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Bacchus

Chapter 1

The planet Bacchus was apparently named after some ancient God of Harvest and Wine. This God was supposed to represent having a good time. As Bron shoved another corpse into the reclamation vat he considered the hellish reality behind the face of the 'party planet'.

Bacchus was dedicated to the pleasures of the flesh. If it felt good, tasted good, smelled good, sounded good, or looked good you could find it here...for a price. And people were willing to pay for their pleasures. From every civilized and not so civilized planet in the Confederacy a steady stream of interstellar cruise liners and private corporate and personal yachts arrived on a regular basis, disgorging travellers to spend their money on thrills. They'd been making their way to the planet in sufficient numbers for years to make it a very lucrative business.

The planet's administrators were well connected, financed by the crime syndicates, and had a security force equipped with state of the art weaponry. This kept the morally uptight planets from interfering with Bacchus' very popular enterprise.

Being run by morally bankrupt business administrators meant the planet also offered pleasures that were illegal on most of the other planets. After all, these had the largest return on investment. The biggest ticket entertainment was its highly advanced genetics program which allowed it to produce any form of creature you could envision. You want to slay a dragon? They could produce one. Want to ride a unicorn? No problem. You want to fuck your boss' wife (or at least a replica of her), it could be done. If you wanted to murder your boss (again, a replica) that could also be done. Supply recordings of their voices and mannerisms and the realism of your personal fantasy was all the better. If you could pay the price they could fulfill it.

None of the creations were allowed off-planet. Genetically Engineered Entities, or Genies as they were called, were illegal on most planets in the Confederacy.

While there were definitely other planets with labs producing Genies for industrial purposes such as terraforming, mining, or hazmat workers, and for pleasure such as sex workers, when it came to producing the most lifelike and realistic Genies, the geneticists and scientists on Bacchus were king.

As the demand was so high, Bacchus also had a policy of buying Genies from 'bounty hunters'. They were paid handsomely, especially for Genies with higher functioning minds. None of the Genies that arrived came willingly as they were treated little better than slaves. They would be put to work in any manner of ways and most wouldn't survive their first year on the planet.

Bron had beaten those odds. His official designation was TSBR0N33-EM12.01 but he'd been dubbed 'Bron' for short. His original function, what he'd been engineered to do, was to work with a team of miners on a primordial planet with higher than Earth standard gravity. The lab which had produced his team had been facing bankruptcy so they'd taken a shortcut and used maps of living minds to form the highly complex personality matrixes required for the Genies. This technique had been banned because the process more often than not led to unstable personalities which fractured into madness and violence. Again, Bron beat the odds. While he hadn't displayed the most outgoing of personalities, Bron was functional, dependable, stoic, and most important to his ongoing survival, a good worker. The rest of his team hadn't been so lucky. After the lab had delivered them to the customer they'd been inserted onto the planet to begin extracting a rare and explosively volatile ore found there. Within a week his teammates started to behave erratically. Bron maintained contact with the company from the surface and as the others became violent he was ordered to terminate them. Within two months the base was deserted except for him. The company put the project on hold, stopped their food deliveries, and left him to starve, alone on the hostile planet.

One of the company's lawyers learned of the sole surviving Genie and decided to sell that information to a bounty hunter who sent a drone down to the surface to collect the weakened survivor.

A month later he was working corpse disposal on Bacchus.

After patrons had their fun with their custom Genie creations or when one of the Genie sex workers was considered too worn out they were euthanized and their bodies were put in the reclamation vats. As Bron had previous experience with this they assigned him the task.

He had the physical strength required. Humanoid in shape, Bron stood a little over 2 metres tall and a little under a metre wide at his broad shoulders. His dense skeletal system was augmented with carbon fibre like ligaments. His muscle tissue was twice as tough and dense as a humans to withstand the pull of 1.8 G so he had to be extra cautious with his movements on Bacchus which only had a pull of .92 G. His skin was armored with tiny scales designed to withstand sandstorms with hurricane force winds. The scales were blue-black to absorb the energy of a weaker sun but in the stronger sunlight of Bacchus they proved to be slightly iridescent. He might have even been considered beautiful if it hadn't been for large goggles which hid his eyes, his minimal suggestion of a nose, his black lipped mouth and the grim expression he wore on his face at all times. His eyes were designed for nocturnal duties and were capable of seeing clearly in minimal light. All of his team had been outfitted with tough goggles to protect their sensitive vision during the daytime hours of the planet they were built for. The goggles worked equally well on the brightly lit vacation planet.

Like all Genies on Bacchus, Bron wore a discipline collar. For most Genies this was a stylish gold ring bonded to the neck. It delivered electrical shocks when activated and in the case of a Genie going rogue, it would detonate and decapitate them. Bron's was three times wider than normal due to his denser anatomy. The bands also contained a medical monitor for ensuring the Genies remained healthy to maintain the investment, a tracking beacon, and a two way communicator. Administration could contact any of its Genie population anywhere on the planet at any time.

As a new day was just dawning Bron's shift was ending so he was 'free' to go back to his apartment deep in the underbelly of the entertainment complex. Even Genies required time to recharge so housing was necessary. It didn't have to be good though. All worker housing was underground so the 'good people' of the Confederacy wouldn't have to see them. Human workers got the first floors and the less human you were the deeper you went. Bron's unit was ten floors down, only two away from the lowest housing levels. Below that were three more floors of loud, smelly, and hot machinery. It wasn't so bad on Bron's level but security had called upon him to subdue a tenant of the lowest level who'd been driven mad by the incessant noise. Two security members had been killed before they sent him in. Though he'd managed to take the poor creature alive Bron recalled processing the Genie's corpse later that night. Or what was left of it. Security didn't take well to losing personnel to rogue Genies.

His help in that event had granted him the luxury of expanding his apartment into the next unit so he could actually have a bed that fit his larger frame. It also earned him the fear and distrust of the other Genies who now looked upon him as just an extension of Security. He never spoke to the others so he did his best to just ignore their glares and whispers.

Many Genies would have mentally shut down or cracked under the psychological stresses Bron had to endure. Something about how his mind was constructed gave him the ability to endure it and to numb himself to the accompanying loneliness.

Bron stopped at the ground floor cafeteria for his end of day meal. He stood before the machine which read his collar's medical monitor. Moments later the tray in the machine's dispenser contained two water bottles and food blocks which would give him the calories, minerals, and vitamin supplements he needed to remain healthy. He sat alone at a table with his back to the wall. Other diners near him got up to move away. He ignored them as well.

The food was largely flavorless but his tongue had no taste buds. He just ate because he was hungry so he ate until it was gone. He drank one of the bottles empty and kept the second for his room. He put his tray away and headed down the stairs to his floor. When he reached the landing for the fourth floor he heard loud grunts and a female voice screaming then crying. Knowing this would result in Security sending some goons in to bust heads he decided to take a look himself so he could settle the disturbance before it turned deadly.

His collar gave him a mild shock as he touched the handle on the door to enter the fourth floor. He cleared his throat and said, "Investigating a disturbance." Seconds later he felt the collar vibrate signalling he had permission to enter the floor.

When he stepped into the wide hall he saw roughly a dozen maintenance workers gathered around someone on the ground. Maintenance Worker Genies made him uneasy. They all looked identical except for their unique ID tattoo on their forehead. Blank expressionless faces and who knows what behind those cold grey eyes. The personality matrixes for these workers was as simple as they could make them and still have them function at their jobs. They tended to move in groups and mirror each other's movements and behavior. Like ants. Humanoid insects. Creepy!

He thought there might be two people on the ground but he couldn't see from his position. The workers hadn't heard his approach as they were so intent on whatever was happening at their feet. One of the workers remembered to keep a lookout for danger and glanced back towards the stairwell doorway but by this time Bron was only two steps away. The worker screeched and tried to run away from Bron but this took him over the figures on the ground. The rest of the workers wasted precious seconds squawking at the clumsy oaf who was tumbling over the prone worker and the female he was trying to rape.

Bron saw tears, bruises, blood, and the desperate look on the young female's face. His quiet fatalism vanished in a flash of hot rage. He swept his arms across the gathering, slamming the workers to either side of the hall. Then he reached down and grabbed the collar of the worker still struggling to pry the woman's legs apart. Bron yanked him up and slammed him against the wall. He dropped him in a groaning heap on top of his team.

Now that the workers had been neutralized, Bron turned to the young woman on the floor. She had curled up into a fetal position and was shaking. At first glance he mistook her for one of the new sex worker Genies. Golden brown skin, long strawberry blond hair, large and possibly fake breasts (exposed through her torn t-shirt and showing scratches and bruises), large blue eyes (one swollen shut), full lips (now split), and long smooth legs (scratched and bruised as well). Her denim cut off shorts were torn and tangled around one knee with the shredded remains of her g-string. Definitely all the sign she was a sex trade Genie.

Then Bron noticed the glaring omission. No discipline collar. Either the impossible had happened and she'd escaped the inbound processing center or she wasn't a Genie at all but a patron! She was a human female in her early twenties he guessed but he couldn't understand how she'd gotten herself down into the habitation levels.

He heard an odd noise and saw the workers had recovered and were advancing on him. The woman noticed as well and shrieked in fear. Bron tucked her behind him against the wall and braced for their attack. Maintenance Workers weren't especially strong but there were thirteen of them and they came at him en masse. Bron withstood their clumsy blows and struck back with all of his strength behind his fists, causing their broken bodies to go crashing down the hall. The worker who had been trying to rape the woman attempted to sneak between his legs along the floor to get to her. She cried out and Bron slammed his bloody fist down, breaking the neck of the crawling worker who had gotten a grip on her leg. He took several more blows across the face and shoulders before he was able to knock the remaining workers away. He bent down and grabbed the body of the worker at his feet and threw it down the hall before he dropped to his knees, exhausted. The woman cried behind him and he turned to see if she was alright.

Suddenly his collar sent a massive charge through his nervous system and he flopped to the ground. As his consciousness fled he saw the approaching feet of security troops, late as usual.

Chapter 2

Bron didn't expect to wake up so when he did he was very confused. His last memories were of fighting and likely killing roughly a dozen Worker Genies, getting shocked, and seeing the Security goons incoming. Considering how violent he'd been he was sure they'd euthanize him and dump his corpse in the vat too. He was chained down on a bed in a white room. There was a beep noise and the door opened. A man who might have been a doctor approached the foot of his bed.

"Designation," the man said coolly.

"TSBR0N33-EM12.01," Bron responded.

"Are you functional?" he was asked.

Bron thought about that for a second or two then replied. "Yes."

"Your original team did not survive the dissolution of their matrixes. They became violent and had to be euthanized," the man noted.

"Yes, I know. I was the one who did it," he replied calmly.

The man studied Bron critically. "How have you been able to remain stable when the minds of every single one of your team fragmented and rapidly degraded?" the man asked.

"I don't know," was all he could say to that.

The man changed subjects. "Why did you kill the Maintenance Workers?"

"They had become feral. They attacked a young woman... she was a patron! Is she alright?" The moment he mentioned the girl his thoughts were derailed and he had to know her condition. His concern must have shown in his voice.

The man's eyebrows rose. "Yes, she is recovering. How did you know she was a patron when you confronted the workers?"

"I didn't know for sure until I'd removed the workers from her the first time. No discipline collar," Bron said.

"What do you expect will happen to you now?" the man asked with a careful tone.

"I- I don't know. I didn't expect to wake up," he said quietly. "I believe I can continue to be an asset to the company."

"That's a good answer," the man said and left the room.

Bron wasn't sure if his good answer was enough to keep him alive.

Chapter 3

Several hours later the man returned with two Security personnel. The guards took up stations on opposite sides of the room and kept a hand on their control units for his collar. The man ignored them and moved to the bed to unlock the chains. He showed no concern that Bron may be dangerous. Once the chains were off he stood back and gestured for Bron to follow so he slid out of bed and walked a few feet behind the man as they left the room. In the hallway beyond were two additional Security officers. They also kept an eye on Bron as the group moved down the hall. They led him across the grounds between the hospital and an office tower where they rode an elevator up to the top floor to a conference room.

Inside the room Bron's attention was immediately drawn to the man sitting at the head of the table. He was one of the senior administrators of Bacchus, Jorgus Landry. Bron immediately stopped and bowed deeply towards the man who held his and the lives of all of the Genie's on Bacchus in his hand. A small satisfied smile crept onto Landry's lips and he nodded at Bron. Only then did the other occupants of the room register on him.

The man seated at the table next to Landry was a stranger and his face was red from some strong emotion. His hair was a tower of white and his thin body seemed to be shaking.

Seated next to him was the young woman. She had a white bandage over her injured eye and was wearing a large white robe tightly wrapped around her. She seemed to be shrinking in on herself inside the robe. She didn't notice his arrival but the white haired man did.

"Is this the blue man you told me about dear?" he asked her gently.

The woman's blue eye widened and she looked around wildly until she focused on him. Emotions were warring across her face. She stood slowly and walked in tiny steps from her chair to stand in front of him. She looked up and he saw her bruised lower lip trembling. A tear slowly made its way down her face. She was struggling to say something.

The hardened shell of Bron's emotional armor felt like it was cracking. Then he felt something. He didn't know what it was and it frightened him a little as he felt... exposed. Still, when he looked at the woman the feeling was... good. He felt himself smiling and the muscles ached from disuse. "Take strength in the fact that you survived," he said gently.

She took three more steps and then she was leaning against his chest. The top of her head came to his chin. The tears began. Instinctually Bron enclose her in his arms and she really opened the flood gates. The Security detail were getting jumpy but Landry waved them away casually. He turned to the white haired man. "Well, you've seen it. Is that everything?"

The man glared at Landry and stood. He walked over to Bron who continued to hold the woman whose tears had begun to taper off. Her shoulders were dropping so Bron knew she was beginning to relax. He looked at the white haired man who looked distinctly uncomfortable with how Bron was holding her.

"What is your name?" the man asked.

"TSBR0N33-E-" Bron began.

"No, your name," the man interrupted irritably.

"Oh! Bron. I am called Bron."

"My name is Pietr Rykov. Thank you Bron for saving my daughter, Angelina," he said stiffly.

Bron just nodded.

"Angelina, we must go now. Say goodbye to Bron," Pietr said gently.

Bron opened his arms and she wrapped her arms around his wide chest and clung to him, burying her face against him. She shook her head indicating she wouldn't leave.

She felt wonderful against him and Bron was feeling a little dizzy from it. His arms encircled her once more. He felt her sigh and relax again. He looked at her father helplessly.

"Angelina! Stop this, please!" Pietr pleaded.

"No papa! I feel safe here! I thought I'd never feel safe again!" she cried. The tears began again.

Bron saw Pietr's anger building. The man was embarrassed by his daughter's defiance and didn't see the source was her fear and desperation. He whispered to the young woman. "Angelina, you need to go with your father. You are strong. You will be fine, in time. I belong to Mr. Landry and he wants me to get back to work. I can't afford to have him angry with me." He eased open his arms and she rubbed her tears on his chest one final time. She looked up at him, her blue eye searching his face. He forced a smile across his features once more for her. He was unfamiliar with the expression so he wasn't sure if it was convincing. She nodded and looked down. Her father gathered her up under his arm and walked her to the door where she looked back at him a little desperately. Then they were gone.

Bron looked back at Jorgus and bowed his head.

"It's refreshing to see a Genie that knows its place," the administrator said to him. "You're right, you can't afford to have me angry. And considering the number of workers you killed to protect one fucking little slut, I should have you skinned for a new dinner jacket," he glared at Bron. "As it is, get back to work until I can find a way to make you earn back the cost of those 13 Workers. Get out!"
Bron bowed deeply once more and backed out of the room between the Security detail. He wasn't at all surprised that Landry had listened in on his whispered conversation with Angelina. For all Bron's size and inhuman anatomy the real monster in that room was Jorgus.

He was taken directly back to his work where his first task was the disposal of the 13 dead Maintenance Worker Genies. He took a secret satisfaction from that. He realized his natural numbness had been reduced by this experience. He wondered if that was a good thing or not.

It was a busy night for him. A rough group of patrons bought out one of the smaller brothels and did some truly horrifying things to the sex workers after raping them. Eight Genies were brought in for euthanizing. Bron had difficulty distancing his emotions from them but considering the damage they'd taken it really was merciful to release them from their pain. That said, he was pretty shaky once he was done. They reminded him too much of Angelina. He considered his new state to be a bit of a hindrance to his occupation now.

He staggered into the cafeteria at the end of his shift and tucked into the pile of food blocks he'd been allotted to replenish the calories he'd used recently. He had no appetite but he ate the food and drank the water as required. When he stood to put his tray back four Security goons collected him without a word and fast marched him back to the conference room. He felt dread in the pit of his stomach and had it been possible for him to throw up he would have gratefully done so.

Once more he was ushered before Jorgus Landry. He bowed deeply and kept his eyes on the floor.

"You're becoming a bit of a nuisance, you know that?" Landry growled.

Fear gripped Bron.

"But I did manage to find a way to get my money back for you and the Genies you destroyed. You're just damn lucky you weren't created in one of our labs," Landry said.

The door opened and Pietr Rykov walked in. He glanced over at Bron then walked straight over to Landry. The two men held out their comms and made a funds transfer. Landry then sent Rykov a data block, the specs on file for his new acquisition.

"Good doing business with you, Mr. Rykov!" Landry smiled his shark grin at the other man who just set his mouth in a grim line and walked back to Bron. He grimaced up at the large Genie. "You- you're mine now. Follow me."

Before they left the room, a Security officer handed Rykov a set of controls for Bron's discipline collar.

Security followed them all the way to the space port. As Pietr Rykov was one of the senior political officials from Walla, one of the more prosperous planets in the Confederacy, he'd arrived by one of Walla's military transports not on one of the cruise liners. Now Bron understood Landry's comment about it being fortunate he'd been created off planet. The restriction on Bacchus created Genies didn't apply to him so he could leave. Not that there was anywhere for him to go. Most planets still considered him to be an illegal biological construct.

A harried looking man in some kind of space navy uniform approached Pietr in a rush. "Mr. Rykov, please we really need to be on our way- what is THAT?" He drew up short when he saw the tall blue-black creature standing behind Pietr.

"Lieutenant Fillion. This is Bron. My daughter's guardian. It will be travelling with her," he said firmly.

"But- it's a Genie!" the startled man gasped.

"Brilliant deduction! Now, shall we get moving or are there any more obvious facts you'd like to share?" Pietr said scornfully.

"They're illegal on Walla!" Fillion continued to gasp.

"No. So far only creating them is. Having one, is not. The bill that would make having them illegal is currently tied up in the courts waiting on some critical votes, mine included," Rykov explained slowly to the flustered man. "Now, may we leave or are you willing to take over paying the exorbitant docking fees?"

The Lieutenant stepped aside and Rykov walked up the ship's personnel ramp. Bron followed and Fillion brought up the rear at a cautious distance. Only when the ramp retracted sealing Bron inside the ship did the Security team leave.

Fillion returned to his post and Pietr led Bron through the corridors until they reached his stateroom. The muffled sounds of crying came through the door they stood before. The man turned and looked up at Bron, a cold steely look in his eye.

"You may have noticed I am not comfortable with this arrangement. If it wasn't for the calming effect you seem to have on my daughter's traumatized mind I would have left you to that jackal Landry. He let me know that if I didn't buy you out you were headed for the fighting pits to make up the cost in lost workers. Your life expectancy would have been measured in days if not hours. The fee he charged me for you was outrageous but I'm hoping that is compensated in reduced psychiatric care fees." He paused to listen to his daughters racking sobs. Some of the anger and frustration left him as he listened. Troubled, he looked once more into Bron's eyes. "Is my daughter safe with you?"

Bron was confused. He didn't know what his new role was. "What is my purpose?" he asked.

"You'll be her bodyguard. You've proven you can do that at least. Protect her from danger. I understand you stopped those Genies before they could rape her but she's experienced a terrible trauma. Be there for her. Help her get past her fears," Pietr said, then looked him over. "But no sex!" He looked down at Bron's lack of genitalia. "Well, that doesn't appear to be an issue anyway. Once more, is my daughter safe with you?"

Bron considered the man. His new master, albeit reluctantly. Maybe that was the difference. Inside the room he heard the young woman crying. He didn't really know why but something was drawing him to her side. He just wanted the man to open the door. He nodded.

Pietr moved to the door and held up his hand to make Bron wait. He opened it slowly. His daughter began shrieking until he stepped inside and she saw it was only him. The young woman was sobbing on the floor behind the chair she'd need to be in for take-off.

"Angelina, please calm down. I've brought you something to help you calm down." Unable to wait any longer Bron stepped into the room and Angelina's mouth dropped open. Not taking her eye off of him she scrambled on hand and knees to get out from behind the chair then ran across the stateroom to throw herself against Bron's chest. Once more the sobs poured out and he held her in is strong arms.

"We need to be seated so the ship can register our location and we can leave," Pietr said firmly.

When Angelina didn't respond Bron scooped her up and carried her to her seat and helped Pietr strap her in.

"Papa, Papa, Papa!" Angelina gripped Bron's hand as she stared in panic at her father.

"It's coming with us. Bron belongs to me now," he assured his daughter and saw her relax a little. She wouldn't release Bron's hand so Pietr directed him to the seat next to his daughter and strapped him in. His own seat taken, he pulled out an emergency crew seat next to the door and strapped himself in.

A voice came in over the room's intercom. "Mr. Rykov, this is Captain Shareem. I'm registering three occupants in your stateroom, is that correct? Would you please send me the details for our extra passenger?"

Pietr tapped his comm and it blurted the data packet to the ships system. "There you go Captain."

Seconds later the intercom came on again. "A Genie! You brought a Genie on my ship?" the captain's outraged voice blurted out.

"A ship my budget approval will keep in service," Pietr replied calmly.

There was a pause then a terse reply. "We will discuss this after launch." The intercom went dead.

Departure from that point on was routine but for Bron, who had never been conscious through the process, it was all fascinating. Every bump, shudder, and ping as the ship disengaged from the port's umbilical cables was a question racing through his mind. He wasn't nervous, just excited. That was another new emotion for him.

When the ship taxied out to the launch zone it turned on the inertial dampeners and the ship noises simply stopped. Unlike the cruise liners which landed the patrons in shuttles, their ship had surface to space capabilities. They reached the launch cradle and the ship tipped up to launch angle. The engines built up its thrust and they shot up the rails to be launched into space.

Pressed back in his seat Bron looked over at Angelina who hadn't taken her eye off of him since he strapped her in her chair. They were still holding hands.

The ship soon reached the edge of the atmosphere and the internal gravity fields came online. Down became the floor once more. They changed vectors and lined up for the first jump point, ETA 30 minutes.

Pietr unbuckled from his seat and stowed it away in the wall compartment. With a final meaningful stare at Bron he left the stateroom.

Bron looked down at his chair restraints and tried to figure out how to release them. Before he could Angelina crawled up on his lap and tucked herself against his chest. She was shivering though the room was quite comfortable. She wasn't a small woman so he wasn't too comfortable trapped in the chair with her on his legs.

"When was the last time you slept?" he asked.

"I can't sleep! I see them when I close my eyes," she whispered.

"You know they're gone, don't you? I killed them all," he explained gently.

She pulled back from his chest to look him in the eye. "Gone?"

"When I fought them off I used too much strength and I killed them. My job on Bacchus was disposing of Genie corpses. I put all thirteen of them into the reclamation vats to be dissolved into their base chemicals. They are gone and they can never, ever hurt you again," he said looking her directly in the eye so she could see he was being honest with her.

Her bottom lip was trembling and tears pooled in her eye. The bandage on the other one was definitely becoming saturated. She managed to mouth "Thank you" before she began to cry silently, her face in her hands.

"We should call for a fresh bandage for your eye and you should really get some rest. You will feel better once you've slept," he said gently.

She pointed to the next room then slid off of his lap to stand at his feet. Bron struggled with the buckle until she reached in and tugged on the proper lever and all of the straps retracted. He looked at her with a sheepish grin and got a small smile in return.

She snagged his hand and dragged him through a bedroom to a washroom beyond. He saw there was a stack of fresh bandages on the counter. He carefully peeled the wet bandage from her eye and dabbed it dry with a clean facecloth.

"Am I hideous?" she moaned.

"No, not at all. Your eye is just swollen. If you take care of it the tissues will heal and there will be no sign of this in a week or so. You'll be back to having two beautiful eyes in no time at all," he smiled at her then realized he sounded like he was flirting, with a citizen!

His face fell. "I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to be so forward." He ducked his head preparing for the discipline collar's shock.

He felt her fingers on his chin. She tilted his face up to look at her. Angelina had a small smile on her lips. She couldn't smile too widely as her lip was injured but he could see it in her eye. She was happy. "I'm not going to punish you for being sweet. Thank you!"

He picked up a clean bandage and affixed it with tape over her injured eye. Her other eye watched him with a pleased twinkle. He followed her out into the bedroom. In her exhaustion she tugged off her silk blouse. She was only wearing the smallest of bras under it. It just provided support under her breasts so the flesh didn't bounce around and strain her bruises. Unfortunately it left her nipples quite exposed. Bron spun around to face the wall. She unzipped and tugged down the tight skirt she was wearing and shuffled to her bureau to pull out a nightie. She unhooked her bra and tossed it in the drawer. As she pulled the sleep wear over her head she saw Bron standing at rigid attention facing the wall.

"Oh! I'm sorry Bron. I'm so out of it, I didn't think of you," she said, wobbling on her feet.

He glanced over his shoulder and saw she was covered up again. He turned and guided her to the bed and helped her in under the covers. When he turned to leave she reached out and grabbed his hand.

"Please stay," she pleaded.

He nodded and sat on the floor next to the bed. He leaned against the side as she pulled his right arm over her stomach on top of the blanket. He froze in surprise but relaxed when she looked at him with a pleading expression.

With her right hand she reached out and touched a fingertip to the side of his goggles. "May I see your eyes?" she asked.

"It's too bright in here," he replied.

"I'll dim the lights," she smiled. "Room Lights, 20%" she said distinctly and the room dimmed. Bron pushed the goggles up on his forehead.

"Oh! You have beautiful eyes too!" she gasped. His large eyes were almond shaped but entirely a glossy black. When the nictitating membrane flicked over them there was a dim flash of blue from the protective layer. For him the dim room was like high noon. He watched her lids droop and her head slip back. She was asleep before her head hit the pillow.

Bron sat beside the bed and watched her sleep. He was stunned by the new direction his life had taken. It hadn't sunk in until this moment. Hours ago he'd been forced to murder and dispose of Genies at the whim of that human abomination Jorgus Landry, his master. Now he had a new human master who had him playing nursemaid to a young woman. While he accepted his future was just as uncertain on Walla his interim conditions seemed so much better. He would do everything he could to ensure his new master was satisfied with his performance.

Angelina looked so innocent when she was asleep. Her long blond locks spread out over the pillow in a halo framing her face. Her lips were slightly parted and her breathing was deep. Her well-endowed chest rose and fell evenly under the blanket. The movement was somewhat mesmerizing and Bron began to feel uncomfortable once more with how he had his arm over her. He tried to gently pull it back without waking her but the moment he began to lift it her grip became tighter and her brows furrowed in irritation. She made a cute mewling sound so he let his arm return to its resting place. Angelina's face relaxed once more. She pulled his arm upwards until it was resting just under her breasts. He could feel the heat from her body warming up his arm and his face felt flushed as well.

Bron suddenly realized his new life was going to be a special kind of torture as well.

Over the next seven hours he sat with Angelina and listened to her breathe. He allowed himself to doze when she was still but the slightest movement or sound would wake him. Four times he became aware of her reliving the attack in her dreams and each time he spoke softly to her, murmuring that he was there, the danger was gone, he'd killed them all, and they could never hurt her again. His voice and contact with his arm seemed to be enough to help her settle down. Each time the night terrors seemed to be less pronounced. Finally she settled down to dreamless sleep and Bron allowed himself to slip into a doze of his own again.

Sometime later he awoke to feel her moving. She turned onto her side with her back to him while she continued to cling to his arm. As he couldn't reach any further over her she tucked herself back against him. Bron came fully awake when he realized she had pulled his arm up against her chest...between her breasts! He felt her soft breath on his fingers so his hand was near her face. He tried gently pulling his arm free but she just gripped tighter. Something soft touched his fingertips and a tingle went down his spine. He thought his discipline collar was giving him a warning jolt except the tingle felt really, really good. He'd never experienced that before.

Angelina moaned in her sleep and rubbed her thighs together. She squeezed his arm tighter to her chest and suddenly his fingertips were slipping between her lips, her tongue running over the smooth pads.

"Angelina!" he whispered hoarsely as shock waves ran through his nerves. He had to get her to wake up but he didn't want to frighten her. He managed to extract most of his fingertips from her mouth but she began to suck on his middle finger as she ground her thighs together.

Bron was seeing spots in front of his eyes and tingles were running up and down his spine. "Angelina, please! Please wake up!" he gasped.

Suddenly the sucking stopped and his finger slipped from her lips. She looked down then looked sleepily over her shoulder. When she saw his face she got a big smile and stretched like a cat.

"Good morning," she said. "I just had the hottest dream."

Bron pulled his arm back and felt a tremble run through his muscles. He'd never felt these sensations in his body before and didn't know what to do with them. Most disturbing was the tightness in his groin.

When he didn't respond Angelina rolled over onto her stomach on the edge of the bed and reached out to touch his cheek to get his attention. "Hey! Are you alright?"

"I- I'm not sure. Something is happening to my body. It started when you were hugging my arm," he trembled some more and the pressure in his groin increased.

Her smile grew sensual. "Mmm, yes, that was in my dream too. I was dreaming you were holding me and I felt so safe in your arms. Then I was touching you and you were touching me and you felt so good..." she looked down between his legs and noticed for the first time that there was nothing there. "Hey! What happened to your-" She reached down and slid her hand down his stomach to his groin where his genitals should have been. Instead she felt a bulge under the fine scales of his stomach and groin.

That was when his discipline collar actually did activate.

Fire coursed through every nerve in his body and all remnants of the pleasure he'd felt vanished. He felt his consciousness whiting out. The last thing he heard as his body flopped on the floor next to her bed was Angelina's voice yelling "Papa!"

Chapter 4

Once more Bron was surprised to wake up. He was lying under a blanket on the floor of Angelina's bedroom. He was alone. He tried to get up but his muscles trembled in memory of the fire. He hadn't experienced that level of punishment before, always just slight warning buzzes. He didn't like it and wondered what he'd done wrong so he could avoid doing it again. After a short period of trying to get his muscles to respond he was able to crawl to the door. He reached up to touch the opener but it just buzzed. He was locked in. He crawled over to the wall opposite the door and sat with his back against it, his legs splayed out in front of him and his arms flopped to either side. He was spent. His head tipped forward and he passed out once more.

Chapter 5

"Bron. Wake up."

The big Genie tipped his head up and blinked his nictitating membrane groggily. Standing a few feet away was Pietr who wore a grim look on his face and behind him Angelina who looked anxious. When he looked at her the anxiety slipped away and she made to move forward but Pietr blocked her with one arm.

"How are you feeling?" he asked Bron without acknowledging his daughter.

Bron flexed his muscles and outside of a deep fatigue he felt better. The burning sensation was gone.

"Better. I'm sorry for whatever I did. Please tell me what it was so I won't do it again," he said, apologetically.

Angelina made a pitying sound and tried to get past her father's arm again but he pushed her back and glared at her.
"Do you recall what I told you outside the stateroom before I brought you to Angelina? I said No Sex!" Pietr growled.

Bron looked up at the man in shock and confusion. "Did I do sex? But I don't know what it is!"

"Do sex?" Pietr pulled back from the Genie, confused.

"Oh Papa! Did you read his file? How can you treat him like this?" Angelina chastised her father. "I told you he didn't do anything wrong! He doesn't even have... the equipment!"

"What were you reaching for then?" Pietr snapped at his daughter in frustration.

"I told you when I woke up I felt really good and I was thanking Bron. He sat by my bed all night. I think that gave him a muscle cramp. I was just reaching to massage it. Then you zapped the poor man," Angelina explained with a pout.

"Firstly, let's get one fact perfectly clear. Bron is a Genie, not a man! Do NOT make that mistake again! As a Genie it is on shaky legal grounds as it is on Walla though we will do our best to ensure it gets to live as long and as well as we can in gratitude for its protecting you from those workers," Pietr barked and Angelina only flinched a little at the mention of her attackers.

"I punished Bron because I believed he was breaking a direct order. It seems I was incorrect. Bron, you will need to be taught what sex is so you will know what behavior I expect you to avoid," Pietr said then noted the shy smile on his daughter's face. "I will ask the ship's doctor to brief you on this."

Angelina's smile dropped in disappointment.

"Now if you don't mind I need to get back to reviewing the conference notes. Unlike you I was on Bacchus for work. Angelina, while I enjoyed your company in the little free time I had I now sorely regret bringing you. Bron, with me." He turned and left the bedroom and Bron struggled to his feet to follow. He saw the stricken look on the woman's face so he reached out and touched her chin to tip her eyes up to his. He gave her a smile which was getting easier to do. The twinkle came back into her eye.

Bron rushed out to follow Pietr out the door and they walked some distance through the ship, changing levels on two occasions. Whenever they met the ship's crew Pietr would nod and they would freeze until he and Bron would pass. Finally they reached what looked like the medical center. Pietr walked in and Bron followed and stood at his back. A tall, slim woman with very short brunette hair and wearing light blue scrubs walked in and slowed to a stop when she spotted the big blue-black shadow behind Pietr.

"Doctor Ryan, good day! I wish to speak with Doctor Palenka. Is he available?" Pietr asked.

She tore her eyes away from Bron and shook her head ruefully. "I'm sorry to say Doctor Palenka left the ship on Bacchus. He took a job on the planet. Left us a little short-handed. Is there anything I can do for you... two?"

"Oh, yes, this is Bron. My daughter's guardian. I had hoped I'd be able to ask Doctor Palenka for his assistance with a rather... sensitive matter." Pietr began to squirm slightly in embarrassment.

Ryan did her best not to roll her eyes. As a female doctor she saw quite a lot of strange behavior from men when they discussed... their issues with her. It had gotten to the point where she'd developed something of a sixth sense for identifying what it was they were trying to avoid talking about. Like embarrassing physical symptoms, issues with their spouses, or sex. She was definitely picking up from Pietr that it was the latter but he was projecting the parental concern vibe as well. Angelina was 23 and frequented the night club scene back on Walla so she was well versed in sex by now. So who... her eyes were drawn to the innocent face of Bron. Her guardian. Damn.

"Does the big guy need the birds and bees talk" she guessed.

Pietr was surprised and, quite frankly, relieved. "That's very astute of you, doctor! Yes, uh, I would like him to be aware of what... activities he is not to... participate in... with my daughter." His face was beet red when he finished.

"Can I see his file?" Doctor Ryan asked.

Pietr fired the data packet over to her tablet and she did some quick reviews. "Wow, there are a LOT of holes in this file. Was it a non-regulated private firm that made him?" she asked as her eyebrows rose.

"Yes, according to what I've researched it was a new lab that hired a lot of top notch freelancers for a large mining contract on Yosman. Highly customized requirements. The talent disappeared back into the shadows after they delivered the product and got paid. The file contains a lot of boiler plate text when describing the genetic attributes of the Genies so they are probably inaccurate. There was a major flaw in the way they built and how they applied the personality matrixes. All but one failed, Bron. His work history has shown him to be extremely stable under very trying circumstances," Pietr explained.

"How did you end up..." she began.

"While I was attending the conference my daughter was abducted by a group of Genie Maintenance Workers who 'mistook' her for a Genie sex worker. There were 13 of them. Luckily Bron stopped them before they could do more than beat her. In turn they attacked and he was forced to kill them. For saving a guest of Bacchus, Bron's reward was to be sent to the pits to fight for sport. I thought personal guardian was a more fitting reward and gave him a better chance at survival." The flush on Pietr's face showed the suppressed rage he felt for what had happened to his daughter.

Ryan leaned back against the counter and studied the man. She knew he was hurting but psychology really wasn't her field. She would recommend to his doctor at home that he speak with someone. She flicked her eyes back to the big man waiting patiently behind Pietr.

"Bron, can you wait for me in that room over there? Just take a seat. I will be in in a minute," she asked. The Genie looked at Pietr who nodded once he recalled why he was being asked permission. Once they were alone the doctor turned to Pietr. "You do realize it's just going to get harder for you. You're going to be called a slave owner. No one else on Walla owns another sentient being."

"It isn't human!" Pietr hissed. "Why can't people understand this most basic fact!"

"But you just told me you saved Bron's life!" she exclaimed. "If it wasn't important why did you do it?"

"For my daughter! I did it for her! I wasn't there for her! Oh my god, what they almost did to my baby!" Pietr gasped as the pent up emotions finally broke free. He began to cry and Ryan put her arm over his shoulders and led him into her office for some privacy.

She briefly stepped out and spoke to the head nurse to give her some quick instructions on getting started with Bron. Then she went back to console Pietr.

Head Nurse Wendy Callahan made her way into consulting room one and spotted the patient sitting on the chair as Doctor Ryan said he would be. The size of the Genie was still unexpected and her step faltered as she entered the room. Her own 1.6 meter height seemed insignificant compared to him, and he was sitting! She felt like a pixie next to his bulk.

"Hello... Bron?" she asked nervously.

"Yes," he replied calmly.

"Hi, I'm Wendy Callahan. I'm the Head Nurse here in the Hospital. You can call me Wendy, ok? Doctor Ryan asked me to get you started with a simple introductory video while she speaks with Mr. Rykov, ok?" she explained, feeling more comfortable as Bron responded with a nod.

"I'll sit with you in case you have questions. These videos are made for young people so the language may seem a little odd," she said with a smile and keyed in the code for the video. The screen they sat in front of lit up and the presentation began. Thirty minutes later Bron was more confused than he had been when Pietr accused him of having, not doing, sex. He understood now.

Wendy smiled up at him. "Did you understand what they were doing was sex?"

"Yes, I understand how male and female humans have sex for procreating but... why did Mr. Rykov want me to see this? I'm not human. I'm not a suitable mate for human females so the attraction stage does not apply. And I don't have the male genitalia required for the physical connection."

Wendy looked at Bron's confused face and sighed. She knew the video was too fundamental to properly explain the messy business of sexual attraction.

"Bron, didn't you just come from Bacchus? Didn't you meet any Genie Sex Workers?" she asked.

"Yes, but I didn't speak with any, that lived," he said sadly.

Wendy's eyes got really big and Bron noticed her sudden nervousness. "Oh! Sorry! That sounded bad. My job on Bacchus was euthanizing the old, damaged, or worn out Genies they brought to the lab and sending their corpses into the reclamation vats. That didn't make me any friends in the Genie community so I never really spoke with them."

"My god! That's horrible!" she exclaimed.

"Yes, but that was my job and I could not refuse it," he said.

Wendy shuddered and placed her hand on Bron's arm. "I'm so sorry you had to endure that. It just confirms my belief that the people running that planet are the worst examples of humanity!"

She noticed how soft his scales felt. Not at all what she'd expected. She ran her hand down his arm thrilling to the feel of his smooth scaled skin. So alien yet so soft and touchable. She began to feel rather warm. She cleared her throat and pulled her hand back in embarrassment when she realized she was petting him.

"My point is that some humans go to Bacchus to have sex with Genies and not just Genies that look human. Sometimes they want someone who doesn't look human. Sex is far more complex than that video indicates but the fundamentals of HOW it is done were shown at least. However, contrary to what the video showed, humans have sex for a variety of reasons, not just to make more humans. Sex feels REALLY good and our minds play a very large role in determining who or what we find sexually attractive.

Bron felt that strange tingling sensation when Wendy was stroking his arm. Her mentioning how sex felt really good connected some dots for him.

"When you touched my arm it made me feel really good. Does this mean we are having sex?" he asked.

Wendy blushed. "NO! I mean- no, I was just admiring how smooth your skin felt. I shouldn't have done that. My touching you felt good?"

"Yes, uh, tingly," he replied. "I have only experienced that once before when Angelina was clinging to my arm as she slept and began to suck on my fingers. Those sensations were extremely intense and I lost muscle control."

"God! That must have been sexy!" Wendy gasped.

"Was that sex? Was that why Mr. Rykov was so angry with me?" Bron asked worried.

"Uh, that could have led to sex, yes. The sucking of your partner's fingers is considered to be foreplay, the stimulation stage leading to sexual intercourse. You should understand that Angelina is in an age group that is very active sexually. It is a period of sexual experimentation and sometimes they don't consider the consequences." She considered Bron once more. "What were you designed for?"

"Mining," he replied.

"I find it odd that you would have been given the mental mapping for sexual activity. Usually, only Sex Worker Genies have the responses for sex," she said, confused.

"I overheard that during my creation they used maps of living human minds to form my personality matrix. I have all of the human responses but no memories to show me what to do with them."

Wendy placed her hand on his arm again in sympathy. "Oh my god! You poor man! That must be so confusing!"

Bron felt that tingle again where her hand gripped his arm but it was enjoyable so he didn't draw her attention to it.

Wendy was feeling a tingle of her own. She squirmed on her chair and played with the ends of her shoulder length red hair. Bron was looking more attractive as they spoke and she got to know him but then she'd always had weakness for tragic heroic figures. She suddenly wanted to see his eyes. The goggles gave him a mysterious air but she needed to see behind them.

"May I see your eyes?" she asked quietly, one hand absentmindedly stroking his arm.

"Can we turn the lights down to 15%? My eyes were designed for much less light," he replied, his normally deep voice practically a purr as he enjoyed her touch.

"Sure. Room Lights, 15%" she said and the lights dimmed. She could still see him relatively well as he slid the goggles up on his forehead. "Ah, I thought so! You have lovely eyes! It's a shame you have to hide them behind the goggles."

"I would be blind without them. The goggles that is. Well, I suppose I'd be blind without my eyes too," he replied.

Wendy giggled. God she felt tingly and the room's dim lighting made her feel more daring! She slid her hand down to his thigh and kneaded the solid muscle under her hand, feeling it twitch. He was obviously enormously strong yet he'd been so gentle so far.

Bron was tingling so much he was seeing spots again and the pleasant/unpleasant pressure in his groin was building once more. As much as he didn't want her to stop he needed to know what was happening to his body. Since she was a nurse, maybe she'd be able to explain why it felt like this.

"Uh, that feels incredible but I'm having a terrible pressure in my groin. It isn't entirely pleasurable," he said.

She looked down and had difficulty seeing anything in the dim lighting. She reached down to touch the smooth scales on his lower abdomen. The scales were extremely small there and she felt a sizable bulge pressing against them from inside. Puzzled, she slid her hand down the bulge.

At her touch Bron groaned and leaned back. There was a brief but sharp tearing sensation. A seam parted on his lower abdomen and his hard cock slid out of its pocket into her hand. The flesh was hot and Wendy made a squeaking noise as her hand automatically closed around its thickness.

"Oh my god!" she exclaimed unable to take her eyes or hand off of the magnificent specimen in her grip.

The relief for Bron was so intense he slumped back in his chair causing him to thrust his cock forward slightly. It slid through Wendy's fingers and she revelled in the silky smoothness of his skin. There were no scales on this flesh. It had an exquisitely soft texture, a dark blue tone, and was long, thick, hard and hot! His core temperature must be a few degrees higher than a human's. Wendy stroked her hand along its length and felt him twitch in response. She looked behind her on the medical cabinet and pulled out a sterile sample bottle. She unscrewed the cap then went back to stroking him. His breathing picked up and she knew he was close. She aimed the sample bottle at the end just as his orgasm took him. She almost lost her grip on the bottle as he came with such force. The bottle quickly filled and overflowed. Once he was done, Wendy released his cock, sealed the full specimen bottle, and grabbed some absorbent towels to clean him with. As she wiped his legs and stomach clean, she watched in fascination as his relaxing cock slid back into its sheath, cleaning itself as it went. The seam disappeared amongst the tiny scales.

"What happened?" Bron said groggily. Shivers rippled through his muscles as aftershocks from his orgasm lingered.

"That was sex, well, one kind of sex," Wendy explained.

Bron jolted in his chair. He expected the lancing fire of punishment from the discipline collar any second.

"What's wrong?" she asked worried.

"I'm not allowed to have sex," he gritted out between his teeth as he waited.

Wendy was horrified she'd caused him such distress so she quickly rushed to assure him. "You won't be punished for it this time. I will have the doctor speak with Mr. Rykov to see what his actual expectations are. I hope we can get you permission to have sex with people other than his daughter. I'm sure that's who he is trying to protect but again, let's keep this a little secret until I've had a chance to speak with the doctor," she replied.

"Speak to me about what? Why is it so dark in here?" Ryan said.

"Ah, Doctor Ryan!" Wendy looked behind the woman but saw no sign of Pietr. "I was looking at Bron's eyes and he needs the dark for that."

Ryan stepped forward and held Bron's face still while she looked at his eyes. She was amazed at how black they were and jumped slightly when the membrane flicked over them. Then she realized how hot Bron felt to the touch.

"Is he running a fever?" she asked the nurse.

"Well... no. That was from when I collected this." Wendy held up the full bottle of Bron's ejaculate.

"Bron, put your goggles back on. Room light 100%." She took the bottle from Wendy and looked closely at the contents. "Is this what I think it is?" Then she noticed the wad of paper towels in Wendy's other hand and her flushed face. "What?" She looked down at Bron's featureless groin. "What???"

"It's inside! When he is sexually excited, and he was imprinted with all of the human triggers and responses, it emerges. God! It emerges! When he's done it retracts." Wendy looked back to see if Mr. Rykov was coming but the coast remained clear. "Beth, you need to speak with Mr. Rykov to see if it's only with his daughter that Bron is not allowed to have sex with. Since Bron's a complete newbie at this and with his responses, he's going to need an outlet for that pent up frustration."

Ryan was looking worried. She'd given Pietr a strong sedative to help him sleep on the couch in her office. The man was beating himself up about his daughter's assault and was mentally exhausted. Bron had seemed a safe protector because he appeared sexless. Now that he'd proven to be capable of sex, Pietr was faced with a more difficult situation, one he'd created.

"We need to test this right now. Bron, please wait here." She and Nurse Wendy left to step into the lab with the sample bottle.

Bron watched them leave and his mind was spinning. What the nurse did with him was incredible. He'd never felt so good before. He was wondering how something that felt so right could be wrong. Then he thought of how Angelina had almost been raped and he realized that for someone to force those feelings and emotions on someone when their mind was experiencing terror would be especially horrific. Once more he felt vindicated for killing those Maintenance Worker Genies!

A few minutes later Doctor Ryan and Nurse Callahan returned. The doctor seemed a little relieved but the nurse's expression was conflicted.

"Bron, we'll need to run a few more tests over the next few days to confirm the results but for now it appears that you're not compatible with humans. Which would mean there would be no way for you to impregnate a human were you to have sex with one. I will speak with Pietr once he wakes up to see what options are available to you. Please be aware, as his daughter was almost raped by those Genies, the very thought of her having sex with a Genie, even consensual sex, is going to be very difficult for him to deal with. I get the impression that you are not going to do anything to... displease him?"

Bron shook his head vehemently.

"That's good! I will walk you back to your quarters so I can speak with Angelina. Pietr will come back to his stateroom once he's woken up. Nurse Callahan will keep an eye on him for now. Let's go."

They headed back and had only made it down one corridor before the doctor stopped and looked back with frustration. Bron had fallen in behind her as he had for Pietr on his way there. He looked at the woman's expression with concern.

"Have I done something wrong? Am I walking too closely to you?" he asked, worried.

Ryan rubbed her face to remove the frustrated look and ran her hands through her short bob cut. "No, sorry. I'm tired as I just had a long shift. Also I'm not used to someone walking behind me because they think they have to. It would be very nice if you would walk beside me. Can you do that?" she asked.
"Yes," he said and stepped up next to her. They moved on and she noticed he was slowly slipping back so she reached over and took the crook of his arm with hers. "Friends often walk like this," she said to explain why she was touching him. She noticed that the scales on his arm felt very nice indeed. Just like Wendy had described when they were in the lab. He was all hard muscle coated in luxurious softness.

"Friends?" he said in shock.

"Yes, is that ok?" she asked looking up at his flustered expression.

"I've never had a friend. I don't know what to do," he mumbled.

"That's the thing with friends, there should be no expectations, just acceptance," she explained with a smile.

He smiled back and they continued on.

Once they reached the door, she signalled their arrival. There was no response. She opened the intercom. "Ms. Rykov? This is Doctor Beth Ryan. Your father is resting in the clinic. He's fine, just a little exhaustion. I've brought Bron back with me. Can we come in? I'd like to check on the progress of your healing and to speak with you regarding the information we gave Bron this morning."

The door clicked open and Beth gestured Bron to go first. When they entered they saw Angelina behind the launch chair. Her face lit up when she saw Bron. She scooted out from behind the chair and rushed across the space to leap into his arms. He caught her easily and held her against him while she wrapped her arms and legs around him and buried her face in his neck. He felt her nervous trembling settle down.

Beth cleared her throat and Bron turned to face her. The doctor silently gestured with her head for him to put the young woman down. He knelt down and put Angelina's bottom on the launch chair. She got the idea and untangled her arms and legs from him. She grabbed his hand before he could move away so he sat on the floor next to the chair. Angelina smiled.

Beth Ryan took in the entire interchange and wished she had taken the extra credits in psychology.

"OK, let's take a look at that eye." She peeled back the used bandage. "Bron, could you get me a fresh one?"

He stood up and walked into the next room after smiling at Angelina who watched him until he'd left the room.

The doctor checked on the injured tissues and was satisfied that it was healing nicely. She confirmed that the split lip had sealed once more. She didn't expect any scarring, physical ones at least. Bron returned with the bandage. She taped it on then turned to the big man.

"Bron, could you please wait in the other room. I need to speak with my patient in private. I'll call you out once we are done," she stated.

Bron nodded and with a final shared glance with Angelina he left the room.

Beth pulled up a chair to face the young woman who was nervously glancing over her shoulder towards the bedroom where Bron had gone.

"I see you have developed a bit of a crush on the Genie," she began.

"He makes me feel safe and loved! I love him!" Angelina stated emphatically.

"Love? That's a pretty big word! You've just undergone a traumatic experience and it's natural to feel profoundly grateful towards your rescuer. Hero worship is just a step beyond being grateful but it can lead to a lot of emotional damage for both parties. I'm not going to tell you not to feel what you are feeling because for now it's probably helping you heal but you should remain aware of the source of those feelings and understand the significance the circumstances played in creating them. You will heal, and you will gain perspective on where your emotions came from. You should know that Bron's personality matrix was mapped from human minds so he has the emotional capacity of a human, the emotional and physical triggers and responses of a human, but he has NO human knowledge of how to process them. He's like a newborn with all of the adult tools but no experience in how to use them."

"I spoke with your father this morning and as I told you I have him resting in the clinic. He's suffering from exhaustion. I got permission from him to speak with you regarding his condition. Your father is distraught that you were assaulted and he was unable to protect you. That is a parent's primary trigger. Protect the young and he feels like he failed you. That's the main reason Bron is here. However, that ordeal with the Genies has left your father with a lot of confused and undirected rage. Should you attempt to have sexual relations with Bron, it is highly likely that your father will have Bron 'euthanized' as Bron calls it. Not out of malice or arbitrary anger but as a desperate effort to protect you."

"Bron doesn't have the equipment. We couldn't have sex even if we wanted to."

Beth considered her next words very carefully. Her preference would have been to leave the young woman in the dark regarding Nurse Wendy's discovery. But considering her rather clingy behavior with Bron and the next topic Beth needed to discuss with her Angelina would discover it sooner or later. Better to release the information now in a controlled environment.

"Do you know what 'Forbidden Fruit Syndrome' is?" she asked Angelina.

"Yes, it's when you really want someone or something you can't have," she answered.

"Right, and typically the reason for it being forbidden is because it is immoral or illegal or both," the doctor continued. "On Walla, which category do you think sex with Bron would fall under?"

The young woman furrowed her brow and shook her head angrily. "That doesn't apply because he doesn't have-"

"He does."

Angelina froze. Confusion, curiosity, lust, denial, anger, and even fear raced across her face before comprehension set in and her eyes went wide open. She was looking straight at the doctor.

Beth was relieved to see there was a mind behind that pretty face. Up until this moment she was really doubtful. Now, if she understood the ramifications there might just be hope in her being able to control her youthful impulses. It was time to hammer home the cost any indiscretion would cause.

"We'll be home in just two days. You get to go back to your life with your friends and the nightlife, back into the spotlight of the high society tabloids. Walla is a pretty conservative society for all its personal freedoms. You and your entourage tend to push the envelope and this causes your father some grief but I believe you'd agree that he's been a pretty supportive of you." Angelina nodded slightly.

"What Pietr did back on Bacchus, buying out Bron's 'contract' for you, was not a rational act but rather the desperate act of a father trying to protect and apologize to a child he was already convinced he'd failed. He is going to suffer badly for that decision when we get home. His opponents are all going to have a field day. Now, it's possible that the angle of saving Bron's life after he rescued you may be the way to salvage this bad situation but if you return to Walla with Bron as anything more than your guardian, you'll be ending your father's role in guiding our society. He is the voice of reason, the voice you and your friends need, the voice all open minded citizens need for a better Walla. There is hope that one day soon he would run for Premier. If you can't resist temptation, if you can't reign in your overly familiar behavior with Bron when in public or even where you MIGHT be caught by the paparazzi's cameras, none of that will happen."

Angelina's eyes were full of tears but her expression was more rage than sadness. Beth knew right now Angelina hated her more than even the Worker Genies that attacked her. "I know it's not fair to lay this all on you but that's your situation and it is what it is. There is nothing I can do to change it but you needed to know. It's all on you, Bron, and your father. I pray for all our sakes you three can work it out."

Weary to her core Beth stood up. She saw Bron standing in the doorway of the bedroom and was sure he'd heard it all. Fuck it. "Bron, change the bandage on her eye when she stops crying." She let herself out.

Chapter 6

For each of the following two nights Bron sat beside Angelina's bed as she slept and each time her dreams slipped to the event of the attack he was there with his calming mantra. He did this four times on the first night but only twice on the last night as her sleep was deep and restful.

Finally they were approaching Walla and would begin their descent in a few hours. Nurse Callahan met Bron at his stateroom and walked him down to medical center for the last test of his fertility. Doctor Ryan was no longer welcome to visit the stateroom. When Pietr had woken from his drug assisted rest Beth had reported her conversation with Angelina to him, verbatim. While he had given her permission to speak with Angelina about his condition he thought she had gone way beyond that mandate. But he couldn't refute her argument which made him exceptionally uncomfortable around the woman.

Bron sat in the consultation room for the third time. The previous day while Doctor Ryan observed, Wendy had run her hands over his thighs until it stimulated his erection enough to leave its pocket. He still experienced the brief sharp pain as the seam opened but that little pain was nothing compared to the pleasure he received. Then she'd prepared the sample container and began to stroke him until he ejaculated into the bottle and onto his legs and stomach once the bottle was full. The sensations were incredible but unlike the first time he remained aware through the entire sequence. That sample had also proven to be incompatible with human eggs.

Today was the last test. He felt kind of sad about that. He'd be leaving the ship and probably wouldn't see the doctor or nurse ever again. Or at least not for a very long time. He was enjoying these visits and he'd really begun to like the two women.

He understood why Doctor Ryan had said what she did to Angelina. She'd just told the truth. Bron had asked Pietr to confirm what she'd said was true about Walla's society and he'd nodded with a grim look.

When Nurse Wendy came in the room Bron began to tingle before she'd even touched him. She seemed delighted by that fact when he told her. She said that since this was their last session and the Doctor was on the bridge, she wanted to try something new. She leaned in towards Bron's face and pressed her lips against his. Bron was surprised and more than a little excited. Wendy smiled and moved in for another kiss. She took his big hands in her smaller ones and brought them up to her chest. She pressed his palms against the soft mounds inside her pink scrubs and moved them in small circles. He felt small bumps pressing back against the center of his palms so he moved his fingertips down to investigate. The nurse gasped into his mouth as he gently squeezed her nipples through her shirt and her kiss became more aggressive.

Wendy sucked at his lips and slid her tongue into his mouth. She squealed and pulled back when she encountered the rough surface of his tongue.

"Oh my god! Your tongue is rough like a cat's!" she exclaimed.

"Is that bad?" he asked, worried.

"Not at all, just different. It's making me think naughty things," she replied sexily.

"Is naughty good?" he asked curiously.

"Mmm! Not always but sometimes it is VERY good. I want to show you another kind of sex," Wendy smiled. She slid her pink scrub bottoms and panties down and stepped out of them. She hopped up on the edge of the examination table and spread her legs wide.

"OK, Bron. I want you to lick here from bottom to top slowly," she said pointing to the wet pink flesh between her legs.

He leaned forward, stuck out his tongue, and slowly and lightly raked it across her delicate flesh. The nurse jumped and squirmed. "Not so light! That tickles!"

Bron pulled back and repositioned himself. He didn't want to push too hard as his muscles could do some serious damage. Even his tongue. He stuck it out once more and spread it flat against her delicate skin. He applied pressure until he heard her begin to sigh. Then he slid it upwards.

Wendy grabbed his head and threw hers back in ecstasy. He made several more passes, sometimes dipping his tongue deep between her folds, and each time he reached the top Wendy would go into convulsions. The first time it happened he was worried he'd hurt her but her guiding hands led his head back down for another pass. Finally he just concentrated on licking the top where a stiff bud of flesh waited to be sucked and licked. He did this for a few minutes while Wendy screamed silently. He wasn't sure if she was enjoying it but she wouldn't let him pull his head back so he took that as a good sign.

"Enough! Stop, oh god please stop!" Wendy gasped and almost fell from the table. Her muscles had gone completely lax. Bron picked her up carefully and lay her down lengthwise on the examination table. He picked up her panties and pants and slipped them on her. She convulsed once more as his hand accidentally bumped her sensitive bud as he slipped the panties on. Once she was dressed Bron looked to the specimen container and saw Wendy had passed out. His cock was at full mast but his hand on it felt uncomfortable so he let go. He didn't know what to do.

He heard his name whispered. "Bron?"

Bron turned toward the door and Angelina was standing there wide eyed. "What did you do to her?" she whispered. "Were you... licking her?"

He nodded. "Then she fell asleep and didn't get the sample for the test. Doctor Ryan will be upset."

"Well, can't you do it yourself?" she croaked, staring at the thick cock sticking up between his legs.

"I tried but it didn't feel good," he sighed.

Angelina stepped into the room and listened to Nurse Callahan snore softly. She reached out and took the bottle from Bron. She placed her other hand around his stiff flesh and gasped. "It's so hot!"

Bron moaned in ecstasy from her touch. "No, we can't make sex- do this. Your father. Stop."

Angelina got angry and gripped him tighter. "We aren't having sex. I am assisting the nurse with taking a sample. Now quiet!" she growled as she pumped him faster. She put the sample bottle down and put both hands on his cock. She squeezed and pumped and soon his breathing was sounding like a bellows. She felt his muscles tighten and she grabbed the sample bottle just in time. The first blast almost knocked it from her fingers and by the sixth she was panicking because it was overflowing. She set it on the counter while she tried to catch the remaining spurts with her palm. Grabbing the sensitive tip just caused him to fire some more and a few jets shot out between her fingers and flew into the air. When he was done she put the lid on the bottle and looked at her gooey hands. Looking Bron straight in the eye she licked a drop from her finger. She was surprised by the mild, slightly sweet flavor. She rubbed another droplet across her lips like lip gloss. Bron groaned and she grinned wickedly. She grabbed some towels and cleaned herself up. Then she wiped up Bron and watched in amazement as his shrinking cock slid back into its pocket. Bron reached up and pulled some cum out of her blond hair. Giggling they did one more quick check but found no more evidence of their naughty deed.

Bron use the waist belt on the examination table to ensure Wendy didn't roll off in her sleep. They left the sample bottle on the counter then Angelina walked him back to the stateroom.

Chapter 7

Brisbee was Walla's capital city. Home to its global government offices, most of its government officials, major museums and cultural centers and naturally where its space port was located as well. To say the spaceport was a zoo would have been doing Brisbee's lovely zoo a grave disservice. The news services jockeying for better coverage of Walla's first Genie immigrant was pure chaos and the shame of Pietr Rykov's Genie Ownership was painted as slavery before they'd even made it on planet.

As foretold by Doctor Ryan, Pietr's political opponents were quick to condemn this blatantly elitist and immoral act.

The tabloids now had their favorite media darling back and with her, a new juicy rumor of freak sex play with a monster.

Pietr wanted nothing to do with the press but his press secretary was threatening to quit if he didn't at least make a statement to the gathering. Pietr hadn't reached his current position by not understanding how to read the mood of the room. The media smelled blood and there was only one way he was going to get out of this room alive (politically) and that was to give them a bigger target. He'd done his coaching and now his group made its way down the tunnel towards the only space in the airport large enough to hold a press conference, the concourse. They were escorted through the airport by twelve security members in full riot gear including mirrored face visors. Their blank faces disturbed Angelina but she clung to Bron's hand as they followed her father into the concourse. The volume of the crowd instantly exploded with their first sighting of the tall blue-black Genie.

Then they were on a raised stage. Pietr approached the podium and scanned the assembled media with a look of disappointment. He cleared his throat and with great dignity he began to speak.

"I have prepared the following brief statement. I will not be answering questions at this time. My press secretary will have a full press kit for you shortly." He scanned the group once more like a parent of naughty children. Then he continued. "I attended the 137th Annual Confederation Trade Conference which this year was hosted on the vacation planet Bacchus. I will be addressing the council with the results of the conference next week. As I was allowed to bring one guest, I brought my daughter Angelina. On the last day of the conference Angelina was abducted by a group of thirteen Maintenance Worker Genies. They took her by force down to their habitation level and beat her severely. There they attempted to-" Here Pietr stopped as his emotions slipped his control for a moment. "They attempted to rape her. She was rescued before this could happen by someone I would like to now introduce to you. Bron, if you could please step forward." Pietr stepped aside and Bron stood next to the podium. Pietr nodded for Bron to say his statement.

"Hello, my name is Bron. I was designed to be a miner on Yosman. My team was placed on the planet but their personality matrixes fragmented and I was ordered to euthanize them until I was the only one left. The company abandoned me on the planet but I was collected by a bounty hunter and sold to Administrator Jorgus Landry on Bacchus. He put me to work in the Genie recycling lab. My job was to euthanize the Genies that were worn out, injured, or too old and to feed their corpses into the reclamation vats. I was given no other options for employment and had I refused I would have been fed to the vats myself. On the day I met Ms. Rykov I was returning to my sleeping unit when I heard a terrified scream. I investigated and came upon thirteen workers attempting to rape Ms. Rykov. I was able to subdue the workers initially but they attacked as a group and I was forced to kill them. Jorgus Landry was very upset with my killing the workers for, in his words, one fucking slut." Bron flinched as he said the words and turned to the young woman. "I'm very sorry for the bad words, Ms. Rykov." Bron looked back out over the group. "Landry vowed to have me make up the cost of the dead workers somehow. The following day Mr. Rykov purchased my contract from Jorgus Landry who had intended to send me to the pits to fight for wagering. Life expectancy in the pits is measured in hours or at most days. Mr. Rykov saved my life and has given me a new and worthy purpose where I can protect life for once as guardian for his daughter. I understand Walla is still finding its way with understanding how to deal with Genies but I'm just grateful for each day I'm alive. Thank you."
Bron stepped back and as instructed ignored the questions being screamed at him. Pietr's press secretary took the podium and was saying something but Bron's attention was caught by an out of place motion in the crowd before them. His vantage point of being on the stage and being at least a head taller than anyone else there allowed him to spot some odd movements in the crowd. He saw bodies moving aside for three people who were slowly forcing their way forward.

Bron glanced over at the Security team in the riot gear but they were no longer facing the crowd for some reason. He looked back into the mass of people and watched the three. He finally spotted the one in the center coming straight on. The man was wearing a hooded jacket but when the man's eyes locked on his Bron knew the three incoming men were trouble. He glanced back the way they came and saw it was clear. As he glanced back he saw the centermost man raising something. Bron instantly started moving. As he was still beside Pietr he spun in place and threw his arm around the man's chest and pulled him in to his side as he was already sprinting to scoop up Angelina. He held her against the other side of his chest as he leapt off the stage. Automatic weapon fire ripped through the podium where they had been standing only a fraction of a second before. By the time the assassins had aimed their weapons at Bron's retreating back it was too late to catch him. The police drones moved in.

After the dust settled, the media had their story but two of their own paid for it with their lives.

Chapter 8

Bron sat back in the plush cushions of the couch and relaxed for the first time in hours. Seated in the living room of Pietr Rykov's ranch style home with security patrols keeping constant guard on the grounds, Pietr let him know that they were as secure as they could be on the planet. With this assurance Bron allowed his muscles to stretch out and go lax. His arms along the back of the couch and his head resting back against the wall he was asleep within seconds.

Pietr looked over at the big man then at Angelina sitting next to him. He shared a small smile with his daughter. Bron had saved both of their lives that day. While he had a stiff neck from the sudden acceleration off the stage and down the hallway that was far preferable to being perforated by accelerated metal slugs. A detective sat with them in the living room and kept them abreast of the initial findings in the investigation.

Several things happened immediately after Bron leapt from the stage with his charges held tight under his arms. The gunmen let loose with customized mini railguns which launched chunks of metal at high velocities. Luckily they were unfamiliar with the weapons and mostly just ripped up the stage and walls of the airport terminal. Two members of the press standing before the men were killed and Pietr's press secretary on the stage was knicked in the calf by one of the metal shards. He would be in the hospital for a week. The man had already contacted Pietr to say he was thrilled by the initial results in the polls since the attack. Pietr threatened to fire the man if he didn't at least try to relax and recuperate.

Once the gunmen opened fire the police drones set off as suppression pulse which is a subsonic shockwave that typically disorients and knocks down bystanders and hopefully the criminals. In this case the gunmen were wearing ear protection so they remained on their feet while the press around them tumbled to the floor. Now that their targets were clearly exposed the drones used their shock weapons and lit up the three men. Surprisingly two of the men exploded, causing shrapnel injuries to those around them. The third survived and was currently being questioned. Surprised and angry by the gruesome deaths of his colleagues he was apparently willing to talk. The 'bullet-proof vest' he'd been supplied with at the airport failed to ignite the plastic explosives the padding had been replaced with.

Coincidentally, one of Pietr's chief opponents was caught attempting to board a flight off planet thirty minutes after the incident and was detained until the investigation could conclude.

The gunmen were identified as members of an ultra-conservative racial purity group. The weapons had been brought into the airport by parties not yet identified but the security team of the man who tried to flee the planet were being interviewed.

The police were confident that the threat was over but the security detail would remain for the next few days at least.

While the house appeared to be a modest but sprawling ranch style bungalow it was pretty much an armoured fortress. There were several safe rooms throughout the house and the walls and windows could withstand a direct hit from an RPG. The life of a senior level politician was not without its dangers.

The detective left them with final assurances that they were in good hands. Then they were alone.

Pietr sunk into a chair opposite Bron and Angelina. He ran his hands over his face and through his hair. Sitting forward he rested his elbows on his knees and looked at his daughter.

"I am so very sorry to put your life in danger like this!" he said.

"Papa! Do not apologize! This just means you are doing something right! You have them frightened and willing to do stupid things. You must be willing to see it through to the end! I will support you all the way. As will Bron."

At the mention of his name he became instantly alert and scanned the room for threats.

"Shhh! Easy my hero. There is no danger. Go back to sleep," Angelina soothed. She tucked herself back on the couch to rest under Bron's arm.

Pietr squirmed a little as his daughter made herself comfortable against the sleeping man.

"Papa, I want you to know that I will not do anything that will jeopardize your position in the government. Doctor Ryan was right. If I were to publicly show my affection for... our friend here, it would ruin your chances at re-election and ruin Walla's only chance at the best leadership it could possibly have. For all the trouble I've given you in the past, I've always believed you were the best chance for Walla's future."

Pietr was touched by his daughter's words. "Thank you, Angelina."

"You should also know that I am in love with this man. The doctor claims it is just the result of my trauma. That it will fade as I heal. Maybe, maybe not. What my heart holds for him right now seems immeasurably strong so I will take it day by day and I know he is patient. While we will act as no more than a good friend for now, I will be making it my mission to see he is given citizenship rights. His life should NOT be a daily coin toss. Once his future is secure and if my love has not faded as the doctor claims it will, we will readdress my relationship with him at that time. In the meantime though, for his sake you must release your restriction on him for having sex with others. It is not fair to him. He must be able to choose partners for discreet relations. I must keep up appearances, return to my lifestyle, and date the stupid little players in the clubs. He must be seen with others when he is not guarding me. This will throw the tabloids off any scent of impropriety."

Pietr was amazed at this display of his daughter's cunning. He knew she was smarter than she acted but sometimes the trouble she presented him with made him wonder where that brilliant little girl had gone. It was obvious to him now that she'd never left. He grinned in delight. "Yes, I suppose that does make sense. I will let him know.

He eyed his daughter critically. "Your task of making him a citizen is likely to fail though. He is clearly a genetically engineered being. There can be no disputing this fact. The laws we have established so far on Walla were defined from the laws the rest of the Confederation is agreeing upon. Creating genies is illegal on most of the worlds of the Confederacy. Owning them is quickly following suit. On the planet where these laws go into effect Genies are being euthanized. I don't know how long we will have with... our friend but I do not expect it to be for long."

He expected his daughter to have tears in her eyes by this point but she sat on the couch leaning against the big Genie with a fierce twinkle in her one uncovered eye.

"Papa, what defines being human?" she asked softly.

"Well, to be human is to be born of human parents," he said.

"What if the mother was injured and was unable to carry the child to term and they used a birthing machine to keep the fetus alive until it could come to full term? Would that baby be considered to be human?" she asked innocently.

"Yes, of course the child would be human. The parents had relations to bring the sperm to the egg and the child formed in the mother's uterus," he replied, starting to see his daughter's argument and already preparing for her disappointment.

"Hmmm, but sometimes the father is unable to perform sexually and sometimes the egg must be fertilized in vitro. Children of these methods are considered human, yes?" she said.

"Yes, the mechanics of the fertilization are not truly the measure of what it means to be human. To move this conversation along a little more quickly I will also agree that some limited genetic modification is allowable in the specific circumstances of treatable genetic diseases. But the human mind must NOT be tampered with. Personality matrixes are NOT human minds. They are simply highly complex rule sets to make obedient, willing workers with predefined skillsets. Our friend-" Pietr froze.

Angelina's twinkle was almost radiant as she saw the gears working in her father's mind. She knew he'd get to it eventually.

"His matrix wasn't coded. It was mapped from multiple living minds in real time. I've read his data pack three times and I glossed over that section each time. He's not just a Genie. He's a clone," he said in shock. He pulled out his comm and quickly looked up a detail in the file.

"TSBR0N33-EM12.01. The characters after the hyphen indicate the matrix creation sequence. Normally the first two character would be CM for coding matrix. EM stands for Enriched Mapping, an illegal and banned method. The number after the EM indicates how many human minds were connected in parallel during the Enriched Mapping. In his case there were 12 minds which is three times the usual number. Considering the illegal and desperate measure they took it is likely the 12 volunteers were the genetic engineering team themselves. The decimal indicates he was the first of the Genies in his team to receive the mapping. The danger of Enriched Mapping is that it is very taxing on the source minds which introduces brittleness in the matrixes they record. They must have thought adding extra minds was a solution to that but the evidence of the Genie team's mental dissolution proves that it didn't work. Well, other than for the first one in the process. I would love to speak with the engineers from this project but then, so would the authorities."

They both looked at the innocent face of their sleeping friend.

"Angelina, this doesn't mean his future is by any means secure. Cloning is an even older social taboo than Genies but there are precedents our lawyers may be able to use to at least delay his demise," he said grimly.

"It is a good foundation. We will build from that," she said firmly.

Pietr looked at his daughter with new respect and she beamed back.

Chapter 9

Within days of the shooting at the airport public opinion did a dramatic flip for Pietr Rykov. Once branded as an elitist and slaver he was now seen as a protector and savior of the downtrodden, someone looking out for the least powerful members of society. He made several appearances on talk shows and always presented himself openly and honestly. He took the opportunities to press his message of personal integrity, responsibility, and transparency. Government for the people of Walla. The public ate it up.

Angelina re-entered the nightlife with the usual suspects plus one. To be part of her group Bron was outfitted with a number of finely tailored, sharp looking suits as arriving at the clubs naked wasn't really an option regardless of how he kept his goodies tucked away in a secret compartment.

There was one more adjustment to Bron's wardrobe Angelina insisted on. The discipline collar had to go. Pietr was initially reluctant but he saw the wisdom of showing his faith in the big Genie's gentle nature. Bron was very grateful.

Angelina's entourage was comprised of five ladies, some from high school and some from University, plus three she'd befriended on her nightly prowl through the clubs.

Her school friends began with her oldest friend Rhonda who went through men and hairstyles on a weekly basis. Black and beautiful, lushly curved yet petite in stature, sexually aggressive and opinionated, her hunt for the ideal man and her intolerance for bullshit was the stuff of legends. She loved talking about her flings almost as much as having them.

Vicki was a high energy flash of wild red hair, white teeth in a perpetual lopsided grin, a dazzling array of pin-up tattoo's, and a lean runner's body. She was prone to dancing the night away. Smart as hell, she glided through school. When she graduated she took a job in a fitness club teaching dance aerobics as it paid the bills and let her do what she loved.

Sasha was the first friend Angelina made in University. She had short cropped white blond hair, a hard athletic body, an often reckless disregard for danger, and a laugh that could cut through the loudest club music. Even though she flunked out after three months and ended up working in a mechanics shop, she kept in touch with Angelina and they'd been inseparable since.

Stephie was almost a polar opposite to Sasha. Fair skinned from her Irish ancestry, she was quiet and sometimes painfully shy. Also from her Irish genes she had shoulder length wavy raven hair, soft curves bordering on carrying just a little too much weight, and an infectious giggle.

The final member to join her group in her University years had been Bailley who was almost too pretty. While she had bonded deep and hard with the girls in the group she was also the most reserved, remaining aloof with everyone else as a defense mechanism. She was all smooth mocha skin, high cheekbones, almond shaped dark brown eyes, and long, straight ebony hair. She drew men to the entourage like bees to flowers. Tall with toned limbs and gentle curves she moved with a grace that drew the eye. Angelina knew of all of her school friends Bailley was the loneliest due to her trust issues. She wasn't sure what had happened in her friend's childhood but it must have been bad.

Sasha, as her nature demanded, had drawn the group into a rather rough bar one night. There the ladies met Asami, a petite Japanese beauty with a modestly curved figure who had been drinking alone at the bar. Some unpleasantly aggressive men decided the ladies needed their attentions and quickly had them encircled at the bar. Little Asami had challenged the men to a drinking contest. If she could outdrink two of their strongest men the ladies would leave unmolested. Otherwise, they'd be their willing partners for the night. The ladies had been terrified but saw they had no other choice. Asami gave Angelina a wink and proceeded to drink two hugely muscled braggarts into unconsciousness. They left the bar without so much as a bad word from the men and had immediately taken Asami into their tight knit group.

Rachel and Sarah were twin sisters from war torn Barrett's World. At the ripe age of fourteen they joined the army to get away from their domineering father. They fought in and survived three brief but bloody wars on their planet. They retired from the army after ten years. Their father had passed away in the intervening years and had left them with a tidy sum as an inheritance. With that, the sale of the family home and property, and their earnings from their years in the army they had enough money to emigrate to Walla and enjoy the rest of their lives in modest comfort. The twins were strong and hard from their years in the army but both had been 'gifted' with generous bosoms from their mother's genes. Their large blue eyes, olive complexions, full lips and strong noses were from their father. Once they'd had crew cuts but in an effort to soften their look they now wore their curly black hair in cascades to their shoulders. They had been trying to fit in but their often direct personalities frightened people. New to the planet and looking to make some friends they were drawn to the loud laughter from Angelina's group one night in a dance club. Angelina immediately connected with their almost brutal honesty and the rest of the group eventually warmed up to them, Bailley being the last.

Boyfriends and male suitors came and went but her group was loyal to the core and free to be more than a little wild. They were well known in all of the clubs and were welcomed because they kept the energy levels up and the drinks flowing. They also drew the men into the clubs with their money.

Initially the ladies weren't sure what to make of Bron. He was the only male member of the group. Sasha immediately saw the potential for chaos in the big guy so she was happy. Stephie was all giggles around Bron and that made him giggle as well. When he couldn't figure out why he was giggling that made the others laugh and relax. Vicki asked him if he knew how to dance and he asked her for a demonstration. She busted a few moves and he did a fair job of replicating her movements so Vicki saw in him a dance partner who just might be able to keep up with her.

What surprised Angelina most was Bailley. During their second outing Bron sat with the woman for most of the night and the two just talked. She'd never seen her friend open up to anyone so quickly. At the end of the night they shared a warm full body hug. Though Angelina peppered Bron with questions all the way home he wouldn't divulge any details of his private conversation.

The night club bouncers found Bron to be respectful and attentive to their instructions regarding security measures in their clubs so he was given back a little slice of that respect. By the second week they were exchanging nods when they arrived or were going so far as teaching him secret fist bump handshakes.

Rhonda, true to her nature, was the first to ask if Bron was 'available' for a casual affair. She was rather taken by the tall, dark and mysterious guardian. Angelina gave all of her friends her blessings to pursue the gentle giant. Not being the daughters of politicians, corporate executives, or the social elites there was far less stigma to the attention they gave to Bron. Angelina was never seen looking jealous, angry, or even the slightest bit upset when one of her ladies ended up sitting on Bron's lap for extended periods though he certainly looked a little flustered by the attention. His naïve innocence and gentle nature just made him all the more appealing to the women.

Instead of drama there was just much laughter and the usual wild behavior, typically just shy of being illegal. The tabloids were disappointed by the lack of scandal.

At the height of his new popularity Pietr was asked to be a guest on Walla Night Now, which had an enormous audience but also a host known for his ultra conservative views. Ronnie Brown was a media superstar known for his vicious destruction of numerous political hopefuls. Ronnie was obviously out to derail the Rykov popularity train but there really was no other option for Pietr than to show up when he was publicly invited. Ronnie extended the invitation to bring along Angelina and Bron who could have front row seats to the spectacle. They graciously accepted as well.
The first few questions Ronnie threw his way had been relatively soft. Then Ronnie got that look in his eye and the smirk surfaced.

"Mr. Rykov, you have been trumpeting your message of personal responsibility pretty loudly for the last little while. I have to ask myself though where was your personal responsibility when your daughter was being gang raped by a bunch of grubby Genies?"

Pietr froze for a split second as his personal pain for that event was still fairly raw. Realizing the question was just the start of Ronnie's attack he countered with a calm question. "Do you not understand what personal responsibility means?"

Ronnie had been expecting a far more aggressive response so he was unprepared for the question. "What? Of course I do!"

"No, I don't believe you do. If you did you might have asked a more intelligent question such as 'Do I feel personally responsible for my daughter's attack?' to which I would have answered 'No, but as a father I deeply regret she experienced such a horrific ordeal at what was reputed to be a safe and exciting vacation destination. Personal responsibility is the act of taking ownership of the consequences related to decisions you made. Decisions based on reasonable expectations. Should I have expected Maintenance Worker Genies to defy their protocols and attack a guest of Bacchus? No."

Ronnie's face was starting to go red. No one talked to him like that on his show. The gloves were coming off. "Was she in some way 'personally responsible' for enticing these workers into thinking they were invited to play."

Pietr took a casual sip of water to give himself time to reign in his urge to kill the man. "So a victim of abuse is personally responsible for the abuser's actions? You still don't seem to be grasping this simple concept. If a woman walks down the street naked you believe she is responsible for the actions of a man who disregards all civilized moral and legal constraint and rapes her?"

"No! That wasn't what I said! Your daughter has shown up in the tabloids in various states of undress during her outings at night clubs. They're like wild beasts at play. Bacchus is the perfect extension of that lifestyle. It should have been a 'reasonable expectation' for you that events would get out of hand!" Ronnie bellowed.

"I'd like to answer that by asking Bron a question. Would it be possible to get a microphone over to him?" Pietr said calmly to Ronnie then cast a look to the floor manager. A portable mike was found and a crewmember carried it over to the Genie. While that happened Pietr did a little search on his comm unit and put it on his lap. He looked across at his daughter and smiled gently.

"Bron, the Maintenance Worker Genies you were forced to kill, what section did they work in?" Pietr asked.

"They wore green jumpers so they worked clean up in the restaurant district," he replied.

"Do the worker Genies get to travel to any sections other than those they are assigned to be in?" Pietr asked.

"No, the discipline collars give us shocks if we stray outside of our assigned zones," he said.

"Between the restaurant district and where you encountered my daughter, are there any bars, night clubs, gambling dens, sex clubs or any entertainment of a rougher nature?" Pietr asked a little louder.

"No sir."

"One last question Bron. Can the guests of Bacchus just walk into the living areas of the workers?"

"No sir."

Ronnie began to bluster but Pietr slammed his comm on the desk. "You don't have to take the word of a 'grubby Genie'. Here is a map of the restaurant district and where my daughter was found. Walking down the street looking for a restaurant she was grabbed by thirteen workers and dragged inside their living complex. She was beaten and then they attempted to rape her when Bron arrived and acted to stop them. The workers were operating well outside of their design protocols. Completely anomalous and unexpected behavior. Bron was forced by humans to kill his own kind every day yet he went out of his way to save the life of a human he didn't even know. Why did he do it? Because he could. THAT sir, is 'personal responsibility'. Do. You. Understand. NOW?"

Ronnie's face was deep red and he was struggling to keep from striking his guest. The show went to commercial. Ronnie signaled to the stage manager to cut the mikes. When he got the nod he leaned towards Pietr.

"You fucking arrogant son-of-a-bitch! You think you can come on my show and show me up? I am going to fucking ruin you. When I am done you won't be able to get a job serving burgers. Why? Because you'll be dead! Do you know who you're fucking with? I personally put Senator Wilson in the grave. He thought he was pretty big shit until my friends in the police found the illegal porn we planted at his house. The best shots were of his sweet daughter, barely turned 18. The boys picked her up after school and had a real good time with her. The things they did to her! Hell, I personally enjoyed breaking her after we got the shots. I understand she never recovered. And Wilson, that fuck, offed himself. Coward! Oh yeah, you're going down and you're taking your fucking slut of a daughter with you. She'll be turning tricks on corners to pay for a drug habit my people are going to arrange for her one night very soon. Maybe I'll fuck her tight little ass before it gets too loose from all the johns taking their turn. Then I'll laugh on your graves when I plant you two as well."

"There you go surprising me again Mr. Brown. Here I thought you had NO idea what personal responsibility was yet you provide example after example proving you can take responsibility for your actions," Pietr said with a smirk.

"God damn, you are one fucking cheeky bastard. I'm going to enjoy destroying you and your daughter. Your both dead, you know that don't you?"

"Oh I think you've made it quite clear that you are a murderer, a rapist, a conspirator, and probably a number of other vile things. As a human you hold no redeeming value and are a worthless piece of excrement. I wish you good luck in jail though. Senator Wilson was well loved by the inmates of our prison system since he worked so hard to ensure they were humanely treated."

"What the fuck are you talking abo-" Ronnie's face froze as he looked down at Pietr's comm.

"Yes, that's a live feed to the world network. Everyone and I mean everyone got to hear your confession of personal responsibility. Even your studio audience. Bravo," Pietr smiled.

Ronnie stood up, his mouth flapping. Then he reached under the desk and came back up with a gun.

There was a terrible pop and screech of feedback and everyone grabbed their ears. Plastic and metal shrapnel splashed all over Ronnie's desk and Pietr. A second later Ronnie toppled over, the gun falling from his nerveless grip. Pietr stood up and looked over at the unconscious man lying on the floor behind his desk. He had a deep gouge on his left temple and bits of plastic and metal clinging to him. Bron and Angelina rushed over to Pietr's side as he shut down his comm and pocketed it.

"What did you hit him with?" Pietr asked Bron while he flicked bits of debris from his suit and hair.

"All I had was the microphone. When he pulled out the gun I threw it at him. I didn't realize it was still on."

"Well, thank you for saving my life once more," Pietr said shaking his hand. Bron noticed some trembling in the hand he held. Angelina grabbed her father in a fierce hug and cried on his shoulder. He tenderly kissed the top of his daughter's head. With the cameras still rolling, this was the image that appeared on the front page of all of the major news sites the following morning. Pietr's press secretary was once more delighted!

The police arrived and took Ronnie into custody. The crew of the show were being detained as well. Some had already fled. With Ronnie's confession that he had a team of conspirators, everyone was a suspect.

As they watched the police drag the thrashing TV host from the studio Bron mumbled something.

Pietr looked up at the big man. "What was that?"

"I want him... to die," Bron whispered, twitching as his conditioning punished him with a shot of pain.

"You're very likely to get your wish. Now that the truth is out I suspect his life expectancy is very limited. Considering he implicated the police he may not survive the night. And that would be a shame because I want every single one of these fuckers exposed and stuffed into a dark pit somewhere," Pietr growled. "I think we'd better head home. I've had enough danger for one night."

Chapter 10

Angelina and Bron kept a low profile over the next week. By the third night Angelina was feeling cabin fever. Since they weren't going out they invited the entourage back to the house and had a small, intimate party there. Her Dad was away for the week so she had the house to herself. As a ploy to ensure no recording devices were snuck into the house by her girlfriend's dates, all arrivals were asked to strip down to their lingerie or underwear before moving beyond the foyer. If you were going commando you could choose to continue to wear nothing or choose from a selection of grannie panties and bras or grandpa boxers. All other articles of clothing and devices brought into the house were stored in plastic tubs labeled with the name of the owner.

Bron did the honors of collecting the items, putting them in the bins, and storing the bins in a secure RF shielded room.

Five of the ladies brought dates. Rhonda had a male model named Anno. His body looked like it was sculpted from obsidian by Michelangelo and he wore the smallest G string underwear possible which left nothing to the imagination. Aside from the smug look for bringing such a hot specimen Rhonda wore a pink lace panty and bra set that looked amazing against her dark skin. Sasha wearing gold pasties over her nipples and a white G string brought Dan, the mechanic who worked on her motorcycle. He was more than a little rough around the edges. He looked a little stunned to have been included at the party and ended up wearing some grandpa boxers. Sarah wore plain white panties and a bra and she brought Rika, a rugby player from one of the national league teams. She'd met him in a club the night before. Proud of his muscular body, he opted to remain commando much to Sarah's delight. Her sister Rachel wore a plain black panties and bra set. Vicki in leopard pattern bra and panties brought a bartender named Jason who wore his own boxers. That morning he'd shooed Vicki from the dance floor when they'd closed the club just before dawn. She countered his expulsion by inviting him to breakfast at her place then to the party. Surprised, he accepted.

Stephie surprised everyone by arriving with Scottie, Angelina's ex-boyfriend on her arm. She had always had a crush on the tall, slim aristocratic young man. After Angelina broke up with him she had warned Stephie to be careful of him because of his temper but the heart wants what it wants. The young woman had a lovely lace bra and panty set and Scottie wore black boxers which surprised Angelina as he was more of a brief's man.

The ladies enjoyed seeing Bron without clothes but all of them were shocked and dismayed when all they saw between his legs was smooth, featureless skin. As each woman moved further into the house they found Angelina and pulled her aside to question her about it. She found herself repeatedly assuring the distraught ladies that he definitely had "the goods", he just didn't keep them on display. She refused to say more than that but her wicked grin fired the curiosity of her friends to a feverish pitch.

The house had a large room in the basement with comfortable couches and chairs facing a low 'firepit'. The heat it threw off was real but the flames were very accurate holograms. There was a bar against one wall which everyone helped themselves to just to ease into the relaxed mood. A projection system aimed at a large screen against one wall for watching movies should the mood strike. Hidden speakers pumped out a strong beat and her friends pulled their dates up to dance. Bron danced with whoever felt like dancing and didn't have a date. After Vicki wore out Jason she dragged Bron out for a number of dances. Even Bailley danced with Bron. Most of the male eyes in the room watched as she swayed to the music. Some were discreet but Rika couldn't tear his eyes away. His commando state made his excitement very obvious and earned him a direct slap from Sarah on the offending appendage. He wasn't too impressed with that but got stared down by both Sarah and her sister.

For once Bailley seemed oblivious to the stares and was really enjoying herself dancing. Angelina was so pleased to see her friend happy and it just made her love Bron all the more.

She caught Scottie watching her and saw a cruel smirk on his lips before he schooled his expression and looked away. Stephie's expression showed nothing but excitement for having landed her dream date. Angelina's heart broke a little for her friend. She knew Scottie wasn't here for Stephie but there was nothing she could say.

"It's time for party games!" Sasha hooted. Angelina looked over to her friend who was putting slips of paper in a series of bowls. Next to the bowls were a stack of shot glasses and a bottle of spiced rum.

"What are we playing?" she asked.

"Truth or Dare of course!" Sasha grinned. Angelina rolled her eyes and some of the others groaned.

Sarah and Rachel didn't understand the thrill of this game because they always told the truth and there wasn't anything they were embarrassed or uncomfortable saying.

"Ah, ya cry babies! I was only kidding! I've made up a NEW game I think you're all going to like!" Sasha bellowed. "Gather around people while I explain the rules. Oh yes! There be RULES!"

The guests all sat down on the couches in a circle around a small coffee table with Sasha's bowls. Once she had everyone's attention she began.

"OK, here we have three bowls. One contains our names. One contains actions. The last one contains the names of body parts. We will each take a turn pulling two slips from the name bowl and one slip from the action and body part bowl and placing them next to their bowls. This is where the fun begins. If the body part exists on both people then both people have to do the action to the body part of the other person. If the body part only exists on one of the people then the other one has to do the action to the person with the body part. If the body part doesn't exist on either they get to skip the turn. Clear so far?" She looked around and saw nods, nervousness, and excitement.

"If you refuse to do the action you have to quickly down a shot of spiced rum. However, if your partner is willing but you refuse then you have to take two shots, yours and theirs. Pretty soon you won't be refusing the actions," she grinned at her friends.

"After we finish the 15 turns we will see if we are in any condition to continue. Yes, Asami. Spiced Rum, your Achilles Heel!" she grinned evilly.

"As the leader of this game I will pick first, followed by Vicki to my right then around the circle. Here goes!" she said with a flourish and dipped her hand in the bowls without looking.

"OK, I have Asami and Vicki with the action 'touch with fingers', yes I had to be specific, and the body part 'bare ass'. Get to it girls! Woo!"

Asami rolled her eyes and stood up as Vicki did. They walked over to the open area next to the dance floor. Sasha hit the remote and the music began to pump. Vicki's eyes closed in pleasure and she smiled as her hips began to roll sensually to the music. She slid her hands down her torso to hook her thumbs into the waistband of her leopard panties and slowly slid them down over her tight ass. Asami was smiling at her friend and moving to the music as well. Though not as fluid as Vicki she also began a little strip tease for the group who were hooting and whistling by now.

The panties only dropped low enough to expose their smooth ass cheeks. Asami was first to reach out and grab the flesh of Vicki's ass. She looked back at the group with a false look of shock and her friends exploded into laughter. She let go and both turned around so Vicki could have her turn. She slid her fingers down the soft flesh and Asami started to bounce her ass in time to the music. Vicki started to laugh as the cheeks shook in her hands. She pulled away to the cheers of her friends and their dates. The two women pulled up their panties and made their way back to their seats with big grins.

Sasha put the slips back into their appropriate bowls and mixed them up again. It was Vicki's turn to pick.

"Anno and Stephi, Kiss..." Vicki smirked at the look of horror on Stephie's face. "...Belly Button"

Stephie began to giggle and couldn't stop. Anno stood up and the giggling got worse.

Rhonda took pity on the girl and poured her two shots of the spiced rum. Stephie nodded vigorously and slammed back the first. Her face which had been pinking up from embarrassment went beet red as the strong rum burned its way down her throat. She whooshed out a breath when she got the drink down then reached for the second as a cheer went up. The second shot followed the first and she wiped her eyes with a grin on her face. Anno sat back down with a smile on his and Rhonda patted his hard thigh appreciatively.

Next it was Jason's turn. After a little fumbling he read them out. "Angelina, Scottie, Lick, and Neck." He hadn't finished reading and Angelina was pouring herself two shots. Scottie reached over and took one.

"A bit presumptuous, aren't we?" he teased, smiling but there was an edge to his tone that Angelina read very well. They both tugged back the shots then it was Stephie's turn.

She was already feeling the warm rum smooth away reality's rough edges. "Bron! Yay, Bron! Uh... Bailley. Kiss, Earlobes. Oooo!"

The rest picked up Stephie's teasing and Bron looked around confused. Bailley looked like she wanted to pass then she studied Bron's innocent look.

"Can we dim the lights so Bron can remove his goggles?" she asked. The room lighting was already fairly subdued but it would have still been uncomfortable for him.

Angelina tapped a remote and the lighting slipped down into a very intimate dimness. "Is that too much? Our eyes should adjust shortly. How about you Bron, is that OK?"

Bron slipped the goggles up on his head slowly uncovering his eyes. It was still just a little bright but not painful so he nodded. Bailley smiled and several of the other women made appreciative noises when they finally got a look at his eyes. It was the first time they'd seen him without his goggles and they liked what they saw. Angelina thought she caught a look of distaste on Scotties face but he looked away sharply before she could tell.

Bailley stood up and held out a hand to Bron who joined her where Asami and Vicki had been moments before. She looked up into his eyes and any trepidation she had dissolved when she saw the trust in his beautiful eyes.

"I'll go first," she said then she realized for all her height she wouldn't be able to reach unless he bent down awkwardly. She giggled at the uniqueness of being with someone so much taller than herself. Looking around she pulled an ottoman over and had him kneel on it which brought them face to face. Bailley felt a thrill run up her spine. She hadn't done anything like this in years but for some reason she felt safe with Bron. He wouldn't judge her. He didn't idolize her either. She was just a friend.

She leaned in on his right side and her friends all leaned forward. Bailley and Bron were presenting their profile to the group so as Bailley gently sucked Bron's right earlobe between her lips they couldn't see nictitating membranes over Bron's eyes flicker in bliss or his mouth opening in surprise. Bailley felt his breath rush out in a gasp and his muscles tremble. She smiled because he'd given her the confidence to try being intimate again without the fear and he'd rewarded her with his honest reaction. She pulled back and Bron was closing his mouth and eye membrane flicking away the dizziness.
"Halfway there," she whispered to him. His eyes looked down concern as he felt the pressure building below. Bailley missed this as she slid in towards his other ear. Again his earlobes was caressed between her lips, her tongue flicking it playfully.

"HOLY SHIT! Did you see THAT?"

Mechanic Dan's coarse words broke Bailley's zen moment and she pulled back from her trembling partner. Then she felt the gentle thump on her waistband. Bron's eyes seemed unfocused and he was breathing heavily from her sensual treatment of his ears. She looked further down and saw what her friends were now pointing and whispering about. Bron's groin was no longer 'featureless'. He had a rather large feature, it was currently resting on her panties, and it was hot! She pulled back in surprise and Bron's eyes snapped back into focus. He looked down then whispered "Sorry."

"No, it's OK... it's... it's a natural reaction. Don't worry," Bailley said, looking away with a blush.

"But it's made you uncomfortable. I'm sorry for this," he said taking her hand.

She smiled gently at his concerned look. "That's why it's ok. You're a good man."

"Big Blue man's got a big blue dick!" Dan laughed. Sasha slapped her date's arm.

Angelina caught a flash of revulsion on Scottie's face before he changed it into a fake grin.

"Damn, Angelina you weren't kidding about 'the goods'. That's definitely good." Rhonda grinned and looked up at Anno. "Not to worry baby, your goods are damn good too.

"Bron are you going to take a shot?" Angelina asked.

Bailley shook her head. "No, he can finish." Her friend nodded as they shared a look.

"Are you sure?" Bron asked.

"It's just my earlobes. Wait, I have to take off my earrings." She removed the beautiful gold miniature temples from her ears. She leaned in to whisper to Bron. "My ears aren't that sensitive so it's fine."

Bron nodded and leaned in to kiss her right earlobe. Her smile turned into a gasp and she clutched his shoulders as she leaned into the sensation of his rough tongue sending cascades of tingles down her neck. He switched sides and once more she clutched at him but this time it was accompanied with a loud moan. He pulled back with a shy smile and she gazed into his eyes and bit her lip.

She began to lean in towards his lips when Sasha called the play.

"Nah ah ah! You want more you gotta play the game! Back to your positions!" she scolded with a wicked grin. Bailley cast her an angry look then went back to her spot on the couch. Bron took his.

Scottie stood up with a flourish and stepped over to the bowls. He pulled out the slips and smirked. "Rika, Jason, Massage, Nipple."

"That's not happening!" Rika boomed out and was immediately boo'ed by the surrounding women. Loudest of all was Sarah. Again Rika shot her an angry look.

Jason made a show of starting to stand then sitting down with a disappointed look. That earned him some cheers from the group and a kiss on the cheek from Vicki. Rika took the two shots and the game moved on.

Rhonda was surprised that she'd pulled her own name. The partner was Rachel and they had to 'Suck Toes'. They got into position seated on chairs across from each other. Rachel simply put Rhonda's toes in her mouth and sucked gently. Rhonda got one look at the rough skin on Rachel's foot and refused. She demanded the woman come with her to the salon the following day for some foot pampering and maybe a little polish. While Rachel was a little embarrassed at first she was secretly thrilled to be invited to a salon. Rhonda slammed back the shot and they returned to their seats.

Anno pulled 'Dan, Stephie, Stroke, Ass' which pushed Stephie in to a mad giggle attack. The previous two shots hadn't loosened her up enough so she opted for two more. Her head was seriously spinning afterwards.

For Asami's turn she pulled 'Scottie, Bron, Massage, Penis' which made the ladies hoot with excitement. Scottie immediately poured two shots of rum and placed one in front of Bron as he slammed his own back. Bron looked at the drink then back at the waiting man. "No thank you, I don't drink." Sasha, Rachel, and Sarah were in tears from laughter and Angelina was trying desperately to keep the smile off of her face. Even Stephie who was tipsy from her own rum consumption was giggling merrily. Scottie's face went red and he snatched up the second shot and drank it as well.

Angelina and Bailley looked at each other and called for a bathroom break. Bron slipped his goggles back on and Angelina brought the lights back up to their initial intimate level. The group made their way to either refill their drinks or use the facilities.

Sasha, Angelina, and Bailley were standing by the washroom door waiting for Rhonda to finish. Angelina leaned in to speak with Sasha.

"I don't think this group has the right dynamic for this game," she began.

"What? Are you kidding? Did you see the look on Scottie's face? Priceless!" Sasha laughed.

"Yes, but this is a sexy game which should leave everyone feeling good and while it's had some laughs that's not really the goal. I think we should just go back to dancing and drinking," Angelina said and Bailley nodded.

"Well, damn. I guess it's your party. I was kinda hoping to see if anyone was going to pick the 'Fuck' action I put in there," Sasha lamented.

Bailley shared a shocked look with Angelina. "It's a good idea we stopped when we did," she said.

Suddenly there was a huge crash sound followed by screaming and crying. Everyone ran down the hall towards the sound. They heard Scottie yelling angrily. Rachel and Sarah were first to reach the spare bedroom at the end of the hall. The door was off its hinges and Bron stood a few steps inside. He was holding both of Scottie's wrists in one of his hands and had him lifted off his feet, dangling from Bron's grip. Scottie's underwear were tangled around his ankles and his wilting erection was sticking out, covered in blood.

Angelina pushed through the stunned onlookers and gasped when she saw Sophie curled up on the bed. She was bleeding from her ass so it was pretty apparent what Scottie had been doing to the inebriated woman.

"What the FUCK did you do to Stephie!" she growled.

"Nothing she didn't ask me for. Tell your pet monster to let me go! NOW!" Scottie raged.

"No one asks to have their ass raped. You're the monster!" Angelina shouted back.

Bailley stepped forward. "Bron, what happened?"

Bron was trembling with suppressed rage. It took him a few attempts to talk as his jaw was clenched so tight. "I saw Scottie dragging Stephie away from the room. She didn't look happy so I followed. The door to this room was closed so I listened to hear if she was ok. She was repeating the word no over and over and then she started to scream but it was muffled. I heard Scottie say 'Take it bitch' so I pushed the door in and pulled him off of her. His penis... it was in the wrong hole... and there was blood." His breathing was picking up. "I want to hurt him. I want to hurt him very much. Maybe I should hurt him like he hurt Stephie." Bron fought off the shooting pain of his conditioning kicking in and gave Scottie a violent little shake as if he weighed nothing. Reminding the man how powerless he was.

Scottie bravado failed and he was terrified looking into the black alien eyes of his captor. The thought of being impaled on that huge blue cock pushed his xenophobia over the edge. He lost bowel control, just for a second, but it was enough. He screamed his terror and humiliation then began to blubber.

Bron dropped Scottie in his own shit and everyone stepped back as the smell hit them.

"Scottie, if I ever see you again near ANY of my friends I swear I will let Bron do whatever he likes to you! Bron! Get him out of my house!" Angelina said with venom.

Bron lifted the crying, shit smeared man upstairs and tossed him down on the grass of the front lawn. Then he went back inside and came out with the plastic container containing Scottie's clothes and comm. He dumped the contents onto the front lawn.

"Leave NOW" Bron roared.

Scottie scrambled to pick up his stuff then ran down the lane to the street beyond where his car was parked. Bron turned to go back into the house but Rika was on his way out with his clothes hastily pulled on. Bron raised his eyebrows at the glare the man gave him. He turned back again only to see Rachel and Sarah blocking his way. They both had expressions indicating he smelled.

"Sorry Bron, you need to be cleaned before you go back inside. Walk around to the backyard to the pool shower," Rachel said and they followed the big man. Sarah got the water going and they indicated he should get under the warm spray. The sisters shared a look after he'd been in there for a couple of minutes. They slipped off their bras and panties and stepped in with him.

"Bron, you need help washing your back," Sarah insisted squirting some body wash into her hand and her sister's. They began to run their strong hands over his shoulders and made their way down his broad back.

"We were very impressed with how you handled that situation. I believe I would have beaten the man to death," Rachel said, kneading the muscles on his back.

"Why did Rika leave?" Bron murmured as he relaxed under their ministrations.

Sarah smiled at her sister as their efforts were working. "The dope had the gall to say that Scottie was just looking to let off a little steam, like there was a justification for his raping gentle Stephie."

Bron's eyes snapped back into focus. "It was a good thing I didn't know what he'd said when he left." Rachel's eyes flashed with excitement at Bron's growl.

The two women replenished the body wash and continued down his back. He began to relax again. When they reached his ass, they seemed to spend extra time on those muscles and Bron felt that familiar tingle begin again. He was so relaxed though he didn't notice their heavy breathing. They each moved to his sides and he had to put an arm over each. The moment his hands touched their skin his fingers automatically began to knead their flesh. Each woman whooshed out a breath as he pressed firmly on their backs.

"Oh! I am sorry, I sometimes forget how frail human's are," Bron apologized.

"Frail?" snorted Sarah and Rachel picked up the chuckle. "We are far from frail. Maybe the other ladies are but we're all muscle and scars."

"Compared to me you're both delicate flowers." He looked down at their surprised expressions and wondered if they didn't see how beautiful they were. "And as lovely."

Rachel and Sarah crushed their heavy tits against his body as they tried to kiss him. He bent his knees and placed a hand under each of their asses. Then he lifted them both so their faces were now just a little higher than his.

Being carried like one of their 'frail' girlfriends and feeling the overwhelming strength of their partner were new experiences for the sisters and they liked it, very much! Rachel grabbed Bron's face and turned it to her so she could kiss him. As her tongue slipped into his mouth she encountered a texture she wasn't expecting. Tingles ran from her mouth down to her pussy which was rubbing firmly against his hip. She pulled back in surprise and Sarah took the opportunity to go for her own kiss. She squealed and pressed herself harder against his other hip as she felt his rasping tongue against her smooth one.

The sisters looked at each other in shock. Then they felt something hot against their legs.

"Rock, Paper, Scissors. Winner gets to ride that. Second winner gets to ride his tongue," Sarah said. Moments later they were leading Bron out of the shower holding his hands. Rachel and Sarah threw down some lounge chair mats side by side on the ground and gently pushed Bron down onto his back. The women skipped the preliminaries and got right to business. Rachel straddled Bron's groin and reached under to position the head of his thick cock at her entrance. She rocked back and forth gently sliding the head in and out of her pussy. Her wetness spread over his cock as she pushed a little more of him into her with each thrust.

Sarah swung her leg over his chest and slid her pussy closer to his face. She assumed he knew what to do. She hadn't had too much experience with this position herself as men seemed to be frightened to put their head between her powerful thighs. Bron grabbed her ass cheeks and lifted her the remaining distance to his waiting mouth. He seemed to know exactly what to do and Sarah almost lost consciousness right at the start. The shock of his rough tongue running from the bottom to the top of her pussy, dipping deeply into her as it rose and circling her clit at the top of the stroke was almost too much.

Rachel finally managed to get all of his cock into her wet pussy. She was holding still to allow her body time to adjust to such a thick intruder. He started to rock his hips and she immediately got into the rhythm. Her breath came out in gusts as he filled her completely.

Bron's hips began to move on their own and Rachel began to bounce on his cock, the slap at the bottom of each stroke causing her sensitive nerves to explode like fireworks. She was quickly losing control of her body's reactions to the deep rhythmic thrusting. Her pleasure spiked and she cried out and shook as her muscles clenched around his thick cock. Bron didn't stop so her orgasm went on and on.

The sensation of her clenching sent Bron over the edge too and he moaned strongly as his tongue slipped deep into Sarah's gushing pussy. The vibration of his moan tickled her clit and she hit her peak just as his tongue stroked up to wrap itself around her sensitive bud. Sarah screamed soundlessly as her body felt compressed by waves of pleasure. Only Bron's grip on her ass kept her upright.

Bron slowly lifted Sarah from his face. She pulled her leg over his chest and he eased her down on his right side. Once she was clear Rachel collapsed across his chest and he pulled her to his left side sliding his softening cock from her as well. Both women rested their heads on his shoulder and tried to catch their breath.

"My god... Bron... that was... incredible," Rachel gushed breathlessly.

Sarah could only nod as she was still tingling like mad from his attentions. It felt like a series of micro orgasms and all she could do was ride it out. Soon both slipped into a deep sleep.

Bron began to worry about Angelina and the other guests. He slipped from under the two ladies and put some large towels over their sleeping forms. He stepped over to the shower and quickly rinsed himself off again. A quick rub with a towel and he was ready to go back inside. He moved to the back patio door and pulled it open to see Rhonda's naked breasts hanging over the back of a chair as Anno hammered into her from behind. The Model had his eyes on the prize which in this case was in the direction of Rhonda's ass. He seemed particularly fascinated by the sight of his own dick. As for Rhonda, she couldn't tear her eyes away from Bron and he realized she had a perfect view of the deck where he'd just been with Rachel and Sarah. He tried to think of how he was going to walk around the couple.

Anno was making noises like he was getting close and Rhonda looked back in desperate annoyance. She turned back to Bron just as Anno pulled himself from her and came all over his own torso. Rhonda was stunned by the man's total disregard for her pleasure. Anno staggered back and sat down in a chair as he rubbed his chest with both hands, eyes closed.

Rhonda prepared to let him have an earful when Bron stepped forward and gently took her face between his big hands and kissed her. She gasped and responded as his tongue slipped around hers. He moved to her ears and kissed his way down her neck and across her chest until he reached her stiff nipples. Bron sucked one into his mouth and twirled his tongue around the nipple. Rhonda sucked her breath in as her nipples grew even stiffer from the intense tingling. Bron moved to the other breast to repeat the treatment and Rhonda began to make little whimpering noises. Bron stood and picked up the chair with Rhonda still kneeling on it. He set it down next to the couch and sat down so he was facing her ass. He squeezed her round orbs with his strong hands and she squealed a little. Then he immediately got to work. Rhonda began to cry out and rock her hips back to meet his thrusting tongue. When she began to shake and wail he lapped aggressively across her clitoris and she howled her pleasure. He reached forward and gently rolled her nipples between his thumbs and fingers and Rhonda came. Hard. He picked her up and sat back on the couch with her on his chest, holding her in his arms while she crested and all during her descent back to reality.

When she finally got her bearings, she patted his arm and looked up at him. "Thanks, Bron! At least you don't disappoint!" she said staring daggers at Anno whose smile dropped from his face. Bron stood and gently placed her back on the couch. He made his way past the indignant model and slipped into a washroom to once more freshen up. He overheard Rhonda yelling, "Don't even think of touching me and don't you dare touch anything until you've washed your hands. Don't think I didn't see what you were doing!"

Bron finally managed to make it back down to the basement where he heard loud noises of aggressive sex and recognized Sasha's and Dan's voices coming from the room where moments before Stephie had been raped. While he would have naturally investigated the noises Sasha was making thinking her to be in distress, Angelina had warned him in advance that what sounded like rape to most was just good sex to Sasha. It still disturbed him. Outside of the two having relations in the end room the basement was empty. He hoped for Stephie's sake Sasha had waited for her to leave before they began to rut.

He walked back upstairs and found his way into the kitchen where Angelina, Bailley, and Stephie were sitting together having tea. Bron stopped in the doorway and tried to catch Angelina's eye. Stephie saw him first and stood up. He was worried that he'd frightened her but she marched across the kitchen and grabbed him in a hug. He hugged her back and soon she was crying against his chest. He gently rubbed her back and just held her until she calmed.

"Thank you, Bron," she whispered as she pulled back slightly from his chest to look up at his face.

"You're welcome," he smiled down at her.

She walked back to the kitchen table and pulled him along with her. She gently pushed him down to sit on the bench next to Bailley then she slid in next to him and lifted his arm to settle in against his side. She breathed a big sigh and stared at the steam rising from her cup on the table.

Bailley looked over at Stephie then smiled at Angelina who returned her smile. Bailley lifted Bron's other arm and leaned back against his other side. Bron looked at Angelina and raised his eyebrows.

"Where are the others?" Bron asked and Stephie giggled. He looked down at her, puzzled. "What is funny?"

"You're rumbly voice makes my nose itch," she giggled.

Bron reached in with the arm that was over her and rubbed her nose which just caused her to giggle some more.

She grabbed his hand and pulled his arm across her like a blanket and closed her eyes with a small smile on her lips. Angelina looked at her friend with a sigh of relief. She looked at Bron with deep gratitude in her eyes and he just smiled back. Not to be outdone by Stephie, Bailley grabbed Bron's other hand and pulled his right arm around her.

Angelina rolled her eyes and answered Bron's question.

"Vicki took Asami and Jason dancing. I haven't seen Sarah or Rachel since they threw Rika out and Rhonda-"

"Is right here," the woman said as she entered the kitchen. "Sorry, I had to get rid of my date. Three's a crowd so I told him he and his narcissism had to go. They made a nicer couple anyway." She pulled up the chair next to Angelina and dropped herself into it. Then she grabbed the edge of the table and whooshed out a breath as her sensitive skin flared with tingles. She ran the tip of her pink tongue across her upper lip as she rode out the sensation then she sent a quick but heated look over to Bron who did his best to maintain an innocent look.
Angelina caught the interchange and smiled wickedly. "So Anno gave you a real working over?"

Rhonda smiled. "Well he did his best to satisfy one of us, but it wasn't me. He left me hanging."

"That's terrible!" Angelina said dramatically.

"Indeed it was! Especially after I got so incredibly fired up watching Sarah and Rachel having their way with our friend Bron here. Oh, they're sleeping off their exhaustion on the deck."

"Not anymore," Rachel said as she walked in with her groggy sister. They took the last two chairs across from Bron. When she dropped onto the chair heavily Sarah grabbed the table and threw her head back. She moaned quietly as shivers ran up and down her spine. Angelina and Rhonda burst into giggles and Rachel looked at her sister a little jealously. Bailley squirmed a little tighter under his arm against his body while Stephie snored softly.

Rachel raised her eyebrows and pointed at the sleeping girl.

"The tail end of multiple shots of potent rum and the leading edge of a mild sedative. She should be out until morning," Angelina explained. When Sarah came out of her fugue she looked hungrily across at Bron. "I have never experienced anything like that before. Nothing has ever lasted this long either."

"Easy cowgirl! I believe Bron is hanging up his saddle for the evening," Angelina said.

Rhonda who had watched Sarah ride his face slapped her hands over her mouth to suppress a loud burst of laughter. Her eyes watered and she shook with the effort. Angelina looked at her friend with a puzzled grin. Sarah just looked wistfully at Bron.

When Rhonda finally had control of herself she dabbed her eyes with a napkin and looked to Rachel and Sarah. "We should head out because at 1PM I will be by your place to pick BOTH of you up to head over to my favorite spa and we can swap stories about Bron while the ladies make us all pretty." Rachel and Sarah were all grins and giggles as they got up with Rhonda and made their way around the tables giving goodbye hugs and kisses. Bron, being at the back pinned between two ladies, was unable to join in and had to settle with just saying it.

Sasha and Dan came upstairs as the ladies were leaving and said their own farewells. Soon it was just Angelina, Bailley, Bron, and sleeping beauty.

Angelina looked at Stephie. "We should get her into a bed so she can rest comfortably."

Bailley also looked at Stephie but just grinned. "I don't know if she could look any more comfortable than she does now. Bron makes an excellent pillow." She settled in herself and watched Angelina smirk. "OK, fine let's get her to bed," she said rolling her eyes dramatically.

Angelina and Bailley moved the chairs and lifted the table back so Bron would be able to scoop Stephie up in his arms and carry her against his chest. Angelina led them down the hall to the guest bedroom and she pulled back the sheets. Bron gently placed her on the bed and Angelina pulled the blanket over her. Stephie wouldn't release Bron's hand, even in her sleep so he settled down on the floor next to the bed with his arm on top of the sheets where Stephie could hold it.

Angelina kissed his forehead and so did Bailley. They left the room, shut the door, and went back to the kitchen.

"How are you holding up?" Bailley asked her friend. She knew Angelina was in love with Bron. It was plain to see but that kiss on his forehead was as physical as she'd seen her get with the big man.

"Me? I'm good!" Angelina said in surprise. That earned her a skeptical look from Bailley.

"Oh! You mean about me and Bron." She smiled. "I love him. He is proving to be more of a man than any of the men, or I should say boys, I've ever dated were. You've seen how gentle he is even though he's very strong. He's kind, thoughtful, curious, patient, and he's learning, with the help of people I love, how to be a terrific lover. If the stakes weren't so high I'd be all over him in a second. But for now I have to be patient and just be his friend.

"Even in the privacy of your own home?" Bailley asked.

"I can't allow myself that level of intimacy yet because if I start I know I won't be able to hide it," she sighed then looked at Bailley. "I want you to know that I have NO issues with you or any of our group becoming intimate with Bron. I'm especially pleased to see you so relaxed around him."

Bailley smiled shyly. "I don't know why but I AM very comfortable around him. I almost kissed him!"

Angelina burst into a grin. The two women chatted into the early hours of the day.

Chapter 11

When morning arrived Stephie woke up to find Bron asleep next to the bed. She kissed his forehead, waking him. He took her to her clothes, waited for her to dress, and then walked her to her car. After she drove off Bron went back to find Angelina. He eventually found her and Bailley asleep on lounge chairs outside on the deck. He went back inside to do his morning workout on the High G simulator. He went through his sets and was pleased that his performance showed he was maintaining his current output levels. That done he drank his high energy, high protein meal. Angelina had asked him if he'd prefer 'real food' but he really didn't taste food so it seemed a bit of a waste on him. He was fine with what he'd always had.

He walked back out on the deck and Angelina and Bailley were slowly waking. He smiled at them, took a series of deep breaths then stepped off the edge of the pool into the deep end. He sunk to the bottom immediately as his body density wouldn't allow him to float at all. He stood at the bottom of the pool enjoying the silence and the serenity when he heard muted shouting. He looked upwards and noticed the pool edge was lined by men in black outfits. They were holding guns and they were all pointing at him! Not knowing what else to do he slowly walked up from the deep end keeping his hands above his head until his head broke the surface. Angelina was shouting at someone who might have been the leader of the SWAT team and Bailley was yelling into her cell. The cops around the pool with the guns gestured for him to exit the pool so he climbed out. There was a lot of yelling and Bron couldn't understand who he was supposed to be listening to. Angelina tried to get to him but the officer she had been shouting at grabbed her arm and pushed her down. Bron immediately set course for Angelina and ignored the cops around him. Four fell into the pool in full gear and three others pulled Tasers on Bron. The needles wouldn't penetrate his scales. He almost made it to Angelina when the shock sticks came into play and Bron felt those. His nerves exploded with pain and he went down on his knees then onto his face. The shocks continued well after he lost consciousness.

Chapter 12

Bron slowly surfaced from the inky darkness of his mind into the real world. That world was filled with pain. The shock sticks had done their job and then some. He couldn't control the trembling of his limbs as his muscles twitched and cramped as his nerves misfired continuously. He'd also taken a severe beating while he'd been unconscious. His groin felt especially tender as someone had tried to kick their way past his defenses.

The worst of the pain though was centered on his eyes. His goggles were gone and the bright light of the room poured in against his sensitive retinas. Everything was white and the pain lanced in against his brain until he couldn't think. Pain was his entire world and it was endless.

He was dimly aware of heavy weights attached to his limbs. He had tried to lift his hands to cover his eyes but he was attached to the floor and he couldn't even turn his head away from the white light. It became too much and his mind receded back into oblivion.

Chapter 13

It had taken three days but when Pietr and his lawyer finally managed to get past the gauntlet of bureaucratic hurdles the police threw in their way they were escorted to Bron's cell. He gasped in horror when he saw Bron's condition.

"Where are his goggles!" he yelled at the officer in charge of the cells.

"Prisoners aren't allowed any personal items in the cells," the cop responded with a smirk.

"It's not a personal item! It's a- a medical device! His eyes aren't designed for this level- wait a minute... the lights in his cell are twice as bright as the other cells!"

"He should close his eyes then," was the offhand remark.

Pietr stepped right up in the man's face. "He. Has. NO. EYELIDS!"

"Step back little man unless you want to join the freak in there," the cop said with a growl.

Pietr noted the man's badge number and looked back at his lawyer. "I will be pressing criminal and civil charges against this man as well. Note his badge number and lock his assets" The lawyer nodded with a grim look.

When the cop began to protest, Pietr's face snapped back to pierce him with a fierce glare. "Maybe you've forgotten exactly which one of us in this room really is 'a little man'. Get me the goggles, NOW!"

The man scowled menacingly at Pietr and went into the next room. Pietr heard the cop stomping repeatedly and rolled his eyes. He called out. "Those goggles are made of stronger stuff than you. Don't bother trying to break them." Seconds later the cop returned, his face red from his efforts. He tossed them across the counter and Pietr caught them casually and made a show of inspecting them. "See? They've maintained their integrity which is more than I can say for you. Now, open the cell, dim the lights, and get me the keys for those locks on his chains. Chains! Good god! Who puts people in chains these days?" The truth struck him and his bile rose. "So he couldn't shield his eyes with his hands," he gasped. "My god, you're monsters!"

Pietr grabbed the ring of keys that came sliding across the counter and entered the cell while his lawyer kept an eye on the cop. He immediately placed the goggles on Bron's eyes and felt the man sigh slightly. Just a little of the tension left his body which was still practically humming from it.

It took him time to match the keys to the locks but he finally managed to get all ten of them unlocked and removed from the chains. He set them aside on a pile against the wall. He then gingerly moved the heavy chains from Bron's body. As he lifted each away he saw the scorch marks and bruises underneath. There was a bad smell as well.

"Walter, call for an ambulance, quick!" he yelled to his lawyer who immediately dialed the number.

Pietr looked right in the eyes of the cop. "If he dies, the charge is murder. Any statement you'd care to make in your defence before it's too late?"

"It can't be murder, it's a Genie!" the cop blustered.

"You are obviously too busy studying medieval torture to keep abreast of current events. Bron here was just classified by our highest court in a vote of 5 to 4, in favor, to be a clone due to the fact that his personality matrix was created from live human minds. As a clone he doesn't have full citizen rights but he IS guaranteed basic human rights. Rights that have clearly been badly violated. As the one who implemented this barbaric treatment you will of course bear the brunt of the punishment."

The cop was seeing his future become very bleak indeed. He licked his lips nervously and Pietr could see his mind connecting the dots at record speed. He was obviously reaching the forgone conclusion that those who had issued the orders to implement this torture would step back and let him hang banking on his maintaining silence. The cop knew how long he'd last in jail and the convincing was done.

"I want immunity," he blurted.

The lawyer looked at the man as one might a bug that had landed in his food. "What could you have that would be worth that?"

"My personal daily log which recorded the orders I was given to deal with the prisoner in this exact and specific way," he grinned as he felt the deal solidifying.

"A personal log? It's against standard police policy to maintain a personal recording device while on duty, isn't it?" the lawyer asked.

"Sure it is, for just these kind of events. But it's insurance for us 'little guys' when the brass gives us... controversial orders. Most of the guys carry a dime drive and pin cam. Impossible to detect and instant insurance," he gloated. The lawyer was nodding with approval. The cop felt immediate relief.

"So others were given the order to torture him like this as well?" Pietr asked incredulously.

"Of course! The three cell block crew all got our orders at the same time from the lieutenant who is a good friend of a certain councillor..." At Pietr's blank look the man rolled his eyes. "Councillor Stanfield? The man was standing right next to the lieutenant and it was him that told us about his sensitive eyes. His kid got knocked around by the freak at a party after he had a little fun with one of the sluts." He noticed the wide eyed foolish look had left Pietr's face and the grim anger was back. He started to get nervous again.

Just then the paramedics arrived with an extra wide gurney. There were six big men, needed to carry their extra heavy patient.

Before Pietr moved away from Bron to let the workers in to take over, the big man's lips moved and Pietr leaned in to listen. He put his hand on Bron's hand gently then went to stand beside Walter to give the paramedics access to their patient.

"What did he say?" Walter said in a hushed tone.

Pietr was having difficulty controlling his emotions. His jaw worked as the muscles clenched. "He said- he said- he was so sorry to cause me trouble. He also said that he was blind."

Walter rocked back on his heels and his face closed down. Once he'd recovered he nodded to Pietr who returned it.

"So, we have a deal, right? You want this Councillor and the Lieutenant, right?" the cop said quietly so the paramedics wouldn't hear. They were too busy removing the chains and cleaning Bron's wounds to pay attention to the nervous cop.

Three more men in suits entered the cell area and walked up to Walter. He handed them a memory stick from his tablet.

"Officer Terlow, we're from Internal Affairs. Come with us please," the lead man said to the shocked cop.

"Wait a minute, we had a deal. You need me!" the cop blurted.

"Right, he has a pin cam and dime drive on his person for recording his personal log. His co-workers have their own," Walter informed the Internal Affairs team. One of the team ran his phone over the cop's belt and found the dime drive. He removed it and pocketed it with a nod to Walter. They removed the cursing cop.

"I don't know what to say to Angelina. If we had just bulled our way in we might have gotten in a day earlier and maybe saved Bron's sight but those bastards would have gotten away with what they'd done." Pietr had tears in his eyes.

Walter looked at his friend. He knew Pietr was blaming himself for not being at home to have prevented this. "You know you had to be where you were to ensure Bron's status as a clone was ratified by the courts. It was your efforts that swung the final vote. Besides considering how sensitive his sight was, two or three or five days probably wouldn't make a difference. We got in as fast as possible. We needed Internal Affairs on our side for this one. If we'd tried to bull our way in they might have decided they were safer with him dead and disposed of. Instead they got cocky."

The paramedics got Bron onto a backboard and lifted him onto the gurney. They wheeled him out and Pietr and Walter followed. One of the paramedics asked if Pietr would be travelling with them. He said he'd meet them at the hospital and went with Walter.

At the hospital the senior doctor took one look at Bron and held up his hands. He said he didn't work on animals and neither did his staff. Pietr lost his temper. Walter pulled him away and the two sat in a small conference room. They watched the two paramedics who remained behind cleaning Bron's injuries in the hallway.

Suddenly Pietr sat up straight and snatched out his phone. He started making frantic calls and finally managed to track down the person he was hunting for. He quickly explained his situation and sighed with relief. He sat down with a thump. "She's still here. The ship isn't leaving for another month. She's on her way and she's bringing help."

"Who's coming and who's the help?" Walter asked.

"Doctor Ryan from the ship we were on for our trip to Bacchus. She treated him. She's bringing her roommate who was head nurse on the ship. They both know Bron."

There was a surge of noise in the hallway and Pietr stepped out of the conference room to see his daughter running up the hall closely followed by her friends. All of them looked very grim except for his daughter who was close to tears. He stepped in to catch Angelina and held her against his chest as she struggled to get to Bron.

"He's unconscious, please Angelina listen. He was badly beaten. Every surface is bruised so you shouldn't touch him for now. Baby listen to me, they chained him down in a room with extra bright room lights and they took away his goggles. He- he's blind."

Pietr was crying as hard as his daughter and they clung to each other for support. Bailley had overheard Pietr's words and passed them along tearfully to her friends.

Bailley saw Walter standing in the doorway looking sadly at his friend. She went over to speak with him.

"Mr. Beckett, why is Bron still in the hallway. Where is the doctor?" she asked.

"Ms. Shaw, please call me Walter. The Chief Physician is refusing to treat Bron and has forbidden his staff to as well. I believe his words were that he didn't work on animals," he explained.

Sasha spun on her heal and said something about killing the bastard. Rachel and Sarah grabbed their friend before she got past them.

"But Pietr found a doctor who is on her way," Walter said trying to calm the ladies.

"Who, Papa?" Angelina asked.

"Doctor Ryan and her head nurse from the ship. She said she'd be here soon," Pietr answered.

"And I'm here," Beth Ryan said as she passed him on her way to see her patient. She spoke briefly to the two paramedics and thanked them for their work on him. They had to leave having already overstayed.

Pietr and Angelina thanked them on their way out as well. Rhonda walked out with one of them and came back later with a phone number.

Wendy Callahan arrived after parking the car and immediately began to assist the doctor.

The Chief Physician arrived in a huff. "Who are you and what are you doing in my hospital? You can't treat this creature here!"

Walter put his hand on Pietr shoulder and shook his head. He stepped forward. "Doctor Pinschott, as of yesterday afternoon the patient was certified by the highest court on Walla to be a 'clone' and was therefore granted basic human rights. Your refusal to treat him based on his lacking these rights is in error and I ask you again to assist Dr. Ryan here in treating the injured man."

"And I told you that I don't work on animals or whatever this is and neither will my staff," he said looking down his nose at Walter. "You there! You aren't authorized to work in my hospital. You'll have to leave and take your tart with you."

Wendy turned to face the man. "What did you call me?"

"A tart. You're dressed like a whore so I call it like- IAAAAiiiiieee!" the man clutched at his crushed scrotum which had just had a visit from Wendy's boot. His eyes rolled back and he crumpled to the floor. Wendy cast a stern look at the group. "Did anyone see what happened to cause the doctor to lose consciousness?" Everyone shook their head and Sasha grinned like she'd just discovered her long lost sister.

"Did you have to wear the steel toed boots today?" Beth mumbled as she worked over Bron. "OK, I need to get him into a proper examination room."
Another doctor rushed up and bent down to examine Dr. Pinschott who was moaning and rocking with tears in his eyes.

"You! What's your name!" Beth targeted the new arrival.

"Dr. Vincent," the stunned man said.

"As Dr. Pinschott has been incapacitated by what seems to be a urinary tract infection, I'm placing you in charge. Get the head nurse down here and some orderlies with a gurney. Now! Let's move!"

Pietr and Angelina stepped back against the wall as did her friends as the hospital staff leapt into action. More than a few of them wore smiles and gave them secret thumbs up when they saw their senior staffer taken away on the gurney. Dr. Ryan was in full combat medic mode and Wendy was right there by her side handling triage. The hospital's head nurse was especially pleased by Wendy's solution to the pompous windbag's rude behavior.

While Bron was whisked away to get some actual medical attention there was nothing left to do for Angelina and her friends. Pietr turned to Walter with a fierce look.

"I assume you got footage of Bron's state and the conditions he was in when we arrived?" he asked.

Walter queued up the video file and turned his tablet towards his friend and the ladies. He started it.

There was a collective gasp followed by tears and shouts of outrage as the tablet captured the scene of Bron's chained body trapped in a position that kept his face in the overly bright lights.

"After they run the story of Bron's classification as a clone I want this footage shown. I think people need to know exactly how they treated someone who had 'Basic Human Rights'. It's time to begin the push for citizenship!" Pietr growled.

Chapter 14

It had taken Bron three weeks of recovery in the hospital before they released him. Dr. Ryan had outfitted him with a special pair of opaque wrap around goggles that blocked out all light. She wanted him to keep it on for four weeks and see a specialist at that time to see if there had been any progress with his recovery. She was hopeful that with time and total darkness he might regain some of his eyesight. But it was a distant hope.

Dr. Ryan called in a Forensic Specialist from the Police Department as during her initial assessment she found some foreign matter jammed in the crease of his badly bruised groin. The man carefully extracted a small chunk of durable foam and hard rubber which had ripped from the sole of a shoe. The foam was a bright green which he thought would be easy to match.

Those first few days in the hospital were not ones Bron wanted to remember. There was so much pain and the treatment just added more. They were worried by the amount of bruising he had. His density didn't allow them to see if he was bleeding internally from more serious injuries. They found a means to drain the wounds which was excruciatingly painful and he moaned quietly for hours after each treatment. He tried to remain quiet so as to not bother the people in the hospital but it was too much.

He had visitors every day from the end of the first week. They couldn't touch him and he couldn't see them but he loved hearing their voices. The first day Angelina came to visit him he apologized to her for no longer being able to be her guardian and for being a burden to her and her father. He told her he understood if they wanted to send him to reclamation. She cried very hard after that and Bron was confused and terribly sorry he made her so sad. He tried apologizing for that but she just cried harder. Bailley finally took Angelina from the room and she didn't return for three days. They were hellish days for Bron. He had hurt the woman he secretly loved and that was worse than anything he had experienced yet. His appetite dropped and his health began to slide downwards. Only when Angelina returned and demanded that he eat and get better did he begin to respond again.

Near the end of the third week Angelina arrived late and alone and closed the door. She hadn't said anything but he knew her scent and the sounds she made when she moved. They were as unique to her as her fingerprints and he treasured that he now realized this. She sat near the bed and leaned in to whisper to him. He took a deep breath and smiled as he recognized the scent of a Danish with icing sugar and cinnamon, her weekly indulgence.

He knew she was nervous about something as he could feel her trembling against the bed. He wished he could help her with whatever it was but he was useless to her now. That made him very sad.

"Bron, it's Angelina," she said quietly.

"I know. It was good of you to visit but isn't this beyond the regular hours? You won't get into trouble will you?" he said, concerned.

"Ah, Bron..." she seemed to be having trouble speaking. "You said something to me a week ago that really hurt me but I don't believe you intended to."

"I would NEVER hurt you!" Bron rasped in a breathy whisper.

"I know, it's just that... you don't seem to understand something very fundamental to our relationship and now I am worried that maybe you can't. Maybe when they made your personality matrix some things were left out. You know, like how the memories from the source minds were. Maybe there are some emotional linkages that you're missing or can't form. Shit! I'm messing this all up!" she cursed as her voice trembled.

He could sense the tears forming. He reached out carefully to the table next to the bed and found the tissues by touch. He passed one to the location of her voice.

"How did you know I needed a tissue?" she whispered looking at his blackened goggles.

"I could hear it in the softening of your voice and I could feel it in the trembling of your hand on the edge of the bed. Please don't cry because of me. I'm not worthy of your tears," he said quietly in return.

"You see? That's what I'm talking about! You are so attuned to me but you are missing the fact- the most important thing... that I'm IN LOVE with you! Romantically, totally and completely."

Bron was stunned. He'd overheard her once or twice mentioning that she loved him but he assumed this was meant casually as one would describe a pet or even a favourite article of clothing. To hear her say it so bluntly took his breath away. He actually forgot to breathe and Angelina began to notice.

"Bron! Take a breath!" she hissed.

He took a big gulp of air and then a second.

"Here is where I ask you if you are capable of understanding what it means to love. Do you love me Bron?" she asked with a tiny voice.

He was in a state of panic! He'd been conditioned when he was created that It was forbidden for him to have any feelings towards humans other than loyalty and respect. It was doubly forbidden to express them. And here she was asking him point blank to confess his most secret desires. His body went rigid with fear as his conditioning kicked in and his monitors took notice. He was starting to experience an anxiety attack and his monitors weren't happy about it.

Angelina mistook his reaction as rejection and she made to leave as tears burst into her eyes.

Feeling her distress pushed him past his fear. "I- love you... too," Bron barely whispered.

Angelina only caught the last two words and froze where she was. She needed to confirm what he said but she heard the night duty nurse bustling down the hall, drawn by his physical upset. She quickly leaned in. "Say that again!"

Bron's stress levels spiked and the machine began to send alerts.

"I love you Angelina. I'm sorry, I know it's forbidden and totally inappropriate for me to love you. Please forgive me!" he gasped as his chest tightened.

She quickly dipped down to kiss him on the lips. "I'll be back tomorrow, my love." She scurried across the room and jumped behind the curtain just before the nurse pushed into the room. As the nurse walked towards the monitor Angelina slipped out of the closing door and walked quickly away.

Her heart was on cloud nine. He loved her too!

Angelina did come to the hospital the following day and Bron could tell her energy levels were much higher and her voice had a definite softness in it when she addressed him. Her friends picked up on the energy and the group grew so boisterous they were kicked out of his room before visiting hours were officially up.

That had been two days ago and now Bron was enjoying the sensation of morning sun on his skin while he sat in his wheelchair on the back deck of the Rykov's home. He felt at a loss to describe the state of mind he was in. He was unable to perform his assigned duties. He consumed food and water and used energy in their home. He took up their valuable time taking care of HIM! His whole world was upside down!

On the lighter side, the bruising was almost gone and he was told that he could begin his exercise routine at half intensity starting tomorrow.

Bron was getting used to the sounds of the neighborhood. He was able to distinguish the sounds of the different neighbors and their routines. It felt very comforting but after the burst of attention he had at the hospital he actually felt a little lonely by himself. Pietr had returned to work and Angelina was back at her University. She had told him that she would arrange for someone to check in on him so he waited.

From amongst the sounds of the neighborhood he picked up a car door closing and footsteps coming up the walkway and around the side of the house. He realized he was pretty much defenseless sitting there in the backyard but there was not much he could do now.

Then he caught her scent.

"Hello Bailley!" he smiled.

"Hi Bron! How did you know it was me?" she smiled in return.

"You wear the loveliest perfume," he replied.

"I- I don't where perfume. I'm allergic to scented products," she stuttered realizing it was her own scent he was admiring.

"Oh... OH!" Bron caught on and blushed. "Well, you- your scent... is very pretty," he stumbled through his response.

"Thank you, Bron," she blushed as well.

"Are you the person Angelina sent to ensure I wasn't floating face down in the pool?" he joked to lighten the mood.

"Don't even joke about that! You know how much that would destroy Angelina!" she gently swatted his hand. "Oh! I'm sorry! I forgot we're not supposed to touch you."

"It's OK, it doesn't hurt anymore." He demonstrated by jabbing a finger into his thigh.

"Really?" she said and he could hear the smile in her voice. "That's good because there has been something I've wanted to do for some weeks now."

Bron felt her guide his left arm away from the chair's left armrest then heard a click as it swung away. A weight settled across his legs and her scent filled his senses as she slowly leaned in towards him. He felt her gentle hands on his face then her lips touched his. Tentative at first, just a gentle brush and some light pressure. She leaned in again and this time she caressed his mouth with hers and his breath caught as his heart beat increased. Hers was starting to speed up as well. On the next kiss Bron sucked her lip between his and gently ran the tip of his tongue across its soft, smooth surface. He felt her tremble and he wasn't sure if that was good or bad as she pulled back slightly. He brushed her top lip with his bottom one and kept his tongue back. Bailley responded with an aggressive kiss which had her sucking on his lips until they were both panting. She pulled back to look at him and he gasped for breath.

Bron's groin was the one area where the bruising hadn't yet subsided and his body seemed to understand it was off limits. His erection backed off as the pain surfaced which relieved the pain so he was grateful.

Bailley glanced down and noticed a lack of activity. "Are you OK Bron? Am I doing something wrong? I noticed you haven't responded like you did when I kissed your ears. Would you like me to kiss your ears?"

"I'm responding but it seems the bruising hasn't left that particular area so the... response went away."

"I'm so sorry Bron! I didn't mean to hurt you!" Bailley gasped and made to leave his lap.

Bron just encircled her with his arms. "Please don't go. It's nice holding you."

She smiled. "It's nice to be held." She carefully leaned against his chest and rested her head just under his chin. He settled her more comfortably and they sat like that for a while. When she began to doze off she pushed herself up and looked at him. He was sound asleep. She smiled and wheeled him back into the house.

She worked on her homework in the living room as Bron snoozed in his chair.

When her tablet informed her it was time for her to head back to school she woke Bron with a tender kiss.

"Hey sleepyhead! I have to head out for a class but Sasha will be dropping by to look in on you until Angelina gets home."

"Thank you for visiting me, Bailley! Will you visit tomorrow?" he asked hopefully.

She smiled and touched his cheek. He leaned against her palm. "Not tomorrow but the day after definitely. I have a full class schedule tomorrow," she said.

"OK," he said with a smile.

She leaned in for another kiss which took his breath away then she pushed herself away and left for school.

An hour later Sasha pushed through the front door and called out loudly. "BRON! WHERE IS YOUR BLUE BUTT!"

"In my chair," he said from the next room.

"Ah! There you are! Hey! Are you hungry or thirsty? I'm new to this babysitting business so I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with you. You mind if I make myself lunch?" Sasha rattled off rapid fire.

"I don't eat until tonight so I am fine until then. You don't need to do anything with me. I am sure Angelina would tell you to help yourself to their food," he replied.

He heard the woman making noises in the kitchen and soon he heard her come up behind him.

"Why don't I just push you into the kitchen so we can talk while I eat my lunch?" she said wheeling him into the next room.

"Are you attending the University too?" Bron asked.

Sasha paused then laughed. "No, I didn't have the smarts for University. Why those brains continue to hang out with a low life like me remains a mystery to this day," she smirked and shook her head.

"That's not a mystery. It's because they love you," Bron said simply.

"Shut the fuck up!" she snarled playfully.

Bron considered the woman sitting somewhere in front of him. She, out of all of Angelina's friends was the biggest enigma to him. It was obvious that there was much love between the friends but Sasha seemed too willing to put herself and the other in danger as if to scare them off. She was always testing their resolve, trying to make them say enough, forcing them to abandon her. But they did love her and continued to take her abuse and show nothing but acceptance to her. He picked up that she needed her friends intensely so he didn't know what drove her to this self-destructive behavior. He'd have to ask Angelina about it.

"How long do you have to stay in that chair?" Sasha asked.

"I am allowed to get up and move around until I feel sore or tired," he replied.

"Can you walk downstairs?" she asked.

"Yes, I think so."

"I have a new movie I want to watch. I know you can't see it but could you sit with me?" Sasha said with a strange tone in her voice.

"Sure," he said, wondering what was up. He followed her down into the basement where she activated the projection system. She parked Bron on the couch and snuggled up against him as she started the movie.

There was no lead in, no music or titles. Just the sound of a young woman's painful cries and the wet slap of skin on skin. There was also the occasional louder slap of skin being struck hard. The woman was sobbing and Bron finally recognized the voice as belonging to Sasha. He didn't recognize the man's voice but it was mostly growls and curses muffled by something... a mask maybe?

He was getting angry and his breathing was speeding up. The recording was triggering his need to protect. Someone had hurt Sasha and recorded it. It sounded like rape. He'd heard enough of that on Bacchus to recognize it.

"Who..." he growled. The sounds of her cries went on in the background and the painful slap of wet skin.

"It doesn't matter. It was a long time ago. This was just the first time... the first recording on my eighteenth birthday. Deflowering day! This went on for years. Until I ran away from home," she said like it was nothing.

"It was a family member?" he said in shock.

"It's not important. I heard you asking Angelina why I need to be punished during sex. This is why. Four years of this on almost a daily basis taught me how love- ...sex should feel."

"I'm- I'm sorry."

"Fuck you! Spare me the sympathy. I don't want it. I don't need it. This is who I am now. I've accepted it and I get a fuckload of enjoyment out of my life without being all needy and emotional."

"OK," he said.

"What the fuck do you mean, OK?" she growled with a trembling voice.

Bron was silent. He didn't know what Sasha wanted from him. He turned his head towards a new sound. He tried his best to ignore the awful noises coming from the movie projection system. Then he picked up her scent. Tears and she was masturbating while she was watching her younger self being raped!

He felt the remote for the projection system resting against his leg so he grabbed it and hit the power switch to turn off the movie. Sasha screamed and tried to get the remote from his hand but his grip was too strong and her hands were too slick.

Sasha became a wild woman, screeching at him, scratching at his face and kicking. He managed to deflect her arms and when his hand touched her throat he got a grip and spun her around on the couch pressing her face down against the cushions. There wasn't much room on this piece of furniture as she was wedged in between the chair's arm and his body. He picked up her scent very strongly and realized her ass was pointing up at his face.

"Well, are you just going to sit there or are you gonna FUCK ME!" she screamed.

He wasn't about to rape her, he couldn't. It wasn't in his nature. His conditioning prevented him from hurting her. But she didn't know that and he could give her pleasure hard and fast. Maybe that would be the same?

While she thrashed and struck him he slid his hands firmly down her sides until he reached her hips. He tore her shorts and panties off between his powerful hands in one pull. He heard her gasp and squirm. She almost managed to slip away from him so he grabbed her thighs in his hands and lifted her effortlessly to his mouth and ran his tongue roughly across her wet pussy. She screamed at the intense sensations shooting through her and her legs shook in his grip. He didn't give her time to recover as his tongue stroked her again and again, each time dipping further into her wet depths.

She was hanging face down and Bron didn't want her to pass out from the pressure of the blood running to her head. He put his left arm around her thighs pinning her drenched pussy to his mouth. This freed up his right arm to reach down and tug her shirt open to expose her tits. He then lifted her torso up until she was horizontal. She renewed her thrashing and kicking so he plunged his tongue deeply into her hot tunnel.

Sasha squealed and trembled, impaled on his rough tongue. He continued to slide the hard flexing muscle deeper and deeper into her until he felt the tip touch the spongy opening on her womb. He pulled his head back a few inches then thrust forward and she came hard.

"FUUUUUCK! FUUUUUUUCK! FUCK MEEEEE!!!!" Sasha screamed.

Bron set up a steady pace of hard thrusting and let his tongue slip into her womb just a little. She choked out another squeal and went into convulsions as her body was overloaded. He felt her hands slip to her nipples and roughly tug at them.

After a few dozen thrusts Bron pulled his tongue from her depths and she moaned deeply at the sudden sensation of being so empty after the intrusion of his thick tongue.
Bron spun her in his arm until she was straddling his hips facing him on the couch. She weakly pushed at his chest but he took her head in his hand and pulled her face to his for a kiss. His mouth was coated in her juices and she refused to open her mouth so he slid his left hand down her back to stroke her ass. He dipped lower and shoved his middle finger easily into her slick pussy.

Sasha gasped at the sudden penetration and he slipped his tongue into her mouth to share her essence with her. He felt her tremble again as his finger pumped in and out of her wetness in time with his thrusting tongue. She tried to bite him so he slid the muscle further into her mouth until it hit the back of her throat. She didn't gag but her eyes flew open and she beat rapidly on his chest as her muscles all tensed up. Then her body was rocking through a strong orgasm again and her tight muscles lost tone and spasmed. He felt her jaw muscles go slack.

Before she could recover he slipped his finger from her and lifted her up his body. Her legs went over his shoulders and he rested her torso across his outstretched right arm. His right hand had a firm but not painful grip on her neck, trapping her in place.

He slid his tongue roughly up the crack of her ass, over the rosebud of her tight sphincter, across the sensitive surface of her perineum, spreading the lips of her pussy wide while dipping shallowly inside, to finally rub over her overcharged clit. She jolted and screamed as the overload of pleasure bordered on pain.

He repeated this three times and on the fourth pass he surprised her by slipping the tip of his tongue into her ass. Her thighs slammed shut around his head but she couldn't stop his tongue from continuing to slide inside.

"Oh god! My asssssss! Oh yes, fuck me! My asssssssss!" she hissed then she was no longer able to make intelligible sounds. He felt the muscles in her ass clenching again and again trying to expel his intruding muscle but he was able to ignore her efforts. He pulled his tongue back then slammed it deep inside again and again as Sasha wailed. Her pussy was leaking continuously over his face now as her body went through one micro orgasm after another. He knew from her weakening movements she was reaching her limit. He slowly extracted his tongue and felt her thighs tightening, trying to keep him inside her. He gently lowered her just enough so he could place his mouth over her pussy. He ran the flat of his tongue over her reddened skin and she jolted and twitched as the pleasure stabbed and exploded through her. Finally her clit was between his lips and he lightly brushed the raw tissues with his tongue. Her body arched up between his grip on her neck and his mouth on her clit. Her mouth opened in a silent scream and her eyes flew wide open. She remained suspended for almost eight seconds then her body collapsed as she passed out. Bron felt her muscles completely go limp. He carefully laid her out on the couch. She was breathing deeply and a fine sheen of sweat covered her body. The couch she was on was covered with a small blanket but the room was slightly cool so Bron felt for the couch to the left and tugged its blanket free. He carefully placed it over the sleeping woman and kissed her forehead.

"Sasha, you are loved and you are worthy of love," he whispered into her ear. He knew it was just a drop in a bucket compared to four years of abuse but you had to start someplace.

He stood up and carefully made his way over to the wall and felt his way along to the washroom. He stepped inside and started the shower. He was coated in the woman's juices. He spent a good ten minutes under the hot shower and stepped out refreshed. He dried himself off and went back out to check on Sasha.

She was still completely out so he sat down next to the couch and waited.

He must have dozed off as he awoke when he felt lips on his forehead. He knew instantly it was Angelina. He smiled.

"Welcome home Angelina," he said.

"Did you two have fun?" he heard her say with a smile in her voice.

"Can we go upstairs?" he asked.

Angelina paused. "Yes, come on." She guided him up to the kitchen and they sat next to each other on the bench.

"Were you aware Sasha was abused when she was younger?" her asked.

"Yes, she told me she was raped when she was a girl. By someone close to her family," Angelina said sadly.

"She was eighteen when it happened. She played the video for me. I couldn't see it obviously but I heard enough to know it was rape and it was her," he said, shuddering at the memory.

"It was recorded!?!?" she gasped and jumped from the table. Bron heard her rush from the room. Moments later she returned. Bron sat patiently until he heard the sound from the recording.

Angelina watched the video on her tablet and paid close attention to the man raping the young girl. His face was hidden by the mask and he wore long sleeved black shirt and long black pants. Then he reached for something and the sleeve pulled back. She froze the video. A tattoo. One she recognized.

Bron could feel her trembling with rage. "What is it?" he asked.

Angelina felt ill then she felt an all-consuming rage. She didn't know what to do with it. She wanted to kill the man now that she knew who he was but that was impossible as he'd died years before. She knew now that Sasha also knew the identity of her rapist and had kept that a secret. If he had been 'close to her family' as she had claimed that made her wonder once more about Sasha's actual background. She couldn't have come from the backwater sticks as she had told her friends. There was serious money and powerful families somewhere in Sasha's story. Something she was running from. Angelina looked at Bron worried.

"What happened Bron?" she asked.

"She told me that she had been raped for four years and that's why she needs it that way now. The sounds were really upsetting me so I turned it off. She was touching herself and got really mad so she tried to get the remote from me. Then she attacked me. I managed to pin her to the couch but I think she was expecting me to rape her then. I can't do that. Her experience made her believe she needs it but my conditioning prevents me from doing it. She screamed at me to 'fuck her'. I didn't know what to do. I'm still too bruised down there but I could still give her pleasure with my mouth. So I did it as hard and fast as she could take it. Was that wrong? What should I have done? I don't know how to help Sasha. Have I made her worse?" he asked plaintively. He was trembling as his conditioning started to kick in at the possibility that he'd caused harm.

Angelina's heart went out to him. He was stuck in a no-win situation with Sasha. She'd have to have a talk with her friend when she woke up. "No, Bron. You did what she needed. She'll be fine in the morning." She saw his shoulders relax and the trembling slowed to a stop. One crisis averted.

She made Bron his evening meal and went over her and her friends class schedules to see if there was a way to limit the requirement to have Sasha watch over the big man. After a short time she came to the realization that she'd already subconsciously set up the schedule that way. Unless she just cut Sasha from the schedule entirely. She really needed to talk with her.

She heard a noise from behind her and turned to see Sasha standing in the doorway, naked.

"Do you have any clothes I could borrow? Your man there was a little rough on mine when he fucked me," she growled.

Angelina left to get some clothes and Sasha wobbled across the room and fell into a chair across from Bron. The second she hit the seat she hissed as her nerves flashed back into a surge of pleasure. The chain reaction shot through all of the surfaces his tongue had gently abraded. Her head fell back as she trembled and shook as a series of micro orgasms washed over her body. Her mind started to white out but she clung tenaciously to the table until she felt it coming back to her. She opened her eyes and saw Bron trying to remain still but trembling.

"Fuck, Bron! What did you do to me? You nasty fucker!" she gasped with a grin and trembled through a few more crests.

Angelina returned with some panties, yoga pants and a t-shirt. She noticed her friend had come all over the chair so she got a warm, wet facecloth to clean her up with. Sasha managed to get to her feet and take the cloth but the moment she held it against her reddened flesh her knees gave out and she dropped it. Angelina caught her and pulled her over to Bron who pulled her up against his chest as he sat back on the bench. Angelina freshened the cloth and tried to gently clean her friend but every touch just set her off again.

Sasha was panting hard now. "Please, please- no more," she gasped as she writhed in Bron's firm and careful grasp.

Angelina gave up and just pulled the panties up her friend's legs to her knees. She left and returned with a thick feminine liner which she attached to the crotch of the panties. Bron slipped his right arm under Sasha's back and his left around her chest as she leaned back against his chest. He lifted her so Angelina could pull the panties on and then the yoga pants. Sasha continued to tremble through the process and cling to his arm. Her nipples did their best to dig into his arm, not that he was aware of it. Angelina pulled the shirt over her head and pulled her friends limp arms through the sleeves.

"You rode your motorcycle here didn't you," Angelina asked.

Sasha only had enough strength to nod.

"Well you're staying the night with us then. No way you'd survive the ride home," Angelina concluded.

Sasha nodded again. She looked up at her friend's worried look and smiled. "Holy fuck," she whispered.

"Sasha, you know Bron is incapable of hurting a human, right?" she asked her friend gently.

Eyes snapped open and looked fiercely at her. "The fucker just tore me a new one. I couldn't stop him! He tossed me around like I was nothing and took my ass cherry!"

Angelina looked up in shock at Bron whose mouth was open with surprise. She looked back at her friend. "Did you tell him to stop?"

Sasha froze. "What?"

"After you told him to fuck you, at any time did you tell him to stop?" Angelina continued.

The woman in Bron's arms sputtered and looked around desperately. An angry look returned to her eyes. "I couldn't catch my breath from his fucking me over and over!"

"Bron can't open his pouch yet because of the bruising. He used his mouth and tongue," she said.

Sasha looked up at Bron's face and he was nodding. "You didn't feel how he tossed my body around like it was just a toy. I was nothing in his hands. He wouldn't have taken no for an answer," she growled.

"Bron has to take no as no. He has no choice. If you said stop he would stop unless to do so would physically hurt you. It's in his conditioning," Angelina patiently explained.

"Then why..."

"Because it was the closest I could get to what you wanted... and we love you," Bron said. It was easier for him to say 'we' as it didn't trip any reactions.

Sasha immediately tried to surge up out of his arms with an angry scream. This time he was ready and had her arms and legs trapped against himself. She couldn't thrash too much as doing so triggered the nerves in her tender groin and she'd shake and jerk through another crest.

Finally she was out of steam and sagged back against his chest. "Dirty fuckers," she grumbled.

"Yeah, but whatcha gonna do?" Angelina used Sasha's favorite line on her as she looked her in the eyes.

Sasha looked up surprised and saw the tender acceptance in Angelina's eyes. Something broke inside and tears began to flow. After the first sob the floodgates opened and Angelina was in her arms with Bron on the other side of the hug. They held the crying woman between them and Angelina was crying freely as well.

After what seemed like an hour the two women were cuddled together against Bron's chest with his arms around both of them. He could hear their deep and even breathing so he allowed himself to slip into sleep as well.

Chapter 15

Bron sat nervously in the waiting room of the eye specialist Dr. Ryan had sent him to. Today he'd find out if he had any vision left in his abused eyes. He'd had to wait six weeks as the specialist was not available and rescheduled. He was assured that more time to heal would do him no harm so he tried to be patient.

During the six weeks he'd remained at the house and had become an expert at getting around without tumbling over the furniture. He'd only broken one vase and a glass. Pietr was very understanding but moved the valuable breakables just the same.

He'd also been able to return to his exercise routine and was back to his previous strength levels. He felt normal again, just without sight.

The ladies had done their best to keep his mind, and body, occupied. Sasha managed to leave Bron alone for a few days but the following week she'd recovered enough to demand a repeat performance. She told him point blank that once he was able to free his junk from his pouch she wanted it in her ass. In the meantime she was quite happy with his tongue being there.

Bailley was becoming far more comfortable with kissing Bron and he'd learned to let her lead. She was such a polar opposite of Sasha but Bron looked forward to her visits the most.

Rhonda spent one afternoon with Bron out by the pool and she asked him to apply lotion to her body. Without sight he had to work by touch and quickly discovered that she wasn't wearing a bathing suit. He massaged the lotion from her face down her neck and over her shoulders feeling her relax. He went down her arms to massage each finger, then over her back, working out all of the knots and tension. Bron rubbed the tightness from her lower back and squeezed the tension out of her ass cheeks until she was deeply moaning. He stretched out her thighs and rubbed out the knots in her calves. He gently rolled her over and made his way back up her body from her toes to her thighs. He gently pried open her legs and licked her into a series of orgasms as his hands moved up to massage her breasts. A light roll and tug of her nipples as his tongue plunged deeply into her brought forth cries of joy. He ensured the areas he'd licked, kissed and tweaked were coated with lotion and let her doze in her bliss. He made sure she was flipped onto her stomach and applied more lotion until he woke her in the late afternoon when he heard a car pull into the driveway. Angelina arrived to see Rhonda straightening her bikini top with a beatific smile on her face. She swore he had a career as a professional masseuse waiting for him regardless of his ability to see.

Bron heard his name called and Angelina guided him into the doctor's examination room. She led him into a small booth where the doctor could control the amount of light he was exposed to. There was a chart on the wall he was facing. She closed the door on the booth and went out to sit with the doctor.

The control panel he sat next to had a screen which showed the feed from a pinhole camera in the chart. They could see Bron sitting on the bench facing the camera. The doctor turned to Angelina.

"I understand his eyes were designed to be able to see quiet well in light as low as 5 to 25 lumen and found a room light setting of 20% to be bright as daylight and just a little uncomfortable. Is that the case?" he asked the young woman.

"That's right. He was far more comfortable at 15%," she replied.

The doctor spoke into a microphone. "Bron, I'm going to cut off all light in the room and I want you to remove your protective eyewear."

"Ok."

The screen went black. "OK Bron, it's safe to begin."

A few seconds later they heard Bron reply. "It's off. I see only blackness."

"Good. I am going to bring the illumination up to 5% of normal room ambiance. I'll do it slowly but if you experience any discomfort let me know and I'll stop. Alright?"

"Ok."

"1%... 2%... 3%... 4%-"

"I can see!" Bron blurted.

"Easy Bron. Tell me what you see," the doctor said trying to calm his patient.

"Sorry. Uh, I can see something in front of me. It's lighter in color than the surrounding surfaces," Bron described.

"Any details?"

"Uh, not yet."

"OK... 5%. How about now?"

"No."

"I'm going to bring the light up to 10%. Same instructions as last time. If it becomes uncomfortable let me know and I will stop. 6%... 7%... 8%... 9%... 10%. Any details yet," the doctor asked.

"Not distinct yet," Bron answered.

"Going up to 15%. Same instructions. 11%... 12%... 13%... 14%... 15%"

"This is where I'd normally see perfectly well. I can make out the details on the chart now but it's still not clear."

Going up to 20%. Same instructions. 15%... 16%... 17%... 18%... 19%... 20%. Can you read anything on the chart?" the doctor asked.

"Wait... Yes! It was fuzzy but I'm able to focus! I can make out some letters at the top and the letters get smaller as the go down the chart," Bron said excitedly

"Good. Hang on a minute, Bron." The doctor flipped off the mic and turned to Angelina. "So far it looks like he may have lost his sensitivity at the lower levels. He's just now showing the ability to focus in lower light which is average for human eyes. Maybe a little lower than average." Angelina nodded with a grim look on her face. He flipped the mic back on. "We are going to keep going Bron but I'm only going to announce the 10% increments. Same instructions. Alright?"

"Yes, doctor."

"Here we go... 30%... 40%..." He watched the levels and counted off the increments and waited to Bron to call a stop. When they reached 80% he looked over at Angelina who asked Bron if he was ok. He confirmed he was so they continued to 100%.

"Can you read the chart Bron?"

He went through the characters from top to bottom, even to the smallest text at the very bottom. His acuity was exceptional but his sensitivity to light had diminished significantly. At 100% of normal luminosity he was finding the room to be slightly dim. They continued up to daylight levels and he'd definitely need to wear some form of sun protection but so did all humans.

As Angelina went to get Bron the doctor pulled some basic sunglasses from a drawer.

When the door to the booth opened Bron turned and saw Angelina's smiling face. "You are the most beautiful thing my newly healed eyes could gaze upon. Thank you!" He'd fought his conditioning to say it and was rewarded when she blushed crimson. She managed to resist the urge to kiss him and just pulled him out of the booth.

"Romeo here will need to wear these or similar sun protection when he is outside during the day. His night vision is not as good as ours but that may change so I'd like to see you back in another six weeks to run the test again. In the interim if your eyes start to become too sensitive to light please contact my office immediately. It was nice to meet you Bron, Angelina. Good luck!" he said with a grin handing over the functional but unattractive sunglasses.

The couple left the office blushing.

Angelina took one look at the hideous sunglasses and insisted they go immediately to a shop she knew to pick up some shades with style. When a lucky paparazzo caught them on the sidewalk outside the store she noticed Bron was sensitive to the camera's flash so she got him to try on some rather expensive shades that automatically reacted to flashes of light to automatically increase the shading in response. He had no problems when they left though there were quite a few more gathered to take their pictures then.

That night they went out clubbing to celebrate. The whole gang was back together and the clubs celebrated their return.

All the ladies had a chance to sit on Bron's lap and admire his uncovered eyes. The alcohol was flowing and everyone was dancing. He felt some odd sharp pains in his groin when the ladies rubbed their asses against his lap playfully and he got excited. The pains continued as he was dancing vigorously with Vicki. He finally had to go sit down as he was very uncomfortable.
Asami was quieter than usual and Bron noticed that she seemed a little sad though she was trying very hard to hide it. He sat down next to her and hugged her to his side. She looked up at him and he saw she was struggling with something she wanted to say. He took her hand and led her upstairs where it was quieter and they could have a talk in one of the private rooms. He'd been given access to the rooms by the bouncers.

Once inside the noise dropped appreciably. He sat on a chair facing Asami who was worrying her bottom lip. Bron leaned forward and gently bumped his forehead against hers. "What's wrong Asami?"

Her eyes began to fill with tears. Bron took her hands in his and looked her straight in the eye. "Please speak to me."

"I'm going back to Earth."

Bron was stunned. No one went back to Earth. The home world of humanity was a cesspool of corporate greed and corruption.

"Do you have to go?" he asked gently.

"Yes, my parents are dying and I am to take over the family business. If I don't go my little sister will be forced to take my place and it will kill her. She is not strong. No, it must be me. I can no longer hide from my responsibilities on Walla," she said as she hung her head.

"Do the others know?" he asked.

"NO! And they must not know until I am gone! They will be sad and try to stop me which will just mean more pain and sorrow. Promise me Bron you will not tell them!" Asami said looking up into his eyes.

"I won't. We will be very sad once you are gone. You are family to us as well," he said as he pulled her into his arms.

Asami cried and shook as she curled up on his lap. He held her until her tears stopped.

She was resting her head against his chest when she spoke to him again. "I hope my husband will be as kind and strong as you."

Bron was surprised once more. "You are getting married?"

She snorted. "He comes with the new job."

"Then I will wish for your happiness," he said.

"Bron... can you... can you make me happy tonight?" she whispered into his chest.

He tilted her chin up and kissed her tenderly and she moaned. As they kissed she undid the buttons on his shirt and pushed it off his broad shoulders.

He pulled up on the hem of her shirt and pulled it over her head. She undid the front clasp on her black lace bra and exposed her small breasts. She jumped up and shimmied out of her short skirt. Bron noticed she had large prominent nipples on her small mounds of soft flesh so he ducked his head and sucked a stiff nub into his mouth.

Asami gasped and pulled his head against her breast to get more into his mouth. He obliged and sucked the entire mound between his lips. His tongue continued to lash at the hard nub of sensitive skin and she made little cries of pleasure.

Bron was getting really excited and felt the sharp pain of his pouch opening at last. It was sharper than normal this time and he almost grunted with the effort. He stood up with his right arm holding Asami's back and his left supporting her ass and her legs went around his waist. He felt something in his pant leg so he shook his leg and there was a strange metallic noise of something dropping to the floor. Bron ignored it as the relief from the pain was so intense. His cock swelled quickly and tingled with need. He slid his left hand further under Asami causing her to jolt as he brushed past her swollen lips. He popped the button on his pants and slid the zipper down. This pant slipped down his legs and his freed cock swung up to slap Asami's sensitive inner thigh. He used his left hand to drag the head of his cock along her panties and Asami moaned with need. She reached under herself and pulled her panties to the side so she could feel his hotness on her skin. The feeling was electric as the thick hot head of his cock pushed against the lips of her pussy. Soon he was wet from her and slipping smoothly across her lips. Then he entered her.

Asami's eyes flew wide open as his hot flesh slid deeply into her. It was so thick, forcing her open, pain and ecstasy blending together until she didn't know if she should push away or cling tighter. Then he was in as far as he could go. He held absolutely still and Asami took deep gasps of breath as she adjusted to the intrusion. A tingle began deep inside her as the heat from his cock warmed her silky smooth inner walls. She began to moan as the sensations grew stronger.

Bron slid his right hand down to her bottom and used both hands to squeeze her ass cheeks as he lifted her up his cock until only the head was inside. She groaned from the empty feeling left behind and wiggled to get Bron to push back in. He did but with excruciating slowness. Once he reached bottom he began to lift her once more but just a little quicker. Asami leaned in and kissed Bron deeply, her tongue enjoying the rough texture of his. He picked up the pace again as he pushed himself into her. Soon he was plunging his cock into her with almost brutal force and her cries of joy were becoming louder and shriller. The room's soundproofing and the noise outside still assured their privacy.

Suddenly Bron spun and laid Asami down on the couch stretching out over her body. She relaxed back against the cushions and concentrated on the feeling of his steel rod stroking in and out of her trembling pussy. She began to have mini orgasms as he bumped into her clit on the down strokes. She felt a big one building deep inside of her and clawed at Bron with need. He kissed her fiercely and she moaned into his mouth. His thrusts slowed but he began to grind against her each time he reached the bottom of the stroke.

Asami's eyes flew wide and her mouth opened in a silent scream as an intense orgasm exploded across her senses. She whited out just as Bron's hot cum shot into her.

A few minutes later she resurfaced and blinked her eyes open. Her nerves were tingling and her lips felt swollen. She realized that she was now lying on Bron's chest and he was still inside of her but not as hard as before. God she loved the feeling of him filling her up inside, his strong arms encircling her. She felt protected and loved. His lips rested against her forehead and she smiled. This was exactly the memory she wanted to take with her. She looked up at his smiling face and kissed his lips gently.

"Thank you, Bron. I will treasure this moment forever," she whispered to him.

"Thank you for sharing yourself with me. I will never forget your beauty and passion," Bron replied.

Tears started to come to Asami's eyes so she slid up Bron's chest to disengage from his cock. The feeling of his smooth body scales of his stomach dragging across her clit as his thick cock slid from her tingling pussy proved to be too much and she began to shake with another mini orgasm. She lost muscle coordination and almost fell onto Bron but he caught her. He sat up and turned her to sit on the couch.

"Just- just give me... a minute," she panted as sparks danced across the nerves of her limbs. He looked around and found a little box of personal wipes. He used one to clean himself and Asami watched in amazement as his cock slid back into his pouch. Before it closed she noticed some spots that looked a little raw.

"Bron, how did you hurt the inside of your pouch?" she asked with concern.

"I think there was something inside, from when I was put in jail. It fell out just now." He looked over the edge of the couch and went to reach for something on the floor when Asami stopped him.

"Don't touch it, it's evidence!" she asserted. She pulled herself to the edge of the couch and looked down. She saw a small metal plate with something engraved on it. She looked closer without touching it. She saw 'ScottS' and her eyes widened. "SON OF A BITCH!" she yelled.

Bron looked upset. "What! What is it!" He leaned forward again but she pushed him back. She had a concerned but determined look in her eye.

"We have to call the police so they can collect this evidence. I don't want you to touch it or even look at it. Promise me!" Asami said firmly as she pulled on her skirt, bra and shirt. Bron agreed. "This is where it gets tricky. No one can know what we did in here. It would make an already terrible situation for me on Earth potentially deadly. As the evidence came out of your pouch when you got your erection someone else needs to be with you when the police arrive." She thought for a moment then dialed a number on her phone. She had to wait a bit for the other party to answer. "Sasha! Asami. Come upstairs. Room 6. Bron's ready. Bring your lube." She hung up.

She looked Bron apologetically. "I have to leave and I won't be back. They can't know where I've gone. Promise me."

"I promised and I keep my promises," Bron replied.

"Play with Sasha and then have her call the police and explain that this just fell out of your pouch while you were with her," she explained.

"Kiss me goodbye?" Bron asked.

Asami crushed herself against Bron and their tongues danced together.

There was a fierce banging on the door and Asami realized that Bron had locked it. Smart man!

She straightened out her clothes and opened the door. Sasha barged in and saw Bron naked from the waist down but no cock. Her head whipped around to Asami.

"The pouch opened as we were kissing and something fell out. It is evidence we need the police to collect. I've explained to Bron, I can't be here when the police arrive so you two need to play and call the police when you are done. Explain to them it just fell out. Got that?" Sasha nodded but looked like she was going to ask questions so Asami deflected. "And Sasha? Be careful. That cock of his is big and I know where you want it to go. You brought the lube? Use all of it. I've gotta go!" With a final meaningful look at Bron, Asami stepped out of the room and out of their lives.

Sasha looked back at Bron with just a little apprehension. Then her face split into a big crazy grin. "Hot DAMN! I'm finally gonna get you in my ass!" Bron smiled.

She jumped up onto his lap straddling his legs. She grabbed his head and kissed him hard, stabbing her tongue into his mouth and biting his lips roughly.

He could feel her anticipation. She got rougher, waiting for him to savagely take her. He couldn't tear her clothes off this time, she'd need to get dressed when the police arrived and looking like she'd been raped would not help his situation with the law one bit. Still, she needed what she needed.

Bron reached up and gripped her hair with his left hand. He pulled her back until she was suspended above the floor struggling to keep from falling. He quickly undid the button and zipper on her skirt and stood up. He dropped her on the couch and quickly (but carefully) yanked off her skirt and panties. She tried to scramble away but he pinned her down with his left hand. The tube of lube was on the low coffee table so he grabbed it and took the cap off. The end of the tube was a thin cone so he figured out that it should be inserted then squeezed.

Sasha was thrashing and cursing so he lifted her ass up from the couch roughly and slapped his tongue between her thighs a few times. She squealed loudly and continued to curse so he ran his tongue firmly from the top of her pussy to the rosebud of her ass causing her to moan deeply. Her legs trembled as his rough tongue pushed against the entrance to her ass and she whimpered. He slid the nozzle of the lube into her slick ass and she squealed. Bron remembered what Asami said and squeezed half of the tube into Sasha's ass. She cried out as the cool gel squished inside her hot channel.

Bron felt the sharp pop of this pouch opening and heard Sasha gasp as she watched his cock grow.

"Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! You're so fucking BIG!" she wailed and tried to pull away with more desperate thrashing. Bron's conditioning almost kicked in but he reminded himself that she had explicitly told him that the only time he should stop was when she specifically told him 'STOP'.

While she was distracted he slid his tongue deep into her wet pussy and she screamed. He rolled it around inside and she shuddered and jerked as her body spasmed with the extreme sensations. She gushed through an intense orgasm and her speech became unintelligible.

He pulled his tongue free and she flopped on the couch with no muscle control. Now he was free to use both hands to apply the remaining lube to his hardened cock. Once he was very slick he leaned forward and tongued her rosebud. She whimpered and lifted her hips to meet him. He began to pump his tongue in and out of her ass. When the whimpering stopped and she was used to it he replaced his tongue with his finger and she stiffened and arched up from the couch as he began to pump that in and out. When her body slid back to the couch surface he pulled his finger out and went back to sliding his tongue in and out but deeper and flexing his tongue wide.

"Oh! Oh! Aaagh! Ooo! Ooo! Yessssss!" she moaned getting used to his thickness. Just as she relaxed in went his thick thumb. The lubricant was doing its job. He pumped her ass fast and hard and she hissed with pleasure, her legs trembling.

One last session with his tongue and she was ready. Her ass was dilated and throbbing. He pushed the slick head of his cock against the hole and pushed. It popped inside, opening her wide.

Sasha screamed and bucked but wouldn't let him pull out. He gripped her hips and began to rock and roll. He'd rock forward while his hands would roll her hips side to side, basically screwing his thick cock into her stretching orifice.

Tears were running down her face but she wanted more. The pain spiked from time to time but she felt so damn good and FULL. His big hands were likely going to leave bruises but she'd love them for they'd remind her of this incredible fuck.

"Soooooo goooood!" she moaned and winced.

Finally he was fully sheathed in her. Her eyes were watering and her body was going through one mini orgasm after another.

Bron reached forward with both hands, one hand to a nipple and one to her clit. He pinched both. Her head snapped up in a silent scream and he felt her body spasm as a big one rolled through her. He started to slowly side his cock in and out of her hot ass and the pressure was incredible. His own orgasm was rushing up on him. A few more strokes pushed him over the top and hot jets of cum shot into her ass. After the last surge he allowed his cock to slowly slide out of her squeezing ass. She dropped to the couch with a whimper and lay there panting.

He cleaned himself up again and tried cleaning Sasha but she squealed and thrashed so he left her alone. He got dressed again and waited for Sasha to recover.

Her phone began to ring and he saw it was Angelina. He answered.

"Sasha's phone."

"Bron?"

"Yes."

"Where is Sasha?"

"She is with me."

"OK and where are you?" she said and he heard her smile.

"I'm upstairs in room 6."

"I'm coming up," she said and hung up.

"Don't let... her in," Sasha panted.

"What? Why?" he asked confused.

Sasha struggled to sit up and reached for her phone. "So she can't be accused of tampering with the evidence." She dialed a number.

Bron saw the door was locked and moments later he heard knocking.

"Bron?" It was Angelina but Sasha held up her hand for quiet. She was talking to someone on the phone and she looked serious. She finally hung up and glared at the incessant knocking on the door. "Bron crack the door open just a little and tell her to wait for the police to come and collect the evidence. Then close it again."

Bron did as he was told and cringed when he saw Angelina's shocked expression before he closed and relocked the door.

Sasha's phone rang again and it was Angelina.

"What is going on?" she demanded. "What evidence?"

"The less you know the better for the case and Bron. You'll just have to wait until the cops leave," Sasha said and hung up. She grinned mischievously at Bron. "That's SO gonna drive her nuts!" She giggled.

Thirty minutes later there was a deep thumping on the door. Sasha wobbled to the door. "Who is it?"

"Detective Chenn."

Sasha unlocked the door and let the man in. She stuck her tongue out at Angelina who was standing angrily in the hall with her arms crossed.

The Detective was looking up at Bron when Sasha turned back to them after locking the door.

"Can you explain to me what happened?" Chenn asked the big man.

"I have been feeling pain in my pouch and have been unable to open it until tonight. When it finally opened something fell out and dropped to the floor," Bron said.

"What exactly is this pouch you are talking about?" Chenn asked.

Bron dropped his pants and pointed to his featureless groin.

The detective looked over at Sasha who grinned. "He keeps his dick hidden in a pouch. When he gets excited the pouch opens and out comes the dick. There is a really fine seam."

"Where is the evidence?" Chenn asked.

Bron stepped away from the couch and they looked down to see a small metal plate with some green foam connected to the rivet at one end. Chenn didn't touch it but took a close look. He was wearing gloves but he didn't get too close.

"Has anyone touched or otherwise disturbed this? Has Ms. Rykov been in the room?" the detective asked.

"Nope, it's where it originally fell. As for Angelina, didn't you see how pissed she is for us not letting her in or telling her what's going on?" Sasha grinned.

"How can I be sure it was in this 'pouch' you mentioned," Chenn pressed.

Sasha looked at Bron and a sexy grin slowly grew across her face. "He has some marks on the inside of his pouch that match the shape of that little metal thingy on the ground. It's been in there for some time and I think it moved around a bit. We'd have to get him excited to show you though. You could take some photos for 'evidence'."

"Uh, are you going to do that?" the detective asked.

Sasha shook her head. "Bron completely wore me out tonight. I'll call for someone who can trigger him fast."

There was a knock on the door and Detective Chenn answered it. His Forensic tech had arrived. They spoke for a minute then the Detective gestured for Sasha to follow him out into the hall. The tech went inside with his camera.

In the hall Angelina and Bailley waited a few feet away. Chenn turned to Sasha.

"We need those pictures," he said.

"You got it. Give me a sec," Sasha said and turned to her friends. She couldn't walk very quickly and her body was sending aftershocks through her sensitive bits. He had to put her hand on the wall and pause for a second as shivers ran down her spine. Finally she just crooked a finger at Bailley and held up her hand to stop Angelina.

Bailley looked at Angelina who frowned at Sasha but gently pushed the beauty towards her.

"What's going on?" Bailley asked.

Sasha wobbled her way back towards the room and spoke quietly to Bailley. "Some evidence was found in Bron's pouch. We have to keep Angelina in the dark about it so she can honestly say under oath that she didn't know anything about it. It's fun to tease her too."

"What do you want me to do?" Bailley said, confused.

"Do you remember the game we played and what you did to Bron at Angelina's house party? The big man needs his pouch opened so the photographer can get some pictures of the bruising inside," Sasha grinned.

"I- I can't do that in front of a stranger!" Bailley gasped.

"I'm not asking you to get naked. Just help Bron get excited so the nice man in there can take pictures of his private place. Your method is the least explicit way to do it and he needs your help. I'm done for the night, hell, the week!" Sasha argued.

Bailley frowned at her and bit her lip nervously.

"He needs you. Please!" Sasha begged.

Bailley nodded and Detective Chenn opened the door for her.
Bron looked up and saw Bailley. He smiled at her and she returned it nervously.

"What's wrong?" he asked, noticing her unease. He made to stand up from the bench he was sitting on but she gestured for him to stay.

Bailley nodded to the Forensic Specialist who waited patiently with his camera.

She took control of herself and stepped up to Bron. "Hi. This man needs to take some pictures of the bruising you have in your pouch."

"I know but I can't make it open," Bron said sadly.

"I'm- I'm going to help you," Bailley said.

"What?" Bron said surprised.

"Hush now and hold still," she said.

Bron's eyes were wide as she slowly leaned forward and kissed his cheek. Her lips travelled back and she planted gentle kisses on her way to his ear. When her lips finally caressed his earlobe Bron moaned softly. She smiled and playfully flicked the tip of her tongue across the lobe and she felt Bron shiver with the sensation. She pulled back to move to his other side and she saw his eyes were glazed with desire.

Bailley smiled again and began kissing her way across his other cheek. Bron's moans were becoming louder. When she reached his earlobe and sucked it between her lips she felt his breath rush out.

"Miss? I, uh, think he's ready to be photographed," the forensic tech said hesitantly.

Bailley looked down and saw that Bron was very ready. She stepped back, Bron stood up, and the man snapped a shot.

"Could you hold the photo scale by the bruises?" he said handing Bailley a ruler.

She looked at the tech and moved the ruler closer to Bron's erection. Once it was positioned the tech got a few pictures.

"There seems to be a larger bruise on the flesh above his, uh, right there, above... it," the man pointed.

Bailley had been trying to avoid looking at Bron's groin as it unnerved her. She looked at the tech with exasperation.

"Sorry, it's the most complete shape that appears to match the size and shape of the object. We need the shot," he said apologetically sensing her discomfort.

Without taking her eyes from the tech Bailley reached behind herself and grabbed Joe's erection with her left hand and forced it down while holding the ruler with her right.

"Lift the ruler up just a little," he instructed then took a few shots.

Bailley stopped hearing him. All she could think of was she was holding a big, erect penis in her hand. It was hot. It was hard and it was throbbing with his pulse which was very fast at the moment.

"OK, I got the shots. Tha-" the tech began but Bailley let go of Bron, pushed the ruler in the tech's hand and yanked the door open. She walked away down the hall past Angelina who cast a worried look at Sasha then rushed to catch up with her friend. Detective Chenn stood in the doorway looking at Bron who was quickly losing his erection and wore a worried look. Once the pouch resealed he pulled up his pants.

"May I leave now?" Bron asked the detective.

"Yeah, sure. You're staying at the Rykov residence?" Chenn asked.

"Yes."

"I know where to find you if I have any further questions," the detective said.

"Thank you Detective Chenn," Bron said and left the room.

He saw Sasha braced up against the wall.

"Big man, I need you to carry me downstairs to rejoin the girls."

Bron scooped Sasha up in his arms and moved quickly down the hall and down the stairs to the main floor. The noise and traffic was much heavier here but Bron had no trouble pushing through the crowd to get to their table, a booth near the back with a low table in the center for their drinks. The booths had sound suppression fields on them so conversations were possible and kept private.

He sat Sasha at the end of the bench. When her bottom hit the cushions of the bench she cried out and clung to his arm as a new series of intense waves rippled across her sensitized nerves. She closed her eyes, bit her lip, and whimpered as the mini-orgasms blanked her mind. Sasha began panting to keep from passing out.

When she finally opened her eyes she saw her friends staring at her. A waitress was frozen in place watching her display as well.

"What's the matter with you people? Haven't you ever seen a woman recovering from the most mind blowing sex she'd ever had and is likely to ever have? Bron, you are the BEST! If it was better it'd probably kill me," she sighed with a wide satisfied smile.

The waitress looked wide eyed at Bron and ducked out of the booth. She was making a beeline for the other side of the club. News of his prowess would likely be around the club in minutes.

"SASHA! What did you do that for?" Angelina exclaimed.

"Hey! The man has a rep to build if he's gonna be a playah! Besides, its true," she groaned as she tried to adjust her position on the bench. Not everything she was feeling was pleasure.

"Bron doesn't want to be a playah! Bron, is that what you want?" she said turning to him.

"Not if you think it's bad. What's a 'Pla Yah'?" he asked her mangling the term.

"A playah is someone who has sex with as many people as they can without true concern for their feelings," she explained. "They manipulate people into having sex then move on. Their goal is quantity."

"No! I don't want that!" he agreed and looked as Sasha in shock.

"Oopsie," she grinned.

Bron turned to Bailley. "I'm not a playah! Are you alright? I'm so sorry if I hurt you in any way!"

The woman looked up at him with a weak smile. "I know Bron. You're a good man. Because of that I'll be fine."

He looked at Angelina with an anguished expression, wishing there was something he could do to help his friend. Angelina's heart swelled with love for Bron seeing his compassion for Bailley. She squeezed Bailley's hand because she couldn't demonstrate to Bron how much she loved him. Bailley saw though and she squeezed back.

Sasha managed to slide a little further into the booth so Bron could sit on the end of the bench. No sooner did he get situated than a large man in a finely tailored suit stepped to the edge of the booth's suppression field. He showed his manners by waiting to be acknowledged before entering. He nodded to the ladies and turned to Bron.

"Hello. Am I addressing Bron?" he asked politely.

"Yes," Bron responded.

"My name is Fredrick. My mistress, Ms. Laura Augustine would like to speak with you."

Bron looked over at Angelina whose eyes were wide with surprise. "Ms. Augustine is here?"

Fredrick looked to Angelina. "As the daughter of an influential and important politician I'm sure you understand her desire for discretion. She is indeed at the club but has a private, reserved area." Angelina nodded as she understood very well. He continued. "Is Bron free to join her for a time?"

Angelina felt trapped. She couldn't make any claims to Bron's time as she had to present the impression that they were NOT in any way a couple. That said she'd heard of the notorious parties Laura threw and her reported appetite for novel new experiences was as legendary as her family was rich and dangerous. Angelina wanted to protect Bron as he was completely innocent to that. She looked to Sasha who was throwing apologetic looks at her. She'd put off answering too long.

"Bron was celebrating with us tonight but his time is his own. You'd have to ask him," she smiled.

Fredrick didn't blink as he turned to Bron with the open question.

Bron looked at Angelina but couldn't read her expression. "Sure, I could stop by to say hello." When he saw Angelina tense up he amended his statement. "For a short time." Lame.

Fredrick nodded and gestured for Bron to proceed him. With a final glance at Angelina's worried face Bron stepped out into the noise and followed Fredrick across the room to the guarded doors. Once inside the short hallway the noise dropped significantly. Fredrick stopped Bron in the hallway and looked up at him.

"It is by job to protect Ms. Augustine so I need to ask you if you present any risk to her. I am asking you politely because you can answer yes now and leave without incident. Be warned though, if you do become a risk to her I will make efforts to protect her that may prove to be harmful or even fatal to you. Do you understand?" he said quietly while keeping Bron's eye.

"Perfectly. I would do the same for Angelina and her friends. I present no risk to your charge," Bron responded.

Fredrick smiled genuinely and gestured down the hall. Opening the second set of doors was like stepping into an explosion. The music was twice as loud and light flashed twice as frantically. Bron realized that most of the dancers on the floor weren't wearing clothes... and some weren't... dancing.

There was an odd scent in the air and Bron couldn't place it. It was behind the smells of alcohol, smoke, sweat, and sex. He looked at Fredrick and noticed the man was now wearing nose filters. He started to get a little worried.

The bodyguard brought him to a huge cushioned surface inside sheer curtains.

"Ms. Augustine, I've brought you Bron." Fredrick pitched his voice to be heard within the tent without attempting to look within.

Bron heard a yelp and the sound of skin connecting violently with skin. A naked man came tumbling out of the curtains and would have landed on the floor but Bron caught his shoulders and lifted him to his feet. There was a large red spot on his chest where he'd been... kicked? He wore a look of confusion and panic. He was fit, handsome, had nice black hair and looked like he was about to cry.

"Laura, baby! Please don't do this! You know I love you! I can do things for you no one else-" he desperately blurted.

"Spare me the empty words Kaleem! God, you bore me!" The curtains yanked apart and Bron was faced with a startlingly beautiful and very naked woman kneeling on the cushioned platform. She looked at him with a yearning hunger. Her black hair was buzzed short on the sides of her head but hung in straight bangs just above her ice blue eyes and flowed back over her head and down to touch the top of her ass. Her lips were frosted with a light pink gloss and her skin was the palest pink as well. Sunlight probably never saw her skin. She was slim almost to the point of looking emaciated but her body was corded with muscle. She obviously worked her muscles very hard but they just became leaner and stronger, not larger. Her breasts were almost non-existent as her efforts eliminated most of her body fat.

"Why are you still dressed?" she asked him.

"Laura!" Kaleem begged.

"Fred," was all she said and Fredrick took a grip on Kaleem's arm and walked him to a side door and pushed him through it. Bron got a quick glimpse of an alleyway before the door slammed shut.

"Quick now. Take off your clothes." Laura started knee walking back onto the bed.

"No."

"What?" she froze.

"I was told you wished to speak with me so I came. I did not come here to be naked with you." Bron looked around. "Or them."

Fredrick had returned and looked at Bron with a raised eyebrow and just the hint of a smile. He kept this hidden from Ms. Augustine of course.

"I was told you were an exciting lover!" Laura said boldly.

"I'm not a Play Yah."

"A wha- oh, a playah," Laura said. "You're not a player."

"Yes, right. The women I have had sex with are some of Angelina's friends and I care about their feelings," Bron explained carefully. He needed to nip this story about him in the bud. He couldn't believe how fast Sasha's rumor spread!

"I could be your friend Bron. We could become really good friends right here in this bed," she said seductively looking at him under her bangs with a devilish smile on her face. This look had trapped many men in her past.

"We might become friends someday but I do not believe it will be tonight in this bed," Bron said calmly.

"Are- are you turning me down?" she blurted incredulously.

"Yes," he said honestly.

"Who have you had sex with? I want to speak to one of your lovers to see if the rumor is true. I want to know if I'm wasting my time," she said angrily.

"Rumors are always exaggerated. Reality rarely matches them. If you are looking for another casual lover to kick free from once you are done, like you did with Mr. Kaleem, I can save you a lot of time and honestly tell you that you ARE wasting your time. It was nice meeting you." Bron turned to Fredrick. "It was very nice to meet you Fredrick. I can show myself the way out."

He turned and went back to his friends.

Fredrick struggled to hide his grin. He liked Bron! However, he knew this meeting had all the elements to guarantee a colossal blow out from his charge. He risked a glance at Ms. Augustine and was surprised. Instead of a tantrum she was looking thoughtful. He wondered if that was more dangerous.

"Fred. Bring me the waitress."

Bron reached the table and saw the ladies were still there. The relief on their faces was evident.

"So, did you fuck her?" Sasha asked and was immediately slapped and pelted with whatever was handy.

"What!?! You bitches all wanted to ask, I just had the balls to do it!" she growled.

"No. I did not," he answered.

"That was what she wanted though, right?" Sasha asked the bold question again and received glares and guilty looks as well.

"Yes, but I'm not a player," Bron said, proud of himself for getting the term right this time. He figured Ms. Augustine would know best how the term was actually said.

Angelina's smile dazzled Bron and he got a little lost in it. Bailley thumped an arm against Angelina's shoulder and she hid the look from her face with a quick thanks to her friend.

"Are we done celebrating?" Bron asked hopefully.

Bailley smirked and shared a look with Angelina.

"Why don't we head back to the house for coffee and dessert then?" Angelina suggested. Bron smiled in agreement.

Bailley looked around. "Where's Asami?"

"She told me she had to leave," Bron said then looked out on the dance floor so they wouldn't see the guilt on his face. "I see Vicki dancing," he said.

"You guys head back now. I'll get a lift with Vicki when she comes back to the table," Sasha said. She needed a bit more time before she'd be comfortable moving anyway. Considering what she'd put Bron through she didn't want him worrying that she was still aching from his... attentions.

Bron collected the remaining ladies and followed them out of the club, bumping fists with the security crew on the way out the door.

Sasha slumped slightly on the bench then hissed as tingles raced from her ass up her spine. She bit her lip and trembled as her eyes closed in bliss. When they opened again she saw the waitress standing beside the table, her mouth open and her eyes wide.

"Still?" the woman said incredulously.

Sasha wanted to brag about Bron but knew the man probably wouldn't want her to so she dragged the smile from her face. "Something I can do for you?" she said, the trembling in her voice giving state away.

The waitress smiled knowingly. "Ms. Augustine would like to speak with you."

Sasha snorted in surprise. She had escaped from a family much like the Augustines and really wanted nothing to do with that life again. Ironically, had Sasha found a way to avoid the constant rape and stayed with her family, she might have ended up as Laura's bestie.

"That's nice but as you can see I'm not really in the mood to dance so I'm just going to rest here until my friend is finished dancing then we're gone," Sasha said.

The waitress' expression grew worried. "You don't understand. Ms. Augustine summoned you."

"Whoop-dee-doo. Not going. Tell her thanks anyway." Sasha looked out to the dancers dismissing the waitress who walked away.

Sasha caught glimpses of Vicki dancing in the crowd and smiled. Damn, the bitch could dance!

Then her line of sight was blocked by Fredrick who was standing next to the table. "Hello. Ms. Augustine is quite intent in speaking with you and would like you to reconsider. I understand you may be having some... difficulties in moving around. I could assist you if you like."

Sasha looked up at the man. "Quite intent is she."

"Yes, quite," he smiled.

Sasha sighed. "Okay but I'm gonna need to tell my friend Vicki not to leave without me as she's my ride."

"Of course," Fredrick said.

Sasha held out her hands and the man easily lifted her to her feet. She wobbled as the exertion caused muscle spasms in places best off without them.

Fredrick put her arm over his shoulder and his arm around her back. He carefully moved them out to the edge of the dance floor. The red haired dynamo was suddenly in front of them. Vicki was looking at Sasha's face to see if she was being coerced.

"I'm just going to speak with his boss for a few minutes. Don't leave without me. You're my lift to Angelina's."

Vicki nodded then slipped back into the crowd as she was a major component of the energy in the group.

Fredrick half carried Sasha to the private room and through the hall to the edge of the platform and curtains.

"Ms. Augustine, you have a guest," Fredrick said not looking within the open curtain.

Sasha wasn't so discreet so she looked in open curiosity. Inside on the large bed was an attractive raven haired beauty with a slim man planted face first between her legs.

Laura lifted one leg to kick the man away then stopped. She looked at Sasha with what looked like frustration then pushed the man's head from her sex. He started to protest, saying he could do better but she just gestured him away. She sat there naked on the bed, her pussy red and wet from the man's attempt to pleasure her. Propped up on some pillows and she stared frankly at Sasha.

Sasha's legs were giving out. "Can I please sit down before I fall down?" she growled.

"Of course! Fred, set her down on the bed. Gently!" Laura said.

Sasha settled down as gently as she could but her arm slipped from Fredrick's shoulder and she plopped onto the bed and her overly sensitive nerves overloaded again. She whited out.

When her eyes opened she was on her back on the bed with Fredrick's concerned face and Laura's excited face above her.

"Are you ok miss?" he asked.

Shivers ran over her skin and she smacked her lips. "Mmm... yes, sorry. I'm fine. Just a little overly stimulated. Ssstaking much longer to recover than last time," she slurred as she trembled.

"This is from having sex with Bron?" Laura said breathlessly.

Sasha looked at Laura and alarm bells were going off in her head but she was having so much trouble concentrating. She knew she had to downplay the rumor she started but the physical evidence spoke for itself.

"I was a little too demanding this time," she murmured.

"How do I make him have sex with me?" Laura asked.

Sasha snorted. She rolled her eyes towards the beauty. "You can't."

Anger flared in the woman's eyes. "Don't tell me what I can and can't do! Do you have any idea-" she began to growl.

Sasha made dismissive hand gestures "Yeah, yeah, I know and he won't care either. What I meant was Bron chooses who he wants to be with. He's never had sex with a stranger. He's not a playah," she smiled. "He has to like you first. You can't help but like him. He's so freaking innocent and sweet! When you have sex with someone like that and there's mutual affection and respect... it takes sex to a whole other level! I wasn't sure if Bron would like me. I could tell I made the big man nervous and I was just one of Angelina's posse. But in time I discovered he did like me. God the things we did!" She said with wonder on her face. She suddenly realized she was being far more personal than she intended.

"I just want the sex!" Laura said frustrated.

"Then get a dildo and hook up some live wires to it. He's not a sex toy," Sasha said wearily. She looked at Laura and realized the woman was acting just as she would have if she'd stayed. Too much indulgence in finding pleasures and no grounding in the realities of life. Life in a bubble. Stifling, sad and pathetic. And it could have been her. The thought shook her deeply and she looked away from the woman into the too perceptive eyes of Fredrick.
"Have we met before?" he asked her. "There is something very familiar about you."

Sasha was getting nervous. She doubted anyone would recognize her based on appearance. She'd used most of the money she'd had when she fled on reconstructive surgery to alter some significant identifiers but she couldn't completely erase some habitual mannerisms from once living the life Laura now did. "I doubt it unless you spend time in the grease pit of a body shop." She forced herself back into her new life. "Could you get me a glass of water, please?" she asked him. He nodded and left. She turned to Laura. Why she was doing this was beyond her but she felt compelled. She locked eyes with Laura.

"The boredom is deadly isn't it? Any outlet to push it back just a little, to feel better, to feel something, it kind of feels like an escape, right? But it isn't. The chase for the next thrill is a lie. The whole fucking game is a lie. The pretty, pretty cage you are in is designed to keep you in line, on the chessboard in their game. It isn't a real life. It's suspended animation. I know what you're seeking and it does exists but not inside the comfortable little pocket fantasy world their money built. I- I was there once too but I got out. I wasn't strong enough to take control from the inside so I just ran. It was the hardest thing I've ever done but it was the most rewarding. I won't lie. Some days really fucking suck. But each moment is mine and I make the decisions for my life now. Maybe you're not ready for that. Maybe you never will be. I probably shouldn't have said anything but... I hope you make it out. Here comes your leash. Be careful of him most of all."

She struggled to the edge of the bed and paused there looking down then looked back at Laura meaningfully. She pushed herself to her feet and forced herself to walk towards the door and met Fredrick half way there. Taking the glass from his hand as she passed she thanked him and left the room. She kept moving until she was next to the main dance floor. She left the glass untouched on a table. Vicki was immediately beside her and helped her out of the club and to Vicki's car. On the drive to Angelina's Sasha began to cry. She knew it was just reaction to being so close to that world again but she couldn't explain that to Vicki without divulging too much of her personal secret.

Fredrick returned to the bed and saw Ms. Augustine sitting cross legged in the middle, deep in thought. He glanced down to the spot he'd hidden his recorder. Shaped like a pen it recorded sound in perfect clarity. He'd tucked it under a fold in the blanket on the far edge of the bed. He was sure neither of the ladies had seen him slip it there before he left to get the water. The sheets were pulled flat and the fold was gone. He glanced back at the door and wondered how Sasha had spotted it.

"Fred. I want to go home. Get my clothes and the car," Laura said absent mindedly. He nodded and moved away, disappointed in himself for losing the recorder. He hadn't transcribed a week's worth of conversations on it. He'd be in trouble for that. And he'd have to replace the device from his own funds.

When he was gone Laura looked at the recorder hidden in her palm. For the first time in her life she realized the person keeping her safe may have another agenda she wasn't aware of.

Vicki opened the door and helped Sasha into Angelina's house. They heard an odd sound coming from the kitchen and made their way to that room.

Bron was sitting on a chair against the far wall looking miserable. Angelina was crying and Bailley's eyes were red from tears as well. There wasn't a dry eye in the room.

"What happened?" Sasha asked in a hushed voice.

Rhonda handed Sasha a tablet which had a video message queued to play on it.

She and Vicki watched Asami's recorded goodbye message which had been sent as her ship left Walla.

"NO!" Sasha yelled and looked at Bron.

"You knew! You knew and you let her go? You let her go without giving us a chance to stop her? You FUCKING SON-OF-A-BITCH! HOW COULD YOU?" she screamed and Vicki held her back from attacking Bron.

"She made me promise," was all he whispered having endured the same recriminations from Angelina earlier.

Chapter 16

The trial of Councillor Stanfield was underway when the Prosecutor filed charges against his son Scott for assault. With search warrant in hand the police raided Scott's condo and found a pair of customized shoes with green foam cushioning and one missing tap plate in the left shoe's heel. This was filed as a critical piece of evidence. The Forensic techs were able to confirm beyond a shadow of doubt that the piece of green foam originally found by Doctor Ryan both matched the torn edge on the underside of the shoe AND the torn edge on the green foam connected to the kick plate that had come out of Bron's pouch. The smoking gun in the assault was the three way match. Tap plate to green foam and green foam to shoe. The fact that the kick plate has Scott's name engraved on it was just the cherry on top.

The downside to this story's release was the fact that the media was more interested in Bron's pouch and the mystery of what it contained. This took centre stage in the media over the fact of his assault. One of the Forensic tech's photos was leaked from an 'anonymous' source. It had to be an inside job from one of the tech's buddies but that buddy was very careful so there was no proof. The photo of Bron's erect member with an accompanying ruler and female hand for scale was all the rage in the press for more than a week. Bron turned down request after request for televised interviews and quite a number of private requests as well.

Bailley was mortified and wanted to sue the police force but you couldn't really tell whose hand it was based on the angle. Angelina convinced her that the attention she'd receive from the media wouldn't be worth the limited form of justice they'd be able to bring against the people in charge. Bailley took consolation that the image released wasn't showing her hand holding Bron at least.

Two weeks into the trial Bron and Sasha were called in to give testimony regarding the discovery of the tap plate. Sasha had yet to forgive Bron for keeping Asami's departure a secret. She wouldn't speak with him and wouldn't look at him. Angelina had eventually forgiven him as she knew his integrity was unshakable and Asami had made him promise. Sitting in the back seat of the limousine with Sasha who ignored his presence, Bron was miserable.

The two were escorted to the courthouse by court officers and brought in a back door to avoid the press. They were placed in a small room and asked to wait to be summoned. Sasha slumped in her chair and closed her eyes pretending to sleep so she didn't have to acknowledge his sad expression.

Bron was called in first and was asked to take the stand and swear in.

The defence attorney immediately stood up. "Your Honor, this being does not have a legal status that our legal system identifies as having the right to give testimony. It is just a clone and 'basic human rights' do not include the right to testify against a citizen. It is not a credible witness. As such it must be removed from the witness list and evidence provided by it should be deemed inadmissible." The judge asked for legal precedence but there was none so the trial was recessed until the judge could look further into the defence's claim.

Bron was led back to the small room where they collected a surprised Sasha. They were then returned to Angelina's. Curiosity was burning in Sasha's eyes but she refused to ask Bron what had happened. Angelina was at the University and none of the others were at her home yet as no one expected them back from the court house for a few hours yet.

Bron went into the kitchen and poured himself a glass of water. He set himself down at the kitchen table and looked out the window to watch for Angelina's return. Sasha waited in the living room.

An hour passed then Sasha burst into the kitchen, her patience gone and her curiosity driving her mad.

"GOD DAMMIT BRON, WHAT HAPPENED!" she yelled.

He looked at her in fright. "What?"

"In court! Why did you come back so quickly? Why wasn't I called in?" she growled.

"The man sitting at the table with Scott said I wasn't a citizen so I was not allowed to give testimony and the evidence I provided should be inadmissible," he said. "The judge recessed the trial while he looked into it."

"FUCK!" she yelled.

Bron held very still. He wasn't sure if Sasha was just angry or if she wanted sex. He suspected the first.

Sasha threw herself into a chair across from him and glared at him. He wasn't sure if this was better than being ignored.

"Why didn't you tell me, Bron? I was right there with her before she left. I was the last one of us to see her. I could have stopped her," Sasha said, the pain surfacing in her voice as she spoke.

"Asami made me promise. I don't break promises," Bron said gently.

"Fuck your promises! She didn't have to go!" Sasha yelled with tears in her eyes.

"Yes, she did. She told me that if she didn't go they would put her little sister in her place and it would kill her. She didn't want to go, she had to. Her family needed her. But she wanted to spare everyone the pain of her leaving. So she left without telling anyone... but me," Bron explained.

"WE WERE HER FAMILY TOO!" Sasha broke down and cried.

Bron gathered her onto his lap and she lashed out at him. He took the hits and kept holding her until she settled down and just cried. Bron wasn't sure why Sasha was taking Asami's departure harder than the others but he would be there for her.

Angelina arrived home to find Bron holding a gently weeping Sasha on his lap. She hugged her friend and wiped away her tears with a tissue. Sasha needed a new shirt as hers was soaked so Angelina got one from her room and helped the woman change into it while she remained sitting on Bron.

"We have a problem," Sasha said quietly.

"What is it?" Angelina asked.

"They won't let Bron testify. The Defense lawyer apparently said that as he wasn't a citizen his testimony was inadmissible as is any evidence he supplied. The judge is reviewing this. Bron's case against Scott is fucked," Sasha replied.

"Dammit!" Angelina swore.

"How are your father's efforts going in getting Bron citizenship?" Sasha asked.

"He told me it's tied up in a special committee. Some big wigs are reviewing that as well," she replied. "Apparently Senator Augustine is the road block this time."

"Augustine, of the Augustine we met at the club?" Sasha asked, surprised.

"Yes, same family," Angelina said sadly.

Sasha glanced out the window. "Laura Augustine!"

"I said yes," Angelina said mildly annoyed.

"No, I mean she's coming up your walkway! Alone!" Sasha gaped.

They got up and walked to the front door and Angelina opened it before Ms. Augustine rang the bell. She ducked inside with a grateful smile.

After looking to see if there was anyone following their visitor, Angelina closed the door.

"I was under the impression that you don't get to move around on your own so this solo visit is a bit of a surprise!" Angelina said.

"It felt like I was walking around with a target on my back! It was very exciting!" Laura said breathlessly and a little wide eyed.

"Please sit down. Rest assured the house is well protected. You're safe here," Angelina said.

They sat in the living room and Laura looked at the big blue man sitting on the couch next to Angelina. "We're especially safe with Bron with us, I suppose," she smiled.

Angelina returned the smile. "Yes."

"Why are you here?" Sasha said abruptly and a little nervously.

Angelina glanced at Sasha with a worried look but Laura raised her hands indicating she took no offence to the rude delivery. "That's a fair question considering I've never visited before and I had a rather limited agenda the last time I spoke with Bron." She gave him a smouldering look then turned back to Sasha. "You opened my eyes when you spotted that recorder on the bed. I listened to the recordings and there was at least a week's worth of conversations on it. My security man has been reporting to my father everything I did and said. You were right, I was in a pretty cage. Starting today I'm taking my life back from them. I'm not running."

The doorbell rang.

"Well, maybe I did a little running. That's likely Fred. I ditched him downtown by jumping out of the car and ducking into the crowd. I rode the metro for one stop then I took a cab here. My heart was beating so hard! I want to know how he found me. I ditched my phone and used a currency card."

Bron got up to answer the door as the bell rang again. He looked at the screen on the door which was showing it was indeed Fredrick standing on the step. He opened the door but didn't move from the opening.

"Hello Fredrick."

"Hello Bron."

"Before I grant you access I will give you the same courtesy you gave me. I'm asking if you present any risk to any of the occupants of this home. You may answer yes now and leave without incident. Should you become a risk to anyone once you are inside you will not survive those actions. Do you understand?" Bron said calmly.

Fredrick smiled faintly. "I understand and present no risk."

Bron stepped aside but kept his eyes on the man at all times. He directed him towards the living room.

Bron saw his shoulders relax a little once he saw Laura sitting calmly on the couch.

Fredrick took the chair Angelina gestured to and Bron sat on the ottoman between the man and Angelina.

"Where is the tracker? Is it on me or in me?" Laura asked.

"In you," Fred answered without delay.

The woman closed her eyes and shuddered. "That's horribly vile. How long has it been there?"

"Apparently it was already in place when I was hired to watch over you fifteen years ago. It might have been there from birth. I wasn't informed of it for the first three years. I wasn't trusted to know until they knew me," he answered.

"You report my actions and words to my father. Anyone else?" she growled out.

"Just your father though your mother has made three attempts to retain my services as well. These attempts were reported to your father."

"I will be speaking with my father tonight. Your services will no longer be required," Laura barked.

"I ask that you reconsider. I have successfully protected you from attempts on your life on seven separate occasions, only two of them you were aware of. You need top level protection," Fredrick explained earnestly.

"I can't trust you! You spied on me for the entire time you worked for me!" Laura yelled.

"I didn't work for you. I worked for your father. We both know that will no longer work. I will be tendering my resignation to him myself tonight. Then I will be free for you to hire me exclusively," he explained calmly.

"Why would I hire you?" she scoffed.

"There's my success rate at protecting you from assassination attempts and the fact that I will not serve two masters. If you hire me you can be assured that I will not disclose anything about you which you do not wish to have disclosed."

Laura looked at Angelina who nodded then at Sasha who looked conflicted but nodded as well. She wanted to know why Sasha was having a hard time with this but she'd ask that question later. She turned to Bron. "What do you think Bron?"

Bron looked surprised at being asked. "From what I understand, your family's wealth and power put you at risk. If you have the opportunity to protect yourself and maintain a reasonable quality of life I believe you should take it. I don't know Fredrick but he seems capable of delivering this protection. That impression is a good deterrent in itself."

Fredrick gave Bron a small smile for this assessment.

Laura looked at her bodyguard. "Quality of life. That is the key here. I need to experience life, not the isolated bubble I've been in so far. Can you do that? Can you protect me then?"

"It will be more difficult but yes, I believe I can," he responded.

"I want the tracker removed. I find the idea of it being there revolting!" she growled.

"Understood. That will likely require surgery," he explained.

"Whatever it takes," she said firmly.

He nodded then looked at Sasha with a pained expression. "I owe you an apology as I have done you a great disservice."

Sasha looked at him nervously. "What did you do?"

"After our last meeting I was curious about some of the mannerisms you exposed when meeting Ms. Augustine. They didn't match with what I was expecting to see based on the persona you presented. I ran a DNA test to see if you were a threat to my charge and this triggered a much larger response than I was expecting."

Sasha surged to her feet and Bron looked worried. "WHAT DID YOU DO?" she yelled.

"Certain parties of a very powerful house had apparently encoded alerts in the DNA registry for anyone querying particular records. My test alerted them to your existence. They are now aware of your presence on Walla. I believe they may be on their way here to find you."

"YOU HAD NO RIGHT!" she screamed at him. She lunged at him but Bron intercepted and held her back against his chest as he looked at Angelina for direction.

Laura looked at the rage and fear on Sasha's face and looked at Fredrick. "Who is coming?"

"My source informed me that Magdalina, matriarch of the Petrov family of Earth has made an unexpected and unscheduled departure on their private ship destined for Walla. I highly suspect she's looking for her missing daughter, Alena."

Sasha was raging against Bron's chest when she burst into tears at hearing her childhood name. "mama, why..." she cried out between sobs.

Bron glared at Fredrick. "You promised you presented no risk yet you've done grievous harm to my friend Sasha!" he growled.

"The test I ran was a standard identification practice used by protection agents. It presented no risk in itself. By informing Alena of the imminent arrival of her mother I am giving her the chance to escape. That alleviates the risk. I am deeply sorry for the outcome," Fredrick explained.

Laura was livid. "The cost is the destruction of everything she's built for herself here on Walla. The loss of the family she'd found here." Laura picked up Sasha's rage. "NO! That will NOT happen! Sasha, I hereby place you under the protection of House Augustine. You will NOT have to lose ANYONE else in your life!"

"MS. AUGUSTINE! No!" Fredrick yelled.

"No! You do NOT get a say in this. The Augustines will shelter my friend to the full extent of our resources. I will speak with my parents the moment we get home. You are the one the Petrovs will be coming to find first as you ran the query. They will know you were in contact with their daughter. You will NOT speak to them unless directed to do so by me. I want your resignation on my father's desk the moment we get home and I will take you under contract immediately thereafter. You will work for me."

Fredrick looked at the young woman he'd been driving from party to orgy to party and inwardly smiled at the change he was now seeing in her. This new attitude of responsibility and authority was such an improvement. He nodded to her.

Laura got up and walked over to Sasha who was still crying in Bron's arms. She looked into her eyes with deep compassion. "Do not worry my friend. We will protect you and your new family. You will not have to run any longer."

Sasha held her arms out to Laura and Bron released her into the arms of the other woman. They stood embracing with Sasha crying on Laura's shoulder as she made calming sounds to her new friend. Angelina stepped forward to hug Sasha from behind and the three women bonded.

Bron looked at Fredrick who still had a concerned look on his face. "What's wrong?"
Fredrick glanced at Bron. "The Augustines will honor the sanctuary Ms. Augustine has granted but as her first family act she has enacted the largest one she could have chosen. We really need to get back to the estate to put things in motion."

Laura nodded. "Sasha, you need to come with me for now, alright? Your friends are safe but you need to be on our estate when they arrive. Is that ok?"

Sasha sniffed and nodded. She turned and clung to Angelina and kissed her cheek.

"It's ok baby. We'll be here for you when this is over," Angelina whispered to her.

Bron walked Laura, Sasha, and Fredrick to the door and Angelina followed with her hand on Bron's arm. When the bodyguard stepped outside he stopped and turned back to Bron.

"I'm curious. It's my understanding that Genies have unbreakable conditioning in place to prevent them from harming humans. In light of that, how had you intended to carry out your retribution had I proven to be a threat? Was it a bluff or have you found a way to circumvent your conditioning?"

Bron just looked at Fredrick calmly. The man gave the blue-black giant another look and saw something in his dark eyes that caused a momentary flash of unease to pass through him. Finally he nodded and left.

Angelina and Bron went back into the living room. They sat next to each other on the couch and she leaned back against him for comfort.

Bron was worried. "I've never heard of the Petrov family. Are they as wealthy and powerful as the Augustines?" he asked.

Angelina was worried. "They're similar in some ways but their power bases are different. Not really in the same playing fields which in this case may be a good thing." She patted Bron's hand

"So Sasha is Alena Petrov. That makes sense to me now. She's obviously had significant reconstructive surgery to alter her appearance when she fled from Earth. Do you remember that video she played for you downstairs? The video of her being raped? I recognized the tattoo of the man who raped her. He was on TV at the time as he was running for some political office back on Earth. His name was Illarion Petrov and he was her eldest brother. That monster was assassinated after he got elected to office. They never caught the person who killed him but it was assumed that it was someone close to the family or maybe even a family member. That happened shortly after Sasha arrived on Walla and met me."

"Will she be ok?" Bron asked.

"I hope so. It's going to depend on what her Mother's intentions are," she said with a worried tone.

Chapter 17

The Petrovs arrival was a media explosion. The fact that Magdalina Petrov had journeyed to Walla personally was a monumental event as the reclusive matriarch had never left Earth in her life. The purpose of her visit was a complete mystery and rumours ran from her fleeing for her life to an aggressive act of corporate war. Every flavor of insidious crime was somehow involved. When people of this level moved change was imminent and that got everyone worried.

Pietr Rykov was called in to meet with Magdalina when she first arrived. It was a diplomatic greeting, a welcome from the government of Walla and he'd been surprised to be informed that he was to include Bron as his personal bodyguard.

The man stood in the reception room in the spaceport, currently empty except for him and the large blue-black man. The press were not to be involved in this initial meeting. The room was one of the most secure in the building and a comfortable place to exchange their initial greetings. The Augustines were not present and would not agree to meet with Magdalina directly until they were assured that the person they had offered sanctuary to was safe. They would assign a Walla citizen to act as their go-between and Pietr had offered his services to the Augustines but had not heard their decision yet.

So all he was authorized to do at today's meeting was to welcome the representative of one of Earth's most powerful families to Walla and deny her access to the person she'd travelled so far to meet. At least for now. The Petrovs understood sanctuary as they'd used it themselves.

There was a chime and Pietr turned to the spaceport side entrance. The doors opened and two serious looking men stepped into the room and scanned the area and took in every detail. Both spent an extra second looking at Bron. One of the men approached Pietr and asked him a quiet question. His eyes glanced up to Bron then he nodded to Pietr and stepped back to his partner. They spoke then both moved into the room and an older woman stepped in and looked around with an anxious look.

Bron saw the disappointment on her face before she covered it with a bland expression.

Several more men followed her into the room and Pietr stepped forward.

"Hello. My name is Pietr Rykov. I'm a Senior Councillor in Walla's Planetary government. I currently manage our Trade and Foreign Relations portfolios. I've also been authorized to act as ambassador for this historic meeting. Welcome to Walla."

Magdalina nodded. "My name is Magdalina Petrov. I am on a mission of a very personal nature which requires the utmost discretion for the safety of all those involved. My lawyers have the required non-disclosure contracts, legal for Walla's legislative process, which will need to be signed before we may proceed." She finally seemed to register Pietr's large blue-black shadow. Her jaw dropped. "Who is this?"

"My apologies, this is Bron," Pietr said.

"Hello. It's nice to meet you." Bron nodded to the woman and smiled politely.

"Hello," the woman replied, still surprised at herself for having missed him. "You are so tall, my neck is getting a pain in it."

"Oh!" Bron said and looked around for a nearby chair. As nothing was available he sunk down to sit cross legged. "Is this better?" he asked.

She smiled at him as she looked down. "Yes, thank you."

"I rescued Bron from the fighting pits on Bacchus after he saved my daughter from being attacked by some rogue worker Genies. I've been working on getting him citizenship here on Walla. So far we've managed to upgrade his status to give him basic human rights as he's legally a clone. Citizenship is a tougher nut to crack," he explained.

"I've been watching how the different planets are dealing with the products of their experimentations and quite frankly it is a frightening galaxy to be in if you are a Genie," she looked at Bron sympathetically.

"Every day is a privilege," Bron said simply.

She made a face of surprise. "More people should have this attitude."

Bron just smiled.

Magdalina gestured for Pietr to join the lawyers to sign the documents. She looked back at Bron. "He cannot sign these papers?"

"Well, he could but his signature is not legally binding yet as he hasn't been granted citizenship. If you are concerned about his disclosing something you just need to ask him to promise not to. Bron won't break a promise. Ever." He moved off to sign the papers.

"How did you come by such strong personal integrity Bron? Was it coded into your matrix?" she asked.

"My matrix wasn't coded. It was mapped from human minds. I don't know if that is where it comes from. All I know is that a promise is to be kept at all costs," Bron replied. Magdalina looked at Bron closely.

"Mapped? Ah, right, Mr. Rykov said you were a clone. Fascinating! Alright, Bron. I need you to promise not to speak of what you are about to hear today to anyone outside of this selected group of people. It is critically important and lives are at stake. Is this understood?"

"Yes, I promise I won't disclose it to anyone," Bron said. She nodded to herself, satisfied.

Her lawyers were not happy with that and tried to get her to cancel the meeting but she quieted them with a glare.

The papers were signed and the group moved over to the seating area. Bron took his position standing behind Pietr as Magdalina's security stood behind her.

Magdalina wasted no time. "Who is the arbitrator for the Augustines?"

"I'm afraid they have not yet named one. I have offered my services but they haven't answered yet. I have been authorized to present your initial contact disclosure but after that we must have the appointed Arbitrator present," Pietr indicated.

Her expression once more slipped to disappointment before she could get control back.

"This is going to take more time than I had hoped," she said sadly.

There was some activity at the door as a court courier arrived with an envelope. Pietr gestured for security to allow the man through. Pietr signed for the envelope and the man left.

"My apologies. If this hadn't been directly involved in our discussions today they would not have sent it," he explained.

Tearing open the seal he read the document. His expression was first of shock then a wide grin spread across his face. He turned to Bron. "You do have friends in high places. Congratulations Bron, you're a citizen!"

Bron looked at Pietr in surprise. "That is wonderful news... but I don't understand how that is connected to this meeting." Magdalina was also looking puzzled.

"The Augustine family has appointed you as their Arbitrator. I see the hand of their youngest member at work here. She and her... charge must have forced the hand of Senator Augustine to back the bill. Your citizenship was approved and you are now legally able to be the Arbitrator."

"But I've never been an Arbitrator! What am I supposed to do?" Bron said with a troubled look.

"First, you will need to sit in this chair." Pietr stood and gestured for Bron to take his place. He pulled up a chair next to Bron.

"You will listen to statements from the representative of both groups, Magdalina Petrov and..." he looked once more at the document "Laura Augustine. In this meeting you will determine if the Petrovs have met the requirements the Augustines have listed for the initial face to face meeting." He handed Bron a page from the envelope. "Read this." Bron did and handed it back. "During following meetings, however many are required, you will act as go-between and will control the meetings, ending them if either party is at risk or if a stalemate has been reached. You will assist them in reaching a mutually agreeable conclusion. While you primarily represent the Augustines as their emissary, you also represent Walla's legislative branch to ensure Walla's laws are upheld during these meetings. This is a rather significant responsibility. To have this on your record will help you significantly in your future Bron."

"Thank you."

"So it seems I am to address you with my plea, Bron," the woman said.

"Yes."

"I want my daughter back," she said with a subtle hitch in her voice.

"The Augustines are concerned for her safety. I don't know if she is willing to meet with you. There was significant... trauma. There is no guarantee of protection now as there should have been when she was younger and under your care." Bron felt a little uneasy saying these things to the woman before him. He could see his words striking her and the damage they made.

The woman steeled herself and prepared for battle. A strength came to her eyes as she readied herself to break through this resistance to get to her goal. She wasn't the head of one of Earth's most powerful families because she was a soft touch. She needed her daughter and nothing was going to stop her from getting her back.

Pietr saw the change and got nervous. He was very familiar with this but Bron was a novice.

Bron saw she was formidable indeed but knew his duty was to protect his friend. There would be no surrender. So... the best defense.

"Were you aware your son was raping his sister?" he said.

The global super power, the head of the most formidable family on Earth, the mother reeled back. She had thought herself prepared but no one had had the nerve to say these words directly to her before.

"Four years at the hand of her oldest brother. Four years of torture a parent should have protected her from. Were you aware?" Bron said coldly as he stared Magdalina directly in the eye, watching for clues to her knowledge of the event. Instead he saw horrified guilt. Not the guilt of the complicit but guilt of the neglectful.

"I didn't know! I- I found out after she disappeared!" she gasped as tears began to flow.

Bron pressed on. "I heard her cries when she played a recording of the first time he raped her. I'm grateful I was blind at the time she played it or I might have never gotten the image out of my head. As it is I can still hear the sounds and they haunt me."

"He recorded it?" the woman gasped in horror.

"Yes and she has them. The torture continues."

The woman reeled back once more then collapsed, sobbing. The battle was over. She had lost.

Her security men were deeply agitated and were looking at Bron like they wanted desperately to do him grievous harm but he ignored them. He leaned forward slightly and looked at the emotionally destroyed woman.

"I am sorry. These were very harmful words but they had to be said. I had to be sure you weren't... involved in... what was done to her. I couldn't allow her to be brought back to that. She escaped once. She was damaged terribly but she survived and found a place where she could heal. Where she found friends to help mend the damage done to her. She still bears the scars inside but she is definitely getting better. I have been fortunate enough to be called her friend. I would willingly give my life to protect her so nothing you could do would make me betray her faith that I will keep her safe. Understand now, I will help you find a way to reach your daughter. Not for you. For her. I believe she needs you. You will help her heal a little more. You will have to endure her disappointment, pain, and rage at your failure to protect her from her brother. That won't be easy but I believe you have the strength for it as she needs you."

Magdalina looked up at Bron with hope in her eyes. "Anything. Anything she needs."

"Honesty is your only option here. As painful as it will be for both of you, she needs honesty... and love. I think you'll be fine on that last one." Bron smiled.

Magdalina dropped to her knees before Bron's chair and hugged his legs as she sobbed. Bron was surprised and froze at first. Then he rubbed her back and stroked her hair to help calm her. Her security men were barely resisting the urge to take him down.

Pietr was looking at Bron in surprise. He was seriously impressed. He could not have done what the large man had just done. Years of self-preservation would have prevented him from speaking so frankly to this woman and to continue to ignore the furious bodyguards. But Bron was right. It was necessary and it had the desired effect.

Bron gently lifted Magdalina to her feet and helped her back to her seat. Then he sat back down in his chair. "I can't imagine your pain. I can't imagine hers. It will take time to heal the wounds but it is my hope you can find some way to reach her, become mother and daughter once more. Before you two meet one of the requirements the Augustine family made was that they know if you intend to take your daughter back into the family fortress on Earth. This is not something your daughter is willing to consider. Too many traumatic memories. Some things are negotiable but returning to the fortress is not one of them. She's made a life for herself here on Walla. A life she is unwilling to discard."

"I need to return to Earth and I want her to come with me but I'll burn the fortress to the ground and rebuild on the ashes if she asks me to," Magdalina said firmly but her voice was still a little shaky.

"The next requirement is to know if there are any specific dangers for your daughter on Earth. Assassination contracts, blood feuds, familial rivalries that might turn violent?" Bron asked.

"None that has been registered officially. I'm not aware of any unofficial threats. I will ask my people to confirm this," Magdalina said.

Bron nodded. "According to the letter I am to ask you to wait until tomorrow. I will meet with the Augustines tonight and make arrangements for tomorrow's meeting which, again according to the letter, will likely be on the grounds of the Augustine estate. I will do my best to convince Sasha- excuse me, Alena, to meet with you."

"Thank you." She held her hands out and Bron took them in his.

Pietr leaned forward. "You should be aware that Alena underwent significant cosmetic surgery to alter her appearance so she could escape Earth. Please prepare yourself for her new appearance. You will be allowed to perform your own DNA test to confirm her identity at the next meeting."

"What does she look like now?" Magdalina asked nervously.

Pietr took out his comm. He pulled up his family photos. He found a recent photo with his daughter hugging Sasha. "My daughter Angelina is on the left in his photo," he said handing the device over to the woman.

Bron saw the shock on the woman's face as she looked at the image of the young woman. Her eyes traveled over the unfamiliar face but settled on the eyes. A tender smile appeared on her face. "There's my Alena," she whispered. She looked up with tears in her eyes. "Thank you." She handed the comm back to Pietr.

Pietr saw there was nothing left to do other than take Bron to the Augustine estate. "Shall we conclude today's meeting?"

Bron and Madgalina nodded, both eager to get to the next step. Everyone got to their feet. Pietr shook her hand and she pulled Bron in for a hug which again surprised the big man but he returned it warmly.

"I will pray for your success," she whispered up to him and he nodded.

With that she swept from the room followed by her legal team and finally the angry looking security personnel who gave Bron a final glare before they left.

"Did I do ok?" Bron asked Pietr.

The man snorted. "You did better than ok Bron. You did exceptionally well!"

"Are we going to the Augustine's estate now?" he asked

"Yes, immediately, Citizen Bron," Pietr responded with a smile.

Chapter 18

Bron sat in a beautiful solarium attached to the south side of the Augustine mansion. He was waiting for Laura to arrive and while he waited he enjoyed the view of the magnificent grounds outside the floor to ceiling windows of the solarium. Pietr was catching up on some email and it made Bron sad that the man couldn't spare the time to enjoy the beauty before him.

The inner door opened and the two men rose to their feet as Senator Augustine, his daughter Laura and Sasha all entered. Pietr and the Senator greeted each other as colleagues but Sasha leapt into Bron's arms for a fierce hug. Bron returned it just as strongly. He kissed the top of her head then blushed as the Senator and Pietr looked at them askance. Laura just looked envious. Sasha pulled back and pulled Laura forward to get a hug from Bron. She melted against his body when he pulled her in close.

"You are so good to hug Bron. You hold nothing back," she purred.

"We have business to attend to so if the hugging could be concluded we should get started," Laura's father said bristling at the sight of his daughter in the arms of the Genie. Bron caught the tone and gave Pietr a worried look.

The man took the opportunity to thank the Senator for passing the bill for Bron's citizenship. The Senator's head snapped to Pietr with a scowl.

"Don't thank me. You damn well know I was forced into a corner by my own daughter. It was nothing short of blackmail!" he shot back.

"Blackmail? Father, don't get me started. The bad karma you have staining your soul desperately needed this to start you back on the road to redeeming yourself. I'm not going to air private family matters but you have a long way to go before you're entitled to make claims of moral outrage," Laura growled.
Her father snapped his jaws shut and glared at his daughter but she would not be cowed by him. Finally he sat down and ignored the group.

The rest took their seats and Laura turned to Pietr.

"Was my faith in Bron misplaced? How did he do in the first meeting?" she asked.

"Bron was nothing short of brilliant. Perhaps because he's a complete novice to the political arena he showed no fear of a very formidable opponent. I'll let Bron tell you the rest," Pietr said with a smile and all eyes turned to the big man.

Bron blinked his nictitating membranes at Pietr then turned his eyes to Sasha who was watching him with an almost panicked look in her eye. "Magdalina Petrov isn't an opponent. She is a mother who discovered she failed one of her children in a most horrific way and then lost her before she could make amends. This is what I believe. I confronted her with what happened to you and watched her reaction for signs of her involvement. I saw none. Instead I saw pain, guilt, loneliness, and desperation. I don't know the reason for her absence in that period of your life. I'm told she is the head of one of Earth's most powerful families and I assume that position is really demanding. It's your call to determine for yourself if you can forgive her for putting her role as Family Matriarch before her role as Mother. "

Sasha was shaking with emotion. Bron reached out quickly and pulled her into his arms and against his chest just before she began to scream. The sound was tortured and painful to hear. The others in the room instinctively leaned away but Bron rode it out as Sasha struggled to lash out. She cried and raged in his arms while he whispered soothingly to her. The Senator looked at Laura worried that his daughter was friends with someone as damaged at the woman contained in the thankfully strong arms of the Genie.

Pietr watched Sasha slowly calming in Bron's embrace with tears in his eyes. He was deeply grateful for Bron's seemingly instinctive knowledge of how to care for the emotionally injured woman. He was astounded by the strength of the big man's compassion considering how little of it he had been shown himself in his short life.

When Sasha's tears slowed and her body lost its tremble Bron leaned back and looked in her eyes. "What do you want to do now Sasha?" he asked gently.

"I want to see my mama," she whispered and her tears started again but now they were gentle and sad. Bron cuddled her once again and held her while she released the pain.

"We'll make the arrangements to meet tomorrow. They'll need the time to fulfil some of the sanctuary requirements," Bron said.

Laura was looking at Bron with a broad smile. "So my confidence was fully justified. That, Father, is why your passing of the bill grants you some good karma."

The Senator looked thoughtfully at Bron then looked away with a shudder. As the meeting was essentially over he nodded to Pietr and left the solarium. Laura sighed and realized she wasn't going to enlighten her father in just a day.

Once Sasha had calmed sufficiently Bron sat back and held her hands. "Be strong as I know you can be Sasha. Remember you have our love and support and we will always be here for you."

"I love you, Bron," Sasha whispered.

"I love you too, Sasha," he said gently fighting his conditioning.

"Would- would you call me Alena?" she asked quietly.

"I love you, Alena," he said with a twinkle in his eye.

She leaned in and gave him another hug.

When they finished Laura had tears in her eyes as did Pietr who brusquely wiped them away with a handkerchief and cleared his throat. "We should head home Bron."

Bron nodded and they all stood up. Laura turned to Pietr. "I'd like to have a quick word with Bron. Alena can show you to the front door. We'll be along in just a moment." Pietr nodded and Alena led him out of the solarium after giving Laura a brief knowing smile.

"I wanted to personally thank you for justifying my faith in you and sparing me the agony of dealing with my father's self-righteousness. I know you did it for Sasha- I mean Alena."

Bron nodded and smiled at the fidgeting woman.

"I- I really want to be your friend. I don't have very many friends as I've burnt so many bridges and made so many enemies. My whole life I've been surrounded by people who wanted something from me. Then when we met we started off on the wrong foot and I'm trying to rectify that," Laura said nervously.

Ben smiled. "Of course we can be friends. I already consider you one because of everything you did for Alena."

Laura's face lit up with a smile then the nervous look reappeared. "Maybe one day we can be special friends?" she asked timidly.

Ben leaned down and gently touched her face with his big hands. He brushed his lips across hers and heard her gasp. He slipped his tongue between her lips and her tongue surged forward to slide across his. She jolted as its rough texture shot tingling sparks across her nerves down to her core.

She moaned as he pulled back from the kiss.

"Yes, we can be special friends," he rumbled.

"Soon I hope," she breathed.

She gathered her wits then led him to the front door where Pietr was standing reading his messages. Alena had gone back to her room to lie down, being exhausted from the day's events.

Pietr looked up and his gaze froze momentarily as he caught Laura's flushed appearance and her slightly plumped lips. Bron's face was all innocence. The man sighed, put his comm away and bid Laura good night. He headed home with Citizen Romeo in tow.

When they got home Pietr asked Bron to accompany him into his office. They sat facing each other in the chairs in front of his desk. Pietr tried to get his thoughts straight in his head as he could really mess things up with what he was about to say.

Bron sat patiently knowing Pietr would begin when he was ready. He had no idea what the man wanted to say but it was obviously important as he seemed to be struggling with it.

"Bron, do you love Angelina? Are you IN LOVE with her?"

Bron jolted as his conditioning fought him. He had to answer but it went against one of the strongest controls he had. Emotional responses of any kind between a Genie and a human was forbidden.

"I'm sorry, Bron! I forgot your conditioning. You don't need to answer that question. I think I have my answer anyway," Pietr said quickly seeing Bron's distress.

Bron immediately relaxed but remained nervous as the conversation was going in a direction he hadn't anticipated at all.

"Angelina informed me when we first arrived back on Walla that she was in love with you and intended to be with you once she'd achieved her goal of making you a legal citizen. She did say that she would wait until I'd successfully been elected as Walla's Premier and would pretend to just be friends with you until then. I will be announcing my candidacy in a few months and the election will be in the fall of next year. You became a citizen today. There is a lot of time between now and then. I'm going to ask you a very selfish thing. I trust my daughter will try to resist her heart's desire but I need you to promise to help her keep her promise to me. Until I'm elected and in office for the full three month probationary period there can be no sign of a sexual relationship between you and Angelina. The only relationship can be that of employer and employee and a non-physical friendship. She has been amazing so far but I can see the strain on her building as she falls more in love with you every day but can't show it. I feel ashamed asking you this but I know you always keep your promises."

Bron sat back and thought about what he was being asked to promise. It was to help Angelina keep her own promise to her father but it had the potential to hurt her. It would probably be one of the hardest promises he'd ever have to make. "I need to speak with Angelina."

"I'm asking you to make this decision without her assistance or involvement. It has to be your decision. She's not the only one who benefits from the successful fulfillment of her promise to me. I will justify her faith in me when I am elected but I have to get there first," Pietr said firmly, looking into Bron's eyes.

Bron thought about it and considered everything he discovered about Walla since his arrival, good and bad. While it was better than most places for Genies there was a lot of bad that needed fixing. He truly believed Pietr was the man to do it. "When you get elected your life is just going to become that much more difficult, complicated, and dangerous," Bron said.

Pietr relaxed when he heard Bron indicate his faith in being elected. "That's true... but they need me."

Bron nodded. "I promise to help Angelina keep her promise until your probationary period is complete."

He felt the weight of that promise immediately settle in around his heart.

The news of Bron's citizenship hit the media that night and the speculation exploded when it was discovered he was somehow involved in the meetings between the Petrovs and the Augustines. How that information leaked was being investigated by both sides.

The judge in the case between Bron and Scott Stanfield breathed a sigh of relief as he was no longer on the hook for making a decision regarding the admissibility of Bron's testimony and evidence. He immediately informed both sides that as a citizen Bron would testify and the evidence was admissible. Things didn't look good for Scott.

The prosecutor was delighted and was eager to continue the case but Bron's duties as arbitrator took precedence in Walla's court system so the case was recessed until the arbitration ended.

The news of a Genie being granted citizenship quickly spread beyond Walla. Many people had been watching carefully and many were not pleased with the decision. One group in particular, Humanity for Humans, had people in position on Walla awaiting orders to take steps to rectify the mistake. They were also clever enough to find a local patsy to spearhead the attack and take the blame. Scott Stanfield was only too eager to be part of eliminating the source of his current troubles and had been assured he would be safe from prosecution this time. The orders were given.

There was one more party who was watching Bron's progress with keen interest. In fact, he'd been keeping an eye on the large Genie for a long time.

Since birth in fact.

Gregory Taggart was a brilliant man. His intellect was ravenous for new input and his knowledge of genetics was unsurpassed. He was also exceptionally skilled in biochemical engineering, software engineering, financial engineering, and a number of other less socially acceptable occupations and practices.

He'd been the lead scientist on the Yosman Project. From day one he'd controlled every aspect of the project, from initiating the contract with the company, to the selection of the rest of the genetics team, to equipping the lab, and most importantly the highly complex task of designing and growing the Genies.

At the same time he was carefully manipulating the company's finances and the other team members to make them desperate enough to resort to Enriched Mapping. He was intensely curious about Genies ever since he became aware of their potential for polarizing populaces and destabilizing societies. He wanted one of his own. If he could impress his intellect on one he wondered what mischief it could get into. Once he'd delivered his creations he had the team disperse. As they'd served their purpose and he couldn't have them interfering with his plans he'd poisoned the other team members with the celebratory toast they drank before they went their separate ways. Eleven corpses reached their destinations and their murderer slipped away into the shadows once more.

Gregory was a high functioning sociopath. His awareness of his condition combined with his brilliance and skills enabled him to slip through the fabric of societies on multiple worlds. If a few people died along the way so be it.

It had been his carefully crafted Yosman status report 'accidentally' routed to the company lawyer that got Bron picked up by the bounty hunter and taken to Bacchus. He'd created his Frankenstein but he needed the villagers to instill in it a deep seated hatred of humanity. Sending the creation to be a slave on Bacchus for a while was sure to warp its carefully crafted personality. The strict conditioning every Genie was imprinted with would lock down that pressure.

Then fate intervened and his creation was taken to Walla.

At first Gregory was annoyed with the interference but Walla proved to be a much more exciting target.

He watched with fascination as the Genie became a catalyst for change. Everyone was watching what was happening on Walla with this big Genie. That just made Gregory's game all the more delicious. Now that a major player from Earth had arrived the explosive potential was too high to ignore. It was time to light the fuse.

Bron and Pietr were on their way to the Augustine estate when they received word that the site was no longer viable for the meeting due to security concerns. Crews of arborists had suddenly been called into the surrounding neighborhood to inspect the trees for a potential beetle invasion so the location was no longer considered secure. The secondary meeting location of the spaceport was not acceptable to the Augustines so that left the third choice which was the conference rooms of the city hall office block. Relatively limited access and reasonably well protected, it should suffice. Bron and Pietr were first to arrive as they'd been closest. As they walked through the halls they noted that the building was pretty quiet for a week day but assumed it was due to the increased security they saw going into place as they arrived.

As they passed the security office Pietr was asked to go inside to deal with some security protocols the impending meeting required. Bron waited for him in the hall. There was a bench so he sat patiently. A man was walking down the hallway passed him then began to limp. He stopped, hobbled over to the bench and sat next to Bron to take his shoe off. He held it over his other hand and a tiny pebble fell out into his palm.

"How did that get in there?" the man mumbled. He turned to look at Bron. "Does this look like glass to you?" he asked holding up the little blue stone.

Bron leaned forward to look at it but it didn't look like glass to him. He shook his head.

"Weird. It feels like glass," the man said and held it out for Bron to take it so he lifted his big hand. The pebble dropped into the center of his palm and immediately turned to liquid against Bron's warmer skin.

Then it was gone, absorbed into his skin.

Bron gasped and his eyes closed. He slumped back against the wall. The man put his shoe back on and walked away.

Minutes later Pietr exited and saw Bron sleeping against the wall.

"Bron."

"Bron, wake up."

The big man didn't move.

Worried, Pietr leaned over and put his hand on Bron's shoulder.

Bron gasped and woke with a start. He immediately clutched his head in his hands and moaned as pain spiked through it.

"Are you ok, Bron? What's wrong?"

The sounds reverberated in Bron's head but the pain was receding. "Headache," he croaked.

"A sudden headache? We should get you to a doctor!" Pietr asserted.

"No... it's going away," Bron said. He opened his eyes and looked up at Pietr and smiled. "I'll be ok. We should get moving."

"Are you sure?" Pietr said with concern.

Bron smiled at the concern in the man's voice. That in itself made him feel better. "Yes, thank you." He stood up.

With a final look at Bron Pietr made his way to the reserved conference room. They entered and had the large chamber to themselves. They glanced at the clock and saw they were right on time.

Alena Petrov arrived with Laura Augustine and her bodyguard Fredrick. They joined up with Bron and Pietr and hugs and handshakes were exchanged. Laura was making eyes at Bron and Alena giggled nervously. She was barely keeping it together. She sat down next to Bron and he held her hand.

Ten minutes later the Petrov security men stepped inside the room and did their security sweep. Moments later Magdalina stepped through the door and faced her daughter for the first time in over a decade. The two women looked at each other and both burst into tears. Bron released her hand and Alena walked across the room as Magdalina moved forward to collect her daughter in her arms. They held each other as the tears flowed. Bron's sharp vision caught an unexpected motion on the far side of the room as one of Magdalina's lawyers pulled a lethal object from his briefcase.

"GUN!" Bron yelled pointing at the lawyer as he surged forward. Fred was already in motion, pulling Laura to shelter behind a heavy desk. Pietr was right behind them.

The lawyer had the drop on the two Petrov security men standing before him and wasted precious time killing them. If he had opened up on his primary targets first he could easily have killed Magdalina and Alena at the expense of his own life. By the time he turned his attention back Bron had them clutched to his chest and was dragging them down behind a heavy desk he overturned. This freed up the remaining two Petrov agents to concentrate on shooting at the lawyer. He managed to hit one of the agents with a wild shot to the neck before a bullet removed the top of his head. As quickly as it began there was silence. The remaining agent crept towards the two lawyers who were face down on the floor.

Bron pressed the two women to the floor and watched the bodyguard calling out to the men on the floor to show their hands.

There was a flash of sparks as the lock on the main doors was blown. The agent got one shot off before his body was blown across the room by a rocket propelled grenade fired from the hallway. The room filled with smoke from the grenade and the fire suppression systems kicked in. Bron told Magdalina and Alena to stay put and dashed over to the wall and quickly slid along it until he was next to the open door. He remained pressed against the wall listening to the harsh whispers in the hall.

"What the fuck happened? There was supposed to be four of them. I see two dead guards, a dead guy in a suit, and Danny killed a third guard with the grenade launcher," said voice number one.

"Doesn't matter. Okay Scott, it's your turn to rain death on everyone left in the room. We'll cover you from here," said voice number two.

"This is going to be fun!" Bron recognized Scott's voice but it was muffled like it was coming from inside a helmet. Then there was the sound of running boots. Bron picked up the sound of one man running towards him and two running away.

Bron had to act but he knew his conditioning wouldn't allow him to attack a human even at the risk of his own life. He could be a shield and carry his charges to safety but direct confrontation was an impossibility for him.

Scott burst into the room in full body armor including a helmet that prevented him from seeing Bron standing against the wall. Bron risked a quick glance down the hall and saw the two other men running for the elevators, a third lying dead on the ground just outside the door, presumably Danny.

"Time to die you big fucking freak!" Scott yelled then opened up on the room with his machine gun. Bron found himself quickly slipping up behind Scott and knocking the gun from his hand. Scott screamed as his arms broke from the powerful downward slap.

Bron was stunned he'd been able to do that but he didn't have time to think about it. He grabbed Scott by the back collar of his body armor and ran down the hall holding the screaming man up as a shield. The two men heard Scott's screams and spun around at the elevators. One raised his gun and shot once. The bullet struck Bron's left shoulder spinning him into crashing against the wall but he managed to keep Scott up between him and the gunmen as he slumped to the floor.
He heard voice number two screaming at the other to stop shooting or he'd kill them all. That's when Bron realized Scott's 'bullet proof' body armor was actually loaded with explosives as the previous terrorists had been. The elevator opened and the two gunmen jumped inside and the door closed.

Bron struggled to his feet. His left arm wasn't cooperating. He dragged Scott with his right arm to the elevator. He dropped him to the floor and held him in place with his foot while he ripped the elevator doors open. He had to get rid of the explosives and he knew removing the suit would just trigger them to explode. He saw the elevator three floors below and descending. Heading for the basement garage. Fearing they'd trigger the explosives at any moment Bron pushed Scott into the shaft with his foot and roared like he was dropping himself down on top of the elevator. Scott's body hit the roof of the elevator with a massive thump and he lay there broken. Bron roared once more and the two men began shooting through the roof to kill him.

The detonation raced up the shaft and Bron snapped his head back to avoid the fireball but the concussion wave shot him down the hall to land in a crumpled heap at the entrance to the meeting room. The building rocked as the explosion tried to escape the elevator shaft.

Fred was the first to reach Bron followed by Pietr. They were relieved to see he was breathing but aside from the bullet wound in his shoulder they didn't know how badly he was hurt. They called out to the others that he was still alive. They looked up to see the inferno in the elevator shaft fifty feet down the hall. They looked at each other and wondered how close Bron had been to the elevator when it blew.

"Well that answers my question of whether or not Bron is capable of being violent. The next question is how does he get past his conditioning?"

Pietr shook his head. "I have no idea but we'd all be dead if he hadn't." Fred nodded.

Magdalina came to stand next to them with the gun she'd taken from the fallen bodyguard. Alena was pressed up against her mother's back looking down at Bron with wide eyes.

"I think the last man to come through that door was Scott Stanfield. It sounded like his voice," Pietr said to Fred. Alena nodded. She'd heard him too.

"Two separate attacks. One aimed to take out myself and Alena. Stopped by Bron and my bodyguards. Who was the second attack against?" Magdalina frowned.

"Bron," Pietr said.

"Bron?" the older woman said.

"If Scott was part of it then it had to be about Bron. His citizenship was announced last night. This has the hallmarks of the anti-Genie terrorists," Pietr said.

The Matriarch turned her eyes to the lawyers who remained on the floor. "You understand I am terminating the services of your firm," she said and they nodded quickly. She turned to her daughter. "Bron's alive, Alena. We'll get him to our ship's infirmary. It's safer than a local hospital." She held up her personal comm. "I contacted the ship. They're sending a full squad of security personnel and medical help. They should be here momentarily."

Laura stepped up and hugged Alena. Fred noticed she was holding a gun she'd taken from one of the dead bodyguards. He knew she knew how to use it so he just nodded to himself.

Magdalina looked at her daughter. "Will you come with me to the ship? I promise we won't leave Walla until you are ready." She looked at Laura. "Please, I promise I won't steal her away but I can't be apart from her tonight. I have to keep her safe."

Laura looked at Alena whose eyes were a little haunted then Alena realized Bron would be with them and she felt a little better. She nodded to her friend so Laura nodded once to Magdalina. "As long as I have your word you won't leave the planet."

There was noise from the stairwell and code words were called out. Magdalina answered for them and the security troops rushed down the hallway and fanned out to cover all of the surrounding rooms. The medical staff rushed into the room and were directed to Bron. They looked at Magdalina confused. Pietr held up his comm and transferred the medical records from Bron to the medics comm. He did a quick scan of Bron and compared it to the records and saw his scanner was reporting the bullet wound and a bad concussion. They immediately set about removing the bullet as there didn't appear to be any danger in removing it. It was embedded just below the surface of his skin pinching a nerve cluster there. The concussion was more worrying.

The security team wanted to get them to leave as the local police force had arrived and there was a standoff in the stairwell. Pietr indicated that he would go speak with them as this had become a diplomatic mission. He got her promise that she would take good care of Bron until he could come pick him up then bid her farewell. Fred and Laura went with Pietr after they said their good byes as well. The Petrovs left with the security team, some of them carrying Bron as they made their way to the roof to board the transport they'd flown from the spaceport. As they boarded the transport Pietr's diplomatic order to fall back must have been passed to the police skims hovering above the transport. They moved away and the transport was able to lift off and make its way back to the ship with all of its passengers.

The Augustine's representative and her bodyguard were able to return to the mansion after giving the police a statement. Pietr stayed behind to give them the unhappy news that he suspected Scott Stanfield was amongst the dead. He described the voice he heard from the last gunman to come into the room. The police wanted to speak with Bron but Pietr had to tell them that he was currently unavailable to give a statement because he was unconscious from being caught by the explosion and as he was aboard the Petrov's ship in their infirmary he was essentially in their sovereign territory.

Finally Pietr was able to go home and was confronted by his frantic daughter and her friends.

He was exhausted but owed his daughter an explanation.

"Bron was injured in the attack. He was shot in the shoulder by one of the terrorists but it wasn't serious. He also has a bad concussion from the explosion. As we cannot be sure of the identities of the terrorists our hospitals may not be secure so I allowed Magdalina Petrov to take Bron to her ship and use their medical facilities to care for him."

Pietr's comm rang. Diplomatic line, video. He gave it a worried look then excused himself. Once he was in his office with the door closed he answered. He saw Magdalina's flushed face.

"Thank goodness I reached you. There has been some... horrific events back on Earth. I have to return immediately. I have spoken with Alena and she has agreed to return with me. We won't be going to the family fortress after all as it's gone. Destroyed. I've lost my sister and her two children in the attack. Alena and I are the last of the Petrov family."

"Oh my god! I'm so sorry! I'll come immediately to collect Bron," Pietr responded in shock.

Magdalina looked down in shame. "I'm sorry Pietr, I'm actually already underway. The doctors were very upset that we jostled him in getting him to the ship and explained to me that he shouldn't be moved from the infirmary. We couldn't lose any time in getting back so I gave the order to leave."

"WHAT! Bron is a citizen of Walla! You can't just leave with him! You're breaking sanctuary rules! Besides, Earth is completely hostile to Genies!" Pietr babbled in indignant shock.

"I give you my word I will bring him back to you in better condition than he left in. I'm so sorry I have to disconnect now as we are about to slip into jump space. Goodbye."

Pietr stared at the empty screen. "Your word," he muttered. As good as the word she gave when she said she wouldn't immediately leave Walla.

In a daze he left his office and made his way back to the kitchen. Suddenly he was looking into seven worried faces, the most emotional of all belonged to his daughter.

"I've had some disturbing news," he began.

Angelina jumped to her feet and Bailley was right behind her. "Oh Papa, please don't..." Tears immediately welled up in Angelina's eyes. Bailley's lower lip was trembling.

Pietr saw she took his shock to mean Bron had died. "No! No, Bron is alive and in excellent care but he's aboard the Petrov's ship which... just departed for Earth."

Rachel and Sarah were closest and managed to catch Angelina and Bailley when they fainted.

Chapter 19

Bron's head hurt. A deep pounding headache the likes of which he'd never experienced before. Something else felt wrong. He felt... lighter. He tried to move but his head throbbed with his heartbeat so all he could do was moan.

"BRON? CAN YOU HEAR ME?" thundered a voice from his left. He leaned away from the voice and cringed in pain.

"SENSITIVE To sound? Ah, sorry about that." The voice switched to whispering which greatly helped. "I thought of turning the light down but forgot you'd be sensitive to sound as well. Let me brighten up the room just a little so we can see each other."

The lights came up slowly and Bron could make out the face of a young man standing next to the bed he was resting on. "Where am I?"

"You're in my infirmary on 'The Hammer'. The Petrov's flagship," the young doctor answered.

"What? Why am I on the Petrov's ship? Where is Pietr Rykov? Where is Alena Petrov?" Bron struggled to sit up but his muscles were fighting him.

"Please, you have to relax! I will answer your questions but you have to lie still. Your concussion was very bad. You've been unconscious for three days," the man said. "The ship is on its way back to Earth. Mr. Rykov remained on Walla and Alena is in her cabin."

"Earth?!? I need to see Alena. Now!" Bron insisted and sat up. His head pounded fiercely but he pushed through it.

The doctor looked at the medical monitor and saw the measurements going off the scale. "I'll bring her to you if you lie back and rest. You won't do her any good if you cause yourself permanent damage!" the doctor insisted.

Bron fixed his dark eyes on the man, assessing if he was telling the truth. "If she isn't here in fifteen minutes I go hunting," he growled. The man swallowed when his mouth went dry. He rushed from the room as Bron eased himself back onto his back. He began to count.

At minute thirteen the door opened and Alena stepped inside and rushed to the side of the bed. She climbed up next to Bron and cuddled against his side.

"Are you OK Alena? Did they take you from Walla without your consent?" Bron asked gently.

"I'm good now that you're awake! Mama asked me to come and promised to keep me safe. I need to be with her and this ship is the safest place to be," Alena whispered into his chest.

"But Earth! Not a good place to be. Not safe for you and particularly not friendly to Genies," Bron replied.

Alana furrowed her brows and rubbed her face against the smooth scales on Bron's chest. "The Petrovs will protect you."

"Your mother broke sanctuary when she broke her word to the Augustines. The little I've read about that wasn't good. Word will get out. It will destroy what credibility she has left. We may be going back into a far more dangerous situation than expected."

"Then you have a very good grasp of our situation," Magdalina said as she entered the room.

Bron scowled at the woman. "The best course of action would be to return to Walla immediately, return Alena to the Augustines and me to the Rykov's."

"I've made my decision. We are returning to Earth to take back what is ours," the woman said stubbornly.

"As you took what was yours from Walla?" Bron asked quietly.

"You would be wise to control that insolent tongue of yours considering how I'll be the one keeping you alive on Earth." Magdalina's voice was cold.

"Mama!" Alena gasped.

The woman looked to her daughter and the chilly attitude thawed a little. "There are great dangers we are returning to. We cannot waste energy bickering amongst ourselves. Either your friend here is with me or I will have to cut him loose. It is as simple as that."

"I am here for Alena. As long as she is 'with you' I will be as well. Is that good enough?" Bron said calmly.

Magdalina's eyes locked on his then she nodded. "We are arriving in less than an hour. We will not be descending to the surface until we have established control over our orbital assets. I understand your condition requires you remain in the infirmary for another 24 to 48 hours. I suggest you listen to the doctor and rest. When we get to the surface we are going to be moving fast and reacting fast. We can't afford any delays."

Bron looked at the woman and absorbed the third poorly veiled threat in their conversation. Here was Magdalina the Petrov Matriarch, her true persona. The human woman he'd met on Walla was now completely hidden under the hard shell she donned to run her empire. This was the face she was most comfortable with. Bron nodded and Magdalina swept from the room.

"I'm so sorry, Alena," Bron said quietly.

She mistook his meaning. "Bron, don't worry. You'll be well enough to travel soon."

"No, I'm sorry I was taken in by your mother's display of emotion on Walla. I'm sure it was genuine but it wasn't the true Magdalina," he said.

"What are you talking about? She loves me! She needs me!" Alena barked.

"That's true. She does. But if she had shown us this side of herself, the Petrov Matriarch, ready to start a bloody war and willing to drag her daughter into the war zone just because you're hers, would you have been as comfortable agreeing to come?" he asked gently.

Alena looked at him, emotions battling across her face.

"I failed you as arbitrator. I'm not as good a judge of character as you needed me to be. Your mother has decades of experience in negotiation within the most hostile and dangerous of civilizations. I believe she honestly presented her true emotions on Walla but I now believe she consciously withheld her true nature as she knew it would not have been well received. I will do whatever it takes to protect you now that we are in this situation even if it means laying down my life. For me to do that I must heal. If you don't mind I'm going to sleep now as this has exhausted me."

Alena slipped out of his bed and with a final glance back she headed for her quarters. She frowned as she thought about how Bron had just spoken to her. It didn't sound like him. He sounded... more self-confident? Smarter, maybe? Whatever it was, he'd changed. Maybe it was just the concussion.

She was angry but she wasn't sure where to direct that anger. She wanted to scream at Bron that he was wrong but she knew in her heart that he wasn't. She was also terrified that they were heading into this battle with no control or experience to guide them. Being so reliant on her mother now seemed completely foolish. Hadn't she escaped all this on her own once before? Hadn't she taken care of herself, found a new life on a safe world? Why had she been so quick to give that up? For her mother's love? Yes. But the Magdalina she was now wasn't the Magdalina she'd been then... or was she? She'd left her daughter in the hands of her oldest son. She was busy running the family empire. She was protecting her daughter or so she thought. Alena believed her mother had no knowledge at the time what her daughter was experiencing at her brother's hand... but couldn't she have at least checked in once in a while? Didn't she want to be part of her children's lives?

She locked herself in her room. She needed to think.

Chapter 20

The first sign Bron had that something was terribly wrong was when the bed's restraint system kicked in and strapped him down. Then he felt his weight disappear. The ship's gravity failed. That shouldn't happen.

The ship had been in orbit around Earth for three days and aside from a few small skirmishes taking control back on some orbital stations, the ship had been kept out of the fight. None of Magdalina's allies came to support her due to her violation of the Augustine's sanctuary. That was the risk the matriarch had taken and now she was paying the price. Ben just caught the occasional news from the doctor while he spoke with his nurse. He overheard that the 'enemy' was one of the warlords from China. He was making a push and once he crushed the Petrovs he might set his sights on the families of Japan. Bron worried about Asami.

Bron heaved at the straps and heard their mounts tear loose. The fabric was stronger than the metal spools they were rolled on. He slipped down to the end of the bed and looked into the hall. The ship was eerily quiet. Then he saw the doctor floating in his office across the room. Ben pushed off and sailed across to the small office. He checked the man's pulse and it was steady. So, just unconscious. Bron tapped the man's face but he was out. Bron touched the screen on the desk, went into the menu and bypassed the basic user interface to pull up a schematic of the ship. He didn't understand how he knew how to do this but he didn't have time to worry about that now. He saw where he was and where Alena would be. He closed the door on the office and pulled himself over to the entrance to the infirmary. He listened but there was no sound of people moving or voices. He opened the door and peeked out. Nothing. There was along hall he needed to traverse to get to the core of the ship. The core had access ways that he could use to get to Alena's quarters quickly. He gripped the door's edge and launched himself out. He zigzagged from side to side down the hall but he was alone. He stopped just before the intersection by grabbing a handrail and flipping over to land on the wall on his toes.

Bron felt odd vibrations and thumps as if something was bumping the ship from outside. Considering the size of the ship he was in that external force would have to be very large to feel it all the way through the ship to the core. He peeked around the corner and saw three ships personnel floating unconscious. He slipped around the corner and opened the access panel on the wall. Inside was a long access way that led through the ship. Bron realized he was too big to fit inside. He launched himself down the corridor. He had no choice now but to go the long way.

As he passed the bank of lifts a door opened and Bron grabbed the wall rail and prepared to launch himself at the occupants but no one exited.

"Bron! Get inside!"

"Magdalina?"

"Yes! Get inside! Now!"

Bron doubted she was responsible for knocking out her own crew so he moved into the lift. The door closed.

"I'm going to move you to Alena. Once I start this lift they are going to know someone is awake. Their efforts to board the ship are going to get much more... violent. They will come for you so you will have to be quick."

"Move all of the elevators," Bron suggested, the idea popping into his head.

There was silence then a chuckle. "You have a fine tactical mind Bron. Indeed. I will move them all at double speed and with random stops. Let them figure that one out," she chuckled as she entered the commands.

"How did you remain awake?" Bron asked.

"My cranial implants. They revived me when they detected I'd been knocked out. I assume your brain was different enough to throw off the effect quickly," she said. "Hang on tight. This is going to be bumpy."

Bron grabbed the handrails on two sides and wedged himself into a corner. The lift suddenly accelerated away. And stopped. Then a longer stretch.

"I have one elevator making a long run for the engine room. Let them think that is the one occupied," Magdalina growled. "Two stops then the third stop is yours. Alena's quarters are down the hall to the left. Second door. I will open it for you... SHIT! They've boarded. There are three enemy enroute to Alena's room. They'll enter the corridor at the far end. They'll try to burn their way into her room. If they get in she's dead. I'm skipping your next two stops and taking you directly there. You must get to her first and bring her back to the lift. Hang on!"
There was silence for around twenty seconds then the car jolted to a stop so abruptly Bron ripped the handrail from the wall. He shot out of the door the moment it opened and launched himself down the corridor. He heard the sounds of the invaders using jet packs to navigate the halls at speed. He wasn't going to be able to get Alena away before they arrived. He was going to have to deal with them directly. He felt the odd sensation of a vacuum where his mental conditioning had been. Even contemplating violence against a human should have crippled him. He pushed his surprise aside as the sounds of the jet packs got louder. Bron realized he still had the heavy metal handrail in his fist. Only a short section of it but it was all he had.

He was just reaching the far end of the corridor when the first man shot around the corner passing him on the right. Bron swung the club and crushed the man's ribcage. He used the impact to spin himself into the path of the second man who received an elbow to the side of his helmet. This broke the man's neck. Bron was tossed back against the far wall but managed to land on his toes and immediately kick off as the third man was aiming his weapon. The fired bolt scorched the wall where Bron had been a moment before. The man swung his weapon to shoot again before the dark shape escaped and missed seeing the chunk of handrail thrown like a spear until it pierced his body and struck the tank of propellant in his jet pack. The explosive decompression ripped him in two and buckled the corridor plating. The shockwave knocked Bron down the hall and his ears were ringing. He shook his head and saw a door opening so he pushed off the wall and into the doorway which snapped shut behind him.

Alena was floating just above her bed under the sheets. Bron untucked the sheets and saw she was naked. He opened some drawers and found pants, a shirt and socks. He quickly dressed her and found boots for her. Then he listened carefully as the ringing was slowly diminishing.

"My ears are ringing from the blast. I can barely hear," he said in case Magdalina could hear him.

"HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO KILL THOSE MEN?" Magdalina yelled, cranking up the volume.

"I don't know. I just..."

"Is my daughter safe with you?" the mother asked.

"I would never hurt Alena!" Bron growled.

"Your conditioning-"

"Do we really have time for this conversation?" Bron said exasperated.

The woman was silent. "No, we don't. You need to take her back to the lift. I'll get you two off the ship." The Matriarch's voice was back.

"What about you?" Ben asked.

"They destroyed my escape route. No. I will show them why I called this ship 'The Hammer'. Go now!" she yelled.

Bron darted out into the corridor but only the three bodies floated there. He ducked back inside and grabbed Alena. Out and down to the lift. Inside and braced as it raced away. No more subtlety now. Three dead invaders sent a clear message where the trouble had been and which lift carried the trouble away. There was a sudden jolt and Bron protected Alena with his body as he was slammed to the floor of the lift.

"Sorry about that. I had to divert their attention from you so I just disabled their ship by blowing a big hole in it. I just kicked the anthill and they scurry in panic like the insects they are. OK. The next time I open the door you will be at the escape pods. The larger ones are down the hall to the right. Get into the first of those and strap yourselves in. It will be a very bumpy ride."

Bron held Alena close and peeked into the hall. The coast was clear so he pulled them out and launched them towards the far wall then along to the first of the lifeboats. The door opened before they got there and Magdalina's voice called out for him to hurry. The moment they were in the door it closed.

"Strap in quickly! I must time this exactly so!"

Bron got Alena strapped in securely then he flew across the chamber to strike the far wall.

Dazed, he felt himself being pressed against the wall as the acceleration poured on. He painfully crawled over to one of the crash seats and squeezed himself into its restraints. It would only provide minimal impact protection for him but at least it would keep him from becoming a projectile within the vessel and hurting Alena.

"Keep her safe as best you can Bron. I- I'm sorry. I was wrong to have brought her back with me. I see that now. Huh. Now that it is too late. I wish I could speak with her. To tell her I am sorry for what Illarion did to her. I should have been there. Been her mother but for me the Petrov Empire was my child more than my own flesh and blood. How stupid. I have only one act left. I will eject your lifeboat at the last possible minute so it will be hidden in the debris. Hopefully you two will survive. I wish I could say there was someplace safe for you to land but that is not the case."

"Can you get word to Asami Tanaka?" Bron asked.

"You know the Tanakas?" Magdalina said with surprise.

"No, but Asami is my friend and Alena's. If we are to survive at all we might with her help," he said.

There were some colossal impacts and the acceleration began again.

"What are you doing?" Bron yelled over the din.

"That foolish warlord launched his attack when we were positioned above his geosynchronous space station. He sent a stealth ship in to stun my crew. Then his flagship moved from their station and latched onto the side of The Hammer. I disabled their ship and just pushed it into their space station. Now we're all going to visit the warlord in his castle. The Hammer will descend from heaven and avenge my family. But Alena must live."

More massive vibrations rocked the ship and the lifeboat suddenly shot free. All of the escape pods fired and they raced off in random directions. Bron's lifeboat just spiraled slowly downwards within the huge debris field headed for China. Bron's mind did a lightning quick calculation of the mass of the descending ships and the crippled station being pushed downwards and the resulting impact it would have on the surface. It was horrifying!

"Innocent people are going to die Magdalina! Divert your course for the ocean or empty countryside," Bron begged.

"HA! You and Alena are the only innocents on this world Bron. This is Earth. There is no innocence here. I have to move your lifeboat away now so you will be outside of the blast zone when I engage the jump drive for the final blow. I will say goodbye now. Tell her... I loved her."

The lifeboat's controls chirped and the engines kicked in. The course the ship took to extract itself from the falling debris was erratic and jarring but finally they were clear and swinging wide. The engines went into overdrive and the lifeboat shot forward as quickly as the specs allowed and then some. The intense pressure went on and on and Bron was worried about how it might be affecting Alena.

Suddenly there was a click and the engines shut down completely. The only sound was the screaming of the wind against the sides of the small ship as it sailed in a ballistic arc. Bron suddenly felt a horrible sensation of being turned inside out and when it was over Alena was screaming.

"WHAT WAS THAT? WHERE AM I? BRON!"

There was a flash behind the falling lifeboat so bright that it felt like the light went through the walls. Bron covered his eyes as did Alena. The lifeboat suddenly began to tumble in the air as if a giant hand had swatted it. There was another click and the engines started coming back online. Bron was becoming nauseous from the spinning and Alena had already thrown up. The tumbling slowed to a stop and the lifeboat sailed on.

"Bron? What happened? Why are we in a lifeboat? Where is Mama?" Alena moaned.

There was no painless way to deliver that kind of news so he just said it. "I'm so sorry Alena, your mother just died in that crash. We were attacked in orbit and boarded. Your mother and I were the only ones conscious so she guided me to you and got us into this lifeboat. Then she crashed the ship onto the Chinese warlord who launched the attack. She used the Hammer to push his flagship and his space station out of orbit and said she was going to engage the jump drive. I don't know what that means but I think she just destroyed a very large piece of China."

Bron watched the shock on Alena's face.

"She gave me a message for you. She said she was sorry she left you with your brother. She said she should have been there being your mother instead of treating your family's empire as her child. She realized now how stupid that was. She wished she hadn't brought you here to Earth. Her last words were for me to tell you that she loved you."

Alena began to sob and Bron felt helpless as they couldn't unbuckle from their restraints so he could hold her.

The lifeboat made some drastic course adjustments then there was a massive thump and the side of the ship tore away. They lost consciousness.

Chapter 21

Bron slowly climbed back to consciousness from the black pit of oblivion to find himself... in a black pit. He looked around himself but the only light came from far above him. He felt around himself and found a very large amount of what felt like bones. Thankfully dry bones. No recent victims. He checked himself and discovered no broken bones though he had a lot of bruises. So it was likely he wasn't thrown into the pit as falling from such a distance would likely have broken something. Maybe that was a good sign. He was also alone and that wasn't good. He needed to know where Alena was.

He made himself comfortable and watched the lights above. He noted their positions and movement and realized he was looking at stars. It was an open pit and it was night. He'd have to wait for daylight for someone to come by. He decided to wait.

He cautiously thought about how he'd killed Scott and the three men in the ship expecting his conditioning to flare up but... nothing. It was... gone. He had no idea how that was possible. Every Genie had unbreakable mental conditioning that prevented them from harming humans. It was the only way human felt safe around the larger and stronger creatures they created. If they knew his conditioning was gone? That seriously reduced his life expectancy.

It was a long wait and he dozed off. He snapped awake when he heard squealing. The sun was up and the dimmest of light reached the bottom of the pit. He hopped to his feet and saw a pair of arms throw a pink squealing creature over the edge of the pit. Bron positioned himself and caught the creature before it could strike the ground. The noise it made was shrill and it wiggled fiercely so he set it on its feet and it ran in circles around the pit looking for an exit.

Bron thought it was very odd that they would send such a creature down in the pit unless they didn't like the noise it made and had wanted to kill it. He didn't want to kill it so he just sat down and kept his eyes on the lip of the pit. After a time the small beast stopped making the high pitched noise and began to investigate its new situation. It seemed wary of him and it made weird little grunting noises. He gave it space and just watched its curious path through the bones. It pressed its flat nose to everything and made the continuous grunting noise.

Eventually the curious little beast investigated the large creature that sat watching it. Once it was convinced Bron was no threat he gave him a good sniffing.

A face appeared above the lip of the pit. Male but with the same racial features as Asami so Bron felt a little bit relieved that they may have made it to Japan. It yelled something but Bron didn't recognize the language.

"Sorry, I don't speak that language," Bron called out.

The face disappeared.

Bron ran his fingertips across the little creature's cheek and it held still for the gentle scratching. He pulled his hand back and it moved closer for another scratch. So he gave it one. Bron heard more yelling and some vegetable matter dropped from above to the floor of the pit. The creature skittered away then rushed forward and began to eat the food.

"YOU EAT!"

Bron looked up and saw an angry face.

"Eat what?" Bron asked.

"EAT SWEET POTATO OR CABBAGE. OR EAT PIG!"

Bron suddenly realized the little creature was a pig. He'd never seen one before! The idea of eating the curious little animal was repulsive to him but he didn't want to insult his captor.

"Is there any chance you could throw down some of the survival rations from the lifeboat? They are safer for me to eat. Is the woman I was with OK? Is she safe? May I speak with her?" he asked.

The face disappeared.

The sun was climbing higher in the sky and he got to see the features of the pit he was in. Halfway up the rough stone walls was a ring of wooden spikes embedded and pointing downwards at a 45 degree angle. They were all sharpened to points and would be an obstacle to climbing.

The sun reached its peak and there was a lot of noise of activity above. Voices and the sound of animals and machinery. A group of men walked up to the edge of the pit and looked down on him. Bron could immediately see one was the leader by the other's body language. He sneered down at Bron.

"So the black devil speaks," he barked down at Bron.

"Hello. My name is Bron," he replied in a civil tone.

"You are the black devil! And now you are mine!" the man boasted.

Bron felt his situation just get a little more desperate. Better to keep him talking. Maybe get more information. Like where Alena was being kept.

"Yes, it seems I am. But who are you?" Bron asked.

"I am Lord Yuto Yamada! I captured your ship as it invaded my airspace. It and everything inside is mine," Yuto yelled down to Bron.

"My companion. The woman. Is she ok? Is she safe?" Bron asked.

"The white whore is excellent entertainment for me and my men," Yuto laughed.

The three men standing next to their Lord laughed and grabbed at their crotches.

The rock thrown from Bron's hand left faster than their eyes could register and caught Yuto under the chin and exited out the top of his head with an eruption of red and grey. He staggered forward and fell. Two of his lieutenants tried to stop his fall and received rocks of their own. Soon all three fell into the pit. The small pig was caught under the falling bodies and was crushed. Bron felt sad for the small creature but he had no time to mourn its loss now.

Chaos erupted above. Bron rushed to the bodies and collected their weapons. He had to bend the trigger guards back to get his larger fingers over the triggers. The last lieutenant discovered how well armed Bron was when he leaned over the edge to shoot down into the pit. Bron wasn't as good a shot with a gun as he was with rocks. He only managed to hit the man's thigh and groin before the man fell back screaming.

Bron knew he had to get out of the pit, now, while they were disorganized with the loss of their leader. He pulled the belts from the Yuto and one of his lieutenants and connected them together. The guns went into the holsters. He searched Yuto once more quickly and found a chain around his neck with some kind of metal data stick pendant. He slipped it over his own head and went to the wall of the pit. He dug his fingers into the mortar between the stones and began to climb. When he got to the spikes he discovered he could twist them out. He got six free and pulled himself up onto the shelf. The noises of chaos still ruled above but there were some angry shouts that could be someone trying to organize a retaliation. He had to move.

From his perch he could see a tree to one side and a roof top. That was the direction he would head then. Get to high ground.

He climbed further up until he was just under the lip. He gathered his legs under him and kicked off backwards and upwards as hard as he could. His body sailed diagonally up and over the opening of the pit as he twisted in the air. He landed on fingers and toes three feet from the pit's far edge. He quickly took in his surroundings.

Courtyard. Pit roughly in the middle. Walls around small group of buildings. Large gate, currently open. Visible outside the gate was the crumpled front end of the lifeboat. Inside the courtyard and of more immediate concern, a group of men organizing an attack.

Ben pulled one of his guns and fired on the group five times. One shot took out the biggest man, center mass, and the others hit arms and legs. It had the desired effect though as the group scattered in all directions in panic. Bron sprinted as fast as his legs would take him towards what looked like the living quarters. He crashed through the front door. An old man fell to the floor inside the front hall. Bron stood over him.

"Where's the woman?" he growled.

The old man just trembled looking up at the black devil looming over him. A young girl burst into the room and started to yell angrily at Bron. He thought she was very brave. He looked to her. "Where's the woman Yuto captured?" he asked more calmly.

The girl stopped then pointed to a door across the inner courtyard and up on the second floor. Bron nodded his thanks to the girl then darted away across the open space and leapt up to the second story balcony. He pulled himself over and tore the door open. Inside the room was a bed and chained to that was Alena. She was on her stomach and her clothes had obviously been cut away as they remained in tatters around her. She turned her head to face him.

"About time," she whispered.

"You ok?" he whispered back.

"Rank amateurs... just... a lot of them," she groaned.

Bron heard a noise and spun to face the door his gun ready. The girl was there and she squeaked but held still. She had something in her arms. Clothes. Bron gestured her inside. The girl hustled inside and knelt beside the bed. He holstered his gun then carefully gripped the cuffs and pulled. The metal reached its limit and the hinge popped. Now that Bron knew the weak point he broke through the three other cuffs and Alena was able to sit up.

"Al-" Bron began and she stopped him with fingers on his lips.

"Sasha. The other one died in the crash. OK?" she said looking into his eyes.

"Welcome back," Bron smiled gently.

She looked away and nodded.

"Listen, we aren't safe yet. I need to mop up any further resistance and you need to protect yourself while I do that-" he began but she interrupted.

"How? How are you able to do this? Your conditioning-" Bron stopped her with his fingers on her lips.

"I have to protect you. This is the only way. Understood?" he whispered.

She still looked puzzled but then she smiled and nodded.

"Can I leave you here with a gun?" he asked.

"Sure." she reached out a hand and he placed the gun in it. She looked at the bent trigger guard and he shrugged. "Fully loaded," she smiled.

"How many shots do you get from one of these?" he asked looking at his own.

"Stock, you'd get fifty but these are modified. The grip has been converted to contain more ammo pellets and larger fuel cells. They probably contain three times that now."

He smiled and nodded. He looked to the girl. "How many soldiers?"

"Fifteen here and one hundred and thirty five on patrol in the surrounding territory. They will all be on their way back," she said.

"What do you want?" Sasha asked bluntly.

"Take me with you when you leave. You're leaving Earth? I want to go too," the girl said fiercely.

"Done," Sasha grunted. She put on the offered clothes. "Name?"

"Kei" she said.

Bron peeked out the door and saw the coast was clear. "I'll be back. I'll make the sound of a pig when I return so you know it's me and you won't shoot me."

Sasha grinned at him. "Go!"

He ducked out of the door and sprinted down the hall to the stairs. He saw the occasional woman or old man hiding but no one pointed a weapon at him so he ignored them. Bron crashed out through a side door surprising a group of eight men who were preparing to storm inside. He was surprised as well but was able to react much quicker than the men. The two he flattened under the door weren't getting up any time soon. He shot three others and knocked the rest down permanently with his fist. He counted the bodies and determined that there were probably only four left.
He heard shooting coming from inside the house so he ran back in the door and sprinted up the stairs to catch the remaining men pinned down in the hallway outside the room. There were five of them so he put bullets into each of them until they stopped moving. He approached the door and made a squealing noise.

"That's supposed to sound like a pig?" Sasha asked.

He stepped inside. "It was a very good pig imitation considering I'd just met one today."

"What's next?" Sasha asked.

"The lifeboat is just outside the gate. We might be able to contact Asami on its radio," he said.

She nodded and they moved into the hall. They moved down the hall and out the front door. Bron scanned the courtyard but nobody was moving. "Stay close to the buildings until we get near the gate." He went first and Sasha and Kei followed closely. The resistance was thoroughly crushed so no one moved as they rushed past.

They made the gate and the brief dash to the lifeboat. The front was badly crumpled and a large portion of one side was missing but otherwise it seemed intact. Bron stood guard as Sasha checked the communications systems. She called out for Bron to come in. He left Kei to sound the alarm should anyone approach and went inside. Sasha was sitting up by the controls. She had a screen activated but it was waiting for a command.

"It's working but who am I calling? I don't know Asami's number here and if she's running the family I doubt I'd be able to connect directly with her," Sasha said.

"Just try her name and we'll speak to whoever answers," Bron suggested.

Sasha entered 'Asami Tanaka, Tanaka Clan, Japan' and allowed the directory to search.

A face appeared on the screen. Sasha groaned as she could see he was a low level functionary.

"This is the Tanaka Comm Center. Who is this?" the man boomed at them.

"Friends of Asami. Sasha and Bron. From Walla," Sasha said.

"I have no one on my list names Sasha or Bron," the man sneered.

"We're her friends and we're at Yuto Yamada's base," Sasha continued.

"Oh! Well, then we seriously can't help you. We don't enter his airspace," the man frowned.

"He's dead," Bron growled.

The man froze. "Hold the line."

The screen switched to a Tanaka crest. They looked at each other.

Seconds later the screen switched to a shot of a man sitting behind a desk. He looked grim and doubtful.

"Yoshiro Tanaka speaking. Head of Tanaka security. You say Lord Yamada is dead?" The man seemed very tense.

Bron leaned over to get closer to the camera and the necklace he was wearing swung forward. The man's eyes locked on the pendant and widened. "Yes, he's dead," Bron said.

"Stay where you are. We are coming," Yoshiro replied.

"We have the rest of Yamada's men inbound. How soon will you be here?" Sasha blurted.

"Do not worry about them. Just don't leave the interior of your lifeboat," the man assured her.

Something about the way he said that made Bron run for the door. He saw Kei standing outside and a yellow point of light growing on the crown on her head. He reached out and grabbed the girl roughly and yanked her inside as the orbital laser roasted the spot where she'd been standing a second before. Bron was on his back on the floor with the girl crying on his chest.

"You hurt me!" she screamed in fear, holding her bruised arm.

"I'm sorry but better that than dead," Bron said gently and pointed to the smouldering hole in the soil just outside the door. The girl's eyes went wide. She clung to Bron's chest and cried as she realized how close she'd been to dying. Sasha walked over to them.

"If they had the ability to fry everyone from orbit why didn't they do it before?" she asked. Through the doorway they watched a beam strike some flying craft and it exploded. There was a mighty boom from outside and they saw multiple beams striking the buildings on the other side of the wall. Soon the buildings were engulfed in an inferno.

Kei sat on Bron's lap in shock. Everyone she knew was dead. Her parents had died years ago but the old man that raised her and taught her to read, write and be curious about the world. He was gone. The kind cook who fed her. She was gone.

Bron looked sadly into her eyes. When she started to get angry about how the Tanaka's killed them Bron saw it and took her chin in his fingers. "There is no value in getting angry. The people who did this don't care. Your best vengeance is to live, to grow old, and find happiness of your own on the way. We will do our best to keep you safe. If you've lost people it is ok to feel sad and cry. But for their sakes, live."

The tears came then and Bron rocked her in his arms.

An hour later they felt the lifeboat shake and a shadow passed over it. The screen came back on. Sasha was seated in front of it. "We're bringing you aboard. Hold on." The lifeboat climbed into the air and moved into the landing bay of an enormous ship hovering over the field. Once the lifeboat was securely clamped down Bron, Sasha, and Kei stepped out on the deck. They left their weapons on the lifeboat. A security detail stood there with weapons ready. Yoshiro Tanaka walked over to them from the interior of the ship. He stopped just in front of the security team but not blocking any of them.

"The Yamada girl is ours," he said.

"No, she's coming with us," Bron said.

"This isn't negotiable," Yoshiro said.

"Then that's the only thing on Earth that isn't," Sasha growled.

A small man in a white gown came hustling out onto the deck and rushed up to Yoshiro who looked angry at the interruption. They had a quiet but terse argument then the man in white stood smiling at them, message delivered.

Yoshiro took a moment to collect himself. His face was red with suppressed rage. He faced the security detail and dismissed them. Seeing his expression they snapped to attention and left. The security head turned back to the group, the muscle in his jaw jumping.

"I am handing your care over to Ryuu. I will see you again when we reach our destination," Yoshiro ground out. Then he turned and followed his security team.

"Asami Tanaka, Matriarch of the Tanaka Family has informed me that she wishes to see you. The ship will take you to her now," Ryuu smiled. "Follow me please. I will take you to a lounge where you may rest and refresh while we travel."

Without waiting to see if they were following he spun and walked towards the door at the side of the landing bay. Sasha followed, Kei in the middle, and Bron brought up the rear. Soon they were standing in a large comfortable room with full washroom facilities.

"It will take roughly an hour to reach the castle. Please be comfortable. Refreshments are by the back wall. Fresh clothes can be found in the drawers."

Bron bowed to the man and his face lit up with a smile and he returned the gesture. He left them in the room.

"Sasha why don't you-" he said, turning but she was already dropping her clothes and heading for the shower. Bron checked out the food and found something that looked like a protein bar. He nibbled at the corner of one and found it to be edible. He stuffed it into his mouth and followed that with eight more. Kei ate a little food and wandered around the room.

Finally Sasha came out of the washroom dressed in a white gown and white slippers. Bron slipped the necklace off and put it over Sasha's head. "My turn for the shower," he said. She just nodded and checked out the food.

Bron scrubbed himself clean and soaked under the jets until he felt like himself again. He checked the drawer but none off the gowns fit his shoulder width. He did find some nice white pants that fit his waist and thighs but they only went down to mid-calf. Still, it should make people more comfortable if he had pants on. He walked out and looked at Kei. "Your turn."

She scowled at him.

"We are going to see a very good friend of ours who we haven't seen for a while. She has a new position in her family so we are showing our respect. She is also the only one who may be able to help us get home. Manners. Go get cleaned up and put on a nice gown like Sasha," he said calmly but firmly.

Kei moved into the washroom and closed the door. Bron realized that neither Sasha nor he had thought to close the door. Huh.

He sat down on the couch and took the necklace back from Sasha.

"What is that?" Sasha whispered as she moved to rest her head on his chest.

"I don't know but Lord Yuto Yamada was wearing it when he died and Yoshiro Tanaka couldn't take his eyes off of it so I think it's important. Maybe it has something to do with why they didn't rain death on Yuto from space," he whispered back as he nuzzled the top of her head.

Her eyes widened and she nodded to him.

A few minutes later Kei came out of the washroom looking fresh and clean in a white gown like Sasha's only smaller. Bron and Sasha smiled at her. Bron gestured for her to join them on the couch.

Sasha found the controls for the large monitor on the wall and she set it to the forward and down facing camera on the nose of the ship. They got to see the countryside pass by. They saw escort ships approach and fall into position on either side. Soon they were over a large open field with a large landing pad. The monitor turned off as the ship landed.

Ryuu appeared at the door to the lounge and smiled to see their new garb. With a single glance at Bron's broad shoulders he grasped why the large man had opted for pants only. "If you would follow me please."

Sasha took lead position once more, with Kei then Bron bringing up the rear. They walked through the ship to a lift and took it down to the lowest level. There they walked to a large open bay containing vehicles of all types. Ryuu led them to a beautiful vintage diplomat's limousine. They got in and Ryuu sat up front with the driver as Bron took so much space in the back. It just wasn't designed for someone of his size.

Thankfully the ride over to the castle was brief. Bron was grateful to unfold himself from the back seat. The group made their way up the stairs into the grand hall. Yoshiro was waiting for them there. He joined their group and they continued until they reached a large open room with two chairs at the far end. Seated in the chairs was a skinny man with ill-fitting robes and a sour look on his face as he took in the white whore, the enemy child, and the blue-black monster. These were the creatures his wife associated with. He eyed her with a look of utter contempt.

The woman ignored her partner for she couldn't look away from two people she believed she'd never see again. Yet, here they were, impossibly standing before her. It was all she could do to keep herself from leaping from the chair into their arms. Sasha had a broad grin on her face and Bron had a grip on her arm as he seemed to pick up on the need for propriety in this place. He also had a hand on the young girl but that grip was more possessive, protective. Asami read Bron's affection clearly in his eyes as he looked at her though he kept his expression friendly and neutral. He bowed deeply forcing Sasha to curtsy and Kei to join him.

She caught the light shining off the pendant Bron wore. She immediately recognized it and looked to Yoshiro who acknowledged her shock with a slight widening of his eyes. This complicated things considerably.

"It is very nice to see you again Sasha and Bron. Who is this you have with you?"

"This is Kei. She is with us," Bron said simply.

"Hello Kei," Asami said, seeing the young girl shrink into Bron's side. She had the wit to nod in reply so the moment was saved.

"May I introduce my husband Fumio Nakajima," she said to her friends and they bowed to him but not as deeply as he barely acknowledged them.

"I understand you did us the favor of excising a tumor from our countryside. Lord Yuto Yamada and his gang have been reigning terror upon the regions surrounding his for years. How did you happen to come to be in his grasp?" Asami asked watching Yoshiro for cues.

"He informed me that our lifeboat crossed into his airspace so he shot us down. He claimed to own the ship and its contents, including myself and Sasha."

"I've learned that you earned your citizenship on Walla. Congratulations! To learn you were once again property must have been upsetting," she continued.

"It was not as upsetting as finding out how he was treating Sasha so I had to take steps to protect her. This included killing him and his men so I could secure her freedom."

"You're a Genie! It should not have been possible for you to kill anyone. How many men did you kill?" Yoshiro asked.

"Far less than the orbital laser did, I assure you. And I only killed those carrying weapons intent on harming Sasha. I am able to defend," Bron responded calmly.

Yoshiro's face flushed with anger. Asami gave Bron a disapproving look and he bowed his head to her. Kei was trying to hide her smile against Bron's arm. He'd struck a blow for the girl's sake. Time to change the subject.

"But how did you come to be in the lifeboat?" she asked him.

He glanced at Sasha. She took up the story.

"You might have heard that Bron was asked to be the Arbitrator between the Petrovs and the Augustines. Laura Augustine has the hots for Bron and was key in his getting his citizenship. Pietr asked me along as an interpreter as I know a little Russian. We were at the courthouse and there was a terrorist attack against Bron and he was injured. They were worried about Bron getting attacked again in a local hospital so they loaded him into the evac shuttle from the Petrov's ship and I went along to keep an eye on him. We were on the ship when the Petrov family was murdered in their Fortress here and the Matriarch decided to head back for Earth. Bron was in too bad shape to move and I wouldn't leave him so she took us. We got dragged into a war between the Petrovs and..."

Bron leaned in. "A Chinese Warlord," he offered.

"Right! Anyway, the Hammer was boarded, the crew was lost but Bron got me to a lifeboat, and the Matriarch decided to use the hammer to destroy her enemy. We escaped on the way down. Then we got shot down. We saw the flash but how much damage did the crash cause?"

Asami looked to Yoshiro who directed their attention to a large screen at the side of the room. He touched some controls on a handheld device and a satellite view appeared of Russia and Asia. Where a large section of coastal and inland China used to be was now a large circular body of water with steam rising from its center.

"Oh my god!" Sasha gasped.

"This is why you don't use a jump drive at the bottom of a gravity well. An enormous crater's worth of mass suddenly disappears from this universe. The Earth's crust has been weakened in this spot and we are going to see volcanism like we've never seen before. The ocean levels have dropped as the water rushed to fill in the void. Ocean currents were affected. The climate will destabilize for an unknown period of time. Once the volcanos begin to kick ash into the atmosphere it's anybody's guess what will become of our climate. All this to punish one overreaching warlord. It's already being called the Petrov Crater."

Yoshiro looked closely at Sasha and Bron. "You were exceptionally fortunate to have been outside of the blast radius as you would have vanished as well. What is also startling is that your ship was able to ride out the EMP that took down so many ships."

"The engines shut off for a short time. I had no idea why," Bron answered.

The man looked at him and nodded. He looked at Sasha. "Were you flying?"

"No, I was unconscious until the explosion," she admitted.

"The ship couldn't possibly have been on autopilot! Not to have outpaced the explosion and perform a precision engine shutdown and restart at the exact moment required!" He looked suspiciously at Bron who looked blankly back at him. "Well, we are reviewing the lifeboat's flight recorders and logs. We will see what that yields," Yoshiro said.

Bron nodded and suppressed his reaction to the suspicious man's words. Bron's entire conversation with Magdalina might be recorded. He would just have to deal with that situation when it arose. Yoshiro shut down the monitor and they all turned back to Asami.

"Now we come to the matter of the pendant you wear, Bron," Asami began. "This was from Yuto wasn't it?"

"Yes."

"Is it intact? Have you attempted to view its contents?" she asked.

"It's intact and I have not," Bron replied.

He saw Asami and Yoshiro visibly relax and his curiosity increased. "Is there some danger to viewing the contents?" he asked.

"More than you know," Asami sighed. "The most powerful families on Earth are all aware of that little storage device. They all want it but none wants the others to have it. So it must remain out of the hands of all of them or there will be war like Earth has never seen."

"Isn't the house of Tanaka one of the most powerful families?" Bron asked.

She smiled. "One step down from the top, which normally means barely worthy of the top tier's notice... but now that we are hosting the carrier of the pendant we have likely become the center of their radar. Especially after our little light show." She scowled at Yoshiro.

"May I ask what is on the device?" Bron asked.

"The most dangerous and precious of commodities. Information. Information so powerful it would create new empires and so dangerous it would destroy existing ones. It is rumoured to also contain a rather aggressive AI which remains dormant until the device is connected for access. What the AI is capable of is also just rumours," Asami answered.

"So... no one wants it destroyed but no one can risk anyone ever accessing it," Bron mumbled.

"Yes. I am sorry you are bearing the burden of carrying it but I can think of no one I'd feel more comfortable having it." Bron made to lift it from his neck. "Do not offer it to us. The House of Tanaka will NOT welcome the responsibility!" Bron looked at the strained expression on Asami's face and the anguish in her eyes. He caught another look of contempt from Fumio. Bron seriously wanted to have a few minutes alone with the man.

A sharp voice came from behind the group. "Just like my elder sister to speak for me in my absence." All eyes turned to see a young woman striding towards them boldly, eyes locked angrily on her sister. She was a slightly smaller and younger version of Asami. Where the older sister wore a more traditional and subtle Japanese style the younger sister wore an outfit that might be more suitable for a modern art exhibition or a fetish club. She even wore her long black hair bound with leather ties in a long pony tail down her back to the top of her ass. Bron saw more of her bare skin than his mind could take in and still be able to pay attention to the conversation.

"My sister, Eiko," Asami said simply as an introduction. She turned back to her little sister. "As eldest it is my responsibility to put the family's welfare before the reckless desires of its individual members," she growled.

The new arrival dismissed the comment with an annoyed wave and turned her electric blue eyes on the three strangers to her. She ignored Kei, gave Sasha the briefest of glances, and locked on to Bron. He saw the color of her eyes flicker from blue to red, then yellow and back to blue. He realized she was wearing some kind of active contact lenses to augment her vision in some way.

"A Genie in Japan! Well, if there was going to be one on Earth, it would have to be found here," Eiko smiled wickedly. She ran her eyes up and down his body and her tongue licked the corner of her mouth. "Tell me, were you created to be a Sex worker?"

"EIKO!" Asami barked.

"No, Mining. Sex is more of a hobby. You?" Bron said with a straight face.

Sasha snorted loudly and Asami cracked a smile as well though she quickly suppressed it. Both stared at him as they'd never heard him speak so boldly.
Eiko's eyes flared with anger then just as quick showed her intrigue. She loved a challenge and Bron just admitted he was capable of sex. Images raced through her mind and she decided she would find out more about this large creature. A lot more. She spun back to her sister.

"Why wasn't I informed that we had company? I had to hear it through my servants."

"These guests are friends of mine. From Walla. They've just arrived," Asami answered. "We will have a dinner in their honor tonight and you will, of course, attend. You would have received word of the dinner in your quarters by now had you been there."

Asami turned back to her friends. "In the meantime, I'm sure you are tired from your ordeal. We have prepared a suite for you to rest in. Ryuu will show you to it and tonight will collect you for dinner," she said. "Ryuu?" The man in the white robe bowed deeply to Asami. Bron did as well and Kei matched him perfectly. Sasha's curtsy was a little sloppy but Asami just smiled at her friend.

Bron nodded to Eiko as the group left. The woman kept her eyes on him until he was out of sight.

Fumio stood and left without a word to anyone. His disdain plain on his gaunt features.

Yoshiro bowed to Asami and headed back to his office.

This left the sisters alone. A rare occurrence. "Asami, tell me more about Bron," Eiko asked with a light tone.

Asami eyed her younger sister warily. She was no longer the young woman Asami had come back to Earth to protect. That sweet girl had dissolved in Earth's caustic social order during the years Asami had been on Walla. Eiko had been a delicate flower but without the protection and guidance of her older sister she had gradually hardened into a slim deadly blade. She adapted to her environment perfectly where Asami found herself struggling daily. Many assumptions she'd made had proven to be false.

"What do you wish to know about him?" she asked carefully.

"Is he a good lover?" Eiko asked, eyes boring into her sisters.

Asami side stepped the trap. "According to my friends on Walla who he chose to have sex with, yes. He was a very attentive lover. A word of caution though, apparently he is also very well endowed."

Eiko seemed pleased with the answer then frowned as her words sunk in. "He chose to have sex with them? Could they not have just ordered him to have sex with them?"

"You weren't here when we discussed the fact that he's a Citizen of Walla. He's not a slave or property. Bron chooses his lovers," Asami clarified.

"He's not on Walla now," her sister stated bluntly.

"While he is a guest in our home his citizenship will be respected!" Asami said with steel in her voice.

Eiko frowned and considered alternate routes to her goal. "How does he choose them? How do you convince him to have sex?"

The elder sister smiled at her curious sibling. "He has to like you first. It is no different than courting any other male." Her smile dropped from her face as she realized courting on Earth, especially for their social strata, was nothing like meeting men in the clubs back on Walla. Asami had just exposed one more gap in her knowledge of Earth's culture and how little she knew of her sister's life. She looked at Eiko and felt the ache in her heart that had become an old friend as of late.

Eiko saw the love and pain in Asami's eyes. It both infuriated her and confused her. Her own heart did an uncomfortable flip flop.

Unsettled, the young woman spun on her heels and left the room to head back to her quarters. She had planning to do for tonight's dinner. She also had to find a way to get Bron into her bed.

Ryuu led the group of travellers through several halls to a beautiful, large lounge with several doors on the far wall leading to bedrooms. Each had its own bathroom complete with tub and shower.

The man said that when he returned he would bring Bron a jacket that would fit is larger frame as dining bare chested would not be appropriate. He would also bring him some slippers.

Sasha dropped herself on the couch and looked at Bron.

"What the HELL did you get yourself tangled up in Bron? All of the planet's most powerful families are interested in that little trinket hanging from your neck. No one can risk taking it but no one will risk it being destroyed. Either you're much safer for having it or in imminent danger. Considering your persona non grata status on Earth I think the latter case is more likely."

Bron held the little silver pendant in his hand and frowned. "I had hoped to be able to give it to Asami as reward or payment for helping us get home. Now I'm not sure if having it will prevent our departure."

Sasha looked uncomfortable and glanced at the young girl. "There is one more hurdle we need to work out about leaving. How are we going to take Kei with us?"

Kei looked frightened. "You promised you would take me!" she blurted.

Sasha held up her hands. "Yes, that is still our intention. We just have to figure out how to get whoever authorizes our departure to grant us permission to take a minor with us.

Something about what Sasha said triggered a thought in Bron's mind and he chuckled. Kei and Sasha both looked at him wondering what he found amusing about this highly stressful situation.

Bron looked at Kei. "You have no remaining family on Earth?" he asked gently. She nodded.

He looked at Sasha. "We could adopt Kei."

It was Sasha's turn to snort. "That's crazy!"

Kei looked between them. She didn't care how they did it, she just wanted to leave Earth. She'd been here long enough to know what life options someone of her social level was facing and none of them were good. Opportunity was out there, off Earth.

"I will speak with Asami privately tonight. If she says it's an option are you willing to take on the responsibility?" he asked.

Kei was worried at the expression Sasha made when he said the word responsibility. "I will not have any expectations of you taking responsibility for me. You may drop me off on any world once we leave Earth."

Bron looked at Kei. "No, if I sign on to be your guardian, that's what I will be. You will be my responsibility until you reach the age where you take over that responsibility. That means a home, food, clothing, education, and whatever else is needed to ensure you are safe and healthy. Besides you will like Walla. Plenty of personal freedom and opportunity. It's a good world."

Kei wanted everything Bron was saying but she was doubtful he would be allowed to adopt her. He wasn't human! He wasn't a citizen of Earth! Sasha, the one of the two who might be able to do it, didn't look sold on the plan either. Kei remained very anxious about being able to leave with them.

Sensing her unease Bron took her hands in his and looked in her eyes. "We will make every effort to take you with us. Should that prove to be impossible I will ask that Asami take you in. Okay?"

Kei looked at Bron. "She will not live beyond the next month," she said plainly, indicating Asami wasn't an option for her. Sasha and Bron focused on the young girl.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"If her husband does not have her assassinated then maybe her Head of Security will or her sister. Asami is not able to lead this house. She is too soft," Kei explained.

"How do you know this? Who told you?" Bron asked.

"No one told me. You just haven't grown up on Earth so you can't see it. Asami was on Walla with you for a long time?" Sasha nodded. "She was away for too long. Earth's changed. She's lost the edge she needs to keep this house strong and defended against its enemies. Someone will take steps to remove her. My guess is it will be her sister. She has the attitude needed to save this house. Yoshiro would back her but she'd have to take Asami's husband out too."

Now Bron and Sasha looked worried. He wanted to protect Asami but he was in way over his head.

"You should make a deal with Eiko before she puts her plans in motion," Kei suggested to Bron.

Sasha gave Kei a bewildered look. Gone was the little girl who just needed a good home. In her place was a strategist talking calmly about assassinations.

"What do I have to make deals with?" Bron asked.

Kei tilted her head, smiled, and pointed to the pendant. He looked down and fingered the device.

"She wants that. Very much. She'd be willing to make a deal to get it," Kei said, planting the idea. "You need to speak with her soon."

"How? I don't know where she is. I can't just go wandering the halls opening doors and calling out," Bron said exasperated.

"I will make contact," Kei said and slipped out the door before Bron could stop her.

"The ball's rolling now," Sasha said. "I'd forgotten how bad it is here. The society on Earth has devolved to almost medieval barbarism though they hide it behind their tech."

She looked cautiously at Bron. "So, what's the story? What happened to you? Somehow you can ignore your conditioning. Your personality has changed too. You were never this... cocky."

Bron looked uncomfortable. He wasn't aware that his behavior had changed too. He looked around the room. "I don't think it's safe to talk about some things here. My behavior changes, are they bad? It's hard to differentiate from the inside."

"That's what I'm talking about! When did you get all brainy?" she exclaimed.

He just gave her an unhappy look as he couldn't recall changing.

Kei reappeared and nodded. She pointed to Bron and then to the far bedroom. He looked over at the door then back to Kei. She rolled her eyes and tugged at his hand until he stood. She led him over to the bedroom then pushed him inside. Before she closed the door she leaned closer to him. "Don't forget to include my adoption in the deal," she whispered. Then he was alone in the room. He suddenly felt overwhelmed by all this intrigue and he really wanted to go home. He didn't like Earth. He sat on the end of the bed and waited... for something to happen. Kei could have explained why he had to-

A panel on the wall pulled back and slid to the side. It was a door! Standing behind it was Eiko. She smiled seeing Bron on the bed. She indicated for him to be quiet as she entered the room and set a small flat device on the dresser pressing a recessed button on it. Bron heard three distinct pops and crackles. Three listening devices died. He looked at Eiko.

"Now we cannot be overheard," she explained turning the device off and tucking it away.

"Ah, good. It has come to my attention that Asami's life may be at risk. As her sister I was hoping you might be able to help me see that she avoids this."

Eiko's eyes narrowed. She wasn't sure what Bron was asking of her.

Bron saw he was losing Eiko. "May I be blunt? I have no skill at lying or using crafty words."

"That would be refreshing for once," Eiko admitted.

"I was told that Asami is likely going to be assassinated because she is too soft to head the family. A number of likely suspects were mentioned including yourself," he began.

Eiko stiffened and looked like she might flee.

"Too blunt?" he asked, wincing.

"Continue but do so carefully," Eiko said.

"I'm not here to judge or interfere with family business. I just want to go back to Walla with Sasha. That's my home," he said looking into Eiko's eyes. He saw her relax when he mentioned not interfering.

"You should certainly be allowed to go home as soon as can be arranged," she agreed.

"I want to bring Kei with me," Bron said watching Eiko. She froze for a second then nodded. Then she frowned.

"Removing a minor from Earth would be tricky as you will be passing through customs which is beyond our control," she muttered.

"What if she was my adopted daughter?" Bron suggested.

Eiko laughed in his face then stopped when she saw he was serious. Her look turned incredulous. "How do you intend to arrange that?"

"If the head of a powerful family requested adoption papers for a recently orphaned girl and specified the guardians were citizens of Walla named Bron and Sasha, would that work?" he asked.

Eiko looked at him carefully and her eyes began to gleam with mischief. "Yes. Yes, that might indeed work."

This is where the negotiations got dangerous.

"There is one more thing I need to arrange." She looked at him curiously. "I want to bring Asami back with me."

Eiko's face stiffened with barely contained rage. "You said you weren't going to interfere."

"And I promise I won't. I never break promises. Never. Something else you will likely find refreshing," Bron said carefully.

Just the slightest bit of tension eased from Eiko's face. Her eyes continued to lock onto his.

"When Asami told me that she had to return to Earth I asked if she had to go. She told me that her parents were dying and if she didn't go back to take over running the family her younger sister would be forced to do it. She said that her sister wasn't strong and that it would kill her." Eiko's rage flared in her eyes. He held up a hand. "She wasn't being insulting. She was genuinely concerned for your life but it's obvious to me sitting here before you as it must have been when she first returned that the weak little girl had grown into a powerful young woman. That Eiko she knew so long ago doesn't exist. You are obviously not weak."

Eiko's smile had returned.

"I'm asking that Asami be given the opportunity to step back. To return to the life she had before she made a noble decision based on love and an outdated memory of her little sister," he said gently.

"Stepping back would have to be her decision, wouldn't it?" Eiko said carefully. "As you noted she has outdated recollection of who I am and what I am capable of. She has no idea how strong I've become in the years since she fled from Earth." There was a touch of venom in that.

"I will speak with Asami privately tonight if I can and ask her if she would consider returning with us. Purely in the context of seeing her return to the happy woman I used to know."

"Was she happy on Walla?" Eiko asked, carefully.

"I think so but there was always a quietness to her. A hesitation to completely join with the group. I believe a part of her was always thinking of the people she left behind," Bron suggested.

Eiko stepped closer to the bed. "These... favors you need. Transport back to Walla, adoption papers, ...protection for my sister. What would you be willing to do in return?"

"What do you think would be reasonable compensation?" Bron asked.

Eiko was standing directly before Bron now. She reached out a finger to run it across the fine scales on his shoulder. Her eyes widened with delight at the soft texture of his skin.

She looked down at the pendant. He caught the motion of her eyes.

"Do you really believe you could withstand the urge to look inside? Can you be its guardian? Can you present that image to others? If the families who want its contents or want its contents destroyed feel you aren't stable and capable enough to protect it they will come after it with greater resources than you have to defend it."

Eiko's eyes looked troubled. She hadn't considered that aspect.

"I'd just as soon not have it but I took responsibility for it when I killed Yuto. Were I to give it to someone else I would need to be sure they were fully aware of the ramifications of carrying it and that I wasn't guaranteeing them an early death," Bron explained.

"What if you were to hold it and give your word to bring it to that person if they called in their favor?" Eiko asked. "You mentioned you never break your promises."

Bron hadn't considered the possibility that he'd have to carry it forever. Now he had a troubled look.

"My sister was right, you are the best one to carry it. As much as I want the power it would give me, I need time to build that image of 'stability and capability' you mentioned. Once I'm ready though, I want the pendant." She held his eyes with hers. Then her smile was back.

"Do we have an agreement?" she asked.

"Yes," Bron replied.

"Excellent. To seal the deal there is one more thing I want in return for these difficult favors you've requested." Her smile turned sultry as she ran her hands over his chest. "My sister informed me that you were an 'attentive' lover and... gifted with size."

Bron knew Asami wouldn't confess to having sex with him. "She did?"

Eiko smiled like the secret was shared. "Oh, not from direct experience of course. But your friends on Walla were not so discrete in their confessions."

Her hands were running across his stomach now, slowly descending as she dropped to her knees between his legs.

"Tell me Bron, as a Genie do you know how to be forceful? Does your conditioning prevent you from taking what you want? You know some women prefer to be taken. They need the passion! The raw, brute strength." Eiko was beginning to get flushed as she rubbed her palms across his groin, thrilled to feel a bulge rising. She licked her lips as she felt herself becoming wet at the thought of being fucked by this huge man. She looked up into Bron's eyes.

"How rough would such a woman need me to be?" Bron said, his voice trembling with his lust.

"No visible bruising," Eiko's voice was trembling too.

"The safe word is 'stop'," Bron said and her eyes widened. She nodded, suddenly nervous. He did have experience in this.

Bron stood up and took a grip on her pony tail where it began on the back of her head. Eiko was already kneeling close to the end of the bed so now she was forced to lean back awkwardly as his groin was in her face.

"Pull down my pants," he growled.

She reached up and pulled the white fabric down over his hips and down his legs. He stepped free of them. Eiko looked back up and was stunned to see... nothing! There was a definite bulge but that was it.

Bron pulled her face against it and rubbed himself against her as she gasped. He felt the familiar sharp pain and Eiko squeaked as his cock slid out of the pouch to rest against her cheek.

"Fuck, it's so big!" she cried. There was genuine fear in her voice.

"Are we done?" he growled, rubbing his cock across her cheek.

Eiko's eyelids fluttered as she moaned. She was overwhelmed by the feeling of his strength. She was also terrified his huge cock would split her in two but... she wanted him so badly. She ran her tongue along the underside of his cock and felt him throb in response. "No!" she gasped.

Bron reached down and got a grip under her arms. She squealed in surprise as he lifted the woman and flipped her onto the bed on her back with her head at the end. First he lifted her head and shoulders and swept her pony tail free. Then he pulled her body until her head hung over the end of the bed and returned to stroking her face with his erection.

Eiko was panting and he saw her stomach trembling. He positioned the head of his cock at her lips and ran it across them a few times until she opened her mouth and ran her tongue over the thick head.

He pushed forward and slid the tip of his cock into her mouth. He kept it there for a few seconds and Eiko ran her tongue over it as she frantically tried to get more of him into her mouth. He slowly pulled out as she whined and licked. Then he slid forward until he reached her throat. She squealed in fright as she thought he would keep going. When he stopped she moaned because he hadn't.

He pulled back once more until he was almost out then pushed it deep into her mouth once more until he reached her throat. Bron stopped again and she reached up to pull his legs but he caught her hands and forced them down on to the bed. Out once more then deep into her mouth. He felt her tense up each time he drove inwards but relax when he drew it out. Just as he began his next extraction he suddenly changed direction and pushed his cock into her relaxed throat.

Eiko thrashed on the bed as Bron forced his cock deep into her throat. He saw her throat bulge outwards as his thickness stretched her open. He held it there for the count of six then slowly pulled himself free of her mouth. His cock was thoroughly coated with her spit when it finally passed her lips. She gasped and cried as air rushed back into her starved lungs. He walked casually around the side of the bed as she gasped and moaned on the mattress. He examined her outfit but he could not see how it unfastened.
"Take off your clothes now or I'll tear them off!" he growled. She frantically undid the fasteners exposing her tits then struggled to pull her tight pants down. He grew impatient so he grabbed the fabric and pulled it down in a hard tug. The pants got tangled around her ankles but that was enough for Bron. He ripped her panties off, flipped her onto her stomach, and ran his rough tongue across her ass.

Eiko hissed as her skin erupted in fierce tingling wherever his tongue touched. He lifted her hips to his face and plunged his tongue deeply into her wet pussy. She screamed. He swirled his tongue inside her ensuring every surface was touched, then he pulled it free. Next his tongue squeezed into her tight anal orifice and she squealed at the invasion. Again he swirled it around and Eiko went into convulsions. He pulled his tongue back into his mouth and flipped her over onto her back to see her flushed face. Her eyes showed she was right at the edge so he licked and sucked at her outer lips then wrapped his tongue tightly around her hooded clit and squeezed. Eiko's orgasm ripped through her. She jolted on the bed as her mouth worked silently.

Before she had a chance to recover Bron pulled her to the edge of the bed and pulled her legs up to rest against his chest over one shoulder. As her pussy trembled and gushed he pressed the head of his cock against the plumped lips and forced it inside. She was not used to such a large intruder. Even with her copious cum and the spit dripping from his cock, it was slow going. He pushed in and drew it out, going deeper with each thrust. She pushed at him but she never said stop so he ignored her efforts and forced himself deeper with each stroke until his pelvis finally smacked up against her ass.

Eiko's eyes were rolling back in her head as Bron began to accelerate his thrusts. He began to pound her ass with his hips as he buried his cock in her pussy all the way to the base. He felt the muscles in her pussy rippling against his cock signifying another orgasm though she made no noises to indicate it.

He kept up his brutal pace feeling his own orgasm approaching rapidly. He reached down and grabbed her nipples in his fingertips. He tugged on them as he pounded harder. Eiko screamed and whimpered. Her pussy clamped down on his pistoning cock and it was too much for both of them. He exploded deep inside her body and rocked his hips against her ass as she shuddered through an aftershock. He pulled himself free and straightened her body on the bed so she could rest after her ordeal.

He picked up his pants, walked into the washroom and took a quick shower.

When he returned she was sitting on the edge of the bed with her eyes closed.

"Are you alright?" he asked carefully.

"I think I am ruined for sex with humans. Considering there are no other Genies on Earth that is a very sad thing," she said quietly.

"So work towards a greater acceptance of Genies in Earth's society," he replied.

Eiko looked up at Bron with a pitying look. "You would never survive on Earth. Your heart is much too soft and you have no grasp of the political climate here. Like my sister. So we have a deal?" She was looking at the pendant again. Her voice was strangely rough. Talking seemed difficult for her though she made efforts to conceal her discomfort. Then he realized it was likely due to his stretching her throat.

"You want me to hold it for you?" he confirmed.

"Yes. Give it to no one else and when I summon you to bring it you will immediately return to me," Eiko insisted.

"With one amendment to that. I won't set foot on Earth again. I will arrive on a ship in orbit where you will come up to retrieve it from me. Agreed?" he said.

She paused then nodded. "Agreed."

"My conditions?" he asked.

"Transport for you and the blond is simple. The adoption papers will take a few hours. The rest? As you mentioned, I was not the only one on your list of suspects. You know I am not her only threat. She puts this house in danger the longer she rules it. This cannot be tolerated much longer. You must speak with her tonight to insist she steps down. You will not mention my involvement or our deal," she said firmly.

"Agreed."

Eiko struggled to her feet.

Bron saw she was in considerable discomfort but he made no move to assist her. She would not have welcomed it. She smiled at his apparent respect for her strength. She moved stiffly to the hidden door and touched the panel. It slid open silently. With a final nod she left.

Bron made his way to the bedroom door and stepped outside. Sasha was on the couch watching Kei running some educational applications on the big flat panel screen. The young girl was wearing something over her ears, some kind of headset. Sasha looked at him and he stopped in surprise at the frustrated expression on her face. Her cheeks were flushed and her legs were squeezed together. She surged up off the couch and Kei looked over and began to remove the ear pieces but Sasha pointed her to the screen. Kei left her earphones on and turned back to her lessons.

Sasha marched over to Bron and took his hand. She led him into the middle bedroom and closed the door.

"Do you realize these rooms are NOT soundproof? We couldn't hear what you were talking about but when you finished talking we certainly heard that!" Sasha growled.

Enlightenment dawned in Bron's mind. Sasha heard his very aggressive sex with Eiko. Sex that she prefers. Sex she hadn't had in some time.

"The safe word..."

"...is stop," she finished for him.

Bron suddenly looked to the doorway.

"The earpieces block all sound except for the program she's watching," she answered his unspoken question.

Bron grabbed Sasha before she could run for the door as she planned. He pulled her down to the floor and held her down as he flipped her white gown up, over her back. As he suspected, she was naked beneath it. He gave her a quick series of hard slaps on her bare ass and she hissed in pain. As her ass rose up to meet the next slap he ran his tongue over her pussy from her clit to her ass, plunging deep inside that orifice.

"FFFUUUUCKKKAAAAAAAAHHHH!!" Sasha gasped as she felt his tongue violate her tight asshole.

He fucked her ass with his tongue as she thrashed on the floor. He pulled it free then flicked the tip rapidly against her rosebud. "UH! UH! UH! OH FUCK! FUCK! GOD DAMN TEASE! FUCK ME!" Sasha grunted and jolted from the stimulation.

He aggressively stroked her outer pussy lips with his tongue as he shoved his thumb deep into her ass.

"UUUUHHHHHHHNNNN!!! SOOOOO GOOOD! YOU FUCKER!" she groaned.

Her excitement had the required effect on him and his cock had emerged from its pouch. He pushed his pants down. He slammed two fingers deep into her pussy and pumped them vigorously.

"GOD! AH! AHHH! FUUUUUCK ME! FUCK! BRON, YOU FUCKER!" she screamed.

He pulled his fingers out and they were well coated in her juices. He rubbed them over the head and down the shaft of his hard cock.

Sasha was very wet from the finger fuck when he pulled his thumb out of her ass. She cried out from the sudden emptiness then screamed when he rammed his cock all the way in her pussy. He pulled her hips up to slam her ass into his pelvis as his cock bottomed out in her channel. He used her like a fuck toy for his cock and Sasha let a smile slip onto her lips as her orgasm rocketed up on her.

Bron surprised her when he pulled out and forced her to the floor. He pressed her down under his body and she felt completely under his control. Then she felt him parting her legs.

"What? What are you- Oh Fuck!" she whispered suddenly feeling the fat, hot head of his cock pressed against her puckered asshole.

The pressure increased and she struggled to close her legs. To twist aside or clamp her ass cheeks closed, but he was too strong. He began to growl quietly in her ear. His conditioning! For the first time with Bron she felt genuine fear tear her security away and the word formed on her lips. Then she felt her asshole surrender to him and his thick cock slammed deep inside her.

"UUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHNNNMMMMmmmm... AH!" her scream was more of a grunt as her brain lost the capacity of even whispering the safe word. All she knew was the sensation of his hot flesh filling her ass, his weight forcing her down, his breathing in her ear. He pulled out to the head and slammed it in again. Her ass cheeks were being squeezed with every stroke and that delicious sensation got all mixed up in the almost overwhelming fullness of him stretching her ass.

She became aware of another sensation. Bron slipped his hands under her chest and was gripping her breasts tightly in his hands. Her pelvis was bouncing against the floor with every stroke, causing her clit to strike the mat beneath her. The rough texture was too much and spikes of pleasure and pain coursed through her body.

"I'm going to cum deep in your ass Sasha. I'm going to fill your ass with hot cum!" Bron whispered in her ear recalling how her previous boyfriends would talk to her when they had noisy sex. He knew Sasha liked it.

"FUH! Fuh mmmmee! Fuh! Fuh! Fuhk!" she mumbled incoherently as he began to thrust faster and deeper.

It was too much for Bron and he slammed his cock deep one more time before jets of hot cum shot into her ass.

"FFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKK OH FUCK! CUMMMMMMMIIIIINNNNNGG!!!" Sasha screamed.

Bron felt her convulsing under his body and he held himself still, holding her down as she thrashed through a colossal orgasm.

She panted and gasped and squealed as wave after wave washed over her. It took a full minute before she rested against the floor, completely spent. Bron slowly pulled his softening cock from her and she shivered in reaction. He scooped her up from the floor and laid her gently on the bed. She looked like she might sleep it off so Bron pulled the blanket over her. He kissed her forehead and she sighed happily.

He jumped into the shower once more then put on his pants. He saw that Sasha was deeply asleep so he slipped out into the common area and closed the door behind himself.

"Are you done having sex?" he heard Kei say.

"What?"

"Are you done? Can I take these earphones off?"

"Yes to both questions," Bron said, embarrassed.

"Does that happen to you a lot?" she asked. "Being a Genie, are you often ordered to have sex by humans?" she asked curiously.

He looked at Kei and saw her question was genuine. "I'm not ordered to do anything these days. I don't have to have sex with anyone if I don't want to."

She seemed surprised then just nodded. She still seemed nervous about being able to leave with them.

"I'm making arrangements to get you off planet with us. I'm hopeful that it will work out," Bron said as confidently as he could. Kei just gave him one of her skeptical looks.

"The man returned with your new jacket and slippers," she said to him after a pause. She pointed to the table by the door.

Bron walked over and saw a large black jacket made of a very soft fabric. He slipped it on and it felt wonderful! It also disguised the fact that he was wearing the pendant. He was happy about that. There was a matching pair of pants and black slippers as well. He collected the pants and slippers and headed over to his room to change. He normally would have just changed there but he supposed he would have to start acting like a responsible parent if Kei would be living with him. He hoped that wouldn't be a problem for Pietr. She could have his room. Bron didn't need so much space for himself. He could sleep in a chair. He knew Angelina would accept the girl.

He went back out to sit with Kei. She showed him how the entertainment unit worked and they watched some kind of popular music program that he couldn't follow but seemed to make Kei very happy.

A couple of hours later Bron was dozing on the couch with Kei raptly watching her favorite singers. Sasha shuffled out of her room and gingerly sat on the couch next to him. Bron woke hearing her hiss. Kei looked over at her with big eyes then turned back to the screen.

"You OK?" he whispered to her.

"Yes, I'm FINE," she growled quietly.

Ryuu took that moment to arrive and indicate that dinner was served. Bron stood and helped Sasha to her feet. Their pace walking back through the hallways was somewhat constrained by how fast Sasha was able to walk. Bron offered to carry her but she scowled at him.

They finally reached a large open dining room. Bron was surprised to see it was a western style table and chairs. Western cutlery and place settings. He wondered why they'd chosen this instead of the more traditional Japanese.

They took their places and stood again when Asami and Fumio arrived. Sasha struggled to her feet and Asami saw her difficulty then looked at Bron. His face showed his guilt and Asami struggled to keep the knowing smile from her face.

Eiko arrived and walked to her chair after bowing slightly to her sister. Asami caught her stiff movements as well. Her eyes shot to Bron in suspicion and concern but she couldn't say anything in the current company. Bron hoped he'd be able to have that private moment with her soon.

Yoshiro arrived and bowed to Asami and Fumio. He took his chair.

As they were all present the first course was served. It seemed to be some kind of soup. Fumio turned up his nose and waved it away.

Kei must have been starving as the moment Asami took her first spoonful she dug in too. Bron found it to be quite good but Sasha stopped after a single spoonful.

Bron realized something was wrong when Kei leaned forward and thumped her forehead on the table, just missing her bowl.

"Kei?" he said and reached over to touch the girl's shoulder.

She didn't respond. "KEI!" He stood up and heard a thump behind him. Before he could turn he heard a strange sharp hiss and a scream from behind.

He spun to the head of the table and saw Asami resting her head on the table as well. Fumio had a red circle on his forehead and blood was trickling down from it. His eyes were open and filled with blood. His face was frozen in an expression of terror and pain.

"Sit down Bron," Eiko said in a deadly calm voice. He looked at the woman and saw some kind of pistol in her hand. "He should have eaten the soup," was all she said.

He looked at Yoshiro and saw a small smile on his lips. He was in on it. Bron looked at Sasha but she seemed fine. She couldn't tear her eyes away from Asami. She was in shock.

"We ate the soup too," he said hoarsely.

"Not the soup. The spoons and only specific ones. I believe it is time for you to go home. I have a household to run and you have a promise to keep," Eiko said.

Bron's eyes snapped to hers. He was incredulous. She expected him to honor the agreement? He saw from her cold eyes that she did. He was stunned. He reached out and touched Kei's hair. The injustice of her death was tearing through him and he looked at Eiko like he was already picturing her ripped apart with his bare hands. Her eyes widened and she pointed the gun in his direction.

He got control of himself with difficulty. He had to protect Sasha. She still needed him.

Yoshiro's security detail arrived and took up positions around Bron. Sasha began to weep quietly. Bron picked her up and cradled her against his chest as he walked from the room surrounded by the guards. Yoshiro followed.

Ryuu was lying dead on the floor in the hall against the wall. His death had been far more violent than his master's. Loyal retainers had to be eliminated it seemed.

Yoshiro and the guards hustled them immediately outside to a large vehicle which took them directly to the ship they'd arrived on.

They were strapped into their seats and Sasha continued to weep. The trip up to the orbital platform where the ships picked up their passengers was uneventful and damn quick. Eiko or Yoshiro seemed to be in a hurry to get rid of them.

Just before they reached the customs desk Yoshiro stopped the group and the guards all took three steps away so their boss could speak privately with them.

He turned to Sasha "I heard the recordings from the lifeboat logs. I know who you are. Every government on Earth would want a piece of you considering what your mother is guilty of. I'm keeping the recording as insurance. Don't come back." She nodded to him. Yoshiro stepped back with a cold scowl. He'd gone as far as he was willing to go.

The guards brought them to customs and handed a letter to the agent. He read it and looked at Bron and Sasha. "Names, citizenship, and destination?"

Bron looked at Sasha who was in no condition to talk.

"Bron and Sasha Leonov, citizens of Walla. Destination Walla," he said.

The man looked down at his terminal which took biometric scans of the two travellers. He looked back up at Bron in surprise. His Walla citizenship was on file! The man stamped the paperwork from the security guard and they passed through. They were led to a ship entrance bay but Bron couldn't see what kind of ship was on the other side. The guards gestured for them to board. He put his arm around Sasha and walked her onto the ship. He was immediately dismayed to see how small it was inside. There was a cockpit up front and a series of long black sleep chambers. The pilot was activating some chambers near the front of the ship for other passengers and gestured for them to wait. Bron examined at the sarcophagus like chambers he and Sasha were standing next to.

None of the passengers would be allowed to remain awake during the trip. He finally recognized this as a fast courier ship which made multiple rapid transitions between normal space and jump space to cut down on travel time. This was very hard on human minds so hibernation was required. The pilots of couriers had the time sense areas of their brains replaced with computerized implants.

Bron wasn't sure if the sleep chamber would work on him. The pilot finally finished at the front of the ship and walked back to help them. He wasn't very communicative and just directed them to get into the chambers they were standing beside. Bron squeezed himself into one after seeing Sasha into hers and he closed his eyes.

Chapter 22

When Bron next opened his eyes Sasha was looking down at him with a concerned expression. Her lips were moving but he couldn't hear her. Sound was swirling around in his head not really connecting to his brain to be interpreted.

Then Asami's face moved into view followed by Kei's. He stared at them uncomprehendingly.

He was suddenly very sad as he realized he'd died in hibernation. He would never see Angelina or Bailley again. His eyes weren't capable of producing tears but his mind told him he should be crying and he tried to lift his hand to his face to wipe the imaginary tears away. His muscles hurt so much. That was a shock.

"Why am I in so much pain? I'm dead," he murmured. Speaking seemed to help connect sound with movement and sight in his head. He could make out what others were saying but it still felt out of sync with their lip movements. More brain lag.

"Bron! Come back to us!" Sasha was pleading.

Kei turned to the others and her lips moved. Sasha responded.

Loving smiles appeared on Asami's and Sasha's faces as they reacted to his murmur.

"Why does he think he's dead?" Kei asked, puzzled.

"Because he saw you and Asami die," Sasha explained.

A look of enlightenment crossed the young girl's face. Then another question. "Can't he tell we're alive now?"

Bron sat up with great effort and felt his sense of sight and hearing snap back into phase. He reached out to touch Asami's face. She smiled and leaned against his touch. She was there. He reached for Kei but she pulled back with a suspicious look on her face.

"How?" he asked.
Asami's expression turned sad. "There was a letter in my pocket from Eiko. In it she told me that if I was reading the letter I was to know that I am still dead to the family and wasn't welcome back. I am never to use the Tanaka name again. Eiko needed us to die to prove she was ruthless enough to run the family. So she had us poisoned. Sasha told me Eiko shot Fumio. She knew he'd turn his nose up at the soup. She fully intended to shoot him. Our bodies were bagged and smuggled up to the station with you. The hibernation chamber resuscitated our bodies, the poison we ingested was neutralized when the chamber detected it and flushed our systems, and we woke up after the final jump minutes ago. There is documentation for you as well."

Bron shook his head and pulled himself out of the sleep chamber. He was more than a little wobbly and his muscles were cramping.

"What is it?" he asked.

Asami looked surprised when she opened the envelope. "It- it's adoption papers! For Kei! You and Sasha are her legal guardians? Why did Eiko do that?"

Kei had a big smile on her face. Bron smiled at her. He looked at Asami. "I asked her to."

He rested back against the chamber and brought Asami up to speed on his meeting with her sister. Minus the sex of course.

The courier ship docked with the orbital platform and they disembarked. As they approached the customs office Asami said she would go first as she didn't expect any issues getting through as long as the courier's datapack hadn't been uploaded to the station yet. Then her identity would be that of a dead woman. Sure enough she was scanned, asked a few questions and she walked through. She moved directly into the terminal and called Pietr Rykov.

Bron, Sasha, and their adoptive orphan daughter Kei were held up at customs.

Two hours later Pietr and his lawyer Walter bullied their way into the interrogation room.

Bron immediately rose to his feet though his muscles had cramped badly. "Senior Councillor Rykov! My apologies for causing you any inconvenience."

Pietr just shook his head with a smile on his face. Walter stepped forward.

"Bron, sit down before you fall down. I understand you were forced to use a hibernation chamber on the courier ship you arrived on. These aren't configured for your physiology. We need to get you to a hospital to ensure there isn't any permanent damage." He turned to the customs agent. "I assume you are aware that medical emergencies take priority over your investigation. What exactly are you after? As Bron's lawyer I should have been notified immediately if you were bringing criminal charges against him."

The agent was intimidated by Walter's direct approach. "There are no criminal charges being pressed at this time. We are just attempting to clarify some irregularities with the immigration request."

"Again, that does not warrant preventing Bron from seeking medical attention he requires. The application of immigration for..." he looked at the agent.

"Kei."

"For Kei can be followed up at a later date. If there is nothing else I will be taking my client, Ms. Leonov, and Kei with me. We will be seeking medical attention for Bron at the hospital near Mr. Rykov's home then we will be going directly to Mr. Rykov's home. You can reach us there."

Kei's eyes were wide with surprise as she took Bron's offered hand and the group left the room ignoring the glare from the customs and immigration agent. They met Asami waiting in the terminal and didn't speak until they were safely buckled into their seats of the shuttle, descending towards the planet's surface.

Pietr looked over his shoulder at Bron. "It's good to have you back. I know Angelina is going to be especially thrilled to see you again. And Bailley. They've both been grieving since they were told you were... basically kidnapped and taken to Earth. I really didn't think we'd ever see you again. Earth is such a hostile environment, especially for Genies."

"It's good to be back. There were... some bad moments. We did manage a couple of good things. We got Asami back and we brought Kei with us," he smiled.

"What's this I hear about you being her legal guardian?" Pietr asked.

"Yes, uh, I was thinking she could have my room. I don't need that much space. She doesn't eat much," Bron said quickly trying to sell Pietr on the idea quickly.

Pietr laughed thinking Bron sounded like he was bringing a stray puppy home. "We'll discuss this when we get home. In the meantime" he looked at Kei with a smile "Welcome to Walla!"

Kei gave him a shy smile back.

"It's good to have you back Asami and Sasha! The girls will be delighted the gang is back together!" Pietr smiled and received them in return. Asami held Sasha's hand. Both were soon lost in their own thoughts as they contemplated the loss of family they were born to and the return to the family they built for themselves.

After landing the first order of the day was to take Bron to the hospital to ensure there wasn't any long term damage from the hibernation chamber. The doctor ran some tests and told Bron he had a build-up of acids in his muscles from overexerting them. This explained the cramping as well. During a normal hibernation sleep cycle the muscles would be totally relaxed. Bron's had been tensed to the point of strain. He recommended rest, massage, gentle stretches, and soaking in a hot tub. They shared a smile as that treatment sounded wonderful.

Walter left them at the hospital and Pietr let them know he hadn't informed Angelina of their return. He'd asked her to gather all of her friends at the house. Asami and Sasha shared grins as they knew the excitement their return was going to generate.

It was a short drive to the house from the hospital and when they got home, Bron asked Pietr if he could talk with him for a moment before he went inside. Pietr saw the stress in Bron's eyes and suggested the ladies enter first. Asami and Sasha went inside with Kei. The house's sound proofing had some trouble containing the shrieks of joy from the group inside.

Pietr looked up at Bron. "What's troubling you?"

"I- I did... things my conditioning should have prevented. I wanted you to hear it from me. My conditioning... it's gone," he said quietly.

Pietr's face paled. He looked up at the big man but all he saw was anxiety. "That- that's supposed to be impossible!" he gasped.

"I know and if word got out that it happened to me it would seriously jeopardize everything you've worked for, not to mention seriously limit my life expectancy," Bron said.

"Who knows?"

Bron thought about that. "Sasha. Asami. Kei."

"None of them will say anything about it. I'll speak with them just the same. Are you able to emulate the behavior as if your conditioning was still in place?"

"I think so," Bron said with a frown thinking of Sasha's words about his behavior change.

"Your life depends on it," Pietr said firmly and Bron nodded.

"Thank you," Bron whispered.

"Let's get you inside."

Bron stepped into the home he never thought he'd see again. It felt so incredibly welcoming and comfortable. He moved into the living room and nine sets of eyes locked onto him. Most were already filled with tears. Then Angelina and Bailley were crushed against him and drove him to his knees as his aching leg muscles could no longer support him.

"Easy! He's still in pain from the hibernation chamber!" Pietr scolded.

Angelina and Bailley each took a cheek and covered his face with kisses. Then Bailley pulled back while Angelina moved her kiss to his mouth.

It was too much for Bron and the pain took him into unconsciousness. He fell backwards and slumped to the floor carrying Angelina down on top of him. As blissful as it would have felt to have her lying across him he was out before they landed.

Chapter 23

Bron slowly surfaced from the dark place his pain took him and felt an indescribable contentment from finding himself in his own bed in the house he called his home squeezed between the soft bodies of Angelina and Bailley. He listened to the sweet sound of their breathing and felt himself sink into a deeply relaxed state. Sleep took him under again but this time it was a welcome surrender.

When he awoke again he did so to the sensation of lips gently pressing against his. Bailley's smiling face came into focus looking down at him. She was lying next to him and leaning over his chest. She was breathtakingly beautiful and the smooth silk of her nightie felt good on his chest! The thin fabric did nothing to hide the feel of her nipples pressing against him.

"Hello, Bailley," he smiled.

"Hello, Bron," she smiled back. "We missed you. I missed you. I'm so glad you came back."

"I couldn't stay away," he said with a smile.

"We thought you weren't coming back," she whispered and tears welled up in her eyes.

"Shhh, please, no tears. I'm back. We are all back. There is no force on Earth that could have kept me away," he said gently.

Bailley kissed him hard and pushed herself up onto his body. She felt so good! She surprised Bron when she dipped her tongue into his mouth. He sucked gently on it and she moaned into his mouth. When he caressed her tongue with the rough surface of his own she squealed a little and kissed him a little more frantically as she ground her pelvis against his. He felt himself responding to her aggressive kiss and grinding and worried about her reaction but there was nothing he could do to stop himself. He felt the brief sharp pain and he was out. A few throbs later his cock reached maximum hardness and slapped up against her ass.

Bailley jumped when his thick cock landed on her. She felt the heat through her nightie. For a second she flashed back to the bad time in her distant past but she dragged her mind back to the present. She looked down at Bron's concerned expression and felt her heart melting. He had so much love and compassion in his eyes it drove any comparison from her mind. She reached back and grasped his cock in her hand and gently rubbed the head against her wet pussy.

She shuddered with need. It had been so very long and she wanted Bron so badly.

"Bailley, wait!" he said frantically.

"No! I have to!" she barked as she squeezed her eyes tight.

"We can but there is no need to rush!" he gasped as he pulled her hand from his cock.

Bailley's eyes shot open. He took her face between his hands and kissed her sensual lips. Her eyelids fluttered as he gently stroked her lips with the roughness of his tongue. Her lips were left tingling. He kissed her deeply then and she groaned with desire.

Bron moved his hands to her shoulders and slipped the straps of her nightie down her arms. He moved his kiss to the underside of her jaw and worked his way over to her earlobe. Bailley gasped as his lips nibbled at the tender flesh below her ear.

He surprised her by rolling over, placing her under his large body. He ensured he was braced on his knees and elbows so she didn't feel trapped by him. He kissed his way down her neck with little licks causing her to claw at his back as tingles shot through her body. He kissed her collar bones and exposed her breasts from under the nightie.

He pulled back for a second to look down at Bailley in appreciation of her beauty. Her eyes were glassy with lust and her lush lips were wet and slightly swollen from their kissing. Looking further down he saw her exquisite brown nipples standing at attention on her perfect tits. Full and firm, they defied gravity and description. He ducked his head down and took her left nipple between his lips and Bailley gasped and grabbed his head as she arched her back trying to get more of her breast into his mouth. He gave in to her wish and sucked more of her tit into his mouth as his tongue lashed across her nipple.

Bailley cried out in ecstasy and he switched to the other breast. Soon he had her writhing under him. He headed south once more. He ran the tip of his tongue into her belly button as he looked up at her and she squealed with laughter as he tickled her belly. She grinned down at his mischievous look then threw her head back on the bed as his tongue painted a line down from her belly towards her clit.

Bron's tongue veered off course just before he reached her tender flesh. He kissed his way around the sensitive skin of her inner thighs and felt them tremble against his lips. Bailley gasped and struggled to control her breathing as her nerves sent waves of pleasure racing through her body. She'd never felt this before so she was safe from her past.

Then he kissed her pussy directly with his lips and she gasped in a breath and held it. He was so gentle and it felt so good! He pulled back then ran the flat of his tongue from the bottom to the top, dipping deeply inside her and pressing firmly against her clit at the top of the stroke. Bailley screamed as a tsunami of ecstasy roared over her, sweeping her senses out from under her.

When she recovered she found herself tucked between Bron's arms as she rested on top of his chest again. She'd drooled a little on his chest and he used a corner of his bed sheet to wipe her chin then his chest as she pushed up onto her elbows.

"What happened?" she asked groggily.

Bron knew some of Bailley's history with sex but he wasn't aware of what she'd done recently. "When was the last time you had an orgasm?" he asked carefully.

"I've never had one," she replied. Then she looked at him with wide eyes.

"Now you have," he smiled. "They aren't always that powerful."

She leaned forward and kissed Bron deeply. Her body felt so good!

She felt that bump again as Bron's cock hardened with his excitement. She rocked her hip and felt the head land against her wet pussy lips. She stilled then slowly pushed downwards. He was so big and it had been so long for her so getting past that initial insertion was a struggle. Finally she felt her resistance end and the head was inside. She lay panting on his chest as she got used to the sensation of him being inside her. He was so incredibly patient and so tender with her she felt at ease. She could take it at her own pace. She wanted more.

Bailley began to push deeper and she felt him spreading her wide. She had to stop frequently to allow herself to adjust. She'd rock back a bit then start applying the pressure once more to take him deeper. God! She felt so full!

She reached the point where she couldn't go any further. She only had maybe a third of him inside her but it was starting to ache. She eased back a little and relaxed when the pain went away. She looked in his eyes and saw he was looking back at her with a little desperation in his eyes.

"What's wrong?" she asked, concerned.

"It's too good! I don't know how much longer I'm going to last," he ground out.

Bailley smiled. She loved having this much control over the big man. It was empowering! "Don't hold back Bron," she groaned as he began to move ever so slowly. Her clit was pressed up against him and she gasped as the sensations flared. Damn! She wasn't going to last long either.

She tried to get back to a steady, slow movement but her hips were twitching and jerking with the strong surges of pleasure he was delivering to her with his slow pumping.

"Oh! Oh! I'm gonna- Oh Bron! I- I can't stop!" Bailley gasped as her hips began to undulate uncontrollably, increasing the speed of his pumping. He placed his hands on her ass and squeezed her cheeks and she threw back her head with a loud moan. Her orgasm exploded behind her eyes and she flopped down onto his chest as he began to fire into her body. She felt the heat splashing up inside her and it felt nothing like she'd felt before so she was able to just relax and experience the now.

Bron's body relaxed and Bailley stretched out over him, luxuriating in his warmth and strength as she caught her breath. He gradually softened and withdrew from her body which felt natural and comforting. She hadn't felt this good since... she couldn't remember ever feeling this good! She started to doze off.

"Bailley? I'm kind of hungry. Do you think we could get up and have breakfast?" Bron looked over at the clock. "Or lunch. Lunch would be good."

She pushed herself up onto her elbows and looked down at him with a pout. "You don't want to spend the day with me in bed?"

"Sure, after I've eaten. I can't recall my last meal and if I'm going to be in bed with you I'll need all the energy I can get!" he smiled.

She playfully swatted his shoulder. "Flatterer."

Bailley rolled off of Bron and pulled her nightie back on. She got off the bed and found her dressing gown and put that on too.

Bron smiled seeing how Bailley covered her incredible body yet she just couldn't disguise her beauty.

They got up and Bailley made a pit stop while he went upstairs to the kitchen. The house felt empty. He gave Bailley a questioning look when she joined him.

"Angelina has classes today. Her dad is at work. Sasha has Kei," she said.

"Ah," he nodded.

Bron made himself his meal drink and Bailley made herself some tea. They sat together at the kitchen table.

"Now that you're a citizen, what are your plans?" Bailley asked.

"I don't know. I never expected to get this far or still be alive truthfully," he said and Bailley frowned at him.

"How do you live like that?" Bailley exclaimed.

"Like what?" he asked

"Like you expect to die every day?" Bailley looked more than a little upset.

Bron looked at her lovely face. Tears were beginning to well up in her eyes. "Bailley, look at me. What do you see?"

"I see the kindest, most caring man with a beautiful spirit-"

"But I'm not. A man that is. I'm not human. My mind may have been created from an amalgam of twelve human minds and that may have given me legal precedent to be classified as a clone but a clone is just a copy. Never as valuable as the original. On top of that my mind is encased in a body that bears little resemblance to a human. No one will ever mistake me for a human. And truthfully, in this society, even on this, the most progressive planet yet, only those who look like humans have value." He took her hand in his.

"My... series were designed by humans to do one task and we failed to complete that task due to a faulty implementation. I'm the last and only one of my design. End of the line. I'm not even an evolutionary dead end because as far as Nature is concerned I was never meant to be. I don't know how long I was designed to last. That field was blank on the design specs. So, in that at least, I'm like a human. But I don't believe for a second that my end will come due to 'old age'. The odds against that are astronomical considering the number of other factors vying to cause my demise. I do take each day as if it was my last because it very well may be and it makes each day I survive that much more precious."

Tears were running down Bailley's cheeks. "It's not fair Bron."

"Hey, it's life. It doesn't need to be fair. It just needs to be enjoyed as best you can. I've had an exceptional life so far. I have NO complaints," he said dabbing her tears away with a napkin.

She gripped his large hand and kissed the palm. "You're important to me! You're important to Angelina! You're important to the rest of our friends! You can't be willing to accept that death can take you from us so easily!"

Bron chuckled in surprise. "If you and Angelina have discovered some way to thwart death I'm all ears but truthfully if it comes for any of us it comes. The idea is to live in the time we have! I don't WANT to die! I'm not passively waiting for it. I've made all kinds of effort to avoid it and so far it's worked. Right now? I just want to enjoy the life I have and I am!" He leaned forward and kissed the beautiful lips before him and tasted the salt of her tears. She leaned into the kiss and tasted his mouth in return. It wasn't so much a sexual kiss as a life affirming one. They both leaned back with smiles on their faces.
Bailley's eyes lit up as she saw Angelina walking up the walkway towards the front door. "Someone got out of class early today!"

Bron looked but she was already opening the door and entering. Moments later Angelina was in the kitchen and sitting on his lap. Bron's arm shot out to hit the control to opaque the window glass as she moved in to kiss him.

He pushed her back gently and she looked at him with surprise and hurt.

"I want to kiss you so badly but we can't. Not yet," Bron said, his voice rumbling with suppressed emotion.

She dropped her eyes then nodded. "It's not fair," she lamented.

"That's true but we have to protect our chance at a future," Bron said quietly. He gave her a hug and she clung to him.

Angelina slipped off of Bron's lap and went to her room to get changed.

Bailley saw the sad look on Bron's face as he watched Angelina walking away.

"I understand Laura Augustine is throwing a welcome back party for Sasha tonight and has invited all of us," Bailley said to lighten the mood.

"That sounds like fun," Bron said with little enthusiasm. He saw Bailley's sad look and gave himself a shake. "I'm sorry. I'll cheer up. Getting out and dancing will be fun! It will be good to get together with the whole gang once more," he said with a smile and Bailley returned it.

Chapter 24

The party was held at the club Sasha and Bron first met Laura. They had the private room again only this time it wasn't set up as an orgy pit and the air wasn't tainted with pheromones.

Good music was playing with a driving beat and the lightshow kept the people on the dancefloor. Bron saw Laura had a lot of friends and they were all attractive. He mentioned this to Angelina and she looked up at him with a sweet smile.

"They're all dancers she hired for the party. Laura just invited Sasha and her friends. The rest are just to fill the dancefloor and to give us someone to dance with should the mood strike." She nodded towards Vicki who was already out amongst the dancers showing them how it was done.

Bron looked at all the people with a surprised expression and she patted his arm.

They made their way up some stairs and through the sound suppression field to a large, curved comfortable looking couch which wrapped around a low table to hold their drinks. Some of the gang was there and some had brought dates. Introductions were made.

Stephie was grinning from ear to ear as she clung to the arm of a handsome and strong looking man named Marc who apparently trained horses at the ranch Stephie rode at. Bron shook the man's hand as Marc looked up at him in awe.

Rhonda had another male model on her arm, Danny G, but he appeared to be less self-absorbed than Anno had been so her friends held onto a little hope for her. When he clarified that his last name was just the letter G and Rhonda looked away to roll her eyes, they just hoped she'd enjoy him tonight.

Rachel and Sarah both had men with them. Bodybuilders they'd met at the gym. They seemed nice enough though both tried to out squeeze Bron when they shook hands. He refrained from breaking their hands as this was a friendly party. Both laughed and shook their sore hands as they looked at Bron with admiration. Rachel and Sarah just rolled their eyes and grinned at Bron.

Bailley leapt up from the couch and grabbed Angelina's hand and dragged her and Bron out onto the dance floor. They danced together through three tracks before Angelina indicated she wanted to head back to the table. They found spots on the couch and ordered drinks, fruit juice for Bron, and looked for their host.

"I haven't see Laura or Sasha yet," Bailley said as they looked out over the dancefloor.

Asami made her way through the dancers and climbed the stairs to their seating area. The rest of the group stood and swarmed her with hugs and kisses. She was grinning with tears in her eyes when they pulled back. Bron was last to come forward. He picked her up in his arms and hugged her against his body. She pulled back and kissed him, hard. The group cheered and whistled at Asami's uncharacteristic forwardness and Bron's eyes were wide with surprise but he kissed her back.

When he set her back on her feet Asami was panting and he had to brace the woman as her legs were shaking. He guided her to the couch and Angelina put her arm around her shoulders.

"It's official. I am now Asami Kanada," she said to her friends.

"Kanada?" Angelina asked.

"My mother's family name," Asami explained.

Laura and Sasha arrived and there was another round of hugs and kisses and they included Laura much to her surprise and joy. Her eyes were shining with unshed tears of happiness as she grinned at her new friends.

"Would you like to dance?" Bron asked her.

"Yes!" she grinned up at him.

They went out to the dance floor and let the beat take them. Laura was wearing very little and what she did have on showed off her tight, hard muscles really well. She moved her body with a sinuous grace that Bron found more than a little mesmerizing. They danced close, Laura often touching Bron, occasionally rubbing against him. She smiled wickedly at his hungry expression. They made it through four tracks before Bron touched her shoulder and leaned in to speak in her ear.

"Is there someplace private we could go?" he asked with a rough voice.

Her eyes lit up and she grabbed his hand to drag him to the stairs at the side of the room. These led to private party rooms upstairs, one of which she had reserved on the second floor... just in case.

She pushed open the door and Bron followed her in, closing and locking the door behind him. When he turned back Laura leapt into his arms and wrapped hers around his neck. She pressed her mouth against his and thrust her tongue into his mouth. Her legs went around his waist and she ground herself against his body.

Bron's mind was flooded with the bliss of her kiss and her body against his. He quickly undid the seal on his pants and let them drop to his feet, stepping free of them. He put his hands on her ass and she moaned into his mouth. He carried her across the room to a large cushioned platform. He moved to its center on his hands and knees as Laura clung to his body and continued their kiss.

He lowered them to the bed and gently pressed his bulge against her mound. She pulled back from the kiss to moan loudly as the pressure on her clit sent tingles through her body.

Bron discovered the skin on her neck just below her ears was exceptionally sensitive when he lightly stroked that surface with his tongue. She cried out as sparks shot through her nerves and she clawed at his back. He kissed and licked his way down her neck, her chest, spent some time on her small breasts and sensitive nipples, crossed her hard abs, then continued down to her shaven pussy. His licks drew screams of ecstasy and she came hard as she clung to his head, pressing it tightly against her pussy.

"Oh FUCK, Bron! That was so intense!" she panted. She glanced down at him as he crawled back up and saw his cock for the first time. Her eyes widened. "oh god..." she whispered.

Bron looked her in the eye. "The safe word is 'stop'."

She shivered and nodded as her eyes grew wider.

He pushed her legs back, tilting her wet pussy upwards. He ran the end of his cock across the opening and coated this hot flesh with her juices.

"Fuckfuckfuckfuck, uh umm ohgodohgodohgod... sohot!" she babbled as she trembled with both excitement and a little fear.

Once he was slick with her fluids he pressed the thick head against her pussy and felt it stretching open to accommodate him.

"FUCK... OH SSSSHIT!" she screamed as his cock sank deeper into her pussy.

He stopped and slowly pulled it back to the just the head.

"Yes, oh fuck yes!" Laura purred.

Bron pushed forward again, driving himself in faster and going a little deeper.

"AAAAAAAIIIIEEEEEEE!!!!!" Laura screamed and clung to his hips. Her eyes rolled back and she convulsed.

Bron held still, his cock buried deeply in the woman's hot, wet depths. He knew she'd reached her limit of how much of him she could take.

"oh bron... you're so big... so gooood..." she whispered as she trembled. He leaned down and took her mouth with his and she whimpered into the kiss as his tongue fired pleasure nerves she wasn't even aware she had. He began to stroke in and out slowly and she whimpered a little louder. It was too much sensation. She felt so full.

His hips began to tremble as he approached his release and Laura was moaning constantly. Bron's thrusts became shallow and rapid as he moved his mouth to the tender skin in the side of her throat.

"OHFUCKOHFUCKOHFUCK BRON! YES! OH GOD, YES!" Laura wailed as an electrical current shot between her neck and her pussy. Her body could no longer contain the bliss and she crested through a huge climax. She clung to his body to steady her tremors and to feel the heat from him.

This triggered Bron's own release. He moaned as stream after stream of cum fired deep into Laura's body. She moaned feeling his warmth spreading through her.

They both gasped for breath as their bodies came down from the high.

When Bron pulled his softening cock from Laura she sighed and smiled up at him.

"Best ever! Sasha was right! It's so much better when you actually like the person you're with," she said as she stretched, feeling her body tingling all over though some areas were buzzing stronger than others. She recalled the first time she'd spoken to Sasha and how she'd been overwhelmed by the aftermath of her time with Bron. She wondered how much more she'd have to do to get that level of intensity. She touched her neck below her ear and her eyes rolled back as shivers coursed through her. She licked her lips as she came out the other end of the burst. It was his tongue! Where it touched remained sensitive for some time. She rubbed her nipples and the delicious sensation raced through her nerves. When her mind returned she was tucked up against Bron's side as he rested back against the pillows.

"We should return to the party," Bron said gently.

Laura felt a surge of possessiveness but squashed it down viciously. She couldn't be like that anymore. Bron wasn't hers. He was willing to share his time with her and she had to be satisfied with that. She kissed his chest and smiled up at him.

"I think I'm just going to lie here for a bit longer. You go ahead. I'll be along soon," she sighed.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes and thank you Bron. It was as wonderful as I hoped it would be. Maybe we could spend some time together in the next few weeks?"

"I'd like that!" he said with a smile and kissed her.

She purred at the feel of his lips on hers. He grinned and slid off the platform. He pulled his clothes back on and with a final smile back at the woman relaxing on the pillows he left the room leaving it locked behind him.

He made his way back to the table and saw it was empty. He looked out over the dance floor and spotted his friends except for Angelina. He looked back at the table and spotted her cell sitting all by itself. It wasn't like Angelina to leave her phone unattended. He frowned and picked it up. There was a slip of paper under it. He tucked the phone into his back pocket and unfolded the paper. There was some odd handwriting on it.

'Bron, come upstairs to room 3C. Come alone if you wish to see Angelina again.'

He looked around but no one seemed to be looking in his direction. He set off for the stairs and climbed to the third floor. Room 3C was at the end of the hall. He moved quickly down the corridor and listened carefully at the door but the room beyond was silent. He opened the door and saw it was pitch dark inside. He took one more step then the world exploded in light and pain.

Chapter 25

"Bron. It's time to wake up."

He didn't want to. That just led to pain. The darkness had no pain. He wanted to slip into its embrace once more.

"No more sleeping. I've got things to do," the strange voice said. He didn't recognize the speaker. "I know you're awake. Should I stick my knife into the bitch to get your attention?"

Bron heard a squeak and realized he was talking about Angelina! He cracked his eyes open and winced from the effort.

"Ah, here we go. Shock sticks are unpleasant but not crippling. It's nice to finally get to sit down and talk with you."

Bron's eyes adjusted to the dim lighting and he saw a man sitting casually on a chair a few feet from him. He discovered he was sitting on the floor with his back against the wall and his legs stretched out in front of him. His arms were shackled behind his back and around something metallic. He felt a soft body pressed against him. He looked to his left and Angelina's frightened eyes were looking back up at him. Her mouth was covered with a piece of wide black tape. He thought of her phone in his back pocket but he could feel it was no longer there.

"First things first. You are currently chained to one of the building's gas lines and an electrical conduit as is your girlfriend. Should you attempt to tear yourself free you will rupture the pipes and incinerate her. Was that clear?" Bron nodded. "Good. Then let me introduce myself as that's where your story begins. I am Gregory Taggart and I am your creator."

Bron looked closer and suddenly recognized him as the man with the pebble in his shoe.

"Ah, good. You do recognize me."

"The man with the pebble in his shoe," Bron said.

"Indeed, though that pebble was actually the chemical key I designed for unlocking your true potential. It removed your stupid Genie conditioning. It unlocked access to the full extent of your intellectual capacity. I had such high hopes for you but you turned out not to have any potential at all. That's actually why we're having this little conversation. I created you with all the tools for greatness yet you've shown none. My experiments have never yielded so little return. You're truly disappointing."

"What are you talking about?" Bron asked.

"I designed you, grew you, mapped your brain from the genius of my own but chemically restricted it to just a shadow of my brilliance. I ensured you'd be the only one of your group to survive, ensured you'd be enslaved by the vilest example of humanity and forced to endure horrors which should have keened the edge of your rage against humanity. Yet you've shown NONE of the emotions I designed you to experience. WHAT THE FUCK WENT WRONG!" Gregory screamed in frustration.

Bron looked at the man. He'd been responsible for all of the pain he'd gone through in his early days? Just to make him hate humans? "Why?" he asked.

"WHAT?" Greggory snapped.

"Why did you do that? Why would you want me to hate humans?" Bron asked quietly.

Taggart stared at Bron in disappointment. "Where is the intellect I gifted you with?"

"No, I get it. I'm a Genie. A big scary Genie and humans are frightened of me. I wish they weren't because I certainly mean them no harm. I have no desire to hurt anyone! Maybe I should hate some humans for the horrible things I was forced to do but I don't. Can't you see how pointless that would be? Hating people is a waste of effort and precious time. It may have been your intention to make me into a monster to terrorize the populace but can't you see how infantile that is? This was your genius at work?"

Gregory stood up from his chair, clutching the shock stick in his fist. He took a moment to stare at Bron then sat back down and chuckled to himself.

"Well played," he nodded to Bron. "I see my genius did surface after all."

"No, I don't think you see the truth at all," Bron said sadly. "I think you just see what you want to see like everyone else does."

Gregory's smile slipped away. "Well I'm wasting my time after all it seems. My curiosity is sated. You're just a failed experiment. It happens. First time for me so the novelty factor was interesting."

"You've proven to be quite a disappointment for me as well," Bron sighed.

When the shock stick jabbed his thigh he did his best to lean away from Angelina but she caught some of the punishment. As he screamed loudly he dug his fingers into the wall behind his back tearing into the lumber and brickwork as quietly as he could.

Taggart pulled the stick back and Bron's chin dropped to his chest. Agony burned through his limbs but he forced a calm look on his face.

"Th-that doesn't... help your... case," he said with a wince as he forced his head back up. He looked into the eyes of his tormentor. Gregory's expression was blank but the corner of his eye was twitching badly. Bron let him see the pity in his gaze.

Gregory spun on his heel and walked to the other side of the room quickly. Bron took a chance to move his hands deeper into the hole he'd made in the wall. He could now squeeze his hands into the gap behind the pipes. He took a grip on the chain between the cuffs and tested its strength. His tortured muscles shook as he quietly and slowly increased the stress on the links. They weren't the weak point. He relaxed his arms once more as Gregory returned carrying a heavy duffle bag over to a spot on the floor a few metres away from Bron.

He lifted a heavy black toolbox from the bag and set it down on the floor. He pulled a small power tool out next and screwed the four corners of the toolbox into the floor permanently. He flipped open the lid to the box and set a timer on a digital display inside. Bron saw him set it to thirty minutes. He closed the lid and sealed it with his thumbprint. Then he turned back to Bron.

"While you wouldn't fulfill your destiny as a catalyst for social disruption you did do one useful thing in your pointless life." Gregory's lips held a smile that didn't reach his eyes. He pulled a small silver pendant from his shirt pocket. "You brought me this. It is reputed to contain data that will topple empires and not just those on Earth. I'll have to see that for myself."

"Are you aware it is also reputed to be guarded by a very aggressive AI? Any access to the storage device might release it. It's too dangerous to access as it would wreak havoc on Walla's networks and possibly beyond," Bron said.

"Once more you display your dismal ignorance. It's tedious speaking with you but as mine will be the last voice you will hear I will grant you the explanation as I work." He pulled his chair over to the duffle bag and pulled out a small collapsible table and set it up in front of the chair. He pulled a small computer from the bag next and set it up on the table. He pulled a black orb from the bag. It had a series of cables exiting one side with a universal input port on its other side. He held it up for Bron and Angelina to see.

"Do you have any idea what this- never mind, of course you don't. It's a virtual and identical model of Walla's social network. When it's powered up it behaves exactly like the real one. It has hours of real traffic recorded on it. The big difference is that I control every part of it from this device via closed loop avatars installed within the virtual network. I can communicate with them but there is no direct linkage. When I plug in the pendant into the connector I'll be able to see if an AI initializes and begins to explore. My hunter avatars will coordinate and contain the AI while my researcher avatars analyze and collect the data."

Angelina was trying to say something so Bron tilted his face her hers and licked up the edge of the tape with his rough tongue. Then he snagged the loose corner between his teeth and pulled while she turned her face in the opposite direction. The tape came off and she stretched her jaw as one cheek tingled madly from his tongue's touch.

She looked gratefully at Bron and frowned when she saw him chewing the tape like a wad of gum. She shook her head and looked over at the madman.
"You sound like you have everything figured out but you know nothing about the level of sophistication of the AI inside," she asserted.

"Let me say this in tiny words your puny little brain might be able to comprehend. The pendant is storage media not a powered computer. Everything on it is dormant until you connect it to power. The environment I am connecting it to is a closed system. I control the traffic flow coming out of the virtual environment. I know more about programming than... anyone. I could write an AI if I set my mind to it. It's been a rainy day project of mine for some time actually. Nothing inside this pendant outside of the data it contains is dangerous. I will disseminate the data in a series of surgical strikes to cut off the heads of the dysfunctional entity you call civilization and out of the chaos new powers will rise. Powers I will guide into a new age."

"You don't-"

"Save your breath Angelina. He's blind to the obvious flaws in his logic. As I said before, he only sees what he wants to see. He'll just have to learn the hard way," Bron said with a frown and a shake of his head.

Gregory's face went blank once more as he stared into the sad eyes of the large Genie. For the briefest second there was a glimmer of doubt but he snuffed it out. His eyes went cold. "I will enjoy terminating you and every living being in this building once I have my data."

"Why are you extracting it here? Why didn't you just take the pendant and go?" Angelina barked at him.

"He has to leave the pendant with me so the people after it won't know someone else has it," Bron explained gently to Angelina. The man rolled his eyes and nodded.

Taggart went back to ignoring them as he carefully connected the virtual environment to the PC with the cables.

While he watched the man closely Bron moved his fingers of his right hand to the link welded to the shackle. It had no give. Neither did the one of the right shackle. He was down to the hinges on the bands encircling his wrists. He pushed his thumb against the pin as he pulled against the sides of the metal band. He applied more and more pressure and felt something tear in his thumb but he didn't stop increasing the pressure. The pain grew excruciating but still he pushed against the pin. Just as the tendons in his thumb began to tear the pin snapped loose.

Angelina heard the faint snap and moved her hand over his wrist and slid it down to the shackle. She immediately felt the wobble and caught the pin as it slid free of the hinge. They both held still as they heard Taggart shift in is chair.

"Ok. It's time," Gregory said as he connected a cable from the PC to a small square patch behind his right ear.

Angelina's eyes went wide and she was about to yell at him for being insane but Bron gripped her wrist and shook his head. He knew the man wouldn't listen and might come to check on them. Bron only had one hand free. He still had to carefully pull the chain and broken shackle around the back of the pipe as quietly as possible. He couldn't afford to draw Taggart's attention yet.

The screen lit up on the small PC and rows of characters began to stream by. Gregory grunted then connected the pendant storage drive.

Bron and Angelina froze as they watched the man. They couldn't tell what he was doing but his attention was completely absorbed by whatever it was. Bron slowly began to move the loose chain around the pipe.

"Nothing."

They froze again as Gregory whispered to himself.

"No AI. Just vast amounts of data. The motherlode!" the man said breathily with his excitement.

"The AI was a bluff! Well done! Bravo!" he continued to chuckle as he pulled up the beginning of a content list on the PC's little screen. "This data is wonderful! I'm going to have so much fun with-"

He went silent as he stared at the screen so Bron returned to sliding the chain clear. The broken shackle slipped from his damaged thumb and struck the pipe with a loud clank.

Bron's eyes shot to Taggart. He began to surge up to his knees but stopped when he noticed the long stream of drool hanging from the man's bottom lip. He looked closer and Gregory was trembling. There was an odd sound coming from his partially open lips. Tears began to drip down his cheeks as well. Bron moved to look into his eyes and saw terror and madness. Shit!

"What's wrong?" Angelina asked.

Bron turned to her and quickly broke her smaller shackles open. His thumb was in agony but if he was right he needed to get them out of the building as quickly as possible.

"Bron, talk to me!" she cried.

"The AI wasn't a bluff. It's a whole lot smarter than Taggart was. It's inside his head now. Probably looking for a way out. We need to get someone to cut this building from the network NOW then blow it to atoms.

Angelina reached behind her back and pulled her phone from its hiding place in her waistband. "Papa? Are you there? Did you hear that?" She flipped the speaker on as Bron looked at her incredulously.

"ANGELINA! ARE YOU OK?" her father yelled into the phone.

"Bron freed us from our bindings but you've got to get someone to cut all communication lines to the club. ALL OF THEM. NOW. The AI from the pendant is loose. We have to clear everyone from the building and all the surrounding buildings as well!"

"bbbbbrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhnnnnnnnn" hissed from between Gregory's trembling lips.

Bron looked at Angelina.

"K-k-k-kk-ii-iii-i-lllll...mm-mmmeeeeeee-kkkksssttt" Spittle and bubbles formed on Gregory's lips. Bron moved to look into his eyes again and his terror was growing.

"NNNO!" burst from Gregory's mouth angrily and Bron jumped back. Taggart's body began to twitch as the AI tried to learn how to use it.

Bron grabbed the chain from Angelina's shackles and wrapped it around the man's jerking leg. He grabbed the power tool and fastened the chain to the floor. He tossed the tool away. He spat the chewed tape out and slapped it against the thumbprint reader on the explosives case. The gooey mass stuck like tar. They couldn't let the AI disable the bomb. Angelina was taking a movie of the scene with her phone.

"NNNO! NNNO! NNNO!" the AI forced out of the body it was trapped in. The voice got louder and louder.

"How much time is left?" Angelina asked putting the phone away.

"Roughly eight minutes," Bron said as he grabbed her hand and ran for the door. It was locked but one kick from Bron's foot destroyed the mechanism and he was able to pull the door open. They ran down the hall to the stairs and noticed the place was silent. They took the stairs two at a time then Bron grabbed Angelina in his arms and accelerated their departure.

They ran across the main floor and burst out of the front doors. The emergency vehicles were three hundred metres away and rapidly moving further back. Bron ran after them as fast as he could. He spotted the gang standing by Pietr Rykov. Bron set Angelina down on her feet and did a quick head count. Someone was missing.

"LAURA! WHERE'S LAURA!" he yelled.

Vicki looked at him. "We haven't seen her since she was dancing with you."

He looked back at the club. She was still inside and it was his fault. The timer was almost done. Almost.

Bron looked at Angelina and she knew what he was going to do. She didn't even have time to say anything before he kissed her quickly and raced back to the building. She screamed after him and tried to follow but her father grabbed her around her waist.

Bron crashed through the doors and bounded up the stairs. He knew he was cutting it too close. He'd lost track of the timer when he kissed Angelina. He crashed through the locked door of the room he'd shared some precious moments in. Laura screamed as she bolted upright in the bed. He didn't have time to explain so he wrapped her in the sheets and held her against his chest as he ran from the room. He'd never make it downstairs and out the front door in the time he had left. There was a window at the end of the hall which overlooked the rooftop of the adjoining building. He raced full out down the hall giving it everything he had and threw himself through the glass curling his body protectively around Laura.

The blast wave caught them twenty feet from the window and slapped their bodies outwards. They overshot the rooftop and crashed through a dark storefront two blocks away in a vacant neighborhood.

The bomb was a two phase explosive. The initial blast was conventional and took out the dance club from the roof down to the basement. Then the secondary implosion triggered and sucked all of the debris back towards the source and compressed it into an ultra-dense block which fell through the ruins of the foundation of the club.

Angelina and Pietr picked themselves up from the ground and brushed off the bits of tree, building, and street from their hair and clothes. The club was gone. Bron hadn't come back.

Pietr immediately mobilized the emergency workers and any able bodied volunteers. "Call in extra medical staff and have them set up a triage center in the park. Keep the road clear for the ambulances to come and go. I want a sweep of the surrounding buildings! Look for casualties. Scan all buildings for life signs! Spiral out from the buildings closest to the blast site. Let's go people!"

"Papa?" Angelina looked into her father's eyes.

"Bron returned from Earth which should have been impossible. There's a chance he escaped from this too. I'm not ready to give up on that chance. Are you?" he said firmly.

She gave him a hopeful smile and shook her head.

"If you're not injured gather your group and start looking," he said and turned to speak with the police and fire chief who'd just arrived. Angelina rushed off to collect her friends.

Chapter 26

It was a news camera crew who'd been turned back from the overcrowded blast site who found Bron and Laura three hours later. He was still curled around her protectively though his arm was bent at a horrible angle.

After they'd gotten their shots they called in the paramedics and had their exclusive.

Both patients were alive but Bron was in critical condition. His body had shielded Laura by taking most of the damage himself. They airlifted him to the hospital and he was immediately taken into surgery.

Laura had a broken left wrist, a broken right leg, bruises over most of her body, and a mild concussion. Considering the alternative was being turned to paste inside a huge boulder of compressed debris she was in good spirits. Her father was immensely relieved she'd survived though his relief was strained when he heard it was solely due to the Genie's heroics.

She was immensely grateful for Angelina's visit in the hospital and bringing the rest of the group in to see her. She knew the blonde was really at the hospital waiting on news from Bron's doctors but her smiles and hugs were genuine enough.

It was hours later that they learned Bron would have to be kept in a coma to let him heal from the numerous broken bones and torn ligaments. It was the concussion they were most worried about as he'd just recovered from one. The doctors were worried about brain damage as there was swelling.

When days stretched into weeks the pressure on Angelina grew to be unbearable. She made a critical decision which her father understood. Her friends supported her as well as they saw the pain she was enduring.

It was a little more than four months after the explosion when Bron finally opened his eyes. He was floating on a gel like substance that maintained even support across his body without applying stress to any particular spots. He felt weak as a kitten and may have made sounds mimicking one when he tried to move.

"Bron?"

He blinked in the direction of the sound.

"Hello."

A face came into view. He didn't recognize it. A beautiful human female with long black hair starting with straight bangs above her ice blue eyes, shaved on the sides and hanging straight down her back. She wore a tight body suit which hid nothing and her body was tight and muscular. Bron caught himself staring and looked away with a blush.

"Do- do you remember me?" she said faintly as she watched his face.

"No, I'm sorry. Should I?" he said cautiously.

The woman's eyes got a little glassy and she shook her head quickly. "No, it's fine. Let me get your doctor." She pushed out of the room with her hand over her mouth. Bron thought she might have been crying. He felt bad about that.

A few minutes later an older man in doctor's scrubs entered and walked over to Bron's bed. He took his pulse, listened to his heart, and checked his pupil dilation. Only then did he speak.

"Hello Bron. I'm Dr. Katzell. I've been taking care of you since you've been with us in the hospital."

"Why am I in a hospital?"

"We'll get to that. For now though let's start with the last thing you remember," the gentleman asked.

"Angelina and I went to see an eye specialist to see if my vision came back. As I can see you it obviously did."

"So you don't remember receiving the diagnosis from the eye doctor?" Dr. Katzell asked.

Bron went back to the memory. He recalled sitting in the dark booth and feeling profoundly relieved then waking up here. "Was there an accident at the doctor's office? IS ANGELINA OK?" Bron sat up suddenly and the room swam. He collapsed back to the bed.

"She's fine! Nothing bad happened at the doctor's office. Everyone is fine. You were recently badly injured in an explosion at a night club and one of your injuries was a severe concussion. This was made worse by the fact that you probably hadn't completely healed from the severe concussion you incurred from being caught in an explosion in the office block of City Hall on a previous date. You've been in a medically induced coma for the past four months to help you heal but it seems like you've lost memory from the past six months."

"What..." Bron gasped quietly in shock.

"The brain doesn't like being banged around and yours took two large impacts in a relatively short period. We had to keep you under this time due to the sheer number of injuries you sustained. I'm glad to say you have recovered nicely from all of the other damage. While there is a possibility that you'll get some of your memories back I believe the chance of that is very slim. I'm actually very pleased you aren't showing more indications of higher level damage. You're able to have a conversation. You can recall people in your life. You have normal, sympathetic emotional responses. I'm going to keep you in the hospital just one more night then I'll send you home in the morning. Do you feel up to having a visitor?"

"Ok."

The doctor nodded and left.

A few more minutes passed and Pietr Rykov walked in.

"Hi Bron. How are you feeling?"

"Good. Weak but good. How is Angelina? Is she here?"

Pietr's smile faltered but he forced it back in place. "Angelina is good. No, she's not here but she wants to be. She's finishing up her studies in the campus on Garroon. Then she's doing a year of apprenticing there. She'll return when that's over. Bailley went with her."

"Garroon? Isn't that on the other side of Walla?" Bron asked quietly.

"Yes. Yes, it is."

"Did I do something wrong?" he said even quieter.

"No Bron. You didn't. After your recent injury Angelina found she was no longer able to pretend she's just friends with you. She's keeping her promise to me by ensuring she isn't anywhere near you until I've secured my position in office. I've already announced my candidacy to run for Walla's Premier. The election is in ten months. Angelina won't be back for eighteen month's at the earliest. She's asked me to tell you not to contact her until she returns. This was the hardest thing I've ever seen her do. We have to respect her wishes." He looked closely at Bron and saw the big man's lips were trembling but he nodded.

"I understand you've lost all of your memories between the explosion at the dance club and six months prior to that. In that interval a lot of things happened. Important things, especially for you. I'll just give you the highlights and the rest of the gang can fill you in with more detail. Some of these are rather shocking so I will take it slow." He looked at Bron to see if he was ready and the man nodded.

"Number one, you were made a full citizen of Walla with all rights. Congratulations again." Bron smiled broadly. "Number two, Sasha's mother Magdalina Petrov from Earth discovered her daughter was alive and came to Walla to collect her. Laura Augustine, the woman who was with you when you woke up, took Sasha under her family's protection and named you as their arbitrator. You negotiated between the Petrovs and the Augustines. There was an assassination attempt on Magdalina and Sasha and one on you, both of which you stopped but you were injured badly. This was the event of your first concussion. Magdalina took you and Sasha to her ship but after tragedy struck her family back on Earth she left with both of you on board. You'll have to get the details from Sasha and Asami about what happened there." Bron looked dazed and Pietr patted his shoulder.

"Number three, you took into your possession on Earth a data pendant with extremely sensitive and dangerous information on it. You brought it back to Walla with you. Number four, you and Sasha adopted an orphan girl on Earth and brought her to Walla." Bron's jaw dropped in shock. Pietr smiled. "Kei is a smart young girl. Sasha has enrolled her in school and she is doing very well academically. She's struggling a little socially but Sasha is getting her help with that as well."

"Number five, Gregory Taggart, the chief scientists on the genetics team that made you, has been tracking you throughout your life and turned out to be a vicious sociopath. He was responsible for all of the troubles in your early life and gave you a drug just before you were taken to Earth that removed your conditioning. He was planning on you becoming a homicidal monster, turning on humans and boosting fear of Genies. Angelina recorded him confessing when he abducted the two of you and we've released that recording to the press as it damns him and paints you in a very good light. It's eased the fears of the people of Walla over the Genie in their midst, even one without conditioning. When he abducted you and Angelina, he planted a bomb in the club then tried to collect the data from the pendant you had. He overestimated his skills and the AI on the pendant compromised the implant he had in his brain taking over his body. You got Angelina out before the explosion but you went back into the building for Laura. You got her out of the building just far enough away to survive the initial explosion but this is how you were injured the second time. The blast wave threw you both two blocks to crash into an old shop."

Bron looked lost. Pietr smiled sympathetically at him. "I'm sorry to dump all of this on you but you've had a very busy six months. Your friends will be brought up to speed on your memory loss and will do their best not to overwhelm you like I just did. One of the discussions you and I had during that time was regarding your relationship with Angelina. I asked you to promise to help Angelina keep her promise to me. While you agreed at that time, as you don't remember, I'm going to ask you again. Will you promise to wait until Angelina's return to pick up your relationship with her?"

The large man looked at Pietr and felt his heart screaming at him to say no. He wanted to hold Angelina in his arms now! But he realized the future they could have now would be far less than the one they could have if they waited. Tears dripping down his cheeks Bron nodded.

"Thank you Bron. I promise to live up to her expectations. I will make Walla a better world for everyone." Pietr had tears in his own eyes as he shook Bron's hand.
"I'm a little tired. I think I should get some rest," Bron said with a wobbling voice.

"That sounds like a good idea. I'll be back tomorrow to bring you home. You may get some visitors once you are there."

"Like my adopted daughter?"

Pietr smiled gently. "Yes, like Kai."

With a final pat on Bron's shoulder Pietr left the room, leaving the big man alone with his racing thoughts. He was a citizen of Walla! He had a daughter! He'd been to Earth and SURVIVED! Most frightening of all was that his conditioning was gone and everyone knew! There was nothing stopping him from striking out against those who harmed him... except his natural distaste for violence and his desire to live in peace. Would that be enough to make the citizens of Walla accept him?

It was too much for his overtaxed brain and exhaustion took him down into a deep sleep.

Bron's initial estimation of his strength had been exaggerated. Kittens could whip his ass. The physiotherapist at the hospital walked him through the exercise routines he would have to do every day to bring his muscles back from their state of atrophy. When Pietr showed up to take Bron home he was a trembling mess. Rachel and Sophia were there to lend a hand and the two strong women got Bron into the back of the van Pietr had arranged to get them all home. The big Genie sat on the rear bench seat squeezed between the bodies of the two smiling women who rested their heads on his shoulders. They knew the physio routine he'd been shown and promised to help him every day to get him back to full strength. He was grateful but wondered how long he'd be able to endure their help.

The two ladies got Bron inside and situated in the guest room on the main floor as he wasn't ready for climbing up and down the stairs to his room in the basement. They told him they'd return in the evening to help him with his bath. With huge grins on their lips they departed.

In the late afternoon Sasha arrived with Kei and introductions were made. The young girl was fascinated by the idea that he had lost his memories of how they'd met and that to him this was the first time they were meeting. A fresh start. She had a surprised and pleased look on her face through most of their conversation. She headed down to his room in the basement to do her homework leaving Sasha alone with Bron.

"Fuck! You lost a lot of really juicy memories!" she growled at him.

He blushed. "I did?"

"Yeah! You finally took my ass at the party we threw to celebrate your vision returning. Then you took my ass again when we were in Japan. FUCK! It was so hot!" Sasha gushed.

"So... we're parents?" Bron said, trying to change the subject in case Sasha was leading somewhere with her obsessive talk about her ass.

The woman smirked at him. "Yeah, you surprised the hell out of me when you sprang that idea on me but I have to say it's working out well. Kei has a good head on her shoulders. She's a smart kid. She's had some trouble dealing with the fact that Walla isn't as cut throat as Earth when it comes to survival, even survival in the classroom. She's come across as a bit of a bully in some instances but we're working through that.

Bron had a broad smile on his face as he saw how good Kei was for Sasha. Some of the edges on the woman were softer now that she was taking on the role of Mom.

Sasha read Bron's smile and frowned at him. "Shut the fuck up! If you call me Mommy Sasha or any of the other stupid mom nicknames the gang is calling me I will seriously kick your ass!"

Bron chuckled. "A light breeze can kick my ass now."

"Awww, is poor little Bron all weak and limp?" Sasha grinned as she suddenly straddled his lap.

"Sasha, this isn't a good idea. Kai is just downstairs-"

"Whatcha gonna do Mr. Weakling? Hmmm? You gonna make me stop?" She was grinding herself on his groin and her tight workout pants were just as thin as his shorts. The feeling was incredible and Bron was struggling to get control over the vixen on his lap.

"Seriously-"

"Your mouth says one thing but your body is telling me something completely different. Your big cock wants to come out and play. You can feel that, can't you baby?" Sasha said as she pressed her crotch tighter against Bron's bulge.

"Sasha..." Bron groaned and she licked her lips and ground harder.

There was a sharp pop and Bron's cock slid from its sheath. Sasha jumped off his lap and pulled his shorts down, Bron obediently lifting his ass as she tugged at the offending garment.

Sasha took his cock into her mouth and moved his hands to the back of her head. She pressed his hands as she forced more of him into her mouth. Bron got the idea. Sasha needed him to force himself on her. It's what brought her excitement. Not Bron's thing but it was what she needed. He grabbed her hair and pulled her head up. She moaned then squealed as he pulled her back down and forced himself to the back of her throat. Again he pulled her almost clear and slammed himself into her mouth. He knew he was being a little rougher than he'd been with her before but she hadn't made any indications he should stop. He fucked her mouth and Sasha was moaning constantly now. He lifted her to his chest and kissed her deeply, his tongue sliding into her mouth demandingly. While she was being overwhelmed by his kiss he yanked down her tights and tugged them off. She was naked underneath as he suspected. He grabbed her ass in both hands and lifted her with a grunt over his cock.

"OH FUCK! YES!" Sasha gasped as he pulled her down, driving himself deeply into her body. He was reaching the limits of his strength so it was time to make her work for her pleasure.

SLAP!

Sasha cried out with a yelp as Bron's hand slapped her ass cheek.

"Lift yourself," he growled.

Her eyes flew wide and she looked at him in confusion.

SLAP! The other ass cheek felt the sting.

"Lift!"

Sasha struggled to lift herself up to the top of his thick shaft but when her pussy was just kissing the tip of his cock he slammed her back down filling her completely. She cried out with bliss feeling herself stretched wide to take his hot, hard cock.

SLAP! "Again."

Sasha's head was spinning from the conflicting sensations. He felt so good filling her pussy but her ass was burning from the slaps. She was slow to move and her other cheek got its second spanking. She shuddered as her pussy clenched him and she tried to pull herself to the top.

Once more he pulled her down hard and she screamed as the sensations were too intense. He squeezed her reddened ass cheeks and her eyes rolled back. Her legs were shaking too hard for her to be able to lift herself again so he gave both cheeks a slap then grabbed them hard. She whimpered as he lifted and dropped her rapidly over his cock.

Sasha lost the ability to make coherent sounds then she was cumming hard, triggering Bron's release. He grabbed her hair in his fist, kissing her hard and her shaking increased as she squealed.

Bron was physically spent and slumped back in his chair. She fell forward against his chest panting and he felt her body clenching and rippling against his thick intruder. It took her several minutes to calm down. Bron withdrew from her body as he relaxed and his cock slipped back into his pouch.

"oh fuck... Bron... sex is... SO much better... now that your... conditioning is gone," Sasha gasped quietly against his neck.

He had to admit it felt better for him as well.

She pushed herself back on his chest and looked at his face curiously. "Does it feel different?"

"Yes." Bron looked deeply into her eyes. "What does it feel like for you knowing you can walk up to anyone who pisses you off and kill them?"

"Thrilling, but I wouldn't, even if I fantasize about it," she added with a smirk.

"That's just it. For me it's not a thrill at all! I don't fantasize about it. I have no desire to be violent. Yet how many humans on Walla believe I will be."

"Fuck them!"

"That attitude isn't really an option for me." He lifted Sasha to her feet then pulled his shorts up. She made a quick stop in the washroom and exited with her pants back on.

"So what are you going to do?" she asked.

"I don't know. Probably just what I have been doing. Living each day as it comes and enjoying it as if it was my last. That seems to work well," he admitted.

Sasha looked at Bron with the same sad expression Bailley used on him on a day he no longer remembered.

"What are you going to do with your life?" she asked.

"Well, I'm going to go to physio at the clinic. Then I'm going to look for a job. I want to contribute to society. I want to earn my keep."

"I fully support that plan. Nothing feels better than getting that pay deposit at the end of your week. Well, nothing besides being fucked silly by a large blue black Genie!" she grinned wickedly.

He rolled his eyes as Sasha moved towards the basement stairs. "I'm going to collect Kei and head home. It's been fun! Remember, I'm going to reacquaint your cock with my ass soon!

"Out!" he barked, but he was smiling when he did so she just kept grinning as she left. When she returned she popped her head back in his door.

"I meant to ask you before you ravaged me if it would be alright for Laura to visit. She didn't want me to tell you but she was pretty devastated that you lost your memory of her. She understands the circumstances and doesn't blame you but she doesn't have a lot of friends and I got the impression that your friendship was pretty special to her."

Bron felt a little uncomfortable but he nodded. "Sure, please let her know she can give me a call. I have physio tomorrow at 11am."

Sasha smiled and he waved at Kei who smiled and waved back shyly.

He dragged himself to the bed and barely managed to stretch out on it before he was asleep.

Chapter 27

Laura picked him up in the morning in her limousine. A serious looking man was driving and they were introduced. Fredrick was Laura's personal protection as well as her driver.

He drove them to the clinic and along the way Laura brought Bron up to speed on the memories he was missing.

"Thank you so much for your efforts to help me get my citizenship!" Bron said once she was finished.

"You deserved it! I'm sorry you are not able to be with Angelina. I understand the circumstances but it's so unfair!" she frowned.

Bron smiled at the beauty and nodded.

Laura reached over and took his hand in hers. She felt a shiver run through her body as she remembered the strength in them as he took her. Her smile got a little dreamy.

"You said we could get together again when we were together the last time before the explosion," she said as she looked up at him from under her brows.

He thought she looked sweet but he wasn't quite ready to jump into bed with the woman he was just beginning to know again.

"Maybe we could start with going out to dinner?" he asked.

She looked at him in surprise then a wide grin spread across her face. "Yes, that would be really nice! I can get reservations at my favorite place for tomorrow evening."

"Perfect!" he smiled.

They rode the rest of the way just holding hands and looking out the windows. As they pulled up to the building Laura turn to Bron. "Rhonda will pick you up in two hours to bring you home."

He lifted her hand to his lips and delicately kissed her knuckles and her eyes flared with desire as tingles raced up her arm. "Until tomorrow then," he said. Her smile was wide and she could only nod as she didn't trust herself to speak. Bron thanked Fredrick and exited from the limo which smoothly pulled away from the curb. He went inside for his therapy.

Two hours later Bron was back outside the clinic resting on a bench with every muscle in his body aching, trembling and protesting the abuse they'd endured. He rested his head back against the building and tried to will his muscles to relax as his eyes closed.

A few minutes later he picked up the scent of Rhonda's subtle perfume as she sat next to him and smiled.

"Hi Bron," she said.

"Hi Rhonda."

"You ready to go home?" she asked.

"In a minute. I'd like to ask you a question first."

"Sure."

"Back when I was blind and you came to spend the afternoon with me sitting outside enjoying the sun, you said to Angelina that I could be a professional masseuse if the bodyguard thing didn't work out. I want to get a job and I don't really have training in anything useful. I was thinking of taking a course in massage at the local college. Do you think I might be able to earn money doing that?"

Rhonda sat staring at Bron. She was surprised he was taking her suggestion to heart.

He took her shocked expression as a no and nodded with a frown.

"Wait! I wasn't saying no! I was just surprised you remembered what I suggested and I'm surprised you'd settle for something so low key after all your adventures. There are so many careers you could do with your size and strength," Rhonda gasped.

Bron looked at her. "But I don't want to do anything but make people happy. I don't really need all this extra strength for that."

"Well, I think you'd be a terrific masseuse! The extra stuff we did that day, the sex, you wouldn't be doing as a registered massage therapist. That could get you in trouble. You keep that stuff for your friends," Rhonda added with a grin.

Bron smiled. "On the way back would you take me by the college so I can sign up for the classes?"

"It would be my pleasure!" the woman grinned. She helped him up and guided him to her car. Bron barely fit inside but he was able to squeeze into the back seat.

Rhonda and Bron turned heads as they made their way across the college grounds. Several students rushed up to Bron to shake his hand. They finally made their way into the registrar's office and discussed Bron's desire to earn certificate for Therapeutic Massage. The man was a little flustered with dealing with the Genie's request as he didn't have the prerequisites. Rhonda was with Bron the entire time and poked and prodded at the registrar's arguments until the man finally agreed to let Bron in, starting with the fall semester in a month's time.

Rhonda brought Bron home and settled him in his room. The big man faded immediately.

The following day Vicki brought Bron to the clinic for his physio. She stuck around chatting with one of the physiotherapists until Bron was done and was all grins when she brought him back home. She had a date with a very fit man who loved to dance.

Bron rested until it was time to get ready for his date with Laura. He dressed in his nicest clothes as Laura indicated they would be dining and dancing afterwards at a very posh club.

Fredrick was driving once again and nodded to Bron as he slipped into the back of the limo. He stopped when he saw Laura and smiled with appreciation as he took in the sleek, shimmering silver fabric clinging to her lean body. While the dress was suggestive it was also tasteful and Bron was very impressed. She looked gorgeous!

Laura's eyes lit up when she saw the effect she was having on Bron. She flashed him a dazzling smile and took his hand as he settled back into the seat.

The drive to the club was short and Bron was rubber necking the scenery as he'd never been in this neighborhood before... that he could recall. As it was not too far from the Augustine Estate he realized he probably had. Laura told him about it. The idea that he had lost some of his life still bothered him. Laura squeezed his hand as she saw his frown. He smiled at her for her concern.

The limo pulled up in front of a large, sprawling building surrounded by a lush garden and ornate fountains. Two men in uniforms approached the limo but the doors didn't open until Fredrick had exited and scanned the two men for weapons of any kinds. He dismissed the man at Laura's door who nodded and walked quickly back to his station. Fredrick opened the door and helped Laura out while the other uniformed man stood back quickly to put some space between himself and the large man unfolding himself out of the back door. Bron nodded politely to the man and closed the door. With a blink the man hustled back to his station casting glances at his partner.

"You couldn't have chosen a more low key way to bring Bron back into the spotlight?" Fredrick asked Laura quietly. He wouldn't be inside with them so he was a little concerned.

"Do you recall my first time at the country club? I was barely twelve and my father brought me here to show me off to his high society friends. It was a coming of age party for me but we really knew it was for him and mother. I pretended that I didn't care and let myself get swept up in the excitement."

Fredrick's eyes softened with the memory. "You danced with everyone as I recall."

She nodded. "I drove my parents insane when I danced with the sons of their rivals! It was a magical night and the beginning of my new life. A life that almost ended four months ago. If Bron hadn't risked his life for me I wouldn't be here today. I'm not diminishing the many times you've saved my life. You've had far more impact on my life but tonight is the anniversary of that first night when I was twelve. Bron is a new member of our society and deserves the same respect."

Bron looked uncomfortable. "I don't want to be part of a big political confrontation!"

"You won't be. We're just going to have a nice dinner, talk about things that make us happy, and then we are going to dance. What civilized citizens of Walla do to celebrate. Nothing showy. Nothing political."

Bron nodded and offered his arm as they walked in the front doors to the club. Word had proceeded them as the manager of the country club was standing at the Maître D' station.

"Good evening Miss Augustine," he said with a tight smile. The Maître D' standing beside him looked frozen, the pleasant smile he was trying to force on his face looked more like rigor mortis.

"Good evening Mr. Doon. So nice to see you again!"

"This is, uh, your plus one this evening?"

"Have you not been introduced to Walla's most celebrated new citizen?" Laura said with a perfect tone of surprise and disappointment. The man didn't so much shake his head as twitch.

"Mr. Doon, let me be the first to introduce you to Citizen Bron," Laura said with a cheerful voice.

Bron nodded to the manager who could only nod back. The big Genie spared the man having to supress the shudder of shaking his hand.

"I've been craving my favorites from your menu since yesterday. I assume our regular table is ready," Laura continued with her sweet tone. She was referring to the Augustine's regular table on the raised podium overlooking the other diners.

"I- I believe so but if you'd prefer I could set up a lovely table for two by the windows," the man offered a little desperately.

"No that's ok. Our usual table has a lovely view and I'm looking forward to seeing the excited young faces of the girls coming of age today," she smiled. "I remember mine like it was just yesterday."

Again the manager twitched. He also recalled that disastrous night. The Augustine's had left the club seething with anger. Not that their daughter's actions had been the fault of anyone working at the club. He'd still been the one to face the parent's wrath. Tonight there were two young girls celebrating their coming of age parties. Daughters of wealthy and powerful members of high society. He cringed as he wondered how they were going to take this new twist. Sighing in defeat he nodded to the man beside him who led Laura and Bron to their table which did have a commanding view of the other tables.

Once they were alone Bron leaned forward. "Mr. Doon seemed pretty upset that I'm here."

"Don't worry about mean old Doon. He's earned his torment. Besides, I know the mothers whose kids are having their parties tonight and they won't mind at all. Their kids will LOVE seeing you here. Let's just enjoy our night," she smiled as she settled back in her chair. She didn't mention how the old men who'd married these young women to start new families after discarding their old ones would be livid to see him. The ladies would be secretly thrilled to see him there.
The waiter arrived and took their drink orders. Laura chose a white wine but Bron stuck with still water. "I don't metabolize alcohol," he explained.

As they looked over the menu Laura realized she didn't know what Bron could eat. "I'm so sorry! I should have asked you what kinds of food you can eat. What do you normally eat at home?"

"I drink a high energy, high protein liquid. I had one before I left the house so my nutritional requirements have been met for the day. I can still eat but it's mostly for textures as I don't have a sense of taste," Bron said.

Laura felt a little silly for bringing Bron to a fancy restaurant with such a great reputation for being a culinary nirvana. It must have shown on her face as Bron patted her hand. "I also get enjoyment from seeing others appreciating their meals," he said gently.

"What can you eat?" she asked timidly.

"I see a very nice salad and I can ask them to add some nuts to it for extra protein," Bron said looking at the menu.

"No meat?"

"Genies can't eat meat. That's engineered into us. It's frightening enough that we are built physically stronger and tougher than humans. To make us carnivores would trigger too many latent insecurities in our 'masters'.

"It's nice to hear you finally admitting your place in Human Society!" growled a voice from below.

"Senior Councillor Feingersh, did you run out of underage prostitutes to 'interview in closed chambers'?" Laura said with a sweet smile.

The older man scowled at Laura. She smiled and turned to her date. "He's under investigation for his suspicious activities with a number of them in his office... after hours."

Bron looked at the man in shock and his scowl grew deeper as he spun on his heel and stormed off.

"He's the last man that should be spouting off his opinions and crowing his values. The man isn't allowed to be alone with his own daughter, for good reason," Laura said with a shudder.

"He's being investigated. You sound like he's already been proven guilty," Bron said.

"I know one of the investigating officers. There's a recording. It isn't pretty.... Sorry, we were going to talk about things that made us happy! What about you?"

"I signed up for a course at the college starting this fall."

"OOO! What is it?" she squealed.

"Therapeutic Massage," he said carefully, watching her expression.

Laura's jaw dropped and her eyes went wide. "Oh my god! That's AWESOME!" she gushed. "You'd be PERFECT at that! I'll sign up for your first sessions!"

Bron blushed and grinned at her enthusiasm. "Well, I have to complete the course and get my certification first. Then I have to get a job as a massage therapist at a clinic or spa someplace. Getting a job is going to be the tricky step."

"There will be dozens of businesses that will want to hire you just for the marketing aspect alone. Once word of mouth gets out about how your big, strong hands feel on a body your schedule will be full!" Laura insisted.

"Mmm! That sounds good already! Where do I sign up?" a sultry voice said.

A stunning blonde with dazzling green eyes was climbing up the steps to their table. She was curvy to the point of exaggeration, squeezed into a sleek black sheath cocktail dress which showed off her shapely legs. Her other attributes were threatening to pop out and join the party.

"Mallory!" Laura cried happily and jumped to her feet to give the woman a hug and air kisses. "Bron, may I introduce my friend Mallory who's the current wife of Senior Councillor Feingersh?"

"Ugh! The sooner I can shed that title, and that fossil, the better," Mallory grimaced and rolled her eyes.

He took her offered hand in his and shook it. The woman's eyes lit up as she felt the strength in his hand.

"Bron here is going to be studying Therapeutic Massage and I can personally vouch for the sensitivity and strength of these hands," Laura gushed.

"Just his hands?" Mallory said with a wicked look.

"Mallory! A lady never tells!" Laura said surprising an amused snort out of her friend. "He's going to be an incredible masseuse!"

"Well, let me know the name of the spa that hires him so I can beat you to his first sessions," the blond said, drinking the big man in with her eyes.

Bron began to feel a little nervous around the woman when he noticed a younger version of her standing at the base of the stairs. "Hello," he said to the girl.

Mallory turned around and a small frown appeared between her eyes. "Alex! Don't just stand there, come say hello."

The girl was all elbows and knees as her limbs had hit that awkward growth spurt at puberty but Bron could tell she was going to surpass her mother's loveliness. She was tall, with blue eyes and long blond wavy hair. Perhaps it was the domineering attitude of her mother but Alex's quieter nature was a balm for Bron's nerves.

"It is very nice to meet you," Alex said.

"For me as well!" Bron replied as he shook the small hand. The girl's eyes were wide as she felt the smooth scales on his skin.

There was a hint of jealousy on Mallory's face when Laura jumped in. "Today is Alex's special day. Her coming of age party if I'm not mistaken.

Bron smiled as the girl blushed. "Congratulations! I understand there will be dancing later. May I have the honor of a dance with you?"

A smile exploded across Alex's face and she nodded quickly. With shining eyes she nodded to Bron once more and headed back down the steps to rush over to her friends.

He caught another flash of jealousy on Mallory's face. "Do you like to dance?" he asked.

She gave him a predator's smile and turned to leave. "I'll see you on the dance floor." With a nod to Laura she left.

"Why do I feel bad for Alex?" Bron asked quietly and Laura chuckled.

"Because you are a very perceptive man. Mallory competes with EVERYONE, even her daughter. Especially, her daughter," Laura said with a sad smile.

"When I dance with Alex do you think you could distract her so we can finish uninterrupted?" he asked.

Laura smiled. "I think I may be able to do that."

The waiter returned and they placed their orders. While they waited Bron explained how he wanted to get a number of jobs while he was training to be a massage therapist if he could. He wanted to work in a number of places. He knew they needed volunteers at the clinic where he got physio so he'd start there. His therapist suggested volunteering at the hospital as well. There was also a senior's home that was always looking for help. He could build a good resume from that and once he graduated he'd have something to build from.

Laura listened to him with a big smile on her face. "You make it sound so exciting yet it's just working!"

"Well, for me it's more than that. It's taking control of my future for the first time in my life. Bailley told me I was too passive about living day to day. This is my first step to being proactive. Making plans."

The food arrived with surprising quickness but Laura just smiled and took her time eating. She wasn't about to let them rush her through her evening entertainment.

A young girl in a red party dress approached their table and caught Laura's eye. She gestured for the girl to come up.

"Ruby! Congratulations!" Laura stood and gave the girl a hug. "You look gorgeous! Doesn't she Bron!"

"Yes, you look truly lovely," he responded with a smile.

"Thank you Mr. Bron," Ruby said with a smile and a faint voice.

"You can call me Bron."

This brought a shy giggle from the girl.

"I'm sure Bron would love it if you'd reserve a dance for him," Laura said.

Ruby's eyes went wide with surprise and she looked over at Bron.

"If you're all booked up I understand but I do like to dance and plan to dance a lot tonight," Bron said with a slight smile.

"I'd love to dance with you but my Dad won't like it," Ruby said with a sad frown.

Laura was about to say something but Bron silenced her with a look. "That's ok. I hope you have a wonderful evening!"

Ruby smiled at Bron and nodded to Laura then moved back down the steps to walk back to her table.

"Please don't push these young women into rebelling against their parents. If they choose to do so on their own maybe that's a character building exercise but they shouldn't be pressured into it."

Laura looked at Bron then just nodded.

Once they finished their meal they left the restaurant and walked down a long corridor lined with trophies and photos of smiling people. Laura explained.

"The club hosts Walla's most prestigious golf and tennis tournaments. This hall celebrates the winners."

They heard the thump of music from around the corner and smiled at each other. But when they turned the corner their way was blocked by two well-dressed older gentlemen with a younger man. Some distance behind them were two security guards.

"That's far enough!" Feingersh barked.

Laura pulled her cell from her purse and the three men tensed until they saw it wasn't a weapon. She smirked at them and got three angry glares in return.

"You know you don't have the authority to stop us from entering the dance club. We have permission to be here. My membership is paid in full and my guest is-"

"An abomination! One which should be terminated as soon as possible!" Feingersh finished for her.

"A citizen of Walla and a hero," Laura corrected him.

"Hero?" choked the white haired man standing next to Feingersh.

"Would any of you have been brave enough to charge into a building with a bomb in it to save the life of a friend?" she said, pinning them with her eyes. Belligerent and confused eyes looked back at her. "I thought as much. None of you have what it takes to rise above your own petty desires."

"Desires?!? Where does a slut like you get off telling us about controlling our desires! You fucked or sucked every available dick at this club!" Feingersh spat.

"You're not still upset that I rejected you, are you?" Laura said with a grin.

Feingersh flung out his hand in an open palmed slap which Laura could easily have avoided, but she didn't. The crack of skin on skin was loud in the hallway and Laura placed her hand on Bron's chest to stop him as he moved to defend her. This didn't stop him from growling at the smaller man.

Laura blinked a few times and watched the expressions change on the faces of the three men. Judge Lewis, the man with the shock of white hair was stepping back, away from his violent 'friend'. Toady Councillor Pattersen was looking mildly ill and seemed to be looking for a quick escape route. Only Feingersh looked happy.

"That's strike three Mr. Feingersh. I believe I'll see you in court." She turned to address the two security officers who looked distinctly uncomfortable. "Gentlemen, please escort this man from the grounds."

"WHAT?!?" Feingersh's face went deep red with rage.

"You made a death threat to a member's guest. You defamed the character of that member then you physically attacked said member. You should be more familiar with the rules of conduct for this club and with Walla's judicial system for that matter. You've invalidated your membership at this club until your case is reviewed and you will be facing criminal charges for your actions as well. Please be aware, I've recorded the encounter and all security personnel wear recorders as well." She showed them the phone in her hand and faces paled.

The guards moved up beside the blustering man and gestured for him to leave.

Then he did something truly stupid. He pushed them away sharply.

A moment later he was pressed against the wall with his hands up behind his back. One guard was speaking quietly into his microphone and the police were on their way to collect him. Laura quickly tapped out a message and sent it. Her frenemies in the press would love her for this.

Without so much as a glance at the others she looked to Bron. "Shall we dance?"

Bron grinned and nodded.

They entered the club and immediately felt the beat deep in their bones. Bron pushed the unpleasantness from the incident out of his mind and allowed himself to smile as the music brought his spirits up. They moved onto the dance floor and let the music take them.

Laura was an excellent dancer and Bron couldn't take his eyes from her sensual movements. Her smile told him that she appreciated his attention.

They took a break and found a private, circular booth to relax in.

A waitress arrived and took their orders, water for Bron and scotch for Laura.

"You are a very good dancer," he said with a rumbling voice when they were alone.

Laura's eyes lit up with satisfaction. "Thank you. You move really well yourself." She let her eyes travel over his broad chest, recalling the power of his muscles and how good it felt to be in his arms.

Bron caught some motion at the corner of his eye and saw it was Alex approaching timidly. He looked at Laura. "It's time to keep Mallory away until the dance concludes," he said.

She smiled. "No problem." She sent a quick text to the mother to draw her over.

He left the booth and met Alex at the edge of the dance floor. "Hi, may I have this dance?"

The girl nodded and smiled up at him. They moved out onto the floor and found a little space amongst the other dancers. The beat wasn't too fast so they eased themselves into the motions and soon they were both grinning at each other with the sheer joy of letting loose. Alex swung her arms a lot and sometimes bumped into the others but Bron's size made people give them a little more space so that worked out. Alex's smile was broad and she was really looking relaxed with him. He hoped Laura could keep her promise to keep Alex's mother occupied.

The woman in question arrived at Laura's table with her phone in her hand. "Did you mean what your text said?"

"Yes, have a seat." Laura grinned at the woman as she slid in to the booth.

"You had sex with the Genie?" Mallory whispered.

"With Bron. Yes and it was incredible!" Laura sighed.

"Details!" the mother gasped.

Laura grinned. She knew this gossip loved a good dirty story. Her body was tingling and goosebumps rose on her arms from just the memory of that evening with Bron.

Mallory could see her friend's reaction and her curiosity was killing her.

Laura leaned forward and slowly began to dish. The older woman listened, spellbound, eyes widening as the details unrolled.

Bron and Alex managed to get through two dances before Ruby appeared at Bron's elbow between songs. Alex quickly pulled Bron's face down to kiss his cheek and rushed off to join her envious looking friends. Ruby took her place and Bron smiled at the timid young woman.

"I thought you said your father would disapprove," Bron said gently.

"My father snuck away. He's probably meeting his lover. Mom's upset so she's drinking too much at the bar," the young girl said sadly.

"I'm sorry," Bron said and saw Ruby just shrug.

He danced with her and soon both were smiling and just enjoying themselves. Bron did some silly moves and got Ruby to giggle which made him grin. They finished the song and she gave him a hug and headed back to her friends.

Bron headed towards the booth but was intercepted by Mallory who looked a little flushed. The woman stepped in front of him with a trembling grin and gently pushed him back amongst the other dancers.

She looked over at the DJ, caught his eye, and the song changed to something slow with a deep primal beat.

Suddenly Bron was squeezed against some amazingly soft but firm, large breasts as the woman wrapped her arms around him and began to sway. He put his arm around her and rested his hands on her back. He felt a tremble run through her and looked at her in surprise.

Green eyes looked up at him and he could see the lust in them. He wondered what Laura had done to distract the woman from interrupting her daughter's dance.

His body began to react to the feel of her tits against him, her heat, and the sensual look of her mouth which was parted ever so slightly. She saw him watching and ran the tip of her tongue over her lips which caused him to moan gently and throb with desire.

He blinked as he tried to clear his thoughts. She was grinding herself against his bulge now and all pretenses of dancing was gone. He didn't want this! Well, to be truthful his body did but he was uncomfortable with doing this with a stranger! His physical reaction seemed to be stronger than he was used to. That worried him.

"Mallory!" he said urgently and this seemed to break through her daze. He was able to pull back and lead her back to the booth by the hand.

The woman couldn't stop herself from focusing on how he was pulling her along so forcefully. A deep tremble went through her. Her husband was such a failure in bed and the lovers she'd taken had all wanted something from her after they tried to please her. Most had failed. This... man was able to take what he wanted and she'd felt his need pressed hotly against her, larger than life. God, she wanted him so bad but he was right. The open dance floor would have been a terrible spot.

Laura was at the table grinning at them as they approached. Then she caught Bron's troubled scowl. He pushed Mallory into the booth, sliding in next to her, and she moaned slightly at his handling.

Bron glanced at Mallory, still confused by how he was reacting to the woman. Sure, he was really horny but he wasn't the type to have sex with strangers. Especially married strangers. Trying to get his brain back in control he looked at Laura. "What did you do?"

She blinked at the roughness in his voice. "I- I just told her about our time before the club explosion."

Hidden under the table, Mallory's hand landed on top of his bulge and squeezed. Her eyes widened and she looked at Laura in surprise.

Bron sucked in a quick breath as the delicious sensations shot through his body from her grip on him.

"I- I'm n-not..." he stuttered as pleasure flooded his mind.

"...a player," Laura finished for him recalling her first meeting with him. She'd screwed up. This wasn't what Bron wanted and now it was going to get really awkward.

"Geezus! You had this inside you!" Mallory gasped as she stroked her hand across Bron's tight pants. He finally managed to get his own hand under the table and grabbed her wrist to stop her. She continued to squeeze and pant.

Suddenly there was another woman standing at the edge of their booth. The smell of booze on her breath was very strong so Bron assumed this might be Ruby's mother.

"Ashley! What's wrong?" Laura gasped, distracted from how Mallory was pawing her date.

Mallory slid further in along the round bench and tugged Bron's privates to make him follow. As soon as there was just enough room Ashley plunked herself down on his other side.

"My husband is a giant creep!" Ashley sobbed. Her long auburn hair fell forward over her face hiding the soft but puffy brown eyes and her reddened button nose. She was also curvy like Mallory but in her case it was just extra weight. She was... soft. Pretty and soft.

"I told you that when you married him!" Mallory said around Bron.

Laura sent the woman a look to get her to play nice.

Ashley turned her head in Mallory's direction but saw a large man instead. She looked up to his face, blinked, and her eyes widened. "Are you blue?" she whispered drunkenly.

Laura couldn't stop the snort which leaked out. Bron gave her a look then turned to the new arrival.

"Hi, I'm Bron. Yes, my skin color goes from dark blue to black," he said gently as he tried to pull Mallory's hand from his groin without hurting her.

"Ooo! You're the one who's picture was circulating around the net months back," Ashley gushed and Bron leaned back slightly from the gust of alcohol.

"Oh my god! That's right! This big cock was all over the net! I think it feels bigger than the image showed though," Mallory asserted strongly.
Ashley became aware of where Mallory's hand was and added hers. Her eyes flew wide with surprise. "IT IS!" she yelped.

Laura hushed her. "Ladies! You are groping my date who is trying very hard not to hurt anyone's feelings by being rough with you."

Mallory's face flushed again and she leaned hard against Bron's side. "Oh god, he can be rough with me if he wants to."

Ashley pressed her squishy body against Bron's other side and he groaned from the overload of softness.

Once more Bron's rational mind struggled to the fore. "Please, you're both married. I can't-"

"My husband is days away from becoming my ex as apparently he's only interested in sex with children. Let him rot in prison. I haven't had good sex in years!" Mallory growled and rubbed herself against Bron.

"My husband hasn't made love to me in over a year and is having an affair with his secretary! That skinny slut!" Ashley was getting more aggressive as well.

He felt the familiar sharp pop and his pouch opened. He looked around the club and at Laura desperately. She understood.

There was a private party room at the back of the club which should be available. She raised her finger to indicate he should hold on for a moment and quickly ducked out of the booth. She quickly made her way across the room and saw the door was closed. She opened it and the room beyond was empty. She closed it and tapped her id into the number pad next to the door to reserve the room. The door locked and she hustled back to the booth. She saw Ruby and Alex standing next to the table with a group of their friends. Bron was keeping it together so she relaxed a little. The girls couldn't see what the ladies were doing to the big man.

"-said we had to leave," Ruby was saying to her mother. Laura looked at the time and realized the club hours required kids to leave. That usually signaled it was time for the parents to leave with their kids but Ashley and Mallory showed no signs of releasing Bron. She had an idea.

"Why don't you girls have a sleepover?" Laura suggested.

Twelve happy sets of eyes swung in her direction. She could see the immediate excitement. She looked at the two mothers. "Ashley? I'm going to suggest your place as Mallory's situation is... tricky," she finished delicately to spare Alex's feelings.

"Yes, sure," she mumbled as her face flushed feeling Bron's reaction under her hand.

Laura guided the girls away and spoke with them to make arrangements. That done their friends rushed away to tell their parents they were spending the night at Ruby's and Ruby dragged Alex with her to get her driver to take them home. Laura returned to the table to see the ladies almost climbing onto Bron's lap. He cast her a desperate look but there was a primal heat in those eyes as well.

A shiver ran down her spine as she realized how charged up the man was. "I have the private room," was all she said and Ashley was sliding out of the booth tugging Bron's arm to get him to follow with Mallory pushing from the other side. The four made their way across the room, skirting the dance floor. No one paid them any attention thankfully so once Laura unlocked the door they were able to slip inside undisturbed.

Laura pulled Bron over to the foot of a comfortable sectional couch with several wide reclining components side by side. It was a makeshift bed but it was the best they would get in the club.

Mallory looked at Laura with a pleased smile and Ashley suddenly looked like she felt like a third wheel. Before she could slip away Bron's hand slid into her rich brown hair and he pulled her against him to kiss her. She moaned and clutched his chest. When his rough tongue stroked across her smaller pink one she squealed at the burst of tingles and clawed at him.

Not to be outdone Mallory dropped to her knees and undid Bron's pants allowing them to drop to his ankles. His thick cock sprung free and she gasped as she wrapped her fingers around its heat. She ran her tongue up the underside and Bron gasped in Ashley's mouth. The brunette pulled back and looked down. Her eyes bulged then she dropped to her knees next to Mallory and added her tongue to the play.

Bron looked down at the two women attending to his pleasure. They were driving his lust higher and higher. He couldn't think straight. When Mallory slid the head of his cock deep into her throat Bron cried out with the intense pleasure. Ashley watched with wide eyes. She couldn't believe Mallory could get so much of him into her mouth!

When the woman pulled him from her throat she had tears in her eyes and gulped air into her starved lungs. She gave Ashley a look of challenge and a slight smile. The plump woman had little experience with oral sex. She knew she wanted to do it but she was daunted by his size. She leaned forward and Mallory bounced the thick head of Bron's cock against her lips. This made her giggle at the delicious naughtiness of the situation. She smiled at Mallory and the two shared a moment. Then Ashley sucked Bron into her throat until her lips were pressed against the base of the hard cock.

"HOLY FUCK! She took it ALL!" Mallory exclaimed, for once letting her genuine appreciation override her competitiveness.

Laura had been watching Bron and the two women with mixed feelings of guilt and excitement. It was her fault for pushing Mallory's buttons too hard. She should have known the woman would see Bron as a challenge after hearing Laura's description of what an amazing lover he'd been for her. He was overwhelmed by lust but his conflict surfaced from time to time. Laura hoped he would understand that he just needed the release and these women were more than willing to be the tool of his recovery.

Speaking of lust, she felt like if she didn't kiss him soon she was going to explode. She moved forward and yelped slightly as he reached out and pulled her to him. His eyes looked dazed and she wasn't sure if he was even aware of who he had in his clutches. He kissed her deeply and she shook in his grip as pleasure coursed through her body.

Ashley pulled back and sucked air into her lungs then plunged him deep once more.

Bron moaned into Laura's mouth. Ashley was bringing him closer to his orgasm. She didn't want him to cum too soon. She had plans for his cock.

Mallory had the same idea as she seized Ashley's hair and pulled her off of Bron. The brunette was glassy eyed and dazed as the thick shaft left her mouth and a string of drool connected them for a moment. Mallory's eyes gleamed as she took in how sexy Ashley looked with her wet, puffy lips. Still gripping her hair she pulled the other woman's face to hers and plunged her tongue into that sexy mouth. Ashley squealed then took Mallory's big tits in her hands and squeezed them. It was the blonde's turn to moan as their tongues twisted around each other's.

Laura took that momentary distraction to pull Bron down onto the sectional sofa cushions. Her need was too intense for her to be subtle so she hiked up her dress, pulled her minimal panties down and crawled up on his body. She rubbed her wet pussy over his cock then yelped as his hands took hold of her hips and lifted her up to the head to push himself in. She cried out as the thick shaft stretched her open and her body went limp. Bron pulled her up then slammed her down on his cock, using her body to bring himself relief from the mounting pressure.

Laura was in heaven. He was so strong and he was rubbing her body against his so roughly. She wasn't ready at all when her orgasm struck. She screamed as her body rocked through her release and she clutched his shirt in her fists.

Bron was still climbing up to his orgasm when Laura began to beg him to stop due to how sensitive she'd become. Mallory was there in an instant and pulled the younger woman from his body. Laura rolled over onto her back next to him and continued to shake and shiver through her release. He looked down as Mallory helped Ashley slip off her dress and climb onto the big man. The brunette was eyeing the swollen cock with trepidation and his lust was demanding he continue. He reached down and lifted her the remaining distance to position her above his trembling flesh. She squeaked then sighed as she dropped over his hardness. It slid as easily into her pussy as it had into her throat and Bron gasped with relief when she squeezed him tight inside her.

Mallory's pussy was suddenly descending onto Bron's face. Her pink lips were slick with her juices and Bron stroked his tongue across them roughly. She cried out and clutched at his head as his tongue forced its way deep into her pussy. Her eyes rolled back in her head while explosions went off in her mind from the lightning he was splashing around inside her.

Ashley finally managed to reach the bottom and enjoyed the sensation of his big cock filling her up. She clutched her fat tits in her hands, pulling on the nipples, and began to bounce on his lap, slapping their flesh together. Each collision felt incredible and drove her orgasm closer.

For Bron, the brunette's motions felt like a tease. He needed more but he was trapped under the blonde's body. Mallory was still screaming but it was up into the inaudible range. He grabbed her ass and lifted her up so he could slide his tongue further back.

"OhgodOhgodOhgodOhgodOhgod!" Mallory's voice returned her as her body tensed in anticipation. She'd never experienced anything like this before and was almost frightened to think of what could be next. Then her jaw dropped wide open and her eyes rolled back again as that devilish tongue of his slid deep into her ass. If the sensations of it in her pussy had been lightning, in her ass it was the big bang. She lost the ability to form coherent thoughts and surrendered to her body's primal reactions.

Ashley collapsed forward against Mallory's back when a delicious orgasm washed over her senses. She stopped bouncing and leaned off to the side to slip free from Bron's body. Once she was lying on her back next to him she relaxed and slid into a deeply satisfied sleep.

Bron's need had become desperate. He was close to his orgasm but now his cock just bobbed in the air. He pulled his tongue from Mallory's ass and sat up, lifting a squealing woman with him then slid her down his torso. When the thick head of his cock met the puffy and tingling flesh of her opening she didn't even have time to gasp as he pulled her down, sheathing himself in her hotness.

Mallory would have screamed but Bron's mouth covered hers once more, his hands in her hair holding her tight. He turned on the couch and suddenly she was under his large body, pressed against the cushions. He was so fucking deep inside her and his body was doing incredible things to her. She hadn't had an orgasm in years and the delicious feelings were coming back to her.

Then Bron began to pound her against the sofa. His thrusts were fast and aggressive and she couldn't catch her breath. She whited out when her first orgasm struck and it surged into the next peak and went on and on as Bron's movements became more and more demanding. She was oblivious when he suddenly stopped and groaned out his own pleasure, deep inside the dazed woman.

When it was over Bron's mind returned to him. He was panting and leaning over a blonde woman who was a sweaty mess. Her eyes were closed, her hair was spread out in fan behind her head and her makeup was badly smeared. She was panting and he lifted himself off of her, pulling his softening cock from her abused pussy. She made an odd whining sound then slipped into unconsciousness.

Bron pushed himself to his feet and stood at the end of the couch looking down at the three sleeping women and felt something twist in his heart. He barely knew Laura and liked her but the other two had been strangers and he'd used them to get relief. He didn't feel anything for them. When he looked deep inside himself he could find nothing for them... except regret. It gave him a strange empty feeling he hadn't felt before and it shook him. He was suddenly uneasy about being there with them when they awoke. He was so confused about what to do.

He gathered his pants and slipped into the bathroom. He tidied himself then he left the party room. He found a taxi at the reception area and went home to think.

When he got in the front door Pietr's voice called out to him from the intercom.

"Yes?"

"Please come down to the TV room. There's something you need to see."

Pushing aside his mixed up emotions he immediately headed for the basement. The worried tone in Pietr's voice made him pick up his pace and he was soon standing next to Pietr staring at the horrifying images of an all-out battle in space around the planet Earth.

"The impact of Magdalina's last act on Earth was far more devastating than originally thought. The weakening of the crust has led to earthquakes of unprecedented scale all over the globe. Massive tsunamis have wiped out most coastal cities." He stopped to look at Bron with a sad look in his eye. "Japan is gone. What the tsunamis didn't scour away the volcanos burned. Every fault line has become active and volcanos are reactivating everywhere as well. Combined with the huge quantities of ash the massive volcano in the center of the crater has thrown up the atmosphere the sun is almost completely blocked from the surface. Everything is dying. The wealthy and powerful members of Earth's society, those who would have been most impacted by the information on that pendant you were carrying, are attempting to flee the planet but their automated defense systems in orbit are firing upon them. None have managed to escape. None." The man looked at Bron again with a pale face. "No planets are willing to send a rescue mission to Earth until those orbital defences are shut down. No one would be able to get there in time anyway. Earth is lost."

Chapter 28

Bron laid low the next few weeks. Aside from his sessions at the physio clinic he stayed at home.

Sasha had been called in for questioning regarding their recent interaction with Magdalina but their story about being abducted held. Bron's injury and subsequent amnesia prevented him from being called in by the investigators.

She'd visited Bron once again with full intentions of having him ravage her but he managed to convince her to postpone. Instead they watched porn until she fell asleep leaning back against him. Bron switched to the travel channel to watch the travelogue on Garroon. He wondered if he'd see Angelina or Bailley in the background. Watching the show with the pleasant idea of seeing them he was finally able to fall asleep.

College was a new experience for Bron and he loved it! He loved his classes and discovered he was able to comprehend and retain the lessons he had with ease. He aced every test and wondered why it was coming so easily to him as he recalled times in his past when he'd struggled with learning.

There was no shortage of volunteers for his practical assignments. His gentle but firm touch earned him an excellent reputation. His grades were second to none and the professors all enjoyed having him in class as he was so enthusiastic and positive.

Then it was Election time and he moved into residence at the college as he got permission to do so from the Dean. More importantly Angelina was returning to spend time with her father and be seen with him on his final days of the campaign. Pietr gently asked Bron if he could spare his daughter the heartbreak of being so close. It hurt Bron as well but he made arrangements to move into the residence the same day.

He cast his vote for the first time and openly supported Pietr. The press ate that up.

Of the other three candidates for Premier the one closest to Pietr was his polar opposite in his policies and was prone to inflammatory and offensive comments. He had some choice words to say about a Genie being allowed to vote.

When the final tallies came in everyone was ecstatic to discover Pietr had won by a wide margin. Bron sent him a congratulations message but got no response which was expected considering how buried the man would be in messages. The following day Pietr was on the cover of every news site waving at his supporters with Angelina at his side. Bron thought she looked more beautiful than ever, if a little tired and tense.

A full day had passed and Bron was just finishing up his homework at the little table in his dorm room when he switched his tablet to the news feeds to catch up on the continued excitement for Walla's new Premier. He read a dozen stories saying pretty much the same thing about how the planet was destined to new and exciting progress. He was about to sign off when he noticed there was another clip with Angelina on the site. He clicked over to the society page and there was a video showing Pietr out celebrating his victory the previous night with his campaign people. Angelina was with them. In the scene she was off to the side but Bron zoomed into that section of the clip. He smiled at her lovely expression and the twinkle in her eyes. A handsome young man in a slightly rumpled deep blue suit was holding her hand and she turned to smile at him. He leaned forward and said something and she kissed him.

Bron froze the clip after she pulled back from the kiss and he saw it in her eyes. Love. She loved the young man in the rumpled suit. Not the love of a family member. Not the love of a friend. Heart and soul love.

He played the clip forward and the look remained as the brief clip ended.

Bron shut down the computer and sagged back into the old chair in his tiny room. He knew she would be seeing people socially. Pretenses, right? He knew it had to be that was until Pietr passed his probationary period as Premier. What he hadn't expected was for her to fall in love. Suddenly the request to have him out of the house seemed tainted by intrigue. He found himself on his feet and he didn't know what to do with himself. He'd gone to the gym already today but he needed to burn off the energy that was coursing through him.

He left the dorm and ran across the quad to get to the gym. It was open until midnight so he nodded to the late shift crew and made his way over to the resistance trainers. He dialed up the machine to his normal settings and pushed himself through his routine. He finished quicker than he expected and he still had so much excess energy buzzing through him. He upped the load to the maximum the machines could output and ran through his routine once more. It was torture and he growled out each fierce thrust against the machine's resistance but it served its purpose. It drained the silent rage bubbling deep inside him. When he finally shut the machines down and flopped back against the padded bench he noticed he was being watched.

It was the young man in the rumpled suit, only today he was dressed in a casual collared shirt, slacks, and comfortable shoes. His expression however was anything but comfortable. Still, he didn't run. Bron gestured for him to approach.

"You're Bron?" he said with a slight quaver in his deep voice.

Bron looked at him and wondered at the man's sanity. Finally, he just nodded.

"She'd kill me if she knew I was here but I had to meet you. I'm Dale. Dale Henderson," he finished with his hand thrust out. Bron looked at it, took the hand in his, and shook it. When he released it Dale visibly wobbled.

"I'm not going to hurt you Mr. Henderson," Bron said quietly.

Dale looked at him with wide eyes and nodded. "Please, call me Dale."

"I'm going to call you Mr. Henderson. Why are you here?" Bron asked quietly.

"I'm from Garroon. I work in the office Angelina Rykov is doing her apprenticeship in." Dale closed his eyes briefly and steeled himself. "Here's the thing. I'm madly in love with Angelina. It was a love at first sight thing for me. Not for her. I had to work hard to earn her love. It seems she was in love with some other bloke. She... might still be." The man froze when Bron physically twitched at that statement. "She wouldn't tell me his name. Wouldn't tell me anything about him. Then I met her friends last night after the party and I recognized some of them from the news sites. It clicked. It was their expressions that told me. I knew it had to be you." He was beginning to talk faster as if he had to get something off his chest. Something painful.
For Bron, it felt like the exercise machine had reactivated and was exerting all of its tremendous force to his chest, crushing its way in to squish his heart. He cleared his throat and repeated his question. "Why are you here?"

Dale stopped and wiped his palms on his legs. He licked his suddenly dry lips and looked Bron in the eye. "I have to know if you're in love with her and if I'll have to fight you for her."

Bron barked out a laugh. He didn't mean to do that but the man's statement caught him completely off guard.

"I'm sorry. You surprised me." Bron got control of his volatile emotions and dragged his hands over his face. When he opened his eyes again Dale was facing him with a grim expression. "You're either an extremely brave or an extremely stupid man. I pray for Angelina's sake it's the former," Bron growled quietly. "That said, if you respected her opinion you wouldn't be here. That's a mark against you. You're going to have to earn her forgiveness. I suggest you leave before you prove yourself unworthy of her love."

Dale's confusion showed. "But- you haven't answered my question!"

Bron looked at the man. Fighting him was a ridiculous idea though it appealed to some base need he was somehow managing to suppress. Instead he slowly leaned forward to look deeply into Dale's nervous eyes. For just a second he allowed the pain, which was tearing his heart to shreds, to show in his eyes. Dale rocked back. Bron stood and walked back to his room.

He wouldn't break his promise to Pietr but for the first time in his short life he considered it.

Chapter 29

It took a year but Bron completed his course. He dedicated himself to doing his best and put all other distractions aside. He was at the top of his class and had three different spas and two clinics competing for him to accept employment with them. The spas paid better but the clinics had the whole spiritual fulfillment thing going for them and Bron seriously needed that. The rep for one of the spas saw that and made an offer to take him on as a freelance to earn a little extra money. He was seriously tempted.

He still saw the gang. Sasha ensured he got to see his adopted daughter frequently. He and Kei became great friends and he helped her find some balance in her new environment. In a way she was also much stronger than her peers as he was so she learned from him how to temper that strength to work for her instead of against her.

Sasha also showed up frequently for a little one on one adult time with her big blue lover. She'd become quite addicted to their rough playtime.

He shared his remaining spare moments with the others from time to time. Asami was a little quieter than she once was but they found comfort in each other's arms on occasion. He was making sure she wasn't bound to the past but looked to the future as well.

The bodybuilders hadn't worked out for Rachel and Sarah. They were still having trouble finding compatible mates on a planet as soft as Walla but Bron eased that for them so they found contentment.

Vicky and Van the physiotherapist had become a thing. Van had energy to spare and loved to dance so he earned himself a place in their gang.

Stephie married Marc the horse trainer and moved away shortly after Angelina and Bailley left for Garroon. Contact with her just dried up. Several attempts were made to reconnect but she'd made herself a new life and had cut herself loose from the old. Her friends accepted her decision.

Rhonda was the most vocal about Angelina's change of heart. She was severely disappointed in her friend but did her best to rein that in when she visited him. Bron learned from her that Angelina moved permanently to Garroon and married Dale. They were already expecting and it looked like it was going to be twins. The words hurt Bron deeply but in a way they freed him from the last of his bindings to the past.

Bron managed to track down Bailley who was still in Garroon. She'd graduated from her course and found a job working as an administrator for a women's shelter there. She had hoped to return to Brisbee but they needed her desperately at the shelter and she couldn't abandon them. He and Bailley talked on the phone for well over three hours. She told him how she'd discovered about Dale and the major blowout she'd had with Angelina when she learned that her friend was getting serious with the man while Bron pined for her. They hadn't spoken since that night. Bailley felt like she'd failed Bron and was too embarrassed to call. He told her that was silly. He still cared deeply for her and told her that he would come visit her when he could. She told him she'd hold him to that promise.

None of the ladies were able to explain what had happened to Angelina to make her change her heart so dramatically. Her love for Bron had been so strong then it seemed like overnight she moved on.

The only remaining member of the group they hadn't been able to contact was Laura. Each time they'd tried they were told she was off in some distant village building a school or organizing a charity event. The last thing they'd been told was that she was in Garroon doing... something for the needy. Bron felt bad about how he'd run off the last night he'd been with her. He still felt uneasy about how he'd had sex with those two women but they hadn't attempted to contact him so he tried to put it out of his mind.

Pietr had come to see him at the college once after his election and expressed his condolence for how life had once again served him some pain when none was deserved. Bron told him that he didn't hold him responsible and was delighted the man would be getting grandchildren after all. This brought a happy gleam to Pietr's eyes then a frown as he realized his pleasure came at a high cost for a very good man. Bron assured him that he was delighted for the man and wished him all the success and happiness for the future.

The new Premier had come through on a number of promises and the people of Walla were the better for it. He made sweeping policies granting Genies civil rights but did not open Walla as a haven for Genies as the populace was still nervous about the planet being flooded with refugee Genies. Currently Walla's Genie population remained at one. But the rest of the planets watched and began to adopt some of the same measures. It was a start.

It was the night of his graduating ceremony and the gang had gathered at their new favorite nightspot to celebrate. Vicki's beau Van was extra pumped as Bron would be joining him at the clinic he worked at in two weeks. Bron liked the man as he was such a source of positive energy which was very helpful to have in a clinic. Bron planned on taking the two weeks to decompress from his exam schedule and to visit Bailley. Pietr paid for the expensive flight as a graduation present. While he was in Garroon he didn't plan to see Angelina as she had made her choice very clear and it was still painful to him.

They danced for hours and Bron felt amazing being surrounded by so many people who genuinely cared about him. Afterwards Vicki and Van dropped him off at the airport on their way home as Bron's flight to Garroon left at the crack of dawn. The suborbital flight only took three hours so Bron wouldn't have much time to sleep before they arrived. He changed into shorts and a t-shirt in the airport and put his dancing clothes into the small duffel he was carrying. He was travelling light.

He discovered his seat on the plane was too small to allow him to sleep at all so he was exhausted by the time he got to the airport in Garroon. He walked out into the arrivals area bleary eyed so he missed seeing Bailley's frantic waving until she crushed herself against his chest in a fierce hug.

She felt wonderful and he held her tight against his body until she patted his chest to get him to release her. She beamed a smile up at his face.

"Bron! I've missed you so much!" she gushed.

He took in her beautiful eyes, lush lips, smooth mocha skin and wanted desperately to kiss her but was sensitive to her-

Bailley's soft lips covered his and his mind left his body and floated to heaven. When she pulled back he wobbled on his feet and she braced him with an impish smile. They were drawing stares.

"It's good to see I can still affect you that way," she said quietly.

"You always have and always will," he whispered back.

Her smile dazzled him so she led him out of the airport to her truck. As she'd folded back the soft top there was plenty of space for Bron to stretch out in. The climate of Garroon was dryer than Brisbee so convertibles were the norm. His t-shirt and shorts were perfect for the climate.

She drove him back to the little ranch style house she was renting out. The property was surrounded by a privacy fence with nasty looking razor wire coiled along its top. Bron looked at Bailley with a questioning look.

"Not all of the locals are friendly," was all she said as she pressed the gate remote. A small pack of dogs burst through the opening to run around the car barking. "Second line of defence," she said as she moved them carefully through the dogs onto the parking pad under a canopy. Bailley saw all the dogs were back inside the fence so she pressed the button again and the gate closed.

They both got out of the car and the dogs gathered around Bron to give him a sniff. They didn't bark or try to bite him. He had no experience with dogs so he looked at Bailley again and she shrugged. She led Bron inside for a tour of her place.

It was a small house so it didn't take long. Two bedrooms though one was set up as an office, decent size living room, dining room for maybe six people, a small kitchen and one functional bathroom. All on one level with no basement but it did have power, water, sewers, net access, and most importantly air conditioning. The dogs stayed outside.

He helped her get water for the dogs and once that was done the pack seemed to accept him and went back to sleeping in the shade beside the house.

Bailley caught Bron yawning and made him explain why he was so tired. When he finished she led him back inside and pushed him onto her bed as it was the only bed in the house. She snuggled in against his side. It didn't take them long to fall asleep.

A few hours later Bron woke up and saw he was alone. He saw the sun had set so it was late evening he guessed. He wandered out into the living room and found Bailley working with a tablet. She smiled at him and placed the powered off device on the coffee table. She patted the seat beside her.

"It's so good to see you again. I haven't slept that well in a long time!" she said.

"Same here," he responded with a smile. "Can you tell me about the security measures you've taken?"

Bailley frowned then shrugged. "Garroon isn't as cultured or civilized as Brisbee. There are a lot of really nice people here but the... remoteness has led some to revert to a more primitive nature. Old sexisms have resurfaced and it can get rough for women here. My work at the shelter has brought me into contact with quite a number of abused women. Some of their husbands, boyfriends, even fathers, have made threats against the shelter staff, myself included, for interfering with 'family matters'. The women are being physically or mentally abused and these men consider this treatment to be justified because they consider themselves to be the master of their household. We have a list of offenders but the police have been hesitant to get involved. Laura Augustine has been working with our shelter for the past month and she has done wonders. Her influence on the local administration as well as our global government through her father is starting to have a large impact. The police have received special training for dealing with domestic abuse and they are coming around. She's introduced educational programs to make people aware that this abuse is not natural or acceptable. Children are feeling more comfortable about opening up to their guidance councillors in schools to report abuse they are exposed to. Laura has also expanded our center and brought in more staff. Grants we weren't aware existed have made it possible to fund the center for the next few years. It's not as desperate a situation as it was when I joined. Largely because of her."

"But you still have a wall with deadly wire atop it and a pack of dogs to protect you at night," Bron said.

"Not everyone takes well to being identified as an uncivilized wife beater," she shrugged.

"So the threats to you are still active?"

"Yes... but these are cowards."

"Primitive, savage, angry cowards. The worse kind," Bron insisted.

Bailley shrugged once more. "I take precautions. The home is wired for security and the police are just ten minutes away."

Bron tried to shake his nervousness for her. She smiled when she saw his genuine concern.

"You made it possible for me to help these women you know," she said quietly.

He looked at her in surprise.

"You helped me break out of the prison I had built up around myself. You gave me confidence in myself. I was able to love without fear and that made all the difference," she said as she climbed up on his lap.

"I can't take credit for that. You did all the hard work yourself!" Bron blustered.

She ran her fingertip across his lower lip and smiled at how he trembled in reaction. "But it was your patience and caring nature that allowed me to take that chance. Until you arrived in my life I hadn't progressed at all. If anything I was becoming more reclusive and distrustful. You made me comfortable. Made me feel safe. I could talk with you without being judged. I felt like you really cared for me."

"Oh Bailley, care for you? I love you. I thought you understood," Bron said quietly.

The woman froze, staring into his eyes.

"Did I upset you? Was I pushing too hard? These aren't words that can be taken back. It's ok if you don't feel the same way. I understand," Bron mumbled, stumbling over his words.

"But you love Angelina!" she squeaked.

"Yes... I did, and a small part of me always will. But that didn't keep you from becoming a critical component of my happiness. You weren't the only one who felt liberated by those conversations. You weren't the only one whose heart opened when our minds shared so completely. I felt a deep connection with you even then. I didn't know how you truly felt about me as you always backed off the moment Angelina was around. When you both left to finish your schooling here it was a devastating blow. I don't mean to make you feel bad. I just need you to understand how I feel about you. Again, I'm not expecting you to feel the same way. You don't even have to say anyth-"

Bailley once more captured his lips with hers as she surged forward to kiss him and wrap her arms around his neck. He sank back on the couch with her body pressing firmly against his. Her tongue slipped into his mouth to stroke across his. She moaned and he slid his hands down her body making her squirm and grind against him. Bron moaned when she pressed against his bulge.

She pulled back from the kiss to stare into his eyes. "I love you Bron. I always have but I couldn't steal you from Angelina. I promised her I would protect your secret love then when she said she was leaving to come here I promised myself I'd protect your love for her but I failed. I didn't know you loved me!"

Bron slipped his hands into her silky hair and pulled her to his lips once more. He gently stroked her full lower lip against his and felt her tremble. He ran the tip of his tongue over the lips and she gasped. She tried to kiss him harder but he was controlling the kiss with his hands and she pressed harder against his bulge in retaliation. He moaned and he felt her grin in victory.

His pouch opened and Bailley felt the heat of him thump against her.

"Oh!" she gasped

Suddenly there was a loud shriek of tearing metal outside the house and the dogs went nuts. Their barking was loud and chaotic but soon became yelps and cries. Then silence.

Bron's passion cooled quickly and his pouch resealed. They sat up quickly and Bailley's eyes looked troubled.

"Call the police. I think someone just killed the dogs," Bron said.

Bailley connected with the police station on her tablet and they promised to be there as soon as possible. The units were currently busy with a multicar accident.

She looked at Bron with fear in her eyes.

The lights went out and the tablet's connection died. Bailley managed to suppress her scream.

"Do you have any weapons?" Bron asked quietly.

"No."

"Lock yourself in the bathroom and get into the tub. I think you're about to lose your damage deposit on this place," Bron whispered.

"Be careful!" she said quietly.

He gave her a quick kiss and she ran for the bathroom.

Bron crab walked over to the living room and peaked out of the corner of the window. He caught a glimpse of motion at the corner of the house. That was One, likely armed and waiting for him to exit. He moved to the front door and listened. Here was Two and Three, ready to storm the house. He moved to the kitchen door next. The latch was beginning to glow from the cutting torch. So Four, the pyro. He peeked out the window in the kitchen door and saw one more by the back wall in the shadows. Finally, Five and the one to worry about. No doubt armed with a long range powerful weapon of some kind.

Shit.

Well, deal with Four first. Fire was too chaotic to deal with. Bron grabbed a bottle of cooking oil and kicked the door fiercely next to the latch. The door blew outwards to crash against the hand holding the torch and knocked the man back on his ass onto the stone patio. Bron nailed the ground between his legs with the bottle and the oil sprayed outwards in a huge fan which ignited on the intensely hot torch with a huge boom. The man began screaming as he was coated with burning oil.

Bron was already moving. He leapt into the living room and lifted the couch and ran with it under his arm like a battering ram towards the front door. The hinges were blown and the door fell inwards. Two and Three tried pushing in the door but encountered the end of the sofa as it smashed into their chests. Bron slammed them down onto the stone walkway under the couch and crouched down behind the vertical pillar of the sofa. There was a loud boom as One shot the couch with his shotgun.

He let go of the couch and grabbed the collars of Two and Three and hoisted them up as shields and ran at One by the corner of the house. Bron was surprised that One didn't hesitate at all to open fire on his partners. He must have only had two shots in that shotgun as he threw it after he shot them and drew a handgun. Two and Three were squealing with pain from their injuries and screaming at One to stop shooting. One only had time to get one more shot off but it went right through Two and grazed Bron's arm. The shock made him drop the dead man. Bron dropped Three on One's gun hand them slapped the man's face hard enough to snap his neck. A chunk blew out of the corner of the house next to Bron's shoulder as Five finally made it around the house to join the fight. Bron ducked around the corner and raced for the back of the house keeping his eyes open for additional assailants. He lucked out as there was no one in the back yard except for the smouldering corpse of Four. Bron grabbed the fuel tank from his portable torch. Then he leapt up onto the roof of the house and lay quietly listening to the crunch of Five's footsteps in the gravel of the front yard. He slowly pulled his way to the peak of the roof and looked over. The man was in the middle of the open space looking scared as shit.

Bron got his knees under him and opened the valve on the tank. He popped up and threw the cylinder at Five in a flat trajectory. Five's reflexes were quick as he spun his weapon's barrel towards Bron but the fuel tank hit him in the chest and he dropped the rifle. It fired when the gun's butt hit the hard ground and the muzzle flash ignited the gas jetting from the cylinder. A huge thump tossed Five into the air to get tangled in the razor wire on the property's security wall.
From his vantage point on the roof Bron looked around but there were no more assailants.

He heard the sound of sirens approaching in the distance. Bron hopped down from the roof and went inside to check on Bailley. He saw the bathroom door was still closed.

"Bailley? All clear. The police are arriving."

The door flew open and she rushed out to cling to him. He felt her shaking. He felt a twinge in his left arm where he'd been grazed by the bullet. "I think you're going to need a new place to live."

"Brisbee," she said into his chest.

"That works for me," he smiled.

The flashing lights of the police cruisers painted the inside of the house with lurid light as they pulled into the courtyard.

Hours later Bron woke from the nap he'd taken in the holding cell at the local jail. The police weren't quite sure what to do with him. They had four dead bodies of local good ol' boys and one in critical condition in the hospital. Three of the men had been on the offenders list from the women's shelter and the apparent target of the 'attack' appeared to be one of the administrators of the shelter. The detectives were taking her statement.

The problem was, Bron had killed. The grisly proof was evident in the burnt corpse of Larry Gibson and the broken neck and fractured skull of Dean Stotts. While Dean was responsible for the shooting deaths of Ben and Jeff Kilgore the other two were killed by Bron. Granted it was in self-defence but the public's fear of him mandated that they take extra precautions. The public had been aware he was no longer controlled by Genie conditioning but the evidence that he wasn't violent had eased their fears. Now this happened, showing he was capable of terrible violence. The public was in an uproar.

So Bron stayed in the cell.

The holding area was quite quiet and cool and he had a bed to rest on so he was comfortable. He was a little hungry but he wasn't desperate yet.

He sat up and heard the distant sound of a door opening. This was followed by additional thunk and clank sounds of the outer gates being opened and closed. Then he heard the slow click of heels approaching. He waited patiently and watched the hall. The footsteps stopped then started up again.

Angelina, a very pregnant Angelina walked around the corner and looked at him.

Bron stood and felt his heart clench as he stared into familiar blue eyes.

"Hello Bron."

He opened his mouth but no sound came out. He blinked and cleared his throat.

"Hello Angelina," he was finally able to say.

They stood staring at each other.

Angelina's eyes dropped to the bandage on his arm. "You were injured again."

"It's nothing. A scratch." He looked at her belly. "You- congratulations are in order I guess."

Her hands moved to rest on her domed belly and she smiled. "Thank you."

The silence stretched out. Bron finally sat. "Well, it was nice of you to come visit."

Angelina looked away and brought her hand to her mouth. "You left me," she gasped through her fingers as she struggled to hold back her tears.

"What?" Bron wasn't sure he'd heard her correctly as what she'd said made no sense.

"The night of the explosion... you left me." She was trembling now.

Bron looked at her, unable to defend himself as he had no memory of the event.

"I don't understand. I left you in the building?"

"NO! You got us to safety THEN YOU WENT BACK FOR LAURA!" she screamed.

Bron racked his brain trying to understand. Having no memory of Laura from before meeting her in the hospital when he woke up he had no idea why he would have left Angelina for her.

"I NEEDED YOU AND YOU LEFT ME!" Angelina sobbed and Bron sat looking at her helplessly.

"Do you know why I did that? I can't defend my actions of that night as I lost the memories. The last memories I have are of being desperately in love with you at the eye doctor's office and my joy at seeing your face again," Bron said quietly.

Angelina slid to the floor, leaning back against the wall as she continued to cry.

"When I woke in the hospital you'd already left. To begin your new life here. With him." Bron's heart ached so much as he looked at the beauty crying quietly on the other side of the bars.

Angelina summoned the strength to force back her tears and she looked at him. Her blue eyes were glassy with unshed tears and her lips trembled but she faced him. "I watched you breathing, connected to the machines, healing but asleep. I did that for months and it was tearing me apart. I'd wander the hospital corridors going over that critical moment in my mind again and again. How we'd miraculously escaped death, how we had our future as a couple ahead of us, and how you chose to return for her. Every time I came back from my thoughts I'd find myself in the maternity ward outside the nursery. I watched the babies sleeping. Sweet innocence. A new beginning. Eventually I realized my feet were wiser than my brain. I needed a new start as well. I knew what I had to do. I had to listen to what my body was telling me."

Bron sat looking at her in silence. He swallowed a painful lump in his throat.

"I'm sorry. You deserve children. That's something you were never going to have with me. I would have understood if you had told me that's why you left me-"

"YOU LEFT ME!" Angelina screamed then her tears started afresh. Her body was shaking as deep sobs racked her.

Bron leaned back against the wall and stared at her.

In his soul he knew what she was saying wasn't the truth. He couldn't recall the events of the night but he knew with every fibre of his being that he hadn't chosen Laura over Angelina. He wanted to scream the truth at her. That it was her who'd abandoned him. He wanted her to take responsibility for the terrible pain she'd caused him.

He suddenly recalled what he'd told Bailley. A part of his heart would always love Angelina and that part was now telling him he had to let her have this.

She needed the lie. As much as she needed children she needed to believe that he'd left her.

She needed it to heal. To move on with her life. To enjoy her new life with her husband and children without reservation.

A wave of pain washed over his soul. Then he sat upright and looked at the crying woman.

"Yes. I did."

Angelina looked up at him in shock.

"Like I said, it was nice for you to come by for a visit," Bron said with a cool voice.

She struggled to get back on her feet and Bron kept his expression flat, eyes looking off to the side at nothing.

Angelina looked at him once more.

"Goodbye," he said with a cool, indifferent tone.

Unable to speak she nodded and left slowly.

When she was out of sight he listened carefully to the sound of her footsteps. Slow and unsteady at first, the clicking pattern smoothed and by the time she reached the exit she was back to a normal pace.

When he heard the outer door close he sagged on the bed and leaned his face in his palms. He felt that small part of his heart reserved for Angelina tearing itself open once more, the pain fresh and sharp. For the first time in his life he wished for the ability to cry.

Chapter 30

Pietr had Bron transferred to the police in Brisbee. The locals in Garroon were making noises about forming a lynch mob to kill the monster that took the life of the men who were just defending their way of life.

Laura Augustine was all over the Garroon media actively challenging each of these people to justify their claim that the abuse of their wives and daughters was a 'way of life'.

Bailley was transferring her duties at the woman's shelter to another worker as she prepared to return to Brisbee. She moved in with Laura at her hotel while that happened as her house was no longer safe.

Bron found himself in the brought to the detention wing of the Brisbee Court House in shackles. His chains were passed through a loop on a table he was seated behind.

Thirty minutes later two armed security officers entered the room and took up stations on either side of the room facing Bron. Next came a camera crew comprised of a director and his camera man who set up several miniature camera pods managed with his wireless control station. Pietr finally arrived with one of Walla's Supreme Court Judges, His Honor Lawrence Dizdale. Pietr took one of the chairs across from Bron and scowled when he saw the wrist chains.

"Are these necessary?" he said addressing the guards.

"Standard operating procedure," one stated. Dizdale nodded to indicate it was.

Pietr turned to face Bron.

Bron lifted the chains slightly and they made a frightful rattling against the desk loop. The guards tensed and the reporters eased back. "Why am I in custody?" Bron began.

"It's protective custody, Bron," Pietr said with a tired voice.

"So I'm not being charged with murder for defending Bailley and myself against those armed attackers?"

"No," Dizdale said.

"Am I allowed to refuse the protective custody?"

There was a pause as Dizdale looked at Pietr. "No."

"So it's not protection for me. It's protection from me. I'm just in custody." He sat back against his chair back with a thump. The chains rattled loudly and the camera crew jumped at the noise. He gave them a frustrated look. "Really? Have I become the big bad boogie man just because I didn't roll over and allow those men to kill us?" Bron looked to the man controlling the cameras. "If five armed men surrounded your house with you and your family inside and began to break in and you had no weapons to protect yourself, would you just sit there and let them kill you?"

The man shook his head. "Of course you wouldn't! You'd want to live! You'd want to protect your loved ones! You'd fight back by any means you had at your disposal!" He looked back at Pietr and the Judge. "I was told that I was a citizen. Every citizen is responsible for following society's laws. If they break one they face criminal prosecution. Am I a citizen or not?"

"You are Bron but-" Pietr began.

"Ok, I'm a citizen. Have I committed a crime?" he pushed on.

Pietr was quiet for a second, looking at Bron. "No."

"So I'm a citizen who's broken no laws yet I'm being held in custody and I'm chained to a table? Have any other citizens been treated in this manner?" Bron asked.

"No, but you're not just any citizen-" Dizdale began.

"Oh! You have a graduated scale of citizenship with each level having a separate and distinct set of rights?" Bron asked.

Pietr was becoming frustrated but he could see Bron felt the same way. "No."

"Then I'm just another citizen. I should be given the same respect and should be held accountable for my actions just like every other citizen is. I know I'm not human but I was given citizenship on Walla because I want to be a good citizen. I want to contribute in a positive way to the planet. I want to help people! That's why I took that course to learn massage therapy. I'm not a violent person. I despise violence. That doesn't mean I won't protect myself and those I care about when circumstances demand it."

"The other citizens are frightened Bron. It's our duty to protect them," Dizdale said calmly.

"I applaud the intent but when you violate a citizen's rights to do it aren't you becoming more of a risk to them than I am? I'm just one being who wants to live in peace. You represent Walla's governing body. You're demonstrating their rights mean nothing should you decide they represent some undefined threat."

"How can you say undefined? You killed two men!" Lawrence asserted.

"In doing so did I break the law? Have I committed a crime? Have I violated any of Walla's defined legal rules?" Bron asked. "If I had there might be justification in how you're treating this citizen. Don't bother answering, you've already indicated I haven't broken any laws or rules. Yet the chains remain."

Lawrence scowled at Bron and Pietr sat back and looked at the Supreme Court Judge. "He's right your Honor. There is no justification for violating his rights as we are currently doing. We're playing right into the hands of the extremists. We need a civilized and honorable response instead of just reacting to mass paranoia and hysterical fear."

Dizdale frowned at Pietr then nodded reluctantly. He looked at Bron and sighed. "We're going to need a press conference to undo the damage we've already done."

It took a few hours to arrange the press conference but the turnout was enormous. Every media outlet was represented and some were even from off-planet. Security was tight but with the sheer number of people coming and going to set up their feeds the difficulty in screening them all was daunting. There would be an element of risk. Bron was no longer chained and sat comfortably in a meeting room waiting to be called out for the conference. He'd received word that Bailley finished early and was on her way from Garroon.

Pietr entered the room and sat next to Bron.

"I've prepared a statement and I think it might be best if we limited the number of questions to roughly a dozen or so. The most volatile or inflammatory ones will typically get asked early on anyway. We shouldn't look like we're trying to sidestep anything but if the question can't be answered without causing a firestorm of controversy please let me address them."

Bron nodded.

"Did... did you see Angelina while you were in Garroon?" Pietr asked hesitantly.

Bron's stomach twisted. He nodded.

"How did that go?" the father asked.

Bron looked at the man. He wasn't going to load him with the burden of guilt for his daughter's actions. He respected the man too much to do that.

"She's really showing. Twins, I understand. You'll be a grandpa soon," Bron replied calmly.

Pietr watched Bron's face and had the suspicion that he was being spared from something... painful. He nodded and smiled at the big man.

The hall door opened and Bron heard the rumble from the gathered people in the largest conference room down the hall. It triggered a memory of the first press conference Bron had attended on Walla. His nervousness increased.

Supreme Court Judge Dizdale leaned his head in the room and gestured for the two of them to join him. It was time.

They walked down the hall and stepped into the room. Hundreds of cameras suddenly began to whir and hum and Bron's nerves flared. He cast his eyes around the room looking for threats. There were so many people crammed into this chamber. It was impossible to track them all.

The raised podium was ahead and he followed the Judge and Pietr up the stairs and moved to the back. As directed he ignored the shouted questions and waited to be called upon by either of the two men.

The judge made his statement. In it he clarified the importance of laws in society and their role in protecting the people from sliding into the dark days of the past. He finished with a statement on the dangers of not protecting the rights of the individual civilian and how this impacted every citizen.

Bron wasn't really paying attention as he was trying to find potential attackers in the audience. Just because he couldn't see them didn't mean they weren't there.

Pietr read a statement outlining the results of the local investigation and how the five men had broken several laws in their attack and how this could only be described as a criminal act. He moved on to describe how this wasn't the first time Bron had intervened to save a human life and related the tale of their first news conference on Walla.

Bron's nerves were vibrating like mad by this point. He could feel the menace but he couldn't tell where it was coming from. There were just too many people and too much movement. He looked at the man who'd made his new life possible and realized Pietr was too exposed. Bron felt his feet moving before he knew why. He slipped between the man and the podium knocking Pietr back.

"What are you doin-" Pietr began to growl quietly. Then his face and torso were covered in a spray of blood.

All hell broke loose in the next seconds. Screams, the buzz of police drones firing shock cannons, the scrape of chairs pushed back and knocked over, and the sound of running feet filled the air all while the hum of the cameras filled the background.

The security personnel were immediately at Pietr's side, pulled him down between them and hustled him off the stage. The planet's leading statesman looked back up on the stage as they rushed from the room and saw Bron slumped over the podium facing the crowd... with a large smoking hole in his back.

Pietr's scream was lost to doors slammed between him and the room.

Chapter 31

Six months had passed since the final news conference for the planet's only Genie citizen. The shooter had been identified as a member of the violent Humanity for Humans group. His primary target had been Walla's Premier but he was satisfied with only being able to take out the secondary target before his capture. He'd been rather smug until none of the planets in the Confederacy would verify his citizenship. None wanted to lay claim to the man willing to begin a planetary war as the assassination of a Premier would have launched. With no citizenship, the Confederacy's rules for the humane treatment of prisoners did not apply. Getting information from the man proved to be a task of mere hours. The result of this was a manhunt across every civilized planet in the Confederacy for the remaining leaders of the radical group. Three had been captured, two took their own lives, and four remained at large.

On Walla life went on.

There was a small family of islands off the coast of the southern continent on Walla. Created by a dormant string of volcanos they were lush and mostly untouched by civilization. Set aside as a nature reserve, the islands were largely unpopulated with only a few research stations on a few of the southernmost islands and a small enclave of buildings reserved as a vacation spot for Walla's Premier on the largest, northern island. A base housing a division of the planet's security detail also inhabited this island to ensure the Premier's stay was uninterrupted. The personnel on the base were rotated year round to maintain the protection of the islands so it was a plum assignment.

Pietr didn't get to take many vacations as Premier. The job kept him extremely busy. He also rarely got to visit his daughter and her new family in Garroon but he'd made time for that a few months back when the twins were born. Bran and Ashley were beautiful, perfect babies and Pietr had shed tears of joy over them and his daughter. He was reserving his judgement on Dale as the man... well, no father thinks a son-in-law is worthy of his daughter.

Today he was visiting the second island in the chain which was just a little smaller than the first but was less accessible due to its rugged coastline, the dangerous reef encircling it, and its single small bay with a beautiful crescent shaped beach of fine black volcanic sand. Densely jungled it had a huge bowl shaped valley in its center with a crystal blue fresh water lake. Pietr loved this island more than the one his enclave was built on. As isolated as it was it was perfect for a day of soaking in the sun and unwinding. The security detail on the boat he took to reach the island ensured their presence was as unobtrusive as possible as Pietr enjoyed his solitude during these breaks. Once they arrived at the island two soldiers took him in to the bay with a dingy which they moored up on the beach before they slipped into the shelter of the jungle to stand guard unseen. There was a large umbrella on the beach and a few lounge chairs.

Pietr set his small beach bag down and kicked off his sandals. He went for a walk along the shore, feet in the shallow cool waters, feeling the fine sand squish between his toes. The small waves swooshed back and forth and he felt a calmness settling over him. After a short time he turned and made his way back. He was looking forward to getting back to his book. He'd visited this beach on the two prior days and found it to be the perfect place for him to lose himself in a good story.
As he made his way back he saw that today he would not be reading. He had company. A few minutes later he reached the umbrella. He smiled down at the tall beauty with the long toned limbs whose bikini showed off her sensual curves as she relaxed on a lounge chair under the umbrella. Long straight ebony hair flowed down over mocha skin and sunglasses hid her almond shaped dark brown eyes.

"Hello Bailley."

"Hello Pietr."

"I'm glad you came to visit me today. I was beginning to wonder if I was alone on this island after all. Besides my escort of course."

"It was time," was all she said.

There was a sound of shrieking laughter and a young woman burst out of the jungle to run towards the water's edge. She wore a huge grin on her youthful face and a small bikini. She had a pale and shovel in one hand and waved shyly at Pietr with the other as she ran by. Kei was growing quickly and was excelling in her studies. She was on a break from school and should be in the care of... ah there she was.

Hobbling out of the jungle onto the sand, Sasha's face and torso were soaking wet. Her bikini wasn't much more than a few pieces of string and some stamp sized patches of fabric. Pietr looked away with a blush. He had noticed she was grimacing as she moved slowly towards them.

"Little urchin dumped a pail of cold stream water on me!" she growled as she carefully settled herself on a chair in the sun. She nodded to Pietr then leaned back and sighed happily.

Pietr looked back to Bailley. "How are the accommodations? Do you need anything?"

"We're good. The peace and quiet is really refreshing," Bailley replied.

"Dull you mean," Sasha mumbled.

Bailley gave a gentle snort but looked away before Pietr could ask what that meant.

The silence went on for a bit and Pietr cast a few glances back towards the trail. He knew Asami and Rhonda were here as well but maybe they didn't feel like a visit. Rachel and Sarah had moved to Garroon to help with the woman's shelter and found the men in the area to be quite entertaining. They were both being courted by a number of local men the last Pietr had heard. Vicki and Van hadn't been available to join their friends.

He took a seat on his lounge and pulled out his book. He began reading but gave up after a few minutes of reading over the same line repeatedly.

"How... how is he?"

Bailley looked at Pietr and even through the dark lenses of her sunglasses he felt the intensity of her stare. His mouth went a little dry as he waited for her to respond.

"Oh for fuck's sake Bailley, will you finally let the man off the hook? Pietr didn't kill Bron!" Sasha barked.

Bailley looked at Sasha and her nostrils flared with her anger. Sasha just looked back at her, daring her to make a move. Bailley finally took some deep breaths and calmed herself.

"He's a little better every day," she finally managed to say though Pietr had to strain to hear her.

Pietr was going to ask another question when he caught motion with the corner of his eye. A dark skinned beauty was walking slowly out of the jungle, her lush curves squeezed into a skimpy shimmering black bikini with gleaming gold rings. Rhonda was looking back and holding someone's hand. Asami also appeared, also looking back. The alabaster skin of the petite Asian contrasted shockingly with her companion's chocolate brown coloring as did her bright red bikini.

The final member to step out of the shade of the jungle was huge in comparison to the two women guiding him out onto the sand. Massively muscled, blue black skin of fine scales, shimmering iridescently in the strong sunlight.

Bron. Impossibly alive.

He favored his left leg. The sand gave him trouble. He relied on the women to guide him to the chairs.

He was wearing his goggles again.

Asami and Rhonda nodded to Pietr who had risen to his feet when the three approached. Bailley was also standing and held out her hand to Bron. He looked in her direction and smiled. He took her hand and she helped him sit on the extra-large lounge chair she'd been using. Once he was down and comfortable Bailley snuggled in next to him, resting back against his broad chest.

"Bron. You are looking well," Pietr said with a smile.

The large Genie looked at him with a smile. "I know you," the deep voice rolled out slowly.

Bailley took his hand and raised it to her trembling lips in a supportive gesture.

"Pietr... Ry... Rykov!" Bron's smile grew wider.

"Yes Bron, exactly," the man said with a pleased grin.

"His memories are there. They just take time to resurface," Bailley said quietly.

"That's wonderful! Astonishing, really!"

"He remembered what to do with my ass last night!" Sasha said with a wicked grin.

Pietr blushed and Rhonda glared at her. "Yes, we all heard that last night. I wouldn't be surprised if every soldier on the army base heard you!"

Sasha laughed loudly which turned into whimpers and wincing which triggered chuckles from Rhonda and Asami.

Bailley was watching Bron who hadn't looked away from Pietr yet. She worried her lower lip with her teeth. Visual clues often helped him regain blocks of memory. He'd had some dramatic breakthroughs when the gang arrived on the island a few days back.

"You're important..." Bron whispered looking at the man.

"He's Walla's Premier, Bron. The most important position on the planet," Rhonda explained.

He shook his head slowly. "No, he's important... to me." He raised a hand to his forehead as the pressure built.

"Remember what I said, baby. Don't fight it, open yourself to the experience. Let them flow over you. Don't try to make sense of them as they arrive. Butterflies."

Bron nodded to Bailley as the other's watched. He lowered his hand and rested his head back. It was difficult to relax as it felt like he had a maddening itch in his brain and the pressure hurt at the same time. Their code word, butterflies, was a visualization exercise. A kaleidoscope of butterflies landing inside his brain is how he accepted the images flashing through his mind. He did his best to just let them settle into place and move on without- OH!"

"You... you saved me from Bacchus!" Bron's face showed his shock as the cascade continued. "You- I-" Bron's head dropped forward as he lost consciousness.

Pietr jolted. "Should we do something?"

"He's overloaded," Sasha said. "He'll come out of it in a bit. He did that when I showed up as well."

Tears ran down Bailley's cheeks as she clung to his hand. She climbed off the lounge and had Rhonda and Asami help her lower the back of the chair so Bron could rest. Then she walked away down the beach wiping the tears from her eyes. The two ladies went with her, talking softly.

Pietr watched them go and felt a deep sadness in his heart. He'd met Bailley when she'd arrived from her flight back from Garroon. He'd personally given her the news of Bron's death. He never wanted to witness such pain and anguish again. It destroyed the woman. The damage he'd done to the fragile woman that day still hadn't healed.

Kei came back up the beach to sit at Bron's feet. She looked at Pietr and he smiled at her.

"Mr. Rykov, may I ask you a question?" the young girl asked.

"Certainly."

"No one speaks of what happened to Bron. I found videos of the news conference online and watched them. They all show the same thing. Bron died. You can see it in his eyes." She looked over at Sasha but the woman looked away. "They won't tell me what happened next. They won't tell me how or why he's alive today."

Pietr looked over at Sasha but she wouldn't face him either. He considered what Kei was asking and why the women were behaving as they did. To acknowledge death is not an easy thing. It's saying goodbye. Maybe they just weren't ready to do that. Especially since they miraculously got him back. No one understood why or for how long. To acknowledge he'd been taken is to accept he could be taken again. He nodded to the girl who was beginning to show frustration.

"You're right. Bron did die. I was there and I saw it happen right before my eyes. I can still feel the spray of his blood and flesh against my skin. It was an absolutely horrifying experience that to this day gives me nightmares." He took some deep breaths to calm himself and saw Sasha shiver in reaction to his words. He continued because Kei deserved an answer.

"The mini rail gun used to fire the metal pellet through him was very powerful and his body sustained a terrible injury. Terrible enough to stop his heart. He stopped breathing. Everything stopped. The Chief Medical Examiner was there that night and pronounced him dead. Yet he came back. In the morning when the chief coroner retrieved his body to do the autopsy she discovered he was breathing once more. His heart was beating." Kei's eyes were wide with wonder.

"The only reason the doctors could come up with for his survival was that none of his major organs were directly damaged by the pellet. From previous hospital stays we knew the autonomous healing mechanisms in his body are very efficient and quick but this... no one should have been able to survive what happened to him. It's too bad Gregory Taggart was killed as learning how he designed Bron might give us the key to human longevity and a host of other medical miracles."

"What happened to his mind? He did not remember me at first when we arrived," Kei asked quietly.

"His brain stopped being fed oxygen for a time. The fact that these memories are coming back at all is yet another miracle. He should be a vegetable. Without also being dropped to very low temperatures a human brain can't endure more than ten minutes without oxygen before irreversible brain damage. Each of these miracles makes the Confederacy's Scientific Community demand he be handed over to them for medical experimentation."

"YOU CAN'T DO THAT!" Sasha yelled as she glared at him.

Pietr smiled at the woman. "Don't worry. There is no chance of that happening now. The people of Walla now consider him a symbol of their tenacity, endurance and strength. He selflessly gave his life to save their Premier and Walla gave him his life back. That's how our spin doctors have been playing this and the people are eating it up. He's part of Walla now. Binding him to the planet and its people finally gave him the acceptance we needed to protect him. He died for them."

"Was this your idea?" Kei asked and Pietr looked into her smart, inquisitive eyes.

"I wish I could say it was but no. The idea came from Angelina."

Bron jerked awake. "Angelina!" he rasped and looked around in confusion.

Sasha stood ignoring her cramps and hobbled over to Bron's lounge to raise the back so he could rest back against it in a seated position. He reached over and casually lifted her up and onto his lap.

She hissed when her ass came into contact with his legs. "Easy! It will be a few days before you get another ride!" she growled.

Bron blinked at her and then he smiled. He kissed her cheek and she pushed his face away but she couldn't completely hide the smile that flitted across her face. Kei saw it as well and grinned at her.

"Don't you have some water to splash in?" Sasha growled at her. The girl rolled her eyes theatrically and with a smile at Pietr rushed off down the beach to inform the others that Bron was awake.

"How much can you remember now, Bron?" Pietr asked.

The big Genie looked at the man with a puzzled expression. "There is no way to say. I have no gauge to tell me how much is missing."

Pietr blushed in embarrassment. "Of course. Forgive my stupid question."

"It's alright. I- I remember being on Bacchus. I remember protecting Angelina from the workers and I remember you saving me from being sent to the fighting pits. I don't recall if I thanked you for that."

"Yes Bron. You did."

He nodded and absent mindedly nuzzled Sasha's ear. She trembled then pushed herself free of his arms to hobble back to her lounge chair. Out of the corner of his eye, Pietr caught the look of love in her eyes as she glanced back at Bron when she settled down to bask in the sun.

"You have been a... central part of my life on Walla. Many memories are returning now. It's a little overwhelming. I think that's why Bailley kept us apart for this long. To prepare me for this."

Pietr kept his opinion of Bailley's motives to himself. Sasha snorted quietly but Bron didn't pick up on that clue.

"Bron, I want to thank you for saving my life once more. What you did was beyond expectation and touched me deeply. Please don't do it again," he smiled to take the sting out of the words.

Bron returned his smile. "Don't ask me up on stage in front of reporters anymore. That should do it."

Pietr grinned at him. "Done. In a couple of months you can return to Brisbee and there won't be any fanfare or a press conference. Your job is still open and now that I've moved out of my house into my new apartment I'd like to give it to you and Bailley. It's a very safe house and it's in a great neighborhood. You will need to get some furniture though."

"Thank you very much! I look forward to going... home," Bron said and the last word felt, right. It was very generous of Pietr to give his home to them.

He looked up the beach and saw Bailley walking back with the others. He turned back to Pietr. "If you'll excuse me, I need to speak with Bailley." Pietr nodded. Sasha made to get up but Bron gestured for her to stay.

Bron pushed himself to his feet and walked carefully down to the water's edge. The sand was harder here and he got his footing back. Kei rushed up to him and he gave her a hug. She moved on to sit with Sasha. Bailley stopped walking a distance away. Rhonda walked forward and as soon as she was close enough Bron pulled her in for a kiss. She squealed into his mouth then wrapped her arms around him to squeeze her body against his. When he pulled back she looked at his mouth with hunger.

"You are going to finish that tonight!" she growled at him. He smiled and nodded. She walked back to the chairs grumbling about him getting her all worked up.

Asami reached Bron next and pulled his head down to hers and kissed him firmly. This time it was Bron who swooned a little when they separated. The petite woman prowled away as Bron looked at her in surprise.

He turned his head and walked carefully across the sand to Bailley who stood waiting for him. Her nervousness was apparent in how she gently chewed on her lower lip. He reached out and touched her lip to pull it gently from her teeth.

"That lip is not for chewing," he said quietly.

"Do you remember? Do you remember her?"

"Yes."

Bailley's eyes became glassy with unshed tears. "I knew when you met Pietr you would regain your memories of your first love. I knew."

"My first heartbreak as well. That was something I wish had remained lost." She looked up into his eyes and saw the pain there. "She left me Bailley, but you never did. Your love remained true from the first time we spent the night talking in that dance club to the night I confessed my love to you on your couch in that dumpy rental in Garroon."

"Dumpy rental!?!" she gasped with a grin as joy exploded across her face.

"I didn't want to hurt your feelings at the time but yes, it was kind of a dump," he grinned. Then he scooped her up as she beat on his chest. He kissed her, deep and long, expressing his love for her, his need for her. When their lips parted, they were both gasping.

"Bailley, I love you! Please say you'll always be with me. Pietr gave me his house to live in when I return. It's not furnished so help me pick out furniture. Nicer stuff than what you had at the rental. Live with me. Always be mine!"

Tears were pouring down her cheeks but they were tears of joy and she grinned widely at him.

"Yes!" she squealed, though she still pummeled his chest for his comments about her dumpy furniture.

He hugged her and set her back on her feet. They stood side by side looking out over the waters, basking in their love for each other.

Bron felt the soft warmth of Bailley pressing against his side and realized how incredibly fortunate he was. Even with all of the pain and suffering he had experienced in his short life, this transcendent moment made it all worthwhile. He'd been created to be a monster. A violent destroyer of dreams and lives. Fate had intervened and his life had taken many unexpected turns to bring him to this one moment of true happiness.

He didn't know how many more moments like this he was going to get. He'd just have to keep living like every day was his last so he could truly appreciate them

bacchus  

Feb 27, 2018 in anal

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