Monday, August 26, 2013
I just got off the vid with Dusa and Esak. I’m doing a lot of sniffling right now. It’s really over between us. I have to accept it. But damn, this is hard. Seeing them right in front of me, so big and gorgeous and not being able to touch them – it was so awful. Almost as awful as being set free.
We didn’t fight; actually the complete opposite happened. More than ever, I know how much they care for me.
Dusa started right off by saying, “You look beautiful, Shalia. I don’t know whether I’m happy or heartbroken to see you. We miss you so much.”
That got the waterworks started right away. I smiled as best I could even with my eyes leaking. “I miss you too. You have no idea how bad I wish you were here. How’s the head, Esak?”
He bent a little so I could see his still visible scars under the bit of hair that had grown. “It is earning much respect from the other Nobeks who have seen me. I will be cleared to work again in a few days, so I will have plenty of time to show them my strength and honor before my hair covers these.” He straightened and his expression turned grim. “I am not happy I wasn’t there to protect you from those who shot at you, Shalia. If I had been with you, you would have never gotten so close to the fence.”
I shrugged. “My bodyguard put himself between me and Candy and the blaster fire. I wasn’t in much danger at all.” Bullshit, but I didn’t want Esak to worry.
Dusa also turned serious. “Shalia, I’ve spoken to Weln. I need you to listen to me and try very hard to understand what I’m going to tell you. I care for you. You know we love you and would do anything to make you our Matara.”
I nodded. I was afraid of what he might say next, since I figured Weln had told him all about my liaison with Nang. I didn’t dare speak.
Dusa gave me a resigned smile. “However, it cannot happen. I cannot clan you, as much as my soul screams to. Our relationship as lovers is over, Shalia. All I wish for you now is to be happy.”
I was crying harder. I think if he’d called me a slut and shouted at me, it would have been easier than this.
“Are you hearing me, Shalia? I’m telling you to not reject new lovers in misguided loyalty to my clan. Do you understand?”
“Tell me. I want to hear you say it.”
It was hard to talk around the ache in my throat. Somehow I managed to choke out, “You want me to explore relationships with other men.”
“Exactly. I appreciate that we mean enough to you that you would have a hard time accepting that, but you must move on. Say you will and that you’ll not feel guilty for doing so.”
I looked at him. “I don’t know that I can do that, Dusa. It feels wrong to just cast you aside so quickly.”
He smiled. “You didn’t cast us aside. The situation is beyond us all, and we have to live with it. Tell me you’ll at least try to not feel badly. Being the source of your pain is the last thing I’d ever want.”
I rubbed at the tears spilling down my cheeks. “I’ll try. No promises.”
We talked a little more. Dusa was doing a good job in his rescue missions, already impressing his commanding officers in such a short amount of time. The bigger venue of the Atlanta outskirts was also giving him more opportunities to advance in rank. I could tell that was a big deal to him. Esak was excited as well about the larger numbers of gangs and Earthers banding together to fight against the Kalquorian Atlanta base. It’s a huge task since the security forces are trying to capture and not kill those people.
“A challenge most definitely worthy of a Nobek,” Esak beamed. “Killing is easy. It takes real skill to defeat and subdue an enemy instead.”
While the situation might suit a Kalquorian, it gave me the heebie jeebies, especially looking at Esak’s still fresh scars. “Just be careful for your clan and my sake,” I begged him. “Those Earthers are definitely looking to kill you, and I don’t want that to happen.”
“I will, Shalia. Don’t worry about me.”
They were more intent on warning me to be careful. “Stay away from that damned perimeter,” Dusa said. “I swear, if Weln coms to tell me you’ve been hurt or worse, I’ll come out there and blow up the damned Academy myself for not keeping you safe enough.”
“I have no intention of getting anywhere near the fence,” I assured him. “At this point, I’m counting the days when I can get on that transport to Kalquor. Without you here, this place sucks.”
That made him and Esak smile. “We would have been miserable there once you’d left,” he said. “It’s just as well we were transferred.”
The conversation didn’t go on much longer after that. As much as it means to us to see each other, it’s agony too. It really, really hurts, which is why I keep boo-hooing. But at least Dusa and Esak aren’t mad at me. At least they don’t hate me. Maybe one day I won’t feel guilty about turning to Nang for strength. I hope so.