Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Star Traveler Update - Tomorrow's another day

I was so exhausted. I ached all over. To breathe was torture and he was sitting across my waist with his knife in his hand. Klaid had my hands pinned up above my head. He flashed his knife in my face.

“How about a little breast meat?” he threatened.

I screamed out in excruciating pain as he cut into the top of my left breast.

“3su, wake up,” Attalla said in my ear. “It’s a dream.” He soothed back the hair from around my sweat dampened face. “It’s all right. I’ve got you.”

He was sitting on the edge of my bed. I was still in my clothes from the night before, but he was in some sort of pajama bottom and nothing else. I must have awakened him from a sound sleep. Chee sat on his shoulder her tail curled around his neck. Her dark round eyes were bigger than usual from watching me struggle with my rampant sub-conscious.

Two nightmares in one night were more than I could handle. I put my arms around Attalla’s waist and let him comfort me. He stroked my hair and held me as I cried myself out.

When I came up for air he handed me some tissues from the box beside my bed. I wiped my eyes and blew my nose. I even dabbed at his chest a bit. I tried to smile, but it just wouldn’t come.

“I’ll find you another ride when we get to our stop,” I said. “I’m sorry you had to be here for this,” I apologized again. “I really thought I was ready to go back to work.”

“I don’t want another ride,” Attalla said, as he handed me another tissue. “I like traveling with you.”

“You’re not a counselor. You shouldn’t have to put up with my issues. You’re a guest.”

“I had hoped that I had risen above guest to friend status by now,” Attalla said with a smile. His dimples were deep enough to swim in, and those duel colored eyes were incredible up this close.

That did bring a smile to my lips. “Even a friend shouldn’t have to endure this.”

“I don’t see that it is near as hard on me as it is on you,” Attalla said. He wiped a stray strand of hair out of my face. “You want to talk about it?”

“No,” I said again. Though I thought he deserved an explanation after what I had put him through tonight. 

“Talking about it just makes it come to the surface more. It’s too raw a memory right now. I need to bury it, not dig it up.”

“I have found that sometimes if you drag those dark demons out into the light they die faster,” Attalla advised. He sounded as though he was speaking from experience.

“Not now,” I assured him. “Not yet.”

“Well, I am here if you want to talk and I will be here for several months,” he said. He leaned over and kissed me lightly, his lips just brushing mine. “Do you need anything?”

Right then I didn’t feel like telling him what I had wanted since he came onboard. Instead, the first thing that popped into my head was ‘I didn’t want to be alone.’

“Can you sit with me a while until I fall asleep again.” I sounded like a child, but it was too late. It had tumbled out of my mouth before I could stop it.

He moved me over to sit in the bed next to me. He plumped some pillows to put behind his back so he could sit up against the bulkhead. Once he was settled, he pulled me into his arms and covered us both up.

“Get some rest, 3su. Tomorrow’s another day.” He kissed the top of my head and I snuggled down contentedly in the hair on his chest.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Star Traveler Update - Nightmares

I was lying in a field of grass spotted with fragrant wild flowers. Attalla was leaning over me and I raised my hands to run my fingers through the curly, black hair on his chest. He smiled down at me and pulled me up into his arms.

Then everything went nasty. I heard the material at the back of my shirt rip and felt a forked tongue slide up the side of my throat. I pulled back and it was Klaid. He had his knife in his hand. He smiled at me showing his fangs. I screamed and struck out at him. I couldn’t get away. He had me firmly gripped in his massive hands.

“It’s okay. Easy there,” Attalla soothed. “It’s just a dream.”

I woke up struggling against Attalla. We were in the lounge and he must have pulled me into his lap during my nightmare, because he had his arms wrapped around me.

“Is she all right?” Ma-rye-a asked in a worried tone.

“She’s been having these nightmares since she returned from Ukhra. There was…”

I cut Cassie off. “Cassie, silent mode.” Cassie’s program instantly went quiet. “Ma-rye-a, attend to your ship’s duties,” I said dismissively.

“As you wish, Captain,” Ma-rye-a answered in a shallow voice.

“They were just worried about you,” Attalla said.

I scooted out of his lap. As much as I would have liked that earlier in the evening, in the mood I was in now, I needed to be alone. How could I have fallen asleep during the vid? This was embarrassing.

“I am sorry,” I said.

“No need to apologize,” Attalla countered. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“No,” I answered a little too loudly. “I will see you in the morning.”

I tried my best to keep from crying before I was out of his sight. I literally ran to my quarters. I fell on the bed, my body still shaking from the after affects of the nightmare. I buried my head in my pillow to muffle the noise of my sobbing. I hated the dreams. They were so real. So vivid. So haunting.

I could seek out an Antar. They could rid me of the memories associated with Klaid, but that would mean that I would lose those memories of Jake and Arr’s caring gestures and the growth of our friendship that came from being caught in those days with Klaid. I would lose the recovery time, the imagining chamber trip to Olympus and Jake’s fumbled pass. I wasn’t willing to give up that closeness we had experienced. That connection.

I pulled my body into a tight fetal position and cried myself to sleep.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Star Traveler Update - Wish I was a mahserg

It’s been just a little over a week and things have settled into a routine aboard ship.

Attalla spends the mornings in his quarters. He remains social during this time, his door is always open and I am pleased to say he is a neatnik – his bed is always made. He passes the morning hours at his desk doing whatever diplomats do on the NET. He looks up every time I pass and we exchange greetings. The late morning he spends on the treadmill running helmeted to one of the vids Ma-rye-a downloaded for him. After that, he showers and joins me for lunch.

I have found he works up quite an appetite running and prefers his big meal in the middle of the day. He likes a lighter meal in the evening, which is fine with me.

Afternoons I spend with my crew going over items of interest both regarding the ship and current verse affairs. Sometimes Attalla joins us. Sometimes he goes back to his quarters to resume his work on the NET.

After dinner we might play games, talk or watch vids in the lounge. When Chee’s stomach wakes her from her daily slumber she emerges from her pouch. Attalla feeds her what he has put aside for her during the day. If anything is tossable, he will throw it for Chee to scamper or lunge after. I have seen her leap up to ten feet to capture a flying nut. It is like she has springs in her legs.

Once she is finished with her meal she starts to investigate every nook and cranny in whichever room we are in. Doesn’t make any difference that she has done it the night before, it is all new to her. I have taken to leaving empty boxes out in the kitchen rather than putting them immediately in the incinerator. She delights in any receptacle she can climb into. When she couldn’t find anything at first, she would curl up in the fruit bowl on the table.

Once Chee has looked over everything thoroughly within the room she settles down on Attalla’s chest, curled up in a nest of his chest hair, her tiny hands wrapped in his curls. I breathe deeply at this point and wished I was a mahserg.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Star Traveler Update - It was heaven

I was chopping up vegetables for a salad and listening to Symphony of the Bells at an ear splitting volume when I felt a hand on my shoulder.

I had a quick flash of Klaid grabbing me from behind and my adrenaline roared in my head. I spun around with the knife in my hand - instinct and fright taking over.

Attalla backed away immediately.

“I’m sorry,” he yelled over the music.

“Ma-rye-a, mute,” I ordered.

“I didn’t mean to frighten you,” he apologized at a more reasonable volume now that the music was muted.

“Not frightened, just startled.” I lowered the knife. “I don’t usually threaten my guests,” I apologized.

“I’ll try not to sneak up on you again,” he said. He moved a little closer to show that he trusted me not to stab him. He reached in the salad bowl and pulled out a piece of carrot. “It’s been a while since I’ve had fresh produce. This will be a treat.” He popped it in his mouth.

“Have a seat. It will be ready in a minute.” I went back to chopping.

“I like Zealichma too,” he said.

“Ma-rye-a, bring the music back up to background volume,” I ordered.

The symphony flowed through the galley. I put the salad on the table along with the dressings, bread and cheese platter.

“What would you like to drink?” I asked.

“This looks like a good compliment to wine if you have any.”

“Two wines coming up.” I went to the cooler and pulled out an excellent white Zellott that someone had given me as a perk from a former job. I hadn’t ever gotten around to drinking it. I didn’t go in for drinking alone. Somewhere in the back of my mind I figured if I got that started I wouldn’t be able to get it stopped.

I placed the glasses on the table.

“Allow me.” Attalla took the bottle and opened it.

He knew the routine. He poured me a little and allowed me to taste and approve the wine. It was a good vintage. I was pleased I had it to offer. He sat back down and we spent the next two hours talking over a leisurely meal.

It was heaven.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Star Traveler Update - Ahhhhhh, Attalla

Passing by Attalla’s door this morning I glimpsed him exercising. I had to stop and gap for a moment. He is sooooooo fine. He was on the treadmill built into the floor of his room with the virtual helmet on, so he didn’t even know I was there. Probably running in some field somewhere, or maybe a cross country course; Ma-rye-a downloaded a selection of programs for the helmet when we found out from his Bio that he loved running.

He was running without a shirt. He doesn't seem to own any that I have seen. He must have been running for at least an hour already because his body was shiny with sweat. His bronze skin almost glowed.

It is not my policy to eavesdrop on a guest, but I couldn’t help myself.

“He’s yummy, huh?” Cassie whispered over the com.

“Shh,” I warned.

“It’s okay, he won't hear us.” Cassie assured me. “He’s running on the beach of Licaira to the Symphony of the Bells.”

I pulled my eyes from Attalla and continued on down the hall to the galley where I was headed to fix us some lunch.

“Ma-rye-a? Can you download some more Zealichma for us to listen to at lunch?” I asked. If he liked the symphony perhaps he would like other works by the same composer.

“Will do, 3su,” she replied.

“And Cassie?”

“Yes,” she said.

“I agree, he is yummy.”  I proceeded to the galley with a smile on my face like a wave on a mud hole.

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