Tyger Tyger Burning Bryght [The Orion series]
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by Cathryn Cade
Category: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica
Description: Half -man, half-beast, untamable?except by the one woman born for him. The Orion series As a novice interpreter aboard the space ship Orion, Calla Fellura is in uncharted territory. Especially when it comes to figuring out how to approach the ship's sexy navigator, who seems to have no shortage of willing women vying for his attention. Tryon Jag is an alpha male tyger, one of the few who possess the instincts to guide a ship safely through the deadly Cattarus system. Handsome, wealthy, and of royal blood, Jag controls his universe--and most of the females in it--as easily as he navigates the Orion. But when Jag unexpectedly undergoes his mating shift on board ship instead of safely on his home planet, he must have a woman or go mad with rage and lust. With an eco-saboteur somewhere aboard, there couldn't be a worse time for him to lose his mind. For the sake of duty, Calla forces herself into Jag's lair. And finds herself blossoming into a true Tyger lily, a woman born to enchant a powerful beast. The only woman who can save Jag--and the entire crew--from certain annihilation. Warning: Submitting to a big cat can lead to a tongue-lashing & steamy sex at his command. Read An Excerpt Online
eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2008 2008
eBookwise Release Date: July 2010
95 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [148 KB]
Reading time: 92-130 min.
The crew leaders of the spaceship Orion, bound for planet Bryght by way of the Cattarus system, winced as the unearthly scream of a big cat echoed through the ship's command center. The scream swelled into a roar, and then subsided in a series of deep, coughing growls before fading. They shuddered in instinctive fear, and glanced uneasily at the seal-locks on the entrance.
Captain Steve Craig, Earth Con II, looked around the holo-table at his Crew Commanders. From the far reaches of the galaxy, all some of his team had in common were their sleek grey flight suits. Each bore the insignia of their craft, from tactician to interpreter. He himself wore the bars and stars of ship's captain, as well as several commendations.
"I believe that explains why I've called you in for a meeting," he said dryly. "As you know, our navigator on this run must be a Tygean native from planet Bryght. Only they can navigate safely through the Cattarus system. We have one of the best on board--Commander Tryon Jag. Unfortunately, under the influence of their home moons, the Tygeans undergo a yearly mating shape shift. Jag has shifted into full Tyger mating mode. Something's got to be done."
His second-in-command, Commander Navos, a tall, spare Indigon, raised one arching brow. "Sedation seems the logical course. A Tyger in shape shift is a dangerous creature, with uncertain temper, and the claws and fangs of a predator."
"Yes, I could get some type of palliative into his food," the ship's physician, Dr. Tentaclar, offered. His several eyes lit with interest, the upper set waving about on their stalks.
"We can't drug him," the captain snapped. "We need him awake and alert. Without a Tygean navigator, we will never make it safely through the Cattarus asteroid belt. The gravitation of all the moons will pull the Orion into a crash. Every ship lost in the Cattarus has had a non-native at the helm."
"It is unfortunate that our departure from Earth was delayed," said the Indigon. "The moons of the Cattarus system have risen to their male phase, inciting the predictable hormonal reaction in Commander Jag."
"Yes, we were supposed to be through here days ago. It's these damned terrorists. The Earthland Security regulations have become so tight; it sometimes takes days to get through customs instead of hours."
"Is it the ecoterrorists this time?" asked someone. "Or one of those religious fundamentalist groups? I can't keep them straight."
"They are all equally dangerous," cut in Navos, his deep blue eyes cold as an Indigon glacier. "Creatures who are willing to destroy others and themselves to make a religious or political point."
"Yes, and speaking of going through customs--was it really necessary to body search the entire crew?" growled Ogg, the systems mechanic. "Most of my guys and gals have been with the company for years."
"Oh, it's necessary. The terrorists have gotten very tricky with their little bombs." Dr. Tentaclar leaned forward, all his eyes focused on Ogg. "They've discovered how to create organic explosives. Hide the devices right in their body cavities, so they can't be detected by a holographic search. Then, when the ship is out in space--squersshhh!"
A few of them winced, and Craig held up one hand.
"Thank you, Doctor. I think we all know the results of a bio-bomb on a ship's systems. Now, back to our immediate problem, if you will."
"If we cannot proceed without our navigator, we must persuade him to resume his duties," the Indigon said. "By my reckoning, we will enter the hazardous portion of the Cattarus system in four days. We have until then to deal with the problem."
"But how will we reason with him?" asked the interpreter, a small Pangaean woman who shimmered with a faint green aura, the result of lifelong exposure to the rich vegetation of her home planet. "Everyone is afraid to go near him. He nearly frightened to death the young couple who chanced to be in the ship's arboretum when he shifted."
"We don't reason with him," the captain said. Then his eyes sharpened, as he looked at the Indigon. "Unless Commander Navos can assist us."
"I cannot help you." Navos shook his head. "It is his feline-enhanced faculties that enable him to do his job. Any attempt at thought control would result in disaster."
They all looked at Craig, who sighed.
"In that case we get him what he wants--a mate."
"Yes, he'll have to have one in order to function," Tentaclar agreed. "Just now he is in the thrall of his powerful mating urges. If he is not provided with a suitable mate, and soon, he will hurt himself or others."
"But--how do we procure him one? We can't just order one of the female crew members to submit."
"There are licensed sexual companions on board," Navos put in. "Hire one or more of them to service him."
"Won't work," Tentaclar chirped. "Tygeans are very picky. Has to be a female who is not sexually imprinted by numerous other males--or females."
Interpreter Mra frowned. "So we must ask a young, relatively inexperienced female to volunteer? Surely this is dangerous. I understand Tyger males are quite, er, forceful in their sexual demands."
"They are also famous for their prowess," purred the other woman at the table, a sleek, golden creature who looked like a statue from some exotic temple until she moved, revealing the sinuous movements of a Serpentian. "I would volunteer myself, but..."
She shrugged, and the other crew leaders politely avoided her eyes. The Serpentians were well known for their promiscuity--the Tyger would never accept her.
"This sounds like the ancient Earth practice of throwing virgins to the tigers " The mechanic scowled. "I don't like it."
"Actually," Captain Craig said. "We need not ask for a volunteer. I have one. She is one of your people, Interpreter Mra. Her name is Calla Fellura."
"Calla?" The Pangaean's feathery green hair wafted up around her head in surprise. "But she is not sexually active. She has refused the advances of both male and female crewmates thus far."
"Perhaps she is one of those who prefer...coercion," the Indigon said with a disdainful flare of his nostrils.
The captain rubbed his hand over his reddening face. "Uh...no. She is actually a Tygean herself, so she understands the situation."
"Ah, one of his own kind. In that case, she would seem to be ideally suited for the purpose," said the Indigon coolly. "I vote that we use her. Any dissenters?"
The crew leaders looked at each other. No one made a negative motion, although Mra frowned, her hair curling anxiously around her neck.
"I do wish to ascertain that my crew member is safe," she insisted. "Fellura may be a Tygean, but she is a young one."
"I agree." The captain nodded. "She has been awaiting our decision, and is ready to enter the arboretum now. That is where Commander Jag is holed up. The holovideocom, please."
The team turned their attention to the center of the table as the Indigon pressed a button on the command console, and a hologram of the ship's arboretum sprang to life.
The owners of the space transport companies had found that crew members, especially those from the verdant planets, remained in much better spirits, and thus more productive on the long voyages into the cold outer reaches of space, if they had a shipboard retreat that simulated nature.
The Orion's arboretum was the size of a ballroom, built into the top deck of the huge ship, with a clear roof so that the constellations and moons could be seen at night, and the suns and planets during the day. Self-supporting, with recirculating water, and temperature and humidity control, it resembled a Pangaean rainforest. The soothing sounds of breezes rustling in the trees, the occasional birdcall, and the waterfall splashing into the pond filled the humid air.
As they watched, a young woman stepped into the clearing by the pond. She carried a small duffle bag and wore the Orion's signature grey flight suit with the symbol of her job, a hand held up in greeting.
She was of medium height, with strawberry-blonde hair that waved about her head and shoulders, a fit, toned body, and the slightly golden skin and golden brown eyes that were peculiar to the Tygean race.
Just now her face was pale with nerves, and her large, slightly slanted eyes darted about nervously.
Another scream echoed through the quiet arboretum, and she braced herself visibly, dropping her duffel bag to wipe her palms on the legs of her flight suit.
The crew leaders watched, fascinated, as the shrubbery behind her rustled violently, and then parted. Another cry, this one a deep warning snarl, and the Tyger stepped into view behind her.
The female crew leaders gasped. He was male rampant, in the glory of his prime. Tall, with broad shoulders, powerful arms and legs, his human body had undergone the enhancements of his Tyger mating shift.
His handsome face, with slanting eyes and prominent brow, cheek and jawbones, was now catlike in its intensity and character. His pupils had narrowed and crystallized like those of a big cat, and his nose was slightly flattened, nostrils flared, lips narrowed and curved. He was man, and yet Tyger.
The hair on his head was dark gold, short and slightly wavy. Now it was joined from head to toe in a fine golden dusting of hair that swirled sleekly over his golden skin, accentuating every powerful muscle. His huge hands, flexing at his sides, bore short, curving claws where his fingernails had been.
He wore not a stitch of clothing. And from between his narrow hips rose an erect cock so impressive that even the Serpentian drew in a hiss of appreciation.
The Tyger snarled again, a deep, guttural sound of command, his narrow lips drawing back to reveal lethal incisors. The young woman before him slowly dropped to her knees and bent her head in a posture of complete submission. Her hair swung forward to conceal her expression from the camera, but her hands were clenched into nervous fists at her sides.
"All right, that's enough," the captain snapped. "Turn off the holocom link."
The hologram winked out, and the crew leaders sat for a moment, most of them blinking. The captain's lean face was once again red. Someone cleared their throat.
"Well," the Serpentian said with wry humor, "at least we know one couple who will be having a good time tonight."
Mra tsked, her hair standing straight up with distaste. "That's disgusting, Sirena. She is a brave young woman who is sacrificing herself for the well-being of her ship and crew. We should be concerned for her. Captain, you will be maintaining surveillance for her safety?"
"Yes, computer surveillance. It will alert us to any distress. We'll go in if we have to, and sedate him with a dart."
She nodded. "Well, then. I presume we should all go back to our duties, and await your report."
"Yes, carry on. I'll see you all at our normal starfall meeting."
The company rose and filtered out of the room, the doctor casting one regretful glance back over the top of his head at the holographic space.
"Mating habits of the different species are so fascinating," he murmured.
The Serpentian hissed good-naturedly, flicking her forked tongue at him as she passed.
"I could show you some really fascinating ones."
He tittered, his eye stalks waving.
"Rascal--you know I am nearly two hundred years old. Now off with you, and torment the younger men of the crew."
"Yes-ss. I believe I will."
The male eyes shifted as one to watch her golden form undulate away, hips swaying.
* * * *
In a small, dingy room high over the docking bays of Port Seattle, Earth, two young human males huddled before a large computer screen. With sallow skin, hair and clothing unkempt, they presented a sharp contrast to the two Pangaeans who stood behind them. Clad in expensive sportswear, their sleek skin and hair glowed with enough chlorophyll by-products to light the room with an eerie green glow.
"The tracking device shows that Pyl is in his shared berth on the Orion," one of the Pangaeans said with satisfaction. "That means he made it through the physical inspection. They would never have let him on board if they even suspected."
"Yes, and if he had been caught removing the bomb, he would be in the isolation unit." One of the young men scratched his blonde hair. His eyes glowed with the fervor of fanaticism. "So we're on track. We wait until the Orion is too close to the asteroid belt to turn back, and then we make our demands."
"If they don't agree to stop the mining of the fossil fuel deposits on Pangaea, we detonate the bomb, and destroy their navigation system," added the other, with the pleasure of one repeating a favorite line. "We may have lost the eco-wars on Earth, but Pangaea is a second chance to show the capitalist-techno combines that we will never give up!"
Behind them, the Pangaeans exchanged a secretive glance.
"Yes," one of them said smoothly. "We will reawaken the galaxy to the importance of being one with our environment, instead of raping it. With your help, we will win this time."
"Yeah!" The two Earthlings gave each other an exuberant high five, and one reached for his tube of energy drink, guzzling it and belching loudly.
The Pangaeans retreated a short distance, distaste clear as their hair stood straight up on their heads.
"We must be getting back to our office, before we are missed. You have everything you need here?"
"Yeah, except bring some more of this WarpRev energy drink when you come back, okay?" The young man waggled his empty can over his head without turning from the computer. "This stuff is great--I hardly need to sleep."
"And some more of those Chlorochili chips--the dark green ones," added the other. He turned, but the Pangaeans were already gone.
He frowned, then turned back to the computer. He leaned back in his chair to prop his feet on the table beside the computer, but lifted one hand to his mouth, gnawing on an already short, ragged nail.
"Hey, Nels, those two ever sort of give you the heebie-jeebies?"
"'Course they do." Nels shrugged, clicking the controls. "They're not from here, man. But they're cool--they're for the cause. Hey, you want to see if the spy cams are up on board the Orion? Pyl was supposed to tie into the vid-cam system."
The dark one sucked on his finger, now bleeding. "Sure."
A moment later the computer screen, a huge glowing square on the stand before them, divided itself into a neat grid, with a multitude of different views of the inside of the transport ship the Orion, bound for Bryght with a load of precious chlorodine ore, and 365 passengers.
They both glanced without interest at the quiet views of passageways, dining hall, cargo bays, and engine room, and the flight-suited beings working, talking, and going about their duties. They were all capitalist pigs, and thus expendable.
Then both their eyes widened on the view of the ship's arboretum.
"Whoa!" one of them breathed. "What is that?"
"I don't know! Bring that screen up bigger, dude."
The dark boy flicked the remote, and their mouths fell open as the screen filled with a view of the verdant arboretum. Between the heavy foliage growing around the bathroom could be seen a glimpse of the pool and the mossy clearing.
As they watched, a large, naked man-beast prowled through the clearing, then turned and prowled back. Stopping, he threw back his head and screamed like a wild cat, his fangs and extended claws visible through the leaves.
The audio feed on the spy-cam muted the volume of his cry, but even so, the sound sent goose bumps racing over the two boys' skin.
"Whoa!" one breathed. "You think Pyl knows that's on board?"
"I dunno, man. We're not supposed to communicate with him."
They both looked at each other, and then grinned guiltily. No sense in warning Pyl--he was a Pangaean, not one of their Earth dudes. He was planning to blow himself up if necessary, anyway, to take out the Orion.
This could be cool. It was like a holo-vid game. Maybe the creature would, like, get out and take down some of the passengers. That would certainly enliven the hours while they waited for the climax of their endeavor. They popped open another energy drink, and sat back to watch.