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The sudden storm had been startling; sharp and violent, rolling over the hills to the north and east and coming down upon them in the breath of a moment. For an hour or more, it had flung its fury upon the land and river and the usually quiet little creek, ripping the undergrowth from the already rain sodden ground and turning ancient trees that had stood for well over a hundred years into kindling. At times, as the storm surrounded them, the wind had driven straight ahead and the crescendo of its passing became like a tortured scream thought the trees; then it would swirl and eddy, blowing confused, chasing itself into a tighter and still tighter maelstrom of sound and rain and thunder. Battering the little cabin that crouched beneath the relative shelter of the oaks, birch, and fir trees, and the hill that rose above and behind it. And then almost as quickly as it had come: it was gone. But the dark night skies remained as cloud streaked and stained as before as brief showers passed over them. Even, now, a good three hours after the storms passing, the waters of the river and of the deep water creek which fed the river, remained troubled, expectant, tossing the little sailboat lying at an uneasy anchor in the creek, this way and that. In another three hours, dawn would come. But for now, with no moon to lift and fill the silence, there was only the total blackness of night and the metallic sound of halyards banging against metal stays, and the incessant dripping of water from water soaked leaves and fallen trees, the murmur of the stream that ran close upon the cabin and the voice of the rising creek itself. A match flared in the darkness, then was gone. Its sound unnatural in the silence. In its brief light, the framework of a door was imprinted upon the darkness and within its boundaries, a darkish man whose eyes caught the glint of yellow from the flame and reflected the light like two tiny moons reflect the suns rays. "Nat?" His name was Nathianel. Nate, to friends and enemies alike-Nat, to the woman who's voice came out of the darkness behind him. If the light from the match had remained for a moment longer than it had, and had he been facing her, he was certain she would have been surprised by the look of wonder on his face, for in his mind he was back in the research shack, staring into the unearthly bluish light of a radio scope which painted something that should not have been there. Had not been there when he had begun his initial search for the pleasure yacht enroute to the capitol and carrying a most human bit of cargo that he had waited for with trepidation. But abruptly there when he had twisted controls to increase the scopes sensitivity, appearing dim, nearly indiscernable, masked by the stronger return of the ship he had searched for and appearing almost as a ghost. He swore silently to himself. So much had not been done, could not be done; was not done and he was not certain why. He could have radioed in his first observations, irregardless of what he thought he had seen. But the sighting had been too brief. And although he had re-run the calculations that would mask the star field patterns and present him with a clearer contact, he had
neglected, still, to make any kind of call for a kind of independent verification, just glared at the screen as if it were lying to him. When he had finally broken his stupor, moved to reset the scope, make the call, the screen had become a hash of signals generated by the storm and they had had to race back to the cabin. But once they were safe, the storm beating down everything around them, he had continued to hold back and not make any kind of contact. Wasting time. Even then, despite the storm, he could have gotten through to someone, but, and he smiled at the thought, then other things had come up and the call had been further delayed. And now it was impossible as he stared out into the blackness, marking the sounds from the boat over there to his left, the stream that ran behind and curved around the house on its way down to the creek. They had no power. The storm had probably blown a fuse or something had parted in the wind and he was no longer sure that he wanted to make any kind of report. Unsure that if what he had seen were real, that the knowledge was in fact something that should be shared with others at that moment. "Nat?" He finally stirred, looking back over his shoulder into the darkness of the cabin. "Storms gone. Should clear up in a couple a hours or so," he said absently. Unwilling at that moment to devote more attention to Millie. "Then we can go if you want." "Do you think the boat's okay?" He chuckled under his breath. "It had better be, it'll be damned difficult to get out of here." "Then don't you suppose you should check the radio?" "I can do that later. Preferably when there's more light; see the antenna. Dawn will be here pretty soon, anyway." Millie did not immediately answer. Then she said quietly, "And the end of it." No, not now, Millie, he thought. I don't really want to visit this discussion again, one they had been having over a course of a few years. "Perhaps, not," he remarked instead, trying to forestall it. "We can talk about it some more," he said finally. "A little later per--" "I like it here. Its.." "I know. I do too. It's just not practical." "It could be." He nodded. "Well don't you think so, Nat?" "Yes," he said quickly into the night, forgetting that she could not see him. Not even an outline of him because the one emergency light they had, even the remnants of the fire, had long ago gone out. Damned fuse, he thought ruefully. "I guess-- it could be." "Then--" "Later, Millie. Please. I need to think." "About me?" There was laughter in her voice. "No," he said over his shoulder, "definitely not about you. Not now, at any rate. But," he said with a leer, "I will and you'd better be ready." The bedcovers rustled. "I am." Her voice became huskier. "I'm wet already." "Millie," he sighed, "later, all right?." She said nothing for a long moment and he he was afraid this might be the overture to an argument, something he neither wanted or needed at the moment. He heard her sigh. "All right, Nat. I'm
sorry." Oh, for the love of the Great Being, he said to himself. If only she would simply understand. Accept for the moment. But then how could she. She was not really a member of the Council, just an adjunct to it. And although the two of them were connected, each together, professionally...spiritually, there was no provision for telling someone outside the Council of its workings or interests. But more to the point, he needed to try to understand the significance of what he had or thought he had seen with relation to the Council. The adjuncts, everyone else, would perhaps understand its significance, but there were wider implications: to himself, to the Council. To everyone, he realized with a start. And so he had to ponder the connectives, determine if he in fact should radio in what he had seen. He pursed his lips, considering. Nodded his head. If he did, that would in fact mean the end to all this. But only if what I think I saw is actually there. "Night, Nat." "Umm." The bed squeaked as she settled herself. He looked uselessly over his shoulder in her direction, initially smiling, then feeling a grin crease his face as he thought of her. Warming, stirring beneath his robe. No, he said to himself severely, that for later as he pulled on the pipe. The thing was dead, never having gotten a chance to burn. Could he chance it? Perhaps not, but, he would do it anyway. Perhaps if he were particularly careful, cupped the fame so the light would not disturb her... "You might as well light it." "What?" "You might as well light the damned thing. You'll be happier and at least I'll know where you are." "I thought you were going back to sleep." "You didn't hear me then." "Hear you? what in the world do you mean? I heard you before." "I said that I was ready for you again." "Millie," he started, hesitated, searching for the right words. Then discarded the half truths he was about to utter for what he really wanted to say. "I want you too." He stopped. The words seemed trite. "I want you, also," he said again, "but..." She chuckled, the sound coming from deep in her chest. "Why do you people always insist in trying to find an excuse." "I'm not trying to find an excuse, I--" "Yes, you are. And its ridiculous. I don't care-- well I do care-- but I know you've things on your mind. So think about them, then come to me when you're done." A pause: " Provided it isn't too long." They both chuckled. Then he added mockingly, "Just what do you mean, YOU people?" "Never mind. Don't be long." "It won't be." She growled at him, laughed. Nathianel shook his head. Smiled. Playing with me, just as before. And how she played. She was... was... This is not helping, he muttered, straightening, but sagging again, seeing, experiencing the sensations again in his mind of what had been...The rain pelting them, stinging like needles as they stumbled, slid, nearly fell their way into the cabin and
stood there at the window looking out at the fearful storm. Millie was not tall. Nor was she incredibly beautiful at that moment, looking more like a drowned animal than a woman, dark hair streaming down her face, her clothing molded tightly to her slender body. As the door slammed closed behind them, she had gotten them both towels, tossed him one, then draping the thing over her head so her face were hidden for a moment, began rubbing her hair vigorously. He had followed suit, but more sedately. That damned shirt she wore, he said to himself under his breath. It hid nothing. The soft lace of her bra, moving as she had moved as they tumbled down the hill, had incited her nipples into small hard kernels that rose and fell with her breathing. They were like beacons, now, drawing his eyes to them each time a fold of the towel brushed away from eyes as he rubbed his hair and he could see. And then there was the rest of her. Her light coloured shorts, like the shirt, just vaguely hid the skimpy white panties she wore, a band of material that stretched across her hips and narrowed like a triangle to her centre. He supposed some would have said she were hippy. So be it. He liked what he saw. "Is that a gun in your pocket," she quipped, "or are you just happy to see me." He laughed at the tired old saying. Still, as trite as it was, it served, as it seemed she was not the only one the rain had revealed. "Let me get out of these things," she said. "You go make your notes and I'll fix us something." "Good. I'll get a fire going, burn off the chill." She waved her hand as she retreated to the bedroom. Uncomfortable in his wet clothes, he stripped off his shirt, draped it across a stool, leaving on his undershirt, then bent to the task of starting a fire in the hearth. In a minute, he had it started, watched as the kindling caught, held, and then finally ignite the slightly larger logs. When he was satisfied, he stood with a grunt as Millie emerged from the bedroom. She was wearing her old housecoat. Basa, he murmured, I hate that thing. "Fires going." Millie went to the stove and kneeled down, getting a pot from within the stove. "How's soup sound?" "Sounds good." "We've got some bread left from last night." She turned towards him. "If you'd remembered to bring the rest of the stuff from the boat, I probably could have made something else." "Soup 'il be fine." "Okay." She smiled and turned back to the stove. He crossed over to the desk amidst the clanging of pots and pans and kitchen utensils, but did not sit down. The sky pulled his attention. It was dark out there, amidst the rain, but even further away, the sky was blacker. A gust of wind pressed against the cabin and it creaked. The old fir tree he had known since he started coming here some ten years earlier, was swinging wildly, as the storm tore at it from every direction. It looked as if they would be in for a bit of a blow. He glanced back at Millie. She was totally absorbed, only looking up now and again, when the wind chose that moment to rise and shake the cabin. She was paring some kind of vegetable. Taking short, quick, staccato like, strokes. Then she put the knife down and walked over to the cupboard, reached up and brought down some can of something or other, then came back to the stove, her small breasts
moving, vibrating. It almost looked as she were not wearing anything; no halter or bra to restrain their movements. As if she had only taken the time to strip the shorts, socks, and wet underthings away and thrown that damned housecoat on to cover herself. Basa, I hate that damned thing. But he admitted to himself, that every time she wore the thing, his imagination would begin to work over time imagining that which was underneath. Even now he could feel the heat of his own beginning erection. Notes. I need to get down what I saw. But he thought to himself, no. There was a time to explore and question things, and a time to explore and question others, and he knew which time this was. He crossed towards her. "Soup smells good." "Umm," she just said as she continued stirring the pot. Little beads of sweat were on her scalp as he stepped up close to her, put his arms around her, and hugged her closely. "That feels good," she said. "I love you." "Love you, too," he murmured as he opened one hand and captured a breast through the housecoat. "What are you trying to do," she questioned mockingly. He did not answer. He continued to kneed her breast with his hands, savoring the feeling of the skin beneath the housecoat as his other hand moved down her flank, feeling the bones of her rib cage. Going lower, still lower, encountering the top of her panties, and going still lower. "You're going to cause me to bur-- ". The words were lost in her sudden intake of breath as he pressed the palm of his hand against her mound of Venus and a single finger moved the length of the opening between her legs through the house coat. Moved quickly, the first time, then slower, agonizingly slower once again, teasing her unmercifully. Millie moved back and pressed herself tightly against him, grinding herself against his erection. He stroked her again as she adjusted her legs to offer him more access to herself. Then he moved his hand away. But not from her body. Just shifted his attention lower, to her leg, while his upper hand continued to press and caress, and feel and circle her breast through the cloth of the house coat. She seemed to sigh as she said. "What are you trying to do to me? The soup will burn." The slight, circular movement of his hand on her breast had succeeded in doing two things. The nipple of one had grown nearly rock hard, while the other had only responded half heartedly, as if somewhat putout because it had been neglected. He grinned to himself that soon, he would fix that. The other was that the buttons of her housecoat had become undone. So now, he reached within the folds of the cloth and gently, almost secretively in his touch, fondled the other breast and its nipple as Millie's breathing caught once again in her throat. The centre point of her breast rose as he nuzzled her neck, kissed her ear, then let his tongue slide across her skin. Millie seemed to shiver. The hand on her leg had not been still. It caressed her in ever widening circles. Always slowly, but sometimes jerkily. And while circling, he would sometimes press gently, then not, making it seem as if his touch had somehow disappeared. Then harder, establishing a rhythmic counterpart to his strokes and touches higher up. And caught within the rhythm of touches and movements, Millie moved, her breathing deepening, as the motions became
quicker, pressing harder against him and exciting him so that his own measured and controlled breathing had become ragged. "The...the...s..soup," she managed to breath. "Screw it," he said into her ear as he kissed her neck, touched the risen nipple of her breast, pressed the inside of her thigh with a finger which slid up and up and up, bringing with it the housecoat. Somehow, his hand caught the hem of the thing, was able to slip beneath the house coat to press against the side of her thigh, then move to within the confines of her underthings, to move amidst the triangle of downy hair, then down and within. Then to press and stroke the dampness within. Millie had long since stopped stirring the soup. But she still grasped the ladle. Now, she let loose of the thing, reached down for the control on the butane stove, twisted it off as Nate's fingers and hand moved within her and on her. Touching her. Pressing parts of her skin and inner soul that sent little shocks and spasms through her. She could not escape. Did not want to escape. But Nate's movements within her, her movements against him, the feel of his cock pressing hard against her as her hips and ass moved crazily against him, only drove her higher. And she could tell from Nate's tortured breathing, that he was similarly effected. He wanted to be in her. But he thought-- if feeling at that moment could be considered as thought-- that, no. It was too soon. The kettle needed to be boiling over. She moaned. The sound came from within as she reached behind, him, felt the wetness of his pants from the rain, then moved her hands sideways between them and grasped has cock. Abruptly he stopped teasing her breast, touching the so sensitive nipples, squeezing them between his forefingers, or tracing them with a fingernail, starting at the top of her chest then tracing down the flesh to caress the bottom side of her breast; touching her cunt, moving his fingers through the downy silk of hair as he withdrew her moisture, used it to re-lubricate. Rather than continuing with what he knew were his maddening touching of both breast and cunt, he drew his hand from beneath the cloth of her panties and finished unbuttoning the housecoat while her hands clawed at him, tugging at his belt and zipper, struggling to reach inside his clothing and touch and hold and fondle him. With his head and lips on her shoulder and neck, licking, biting with playful nips, then sucking the skin into his mouth and caressing with his tongue, his two hands shoved aside the folds of the housecoat, held both breasts so that the lengthening nipples protruded through his fingers. Like a gentle vice, his fingers drew close together, capturing the two little nodules and Millie, for a brief second, stopped her wild, clawing and gasped, moaned, seemed to wilt before strength flowed back into her legs. "Yes. Yes," she said as she nodded her head back, leaned it against his shoulder as he continued to kiss her neck, her cheek, sticking his tongue into the corner of her mouth, then sliding it up to her ear. Her chest was heaving. Rising higher, falling. Then rising again in little jerks. Slowly, almost agonizingly he hoped, his hands traced their way down either side of her body as Millie's one hand and arm rose up and pressed his head down against her shoulder and the other
was finally able to loosen the belt, draw the fastener of his pants down, and reach inside. She still had not touched him, flesh to flesh, but it would be only a matter of time and he felt himself already at a boil; and still he wanted her to climb higher. Basa, he wanted to be in her. At her hips, his hands stopped, then both slid down the crease of her legs, playing with the edge of her panties and skin, capturing stray hairs that had escaped. He slid his fingers up and down rhythmically, teasing her as Millie's hand moved aside the cloth of his underwear and finally held him. It seemed awkward for her; or perhaps it was what he did at that moment that made it difficult for her. Both hands slid within the confines of the panties and entered her. One finger found the lengthening bud of her clitoris, the other entered her wetness then began to move in and out of her, slowly, maddeningly so that it seemed she involuntarily moved her hips while his finger pressed, pressed, rubbed, stroked the bud of her cunt. Her breath was tortured. Almost a gasp. Coming quickly. Her lips parted. Her eyes closed. And it was almost as if he could see the sensations of his hands coursing through her. She tried to escape from his fingers. Moving her hips and cunt back and forth, up and down; tried to turn so that she faced him, but he held her. Tightly. Increased the rhythm of his finger on her clit. "Yes. Please," she sighed in his ear. There was no more strength in her legs. He could feel her wilting as she started to buck against him. Her breath coming quicker, louder through her open lips. Together, they sank to the floor. As they did so, he withdrew his hands and pulled the coat from her shoulders, tossing it aside. She took that moment to turn in his arms and face him, her hands opening his pants and freeing his cock. Her hands were warm on him and she leaned forward, kissing his chest. Catching his nipple between her teeth, biting him gently. Can I last, he wondered. Can I-Her hand was stroking him, the touch firm, yet still light the way he liked. And he could feel his own explosion building. I can't. I-- "Ah," he moaned as her fingers stroked him. Quickly, with short, small, movements. He moaned again. "I want to be in you." "Yes," she breathed, as his hands once again tore at her panties, rolling the top down and away from her cunt, revealing her to him. He reached forward, touched her breasts and nipples with one hand, her cunt and clit with the other. Stroking. Pressing. "Now. Now," she murmured. "Now." Yes, he answered within as he lay her down on the floor, pulled the panties from her, then divested himself of his clothes. She looked up at him, her brown eyes burning, mouth slightly parted. The twin mounds of her breasts had nearly disappeared, but as he touched her cunt with his thumb, mashing the little button of her centre, she moved, spasmodically, and her breasts moved like rippling water. The sight drove him to a frenzy as he bent down, caught a nipple between his lips, then alternately sucked, bit down gently, then swirled his tongue around it. Her hands were hot upon him. Stroking him harder. Quicker. And within him, the fire was out of control. He wanted to be in
her now, feel her around him, caressing his cock with her wet, damp heat. He blew across her nipple and her movements on his cock faltered. He took that moment to lower himself between her legs. "Guide me," he breathed. Nearly out of breath. But he need not have said anything. All ready she was pulling him, directing him to her entrance. Trying to insert him into herself. He pushed. Seemed to find some kind of obstruction. Didn't care as he reared up, pressed forward again. She moved her hips somehow. Shifted them and she opened and he slid within her. As he entered her he felt her legs rise up on either side of him, then press against him. She moved. Her cunt tightened, released him. Tightened again. If I move, he moaned inwardly, I won't, can't last. Damn that woman's ass. Millie moved her hips upwards and he surged forward into her, deep, as he moved a hand from beside her head, inserted it between their bodies, and touched her. Pressed. Pressed again. Pressed still again as he matched with his finger and cock the thrust, the momentary hold, the thrust of her hips and cunt. Suddenly she stiffened. Lifting him up. Her legs tightened and she moaned, her voice torn from her as she cried out softly. He with drew his hand and thrust into her as her hands grabbed his ass and seemed to be pulling him in deeper. While around his cock, her cunt spasmed crazily until, all control lost, he exploded within her in short, violent thrusts. Then all was quiet between them, the only sound the quieting rhythm of their breathing, the softening of two hearts racing, the storm beyond the cabin. They had lain that way for a few more seconds, a minute or so; time really had no meaning. Her legs were wrapped tightly around him, arms holding him, the two of then feeling the iron of his erection diminishing. She had complained once, that he had a tendency to withdraw from her too quickly, as if he needed to sever the contact between them. And he admitted that that had been true, but not because he wished to sever the touching, but because he had worried that his weight might be too much upon her. She had laughed, said, "If you get heavy, I'll tell you." So now he lay within her, growing smaller until of its own volition his cock with drew from her. He looked down at her. Smiled. She returned his smile, looked away for a moment, then back at him. "I hate your damned housecoat, Millie." Millie broke into laughter as she ran her fingers and hand up and down his back. "Why do you think I wear it," she finally managed. "You-- " he started, then joined her in her laughter. Yes, he considered, she could play. But one day. One day. He cleared his throat as he glanced upwards into the blackness of the sky and it was almost as if he could see the two lights he had seen on the screen up at the shack in his minds eye. Two targets... No, he amended, not targets, But in fact, that was what they were. He just did not particularly like the word, but it would suffice. Suffice for now. One target-- object-- was where it should have been, where he expected it to be. Indeed, he, chiefly, others of the Council, secondarily, had been the cause of its very presence and of its
being there. In its unadorned way, it signaled change, an alteration in things as they had been. Both exciting and fearful at the same time. As it came closer, the presence aboard it would become a kind of watchword among the people of the Syndicate. What would I call you. Overlord? No, the council called it the Designate, which translated to the 'Chosen One' in their minds. And you were that, he mused. Chosen, designated, and in time, designed to become something beyond what others were. A part of, but separated from all; inviolate, autonomous, yet leashed to both the Council, and by that, to everyone. It seemed, was, an impossible task for him to do. But then, he surmised, it had been as equally impossible to have found someone who in essence belonged to no one and who would belong to them all. Why is it that I think of him as him? Does it mask something with in me? No, he chided himself. Until they had found him, He had simply been an it, with no distinction between man and woman. If it had been a woman, then the task would have been equally as impossible, so this was so much useless moralizing. Thank the Being That Was, they no longer concerned themselves with that bit of petty insanity. But the other light...a measure of distance beyond. How far, he did not know. But there, perhaps. That light, that if it were real, in a place where it should not have been, meant...meant what? Unknown. Nathaniel sighed, finally, and deliberately with a half amused glance over his shoulder, relit the pipe. He used the match to peer at Millie, but she had her back to him. She turned then, long hair cascading over her shoulder as she looked. She considered him, smiled, and nestled down beneath the coverlets. The match flared out and the darkness returned, but there was a barely perceptible lightening to the night sky to the south and west. Had it been there or hadn't it? Had he been looking at a possible future? He did not know. Could not know. But it would have to wait till the morrow when he could again search for it. But for now, he wanted to create another future as he tapped the burning coals from the pipe and padded noiselessly to the bed.
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