"Entering Cyntur-Rho airspace, Raav."
Raav Asirian clapped a hand on the communications officer's shoulder. "Very good. Open communications and let them know we're on our way in."
Raav stretched, groaning at the cracking in his spine. This mission had taken longer than anyone expected and the crew needed some downtime. Hell, he needed some well-deserved distraction himself. And this was just the place to get it.
Cyntur-Rho boasted every kind of entertainment known to man. From video palaces to high-class bordellos, the pleasure planet had it all. And Raav wanted nothing more than to sink his cock into some willing female and fuck himself into oblivion. He dressed quickly in formfitting brown breeches that left little to the imagination, and pulled a dark ocher-colored tunic over his head, not bothering with a belt because he didn't plan to be in the garments any longer than it took to find a woman. Anticipation of an evening at the Pleasure Dome warmed his blood as he strode through the door and took the airlift to the bridge.
Leaving a skeleton crew behind, Raav accompanied his first mate to the landing dock in search of an air taxi.
Jomar Phaeg elbowed Raav's ribs. "Look at the black warp flyer over there. Isn't that Captain O'bora's craft?"
Raav grinned, recognizing the vehicle. "That's interesting. Wonder what she's up to?"
Jomar chuckled. "You have that predatory gleam in your eye, my friend."
Raav laughed. "The ever elusive captain won't escape me this time, Jomar. If she's after a bounty, she'll need Ala's permission to take him off world, and I'm just the man who can get it for her."
"For a price." Jomar shook his head. "You strike a hard bargain, Raav."
He slung an arm around his friend's neck and urged him forward into the air taxi. "In more ways than one, my friend, in more ways than one."
Once inside the Pleasure Dome, Raav gave his senses a moment to adjust to the strobe lights and thumping beat of the music. From across the packed room, Ala Yurth waved and made her way toward him. A handsome woman, despite her advanced age, Ala still moved like a seductress.
"Darling," she purred, hugging Raav. "Handsome as ever, I see. Did you come to relieve me of one of my girls this evening?"
Raav returned her hug. "Solae O'bora, she's here?"
Ala laughed. "I might have known you'd still be after that one." She nodded toward the raised dance platform. "You may be out of luck, though. Seems she has her eye on that big guy she's dancing with." She smiled ruefully. "I wouldn't mind a bite of that myself."
"I might be able to arrange that for you if you're inclined to do me a favor."
Ala gave him a shrewd look. "So, he's a bounty then? And the little witch never told me. She knows I get a cut of any bounty taken from my club." She laughed. "You want me to tell her to back off, so you can intervene in her behalf, do you?"
"That would be the general idea, my love. Then we both get what we want. I get Solae for the night and you get the warrior."
"I always did enjoy your devious mind, Raav. Wait at the bar."
Raav ordered a Red Crown Ale and leaned against the bar to watch the show unfold.
Solae O'bora had talent; he'd give her that. One of the more ruthless, independent bounty hunters, she wasn't above using sex appeal to make a capture. He watched as she danced seductively around the Zo-Qui warrior, her perfectly toned body moving in exact time with the beat of the music. She turned, shimmied against him, rubbing her ass against the man's obvious erection. The warrior spun her around and lifted one of her legs to his waist, then grabbed her ass and ground her against him.
Raav took a deep breath. Stars! The look of ecstasy on her face, though probably fake, made his own cock leap to attention. He took a gulp of ale and watched as Solae wove an arm around the warrior's neck and drew him down for a kiss. Raav snorted in derision. Without a doubt, the sparkling lipstick she wore contained a dose of a chemical hypnotic, and if that wasn't enough, he suspected her tongue stud was rigged to administer a dose of sleeping potion. Dumb bastard deserved what he got.
He continued to watch as Ala pulled Solae aside to read her the riot act. He suppressed a smile as the two women argued, then nodded as Solae threw her hands up in disgust. She turned to the smitten warrior and ordered him to sit in his chair, then followed Ala to the bar.
"I was going to tell you about it after I had him in custody, you old toad!"
"Sure you were, you lying little slut! Get the hell out of my bar!" She glared in the direction of the Zo-Qui warrior. "He stays where he sits!"
Raav had seen Solae pissed before, but the woman looked like she was ready to have a full-scale meltdown. Time for him to step in.
"You dried up old piece of space debris. I ought to--"
"Whoa, ladies," Raav cut in. "What seems to be the problem?"
Solae turned a fiery glare on him. "Mind your business, Asirian!"
"You're verbally assaulting an old friend, Captain O'bora. I consider that my business." He turned to Ala. "What's the problem?"
"This little slut is using my club as her own personal bounty round up, and trying to do it without giving me my cut!"
Raav raised an eyebrow and looked at his target. "Is this true, Captain?"
She smiled seductively, then folded her arms across her chest. "Of course not, but the old bat won't listen to reason."
Raav chuckled and led her away from Ala, hand at her waist. "Haven't you ever heard the old Earth expression, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar?"
She looked at him beneath hooded lids. Probably calculating the odds she could get him to help. She offered him an innocent pout. "What, sweeten her up?"
Raav shrugged. "Of course, it's probably too late now. You've really pissed her off. Is he worth much, this bounty?"
Solae's chin came up and she gave him a suspicious look. "Enough to make it worth my while."
Raav nodded and stroked the small patch of whiskers beneath his bottom lip. "Enough to make it worth my while to help you?"
She cocked her head, studying him. "Perhaps. What will it cost me?"
Raav swallowed a victorious grin as she nibbled her bottom lip. "One night in my bed. Doing anything and everything I ask of you."
He thought for a moment she might hit him, but she ran a finger down his chest, stroking the flesh bared by his tunic. "Done."
"Don't move a muscle, I'll be right back."