Welcome to Valeris, Galaxy Gladiators #19. This is a standalone book in the series (although it’s #19). You don’t need to have read any previous books to enjoy it. This novella is a bit different than my usual style. It’s a delicious slow burn I hoped to be a magical, very loose retelling of the Cinderella story.
I dreamed of this. Although I’m a virgin, I’m not completely naïve. I know what happens between males and females in bed. I could never imagine, though, who I would want to do these things with.
Valeris is perfect. My Valeris. So handsome and thoughtful, but so much more. Every aspect he reveals of his character makes me like him more, want him more, desire him more.
His scent, of primal rainforests, beckons to a more primitive part of me. My fingers splay as they comb through his mane.
Something releases inside me as I grow bolder, initiating kisses, invading the warm cavern of his mouth, and dueling with his tongue. Our burred tongues, when they meet just right and with just enough force, make the softest sound. It’s rough and intimate. I practice so I can make the sound almost every time our tongues tangle. It’s like music. The Avania and Valeris duet.
We kiss for long moments as I learn not only the feel of his mouth and tongue, but I notice what makes his fingers tighten in my mane, what causes him to chuff or flick his tail. Tails usually lash in irritation, but Valeris isn’t irritated. I think his tail lashes to curb his desire to mount me.
He wants to take me, of that I’m certain. I feel his hard rod pressing against the place between my legs. He positioned me like this, my knees on either side of his hips as I kneel on top of him. If we weren’t legally mated, it would be indecent.
It frightens me and ramps up my desire in equal measures. I experiment. Settling lower on him so his thing presses against my sensitive nub. I immediately realize how impulsive that was. It did something magical to my body, like turning a light switch from off to on.
He told me to keep my eyes closed, but they fly open. I search his face, expecting him to explain what just happened. It’s an absurd thought. How can I expect him to know what’s going on inside my body?
“Feels good?” he husks. His eyes are heavy-lidded as he tries to focus on me.
I lean to whisper in his ear, not wanting him to see the open desire that must be painted on my features. “It feels amazing.”
He slides a reassuring palm down the channel of my spine, then purrs for me.
“We’re going to do many amazing things together, my Queen, and we have the rest of our lives to discover them. Take your time—or don’t. Do as much or as little as you’re comfortable with.”
It’s as though he just gave me a ticket to an amusement park, only there’s only one ride. Him. Just to make certain I understood correctly, I lean back and ask, “I can do what I want?”
He nods, his gorgeous face serious. Even though he’s not smiling, somehow all four fangs are exposed. There’s something about this configuration of his features that doesn’t look happy as it usually does. The way he’s looking at me now is undisguised lust. It makes the desire pooling in my belly twist into a tight, demanding coil.
“You can do whatever you want, stop when you want, start again if you want.”
“Touch what I want?” I ask. My mom always urged me to be a barrister. She said I was the queen of questions. How funny. Now I’m simply a queen.
“Y-yes,” he says through suddenly dry lips.
“See what I want?”
“I want to see you Valeris. All of you.”
I’ve gotten an eyeful from the moment I woke that first morning and all he was wearing were those thin silken trousers. His torso is masculine and strong and perfectly furred. My fingers have itched to do just what they’re doing now as they trace along the hills and valleys of his thick shoulders and muscular biceps.
Now I want to see the parts below his belt that he’s kept hidden from me. He was naked that first night, but I was too fearful to look. It was a missed opportunity, although it sounds like it isn’t too late for me to catch up.
I’m in his arms as if I weigh nothing, as he strides with me to our bedroom. He sets me on the foot of the bed, with my feet on the floor. Standing in front of me, his gaze flicks up and down, drinking me in.
When he moves to remove his belt, I grab his wrists and look up into his eyes.
He ekes out the word “yes” so poorly, his mouth dry with desire, that he nods to make sure I understand.
It takes me a while to unfasten the belt, a thin contraption meant to be worn with the silken trou he likes to wear. I pause, then release it one loop at a time. The fabric slips to the floor with a whisper.
He’s wearing a loincloth which is stuffed with his arousal. Now I’m the one with a dry mouth. My gaze darts to him, silently asking his permission. He nods, his face still serious.
When I go to unwrap the silken fabric that binds his sex, I see the folly of my ways. It’s wrapped in a complicated manner I can’t figure out.
“Should I use my knife, or will you help me?” I ask.
His fingers fly as he unbinds himself, then that material, too, slides to the floor.
My mouth pops open as his manhood springs free.
I’ve avoided watching pornography on the Intergalactic Database, although others in my class at school giggled about it. I’ve looked at diagrams and explanations, but I have to say, nothing looked like this.
It’s majestic, with a tan shaft and lightly furred balls underneath. It’s big. It couldn’t possibly fit inside my body.
I realize I’m holding my breath, so I resume breathing in shallow, hard pants.
“You don’t look excited, Avania. Disappointed?” His voice is raw. When I gather the courage to look up at him, his face is surprised, eyes flared wide.
He opens his mouth and snaps it shut as the expression on his face changes from surprise to pain. His nostrils flare and his brow furrows.
“If I read things right, my mate will put his thing in me. After the past few days with you, I was looking forward to it. But… I don’t think it will fit.”
His breath leaves him in an amused chuff and instead of furrowed brows and flared nostrils, his four-fanged smile is back in place.
“It will fit, my Queen. Never fear. Want to touch it?” His gruff voice dipped on that last question. It was so filled with lusty promise it made my stomach flutter.
Although I’m still not sure it will fit inside me, I definitely want to touch it. Reaching out one finger, claw retracted, I trace upward from the root to the head. It’s the oddest combination of hard and soft.
I ring around the crown of it and can’t ignore the hiss escaping his lips and the loud clack of his teeth as he snaps his mouth shut. There’s a bead of liquid dripping from the little slit at the top. It’s pearly white and some unseen force inside me arrows my attention to it. Without noticing it, I lick my lips, even as I wonder what it will taste like.
A week ago, the thought would have disgusted me. Right now? I have that swirly feeling that results in dampness flooding my panties.
Touching him this way changed something in my body. Something is gathering low in my belly and my nipples aren’t just hard, they’re throbbing and needy. When I glance down, I see them poking so hard against the stiff fancy gown he could see their reaction from across the room. But he’s not across the room. He’s a few handspans away, and his attention is fully focused on them.
I grip his shaft, noticing my hand won’t fit all the way around it, and slide up from base to tip. My mate’s organ is enthralling, like velvet wrapped around steel. It moves! Like it has a mind of its own. It jerks, then pulses, then settles. Still holding him tight, I slide the pad of my thumb back and forth across the tip, feeling the moisture there.
“You’re beautiful, mate,” I say as I gaze into his eyes. “What comes next?”
“You,” he says with a laugh.
I raise an eyebrow in question, but he doesn’t see it as he tells the computer to turn off the lights.
Moonlight streams in through the gaps in the curtains. It’s just enough for me to watch my mate. He’d stood, almost stoic, at the foot of the bed, but now with the lights off, I can see the raw hunger in his gaze.
He steps closer, his feet between mine, and slides to his knees. The dizzying realization strikes me that the King of all Ton’arr is kneeling at my feet. This country girl, who never in a million annums would have even dreamed of such a thing, has been courted by the ruler of the land. And now he’s at my feet. If the look in his eyes is any indication, he’s about to worship me.
My chest feels so full and warm. It blooms with an emotion I’ve never felt before. Yes, I’ve loved my mother and my pets. But this? This is beyond that. Times a thousand. I want to shout it from the rooftops and weep with the fulness of it.
Instead, I place one finger under his chin to ensure he’s looking at me and say, “I love you, mate” at the same moment he says the exact same words with the exact same punch of emotion.
My affection bursts even hotter and higher, like fireworks on Zaypien Day. It’s too much, too big, too overpowering. I don’t want him at my feet. I want to be in his embrace, so I slide to the carpet and wrap my arms around him so tight it’s a wonder I can breathe.
I cup his cheeks in my palms and he mirrors me. When we kiss, it’s nothing like those we shared a moment ago in the dining room. Where those were sweet and exploratory. This? This is fiery hot and cataclysmic.
I’m consuming him so powerfully I have to gasp as I come up for air. Our kisses are noisy with smacking and moaning from pleasure. The clash of eight fangs is uncoordinated until something clicks into place and we develop an intimate dance that never falters in its grace.
I wanted him a moment ago, with my pricked nipples and swirling belly. Now I desire him, am on fire for him. Then it crosses from desire to need—desperate, intense need.
My palms can’t get enough of him as they roam the swells and dips of his muscular torso and arms and legs. When I grip his bottom, the sheer muscular power of him defies belief. It is hard and so masculine I can’t get enough of it, enough of him.
I was so busy touching him, learning him, in awe of him, I forgot to pay attention to my own body as his hands explore me. I’m still wearing the beautiful cobalt gown he bought me, but his hands are exploring me all the same.
His palms cup my scant breasts, sweep down my sides, then squeeze my bottom.
“Undress me,” I say, barely recognizing my voice. It’s breathy, urgent.
He stands, then lifts me from where I’m kneeling. The passion in his gaze and his roaming hands made me think he’d rip my dress off, but he doesn’t. He controls his movements as he turns me toward the bed, lifts my mane, and touches the autozip at my nape.
Leaning over my shoulder so his warm breath rustles my mane, he uses one claw to trace from the hollow of my throat, across my collarbone, and toward my shoulder. He drags the silken fabric with him until it crests my shoulder. The weight of the gown pulls it down as it tumbles to my feet.
The chuff that explodes from his lips can’t be mistaken for anything other than what it is—wild desire.
“I wish you could see yourself the way I see you, my Queen,” his voice is full of growl and gravel.
I feel like a kit with his first female. I can barely control my lust, yet I don’t want to scare my mate. I’m trying to go slow, although my thoughts are racing ahead to the thousand things I want to do to her. We have a lifetime, but my greedy cock wants to do them all tonight.
When he bucked in her hand a moment ago, I worried she’d run from the room screaming. But she wants me. That’s clear.
And she said she loves me. If I hadn’t wanted to lay the world at her feet before, I certainly do now.
I didn’t rip her dress off, fearing it would scare her, but I can’t wait a moment longer to get her naked. With one extended claw, I slice through her bra and watch it fall to the floor. A moment later, her panties, nearly cut in two, join the heap of clothes at her feet.
Stepping close, I press myself against her, letting her get the feel of me, of our bodies close, fur to fur.
My palms grip her hips and tuck her against me, my cock riding against her back. She sucks in a harsh breath. Her trepidation is replaced by desire, because instead of being shy and cautious, she reaches behind her, wiggles her hand between us, and grips my cock.
I smile. I should have known my little knife-wielding, bow and arrow toting mate wouldn’t stay shy in our shared bedroom for long.
After turning her in my arms, I step back and drink her in. Our species has small breasts, and my mate’s are smaller than most, barely a handful. But I have no doubt her tight, butter-colored tips will be responsive when I finally get them in my mouth.
“I’m going to touch you until you come. Unless you tell me to stop,” I say, my voice a deep rumble as I lift her onto the bed and join her there.
“I want to share everything with you, Valeris.”
I’ll make certain she does.
I’ve touched my breasts a thousand times in the shower or getting dressed. But when he simply runs the pad of one finger from my collarbone down my fur, over the slope of my breast, and flicks my nipple, I feel like I just dropped into this body for the first time.
When he strums and flicks and plucks, his nails sheathed, I mewl and toss my head, lost in the pleasure of his touch.
“Valeris!” I say when I’m capable of coherent speech. But he says nothing, just adds another hand to the mix, working his magic on both straining tips at the same time.
I didn’t know my body was capable of this level of pleasure. When he dips his shaggy head and licks his long, burred tongue across my nipple, I can’t control my urge to squeeze his shoulders as I press my thighs together.
He lays me on the bed and lies next to me. It takes me a moment to recall how to breathe as I realize how big he is next to me, how warm his skin is under his soft fur.
Now I’m treated to a whole new menu of touches to my breasts, from streams of his hot breath, to licks, to nibbles, to little bites with his flat front teeth.
Something is building in my pelvis. It’s hot and full and makes me feel desperate.
My head thrashes against the pillow, but my mate doesn’t let up his attack. Am I getting a moment of reprieve? No, it’s only for him to lean so he can switch sides. Now his mouth is attacking my other breast as his talented fingers relentlessly pleasure the original peak.
I wiggle next to him, not knowing what I want, but knowing I want more. When he lifts himself and slides his leg between mine until his knee almost touches the apex of my thighs, I realize what it is I’ve been wanting.
I press upward, a wanton act as I crush my sex against his softly furred leg. I’ve explored my little lump of flesh at night when Mom was asleep. It was sensitive, but I never played with it, thinking instinctively that it was forbidden.
That was nothing like this. I’m squirming on him, my body dancing against him, pressing harder every time he nips the tip of my engorged nipples.
“Please,” I say, not knowing what I’m asking for.
He pulls his head away. Did he think my plea was for him to stop?
My mate kisses and licks his way from my sensitive peaks across my furred ribs, then dips into my naval. When he slides lower, my fingers curl into his mane as I try to stop his journey. Certainly he’s not going to move lower.
My unspoken request for him to move north instead of south does not stop my intrepid mate. He simply sinks slower, licking and lapping as he moves toward the seat of my femininity.
“Valeris, no!” It feels divine, but this couldn’t be right, could it?
“Don’t tell your king no,” is all he says, his voice too gritty to pull off his attempt at a joke—if it is a joke.
Trying to shut my legs is futile, especially when his firm grip spreads me wider and he leans in close. His tongue dips into my channel.
After a second of mortification, not only my shock, but all higher thoughts slip away. I’m just a body. A body receiving pleasure.
My fingers, which a moment ago were trying to pull his head up and away from between my legs, are now keeping him right where he is.
He’s groaning with delight as his burred tongue delves into my private spaces. It feels filthy and delicious at the same time.
He lifts his head long enough to husk, “You taste like the nectar of the gods,” then he slides his tongue into me again and I’m lost in a vortex of pleasure.
When he slides his tongue along my petals toward my bundle of nerves, he has my full attention, and when he arrives there and takes one hard flick, then another, I know I’m lost to him for all eternity.
I slide my knees up, my soles flat on the bed so I can buck up against his amazing tongue as it licks and flutters against me. When he surrounds the hard bud and sucks, I come apart.
Noises erupt from my mouth. My fingers contract, clutching his silken mane, and every muscle in my body convulses in the most delicious spasms. I’m grunting and thrusting myself harder against his mouth as all thought is lost. All thought but pleasure. Swirling, aching, all-powerful bliss.
As I return to this room and this bed and my mate, my body so well and truly pleasured, I’m filled to the brim with love.
“That was wonderful,” I tell him, sad that my puny words can’t begin to express how truly amazing that experience was. “Thank you.” I assume now he’ll stick his thing in me and then our bed-play will be over.
“That was just the beginning, Love.”
Is that a smirk on his face?
Over the next hoara, he teaches me a thousand things about the body I was born with. I learn the cues of when I’m going to come, and I discover how to stave it off, if only for a little while, which makes the explosion even more powerful.
He forces me to ask for what I want, and it only takes me a little while to warm to my task. Talking dirty doesn’t seem so filthy when it makes my mate’s thing get hard as steel.
“Your cock is beautiful,” I say, which makes him smile, because I’m no longer calling it his thing, although when I mess up and call it that, it makes him smile, too.
My mane is sweaty and there’s a pool of my slick cream under my bottom. My muscles are tired from coming so many times.
“Is it time for you to put your thing in me, my love?” I ask as we take a break, my fingers combing through his messy bronze mane.
“We can wait,” he husks.
“Why would we do that?”
His claw is drawing circles around first one nipple and then the other, making me want him again, even as he teases me.
“I’ll wait as long as you wish,” he says.
“Good,” I say with a toss of my head. “I want you to wait until you make me come one more time, then I want this thing inside me.” To emphasize my point, I grab it hard, stroking it firmly enough to squeeze the meaty core of it.
“You’re a quick study, little Avania,” he says as he slides between my legs again and attacks my little bud with his mouth. When I’m about to come, he enters me with one finger, his claw sheathed. My lids fly open in surprise at the incursion, then slam shut with the sheer intensity of the pleasure.
I move in time with him as he slams his finger into me, then adds a second finger. When he sucks my little clit and flicks with his tongue, I fly over the edge, calling his name over and over.
I’m barely done spasming when he places his cock at my entrance and pulses there. Was it only a few hoaras ago I worried he wouldn’t be able to fit? I’m still not sure it will work. His cock is a lot bigger than his tongue or two fingers.
The emotions of fear and desire war inside me, but ultimately it doesn’t matter, because I’ve given the decision over to my mate, and he’s working his way inside me.
I watch his beautiful face, eyes shut in, I don’t know, is it concentration or intense pleasure?
“So tight,” he croons. “So perfect.”
He’s chuffing from the effort of holding back, trying not to hurt me. The pressure burns as his manhood stretches me. Instead of focusing on the discomfort, I focus on the pleasure I’m giving my mate. The pain feels inconsequential.
My hands clutch the meaty muscles of his ass as they flex and release with each pulse as his cock burrows deeper inside me. The discomfort turns to pleasure when I focus on the feeling of fullness as I allow him into my body.
“You’re inside me, Love,” I say with wonder.
“We’re one,” he says on a groan as he presses all the way home.
Now he’s rocking inside me, little presses in and out as his hands lodge on my upper arms and his gaze holds me tenderly.
Pleasure is a pathetic word. It’s like a pastel color compared to the vibrant crimson of a pellum flower. What’s happening now, between us, is so far beyond pleasure it’s incomprehensible. And it has nothing to do with his cock inside me.
The connection we feel is bigger than sex or mating. It’s our souls twining. It’s a melding on the most elemental level.
The ceremony was a travesty, a sham, a joke. This? This is the true mating a male like Valeris and I deserve.
Then his gentle rocking changes into deep thrusts, and all my philosophical musings scatter like petals in the wind because all I can pay attention to is our bodies.
Little snatches of awareness: fur on fur, his soft grunting noises, his smell, no longer piney forests, but something richer, more like damp, fertile soil. My fingers roaming his back, then clutching his mane, then squeezing the beefy cheeks of his ass. My nipples dragging against his fur. Then it’s just my clit and my channel and his cock and the delicious slide of him inside me and the pressure of his pelvis against mine.
My need builds and swirls and doubles and then peaks just as his pace quickens and he pistons into me, grunting each time he thrusts home.
I fly apart as he comes with a roar so loud I’m sure every person inside all four boats surrounding us can hear. In case any of them missed it, he roars again. As I’m coming, I’m laughing—I can’t understand how I can even manage it—as I imagine every light in every home in this rural valley turning on wondering if their neighborhood is being attacked.
My laughter disappears when he places his mouth over my shoulder and his body stills.
I’ve seen my mom’s mating mark a thousand times. As a youngling, I couldn’t wait to grow up and have my own. Throughout the whole journey from standing in the Alagan with my crimson pellum flower in my hand, though, I never thought about this moment.
He looks at me, his mouth poised, ready to bite, but still giving me the power to decide if I’m ready.
I’m absolutely not ready. Totally unprepared. Yet there’s nothing I want more than to complete our connection with this.
“Bite me, mate,” I say, my voice forceful in its intensity.
His fangs press through my fur and into my flesh as he roars again, louder this time even though his mouth is full of… me. And totally unexpected? I roar, too.