Doubleblind (Sirantha Jax #3)


His reaction is immediate, a quick intake of breath and a shuddering exhalation. Dopamine floods his system, relaxing him further. That’s good. I don’t want him tense when I make my move.

Time. We have plenty of time. I let him relax and soak in the sweetness while trying to cover my uncertainty. Though I didn’t do the work very long, I know how to fix a beacon. I can’t overthink this. That’s not my strong suit, so I do what I do best.


I frame myself as liquid light, able to pass cleanly through any part of him. I’ll be the connective force, renewing links that have lapsed. I surge from dark spot to dark spot, illuminating with a warm shimmer. I will the synapses to fire in my wake and remember their prior functions.

Come on, you’re not dead space in there. Come back online.

My whole being focuses on this working. He’s a broken beacon, and I can fix him. I circle endlessly, jumping through the cold places, infusing each one with everything I feel for him. It’s like running naked through walls of ice, but I don’t stop. Love pours through me. If he’s an empty vessel now, then I’ll fill him up again.

Once, I’d never have thought I could open up like this for anyone, but apparently there’s no limit to what I’ll do for him. At the end of each circuit, I brush up against his pleasure center, making him gasp. I’ll make damn sure this is good for him—he won’t want me to stop until something shifts.

I feel myself weakening. Pain pierces me, just like when I linger in grimspace too long. The human body creates a finite amount of energy, and I’m feeding it to him, just like the beacons. How much of me will it take to make him whole? Steeling myself, I continue my work, and, thank Mary he’s too distracted by the pleasure of it to notice what it’s doing to me.

Maybe this can’t work. Maybe I need someone else here to help me, as when we repair the beacons, but surely one man won’t require as much power. And there’s no one else. I wouldn’t even ask it, not knowing what the consequences could be.

What will I give to heal him?

The answer is everything. I push harder, and feel something tear free inside of me, and it hurts as if I’ve jabbed a knife into my skull. My teeth tear at my lower lip to swallow the instinctive cry.

Thus powered, my internal movement sparks a chain reaction; heat rises in my wake. When I shift my perceptions, a golden trail shimmers between the dark places, infusing them. Primitive satisfaction surges through me. Yeah, I want to imprint myself on him. I want to be so deeply inside him that he’ll never shake me loose.

Slowly, I watch the connections renew themselves, fueled by my borrowed energy. Light flows smoothly from point to point, no more breakage. There’s still weakness, but with the flow returned to its normal course, natural healing should complete the process I’ve jump-started. Maybe I’m not Psi, but I’m fragging stubborn.

The pain gradually spirals down to bearable levels. I try to check myself as I did him, but I can’t see if I did any permanent harm. Time will tell. Since joy spreads through me, whatever I broke, it wasn’t my emotions.

“Mother Mary,” he breathes. “You . . . navigated me, Jax.”

The fact that he’s speaking aloud is a measure of his awe. I don’t even know what to call what I just did. A highly unorthodox form of mental surgery, I suspect, and nothing I’d ever try on anyone but March. We’re woven together in ways that even the tightest pilot-jumper bond doesn’t begin to touch.

In answer, I give another soft stroke to his pleasure center, doing to him what he once did to me. Who says I’m incapable of learning from example? I don’t have the ability to go into his head as he comes into mine when we’re not jacked in, but here inside the nav computer, we’re equals.

He groans, and there’s something incredibly rousing about knowing I can make him feel like this without a single physical touch. His breath sounds ragged, as if he’s run a great distance—I delight in that, too. Raw lust pours out of him, suffusing me in need. But there’s more, too. Thank Mary, there’s more.

I don’t want to have sex while we’re jacked in—that’s just too porn vid—but if you don’t unplug this minute, I can’t be responsible for what happens next.

So I take the warning and pull out. “You all right?”

“No,” he says deliberately. Before I can ask, he yanks me up out of the nav chair. “Lock the cockpit until further notice,” he tells the computer. “No manual overrides.”

“Acknowledged,” the ship AI responds.

“Jax,” he whispers.

And then his hands are on me, pushing me up against the smooth metal door that protects us against prying eyes. His lips find my throat, and he kisses upward over my jaw to my mouth. I kiss him back with all the pent-up longing. My arms go around his neck, but it’s not enough.

We strain together, reveling in the renewed heat between us. His body feels lean and hard against me, and he trembles with the ferocity of our mutual need. I don’t need foreplay; I just need him.

He comes into me mentally as he lifts me physically. There’s no cold now, only heat. You like it here? And here? I gasp and groan. March stimulates three separate places—at the same time—which leaves me feeling like I might go over just from rubbing myself against him.

Mary, I need you.

Is that him or me? At this point, I’m not sure, but the thought applies to both of us. A few tugs at our clothing and the necessary parts are bare. The door feels cold against my naked skin. March boosts me higher, taking me, and my ankles lock at his back. His mouth is ravenous on mine, a hurried nuzzle of panting kisses.

No tenderness this time, just raw, scorching power. I run my fingers over his shoulders, then drag downward with short, blunt nails. In answer, he pushes me tighter against the door, pinning me completely except for the wicked movement of his hips. I reply with tight little rolls, inciting him to frantic excess.

“March.” My head falls back, hands tangling in his hair.

Orgasm crashes through me. I tense in his arms, riding the furious sensations, only dimly aware of the way he pushes closer in short, staccato strokes, losing himself in me. His breath gusts against the side of my throat, soft little nonsense words that I can’t translate into meanings.

There’s no playful fight for supremacy this time, just the two of us, raw and candid. We’ve been apart too long for this act to have any implication of power or dominance. At base, this is an affirmation of what we are together—and how much we need one another to be whole.

He exhales against the top of my head. I feel shudders still rocking through him. His arms tighten around me as he breathes, “Jax. Ah, Jax. Sweet Mary, how I love you.”

And I go boneless with delight.


Chancellor Tarn,

As you asked, I have prepared a dossier regarding the greatest areas of concern.

1. Escalating Morgut attacks, including the destruction of Outpost 8

2. Increased instance of Syndicate strikes, unless the shipping company has a contract for protection

3. Complete disregard for interstellar legislation

4. Failure to meet certain standards in public safety

5. Inability to efficiently utilize seized Farwan assets

6. Lack of faith in Conglomerate leadership

1. Escalating Morgut attacks

The Morgut have grown bolder in recent months. They no longer fear reprisal and treat human beings as prey. As the Conglomerate has heretofore not offered any significant deterrent, we can expect this pattern to continue.

Of the past seventeen attacks, there have been only four survivors. This includes ships, outposts, mining colonies, and deep-space stations. My sources advise me that there is a panic stirring, and that people are beginning to say it’s not safe anywhere.

2. Increased instance of Syndicate strikes

Using Gehenna as an example, eight out of every ten ships that leaves port will experience a hijacking attempt sometime between departure and destination. The merchantmen report these pirates are professional, organized, swift, and merciless. If the freighter attempts to fight back, the crew is slaughtered, but for one man, who is put adrift in an escape capsule and left behind as a warning.

A recent ad campaign has aired, offering security and peace of mind for a reasonable fee. It depicts a middle-aged male, smiling in relief as he settles down for the night; the scene then shifts to his property, being protected by armed guards. According to recent polls, the Syndicate has gained ten points in public regard, thus reflected in the purchase of private contracts. Their market share continues to climb. As under Farwan, people have responded well to the iron fist in a velvet glove, as proffered by the Syndicate.

3. Complete disregard for interstellar legislation

In the past four months, twenty ships have been intercepted attempting to bring contraband onto New Terra itself. Freighter captains argue that since they must now pay more for protection to ensure their cargo arrives safely, they can no longer afford to ship regular goods and must resort to the higher profit of black-market trading.

Additionally, the independent raiders have grown bolder and will attack cargo vessels right in the hot zones. They lie in wait along heavily traveled jump routes and attack the merchantman as he comes out of grimspace.

4. Failure to meet certain standards in public safety

When Farwan policed the star lanes, they deterred such crimes, not via prevention, but through relentless pursuit of their adversaries. They spent countless credits on jurisdiction and punishment, earning their reputation for brutal justice. Their focus was not preservation of human life but minimizing lost profit. Regardless of focus, however, they did offer a certain measure of safety in interstellar travel. To date, the Conglomerate has failed to establish any like service.

When the average person thinks of the Conglomerate, he sees an ineffectual organization that has no might or military force with which to enforce its will.

5. Inability to efficiently utilize seized Farwan assets

Conglomerate constituents feel that current expenditures are short-sighted and work solely to preserve the interests of humankind when the organization purports to offer true and democratic representation to all species. Recent construction on New Terra reinforces this perception. The new senate facilities, while providing a sense of pomp and tradition, do little to reassure the common man that he will be protected if he leaves New Terra.

6. Lack of faith in Conglomerate leadership

Confidence in the Conglomerate has reached an all-time low. Ten out of every fifteen individuals surveyed state they believe some alternate form of government would prove more effective. Constituents also desire a return to the days of empire, including standing armada and trained soldiers ready to go to war on their behalf.

Ten companies that had requested Conglomerate aid in protecting their cargo have since withdrawn their petitions. Four planets have seceded from the proposed Summit and ask they no longer be considered tier worlds, hoping for neutrality in the coming conflict. The crisis has reached critical levels, and if this alliance does not come to pass—or offers less-than-anticipated results—our situation will become untenable.