Welcome to another week of Wednesday Briefs. My post this week is a continuation of my sci-fi romance, so I hope you enjoy it. Check out the other Briefers’ works below too:-
Regeneration – Chapter 1, part 4
“A similar thing happened to my ship,” I told her. “Electrical faults due to poor workmanship. The earlier Explorer models never had these problems. We thought we could fix it. It wasn’t that badly damaged by the crash, and the laser propulsion was intact. Three of the energy cells were lost, though. We found the remains and they were useless.”
“Then we should be okay,” Neil said. “Your ship’s clearly the previous model to the Explorer 10. They use the same cells, so if we take three from ours, we’ll have a ride.”
I nodded agreement. At last the chance to escape was within reach, and for the first time in months I had hope. I was glad they were here, despite my wariness of Neil. I tried to ignore the flutter of excitement every time Novak caught my eye.
“If we can get a meal, we’ll fetch the cells afterward,” Neil decided.
“Feel free.” I frowned at him. “Don’t expect company. It’ll be dark soon. This place is home to a bunch of creatures like cats, close to the size of people, and if they’re not prowling around out there now, they soon will be. They must be hungry. It’s months since they had a taste of human flesh. They had the last of my crew.”
“Eww!” Dina exclaimed. “They can’t get us in here, can they?”
“No. Don’t worry,” I reassured her. “But don’t go outside for any reason. And don’t open any of the doors or the air vents. This place is prehistoric. It doesn’t have the automatic seals or defensive fields you’d expect in a modern building.”
“I’m not going out there again. No way.” Dina shuddered and sat down beside Susan. “Do you want us to do anything to help?”
I shook my head. “It won’t take me long to sort this out. If any of you want to use the bathrooms, there are three down the hall to the right, toilets in one and showers in the others. In the corridor off to the left, there are bunk rooms. Help yourselves.”
“I think I’d like to freshen up.” Johnson headed for the door. “I’ll be right back.”
“I need to go too.” Dina got up again, and Susan accompanied her out of the room.
“You gonna make me keep these things on all night?” Novak shook his hands, making the cuffs rattle. “You know I can break out of them if I feel like it.”
Neil glared and said nothing.
“Maybe you just wanna hold my dick for me.” Novak raised an eyebrow and smirked.
“Damn it.” Neil looked at me. “Do you really want this asshole wandering around the place?”
I shrugged. “I doubt he’s any more dangerous than the cats out there.”
“Fine. On your own head be it.” Neil tapped a code into the security device strapped to his left wrist and Novak’s handcuffs released with a click. Novak made a show of rubbing his wrists. Then he left the room, moving with long easy strides.
I emptied packs of the sustenance granules into a large container and added water. Neil seated himself at the table and watched. “So, Kim Fortune. You must be pretty pleased to see us; all that time alone.”
“I’ve spent most of my life alone, one way or another.”
“Even so. Might be nice to keep each other company. What do you say?”
“I say I enjoy my own company.”
“Playing hard to get, huh?” Neil chuckled, and I grimaced. It wasn’t often that men showed me any attention. I’d made too many mistakes, letting people know where I came from. Most humans were turned off by the idea of something that had been created in a lab; something that had been labeled “inhuman.” I’d grown used to telling myself I didn’t need love or sex to complicate my life; that I only needed my own company and my hands. But it didn’t always work. I yearned for companionship and to have someone to hold me; love me; tear my clothes from my body and pleasure me. Unfortunately, the one person who showed an interest wasn’t a man I’d let anywhere near me, even if it meant spending my life untouched.
I heated the food rapidly, keeping an eye on the swelling granules while I watched Neil in my peripheral vision. I didn’t like the way he looked at me, and I didn’t trust him enough to completely turn my back. I had a feeling if I did, he’d get off his stool and close the gap between us. I almost wished he’d been the one to go to the bathroom instead of Novak. If the prisoner looked at me the way Neil had, my reaction would have been different.
Novak returned moments later. Neil got up and left the room without a word, leaving me in the position I’d wished for. The fine hairs on the back of my neck rose, and my pulse quickened. I turned my attention to the food, scooping it out into six dishes as I tried to ignore the heat in my face.
“Is that all there is?” Novak glanced at the portions I’d ladled out.
I licked my dry lips. “You can go without if you prefer.”
“It’ll do. Thanks. I guess it’s difficult to come by proper food here.”
“This is fine. It’s what I’m used to.” I placed a dish and spoon on the table, and he sat down.
“Yeah, me too. It’s all they give you in that fucking lab on S.K.18. I thought you were an explorer. Haven’t you explored different… tastes?” He scooped up a spoonful of the food and let it fall back into the dish. His brown eyes sparkled as he tilted his head to one side and studied me, unblinking.