April 22, 2012

Beneath the Surface – Chapter Thirteen Part 1

The city’s twilight nightfall had already cycled into simulated daylight by the time Damon and Debra thought about leaving the Heart. A forty-eight hour leave had been encouraged by the council of elders, a kind of belated honeymoon in honor of the couple’s now mutually accepted marital bond.

Duties dictated only two days could be spared before earthbound nation business demanded the sovereign’s full attention again. Having been born to leadership, Damon loved his work as supreme administrator over all Thalians. The long hours and hard decisions came easily to his psychic disposition and physical fortitude. The deeply respected and much lauded council of elders often presented protocols and procedures for all Thalian citizens to live by while trapped below the surface. But in the end, the sovereign’s word was law.

The onset of this year’s Jubilee would be steeped in spectacular Thalian pageantry, as the public joining of Damon and Debra brought a bittersweet end to the propagation experiment started thirty years ago. Their marital bond would also be the first Thalian marriage recorded on Earth, in spite of Debra being the last of her kind.

No less busy than her new husband, Debra had promised to settle down as a serious student in tutored psychic studies and control, and to help Rowan in viral research by supplying numerous new skin and blood samples for the database. The delivered datapad had provided a syllabus of day-long courses and instructors, each day to end in the council chamber for instruction in the duties of a consort, under the tutelage of the elders. For the time being, Manton’s combat classes were relegated to any available spare time, which wouldn’t be much.

Willing to please her new relatives, Debra accepted their enthusiasm in the training of her Thalian half, up to a point. And wasn’t above saying no if pushed too far. Her reclusive nature had yet to adjust to all the constant attention and people that sometimes seemed to zap her strength. But mostly she felt confident at eventually adapting to her new life knowing Damon and Manton were there to beat on in hand-to-hand when she needed an outlet for her frustration.

Their first night on holiday Damon had placed a mumbled call to Manton, who showed up ten minutes later at the door, offering a small package to Damon and a friendly wink and wave at Debra. Where only a half-hour earlier he had been reluctant to even enter the bedroom, now, with package in hand, Damon couldn’t seem to get her underdressed and on the bed fast enough.

His black eyes had blazed with need and love as he draped the thin gold chain about her bare neck, laying the slender gold and crystal Talisman pendant gently between her breasts. It was an exact replica of the bonding pendant he had given her nine years ago in the dream world. Only this time Debra understood its meaning and the ritual words that followed. First Rites may have been claimed and taken in the dream world, but loving each other as physical beings made their joining and journey to the Heart of the Talisman no less special.

Not considered a state of mind or another dimension, the Heart was a sacred place outside of the body, a gift to all bonded Thalians from The Mother and Father God of Home. It was not a solid existence holding onto material things, but more a realm of energy and color and the influence of love’s purest form. Within the journey to the Heart a bonded couple gave much more to each other than just heightened physical pleasure. Those willing to take the time experienced the immortal joys of Home in the shared blending of intellect and lifeforce; a renewing and strengthening of a mortal commitment to each other.

Awareness returned slowly, the only major downfall of the journey to the Heart. The exhaustive toll on the mind and body afterward promised a day of sleeping and little else. They would be lucky to crawl from the bed to the bathroom during the next twenty-four hours. Still in their large comfortable bed, Damon held onto Debra and rolled over onto his back, determined to keep their bodies joined before falling back to sleep.

A stray beam of light helped pull Debra’s consciousness back to the surface from a long comforting slumber. It took a moment to realize the drapes were slightly parted, offering a small point of reference for the widening slice of light that eventually cleaved the darkened room in half.

Fingering the Talisman crystal pendant about her neck, Debra smiled. Many of the memories of the Heart had been demoted to hazy flashes of thoughts and vague vibrant colors. What remained clear was the feeling of an infinite wholeness with another human being, to know another so completely and realize how alone life had been before.

The bond with Damon was real. She could sense him, even now while he slept. How remarkable to know the slight curve of his lips was caused by a deeper sense of contentment in mind and body. The smile broadened as his eyes slowly worked their way open to mere slits. Debra sympathized with his efforts to make that final leap into wakefulness.

“I wanna be inside you again, but I’m too damn tired,” he whispered, covering a yawn. “So I’ll imagine it in full color and be just as happy.”

Debra sprawled across her side of the bed, strong healthy thigh muscles almost groaning in pleasure with her version of deep manipulating stretches. “Why are all these astral travel things so exhausting afterward?”

His large hand rubbed over the bristling whiskers on his neck and chin. Had they still been on Thalia, unwanted facial and body hair would have been easily repressed for a month or more with a localized discharge of channeled energy. Even though he had been raised learning the ways of shaving paraphernalia, occasionally Damon ignored recommended human hygienic procedures and indulged in the effortless precision of his own kinetic power.

Eyes closed, he felt the tiny bristles dissolve in the customary blue glow of painless energy, leaving behind softly smooth golden-toned skin. “I can only surmise there must be payment for the privilege of experiencing perfection,” he chuckled, yawning again. “It’s the reason why the Heart is saved for special occasions.” He rolled his head on the pillow and gazed at Debra and grinned. “Takes too long to recover. Can you imagine the state of the city if everyone was popping off for a trip to the Heart?”

Slender fingers traced the clean strong jaw line where only moments ago had been a dark shadow of prickly stubble. “Please, tell me I can do that with the hair on my own body and I’ll be your sex slave for a week.”

Damon’s tongue lazily flicked over his full bottom lip as he contemplated a full week of Debra at his beck and call. “The week begins—seven full days and nights—as soon as we’re completely recovered, which should be day after tomorrow.”

“Before I say deal, let me clarify the terms,” Debra said, humor in her eyes. “If I can, you have to teach me first.”

“Done,” Damon said without hesitation, pulling her silky nakedness against his chest so they could cuddle spoon-fashion in sleep. In truth, a week of unbridled pleasure would be hard pressed to say exactly who was master and who was slave.

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