When D'vork entered his quarters, once more, he found Inmahn sitting at the console and wiping a stray tear from his eyes. D'vork knew it took a lot to make the android cry. Something dreadful had happened. "Inmahn, what's wrong?"
Inmahn glanced up at him, a weak smile. "Oh, nothing; I think you will find the interview went very well."He sniffled a bit, gave a deep sigh and indicated the bedroom door.
Curious, D'vork marched into the bedroom expecting something terrible had happened between Pree and the boy. Tadik was sitting, Indian style, on the bed with the white fur wrapped round him. He looked up as D'vork sat down on the edge of the bed. His eyes were red from crying and he held a tissue to his nose.
"Hey! What is this? I thought you would be happy to talk to my wife?"
"So, why the tears?"
Tadik's chin quivered, and he sank deeper into the fur. D'vork sat down between him and the head of the bed and held out his arms. Tadik lay back and allowed D'vork to embrace him. "Now, tell me what this is all about."
After a few moments, Tadik sniffed and said, "She reminded, me of my mother before she…she turned bad."
D'vork hoped Tadik wasn't comparing his mother with Pree; his wife was perfection plus, "In what way, Tadik?"
"Pree is so beautiful, and soft spoken, so gentle. She made me feel good. Mum was like that once."He gave a sob and added, "I miss her so much. I was enjoying talking to Pree when the contact was lost and she disappeared. I wanted her to come back."Tadik's voice ended in a squeak of despair.
"Well, I can explain the loss of contact."D'vork pulled Tadik closer till he was snuggled against his chest with his head on his right shoulder.
"You know the planets aren't stationary. They move in orbit round the sun just like Earth does. Uranus and its moons are moving out of range of our ship's sensors, and we are travelling on a heading at an angle of ninety degrees to its orbit. We were lucky to have that satellite contact for as long as we did. We won't have any more contact with Gpuchk till we reach our next satellite in five days time. Did Pree make a decision about our status before you lost contact with her?"He felt Tadik's head nod against his neck. "Well, at least we can move on, and you and I can look forward to many pleasant times together. I hope you are looking forward to them as much as I am."
Tadik blew his nose and sniffed back for tears. "I still don't understand why you picked me as your companion. I'm such a wimp, breaking down all the time and crying like a baby. And I've nothing to offer you, only sex."
D'vork lifted him off his chest so he could look into his eyes. "Tadik, listen to me. On our world, a companion is more than a sex object. Where does the word companion come from? Eh? It comes from the word company.
A companion keeps someone company. They talk, they do things together, and they build a friendship together. Often it has nothing to do with needing to have sex, although that often follows as the friendship progresses. Companions look after each other, they see to each other's needs, they learn what pleases their companion, whether it's keeping fit together, or reading together.
"There are many things I would like you to do with me, which have no connection with this bed; and I am also curious to learn more about Terran pastimes, including certain board games my mother told me about. Now you see why I chose you. I find you interesting, amusing, intelligent, and willing to learn new things. I find you gentle and sensitive, and I find it very touching that you can cry and show your feelings. It makes me want to protect you, and keep you safe, just as I would my own son. That is what true companionship means to a Gpuchkian.
"In our travels through various galaxies, some of the wilder elements among us have given us the unfortunate reputation as sex crazy savages because of what you Terrans call our homosexuality. It has taken a lot of diplomacy to stem that reputation, and I doubt we will stamp it out altogether. There will always be a few Gpuchkians out of control; there are even a few on board this ship, but at least there have been no reports of assault among my crew.
"So, my little Terran companion, grieve when you want , and I will comfort you. Play when you want, and I will gladly partner you; and share my bed when you want."For answer, Tadik settled back against his chest, and was soon breathing evenly. D'vork shifted round till he could lay Tadik down.
The boy stirred, opened his eyes and whispered, "I'm sorry I doubted you,"and fell asleep with a peaceful expression on his face.
D'vork walked back into the lounge and surveyed the dinner for two that Inmahn had prepared with utmost care. The android still sat at the console, scrolling through a medical database.
"It seems a shame to let this food go to waste; would you care to join me?"
"Oh, I couldn't."The way Inmahn eyed the delicious banquet for two lovers, D'vork knew different.
"Come on, you silly android, you know you want to. My guest is already asleep and may not eat till later on."
D'vork sat down at the table and picked up the bottle of Gpuchk's best wine from its ice bucket. "Sit down, Inmahn and show me the delights of feasting, Terran style."
Tadik roused to a semi darkened room and a rumbling stomach, and regretted turning down D'vork's invitation to dine with him. "Wrong decision again, Tadik,"he thought. "Why do you do this to yourself; it's only you who suffers in the end."He turned over, meaning to close his eyes and go to sleep, but spotted a glass of Inman's brew sitting on the bedside table. Oh, well, better than nothing.
He had drunk a good half of it when the bedroom door opened, and D'vork popped his head round the edge of it. "Ah! Caught you!"He grinned as he came further into the room. "I knew you would be hungry; that's why Inmahn made you that drink."D'vork sat down on the bed. "No banquet left, I'm afraid; Inmahn and I made short work of that, so what would you like for supper?"
Tadik shrugged his shoulders, not wanting to be a bother. "Some soup will do."
"And some dumplings?"
"Wow! Yes! I haven't had dumplings since…."Depression hit Tadik with the force of a sledgehammer. "…since my dad disappeared. Mum used to make them for him. Then we heard about Dad and she didn't make them anymore. But how did you know?"
"That I like dumplings."
D'vork's eyes sparkled with amusement. "I cheated. I had Percy look up your files, and Inmahn came up with the recipe. Between them, I think they have the contents of every conceivable British and US recipe book since the early nineteen hundreds stored in their memory banks, besides all the formulas for medicines and treatments including what you are drinking now."
He rose from the bed. "You finish your drink and I'll see whether Inmahn's finished making your dumplings."
His drink finished, Tadik relaxed back against his pillows and thought about his father, picturing them sitting at the table together and polishing off his mother's latest batch of herb and onion dumplings. Something touched his hand and he jerked awake, realizing he had fallen asleep. D'vork stood by the bed, holding a tray containing a bowl of soup, a spoon, and a napkin. The soup smelt wonderful.
D'vork placed the tray on the bedside table and helped Tadik sit up. Placing the pillows behind him, he made sure Tadik was comfortable then tucked the napkin into the collar of his jumpsuit. Tadik managed a few spoonfuls of soup before he felt the strength leaving his arm, and his hand began to shake. Dropping the spoon, he sighed and closed his eyes, and let his head drop back against the pillows.
"Yes you can."
Tadik felt the spoon touch his lips, and tears of embarrassment stung his eyes. At first he wanted to refuse to be fed like a baby, but he was still hungry. He opened his mouth and took the spoonful of soup D'vork offered him, followed by a piece of dumpling. Keeping his eyes closed, he chewed and swallowed; not quite as good as mother's but still very nice. Then he allowed D'vork to feed him till the bowl was empty.
D'vork kissed him on the forehead and said, "I have some work to do with Percy. Rest for a bit; I'll be back soon."
With a sinking feeling, Tadik watched D'vork walk to the door but was surprised and had to smile when D'vork turned and made a very human gesture; he blew him a kiss. Tadik grabbed the imaginary kiss out of the air and brought his fingers to his lips.
D'vork was gone for about twenty minutes before he came sauntering into the bedroom, humming a tune. He winked at Tadik and carried on into the bathroom where Tadik listened to his singing getting louder and more boisterous as he prepared for bed. Ten minutes later, D'vork came out of the bathroom, rubbing himself vigorously with a large towel. Tadik noticed he had trimmed his heavy moustache to a neat line half an inch deep, making him look so much younger and much more human.
He had a strange, mischievous expression on his face and Tadik wondered what he was planning. He didn't have to wait long to find out as D'vork dropped his towel with a roar and launched himself towards the bed.
In the split second before D'vork landed, Tadik took in the extended claws, the bared teeth and the raging hard on; and feared for his life. With no time to defend himself, he flung himself to one side and ducked his head beneath his fur.
D'vork's weight landed on him and his claws made short work of the fur, ripping it off and attacking Tadik's jumpsuit, and Tadik felt coolness as the material split open. Flung over onto his back, Tadik raised his arms over his face in an effort to protect his head; then he heard D'vork laugh.
"Are you ready to be ravished, human?"Not knowing if D'vork was serious, Tadik lowered his arms enough for him to see D'vork's evil grin. The Captain supported himself on his right hand while the claws of his left hand tore the jumpsuit open down the front.
Trapped by the weight of the man, Tadik closed his eyes and waited for the inevitable.
D'vork laughed once more and Tadik felt his teeth against his skin. D'vork growled as he used his teeth and his tongue to work his way from his belly button to his neck, and Tadik almost cried with relief.
He pummeled D'vork's shoulders. "You bully, you had me going for a bit."
Still laughing, D'vork raised himself till his face was in front of Tadik's. "What? Don't you like a little bit of fun in your love-life?"
"I wouldn't know; I haven't had much of one."
D'vork gazed down at him then planted a gentle kiss on the tip of Tadik's nose. "I'm sorry if I frightened you, I just wanted to surprise you and lift your spirits a bit."
"And what else did you have in mind, short of ravishing me?"
"Well, we could get rid of this jumpsuit for a start."His claws retracted, D'vork divested Tadik of the torn garment, and Tadik noticed the room was noticeably warmer, sensing D'vork had adjusted the temperature for his benefit. How sweet of him! Careful not to crush him, D'vork lay down on top of him and showered his face with wet kisses.
Tadik spread his legs and bent his knees, feeling D'vork adjusting to him. Then he was wrapped firmly in D'vork's powerful arms and lifted till he straddled the Gpuchkian's thighs. He slid his arms round D'vork's shoulders as they kissed deeply, tongues seeking, and Tadik thought, if D'vork's hands are stroking my back, then what is the warm and slimy finger seeking entrance to my anus? Oh God, it feels so good! For a moment, Tadik had a jolt of fear, remembering all he had to go through with Inmahn. Surely his ass had closed up during his recovery from the exhaust tower.
"Trust me,"D'vork whispered in his ear as he licked and caressed him. "Just relax and let me do everything."And for the next half hour, D'vork took him on a ride of sheer sexual pleasure as they clung to each other, their bodies joined by the powerful force of D'vork's human penis locked inside Tadik, and his Gpuchkian spike working it's miracle as it vibrated against Tadik's prostate. Over and over they rolled together as they changed positions, each one giving Tadik a new sensation, and yet another intense orgasm.
At last he lay in D'vork's arms, absolutely exhausted but completely happy, and he could hear D'vork almost purring as he nuzzled Tadik, tickling his neck with his moustache. In fact, Tadik could have remained here in D'vork's arms for the rest of the night but D'vork had indicated he had a special present for him, which Inmahn was setting up in the lounge.
"Does it include some food?"
"It might do."D'vork laid him down and sat up, reaching for the com on the wall.
"Is it ready?"
"Just attaching the arms to it now, sir."
Arms? Tadik frowned up at D'vork. The Gpuchkian captain just smiled and rolled off the bed to put on a cl4ean uniform. Picking up Tadik's night robe, he helped him put it on then picked him up in his arms to carry him into the lounge.
"Well, what do you think?"
Tadik's mouth dropped open. Inmahn stood beside a chair which looked like an old Terran wheelchair but much more deluxe in form, and which had no wheels. The highly polished chrome frame shone brightly, and the deep padding of the cushions heralded a more than comfortable ride.
"Wow! For me?"
"It certainly isn't for me."D'vork lowered him into the chair and pointed to the controls on the right armrest. "Those are your controls. You can maneuver in any direction you like, and it floats just like this ship does. It's motor is a tiny version of the ship's engine and is powered by the tiniest of crystals. Just be careful, it can move fast if you need it to; just wait till you're out in the corridor before you try it."
The tiny roller-ball, in the centre of the controls, acted like an old fashioned cursor mouse, and Tadik soon got the hang of guiding the chair with it, even spinning the chair on its axis a few times. He grinned up at Inmahn as the android jumped out of the way. "Okay, so far so good. How about letting me loose?"He indicated the entrance to D'vork's quarters. D'vork opened the door and they moved out into the corridor where Tadik tried out the speed of the chair, nearly giving himself a heart attack at the acceleration. Breathless, he managed to stop the chair before it hit the curving wall.
As D'vork raced up to him, he giggled and said, "Yeah! I see what you mean. Lasslo Fenning, eat your heart out."
"At the moment, the fastest space car driver on Earth."Inmahn staggered up to them and leaned on D'vork's arm for support. "Please don't do that again, Tadik, I don't think my heart will stand the excitement."
D'vork gave Inmahn's chest a thump. "You mean that antique pacemaker? Never mind, Inmahn, you can always make yourself a new one."
Inmahn put a hand to his brow and turned away. "I think I'll go and lie down."
D'vork hunkered down by the chair. "Now you're an expert at driving this thing, where would you like to go?"
Tadik grinned at him "The bridge, where else?"
A minute later, they arrived on the bridge and Tadik gazed open mouthed at the place that looked so different to that of a Terran spaceship. Not just the captain but everyone sat in comfortable chairs with their consoles within hand's reach. They faced a huge screen with several smaller ones surrounding it, and as Tadik and D'vork walked in, a signal came up on the screen to the left. Everyone sat up and watched the screen intently, including D'vork.
Tadik couldn't decipher the code coming through but the look of concern on D'vork's face told Tadik something serious was happening ahead of them out in space. "It's a Quastorian ship in trouble,"D'vork explained. "They've lost steerage and their life support systems are failing. They're asking permission to come aboard while we help deal with the problem. Commander U'lac, please have the tractor beam ready for capture, and have our Quastorian guests informed. No doubt they will want to be present when we receive them. Communications see if you can get their captain on visual."
U'lac came to stand by D'vork, a frown furrowing his brow. He pointed to a screen on the right, where the stricken ship floated against a backdrop of stars Tadik did not recognize. "Captain, is that one of their newer designs? I don't recognize it."
D'vork shrugged his shoulders. "It's possible. I hear they have been experimenting again.
"Slowly, a picture emerged on the main screen. When it came into focus it showed a Quastorian captain in full regalia, speaking in guttural tones as he introduced himself. D'vork answered him in the Quastorian tongue, and the man relaxed and nodded his relief.
Tadik stared at the Quastorian on the screen, feeling something was wrong. Why was the captain wearing full regalia when his normal working uniform would suffice? Then he saw something that made his blood run cold. Touching D'vork's arm, he said, "Captain, it's a trap."
[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. If the email address pastes with %40 in the middle, replace that with an @ sign.]