Christmas in Zonei Pt. 09

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┬ę Copyright jvaughn, 2014, 2015. All rights reserved. Copyright violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Author’s Note: As usual, I’ve underestimated how long it will take me to write something and how long it will end up. I’d thought this would be nine parts total, but there will be at least one, probably two more submissions after this one.

I hope you’re enjoying my story. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, and please don’t forget to vote.

-Jay

*****

Chapter Fifteen

Kim stifled a groan as he stretched his aching limbs and rubbed circulation back into his hands and feet. His jailors had finally released him from electronic paralysis.

He had never been so terrified in his life as when he’d woken up unable to move and hooked to a machine. If it hadn’t been for his mindlink with Raeden, he might have gone insane. Now, however, although he was still worried about their future, he was too physically uncomfortable and emotionally exhausted to be terrified.

Gary offered a hand to help him off the table. He refused at first, but when he stumbled and almost fell as his wobbly legs tried to support him, he grabbed Gary’s arm.

Gary and Boris were happy that they could go home soon; Kim had caught that much of their thoughts without really trying. Apparently Kim and Raeden were being transferred somewhere else so they were finally getting off duty. Kim had tried to discover more information from Gary’s mind, but he didn’t seem to have any details. He only knew that they were leaving soon and that Raeden would be transported in an unconscious state to avoid any mishaps.

Since Kim had been into Gary’s mind a few times, he found it really easy to pick up his thoughts. Now he was surprised to catch a random thought from Boris.

WowÔÇöhe’s tiny! How could I possibly have been afraid of him?

Kim’s temper flared as it always did when people commented on his small stature. Because I can kill you with my mind! Kim thought, and then he was horrified with himself. Could I really kill someone? Would it be possible to take control and stop a person’s heart or something? Kim shuddered. I’m as much of a monster as Raeden’s lizard man.

Fortunately, Kim didn’t have time to ruminate on his new abilities. He was too busy trying to keep his feet under him. His legs felt like ten thousand needles were poking into them and his head was swimming dangerously.

As he leaned on Gary, he picked up on the other man’s admiration for his small form and his desire to see Kim again in a non-work situation. His main focus, however, seemed to be on taking care of Kim’s needs so he could go home. If he had been too lustful, Kim would not have been able to hold onto him for support as he shuffled slowly to the bathroom, and he needed the support.

Luckily, the bathroom was close. When they opened the door to the hallway a rush of warm air greeted them. The bathroom was just steps away and the corridor was empty.

Kim was much relieved to see that his clothes were piled neatly on a chair in the single-person, windowless bathroom. He was further relieved when his escorts allowed him to go into the bathroom on his own, taking up a station just outside the door.

He took his time using the facilities, washing his face and hands, and then swiping at his chest and pits with a paper towel. By the time he was done putting on his clothing with trembling fingers, he was a little steadier on his feet. He still felt light-headed, but he thought that was probably from lack of food. His stomach was so empty it ached.

He stared at himself in the mirror. In spite of the enforced sleep, he looked exhausted. Shadows darkened the skin under his eyes, made more noticeable by the pallor of his face. His eyes were dull and heavy-lidded. Tendrils of dark hair had escaped his messy braid and swirled in disarray around his face. He was just about to undo his braid, finger comb his hair, and rebraid as best he could when a pounding on the door caused him to jump.

“What the fuck’s taking you so long?” Boris yelled.

Kim sighed and tucked an errant strand of hair behind his ear. The braid would have to wait. If that meant he could be with Raeden sooner, though, he didn’t care.

Boris and Gary escorted him down a long, white corridor, finally stopping to knock on a closed door. It was opened by a tall, red-haired woman who smiled broadly at him and bid him enter.

“Thank you, gentlemen. Please let me know as soon as everything is ready,” she said to Gary and Boris, before closing the door in their faces.

Kim found himself in a small non-descript waiting room. The red-haired woman was the only other person there. She turned to face him, looking him up and down as if cataloging his physical details.

He did the same to her. She had wide, intelligent eyes, a prominent nose, and full lips. Her eyes were casino ┼čirketleri kind and her smile seemed genuine; nevertheless he guarded his mind carefully, getting the wind ready in case she attempted an assault.

“Hello, Kim. My name is Michelle. Dr. Michelle Granger.” She put out a hand and Kim shook it. Her hands were warm and her grasp was firm. “I am the mod specialist who worked with Raeden and Lyzel.”

Kim remembered the name and that Raeden liked herÔÇöhad been asking for her. He relaxed fractionally. “Where’s Raeden? When can I see him?”

She smiled again and nodded slightly, as if mentally checking a box. “He is being prepared for transport. We’ll be leaving shortly for CorpSci headquarters. As soon as we’re there, I’ll wake him up and you can reunite.”

Thank God for that! Kim’s desire to see Raeden overshadowed even his raging hunger.

He wondered if things were going to be better for them in the Corporate Science headquarters than they had been at CorpSec. They couldn’t get much worse, he thought. Then a vision jumped into his head of himself in a giant rat cage, complete with exercise wheel, an evil-looking scientists peering at him through the bars while he readied a giant syringe. Oh hell! I can’t think like that. He resisted the urge to try to read Dr. Granger’s mind. Not only was it probably considered very rudeÔÇöa violationÔÇöbut he had no way of knowing whether or not she had any telepathic talent or training. The last thing he wanted to do was give himself away.

“How are you feeling?” she asked. “I’ve heard they haven’t been treating you very well while you’ve been here.

Kim suppressed a snort. “I’m okay. A little shaky. I’ll be better once I see Raeden.”

“Have a seat while we wait,” she said, indicating one of the comfortable-looking chairs.

As he sat down, Kim noticed a protein bar and a sports drink on a small table next to the chair and immediately his mouth began to water.

“Go ahead and eat.” Michelle nodded at the food. “We’ll find you a real meal when we get there, after Raeden’s awake, but maybe this will tide you over until then.”

Kim could not get the packaging off the protein bar fast enough. He devoured it with such speed it was embarrassing.

*****

Raeden felt like he was swimming in mush. He fought his way toward the surface, heaviness pressing down upon him, making it impossible to open his eyes.

He slowly became aware of his arms and legs. Instinctively he stretched them and sharp pain shot through his limbs. He heard himself groan as he automatically started to morf. Whatever was wrong with him physically would heal much faster if he were in his lizard form.

Raeden?

Kim was calling him and he was close. Then Raeden smelled his warm scent and his libido kicked in. Mate!

There was another human there too, Raeden’s senses told him. Female. Dr. Granger, he identified by scent. He relaxed a fraction. His lizard form was familiar with Dr. Granger. She had never done anything to cause him harm.

He opened his eyes and sat up slowly. He recognized his surroundings: he was in one of the SciLab’s examining rooms. Kim was standing in front of him, just feet away, staring at him in awe. Dr. Granger was standing back, but she was beaming at him.

“Hello, Raeden. It’s great to see you,” she said. “It looks like you got your abilities back.”

Raeden took a quick inventory and realized he wasn’t injured, just incredibly stiff, a tad achy, and ravenously hungry. He immediately morfed back into his natural form, lest he start hunting for the bugs and rodents he could smell nearby.

Kim’s eyes widened as he watched Raeden’s transformation. Raeden established their mindlink and didn’t sense any disgust or revulsion on Kim’s part, only wonder and admiration. And … love?

Once he was fully back to himself, which only took a few seconds, Raeden smiled at his mate. Kim! It was so wonderful to be near him again. It seemed like he’d been stuck on that cold table forever.

Kim’s face broke into a grin, his eyes dancing with joy. Raeden’s heart skipped a beat. This was the first time he’d ever seen Kim smile and the young man was stunning. The worry fell away from him and pure happiness shone from his lovely eyes. His skin seemed to glow and the smile made his cheekbones even more prominent.

Raeden opened his arms wide. “Kim,” he said aloud.

Kim stepped into the circle of his arms, burying his face in Raeden’s chest and wrapping his small arms around his neck.

“Oh god, Raeden! I’ve been so worried about you.”

Raeden took a deep breath, scenting his mate, assuring himself that the smaller man was not injured or in distress. The lingering scent of antiseptic hung over both of them, but underneath he could smell Kim, warm and slightly herbal and definitely in need of a shower. The scent was intoxicating.

He pulled Kim casino firmalar─▒ up onto his lap and the younger man immediately molded against his body. Raeden felt he could not get close enough to Kim. He wrapped one arm tightly around Kim’s torso while he ran his other hand soothingly up and down his back, soaking in the closeness of his mate.

Are you alright, Little One? They didn’t hurt you did they?

They tried to read my mind, Raeden! They brought in a woman who had abilities.

A thought-seeker! Raeden’s alarm spiked. He wrapped his fingers in Kim’s messy braid and pulled his head back gently so he could look into his mate’s exotic eyes. What did they find out? Dread had a vice-grip on his heart, but Kim didn’t look or feel overly distressed.

They know about our mindlink, Raeden. I’m sorry. I got distracted and she found that memory. But I don’t think she discovered anything else. I was so hungry and uncomfortable that it was easy to let those thoughts and feelings cloud my mind.

Well, they would have found out about our mindlink sooner or later anyway, Raeden assured him. I’m very impressed that you were able to avoid further invasion into your thoughts. You have an extraordinary ability, Kim.

Kim sighed in contentment and his warm breath ghosted over Raeden’s cheek. Raeden zeroed in on Kim’s plump lips. Desire slammed into him and he crushed his mouth over Kim’s, forcing his tongue inside and drinking in Kim’s flavor. Kim’s tongue dueled with his and small, muffled whimpers began to pour from the other man’s mouth, flipping all of Raeden’s switches.

So good. So good, Kim moaned over their mindlink.

Raeden was lost, overwhelmed by the devastating sweetness of his new mate. He could have kept going, wanted to keep going, never wanted the kiss to end, but he heard a rustling across the room and the spell was broken.

Dr. Granger is here, Kim said, pulling out of the kiss, breathless.

Yes, I know. Raeden inhaled deeply, mentally shaking himself, trying to focus on the real world again. He glanced across the room. Michelle had taken a seat on a stool and was typing into a portable keyboard, undoubtedly taking notes about their interactions.

Raeden slid off the table, pulling Kim onto his hip, supporting the slight man easily with one arm. Kim seemed content to wrap his legs around Raeden’s torso, his arm around Raeden’s shoulder.

“Did you know you have rodents in the building?” he asked.

Michelle looked startled for a moment and then she let out a small laugh. “There are rats and mice in the lab on the next level down.” She continued to smile as she looked him up and down. “I see you’ve regained all of your abilities.” She glanced meaningfully at Raeden’s crotch.

Raeden looked down and realized that he was still completely naked. His cock was fully hard, standing stiff and proud away from his body, the head swollen to a deep red. Kim noticed at the same moment and Raeden felt a shiver of unease run through him.

It’s okay, Little One, he soothed. I won’t hurt you. I will never hurt you.

“Do you have any clothes for me?” Raeden asked the doctor.

Michelle nodded toward a closed door. “There are some sweats, a T-shirt, and flip-flops in the bathroom for you. It’s all I could come up with on short notice. I hope they fit.”

“Oh, thank god!” Raeden said as he headed for the indicated door. He paused in the doorway and looked at Kim, still in his arms. “Will you come in with me?”

Kim’s unease had lessened, but he still seemed hesitant. “If…if you don’t mind,” he said.

Raeden grinned. “I never mind having you with me, Little OneÔÇöespecially when I’m naked.”

“No hanky-panky in there you two!” Dr. Granger called after them as Raeden closed the door.

*****

Michelle smiled to herself as she typed notes into her device. Raeden had most certainly rebondedÔÇöand with a male! They are so hot together!

Focus, Michelle, she chastised herself.

It was incredible. She wanted to know all the details of their relationship: how they met, how they got to know each other, what had happened to make Raeden morf. Maybe there was hope for other mods who had lost their mates. It was rare to lose a single from a warrior pair, but when it happened the biggest tragedy was the one who was left behind.

She had worked closely with Raeden and Lyzel. They had been one of her favorite warrior pairs. Lyzel had been beautiful, inside and out, bubbling with life, happy, inquisitive, and spontaneous. Raeden had grounded her without clipping her wings. He was more somber. He saw the bad in life as well as the good. He was a big picture person. Contemplative and sometimes moody, he was also capable of letting go and enjoying life immensely. He was deeply loving and caring and attentive to his mate’s every need. They had complemented each other perfectly.

It would be interesting g├╝venilir casino to observe Raeden and Kim together. Kim was as lovely as Lyzel had been and tiny as well, but there the similarities seemed to end. So far she had observed that he was quiet, serious, and very reserved. Raeden seemed to bring out his joy in life, which was an odd twist because that’s what Lyzel used to do for Raeden.

So the new mate does not necessarily have to be like the lost mate.

She had created a list of questions for them and she couldn’t wait to find out the answers, to start putting the together the puzzle of Raeden’s miracle. She knew they needed rest and time alone together after their ordeal. And it was Christmas Eve. She herself wanted to get back to her family. She had a flight scheduled for early evening to G-Zone where she would rejoin her husband and children. They were spending the holidays with her in-laws.

She would take a few hours now to interview Raeden and Kim so that she’d have information to go over and ponder during her vacation. She would come back after New Years with a research plan for determining how a mod could rebond. She went over her questions, refining some and adding a few more.

Presently Raeden and Kim emerged from the bathroom, Kim walking on his own now, but close to Raeden’s side, holding his hand. Their faces were flushed and their lips kiss-swollen. She refrained from looking at their crotches. She didn’t want confirmation on whether they did or did not have sex in the bathroom.

She stood. “I’ve ordered lunch for us. It’s being delivered,” she said, leading the way out of the small exam room and down a long hall. Christmas lights twinkled around every doorway, and all available wall space displayed a wreath or a star or some other Christmas bauble. Their receptionist, Randy, had gone overboard on the decorations this year.

She glanced behind her to see Kim goggling, his wide eyes jumping from one decoration to the next.

Her office had an amazing forty-second-story view of the surrounding city and the hills beyond. The furniture was Corporate-issue, sleek, modern, and utilitarian. She would have preferred something more old-world, in real mahogany or cherry, but that hadn’t been an option in the corporate catalog and she’d decided against spending her own money on office furniture.

She had picked out the fabric that covered the couch and chairs, however: a rich, aubergine jacquard. She had eschewed the corporate lighting in favor of her own eclectic lamps, which featured African animals carved into the wooden bases. There were colorful, jungle-theme prints on the walls, and an abundance of greeneryÔÇöferns, palms, peace lilies, and prayer plantsÔÇöbrought the room to life.

Her office had not been immune to Randy’s decorating whims. Christmas lights encircled the large window, garlands snaked across her credenza, and a very large snowman cutout had taken up residence in the corner of the room, leering maniacally at them with his coal-piece eyes and raisin mouth.

She led the way to the sitting area in front of the massive windows. Turning to offer her guests seats, she was startled by the look on Kim’s face. His eyes were as big as saucers, staring out the window. His mouth parted slightly. He moved forward slowly as if completely unaware of his surroundings.

Raeden, watching him with amusement, led him to the window. “You’ve never seen the city?” he asked.

“No. Not like this,” Kim replied, his eyes sweeping the view, face still full of astonishment. “It’s amazing. I didn’t realize it was so big. And you can see the area outside the city. I’ve seen glimpses of the hills, but I didn’t realize…” He leaned forward, putting his face near the glass and looking from one side to the other. “The land goes on forever!”

Raeden chuckled. “Did you expect it to just stop?”

“Well, no but … I just didn’t imagine it would look like this.”

“You’ve never even seen pictures?” Michelle asked.

“Well, yes, of course. On the infonet. But they don’t do justice to the real thing at all.” Kim’s voice was exuberant and when he turned to look up at Raeden his eyes shone with excitement.

Raeden laughed and hugged him from behind affectionately. “Shall we sit?” he asked. “There is a good view from the couch as well.”

“Oh, yes, of course,” Kim said, suddenly seeming embarrassed by his display of naivety.

Raeden led Kim to the seats and sat down, his massive bulk taking up most of the couch. He pulled Kim into his lap. The smaller man squirmed for a few seconds, as if he wasn’t used to sitting on Raeden’s lap, then he settled, leaning his head against Raeden’s shoulder and wrapping an arm around behind his back. Michelle, ever observant, caught his small sigh of happiness.

The two of them were quiet as she went to the small refrigerator and pulled out bottles of water for all. Seeing their intent expressions, she guessed that they were carrying on an animated conversation over their mindlink.

Just as she finished passing out the water, her intel vibrated. Answering it with a flick of her finger, she was informed that her pizza had arrived.

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