Authors: Viola Grace
Tags: #Adult, #Erotic Romance, #Science Fiction, #Space Opera
Going from professional Companion to superhero was not in the plans. Plans change.
Camile enjoyed seeing new worlds and new civilizations at the side of the Yemish ambassador. He used her to hide his preference for his own sex from species who would not be as understanding as he would like.
A festival on Namkor turned their comfortable life around when Cam was seduced by a Guardian before she was chosen by the world itself to receive the Gift.
Speed is a simple concept but the execution is difficult, and Cam has to adjust to a life with a craving for empty calories at the side of her one-night stand.
She wants more of her hero, but protocol stands in her way. Can she move fast enough to move past it, or is high-speed frustration her new lot in life?
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2016 Viola Grace
Cover art by Martine Jardin
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Terran Times Second Wave
Camile Reynolds tucked her twelfth braid into the arrangement on her head and smiled at her reflection in the mirror. It was a good idea to start the polite smile before she left her quarters. It kept her from being caught with a scowl the moment she left her chambers.
Her makeup was perfect, her dress was understatedly elegant for her role as Dem’s assistant and lover. Only she and he knew that there wasn’t any truth to the arrangement. Well, they knew and his lovers might suspect it.
Camile smoothed her dress, checked her reflection one more time and grabbed her data pad with the day’s schedule.
She picked up the cup with the other hand and opened the connecting door to Demalikan Vip Leahar’s bedchamber.
Cam opened the window and stroked the cheek of the man in bed with her employer.
He opened sleepy eyes and sat up, frowning at her. She offered him the goblet, and he took it, gulping down what seemed to be cool water.
She felt a pang of guilt as she always did while administering the mild hypnotic. “You met with the ambassador, had a vivid fantasy and woke up in your own bed. Go home and wake with a smile on your face.”
The man frowned for a moment until the drug kicked in. He got up and dressed on automatic before leaving the ambassador’s chambers.
Dem rolled toward her, gloriously naked. “You have gotten very good at that.”
She gave his lithe perfection the once over. “You give me plenty of practice. You have your first meeting in an hour and then a luncheon with the governor. I would suggest you get dressed, Dem.”
He grimaced. “You are getting comfortable with this arrangement, Companion.”
“It is why you pay me, Ambassador.”
He laughed and flipped to his feet, stalking to the lav for his morning ablutions.
Cam went to the end of the bed and removed a small bot from a carved wooden chest. With a few small motions, she set the machine and let it go between the sheets, seeking out all DNA that belonged to anyone other than herself and the ambassador.
Her ten months of training at the Companion Training facility had prepared her to hide Dem’s predilection for his own sex. It was funny to have gone from being a beard on earth to being one in space for an alien ambassador, but she was used to the role. Some species just didn’t react well to same-sex attractions, and the Companion arrangement worked well for Dem. He could flirt and have the flings that he wanted to, and she cleaned up after him, as well as acted as his lover in public.
Loneliness flared to life now and then, but in general, Cam was fairly content to see the endless list of worlds that Dem visited on behalf of the Yemish.
That day’s visit to Namkor coincided with the beginning of their festival season. The governor ruled over this province as well as the civic councils around the globe. Dem would represent the Yemish at the events being held during the festival, and Cam would remain at his side the entire time.
Dem came out of the lav with his chest gleaming and a towel around his hips. “It is too bad that you had to send him away. The Namkor males are exceptionally gifted.”
He snickered as he thought of something that amused him, and she remained in his quarters while he dressed to match her clothing. His control of her wardrobe was a minor annoyance. He liked to dress flashy, so she had to wear a little more gleam in daring arrangements than she was accustomed to.
When he finished his toilette, she adjusted his collar with a practiced hand and ran her hand down his chest. She pressed her cheek to his, marking him for any scent-sensitive species.
“Very delicately done, Cam. Are you ready?”
“I am. I have today’s itinerary.”
“Excellent. You forgot the lipstick.”
She grimaced and leaned in to brush her lips against his in a quick move. “Sorry.”
He sighed and rubbed at the light stain she left behind. “The Namkor are very private about their social lives. No one knows what their preferences are. No sense tempting fate. The Yemish need this shipping route.”
“Best behaviour. Got it.” Cam stepped into place behind him, and they left their quarters to head for the dining room of the elegant hotel they were staying in.
As they ordered, she leaned in close and put her hand on his, laughing at a joke that hadn’t been spoken. To any and all that saw them, they were a happy couple travelling the sector on business for the Yemish empire.
It was Companion business as usual.
Governor Teliak smiled at her. “Are you enjoying your stay on Namkor?”
She smiled shyly in return. The governor was a devastatingly handsome male. He practically exuded sex appeal, and his attention was focused on her.
“I am enjoying this world, as I do all of my travels with Ambassador Vip Leahar.” Sounding passive was difficult, but she practiced, so it was hopefully convincing.
“What do you think of our people?” He shifted closer to her.
Her heart tripped in her chest. “The Namkor are a lovely species.”
He laughed, and the thick column of his throat flexed while his white teeth gleamed in the late-afternoon sun. The luncheon had expanded into an invitation to witness the evening celebrations. A change of clothing was being brought from their rooms at the hotel.
“You do not seem like the kind of woman to be subservient to a man, even the ambassador. A woman with spirit is a beacon of beauty that glows in every setting.” The flowery turn of his words seemed sincere.
The ambassador in question was heading toward the gardens with a hunky horticultural specialist. Cam wanted to get away from the governor, but she was pinned in place by etiquette.
She was searching for a response when she saw a gleam of light coming toward them. “Pardon me, but what is that?”
The governor looked a little irritated to be interrupted in his seduction, but he glanced up and smiled slightly. “Ah, our Guardians. The Gifted. That is what this celebration is about. Tonight, Namkor prepares the energy that it uses to choose the Gifted. They will serve an apprenticeship with the Guardians for a year, and from there, they will be able to accept the Gift or they can return to normal life.”
There was something in his tone, and she asked, “Is that what you did? You rejected the Gift and resumed a normal existence?”
He grinned. “No one can be normal after the touch of Namkor. If we are lucky, we will see one who is granted the Gift at the party tomorrow evening.”
He offered her his arm, and politeness made her take it. The corded muscles under the fabric of his tunic were tense and as thick as the rest of him. To her surprise, he walked her through the gardens and across the green space toward the landing vehicle.
“We will be here tomorrow night as well? It is not on my schedule.” She licked her lips and exhaled quickly as his hand shifted to cover her back. The warm expanse of his palm was an inch from her coccyx, and she tried to keep her expression bland.
“I am extending the invitation to you and the ambassador. Your rooms are being prepared as we speak.”
She tensed. “That was not on my schedule. We were due to depart tomorrow.”
“No one can leave during the Namkor Gifting Festival. Everyone has the time off in case they are the ones to receive the Gift. We don’t have any flight control or authorized personnel to allow your exit through our global shielding. The ambassador was not concerned.”
Four men left the skimmer and approached the governor. One of them reached out, and her companion hugged him in an affectionate and masculine way.
“Mordem, I would like to introduce you to Camile Reynolds of Terra, Companion to Ambassador Vip Leahar.”
The man bore a striking resemblance to the governor, and he grinned, bowing low. “Welcome to Namkor, lady.”
She inclined her head. “Thank you for the greeting, Guardian Mordem.”
The other three Guardians were rolling their eyes. Introductions were made, but the governor was keeping a hand on her at all times. He had made some kind of claim on her.
Cam was casually looking around for the ambassador, but he was nowhere to be found. She was going to give him such hell when she saw him again. The Guardians were all looking at her like she was a tasty little snack.
“Ah, Commander Daymoth, this is the ambassador’s companion. Lady Reynolds, this is the Guardians’ commander, as well as Guardians Linz and Comyo.”
She nodded to all of the men, and they nodded in turn. “It is an honour to meet you.”
They grinned in turn. The slow smiles were definitely predatory.
Cam’s heart started to pound rapidly, and keeping herself outwardly calm was achieved by sheer practice.
Taliak offered her his hand and led her back to the party. The Guardians surrounded them as the governor chatted comfortably with the men who appeared to be perfect examples of the Namkor physique.
Dem was still nowhere to be found, and Cam was feeling a little vulnerable. His lack of concern for her wellbeing was starting to grate on her nerves.
The household staff member that led her through the mansion remained to help her out of her clothing and into the complicated Namkor eveningwear.
It felt weird to have someone helping her out of the stiff and heavily embroidered fabrics, and it was even stranger when she was swathed in silks that outlined her body with nearly obscene faithfulness. The skirts clung to her legs and shifted to expose her to the top of her thighs with every step.
All of her bags were tucked into her rooms, and she looked around. “Where is the adjoining room for the ambassador’s quarters?”
The woman smiled. “His wing was filled, so we had to place you in here. Don’t worry. The Guardians are nearby if you feel nervous in the night.”
That wasn’t a soothing thought.
Cam watched her actions in the mirror and took down six of her braids, loosening the hair and pinning it back into loose, wavy loops.
“You have lovely hair, lady.”
“Thank you. It took a lot of study to get used to shaping it this way.” She winked at the other woman in the mirror.
The other woman grinned and smoothed a hand over Cam’s spine. “Why do you pretend to be the ambassador’s lover?”
Cam was instantly cautious. “Pretend?”
“When he was told you would be on the other side of the mansion, he laughed and smirked that you would be upset he was out of your control.”
Cam turned to look at her with surprise. “Was he drunk?”
She blushed and shrugged. “It is possible. He did have a goblet in his hand.”
Cam chuckled. “Right. Well, this dress looks like it is firmly in place, even if it feels that it will float away with a moment’s notice.”
“It is designed to move constantly, drawing the eye of those around you. You wear it very well.”