Monday, January 7, 2013
Oh my God. I have officially lost my mind. I don’t even want to write this down. If anyone ever knew, I’d be hanging from a tree. Or worse. Much, much worse.
I cannot fathom why I would do such a thing. I just
Okay. Deep breath. From the beginning.
I got the clearance to try a little solo walk. It looked nice outside, so I ventured out. For a wonder, the humidity wasn’t instant sauna. Still a little hot, but there was a nice breeze. It felt good to be in the sun for a change.
Behind the medical building is a concrete path. It winds down to the Memorial Garden, a place where fallen officers who had attended the Academy are remembered. It’s got plaques on a series of tall marble walls that enclose benches and flowerbeds in a huge semi-circle. It’s very nice and peaceful there, even though the lack of recent landscaping has left only a few pretty posies dotting the spaces between weeds here and there. The greenery is doing okay. There is a big oak tree between two of the walls, casting plenty of shade over a few of the benches.
I’d overestimated my strength and underestimated the distance between Medical and the garden. I was a little over halfway to my goal when I began to flag. I really should have turned back at that point, but I am so stupidly stubborn. I’ve been bugging Nayun to let me out of Medical for the last couple of days, and I was determined to show him I was ready to be released.
It was, of course, a mistake. I’d made it three-quarters of the way when I got really lightheaded. The sun was suddenly too bright and too hot. The world start a gentle, slow rocking that made my legs wobble. I knew I was about to land on my ass.
Then, like a dark beautiful angel in his skintight armored formsuit, I saw Dusa trotting across the expanse of pine tree studded lawn. He smiled and waved at me, heading in my direction.
I smiled and waved back, trying to pretend I had my shit together. The earth tilted really hard at that point, and I started to fall. The concrete walkway was coming at me in a big hurry to bash and bruise. There wasn’t a damned thing I could do about it.
I heard something similar to a rush of wind, and I was caught. Big muscled arms clutched around me, saving me from who knows what injuries. I looked up and there was Dusa, his face just inches from mine, wide purple eyes shocked.
“How did you get here so fast?” I said for lack of anything intelligent to utter.
“I ran. Are you okay?” He was crouched down where he’d caught me, holding me in his arms like a baby.
I felt my face flush. Can you say embarrassing? “I guess I overexerted a little. Thanks for catching me.”
“Let me get you back to your room.”
I cringed to think of the humiliation of Dusa carting my weak ass into the building like I was some wilting damsel in distress. Nayun would ground me for at least another week. So I said, “I really wanted to go to the garden. If you’ll help me, I can sit on a bench and get myself back together.”
Dusa hesitated. I could tell he thought I should be back in bed, so I gave him a smile and batted my eyes. Femme fatale, that’s me. “Please? I’ve been cooped up forever.”
Dusa relented. “I don’t think it’s a good idea, but all right. If you fade again, I’m taking you straight in.”
There was a little more discussion about whether I could walk myself to the garden (the lightheadedness had passed and I felt a lot better) or if he should carry me (humiliating!). Finally we settled on me walking with him holding on to support me. Call me the Queen of Compromise.
Leaning on my ever-faithful rescuer, I finally made it to the garden and we sat down on a marble bench under the oak tree’s shade. Dusa kept his arm around me, as if I was going to pitch off my seat in a faint. For a moment I found it amusing. I thought we might look like sweethearts to a casual passerby, all romantic and gooey in a cliché movie setting (if you don’t count being surrounded by the names of the dead).
All at once I was really aware of his arm tight around my waist, his hand cupping my upper hip. Of his strong, muscled body pressed to mine, side by side. Of how he smelled: raw and masculine with the hint of a sweetish-sharp spice. I stared up into that handsome face looking down at me, hovering so close to mine, and my heart began to hammer wildly in my chest. A funny warmth curled in my stomach, something I hadn’t felt since high school when I let Zach Smith kiss me behind the gym.
I don’t like sex, but the sudden vision I had of Dusa laying on top of me, kissing and touching me all over, brought a stab of want to my lower parts. I felt wetness seeping from me.
Extremely shocked and somewhat terrified at my reaction to him, I jerked my gaze away to study the few purple and white flowers in the bed before us. “You don’t have to work right now?”
With our bodies touching the way they were, I felt his voice as much as I heard it. It rumbled low and dangerous, like the sound of thunder closing in. “I’m working only single shifts for the next couple of days. I was on my way to visit you when I saw you on the path.”
Sure he was coming to visit me. His lie settled some of that weird reaction I was having to him. I was able to breathe again. “That’s very nice, Dusa. I’m glad you came along when you did.”
He leaned down, tilting his head to get a better look at my face. “You look wonderful, Shalia. Healthier. I think you’ve even put on a little weight.”
“Nayun finally let me eat something besides broth and nutrient mush yesterday. I tried some ronka and pilchok. It’s very good.”
He grinned at me. “Brave girl. Most Earthers won’t taste our food. They insist on eating their own, though the cooks struggle with such unfamiliar ingredients.”
“No kidding. Someone should tell them when chicken hits 165 degrees, it’s done.”
Dusa chuckled. “I’ll be sure to pass that along.”
We were silent for a few moments. It wasn’t comfortable, not when he still had his arm around me and I could feel every breath he took. Looking to fill the silence, I asked, “Have you rescued any more of us?”
He nodded. “Three women and five children since you came in. Last I heard, they were all doing well.”
“That’s nice. So you’ve had the chance to visit them since you brought them in?”
He looked at me, and I felt captured by his gaze. I couldn’t look away for the life of me. “I’ve only visited you.”
I just sat there, staring like someone who’s been hypnotized. I mean, what do you say to that? Finally I choked out, “How did I get so lucky?”
I have no idea why I said it. I’m not even sure what I meant by it. But there was no doubt in how Dusa took my statement.
“I like you, Shalia. I like your spirit. Your strength. You fought for yourself and your mother until you no longer could.” He laughed. “I think you might have fought forever if you hadn’t become so ill.”
I swallowed. The way he looked at me ... well, it just knocked the air out of my lungs. I’ve been looked at sexually before. Men who had the power to get me in their beds took full advantage of it. But no one had ever stared at me the way Dusa did. It wasn’t just bald, ugly lust in his eyes. There was fascination. Deep consideration. Like he didn’t simply want me so he could demonstrate his power or get his selfish pleasure. I got a sense of something like reverence. It’s impossible to really describe since I’m not sure what exactly that look was.
I know one thing for sure though. Whatever that emotion was that he was communicating made me completely lose my mind. When he lifted my chin, I didn’t resist. When his face closed in to kiss me, I didn’t shy away.
His lips moved against mine, soft and gentle, like the brush of a bird’s feather. I forgot how to think. It was like all I could do was feel. My mouth opened a little, seeking more. Dusa’s tongue crept in, tasting me a bit at a time.
I felt like I was melting inside. I went weak all over again, like I would fall. As if sensing it, Dusa held me tight against him, deepening the kiss. His tongue swept inside my mouth, raspy like the finest sandpaper. It stroked mine, and the heat of his kiss swept through my skull, traveled down my spine, and burst into flame down below. I wasn’t just melting. My insides were boiling. I have never felt anything like it, and if I’d had any sense of what I was doing before, it was absolutely gone in that instant.
I touched him as the kiss went on and on. One arm was trapped against him, but the free one more than made up for being on its own. It was as if my sense of feel was starving, and I was determined to devour Dusa through touch. I traced his strong jawline. My hand swept down his corded throat. I felt the width of one shoulder and gasped at the hard iron of his bicep. His chest was the width of a football field, and I explored that for what felt like ages. His abdomen was granite. There was nothing soft about Dusa. He was all rock and steel and strength. It should have made me afraid. Even at my healthiest, I would have no defense against such a man. But instead I felt sheltered. Safe.
And desperately aroused. While I was touching Dusa, he was touching me. His tongue twined around mine, sometimes drawing it into his mouth, sometimes pushing it back so he could invade my mouth with passion. He held me tight with one arm in an uncompromising grip. His free hand stroked my hair. He cupped my cheek to tilt my head just so, allowing him to deepen our kiss. His fingers stroked down my throat, traced over my collarbone, and trailed down my arm. Then they returned to the hollow of my throat. Slowly, slowly, that whispering touch drifted down to my breastbone.
A hundred moths took flight in my belly. Would he go further? Would he dare?
He did. His hand covered one breast, heating it. I arched with a cry, as if I could fill his hand even more with it. I had lost all control.
His thumb found my nipple and stroked over it, bringing it to stiff attention. The sensation was pure fire, adding to the conflagration already burning an inferno in my belly. I was like a volcano, lava roiling within, eager to get out.
Who knows how far I would have let Dusa take me? If not for the sound of laughter breaking into our senses, I might have let him do whatever he wanted. I was like an animal in heat, ready to rut as any thoughtless beast might. Since this morning, I have decided that we are little more than primitive creatures, obeying nothing more than the instincts we are born with. Why else would I have responded so eagerly to the sexual urgings of a man I hardly know?
It was the sound of others in the distance that woke us from our would-be mating frenzy. We simultaneously broke the kiss, gasping in shock. I suddenly realized how we were outside and anyone might have stumbled upon our wild display. A vision of the Pageant Trio with their disapproving faces appeared before my mind’s eye. And the two women I’d seen hanged.
I have lost my mind.
The moment broken, our senses restored, Dusa helped me back to Medical. He wanted to stay, to talk with me, but I couldn’t take his presence for even one second more. Begging exhaustion, I sent him away. Now I’m dealing with the fallout of what just happened.
I carried on carnally with a man where anyone might see me. And not just a man, an alien man. A Kalquorian, Earth’s avowed enemy. I can’t believe I let such a thing happen.
More disturbing, I can’t get over how good it felt. I ache for more. I’m not saying ‘ache’ as a metaphor. I want to kiss that man again so bad it hurts. The thought of what might have happened if we hadn’t come to our senses in time scares me, but it excites me too.
Have they been putting something in my food? Something that will make me want to join one of their clans so they can breed? Something that puts my hormones into overdrive so that the slightest clandestine touch makes me eager to be mounted by one of their men?
Somehow I can’t see Dr. Nayun doing such a thing. He treats me like I’m his daughter, and I have no carnal urges where he is concerned. So what is it about Dusa? I’ve never wanted sex before. It’s always been something to get through, to endure, to survive. Still, my body is clamoring for more. To feel Dusa’s naked body on mine. To feel his mouth and hands all over me. To feel him inside of me, rutting hard and fast, giving me that funny, ticklish, hot feeling again.
I really have gone crazy. There is no other explanation.