Destiny's Choice is an original work of fiction, a science fiction thriller of novel length with uber qualities. The plot is layered with romance, political intrigue, sex, and violence. At times the drama can be intense. Enjoy. Once completed I hope to find a publisher. I appreciate comments good and bad, especially if they are constructive.
Chapter 19: Exhibitions
She breathed deeply and looked out as the natural curve of the faux blue marble and glass dome housing the station's Olympic Aquatic Center. She let go of the metallic railing of the ladder that had led to the platform where she now stood and walked to the edge of the three-meter springboard. She turned, her back to the water, and felt her strong toes hold her precarious perch. She raised her arms straight up, breathed deeply, and pushed down. In an instant she took flight. Her knees tucked, her hands clamping them to her chest. She spun. Once, twice, the board, the water, ceiling, decks, and everything, she reached. Straight armed, fisted hands bunched as her body sliced through the water.
In an instant the strange echoes of the center and the silence of the water, it was akin to the football-sized conch she had once come across while walking along a Tahitian beach with her parents. The silence of the water. The echoes of life. The shell had captivated her youthful attention for hours. For the longest time she remembered pondering the shell's message and meaning. Returning to the moon, she had found a place for it on one of her many shelves.
Kali kicked and with a mighty breast stroke she touched the pool's bottom. Turning she pushed up and headed for the shimmery glisten dancing on the watery surface above. She gasped for breath and shook her long strands back from her eyes.
"Kicker," she said to herself with a smile. "Damn fantastic."
Reaching out she propelled herself to the ladder that would take her from the water and back to the diving board. She shivered as the air of the center tickled the water cascading from her body. Like a puppy she shook, the action amusing her. The stress of the last couple weeks seemed to go the way of the water. She waited for two teens to take a turn and then mounted the platform for another turn. In a matter of moments, she once again took flight, her body knifing the water. In total control, she pushed herself back up on the deck.
A woman in a dark green one-piece Speedo caught her attention. Her hair was wet and dripping. She stood ready to enter the women's locker rooms, a towel half draped around shoulders and half in a firm hand squeezing off the excess moisture. Their eyes caught.
Why didn't I see her before? The historian, Hayley˜she had been watching. Kali felt a hint of a smile crease her lips. Beautiful, she thought. Go over and talk to her. Make her acquaintance. Show her˜show her what? She scowled when the woman disappeared through the doors.
"Hayley," Christine greeted her the moment she stepped through the door. She slipped out from behind her desk and kissed her. "You know everyone?" Christine nodded at the half dozen, no eight, of the administrative elite. Mingling near the always stocked bar, they greeted her with raised eyebrows and then knowing smirks. Hayley could feel the blush creeping across her face.
"Well, well, well!"
"Bruce!" Hayley gave him a hug.
"Leaving a little bit out of your notes home?" He nodded at Christine.
"Come, come, come, Brucie," Christine clapped a hand to his shoulder. "You know a lady just doesn't go around announcing every liaison. Hayley, some orange juice?"
"Please," Hayley watched as Christine stepped over to the bar.
"Ivan's completed the first episode. Invited a couple of colleagues and friends to take a peak. We've already got the nets to set up a schedule and library it." She filled a tumbler with Hayley's refreshment. "Jeremiah's thrilled. He's moonside speaking with the president so I've streamed him a copy. I think," here her voice rose, "everyone's going to be very pleased. Come on everyone. Take a seat, then afterwards, perhaps," she lowered her voice and whispered to Hayley, a bit of a party. She kissed her cheek.
"Tell us, Christine, when did you snag the good doctor?"
"A Genetti at that."
"Bruce, looks like you might have a new in-law."
Christine took Hayley's hand and pulled her to sit on the arm of the chair she commandeered. "Was there ever a question?" Her eyes twinkled mischievously,
Hayley swallowed. "Maybe it was fate."
"Stone, when have you ever believed in fate?"
"Mine, always!" Christine draped an arm across Hayley's thigh. "Okay, boys and girls. I have seen this masterpiece. It is just what we need to enhance the sense of history that DeBow wants this administration to carry on. Wait until you see what Hayley's done."
"A history of ∑?"
"Come Maureen, don't be so skeptical. A history of Parliamentary˜how the station and our sense of mission came to be. I know you will see˜shit! Just watch. VAS, screen, Parliamentary: The Beginnings.
At that the lights dimmed and the screen flickered and the station, Hayley now called home, pulled everyone's attention.
Hayley looked down at Christine. As if reading her mind, she looked up and winked. "Everyone's going to love it," she whispered. "I'm proud of you."
Once again Hayley felt her face blush as she dipped her head. A pair of ravenous lips stole hers in a kiss that was not nearly as discrete as she thought sensible. This was a serious meeting after all and Christine was so out, right in from of the politicos˜ right in front of Bruce.
"Absolutely right. We have a hit," Maureen and then the others at the unveiling chimed in when the last of the credits rolled.
"Hayley's finished the educational packets for classroom use."
"Right," Hayley had migrated to an empty place next to Bruce. "This week I've arranged to do a Train the Trainers here on the station."
"Her approach is totally new."
"Not new," Hayley dismissed.
"Nonsense! Dr. Sheppard has never seen anything like it. He's asked Hayley to put her methodologies into file form for general publication."
"It's a total integration of classroom holos for simulations?"
"I'm still not sure how it will work with young students," Hayley took a sip of the juice Bruce had refilled for her after the viewing.
"Hayley, you must really stop being so modest. She spent a week at the Academy working with several classes."
"The Academy only has the best students."
"And then she spent another week at two of our general high schools."
"There, I was surprised. But these are space kids. Not Earthers."
"Hayley, I sense a bit of prejudice against Earthers."
"No, not at all, but Earthers have the reputation for being wilder. Here, conditions have created norms that require more inner control. From everything I've heard Earthers, at least those not as steeped in Western European-American culture are less focused."
"You forget," Christine slid into Hayley's lap. Ignoring her wide-eyed stare, she whispered just loud enough that all could hear, "Love, I'm an Earther and I have great focus." A deliberately sensuous kiss made Hayley thankful that she was already sitting.
"She rests her case," chuckled Bruce. General laughter followed suit. Hayley blushed crimson.
"Too bad it's coming so late after the last elections," someone sighed.
Sensing tension in the taut muscles along her lover's ribs, Hayley let her hand wander and give a soothing pat. Christine frowned. Giving Hayley a quick, almost perfunctory peck, she brushed the tender hand aside and wheeled on Maureen. "My job is not to do yours!"
Hayley flinched. Her lover's look was the same she had received the time she had supported Warren McCord.
"I didn't say," Maureen drew herself up though she sat on the couch and standing stood nearly a foot less than Stone.
"I have given you every advantage to do your job, provided information."
"I'm not a party organ," Maureen's brown eyes darkened. "I represent˜"
Stone interrupted. "Don't play obtuse! We are the government!"
The door to the office closed. All was now quiet, somehow somber. Hayley adjusted the olive green skirt she had chosen to wear for the meeting and watched as Christine stalked slowly back to the bar and poured herself a drink. Ice from the bucket tinkled, amber brown liquid glistened as it filled the stout, heavy crystal tumbler. Besides the ambient soundtrack from the bar, neither spoke. Cautiously, Hayley approached; the darkness in her lover's eyes and rock-hard exterior made her wary. Inside, her will shivered. Before she spoke, she took a deep breath?
"Honey?" She found the simple endearment difficult to say, yet such outward affection, and still˜Christine's gaze snapped up and in that instant the fury that lay within those eyes bore through her and froze her spirit. Hayley fought a quiver electrify along the length of her spine. "Are you all right?" She preceded her voice timid. The lioness had already feasted once, Maureen had left unteared, but clearly cowed and ready to do anything to regain her boss's redemptive favor. She wanted to reach out, to give her lover's arm a gentle touch.
Setting her glass back down next to the decanter, Christine gestured with a beckoning hand, "Come here."
Instinctively, Hayley obeyed.
In an instant her hand was grabbed and faster than light drive she found herself in a clutch, responding to fanatic, demanding lips and crushing hands tearing away buttons and zippers. "That's all I've been able to think of. The entire presentation˜Maureen. Fuck her. Fucking you! I've just been mad for you. I really want to fuck you hard," she said as Hayley's blouse fell to the floor. She guided Hayley to her desk, which was clean except for her net and it was on the far corner, out of the way.
"Honey," Hayley tried to protest. What if someone should come in? Her head screamed. She had heard Elise telling the cleaning staff to come back to the suite of offices at the end of the meeting.
"Come on, I want you naked." Christine was breathing hard. "We have the entire evening˜even the morning, if you want." Hayley's skirt, slip, bra, and then panties fell. "A replay of last night. A complete gynecological exam, some crazy oral sex, and then we'll improvise." She pushed Hayley down flat on her hard, cold desk and shoved her legs so they were bent at the knees and open for inspection. "First the exam," Christine climbed up on the desk and in an instant was inside thrusting.
How many hours they had been going at it, Hayley had lost all track of time. Riding in Christine's lap, panting with each upward thrust of a strapped on dildo that could add its own secretions˜Christine's favorite toy. Tied into her orgasms, Hayley had tried it a couple of times with great results, but Christine was the dominate so˜, Hayley no longer noticed the squeak of Christine's chair as she quaked against her lover's bare chest, her breasts in Christine's famished, but suckling, mouth, Hayley pulled herself tightly. She groaned and then gasped loudly. "Oh, gods," she convulsed and bearing down knew more than lubricant flowed from near her sex as one free hand contorted and squeezed an ass she knew was probably dappled with bruises.
"Stay in there! Christine demanded as her own fingers slowed in her lover's opening. Christine was also on the brink, her entire body bucking and trembling in search of another release.
The videocom bleeped. Once, then twice.
"Fucking, yes!" Christine barked. The mood shot. "What do you want?" She breathed heavily and totally unperturbed by the condition of their appearance.
"I'm sorry to interrupt your . . . activities," Elise's voice was sarcastic as an evil cast shone across her face.
My god! Hayley was mortified. She noticed the time on the monitor. Seven hundred hours. They had spent the entire night˜she tried to slide away, but Christine's hold kept her still, even the hand she had been demanding to push harder.
"But I thought you'd like to know," Elise continued. "McClurg just finished speaking to Reynolds. He's booked a transport back to Armstrong. He has another appointment to see Light Horse."
Trapped where she was, her naked body blanketing Christine's chest, both hearts racing, trying to break free from their cages, Christine's shove took her by surprise. "Get off." Keeping low and out of sight, she gathered her clothes. Without any embarrassment, Christine stood, found her scattered attire and dressed.
"Get Zandowski," she ordered. "I want to know what they say! Damn that mother fucker!"
Hayley had trouble sleeping. Granted, Christine's late night sexual fixations had been part of her affliction, but even when she had at last drifted off to sleep, she found sleep fleeting, and when it did come, troubled with odd, distorted images. Waking for the third time, Hayley was fully alert. Sleep would not come again.
Getting up, she wrapped a robe around her frame. She looked back. Christine, her face buried in her pillow, snored lightly. The sheets of the bed lay askew exposing her bare buttocks. Hayley wondered if she should straighten the covering, but decided against disturbing her lover.
Seeing her as she entered the living room, Sparky rose from his place of exile on the couch. Stretching, first his front legs and then his back, he shook. He jumped off the couch and ran to greet her. He danced. "Need out?" she asked. Hayley opened the sliding door and he scooted out in a mad tear.
"Mint tea˜hot," she ordered from the food processor. In less than a minute the steamy drink appeared. Taking her morning refreshment from the service tray, Hayley went to her net station, activated it, and sat down to study the notes and outlines she had made for a speech Christine had somehow talked her into making.
For over an hour she worked. Finally the text had gelled, at least the body. The conclusion wasn't bad either, but she still hated the opening. Rearranging her thoughts, she searched for a light, amusing anecdote with which to begin.
"Christine!" She jumped when a pair of strong, long-fingered hands grabbed her highly sensitive side.
"I missed you." Christine let her lips linger and nibble the back of Hayley's neck.
Hayley giggled and immediately lost focus and concentration. She turned. Her lips quickly locked on the not so offensive intruder.
"Come back to bed," Christine begged.
"Christine," she giggled as once again her lover's lips wandered back to her sensitive neck. "My speech," she tried to protest when the hands once again locked onto her. "You and your damn speeches."
"Good practice for your tour Earthside week after next."
"Hayley, shut up. You'll be fine." Christine reeled her up from the chair into her arms and a blister forming kiss.
Hayley's mouth opened and sucked as Christine pulled on her robe releasing the sash. The knot immediately came undone and exposed her naked form. A pair of eager hands grabbed the treasure within and pulled tight, fused the two individuals into one. Entwining her arms around Christine's neck, she encouraged and relished the building volcano within. The robe slipped off and fell to the floor.
Kissing and fondling her, Christine led her back to the bedroom and the bed. Eagerly, Hayley followed and was soon lost in a vigorous sexual calisthenics workout.
A chime sounded. They didn't hear it. The intoxication of raucous intercourse muffled the din. The second, likewise, went unnoticed. But with the third and Sparky's yapping response from the rear yard, Christine swore. "Fuckin' little dog!"
A fourth chime sounded.
"Who could it be?" Hayley looked over at the chronometer on the side table; it was seven-thirty.
"I'll get it." Christine rose and angrily stalked without think into the living room.
Hayley watched her leave, but then came to her senses. This was her apartment. And Christine, "Christine!" She called out a warning to her lover. She looked around. "Fuck!" She slapped the bed. Her robe was on the floor in the living room. She pulled the sheet from the bed and wrapped it around her frame.
"Christine!" A familiar, feminine voice stuttered a greeting from beyond.
With the sheet as her sari, Hayley tottered into the living room.
"Hayley, what's going on?"
The shocked expressions worn by Delores, Bruce, and her parents greeted her.
Blushing three shades of red, she smiled, "Hi."
Shock, mixed with surprise and a heaping dose of embarrassment, painted the faces of the foursome standing in the entry. Eyeing Christine and then herself, then Christine again, Bruce sneered.
"Christine!" Hayley darted over to her fallen robe and quickly draped the Chief's obviously lust provoking assets.
"Oh, Darling," her mother coughed. "I'm sorry. Perhaps we should have called first and let you know we were coming." She tugged on her gaping husband's arm.
Not too sure what she should say, Hayley stuttered, "Yes, that would have been nice."
"We'll come back later." Her father's eyes darted nervously between his Grecian wrapped daughter and the woman who had apparently just shared her bed.
"No˜" Christine's political glibness failed him. "It's late." She was nearly in a dither as the full impact of the situation had finally struck her like a sledgehammer. She motioned to the chronometer above the crystal imager. "I still need to take a shower and get to the office." Pulling Hayley's robe more tightly, she made an awkward apology about having to leave and get going. She quickly gathered the clothing she had discarded the previous evening on the floor by the couch and disappeared through the opening back into the bedroom. No one had really made an effort to speak. Dead silence prevailed and in what Hayley thought was a blink in time, yet eternity, Christine reappeared, dressed. "I'll see you later," she kissed Hayley. "Come by my office. We have a lot of catching up to do." She wiggled a wiggling index finger in Bruce and Delores' direction "And, Governor," she addressed Sophia in a hurried voice, "I'd like to speak to you regarding some new commercial treaties we think Martian enterprises might have an interest in bidding on. Well, got to go," and with that darted through the yawning doors in full retreat.
When she had gone, there was a long deadly silence.
"We received invitations to attend the annual dinner-reception for the start of the new session of Parliament and your talk. We thought we would surprise you," her mother explained. "We thought you'd like the company of family."
"You know I do," Hayley swallowed.
"You said nothing about," Delores motioned to the door.
"Quite a surprise," Donald agreed. His ruddy cheeks still burned from the encounter. "A girlfriend? And not just a girlfriend˜"
"So when in the world were you going to tell us?" demanded Sophia.
Hayley shrugged. "I ∑," she struggled to find the proper phrasing, then simply blurted, "Bruce? Didn't you?"
The flat of Delores' hand suddenly shot out finding the flesh of an exposed cheek. Bruce staggered. "You goddamn fuckin' bastard!"
Hayley flipped the handle shutting off the stream of water flowing over her body and stepped from the misty warmth of the shower. She grabbed two large fluffy towels, one for her dripping hair, and the other for her body and quickly wiped off the liquid coating her skin. She padded into her bedroom and pulled the prerequisite undergarments from the built-in dresser. Through the open door leading back out to the living room a small blue ball bounced followed by its owner. Grabbing the orb as it came to rest by her foot he yapped and dropped it for her to pick it up and participate in his game.
"Hey boy." He followed as Hayley went into the closet and pulled out the green dress she had bought for the party that had been her life's turning point. Who would have managed? Hayley could imagine the look on all those faces that had spent a childhood's lifetime mocking and tormenting. Look where the outsider was now! Dressing to attend Parliamentary's Swearing-in Ceremony, and not just as the geeky sister-in law of the handsome Bruce Collins, but as the Chief Historian of the Governor General, and the Chief of Staff's, Christine Stone's lover, paramour, no, significant other, perhaps even soulmate.
"I like that dress." Delores appeared in the doorway catching Hayley unaware, so caught up was she in her thoughts and fantasies. "Here let me help." She walked over just as the silky, almost slinky, material floated down over her bosoms and hips.
Hayley turned giving her sister access to the zipper. Her thoughts now returned to the scene just as she fled to the safety of her shower. She listened now to the living room and realized she heard no other voices. They had been missing all along. "Where'd everyone go?" Hayley pulled her hairdryer and a brush from a nearby drawer.
"Bruce took them back to the nonresidential apartments to make sure their luggage was stowed properly. They're closer to the restaurant. I thought we'd have a talk. Sit." Delores motioned first to the bed, but then hesitated.
The bed, Hayley could see something, a look, but was unsure how to read the mix of emotion˜exasperation, annoyance, irritation, no shock˜flicker on her sister's sculpted face and in her dark eyes. The bed with its twisted sheets, dampness, Christine's dildo, the toy of her butch manhood˜she so loved the faux semen it squirted when the sensors registered its wearer's climax. There was the smell, too, though the later mixed with the smells of the shower, deodorant, toothpaste, and what not. She let Delores tug at her arm and lead her into the living room and the couch.
"Sit," came the order again. Sparky followed and dropped his ball at their feet. Delores picked it up and gave the ball a toss. "You know," Delores took the dryer and brush from Hayley's hands and worked with Hayley's long silky strands. "We were really surprised to see you with Christine."
"I guess it was a bit of a shock." Hayley could sense the heat of her face blushing. Their arrival had certainly given her a shock.
"You've said nothing about Christine in your communications."
"Guess I didn't want to make a big deal. Besides, I thought Bruce had surely made the news public. I guess I should have known he hadn't though," she continued. "No one's said anything. I guess he was leaving that up to me. Is that why you slapped him?"
"How long have you been seeing her?"
"Christine's been my friend since my first day on the station."
"She's your superior," Delores's tone was firm.
"She's my friend. Delores, I've been so lonely here. If it weren't for Christine, I don't know if I would have stayed˜would be staying," she corrected. She turned and took Delores's hand, the one holding the brush, into her own. "Delores, I've contacted the university and tendered my resignation. I love my work here˜and I'm in love with Christine."
"Out of gratitude? Loneliness?"
"No, I never knew I could feel so˜I can't explain it. I just know I feel˜this is so awful. You'd think I'd better command of my verbal faculties. I just know. When did you know you loved Bruce?"
"How long have you been lovers?"
The blush remained. "Almost since moving here, I guess, couple weeks after."
"Is that why you accepted Stone's solicitation? Took the job?"
"No! What do you think I am? Taking this job was the hardest thing I'd ever done. Moving from Mars, Mom, Dad, you, Carol and doesn't matter. Delores, why are like this?"
"You've never had a girl friend˜," Delores stopped when Hayley lifted a hand to protest. "Carol doesn't count. Okay she does, but you were just experimenting then˜and it was right after Robin. Both of you were so overwhelmed by your emotions. And when that ended, I remember how it nearly killed you."
"Carol will always be my dearest friend, but she's not gay˜bisexual, okay˜but her love for me isn't that way, neither's mine. It just took us˜me a while to figure that out. She's like a sister. This isn't like that. Christine and Carol. Carol's my bud', Christine I feel˜differently."
"I still don't like it."
"I just know her. I know you, Hayley, and I don't want anyone taking advantage of your innocents."
"Delores, I'm no child! No one takes advantage of me. I know my limitations and I've never let anyone push me around, at least˜well, I don't! I only do what I want to do!"
Delores thought a moment. She spied Sparky. Wagging his tail, he held his little blue ball in his mouth. Dropping it, he gave a quick playful yap. Reaching down, she took it and flung it casually across the open expanse of the living room. "I just want you to be careful. I don't want you hurt."
"That's not going to happen. I love her."
"And how does she feel about you?"
"She loves me."
"Everywhere," Hayley said firmly.
"Hayley, you are such an innocent. How can you tell?"
"I can tell," she said. She took the brush from Delores's hand. "Stop being such a mother hen." She gave Delores's cheek a peck and then patted the roundness of her pregnant belly. "You'll be able to be a mother soon enough. We should probably go meet everyone. To be here by seven, I know you probably skipped breakfast. I know Daddy and Bruce will be starved. I'm hungry."
Delores laughed. "Must have had a good work out this morning?"
"It was." Hayley's leering sneer was not quite as innocent as she put Sparky out in the yard.
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