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The Deepest Hold

By Viv Martella's Ghost
Page 1 of 1

It's a smuggler thing.

The most precious cargo is always stowed in the deepest hold.   It's disguised with dirt and cheap packaging and left lying about, casually, like a misplaced tool or forgotten junk, where anyone may find it but none will recognise it.   None will touch it.   None but the cleverest will bruise or steal it.

At first, with Blake, she feared she'd exposed it.   The Stannis cool blistered with the sudden unexpected urge to change her life.   Unlike her, Blake lived on the outside, his precious cargo announced to any who'd listen: "This is what I carry!" he claimed, holding his fist high, and clasping inside it - nothing.   Nothing but hope.   And as Avon rolled his eyes and walked away, she stood transfixed.   Feeling naked but proud, an inspired and willing dupe.

Then it was Zen, flooding the aqueducts of her mind, ripping through greasy locks, barred doors, nailed half-rotted crates to touch her guarded core.   The raw precious thing that was herself, stowed.   Like creeping fingers reaching for her heart.   Like Blake's lounging confidence oozing sex black as bile.   Like -

<<Jenna.>>

It still made her flinch.

So intimate, delicate, a word spoken in a bubble and blown to her intact.   Uncorrupted by impact with other ears, with air.   Like innocence.

She released the drivers.   "Zen, switch to automatics."

"Confirmed."

She turned from the console to the doorway, eyebrow and pout prepared.   Cally smiled back.   And then there was another word bubble, but no word in it.   Merely a spreading warmth and fire in her mind.   A telepathic lick.

"Mm," hummed Jenna.

"I do not wish to interrupt you," said Cally aloud.

"Don't worry.   You're not," Jenna replied, stepping down from the pilot's seat.

"I know how you value your time piloting Liberator.   I too value time spent practising my skills."

Jenna laughed.

"If you were anyone else I'd take that for a line."

She leaned back against Vila's console, hands on hips, eyebrow in position and eyes twinkling.   Cally stood awkwardly before her - so competently physical when anyone was ill, but so desperately hopeless at flirtation.

"I wondered if the mutoid had hurt you.   You fought well but she almost overpowered you."

"Yes, it was rather a close encounter."   Jenna took Cally's hand, turned the wrist upwards and made a circle there with her fingertip.   "She had a sort of wrist proboscis for drinking blood.   Did you see it?   I would have been pierced, drained and killed."

Cally's steady eyes looked at her.   "Not a pleasant death."

"No," agreed Jenna, unsure.   The mutoid's gaze had been cold, but hungry.   She'd wanted to taste the deep, deep inside of Jenna, and Jenna had almost let her.   She had two instincts when the mutoid extended her feeder; to fight back was the second.   That was new.

Cally unfolded her hand to clasp Jenna's fingers.   Like Blake, she lived her life on the outside.   Her eyes smiled.

<<I am glad she did not succeed.>>

The surge of warmth, the fire again.   Flickering into the darkest hold.

"Thanks," purred Jenna, and kissed her.

She was learning not to panic when it happened.   She was learning to like it.


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