This time, it’s like a game, and Wash is determined to win. She’s naked, lying on her side, head propped up on one folded arm. “I want you flat on your back,” he says; at his commanding tone of voice, she merely raises an eyebrow. He quits looming over her – he knows he’s not in the least intimidating – and rationalizes that there’s no such thing as cheating if all’s fair in love and war, and oh God, does he love this woman. “Zoe,” he murmurs, bending his head to trail his tongue along the bicep of her bent arm. He’s nearly at her shoulder when her breast gets in the way. “Not now,” he informs it sternly, “arm first.” He pushes it away and lowers his head again. But the heavy weight settles against his cheek once more and he sighs, shaking a denunciatory finger at her breast. “Greedy. Can’t wait your turn.” Her giggles turn to contented sighs as his mouth descends gently on her nipple, and she rolls languorously onto her back. He doesn’t stop, but she catches his mirthful eye.
“Yes, you won this battle,” she concedes, “but I’ve got the strategy to win the war.” He’s laughing too as he captures her mouth and settles himself between her legs like he’s come home.
Although he’d bought Serenity to elude people like her, people who willingly traded their freedom for a little ease, a little comfort, Mal ended up renting shuttle one to the Companion. The credits from the Orlo job were running low, the Thalia jobs had fallen through, and the surveyor and his wife had found a ship with a cook living onboard.
He can’t keep himself from wishing that the Companion – he’d only learned her name from the contract she’d had drawn up – will, once he’s gotten her from point A to point B, find some excuse to break the contract and leave him in peace. Pretty much before they’ve left point A, though, Kaylee dashes his hopes, welcoming the newcomer warmly and exclaiming over her fripperies. And when he sees them together, he can’t help remembering that the Companion, once she’d gotten out all her gibes and sneers, had referred to the shuttle as “home,” like she’d been searching for a place of safety.
He just wishes Zoe would come home.
Continue: Part 18/21