Freya's Tears

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Return to the Ship

Mission: Book Two - Ginnungagap
Location: Lafayette

Els strolled past the dock kiosk, holding hands with Kasli. Two small moons—one full, one a quarter sliver—chased each other across the evening sky, moving fast enough to rise and fall three times during a night here. They gave enough illumination to walk easily as the shadows beneath the ship grew long while they passed overhead. “That pork tenderloin had to be the best I’ve ever had.” She patted her stomach and blew out a breath. “I almost went for seconds.”

“I would have had to roll you home.” Kasli shoved her with one shoulder, laughing. “The flambéed Cherries Jubilee was my weakness. Yummy!”

“The wine was good too. Great choice, by the way.”

Kasli shrugged, a pleased smile on her face as she studied the ship. “Thank you. My mother was a huge proponent of the proper wines with the proper meal.”

Els blinked, having never before heard Kasli mention her parents. Ever. Not wanting to disrupt this growing trust between them, she glossed over the comment. “Good for me. My mother taught my brother how to make lutefisk.” She shivered in exaggerated disgust. “Yech.”

Laughing, Kasli tugged on Els’s arm. “At least he learned how to cook. I live for Hrothgar’s kitchen duty weeks.”

“Me too.” Els grinned. “But don’t tell him. He’d never let me live it down.”

Kasli stopped as they reached the shadows of the ship. The ramp had long been secured for the night. Access to the ship required a short climb up a ladder and through the security coded door. “It’ll be our secret,” she murmured, facing Els and tugging her deeper into the darkness beneath the ship. She continued pacing backward until she reached one of the landing struts. There she pulled Els into her arms. “I’ve been wanting to do this all night.”

“Do what?” Els asked with false innocence, molding her body to Kasli’s.

Rather than answer, Kasli leaned in and captured Els’s lips.

Els sank into the kiss as Kasli’s hands caressed her hips and waist. Soft lips parted and arousal warmed Els’s blood as accepted the invitation. As their tongues playfully darted back and forth, Els stroked Kasli’s arms, one hand sliding higher to bury fingers in the thick dark hair at the base of Kasli’s neck. Kasli emitted a gentle moan as her hands clutched Els closer.

Breaking off from the delectable mouth, Els trailed a string of kisses across Kasli’s jaw, brushing her hair away from one delicate ear as she nibbled the lobe. Kasli muttered something in her native tongue, the foreign words sibilant and strangely exciting. She shifted in Els’s grasp, hips automatically pressing forward as she straddled one of Els’s legs. Els felt a firm hand grasp her buttock and a shock of desire course through her, leaving her wet. In response to the sudden surge of want, she bit Kasli’s earlobe with a growl. The resultant squirm and moan left her breathless.

“If you want to live, stop right there!”

The sharp order startled Els enough to actually jump. She pulled back just enough to see the glint of danger in Kasli’s eyes, the ache of desire swiftly fading beneath the abrupt tide of adrenaline pumping through her. Els swallowed, considering their next move. Neither of them had armed themselves when they’d left the ship tonight. She hadn’t expected any potential stowaway had the balls to hijack the ship days before it grabbed sky. Did someone get aboard while everyone else was gone? Are Austin and Naya okay?

“All right. Come out here now. Slowly! I’ll shoot you in a heartbeat.”

The voice was feminine. Els stepped away from Kasli and turned to see the shadow of a pixie facing them. Relief flooded her. “Naya?”

The shadow froze. “Els?” Naya relaxed her stance, dropping what appeared to be a pistol to her side. “Is that you?”

Els slumped, hearing Kasli’s chuckle. “Ja, it’s me and Kasli. What are you doing?”

Naya closed the distance between them. “Austin thought he saw someone crossing to the ship, but no one came in. We figured it was an attempted stowaway.”

“How did you get out here?” Kasli asked. “I didn’t hear the airlock.”

“Oh!” Naya pointed the pistol above her. “I took the upper airlock and climbed down to get the drop on them…you.”

Annoyed with the distraction, Els couldn’t very well fault Naya for doing her job. Forcibly setting aside her disgruntlement, she sighed. Kasli’s hand found hers and her temperament cooled even more. “It’s just us. But good job.” She glanced aside at Kasli’s chuckle.

“A very good job,” Kasli added with a dry laugh.

Naya peered at them in the gloom. She must have come to the realization of what they’d been doing because she burst into a giggle, covering her mouth with one hand. “Whoops! Sorry.” She started to back away. “Didn’t mean to interrupt. I’ll just be heading back inside.”

Els felt the heat of embarrassment on her cheeks. “We’ll come in with you.”

“No! You don’t need to do that!” Naya tittered, the moonlight illuminating her as she cleared the underside of the ship. “As you were.” With a muffled chortle, she clambered up the ladder to the door, pistol clanging against the metal as she went.

“This makes it, what? Seven times?”

Els slumped with a grin. “Sounds about right.”

Kasli slipped an arm around Els’s waist. “Someday we’ll get to second base before we’re busted.”

“Gods, I hope so.”

Laughing at the faint despairing tone in Els’s voice, Kasli drew her from the shadows. “Come on. Let’s get up there before they turn on the external sensors.”

Kasli was right. Els wouldn’t put such an act past Naya. Employing a mischievous computer wizard certainly had its detractions. Given half a chance, the diminutive comp sys would probably even record the event for future ribbing. Despite her frustration over Naya’s interruption, Els enjoyed a completeness in her soul as she watched Kasli ascend the short ladder, a sensation she’d never experienced with anyone else before. This was the way her life should be, full of humor and love as she travelled the stars with a crew that had become an extended family.

Kasli turned and smiled down upon her. Els set aside her rumination and clambered up the ladder, joining Kasli in the airlock. As Kasli continued on into the cargo bay, Els scanned the empty docking area a brief moment, contented happiness swelling her heart.

Mahasanni,” Kasli called.

Els sealed the exterior door and went to rejoin Kasli.


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