Outside the sky is dark, the clouds low and heavy. Jagged streaks of lightning illuminate the otherwise black patches of thick vegetation. The glow of streetlights is steady in the still heat. It is not yet six o'clock in the morning.
Welcome to Singapore. Singapore likes to advertise itself as a modern metropolis, a wired and tuned-in city-state. I like that aspect of it, but I equally like all the things that don't make it a modern metropolis. I love the smell of the tropics itself; that damp odour of barely-leashed vegetation, waiting for the slightest chance to once more overrun the highways and homes that have cut through it. I love the slower pace as people amble along the up-and-down tumbleness of the old shophouses; the air is like soup, and the brightly coloured shops offer more than enough distraction to reward the relaxed pedestrian. I love the mix of sound and sight—reds, yellows, oranges, blues—exciting yet more subdued than its northern neighbours. I love the heat; it makes me appreciate every wisp of breeze that comes my way, carrying aromas of food—and lively chatter in different languages—in its wake.
Singapore is a good place to dip your toes into if you've never been to Asia before. It's a safe—a leashed—environment. But, away from the air-conditioned mega-malls, there are little gems that will still make you feel like you've stumbled across something special and exotic. I always stop and gaze at the intricate artwork atop the Hindu temples, a pyramid of multi-coloured deities, all vying for attention. I admire the simplicity, yet provocative ostentation, of the Buddhist temples with their giant statues (goldleaf-covered apparently) outside. In contrast, the mosques are angled and severe, relieved only occasionally by a crowning bulbous spire. And the churches are wedding-cake perfect, with archetypal spires and tall arched windows, and all painted a blazing icing-white. I want to, not so much enter one as, eat it!
The shops, too, have their own smells of incense, perfume and spice meandering through the air. Away from the tourist spots, they are dark inside, with the most fascinating of objects hanging from every available space. Sometimes you can also smell the old timber, worn smooth by decades of slippered feet stepping on them, parts of the wood bowed and creaky. The shopkeepers know you are an intruder, that you have no business there, away from the malls and wide avenues of Orchard Road. They will watch you with a puzzled curiosity that you might mistake for resentment. But ask a question, and they will be happy to answer as best they can, patting your children on the head and telling you how big and strong they look, how smart they sound.
But this is no city you can meander in solitude. There are people everywhere. Eating, walking, sitting, brushing against you. Even the shore is never still. No matter the hour, you will always see either small "bum boats" weaving their way along the waterways or huge container ships slowly and inexorably pushing through the soft waves.
We made a deliberate decision to bring our children here so they could experience all this. And I hope they will appreciate the marble-topped tables of the traditional coffee shops next to one of the most efficient public transport systems in the world; the delights of pickled and salted fruits next to French pastries and American burgers; the joy of the Chinese Autumn Festival, Muslim Hari Raya, or Christian Christmas, next to the high-tech superstores, multi-level bookstores and more escalators per square foot than I've seen anywhere else in the world. It's not my hometown but, for now, it's a good enough substitute.
KS Augustin releases with Total-e-Bound
After six years of incarceration, Heron is trying to start a new life, but that isn't easy when so many avenues are closed to it. It finally finds a refuge of sorts on the Castor Xeni Orbital and a surcease from its pain in the arms of voluptuous Subah Doisson but then various systems on the Orbital start getting sabotaged. With a small engineering population, and Heron the only newcomer to the station, how can the hermaphrodite prove its innocence amid a sea of entrenched prejudice?HOT and very ADULT excerpt!
Are you sure you want this?” it asked.
Subah opened her hands, feeling the soft texture of the coverlet beneath her palms. “Yes.”
“So be it.”
For all its obvious impatience, Heron was gentle as it eased the trousers from Subah’s legs. The material caught at her ankles then, with one more tug, it was free, and she was lying naked, with her legs slightly apart, beneath the hermaphrodite’s gaze.
In truth, she was embarrassed. The last person who had seen her like this had been Erdonn and, although she was a fit person, she didn’t know what Heron saw through its sharp grey eyes. Would it be disappointed with her unclothed form? Did it perhaps prefer a more slender bed-partner, more sinew and less flesh? Less pulled down by age?
The soft exclamation drifted through the cool air between them and a smile curved Subah’s lips. She watched as Heron disrobed with quick economical movements, pausing when it was done, letting her gaze drift down its body.
Subah hadn’t realised until this moment exactly what that meant. She knew that Heron sported wide shoulders beneath its clothing, but they were lean rather than bulky, like the rest of its body. If Subah wanted to describe Heron to another person, she would have thought of it as a pleasure-giving predator, built for grace and movement.
Beneath its shoulders was an outthrust of two breasts, each of them pert and tipped with a dark nipple. Subah felt an uncharacteristic urge to take them into her mouth and suckle on them. The image made her lick her lips, even as her gaze moved downwards.
Beneath a lightly-muscled ribcage, a small dark line arrowed southwards...to Heron’s erection. Its penis, like the rest of it, was straight and slim. Unlike Erdonn’s cock, which she remembered was criss-crossed with bulbous veins, Heron’s looked less like a weapon and more like a wand, ramrod stiff and capable of deep penetration.
The entire picture was not as incongruous as Subah was expecting. Everything about Heron was elegant, from its breasts to its cock, neither characteristic overshadowing the other, but melding together into a whole that promised entire vistas of delight.
“I want to touch you,” she whispered.
Heron moved and knelt at the bed, in between her legs, leaning close into her.
“I want to touch your breasts,” Subah added, and Heron obliged, stretching itself so its breasts were above her face.
She reached up and cupped them in her hands, even as she felt its cock nudge her stomach, and rubbed her thumbs over the velvety nipples.
Oh, how she wanted it all. She wanted that hard stiffness against her abdomen and the feel of those soft curves against hers. She lifted her head and licked the flesh of one breast, first on one side of the nipple then the other, feeling Heron shudder above her. Then, in a flash of bravery, she took the breast in her mouth, letting it fill her mouth. She sucked on it, her tongue playing with the nub of flesh at its tip, teasing it to hardness. Her other hand wasn’t idle either. Her fingers rubbed against Heron’s breast, mirroring the movements of her tongue, until she was playing with two small peaks of erect flesh.
Ah, but there was erect flesh elsewhere.
Subah left her mouth where it was, sucking on Heron, feeling its moans through contact of tongue on skin, and moved her hands downwards. Slowly, she cupped the head of Heron’s penis, then stroked down its length, as far as she could reach. Her fingertips ran along its smooth hardness, moving the flesh over the underlying rigidness, as she imagined it moving inside her.
She pressed it against her abdomen and opened her legs further, letting the long shaft rub against her groin, moving it from side to side until its length was in contact with her engorged clitoris.
The heat of Heron’s cock made her groan out aloud, her mouth finally releasing its grip on Heron’s breast, and the hermaphrodite took quick advantage of the situation, leaning back and forcing Subah forward on her knees.
With their eyes locked, Heron gently pushed Subah until she was resting on her heels, her knees still wide apart. The softness of the mattress beneath her shins made the position comfortable and intensely erotic. Heron moved into an identical position, facing her.
“I’ve wanted you ever since I saw you,” it told her in a low voice. Subah detected a confidence in its voice and knew she was now in Heron’s world, far beyond the commonplace coupling she and Erdonn had once shared. “I want to dominate and consume you, and to be dominated and consumed by you.”
It took her hands and put them on its breasts.
“Touch me. Fondle me. But, whatever you do, don’t let go.” Heron paused. “Do you understand?”
Subah’s answer was throaty. “Yes.” Her palms rested against Heron’s nipples, still half-pebbled from arousal.
Heron reached down to the triangle of Subah’s pubic hair, now wet and sticky with want. It slowly moved two fingers past her clitoris and then dipped inside her. Subah caught her breath but didn’t let go of Heron. Somehow, she felt the overwhelming need to start massaging its breasts, to feel that hot flesh beneath her hands.
Hoara Felin thinks she's in love. The problem is, the man she's fallen in love with is forbidden to leave the planet. Plus, he's not quite a man... Sub-Commander Hoara Felin of the Republic Space Fleet has crash-landed on a planet. Her ship is inoperable, her shipmates are dead. The only thing that can make a bad situation worse is finding she has crashed on the notorious prison-planet of Bliss—a place condemned criminals are sent…and never leave. She finds an unexpected ally in Toh, a handsome and caring man who treats her injuries and hides her from those who would hold an officer of the Space Fleet for ransom. But, as Hoara is about to find out, Toh is keeping a terrifying secret of his own.
HOT and very ADULT excerpt!
Across the table, he watched her with an intensity that reminded her of Hanek and she felt unaccountably nervous. She wasn't afraid of Toh; he had taken almost maternal care of her, anticipating her wishes, helping her to stand and dress. But there was something in his eyes that sent her back to her tremulous teenage years, to nervous waits for arriving boyfriends and the heady anticipation of long-anticipated kisses.
As Sub-Commander with the Republic Space Fleet, Hoara was used to putting her feelings on hold, but there was something about the man sitting across from her that called to that distant, walled part of her. Maybe it was because he was so gentle, in a galaxy of testosterone-driven males. The men she knew always wanted to dominate, to decide. It was a strange―and appealing―change to find someone who seemed so comfortable. She wondered what his skin felt like under the material of his shirt.
“Survive,” he replied.
She looked around as she ate. It was a spartan place, just one room and a bathroom off the major living space. And it was high. She couldn’t even reach the upper cabinets in the kitchen and dining room and wondered how Toh, who was the same height as her, managed it. And there were obvious signs of electronic tinkering. She saw small, crude metal boxes that blinked enigmatically on the kitchen bench and the corner of the living space was piled with spare parts.
“Survive?” She attempted a smile, encouraging him to talk. Up till now, he had only given simple responses to her questions. She wanted to know more about him. She wanted to find out if he was a scientist; if he really was as caring as he appeared.
If he had a wife.
“Is it that bad? What is this place? Some kind of research station?”
“In a way.” He changed subject abruptly. “How do you feel?”
She shrugged. “Fine. My body aches a bit.”
“I buried your two companions a little way from here. Are there prayers, rituals, you need to complete?”
He mentally kicked himself as he saw the smile leave her face and sadness dull her eyes. How insensitive of him to remind her of her dead friends. Maybe the humans were right; maybe his kind weren’t capable of compassion or deeper feelings. But there were things he needed to settle. And soon. He didn't have the luxury of taking things easy.
Hoara shook her head. “Hanek and Sim came from cultures with their own rituals. I wouldn’t know what to say or do.”
This was none of his business. The death of humans should not bother him, yet he found himself saying: “The sun is hot on this world. It’s harsh but it will keep them warm in their final resting place.”
And felt something stir within him when she smiled her gratitude, something he had thought long dead. He remembered the feel of her skin against his hands and a rush of desire filled his head.
He had to retain control.
He pushed back the chair with his outstretched toes. It was almost too tall for him as a human. He pretended not to notice.
“If you’re finished, you should go back to bed. You need more rest.”
Maybe it was pheromones, a scent that escaped her body to tickle at his back-brain. All he could think about was touching her, licking her.
“I may need some help.” Her voice sounded embarrassed. “My ribs still hurt a little when I bend over.”
He followed her into the semi-darkness of the bedroom and was suddenly aware of her scent filling the small space.
While she undid the buttons of the shirt, he started on her trousers.
He tried to recall astral charts in his head while he unzipped her and slowly pulled the trousers down to her ankles. Then he made a mistake. He breathed in. He breathed her in and all the pent-up desire of the past years, the slow trudging years of solitude and loneliness, erupted in a choreography of movement.
Swiftly, he pulled the trousers while she stepped out of them, and flung them away from him.
She was still standing, while he was crouched in front of her, and his first kiss was on her thigh. He heard her quick intake of air and ignored it, closing his eyes and kissing her legs, first one then the other. He would not think of rejection, would not think of refusal. He would kiss her and pleasure her and perhaps rouse in her the same kind of passion that she roused in him.
He had never felt such silkiness, such fragrant smoothness. His face brushed her groin then kissed her abdomen, his hands gripping her from behind, pushing her hips against him.
Her legs were almost together, but that didn’t stop him. He moved down to her triangle of curls, to the mound of her sex and used his tongue to part her, working their way between her outer lips and curling behind her clitoris, exhaling―hot and steamy with mouth open―before taking her nub between his lips.
Above him, she groaned and moved her legs further apart, clutching his hair with distracted hands.
“We…I…shouldn’t…” she gasped, but her body encouraged him to continue.
He sucked on her wetness then, with a small effort, extended his tongue, letting it slip along her labia, forming small nodules to rub against her, until he was inside her. He had dreamed of doing this to a woman for so long. He was along her slick passage now, feeling her muscles clench against him before he finally, reluctantly, withdrew.
“You were,” she panted, “so deep….”
His voice was hoarse. “I want to be deeper.”
He pushed her onto the bed so her back was against the wall. She still had the shirt on, the glimpses of her breasts and erect nipples through the material more erotic than he thought possible. With gentle, yet firm, hands he pushed her knees up then outwards.
Her perfume was intoxicating, so elemental, so primal and he saw her cunt glisten with craving. He thought she might still be in too much pain, but her wetness told him she wanted him as much as he wanted her.
With a broad tongue, he lapped at her, a long wide stroke that sent a spasm through her body, then swallowed her musky sharpness. She was thick and slippery against his mouth, against his tongue as he invaded her again, flicking the tip so she jerked with each move.
She was dripping now, a small patch of dark wetness pooling on the sheet. With his fingers, he pried her labia apart and kissed her clitoris, moving his lips as though it was her mouth, grazing her with his tongue, playing, twirling, listening to the tenor of her breathing as it got more ragged, as she started to lose control.
She screamed as she came, clenching fistfuls of the sheets in her hands and bucking her hips against his mouth. He moved his hands to keep her knees apart and continued flicking back and forth across her clitoris, delivering two, three more orgasms before he let her rest. Then he was out of his clothes and perched above her, moving her so she rested against the pillow while he entered her. She was so wet it took only one stroke.
Hoara clutched at him while he paused, letting the head of his penis expand and form ripples along its shaft. Then, lifting her hips, he slammed into her, throwing his head back while he felt her clench and writhe against him.
No, it was too much…it had been too long…