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He's exhausted by the time he crawls into his bunk on the skiff. They've gotten out of planetary orbit, away from that fucking deathtrap, and they're on course for one of the trade routes, but it'll be a while. When Imam volunteered to keep an eye on the autopilot for a few hours and come get him if there were problems, he took the chance immediately. There are very few things that Riddick wants more than sleep right now.

The hatch on his bunk slides back with a whisper, and he sees Jack -- Jackie, whatever -- standing there in the half-light, looking nervous, like she's trying to gather more courage than she thought she had.

"You okay?" he says, because he seems to have somehow become this kid's protector, for all the sense that makes. She doesn't answer, just crawls in beside him, and he can feel her pulse in the thin wrist that lies across his chest. "Look, Jackie," he starts.

"Jack," she corrects him. "Please."

"Okay," he says, "Jack." Fuck, he's no good at this. "You don't.... You don't want to end up like me, kid."

"What if I just want to like you?" she says, and her body is pressed tight against his, and he's suddenly far too conscious of the sharp smell of adrenaline in her sweat, the dark salty tang of her cunt. There are very few things Riddick wants more than sleep right now, and fewer still that he thought anyone would just offer him.

"I'm pretty sure this is the part where I'm supposed to tell you you're too young, you don't know what you're doing, and you should leave." He's got an arm around her waist, pulling her on top of him. "But it's been too fucking long." He's already so fucking hard, and he pushes with his hips to let her feel it. Her heartbeat races, and her eyes widen -- he can't tell at first if that's fear or desire; the way she smells could be either.

Then she leans in and kisses him, rough and clumsy and wet and willing. Fuck what he should be doing. Riddick reaches up under her shirt, getting his hands on her skin. She's a tiny little thing; he can feel the knobs of her spine under his fingertips, and he'd bet he could wrap his hands all the way around her waist if he tried.

Jack sits up, pulling her shirt off over her head, and he's right, she's all skin and bones and big defiant, nervous eyes. He skins out of his own shirt and pulls her back down on top of him and Jesus it's been too long.

She's almost as desperate for it, though, her hips rocking against him and her hands tugging at his belt buckle as she licks the sweat from under his jaw. The friction of her fingers against his cock makes him crazy.

"Get up," he says. She freezes. "Just for a minute," he explains. "Just to get your clothes off." A quick little smile of relief flickers across her face and then she's moving, squirming beside him as she fights her way out of her pants and boots, and he does the same. There's not enough room in the bunk to do this -- for a few minutes they're all elbows and knees and curses.

But then they're naked, and if he thought she smelled enticing before, it's nothing to the heady scent of her now. Her hips are narrow, like a boy's -- no wonder she can pass with ordinary people -- and with his altered vision her pale skin almost glows.

He should ask her if she's sure about this. But there's only one answer he wants to hear, and Jack probably wants to pretend she doesn't need coddling anyway, so he just says, "Come here," and helps her throw a leg over him.

The slippery wetness of her cunt sliding against his cock is one of the best things that's happened to him in years, right up there with getting out of prison. Riddick lets his breath out in a low hiss, and reaches down to help guide himself into her, and fuck, she's tight --

And she almost manages to swallow the whimper, but there's nothing she can do about the sudden bright-copper smell of fresh blood. "Jesus," he says, "you should have told me."

Jack glares at him. "So you could tell me to leave?" She rocks her hips defiantly, daring him to notice the pain that flickers in her eyes. He grabs her by the hips to hold her still.

"I could have at least gone slower," he says, and it might be true. Maybe he has that much self-control left.

"Maybe I didn't want you to. Maybe I fucking hate the way everybody started trying to protect me as soon as you told them I was a girl."

"Not everybody," Riddick growls, thinking of Johns.

But that doesn't seem to be how Jack takes it. "Okay, not everybody," she agrees. "I just...hate it when people treat me like I'm delicate, you know? I'm not going to break."

He has his doubts, but he bites his tongue, because if he has to choose between having sex and an argument, there's no fucking contest. "All right," he says, and he puts a hand on the velvet-soft back of her head to pull her back down to him. "I believe you."

He kisses her, this time, and she makes a little animal noise into his mouth as he starts thrusting. Fuck, that's good, especially when she gets comfortable enough after a few minutes to start pushing back.

"Faster," she says breathlessly, "yes," and Riddick doesn't take orders on principle but he thinks this is one time he could make an exception. She's still incredibly tight, hot and slick-wet, and the air reeks of sex.

Jack shudders above him, moaning, and he thinks she might be coming, but oh God, he's almost at the point of no return himself, his whole body tensing as he feels it get closer -- right there, right there -- his balls draw up tight -- just a few more strokes --

The light behind his eyes is purple and blue, vivid, searing, and he can hear himself growling as he comes, all that tension exploding out of him as he shakes with the force of it. In the aftermath, he opens his eyes to see Jack smiling down at him.

"Thanks," he says, surprising himself. "I think I really needed that."

"Sure thing," she says, and slides off him carefully, wincing a little before she rearranges herself next to him, her head pillowed on his shoulder. Riddick thinks he should maybe worry about her getting too attached, but he can always think about that later. Right now, his eyes are drifting shut, and he just wants a few hours of uninterrupted, deep sleep before he has to cope with the next emergency.

He's just about to lose consciousness for good when he hears Imam's voice over the intercom. "Riddick? There's a ship ahead. We're going to be close enough to open communications soon."

"Damn," he says, dislodging Jack and sitting up. "No rest for the wicked, isn't that what they say?" He reaches for his pants. "Come on, kid. Let's go see what we've found."

Jack yawns, and picks up her shirt. "Never a dull moment on this trip."

Riddick laughs. "Looks that way."