Saved by Venom (Grabbed 3)(6)

By: Lolita Lopez

Venom blinked with surprise. “Thanks, Raze.”

Raze whacked his arm twice. “Good luck.” He backed away and winked. “Enjoy your honeymoon. Call me if you need pointers.”

Venom fought the urge to shoot him the finger. The low hum of the elevator ascending higher and higher in the housing section of the Valiant accompanied his busy thoughts. By this time tomorrow, he would have a wife.

The very idea of it sent red-hot frissons of excitement streaking through his chest and gut. A wife. A mate. His.

Like most Harcos soldiers, he had never had anything that truly belonged to him. He had been taken away from his family at only five, stripped of everything he owned—even his name—and thrown into the most exclusive military academy to begin his many years of training. Amid the harsh, rigid hell of the academy, he had made many friends, some of them very close, but it wasn’t the same as having a real family.

Even though he considered the men he fought beside his blood brothers, their bonds would never come close to the one he would share with the woman he would Grab tomorrow. The bond he would create with his new wife would be one born of love and tenderness, not the fear and loneliness of his childhood.

The promise of earning the right to a mate and family had been the only thing that had kept him going in the darkest days of the Sendarian siege. When the battle had been at its bloodiest and all had seemed lost, he had filled those hours of misery with daydreams of her. She was the nameless, faceless creature he’d conjured to comfort him in those awful times.

With her he would build a family. With her he would share his most secret desires for the future, for a life without war and violence. With her he could shed the hardness forced upon him by his position and rank and indulge his softer side. With her he would finally know love.

Venom reached his new quarters and locked the door behind him. Before heading to bed he made one last round of the generous space he had been allotted. He’d spent the afternoon getting everything ready for his new bride.

Naya and Hallie had been kind enough to guide him through the housewares and clothing departments in the retail section of the ship. Both had convinced him to purchase only the bare minimum to make his home inviting and comfortable so that he and his new mate could decorate and outfit their new space together when the time was right. He was glad to have their counsel because he wanted everything to be perfect.

After all the cautionary tales he had heard from newly matched friends, Venom desperately wanted things to go smoothly. As he undressed, his gaze flicked to the locked door of his playroom. In their culture, rough loving was the norm. Harcos women had different body chemistries than their Earth-descendant counterparts and required pain to find pleasure.

Locker-room talk had assured him that these women from Calyx could climax without applying any heat, so to speak, but it appeared that for many of them a rough touch or a little domestic discipline awakened a sensual side that their strict society had repressed.

His heartbeat sped up as vivid images of his woman, bound in his ropes and knots, flashed before his eyes. Would she beg him to take her, to make her come until she passed out from the sheer pleasure of it all? Would she enjoy the silken embrace of a rope harness on her soft skin?

The very idea of it made him hard as a rock. Groin tight and belly rolling with needy heat, he fell back on the wide, long bed and closed his eyes. Soon he would have his answers.

Chapter Two

The next morning when he stepped off the transport ship and onto the snowy ground, Venom shuddered as a blast of frigid air smacked him in the face. The constant mild climate aboard the Valiant had spoiled him. The cold burn of the wind against his skin felt incredibly real. He savored the discomfort for a few seconds before flipping up the collar on his jacket and fishing a black knitted cap from his pocket. It was the first time since he’d been issued winter wear that he’d had a need to haul it out of his closet.

Though military regulations allowed the men of his rank to wear their hair longer, he still preferred to keep his head shaved clean. It wasn’t much of an issue living on a warship but down here, with this wintry chill, it left him vulnerable to hypothermia.

With the knitted cap firmly in place he joined the throng of uniformed men moving toward the staging area. There were only seventeen of them running today. He and a sky corps pilot had the highest ranks and had been commissioned a day apart, the pilot before him. If they chose the same woman it could get tense.

He had overhead the man talking about wanting a dark-haired woman with full curves. Venom hoped he’d find a woman the complete opposite of the pilot’s ideal bride to avoid any sticky situations out on the field. The idea of knocking out the lights of a slightly superior officer didn’t sit well with him—but he’d do it if it came down to losing the woman he chose.