This is a snippet from one of my earliest books, The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy.
The galaxy teeters on the brink of inter-species war
Accused of an atrocity, ex-Admiral Chaka Saahren goes undercover to clear his name. Systems Engineer Allysha Marten, takes one last job to rid her of debts and her cheating husband. On Tisyphor, deadly secrets about the past explode, as Allysha and the undercover agent scramble to prevent the coming holocaust. When the ex-Admiral’s identity is revealed, she must come to terms with her feelings for a man she holds responsible for the death of innocent civilians, including her father. In a race against time, Saahren must convince Allysha to set aside her conflicted emotions and trust a man she barely knows to help him prevent the coming conflagration.
In this scene, Allysha and Saahren are together in a secret garden, where they’ve found a commonly grown fruit tree. The question is – how to get at the fruit.
She eyed the fruit hanging well over her head and his. “How do we get them down?”
“I’ll help you get into the tree and I’ll catch the fruit when you throw it down.”
He made a stirrup with his hands. “Here. I’ll hoist you up to that first branch.”
Balancing herself with her fingers resting lightly on his shoulders, she put her foot into his hands and pushed down. She slipped sideways. “I don’t think this is going to work.” She leant into him and started to giggle.
The scent of her invaded his nostrils; her breast pushed against his chest and set his pulse racing. Fruit. Think about fruit. He dropped his hands and straightened up. “I think you’d better turn around.”
“Okay. How’s that?” She stood next to him on one foot, one hand on his shoulder as he made a stirrup again, her foot grasped between his hands. She shoved down, trying to use his hands as a step but she ended up staggering against him, giggling helplessly. “That’s not going to work, either.”
He sighed and knelt down next to her, leaning forward a little to hide his erection. “Sit on my shoulders.”
She hesitated. “Are you sure? It won’t be a strain for you?”
“There’s not much of you. It won’t be a strain.” And at least he wouldn’t be in such intimate contact with her.
She swung a leg around his neck and settled herself down, hooking her knees under his arms. He stood, muscles bunching under the weight. “Okay?”
“Fine.” He wished he was. He could smell her, female and alluring, his hands on her smooth skin, her parted legs around his neck. “Climb into the tree.” Please.
She grasped the branch and scrambled onto it, lifting herself with a foot on his shoulder. She turned around awkwardly and sat on the branch looking down at him.
“Go for the deep orange ones. Throw them down to me.” He raised his hands, ready to catch.
She reached up, wrenched the nearest off and tossed it to him. The over-ripe fruit splattered as it hit his hands.
“That’s one we won’t be eating.” He shook the sticky fragments away. “Do it gently or you’ll have to suck the fruit off my fingers.”
She chuckled. “Interesting thought.”
Far too interesting. He imagined her lips around his finger, her tongue… Concentrate, Saahren.
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