Storm and Lightning began on the 13th January. Catch up here: week one, week two, week three, week four, week five, week six, week seven, week eight, week nine, week ten, week eleven, week twelve, week thirteen, week fourteen
On a mining colony planet a long way from Earth, bandit Jedd Lightning dreams of making enough money to get off the planet for good. When a robbery at a high-class brothel goes wrong, he meets gorgeous rentboy Storm and is instantly smitten. But Storm has a few surprises up his sleeve, and when Jedd helps him escape, he realises he might have taken on more than he can handle…
But now, on with the story:
Storm took a deep breath and puckered up. It wasn’t so bad if he didn’t breathe in, and with Sara’s lust washing over his senses, he could just about get into the spirit of things. He kissed her chastely, but then gave in as she pulled him closer and turned things sloppy.
Dammit, the woman tasted worse than licking T’almaki arse. Still, he’d done that unpleasant task plenty of times, so he knew how to avoid gagging. Fortunately, the flames of lust quickly died down into something more poignant and Sara pulled away.
Storm wondered if she’d hear him if he spat out the rancid taste from his mouth.
“Oh Bertie, Sara’s missed you.” Sara’s voice sounded different, more youthful. “It’s so dark and lonely without you.”
Suns above, she was about to cry. Since he didn’t much fancy being dragged down by her misery, Storm snuck a hand into his backpack. He’d been saving his protein bars all week—well, not all of them. Changing his form took a lot of energy out of him, but he’d managed to hide away a few without suffering undue fatigue.
“Hey, I’ve got something for you. Here.” He broke the napkin-wrapped bar under her nose. It was soft and crumbling—he’d had to take it out of the wrapper to avoid suspicion from the guards who collected his dinner tray. “Roast turkey and stuffing flavour. Whatever that means.” The bars were imported from Earth for the human settlers, but Tavkel bought them in especially for him, as they’d discovered the concentrated form of nutrition was the only foodstuff capable of sustaining his energy during the frequent body shifts.
“Turkey? You got me turkey? Oh! Smells so good.” Sara’s bony hand came out to grab Storm’s wrist. She gobbled the bar down like she was starving—which come to think of it, she probably was—making small noises of satisfaction. Storm pulled his hand away from her licking tongue, worried he was about to lose a finger to her hunger.
Storm scrabbled for another bar, listening to the sounds of the fighting going on down the tunnel. The echoes and the dust in the air distorted everything, but if there was still conflict, it meant Jedd was still alive, right? Either that or the guards were fighting each other in the blinding dust, Jedd’s dead body trampled under their feet.
But no, it wouldn’t do any good to think like that. Jedd would survive. Guys like that always did, right? And when he came running back, Storm needed to have their escape route plotted.
“Sara? Which way do we go to get to the frogmen? I need you to show me.”
“Secret tunnels best way up. Sometimes there’s drinks at the top. No food, though. No one leaves Sara any food.”
“I’ll bring you more food. I promise.” He’d do it somehow, even if she was a crazy old bat who’d just tried to kill him. No one deserved to live like this.
She paused in licking her fingers and cocked her head to one side. “One close to here. Just over there.” She pointed in the direction Jedd had run off in. “Sara was walking there when she found her Bertie.”
“I’ll give you one more bar if you take me there now.”
Storm’s fingers closed around the remaining bars. Just three left. “One after,” he insisted. It wouldn’t do to run out of his bribes too quickly. He didn’t want to have to give her another kiss. Or more.
Sara nodded. “Bertie follows. Sara leads the way. She knows the way. Always knows the way.” And then she beckoned with her finger.
Suns above, not another kiss! Storm gulped, closed his eyes and held his breath.
But instead of another fetid-mouthed ambush, a slimy feeling rag was pressed into his hand.
“Bertie’s strong. Can bring Sara’s things. She needs her treasures. Oh yes, lots of treasures.”
Storm looked down at the bulging sack, and then at Sara who was already shuffling off into the cloud of dust.
“Wait!” Sara’s things were heavier than he’d expected, and he didn’t want to think what was contained in that bundle of rags. It was almost impossible to see in the shifting dust, but Sara didn’t have any problems navigating. Jedd had better be able to find them again. Storm didn’t want to contemplate missing him in this infernal duststorm.
“Sara’s here. The door.”
What was she on about? There was nothing there! But then Storm looked closer to where Sara’s fingers were searching the wall. Was that a crack in the brickwork? Sara gave a grunt of satisfaction and pushed on one of the bricks.
The crack widened silently, a door opening up where previously there had been a blank wall.
Storm gasped and stepped forward.
“That’s amaz—ouf!” Something barrelled into him at speed. A grime-smeared, dust-whitened figure threw him to the ground and rolled them into the wall. Storm knew that weight, and felt a familiar change rush over his body as Jedd’s hands closed around his throat. Ah, back to being Jedd’s fantasy man again! But the relief wasn’t going to distract him from being strangled.
“Get off me, you dumb oaf!”
“Storm?” Jedd’s voice rasped, and then he coughed. He’d lost his head lamp, and in the feeble light of his own, Storm could see a trickle of blood working its way down his cheek from the nasty wound on his forehead. Ouch! He winced and reached out to stroke Jedd’s cheek.
“Thought you were one of them. We’ve gotta run.”
“I’ve found us a secret tunnel.”
Jedd frowned in confusion. “They’ll just be back again. We’ve got to get out of here.”
“It’s a way out. Look!” Storm pointed to where he hoped the opening in the wall was. It was hard to tell after Jedd had rolled them over on the floor.
Angry voices grew closer. Storm could make out “Divine!” shouted in T’almaki. Fuck. He knew that guard’s voice. The man was a hard nut. He’d be brutal if he got the chance, no matter whether Storm took the form of his ultimate fantasy lover or not. Loud stomping footsteps sounded just yards away from where they lay.
“Quick! Let me up, you great lump.”
Jedd sprung to his feet and pulled Storm up with him, then pretty much threw him through the wall opening. Storm’s forehead hit solid stone, the lamp crunched and darkness surrounded them.
How will they ever see to find their way out now? Are these men going to be stuck underground forever? Find out next week in another thrilling installment of Storm and Lightning!Storm and Lightning – © Josephine Myles, 2012. No part of this serial fiction may be reproduced elsewhere without prior permission of the author. Thank you!