Binding Moonlight

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 23 (v.1) - Chapter 23

Submitted: January 19, 2019

Reads: 10

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Submitted: January 19, 2019

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Giggling, Shelsea put her hands on Gabe's shoulders and halfheartedly attempted to push him away. The blue haired man currently had his lips attached to her earlobe and his hands on her thighs.

“You told my sister you were going to behave yourself,” said Shelsea, biting her lip.

A deep, husky laugh rumbled Gabe's chest. “You told her the same thing, darlin'.”

“Ah, well, as long as you don't leave any marks it should be okay. Besides, just some kissing is fine,” Shelsea told him.

Gabe sat back and licked his lips. “Actually, I've got a question for ya.”

“Sure.”

“Why are you so willing to go along with me like this? Ya haven't been out of the hospital for long and before ya were admitted, you were what, thirteen? Fourteen? Yer mind wouldn't just magically mature, so how is it ya behave like a sixteen-year-old when yer mind hasn't hit the same age?” Gabe asked as he curled a piece of her hair behind her ear.

Shelsea pouted. “To be honest, I've always been pretty mature for my age. I hit puberty early, even. My body is a little curvier than I remember, but otherwise, everything is exactly the same. I just feel like I slept too long, really.” Shrugging one shoulder, she twisted her mouth to one side and looked down at her lap. “I just wish 'Keeka would stop treating me like a kid.”

Slouching against the back of the couch, Gabe frowned. He knew when the mood was ruined, and for once it didn't bother him. “I know how she feels. I have two younger siblings I'm extremely protective of, and if they were in yer shoes, I'd probably never let them out of my sight.”

Shelsea leaned over, putting her head on Gabe's shoulder. “You're a sweet guy.”

Gabe chuckled.

“What?”

“I don't think I've ever heard anyone say those words ta me without the implied but,” he told her.

Shelsea grinned. “No but, though there is a so...”

Gabe tilted his head. “A so?”

“I was gonna say; You're a sweet guy, so we'll have to continue this later. We got off track.” She stretched her neck out and kissed him on the cheek before springing to her feet. “I'm gonna go check on my sister.”

“I thought she was gonna have a nap?”

Shelsea shook her head. “She was lying. Something's bugging her and I'm gonna go find out what.”

Gabe shook his head. “Good luck.”

Shelsea spun on her heel and bounced from the room. When the door closed behind her, her shoulders fell as she exhaled slowly. Being so cheerful was exhausting. She enjoyed doing it since it made those around her happy, but she had trouble keeping it up sometimes. She still wasn't fully recovered. Of course, she would never tell her sister or Tobi.

Taking another deep breath and plastering her smile back on her face, Shelsea let herself into Nrekeeka's room. “How's it goin' sis?” she asked, skipping over to the bed.

Nrekeeka glanced up from the photographs in her hands. “I thought I told you to behave yourself.”

“I did behave,” the girl answered, dropping onto the bed.

“You're as bad a liar as I am, Shells,” sighed Nrekeeka, shaking her head.

Shelsea wrinkled up her nose. “What gave me away?”

“Top button of your shirt is open. Gabe moves fast.”

“Are you mad?”

Nrekeeka shook her head but didn't answer immediately. When she finally spoke, the words came out on a sigh. “No. There's no point. Mind you, if you had slept with him...”

Shelsea burst out laughing. “Yeah, not going to happen. For one thing, I've known him less than a week. For another, Theo is way cuter, and lastly, I don't think it would be fair of me.”

“What do you mean?”

“I wouldn't want you to get all depressed because I lost my virginity before you.”

Nrekeeka's jaw dropped. “Shelsea!”

Shelsea laughed harder. “Relax! I was teasing.”

“You shouldn't talk like that,” Nrekeeka scolded, a light blush coloring her cheeks.

Shelsea shook her head at her sister. “So what are you looking at?”

“Just some old photos. Do you remember taking this one?” Selecting one from a pile off to her left, Nrekeeka gave it to Shelsea.

It only took a glance at the picture for Shelsea's face to light up. “Yeah, of course I do! Although I wish I had been able to get a picture of Tobi's face when he first spotted you.”

“He made a face?” Nrekeeka asked, biting her lip.

“I had to kick him in the shin to make him pick his jaw up off the floor. I'm surprised you don't remember.” Shelsea raised her eyebrows at her sister as she handed back the photo.

Frowning as she shook her head, Nrekeeka tried to recall the incident. “I really don't...”

“He really likes you, you know?”

“Excuse me?” The replied came out as a strangled squeak.

Shelsea twisted her mouth to one side. “Don't act like you're surprised. I know he tries to hide it and you pretend you don't know, but if you're doing it for my sake, stop. I'm not a little kid and I'm not going to be jealous. He's like my brother.”

Nrekeeka wanted to answer. She wanted to deny what her younger sister was saying, but her throat closed up and tears blurred her vision.

“Oh no! Oh no, no, no. 'Keeka, don't cry! Please? I'm sorry, okay? I didn't think it was such a big deal.” Shelsea put her hands up, hovering awkwardly near Nrekeeka's shoulders.

Shaking her head, Nrekeeka covered her face. “It's not your fault,” she mumbled behind her hands. “I just...I can't do this.”

“I don't understand.”

“You don't have to. It's just...I just can't be normal.”

Relaxing her shoulders, Shelsea took her sister's hands, squeezing them tightly. “Once again I have to be the mature one,” she mumbled. “Nrekeeka, stop trying to carry the world on your shoulders. Rely on someone else for a change. You're almost eighteen, it won't kill you to go on a date or two.”

Grabbing Shelsea, Nrekeeka pulled the girl into a crushing hug. “I wish,” she muttered.

Shelsea returned the hug, confused by her sister's words. Something was happening, but no one wanted to tell her what it was. “What's going on?”

Nrekeeka didn't answer.

“Come on, Nrekeeka. I can tell you guys are hiding something from me. What is going on?” Shelsea pushed her sister away, narrowing her eyes.

A sharp exhale passed between Nrekeeka's lips. “Shelsea, you don't have to know everything. We aren't telling you because it's better if we don't. We'll deal with it.” Turning away, Nrekeeka rose from the bed and moved across the room. She combed her fingers through her hair, leaning one hip against her dresser. “Don't give me that look, Shelsea. I'm doing what's best to keep you safe.”

“To keep me safe? Are you still deluding yourself thinking you're doing everything to protect me? None of your choices have ever been for me and you know it. Tough choices have never been your forte, 'Keeka. You always pick whatever is easiest.” Shelsea folded her arms and held her sister's gaze.

Nrekeeka stared at the girl for a moment, mouth hanging open. “I'm not good at making tough choices? Let me tell you something Shelsea, since you got sick I have made some very tough decisions. I chose to risk my life and the lives of everyone else in this building when we went after the cure for your illness. I chose to make peace with three of those people who were against us at first. I chose to put aside my feelings for Tobi so you wouldn't get hurt. And I am choosing to put my life in danger again to save the lives of billions of innocent Deldinites, including yourself. But no, I can't make tough choices. And I've never made them for you.” With a red face, flaring nostrils and quivering lip, Nrekeeka glared at her sister.

Shelsea clenched her teeth, her eyebrows twitching.

Without another word, Nrekeeka headed out the door. She was halfway to the stairs when Tobi came out of his room.

“Hey 'Keeka, I was wondering if you could do something for me?” he asked.

Spinning on her heel, she faced him with the glare still on her face. “Leave me alone,” she hissed, continuing to the stairs.

Tobi was rooted to the spot, jaw on the floor. It took him a minute, but when he recovered he didn't follow her. Instead, he turned and went to the bedroom she now shared with her sister. Pounding his fist on the door, he called for the younger girl.

“Go away, Tobi!” she called back.

Tobi pinched the bridge of his nose, squeezing his eyes shut. “Open the door, Shelsea.” Crossing his arms, Tobi exhaled slowly, blowing his hair off of his face.

Eventually, the door opened and a red-faced Shelsea stood in the entrance.

“What did you do?” Tobi asked her.

The girl let out a huff, shifting her weight from one foot to the other. “I didn't do anything,” she replied with a sneer.

“Like hell you didn't. You and I both know Nrekeeka does not get angry easily. The last time she was this mad, it was your fault. You tattled on her and got her grounded. The first night of her punishment, she snuck out and we met up in the park. She went on a full-blown tirade. Sure, she's been mad, but never to this degree.” Shaking his head, Tobi leaned against the door frame.

“Is she really that mad?”

“She told me to leave her alone. So yeah, I'm guessing she's pretty pissed. Now, tell me what you did.” He tried not to glare as he met her eye. He wasn't angry with her but finding out what she said might help him calm Nrekeeka down.

Shelsea took a moment to decide if she ought to tell Tobi anything. It wasn't easy when he kept staring at her. She made a face, her shoulders sagging when she gave in to the taunt. “I told her she doesn't do anything for me and always takes the easy way out,” she mumbled, studying the floor between Tobi's feet.

Closing his eyes, Tobi's took a few deep breaths before opening them again. “Shelsea,” he began, putting his hand on her arm, “I love you to pieces, but you did one of the stupidest things you possibly could have.”

Her bottom lip began to quiver, and for once Shelsea resembled the young girl she was supposed to be and not the woman she tried to be. “I know! I didn't mean to make her so mad,” she said, tackling Tobi with a tight hug. She buried her face against his chest and apologized again.

“You girls are gonna kill me,” Tobi muttered into her curly brown hair.

“Tobi?”

“Yeah?”

“Nrekeeka said something about saving Deldinites. What did she mean?”

“Well...”

 

***

 

Robyn wiped his gloved hands on his stained apron after he hit the start button on the flash incinerator. In a few seconds, all evidence of his trial runs would be disposed of, and his activity would be untraceable.

Eyeing the canisters in the corner of the room, Robyn peeled off his gloves with an elastic snap. In under twenty-four hours, he would be sending those canisters to Deldin. A fleeting thought whispered through his mind, telling him not to do it, but he ignored the voice. He didn't know where it was coming from, and it would certainly not be heeded.

As he took off his apron, he paused before hanging it on the hook. It was covered in blood stains and other smears he didn't want to identify. Instead of hanging it up, he walked back across the room and tossed the garment into the incinerator, plus his tee-shirt, and pants for good measure. Watching the machine do its job, he pulled his hair from the bun keeping it out of his face and cringed at the chemical smell enveloping him. He could use a shower or six. After all, he wanted to be presentable when he rid humanity of the Deldinite parasites.

Robyn made sure to put the room back on lockdown when he left and pushed the events which had transpired within out of his mind. It had been a very messy few days, but the next mess would not be his to clean up.


© Copyright 2019 Kristin Kuffner. All rights reserved.

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