Thursday, 2 April 2009


The relationship continues to blossom. (Funny how many botanical terms are involved in describing relationships isn't it? Bloom, flower, blossom…)

Now, in a hotel room decorated in early hideous, we finished our planning.

"So we're just going to spend a couple of days here absorbing the atmosphere?" asked June.


"And then move to Lamingdon and do the same there?"


"And then walk through the front gate of the Research Unit and start asking them questions?"


"You really are a master of strategy and tactics aren't you?" she said, fluttering her eyelashes.

"I try."

"So … beer and curry?"

I usually let her make major decisions like that. After all, she was nominally in charge.

Yep, getting along well. And shortly afterwards, June makes the first overt move to increase the depth of the relationship.

"And how do you suggest we get these samples?" June enquired sarcastically. "Kidnap one of them?"

I nodded.


"God, you are a ruthless bastard aren't you?" she said.

"Is that admiration in your tone?" I asked.

"Actually - yes. It is." She flushed slightly. "Never thought I'd hear myself saying something nice about you. Or to you."

For once, I had no ready answer.

June has actually admitted that she admires Player.

It takes danger for them to get physical though.

I put a hand on June's shoulder. She jumped at the unexpected contact. I put my mouth to her ear.

"Pull back," I breathed.

She looked at me, uncomprehending.

I gestured towards normality behind us, pulling her arm. She struggled. I persisted.

Our target stopped below us.

Directly below us.

He stood immobile, the tethered goat awaiting the tiger.

The bait in the trap.

June's face showed sudden understanding. We began to slide back through the elders and hawthorns.

Through this thin strip of woods lay an open field. The far side of that was in what we had begun to call 'the normal region'.

We ducked through a rusted wire fence and began running across the field.

Noises erupted in the woods behind us. A dozen men emerged from the sheltering darkness under the trees.

They ran after us.

We ran faster.

The noise behind stopped. June looked back and tripped, falling into the uneven wet grass. I pulled her up, looking behind.

The men had stopped in an even line about halfway across the field. They reminded me of footballers waiting for the national anthem.

They stood and stared, motionless.

We walked towards what we hoped was safety.

As if in response to some unheard signal, the men turned and retreated into the woods.

We watched them go.

"Back to the car then," I said.

"How did you know?" asked June.

"Too quiet somehow podner," I drawled.

We sat in the car. I told it to go to the hotel. As it glided away June threw herself at me, wrapping her arms around my neck, pressing tightly.

I could feel her heartbeat. She whispered into the side of my neck.

"I was so scared. Thank you. Thank you."

I could feel my heart beating too. I'd been scared, but that wasn't the main reason for my racing pulse.

She kissed me, her lips moist, her mouth opening slightly, her tongue probing.

I didn't resist much. Actually, I didn't resist at all.

He has saved her from being caught by the aliens. We now have physical contact and a kiss. A passionate kiss.

They go further.

"We obviously need a different game plan," I said as we recuperated in the hotel room. "It seems to me that we need to start with small things that don't fight back."

"Like what?" asked June sarcastically. "Blades of grass?"

I nodded.

"That might not be such a bad idea," I said seriously. "Maybe throw in an invertebrate or two - see if their behaviour is different."

"Invertebrates don't have behaviour," she retorted.

"Ants do, bees, any social insect."

"And I suppose we use the SAS to perform this daring mission?"

"Why not? I don't really want to be transformed into a zombie.

I quite like myself the way I am."

She grinned at me.

"You do start to grow on one after a while. And after half a bottle of Jack Daniels."

June leaned across me to pick up the bottle. As she did so, she pressed a firm young breast against my arm.

"How old are you, June?"

She poured my drink before answering. Her tone was defensive as she did so.

"Sixty-three. Why, does it matter?"

"Not to me. I wouldn't have put you a day past eighty."

She put most of her weight in a very sensitive spot as she leaned back. I yelped. She raised an eyebrow.

"Nothing," I said. "It was nothing."

"You're eighty-one, aren't you?"

I nodded.

"You look about thirty, thirty-five. God, isn't technology wonderful?"

"Mmmm. Have you been married?"

She sighed.

"Couple of times. They didn't work out. And you?"

"The same. Except it was me that didn't work out."

I sometimes have these painful attacks of honesty.

June stood up, grabbing my arm and pulling me up off the bed.

"Your room or mine?"

It ended up being both of them.

And the bathroom in-between.

So we now have a full-on relationship. This is signalled by the relaxed intimacy they now share and the exchange of sensitive personal information.

Their relationship will get deeper and more intense as they become more and more threatened.

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