Hayley rolled her head. Every vertebrae in her neck played a symphony to her accompany her yawn. Two glasses of wine, eighteen hours of wedding, pictures, meeting, greeting, eating, dancing, and walking on political eggshells, she was more than exhaust. They had returned to a small hotel near the spaceport to catch a few hours of sleep before their transit to Earth and Kaua'i, Hawaii. Their packed bags for their week-long vacation were already in the sitting room when Christine pushed open the door.
"By Mars, I'm so tired. Hayley had already kicked off her shoes and held them in her hands." No more heels—ever, she thought allowed as she entered the room and tossed them over to where she saw her night case sat on an antique, though she knew it wasn't, looking wingback chair. She yawned for what must have been a hundredth time and rubbed her face. "I just want to crawl into bed," she said aloud. She yawned again, her tired feet and legs on the point of collapse. She walked directly into the bedroom.
She reached back in search of the elusive fasteners and zippers on her dress. "Honey, help me."
Hayley didn't have a chance to complete her request for help out of her dress. "Thought you'd never ask." Christine, her hands grasping, almost fumbling, yet powerful, tore at her. "I have been waiting all night for this." She started to laugh.
"Christine, wait until you sober up a bit."
"We're married now." She whirled Hayley around. "You're mine."
Breath perfumed with wine and other stronger alcoholic spirits that had been consumed in humor with Bruce engulfed her every sense as Christine pulled her into an embrace possessive and frenetic. The kiss was harsh and bruising. Teeth bit. The tongue selfishly demanding. Hayley couldn't take in air. She was gasping. Trying with all her might, she tried to push away. "Christine, no," she cried, when teeth bit her hard on her chin and then went for her neck. She heard her dress tear where Christine's boot heel caught the skirt where it flowed onto the floor. She had found the eye hooks and broke them from the fabric. The zipper came down in jerks.
"Damn this all to hell." She tore at the fabric and pulled the sleeves and bodice. Simultaneously, she pushed Hayley back on the bed and tackled her.
"I want you. We're married. I can have you." Her hand push up the through the skirts. Her lips, tongue, and teeth kissed, licked, and bit. "Spend the night fucking. You like doing that."
"Honey, … you're … drunk … wound up. I'm … tired. We …"
"Damn all this." Christine abruptly rolled off and stood. "Take those off."
"Honey, I'm tired."
"I want sex."
"Honey, I'm dead tired. Drained. We have a transport …"
Get the fuck up, and get up now. You'll do what I say. I want to fuck you, and I want to fuck you now!"
"Honey, you're drunk."
"Get out of the goddamned bed now and get naked now, or I'll tear every lick of clothes off you." Christine's face took on a look Hayley had only seen a few times before. They had unsettled her then. Frightened her. Now she was terrified. She didn't move. She couldn't. Didn't know what to do.
"Now!!" Christine grabbed her by the arm and jerked her up. "I said now, you fuckin' whore!"
Falling to the floor in a heap, Hayley shivered. Tears welled up.
"Christine," her voice broke.
Still glaring at her, her face filled with hate and contempt, Christine tossed her jacket to the floor and started unfastening the buttons on her shirt.
"Get undressed," she said again, this time softer, less angry, but the malice was still there.
The ocean spread out before her seemed as expansive as the void of the galaxy and in her imagination she pictured large Portuguese caravels and carracks, five-masted Spanish galleons, brigantines, and sloops sailing just beyond in search of spices, adventure, and the unknown, all very similar she believed to those who had traversed and colonized Sol and now the galaxy and universe beyond. The soft Pacific winds caressed her. The sound of gulls winging above the surf and beyond mixed with the laughter of those playing in the sand and cavorting in the waves. Salt spray, the hog cooking back at the grove for the evening's luau, and the perfume of white jasmine, pikakes, red ginger, hibiscus, bougainvilleas, and bounties of blossoms with shapes unique and beautiful flavored the air.
She wore a simple single piece Speedo made of blue Lycra with black and white swirls. On her head, she wore a dark blue baseball cap from the University of Mars to protect her head and face from the strong rays of the warm sun. She sipped a half filled lemonade. On her lap rested her flexible reader. It held numerous works of fiction, journal articles, and everything she could find on Yreta Cuta. For the last quarter of an hour, it had laid on her lap in pause mode. She set the lemonade back on the small table next to her padded recliner. For the first time in the last two days, Hayley felt relaxed; for the first time in four days, she was alone.
Perhaps she had made a mistake. The thought floated back as it had a hundred times since that night. You knew she could be moody, Hayley thought to herself. You've seen it. Now you know to stay clear when she's had too much to drink. She also likes to have her way. She usually gets it. In her work, in her life, with me.
Hayley fingered the scabs on her chin. Her left arm was still sore. She was sure she had felt it pop out of its socket when Christine had pulled her from the bed and dumped her on the floor. Ice on the transport to Earth, she had explained that she had overdone at the gym, and at the resort, she had also taken several doses of over the counter anti-inflammatory, but the pain was still present and she had a difficult time raising her arm. Luckily, no one saw the bruises.
Sitting had been difficult the first couple of days. She hadn't realized Christine had worn her male member and had it primed. Luckily, still contrite, and apologetic, for having lost her control and behaving like an "uncivilized Trinidian ape," Christine had forgone her toy and the love they had shared the next night, as Christine wanted "more than anything to show her just how much she loved her" had been one of the most tender moments they had truly shared. Christine had been more herself the next night, but when Hayley said "no" to any penetration, Christine had almost said something, but didn't. Instead, she returned to the tenderness. During the day, they had seen the sights, gone out to snorkel along a volcano, taken walks on the beach. Last night, Hayley had acquiesced. Christine said she would be gentle. She was. Still it hurt. Hayley didn't reach any orgasm though she wanted to. When it was over, Christine held her. In the morning, Christine was gone.
Hayley closed her eyes. Tears seeped out across her face. Angrily, she wiped them away.
"There you are. I thought you might be here." Hayley looked up, shielding her eyes from the sun.
Of course, Hayley hadn't needed to look. She had recognized the voice of her partner right off. In the aura of the sun, she had a visual confirmation.
She was absolutely gorgeous. Hayley noticed she wore a too brief bikini of red and yellow. The halter was a simple tube top; the two strings that held a triangle added just a touch of modesty below. The resort was not for nudists. Yet, Hayley needed only a hint of imagination to know what lay within.
"Were you crying?" Concerned, Christine sat on the chaise next to Hayley.
She shook her head, "No." Hayley knew the lie was foolhardy. She started crying again. "It's just I had these dreams and everything."
"Oh, sweetie," her spouse took her hands. "I know. I so sorry. So sorry. If I could have that night over. Hadn't drinken so much, avoided it all together. Had maybe simply fallen on my foolish face and had needed carrying back to our suite. I've had so many dreams myself, of how we would have spent the week together, so fully in love. I love you so much."
"I thought you had left me." Hayley's tears fell harder.
"Never,' Christine said with aghast.
"You were gone this morning with no note. VAS—,"
"Oh, my gosh! I wasn't thinking. Honey," Christine's hold on her hands tightened. "I thought I had. I got a call from DeBow. He was apologetic, but needed me to handle a crisis. I needed to speak to General Franklin regarding some issues. I had to commandeer a conference room. I've been in meetings since six. I'm sorry. DeBow also apologized. He didn't want to contact me, but he had to."
"You must think me such a child." Hayley wiped her face.
"No." Christine used a thumb to wipe Hayley's face. A sweet kiss followed on the cheek and lips. "I just didn't think. DeBow was insistent and urgent. I didn't want to disturb you. It was the first night all week you slept through without the restlessness of nightmares. I should have left a message on VAS. Forgive me?" She brushed Hayley's face with another kiss.
This time twin lips met and lingered. Mouths opened and mutual exploration occurred. A broad smile graced Christine's face. For the first time since the wedding, Hayley felt whole. They, the two of them, were whole.
"I like," Hayley pointed to the new bikini.
"Becoming, isn't it?" Christine stood and turned, flouncing a bit like a model.
"Oh, yeah. Very."
"Do I sense," Christine sat next to Hayley, "a bit of interest?" She drew a finger erotically across Hayley's abdomen and stopped to rest her hand on a bit of thigh, where the thumb caressed the fair sensitive skin.
"Ah huh," Hayley angled her mouth to give Christine's lips a flick of her tongue. "You look very taste. Hot an' spicy jus' the way I like you."
"Question is," Christine's mouth covered Hayley's for a kiss. "What do we do next?"
"Two options," when Hayley came up for air.
"Ah huh," Christine took a third plunge."
"You can push my buttons with a little bit more of your dance."
"You like my dance," Christine spoke without completely leaving Hayley's mouth.
"Oh—ha," Hayley inhaled. Her right hand found the naked butt the little fabric triangle left totally exposed. She gave it a pat then let it linger. The hand had a will of its own. "Or I can play explorer and see just where this," her hand slid down towards the triangle, "leads. A little peek-a-boo, or hiding-go-seek."
"I like games." The kissing continued.
An offended clearing of the throat and an "Oh, my," filtered through Hayley's senses.
"I think we better move this back to our bungalow or," Hayley devoured Christine's tongue.
Christine grabbed for Hayley's flexible reader. "Let's go."
"Oh, Christine!" Rapture, ecstasy, and bliss painted every point of her lover.
Christine collapsed on top of the two pillowy breasts that had provided much amusement, and now acted the role of mattress. Her breathing came hard. Snaking under the hiked up skirt to the point whence came the last explosion, she massaged the moistness she found. She scrambled, pulling on the arm of her couch, to match her wetness and need to what she had in her hand. It didn't take long before she too called, though much more quietly, the name of her lover. She collapsed again and immediately clamped her mouth to the mouth beneath her. The kissing continued. Hands played. A few more soft groans, another climax by her lover. One more kiss. She pushed herself up on her arms. "I've missed you."
A hand pushed the long strands of her hair back over her shoulder. Sliding off her partner, she stood and pulled her underwear and slacks back into place. Her partner sat up. She pushed down her skirt and her hands redid the front clasp to her bra. She pulled her sweater from the back of the couch. Her panties, Christine picked them up from the floor. She put them on as Christine stood.
"VAS," she marveled at the clarity of the pictures and the performance they displayed. She moistened her lips. "Delicious."
"I can't believe you can get that mousy wife of yours to do that."
Christine snapped her fingers together. "As easy as that." She looked back at Elise. "You've been good."
"I know where you heart really is. Your needs."
Christine smiled. "You are so beautiful." Like a panther, she slinked back to the woman. Taking her in her arms, she pulled her close and
totally lost herself.
"Seems marriage hasn't tamed you at all. Home only a couple of days."
Caught Christine released Elise and wiped her lips. The door to the outer foyer closed. She frowned. "Jealous, Bruce?" She walked over to Bruce and straightened his skinny tie. "This is ugly."
"Gift from my wife."
"I know." She patted his face with the flat of her hand and kissed him. "Next time, knock, brother."
Bruce looked up at the various screens. A smirk etched across his face. He took at quick glance at Christine's immaculately clean desk and laughed. "Really." He gestured at the screens. "Last night. My little send off."
"The entire video?"
"This one— yeah."
"What can I say? She loves me."
Again the screens. "She has no idea?"
"Are you kidding? It takes enough to persuade her to let me take her in here. Her office is easier. I'm the only one who ever just walks in."
"Who would have known?" He walked over to her bar. "So now that you've got her back out on her convenient tour."
"Well, planned." He raised the decanter in offer.
"Thanks, Bruce, but my `boyfriend's' expecting me."
"And where is he taking you tonight?" Christine watched Bruce fill a tumbler part way. She took it.
"Maybe a little later I can drag Bruce over for a drink. I can step in for a friendly set or two. He won't mind?"
"I won't," Elise walked over and gave Christine a kiss. Christine took her time. "See you later."
"Later." Elise soon disappeared through the quick yawn of the door.
"Wipe that damned snicker from your puss." Christine snapped when Elise was gone.
Bruce's grin morphed into a laugh.
"What's so funny?" Christine grinned guessing at the punch line.
"I can't believe you're pulling it off."
"Why not? You have."
"Hey, I love Delores." He jabbed his tumbler in her direction.
"You're only my best friend, and," her referred up to the screens. From various angles they showed his best friend ravaging his sister-in-law with a dildo. They were on the floor now. Hayley was obviously uncomfortable, maybe even in pain, in no way enjoying the encounter in the same way as her loving spouse. He licked his lips.
"Like a go?"
"She is so gorgeous."
"I thought you love Delores?"
"I do, but I've always had eyes for the Lil' Sis."
"Too bad she's so gay. She absolutely hates the dildo."
"But she loves you.
"Would you do that if you didn't?"
Christine snapped her head back and judged the meaning of his words and tone.
"I prefer being the stickee." Christine sniggered.
Her gaze returned to the continuing ravishing. "Is she pregnant yet?"
"Christine!" Hayley's yelp was loud enough to penetrate the low audio setting.
"You're really hurting her."
"She deserves it. VAS, off!" Christine strode over to the chair she favored by the couch. The screens blinked out and reset to the programmed holos of the current favorite artworks. Now, they consisted of lesbian karma sutra images. Bruce knew that should anyone now even enter the outer foyer, they would immediately switch to Picasso nudes: Nude with Raised Arms, Blue Nude, Femme, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, and Trois Nus. He knew Christine's entire collection. He had seen them many times. He had even assembled much of the collection, with her help, for his own. They showed in his office when he knew he was alone or had the right company. Otherwise, his were less erotic. Right now current artists of the Martian movement in Hyper Realism adorned his walls. It was good to support everything Martian.
Bruce sat in the chair next to Christine. "Have you found out why she was with Light Horse?" He was with Christine when Zandowski, who had been assigned to keep tabs on Hayley while she and Carol were on Earth—that was where she had thought the trouble would come—arrived with clear vid, no audio, from his operative showing Hayley meeting Light Horse at the restaurant in her hotel.
"I have an idea." Christine took a sip of her drink.
"What is it? You still don't think it was a planned rendezvous. Hayley's not that good of an actor. She clearly didn't want Light Horse there."
"No, but she ended up listening."
"You think she's on her side. She didn't speak up when Carol came out in support of her points on self-determination and independence."
"No. Carol wasn't saying something she thought Hayley was to afraid to voice. No. I've checked. She and her boyfriend," Christine said boyfriend with disgust. The one and only time they had met, Christine knew that they would not get along. Carol, too. That was one reason for the transfers. That, and to get Carol away from Hayley. Christine wanted Hayley isolated and dependent on her. "They went to a panel discussion she had a few months back at the university in Tranquility City. That Tanner fellow was a socio-psychology major during his undergrad in Mississippi while in Officer Training. He comes from a family heavily involved in the United States Civil Liberties Union on Earth. He apparently thought of going to law school and joining them, but he went back to earn a flight engineering doctorate so he could join the Defense Force. He wants to eventually join his wife on deep space missions."
"I could have told you that."
"Any way, Hayley and Light Horse."
"On the way home, our situation was very good. Back to the lovey dovey fantasy that her family seems to inspire."
"After?" Bruce hinted at what Christine had told him about their wedding night. What to him sounded like anger and rape. What Christine had convinced Hayley had simply been too much drink.
"God I almost blew it. I could have lost everything."
"So she was back under your spell?"
"Completely." For the first time Bruce saw the turn of a lip. Christine was obviously pleased with herself.
"Had fun doing it, too. Get that girl going and she is so eager to please. I was satiated and happy with myself. She was back in love. Easy with me. She was reading and I asked what she had on the screen. When she showed me I thought it might be some kind of Arabic or Cyrillic writing."
"Cyrillic? What the hell is that?"
"The Russian alphabet," Christine slapped at him. "Our great grandmother is Russian."
"So is every other damned person in our natural family. When are we going to tell everyone?"
"Soon," Christine urged patience. "So anyway, guess what language the girl was looking at? What she wants to learn?"
"I have no idea."
"She's a goddamned space historian. With her grand theories. It makes sense. Guess, Bro."
"I still don't know. I haven't got the faintest clue."
"Trinidian? Except she called it Yretan. That's what the bitch has talked her into doing. Hayley has decided that she wants to do—as her own project, not to conflict with any of her official work, but because she is interested—she wants to write the first history of Yreta Cuta," she bit the name sarcastically, "for her next book. No human has done that yet. Did you know that?"
"I'd never really cared."
"Who would, but that bitch Light Horse put it into her head. And I know why?"
Bruce did, too. Hayley was idealistic, not stupid. In a minute, she would understand the complete nature of the Confederation's relationship with the planet. She was already supportive of Ceta Bine Two, but too afraid of Christine's temper to say anything or do anything contrary.
"What did you tell her?"
"No. I didn't want her to do it."
"She thought about arguing with me, but I let her know I meant it."
"Do you think she'll cross you?"
"I don't know. I have to be careful. Intimidation now, and—I just don't know. Yet, I know she's afraid to lose my love. That I'll leave her. I told you of how she cried the day I had to meet with Franklin. She was so afraid."
"Just like your adopted parents."
"Yeah, it took her a long time before she ever sought help and left him. He had her believing it was always her fault, or he'd be so apologetic. He played her like a yo-yo. I learned all his tactics."
"Yet women flock to you."
"I'm not abusive."
"Then why with Hayley. The sex?" He gestured at the screens.
"I give her enough tenderness. Believe it or not, she enjoys much of the physicality. But when she doesn't act how I want or know her place, I will act."
"What if she leaves you?"
"No Genetti has divorced in three generations, at least not in their immediate family. Hayley's just as traditional."
"But if she does? There goes your Martian connection."
"I'll always have you if you keep your woman. But, I wonder if I can keep up the charade. Hayley is not my cup of tea."
"I know. What then?"
"Then I go to Plan B."
"Plan B? You're playing with me."
"No, no." Christine pointed to her forehead. "It's a great plan, and now that Light Horse thinks she can influence my wife, I might just give her even more." Christine stood. "I need another drink and with Hayley out of the picture tonight, I plan to have fun."
"We have only a little over a week left before we adjourn for the First Interim."
"Oh, I'm not going to get drunk. I still want to call my beloved wife and make sure she's having a good tour, and I promised to never get drunk again, or even have a little hangover."
Bruce followed her to the bar. "Luckily you're usually pretty good with alcohol."
"I just forgot myself at the reception."
"We both did, but it's not too often that a brother gets to be best man at the wedding of his little sister and best friend."
Christine filled both glasses and restopped the decanter. "Here's to our wives, Bro. Steppingstone to power. Doing what my bastard father never could."
"To keeping our Martian ties strong."
"And if I can't," Christine smiled, "To my broken heart and Hayley's ruin."
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