This scene contains a graphic depiction of consensual sex.
Murati wondered if she would still come tonight.
They had promised, but then–
As brief as the fight was, she had been awful to Karuniya with those few words.
At least there was electricity in the hall now.
When she got home after her meeting, and the subsequent events she wanted far, far from her mind, her hallway’s power had been restored. When she arrived, her synthesizer music was blaring again, barely muffled by the door. A gaggle of engineers, still working on the farther parts of her hallway, stared at her as she appeared before them, ‘the owner of the very noisy room.’
“It’s DJ Hard Roe!” She shouted at them, an attempt at humor they did not appreciate.
Everyone got back to work and Murati disappeared into her room.
First thing she did was use the panel near the door to quiet her music.
She then sank back against the closed door behind her and sighed deeply.
All the way down the door, until she was seated with her arms around her knees.
The silence in the room just made her head pound harder with shame and anxiety.
“Stupid. You’re so fucking stupid; arrogant, stuck up, bitch. Stupid.”
All of it was meant to assail herself. She could not fault Karuniya anything now.
She pounded her fist on the door behind her.
Her alarm clock continued to count the minutes and seconds. It was 1100 hours now.
She had a full day ahead of her still.
Time kept moving. Life went on. Murati just had to deal with it.
Sighing deeply, she stood up, one hand on the door, another on the wall panel.
DJ Hard Roe’s “Abyssal Love” album then began to play once more.
There was a rich sound to it. DJ Hard Roe really took advantage of the ever-increasing sophistication of computer software to make fascinating sounds, but she wove in traditional melodies to create what she dubbed “the sound of modern sex.” Murati quietly revered her style.
It was the soundtrack to most of her days, ever since its release a year ago.
Perhaps not the sound of modern sex, for her, at least not then or most days.
To her, it was the sound of everyday life beneath the currents.
Sometimes gentle, sometimes harsh. Erratic, shifting; then dramatically winding down.
Murati sighed. Life went on. When next she saw Karuniya, she would apologize.
For now, as she recognized before, she had a whole day to live, here, by herself.
From the nightstand drawer, she removed her reading glasses and set them on the table.
She then removed an injector and a bottle of medicine and set them there too.
Her coat was still practically spotless. She put it and her pants back in the wardrobe.
She removed her full bodysuit and changed out into a two-piece swimsuit instead.
The top was sleeveless, front-zipped and cut just above the belly; and the bottom was a pair of shorts, all made of plastic and synthetic fiber. All black, and unlike the tight bodysuit it had a bit more give. This was the sort of suit you could wear comfortably around your room.
Uniform policy for the military required full suits for meetings and combat alert.
Around her room, a sporty two-piece was just the thing for Murati.
She closed the wardrobe and pressed a button on the wall.
Had the music not been so loud, she would have heard the wardrobe mist her clothes with moisture and a cleaning solution. Then a warm mist and a strong fan would have dried them off.
Murati hovered back to the drawer.
She picked up the injector and filled it with medicine.
Gently, she ran a finger down the end of the injector. It was sharp.
With one hand she pulled her bottom down a little below the hip.
Her other hand stabbed the injector into her side and pushed down the button on the back.
She gritted her teeth. It hurt; it wasn’t supposed to, but she had made it hurt.
There was something cathartic about it. Both the self-loathing, and the hormones.
“Fuck.” She mumbled. “You suck, Murati.”
She pulled the injector out and dropped it on the nightstand. There was a dribble of blood.
When she mastered herself and ceased to cringe at the pain, Murati tremulously opened the drawer and put the vial of medicine back inside. There was more medicine in there. A pill bottle; and a few packets of powder meant to dissolve below her tongue. She looked over the packets.
She had asked her doctor for the powder. For a special occasion she had said sheepishly.
Like the condoms also in the drawer, it was likely to now go unused.
She threw them back in the drawer and withdrew the pill bottle.
Taking two yellow pills from it, she walked over to one of the wall panels.
At the push of a button the shower opened. It was not only a shower: it was a very cramped full bathroom. To even get in she had to push the toilet down below the level of the floor with one foot, at which point it would lock in and become the vent for the dirty shower water.
She was not too tall, and she was fairly lean, and still with the door closed, she would be packed in, her arms at her sides, only really able to turn with some effort and reach up or down to scrub herself. She felt like a canned fish, packed in with soapy water or foamy mist.
There were barely centimeters of headroom at the top.
Water usage was controlled, as the machine was programmed with its weekly allotment. Foamy soap was dispensed from the sides and the roof, water could be sprayed, misted, or dispensed as a full shower, and water for drinking could be procured as well.
It was this latter function that Murati now desired.
She opened a tiny side-drawer and produced a reusable cup.
From one of the rear water sprayers she filled the cup.
She took her pills, and drank some cold, clear fortified drinking water.
Refreshed, her medical regimen taken care of, she closed the shower and sat on her bed.
“So Murati, what now?”
It was 1135 hours, and the whole day was still ahead.
Murati laid back in bed, facing the wall, and pressed her fingers on the panel.
Everything was context sensitive. In a sense, her entire wall was the panel, and any square she touched could become controls. The screen was poor quality. Even the minicomputer she looked at back at the Navy HQ was easier on the eyes. Text and images were poorly rendered, so browsing BBSes on her wall was a pain. It was really only good for daily tasks and playing music. The room’s computer box was under her bed, along with her modest collection of diskettes.
There was LAN access, but for anything other than official broadcasts it was quite slow.
Between the clunkiness of the room computer and the power outages, she ultimately asked for and received a battery-powered alarm clock that could reliably remind her of scheduled tasks.
She wished she had loaned a minicomputer from the library.
For a moment, she switched off the music from the computer and tuned into a broadcast over the local area network. It took a moment to receive, both because establishing a LAN connection was arduous, and her computer itself was old and overburdened. When the connection finally got through, and stabilized, it was rock solid, however. While the picture was terrible, even when she tried to restrict it to only occupying one wall without blending into the ceiling, the audio was pretty crisp. You could definitely rely on Union audio equipment, even if the screens still needed a lot of work. Because it was a priority stream, once connected, the broadcast was smooth.
An older man behind a desk read off the day’s announcements in a rich voice.
“–In agricultural news, Lyser’s Agricultural Institute is reporting Corn and Soybean yields are ahead of plan, with a surplus of 18% for the first growing season of 979 AD. Rather than distributing greater amounts of these products, the Union Agricultural Commissariat, in a highly criticized decision, have opted to retain the surplus to grow the strategic reserve as part of the Two-Year Famine Protection Program. In a statement, the Commissariat spokespersons indicated that the allotments are currently ‘In a good place’ and that nutrition has been even, equitable and high quality in the Union. They urged citizens to look ahead and help the country future-proof its food supply by maintaining consumption at these levels and doing their best to work toward surpluses. Lyser has also reported a small increase in the amount of primary pollinator production–”
Murati tapped the panel to swap back to music.
Agricultural news was extremely important to the Union because it was a Plan Year.
It was not Murati’s interest or forte, however.
A few more taps, and her walls began to display moody colors for ambiance.
DJ Hard Roe returned to life with the rebellious, crackly beats of “Euphotic Hatefuck.”
Murati donned her glasses and withdrew one of her books from the pile.
“Remember to return these.” She mumbled. But she would not. Not yet anyway.
All of them had thick binding and covers. They were called “limestone paper” books but the pages were made of a complicated mineral compound, with some petrol products in there too. She could get books loaded as text files on a minicomputer, from the same library where she got the books. But there was something she liked about the physical books. Perhaps there were less distractions involved. Or their immediacy: turning the pages for example. Murati could not pin it down. But she would rather read about the Empire’s wars against Alaize to its west, on paper.
It was 1216 and she still had the whole day ahead of her.
At 1300 hours however, she was informed of a visitor at her door.
The alert appeared on the wall and muted her music.
“Lunch! Ms. Nakara, your combined lunch– would you like ‘A’ or ‘B’ today?”
“I’ll take ‘B.’ Please leave it at the door.”
Murati called out. She was not dressed modestly enough for polite company.
“Sure thing! Please pick it up while it’s still warm.”
This was the last thing the delivery boy said before the music kicked back in.
After a few moments had passed, Murati cracked open the door, slipped her arm out and pulled the lunchbox into the room. It was a white plastic case with a spork included.
Inside, the box was divided into four courses.
There was a corn flatbread, a portion of pickled lettuce with an oily tomato relish, a soybean and yeast cutlet, and a fruit preserve. The pickles looked crisp, but the flatbread was a little stiff. The protein cutlet was slightly firm on the outside, soft inside, and coated in a bit of sauce, probably flavored with more yeast, corn or soy, or all three. On top of the cornbread there was a little packet of citrus powder, to be torn open, spilled into a cup and drank with water from the shower.
She wondered what was in the ‘A’ menu. She liked the cutlets, so she lucked out.
Murati picked up her cup, mixed herself the citrus drink and with military discipline, quickly devoured her lunch. She did pause to taste the cutlet, which had a nice, sweet-and-savory taste. In a matter of minutes, she had eaten. A box lunch was not usually a meal to obsess over. One did not even order such meals. They were provided daily to every Station resident.
When she was done, she opened a slot in the wall and sent the box down a chute.
Wherever it was that they went, they would be recycled for materials.
Murati then spent the next several hours in her books.
There was not really day or night for her. The Station environment harkened back to these strange contradictions of human life in its present state: at some point during the course of the day her lights automatically dimmed just a little, when the computer believed she should be winding down for the day. But Murati would simply raise the brightness of the room lights back.
In a fit of pique, she finally got up from her bed.
Murati stepped into the shower, underwear and all.
She got a splash of water, a mist of freshner and then a warm spray to dry herself off.
Her next destination was her wardrobe.
She pushed her uniforms and wetwear aside. In one corner, she had a pair of sleek pants, dark blue with strips of translucent material below the thigh, as well as a button up synthetic white shirt with a black collar and elbow-length sleeves. Both had been acquired for a special occasion.
“Might as well not let them go to waste.”
She put the shirt on, buttoning it up to just over her breasts. She then unzipped her swimsuit top until the zip was right below the buttons: that way she exposed her collar and just the littlest bit of her chest. The pants, she wore without a belt. Everything fit perfectly; she could see her whole look for herself in the mirror in the back of the wardrobe.
Just like the models in the culture ‘zines.
She had seen the clothes on a dummy in a co-op. Murati had little sense of fashion.
But Karuniya, who had tagged along to shop, liked the look of them.
“That tall, dark soft-butch look really suits you.” Karuniya had said.
“I’m more like average and lightly toasted.” Murati had replied.
“If you really believed in yourself, you’d be so hot, you know?”
Murati did not exchange for the clothes right then.
She did come, sans Karuniya, the next day. And then she acquired them.
They had cost her half of her credits, but it was worth it.
Even if Karuniya was not there to see it, the clothes were amazingly comfortable.
She liked the look. Particularly the gap of brown skin at her neck and collarbone area.
While the pants really clung to her, they felt so easy to move in.
Murati did feel like a much more confident woman was staring back from the mirror.
A woman in her prime, lean with a refined expression and striking features, rebelliously short and untidy black hair, auburn eyes that shone with glamor, strong shoulders, long legs.
She was a complete and total specimen.
This woman could do anything.
She might even apologize to Karuniya for today.
Heaving a long sigh, Murati made for the bed and dropped herself on it.
It was 18:05 and around this time was when she had expected to have a date.
Instead, she was alone.
She hated the way that she reacted to Karuniya and she could not keep it out of her mind any longer. While she cared about her career (and who could say that this opportunity would not advance it?) she knew from the bottom of her heart that she cared about Karuniya too. And even if they never dated again, she would absolutely hate losing her dearest friend in the station.
“I should go talk to her.”
Her legs wouldn’t move. There was still an unearned sense of stupid pride in her.
She sighed again. She almost considered turning down the synths. The throbbing, sensual sounds of “Two Dolphins Meet Far Away From Home” were starting to compound the difficulty she had coming to any decision or making herself accept anything that had happened. On most days, the soundscape helped her to focus and drown out distraction. Today, everything was a mess.
Her legs still wouldn’t move. “God damn it, what am I doing?” She shouted.
That particular decision, at least, would be taken out of her hands.
Her music paused again by itself, mid-shout.
Murati sat up suddenly.
There was a notification on the wall. Someone was knocking on the door.
Because this was someone authorized to the room computer, an ID image was shown.
Shoulder-length hair, bright eyes, olive skin. An innocent smile.
She had taken this picture at the Academy, with her hair dyed green.
“I brought a peace offering.”
Karuniya called from the other side of the door.
Murati was still as hesitant as before to speak. To own up; to apologize.
Nevertheless, she found herself quietly opening the door.
“I know you’re annoyed with me.” Her partner said.
Karuniya walked in with a confident strut. She knew what she was doing.
She had a bottle in hand and a smile on her softly painted lips.
Like Murati, she had also dressed up for the date night they had promised to have.
“I’m not annoyed with you.” Murati said, trying not to stare too much.
How could anyone be annoyed with someone who looked like that?
Karuniya had also changed out of her full suit. Instead she wore a light-blue one-piece, front-zipped, with a high leg-line and exposed shoulders. Over it she wore an off-shoulder crop top with long, translucent sleeves, all yellow, buttoned just over her breasts, along with a skirt and stockings of a similar color and make. The skirt had a gap around the hips to expose skin.
Those materials had to be synthetic and petroleum products. There wasn’t a cotton shirt in sight in Thassal, or much of the Union. It was too expensive, the growing space at too much of a premium. And yet, the make was so state-of-the-art, so fashionable, Murati almost mistook it.
Murati always found her face radiant; but she had made herself up a bit more.
Her hair had a glittery sheen, still hanging behind her back but brushed with a little more care. Her lips were painted just slightly reddish pink. Her cheeks glittered, flushed slightly pink with a hint of makeup powder. She must have been saving this stuff — it was all amazing. Murati was transfixed with Karuniya as she moved past her to set the bottle down on the nightstand.
“I always thought it was really hardcore how you injected it.”
While Murati was busy staring at Karuniya, the scientist had been dissecting the room. Her eyes had settled on the injector and medicine bottle that was left discarded on the nightstand.
She just barely mastered herself in time to respond with intellect over libido.
“Injections have higher doses than pills. You take them less often.”
“You already take like two pills for other stuff, so do you actually gain any time?”
She had a point, but Murati did not invite her over for health coaching.
In fact, she had been reasonably certain the invitation would be off, after what happened.
“Want a drink? We’ll have to pass around your cup.” Karuniya said.
Murati felt that Karuniya was pointedly avoiding discussing the events from earlier.
She decided to play along. If she was honest with herself, she was happy to see Karuniya.
And that was a response, she assured herself, made with intellect over libido.
“I can’t well turn it down if you went out of your way to get it.” She said.
Karuniya’s bottle contained a sweetened and watered-down corn wine.
They twisted off the cap and poured themselves a cup of the clear brown drink. They sat on the bedside and took turns drinking. Lyser corn wine was a special drink: there was a process to it. Most people would have just gotten a drink of raw corn alcohol and watered it down if they wanted to get drunk. Corn wine was an experience. Of the milieu of flavors, the taste of sweet corn was strongest. Corn wine lived up to its name. Each sip was frothy and slick, coating the tongue. Then followed the sting of the liquor, and the warming sensation as it flowed down the throat.
“This is pretty good.” Murati said. She gently tilted the cup, sloshing the liquor.
“Lyser had a good crop this year! Whatever year this was.” Karuniya said.
She lifted the cup as if to toast and took a sip.
“Year XXX, a good vintage.” Murati joked. Karuniya even laughed at it.
“I’m hungry. Let’s get something! We can pool our credits together if we need to.”
Karuniya put down the bottle on the nightstand. Any wall in the room, save for the sliding doors for the shower and other utilities which had their own controls there, could become a portal for the room computer. Over the nightstand, she put in a request for the food administration page.
Murati, still playing along nonchalantly, simply watched.
A grainy window appeared a few minutes later. Communicating with the wider community of the Station through the LAN was not instantaneous. Broadcasts had bandwidth priority and messages were slow. Eventually their patience was rewarded with the room service page.
“A menu or B menu?” Karuniya asked. Murati simply shrugged.
Like magic, a few minutes later, there were a few knocks on the door.
Once the delivery was made, Murati simply picked up the food at her doorstep.
Dinner was similar to lunch, with the addition of a soup cup and pickled eggs. There was a potato salad, bread, and a savory protein cutlet, likely soy and specially bred yeast.
The two of them sat on the floor with their backs to the bedframe.
“Not exactly a candle-lit co-op table date.” Murati sighed.
“What is a date, but the two people who are together?”
Karuniya sidled up to her on the bed and linked their arms together, holding Murati’s hand.
There was a sweet scent wafting up from her that reminded Murati of the botanical garden at the Academy. Flowers; barely seen outside of a lab in the Union. But their scent was still there. Had Karuniya gone to visit the garden? Did she shed tears under the heavy scent of the plants?
That image was just too painful for Murati to keep ignoring.
“I’m sorry.” Murati said.
“I’m sorry too.” Karuniya said. She held up a finger to Murati’s lips before she could tell her that there was nothing for her to apologize for. She knew Murati too well. “No, Murati, I was presumptuous. We’re not kids doing group projects anymore. This is for our careers. I should have asked you and realized your feelings. I’m taking responsibility for this too. If you want out–”
“I don’t!” Murati said, gently guiding Karuniya’s finger off her lips. “I want to do this. A ship is a ship; a mission is a mission. I’m going to learn new things and see new sights, with you.”
Karuniya was surprised. Murati even surprised herself, with the forcefulness of her words.
She had only given it an inkling of thought throughout the day. Now that she had put it into words and advocated it to herself from a broader view, she actually felt a little excited. After all, she had been afraid of leaving Karuniya forever, or vice versa. Now they had their own ship.
“Are you sure?”
Determination clearly shone in Murati’s face. Karuniya’s posture softened.
“Let’s toast to it then!” She said.
“How?” Murati asked. “We’ve only got one cup.”
“I can think of a way.”
Karuniya lifted the cup for a toast, took a drink, and pulled Murati into a kiss.
Sweet corn, stinging alcohol and a warm tongue stole through her unguarded lips.
Pulling back, Karuniya giggled. Murati, her heart beating quickly, suppressed a laugh.
“You’re always up to something.” She said. “You’ve got an evil genius to you.”
“You’re right. I’m most definitely an evil genius. But at least I’m not a troublemaker.”
She dipped her flatbread in the soup and took a dramatic bite from it, winking.
“What was that?” Murati laughed. “What was that gesture even supposed to mean?”
“Eat up before it gets colder.”
Teasing her, Murati picked up her own flatbread and made an exaggerated wink.\
Karuniya stuck out her tongue.
After their romantic dinner, the pair resumed their casual drinking. Karuniya inspected Murati’s general messiness. She had no room to talk. Having been over at her place before Murati knew intimately that she had a book pile just like her own, just with different contents.
However, rather than her evil genius, Karuniya had genuine curiosity.
She picked a book off the pile, on the development of Imperial fleet tactics.
“This is just like you.”
Karuniya smiled fondly at the book. “It’s like holding a tiny little piece of you.”
Opening up the pages, she flipped through various wordy descriptions and diagrams.
“Do they still operate like this? This book is a hundred years old.”
“It serves as a foundation.” Murati said.
“You really think about this stuff all the time.” Karuniya said. “I signed up at the academy because the military has a monopoly on science here in the Union. So, I guess I’m a soldier. I just do not have as much of a concentration in the operational art. Do you think that’s a weakness?”
“No, I mean, when we go to war you will perform science-y roles still.”
Murati had said that with such confidence that Karuniya stared at her in silence.
After a pause, she asked, “You think we’re going to war?”
“Eventually we must. I mean, you know, the contradictions and all that–”
“I read Mordecai too you know. But does that actually mean war?”
“It will eventually. The Empire in the long term, needs our resources against the Republic.”
Karuniya laid back against the pile of books, looking up at the ceiling.
“Wow. I guess I never thought about it like that. I feel like– well, like a liberal. I guess.”
“I forgive you.” Murati teased her. “Besides, you have all kinds of incredible knowledge I don’t have. I can’t predict currents worth a damn; I don’t get biomass concentration. I’d need you.”
Karuniya stood up from the floor. Her expression changed suddenly.
“Murati, listen to me. I made a decision today.”
Facing Murati, she extended a hand to her. Murati took it and stood with her.
“I want us to be together. I never want to lose you. Both of us have lost enough already.”
Her other hand she stretched to the wall.
Without looking, she input a command to Murati’s room computer. For people who got used to room computers, it was not hard to work the inputs while looking away, or even to type on the wall with a completely absent mind. The whole time she typed, Karuniya had the most intense lock on Murati’s eyes. Murati felt a sensation come up from her core, a growing desire.
As the lights dimmed, those emerald eyes grew fiery, passionate.
Her soft hand tightened its grip on Murati’s.
There was a notification. Karuniya had recorded herself in the room log.
“I’m staying the night. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I kinda missed sleeping over.”
She walked around Murati, hand in hand, never breaking eye contact. She sat on the bed.
Heaving a contented sigh, she tugged at the neck of her suit.
“Do you want to hold on to me? Even if you don’t– will you indulge me?” She asked.
A zipper pulled down; a button popped.
Karuniya beamed with anticipation. Her breasts were half-exposed.
Murati did not need any further hints and did not respond with her voice.
She took Karuniya by the shoulders and practically pounced on her.
Silent, confident, her body communicated the desire she had and her total acquiescence.
There was barely room on the bed for them to lay together — except with one on top.
Karuniya locked eyes with an expression that was ravishing in its confidence.
As the tallest of the two Murati gently tipped her head down to her.
Their lips joined. First the kisses were brief, between intermittent, warm gasps.
Laid down against the bed, Karuniya embraced Murati, and pushed herself up.
When their lips next met, they locked tight, savoring one another, breathless.
Murati’s fingers glided across Karuniya’s belly, relishing the soft contours of her skin, the tiny twitches of motion from her body as she reacted to the touch. Her fingers traced her belly, to her hip, and down to her thigh. Pressing between her legs, she reached under the wetsuit.
Her lips brushed past Karuniya’s cheek.
Ever so slightly, they spread for a gentle nip at the warm, pliable flesh of her earlobe.
Exploring further, Murati felt a rising pulse as she sucked on her lover’s neck.
Mumbling little cries escaped Karuniya in fits and starts. She closed her eyes and dug in her fingers. Her legs pressed against Murati and kicked, thighs rubbing, toes curling with pleasure.
Her moaning grew louder, incoherent. Her cries shuddered with her whole body.
Briefly lifting her other hand, Murati tinkered with the wall panel as Karuniya tittered.
Synthesizer music filled the room. Karuniya bucked her hips, nearly jumping.
Both from pleasure and incredulous surprise.
“What the–! You’re ruining– hngh!”
Karuniya’s complaints were interrupted by a cute little moan as Murati found a sweet spot.
Those fingers which were occupied within Karuniya had taken no pause.
With the music blaring, they found a pleasant new rhythm.
“It’s your modesty that I’m protecting.” Murati said into her ears.
“Oh shut– ohh!”
In lieu of shutting up, Murati drew closer again to Karuniya.
Karuniya’s back arched, and she drew forward, seizing Murati and pulling her deeper.
All of the playful sounds escaping Karuniya’s lips were masked by the synths.
Only Murati could delight in them, as close as she was, tasting them in her breath.
“What a noisy girl.” She teased.
Karuniya tugged at Murati’s dress shirt, undoing the buttons and slicing down the zipper to start undressing her. She squeezed the pliable material of the suit, gritting her teeth. Her whole body shuddered from Murati’s attentions. With effort, she pulled the suit and shirt off Murati’s shoulders and down against her arms, exposing her sweat-soaked, heaving chest.
Her hands went from the suit down to Murati’s breasts, digging her fingers into the skin.
Responding to her lover’s feverish grip on her chest, Murati pushed deeper and faster.
Karuniya tensed, her back arched. Suddenly overwhelmed in climax, she jumped forward.
Perhaps she had intended to embrace. Instead Murati knocked heads with her.
From the sound system, a much quieter, less intense track suddenly began to play.
“Fuck–” Karuniya began through gasping breaths. “–Goodbye, mood!”
Clinging together, near totally naked, they burst suddenly into laughter.
Murati was so taken in with Karuniya. She was positively glowing. She was so beautiful.
“I love you, Karu.” Murati said. “I love you so much. Let’s stay just like this.”
She squeezed her lover tightly. For a moment they held one another, neither moving from the spot. Everything felt light and warm and fun. Comforting. They laughed a little more together.
Karuniya recovered her breath. Suddenly, she pulled down Murati’s pants.
“I love you too, Murati. But listen it’s neither fair nor hot if only I have fun.”
Her fingers sent a thrill, longing and anticipation cascading across Murati’s entire body.
“I’m having fun.” She replied, gently holding on to Karuniya’s waist.
“Yeah, yeah; enough of the strong, reserved service top stuff, just come here.”
From the nightstand, Karuniya coyly withdrew a pair of foil packets.
One was full of powder. She tipped the contents into Murati’s mouth to dissolve quickly.
A second packet contained a condom.
Karuniya teasingly reached between Murati’s legs and laid a hand there. First to slide the condom down Murati’s shaft; then just to squeeze. Between her grip and the medicine, Murati felt a powerful rush of blood. It was impossible to maintain her strong, reserved persona then.
Stroking faster, Karuniya brought her other arm around Murati’s neck. She kissed her, briefly — then pushed her down onto the bed, her hands supporting her weight on Murati’s chest.
Her lover rising and falling over her, with the music slow and the lights dimming, their eyes locked together with growing intensity even as their bodies quaked with pleasure–
Murati almost felt as if time had stopped. As if she was in a sublime dream.
Karuniya’s weight and warmth on her body did make Murati shout.
Both of them shouted.
Heads swimming, heartbeats pulsing from one to the other as if one flesh. Diving deep beneath the surface of each other’s bodies, touching everything, tasting everything, holding back nothing. Holding hands adrift in the currents of their pleasure, the two of them lost the time.
They were taken by a raw desperation. Sex was nothing new, but that night was different.
Between the first kiss and the last orgasm, the world changed. They felt it in on their skin.