I. GOING HOME
Paul was getting antsy. I could tell that he wanted to go back to America and so did I. Well, Europe for me. We both missed running water, flush toilets, good food and not having to sleep with one eye open for fear a dinosaur would eat us. Plus, Paul was already working on his newest book and commented a dozen times, “Damn! A computer or even a word processor would make this so easy.” Or “I wish I had a camera!” Or he’d poke at a tooth or bone and wish, aloud, that he could show this to some other dinosaur expert who understood his words. And he was tired of shaving with a stone knife for I preferred women and a bare face helped me with the fantasy.
I didn’t mind much. I had been born in a thatch-roof cottage in Ireland and never saw a television until I was nearly an adult. Then when traveling, I made do with what I could carry. There were only a few times when I actually had whatever I wanted and being unhappily married in Poland was one of those times.
But Paul was a well-educated upper-middle class American and took luxuries as common and even as his birthright. And his identity, even his self-respect, depended on his job at the museum and the papers he wrote and how his also well-educated colleagues saw him. As happy as I tried to make him, he was fading before my eyes. “all this knowledge and no way to get it out!” was the way he voiced his frustration. He saw in me a well-read amateur, but still only an amateur.
So the task had to be done. Besides, I was a terrible cook, never having learned as I was expected to have people to do that for me. And I wanted a good meal, a really good meal with a fine wine and… I really would kill for ice cream!
So I left him there, checked the StarGate and ensured that I could open it again. I had told Paul many lies, mostly because he wouldn’t understand the truth, partly because it would hurt him and I was tired of causing him pain. And a few because it was simply convenient for me. So long as Paul believed that the StarGate could only open once a year, he would be content to focus on his dinosaurs and not want to run back to America for a camera or a laptop or whatever he thought he needed. “Cope and Marsh managed without any modern technology,” I commented after one of his frustrated tirades.
“Cope and Marsh hated each other so much they rushed papers into print without checking their facts. Plus they would dynamite a site to prevent the other from examining the fossils.” He snapped back.
Yes, it was still there. I could feel the waves of energy causing my arm hairs to lift as I approached. Quartz-encrusted granite arched over underground water and this generated the field that would draw tachyons from any metal mass to degauss the field and open a doorway between Pellucidar and Earth. I lifted the rock and took the handcuffs I had hidden there. Some time ago, time in Pellucidar wasn’t normal but a function of exertion, I had arrived, a prisoner of Homeland Security who wished me to find a couple of their teams that had been sent into what they thought was the past. They believed that forcing me to work under threat of arrest and imprisonment would be more effective than simply paying me. They were wrong. I had allowed myself to be captured so I could destroy the project from within, for we who Walked the Glory Road, felt that time and space travel wasn’t meant to be controlled by any government.
That day so long ago, yet so near, I was sent through, in handcuffs and I had used all my skills to escape. I did, and I rescued Paul, killed the project head to protect the Earth and after drugging the rest of the police team with LSD, sent them home to be discredited, but alive. Paul had remained behind to protect me and because he actually loved me. The fool!
So I had promised him a year and that year was now over. I suppose.
I moved the handcuffs around the stones and felt the charge increase, then I pushed the steel into the center and saw the opening form. I tossed a rock through and then backed away to allow it to close. Then I turned for home.
“Paul,” I said over dinner, pushing the handcuffs to him. “I checked the StarGate and it’s opening again. We can go back whenever you want.”
He looked at the handcuffs, seeing metal that I could have forged into a knife so we wouldn’t have to chip the eternal obsidian and asked, “What..?”
“You need a metal mass to open the Gate. Had I melted these down, we wouldn’t have a key. These will open the Gate back to the Surface. We have time, days, maybe weeks before it closes again.”
He nodded, thinking. Then he shouted with joy. “Home! We can go home!” and he took me and danced with me across the stone floor.
To him, home represented safety, freedom, his life. To me it represented slavery. “Paul, you need to know something…”
“Honey, I’m sure that they’ve forgotten all about you. It’s been a year and those guys you saved will make certain that you aren’t arrested.”
“No, my love, it isn’t that. Here, I am free! Paul, you make me free. But there, I am a Noble again. I have family and responsibilities and .. I can’t be just your Janice, I have to be a Lady, Duchess Obrien. I’ll have responsibilities, duties, obligations. I can be your lover and friend, but not like here. Not the way we both want. And not permanently.”
I am happy to say that he was sad with my words. I know he loved me, he proposed often enough and really meant it. But, here we could be, there, no.
We spend the time packing, choosing the right items to encourage thought but not to make people wonder where the fresh bones and soft tissues were to be found. We couldn’t carry truckloads so we had to carry on our backs what we would take, and a year’s worth of notes weighed a lot. And, as I didn’t know where that StarGate crossed to, or when, we couldn’t toss boxes through and then follow. We may be tossing them into a lake or volcano or the middle of a bandit compound in the Congo. And I had to ensure that Paul didn’t try to take anything that would reveal the existence of Pellucidar, the StarGates or time-travel. So we repacked a lot. At least Paul understood and didn’t argue… much.
And I would always drag Paul away to bed, to get as much of him as I could in what time we had left.
Finally, we were ready. The papers wrapped into watertight bamboo cylinders. Those bones and teeth we could take packed in a similar manner. “At least,” Paul joked, “The air in these will make a good raft if we appear in the middle of the ocean.”
One day, as I held his weight on me refusing to let him go, he propped himself on his elbows and asked, “Last time, you faked a trap to send us through alone so you could remain behind. Are you going to do that this time? If you plan to send me through and stay here, let me know now!”
“No Paul, I’ll go with you. I don’t know where that appears so you may need me to keep you alive and get you home.”
“OK, but I’ll take this as a promise.” I smiled back, saddened, but I am very good at faking when with a man.
So the time came, we made our rounds again, saying our good-byes to Albert the Allosaurus, Felix the Smilodon who would gladly eat us if he could, the Dire Wolf pack and even the Velociraptor pack. Finally, Paul said, “Janice, you are delaying things. I’ll understand if you want us to stay.”
I squeezed his hand and offered back, “I understand. But really? Grow old here until a simple bug bite kills us with parasites. We’ll have to be de-wormed when we get back anyway and THERE will be your biological specimens.”
He laughed, “I can be famous for the prehistoric tapeworms in my shit!” which caused me to laugh too.
“Ok, pay attention as we approach. Feel the static charge? How the hairs on your arms and the back of your neck rise? That’s the StarGate! Also look carefully but not directly. See how the colours are .. different and how they shift? Look for that?”
Then as we were at the Gate, I degaussing the opening with the handcuffs, remembering when I made ropes and we played at B&D games, I snapped back and told him, “I am certain that this leads back to America. At least everything I know about these leads me to believe that. BUT, accidents happen so stay close and be ready to allow me to act.”
He nodded and taking my hand, we stepped through.
Forest, of a sort, greeted us. Then we heard laughter. Turning around, my bow relaxed but ready, we saw some kids, obviously Americans, drinking on the hood of their truck.
“Hoo, boy, look at those tits! This ain’t no movie set honey.” Was the most polite comment.
I started to move forward but Paul stopped me. “Excuse me, but we’ve been lost in the woods for some time. How about giving us some of that beer and telling us where we are?” I would have just beaten some manners into them.
They looked, and I tried to see Paul as did they, his hair grown long, clothes long rotted away and replaced by what leather pants and shirt I could sew. And me, furry bikini and stone spear and bow. We both carried woven grass backpacks and carried bundles of bamboo sections. I almost laughed but Paul handed me a beer, disgustingly cold as these Americans prefer, as he talked to the boys.
“Janice,. I got us a ride into town, where do we go?”
“Are the banks open?” The kids shrugged which I took to mean yes. “Then to the largest bank.”
We thanked the boys, promised to not call the police or their parents, and entered to the stares of everyone. Dammit! I should have asked for clothes. But, I was a Noble Lady! A Duchess! And attitude depended on myself and not my attire. So I strode to the managers office as if I owned the bank and asked to speak to the manager.
The girl behind the desk stared at me and said in a cold voice, “He’s busy. Leave your name and I’ll see if I can get you an appointment.”
I stared back and suggested, “Child, I am the Duchess Janice Obrien and if you like your job, call him now or I’ll own this bank by morning and my first duty will be to fire you with my second task ensuring that you NEVER work again!” Such was my command that she gulped and picked up the phone, whispering into the mouthpiece, then said, “Mr Thomas will see you now.”
As Paul and I passed her, I suggested, “A cup of coffee for Dr Paul and a cup of hot tea, Earl Gray, cream, no sugar, for me.” Knowing that I’d not have to wait long for our drinks.
I offered Mr Thomas my hand then sat as if I owned the bank and began, “I am Janice Obrien, Baroness Innis, Duchess Kolchek. And I need you to call the Bank of Ireland (I was noting a name and phone number for him) and arrange for an immediate transfer of funds to an account that I plan to open here, now.” Then I ignored him and he, embarrassed, made the call, his attitude changing almost instantly. “Miss, … Lady Obrien, Mr Flannery would like to speak to you.” He handed me the phone.
“Ah, Mr Flannery, it is so good to speak to you again. I trust the family is well? Excellent. Well to business. I am here in America with my good friend Doctor Philip Paul and we have run into a problem. It seems we managed to loose our identification and even our clothing, finding something from a costume party to cover ourselves. Yes, thank you for your concern. I need you to wire to me a sum of five million Euros care of this bank and I need for you to ensure that the bank manager, Mr Thomas, will assist me in every fashion including clothing, room and transportation. Thank you. Mr Thomas, Mr Flannery would like to speak to you.”
He didn’t speak, he listened, gulped, then hung up, almost sweating. “Duchess, That was a conference call between the Bank of Ireland, the president of my own bank and the Consulate General of the Embassy of Ireland. I have been directed to hang the rules, place the bank in the hands of my subordinates and to give you whatever assistance you request.” He waited for me to speak.
I took a deep breath, my lack of attire causing his eyes to drop then, embarrassed, they were forced upwards to his regret. “A room, no a suite of rooms in the best hotel you have. A selection of clothing for both myself and Dr Paul with a seamstress to provide immediate alterations. Bank cards and credit cards in our names. And cash, perhaps five thousand dollars to begin, with more as needed.”
“Of course, Duchess. If you would start by please filling out these forms, I’ll begin the process immediately!” He smiled, handed us a few forms and pens and left.
I looked mine over, standard bank account papers. I began to fill in some blanks, scratch through many of the ‘agreements’ they required but I rejected, and commented, “It is so nice to have a pen that doesn’t require constant filling and sharpening.”
“I hope you don’t mind me keeping the ones you made for me. Does everyone fawn over you like this?”
“If required. In this case, if I show weakness, they will treat me like,” I glanced at my furry attire “I think you Americans call it ‘white trash’?”
Paul laughed and soon both forms were finalized and Mr Thomas returned with a bag of cash. He started to count it but I interrupted him, “Please, were I to insult your honesty or mathematical abilities, I should find another institution. I feel the need for a bath, may we?”
He led us to the carpark, I ignoring the stares of the peasantry and we entered his auto, Mr Thomas holding the door for both, I insisting that I sit in the back as he thought that I’d prefer the front passenger seat. Americans had so much to learn.
As he drove us to the hotel, he explained. “Your new cards will be here tomorrow by Federal Express. I am told your replacement passport will arrive as well. I should hear about your tailor and clothing very soon and the hotel has been alerted and I am arraigning for cell-phones as well. Will there be anything else?”
I looked at Paul, “Yes, a laptop with scanner and wireless modem for Dr Paul. He has a considerable amount of field notes to process.”
“Of course,” he spoke into his phone again. “Dr Paul, if I am not prying, what kind of research are you doing?”
“I’m a paleontologist. Lady Obrien has been assisting me in a dig, mostly by interacting with the locals on my behalf and arraigning for needed supplies.” He smiled at his joke.
“Really, I didn’t know we had anything like dinosaurs out here?”
“You would be amazed at where they can be found.”
Then, “Duchess, the city isn’t large but this is the best we have.” And he was out to open my door, for which I waited. The hotel manager was waiting with his staff on the curb.
“Lady Obrien, you honor us with your presence. Please, allow me to show you your rooms.” His eyes never left my face. We had a parade of a bellhops ready to carry our luggage which consisted of my bow and arrows and spear, our bamboo canisters, a couple woven bags with food and such. The manager led the way listening to Thomas and trying to describe the history of the hotel. Plus a maid. Then as he showed us into the room, “Duchess, this is the middle of three suites. Dr Paul can pass thorough either of these doors at your desire.”
“Please run my bath,” I called to the maid who was turning the bed down. Then to the manager, “I’ll need, immediately, a couple bottles of wine and champagne, some chocolate covered strawberries and I’ll leave it to you to order dinner. We will be dining in after our long journey. Also have the seamstress and cobbler set up in that room and notify me when they arrive with our selection of clothing. Dr Paul, I assume that you’ll want your laptop delivered immediately so you can begin work?”
He started then jumped in, “Please, also pens, pencils, paper, tracing paper, erasers, I’ll need basically a complete desk set-up.” Then, “also, a decent digital camera with close-up features. And a razor and toothbrush and… well, I guess we can go shopping for the rest later.”
The maid approached, spoke quietly “your bath is ready,” and waited as Thomas, the bank manager pulled out a couple dollar bills.
“Please, Mr Thomas,” I approached and removed a twenty-dollar bill from his hands, “Be not so cheap with my money.” Then turning to the maid, I placed the bill in her hands, held them folded over the money as looked into her eyes, “I am certain that,” I glanced at her name tag, “Henrietta has a family to feed. I am also certain that I can count on you if I need anything?”
Wealthy people are notorious for being cheap! Poor people tip better because they remember what it is like to be poor. I had just given Henrietta, a simple maid, two gifts, enough money to buy her family decent food for a meal and acknowledgment of her existence. The woman melted and promised to do whatever I needed or wished. She left, and when we were alone, Paul commented, “I have never seen anyone manipulate people like that! And I thought that you were little more than a beautiful body-guard.”
I went to him and, wrapping my arms around his neck, kissed him on his neck and asked, “So, Doctor Philip Paul, Have I scared you off yet? And what do you want first, bath or bed?”
He glanced at the bed and mumbled into my neck something that may have been, “If I’m going to be disturbed by dinner, I’d rather they disturbed a bath.”
I was leading him in when the door sounded. Paul shrugged and opened it to reveal a panting bell-hop, the one that carried our bags, disheveled and pushing a tray with two bottles of very good champagne and a bowl of chocolate-covered strawberries, freshly dipped. I smiled at him and bent over as I signed the chit for he never looked me in the face. I unwrapped the champagne, then unwired the cork. Set it on the table and flicked the neck with my fingernail. The cork began to slowly move up then paused and fell over with a barest of whiff. “You don’t shake a soda or beer before you drink it, why shake champagne?” I instructed. Then I handed him a twenty and pushed him out with a smile.
Paul was glaring, “he looks like he got into a fight to see who gets to serve the crazy hot cave-girl with the giant boobs and endless supply of twenties.”
“He’s a boy and we can now be certain to receive great service.” I enjoyed men’s stare and admiration, but not their unwanted attention so if the boy wanted a look at my body, I would oblige.
“But a twenty?”
“Paul,” I admonished, “when you go to the store, at what point do you pause and start to mentally balance your checkbook?”
He thought, “When it reaches a hundred I guess.”
“I created a bank account with how many millions of dollars for one reason, to get this kind of service. And if I walk away and never see it again, I’ll not miss that money at all. To him, twenty dollars is a fortune and the difference between rice or steak for dinner. To me, it is less than pocket change. Now,” I unlaced my bra with one hand as I licked a strawberry while staring at him. “Grab the bottle, a couple glasses and let’s have some fun that doesn’t include worrying about being eaten by a dinosaur.”
My pants fell as I walked and by the time I reached the bathroom I was naked.
I actually made it into the tub before Paul arrived, still struggling to disrobe.
III. BEING PREGNANT
We were relaxing in the soapy water, me shaving my legs for the first time in a year, then playing with each others toes and working on our second bottle when the door chimed again. I ignored it so Paul rose, put on a robe provided by the hotel and left. I heard mumbling then he said, “I can’t afford to pay you back for this!?” The laptop had arrived and I suppose that Thomas had chosen the best he could find.
I took another sip and laughed, “I don’t recall asking you to.”
Damn! Here comes that stupid male insecurity again. What to do to distract him?
Paul entered, embarrassed but his robe almost open. He knew I hated doing that but thought it was because I had been forced when I was younger. The truth is, I found it disgusting and degrading and it made me gag and hurt my jaws and I wanted ‘that’ in the place that Nature had provided. But, we do a lot of things we don’t like to keep people happy and I had no problems telling him a lie to keep the peace. I moved to my knees, opened his robe and took a lick. Movement. I filled my mouth with champagne and took him, using my hand to prevent choking as he hardened, letting the bubbles do their work as I stroked him with my lips. “I do so love doing this to you. Your skin is so soft, almost as soft as my breasts, see?” I was rubbing him across my skin and trapped it between, watching myself masturbate him with my soapy breasts.
“Janice, dinner.. “
“That’s fine, I’m having dinner.”
“How about lobster? It just arrived…”
I stopped. Our first real meal in a year. I tried to cook but the best I could so was nearly burn the meat and toss in whatever would pass for a vegetable and whatever root looked like starch. Mostly my meals looked like stew. “Ok, later!” and I was up and into the living room. Dressing in my own robe as I ran.
Dinner was delicious but Paul was torn between the meal and the laptop. “Ice Cream! We can have ice cream!” I cried as we finished. I think the meal was delicious nut we practically inhaled it. Then I was at the phone, reading the instructions as I pushed button after button…
“Janice, the laptop?”
“Screw the laptop. You need it so use it…” I felt my robe lift and him press. “Paul, I’m busy…”
“Operator? What can we do for you Duchess?”
“Ice cream,,, ohhhh, ah. Ice … crEAM!!! Chocolate and .. .French Va.. va… vanellAA!!! Shit! Hurrr… faster… no, not you, you don’t hurry!… oh fuck!!!” it took me three tries to hanG up.
I was leaning in the shower, feeling the hot water flow over my poor body when Paul arrived with a glass of wine. He opened the door and I took it, saying “You, my love, have a disgustingly smug expression on your face. How the hell can I be so exhausted when YOU did all the work?”
He shrugged and said, “Ice Cream is here!”
I drained the wine and threw myself into the robe Paul held for me and drooled. I actually drooled. “Oh baby, I love you. Do you love me? Do you want me to eat you? lick you with the tip of my tongue…”
“I have never seen anyone talk to ice cream like that. Put you on a phone and I can charge $4.99 a minute. Can i…”
“GET AWAY! MINE!”
“Ok, ok, I’m backing off. I’ll do some work while you make love to your fatty solids!” I stuck my tongue out at him and opened the lid, “Ohh baby.. if you had boobs, I’d marry you.” I so love ice cream.
I was happily adding inches to my hips as I watched Paul work. I loved to watch him work. He was so intense and actually one of the rare people who loved his work. He started out slow but as he got used to the keyboard he stopped looking and would type without looking, often with one hand.
I loved to watch him work, but hated to be ignored. “Paul Honey, want some more wine?”
“Sure, love to.”
I slid a glass to him but it was ignored. Damn, boys and their toys.
“Dessert is here.” I was leaning against the pillow, opening my robe and legs.
“Sure. Anything you want.” Dammit! He was in never-never land.
“I was thinking of asking Henrietta and that bell-boy up for a group-grope.”
“You know what would go good with this ice cream?” I had given up the glass and was drinking from the bottle. “Pickles! Big dill pickles. Yup, pickles and ice cream, I’ve wanted that for so long.”
I ran out of champagne, allowing the last drips to fall into my bucket of .. Heaven’s Delight Chocolate Ice Cream… good stuff. Then scooping some more said, “Paul, honey? I’m pregnant!” One, two, three, four… there, hesitation… five, six, seven…
“WHAT!” he stared at me, sitting there, cross-legged with my tub in my lap, carefully licking my spoon. “How?”
“Well, my love, three times a day every day… and neither of us having any birth control…I’m surprised it didn’t happen earlier.” He was shaking and tried to stand. Then tried again. Then gave up and tried to talk. He found the glass I had left and drained it. Then looked around so I leaned over and found the bottle to refill his glass which he drained again. I took another drink and waited.
“We have to get married.” he almost cried.
“HAVE TO?” I snapped. “Before it was ‘want to’. Now it’s HAVE to!”
“But, but, I…”
“Don’t worry. I won’t force you into marriage. The baby and I will go back to Ireland and when you are comfortable with the thought…”
“JANICE! Stop drinking!”
“Well, Fetal alcohol syndrome…”
“And what about all those women who smoke while pregnant? A glass a day won’t harm anyone and is necessary to break down the fats in the meat. Honestly, you Americans with your fads.” I ate more ice cream as this sank in. then, “Wanna fuck again? I am so randy lately. Must be the baby pressing down.”
“I… We can’t! what if it hurts the baby!” He was actually in shock.
“Paul, my mother plowed the fields, had sex with my father against the horse which induced labor and had me on the road and then went back to plowing. I won’t break!”
Now he got it. I had gone too far as he asked, “That’s not true.” Then, “Are you really pregnant?”
I got up, tied my robe and taking my ice cream and wine, snapped, “Like you care! I was fine when you needed a secretary and a cook and.. and.. and someplace to put your seed. But now that I need you, that WE need you, all you can do is hurt me! I’m going to be sick!” and I ran into the bathroom and slammed the door shut and made vomiting noises as I ate and drank. This is fun. Then I ran the water and waited, the bastard. Where was he?
I heard the door jiggling so shoved a large towel under my robe and stood before the mirror, turning this way and that as he entered. “Paul, honey, do I look fat to you? I’d hate to loose my figure. Say something… You think I AM fat! All you care about are your stupid bones! I’m standing here, risking my life for your son and … I hate you!” He ran.
I gave him some time then left the bathroom in my bathrobe and asked, “Do you know where I put my lipstick?”
“Lipstick?” he asked.
“Yes, lipstick! I can’t go out to dinner like this! I’d die from embarrassment. Oh, there it is.” I made a show of putting it on then, blotting on a tissue, smiled, put my arms around his neck and said, “I love you so very much. Take me dancing after dinner. This morning sickness is terrible. All that lobster wasted and now, I’m empty again.” Then I headed for the door and waited. “Aren’t you going to open the door for me?”
“Ah, honey, we are wearing nothing but bathrobes. We can’t go out like this.”
I started to cry, “You’re ashamed to be seen in public with me? You think I’m a fat cow! I, I try to stay beautiful and thin for you but you, you did this to me and now you are ashamed to be seen with a big fat cow!”
I flung myself onto the bed and pretended to cry. If only I had some mascara to run. At least he tried to sit next to me, rubbing my back. It felt good so I moaned a bit and rolled over, “Honey, I’m sorry. I get like this when I’m pregnant. I just can’t seem to control my mood swings. That’s why Alexii locked me in the house. He couldn’t handle me either. Promise me you won’t lock me away like they did my mother!”
“I won’t. I’ll be there for you…” then he stopped. “Your mother?”
“She had to be restrained every time she was pregnant. She went crazier and crazier until… well she couldn’t raise us in that hospital so Aunt Katherine took over. I loved my Aunt Katherine. I wish you could meet her, I think that she’d like you. I’m starving and my mouth tastes like puke. Would you please fetch my ice cream?” I pushed him away and he went to the bathroom and returned with my ice cream. It took him a very long time.
“Now, sweetie, you sit there,” I led him to his desk and made him sit, “And do your work. I’ll sit here with my ice cream and you can work and support your family. Kissie kissie.” I kissed him on the cheek and went back to my ice cream, he watching me the entire time, “Mommy’s back, baby. Did you miss me? I know you want me to lick you all over.” I was teasing my spoonful with my tongue trying to get Paul excited. It was harder, more difficult than I thought it would be as he just sat there and stared.
“Are you staring at my chest? I think that you should know that my titties will grow at least three sizes larger. More as I nurse. But that’s ok, you can still play.. but not suck! That is for the baby. Why aren’t you working? Do you want to get fired?” He turned back and pretended to work but I could tell he wasn’t paying attention so I ignored him and ate my ice cream and wished I had a book to read.
I wondered how long I could keep this up. The secret is just the right amount of insanity and normality.
I woke up, naked with Paul wrapped around me and it was very comfortable. I even knew where I was, none of this thinking I was back in Pellucidar and wondering why the bed was so soft. I pulled his arm around me, placed his hand on my breast and basked in the warmth of his body until he asked, “Are you really pregnant? I know I was an ass but I really want to know.”
“I thought you were asleep. No, I’m not pregnant. I was just bored and a little drunk and played a trick on you.”
“Oh. And your mother?”
I signed. “All true. She was mad from the beginning and every pregnancy made her worse until .. She died in an asylum when I was.. Jason was in Africa hunting for Ophir, King Solomon’s Mines when she died. It was years before we knew.” I rolled over to face him, “Mental illness runs in our family. I fight it every day. But, the difference between me and my mother is that she always thought she was sane. I KNOW I am crazy and prone to fits so watch myself very carefully and force myself to back off when I feel an episode. Sometimes, being this Noble Lady makes it worse. Being with you, and down there helped me a lot. So, still love me?”
“More than ever, though now I’ll watch the kitchen cutlery more closely.”
I kissed him then, “Oh shit!” and ran for the loo. This time I wasn’t faking and Paul wasn’t able to get my hair out in time.
When done, I drank six glasses of water from the sink, rinsed my mouth, and the ends of my hair, then ran for the loo again. Paul held my hair as the water I drank flushed the remains of dinner from my throat and nose. Then I drank some more, and waited, sitting against the wall as he stared concerned. “Are you certain?” he almost sounded hopeful.
“Pretty much. I was never supposed to be able to get pregnant. If the Horned God couldn’t get me pregnant, and that is His job to keep the Goddess, Mother Nature, fertile .. and any woman who crosses His path, then I must be totally sterile. I’ve never used birth control and…”
“Alexii,” he asked.
“I don’t know. It just happened. It wasn’t supposed to be possible. They say that once you get pregnant, your system settles down and you become normal. I’ve never had a period. Ever! And, aside from that one time, never even had a false pregnancy. But then, I haven’t been with many men and you are the first since Alexii. So if I could, I would have down there.”
“Then why this?” he was looking at the loo that needed some cleaning.
I shrugged then laughed. “Two lobsters and a rich dinner after a year of plain food. A gallon of very rich ice cream. Two bottles of wine and another two of champagne. I was never an experienced debaucher.“ Then I leaned over again, Paul grabbing my hair. “False alarm,” I smiled as I leaned back after a near fit.
We sat for awhile then I suggested, “Let’s go back to bed. Let me brush my teeth and I’ll join you.”
Later, me laying on him, he asked, “Why won’t you marry me?”
“It’s complicated. And I’m not very good at that housewife thing.”
“You managed down there and with Alexii.”
Sighing, “Pellucidar was temporary. I knew it would end soon. And Alexii. Well, to be honest, I whored myself for his money. I’m not proud of that. Maybe that was a part of my curse, Marry for money and be miserable. Marry for love and be happy? I really doubt it. Love is denied us.” I ended sadly.
“You wouldn’t understand.”
“Your curse again? Did Yu know about it?”
“Then why not me?”
“Because,” I lifted off and snapped, “I didn’t love him the way I love you and I wasn’t afraid of loosing him.”
He soothed me and asked, “But you told him and he didn’t leave.”
“What he said to me, it really hurt. Even now those words cut my heart. And Zvedi, she did leave. She came back because of her pride and because she needed me to take care of her while she was pregnant, but when the baby arrived and she found someone else, she sent me away. Yu just hurt me. Later, it was months later before we became.. intimate. But despite all his words, he never loved me.”
“How can you be certain? He knew about your curse and he still was your lover and…”
I interrupted and snapped at him, “BECAUSE.. he got on that boat and went back to China. If he loved me the way he said, he’d have made certain that I was with him or he wouldn’t have left. But he listened to my arguments and he left! That’s how I know!”
“I’m sorry. Yu, Zvedi, your baby…”
I cried about that. “I wasn’t supposed to become pregnant. I was just supposed to have men chase me, desire me, want me so bad that I’d know what it was like and all the time, desire women and be miserable. He wanted me to be a whore, not independent. Then, when I married Alexii for money, that FUCKIN GOD made certain I got pregnant. I wasn’t made to have babies. This body isn’t mine. I don’t look anything like this. But he made me sexy and all men’s desires. If I had babies, I couldn’t suffer. I’d settle down and be happy and that wouldn’t be fun for him. So he gave me this body and made men want me and made certain that I’d never find the love I wanted.
“Then when I made my peace with my curse, learned to be comfortable and deal with it, I got pregnant. But I wasn’t made to have babies so .. my pregnancy was hard to prevent me from enjoying even that and I almost died from it. Alexii Junior was premature because any longer WOULD have killed me and that wouldn’t have been fun for that god. So,.. just as I fell in love with Alexii and lived for my son,.. he… he…” I didn’t like that memory and cried for a very long time.
“Now you come into my life and you were just some nerdy scientist I’d have to babysit. Then sex, I thought you could be just sex. But NO! I had to fall in love with you. And now…”
“No you are not!” I said every word carefully. “And I’m not what you want. Can’t you see!” I sat up so he could see. “These!” I held my breasts, “Aren’t mine! Yes they are natural and real but they aren’t me! They are some cosmic joke to ensure that men chased me. It took four days for them to grow to this size and they hurt the entire time and weeks before I could stand or walk without falling flat on my face. This!” I raked my hair, “isn’t mine. It’s all real but none if it is me!”
He reached for me and pulled me down and said, “So, the real you is a mousy flat-chested tomboy. I can deal with that. I love the body but I am IN Love with the person and if you were plain and frumpy, I’d still love you. Besides,” he laughed, “I know that the only reason you settled for me was because there weren’t many options. And up here, someone better than me would steal you away.”
“You really think that?” I didn’t tell him that his beliefs about what I really looked like were totally polar from the truth.
“Janice, I’m a paleontologist. I’ve had exactly four relationships in my life, five including you. Only two others were sexual. My last one lasted seven years and she thought being married to a dinosaur geek would be fun and exciting and famous. But she forgot. My life is spending nine months in a basement with cast-off dental tools playing with bone fragments. And when we get the money, which is happening less and less often, I get to go into the field to spend long hot days digging with a shovel until we find something, which ends up back in that basement. My life is dull and I’d never be able to afford that laptop you bought. Women like you don’t find men like me exciting.”
“You are probably right. I fell in love with your mind but had there been any women around, we’d have never been more than friends. I don’t know if that is good or bad. One thing though, my mother was beautiful until the day she died and I take after her. So I may be medicated in an institution, but I’ll still be sexy and want you every day!” The doctors and orderlies in that mental home probably were not very safe from her.
“One more thing. I’m bit of a slut and gay so as much as I love you, I’ll never stop wanting women and the best you can hope for is that I am discrete enough to keep my affairs a secret from you or occasionally ask you to join in. On the good part, I don’t think I will cheat on you with men and I can count the number of men I’ve been with on my fingers and still have fingers left over. I think that in today’s world, that is pretty good.”
I kissed him then we made love again, softly and gently and fell asleep holding each other.
In the morning we were awakened by the Manager who informed us that the tailors were here. So, we ordered a light breakfast and let them in to do what women love and I hate. Shop for clothes.
It seemed that an endless parade of dresses, suits and other outfits were shown, I managing to convince them that I hated pants and detested the latest fashions and wanted something that was conservative, comfortable and classic in style. Then, after choosing a dozen or two outfits, and Paul choosing a few suits and a dozen pants and shirts, he and his entourage were banished to the room on the right while I and mine entered the room on the left and once alone, I dropped my robe, to the shock of the seamstress, and told her to, “Do what you must to make them fit properly.
So she measured, had me try on a few, made more measurements, then handed me a couple dresses that fit decently until she could make the proper adjustments. “Then, please feel free to bring your machines and assistants to this room so that I will be at hand for fittings.”
Then the cobbler arrived late as these Americans don’t seem to understand the value of comfortable shoes made for the foot. They buy everything off-the-rack and live with an ill-fit. But Mr Thomas seemed to have a decent eye for the sizes of clothes and shoes that were presented were close and soon enough I had a few pairs that fit and would do until he had shaped the real ones to my foot. “Always care for your feet,” I told Paul, “for you cannot run on blisters!”
I suppose Paul looked good for I was never one to admire a man in a suit. I found the necktie to be an abomination and useless for anything save tying a lover to a bedpost.
But eventually it was over and we left, dressed decently, for lunch. “I guess I need to relearn how to walk in heels,” I commented as my weak ankles wobbled. “And to think, I used to live in these.”
First thing we did was walk downtown where I bought some decent lingerie and cosmetics. Nothing extreme, some decent lipstick and mascara and I spent too much time testing perfumes on Paul until I found one that he liked.
Then a jewelry store for some decent earrings and a necklace and bracelets. I never looked at the bill but Paul did and turned white so I took it from him and tore it up without a thought. “Paul, honey, I have 800 million dollars. I can spend $45,000 a day every day for fifty years and STILL have more money than you can count. So if I spend a bit too much or tip a but more than you think, I have a years worth of spending to catch up on.”
“How about charity?”
“I sponsor a thousand children around the world and donate more money than you will ever earn in a lifetime to the International Red Cross, Greenpeace, WHO and a dozen other charities that work to make people’s lives better. When I learned that I was a widow and not the divorcee I expected, I sold Alexii’s arms factories and dealerships and donated every penny to schools in Ireland and Poland. Just because I like to have nice things occasionally and earn my way on the Glory Road, doesn’t mean I have no conscience.”
Then we found a nice place, not ostentatious but still clean and of good food and relaxed over a salad and steak sandwich. It was plain food but filling and I enjoyed the place. “I called the Museum this morning. They thought I was dead because Homeland Security told them that I hadn’t been seen since then ‘incident’ as they called it and thought that you had killed me. I set them straight. I told them I was on a dig with you and away from a phone and HS was supposed to tell them that I was alive and well. I think I might not have a job.”
“Paul, dear, that can be arraigned with a single phone call.”
He gave me ‘that’ look, “Please don’t. Let me do something for myself.”
I started to insist but instead said, “Of course, I’d just mess it up with money. I’m certain that you will do it the right way as you did when you got us that ride into town.”
We looked around some more then returned to the hotel find that Mr Thomas was as good as his word. We had out bank cards and credit cards waiting and Paul even had a message that his new driver’s license was on the way. For me, my passport was waiting with my Irish Drivers license and ID on the way.
As soon as we reached our rooms, I kicked my heels off groaning, “Gods! I cannot believe that I used to wear these all day with no problems.”
Paul immediately dropped to rub my feet, “Oh Paul, that is sooo…. “ then he began to nibble at my ankles and that really sensitive spot behind my Achilles tendon which brought more moans of pleasure. “Paul if you don’t ..”
The door opened and my seamstress entered and froze, my dress in her hands, one of my feet in Paul’s hands, the other seeking his crotch and my dress pulled down to reveal my bra.
Paul instantly became embarrassed but I sat up, pulled my dress to my shoulders and said, “I gather I am due for a fitting? Excellent! Dr Paul will be the judge of your work. Paul, I’ll return in a moment.” And I picked up my heels and left, totally ignoring the look of my seamstress. A Noble concerns herself not with the opinions of the peasantry.
I admit that she did excellent work, following my suggestions and improving on them. And so for the next half hour or more, I ignored my aching feet and showed Paul dress after dress after dress. Most of them I kept, a few I returned for more work, then I closed the door and asked, “Did you see what lingerie I purchased for you?” I dropped my dress and…
When he was done with me, again me exhausted but him invigorated, he looked down at me with that smile of his that said ‘you may be richer and politically connected and better in a fight but here I rule’. I loved that in him and said, “Paul, my legs are cramping, can I get them off your shoulders for a moment? Thanks honey! I need to do more yoga. My Goddess! I felt you in my throat that time.” Amazing what a bustier with a platform bra and a set of five inch pumps will do.
He smiled at the compliment for Paul was no porn-star in his build. Comfortable, yes, but no horse to be pursued by the size-queens and sometimes he felt inadequate. “Janice, there are a lot of lesbians at the University and the Museum, almost as many as in the Phys Ed department. But none are like you. You dress feminine and you love me and you love sex with me.. so how can you call yourself a lesbian?”
I kissed him, memo: buy lipstick that doesn’t smear when I kiss, “You Americans are so Politically Correct. You are a nation of mongrels, always interbreeding like a pedigreed dog show run amok. And none of you are purebred. Not even I am for my father was Danish by birth. Yet, somehow you look into your myriad of ancestors and choose the one that will give you some social standing and claim that race for your own, even if it is less than one-sixteenth of the whole.
“And you always manage to avoid calling each other nigger or spick or faggot or chink or wop or dyke or whatever you Yanks call we Irish behind our backs. But each race uses the most disgusting terms among themselves as if that made it correct. I would never call your President a feckless gobshite even if he is one because it simply isn’t done. A Lady never uses profanity outside the bedroom. And so you have a marvelous nation that accepts anyone into your arms and yet, each race seeks to individualize themselves by becoming that characteristic joke they see as an insult.
“Paul, a Lesbian is nothing more than a woman who finds other women to be sexually desirable over men. It doesn’t mean I have to be a tennis pro or deny myself a dress and cosmetics. Nor does it mean I must shop in the mean’s department at the clothing stores and act as if I were a man without a dick. It simply means that I prefer sex with my own gender. Prefer! Paul, is the operative word. And just because I prefer women in my bed doesn’t mean I must refuse the occasional man.
“God Paul, Think about it. What you Americans call Soul Food is nothing more than the garbage of the Whites who owed them. So does calling oneself ‘black’ require a man to dig through my trash bin for his dinner, pretending that it is a cultural heritage?”
“Dago or Mick!” he said.
“Dago. Mick! Insulting words for the Irish. You wanted to know.”
“Dago! Mick!” I tried them out. “Those are just words. It’s not the word, but the image that matters. Because I am Irish, must I wear a green derby, be constantly drunk and pick fights to claim my heritage as the image of your Notre Dame University? Because I am gay, must I dress and act as a man, denying myself the best that femininity has to offer?
“Or because I am of Noble Birth, traced back to Brian Boru himself, and because my family guards two of the Treasures of the Tuatha de Dannan, must we act as foppish and prissy, living on the names of our ancestors?”
“I, my love, can be a Noble Lady, dress as I wish in attractive and comfortable clothing, display manners and culture and still be polite to the peasantry because the person who cleans the loo is performing a needed and vital occupation and so should be thanked for their work while the fop who lives off their inheritance and contributes nothing is but a tick.”
Paul got up and pulled me to his lap. I was hoping for another romp but instead he asked, “Do you want a woman?”
“I’d like one but don’t need one. Why?”
I got up, “I’m not a whore!” then remembered. “Ok, I AM a whore or I’d not have married Alexii. And I am a bit of a slut. But Paul, you are the first man I’ve had since I left Alexii. In my entire life I’ve had less than ten men and I’m far older than are you. You wouldn’t believe how old I am. And despite my desires, I have had as lovers a grand total of .. “ I counted: Slezdi, my servant Hansel, Elizabeth Bathory, my aunt Eibhlin .. ”Far less than my fingers. Yes, there have been casual men and women who were just tits & pussy or a cock and.. Paul,” I knelt to him, holding his hands. “If I brought a woman home, or if you did, she wouldn’t be a lover, she would be no more than this outfit I wore for you. A toy to enhance our pleasure and so meaningless.” Then it struck me…
“Paul, my love, do YOU want someone else? A menage a trois that you can brag about to your friends?” he turned red. “You do! Look at me honey. Please. Never be ashamed of your fantasy. We all have them. But so few of us actually get a chance to fulfill them. If you want someone else, then let’s go find someone. I’ll join in or I’ll sleep in the next room if you want. And I promise that I’ll never throw it in your face.”
“What about you? Don’t you want one?”
“Of course I do, which is why I can’t marry you. If I did, I’d start to cheat on you with other women. But if we decided together, then it isn’t cheating. Jason has a lover, they were married in Kosovo in the 15th century.”
“Your twin brother, Jason?”
“Don’t ask embarrassing questions.” I didn’t want another episode like when I told him about the Gods with whom I had slept. Then continued. “Lys and he were in love and married but she was bi. Not gay like me who likes an occasional penis, but really bisexual. And she was afraid to tell him so cheated on him when they were married. It broke them up and it took years for them to get back together and they had to allow a second woman to join their marriage for her. He’d rather be alone with Lys but.. it makes her happy. I don’t want that to happen to us. So, I like girls, you like girls. You are more than enough man to satisfy me but I still want a woman. And if you do too, for whatever reason, it’s ok. You can tell me and I won’t be angry. It’s not cheating if we both negotiate.”
“It’s ok. You are enough for me.” But I wasn’t convinced. Well, another thing for me to do for him. I didn’t know if he was afraid or embarrassed but he wanted a fantasy and didn’t feel safe enough with me to say so.
“Then, how about dinner out tonight? I’m a bit sore and could use some heal-time.”
While Paul was showering, I chose my sluttiest underwear and my sexiest dress and my hottest fuck-me pumps. Then I showered and put on my make-up, let him watch me dress (no Paul, later. You’ll muss the effect) and I placed my perfume in his hand and showed him how to anoint my cleavage, the nape of my neck and my wrists. He nearly burst his pants. Then I avoided his grasp and we left.
In the lift, I didn’t want to mess my face so licked my palm and slid my hand into his pants as I let him play with my naked breasts. When the door opened, we were rushed to get decent and both, at least I, was so hot I wanted to rape him in public.
We took a taxi to a nice restaurant and I played footsie with him under the table as I looked over the possibles. Too slutty, too experienced, drugs, prude. Paul was looking at the body, I saw the entire package and didn’t want to worry about some STD or psycho-bitch who would stalk us or a crazy ex-boyfriend bursting in. “Look there, isn’t that woman so hot? Wouldn’t you love to ram it to her as you watch her eat me out?”
By his third glass, he was relaxed enough to make comments and release his desires. “She’s nice but out of my league. She’d never talk to me.”
“Paul, sweetie, ‘I’ am out of your league but you got me. Go talk to her!” I pushed him to her and saw he was ruining it. She wasn’t interested in just another jerk and was attracting men like shit attracts flies. I’d have to work fast to save the fantasy for him.
He was walking away dejected when some very large and partially drunk jock approached. He had Paul by the collar to show off and laughed at the woman, “Is this punk bothering you?” when he grunted and fell to the floor, retching.
“Leave my lover alone, you feckless gopbshite!” I snapped as I kicked him with my pumps..
“What the hell did you do to him?” Paul demanded.
“Don’t worry, that’s why people have two kidneys. Listen, honey, I am the Duchess Janice Obrien and this is Doctor Philip Paul, world famous paleontologist who just got back from the field with a book that will revolutionize dinosaur studies. He’s a bit of a nerd but fanfuckintastic in bed. Now he is too much of a gentleman to say this but we both find you hot as all get-out and after a year in the field, are both wanting something spicy. So, if you are interested, we’d love to take you back to our hotel room, get drunk and fuck each other’s brains out all night long!”
She stared at us, then me, then watched as I back-fisted some fool twice my size who thought he could sneak up on me, and as the fool slid to the floor clutching his bleeding nose, looked at Paul who resembled a poor lost sheep and said to me, “I’m game!”
I tossed a pile of bills on the bar and said, “A half dozen of your best champagne, now!” and we grabbed them as the bartender scrambled for the bills which more than paid for the wine and probably any legal fines he may have to pay.
The taxi ride was wild. I kissed Paul, I kissed Pru, Pru kissed Paul, I suckled on Pru’s left breast as Paul attacked her right.. IN the taxi (it is a miracle the driver didn’t have an accident) and we barely made it across the hotel lobby and into the lift where, well, there weren’t many clothes on our bodies when it reached our floor. Paul was dragging Pru down the hall, practically screwing her in the hall when I had to run back to the lift for my purse and Pru's bra. “ah, hello” I said to the couple who were exiting the other lift. “Lost something.” I held out our clothes for them to see. The elderly man stared at my naked chest so I added, “Nice? Just think of them wrapped around your face!” then I turned and ran after my lover, my naked ass showing past my thong.
As much as I wanted Pru, I let Paul have her first, just adding to the fun until he was done and she exhausted. Then as he rested and recovered, I whispered, “Watch,” and kissed her for a very long time, our hands exploring each other. Making love to a woman was different from a man. Men have a climax that gives pause to the act. Women continue through a dozen or more.
Then when Pru fell asleep, I climbed over to Paul and said to him, “Thank you for this. I really needed this gift.” Even though the gift was for him. Then, although I was more than satisfied, I asked Paul, now hard again, to make love to me. As he entered, and I gasped, feeling and smelling her on him, I whispered, “If you wake up horny, feel free to have her again. But right now, try to think of me.”
The next morning, I woke up to watch Paul on top of her and then we played in the bathtub, over breakfast and then sent her home in a taxi. Then as she left, I turned to Paul and said to him, “Watching you with her is so hot… And smelling her pussy on your face and dick are so… well, Paul, love, If you are not too tired, will you tongue me please?”
He wasn’t too tired and he did and I slept till noon.
When I awoke, he was working and I left him alone, watching him, enjoying him do what he did best as I had some left-over breakfast and ice cream. Then I let Henrietta in to clean around him (Paul never noticed she was here), folded my clothes, met with my cobbler for some final adjustments on my pumps to finally get a set that fit and felt well. Most women find themselves sliding into the pointed tip of the shoe to mash their toes. I had inserts to stop that and friction pads set at heel and ball so my feet remained where they were designed.
Then, when he took a break for dinner, I sat on his lap, sideways and wrapping my arms around him, twisted to speak, “Paul, last night was wonderful but … don’t think this gives either of us permission to cheat. So long as we are together, the occasional woman can only be with permission. I’ll understand if you want some hot-chick alone for a night. And you do the same. But when you want someone, tell me first. If I walk in and find you’ve been with someone without my knowledge or permission, that’s cheating and I’ll be really angry and cut your dick off with my obsidian knife. Ok sweetie?”
He paled, knowing that all women make empty threats but mine I carried out, agreed quickly, then asked, “What about you? You’re noisy but with Prudence, you barely moaned. Didn’t you enjoy that?”
“Very much but Lesbianism isn’t really about sex. It’s about companionship. If I want a dozen mind-blowing orgasms, I’ll run to you. If I want long bouts of kissing and gentle touching and caressing that goes on for hours. That’s why women are made. To a guy, foreplay is what you have to do until the woman is willing to allow entry. And sex lasts until you climax. That’s why women tend to loose interest in their husbands. Less foreplay and less sex and women love the foreplay more than they love the act itself..
“For lesbians, sex is hours of foreplay and if we climax, great. If not, the kissing and touching are a much desired substitute. Don’t get me wrong, Zvedi was great in bed and gave me a lot of great sex. But then, that’s the only thing we had together which is why I can barely remember her face. Other female lovers… well at first it’s a lot of sex and fighting to give each other the most climaxes,. Then the passion fades and it becomes comfortable foreplay with fewer climaxes.
“It’s like this. Men and women are wired differently. Men are solitary hunters, women are social families. When you learned about your job problem, the woman in me wanted to talk about it, to discuss it and together, work out a problem. The man in you wanted to crawl into your cave until you could figure out a solution. So, my constant trying to help was irritating to you and your refusal to open up was frustrating to me.
“If I were a guy, you’d say ‘Lost my job today’ and I’d say ‘what a bitch, have a beer and let’s get laid’. Your guy friend would acknowledge the problem then back off and let you work it out but divert you with alcohol and sex so you could relax enough to solve the problem alone.
“If you were a woman, I’d cry with you, be really sympathetic and ask how terrible it must feel and then we’d call a couple girls over and we’d try to brainstorm a solution while sharing your feelings.
“As much as I LOVE eating pussy and sucking titties, and yes I am being graphic here, I’m gay because I like being around women and hate the animalistic nature of guys. I hate the competition and the punching each other and the farting and laughing and the crude comments about every woman you see. But that is exactly why guys have male friends. To be dogs again. And unlike most women, I know you need that and unlike most women ,will allow you to be a dog occasionally.
“I like sitting around and talking and sharing and being a group of mothers and wives and .. a family. Women share their lives and when women gather, a family forms. You don’t get that with men. So with us, sex is fun and pleasant but not number one on our list.
“You didn’t hear us, but while kissing, we were also communicating and sharing.”
“So, to be a better lover, I should communicate and share feelings more?” he asked.
“That would be nice.”
“and more kissing and less .. fucking?”
“God NO! More kissing would be wonderful but so far we are still in that ‘rip the clothes off’ stage and I don’t need foreplay with you. Eventually, when it gets dull, after a year or so, then you will notice that we can get dressed together and focus more on our own clothes then the other person, THAT is when the passion fades and foreplay becomes vital. But I’ll be gone long before then.”
I kissed him again, “I told you my love, I can’t marry you. Between my curse and my attitude and my job, we are great together but would be terrible married.”
I had to change the subject fast. This being a woman and wife is hard. Jason could solve a problem by killing someone, I had to talk it through. “Yesterday… When I showed you that bustier and platform bra..”
“And the heels,” he added. Men LOVE women in high heels!
Smiling, “AND the shoes.. what did you do? You threw me on the bed, lifted my ankles over your shoulders and raped the shit out of me. You never asked if I wanted sex. You never thought that I might be dry and tight, it never occurred to you that I might have feelings. No, you had at me like you were a starving man and saw the first meal in weeks. And don’t you DARE apologize. A woman lives for that kind of reaction from her man.
“Now, Pru. That was a hot piece of ass and we both wanted her. But you didn’t rape her, you fucked her. I didn’t fuck her, I made love to her. Why? Because she was a toy. NO different from my bustier or a vibrator or that champagne or… She wasn’t a person to us, just a toy. And, by the wayside, she’s willing to come back whenever you are ready. Or we can find someone new. But she is just a toy and here is no real passion like you and I have. Hell! I never had this with Yu and only rarely with Zvedi.
“What? Why are you string at me like that?”
“Janice, this is the first honest compliment I have ever received from you. Thank you.”
I was smart enough to not say anything but hid myself behind a glass of juice. But, secretly, I loved that. I kissed him, tenderly, then got off his lap and whispered, “Go back to work, you have a job to get back and a book to write.
Paul worked nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday and when he wasn’t at work, he played. It was a job. A job he loved and often brought home but it was still just a job that allowed him to relax and play when he was home.
I was different. My job was 24-7 with never a break until the job was done. In Pellucidar, Paul could decide to sit in my cave and look over his notes or go out and observe a pack of Dire Wolves hunt or just sleep in and do nothing. I had to remark the fence-line every day. I had to patrol every day to see what danger was approaching. I had to remain armed at all times and ready to run or fight and I had to cook and clean and make papyrus and ink and sharpen quills and hunt for diner and weed the crops and even screw Paul when I really wanted to sleep, just to relax him or divert his endless and dangerous questions.
Now that job was done and I was free until the next assignment and I wanted to relax and play and get all that stressful work out of my system until the next job. And having to sit around while Paul worked was, at best, frustrating.
“hmmm…” never-never land again. I went to him, took his hands away from his work and turned him to look at me. Just like a child. But if I wasn’t willing to deal with this aspect of the male mindset, I’d leave him today and move in with another woman.
“Paul, dear, I’m bored and need to get out. Wait! You need to work so here’s my thought, you work here, doing what you do best, and I’ll go out shopping and seeing the sights and be back later. Then we can have a nice dinner, you can tell me all about what you’ve been doing and we can decide what to do this evening. Stay in with a pizza and movie, go out, pick up another woman, play chess, whatever you want. So, don’t worry about me and enjoy your notes and bones and I’ll see you later.”
I kissed him, wiped his mouth (I really needed no-smear lipstick) and by the time I was at the door, he had forgotten I existed.
I took inventory in the lift: comfortable pumps with a pair of comfortable flats in my purse for when my calves began to ache. Passport and ID, credit card and bank card, money and a fighting knife with a smaller bodice dagger in my bra. I was set.
My first stop was the neighborhood druggist where I purchased a variety of home pregnancy tests and asked to use the ladies loo. I wasn’t worried but I was happy and satisfied and this is exactly when that feckin Sarmatian god would step in and fuck me over. I peed on the strips and tossed them into my purse to check later. I also purchased a decent small camera, the ones that did all my thinking for me.
Then, I wandered down the street, enjoying the cat-calls from a group of construction workers though when one approached, I dissuaded him with the point of a dagger in his family jewels, “You can look and admire and dream but touch is forbidden. Understand?” he nodded as he sweated, “Good, now go back to work before your boss gives you the sack.”
I walked off swinging my hips and bouncing my boobs. I loved my life … sometimes.
I also examined every doctor in the town, there weren’t many, until I found one that I felt would understand and be descrete and had spent time in the Third World, and made an appointment for we two. I wanted to be certain that any parasites that we had collected would be killed. We had worked hard to avoid fleas, ticks, lice and other vermin but internal biota were beyond my abilities. Though I did know one person who, when diagnosed with a particularly virulent intestinal parasite, had been taken out by his friends to forget for awhile. He had consumed so much alcohol that night, he actually killed his parasites.
From then on, I enjoyed the sights, took an occasional photo and window shopped. Buying almost nothing but I did have my nails done and suffered the incessant babbling of the woman who performed that task. Gods! Women are such empty-brained twits! Why are the ones with personality and intelligence NOT the ones who chose to look attractive? And why are the ones who had nothing between their ears the ones who enjoyed spending entire days in a beauty shop talking about nothing to people they don’t know. All I wanted was a decent manicure with a nice conservative polish. I didn’t care a thing for whatever actor or film the stylist felt was important and the magazines I could read were, of course, pablum for the ignorant masses, being mostly photos of people and written for the lowest IQ. I wished that I had purchased a book to read and as soon as I was free, I did so immediately. It was a fantasy novel written by a popular writer who specialized in adventure stories. I felt it was a comedy.
Lunch was at a sandwich shop with a cup of hot tea (they had no cream and I detested the substitute their coffee-drinkers used) as I read and watched the people pass. I refused a number of men who sought my company, at first with a smile, then as their attentions continued, with a sharp retort. And I also looked over the female population, wondering if I should chase after any of them. The ones that glanced back were not my type for I preferred my women to look and act like ladies. If I wanted to be with someone who looked and acted like a man, I’d go back to Paul who had that one male attribute that I craved.
I managed to find the local Tourist Office and spent some time flirting with the young girl behind the counter and learning the local sights. This was a ski resort town and without snow, mostly empty. And unless you were interested in viewing the mountains, there wasn’t much to do. So I made arrangements for a cache to be built to contain clothing, food and money which I planned to place at the location of the StarGate. If I returned to Pellucidar, I’d want my return to Earth to be as easy as possible and not have to search for clothing or rob for cash.
And I had to force myself to remain away until the sun neared the mountains to give Paul his needed work-time. So I was now bored. Tomorrow I’d plant the cache
When I returned, there was Paul, at his laptop and a note on the fridge,
“ELIZABETH BATHORY AND THE TREASURES OF THE TUATHA DE DANNAN.”
Where the hell did that come from? I poured a drink and waited, wondering if we were going out or eating in and then removed the note and hid it in my drawer. With a little luck, a few questions about his work and the exposure of a bare breast, he’d forget about that. I didn’t want to tell him about Erzsebet and I couldn’t tell him about the Treasures.
When Paul stretched, I jumped in and hugged him from behind. “So, honey, how was your day?” It is always a good idea to let the guy talk first or he’d spend the rest of the night interrupting the woman.
Paul showed me what he had written and explained a few of his thoughts, then asked my opinion as I had been there and he wanted to be certain that he was correct. It’s always nice when your man takes your opinions to heart so I gave them willingly. Then as he wound down, I asked, “Tonight?” letting him make the first move.
“I had some movies sent up and thought we could relax on the couch, just we two, and catch up on our together time.”
“Wonderful!” I jumped at the thought. The town was a social graveyard anyway. “And what about dinner?”
“Pizza and beer sound good to you?”
“Fine,” though I would rather have had a real meal, but men love pizza. At least a good pizza was a balanced meal and would help fight the malnutrition I had inflicted on him in Pellucidar. He ordered the meal while I changed into something comfortable. A t-shirt and cotton panties. Nothing the least bit sexy but no bra or shoes either. I also washed my face and reapplied a light coating of lipstick but nothing else.
I was sitting on the couch waiting when he approached with a pile of movies. Then he opened a bottle of beer (We Irish hate beer from a can), fortunately warm, and began. “So, tell me about the treasure of the Tuatha dah daknee?”
Damn! “Not much to say, all legends are built upon previous legends which are built upon some historical fact. Look at king Arthur. He was a simple Celtic War Chief who fought Saxon pirates and somehow, people began to expand on his life until we have Camelot, the Knights of the Round Table, the Grail Myth and all the tales of Chivalry that Cervantes satirized in his Don Quixote stories.”
“You said that your family were the guardians of the treasures!”
“Must we talk about this when there are so many nicer subjects like how sexy you are and how much I want to..” he held me away.
“Janice, this is important!”
“Because, my dear, you removed my note and are trying to divert me with sex which is what you do when a sensitive subject shows up.”
“I should have fallen in love with a less intelligent man,” I muttered. He waited, I waited then I gave in. “It’s a family secret that killed Jason’s one true love and their children and turned us into terrorists. The Grail of Arthur fame is supposedly the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper. I don’t know anything about that as women weren’t allowed at that meal. Joshua WAS an Orthodox Jew who believed that women should remain separate in Temple, cover their heads and submit to men. But as the legends spread, they embellished it to what you now think. This also got confused with the Celtic Grails, the Cauldron of Cerridwen which was supposed to give all knowledge and the Cauldron of Dagda from which no one left hungry and the cauldron of the Fir Bolg which returned to life all who were dunked within. All these got mixed up into the modern Grail myth. A lot of people spent a lot of energy hunting that thing which never really existed. Jason found king Solomon’s mines and a few Cryptids and such and I sleep with Gods so we get mixed in with a lot of these stories. Hell! Jason is even said to have been abducted by a UFO!” I kissed his neck but was pushed away.
“And Elizabeth Bathory? You said that you were in Italy around that time and knew a lot of famous people and you specifically mentioned her when listing your lovers. Give!”
I looked him in the eyes and said, “Do you really want to go there? Remember how it was when you learned that I sleep with Gods.”
“I think that if you slept with a vampire, I really should know. Just like if you slept with someone with AIDS!”
“Shit! I forgot!” and ran for my purse, Paul instantly behind.
“My tests. I forgot about those!” as I searched through.
“Tests? Do I need to get some blood tests?” he was worried now. Especially after that mention of AIDS.
“No silly,” I pulled them out. “I took some pregnancy tests and forgot to look.” I led him back to the couch and started to go through them…. All were negative. A part of me died at that sight but I forced a smile. “See, honey, no baby paleontologists running around to mess with your bones.”
He held me and ignored my protests, “I know, it’s ok. When the time is right.”
“Of course, but for now, let’s watch the movies but answer the door, I think the pizza is here.” Him retrieving and paying gave me a chance for a private tear as I looked at my tests, then I buried it and tossed them into the trash where my emotions belonged.
I was looking through the cases, and he tried to take them from me. “Eternal! Countess Dracula! Bathory!” and the others. “Is this some weird kink I should know about? Should I buy fangs at the toy store and a black cape?”
“I wanted to know. You mentioned werewolves and vampires and flying saucers and Gods and Goddesses. And we both know that dinosaurs and time travel are possible so … If vampires exist, maybe it is a disease and .. I don’t know,. I was just curious.”
“Don’t be, honey. She’s my past, you are my present.” I took a drink and reached for a piece of the pie.
“Are you going to tell me about her?”
“No. What’s on TV?”
“Then I will sit here and watch every one of these and bother you until you tell me.”
“Remember the God incident? Some things you really don’t want to know.”
“Honey, you confessed to being a whore and marrying for money. You confessed to murdering that cop. You confessed to all sorts of things, what’s so bad about this?”
“Ok, given that, why did you get involved with her. If you knew what she was like, why not just stake her and be done with it?”
I laughed at that. “She wasn’t that kind of vampire.. at least not then. Maybe now if she is still alive. I don’t know. I haven’t seen her since around 1500 and she was still alive in the 1600’s. Ok, put one in the player and I’ll tell you what happened.
“She was born around 1435 or so. He father was a Hungarian King and fought with Vlad Dracula against the Turks. And before you ask, No, I never knew Dracula in any form. He died more than a quarter century before I visited Romania. Though Jason was trapped in one of his castles for three days fighting vampires.
“I was involved with another woman whose name escapes me. Lesbians in those times were very rare so when you found one, you didn’t care about race or class, you were just happy to get some girl-love.
“We met Erzsebet in Bucharest and I instantly dropped my date for her. Well, it was mutual because the princess asked me to visit and when we left the restaurant, we met a bunch of vampires and my girl-friend couldn’t handle that so didn’t mind that I had dumped her for another noble.
“Erzsebet, that’s her real name. Elizabeth is her Americanized form, was a lesbian and loved young women with large breasts.” Paul was smiling and staring at my shirt which was pointing to the telly.
“It was power! Power is the strongest aphrodisiac. If you are a powerful man, you can have anyone, anything. That power that Alexii held seduced me into marriage, that same power that Erzsebet held seduced me into depravity.
“I was already involved before I realized then truth. And by then, it was too late. She had a servant, Thorko, whom I hated with a passion. He was a sick pervert who pulled the wings off flies and legs off lizards just to see them suffer. I made certain to never be alone with him but it didn’t work out that way.
“Erzsebet seduced me, it wasn’t difficult, and with each visit, I got more and more into perversion until I begged her to tie me up and whip me. She had me suck and fuck Thorko while she watched and masturbated and I did it for her. She even cut me and drank blood from my breasts. And I begged for more.
“Then, I saw the girls. Erzsebet was a sadist who enjoyed causing pain and the more pain she caused, the greater her pleasure. She could climax by whipping a child to death.
“And she was obsessed with eternal youth and believed that bathing in the blood of a virgin girl would keep her young. She must have been right because she was well over sixty-years old when we met and she looked like a young woman. IF my Erzsebet was Elizabeth, then she was well over 170 when she is recorded to have died… and still looking young. I had her arrested, captured her myself and killed that pervert Thorko with my sword.”
“Didn’t they burn Thorko at the stake in 1611?”
I drained the bottle and continued, reaching for another. “She probably brought him back to life. Next time I’ll chop him into so many pieces that she’ll spend an eternity finding them all and sewing him back together.” Then, after another pause and drink, “I say recorded because I believe that she faked her death and escaped. Over the years I have heard of someone still around whom I believe to be her.
“She wasn’t your movie vampire, but she DID sell her soul for eternal youth and beauty and did bathe in and drink the blood of virgin girls. Did she kill the 650 that she confessed to in the 1600’s? I don’t know but I think the numbers were far higher. She had been, after all, doing this for 150 years by the time they caught her in Hungary.”
“Why didn’t you go after her? Stop her?”
“Because I loved her and wanted to join her. It took all my strength to NOT climb into that bathtub with her. And when she escaped from that Romanian jail I sent her to and retreated to Hungary, I ran to Bulgaria to ensure that I’d not find her for fear that history would record TWO lesbian vampires.”
He tossed the films aside and held me, “I’m sorry honey. I keep being a stupid jerk and bringing up bad memories. Here, let’s go out.”
I tried to laugh, “like this? It’ll take me an hour to get ready for you. No, let’s watch the movies and I’ll tell you where they went wrong.”
We did and I found it cathartic. I had never seen or read about her fearing the memories and desires but I found myself laughing through these. I know they were made to be erotic horror but I found them funny though the Ingrid Pitt film got me really hot and I jilled myself to climax while watching her. Afterwards, I asked Paul, “Do you have any vampire fantasies?”
“Not in the least. But if you can get a T-Rex costume…”
I was laughing so hard I missed him with the pillow I threw.
VI. MEDICAL MATTERS
We were sitting at a bistro, having a light meal and a few glasses of wine when Paul asked as two girls passed by, holding hands. “What makes you think you are gay when you love me and sleep with me and other men?”
Good question. I had had sex with a number of men, loved two, so shouldn’t I be bi-sexual? “Well, honey, let’s do an experiment.”
“How do you develop an experiment to test this? Sleep with a dozen men to see if you like it? I don’t think I can handle that.”
“No silly boy, Here, watch these people pass by and note which ones you find sexually desirable. Who would you have anonymous sex with if you could. Who would you bed? And I’ll do the same but be honest. Totally honest! Go!”
“Really? I wouldn’t think you were into goth!”
“It’s the leather bustier, sweetie. How about her?”
“Oh yes, any time.”
“I like her!”
And so it went for some time. Sometimes we’d make vocal comments, sometimes keep our opinions to ourselves until I got bored.. or rather I was so hot I wanted someone’s tongue between my thighs. “Time!”
“So, Paul, honey, of all the people you found sexually desirable, how many were women?”
“All of them, maybe a few dozen. I didn’t know we had to keep numbers.”
“No men? None of the guys that passed made you consider…”
“NO!” he snapped.
“Sweetie, when men argue that loud, they are covering. Be honest, I don’t think that after my life, I can judge anyone.”
“I’m sorry. But no. There are some I wished I looked like but none I’d ask into my bed. So what does that prove?”
“That you are a 100% Heterosexual male. Which is not normal because even het-boys have the occasional gay fantasy. Hell, even I have the occasional rape fantasy but after being there, I wonder why.” He had held me after.. ‘that’ time in Pellucidar and didn’t understand either as it was a very long time before I’d let him tie me to the bed again.
“What about you?”
“Same, I wondered about a few of your choices as did you with mine and there are a few girls I wanted to track down and invite up to our room, but still, not one man attracted me. Every person I found sexually desirable was a woman which means that I am gay.”
“Then why me or Titian or Botticelli or….”
“Yu, well, he was a friend who was kind to me and always there, even when he found out about my curse and hurt me for it. But it ws something I needed, an act I had to do, a barrier to break. That Greek Merc, that was rape, not lust. I wanted to hurt men and that was a way to do it. Titian raped me and .. well it was his power, his strength but I never looked at him or kissed him and always pretended it was one of his female models with a strap-on. The man was as hairy as a goat. Sandro, he was fat and begged and begged and begged until I gave in just to shut him up long enough to paint me. He still made me look fat! And you know Alexii, I sold my body to him for wealth and power.
“You were different. I was horny and desperate and had to get drunk before I could do you. Then the next day you raped me, yes dear, when we were hiding from the Mahar, it was rape. But it was so good and I liked you and I found your personality and innocence so refreshing, I fell in love. But I fell in love with your mind, not your body.
“So the men I was with either forced me or bought me or I gave in for some advantage. You and Yu are the only men I actually enjoyed and wanted.”
“But Yu knows the truth and I don’t.” he was still bitter.
“My love, had I a chance to turn back the clock, I .. ok, I told you the truth when we were drunk and you didn’t listen or believe me. And right now, I don’t think you can ever get me that drunk again.”
“You told me? I don’t remember.”
Laughing, “My naked tits were in your face and you were thinking of other things at the time. I could have drawn you a picture and you wouldn’t have noticed in your desire for this body.”
“So tell me again.”
“No. I’m afraid that if I did, you’d hate me and hate yourself even more.”
“Are you possessing this body? Like some demon? Is that it?”
I laughed. “No, my love. This is mine. Though I didn’t look like this before. That fecking god or goddess, whatever the fuck he-she was, decided to change my old body to this sexy one. I grew it all, hair, tits, everything. I just looked, different… before.” Then I changed the subject, “Oh, Paul, the hotel clerk gave me this message for you. I forgot all about it until now.”
He opened the envelope and read it, then read it again. “Well?” I demanded. I hated to be left out. Not knowing minor details often got people like me killed in the field.
He read the note,
Dear Philip, and Janice,
I so enjoyed that night with the two of you. I never did anything like that before and never with a woman. I hope I wasn’t just a passing thing to you because I really want to see you again. Maybe singly? If that’s possible. A one-on-one? I’ll understand if you say no or if you insist on being together with me.
Please let me know.
“She signed it with her phone number and a lipstick print. What does this mean? She wants to be with just you or just me? What do you think?”
I read the note and wondered myself. “How long before you learn about your job?”
“Next week he said. Maybe Wednesday.”
I shrugged and passed the note back to him. Whatever he did here would end in a few days. “I think she wants you.” I sighed, “Honey, I am not jealous or possessive towards men. If you want her, go with my blessings.” I had to hold back my tears.
“You mean like leave you? I couldn’t do that. Janice, I love you.”
Smiling, “Then Paul, since you put it that way, go, call her and fuck her silly. Then come back to me when you are done. Do her every day if you want. I won’t ask.. Ok, I will ask and want intimate details and will probably be riding you as you describe how you did her but, the important thing is to enjoy yourself.”
“Are you lieing to me again?” he asked.
“What makes you think that?”
“Because every time I get close to you, you back off and lie to me about how it doesn’t bother you.” he tore the note in half.
I jumped for it and screamed, “What are you doing! She was hot! And wanted you!”
“The price was too high. It would hurt you.”
“You twit!” then I took a deep breath and began anew, “Paul, listen to me. Men are insecure about sex. I know this well. It bothers you that I am so much more experienced than are you. It’s important for most men to have more lovers than their women so this is your chance to feel better about your sexuality. I’ve told you and told you how great you are and what you mean to me but …” (calm down Janice.. Men never listen to their lovers, especially when they, I, have a way of telling lies to cover a painful truth) “You are afraid that I am faking it and thinking about Yu or someone else. But Pru has no agenda. So you can trust her, believe her. I think that the fact that she is chasing you means so much to your ego, that you should say yes. And no, my love, I’m being honest this time. I want her for myself but she wants you so go to her. Enjoy yourself and I’ll watch a movie and eat my ice cream and be waiting for you when you get home. Tell me what you want and I’ll ask no questions.”
“Paul, you need this. And I need for you to realize that I do love you and that I do love sex with you.”
“I would have preferred you to say that you enjoyed making love to me.” He commented.
“Bollocks, I‘ve done this all arseways,” I mumbled. “Paul, I know I’ve lied to you and.. well I have a good reason to do so. But try to believe me on this. I’m not jealous because I know that Pru is just some Baitai… Some Bowsie.. a Fanny that you can … What I mean is that I know you’ll come back to me. And that makes it right for you to flah with her. Are we Happy Out?”
“I think that I understood maybe one of ten words. You slip into Irish when you are frustrated and Gaelic when you’re angry. So can you repeat that in American?”
I laughed and moved to sit in his lap again. “My dearest love, You are not going to leave me for her. Nor are you looking to cheat on me because you are a dog or I don’t meet some need of yours. Pru is just someone to stroke your ego. And I know that I tear you down occasionally but I don’t mean to. It is just that the Fates have made me wealthier and more capable that are you in some areas and our past life had emphasized my talents over yours. Had we spent the last year in your university environment, I, with my total lack of formal education, would be lost and you would spend your time defending me and your association with me to your colleagues.
“So go. Enjoy. Be a man and get your numbers up and maybe she will show you something that you can show me. Though really, you are so fantastic that if you got any better, I think you would have to explain to the authorities that dead women in your bed with a smile on her face.
“Sweetie, I have business to attend, my physical is far more intensive that yours (God I hate those stirrups), and is much later in the day, after which I will build my cache at the StarGate and I’ll have a few drinks and be home very late.” I kissed him, this time my not leaving a mess (I paid well for decent cosmetics), and returned to my seat.
Paul’s physical took little time for it was mostly examining his blood, throat and anal regions and I had paid well to ensure that the doctor ignored his other patients to see us immediately. “Honey, in Ireland we think nothing of waiting hours for an appointment or months for a surgery. A National Health Care ensures that everyone is cared for but it also ensures that nothing is done timely. I like how your freer system can be bribed to provide better and faster service.”
“That is the first time I had a woman give me a prostate exam.” The man was totally embarrassed.
“Oh, honey, you’ve had my finger up there often enough. Did you react?” Then seeing his look, I stopped laughing and continued, “There are a number of reasons I chose her. First, as a member of Doctors Without Borders, the knowledge that I am a long-time supporter and a recent healthy donation to her cause ensured a timely exam and excellent service.” When we had arrived, she had ignored her other patients and ushered Paul in instantly. The other patients didn’t like that but then, you get what you pay for and if they didn’t like waiting, drop their HMO and pay cash!
“Second, her experience in the Third World ensures a careful search for that which a more urban professional would ignore and miss.
“And third, women have smaller knuckles and fingers.” This time I did laugh. “I’ve had a man with large and hairy hands shove it inside me without care and so know the value of smaller hands and a women who understands tenderness. Besides sweetie, if she pokes around and sees your… reaction, you don’t have to fear a notation of being homosexual in your chart.” It wasn’t easy to run in pumps and he easily caught me and punished me with a swat on the arse and a kiss.
“Sometimes I wish I had joined the Army like my father wanted so I could compete with you on some level.”
“Oh no,” I cried in horror. “Then you’d have washboard abs, broad shoulders, tight pecs and all those masculine physical attributes that I find to be so.. unattractive. No, my love, I much prefer your boyish figure.. except where it counts. And THAT, my love, is all the man I can handle.”
“What about Yu?”
I laughed, “Yu was Chinese and well-off so having muscles was seen to be a sign of the peasantry that had to work for a living. He had a soft girlish body but had, fortunately, lost his belly as he traveled the Silk Road with his caravan.”
We looked over the town, there wasn’t much to see, and I picked up my cache which Paul carried because of its size. “If we go through again, I think it would be easier returning if we had a cache of clothes and money and identification. A lot of us do this and if you can find them, it makes travel a lot easier.”
We dropped the thing at the hotel lobby and left again to buy clothing, men’s and women’s, hiking foods, maps, tourist books of the area and then money. “So, if a total stranger comes her from Pellucidar, he will find this and be able to have real clothes, know where he is, a little bit about the area and have some money to live off? Assuming that he can read English.”
“That is the general idea. There aren’t many of these and most are empty but Jason and I have found one or two that saved our lives. Besides, don’t you want to go back for more studies?”
“Of course, but next time, be ready. Cotton clothes, steel weapons, whatever you think will survive the cross-over and help us out. Speaking of which, why doesn’t anyone take modern weapons into the past and become King?”
“Maybe they do. But you think time is a single road which denies a paradox. You go into the past and kill your father before he meets your mother. So you are not born and so cannot go back and so your father meets your mother to produce you to go back and kill… It’s called a Time-Loop and happens occasionally until someone outside the local loop-field enters and breaks the cycle.
“There is a Law that says that a device cannot exist before it can exist. That means that Stainless Steel and Jets weren’t invented until the Second World War. So, if you took a modern jet-fighter to your Civil War, it would disintegrate because the steels and plastics and fuels hadn’t yet been invented and so would vanish.
“Sometimes people figure out how to bypass that law and trouble starts. Like this incident. Someone from the future came back and warned us and enlisted us to stop Steel before he destroyed the world. I don’t know what he did or the results of his discovery but we chose to help the future Adventurer and stop him. I have enough experience to distrust any government with this kind of knowledge and the desire and power to keep it a secret from the people. Really, Paul, how can you call America ‘Free’ when so much important knowledge is hidden from the voters?’
“So if you had killed your father, that time-paradox, you would have simply shifted to another Time-Line where you didn’t exist. You would return to the present to discover that there is no record of your existence. Your ID would be considered a forgery, you would have no job or home, it is as if a total stranger had suddenly appeared and insisted that you are living in his house.”
“Sounds complicated and dangerous. You make one mistake by telling de Vinci something and he builds a working aircraft and tank centuries before they could exist and change the future.”
“Which is why we are very careful and police our own. I’ve assassinated a few Adventurers who had dreams of Empire. But really, Leonardo wasn’t interested in my ideas and suggestions about his technology, he wanted me to pose for him and wear my underwear while I did.”
Paul laughed. “Leonardo de Vinci, one of the great minds of all history, was a cross-dressing pervert. I so love that!”
“He said it inspired him. It must have, my painting is in a museum and is very good. I’d buy it if they would sell. Someday I’ll take you there and show you what he and Titian and Sandro did. Well, maybe not my sculpture. Botticelli made my hips look fat!”
“Botticelli was known for his plump nudes. So you posed nude for Botticelli and he made you .. larger than you are in real life? I guess if you want accuracy and truth, you should have a photograph taken, If you have a painting or sculpture, you are asking for artistic interpretation. Maybe he thought he was making you more attractive that way?
“What about Galileo? Copernicus? The other great scientists?”
“I never liked Galileo. I attended a couple of his parties and he was always chasing me. I could handle that fake silver nose he wore. But him and his ego and his terror that someone knew something that he didn’t just disgusted me. He forced Copernicus to party with him even though it was against Copernicus’ religious beliefs. They both hated each other but needed each other and Galileo tormented poor Copernicus terribly.”
“Janice, you make history come alive and could rewrite textbooks. I am so glad that I was there in Pellucidar with you so I didn’t have to listen to you destroy all my cherished beliefs about Dinosaurs.”
“We already did and I am not looking forward to your work of dividing the Pellucidaran variety from the Terran ones. Albert and Cynthia moved like a kangaroo and since we never found a skeleton to examine for muscle attachments or skeletal anomolies, we can’t be certain if all allosaurs hopped or if only the Pellucidaran ones did. You can easily destroy your career by making the wrong assumptions.”
“I know. One wrong comment and… Well, speaking of which, I should get back to the laptop.”
“No, my love, you should call Pru and make a date for tonight. Really! If she sent that note to me, I’d be over there right now. Go, enjoy, turn off your brain and have fun.” I pushed him and approached a taxi to gather my cache. “Paul, I’ll need the room long enough to change to pants. I can’t crawl and dig in this dress.” Then before he could answer, I was gone.
I reached the hotel and had the cache container added to the taxi with the other items I had purchased, then called for our maid and bellboy. “Henrietta, Doctor Paul will be dining in with a special guest tonight while I am away on business. Will you please hurry up and change the sheets and you, dear boy, have a bottle of champagne, chilled and waiting with two glasses? Thank you.” Then I went on to stop and call back, “And Henrietta, when she leaves, please change ALL the beddings. And if Doctor Paul complains, ignore him. Thank you.” The bastard! I’d send her to him but I wouldn’t lay in her stink! And the feckin ball-bag had better shower before I got back!
I changed into working clothes and flats and left for the waiting taxi, directing him to the location of the StarGate. Then had him drag the cache to my chosen spot and return with the clothing and other items. I then sent him back to the taxi and, while he waited, I dug and buried the cache and carried a hundredweight of stone to cover it, marking it as we did for the next travelers. I then hid all evidence of my visit from the casual eye and returned to the taxi. “Find me a decent ale-house with good food, please.” And I napped while he drove. I never liked watching people drive in America. They were always on the wrong side of the road and a part of me feared that the driver was drunk even though I knew that this is just how they drove here.
I paid the taxi, gave a good tip and entered the house, calling for a pint of their best and something to eat while I washed up. I was filthy, my nails chipped, my clothing dirty and my hair a mess. I wanted a bath but… a few drinks would ready me for my next acting job. I’d have to pretend that I was happy with Paul and Pru.
The next few hours, I ate a lot of taytos, what the Americans call fries but the Brits call chips, drank a lot and let a lot of men flirt with me. None were attractive to me and the women I wanted, laughed my flirtations away. Finally, the house was closing and the bartender called me a taxi and I snoozed back to my hotel. I don’t recall how I got up to my floor but I think that I was carried and I stood at the door for a very long time until I belched and pounded on the door, “Open up you thick toe-rag or there’ll be wigs on the green! I need the loo!”
The door opened and I fell into his arms, “Janice, you’re drunk!”
“Fucking right! I may be bollixed up but you were fartin round with some brasser I got for you. And tomorrow, I’ll be sober but you’ll still be a feckin flah…fla… I need to gawk!” and did so, all over him. The bastard!
He dragged me to the loo and held my hair as I emptied everything I had that night and I swore I’d never drink again.
When I was done and resting, he wiping my mouth, his shirt in the tub, he asked, “Was that why the maid pushed her way in and remade the bed a couple hours ago? The look she gave me would have killed a T-rex.” Then he laughed, “So, you were lieing when you told me it was ok.”
I waved my finger at him, got dizzy and threw up again. Then I did it again saying, “Paul, Doctor Philip (belch), Phillip… What I say when I am sober and what I mean are rarely the same.”
“I’ve noticed that about you. You are a very ethical person but not very honest. And I am the one person you should be honest with.”
“Go and shite!” I snapped. “When I lie, it is to save you, you, you, you holy joe! You’d not want to live if I told you the truth.” I tried to vomit again but couldn’t.
“So, are you ready to hear about it? Or should I wait until we are in bed, making love so you can get more excited…”
I grabbed for the toilet paper roll off the toilet and slurred, “I can kill you ten ways with this and you’ll not even realize that you are dead until you are in your winding sheet. And I fucking will if you fecking brag to me how you fucked that doxie in OUR BED!” I puked again.
The bastard just laughed at me all the while. At least he held my hair.
When I was done, he was still laughing, the bastard! Then he asked, “Want to know the truth? She came over, we had a few drinks, talked and I told her that I loved you and couldn’t do this. And she left. Nothing happened.”
I stared, tried to focus and managed to grab him and kissed him hard and long as he struggled. “Janice, brush your teeth before you do that!”
“I am so hot for you right now. But I’m afraid that if we do anything, I’ll die. At least I‘ll die happy. Take me you bastard!”
“Not like this. And not until you’ve had a shower and brushed your teeth, and mouth and throat a dozen times. Now, if you can stand, I’ll help you into the shower and you can soak for a day or two.
VII. GONE FOR A SWIM
Pru and I were shopping. She had invited us to a pool party the town held every Spring when the weather warmed and Paul and I needed swimming suits. I wanted a string bikini, Pru insisted I wear a one-piece. “I refuse to be next to you if you wear something that skimpy.”
“If I do, then they will think about how hot Paul must be to get and keep someone as sexy as me. Then they’ll see you and wonder how great you are to get his attention from me.”
“You are insane!” she laughed.
“Of course, you have no idea. No Paul, that makes you look like someone pretending to be a kid. Something a bit more mature.” He left, probably frustrated as Pru had sent him to try on a dozen swim suits so far. “What about you? You could use a new suit?”
She looked at one, then the price tag which I covered with my hand and said to her, “My treat. Splurge!” Unlike Paul, Prudence had no problem helping me to spend my money. But then, I was of the opinion that everyone has a price, honest people knowing theirs and really honest people being comfortable with that knowledge.
I tried on another suit, from the front, it looked nice, low neck with decent straps and built-in bra. Not too high at the hips so I’d not need to trim and open at the sides. Nice. I turned around to reveal the absence of a back, the shoulder straps crossing to the sides and the hip straps meeting to a thong between my arse cheeks. I liked it only because it made every woman in the store hate me. Those few husbands and boyfriends who had been dragged shopping now found something worth watching and did so.
I bent over, my legs straight and in my four inch pumps, easily placed my palms on the floor. Yoga did wonders for my limberness, especially when Paul got randy and bent me into all sorts of delicious positions. I glanced between my legs and saw the men gasp as my naked buttocks tightened. “Maybe,” I said as I straightened. “But my breasts almost popped out. I’d hate to have that happen if I fell into the pool.”
“You are so evil,” Pru said to me. “Those guys are going to suffer when their wives get them alone.”
“Then let their wives exercise. A few sit-ups and push-away-from-the-dinner-table exercises come to mind. If I ever get like that, kill me.” Then very loud I called to Paul, “Honey, maybe I should be more conservative? After all, I am well into middle-age and what would our teen children think?”
What he called back could best be translated as, “wear an overcoat so I don’t have to beat the guys off, or buy me a shotgun to keep them away.” He was such a dear.
I walked around the store in my pumps and suit, pretending to look at other things “I need to see how it feels as I walk. I’ll have to wear it for hours in the hot sun.” I told the saleswoman as I tried to get accustomed to that part which Pru referred to as ‘anal floss’. Every male eye followed me and I could hear the occasional slap as their wives sought attention. “Yes, I am a bitch at times,” I told Pru. “But just because you are married does not give you the right to stop trying to make your man happy. The poor guy gave up his dreams to support her at a job he hates and a boss who is a total arse. And all she can do is complain to him? Give the poor sod a break and let him stare at a magazine or occasionally tell him how much you appreciate his hard work for you.”
Then as Paul exited in another suit and top, I approached, “Much nicer. Paul honey, have I told you lately that I love you and really appreciate all the hard work you do to make my life easy and comfortable. This,” I turned for him, “the exercise, diet and looking good for you in public is just to let you know that I really do appreciate all you’ve done for me and our children.”
He looked blank but had the good sense to stammer, “Thank you. I appreciate all the sacrifices you made for me too.”
The women starred daggers, the men nudged each other and said, “That’s all I ask for, appreciation.”
“I’ll take this and that knitted pink one and that one in blue. And, no not that one. It makes me look like a dun cow! The problem with my complexion is that my father was a redhead and I inherited his skin so unless I rub lotion all over every half hour, I burn terribly.” Men drooled at that image. “Paul, you will rub lotion all over while we are at the pool, won’t you?” he nodded, still lost. “Good. I like that, it shows off your eyes and aside from your mind, those are your best features. Well,” I giggled, “your best PUBLIC features.” Now he turned red.
In Pru’s car, I asked, Paul, do you appreciate me?”
“Of course I do, what makes you think I don’t?”
“No, you twit, do you appreciate what I do for you?” He looked at the bags and his insecurity started to rise again.
“No, my love, the important things like when we were in the field (I meant Pellucidar but Pru was present)? Things like cooking your meals, bringing you paper and pens and ink, that sort of stuff.”
“Of course I appreciate that. I couldn’t have done my work without you. Without your help and hard work, I’d have died out there, stinking and rotting and .. well, my dear, I needed your help and if I didn’t thank you enough, I’m so very sorry. The truth is, that I didn’t even begin my work until you. I spent that first month just trying to eat. Then you took over and encouraged me, supplied me with the materials, showed me where to look. Without you and your assistance, no guidance, I’d have had to go back with the others and the whole project would be a failure. Because of you, I have a new book and discoveries that would normally be impossible.”
I sat back, “That’s all I wanted to know. I don’t need diamonds or autos but I DO enjoy attention and to be appreciated for my work.” Then, “And Paul?”
“I just want you to know that I love you not for what you do for me or to me, I love you for how you make me feel inside, how free I can be around you.”
“Thank you, though…”
“Don’t go arseways on me and fuck the moment.”
“ok, thank you. You do know I’d love you even if you weren’t beautiful and sexy?”
“I do, though I also know you wished I did oral more.” I laughed but remembered that he had raved about how well Prudence did that to him. “My self-image isn’t my looks though I do sometimes wish I were more .. athletic and less.. curvy.”
“I love your curves, But I do understand. Like when that bear tore your bra apart and we had to run forever half-naked to get away from it!”
I laughed at that, now. “Running without support made the girls ache for hours. And that time we had to crawl into that narrow crevice to escape from the tiger? I scraped my tits terrible and you had to rub lotion on them forever.”
“That was you getting excited and insisting that you…” he turned red so I continued.
“Paul means that his hands and that lotion got me so hot I made him strip so I could sit on his prick while he rubbed my tits to climax.” Pru laughed at that. I could easily climax by having my breasts stroked and would when Paul fucked me between them.
“You two have the strangest stories. And I thought Paleontology was all digging up dead bones. It almost sounds like you were on some real-life Jurassic Park or something.”
I changed the subject fast, “Tell us again about this party?”
“Winter here lasts for half the year it seems and that’s when we get all the tourists to spend money. Then they leave when the snow melts and we rest up until the next season. The first warm weekend in Spring, we celebrate with a massive community swim party. And since winter outfits cover everything up, we wear the skimpiest swim clothes we can find and still remain legal.”
“So I cannot go topless?”
She turned to stare, “You would cause accidents. No you cannot go topless. It’s bad enough I’ll have to stand next to you in what you bought. And THAT suit will probably cause a riot!”
“Thank you,” I replied.
We entered and the first thing I did, after dropping my wrap-around, was to chug about three Margaritas, frozen. Then I began to move about, on Paul’s arm, as Pru introduced us. “This is my very special friend, the DUCHESS Janice Obrien her. OUR lover, DOCTOR Philip Paul.” Pru made certain that everyone she knew was jealous. And the suits I had bought for her simply added to the jealousy. She’d not want for dates after we left.
I was drunk, but not enough to lapse into my brogue. Brogue.. telling an Irishman that he has a lovely Irish brogue translates into ‘you talk like you have a shoe in your mouth’. Americans us such fake-Irishisms like ‘top of the day to you’ as if they had totally forgotten their past when they immigrated to the colonies. But when I began to use slang, and gutter-slang at that, I had passed my limit. So the fact that I was still speaking with some enunciation and culture showed that I was sober enough to be responsible for my actions. I had kicked my heels off, still trying to retrain my calves, and felt that I was short. At least I was sipping my current Margarita, that being my drink of choice at this event when it happened.
Paul had abandoned me to talk shop with a few aspiring dino-hunters and they were discussing the hot-blooded theory and later, Paul was arguing against the asteroid impact theory at the K-T line. I approached, “Honey, want a Margarita?”
“Sure, thanks.” As I slid it into his hand. I kissed him on his cheek and walked away, he being the only person who didn’t stare. I don’t think he even noticed I was there. I briefly considered flirting with someone else to make him jealous, but I had spent so much time building him up and proving that I was gay, he’d not believe me. Assuming that he noticed. I glanced up, but although it was sunny, it was the Sun of Ireland and wouldn’t burn so no need to drag him away and get slathered with sun-screen. I tried talking to the women but most were housewives who talked about nothing but babies and washing and resented my presence and appearance. The younger group talked about boys, movies and nothing of value but thought I had implants just to steal their boys. The men, who followed me and spent a lot of time flirting and showing off, interested me not at all. Most were professional ski-bums who were in briefs and showing off their bodies, always in front of me, and refusing to admit that I had no interest. So many women had succumbed to their lines that they could not imagine a woman with no interest.
I tried to get Pru to go off with me for some serious kissing but she was busy flirting with the men who had given up on me and decided to go after her as a consolation. And so, angry and bored, I found a lounge by the pool and told the boys to keep the Margarita’s coming as I lay on the vinyl and watched the bunny’s play in and around the water. Many were beautiful and had a wide range of very sexy bathing suits.
“Gay!” I said to one man who tried to sit next to me.
“Not interested,” to another.
“Married,” to a third.
“Cool, so am I.” He replied.
I lowered my sunglasses and peeked over the rims at the creep. “And does your wife know you are here?”
“We have an open marriage,” he laughed. “So, you are the hottest woman I have ever seen.” He thought that I would be flattered. Only a brainless slut accepts such a compliment.
Instead, I replied, “I know. And I am hotter than any woman in your dreams. And so since I an so totally beyond your grasp, why don’t you leave and find someone desperate enough to think your pitiful manner is interesting.”
He didn’t even pause. “Hey baby, I’ve seen that wimp you call a husband. You can do better and here I am!”
“Really?” I stood, making a show of exposing as much flesh as was legal. “And how do you know Paul is a wimp? And what makes you think that ‘I’ could or would be interested in such a disgusting arse as you when I have a man like Paul who can actually hold an intelligent conversation, much less satisfy me in ways I never thought could be accomplished.?”
“You just need a real man.” Then he made a bad move. He tried to hold my chin as he pulled me to him.
Everyone stopped what they were doing, my slap was so loud. Even Paul noticed and came over. “If you EVER touch me again, you feckin gobshite, I’ll pull your right arm out of its socket and ruin your sex life forever! So just take your ‘wife’ and shove it back into your pants and…!.” Then I lapsed into Gaelic and no one understood, but Paul realized that I was about to explode so he tried to stand between us.
“It’s time for you to leave before you get hurt!” he told the ass.
“And who the fuck is going to hurt me? You! little boy!” he actually punched Paul in the chest which I could see hurt him. The man must have been drunk to assault the husband of the woman he was trying to seduce in front of her.
“no, she will,” he backed away.
“Listen you fucking asshole,” then he grabbed Paul again and I let loose.
The ass was vomiting on the ground, bleeding from mouth and nose and his arm at an unnatural angle when his three friends jumped me. Paul moved away, pulling Pru and I could barely hear him say to her, “We need to give her room,” as I took the men down.
I had fought men before but in the past, they were trying to kill me so I had learned to be careful and vicious. These Americans still thought I was a little girl and their natural chivalry said to them to be careful with me. They had the advantage of numbers and size and anger. I had the advantage of combat experience, horror of rape and their unwillingness to harm me.. much. And so I did as much damage as I could until I felt a bucket of cold water and ice hit. I screamed and then went flying as I was pushed into the pool.
I screamed underwater and choked and when I came to the surface, spitting water, Paul was there holding an empty ice bucket. He had also pushed me into the pool. “Are you calm enough to be allowed on the deck?” he asked.
I swore at him until he poured some more cold water on me and I barely heard him say, “You are screaming in Gaelic. I can not understand Irish. Speak English.”
I kept on and he said again, “Not gutter slang, you are a Lady, speak like one! The peasants are listening to you act like a common trollop.” That got to me.
I stopped yelling, then took a deep breath to center and asked, “Paul, would you please help me from the pool?” and raised my hands to him.
Smiling, “That’s my girl,” he took my hands and lifted me to the concrete.
I looked around and commented, “I suppose the party is over?”
“Maybe after the ambulances leave, but yes, I think it is over. I’ll get you something to wear for when the police arrive to question you. Please try to not hurt them.”
“I should be wearing shoes at that time,” and I reached for another Margarita as Paul fetched my pumps.
When the police arrived, I was calm, composed and wearing only my suit and borrowed flats with a towel wrapped around me, I smiled a lot and explained how I was trying to rest when these men approached and kept bothering me even though I told them I was married. One even bragged about cheating on his wife and actually grabbed me. I showed them a bruise on my arm but ensured that they saw only the front of my suit which looked like a conservative one-piece. Then I told how they beat my husband and when I went to him, they grabbed me and .. .crying, “I was raped at work last year. Brutally by someone twice my size. Someone I helped… He waited until everyone had left and…. So I took some self defense classes and… and..”
Paul came to me and held me as I cried as he told them, “I found her after the attack.. She was bruised and bleeding from her belly and breasts and .. other places. I couldn’t imagine anyone doing that to her. So when I saw them accosting her, I came to help and, well, I’m not a fighter, I’m just a doctor who works in a museum.”
I was crying and shaking and he stopped talking which is good. When dealing with the Garda, the less you say, the better you are.
“Mrs Paul, do you want to press charges?” one asked.
“No, I just want to go home and try to forget.”
“We understand, but we might need a statement. Where can we reach you?”
Paul gave them our hotel and we left, Paul comforting me and we heard one cop tell the other. “Man that’s the shits. Raped last year and attacked again today. I’d like to put those bastards away but unless we can get her to press charges….”
“We can still scare them enough to get them out of town. I want my own kids to be safe here.” They faded away.
At the car, I kissed Paul, “My love, you are turning into a brilliant lier.”
“I’m learning from you, my dear. What if the police come back after talking to your victims?”
“My love, I think that after getting a call from their State Department following a complaint from the Irish Embassy, they will be very careful to not cause me trouble.”
“All this for some jerk who hit on you?”
“One bragged about cheating on his wife, they also attacked me and hurt you and given a chance, would have beaten you and raped me because men like that cannot understand why a woman would tell them no. And no one harms the people I love and lives to brag about it”
“Janice, are they going to live? I need to know.”
I smiled, “Paul, if they leave me alone, I promise to leave them alone too. But if they hunt either of us down, then they are fair game.”
“Then for their sakes, I hope they just run away.”
As we drove away, Pru laughed, “I just thought of something. Both of you told the police that you are married. So, technically, by Common Law, you are! Congratulations!”
Paul was happy, I was terrified. How the fuck do I get out of this?
VIII. LAS VEGAS
It was time. Paul’s drivers license had arrived as well as notification that he still had a job (his mentioning the new book helped) so I bought him a new car and we packed up for the drive to California… under protest. “But Paul honey, until we get this HS thing straightened out, we are both officially dead and they won’t allow us on a plane so we have no choice.
We spent one last fun night with Pru, I bought her a lot of jewelry and other gifts just because I wanted to, and we left that ski-town, probably to the relief of its population.
The drive was pleasant, with Paul asking, “I am suprised that you are allowing me to drive?”
“You Americans drive on the wrong side of the road which makes me nervous. So I am happy that you enjoy driving.”
“I do, I always have.” Then he began a long and dull talk about the cars he had owned to which I pretended to listen.
When we were on a very long and straight road, I opened my blouse and bra and commented, “this is such a long and dull drive, would you like me to make you happy?” as I leaned over to attack his pants.
“Janice! Janice! I’m driving.”
“That’s fine,” I said between mouthfuls. “Please continue.” Then I almost bit him as he left the road, swerving to avoid a semi-tractor that passed with blaring horns.
“I really don’t think that you should do that now.” He gasped. I hadn’t seen anything but knew that he has lost concentration and nearly drove into a much larger lorry. “Damn! Because that was the first time I really enjoyed you doing that.”
“First?” I asked. “I know I’m not very good at that but I tried to learn from Pru who you seemed to enjoy.” Then I adjusted my clothing, waving at the lorry that was pacing us, “It was also the first time I actually enjoyed what I was doing.”
We had a journey of well over 1500 kilometers and easily thirteen or more hours. We could do it in a single day but chose to spend a day in Las Vegas where Paul indicated his intention to ‘make our union legal’ at one of their infamous wedding chapels.
“Paul, I just said that back there to convince the Garda that I was a helpless victim. I still plan to leave you after you are settled back in.”
“Nope! You admitted in front of witnesses that we were married so if you back out, I’ll sue for Breach of Promise. You do have that in Ireland?”
Sighing, “We do, but prefer to allow our men-folk convince the people to marry. I told you before that I can’t marry you.”
“But, until you tell me why, I’ll keep expecting you to make an honest man of me.”
“Fine. I’ll cheat on you! You know I will.”
“Only with women and I can handle that.”
“I’m a killer. Eventually my enemies will hunt you down to take their revenge on me.”
“Honey, if we can survive the Dire Wolves, Saber-tooth cats, Velociraptors and Allosaurs of Pellucidar, then we can survive anything.”
I settled in, crossed my arms and grumbled, “I can’t marry you and can’t tell you why.”
“Honey,” he insisted, “I promise I won’t leave you.”
“Don’t make promises you cannot keep. Just enjoy what we have,”
He sighed, then laughed, “Dear, you are a borderline alcoholic. I’ll just get your drunk and when you wake up, you’ll see a ring on your finger.”
“You cannot afford to buy a ring I’ll be wearing for the rest of my life.”
“Honey, you will love whatever ring I buy, even it it’s made of plastic.”
“So you think.” I snapped.
“Which is why you NEVER wear that ring I carved for you!” He laughed at that, especially when he saw me glance at it. A piece of leg-bone he had sectioned, hollowed and carved a crude heart intertwined with a shamrock. It was crappy and crude and I never removed it after he gave it to me. I placed my other hand over it and replied, “My finger swelled and it won’t come off. I plan to find someone to cut it free later.”
“Excuses and excuses. That’s why you wear it on your wedding ring finger. Why don’t you admit that you love me and we can settle down to live happily ever after.”
“I already HAVE admitted that I DO love you, more than anyone else. And THAT is exactly why I cannot. Paul, listen to me. I am cursed. Every time I think I am happy, that Sarmatian god screws it up and people I care for die. We can be friends and sexual but never happy together. I can’t loose you that way. When I leave, you will, at least, still be alive. And we can try again later. Besides, we don’t really wear wedding rings, and generally not on this finger.” I’d have to move it… someday. Even though I knew what they meant. I am Irish and a fool, not ignorant and stupid.
“So I have to loose you and just hope that you will come back some day?”
“Yes. It’s hard but true. BUT, my love, don’t wait for me. Live your life and if you find someone else, be happy.” I laughed, “besides, I can always drag you back underground and we can have that again.”
“What if I want more?”
“You can’t have any more than you have now, which, I might add, is a lot more than I originally offered. Remember when you decided to remain in Pellucidar with me? I promised to be your lover for a year. I never promised anything after we came back. So, please be happy that I am extending my promises.”
I interrupted, rising in the seat, shouting at him, “Do you think this is easy for me? Leaving you is killing me. But better it kill me inside than kill you outside, or face your hatred when you learn the truth.”
“Honey,” he tried to calm me, “How can you think that I could ever hate you?”
“Because,” I pled, “Everyone else has and mostly they hated themselves more. There are words for people like me, unpleasant words, hateful words. But still true. There are places where we could be together, but Earth is not one of them! Please try to accept that this is one secret I must keep and I’m doing it for you.”
“But, honey, what’s the worst you could be? A Prostitute? A Murderer? A Terrorist? Some evil dictator? I already know you were like those, but not exactly because you had good reasons for what you did. There isn’t anything you can be that would make me love you less.”
“Paul, if you do not let this go right now, I shall leave this car this exact instant and vanish from your life forever!”
I don’t think he took me seriously as I wasn’t swearing, but when he ignored me, I reached for the door and forced it open against the 75mph headwind. I was partly out when he grabbed me, tearing my blouse as he pulled me back in.
Since I couldn’t fight him, I turned and shoved the gearshift to a lower gear and as the vehicle decelerated, slamming me against the dashboard, I fought him for the key, intending to turn it off.
Paul, wearing his seatbelt, was in a better position than I who refused to wear them and so he fought to control the car as it decelerated and swerved, burning transmission and tires as he fought to keep me inside the car and away from the ignition key and managed to stop the car, half on the shoulder.
We were both breathing heavily and I kicked the door open and started to leave again.
“Janice, No! You win! I won’t push any more.” As I settled back and he moved back into traffic, asked, “Is it that bad you’d die?”
“Death would be preferable to your stare and words if I told you.”
He muttered, “You Irish are so melodramatic.” Then he stopped the car and turned to me, “Janice, I love you so much I’ll try to be content with what you give me. I’ll try not to pry but .. I’m a scientist. I can’t stand unanswered questions.”
Dammit! The man was a terrier, never letting go and I couldn’t distract him with sex anymore. So I sat and fumed as he returned to the Freeway.
“Do you really sponsor a thousand children?”
“Do you doubt me?”
“Well, you do lie a lot. Though I seem to feel that all your lies center around us.”
“I’m sorry I must be that way but yes, I do” I leaned back ad adjusted the ruin of my blouse, “I suppose it is guilt. After my own children…”
“I though you only had one?”
“Paul, if you were a woman, you’d understand but guys don’t have the necessary feelings so try. When I was with Zvedi, I didn’t love her, but I loved what she did to me. She taught me about lesbian sex and.. she was pregnant. I saved her from some bandits and we.. well the joke is ‘What do lesbians do on their second date? Move in together!’ and we did. It was lust on my part because she wasn’t my ideal of a woman. But she was damn good in bed. When she learned she was pregnant, she stayed because she needed someone to take care of her until the baby was born. I cared for her, and I watched that baby grow and accepted it as my own made plans. Then when my daughter was born, Zvedi wouldn’t even let me hold her. She sent me away and I found she kept me around so if the baby was a boy, she would have someone to take it. Amazons don’t expose their boy children like the stories say, but they do give them away to strangers. She was my daughter and I never even had a chance to see or hold her.” I almost cried at the memories.
“Then Ruth. She was a Beastmaster, a telepath that can control animals and some humans. I wanted, needed a woman but Ruth saw in me otherwise but would have slept with me if I insisted but I wanted her to want me and never pushed it. Well my lust changed to love as we traveled together for three years and a year before Pellucidar, I had to rescue Yu and needed her skills. We were attacked by Oni and she lost her locket, the one with her mother’s painting in it. I found it, opened and .. she had had Titian paint my portrait for her. Ruth, that lovely little Romanian Jewess saw in me her mother. I didn’t have the strength to tell her about my curse. So I had to send her home, send her away and I lost my second child.
“Then Alexii. I wasn’t supposed to be able to become pregnant. But I did and .. “ now I was crying. “I almost died and so did my baby. Then when he was born premature, … We escaped from Alexii and…. I lost my baby because Alexii wouldn’t let us go. He hounded and chased and…. He wouldn’t let us be and….” I didn’t notice that Paul had stopped again and was trying to hold me over the gearshift. Damn this American government that had banned the sofa seat.
“I can’t. not again.. I’ve lost so many….” I forced myself to stop, to bury the past and after a moment to compose, added, “I suppose that I feel guilty for loosing my children. So every time I see one of those ads, I sponsor another child in need. It’s now around a thousand, give or take a dozen. I try to read every letter from them, and I try to write back. Occasionally, I try to visit when I am in their country but.. I’m not their mother, just some guilt-plagued European that sends a few Euros a month in a forlorn attempt to feel better about my own failings.
“But Greenpeace, World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, all the rest is because I really do believe in their cause and we NEED them to save the Earth. I donate millions, tens of millions of Euros a year to these charities.” I laughed then, “You complain that I am too free with my money, but sometimes, well, it’s only money and as I said, I can spend $45 thousand American dollars a day and not miss it. So I spend some on myself to be comfortable, some on my friends and some on people in need.”
“That’s why you never padded a beggar without giving them something, even when I told you they’d probably spend it on booze?”
“I know that they might, but what if that money made the difference between an empty or a full belly? I’ve been hungry, Paul. There were times I ate maggots and dead rats because I was so hungry.”
“So, my love isn’t the hard-assed stone bitch people think. She has a heart after all.”
“And if you tell anyone, I’ll. I’ll..” He stopped my threat with a kiss. “That was nice, how about tossing a blanket outside?”
“Do you try to solve every problem with sex?” he asked.
“It works more often than not, not solving the problem but distracting us from the problem. But really, to be honest, I DO love your body. It’s the only male body that ever turned me on. So despite my giving you my regrown hymen, I am a virgin with you in so many ways. I have the body of a porn star and the sex drive of a goat combined with the attitude of a man. I was always this randy and rarely traveled without a lover so I don’t understand why other women ever want to leave the bedroom. How they can be with the man they love and NOT want to fuck or make love every hour is beyond me. Hell! I can have you take me to bed and send out for food and if we never stopped having sex, I could live with that easily! Damn that scares me.”
He started on again, “Really? How?”
Male ego. “Well, that time today was the first time I actually enjoyed giving head. Before I did it only for you, hoping you’d want normal sex. You are the first person I ever told that I loved. Loved like a lover. I really was sad when my pregnancy tests turned negative. I actually wanted to have your baby. And I WAS jealous when I thought you had slept with Prudence.”
“Hey! That’s your fault. YOU chose her and YOU picked her up and YOU told me to.”
“And you said no!” I hugged him for that.
“So, if she wanted, would you have.. been with her alone.”
“Damn right I would have. I would have done her a dozen ways and not even thought about you!” I laughed at that.
“So it would be ok for you to sleep with her but not me? Now I wonder if you are telling me the truth. You set us up with champagne, made certain that you were away, made me call her and then got jealous. Suppose I HAD slept with her?”
“And I came home sober, you mean?” he nodded. “Paul, this may hurt but I am very good at telling lies and faking emotions. Had I been sober, I would have pretended to be happy for you and listened to you talk about her and encouraged you to compare us while we made love and I would have pretended it was all fine.”
“How often do you fake things with me?”
“Not often any more. I fake it when you talk about things that don’t interest me like automobiles but I never faked my interest in your work. I only faked my passion, and that only at first. Oh, physically, it was all real. Fantastic sex and I NEVER faked an orgasm like other women. If I don’t have one, you will know. But I faked seducing you and had to get drunk that first time to do it. And for the longest time, I had to fake interest in you though once the act started, I stopped faking and enjoyed what you did to me. I just needed the fantasy of woman to get ready for you.”
“Do you fake it now?”
I laughed at that, “No my love. I haven’t faked sex or passion or love since long before we left Pellucidar. I almost think you made me straight.”
“But you still tell me lies?”
“Only to protect you.” I said, not at all upset. “NEVER about us.”
“Never. I have NEVER lied to you about my feelings for you.”
“I believe you. I don’t know why I should but I do.”
Leaning back, “I’m glad. The facts that are true are these: I love you with more passion and emotion than I have ever felt before. I don’t want to hurt you which is why I can’t marry you. The thought that you might hate me makes me feel like I will die inside. And I will do anything you ask, anyway just to make you happy.. except marry you or give you babies… or tell you that one thing.”
“Ok, then how old are you, really?”
“Be careful, my love. Because I will answer.”
“Then, How old are you?”
“Jason is over two-hundred years old. And it is possible that we might live to be a thousand. THAT is complicated. I, as Janice, didn’t exist until I was cursed and that was .. maybe seven years ago. But I was an adult before this happened and I don’t remember how old I was then.”
“I don’t understand.?”
“Paul, this won’t be easy but I, Janice Obrien, didn’t really exist until I was cursed into being. Before that, I was someone else.”
“I still don’t understand. Like you were.. Jane O’Brien then…?”
“People, my love, are a combination of physical, spiritual and psychological. Think back to when you were a kid. Your body and personality were different than they are today. When you were in college or High School, your personality centered around getting drunk and laid. Today your personality centers around loving me. You are a different person today than you were then. Just because you have the same DNA, you say that the young Philip is the same person as the current Doctor Paul, but really, you re not the same person though you are similar is some ways. I’m just more willing to explore those differences because the body and personality is so different. And I probably would never have liked the old Philip Paul. And you would have never slept with me before I started calling myself Janice Obrien.”
“Why not, were you coyote ugly?”
“Now I don’t understand.”
“It means that you are so drunk and horny that you see every woman as beautiful, until you sober up and look at what you brought home and want to chew your arm off to avoid waking her up.”
I laughed at that, “I was never in that situation, before or after. But then, I was a virgin until … Ok, there are a lot of ways to be virgin. With those Persians, I was raped orally and anally but not vaginally so I lost two of three virginities. And that was only because they couldn’t rape me there.. Don’t ask. Before my curse, I wasn’t that attractive and though I was decent looking, women didn’t find me that desirable and only a select kind of man did.
“I was very flat chested, mousy brown hair, no curves, taller and .. well, I lost about 4” in height and added those inches to my chest. Hair changed to strawberry blonde, lost inches in my waist and added a couple on my hips. You get the idea. I went from plain but decent to drop-dead sexy. From no one noticed to all men pursue. And pursue they did. All over Russia and Eastern Europe and Italy.. You know Pope Alexander VI, Luctretia Borgia’s father, used to have orgies in the Vatican. He had one of his cronies invite me and when I refused, he had me abducted and tied naked to a rack. I had to watch Lucretia suck her brother and fuck her father at the same time. Like all men, he thought porn got women hot. Well, it does me, I love watching porn, but not when I am about to be gang raped. This body is definitely a curse.”
“Because I never had multiple orgasms before and even a small climax is better then what I had before. Plus I find I like being the center of attention. NO ONE ever noticed me before. I felt like I could vanish in a crowded room and no one would ever know I existed. I love being the Lady Janice Obrien and I am ashamed of feeling like this.”
“That’s why you work it?” then he asked, “Do you think I was attracted to you because…” he waved at me.
Laughing, I replied, “No, my love. When I was cuffed and exposed after Steel ripped my shirt open, you were too embarrassed to look even though you wanted to. I found that refreshing. Now I enjoy you looking and try to make you look more.
“So, Janice, this Janice, was born when I was cursed. I change my name with my appearance. You would not have cared for me before. I was a totally different person and the only thing that is the same is my DNA and fingerprints. Even my thinking is different.”
“Which means I had sex with a seven-year-old virgin when in Pellucidar?”
I laughed, “I never thought about it like that. Seven years old with adult kids. Well, time travel is a bitch!”
“Especially when you were alive in the 1400’s.” he laughed.
By the time we had finished the conversation, we were approaching Las Vegas. “It’s getting dark, we should find a place and eat dinner.”
“I’ve never been here. Find the best place you can, the one hotel you would love to stay in.”
“The best places are filled.” He replied.
“Not when I can buy the hotel and throw your president out on the street,” I laughed.
“I’d really rather you didn’t.”
We reached the strip and I loved the place! The lights! The Shows! They used more power to run those lights in a day than all of Ireland used in a year. “There, stop!” I yelled. There was fountain spraying water in tune to some song. Then later, women singing on a pirate ship as another pirate ship sailed towards them filled with singing men. “Sweetie,” I called, “We rally need a convertible!” I had never seen any city like Vegas and fell in love instantly.
We drove up the Strip then Paul asked, “Which hotel?”
“Isn’t that like asking what meal you want when they are all perfect? You choose.”
He turned around and said, “I always wanted to stay at the Palace.” And we pulled into Caesar’s Palace, a wonderful place that was designed after Rome.
I had to keep reminding myself that I was a Lady as we approached the desk, staring at the women in fake mini-togas. From the way they didn’t move, I decided that many had implants and whispered to Paul “Breast implants? I wonder how they feel? And do they enjoy being touched and sucked?”
Then as I slid my passport across to the desk clerk, said, “I am the Duchess Janice Obrien of Ireland, and this is Doctor Philip Paul of America,” they were polite but not impressed. Not even when I requested their best room and paid in cash. I wasn’t used to that.
We did get the room and once settled in, went down for dinner and the show which was amazing. Then we went for a walk along the strip, me insisting we wait and watch the fountains spurt to music. I was a young girl, looking at everything and wanting it all. Occasionally I’d drag Paul into a casino and show him how to win at blackjack and roulette. And when I took my pile of chips to the cashier, I’d flash my passport and comment, “I’m not an American, you don’t take taxes from my winnings.” Sometimes they would call the manager who would apologize and educate the girls on International tax laws.
After one incident where I won some $50,000 in less than a half hour. Paul asked, “Why do you do this when you are already rich?”
I kissed him and said, “Because it is fun!” The poor man lost a thousand dollars I gave him within minutes. Then was upset when I didn’t care so I took him into an alley and shoved my hand down his pants until he pushed me away, “Sex doesn’t solve everything.”
“But it is fun and I do so love doing things to you, and it does distract you from your anger with me.” I had pulled my dress down to expose my bra and was hoping he’d use his hands too when we heard the voice.
“Oh damn!” Paul said, but not because we were interrupted. “Give me your money and jewels and watch and…”
“Hey, Buddy, take some healthy advice and walk away now while you still can. You are way out of your league here.” Paul was actually concerned about the man.
“I’m not fucking joking, hand it over!” the mugger demanded.
Paul shrugged and crossed his arms. As the mugger wove his handgun between the two of us, making demands, I offered my purse, still half naked and as he reached for it, and as his weapon moved away, I pulled and kicked and he went down, my pointed toeasily causing far too much damage to his family jewels. Then I dropped my purse, grabbed his gun-hand and kicking into his upper ribs with my 4’ heel, pulled and twisted and the man didn’t scream as joints and muscles tore and ribs snapped only because he was still vomiting from my kick. He would be lucky to regain even partial use of his arm and that would take a year or more. I emptied the bullets and tossed them into a nearby trash container, then dropped shoved the barrel into a crevasse and pulled with all my might to twist the weapon. It would only take a few millimeters to make it useless and when it was, I dropped it by the would-be mugger and took my purse from Paul, “Someone will find him eventually so we should leave now.”
“Aren’t you afraid of them arresting you when your fingerprints show on the gun?” he asked. He was getting used to my caviler attitude about these things.
“Not at all. Interpol doesn’t like being ordered around by your FBI or Homeland Security like they were dogs and so will take their time responding to their demands for a search. Then they will take time deciding if they will tell them it is me. By the time the information arrives, we will be long gone.”
He sighed, “One of these days, honey, you’ll get shot.”
“You notice, my love, that I choose my targets carefully. When the police had me in handcuffs, I knew that they were waiting and knew of my skills so I ran. That thief was untrained and thought we were terrified victims so I took advantage. I am smaller and weaker than any man so am very careful of my actions.”
I bought this gigantic Margarita in a plastic glass from this bar where the bartenders gave a great show so I tipped them and Paul pulled me out, me nursing my drink as we walked down the strip, watching everything. I left the glass at the desk and attacked Paul in the lift so by the time we reached our room, he was well into being ready and we had a marvelous time christening the bed until we fell asleep exhausted. I still don’t understand how he can exhaust me when he does almost all the work?
Paul woke up the next morning with me on top. “I hate to waste a good erection,” I smiled to him. “I’m sorry but this is for me. As much as I loved what you did last night, right now I want slow and gentle and to take my time so just lay there and if you get bored, play with these.” I offered my breasts as I rose and fell, slowly to feel every sensation as I leaned forward and then back to feel him rub different areas inside. I explored again, feeling him rub the front of my vagina, seeking that elusive g-spot, then leaning another way to feel him stroke the rear where my bifurcated clit merged at the base between vagina and anus. Then just slowly pulling completely off, teasing his head with my lips, then sinking slowly down to feel every exquisite inch enter. It took a long time for either of us to climax and even though mine wasn’t the mind-blowing one I had a few hours earlier, still it was nice and well worth the work.
I leaned forward to kiss him, almost not minding his morning growth, and asked, “Can we go out sight seeing today? Or do you have to get back soon?”
He held me to him, then said, “I think that we can spend one more day here. It’s only a half day back and if we leave in the morning, I should be fine.”
“Good!” I jumped off.. then he yelled, “Hey, what about me?”
I looked back but was happy and done but, you have to keep men happy so as much as I wanted a shower, returned to finish him and asked, “How?” as I let my breasts stroke his naked body. We both enjoyed that. He told me and I made him happy.
We had breakfast on the walk as our time was limited and I didn’t want to miss anything but found that the only difference between Vegas at night and Vegas during the day was that lights were replaced by the hidden trash that Americans dropped as casually as the dropped false compliments.
We took in a morning show then while shopping for nothing I intended to buy, I saw someone I knew. “Paul, don’t think badly of me but I need to kill that man sitting over there.”
“Why? or shouldn’t I ask?’
“He is a crime lord who hurt some friends of Jason’s a long time ago. They were walking their dog and saw a drug deal. The police promised to protect them but failed. So they were murdered, the police had to let him go and… He escaped justice and we thought he was dead in another drug deal.”
“Shouldn’t you let the police deal with him?” then as he saw my look of astonishment, added, “I know, if they could, he’d be in jail. Why don’t you just call your brother?”
“It’s complicated. Please go back to the room and pack I’ll join you shortly.”
“Janice,” then he let me go. “Please be careful.”
I walked past, letting my hips swing as I ignored my victim and pretended to look over some dust-collectors. Paul watched instead of leaving but I was committed and had to continue.
I tossed my hair to see better, knowing that men love this motion and my habit of wearing low necklines and skirts ensured that they were looking at me. I deliberately did NOT flirt at them, wanting them to approach me for I would be seen as less suspicious that way. And it worked. They came to me, the three of them, and spoke, “Mmmm, mmmm, you are the best thing I have seen since they built this town.”
I gave them a cold look and replied, “I am so out of your league and price-range. You should find someone cheaper.” Then continued to ignore them.
Men hate to be rebuffed and these were no different. So they kept making what they saw as compliments and bragging about themselves as I told them finally, “If you do not leave me alone, I’ll call the manager and have you arrested!”
They backed off, laughing, “Sure, honey. Anything you say.” But we both knew they were not being honest.
So I left the store, and headed off the strip, walking and seeking a place for my murders, finding a cheap hotel a couple blocks away. I didn’t have to look around to know that they were following, I could her their crude remarks easily.
So I entered the lobby, walking past the desk clerk who never looked up and sought the lift. Alone, I entered and pushed the button for a higher floor room at random. As the doors were shutting, the three pushed inside, rape on their mind. “Well, you are persistent.” I commented. “I suppose you plan to share me?”
“Sure, baby. We love to party.”
Nodding, “I have a bottle in my room, can you afford my time?”
One laughed, pulling out a wad of bills to flash at me. I stared, pretending to be impressed, then took the money and slid them into my purse, “Ok, but not here. In my room. Tell me what you want.” He didn’t even argue that I had taken all his money which showed that they planned to rob me afterwards.
The rest of the ride was them describing what they expected and me pretending to listen. Then the door opened and we left, me leading as I searched for an empty room. I found one at the end of the hall that seemed to be empty, at least as we walked, I could her no sounds from within any room so the guests were asleep or away or there were no guests. Perfect!
I rummaged through my purse, but found no keys and this hotel was one without the card readers that the better places used. “Dammit! I left my keys inside,” I showed them my purse without any keys. “Wait here and I’ll get a replacement key from the desk.”
I was stopped as one said, “Baby, we don’t want to wait that long. Harry here IS a key!” and the named man removed a lockpick set and began to work. I watched with interest as I could pick locks but loved watching a professional at work. He had the door opened within a minute, and we entered.
I didn’t want them to notice that the room was unoccupied so as soon as I crossed the threshold I dropped my dress, kicked my heels free and walked in wearing nothing but my thong (I hated them but Paul loved to see me wear the things) towards the window where I opened the desk and pulled out a couple pencils and pens. I knew that they were watching me, especially as I licked one pencil and slit it between my naked breasts. “Now boys, you’ve seen me, time to show me your packages.”
Two dropped their pants and were struggling free while the first approached and grabbed my breasts. “Real!” he said just before I drove one pencil through his diaphragm and into his heart. Stupid choice for last words.
Instantly I was past his falling body and kicked another in the belly as hard as I could and as he went down, choking, I tried to kick the last who gave up on his pants and grabbed my foot before I could damage him. He lifted and pulled so I slapped the rug as I hit as they teach in judo class, chambered my free leg and kicked him in the face as hard as I could. He grunted through smashed nose so I chambered again and kicked with both feet, striking his eyes and head with my heels. As he dropped, I rolled, stood, grabbed his head and twisted as hard as I could. The movies and telly make it look so easy but in real life, it wasn’t and I twisted back and forth as fast as I could until the muscles relaxed and I felt the neck snap.
Then I ran for the second who had pulled his gun and I stomped on his fist with all my weight to hold the weapon to the floor and fell to drive my last pencil into his back repeatedly. He fought top free his hand and stand up, I fought to stab through the ribs into his lungs and heart and finally I won.
I was exhausted but forced myself to examine each to ensure that they were all dead. Then I staggered to the loo to wash their blood from my body and ensure that I was not bleeding myself. When I was wiped well, I returned to the bodies and redid all my moves as best as I could remember, wiping whatever I had touched, including the face and hands or the men I had touched, striving to remove any fingerprints or skin or DNA.
Finally, I wrapped the pencils I had used into the damp washcloth and returned to the loo where I examined my naked body again in case I missed something. Satisfied, I pulled my dress on, stepped into my pumps and listened at the door to ensure that the hall was empty. Then I left the room, opening the door with an extra washcloth and ensuring that it was locked, reran my movements in case I missed anything and left by the stairs, using the cloth to shield my hands from door and banister until I was on the street where I slid the cloth into my purse. I would toss them all into different trash bins in different locations. With luck, the bodies wouldn’t be discovered for days when that room was rented.
I was a block down the street when Paul drove up, “Get in,” he said which I did and settled in as he drove to the Palace. He was silent so I began, “Paul, honey, this is what I do. It’s not always bodyguard and rescue. Sometimes it’s assassination of bad people like those who the law cannot or willnot touch.”
He sapped back, “Who gives you the right to judge?”
“The same people who gave your country the right to invade Grenada because President Reagan was embarrassed by the Cubans who were building the airport YOUR country refused to build. Or the same people who allowed President Clinton to invade Bosnia because he got caught with Monica Lewinski hanging from his dick. The same people that gave YOUR country permission to invade Haiti after the FIRST FUCKING FREE ELECTION in their feckin history, simply because you didn’t like who they chose and wanted an American puppet on the throne.
“If your country can invade entire nations and kill untold people because they are embarrassed, then I can kill a few criminals that are immune to the law.”
We said nothing else until we were in our room, packing to leave early. “I don’t know if I can handle this.”
I wanted to tell him that it would make my leaving easier but I was, this time, smart enough to keep my mouth shut. The he came to me, held me and said, “Please lie to me and tell me that they were all evil and deserve to die?”
I laughed, relaxed in his arms and replied, “I don’t have to lie. Yes, they are all evil and yes they deserve to die and one thing more, we give the Law a chance and step in only when the Law fails. When the government fails to protect its citizens, don’t those citizens have a right to take up arms and defend themselves and each other? We are those arms.”
“The same people who stopped Steel. The same people who prevented WW-III. The same people who convinced Einstein that time travel was impossible so he would stop work on the US Time Machine during WW-II. Sometimes we prevent massive deaths, sometimes a single act.”
“It sounds like you are a giant temporal police agency.”
“Not a police agency but a loose group of people from other times and planets. Most of us are just having fun. Some have an agenda, sometimes the ones with the agenda enlist those who are having fun. It all works out somehow and Earth is still alive so we must be doing something right.”
We left the hotel with our bags and as I paid our bill, I slipped some of the money the creeps had given me into a charity box. We left for the carpark and I gave another couple bills to a homeless person then more to another charity agent we saw on the street. The bills were all twenties, fifties and hundreds, befitting criminal in Las Vegas. “What’s that for?” Paul asked.
“They thought I was a prostitute and paid me for sex. They planned to take the money back afterwards but had no chance. Since the money is ill-gotten, it wouldn’t be right to keep it.”
“You killed them while having sex with them?”
“Of course not, silly. If I had, I’d give you the money. No, they planned to fuck me but I killed them before they could.” As we left Vegas, I made Paul stop at every beggar I saw and handed them the money until it was all gone.
IX. HOME... FINALLY
Paul was driving across the Mohave desert while I napped when he shook me awake. “Janice, there! Look!”
A lifetime of surviving on my senses forced me awake instantly and I saw what he pointed. “Quick, turn the car off!” I grabbed for the key a second after Paul asked, “Why?”
We watched the UFO, egg-shaped, passing across the desert, following the power lines. They seemed to keep a constant ten meters over the lines, dipping as the lines dipped, rising as they reached the towers. We watched and Paul asked, “Why do we have to turn the car off? Are they going to abduct us and this will make us seem invisible?”
I laughed and took his hand. “Hardly. They are Dalcatians. They are a silicon life from a Gas Giant like Jupiter. Normally silicon life is really simple like a crystal. A silicon slug is considered a genius but occasionally, rarely, the silicon life manages to evolve intelligence.
Then, “How do you walk around a spaceship hull in space without floating away?” I asked.
“I imagine you use magnetic boots?”
“That, my love, would require a ferrous-iron hull. Steel like this car. And the problem with that is that as a steel hull passes through magnetic fields, stellar caronas and so on, it magnetizes. And a magnetized hull attracts all the stony-iron dust in space. So as you travel, that dust builds up on your hull and increases your mass and covers your sensors until you are too heavy to move and cannot see.
“Jason told me about an asteroid he found a few hundred light years away from Earth a couple centuries in the future, yes, my love, not only is time travel possible, so is space travel. Well, Jason said the asteroid wasn’t massive enough for its size so they investigated and found it was a steel spaceship that had attracted so much meteoric dust that it was covered to depth of meters. They had run out of power, unable to escape the mass of the dust and died.
“So, the Dalcatians, who use steel hulls, need to degauss their ships occasionally. And they do it by 'Line-Jumping' like that. They follow the power lines which degausses their hull and the dust falls away. If you examine the ground beneath those lines, you will find a lot of interstellar dust.”
“Why did you turn the car off?”
“As they pass, the magnetic field it generates would burn out the engine and any electronic gear that is turned on.” He glanced at his watch and swore as the starship passed.
“Now I am glad I refused that Rolex you wanted to buy me.” He was shaking the watch then tossed it in the back in disgust. “Are they dangerous?’
“Hardly. Neither have they any desire to communicate. We have absolutely nothing in common, though if your Air Force managed to shoot one down, they’d probably put an ocean between Canada and Mexico! You can send them a message and they’ll likely ignore it. And if they do reply, a couple years work on the dozen best super-computers on Earth will translate it as ‘hi’ or the Encyclopedia Britannica after it had gone through a paper shredder. They are gone now. We can go on.”
Paul started the car and we continued into California as he asked, “How many intelligent races are out there?”
“No one knows. Hundreds, thousands, millions? There are over 300 billion stars in this galaxy and most of them have planetary systems. The secret is to figure out what percentage of these have the right kind of planet at the right distance to produce life. Then how much of that life will achieve intelligence. Then how many of those will achieve star travel and so on. I will say this, no race that can cross the distance between stars will contact some redneck from Podunk, Arkansas (I pronounced it ARR-kay-an-sas). If they can travel that far and learn English or French or any other Terran language, they are smart enough to figure out where the United Nations is. So, as they KNOW we are here, it is clear that they simply don’t want to talk to us. And Earth does not possess the Technology to force communication.”
“I guess it’s safer for me to study dinosaurs then worry about some alien race.”
“How far to home, your home?” I asked. My home was seven hundred kilometers underground. Any place I lived in on Earth belonged to my father, brother or husband, even if I now owned the deed.
“About three hours. I called my landlord and they got really embarrassed. I get the feeling that they packed my stuff away and rented my apartment. I hope they didn’t sell anything.”
“Did you have anything of value? Our home in Ireland had centuries of family heirlooms that any museum would kill to possess. Some had been sold to museums and private collectors to pay the tax bills over the centuries. The first thing Jason did when he discovered King Solomon’s Mines was to buy back the family lands. Then start to buy back the family treasures. By the time I had money, there was nothing else for me to do so, once again, Jason was the hero and I the black sheep.”
“I had clothes, photo album, a lot of books and some fossils. The photos are the only thing of real value.”
“They usually are. Nothing I possess right now is irreplaceable.” Well, the ring I wore was important. Paul had made it for me from a dinosaur bone and had carved a heart and shamrock onto it and given it to me the day that caveman raped me. I had two valuable memories, a painting of Ruth done by de Vinci and this ring. I had lost the painting in Italy and found it in a private collection five hundred years later. I offered him any price for it then, finally stole it and told him that if I lost the painting for any reason, I would have his balls for earrings even if Jason had to take them for me. He backed away and I gave him a single five pound Euro note to make it legal. He should have accepted the twenty million Euros I had offered. Now I had a second valuable item.
We talked and relaxed and then entered his hometown. Or the city he lived in and we reached his apartment to find it, as expected, occupied. So we visited the landlord who started to argue until I waived a hundred dollar bill to get his attention. “IF,” I began, “Doctor Paul’s belongings are safe and complete, you may have this. If anything is missing, I will use this as a down payment for the best attorney in the state to ruin your life and the lives of your parents, brothers and sisters and children.”
“Janice, that wasn’t necessary,” he snapped.
I shrugged, “You two were arguing and it would have turned to violence. I simply cut through the bullshit to reach the inevitable conclusion.”
The landlord led us downstairs to a dark basement where he showed Paul a number of boxes. “My lawyer told me to store them for a couple years until you returned or were legally dead. I couldn’t afford the fees to have them destroyed legally so left them here. I get to charge you storage.”
I tore the bill in half and said, “We will return later to pick them up. Once they are inventoried, you may have the remainder of this.”
“What about back rent? I kept his apartment for six months until I could legally evict him. He owes me six months of rent and legal fees.”
I nodded and replied, “Please write up an itemized bill for when we return to collect Paul’s things in a few days. We will trade inventory for bill.” He looked at me, wearing very expensive clothing and jewelry and shoes, always look at the shoes your opponent wears. His were worn, mine very expensive and well-made, and agreed. He was smart enough to realize when he was outclassed.
“Now I need to find a place to live and that won’t be easy in this city.”
“Then, my love, may I prevail upon you to share my hotel room until you have a home of your own?”
He kissed me and replied, “I was hoping you’d suggest that.”
We loaded a few boxes of clothing and personal items into the car. Actually I hired some local teens to do that. Then Paul drove us into town where I rented a suite in the best his city had to offer. Paul objected but I insisted, “Honey, we spent a year in a cave eating half burned lizard and grasshoppers! Let’s enjoy a clean bed with no bugs and good food while we can.”
I let Paul initiate sex for his ego and then we ordered dinner while we cleaned up. “When do I get to see your university?”
“AFTER, I am certain that I have my job back. As much as I am grateful about you helping me out, there are some things I need to do for myself. So please go shopping or sightseeing and let me do this for myself.” Then he remembered, “And no violence if you can avoid it? Please?”
“If I can, my love.” And I kissed him again. I so loved to kiss that man. But only when his face was smooth.
“Are you lieing to me again?” he asked.
“No. I am being totally honest based upon what I currently know.”
“Which means that if you are mugged or see someone you dislike, you’ll return here covered in blood.”
I laughed at him and leaned forward to hug him. “You know me too well. All the mystery has gone out of our relationship.” Afterwards we unpacked some of his boxes, I determining to replace his clothes. “Paul, you have the taste of a single straight man which is bad enough but really, running around Pellucidar the last year has changed your body structure. You really need new clothes that fit.”
Dinner arrived and I over-tipped as usual to get excellent service and we had a nice dinner then went out so he could show me his city. Unlike the ski-town, this was a big city with a university and decent night-life so there was a lot to see.
I did insist on buying Paul new clothes that fit and were of a classical style. I am simply NOT a slave to modern fashion and preferred classical styles that would look good in any decade. And after asking them to be delivered to our room, Paul took me dancing.
I wasn’t much of a dancer but we tried and I didn’t have to hurt anyone for the men who approached, backed of when I showed them my ‘wedding’ ring. The one that laughed left after I told him, “My husband made this from a lion’s leg-bone after killing the lion with a knife in Africa. He may not look as big as you but he is really mean and very jealous. We had to leave Kenya after he put six safari guides in the hospital for staring at me the wrong way. Elephant guns do a lot of messy damage.”
Paul was nervous that night in bed, worried about his job interview the next morning so I did what I could to relax him and give him confidence. And the next morning, it was he who woke me up.
So he left and I decided to see the sights and hired a taxi take me everywhere save the university and museum. When I returned, Paul was happy and promised to show me his work in a few days when he had settled in next week. So I listened to him talk about things that interested me not at all and suggested that we house-hunt the next day.
“Good idea. I’ll call a realtor to find us a place large enough for us both.”
“No Paul, a place large enough for you and an occasional visitor. I got a call, I’m being recalled to Ireland to get ready for another mission.”
“Now? So soon? We just got here.” He was crushed and didn’t see my lie. In Pellucidar I was an asset, a partner. I kept house, made meals, provided writing materials and kept him alive. I talked to him and asked questions that got him thinking and while lecturing me, he thought along lines that he hadn’t previously considered. But here, with my need to be the center of attention, my insistence of being treated as a Noble, and my wealth that I used so easily, I was no longer an asset but a hindrance. Even my lack of formal education would be a problem for he would be embarrassed to show me to his academic fellows for fear that they would laugh at me and discount my thoughts for exactly that reason. People like that discounted anyone not in their field and degraded those with lesser credentials and fewer letters behind their names. And they would laugh at Paul for loving someone like me, seeing me as nothing more than a set of breasts in a dress. And thus, I would destroy them in my anger.
No, here, in my drive to ‘help him out’, the truth is that I would become his enabler and thus stunt his growth until he became the emasculated child he feared. So, to allow him to grow and become the person he wished to be, could, be, would become, I had to leave.
“That is my life, my love. That’s why I don’t own house of my own. I’m always running off someplace. It’s another reason why I cannot marry you. We’d spend so little time together. But, I DO love you and will visit whenever I can. It just won’t be as often as we both want.”
So that night we made love, not fucked, and over the next couple of days we found him a nice apartment which I paid for a year in advance for had I purchased for him the condo I wished, it would become ‘my’ house, and not his. We collected the rest of Paul’s things which were complete so I gave the landlord the rest of the bill and even paid some of the expenses. And as I was packing to leave, Paul asked, “Janice, can I keep the bow? As a reminder?”
Smiling, I gave it to him with the rest of my gear, “The next time I need these, I hope you will want to go back with me.” I wondered how much of my belongings, the pens, the parchment, the obsidian tools, would remain on shelf or migrate into a box on a distant shelf as he realized that I wouldn’t be back.
I cried all the way to the airport where I entered a privately rented jet, still unable to take passage on an airliner, I watched the ground fall away and my life end.
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