Andromeda AU


DISCLAIMER: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc of Andromeda Ascendant are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended

Author note: This is an AU story of Andromeda. Gaheris is not a traitor. The other things are the same than the TV series: Dylan and Gaheris are rescued 300 years after Hephaestus, etc. However I'll change things in next chapters. I want to make this like a parallel story from the beginning and continue it, a long story. Please I need reviews because if this idea sucks I'll think about another. Thanks a lot.

Chapter 1: Introduction

A game is never just a game. And a fight is never just a fight, not even a simple training. It was not a fight to death but both males were resolved to win. Nietzscheans did everything to win something, in war, the victory; in the displaying, the female and in the mate, the offspring. After some training sessions together, both men knew the advantages and weaknesses of the other. Now they were standing on the mat, bodies tense on guard, trying to predict the next movement.

One of them sniffed, "She is coming." His voice was cultured but somehow it emphasized the dangerous brightness of his eyes.

"I know." The other man mumbled in a deep voice.

The fight began again but this time it was more aggressive. Both nietzschean males were fighting to win and the scent of an attractive woman was a good incentive.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Captain Rebecca Valentine stood in the shadows of the doorframe of the gym, watching the two nietzscheans fighting before her.

A month ago, they had joined Dylan Hunt in his insane crusade of restoring the non-existent Commonwealth. That had begun as something very different. She and her crew had taken on the recovery of the legendary Andromeda Ascendant, trapped in the event horizon of a black hole since the battle of Hephaestus, 300 years ago. It had been unexpected to find resistance in the form of the idealistic High Guard Captain Dylan Hunt and his stubborn nietzschean First Officer Gaheris Rhade. To complicate things, Gerentex, their employer, had a little surprise: a squad of mercenaries led by an arrogant nietzschean. More nietzscheans!

Finally she, her crew and the nietzschean mercenary had agreed to join Dylan and Rhade. A long time would pass till they would get used to working together but for a sexually needy woman, and Beka now was really needy, that was not the most important problem. There were five males on board but she could hardly consider Harper, who was like a little brother to her, or Rev Bem, who was a Wayist Magog, as 'males'. The logical choice would be Dylan. He was nice, attractive and she thought that she could easily seduce him. But there was no justice in the universe: she didn’t feel attracted to Dylan. Instead those two hot-as- hell nietzscheans drove her crazy. Damnit, even their bone blades were sexy! When she was just captain of the Eureka Maru she could easily handle her needs. There was always some orbital with lots of men flying around her. And after her last serious relationship had failed she didn't know if she could ever trust another man on those terms.

Maybe never, she thought.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

After training, Gaheris walked around the corridors of Andromeda. He still couldn’t get accustomed to the heavy silence, that absence of the mixed smells of people that had became familiar to him over the years. His mind went back to the time, so long ago but so near to him, when he had wives and children. He missed them. He was still an Alpha but not a husband nor a father anymore. Rhade felt the betrayal of his people to the Commonwealth like a knife stuck in his back. His own race had stolen his life from him.

Rhade reflected on the present. Dylan was Dylan, as always. He was not surprised with the captain's intention of restoring the Commonwealth. Dylan always needed something higher to believe in. Gaheris believed in the old Commonwealth but he was sceptical about a new one in this crazy universe.

And the others, they were a strange mixture. A pacifist magog who every time he spoke suggested his wisdom was the proof of the universe, fate or whatever surprising itself. The unknown purple girl, Gaheris was sure she knew more about all, behind that mask of innocence and silliness. Harper was the weak who had survived in a hostile world against all odds, making use of his intelligence. Gaheris saw Tyr as his rival, it was in his blood. Both were Alphas, superior males competing…

'Competing for what?' he thought.

And finally there she was, strong, stubborn, contradictory and beautiful. It was surprising how fast he had become accustomed to her scents, how familiar and comfortable they were for him. Captain Valentine was an intriguing woman…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

He couldn't ever forget her, he didn't want to. Sarah had been his future and now she was his past. It was painful but Dylan was again immersed in memories of her.

Sometimes he wondered 'Why do this, is it worth it to restore the Commonwealth?' There was always a voice inside his mind, Sarah's voice, telling him, 'Because it's the right thing to do'

Nietzscheans…he didn't want to hate them, his first officer and friend was nietzschean, a new member of his crew was too. But sometimes, Dylan couldn't avoid seeing them and feeling the rage.

Curious, at those moments, the voice of Sarah told him, 'An individual is not an entire race.'

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

His mother, dead in a pool of blood.

Tyr Anasazi, out of Victoria by Barbarrosa remembered that picture every day. One day they would pay for all. He thought of who could help him on the Andromeda, who could be manipulated. Watch and learn to one day make his destiny.

He didn't trust anyone but himself, 'that would be un-nietzschean' he thought. 'I am nietzschean' he repeated himself every day. It is hard to know how to be nietzschean when you have not lived in a pride since you are a child. That made him think about Rhade. He could be an ally…or a rival. 'Is he nietzschean or High Guard?'

And Captain Valentine. He had not still put a label on her. She was a mere human but he could not ignore the physical attraction he felt. 'Just a chemical reaction'…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Holographic Andromeda popped behind him, "Harper"

"Hey don't do that, you scared me!"

"I have some questions about your project", she crossed her arms over her chest.

"Ask whatever you want, I'm all yours Drommie" Harper answered her as he continued with his work.

"What did you call me?"

"Come on, Andromeda is too long. Besides your avatar will need a name"

"My avatar is 'me' Harper. How do you intent to call it?"

He looked at her "She is not 'it', Andromeda. Trust in the Harper, I'm making a piece of art. Maybe Rommie…yes I like Rommie, it's very sexy" he smiled. "You wanted to ask something?"

"Yes, Harper. Don't you think you are making the avatar too realistic? I don't think it needs all those sensors. And it is not going to feed any children so it does not need nipples"

"Hey babe, believe me, some day 'she' will be grateful"

"Harper, just remember I am a warship, not sexual entertainment"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So many alternatives, so many possibilities. So many times Trance Gemini felt she was still too young to know all the possible futures. Sometimes she wanted to just stay in a moment, like now in Hydroponics, surrounded by growing life. Sometimes she envied her crewmates, her friends. They could not see all the perfect futures but neither could they see the dark ones. She felt so young and yet so old.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Divine, always unpredictable in His ways. Rev Bem knew He had some reason for him to join such a diverse group for that quest. Probably a powerful reason. A pain in his heart reminded him every day that the Divine also had a powerful reason to let him be born, ripping apart the life of the woman he called mother.

Chapter 2: Confusion and guilt

"You trust them, Dylan?"

"I'm trying." Dylan answered, watching the Go board carefully. Since the time he had caught Gaheris cheating, his eyes were glued to the table when they played.

"It's funny, Rev Bem is a magog and Trance is…I don't know what she is, but they both seem trustworthy. And Harper is brilliant, I mean, the work he did with Rommie was amazing" He saw Gaheris smirk "What?"

"I bet you think Rommie is more than amazing" Rhade laughed "When she came to Command your face was priceless!"

"She was naked!"

"She is a warship, Dylan"

Dylan arched his eyebrows "Of course your enhanced nietzschean eyes didn't notice that she has a beautiful body" Dylan blushed slightly as he said this.

"I agree that Harper has made Andromeda's avatar very realistic" Gaheris absentmindedly answered "but I need more to be aroused by a female."

"Oh, I forget the bone blades." Dylan grinned sarcastically.

"I didn't mean that. There are things more important for a nietzschean male to make a female appealing, the scent, the…"

"Hey hey, no more please" Dylan interrupted. Gaheris smiled. It was amusing how his friend felt embarrassed when the conversation turned to sex.

"What about Tyr? Do you trust him?" Rhade asked.

"And you, Gaheris? Do you trust him?"

Now Gaheris’ face was as cool as ice "Never trust in a nietzschean"

"You are nietzschean Rhade."

"I'm also High Guard, never forget that, Captain. And Captain Valentine?"

"What about her?" Dylan could swear his friend had more than a mere professional concern. "What do you think about her Gaheris?"

He arched an eyebrow suggestively "She is an interesting woman."

Dylan smiled "So you do see her as a woman."

"It's difficult not seeing her as a woman." Gaheris answered as a matter of fact.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Beka was in pilot's chair, wondering why she deserved her destiny. She had that shift with Tyr and Rhade and between those two men, her mind was everywhere but in her duties.

Actually she was watching the bronze living sculpture that was Tyr intently, her eyes scanning every inch of muscle through the chains of his shirt. How could she concentrate with a half naked man who screamed 'sex' throughout his skin?

Then her eyes and mind wandered towards Gaheris. It was as if Rhade had born with that uniform over him. Her daydream was running wilder as she thought that he wore too many clothes. If she had him at her mercy…a brief image of him, naked on her bed crossed her mind. She shook her head. She had seen Rhade in the Gym with a tight T-shirt branding his wonderful chest. She could do indescribable things on those pecs. Then there were those arms. Beka usually was the dominant in her sexual relationships but she easily imagined those strong powerful arms subduing her. And that perfect butt, muscled and hard when he would be burying himself in her willing body. Suddenly Beka was very aware of the warm wetness between her legs, damping her pants. Then Rhade turned his head and his eyes bore into her, a smile of satisfaction spread on his lips.

'Damn', she avoided his gaze. With the corner of her eye she saw he was working again at his console. Her eyes again ran over him. He had this strong dark hair, a girl could grab it in the edge of pleasure…

Rhade was smiling to himself. He had longed for the scent of an aroused female and now that scent had hit his senses with the force of a tidal wave. It was surprisingly pleasant and arousing to know that it was for him. It wasn’t hard to notice her glances towards him.

Tyr was checking the weapons when he was aware of a very well known smell. It could only come from her. He felt a wave of rage when he watched her devouring the other nietzschean with her gaze.

"Beka!" he roared.

Beka awaked abruptly of her daydream "What!?"

"I suggest you pay more attention to your job. I don't want you jeopardizing our survival because you are distracted." Then he looked at Rhade, furious "And as First Officer you should watch her."

"I don't think our survival is compromised but it's true you are…distracted" His eyes met hers playfully. "I agree with Tyr, I'll watch you…carefully" His swift was over so he got out leaving behind him a furious Tyr and a blushing Beka.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was the right thing to do, Gaheris knew it. In minutes they would destroy one hundred thousand nietzschean ships. They had to do it, for History, for the Future. However it didn't alleviate the guilt he felt. Somehow his heart didn't hear the logic of his mind. He thought he hated his own race but it was still his race.

Tyr’s voice broke his solitude. "My people have a legend about the Battle of Witchhead. They say that the nietzschean forces arrived here with overwhelming numbers. Their victory seemed assured but then, in the critical hour, the Angel of Death appeared summoning forth the fires of hell. The nietzschean fleet was struck down, crippled, their glorious victory turned to ashes."

From this moment Gaheris felt the time passing like a blurred nightmare. He heard Dylan giving the order and he closed his eyes. A brilliant flash of death crossed his lids and the voice of thousands nietzscheans screamed through his veins.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"You are the last person on this ship I expected to be so calm." Tyr's voice was full of venom. Gaheris just stared out the window in Obs.

"How do you feel being the most despicable traitor to your blood?" That made Rhade snap.

"Traitor?" he turned to face Tyr "Allow me to inform you about a couple things about our people. We were a great race, our destiny was to reach perfection but WE screwed up everything when we betrayed the Commonwealth. And for what? Now we are a group of prides too busy destroying ourselves" Their faces were now inches apart "You have never known the true nietzschean race."

Tyr's eyes were burning with cold fury as he stormed out. Rhade turned again to watch the stars. He couldn't blame Tyr, he had not known the Commonwealth and the nietzscheans before the Great Darkness. His pride had been annihilated by the Drago-Kazov pride and he looked for revenge. Tyr was furiously nietzschean, at least what he thought it was to be nietzschean. However they came from different times and that concept was not the same for Gaheris.

Her scent broke his reflections. Then he heard her footsteps in the corridor towards him.


She stood next to him, staring out into space "I just wanted to know how you were doing." He didn't answer, instead breathed deeply, allowing her presence to calm him like a balm on a wound. She misinterpreted his lack of communication, "I understand, you want to be alone." She turned to leave but his hand on her arm stopped her.

"Please stay" He took her hand in his "Your presence comforts me. There are so many things I need to say…"

"About?" she felt the warmth of his hand as he caressed her palm. She was aware of the strong reaction of her body to this mere brush, her heart pounding in her chest, her breath caught in her throat. His hands felt so good, so gentle and yet so strong.

"About my people, about me…" 'About you' he heard a tiny voice in his mind. He gazed at her intently, his eyes two pools of warmth. "Another day." He brought her hand to his lips and kissed it softly.

Beka stayed stunned as he left the room, the feeling of his lips spreading over all her skin.

Chapter 3: Goodbye

Dylan had sent the message to Sarah through the black hole. It was supposed to be a goodbye, a kind of 'look to the future' attitude but he felt as if his heart had been ripped to pieces. He got to Command, trying to mask the emptiness that his feelings mirrored over his face.

Harper turned looking at him nervously "Uh Dylan. We got something freaky going on here."

"I'm afraid to ask" He had no patience at this moment for unreadable scientific trivialities.

"It's all very exciting. We seem to be receiving a signal from the black hole" Hohne spoke, his perseid blue features tensed with emotion.

Dylan's head jerked up "That's impossible. Nothing comes out of a singularity"

Harper smiled weakly "You want impossible? Listen to this"

Dylan looked in astonishment at the image of Sara, HIS Sara, on the screen. "Dylan, I'm receiving your message. What's your status? Can you hear me? Dylan I'm receiving your message. What's your status? Can you…" The image fuzzed out. Dylan stayed, his eyes glued to the screen. Then he reacted.

"Sara!" He faced Harper "You get that signal back! Get it back right now!"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"It's good to see you again Khalid" Rhade watched his nietzschean friend. He was on command while Dylan was in his office talking to Sara. He would’ve liked to speak in private as well but he had to stay in command. Besides, the communication link between the Andromeda and the Starry Wisdom could break easily.

"It's good to see you too, Rhade. When we didn't find you among the survivors, we thought you would be dead…or worse" Ismael Khalid sighed.

"I suppose when you say worse, you mean 'traitor'" Gaheris answered, his jaw clenched. He didn't like that anyone made such an insinuation, especially in front of Tyr and Rebecca. "Well, I assure you I'm not a traitor"

"I know." Khalid sighed again "But there are so many people we both know that we never imagined were traitors"

"What about our pride?" Rhade asked

"It's loyal to the Commonwealth. One of few"

"Do you have some news about my family?" He felt a lump in his throat.

Khalid smiled "The last time I saw them they were fine. Your wives and children are with your fathers. Ana gave birth to a girl and Maria will do too soon. A boy."

Gaheris felt the pride flooding him and he smiled. "Ismael, watch over them please. I know I can trust you with my life"

A shadow of sadness crossed Khalid’s face. He knew it was impossible he’d see Rhade again but he would care for his family as if it was his. "I will, I promise. Goodbye Gaheris."

"Goodbye Ismael" Rhade stood there looking at the empty screen. He didn't tell Khalid that he missed his family, that the thing he wanted most at this moment was to hold his new daughter and see his new son when he would be born. But he had seen in the eyes of his friend that he’d understood it all.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Beka’s mind repeated the conversation between Gaheris and the nietzschean officer of the Starry Wisdom. 'Wives' she thought 'wives and children…'

Some times she forgot that Gaheris was nietzschean.

If there was someone who she saw as the typical nietzschean it was Tyr. However Tyr didn't have any wives, at least that she knew of. On the other hand Gaheris, who was more talkative and approachable than Tyr, had wives and children! She couldn't say why suddenly the word "wives" irritated her so much.

She looked at him briefly. He was working on his console as if nothing concerned him but his body was tense and his jaw clenched. He gazed at her and she saw the sadness in his eyes before he turned to his work again. Beka felt the impulse to hold him and comfort him. She shook her head as she brought her attention back to her duty.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Later Tyr was in his room watching the computer. After what he had heard on Command and seeing the archives about Rhade, he began to understand his attitude when he supported Dylan at Witchhead. If there was something Tyr understood, it was loyalty to the pride and the family.

Majorum pride, Gaheris’ pride, had been the most loyal nietzschean ally of the Commonwealth, one of the few that stayed with the Commonwealth when the war began. After the war it had seemed that the pride had disappeared.

The family of Rhade was powerful and esteemed in the pride. Gaheris had five wives and eight children, probably ten if the news was true. Somehow he and Gaheris had something in common: both had lost their pride and family. Maybe he could be an ally after all.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gaheris lay on his bed thinking how cruel the universe could be. He had watched how the hopes of Dylan of being with Sara vanished. Finally Harper had brought his friend back to the Andromeda. The conversation with Khalid and Dylan’s face when he had said goodbye to Sara had made Gaheris understand better what Dylan had told him about love so many times.

Now he thought of his family and realized he missed his first wife, Maria, more than the others. He remembered how hard it had been to win her. She didn't want just a man with good DNA, she wanted a man who knew her, who proved himself worthy of the titles of husband and father. She was strong, confident and very stubborn. 'Like Rebecca.' he thought.

He must tell them goodbye too and face the future.

Chapter 4: So bigmouth…

Finally Dylan and Beka had come back from Miden with Tyr. Dylan had told Gaheris about the crate Tyr had brought with him and Rhade had his suspicions about its content.

He was in command with Beka. He watched her. She was very distracted and this time Gaheris could swear it was not because of him. He could almost hear her mind murmuring.

"Gaheris." She was looking at him now.

"Yes, Beka?"

"You know about the crate Tyr has had since Miden?" She arched her eyebrows.

"Yes." he smirked at her curiosity.

"Tyr told me that it has something that has belonged to him all along" She frowned "You’re nietzschean."

He couldn't help but laugh "Last time I checked I was"

"Ha ha very funny Rhade. I mean, if you are nietzschean you must know what Tyr means, shouldn't you?"

He fixed his eyes on hers. Those eyes were dangerous, he thought, a man could swim and drown in them. It would be interesting to explore them when she was happy, sad, aroused…

"Gaheris?" She was waving her hand in front his face.

'Caught' he thought "All I could make are mere assumptions, Rebecca."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

After his shift Gaheris headed to Tyr's room. 'Something that belongs to him' Beka’s words echoed in his mind. So Tyr had taken the mummified remains of Drago Museveni from the Dragans. He pressed the door button and they opened. He heard Tyr inviting him to enter. He had never seen his room before. There were books on a shelf. He easily identified the authors: Museveni, Nietzsche, Machiavelli and Darwin. He had similar books. However Tyr’s room was much more spartan than his.

"I know you have the remains of the Progenitor" It would be stupid to beat about the bush with that.

"I see Beka went straight off and told you" Tyr smiled mocking.

"This is not about Beka" Rhade said.

"And what are you going to do with that information?" Tyr asked in his deepest dangerous voice.

"I understand it's rightfully yours" Gaheris continued as if he hadn't heard him.

"So you support me?" Tyr arched his eyebrows, surprised.

Gaheris approached him and gazed him directly in his eyes "Don't misunderstand me Tyr. I'm nietzschean and I'm not stupid. I prefer the remains stay with you instead the Dragans but listen carefully: if you put this ship or this crew in danger you'll regret it."

"Are you threatening me Rhade?" Tyr features were as hard as stone.

"Yes" With that Rhade left the room.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tyr was reading, enjoying the quiet of the Command. He was alone with Beka and Rhade on the ship. The others were looking for an AP solenoid valve. Apart from having to manually vent the ship it was pleasant. There were no comments from Dylan , Trance’s giggles or Harper’s laughs. Tyr knew Rhade enjoyed the silence too but there was an unbearable noise. He looked at Beka and she stopped her drumming on the armchair.

"It's too quiet here" she smirked.

"All right" Maybe Beka could learn something from Nietzsche. He began to read "We are born sworn, jealous friends of solitude. Of our own deepest, most midnight, most mid-day solitude"

Beka watched him thoughtfully "You know Tyr, some people think you are selfish because you're always reading, lifting and exercising. But I think you're just always trying to improve yourself. I never had that luxury"

Rhade moved uneasily at his console. He didn't like the admiring tone of her voice towards the other Alpha or Tyr’s patronizing.

"You've been too busy surviving. I respect that. Still there is a great deal Nietzsche could teach you"

"Such as?" she asked, her eyes fixed in Tyr. Gaheris watched her and clenched his fists.

"Survival." Tyr answered.

"Got it covered. What else?" She insisted. Rhade knew the answer and he was not going to like it.

"Reproduction" Tyr fixed his brown eyes on Beka. Then both heard the deep growl coming from Gaheris.

"What was that?" Beka asked boring him with his blue gaze.

Gaheris watched her with an unreadable expression. Then he looked at Tyr in challenge. Tyr held his gaze.

"Nothing" Rhade finally growled.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Beka walked towards the Gym, confusion and rage running through her veins. First that crap on command. What the hell was that growl from Rhade? She was talking to Tyr and suddenly the two nietzscheans were acting as if they wanted to cut the other's throat.

Then Tyr invites her to dinner. Obs was lighted with candles, he was cooking and it actually smelt wonderful. They were having a pleasant dinner. Even Beka had begun to think that Tyr was flirting with her. But then she recalled the last piece of conversation

"Are you saying that you could never be interested in a human woman?" She couldn't believe he was so narrow-minded.

"Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying" He answered.

"Not in a million years?" she felt humiliated.

"Never" he simply said as a matter of fact.

She got up and leaned over him, her mouth inches apart from his. She saw him looking at her lips and swallowing hard and she smiled seductively.

"Tyr, on behalf of human women everywhere, I'm insulted" she stormed out.

Beka often had fantasized about screwing Tyr senseless but when she reached the Gym she just wanted to reduce his head and other parts of his anatomy to pulp. She was so furious that she didn't see Gaheris training with an extended force lance. She rushed to the sack and she began to workout bare-handed.

"Beka." She heard Gaheris’ voice, which usually calmed her, like an offensive buzzing. She didn't answer, mumbling between punches "Fucking ubbers, all the same, let's go all to hell…"

"Rebecca…" he insisted. She felt his warm hand on her shoulder and she turned abruptly.


He stayed with his perfect calm façade, just an eyebrow slightly arched "I think you can vent whatever disturbs you with some less painful exercise."

She trained her eyes on him "Oh, now you care about what happens to a mere human?" she asked sarcastically.

He sighed deeply and took her hand. He nodded to it and she saw blood on her bruised knuckles "Maybe you’d find it more interesting to fight with an actual person. And you can learn something" He threw her another force lance.

So he wanted to fight. It was the opportunity to kick some nietzschean ass and for a pissed Beka it didn't matter if it was Rhade instead Tyr. She extended the force lance. Soon though she realized it wasn't so easy. Her fury didn't help to concentrate and she didn't have the years of training of Gaheris. Besides he was stronger and faster, even faster than Tyr. Finally she was on the floor, trying to recover her breath. Rhade had the force lances in both hands, aiming to her chest. He closed them and offered her a hand.

"I don't need help! Get out!" She struggled and finally stood up.

"Care to share why you are in such mood, Beka?" She heard the concern in his voice and at that moment it angered her more.

"Don't talk to me in that tone Rhade!"

He frowned. "What tone?"

"That tone that screams 'I'm superior to you, pitiful human'" She felt fear when his face mirrored the rage burning inside him, but her tongue seemed to work before her brain "I thought you were different than Tyr but all nietzschean are the same, fucking ubbers!"

He towered over her, suddenly he seemed larger than life "Rebecca, never put a label on me" His voice was menacing but his eyes expressed his hurt." I suggest you stay away from me." He stormed out.

Beka fell to the floor. Oh boy, why did she have to have such a big mouth? Why did she always think after she spoke? Gaheris hadn't deserved that. She had hurt him and now she felt like crying.

Chapter 5: On the beach

Gaheris sat straight up in bed struggling to breathe. His shorts and the sheet were soaked and his erection was still pulsating. He cursed in every language he knew. He got up and took a shower. He changed his sheets and lay on his back, prepared for another night without rest.

Since his fight with Beka, a week ago, he had had the same insane dream every night. It always began wonderfully and ended in disaster. Every time he was on his back, unable to move. Rebecca was straddling him, her head leaning back, her eyes closed and his eager maleness impaling her. Whereas her body was blurred, a mixture of the women he had laid with, her face was crystal clear. His world was reduced to the sensation of her, riding him. When he felt his shaft bursting into flames she always opened her eyes and her cold blue matched with her words "All nietzscheans are the same". She repeated this over and over, but her pace became frenzied and he exploded. Then he woke up.

After that he lay on the bed until the hour of his shift, wondering if he had done something to offend Beka in some way. However Gaheris knew that she was furious with Tyr and she had just vented to him instead of Tyr. At that point his mind went wild with images of Tyr and Beka together. He stayed there, night after night, trying to exorcise those images from his mind.

When he and Beka were in the same room he even didn't look at her. He didn't want her to notice how much she had hurt him. They barely knew each other, how could she hurt him so much? Gaheris missed not only speaking with her but also watching her.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dylan was telling Rhade about the incident on Mobius. He thought Gaheris would find it interesting how a peaceful architect could become a psychotic dictator. Besides their first mission together had been on that planet. But it was obvious his friend’s mind was on another matter. Gaheris had dark circles under his eyes and his mouth was crooked in a grimace.

"So I realized I love the Great Compass and I asked him to marry me" Dylan said casually. "What do you think?"

"Hmm yes, I think it is fine" Rhade absently replied.

Dylan burst out laughing. "Have you heard a thing that I’ve said?"

Gaheris rubbed his eyes "To tell you the truth I lost you at Trance and a button"

Dylan watched him concerned "What happen to you? You look awful"

"I have had some trouble sleeping"

"Care to share or must I ask Andromeda?"

"That's not necessary" The last thing he needed was to discuss his erotic dreams about Beka.

"So…" Dylan waited for his answer.

"Just a misunderstanding with Beka" He replied.

"And that misunderstanding has nothing to do with the way you watch her?" Dylan asked arching his eyebrows.

Rhade looked at him intently "I don't watch her in any way"

"Of course, and I'm the First Triumvir" Dylan replied "Come on, Rhade, you are attracted to her"

Gaheris looked at him for a moment, then sighed "I…I'm…I…"

Dylan laughed "I've never heard you stammer. You have a thing for her!"

Gaheris rubbed the back of his neck and sighed again "I suppose you are right. When you were with Trance and the others on Mobius something happened between Beka and Tyr. She came to the gym, I was there training. She was furious with him, I don't know why. We trained for a while and then she yelled at me and told me I was like other nietzscheans. I lost my patience."

"So she was pissed with Tyr and took it out on you."

Dylan thought about what Gaheris had told him. He was surprised that Rhade admitted his attraction to Beka. Before the Long Night seeing a nietzschean with a human had not been so unusual, however Gaheris had been raised in a pride. He had to learn the human way if he wanted something with Beka, the usual macho alpha display didn't work on her. The other problem was Tyr. Dylan was also aware of the way Tyr looked at Beka. It could be dangerous to have two nietzschean alphas fighting for the same woman.

"You’ve got to talk to her to resolve this problem." Dylan finally spoke

"I'm not the one who has to apologize" Rhade replied defensively.

"I'm not talking about apologizing, I'm just saying you're not going to resolve anything staying here"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

After some complicated negotiations on Sinti Four the Perseids finally joined the New Commonwealth. Trance and Harper had arrived to Andromeda bringing with them Hasturi's diary, even though that was not their mission. Dylan thought it was a good opportunity to give a break to the crew.

Of course Tyr said something about making the most of his time. He took a slipfighter and told Dylan he would be back in a few days. The others, except for Rev Bem who stayed on Andromeda meditating, went in the Maru to enjoy the sun and beach on Sinti Four. They landed near a calm beach with some restaurants around.

Dylan was walking with Rommie along the beach, Harper was teaching Trance to surf and Beka was changing her clothes in the Maru. Gaheris had chosen a quiet place on the beach. He wore just swimming shorts. He lay on the sand on his elbows with his back to the sea to face the sun. He closed his eyes as the sand caressed his skin. Then he caught her scent.

As Gaheris laid his eyes on her he knew he was lost. He swallowed hard, blessing whoever had made those little pieces of fabric which she called a bikini. Two blue triangles barely covering two rounded mounds, another one hiding the apex between her glorious long legs. Soft curved hips, flat stomach with a tempting hollow as navel, slender arms and a delicate column as neck. All covered in a soft creamy skin that every sane man would want to taste. The view of her body put all his fantasies to shame. Beka stood before him smiling.

"May I join you?"

Gaheris felt his mouth suddenly go dry, his loins stirring…and when the hell had he spread his bone blades? "Of course" he managed to answer.

She sat facing him.

"Gaheris, hmm…look, I'm sorry, you know, the gym. I was an ass. I'm really sorry, I'm…" she stammered.

"No need to apologize Rebecca."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Beka took a bottle of sun block from her bag and poured some in her hands. She spread it along her legs, her stomach, her arms and the exposed parts of her chest. She felt Gaheris’ eyes on her. He was watching her with lust. She smiled mischievously "Could you do my back please?"

"It would be a pleasure Rebecca." he answered as he emphasized the word 'pleasure'

She lay on her stomach over her towel and laid her head on her arms. He straddled her ass supporting his weight on his legs, not wanting to crush her. He untied her bikini top and poured some lotion in his hands, first massaging her lower back. Beka soon realized it was more a sensual display then a mere favour. His hands were soft yet strong and they sent shivers through her body. If he could do this just on her back what it would be to feel those hands all over her body, she thought between moans. 'Hey, you're moaning, get a grip Valentine'.

Gaheris' hands continued his erotic dance over her back. He took her words literally massaging every bit of creamy flesh he found. He got to her feet and kneaded her legs. Finally his hands ran down both sides of her slender body, slightly brushing the exposed sides of her breasts.

"Done" he said as he lay on his towel.

Beka stayed there for a moment, very aware of her arousal. She was about to tie the top of her bikini when she found that he had done it. On his side Gaheris had noticed his mistake too late. After touching her nearly naked body, his own was on fire and his manhood was throbbing dangerously.

"Now it's your turn" he heard her.


"You need lotion too or you’ll burn. I'll do your back. It's only fair." She smiled seductively.

Rhade would kill himself before telling her that he didn't need sunblock, he wanted the feeling of those hands on him so he turned on his stomach, exposing his expansive back to her. Beka licked her lips watching all that muscled male flesh at her mercy. It was her turn to straddle his tight butt, however she had no remorse when she settled her weight over him. He barely noticed it but he could feel their bodies separated just with thin fabric. Her hands were sending electric jolts through his body as she rubbed him. He stretched his back at the stimuli, his muscles rippling under her soft magic hands. He didn't fight against the soft growls flowing from his throat.

Beka noticed the growls deepened as she spread more lotion along his strong legs.

"If you turn over I'll do your chest" she murmured in his ear, her breasts slightly splayed over his upper back. She stood up as he turned to lie on his back. She gave a brief gaze to the evident bulge of his shorts before she straddled his hips. He gasped as she pressed her lower body against him.

As Rebecca began to work over his chest, it became more difficult for Gaheris to think clearly. He tried unsuccessfully to take some control over his responses, he didn't want to give her all the fun so easily. However he felt the blood slowly abandoning his head and flooding to other parts. It didn't help the view of her tempting nipples outlined against her top or that intoxicating scent of hers.

Beka was having the time of her life outlining that chiselled pecs, splaying her hands over that broad abs, all hard muscles rippling under her ministrations. It was really a turn on and she was hot as hell. She was too well aware of what was quickly growing and hardening against her, pressing between the sensitive flesh of her legs. Her mind wandered around the things she had heard about the nietzschean male's measures. From what she was feeling it must be more than true, she thought. She looked at his face and found his heavy gaze trained on her. That typical smirk of him played on his lips but his eyes were dark from restrained desire.

She leaned over him to rub his shoulders. Then she continued with his left arm and she watched his forearm thoughtfully.

"You know, I've never seen a nietzschean without the armbands"

His eyes never left hers as he spread the bone blades. Somehow Beka suspected it was some kind of sexual display. She began to stroke the soft skin between the bone blades and he growled deeply.

"You shouldn't do that unless you want to arouse me." He smiled playfully looking where their bodies met "And you don't want that, do you Rebecca?"

She blushed slightly but she continued her strokes "Meaning?"

"That's an erogenous zone" he answered factually.

She laughed "You’re kidding, your bone blades an erogenous zone?"

"Not the bone blades, just the skin around them" he watched her intently.

Then both heard a cough. Dylan and Rommie were watching them with surprise painted over their faces.

"Enjoying the beach?" Dylan asked with arched eyebrows.

Beka felt her face turn red as she tried to stand up but Gaheris held her hips firmly against him "I was…I just…sunblock…" her voice trailed off. Dylan couldn't believe that he’d seen the day when Beka was at a loss for words. However Gaheris had the face of a child in a candy shop.

"Nietzscheans don't need…" Rommie began as Gaheris gave her a deadly glare.

"We have much to discuss Rommie." Dylan interrupted her as he pulled her away. "Let's go."

Gaheris lost his grip on her hips. Beka crossed her arms and glared at him. "What was that Rhade? Why didn't you let me up?"

He sat up with her still astride him, their faces inches apart. "You know why, Rebecca." His voice washed over her, his thumb caressed her bottom lip and her jaw. His eyes never left hers. She was mesmerized by his gaze and his gentle touch. He took her hand and kissed it.

"It would be a pleasure if you joined me for dinner." he murmured.

"Done." Beka heard herself answering. 'What a charming answer Valentine' she thought sarcastically.

"Now stand up please. I need a long cold bath" He smiled "I'll see you on the Maru at 08:00, agreed?" He didn't wait for her answer as he went towards the sea.

Chapter 6: "It's never easy"

Beka paced her room on the Maru, wondering how she could be so nervous. 'It's just dinner Valentine'. Why was it so difficult to find a dress? 'Just a dinner' she thought absentmindly 'with a charm, attractive man, who has a body that doesn't quit, the perfect pecs and muscular arms.' Oh man, she was a hormone factory. She had dated lots of men and always was self-assured but Gaheris had the ability to convert her into a stammering school girl, damn it!

Harper entered the room with a towel over his shoulders "Hey boss, are you..." his voice trailed off as he saw all of Beka's clothes scattered over the bunk. He laughed "I didn't know you had so many dresses."

"Ha ha ha very funny Seamus" She replied "I'm trying to decide what to wear to dinner"

"I'm sure captain Terrific doesn't need you wearing a night dress. It's going to be just us, just friends, you know, casual clothes Beka"

"I'm not going to dinner with you, I have a date" Whoa where did that come from? She thought 'It's not a date, remember, just dinner'. A tiny voice inside her screamed 'You don't want it to be a date? You're an idiot Valentine' 'Oh shut up' her sceptical self answered.

Harper was watching her thoughtfully, a playful smile spreading on his face. "You know, it's funny because Rhade told me he won't be dining with us either." She just looked away and Harper roared with laughter "Oh ho ho Beka, you have a date with mister sir-yes-sir-commander-sir nietzschean!"

Beka fell on the bunk, groaning "Damn, I don't know how I got myself in this mess"

"Well maybe all that touching and feeling on the beach...?" he arched his eyebrows grinning "I saw you. The muscled nietzschean and the hot babe, all cozy." he laughed again.

She paced again "I feel stupid. I don't even know how to dress!"

"Hmmm, let me see. Trust in the Harper, the Harper is good" he replied "If I was a big scary nietzschean who is hot for your bones." he watched her thoughtfully "no leathers and weapons tonight" He took a dress from the bunk "This one, and remember, high heels and red lipstick"

Beka just looked at the dress doubtfully.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gaheris was pacing nervously outside the Maru. Maybe he had been too hasty, maybe she was now offended, maybe she thought he didn't respect her, maybe. His mind was in turmoil and he was sure of only one thing: he wanted Rebecca, his entire being screamed for her companionship.

Gaheris had married very young and he hadn't seen his family as often as he had wanted. When he visited them, his children took up his days and his wives totally consumed his nights. He usually came back to Andromeda more tired than when he had left. Besides he had never indulged himself with casual sexual relationships. However he smiled when he remembered he had promised Dylan half-naked dancers at his bachelor party.

His mind returned to the present. He had never courted a human female, he felt lost with Rebecca. Though that was not the worst thing. Over the years he had learned to control his basic urges so he could work even when surrounded by fertile females. However, all that self-control vanished when he thought about her. There had been a moment on the beach when he had wanted to rip off that scrap of fabric she wore and take her right there on the sand. The cold bath hadn't helped and he had had to manage with his arousal in the shower. It would have to be enough to fight against her charms that night, but he knew that his body would become more demanding towards her with every new day.

Gaheris caught her smell before he heard her footsteps leaving the Maru behind him. His nostrils involuntarily identified the several layers that made up her whole scent: a sweet parfum, the shampoo, the soap, the anti-perspirant and underneath them all her natural appealing scent. She was nervous, he could smell it as he smiled. A second later his smile froze instantly, there was more 'what the...? No, no please, by the Progenitor's bones, she is fertile now.' he became erect instantly as he groaned. He turned on his heels and his eyes widened as he looked at her. He never had seen something as beautiful as that contrast of pale skin and deep red silk. Her dress slid over her body like a cascading waterfall.

With a smile plastered on her lips to cover her nerves, Beka approached Gaheris. He looked magnificent in his black vest and pants. However she was positive sure that he could wear one of Trance's cat suits and he'd still look great. Or better yet, he could just stay in his birthday suit. 'Yeah that would be fine.' Beka silenced that damn voice in her mind and she returned her attention toward her companion, who seemed to have swallowed his own tongue.

"You look" 'Quick, think up something smart' he thought "nice." 'Great, very smart, that's not enough idiot' he thought to himself sarcastically.

Beka suppressed a laugh. She had always seen Rhade so self-assured that it was funny to see him now so shy "Just nice Gaheris?" Her hands ran provocatively over her sides, from her breasts to her hips and up again "Am I not enough for your standards?"

His eyes trailed the same path of her hands "You are the most beautiful woman I've seen in 300 years" 'Damn that's excessive, you're going to scare her off'

She laughed heartedly "And it's probably true" Rhade was watching her lips intently when he awoke from his trance as he heard her laugh "I assure you it's true. Besides" he smirked as he whispered in her ear. "I doubt I'll find a more amazing person than you in another 300 years." He murmured, his warm breath stroking her neck.

Beka was speechless. That man could awaken her body with just his breath. She felt the warmth of his hand on the small of her back as he guided her to the restaurant.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"You're telling me that Dylan has always been the terrific Captain Idealistic!" Beka laughed "Really I can't picture him as the typical cartoon captain, yelling at his poor bighead high guards"

Gaheris couldn't help but laughing too "Actually I was the 'cartoon first officer yelling orders'"

"Well, you do fit the stereotype more." she mocked "I mean, you look more military than Dylan."

He frowned slightly then smirked as he replied "Thanks. I suppose. You know, almost all Alphas of my family have been in the High Guard."

She seemed surprised "You're an Alpha?"

"Of course" He answered arrogantly.

She blinked, confused. "Hey, hold on, how could you be the Alpha of your pride and have time to be high guard too?"

He laughed deeply "Alpha is used to name the superior males. Only ONE Alpha is THE Alpha of the pride but there are more Alphas, superior males, in it"

"So you are an Alpha, superior male with beautiful DNA but you were not the Alpha of your pride" she concluded.

"That's it" Gaheris smiled. Rebecca probably didn't care about his DNA but the nietzschean inside him preferred she noticed his superiority over other males.

"And Tyr? Is he an Alpha male too?" Her question was like a bucket of ice over his head. He watched her intently as he concisely answered her question "Yes" Leaning over the table, he held her hand, his thumb softly stroking her. He looked at her speculatively as he asked "Why do you want to know?"

Beka was finding it difficult to think coherently as his strokes distracted her. She answered "Just curiosity."

He still held his heavy gaze on her, trying to figure out if she was lying. Her breath and pulse stayed normal and her eyes were sincere. He sighed in relief. However he redirected the conversation to other safer matters such as the old Commonwealth, the new one and her life before she had joined them.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hours later Gaheris walked Beka towards the Maru. As they stood in front of each other, her hand was again in his. She began to think he was turning 'hand holding' into a form of art. For the first time that night there was an uneasy silence. Finally she broke it. "Do you want to come in?" Oh boy, she felt like a stupid teenager on her first date.

The familiar smirk curved the corner of his lips "It will be better for both of us if I go to my hotel now" he saw her inquiring gaze "For many reasons which I'm not going to talk about now" He brought her hand to his lips and kissed it, enough to make her shiver. He leaned, his mouth descending over hers as he watched her deeply. He hesitated before brushing his lips briefly over her full ones. Gaheris didn't try to deepen the kiss but just that touch sent sparks throughout their bodies. "I hope we'll repeat this soon" he murmured against her jaw.

"Which one, the dinner or the kiss?" She asked blushing.

He smiled charmly "Actually both. Sleep well Rebecca" Beka leaned against the wall as he went away. Man that had been intense! 'Sleep well' she groaned 'as if it'd be so easy.'

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Two days later, Tyr arrived on Andromeda. Another fruitless search, he thought furiously. Orca pride was showing a surprising resistance to being found. He knew he hadn't been able to convince Freya to leave her pride but he was determined to take her with him, against her own will if necessary. He didn't care about Orca pride, they had proved to be a bunch of inferior trash. However Freya was his first and once wife, her DNA strong. She was the first step to rebuilding the Kodiak pride.

At least on this trip, he had heard about the next marriage between Elsbett Mossadin of the Sabra and the son of the Jaguar Archduke. If these two prides joined, it would be a potential enemy for Drago Kasov.

During his travel Tyr had had plenty time to think and he found himself reflecting about Beka. He remembered their last encounter on Obs. He still thought that interspecies breeding was useless but it was not his intention to offend her. She was strong, a damn good pilot and she had valuable survival skills, she could be a good ally. He should probably keep his mouth closed. Besides it was a fact that his body stirred whenever she was near him and he felt an irrational rage when he often caught her watching Rhade.

Tyr still maintained a weak scrap of hope, stubbornly telling himself that his reaction to her was just what his instincts dictated to him in the presence of every female when another Alpha was in the way. However this line of thought seemed to become more inconsistent every day.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"So Tyr, you don't have any hidden intention towards Elsbett Mossadin, do you?" Dylan asked uneasy. They were talking about the arrival of the Sabra female the next day. More precisely Dylan was talking and Tyr was answering with monosyllabic answers. Dylan usually wouldn't find this fact worrying, Tyr didn't spend words easily. However tonight he was watching Rhade and Beka like a hawk.

Beka and Gaheris were on a couch talking. In fact they were very close to one another and Dylan was surprised at his friend's attitude. It was not usual to see Gaheris so relaxed and comfortable. Dylan saw how Gaheris held her hand and caressed her palm as they talked. He leaned in to say something in her ear and she giggled.

Dylan returned his attention to the nietzschean near him. Dylan watched the unreadable expression on his face as he spoke to him "Tyr" "No, I have no interest in that female. My interest is limited to the fact that the Drago-Kazov will have another enemy." Tyr answered his previous question as his eyes never let the scene before him.

"Something you want to share?" Dylan inquired. Then Harper joined them. He pointed towards Beka and Gaheris as he spoke "After the thing on the beach I thought it was just sex but man, if they're going to be romantic I'll puke" He laughed.

"Sex? Beach?" Tyr asked with darkened expression.

"Oh yeah, they rubbed each other with sun screen, I thought they would burst in flames" Dylan groaned as Harper continued "And then there was that dinner date." He couldn't say more as Tyr stormed out Rec. "Hey what the hell happen to him?"

Dylan rubbed his face "It's never easy"

Chapter 7: Nietzscheans...

Dylan stood uneasily between Tyr and Gaheris as all the crew expected the arrival of Elsbett Mossadin's shuttle. Dylan thought that it actually wasn't such a good idea to escort her to her wedding. During the travel to Jaguar space the Andromeda would be a target for every enemy of both prides.

'Take it easy.' he told himself, then spoke to the others. "All right everyone, best behaviour. You are all ambassadors for the Commonwealth"

The docking bay doors opened and Elsbett approached to them. "I'm surprised" Tyr murmured.

"Why?" Dylan asked.

"I thought all Sabrans were ugly"

Beka watched the nietzschean woman as she stood in front of them. She had to give her credit, she was attractive and she had that so damn self assured attitude. She glanced at Rhade and she sighed in relief as she noticed that he didn't seem very affected by the Sabra chick.

The nietzschean female stood before them, watching as if they were ants as she spoke, "I am Elsbett Mossadin, out of Lucrezia by Tamerlane." She gazed at Tyr. "Fine specimen. You must be the Kodiak."

"I'm Tyr Anasazi, out of Victoria by Barbarossa" Beka groaned. Why did Tyr have to always look so magnificent? His deep voice sounded as impressive as always as he stated his lineage, his massive chest swelled in pride.

"And you must be the captain" Elsbett ran an appreciative gaze over Rhade who stood with his hands clasped in his back, features stoic. Dylan's mouth hit the floor and Harper coughed to cover his laughs. "Have your human slaves carry my luggage" She continued scorning as she looked briefly at Harper "His arms look scrawny. Make sure he doesn't drop anything"

Dylan was about to speak when Elsbett gazed at Rev Bem with obvious hate. "And him...why is he alive? I shoot magog for sport." Rev's growl didn't intimidate her.

Trance came to her with her best smile "Hello Miss Alpha Nietzschean Lady, I picked this up for you" She offered her a bouquet.

Elsbett gave her a patronizing pat "Thank you. Cute purple monkey" She asked Tyr "Is your pet housetrained?"

Tyr was having a hard time to not laugh at Dylan's incredulous face "Shall I show you your quarters?" It was better to get that female away from the crew, especially Beka. Tyr could see that she probably was planning the most painful way to rip out the other female eyes.

The sabran dismissed him with her hand "Don't bother. I'll choose whatever's best" She left with the same arrogance. Tyr chuckled as he followed her.

"What the hell?" Beka began

Dylan interrupted her as he faced Gaheris "At what point are you going to tell her that I run the ship?"

Gaheris couldn't help but smile innocently "I didn't do anything."

Dylan arched his eyebrows "Well that's the problem."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Beka was reading in Rec as the others played cards. Elsbett was done with Tyr and was now hanging around Rhade all the time, trying to obtain some valuable information. On one hand it gave the others some relief since the Sabran considered them worthless of her attention, on the other hand Beka was royally pissed seeing that woman around the man who was...what was he to her?

Harper sat near her to spy the flexi that Beka was reading with such interested. "What the..." he exclaimed as he took the flexi. He began to read it with a mocking grin "'Nietzschean Mating Rituals'? Boss what do you have in mind reading this?" he continued his reading oblivious to his crewmate's reactions. Dylan looked dismayed at the thought at having to prepare for an apocalypse, Trance just giggled and Rommie didn't stray from her neutral appearance. Tyr's features changed from astonishment to disappointment and finally an unreadable expression as he glared at Beka.

"None of your concern." She replied as she caught the flexi again. She looked around her and added defensively "What?! It's just scientific curiosity!"

Tyr was still gazing at her intently "It's very different from the trash you usually read Beka"

"Bite me." She replied acidly. Then Rhade entered the room with Elsbett on his heels. He sat on a couch and the nietzschean woman stuck to him like a leech. A blind man could see Gaheris' dark expression as his patience thinned. However Beka was too busy mumbling curses at Elsbett, Rhade and men in general.

"Looks like our guest has finally found some entertainment-" Tyr said watching Beka.

"He doesn't seem very happy" Dylan tried to soothe the situation. He saw Beka turn red of rage as Elsbett roamed her hand over Gaheris thigh.

"She dresses like a cheap whore" Beka snapped.

"Are you aware that she can hear you from there, Captain Valentine?" Tyr grinned at her.

"Really? So" she spoke louder "that uppity bitch can hear me from there?" The other female gazed her and Beka smiled brightly as she gave the Sabran a thumbs up.

"Beka!" Dylan exclaimed. The last thing they needed was a catfight.

"What? Oh, I said it aloud. I'm sorry" She replied innocently.

"Hey, boss be careful. If looks could kill..." Harper hissed.

Beka grinned. "Don't worry Harper, I can manage that BITCH." she looked at Dylan "Oops, I did it again."

Tyr leaned over Beka as he gazed at her. "Nietzschean males are allowed to have several mates you know. In fact the more wives a man takes the more offspring he will have. Rhade had five wives." He brushed her ear as he whispered "Maybe you should reconsider your future behaviour."

Dylan sighed. Tyr was adding fuel to the fire and it was obvious why. However the reply from Beka came quickly. "Well Tyr, if more wives equals superior we can safely say that Rhade is superior to you, can't we?" She watched him cooly.

'Touché' Dylan thought as the grin faded from Tyr's face.

"You must not speculate about my private life. You don't know me." The nietzschean replied.

"Yeah, whatever" Beka said boringly "I'm going to bed" She had had enough of seeing that woman drool over Gaheris.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Beka went to the Maru and got inside the shower. Her mind was still recalling the last event on Rec.

She just couldn't bear that woman. She, Beka Valentine was the Alpha woman in the ship, not that nietzschean dolly. How dare she hang over Rhade like that? And how dare Gaheris allow her?

'Of course, put a bimbo in front of them and their groins command. Men.' Jealousy got the best of her as her thoughts ran wild. She put her palms flat against the wall as she growled 'Low human woman is not so easy discarded, oh no, if he thinks he can cheat on me I'll teach him' She got out of the shower and didn't think to dry herself. "Never mess with a Valentine." she concluded as she dressed and stormed out.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gaheris sighed as the door of his room closed behind him. He took off his armbands and the uniform jacket and he sat on the couch rubbing his eyes. He was fed up with being civil to Elsbett Mossadin. The time he spent tolerating that woman was time he didn't get to spend with Beka.

Gaheris felt the need to clarify his intentions to Rebecca as much as to clarify his own thoughts. There were a lot of things he had to think about, learn and adjust in his mind. The doorbell broke his reflections and he allowed access. He expected it to be Dylan, or worse, that dense Sabra woman. He was not prepared for a very agitated Beka, who began to pace the room nervously. He noticed that she had tiny beads of water running from her damp hair down her neck and back. Her white shirt was soaked too, clutching her body, her pale pink nipples impertinently claiming attention against the fabric. Maybe she had forgotten to undress for showering, he told himself, or maybe she just wanted to drive him insane. His pants were becoming uncomfortably tight.

"...the Sabra?" Damn, he hadn't been listening as he had been too busy with a mental picture of his mouth tasting those peaked candies.

Beka was pissed and him not answering her didn't help. His eyes seemed glued to her chest and when Beka looked at herself she understood why. And now she couldn't cover herself and retreat without appearing weak.

"Gaheris!" she snapped as she stood with her hands on her hips, tapping with her foot on the floor.

The yell shook him out of his distraction. "I'm listening" However his eyes stayed on her body as he replied.

"Would you mind speaking at me, not my breasts please?" Her voice dripped with sarcasm as she crossed her arms over her chest to limit his view.

He gazed at her eyes intently with not a shadow of guilt, just a slight smirk on his lips "That's difficult if you come here with such revealing attire."

She blushed fiercely. Damn him, he always came through the mess unscathed "That's not the point. You're the high and mighty nietzschean, you probably have some enhanced self-control. And you don't do humans, do you?" she concluded accusingly.

Gaheris sighed deeply as stroked her arms "Rebecca, if I don't "do" humans, how do you call all our dates, our kisses"

Beka cut his speech "Come on Rhade, admit it, you've been playing with the human chick but now that that Sabra whore is here you are going to get rid of me like yesterday's trash." She was yelling at this point "I have news for you: Valentines aren't so easily discarded."

He laughed, "I can't believe you're jealous." his voice softened "I couldn't care less for that woman, Rebecca."

Beka made a surprising imitation of his brow quirk as she replied, mocking his tone. "I couldn't care less for that woman..." She noticed that he had been coming towards her and now she had her back against the wall. "If that is true why didn't you stop her? Because, in case you didn't realize, she was about to kneel and suck your dhmmm..." Her words were swallowed by his kiss. His lips moved possessively, forcefully demanding free access to her mouth. As their tongues met for the first time a burning bolt ran throughout their bodies. It seemed to last forever, one mouth swallowing the other, in a starving fight to explore the other's secrets.

Somehow Beka gathered her willpower and broke the kiss and Gaheris took it as an opportunity to explore the soft skin of her jaw, one of his warm hands still holding the back of her neck, the other trailing circles with a single finger at the juncture of her pale neck and shoulder.

"I was talking." Beka panted. She was having a hard time thinking clearly as his tongue began to mimic his finger on the patch of skin below her ear.

"Continue" he demanded between heated licks "I'm listening"

"Hmmm" Divine, his tongue was driving her insane! "Hmmm, I... hmmm" She struggled to form coherent words "I was saying that she..."

"I'm tired of listening." He kissed her again, hungrily. Her hands snaked around him, drinking in the sensation of his taut muscles, moving restlessly under his black sweater. He was overwhelming.

Gaheris couldn't get enough of her, she was intoxicating. Her moans, the delighted taste of her mouth, the inebriating scent...'Drago help me' he thought as his determination dissolved in his foggy mind. He found his own way under the wet shirt toward her breasts, rounded mounds crested with hardened peaks, fitting in his hands as if they belonged to him. Inside him the power he associated with mate, sex and pleasure was stirring. He crushed his hips against her body as he moved rhythmically, mirroring what he had in mind.

His tongue was inside her mouth, thrusting, in and out, in and out, sucking, teeth playfully nipping her bottom lip. His hands cupped her breasts, scorching her skin with his warmth. His throbbing erection pressed against her stomach, so hard, so alive. The need to touch him was becoming a life or death imperative to her. Beka eagerly tugged the damn sweater over his head. As his chiselled chest was exposed to her she didn't bothered with the offensive garment, letting it secure his arms over his head. In a fluid motion she turned them, backing him to the wall and she trailed a path of burning licks all over his pecs as her hands kneaded his back. God, it was fascinating how his chest heaved, covered with a glistening sheen of perspiration. Beka bit his chest hard, one of her most secret fantasies, ripping a deep growl from his throat and she smiled against his heated skin.

Gaheris was subjugated by the sensation of Beka. The sweater still trapped his arms over his head, leaning against the wall as he felt no strength in his body. He could feel her, assaulting his senses. Waves after waves of her intoxicating scent reached him through the fabric, he could almost taste it. Her tongue, her hands, her teeth nipping at his flesh, all combined to drown him in agonizing need. His intention to speak, to tell her that they should go slowly, now sounded so absurd! She was rightfully his, he was going to take her then and there, she would understand, it was so clear to him. His determination changed in urgency as her hand began tortuous strokes on his aching manhood through his pants. He began to fight furiously against the uncooperative sweater.

"Excuse me" Both jumped as Andromeda's hologram popped up behind them "I'm sorry for interrupting your...entertainment but Dylan requires both of you on Command" She then blinked out.

After a deep breath, Gaheris fixed his sweater so it was properly on. Beka seemed to be very interested in her boots. The sudden interruption was like a cold shower and now she was embarrassed. As she went to the door, he pulled her to him and kissed her again, this time slowly and softly.

He broke the kiss before he would forget his duties and he gazed at her intently "This is not over" he smiled "Now go and put something over that shirt" He kissed her hand and he got his jacket. Beka smirked as she heard him mutter something about killing Dylan.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Beka, good to see you." Dylan greeted sarcastically as she sat in the pilot's chair.

Beka ignored him as she answered "Now what the hell happened?"

"We are surrounded by the Drago Kasov fleet" Tyr replied.

"We can't just have a day without someone trying to blow us up." Her voice had a hint of exasperation.

Tyr glazed at her blankly "The enemy never awaits for you to conclude your...activities"

Beka frowned as she gave a brief gaze towards Gaheris. He stared at the screen but smug smile played in his face. She watched Tyr intently as she spoke "What do you mean Anasazi?"

Rommie interrupted them "They're hailing"

"Who is sending the message?"

"Someone calling himself Fleet Marshal Cuchulain Nez-Pearce"

"Put it through" Dylan ordered

"Belay that!" They all looked at Tyr.

"You know him?" Dylan inquired.

"By reputation. He masterminded the Dragons' campaign against the Than colonies in the Orion Arm." Tyr replied. Dylan stared speculatively at the dark nietzschean. The Dragons were probably there for Elsbett Mossadin but he was not sure that Tyr knew Cuchulain just by reputation. Dylan had his own speculations about the crate that Tyr had brought from Midden.

"This guy is brilliant. He nearly doubled the size of the Drago Kasov fleet in less than two years." Beka spoke "Dylan he's dangerous."

"After my little excursion to Enga Redoubt, it's best if Cuchulain never learns of my presence here." Tyr pointed at Dylan "I advise extreme caution" He left command in large strides.

Dylan pinched the bridge of his nose tiredly. It was never easy. Just one calm mission, that was all he asked for. "On screen."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dylan lay on the bed watching the pattern of the luxury room. A bone blade attached forearm rested loosely over his chest, a reminder of who he had slept with. They hadn't gotten much sleep.

In the afterglow of the heated sex, Dylan was replaying their last hours. After her plea to stay with her, he had expected another kind of woman, maybe a sweet creature hidden under the cold murderer but she had been an unexpectedly dominating, forceful lover. It was not that he was complaining but Dylan had the distinct sensation that she had used him.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dylan came back after leaving Elsbett Mossadin with her new husband Charlemagne Bolivar. Gaheris couldn't imagine what the hell his friend had been thinking to mate with the Sabra female. He smirked. Obviously Dylan hadn't been.

Gaheris reached the door of Beka's room and took some deep breaths. Then he pushed the doorbell and the doors opened. She was before him with a seductive smile and a promising brightness in her clear eyes. He sighed. This was going to be difficult.

As the doors closed Beka backed him against them and sealed his mouth with hers. Damn, really difficult, he thought as he collected all his willpower to break the kiss.

"Rebecca wait, we must talk." Gaheris watched her as she adopted a defensive attitude.

"Must talk? I don't like how this sounds" As usual she was covering her fears with her infamous tough girl attitude. "Is it now that you tell me that this never works because I have defective DNA and all that crap?"

"I thought you had noticed by now that I don't care about that. You'll never hear those words from my mouth." He saw her relaxing. Now the almost impossible task: to make her understand without scaring her. "I want us to be together." He watched her face of panic. Huh maybe he had not chosen the right words "I mean I want us to explore a serious romantic relationship." Damn why couldn't this be easier, he thought as he realized that she was now definitively terrified.

"You are not talking about the wife and baby factory thing, are you?"

He laughed "No, I'm not". 'Yet' he added to himself. He leaned and kissed her. "I mean that I want you and I need you Rebecca."

She arched her eyebrows as she smiled mischievously "So you want to be what? My boyfriend, my lover?"

"I don't care how you label it." He kissed her again, more passionately.

"No commitments?"

"No commitments but I don't share you."

"Neither do I." Her kiss was a promise of much more.

He reluctantly broke it. "I should go." He gave her a heart stopping smile and one last kiss. Beka stood with the taste of him still in her mouth, stunned by his sudden departure.

Chapter 8: To give and to take

Tyr sank deeply into her body. His muscles were strained, tensing like pistons. She was hot wet tightness. Her moans were satisfactory, her pleas for him to take her harder, faster fed his male ego. But he was not able to concentrate. Something was wrong in the whole event.

He shook his head as he gave his attention to the woman beneath him. This was a mistake but Tyr Anasazi was not going to let a female unsated. He incremented his pace, grinding his pelvis against her clitoris until a cry broke from her. He felt her inner walls contracting rhythmically around him as she rode her climax and he thrust few more times as he reached a devaluated, unsatisfactory orgasm.

Tyr lay on his back recovering his breath. She fell asleep almost immediately. He gave her one last gaze, then he put his clothes on and quietly he left the room.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Back to Andromeda Tyr got to the gym and punished hard his body. The problem didn't go with the sweat and when his last punch broke the sack he sat on the bench, the taste of frustration still fresh in him.

His last desperate action had proven to be a total failure and a sign of weakness but as Machiavelli said "The purpose justifies the means". He had gone to the nearest drift, he had chosen a human female and they had sex. He had been careful, the woman wanted just a one night stand and his nose told him that she was not fertile at that time. She was small but slender, dark hair and eyes, she was opposite to Beka.

Maybe I just have some aberrant curiosity, he had told himself. He was wrong, he had been thinking about the blonde captain of the Eureka Maru while he was with the other human female. It was madness. His mind had argued a thousand times the utter stupidity of his insane addiction to Beka Valentine, but whenever she was near him his lower body refused to hear the carefully developed argument. The woman of Miden had awoken protective instincts in him, but those of a brother toward his siblings. Beka had reached his very nietzschean core from the single instant he put his eyes on her. She brought to the surface things that only a nietzschean female should awake. He had to do something about it soon.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Lying on his bed Gaheris was having his own torment because of the same woman. 'And now what?' he stared at the ceiling lost in reflections. He had accepted her culture. Now he was her boyfriend. He snorted 'boyfriend, imagine it'

How would he greet her from now? 'Hello Rebecca, you know you must be acknowledged as MINE but hey I'm your boyfriend so give me a peck in the cheek and...'

"Fack!" he yelled out. It would be so easy: he display, she accept and they mate. Why did humans complicate all things so much? Why did they cover the true purpose of a relationship under layers of useless sentimentality? 'Love, ah!' Yes he had feelings for Rebecca, feelings he couldn't identify yet but love? He didn't believe in love...did he? Gaheris gave a frustrated groan. Great now he was casting doubt on his beliefs. He rolled over his stomach to muffle a growl against the pillow.

He was developing a new insane possessiveness towards her. Not the best attitude to coax a woman like Rebecca into commitment. He would have to control it in order to apply the just pressure so she didn't run to hide. And he knew he must keep in his pants because if they mate he would see her as his no matter what happened.

It was another problem: he was not precisely acquainted with 'make out'. With nietzschean females all was usually very effective: they got aroused easily, they copulated and end of story. Something told him that Beka would be much more demanding and he had never been with a human woman. Then he remembered the words of his father: "About a female's desire let your instincts guide you" Good, his instincts had never failed him.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"This is so good Gaheris" Beka exclaimed enthusiastically as he gave her an amusing gaze "What did you say it's call?"

"Lasagna" he answered, his attention diverted between her enthusiasm and his meal "It's a recipe from Earth, very ancient. Do you want more?"

She looked at him with an speculative smile playing on her lips "That depends. What do you have for dessert?"

He held her gaze with his own as he smirked "What would you want?"

"Hmmm...Surprise me"

Gaheris took the plates away and he brought a dish and a bowl to a small table besides the couch. He sat and motioned her to come to him. Beka approached him smiling, her skirt showing tantalizing amount of her slender thighs. Her eyes flashed with delight as she saw the dessert "Strawberries? I've not eaten them since I was a child!"

He took her hand and pulled her in his lap. He took a fruit and dipped it in the bowl of chocolate sauce. Gaheris fed her, watching intently as she sucked the chocolate before taking the strawberry inside her mouth.

She chewed slowly as she returned the favour. She glazed him with a cocky grin "So what about sex?"

The question caught Gaheris off his guard and he almost choked "What about it?"

"I have read about sex and nietzscheans and all I got was a headache"

He laughed hearty "Why do you read when you can have first hand information?"

"I like to be informed about my man" He arched his eyebrow at her use of the possessive but he let her continue "It seems that your guys are a can I say?...uptight about the fun"

Gaheris fed her again as he tried to soothe the matter "Among my people the pleasure of sex is a way for reproduction"

"If that's your philosophy there will be a lot of nietzschean unsatisfied woman. You get in, you come, you get off and that's all folks?"

"Of course not! If the female doesn't obtain any pleasure she will be unreceptive to his male and the opportunity of breeding disappears" It was weird, talking with her about this as if it was a physiology class.

"But yet there is not much place for making out" Beka was playing now with his large hand, sliding her fingers through his.

"Making out?" Gaheris gave her another fruit before his hand stroked her jaw.

"Yes, making out, you know" she said casually "Kissing, touching, groping...the usual stuff"

"I imagine 'the usual stuff' is not the same thing for both of us"

"Then tell me" She requested as her hand traced the contours of his face.

"Nietzschean females are easily stimulated and we copulate quite effectively. If the woman is ovulating she gets pregnant. That's the story"

Beka got another strawberry and licked it sensually as she spoke "Yes I love when you talk dirty" She laughed as she popped the red fruit inside her mouth. Gaheris was feeling very interested in her eating the dessert. His interest began to be noticeable to Beka against her hip and she wiggled on his lap just to tease him. He obliged to focus on the conversation.

"And what about me?" She asked.

"What about you?" His hand was actually at its own will, travelling up through her thigh.

"Maybe I'm not as 'easy stimulated' as the nietzschean chicks. Definitively I don't want to reproduce just now thank you very much" she paused as she encircled his neck with her hands "and I DO like making out"

"Rebecca I know you better than you think. About children" Just wait some time, he thought "I know you do not felt ready for it." He teased her full lips with his "I'm eager to learn what pleases you. I want to know you body and its secrets before we fully intimate" It is not a lie, he told himself, just half true.

"Okay" Beka breathed as she captured his mouth with hunger of her own. She sucked his bottom lip, scrapping with her teeth as he moaned in delight.

The taste of chocolate and strawberries mingled in their tongues. His head reeled with the sweetness of her mouth, the silken recesses. Her breath quickened and her heart was beating an invitation to him.

Divine, the man can kiss! Beka thought. Her hands drowned in his dark hair, crushing his lips to hers, drinking in his wonderful taste. She moved to straddle his lap. A low growl rose from somewhere deep in his chest, the reverberations travelling throughout her body, wetness forming between her legs and the peaks of her nipples tingling.

Gaheris took the opportunity to stroke her toned thighs. So soft, her skin was pure velvet. The fragrance of her arousal was mist enveloping them. His hands sought instinctively her buttocks and pulled her lower body against his throbbing arousal. She whimpered in his mouth as he massaged her firm flesh. The skirt was in his way and he pulled the offensive garment up around her waist.

This had to be heaven. The battle of their tongues was full scaled. The touch of Gaheris' hands was scorching and the hard ridge pressed against the sensitive flesh between her legs was her undoing. Her mind allowed her body to seek what she needed as she moved back and forward against his erection, making him groan in her mouth. Cold air washed over one buttock as he wrapped his hand in her hair pulling her head back to expose her neck. His mouth ravished her throat roughly as Beka grounded her lower boy against him.

His hands lowered the straps of her top and it joined the skirt in her waist. Gaheris stared at the pale skin in stark contrast with the dusky rose of her nipples, already hardened only for him. He cupped one breast and massaged the rounded mound and he pinched the aching peak, watching her face, heavy lids and swollen lips, her chest flushed with excitement.

"Ohh, yes...there" Rebecca sobbed as he brushed the sensitive tip. He felt a shuddering throughout her and he gloried in her receptiveness to his touch. His hands paid fully attention at her breasts, stroking, grazing the sensitive tips with his thumbs and occasionally pinching and rolling the swollen peaks between his fingers. His tongue mapped her neck licking, sucking and gently nipping. Her moaning encouraged him as he bit at the juncture of her pale neck and shoulder and he kneaded her rounded mounds roughly.

Damn it hurts but it felt so good. Beka leaned her head to a side giving free access to his assaults. His hot tongue soothed the mark of his bite with slow licks. Felt so incredible, so good. He was so self-assured, so powerful...Her panties was soaked. Her lower body was on fire and he had yet to touch her there. She grasped Gaheris' hand and guided him where she wanted him to touch her but he slapped her hand "Sh sh sh. Not yet"

"Ga..he..ris" She complained.

"I said not yet. You have to develop some patience Rebecca" He chuckled against her throat. His mouth clamped around one eager nipple and she forgot to complains, forgot everything except him. Gaheris gripped her hips steadying her motions, the friction of he body against his shaft was unbearable. He sucked greedily her nipple and her back bowed, crushing his mouth to her chest. He engulfed one supple breast in his mouth, licking languorously the impossible softness of her skin. He gave the same attention to the other mound as his free hand finally snaked downwards.

Gaheris teased her with barest brushes of his fingertips over her dampened thong as he stroked the inside of her thigh. He snaked his hand inside the scrap of silk and he smiled against her breast at the discovery of hairless sex. He teased her stroking the naked flesh avoiding the inner folds that hid her sensitive bud. He slid a long finger inside her moistened channel. Gaheris enjoyed immensely the picture of her face as her breath became to short gasps.

Her swollen clitoris ached for his touch but he stimulated her burying his finger in her willing body. Gaheris probed at her inner walls, stroking and curling. When he brushed a spongy spot deep inside her the sharp cry of pleasure from her lips told him all he needed to know.

Beka opened her eyes as she felt the absence of his touch inside her. He redraw his finger "mhhh" a complained moan from her.

"Mhhh?" He watched her eyes widened as he deliberately licked clean his glistening digit. For Drago Sake, one taste of her arousal and he was lost, addicted. He just wanted to screw her senseless but he'd be damned if he let his own teasing at her take the best of him.

"You know you are going to pay for this Gaheris" She groaned as he licked her pink aureoles methodically. Beka felt her core contracting in frustrating anticipation. Gaheris sucked her nipples almost painfully. Her skin burned and her clit begged for his hand and "ohhh" Sharply two fingers penetrated her core as his thumb finally glidened between her soaked folds of flesh. His thumb sought for her throbbing nub and his hand found a maddening rhythm. Yes now she really felt the pure lust overwriting her reason. She began to ride wildly his long fingers, looking frantically or release.

"Uhn...uhn...please!" Gaheris took pity of her breathless plea as her motions became erratic.

"Shhh" His arm rounded her waist, stilling her body. Gaheris stroked her with increased pressure on her hardened clitoris as his fingers kept his explorations, buried deep in her hot slickness. It was glorious when he felt the constrictions of her body around his hand as she came screaming his name.

She thought she had screamed his name, but it was difficult to hear something apart the blood pounding in her ears. The world blurred around her as the wave of her climax shook her body violently. The oxygen finally came back to her lungs as shuddering ran throughout her entire frame. As she returned slowly from her foggy minded state she noticed Gaheris cradling her against his chest "Mhhhhhh" A long moan of utter satisfaction.

"Am I that good? Do you forget how to speak?" she felt the smile in his voice. He pulled her top covering her upper body in a vain attempt to calm his painful erection.

"You're full of your self, aren't you?" She moved to rearrange her thong and she felt the hard bulge beneath her hand "What are we going to do with you?"


"Yes, you and this" She stroked him emphatically.

Gaheris groaned at her teasing "If you don't aggravate it more I'll take care of that later"

Beka's hand squeezed him through the fabric as her tongue traced from his Adam apple to his lips. She brushed them with her full ones "What kind of lover would I be if I'd let you like a tent? Besides" she concluded as she pulled his red shirt off and discarded it somewhere behind her "this is about giving and taking and it's time you take some" She grinned deviously.

Gaheris groaned loudly as Beka consumed his chest with eager lips and tongue. At some moment he wasn't aware she had him naked. She continued her travel downwards, finally kneeling between muscled legs. Beka watched lustily his nude form. Man he was gorgeous. His head was thrown back, leaning over the top of the couch, his jaw tightly clenched and his dark hair messy. His skin, glistening with perspiration, was a soft veil over the hard musculature. Her eyes widened when they rested on his straining erection. It seems that Mr. Museveni has done his homework, she thought. He was nicely proportionate to the size of his body, so he was large and thick. 'A little too much large, man' she told to herself as she worried his lip. Yet it was the beautiful sight of perfect maleness. Curved upwards almost arrogantly, a thick vein running from the reddened head to the heavy sack of his testicles. The softest line of hair down his navel joining the dark patch of his pubis.

Gaheris opened his eyes when he felt her motionless. Beka was staring at his groin biting her lip. He didn't complain about her appraisal but it was taking too much time.


"Uh, yes?"

"Is something wrong?"

She finally tore her eyes apart from his lower body "No, everything fine here" Beka replied trying to sound nonchalantly. She gave another brief gaze at her pennis and frowned as she spoke, her voice amused "What kind of freaking monsters are the ubbers chicks to fit with THAT?!" she pointed emphatically at him "because let me inform you that I don't know if I'll can"

Gaheris threw back his head as he laughed soundly. The most amazing woman was kneeling in front of his naked body and she was complaining about his size! It took a second to turn his laugh into a sharp groan as she slid his hardened flesh inside her mouth. He couldn't say what was more difficult at that time: breathe or think.

Beka licked with devious calmness the underside of the swollen head as he watched her with eyes of the size of full moons. He was gasping breathlessly.

"It's your first time, isn't it?" He barely nodded. Her mouth engulfed him again in slick inferno, the soft full lips dragging the foreskin over the engorded head on their way up while her hand pumped at the base of his shaft. He just took the overwhelming ecstasy as his entire body tightened with expectation.

Beka felt a rush of pride at her power over him. Gaheris was the perfect erotic picture at this moment, moaning in rapturous agony, his fist tightly closed, fighting against invisible primal needs. Beads of sweat trailed his heaving chest, his hips moving upwards to seek her mouth and his abs tensing and relaxing relentlessly. Beka gently squeezed his balls and his growl encouraged her to forget gentleness and be rougher as her tempo increased with every new motion.

He couldn't stand much more, the need for release was haunting him, pushing him "Reb..." his gasped warning dead in his lips. Stars behind his eyes, and the building tighten of his whole body exploding throughout his groin, Gaheris came with a wild feral growl as he emptied in her mouth with sharp shuddering jerks.

His warm fluid filled her mouth and she swallowed convulsely as she felt him twitch over her tongue. Beka stroked the hot length of Gaheris with lips and tongue until his body lay spent. She got to the couch and cuddled besides him, her hand tracing lazily patterns over his heaving wet chest.

Gaheris finally collected himself enough to speak coherently "That has been..." he struggle to find the words.

"Indeed" her reply had a hint of amusement.

The scent of his semen was strong in her. How could he imagine that something so foreign to him as a female taking his seed inside her mouth as he ejaculated and swallowing it would be so damn arousing? Gaheris lifted her chin so he could kiss her deeply. He had still the taste of her arousal, sweet and spicy fresh in his tongue. It mingled in their mouths with the flavour of his thick and somehow bitter release. He felt her hesitation. He frowned at her.

She stroked his cheek to soothe his face "It's just men usually don't know" He arched his eyebrow expectantly. Great, the genetically enhanced intellect was dense at times "Men don't like to kiss after this"

"I like" he claimed her mouth again as her hands roamed over his chest, playing with his nipples. Gaheris got hard again and growled as he stilled her hands. He stood up and dressed. Then he sat and pulled Rebecca to him.

"No more touching games Rebecca" He warned pointing at her.

"I was barely grazing you. Surely you don't get all worked up for nothing"

He guided her hand to the ragging bulge of his pants "This is what your 'nothing' is doing to me"

"Ah, that wonderful stamina. Maybe you need more help to get rid of it" She smiled seductively.

"Yes, I need you to stay with your hands quiet" he stroked softly her cheek.

Beka changed the subject, putting aside in her mind the advantages of a nietzschean lover "Rommie told me that it's going to be Dylan's birthday" She cuddle against him more tightly "We have been planning a surprise for him" She told him about their plan "Are you in?"

Gaheris sighed deeply. He thought that it would be a failure, not to tell it would put all of them in unnecessary risk, but she was so excited..."I'm in".


Chapter 9: White Hell


Dylan ran desperately through the corridors of the ship as the warning bombarded his ears.

"Warning, AP valve malfunction in reactor chamber. Repeat, AP malfunction in reactor chamber"

"Blend off excess anti-protons! Initiate emergency venting!" Why did he have a crew if they weren't there when he needed? "Andromeda where is Rhade?"

"He is in command Captain" the AI replied "he won't get there at time"

He finally reached the reactor chamber and he stopped in shock with his lungs crying for oxygen.

"Surprise!" There they were Harper, Rev, Trance, Gaheris, Rommie and Beka. The initial anger within him dissolved as he looked in amazement the huge cake with unnumbered candles. His crew was singing, not quite in tune but enthusiastically 'Happy birthday'. Is really Rhade singing or I'm crazy? He thought.

"Ah, we got you" Harper laughed as he spoke to Trance "Look at that face. That's why you don't tell him a week ahead of time!"

"Who put you out to this Rommie?"

"Gaheris overrode my emergency protocols. They said it was necessary for the gag" She offered at the evident surprise in the face of her captain.

Dylan stared at his first officer astonished "You sabotaged my ship?"
Rhade looked as innocent as he could which was not too much "I know it's not the half naked dancers but we did the best we could" He gave him a half smile as he arched an eyebrow.

"Half naked dancers?" Beka looked pensive as her clear eyes gleamed humorously "Maybe that can be arranged" She looked at Trance and Rommie "What do you think about it girls?"

Dylan face took in a deep red as Trance and Beka giggled at him. Rommie tried to hide her amusement the best she could.

"Great idea, I support it! I'll put the music and" Harper voice trailed off as Gaheris gave him a warning gaze.

"Blow out the candles now!"

Dylan watched the cake "There are so many of them"

"We included the three hundred and three years you spent frozen in time" Rev explained.

"But don't worry, you don't look a day ever two hundred, old man"

"Thank you Harper, as smart as always. Sometimes I feel like it" Dylan gazed at them "I'm going to need some help here"

As all the candles where blown out they clapped soundly. Over the giggles of Trance, the jokes of Harper and the verbal sparring between Beka and Gaheris Dylan heard the calm voice of Rev "May your next year bring you wisdom and kindness"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The idea of return to Tarn Vedra was more than tempting. For Dylan it was to recover a piece of the life he had lost. On the other hand he understood the risk in a quest which could perfectly be a fake.

"Have you called me?" Rhade stood in front of him with his hands clasped behind his back. Dylan hid his smile, the military inside his friend always came out, he thought as he watched his pose.

"I'd like to know your opinion as first officer and friend about this 'present' of Beka"

"I think it's too dangerous and the possibilities of success are minimal" he had supported Beka in this matter but he was going to take every opportunity to let known that he didn't like it.

Dylan looked surprised "Have you been so blunt about this with Beka?"

"I'm nietzschean, I value my life"

Dylan frowned as he laughed "Who are you and where is Gaheris Rhade? You are becoming soft!"

He smirked nonchalantly "I'm just using my survival skills and they tell me that now the best strategy is adaptation. There will be another time to make the things at my will" He strode out.

"Yeah, adapting my ass" Dylan mumbled "Andromeda where is Beka?"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

'Command codes for the Maru' Mr. Self preservation Anasazi had lost his mind if he thought he could took her baby from her. At least the possibility of arms depots on Tarn Vedra had tempted him. Beka draped a towel around her body. She got out the bathroom.

"Whoa! Sorry, I didn't realize you were, uh" Dylan was averting his eyes from her in such embarrassment that she resist the temptation to laugh.

"No. No, it's fine, I was done. Have you made a decision, Dylan?"

"Uh...oh yes! Right. Right! Ummmm...look, look, uhhh" Why had that towel to be so tiny? "Do you really think that you can do this?"

Beka frowned "I wouldn't have volunteered if I didn't think I could pull it off"

"Yeah, well, see you know, I was, uh, I wa…" Great Dylan, now you are babbling "I was checking your figure" oh shit "...I mean th-the...your FIGURES, and uhh...seventy percent of our transit time would be in the slipstream itself. And that's psychologically exhausting under ideal conditions, and these routes that you're talking about – it's gonna be hard on the pilot. I mean, on ANY pilot. I mean, look what it did to Hasturi"

Beka waved her hand "Yeah, but Hasturi was a perseid. They're all twitchy obsessive compulsives to begin with. He was probably crazy before he started" Her face grew serious as she spoke "Look, Dylan, I can do this. I know I can"

"Nothing worth doing...OK. Let's give it a shot. Report to command" He watched her giggling "Oh, uh, take your time. I mean…I…as you were" He retreated before he'd loose his last remain of dignity.

Gaheris crossed in his way to the Maru with Dylan. He watched the good captain almost running as he heard a string of curses coming from him. Rhade made his way to Beka's room and found her with her back to him and her body covered with the barest bra and thong he had ever seen. He stood in the doorframe a moment, enjoying the view until he made his presence known with a cough.

Beka yelped as she turn on her heels "Is there someone here who calls to the door before coming?" She smiled "You come to check my figure too?"

"To what? Never mind. By the way, please tell me that you were more dressed while Dylan was here"

"Of course I was a little more covered"

He frowned "A little more. What is a little more? Stockings maybe?"

"I was in a towel" She watched his slight scowl and she explained "I was getting out of the shower and he happened to come here"

"Well I'll have to kill him" he said in a mocking tone.

"For crying it out loud Gaheris, Harper has seen me in tank top and panties more times that I could count"

"Then I'll kill Harper too. Someone more on this ship? Rev maybe?" His face turned suddenly deadly serious "Please tell me that Tyr…"

She cut his tirade "Jealous?"

"Me? Jealous? For Drago sake I'm not…"

"You are jealous!" she sing sang. Her grin spread from ear to ear. She adopted a pensive pose "Now that I remember, Rev only saw me naked when I did him on the pilot chair. Trance, well there was this time in the shower when she…"

Then she was pinned to the bulkhead by a wall of muscle "Maybe I must begin to mark my territory" nuzzling her neck.

"Maybe you must let me dress and escort me to command" scrapping his earlobe with her teeth.

Gaheris growled playfully "Yes Ma'am"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"And here comes God's little brain surgeon" Beka said as she entered in command.

"Beka! Some humility, please!" Rev exclaimed in that tone of him that made his mock sound as a plea.

"Yeah, I tried that once. I didn't like it" She replied nonchalantly. She felt more than saw the smile of Gaheris.

"Like they say: In the slipstream, confidence is everything" Dylan proclaimed. Then he addressed to Gaheris "I thought I gave you orders Rhade"

Gaheris tensed visibly "I know captain but it is not necessary …"

Dylan cut him "I think it is, and I'm the captain. You are dismissed"

Gaheris acknowledge the order reluctantly "As you wish"

Dylan felt a pair of piercing eyes bore him as Beka asked "What was that about?"

"I want him or me on the bridge while we are on this. I'll take the first shift. He is not very pleased with my decision. He wanted to stay here all the time you will be piloting"
He explained at her questioning gaze "It's just for security, we trust in you"

"Rhade can be very stubborn, but my ship, my rules" he concluded

"I'll keep that in mind when you are on the Maru" Beka smiled "I'm ready"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gaheris turned around in his bed. This all was dangerous, especially for Rebecca. She was a great pilot 'damn finest pilot in the known worlds' He smiled knowing how she defined herself. But yet piloting in slipstream for so long…

"Andromeda, give me the vitals of Beka"

The voice of the AI had a hint of annoyance as she replied "The vitals of Beka had not changed since the last time you asked, 5 minutes ago, Commander"

He sighed as he stood. Stay in the bed was pointless. He proceeded to clean his actually impeccable swords as he meditated. It was funny that the one person who probably shared his uneasiness about the hunt of the legend was that one who he less trusted. However both Tyr and he had the same well developed survival instinct.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

After the first ten jumps Dylan began to think that they actually could do it. However he was concerned about Beka. He ordered her to take a rest.

As she stormed out of command Beka leaned heavily on a ladder. She tried to soothe her nerves breathing deeply. She walked to the Maru and when she got inside she heard noises coming from the kitchen. A table fully prepared for one was waiting her as she heard Rhade "I'm almost done"

A moment later he came with a dish. He motioned her to sit in the table as he served her. Beka smiled weakly. She felt odd with this tender and protector side of him "Are you going to feed me all the time?"

He thought about it as he sat across her "It's a possibility" He watched fascinated how she devoured the meal ravenously.

"I thought that nietzschean boys were self absorbed…" she mumbled.

"We are but we have a great deal of respect to our females" He gave her a small, uncertain smile.

Beka resisted the temptation of lick the remains of sauce from the dish "After this wonderful meal I think I can use a little exercise" She smiled provocatively.

"Now" he replied as he pulled her to her bunk "you are going to rest" He lay her on the bed fighting against roaming hands.

"Come on Gaheris, I'm not tired"

"That's an order" His smile dissolved as he watched her expression darkened.

"You are in my ship now so technically you can't give me orders"

"You are right. Then as someone who cares about y…our survival, please rest"

"That's the nietzschean I know" she mumbled sleepy. Gaheris dropped a blanket over her and kissed her forehead. When he was sure that she was asleep he quietly left.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Trance was at Hydroponics and she was quite worried. She felt dizzy but there was something more. It was as if she could no longer feel the life of the plants throughout her touch. She felt as if something would be draining her energy. The futures were becoming a blur.

She lay on the grass and relaxed, trying to recover some energy from the life surrounding her.

Meanwhile Beka awoke several hours later. She was still tired but she was in better shape. When she got in command Harper was in the pilot's chair talking about some crazy quest on Earth involving Dragans and whistles. Rhade was in his console hiding his amusement under a façade of professionalism.

Gaheris watched Rebecca closely as she sat on the pilot's chair. She had rested but he was still concerned with her level of stress.

"Ready for round two" she exclaimed smiling widely.

"Are you all right? If you need more rest we…"

Beka cut him sharply "I'm fine dad. Now we proceed?" She was clearly sensitive.

"Where are you going to take us, oh queen of slipstream?"

"I like that Seamus. Keep it" She replied

Rommie answered to Harper "That's Epsilon Bell. It's an X-Ray pulsar"

"See how she blinks on and off?" Beka pointed at the star in the image "Hasturi called that the eye of the blinded Cyclops"

"Hasturi makes a lot of references to the ancient Earth epic, the Odyssey" Rommie stated.

"Except when he confuses his Vedrans with his centaurs, and then he just veers right off of Homer and starts quoting Einstrom Becksman" Beka explained impatiently.

Rhade's voice intruded in the conversation "The Hawks of Scaroth. Majestic"

"And the prize is for our nietzschean XO, who always know about all stuff" she mocked. She was in a strange mood. Nervous, acid and almost aggressive. Gaheris promised himself to keep an eye on her closely.

"Take us to slipstream Beka" he replied staring at the screen.

"Aye sir" She mocked a martial salute. The kaleidoscope of twirls and colours enveloped them. Gaheris watched Rebecca closely. Despite her enhanced reflexes he was concerned with her aggressive piloting. He gripped his console as the ship bounced violently.

"Yeah, whooo!" it came the excited response from Beka.

Finally they went into normal space and immediately the alarms came to life. They watched on the screen two black holes swirling with their deadly beautiful pace.

"I don't like this. Beka?"

"It's okay, it's all under control" Her response had a hint of well hidden concern. She tried to maneuver the ship but it shuddered sharply

Dylan got in command "Okay now what is it? Rommie our exact location"

"We are in between Scylla and Charybdis, halfway between Andromeda two cores"

"And the twin black holes at their centres" Rev concluded.

"Okay I'll fix this mess" Beka's patronizing. She braced for slipstream but it was in vain "Damn it, I can't find the way into slipstream. It's like the entire area is a gravitational riptide" She pulled off the slipstream controls in frustration "We're stuck"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Trance woke up in her bunk of the Maru, not really remembering how she had got there. It was so difficult to stand up, as much as walk. She went to the kitchen, feeling every movement of her body as if she had a stone over her back.

"Beka?" her voice sounded to herself quite odd, very far.

"Trance I didn't know you were here" She was busy preparing coffe. She watched the purple girl intently "You seem some…well not green but pale"

"All the time in slipstream gives me headache" Trance smiled weakly "You look kind of tired too. Maybe you should take a nap"

Beka held the cup "Instant nap. Just add water"

The voice of her friend was suddenly as a whisper, barely audible. Trance felt consciousness slipping away from her as she fell to the floor.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"We are loosing her" the voice of Rev was full of sadness.

Beka stood motionless "Let me sit with her for a minute. You go pray for a speedy recovery or whatever it is you do"

"Divine compassion is stronger medicine than you know. I will go pray for her" Rev left.

As soon as he had gone Beka engaged privacy mode and look through the medicines. She knew exactly what she needed. She went to the Maru, sealing the door of her ship as she entered.

She was going to do this for her friends, to save Trance. She repeated this over and over as she prepared it. She would be faster, her reflexes sharper. She HAD to save them, it was the only reason. She was not her father, she had the control. She was stronger.

Beka shut up the voice in the back of her conscience that called her liar, that voice which told her that she had craved it since 'dear Uncle Sid' forced her to take it.

'This time I'm in control' Beka concluded as her eyes covered by a white sick veil. Her last lucid feeling as the drug took her reason was that she was loosing a bit of her soul.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

She was already in the pilot's chair when Gaheris went to command. He heard her heart pounding too clearly. Her leg moved nervously.

"Are we ready to get out this hole?"

"We were waiting for you" her back was still to him as she replied sarcastically "We should feel honoured to owe the pleasure of your presence"

What happened to her? Gaheris heard the low growl of exasperation coming from Tyr as Dylan and Harper looked at her frowning. "Are you all right?" He was concerned, her mood had gone to worse to the point of hysteria.

She turned to face him. Gaheris felt fear in his gut. She was sweating, pale face and her eyes…something was wrong in them. It really shocked him her envenom reply.

"Can't you hear or you are simply stupid Rhade? In how many languages do you need to hear it to keep your pathetic concerns to yourself?" She was frantically gesticulating, her hands messing her hair and her eyes… he suddenly realized what happened to her.

He gripped her arm and pulled her roughly from her seat ignoring her yelps of pain. The fear and anger he felt was too much to bare "HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND!? "

Beka struggled against his grip to no avail "Paranoid sonofabitch! Get off me or I swear I…"

"ENOUGH!" Dylan cut them. He was getting really pissed at the show "Someone care to explain me what the hell is going on? Beka, what happen to you?"

"Reasoning with her will do little good. She's under the influence of mind-altering drugs" Tyr's intruder voice.

"What?!? Heh. Says who, Uber?" She looked at the large nietzschean hateful.

"CAPTAIN Valentine, I can hear your heartbeat racing. I can see the sheen of perspiration and smell the adrenaline fuelling it. Tell me, did you think that Nietzschean vision would be unable to distinguish between a human cornea and a contact lens?"

"Beka, flash? What are you…are you insane?" Dylan watched her horrified as she messed her hair.

"What…it's not what you…Everybody needs it. Besides!" She pointed at Tyr accusingly "I thought you made your own rules, Mr. Beyond Good and Evil"

"This hasn't a thing to do with good or evil. Drugs create dependency. Dependency is weakness, and weakness is death" Tyr concluded.

"Tyr, you could've told me earlier" Dylan faced him.

"There was a possibility that it worked" He shrugged with his shoulder.

"Beka you are relieved of duty" The tone of Dylan expressed his deep deception clearly.

She shoved her arm but it only served to increase Gaheris grip with bruising force "Get your hands off me!" then she plead to Dylan "Please listen, I can do it"

"NO. Now give it to me"

"Who is going to fly you out of this mess if not me? I'm your best pilot" she tried desperately.

The captain replied harshly "You should be thankful that I can't court martial you. Now give me the bottle"

Rhade finally released her. She took the bottle of flash from her pocket and threw it to Dylan. As he tried to pick it up Beka lunged for the pilot's chair. She moved with such speed that no one could stop her as she got them into slipstream.

The ship shook them hardly as it travelled. The alarms screamed over a myriad of hellish sounds.

On med deck Rev watched impotently the weakened body of Trance convulsing badly, arching like a cobra as the life quickly was drained from her. The ship was thrown out of slipstream as Trance finally fell lifeless.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Anger, fury, disappointment. They had been friends for so long. She had become his sister, the one who always would be there. But not anymore. He should feel pity for her but the lost was unbearable.

Harper went inside the room where Beka was locked. She didn't notice him at first. She was too busy speaking to herself.

"You must be very proud"

She turned and smiled nervously "Hey Harper…Listen you have to speak to them, you know me. I'm fine…"

He cut her, tears burning in his eyes "You are fine" Dylan had ordered them not tell her the consequences, but actually he didn't care it. His voice rose abruptly "You don't mind what you have done since you get what you want!"

She scratched her dishevelled hair as her unfocussed eyes fixed in him "What…what…what are you talking about? I was doing everything fine. Better than fine, perfect, but that jackass of Dylan…"

"Trance is dead" his voice sharp ice "You have killed her"

The silence weighted over them as she watched him, a scowl deforming her features as she scratched her head convulsively. She began to laugh hysterically "You… you are joking?!?"

He stormed out.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When had he lost his ability to judge people? The woman he envisioned as his future was weak and untrustworthy. Had she always been like this? He had been so blind, why he didn't noticed such imperfection? The answer came to him from somewhere deep inside him: because you let yourself fell in human weakness. Feelings, romanticism even love, which you had beginning to think about as something more than chemist and instinct.

Leaning against the wall Gaheris rubbed his tired eyes, tightly closed as if he could erase the deep pain. He was sad for the dead of Trance but he felt a more consuming lost that made it seem to him less important. He steeled himself as he unlocked the door. He had to see her.

As soon as he watched her pacing form the sorrow constricted his heart, drowning the pain of his previous reflections. Her once beauty was deformed by the mess, shaking frame she presented. Her usually silky hair was sticky. Sweat and paleness gave her face a sick appearance and the white of her eyes was now almost red in repulsive contrast. She was messing her hair as she mumbled to herself, laughing weakly from time to time.

"And they…they…are lying. Of course! They just want…screw me. She's not dead, that's it…lying because…because…" He dragged her lower lip with her teeth compulsively. Gaheris came from the shadows and she stopped her pacing to face him.

"And you, what you want" she moved her hands wildly "Don't stare at me! This is your fault, all of you. You are envious because… because" she babbled trying to find the words "…because I'm better than you!" she concluded laughing.

Gaheris heard her altered heart pace and her shaking breath. Fear settled heavily in his stomach. She was scratching her forearms furiously, unaware of it. Her voice became more obsessive as she continued her tirade "Better than you, than Dylan, that liar of Harper, all of you. I'm better, YOU ARE NOTHING!!! Better than that bunch of shit that you call so lovely your 'wives'" It felt like a slap but she didn't notice his menacing growl, his hurtful eyes "…you know what? They…they only lived to open her legs so you could fuck them to foal like bunnies…I'M BETTER…better than all…better…"

She repeated this over and over, lower and lower as her scratching drew blood from her arms. She continued compulsively until strong arms immobilized her from behind, preventing her for hurting herself more. At this point she was between conscious and unconsciousness and she began to shake uncontrollably. Gaheris slid them to the floor cradling her broken body against him. He cleaned the sweat from her face as he enfolded her in a desperate embrace.

All his early deception faded away as he cradled her weakened frame. He had failed protecting her from herself and he had failed her thinking about to leave her. He felt that it would be a shame he wore inside him all his life.

As he held Rebecca tightly Gaheris whispered her soothing words not really caring that she couldn't hear them "We will go through this Rebecca, I promise. We will together"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First it was barely a whisper, a weak pulse of energy from deep inside. Then the warmth began to fill her body like a soft breeze. The warmth became heat and with the heat came the glow, more intense every second until it disappeared in a blind flash.

Meanwhile Dylan tried to bring some order to the chaos of his mind. For some oddly reason he had belief that Trance always would be at his side. And now she was dead. Death and Trance, as much as he tried he couldn't mix the 'life itself' that was Trance with death. Trance…

"Captain something is happening in medical bay"

"What is it Andromeda?" he asked tiredly.

"My sensors in there are blind. I detected a high pitch of energy just before it happened"

"I'm on my way. Rommie I'll see you there" a malfunction probably, he thought, but there have been enough misfortunes.

They came cautiously in infirmary. Was there someone humming? His eyes grew wide and his forcelance slid from his hand. He opened his mouth but none words came out.

"Hello Dylan"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Snippets of conversations stolen by her semiconscious mind, glimpses of faces hovering her…Dylan, tired and concerned. Harper, tired and angry. Tyr, unreadable as always. Rommie between professionalism and feelings. Gaheris, pained, concerned and tired too. Trance, who was dead by her fault. Her smile was more and more clear. Beka opened her lids slowly fighting the dull throb behind her eyes. She tried to focus on the face and the smile.

"Beka, wake up" She had to be really screwed if her hallucinations were so real "Beka, it's me, Trance. You're gonna be fine" The little hand on her forehead brought her to reality.

"Trance?" her voice was a cracked whisper "you're alive?"

"Yes I'm alive" she whispered conspiracy "Between you and me, Andromeda is a great warship but as a doctor…"

"Captain Valentine, it's good to have you back" Dylan stood up from his seat and he came at her side as Trance got out giving them privacy.

"I've screwed it" her eyes closed tightly.

"Yes Beka. You almost killed yourself. Even when the flash was killing you' you wanted more"

"I killed Trance" Voice shaking and tears spilling from her eyes.

"Trance…I cannot explain, no one can except her, so we'll never know how she came to life or if she ever died. But" he watched her intently "Would be Harper, he would be dead now".

Beka closed her eyes again. Too much pain, too much guilt.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

She had hoped to find some peace of spirit in the Maru. Her ship had been like that secret garden where you could hide from reality. But this time it was too much reality to hide from.

Sitting under the shower, her knees under her chin Beka hoped she could cry all the shame out of her body but oddly enough the anguish made it impossible. Her body refused to allow her that exhaust valve for her broken soul.

She had killed her friend, no matter how she was alive now. Harper hated her, Harper who had become more family than Rafe himself. She had lost Rhade. The things she had told him during her drugged state were beyond forgiveness. The damage was done.

Dry and clothed Beka curled in a fetal ball over her bunk. She remembered now quite well how she had suffered watching the self destruction of her father with the flash. She always had promised herself that she would never make the same mistakes but in the end she had been as pathetic as him.

'They don't deserve this. I have to go. Go away from anyone because I destroy everyone and everything' A felt of self punishment swallowed her as her throat tightened more with the effort to fight the sobs. She curled more as she gripped her head.

Sound of footsteps echoed through the ship as someone made his way to her room. A chair was pulled besides her bunk and he sat there. Probably Dylan, wanting to give her counselling. She didn't want it now, she didn't want his pity, his help or his reassurance that he trusted in her. She stayed against the wall, hoping that he would tire and leave.

"Rebecca" his voice startled her. She really couldn't face him.

"Rebecca" Gaheris shook her shoulder gently "Don't pretend to be sleeping. I know well you're not"

Beka only could whisper a reply "I was not pretending"

An uncomfortable silence came between them, him waiting her speaking, hers regarding energy to speak. She finally did "I know there is no way to apologize for what I've done. I know there is not forgiveness. As soon as the Maru will be ready I'll leave"

His hand pulled from her shoulder, trying to roll her but she shook her arm "Go. Find a good woman who deserves you, who makes you happy" Tears spilled from her eyes freely as her throat constricted "Go, I'm not that woman"

She felt again his hand on her shoulder and he finally rolled her curled form. She covered more tightly her head with her arms. It would be unbearable to see the disappointment on his face "GO, GET OUT!" She yelled between sobs.

Gaheris voice was calm and soothing as he spoke "do you want any other thing from me? Because I'm not going anywhere"

"JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!" she screamed.

He lay on the bunk beside her. Beka held her fetal position as he tried to dislodge her. She resisted briefly but she finally gave up, clutching to him as she cried uncontrollably.

"I told you we will go throughout this together Rebecca" Gaheris held her against him as if he feared to loose her. Beka cried until exhaustion overcame her and she fell asleep in his arms


Chapter 10: The unavoidable reality (Part 1)

Gaheris was in a bad mood. He was usually proud of transforming his negative emotions into something useful. But not this time, he thought as he waited for the core of his recent concerns to come. He was not delusional; he knew that Rebecca would need time to recover from her addiction to Flash. He had hoped that she would welcome his help. He had to know better that she was not going to free herself of her useless self punishment so easily.

Beka had done a great job avoiding them the last three weeks. She had changed the access codes of the Eureka Maru and she spent all her free time in her ship. The first week Gaheris had understood her need of isolation. He thought that regret was a wasteful emotion but he had noticed long time ago that humans, oddly enough, sometimes got something positive of it. Clearly it was not the case of Rebecca, and her behaviour was affecting her piloting skills too.

It didn't aid his cause that Harper even looked at her. On the other hand Trance was her usual cheery self with Beka. However the purple girl had been vague in her answers as he came to speak with her.

"I'm sorry Gaheris, but Beka doesn’t want to listen to me. I'm not the one who can help her. Maybe she needs someone more…assertive," she had added enigmatically.

Then a really pissed off Rhade had got into Machine Shop determined to speak with Beka. As he had hoped Harper was there. Usually the young engineer would be working like a bee but actually he was sat in front of his last gadget with a distracted expression on his face. He was not at the task at hand.


"Damn it! You never make noise you ubber! You scared the shit out of me."

Usually the annoying human would receive a cuff for calling him ubber but Gaheris resisted the temptation "When are you going to talk to Rebecca?"

"What!?" Harper adopted a defensive pose "I have nothing to talk to her about. Besides when is SHE going to come and tell US 'I'm sorry I screwed it all and I killed Trance and'-"

Gaheris cut his tirade off; he didn’t have the time. Neither did Beka. He gripped him by the back of his neck as he shook him. "If you don't care about her you should about our survival. If something happens because she cannot pilot adequately…"

"Yeah of course, as if you do this only for the survival crap. Ha! You just want to get inside her panties." He yelped as Rhade's grip increased and he growled menacingly. "Okay, I know that was low."

Gaheris let him go as he spoke. "I need you to overwrite the codes of the Maru."

Harper knew that a determined Nietzschean was not something to ignore. Besides, he was feeling somehow guilty about Beka. "I can do it."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Beka walked to the Maru as soon as her shift was over. She just wanted to get into the sanctuary of her ship to drown in her misery. It was not a new feeling. When her mother had left them she had blamed herself with the insecurity of a 6 years old girl who didn't understand why her mom didn't love her anymore. When her father had died with his brain fried by the flash she had tormented herself for months thinking that she could have done something to save him. Now she was drowning in her own shit.

Harper didn't want anything to do with her. Little brother hated her for sure. Trance treated her as if nothing had happened, the one who would hate the most. Beka had always known that Trance had something special. Dylan and Rev had respected her isolation. Tyr, well he was Tyr and she was grateful for it. He was the taskmaster and the one outlet she allowed herself was their combat trainings. He didn't talk except when he corrected her and his eyes never showed pity or hate. Just sometimes something she couldn't read.

She felt exhausted from avoiding Gaheris. He seemed determined to be there for her but her heart ached just thinking about the things she had said to him while she was drugged. She contemplated the incipient relationship they had been developing before the incident as something that she had not the strength to support. One day he would notice that she was not worth it and she would be alone, again. The problem was that Beka didn’t feel strong enough to cut it. So at times she wanted to scream at him to leave her alone, she hated to see the compassion for HER in those beautiful eyes. The most time she just wanted to be able to lose herself in his protective embrace.

As she reached her ship she entered in her room to find the subject of her thoughts sitting in her bed. He watched her with a determined expression on his perfect features.

"What are you doing here?"


"Look Gaheris-" she tried to hide the shaking in her voice. "I'm very tired so if you don't mind…" she gestured to the door.

He sighed tiredly as he looked at the floor. When he fixed his deep gaze on her clear eyes she could read the stubbornness. "You are going to make this as difficult as you can, aren’t you Rebecca?"

She turned as she faked to order a shelf. "I'm sure I don't know what you are talking about."

"You are avoiding me. Why?" He gritted his teeth. "Am I going to be punished for not being able to help you, for not see what was happening at the time? Is this your way to tell me that I'm not worthy?"

"No!" she came to crouch before him, taking his hands. "This is not your fault. It's me." She got up and turned again as she spoke softly. "I don't think I can do this. We can't be together."

Gaheris felt something cold running across his body. "Why? I thought…I thought we were going to be all right. I need you." A deep rage built inside him. "You are not going to leave me," he growled. He had lost his family, his pride; he was not going to lose her now. He turned her and gripped her arms as he spoke. "If you think you can give me hope and then rip it from me you have another thing coming!"

"What do you want from me Rhade?" she stared at his chest as she spoke.

"I want you back, the strong independent female, that one who knows what she wants and goes after it. I don't want this pathetic shell."

She gave a sad hollow laugh. "What you see is what I am."

Gaheris gave an exasperated growl, enough was enough. He pulled her to him roughly as he punished her lips with his. He kissed her hard, determined to tear some reaction from her. She stayed in his arms like a broken doll, lifeless and cold. He increased his grip as he forced entrance to her mouth and plundered her deepest recesses. She began to struggle against him, against her own desire. The need for him finally overwhelmed the chaos of her mind as she stopped her fight to accept his full embrace.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

He was determined to rip all the recent pain away from her. He lost no time as he unzipped her vest and threw it to the ground. He expertly undid the bra clasp and it took its place with his hands. His thumbs teased her nipples to hardened peaks as he backed her to the bed. His mouth finally left hers as her back hit the mattress. Her boots, her socks and her pants, he impatiently got rid of them. He took some time sliding the lacy blue thong down her long legs. He found amusing that Beka, a woman who wore all black leather, used such enticing underwear.

Gaheris watched her intently from the edge of the bed. Her body was displayed for him, breast full and crested in pink, waiting to be sucked. As his eyes wandered to the naked flesh of her pubic mound and her sex he wondered briefly if she shaved or if she naturally didn’t have hair there. Not that it mattered. It seemed so vulnerable; a rush of possessiveness ran across his tense body settling in his groin. Hazel eyes fixed in clear ones and male smugness curved his lips in a smile: her expression was uncertain, almost apprehensive and he was going to take his sweet time dominating her. He knew that the old defiant Beka would come back after this night and their relationship would be exciting battle of wills, but this night was his to let her so spent and sated that she would forget her recent misery. Pity he could not allow himself yet to mate her because he would make her scream so loud that all the crew would knew of her pleasure.

He bit back the growl from his chest at the sight of her as he discarded his shirt. He left his pants on as extra security since he didn't trust himself to resist the temptation if they were naked together. He knelt before her and grasped her legs, bringing her to the edge of the bed. Her eyes never left his as her chest rose and fell with anticipation. His large hands glided over her lean body as he leant forward to kiss her tenderly, reminding her that it was not going to be meaningless sex. His lips trailed from her mouth across her pale neck to her welcoming breast. He sucked one nipple as he teased its twin with his hand and she moaned softly.

Gaheris finally reached the apex of her legs and he gave a tentative lick from her opening to the soft mound. He bathed her flesh with his hot tongue, teasing her, avoiding her swollen clitoris. It was the first time he’d ever done such a thing but his hesitation dissolved as he tasted her. She was like a delicacy and he was a starved man. Apparently he didn't need any lessons since his mouth had a will of its own and from the sweet submissive whimpers of Rebecca she agreed.

He nipped gently at her and Beka cried out in surprise. She looked at him and Gaheris gave her a wolfish smile as his finger separated her folds of flesh exposing her clit. He lapped where her erect nub was the most exposed and sensitive. He watched intently at her body wantonly splayed, arching to seek his mouth and her hands curled against her own thighs. She was incredible.

Beka was between agony and pleasure as his hot tongue rasped her most sensible flesh. Her hands couldn't decide between crushing his head between her legs so she could reach the release he so slowly was driving her or staying in the edge of the abyss as he submit her body to the sweet torment. She didn't notice her fingernails clawing at her own thighs as the tension grew in her body settling a dull throb in her core. Suddenly it was there, washing over her, a tidal wave of intense pleasure. She came screaming as her body shook like a leaf in the wind, her mind empty of thoughts, full of sensations.

A primal rush of victory heated his blood feeding his erection as Gaheris heard and felt her orgasm. His tongue sank inside her body lapping her taste and he felt the tremors of her body. For Drago, she was so wet, he would slide so easily inside her body, he would thrust so deep…Gaheris groaned as his thoughts fuelled his aching. He opened his pants and freed his painful erection. He pumped his shaft at the thick base and he let his hand take care of his need as he clamped his mouth around her throbbing clitoris and suckled eagerly.

When Beka came down from the high she felt tremors holding her body. Gaheris was still lapping at her and after the orgasm every rasp of his tongue at her oversensitive flesh was almost painful. Regaining the little force she had she tried to push him away but from response she received a low growl and her right leg was opened wider as his mouth suckled at her flesh. She sobbed uncontrollably as Gaheris forced her tired body to react. Her hands stopped the pushing and she took handfuls of dark hair, crushing his face to her crotch. Her head trashed wildly and her body arched off the bed as she orgasmed again, leaving her sated, boneless and even shakier.

As he heard her increasing sobs Gaheris could feel his own release approaching. When she breathlessly cried out her second climax he finally let himself go, his sharp teeth clamping in her pale thigh in carnal possession. His semen spilled over his hand, the bedcover, the floor, he didn't care and he rested his head over her leg, licking the mark she now wore as he recovered his breath. As he finally could think clearly he watched her. She lay spent still recovering her breath, little tremors running across her slim frame. She finally fell asleep. Gaheris cleaned himself briefly with his shirt and discard his pants leaving his underwear on. He joined her at the bed and covered both of them with the sheet. Rebecca sought instinctively his heat and he held her tightly against him.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gaheris woke up from his slumber with something warm, soft and unmistakable female at his side. Her back was against his chest and her scent permeated him. He had his usual morning hard against her lower back. He smiled contently, gripping her tightly as his hand teased her nipple gently. She moaned softly but her breathing indicated that she was still sleeping.

Reluctantly he left her side. He took a shower and retrieved his clothes from the cleaner. Once properly dressed he sat in front of her, enjoying the calmness her sleeping face brought to him.

Beka slowly awoke from her slumber feeling alive again. She stretched lazily as she felt a soft caress along her neck. She opened one eye and found hazel ones watching her as he smiled.


"How do you feel?"

She smiled as she returned the caress "Happy. Spent. Wonderful. But I'd feel better if you would lose that clothes and come here." She patted the bed.

He grinned; as if it had not been difficult enough to wake up with his erection buried in her ass ."No, now you will shower, dress and we will go to eat something. Then you'll speak with Harper."

A flash of uncertainty crossed her face. "I don't think…"

"Fine, you don't have to think." She punched his arm "That's what the XO officers are for."

Beka pouted, her eyes glimmering humorously. "If I disobey the XO what is he going to do? Spank me?" He growled playfully.

As she tried to sit up she felt a sharp pain in her inner thigh "Owww!" She pulled the bedcover, unashamed of her nakedness. A nasty bruise with teeth marks was clearly visible against her pale skin. "You bit me!"

"I suppose I got a little carried away." He watched her perplexed expression. "What?"

"So you go down on me and you get all worked up?" She had known men that didn't mind going down on a woman, others did it because they wouldn’t get any otherwise but this…

He tried to explain. "I was masturbating…"

"You were what?" Okay that was weird. "Are you telling me that you got so aroused while you, you know…"

He watched her with amused face. "Tell me Rebecca, how you think I felt touching your naked flesh, with your taste on my mouth?" he titled his head slightly, "hearing your cries, knowing that it was because of me pleasuring you?" He arched his eyebrows expectantly.

She blushed fiercely. "Um... I think I get the picture." His words were quite a turn on and she was not prepared to tell him that the mental picture of him masturbating had her imagination working.

"Intruder alert. Intruder alert." In a second Gaheris was retrieving his weapon belt and Beka was struggling with her clothes.

"Andromeda, status," Gaheris commanded.

"Intruder identify yourself. Repeat identify yourself." Beka and Rhade froze at the coldness in the AI's voice

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Magog, how much he hated them. Repulsive creatures with the sole purpose of spreading like a plague, violating to reproduce. The treaty of Antares had provoked a deep rage within him. Gaheris had been tempted to leave the High Guard after the Commonwealth had made peace with the magog. Only his deep loyalty had prevented it.

They ran across the corridors towards the command firing to everything that moved. His mind had switched to fighting mode but in some subconscious level he tried to keep Beka out of the danger whenever he could. They left a trail of dead corpses after them only to find more savages coming. The repugnant smell of decay flesh emanated from alive beast as much as the dead ones.

He climbed up a ladder and he found Dylan being attacked by a group of Magog. He fired at them and as he came to assist the captain another group launched at him. Gaheris lost his force lance and fought them with bare hands and erect bone blades, cutting chest and slashing throats, his aggressiveness in eradicating all of them in the most efficient way. He found a dark satisfaction in the defeated enemies at his feet. He bent down besides Beka, who had been tending Dylan. He was worried at the deep gashes in his captain shoulder.

"Did they…?" he simply said, bracing for the worst.

"No, no," Dylan grimaced in pain. "Just claws, but it feels deep."

Beka moved him as carefully as she could and Dylan yelled in pain. "They got you in the hip…and the back."

He tried to sit up but he fell again "They got me good. I'm gonna…" he panted. "I'm gonna be fine. Go to command, and I'll just…hang out here with my Magog buddies."

"That is not an option captain," Gaheris told him as he helped him.

"It's worse than I thought, poor Dylan you're delusional. Now come on," Beka concluded as they made their way to command.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tyr watched as the doors began to open showing a sea of hair and claws. He was going to survive, he was meant to do great things and to die in a 300 years old ship devoured by Magog was not in the list. He had been in worse situation…well no one came to his mind he thought humorously.

Harper finally felt out of his stupor. He knew he was going to die and oddly enough it gave him some kind of peace of mind. He was going to die defending his life hand to hand with a hardnosed Nietzschean. He gripped the tightly the dagger that Tyr offered to him.

"Sir," the deep voice of Tyr boomed over the growls of the horde. "Shall we dance, master Harper?"

"You do care," he replied. As they began to fight he realized that it was in vain. "This was a real good idea."

"Where there is life, there is hope!" It was the last thing Harper heard coming from the large Nietzschean before the Magog rush over them.

Chapter 11: The Unavoidable Reality (Part 2)

Watching the vastness of the space from his office Dylan Hunt reflected over the recent events. Harper, Tyr and Rev Bem had been rescued from the Magog world ship, their new discovered horror; the magog had always been a threat but they had never known that it could take such huge proportions. Dylan sighed tiredly as he thought about how the existence of this 'god' of the magog could affect to Rev and his vision of the universe. Tyr had barely recovered from the surgery required to remove the larvae from his body but Trance had not be able to make the same for Harper and the young engineer was now taking a drug to maintain them in stasis. Despite his forced optimism Dylan felt they had condemned him to a slower death.

Finally in the middle of Harper's depression a ray of hope had come; Andromeda had informed Dylan that he and Beka had been talking. The stubborn AI didn't give him more information considering the conversation under privacy protocols but from the good improvement of Harper mood Dylan imagined that they had worked out their problems.

The call of his door broke his thoughts and he sat in the chair behind his desk. He hated this; not only he had not a proper High Guard crew but the person who should be his support with his new and 'independent' one was making it difficult. He told Andromeda to let him in as he braced himself to adopt his hardest pose.

Gaheris strode in the room and stood, feet shoulder apart as he watched purposefully a spot over his captain head "Sir" he simply acknowledged.

Dylan took in his XO defiant stance veiled under the cool pose of military professionalism. Rhade excelled at being the hard proper High Guard, he remembered him barking orders, allowing him to be the diplomatic side of the command. At that moment he wanted his officer wouldn't be so good at it. "I imagine you know why you are here"

"I imagine, Sir"

"Your actions bordered in insubordination" Dylan informed him coolly and he watched the nietzschean jaw tightening. Not so imperturbable.

"Permission to speak freely"

"Permission denied" Dylan continued "This universe, this time can be chaotic but inside MY ship the High Guard still exist and I expect my officers to comply with my orders" He paused as he watched the tense man before him "I gave you one order: to deploy the Nova bomb against the world ship and get out of there if we didn't come back in 2 hours. So now you can explain me why you waited 6 hours"

"I could not..."

"Damn it Gaheris, this is more important than all of us!" He felt suddenly very tired being the harsh captain with his best friend. In the past they only had minor disagreements "We have been ripped of our time, we have lost everything but we have to give some meaning to all this madness"

"Sir, I hardly consider it possible to achieve our mission to restore the Commonwealth if the crew was so drastically reduced" Gaheris replied blankly.

"I find hard to believe that you were only thinking in our mission" finally his XO's gaze fixed in his. He could read that fierce protectiveness that he saw little times in a nietzschean "You have to separate your personal feeling for Beka from your duty. Understood?"

Gaheris raised his eyebrows in surprise, not believing he was going to escape with such a ridiculous warning "Yes Sir"


As the door closed the hologram of Andromeda popped before Dylan "That is all? If you allow your ship an opinion you have been too soft"

He smiled slightly "maybe, but he still has to speak with Beka"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As soon as Gaheris found Beka, she shot him the metaphoric daggers with her beautiful eyes before walked away purposefully with the nietzschean in her heels.


"Don't Rebecca me!"


"Go to Hell!"

"Let me explain" he took her arm. The punch almost got his head off his body. She strode inside Hydroponics massaging her swollen knuckles.

Gaheris touched his jaw, his pride more hurt than it. Fine, if she was going to be stubborn he was not going to be gentle. In a heartbeat he was over her. He turned her gripping her arms tightly "Now listen to me, woman" he took a deep breath as he watched her angry expression. How could he tell her that for a nietzschean male his family was more important than his own survival? That she was becoming his family even when they had not mated yet? This was a battle he was going to lose; a deep sigh, it was not easy to admit defeat "I'm sorry"

She furrowed her eyebrows "Excuse me? Are you…apologizing?" She took a step away cautiously, maybe it was some distraction tactic to try and snap his neck for hitting him.

"I think the rescue had minimal possibility of success but…I was insensible with your feelings to your friends and I apologize for that" He was not going to apologize for insisting in her staying in the Andromeda in said rescued. It had been the worst two hours in his life, waiting for them to return alive, ignoring Andromeda and its reminders of Dylan orders and wondering if he would finally have the willpower to deploy the Nova not knowing if Rebecca would be still alive in the world ship.

Beka watched him suspiciously as he displayed his most innocent face. Yet with a nietzschean one never knows. But his hazel eyes were so beautiful as he watched her and he was taking her hand so tenderly…and his lips were so inviting as he was kissing her. She was forgetting the previous argument as she was more absorbed by the kiss. Gaheris invaded her moist cavern, sliding his tongue around hers in erotic dance. Nipping at her lips playfully; his arms capturing her slight body prisoner flush against his hard one. Divine how she needed this, she needed him.

Gaheris ravished her mouth as he felt internally alleviated that he could get out of this with only a punch and his pride slightly hurt. As the kiss turned heated he began to be concerned. The woman was aroused and he was hard like a rock. Her adrenaline levels were off the charts, her hearth pace was quickly picking up and her breath was heavy. By Drago, she felt so good in his arms, so his and his erection was throbbing so painfully…if he just let it go…

All the stress of the flash incident, the last battle against the magog, the Abyss…Beka had always moved for impulses and now they were screaming sex and Gaheris in her head out and loud. She struggled briefly from his grip as she discarded her top; her breast sprang free. Her boots and pants touch the floor at top speed and she was with her hands in his belt when he finally recovered from his initial shock and stopped her.

"Rebecca no" this was killing him "Not now, not like this" he was now breathing heavily, trying to regain some sanity. Damn it! Now he just watched her waiting for her outburst.

She stared at him for a second before she spoke as she pulled eagerly at his belt "Right…yeah…I forgot it…Andromeda, engage privacy mode" She felt again his hands griping hers and she blinked at him in confusion.

Gaheris held her as he realized that he should bare some truth if he didn't want to lose her "Beka, I want you but I can't mate with you yet"

Her eyes widened even more as she pushed him away. Her mind began to work her own conclusions "Of course, in the end you only have sex with well bred ubber chicks, kludges just for safe entertainment" she had never felt so humiliated, naked and willing and…to the hell with him! She retrieved her clothes and she was fully dressed and turning to the exit when she was pulled against him.

"Do you have some trust in me?!" he spoke tiredly; the woman was infuriating "Do you think that it's easy for me all of this? If I followed my way you would be my wife but I'm trying to respect your culture" he breathed deeply "Believe me, nothing would make me more happy than take you now but that would put you in a place that you would not be ready yet. Please" Gaheris watched her intently "I cannot bare my entire soul but trust me, I need more time before we go there"

Oh man, he was telling the truth, Beka could see it in those soulful eyes. She couldn't remember the last man that she could have trust. She took his face in her hands, reflecting in her clear eyes her feelings "I believe you" She kissed him tenderly.

Gaheris relaxed in her kiss. He was safe for now but he knew that Beka's patience was thin and he couldn't delay what his body was craving for much more time.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Beka walked throughout the gardens of the drift. Her plan required playing the cat and mouse with Leydon Bryce Hawkins; she knew that flirting would be necessary and some light kissing if she wanted to obtain some DNA from him so she had prepared carefully; the dress felt good in her. The only problem had been certain nietzschean XO who had been growling and objecting about the matter. Fortunately Dylan had spoken with him but his face would have scared other person less spirited than Beka.

Tyr flexed the muscles of his back as he waited. As much flowers and plants that Pier Point could provide in its gardens they didn't cover the stuffy smelt of the drift. He still remembered the true fragrance of the forest of Kodiak home world, when he was a child. He put the nostalgia in the back of his mind as he focused in the Hegemony's Heart. He had his own plan about it but he was watching closely the so called operation of Beka. The woman in question came to him in a stunning dress.

Her blue gaze searched for some clue in his dark eyes "Tyr, I didn't know you liked gardens"

The dark nietzschean watched her body with unashamed interest as he answered "New work clothes. This is all very, um, good. Increased ease of movement, ECM grid woven in, I suppose" He titled his head as he smiled "No place for a sidearm, but I imagine you could bludgeon someone to death with that purse"

She blushed slightly "Jealous?"

"Of a backwater night watchman?" Tyr snorted as he grinned. He couldn't be jealous of an inferior male of a backwater drift. Another matter was his fellow nietzschean, who certainly was watching them from a safe distance. He was quite sure that Beka didn't know it but he knew; if he would be in Gaheris skin he would be doing exactly that.

"Of what could be the crime of the century. It's not too late to join in, you know" she gaze him somehow flirtatiously.

He smiled amused "I have methods of my own"

She mocked a pout "Hmmph. Your loss"

The 'cop' approached as he eyed between them, feeling like an intruder in a private conversation "Hi. Am I interrupting anything?"

Beka smiled at him brightly as she took his arm "Not at all" She shot Tyr a last 'your loss' glance as she walked throughout the gardens with Leydon

"What was that all about?" he hadn't liked the attitude of the ubber

"Oh, you know Nietzschean males – always marking territory. You've gotta be careful, or he sprays the trees"

"Not on my watch" he guided her through the vegetation.

Tyr watched them as they lost between the trees "They are gone" He heard Gaheris emerging from his hidden position behind him. He turned to face him. He didn't surprise seeing Rhade in civilian clothes, it was the logical choice if he wanted to go unnoticed; Black leather pants, white top tank and leather jacket with slits in the forearms to allow him to snap the bone blades ready if necessary.

Tyr sat on a bench as he studied the other male's darkened face "The first time I knew you I thought you were inferior" Gaheris head turned so abruptly that his neck almost snapped. Tyr smiled; fine, he had his attention "You allowed a human to be your superior in rank, you supported him in the murder of thousand of your kind…but from time to time you show your true nature" He fixed his dark gaze in the enraged face of his crewmate "You are a nietzschean alpha, Rhade as much as you have lived among humans and 'absorbed' his foolish points of view. Why are you allowing your female to wander with that human male?" he raised his hand "I know that they say it's for show but the true fact is that he will touch her" he let his words sink.

Gaheris just stared at Tyr, his fists tightly closed. He was trying to control his temper because he just wanted to tear the damn drift apart. He trusted in Beka, he really did but under Tyr words the whole situation took a new meaning, the one he had been burying in the back of his mind since Dylan had ordered him not to mess with Beka's plan.

"You have not mated yet" Tyr was watching him now with a blank expression.

"What makes you think that?"

The dark male laughed lightly "If you would have mated with Beka you'd make sure that I noticed" He would do the same in his position.

"You can't understand. I can't force her into something…" Gaheris hesitated "if we mate there is no way back, no second chances. She is human, she doesn't know of our ways"

Tyr was beginning to see the other male problem. It was the perfect opportunity; some chosen words and he could destroy the relationship. He couldn't allow himself to have Beka for him but al least neither Gaheris did. But as he saw the troubled expression of the other nietzschean he felt sympathy for him. In the back of his mind he chastised himself; what would come next, forgiving the life of his enemies? So he found himself speaking instead of discouraging "You think that if you mate with her then you won't let her go" he chuckled as he smiled "Well I have to agree that she is stubborn, I don't know if I see her with a helix in her arm" he laughed as he spoke "and you think you can refrain your instincts if you don't mate with her! This is priceless!"

Tyr finally got serious "You forget something again: you are nietzschean. Tell me one thing; What would you do if Beka came back from her little trip and you could smell in her that the 'cop' had taken her?" He watched the sudden focused fury in Gaheris features "I see we both know" Tyr left him as Gaheris clenched his teeth, his face a mask of intense rage.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

He had been looking at the ceiling of his room for what it seemed years. Lay down in his bed, thinking about his conversation with Tyr. It was funny how a revelation could come to you.

He had always been a calm, collected man; he had always proud himself of rationalize and maintain his coolness. Maybe this possessiveness, this jealousy had been hidden in him, waiting to be awaken… or needed?

What would he do to Hawkins if he would dare to take Rebecca? He was surprised of the security and absence of guilt as the answer to that question came to him. He knew the perfect knock at the back of the neck to fake a mortal accident falling throughout a stairs. The Argosy Ops training had taught him how to make the false evidences. Of course Dylan would suspect of him but he could never prove it.

Anasazi was right. What he was waiting for? If another man would touch Beka he would kill him and they had not mate yet. She was his, mate or not, so this stupid self imposed starvation had no sense! He stood up and strode out purposefully.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Beka walked towards her rooms in Andromeda with her high heeled shoes in her hands. She had to give him, Hawkins was charming, attractive but she had had enough faked flirting for one night. Fortunately she had got the DNA sample from a peck on her check. Even when the flirt with Hawkins had been for show she had felt somehow guilty thinking about Gaheris.

She entered in her room sighing contently as her feet rested in the carpet. She squealed as stealthy arms embraced her from behind. She relaxed as she felt the presence of Rhade, coaxing her to turn around to face him.

"What the hell were you thinking? I almost had a heart attack!" A pair of lips cut other words as he kissed her persuasively, his tongue sliding inside her mouth and tangling erotically with hers. He left his mouth to nuzzle her jaw and then tensed as a low but unpleasant growl came from somewhere deep inside his chest. She looked up at his face and she couldn't quite read what she saw. It made her shiver.

He realized he must control his instinctual responses, he had scared her. Probably she was unaware but she had the scent of the 'cop' over her. He was sure he hadn't even kissed her mouth, but he had touched her skin, and mating with the smell of another male over his female was not going to improve his mood. He smiled at her "Shower" He pulled her to the bathroom.

"Wha…What happen to…"

"Don't argue, please" He slid the dress from her body, leaving her only with a lacy black thong. He knelt to remove it as he kissed her bare mound. He turned the water to a warm temperature as he coaxed her under the spray.

Beka stayed under the water feeling a little uneasy. What was he planning? Before she could think of some hypothesis he joined her, his naked frame dominating her. Her nervousness grew as she realized they had never been naked together, he had always been very cautious about it. Was it that they were finally going to do it? Great now she felt like a teenager!

Gaheris positioned himself at her back as he freed her hair, soaking the long golden tresses. He poured some shampoo at his hand and massaged her scalp, watching as she leaned in his touch, her eyes blissfully closed.

Beka sighed, if he wanted to play the maiden she was not going to complain; it was more than pleasant, the way he massaged and caressed her hair. She leaned her body in him and felt something hard pressing against her ass. Maybe he had forgot to drop the force lance, she giggled.

"What?" he looked at her over her shoulder.

She moved provocatively against him "Your force lance" she answered without opening her eyes "you forgot to drop it"

He growled mockingly as he slapped her ass. She moaned and Gaheris obliged himself to concentrate in his task, the woman was dangerously close to make him lose all control. He pushed her gently under the water to clean the lather from her hair. He took then soap and lathered his hands; he was not going to use a sponge and lose the opportunity to explore her body.

Beka felt him knelt behind her as her began to soap her legs. He coaxed first one foot then the other, taking great care in cleaning every toe as she held on the wall. He proceed to her thighs and she spread them a little as he approached to the apex of her legs but he let the place untouched; she thought she even had heard a low chuckle.

Gaheris stood up as he caressed her ass, spreading her cheeks with his soapy hands. He felt her tensing but he kissed her shoulder reassuringly as he just washed her tender flesh with his thumbs, taking a content moan from her. His hands slid up her back, strong fingers leaving her body in a state of relaxed awareness. He continued his travel across her arms, and then he was caressing her stomach; by the Divine he had reached her breasts, teasing her nipples with his thumbs, the slickness of his fingertips offering a whole new world of sensations sparking throughout her body. Her face tensed, eyes tightly closed and her mouth opened as his right hand wandered down to tease between her legs. His fingers moved to collect the wetness pooled at her opening, then circled her clitoris slowly, teasingly. Her legs began to shake as she panted.

Gaheris watched Rebecca over her shoulder. It had not been his intention to make anything in the shower but he had underestimated his own eagerness; he watched her, blindly looking for his arms and wrapping her hands on his forearms, her slim fingers between his erect bone blades. He grunted as he pressed her lower body against him, bruising her backside with his painful erection. He didn't want their first time to be against a wall in the shower. He disengaged him from her grip as he put them both under the spray to wash the soap; then he turned off the water, coaxing her out of the cubicle.

"What happen now?" she was getting angry; he was playing with her or what?

"Shh trust me" he soothed her as he dried her and himself. He could see she was not buying it.

"Don't shush me Rhade, I wanna…" she yelped as he brought her to him and kissed the words off her. Strong arms embraced her and suddenly her feet were not touching the floor and he was moving them to the bedroom. Her body bounced over the mattress covered by his hard one. He coaxed her mouth to open with his tongue and teeth. She invited him and he didn't take prisoners, invading her mouth, tangling his tongue with hers as his hands coaxed her thighs opened.

He left her mouth and Beka gasped as Gaheris watched her with one of his small smiles "What!?" she asked breathlessly; he didn't bother to answer, instead he nuzzled her neck before he slid down her body to give one of her nipples a gentle bit. She caressed his impressive shoulders, enjoying the warm musculature. As he reached the apex between her legs he looked up at her again; his smile was making her nervous "If this is a teasing…" other words were lost in a gasp as he sucked at her mound, marking her. Lust ran across her body with the realization that she was going to have a hickey 'there'. She clawed at his shoulders as she moaned.

Gaheris released the pressure as he watched briefly his mark. The scent of her arousal had been assaulting his sharp senses and he lost no more time, his hot tongue delving between the soaked folds of flesh, finding easily the throbbing nub and suckling it with a steady rhythm. She seemed unaware of her cries and the grip at his hair as she crushed his face to her body; he didn't care, her taste was glorious. Her body suddenly tensed, then shook as she sobbed and he knew she was coming.

Beka felt his body climbed up hers as she recovered her breath. She opened her eyes to find his hazel ones fixed in hers as she felt his hardness probing at her opening. She gasped in slight discomfort as her flesh gave way to his throbbing maleness until their bodies were pressed together. A low rumble erupted from his chest as he kissed her; she could taste herself in his mouth as the last shreds of pain faded. She felt Gaheris pulling out until only the head of his shaft remained inside of her before thrusting back in again. The low rumble changed in a heavy breath intermingled with grunts as he left her mouth to explore her neck.

He didn't seem in a hurry as he kept the slow, long strokes, his body brushing against her clitoris just enough to keep her wanting for more. She opened up her thighs to gain more friction but it seemed useless. She wanted it now, she needed it hard, needed release…

"Harder!" gasping for hair; the slow pace continued, bringing her closer to insanity. "Faster!" her command went apparently to deaf ears. She slapped him in the ass and received a sharp bit in the neck for answer. The tightness built in her belly but not as quickly as she wanted. Her fingernails clawed at his taut butt and she could hear a growl but he didn't alter his leisured pace.

Gaheris left her neck in favour of her breast and he felt her nails raking across his back as his body curved to reach his goal. The light pain ran along his spine as he suckled her nipple and the combined sensation with being inside her molten body was almost his undoing, but he recovered his control; despite her urges he could feel she was almost there and they were going to do it his way, at least this time.

"Please…Please" for Divine sake, she was almost there. Suddenly he buried himself to the hilt, fusing their bodies together as his hips moved in circular motions. His face was now over hers, his eyes dark with restrained control watching her every reaction but her lids seemed so heavy and her body was arching at its own will towards him. The friction was now unbearable and Beka held on every inch of muscled flesh she could reach. She sank her teeth in his shoulder to try and release some tension but then the pleasure broke, pulsing between her legs and spreading throughout her nerves, shaking her body and making the rest of the galaxy insubstantial.

Gaheris felt her teeth on his shoulder just before he watched the tense of her body as her climax overcame her. Pride swelled his chest as she cried his name, Gaheris, over and over, through breathless sobs. The constrictions of her body around his hard penis were a test to his self control. He watched her flushed skin, full mouth, heaved breasts as he allowed her to recover her breath. Rebecca was still boneless and pliant in his arms as he slid out from her and turned her onto her stomach, spreading her legs and sliding inside her wet flesh again. Supporting his weight on his arms he began to thrust with increasing energy. His chest brushed against her back with every motion and he didn't think it could be something so soft in the universe.

His hot breath against her ear, softly speaking "You are too commanding Rebecca" By the Divine, his voice was liquid heat and his strokes were burning her body alive "You are with an Alpha male now, you have to submit". His left hand covered hers, linking their fingers as his other hand snaked between the bed and her body to manipulate her oversensitive flesh; gently massaging her labia, circling her clit teasingly. She cried out as she tried to escape from his questing fingers and it brought him deeper inside her.

Her sweet submissive whimpers slipped all trace of control from him as his speed and force increased. He had never felt such power, such possessiveness and he enjoyed every moment. He watched through a lusty fog the woman beneath him and he knew she was his. In pure instinctual movement he sank his teeth in the slope of her neck with her shoulder as he let the release claim his body. The pleasure was almost painful, his hips jerking violently against her body, his hot seed spilling inside her welcoming warmth. He growled in sated victory, feeling her body contract again around him as she screamed her own climax, prolonging his pleasure. It seemed an eternity before his body collapsed at top of hers, their heavy breaths encompassed, their sweat mingled.

As much as he enjoyed being there she couldn't possibly resist his weight. He was about to move when he heard the whisper coming from her "Don't move". He purred as he stayed, his manhood softening inside her warm wetness as he rained kisses across her shoulders.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It had been a long time since he awoke this relaxed. Gaheris opened his eyes to enjoy the vision of a naked Beka cuddled against him. Her back was to him and apparently she was using his arm as a pillow. He smiled widely as he recalled the last night in his mind. Her passion was beyond his wildest dreams.

He had to give it to her, he had been too possessive but it had been eating him since his conversation with Tyr, the need to submit her, to brand her as his. But when he had moved from her he had seen a glint in her blue eyes. 'Payback' had come to his mind and he had understood that she needed submission too. Since he had had his own he was more than happy to submit. He had just raised his arms over his head in sign of surrender; she had ridden him ripping growls and groans from his chest. His own pride had not allowed him to come till her pace had become erratic, her fingernails leaving red marks in his chest as she climaxed. His hands had finally gripped her hips with bruising force as he released inside her.

The rest of the night had been more tender, both of them exploring, a mutual exchange more than a battle of wills. The last time Rebecca had been practically sleeping but Gaheris had been unable to resist her tempting curves and he had rolled her on her back and took her one last time. Her response had been passionate but in the end she had mumbled some rather colourist threats about castration if he dared to awake her again. He had felt internally alleviated, the woman could spent even his infamous stamina.

A soft moan brought him back to the present and he realized that his hand was softly teasing her nipple. His cock hardened and he planted gentle kisses along the nape of her neck. Another moan rewarded his efforts but her breath and the flutter of her eyelids told him that she was still asleep. He wondered what more he could do.

Licking the salty skin of her neck his hand wandered down to tease gently the slick flesh between her legs; the scent of her arousal hit him like a tidal wave as she made some mewling noises in her dream, stirring softly. His erection was demanding release and…well her threat was about the last night. He pushed her gently so she was half bended over her stomach as he poised his shaft at her opening. He pushed forward, inch by excruciating inch, ripping a gasp from her lips.


He hesitated "Are you sore?"

She moved against him slowly "Just take it easy" He moved gently inside her body as his talented fingers reassumed their quest "yeah, just there…"

Soon so gently was not enough for her as she began to move against his thrusts, demanding harder, faster. The climax let them both panting, their sweat drenched bodies resting against each other as both recovered the sanity.

"You have not castrated me yet" he gave her a teasing grin.

"Give me some time to recover" she mumbled against his chest as she trailed the red marks she had left in his pectorals "Does it hurt?"


"Sorry. I never…claw"

He caressed her hair "I heal quickly, don't worry" Actually he was tempted to train in the Gym without his shirt so Anasazi noticed her marks…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"False? Did you steal a false Heart?" Dylan closed his eyes tiredly, this was not good.

"Yeah, false. After all the plots, I can't believe it!" Beka answered frustrated.

"So now we have to find the true Heart" Gaheris concluded

"I believe I know where to look" Tyr murmured.

"Yep. So do I" Beka added "Schrödinger's Cat"

Dylan frowned "What? Who?"

Tyr answered for Beka "The cop, he is a thief"

"For the Divine sake he is THE thief. He is Schrödinger's Cat" Beka began an enthusiastic dissertation about Leydon quests "He has to have it"

"A thief after all" a displeased scowl in Gaheris face.

"We have to force him to put it back" Dylan said firmly.

"Blackmail" Tyr's deep voice "We know who he is, we can blackmail him, if he doesn't put it back we break the news of his identity over Miskich"

"I don't like blackmail"

"Captain I have to agree with Tyr, if you want an easy solution to this problem you have one there" Gaheris added.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Now tell me that you were not jealous" Beka found Gaheris watching Pierpoint from Obs as Andromeda left the port. Leydon had agreed to put the heart back and the plan had been a success, but the goodbye had been tense, as if Hawkins wanted more than friendship from her and she couldn't give him more.

"Now tell me you didn't find him attractive" of course he was jealous, his female had been flirting with a clearly inferior male.

She embraced his waist "I find Dylan attractive. Are you jealous of him too?" she heard the soft growl and sighed in exasperation "Gaheris!" She forced him to turn around to face her "I care for you, it is what matters" she tried to soothe his anger "Now I'm asking you to trust me, I'm not going to betray you. I'm with you"

He allowed her words calm his spirit, kissing her with demanding passion. be continued!

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