The ebook edition is also available at Smashwords, with Amazon coming soon.
You’ve read Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords. Now read the story of how Arshan and Mriah met, as well as other stories taking place in the same universe as their tale.
Five erotic fantasies of female submission on faraway worlds from BDSM science fiction maven Cecilia Tan. Collecting five pieces of fiction that all take place in the same universe as Tan’s classic story “Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords,” EDGE PLAYS explores the boundaries between pain and pleasure, love and loyalty, and dominance and submission. Includes:
- Master Mind, originally published in the Master/slave anthology
- The Game, originally published in No Other Tribute
- Passage, original to Edge Plays
- The Velderet, Chapter Four from the novel
- Royal Treatment, an enticing excerpt from the novella
- Appendix and Glossary
Cecilia Tan is the author of many books and ebooks of erotic fiction including Mind Games, White Flames, Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords, Black Feathers, The Hot Streak, The Siren & the Sword, and many other books and stories. Keep up with her on Twitter, Facebook, Livejournal, or at blog.ceciliatan.com.
Read an Excerpt:
Excerpt from Master Mind, by Cecilia Tan
I arrived on the island as summer faded and the days shrank, with scars on my back and my mind still reeling from what I had just been through. But this is not the story of the Emperor and his daughter and all the things that happened to me before. This is the story of what happened to me on the island of Lhysa.
Two of us took the government-sponsored ride from the mainland, me and a woman in her mid-forties, her shoulder-length hair still richly black but shot through with strands of silver. The transport left us at the near-deserted landing point on the island’s rocky north side. The white craft lifted off in near silence behind us as we walked from the platform to the intake center. The woman, who had not spoken to me the entire trip from the mainland, asked me as we approached the door, “So, headed for the spas?”
It was a funny question. The reasons for me to go to the island were myriad. I suppose was there to recuperate but the healing waters had not been explicit in my plans. I was being kept out of danger, I was curious about my mother’s people, and I was very curious about the woman asking me my destination. I wondered if she had The Sight and raised an eyebrow at her. She raised an eyebrow in return. She was wearing a shirt too large for her, the sleeves rolled up, showing sunbrowned arms and empty hands. On her back she had a small pack.
“Well, you don’t look like a researcher,” she said then. “How long are you going to be staying?”
“Not sure,” I told her. I was carrying a small satchel of clothes, some of my father’s money, and nothing else. “My plans are kind of open ended. What do you mean, researcher?”
“Not a scientist?” She pointed to her head and I realized what she meant. There were only three types of people allowed on the island, those who came to study the unique psionic powers of the inhabitants, those who were approved to come for healing treatments, to stay at the spas for short periods of time, and those who were descendants of island dwellers. I belonged to this last category, as the pass I showed to the intake clerk read. I was processed in mere minutes and let through. On the other side of the small building, there was nothing but a road leading south and inland.
The woman followed me out. “Welcome back, unduma,” she said, using the island word for “homecomer.” “I never would have guessed.”
“Because you look like one of them.” She meant I looked like a Kylar. Tall, rangy, I looked more Kylaran than my own father, who had once been the second in command in the empire. “Half blood?”
I wondered if everyone on the island was so direct and nosy. I suppose in a community of mind-readers there is no need of secrecy. “Yes.”
“Do you have The Sight?”
“No.” We were both walking down the road now, though I did not know where it went. “Not so far as I’ve noticed.”
She nodded. “Not everyone here has it either, you know. Only a few. The gene pool’s been watered down over the years.”
I murmured in agreement as if I knew what she was talking about. My mother, at least according to Audan, had various psionic talents. I had been separated from her too young to have known she was different from other humans. “How about you? Can you read my thoughts?” I asked, throwing some of her directness back at her, very curious if her interest in me was genuine or if it was my imagination.
“No,” she answered. “Not me.”
We walked in silence then for a while and I studied her out off the corner of my eye. She was older but still had a kind of beauty, a fine-shaped face and sharp chin–if I had to guess I would have said she was part-Kylar, too. Though the way she had said “them” made me wonder. “What’s your name?”
“Vika,” she answered. “And yours?”
She looked at me when I said that. “Like the emperor?”
“My father has high hopes for me.” I tried to make a joke out of it. After all, there must be a Kylaran male born every day who was named for the emperor. But she took it seriously.
“Then what the hell are you doing down here?”
“Staying out of trouble,” I replied. Lhysa was perfect for that, on a world that was barely in Kylaran control, plus the island itself was a protected state.
Vika walked in front of me then, stepping backwards so she could face me as we went. The land on either side of the road was barren and dry, just a few strange plants twisting up through the reddish soil. “You’ll need a place to stay.”
I also had a pass to the spas in my satchel, just in case, but her tone of voice intrigued me. “Yes, I suppose I will.”
“I have a spare cot you can use for a while,” she said, her eyes suddenly shying from mine. “I know it won’t be what you’re used to, but…” She took a deep breath. “But many things here won’t be as you’re used to.”
So much for directness. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, you know. The lifestyle here is different.” She had gone from brazen to shy and I could guess why, but something in me wanted to prolong her discomfort.
I suppressed a smile. “How different?”
She stumbled then and fell backward, landing hard on her rump in the middle of the dusty road. I loomed over her as I reached down to help her up. She took hold of my hand with both of hers and ran her cheek along the back of it, speaking fast. “There are few of us here who enjoy…. I mean, who can satisfy your tastes.”
As I suspected. My–or rather the Kylaran–reputation for dominance preceded me. I pulled her to her feet and spoke to her softly. “I am not a lord.” Not here, anyway.
“No, but….” she swallowed whatever words she was going to say. Trembling next to me, her hand still in mine….
It was almost a reflex, to reach out and stroke her hair. If it was what she wanted, then she knew the desires of the average Kylaran dominant well. We are groomed for it. She shivered under my touch, and suddenly the fact that she was worldly wise and I was barely an adult did not matter. I kept my voice low and quiet. “Have you served before?”
“Not… formally.” Her head was bowed and I almost felt like I could cup her soul in one of my hands. I raised her chin with one finger and her face was scarlet with shame or desire or both. Then her natural forthrightness came through. “But I thought you might need… I mean, if you’re going to stay here for a while…”
“You thought my knob might need polishing?”
She turned even redder at that. I moved her hand to the loose fabric of my pants where my erection was hardening. I am my father’s son, of that there is no doubt, and my body responded to her gesture of submission. She nodded, her breath catching in her throat. “But, but the people here don’t understand.”
“I know.” The Kylar had conquered many places and our customs had come to rule dozens of worlds. But on this island, the old ways remained. Honestly, it was a relief to know that I was not in for months of celibacy. Half-blood or no, I was all Kylar in that sense. We are bred with sharp passions and they need to find release. I looked into her eyes to reassure her. “So let it be our secret.”
“Secret,” she repeated, her fingers quaking against the stone stillness of my flesh.
She was still on the ground and I pulled her up onto her knees, even as my other hand was freeing my cock. There were questions and protests in her eyes, even as I filled her mouth with me. “There is no one here on the road,” I said in answer to her unspoken worries. “We are not even in sight of the town yet. And I need to know if you are worthy of having me sleep on your cot.” I tried to make it a joke but the seriousness with which she began tonguing and sucking me proved she did not take it that way.
She may have lacked formal service, but she had years of practice, or so it seemed, with the Kylaran anatomy. As she licked and drove her head down over me, she kept one hand wrapped around my balls, restricting me somewhat. I could have grown larger, large enough to choke her, if I had wanted. But with her hand there–and my desire was for pleasure not for punishment–I stayed hard and mid-sized in her mouth. If I had wanted, I also could have held back my ejaculation. But I let hot liquid jet into her mouth and relished the feeling of her licking me clean. I licked the edges of her mouth then, pulling her up to me and returning her to some semblance of respectability. We shared a laugh, and as we made our way into town she told me some about the island and what I could expect.
It took another hour to cross to the greener side of the island, where the ground was still stony but plants grew and the shore sloped to sandy beaches and calm waves. She led me to a settlement near the ocean, in and around an area of hills and stone outcroppings. Her home was built into the side of a rocky cliff, the front room built of mudbaked bricks, the back disappearing into the island’s body. It was five rooms, clean and warm, rustic and very private in its innermost chambers. I had just put my bag down in the deepest room and was removing my boots when her home system alerted us to someone at the door. She went to answer it while I nosed about trying to discover where in the rustic architecture the system’s speakers were hidden.
Vika came back a few minutes later, worry lining her face.
She sat down on the bed pallet next to me. “Our priestess was very sick. She had something even Kylaran medicine wouldn’t heal.”
“You said was…”
“She died yesterday.”
“Her funeral will be soon–probably tomorrow or the day after.”
“Is that a problem? You look troubled.”
She shook her head. “It’s a big ritual, supposed to heal her bereft partner. If you’re here, they’ll expect you to participate. Everyone is expected to be a part of it.”
“That’s fine with me.”
Her mouth relaxed in relief then. “You might find it sort of silly…”
I quieted her with a finger to her lips and her eyes widened, as if she suddenly remembered my power over her–such as it was, undeclared, undefined. “My father was a priest once,” I told her. “And remember, my mother was from here. I’d be honored to take part in a ritual.”
She smiled then and I could tell she was thinking I wasn’t like the other Kylar she had known. I didn’t really want her thinking about that too much, though, comparing me to the men who had held her enthralled before me, so I distracted her with a kiss. Her response was polite, schooled, until I dug my fingers into the hair at the back of her scalp and bent her backwards. Her lips went soft and the flutter in her chest began again. So soft, so vulnerable. I wanted to make her forget, then, that any other man had ever given her pleasure or pain. My other hand slid under the waistband of her pants, cupped her mound, and then my fingers spread as I pushed deeper between her legs. My longest finger sank into the wetness there–no doubt it had been pooling ever since she had admitted her desire to me on the road. Through her lips were locked in mine she let out a small whimper.
The Kylar have colonized, annexed, or conquered something like eighty five other worlds. You can see how hard it is to resist the impulse. How could I hold back from such a treasure as her softest places? I pressed her back into the rumpled blankets on the bed, her legs falling open, eager for me. I withdrew my finger and instead circled her engorged clit with it. When I was sure I had found the right speed and angle, I stiffened my finger against her and she threw her head back. I kept at her, one hand still behind her head but with a loose grip, letting her thrash in the palm of my hand, while the other had but one goal, which was to make her come. As she came close I whispered into her ear, “I want you to come. Be mine. Come for me, come on, let go, give yourself to me.” That seemed enough to push her over the edge, as she clamped her legs around my hand and cried out.
When her orgasm subsided, I pushed her pants down her body. She stripped off her shirt and spread herself for me again, but I kept my own clothes on. I gave a small shake of my head as I lay down next to her, hugging her naked body to mine. “I am not finished making you come yet.”
She seemed unsure what to say.
“That was only one of my ten fingers. The other nine are waiting to see how you respond.” And although I did not have The Sight, I can say with certainty that she responded very well to all of them, though I made her sore and made her beg for a rest before all ten orgasms were done.
We slept the rest of the afternoon like that, atop the blankets, me clothed and her curled naked against me. The island was already being quite restorative to me, it seemed. It was energizing to have a woman give her strength to me that way, a woman who was not part of court politics or maneuvering me for my father’s favor. I felt relaxed enough to sleep with her by my side and the empire seemed very far away.
When I woke she was still in an exhausted sleep and I took the liberty of poking around her kitchen. For all the island’s isolation, she still had fruits I recognized, suitable for squeezing into boiling water with sugar. I took a steaming mug out to her front room, and into the small courtyard that faced the cobbled street of the village. The sun sank somewhere behind the cliffside and I could smell the sea. In the fading light, I could see only one other person, walking slowly up the street, head down.
A small woman came toward me, her hair hanging in her eyes, and she walked as if she did not see where she was going. She shuffled, and moved her head from side to side, and hugged herself. She put a hand out on the low wall that separated us, steadied herself, and seemed about to move on when she looked up at me.
Her gaze shocked me, like the sudden opening of a too hot oven, and I wanted to look away but I couldn’t. A feeling of grief slapped me, sudden and hard, and I felt my breath catch as my throat closed like a fist. She blinked then, as if seeing me there for the first time. Her hand went over her mouth, and she ran back down the hill. And I could swallow and breathe again.
I was staring into the bottom of the dark and empty mug when Vika came to the doorway. “It’s going to get chilly soon,” she said to me, beckoning me back inside. “Shall I introduce you to some of the neighbors in the morning?”
I nodded. “I think I just met one of them.”
“Mriah. The priestess’s partner.” Even as I said it, I knew I had never heard the name before.
Vika pulled me inside and sealed the door behind us. “She told you her name?”
I shook my head. “She didn’t say anything. But I think she is… sending out signals or something.” The ghost of the grief agony still tickled my chest like a cough.
Vika frowned. “Mriah is a seer, too. The two of them had a very deep bond.”
I tried not to sound as ignorant as I was. “I’ve heard that when two telepaths bond, the death of one can drive the other one insane.”
Vika shrugged. “It hasn’t happened in our lifetime. Not until those two. The bonding, I mean.” She pulled the blanket tighter around herself. “As to whether Mriah is insane, or stays that way, may depend on the ritual.” And that was all she would say about it that night.
(To read the rest of the story, download the book today!)
Five erotic fantasies of female submission on faraway worlds from BDSM science fiction maven Cecilia Tan. Collecting five pieces of fiction that all take place in the same universe as Tan's classic story "Telepaths Don't Need Safewords," EDGE PLAYS explores the boundaries between pain and pleasure, love and loyalty, and dominance and submission.