"Give me back my bra, you little tube rat, or I'll rip out your spine and steal your soul."
Scampering for the open door, he assumed he'd be fast, too fast for anyone to catch. And he would have been--if Kaitlyn'd been human.
Lightning quick, she pounced, nabbing him by the scruff and bringing him to eye level. She bared her teeth in a silent snarl.
"You found him!"
The scrawny ferret squeaked, probably relieved at the sweet sound of salvation, as Skuld breezed in from the corridor.
As the ship's engineer whisked him out of Kaitlyn's hand, her bra fluttered free. The tiny marauder had dropped his loot. Catching the lingerie, she looked it over carefully. If those sharp teeth had done any damage to the lace...
"Sorry, Katy." Skuld tucked her pet into the front of her rumpled ship suit, raising the zipper until only his furry face peeked out from her cleavage. "I was, um, working with one of the station engineers and Chester slipped out of his cage when we bumped into it."
Uh-huh. Skuld practically glowed, with her cheeks flushed and hair tousled. She always wore her ship suit loose, the sleeves rolled up at the elbows, but the baggy legs had been hastily tucked into magnet-soled boots. Mingled with her usual scent of lavender soap and engine oil was a man's musk.
Considering the ferret's cage had been built of solid plasteel and doubled as Skuld's desk, they had to have bumped it hard. For the cage door to have opened, they'd been going at one heck of an angle. And Kaitlyn stopped considering any further because she really didn't want to know.
"He's lucky he didn't damage anything," she growled, letting the sound rumble from deep in her chest in a way no human could.
The perpetrator trembled in his bosom of safety.
"Aw, c'mon, Katy. Chester wouldn't do anything intentionally. He thinks your stuff is neat." Skuld fluffed her soft blond curls. "Besides, why have fantastic lingerie when you never show it to anyone?"
Kaitlyn turned away, stowing the garment in the appropriate cubby. "I like the way it feels to wear it."
"You'd like the way it feels to let a man take it off too." Skuld took up the familiar argument. "Slide the straps down your shoulders, unhook the back and let the cups fall away. Or maybe he could play with it on for a while, bite at you through the lace. You've got a great rack."
"Skuld!" For the love of klepto weasels and big ship's engines, the woman needed to shut her mouth.
"You need to get boinked, Katy. Tumbled, screwed, whatever you want to call it." She tugged an oil-stained rag from a hidden pocket and slapped it against Kaitlyn's thigh. And damn but she made it sound easy, but then Skuld had always been comfortable with her sexual desires. Desires she satisfied every time they docked at a decent space station. "Okay, fine, when you first came aboard you had some issues to work through. And it took a while to ease into working with the guys."
"I had my reasons." The kind that gave her nightmares--waking and sleeping. Evils she could never forget because they were burned into her genetic code.
"It's been three years." Each word dropped like a stone. In her own way, Skuld had no mercy. "You can work with our boys now and merc teams from other ships. You don't even flinch when strangers come aboard anymore." Skuld paused. When she spoke again, her voice turned gentle. "You've come a long way. You can hold your own and you deserve more than mission after mission, scouting and doing those impossible search and rescues." The rag slapped against her thigh again. "Now go out and get some."