Updating Horizontal Tidebound

 

CHAPTER EIGHTY-NINE: PREPARING FOR BED

Jace’s stomach was filled with butterflies as the door to their bedroom whooshed closed behind him and Khoth. Gehenna slipped around them into the bedroom to check things out. Her tail looked back at them as they remained in the hallway.

Jace turned and threw his arms around Khoth’s neck, kissing his mate fiercely as if he needed Khoth’s lips on his to live. Maybe he did. For the moment that he tasted Khoth on his tongue something inside of him eased.  Tension he didn’t know he had stored in his shoulders and back drained away and he went nearly limp.

Khoth’s arms wrapped around his torso, hands spread wide across his back, while pressing Jace’s front fully against his own. Heat bloomed between Jace’s legs as he felt Khoth’s very limber sex harden against his belly. He knew one of the things that Khoth’s cock could do but he was sure there was more. So much more. When they broke apart, Jace was breathless and his cheeks were hot. His imagination wanted to spring forward to what was to come, but there were a few things that actually needed his attention before he gave himself fully to Khoth again. 

“I’ve been dying to do that all evening. It’s hell not being able to touch you and kiss you every single moment of every single day and night,” Jace admitted as he rested his forehead against Khoth’s left shoulder. It was so broad and muscular and comfortable to rest against.

“I feel the same way, Izail. But if we were making love all day and night, there would be little time for anything else,” Khoth said.

“You’re teasing me. You’re making a joke,” Jace laughed.

“Yes, Izail. Although, if we were to engage in such constant lovemaking, you probably could do more than one thing at a time with the AIs,” Khoth said.  “I’m not that gifted.”

“You’re very gifted. You’re perfect.”

Jace went in for another kiss. He needed these kisses. How Khoth made his toes curl in his boots just by the way Khoth’s tongue slid against his. He imagined that tongue between his legs, between the cleft of his buttocks… Jace swallowed deeply. His breathing really was elevated now. Surprisingly, the Osiris was not speaking. Not giving him a blow by blow of the effect that Khoth was having on him. He was sure it was being recorded for later viewing. This was the Osiris after all. But he was pretty sure that the Osiris was jealous that not only did Jace have Khoth with him, but Gehenna was back.

It is jealous! Gehenna sounded seriously happy about that. You missed me so much! Almost as much as I missed you!

Almost as much, Gehenna?

I don’t have a mate! So you had Khoth to comfort you while I was gone, she pointed out.

That’s true. But I never fully forgot about you. I was worried. Really worried, Jace assured her.

Smileys burst across his vision. I know! And you love me so much!

I’m glad you know that.

And I love you too! Gehenna assured him. So so so so much!

Almost as much as you love my mom, huh? Jace teased her.

Almost. She sent him little girl emojis with her hands behind her back, swaying and blushing.

Well, that’s understandable, Jace said. Mom’s the best.

I think the Osiris likes your dad, Gehenna pointed out.

I think the Osiris does, too, Jace agreed.

Not that it will admit it! The Osiris is very repressed! Gehenna sniffed.

Jace happened to agree. The Osiris isn’t programmed like you, Gehenna. It’s doing its best. I think it may be learning.

Of course, it is! But its personality is just the pits. Vomiting emojis crossed his vision.

Be nice, he told her. You’re just hurt that the Osiris isn’t telling you how happy it is that you’re back.

It is not happy. It had you all to itself. And now I’m back in this uber cool form! I can protect you and I am awesome! Gehenna was on a high being in the Razor Wolf form.

Not pettable though, Jace couldn’t help saying.

No, it’s not. I will be fixing that though! Don’t you worry. You’ll be able to pet and hug me with no problem soon, she assured him.

I can’t wait. But right now I need you to be our guard wolf,  Jace said.

I will! Especially since you will be otherwise engaged.

She sent winky faces at him mixed with hearts that floated upwards. Jace knew he was blushing.

Ah, about that…

You’re worried about me watching you make love! Clearly, she knew his mind.

A little bit.

But I see you do everything. Eating. Going to the bathroom–

I did not need to know that, he told her.

But I’m just trying to make you feel better that I am with you for every single intimate thing you do! She told him.

Yeah…

You’re not happy about that?

No, no, that’s not it. It’s just that it’s not only my privacy at stake here. It’s Khoth’s. And he is really private, even about the mate thing, Jace assured her. Even telling people we’re mated is somehow embarrassing to him. Not that he’s embarrassed of being mated to me, but it’s like this intensely intimate thing. I don’t know.

That makes sense. The Thaf’ell’s society relies upon people being in control of themselves at all times around one another, she explained.  Societal actions are highly proscribed. Revealing one’s inner and true emotions is discouraged. And physical intimacy is the biggest no-no.

He was currently being caressed and kissed by Khoth as his mate rocked him and hummed softly. Jace couldn’t imagine anything more intimate than this. But while he didn’t want to share this experience, the hunger he felt for Khoth’s touch was so strong, because they were forced to stay apart. He knew that part of it was for the crew. It was for discipline and not to make others uncomfortable. But it was hard.

So how do you want to handle things tonight? Gehenna offered.

Of course, she would offer to do whatever he wanted. But it was Khoth’s feelings that he was really concerned about. 

“Speaking of AIs, Khoth, Gehenna is all agog about this. Us being mates,” Jace admitted. “She wants to see your ta’na. Especially the tree that shows our binding.”

He could hear Gehenna’s claws tapping on the floor as she sniffed the bed, checked out the bathroom and then headed towards the doors to the outside garden. She had been investigating everything while they talked. Again, their conversation happened in seconds rather than in real time. So for Khoth it appeared as if he hadn’t been gone at all.

Khoth blued. “That is…”

“Let me guess. Private and not to be shown?” Jace asked.

“Yes.” Khoth lowered his head. “But if you wish, Izail, of course, I will show her.”

“No, no, I wouldn’t have you do something that makes you uncomfortable. I can even hide the image in my head from her,” Jace offered.

But Khoth shook his head. “No, that is a vain effort. She and the Osiris are in your mind. I do not wish you to hide things from them. They are a part of you and you of them.”

“We are sort of a package,” Jace admitted slowly. “But I would do this for you.”

Khoth smiled broadly. “I know. But I accept all of you, Izail. And that means the AIs’ places in your life.”

Awwwww, I love Khoth too!!!!!! Gehenna gushed as her claws ticked.

“They are more of a part of me than even I understood.” Jace ran his finger through Khoth’s long hair, loving the silky texture. “When Gehenna was gone, it felt like there was an empty space in my head. When I was disconnected from the Osiris, it was as if half the electrical signals in my brain were going into darkness and not being received.”

Khoth nodded and kissed Jace’s left temple. “Your powers are formidable, but…”

“I’m fragile. Still.” Jace sighed and curled tighter against Khoth. “I thought I was done with dealing with my disabilities. I thought I was free of them. But I’m not.”

“No one is without difficulties, Izail,” Khoth said.

“No, that’s true, and I’m likely being a bit of a cry baby about this, considering the upside of what I have,” Jace admitted. “I’ll never forget to be grateful for what I do have though. That’s something.”

“That is more than something. The Thaf’ell speak of d’shok, which is the idea that it is in our weaknesses that we find our true selves and our true strength,” Khoth said.

“That’s a beautiful idea,” Jace answered. 

“You think it easy for the Thaf’ell to say as we have had Altaeth technology to heal our ills for a long time,” Khoth pointed out gently.

“Yes and no, but there’s this idea from some addiction programs that everyone’s problems are proportionate to their experiences. Meaning that even if someone’s experiences have not been as objectively bad as what’s happened to you, it does not mean that they don’t feel those things just as grim as you do about your own issues,” Jace admitted. 

“While I appreciate objectivity–”

“I thought you might.” Jace grinned.

He was rewarded with another kiss. “You are right that our experiences of these things are very subjective. For one, a problem is the highest of mountains while for others a simple hill. But each of us has mountains.”

Jace shook himself. “Forgive me for being a downer. I truly am happy.”

They pulled back to look at one another. But Jace found himself checking the locks and all entrances and exits to the bedroom. He also checked his parents’ rooms, not to mention all of his people. The doctors, along with Chili, had not joined the main dinner, but had been with secondary officials in another room. It had been hard for Khoth to give Chili over to Matias, but she’d been pried, lovingly, from his hands. Jace made sure that their rooms were secure and that the AIs were at the ready. 

He observed Matias and Chili over the surveillance system and the AIs. They were already in bed with Chili tucked under the covers next to the veterinarian. Her head was laying on a pillow. Matias was connected to his laboratory on the Osiris, speaking with various techs who were taking care of the Earth animals that were brought. The Osiris had already informed him of the types of animals and their needs that could be coming onboard once Jace came to some agreements with the other species that would join their crew.

“My understanding, Dr. Lee, is that Commander Khoth once compared the Pilot to a frun,” Matias said.

How did he hear that?

“Bob in Engineering told me so I’m certain that it’s true,” Matias told Dr. Lee.

Of course, Bob…

“I see.” Dr. Lee’s round face creased with a smile. “So you wish to bring a frun on board?”

“They are native to Haseon. Considering the affection with which it was said will be pleasing to the Commander!” Matias enthused.

“I will prepare a habitat. The Osiris, undoubtedly, as all of the information I will need?” Dr. Lee asked.

“Yes, but make sure that you question the Osiris about anything that is unclear. The Osiris sometimes leaves out certain facts that are for the comfort of the animals,” Dr. Matias clarified. “Their emotional needs especially.”

“Yes, I have noticed this.” Dr. Lee nodded. “I will take special care with that aspect of the habitat.”

“Thank you, Dr. Lee! I hope this will please the Commander and our Pilot,” Matias said as he reached over and scratched Chili’s sleeping head.

Jace shook his head. He went to check on Dr. Kerr.  She was preparing the report for him on everyone she had met with her insights. She bit her lower lip before she typed another paragraph. He saw that the sentence that was causing her such concentration was about Amana and Typhon.

Both of the Moturin siblings view the Pilot in an almost religious light and it is doubtful that they are alone, especially after the Pilot’s actions in saving Haseon. The Pilot is highly charismatic and moves people as much by emotional speeches as his actions. 

This religious fervor could be breathed into greater life by leaning into their religion’s expectations. While I feel that the Pilot might be uncomfortable, or perhaps worry about the morality of such an action, I believe that these religious feelings will not be going away or even easing as his war against the Khul continues. Further, many a leader has successfully used the belief of his or her people that they are blessed by the gods or are gods themselves.

She was not wrong that he was highly uncomfortable with that. But he knew that she was offering him every single option and her genuine thoughts. It was up to him to determine what to do with what she offered. But while he might be somewhat uncomfortable using the Moturins’ respect for the Altaeth, he was hugely uncomfortable expanding the universe of people he was something more than just a man for.

He pulled himself away from Dr. Kerr and looked at what Dr. Isa was doing. Like Matias she was on the comm with her subordinates. She was checking in on Dr. Hayter, who was recovering nicely from his ingestion of stims, and his knee injury. 

“Dr. Isa, from the scans it appears that the Osiris not only healed the damage caused to Dr. Hayter’s knee, but has improved both knees and other joints. I, honestly, think that he’ll feel like a younger man when this is over!” Dr. Subin exclaimed, her dark brown eyes glowing excitedly.

“That is quite something Dr. Subin. But did the Osiris get Dr. Hayter’s consent before doing all of this?” Dr. Isa asked with a lifted eyebrow.

Dr. Subin blinked. “I–I don’t know. I know that I did not because I was unaware this would happen.”

Dr. Isa pinched the top of her nose. “I see so no consent was likely obtained.”

“You’re probably right, but I can’t see the doctor complaining. I’m rather wondering if the Osiris would look at my wrist.” She held up her wrist, which was in a brace, likely due to carpal tunnel.

“I’m certain you are right. But you would have chosen to have undergo that,” Dr. Isa reminded her.

“Maybe he’s simply experiencing a side effect of the treatment.” But even before Dr. Isa had to say anything, Dr. Subin added, “But the Osiris should have told us and told him.”

“Exactly.” Dr. Isa smiled. 

“We’ll work on that with the Osiris,” Dr. Subin said with a nod.

“Indeed, we will, and now I must go over the documentation it had given me regarding the Pilot,” Dr. Isa said, rubbing her hands together. “I will understand everything about his biology so that I can advise him properly.”

“And with feeling!” Dr. Subin laughed.

“And with feeling.” Dr. Isa nodded. “I will speak to you tomorrow, Dr. Subin.”

“Oh! One last thing, Dr. Isa,” Dr. Subin looked almost a little embarrassed as she said this.

“What is it?” Dr. Isa tilted her head to the right.

“How is it on the planet? Beautiful? Mysterious? Alien? And how are the people?” Dr. Subin practically pressed her nose against the comm.

Jace was interested in what she had to say as well.

Dr. Isa appeared thoughtful, her eyes going distant. “It is beautiful and the people are interesting. Like at home, though, there is more familiar than unfamiliar in some ways. We look for that. For the things that are the same so the differences are not so jarring. But I am trying to keep my mind open to those differences. For it is in those that there is a greater chance to grow.”

“That’s a wonderful thought, Dr. Isa,” Dr. Subin nodded along with her.

“We must open ourselves up to all of this, Dr. Subin. It is our duty to do so for all of humanity,” Dr. Isa said.

He found Thammah, Davies and Matzen together. The three of them were sitting around a fire with drink and food. Davies was still in full armor with his weapons hands. Thammah’s legs were fully armored, but she wore only her undersuit on top. She had unzipped it so that her blue skin could be seen. Matzen seemed quite interested in that slice of revealed skin even though he would quickly look away from her. 

“Are you going to sleep in that armor, Davies?” Thammah chuckled.

“I don’t know if I intend to sleep,” Davies admitted. 

“Your system should have recovered from all the adrenaline,” Matzen began.

“Bad dreams,” Davies said as he took a sip of something that Jace was pretty sure was alcoholic.

“Bad dreams? We call those r’lon. Fragments of the past which we cannot forget,” Thammah said.

“That’s almost poetic and nothing like what they are. Mine will be heart pounding, sweaty, adrenaline soaked nightmares. The Khul. The larva. Then the dead Moturin’s. Not to mention the damned Razor Wolf,” Davies explained.

“But you were so…” Matzen stopped, but when the others looked at him to go on he continued, “You were admirably in control during the battle and the discovery of the bodies. I imagine you were just as controlled in your earlier battles today.”

“I believe you are giving me a compliment,” Davies grinned.

“He is. A large one.” Thammah bit off a bite of Slim Jim and Jace’s stomach rumbled.

“I pay a price, Matzen,” Davies admitted. A rather fey smile on his lips. “My mind allows me to be calm in the moment. It ices me over so I can react in the way I want then. But the nightmares are the price. I cannot control those. They wait for me.”

“We won’t leave you alone then,” Thammah said softly. 

Matzen’s head jerked towards her. “You wish to sleep–”

“All three of us. We should sleep in the same space,” Thammah said with authority. 

“I thought that you would be heading to a ship,” Davies stated.

“Normally. But I’m not leaving Jace alone in this place,” she said.

“Agreed,” Davies nodded.

“It was distressing that no information could be gleaned about the murderers,” Matzen said.

“More than. It shows someone who knew what would happen down there with the bots. I just can’t imagine anyone else thinking they would get away with it,” Davies said with a disgusted purse of his lips.

“I do not understand why they stopped with just killing the Moturin. If we were their intended targets, they should have come after us,” Thammah said.

“I’m sure that we will, unfortunately, find out,” Davies said. “If they were after us they’ll try again.”

“So we stick together and watch each other’s backs,” Thammah stated instead of asked.

“I am all for that,” Davies said. “What do you say, Matzen?”

“I am in agreement.” Matzen nodded. “We are safer together.”

“Safer together.” Thammah extended her drink.

“Safer together.” Davies clinked his to hers.

A little awkwardly, Matzen clinked his bottle to both of theirs. “Saver together.”

Smiling, Jace left them and went to check on his parents. But he just as quickly backed out of these as he saw the two of them in bed, doing things that wouldn’t want to be observed doing by him or anyone.

“Izail? Your eyes are glowing,” Khoth said.

“Just making sure our people are safe.  I probably shouldn’t have looked so long and so deeply. It was an invasion of privacy, but I wanted to make sure everybody is okay,” Jace admitted.

“It must be tempting to see what others are doing,” Khoth said.

“I’m actually going to have the Osiris observe everyone in the compound and… beyond,” Jace said with a faint grimace. “Some of this surveillance is necessary.”

“Yes.”

“But I wonder where I cross the line. Probably did tonight. But… I did it.” Jace rolled his lips. “Yet their safety is really important to me. It’s also why I want Gehenna with us tonight,” Jace admitted. “While we couldn’t find out who the murderers are, I don’t discount Davies’ gut that says they came up here.”

“You think our people are in danger?” Khoth asked. 

“You’re thinking that since they killed the Moturin Guards and did nothing to our people that they aren’t after us?” Jace guessed.

“Perhaps they even think they are on our side,” Khoth said. 

“Or just someone that dislikes Typhon,” Jace groused.

Khoth let out a brief laugh. “You are still jealous of him, Izail, even though you are so much more than he could ever be. I should not be amused, but I feel you cherish me in this jealousy of yours.”

“I do!” Jace tightened his hold on Khoth. “I can’t believe you’re mine. I don’t deserve you. I have no idea why you’re with me, but I’m just so lucky you are.”

Khoth’s head tilted to the side and he was smiling gently at Jace, which had Jace flushing and lowering his head.

“Izail, you are more than worthy. I am blessed by your admiration and love.” Khoth urged Jace into the bedroom from the hall. 

Gehenna trotted in from outside. There was a leaf that was stuck to one of her razor blade ears. Jace chuckled and went over to remove it.

It’s so pretty in the garden! Gehenna enthused. I actually like the room. It’s very peaceful here.

It will always have a special place in my heart because it’s where Khoth and I formally mated, Jace admitted.

Gosh, I wish I had been with you when you did that! Your memories are so wonderful, but the experience would have been even better, she gushed but then her tail lowered, though it was still looking at them. But I’m guessing Khoth is not a fan of that idea.

No, I think he would be more comfortable if you physically stayed out in the garden while we make love, but then afterwards–

I can come in? I wish we could snuggle like if I was a real wolf, but no, that would be painful and bloody, she admitted.

Another time, Jace assured her. Let’s winnow down our connection for now, okay?

Okay! Have fun!

Gehenna trotted outside. 

“I see that Gehenna is leaving us alone, Izail.” Khoth’s lips twitched.

“She is.” Jace grinned.

Khoth’s hands framed Jace’s waist. “And what do you wish to do with this alone time?”

Jace put his hands on Khoth’s chest. “I want you to teach me more.”

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  • Some of the text did not make sense please edit your work.

    I would love a tv show verse on of these if done right.

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  • I just had this image of Gehenna and Osiris as this old married couple, bickering non-stop but very much in love :D they are such characters! And then I imagined one of those character charts in comic books that have arrows and show all the relationships - who likes who etc. lol

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  • In reply to: Wuestenhase

    I just had this image of Gehenna and Osiris as this old married couple, bickering non-stop but very much in love
    OMG! The Osiris is giving you the stink eye while Gehenna is flouncing lol!

    And then I imagined one of those character charts in comic books that have arrows and show all the relationships
    Instead of an encyclopedia for terms, one for relationships! I'm all for that.

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  • Guess a lot of people want to use sex as a life affirming gesture after a long and dangerous day. Jace and Khoth did it earlier and are about to do it again, Jack and Diane are at it and Thammah is going to have two men in her bed ;) You had to know where all our minds would go with that :D

    If you take suggestion about what Jace and Khoth can try, how about Jace try to give Khoth a blow job, but the dar'lacs keep poking his face and making him laugh?

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  • In reply to: Ness

    Guess a lot of people want to use sex as a life affirming gesture after a long and dangerous day.
    I think so! And it "paid" Jace for peeking in on people.

    Thammah is going to have two men in her bed ;) You had to know where all our minds would go with that :D
    I'm actually considering this. They are very close.

    If you take suggestion about what Jace and Khoth can try, how about Jace try to give Khoth a blow job, but the dar'lacs keep poking his face and making him laugh?
    So accurate! I may do that.

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  • Heat bloomed between Jack’s legs as he felt Khoth’s
    I know somebody that's gonna be pissed about Jack's blooming with someone else..:D:D
    But Jace found himself checking the locks and all entrances and exits to the bedroom. He also checked his parents’ rooms, not to mention all of his people.“Just making sure our people are safe. I probably shouldn’t have looked so long and so deeply.
    This whole sequence reminded me of an Altaeth's Little House on the Prairie ...it was cute and also pealed back the layers a bit more on his crew- important stuff albeit a bit invasive - here's hoping his parents didn't sense him sensing them...:D
    Khoth’s hands framed Jace’s waist. “And what do you wish to do with this alone time?” Jace put his hands on Khoth’s chest. “I want you to teach me more.”
    Ok...I can see it now -
    ME: "Babe, we are going to be late for work again tomorrow."
    HIM: "Don't tell me, Raythe has another read-aloud cuming"
    ME: "Yeah, I just sent a text to work"- [i]something came up-will be late tomorrow-go on without me[/I]
    HIM: "Guess I should do the same.."
    Game on Raythe ! Game on - bring it ! We're ready this time:D:D

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  • In reply to: deltos

    I know somebody that's gonna be pissed about Jack's blooming with someone else..:D:D
    Why did I call them Jack and Jace? WHY??????

    important stuff albeit a bit invasive - here's hoping his parents didn't sense him sensing them
    I thought after I'd written it that he was spying on them, but in a benevolent way, which is why he got a face full of parent sex!

    Yes, you're going to be late into work tomorrow... LOL!

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  • I kind of guessed that we wouldn’t get to the smutt jet :) still eagerly waiting for tomorrow!!!! See you!!!!

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  • In reply to: smint45

    Yeah, I tried, but things had to be arranged.

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  • me when starting this chapter: YAAAYYYY Khoth and Jace having sex LET'S GOOOO
    raythe: actually no but here are Diane and Jack having sex
    me: raythe why??!!! T.T
    Ok, FINE, I'll patiently wait for the next chapter then!! XD
    And yes ok I admit it makes sense for Jace to check that his people staying on Haseon are safe, since there is a murderer on the loose. And it's really nice to see what the other characters are doing and what they think, I love it.

    Now I need to know, are you hinting at Thammah/Matzen/Davies here? Because if Thammah (our queen) decides she wants two hot soldiers in her bed, then she shall have them!!! I love OT3!!!!!

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