulk of the body on his shoulder hid Varna from view.
Too close.
Lewell'yn could still smell the hot blood beating just under their skins. He slowed, the siren song calling him. Then Varna's careful reek wafted towards him, and Lewell'yn shuddered.
Entirely too fucking close.
Lewell'yn shrugged one shoulder. The damn Boss enjoyed fucking with him and clearly found amusement in giving him a mission that called his hungers to the surface. The manipulative bastard knew Lewell'yn couldn't turn down a request to find the colonists the Naknti lost contact with during the Great Plague. Lewell'yn ground his teeth together. The Boss—shite, he probably had Lewell'yn altered in the womb so he felt compelled to find them.
A cold sweat broke across Lewell'yn's brow. The Boss's gleaming silver eyes bore into him across all the light years between them, burning metal laid across his skin.
So here Lewell'yn was, hauling yet another sloppy body through the corridors of this lumbering behemoth of a spaceship and wondering what in plaguing hell the crafty mixed race fucker he called Boss had planned. Sending Lewell'yn out here with barely a hint of where he might find the only pure blood Naknti still capable of breeding seemed sloppy, and simply not like the Boss. Sticking Lewell'yn here to play at being a mercenary for the universe's worst ever excuse for a space captain; definitely an action the Boss would find funny.
Lewell'yn ground his teeth a little harder. Finding the missing Naknti immigrants would be quite a coup. Especially if he could manage to keep his other, darker needs at bay. As if he'd conjured it, a vision rose in front of him, fountains of blood, and him bathing joyfully in them.
He bit his tongue, sucking blood from the wound hungrily. He didn't mind a bit of gore.
Thoughts of bathing in the right kind of body fluids made his eyes gleam fever bright.
The ship gave a slow, lazy roll. Lewell'yn tightened his grip on the noxious heap on his shoulder. The glow in his eyes intensified. The edge of his upper lip curled, and a sub-vocal growl rumbled in his chest.
"And here I thought finding those bloody colonists worth anything."
He tipped his head down, looking up through the fringes of his hair to watch the corridor ahead. A drip of liquid slid from the body he carried, rolling down the back of his ship-suit, warm and thick.
Covered again in… ah, the substances didn't bear thinking of. Nothing was worth this.
Lewell'yn focused his thoughts. He had a job to do. He had a body to stash, a megalomaniac to appease, and his cover to keep intact.
His vision flickered black and white. Shaking out the hand holding the body stationary on his shoulder while he stabilised the inert lump with his other forearm, Lewell'yn ran through his mental checklist. He was an assassin. Or maybe he was really a pirate? No, no, he'd re-read the logs he kept just that morning. He was a spy. His plaguing spymaster boss was watching to make sure he didn't fuck this up. Shite. He'd been in deep cover a long time.
His vision flickered; colours dancing wildly along the ship's scarred and pitted walls. The sound of another crewmember's footfalls echoed in the next cross-corridor ahead, then paused before retreating into the distance. Cold shivers crawled along the small of Lewell'yn's back. He clenched the muscles there, eyes locked on the access panel at the far end of this corridor.
He bit his lip lightly, then the inside of his cheek, hard and fast. Blood flowed into his mouth once more, sweet and coppery. He could focus on the taste.
Good to concentrate on things not slipping steadily away from him.
"I told them to have the corridors clear."
Seriously, he couldn't get caught hiding this body. Calling the man in charge of this rusting bucket of bolts captain burned Lewell'yn's tongue worse than pouring salt on the open wound in his mouth would. Still, Captain Arameelne held the power here. The lump of flesh weighing down Lewell'yn's shoulder? This trick had decidedly not come on the list the captain assigned Lewell'yn to perform. So, unless he wanted to take a short walk out a set of airlock doors, Lewell'yn needed to exercise discretion with his unsanctioned kill.
Arameelne really was an obstreperous git.
Lewell'yn let the vision of bathing in the captain's blood play out on one track in his brain as he got back to the business at hand. Hoisting the lax body more securely up on his shoulder, Lewell'yn snorted. His lips curled into a mocking grin.
He recalled the naïvety with which he'd gone into the Naknti Intelligence Service. He'd actually thought the N.I.S. job glamorous. He'd dreamed of being up to his neck in pretty little guys and girls from all over the galaxy.
What sort of gullible prat believes those advert vids the Naknti Intelligence Service puts out?
Right, cow-eyed farm boys did. Lewell'yn didn't like to consider himself so naïve.
Oh, but he had thought those exact things. Once upon a time, he'd thought he'd climb the ranks of the N.I.S. in a perfectly pressed tuxedo.
The thought died a quick death with his first trip on this piece of space junk. He spent days surrounded by the unwashed brutes who made up the pirate ship's crew. The time passed away from their stinking presence? Every moment crawled as he endured riding herd on illiterate slaves whose unwashed bodies most often reeked of stale sweat and fear. Terror and a lack of bathing facilities combined to make a powerful stench. At least this trip he'd had a brief reprieve, assigned as the captain's pet assassin. Living on this wreck, bowing to the dictates of a petty tyrant like Arameelne wasn't the life he'd imagined as an N.I.S. operative.
In-between hiding stinking bodies from his fellow crewmembers, Lewell'yn fought his growing delight in casting soul-shattering fear into the hearts of poor fuckers whose only crime was being easy to kidnap. Getting rid of all the waste, inside and out, caused the muscles in the back of his neck to tie themselves into knots. Big fucking knots.
The only things he called a good time anymore centred around imagining the incredibly painful, lingering near deaths he could inflict on the Boss, because when the plague-ridden, unnatural fuck tricked him into taking this assignment, the silver-eyed bastard knew precisely how Lewell'yn felt about body waste.
The fucker still sent him here where they always ended up puking and crying and shitting themselves before Lewell'yn got them—processed. The one draped over Lewell'yn's shoulder like a hundred kilos of fusty deadweight pissed out enough fluids to float a whole damned frigate. The deluge came right at the end of their assignation, right when Lewell'yn had started to hope he might get away clean this time.
The tempting idea of just throwing the stinking body out the nearest airlock flitted through Lewell'yn's mind, along with every reason he couldn't. Being watched from afar was not the least of these. Some days Lewell'yn felt the Boss's burning pewter gaze looking right into his mind, reading his every thought, and knowing every desire of his heart. Lewell'yn's hatred of the man raged impossibly higher.
Lewell'yn took another step forwards, the noisome body dragging at his shoulders. He cast a measuring glance down the corridor. The entrance to his special storage came soon. He'd found the closets on this level very handy, especially with a few judicious alterations.
This one housed a—Lewell'yn let his gaze roam over the filthy walls—rarely used multipurpose cleaner. No one had noticed when the room shrank to the current size. Hell, the fuckers hadn't even ventured down to this floor in the past four cycles—roughly a whole month back on Nakntiios. Getting the work done quietly posed no problem either.
Truly amazing what a teensy bit of sexual exploitation combined with a hefty bribe could get one—or several—of the fellows down in engineering to accomplish. Ensuring their silence when they finished the alterations? Easy. The proximity of this storage to the waste disposal chutes ensured their discretion. As for culpability and alibis… Lewell'yn had vid tape proving him nowhere near those particular chutes when the poor unfortunate fellows from engineering had fallen down them.
The gits practically begged him for a deadly tango with every foul deed enacted on their subordinates. Lewell'yn had the real tape of what the tosser in charge and his select followers got up to with their unwilling young apprentices…
So, to make a long story short, Lewell'yn had high-quality tamper-proof vid tape proving him innocent of any wrongdoing there. The equipment to produce said tape delighted him as the best and most ironic part of the set up they'd provided him.
Today however, the acoustics created by a hard floor to dump yet another disgusting body on brought Lewell'yn the most pleasure. The man made a satisfying, painful-sounding thud when he hit the deck. Ah, really, the little touches made everything worthwhile.
Normally Lewell'yn would imagine his N.I.S. boss's body making the distinctive thudding noise. After the debacle yesterday, a cluster-fuck of cosmic proportions surely listed as the most recent update to the definition of FUBAR—fucked up beyond all recognition—in the galactic database of definitions, imaging the captain's body making the noise made getting through today bearable.
Who knew this mission, and Lewell'yn's life, could get more fucked up? Lewell'yn turned his head, his feral gaze scanning the empty air around him for agreement. Show of hands please…
Killing one of the captain's favoured bed partners yesterday in the mess hall hadn't been part of the plan. The second kill had occurred in addition to the man Lewell'yn was sent by Arameelne to put down. The kill hadn't been part of Lewell'yn's N.I.S. boss's plans either. Offing the second man—Arameelne's favourite fuck-toy—just pissed the pirate captain off. Lewell'yn didn't know what the Boss had to say about this particular cluster-fuck, and didn't want to any sooner than necessary. None of those things mattered though, not in comparison to the scariest bit.
Ending the stupid git's life hadn't even occurred to Lewell'yn. A knee-jerk reaction to the man putting his hands on Lewell'yn created the incident. Except, Lewell'yn didn't have knee-jerk reactions. And just when did killing get so damned easy? So… necessary? He hadn't even given slitting the man's throat more than a cursory thought.
Before this mission, he used to think such things through. Never reluctant to engage in a little wet-work if the job required, but still, never eager. Now he paid more attention to the degree of air pressure on his skin than to decisions of who should live or die. Lewell'yn started at the thought, the body on his shoulder slipping a fraction before he adjusted. He licked his lips. A faint hint of warm iron lingered on them. Lewell'yn thought back. When had he decided to kill the man? Had he decided to do so? The one on his shoulder—conscious decision—the captain's lover though… had he made a decision there?
One second they'd baited each other with words, the next the captain's favourite hit the floor, his carotid sliced cleanly through. Lewell'yn turned the incident around and around in his mind. The sequence of events didn't add up. No fucking gain for him. The pirate leader would have killed anyone else—good thing the git still found him useful. Lewell'yn didn't fancy testing the breathability on the other side of any of the airlocks. He still breathed solely because he had the dubious distinction of being the one man on the ship Captain Arameelne feared. Well, Arameelne also wanted to tie him up and fuck him till he begged for mercy. Which he made a point of telling Lewell'yn as often as possible.
Licentious prick.
Lewell'yn got reassigned to the team of caretakers in charge of a group of slaves being shipped to Kyrth. Playing glorified nursemaid for a bunch of anxious slaves was a far cry from having no regular duties other than killing on command. The duty change definitely hampered his ability to complete his N.I.S. mission. Worse yet, though Lewell'yn had a basic knowledge of the Kyrth slaves and what the contract for their delivery entailed, he had no detailed intel on them. Worst of all, he had no time to gather information. Hence the intense pique at his new assignment.
Fuck and double fuck.
The Kyrth slaves, all two hundred sixty of them, were held in a separate area per the stipulations of the Captain's contract with the sentient predators. The Kyrth had taboos against hunting pregnant game. They always stipulated their prey remain untouched during transport. Lewell'yn had heard rumours about what the Kyrth did to slavers who failed to honour any part of their contract.
Really—the captain shoulda thought his revenge out a bit.
Lewell'yn? Not the lad to inconvenience. Arameelne made a grave mistake by forcing Lewell'yn to relocate his base of operations on the ship. Lewell'yn knew just how to extract payment for his troubles. He had a lovely win/win/lose scenario all worked out in his mind. Hell, he'd even tweaked his plan to fit with his real purpose for being on this ship. He'd win the slaves—who might just be the lost settlers he was looking for—they would win a reprieve from the Kyrth, and the captain would lose—everything.
Served the fucking wanker right, getting caught in his own sticky web.
Shipping those poor men halfway across the galaxy to be prey in the Kyrthian's annual blood sport rituals was barbaric. If you added in the bloody unfair bit about doing so without allowing them a decent screw… well. Downright criminal if you asked Lewell'yn.
Thus, and he surely wasn't the only one to think this way, right and proper to alleviate their suffering along the way. A sound somewhere between a rough cough and a rusty chuckle escaped Lewell'yn's throat. He could even work out a way to swap the "pure" slaves with some of his worthless fellow crewmembers. Lovely thought—how interesting to watch Captain Arameelne try to explain to the Kyrth why their prey reeked of sex. He'd have to set up a delayed relay feed to some monitoring equipment so he could see the action unfold.
Lewell'yn stored his… package… then checked his chronometer. He had to arrive at his new duty location soon. Lewell'yn opted for a sol-ray shower. He liked the old-fashioned water showers better because the feeling of liquid sliding over his skin helped to bring colours back into the world, helped slow the strobe flashes his sight degenerated into.
He didn't have time today. Sol-ray showers were quick. An expedient clean-up meant fewer awkward questions. Showing up covered in gore or late would raise the likelihood of some wise-ass making a comment on his new status. He bit his cheek again. Let the taste of hot iron soothe him.
Well. Assassin to babysitter—rather a step down.
He could suck up the bitter taste of his demotion, and deal with the actual change. He understood the temptation to needle over the loss of status. Someone having the nerve to comment about lax discipline or status change to his face? Unacceptable.
He wasn't scheduled to kill anyone else for the Captain today. His N.I.S. mission didn't require any 'disappearances' for several more days. Lewell'yn thought a full day free of death a good thing. He rolled his stiff shoulders, blowing out a breath as he sought to loosen the taut muscles around his mouth and in his neck. A shadow of a smile crept to one corner of his mouth. Twenty-some hours where he wasn't lost in the black and white world of death sounded restful. Damn good in fact. A stray thought flitted through his mind. The sparkle in his eyes morphed into a silvery flare.
Unless by some plague-dark twist of an unkind fate Captain Arameelne teamed him with Harvitt.
The Captain never struck Lewell'yn as completely stupid. He knew how Lewell'yn felt about Harvitt, the sorry sack of shit. He'd hated the fucker since the first time he saw him, singling out one of the youngest slaves, taunting the sorry little git like a meeka-cat with its prey. Harvitt claimed boredom that day. The fucker actually said he needed entertaining.
Moronic fuck. As if any real entertainment value existed in scaring the timid ones.
Lewell'yn shook himself.
He meant frightening them wasn't right.
He meant—
Lewell'yn rounded the last corner and stopped abruptly at the doors leading to the Kyrth slaves' holding area. Through the clear-view panels he could see the guard waiting for relief. The edges of his vision greyed. He knew today had to be Firstday somewhere; Firstday in the First month of what was surely the First fucking year of a long stint in the Darkness. Lewell'yn checked his chrono. Not even 0700 bells and already shaping up as one hell of a day.
Harvitt. The Light must hate him. He was paired with Harvitt.
Lewell'yn felt his jaw tighten a little on the left side. He tucked his chin in just slightly, forcing the joint back into alignment. He'd learned the little trick the last time he'd seen the only decent medic the ship possessed.
Kay. Such a lovely thing, all sighs and more please and—ah, he wanted to visit sickbay again soon. No. Shite. Lewell'yn shook his head sharply. The idea stayed lodged firmly in his mind. He couldn't. Spending time around Kay wasn't safe. Damnit.
Lewell'yn tucked his chin again. The instant release of tension in his neck eased the hot blackness behind his eyes, slowed the bleeding-out of colour. He forced a slow even breath, and thought about counting to ten. Glancing again at Harvitt, he reconsidered, and adjusted the number upward by ninety.
Mix a moronic fuck with an obstreperous git and you had Harvitt. Expose Lewell'yn to Harvitt for longer than two minutes and you had a homicidally irritated assassin.
Oh, what-fucking-ever.
Keeping a lid on his desire to kill Harvitt took every bit of self-control Lewell'yn possessed. The captain called down to tell Harvitt to stay an extra two hours and "familiarise" Lewell'yn with procedures for dealing with these slaves. Harvitt took great delight in telling Lewell'yn what to do.
The rank bastard abso-fucking-lutely ate the task up.
It was never wise to let a predator, nor even a rank scavenger like Harvitt, sense weakness of any sort. The scent of weakness only made them hungry for blood. For the rest of the time Harvitt 'tutored' him, Lewell'yn kept his attention centred on the sodding bottom-feeder showing him the ropes of his new assignment. Lewell'yn made careful note of what he said. More importantly, he made note of what Harvitt didn't say about the care and feeding of their… charges. After two damned hours, Harvitt finally took his putrid leave.
Lewell'yn celebrated by unclenching his jaw.
As Harvitt left, Lewell'yn spotted a tiny man with long, gleaming auburn hair and thick-lashed spring-leaf green eyes. The little beauty stepped into the holding area, and Lewell'yn's chest tightened up. He immediately began cataloguing potentially deadly threats in the area.
Lewell'yn wondered how the man had managed to keep his pretty hair looking so clean. Shaking his head, he dismissed the delicious looking man as non-threatening.
Lying to himself in the midst of this arsed-up mission? About as deadly a mistake as showing Harvitt weakness, both of which the small slave had incited.
All Lewell'yn could think of was how much he wanted to strip the sexy little fucker bare, lick every delicious bit of skin revealed, and then sink balls deep into the man's ridiculously pert ass. Lewell'yn shook his head and refused to give any more weight to the matter. He chalked his obsession up to a deep need for sleep.
Lewell'yn struggled to mask his response to the man. Even with all his training the task proved nearly impossible. Just wondering about the petite red head felt better than any of the actual fucks he'd had in the last three years…well, excepting the delicious medic Kayron. They both jolted like a bolt of electricity shot straight through Lewell'yn, burning his senses to ash.
The suddenly electrified feeling pulled Lewell'yn towards the slave. With his rich red hair shot through with streaks of blond and his sun-kissed skin, the man looked as though he might smell of peaches. Lewell'yn loved peaches, the way their flesh felt firm to his teeth, the way the fine hair on them tickled against his lips and tongue.
Peaches became Lewell'yn's absolute favourite fruit as soon as he realised they came packaged in such a splendidly wrapped for-adults-only form. Lewell'yn's mouth started to water, anticipation and imagination combining in his still clenching gut as his eyes roamed his brand-new favourite treat. He moved with unhurried, lethal grace towards the slave. He caught a whiff of the man's scent, a hint of musk, a whisper of sweetness tied together with vibrant warmth.
Sweet Light, the man even smelled like peaches.
Lewell'yn found the closer he moved towards the little slave, the more his mind cleared of the grey pre-killing fog Harvitt's earlier presence had induced. Plaguing Darkness… Lewell'yn needed to get at least five hours of fucking sleep today. The world seemed made of melting wax.
Lewell'yn checked to see if the darkness stalking him were noticeable to anyone else. A quick glance around showed it wasn't. He marvelled at how the man's scent had brought the colour back so quickly. Lewell'yn turned his attention to watching the intriguing, sweetly musky smelling man, and noted his quarry watched him as well.
This cat and mouse game ranked as the best bit of fun he'd had in at least—the last two minutes. Amusingly, the man attempted to observe Lewell'yn without bringing scrutiny upon himself.
As if the sweet little thing could go unnoticed… not likely, not even in a room full of blind men. Not even a completely sightless man would miss the fine curve at the top of his surprisingly long legs.
Positively aerodynamic.
Mmm, what Lewell'yn wouldn't give for a taste of the petite man comprised a damn short list. Hmm. The idea had merit. Sneaking about seducing the man would keep Lewell'yn's 'detection avoidance' skills sharp and gather more information at the same time. Lewell'yn smiled. He loved having work he truly enjoyed.
He'd have to see if the little peach one tasted as sweet as he looked.
Letting more of his attention be drawn by the way the auburn haired man attempted to hide brought relief to Lewell'yn. The game entertained enough to offset the assassin's exhaustion.
By far the smallest in the group, Lewell'yn's target stood shorter than the next tallest man by at least half a head. Lewell'yn quelled a smile as he tracked the man by listening for whispered questions coming from the little hole in the centre of the crowd of slaves.
Lewell'yn caught himself about to laugh out loud. How long since he'd actually laughed out loud? Too fucking long if he couldn't remember the last time.
The little man darted green-eyed glances at him every few minutes, peeking up from under a thick screen of lashes. Though Lewell'yn pretended not to notice, every single glance sent hot pulses of electricity rushing through his groin. Oh yes, he had noticed. He had noted earlier, with far less amusement, how Harvitt seemed interested in the petite beauty as well. Any interest Harvitt had in the little man spelled danger. Just before Harvitt left, Lewell'yn had felt the fine hairs on the back of his neck rise. He caught himself in the midst of remembering the moment, baring his teeth at the now absent Harvitt, a subvocal growl rolling up from his chest to scratch at the inside of his throat.
If only the worthless fuck gave him half an excuse.

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You can find Cherie Noel, author of Tian’s Hero,  rambling and carrying on nearly every day over at the Writing Cave:

A very big thanks to my guests and their authoress, Cherie Noel, for letting them out to play with me! Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in a drawing to win a copy of my story, My Fearful Symmetry.

Until next time, my darlings!

Love and Dark Kisses,

Cedric MacKinnon

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Host Cedric MacKinnon's Portrait by Arlie Adams


bn100 said...

Very fun and enjoyable interview.


Cherie Noel said...

LOL! Cedric, luv, the boys are still chatting about how... entertaining you were. Actually, there was a bit of a dust-up because Kay mentioned how handsome you were and Lewell'yn got pissed. Tian's in the kitchen whipping up something to entice Kay and Lewell'yn both into better moods. I believe he dismissed the kitchen staff, which means he's probably dressed in something skimpy, hoping his men will ravish him amongst the crockery.

He usually gets his way.

Cedric MacKinnon said...

I do seem to wreak havoc wherever I go. Lord Liu is always scheming to get me to come and live with him in Hong Kong. Li Cheng is amazing--too amazing. No one can be around him for long and not fall under his spell. It's easier with Mia because she has Kurt and isn't looking for an eternal commitment. Of course, I can't disappoint all of my groupies either. Good thing I have preternatural stamina and an eternally 19-year-old body that can handle the demands. I don't mean to cause any domestic disturbances. I'd be happy to come around and smooth things over with all parties--if you get my drift.

Christopher M. Hammel said...

Sounds like a really good read. If chosen, my email is....

Christopher Hammel

Cedric MacKinnon said...

Christopher, thanks for stopping by!

Vicktor Alexander said...

*falls out laughing* This interview was high-larious!!! I LOVE these boys! Thank you Tian, Kay, Lewell'yn and Cherie for this delightful read. And thank you Cedric for doing the interview.

Adara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adara said...

Interesting interview. I can only imagine the trouble these boys get into. =)

Adara adaraohare com

Cedric MacKinnon said...

Adara and Viktor, thanks for joining us.

mc said...

Wait, the interview is over? I was enjoying myself with a cuppa Earl Grey and a Triple Ginger cookie.

We were just getting started!

Great fun, thanks!

Cherie Noel said...

MC, Tian's offered to let you pop round the castle any time you like... and he promises to make Kay share his Earl Grey tea.

mc said...

I'm happy enough to supply the tea and cookies (I was about to say, as long as I'm protected from possibly grumpy warriors, but then, I realized, maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing! Always good to expand one's horizons. Warn me first so I take some B12 :))

Tracy Faul said...

*wrinkles nose* Somehow the idea of steak marinated in coffee is vaguely stomach-churning. Beer, even though I hate it, actually makes a pretty good marinade, though.

Also, love love love Tian the best. Would love to bake with him. Scones, maybe? ;)

(Not entering for Tian's Hero, but for the other one...sure, why not? email is tracykitn AT yahoo DOT com)

Cedric MacKinnon said...

Thanks for visiting MC and Tracy. I prefer my steak bloody red--that's steak, not stake. I must agree that the boys were stimulating company. The authoress, Ms. NOEL, has quite a job keeping those lads in line.

Anonymous said...

You're one to talk, Mr. I want my own Facebook page and Twitter account. You've taken over my blog. What's next?

Denise Verrico said...

I suppose you'll want top billing before long. Funny how I was signed out for my above comment, Cedric.

Cleon Lee said...

Your boys are so cute! Esp Tian. Mouthful indeed. LOL.

Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

I love this interview! he characters are so strong in their personalities they just draw you in...*S*
I love it! Definitely on my gotta have list...*S*
I can't wait to read this..*S*
thank you!