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Thursday, May 23, 2013
Crashed and Confused - Chapter 6
“Oh my!” Two voices chorused appreciatively.
“We were beginning to wonder if you would ever come looking for food,” Hannah informed Alyda.
“We thought we would cook you breakfast in case you were too preoccupied to do so yourself,” Cheela stated with a knowing smirk.
“Looks like we were right!” Hannah added with a grin.
Alyda was so happy that she could almost cry. “You are the best friends ever! I am starving!” She hugged her friends, and then piled a plate with more food than she could possibly eat.
Cheela and Hannah grinned almost leeringly at Alyda's new husband, carefully admiring every inch of his body. Randy was flustered, but the need to fill his stomach was too powerful; it beat his inhibition into submission and prompted him to ignore them as he filled his own plate.
Alyda gave them a short but fully graphic account of her wedding night.
“We believe you!” Cheela laughed.
“We've been waiting and listening for hours!” Hannah added with a chuckle.
Alyda grinned at them without shame, and then grew serious. “Listen... when we get back from my farm in the country in six months, I would be happy to lend him to you if you decide that you want daughters of your own.”
“That's a great idea!” Hannah agreed excitedly. “And if you happen to be pregnant at the time, our daughters will be close in age!”
“That's exactly what I was thinking!” Alyda stated, eagerly anticipating all their girls growing up together.
Had Randy been able to understand their conversation, he would have considered it highly strange for a wife to offer up her husband as a stud. However, he had no way of knowing that due to the low population of men, the women of this world had grown accustomed to sharing. Most of the time, husbands even served a couple of days each month at a Manhouse.
Hannah sighed in mild depression. “We should be going.”
“We also have to pack for our trip to our farms,” Cheela explained needlessly.
Every citizen of the planet was required to spend at least six months each year working on their farm. Farms were granted by the government, and could be passed down to the eldest daughter, but most often, each woman was granted her own land nearby her family when she reached her 21st birthday. When a woman died, her farm was reclaimed by the government to give to another woman. However, while a woman owned the farm, it was utterly hers and she was like a mini queen in regards to how she cared for the land. A queen without servants...
“I'm going to miss you!” Alyda replied, and then gave each of her friends a hug and a brief kiss on the lips.
“We're going to miss you too,” they chorused. Despite the implication, they were not a couple who shared a farm; they simply had grown up in the same area and their farms were neighbors. They would see each other fairly regularly, whereas Alyda was too far away to see them at all.
With mischievous chuckles, first Cheela then Hannah gave Randy a hug and a lingering kiss on the lips.
“Welcome to our family,” Hannah murmured with a kind smile.
“Take good care of Alyda,” Cheela bade, and then the two women left.
Randy hadn't expected to be kissed! He looked to Alyda to gauge her reaction over this unexpected development. She was staring at him blissfully, which made him blush inexplicably.
Her expression changed gradually, darkening slightly, her mouth widening with a huge grin. Randy was almost certain that she was imagining what they could do after breakfast. He chuckled at the irony – wasn't it usually the man who couldn't stop thinking about sex? – and then smiled at her in return.
That night, Randy finally found a moment alone. He managed to slip out of bed without waking Alyda, staring at her in silence for a moment as he wondered once again how his life had gotten turned upside-down so quickly. The thought of abandoning her now was almost painful, but he was worried about his ship.
What if someone's responded to my distress signal, discovered my ship abandoned, and taken off with it?
He quickly dressed, and then snuck out of the house. He barely traveled three feet out the door when he felt a pain in his chest. Another step spread the pain throughout his body, and another intensified it unbearably.
Randy retraced his steps until the pain faded, sighing in relief. “Hmm... must be a proximity device,” he murmured.
The only possibility was his wedding ring because it was the only thing he had gotten after she “bought” him. His theory seemed even more plausible when he thought about how she wore a partner to his ring. Nodding in agreement with himself, he took his ring off and placed it on the kitchen table.
“Not much of a proximity device if it can be removed so easily,” Randy chuckled softly. He had almost forgotten that his “marriage” was just a pleasant façade for slavery. He left the house once more, only to discover that the pain still consumed him.
In the house, Alyda woke to a mild pain in her body. She immediately knew that her husband wasn't in bed with her. Sitting up, she carefully drew her knees to her chest and silently fought tears.
It was hard to decide what to do. By law, she should punish him, but she couldn't bear the thought of hurting him. Not even by depriving him of food for a day.
What did I do to make him want to leave me? Alyda wondered. She heard him walking back to the bedroom and panicked. As quietly as possible, she lay back down and pretended to still be asleep.
Randy watched his wife/owner in silence for a few seconds, wondering what to do. He fiddled with the ring he had returned to his finger as he tried to think of a way to stop the proximity device. Not able to deactivate something he couldn't find, he eventually sighed in defeat.
He carefully crawled back into bed, curiously studying her sleeping face. His first impression of her had been: “She's rather plain,” but now – after he had seen her face lit up in ecstasy so often since last night – his opinion of her had changed.
“You are beautiful after all,” he whispered as he brushed all the stray locks of hair out of her face. He kissed her once on the lips; the first time he had kissed her.
He noticed moisture on his fingertips, and realized that he must have gotten them wet when he moved her hair. He gently traced her cheek with a finger; sure enough, she had cried recently.
He felt like an idiot! Whatever proximity device that linked them must have hurt her too. He gathered her into his arms and stroked her hair.
“I'm sorry, he whispered. “I don't know if you are awake, and I know you can't understand me, but I did not mean to hurt you.”
Alyda realized by his tone that he was apologizing, and decided that she would continue to feign sleep. If she acted like it never happened, maybe he wouldn't try it again. Besides, he had kissed her; she had to believe that meant something.
Go To Chapter 7
Go To Chapter 7