Set Up

Ann Wortham & Leah Rosenthal

"Ay-vonnnn," Jenna purred at the closed cabin door. "Come on out, Avon. Be a sport, handsome."

"We've been through this a hundred times, Jenna," the computer tech snarled from within the safe confines of his quarters. "I have no desire to date you again. Once was quite more than enough."

Jenna eyed the locked portal with frustration. "Would it help if I promised not to be so aggressive? I admit, I got a bit carried away—"

"Let us be accurate," Avon retorted. "I'm the one who got carried away…literally. And that was my best leather outfit—!"

"I wasn't interested in the wrapping. I wanted the contents," the smuggler grinned, remembering the scene fondly. "Come on out, little Alpha. Auntie Jenna wants to play."

"Go away, you oversexed cargo-monger. I have quite enough domineering females out to get me already. It must be my after-shave or something…they just won't leave me alone!"

"You're being silly, Avon. You can't behave like a hormonal hermit for the rest of your life." Jenna put her hands on her hips, fed up and impatient to get on with…things.

"Just watch me!"

"I can't, but if you'll open the door…. Come on, Avon. Or must I call Vila to pick the lock for me…?" Her voice turned back into a purr at the sound of the growl from within. She lifted the bouquet of posies she held in one hand cajolingly at the sealed door. "I have my sights set on you, pretty man, and what Jenna wants, Jenna gets!"

"So I've heard. Had I known your notoriety extended to your romantic conquests and sexual exploits as well as your smuggling. I'd never have set foot on Liberator in the first place! Cygnus Alpha was bound to have been better than this!"

"You're not putting me off with that 'shy' routine." Jenna glared with a predatory gleam in her eyes. "I've had men play hard to get with me before, and it did them no good at all. Sooner or later, you're going to have to come out of there!" The gleam in her eyes turned stubborn. "I'm warning you, Avon, when I'm frustrated I can be, well, wild."

A long silence followed. Finally, Avon's voice drifted out. "You're wasting your time, Jenna. Go bother Blake. Or Vila. Or Gan."

"Why should I settle for hamburger when I can have filet mignon?" Jenna scoffed.

"You'll be disappointed!" Avon's voice was beginning to resemble the whine of a frantic, trapped animal. "I'm a sociopathic boor!"

"I'm not expecting you to attend an orgy. This is only for a party of two." Jenna grinned to herself.

Avon's voice rose higher. "I'm no good in bed at all! I'm a total cold fish!"

"Poor boy," Jenna cooed. "I'll have to make sure you get lots of instruction."

"I'm…I'm gay!!! That's it. I'm totally gay!" The panic and frustration in the computer tech's voice had peaked.

Jenna stared at the door, dumbfounded with consternation. "You're kidding."

"It's true," Avon insisted, grasping at the straw. "Totally. Completely. Unrepentantly."

"Well, that's a darn shame." Jenna gritted her teeth and blew out an angry breath. "What a waste. Sorry—forget the whole thing, Avon."

"Think nothing of it," Avon's voice sounded from within the cabin, an unmistakable aura of relief about it.

Jenna stomped off, sulking, and headed toward the Liberator's galley, muttering under her breath.

Blake and Gan were seated at the galley table, enjoying the aftermath of their dinner. They glanced up as the stormy-faced woman made her entrance and programmed herself a drink from the food synthesizer unit with undue force.

Blake glanced at Gan significantly. "Something wrong, Jenna?"

"Yes, there's something wrong! There's bloody well something wrong," she hissed. "There's no fribbing justice in this Galaxy!"

"Well that's why we're fighting this revolu—"

Jenna interrupted Blake. "That's not what I'm talking about, you pontificating political potato-head…!"

"Why don't you calm down then and tell us what the problem is?" Blake offered reasonably.

"Ay-vonnnn…," the voice cooed at the closed cabin door.

Within, the computer tech threw the circuit cubes he had been working on across the room with a roar of fury and stomped toward the door. "Not again!!! What the bloody hell do you want now?! What does it take to make you go away and stay away?! I've already told you. I'm GA—" Avon stood in the doorway he had flung open, his mouth still agape.

Blake stood before him, a hopeful smile on his confident features and a bunch of posies in his hand. He extended them toward the stunned tech. "I heard. You'll find I'm a bit more stubborn than Jenna, I'm afraid. But I'll have you in my arms if it's the last thing I ever do…"

Originally published in More Naughty Bits

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Ashton Press/Ann Wortham

Leah Rosenthal

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