New Year’s Getaway
[Monday, January 2, 2012]
Having him on her back was a different experience, finally being caught like that. But she didn’t feel strange or claustrophobic, just loved, and very very good as his hand clentched hers in response to soaring pleasures. It was getting harder to keep from touching his soul. But if she did…then the moment was over, and they both sighed with relief as breath came back and he relaxed over her. Soon, she felt his lashes move against her shoulder blade as he opened his eyes.
“Am I too heavy?”
“Getting there,” she breathed, and he rolled off to the side, holding her tightly still.
“You don’t feel claustrophobic?”
She shook her head, scooting back into him some more, and he gave her an extra squeeze. She didn’t always like a tight grip, but other times she really liked knowing he was there, he guessed. He knew she was sometimes claustrophopic, and had been a bit surprised when she’d let him press her down like that. But hey, so long as she was happy.
“I think,” she said, “I’m very lucky.”
“Aww, sweetheart. That makes me so happy,” he gushed warmly, with another extra squeeze. He could feel a furious blush spreading over his face.
“Mm, me too.”
He was already back in bed when she came in, looking at her phone hesitantly a minute before putting it down.
“Did you need to talk to somebody?” he asked.
“Oh, no. I usually use a sleep sound program to go to sleep.”
“Really? What kind of sounds?”
“Usually the beach or rain. It’s very calming.”
He looked at her a moment. “You can put it on if you want, it sounds nice.”
“No, I’ll be fine.”
“Yeah.” She paused, then added, “I usually only use it when I’m alone.”
“Since Edar and Kai both moved. Before Edar came, I used the one on the clock.”
“Was that the first time you ever slept alone?” he asked, and she nodded, settling back against him. “And is that why you always end up holding me by morning?”
“I’m well trained,” she admitted with a wry smile. “Sali and Tally both like being held. You’re going to have to get used to it.”
“Hey, I’m not about to complain,” he said in a similar tone. “I’m usually oblivious once I get to sleep, anyway. Though you’ve definitely got a better chance of waking me.”
“Protective instincts, huh?”
“Mmmaybe~ Really, I’m just more attuned to people I care about. Gets in my head.”
“So you don’t attack other people waking you up?”
“Uh…how’d you guess?”
“Wow, really? Some Lupa do.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever done it. I usually sleep an hour or so and wake up a bit most of the night. Miara says it’s because we’re not built to sleep through. We just have to here.”
“Yeah, I can see why. You miss him more at night, don’t you?”
“My mind has time to wander...not so much with you, though.”
“Good, I’m glad,” he said strongly, snuggling a bit before pulling her around to face him again. “I understand losing a bond can haunt you forever. Sometimes it amazes me that you want to have one with me.”
“Please don’t say that.”
“I'm sorry. I don't mean it like that. Just concerned.”
“It will happen eventually anyway. I can’t hold it off indefinitely.”
“Hold it off? What do you mean? You know I’m okay with it, ata.”
“It’s different having a world full of stuff to suddenly wander around in. The more time you have to adjust, the easier it will be. I know it’s not easy to be patient...”
“And what do you mean by holding it off?” he asked, more concerned with that now. Was she hiding something?
“Just...I’m being careful, okay? I have experience with bonds, so I can recognize when—when I reach for you.”
“And you..hold it back?” he asked, starting to see more clearly. She nodded. “Does holding it back hurt?”
“No. But I think it’s best for now, for you.”
“Then I’ll trust you,” he said. If she had her own reasons to be reluctant, he couldn’t tell. Bonds seemed to go with being mated, perhaps it was more likely she’d never questioned it, even if she was trying to control it as a way to protect him in some way. Sometimes he wished she wouldn’t keep her own counsel so much, in things she considered private. But she was beginning to open up to him more, and he could be patient, too. He didn’t say anything else, and soon they were both asleep.
In the morning, Eiry was already up and about when Guyver groggily turned over, murmuring “five more minutes.” Then he promptly went back to sleep until the smell of frying salami and eggs woke up his stomach. “Mmm,” he hummed, dragging himself out of bed and shuffling into the kitchen to snuggle up behind her with a happy sigh.
“Morning,” she said, to which he mumbled something, poured himself juice, and went off to the bathroom. By the time he’d taken care of business, woken up, and pulled on a T-shirt, she had breakfast out on the porch, a small table between the lounge chairs with cups and a pitcher of orange juice.
“Wow, you’re all organized,” he said, managing a peck on the cheek before sitting.
“I’m generally busy, I guess I’m kind of used to moving quickly.”
“Hm…sometimes,” he said. “Thanks for cooking.” And he dug into the hearty los tres golpes—mangu with sautéed onions, fried salami, fried egg. It was only missing the cheese, which he hadn’t got when he’d shopped.
“What do you want to do today?” she asked him, as usual eating much more slowly.
“I have no plans! Whatever you like’s fine with me.”
“Well..what is there to do here? I imagine they have new years celebrations?”
“Yeah, but things’ll be open. There’s a market in town, restaurants, some shops, we could explore the beach. Or, we could just stay here,” he said with a grin.
“Hmm…you don’t think we’ve done enough of that already?”
“Never!” he said, laughing and leaning over to kiss her before calming down and paying attention to food a while yet.
“Why don’t we go check out some things in town, and then we can take a picnic or something down on the beach.”
“Sure, that sounds great.”
Soon the dishes were cleared, and they went out into town.
Late afternoon lunch was an easy affair, local food and drink bought in town and packed into a satchel they took turns carrying back to the beach and then down a ways were there weren’t any buildings or people in view. It turned out to be a very pleasant afternoon, with sunny skies and a nice ocean breeze. Having eaten their fill, they laid out on the grass like at Sylph’s Peak, and enjoyed each other’s company, talking about fluffy, meaningless things for a while.
“Tally never did go to the House, you know. He hung out with different people and went more into the city. It didn’t bother him as much.”
“Because he was Human?”
“Yeah. I went out first, to quieter places, while he went deeper in. I think he only ever met Rachel two or three times. One was after an incident with a Hunter—Rachel took care of that. And then when...”
“The big one?”
“How did that come about?”
“I think HK monitors some secret Hunters’ website, and found a group making a plot to get together and go after a pack. There were too many for her to take care of in time—they’re always ready to pick up and go for prey. I’m not really sure how it all worked, but Rachel brought a bunch of people from her time—Miara’s time. I wasn’t supposed to be involved, but I found out about it, and HK wanted to use me for bait.”
She paused here, knowing he wouldn’t like that, but he didn’t say anything. “That was the first time. It was really scary to decide, but everyone else was doing their duty, and it’s everyone’s responsibility. How could I let them go and not help when I could? Then Tally insisted on going, too. We packed up all our weapons and spent a day or two training while the big people made plans. That was when we met Miara. She stood up for Tally.” They hadn’t even known each other at the time.
“She did? Against who?”
“HK. She’s never been afraid of her. Or anything, probably.”
“Sounds like her.”
“I’m glad I had one of them with me, it helped a lot. Miara did, too. She made us sing while we were waiting. There was Rachel and Jax, a man named Trax, HK, Miara, a woman named Channie, and two other men, Rom?n and S?an, besides Tally and me. They all had experience.”
“And you didn’t. What did they have you do, being bait?”
“Rachel was with me, hidden, that time. We intercepted their convoy en route, and then...other than what I was supposed to say..I really..didn’t have to act much.”
“How many were there?” he asked, taking her hand to hold it, caressing it gently so as not to interfere.
“Twenty or thirty.”
He let out a low whistle. “You’re brave, sweetheart. How’d you know they wouldn’t kill you?”
“We didn’t. But I told them my family was in trouble out in the woods. They needed me to find them, and we made it so they could follow easily. One of them got out, he was marked…I wanted to get so far away…”
“Is he the one who...?”
“No. He pulled a grenade on Miara. Rachel had to choose between her and Channie. She took a grenade point blank without a scratch. Miara broke her ribs, though. Rachel..she...”
“You don’t have to,” he said, turning to put an arm over her rather than just hold her hand. But she went on, determined.
“She pulled out his heart and—and..burned him. On the spot. Just like that.” She shuddered, and he tucked her head under his chin, trying to soothe her.
“That must have been horrible, surely...”
“I don’t know. There was a lot of fighting and dying and more fire...Anyway, when Rachel did that..everyone stopped for a minute, and I wasn’t paying attention.”
“Someone got you?”
“Yeah, and we were together by then, and he just stepped in...”
“And that was it?”
She shook her head. “I don’t know. Something broke, and...I don’t always remember. I did something...”
“You killed him. The guy who did it. Personally.” She nodded. “You did what you had to do, to defend him, and your people. That’s not bad.”
“It was the first time. The others, I don’t know. Any of us could have finished them off. But that one...it was me.”
“Eiry, look at me,” he said, making her look at him. “You did the right thing. And I think that’s enough for now.”
“It’s enough. You can tell me later. Just let me take care of you right now, okay?”
“Don’t worry. It’s been in here all this time, I’ll be fine.”
“I don’t care; it still makes me wanna hold you. I won’t let you be alone anymore, I promise.”
That made her look at him, but she didn’t say anything. What was she thinking? But he could be patient—sometimes—and soon he’d have a much better connection with her.
“Let’s pack this all up so we can get back,” he said, helping her sit up and starting to repack the bag.
They quickly repacked the satchel, folding the large blanket, which he let her carry, and after looking around a bit, drew Dimenson Diver for a quick transport back to the bungalow.
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