I turned my head to see the man beside me in the lift take another step away, as far as he could go without making contact with the wall.
“Excuse me?” I responded, returning his glare.
His thick eyebrows joined into one as he wrinkled his bulbous nose. “When was the last time you decontaminated?”
“Not that it’s any of your business, but I am on my way to do so right now.”
“It’s a public health hazard, you know, to go too long between cleanings.”
“I’m aware of that. I had a physical task to perform today and haven’t had the opportunity to decontaminate. I’m sorry if my sweat offends you.”
“It’s more than sweat. I don’t know what it is, but now I have to go straight to the decontaminator myself, just to get your stink off me,” he sneered, stepping out of the lift.
Relieved he was finally gone, I let out a deep breath. I hoped I’d handled the situation satisfactorily, not aroused suspicion. I knew I stank, and that it wasn’t from sweat. At least, not entirely.
When Grant and I were in the storage room, we hadn’t noticed that we smelled any differently. But the moment we stepped out into the corridor, we detected an odor at once, and it was coming from us.
We smelled of each other, a combination of sweat, body fluids and our own personal fragrances. It was similar to what my body released when I secretly masturbated in the privacy of my bunk, only amplified. I’d never had to worry about the smell before; I always decontaminated before leaving home.
The lingering scent of Grant’s body mixed with mine aroused my senses, not offended them. It was heady and penetrating, a potent reminder of our sexual intercourse.
Still, we understood we had to decontaminate as quickly as possible, lest someone notice our aroma, thereby arousing suspicions as to its source. We decided separating and visiting chambers on different floors would be safer than being seen together, both of us sharing the same unusual odor, even if the risk of one of us encountering another person might be greater. If we were alone when confronted, it could be explained away more easily.
My personal preference would have been to go home and crawl into bed, masturbate, then fall to sleep with the scent of our union filling my lungs. But I dared not indulge in such fantasies.
With relief and regret I arrived at the decontaminator and stepped inside.
“I wish there were some way to take the box, or at least the data chip, with us,” I said to Grant the next morning. “I’m especially going to miss listening to music.”
“I know,” he replied, his face sober. “After today it won’t be so easy to get you down here, but right now I don’t think we should risk removing the chip from this room. It’s too important.”
I nodded. We stood in silence looking down at our uncovered hands, clasped together. In a matter of days, our whole lives had changed, and they were about to change again. “Oh Grant, what are we going to do?” I asked in despair. “I don’t think I can bear not seeing you every day.”
He drew me into his arms and kissed me. “We’ll find a way to be together, Astrid. It may not be every day, but we’ll find a way to see each other as often as possible.”
The next day Grant’s supervisor and the rest of his department would be back from their dig in the ruins outside the city, and I would be back at the Office of Historical Records running Oliver’s errands.
Even though we knew it was a risk to engage in sexual intercourse again after my encounter with the stranger in the lift, we couldn’t help ourselves. We didn’t know when the next time would be where we could spend the entire day together, to lay in each other’s arms, to talk and touch in relative safety.
After today, we would be relegated to public places and the occasional short liaison in one of our flats. It was always risky to meet at home, but one advantage was that it allowed us to decontaminate before leaving, thereby eliminating any olfactory evidence. But the visits could never be long—less than an hour—nor too frequent. We might be able to pull it off once a month, provided we alternated flats.
It was all so unfair.
Because it was not safe to talk openly over communication signals, while we worked we conceived of a code to use when we called each other.
We decided a greeting like “Good morning” meant “Can we meet today?” If the other responded in kind, it confirmed a rendezvous might be possible. Replying with “Hi” told the other we could not do so today, but we were able to discuss an alternative time and venue. “Hello” signaled “I can’t meet and I can’t discuss it right now.”
Because it was virtually deserted, we agreed the arboretum would be the best overall meeting place, the default location unless otherwise indicated. Even so, approaching from different directions and staggering our arrival times would be a necessary evil to keep us from being too predictable.
It wasn’t that we couldn’t be seen together; I met up with Errol and Xen once, occasionally even twice a week. But I’d known them for more than five years and I’d met Grant only three weeks ago. Outside of work, people rarely interacted on a daily basis. To do so socially at the same frequency would draw far too much attention.
The first week apart was the hardest. As difficult as it had been those two weeks between our chance encounter in the lift and our first open conversation, it was nothing compared to the torture of being separated after spending three days sharing every part of ourselves, including our bodies, with another human being for the first time in our lives. After work I came straight home, undressed, masturbated under the covers and cried myself to sleep. I thought my heart would break from missing him.
After my friends and even Oliver mentioned that I seemed to be losing weight, I decided, a month later, it was time to introduce Grant to my friends. I knew it was asking a lot of Errol and Xen to accept another person into our social group after so short a time, but I had to find a way to see Grant in person more often, even if I couldn’t touch him.
“I can’t say I’m comfortable having dinner with that man you met in the lift.” Xen shook her head as we sat in our respective flats, confirming our plans for the evening via communicator.
“His name is Grant, Xen,” I reminded her gently. “And he is a friend.”
“He isn’t my friend. He’s some stranger you talk about all the time all of a sudden. I’ve done some checking. Did you know there have been a few cases where strangers who shared a single traumatic experience together developed symptoms approximating that of an emotional bond? After the connection was recognized for what it was—an artificial construct induced by unusual stress—the symptoms dissipated soon thereafter.”
I laughed. “How many times do I have to tell you? My friendship with Grant is not the result of some trauma. He’s a very interesting person. I enjoy his company, and I think you will, too. You like me, don’t you?”
“Yes, but we worked together for over a year before having dinner for the first time. You’ve known this man for less than two months. Can you blame me for finding it all a bit out of the ordinary?”
“Of course not,” I conceded. “But you’ve said it yourself, on more than one occasion—I’m not exactly the most typical of friends either. Promise me you’ll give him a chance.”
“Astrid says you work at the Museum of History,” Errol said, head cocked and chin lifted as he peered at Grant from across the table while we waited for our meals to arrive.
“Yes, in the archeology department.”
Xen shifted in her chair, increasing her distance from him. “Have you been…in the ruins?”
He shook his head. “No. I work in the archives. My supervisor and others in my department go on the actual digs. I organize the collection and maintain records.”
“Don’t they worry about coming into contact with,” her voice lowered to a barely audible whisper, “Outliers?”
Errol rolled his eyes. “Jebus ryste, Xen. You’re far too old to believe in monsters.”
I nodded. “Tales of half-human mutants living in the forests beyond the ruins have been told to children for ages, yet not once has a single claim of their existence been substantiated.”
“That’s right,” Errol agreed. “Everyone knows they’re just stories to keep children from straying too far from home.”
“If it makes you feel any better,” Grant put in, looking at Xen, “in all of the times since I’ve worked for the museum, not once did any of my colleagues ever mention coming into contact with anything other than the products of an ancient civilization.”
Lifting her chin, my female friend crossed her arms and looked down her nose. “I still can’t see how those people can stand it.”
“I’m sorry?” Grant asked.
“Even if there’s nothing…living…out there—and I’m still not convinced there isn’t—how can your colleagues stand being out in all that…filth?”
“They wear protective gear,” Grant explained. “And there are portable decontamination units they bring along with them.”
“I don’t think those portable units could make me clean enough to feel safe away from civilization.”
“Most people feel the same way. I think it takes a certain kind of person, someone whose interest in the subject matter is so great they can immerse themselves into their work, even if it means engaging in activities they might otherwise find highly disconcerting. Kind of like doctors.”
My friends shuddered.
“Frankly, I don’t see the point of it at all.” Errol shrugged his shoulders. “Who cares how ancient humans lived? They’ve nothing to teach us except how not to live. We survive as a species in spite of them, not because of them.”
I could see Grant struggling with how to respond without offending my friends. “I don’t agree,” he replied at last. “An ancient human philosopher named George Santayana once said, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ Even if we have evolved since the Great Decimation, I believe we must study the past, if only to ensure we continue to have a future.”
“I think they liked you,” I told Grant as we walked side by side, taking the long route home from the eatery later that evening.
“You think so?” he asked with an incredulous laugh.
“You’re the one who insists Oliver is the picture of grace,” I teased. “My friends are like those recordings of baby animals at the Natural History Museum in comparison to him.”
“True,” he conceded, chuckling. “I guess I just felt like I was being evaluated, like they were trying to figure out why on earth you would ever be friends with someone like me.”
“That’s exactly what they were doing,” I confirmed.
“And you think I passed the test?”
“I wouldn’t go that far, but you did make it past the first round. Didn’t you notice the change in Errol’s expression when you told him what that ancient philosopher said about remembering the past? You made him think. And Xen, the way she stopped leaning away from you after a while? I think she found you fascinating. She’s not the only one who feels that way.”
We stopped walking and stood looking at each other for a long moment. The night air felt cool against my exposed face, in sharp contrast to the tingling warmth of my suit-covered body. More than anything, I wanted to feel the heat of his skin pressed against mine. At that moment even a single touch would have been enough.
“I’m having a dinner tonight at my home and I want you to come,” Oliver informed me one morning three weeks later.
My mouth dropped. “Why I… That is very generous…thank you so much for inviting me, sir, but I already have pl—”
“I know I made it sound like a request,” he interrupted, “but it isn’t. This is work, not a social function, and I need my assistant present.”
“Y-yes, sir. May I ask what the purpose of the function is?”
“No, you may not,” he retorted.
I returned to my desk. After leaving a message for Errol about the change in plans, I resumed working on the data file my supervisor assigned me the previous day. A few minutes later the old man appeared, standing in the doorway to his office.
“It is a meeting of the Historical Society, which includes scholars of recent and ancient history,” he confirmed, his voice gruff. “Representatives from each of the museums will be amongst those in attendance.”
His lips twitched, and for a split second I was certain he noticed my excitement at the possibility that Grant might be one of the attendees. “I’ll need your help making everything ready,” he went on, handing me a pad. “Please arrive promptly at six-fifteen; the address is on the pad.”
Heels clicking, I hurried down the street as fast as I dared on my way to Oliver’s home, trying not to break a sweat so soon after decontaminating.
He had kept me so busy making arrangements I barely got home in time to clean my body and change into a formal outfit. I didn’t even have time to contact Grant to see if he would be attending the dinner, though I still held out hope of seeing him there. He and Oliver were friends, but I didn’t know how much my supervisor knew about my relationship with him. In those few opportunities when Grant and I could be alone and speak freely, my superior was not exactly at the top of the discussion list.
As I scurried toward my destination I noticed the character of the buildings change from the nondescript boxes of flats and businesses into larger, detached homes of a less modern design. The general populace was told our small living spaces were a revolution in simplicity and efficiency; seeing what to my eyes seemed virtual monstrosities in a neighborhood I’d never had cause to visit before made me wonder if it was merely a ploy to keep the rest of us satisfied with the standard eighteen square meters.
“It’s six-nineteen,” Oliver announced when I arrived at his front door. “You’re late.”
“I’m sorry, sir,” I apologized, breathless. “I took the wrong street, and I didn’t realize my mistake until I reached the end of the bl—”
“I don’t need to hear excuses,” he groused. “Come in.”
He led me through a series of rooms, all of them exhibiting the signs of a pending social engagement: a series of sterilizers filled with glassware, dishes and cutlery on two large tables, bottles of what appeared to be wine—how did he get hold of bottles of wine?—chilling in open-topped coolers, more seats and chairs than I’d ever seen in a private dwelling before. Given his generally disheveled appearance, I had no idea Oliver was a man of means.
We stopped at the end of a long hallway some distance from the rooms we’d just passed through.
“Before you get started, I want you to decontaminate and sanitize your suit. Your clothing must be soaked from all that running,” he declared, grimacing, “and I don’t want your sweat getting all over everything. You have twenty minutes to meet me in the dining hall.”
I wondered why he gave me so much time when I could be clean and ready to go in five minutes, but said nothing. After I stepped inside, the door slid shut and I bent down to remove my footwear. Boots and gloves in hand, I started to place them into the sterilizer when I discovered another pair of boots, another full set of clothing, already inside.
“Feel free to move it around to make room,” a voice said behind me.
I jumped and turned around.
“Grant?” I whispered, not believing my eyes as he emerged from the far side of the dimly-lit chamber. “What are you doing here?”
“The same thing as you,” he replied, smiling as he helped me peel off my shirt. “Getting ready for the party.”
“But, but…how? Does Oliver know you’re in here? Is he—”
Grant tossed my top into the sterilizer and drew my bare-breasted body into his arms and kissed me. “Yes. He’s one of us,” he murmured in my ear. His lips slid down my jaw and onto my neck, and I shivered as his stubble left its imprint against my skin.
“Oh, Grant, I have missed you so much,” I choked, surrendering myself to him while his hands ravaged my body. “Oh please, touch me.”
I gasped when my back made contact with one of the smooth cool walls. “I want you so much,” he whispered, his voice tight with emotion as he nuzzled my neck. “I need you, Astrid. Every day without your touch is like death itself.”
“I can’t bear to be without you,” I moaned, my fingers running through his hair as he devoured my breasts, squeezing them together, attempting to suckle both nipples at once.
Settling in on one breast, he slid his hands down to my waist. Hooking his thumbs into the waistband of my pants, all at once he dropped to his knees, sliding the fabric over my hips and down my legs, tossing them away when my feet stepped out. With both hands he stroked one of my legs from top to bottom, bending it at the knee before placing my foot on his shoulder.
I cried out, unable to contain my pleasure when he began to kiss me between my legs. Depictions of this act, both written and visual, were among the many files on the forbidden data chip. I secretly wondered what oral stimulation would be like, but couldn’t bring myself to mention it. It was one thing to join our bodies together; tasting each other, in a world where people were repulsed by their own sweat and saliva, seemed far too much to ask even of a deviant.
Yet here he was, groaning as his eager mouth explored my sensitive flesh. “Ohhh yesss.” I pressed myself into his face, holding onto his head. “Lick it, taste me, pleeease…”
He grunted, his hot breath caressing my swollen pussy while he lapped at my wetness. Fingers tangled in his hair, I moaned when he then ran his flattened tongue up the length of my slit and over my clitoris. He manipulated the tiny organ with the tip of his tongue, flicking it again and again. My vision blurred and I shook as pleasure blazed through my body.
I heard myself begging him to make me come, and groaned with delight when I realized his tongue was now circling my clitoris, following the same path our fingers had traveled when I taught him how to bring me to release. My muscles clenched and I threw my head back, smacking it against the wall as my body let go.
“Guhhh…ahhh!” The leg I stood on wobbled and I held on tight to his head while the orgasm slammed through me. “Oh fuck!”
When I loosened my grip, Grant turned his head, kissing my thigh with his wet lips before easing my other leg back onto the floor. Then he stood up, crushing me between the wall and his tight form. “You have no idea how arousing it is to make you come with my mouth,” he murmured, his eyes almost black in the darkened room.
Overwhelmed by the intimacy of his actions, I pulled his head down and kissed him hard. I tasted myself on his lips, and something came over me; the next thing I knew I was shoving my tongue into his mouth. After a moment’s hesitation, Grant’s tongue met mine, and we groaned in unison.
Breaking the kiss, I reached down and wrapped my fingers around his penis, slowly stroking its full length, smiling as he quaked with pleasure. I placed his stiff organ between my legs and stared into his half-closed eyes. “Take me, Grant. Fuck me hard with your beautiful cock.”
He entered me with a force that lifted me off my toes and took my breath away. Picking me up by the thighs, he slammed into me again and again as he held me against the wall. “Your pussy is so hot and feels so fucking good clamped around my cock,” he whispered in my ear, chuckling when I whimpered in response.
My legs circled his waist and I held on while each powerful thrust forced a cry past my lips. “Yes, Grant…” I gasped, finding my voice. “That’s right… Take me hard…like I want…”
It’s been WAY too long since I’ve had a series going, so welcome to the first installment of Onus.
I’ve been told in a few comments and emails that I’m a bit of a bitch when it comes to my characters, and what I put them through. I’ve decided to start giving trigger warnings.
I write very violent material. It’s just what I do best, so I’m sorry, but the following series has quite a bit of violence, nonconsensual sex, and cruelty.
Also, future. With the addition of Onus, 5 of my universes will be dystopian.
All Characters are 18+*
I wanted my mama.
I whined very softly in the back of my throat as my back thumped against the brick wall. It hurt.
“Fucking freak. You should know better… Strutting around in our turf. Walking around… Like you have some sort of Right!”
I wanted to speak, wanted to explain. But I was so scared. I just covered my face with my hands and trembled. The soft sensory patches on my fingertips were touching my face. I could feel how gaunt it was. How the bones jutted. I could feel every grain of dirt and mud. I could feel the dirt and grease in the ragged strands of hair that had been hanging over my face.
I flinched into a corner. I made myself small. These bullies had chased me far from my normal turf. I had no idea where I was, otherwise I wouldn’t have let myself get trapped like this.
“Please.” I whispered. “I’ll go… I’ll run… Please just let me go.”
I bleated with fear as one of them lunged. I knew that he wasn’t going to hit me, that he was just trying to scare me, but I was already so scared. I trembled, cornered. I started to cry.
They were laughing. I opened one of my eyes, looking for a way out. I darted between one of the jeering boys and the wall. I made it, and he hastened my retreat with a foot that hit me squarely on the skinny ass.
I fell, but I scrambled when I was on all fours. I cried out with pain when my hands fell in the filthy slush-puddles. So cold.
I ran. I ran with my blanket flapping around me. With my baggy sweatpants trying to fall down my scrawny hips. With my dog-tongued sneakers flapping and slapping and letting in ice-cold moisture. I ran with my breath hitching in my chest in little weeping gasps.
I finally stopped in the grassy weedy ice-slick patch of dirt behind a laundromat. I hid between a dumpster and a hotel truck full of linens and towels. I bent over and massaged the hitch in my ribs with the back of my hand. My breath came out in a large white fog. I wrapped my blanket tight around me. It was a small felt blanket with a large coffee stain on it. I had found it in a dumpster. It smelled like cats and mothballs, but it was warm. It was so late. The sun was low in the sky, and curfew would begin soon.
“No Onus allowed here.”
I looked up rapidly, cringing at the unexpected source of noise. A man on a smoke break. He wasn’t hostile, but his voice was firm.
“I mean it bug-eyes. Beat it before I call the cops on you.”
The stitch in my side was still sending out throbs of hot pain, but got moving anyway. There had to be an Onii around here somewhere, there had to be.
I passed four storefronts with anti-Onus signs featured prominently in their windows. I didn’t know this place. I was scared. I glanced at the window. A cartoon face with pure black eyes. Surrounded by an angry red circle with a line through it.
There was a woman on a street corner, waiting for the light to turn green. I timidly walked up to her. She could see me, and she was frowning, but she didn’t say anything, or turn angry.
“Do you know where I can find an Onii ma’am?” I whispered, humble and quiet.
She curled her lip with disgust, but just as I was about to slink away, she pointed her arm ramrod-stiff from her body, one finger uncurled to point towards the setting sun.
“Two blocks. There’s a park where they set up one of your filthy slums.”
I bowed my head. “Thank you ma’am. Sorry to bother you ma’am.”
“This freak bothering you, miss?”
I shrank slightly from the newcomer, a policeman who was scowling and fondling the butt of his regulation stick.
She shook her head. “Just a freak, asking where the slum is.” I flinched at the slur, and trotted west as fast as I could. The policeman called after me.
“Hurry up freak. Curfew is in half an hour.”
I found the Onii just as the light was getting dim, and just as the cold sank it’s teeth in deep. It was a small one. Just a cluster of tents and boxes and ramshackle lean-tos in a small fenced area of the local park. Two Enforcement officers were posted at the entrance.
EO’s had the authority to detain any Onus for any length of time for any reason. They had the power to lock up the Onii for any suspected activity. They had the right to dole out corporal punishment and enter any Onus-owned establishment.
The last part was a joke. My kind weren’t even allowed around most businesses. Much less to own one.
I trotted towards the entrance, breathing a sigh of relief. I wouldn’t get caught out after curfew. Cops had no patience, no lenience, to curfew-breakers. All Onus had to be accounted for after eight PM, any loiterers could go to jail. Bad things happened to Onus in the overnight cells.
“Hey… Hey, look. There’s one right there, let’s talk to him.”
I felt my muscles tensing, an instant response of fear and wariness. I turned around and saw a gaggle of young men and women coming after me. In a quick jog.
The fear was a sour taste in the back of my mouth. I started to jog myself, hearing my breath in the back of my throat like a harsh tearing.
“You idiots. He’s getting away” That part was soft. Then the young man spoke up louder. “Hey, listen… Please we just want to talk! Talk to us, wont you?”
I don’t know why, but I stopped. Three young women and two men. One of the guys was holding a big camera. He trained it on me, and I felt my bone-dry throat tightening in fear. I started edging back. The other guy was the one who was talking. He had his hands up, like he was trying to soothe a frightened animal.
The black eye of the camera frightened me.
“Listen… We’re trying to do a documentary. We’re trying to help you. It’s a fucking disgrace how Onus are treated in this country, and many others. We’re trying to bring equal rights and priveleges to–”
I couldn’t stand it for another second. I took several steps backwards, glancing longingly towards the Onii. “Please mister… Please I have to go. It’s almost curfew.”
He checked his watch. So few people had watches anymore. I had only ever seen them on the elderly. “Please, we have ten minutes. Don’t be frightened. We’re just trying to help.”
I glanced up at the camera again. Then back at the one who was talking. He was tall and covered in a thick grey coat that looked very warm. He had a red scarf around his neck and his gloves were leather. He had rectangular black glasses and behind the lenses his eyes were ordinary and human and brown. His hair was hidden under a hat with ear-flaps.
“Wh-What do you want?” I stammered, looking at the Onii. I felt trapped. I just wanted to be among my own kind. To be safe.
The boy who was speaking smiled. His teeth were very white. I had better teeth than most, having lived with my mama for most of my life.
“Just some questions. Please answer them honestly. We’re trying to paint a picture of what life is for the Onus. Prove that you don’t deserve it.”
He was fumbling out a slip of paper. As he was unfolding it he asked me. “What is your name?”
“Shiloh.” I mumbled. I held the blanket tighter around me.
“Where do you live?”
“In the third-district Onii. I… I got lost, so here for the night.”
“Can you tell the viewers what an Onii is? What the conditions are like?”
What was an Onii like? What was it like for someone who had never seen the inside of one?
“They are surrounded by fences. Some have tents, others have sheds. The nicest Onii is actually in a building, but there is always a line to get in, so I don’t go there often. The people who are in the line after the doors shut get chased away by the EOs.” I hesitated.
“Please, I could get in trouble… I just want to go.” I felt tears prickling at the inner corners of my freakish eyes.
He checked that old-fashioned watch again. “Please, we have seven minutes. I just want to ask you a few things. We’re trying to help.”
I felt anger. A foreign emotion with dangerous teeth. Anger and fear at being trapped like this.
“Help? Then get me some food. Give me a place to sleep. Take of your jacket and give it to me. Do something that will actually help ME.” I choked the words out, knowing how dangerous they were but unable to stop them. “Don’t run around with your camera. Nobody cares. The only thing you people want to do to me is see me dead for poisoning my mother. You want to help? Put a bullet in my skull so somebody else wont to it for you.”
I ran. I ran from his shocked brown eyes. I was so afraid. It was on camera, so people would see it. They even knew my name. They knew which Onii I normally slept in. I would have to move tomorrow. No way I could stay.
I crept towards the entrance, hoping not to make any more waves. Hoping I would just be able to enter without making eye contact, or any contact with the EO’s.
I whimpered as one of them grabbed me by the collar of my shirt. He was taller than me by almost a foot and a half, and he outweighed me by at least a hundred and forty pounds. I didn’t move. I flinched as he shone a flashlight in my face. The light was very bright. It hurt my eyes, even through the lids.
“Drifter? I don’t recognize this one, Dave. Do you?”
I shrank, and moved my feet, trying to get through, hoping that his grip would loosen and he would just let me go. I wanted my mama. I missed her so bad.
“Nah… New face definitely. Prettier than your average freak. Probably makes his rounds of the zoos. Cutting it close, aren’t we, freak?”
I just wanted to go. I tried to squirm away but the EO adjusted his grip so he was reaching inside my shirt. His big hand was wrapped around my shoulder, so tight I could feel the bones grinding. I went limp. I mewled and squirmed when his fingertips dug into the sensory skin on my upper back. I didn’t stop moaning until he adjusted his grip again.
“He asked you a question, boy! Answer!”
“Wh-What?” I whispered, tearfully.
“Jesus, this one’s slow.” The officer that wasn’t holding me, Dave, his name was, he sounded so disgusted.
“I asked you, if you wanted to make a little scratch. I know a few people who would pay good money for some time with a pretty-faced freak like you. What do you say?”
I stared up into the circle of his flashlight. I felt so sick and scared that my brain was just running in circles. “Wh-What?”
“You kidding me? Most freaks would jump at the chance for something like this.”
I started to squirm again. “I just w-wanna go.” I stuttered. “Please.” My voice cracked with fear.
I could feel him shrugging. He threw me into the Onii. I scrambled away. Breathing in huge frightened gasps. I could see a dull red glow rising from a soot-blackened trashcan.
I neared the trashcan, and three sets of eyes as black as mine shone dully back at me.
The man across from me at the trashfire had no teeth. He was patiently gumming at some chicken bones that he had produced from his pocket. I felt my stomach slowly caving in on itself. I watched him eat. I wondered why he didn’t have teeth. He was my age. And he didn’t have a single one.
“Shoulda taken the deal.” A girl at the fire whispered. Her white hair was lank across her face. She had scars around her mouth.
“I know you was scared. And I know that they was hurting you. But you shoulda gone along with Holden. He’s fair, at least. I went with him once. ‘Fore I got these scars. He got me the money he said he would. I even got to take a bath. A real one.”
I held my hands over the fire. The sensory patches on my fingertips tasted the sour soot. Felt the baking heat. Could even dimly sense the light. “What’d he pay you for?”
She glanced at me, expressionless. “You look soft. Like you haven’t been out here for long. You didn’t grow up like this, did you?”
I shook my head. I felt my heart ache. “My… My mama…”
She nodded. No sympathy. No satisfaction. She just had the answer to a question. “You were one of those lucky ones. Had a mommy who didn’t abort you or throw you in a bin as soon as you were out.”
“It’s a hard place out here. You don’t turn your nose up at anything. Not rotten food. Not perverts who pay good money to fuck freaks like us. If you get the chance, take Holden’s offer. He took me to one of the zoos. Trashy little dens where pervs pay to fuck Freaks. It’s hard work, but you get a cut of the profits, a decent meal, and a bath.”
She stalked away from the trashfire. I watched her go. I wanted to beg for her to stay.
When I first got out on the streets after mama died, I wanted to try and find a group of my kind to stay with. I hadn’t found a one. Onus became hardened and wary on the streets. The few couples or groups I had found were bitter and hostile towards outsiders. It seemed like the only thing that any of us wanted to do was to survive alone.
Even the girl’s terse condescending advice, that was the friendliest thing anyone had said to me in months.
I didn’t want to leave the warmth of the fire. But I was so tired.
I shuffled around for a little while. Some of the tents and lean-tos were full. Others just weren’t accepting outsiders. I found a television box. Crumpled and muddy, but still intact. I crawled inside, putting the driest side under me, and moving so the open end was out of the wind.
I curled up into a tiny ball, and covered myself with the blanket. The close catty smell was almost comforting.
I heard the heavy crunching footsteps and jolted awake just before a hand groped inside the TV box and yanked me out by the collar of my coat. I opened my mouth to scream, but a heavy hand, rough and dirty and shockingly intimate, covered my mouth. I couldn’t help it. My tongue went out to taste it. For Onus, taste was our secondary sense, right after sight and hearing.
I tasted human skin, without the delicate sensory patches that covered my hands and patches of my skin. I tasted the salt of his sweat (the pheromones in the sweat were distinctly male) and the dirt and the faint metallic residue of coins. I tasted soy sauce and carrots and brown gravy and beef. I tasted cat and wool and soap and aluminum and plastic and everything his hands had touched within the last few days.
He shook me hard, one hand on my collar and the other arm twined under my arm to hold me up with the hand over my mouth. He shook me hard. I got dizzy. I tasted his disgust in his hormones, moments before he voiced it.
“Get your filthy tongue off of me.” He snarled. The voice was familiar. I whimpered weakly, the sound muffled by his hand. I put my tongue back in my mouth. Our tongues disgusted normal people. My heart was beating frantically fast. I could hear it in my ears, feel it in my sensory patches. My tongue.
He dragged me from the box and through the snow. He kept his hand over my mouth but let me put my feet on the ground. I just walked, too scrambled from lack of sleep and fear to even think of resisting.
Out of the Onii. Out of the one place where I had even an illusion of safety. My blanket had fallen. So had my tiny backpack. Nothing was in the backpack but a fork, a can opener and some matches. He was dragging me past the entrance, and in my terrified confusion, I realized that he was the EO. The one who had tried to get me to come with him for money.
I finally tried to drag my heels when I saw the van. My soft fast breathing turned to moaning. On the street, I was not safe. But I heard stories, rumors, news about what happened to Onus at the hands of cruel normals.
Dissected by amateur scientists. Cruelly killed by religious zealots. Tortured by perverts.
I fought. I squirmed and writhed like a fish in his cruel grip. He plunged his hand down the collar of my shirt and scraped his fingernails clumsily across my skin, trying to find—
I squealed with agony and went limp, shuddering and sobbing into his hand. He had scratched the sensory patches on my upper back. Bright lights exploded behind my eyes as I fought with unconsciousness.
“You don’t want to play along, freak?” He panted. “You don’t want to do things the nice way? Get a square meal and a bed and a shower for your trouble? Fine. You get it the hard way. You fucking abomination.”
The other EO opened the back of the van for him, he shoved me in the back and shut the door behind. For a full ten seconds I just lay on the floor of the van, crying from the pain.
I could hear them getting into the front. Their voices were muffled. I looked up, and saw that the back of the van had been drastically altered from it’s original layout. The seats had been torn out. Metal mesh had been installed between me and the driver and passenger seat. The side doors and latch for the back door had all been covered with more mesh.
It was warm in here. Startlingly, stupefyingly warm. I slowly stripped out of my jacket as the van started to move. I peeled off the sweater underneath, whimpering softly as it peeled from the hurting area.
Bare-chested, I could see most of my sensory patches. The soft disks on my fingertips. The larger patch on my palms. The thin strips up my sides, and the single oblong above my navel. The patches on my back were roughly triangular, and I could feel blood trickling down my back.
I put my jacket and sweater on the ground, and curled up on top of it. A ragged sob left my mouth. I bit my lower lip to stop it from happening again. I looked at my dirty hands, and gingerly licked my fingertips and palms clean. The low-level stinging went away.
I had small circular patches on the tops of my feet, but other than that all of my patches were on my upper body. For Onus, the patches were as distinctive as fingerprints.
I reached into my sweatpants pocket and pulled out the cheap shiny plastic wallet. I never had money. The wallet was just to keep the picture safe.
My mama was human. All of the Onus had been born from human mothers. Our fathers had been nothing more than spores sent down from the Fleet.
When the aliens had come, they had not taken our resources, killed us, or declared themselves overlords. They had merely sprinkled their invasive spores over all of the landmasses, and the spores had been inhaled by fertile women, making almost forty percent of them pregnant with us. The Onus. The burden. Most of us had been aborted. In certain countries, pregnant women had been massacred, to prevent the spread.
Now we were just a remnant. A bad memory. Second class citizens that had been sterilized at birth. The very presence of the Onus spores had caused widespread birth defects in normal pregnancies at the time. And every mother of an Onus had a shortened life expectancy. Perfectly healthy women, dropping dead in their forties or thirties. Like my mama.
The van went over a bump, and I whimpered softly. My mama had found a sympathetic doctor. Raised me like a person. Kept me hidden away from the outside world. I had been sterilized and registered, according to the law, but only a vasectomy. I had not been castrated, like most of the males.
I had to run. I had to stay alert. I blinked slowly, twice. It was so warm though. The warmth was sinking to my core, soothing me.
The core temperature of a healthy Onus was around 101.4. Because of our hot inner metabolisms, cold effected us. Crippled us more than a human with a sturdier lower temperature of 98.6.
I tried to stay awake, but the warmth was heavy and made me sleepy. I hadn’t had a restful night of sleep since my mama died. My head kept drooping to my soft jacket on the floor.
My head jerked up, my skin leaped into goosebumps, I snatched for my jacket, crying out at the draft of icy murderous cold on my bare upper body.
“Enjoy your nap, freak?”
I was still fumbling numbly with the cloth when he grabbed my upper arms and yanked me out into the freezing cold. I shrieked and squirmed. The snow was landing on my skin, burning the sensitive patches were the skin was soft and pink and unprotected. I broke away and I fell into snow that was soft and loose, crying out when my hands landed in the cold. Burning
I looked up and it was dark. No city lights. No roads or skyscrapers or streetlights or cars or shops or pavement. Just a single narrow asphalt tendril, peeling away from a single two-lane road, leading to two buildings, with a single yellow porchlight between them. The porchlight was obscured by flying snow, turning it to a fuzzy gold corona.
We were in the country. I was further from the place I had been born, than I had ever been in my life.
“Mama.” I moaned softly. Then one of the EO’s grabbed my upper arms and yanked me away from the deep snow on either side of the narrow driveway. He marched me up the path, gripping my upper arms tight enough to make me whimper softly. Feel it even through the shock and numbing fear.
My eyes were closed, and my feet were dragging. Through my lids, I could feel the yellow porchlight getting brighter.
The door opened and we were inside. I breathed in the warmer air. The EO dropped me and I scrambled to my feet, trying to run inside, find a back door, get out.
I ran into a man that was built like a wall, who snatched me by my upper arm and my hair. I whimpered and stood still, so he wouldn’t pull my hair. I tried to look around, but the lights were so bright that they hurt my eyes.
“Damn… You’re really cleared out.”
“Ayup. There was a chinaman who came through here. Bought my whole stock. Lemme see what you brought me here.
He put his finger under my chin and forced my face up. The lights were so bright. I kept my eyes closed, but I could dimly see his outline through my lids. See his silver hair and the gleam of his glasses.
“You been holding out on me, young man? Last two girls you brought me were nowhere near as pretty as this one. It’s a shame there isn’t a bigger market for young whelps like this. If he was a girl, I’d be able to sell him for maybe eighty thou. Take off his pants, I want to check something.”
I struggled weakly when the EO came behind me and grabbed my sweatpants. He yanked them down while the man in front of me shook me like a disobedient dog. I whimpered and tried to hold my pants up with my hands.
I felt a chill draft on my upper thighs as he managed to yank down the sweatpants. All that was left were my badly stained briefs. I was ashamed at how dirty they were. I tried to keep them clean, but they were the only underwear that I had.
He made a low disgusted sound in the back of his throat while pulling down my underpants.
“Hold his arms… Goddamn, would you look at that.”
The EO grabbed my wrists and yanked them behind my back. He kept his other hand on my hair, to hold me up and keep me whining and barely able to move. I felt a cold dry hand cupping my groin. I felt him pinch my penis hard between two fingers to move it aside. He squeezed and fondled my balls. I couldn’t make a sound. The pure indignity of it had just shut me up. I let out a small squeak of pain when he patted my scrotum, jiggling the tender flesh.
“Ha, not a gelding, but a stud! I change my mind. This little stud still has all of his tackle. He has the vasectomy scar here, but still has his widdle nuts. Do you know how fucking hard it is to find one of the bug-eyes that still has it’s junk?”
“I can imagine.”
Tears were streaming down from my eyes. I tried to open them, the lights were still very harsh. I could see that we were in a barn, standing on concrete floor dusted here and there with straw. He had several large boxy horse stalls on either side of a narrow path. I could see a small door open, and a little well-lit office behind it. A large young man with a boiled-pink birthmark on his face was leaning against one of the stalls, eating corn-nuts from a bag. Staring at me was muddy emotionless eyes.
“Please.” I whispered. “I… I wanna go home.”
They ignored me. The grey-haired man with the glasses and the cold hard hands turned to the young man leaning against the wall. “Nelson? Get the new stock into one of the stalls. Give it a bath and some feed. I’m going to dicker for a bit.”
Nelson got closer. He was massive, over six feet with a broad body hard with muscle and fat. Nelson grabbed me by the throat and manhandled me over to one of the stalls, my pants still tangled around my ankles. I was gasping and crying for air.
I greyed out for a few moments, from the stress and the fear and the lack of oxygen. When Nelson released his cruel grip on my throat, I looked around dumbly and I was in one of the stalls, sitting on the ground with a heavy metal chain around my wrists and Nelson yanking my sweatpants and shoes and socks away. I kicked at him, trying to get him away. I wanted to pull my pants up. I didn’t want to be so naked.
He dug his thumb into the sensory patch on my lower shin. I squealed and stopped fighting, I let him take my pants away, cringing from him. It wasn’t fair. It just wasn’t fair.
He left the stall without closing the door. I weakly stood and walked towards the door, but my chain only let me go to the middle of the cell. I tried to work my hands out of the chain but it was too tight.
Nelson came back with a hose.
I felt so numb. Numb to the pain, to the cold. Numb to any emotion but misery.
I was shivering in the corner of a horse stall. Naked like an animal. My body red and raw from the powerful jets of the hose. Straw sticking to my legs and hair.
After shivering like a wet puppy in the corner, after crying weakly for what must have been an hour, Nelson came back.
I cowered against the wall. The only sound I could make was this weak frightened mewling under my breath. He threw in a blanket. It was a large pink blanket. Made of rough quilted wool. It was stained and frayed and stiff, in a strange shape. With odd clasps dangling from bits of it. I realized that it was an old horse blanket. But I didn’t care. I reached for it and I wrapped it around my wet raw skin.
Then he took a shallow paper plate and walked in. As he walked in I cringed into the corner. I could see a smile on his dopey birth-marked face. He liked how afraid I was. He set the paper plate down in front of me, and I whimpered as he loomed over me.
He just grinned. He reached down for the plate. I saw that there was a meal on the plate. A real meal. White rice and some carrots and a greasy chicken leg. He took the chicken leg and took a big bite of it. Grease smearing out of his mouth. He was less than two feet away from me, eating my dinner while I cringed. Too cowed and afraid to do anything about it.
He stripped the chicken down before leaving with a smirk on his stupid face. I waited till he closed the door before falling on the dinner. Eating the rice and carrots with my fingers and picking scraps of chicken from that bone. Even the gristly bits. I gnawed the bone, sucking on it to get the flavor. Sucking and chewing on the bone was soothing. It soothed my frantic brain.
I realized that I was gnawing on the bone like a dog. That I was naked and chained up in a horse stall, with a filthy horse blanket sticking to my damp skin. I cried weakly, while sucking on the knob of the bone for grease.
I eventually fell asleep with the bone in my mouth.
I dragged my eyes open. I had barely been able to sleep, drifting in and out of consciousness all night. I stretched my long legs, looking at the bits of straw stuck to my skin. I folded them back under the horse blanket, wincing at the pops and crackles. The chain clinked as I clumsily wrapped the blanket tighter around myself.
The horse stall was made of wood for about five feet up. Where the wood ended, there were vertical iron bars up to the ceiling. I saw the older man’s face appear between two of the iron bars, glancing down at me before using his keys to unlock the door.
I was just glad that it wasn’t Nelson.
He stepped into the stall. He was wearing a grey plaid shirt and jeans. He had brown work boots and was wearing gloves. The keys were in one hand. A long thin bamboo cane in the other. It had a wrapped leather handle, and it was thinner than my little finger.
He stood over me. Looking down at me with a thoughtful expression. I was about to try and speak, when he spoke over me.
“Hold out your arm.”
I just did it. Without thinking. He brought the cane down with a flick of his wrist, not even swinging.
I let out a wounded yelp and drew my hand back. The skin wasn’t broken, but raw and bright red. The pain was hot and throbbing. A darkening welt on the web of flesh between my thumb and forefinger.
“Did you see how I barely moved my arm? This particular toy is illegal to use on anyone under eighteen. Any more than twenty-four strokes. The law applies to humans of course. IF you disobey me, I will whale on you with this. Until I feel you have learned your lesson. I’m a very fair man, and if you are a good boy, that will be the only time my cane touches you here. Got it?”
I nodded, surprised tears gathered in the corners of my eyes.
He got down in the corner and unlocked the padlock that fastened the chain to the stall. The other end of the chain had been padlocked to a metal socket in the wall. A loop was around his wrist, so even when the cane wasn’t in his hand, it was close.
“Get up and walk out of the stall in front of me.”
When I was six years old, my mama tried to bring me to a fair.
At the time I didn’t know, but the bulk of the Onus children were in government ‘homes’. A place like a jail, overcrowded and filthy and low on resources.
She hid my white hair under a baseball cap. She rubbed spray tan all over my exposed arms and face and neck. I whined when some of the stuff got in my sensory patches, it felt caustic. She covered my unnatural eyes with sunglasses. I didn’t mind, because the sun usually felt too bright to my eyes anyway.
The disguise was not very good. Spray tan was supposed to add a sheen of color over naturally pigmented skin. It just made my skin look an odd orangey-peach color, like a burnt doll. She hadn’t been able to put any on or around my fingertips and palms. So we went to the fair, but to my confusion and dismay, we hadn’t gone to any of the rides or games. We had just wandered around, my mama too afraid to get close to the attractions for fear of the ruse being discovered.
It was just around the time that early deaths of the mothers was being correlated to giving birth to Onus children.
I was having some fun anyway. She bought me cotton candy, and I was delighted with the fluffy sugar-rush that I could taste with my fingertips as well as my long sensitive tongue. Just being outside was a novel experience for me at that point.
Then we saw the ponies. Mama let me watch by the fence.
The ponies were bored and tired and thirsty in the intense heat. Four ponies tied to a metal contraption that went in circles. Being ridden by kids way too big for them.
One of the ponies made me jump up and down with excitement. It had a pure white coat, a white mane, and deep black eyes, with only a teeny white ring around the edge. The pony looked like me.
After seeing how excited I was, mama finally got in line with me, looking around nervously, terrified that someone would see through my disguise.
We got to the front of the line. I watched closely, and I thought that I would get to ride the white pony. I was bouncing with excitement.
I ran up to the pony when it was my turn. I wrapped my arms around his thick warm white neck. I nuzzled my cheek against it’s short velvet coat.
The pony whickered softly into my ear.
“What the hell do you think you’re trying to pull, lady!”
I let my tongue leave my mouth and I touched it to the side of the pony’s neck. I wanted to taste him, taste the beautiful white-haired pony with eyes so like mine. Back then, I didn’t have the inhibitions, the paralyzing fear and shame that I had now.
“That’s one of the freaks. Get out of there, get that little monster away from my animals!”
I saw a mother dash into the ring and pull her child off of another pony. People were backing away from the ring. Someone threw a half-full can of soda at me. The soda splashed on me and the can knocked me on the side of my head. I cried with fear and ran to my mama. She gathered me in her arms. I could taste the sticky-sweet soda on my hands, on my sensory patches.
“Please.” My mama begged. She was tired and frustrated and stiffening her shoulders. She could hear all of the bad things people were saying about us. “My boy just wants to ride the horse. Just one circle, and we’ll go after. He wants this so bad. I’ll pay you three times the admission… please.”
I remember seeing a security guard getting closer. The man running the booth shouted at him. “This crazy bitch let an Onus brat touch one of my animals! Little freak was licking it!”
The security guard pulled out a pistol. The carny started to protest, and I screamed a moment before the man put the gun to the white pony’s forehead and sent a bullet into it.
All of this flashed through my head in less than an instant. I was naked, walking in front of him, and we walked into an open space of the barn. The metal device, the leader, the circle, whatever it was called, it was in the center. A big metal cross that you could harness ponies or horses to, to give them exercise.
“Come on boy.”
He fastened the padlock at the end of my chain to the end of one of the spokes. Then he backed away. I looked at him, wanting answers. I covered my crotch with my hands. I had never felt more like an animal.
I remembered the spray of red that had come from the pony’s head.
“You’re cold in the stall. You need to exercise. If you can go for fifty revolutions, then I’ll put a heater in your stall. You get a thwack with this for every revolution under fifty. Go.”
I put my hands on the rusty bar. Careful so I didn’t put any pressure on my sensory patches. I wanted to cover my groin with one hand, but my wrists were chained together, so it was impossible.
I started to walk.
The exercise was easy enough for the first few revolutions. It became repetitive. Dull. I forgot about the shame. That I was naked.
But it took a lot of effort to turn the wheel by myself. My legs felt very weak. I had eaten a meal last night, but for some reason, I felt weaker than I had out on the street. I was so cold, and I was shivering so badly, that my legs felt like they would collapse.
“Thirty two revolutions so far, beastie. Don’t slow down now.”
As an incentive he thwacked the cane against one of the steel bars. The clang made me flinch, and the sound sent a visceral reaction through me, one of fear and nausea. I whimpered. I had been able to feel the vibration in my hands. I hated the texture of the rusty metal.
I steeled myself and started to walk faster, staring down at the concrete under my feet. There was a piece of straw on the floor. I started counting my revolutions for every time I passed the piece of straw. I got to five, before losing count. My mind felt scattered and weak, unable to process. Like I was half-asleep.
I whined low in my throat. I was so close to exhaustion. If I had been wearing my clothes, if I had had a good night’s sleep, this would have been easy. But my strength had been sapped by the vicious hosing and the poor sleep and just the constant state of stress and fear.
I closed my eyes, not caring about trying to count the revolutions. I just forced myself forward. Drawing on my last reserves of strength.
I was slowing badly, barely able to put one foot in front of the other. He came up behind me, smacking the metal bar with the cane. The vibrations, the sound woke a small panicky terror inside of me. I groaned and walked faster.
“Last one, last one, hurry your miserable ass!” He barked.
He stopped banging the cane against the bars and I fell to my knees, my arms hanging limp, but still held up by the chain around my wrists. I was crying under my breath. My whole body was shaking, and my vision was fading in and out. My skin felt cold and numb all over, except for under my arms and between my legs where I felt hot and damp and rank with sweat.
“Good.” He barked. He unchained me, and basically dragged me back to the stall. The concrete chafed me where my legs dragged against the floor.
I managed to pull the horse blanket over me, where I was curled up on the floor. An exhausted trembling mess. A little later, I felt some heat on my shoulders, and I knew that he had put the heater in my stall.
I sucked on the bone.
It didn’t have much taste anymore, but the smooth knob of the bone was soothing. I closed my eyes, and let the heater bake my back. Every few minutes, I turned over, let my back get cold, and warm up my front, and then my feet.
The heater was a little plastic box that he had set in the corner, out of my reach. I turned towards it like a flower to the sun, trying to warm up. I felt so cold.
The days started to blur together. Exercise on the frame. Spotty constant sleep. Eating scraps from his meals. Having my meals decimated by Nelson in front of my eyes. Random acts of cruelty from Nelson. Hosings.
I recognized that my behavior was becoming animal-like. I never spoke. Any words that I did utter were usually silenced by a welt from the cane. I was being conditioned. Certain keywords and sounds, like a crack from the cane, or a harsh tone, made me flinch and shut down mentally.
I was losing track of time.
Four other Onus came and went. I never saw them, because I couldn’t reach the edge of the stall with my short chain. I couldn’t even stand up all of the way. They were all girls. I heard them scream and cry and suffer, during their baths, exercise, and during Nelson’s wanton cruelty. He raped them. I had to listen.
I also listened as they were sold. Men came in, wanting girls for whatever depraved reason. They looked in, and said which one they wanted. Money was exchanged. The girls were dragged out.
One day, it was my turn.
I flinched and cowered into a tiny ball in the corner of my stall. Nelson and the old man who had bought me were standing in the door. I watched them warily, under the listless fringe of my matted hair.
Nelson had a large plastic bucket.
Nelson held me by the throat, as I cringed against the wall, my breath coming out in short terrified pants. The older man took my chain and clipped the padlock to the iron bars at the very top of the stall, about seven feet up. My chain was so short, that this forced me to stand, with my hands in the air.
Even after several days of being naked and objectified on every level, being this exposed brought frightened tears to my eyes.
I cried brokenheartedly when I dropped the bone and Nelson took it away.
Standing, I was able to see that the bucket was filled with soapy water.
Nelson scrubbed me down like I was an object. I was crying and struggling as he raked a plastic brush up and down my skin. He was a little gentler on my sensory patches, not using the plastic bristles, but a washcloth. Still, the cloth scraping against those sensitive patches was enough to make me scream and thrash.
I was hanging like a slab of meat by the time he was done, crying very softly. He dumped a few buckets of water over my head to rinse away the suds. Then he swept away the straw and took away my waste bucket. He left me wet and naked and completely exposed in my stall. Forced to stand, when my legs felt like they would collapse at any moment.
Chapter 2: Desert Dessert
Streek walked over the sand and rocks back to the pod landing site. Her shoes were too loose. They never used to be, but when she was recreated as a female clone her feet had shrunk and the stupid Alien machine had recreated the shoes the same size.
She did have some pants that fit her well enough, but they were ripped off her when two male copies had tried to rape her. Now she only had her silky red and white patterned boxer shorts and black DVDA T-shirt.
The crumby clothes she was wearing were the only possessions she had now. She even lost her cock, which was the most difficult loss to come to terms with.
And to make matters even worse, they were stuck out in the middle of a freakin’ desert.
Streek had spent god knows how many hours stuffed in a tin can, pressed up against the female Ben clone. Then the alarm started beeping and they could see flames through the small view port as the escape pod entered the atmosphere of a planet.
Its’ parachute deployed, and the pod drifted down to the surface for a not so gentle landing.
The place was dark and cold when they had warily climbed out, but the air was breathable.
A couple of hours later the rock had turned to face the systems’ sun and morning broke, now it was starting to get bright and hot.
Desolate, came to mind when Streek looked around the planet, there was no sign of life anywhere, not even small bits of scrub.
Ben didn’t know where they were, and the escape pod must have been the most basic kind on the market, it didn’t even have any displays to show them where they were.
When Streek got back to the pod, Ben was bent over rummaging through a storage compartment.
“I had to squat down to take a piss.” said Streek “…that sucks!”
“You’re not going to start going on about your dick again are you?, it’s gone, get over it.”
Streek saw that Ben had tied the parachute up between the pod and some large rocks on the ground for shade.
Ben got up from the pod, her short, sandy blonde hair was wet with sweat and she was a little flushed, but Streek thought she was still pretty cute.
She was full bodied and curvaceous but no fat, except for her big fat tits, they were pushed up against Streeks’ face for several hours in the Pod.
She found it a little arousing at times, at other times she found it infuriating. Her mood seemed to swing wildly in the pod, it was all very weird.
“Here’s some breakfast” said Ben, throwing her something. Streek caught it and saw that it was a foil-wrapped bar, “Nutrition Bar” it read on the packet.
“Thanks, how old is it?”
“I wouldn’t have a clue, these provisions have been here since before I bought the Clubber Lang.”
Streek began undoing the packet, “Tell me we have water.”
“About twelve litres in our little survival compartment. Hopefully we’ll be gone before we need it all.” “If there’s anyone else on this stupid planet to rescue us.”
“Well M-Class planets, capable of supporting life a pretty rare, relatively speaking, you’ll usually find someone on them, and the pods’ distress beacon has been going since it launched.”
Streek tried to take a bite of the nutrition bar. “Dammit, I think I’d be better off trying to chew through one of those rocks. So you think we should sit here and wait for someone to show up and rescue us?”
“Yeah well it’s gettin’ pretty hot, we should just lay in the shade and conserve our energy for now.”
The two girls sat down side by side in a sandy spot in the shade. Ben felt around in the pockets of her track pants for a bit and then pulled something out.
“Hey look at this, I still got my blunt.”
“Did the nanobots reconstruct that as well?”
“Yeah, looks like.”
“Wow, what if I we were wearing diamond pendants when we got scanned?”
“Yeah, the clone machine could’ve made us rich.”
“As opposed to sitting in the desert with nothing but a crappy escape pod, yeah.”
“I’m gunna light this baby up, I saw a flame-stick in the survival compartment.”
Ben lit the joint and sat back down in the shade, the two of them passed it back and forth inhaling the sweet smoke until it was gone.
Streek was feeling nicely baked. She was also getting all hot and sweaty, she sat up and pulled her black T-shirt off, leaving just the tight white singlet she was wearing underneath.
Her big boobs strained against the fabric and her dark nipples could clearly be seen through the wet material.
Ben saw her doing this and decided it was a good idea, she took her shirt off, but wasn’t wearing anything underneath.
She saw Streek looking at her big bare breasts and gave them a playful shake, smiling at her. Streek just shook her head.
Ben then bent over and pulled her track pants off, they were getting hot too. All she was wearing as she laid there in the shade was a pair of white mens’ Y-fronts. Streek laid beside her in her boxer shorts and tight, damp singlet.
“Do you think I’m hot as a woman?” Ben asked.
“What?, of coarse we’re hot, too bloody hot.”
“You know what I mean dick-head, how good looking am I?”
Streek got up on her elbows and looked her over, like it was the first time she checked her out. “I’d do ya.” she said.
“Would you now?”
“Yeah, you’re like a seven or an eight, the nice tits help.”
Ben laughed “Yeah, I’d do you too, Hootie McBoob.” She gave Streeks boobs a playful squeeze, Streek knocked her hand away smiling.
The weed helped Streek to relax and forget her troubles for a while. The hours went by and the two girls did very little. They laid in the shade and drank water, chewed on their hard nutrition bars and talked.
As the sweltering afternoon dragged on she began to feel dozy and drifted off to sleep.
Streek woke up and immediatly got a fright, there was a large, light brown beast above her looking down at her.
She let out a squeal and staggered back, Ben also seemed to wake up beside her with a shock.
It was a camel, Streek realised, she never saw one in real life, but she recognised it. It was a huge beast looming over her and there was another one beside it and she could see a rider sitting atop each of them.
“Do not be afraid, he will not hurt you” came an accented male voice.
The rider called out a command she did not understand and the camel let out a groaning sound then lurched back and forth until it knelt down on the hot sand.
The rider climbed off its back. He was a tall, tanned man, covered in light coloured robes, he wore a turban and had a bandana over his face so that just his dark eyes peered out.
He looked like someone from an Arabian holo-film. The other rider dismounted as well, he was dressed much the same.
Streek realised with a start that her nipples could be seen through her singlet, she quickly moved her hands to cover them up.
Beside her Ben was slow to cover her naked breasts, both men must have had a good eyeful.
“Oh don’t be embarrassed” said the man with his heavy middle-eastern accent. “…People often go naked around here, it gets very hot.”
He uncovered his face, he was quite handsome with a dark, neatly trimmed goatee and looked to be in his mid thirties.
“Who are you?” said Streek, her voice a little shaky.
“I am Saladin Nahsaf and this is my younger brother Jorin. We inspect the atmospheric generators in this sector. Who are you?”
Ben spoke up next to her “I’m Captain Anders and this is my First Mate Streek, we’re traders.”
“I see, your trade does not seem to be going so well, yes?”
“Obviously! What planet is this?” said Ben, she uncovered her breast to grab her T-shirt and slip it on again, Streek did the same.
“This is the Antares System, we are on Antares-Three” said Saladin.
Jorin seemed to be staring at Bens’ boobs the whole time with a slight smile on his face, he looked to be about five or six years younger than his brother and was clean shaven and also quite handsome.
“Last night I was taking a piss and I saw a magnificent shooting star. We followed the distress beacon on our TABS and have found two pretty girls have fallen from the sky.”
“Don’t get any ideas buddy!” said Streek defensively “…We don’t like men.”
“Oh, are you two lovers?” asked Saladin.
Ben and Streek looked at each other. “Yes” said Streek, putting her arm around Ben.
“How did you end up here?”
They didn’t want to tell these strangers the crazy truth, Ben quickly made up a story. “There was a catastrophic radiation leak on my ship, we had to abandon her in a hurry.”
“Really? Did the radiation affect you? Are you both alright?” asked Saladin.
“Yes we’re fine, but we would appreciate it if you could take us to a space-port or something.”
“But of course, we were heading back to Port Redland anyway, we just have one more generator to inspect on the way. You will ride with us. We can be there by tomorrow evening.”
Jorin gave Ben another smile. “You can ride with me Captain. What is your first name?”
“Thanks, it’s Ben.”
“Ben? that is …unusual.”
“Yeah, …it’s uh, …short for …Bernadette.”
“Then why not Bernie?, although I fail to think of any names that would be pretty enough for you.” Ben smiled, and Streek rolled her eyes.
“Eh, can we just have a moment?” said Streek.
“Of coarse” said Saladin “Do you have any supplies you wish to take with you?”
“We have some water around in the side of the pod.” said Ben
“Ah good, water is the most valuable thing you can have around here, we will load it onto the camels.”
The two men moved around to the side of the pod. Streek turned to Ben “Can we trust these guys Ben? I don’t like the way they look at us, and we’re out here all alone with them, what if they’re planning on raping us?”
“You need to relax, they’re maintenance guys, not bandits, they seem nice enough.”
“Oh yeah with his ‘no names would be pretty enough for you’ crap, can he make it any more obvious he wants to get into your Y-fronts.”
“you think?” said Ben giggling.
“Ben!, I got a bad feeling about these guys.”
“You’re just paranoid because you were almost raped by yourself as soon as you become a girl. We don’t really have much of a choice here Streek, I’m not gunna wait around until some nuns show up to rescue us. They’re our only ticket out of this stinkin’ desert.”
“Yeah …okay then. But don’t do anything to lead them on, we’re lesbian lovers remember. And put your damn pants on!”
“At least I have pants.”
The men loaded the containers of water onto their camels. The large beasts were groaning and complaining loudly about kneeling on the hot sand, they had huge saddle-bags around them and a big, synthetic saddle between their two humps.
Saladin handed Streek a couple of light coloured pieces of fabric he got from a saddle bag.
“Here, cover up Miss Streek, the sun is very harsh out here and your skin is fair. I see you have lost your pants.”
“We had to get out in a hurry” Streek said blushing.
She wrapped one Piece around her waist like a sarong and wore the other over her head like a bonnet.
“We better be on our way.” said Saladin, he put a foot in the stirrup of his camel and swung his leg over.
“Yes, let’s go Sweety pie!” said Ben, giving Streek an unexpected quick peck on the lips and then got going with Jorin.
Saladin offered his hand to Streek, she reluctantly took it as he helped her climb up into the saddle. She stepped on the saddle bags and clumsily tried to put her leg over it.
She almost fell off, but Saladin got hold of her, softly laughing as he lifted her in front of him in the saddle.
“HIAT” he called out and the camel began to violently lurch forward and back again as it got up, Streek shrieked as she thought she would be thrown off, but Saladin had a tight hold of her.
When the animal was still again she realised Saladin had one hand around her waist and another on her right breast, He moved his hands away just before she could react and knock them away.
It reminded her of how her male selves had grabbed at her boobs on the Clubber Lang. She heard Ben squeal as Jorins’ camel got up and saw that he had her closely in front of him holding her around the waist.
Saladin gave the animal a light kick, and it started walking out into the desert, leaving the escape pod behind.
They travelled North-West through the desert, there really wasn’t much to look at. Streek was hot and uncomfortable riding on the camel.
The slope of the humps kept making her slide back so that she was pressed up against Saladin, which she didn’t like at all.
She kept trying to wriggle forward but always ended up shifting back against him again, at one time she thought she felt something poke into her, but she didn’t want to think about what that might be.
Saladin tried making small talk with her. “Streek is a nickname, yes?”
“Yeah.” she hoped he wasn’t going to ask how she got it.
“What is your real name?” She didn’t want to tell him it was Stephen, she thought of the name her male copies had given her.
“It’s Lisa” after my favourite porn star.
“That’s a nice name. You can call me Sal.”
“Do you work for the Federation?” Streek asked.
“We are independent contractors, our contract is with the Federation.” Streek was glad, she and Ben were products of highly illegal Alien technology, they really should avoid the Federation now, and keep the fact that they are clones secret.
“Why do you travel around on camels? wouldn’t a hovercraft be like a hundred times faster?”
“We travel as fast as we need to, and the camels are cheap and reliable. The atmospheric generators are fully autonomous and are mostly fine, but someone needs to check them.”
“right.” Streek didn’t talk with Sal much more as they travelled, now and then he would pass her a canteen and she would drink some water.
She could hear Ben talking with Jorin a lot, mostly she couldn’t hear what they were saying but from the bits and pieces she picked up, it sounded like they were talking about engines and machinery. Now and then she could hear them laughing.
Four hours passed and the sun began to sink toward the horizon. Streek was feeling drowsy and drooped in the saddle, she didn’t care that her bum was fully pressed up against Sals’ crotch.
“Can you see that” said Sal. Streek looked up, in the distance in front of them there was something, a dark conical shape.
“What is it?”
“That’s our atmospheric generator, the last one before we reach Port Redland.”
“How many do you inspect?”
“There are twelve in our sector, all one hundred kilometres from the next. There are hundreds of them, all over the planet. One day they will generate a strong enough atmosphere to support a weather system and plant life.”
“…Perhaps when I am an old man there will be a rainforest where we are now, and then there will be no need for the generators any more.”
As they slowly got closer Streek could make out more detail on the giant structure. It was mostly a grey, steel cone with a fat base which was a couple hundred meters across.
It looked quite alien, sitting in the flat landscape of sand and rocks.
When they arrived there, Streek was quite glad to get off and stretch her legs. In the shade of the giant structure she looked up could see the shimmering clear gasses rising out of the top of it, hundreds of meters above them.
There was a continuous mechanical thrum coming from the machine which was quite loud when they got close.
The men didn’t take very long carrying out their checks and finding that everything was functioning normally.
Ben and Streek saw that the sun was beginning to set.
“Are we going to camp here for the night?” Ben asked Sal.
“Not here, I cannot tolerate the noise for too long a time, We will camp nearby thought, we should get going.”
They all mounted up again and travelled North for another twenty minutes. Streek thought the sunset looked quite pretty as they went.
It was getting dark when they stopped again, Streek could see the atmospheric generator off in the distance.
Jorin got a case out from one of the saddle bags. He opened it up and put it down on the ground, and flames rose up from the centre and started to dance about. Streek could see that it was a portable campfire.
Sal laid a blanket out on the ground for Ben and Streek to sit on.
“You may want to move it closer to the fire when it starts to get colder.” he told them.
“thanks” said Ben and she and Streek sat down.
“We will start cooking dinner, are you hungry?”
“Yeah!” The only thing Streek had to eat all day was a nutrition bar that was hard as rock.
Jorin set up a pot over the fire, and Sal started chopping vegetables on a board. They seemed well prepared and had their routine all worked out. They had been doing it for years, though Streek suspected they didn’t often have female company out here.
If they are going to try and rape us they would probably do it tonight, Streek thought, but then she shook the thought. Ben was probably right, she was being paranoid. They seemed nice enough and were treating them well.
They want to have sex with us, particularly Jorin, but I doubt they will force themselves on us.
Soon the girls were handed a bowl of food. “It’s lamb stew.” said Sal “…The meat is dehydrated, so it will be a little chewy.”
“thank you” said Ben and Streek as they took their bowls.
The meal wasn’t bad, particularly since they were both quite hungry. By then is was dark, thousands of stars filled the night sky.
We were just travelling between them not long ago.
“So how long have you two been together?” asked Jorin.
“oh ..uh we we’re high school sweet-hearts” said Streek.
“I see, is it an open relationship?”
“No, strictly monogamous!” Streek answered quickly, she knew what he was asking, no chance dude!
“Huh, I do not like monogamy, it is not natural.” said Sal “I have an open marriage and we are both very happy.”
“Oh, you’re married?” said Ben.
“Yes, but my wife does not mind me sleeping with other women and I do not mind her sleeping with other men.
We just have two rules, one: that we don’t make babies with anyone else, and two: that we are open and honest and tell each other who we sleep with.”
“that is …interesting” said Streek.
“Yes it is, and I always enjoy sex with my wife the best, because I am deeply in love with her. But you would not want to have the same dessert every night, no matter how much you love the dessert.”
“Are you married Jorin?” asked Ben.
“No, I have two steady girlfriends though, I am still not sure which one I should marry.”
“I told you, you should ask Marrial” said Sal “…her family owns a lot of land in the Lizbeth Valley, that will be worth a fortune one day.”
“And I told you, that is not what’s important brother.”
Ben and Streek listened to the brothers argue for a while as they ate their stew.
Afterwards the men took their bowls and washed them as Ben and Streek watched the fire, the warmth of the day had gone and it was starting to feel cool.
The night was still and they could just hear the thrum of the generator in the distance and the occasional grunt from the camels.
“We should put on a pot of Ryphin Tea” said Sal.
“Yes, good idea” said Jorin “I think you girls will like it a lot.”
“I don’t know, we’re more coffee drinkers.” said Ben
“You should try it.” said Sal “It will start to get cold soon and the tea will make you feel nice and warm and relaxed.”
“Okay then, why not?”
They watched as Jorin put the pot of water on the fire to boil and then went about preparing the tea he got from a small green tin.
“Here you go Bernie” he said handing the cup to Ben. “…Here you go Lisa.”
For two weeks Nile had been a madman. The normally stubborn yet peaceful lawyer was now a short-tempered pain in the ass. His secretary and even the Agents generally tried to avoid him. They did not know nor care what had brought on the change. They just wanted to stay the hell out of his way.
Nile sat alone in his office taking deep breaths as he found himself doing often lately. Struggling to clear his mind. There were moments when the deepest and most profound loneliness he could ever imagine threatened to swallow him whole and tears came to his eyes. That just pissed him off. Why should it be this important to him? The whole thing was ludicrous.
The more he thought about it the more it seemed like a dream. Like it was something made up that had never happened. But at the same time it was the only real thing that had ever happened to him. And that cold lonely realization threatened to tear his heart out by the roots.
“Will I see you again?” Nile asked, his heart stopping.
Arden gazed into Nile’s eyes. “As soon as possible.”
And he had been fool enough to believe it. Why? He had spent years building a wall around his heart. Entombing it away from the cruelties of love. He had perfected the art of the one night stand. No names. No questions. Just an orgasm, a thank you, and a goodbye. Things were simpler that way.
He had been unprepared for the vampire. The vampire had escaped from prison, appeared in his bedroom, and seduced him. In the madness of the moment he had made himself believe this was just another one night stand. And maybe that was what it was supposed to be. He barely knew this vampire at all. He only knew they had an intense physical desire for one another. But this was far different from the usual one night stand. Because this had been the most mind-blowing experience of Nile’s life. He had never known an orgasm so powerful and he had never felt so completely satisfied. Yet, the vampire left him wanting more. It was like he had tasted a powerful drug and was left struggling with an addiction. Craving his next fix. More.
But the vampire had disappeared. Nile had kept an eye on the Agency’s progress. There was no official record of Arden having been seen anywhere much less recaptured. This was a relief. But at the same time it reminded Nile of how well Arden would have to continue hiding. Perhaps Arden did want to see him but just couldn’t risk it yet. Or perhaps the vampire had never intended to come back. Maybe it had just been a one night stand.
But why go through the trouble? Why had the vampire come at all? Wasn’t the whole thing risky to begin with? Arden claimed to have wanted him after getting a taste of his blood. The vampire had drank a little from him after sex. But why go through so much trouble just for a snack and a lay? Why wouldn’t he have just escaped and gotten as far away from the Agency as possible?
This was ridiculous. It was interfering with his work, his life. He had to stop obsessing over Arden. He had to accept that it was a one time deal. Just an impulse. Just another one night stand.
Every day he had tried to convince himself of that. And sometimes, in the daylight, he could almost believe it. But it was when he was awakened at night by a slight noise that made his body tense, his heart pound, and his cock start swell with anticipation that he knew he couldn’t just forget it all. He had thought about finding someone to hook up with, but it was no use. He wanted no one else. Arden was the only man who had ever truly satisfied him and it seemed the only man he would ever desire again.
The sad reality was that the vampire had probably forgotten all about him. Maybe he was with another lover right now somewhere far away from here. Away from the searching eyes of the Agency. Maybe hidden deep in the bowels of the Community. Maybe he had been with several lovers. The thought stung his heart.
Why did he care so much about this vampire? And how long would it take for him to get back to normal?
The thoughts were constantly with him. If he was seeing a client or doing some other work the thoughts were still there churning away in the back of his mind.
He was glad when the end of the second week came. His dream job with its grand visions of social justice was a great disappointment. He remembered something Arden had said during his consultation.
“You don’t get it do you? You can’t help me. Do you think the Agents or any judge will take you seriously? You’re just a fucking token liberal. Someone to hire in order to make them look tolerant. But to keep on a tight leash,” Arden said.
It was becoming more and more obvious that this was true. And it sickened him. He had spent much money and several years of his life getting the education he needed for this job. His expectations had been way off. The world was a much crueler place than he realized. And his goal to change it just seemed silly. He felt like a child trying to build something from sand only to have the steady tide wash it back out to sea.
It was Friday night and he was damn sick of being angry and alone. He made his way to a bar. He had come here a few times to meet one night stands, but not tonight. Tonight he was coming for the liquor. And the forced social interaction. Maybe he could find sanity at the bottom of a glass.
Hallie’s Comet was a classy gay bar that towered over the city on a penthouse floor. It was made of glass and bright colors. Sleek and stylish with a breath taking view. The music was nice, the drinks were nice, and it would soon be filled with plenty of eye candy. Nile got there early and sat at a small table by the window. He ordered the night’s drink special which was called a Super Nova. It came in a tall glass. It released a foggy smoke, had bubbles, and turned various colors. He had no idea what it was made of but it was strong and it was delicious and that was all that mattered. He was on his second one when the crowd began to trickle in.
He was feeling refreshed. It was doing him good to be in a relaxing public environment. The liquor was a big help too. He felt a smile come to his lips. Maybe this was all just temporary insanity. Maybe he could get past this. Maybe life wasn’t as fucked up as it seemed.
Then there was recognition. He wished there had been a moment of ignorance. Maybe it could have lasted long enough so that he simply would not have noticed. He then wished that the tall blond man across the room had not seen him. And while he was busy making wishes, he might as well wish that the man beside him didn’t look so fucking beautiful. It was too late. The gray eyes had met his, for the first time in a long time, and it was too late to avoid confrontation. The only polite thing to do was to pretend this wasn’t a heart-shattering insult added to injury. That this wasn’t a death blow to whatever brief moment of sanity he had found. Nile forced a smile and thought of all his wishes. Well, shit in one hand and wish in the other, he thought. See which one fills up.
The blond man was tall, broad shouldered, and had not changed at all. Except of course, for having the beautiful new prize at his side. Those familiar lips curled into a polite smile and the gray eyes failed at concealing their awkward surprise. The man beside him looked like an underwear model. They were both dressed in beautiful sleek suits. Then Nile noticed the rings and he struggled to keep his smile as his heart shattered inside.
“Nile,” Everett said, holding out his hand. “I don’t believe it!”
Nile shook his hand, thinking about how odd it was that two people who had once been so intimate were now greeting each other in an awkward handshake. “Good to see you too,” Nile lied. He wished he could disappear. He had a wild fleeting fantasy of diving through the glass wall beside him and just falling away into the city lights.
“How are you?” Everett asked, his gray eyes showing a genuine sweet concern.
“I’m great,” Nile said, lying with all his might and hoping it was believable.
The beautiful man shifted his weight and looked from Everett to Nile in an awkward glance.
“Nile, this is my husband Renaldo,” Everett said. Renaldo. A face to put to the name at last. This was the same man Everett had left Nile for. And why not? Renaldo was fucking breath taking. Even in his spite Nile could find nothing wrong with the man.
“Nice to meet you,” Renaldo said with a smile, trying to make it friendly. Nile commended his effort and shook his hand.
“Nice to meet you as well,” Nile lied. “So…what brings you two here?”
“Just on a night out,” Everett said with a shrug. He absentmindedly brushed his hair back from his face in a gesture that was painfully familiar to Nile. Amazing the little things you could forget. Things that when confronted with brought back a flood of memories. Flowers on the balcony. Rose petals on white sheets. An open bottle of champagne. Secret smiles and stolen kisses.
“Care to join us? We’re supposed to meet some friends,” Everett said.
“I’d love to, but I’ve got to get going. I just came by here to kill some time. I have to go meet my fiance at St. Francis. About time for his shift to be ending. We’re going to dinner and a movie,” Nile said, making the story up in an instant. He must have told it well because Everett looked impressed.
“Oh…wow…so you’re getting married?” Everett said. “Congratulations, Nile.”
“Yeah,” Nile said, resurrecting all he had learned back in his days in the college drama club.
“What’s his name?” Everett asked.
“Arden,” Nile said without a second thought.
Everett nodded. “He works at the hospital?”
“Hematologist,” Nile said.
“Wow,” Everett said with an approving nod. “That’s…great. I…really hope he makes you happy, Nile. You deserve that.”
Nile kept up his smile. “He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
“Well, I wish you the best. It was really good seeing you,” Everett said.
Nile nodded. “You too. And nice meeting you…Renaldo.”
Renaldo gave a nod and tried not to look impatient. Nile privately commended him again for the effort.
“Well, I really need to go,” Nile said. “You two have a good night.”
“You too,” Everett said.
Nile walked out of the bar, went down the hall to the tiny white egg shaped elevator pod and thanked whatever God or gods there might be that no one else was in there with him. He looked out the round glass window and watched the city come up as he descended. Hot tears were streaming down his face.
As he stepped out of the building into the warm summer air he wiped his eyes and held his head down. One moment. One chance meeting and the dam he had spent years carefully constructing was bursting apart with a thousand memories.
The buzz of his liquor had worn off and that was a shame because he did not want to be sober. He was caught up in his thoughts, walking the way home. He had taken a cab to the bar, but he felt like walking now. He did not want the social interaction that was required of getting a cab. If he tried to give directions or small talk he might just vomit. He wanted to be alone.
The walk was just a few blocks, not too far. The streets were somewhat busy with the city’s nightlife, but not too cluttered. Enough for him to fall away unnoticed into the shadows. He rounded a corner to go through the alley that would lead him home. The shadows moved and they grabbed him from behind. His heart raced and adrenaline pumped through his body. He was getting mugged. He instinctively tried to fight off his attacker only to notice that his attacker was incredibly strong. He also noticed that whoever had him was not doing anything but holding him there. He was flailing and trying to fight, but there was no use. He was just wearing himself out. He stopped, breathing heavy, heart still pounding, and he tried to make sense of what the hell was going on.
“Done?” Arden whispered, shoving Nile against the wall.
Nile stared into the vampire’s blue eyes not believing that it was him. His heart felt like it was going to either stop or leap from his chest. He was still recovering from shock and could not speak. He was struggling to catch his breath.
Arden grinned and kissed him hard. He felt the vampire reach down and grope his crotch, caressing what he found. Nile relaxed, pinned between the vampire and the wall.
“Who the fuck was that?” Arden whispered. “Ex boyfriend?”
“You were in the bar?” Nile said.
“I’ve been following you all night,” Arden said, grinning, his fangs glinting even in the soft light. “So who was he?”
“Ex boyfriend,” Nile confirmed. “Used to be one of my professors in college.”
Arden raised a brow. “Ah. Interesting.”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Nile said.
“You told him you were marrying a hematologist named Arden?” the vampire said with a laugh. “I’m flattered.”
Nile blushed deep. “I…it was…”
“Shhh,” Arden said, putting a finger on Nile’s lips. “I’m flattered by your lie.” He removed his finger and gave Nile a nice long kiss.
“Where have you been?” Nile asked when their lips parted.
“In hiding,” Arden said.
“Isn’t this dangerous? Being out in the city?” Nile asked.
“I hide well,” Arden said. “And the Agency is looking for me in the wrong places. They have false leads. This isn’t my first time running from them.”
“I…thought you wouldn’t come back,” Nile said.
Arden smiled and kissed Nile softly. “I wanted to come sooner. But I needed to lay low. Make sure the Agency was off my back.” He kissed Nile’s neck. “Mmm…the sweet smell of your blood.”
“You…can have a taste…” Nile said.
“Oh?” Arden said, grinning to reveal his fangs. “Would you like me to have a taste of you, Nile?”
“Yes,” Nile said.
Arden leaned in and gave Nile a tiny bite, barely breaking the skin. Just enough for a brief sample. He licked his lips. “Turn around.”
Nile turned around and the vampire held him against the wall, his arms over Nile’s, forcing his palms against the wall as if he were being arrested. “What if someone comes?” Nile whispered.
“It’s a dark deserted alley,” Arden said. “Nobody will come. Nobody can see us from the street. The traffic drowns out our voices. And these buildings are daytime businesses. Nobody at either of them this late.”
Arden reached down and spread Nile’s leg’s apart. He reached around and unbuttoned Nile’s pants, then carefully unzipped them. He slid them down gently along with his underwear. He took both hands, caressing Nile’s exposed cheeks. “Mmmm…you have such a hot ass.”
Nile couldn’t suppress a laugh. “Thanks.”
The vampire leaned against him, kissing his neck from behind, taking another small sip of blood. “You taste so fucking good.” He unzipped his pants and rubbed his hard cock against Nile from behind. Nile slid his hand down the wall. The vampire grabbed it and shoved it back to where it had been. “What do you think you’re doing, Nile?”
“I…just wanted to stroke myself,” Nile said.
“No. You stay like you are,” Arden said. He slid his right hand off of Nile’s and reached around him, grabbing his hard cock for him. “You’re at my mercy. You keep your fucking hands up and your legs spread.”
Nile shuddered at the vampire’s words and his touch. He stayed in place, surrendering himself. “Yes, Sir,” he said.
The vampire stroked Nile’s erect cock with his right hand and held Arden’s hand against the wall with his left. He stroked him in a steady gentle rhythm. “You’ve got such a nice long cock. I don’t think I complimented you on it last time.”
“Mmmm,” Nile said, closing his eyes. “Yours is nice too.”
Arden stroked him a little harder. “Yeah? I’m glad you like it. Because I’m about to shove it in you.”
Nile’s eyes widened and he gasped as the vampire penetrated him. “Fuck!”
“I warned you,” Arden said. “And relax. I rubbed a little lube on before I caught you. If you just relax it’ll go easy.”
Nile took a deep breath and relaxed, leaning into Arden. The vampire was still stroking Arden as he pushed into him and settled into a sweet steady rhythm. Nile moaned, squirming beneath him, sliding his right hand down again only to have Arden let go of his cock and shove his hand back against the wall.
“What’d I fucking tell you?” Arden said. “Stay as you are.”
“It feels so good,” Nile whispered. “I couldn’t help it.”
“Keep your hand up there or I’ll have to stop stroking you,” Arden said, moving his own hand back down to grip Nile’s erection. “Don’t you like what I’m doing? Am I not doing it fast enough? Is that the problem? If you want me to go faster or slower you fucking tell me. You don’t fucking move.” Nile moaned as the vampire thrust hard into him.
“So fucking tell me what you want,” the vampire said.
“Stroke harder,” Nile said.
Arden complied. “Like that?”
“Oh God, exactly like that,” Nile whispered.
“See? Isn’t it nice to relax and let me take care of you?” Arden said.
“Oh yes,” Nile said.
“Any other requests?” Arden asked.
“Bite me again,” Nile said.
Arden kissed Nile’s neck again, pricking the skin and taking very small sips. He played at Nile’s skin with his tongue. As he was doing this he stroked Nile a little harder and thrust into him really deep. Nile gasped and cried out. Arden let go, licking up a few more drops of blood. “How am I doing?”
Nile’s moan and the way his body quivered was answer enough. Arden slowed down to a more gentle rhythm in his strokes and thrusts and then slowly increased intensity again.
“It was torture being away from you,” Arden whispered. “After last time…I’ve wanted this ever since.”
“Oh God, me too,” Nile whispered back.
Arden moved his lips to the back of Nile’s neck, kissing the sensitive place just below the hairline and teasing the skin with his tongue. Nile shuddered and tiny goosebumps appeared, raising the hair on back of his neck. He moved up and kissed the back of his head, enjoying the soft dark hair against his face. He moved back to the side of his neck and teased Nile’s ear with a soft nibble.
“That feels so good,” Nile said through a moan.
Arden smiled, slowing back into a gentle rhythm. “Anything I can do to make it better?”
“Mmm no, this is perfect,” Nile said. “Just don’t stop. Ever.”
Arden thrust into him hard, slow, and deep, stroking Nile’s cock harder as he did. Nile cried out. Arden smiled. “You like it when I do that?”
“Yes,” Nile said, breathless.
Arden gave him a few more slow deep strokes, kissing his neck and nibbling at his ear. Nile quivered. “You’re so fucking delicious,” Arden said. “Your perfect body and your sweet blood. You fucking drive me mad.”
“Oh God, Arden…” Nile whispered, leaning into his lover, losing himself as Arden settled back into a sweet gentle rhythm.
“That’s it,” Arden whispered. “Give in. I’ll give you everything you need.”
“You’re amazing,” Nile said in breathless whisper.
Arden chuckled and kissed Nile’s neck. “You like it when I take control?”
“Yes! Oh, oh, God, yes,” Nile said, closing his eyes as Arden kept thrust into him a little faster.
“You like giving yourself over to a strong, powerful vampire?” Arden said, thrusting harder.
“Fuuuck, yes!” Nile said.
“Naughty boy,” Arden said with a grin.
“Oh please,” Nile begged. “Please..”
“Please what?” Arden asked, kissing the back of Nile’s neck. “What do you want?”
“I need to come,” Nile whispered, his body shaking with desire.
“Relax,” Arden said. “I’m going to make you come very hard, are you ready?”
“Please, God, please,” Nile begged.
Arden increased the intensity of his strokes and thrust deep into him over and over again, simultaneously biting Nile’s neck and taking a slow drink of his blood. Nile was lost in ecstasy. The entire world consisted of him and Arden. Nothing else had ever existed. There was no before this and no after. He surrendered himself to pleasure, letting it build up and throw him over the edge. Nile’s entire body tensed and all at once went limp as he quivered. Hot white pleasure spilled into Arden’s hand. Nile was screaming.
Nile woke, realizing he had fallen asleep. He had not meant to. He felt a sense of relief upon seeing Arden still laying beside him. The vampire was asleep as well. Nile looked at the clock. Still a few hours before Arden would awake and leave, going to wherever he spent the daylight. He gazed at the vampire lying there on his stomach, his face turned toward Nile. His lips were parted just enough to show a hint of fangs. The sheets were pushed down, barely covering his ass, and one leg was sticking out. His arms were spread upward, one underneath the pillow the other out beside it. Nile admired the pale skin and rippling muscles of the vampire’s body. He looked so beautiful in his sweet repose. Almost vulnerable. But that was a deception. Nile knew the vampire’s strength and power. Just hours ago Arden had arrived and without a word of greeting attacked Nile with a passionate kiss. That led to Nile being shoved into the bed, head down and ass in the air. He felt a stir of longing in his loins.
Nile smiled. He loved their nights together. The vampire came to visit as often as he could manage, which was more and more often as of late. The Agency had no clue where he was and there was a safe hidden entrance to the underground nearby that led him to whatever he went during the day. It was still a strange situation, but it seemed to be working quite well for them both. The past few months had been the best of Nile’s life.
A smile played at Nile’s lips and he felt a blush come to his cheeks. He felt a strange excitement at watching Arden sleep. The powerful vampire lying still and oblivious. Nile could take his time gazing at every inch of his lover’s beautiful form. He reached over, unable to resist the urge to touch the soft sweet skin. Just a gentle caress down his lover’s back. He paused as Arden shifted slightly and smiled in his sleep. Nile traced the vampire’s spine with his finger all the way down to the small of the back. He brushed the sheets down, exposing his lover’s beautiful firm ass. He splayed his finger and gently caressed both cheeks, a shiver of excitement coursing through his body. His cock was getting hard.
It occurred to Nile that out of all the times they had been together, Arden had always been the dominant one. Nile didn’t mind at all, he loved it when the powerful vampire took control. He loved giving himself over to Arden and being at his mercy. But he wondered what it would be like, just once, if the tables were turned. Could he be as dominant and delightfully rough with the vampire? Probably not. That wasn’t Nile’s style. No. But he could take control in his own way. He bit his lip, staring at the vampire. He had a hell of an erection and the sight and feel of Arden just lying there beside him was maddening.
Nile’s heart was pounding. He was somewhat scared that he would startle the vampire. If that happened, Arden might accidentally hurt him. But if it didn’t, if this worked, well it could turn out very nice for them both. So he took a chance and climbed over the vampire, straddling himself over Arden’s legs. He lowered himself down over Arden’s back, his cock pressed against the vampire’s ass. He kissed Arden’s neck. No response. He ran a hand down Arden’s side, caressing him. He kissed Arden’s neck again, then nibbled his ear. The vampire smiled. His eyes opened and he turned his gaze up to Nile.
“What in hell are you doing?” Arden said with a smirk.
Nile blushed, a grin spreading across his face. He sat up, straddling Arden. “Sorry…you just looked so beautiful.”
Arden’s smirk deepened and his blue eyes were shining. “Yeah?”
Nile smiled down at him. He moved to crawl off the vampire and Arden grabbed his arm with a gentle grip. The blue eyes looked disappointed.
“Where are you going?” Arden asked.
Nile smiled. “Giving you room to turn over.”
Arden smiled back at him. “Okay.” The vampire turned over, laying on his back and looking up at Nile with curiosity.
Nile positioned himself over the vampire again. Arden embraced him, pulling him close. Their lips met in a gentle kiss. “You don’t mind me waking you up?” Nile whispered.
“Mind? I never meant to fall asleep,” Arden said, his cocky smirk returning. “And I rather enjoyed being awakened that way.” He reached down, gently taking Nile’s erection into his hand. “So what are you up to? Because you’re definitely up to something.”
Nile gasped at the vampire’s touch. He smiled and kissed Arden again. “I…want to try something new.”
Arden raised a brow and gave a curious smile. “Yeah? What’d you have in mind?”
“I think it’s my turn to fuck you,” Nile said.
Arden’s eyes widened and a blush came to his cheeks. “My sweet little human wants to take control?”
“Yes,” Nile said, kissing Arden’s lips.
Arden smiled, his blue eyes shining up at Nile. “This should be interesting.”
Nile kissed Arden’s lips, chin, neck, and worked his way down the vampire’s body. He closed his lips over a taunt nipple and Arden gave a gasp. Nile gently sucked and nibbled as he ran his hands up and down Arden’s body. Nile moved from the nipple, giving it one last playful bite. He moved down the vampire’s stomach kissing and teasing the skin with his tongue. He kissed Arden’s hip and moved down to his inner thigh.
“Goddammit, you’re a tease,” Arden said, breathless.
Nile gave a small laugh. He nuzzled into Arden’s inner thigh, enjoying the heat of his body and the sweet smell of him. He was so close to his cock, his testicles, and his sweet tight hole. But he focused on the sensitive part of the thigh just below the groin, kissing, nibbling, and teasing the skin with his tongue. Arden squirmed and whimpered beneath him. Nile raised up, indulging himself in the view. Arden had tiny beads of sweat breaking out on his forehead. His cheeks were flushed and he was breathing hard. His cock had a raging erection and he was stroking himself.
Nile placed his hand on Arden’s, interrupting his strokes. Arden looked up with a mixed expression of frustration and curiosity. He allowed Nile to move his hand away. Nile moved up and kissed the head of Arden’s cock. The vampire quivered and moaned. Nile worked his way down the shaft with kisses and licks. He cupped the testicles, caressing them. Nile closed his lips around Arden’s cock and took him in, sucking hard in a steady slow motion.
“Fuck!” Arden said with a shiver. “Oh, God, Nile…” He placed his hands on Nile’s head, gripping his hair.
Nile moved his head up and down, caressing Arden’s head and shaft with his tongue. He took his time, giving it all he had, passion swelling in his heart. His own cock throbbing and begging for pleasure, but it was not time for that yet. Right now, he wanted to show Arden everything he was feeling.
“Oh God, Nile, I’m getting close…” Arden said.
Nile gently slid his mouth off of Arden’s cock and then slowly raised up to look at him. The vampire was breathing heavy, covered in a light layer of shimmering sweat. His face was red with passion. His blue eyes begging.
Nile positioned himself between Arden’s legs. His own cock was throbbing with hot desire. He took a deep breath trying to calm himself. He spread Arden’s legs and reached down to run a finger along his sweet entrance. Arden shuddered. The vampire was fighting himself, reaching down toward his erection, but hesitantly bringing his hands back up to his own chest. Finally, he gripped the sheets in frustration. Nile pushed a finger into his lover and Arden moaned beneath him.
“Oh God, Nile, I can’t take this,” Arden whispered. “Please, just fuck me.”
“Gotta get you ready,” Nile said, shoving his finger in and out.
“Goddammit, I’m a vampire, I can take it, now fuck me!” Arden begged.
Nile chuckled as he pulled his finger out and grabbed his cock. He lined it up to the vampire and gently pushed in. Arden moaned.
“Please, all the way,” Arden said. “I fucking need you.”
Nile thrust himself as deep as he could go, gasping at the warm, wet feel of his lover’s body around him. He was dizzy. He wanted to lose it right then and come, but it wasn’t time. He had to do this right. He took a deep breath. He settled into a slow deep rhythm. Then he leaned down over the vampire, their bodies close, Arden’s hard cock between them, caught in the motion. The vampire held Nile close, his fingernails digging into the sweet soft skin of his back. He reached up with one hand and grabbed the back of Nile’s head, pulling him in for a kiss. Their lips met in hunger, their tongues entwined. When they pulled away, Nile gave Arden’s lips a teasing lick. Arden pulled him in for another deep kiss. Their lips parted again and Arden’s blue eyes stared up at Nile in sweet, agonizing desire. Nile almost lost control.
Nile was still thrusting in a sweet deep motion. Taking his time, reveling in this new intimate feel of Arden’s body clenching around him. He reached up and caressed the vampire’s cheek. It was a sweet reverent gesture. Arden gazed at him with adoration and turned his lips to kiss Nile’s hand. Nile reached up to stroke the vampire’s soft hair. Nile leaned in for another kiss on Arden’s lips and then his cheek and neck just below the ear. He kissed the earlobe, tugging gently with his teeth. He whispered in the vampire’s ear. “You’re so beautiful.”
Arden shuddered beneath him. “Oh God, Nile…”
Nile raised up just enough to see the ache in Arden’s eyes. “I mean it, you’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
“You’re beautiful,” Arden whispered. “So sweet, so innocent…”
Nile thrust a little harder and faster now. He knew he couldn’t last much longer. He was overcome with powerful emotions. This was not just about sex. It hadn’t been from the moment he had awakened and began to caress the vampire’s skin. This was so much more. His confession was at the tip of his tongue, but no…no not yet…it didn’t seem right to blurt it out in a moment of passion. He was showing his feelings right now. He would confess them later.
“I’m about to lose it,” Arden said, his entire body shaking with need.
Nile kissed Arden and then thrust into him with deeper strokes, concentrating on hitting that sweet spot with greater intensity. Arden’s muscles clenched tighter around him. The vampire’s nails dug into his back. Arden was close. The vampire was quivering all over, moaning, his eyes staring at Nile with longing agony. The vampire cried out, his back arched, nails scratching down Nile’s back. Hot white ribbons spilled from Arden’s cock, covering them both, bonding them in sticky sweet passion.
That was all Nile could take. He gushed inside Arden, giving the vampire everything, his seed, his heart, his soul. He cried out and let the vampire pull him closer. The stared into each other’s eyes in breathless surrender.
“Fuck,” Arden said. “That was…my God, Nile…”
Nile smiled. “Thank you.”
Arden looked at Nile, who was still deep inside him, and reached up to caress his hair. “Nile?”
“Yeah?” Nile said, smiling down.
“I love you too,” Arden said with a sweet smile.
Nile froze, his eyes wide. “How did…”
“How did I know?” Arden said. “You just made love to me. I’ve never been…worshiped like that.”
Nile blushed as he smiled. “You…love me?”
“I have since the moment I first tasted your blood,” Arden whispered. “I was just…scared to express it all. Hell, I was confused. I’ve never loved anyone before…not like this.”
Nile gently withdrew from Arden and laid down beside him. He gazed at the vampire, a smile on his face. “I’ve never been this happy before.”
Arden snuggled against Nile. “Neither have I.”
They lay there for several minutes, reveling in the sweet afterglow. Then Nile let out a sigh. “I don’t want you to leave. I wish you could stay here during the day.”
“I know,” Arden said. “I hate it when we’re apart.”
“I wish…things were different,” Nile said.
“Me too,” Arden said. “I wish you really could change the world. With all your innocent naive enthusiasm.”
Nile chuckled. “It was foolish wasn’t it? For me to even believe that it was possible.”
Arden raised a brow. “Foolish? No…I mean, I used to think so, but…I don’t think it’s a foolish dream. It’s a good dream. I only fear that it’s just a dream.”
Nile was about to respond when there was a loud noise. It took a moment for him to realize it was someone knocking at the front door. He gave Arden a fearful look. “Who the hell would be at my door at this hour?”
Arden’s eyes narrowed. “I don’t know…”
Nile got up and threw on his robe. “Hide yourself.”
“I’ll be watching,” Arden said, getting up and slipping his pants on.
Nile took his time getting to the door. He looked through the peephole, shut his eyes tight and then looked again. Yep. Still there. He had seen exactly what he had thought. Everett holding a half empty bottle of whiskey.
“The fuck?” Nile muttered. He opened the door. “Everett? What the hell are you doing here?”
Everett reeked of whiskey. He was disheveled and unsteady on his feet. “Nile…I gotta talk to you…”
“What the hell are you doing here?” Nile said again.
Everett pushed his way in, taking a drink. He looked around. “Place looks nice.”
“Do I have to ask again what the hell you’re doing here?” Nile said, crossing his arms.
Everett looked at Nile and a smile came to his lips. He looked him up and down. “You look hot in that robe, Love.”
“Love?” Nile said, raising a brow. “Everett…get the fuck out of here and go back home to Renaldo.”
Everett sighed. “He left me.”
Nile was stunned. “Um…well, I’m sorry to hear that, but…this is not where you should be. You’re drunk. Go home.”
Everett took another drink. “No…you gotta hear what I have to say…”
“Oh for God’s sake, do I have to call Agents to get you out of here?” Nile asked.
“Just…listen,” Everett said, waving a hand in frustration. “I fucked up, Nile. I never should’ve left you…I just got scared. And I thought I wanted Renaldo so I rushed off and married him, but it fell apart. It all fucking fell apart.” Angry tears were in his eyes. “And ever since I saw you in that club, I’ve been missing you so much more. And don’t give me that bullshit about a fiance. There’s no hematologist named Arden at St. Francis. Hell, there’s no male hematologists, the only ones there are women. I know you made it up.”
“Everett, you should go home,” Nile said. “Sleep this off. We can talk tomorrow after you sober up, okay?”
“No,” Everett said, his eyes narrowing. “I’m fucking sick of holding back.” He stepped closer to Nile, right in front of him, inches away from his face.
“Everett…what are you doing?” Nile said, backing away only to run against the wall.
“I love you,” Everett said, the smell of whiskey unbearable. “I miss you. Don’t you miss me?”
“Everett, please leave,” Nile said, trying to mask his growing fear.
“You’re the best I’ve ever had,” Everett said, reaching up to caress Nile’s face.
Nile batted his hand away. “Stop it!”
Everett paused, his expression going from bewilderment to hurt to anger. He took a drink of his whiskey. “What the hell’s your problem? There was a time when you were begging me to come back to you.”
“That was a long time ago,” Nile said. “And I’ve met someone else.”
Everett smirked. “Bullshit.”
“I’m in love with someone else,” Nile said. “So please, just leave.”
“Yeah? Where is he then?” Everett asked. He reached down and pulled Nile’s robe string.
The moment the robe fell open, Everett was jerked backwards. His whiskey bottle fell with a thud on the carpet, the brown liquid spilling out. Arden had Everett from behind, one arm around his chest and the other on his head, exposing his throat.
“Fucking hell!” Everett shouted, struggling to get away from his attacker. “Who the fuck are you!”
“You don’t fucking mess with my love,” Arden growled. His fangs plunged into Everett’s throat and Everett screamed.
Nile stood in shock, his robe still open. Blood was spilling out of Everett’s throat in red ribbons. Everett struggled and the flesh tore. Arden latched on hard and was slurping the blood as he growled. Everett was still screaming.
“Stop!” Nile shouted. “You’ll kill him, Arden! Stop!”
Arden’s eyes were full of pure hunger. He appeared not to even hear Nile’s cries. He kept drinking and Everett kept screaming. Everett’s face turned very pale and his screams began to subside. His eyes were still wide with terror.
“Stop!” Nile said, rushing over to Arden, trying to pull the vampire away. But it was no use. Arden was too strong and didn’t even seem to notice Nile.
Everett collapsed in Arden’s arms. Arden tore away from Everett’s throat, his face covered in blood. He licked his lips and there was a terrifying glaze to his eyes. Nile backed away. Everett fell from Arden’s arms into a lifeless heap on the floor. Nile looked at the wide open dead eyes and the blood and began to retch.
Arden’s eyes blinked and he shook his head. He looked at Nile puzzled. Nile backed away, falling down as he tried to get away from the vampire. He was retching. Arden was confused and started to reach out to Nile and then he saw Everett on the floor and the realization hit him.
“What have you done?!” Nile screamed.
“I…I was protecting you,” Arden said. “I’m sorry…I didn’t mean to kill him…I lost control. Oh God, Nile, I’m sorry. The blood lust…”
The vampire tried to wipe the blood from his face, he stepped toward Nile and Nile cowered away, vomiting on the floor.
“Don’t, please…” Nile whimpered.
“Don’t be afraid of me,” Arden said, tears streaming down from his blue eyes. “I’d never hurt you. I love you, Nile. Please don’t be afraid…please forgive me…”
The door burst open. There was shouting. Arden fell to his knees, convulsing from the tasers. The Agents put him in shackles. He didn’t fight them, he just stared at Nile with scared blue eyes.
An Agent had hauled Nile to his feet. He was talking, saying something about neighbors having heard shouts and screams. Asking who the dead man was, how the vampire had gotten in, if Nile was hurt, what had happened? Nile didn’t hear any of it. He watched Arden being dragged away. Their eyes locked on each other in agonizing silence.