The story that sparked an entire universe, Subject 5691: Petri evolved from a prompt-based serial to a fun, steamy space opera romance between a lab-created soldier and an edgeworlder smuggler. Not sure if it’s for you? Check out the snippet below!
This excerpt comes from Chapter Eight. Petri has made his way out of his cell and onto the Den’Lastrian Diamond, an intergalactic space cruiser piloted by Grokhaar Xandria. More sparks fly between the two than in the storms of the Between through which they’re traveling, but the scientists have worked hard to break the creature they created. Grokhaar has a long, hard road ahead of him if he wishes to claim the young man as his own.
“That,” he brushed his lips over the heated skin, “is what you do to me.”
Soft fingers whispered up his back and over his shoulders leaving trails of tingling fire on his skin. He shivered when they threaded through his hair, the gentle tugs more erotic than he would have dreamed. He stepped back when the male pressed against his chest, but made no effort to hide his arousal. He’d made his desires more than plain.
“You should know the truth about me, Grokhaar Xandria.” The breathless voice held a note of such sadness his heart ached. “You will change your mind once you do.”
“I doubt it, lad. What those bastages did to you ain’t your fault.” He brushed his knuckles along the male’s cheek. “Remember that.”
5691 shook his head in a clear sign of dismissal. Grokhaar brushed his thumb over lips still red and damp from their kiss. They tilted in a hint of a smile.
“Why do you call me that?”
“Call you what?”
“Lad or Boy. Do you think I am still a child?”
“Trying to start a fight already, huh?” He chuckled and stepped back. Putting a hand at the male’s back, he guided him into the cockpit. Touching the lad had become a habit he didn’t want to break. “No, I don’t think you’re a child. I wouldn’t be wanting to fuck you senseless if you were. The truth is you still haven’t given me a name. 5691 is a patient identification code as well as a bit of a mouthful. Besides, you’re cute. I think it fits.”
Grokhaar gave him a final caress and then urged him into the copilot’s chair. As much as he wanted to sit and pull the sexy little male onto his lap, things were already moving faster than they should. The humans’ tinkering left too much baggage. If he pushed too hard, the lad would bolt like cornered bettedeer. Still, it was hard in the face of so much temptation. Frustratingly hard. Sighing, he took his seat, checked their coordinates, and made some minor adjustments. For once, the storms continued to behave themselves. They rumbled in the distance but didn’t threaten the Diamond on its current course. A few minutes more, and they could drop to their original altitude.
“Petri.” The smaller man’s voice was so quiet, he almost missed it. He looked up from the console with the question poised on his lips. The lad traced the stitching on the armrest, his hair falling forward to hide his expression. “I have no name, just the number, but sometimes… The scientists needed to call me something, so they blessed me with a name, and it is Petri.”
The name struck him like a punch to the gut. The humans too poor or too self-righteous for genetic modifications spat it out as a pejorative. Even edgeworlders got a bit more respect than the “petri dishers.” If the scientists were calling their own patients Petri, then they were more fucked up than he originally thought.
It’s a good thing he’d have to avoid the Alliance for a while. If one of those bastages stood before him now, he’d paint the inside of the Diamond with his blood. He’d enjoy it too. Right up until he pushed the piece of pakash dung out the airlock.
“Do you like that name, lad?” It was a struggle to keep his voice even. The male gripped the arms of the chair, a hint of fire resurging in his eyes. Grokhaar took a deep, steadying breath. As enjoyable as their little dance in the hall had been, he didn’t have time to chase him down a second time. The storms had started to fidget.
“It is better than a number, is it not?”
“You tell me.” Lightning bathed the cockpit in brilliant light, illuminating the pensive face of his passenger. Grokhaar motioned to the kaleidoscope of colors that made up the storm’s core. “Out here, you can take any name you want. You don’t have to be what those butchers wanted you to be.”
“I…will think on this.” The lad, Petri, picked up the forgotten bowl of food. “But…I do not think I would mind the name…coming from you.”
Subject 5691: Petri, Available in eBook and Paperback