Below is the next bit of my novella, Dropping Slow, which I am posting serially during the month of June, as part of the Every Single Day Challenge to raise money for Sharon the Light. If you’re enjoying the story, please feel free to donate via my Crowdrise page ($10 minimum donation) or directly, at this link (no minimum donation). Everyone who donates will receive an ebook copy of Dropping Slow, once it’s all posted (if you donate directly, please leave a comment to let me know!).
Note: This bit’s rated R! I am so completely cool with the idea of, like, my mom or my high school English and drama teachers reading this, yeah, no blushing going on at all right now.
The first time she had looked at this door, orange then too, Tace Flogyston had known she’d found her space. She’d packed her things and left Holtzdorrne House, planning to use the monthly allowance from her trust to pay for a nicer townhouse than a student might usually afford, and spend the five years before her required military enlistment in it, reading books and ignoring her parents.
Then she met Linea, and then Javi, and it had become theirs. She signed it over to them before she left.
Her hand shakes as she knocks on the door, and she doesn’t know if it’s nerves or just the tremors she still gets sometimes. Of course, since she can barely breathe, she thinks it’s probably nerves. Maybe she should have gone to the library first. Gotten her bearings. Completely lost her nerve.
There’s the sound of the latches, and the orange door swings open, and …
… oh. Oh, it’s Javi, tall and skinny and he looks older, but he has that crazy corkscrew curly hair (and part of her is stupidly pleased that she knows that must mean he’s been writing, because he always shoves his hands into it and makes it crazy when he’s writing) and those darker brown freckles on his dark skin; he looks shocked, beyond surprised, blinking at her before he grabs her by the shoulders, hard, and hauls her into his arms; she feels his face in her hair and the shuddery breath in his chest as she wraps her own arms around him.
“Javi, is it her, is she–?” They both of them reach out for Linea; she’s got a dishcloth in one hand that gets smashed between them as they all fall into each other in the front hall, and Linea’s the first one to kiss her, Javi rocking them both back and forth murmuring “Tace” over and over as she loses herself in Linea’s mouth, and then Javi kisses her, too, and she feels like she’s drowning again, not in color and cold this time but in scent and touch and home.
Home is Camwenne. Camwenne is Linea and Javi in the house with the orange door.
It’s a while before they surface from each other, though all they do is touch and kiss, piled on Javi’s bed. Linea is tracing the scar on her shoulder where her port was, a nearly perfect raised pink circle, over and over. Javi’s got his arms around her, and she thinks he might take up residence in her hair.
“You–did you know?” she asks. “I didn’t … message because I wanted to surprise you.”
“Tace, really?” Lin says with a laugh. “There were two big black trucks parked along the street for a week. We kept seeing people going in and out of the house across the street with equipment and stuff, so we thought …”
“We hoped,” Javi corrects with a grin.
“Hoped a lot.”
“Trini kicked me out,” Tace admits with a smile into Javi’s forearm, and Linea glances up, sharp, then smiles back, moves in closer. Her hair, soft and blonde, brushes Tace’s chin. “She said …”
I think it would be a good idea to get you away from them–I see Mom ‘reminding’ you of things, and Dad wants you to salute on command, and sometimes you seem like you might actually do it … And I think you’re safer somewhere else.
“She said she’d tell our father I was planning a coup,” she finishes, and they both laugh; she doesn’t tell them how much of Trini’s gallows humor went into that joke. “And I need a security detail now? They’re supposed to stay out of the way, mostly. Is that … I don’t want to–”
“Are you staying?” Linea interrupts, running a thumb over the scar, eyes on hers.
“I want to,” she says slowly–she says everything slowly, now, but this even more slowly. “If you want me, I’d like to.”
Linea nods, then, eyes wide, voice soft. “Stay,” she says.
“Don’t go again,” Javi says into her hair; she remembers this about him, that he can’t always look at her when he says important things. “The security detail can live in the kitchen so long as you’re not going away again.”
“Okay,” she whispers, and Linea kisses her as Javi pulls her tight to him.
They don’t often do this, she recalls, the three of them together; the memory of their bodies seems so much further away, though, like an echo, or remembering that there is a memory. It’s almost like a first time, nervous and intense and lost in skin and sound and surrounded with warmth, not cold; there’s not a bit of her cold, and she glories in that as much as in the feel of Javi’s body along hers, of Linea’s hair between her fingers, of their hands on her breasts and belly.
Tace shuts her eyes and the nebula is in front of her, filling her weeping eyes and her aching head with beautiful and strange and glory and drowning death and pain and lost with movement, undulating color; she focuses on them, the bodies of her lovers to keep her here, in Javi’s bed, in the tangle of him and Linea, submerged, subsumed in the pleasure of them, and not strapped to her seat in her filth and blood, trapped in her rioting limbs, drifting there, staring at the undulating oranges pinks and reds as her life distantly dripped out of her port.
Javi’s got a hand between them; and she groans, focuses on the sharp white pleasure of it, grinds harder into his hand and pushes her fingers harder into Linea, who starts to come with a long, high-pitched whine that Tace doesn’t remember, her mind frantic with trying to remember, but then Javi moans “Lin, oh, god–” into Tace’s shoulder, and her body is shaking, out of her control and she’s crying out, almost screaming. It’s too much, too much sensation and not enough control, and she’s alone in the orange pink red clouds of her orgasm, her breath harsh in her ears as it ends, as she comes down to Javi and Linea withdrawing, retreating, sweaty and messy and smiling shyly, unaware of the nebula in her head.
copyright 2017 by Laura E. Price. Feel free to link to this story–signal boosting is welcome!–but please don’t reproduce it without permission.