Kiraling – Part 14 (Chapter 70-81)
Written by anonxyzus :: [Friday, 07 February 2020 22:45] Last updated by :: [Sunday, 15 March 2020 20:50]
In the days leading up to the camping trip Gloria drilled me on the use of the security system, how to monitor it remotely using the phone Kara gave me, how to activate the watch for communication or to call for help, and how to set up various options. The system was designed for thoroughness rather than ease of use, so there was a lot to learn.
We also worked on hand-to-hand combat, conditioning and strength training and bulking me up. Bulking me up, now that was an interesting negotiation.
Despite Gloria’s medical degree, she didn’t have a very good feel for what constituted good nutrition for a Terran. She didn’t want to talk about it, but from what I was able to gather, in either her education or job duties, the point of nutrition was to get the minimum number of calories into a Terran required to keep them capable of doing work. She wouldn’t tell me what kind of work, but I gathered it was physical. So to her, everything came down to calories consumed. She understood the difference between protein, carbohydrates and fat, but didn’t understand how they should be apportioned to get the desired results.
I took her to a bookstore in town and bought her some books, then to the WWU bookstore and found some academic books on the subject. She devoured them.
We also made several trips to the local car rental companies to find a suitable van for the camping trip and when we found one, we reserved it. After that we went to the REI store in Bellingham and outfitted Gloria with a sleeping bag and pad, hiking boots, a pack, water bottles, etc. We also purchased maps of the area and a compass.
Between the books and the maps Gloria kept herself busy studying and I noticed a change in the menus. Except for dessert, less chocolate and more protein.
When the day came for us to leave on our camping trip, Xara, Kara and Sharon arrived, each with their own Arion pod. They opened them up and I looked at what they brought with them. Kara and Xara’s choices were practical, no nonsense camping and hiking gear. Sharon on the other hand, I had no idea you could buy designer hiking boots, shorts and backpacks, all in matching colors.
“Sharon, are those real diamonds on the water bottle?” I asked.
“No!”, she snorted. “I had to go with these cheap imitations.”
Kara and Xara bought a very nice 8-man tent, with a divider so you could have two rooms. I would have gone with something a little simpler, but hey, it was Xara’s trip, so I didn’t say anything.
I brought my gear out and set it down next to theirs. After I was satisfied that all our gear would fit in the van without invading the passenger seats, I asked “the blondes”, though I didn’t call them that, to organize it for packing while Gloria and I went into town to pick up the van.
At the car rental the attendant kept trying to interrupt while Gloria was inspecting the van, checking the tire tread, the fluids, etc. She wasn’t going to let me sign off on it until she was satisfied. I told the guy to relax, everything would go faster if he just left her alone. I had to distract him when she crawled under the van and lifted the front end up to get a better view of whatever it was she was inspecting. Finally, she finished and started going over the paperwork. When she was happy everything was in order, I signed the papers and we were off. I drove the van back to the cabin, and she followed in the Prius.
When we arrived at the cabin, we found Sharon, Xara and Kara involved in a very spirited argument over who was going to drive and who was going to ride shotgun. At points they’d stop and two of them would play rock, paper, scissors. I only recognized it from the end position. Otherwise their hands were moving too fast to see.
“Joe, why do we need a shotgun? We could have brought a GAR with us.”
“Gloria, it’s a reference from the days of stagecoach travel.”
“What is a stagecoach? Do you have a shotgun?”
“We’ll rent a couple of westerns to watch when we get back. ‘Riding shotgun’ means sitting next to the driver in the right seat. It’s a colloquial reference from the days of stagecoach travel.”
“It is a very strange way to indicate a front seat passenger Joe.”
“When you see the movies, you’ll understand.”
I interrupted the argument. “Ladies. LADIES. LADIES!!!!” This got their attention.
“Gloria will drive, I will ride in the front seat with her. She hasn’t had any experience driving over mountain passes yet.”
Oh my God, that started the argument all over again, this time they wanted to include me. I thought Gloria was going to burst from trying to hold back her laughter.
“STOP!!!!” I used my Sargent voice. They were quiet again. They looked a little shocked. “I rented the van. I signed Gloria up as the second driver. You guys can take turns behind the wheel when we get to Chelan. But for now, Gloria is the driver and I’m riding shotgun. Period. End of story. Now start loading up the van.”
All three of them just stood there, with their mouths open. Then they started picking up gear and loading the van. Gloria leaned down to me and whispered in my ear, “Well done Joe.”
“They really can be childish at times,” I whispered back.
“We heard that!”, said Xara.
We were about to start a four-hour drive, over the mountains, with an Arion behind the wheel and three sulking Velorians in the backseat. I thought back to that day when we piled into our Strykers for the ride into Fallujah. I handled that. I can handle this.
The drive was uneventful. The way a long drive with a car full of children is uneventful. I did have to coax Gloria a bit to pass slower traffic on Hwy 2. There are long stretches where it is only two lanes, one in each direction, and while the van wasn’t the peppiest vehicle on the road, it certainly had enough power to pass large, slow RVs.
I had to keep the backseat occupied. They were like three six-year old children back there arguing about who had to sit in the middle for how long. Velorians don’t need rest stops. Gloria and I could have gone the entire trip without one, but I inserted a couple to let the blondes stretch their legs and switch positions. No one wanted to ride in the middle seat. Next time we do this I’ll get a van with three rows.
I came up with a couple of activities to keep them busy. The first was to plan our meals and make a grocery list. We didn’t bring any food with us, the plan was to set up camp, then drive into Chelan to shop.
The second activity was to decide what they wanted to do, on which days. Xara wanted to go to the water park. Kara had read about Stehekin and wanted to take the boat there. Aside from gambling, Sharon didn’t have much to say. I suggested we visit some wineries. This got Sharon’s attention.
“There are wineries where we are going?”
“Yes,” I said, “Several. They all have wine tasting rooms and the views are very nice.”
“I want to visit the wineries,” she said. And that finally broke the ice. Then they started arguing over the food to buy, the days to do different activities (Sharon wanted to visit wineries every day), and, much to my chagrin, the sleeping arrangements.
Sharon started teasing me about having sex in the tent with the other three critiquing us. I blushed, and then all three of them were piling on and teasing me. Gloria concentrated on her driving, with a huge grin on her face.
“You guys know I packed my meds, right?”
“Don’t be a spoil sport Joe,” said Sharon.
“I wonder if the three of us together can overcome his meds,” said Kara.
And then I had to roll down my window, because someone was releasing her pheromones.
“Is that you Kara?”
“How did you know Joseph?”
“I’ve been exposed to Xara and Sharon’s pheromones enough to be able to tell the difference. I didn’t recognize that particular scent, so it had to be yours.”
That shut all of them up. For about fifteen seconds.
“Wait a minute,” said Xara. “You can tell our pheromones apart?”
“I can. They all smell like wildflowers and honey, but they are all just a little bit different.”
They were quiet for a few seconds, and then Kara said, “Supremis pheromones are unique, and we can tell them apart. But you’re the first Terran I’ve ever run into who can differentiate them.”
“Well, I must have a good nose,” I said.
“Wait! What?” said Sharon, “Kara, when do you have a second Vel around a Terran, both of you emitting pheromones, and who is the other Vel?”
“Xara used to torture Eric, Sharon.”
“Mom, I’ve told you I’m sorry for that.”
“Yes dear, you have. I wasn’t criticizing, I was answering Sharon’s question.”
“Gloria,” said Kara, “Let’s schedule Joe for some brain scans. Between the way his meds interact with our pheromones, and now this, I want to see if there is something unique to him we can identify.”
“Is it really that big a deal?” I asked.
“A big deal? Probably not,” she said. “But it is very interesting. Maybe it’s related to your injuries. Maybe we can learn something that will help you.”
Just past Leavenworth I saw a fruit stand and I told Gloria to get off the highway and head towards it. It was a large, permanent fruit stand, more like a small outdoor market. Gloria and I were looking at the pears when I saw the blondes huddled together by the cherries. They each bought a bag of cherries. When we got back into the van to resume our trip it was Kara’s turn to sit in the middle. There was no arguing at all, which should have rung warning bells, but I was too grateful for the peace to worry about it.
We got back on the highway and Xara and Sharon rolled down their windows. It made it a little noisy in the van, but so what? If that kept them happy and they weren’t arguing, so be it. Then I heard jostling in the back seat and turned around to see what was going on. They were poking their heads out the windows, blonde hair flying everywhere, and spitting cherry pits at road signs as we passed them, at 60 mph, and hitting them! The jostling was Kara going back and forth between the two windows.
“What the hell? Sit down, roll up the windows and put your seatbelts back on!”
Kara just waved me off. Suddenly, Sharon shouted, “Oh Skietra! I hit that car!”
“What?” I said, “Gloria! Pull over.”
Then all three of the blondes were yelling at us not to stop, just drive. So Gloria drove on and the backseat erupted into laughter and giggles. Then Gloria said, “We are being approached by a police car with its lights flashing.”
I heard all three seatbelts in the backseat click at once and turned around to see the ladies rolling up the windows, then sit facing straight ahead with their hands in their laps. The bags of cherries were nowhere to be seen. The police car passed us on the left and they broke out in giggles and laughter again, then pulled the cherries out from under the seat.
“Ladies, can you please refrain from vandalizing state property?”
“Joseph,” said Kara, “Those signs have already been shot up pretty well. I doubt anyone will notice a few extra dents in them.”
“Dents? Not holes?”
“The pits break apart before they can go all the way through,” said Xara.”
“What about the car you hit?”
“No worse than a rock chip,” said Sharon. “I’ll be more careful.”
And with that, they rolled down the windows and started stuffing cherries into their mouths.
First her little prank with the pheromones, then spitting cherry pits, I was starting to see a side of Kara I hadn’t seen before. Get her together with “the girls” and she could let her hair down and have a good time. I don’t mean to imply that Kara has a stick up her butt, but of the three Velorians, she is the most serious. It was good to see her having fun, even if a little of it was at my expense. And the expense of the State of Washington. And the expense of whoever owned the car Sharon hit.
As we got closer to the Columbia River, traffic started to get heavier and the ladies rolled up the windows and went back to arguing over who was driving next, who was sitting in the middle, etc. They quieted down when the river came into view and there was more varied scenery.
The quickest way to the park is to take Hwy 971 N into the hills, rather than drive into Chelan, and that’s what we did. The ladies became much quieter as they looked around at the devastation caused by forest fires over the previous few years.
Finally, finally, we got to the park. We drove in and found our spot. Xara reserved a very nice spot for us, not too far from the restrooms, not too far from the lake, and with good shade. Gloria parked the van and we all got out and started unloading it.
I pulled out a tarp and laid it on the ground for the ladies’ tent, then put down another tarp for my tent. Then I went looking for my tent. It wasn’t there.
“Umm, ladies, where is my tent?”
“In Bellingham,” said Xara, “In your garage. My tent sleeps eight. We don’t need yours.”
“Do I need to take my meds?” I asked.
“Don’t you dare!” said Sharon.
Kara came up and put her arm around me. “We’ll divide the tent Joseph, you and Sharon will have privacy.”
“Privacy! You guys can see through walls! You can hear a pin drop from the next county! How can there be any privacy?”
“Welcome to our world,” said Xara. “You may as well get used to it.”
“Joe,” said Sharon, “It won’t be a problem. Don’t worry about it.”
I gave up. “I give up. Let’s get the tent set up.”
So we laid out the tent and set it up. Besides leaving my tent at home, Xara also left my mallet, because they wouldn’t need it. They just shoved the tent stakes into the ground as easy as if they were pushing a hot knife through warm butter.
After our camp was set up Gloria gave the keys to Kara, and Gloria, Xara and I got into the back seat while Sharon sat up front. I was in the middle. Which made sense, being the smallest person in the van.
I have to stop a moment and talk about this. All the Supremis I had met up to that time were taller than me. And while the ladies have very feminine figures, they also weigh more than me, and not just because I’m underweight. Their muscles and bones are denser than ours. It’s a very … different … situation to be in.
Anyway, the highway into Chelan goes along the lake, and you can see some of the wineries and vineyards, which got Sharon excited, but they all liked the view of the lake.
We stopped at the Lady of the Lake and bought tickets for the boat ride to Stehekin. To give us the maximum time there, we bought tickets for the express boat up lake and the milk run down lake. Then we went to the Safeway in Chelan to do the grocery shopping.
We brought two large coolers with us. Xara made a list of everything we’d need and the five of us broke up into two groups, me and Gloria in one group, the Velorians in the other, and we went shopping. After about twenty minutes we came together, and I had to insert a little rationality into the process. The coolers were not big enough for all the perishables we were buying, so we started moving stuff between baskets. When we were done, Gloria and I returned the items in our basket to where we found them, and the blondes went to the checkout stand.
Normally, this would not be a problem. I have been on camping trips with this many people before and we were able to buy all our food in one shopping trip and keep it cool for the entire length of our stay. But these were Supremis. They consumed everything in “mass quantities,” as the saying goes. So we’d have to make a couple of shopping trips. Given the activities we had planned, that wouldn’t be a problem.
On the way back to the campground Gloria wanted to get into the chocolate bars. Xara slapped her hand and said no, those were for the s’mores. Gloria asked what s’mores are and Xara told her she’d have to wait and see.
It’s a good thing Sharon wasn’t driving, because she would have had us stopping at each and every vineyard on the way back. Back at the campground we unloaded groceries and Gloria started making dinner. Among the Supremis, she seems to be the acknowledged cook. Or chef. Or desert chef. Anyway, she does most of the cooking. While she was doing that Xara went around the campground, looking for families with children, inviting them to come to our spot for s’mores after dinner.
Dinner was huge, and for once that was okay with me, because I’d worked up a pretty good appetite with all this running around and trying to herd and keep order among super humans. Cleanup was quick too. With no one watching them too closely, the blondes used their heat vision to burn off any dirt or grime that didn’t readily surrender to soap and water. About the time we finished cleaning up and packing the food back in the coolers, families started showing up.
Now, I noticed on my previous camping trip with Xara that little children took a liking to her. As the evening wore on it became very apparent that the younger kids were all attracted to the Supremis. And the attraction went both ways, which didn’t surprise me at all with Xara, didn’t surprise me too much with Kara, surprised me a little with Sharon and surprised me a lot with Gloria. Gloria doesn’t come across as being warm and fuzzy, but she had one or two children climbing into her lap all evening. And the ladies were very willing to indulge the kids. At one point, when I was the only one looking, I saw Sharon melting a marshmallow for a little one using her heat vision.
There were a couple of teenage boys about Xara’s age in the group. She got a lot of attention from them and was enjoying it, but still gave most of her attention to the younger children.
As the evening wore on and I was talking to the adults, I discovered that a couple of the dads were also war vets. We gravitated towards each other, then moved away from the rest of the group and started swapping war stories. About three beers in, we started comparing our experiences being in the shit, and I said that was literally one of my experiences. Being in a firefight that went on for hours, with half my platoon having diarrhea, and just shitting in our pants, while we fought, because there was no other choice. And I wasn’t the only one in this group who had that experience. I looked up just as I finished my story and saw that all four of the ladies were looking at me. I guessed they were listening. I just shrugged and waved at them, then went back to the conversation.
As it got later the families started leaving and soon it was just our party around the campfire. Xara was sitting next to me, and she asked, “Joe, why do you tell those war stories? Doesn’t that make it worse?”
She was referring to my PTSD. I said, “Not always Xara, sometimes it helps. Tonight, it helped.”
“Would it help you to tell us your stories?” She asked.
“No Xara, maybe … I don’t know. It helps with those guys because we have a shared experience. It’s easier to relate to someone who has been through the same thing.”
“Joe,” she said, “I think you should tell us about your experience, to help us understand you better.”
“Xara, the things I saw, the things I did, sitting here, in this beautiful, peaceful park, they just don’t make any sense.” I looked around for Johnson and Dixon, to get some support, but they were nowhere to be found. Fuckers. They’re all in for the ride when Sharon is wearing her gold, but nowhere to be seen when I really need them.
“Joseph,” said Kara, “Where were you fighting when you were sick?”
“I did a lot of fighting when I was sick Kara. But I suppose you’re asking about the story I told the others.” She nodded.
“That was in Fallujah. I wasn’t there long, though it seemed like an eternity at the time. The Marines, they shouldered the brunt of the fighting, and took the brunt of the casualties.”
“Was there anything special or different about Fallujah?” she asked.
“Kara, everything was different about Fallujah. It was the first time my unit came up against an enemy that had real training and discipline. There were a lot of foreign fighters, guys from all over the Middle East, some from outside it. And they knew what they were doing. They coordinated with each other far more than we’d seen before.
“Whatever they lacked in courage, they made up for with drugs. They were higher than a kite, and all they wanted was to die martyrs and take as many of us with them as they could.
“The city was designed for a siege. Every building is a fortress. Some with three-foot-thick concrete walls. Firing slits everywhere. Stairways and hallways bricked up to keep us from the rooftops and to funnel us into kill zones when we were clearing a building.
“They’d cut holes through walls so they could escape from one building into another.
“Buildings loaded with explosives they could detonate when we went in them. IEDs everywhere.
“They’d do reconnaissance by human sacrifice. They’d send some guy down a street or alleyway with nothing but his AK and wait for us to shoot him down so they could pinpoint our positions and attack.
“They had American equipment. We’d see them in Kevlar, same as ours, and we’d have to double and triple check to make sure they weren’t our guys. We found weapons caches with M16s. They even had night vision, the same equipment we used.
“We caught a guy out in the open carrying a car battery. A car battery and an AK-47. We shot him, then went to investigate the building he was heading towards. It was loaded with explosives, all of it wired up. All that was needed was the current from that battery to blow the building and most of the block up, including us.
“We were trained in hand-to-hand combat, but up until Fallujah I never thought I’d need that training. But in Fallujah … Jesus Christ. I fought with everything I had. My M4, my K-Bar, my hands and feet, even my helmet.
“We were always filthy. The slightest scratch would become infected and swollen, dripping pus and black goo.
“And the dogs. Christ. The dogs. Feral dogs who would follow the fighting and …”
By this time my voice was getting shaky, and I was starting to perspire. Kara got up and came to me, knelt down on one knee and put her arm around my shoulder, and said, “Thank you Joseph for sharing that with us. I think that’s enough. Why don’t we turn in?”
One day, these ladies are going to make my head explode. That night, they almost did.
The park has showers, and I was pretty grungy from the day, so I excused myself to take a quick shower. When I got back to our site, I went into the tent, into the side that I thought was for me and Sharon. Only Sharon wasn’t there. Kara was. I stopped, and looked around, thinking I’d walked into the wrong side. But Kara stood up, did I mention she was naked? She reached out to me and said, “Come my Kiraling. You shared something of yourself with me tonight, now I’m going to share something of myself with you.”
And then she released her pheromones. But instead of hitting me hard with them, like Sharon would, this was more … subtle. I mean, I wasn’t in a frenzy like I was with Sharon sometimes, I was definitely aroused, but still able to think.
She kissed me, then started undressing me. This was so unexpected, and then I realized Xara was right next door, the only thing separating us a zippered fabric divider. I mean, Xara has this crush on me, and now her mother is taking me to bed?
“Kara,” I whispered, “Won’t this be too weird, I mean, Xara …”
And from the other side of that partition I heard Xara say, “Oh for crying out loud Joe! You’re over thinking again. Just get over it for Skietra’s sake.”
It didn’t help that Gloria and Sharon started giggling.
By this time I was naked and Kara, who was holding my erection, smiled at me and said, “For once Joseph, listen to my daughter.”
And then she released more of her pheromones and my resistance suddenly went away. And for Christ Sake, Dixon and Johnson came back. Assholes.
Sharon, I think, had zipped her sleeping bag and mine together. Kara lowered us down, and it was warm enough that we didn’t need to crawl into the bags. Or at least I didn’t, I don’t think it would have made much difference to Kara.
Like I said, Kara had used enough of her pheromones on me that my inhibitions were, more or less, a little more than less, overcome, but I noticed she wasn’t wearing any gold. So I asked her about it.
“Um, Kara, shouldn’t you be wearing gold?”
“No, my Kiraling. This is my special gift to you: to make love to a fully empowered Velorian Protector. Have no fear, I will not allow any harm to come to you.”
I was lying on my back. Kara levitated off the floor, then lowered herself down on me, very gently and slowly, bringing me inside her, without the use of her hands. And then, just as gently and slowly, began rocking back and forth, up and down.
Sharon is tight. But Kara, without the gold, it was like being held, tightly, in a slippery, velvet glove. That description doesn’t do it justice. Kara was so tight, it was almost painful, but it felt so very good at the same time. I didn’t think it possible to be held any tighter without being in pain, but as my orgasm approached Kara clamped down even harder, while continuing her motions, and bent down and whispered, “Not yet, my Kiraling. Wait for me.”
So I did. Not that I had any choice. This went on awhile longer, I have no idea how much longer because I’d pretty much lost the ability to track time by then, when she began to shudder.
Okay, with Sharon, wearing gold, when her orgasm starts it’s like hold on for dear life, but with Kara, it was different. Remember, she wasn’t wearing gold. So I felt every twitch, shudder, and involuntary movement much more intensely. If riding out one of Sharon’s orgasms is like being on a raft on a storm swept ocean, Kara’s was like being on top of a steam locomotive that was barreling down a hill. I wasn’t hurt, there was no pain for me, but I could feel impossible power in her legs, vagina, everywhere. And then she relaxed her internal muscles, and I came with her. I think I must have shouted or screamed, because I became aware of muted giggling from next door.
I’m not sure how many times we made love that night. When I was on top, at the moment of our orgasm, Kara held me so tightly that I couldn’t move, for a few moments I couldn’t even breathe. All the friction was provided by her internal muscles.
When I woke up in the morning Kara was next to me, looking at me, smiling. I could hear the other ladies outside the tent, and I could smell breakfast being prepared.
“Kara, why can you do that without gold, and Sharon can’t?”
“Ahh my Kiraling, Protectors are trained in what we call, ‘unprotected sex’ with a Terran. It takes a great deal of discipline and practice to be able to fully enjoy an orgasm without crushing a Terran partner to death or squishing his penis.”
“So, you enjoyed it?”
“Very much! Did you?”
“Oh hell yes Kara!” I’m surprised she could hear me over the whooping and yelling from Dixon and Johnson. When Kara looked away, briefly, I gave them the finger. Assholes.
And then, from outside the tent, I heard Xara say, “I’m going to learn how to do that Joe!”
“Oh my God Kara, with the way Xara feels about me, this isn’t weird for you?”
Then I heard Sharon, “The only person it’s weird for is you, Joe. Please get over yourself so we can stop having these conversations!”
“She’s right,” said Kara, “Now, instead of wallowing in anxiety over your Terran taboos, let’s get dressed and have breakfast. It smells wonderful!”
During breakfast Sharon started making jokes about me about having a threesome with her and Kara. Kara, thankfully, didn’t pile on, but Dixon and Johnson just went nuts over it. Johnson suggested I should invite Xara and make it a foursome. Gloria caught me scowling at them and said, “Joe, Sharon is just teasing you. You need to, how do you say, lighten up.”
I think being around the Velorians has spoiled me.
After breakfast we cleaned up then piled into the van to go to Slide Waters, a popular waterpark in Chelan. We paid our admission and went to the changing rooms. When we came out, I was surprised to see that the ladies had all brought conservative one-piece swimsuits with them. And still …
At a place like Slide Waters you see all kinds of people, of all ages, in all kinds of shape. There are a lot of lovely young ladies, many, if not most, in two-piece swimsuits. And none of them, absolutely none of them, could hold a candle to the Supremis ladies I was with. Young women who would have definitely turned my head before … well, they still turned my head, but it swiveled immediately back to the Supremis. Johnson opined that we had developed a new standard for judging beauty. Dixon and I concurred.
And as I looked around, I saw the affect they had on everyone around us. Just being themselves, standing in line, the men around us wanted them. The women wanted to be them.
Slide Waters is pretty much described by its name. It has several different water slides that wind around and end in pools. You’d think, being able to fly, the Velorians wouldn’t be too interested. Wrong! They loved it. They made multiple trips down every slide, laughing and giggling all the way down. We ran into one of the families from the night before, and their two little kids wanted to ride down the kiddie slides in the laps of the ladies. Even Gloria indulged them in this.
And then, they discovered the inflatable tubes, which can accommodate one to four people, and they all wanted to ride down on tubes with me. Over, and over, and over.
Oh, and every half-hour one of them would grab me and slather me with sunscreen. Xara said she could tell when my skin was getting close to burning.
We took a break for lunch and sat in the shade of a tree while we ate. And I asked them about why they enjoyed the slides so much. Xara just looked at me like I was nuts and said, “It’s fun!”
After lunch Xara put more sunscreen on me and it was back to the slides for a couple of hours, and then, finally, they decided they’d had enough.
We changed and left the park and headed into Chelan where the ladies spent the next two hours exploring the shops in the tourist area, which is a large section of the town. We split up and I ended up walking around with Sharon. I was curious about what Kara said, and I asked Sharon about it.
“How does a Velorian learn how to have sex with a Terran without using gold?”
“The Protector training program includes that in their curriculum. It takes a great deal of training. Both mental and physical. Physical, to learn how to have very, very fine control over her muscles. All of them. Because without that control it’s a tossup over what would be crushed first, the Terran’s penis, pelvis or his rib cage. And mental control, because in the throes of passion we want to give up all control and surrender to our orgasm.”
“Can Kara teach Xara that kind of control?”
“Well, that’s the question Joe. I believe Xara can learn the physical control. We can use aids for that, but the mental control takes a great deal of discipline. If she has the discipline, and if Kara is a good teacher, then yes, she could learn it.”
“What kind of aids are used?”
“Sharon turned to me and smiled. I’ll tell you, but I’m going to be very unhappy with you if you become intimidated and start taking your meds.”
Dixon and Johnson started up. “Tell us! Tell us!”
“How ‘bout you tell me, and if I think it’s too much I’ll tell you to stop.”
She grinned at me and said, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
“If I was picking the aids, I’d start off with a piece of granite, carved into the shape of a dildo. I’d have her masturbate with it until she could get to the point where she could orgasm without crushing the rock.
“Then I’d move on to something softer, like a piece of steel, again, in the shape of a dildo. If she could get through an orgasm without melting or crushing it, I’d move on to …”
“Okay, Okay!” I said. “I give up. That is intimidating. And probably a lot more than I wanted to know.”
She grinned at me and gave me a kiss, and said I’d better be ready for her this evening.
We rejoined the other ladies and went back to Safeway to buy more s’mores ingredients. Because between the guests who came to our site the night before, and Gloria, we had run out.
When we got back to the campground it was too early for dinner, so the ladies decided to go swimming in the lake. So we all changed into our swimsuits again and went down to the lake and dove in. The water was cold, but not too bad. The park swimming area is enclosed by floats, and the ladies wanted to go beyond that, so I followed them out. About 100 yards from shore Xara swam up to me.
“Joe, grab ahold of my feet and I’ll take you for a ride. Squeeze when you need to come up for air.”
She laid out and I grabbed her feet, took a breath, and she dove under water, about eight feet, and began flying, underwater. I squeezed her feet when I needed to breathe and she brought us to the surface, waited for me to catch my breath, and then we did it again. After a while, when we came up for air, I looked around and saw that we had gone across the lake, at least a mile and a half from where we started.
Xara put her arms around me and held me up, so I didn’t have to tread water. “We’re going back a little differently. You won’t have to hold your breath.”
Then she laid back in the water, with her head under but mine above, and swam or flew back to the other side. When we were about 100 yards from the beach she came up and we swam back, side by side, the rest of the way.
It had been a long day, and I was very hungry when we sat down to dinner. Like the evening before, no one had to encourage me to eat more. After dinner Xara went around inviting families to our site and we built up the fire and began making s’mores.
Everyday campers come and go from the park, and this evening one of the families that joined us was quite musical. They brought a guitar and recorder and led us in song. I discovered that the Supremis have another talent; they are all very good singers with beautiful voices. And they have perfect pitch.
A couple of songs in, Xara turned to the man playing the guitar and said, “Hey, you’re out of tune.”
She reached for the guitar and the guy gave it to her, and she proceeded to tune it, by ear. Then gave it back and he started playing and everybody started singing again.
As the evening wore on people would get up to go to the rest room, or make another s’more, and we’d find ourselves changing places. After a while Xara was sitting next to me. She put her arm in mine, leaned over and put her head on my shoulder. It felt so natural and right. Johnson said, “She’s winning you over bro.” Dixon agreed. I had to admit, they were right.
After our guests left and we cleaned up, I sat with Xara for a while longer, just looking at the stars and enjoying being with her. Around 11pm or so, she said she was turning in and kissed me. Sounded like a good idea, so I walked with her to the tent. When I got in, on my side of the divider, Sharon was there waiting for me. I undressed and laid down with her and she wrapped me in her arms and gave me a kiss.
“How are you feeling Joe? It looks like Gloria took your stitches out. Any after effects from the concussion?”
“You know, I think there might be. The last time I took my meds was the night before I returned from the prom trip. I haven’t had any nightmares since then. Maybe the concussion did a reset on my brain.”
Sharon sat up and looked at me, and then the divider unzipped, and I was surrounded by three naked Velorians and one naked Arion. Johnson yelled, “Five way!” And he and Dixon high fived each other.
Being in Sharon’s arms, kissing her and all, was having the expected reaction. But being so startled by the other ladies entering, I quickly deflated.
Kara said, “Joe, I want you to think hard. When was the last time you remember having a nightmare, when you weren’t on your meds?”
“Memorial Day weekend. When Xara and I were camping. I had a nightmare then. After that I was on my meds pretty regularly until I got back from the prom weekend.”
“Okay,” she said, “Think back about today, when we were at the water park, did you find yourself getting nervous, or uncomfortable with the crowd?”
“Come to think of it Kara, no, I was just fine. Like being on my meds, but without the fuzziness. No, better than being on my meds. Why, what do you think is happening? Do you think the concussion really reset something in my brain?”
Gloria answered, “No, not the concussion. The blondes.”
I said, “The Velorians? I don’t understand.”
Kara answered. “Joe, we have an effect on Terrans. It is well documented but very poorly understood. When Terrans are exposed to Velorians, over a period of time, they gradually change, temporarily. Many report feeling stronger, more energetic or healthier. They get over minor illnesses, such as colds, faster. Wounds, scratches, cuts, heal faster. We think some of it is due to our pheromones, but it may also come from being in close, intimate proximity with us. It’s common enough that it has a name, Supremis-Terran Effect, or STE.”
“So being with you, having sexual relations with you, is curing me?”
“No,” said Kara. “Not curing you. The effects wear off when the exposure ends. Not immediately, sometimes as gradually as they came on. But, unfortunately, if this is what is happening, after we are separated, you’ll go back to the way you were before. I’ve never heard of a Terran having mental issues, or brain processes, improved by being with us.”
“Yes,” said Gloria, “If this is what is happening, it would be new.”
“We’ll have to investigate this,” said Kara. “For now, let’s just enjoy our vacation.”
They headed back to their side of the tent and zipped up the divider. Sharon reached down and took me in her hand, leaned forward and kissed me, releasing her pheromones, and we were off to the races.
In the morning we had an early breakfast then jumped in the van and drove to Chelan to take the Lady Express to Stehekin. I was a little bit worried about how the blondes would behave on a 2 ½ hour boat ride if they became bored, given how much trouble they were on the drive from Bellingham to Chelan. I didn’t have to worry at all. They were very interested in the scenery, pointing out various features of the geography, the homes and orchards on the lake, and the vineyards.
It was a beautiful day, and I was really getting into it. The sun was out, the skies were blue, not a cloud in sight, and the water was calm. I was with the four most beautiful women I’d ever seen, hell, anyone had ever seen. Life was good.
I was happy to see the ladies enjoying themselves, and a little bit envious. They’d see a house or cabin on the lake, then start discussing the interior decorating, or the floor plan, features that I couldn’t see. They also brought their cameras and took pictures, just like regular tourists would. Sharon told me she appreciated the perspective from the boat, as it was different and in ways more interesting than viewing the scenery from the air.
We landed in Stehekin at 11:00 am, right on time, and had three hours before we had to be on the boat back. I had advised the ladies to bring their backpacks in case they wanted to buy souvenirs. They did spend time in the hotel and National Park gift shops, but what really got them excited was the Stehekin Pastry Company. We stopped there for lunch, and then the ladies began filling up their backpacks with various cakes and pastries. I swear, they would have bought the place out if they had bigger backpacks. And a way to keep the ice cream cold.
Then we went hiking, saw the falls, High Bridge, which is where the Pacific Crest Trail goes through the area, and then it was time to head back to the boat dock. We did quite a bit of walking, but I wasn’t feeling tired at all.
At High Bridge Xara went down the riverbank and pulled a large rock out of the water. She was working the rock in her hands as we walked and asked me if it would be okay if she asked questions about my war experience. I told her it was okay, but not to be offended if she asked a question I didn’t want to answer.
“Joe, when you were fighting, you were afraid, weren’t you?”
“Xara, I was constantly afraid. Danger, death, was everywhere.”
“How do you manage to function with all that fear?”
“Well, you have to learn to use the fear. It keeps you alert. But you have to master it, because if you don’t, if you let it make your decisions for you, you’ll freeze up and get someone killed.”
“I just can’t imagine that Joe, being afraid for your life and being able to function.”
“Xara, I don’t know how to explain it to someone who has never experienced real fear. Have you ever been afraid?”
“Yes. Once. And then you rescued me.”
And with that she wrapped her arm around my waist and pulled me into her and kissed me on the cheek. It felt really good. Everything about that afternoon felt good.
Sharon and Kara were up ahead involved in a sometimes animated conversation. Gloria was stopping to take pictures of plant life, and to take samples, why, I wasn’t too sure. I pointed to Kara and Sharon and asked Xara what they were talking about.
“Oh, a number of things. Remember I told you that Scribes are non-combatants? That is a point of friction between them and Protectors. It really needles mom, that Protectors will fight and die for a planet when the Arions come, while Scribes just watch, and are guaranteed safe passage if the Arions win.
“The relationship between mom and Scribes, and especially Sharon, has always been strained because of that. But now, because the Arions broke their side of the agreement when they captured her, Sharon has decided that as long as she is on Terra, any Arions who come along are fair game. If they aren’t going to follow the rules, neither will she.”
“Are they talking strategy?”
“No. Mom is trying to talk her out of it, which is a funny role reversal. Mom is trying to convince her to take the big picture view and not put Scribes everywhere else at risk by going on the offensive. Sharon isn’t budging.”
“Is Sharon powerful enough to fight a Prime?”
“Oh yes. She has P1 genes. She isn’t as strong as mom, but she is still quite formidable. She doesn’t have any combat training, but I wouldn’t question her courage and commitment.”
“In my experience courage and commitment can only take you so far if you don’t have the training.”
“Sharon knows that. She’s trying to convince mom to train her.”
“Who do you think will win the argument?”
“Sharon already has. Mom just doesn’t know it yet.”
She’d been working on that rock the whole time we were walking and talking. I hadn’t paid too much attention to it, until she stopped, grinned at me and showed me her work. She’d turned a large piece of river rock, basically in the shape of an oval with a surface smoothed by years of water flowing over it, into a polished cylinder in the shape of …
“It’s a training aid. I modeled it after you Joe! It’s a little longer so I’ll be able to hold onto the end.”
Oh. My. God. I wanted to scream. I did scream: “Xara!”
That caught the attention of the other ladies. They turned to look. Xara proudly held up the result of her handy work for them to see. Sharon and Kara started laughing so hard they actually floated off the ground. Gloria was bent over, holding her sides.
I just started double timing it back to the dock. They all easily caught up to me and Kara put her arms around me and said, “Isn’t it amazing?”
Xara asked, “What’s amazing mom?”
“That with all those burns, his face can still turn that red.”
And then they all started laughing again.
They all gathered around me, and Xara held her index fingers a few inches apart and said, “Oh come on Joe, it’s just a little joke.” Little joke. Get it? I did. Which made them laugh some more.
This is what I learned. Velorians and Arions don’t need as much sleep as Terrans. That’s why, every morning when I woke up with one of them, they were always awake looking at me. Not only do they not sleep as much as we do, they can tell when a Terran is about to nod off, and about to wake up.
After I’d fall asleep in the tent, they’d start talking to each other, in a whisper so low I couldn’t hear it. The night before, after I was asleep, Sharon related the conversation we had about how Xara could learn to have ‘unprotected sex’ with a Terran. And then she, Xara, and Kara cooked up this idea for a practical joke.
I had a couple of take-aways from this experience. First, these four Supremis women like and trust each other, and they communicate. If you tell one of them something, it’s the same as telling all of them.
Second, Velorian mothers and daughters don’t have any filters in place when it comes to talking about sex, having sex, and discussing their sex lives with others. I already knew that, but still. I can’t imagine what would have happened if my high school girl friend made a dildo shaped like my equipment and showed it to her mother. I’m sure she wouldn’t have thought it funny and would probably have told her husband to get out the shotgun and have a heart to heart with me.
Third, they can smell weakness, and they are merciless. I had to put up with their smart ass remarks all the way back to the boat dock.
Anyway, after they had their little laugh, Xara put ‘Little Joe’, that’s what she named the goddamned thing, in her pack and took out a pastry and shared it with me while we waited to board the boat.
The ride back to Chelan was the milk-run, with a lot of stops along the way. People who live up-lake, where there are no roads, get their groceries delivered by the boat. I thought this would bore the ladies, but it didn’t. They were fascinated by the idea of living off the grid, on a beautiful lake like this.
When we got back to Chelan, we headed back to the campground, had a quick and, what was for the ladies, a light dinner, then piled back into the van and drove back to Chelan, around the other side of the lake to one of the casinos. And here I learned a little bit more about the Velorians: Don’t bet against them in a game of chance unless you are really sure there is no way they can cheat.
Blackjack? They can see through the back of the cards so they know what will be dealt and adjust their bets accordingly.
Craps? I don’t know how they do it, but after two or three throws they can make the dice come up anyway they want.
Poker? Same as blackjack. They can see all the cards.
Roulette or slots? They won’t go near them. I asked Sharon why. “Because that’s gambling.”
The ladies developed quite a following in the casino. As I said before, the men wanted them, the women wanted to be them, and add to that liberal amounts of alcohol and their seemingly miraculous winning streaks, and there were men hitting on them the entire time we were there. I was constantly getting shouldered out of the way by one or two or three men who wanted to get closer to them. And I was able to laugh it off. Without those mysterious effects Kara told me about, I would have been out of my mind being in a crowd like that and I would have started throwing fists, elbows and knees the first time a drunk tried to get between me and the ladies.
After about three hours the ladies had had enough and were ready to cash out their chips and head back to the campground. (I hadn’t done any gambling. I learned the hard way my first year in the army that I was happier keeping my money in my wallet than I was losing it to a casino.) As they were in the process of cashing out a group of three large and somewhat inebriated men interrupted them. They had each loss a sum of money, I assume to them it was a significant sum, betting against the ladies at the craps table. They wanted a chance to win their money back.
Sharon politely declined and when she was turning away one of the guys grabbed her upper arm and pulled her back facing him. She glared at him, then gently put her palm on his chest and pushed. It looked like a gentle push, but it knocked the guy back into his buddies. He was starting to come back at her when security intervened.
Xara was driving us back to the campground. Gloria was riding shotgun and I was sitting in the back between Sharon and Kara. Xara asked her mom to check out the vehicle following us. I turned around to look, the driver was tail gaiting us. Kara looked back, then turned around and said, “It’s Sharon’s three friends from the casino.”
“Guys,” I said, “I don’t think we want them following us back to the campground. We should call the police.”
I pulled out my cell phone. No signal. Kara told Xara to maneuver us out of sight of the guys following us. Then Kara and Sharon placed their outside hands on the ceiling of the van, and their inside arms across my chest, and Xara made a really sharp left turn onto a side road. Kara and Sharon did something with their flight powers to keep the van from rolling and the car behind us flew by. Then Kara and Sharon opened their windows and flew out them.
Xara got us back onto the main road and we passed the bad-guy car, front end down in the lake, the occupants crawling out of their windows. A short time later Sharon and Kara reentered the car. The ladies gave themselves high-fives all the way around. It was something Dixon and Johnson would do. And then I realized I hadn’t seen them all day.
When we got back to our campsite we were met with a pleasant surprise. A group of families from the previous two nights were there with everything needed to make s’mores. They wondered where we were, so we told them about the trip to Stehekin and the casino and then made ourselves some s’mores.
It was late when we got there, and very soon each of the ladies had a child sleeping on her lap. The parents took that as their signal it was time to leave, and after helping us clean-up it was just the five of us. I excused myself to take a shower and when I returned found Sharon in my side of the tent waiting for me.
After Joe fell asleep Sharon opened the zipper between compartments and joined Kara, Xara and Gloria.
“Well,” began Kara, “What did you observe? Did you notice how good a mood he was in?” Everyone nodded.
“I didn’t see him fidgeting at all today,” replied Gloria. “And he is eating more.”
“He was getting jostled a bit by our admirers at the Casino,” said Sharon, “and he didn’t seem to be the least bit unhappy about it.”
Xara said, “He was flustered when I showed him ‘Little Joe’, but there wasn’t any anger. And I think he’s warming up to me. And he wasn’t talking to any invisible people today, he wasn’t even looking for them.”
“I think,” said Kara, “those invisible people might be soldiers he’s lost. Possibly Dixon and Johnson, he was definitely talking to them that day he was attacked in his cabin.”
Gloria said, “I’m confident this is the Supremis-Terran Effect. If he reverts after we break close contact with him, and then gets better when we resume contact, we will have confirmation.”
The ladies were quiet for a moment. Then Kara asked, “Should we do anything about it?”
Sharon answered, “I think we should. Look at how much happier he’s been the past couple of days. I’ve never heard him talking about his war experiences before without completely breaking down.”
“I agree,” said Kara, “But what do we do?”
Xara said, “I think I should move in with him, and enhance him to make the changes permanent.”
“We don’t know if enhancement will make the mental improvement permanent,” said Gloria.
“And we don’t know if he could survive an enhancement attempt,” said Kara. “And he certainly couldn’t survive you. You’d crush his skull before he could ingest the retrovirus.”
“Mom,” replied Xara, “You learned how to enhance a Terran, and so did Sharon. There’s no reason I couldn’t learn how to do it. And you two could be there to restrain me. And with my Galen genetics, I think the chances of a successful enhancement are greater.”
“Or,” said Kara, “The Galen retrovirus could be overwhelmingly fatal for a Terran.”
“Then what do we do mom?”
“Let’s see if the effects wear off after this week,” said Kara, “and then go from there.”
“Well,” said Xara, “I still think it’s worth moving in with him, if that will keep him stable. Hey! Maybe now that he’s doing better, he’ll be more open to the idea of me moving in and taking him as a lover!”
“Good luck with that,” said Sharon. “As silly as Terran moral scruples are, his seem to be pretty deeply imbedded.”
And with that Sharon went back to Joe and Kara zipped up the divider.
In the morning we had breakfast and then played in the lake for a while. Then we dressed and got in the van and headed towards Chelan. Sharon had picked up several brochures at the Casino that described the various vineyards and winery in the area, so we were off for an afternoon of wine tasting.
It was another gorgeous day in Chelan. We decided to start on the other side of the lake and work our way back. We stopped at each winery’s tasting room. Xara had to show her fake id every single time, which I found interesting, because she doesn’t look that much younger than the other three. Or maybe I should say the other three don’t look that much older than her. Anyway, she was carded.
When the ladies found something they liked, they didn’t buy just a bottle or two. They ordered a case. And when they asked me what I liked, either Sharon or Kara would order a case to be sent to my cabin. I objected, after they ordered the sixth case of wine for me, that I wouldn’t have room to store it. Kara told me not to worry about it. Right. It’s not going to be her bathtub stacked full of cases of wine.
One of the last wineries also had a very nice restaurant. Xara had reserved five nights at the park, the next night would be our last. I suggested, to make packing up easier, that we have dinner at that restaurant the next night, and breakfast in Chelan before driving back to Bellingham. Everyone agreed. We’d still have to make one more trip to the grocery store, but that wouldn’t be a big trip.
I can’t drink as much as the four ladies. I doubt anyone can, so while they were working their way through every sample, and buying cases left and right, I’d explore the grounds of the wineries. They were beautiful. The tasting rooms all overlooked the lake and vineyards, and several of them had facilities for hosting weddings and receptions. At one point, Xara joined me.
“Are you enjoying yourself Joe?”
“Oh man Xara, I am! I can’t remember feeling this good. Look how beautiful the lake is. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a place here on the water?”
“I think it would Joe. You know, there are trails from Stehekin that go between the lake cabins we saw on our way there. Maybe you and I can fly back here and explore those trails and get a closer look at the cabins.”
“I think we should! That would be great!”
I don’t know why, but she was just beaming at me. It was like I’d made her day by agreeing to a hike.
We finally ran out of wineries to visit. I imagine most of the tasting rooms were just about out of samples. So we made our last stop at the grocery store, then headed back to the park. There was still plenty of daylight left when we got there, so we went hiking on one of the trails in the hills above the park.
The trails went up and down hills, mostly up, and while it was a hot day, I wasn’t having any trouble keeping up with the ladies, though I’m sure it would have been different if they were in a hurry. But they weren’t. At one point we came around a bend in the trail and I stopped everyone when I heard a rattle. More specifically, a rattlesnake’s rattle. That was okay, it’s a warning, and if you heed the warning the snake will leave you alone. Only an idiot would approach a rattlesnake that was giving fair warning. Or a Velorian. Sharon walked right up to the snake, and when it struck, she reached down and grabbed it by the back of the head before it could bite her. Which would have been much worse for the snake than for Sharon.
“Sharon!” I said, “Don’t play with the snake! It’ll leave us alone if we leave it alone!”
“I don’t know about that Joe, I think I’ve pissed it off.”
“Well then, take it off the trail so no one else comes across it.”
And she left the trail and put the snake down about fifty feet away on a large rock. She let go of the snake, and was back on the trail with us, before I could blink. The snake wanted to get her and ended up closing its fangs on air. Sharon was that fast.
We got to the top of one of the higher hills, and the view was beautiful. We sat down to enjoy it, and when we did I reached into my pack and pulled out my birthday present for Xara (it was her birthday, she was 17). It was a carving of a bear she had been looking at one in of the gift shops in Stehekin.
It was a little thing, but she reacted like I’d just given her the Hope Diamond.
“Joe, thank you!” And she knocked me over and wrapped herself around me and held me just inches above the ground. Or held us just inches above the ground. She was levitating.
“I know just where I’m going to put this in my room. And it’s coming to college with me.”
And then she gave me a kiss. A really, wonderful kiss. I had my arms around her and kissed her back. And when I had the reaction any man would have in the arms of a Velorian, she whispered in my ear, “I could take care of that for you Joe. We could go off together and be alone.”
It was quiet. Very quiet. I asked, “Is there anyone hear who didn’t hear that?”
Kara said, “We all heard Joseph. And if that’s what you want, we won’t get in the way.”
I sighed. “It is just so wrong to hear that coming from your mother.”
“Joe,” said Xara, “If you keep turning me down, I’m going to start to think you don’t find me attractive.”
“No chance of that Xara. Now, how about picking us up. I’m getting hungry, let’s head back down to the park and make dinner.”
She pretended to pout, then raised us up onto our feet, and as we hiked back down to the park, Xara would, when the trail was wide enough, come up beside me and hold my hand. And I didn’t object.
When we got back to our camp site, I helped Gloria make dinner. I was starving, and while I didn’t eat as much as the ladies, I got close. Well, okay, not close, but none of them had to prod me to eat more.
After dinner I still had a lot of energy, so I went for a swim in the lake. The water felt good against my skin, the sky was blue, and the scenery was beautiful. This was definitely one of the best vacations I’d ever had.
After dinner a couple of kids came by and asked if we’d be making s’mores again, and if they could come join us. We said sure, bring mom and dad too. As we sat around the fire that night, I looked around and felt content. More so than I had in a very long time.
Kara and Sharon each bought a couple of single bottles of wine and shared them with the adults who came to our campfire. I only drank a little, didn’t have any beer, for some reason I didn’t feel the desire to drink. I was having a lot of fun, sharing experiences I’d had on family camping trips growing up, entertaining the kids and just having a good time talking to the adults. I even forgot that I was in the army until one of the little kids asked me what happened to my face and head. She must have been about six years old and was very concerned that my “owies” might hurt. I just told her I’d been in an accident, and no, my owies didn’t hurt. But she wouldn’t go away until I let her “kiss them and make them better.” Sweet kid.
All evening I’d catch the Supremis ladies stealing glances at me. Finally, I sat down next to Kara and asked her what was up.
“What do you mean Joseph?”
“You guys keep looking at me, then turn away when I catch you.”
“Joseph, we’re just very pleased to see you in such high spirits.”
“Really? Why wouldn’t I? This place is beautiful, I’m camping with four beautiful women, and the company,” I gestured to the families with us, “is great.”
She patted me on the knee, kissed me on the cheek, said, “Well, I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself,” and got up to pour herself another glass of wine and make another s’more.
That night, after we cleaned up, I took a shower. You know, when I work out, or exert myself, I sweat and get smelly and dirty. The ladies? Not at all. It was like dirt and grime didn’t stick to them, and if they perspired, I couldn’t tell.
I got back to the tent and entered my side and there was Kara, standing there nude, waiting for me. And the look she was giving me, it was both arousing and intimidating at the same time. I felt very small, while I got very big, or as big as I get. Then she smiled at me, and released her pheromones, and was on me, so fast I didn’t see her move. She wasn’t wearing gold, and she was being much more aggressive than she had been the other night, but I wasn’t worried. This was Kara Zor-el, Velorian Protector, and I was her Kiraling, and I knew she wouldn’t hurt me.
Afterwards, as we were laying together, she propped her head up on her arm and said, “Was this different Joseph?”
I knew what she meant. “Yes Kara, it was. It was like the way Sharon “takes” me, but way more intense. I think because you weren’t wearing gold?”
“That’s right, because I wasn’t wearing gold. Do you think you had any say in what was going to happen?”
“No, Kara. I didn’t. You were the one in control.”
“That’s right Joseph. I was in control. All that mattered was what I wanted. You had no say in it, you had no choice. I took you because I wanted to, and there was nothing you could do about it. Were you intimidated?”
“When I first came into the tent, and saw the way you were looking at me, I think I now know what a mouse feels when it is cornered by a cat. Yes, I was intimidated.”
“Do you know that any Velorian woman, even the lowest class, can intimidate you like that, and then take you if it pleases her?”
“I do Kara. Or .. I do now. Why are we having this conversation?”
“Because I want you to understand and appreciate the gift my daughter is giving you. By respecting your wishes, by not taking you, even though she wants and deserves and has every right to, she is ceding to you control over your own life in a way that very few Velorians would. No Velorian would think poorly of her if she decided to ignore your objections and have you. In fact, that is what they would expect. What she is doing now is very much outside our norms.”
“She ‘deserves’ to take me Kara? She has a ‘right’ to?”
“Yes Joseph. She has explained it to you, her place in the universe is above yours.”
“So is that what’s going to happen Kara? Is she going to wake up some morning and decide to “take” me, whether I want it or not?”
From the other side of the tent, “No! I promised you Joe, I won’t do that.”
“Thank you, Xara. I appreciate that. And I love you for it.”
“And just for the record, Joseph,” said Kara, “there is no such a thing as a Terran ‘not wanting it’.” And she smiled, beautifully, and took me again. And I wanted it.
When Joe was asleep Kara joined the other Supremis in the other side of the tent.
“Mom,” said Xara, “this is the happiest I’ve ever seen him.”
Sharon added, “He drank very little tonight. I think he had one glass of wine and no beer.”
“He’s also eating better,” said Gloria, “he has an appetite.”
“Gloria,” said Kara, “you’re the closest to an expert on this that we have. How should we proceed?”
“When we return him to his cabin, we all leave,” said Gloria. “No contact with any of us for two weeks. Then we meet at his cabin and reassess.”
“Mom, don’t you think you were a little hard on him with this ‘me goddess, you Terran’ thing?”
“I was honey, but it is important to me that he understands how much you honor him. Did you see how well he accepted it? He didn’t try to fight me over it, he didn’t get defensive or insecure, he didn’t even raise his voice.”
“Yes,” said Sharon. “This is a much better Joe. Kara, do you mind if we trade places?”
“Not at all Sharon."
In the morning I woke up in a very good mood, feeling very well rested and, when I rolled over, there was Sharon! She smiled, released her pheromones, and we made love. Only once, but after the workout Kara gave me the night before, that was enough.
When we were finished, which is to say when Sharon decided we were finished, she got up, unzipped the divider and went next door, while Xara came into my side. She was dressed, I wasn’t, but by now I was used to that and it didn’t bother me. She sat down while I pulled on my underwear and shorts, leaned over and gave me a kiss.
“Joe, what mom said last night, about our relative places, is true. But I don’t ever want to make you feel inferior to me.”
“Even though I am.”
“Yes, even though you are.”
This struck me as hilarious, and I started laughing.
“Joe! I’m trying to be serious, why are you laughing at me?”
“Xara, I’m not laughing at you. I’m laughing at the situation. I’ve seen you melt snow with your eyes. I’ve watched you shape a dildo out of rock with your bare hands. I’ve seen bullets bounce off you, and I’ve gone flying in your arms. Of course, I feel inferior to you, it’s so obvious!”
“Joe, that’s not what I was trying to say …”
“I know Xara. I know. You were telling me that despite our differences, you respect me and don’t want me to feel like I’m no more than the dirt under your feet. And that you love me.”
She beamed at me.
And then Kara came in. She was dressed too, but by this time so was I.
“Joseph,” she said, “When we meet with your government and military leaders, I’m going to put on a bit of a show for their benefit, to establish the hierarchy. I will be intimidating. They will be intimidated. I would like you to show no fear, no intimidation. I want them to view you as someone who is not afraid of me. Can you do that?”
“I think so. What do you mean by ‘a show’?”
“Oh, I’ll play it by ear, there might be some heat vision, I may crush something in my hands.”
“As long as it isn’t me.”
She laughed. “No Joseph, it won’t be you.”
Gloria called us for breakfast. Good thing, my stomach was rumbling. Gloria made pancakes with chocolate chips. I had seconds, then thirds. They tasted really good, I asked her if she had changed the recipe. She said she hadn’t. Must have been the fresh air. Even the orange juice tasted better.
For our last day, the ladies wanted to do some shopping, then spend the afternoon at Slide Waters before going to dinner. Gloria packed us a lunch and we jumped in the van and drove into town. Each of the ladies picked up a souvenir of our trip, a key chain (Gloria), a shot glass (Sharon), a wall poster of the lake (Xara) and a refrigerator magnet (Kara). Then we went to the waterpark and had fun. It wasn’t much different from earlier in the week. The ladies wanted to go down all the slides, then on tubes with each other and me, they were constantly either reminding me to put on sunscreen or slathering it on me themselves. We took a break for lunch, played a little more then changed and went … back to the wineries.
They bought more wine for themselves (cases) and, over my objections, more for me (cases). By the time dinner rolled around I was wondering how many trucks it would take to deliver all the wine they bought me.
Dinner at Sorrento’s was fantastic! The dining area is covered, but otherwise open, and the lake view is wonderful. I had their seafood Cannelloni entrée, and even had room for Tiramisu for dessert. The ladies, of course, ate their meals, and then hit the desserts hard. Gloria had this huge Chocolate Lava Cake a la Mode. I think the restaurant staff was impressed that she ate it by herself after having a salad, appetizer, and large entrée.
It was just us at our site for our last evening at the campground. Gloria took personal responsibility for making sure that all the S’mores ingredients would be consumed before we turned in for the night.
Xara and I went for a walk after dark and ended up sitting down by the lake. She leaned her head on my shoulder and we talked about going to college, meeting new people, the classes she was going to take and living away from her mother for the first time in her life.
“Xara, you know Bellingham is only twenty minutes from your mom’s house, as the Velorian flies, right?”
“Yeah, I know. But we’ll be apart. I won’t be coming home to her after school. I won’t be waking up and having breakfast with her every morning.”
“I understand. Going into the army was like that, except with drill instructors.” She laughed.
“I can come visit you, right Joe?”
“Xara, of course you can. We can have dinner together once a week, or more often if you want. But you’re going to make a lot of friends, you won’t feel homesick at all after the first week or so.”
She was quiet for a while, and then we walked back to our tent. I stepped into my side and looked around; I was alone. I was disappointed, but given the week I’d had, I couldn’t complain. I undressed and laid down, and down came the zipper and in came Sharon. I wasn’t disappointed anymore.
In the morning we started by rolling up our unused sleeping bags (it had been warm all week) and packing up the cooking utensils. Then we took down the tent.
This was one of those tents that came folded up and packed into a bag along with all the accessories, such as tent poles and stakes. Before now, I had never seen a tent taken down, folded up and packed, perfectly, into the bag it came in. Prior to this morning, it had been my experience that it was impossible to make the tent fit the bag once it had been taken out and set up. But the ladies were able to do it. First time. We loaded up the van and I drove, with Xara riding shotgun, to Campbell’s in Chelan where we ordered breakfast.
I was very hungry, and the ladies all remarked at how much I was eating. They even teased me a little.
After breakfast we got on the road, Xara was driving, Gloria was riding shotgun and I was sitting in the backseat between Kara and Sharon. We were having a good time talking about the trip, and teasing Sharon about her attitude prior. I asked her if she thought Deb would want to come with us next time. She said she’d work on it, but I’d have to sleep in a tent by myself if she did.
It was strange, up until this point, I had never been too curious about the lady’s special abilities. I’d ask every now and then, and they’d answer my questions, but as I was riding with them I started thinking about all the things I didn’t know about them.
“Sharon, how does your vision work? You can project heat, you can see through things, how do you do that?”
“Well,” she answered, “there is a lot about us that we don’t even know. We call it ‘heat vision’, but it is more than that. We can project energy at different wavelengths and frequencies from our eye. We can focus the energy like a laser.”
“We think our ability to see through solid objects,” said Kara, “is due to our eyes ability to detect sub-atomic particles that pass-through matter. The density of the particles is slightly reduced, and the trajectory is slightly changed, and our brains interpret the information and fill in the details. We can also see wavelengths that you can’t, in the infrared and ultraviolet parts of the spectrum.”
“We see more colors than you do too,” said Xara. “When I was in kindergarten, I was confused a lot. The other kids would see two objects as being the same color, and to me they were different colors.”
“Do you consciously switch between vision modes?”
“No,” said Sharon, “We turn heat vision on and off, but otherwise all our visual faculties are operating all the time. We just control what we pay attention to.”
“How do your flight powers work? Where does Orgone energy come from? Do you see through your eyelids at night, and if so, how do you fall asleep?”
Xara laughed and said, “Joe, maybe mom can ask a messenger to bring you a book from Velor. ‘Everything you’ve always wanted to know about a Supergirl but were afraid to ask’.”
“Joseph,” said Kara, “Sharon told you the truth. There is a lot about our anatomy and brain function that isn’t understood. We just take it for granted.”
We passed the time talking like this. There were no arguments or fights, no one spit cherries at signs, it was a much better drive home than the drive to Chelan.
When we to my cabin, there was an RV parked in the road. We pulled into the driveway and two men got out of the RV. They walked up to Kara and told her they didn’t see anything out of the ordinary while we were gone. She thanked them and they got into the RV and drove off.
“I posted a security detail here while we were gone Joseph. I didn’t anything to disturb us while we were gone.”
We unloaded the van and Kara, Xara and Sharon packed their pods and flew off. I drove the van back to the rental agency while Gloria followed in my Prius. We settled the bill, drove back to the cabin, and Xara was there waiting for us. Gloria got into the pod, Xara strapped it to her back, and off they went, leaving me alone for the first time in several weeks.
I was hungry, and a little grimy. So before lunch I jumped in the shower. When I got out, I stepped on the scale. I had gained three pounds on the camping trip. I checked myself out in the mirror. I didn’t put on much, if any, fat. I put on my dress uniform to make sure it still fit, and it felt a little bit on the tight side in the chest, but not so much that someone would notice it.
As I was unpacking my stuff, and starting a load of laundry, I realized that I hadn’t seen my meds. I checked my bag again, and my backpack, no meds. I never unpacked them in Chelan, so I didn’t know what could have happened to them. I was on my way to my landline to call for refills when I looked up and saw them on top of my refrigerator. I never took them with me. One of the ladies, probably Sharon, must have unpacked them while Gloria and I were picking up the van.
I tooled around the cabin the rest of the day. Did a little light cleaning and yardwork, I mowed the lawn. I made a big dinner and went to bed and slept like a baby. The next morning, I was watching ESPN, catching up on what I missed in sports while we were camping, when a UPS truck pulled up. I helped the driver unload fifteen cases of wine. I stacked them in the garage.
For the next two weeks or so I didn’t see the ladies, though Xara called me every day to talk about this or that. Mostly college preparations. As the days went by I could hear concern in her voice when she talked to me, but she didn’t say why, and I didn’t ask.
About the fourth day back from the camping trip Dixon and Johnson showed up. I asked them where they had been, but they either couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me. I think they were just being assholes.
I was continuing the PT regimen that Gloria and I worked on. I was doing a lot of running, calisthenics, push-ups, sit-ups, that kind of thing. Even though I was working hard, I found myself eating less. I assumed I was eating more on the camping trip because we were so active. But I don’t think that was it, because I was working really hard on conditioning and strength training, but I didn’t seem to want to eat as much. By about ten days after returning from the camping trip I had lost the weight I’d gained. I tried on my uniform, and it did feel a bit looser in the chest.
The nightmares came back. I’d wake up screaming. Thankfully, Dixon and Johnson were always there to help me calm down, even when the nightmares were about the day they died.
On a Saturday morning I put together a grocery list and went to the Bellingham Costco. I had to circle the parking lot for fifteen minutes before I found a parking space. The place was crowded, and loud. I started getting antsy, then angry. There were people everywhere, cutting in front of me in the aisles, standing for the longest time right in front of the shelf I wanted to get to. I finally said fuck it and left my cart in the middle of an aisle and went home.
I was bitching to Dixon and Johnson about it on the way when I saw red lights in my rear-view mirror. I pulled over and rolled down my window waiting for the cop. I had my driver license and military id out when he got to my window. I handed them to him. He looked at my id, then at me, and asked, “Iraq or Afghanistan?”
I said, “Both.”
He went back to his car, to radio it in, I guess, then he came back.
He said, “You were doing ten miles over the limit Sergeant Ricci. You don’t have any moving violations on your record, so I’m letting you go with a warning.”
“Thank you, officer. Did you serve?”
“Desert Storm and Kosovo,” he said. “Drive carefully sarge. We’ve lost enough of our young men over there; we don’t need to be losing them at home too.”
I told Dixon and Johnson to shut up so I could concentrate on my driving.
This was depressing me. I thought back to the camping trip, and how happy I was, how easy everything was. And now … I went to the fridge to get a beer. There weren’t any. Then I remembered, I’d left the fucking beer in the cart at fucking Costco. So I opened up a case of wine and pulled out a bottle. I was about halfway through it, sitting on the back deck when three Velorians, one with a pod on her back, dropped out of the sky. Xara opened the pod and Gloria stepped out.
Shit. That was all I needed right now.
The ladies began to approach me, and then they stopped. Xara came forward and sat down next to me.
“Joe, when was the last time you took your meds?”
“Shit, I don’t know Xara. You guys unpacked them so I wouldn’t have them on the fucking camping trip. Sometime before that, I guess. What are you guys doing here?” I said that in a louder voice, to let them know I was annoyed.
“I know mom.”
Then I smelled wildflowers and honey. But I wasn’t getting hard, and I looked at Xara and thought, now there is someone who has my back. And then …
“Trust pheromones Xara? Are you using those on me?”
“I am Joe. Are you okay with that?”
“Yeah. No problem. How have you been?”
“I’ve been fine Joe. Would it be alright if we all sat down here and had a talk?”
Then they all came forward and Gloria started asking me a bunch of questions. Some of them were hard questions, and I’d hesitate, but then I’d look at Xara and know it was alright, and I’d answer the questions.
Then Sharon said, “Come with me Joe, let’s go down to the lake and get these pheromones out of your system.”
So I walked down to the lake with her. I stood there with her, looking at the lake, when it occurred to me that I’d just been played.
“Did she just use her trust pheromones on me?”
“She did Joe. They’re just about worn off now.”
“I feel like I’ve been played.”
“You have been. But you’re in a bad way now. Do you know that?”
“I do Sharon. I don’t know what to do about it.”
Gloria had gone into the cabin. She came out with a glass of water and my meds. She held them out to me, and I just looked at her.
“Joseph,” said Kara, “I think it best if you took your medication.”
She was right. I didn’t like it, but she was right.
I looked at Sharon. She said, “I know Joe. Before I leave, we’ll set up a date to meet, so you can get off your meds before I arrive.”
I took the meds.
We all went back into the cabin. Xara and Gloria started cleaning the place up while Sharon and Kara sat with me.
I said to Kara, “It’s true then, isn’t it? I improved because I was around you guys constantly, and now I’m going back.”
“Joseph,” she said, “I’m so sorry.”
“How much exposure to you does it take for me to improve? Do I have to be around all of you? Do we have to be intimate?”
Gloria answered, “We don’t know Joe. Until we do you should take your medications.”
Kara said, “In a few weeks Joseph, we’ll all be going to Washington. Why don’t we try an experiment? A week or so prior to your departure date, we’ll have one or two of us here with you every day. We’ll see if you improve again, and if you do, we’ll stick close to you in DC.”
“And if I do improve Kara, what happens after that?”
“Let’s cross one bridge at a time Joseph.”