Monday, November 9, 2015
Anrel continues to improve at an amazing rate. Even Tep is impressed with her growing strength. Today she was moved to a new room.
It’s a step up from Isolation. Everyone still has to walk through a scrub unit to visit my baby, but environmental controls are gradually allowing microbes and such into Anrel’s space. Bit by bit, her surroundings will be made to match the rest of the ship’s environment. I am beside myself with glee to see these steps towards her leaving Medical.
The surgery is being judged a complete success. Anrel is taking formula again. Her oxygen levels are perfect. Tep says another couple of days and he’ll even take the monitor vest off her. My baby is going to be just fine.
I am so very grateful to Tep and the Solns ... and by extension, Imdiko Meyso. It was he who contacted the hive and got this whole thing rolling. I owe him big time.
Me being me, that worries me a little. I feel so very much in Meyso’s debt. How can I not make his clan, Clan Aslada, my primary candidate now? Should I feel obligated to join that clan for giving Anrel her best chance at a life? I do like them a lot and see no reason thus far to discount them in any way. Yet I like Clan Seot a lot too. It’s too early to make up my mind on who to join ... but Meyso may have provided the means to save Anrel’s life. He may be able to give my mother her mind back. How can I not join Clan Aslada with all that?
It bugs me, probably because I had that tracker Seot sent me put on today. Anrel’s was implanted during her surgery. I was sedated during my procedure. Part of the security of the device is no one but the doctor knows where it has been implanted. Only Tep has that knowledge, so if someone kidnapped Anrel or me, the trackers can’t be removed. They are so tiny that they are undetectable beneath the skin. They have some sort of field they emit that keeps any device from identifying their precise location on the body.
Is Seot’s contribution to our safety any less remarkable than Meyso connecting us to experts for Anrel? Only if we never need the trackers, which I pray will be the case.
While I sat with Anrel today, Candy stopped by. Because these questions are rattling around nonstop in my poor worrying brain, I decided to talk stuff out with her. She was understanding and had a lot of smart things to say on the matter.
“Shalia, it’s true Meyso did you and Anrel a huge service,” she said. “But it’s not like you asked him to. If he did it just to make you feel like you have to join his clan, then that doesn’t speak very well of him.”
“You have a point there,” I said. “But he doesn’t strike me as the kind of man who is looking out for his own interests first. I think he did it out of a genuine wish to help.”
“Then give him a gold star,” Candy grinned. She sobered again. “You know, just because a particular man or even a whole clan is nice, doesn’t mean your personalities will match up. You can’t go riding off into the sunset with Clan Aslada because you believe they are good guys. There has to be genuine happiness.”
“It would be nice,” I said. “But what if they are the best potential fathers for Anrel?”
“What if they are but you don’t feel a real connection?” Candy countered. “What good is it going to do Anrel if her mother is left feeling ‘what if’? What if you’d waited to see if Clan Seot or another clan made good fathers and clanmates? What if you found real love with men other than Clan Aslada?”
I sighed. “You’re telling me stuff I’ve thought of. I guess I feel guilty that Meyso helped us avoid a major problem and I’m not immediately swearing lifelong devotion to him and his clan.”
“You still might,” Candy said. “But you’re rushing things too much. For all you know, Meyso turns into an asshole when he’s not in doctor mode. Maybe Aslada is like every other politician – crooked. Maybe Jaon doesn’t shower on a regular basis.”
Her last ‘maybe’ cracked me up. “Yeah, massive Nobek B.O. would be a deal breaker,” I laughed.
“Take your time and don’t let gratitude make your decision,” Candy said. “This is a lifetime contract you’re making. Be grateful for the help they give you, but make sure you get the right guys.”
“Speaking of which, how are things in your romantic life?” I asked, wanting to return the favor of her listening to me whine.
“Oh great, now we get to the part of ‘do as I say, not as I do.’” Candy blew a raspberry at me.
“What, you have a clan on Kalquor making an offer you can’t refuse?”
“No, no, it’s not exactly what you’re dealing with. I still haven’t narrowed my list of potential suitors to under 1,000.”
“Talk about keeping your options open,” I laughed.
She rolled her eyes. “I know. I need to get serious about contacting my best matches, but ... well, I’m having issues with letting go of Ama and Mihi.”
“Uh oh,” I said. That was not good.
“Yeah. The way they stuck by me after all that crap with the Bi’isil war organism makes me feel bad about talking to other men. I didn’t com even my number one pick of clans for a real time talk while we were in range. It felt too much like cheating on my Nobeks.”
“Crap, Candy,” I groaned. “Did you fall in love with those two?”
She shook her head with conviction. “No. It’s just what you’re going through with Meyso. Guilt. Okay, mixed in with a lot of lust and affection. But still, it’s complicating things.”
Earther Matara problems. Our cups runneth over with men ... but there are worse issues to have.
One of my ‘issues’ was waiting in my room after Tep chased me out of Medical, insisting I get some time to myself. Betra gave me a happy smile as I came in.
“Hey you,” I said.
“Hello, lovely lady.” His eyes narrowed. “What’s wrong?”
“What makes you think something’s wrong?”
“Because I know you.” He shook his head. “Your jaw is tight and you’ve got that crease between your brows. Something’s bothering you.”
I waved him off. “Stuff you don’t want to hear about.”
He considered me for a moment. “Must be an issue with Clan Seot or Aslada. Or both? Go ahead, I can take it.”
“It wasn’t so long ago you had to take a break because you couldn’t face what was coming,” I reminded him.
“I know. I feel awful about that.” He reddened. “I acted like an ass. Let me make up for it. Tell me what’s going on.”
So I went into my spiel about feeling beholden to Meyso and his clan, what Candy had advised, how I agreed with her but still felt guilty, blah, blah, blah. Betra listened patiently and with no sign of jealousy.
When I finished, he gave me a smile. “I think Candy has it right. You owe Meyso nothing but thanks. Give his clan their due consideration, but don’t choose them because of what their Imdiko has done for you. Same with Seot and those trackers.”
“We have a consensus from all who have been wailed to,” I joked. “Survey says, wait and see.”
“You can do more than just passively hope for the answer to jump out at you,” Betra said. “Make an effort right away to find out which clan will be best for you.”
“How am I supposed to do that?” I asked. “We’re still several weeks from Kalquor and days of lag time for the coms.”
“But you could send them all a weekly update on yourself and Anrel’s progress. That will encourage them to keep their end of the contact,” Betra said. “They’ll appreciate it and hopefully reciprocate. Continual messages will tell you a lot more about your options than expensive gifts and kind gestures.”
“You’ve got a good point there,” I mused. “I could do that and ask them to tell me what’s going on in their lives. I’d be interested in what happens with them day to day.”
“And don’t always put a good face on things,” Betra said. “Let them see the real Shalia. If you’re grouchy, let them know. If you’re upset, let them see that.”
“You do want me to drive them away,” I said with mock suspicion.
He grinned. “No, I want you to find the right clan. Tell them the truth about everything, even if you think they might find you petty. If they can’t handle the real you, then you may as well find out.”
He had a point. I didn’t have to go out of my way to be irritating or a drama queen, but I didn’t have to pretend all was sunshine and roses when it wasn’t either. Getting a dose of me in all my Shalia-ness might be the perfect gauge for determining if either of my top two clans was really right for me.
“Well, me at my worst hasn’t scared you and Oses off,” I noted.
“Your worst isn’t so bad,” Betra said with a warm smile. “I wouldn’t have traded an instant of it for anything.”
“It’s getting deep in here,” I said. “You’re pouring it on kind of thick.”
“Will it get me anywhere?” Betra’s grin got a lot broader.
“It will get you everywhere, you gorgeous lug.”
He didn’t wait another second. With an Oses-like growl, Betra swung me into his arms and carried me into the bedroom.
He laid me on my sleeping mat and knelt beside me, looking me over. His eyes went dark. “You’re putting weight on. You look healthier all the time,” he said. The appreciative note in his voice told me he liked what he saw.
I thought I still looked a mess, but I didn’t look like death warmed over anymore. I decided not to argue with him. “Thank you,” I said, meaning it. When a man looks at you with that kind of passion, you don’t try to correct his misconceptions.
Betra stripped me down, making me naked. Now I cringed. Flabby, post-pregnancy deflated belly along with my poisoned-starved body ... yeah, I’m getting better, but it still isn’t pretty. Yet you wouldn’t know it by the way that Imdiko looked at me.
“Stop flinching,” he said in a no-nonsense tone. “There isn’t one damned thing wrong with you, Shalia.”
“I’m not used to seeing myself like this,” I complained. “It’s like wearing someone else’s body.”
“Then do something about it. Resan says you could be doing more physical rehab, but you spend that time sitting with Anrel.”
“Well duh,” I said. “Of course I’m going to spend all the time I can with her.”
Betra crooked a brow at me. “Plus you despise Dramok Resan. Which is still beside the point. I thought you wanted to be strong so you could protect Anrel better.”
I knew the bastard was playing me, goading me with my weaknesses and reminding me that I could be doing more to ensure Anrel’s safety myself. I scowled at him.
“She needs me with her. She needs me to get my strength back. She needs me to train with that knife Larten gave me. For such a little thing, she needs a lot ... like me being 20 people.”
Betra snickered, his firm glare softening. “She needs everything, and you’ll go crazy trying to supply it. Welcome to motherhood.”
“How can something so wonderful suck so much too?” I wondered. I heard my own words and regretted them right away. “I’m so glad to have Anrel. She’s amazing.”
Betra’s eyes twinkled with understanding. “You’re allowed to get overwhelmed, you know. My parents said many times how much they loved me and how crazy I drove them ... often in the same breath.”
I smiled ruefully. “I’m getting how that’s possible. So far the crazy-making stuff isn’t anything Anrel has any control over.”
“Wait until she’s a teenager.”
“I thought you were supposed to be making me happy,” I grouched.
“How about this?” Betra pulled his clothes off. Yep, that made me happy.
I sighed with pleasure as his long, muscular body covered mine. There were plenty more sighs as he kissed me into arousal, his firm flesh rubbing over me.
I whimpered a complaint I didn’t mean when he pinned my wrists over my head with one hand. Keeping me helpless, Betra mouthed my breasts, alternating between tender kisses and cruel nips. Within seconds, he had them inflamed, the tips pointed with hard desire.
Meanwhile his hand found the soaked juncture between my thighs. His fingers caressed, rubbed, tugged, and plunged deep. My cries rang through the room as he made me swollen and eager to be filled. Then he spread the wetness to my rear entrance, making me slick for invasion. His practiced fingers teased me open and stretched the opening that yielded to him with coy reluctance.
I moaned gratitude when his cocks entered me, hoping for promised culmination. Yet Betra’s lovemaking was slow and lazy, making arousal brim but not overflow. My arms remained pinned over my head, and his weight held down the rest. I couldn’t hurry him, not through pleas or movement.
“That’s it,” he breathed, staring into my eyes. “Beg for release. Beg me to fuck you, knowing I’ll do as I please. Feel me enjoying you as I wish, knowing you can do nothing about it.”
He took me so slowly, making me feel every sweet inch of his cocks in my tight sleeves as they moved back and forth. My whole being centered on the sensation of his leisurely use. Betra prolonged his enjoyment of me, making my pussy swell tighter with each passing second of growing need. I trembled beneath him, unable to hurry him, a mere vessel for his pleasure.
“Please,” I cried, aching to climax. “Please, Betra.”
“Do you want to come for me?” he crooned, his eyes lighting with cruel joy. “But you feel so good, Shalia. So wet and warm. Clinging tight around my cocks. Why would I rush this when I’m in paradise?”
“Damn you!” I yelled, trying my best to buck beneath him, to rub my clit against anything that might bring the pending orgasm.
Betra’s eyes narrowed. The threat in his tone could not be mistaken. “Lie still and don’t say another word. You are healthy enough that I can stop this and spank your ass red and leave you wanting. Good girls get to come. Naughty girls don’t.”
I subsided, shuddering with desperation. I didn’t want to be denied climax. I ached too much for that to happen. I needed Betra to make me come.
So I lay there beneath him while he took his time, fucking me into insanity. Waves of intense desire pulsed through me, slow but steady throbs that teased the nearness of exaltation.
Betra released my wrists. “Play with your nipples and clit, but don’t come,” he said.
“Don’t come? Are you kidding me?” I squalled. “The second I touch myself, I’ll lose it!”
He rolled us slightly to one side, just enough to bare one of my ass cheeks. His palm cracked against the flesh twice, lighting sparks that were more pleasure than pain in my state.
“I said, no talking. Do I stop fucking you? Do I leave you like this?” Betra’s voice was cold with command.
“No,” I whimpered. Trying to placate him, I added, “No, Master. Please. I just need to come so badly and if I touch myself the way you want, I won’t be able to stop myself.”
“You will not come until I give permission,” Betra said, not giving an inch to mercy. “Now touch yourself as I told you to.”
I groaned, knowing there was no choice but to obey. I slid one hand over a breast. The other crept towards my pussy as Betra rose up to give me room to work.
“You know what excites you most,” he said. “Touch yourself as I would. Do it.”
I gazed at him with beseeching eyes, but he wasn’t giving any slack. I tugged at one nipple with his eyes on me, watching me squeeze just shy of pain. Prophets, it felt good, especially with him seeing everything I did to myself. He knelt between my splayed legs, still deliberately fucking me.
My other hand found my clit. I slid two fingers on either side of the swollen nub, feeling the electric delight of my own touch. My breath caught.
“You’re clenching down on my cocks,” Betra said. “Do not come or you will be punished.”
I bit my lips together. I wanted to come. Need rode me like a devouring hunger, demanding release. Yet a large part of me wanted Betra’s permission first. I wanted to please him, to show him that I deserved the privilege of belonging to him there and then.
“Show me what gives you the greatest pleasure,” he panted. He was starting to move faster within me, his cocks rubbing glorious friction within my avid core. “Play with that clit. Make it feel good.”
My finger slid over the erect unhooded flesh, matching Betra’s quickening rhythm. A cry spilled from my lips as my entire abdomen spasmed. A monstrous swell rolled through me. I clenched my teeth, fighting back the orgasm.
“Oh yeah,” Betra groaned. “I feel you grabbing hold, massaging my cocks with your sweet ass and pussy. Keep playing with yourself. Keep going.”
My moans were continuous as I ground my teeth together and stroked my clit. Climax was right there, grasping at me, impatient to be realized. I held on by sheer will, needing Betra’s permission before I could bow to the quaking in my guts. I gushed wetness all around him as he drove faster and harder, his gasps growing louder with every passing second.
“Shalia ... so beautiful ... so good ... fuck ... fuck ... fucking come! Come now!”
With his shout, the tightly coiled want unfurled in my belly, streaming throughout my body. My clenched jaw sprang open, unleashing the scream that had welled up in my throat. My whole being heaved, hurling itself into glorious expansion. I heard Betra’s animal roar in the distance and was aware of heat flowing from him into me.
He fell over me again. We rutted like beasts, me clawing his shoulders as he pounded deep within me. All was force and effort and sweat as we rode our passion into mad oblivion. I came a second and then a third time before we wilted like storm-whipped flowers.
I lay there, weary and fulfilled, feeling the last pulses of Betra’s cocks. We didn’t speak. Sometimes there’s no need to. Sometimes talk only ruins the perfection of a union. We simply stayed in each other’s arms, sometimes caressing, sometimes kissing, and sometimes dozing for the next hour. For that time I soaked in the happiness, keeping all worries at bay.