Ella’s Story, Chapter 19 *FREE READS*

Ella’s Story follows people who live ordinary lives as citizens of a vast interstellar empire. Indeed, a galactic empire. Each chapter will be posted individually here at the Plain & Simple Press blog, and then collected at a single page devoted to the book. Come on over to the Ella’s Story page to find all the chapters published so far, as well as the cast of characters and a list of place names.

Ella’s Story

19

The dinner he had ordered up was pure Samdi: foods she hadn’t tasted since the blacksuits had hauled her off a good two years before, foods she didn’t realize she’d missed so much.

“Where did you find this, brother?” She picked up a crisp-coated leaf of a richly flavored succulent, one of her favorites among the grilled and boiled and deep-fried treats sold in a market thoroughfare.

He lifted a piece out of the serving bowl and examined it skeptically, as though he suspected it was unripe or not cooked properly. Or maybe counterfeit. “You can get pretty much anything you want. If you ask right.”

“I didn’t even know the Varns had this stuff here, on their godforsaken moon.” She’d never seen the leaf, which rotted quickly off the vine, in the resort restaurant where she’d labored away her first months at Ethra.

“Oh, sure. Some of the tourists are Samdi bigshots.”

That was so. Samdi bigshots liked street-market food, too. Of course. Who wouldn’t?

She ate until she couldn’t stuff another bite into her face, so delighted was she with the spread that graced the table. After Lohkeh finished his meal – well before she did – he watched her sate herself, barely hidden amusement showing in his face.

When she succeeded in clearing her plate and every other dish in front of her, she sighed, leaned back in her chair, and looked up into Lohkeh’s deep blue eyes, so dark as to appear black most of the time. The garnet in his ear sparkled like a sly wink. And she realized she was hungry for something more than food from home.

She rose from the seat, stepped over to his side of the table, and stood over him, silent. She knew she wouldn’t have to say a word.

Beautiful. That he was, she reflected now, from the distance of many years.

He smiled, let her pull him to his feet, and then slid his arms around her. She felt his desire harden against her belly, and felt her own heart beat faster as his lips found hers and then followed the line of the jaw to her ear and downward. He drew her to the bed, settled on it, and nuzzled her belly while he tugged smooth fabric seams apart.

She sat beside him on the bed to pull his shirt open, slipped it off his back and arms, then paused to gaze. His muscled chest and arms, highlighted in the golden light from glow panels set to mimic the Varn sun’s colors, stood out as smooth and perfect as a sculptured figure.

This one, she wanted. She moved to kiss him again. His tongue danced in her mouth, and he tugged off first her leggings, then his own.

He lay back against a pile of pillows. “Come here,” he whispered. “Come on up here.”