Lokmi studied Piras, doing his best to not be obvious about it. His curiosity made it hard to not stare outright, visibly taking the measure of the man.
So this was the fearful Admiral Piras, terror of the fleet. Piras, the man known for giving no quarter. He had burst into the room like a force of nature, seeming ready to tear Kila apart. Never mind the captain had bulk and muscle that made the elegantly built Dramok seem small. Piras’s force of will was a power unto itself, a hint of brutality fit to take down a man like Kila.
Now that the admiral had calmed, however, Lokmi registered some shock to see how delicate he was. He was not the behemoth the chief had been sure someone with Piras’s reputation must be. Not even close. His graceful body was crafted beautifully. If not for the heavy jaw that gave Piras’s face a slightly off-kilter aspect, his features would be poetically lovely rather than fascinating.
The admiral was a flawed beauty, his sleek body worth many a ribald thought. When Lokmi’s cocks gave an admiring throb, he swiftly re-directed his thoughts from how Piras looked to his demeanor.
The Imdiko had not been impressed by the fiery temper he’d displayed upon his entrance. Any asshole with rank could throw a tantrum. Yet as the conversation had developed, Piras had shown a far different side, one he’d never heard mentioned in all the stories that flew around the fleet.
For one thing, he’d taken personal interest in Lokmi’s concerns over how Kila would react to the changes he’d made in the engines. The chief engineer had not for one second thought anyone would give his report more than a cursory look. He’d contacted Fleet Command in a pre-emptive effort to cover his ass when Kila decided to have him charged with insubordination and re-assigned to a lesser duty station. Yet it seemed that had been part of what had precipitated Piras showing up.
And though Piras had called him a bully, someone who didn’t know how to properly express his Dramok characteristics, he hadn’t been nasty about it. His assessment of Lokmi’s actions had been matter-of-fact. Hell, Lokmi thought perhaps the admiral had been trying to advise rather than belittle him. It made him take Piras’s observations seriously and worry he’d indeed mistaken intimidation for asserting himself.
More interestingly still was how Piras’s character had taken shape as the conversation switched to the spy mission he was apparently a crucial part of. A conscientious side had emerged. It was plain to see the admiral suffered over the fates of the men the assignment would place in the path of harm. The level of agony Lokmi detected in Piras’s eyes triggered Lokmi’s Imdiko tendencies. His being screamed to comfort Piras. Unfortunately, their difference in rank meant only offering weak platitudes that could not soothe a man in the admiral’s unenviable position. The ridiculous urge to gather the smaller man in his arms and offer momentary shelter from duty could not happen.
It was Piras’s compassion that impressed Lokmi where angry bluster could not. And had there ever been a lot of bluster at the beginning of the meeting. Piras’s anger had been tremendous for the excusable situation of Kila unknowingly cursing his superior officer. In fact, it had seemed personal.
Even now, the way the captain and admiral looked at each other had a feeling of being more familiar than shared duty should allow. Something simmered below the surface, something hot and vital and energetic.
What was going on between them? Were they former lovers? Current lovers?