And Then… by Brenda Bryce

And Then... by Brenda Bryce

And Then…

by Brenda Bryce

Changeling Press

Ebook ISBN: 02502-00791

[ SciFi Romance, MM ]

Geoff, a human gladiator/slave, is one of two survivors of the day’s entertainment. Ardis is a non-human, unlike any being Geoff had ever encountered in his restricted life. When Ardis offers to comfort him and care for his wounds for the night, Geoff can do no other but accept. For on the morrow they are to fight each other to the death.

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Chapter One


“And then there were two.” The voice echoed off the walls of the stadium along with the roar of the crowd.

Geoff kept his gaze on the announcer and not on the carnage he’d dealt in the last several hours. The field was littered with the dead or dying, and he’d been the one to mete out half of it.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the gladiator he’d have to fight on the morrow. Blood spattered, as he himself was, covered in various bits of battle gear, a furry nonhuman that was built like a behemoth. Geoff exhaled slowly.

“Two gladiators. Alone and unafraid. Fierce and undefeated.”

Win or lose, it didn’t matter. He’d still be —

“On the morrow, watch these two magnificent specimens battle… To the death!”

Again the roar of the crowd reverberated in the stadium, the thunder nearly deafened him. They lounged in their booths — each climate controlled to their species — watching the spectacle of the battle. The clear fronts of the stands might protect the spectators sequestered behind it from harm and the elements, but not from the sounds and smells of the fighting. This, too, became a measure of entertainment. The different sections of the stadium competed to see who could be the loudest. Such was their lives. The battle, the competition; there was nothing more. Since technology had taken over to simplify their lives, they only had the ancient pastimes to entertain them, keeping them from boredom.

Yes, the crowd loved the fight, and the survivors, but he had no caring of their enjoyment. Not anymore.

Geoff bowed to the crowd in each of the four directions. As was expected, he raised his arms in triumph. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Ardis do the same. Turning, Geoff repeated the motions for the other side of the pla-steel stadium that he’d been told was meant to look like one from the ancient days of Old Earth.

Carrying his chain and shield, he turned and left the playing field, ignoring the hover cameras that tried to get his every expression. The stasis shield had been lowered and he entered the quiet, empty passageway. Unable to walk another step, he stopped to lean his back against the cool fab-stone of the wall.

Ardis followed, a few steps behind, and paused next to him.

Geoff could smell him now. Sweat mixed with the blood of the defeated and, even over his own stench, his nose twitched at the other gladiator’s strong scent. He drew it in, enjoying the sensation of taking a deep breath.

“You must tend your wounds.”

Geoff lifted his gaze from the floor and stared at the other gladiator. “It doesn’t matter.”

He thought, for a moment, that Ardis would reach out one of his massive hands and touch him, but the hand only twitched and settled. The mace and shield that Ardis had drawn, weapons the controllers said were ancient in origin, had fared him well this day. Only a few bruises to the chiseled face and several scrapes marred the hair-covered body.

Ardis’ sand-colored hair was at least two inches long, coating his entire body except for his face and a few other places, like the palms of his hands. Geoff wondered for one moment what the gladiator’s race was, as he’d never seen a humanoid with a full pelt, then shook off the thought. No longer did it matter what race they’d been born to. They were slaves, for at least one more night.

“Come, Geoff.” Ardis’ deep voice rippled over him, and as tired as he was, the hairs on his arm stood up in reaction and his cock twitched. He wondered what the hair would feel like against his own body, whether it was as soft as it looked, or dry and scratchy.

Pushing off the wall, he fell in beside Ardis. At the end of the doorless, windowless hall, they handed the weapons master their gear and strode beyond him, without breaking the silence. They passed through an inconspicuous doorway where a stasis shield automatically enabled to keep them from seeking freedom, and walked down a long, winding set of stairs to the gladiators’ quarters. When Geoff started to turn into his own space, Ardis held out a staying hand.

“Join me? I’ll care for your wounds as you seem to have no care of them yourself.”

Geoff hesitated. He knew what the other asked. Companionship. A last night of contact for whoever did not survive the coming battle. It was a way of life here, and Geoff had known no other.

He scrutinized Ardis’ body. Bare, strong feet, thick muscular legs, powerful, broad chest, and arms as big around as Geoff’s head. He had a strong, smooth, chiseled face, and his eyes… Ardis’ blue eyes had Geoff nodding, following him to the other gladiator’s quarters.

Ardis’ intent stare had shown a loneliness and attraction that he himself felt. It was overpowering and consuming. He needed just one night of contact, before he might die.

Yes, Geoff understood these emotions, and they would share their time together.

* * *

Trying not to let his excitement show, Ardis plodded down the hall to his own quarters and could not believe his luck. Geoff would be joining him on his last night as a slave.

His heart pounded under his skin, causing the soft hair at his chest to move as if a wind blew through it.

Geoff excited him; his nearly hairless body was so smooth and soft looking that he’d wanted to touch him for some time, just to feel the difference between them. He’d been watching the dark-haired human for the three days Ardis had been held at the stadium, and he’d liked the being he’d observed. Geoff was a strong male, a powerful fighter, but didn’t let the wins go to his head as Ardis had seen happen to others. Those creatures were lying on the field at this moment, gone and forgotten. Geoff was singular in that he did not like to fight and it showed when he wasn’t in the arena.

He was a large man, and except for the waist-length hair on his head and the dense covering on his chest, he was smooth and bare. His legs and arms sported hair but it was sparse enough that Ardis could see skin through it.

Compared to his own thick pelt, the lack of body hair was such a novelty that Ardis had to constantly wage battles within himself to keep from touching Geoff each time he saw him. Perhaps now, he had his chance. Time was short and he must do everything within his power to convince Geoff that… No. No time to think of that now.

Pushing open the door to his quarters, he stepped into the sparsely furnished room. The large bed fit his proportions, but was far from comfortable. A chest for his leathers — a trouser style of leggings with wide straps that went over the shoulders, the only clothing the gladiators wore — was against one wall. A solitary chair stood next to a small table. It was uncomfortable and stark, nothing like what he was accustomed to, but for the amount of time he would remain, it sufficed. “Please, enter my space.”

Geoff crossed the threshold, not bothering to look around. His quarters would have been the same, so there was no need. He cast about for something to say. “Shower?”

When Geoff started to peel off his leather coverings, Ardis offered his assistance. Buckles were undone, and the leather slid from his body, leaving behind a beguiling nude form. Ardis had to fight himself not to throw the coverings to the floor and fall upon Geoff like the animal his ancestors had been. No matter what the master said, he was not an animal.

Ardis felt the intensity of Geoff’s gaze as he removed his own leather coverings and, when air hissed through Geoff’s teeth, Ardis’ stomach clenched.

Geoff said nothing, but reached down to grip Ardis’ aching cock. It was Ardis’ turn to suck air, but the sensation of the hard hand on his cock, squeezing and pumping gently, had his eyes closing.

“You don’t have hair here.” Geoff’s voice had a curious tone to it without distaste.

“It is the way of my people. We wear coverings over our hairless sexual organs, but the rest of the body, the gods have provided for us.”

“It seems the gods have provided for you in all ways.” Geoff’s gaze slid up to Ardis’, eyes flashing excitedly. “In all ways.”

Ardis understood the compliment. Geoff’s cock was very similar to his. It was just as big around, but Ardis’ was slightly longer. He wanted to feel Geoff’s cock inside him, soon. He’d not been with another since he’d been taken from his home world, and as this would be his last chance to mate with Geoff before…

“Shower?” The question was asked by Geoff this time, and Ardis nodded.

“Yes, shower.”

* * *

The shower was communal and several spigots poured water from the wall. It echoed emptily, with only the two survivors of this day’s entertainment. The caretakers would never utilize slave facilities, and the masters never deigned to concern themselves with their property. It mattered not whether they were healthy, as long as they and the other spectators garnered entertainment. Unless it meant they had to shell out credits or favors to purchase new slaves, they thought of them not.

Geoff silently entered the cem-slate area and stood under one of the spouts for a moment. The one deep wound he’d received across his chest stung, but he ignored the pain to clean off the blood and dirt. Ardis did the same.

He watched Ardis as he bathed, and enjoyed the sight. The hair that covered his body wasn’t long, only thick, and it had been soft to the touch. Ardis’ cock had been more than he’d expected and Geoff couldn’t wait to feel it in him, but he could be patient. They had all night.

Ardis knelt slowly at Geoff’s feet and, as if afraid to make any sudden moves, took the straining cock that bobbed in front of his face into his hand. Stroking it lightly, base to tip, he leaned forward and licked the purple head.

Geoff sucked in a breath. When Ardis took the head of his cock into his hot, wet mouth, the air burst from his aching chest. Gods, it felt good. Putting his hands on the kneeling male’s shoulders, he pumped his hips, fucking Ardis’ mouth gently. Ardis had a way with cock, and licked and sucked until Geoff thought he would come out of turn.

“Stop.”

Ardis’ gaze wandered up Geoff’s chest and he gave him a questioning glance.

“I don’t want to come in your mouth, this time.”

Letting the cock slide from his mouth, Ardis stood and turned toward the wall and bent forward.

“Not yet, Ardis. I want to taste you as well.”

Ardis’ shoulders shook slightly as if he hadn’t expected to hear the demand, but he turned back around and stood, stoically, waiting for whatever would happen.

Geoff leaned in and tilted his head up just enough to put his mouth to Ardis’. He’d had to taste the firm lips. Ardis made him ache with need, much more than his other partners had, and he wanted to take everything he could from him in the time they had. Pushing the other man’s soft lips open, he thrust his tongue inside. Pulling Ardis closer, Geoff wrapped his arms tightly around the other male’s back and pressed their chests together. Invading every nuance of Ardis’ mouth, Geoff arched his hips and rubbed his cock against Ardis’.

Ardis’ arms enfolded him slowly, tentatively, and when the brush of the hair on his arms touched his back, Geoff shivered, delighted. Moaning, he rubbed his cock against Ardis’ again and wiggled his ass in invitation. Ardis took the hint and placed his big palms directly on the firm globes of his ass. Geoff reveled in the sensation of the calloused hands kneading and squeezing his cheeks.

Geoff slid his hands down the soft hair on Ardis’ back and dug his fingers into the hard ass he found. He used the grip to grind his cock against Ardis’ with a rolling hip motion.

Fighting back, Ardis arched his hips and moaned into Geoff’s mouth. He tasted like the nectar of the gods.

He had to have more. One last thrust of his hips, and he pulled out of the kiss. Sliding down Ardis’ stone-hard body, Geoff ran curious hand over the hair-covered chest. Locating a stiff nipple buried under the pelt, Geoff rubbed it with his fingertips, then pinched it lightly.

“Ah.” Ardis arched his hips and gasped. “Geoff.”

It incited Geoff to taste the nub. He uncovered the treat and captured it with his lips. Sliding his lips back and forth over the tight nipple, he caught it with his teeth and sucked it into his mouth. Torturing it with his tongue, he nearly smiled when Ardis groaned.

He let the hard nub pop out of his mouth, and went in search of its mate, affording the other the same treatment until Ardis’ hands lifted and buried in Geoff’s long black hair. Geoff knelt and with a quick tonguing to the indentation of Ardis’ navel, he wrapped his lips around the massive cock and took it inside his mouth.

Ardis’ hands clenched in his hair, tugging lightly, pushing his head onto the cock. Taking the wide, purpling head deep, he licked and sucked and hummed. He pulled back, only to start again. The scent of raw virility hit Geoff once again. Clean and masculine, it made his cock ache. He wasn’t sure whether he wanted to be inside Ardis first, or have the huge cock that invaded his mouth inside him instead. Before the night was over, he would have Ardis both ways. It was a promise and a vow.

Ardis arched into his ministrations, pulling on his hair. “Please.”

The one word was all he said, but Geoff understood. “Let’s go to your quarters.”

“Yes.” Ardis grabbed two drying cloths, dried himself as best he could in the shortest time with one, then turned to Geoff. “May I?”

Geoff nodded and Ardis laid the cloth against Geoff’s skin and dried him. The rasp of the material against his sensitized skin was electrifying. Ardis was careful to not miss an inch of Geoff’s body, examining each bruise and scrape, and even rubbed the cloth against his sphincter several times, making it clench, needy.

Ardis wrapped the cloth around Geoff’s waist and took his hand, leading him back to the quarters.

Inside, with the door closed, Ardis returned to drying himself while Geoff went to the bed and sat. “Do you have grease?”

Ardis nodded and reached for a small pot on the clothes chest. “Will this do?”

Geoff took it and sniffed the contents. “It’ll do fine.” He handed the pot back to Ardis. “I need you inside me, Ardis.”

Setting the pot on the bed, Ardis pressed Geoff into the mattress. “You want me to go first?” He sounded excited and hopeful.

“Yes.”

He groaned and took Geoff’s mouth in a heated kiss. Tongues dueled, lips caressed, and Geoff closed his eyes. The hard, heavy body pressed him deeper into the mattress. Geoff felt himself relax in Ardis’ hold and let him take the lead.

* * *

Ardis was in heaven. Geoff had handed him the controls and he could finally live out his fantasies. He didn’t know where to start. Zarks, there was so much he wanted to do to this being that he was at a loss.

Breaking the kiss, he looked down the muscular body. So many places he wanted to explore. Placing open-mouthed kisses, licks, and bites, he moved down Geoff’s neck to his collarbone where he sucked lightly in a spot that would be covered by the strap of the leathers, leaving a mark. Admiring the reddened area for a moment, he smiled. “It’s good.” No other might see it, but he knew it was there.

Leaving the spot, he moved to the long gash across Geoff’s chest. Licking it gently, he cleaned the wound. His race had a small amount of healing properties in their saliva, and he wanted to do as much as he could to help. His instincts led him and he couldn’t fight them.

Arching into him, Geoff cried out quietly at the contact of tongue to wound. Ardis felt guilty that there was a sting to the healing, but he didn’t stop until the whole of it had been cleansed. Not missing a beat, he moved to the masculine nipple that protruded from the dark, curly hair, so different from his own, and took the tight bud into his mouth.

He moved his hands in a slow, merciless foray downward and over Geoff’s hips. Such smooth skin, soft. Yet the muscles underneath bunched and solidified, reminding him of the hard surface of the outer shell of a long distance space hauler. He kneaded there, transferring to grasp the hard cock that twitched with need.

Moving down Geoff’s body, he licked the tip of the pulsing cock. Geoff’s lack of control showed in the opening and closing of the hole in the head as it flexed. Ardis had to taste and stuck the tip of his tongue in the slit, tasting precome. He had to have more. Taking the head into his mouth, he slid down the shaft until his lips met his own hand which had a tight grip at the base of Geoff’s cock. Fisting the hard shaft, he slid his hand in tandem with the glide of his mouth and in no time, Geoff was arching his hips against his mouth.

Ardis dipped two of his fingers in the grease pot, coated his fingertips. Once he deemed them ready, he slid the tips around the puckered entrance of Geoff’s ass, preparing him for what was to come. Ardis pressed one finger against the hole, seeking entrance. The resistance was momentary. With one gentle push, he slid his finger in to the first knuckle.

He pressed harder and slipped all the way inside. Twisting, turning, and sliding the finger in and out of the body before him, he widened the tight hole for his inevitable invasion. Taking the cock deep into his mouth, he inserted a second finger into the hot passage.

Geoff hissed and Ardis felt his muscles tighten then loosen in response. Spreading his fingers, Ardis lifted his head to see what he was doing.

Beautiful. Ardis watched his fingers sliding deeply into the grasping hole as it rippled and tightened uncontrollably. He needed more room, not wanting to hurt this lovely creature, so he added a third finger. Ah, gods. He’d never seen anything so enticing.

One last plunge of his fingers and he pulled them out of Geoff’s anus. He had to get inside of him immediately.

He took his own cock in hand, slicking it with the grease. Once, twice, he pumped his shaft, watching the hole he was about to invade clench and open. When he lifted Geoff’s legs, the entrance winked at him as if pleading for him. Resting the tip of his cock against the fluttering hole, he waited a moment, enjoying the view.

“Ardis. Now, please.”

Geoff’s cry was preceded by the ring of muscles opening and taking the head of his cock inside. Ardis gasped. He was so tight, clenching his tender head with hard muscles.

Unable to deny himself any longer, he pressed into Geoff. Deeper and deeper, his shaft burrowed into the tight, hot confines of the other male’s ass. When he bottomed out, his balls resting against Geoff’s ass and Geoff’s balls resting against his lower abdomen, he stilled. Savoring the sensation of immersing himself in the one being he had craved for weeks, he looked where their bodies merged. Perfect.

Slowly he pulled back, enjoying the slide of the clenching muscles on his pulsing shaft, until only the head remained trapped by the clenching sphincter ring. Watching, he pressed back inside, as slow as forever, needing to see the possession. It was the most beautiful thing he’d seen in his life.

Geoff’s cock bobbed with each thrust as Ardis sped up slightly. When Geoff wrapped his hand around his own cock, Ardis murmured words of praise as he watched Geoff pump the shaft in time with his own thrusts. “So beautiful. I could spend an eternity right here like this with you.”

Sadness gleamed from Geoff’s gaze as he shook his head. “We have this night only. I’ll not ask for more.”

Ardis understood his reserve. They were to battle on the morrow, unless…

Thrusting harder, slipping in and out of the grasping body, Ardis could feel the sweat running down the pelt covering his back. His ass tightened with each successive lunge and he leaned his chest against Geoff’s upraised legs, pinning his knees to his chest, rubbing his furred belly with each movement against the rock-hard cock that strained between them. Taking Geoff’s mouth with his, he pounded into him, grunting and reaching for fulfillment.

Geoff arched, pushing his hips up toward him to take all that Ardis would give and, with a final buck, Geoff’s cock exploded between them.

The rippling of Geoff’s ass as he climaxed brought on Ardis’. He impaled Geoff with his swelling cock several more times as the fire raced down his back to his balls. His cock exploded with streams of come that he shot deep into the convulsing body beneath him.

Slowly, he kept the motion, sliding in and out of the clenching passage until they both could breathe again.

“Gods, Geoff. I’ve never had…” He couldn’t finish. There just weren’t words to convey what he felt.

A rough palm cupped his cheek and the earnest gaze met his. “I understand, Ardis. I, too, have never felt this.”

Ardis slipped carefully from Geoff’s body, reaching for a towel. Carefully, reverently, he wiped come and grease from the glorious body. When they were both clean, he lay down and, holding tightly to Geoff, he breathed in their combined scents.

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