Soul Crossing

By Web Bard (copyright 01/01)

Part 16

Beth and Reese lay wrapped in each other’s arms sound asleep. The normally quiet seas had kept the boat steady until now. A sudden clap of thunder made the young blonde sit straight up in the bed.

"Reese," said Beth as she shook her sleeping partner. "Get up honey. I think we’ve got trouble."

Reese stretched her arms above her head and then pulled her lover back down to the bed. "It’s just a little thunderstorm. Go back to sleep."

"I have a bad feeling about this. Let’s get up. Please?"

The taller woman groaned and rolled out of the bed. She grabbed her jeans and pulled on her sweater and shoes. She handed her partner her clothes. "I’ll go up and check on Arkas. I’ll be right back, okay?"

Reese yawned and started up the companionway to the deck. She met Arkas halfway up the steps. The young man looked worried.

"Glad you’re up. I was just coming to wake you," said the ship’s captain. "There is a nasty line of squalls blowing up and we’re carrying too much canvas. I need to reef the mainsail and put out the jib or the wind could capsize us. But I’ve got to get back to the wheel. Please come as quickly as you can."

Reese felt the ship rock to the wind and a small hand gripped her arm. She turned around to see Beth standing behind her. Hiding her own concern about the situation, she smiled and spoke calmly. "Arkas needs a little help. Are you up to being a sailor for a while?"

"It’s bad, isn’t it?" Beth couldn’t shake the feeling of dread weighing on her heart.

At the expression on her partner’s face, Reese dropped the pretense. "Yes, love," said the taller woman. "Arkas thinks it’s going to be a dangerous storm. We’ll be fine, though. Don’t you worry about a thing."

Reese took Beth’s face in her hands and quickly gave her a kiss. I’m not going to let anything happen to you, I promise. The storm will pass.


The boat was already pitching wildly and the driving rain felt like bullets as they came topside. Grabbing the hatch combing to steady themselves, Reese and Beth climbed out on the deck. Arkas waved from the wheel at the stern.

"What do you need us to do?" Reese shouted into the gale. Grabbing her lover by the hand, she made her way over to the young Greek captain.

"First of all, you need to attach yourself to the safety lines," said the captain. "I don’t want to lose either one of you falling overboard. If something does happen and you do fall, the line will be able to help bring you back in."

"Okay," Beth shouted. Her teeth chattering from the wet wind, she first attached the harness and line to herself and then to Reese. "Now what?"

"Now I’ll lash the wheel," said the young man, slipping a rope over the spokes on both sides of the wheel. That will keep her going straight on this heading while we work."

The rain was now blowing sideways and lightning pierced the night sky every few seconds. The captain slid over to one of the main lines holding the already lowered main sail. "Beth, you need to tie off the lines on the mainsail boom while I go forward and let out the jib. That will steady us in the wind. Reese, you’re bigger and stronger than Beth. Can you stand at the boom and gather the sail tight to it while she works her way to you?"

Reese nodded and moved through the rain toward the end of the boom. Arkas was forward, letting out the small staysail. Working as rapidly as she could on the pitching deck, the young blond looked toward her partner who was fighting the wind to keep the blowing canvas in one position.

"Reese, I’m almost there. We’ll have everything secure in a minute, okay?"

The taller woman nodded and made one more effort to wrap the loose ends of the sail around the bottom of the boom. As she reached out to pull more loose sailcloth in, a gust of wind hit the boat and Reese lost her footing and started to slide. The boat was tipped on its side by the wind and the canvas was ripped out of her hands. She frantically tried to grab at anything secure as she rolled toward the side, but failed. Beth screamed as she watched the woman she loved hit the protective railing and then flip over it and fall into the dark sea.

"Oh, my God," cried Beth as she let go of the boom and jumped for Reese’s safety line. "Arkas, do something! Help me get her out of the water!"

The ship’s captain grabbed the safety line attached to Reese and he began to pull. "Beth, you go to the side and grab her when I pull the line up, okay?"

Holding onto the safety line, the young blonde slid carefully toward the edge of the railing and hooked her leg around a small staunchon. She peered over the edge into the angry black sea to look for any sign of Reese. "Reeeeeessse!! Can you hear me? Just hang on, honey. We’re pulling you up right now."

She watched the line move up slowly over the edge and screamed again. "Answer me dammit! Where are you?"

Arkas was pulling as hard as he could. But making little headway, he cursed and tied off the line to the mast and crawled toward the side of the boat. He pulled even harder at the taut rope. The captain felt a slight thud against the side of the boat and gave the rope one more strong heave. "I think she’s right here. Can you grab a hand or arm?"

Through blinding rain and her own flood of tears, the young woman reached over the edge of the boat and saw Reese’s sweater. She grabbed the wet wool with both hands and pulled as hard as she could. Arkas moved closer, grabbed Reese under her arms and yanked her up over the side of the boat and onto the deck. Beth threw herself over the motionless form and held on for dear life.

"I need to get her to a dry place," shouted the smaller woman as she tried to get Reese to respond. She kissed her partner’s cheek and ran her hands over the cold face.

"Let me take her," said the ship’s captain and the small blonde moved aside. The boat temporarily settled back down into a steady position. Arkas reached down and carefully lifted Reese into his arms. Beth followed him into the stateroom and he placed the taller woman on the bed.

"Thank you Arkas." Tears were running down Beth’s cheeks. The ship’s captain smiled and quickly left to return to the deck. Beth was left to determine the damage to her partner.

"Now you listen to me," said the young blonde as she began to pull the wet clothes off of her lover. "I need you to wake up and talk to me. You have to tell me where it hurts, okay?"

Beth wrapped Reese in all of the blankets and sheets she could find. She caressed the side of her partner’s face and noticed a large bruise forming on Reese’s forehead. Ice. I need to put ice on that. Grabbing another towel, Beth shook the ice cubes out of the tray in the small refrigerator. She returned to the bed and placed the makeshift ice pack on the blue and green raised bump on her lover’s head.

"Please baby. Please open your eyes and talk to me. You can’t leave me. Do you hear me? Don’t you even think about it." Beth interlaced her fingers with her partner’s and squeezed. She leaned over and kissed the cold and slightly blue lips of the woman she loved.

"You’re so cold."

Beth started to shiver as she also realized that she was wearing soaking wet clothes. She quickly stripped away the layers of wet garments and dropped them on the floor. Deciding that her own body heat was the best way to warm her partner, she pulled back the blankets and slid in the bed beside Reese. She rolled on top of her lover and placed her head over Reese’s heart. You keep beating little heart. You belong to me and don’t you ever forget it. Beth began to run her hands up and down her partner’s arms to try to get the blood to circulate. She wrapped her legs around the taller ones below hers and pulled herself closer to Reese.

"Honey, I don’t know what else to do for you. Please baby. Please wake up." Beth started to lose her composure again and tears flowed from her eyes and slid down Reese’s chest. Why did this have to happen? This was their honeymoon for God’s sake. Wrapping her arms even tighter around her beloved friend, Beth dissolved into hysterical sobs.

"B…Beth?" A raspy voice emerged.

"Reese? Honey? Are you okay?" Beth pulled herself up slightly to look into her partner’s blue eyes.

"C..Cold," answered Reese weakly.

"I know, baby," said Beth as she caressed her lover’s face. "I’ve been trying to warm you up. How is your head? Do you hurt anywhere else?"

"Head hurts. Nothing else. Just so c…cold."

Beth carefully pulled herself away from her partner. "I’m going to make us something hot to drink, okay?"

"D…don’t go," said Reese as she grabbed the young blonde’s arm. "Don’t leave me. Please."

"I’ll just put the water on and I’ll be back in two seconds, honey. I promise." Leaving Reese with a quick kiss, Beth put a teakettle of water on the small ship stove to heat.

She stopped by their suitcases and pulled out two sweat suits and two pairs of socks. Quickly pulling her own clothes on, she then moved toward the bed. "Let’s get you into some warm clothes, love."

The young blonde gently reached behind Reese’s neck and pulled her into a sitting position. She slipped the sweatshirt over the taller woman’s head and arms and then placed her back down on the pillows. Pants and socks were next. After dressing her partner, Beth went back to the stove and prepared two cups of hot tea. As she did so, she realized the boat was much steadier.

"I think the storm has passed over us now," said Beth as she lifted the hot liquid to her lover’s mouth. The thunder had stopped and the boat seemed to be smoothly riding the waves again. "Do you remember what happened?"

"Not really. I just remember sliding across the deck and hitting my head on something."

The warm tea started to bring the color back into the tall beauty’s face. She looked down into the worried green eyes that were locked onto hers. "I’m sorry I scared you."

"Scared me? I thought my life was over when I saw you fall over the edge of that boat." Beth lowered her head as hot tears brimmed over the top of her eyelids.

Reese placed her cup on the table next to the bed and took Beth’s away from her. She pulled her lover into an embrace and they settled back down on the bed. Beth nestled her head into her favorite place on her partner’s shoulder and sighed. "I promised you that I’d never leave you, didn’t I?"

"Yes, but sometimes you don’t have control over what happens."

Reese kissed the top of her partner’s blonde head. "I know, love. But even if I died, I would still never leave you. You know that, don’t you? Even in death…"

"Stop talking about dying," said Beth as her composure began to dissolve again. "I can’t take it anymore. Just hold me. Please?"

The taller woman tightened her hold on her partner. "I’m okay, sweetheart. I promise. Just relax and try to rest. Everything will be all right in the morning. I promised you a honeymoon and you’re going to get it."

"You’re going to the doctor as soon as we land," said Beth.

"If it makes you happy," said Reese. "We’ll take care of that first."

"You make me happy, Reese." Beth lifted herself up to look into her lover’s eyes. "You are my reason for living. The reason I wake up every day. Don’t you understand how much I love you? I can’t live without you. I just can’t."

"I love you, too, baby," said Reese as she kissed her partner. "Now come here and hold me. I need to feel you close to me. Just rest now."

The young blonde snuggled back down on Reese’s chest and pulled the blankets over them. She could feel the warmth returning to her lover’s body as well as her own. The love of her life was holding her in her arms and other than a bump on the head, was not hurt seriously. They had weathered the storm together and survived. Beth took a deep breath and relaxed. She listened to the heartbeat beneath her ear and the steady breathing of her beloved as they both drifted off to sleep.

Two women in flowing white robes stood by the bed. The small blonde figure gently caressed Reese’s hair while she slept. The taller woman touched the side of Beth’s face and leaned down to kiss her cheek. The two women looked at each other and smiled. The storm was over.

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