Genre: Drama, Romance
Warning for suggestiveness.
Description: Adrian and Kali in the aftermath of the confrontation with the Admiral.
Adrian entered the cabin slowly, exhaustion making each step heavy. He’d barely made it here even with the help of the First Officer.
Kali immediately came over to help. She was a quiet, calming presence who did not ask any questions.
“I need rest,” he told her impassively, as if he were reading an item on a shopping list. He intended to collapse onto the couch as is, without removing his clothes.
“Adrian, you’re soaked, you need to get out of these.”
His uniform was clammy against his skin, clinging uncomfortably. He leaned against her as she guided him to sit on the couch. His fingers were thick and clumsy as he tried to undo the fastenings but it was currently beyond his tired mind and body.
Kali placed her hand over his struggling ones. “Adrian, do you trust me?”
“In what context?”
“You can’t do this on your own. I want to help.”
“You wish to remove my clothes?”
“I promise it will be strictly clinical. I was a medic on the Sedener. I can be professional.”
Adrian didn’t know if he would flinch away from her touch, even if it were only platonic. Unfortunately, she was right, with his current level of energy, he couldn’t do it alone.
“Let me help you, Adrian.”
Reluctantly, he said, “Very well.”
Adrian woke up with a start, his heart pounding, his hands frantically pushing outwards at phantom tormenters. "No!"
"It's alright, Adrian. You were dreaming," Kali's calm, caring voice, as much in his head as in his ears, soothed his frazzled nerves. Peace and comfort washed over him like gentle waves, lapping over the walls of his mind to where fear and pain threatened to overwhelm him. She sat at the edge of the bunk, her hand resting on his chest, over his heart, the warmth of her palm infusing him, stilling the panic that gripped him. He did not flinch at her touch and no shudder of repulsion passed through him. She was his lifeline, the one who gave him strength during his weakest hours. He needed her. It was an admission and a realization, and a reluctant acceptance.
"Why are you helping me?" He never noticed before, but there were flecks of gold in her eyes reflected by the dimmed cabin lights. Perhaps it was an alien effect.
Kali searched his liquid hazel eyes with its hidden depths, wondering at the source of this question. Did he want to know the truth or was he wary of anyone who showed him kindness? “Can’t you guess?”
The problem was he didn’t have to guess, it was clearly written in her soft, earnest eyes and, more importantly, in her actions.
He remembered the Admiral’s last words before he left the room.
You should thank Ensign Tranton. She worked very hard on your behalf.
“I’m afraid I can.” He reached up and lightly brushed her cheek. After what she had done for him, what she shared of herself so freely without asking for anything in return, she deserved some truth, not hidden secrets. “Kali. I cannot give you what you need. The path I’m travelling...only leads to one place. I don’t want you to end up there. I’m not worth it.”
Kali reached for his other hand, lacing her fingers through his unresisting ones. “Can’t you change your path?”
He squeezed her hand. “I can’t.”
“Then you can’t get rid of me that easily either. I will follow you wherever your path leads.” The golden flecks in her eyes seemed to catch fire, so fierce was her determination.
“You’re as stubborn as I am.”
Adrian looked away from her towards the ceiling. He could not stop her; he could see that clearly. She had made a commitment to him and in that moment, he realized something about himself. “I don’t want you to follow me.”
Kali was about to react, the knife had just pricked the surface of her heart when he turned towards her, the mysteries in his eyes unclouding for just a moment. “But I would not object if you would walk with me.”
He had made his commitment that day on the Sedener, when he surrendered his pride and gave in to work on the Neutron Wave Project in order to save her life. It took him this long to admit it to himself.
Her words were whispered, as if she was afraid to break the moment, and find it was all a dream. “You...would not object?”
The mask had returned but it was not one pulled tight by wariness and a need to protect himself. It was relaxed and there was a light, barely perceptible twinkle in his eyes. “There is only one bed in this room.”
All sounds seemed to disappear except for the beating of their hearts.
“Is that one of the things you don’t object to?” asked Kali, her voice still whispered as the warmth of their linked hands spread like wildfire along her arm.
He sat up and faced her, the covers falling away to reveal his pale upper body. The scars didn’t seem as harsh in the dimmed lights but they still filled Kali with pain to see them. Her head bent and she pressed her lips along a jagged mark that ran from his left shoulder across his chest. Adrian drew in a hissed breath and shuddered at the first touch, revulsion and desire in equal parts.
Kali hesitated and lifted her head to meet his eyes. “We can stop if you wish.”
His only response was to pull her closer until their bodies touched, her thin nightgown rubbing roughly against bare skin, sending shivers of pleasure down both their spines.
Then she felt him flinch in a delayed reaction, as his body recalled the touch of other hands and false pleasures endured at the hands of those who hated him. He held onto her, clinging to her in remembered desperation as uncontrollable shudders ran the length of his body. And, as in those terrible hours, Kali sent him comfort and strength until the shaking lessened and exhausted, he rested his head on her shoulder. His voice was raw. “I never thanked you for what you did for me.”
“You never have to thank me, Adrian.”
He lifted his head and looked into her eyes. “It would be remiss of me to take you for granted this early in our relationship.”
“Adrian, do you have a manual somewhere about relationships?”
“How did you guess?”
She sighed. “Can you stop reading it?”
“If you wish.” He leaned forward and brushed his mouth gently over hers, as if her lips were the petals of a flower he was afraid to crush. Their breaths mingled and they inhaled the scent of each other.
“Adrian.” She was about to ask him a question but the words were lost as he kissed her, his lips like moist velvet, parting hers. This time it was she who shivered as she leaned into him, desire coursing through her body, her hands cupping the back of his head, burying her fingers in the rough silk of his hair. His tongue flicked lightly against hers, exploring, teasing, and insistent, ever deeper, swallowing her moans as she arched against him. She gasped as bare flesh touched bare flesh and a current of hot energy passed between them, uniting them in common desire.
When had he slipped her robe off? She didn’t know and didn’t care as his lips trailed down to the hollow of her throat. Kali reached out with her mind and found what she suspected. His walls had lowered and he had no barriers against her.
Adrian, do you trust me?
He paused just as he was about to kiss the soft mound of her breast. His eyes focused on hers as he contemplated this serious question. His voice was husky in reply. “I’m afraid I do.”
Her heart leapt at his response, tonight was more than she had dreamed possible. Among my people, intimacy is with the mind as well as the body.
For a man who found trusting anyone difficult, to open himself up in the way she was asking was almost impossible, but he was committed to her now and for Adrian, a commitment was absolute. To do anything else was inconsistent.
If she wanted this of him, he would try for her, even though every fibre of his being rebelled against it. Once he decided to do it, he had to admit, it was an interesting idea. Being a man of the mind, this would be a fascinating experience. “It might be worth exploring.”
As he continued the assault on her senses, warming her, exciting her, bringing her to the edge and back, she did the same in his mind, gently and patiently at every step until he was comfortable, matching his every stroke and caress until he finally entered her in a single thrust. By then they were lost in each other, each aware of the other’s needs and filling them to the very brim until they both cried out together, clinging to each other, bodies moving in unison, no longer aware of anything or anyone except each other.
Afterwards a warm glow infused their bodies as Kali lay in his arms, his fingers lazily tracing teasing lines along her arm. “I want to tell you why I refuse to work on the Neutron Wave Project.”
She twisted around to look at him. “You don’t need to.”
“If we are to walk this path together, I want you to know why.”
As he explained, Kali finally understood what motivated him and her love for him deepened.
Adrian was right, this Project could not be allowed to finish.