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A Different Duel

By Catherine
Page 1 of 1

Sinofar listened quietly as Giroc confronted the victor.

"You fought well, Blake." Giroc appeared to be impressed. She had told Sinofar that Travis was the better man. Sinofar smiled at the thought Blake had proven to be more than capable of handling Travis.

"I'm glad you enjoyed it" Blake sounded irritated. Not surprising. His hand had been injured, his life and the life of his companion at risk, in what he considered sport for their amusement. Sinofar had noticed Giroc's enjoyment It was one of the less endearing aspects of her personality.

"Why didn't you kill him?"

"Too weak. Or maybe I didn't entirely trust your motives."Now what did that mean? Sinofar's attention focused solely on Blake. "Besides, as long as he's alive, he'll be the one chasing me. And I know I can beat him."

Sound reasoning. And yet, Sinofar felt that it was not the real reason he hadn't killed his enemy.

"At least you're not stupid." Giroc cackled in amusement as Sinofar paid close attention to Blake's approach. He stopped inches away. So close and he was so attractive. It had been hundreds of years since she had shared herself with a man. Not for the first time, she cursed the people who had decided to leave two women as Guardian and Keeper. They might not have been able to have children but they would have at least had the pleasure of each other.

"I need time enough to get my ship away and recharge the energy banks." Blake was staring at her, a concentrated expression on his face, as if he were puzzled by something. She smiled at him gently.

"They have been recharged. I will see that your ship gets free." Blake looked pleased at that and she was glad that he didn't seem unduly upset by what she and Giroc had done. Although, he didn't know everything that Giroc had been up to and neither did Travis. That little episode was best forgotten. She found herself exploring his body with her eyes, wishing that things were different; that she was different. She was fated to remain here forever, alone except for Giroc, compelled to attempt to teach others what their people had never learned.

"Oh, another reason why I didn't kill Travis." Sinofar's gaze flashed back to his face, a faint hint of a blush warming her cheeks. Blake paused, and she waiting for him to continue. "I would have enjoyed it."

"Perhaps there was nothing for you to learn." The words popped out almost automatically. No, Blake hadn't needed the lesson. He had learned what her people had not, to put aside his animal instincts, value ideals over the flaring emotion of the present

In everything? An insidious thought crept into her mind. It had been so many years, and he was a man, a very attractive one at that. If she wiped his memory as she had before...there would be no harm done. He would go on and she would have this to remember for the next couple hundred years. And it wasn't as if it would hurt him. If anything, he'd enjoy himself as much as she.

Reaching out, she brushed careful fingers against his arm."You're injured. Healing it is the least I can do." She smiled and was rewarded by one in return as Blake pulled off his glove.

"Thank you." His voice was very soft, husky, and he held out his hand. Gently, she took it.

"Come."

***

She saw Blake blink at their change in surroundings. He didn't pull away but he did look concerned.

"Where are we? And where are Jenna and the rest of my crew?"

"They are as they should be. In orbit, waiting. They know where you are and your companion is with them. Travis's ship will not be released until after you have returned to your ship." She neglected to mention that both crews were as if frozen in time, unaware of what was happening.

"Why did you bring me here? Not just to fix my hand, you're powerful enough to do that anywhere."

"Perhaps." Sinofar paused, uncertain of how to handle the situation. It had been too long!

"However, I do intend to heal the damage to your hand." One hand holding Blake's, her other pressed down on the injury. Blake winced at the sudden sharp pain that replaced the dull ache and then was gone. He looked down, seeing clear flesh where damaged skin had been. Sinofar released him and he flexed his hand. No pain, it felt perfectly normal. Sinofar was looking up at him, she stood barely inches away.

"Thank you." Blake's smile was genuine and Sinofar felt her pulse race as he lifted his hand to brush her cheek. "But you still haven't told me why you brought me here. Or where here is?"

Blake looked round in wonder. Reassured of his crew's safety, he was caught up in their surroundings. It was beautiful. Tall trees, green grass, a small stream, and off in the distance the towers of a city rose. Birds were flying above and he suspected that smaller animals were making the rustling noises coming from under the trees. They stood in a small clearing amidst all this, the stream cutting through the open space.

"It is..." Sinofar corrected herself, "...was my home.

"The planet we were just on?" The disbelief was plain in Blake's voice and Sinofar smiled sadly.

"Yes, our home planet as it was, before the last - "

"Like Earth outside the Domes." Blake mused.

"And this was destroyed because of a conflict no different than that between you and Travis."

Blake's attention focused sharply, his eyes narrowing. "You won't be able to convince me to give up on the destruction of the Federation by showing me this. The death and devastation are horrific but what the Federation does to its citizens is just as horrible."

"No doubt" Sinofar whispered, turning away. "I never thought you would change. If men do not kill for themselves, they kill for a cause. It is still death. We destroyed our own race. See that you do not do the same."

Blake watched sadly as Sinofar turned away. She was in such pain He had lost his family too, friends and lovers. They were all either dead or long forgotten, even the memories lost to him. Sinofar's fate was not so different, a larger scale perhaps, but she really was alone. He had his crew, new friends if not a new love. She only had Giroc left. She was as lonely as he sometimes felt. And she was so beautiful.

A gentle hand gripped her shoulder, turning her round. Sinofar looked up and saw Blake smiling down at her, his eyes gentle, expression full of sympathy. Leaning her forehead against his chest, she accepted the offered comforting embrace. "Tell me about your world that is so much like ours was." The strong arms squeezed a bit tighter before relaxing. Blake's warm breath stirring her hair as he began.

"Well, we live in Domed cities now. No one except for some resistors lives outside. Inside the Domes is probably much like being inside one of your cities except that the entire city is as if it were enclosed by a building. The air, temperature, everything is controlled. Outside..." Blake paused, halted by the memories of being outside, of seeing the massacre of so many. "Outside, there are trees and grass and groundwater as your planet had, animals too."

"Yet your people chose to live in the Domes? Strange."

"Not so strange." Blake's expression darkened and Sinofar shivered. "Going outside the Domes is a crime. The Federation likes to control its people and the natural world is not for them."

"I'm sorry."

"So am I, for both our peoples." Blake replied softly. "Sinofar?"

Sinofar looked up as Blake's hands slid up to cup her face. A light, teasing kiss was pressed to her lips. As Blake drew back, Sinofar recognized the flicker of desire kindling in his eyes. She could have what she had wanted, wanted almost from the first moment she saw him.

"You said that there was a lesson that I had to learn about death."

Sinofar's eyes widened but she nodded her head.

"I want to teach you a lesson about life."

He didn't need to ask, though of course he didn't know that. Smiling at the way he had phased his question, she decided on a direct answer, tilting her head back, inviting his touch once more. His kiss was barely that, a light brushing of lips on lips.

Sinofar whispered against him. "Please." This time a hungry mouth covered hers, silencing her. She closed her eyes and savoured the sweet taste of his tongue as it explored, her hands doing some exploring of their own. For a second, it was as if she was back in Kriston's arms. They had been lovers for only a year before he died, killed in the last battle. Blake shared his passion, the willingness to die for others. His passion... When Blake pulled away, she opened her eyes in surprise, shocked out of her fantasy.

"It's better without any clothes." There was a smile in Blake's eyes, amusement in his grin, and she blushed as he pulled off his jacket, quickly followed by his shirt. Tentatively, she reached out, stroking the smooth expanse of skin. Blake shivered at her touch and pulled her into his arms, sliding his hands to her shoulders. Her dress slipped to the forest floor and she was naked in his embrace.

"So beautiful," he murmured, kissing her waiting mouth. He longed to shed the rest of his clothes, to touch her creamy breasts and peaked nipples, but he held back, letting her get used to the feel of his body, letting himself get used to the delicacy of her frame. He felt the brush of nipples against his chest, felt himself stiffen within the confines of his pants. It had been so long. He no longer remembered his lovers but the emotion was the same, the sensation a ghostly reminder. Her hands carded through his tumbled curls, rubbed up and down his back. When she broke the kiss, her hands were at his waist.

"Wouldn't it be better with these off?" Sinofar gasped out.

Blake's smile was blinding as his hands joined hers, unfastening his pants and letting them fall. His underwear was distinctly uncomfortable and he slipped them down too, until pants and underwear were down around his boots. Damn!

He blushed and Sinofar smiled. Kneeling in front of him, she pushed one leg up, pulling boot and clothes off before doing the same for the other. Pausing nervously, she felt warm hands clasp her arms, pulling her up along with her dress. Blake spread it out of the grass and sat down, bringing her down with him. He lay back and she watched him.

He was quite different from the few men she had known so long ago. Taller, curly hair as opposed to straight, the smooth hairless chest; and he was well-endowed. Blushing even as she stared, she reached out to touch his swollen cock. He gave a soft moan and spread his thighs, inviting her explorations. Hot and hard, she stroked him tenderly. He was thicker than her wrist; she could barely encircle him, so she bent over. She heard him gasp as her hair brushed against his stomach and again when her lips touched the tip of his cock. She licked at it delicately, rewarded by his further moans and an attempt to thrust. She started to suck but Blake's hands cradled her head, pulling her away. She went willingly into his arms, as he pulled her up onto his chest.

"I want to touch you too, before I'm done for." Blake's eyes were soft and hazy with desire and Sinofar smiled. He had been at the edge; she'd felt it. Pushing at her gently, he rolled them over onto their sides. Blake's hand wandered down from her shoulder to cover her breast. He teased her nipple with a finger tip, feeling it harden even more at the stimulation. He lowered his mouth to the other, licking then sucking it. Sinofar moaned and trembled, her arms going round his neck, slipping into the sweat-damp curls. But Blake pulled out of her hold, kissing and licking her breasts, trailing his tongue over her flat stomach while one hand dipped down between her legs. She was already wet and slippery and he probed with one finger as his tongue slid into her navel

"Blake!" She gasped, arching up. His weight shifted and he held her down with his body. His finger left her and he moved between her legs, positioning himself for entry. Supporting the majority of his weight on one hand, he brushed her cheek with the other, placing a soft kiss to her lips.

"Yes," Sinofar moaned in answer to the unasked question. She slid her hands over his ass, his muscles bunching under the caress as she pulled him closer. Gently, he pressed into her. So many sensations. Blake gasped her name as he felt her muscles clench tightly about him, milking him. So tight and warm, Blake thought distractedly, Sinofar's arms tight around him, encouraging his thrusts. He moved within her, rocking his hips, drawing a pleasured gasp from her. It had been a long time for him. Jenna had encouraged him but he had always held back. Some clouded memory always intruding, reminding him of one he had loved who was now lost to him. But that memory vanished now under the onslaught of pleasure.

Blake was so strong, powerful, his body thrusting demandingly inside her. Sinofar reveled in it; enjoying every second of sensation until her muscles tensed in climax. Her contractions seized Blake's cock, driving him over the edge to join her. She felt him slump exhausted onto her and squirmed at his heavy weight. He mumbled softly, kissing her lips before rolling off. She stretched and snuggled up to him, his arm wrapping around her.

She awoke later as her pillow moved.

"Blake?"

Blake was sitting up, looking down at her with a mix of sadness and affection. She reached up, brushing the skin of his chest. He caught her hand and brushed it against his lips. Laying back down, Blake pulled her into his arms. She rested against warm, damp skin. It was comfortable, they had been so intimate, Blake had been so gentle. Turning her face into his chest, Sinofar kissed a pectoral, the nipple hardening at her touch, Blake's hands wrapping themselves in her hair.

"You're going to let me go back to my ship."

It wasn't a question. Sinofar knew Blake realized that at the beginning. "Yes." She regretted the loss but there had been no real choice. She would not have given up what they had shared. It was more than worth the pain of separation. And she could not have

resisted Blake anyway.

"You don't intend to join me there?" There was faint hope in his eyes but it faded as she declined to answer. "I thought not." He paused thoughtfully. "I won't ask why." He traced her lips with a gentle fingertip.

Sinofar smiled. "I wanted you, needed you. If we were not who we are, it might have been."

"But if we were not, we never would have met."

"Do not be too sure of that, Roj Blake."

He looked puzzled but resigned as be reached for his clothes, pulling them on slowly as she watched from the forest floor.

"If you ever decide to leave this place..." Blake trailed off, well-aware that was unlikely to occur. He didn't want to go but he couldn't possibly stay here with her. In another time, he would have loved her, kept her with him. At least he had his memories this time, he thought sadly.

Sinofar rose and placed a gentle kiss on his cheek. "If I were to do so, I would find you. Now go and join your companions." Blake bent to kiss her and she responded, her hand trailing into his curls, pressing against his temple as their kiss deepened.

"Forget and farewell." She spoke the words very softly and he was gone. He wouldn't remember but she always would, as a comfort and a regret.

___________________

"I shall remember while the light lives yet. And in the night time I shall not forget."

A. C. Swinburne


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