Piras knew he should be seething. Kila was too self-assured about being in control over him. If they’d been discussing anything besides sex, Piras would be putting him in his place right that moment. However, they were in the realm where his indomitable will crumbled. It was far too easy to make himself vulnerable to this Nobek. To share his secret.
“You need to know exactly how I am. Where my head is at.”
“I want to know. Spare no details. Don’t make me guess.”
“My personality means I am always in control. When it comes to the fleet or life decisions, I must grab hold of the reins and direct everything. I am driven to guide matters to the best solution as I see it. To not just provide direction but lead the charge.”
“The typical Dramok mindset.”
“Most of my breed carries that load in every aspect of their lives. And they love it. But for me – it’s a burden. One I can’t avoid, one I can’t live without, but a crushing weight nonetheless. I get tired, but I can’t let go of being in control.”
“Except in this one thing. Sex is where you give yourself the break you need.”
Piras nodded. He could have never told another Dramok such things. He’d never heard of any other born leader needing to let go of the reins for any reason. Yet it was that way for him. When it came to intimacies, Piras couldn’t summon the will to lead. Somehow the responsibility of figuring out the pleasure owed to another person was more than he could face. It was too much effort on top of everything else that drove him forward.
He told Kila, “If you want a lover who will fight to control you, to give you the pleasure of surrendering yourself, you’ve come to the wrong man. I cannot offer you that.”
“Is this why Nobek Lidon left you after sixteen years for Admiral Tranis?”
Piras stopped breathing. His whole body felt as if it had turned to stone. Something in his skull buzzed as he replayed Kila’s voice speaking Lidon’s name.
Rage flared, searing all sense. Piras didn’t run from it. He threw himself into it, taking shelter within the blaze to hide from the hurt of that loss. As he had so many times before.
Between clenched teeth, he snarled, “Get the fuck out of my home. Fuck the mission. Fuck you. Fuck you!”
“Bullseye, huh?” Kila’s tone was lazy.
Piras took a step back, shaking with humiliated fury. He needed to get out of arm’s length of the Nobek. Not because he feared Kila. Not for one second. Now that he was seething, he had only one thing to fear: what he might do to the other man.
Hanging on by a thread, Piras said, “Get out or you’ll see the fight you want. I’ll fling your useless carcass off the balcony.”
Kila eyed him with wary interest, as if he’d reached to pet a caged zibger only to realize the cage door was wide open. Piras saw him through a red-tinged haze. The last of his control was fraying. His fists clenched.