Yesterday I received notice that my excerpt from Earthman's Bride had won the 2008 "Reveal Your Inner Vixen" award. Following is (an edited for sensitivity's sake) part of that excerpt. (WARNING: sensual, suggestive content.)
(The Premise: Rebeka Spearman's planet has been held prisoner by the Terrans for 30 years. In an effort to oust their invaders, her father has arranged a marriage between Rebeka and the Terran leader. She is to gain his confidence and kill him. To prepare her for her marriage, Rebeka is counseled in Terran erotic physiology by her teacher, Master Martin, and introduced to Darius, a reprogrammed Terran android who will be her body guard. Rebeka is told Darius is an unfeeling machine, unaware that he possesses an empath chip which makes him as emotional as a human being. She is also unaware that the andnroid has fallen in love with her.)
"Good morning, Darius, Rebeka. What are you two up to so early? Couldn't sleep again, my dear?" Master Martin looked at the girl sympathetically.
She nodded. "I decided to come here and wait for you to waken. Darius and I were just talking."
"Hm," the teacher looked pointedly at their clasped hands. "So I see!"
Quickly, Darius released Rebeka's hand, then scowled slightly as he realized the movement had a furtive, almost guilty move to it.
"Come into the house." Turning, Martin started back to the hut, calling over his shoulder, "Darius, you come, too."
"Yes, sir." Obediently, the android followed behind them.
In his office, Rebeka sat at the little table with Master Martin, going over the drawing and diagrams, reeling off names of body parts and how they functioned and what would stimulate them, while Darius lounged on the little window seat across the room, his body looking too large for that small space. One elbow leaning on the raw wood, he rested his chin in his hand, eyes half-closed, appearing totally disinterested in what was going on across the room.
Gradually, he allowed the gray lassitude that preceded dormancy to slide over him.
It was only when Master Martin took the book from Rebeka and snapped it shut and stood up, calling to him, "Darius, would you come here, please?" that the android roused, shaking his head to clear the cobwebs of near-deactivation from it, and obeyed.
"Certainly, Master." Three strides brought him to stand between Martin and Rebeka. "How may I help you?"
"Take off your tunic."
"S-sir?" For an instant, he was certain he'd misunderstood, just stood there, unmoving.
Rebeka, who had been staring at the teacher, turned her attention to him, mouth slightly open with a unreadable look on her face. She seemed to be holding her breath.
"You heard me, Darius. Take off your tunic." This was said very softly, but his quiet tone seemed almost threatening.
Mouth set in a hard, straight line, Darius did as he was told, untying the sash at his waist and pulling the tunic over his head.
Master Martin took it from his hands and dropped it over his chair, too far away for him to reach, then waved a hand in the android's direction.
"There he is, Rebeka! A naked male. He's exactly like a human. Look him over well!"
Darius bit his lip and took a deep breath.
Under her gaze, he shifted uncomfortably.
Master Martin broke the silence. "Now, Rebeka, you know it all. Show me the erogenous zones."
She looked at her teacher. Had to practically force her eyes away from me, Darius thought, resentfully. Taking a deep breath, she said, like a bored schoolchild reciting a lesson, "First, there's the ear lobes," she hesitated, pointing vaguely. "Should I touch him, Master Martin?
No, damn it! Darius thought angrily, you old bastard, you'd better not say what I think you're going to!
She stopped, looking at the old man as if she hoped the same thing, but he nodded quietly, and then said exactly what Darius had hoped he wouldn't hear, "Show me, Rebeka, how you'll arouse your husband!"
"Master--" Darius began a protest, which was quickly cut off, "Quiet, Darius! Just stand there, be obedient, and silent!" So he remained where he was, mouth set grimly, as Rebeka reached up and caught his left earlobe between her forefinger and thumb.
Her touch was so gentle that for a moment, he barely felt it.
She put her other hand behind his neck, pulling his head down. Her body was so close to his he could feel its heat. He wanted to put his arms around her, hold her closer. It was an effort to make his hands remain at his sides.
Standing on tiptoe, she began to nibble on his earlobe, breath warm and soft against his skin.
Darius shivered slightly, then forced himself to be still as her tongue traced around the edge of his ear.
If I were to...straighten...he thought, recognizing that his attention was suddenly becoming erratic, she...couldn't touch...my ear!--but he didn't move, continued to stand, leaning forward, his head trapped in Rebeka's embrace.
Only when she released him, allowing him to stand upright again, did he begin to relax...until her hand slid down his shoulder to his chest, and her mouth trailed kisses along the same path.
Darius took a deep breath that was almost a gasp.
She looked up at him. "Is something wrong, Darius?"
"No," he lied, hastily, "I was just taking in extra oxygen. I have to do that to renew my pneumatic cells so I can appear to breathe."
He took a couple of extra deep breaths to demonstrate. Master Martin, the son of a bitch, smiled slightly.
"That's enough oxygen, I think," the old man put in, quietly.
Rebeka turned her attention back to his body, moving even closer so her own pressed closely against him. Darius closed his eyes. God, she's so warm, so soft. I'm going to kill Master Martin! As sure as Tusteya's sun rises each morning, I'm going to tear the old fart limb-from-limb to pay him back for this!
Without warning, she embraced him, her hands sliding to the small of his back, encircling his buttocks, fingernails performing that little scratch-and-arouse that made the tiny sensors in his outer dermis bristle invisibly to attention. Her fingers floated over the deep separation of his cheeks, hesitated slightly at the rough repair to the tattered skin on his left hip, then circled under it, squeezing lightly.
There was a slight tremor of Darius' body under her fingers. His skin began to quiver.
She released him, took a step backward, brushing one hand across his stomach, circling the little depression that had never been attached to any umbilicus, bending to kiss and gently lap at it with her tongue, flicking delicately into the little dimple.
The tremor grew stronger. He was visibly shaking now.
"Darius?" She looked up at him, feeling the sudden shiver.
He didn't answer, wouldn't look at her, eyes riveted on something on the far side of the room.
Rebeka stepped away from him. It was all he could do not to heave an audible sigh of relief.
She didn't look at Master Martin, didn't see the broad smile that now framed the teacher's mouth but Darius did and silently cursed the old man.
"Go on, Rebeka," Master Martin ordered.
"That's all," she looked from Darius to the teacher, then gestured vaguely, "E-except for--"
She nodded at the android's genitals, still--he was thankful to note--at rest.
"Go on, Rebeka," Master Martin's voice was softer now, very gentle, as if he were afraid of frightening her.
No--oh, no! Darius's eyes met the old man's. He took a deep breath, preparing to protest, grab his clothes, stalk out. As if he realized the android's thoughts, Martin shook his head, mouthing the words, No, you won't!
Aloud, he said, "Darius, what's the first tenet of your programming?"
"I will obey the commands of my human makers to the best of my ability!" The words were spoken with a total absence of inflection.
Dammit! He had to do what the teacher said. His will was his own only when it didn't clash with human wishes, and it would take a tremendous effort on his part to override that order.
"Go on, Rebeka," Master Martin ordered again....
(Earthman's Bride and its sequel When the Condor Returned have been contracted by Lyrical Press for publication in 2009.)
Posted by Toni V.S. | 12:08 PM | Earthman's Bride, erotic romance, futuristic romance, Icy Snow Blackstone, science fiction, Toni V. Sweeney | 6 comments »