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Kiraling – Part 23 (Chapter 153-170)

Written by anonxyzus :: [Friday, 06 August 2021 21:25] Last updated by :: [Friday, 06 August 2021 22:17]

Chapter 153

Xara and I were getting back to what was, for us, normal. We started date night again, dinner and a movie, and after four more nights with her coming into my room after I fell asleep, the frequency of nightmares was greatly reduced.

I didn’t really understand how whatever it was Xara did worked. I still don’t. The nightmare would start, and then suddenly she’d be in it, and I’d be in what I called her ‘loving place’ and the nightmare would be over.

Once the nightmares settled down, and I was having normal dreams again, she’d occasionally show up in them, just to say ‘hi’.

What I did learn was that to get into my head, she had to have physical contact with me. Skin to skin. And she liked to do it, she said it was, for her, very intimate to come into my head. I gradually got used to it as I regained my trust in her. I mean that I trusted her not to go making me relive my past. At this point I hadn’t said anything, but it bothered me that she’d come into my head unannounced, and without permission.

It was also strange that she would talk about my memories as if she’d been there. We were making lunch one day and she said, “You know, if I’d been with you at the Puyallup fair that day, you could have gone on the roller coaster. I would have kept you safe.”

“Xara, I was only 10 years old. You hadn’t even started school yet.”

Another time I was making lasagna. The blondes and the Arions love my lasagna. Xara was helping me, and she said, “If your mom had bought the grated cheese, instead of making you grate it, you never would have had that cut.”

And she knew all my mom’s recipes. At least the ones I had either made with mom, or by myself after she was gone.

Gloria and Mona invited us to go with them every time they went out. We’d have to take two cars, because their agenda didn’t include coming home until they’d had sex. Surprisingly, Xara never hooked up with anyone. She’d dance with lots of guys, but she always came home with me. One day when Xara was out shopping, I asked Gloria about it. She said Xara didn’t want to make me jealous.

“Isn’t that hard on her,” I asked, “denying herself? Sharon would never do that.”

“Don’t make assumptions,” Gloria answered. “She doesn’t need as much sleep as you do.”

“She goes out while I’m asleep?”

“You should probably ask her.”

“Gloria, you just told me …”

“Ask her.”

So I did.

“Xara, you have a lot of opportunity to hook up with the men you meet when we go out with Mona and Gloria. Why don’t you?”

“If I go out with you, Joe Ricci, I’m coming home with you,” she said.

“Gloria said that after I’m asleep you …”

“Joe,” she interrupted, “under the terms of our agreement, STOP ROLLING YOUR EYES AT ME! Under the terms of our agreement, we can both have sex with Terrans until we start having sex with each other. I’m living up to that agreement. But I’m not going to rub your face in it. That would be unkind, and disrespectful.

“And if you decide you don’t want me having sex with other Terrans, all you have to do is invite me into that king sized reinforced bed of yours. I bet we could break it.”

I thought of bringing up, once again, the fact that I had never agreed to what she called, ‘our agreement,’ but Dixon pointed out that I never got anywhere doing that, so I just kept my mouth shut.

Eventually, Gloria and Kara agreed that I didn’t need Gloria at the cabin anymore, so she and Mona moved out. Again.

Chapter 154

Kara managed to get some transceivers into orbit, devices we had pulled from the Arion fighter she and Xara took down. They seemed to be working, but, at this time, they only received very short bursts coming from earth and we weren’t able to track them to their origin. We asked Mona about it. She said those were proof of life signals. Arion agents didn’t always have a set schedule when to report in, so in order to establish that an agent was alive and okay, they sent out a signal that consisted only of an encrypted header that would identify which agent was sending the signal. There was nothing coming from Near Earth Command, or at least nothing that we could pick up.

“I think we rattled the Arions, mom,” Xara said.

“I think you’re right,” said Kara.

We were in the lair going over the logs. Very little of interest, actually very little of anything, was coming in from the Arions since Kara and Xara broke up their operation on Rhea. Either they had found a new way to communicate, or they were laying low. The opinion of the blondes was that they were laying low. They didn’t credit the Arions with having enough imagination to devise new communication methods.

Part of Kara’s agreement with the government was that they would provide her with reports of ‘unusual activity’, a broad category that included criminal activity. We got a report from the DEA that there was a gang war going on in a Central American country. One of the cartels was seeing a lot of its people getting killed. This was unusual, according to the DEA, for a couple of reasons. First, the cartels in recent years had managed to stop competing with each other, at least violently, and second because most of the casualties were from one particular cartel. The consensus opinion among the DEA folks was that one of the cartels violated some rule and the others were meting out punishment. Kara accepted that explanation, so we didn’t investigate it any further.

Chapter 155

With a few weeks until school started, Xara and I spent some time hiking and camping. And we didn’t confine ourselves to the local area. She found a way to mount small storage pods on one of the pods she used to transport me, so we started hiking and camping all over the world in various locations.

She thought it would be fun to hike the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. I thought it would be too, but we didn’t do the proper research. I got sick because I hadn’t acclimatized to the altitude. Parts of the trail are higher than 16,000 feet. So we left fairly quickly. But we found other places to hike and camp, at lower elevations. We spent a night at Machu Picchu, an old Inca citadel in the Andes. Elevation about 8,000 feet. We were the only ones there that night, so we freely explored it, using Xara’s flashlight vision to light our way. Or light my way, Xara didn’t need it, the stars provide more than enough light for her to see by.

That same week we visited the Mayan pyramids in Tikal National Park in Guatemala. We lucked out, it was raining there the day before we arrived, and it started raining again the day after we left.

Chapter 156

My endurance was increasing, as was my strength. Gloria said it was from my exposure to the blondes, and that Xara may be giving me an extra boost. Xara was journaling my diet and exercise, and she would just light up when she’d talk to her mom or Gloria about it.

That Labor Day I was barbecuing for the blondes, the Arions and Major Moore. Skar-El was in town, so he was invited too. Usually, when Skar-El is around, the only sign of the blondes is the wind in their wakes as they fly off to get a little Messenger time. But he had some extra time before the next stop on his circuit, so Kara invited him to the cabin.

I like Skar-El. He’s a good guy. Knowing what I do now about the Arions, I don’t blame him for wanting to run when he came up against a capture team led by a Prime. He wasn’t trained for combat, at all. His job is to be a courier and, like Scribes, is a non-combatant. The blondes, the lady blondes, he’s blonde too, seemed to have forgiven him.

I assume the lady blondes act the same around all Messengers, not just Skar-El. They were obviously taken with him. Even the Arions. And I totally get it. The guy is tall, extremely good looking, and built. Kara found a set clothes to fit him, I don’t know where, but he looked good in a t-shirt and shorts.

Major Moore was evaluating him like a side of beef, especially when he stripped off his clothes and ran into the lake with Kara. Sharon and Major Moore went inside, and then Xara started giggling.

“What’s so funny, Xara,” I asked.

“Joe, do you remember at mom’s house, when Sarah said Velorian pheromones couldn’t possibly make her desire sex with a man?”

“Yes,” I said, “I remember.”

“Well, she’s been sitting upwind of Skar-El all afternoon. Sharon is proposing she test her resolve … they’re making a bet … shit. A thousand dollars. Sharon bet a thousand dollars Skar-El could make her change her mind about men, or at least about him, and Sarah has taken the bet.”

They both came out of the cabin. Sharon stripped of her clothes and flew into the lake and started talking to Kara and Skar-El. Major Moore walked into the yard, halfway between the deck and the lake.

“Sharon’s explaining the bet to mom and Skar-El,” said Xara. “He’s game provided Sharon doesn’t actually take Sarah’s money. Mom doesn’t think it’s a good idea. Mom’s been outvoted. She said she’ll allow it provided Skar-El doesn’t have sex with Sarah.”

“Is that possible?” I asked.

“For a Messenger wearing gold, yes, because he’s had training. But it’s still dangerous. He can’t ejaculate inside a Terran because as soon as his sperm left his body, they would escape the gold field and become fully empowered.”

“I’ll give him gold to wear,” said Gloria, “she deserves a comeuppance.”

“No, Gloria,” I said, “I think that would be going too far.”

Sharon motioned for Major Moore to come to the edge of the lake. Skar-El walked to the edge of my lawn, and then Major Moore fell to her knees and reached for his penis. Kara flew between them and picked Major Moore up and flew her up and away, about forty feet up, and held her there until she calmed down, then brought her down to my deck.

For someone who just discovered everything she thought she knew about herself could be overcome by a few airborne molecules, she was holding herself together pretty well. She was flustered. But not too badly.

She asked me, “Is that what it’s like for you, Joe?”

“No Sarah,” I replied, apparently, we were on a first name basis now, “no one ever comes to my rescue.”

Kara, Sharon and Skar-El were back at the deck now. None of them bothered to get dressed. Skar-El was sitting there with that huge thing hanging down off the edge of his chair. Geez.

“Sharon,” said Sarah, “I’ll write you a check.”

“No,” said Sharon. “You don’t have to do that. Skar-El insisted no money change hands, he doesn’t think making the bet was very fair of me, given that what happened was inevitable.”

“Joe,” said Sarah, “I owe you an apology for the way I talked about you and Xara. I know how powerful Xara’s fear pheromones are, but I didn’t think it was possible for the sex pheromone to overcome sexual preference like that. I thought I liked women because it was hard wired in my head. I guess it isn’t.”

“It is,” said Kara. “But the pheromones work at a much deeper and more ancient layer of your brain. Don’t feel bad, no woman on this planet would be able to resist Skar-El’s pheromones.”

Skar-El just nodded and smiled. He didn’t speak English all that well. I tried to translate for him, which he thought was hilarious.

“Xara, would it be that easy for you with Joe?” Sarah asked.

“Oh, yes,” replied Xara, “very easy. I’d show you, but I promised Joe I’d never take him against his will.”

“I’ll show you,” said Sharon.

“Leave him alone,” said Xara laughing, “no more embarrassing Terrans today.”

Kara had been translating for Skar-El. He leaned forward, laughing, and slapped me on my back. I damn near fell onto my grill.

Sarah had a lot of questions about Velor and Velorians. The blondes answered her as best they could, which Sarah and I both found very informative. Kara told her about the history of Companions. Companions were ordinary Velorian women, this is from the time before Protectors were developed, that were sold off world, that is, to non-Supremis, as either wives, or concubines, or personal security, or, in some cases, mercenaries, as a way for Velor to earn hard currency. By that they meant currency or goods, accepted by other worlds and civilizations, for trade. Because technologically, Velor was pretty backward. As I listened, this started making sense, because of all the alien technology Kara had shown me, none of it was Velorian.

Skar-El broke in to tell an old Velorian joke, which Kara translated for him:

There was a Koosbainian (my word, I couldn’t pronounce or spell the word Skar-El and Kara used) who wanted to buy a Companion. Koosbain didn’t have a lot of wealth, but they did have certain minerals that had value on Koosbain. Gold was one of them. On Koosbain, like on Terra, gold was very valuable. So the Koosbainian worked very hard, over a number of years, and accumulated a large amount of gold, which he melted down into bars.

Finally, one day, he thought he had enough to pay for a Companion, so he took his cases of gold bars to the Velorian Embassy and asked to see the ambassador. He explained to the ambassador that he wanted to buy a Companion. The ambassador asked how he would pay for one. The Koosbainian proudly opened one of the cases and said, “With these!”

The Velorian ambassador looked inside the case, then, puzzled, he turned to the Koosbainian and said, “You want to pay for a Companion with pavement?”

Everyone except me and Sarah laughed.

“I don’t get it,” I said.

“Neither do I,” said Sarah.

Johnson and Dixon said they didn’t get it either.

“On Velor,” Sharon explained, “gold is abundant. Very abundant. So much so that it has no monetary value at all.”

“Maybe he should have led with that,” said Johnson.

I cooked a lot of food that day. Steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs, something for everybody. They ate every bit of it. Including the chocolate cake, brownies and cookies Gloria provided for dessert. That night, when Kara got into bed with me, I turned towards her and asked, “Kara, if we had a hot dog eating contest between you, Sharon, Xara and Skar-El, who do you think would win?”

She replied, “I think you’d run out of hot dogs before you could declare a winner.”

And then she said, “Let me take care of you, Joseph, then I’m going to the dark side of the moon with Skar-El.”

I found out in the morning all three of them went.

Chapter 157

I had breakfast with the Arions and Major Moore, Sarah, we were still on a first name basis.

“Joe, does it bother you that Xara goes off to screw a Messenger?” She asked.

Gloria and Mona both put down their forks and looked at me, waiting to hear my answer.

“I’m not in that kind of relationship with her,” I said. “I don’t have any right to be bothered by it.”

“Bullshit,” said Sarah, “you’re crazy about her and she’s crazy about you. Am I right ladies?”

Both Arions said she was. Johnson and Dixon agreed.

Thankfully, before Sarah could repeat her question, the blondes arrived. Xara put a rock down on the table in front of Sarah and said, “Moon rock. I brought it back for you.”

“Thank you, Xara, I love it!”

She really did.

“Is there any food left for the rest of us?” Asked Sharon looking around the kitchen.

“I’ll fix you some bacon and eggs,” said Gloria.

Then Sharon looked at me and said, “Stand up Joe, I want to get a good look at you.”

I stood up. She took me by the hand and led me to my bedroom, opened my closet and took out my dress uniform and said, “Put it on, I think it might need to be let out in a couple of places.”

So I put it on, and it was tight!

Sharon picked up the picture of me in my Class A uniform with my mom, then looked at me.

“You look like this now, how much weight have you gained?”

“Twenty or so pounds,” I said.

“You look very fit, Joe,” she said, “Kara, come in here.”

Kara came right in, Xara followed her.

“Look at this picture and look at Joe.”

“Joseph, you’re looking very good.”

Sharon walked around me and said, “I’ve got his measurements, Kara, I’ll have his uniform tailored to fit him.”

“Oh good,” said Xara. “Then we should find some place to show it off.”

Thinking back on it, I think that weekend was a turning point for my relationship with Xara. After that, we were almost inseparable. We talked about everything. Or almost everything, at first. Xara wanted me to talk to her about my combat experiences, and that was hard for me to do. But gradually, I was able to open up to her about it. I think because she had reached into my mind and experienced what it felt like to me. So I could talk to her about a certain time or place, and she could tell me what I had been feeling. And she did it in such a way that it didn’t feel intrusive.

Chapter 158

Xara has an agenda. No, not the obvious one. Well, yes, the obvious one, but she has another one. I mentioned she likes to make ‘connections’ with me. I was flying with her one day, just wearing goggles for eye protection, she wasn’t going for speed or altitude, and she had a hand on my bare arm. She made a connection, she usually tells me when she is, but she doesn’t ask for permission very often, but we’ll work on that. Anyway, she made the connection, then started doing some arial maneuvers. I held on to her a little tighter, but I trust her, so I didn’t freak out.

Two days later she announced that she wanted to “do the Puyallup.” I was good with that; it had been years since I’d gone. I assumed she wanted to see a show, so I looked at the schedule online and we picked one. Besides that, she said she wanted to see the animals and go on some rides and have an elephant ear, she’d heard of them but never had one. I thought that was a great idea. Who doesn’t like elephant ears?

And then she was on the phone with her mom and before I knew it Kara, Sharon and the Arions were all going to the fair with us. I was good with that too. The Puyallup fair is a great family outing and I thought of all these Supremis as my family.

Sharon, Kara, Gloria and Mona were going to meet us there, outside the Blue Gate. Xara and I left early in the morning and drove down. I’m glad we left early because the parking lots were filling up fast.

Anyway, on the drive down, Xara explained her agenda to me. Or at least the beginning of it.

“Joe,” she started, “you feel safe with me when we fly, don’t you?”

“Sure Xara, I do.”

“And you know I’d never let you get hurt, don’t you?”

“Yes, Xara, I know.”

“Well, I want you to feel safe with me in any situation.”

“I think I do, Xara.”

“I disagree Joe, so we’re going to work on that.”

“How?”

“How what?”

“How are we going to work on it, Xara, on me feeling safe with you in every situation.”

“Step by step, that’s how,” she replied.

And then she switched subjects to school and the upcoming Fall quarter. And she did a really good job of it too, because she transitioned into suggesting I take classes to get a bachelor’s degree. I was so into that conversation that I forgot completely about the feel safe with her thing.

When we got to the Blue Gate, Kara, Sharon and the two Arions were waiting for us. Kara had bought tickets and we all walked in together. I guess Aria doesn’t have fairs because Mona and Gloria were really into it. All the ladies were. Sharon actually walked into the cow barn without any prompting. Oh, and Xara got her elephant ear, or should I say elephant ears, after eating three cotton candies.

We looked at a lot of exhibits, all the while Xara was slowly moving me towards the rides. Then, she stopped me and said, “Joe, you and I are going on the roller coaster.”

“Me too!” Said Mona.

“I want to go on the roller coaster too,” said Gloria.

Sharon and Kara weren’t interested at all; the scariest roller coaster in the world is tamer than what they do on an almost daily basis. But with everyone else going, they said they would too.

“Xara,” I said, “you can take me flying anytime you want. Why do you want to ride the roller coaster?”

“Because, Joe, you’re still afraid of it. I promise you, if you ride it with me, I will make sure you are safe.”

Truthfully, I always have been afraid of roller coasters. This one terrified me when I was a boy.

I was starting to say I didn’t want to, when I found myself in the middle of a Supremis sandwich, and all five of them were telling me at once that I should go on it.

“Joe,” said Xara, “this is important to me. I want you to feel safe and secure when you are with me, in any situation. And since this is a childhood fear that still haunts you, I believe this could go a long way to establishing that trust in me.”

Dixon and Johnson weren’t anymore thrilled about it than I was, but they pointed out that I never win an argument with one Supremis, let alone five, so I gave in.

“Great,” said Xara, “you guys wait here while I buy our tickets. Mom, don’t let Joe run away.”

“I’m not going to run away, Xara!”

“Of course you aren’t,” said Kara, “because if you try I’ll catch you.”

So much for running away.

Xara bought our tickets and we got in line, and as luck (the bad kind) would have it, we were seated in the first car. I was hanging on to the lap bar as hard as I could as we started up the first hill. Then I gripped it harder as we went down it. Xara put her hand over mine and made a connection, and I heard her voice in my head saying, “I’ve got you Joe. There is nothing to be afraid of.”

I was listening to that in my head at the same time I was listening to women and girls, and a few men, behind me screaming. Sharon and Kara were seated in the car directly behind us and I thought I heard them bemoaning the fact that there aren’t any nail polishes that can withstand reentry into the atmosphere.

Xara kept putting reassuring thoughts into my head through the rest of the ride. I timed it later, about one minute 45 seconds. It seemed much longer.

When we got off, the Arions asked Xara how I had done. Kara and Sharon already knew. Xara said, “I think he’s almost there. We’re going to ride it again.”

Sharon said, “Maybe you should wait for him to stop trembling first.”

Xara agreed, so we went off to buy her two more elephant ears. While she ate them, she compared the flight we had a couple of days earlier to the roller coaster. She made a connection with me and replayed it for us, and as she did, she pointed out that her flight maneuvers were sharper and more dramatic than the roller coaster. That did help calm my nerves.

We went back to the roller coaster without the Arions. They weren’t impressed by it and wanted to see more of the fair. Kara and Sharon came along. I asked them why and Sharon smiled at me and said, “Xara isn’t the only one who is here for you.”

We got on the roller coaster again, Xara made a connection, and compared each hill and turn to what she’s done with me flying and repeated, several times, that with her there, sitting next to me, nothing bad could happen to me.

At the end of that ride, I wasn’t trembling at all, and Xara, Sharon and Kara were all smiles and congratulating me on overcoming my fears. Then the Arions showed up and Gloria asked me I I’d go for another ride with her. I declined. Gloria insisted. Xara stepped in and said, “The point of this exercise was to get him to relax and feel safe with me. We’ve accomplished that.”

“Why wouldn’t you feel safe with me, Joe?” Gloria asked.

“Because you can’t fly,” I answered.

“That’s good enough for me,” said Xara.

“Yes,” said Kara. “This discussion is over.”

We spent the rest of the day strolling around the fair. There are a lot of food booths, and the ladies wanted to try one or two or three of everything. At one place, serving ribs, there were a couple of little kids watching us. Sharon picked up her corn on the cob and went through it like a cartoon character, really fast, faster than a Terran would be able to. The kids thought it was hilarious and because their parents were distracted changing a diaper, Kara and Xara repeated the trick for them.

That evening we attended a show, a country group, I don’t remember their name. They were good but not memorable. Then Xara drove us home while I napped in the seat next to her.

Chapter 159

Two days later, the agenda continues. I had come upstairs for lunch. I didn’t know where Xara was. I was eating a sandwich on the deck when I saw her descend from the sky carrying a hog. Not the porcine kind. The Harley Davidson kind.

“Where’d you get that?” I asked when she landed.

“From the police impound lot.”

“Did anyone see you?”

“No.”

“Don’t they have cameras?”

“Someone aimed them all in the wrong direction,” she said with a giggle.

“What’s it for?” I asked.

“You haven’t ridden on a motorcycle since your neighbor scared you when you were a teenager. You and I are going for a ride to show you how safe you are with me.”

“No, I’m not.”

“I’ll call mom,” she said.

“I’ll put on my motorcycle suit.”

“Just the helmet,” she said.

I got my helmet and looked out back, neither the bike nor Xara were there. I looked out front, she was in the driveway. I walked out just as she was putting on a helmet.

“Seeing you put on a helmet doesn’t make me feel safe, Xara,” I said.

“Helmet laws, Joe. I don’t want to get pulled over. I don’t have a motorcycle endorsement.”

“Do you know how to drive one of those things?” I asked.

“Yes,” she answered, “Eric taught me when I was ten.”

She’d taken off her flight suit and was wearing a halter and shorts. Bare feet, as usual. She got on the bike and said, “I want to make a connection while we ride. Put your hands against my stomach under my shirt.”

Neither here nor there, but she has an amazingly flat stomach. All the blondes do, and when you put your hands on it, it feels like a soft covering over hard steel.

I got on, put my arms around her with my hands on the skin of her stomach, and she made the connection. In my head I heard her say, “We’ll start out slow, then speed up, then do some maneuvers. The same ones your cousin did with you. Have no fear, I’ll keep you safe.”

Easier said than done.

She started out slow, then started faster. She got on the freeway and started weaving in and out of traffic, which isn’t as dramatic as it sounds, I-5 through Bellingham that afternoon wasn’t terribly busy. But her maneuvers were sharp, and I started hanging on tighter.

“You’re doing fine, Joe” she said, through the connection. “Just hang on and don’t worry.”

We drove down I-5  to exit 231 to WA-11, Chuckanut Mountain Dr. Normally, Chukanut Dr is a very relaxing, beautiful scenic drive. But not on a motorcycle doing 120 MPH.

“Xara,” I yelled, “This is way too dangerous!”

“Joe,” I heard in my head, “use the connection. You don’t need to shout.”

“Xara, this is nuts, what are you doing?”

I didn’t understand how we were staying on the road.

“This bike is very sturdy,” she said, through the connection, “I’m gripping it between my legs and using my flight power to keep it on the road. And I will, for the next 30 seconds.”

“What’s happening in 30 seconds,” I asked, through the connection.

“Wait and see,” she replied.

And then, about 30 seconds later, she turned hard to the left, grabbed my arms at the elbow and took off nearly straight up as the bike crashed over the guardrail and sailed down onto the rocks below. Then she executed some kind of funky turn, and we were going up, face to face.

“Are you okay, Joe?”

“I am,” I said. “That happened so fast I didn’t have time to get scared.”

“And I protected you, didn’t I?” She asked.

“Yes, you did.”

“Would you go riding with me again?”

“Not on that bike,” I said, looking at the wreck below us.

“Xara, that was someone’s property.”

“Not really,” she said. “The owner is going to be doing five to ten at Walla Walla. The police were going to auction the bike off.”

Chapter 160

Three days later, after breakfast, Xara said, “We’re going to mom’s today Joe.”

“What for?” I asked.

“It’s a surprise,” she said.

So I climbed into a pod and we flew down to sunny California. We went all the way down to Kara’s cavern and Xara opened the armory and pulled out a GAR pistol, a Glock, and an M-4 and handed me ear and eye protection.

“Target practice, Xara?” I asked.

“Sort of,” she said.

At that moment we were joined by Kara.

“Have you told him yet?” She asked Xara.

“I’m just getting to it,” she replied.

“Joe,” Xara said, “you are very brave and courageous. I’ve seen it in your memories. I saw it when the Arions captured me, and you demonstrated it again when you charged that shooter in Texas.

“You are also selfless,” she continued. “You take chances and risks, and you’ve been nearly killed several times. The marks of it are all over your body.

“You have to learn that you never have to take risks for us.”

“Uh huh,” I said, “what about that time you were captured?”

“One in a billion, Joe,” she said. “That will never happen again.”

“Joseph,” said Kara, “you are like a Protector. You don’t know when to cut and run.”

“Sure I do,” I said.

“Joseph, in the tunnel, on the day we met, I told you to run. Instead, you stood your ground and took on that Beta. You should have been killed, Joseph. I appreciate that you saved our lives, and I’ll always be in your debt. But you have to learn that there are times when fighting is hopeless, and running is the only way to save your life.”

“Joe,” said Xara, “I saw, through your eyes, what you did to try to save Dixon and Johnson and their men that terrible day. I felt what you felt. With no thought to your own safety, you attacked and attacked and attacked again. And then in Texas you charged that shooter with nothing more than a stick.”

“Okay, so I fight.”

“You do, Joseph,” said Kara, “we need you to understand that you don’t need to fight for us. We need to know that if the situation arises, you’ll leave the fighting to us and do whatever you need to do to protect yourself.”

“But if I’d done that in that the day we met, you’d both be dead. I’d probably be dead.”

“One in a billion, Joe,” said Xara. “One in a billion.”

“Joseph,” said Kara, “do you know what people are taught to do in active shooter situations?”

“Sure. Run, hide or fight, in that order.”

“What did you do in Texas Joseph?”

“I fought,” I answered. “And I’d do it again. People were dying and I’m trained to fight. Running or hiding were not options.”

“Yes, they were,” Xara said.

“Not options I could choose and still look myself in the mirror,” I said.

“Okay, Xara, Joseph, let’s start over. Joseph, we need to convince you that in any situation that comes up, you don’t have to fight either for us or with us.”

“That day we met …”

“One in a billion, Joe,” said Xara, “That will never happen again.”

“Joseph,” said Kara, “you’ve seen our power, but you don’t really understand it. Or you haven’t internalized it. We need you to internalize it so you will know that if there is a threat, and we are there, you don’t have to put yourself at risk.”

“Well,” I said, “I think I’m there. If you had picked up that day in Texas, and if you could have gotten there in time, I would have been happy to barricade the classroom door and look for a way out.”

“No, Joe,” said Xara, “you aren’t there. I could tell after we made that deep connection. You need a demonstration.”

“Okay, so what are you going to do? Shoot these weapons at each other?”

“No Joseph, you’re going to do the shooting.”

“No! We’ve been through this before! I will not shoot a friend!”

“Joseph,” said Kara, “I’m afraid this is not negotiable. We need you to do your damnedest to kill us.”

“Joe,” said Xara, “I love you and cherish you. I don’t ever want to make you do something you think is awful against your will, but this is important, and I’m willing to use my trust pheromones to make you do it.”

I didn’t know what to say. This was unbelievable. This woman who says she loves me has no compunction against taking my free will away?

I didn’t realize it, but Xara had been holding my hand and had made a connection, so she was seeing my thought process. And she began to cry.

“Joe,” she said through her sobs, “I don’t want to make you! I’m not a terrible person, but this is necessary to protect you. Please Joe.”

I can’t stand to see that beautiful young woman, who has such a good heart, in tears.

“Okay,” I said, “I’ll do it.”

“What?!” Said Kara, “A few tears and you roll over?”

“Mom,” said Xara, “go with it. We don’t want to start this argument over again.”

“Joseph,” said Kara, “you and I need to sit down sometime and discuss emotional manipulation.”

“Mom!” Shouted Xara.

“Okay honey,” Kara replied, “let’s get started.”

They both stripped naked. I had no idea why. Xara had been wearing her flight suit and Kara had been in hers. I’d never seen either one of their suits damaged in anyway.

“Why the nudity?” I asked.

“Why Joe,” Xara teased, “don’t you like to look at beautiful, young naked women?”

“I don’t know how young your mother is, Xara, and yes I do. But why for this?”

“For your enjoyment and ours,” said Kara.

“How in the world is this enjoyable for anyone?” I asked.

“You’ll see,” said Kara.

Xara was up first. She took a target, the kind you see at ranges, and set it up against the back wall of the firing range. Then she stood in front of it.

Kara handed me the Glock and said, “Aim for center of mass, Joseph.”

I did. I fired off one shot. Suddenly, Xara wasn’t in front of the target anymore. She had moved to her left and there was a hole in the target at the torso. She stepped in front of the target again. I fired again. And again, there was a hole in the target, but Xara had moved faster than I could see and dodged the bullet.

She moved in front of the target again, and I fired again. I didn’t see her hand move, but she walked up to me and opened her right hand and showed me the bullet I had just shot. She had caught it. Right out of the air.

Then she sashayed back to the target and stood in front of it again. I fired. She didn’t move. There was no ricochet. There was a streak of molten lead on the floor rapidly hardening.

“What did you do?” I asked.

“I melted the slug with my heat vision,” Xara replied.

“Why didn’t the molten metal just splat on your stomach?” I asked.

“Because it loses its aerodynamic shape when it melts and friction with the air slows it down,” she replied.

She stood in front of the target, with her legs spread and her hands on her hips, like a hero in a comic book. Except that most comic book heroes are dressed. I raised the Glock and fired. And this time she didn’t move. The bullet hit her and bounced off. Then she pointed at her right breast and smiled.  I took the hint. I fired at her breast, and this time the bullet ricocheted off her into the wall. Then she pointed down, at her, um, privates.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” I said.

“Just aim and shoot,” Kara said.

So I did. And I hit her where she was pointing, and Xara said, “ooh, that felt good. Do it again, Joe.”

I did.

Kara took the Glock away and gave me the M4. I set the selector switch to SEMI, charged the weapon, and began firing at her. She just smiled as the bullets bounced or ricocheted off her.

“Fire bursts at her,” said Kara.

I set the selector to fire three round bursts. Same results as before.

“Okay, Joseph,” said Kara, “that’s enough with the kiddie toys. Fire a real weapon at her,” and she handed me the GAR.

I fired several shots at her. She just smiled.

Then Xara traded places with Kara and we did the whole thing again, with all three weapons.

“Mom,” said Xara, “it isn’t working.”

“What isn’t working?” I asked.

“Most men get turned on when we demonstrate our invulnerability, Joseph,” said Kara.

“Yes,” said Xara, “and it’s a turn on for us too. But apparently not for you.”

“This is crazy!” I said. “There are men who get turned on by shooting Velorians?”

“Yes,” said Xara, “especially naked Velorians.”

“That’s hard for me to believe,” I said.

“It’s true, Joseph,” said Kara.

“Maybe this next demonstration will get to him,” said Xara.

She went back to the vault and picked out a grenade.

“Is that thing live?” I asked.

“Yep,” said Xara. “Watch this.”

Alarm bells were going off in my head. This was dangerous!

Xara walked up to Kara and they both turned sideways, facing each other, so I had a profile view of them. They got very close, then Xara put the grenade between her breasts and pulled the pin. Dixon, Johnson and I hit the floor at the same time. I looked up, which was stupid, it went against my training, but I had to see what was going to happen. Kara came up close enough to her that their breasts were against each other, with the grenade between them. I heard a muffled explosion, really nothing more than a low volume boom, and they stepped apart. Shrapnel fell from between their breasts to the floor. They should have been shredded. I mean, a Terran would have been, but they weren’t.

I looked around, no sign of shrapnel anywhere else, especially not in me.

“Still no erection,” said Kara. “Joseph, you truly are unique.”

“What’s unique about not getting aroused when my friends are shot at and blown up?” I asked. They just laughed.

“Seriously, guys! When you pull the pin on a live grenade, I’m not going to get an erection, I’m going to pee my pants!”

They thought that was funny too.

And then Sharon arrived.

“Have I missed anything?” She asked.

“He doesn’t get off on our invulnerability,” Xara answered.

Sharon said, “Let’s see what we can do about that.”

She stripped off her flight suit and walked over to the weapon vault, looking over her shoulder and winking at me as she went, and came out of the vault with an M249, the infantry’s Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW, with an ammunition belt in a drum.

“Do you know how to use this?” She asked me.

“Yes,” I said, “I’ve been trained on it.”

“Good, load it,” she said as she handed it to me.

I checked the safety, locked the drum in place and loaded the belt. Sharon went down to the end of the range with Kara and Xara came back and stood next to me.

“Open fire,” said Sharon.

I went down on one knee, pulled the bolt, aimed, and pulled the trigger. Sharon and Kara started making out. I fired short bursts and watched the bullets bounce off them and ricochet all over the place, Xara caught two that were coming off the wall back towards me, and the two blondes acted like they were totally oblivious to what I was doing.

I emptied the first belt and Xara handed me another drum. I loaded and began firing again as the two Velorians changed positions so Sharon could go down on Kara. I hosed them down with lead. The only reaction from either of them was Kara showing that she was, um, obviously having a good time as Sharon worked on her.

Kara orgasmed just as I emptied the third belt. She and Sharon floated back to me, and Xara said, “Nothing.”

“Is he on his meds again?” Sharon asked.

“No, he isn’t,” said Xara. “I looked; he had an erection before he woke up this morning.”

Then Xara took my hand, and made a connection, and replayed the last several minutes of my memories, starting when she opened the weapons vault. To me it feels like I’m reliving the entire time, but it happens much, much faster than that. Anyway, she broke the connection, smiled at me and said, “I get it now. Have you two ever done this with a soldier before?”

Sharon and Kara both said no.

“This is deadly serious to him. When he picks up a weapon, he undergoes a kind of shift. He goes into survival mode. I bet most men, or most men who have never experienced combat, don’t do that.”

“That makes sense,” said Kara.

“I bet when the adrenalin wears off and he thinks about this tonight, he’ll want one of you in his bed with him,” said Xara.

“I can do that,” said Sharon.

“One more thing,” said Xara. “We ran through this exercise to imbed in Joe’s thinking that if there is danger, he doesn’t have to worry about us. I could see it in his mind, he gets it now.”

“So he won’t run to the danger?” Asked Sharon.

“He might,” said Xara, “but at least he’ll think about it first. I think that’s the best we can do.”

“Well, ladies,” I said, “as much as I enjoy being referred to in the third person, when I’m right here next to you, I’m hungry.”

“I’ll take you all out to lunch,” said Kara.

I pointed to the SAW and asked Kara, “Can I take this home with me?”

“No, Joseph, you may not.”

“Joe,” asked Xara, “are you mad at me?”

“I thought I would be, but no, I’m not. I don’t want to make a habit of doing this, Xara, but watching your mom and Sharon completely ignore machine gun fire hitting them while making out is kind of hot.”

“But not enough to get you hard,” she said.

“No. At least not while I’m doing it. But I think you’re right about later.”

“I’ll come to the cabin tonight, Joe,” said Sharon.

Kara took us to a nice restaurant for lunch, and then Xara flew us home. That evening Sharon arrived just after dinner and stayed the night. Xara was right about the adrenalin wearing off. It was a great night.

What Janelle hadn’t known, but was figuring out, was that gang leadership valued their drugs and money more than the lives of their underlings.

She had begun developing a small number of contacts in the neighborhood she had redlined who would keep her informed of gang activities. These were people she had helped in her medical practice who felt gratitude and loyalty, but mostly gratitude, towards her. She had them contact her through Miguel. He’d visit her contacts and then report to her what they had seen.

It didn’t take her long to chart out the gang collection activities. They stuck to a schedule. They traveled in pairs. They were always armed young men, and they were always intrigued when they came across a tall, beautiful dark-haired woman with the loveliest legs and most intriguing cleavage they had ever seen. And since they all seemed to think that rape was their birthright, they would invariably follow her, no matter where she led them.

It worked every single time! It was almost, she thought, like the stupidity was encoded into their DNA. She had scouted out the best places to ambush them, and like lambs to the slaughter, they’d follow her. She’d stay just enough ahead of them, and walk just fast enough, that they had to work to keep up with her. And then, when she got to an isolated, dark place, such as an alley, she’d quickly undress and stuff her clothes into a thick plastic bag, then step out of the shadows and kill them.

It was satisfying, she had to admit, but not as much fun as using them as masturbation toys before she killed them, or while she killed them. But this was about pain and suffering, her victims would not experience any pleasure.

She was a board-certified Arion veterinarian. She understood Terran anatomy in detail and knew just how to deliver a strike to the throat that would paralyze a frails ability to speak, shout, scream or otherwise use its voice without disrupting its ability to breathe.

That … reduced the enjoyment. She loved hearing her little frail victims scream. Often, they’d beg for mercy, which was delightful and a real turn on, but without the use of their voices, well, she’d just have to imagine the sounds they would make if they could.

She’d always start with a strike to the throat of each of her victims to keep them quiet, then she’d undress them before she played with them. Not sexually, no pleasure for them, but brutally. She undressed them because she needed something to clean the blood off herself after they were dead. She knew many ways to kill a frail outright, and if they hadn’t beaten Juanita, she would have killed them quickly. But they made it personal, so she was going to make it personal. Besides, it was a lot more fun to make them suffer.

Burning them always made them suffer. She didn’t have to hear their screams to appreciate that, their helpless fluttering and futile attempts to escape her eyes told her they were in excruciating pain. Well, that, and she’d burned many a frail to death since her family was sent to ‘Six’, and she knew that if these frails could scream and beg, they would.

Dismembering them hurt a lot too. She’d back them into a corner, or throw them into one, so the one she wasn’t playing with couldn’t get past her while she enjoyed killing its partner. She’d heard this Terran saying, and she decided she wanted to try it out. So she pulled the arm off one frail and set out to beat it to death with it. It didn’t work; the arm basically disintegrated before the frail died.

Sometimes it was fun to break the knees of the first frail and let it watch while she pulled the limbs off its friend, then burned the friends head off before taking her time killing the first one. She did that this time, then laid down next to the surviving frail and in a soft, sexy voice, told it what she was going to do to it, then watched its eyes get big and then bigger as she did it.

She released just a little pheromone to get it erect.

“Oh lover, look how big you are!” Frails were never big.

“I’m just going to roast that great big cock of yours.”

Then she used enough heat vision to blister the skin of its penis. She laughed as the frail fought to cover itself and flopped around.

“That was fun, sexy. Now I’m going to take off some skin, so we can get closer.”

She used her nails to peel the skin off its chest, like she was peeling a carrot or a potato. And then picked up some of the muck off the alley floor and rubbed it into its chest. Its reaction told her that hurt a lot.

“You’re so big and strong, I just have to squeeze you!” She went down both side of its body, from its shoulders to its ankles, crushing its joints.

“And I just can’t resist that big, strong chest of yours!”

She used her index finger to pop every rib.

She could have gone on, but she heard people approaching, so she kissed it on the lips and said, “Sorry lover, it’s time for both of us to go.” And she compressed its throat so it couldn’t breathe and waited for its heart to stop. Then, just to make sure it couldn’t be revived, she pushed a couple of ribs through its heart and lungs.

She used the frail’s clothes to clean the blood off her, put her clothes back on, and left a map on one of the bodies, with that neighborhood circled in red, and a message saying, “Keep Out!”

These were the 11th and 12th gangsters she’d killed since Juanita had been attacked. She wondered if the gang leaders would figure out what was happening, or just replace these two, like they had the others she’d killed, and go on as if nothing was amiss.

 

Chapter 161

Later in the week I decided I needed to have a talk with Xara about her habit of making connections with me without my knowledge or my permission. Dixon and Johnson and I had been discussing it, and we all agreed it needed to be handled delicately. What that meant, we weren’t too sure about.

We went for our run in the morning and came back to the cabin. I showered while Xara made breakfast. I wasn’t talking too much, and she noticed it.

“You’re awfully quiet this morning, Joe. What’s up?”

“I think we need to have a talk, Xara.”

“Okay, what about?”

“After breakfast, please.”

We finished breakfast, and as we cleaned up, she tried to put her hand on my arm. I pulled away.

“Let’s sit down on the couch, Xara.”

“Joe, this seems serious. Did I do something wrong?”

I didn’t answer her. I walked over to the couch and sat down and patted the cushion next to me. She sat down and reached out for me and I pulled away again.

“Joe, what’s wrong?” There was real worry in her voice.

“Xara, remember the first time you made a connection with me, and I resented it, because of the feelings it dredged up?”

“Yes, how can I forget? But you said you forgave me. And I’ve never done that again.”

“Yes, I did forgive you. But Xara, the connection, its intrusive. And sometimes you make one and I don’t even know it, and you never ask permission. It makes me feel uncomfortable.”

She was quiet for a moment, and then asked me if she could touch me and make a connection. I said yes.

In my mind, I heard her say, “Knock knock.”

“Xara! I’m trying to be serious and you’re telling knock knock jokes?”

“No, Joe, I’m not making a joke. I’m asking permission.” I heard this with my ears, not my mind.

“Let’s try this again,” she said.

In my mind I heard her say, “Knock knock.”

“Who’s there?” I replied, verbally.

“Joe! It’s not a joke. I’m knocking on the door of your mind!”

“Well maybe you should have said ding dong then, like ringing a doorbell,” I said.

She rolled her eyes and said, “Whatever.” In my mind I heard her say, “Ding dong.”

“Is this Avon calling?” I asked.

She punched me. It hurt.

“Okay, okay,” I said, “Do it again.”

In my mind I heard her say, “Knock knock.”

“Come in,” I thought. And then she made herself known to me, in my head.

“When I knock,” she said, in my mind, “I’m staying at a very high level. I don’t hear anything you aren’t addressing to me. Will that work, if I ask permission this way?”

I looked at Dixon and Johnson. They were nodding their heads. I agreed with them.

“Yes, Xara, that will work.”

** ** ** ** ** **

I was in Mosul. We were going door to door looking for the bad guys and clearing them out when we found them. I turned to Johnson, to point out the direction I was going to go and instead of acknowledging me, he said, “Knock knock,” in Xara’s voice.

“What the fuck, man?” I said.

He just looked at me and said, “Knock knock,” again in Xara’s voice.

Something seemed familiar about this. Not Xara’s voice, that was very familiar, but something about making a knock knock joke. Then things started to get clearer, and I said, “Come in.”

And there was Xara standing where Johnson had been, and then we were in her loving place and she said, “I heard you tossing and turning and thought you might be having a bad dream.”

“Are we in my bed, Xara?” I asked.

“You are,” she said. “I’m standing next to you with my palm on your forehead. Would you like to wake up, or go back to sleep?”

“Aren’t I sleeping now?” I asked.

“You are,” she said, “but not very deeply.”

“I think I’d like to stay asleep,” I said.

“Okay,” she said. And then she was hugging me in her loving place, and then she was gone, and I was in my high school, and I had an exam to take but I couldn’t find the classroom.

Chapter 162

Over the coming days I became more and more comfortable with Xara’s connections, now that she was asking my permission first. I even got her to where she was asking permission verbally.

We could be holding hands (we were doing a lot more of that) and instead of hearing a “knock knock,” in my head, she’d say it verbally. That was real progress, because anytime she had physical contact with me, she could get in if she wanted to.

School began, and Xara was taking a 20-credit load, which meant that with her labs, she was in class 26 hours a week. I asked her, about three weeks into the quarter, how she was holding up under the workload.

“With my Galen boost,” she said, “the work seems easier than ever. I don’t have to study at all. Just attend the lectures, read the book, and I’m good. My advisor is impressed.”

No shit he, or she, I didn’t know which, would be impressed. She was acing all her tests. She had me proofread a couple of papers and I couldn’t find a single error.

She was out of the cabin, almost like a 40-hour work week, so that gave me time to talk to Dixon and Johnson about the future. I was starting to think there was a future for me with Xara. She’d spent a lot of time with me, and it was very comfortable. Every morning when I woke up, I found myself looking forward to being with her. I knew she was having sex with other Terrans, though she’d never talk to me about it because she didn’t want me to feel jealous. And I was understanding the necessity for that too. And not just because of Sharon’s never-ending lectures about the superiority of Velorian morals and ethics. Her needs were different. Really, the only thing about the blondes that was strictly human was their appearance, and given their beauty, you could make an argument that wasn’t really human either. The point is, and Dixon and Johnson agreed, that it is as unfair for me to judge them by Terran standards as it is for Sharon to judge me, or any other Terran, by Velorian standards.

I needed to talk to Kara about this. So I called her on a Monday morning after Xara left for class.

“Kara, do you think you could make some time to come up here to talk to me, when Xara is in class?”

“Certainly, Joseph, is something wrong?”

“No, nothing is wrong. Far from it. I want to get your advice on something, privately.”

“I can come up on Wednesday. What time does Xara leave the cabin?”

“On Wednesday mornings she’s out of here by 7:30.”

The gang was starting to figure out something was amiss.

Janelle’s tradecraft wasn’t too much different from what Joe had been taught, at least in the basics. Whenever she went out hunting, she observed from a distance, to make sure no one was observing her.

This evening, she knew the gang would be collecting their so-called protection money from the businesses in a corner of the neighborhood. She had been watching for them from a rooftop for about fifteen minutes when she saw two young men come into view, both armed. She had been watching them for about five minutes when she saw two other, somewhat older, gang members round a corner about two blocks away from the first two. She looked through their clothing and saw that these men were also armed and wore the same gang tattoos as the first men.

She stayed on the rooftops, in the shadows, following the first pair on their rounds and observed that the second two stayed back, but kept the first pair in their sights. The only time they couldn’t see the first pair was when they went into a business to collect.

So, the gang did take notice that something was off. Took them long enough. Janelle called the first two the collectors and the second two the watchers, for want of a better word. She picked up on something else, too. The watchers kept the collectors in their sight, but they made sure they were not seen by the collectors. This told Janelle the collectors did not know the other two were there.

Arion Primes can’t fly, but they are extraordinarily strong and can jump very high. Janelle worked her way across the rooftops until she was behind the watchers, then waited for them to align themselves with just the right building. It took half an hour, but soon they were standing behind a three-story building while the collectors were inside a business.

Janelle scanned the area, no one was watching. She undressed and jumped down behind the watchers, bending her knees as she landed to affect a near silent landing. She walked up behind the men and tapped them each on the back of the skull, hard enough to disorient them, not hard enough to kill them. Then she put an arm around each of them and jumped back onto the rooftop.

The men were starting to come to their senses while Janelle was making up her mind. She decided the drop from the rooftop to the street below was probably enough to be fatal to these frails, but she wanted certainty, so she decided she needed to help a little.

She dropped one frail onto the rooftop and held the other one over her head, then threw it down with enough velocity to simulate a fall from a fifteen-story building. It splattered nicely on the sidewalk below.

In the meantime, the second frail stood up and was looking at a very beautiful and very naked Janelle, and while he thought he saw her throw his compatriot to his death, it didn’t make sense, his brain couldn’t make the connection between the sight of this beautiful woman and his imminent death. He was still a little woozy, but he staggered towards this vision of beauty.

Janelle turned around and saw it coming to her. She smiled and held out her arms as if to embrace it and the fool walked right into her. She quickly picked it up, held it over her head, and threw it down. This one managed to get a scream out before it, too, splattered on the sidewalk.

Just then the collectors came out of the shop they had been in and resumed their route, never knowing what happened while they were inside. Janelle thought for a moment and decided this could be fun. She’d let the two collectors live, for now, and go back to her apartment. She imagined the consternation of the gang bosses when they discovered their two watchers dead while their collectors still lived.

 

Chapter 163

Monday night and Tuesday were hard. Xara came home Monday evening after classes and studying in the library and sat down to dinner with me. She wanted to talk about her day and hear about mine, which wasn’t too exciting because the Arions were still keeping a low profile. She’d reach out and touch me, hold my hand, kiss me, and I mentally held my breath, hoping not to hear “knock knock” inside my head. I didn’t want her to know what I was thinking or know I’d invited her mom up to talk.

Thankfully, she had a lot of schoolwork to get done. Lab reports and papers were due, so she disappeared into her room soon after we finished doing the dishes. She didn’t come out before I went to bed. Tuesday was the same. Johnson and Dixon thought I’d dodged a bullet.

Wednesday morning, we went for our run together, I showered while Xara made breakfast and she walked out the door right at 7:30. At 7:34 Kara knocked on my sliding glass door to the deck.

Kara came in and gave me a hug, then we sat down and she asked me what I wanted to talk about.

I took a deep breath and said, “Kara, things are going very well between me and Xara. She’s matured a lot, and a lot of my misgivings have been alleviated.

“Kara, you’ve been married to a Terran, and I wanted to get your perspective, because I want to ask Xara to marry me.”

Next thing I knew my head was nearly touching the ceiling and Kara was hugging me and starting to cry.

“Uh, Kara, does this mean I have your permission to ask for your daughter’s hand?”

She slowly lowered us to the couch and dabbed her tears and said, “Yes, of course you have my permission, Joseph!”

“Do you think I can make her happy, Kara?”

“Joseph, you already make her happy.”

“Okay. This part is hard for me to ask about … you know about the agreement she made, do you think she could be happy, be satisfied only having sex with me and no other Terrans? I don’t know how often she goes out, but I know she does, sometimes I hear her coming and going after I’ve gone to bed.”

Kara thought for what seemed to be a very long minute. And then she started talking.

“Joseph, celibacy is nearly impossible for us. If you were gone for an extended time, and there were no Messenger visits, Xara would have a very difficult time suppressing her sex drive.”

“Drive, Kara?”

“Yes, Joseph. It is a drive. The Galen who developed us wanted us for procreation, and they wanted us to want to procreate with them. So they built in a very powerful sex drive.”

“Sharon thinks …”

Kara interrupted me. “I know what Sharon thinks, Joseph. And she may be right, but that is  something for you to work out with Xara.”

“Kara, I’ve come to understand why you need Messengers. I’ve accepted it, maybe the right phrasing is to say I’m resigned to it. And Xara has done everything she can to make me understand that sex with a Supremis is not something she will give up.

“But having relations with another human, a Terran, after we’re married, that’s something that I would have a hard time with.

“She’s pledged to me, and reminded me many times, that she will give up sex with all Terrans, except for me. Is that too much for her to live up to?”

“Only Xara can answer that, Joseph, but I’ve been down that path and it is very hard for us.”

“Kara, may I ask, did you have sex with other Terrans while you were married to Eric?”

She sighed and took in a couple of deep breaths.

“Joseph, at first, no, I didn’t. But after we’d been married for a few years, after Xara was born, I’m very ashamed of this, Joseph.”

She needed time to compose herself.

“Joseph, I used sex as a weapon against Eric. I hurt him very badly and he did nothing to deserve it.

“Xara saw, and when she was feeling like a heartless little bitch, she rubbed it in.

“I don’t think she’d do that to you. She’s changed since that day in the cave. I don’t think she’d weaponize her sex drive against you.”

“Do you think I’d be making a mistake to marry Xara?”

“No, Joseph, I don’t. I think you and she will be very happy together.

“Now, I have a meeting coming up soon, so let’s go to your bed and get you taken care of.”

“Kara, you don’t have to do that.”

“Joseph,” she laughed, “Xara’s going to know I’ve been here the moment she walks in the door. And if you don’t have my scent on you, she’s going to wonder why.”

So I had a pre-nooner with Kara.

Chapter 164

Literally the first words out of Xara’s mouth when she walked in the door was, “You got some mom time today, feeling good?”

I laughed and said, “Yes, very good.”

She kissed me and said, “Good for you.” Then went off to her room to study.

When she came out for dinner, I asked her if we could have a serious discussion about our relationship.

“Yes!” She answered. “You’ve never wanted to talk about it before!”

“Xara,” I said, “this is hard for me to talk about.”

“Joe,” she answered, “you can talk to me about anything.”

“Okay. Xara, how hard would it be for you to limit yourself to just one Terran sexual partner?”

She smiled and said, “Hmm, Joe, I don’t know. Which Terran?”

“Xara, please, don’t make this harder for me than it already is.”

She smiled again and said, “You are the Terran.”

“Yes,” I said.

“Do you want me to take you here, on the table, or in your bed?”

“Xara, please.”

“Why are you asking me this, Joe?”

“Sharon thinks your ‘agreement’ is a mistake, that it will put too much strain on our relationship if you limit yourself to only me and the occasional Messenger. And that you’ll resent me if you keep it, or I’ll resent you if you break it.”

“Would you resent me if I broke the agreement?”

“Xara, I think I’d have a very hard time dealing with that. It could be a dealbreaker for me.”

“But you wouldn’t resent me taking Messengers?”

“Well, I don’t now, so I don’t think I would if we had a sexual relationship. I’ve had a lot of time to think about this. When you first brought up the ‘agreement’ the idea of having a girlfriend who flew off to have sex with supermen I couldn’t possibly compete with bothered me. A lot. But I’ve accepted it. The last time Skar-El was here, it just seemed like the natural thing for you to do.”

“Joe, for the rest of this discussion, could I ask you to stop putting air quotes around agreement?”

“Sorry, Xara, yes, I’ll stop doing that.”

“You’re right, Joe, when you say you couldn’t compete with a Supremis. That’s the bad news. The good news is: It isn’t a competition. They can fulfill needs you can’t. But they can’t give me the loving, long term relationship that I want to have. With you.

“And Joe, while Sharon is wise in these things, she isn’t infallible. By a long shot. Other Terran men can scratch the itch, and they’re okay for a quickie or a one-night stand, but none of them I’ve met makes my heart flutter the way you do.

So, to answer your real question, yes, I believe I can stay faithful to you. But that faithfulness comes with a price.”

“A price, Xara? You’ve never mentioned that before. What price?”

She laughed and said with a smile, “You’re going to have to have a lot of sex with me.”

“Okay, Xara, I think I can do that. Hell, I know I could, because your pheromones would overcome any resistance I had.”

“Damn right, Joe. Now, here on the table or in your bed?”

I laughed and said, “Down girl, I still have a lot to think about.”

“Do you want to make a connection and let me help you through your thought process?”

“No, I don’t think so.”

Chapter 165

The next day, within minutes after Xara left for school, Sharon knocked on my door. I let her in, and she gave me a hug and a kiss and asked, “Have you asked her yet?”

“Kara told you?”

“She did. Have you asked her yet?”

“No,” I said, “I’m still thinking about it, but I’m getting close. I’m going out today to look at rings.”

“Oh, how exciting! I’m coming with you!”

“Sharon, I thought you were against this.”

She laughed and said, “Kara told me to get with the program. I have my reservations, but you know about them. The rest is up to you. I’m going to change.”

The Supremis all keep clothes at my cabin. Hers were downstairs in one of the guest rooms.

She came upstairs in less than five minutes and said, “I’m ready. Where are we going?”

“I have a list of jewelers.”

So the two of us went ring shopping. Turns out having Sharon along was very helpful. She knew Xara’s ring size and she kept me clear of rings that had even a trace of gold in them.

“There isn’t enough gold in a ring to depower us, and even if there was, the placement isn’t correct, but it can still be a little bothersome.”

She asked me about my price range. I pulled out my phone and signed into my bank and showed her my balances.

“Crap, Joe, where’d you get all that money?”

“Well, my parents’ inheritance, the sale of their house, the army pays a housing allowance as well as a salary, and then Kara pays me an even better salary, and I’ve been spending cash out of that pile of Josh’s money you gave me.

“And this doesn’t include the retirement accounts I inherited from mom and dad.”

Then she pulled out her phone, dialed and put the phone on speaker. Kara answered.

“Yes, Sharon, what’s up?”

“I’m with Joe. We’re going ring shopping!”

“Oh, wonderful,” said Kara, “I’m jealous. Steer him in the right direction Sharon.”

“She is,” I said.

“Kara,” asked Sharon, “do you know how much cash Joe has sitting in bank accounts?”

“Just a moment.” We heard fingers on a keyboard and then she came back with the exact amount.

“Don’t you think,” asked Sharon, “that’s way too much money to be sitting in savings accounts?”

“Hmm, you’re right Sharon. Joseph, Sharon is an excellent financial advisor. Let her manage your money for you.”

“Mange my money? What’s that mean? Am I going to be put on an allowance?”

That made both of them laugh. Then Sharon said, “No Joe, nothing of the kind. I’ll put together an investment portfolio that will put your money to work for you.”

“Okay,” I said. Why not? I knew next to nothing about investing. Both Sharon and Kara are rich, so it stands to reason that they’d know more about money management that I do.

We spent all morning and into the afternoon shopping before we found a ring set we both liked; an engagement ring and wedding band for Xara and a wedding band for me. Platinum and diamonds. Honestly, I know nothing about this at all, including what women like, so having Sharon with me was a Godsend, or as she would have put it, Skietrasend.

“When are you going to pop the question?” Sharon asked me.

“I haven’t decided yet.”

“I’m sure she’ll say yes,” she said, “and it’s going to be a big surprise. I don’t think her plans for you included marriage.”

“What!” I shouted. “Do you think she’ll turn me down?” I was rattled.

“No, no no,” she replied, “I don’t think she thinks you would want to marry.”

“Oh. Why not?”

“Because of your hang-ups over your mental health.”

“I think I’m a lot better now, Sharon.”

“I think you are too,” she said. “Though sometimes I wonder how many people you have running around inside your head.”

I laughed and said, “With Johnson and Dixon there, it does get a bit crowded when Xara makes a connection.”

“Joe,” said Sharon, “that’s the first time I’ve heard you acknowledge them!”

“There doesn’t seem to be any point trying to hide them from you guys. Xara says she can tell when they are here from looking at my expressions.”

“She’s right,” she said, “all three of us can. I think Gloria can too.”

“Is it that obvious?” I asked.

“No, Joe, there’s nothing obvious about it. I’m sure only the most skilled Terran therapists and counselors would be able to detect it.”

That made me feel better.

I came home and hid the rings in the lair; Sharon helped me with that, finding a place where a Velorian wouldn’t notice anything amiss. Then, because that is what Sharon does, always, she released her pheromones, picked me up, and carried me to my bed.

Xara came home and asked, “When was Sharon here?”

“This afternoon,” I said.

“I’ve got a lot of work to do, Joe, I’ll see you at dinner, okay?”

“Okay. Salmon okay for dinner?”

“Yes,” she said, “that sounds good.”

At dinner I asked, “How is your coursework coming along? Are you managing to keep up?”

“I’m carrying perfect grades in every class,” she answered. “Fortunately, I don’t need much sleep. If I needed as much sleep as a Terran, I might be in trouble.”

“Well, good. I was thinking, the weather is supposed to turn bad next week. How about we go on a picnic Saturday?” I had decided to propose to her Saturday.

“That sounds like fun! Where do you want to go?”

“Fairhaven Park comes to mind, but we can go someplace else if you’d like.”

“Joe, we haven’t been to Baker Lake in a while. Why don’t we fly up to Panorama Point Campground?”

“Okay,” I said, “sounds like fun, we should have the place all to ourselves.”

Panorama Point closes in early to mid-September every year, and we were in October. Since we were flying in, there wouldn’t be anyone to see us or stop us.

I was nervous. What if she said no? Kara and Sharon didn’t make it any easier for me, calling when they knew Xara was at school asking me if I’d ‘popped the question’ yet. I didn’t want to tell them when I was going to do it, so I asked them to stop calling. They’d find out, I was sure, shortly after I asked Xara.

This was a long week for me. Fortunately, Xara was very busy. Even though she was way smarter than anyone else on the planet, labs took time to perform and write up. Research papers had to be researched. So she didn’t have a lot of time for making connections with me. Johnson and Dixon were nervous too, which didn’t help either.

The day before we left, I went out and bought a bottle of champagne. I was assured by the clerk who helped me at the liquor store that this was the good stuff. I hid it in the lair. If I put it in the refrigerator Xara would be sure to see it and question it.

The night before we left, we made sandwiches and packed a pod with water bottles and a couple of daypacks. I put the ring in my pack when Xara wasn’t looking.

Saturday morning we had breakfast and at about 10 I climbed into a pod, Xara attached the storage pod, and we took off. It didn’t take long at all to get there. As we expected, the place was deserted.

If you’ve never been there, it’s beautiful. Only three hours from Seattle.

Anyway, we landed and put the pods in the trees, then took out the daypacks and went hiking. It was a beautiful day for a hike. Cool, a light breeze, and the views were spectacular. I was nervous, rehearsing in my mind how I would propose, and hoping we’d find a nice spot for it. I was so nervous and distracted by my own thoughts that I didn’t realize Xara was talking to me.

“Joe, Joe! Earth to Joe, this looks like a nice place for lunch.”

“What? Oh, yeah, it does. Xara, this place is perfect!”

“Well, I don’t know about perfect, but if you like it too, we can eat here,” she said.

She’d found a fallen log just off the trail that afforded us a beautiful view of the mountains above us and the forest below. As I looked around at the tableau mother nature set before us, and watched Xara’s hair flowing in the cool breeze, I thought, yes, this is the perfect place. We sat down on the log to eat our lunch. We made small talk, mostly about Xara’s courses. I told her that Sharon was going to set up an investment portfolio for me.

“That’s a very good idea, Joe, Sharon is very experienced when it comes to making money grow.”

“Your mom said that too,” I said. Then it was time to change the subject, to do what I came here to do.

“Xara,” I said, “I owe you an apology. Since we met, I’ve treated you like a kid, someone who doesn’t have any perspective, who doesn’t know what she wants.

“When we first met, that was true. But between then and now, you’ve grown up, a lot. But I still treated you like a child, and didn’t give your opinions and feelings, about me, about us, the respect they deserve. And for that, Xara, I am very sorry.”

While I was talking, I reached into my pack and pulled out the little box with the ring in it.

Before Xara could respond to my apology, I changed position, from sitting on the log next to her to down on one knee in front of her. My heart was pounding, and Xara’s eyes got big as I opened the box to show her the ring.

“Xara,” I said, “these past few years I’ve come to know you as an amazing woman. And I don’t mean your powers. You are kind, gentle, and have shown me nothing but love.

“You’re my last thought when I go to sleep at night and my first thought when I wake up in the morning.

“Xara, if you will have me, I’d like to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”

She had her hand cupped over her mouth and for the first time since I could remember, she was speechless. Then, slowly, she nodded her head. Then she got off the log and knelt in front of me, put her arms around me and said, “Yes, I’ll marry you.”

As I slipped the ring on her finger, I suddenly realized that I’d been holding my breath. And then I discovered that I couldn’t take a breath because Xara was squeezing me so hard. But that only lasted a couple of seconds and then she broke her embrace and kissed me.

We packed up our garbage and started back to the pods. Her speechless period over, she wanted to talk about the wedding. Did we want a big one, or small and intimate, should she get an elaborate dress or something simple, would we go on a honeymoon, and if so, where, and then she stopped, and faced me.

“Joe, can I move into your bedroom when we get back to the cabin?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Can I have you right here, or do you want to wait?”

She was giving me a choice. I was impressed.

“Let’s wait until we get back to the cabin.”

“Okay,” she said, “and just to help you be in the mood …”

She leaned into me and stopped, looked down, and said, “Oh, I was going to give you a little taste of my pheromones, but I guess I don’t need to.”

“No, Xara, you don’t need to.”

“Are you sure you want to wait until we get back to the cabin?”

“Yes, maybe a little less sure than I was a minute ago, but I think I want our first time to be in our bed.”

“Our bed!” she exclaimed. “Oh, Joe, I’m going to be a good wife to you. You’ll see, I’ll make you very happy.”

“Xara,” I said, “you already make me happy. Saying yes made me VERY happy.”

“Joe,” she said, “this ring is beautiful. And there’s no gold in it!”

“I have a confession to make, Sharon helped me pick it out. That’s why it fits so well, she knew your ring size.”

“I’ll have to thank her. Who else knew you were going to propose to me?”

“Your mom. She’s the one who told Sharon, so whoever they told would know.”

“You managed to keep it a secret from me. Joe, I’m impressed, that couldn’t have been easy.”

“Oh, Xara, I got lucky there. You had so much schoolwork to do that you didn’t have any time to make a connection. I thought for sure you’d see it if you did.”

Then she kissed me again and said, “I love you, Joe Ricci.”

“I love you too, Xara Zor-el.”

Chapter 166

We flew back to the cabin; I think Xara may have broken a couple of speed records doing it. We brought the pods down to the lair to unpack and put away. She put the large pod on its rack and said she had a few phone calls to make and would meet me upstairs. I assumed she was calling her mom to give her the news, and then Sharon. I was wrong.

I unpacked the small pod and put it away, then grabbed the bottle of champagne I had hidden.

As I came upstairs, I heard Xara on the phone.

“I won’t be seeing you anymore.”

Pause.

“Because my boyfriend proposed and I’m going to marry him.”

Pause.

“There’s nothing wrong with you. I just like him better.”

Pause.

“You’re one to talk. I’ve seen at least six different women walking out of your villa at all hours of the day and night.”

Pause.

“How I saw them is irrelevant. You keep as many women as you can juggle, and you juggle very well. So don’t play this, ‘what will I ever do without you’ game with me. You’ll just fuck someone else. Goodbye.”

I heard her before I saw her. When I rounded the corner from the stairs, I saw her take the SIM card out of the phone and melt it with her heat vision. Oh, and she was naked.

“How much of that did you hear, Joe?” She asked me.

“Enough. Is this going to be a problem?” I asked.

“Not for you and me,” she said.

“Will he be making trouble?” I asked.

“He would if he could,” she answered. “But he lives in Saudi Arabia, he doesn’t know my real name or where I live, and with the SIM card gone he’ll never be able to trace me.”

“Okay. So you were seeing him? No judgement, I understand the agreement.”

“Yes, Joe, I was seeing him. And not just him. I burned three other SIM cards before you came up.”

“Oh.” I said.

“Joe, is this a problem for you?”

“No Xara, it isn’t. A few months ago it would have been, but not now.”

“Are you sure, Joe?”

“Yes, I’m sure. Cross my heart and hope to die.”

“Let’s hope it never comes to that,” she laughed. “Is that champagne?”

“Yes,” I answered, “I thought we’d celebrate our engagement. But it’s warm, I’ll put it in the fridge to chill.”

“You don’t need to do that, Joe, give it to me.”

I handed her the bottle. She took a deep breath and held it. I could see her abdominal muscles tense up. She held her breath for a good five minutes, then slowly exhaled it onto the bottle. To my amazement, the bottle frosted over. Then she stopped blowing on the bottle and turned her head and exhaled the rest into the room. The temperature actually went down a degree or so.

“Xara! What just happened?”

“PV=nRT”

“What?”

“The Ideal Gas Law, Thermodynamics and the Carnot Cycle.”

“Umm … what?”

“I inhaled as much air as I could. Then I bore down on it with my abdominal muscles to compress it. That caused the air to heat up. I held it under pressure until it cooled off, then I exhaled, which released the pressure, and that caused the air to cool off even more. It’s how an air conditioner works.”

She opened the cupboard and took out two glasses, then opened the champagne bottle, then said, “Let’s take this party into the bedroom. Lose the clothes.”

I followed her into my bedroom, undressing as I went. I was turned on and ready, no pheromones needed. I reached out for her, and she put her hand on my chest and pushed me back.

“You stink! Take a shower.”

I was a little ripe from the hike.

I obediently turned and headed to the shower. I heard Xara put the bottle and glasses down, then, as I turned on the water in the shower, felt her press her body against me and put her arms around me.

“I think we should get into the habit of taking showers together, don’t you Joe?”

“Oh hell yes!” I said.

When the water temperature was right, we got in the shower. I grabbed my body wash, the stuff that makes me smell like the man women wish I looked like, and began lathering her up. She poured some of the body wash into her palm and began doing the same to me.

I lathered her all over. It was wonderful! She was lathering me but stopped above my privates and continued below them.

“You’re going to explode if I touch you there,” she said, “I want the first time to be inside me.”

We dried each other off with towels, then she finished drying me with her heat vision.

“I want to put a couple of full-length mirrors in here so I can dry myself with my heat vision too,” she said.

We went back to my bedroom and sat on the bed and sipped champagne. Then she took my glass from me and put it on the nightstand. Holding her glass in her left hand, she pushed me onto my back with her right hand, then straddled me. Using no hands at all, she lowered herself over my erection and began to gently rock back and forth and move up and down. She was right. I lasted about 15 seconds then exploded into her.

She smiled at me, and then began to massage me with those wonderful internal muscles of hers, and I didn’t soften at all, and then I heard, in my head, “Knock knock.”

“Come in,” I replied, not verbally.

And then I was in her loving place, and it felt … wonderful. In a different way, that I couldn’t quite identify. And then, in my head, I heard her say, “This is just a little bit of what I feel when you’re inside me. I can’t give you the full experience, it would overwhelm you.”

“Can you feel what I feel?” I asked.

“Yes,” I heard her say in my head. “I can feel that being inside me feels very good to you, but it is just a fraction of the pleasure we Supremis feel.

“And Joe, you don’t need to verbalize your answers. Direct your thoughts to me and I’ll hear them.”

All the while she was smiling at me and sipping her champagne. And then she put her glass down, and in my head she said, “We’re going to take it up a couple of notches now. I’m going to use my muscles to block your orgasm, until I’m ready.”

She started moving faster and harder. I felt myself rapidly approaching release and then her muscles clamped down on me and I couldn’t climax. But I wasn’t complaining, it felt good. And then, as she neared her climax, she let me feel more of what she was feeling, and she was right. I was almost overwhelmed, and then the peak was clipped off. I mean, that’s what it felt like, like a wave rising and rising and just before it crashed, just before I was going to be overwhelmed by it, she cut the peak off. Not her peak, my perception of her peak. And then she released her grip on me and we both climaxed together. I realized, after the climax, that I had my hands on her breasts, her nipples were hard, and I wondered if they could cut diamonds. She read my question and said, “I’ve never tried it, but I bet they could.”

I don’t know if this is what it feels like for all women, or just Supremis women, or just Xara.

She released her pheromones and kept on going. In my head I heard her say, “Let me know if this is too much for you.” And then that wave started again, and just before it crashed, she clipped it, I mean, like I said before, my perception of it, but it didn’t end there. This time the waves kept coming, one after the other, and she was letting me orgasm and it felt incredible, for both of us. But things seemed to be changing, I was getting lost in her love, and in her pleasure, which kept building and building, and it was beyond what I could stand, but I couldn’t stop going.

And then she broke the connection, at least the mental connection, she was still having orgasms and I was still staying hard and climaxing harder, over and over, than I ever had in my life.

Finally, she slowed down and stopped moving, but continued to massage me until I finally went soft, and then for a little while after that, then stretched out on top of me and kissed me, still holding me inside her.

I was totally spent. This was more intense than anything I had ever experienced with Sharon or Kara. I heard the “knock knock” inside my head again, and I said, “come in” with my voice, I’m sure, because I heard it through my ears. And then she was talking to me, in my head.

“Did I hurt you?” She asked.

“I don’t think so,” I answered. “I felt like I was getting lost in you.”

“Yes,” she said, “I was overwhelming you. I took you too far and I felt you losing yourself, that’s why I broke the connection.

“I learned where your limits are. I won’t pass them again. You’ll always be safe with me.”

I looked at the clock. We’d been going for over two hours, and I was exhausted. Xara picked up on that I think before I did.

“I pushed you pretty hard, Joe. I’m going to stay here, in the connection, and help you go to sleep, okay?”

I said okay, and that was the last thing I remembered before I woke up in the morning. It was a little after 7, and I was alone in bed. I sat up and heard voices. I went to the bathroom, then put on shorts and a t-shirt and padded out to the living room to find Sharon, Kara, Gloria and Mona all fussing over Xara, who was showing off her engagement ring.

There were six issues of “Modern Bride” on the coffee table.

Chapter 167

I was greeted warmly by all the ladies, especially Xara who kissed me and held my hand. It seemed everyone was talking at once, but Gloria stood out, I think because of what she said.

“Joe, I knew Xara would break down your resistance, but I did not think you would offer to marry her. I am impressed.”

Sharon said, “Joe, get the other rings. They all want to see.”

I’d almost forgotten. I hadn’t even shown Xara the rest of the ring set. I ran down to the lair and took the box with the rest of the rings out of its hiding place and brought it upstairs. I opened the box to show them, and Mona literally squealed like a teenager.

“Joe, these are beautiful! You did a very good job!”

“Thank you, Mona,” I said, “Sharon helped me pick them out.”

“Well, the two of you did very well, the rings are beautiful,” said Kara.

Dixon and Johnson were not at all helpful. No sooner had Kara gotten the words out of her mouth than they were making cracks about me sleeping with my mother-in-law. I must admit, I was wondering myself how that would work.

“Sharon,” said Kara, “I think we should take the newly engaged couple out to dinner to celebrate.”

All the ladies agreed. I hadn’t had breakfast yet.

“Dinner with you guys sounds great,” I said. “I’m going to make breakfast.”

“No, you will not,” said Gloria, “I will prepare breakfast. I am a better cook than you.”

She’s a pretty good cook, but better than me? No, she isn’t. But I wasn’t going to argue with her.

This next part, in hindsight, I should have expected it, but it took me totally by surprise. Sharon took me by the arm and led me to the middle the couch. She and Kara sat down, one on each side of me. Sharon then moved to the end and beckoned Xara over to sit beside me.

Sharon said, “Tell us, you two, what your first sexual experience together was like.”

“Yes,” said Kara, “tell us all about it. Don’t leave out any details.”

Gloria heard this and came back from the kitchen to listen.

I was flabbergasted, but I recovered and said, “Seriously, guys, you expect us to talk about that?”

“Of course they do,” said Xara. “They’ve had to wait long enough; they should get to hear about it.”

“Joe,” said Sharon, “Velorians talk about these things, especially at the start of a new relationship. It is nothing to be embarrassed about. Now talk!”

They were all, including Xara, looking at me. Evidently, I was expected to go first. I looked at Xara and she smiled at me and nodded.

“Well,” I started, “we had gone hiking …”

“Oh yes,” said Mona, “Xara told us how you proposed to her. It must have been so romantic!”

“It was,” said Xara, “Joe caught me totally by surprise and I was speechless, at first all I could do was nod my head.”

“Go on,” said Sharon, “tell us about the sex.”

I continued. “We came back from the hike and put away …”

“You didn’t take him right there on the trail?” Sharon asked Xara.

“No,” said Xara, “I asked him if he’d like me to, but he said he wanted the first time to be in our bed.”

“You let him choose where you were going to take him the first time? Xara that is so romantic!” Said Mona.

Even an Arion Beta expects a Supremis woman to dominate me.

“Keep going, Joe,” said Sharon.

“We got back to the cabin and opened a bottle of champagne and poured ourselves each a glass. Xara was already undressed. I undressed and she told me to take a shower. She got in the shower with me …”

“Very smart,” said Kara, “to jack you off in the shower so you can last longer later.”

“I didn’t do that mom; I wanted his first orgasm with me to be inside me.”

The ladies all smiled and nodded at that. Mona once again said it was very romantic.

Then they let me tell the rest of the story. There were a lot of questions when I told them about Xara making a connection with me. They all wanted to hear about that.

“I’ve made connections with all of you,” said Xara, “but I’ve never gone as deep with you as I do with Joe.

“I discovered that I could read what he felt, what his penis felt in my vagina, and that I could convey to him what it felt like for me.”

They all sat up straighter. This was something new. And it was about sex. This was something new about sex and nothing gets a Supremis attention, or at least a female Supremis attention, faster than that.

“We all know that we experience sex much more intensely than Terrans do,” Xara continued, “but I was actually able to feel and compare the difference.”

“Were you able to feel the difference?” Mona asked me.

“I was,” I answered, “but not fully. It was too intense for me.”

“He could handle up to a certain point,” said Xara, “but the peak, my orgasms, were too much for him. He can’t handle that much pleasure. I had to stop sharing with him before I climaxed, and even then, I shared too much for him.”

“It was like being lost in her, and not in a good way,” I said.

“But you enjoyed it, didn’t you Joseph?” asked Kara.

“I did. I have never felt anything that intense, even with you and Sharon,” I answered. “And I had no idea you feel the orgasm all through your body.”

“That’s true of Terran women too,” said Sharon.

“Xara,” said Kara, “do you think Sharon and I could experience that?”

I wasn’t too sure what she meant, after all, they know how they experience sex. I soon found out.

“I think so mom,” Xara answered, “we already know I can be a conduit between two other people. We can try it.”

“Oh, wonderful,” said Sharon, “we can try it after we get back from dinner!”

“Ladies,” I said, “I’m confused. Try what?”

“Mom and Sharon are going to have sex with you and I’m going to connect you to them so they can feel what we felt last night.”

“Oh, no, Xara, no that wouldn’t be a good idea at …”

She put her finger to my lips to shush me and said, “Don’t be afraid Joe. I know exactly when to break or moderate the connection so you’re not overwhelmed.”

“Xara! That’s not what I meant! We’re engaged now, and you expect me to have sex, to have group sex, with my future mother-in-law?”

“Joe!” said Xara, “Don’t be rude! Our engagement changes nothing about your relationship with Sharon and mom. You are still Kiraling and you have a right to enjoy them and after all they’ve done for you, they have earned the right to expect some sexual reciprocity from you!”

“Xara,” Kara said, “I don’t think Joseph is trying to insult us. This is taking our relationship somewhere it hasn’t been before.”

“You think it’s right that he should deny you this experience?” Xara asked.

Sharon answered, “No, Xara, that’s not it at all. Joe has been through a lot, and this is something new. We should be sensitive to his feelings.”

“So, you’re not going to do it?” Asked Mona.

“Of course we are,” said Sharon. “But we’re going to take Joe’s feelings into consideration and be gentle with him.”

And then to me, Sharon said, “Joe, you’re about to marry into a Velorian family. You need to be as flexible and understanding with us as Xara was with you while she waited for you to have sex with her.”

Johnson and Dixon told me to give up.

“Okay,” I said. “I give up.”

Someday I’m going to ask them if there are any circumstances under which the Terran in a Kiraling relationship is allowed to say no.

Xara kissed me on the lips. Gloria said she’d have breakfast ready in twenty minutes.

Sharon, who can always be counted on not to leave well enough alone, decided to poke at me a little.

“Joe, what happened to all those objections you had, about her being too young to make a commitment to you, and your mental state making you unsuitable?” She asked.

Gloria heard the question and came back from the kitchen to hear my answer.

“Well,” I said looking at Xara, “I realized that she was right, and I was wrong, about everything.”

Sharon said, “Skietra, that’s the sexiest thing I’ve ever heard a man say!”

Mona said it was romantic.

Xara wrapped her arms around me and kissed me, then pulled back and said, “I love you!”

Chapter 168

During breakfast the conversation turned to more practical matters, mostly of interest to the women, though my participation was mandatory. When would we have the wedding? Where would we have it? Who would we invite?

Who to invite became complicated. Given the prominent people in the government who knew who Kara and Xara are, and the relationships Kara was trying to grow, she thought it wise that we invite Senator Jackson, General Rosenthal and, of course, Major Moore.

“Xara,” I said, “before we invite anyone, we need to let Major Moore know about this. A wedding has legal implications and leaves a paper trail. We don’t want someone higher in the chain of command to blindside her on this. She is the first person outside of this room we should tell.”

“We can call her after breakfast, Joe,” said Xara.

And we did, and she was surprised.

“Joe,” first name basis again, “I figured Xara would break down your resolve to not have sex with her, but I never thought your first move would be to propose to her.”

“I seem to have surprised a lot of people, Sarah. Oh, you are on speaker. All the Supremis are here.”

“I’m going to have to pass this news up the chain of command,” she said.

“That’s okay,” said Xara, “we are planning on inviting Senator Jackson and General Rosenthal to the wedding. And too of course.”

“Xara,” asked Sarah, “I have to ask, are you in the country legally?”

Kara broke in here. “Yes she is, she was born in California and has a valid birth certificate.”

“Oh,” said Sarah, “So you’re an American citizen?”

“Why is everyone always surprised by that?” Asked Xara.

“I don’t know,” laughed Sarah. “It couldn’t possibly be because you can fly, have incredible strength and are invulnerable.

“Have you set a date yet?”

“No, not yet” I answered.

Xara went on to tell her how I proposed, she left the sex part out, and Sarah congratulated us and asked us to keep her apprised of our wedding plans. Then she talked to Sharon for a few minutes.

After that conversation, the ladies started discussing our living arrangements. As I listened to them, it became clear that Xara was going to redecorate my cabin. I was fine with that, except that I wanted to keep some family heirlooms.  That, Kara and Xara decided, meant that we should go through the cabin and come to agreement on what changes would be made.

Curtains, I was fine with whatever Xara wanted to do. I had no opinion. And mine were pretty old.

In my bedroom, our bedroom now, Xara wanted to replace the dresser and nightstands. I was okay with that too. It was when they started talking about closets and a master bath that I became concerned.

“I don’t see how,” I said, “you could get a walk-in closet without going through a wall. And how would you get a master bath in here?”

“Joseph,” said Kara, “If you don’t object, we can do some major remodeling.”

Xara picked up on Kara’s tone and manner.

“Joe, I don’t want to do anything that will make you uncomfortable, but this place was built as a family vacation getaway. It was never meant to house a family full time. It’s worked for you because it was just you.”

While I was listening to Xara and Kara, Dixon and Johnson were pointing out that so many modifications had already been made to the cabin that knocking down a few walls wouldn’t make that much difference.

Kara said, “We can expand into the guest bedroom Xara has been using to make room for a walk-in closet and a master bath. Then we can expand the room that is left out towards the lake to bring it’s square footage back to about what it has now.”

“Xara,” I said, “we’re going to turn this place into a home, aren’t we.”

She threw her arms around me and kissed me and said, “Only if you want to, Joe.”

“I want to,” I said. Honestly, if it meant Xara would be happy, I’d let her make any changes she wanted.

While Kara, Xara and I were going over the modifications Xara wanted to make, Sharon and the Arions were going through the copies of Modern Bride one of them, turns out it was Sharon, brought. When we came out to the living room, they wanted to show Xara some of the dresses they found. Mona was really into it.

“First rule about my wedding dress,” Xara said, “it has to go with Joe’s dress uniform.”

Everyone agreed to that.

Kara started working on a guest list. I told her I’d like to invite Dixon and Johnson’s families. She and Xara readily agreed to that.

There is a lot that goes into planning a wedding. What I learned firsthand over the coming weeks reinforced what I’d heard before from friends who’d gotten married: The wedding is all about the bride and her mother. The groom participates because you can’t have a wedding without him. He’s a mandatory accessory.

One thing I can tell you is that Xara was not a Bridezilla by any means. She wanted a nice wedding, something to remember, but she didn’t want to go overboard on it. As we discussed it, she said something that made a lot of sense:

“Joe, I want a beautiful wedding, but more than that, I want a beautiful marriage.”

Just before lunch Xara started moving from the guest bedroom she had been using into the master bedroom. Fortunately, I am not a clothes hog. There was plenty of room in the dresser and closet for her stuff.

“Are you sure we need a walk-in closet, Xara? Everything you have fits in the drawers and closet space we already have.”

“No, Joe,” she said. “Everything I have here in the cabin fits. I have a lot more clothes and shoes at mom’s.”

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** 

Wedding planning central was my dining room table, staffed by Sharon and the Arions. Gloria went back and forth between the table and the kitchen, she was baking.

“We need a maid of honor and a best man,” said Mona. She was really getting into this.

“Sharon,” said Xara, “I’d like you to be my maid of honor. Will you?”

“Of course I will,” said Sharon, hugging Xara. I saw both their busts compress. There must have been tons of force in that hug.

Dixon and Johnson started making jokes about Sharon being a virgin maid.

Mona asked, “What about a best man, Joe?”

I thought on it for about two seconds.

“This might be a bit unconventional, but I can’t think of anyone who has been a better friend to me over the past couple of years than Gloria. Gloria, will you be my best man?”

“It would be my honor, Joe Ricci. Where can I find naked dancing girls for your bachelor party?” I’m sure she meant strippers.

“Not necessary Gloria,” I said. “No one you could find could possibly hold a candle to the ladies in this room.”

“Good answer, Joe,” said Sharon.

“Yes,” said Xara, “If anyone is going to dance naked for my fiancé it’s going to be my mother and friends in this room.”

Kara dancing naked for me. At my bachelor party. Before I married her daughter.

“I think we can dispense with the naked dancing girls,” I said.

“Oh!” said Mona, “I jumped naked out of a cake once at a party. It was fun! All those helpless little Terran men fawning over me!”

The ladies were having a good time, and it was obvious they didn’t need me, so I decided to get a little exercise.

“Xara,” I said, “I’m going for a run.”

“Okay darling,” she said as she kissed me. She’d never called me darling before.

I quickly put on some socks and my running shoes and left the cabin. I hadn’t gotten more than a hundred yards away before I was joined by the two Arions and three blondes, all of them barefoot. I need a collective term for all of them. Like, the blondes refer to Xara, Sharon and Kara. And the Arions refer to Gloria and Mona. I put Dixon and Johnson on it.

“What are you guys doing here?” I asked.

Mona said, “We’re picking a venue for your wedding. Xara thought you should be included in the decision.”

“That’s right,” said Xara, “we’ve been planning the wedding as if you aren’t part of it. I want you to feel included in all the planning.”

Mona said, “A Supremis telling her Terran he gets to help make the decisions. That is SO romantic!”

Dixon suggested I call them, “The Wedding Planners.”

I’d never planned a wedding before. A few bachelor parties maybe, but never the actual wedding.

I slowed down to a walk. All of them were looking at me.

“Well,” I said, “it depends. How many guests will there be? What time of year will it be? Do we need a large venue for a lot of guests, or a smaller one for a few guests? Do we want to hold the ceremony inside or outside? Will there be a reception afterwards?”

Johnson suggested I call them “The blondes and brunettes.”

“What are your preferences, Joe,” Sharon asked me.

“The only guests I can think of to invite are Major Moore and Dixon and Johnson’s families. The rest of the guest list will be up to Xara.”

“And mom,” said Xara.

“Okay, the rest of the guest list will be up to Kara and Xara.

“Kara, your home has room for either a large or small wedding. What do you think of having it there?”

“I would love to,” said Kara. “But I don’t want Senator Jackson or General Rosenthal wandering around my home. They have agendas.”

“Well,” I said, trying to think of another idea, “if the guest list is short, we could have it in my back yard. We could seal off the lair.”

“Yes, Joseph,” Kara said, “we could seal it off, but you have alien technology built into your home. So I’m afraid I have to veto that idea too.”

“Xara,” I said, “what about Lakewood?”

“That’s an idea. We can check it out while you finish your run,” she said.

“What’s Lakewood?” Sharon asked.

“It’s a property on the lake owned by Western. The school rents it out for events. It isn’t too far from here; we could fly or drive,” explained Xara.

They decided Xara and the Arions would drive, Kara and Sharon would follow them in the air, high enough not to be observed. That agreed upon, they went back to the cabin while I continued my run.

Dixon said, “Call them the Super Friends.”

Johnson countered with, “The Five.”

By the time I finished my run they were back at the cabin and Gloria was fixing lunch.

“What did you guys think of Lakewood?” I asked.

“We all like it,” answered Sharon.

“Yes,” said Kara, “it would work for a small or medium sized event. Catering is available and the reception could be held right there.”

“I’ll check the availability tomorrow,” said Xara.

“Don’t we need to have a date?” I asked.

“As cliché as this sounds,” said Xara, “being a June Bride works for me. With my course load I wouldn’t have time to go on a honeymoon until then anyway.”

Call them, “The Herd,” said Dixon.

“I’ve got it!” Said Johnson, “The Rack Pack! Because they all have great racks!”

They all checked their calendars and decided the third Saturday in June would be ideal.

“Sounds good,” I said on my way to the shower.

In the past, I’ve always been able to rely on Dixon and Johnson to come up with the right idea at the right time. But on this group name thing they were striking out. I told them to stop after Dixon suggested, “Ladies of the Bling.”

As I thought about it, and what these ladies had become to me, I found the name I was looking for. I told Dixon and Johnson that from now on, when we referred to all five of them, they’d be, “The Family.”

“I like The Rack Pack better,” said Johnson.

“So do I,” said Dixon.

“The Family sounds like the Mafia,” said Johnson. “With a name like Ricci, you don’t need that implication.”

“Yeah, well the living trumps the dead, you’re outvoted,” I told them. Though I actually did like The Rack Pack. It fit, they all had spectacular busts. But I didn’t want Xara to come across it when she made a connection. That might not end well for me.

Lunch was sandwiches, and then it was back to planning the wedding. Xara found a couple of dresses that she liked. Sharon was sure she could convince the designers to customize them for Xara’s figure.

Kara was working on the guest list and asked me if she could invite Crystal.

“Yes, of course,” I said. “Can we invite Skar-el?” I asked.

“Yes, certainly, I’ll get a message to him.”

“Who do you think his plus one would be?” I asked.

That made Kara laugh. Then she thought about it a bit and said, “I’ll let him know he can bring a date,” and then she and the rest of The Family laughed.

In the meantime, Xara called Keenan’s at the Pier and got a dinner reservation. I was surprised she was able to get one on such short notice. She was too, turns out they had a large party cancel so they could fit us in. Keenan’s isn’t cheap. I was very happy Kara and Sharon would be picking up the tab.

All The Family … I like that … kept nice clothing here, including Gloria and Mona, so they could dress up for dinner. I wore one of the suits Kara had bought me, it was tight but would do.

“Sharon,” said Kara, “he needs a complete new wardrobe now.”

“He does,” she answered. “You took care of it last time, I’ll cover it this time.”

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

When we got to the restaurant, Kara told the maître de that we were celebrating an engagement and asked for the best table possible. I don’t think she knows I saw her slip him a Benjamin. Between her polite request, the way her hand lingered on his arm when she passed him the money, and the faint scent of honey and wildflowers, we got a very good table.

The ladies all wanted to congratulate us on our engagement with a toast. Fortunately for me, I was in the company of five designated drivers. Oh, and Keenan’s has a nice dessert menu. All the ladies ordered and ate multiple desserts. I let Xara finish mine.

Back at the cabin Gloria unveiled the dozens of cookies she’d spent the afternoon baking. I was stuffed and wasn’t eating any, so she insisted on setting aside two dozen for me. The Family (The Rack Pack? … maybe) ate all the others. I don’t know how many, there were a lot.

The rest of the evening was spent speculating on what we should do for a honeymoon. Xara said she’d really like to take me on a tour of the planets, but of course, that was out of the question. At least I thought it was. The Family discussed what would have to be done to modify a set of pods to support me for that. Gloria suggested the blondes take down another Arion ship and use it for a planetary tour. That got my attention, Xara’s too, but Kara vetoed it. She said the Arions would look for it and destroy it.

“Not if I destroy them first!” Said Xara.

“Honey,” Kara said, “it could be a very short marriage if the Arions got the drop on you with a cloaked ship.”

Xara conceded the point, or at least she said she did. I’m not sure she gave up on it right then.

When your fiancé is a superwoman any destination on earth is within reach. For free. No travel charges. And we could have done that, but I had an idea, one I’ve had for a very long time. I suggested we take a Mediterranean cruise.

Xara had never been on a cruise before, but Sharon had, and she enthusiastically endorsed my idea. We went online and found any number of cruises we could take, so we decided to research them and book one before the end of the year. All the cruises we were looking at left from a European port, which meant flying from Washington state to New York to Rome or Barcelona or any of several ports, and that’s where Air Xara came in.

Then Sharon offered to secure a house or villa we could stay in before and after the cruise in the European city of our choice. This was shaping up to be one cool honeymoon! Mona, of course, thought it was all very romantic.

By now it was getting late. I yawned and all three blondes stood up and Kara said, “That’s our cue.”

Chapter 169

Xara held out her hand to me and boosted me up off the couch and led me into the bedroom, followed by Kara and Sharon. Gloria and Mona wished us a good night. Mona didn’t say anything about romance.

“Knock knock,” I heard in my head.

“Come in,” I answered back, in my head.

“Don’t be nervous Joe. In a Velorian family this is completely normal.”

“Okay,” I said. “Just don’t let them root around inside my head, okay?”

“Okay,” she answered. I heard the answer in my head, but she was smiling at me with her lips.

We all undressed and got on the bed. And now I understood why Kara ordered such a large bed; we all fit. Kara pushed me down onto my back and released just a little bit of pheromone and mounted me. Before she inserted me into herself, Xara took ahold of my hand and hers. We’d broken the connection while we were undressing. Now Xara reestablished it.

“Knock knock.”

“Come in.”

“Joe, can you hear me?”

“Yes, Xara, I can. Is this really hearing?”

“It is unless you have a better word for it.”

“I don’t.”

“I’m going to talk to mom now.”

I didn’t hear anything, I guess it was a private conversation. Then Kara inserted me into herself, and Xara said, “I’m establishing a party line now.”

“Oh my God, Xara, it’s almost like I can hear you!” Thought Kara.

“Hi Kara,” I said, or thought.

“Joseph! I can hear you.”

She started massaging me and moving up and down.

“Oh, I can feel what your feeling! Can you feel what I’m feeling?” Kara asked me.

“Yes, I can,” I replied.

Then Xara said, “I can feel what both of you are feeling. My God! This is wonderful!”

I wanted to agree, but I couldn’t get the words, or the thought out.

And then Kara asked, “The Rack Pack? What’s that?”

I understood the words, but I couldn’t answer. The pleasure just kept building, and I was about to ejaculate when Kara tightened her grip on me. And she kept going, and in my ears, I could hear her moaning, and then I heard Xara moaning, and then all three of us were moaning.

And then I was looking up at the worried faces of three Velorians looking down at me. My head was in Xara’s lap. I tried to sit up, but Sharon put her palm on my chest and pressed me back down. I was fully erect. Because my head was in the very naked lap of my obviously aroused fiancé.

“Are you okay, Joe?” Xara asked.

“I think so,” I said. “What happened.”

“Oh Joe, I’m so sorry. We were all feeling what the others felt, and it set up a sort of feedback loop with you in the middle. You were overwhelmed when we climaxed. I should have broken the connection before I did, I’m so sorry Joe.”

“It didn’t take near as long to get there as it did with us last night, Xara.”

“I think the feedback loop was amplifying the feelings in your head.”

“Oh. Okay. Is that something you can control, Xara?”

“I think I can,” she said, “if I don’t send my feelings back to you.”

“It sounds complicated,” Sharon said.

“It does,” said Xara, “but it’s something I can control. Joe, we can stop now if you’d like.”

I pointed down at my erection and said, “Uh, let’s not let that go to waste.”

Sharon asked, “Are you sure Joe?”

“You’ll break the connection before I lose myself?” I asked Xara.

“I will Joe,” she answered, “I promise.”

“Okay Sharon. Wait.”

They all looked at me.

“I can smell all three of you, I mean your pheromones. Why am I not being driven crazy with lust?”

“That’s a very perceptive question,” said Kara. “The effect of our pheromones is not strictly additive. In some respects, they are like parallel electrical circuits, as opposed to series.”

“It’s not quite that simple,” said Xara, “but the analogy is close enough.”

“Okay,” I said. I don’t think I understood, but by now Sharon was putting out more pheromones, probably because she had been made to wait, and I was beginning to think more with my little head than my big one.

Xara joined us again in a connection, but this time did not include herself in the party line. I don’t understand how that worked, because the connection between me and Sharon had to go through her. Anyway, Sharon started going, and oh my god it felt so good, I was feeling what both of us were, and after a while she tensed her muscles to keep me from ejaculating. And then she approached her orgasm, I felt the waves building in her, and Xara moderated the amount of pleasure that was coming through the connection to me, to avoid overloading me.

This went on for some time, afterwards Xara and Kara said it was about forty minutes. I’d start up one of Sharon’s waves, but before it broke, Xara clipped it, like she did with us the night before, and let me back in on the downside.

When we were done Sharon and Kara were comparing notes. They both agreed that it was a wonderful experience.

“I just have one question,” Sharon said. “What’s The Rack Pack?”

They were both looking at Xara, who just shrugged her shoulders.

All our guests were going to stay the night. Kara and Sharon stayed upstairs in the other two bedrooms, the Arions stayed downstairs.

After ushering everyone out, Xara got into bed next to me and said, “I’d like to have a little Joe time,” and released her pheromones, which did the trick.

This time she was more careful with me, she didn’t want to overwhelm me again. I heard, “Knock knock.”

“Come in.”

“Which one of you came up with, The Rack Pack?”

“Johnson,” I replied.

“Don’t let Gloria know.”

“Don’t let her into my head.”

Xara laughed, I heard it with my ears, and said, “Deal!”

And then I was in her loving place. I think I climaxed two more times, I lost count of how many waves I felt from Xara, and then she broke the connection, got off me and pulled me into her arms, kissed me, and we drifted off to sleep.


 

Janelle knew she was hurting the gang who attacked Juanita, but all signs indicated she wasn’t hurting them enough. They kept coming back to the neighborhood. She needed to do something more dramatic.

She had asked Miguel about going to the police. He told her the police were paid by the gangs to look the other way, or even act as enforcers. She’d followed a couple of police cars one night and confirmed for herself that was true.

She thought that it may be time to cut off the head of the snake. Or burn it off. She’d inquired about the gang leadership and found out where they lived. It would be easy enough to massacre them in their homes, but not in a way that wouldn’t attract attention. They were well guarded, not that their guards would be able to save them, but unless she leveled and killed the inhabitants of four-square blocks every time she went after the leaders, there would be too many witnesses. Killing that many innocent witnesses went against her mission directives.

She’d have to find another way of making her point. And, once again, the gangs themselves provided the answer. Miguel told her that the gang she was after had greatly increased its security at its main warehouse for cash and drugs. He knew where it was.

He showed her on a topographical map. The warehouse was at the end of a small valley surrounded by hills and mountains. There was only one way in and out, that was easily guarded. She decided she and Miguel would do a recon.

She bought some rope and tarps and cut them up to make a harness she could use to carry Miguel on her back, allowing her to keep her hands free. Then they drove into the forest and found a dead-end side road about five miles from the warehouse. She had Miguel drive the car as far along the road as it could go, then she pushed down some trees and arranged foliage so the car was very effectively hidden. Then she helped Miguel into the makeshift harness, hoisted him onto her back, and began climbing a mountain that overlooked the warehouse.

She could have made the trip in minutes, but she needed to make sure Miguel was safe, so instead of plowing through the forest, she went around trees where she could, and removed them when going around was impractical. It took them three hours.

Once high enough on the mountain, she built a blind for Miguel to hide in that would give him a good view of the camp and the road to it. It was well hidden, and no one who knew he was there would be able to get to him unless they had climbing gear and a lot of time. Miguel would be safe.

She brought binoculars for him; she didn’t need them. She was very pleased to see thirty frails at the warehouse, all males. They worked in shifts, ten at a time patrolling outside while the twenty inside rested or played cards or listened to music. She assumed that the thirty frails were relieved from time to time but didn’t see that on this trip.

Confident she had all the information she needed to build a plan, she put Miguel on her back again and headed back to the car.

Back in town, Miguel and Janelle went to an electrical supply store and a store that sold radios. She brought the equipment back to her apartment and set about tearing things apart and building what to Miguel looked like a loudspeaker. It was powered by batteries. Once she had it put together, she turned it on and asked Miguel to describe what he heard.

“I don’t hear anything senorita,” he said.

“Good,” said Janelle. “I hear a whistling noise. It is at a frequency too high for you to hear. Now we must test it.”

Janelle took her phone and told Miguel to turn the device on and off once every ten minutes. She left the apartment and started running across the rooftops, stopping every ten minutes to listen. She found she could clearly hear the signal from ten miles away. She called Miguel and told him to turn the device off.

She decided on a night attack. Late in the afternoon of the day of the attack, she and Miguel went back to the blind above the warehouse. She packed enough food and drink for Miguel to last three days, as well as a poncho in case it rained, and a blanket if he got cold. She instructed him to signal her with three short blasts from the device if he saw anyone coming to the warehouse from the road. He had her test it, he couldn’t hear anything, but she could. Then she told him to play four loud blasts if anyone spotted him or was coming towards him. She assured him that she would get to him in very short order and would protect him.

Then they waited for nightfall. Just before sunset a convoy of cars and trucks arrived at the warehouse and thirty frails got out of them, and thirty frails came from the warehouse and got into the cars and trucks and drove away. Again, they were all males. Janelle waited for the vehicles to be out of site and then stripped off her clothes and started down the mountain to the warehouse.

She stood inside the tree line examining the positioning of the sentries and the doors that led into the warehouse. There was one regular door and four roll up type loading dock doors. The doors were all metallic, she could either weld them shut with her heat vision or jam them with a piece of wood. And they were all manually operated, there were no electric motors to open and close them. Her welds would only have to be strong enough to resist the strength of a few frails.

All the doors were on the front of the building, facing the small parking lot. The lot was lit by lights powered by a generator inside the building.

Looking through the walls of the building, she identified two frails who appeared to be in charge, the other frails were treating them in a deferential manner.

The guards were all at the front of the building, at the edge of the parking lot where it met the road. There were no lookouts posted on top of the building. They obviously didn’t expect any attack to come from the hills and mountains surrounding the warehouse. This was sloppy security, even for frails.

The guards were not a threat to Janelle, and she could see no way they could escape her if they tried to run, she could easily catch them. So she threw caution to the wind and ran silently to the first door and, using her heat vision, welded it to the frame at four spots.

Amazingly, she welded all five doors shut without being seen! These frails were truly lax in their security. Though it didn’t occur to her, lazy would have been a better description.

Once she was finished trapping the larger group of frails inside the warehouse, she casually walked up to the nearest guard. He heard her coming and turned and stopped in his tracks. He could hardly believe his eyes, this was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, and she was naked, and smiling at him.

Janelle walked up to it and put her arms around it, released her pheromones, and kissed it, then gently took its automatic rifle out of its hands, turned it on it and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened.

“How do you fire this?” She asked it.

He didn’t realize she was trying to kill him, so he showed her how to release the safety.

“Thank you,” she said. His heart was soaring, and so was his erection. She kissed it again, then pointed the barrel of the rifle towards it again, pulled the trigger, and was rewarded by the sight and sound of the frail’s chest being shredded.

This got the immediate attention of the other nine guards. They looked to Janelle, then to their dead friend, then to Janelle, and figured out that she had killed him, and they all began shooting at her.

Janelle stood for a moment, smiling at the frails as the bullets bounced and ricocheted off her. She noticed with amusement that they were all aiming at her breasts. Well, compared to what they were used to, she reasoned, hers were outstanding.

She let them keep shooting at her until, one by one, they ran out of ammunition and changed magazines. Then she walked up to each frail until she was within an arm’s length of it and shot it. Her magazine emptied after she killed the fifth one, so she just picked up the rifle of one of the dead frails and killed the other four.

All of this shooting got the attention of the men in the building. They grabbed their weapons and ran to the front door only to find it jammed. They couldn’t open it. Then they tried each of the loading dock doors and got the same result.

One of the men in charge got on the radio and called for help before picking up his weapon and joining the others trying to find a way out. They were so busy trying to get the doors opened that they didn’t hear Janelle tear open the roof of the building and jump down behind them.

She looked them over. She identified three that were better endowed than the others, she’d save them for a little light masturbation. She identified the two that appeared to be in charge. She would interrogate them. Then she identified two that she would use to encourage her captives to talk to her.

Those frails identified, she began shooting the other thirteen, one at a time, as she had outside. They all shot back, and she was worried that her masturbators might be injured in the crossfire, but that didn’t happen. Every time she ran out of ammunition, she picked up the weapon of a dead frail and continued. She was in no hurry, so she took her time with it, walking from frail to frail with a sexy sway in her hips.

After she killed the third frail the others figured out that they couldn’t kill her, so they threw down their weapons. Some of them ran, some of them begged for mercy. One of her prospective sex toys was on its knees crying. She told it to stand up and undress. It did as it was told. Then she pointed to the warehouse office and told it to wait for her in there.

The next frail she came to was on its knees, looking up at her with wide eyes. He wasn’t one she was saving so she simply shot it through the head. That convinced the other frails who were trying to surrender to her that they should run. She walked all over the warehouse, finding them in their hiding places, and either killing them or telling them to undress and go to the office.

Finally, all the frails were either dead or naked in the office. She walked into the office and pointed to each of her three masturbation aids and told them to come with her. Outside of the office she said, “Your friends in there are going to die now, horribly. I have something special in mind for you.”

She had noted that there were several large duffle bags near pallets of currency.

“Each of you fill one of those bags with as much cash as you can and put them outside the office. Then I want you to find as much flammable material as you can and put it on and around the remaining cash.”

They looked at her and nodded.

“Go, before I change my mind.”

They ran off and began doing as she had instructed them.

She walked back into the office and pointed to the two she identified as being leaders.

“I want to know the structure of your gang. Who the leaders are and where they live. I want as much detail as you can give me. Write it down.”

She pointed to pens and tablets that were on one of the desks in the office.

They didn’t move.

“Was I not clear?” She asked.

“Senorita, if we do as you ask, we’ll be killed. And our families too.”

“They won’t know it was you,” she said.

“Senorita, they will find out, they have ways of getting people to talk.”

She went to the other two, the two persuaders, and lifted one up by the neck.

“You’re going to do as I ask and then die. You can die quickly and mercifully, or you can die like this.”

She started playing her heat vision over the frail’s body, making it scream, she allowed it enough air for that. Then she dropped it and picked up her automatic rifle.

“Please, senorita,” the leader said, “no more, I will do as you ask.”

“Too late,” she said, “once I start a demonstration, I finish it. You frails have an interesting saying, I guess a rebuke or insult, that I’ve wanted to try. Shove it up your ass, I’ve never seen it done. I’m going to try it.”

She forced the frail she had been burning onto its stomach, positioned the barrel of the rifle at its anus, and shoved it into it. It screamed and begged her to stop. She was looking through its skin and flesh, watching the progress of the barrel up its large intestine. When it got to the place where the colon turned, she stopped pushing and pulled the trigger. A great blast of gore flew out of the top section of the frail.

It was funny, and what made it funnier was the look on the faces of the other frails. This, she thought, was more fun than a Prime goddess should be allowed to have.

Her two informers each took a pen and a tablet and began writing. Her other persuader was practically shitting itself. She smiled at it as it trembled in fear and just for fun picked up one of the guns and crushed it in her hand. It nearly fainted.

When her informers were finished, she took the tablets from them and read them over, then asked questions and made notes. She was very pleased; these frails had given her exactly what she wanted.

When she was finished with her interrogation, she addressed them.

“You two,” she said referring to her informers, “have earned the right to die quickly and mercifully. Each of you pick up a handgun.”

They did.

“Stand two arm lengths apart.”

They did.

“Point your guns at each other’s head.”

They hesitated.

She unleased her heat vision on her remaining persuader, using enough heat to make him scream, but not so much that he would die quickly. The other two frails aimed their guns at each other.

She stopped torturing the persuader, and allowed him to flop around on the floor, screaming.

“I’m going to count to three,” she said, “and at three you are to shoot. If either or both of you survive, I’ll do to you what I did to your friend here.”

She laughed when they wet themselves.

“One, two, three!”

As if they had planned it all along, they both turned and emptied their magazines into Janelle. She waited patiently as the bullets bounced off her until they were out of ammunition. She then spent five minutes burning all three of them to a crisp. They screamed until they died.

She went out of the office to see how her sex toys were doing. They had filled the duffel bags with cash and had soaked the remaining pallets of cash with flammable liquids and thrown flammable objects on top of them.

“Very good,” she said. “Now we’re going to have a little bit of fun. Come here.”

They reluctantly obeyed. She released her pheromones and reached out and began stroking their penises until they were fully erect. Then she took one in her arms, lowered him to the floor and mounted him. She began riding him, luxuriating in the pleasure of having a naked frail between her legs. He ejaculated three times before she had her orgasm, and through force of will and discipline, did not injure him. Then she stopped, stood up, and took the next frail the same way. Then the third. When she was finished, she put the tablets her informers had filled out and put them into one of the duffle bags. She told her sex toys she’d be right back, and she jumped up through the hole she had made in the roof, then down to the ground and set the bags down. Then she jumped back up to the roof, then through the hole to the floor of the warehouse. She addressed the remaining three frails.

“Stand here in a line next to each other.”

They did as they were told.

“Do not attempt to run from me, I promise if you keep your place in line you will not suffer.

“I enjoyed using you for my pleasure and I couldn’t help but notice that you enjoyed being used. I’m going to kill you now. Try to think of that pleasure as you die, perhaps it will comfort you.”

At that two of the frails ran. But there was no place to run to. She easily caught them, one at a time, and broke their legs and arms while they screamed and begged for mercy. She put them on top of the pallet of cash, then ignited it with her heat vision. Then she walked up to the frail who had stayed in its place. It was trembling and crying as it listened to the screams of its friends.

“I keep my promises,” she said, “you will feel no pain.”

She put her arms around it, then, in a motion that felt to the frail like a caress, she gently moved one hand up its spine until she got to the C1 and C2 vertebrae. She pressed her fingers in sharply, killing it.

She was enjoying the screams of the frails atop their makeshift funeral pyre when she heard three short high frequency blasts. Miguel had spotted someone coming down the road. She jumped up through the hole in the roof, looked down the road and saw cars and trucks coming, filled with armed men. She jumped off the roof, grabbed the duffle bags, and ran as quickly as she could up the mountain to Miguel’s hiding place.

She saw him blanche, which puzzled her, then he asked, “Senorita, are you hurt? Do you need medical treatment?”

She looked at herself and realized she had dried blood on her chest.

“No, Miguel,” she smiled, “this is not my blood. I’m unhurt.” She pointed back to the warehouse and said, “I can’t say the same for them.”

She and Miguel watched as the cars and trucks came to the warehouse. Twenty heavily armed frails got out and started trying to find a way in.

“One of them who was inside must have gotten a call out for help while I was dealing with the guards outside.”

“Are we leaving now senorita?” Miguel asked.

He was obviously nervous.

The screams from the warehouse had stopped. The frails outside were trying to find a way in when one of them jumped into a truck, gunned the engine, and drove the truck through one of the doors.

“I’m going back down to have a little more fun,” she told Miguel. “Watch them closely. If any escape signal me with a short blast for each one. Understand? One blast if one escapes, two if two escape and so on. Can you do that for me Miguel?”

“Yes senorita.”

“These duffle bags are filled with cash. One is for me, the other two are for you. I’ll be back when I’ve taken care of everyone down there.”

And with that she ran down the mountain back to the warehouse.

By this time, they had all gotten inside and were trying to put out the fire, with some success. None of them saw Janelle come in. She walked up to the first frail and punched her fist through its skull. Then she walked up to the next one, picked it up and threw it hard into one of the walls. Its body broke and seeped blood as it slid to the floor. This got everyone’s attention and they turned and looked at her, dumfounded.

Janelle laughed at them, then walked up to the nearest, picked it up and smashed its back into her upraised knee, then dropped it to the floor and crushed its skull under her heel. Then the bullets started flying. Janelle ignored the gunfire and simply walked up to each frail and killed it, either by throwing it into a wall, or crushing its skull between her hands, or putting her arms around it and crushing it against her breasts.

She had just finished when she heard two short blasts from Miguel. She turned to look and saw two frails getting into a truck and driving out of the parking lot onto the road. Janelle ran after them, crashing through a wall, came up behind the truck and flipped it over upside down.

This was a nice truck with all the latest safety features. The front and side airbags went off and the roll bar prevented the cab of the truck from being crushed. The frails inside were still alive. Janelle went to each side of the truck, reached inside, and broke the necks of the frails. Then she went back into the warehouse and made sure the money would all burn up. Before she left, she ripped the clothing off one of the bodies that wasn’t too badly bloodied and cleaned herself off.

Back at the blind, she gathered up Miguel and the duffle bags and went back to Miguel’s car. There she moved the trees blocking the road, dressed, and drove back into town with Miguel.

As they approached town Janelle reached into one of the duffle bags and pulled out the tablets. She read the addresses to Miguel and told him that in a day or two they were going to check the addresses out. After that, Miguel drove her back to her apartment, and he went home to his family.

 

Chapter 170

We woke up early the next morning, Monday, and Xara and I went out for our run. The topic of conversation this morning was our honeymoon. And when I say conversation, I meant Xara, because she is never out of breath.

When we got back to the cabin Xara helped Gloria make breakfast while I took a shower.

We all had breakfast and then Gloria and Mona each got into a pod, Kara and Sharon each picked one of them up and they left. After they were gone, I sat down to talk to Xara, she still had a few minutes before she had to leave for class.

“Xara, will we have to do that a lot, with your mom and Sharon? It felt great, but I just want to be with you.”

“Joe, we’re all going to expect you to continue having sex with mom and Sharon, but we don’t have to do the group thing again if you don’t want to.”

“I don’t want to,” I said.

“Then we won’t,” she said. “I think it was good for all of us to have the experience, but we’ve done that, there is no need to do it again if you don’t want to.”

“I don’t want to,” I said, again. I didn’t point out that I failed to see how it was good for me to have the experience, but I didn’t want to argue.

She stood up to leave for school, we kissed, and she was on her way. I decided to set aside some time to investigate the European cruises.

That evening when she came home, I wanted to show her the notes I’d made on possible cruises, but she wanted to make love. Talk about cruises. Make love. Talk about cruises. Make love. We both voted for making love.

When we were finished, while I lay on my back exhausted, she pulled out a notebook and started writing in it.

“What are you doing, Xara?”

“I’m journaling our love making sessions.”

“Why?”

“Because you aren’t any good at it.”

“Ouch?”

She laughed and said, “Not you, you. Terrans you. All Terrans. You aren’t long enough, you aren’t thick enough, you aren’t hard enough, you aren’t fast enough, you don’t have any stamina, you aren’t athletic enough or flexible enough, and if we start putting any oomph into it, your rhythm falls apart.”

“I’m sorry? I guess.” Got to hand it to Xara, she really knows how to boost a guy’s ego.

She laughed again. “Most of the time when you have sex with mom or Sharon, they’re on top. They use their pheromones very liberally. There are reasons for that.

“When Velorians first learned about Terrans, and first started having sex with them, we learned very quickly about your shortcomings. When two Velorians have sex, they work as a team to give each other as much pleasure as they can while working to get as much pleasure out of the act for themselves as possible. And for us it’s easy, because how to do that is programmed into us.

“Terrans, on their own, aren’t capable of giving us the pleasure we want, so we take control. We assume responsibility for our pleasure and yours. The easiest way to do that is to use pheromones to make up for your stamina issues and be on top to control rhythm, motion, speed and positioning. Not to mention wearing gold so we don’t crush you to paste in our vagina’s if we really want to let ourselves go.

“I know you really enjoy sex with mom and Sharon, and with me too. I think it can be better for you, maybe for both of us, if I take the time to learn what you like, what motivates you and what helps you gain release. I’m talking about more than orgasm. I mean a release that brings peace to your soul and mine and helps us grow closer.”

“And journaling will help with that?”

“Yes. Journaling and the connection. I get a deeper insight into your … your being … when we are in the connection.

“We are going to be husband and wife. Partners. You aren’t my equal, but to the extent that it’s possible, I want to treat you like you are. Mom and Sharon love you dearly, they’d do anything for you. But in bed they treat you like a sex toy. I want more for you than that.

“I am journaling what we do, how it makes us both feel, and I can use that going forward to try to make it better for both of us. I want to try different things with you to see if we can strengthen our relationship.”

“Different how? What does that mean?”

“Well,” she said, “just off the top of my head, foreplay. You may have noticed that mom and Sharon aren’t really into foreplay.”

“Neither are you, Xara.” I’d definitely noticed that.

“It doesn’t have to be that way, Joe. We can take our time. And we can try different positions. I’d like to try sex while flying.”

“Really Xara? You could manage that?”

“I don’t know, we’d have to try!”

“Wouldn’t Sharon or your mom be able to tell you if that works?”

“I don’t think they’ve ever tried it with a Terran.”

“Xara, I don’t feel like I’m being used when I’m with your mom and Sharon. Are you sure about what you said, the sex toy thing?”

“I’m very sure of it, Joe. There is too much of a chasm between us and you for you to be aware of it. And Joe, I’m not accusing them of being abusive, they aren’t. If you could see it the way I do, you’d understand.

“Don’t tell them I told you, it would hurt their feelings.”

“Okay.”

“Soooo, sex while flying?”

“I’ll lay down on my back. You get on top like we were having sex in the missionary position.”

She laid down and I got on top of her. She put her arms around me and wrapped her legs around me.

“Put your arms around me and hold on tight.”

I did and she levitated off the bed about a foot. My lower body bent at the waist and my lower legs were on the bed. She levitated a little higher and my legs hung down lower.

“This isn’t going to work, Joe.”

She lowered us back onto the bed and we disentangled ourselves.

“Okay, get off the bed and I’ll wrap my legs around you.”

I stood up and she came up to me and wrapped her legs around me. I supported her with my hands under her butt.

“Okay, stop holding me up.”

I did and she held us in place with her flight powers. To me, it was like she was weightless. I was getting turned on.

“Oh, good, no need for pheromones. Now, reach down and put yourself inside me.”

I did and she adjusted her position with her flight powers to make it easier, and then I was inside her.

“I’m going to raise us up.”

She did, my feet were about a foot above the floor.

She began to lean back. I began to bend at the waist again.

“Nope.”

She put me down and moved off me.

I said, “Let’s get back on the bed, on our sides facing each other.”

We did.

“Put your arms around me, I’m going to wrap my top leg around yours.”

We managed that okay.

“Now, roll us over onto our other sides.”

She did and now my bottom leg was wrapped around her bottom leg and I wrapped my now top leg around hers.

“Now, roll over so you’re on your back, then spread your legs a little.”

She did and I tried to get back inside her.

“Let me help with that,” she said as she reached down to position me.

“Okay,” I said, “try raising us up.”

She did and with our legs wrapped around each other I didn’t bend at the waist. But it was very uncomfortable.

“Xara, that hurts.”

She put us down and we disentangled.

“Let’s try standing up again,” she said.

This time she wrapped her legs around me, got me inside her and went up, but instead of leaning back we stayed vertical. She crossed her ankles right below my butt and supported my weight with her legs and her arms around my back. She held me in place and then began moving up and down on me. It worked.

“Now I’m going to stay still,” she said, “you thrust.”

That worked! I was able to thrust into her while she used her flight powers and legs to hold us together, then she started moving up and down too. And then I came out of her. So we repositioned and started again, and then I came out of her again and we started laughing and couldn’t stop. She managed to move us back over the bed before she let us fall.

“That was fun, Xara, but I think we need to work on it,” I said laughing.

“I love you so much, Joe.”

“Knock knock.”

“Come in.”

As we kissed, she took me to her loving place, and the warmth of her love seemed to penetrate my muscles to my bone, and I became totally relaxed.

“I was going to make love to you again, Joe, but you don’t need that right now. You need rest and sleep.”

And that’s when I learned something new about her. When we are in the connection, she can look into my mind and body and see my needs.

She held me in her embrace, and held the connection, and then I was having a series of pleasant dreams about walking through a beautiful field of flowers, hand in hand with her, sailing across the ocean on a sailboat with her, and flying through the sky with her. I woke up early in the morning to find her smiling at me, and still in my mind.

“How do you feel?”

“I feel very good, Xara, very refreshed.”

“Are you ready for our run?”

“Absolutely!”

And then she broke the connection and I realized that I hadn’t had any pain. It was back now, but I slept without it.

I’ve had a lot of injuries, a lot of wounds, and a lot of surgeries, and I never truly got over the pain. For years pain has been my constant companion. Not a lot of pain, but always some pain, in my muscles or joints or deep inside, that never left me. It was always there, just at the surface. But that night I fell asleep without it, and I woke up without it. Until Xara broke the connection, and then it was back.

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