The Power of Three(2)By: Kate Pearce
“Thank you for observing the traditions. I appreciate it.” Ash withdrew his hand. “Now will you come and sit down? Let me offer you a drink. We have a lot to discuss.”
Esca rose to his feet aware that although he was as tall as Ash, he was already broader and would get even bigger.
“But aren’t you going to—”
“Take you straight to bed and ravish you?” Ash’s smile was sweet. “That isn’t really my style.”
Subsiding into the nearest chair, Esca waited until Ash gave him a drink and took the seat opposite him before saying. “You don’t want me?”
“You’ve just graduated from military school, and you’re due to attend the space academy, correct?”
“That’s what I wanted to do, yes.”
“Then I suggest you go ahead and do it.” He looked up and Esca noticed how blue his eyes were. “The only difference will be that instead of going to your parents when you’re on leave, I’d like you to come here. I’d like you to start thinking of this as your home.”
“I don’t understand.” Esca tried not to scowl. “You could make me live here permanently, and stop me from being anything but your mate.”
Ash raised his eyebrows. “Why would I do that? Don’t you think you deserve to fulfill your dreams?”
Esca let out his breath. “I want to be the best space fighter pilot our military has ever produced.”
“Then do it.” Ash toasted him with his glass. “We have all our lives to get to know each other.”
“I never imagined I’d have to—to—”
“Submit to another male?”
“Yeah.” Esca raised his chin. “I always thought I’d be First Male.”
“I can see why. From what I’ve read, you have extraordinary potential both in the military and as a psychic match for me.” He hesitated. “Do you feel that, at least?”
“That I’m drawn to what’s going on in your head?” Esca nodded. “Yeah, I get that loud and clear. It’s the other stuff I’m not so sure about.” He looked hastily down at his empty glass. “I’ve never been in a physical relationship with a male.”
“I know, which is why I’m not pushing that on you right now.”
Ash smiled. “One day, I hope you’ll come willingly to my bed.” He shrugged. “I can wait.”
* * * * *
Planet Pavlovan, 229990
(8 years later)
“Congratulations, on your new command, Major.”
Esca smiled at the assembled guests and raised his glass to accept the toast.
“Thanks. I always wanted to be a fighter pilot, but apparently the military had other plans for me.” He grinned at his assembled team. “I’m more than happy to lead this new Special Forces unit.”
“Good luck with that with this war going on,” grumbled his cousin Trenx. “As captain of the ship you’re going to be based on, I’ll do my best to keep you all alive.”
“Thanks. We appreciate it.” Esca turned to Ash, who had come up behind him and was refilling his glass. “We’ve got an early start tomorrow, so don’t give me too much.”
Trenx groaned. “That’s right. We’ve got to be going anyway.” He raised his voice. “All of you except Senator Ash and Major Esca, we’re returning to base.”
“You don’t want me to come?” Esca asked.
“Nope, you get the night off to celebrate.” Trenx winked at him. “But be on board in eight hours or we’ll go without you.”
By the time his shipmates and assorted guests had been waved off, the caterers were done cleaning up and Ash had disappeared. Esca thanked Chase, their housekeeper, and went through to his suite to finally strip off his dress uniform. Even though he scrubbed his dark hair twice and spent a long time in the shower, he emerged wide-awake and aware that Ash hadn’t gone to bed either.
He sat down on the side of his bed and clasped his hands together. Since his last leave, he’d been dreaming constantly about the other man, waking up hard and wanting, imagining their limbs entangled, Ash moving over him…