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Friday, June 28, 2013

The Hero's Son - Chapter IX

Since it's been several months  after I posted the last chapter to this story, here's a link to the last Chapter if you want to reread it and remember what's going on :-).

Part IX

I don't want to move,” R.J. blurted out after they had gotten plenty of sleep, and then woke up with about a half an hour until dinner time.
Rip frowned in confusion, wondering how their kissing and fooling around had made him think about moving. “What?”
R.J. sat up abruptly. “Let me finish. I never had a real family or stability of any kind when I was a child. I remember moving a lot until my dad finally bought a house here in Marion City. I think we probably would have moved on eventually if he hadn't been arrested and thrown in Hero Prison. This place has been my only real home, and you all have been my only real family...”
Rip could tell that he wasn't finished talked despite the long pause and waited patiently for R.J. to continue.
I don't want to move and feel like I'm all on my own again, but...” R.J. looked into Rips eyes and smiled. “But I don't want to be without you. If you want to move, I'll go wherever you want.”
Rip felt a heavy weight press down on him. Basically, R.J. was making this his choice, and if he chose to move them, R.J. might get angry and resentful BUT if he decided to stay here... Rip looked away so that he could think with a modicum of privacy.
When Henry Plantagenet first founded the Marion City Heroes, he'd been granted the funding – from a couple of wealthy citizens – to build a large complex. It was the prison and their Headquarters all in one. As for housing, it had rooms set aside for only their family. That meant that the rest of the Heroes lived in their own houses. If Rip simply accepted that his life was here and always would be, he would in essence still be living with his parents for the rest of his life.
Even though he had only been 18 for about a month, and R.J. wouldn't technically be 18 for two more days, Rip was getting antsy to prove to the world that he was an adult now. A young adult, maybe. A college aged kid might be a better description, but still old enough to be out on his own, away from the safety of his parents.
Even as he thought this, Rip was afraid. Doubts started eating away at him. What if I end up pushing R.J. away with my eagerness to be on our own? What if I find out that I just don't have what it takes to make a relationship work when I don't have my mom there to mediate our fights and help me solve any problems that come up? What if we grow apart?
R.J. chuckled when Rip took too long to reply. “How about this: how about we think this through thoroughly? Do some research and figure out where we might consider going. Would we want a small town? A big city? Once we have found a good fit, then we can talk about whether or not it's the right thing to do.”
Rip threw his arms around R.J. because this was exactly what they needed to do! Think it over and decide carefully, not impulsively like Rip tended to do. He kissed R.J. and then laughed.
Have I ever told you that I love you?”
R.J. squeezed him tight. “Yes, but you could stand to say it a bit more often.”
Rip looked at R.J. expectantly and waited as patiently as he could. R.J. laughed at the way Rip fidgeted. Patience was not his strong suit!
I love you too,” R.J. admitted. In general, he found it a bit hard to say that phrase. The time had to be right and he had to be in a mushy mood. More importantly than his pride and embarrassment was reassuring Rip before the two of them started fighting again. “You should know that by now, even if I don't say it.”
Maybe, but it's always nice to hear,” Rip stated, kissing R.J. again. They may well have messed around some more, but there was a loud banging knock on the door just then. They were both still wearing their concert shirts, but had to rearrange the blanket to cover up their lower halves.
Come in,” R.J. called out when it was safe.
Renee poked her head in the room. “Just wanted to let you know that dinner is almost ready and remind you both that you've been scheduled for patrol from midnight to 8AM.”
Thanks mom,” Rip replied.
She then chuckled in a way that let them know she found this funny but that they probably wouldn't. “And then you need to get your butt's right back to bed for your shift at 4PM.”
Oh come on! Is there no one else available?” Rip demanded, seriously wondering why he had ever pushed to be treated like an adult so quickly. Sometimes it would be nice to go back to when his only responsibilities were phone duty for a couple hours each day, and mail duty once or twice a week.
Renee gave him a significant look, which reminded him that he had asked her to arrange things so that they both had the entire day off for R.J.'s birthday. He blushed and then nodded.
Yeah, alright, I understand,” Rip said before R.J. could wonder if something strange was going on. Luckily, R.J. simply shrugged it off as Renee's way of scolding Rip for begging for his own patrol for so long and then trying to get out of it now that he actually had one.
After Renee shut the door, they quickly got dressed and then – finding that Renee had underestimated how long it would take to finish making dinner – went to the main desk where Jack was on phone duty to waste some time researching the different wanted ads for Heroes online. Jenna wasn't trying to be sneaky, but ended up reading over their shoulders for a bit before startling them.
So you are planning to move after all?” She asked, causing them both to jump a little.
Jenna!” They both squeaked, then Rip chuckled and shrugged.
Right now, we're just looking into it,” Rip stated.
What'll I do if both my partners leave?” Jenna asked, putting an arm around each of them, resting her elbows on their shoulders.
You could always come with us,” R.J. suggested absently, and then mentally kicked himself for doing so. What the hell did I say that for?!
Practically the only thing he liked about this idea was that Rip and Jenna would no longer be so cozy. Then he mentally beat himself up for being so jealous that he would be happy that Rip wouldn't get to hang out with his best friend any more. I'm a damn bastard...
Hmm...” Jenna murmured. “That's not a bad idea...”
Rip shrugged again. “Technically, it's a really practical idea. I'm pretty sure that we aren't going to be provided with housing unless we opt for a small town that has no Heroes yet. Then we could live in their HQ. However, if we choose a bigger city, we'll more than likely have to share an apartment. I know that we've all probably got quite a bit saved up from our helpers' salary, but eventually we'll have to support ourselves on whatever we earn. Splitting the rent between three of us – even considering we'd need a 2 bedroom apartment – would still be much cheaper than splitting it just in half.”
R.J. looked at Rip in astonishment, impressed that Rip had such a well thought out reply ready to go. Usually it was Rip charging off without thinking and R.J. who took the time to think things through. Then he tilted his head to the side as he realized that Rip actually did have a cautious side to him that seemed hard to express when his dominant personality demanded so much attention.
Jenna made a soft sound of thoughtful agreement. “You're right. Until recently, we've only gotten paid minimum wage for the hours we've worked on phone duty or riding along with an adult Hero on patrol. Now that we have our own patrol and are getting paid almost twice what we were, we'll have enough to move with, but I highly doubt that any other squad can pay what our squad does. We'll need to find a cheap place to live and share expenses as much as possible.”
R.J. wondered if he should mention that he had an inheritance from his father that could pay for everything. He didn't like to think about it, but in addition to actual money, he also had a house he could sell. His dad had set it all up in his name so that no one could ever take it away from him if the worst should happen. Considering that the money was all stolen – from banks and from actual people – R.J. didn't like to think about it beyond the occasional guilt driven sentiment that he should somehow try to give it back.
Thankfully, ever since he came to live with Henry and Renee, he hadn't needed to touch the money, and had in fact earned a helper's wage. This was enough to feed his manga addiction so he never felt like he needed more money. Even now, the thought of using his inheritance to support them felt... dirty...
Dinner interrupted his brooding, and they said goodbye to Jenna as they headed toward the kitchen. Jenna blew a kiss at them as she headed toward the sparring room to make up for missing out on morning practice.
Rip halted them just outside the kitchen. “I'm surprised you suggested that Jenna come with us. After the last couple of days, I assumed that you'd be chomping at the bit to get away from her.”
R.J. sighed with something akin to defeat. “Yes, but... This might be somewhat ironic, but Jenna is the closest thing I have to a best friend too. Sure I'm friends with a couple other Heroes, but I hang out with Jenna the most because you hang out with Jenna a lot. If we moved away from her, I think I'd actually miss her. A little. A tiny little bit. Like a microscopic spec of dust – you know what? I've changed my mind! I don't think I would miss her... much...”
Rip laughed richly. “I'll try to remember not to tell her that you love her so much that you just can't stand to be without her!”
I do not!” R.J. protested hotly.
Sure sure,” Rip teased him, walking fully in the kitchen to take a seat. Renee was chuckling and pretending not to have heard any of that and Henry was laughing outright.
So... moving with Jenna, huh?” Henry asked. He wasn't entirely surprised because the three of them did almost everything together. Sort of. They had always shared their Hero duties as they got older and had more of them. It was why they had been put on a rotating team for patrol.
If Marion City's squad wasn't overflowing with so many excellent Heroes, the loss of all three of them would be a devastating hit. As it was, there were 6 more Hero kids about to turn 18 over the next year that would naturally want a patrol of their own, which would somewhat force the current Heroes to take reduced shifts – and pay since they only got paid for what they worked – or more of the veteran Heroes would have to think about retiring or moving on. Such as Jack was doing...
Henry sighed morosely as he realized that there was quite a few big changes headed their way.
Maybe,” Rip answered with a shrug. “She seemed to like the idea, but she's had even less time to think about it than we have.”
It seemed like maybe 15 minutes passed as the family ate dinner and chatted about this and that, but then Renee pointed to the clock. Rip and R.J. both looked up to find that they had about a half an hour until their shift started and they definitely needed to shower and get ready. They nodded and took turns kissing Renee's cheek before heading to the men's locker room.
Hey,” Josh greeted them a bit gruffly. He was still something akin to a frienemy to Rip, though he had no problem with R.J.
Hey,” Rip returned the greeting mildly, and then basically ignored Josh as he and R.J. stripped so they could take a shower. Josh had ended his shift early because there were more Heroes on Patrol than necessary and he had agreed to take on phone duty for someone else. He was more than happy to ignore them as he changed out of his uniform.
I think Jenna will come with us,” R.J. remarked rather suddenly. “I don't think that she would be happy without her best friend by her side.”
Rip laughed. “I don't know about that! Jenna is very close to her family. I don't think she could just up and move so far away from them.”
R.J shrugged. “We haven't picked a city yet, so maybe we'll find one close by.”
Josh cleared his throat. “So wait... Does this mean that you plan to leave Marion City after all?”
We're thinking about it,” Rip admitted with a strange smile, as if he couldn't figure out whether to be happy or afraid of the prospect, especially now that it was starting to feel more real to him. “My dad gave us his blessings.”
Seriously?! I would have thought for sure that you'd have to run away when he wasn't looking...” Josh opined.
I thought so too!” Rip exclaimed with a laugh.
And you're bringing Jenna with you? That'll leave us three Heroes down...” Josh murmured, his tone indicated that he was thinking over the logistics of this. He tended to work as many hours as he could, and so they were sure he was hoping that there'd be more work after they were gone.
He shut his locker just as they were ready to turn on the showers. Rip waved goodbye to him just before tilting his head under the water to get it wet. Josh bit his lip as he stared at the necklace Rip wore. He waited a moment for R.J. to turn around and then took a close look at his necklace. Considering that the two boys had been sharing a room for years, and hadn't made a fuss over their relationship, Josh had never been sure what was going on between them. He – like most people – rather assumed that Rip was in a relationship with Jenna.
Waving goodbye, Josh ran out the door while he still had a few minutes before the time he'd agreed to take over phone duty. He ran all the way to the sparring room and – just as he hoped – found Jenna working out by herself.
Don't move!” He blurted out. He took advantage of her momentary surprise to throw his arms around her and kiss her. She stood completely still as if literally unable to so much as wiggle a finger.
Away, I mean,” Josh said a moment later. “Don't move away with Rip and R.J.” He kissed her again.
It was a full minute before Jenna's brain started functioning again. She suddenly pushed him away and took a step back. Her breathing was a bit hard, but she assumed that it was because she wasn't used to guys just shoving their tongues in her mouth without warning.
What are you doing?!” She demanded. “I have a boyfriend!”
Are you referring to Rip, because I think that's a lie,” Josh accused.
No!” Jenna blurted out before realizing that she hadn't meant to tell him anything so honestly. She sighed because now it was too late to unsay the word. “His name is James, and don't you dare say it because I've heard all the crude jokes before!”
Josh was confused by everything, but started with the first thing he could blurt out. “Jokes?”
Jenna James – oh nevermind!” Jenna muttered.
Are you serious? Because everyone says you're with Rip and you never deny it,” Josh stated.
That's because it's nobody's business who we're going out with,” Jenna stated vehemently.
O...kay...” Josh said, unable to disagree with her. “So who's this James guy then?”
Jenna shrugged. “Just some guy that makes me laugh. We met while I was out jogging one day and he was skateboarding.”
So wait, you're just going to leave him?” Josh wondered, feeling inexplicably upset on the guy's behalf.
It's not really love for either of us. We hang out when I'm not on duty or hanging out with Rip, and that's usually only once or twice a week. I'm supposed to meet up with him in a half an hour.” Jenna looked at the clock to make sure she was right, and then nodded.
Josh sighed, wishing for the first time ever that he hadn't volunteered for more phone duty. He fumbled for something nonchalant to say but felt tongue-tied. Renee interrupted them a second later.
Oh good!” She said as if cheering. “I know you just got off of patrol, Josh, but we're short tonight because of the flu that's going around. Do you think you and Jenna could go out on patrol? I have a couple of Hero kids who can cover phone duty for you.”
Josh nodded automatically, and then mentally groaned for basically agreeing to work 16 hours straight. I'm so gonna need gallon of coffee tonight!
Jenna sighed in frustration and then nodded. “Yeah, I just need to make a few calls first.”
Do it while you gear up,” Renee ordered with a nod towards the women's locker room. Then she softened. “Thanks, both of you. I really appreciate this.”
No problem,” both muttered rather less than honestly.
In the men's locker room, Rip and R.J. had already left for their midnight patrol. In the women's locker room, Jenna took a moment to call her boyfriend.
Hey James, I can't make it tonight.” They had planned to hang out at midnight since James was a night owl.
Why not?!” He demanded, obviously upset.
I have to work,” Jenna stated.
You always work!” He growled in frustration. “I'm beginning to think that you just use that as an excuse to avoid spending time with me!”
Why? Just because you don't have a job –” Jenna gasped as she realized that she was being a bitch. “I'm sorry!”
I don't think you do either! You refuse to tell me what it is! Not even a gas station makes their employees work this damn much!” James shouted.
During their argument, Jenna pulled on her uniform, letting her phone sort of fall to the side for a moment as she buttoned her shirt. She grabbed firmly again and brought it back to her ear.
I do too, I just don't want to tell you what it is!”
Why not?” James roared in frustration.
Because you're like the only person on the planet who doesn't already know, and I like that! I like having one person who doesn't assume –”
Assume what?” James cut her off. “That you're a hooker or something? Working nights like tonight!”
Jenna's mouth hung open in shock! She ground out: “I can't believe you said that!” She was so upset that she hung up her phone and immediately called her mom so that if he called back, she could ignore him.
Hey mom, I'm taking on the night shift tonight, so I won't be home at all.”
Okay sweetie. Be careful,” her mom bade her.
I always am,” Jenna assured her. Then she turned off her ringer, finished gearing up, and left the locker room.
What took you so long?” Josh asked and then shook his head. “Never mind. We have to stop at a gas station or somewhere to grab some coffee. I'm gonna need it.”
Jenna nodded, knowing that she'd probably need some too at some point.
A half an hour later, they were silently roaming the city when a call came in from HQ. “There's a report of a disturbance.”
Immediately, Rip came on the line. “R.J. and I are following some suspicious men following a woman who just came out of a bar.”
Josh clicked his talk button. “We can be there in less than 5 minutes.”
Understood,” said the boy that had agreed to phone duty for at least part of the night.
Almost exactly 5 minutes later, Josh parked his Hero car in front of an alleyway that someone had reported a disturbance in. This alleyway was close to a large, makeshift ramp that local teens used to practice their skateboarding. The alley itself was often used by vagrants to keep warm by standing out of the wind around a barrel full of burning trash.
Both Josh and Jenna assumed that some vagrants had probably gotten into a fight, and responded by taking out their guns and pointing them in the direction they were headed. In their other hands, they held flashlights, sort of stacking the two together so that they could see where their guns were pointing.
Come on man! It's a couple of Heroes!” A vagrant called out in warning. Several other vagrants scattered like roaches when a light is turned on.
I'm not going anywhere because I'm not doing anything wrong!” A drunk-sounding voice roared right before its owner threw a glass bottle at the wall of the alley.
Suit yourself!” His friend called out before running away.
Looks like the disturbance is caused by a drunk vagrant,” Josh informed everyone over their communication device.
We'll take him into custody and drop him off at detox,” Jenna added. They both turned their communicators off again as they received an affirmative response.
I ain't drunk!” The man shouted as he threw another bottle. Then he sort of stood up straighter, as if hit by a wave of enlightenment. “Jenna?”
James???” Jenna asked incredulously as her boyfriend turned to face her. “What are you doing here?”
I was pissed because you blew me off again and I – ” he abruptly stopped talking before he confessed to crying his eyes out. “I uh, I was pissed, so I decided to take my anger out on some glass bottles and a wall.”
Jenna sighed in frustration and relief that this wasn't a drunk and disorderly person after all. She holstered her gun and looked to Josh.
I say we let him off with a warning.”
Josh shook his head. “No! We cannot play favorites just because he's your boyfriend. He's causing a disturbance and we have to determine if he's drunk and where to bring him.” Josh kept his gun at the ready just in case James decided to fight his way free.
I'm not playing favorites! He's just burning off some steam, he's not a danger to anyone!” Jenna argued.
Josh snorted. “Fine, if he passes the sobriety test, we'll let him go.”
Rip's voice came over the communication network. “The woman made it home safe after the men noticed us following them. Do you need any help with your vagrant?”
Jenna clicked the button to respond: khhhk. “No, we have the situation in hand.”
Josh was always doing things that made people mad at him, and he wanted to make Jenna mad right now as a sort of retaliation for rejecting him. Khhhk.
I don't know Rip, your girl Jenna here is trying to let her boyfriend off without doing her job.”
I am not!” Jenna exclaimed, having been successfully angered.
James is the cause of the disturbance?” Rip asked.
Are you two fighting again?” R.J. wondered, joining the conversation.
Can we please not discuss this?!” Jenna demanded in embarrassment. “If this was a real criminal, he'd have gotten away by now!”
Or blown your brains out,” a new voice stated coolly, cocking a gun and pointing it directly at the back of Jenna's head. “What's a pair of Heroes doing harassing folk in squatterville?”
Keeping the peace!” Jenna scoffed, completely unconcerned by the gun to her head.
Oh man!” Josh muttered. “I feel sorry for you!” He still had his gun aimed in James' general direction, but also at a safe spot in case it went off without warning.
What's going on?” Rip demanded.
Nothing to worry about,” Josh assured him. “Jenna's just going to lay some hurt on a guy.”
You bet your ass I am!” She stated emphatically as she subtly activated her personal shield and then performed a maneuver that disarmed the guy and tossed his gun in Josh's direction. She then threw two punches that he blocked before kicking his feet out from under him. She finished by grinding her heavy boot into his back. “What makes you think you can take on a Hero?!”
Josh chuckled as Jenna handcuffed and rendered the guy unconscious, automatically checking the gun he'd caught for ammo. “It's over already, and if you were placing bets, Jenna won.”
Who'd bet against her?” R.J. wondered sarcastically.
James took advantage of the fact that no one was watching him at the moment to practically leap atop Jenna. “That was so awesome!” He cried out as he hugged her tight. “Why didn't you tell me that you're a Hero, Jenna? Wait... Hero Jenna? You're dating Richard Plantagenet! I can't believe that you'd cheat –”
I'm not cheating!” Jenna shouted, completely forgetting that she was still connected to the network.
Rip laughed so loud that even James could hear it coming from her ear piece. His laughing infected Jenna, and soon she was snickering in an attempt to remain serious.
You're not dating Rip?!?!” An incredulous voice asked, and Josh realized that this was the boy on phone duty. The new guy. What was his name? Oh yeah, Joe.
Keep your nose out of it, twerp!” Josh warned.
I'm not a twerp!” Joe insisted.
Jenna couldn't stop laughing, but it was a soft laugh now. “This is why I didn't want to tell you I'm a Hero! The minute I say that, everyone automatically assumes that I'm with Rip.”
Rip snorted in amusement. “We've been dating for what? 6 years now?”
Jenna giggled. “Yep, ever since my 13th birthday party when neither of us were even thinking about going out.”
This isn't funny,” James protested indignantly.
No, it really is!” Jenna insisted with a grin. “The entire thing has been made up by the media! Every time we go anywhere together, inevitably a camera crew shows up and plasters our faces all over TV! Now that we're 18, they want to know when we're going to get married and start working on some Hero babies!”
James couldn't actually hear Rip, but Rip started talking anyway. “I heard a rumor that since we're just now hitting the 'wild, partying age' we're going to let it tear us apart.”
Should I be the partier or should you?” Jenna wondered. “I bet the public would love it more if I was the one caught partying behind your back. That way, they can quickly speculate on how long it will take you to find a new girlfriend, and bonus! You'll be single for all the girls in the city who'd just love to mob you on a dark night.”
I'd hate to break up your little media scandal, but I just got a call. Sounds like a domestic dispute,” Joe informed them, relaying the address.
We're on our way!” Rip informed him. “Later Jenna!”
I'll call you the moment I get out of bed tomorrow to talk about that thing we discussed,” Jenna promised. She was referring to the other plans they had made for R.J.'s birthday, but Josh assumed that it was a reference to their plans to move. The moment everyone was switched off the network, Josh gestured for Jenna to administer the breathalyzer to her boyfriend, and then his brain returned to jerk mode.
So how would that work? You two play out a little fake break up for the media, and then move away together?”
Jenna looked at her boyfriend guiltily as she held out the breathalyzer. He had just stopped glaring at her, and now he was doing it again. She sighed and then glared at Josh.
Thanks,” she muttered angrily. “I haven't had anytime to think about that at all, and you make it sound like Rip, R.J., and I have been planning to move out together for months!” She watched carefully as the results of the breathalyzer came back negative for intoxication. She held it up for Josh to see.
Josh scoffed. “Come on Jenna; don't make it sound like you wouldn't drop everything and follow Rip to the other side of the planet if that's where he decided to go!”
He's my best friend! Of course I'm going to consider it, but that doesn't mean that I have decided to go!” Jenna argued. She had stopped paying any attention at all to her boyfriend, and James could see something almost electric running between her and her partner.
Whatever! Can I go?” James demanded.
Josh softened almost apologetically. “Yeah, we've got no reason to hold you. Go on.” He turned back to Jenna. “And we should get this guy and his gun to the jail and turn him over to the police.”
Jenna nodded and hauled the man up by the back of his jacket. She grunted from the effort. “He's heavy! You carry him!” She then belied her implication that she couldn't handle the man by tossing him at Josh. Josh caught the man and threw him over his shoulder.
Jenna turned to her boyfriend. “I'll call you as soon as I get off patrol. It'll be a little after 8AM, so be watching your phone.”
Don't bother!” James stated. “I can't go out with Heroes.”
What?” Jenna asked in disbelief. “Why not?”
The other vagrants would probably murder me in my sleep!” James informed her seriously, and then stalked away.
Jenna watched him go with mixed emotions, and promised herself that she would call him anyway and have a proper discussion before letting him just end things like that.

Go To Part X 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Crashed and Confused - Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Randy was not in bed when Alyda woke the next morning, and she felt tears sting her eyes. She fought them, reasoning that he must still be in the house somewhere. Otherwise I would be in pain, right?
A moment later, Randy entered the bedroom carrying a tray. It was filled with food, and he hummed lightly as he carried it. Noticing that she was watching him – and was therefore awake – he smiled at her and gestured for her to sit up. Once she had complied, he set the tray over her lap.
Randy had decided to make breakfast and a whole pile of sandwiches to last them throughout the day. He wasn't sure how long she planned their honeymoon to last, but they hadn't eaten anything other than breakfast yesterday, and this seemed like a simple solution.
Alyda smiled at him in gratitude, and then took a few cautious bites of her breakfast. Happily, she decided that he was a pretty good cook. She paused to grin at him and give him a thumbs up sign, which actually did mean good job throughout the universe – though she didn't know that. Randy smiled at her in return.
After eating, Alyda went to the bathroom, and then examined herself in the long mirror for a moment – could I possibly be pregnant already? – before starting the shower. Randy surprised her by turning off the shower, scooping her up, and then carrying her back to bed.
An hour later, both of them stepped back into the shower to rinse off all the sweat they had created. They maintained constant contact with each other via kisses and caresses. Now that Randy had come to terms with the fact that he was irrevocably stuck here for the foreseeable future, he simply could not keep his hands off his cute new wife.
After their shower, Alyda would have gladly jumped back into bed with him, but she had so many things to do! She grabbed a sandwich and nibbled on it as she sorted through her closet. A few of her favorite outfits were piled on the bed so that she could pack them to bring with her. Other outfits were tossed in a pile to be recycled, and the rest of her clothing was painstakingly prepared to be stored while she was gone.
This whole process took her a few hours. Especially since most of what was staying here was professional business attire for her job at the Telecommunications Corporation and needed to be cared for properly so that it wasn't destroyed by pests while she was gone. Randy watched her curiously from the bed, wishing that he knew what she was doing so that he could help her.
He's going to need more clothes, she thought as she gathered up the pile to be recycled. It took some time for her to fold it all and stuff it into a large sack, but once it was ready, she couldn't delay the inevitable any longer. She got dressed, and then handed him his clothes.
I wonder what's going on? Randy thought as he got dressed.
Alyda slung the large sack of clothes over her shoulder, staggering ever so slightly, and then put her hand in his so that she could guide him.
That's just not right!” Randy muttered, taking the sack from her. He thought it resembled a duffel bag and rightly assumed that it must be heavy. The weight of it dug into his shoulder just a bit, making him wonder how she had managed to even pick it up. She looks so delicate and frail...
Hand in hand, the couple walked to what looked like a shopping area nearby. They entered a clothing shop, and Alyda motioned for Randy to hand over the bag. He did so, setting it on counter at the back of the store that had a couple of other bags already on it.
Alyda chatted with the woman in charge of the shop. “I'm here to get new clothes for my new husband. I also happened to have some old clothes to recycle.”
You're married?!” The shop woman squealed incredulously and rushed to hug Alyda. They knew each other and were friends of a sort. “That's wonderful news!”
Thank you,” Alyda murmured, blushing lightly as she remembered how much fun she'd had with her new husband so far. “It's just in time for my yearly move back to my farm. So, you know, he'll need some sturdy work clothes.”
Of course!” She eyed him for an approximate fit, and then went around the shop looking for things that might be perfect for him.
Soon, Randy had a pile of clothes to try on. He almost blushed as he realized that there wasn't really a private area to change in, just a curtain to hide him from anyone looking through the windows of the shop. He looked at the two women in confusion, thinking maybe they were going to turn their backs to him, but they stripped and fondled him instead. This made the whole process take much longer than necessary, but Randy wasn't about to complain!
Rather than progress towards the pornographic side, the two women simply chatted as if they dressed and undressed a man every day. He supposed that this might be true for the shopkeeper, but he kind of hoped that his wife – I mean owner! – wasn't quite so used to handling men. She caressed his buttocks absently, and if her hands were simply appreciating how shapely he was.
As the two women chatted, the voice in his head learned new words, such as the, it, as, he, and so on. Randy was glad that there was progress, but he was also mildly aggravated by how little it was. He bit back a groan of longing as he was also rapidly becoming frustrated with how they were teasing him, stroking his body with their hands every chance they got, but not truly trying to stimulate him.
Thankfully, it was only a short while later that a new – slightly smaller – duffel bag was packed full of clothes for him. Alyda kissed him right before she motioned for him to carry the bag out of the shop. Randy frowned, looking over at the shopkeeper in confusion. Don't we have to pay for all of this?
The shopkeeper grinned at him in a way that made it clear that she would love to fondle him a whole lot more, but then waved goodbye. Her voice even sounded like she was saying something along the lines of: “Thank you, come again,” or maybe: “Have a nice day!”
He shrugged, figuring that maybe Alyda's bag of clothes was considered payment for this bag. He followed her as she slipped her hand in his and led him out of the shop. On the way back to her house, Randy heard a catchy tune play, and mentally paused a moment to wonder if it was part of the computerized voice in his head. It turned out to be a portable communication device.
Hi mom, … Yes, we are nearly packed and ready to leave.” Alyda suddenly blushed in a way that made Randy want to kiss her. “Yes, we. I... I got married!”
Randy understood: ...are ...to ...married; and knew that she was talking about him. He waited for the voice in his head to say more. “...be ...at the ...in...” he sighed in frustration.
See you then!” Alyda bade cheerfully, and then ended her call. She looked at her husband and smiled. “It's only about 2 hours to my farm. We should arrive just in time to go to bed,” she informed him with a grin.
Randy sighed. “I can only understand about one word in every ten. Man! I wish you could understand me. I really want to obtain fuel and get back to my ship before someone steals it...” he trailed off and shook his head slightly. Now, the computer voice told him words in her language as he spoke. It was very annoying!
You sound agitated,” Alyda remarked. “I wish I could help you.”
Randy looked at her with his head tilted to the side. His weird computer voice had just learned the words I and wish. He figured that she must have said: “I wish I could understand you.”
They arrived back at her house, quickly ate a couple of the sandwiches he'd made, and then soon had her vehicle packed. Is this like some sort of honeymoon trip? Randy wondered.
I wonder where we are going?” Randy said out loud. He figured that the more he talked, the easier it might be for the computer in his head to learn his language.
Alyda looked at the position of the first sun, then noted that the second sun had risen about a quarter of the way. “It's time for us to stay in the house for a while. It'll be much too hot to drive while both suns are out.”
She looked her husband's body up and down, and then grinned. That also means that we aren't going to have anything better to do for the next few hours than make love...
Randy almost blushed at the look she gave him. He shook his head with a chuckle and a wry smile. “Darlin', we may not speak the same language, but apparently we think the same thoughts!”

Monday, June 10, 2013

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Here are a few pics that are dedicated to Libras. Since I am a Libra, I naturally love them :-)

Here a picture that captures our crazy war-like side when we're tired of trying to make peace and please everyone, lol!

Here's a pic that is supposed to show our motherly side, and how warm and caring we can be :-)

This is actually a pic of Libra and Pisces, which is funny because my hubby is a Pisces :-)

 Here's a little cutie Libra that just makes me want to hug her and squeeze her and hold her tight :-)

Another pic show the Libran dark side, heh heh heh heh heh...

 And here is my absolute favorite Libra pic :-D

In Brist's Time - Chapter 12

Chapter 12

Regan and Raven woke up early that morning, and quietly let themselves into Brist’s room. They stroked her hair and tickled her face until she awoke.
“Don’t you two know that it’s too early to be up yet?” Brist yawned. Then she noticed that Sarah was completely under the covers, and so Brist peeled them back to check on her new child. She was so tiny that for a moment, Brist thought that she was a much younger baby. Apparently, she was not the only one who thought so.
“Oh!” Raven exclaimed. “You had a baby last night!”
“Why didn’t you tell us that you were with child?” Regan asked in awe.
“Can I hold her?” They asked simultaneously.
“With child? Me? I didn’t have her!” Brist sputtered.
Don’t these girls know anything about how babies are born? She wondered. At that moment Sarah started to cry in her sleep.
“Oh, there now, don’t cry,” Brist comforted the girl, holding her and rocking her gently. When that didn’t work, she got out of bed, walked around, and patted the child on the back in an effort to calm her.
“This child, I’m guessing, is over 2 years old, probably three. I certainly didn’t have her last night. She’s not even mine. One of the thieves gave her to me last night. Her name is Sarah,” Brist explained.
“Thieves?!” Regan then Raven exclaimed.
“Last night, I went to rescue my horse. While I was there, I ran into the head thief and his wife. His wife, Belana, gave me their daughter to take care of. See, they don’t have any food for her and she is starving,” Brist briefly recapped the events of the previous night.
“I want my mummy!” Sarah cried.
“There there, Sarah. Don’t cry, your mama – like an angel – gave you to me, because she wanted you to have a better life, and I decided to keep you, because I couldn’t bear to see you starve,” Brist told Sarah.
“Was she pretty?” Sarah asked, her tears drying up as they were replaced by curiosity.
“Of course she is. Don’t you know how pretty your mama is?” Brist asked.
“I can’t remember. I haven’t seen her since I hit my head on the ship,” Sarah said, talking very clearly for a child her age.
“Hit your head? You mean you can’t see?” Brist asked incredulously. Sarah shook her head.
“What is your name?” She asked Brist.
“Well... your mom said that you should call me your mommy now, but my name is Brist. You can decide for yourself what you want to call me.”
Sarah thought about this for a moment. “How about Mummy Brist? What do you look like?”
“Well I’m…” The twins and Brist spent the next hour talking and playing with the adorable little girl.


“Regina, dearest, eat,” David gently bade his wife.
“But I can’t quit thinking about how you’re making me abandon my babies. David you can’t tell me that you won’t miss them terribly. This is the first time we’ll have ever been separated!”
“You’ll make yourself sick if you don’t eat, Regina.”
“Honestly David! I hardly think missing one meal is going to kill me! Oh, I’m too worried to eat!” Regina exclaimed in agitation. David watched seven of his sons roll their eyes in amusement at their mother’s dramatics.
“Where is Nicholas? He’s usually the first one to come to breakfast; he must be awake by now. Morgan, go find him and bring him here. I have some things to discuss with him,” David ordered his son. Morgan rose from his chair and went to do his father’s bidding. He heard his mother ask Curtis to fetch his sisters as he left.
Shortly, Morgan reached Nicholas’ bedroom door, and quietly let himself in. He whispered his brother’s name a few times in a feeble attempt to wake him, and then – getting into the spirit of things – he began to shout.
“Nicky! Wake up!”
Nicholas jumped, or at least he would have if he hadn’t been lying down. “I’m tired and I’m trying to sleep! Go away and leave me alone!” He shouted back.
“My! Aren’t you grumpy?! I’d leave you alone, but I can’t. Father ordered me to fetch you to him,” Morgan explained.
“Now what? I just got to bed an hour or so ago,” Nicholas groaned.
“Oh Nicky, you didn’t!” Morgan jumped to conclusions.
“I didn’t what?” Nicholas’ mood grew darker as he growled over the accusation.
“Tell me you didn’t take advantage of Brist,” Morgan demanded.
“No I didn’t take advantage of precious Brist. I saw that conniving-”
“I saw her take off and I followed her,” Nicholas began through gritted teeth, conveniently forgetting to mention that if he'd had his way, Brist would have most definitely been his bed partner.
“Well, where did she go?” Morgan asked, intrigued.
“She walked directly into the thieves camp, at which point I stepped in and tied up the entire camp. After that, I rescued our horses and recovered our belongings. Brist begged me to leave her with the thieves, but I decided that I had to drag her back to face our family. She insisted on bringing a child with her, and as a result, I spent the entire night leading her and the horses back home, all the while carrying a child,” Nicholas fabricated mostly and embellished slightly.
“You really tied up the entire camp?” Morgan asked, impressed.
“Of course,” Nicholas lied.
“This I have to tell mother and father!” Morgan started to turn away.
“That may not be such a good idea,” Nicholas stopped him. “I just told you how events should have happened. However, Brist may remember them differently.”
“How differently?” Morgan asked with an amused grin, catching onto his brother’s drift.
“I’m sure you’ll find out.”
“Well, I’ll go and tell father that you’re on your way, but Nicky, hurry. Father seemed to be getting impatient.” Morgan took his leave.
“Apparently, I’m not meant to get any sleep today. I must remember to thank Brist properly,” Nicholas grumbled as he crawled out of bed. He ended up getting tangled in the blankets and tumbling out of bed, landing flat on his face. “Ow....”
Minutes later, he joined his parents at breakfast, managing to enter just as Morgan was explaining that he’d be in shortly.
“You wanted to see me father?” He asked.
“Yes son, we shall have to make plans to retrieve our horses,” David replied. 
“Done! Can I go back to bed now?”


“Mummy Brist! Please stop!” Sarah giggled. Brist paused in her tickling of the child.
“Give me one good reason,” she demanded impishly.
“Because I’m hungry,” Sarah pouted.
“I am so sorry, baby! I should have gotten you something to eat much sooner,” Brist apologized, feeling like the worst bitch who ever lived.
“Don’t be sorry, I was having so much fun that I forgot that my belly hurt,” Sarah confided.
“You poor baby! How could I be so thoughtless?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine,” Sarah reassured her.
“You certainly talk very well for a toddler! How old are you anyway?” Brist asked as she carried her downstairs, followed by the twins. Sarah held up three fingers.
“My next birthday is in four days.”
“And then you’ll be four?”
The group of girls approached the dining room.
“What do you mean done? Nicholas what have you done?” David questioned, his voice ringing with concern.
“Done? I haven’t done anything!”
“Oh Nicholas, you could have gotten hurt!” Regina exclaimed.
“You should have waited until we were prepared to handle things together,” David chided.
“Well, I didn’t want to wait until you MEN were ready. I wanted my horse back immediately, and I wasn’t going chance that you wouldn’t get her back soon enough,” Brist said huffily.
The family sat in stunned silence. Nicholas couldn’t decide whether to be smug that his parents were so rudely informed that they shouldn’t be yelling at him, or whether he should maintain his grumpy mood and simply return to bed.
Brist smirked at him. “I see you managed to make it home.”
He grumbled and began to eat.
“Mum look!” Regan and Raven exclaimed. “Brist brought Sarah home last night.”
Brist had already set Sarah in a chair, and now placed a plate of food in front of her.
“Can you feed yourself?” She asked. Sarah shook her head in shame. Brist took Sarah’s right hand and placed it over the child’s mouth. “Then I guess it’s about time that you learned. You feel your mouth right?”
Sarah nodded.
“Feel the spoon?” Brist asked as she placed a spoon in Sarah’s hands. Sarah examined the spoon with her hands, then nodded. “You hold it like this, now place the round end in your mouth.”
Sarah tried to do as Brist instructed, but couldn’t quite manage to find her mouth. Brist guided the child’s hand, and soon, Sarah was an expert at bringing the spoon to her mouth.
Brist and Sarah were the center of attention, but only the twins knew why the toddler had difficulty learning to feed herself. The room was silent, as if they were being held spellbound by Brist.
“Now comes the fun part.” Brist continued to instruct her new child. “On this plate, I have placed some sort of oatmeal or grits, see?” Brist made sure that the porridge wasn’t too hot, and then placed one of Sarah’s fingers in it. Using the fingers, Brist pushed some food onto the spoon, and the spoon in the child’s mouth.
“Now you try,” Brist encouraged. Sarah successfully repeated the actions of placing food on the spoon, and the spoon in her mouth. “Perfect! Now onto the fork, uh you should lick your fingers clean.” Sarah did this with no problems.
“Now, you must remember to be careful with this, it’s pointy and can hurt, see?” Brist poked Sarah’s palm with the fork, who proceeded to take the fork and place it, correctly, in her mouth.
“Very good! Okay, also on this plate, there is an egg, some fried potatoes, and a pancake. Feel them?” Sarah nodded. Then, in a purely American manner, Brist helped Sarah stab a piece of fried potato with the fork. Sarah ate the piece, and then tried to stab another, but was unable to catch one. Brist showed her how to use her finger to hold the piece steady, and at the same time, how to not stab herself in the process.
“Brist!” Regina exclaimed. “ I don’t know what it’s like where… uh… when you come from, but it is unbecoming to teach a child to play with her food.”
“I’m not teaching her to play with her food,” Brist stated, but before she could explain further, she was distracted by Sarah, who – startled by Regina’s outburst – had missed her mouth, poked herself in the cheek with the fork, and promptly began to cry.
Brist plucked the crying child from her chair and comforted her.
“Here let me kiss it and make it feel all better.” Brist kissed Sarah’s cheek. “Better?”
Sarah nodded and Brist placed her back in the chair. As soon as the child was occupied with feeding herself once more, Brist took the opportunity to fill a plate of her own. Just as she had sat down, she noticed that Sarah’s plate was empty, except for the egg.
“Mummy Brist, can I have some more?”
“Of course!”
Before Brist had finished her own breakfast, Sarah had asked for another two child-sized helpings, and then finally, everyone was full.
“My goodness, you certainly ate a lot!” Raven exclaimed.
“I was afraid that you’d eat so much, you’d make yourself ill,” Regan added.
“I was soooo hungry, I haven’t eaten in this many days,” Sarah held up three fingers. “Thank you Mummy Brist”
“Three days!” The twins and Regina exclaimed.
“Yes. The last thing we had to eat was some bread, but that was divided amongst us children, and I barely got a bite before someone took my chunk!” Sarah said the last part emphatically. “Mum and everyone else haven’t eaten in a week, and I feel so bad for them for their tummies must hurt much more than mine did,” she ended sadly.
“That’s terrible!” Regan exclaimed.
“We should help them!” Raven added.
“They are thieves!” Regina exclaimed, but she couldn’t decide whether she should hold that against them, or help them anyway.
“They don’t want to be thieves. They only steal to survive, and they only steal from you because they think that your family is to blame for making them pay everything they had for passage here. What they want to do is claim some land and farm it, but they don’t even have the resources for that. I have an idea that might help them, and at the same time stop them from stealing from you,” Brist told them, looking at David.
“Don’t look at me. I bought this place and built this house for Nicholas. It will be up to him to hear you out and decide what to do. Also, I have decided, Nicholas,” David was now looking at his eldest son, taking advantage of the momentum of the last subject to finish the conversation he had planned to have with Nicholas before he found out that the horses had been recovered. “My affairs are in order here, and I see no reason to delay my departure any longer.”
“Oh father! No!” The twins exclaimed.
“I’m not finished!” He said, effectively stopping his daughters in their protestations. “Your mother and I have decided to leave you here; as long as you promise not to cause your brother any trouble. Also, we are hereby hiring Brist as your chaperone. That should give Brist something to do, as well as some spending money.”
He turned to look at the rest of his sons, then back at his eldest. He continued. “I’m not the only one anxious to be off; the ship that will provide Curtis with his captain training has been waiting in port for me to send them on their way. Lastly, Regina’s ship is scheduled to arrive within the week, and I want to be gone leaving room for it at the docks, and-”
“Regina’s ship! I thought you said women couldn’t captain ships?” Brist exclaimed in surprise.
“Of course they can’t captain a ship, but Regina – just as the twins will when they’re older – owns a ship called The David, and she has full control over the cargo her ship acquires, and she is allowed to keep all profits made. Of course, she funds all expenses too, but that is neither here nor there,” David explained brusquely.
“I see...” Brist said simply. She bit her tongue and decided not to expound the rights of women.
“I can see that you disapprove of something,” David observed.
“Well, why is it that women are allowed to own ships, but not to operate them,” she asked.
“Women are ill suited. I’m not saying that they are physically incapable, but in addition to the fact that women are generally not as strong, the men on board would certainly try to… misuse them... but even in the case of the twins, for example, when they are older and own ships of their own, they could remain on board their ships to oversee things. Provided that they have a trustworthy crew, and men to guard them from harm.” David paused in his explanations to take a drink, and Brist looked a little more hopeful.
She hated to think that anyone in her family would be as prejudiced against women as men in this time were supposed to bed. Her hopes were crushed a moment later.
“But why would they want to? They will have husbands to do that for them, and babies to look after, and-”
Brist gaped at David a moment, she couldn’t even respond, and so, instead, she picked Sarah up and left the room. As she left she muttered, “Honestly! Why do men assume that just because they have balls in their pants, they have the right to subjugate women!”
Regina placed her hand over her husband's. “Don’t be angry with her, she was raised to believe such notions.”
“I’m not angry,” he smiled, chuckling. “Brist certainly knows how to keep one on one’s toes, life around her will never be dull.”
“Do we really get to stay?” The twins asked eagerly.
“Yes,” their mother answered forlornly.
“Do you really think it wise to hire Brist as their chaperone?” Nicholas questioned with a raised brow.
“Yes. It’s actually an ideal situation; Brist wants a job, and the girls can teach her how to behave in these times. Besides, Brist has proven that she can handle herself should they ever happen to be separated from a male escort. She’ll keep the twins out of your hair, and they’ll keep her away from you. Hopefully, the two of you will eventually learn to get along... Perhaps you’ll actually even come to like one another,” David suggested in amusement. “Now that we have everything situated, I suggest that Regina and I pay a visit to our injured son before we depart. Come dear.”

Go to Chapter 13 

Charts and Readings